Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead) n. 866

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866. Verse 5. And in their mouth was found no deceit, signifies that they are averse to thinking falsities and persuading to them. This is evident from the signification of "mouth," as being thought and speech therefrom, and thus persuasion; (see above, n. 580, 782, 794); also from the signification of "deceit," as being to deceive and mislead purposely, thus from an intention of the will; consequently to think falsities and persuade to them designedly, which destroys man forever. That such things have no place in those who are led by the Lord or who follow Him is signified by "in their mouth is found no deceit." For the Lord is Divine truth united to Divine good; and all who are in the Lord, who are those who acknowledge His Divine Human and do His commandments, are in the Divine truth and in the Divine good; and as thinking falsities is contrary to the Divine truth, and wishing to persuade to them is contrary to the Divine good, such are averse to so doing. [2] What else "deceit" signifies in the Word can be seen from the passages where it is mentioned, as in the following. In John:

Jesus said of Nathaniel as he was coming to Him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit (1:47). An "Israelite" signifies one who is in the good of charity, and from that in truths, thus one who is in truths from good. Such are meant also by "the hundred forty-four thousand who follow the Lord, in whose mouth is found no deceit;" so here "deceit" has the same signification. [3] In Zephaniah:

The remnant of Israel shall not do perversity nor speak a lie, neither shall a tongue of deceit be found in their mouth (3:13). "The remnant of Israel," the same as "an Israelite indeed," means those who are in spiritual faith, because they are in the good of charity; "to speak a lie" signifies to teach falsely from ignorance of truth; but "deceit" signifies falsity that is not from ignorance of truth, but from deliberation, thus from the purpose of deceiving, as is the case with the wicked. [4] Likewise in the following passages:

He did no violence, neither was deceit in His mouth (Isa. 53:9); which is said of the Lord:

He shall redeem their* soul from deceit and violence (Ps. 72:14). The rich are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof speak a lie; and as to their tongue deceit is in their mouth (Micah 6:12). They fill their master's house with violence and deceit (Zeph. 1:9). Men of bloods and of deceit shall not live out half their days (Ps. 55:23). Thou wilt destroy those that speak a lie; the man of bloods and of deceit Jehovah will abhor (Ps. 5:6). "Violence and blood" signify perversion of truth and falsification of the Word; and "deceit" signifies doing this purposely:

Jehovah give ear to my prayers, that are apart from lips of deceit (Ps. 17:1). Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking deceit (Ps. 34:13). If my lips should speak iniquity, and my tongue should speak deceit (Job 27:4). Deliver my soul, O Jehovah, from a lip of falsehood, from a tongue of deceit. What shall he give to thee, What shall he add to thee, thou tongue of deceit? (Ps. 120:2, 3). Thou openest thy mouth to evil, and with thy tongue thou framest deceit (Ps. 50:19). The mouth of the wicked, the mouth of deceit they have opened against me; they have spoken against me with a tongue of lies (Ps. 109:2). Thy tongue thinketh wickednesses like a sharp razor working deceit (Ps. 52:2, 4). They mock everyone with his companion, and they speak not truth; they have taught their tongue to speak a lie; it is thine to dwell in the midst of deceit; through deceit they have refused to know Me (Jer. 9:5, 6). "Lips and tongue" with which they speak falsehood and deceit signify the thought with the intention of persuading to falsities against truths, and of misleading; the lips and the tongue having a similar signification as the mouth:

Blessed is the man unto whom Jehovah imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit (Ps. 32:2);

The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit; he ceaseth from understanding and doing good (Ps. 36:3);

To speak iniquity and to speak deceit (Job 13:7);

"iniquity" having reference to evil and "deceit" to falsity thence:

From the man of deceit and perversity deliver me, O Jehovah (Ps. 43:1). The clean in hands and pure in heart, who doth not lift up his soul to vanity, and sweareth not with deceit (Ps. 24:4). They think words of deceit against the quiet in the land, they opened their mouth exceedingly against me (Ps. 35:20, 21). Wickednesses are in the midst thereof, fraud and deceit depart not from her street (Ps. 55:11). Thou hast trodden down all them that err from Thy statutes, for their deceit is a lie (Ps. 119:118). This people turneth itself away, Jerusalem is perpetually turned away, they hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return; I have hearkened and heard, but they speak not aright (Jer. 8:5, 6). In these passages "deceit" does not mean deceit in the natural sense, which consists of deceitful plotting and malicious false-hood against another, but deceit in the spiritual sense, in which "deceit" means thought from the intention of the will, or intentionally and deliberately speaking falsities and persuading to them, and thereby destroying the soul. [5] Likewise respecting the prophets, in Jeremiah:

