7293. It shall become a water-serpent. That this signifies that thereby mere fallacies and the derivative falsities will reign among them, is evident from the signification of a "serpent," as being the sensuous and bodily (see n. 6949), thence fallacies, for the sensuous and bodily, separated from the rational, that is, not subordinate to it, is full of fallacies, so that it is scarcely anything but fallacies (see n. 6948, 6949). It is a water-serpent that is here signified, for in the original, "serpent" is here expressed by the same term as "whale," which is the largest fish of the sea, and a "whale" signifies memory-knowledges in general. As therefore by the "Egyptians" are signified falsities from fallacies, this word signifies a serpent, that is, a water- serpent, because it stands for the whale that is in the waters, and because the waters of Egypt are falsities.
 That Pharaoh or Egypt is called a "whale" is evident in Ezekiel:
Speak and say, Thus said the Lord Jehovih, Behold I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great whale that lieth in the midst of his rivers (Ezek. 29:3).
Son of man, take up a lamentation upon Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say unto him, Thou art become like a young lion of the nations; and thou art as whales in the seas; and thou hast come forth with thy streams, thou hast troubled thy streams (Ezek. 32:2).
In these passages by a "whale" are signified memory-knowledges in general, by which, because they are from the sensuous man, the things that belong to faith are perverted. That a "whale" denotes memory-knowledge in general, is because a "fish" denotes memory-knowledge in particular (see n. 40, 991). And as "whales" signify memory-knowledges perverting the truths of faith, by them are also signified reasonings from fallacies, whence come falsities.
 Such things are signified by "whales" in David:
Thou didst break through the sea by thy strength; Thou hast broken the heads of the whales upon the waters (Ps. 74:13).
Like things are signified also by "leviathan" in Isaiah:
In that day Jehovah with His hard and great and strong sword will visit upon leviathan the long serpent, and upon leviathan the crooked serpent, and will slay the whales that are in the sea (Isa. 27:1).
And in David:
Thou hast broken in pieces the heads of leviathan, Thou gavest him to be meat to the people Ziim (Ps. 74:14).
"Leviathan" in a good sense denotes reason from truths, in Job 41; reason from truths is opposite to reasonings from falsities.
 And as by "whales" are signified reasonings from fallacies perverting truths, by "water-serpents," which are expressed by the same word in the original, are signified the falsities themselves from the fallacies from which come reasonings, and by means of which come perversions. Falsities are signified by these serpents in the following passages:
Iim shall answer in her palaces, and serpents in the palaces of delights (Isa. 13:22).
Thorns shall come up in her palaces, the thistle and the brier in the fortresses thereof; that it may be a habitation of serpents, a court for the daughters of the owl (Isa. 34:13).
In the inhabitation of serpents, her couch, shall be grass for reed and rush (Isa. 35:7).
I will make Jerusalem heaps, a dwelling-place of serpents (Jer. 9:11).
I made the mountains of Esau a waste, and his heritage for the serpents of the wilderness (Mal. 1:3).
 In these passages "serpents" denote falsities from which are reasonings. The same are also signified by "dragons;" but "dragons" denote reasonings from the loves of self and of the world, thus from the cupidities of evil, which pervert not only truths, but also goods. These reasonings come forth from those who in heart deny the truths and goods of faith, but in mouth confess them for the sake of the lust of exercising command and of making profit, thus also from those who profane truths and goods. Both are meant by "the dragon, the old serpent, which is called the Devil and Satan, which seduceth the whole world" (Rev. 12:9); and also by the same dragon, which persecuted the woman who brought forth a son that was caught up unto God and unto His throne (Rev. 12:5); and which cast out of his mouth water as a river, that he might swallow up the woman (verse 15).
 The "son" that the woman brought forth is the Divine truth at this day unfolded; the "woman" is the church; "the dragon, the serpent," denotes those who will persecute; "the water as a river which the dragon would cast out," denotes the falsities from evil and the reasonings thence, by which they will attempt to destroy the woman, that is, the church; but that they will effect nothing, is described by, "the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out" (verse 16).