VINEYARD >> Spiritual Church
And he planted a vineyard. That this signifies a church therefrom, and that a "vineyard" is the spiritual church, is evident from the signification of a "vineyard." In the Word churches are frequently described as "gardens" and also as the "trees of a garden" and are even so named. This is from their fruits, which signify the things belonging to love and charity; and therefore it is said that a man is "known by his fruit." The comparing of churches to "gardens" "trees" and "fruits" originates from representations in heaven, where gardens of inexpressible beauty are sometimes presented to view, in accordance with the spheres of the faith. From the same origin the celestial church was described by the Paradisal Garden, in which were trees of every kind; and by the "trees" of that garden were signified the perceptions of that church, and by the "fruits" the goods of love of every kind. But the Ancient Church, being spiritual, is described by a "vineyard" from its fruits, which are grapes, and which represent and signify the works of charity.
 This is clearly evident from many passages of the Word, as in Isaiah:
I will sing for My beloved a song of My beloved touching his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard in a horn of the son of oil; and he made a hedge about it, and fenced it with stones, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also hewed out a wine-press therein and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes; and now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt Me and My vineyard: the vineyard of Jehovah of armies is the house of Israel (Isa. 5:1-3, 7).
Here the "vineyard" signifies the Ancient Church, thus the spiritual church, and it is plainly said to he the house of Israel; for by "Israel" in the Word is signified the spiritual church, and by "Judah" the celestial church. In Jeremiah:
Again will I build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: again shalt thou deck thy timbrels, and shalt go forth in the dance of them that make merry again shalt thou plant vineyards upon the mountains of Samaria (Jer. 31:4, 5),
where "vineyards" denote the spiritual church; and the subject is Israel, by whom is signified the spiritual church, as just said.
 In Ezekiel:
When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples, they shall dwell upon the land in confidence, and they shall build houses, and plant vineyards (Ezek. 28:25, 26).
Here a "vineyard" is the spiritual church, or "Israel;" and "to plant vineyards" is to be instructed in the truths and goods of faith. In Amos:
I have smitten you with blasting and mildew; the multitude of your gardens and your vineyards and your fig-trees and your olive-yards hath the palmer-worm devoured; thus will I do unto thee, O Israel (Amos 4:9, 12).
"Gardens" here denote the things of the church, "vineyards" the spiritual things of the church, "fig-trees" the natural things, "olive-yards: the celestial things; thus "vineyards" denote the things of the spiritual church, or Israel. Again:
I will bring again the captivity of My people Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof, they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them (Amos 9:14).
"Planting vineyards" denotes the planting of the spiritual church; thus a "vineyard" means the spiritual church, or Israel.
 As a "vineyard" signifies the spiritual church, so also does a "vine;" for a vine is a part of a vineyard; so that they are as the church and a man of the church, and the signification is the same. In Jeremiah:
Is Israel a servant? if he was born of the house, why is he become a prey? I had planted thee a wholly noble vine, a seed of truth; how then art thou turned into the averted branches of a strange vine unto Me? (Amos 2:14, 21),
where a "vine" denotes the spiritual church, or "Israel." In Ezekiel:
Take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel; thy mother was like a vine, in thy likeness, planted by the waters, fruitful and full of leaves by reason of many waters (Ezek.19:1, 10).
A "vine" here denotes the Ancient Spiritual Church, which is the "mother;" thus "Israel" which is therefore said to be "in thy likeness." In Hosea:
Israel is an empty vine, which putteth forth fruit like himself (Hosea 10:1)."
A "vine" denotes the spiritual church, or "Israel" here desolated. Again:
O Israel, return unto Jehovah thy God; I will be as the dew unto Israel; they that dwell in his shadow shall return; they shall revive the corn, and blossom as the vine; his memory shall be as the wine of Lebanon (Hos. 14:1, 5, 7),
where the "vine" denotes the spiritual church, or "Israel." In Moses:
Until Shiloh come; binding His young ass to the vine, and His ass's colt unto the choice vine (Gen. 49:10-11).
This is a prophecy of the Lord; the "vine" and the "choice vine" denote spiritual churches.
 The Lord's parables of the laborers in the vineyards in like manner signified spiritual churches (Matt. 20:1-16; 21:33-44; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-16). Since the "vine" signifies the spiritual church, and the primary thing of the spiritual church is charity, in which the Lord is present, and by means of which He conjoins Himself with man, and Himself alone works every good, therefore the Lord compares Himself to a vine, and describes the man of the church, or the spiritual church, in these words, in John:
I am the true vine and My Father is the husbandman; every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, He will prune it, that it may bear more fruit; abide in Me, and I in you; as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, so neither can ye, except ye abide in Me; I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing; this is My commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you (John 15:1-5, 12);
from these words it is evident what the spiritual church is.AC1069.
