652. Verse 20. And the winepress was trodden without the city, signifies that exploration was made from the Divine truths of the Word, into the quality of the works flowing forth from the doctrine of faith of the church. By "the winepress was trodden" is signified that the quality of their works was explored. "To tread the winepress" signifies to explore, and "the clusters" which are trodden signify works, as above (n. 649), here works flowing forth from the doctrine of faith of the church, which are evil works; by "the city" is here meant the great city, of which above (chap. 11:8), which is called "the great city, spiritually Sodom and Egypt;" that it means the doctrine of faith separated from charity, which is the doctrine of the church of the Reformed, see above (n. 501, 502). And as all exploration of the doctrine of the church is made by the Divine truth of the Word, and this is not in that doctrine, but out of it, that also is signified by the winepress being trodden "without the city." From these things it may appear, that by "the winepress was trodden without the city," is signified that exploration was made, from the Divine truths of the Word, into the quality of the works flowing forth from the doctrine of faith of the church. "To tread the winepress" not only signifies to explore evil works, but likewise to bear with them in others, also to remove and cast them into hell, in the following places:
I speak in justice, great to save. Wherefore art Thou red as to Thy garment, and Thy garments like Him that treadeth in the winepress? I have trodden the winepress alone (Isa. 63:1-3).
The Lord hath thrown down all my mighty men, the Lord hath trodden the winepress of the daughter of Judah (Lam. 1:15).
He that sitteth on the white horse shall tend the nations with a rod of iron, and He treadeth the winepress of the wine of the fury and the anger of God (Rev. 19:15).