843. Verse 3. And cast him into the abyss, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should not seduce the nations any more, signifies that the Lord entirely removed those who were in faith alone, and took away all communication between them and the rest, lest they should inspire into those who were to be taken up into heaven, anything of their heresy. By "the dragon" are here meant those who are in falsities of faith, as above (n. 842). It is said of the dragon that "he was taken," "bound," "cast into the abyss," "shut up," and "a seal set upon him," whereby is signified that he was entirely removed, and that all communication was taken away between him and the rest; by "his being taken," is signified that they who are meant by him were collected and retained; by "his being bound" is signified that they were withdrawn and torn away from the rest; by "his being cast into the abyss" is signified that they were let down towards hell; by "his being shut up" is signified that they were entirely removed; by "a seal being set upon him" is signified that communication with the rest was entirely taken away.
 The reason why the dragon was entirely removed for a time, was that they might be taken up from the lower earth, who had been concealed by the Lord, and who are treated of (vers. 4-6), lest when they were taken up, they should be seduced by the dragonists; therefore it is also said, "that he should not seduce the nations any more," by which is signified that he might not inspire into them anything of his heresy. The reason why this was done in the world of spirits, which is midway between heaven and hell, is because there the evil have communication with the good, and the good are prepared in that world for heaven, and the evil for hell, and there the good are proved by having some consociation with the evil, and they are explored and tried as to their quality and constancy. By "the nations" which he should not seduce, are meant the good; that by "nations" are meant they who are good as to life, and, in the opposite sense, the evil, may be seen above (n. 483). From these things it may appear, that by "he cast them into the abyss, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him" is signified that the Lord entirely removed those who were in the falsities of faith, and took away all communication between them and the rest, lest they should inspire anything of their heresy into those who were to be elevated into heaven.