1029. APOCALYPSE. CHAPTER 17.
1. And there came one of the seven angels that had the seven vials and spoke with me, saying unto me, Come, I will show thee the judgment of the great harlot that sitteth upon many waters;
2. With whom the kings of the earth committed whoredom, and they that dwell on the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her whoredom.
3. And he carried me away in the spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
4. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and inwrought with gold and precious stone and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the uncleanness of her whoredom.
5. And upon her forehead a name written, Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of the whoredoms and of the abominations of the earth.
6. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus; and when I saw her I wondered with great wonder.
7. And the angel said unto me, Wherefore dost thou wonder? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and the ten horns.
8. The beast that thou sawest was and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss, and to go into perdition; and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, seeing the beast that was and is not, and yet is.
9. This is the mind that hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, where the woman sitteth upon them.
10. And they are seven kings; the five have fallen, and the one is, the other is not yet come; and when he is come he must remain a short time.
11. And the beast which was and is not is himself the eighth, and is of the seven, and he goeth into perdition.
12. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom; but they receive authority as kings one hour with the beast.
13. These have one mind, and shall give over their power and authority unto the beast.
14. These shall fight with the Lamb; but the Lamb shall overcome them, for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings; also those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.
15. And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the harlot sitteth, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.
16. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the harlot and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall burn her up with fire.
17. For God gave into their hearts to do His mind, and to do one mind, and to give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be consummated.
18. And the woman whom thou sawest is the great city, which hath a kingdom over the kings of the earth.
As this chapter and the following treat of Babylon, before these chapters are explained, what is meant by Babylon in general and in particular shall be told; also what it is in the beginning, and what it becomes afterwards by degrees. "Babylon" (or Babel) means the church consisting of those who by means of the holy things of the church strive to gain dominion over the whole world, and this by dominion over the souls of men, claiming to themselves authority to save whomsoever they will; and these finally seek dominion over heaven and hell and make it their own. And to this end they draw and transfer to themselves all the Lord's authority, as if it had been given them by Him. The church consisting of such is very different in the beginning from what it becomes in process of time. In the beginning they are as it were in zeal for the Lord, for the Word, for love and faith, and especially for the salvation of men. But in that zeal the fire of domineering lies hidden; and in process of time as dominion increases this breaks forth; and so far as it comes into act the holy things of the church become the means, and dominion itself the end; and when dominion becomes the end the holy things of the church are applied to that end, and thus to themselves; and then they not only ascribe the salvation of souls to their own authority, but they also appropriate to themselves all the Lord's Divine power. And when they do this they pervert every good and every truth of the church, and thus profane the holy things of the church. These things are "Babylon. "
 That this is so has been shown me to the life. In the spiritual world there were those who strove to gain such dominion; and as they knew that the Lord alone has all power, they put on a seeming zeal for Him and for heaven and for the church, and they labored with all their might to worship the Lord alone, and to observe in a holy way all things of the Word; and they arranged to have sanctity and integrity prevail in all. But it was granted to know that in such zeal an ardent desire of domineering over all others lay hidden, believing that the things they arranged would be acceptable to the Lord. For just as soon as they began to gain dominion, their end was gradually disclosed, which was that they and not the Lord should rule, and thus that the Lord should serve them and not they the Lord; and they were indignant if they were not permitted, like gods, to dispose everything at their will; and it was perceived also that they thought lightly of the Lord, and even rejected Him if He did not grant them authority to do all things as they pleased, and unless He assented to every decision of theirs. It was also perceived that if they dared, they would, under some pretext, transfer His Divine authority to themselves; but they were afraid of being for this reason cast down into hell. By this it was shown how Babylon begins and how it ends. The conclusion to be drawn from this was that when dominion becomes the end, and the holy things of the church become the means, the worship of God is turned, under various pretexts, into the worship of men; so that they themselves are actually gods, and the Lord is not actually God, but is so called for the sake of form.
