7545. For now I would put forth My hand. That this signifies that all communication might be taken away, is evident from the signification of "hand," as being power (see n. 4931-4937, 6292, 6947, 7188, 7189, 7518); and of "the hand of Jehovah," as being omnipotence (n. 878, 3387, 7518). Hence "to put forth the hand" denotes to show power, and from omnipotence to do it. This omnipotence is described by his being able "to send all plagues into his heart, into his servants, and into his people," whereby is signified that all evils would rush in together, and thus that communication with the things of heaven would be taken away. It is this exercise of power that is here signified by these words. How the case is with this communication has already been told, namely, that those who infest the upright in the other life are such as in the world have been in the church and have read the Word, and have known the doctrinal things of faith of their church and have also professed them, but have lived a life of evil. So long as such in the other life retain the things of faith, they have communication with heaven, and so long they cannot be cast down into hell; and therefore it is these things that are by degrees taken away from them; and after these have been taken away, the evil no longer have anything to hold them up; but then like weights without support, or like birds with their wings cut off, they fall downward, or into the deep. From all this it is evident what is meant by the possibility of the communication being taken away from them.