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xiii. 42, 50, xxi. 13, xxiv. 51, xxv. 30, Luke xiii. 28; and partly what by gnashing with the teeth, Psalm iïi. 7, Psalm xxxv. 15, 16, Psalm xxxvii. 12, Psalm cxii. 10, Micah iïi. 5, Lament. ii. 16.
436. " And they had breast-plates as it were breastplates of iron," signifies, argumentations from fallacies, by which they fight and prevail, which appeared to them so powerful that they could not be refuted. By breastplates are signified defences, because they protect the breast; here, defences of falsities, which are effected by argumentations grounded in fallacies, by which a false principle is defended; for from a false principle nothing but faises can flow : if truths are advanced, they are only viewed outwardly or superficially, thus also sensually, and are consequently falsified, and, with such persons, become fallacies. The reason why breast-plates have this signification, is, because wars, in the Word, signify spiritual wars, and thence the implements of war signify the various things relating to such wars; as in Jeremiah: “Hạrness the horses; and get up, ye horsemen, and stand forth with your helmets ; furbish the spears, and put on the brigandines,” xlvi. 4. In Isaiah: “For he put on righteousness as a breast-plate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head,” lix. 17. In David : “Under his wings shalt thou trust, his truth shall be thy shield and buckler," Psalm xci. 4; besides other places ; as in Ezekiel xxiii. 24, xxxviji. 4, xxxix. 9, Nahum ii. 4, Psalm v. 12, Psalm xxxv. 2, 3, Their breast-plates being as it were of iron, signifies that their argumentations seemed to them so strong that they could not be refuted; for iron, from its hardness, signifies what is strong.
437. “And the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle,” signifies, their reasonings as if they were from truths of doctrine from the Word fully understood, for which they must ardently fight. The sound of wings signifies reasonings, because to fly, signifies to perceive and instruct, n. 245, 415; chariots signify doctrinals, as will be seen presently; horses signify the understanding of the Word, n. 298; and many horses, what is plenary: that running to
battle, signifies ardor for contest, is evident.
That a chariot signifies doctrine, is plain from these passages : « The chariots of God are twenty thousand thousands of angels, the Lord is among them," Psalm lxviii. 17. 6 Jehovah maketh the clouds his chariot; who walketh upon the wings of the wind,” Psalm civ. 2, 3.
66 Thou didst ride, (O Jehovah,) upon thine horses, and thy chariots are salvation," Habak. iii. 8. “For behold, Jehovah will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind,” Isaiah lxvi. 15. “ Thus shall ye be filled at my table with horses and chariots; and I will set my glory among the heathen," Ezek. xxxix. 20. " And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem,” Zech. ix. 10. And will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them,” Haggai ii. 22. “Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth ; and he saw a chariot, with a couple of horsemen, and a chariot of camels, and a chariot of men, and he said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen," Isaiah xxi. 6, 7, 8. As Elijah and Elisha represented the Lord as to the Word, and thence signified doctrine from the Word, as did all the prophets, n. 8, therefore they were called the chariots of Israel, and the horsemen thereof; and for the same reason Elijah was seen taken into heaven in a chariot of fire, and there was seen by Elisha's young man chariots and horses of fire round about him, 2 Kings ii. 11, 12, vi. 17, xiii. 14; besides other places where chariots occur; as in Isaiah xxxi. 1, xxxvii. 24, lxvi. 20, Jerem. xvii. 25, xxii. 4, xlvi. 2, 3, 8, 9, 1. 37, 38, li. 20, 21, Ezek. xxvi. 7, 8, 10, 11, Dan. xi. 40, Nahum ii. 1, 2, 3, Joel ii. 1, 2,5.
