438. Verse 10. And they had tails like unto scorpions, signifies the truths of the Word falsified, by means of which they induce stupor. By "the tail" is signified the ultimate of the head, because the brain is continued through the backbone into the tail, therefore the head and tail make one; as the first and last; when, therefore, by "the head," faith alone justifying and saving is signified, by "the tail" is signified all the confirmations thereof in a summary, which are from the Word, thus which are the truths of the Word falsified. Everyone, who from his own intelligence assumes a principle of religion, and establishes it as the head, also takes confirmations from the Word, and makes them the tail; thus he induces a stupor upon others, and so hurts them. Therefore it is said, that "they had tails like unto scorpions"; and presently after, "that there were stings in their tails, and that their power was to hurt men"; for by "a scorpion" is signified the power of persuasion inducing stupor upon the understanding (n. 425). That "the tail" is a continuation of the brain through the backbone to its ultimate, any anatomist will tell you; or merely observe a dog or any other wild beast with a tail, and encourage and coax him, and you will see that the ridge of his back will become smooth, and his tail move correspondingly; but that, on the contrary, he will set his back up if you provoke him.
 The primary tenet of the understanding which is assumed as a principle, is signified by "the head," and the ultimate thereof by "the tail," in these passages also:
He will cut off from Israel head and tail, the old and the honored, he is the head, and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail (Isa. 9:14, 15).
Egypt shall not have any work to make head and tail (Isa. 19:15).
Nothing else is signified by:
The seven heads of the dragon, and by his tail, with which he drew a third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth (Rev. 12:4);
The tails like serpents, having heads with which they do hurt (Rev. 9:10).
Since by "the tail" is signified the ultimate, and the ultimate is the complex of all, therefore Jehovah said to Moses:
Take the serpent by the tail; and he took it, and it became a rod (Exod. 4:3-4).
And therefore it was commanded that:
They should take off the tail entire near the backbone, and sacrifice it together with the fat that was upon the entrails, kidneys, intestines, and liver (Lev. 3:9-11; 8:25; 9:19; Exod. 29:22).
That the ultimate is that which contains and comprehends all prior things, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scriptures (n. 38, 65), and in The Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom (n. 209-222).