>> Affections from Falsities >> Devils >> Satans >> Genii

wol1ves8_500_332 The  nature of man's internal, unless it is reformed by the Lord, has been made evident to me from seeing the devils and satans in hell; for they have it constantly in mind to   kill the Lord; and as they cannot do this they are in the endeavor to kill those who are devoted to the Lord; but not being able, as men are in the world, to do this, they make every effort to destroy their souls, that is, to destroy faith and charity in them. With such, essential hatred and revenge appear like lurid and glowing fires-hatred like a lurid fire, and revenge like a glowing fire-yet these are not fires, but appearances. The cruelties of their hearts sometimes appear above them in the air like contests with angels and their slaughter and overthrow. Such direful mockeries arise from their wrath and hatred against heaven. Moreover, at a distance, these same spirits appear like wild beasts of every kind, as tigers, leopards, wolves, foxes, dogs, crocodiles, and all kinds of serpents; and when they see gentle animals in representative forms, they rush upon them in fantasy and strive to tear them in pieces. They came to my sight like dragons standing near women with whom there were little children, whom they were endeavoring, as it were, to devour (according to what is recorded in the twelfth chapter of Revelation); but these were nothing else than representations of hatred against the Lord and His New Church. That men in the world who wish to destroy the Lord's church are like these spirits is not evident to their companions; and for the reason that their bodies, through which they practice the moralities, absorb and conceal these things. But to the angels, who behold their spirits and not their bodies, they appear in forms like those of the devils above described. Who could have known such things had not the Lord opened the sight of some one, and given him the ability to look into the spiritual world? Otherwise, would not these, together with other most important matters, have lain concealed from man for ever? [ TCR312]

All things that are evil uses are in hell, and all things that are good uses are in heaven. Before it can be seen that all evil uses that take form on earth are not from the Lord but from hell, something must be premised concerning heaven and hell, without a knowledge of which evil uses as well as good may be attributed to the Lord, and it may be believed that they are together from creation; or they may be attributed to nature, and their origin to the sun of nature. From these two errors man cannot be delivered, unless he knows that nothing whatever takes form in the natural world that does not derive its cause and therefore its origin from the spiritual world, and that good is from the Lord, and evil from the devil, that is, from hell. By the spiritual world is meant both heaven and hell. In heaven are to be seen all those things that are good uses (of which in a preceding article, n. 336). In hell are to be seen all those that are evil uses (see just above, n. 338, where they are enumerated). These are wild creatures of every kind, as serpents, scorpions, great snakes, crocodiles, tigers, wolves, foxes, swine, owls of different kinds, bats, rats, and mice, frogs, locusts, spiders, and noxious insects of many kinds; also hemlocks and aconites, and all kinds of poisons, both of herbs and of earths; in a word, everything hurtful and deadly to man. Such things appear in the hells to the life precisely like those on and in the earth. They are said to appear there; yet they are not there as on earth, for they are mere correspondences of lusts that swarm out of their evil loves, and present themselves in such forms before others. Because there are such things in the hells, these abound in foul smells, cadaverous, stercoraceous, urinous, and putrid, wherein the diabolical spirits there take delight, as animals do in rank stenches.  From this it can be seen that like things in the natural world did not derive their origin from the Lord, and were not created from the beginning, neither did they spring from nature through her sun, but are from hell. That they are not from nature through her sun is plain, for the spiritual inflows into the natural, and not the reverse. And that they are not from the Lord is plain, because hell is not from Him, therefore nothing in hell corresponding to the evils of its inhabitants is from Him. [DLW339]


