259. That by the "heel" is meant the lowest natural or corporeal cannot be known unless the way in which the most ancient people considered the various things in man is known. They referred his celestial and spiritual things to the head and face; what comes forth from these (as charity and mercy), to the chest natural things, to the feet; lower natural things, to the soles of the feet; and the lowest natural and corporeal things, to the heel; nor did they merely refer to them, but also so called them. The lowest things of reason, that is, memory-knowledges [scientifica], were also meant by what Jacob prophesied concerning Dan:
Dan shall be a serpent upon the way, an adder upon the path, biting the horse's heels, and his rider falls backward (Gen. 49:17).
Also in David:
The iniquity of my heels hath compassed me about (Ps. 49:5).
In like manner by what is related of Jacob, when he came forth from the womb,
That his hand laid hold of Esau's heel, whence he was called Jacob (Gen. 25:26),for the name "Jacob" comes from the "heel" because the Jewish Church, signified by "Jacob" injured the heel. A serpent can injure only the lowest natural things, but unless it is a species of viper, not the interior natural things in man, still less his spiritual things, and least of all his celestial things, which the Lord preserves and stores up in man without his knowledge. What are thus stored up by the Lord are called in the Word "remains." The mode in which the serpent destroyed those lowest natural things in the people before the flood, by the sensuous principle and the love of self; and among the Jews, by sensuous things, traditions, trifles, and by the love of self and of the world; and how at this day he has destroyed and continues to destroy them by the things of sense, of memory-knowledge, and of philosophy, and at the same time by the same loves, shall of the Lord's Divine mercy be told hereafter.