535. Verse 2. And being with child, she cried, travailing, and pained to bring forth, signifies the nascent doctrine of the New Church, and its difficult reception on account of the resistance by those who are meant by "the dragon." "To be with child" signifies the nascent doctrine, because by "the offspring which was in the womb" (whose birth is treated of in verse 5), is signified the doctrine of the New Church; for nothing else is signified by "being with child," "in travail," and "bringing forth," in the spiritual sense of the Word, than to conceive and bring forth those things which are of spiritual life, concerning which presently. By "she cried, travailing, and pained to bring forth," is signified the difficult reception of that doctrine, because of resistance by those who are meant by "the dragon." This is plain from what follows in this chapter, as "that the dragon stood before the woman about to bring forth, that he might devour her offspring," and afterwards he pursued her into the wilderness.
 That by "being with child," "travailing," and "bringing forth," nothing else is signified in the Word, appears from the following passages:
Jesus said, except one be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God; that which is born of the flesh is flesh, but that which is born of the spirit is spirit (John 3:3-6).
Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear, shout, thou that didst not travail, for more are the sons of the desolate than the sons of the married (Isa. 54:1).
They have ceased until the barren hath borne seven, and she that hath many children lacketh (1 Sam. 2:5).
By "the barren" are signified the Gentiles, who had no genuine truths, because they had not the Word; by "the married" and "she that hath many children" are signified the Jews who had the Word.
She that hath borne seven languisheth, she hath breathed out her soul (Jer. 15:9).
Speaking also of the Jews:
We have conceived, we have travailed, we have as it were brought forth wind, we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth (Isa. 26:18).
Before she travailed, she brought forth, before her pain came she was delivered of a male; hath the earth travailed in one day, shall a nation be born at once? shall I break and not bring forth? and cause to be generated and shut (Isa. 66:7-9)?
Thou travailest, O earth, before the Lord, before the God of Jacob (Ps. 114:7).
Alas, this day, sons have come to the mouth of the matrix, and there is not strength to bring forth (Isa. 37:3).
Sin shall travail, and No shall be for a breaking through (Ezek. 30:15-16).
I have heard the voice of one sick, as of her that travaileth with her first born, the voice of the daughter of Zion, she sighs, she spreadeth her hands, Woe is me, my soul is wearied because of slayers (Jer. 4:31).
Pangs and sorrows take hold, they travail like one bringing forth (Isa. 13:8).
The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up, the pains of one in travail shall come upon him; he is a son not wise, for he stayeth not the time in the womb of sons (Hos. 13:12-13).
Ephraim, thy glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the belly, and from conception; give them, O Jehovah, a miscarrying womb, and dry breasts; even when they have begotten, I will slay the desires of their belly (Hos. 9:11, 14, 16).
In these passages also is described the difficulty of receiving the truths of doctrine from the Word, by many things relating to "pain in bringing forth," and in like manner in many other places. Moreover, Jehovah, that is, the Lord, is called "the Former from the womb" (Isa. 44:2, 24; 49:1, 5); and by "Former from the womb" is meant the Reformer.