 Now because dominion by means of the holy things of the church over the souls of men, over heaven, and over the Lord Himself, is inwardly profane, it follows that it is infernal; for the devils who are in hell desire nothing so much as to have dominion over heaven, and over the Lord Himself; and this they attempt to do under various pretexts, but as soon as they attempt it they are swallowed up by hell. And since those who in the world cast the Lord down from the seat of His kingdom and place themselves upon it, are in heart like devils, it is evident that a church made up of such must in process of time be devastated as to all its good and all its truth; and this is its end. That such are devils is evident from the same in the spiritual world. Those who have exercised the Lord's Divine authority in the world talk about the Lord after death in a most holy manner, and worship Him with all external devotion. But when their interiors are looked into (for in the spiritual world these can be uncovered and looked into) they are seen to be profane, because they are godless and full of diabolical craft; and from this it becomes clear that their holy externals had served them as means to an end, which was dominion. At one time the question arose among spirits whether any devil in hell could do the like; one of the worst was therefore summoned, and was told that he would receive dominion over many if he would worship the Lord with sanctity and acknowledge His Divine to be equal to the Divine of the Father, and at the same time would observe all things of worship. When he heard of dominion over many he immediately disposed his interiors to craft and his exteriors to holiness, and worshiped the Lord in a more holy manner than many angels, burning with anger against all who would not adore Him. But as soon as he observed that dominion was not given to him, he burned with anger against the Lord Himself, and denied both His Divine and the Divine of the Father, and even cast reproaches upon both; for he was an atheist.
 That such is Babylon at this day is clearly evident from the fact that under the pretext of the keys having been given to Peter, they have transferred to themselves all the Divine authority of the Lord, that they have shut up Divine truth from the people by taking away the Word, and that they have ascribed to the decrees of the Pope a holiness equal and even superior to the holiness of the Word; also that they teach little, if at all, the fear and worship of God, but only a fear and worship of themselves, and also a worship of the saints for the sake of themselves. All this makes clear that Babylon in its end is a church empty and void of all the good of love to God, and of all the good of love towards the neighbor, and consequently of all truth. It is therefore no longer a church but an idolatry, and as such it differs but little from the heathenisms of the ancients, who worshiped Baal, Ashtaroth, Beelzebub, and others, and yet had temples, appointed feasts, altars, sacrifices, incense, libations and other things like those of the Jewish Church. These things have been said about Babylon in its beginning and at its end, to make known why in the Word Babylon is sometimes extolled even to heaven, and sometimes cast down even to hell.
 That Babylon is such can be seen fully from the descriptions and representations of it in the Prophets, and especially in Daniel. First, from the statue of king Nebuchadnezzar, in Daniel:
There appeared to king Nebuchadnezzar in a dream, a statue standing opposite the king; its head was of good gold, its breast and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of brass, its legs of iron, and its feet part of iron and part of clay. Afterwards a stone was cut out, not by hands, which smote the statue upon its feet, which were of iron and clay, and brake them in pieces; and then the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, were broken in pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floor; so that the wind carried them away, and no place was found for them. But the stone that smote the statue became a great rock (Daniel 2:31-35).
From the interpretation of this dream by Daniel, it is clear that it describes the state of the church that becomes Babylon, from its beginning to its end. It is Babylon that is described, for these things were seen by the king of Babylon in a dream, and he saw a statue opposite to him; also Daniel said plainly to the king:
Thou art its head which is gold (Daniel 2:38).
The successive states of this church even to the last are depicted by the head, breast, arms, belly, thighs, legs, and feet of that statue; likewise by the gold, silver, brass, iron and clay, of which the statue consisted from top to bottom. All this makes clear that this church in its beginning was full of wisdom from the good of love to the Lord. For its "head," which is the highest part, signifies wisdom, and "gold" signifies the good of love to the Lord. That the toes of its feet were "part of iron and part of clay" signifies that the last state of that church would be without any good of love and without any wisdom; for this is thus interpreted by Daniel:
Whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of man; but they shall not cohere one with the other, even as iron doth not mingle with clay (Daniel 2:43).
