733. Verse 8. The beast that thou sawest, was and is not, signifies the Word with them acknowledged as holy, and yet in reality not acknowledged. That by "the beast" is signified the Word, may be seen above (n. 723). By "was, and is not," is signified that it was acknowledged to be holy, and yet in reality was not acknowledged. That the Word was with them, and also is, and yet is not, is known. It is acknowledged indeed to be holy, because it treats of the Lord, and of His authority over the church, and over heaven, and of Peter and his keys; but yet it is not acknowledged, for it is not read by the people, because they are withheld from reading it, and it is taken away from them, yea, even prohibited under various pretenses of the monks, being kept only in libraries and monasteries, where few read it, much less attend to anything true that is in it; but only to the dictates of the Pope, which they say are in like manner holy. Yea when they speak from their hearts, they vituperate and blaspheme the Word. From these things it may appear, that by "the beast which was, and is not," is signified the Word acknowledged with them as holy, and yet in reality not acknowledged.