780. Verse 2. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, signifies reasonings that are discordant, and yet appear as if they cohere. This is evident from the signification of "a beast coming up out of the sea," which is here treated of, as being reasonings from the natural man confirming the separation of faith from life (see above, n. 774, so here it means such reasonings; also from the signification of a "leopard," as being reasonings that are discordant and yet appear as if true. Such is the signification of a "leopard" because the skin of the leopard is marked and variegated with spots, from which variegation it appears not unbeautiful; also because it is a fierce and insidious animal, and swifter than the others in seizing its prey; and because those are of like character who are versed in reasoning adroitly in confirming the dogma of the separation of faith from good works by reasonings from the natural man, and because this dogma, although it is inconsistent with truths, is made to appear as if it cohered with truths, therefore that beast appeared as to its body like a leopard.
 As this is the signification of the "leopard," I will first illustrate by some examples how those who separate faith from its life, which is good works, make things that are discordant to appear by their reasonings to be coherent. In many passages of the Word heresies are represented by "idols" which the workman forms by various means until he makes them appear in the figure of a man, and yet no life can be imparted to them so that they may see, hear, move the hands and feet, and speak. This I have also seen done in the spiritual world by some who had separated faith from good works; and this work continued for many hours; and when the idol had been made it appeared the sight of many like an image of a man, but before the eyes of angels like a monster. Moreover, they wished to impart to it something of life by means of their arts; but this they were unable to do.
 Such things take place in the spiritual world, because all things that are seen in that world are representative of spiritual things, which are presented in such forms as exist in this world; consequently beasts of the earth of every kind and birds of heaven are seen there; also houses and apartments in them, with various decorations, likewise gardens and paradises full of trees bearing fruits and flowers, also tables are seen and eatables of every kind upon them, with innumerable other things, which, however, are all from a spiritual origin, and are therefore representative of spiritual things. For the same reason some there form various things by means of which spiritual things are presented in effigy. This is why they also desired to exhibit faith separated from good works under the image of a man in order to persuade the simple by that appearance that that heretical dogma is Divine truth. For every truth from the Lord is in its form a man; therefore the angels, as they are recipients of Divine truth from the Lord, are human forms, yea, whatever is with an angel from Divine truth has such a form. (That this is so can be seen from many things in the work on Heaven and Hell, especially in n. 460.) That "idols" signify in the Word false doctrinals from self-intelligence that appear as truths, can be seen above n. 587. This has been said to make known that upon all heresies, and especially upon this universal one of the separation of faith from good works, an appearance can be induced by reasonings as if they were from truths and not from falsities.
(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 587)
 But this shall be illustrated by an example. Who may not be brought to believe that faith alone is the only means of salvation, since man is unable to do good of himself which is good in itself? For this appears to everyone at first sight as a consequence, and thus to agree with truth; and it is not then recognized to be a reasoning from the natural man confirming the separation of faith from good works; and when a man has been persuaded by this reasoning he thinks that there is no need to attend to his life, because he has faith. But he who is in this persuasion is not aware that to do good from the Word, that is, because it is commanded in the Word, is to do good from the Lord, and that thus a man may do good from himself, and yet may believe that it is from the Lord. But about this more will be said in what follows. From this much it can be seen how the appearance can easily be induced by reasonings that this falsity which universally prevails in the Christian Church is in agreement with this truth, that every good that is good in itself is from the Lord, and not at all from man, from which it is inferred that a man can cease doing good and yet be saved; when in fact, this is altogether in disagreement with the truth.
 That such is the signification of the "leopard" can be seen from the following passages. In Jeremiah:
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then can ye also do good who have been taught to do evil (Jeremiah 13:23).
"Can the Ethiopian change his skin" signifies that evil cannot change its nature, for "the Ethiopian" because he is wholly black, is evil in its form, and the skin, because it is the outermost part of man, and corresponds to his sensual, means his nature. "Or the leopard his spots" signifies that neither can the falsity of evil change, "leopard" here meaning the falsity from evil, since it means truth falsified by reasonings; and "spots" mean things falsified. As both of these are against good it is said, "Then may ye also do good who have been taught to do evil." It is said that both are against good, namely, evil and the falsity of evil, because evil of the will and falsity of the understanding therefrom are meant. Evil of the will is evil from one's nature, and falsity of the understanding becomes evil by act; for the will acts and does evil by means of the understanding.
 In Isaiah:
Righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and truth the girdle of His hips; therefore the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard with the kid, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little boy shall lead them (Isaiah 11:5, 6).