"The seed of man" signifies the Divine truth, thus the truth of the Word; and by this no coherence is effected, because at the end of the church it is falsified by application to the worship of men. The destruction of this church is described by "the stone brake in pieces all parts of the statue." "Stone" signifies the Divine truth; and the "rock" which the stone became signifies the Lord as to the Divine truth. Its destruction is the Last Judgment. The New Church that will then be established by the Lord is described by these words:
The God of the heavens shall make a kingdom to arise which shall not perish for ages, and His kingdom shall not be committed to another people. It shall break in pieces and consume all those kingdoms, but itself shall stand for ages (Daniel 2:44).
Here and elsewhere in the Word "kingdom" signifies the church; so, too, does a "man," in the form of which the statue was.
 The church that afterwards became Babylon is also described by the "tree" seen by King Nebuchadnezzar in a dream, in Daniel:
I was looking, when behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great; the tree grew and became strong, and the height thereof reached even unto heaven, and the sight thereof even unto the end of all the earth; the leaf thereof was beautiful, and the flower thereof much; the beast of the field had shadow under it, and the birds of heaven dwelt in the branches of it, and all flesh was nourished by it. But behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven, crying with all might, saying thus, Hew down the tree and cut off his branches, and scatter his flower, let the beast flee from under him, and the birds from his branches; but leave the stump of his root in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the herb of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of the heavens, and let his portion be with the beast in the grass of the earth; they shall change his heart from man's, and the heart of a beast shall be given to him, until seven times shall pass over him, until the living shall know that the Lord is the Most High in the kingdom of man (Daniel 4:10-17).
That King Nebuchadnezzar, consequently Babylon itself, is meant by that tree and all things of it, is plainly declared in verses 20-22; and that the things that were heard happened to the king, namely, that he was driven out from man, dwelt with the beast of the field, ate the herb like oxen, until seven times had passed over him, is evident from verses 32-34, of the same chapter. That these things came upon him because of the love of self and the pride of his own dominion is evident from these words of his:
Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power and for the glory of mine honor? (Daniel 4:30.)
And afterwards when he was restored:
I, Nebuchadnezzar, honor the King of the heavens, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment; and those that walk in pride He is able to humble (Daniel 4:37).
This state of Nebuchadnezzar depicts the state of those after death who exalt themselves as gods over all things of the church, namely, "they are driven out from man," which means that as to the understanding they are no longer like men; "they become beasts and eat grass like oxen," and "their hairs grow like eagles' feathers and their nails like birds' claws" signifies that they are wholly sensual, that in place of intelligence they have foolishness and in place of wisdom insanity; "to eat grass, to have hair like eagles' feathers, and nails like birds' claws" signifies to become sensual.
 The successive states of the church which at length became Babylon are described also by "the four beasts coming up out of the sea," in Daniel:
There appeared to him four beasts coming up out of the sea, the first was like a lion, but it had eagle's wings, but the wings were plucked out, and it was lifted up from the earth and raised up on the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it. Afterwards another beast, a second, like a bear, and it raised itself up on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this, behold another like a leopard, which had upon its back four wings like those of birds, and four heads; and dominion was given to it. Afterwards a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible and exceedingly strong and it had great teeth of iron, it devoured and brake in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet (Daniel 7:3-7).
That by these beasts also the successive states of the church from its first to its last are described may be seen above (n. 316, 556, 650, 780, 781). That in the first state they were in truths, and thus in intelligence, is signified by "the lion that had an eagle's wings," and that afterwards appeared "like a man, and a man's heart was given to it." That in the last state they are in falsities from evil of every kind is signified by "the fourth beast, that was dreadful, that devoured and brake in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet." Of this beast other things are said in verses 23-25.
