9011. Then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee. That this signifies a state of blamelessness, and that is exempt from punishment, is evident from the signification of "place," as being state (see n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387, 3404, 4321, 4882, 5605, 7381); and from the signification of "an asylum," or place whither he should flee who unexpectedly, or by chance, had killed anyone, as being a state of blamelessness, and thus exempt from punishment; for they who had smitten anyone by chance, that is, without intent, thus not with premeditation, nor from an evil affection which is of the will, were not in any fault of their own; and therefore when such came to a place of asylum they were exempt from punishment. By these persons were represented those who not of set purpose injure anyone in respect to the truths and goods of faith, and consequently extinguish his spiritual life; for such are in a blameless state and one exempt from punishment; as for instance are those who have complete faith in their religiosity, which is also in what is false, and who from this reason against the truth and good of faith, and thus persuade, as heretics will sometimes do who are conscientious, and consequently are zealots.
 That such persons were represented by those who were to flee to asylums is evident in Moses:
Ye shall select suitable cities, which shall be cities of refuge for you; that the manslayer may flee thither that smiteth a soul through error; as if he hath struck him unexpectedly, without enmity, or hath cast upon him any instrument without set purpose, or with any stone wherewith he may die, seeing him not, so that he make it fall upon him, and he die, when yet he was not his enemy, neither sought his evil (Num. 35:11, 22, 23).
This is the word of the manslayer, who shall flee thither that he may live; when he hath smitten his companion unawares, when he was not his hater yesterday and the day before, when he come into the forest with his companion to hew wood, but when his hand hath struck with the axe, to cut the wood, and the iron hath been shaken off from the wood, and hath found his companion that he die; he shall flee unto one of these cities, that he may live (Deut. 19:4-5).
 Here is described the state of one who is blameless and exempt from punishment, and who has injured someone by the falsities of faith which he had believed to be truths, or by means of memory-knowledges derived from the fallacies of the senses, and thus has done injury to the internal or spiritual life of the other. In order that this might be signified, such error or chance is described by an instrument of some kind, and by a stone which he cast upon his companion, so that he died, and likewise by an axe, or the iron thereof, falling from its wood while they were both hewing wood in the forest. The reason why this is described by such things, is that "an instrument" signifies memory-knowledge; "a stone" the truth of faith, and in the opposite sense falsity; in like manner "the iron of an axe;" and "to hew wood" signifies disputation concerning good from one's religiosity.
 Everyone can see that homicide committed through error would not have been described without a secret reason by the iron of an axe falling from its wood in a forest, because such a mischance can rarely happen, in fact scarcely once in the course of many years. But such a mischance is so described on account of the internal sense, in which is described the injury to a soul by another through the falsities of faith which from his religiosity he had believed to be truths; for he who does an injury by means of falsities which he believes to be truths, does it not of set purpose, or from a better conscience, because he does it from the faith and consequent zeal of his religiosity. That these things might be signified in the internal sense, they are described, as before said, by those who kill their companions by mistake, with a stone, by hewing wood in a forest and the iron of the axe then falling from the wood upon a companion; for "a stone" denotes the truth of faith in the natural man, and in the opposite sense falsity (see n. 643, 1298, 3720, 6426, 8609, 8941), in like manner "iron" (n. 425, 426); "the iron of an axe falling from its wood" denotes truth separated from good, for "wood" denotes good (n. 643, 2812, 3720, 8354), "hewing wood," the placing of merit in works (n. 1110, 4943, 8740); but "hewing wood in a forest" denotes discussing these and the like things, and also bringing them into question; for "a forest" denotes a religiosity.
 Such things are signified by "hewing wood in a forest with axes" in Jeremiah:
The hirelings of Egypt will go in strength, and will come against her with axes, as hewers of wood, they shall cut down her forest, said Jehovah (Jer. 66:22, 23).
Here "to cut down wood in a forest" denotes to act from a false, religiosity, and to destroy such things as are of the church; for the church is called a "forest," a "garden," and a "paradise;" a "forest" from knowledge, a "garden" from intelligence, and a "paradise" from wisdom (n. 3220), because "trees" denote the perceptions of good and of truth, and also the knowledges thereof (n. 103, 2163, 2722, 2972, 4552, 7690, 7692); and as a "forest" denotes the church as to knowledge, thus as to external things, it also denotes a religiosity.
 The church as to knowledge, or as to external things, is signified by a "forest" in David:
The field shall exalt, and all that is therein; then shall all the trees of the forest sing (Ps. 96:12).
Lo we heard of Him in Ephratah, we found Him in the fields of the forest (Ps. 132:6);
speaking of the Lord. In Isaiah:
The light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for flame. And it shall burn the glory of his forest, and his Carmel; it shall consume from the soul even to the flesh; whence the rest of the trees of his forest shall be a number that a child may describe them. He shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a magnificent one (Isa. 10:17-19, 34).
"The forest" denotes the church as to the knowledges of truth; "Carmel," the church as to the knowledges of good; in like manner "Lebanon" and "Hermon;" the "trees of the forest" denote knowledges, as above; to be "a number that a child may describe" means few; "the thickets of the forest" denote memory-knowledges (n. 2831).
 In the same:
Thou hast said, By the multitude of my chariots I will go up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon, and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, the choice of the fir-trees thereof; then will I come unto the height of his border, the forest of his Carmel (Isa. 37:24).
I will visit upon you according to the fruit of your works, and I will kindle a fire in her forest (Jer. 21:14).
Prophesy against the forest of the field unto the south; and say to the forest of the south, Behold I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every tree (Ezek. 20:46, 47).
Feed Thy people with Thy rod, the flock of Thine heritage who dwell alone in the forest in the midst of Carmel (Mic. 7:14).
Who does not see that in these passages by "a forest" is not meant a forest, and that by "Lebanon" and "Carmel" which are "forests" are not meant Lebanon and Carmel, but something of the church? yet what of the church is meant has been hitherto hidden, because the internal sense lies hidden. And it is wonderful that in so learned a world as is Europe above all the rest, where they have the Word, in every particular of which there is an internal sense, the very knowledge of this sense is wanting; when yet this knowledge existed among the ancients in Chaldea, in Assyria, in Egypt, in Arabia, and thence in Greece, in whose books, emblems, and hieroglyphics such things are still to be met with. But the reason why such knowledge has perished, is that there is no faith that the spiritual is anything.