428. And their torment was as the torment of a scorpion when it striketh a man, signifies that this is from their persuasive power. This follows from what was said (n. 427); for by "torment" is signified the stupor, which their persuasive power induces upon the understanding, as the scorpion does upon the body when he stings it. "The scorpion" signifies that persuasive power (n. 425). In the spiritual world there exists a persuasive power which takes away the understanding of truth, and induces stupor and thus distress upon the mind; but this persuasive power is unknown in the natural world.