 That the church that has become Babylon will then be destroyed, and a New Church established that will worship the Lord, is meant by these words:
I was seeing, and behold with the clouds of the heavens One like the Son of man. And there was given Him dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and tongues might worship Him. His dominion is the dominion of an age, which shall not pass away; and His kingdom that which shall not perish. And the kingdom and the dominion and the majesty of kingdoms under all the heavens shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is the kingdom of an age; and all dominions shall worship Him and obey (Daniel 7:13-14, 27).
"The Son of man" means the Lord as to the Divine Human and as to the Word. That a church is to be established by Him that will worship Him is meant by the words, "there was given Him dominion and glory and a kingdom, and His dominion is the dominion of an age, which shall not pass away"; and the church that is to be established by Him is meant by "the kingdom given to the people of the saints." This would come to pass when the church had become Babylon, that is, so devastated that there is no longer any good or truth remaining in it, because then is its end, that is, there is then no longer a church. This end is meant by the end of Babylon. Not that the idolatrous worship of such in the world will be destroyed and themselves with it, for this will remain, but not as the worship of any church, but as the worship of paganism; consequently such after death will come among pagans, and be no longer among Christians. But from those who have adored the Lord, and not the Pope or saints or graven images, a New Church will be gathered up by the Lord.
 The Babylonish idolatry is described in Daniel:
By the high statue which king Nebuchadnezzar set up and which he decreed all should fall down to and adore; and those who did not should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace (Daniel 3:1-7).
This idolatry is described also in the same:
By the statute that Darius the Mede decreed, that no one should ask any petition from any god or from any man, but from the king; and that whosoever should ask anything from god or from man within thirty days, should be cast into a den of lions (Daniel 6:7-9).
By this "Babel" or "Babylon" is depicted as to dominion over holy things, and the assumption of Divine authority; and the destruction of such is described by all who persuaded Darius to make that statute being cast into the den of lions and devoured.
 Babylon is described also in Daniel:
By Belshazzar the king, his nobles, his wives, and his concubines, drank wine out of the vessels of gold and silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had brought from the temple of Jerusalem, and at the same time they praised the gods of gold and silver, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, and then the writing on the wall appeared to him; after which the king was slain that same night (Daniel 5).
This represented and thus signified the profanation of the holy things of the church by those who are of Babylon, and who extend their dominion even unto heaven; for it is said:
Thou hast exalted thyself above the Lord of the heavens, when they brought the vessels of His house before thee (Daniel 5:23).
From these passages in Daniel it can be seen that "Babylon" or "Babel" means in the Word the love of dominion over the entire globe, likewise over heaven and over the Lord Himself, and that the church of the Lord successively becomes Babylon, and that as it becomes Babylon so it is devastated as to all the good of love and all the truth of faith; and that this is its end, that is, it is no longer a church; and when it is no longer a church it is reckoned among the idolatrous nations, except those in it who worship the Lord, regard the Word as holy, and admit instruction from it.
 "Babel" or "Babylon" is described also in Isaiah:
Jehovah will have compassion on Jacob, and will again choose Israel, that He may set them in their own land. It shall come to pass in the day that Jehovah shall give thee rest from thy sorrow that thou shalt declare this parable concerning the king of Babylon. How hath the exactor ceased, the lust of gold ceased. Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked, the rod of the rulers, therefore the whole earth is at rest and is quiet; they have broken forth into singing. Even the oaks rejoice on account of thee, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down no woodcutter hath come upon us. Hell beneath is moved for thee, to meet thee at thy coming; it hath stirred up Rephaim for thee, all the mighty of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall answer and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us? Thy magnificence is brought down into hell, the noise of thy psalteries; the worm is spread under thee, and the little worms cover thee. How hast thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the dawn. Thou hast been cut down to the earth, thou hast been weakened below the nations. And thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of heaven, and I will sit on the mount of assembly, on the sides of the north, I will ascend above the heights of the cloud, I will become like the Most High. Yet in truth thou hast been brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee consider thee. Is this the man that moveth the earth, that maketh kingdoms to tremble, that hath made the world a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof? Thou hast been cast out of thy sepulcher, like an abominable shoot, a garment of those that are slain, thrust through with the sword, that go down to the stones of the pit, like a carcass trodden under foot. Thou shalt not be joined with them in the sepulcher, for thou hast destroyed thy land, thou hast slain thy people; the seed of the wicked shall not be named forever. Prepare slaughter for his sons for the iniquity of their fathers, that they rise not up and possess the land, and fill the faces of the land with cities. For I will rise up against them, saith Jehovah of Hosts, and I will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, and son and son's son. I will make thee 1 a heritage for the bittern and pools of waters, and I will sweep her with the besom of destruction. And I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains will I trample him (Isaiah 14:1-25).
