400. And they were cast upon the earth, and the third part of the trees was burnt up, signifies that with those who are in the internals of the church and in faith alone, every affection and perception of truth, which make the man of the church, perished. By "the earth," upon which were cast "hail and fire mingled with blood," is signified the church with those who are in its internals, and in faith alone. That these are the clergy, may be seen above (n. 398). By "the third part" is signified all as to truth, as by "the fourth part," all as to good (n. 322). That by "three" is signified all, full, and altogether, will be seen below (n. 505); thence, by "a third," which is "a third part," the same is signified. By "being burnt up" is signified to perish, here by falsity from infernal love, which is meant by "hail and fire mingled with blood," see above (n. 399). By "a tree" is signified man; and as man is man from affection, which is of the will, and from perception, which is of the understanding, therefore these also are signified by "a tree." There is also a correspondence between man and a tree; wherefore in heaven there appear paradises of trees, which correspond to the affections and the perceptions therefrom of the angels; and, likewise, in some places in hell there are forests of trees which bear evil fruits, according to correspondence with the lusts and the thoughts therefrom of those who are there. That "trees" in general signify men as to their affections and perceptions therefrom, may appear from the following passages:
All the trees of the field shall know, that I Jehovah have brought down the high tree, I have exalted the low tree, I have dried up the green tree, and I have made the dry tree to shoot forth (Ezek. 17:24).
Happy is the man that trusteth in Jehovah, for he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, he shall not cease from bearing fruit (Jer. 17:7-8).
Happy is the man whose good pleasure is in the law; he shall be like a tree planted by the brooks of waters, that giveth fruit in its season (Ps. 1:1-3).
Praise Jehovah, ye trees of fruit (Ps. 148:9).
The trees of Jehovah are full (Ps. 104:16).
The axe is laid at the root of the tree, every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down (Matt. 3:10; 7:16-20).
Either make the tree good and the fruit good; or make the tree corrupt and the fruit corrupt; for the tree is known from the fruit (Matt. 12:33; Luke 6:43-44).
I will kindle a fire which shall devour every green tree, and every dry tree (Ezek. 20:47).
Since a tree signifies man, therefore it was ordained that:
The fruit of a tree serving for food in the land of Canaan should be circumcised (Lev. 19:23-25).
When any city was besieged, they should not put forth an axe against any tree of good fruit (Deut. 20:19-20).
As also that:
At the feast of tabernacles they should take fruit of the tree of honor, and be glad before Jehovah (Lev. 23:40-41).
Besides other passages, which are not here adduced by reason of their abundance.