(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 7297

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7297. And they also, the magicians of Egypt, did so with their enchantments. That this signifies the same in appearance by perverting the ends of order, is evident from the signification of "they also did," when said of the magicians of Egypt, as being to present the like in appearance, for things that flow from order are not altered by abuse, but appear the same as to the external form, yet not as to the internal form, for they are contrary to the ends of order; and from the signification of "enchantments," as being the very arts of perverting order. By "sorcerers," and "enchantments," when mentioned in the Word, is signified the art of presenting falsities so that they appear as truths, and of presenting truths so that they appear as falsities, which is especially done by means of fallacies.
[2] Such is the signification of "sorceries," and "enchantments," in the following passages:
Yet these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood; in their completeness shall they come upon thee, by reason of the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the exceeding greatness of thine enchantments. Stand firm in thine enchantments, and in the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast labored from thy youth (Isa. 47:9, 12);
speaking of Babel and the Chaldeans.
Draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of an adulterer and a harlot (Isa. 57:3).
Woe to the city of bloods, for the multitude of the whoredoms of the well-favored* harlot, the mistress of sorceries, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her sorceries (Nah. 3:1, 4).
"the city of bloods" denotes the falsification of truth; "whoredoms," the falsified good of truth; "sorceries," the arts of presenting falsities as truths, and truths as falsities.
[3] In Malachi:
I will come near to you to judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers (Mal. 3:5).
With thine enchantment were all the nations seduced (Rev. 18:23).
speaking of Babylon. In Micah:
I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and will destroy thy chariots; and I will cut off the cities of thy land, and will destroy all thy strongholds; and I will cut off sorceries out of thy hand (Micah 5:10-12).
From all these passages it is evident that by "sorceries" are signified the arts of presenting truths as falsities, and falsities as truths; for by "the horses that were to be cut off" are signified intellectual things (see n. 2761, 2762, 3217, 5321, 6125, 6534); by "the chariots that were to be destroyed" are signified doctrinal things of truth (n. 2760, 5321); by "the cities of the land that were also to be cut off" are signified the truths of the church (that "cities" are truths, see n. 2268, 2451, 2712, 2943, 4492, 4493; and that "land" is the church, n. 662, 1067, 1262, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 3355, 4447, 4535, 5577); by "strongholds" are signified truths insofar as they defend goods. From all this then it can be known what is signified by the "sorceries that were to be cut off from the hand," namely, the arts of presenting truths as falsities, and falsities as truths; these arts also correspond to the phantasies whereby the evil in the other life present before the eyes beautiful things as ugly, and ugly things as beautiful; which phantasies are also a species of sorceries, for they also are abuses and perversions of Divine order.
* The Latin here is boni causa, "for the sake of good," and the same reading is found in Arcana Coelestia n. 9188:5. But in n. 6978, Swedenborg writes boni grotia, which would make the phrase read in English "the harlot good in favor," or "the well-favored harlot," as in the English Bible.


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