257. That by the "head of the serpent" is meant the dominion of evil in general, and specifically of the love of self, is evident from its nature, which is so direful as not only to seek dominion, but even dominion over all things upon earth; nor does it rest satisfied with this, but aspires even to rule over everything in heaven, and then, not content with this, over the Lord himself, and even then it is not satisfied. This is latent in every spark of the love of self. If it were indulged, and freed from restraint, we should perceive that it would at once burst forth and would grow even to that aspiring height. Hence it is evident how the "serpent" or the evil of the love of self, desires to exercise dominion, and how much it hates all those who refuse its sway. This is that "head of the serpent" which exalts itself, and which the Lord "tramples down" even to the earth, that it may "go upon its belly, and eat dust" as stated in the verse immediately preceding. Thus also is described the "serpent" or "dragon" called "Lucifer" in Isaiah:
O Lucifer, thou hast said in thy heart, I will ascend the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north, I will ascend above the heights of the cloud, I will be made equal to the Most High yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit (Isa. 14:12-15).
The "serpent" or "dragon" is also described in the Revelation in regard to the way in which he exalts his head:
A great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns, and many diadems upon his heads; but he was cast into the earth (Rev. 12:3, 9).
The saying of Jehovah to my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool: Jehovah shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion, He shall judge the nations, He hath filled with dead bodies, He hath bruised the head over much land; He shall drink of the brook in the way, therefore shall He lift up the head (Ps. 110:1-2, 6-7).