435. And their teeth were as those of lions, signifies that sensual things, which are the ultimates of the life of the natural man, appeared with them to have power over all things. "Teeth" signify the ultimates of the life of the natural man, which are called sensual things; concerning which above (n. 424). Sensual things are of two kinds, one which is of the will, and the other of the understanding; the sensual things of the will are signified by "the hair of women," of which above (n. 434); and the sensual things of the understanding are signified by "teeth;" the latter, or what is the same, sensual men who are in falsities from confirmation, seem to themselves to be in power over all things, so that they cannot be conquered; wherefore the "teeth of the locusts," by which such sensual things are signified, "were as the teeth of lions," for by "a lion" is signified power (n. 241). That "teeth" signify the ultimates of man's life, which are called sensual things, and which, when separated from the interiors of the mind, are in mere falsities, and do violence to truths even to destroying them, may appear from the following passages:
My soul, I lie down in the midst of lions, their teeth are spears and darts (Ps. 57:4).
O God, destroy their teeth in their mouth, break out the great teeth of the young lions (Ps. 58:6).
A nation is come up upon my land, strong, its teeth are the teeth of a lion, and it hath the great teeth of a lion (Joel 1:6).
Jehovah, Thou breakest the teeth of the ungodly (Ps. 3:7).
There came up out of the sea a beast terrible and dreadful, and exceedingly strong, which had great iron teeth, it devoured and crushed (Dan. 7:7).
Blessed be Jehovah, who hath not given us a prey to their teeth (Ps. 124:6).
Since sensual men do not see any truth in its own light, but ratiocinate and dispute about everything, whether it is so; and since these disputes in the hells are heard without as the gnashing of teeth, being in themselves the collisions of falsity and truth, it is evident what is signified by "the gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 8:12; 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28); and in a measure what by "gnashing with the teeth" (Job 16:9; Ps. 35:15-16; 37:12; 112:10; Micah 3:5; Lam. 2:16).