Spiritual Meaning of

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 Whale, Leviathan

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 (AC 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).

"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).

from AC 7293

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