tig1er It was said above (no. 386), that the bringing into operation of uses by the Lord through the spheres proceeding from Him is Divine Providence. It is this Providence, therefore, that is meant by the sphere of protection and support of those who cannot protect and support themselves; for it is provided from creation that things created shall be preserved, guarded, protected, and supported, otherwise the universe would go to ruin. With living creatures to whom is left freedom of choice, this cannot be done by the Lord immediately; therefore it is done mediately through His love implanted in fathers, mothers, and nurses. That the love is a love that is in them from the Lord, this they do not know, for they do not perceive the influx and still less the omnipresence of the Lord. But who does not see that this is not a thing of nature but of Divine providence operating in nature by nature? and that a universal of this kind is not possible except from God by a spiritual sun which is in the center of the universe, and whose operation, being without space and time, is instant and present in things last from things first? [2] As to how that Divine operation, which is the Lord's Divine Providence, is received by animate beings, this shall be told in what follows. Mothers and fathers protect and support their infants because these are not able to protect and support themselves. This, however, is not the cause of the love of infants but is a rational cause due to the coming down of that love into their understanding. From the rational cause alone, in the absence of a love breathed in and inspiring it, or without the compulsion of law and punishment, man would no more provide for his infants than a statue. [CL391]


 It is the testimony of experience that the love of infants or storge is equally with the evil as with the good, and likewise with mild beasts and with savage; yea, that with evil men as with savage beasts it is sometimes stronger and more ardent. The reason is, because every love proceeding and flowing in from the Lord is turned in the subject into the life's love of that subject. No animate subject feels otherwise than that it loves of itself, since it does not perceive the influx. When in addition it actually loves itself, it makes the love of infants its own love of self; for it sees itself, as it were, in them, and them in itself, and thus itself united with them.

 [2] Hence it is that this love is fiercer with savage beasts, such as lions, bears, leopards, wolves and other like beasts, male and female, than with horses, deer, goats, and sheep; for these savage beasts have dominion over the mild, and hence a predominating love of self, and this love loves itself in its progeny. Therefore, as was said, the inflowing love is turned into the recipient's own love. This inversion of inflowing love into what is their own, and the resultant protection and support of their offspring and babes by evil parents, is of the Lord's Divine Providence, for otherwise but few of the human race would be left, and of ferocious beasts, which yet are of use, none at all. From this it is evident that every one is disposed to love, protect, and support his offspring from his own love. [CL392]

But these statements shall be illustrated by comparisons: The sins an impenitent man holds fast to may be compared to various diseases in him, from which, he dies unless remedies are applied and the malignities thereby removed. They may be compared especially to the disease called gangrene, which unless healed in time, spreads, and causes inevitable death; in like manner to boils and abscesses, unless they break out or are opened; for from them empyemata or collections of pus will be diffused into the neighboring parts, from these into adjoining viscera, and finally into the heart, from which comes death.

[2] These sins may also be compared to tigers, leopards, lions, wolves, and foxes, which unless kept in dens or bound with chains or ropes, would attack the flocks and herds and kill them as the fox does poultry; also to poisonous serpents, which unless held tight with sticks, or deprived of their teeth, would inflict deadly wounds upon man. A whole flock, if left in fields where there are poisonous herbs, instead of being led by the shepherd to safe pastures; would perish. So the silk-worm would perish, and all silk with it, unless other worms were kept from the leaves of its tree.

fo1x [3] These sins may also be compared to grain in granaries or barns, which would be rendered musty and rotten and thus useless, if the air were not permitted to pass freely through it, and remove whatever is injurious. If a fire were not quenched at the very outset, it might lay waste a whole city or forest. Thorns, briars, and thistles would take full possession of a garden unless rooted out. Gardeners know that a tree sprung from a bad seed and root conveys its bad sap to the branch of a good tree budded or engrafted upon it, and that the bad sap which comes up is turned into good sap, and produces useful fruit. And the like takes place in man through the removal of evil by means of repentance; for man is thereby engrafted into the Lord as a branch into a vine, and bears good fruit (John 15:4-6). [TCR524]

