Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 12:9
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AR 550. Verse 9. And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, signifies that they who are meant by "the dragon" turned from the Lord to themselves, and from heaven to the world, and thence became sensual from the corporeal, who could not but be in the evils of their lusts and thence in falsities, and by separation from the Lord and heaven became devils and satans. Who are meant by "the dragon," may be seen (n. 537); these, inasmuch as they make God three, and the Lord two, and because they place the commandments of the Decalogue among works by which there is not any salvation, are called "the old serpent, the Devil, and Satan;" and by "a serpent" is signified a man sensual from the corporeal (n. 424), who turns from the Lord to himself, and from heaven to the world; and by "the Devil" are signified they who are in the evils of lusts; and by "Satan," they who are thence in falsities (n. 97, 153, 856, 857). Such, also, was the serpent which seduced Eve and Adam, as appears from his description and the curse pronounced upon him (Gen. 3:1-5, 14, 15). "The dragon" is here called " the Devil and Satan," but he is so called, because all in hell are devils and satans; and thence hell in the aggregate is so called.

AR 551. That seduceth the whole world, signifies that they pervert all things of the church. By "to seduce" is signified to pervert, and by "the world" is signified the church; the same as by "earth" (n. 285). By "the world" is not signified the world of the earth, but the church therein, in the following passages:--

The earth shall mourn and be confounded, the world shall languish and be confounded (Isa. 24:4).

The earth shall learn Thy judgments, and the inhabitants of the world Thy justice (Isa. 26:9).

The Maker of the earth by Thy power, preparing the world by Thy wisdom (Jer. 10:12; 51:15).

The foundations of the world were revealed at the blast of Thy breath (Ps. 18:15).

The earth is Jehovah’s and the fulness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein; He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers (Ps. 24:1, 2).

The heavens are Thine, the earth, the world and the fulness thereof Thou hast founded (Ps. 89:11).

He will mad us inherit the throne of glory, for the bases of the earth are Jehovah‘s, and He hath set the world upon them (1 Sam. 2:8).

Thou, O Babylon, hast made the world a wilderness, thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people (Isa. 45:17, 20; Isa. 18:3; 26:18; 27:6; 34:1; Nahum 1:5; Ps. 9:8; 77:18; 98:9; Lam. 4:12; Job 18:18; Matt. 24:14; Luke 21:26; Apoc. 16:14).

But it is to be known, that when "the world" and "the earth" are mentioned together, "the world" signifies the church as to good, and "the earth" signifies the church as to truth.

AR 552. He was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him, signifies that he was cast down into the world of spirits, which is intermediate between heaven and hell, from whence there is immediate conjunction with the men of the earth (tellus). The reason why "the earth," upon which the dragon is said to have been cast out, is meant the world of spirits, is, because that world is immediately beneath the heavens, and when anyone is cast down from heaven, he does not fall immediately into hell, but upon the earth of the world immediately beneath it, for that world is intermediate between heaven and hell, or below the heavens and above the hells. Many-things concerning that world may be seen in (HH n. 421-535). All who are in that world communicate immediately with men upon earth, consequently, the dragon and his angels communicate with those who are in falsities, and thence in evils, through the received heresy of faith alone; on which account, it is said below, "Therefore rejoice, ye heavens; woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea, for the Devil is come down unto you, having great anger, knowing that he hath but a short time (verse 12). Also that "he pursued the woman into the wilderness, and went to make war with the rest of her seed" (verses 13-17). It is to be known, that every man, as to his affections and thoughts thence is in society with those who are in the world of spirits, and mediately through them, with those who are either in heaven or in hell. The life of every man depends on that conjunction.

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info