All this is said of Babylon, and not of any devil who was created an angel of light, and became a rebel and was cast into hell, and from his first state was called "Lucifer, son of the dawn. " That Babylon is here described is evident from the fourth and twenty-second verses of this chapter, where the king of Babylon and Babylon are mentioned, for it is said, "Thou shalt declare this parable concerning the king of Babylon," and afterwards, "I will cut off from Babylon name and remnant." It is to be known that a king has a like signification in the Word as his kingdom. Babylon is called "Lucifer, son of the dawn," because, as has been said above, Babylon in the beginning is the church that is in zeal for the Lord, for the good of love, and for the truths of faith, although inwardly in the zeal of its pastors lies hidden the fire of dominating by means of the holy things of the church over all whom they can subdue to themselves. This is why Babylon is called "Lucifer, son of the dawn. " For the same reason it is called:
King of kings, into whose hand all things are given (Daniel 2:37);
The head of the statue which was gold (Daniel 2:38);
A tree in the midst of the earth, great in height (Daniel 4:10, 22).
 Again, Babylon in its beginning is meant by:
The lion that had the wings of an eagle, and afterwards appeared like a man, and a man's heart was given to it (Daniel 7:4);
and is called:
The ornament of the kingdoms and the glory of the magnificence of the Chaldeans (Isaiah 13:19);
and is mentioned among:
Those that know Jehovah (Psalms 87:4).
Now as Babylon in its beginning signifies such a church, the king of Babylon is here called "Lucifer, son of the dawn," "Lucifer" because of the light of truth at that time, and "son of the dawn" because of the beginning of light or of day, for "dawn" means the church in its beginning. But this chapter describes this church as to its state even to the end, when it has become "Babylon the harlot," which is its state when there is no longer any good of love nor any truth of faith left. This state of it is what is meant by its destruction and condemnation to hell. Their destruction in the world means nothing else than that after death hell is for those who have arrogated to themselves the Divine authority, and have exercised it, and to that end have held the peoples of the earth in dense thick darkness or blindness, and in idolatrous worship; especially those who have led men away from the worship of the Lord.