That evil affections are signified by the "beasts not clean" is evident from what has been said and shown before respecting the clean beasts. They are called "clean" because they are gentle, good, and useful. The unclean-of which there are genera and species-are the contrary, being fierce, evil, and not useful. In the Word also they are described as wolves, bears, foxes, swine, and many others; and various cupidities and evil dispositions are signified by them. As to its being here said that unclean beasts also (that is, evil affections) should be brought into the ark, the truth is that the man of that church is here described such as he was in character, and this by the ark, and therefore by the things that were in the ark, or that were brought into the ark; that is to say, the things are described that were in the man before he was regenerated. There were in him the truths and goods with which he had been furnished and gifted by the Lord before regeneration; for without truths and goods no one can ever be regenerated. But here the evils that were in him are spoken of, and are signified by the unclean beasts. There are evils in man which must be dispersed while he is being regenerated, that is, which must be loosened and attempered by goods; for no actual and hereditary evil in man can be so dispersed as to be abolished. It still remains implanted; and can only be so far loosened and attempered by goods from the Lord that it does not injure, and does not appear, which is an arcanum hitherto unknown. Actual evils are those which are loosened and attempered, and not hereditary evils; which also is a thing unknown.  [AC719]

leop1ard And the wild beast of the field be multiplied upon thee. That this signifies a flowing in of falsities from the delights of the loves of self and of the world, is evident from the  signification of "being multiplied," when said of the hasty removal of evils and falsities, as being a flowing in; and from the signification of "the wild beast of the field," as being falsities from the delights of the loves of self and of the world. By "beasts" of various kinds mentioned in the Word are signified good and evil affections (see n. 9280); consequently by "wild beasts" are signified the affections of falsity that arise from the delights of the loves of self and of the world. Moreover, these affections are represented in the other life by wild beasts, as by panthers, tigers, wild boars, wolves, and bears. They are also like wild beasts, for those who are in these loves are in evils of every kind and in the derivative falsities, and like wild beasts do they look at and act toward their associates. (That all evils and falsities spring from these loves, see n. 2041, 2045, 2057, 2363, 2364, 2444, 4750, 4776, 6667, 7178, 7255, 7364, 7366-7377, 7488, 7490-7494, 7643, 8318, 8487, 8678.)

[2] That through the hasty removal of evils and falsities, the falsities from these loves would flow in, is because goods and truths must remove the evils and falsities by being successively implanted; for falsities can only be removed by truths; and evils can only be removed by goods. If this is not done successively and according to order, the falsities which favor these loves will flow in; for before he has been regenerated these loves reign in every man, and when falsities flow in, truths are no longer acknowledged. Moreover, the man who is being regenerated is kept in the affection of truth, and while he is in this affection he seeks on all sides for truths among the memory-knowledges in the natural; and the fallacies of the external senses then present themselves there - for they are very abundant there - and when the delights of the loves of self and of the world breathe on the man, he infers from these fallacies nothing but falsities, which follow on, and fill the mind, if the falsities of evil are suddenly removed. These are the things which are meant in the internal sense by "I will not drive him out from before thee in one year, lest the land be desolate, and the wild beast of the field multiply upon thee; by little and little I will drive him out from before thee, until thou be fruitful and inherit the land."

[3] That "a wild beast" denotes falsity and evil springing from the loves of self and of the world, is plain from the passages in the Word where it is mentioned; as in the following:

A path shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass through it, nor shall any ravenous wild beast go up thereon (Isa. 35:8, 9).
I will send upon thee famine, and an evil wild beast, and they shall bereave thee (Ezek. 5:17).
When I cause the evil wild beast to pass through the land, and it bereave it, and it become a desolation, so that no one passeth through because of the beast (Ezek. 14:15).
Thou shalt fall upon the faces of the field; I will give thee for food to the wild beast of the earth, and to the bird of the heaven (Ezek. 29:5).
Then I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will make the evil wild beast to cease out of the land; that they may dwell securely in the wilderness. They shall no more be a prey to the nations, and the wild beast of the field shall no longer devour them (Ezek. 34:25, 28).

[4] I will lay waste her vine and her fig-tree, and I will make them into a forest, and the wild beast of the field shall devour them (Hos. 2:12).
The land shall mourn, and everyone that dwelleth therein shall waste away, because of the wild beast of the field, and because of the bird of the heavens (Hos. 4:3).
The boar out of the wood doth trample it, and the wild beast of the fields doth consume it. Turn again, O God Zebaoth, and visit Thy vine (Ps. 80:13, 14).
Thou makest darkness that it may be night; wherein every wild beast of the forest doth come forth (Ps. 104:20).
If ye shall walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them, I will cause the evil wild beast to cease out of the land. But if ye shall reject My statutes, I will send against you the wild beast of the field, which shall lay you waste (Lev. 26:3, 6, 15, 22).
Jehovah thy God will drive out those nations before thee by little and little, lest perchance the wild beast of the field multiply against thee (Deut. 7:22).
In these passages "the wild beast of the field," "the wild beast of the earth," and "the wild beast of the forest" denote the falsities and evils which are of the loves of self and of the world.