And the angel sent his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vineyard of the earth, signifies the end of the present Christian church. By "sending his sickle and gathering," the like is signified as by "sending his sickle and reaping," but the latter is said of a harvest and the former of a vineyard. That "to gather" is to take down the vine and gather the grapes, and that "to reap" signifies to cut down the harvest and gather the corn, is evident. That "a vineyard" signifies the church where the Word is, by which the Lord is known, thus here the Christian church, may appear from the following passages:
Jesus said, I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing. If anyone abide not in Me, he is cast forth, and is as a dried branch in the fire (John 15:5-6).
Jesus likened the kingdom of the heavens to a householder, who brought laborers into his vineyard (Matt. 20:1, 8).
Of the sons who were to labor in the vineyard (Matt. 21:28).
Of the fig tree planted in the vineyard which bore no fruit (Luke 13:6-9).
Jesus spoke a parable; a man planted a vineyard, and encompassed it with a hedge, and let it out to husbandmen, that he might receive the fruits of it, but they slew the servants sent to them, and at last the son (Matt. 21:33-39; Mark 12:1-9; Luke 20:9-16).
I will sing a song of my beloved concerning his vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard which he fenced about, and planted with a noble vine (Isa. 5:1-2 seq.).
In that day answer ye unto her, a vineyard of unmixed wine; I, Jehovah, do keep it; I will water it every moment (Isa. 27:2-3).
Many shepherds have destroyed My vineyard; they have placed it in a solitude (Jer. 12:10-11).
Jehovah cometh into judgment with the elders, for you have kindled the vineyard (Isa. 3:14).
In all vineyards there is wailing (Amos 5:17).
In the vineyards there is no singing, neither is there shouting (Isa. 16:10). [AR650]
When a man shall desolate a field, or a vineyard. That this signifies the deprivation of the good and the truth of the church through cupidities, is evident from the signification of "to desolate," as being to deprive through cupidities (see n. 9141); from the signification of "a field," as being the church as to good (n. 2791, 3766, 4982, 7502), thus the good of the church; and from the signification of "a vineyard," as being the church as to truth, thus the truth of the church. That "a field" denotes the church as to good, is because the things of a field, such as wheat and barley, signify internal and external goods of the church (n. 3941, 7602, 7605); and that "a vineyard" denotes the church as to truth, is because "wine," which belongs to a vineyard, signifies the truth of good (n. 1071, 6377).
 That "field" and "vineyard" have this signification has its origin from the representatives in the spiritual world. For fields full of wheat and barley appear before spirits when the angels in a heaven above them are conversing about an assemblage of those who are in good; and there appear vineyards full of grapes, with winepresses, when the angels are conversing about an assemblage of those who are in the truth of good. These representatives are not from the fact that there are such things upon earth; but from the correspondences, in that wheat and barley, or the bread made therefrom, nourish the body, as the good of love and of charity nourishes the soul; and in that wine, as drink, acts in like manner. From this it is that in the Word the goods of love and the truths of faith are called "meats and drinks;" in this sense also they are heavenly meats and drinks (see n. 56-58, 680, 681, 1973, 1974, 4459, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5576, 5579, 5915, 8562).
 That a "vineyard" denotes the church as to the good and the truth of faith, which church is called the spiritual church, is evident from the passages in the Word where a "vineyard" is mentioned; as in Jeremiah:
Many shepherds have destroyed My vineyard, they have trodden under foot My field, they have made My field of desire into a desert of solitude; he has made it [the vineyard] into a solitude (Jer. 12:10-11);
where "vineyard" and "field" manifestly denote the church; and as the church is the church from the truth and good of faith and of charity, it is clear that the "vineyard" here denotes the church as to truth, and the "field," the church as to good. In Isaiah:
Jehovah cometh into judgment with the elders of His people, and the princes thereof; ye have set on fire the vineyard (Isa. 3:14);
here also "the vineyard" plainly denotes the church in respect to the good and truth of faith; for "the elders with whom Jehovah will come into judgment," denote the goods of the church (see n. 6524, 6525); and "the princes," its truths (n. 5044).
