6959. And Jehovah said further to him. That this signifies foresight as to what would be the quality of those of the spiritual church if they did not have faith, is evident from the signification of "Jehovah said," as being foresight (as above, n. 6946). The reason why these words denote what would be the quality of those of the spiritual church if they did not have faith, is that in what follows the subject treated of is what would be the further quality of those who are of the spiritual church (who are represented by the sons of Israel), if they did not have faith, namely, that they would be profaners of truth. For the first miracle of the rod becoming a serpent signifies their state, that they would become altogether sensuous and corporeal. This miracle of the hand becoming leprous signifies profanation, for this succeeds if the church persists in faithlessness.
 In their childhood, and afterward in their youth, they of the spiritual church have faith in the doctrinal things of their church, but at that time they have faith from parents and masters, and not from themselves, and therefore if they afterward recede from faith, they profane the truth only slightly, which profanation can be removed by Divine means, and thus the man be freed from the guilt of it. But if a man has faith in the doctrine of the church, and in the Word, from himself, that is, by confirmations in himself, and if he then afterward recedes, and denies in himself what he had before believed, especially if he lives contrary to the truth which he had confirmed in himself, and either explains it in his own favor, or altogether rejects it, he profanes the truth; and this because he commingles and conjoins together within himself truth and falsity. As such persons have scarcely any remains of truth and good, in the other life they finally become like skeletons; and have as little life remaining as have the bones relatively to the organic life of the flesh. But still harder is the lot of those who profane good than that of those who profane truth, they who are of the Lord's spiritual church can profane truth but not so much good.
 As "leprosy" signifies the profanation of truth, and as this is the subject treated of in what follows, see first of all what has been before said and shown about profanation, namely: That they who are within the church can profane holy things, but not they who are without it (n. 2051, 3399): That holy things cannot be profaned, except by those who have previously acknowledged them (n. 1008, 1010, 1059, 3398, 3898, 4289): That it is also profanation to acknowledge and believe truths and goods, and yet to live contrary to them (n. 4601): That man is withheld from profanation as much as possible (n. 301-303, 1327-1328, 3398, 3402); that the lot of profaners is the worst of all in the other life (n. 6348).