9141. 'And causing devastation in another's field' means consuming interconnected forms of good. This is clear from the meaning of 'devastating' as a stripping away, thus a consuming, by evil desires, dealt with below; and from the meaning of 'in another's field' as interconnected forms of good. 'Field' means the Church, and the crop in the field means forms of good, 9139, so that the crop 'in another's field' means forms of good which are adjacent and interconnected with one another. For the forms of good present with a person are like generations on earth, and therefore stand at different distances from one another and vary in their interconnections, 9079. Those that are not in the same household or together in the same family, but are nevertheless related, are what 'being in another's field' is used to mean.
 The reason why 'devastating' means a stripping away, and so a consuming, by evil desires is that the proper meaning of the actual word used in the original language to denote 'devastating' is setting alight and burning, and so also feeding on and consuming. And since this is what the word is derived from, 'causing devastation' here means consuming, which is done by evil desires; for evil desires in a person are consuming fires. There is present in everyone the fire of life and the light of life; the fire of life is his love, and the light of life is his belief. The love of good, that is, love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour, compose the fire of life in a good person and in an angel of heaven, and the love of truth and belief in truth compose the light of life in them. But the love of evil, that is, self-love and love of the world, compose the fire of life in a bad person and in a spirit in hell, and the love of falsity and belief in falsity compose the inferior light of life in them. In the Word however the love of evil is called a burning fire, because it burns up and consumes those things that are forms of the love of good and truth. For this meaning of a burning fire, see 1297, 1861, 5215, 9055.
 The fact that a consuming by evil desires is meant by the actual word used in the original language is evident from the following places: In Isaiah,
Jehovah will enter into judgement with the elders of His people and with their princes. You have consumed (set alight) the vineyard. Isaiah 3:14.
In the same prophet,
The breath of Jehovah like a river of brimstone consumes it (sets it on fire). Isaiah 30:33.
'A river of brimstone' means falsities streaming from the evils of self-love and love of the world, 2446.
 In Ezekiel,
The inhabitants of the cities of Israel will go out, and they will set alight and burn the weapons, both shield and buckler, together with bow and arrows, and hand-staff, and spear; they will set fire to them for seven years, that they may not bring wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests. Ezekiel 39:9-10.
This serves to describe the consumption and devastation of good and truth by evil desires. But is anyone going to recognize this unless he knows what is meant by the inhabitants of the cities of Israel, also what is meant by weapons, shield, buckler, bow and arrows, by hand-staff and spear, by seven years, and by wood from the field and from the forests? 'The inhabitants' are forms of good, see 2268, 2451, 2712; 'the cities' are truths, and therefore matters of doctrine drawn from the Word, 2268, 2449, 2943, 3216, 4492; and 'Israel' is the Church, 4286, 6426, 6637. Therefore 'the inhabitants of the cities of Israel' are forms of good that belong to matters of doctrine taught by the Church, and in the contrary sense these things when they have been turned into evils and falsities. 'Shield', 'buckler', and 'the bow's arrows' are truths belonging to religious teachings drawn from the Word, which serve to protect against falsities arising from evil, 2686, 2709, 6422. 'Hand-staff' is the power of truth derived from good, 4876, 7026; 1 and 'spear' in like manner means power, though that which is more internal. 'Seven years' is a complete state, thus to completeness, 6508, 8976, so that 'setting fire to for seven years' is a complete consumption by evil desires. 'Wood from the field' is the Church's more internal forms of good, 3720, 8354, 'the field' being the Church, 2971, 3766, 7502, 7571; and 'wood from the forests' is more external forms of good, 3220, 9011 (end). When aware of all this a person can then know that these words spoken by the prophet describe the consuming of all things of the Church by evil desires, until none at all of the internal or of the external Church's good or truth is left, meant by 'they will set fire to them for seven years, that they may not bring wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests'.
 A further use of the same word to describe the consumption of the Church's good and truth occurs in Malachi,
Behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, in which all who are sinning insolently, and everyone who performs wickedness, will be stubble; and the day that is coming will consume (set fire to) them, said Jehovah Zebaoth, who will leave them neither root nor branch. Malachi 4:1.
'The day that is coming' is the final period of the Church, when self-love and love of the world are going to reign and to consume all the Church's truths and forms of good, until none at all is left in a person inwardly or outwardly. These things are meant by the statement that 'He will leave them neither root nor branch'; 'the root' of good and truth exists in a person inwardly, and 'the branch' in him outwardly. From all this it is now evident that 'devastating' means a consuming by evil desires, in the same way as it does elsewhere in the Word.
1. The Latin words rendered hand-staff mean literally rod of the hand.
(Odkazy: Exodus 22:5)