7296. And Pharaoh called also the wise men and the sorcerers. That this signifies abuse of Divine order, is evident from the signification of "the wise men," as being those who are in the knowledge of spiritual things, and of their correspondence with natural things; they who investigated and taught such things were called "wise" among them, for they were things mystical. And because the Egyptians paid great attention to such things, they called themselves "son of the wise," and "of the kings of old," as is plain in Isaiah:
How say ye unto Pharaoh, A son of the wise am I, a son of kings of old (Isa. 19:11).
The Egyptians called the knowledges of things "wisdom," as also did the Chaldeans (Jer. 50:35). And from the signification of "sorcerers," as being those who pervert Divine order, thus who pervert the laws of order. That sorcery and magic are nothing else, can be seen from sorcerers, especially in the other life where they abound. For they who in the life of the body have practiced cunning, and have devised various arts for defrauding others, and at last from their success have attributed all things to their own prudence, in the other life learn magic, which is nothing but abuse of Divine order, especially of correspondences. For it is according to Divine order that each and all things correspond; as for example, the hands, arms, and shoulders correspond to power, and from this so does a rod; and therefore they form for themselves rods, and also representatively present shoulders, arms, and hands, and in this way exercise magical power; and so in thousands of other things. There is abuse of order and of correspondences when things of order are not applied to good ends, but to evil ones, as to that of exercising command over others, and to that of destroying; for the end of order is salvation, thus to do good to all. From this then it is evident what is meant by the abuse of order which is signified by "sorcerers."