[5] As by "a wild beast" is signified falsity, and falsity is from a double origin, namely, from what is evil, and from what is upright (n. 9258), therefore by "wild beasts" in the Word are also signified the upright Gentiles, who although in falsity, are yet in uprightness of life. In this sense the term "wild animal"* is used in the following passages:
Every wild animal of the forest is Mine, and the beasts upon a thousand mountains. I know every bird of the mountains; and the wild animal of My fields is with Me (Ps. 50:10, 11).
Praise ye Jehovah, ye wild animal, and every beast (Ps. 148:7, 10).
Every wild animal of My fields, come ye to devour, every wild animal in the forest (Isa. 56:9).
All the birds of the heavens made their nests in the branches of the cedar, which is Asshur, and under his branches every wild animal of the field brought forth, and in his shadow dwelt all great nations (Ezek. 31:6). [AC9335]

be1ar And his feet like a bear's, signifies full of fallacies from the sense of the letter of the Word read but not understood. By "feet" is signified the natural, which is the ultimate, upon which that heresy, meant by "the leopard," subsists, and as it were walks, and this is the sense of the letter of the Word, and by "a bear" are signified those who read the Word and do not understand it, whence they have fallacies. That these are signified by "bears" was clear to me from the bears seen in the spiritual world, and from some there who were clothed in bear skins, who had all read the Word, but had not seen any doctrinal truth therein; also who had confirmed the appearances of truth therein, whence they had fallacies. In that world there appear bears that are hurtful, and bears that and some that are white; but they are distinguished by their heads; those which are harmless have heads like calves or sheep. "Bears" have such a signification in the following passages:
He hath overturned my highways, as a bear lying in wait for me, as a lion in secret places, he hath turned aside my ways, he hath made me desolate (Lam. 3:9-11).
I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved, and there will I devour them like an immense lion, the wild beast of the field shall tear them (Hos. 13:7-8).
The calf and the young lion shall lie down together, and the cow and the bear shall feed (Isa. 11:6-7).
The second beast coming up out of the sea was like a bear, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth (Dan. 7:5).
The lion and the bear, which David took by the beard and smote (1 Sam. 17:34-37)
has a like signification and likewise 2 Sam. 17:8.

[2] "The lion and the bear" are mentioned in those places, because by "a lion" is signified falsity destroying the truths of the Word, and by "a bear" are signified fallacies, which also destroy, but not in so great a degree; therefore it is said in Amos:
The day of Jehovah is a day of darkness and not of light, as if one fleeth from a lion, and he falls upon a bear (Amos 5:18-19).

We read in the second book of Kings, that:

Elisha was mocked by boys, and they called him bald-head; and therefore forty-two boys were torn by the two bears out of the forest (2 Kings 2:23-24).

This took place because Elisha represented the Lord as to the Word (n. 298); and because "baldness" signifies the Word without the sense of the letter, thus not anything (n. 47); and the number forty-two, blasphemy (n. 583); and "bears" signify the sense of the letter of the Word, read indeed, but not understood. [AR573]

sna1ke  It shall become a water-serpent. That this signifies that thereby mere fallacies and the derivative falsities will reign among them, is evident from the signification of a "serpent," as being the sensuous and bodily (see n. 6949), thence fallacies, for the sensuous and bodily, separated from the rational, that is, not subordinate to it, is full of fallacies, so that it is scarcely anything but fallacies (see n. 6948, 6949). It is a water-serpent that is here signified, for in the original, "serpent" is here expressed by the same term as "whale," which is the largest fish of the sea, and a "whale" signifies memory-knowledges in general. As therefore by the "Egyptians" are signified falsities from fallacies, this word signifies a serpent, that is, a water- serpent, because it stands for the whale that is in the waters, and because the waters of Egypt are falsities.

