789. In which all that had ships in the sea were made rich from her costliness, for in one hour they were devastated, signifies on this account, that by the holy things of that religious persuasion, all, as many as were willing to buy, were absolved, and for worldly and temporal riches received spiritual and eternal riches, and that now not any. By "being made rich from her costliness" is signified to appease God by the holy things of that religious persuasion, or to believe that for temporal and temporary merchandise or riches they would receive spiritual and eternal merchandise or riches; that is, that for gold, silver, precious stone, pearls, purple, and the other things which are enumerated (verses 12, 13), they would receive blessings and felicities after death. These things are meant by the costliness, with which they say that they were made rich by that city. That they also speak thus is known. By "they were devastated in one hour" is signified that on account of the destruction of that religious persuasion, no one can hereafter buy their holy things. From these things it is manifest, that by these words are signified the things which were quoted above. That the holy things of the church are signified by things costly, is manifest from these passages:
Blessed of Jehovah is the land of Joseph, for the precious things of heaven, for the precious things of the products of the sun, and for the precious things of the produce of the months, and for the precious things of the hills of eternity, and for the precious things of the earth (Deut. 33:13-16).
Is Ephraim My precious son? a child of delights? (Jer. 31:20)
By "Ephraim" the understanding of the Word is meant.
The sons of Zion were esteemed more precious than pure gold (Lam. 4:2).
"The sons of Zion" are the truths of the church. Besides elsewhere, as Isa. 13:12; 43:4; Ps. 36:7; 45:9; 49:8; 72:14. Hence now it is that it is said that from that city all that had ships in the sea were made rich by her costliness.