59. The exposition of these words is as follows: "A great sign was seen in heaven," signifies a revelation by the Lord concerning the church to come, and concerning the reception of its doctrine, and those by whom it will be assailed. The "woman encompassed with the sun, and the moon under her feet," signifies a church that is in love and in faith from the Lord; "and upon her head a crown of twelve stars," signifies wisdom and intelligence from Divine truths in the men of that church; "and she being with child," signifies its nascent doctrine; "cried, travailing in birth, and in pain to be delivered," signifies resistance by those who are in faith separated from charity. "And another sign was seen in heaven," signifies further revelation; "and behold, a great red dragon," signifies faith separated from charity; he is said to be "red" from love that is merely natural; "having seven heads," signifies a false understanding of the Word; "and ten horns," signifies power in consequence of its reception by many; "and upon his heads seven diadems," signifies falsified truths of the Word; "and his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them into the earth," signifies the destruction of all knowledges of truth. "And the dragon stood before the woman that was ready to be delivered, that when she was delivered, he might devour her child," signifies their hatred, and their intention to destroy the doctrine of the church at its birth. "And she brought forth a man child," signifies the doctrine; "who was to pasture all the nations with a rod of iron," signifies that this doctrine will convince by the power of truth natural from spiritual; "and her child was caught up unto God and unto His throne," signifies the protection of the doctrine by the Lord, from heaven. "And the woman fled into the wilderness," signifies the church among a few; "where she hath a place prepared of God," signifies the state of it such that provision may meanwhile be made for its existing with many; "that they may nourish her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days," signifies until it grows to its appointed state. "And there was war in heaven Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels," signifies dissent and battling by those who are in faith separated from charity against those who are in the doctrine of the church respecting the Lord and the life of charity "and they prevailed not," signifies that they were overcome "neither was their place found any more in heaven." signifies that they were cast down thence. "And when the dragon saw that he was cast into the earth, he persecuted the woman who brought forth the man child," signifies the infestation of the church by those in faith separated from charity, on account of its doctrine. "And unto the woman were given two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness into her place," signifies cautious care and foresight while the church is as yet among few; "where she would be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent," signifies while the church is growing to its appointed state. "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood," signifies their abundant reasonings from falsities whereby to destroy the church. "And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood that the dragon cast out of his mouth," signifies that their reasonings, being from falsities, fell of themselves to the ground. "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went away to make war with the remnant of her seed," signifies their persistent hatred; "who keep the commandments of God, and hold the testimony of Jesus Christ," signifies against those who live the life of charity, and believe in the Lord.