304. From all this it is evident what is meant by the words, "lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of lives, and eat, and live to eternity." To "take of the tree of lives and eat" is to know even so as to acknowledge whatever is of love and faith; for "lives" in the plural denote love and faith, and to "eat" signifies here as before, to know. To "live to eternity" is not to live in the body to eternity, but to live after death in eternal damnation. A man who is "dead" is not so called because he is to die after the life of the body, but because he will live a life of death, for "death" is damnation and hell. The expression to "live" is used with a similar signification by Ezekiel:
Ye hunt souls for My people, and save souls alive for yourselves, and ye have profaned Me among My people, to slay souls that will not die, and to make souls live that will not live (Ezek. 13:18-19).