10643. 'And break their pillars' means that falsities of evil are to be done away with. This is clear from the meaning of 'pillars' as representative signs of worship of the Lord which springs from truths, dealt with in 4580, 4582, 9388, 9389, and in the contrary sense as representative signs of idolatrous worship arising from falsities, 3727. The reason why pillars were signs representative of worship was that among the ancients it was customary to set up pillars, anoint them with oil, and in so doing make them holy objects. The ancients performed their worship chiefly on mountains, on hills, and in groves, where they set the pillars up. The reason why they set them up on mountains was that mountains served to mean the heaven where celestial love, which is love to the Lord, reigns; the reason why they set them up on hills was that hills served to mean the heaven where spiritual love, which is love towards the neighbour, reigns; and the reason why they set them up in groves was that groves served to mean heavenly wisdom and intelligence. All these had their origin in correspondences. The pillars which were set up in those places served as signs of Divine Truth; for the pillars were pieces of stone, and 'stone' means truth. And therefore in the Word the Lord in respect of Divine Truth is called the Stone of Israel. These then are the reasons why pillars were signs of worship of the Lord springing from truths.
 But when the representative signs of the Church which existed among the ancients began to be converted partly into what was idolatrous and partly into that which was magical, those signs were brought to an end, especially among the Israelite nation, which was idolatrous at heart. This is why idolatrous worship arising from falsities is also meant by 'pillars'. So it is with all worship when people become interested only in what is external, as happens when they regard self and the world as the end, and Divine things of the Church as the means. For then in the case of those who still engage in acts of worship, everything belonging to worship is turned into an idol, because outward forms without their inner realities are being worshipped. Consequently the truths contained in worship and religious teachings are turned into falsities; for they are falsified by the selfish and worldly thoughts entering into them, to which very many other notions become attached that take what is God's from those truths and assign them to self and the world. All this may also be recognized in the altars of the gentile nations; although they offered sacrifices on them in a similar way to the Israelite nation, those sacrifices were nevertheless abominations.
 The customary existence of pillars among the ancients, serving to mean the holiness of worship, is clear from the pillar erected by Jacob, described in Genesis as follows,
And Jacob took the stone which he had placed as his headrest, and placed it as a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. And he said, If I come back in peace to my father's house, this stone which I have placed as a pillar will be God's house. Genesis 28:18, 21-22.
The same thing is clear from the twelve pillars set up by Moses at the foot of Mount Sinai, spoken of as follows in Exodus and dealt with in 9389,
Moses wrote all Jehovah's words. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of 1
the mountain, and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. Exodus 24:4.
Also in Isaiah,
On that day there will be an altar to Jehovah in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to Jehovah at its border. Isaiah 19:19.
And in Hosea,
The children of Israel will sit many days with no king, and no prince, and no sacrifice, and no pillar. Hosea 3:4.
In these places worship springing from truths is meant by 'pillars', because stone was a sign of Divine Truth, as stated above; and a pillar anointed with oil was a sign of Divine Truth emanating from Divine Good.
 But when those representative objects began to be worshipped in an idolatrous manner, the command came for them to be overthrown and broken, as in the present verse and also in Exodus 23:24; Deuteronomy 7:5; 12:3. And since the Israelite nation was idolatrous at heart, to prevent them from setting up pillars on mountains and hills, or in groves, and worshipping them in an idolatrous manner, they were forbidden to set up pillars or to plant groves, even though for the ancients such things had been holy objects belonging to worship. The fact that this nation was forbidden to do so is clear in Moses,
You shall not plant for yourself a grove of any kind of tree beside the altar of your God which you shall make for yourself. And you shall not erect for yourself a pillar, which Jehovah your God indeed hates. Deuteronomy 16:21-22.
And the fact that they were forbidden to do so because they worshipped those objects in an idolatrous manner is clear in the first Book of Kings,
did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah; they built for themselves high places and pillars on every high hill, and under every green tree. 1 Kings 14:22-23.
The like is said about the children of Israel 3
, in 2 Kings 17:10. In Micah,
I will cut down your carved images and your pillars from the midst of you, and you will adore no more the work of your hands. And I will uproot your groves from the midst of you. Micah 5:13-14.
You inflamed yourselves among the gods under every green tree. Isaiah 57:5.
And in Ezekiel,
By means of the hoofs of his horses Nebuchadnezzar will trample all your streets, slay the people with the sword, and cause your mighty pillars 4
to come down to the ground. Ezekiel 26:11.
The same thing may in addition be seen in other places, which likewise show what is meant in the internal sense by 'pillars'.