 As these are the things described in this chapter I will explain briefly the passages quoted from it. "Jehovah will have compassion on Jacob, and will again choose Israel, that He may set him upon their own land," signifies a new church to be established by the Lord after the end of Babylon. "In that day thou shalt declare this parable concerning the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the exactor ceased, the lust for gold ceased," signifies deliverance from the spiritual captivity and servitude in which those were who were under its dominion. "Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked, the rod of those having dominion," signifies that they no longer have any power by means of truths from good, because they are in mere falsities from evil; such is their impotence in the spiritual world. "The whole earth is quiet; they have broken forth into singing, even the oaks rejoice on account of thee, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down no woodcutter hath come upon us," signifies that those who are in the knowledges of good and truth will no longer be infested by such, "earth" meaning a new church that will be at rest from them, "oaks" and "cedars of Lebanon" meaning the knowledges of good and truth in the external and the internal sense, "the woodcutter not coming upon them" meaning no more infestation. "Hell beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming; it has stirred up Rephaim for thee, all the mighty of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations," signifies the delight of revenge of those who are in hell. "All shall answer and say, Art thou also become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us? Thy magnificence is brought down into hell, the noise of thy psalteries," signifies such delight on this account that the church has become like them, and is likewise in the falsities of evil. "How hast thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning, thou hast been cut down to the earth, thou hast been weakened below the nations," signifies derision because of its having become such, although in the beginning it was in heaven, because in the good of love and in the truths of faith. This was said by those who are in hell, because to those in hell nothing is more delightful than to be able to draw one down from heaven and destroy him by falsities of evil. "And thou hast said in thine heart, I will exalt my throne above the stars of heaven, and I will sit on the mount of assembly, on the sides of the north, I will ascend above the heights of the cloud, I will become like the Most High," are also words of derision respecting their pride of dominion, that they spread out even to heaven, and arrogate to themselves the Divine authority, and thus subject all things of heaven and all things of the church to their will, to the end that they may be worshiped and adored as gods, "the mount of assembly on the sides of the north" being where there is ascent into the heavens, "over the stars and over the heights of the cloud" being over the Divine truth, "stars" being the knowledges of good and truth, and "heights of the cloud" the interior truths of the Word. "Yet in truth thou hast been brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit; they that see thee consider thee. Is this the man that moveth the earth, that maketh kingdoms to tremble, that hath made the world a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof?" is a continuation of the derision of those who are in hell, and also of their glorying that the church has been cast down from heaven, "the sides of the pit" being places in hell where there are mere falsities of evil, "the earth, the kingdoms, and the world," signifying the church, and "cities" doctrinals. "Thou hast been cast out of thy sepulcher like an abominable shoot, a garment of those that are slain, thrust through with the sword, that go down to the stones of the pit, like a carcass trodden under foot," signifies the state of their damnation, "a garment of those that are slain, thrust through with the sword, and a carcass trodden under foot," signifying the condemnation of the profanation of truth. "Thou shalt not be joined with them in the sepulcher, for thou hast destroyed thy land, thou hast slain thy people; the seed of the wicked shall not be named forever," signifies more grievous condemnation than that of the rest, because all things of the church have been extinguished. "Prepare slaughter for his sons for the iniquity of their fathers, that they rise not up and possess the land, and fill the faces of the land with cities," signifies their eternal destruction. "I will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, and son and son's son," signifies total destruction, because they have no longer anything of good or of truth. "I will make thee 1
a heritage for the bittern, and pools of waters, and I will sweep her with the besom of destruction," signifies infernal falsity through destruction of truth. "I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains will I trample him," signifies that in the New Church there shall spring up no reasonings from falsities against truths and goods. Furthermore, the things in this chapter may be seen more particularly explained in other parts of this work (as n. 208, 223, 304, 331, 386, 405, 539, 589, 594, 608, 659, 687, 697, 724, 727, 730, 741, 768, 811).
(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 208, 223, 304, The Apocalypse Explained 331, 386, 405, 539, The Apocalypse Explained 589, 594, 608, The Apocalypse Explained 659, 687, 697, 724, 727, 730, 741, 768, The Apocalypse Explained 811)
 In the same:
So shall Babylon, the ornament of kingdoms and the adornment of the magnificence of the Chaldeans, be as God's overthrowing Sodom and Gomorrah; it shall not be inhabited forever; it shall not be dwelt in even from generation to generation; that the Arabian may not abide there, and the shepherds shall not make to lie down; but the ziim shall lie down there, and their houses shall be full of ochim, and the daughters of the owl shall dwell there, and the satyrs shall dance there. And the ijim shall answer in her palaces and dragons in her palaces of delights. Her time is near to come, and her day shall not be prolonged (Isaiah 13:19-22).
