1664. That the wars in this chapter mean in the internal sense nothing other than spiritual conflicts, which are temptations, has been stated already in the preliminary section. 1
Nor do the wars in the rest of the Word, especially in the Prophets, have any other meaning. Wars waged by men can have no place whatever in the internal parts of the Word, for such things as wars are not the spiritual and celestial things which alone constitute the Word. That 'wars' in the Word means conflicts with the devil, or what amounts to the same, with hell, becomes clear from the following places besides many others: In John,
They are spirits of demons, performing signs, to go out to the kings of the land and of the whole earth, to assemble them for the war of that great day of God Almighty. Revelation 16:14.
Here anyone may see that no other kind of war on the great day of God Almighty is meant.
 In the same book,
The beast that comes up from the Abyss will make war. Revelation 11:7.
Here 'the Abyss' is hell. In the same book,
The dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her seed, who kept the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus Christ. Revelation 12:17.
was allowed to make war on the saints. Revelation 13:7.
All these wars are conflicts such as constitute temptations. Nor are the wars of the kings of the south and of the north, and the other wars of Daniel 8, 11, and also those involving Michael, Daniel 10:13, 21; 12:1; Revelation 12:7, anything different.
 That wars have no other meaning is clear from the rest of the Prophets as well, as in Ezekiel,
You have not gone up into the breaches and made a hedge for the house of Israel, to stand in war on the day of Jehovah. Ezekiel 13:5.
This refers to the prophets. In Isaiah,
They will beat their swords into hoes, and their spears into pruning-hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war any more. Isaiah 2:4.
Clearly no other wars [than spiritual wars] are meant here, and therefore instruments of war, such as swords, spears, shields, and many others, mean nothing else in the Word than things that belong to such wars.
 In the same prophet,
To the thirsty bring water; O inhabitants of the land of Tema, meet with his bread the fugitive, 3
for they will flee 4
before the swords, before the drawn sword, and before the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war. Isaiah 21:14-15.
Shepherds and their flocks will come against the daughter of Zion, they will pitch their tents against her round about; they will graze, each off his own space. Declare a sacred war against her; arise and let us go up at noon. Jeremiah 6:3-5.
Here, since it is waged against 'the daughter of Zion', that is, the Church, no other kind of war is meant.
 In the same prophet,
How is the city of praise not forsaken, the city of My joy? Therefore her young men will fall in her streets, and all the men of war will be cut down on that day. Jeremiah 49:25-26.
'The city of praise and of joy' stands for the things that belong to the Church, 'the men of war' for those who fight.
 In Hosea,
I will make for them a covenant on that day, with the wild animals of the field, and with the birds of the air, 5
and with the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish 6
the bow, and the sword, and war from the land, and I will make them lie down in safety. Hosea 2:18.
Here similarly 'war' stands for conflicts, and the various instruments of war stand for the things belonging to spiritual conflict which are 'broken' when a person comes into the calmness of peace as evil desires and falsities come to an end.
 In David,
Behold the works of Jehovah who makes solitary places in the earth, making wars cease even to the end of the earth. He breaks the bow, and snaps the spear, He burns the chariots with fire. Psalms 46:8-9.
Here too the meaning is similar. In the same author,
In Salem is the dwelling-place of God, and His habitation in Zion. There He broke the bow's fiery arrows, the shield and the sword, and war. Psalms 76:2-3.
Because the priests represented the Lord who alone fights on man's behalf, their duties are called military service, Numbers 4:23, 35, 39, 43, 47.
 It is a constant truth that Jehovah alone, that is, the Lord, fights and overcomes the devil present with a person when he is involved in the conflicts brought by temptations, even though to that person this does not appear to be so. For evil spirits have no power at all to exert the slightest influence on man unless they are permitted to do so, and angels cannot act to avert anything at all unless enabled to do so by the Lord. Thus it is the Lord alone who endures every conflict and overcomes, something that was also represented at various times by the wars that the children of Israel waged against the nations. That He alone does so is also stated in Moses,
Jehovah your God is going 7
before you, He Himself will fight for you. Deuteronomy 1:30.
In the same book,
Jehovah your God is going 7
with you to fight for you with your enemies, to save you. Deuteronomy 20:4.
 So too in Joshua, such as 23:3, 5. For all the wars that were being waged at that time against the idolatrous inhabitants of the land of Canaan represented the Lord's conflicts with hell, and consequently the conflicts of His Church, and of members of the Church. This also accords with the following statements in Isaiah,
As the lion roars, and the young lion, over its prey (when a multitude of shepherds run towards him he is not dismayed by their voice nor daunted by the tumult they make) so Jehovah Zebaoth will come down to fight on Mount Zion and on its hill. Isaiah 31:4.
 For the same reasons also Jehovah, or the Lord, is called 'a Man of War', as in Moses,
Jehovah is a Man of War, Jehovah is His name. Exodus 15:3.
Jehovah will go forth as a Mighty Man, as a Man of Wars. He will stir up zeal; He will cry out, yes, He will shout aloud, He will prevail over His enemies. Isaiah 42:13.
This also is why many things that war entails are attributed to the Lord, such as 'crying out', and 'shouting aloud' here.
 Spirits and angels also appear as men of war, when a representation is being made, as in Joshua,
Joshua lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, a man was standing before him, with his sword drawn in his hand. He said to Joshua, I am the Prince of the army of Jehovah; and Joshua fell on his face 8
to the earth. Joshua 5:13-14.
These things were seen taking the form they did because they were representative, and this also is why descendants of Jacob called their wars the Wars of ]Jehovah.
It was similar in the Ancient Churches among whom there were books which also were called The Wars of Jehovah, as is clear in Moses.
It is said in the Book of the Wars of Jehovah. Numbers 21:14-15.
These were written about in a way not unlike the wars described in this chapter; but wars involving the Church were meant. Such a manner of writing was common in those times, for they were interior men and their thoughts were of more exalted things.
1. i.e. in 1659
2. i.e. the beast
3. literally, the wanderer
4. literally, they will wander
5. literally,. bird of the heavens (or the skies)
6. literally, break
7. literally, walking
8. literally, faces