244. And the fourth animal was like a flying eagle, signifies the Divine truth of the Word as to knowledges, and thence understanding. By "eagles" various things are signified, and by "flying eagles" are signified knowledges from which understanding is derived, because when they fly they both know and see; for they have sharp eyes that they may see clearly, and by "eyes" are signified the understanding (n. 48, 214): by "flying" is signified to receive and instruct, and, in the highest sense, in which it has relation to the Lord, it signifies to foresee and provide. That "eagles" in the Word have such a signification, appears from these passages:
They that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles (Isa. 40:31).
"To mount up with wings as eagles," is to be elevated into the knowledges of truth and good, and thence into intelligence:
Is it by thy intelligence and according to thy mouth that the eagle lifteth himself and searcheth out his food; his eyes see clearly afar (Job. 39:26-27, 29).
The faculty of knowing, understanding, and seeing clearly, is here described by "the eagle," and that this is not from man's own intelligence.
Jehovah who satisfieth thy mouth with good so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle (Ps. 103:5).
"To satisfy the mouth with good," is to give understanding by knowledges; hence a comparison is made with the eagle.
A great eagle, great in wings, long in feathers, came upon Lebanon, and took a twig of a cedar, and placed it in a field of seed, and it grew. And there was also another great eagle, to which the vine applied its roots (Ezek. 17:1-8).
Here by "the two eagles" is described the Jewish and Israelitish churches, both as to the knowledges of truth and consequent intelligence. But "eagles" in the opposite sense signify the knowledges of what is false, from which the understanding is perverted (as in Matt. 24:28; Jer. 4:13; Hab. 1:8, 9; and other places).