6692. And Pharaoh commanded all his people. That this signifies general influx into the memory-knowledges opposed to the truths of the church, is evident from the signification of "commanding," as being influx (see n. 5486, 5732) here general influx, because done by Pharaoh, by whom is represented memory-knowledge in general (see n. 6015); and from the signification of "his people," as being memory-knowledges opposed to the truths of the church. (That the Egyptians, who here are the "people," denote memory-knowledges, has been often shown above, see n. 6838.) That by the "Egyptians" are signified memory-knowledges opposed to the truths of the church, is because the representatives and significatives of the Ancient Church, which church had also been with them, were there turned into things magical; for by the representatives and significatives of the church of that time there was communication with heaven. This communication was with those who lived in the good of charity, and was open with many; whereas with those who did not live in the good of charity, but in its opposites, open communication was sometimes granted with evil spirits, who had perverted all the truths of the church, and together with these had destroyed its goods, whence came things magical. This can also be seen from the hieroglyphics of the Egyptians, which also were made use of in sacred things, for by them they signified spiritual things, and perverted Divine order.
 Magic is nothing but the perversion of order, and is especially the abuse of correspondences. It is order that the goods and truths which proceed from the Lord should be received by man. When this is done, there is order in everything the man intends and thinks. But when a man does not receive goods and truths according to the order which is from the Lord, but believes that all things are blind flowings, and that if there comes forth anything that has been determined, it is of his own prudence, he perverts order; for he applies to himself the things of order with a view to taking care only of himself, and not of his neighbor, except insofar as his neighbor favors him. Hence, wonderful to say, all who have firmly impressed on themselves that all things are of their own prudence, and nothing of the Divine providence, are in the other life very prone to magic, and insofar as they can, they imbue it, especially those who in consequence of trusting to themselves, and ascribing everything to their own prudence, have contrived various arts and craftinesses to raise themselves above others. When such men are judged in the other life, they are cast down toward the hells of the magicians, which are in the plane beneath the soles of the feet to the right, a little toward the front, extending to a great distance; in the lowest depths of which are the Egyptians. Hence then it is that by "Pharaoh," the "Egyptians," and "Egypt," are signified memory-knowledges opposed to the truths of the church.
 Lest therefore the representatives and significatives of the church should be further turned into magic, the Israelitish people was taken, with whom the representatives and significatives of the church might be restored; which people was of such a nature that it could not make anything magical therefrom, because it was altogether in externals, and had no belief in anything internal, still less in anything spiritual. With people of such a character, such magic as existed with the Egyptians cannot arise.