Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 7297

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7297. 'And they also, the magicians of Egypt, did so with their enchantments' means that thus to outward appearances they did something similar, by perverting the ends that order has in view. This is clear from the meaning of 'they also did', when said in reference to the magicians of Egypt, as presenting something that to outward appearances is similar, for the effects that flow from order are not altered by its misuse but are similar in outward form though they are not similar in inward form since they are contrary to the ends that order has in view; and from the meaning of 'enchantments' as the actual tricks that are used to pervert order. Sorceries and enchantments where they are mentioned in the Word mean the art of presenting falsities to look like truths and of presenting truths to look like falsities, which is done especially by means of illusions.

[2] These things are meant by 'sorceries' and 'enchantments' in the following places: In Isaiah,

But these two things will come to you in a moment in one day - loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in their fullness on account of the multitude of your sorceries, because of the very great abundance of your enchantments. Persist in your enchantments, and in the multitude of your sorceries, in which you have laboured from your youth. Isa 47:9, 12.

This refers to Babel and the Chaldeans. In the same prophet,

Draw nearer, sons of the sorceress, seed of the adulterer, and [of her who] committed whoredom. Isa 57:3.

In Nahum,

Woe to the city of blood,a because of the multitude of the acts of whoredom of a harlot of goodly grace,b the mistress of sorceries, the seller of nations through her acts of whoredom, and of families through her sorceries. Nahum 3:1, 4.

'The city of blood' stands for the falsification of truth, 'the acts of whoredom' for falsified good of truth, and 'sorceries' for tricks used to present falsities as truths and truths as falsities.

[3] In Malachi,

I will draw near to you to judgement, and 1 will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against adulterers, and against those who swear falsely. Mal 3:5.

In John,

By your enchantment all nations were led astray. Rev 18:13.

This refers to Babylon. In Micah,

I will cut off your horses from your midst and destroy your chariots, and I will cut off the cities of your land and pull down all your fortifications, and I will cut off sorceries from your hand. Micah 9:10-12.

From this quotation it is evident that 'sorceries' means tricks used to present truths as falsities and falsities as truths. For by 'the horses' which are to be cut off are meant things of the understanding, 2761, 2762, 7217, 5321, 6125, 6534; by 'the chariots' which are to be destroyed are meant matters of doctrine concerning truth, 2760, 5321; by 'the cities of the land' which are also going to be cut off are meant the Church's truths - 'cities' being truths, 2268, 2451, 2712, 2943, 4492, 4493, and 'the land' the Church, 662, 1067, 1262, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 3355, 4447, 4535, 5577; and by 'fortifications' are meant truths insofar as they protect forms of good. From all this one may now know what is meant by the 'sorceries which are to be cut off from their hand, namely tricks used to present truths as falsities and falsities as truths. These tricks also correspond to the delusions which the evil in the next life employ to make a visual presentation of beautiful things as loathsome ones and loathsome things as beautiful ones. These delusions as well are a type of sorceries, since they too are misuses and inversions of Divine order.


a lit. bloods
b The Latin means cause but the Hebrew means grace, which Sw. has in another place where he quotes this verse.

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