10623. Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons and upon the sons' sons. That this signifies the rejection and condemnation of evils and the derivative falsities in a long series, is evident from the signification of "visiting," as being the casting out and condemnation of evils (of which below); from the signification of "fathers," as being goods, and in the opposite sense, evils (n. 3703, 5902, 6050, 10490); and from the signification of "sons," as being truths, and in the opposite sense, falsities (see n. 1147, 10490); consequently "sons' sons" denote falsities from evils in a long series. By the casting out and condemnation of evils and the derivative falsities is meant the casting out and condemnation of those who are in evils and the derivative falsities; for evils and falsities have no existence except in subjects, which are men. Be it known that falsities of evil are meant by "sons," because the "fathers" from whom they are, denote evils. (What falsities of evil are, and falsities not of evil, may be seen at the places cited in n. 10109.)
 He who is not acquainted with the internal sense of the Word might easily believe that Jehovah visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons and upon the sons' sons, consequently that the sons are to suffer punishment for the evils of their fathers; but that this is not the meaning is very evident from the Divine law that the fathers are not to die for their sons, nor the sons for their fathers, but every man for his own evil (Deut. 24:16). From this it is evident that these words are to be understood otherwise than according to the letter. That it is those who are in evils and from this in falsities in a long series who are signified by "fathers," and their "sons and sons' sons," is evident from the internal sense, in which "fathers" and "sons" signify evils and falsities. The angels, who also perceive the Word when it is being read by a man, here understand nothing else by "fathers" and by "sons"; because in heaven, where the angels are, it is not known, as it is with men, what a father is, and what a son is, for there no one acknowledges anyone for his father, nor anyone for his son, because no one is born there as in the world; and therefore when mention is made in the Word of "father" and "son," the angels perceive these expressions as relating to spiritual births, which are those of good and truth, or of evil and falsity; and therefore by "fathers" they perceive goods or evils, and by "sons" truths or falsities, because good is the father of truth, and evil is the father of falsity.
 The reason why "visitation" signifies casting out and damnation, is that it follows the consummation of evils, and precedes the condemnation itself which is meant in the Word by the "Last Judgment." For visitation is the searching out of a man in respect to his character. But this is effected in the other life; in particular, with everyone who comes there from the world; and in general, with all at the end of the church (as was said just above, n. 10622). (Concerning visitation, see what has been said and shown at n. 6588, 6895, 10509.)