This entire chapter treats of the total devastation of all things of good and all things of truth of the church, with those who are of Babylon. "So shall Babylon be" means in the sense of the letter the great city called Babylon; but in the spiritual sense it means the church that has become Babylon. Babylon is called "the ornament of kingdoms and the adornment of the magnificence of the Chaldeans," because of the wisdom of that church in its beginning, as has been said before; but in general "Babel" or "Babylon" means the church in which all the goods of love have been destroyed and finally profaned, and "Chaldea" the church in which all the truths of faith are destroyed and finally profaned; and this is why it is said "as God's overthrowing Sodom and Gomorrah," "Sodom" also signifying the destruction of all good by the love of self, and "Gomorrah" the destruction of all truth therefrom. "It shall not be inhabited forever, it shall not be dwelt in even from generation to generation," signifies its destruction to eternity, "not to be inhabited forever" relating to the destruction of good, and "not to be dwelt in from generation to generation" relating to the destruction of truth; for those who destroy good and truth and afterwards embrace in place of these evil and falsity cannot be reformed. It is otherwise with those who are in evils and falsities but have not destroyed good and truth, as are the Gentiles that have no knowledge of good and truth. "The Arabian shall not abide there, and the shepherds shall not make to lie down," signifies that the church will become such a desert, "the Arabian" meaning one who lives in a desert, but does not abide there, because there is no corn or fruit; and it is the same with the flocks of shepherds when there is no pasture. "The ijim 2 shall lie down there, and the houses shall be full of ochim," signifies the infernal falsities and evils pertaining to them, "ijim" meaning infernal falsities, and "ochim" infernal evils, and "house" the mind of those who are such. "The daughters of the owl shall lie down there, and the satyrs shall dance there," signifies that falsified truths and adulterated goods shall be there, "daughters of the owl" meaning falsified truths, and "satyrs" adulterated goods, and "to dance" meaning the joy from filthy love which has adulterated the good of love. "The ijim shall answer in her palaces, and dragons in the palaces of delights," signifies these adulterated and falsified things in their doctrines.
 Babylon is likewise described in other passages in the prophets. As in Jeremiah:
O sword against Babylon, a sword against her treasures, that they may be spoiled; a drought upon her waters, that they may be dried up; for it is a land of graven images, and they glory in horrible things; therefore the ziim with the ijim shall dwell there, and the daughters of the owl shall dwell therein; she shall not sit anymore forever, nor shall she be inhabited even from generation to generation; according to God's overthrowing Sodom and Gomorrah, and its neighboring cities, not a man shall dwell there, neither shall a son of man tarry therein (Jeremiah 50:35, 37-40).
In the same:
Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver a man his soul, lest ye be cut off for her iniquity. Babylon is a cup of gold in the hand of Jehovah, making the whole earth drunken; the nations have drunk of her wine, therefore the nations are mad. Babylon is fallen suddenly, and is broken in pieces. Behold I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith Jehovah, destroying the whole earth. And I will stretch out my hand against thee, to roll thee down from the rocks, and to make thee a mountain of burning. And they shall not take from thee a stone for a corner. Babylon shall become heaps, a habitation of dragons, an astonishment and a hissing, without inhabitant (Jeremiah 51:6-8, 25, 26, 37).
Hear now, O Babylon, sitting securely, saying in her heart, I and none like me besides; I shall not sit a widow, neither shall I know bereavement. But these two things shall come to thee in a moment, in one day, bereavement and widowhood. They shall come upon thee fully because of the multitude of thy sorceries and the great abundance of thine enchantments. For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness, saying, No one seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge hath seduced thee, when thou hast said in thy heart, I and none like me besides. Therefore evil shall come upon thee which thou knowest not how to ward off, and calamity shall fall upon thee which thou shall not be able to expiate; and devastation shall come upon thee suddenly which thou knewest not (Isaiah 47:8-11).
