148. Verse 27. And He shall rule them with a rod of iron, signifies by truths from the literal sense of the Word, and at the same time by rational things from natural light. These things are signified by "a rod or staff of iron" because "a rod or staff" in the Word signifies power, and "iron" signifies natural truth, consequently the natural sense of the Word, and at the same time the natural light of man; in these two consists the power of truth. That Divine truth in the natural sense of the Word, which is the sense of its letter is in its power, may be seen in Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture (n. 37-49); from this cause the literal sense is the basis, container, and support of its spiritual sense (n. 27-36). And that all power is in the ultimates which are called things natural, may be seen in Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Love and Wisdom (n. 205-221); consequently in the natural sense of the letter of the Word, and in the natural light of man. These, therefore, are "the rod of iron" by which He shall "rule the nations" that is, overcome the evils which are from hell. The like is signified by a "rod of iron" in these passages:
Thou shalt break the nations in pieces with a rod of iron, thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel (Ps. 2:9).
The woman brought forth a male who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron (Rev. 12:5).
Out of the mouth of Him that sat upon the white horse went a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations; but He shall rule them with a rod of iron (Rev. 19:15).
Jehovah shall smite the wicked with the rod of His mouth (Isa. 11:4).