[2] That Pharaoh or Egypt is called a "whale" is evident in Ezekiel:

Speak and say, Thus said the Lord Jehovih, Behold I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great whale that lieth in the midst of his rivers (Ezek. 29:3).
Son of man, take up a lamentation upon Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say unto him, Thou art become like a young lion of the nations; and thou art as whales in the seas; and thou hast come forth with thy streams, thou hast troubled thy streams (Ezek. 32:2).

In these passages by a "whale" are signified memory-knowledges in general, by which, because they are from the sensuous man, the things that belong to faith are perverted. That a "whale" denotes memory-knowledge in general, is because a "fish" denotes memory-knowledge in particular (see n. 40, 991). And as "whales" signify memory-knowledges perverting the truths of faith, by them are also signified reasonings from fallacies, whence come falsities.

[3] Such things are signified by "whales" in David:

Thou didst break through the sea by thy strength; Thou hast broken the heads of the whales upon the waters (Ps. 74:13).

Like things are signified also by "leviathan" in Isaiah:

In that day Jehovah with His hard and great and strong sword will visit upon leviathan the long serpent, and upon leviathan the crooked serpent, and will slay the whales that are in the sea (Isa. 27:1).

And in David:

Thou hast broken in pieces the heads of leviathan, Thou gavest him to be meat to the people Ziim (Ps. 74:14).

dra1gon "Leviathan" in a good sense denotes reason from truths, in Job 41; reason from truths is opposite to reasonings from falsities.

[4] And as by "whales" are signified reasonings from fallacies perverting truths, by "water-serpents," which are expressed by the same word in the original, are signified the falsities themselves from the fallacies from which come reasonings, and by means of which come perversions. Falsities are signified by these serpents in the following passages:
Iim shall answer in her palaces, and serpents in the palaces of delights (Isa. 13:22).
Thorns shall come up in her palaces, the thistle and the brier in the fortresses thereof; that it may be a habitation of serpents, a court for the daughters of the owl (Isa. 34:13).
In the inhabitation of serpents, her couch, shall be grass for reed and rush (Isa. 35:7).
I will make Jerusalem heaps, a dwelling-place of serpents (Jer. 9:11).
I made the mountains of Esau a waste, and his heritage for the serpents of the wilderness (Mal. 1:3).

ow1l [5] In these passages "serpents" denote falsities from which are reasonings. The same are also signified by "dragons;" but "dragons" denote reasonings from the loves of  self and of the world, thus from the cupidities of evil, which pervert not only truths, but also goods. These reasonings come forth from those who in heart deny the truths and goods of faith, but in mouth confess them for the sake of the lust of exercising command and of making profit, thus also from those who profane truths and goods. Both are meant by "the dragon, the old serpent, which is called the Devil and Satan, which seduceth the whole world" (Rev. 12:9); and also by the same dragon, which persecuted the woman who brought forth a son that was caught up unto God and unto His throne (Rev. 12:5); and which cast out of his mouth water as a river, that he might swallow up the woman (verse 15).

[6] The "son" that the woman brought forth is the Divine truth at this day unfolded; the "woman" is the church; "the dragon, the serpent," denotes those who will persecute; "the water as a river which the dragon would cast out," denotes the falsities from evil and the reasonings thence, by which they will attempt to destroy the woman, that is, the church; but that they will effect nothing, is described by, "the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out" (verse 16). [AC7293]

That a "raven" signifies falsities, is evident in a general way from what has been said and shown above concerning birds, that they signify things of understanding, of reason, and of memory-knowledge, and also the opposite, which are reasonings and falsities. Both of these are described in the Word by various species of birds; truths of understanding by birds which are gentle, beautiful, and clean; and falsities by those which are ravenous, ugly, and unclean, in each case varying according to the species of truth or falsity. Gross and dense falsities are described by owls and ravens; by owls because they live in the darkness of night, and by ravens, because they are of a black color. As in Isaiah:

