Apocalypse Revealed (Coulsons) n. 535

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

535. [verse 2] 'And being with child she cried out in travail, and was in torment to bring forth' signifies the nascent doctrine of the New Church, and the difficult reception thereof on account of the resistance by those understood by 'the dragon'. 'Being with child' signifies nascent doctrine because by the child that she had in her womb, of whose birth verse 5 treats, is signified the doctrine of the New Church; for in the spiritual sense of the Word by 'being with child', 'being in travail' and 'bringing forth' nothing else is signified than to conceive and bring forth the things that are of spiritual life, concerning which it follows on. By 'crying out in travail and being in torment to bring forth' is signified the difficult reception of that doctrine on account of the resistance by those who are understood by 'the dragon'. This is plain from the things following in this chapter, as that 'the dragon stood before the woman about to bring forth that he might devour her offspring', and that afterwards he pursued her into the wilderness. [2] That in the Word nothing else is signified by 'being with child', 'travailing' and 'bringing forth' is plain from the following places:-

Jesus said, Unless one is born again, one cannot enter into the kingdom of God; that which is born of the flesh is flesh, but that which is born from the spirit is spirit John iii 3-6.

Sing, O barren, who hast not brought forth, shout, thou who didst not travail, because more are the sons of the desolate than the sons of the married wife Isa. liv 1.

They have delayed until the barren has brought forth seven, and she who has many children has ceased 1 Sam. ii 5.

By 'one that is barren' the Gentiles are signified, who had no genuine truths because they did not have the Word. By 'the married wife' and 'she who has many children' are signified the Jews who did have the Word.

She who had brought forth seven grows feeble, she shall breathe out her soul Jer. xv 9,

speaking of the Jews, likewise.

We have conceived, we have been in travail, we have as it were brought forth wind, we have not wrought salvation to the land Isa. xxvi 18.

Before she has travailed she brings forth, before pain comes to her she has given birth to a male; has the land travailed in one day? shall a nation be born all at once? shall I break [open] and not generate, and cause to be generated and shut up [the womb]? Isa. lxvi 7-9.

Thou travailest, O land, from before the Lord, from before the God of Jacob* Ps. cxiv 7.

Alas this day, sons have come to the mouth of the matrix, and there is no strength for bringing forth Isa. xxxvii 3.

Sin shall travail, and No shall be for a breaking through Ezek. xxx 15, 16.

I have heard the voice of one sick, as of one travailing with her firstborn, the voice of the daughter of Zion, she sighs, she spreads her hands, Woe is me, my soul has been wearied by slayers Jer. iv 31.

Pangs and pains take hold, they travail like one bringing forth Isa. xiii 6-8.

The iniquity of E1shraim has been bound up, the pains of one in travail shall come upon him, he is an unwise son, for he stays not the time in the womb of sons Hosea xiii, 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 (vulva) and dry breasts; even when they shall have begotten, I will slay the desires of their belly Hosea ix 11, 12, 14, 16.

In these places also the difficulty of receiving the truths of a doctrine out of the Word is described by many things concerned with pain in bringing forth, and likewise frequently elsewhere. Moreover, Jehovah, that is, the Lord, is called 'the Former from the womb' (Isa. xliv 2, 24; xlix 1, 5), and by 'Former from the womb' is understood the Reformer. * The Original has Israelis (of Israel), but Hebrew has 'Jacob'. See AE 721:9, which has 'Israel' in the quotation but 'Jacob' in the exposition. ** Hebrew has 'their'.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church