I will sing to my beloved a song of my friend touching His vineyard. My beloved had a vineyard in a horn of the son of oil; and he enclosed it, and planted it with a noble vine (Isa. 5:1-2);
this is said of the Lord, who is the "beloved" and the "friend;" the "vineyard" denotes His spiritual church; a "noble vine" denotes the good of faith of this church; and a "horn of the son of oil," the good of the faith of that church from the good of love. He who knows nothing of the internal sense of the Word, cannot possibly know what is signified by "a vineyard in a horn of the son of oil." Yet in these words there lies hidden a secret that cannot be expressed in words. By these words is fully described the conjunction of the Lord's spiritual kingdom with His celestial kingdom; that is, the conjunction of the second heaven with the third; consequently the conjunction of the good of faith in the Lord, which is of the spiritual kingdom, with the good of love to the Lord, which is of the celestial kingdom. The "vineyard" denotes the spiritual kingdom; "in a horn" denotes in power, thus in this kingdom; and "the son of oil" denotes the external good of love of the celestial kingdom. The celestial kingdom, which is the inmost heaven of the Lord, is called an "olive-tree" or an "olive-yard," because "oil" denotes the good of celestial love (n. 886, 4582, 4638). Be it known that the kingdom of the Lord on earth is the church. (That there are two kingdoms, the celestial kingdom and the spiritual kingdom, and that the spiritual kingdom constitutes the second heaven, and the celestial kingdom the third heaven, see n. 3887, 4138, 4279, 4286; of the conjunction of these, see n. 6435.)
In that day a vineyard of pure wine, answer ye to it; I Jehovah do keep it; I will water it every moment (Isa. 27:2-3);
where "a vineyard of pure wine" [merum] denotes the spiritual church. In Amos:
In all vineyards shall be wailing; I will pass through thee. Woe unto you that desire the day of Jehovah! What to you is the day of Jehovah? It is of darkness and not of light (Amos 5:17-18);
this is said of the last time of the church, when there is no longer any good and truth of faith, which time is "the day of Jehovah, a day of darkness and not of light;" whence it is said, "in all vineyards shall be wailing." In John in Revelation:
The angel put forth His sickle into the earth, and vintaged the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great Winepress of the wrath of God (Rev. 14:19);
"to vintage the vine of the earth" denotes to consume the truth and good of the church; "the earth" here being the church. From all this it can be seen why the Lord so often likened the kingdom of the heavens to a "vineyard" (as in Matt. 20:1, and the following verses; 21:28, 29, 33-41; Mark 12:1-12); and why the Lord called Himself "the vine," in John:
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; so neither can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. Without Me ye can do nothing (John 15:4-6);
"the vine" denotes faith in the Lord, consequently the Lord as to faith; for the Lord is faith, because faith is from Him; for no faith is faith save that which is from Him. Hence also "the vine" denotes the faith which is directed to Him. [AC9139]
And he cast it into the great winepress of the anger of God, signifies exploration of the quality of their works, that they were evil. By "casting the clusters of the vineyard into the winepress," is signified to explore their works, for these are signified by "clusters," as may be seen above (n. 649). But as it is called "the great winepress of the anger of God," it signifies exploration of their works as being evil, for the "anger of God" is said of evil (n. 635). "A winepress" signifies exploration, because, in presses, must is pressed out from clusters, and oil from olives, and from the must and oil which are pressed out is perceived the quality of the grapes and olives. And as by "a vineyard" is signified the Christian church, and by its "clusters" are signified works, therefore the exploring of these with the men of the Christian church is signified by "casting them into the winepress." But because they have separated faith from charity, and have made faith without the works of the law saving; and since from faith separated from charity none but evil works proceed, therefore it is called "the great winepress of the anger of God." The exploration of works is also signified by a winepress in the following passages:
My beloved hath a vineyard in the horn of a son of oil; he planted it with a noble vine, he also hewed out a winepress therein, and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes (Isa. 5:1-2).
Send ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe; come, get you down; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow, for their wickedness is great (Joel 3:13).
The threshing-floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the must shall fail in her (Hos. 9:2).
The waster is fallen upon thy vintage, I have caused wine to fail from the winepresses, none shall tread with shouting, the shouting shall be no shouting (Jer. 48:32-33).
A householder planted a vineyard, and digged a winepress in it, and let it out to husbandmen, but they slew the servants sent unto them, and last of all the son (Matt. 21:33-39).
A winepress is also spoken of the goods of charity, from which truths of faith proceed, in Joel:
Rejoice O daughters of Zion, and the threshing-floors are full of grain, and the winepresses shall overflow with must and oil (Joel2:23-24). [AR651]
Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)