The owl also and the raven shall dwell therein (Isa. 34:11),

 where the Jewish Church is described as being the habitation of mere falsities, represented by the owl and the raven. [AC866]

fr1ogs And Jehovah said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thy hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the pools, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments, and caused frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron, and said, Supplicate ye unto Jehovah, that He remove the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to Jehovah. And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Have thou honor over me, till when shall I supplicate for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to cut off the frogs from thee, and from thy houses? Only in the river shall they be left. And he said, Unto the morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word; that thou mayest know that there is none like Jehovah our God. And the frogs shall be removed from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; only in the river shall they be left. And Moses and Aaron went out from before Pharaoh and Moses cried unto Jehovah upon the word of the frogs which He had laid on Pharaoh. And Jehovah did according to the word of Moses, and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courts, and out of the fields. And they gathered them together in heaps and heaps; and the land stank. "And Jehovah said unto Moses," signifies instruction; "Say unto Aaron," signifies the influx of the internal law into the external law; "Stretch forth thy hand with thy rod," signifies the power of internal truth through external truth; "over the streams, over the rivers, and over the pools," signifies against falsities; "and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt," signifies reasonings from mere falsities; "and Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt," signifies the effect of the power of internal truth through external truth against falsities; "and the frogs came up," signifies reasonings from mere falsities; "and covered the land of Egypt," signifies that the natural mind was made such; "and the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments," signifies the abuse of Divine order, whence there was the like in the outward form; "and caused frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt," signifies in respect to reasonings from the natural mind; "and Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron," signifies the presence of the law Divine; "and said, Supplicate ye unto Jehovah," signifies humiliation from weariness; "that He remove the frogs from me, and from my people," signifies that they should not be driven to reasoning from mere falsities; "and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to Jehovah," signifies that they would then leave those who were of the spiritual church so that they may worship their God; "and Moses said unto Pharaoh," signifies the answer; "Have thou honor upon me," signifies that the law Divine ought to be trusted; "till when shall I supplicate for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people," signifies intercession for those who are in falsities and infest; "to cut off the frogs from thee, and from thy houses," signifies that the reasonings may cease; "only in the river shall they be left," signifies that they should remain with falsities where these are; "and he said, Unto the morrow," signifies forever; "and he said, Be it according to thy word," signifies confirmation thence; "that thou mayest know that there is none like Jehovah our God," signifies that there is one God, and none besides Him; "and the frogs shall be removed from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people," signifies that they should not be driven to reason from mere falsities; "only in the river shall they be left," signifies that they should remain with falsities where these are; "and Moses and Aaron went out from before Pharaoh," signifies separation from those who had reasoned from mere falsities; "and Moses cried unto Jehovah upon the word of the frogs which He had laid on Pharaoh," signifies intercession; "and Jehovah did according to the word of Moses," signifies that it was so done according to the word of the Lord; "and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courts, and out of the fields," signifies that reasonings from mere falsities ceased with them everywhere in the natural; "and they gathered them together in heaps and heaps," signifies that these reasoning falsities were arranged in bundles in the natural; "and the land stank," signifies what was foul and loathsome therefrom.[AC 7379]

Ba1ts To show that a knowledge of correspondences was long preserved among the nations of Asia, although among those called diviners and sages, and by some Magi, I will  present one example from 1 Sam. 5 and 6. It is there recorded that the ark containing the two tables on which the Decalogue was written was captured by the Philistines and placed in the temple of Dagon at Ashdod, and that Dagon fell to the ground before it, and afterwards his head and the palms of his hands, severed from his body, lay upon the threshold of the temple; also that on account of the ark the men of Ashdod and Ekron were smitten by thousands with tumors and their land laid waste by mice, and that therefore the Philistines called together their lords and diviners; and to stay this destruction they determined to make five tumors of gold and five golden mice and a new cart, and upon the cart to place the ark, and beside it the golden tumors and mice; and by two cows, which lowed on the way before the cart, to send it back to the children of Israel, by whom the cows and the cart were offered in sacrifice; and thus the God of Israel was propitiated. That all these things studied out by the diviners of the Philistines were correspondences is evident from their signification, which is as follows:

