589. Slain from the foundation of the world, signifies the Lord's Divine Human not acknowledged from the establishment of the church. By "the Lamb slain" is signified that the Lord's Divine Human is not acknowledged, may be seen above (n. 59, 269), where these words are explained:
I am the First and the Last, and am He that liveth, and was dead, and behold I am alive for ages of ages (Rev. 1:17-18).
And the following:
And I saw, and behold, in the midst of the throne, a Lamb standing as it were slain; and they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God (Rev. 5:6, 9).
"From the foundation of the world," signifies from the establishment of the church, both the Jewish and the Christian. That the Jews did not acknowledge the Lord's Divine Human, is known. That the Roman Catholics do not, is also known. And that the Reformed do not, may be seen above (n. 294). By "the foundation of the world" is not here meant the creation of the world, but the establishment of the church; for by "the world," in the most extensive sense, is meant the whole world, and the good as well as the evil therein, and sometimes the evil only; but in a less extensive sense, by "the world" is meant the same as by "the globe" and "the earth," thus the church. That by "the globe" is signified the church, may be seen (n. 551), and the same by "the earth" (n. 285). That by "laying the foundation of the globe and the earth" is signified to establish the church, and that by "the founding" and "foundation" thereof, its establishment is signified, may appear from Isa. 24:18; 40:21; 48:12-13; 51:16-17; 58:12; Jer. 31:37; Micah 6:1-2; Zech. 12:1; Ps. 18:7, 15; 24:2; 82:5; 89:11. That "the world" also signifies the church, may be seen in Matt. 13:37-39; Joel 1:9-10; and that the Lord from faith in Him is called "the Savior of the world" (John 3:16-19; 4:42; 6:33, 51; 8:12; 9:4-5; 12:46-47). That "the world" also means the people of the church (John 12:19; 18:20). From this it may be seen what is signified by "the foundation of the world" (also in Matt. 25:34; Luke 11:50; John 17:24; Rev. 17:8).