Thus the destruction of Babylon is described not only here, but also in the whole of chapter 47 of Isaiah; also in the whole of chapters 50 and 51 of Jeremiah; also in Isaiah 21:8, 9; and in David (Psalms 137:1, 8, 9). Again, the adulteration of good and the falsification of truth by the Jews is described by their whoredoms in Egypt, and afterwards with the daughters of Assyria, and finally with the daughters of Babylon and with the Chaldeans (Ezekiel 16:1-63, 23:1-49). "Whoredom in Egypt" means falsification of truth from the natural man, which is effected by fallacies, appearances, and knowledges. Their whoredom with the daughters of Assyria signifies falsification of truth from the rational man, which is effected by reasonings and sophistries from fallacies, appearances, and knowledges. Their whoredom with the daughters of Babylon and with the Chaldeans signifies the adulteration of good and the profanation of truth.
 When, therefore, the sons of Israel wholly departed from the statutes which were representative of the spiritual things of the church, through which they had communication with heaven, they were all given into the hands of the king of Assyria; for there was no longer with them any representative church and consequently no communication with heaven. Respecting their offenses and their being carried away by the king of Assyria into his cities, and also into Babylon, see 2 Kings 17 to the end. The same thing happened to the Jews. When they had adulterated and profaned all the statutes, judgments, and laws that represented good and truth of faith, to the extent that there was no longer anything of good and truth left, and when their church thus became Babylon, then not only their kings and princes and the whole people, but also all the treasures of the house of Jehovah, and afterwards all its golden vessels, were given into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon; and moreover the temple itself was burned (respecting this see 2 Kings 24:1-20; 25:1-26; also Isaiah 20:17, 18 [Editor's note: This reference is not correct]; Isaiah 39:6, 7; ; Jeremiah 20:4, 5; 21:4-10; 25:1-12; 27:6-22; 28:1-16; 29:1-21; 32:1-5; 34:1-7, 18-22; 35:11; 38:17-23; 39:2-18; 41:1-12; 52 end). Their transgressions were:
That they filled Jerusalem with innocent blood (2 Kings 24:4);
That they offered incense unto Baal, poured out drink-offerings unto other gods, set abominations in the house of Jehovah, built high places to Baal in the valley of Hinnom, delivered up their sons and daughters to Molech (Jeremiah 32:29-35).
All these signify the profanation of the holy things of the church. Such profanation is signified also by "Babylon. " That the land, therefore, which signified the church might no longer be profaned by them, and also that Babylon might thus fully put on its representation, it was said to them by Jeremiah that they should surrender themselves voluntarily into the hands of the king of Babylon, and those who did not surrender themselves, but remained in the land, should die by the sword, famine, and pestilence (Jeremiah 25:1-11).
 But since the Lord was to be born in that nation and make Himself manifest where the church then was and where His Word was, so that nation after a captivity of seventy years was brought back from Babylon, and the temple was rebuilt. And yet no other church remained with them except a church like that called Babylon, as can be seen from many things which the Lord Himself said about that nation, and from the way they received Him; and for this reason Jerusalem was again destroyed, and the temple burnt with fire.
 It is to be known in general that every church in its beginning is like a virgin, but in process of time it becomes a harlot. For it enters gradually into a life of evil and thus embraces a doctrine of falsity, as gradually it begins to love self and the world; and then from being a church it becomes either Babylon or Philistia, Babylon with those who love self above all things, and Philistia with those who love the world above all things. For as these two loves increase, the men of the church adulterate and falsify the goods and truths of the Word, which is from being a virgin to become a harlot.
 The first church after the flood would have become Babylon, if the Lord by the dispersion of their religion had not prevented the attempt, represented and signified by the tower that was to reach even to heaven, which the posterity of Noah began to build (see respecting this in Genesis 11:1-9, and an explanation of the particulars in Arcana Coelestia 1283-1328). It having thus been shown from the Word what is signified in general and in particular by "Babylon," we are now prepared to pass on to the explanation of those things which are foretold in this and the following chapter about Babylon and its destruction.