"The Philistines" themselves signified those who are in faith separate from charity; "Dagon" represented that religion; "the tumors" with which they were smitten, signified natural loves, which when separated from spiritual love are unclean; "the mice" signified the devastation of the church by falsifications of truth; "the new cart" signified natural doctrine of the church (as doctrine from spiritual truths is signified in the Word by "a chariot"); "the cows" signified good natural affections; "the golden tumors" signified natural loves purified and made good; "the golden mice" signified the vastation of the church removed by means of good ("gold" in the Word signifying good); "the lowing of the cows in the way" signified the difficult conversion of the natural man's lust of evil to good affections; the offering of the cows together with the cart as a burnt offering, signified that thus the God of Israel was propitiated. All these things which the Philistines did by the advice of their diviners were correspondences from which it is clear that that knowledge was long preserved among the nations. [TCR 203]

mic1e   The form of this rule may in some measure be seen by comparisons. Heavenly love and its affections of good and truth and their consequent perceptions, together with the delights of these affections and their consequent thoughts, may be compared to a tree distinguished for its branches, leaves and fruits. The life's love is the tree, the branches with their leaves are the affections of good and truth with their perceptions, and the fruits are the delights of the affections with their thoughts. On the other hand, infernal love with its affections of evil and falsity which are lusts, together with the delights of these lusts and their consequent thoughts may be compared to a spider and its surrounding web. The love is the spider, the lusts of evil and falsity with their inner subtleties are the net-like threads nearest the den of the spider; and the delights of these lusts with their crafty devices are the remoter threads, where flies are caught on the wing, entangled and eaten. [DP 107]

When the spirits who are in the world of spirits desire to have communication with a number of societies, they are wont to send forth subjects, one to each society. And I have observed that evil spirits sent out many round about and stationd them like a spider setting its web, the senders being in the middle. And to my surprise they know how to do this as from a kind of instinct; for they who had known nothing of such things in the life of the body, do it at once in the other life. From this also it is evident that communications are effected through emissary spirits.  [AC 5984]

spi1ders To kill him with deceit. That this signifies the consequent malice of depriving the neighbor of eternal life, is evident from the signification of "to kill," as being to take away  faith and charity from the neighbor, and thus to deprive him of spiritual life, which is eternal life (see n. 6767, 8902); and from the signification of "deceit," as being malice from the will with forethought or premeditation, thus from set purpose. Evils are done either from enmity, or from hatred, or from revenge, and either with deceit or without it. But evils done with deceit are the worst, because deceit is like a poison which infects and destroys with infernal venom, for it goes through the whole mind even to its interiors. The reason is that he who is in deceit meditates evil, and feeds his understanding with it, and takes delight in it, and thus destroys everything therein that belongs to man, that is, which belongs to life from the good of faith and of charity.

[2] They who in the world have ensnared the neighbor with deceit in respect to worldly and earthly things, in the other life ensnare the neighbor with deceit in respect to spiritual and heavenly things; and because they do this in secret, they are dispatched to the hells behind the back, deep down according to the malignity and hurtfulness of the deceit, and in this way are separated from those who are in front; the latter being called "spirits," but the former, "genii" (n. 5035, 5977, 8593, 8622, 8625). Genii are not admitted to men as spirits are, because they flow into the affections of the will, by acting against the good of love and charity so secretly that it cannot possibly be perceived; and in this way they destroy the truth of faith. In their own hell they render themselves invisible before their companions; for they who have acted secretly in the world can render themselves invisible in the other life; but when they appear, they appear among themselves like men; whereas when they are looked at by the angels they appear like serpents, for they have the nature of serpents, and that which goes forth from them is like poison, and indeed is spiritual poison.