This is said of the Lord and of His kingdom, and of the state of innocence and peace therein. That this is said of the Lord is evident from the first verse of this chapter, where it is said that "there shall go forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a shoot out of his roots shall bear fruit." "Righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and truth the girdle of His hips," signifies that the Divine good proceeding from the Lord's Divine love shall conjoin those in heaven and in the church who are in love to Him; and that the Divine truth proceeding from Him shall conjoin those in heaven and in the church who are in love towards the neighbor. "Righteousness" when predicated of the Lord means the Divine good, and "His loins" means those who are in love to Him; "truth" means the Divine truth; "His hips" mean those who are in love towards the neighbor; and "girdle" signifies the conjunction with these in heaven and in the church. "Therefore shall dwell" signifies the state of peace which exists when nothing of evil from hell is feared, because it can do no harm; "the wolf with the lamb and the leopard with the kid" signifies that no evil or falsity shall harm those who are in innocence and in charity from the Lord; a "wolf" signifying the evil that is the opposite of innocence, and that endeavors to destroy it, a "leopard" meaning the falsity that is the opposite of charity and that endeavors by reasonings in favor of faith to destroy charity; "a lamb" signifying innocence, and a "kid" charity. "The calf also and the young lion and the fatling together" signifies that infernal falsity shall not harm the innocence of the natural man, or any affection for good of the natural man; a "calf" signifying the innocence of the natural man, a "fatling or ox" the affection of the natural man, and a "lion" infernal falsity in respect to its power and eagerness to destroy Divine truth. "And a little boy shall lead them" signifies the state of innocence and love to the Lord in which they will be; "boy" signifying innocence together with love to the Lord, for love to the Lord makes one with innocence; because those who are in that love are also in innocence, as those are who are in the third heaven, and who consequently appear to the eyes of others like infants and boys.
(Odkazy: Isaiah 11:5-6)
 In Jeremiah:
A lion out of the forest hath smitten the great men of Jerusalem; the wolf of the plains shall devastate them; the leopard is watching against their cities; everyone that shall go out shall be torn in pieces, because their prevarications have been multiplied, their backslidings have become strong (Jeremiah 5:6).
This is said of the falsification of truth in the church. "The great men of Jerusalem" mean those who excel others in teaching truths and goods; and "Jerusalem" means the church in respect to doctrine. "A lion out of the forest" that smote the great men, signifies the dominion of infernal falsity; the "wolf" that shall devastate them signifies the dominion of evil therefrom; both of these, the falsity and the evil, destroying the truths and goods of the church. "The leopard watching against the cities" signifies reasonings from the falsities of evil against the truths of doctrine, "cities" signifying doctrinals, thus the truths of doctrine. "Everyone that shall go out shall be torn in pieces" signifies that everyone who recedes from the truths of doctrine shall be destroyed by falsities. The "prevarications" that have been multiplied signify the falsifications of truth; the "backslidings" that have become strong signify the adulterations of good. That the falsifications of truth and the adulterations of good are signified by "prevarications" and "backslidings" is evident from the following verse, where it is said that "they committed adultery, and entered in crowds the house of the harlot," which signifies these falsifications and alterations.
 In Habakkuk:
Whose horses are lighter than eagles 1 and more fierce than the wolves of the evening, so that her horsemen spread themselves (Habakkuk 1:8).
This is said of the devastation of the church by the adulteration of truth, which is signified by the Chaldean nation, of which these things are spoken. "Whose horses are lighter than leopards" signifies the eagerness to seduce by reasonings, and a consequent expertness in seducing; such eagerness and expertness are signified by their "lightness" or "swiftness;" "horses" here signifying reasonings from the natural man. And as "horses" and "leopards" have a like signification it is said, "whose horses are lighter than leopards." "More fierce than the wolves of the evening" signifies craftiness in deceiving by fallacies; the fallacies of the senses are here signified by "the wolves of the evening" because the fallacies are from the sensual man, which in darkness sees falsities as truths. "So that her horsemen spread themselves" signifies that the truths of the Word by adulteration become heresies; "horsemen" signify heresies because "horses" mean reasonings by which falsities are confirmed.
 In Daniel:
The third beast coming up out of the sea was like a leopard, which had four wings like birds' wings upon its back (Daniel 7:6).
The successive devastation of the church is here depicted by "the four beasts coming up out of the sea," and this third beast, which was "like a leopard," has a similar signification as the leopard here treated of in Revelation, namely, reasonings that are discordant and yet appear as if coherent; "which had four wings like birds' wings upon its back" signifies appearing like the understanding of good and truth from the application thereto of the sense of the letter of the Word.
 In Hosea:
I knew thee in the wilderness, in the land of droughts; when they had pasture they were satiated; when they were satiated their heart was elated; therefore they have forgotten Me, therefore am I become to them as a lion, as a leopard will I watch over the way (Hosea 13:5-7).
"I knew thee in the wilderness, in the land of droughts," signifies a state without good and without truths; "wilderness" meaning a state without good, and "land of droughts" a state without truths; "when they had pasture they were satiated" signifies when goods and truths were given them, that is, when they were instructed respecting them from the Word, even to the full nourishment of the soul; "when they were satiated their heart was elated" signifies when by reason of such fullness they exalted themselves above all others, believing that for that reason heaven was for them alone and for no others. "Therefore they have forgotten Me" signifies that pride has obliterated goods and truths, and thus their desire and with it their heart has receded from the Lord. "Therefore am I become to them as a lion" signifies the consequent devastation of every truth of the church; "and as a leopard will I watch over the way" signifies the falsification of truth by reasonings from the natural man; a "leopard" signifying falsification by reasonings; "the way" truth leading to good, and "to watch" the intention to pervert. This is said of the Lord in the sense of the letter of the Word, from the appearance of truth, in which nevertheless lies hidden the genuine truth (which is the spiritual sense of the Word) that it is not the Lord that as a lion devastates the church, or that as a leopard falsifies truths by reasonings, but it is the man himself that does this when his heart is lifted up. From this it is clear what is signified in the Word by a "leopard."
1. Photolithograph has eagles, the Hebrew has leopards. In the explanation Swedenborg translates it leopards.