8876. Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons. That this signifies the consequent prolification of falsity derived from evil, is evident from the signification of "visiting the iniquity of the fathers," as being the prolification of evils; that "to visit" denotes prolification is because the state of those who utterly reject from themselves the Divine is here treated of, who therefore are no longer receptions of good, but of evil, and this continually, for with such, evil is continually increasing, and this is prolification (that "father" denotes good, and in the opposite sense evil, see n. 3703, 5902, 6050, 7833, 7834); and from the signification of "sons," as being truths (n. 1147, 2623, 3373), consequently in the opposite sense falsities. In the sense nearest the letter, by "visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons" is not meant that the sons suffer the penalty of the iniquity of their fathers, for this is contrary to the Divine (Deut. 24:16); but that evil increases with the fathers, and thus is by heredity carried over into the children, and that there is a consequent successive accumulation of evil (n. 2910, 3701, 4317, 8550, 8551). But in the spiritual sense by "fathers" are not meant fathers, but evils; nor are sons meant by "sons," but falsities; therefore by the above words is signified the continual prolification of falsity derived from evil.