Is it not in the heart of the prophets that prophesy falsehood, even of the prophets of the deceit of their own heart? (23:14). In the same:

The prophets prophesy unto you a vision of falsehood and divinations, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their own heart (Jer. 14:14). In the spiritual sense "prophets" signify those who teach truths from the Word and doctrine, and thus in an abstract sense the Word as to doctrine, therefore in the contrary sense, as in these passages, they signify those who teach falsities, thus those who falsify the truths of the Word; and to do this intentionally is meant by "the deceit of their heart." [6] That "deceit" means in the spiritual sense intentional falsification of the truths of the Word, from a desire to mislead, is evident in Hosea:

Ephraim hath compassed Me about with falsehood, and the house of Israel with deceit (11:12). "Ephraim" signifies the understanding of the truths of the church; and "the house of Israel" the church itself; so "deceit" and "falsehood" signify persuading to falsities with intention and desire. [7] In the same:

They are become like a deceitful bow; their princes shall fall by the sword, from the rage of their tongue (Hos. 7:16). And in David:

They are turned aside like deceitful bows (Ps. 78:57). They are compared to a "deceitful bow" because a "bow" signifies doctrine combating, in both senses, namely, the doctrine of falsity combating against truth, and of truth against falsity, for javelins and arrows signify falsities or truths to fight with. (That this is the signification of "bow and arrows" may be seen above, n. 357.) All this again makes evident that "deceit" means deceit in the spiritual sense, which is deceit against the truths and goods of the Word and of the church, thus a disposition and desire to destroy them. [8] That a disposition and desire to destroy the truths and goods of the Word, of doctrine, and of the church, thus to destroy them deliberately and intentionally, is signified by "deceit," is evident in Jeremiah:

They watch as fowlers lie in wait; they set a trap that they may catch men; as a cage full of birds so their houses are full of deceit (5:26, 27). In Moses:

If a man have a purpose against his neighbor to slay him by deceit, thou shalt take him from Mine altar (Exod. 21:14). And as this was so grievous a sin it is said in Jeremiah:

Cursed is he who doeth the work of Jehovah with deceit (48:10). "Deceit" was so grievous a crime because deliberation and purpose are of the will, and whatever is of the will is of the man himself, and is called the evil of his heart, for the will is the man himself; but the thought that precedes consent, which is an act of the will, is not in man but outside of him; since the things that flow into the thought are like the objects that flow into the sight from the world, some of which are pleasing and some not pleasing; and those that are pleasing enter the delight of his life, but those that are not pleasing are cast out. So it is with everything that flows into man's internal sight, which is of his understanding and consequent thought. If it is pleasing it enters his will and adds itself to his life; but if it is not pleasing it is cast out. [9] It is to be known that all evil persons have a disposition and desire, consequently a will, to destroy the truths of heaven and the church by falsities, for the reason that they are conjoined to hell, and infernal spirits from the delight of their love burn with a lust of destroying all things of heaven and the church, and this by crafty devices, which they artfully contrive and wonderfully execute, which, if described from experience, would fill many pages. This makes clear that "deceit" signifies in general all evil of intention to destroy truths by falsities. (In addition, see what has been said about deceit in the Arcana Coelestia, namely, that deceit destroys everything of the spiritual and interior life in man, n. 9013; that deceit, fraud, and simulation were accounted by the ancients monstrous wickedness, n. 3573; that the deceitful, when viewed by the angels, appear like serpents and vipers, n. 4533; that such are meant in the Word by "serpents" and "vipers," n. 9013; that "poison" in the Word signifies deceit, n. 9013. Respecting the punishments of those who lie in wait for and deceive others by deceit, n. 831, 957-960, 1273; respecting their hells, n. 830, 831, 947, 4951.) * The Hebrew has "their," see above n. 328.

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