438. “ And they had tails like unto scorpions," signifies, the truths of the Word falsified, by means of which they induce stupor. By the tail is signified the ultimate of the head, because the brain is continued through the back-bone to the tail, therefore the head and tail make one, as the first and last; when, therefore, by the head, faith alone justifying and saving is signified, by the tail is signified the sum of all the confirmations thereof, which are from the Word, thus which are the truths of the Word falsified. Every one, who from his own intelligence assumes a principle of religion, and establishes it as the head, also assumes confirmations from the Word, and makes them the tail, thus induces a stupor upon others, and so hurts them; therefore it is said, that they had tails like unto scorpions ;” and presently after," that there were stings in their tails, and that their power was to hurt men;" for by a scorpion is signified the power of persuasion inducing stupor upon the understanding, n. 425. That the tail is a continuation of the brain through the back-bone to its termination, any anatomist will tell you; or merely observe a dog or any other animal with a tail, and encourage and coax bim, and you will see that the ridge of his back will become smooth, and his tail move correspondently ; but that, on the contrary, he will set his back up if you provoke him. The primary tenet of the understanding, which is assumed as a principle, is signified by the head, and the ultimate thereof by the tail
, in these passages also : “ Therefore Jehovah will cut off from Israel head and tail, the ancient and the honorable, he is the head, and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail,” Isaiah ix. 13, 14. Egypt shall not have any work to make head and tail, Isaiah xix. 15. By the seven heads of the dragon, and by his tail, with which he drew a third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth, Apoc. xii. 4; as also by the tails like serpents, having heads with which they do hurt, verse 19 of this chapter: nothing else is signified. Inasmuch as by the tail is signified the ultimate, and the ultimate being the complex or aggregate of all, therefore Jehovah said to Moses, Take the serpent by the tail; and he took it, and it became a rod, Exod. iv. 3, 4; and therefore it was commanded, That they should take off the tail entire near the back-bone, and sacrifice it together with the fat that was upon the entrails, kidneys, intestines, and liver, Levit. iji. 9, 10, 11, viii. 25, ix. 19, Exod. xxix. 22. That the ultimate is the continent and complex, or that which contains and comprehends all prior things, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture, n. 38, 65 ; and in The
Wisdom of Angels concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom, n. 209–216, n. 217—222.
439. “And there were stings in their tails : and their power was to hurt men five months,” signifies, subtle falsifications of the Word, by which, for a short time, they darken and fascinate the understanding, and thus deceive and captivate. By stings in their tails, are signified subtle falsifications of the Word ;-by stings, subtilty; and by tails, the truths of the Word falsified, n. 438. By their power to hurt, is signified, that by means of these they can induce stupor, that is, they can darken and fascinate the understanding, and thus deceive and captivate; for their tails were like scorpions, and by scorpions such things are signified, n. 425. By five months, is signified for a short time, as above, n. 427: this takes place when they quote and apply any thing from the Word; for the Word is written according to correspondences, and correspondences are in part appearances of truth, containing within them genuine truths. If these truths are not known in the church, many things may be taken from the Word, which at first appear in accordance with heresy; but when genuine truths are known in the church, then the appearances of truth are rendered manifest, and genuine truths come to view. But before this is done, a heretic, by various things drawn from the Word, may obscure and fascinate the understanding, and thus deceive and captivate. That this is done by those who assert that man's .sins are remitted, or, in other words, that he is justified by an act of faith, concerning which no one knows any thing, and this in a moment, and if not before, even at the hour of death, might be illustrated by examples, were this the place to do so. By stings are signified falses of a hurtful nature derived from evil, also in Amos: “Lo, the days shall come upon you, when they shall take you away with stings,” iv. 2. And in Moses: That they should drive out the inhabitants of the land, lest they should be thorns in their eyes, and stings in their sides, Numb. xxxiii. 55. Thorns, briars, brambles, and thistles, also signify falses of evil, on account of their prickles.
440. “And they had a king over them, the angel of the bottomless pit; whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue he hath his name Apollyon,” signifies, that they are in the satanic hell who are in falses derived from concupiscences, and by a total falsification of the Word, have destroyed the church By their king, the angel of the bottomless pit, is not signified any angel who is a king there, but the false principle reigning therein ; for by a king, in a genuine sense, is signified one who is in truths from the affection of good, and, abstractedly, that truth itself, n. 20; and thence, in the opposite sense, by a king is signified one who is in falses from concupiscence of evil, and, abstractedly, that false itself. By the bottomless pit is signified the satanic hell, where they are, n. 337, 428; by name, is signified the quality of the state, n. 81, 122, 165, Abaddon, in the Hebrew tongue, signifies a destroying and a destroyer; so does Apollyon, in the Greek tongue; and this is the false principle in extreme or lowest principles, which, by the total falsification of the Word, has destroyed the church. By Abaddon, in the Hebrew text, is signified destruction or perdition, in these places : "Shall thy faithfulness be declared in destruction," Psalm lxxxviii. 11. “Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering,” Job xxvi. 6. " For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction,” Job xxxi. 12. “Destruction and Death say,” Job xxviii. 22. In other places, hell and the devil are called Destruction or Perdition, and Destroyer," Isaiah liv. 16, Ezek. v. 16, ix. 1, Exod. xii. 13; though another term is used.
441. “One woe is past; behold, there come two woes more hereafter,” signifies, further lamentations over the devastation of the church. That woe signifies lamentation over calamity, unhappiness, and damnation, see n. 416; here, then, by two woes to come, are signified further lamentations over the state of the church.
442. “And the sixth angel sounded," signifies, the exploration and manifestation of their state of life in the reformed church who are not so wise, and yet place the all of religion in faith, and think of it alone and of nothing