(AR) - The Book of the Apocalypse Revealed, Uncovering the Secrets That Were Foretold There and Have Lain Hidden until Now

AR 574

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574. And his mouth as the mouth of a lion, signifies reasonings from falsities as if from truths. By "mouth" is signified doctrine, preaching and discourse (n. 452), here reasoning from falsities of doctrine, because by "the head," in which is the mouth, is signified insanity from mere falsities (n. 568); by "a lion" is signified Divine Truth in power (n. 241, 471), but here falsity in power appearing like truth by reasonings (n. 573); hence by "his mouth being as the mouth of a lion," are signified reasonings from falsities as if from truths. That "a leopard," "a bear," and "a lion," signify such things, may appear from similar beasts that were seen by Daniel, of which it is thus written:
Four great beasts came up out of the sea; the first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings; I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and erected upon its feet like a man, and a man's heart was given to it. The second beast was like a bear, and it raised up itself on one side; and it had three ribs in its mouth, between its teeth; and it was said, Arise, devour much flesh. The third beast was like a leopard, which had upon its back four wings as of birds; the beast had also four heads, and dominion was given to it. The fourth beast was terrible and dreadful, and exceedingly strong, and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet (Dan. 7:3-7).
[2] By these four "beasts" are described the successive states of the church, from its first to its last, even to its utter devastation as to every good and truth of the Word; after which is the Lord's advent. By "the lion" is signified the Divine Truth of the Word in its first state, and the establishment of the church thereby, which is meant by "being lifted up from the earth, and erected upon the feet like man, and a man's heart being given to it." By "the bear" is described the second state of the church, when the Word is read indeed, but not understood; by "the three ribs between the teeth" are signified appearances and fallacies, and by "much flesh" is signified the sense of the letter of the Word as a whole. The third state of the church is described by "the leopard," by which is signified the Word falsified as to its truths; by "the four wings, as of birds, on his back," are signified confirmations of what is false. The fourth or last state of the church is described by "the beast terrible and dreadful," by which is signified the destruction of all truth and good, for which reason it is said that "it crushed in pieces and devoured, and trampled the residue with its feet;" lastly, the Lord's advent is described, and then the destruction of that church, and the establishment of a new one (from Verse 9 to the end).
[3] These four beasts were seen by Daniel to come up out of the sea successively, but by John the first three beasts were seen united in one body, and also coming out of the sea; the reason is, because in Daniel the successive states of the church are described by them, but here in Revelation its last state is described, in which all the former states exist together; but as to the body this beast appeared like a leopard, and as to its feet like a bear, and as to its mouth like a lion; "the leopard" and "the bear" have everywhere a like signification; but by "a mouth like that of a lion" are signified reasonings from falsities, because it follows that "The beast out of its mouth spoke blasphemies" (verses 5-6), and by "his heads" insanity from mere falsities is signified.


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