[3] Wherefore in the Word "poison" signifies deceit, and poisonous serpents, such as "asps," "cockatrices," and "vipers," signify the deceitful; as in the following passages:

SH8377_500_338 In heart ye work perversities, their poison is like the poison of a serpent; like that of the deaf asp (Ps. 58:2, 4).
They cogitate evils in the heart, they sharpen their tongue like a serpent; the poison of the asp is under their lips (Ps. 140:2, 3).
They lay eggs of the asp, and weave the spider's webs, he that eateth of their eggs dieth (Isa. 59:5).
He shall suck the poison of asps; the viper's tongue shall slay him (Job 20:16).
Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel gall of asps (Deut. 32:33).
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Ye serpents, ye offspring of vipers, how shall ye escape the judgment of Gehenna (Matt. 22:29, 33).

[4] Deceit is called "hypocrisy" when there is piety in the mouth, and impiety in the heart; or when there is charity in the mouth, but hatred in the heart; or when there is innocence in the face and gesture, but cruelty in the soul and breast; consequently when they deceive by a show of innocence, charity, and piety. Such are "serpents" and "vipers" in the internal sense, because, as before said, when such are looked at by the angels in the light of heaven, they appear like serpents and like vipers, who hide evils under truths; that is, who deceitfully bend truths to the doing of evils; for such hide poison as it were under the teeth, and thus kill.

[5] But they who are in the faith of truth and in the life of good from the Lord, cannot be injured by the poisons of such, for they are in light from the Lord, in which the deceitful appear like serpents, and their deceits like poisons. That these are kept in safety by the Lord is meant by His words to the disciples:

Behold I give unto you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions (Luke 10:19).
These signs shall follow them that believe; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not harm them (Mark 16:17, 18).
The suckling shall play on the hole of the viper (Isa. 11:8).

[6] Those who have been interiorly infected with spiritual deceit, that is, with hypocrisy, are they who are meant by those who speak against the Holy Spirit, for whom there is no forgiveness, in Matthew:

I say unto you, All sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy of the spirit shall not be forgiven unto men. Nay, if anyone shall say a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that which is to come. Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad and its fruit bad. O offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak what is good (Matt. 12:31-34).

By "saying a word against the Holy Spirit" is meant to speak well and think evil, and to do well and will evil, respecting those things which are of the Lord, of His kingdom, and of His church, also which are of the Word; for thus falsity lies inwardly hidden in the truths which they speak; and evil, which is hidden poison, in the goods which they do; consequently they are called "an offspring of vipers."

[7] In the other life an evil person is allowed to speak evil and also falsity; but not good and truth, because there all are compelled to speak from the heart, and are not allowed to be of a divided mind. They who do otherwise are separated from the rest, and are hidden in hells from which they cannot possibly go forth. That such are they who are meant by "those who say a word against the Holy Spirit" is evident from the above words of the Lord, "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; how can ye, being evil, speak what is good?" The "Holy Spirit" denotes the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, thus the Holy Divine Itself, which is thereby interiorly blasphemed and profaned.

[8] That it will not be forgiven them is because hypocrisy or deceit in connection with Holy Divine things infects the interiors of man, and destroys everything of spiritual life in him, as was said above, insomuch that at last there is nothing sound in any part of him. For the forgiveness of sins is the separation of evil from good, and the rejection of evil to the sides (n. 8393), which cannot be done with him in whom all good has been destroyed. Therefore it is said "It shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age nor in that which is to come." Of this character also are those who are meant by "him that had not on a wedding garment," who was bound hand and foot and cast out into outer darkness (Matt. 22:11-13, see n. 2132).

[9] That "deceit" in the Word denotes hypocrisy is evident from the following passages:

Beware ye every man of his companion, and put ye not your trust upon any brother; for every brother supplanteth. They mock, a man with his companion, and speak not the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak a lie. Thy dwelling is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they have refused to know Me, said Jehovah (Jer. 9:4-6).
Thou shalt destroy them that speak a lie; Jehovah abhorreth the man of bloods and deceit (Ps. 5:6).
Blessed is the man unto whom Jehovah imputeth not iniquity, provided in his spirit there is no deceit (Ps. 32:2).
Deliver my soul from the lip of a lie, from a tongue of deceit (Ps. 120:2).In like manner Ps. 52:4; 109:2. [AC 9013]

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG  (1688-1772)

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