35. 28 shows that the Old Testament prophets represented the Lord in respect to the Word and therefore meant the teaching of the church drawn from the Word, and that because of this they were addressed as “children of humanity.” It follows from this that by the various things they suffered and endured they represented the violence done to the literal meaning of the Word by Jews. Isaiah, for example, took the sackcloth off his waist and the sandals off his feet and went naked and barefoot for three years (Isaiah 20:2-3). Similarly, Ezekiel the prophet took a barber’s razor to his head and his beard, burned a third of the hair in the middle of the city, struck a third with a sword, and scattered a third to the wind; also, he bound a few hairs in his hems and eventually threw a few into the midst of a fire and burned them (Ezekiel 5:1-4).
Since the prophets represented the Word and therefore meant the teaching of the church drawn from the Word (as just noted), and since the head means wisdom from the Word, the hair and the beard mean the outermost form of truth. It is because of this meaning that inflicting baldness on yourself was a sign of immense grief and being discovered to be bald was an immense disgrace. This and this alone is why the prophet shaved off his hair and his beard - to represent the state of the Jewish church in regard to the Word. This and this alone is why two she-bears tore apart forty-two boys who called Elisha bald (2 Kings 2:23-25)-because as just noted the prophet represented the Word, and his baldness signified the Word without an outermost meaning.
We shall see in §49 below that the Nazirites represented the Lord’s Word in its outermost forms, which is why they were commanded to let their hair grow and not to shave any of it. In Hebrew, “Nazirite” actually means “hair.” It was commanded also that the high priest was not to shave his head (Leviticus 21:10) and that the fathers of their families as well were not to do so (Leviticus 21:5).
That is why they regarded baldness as such an immense disgrace, as we can tell from the following passages:
There will be baldness upon all heads, and every beard will be cut off. (Isaiah 15:2; Jeremiah 48:37)
There will be shame upon all faces and baldness on all heads. (Ezekiel 7:18)
Every head was made bald and every shoulder hairless. (Ezekiel 29:18)
I will put sackcloth around all waists and baldness upon every head. (Amos 8:10)
Make yourself bald and cut off your hair because of your precious children; make yourself still more bald, because they have left you and gone into exile. (Micah 1:16)
Here making yourself bald and making yourself still more bald means distorting truths of the Word in its outermost forms. Once they have been distorted, as was done by Jews, the whole Word is ruined, because the outermost forms of the Word are what it rests on and what holds it up. In fact, every word in it is a base and support for the Word’s heavenly and spiritual truths.
Since a head of hair means truth in its outermost forms, in the spiritual world everyone who trivializes the Word and distorts its literal meaning looks bald; but those who respect and love it have good-looking hair. On this, see §49 below.
(Verweise: Teachings about the Lord 28)
148. "'He shall rule them with a rod of iron.'" (2:27) This symbolically means, by truths drawn from the literal sense of the Word and at the same time by rational considerations from a natural sight.
A rod or staff of iron has this symbolic meaning because a rod or staff in the Word symbolizes power, and iron symbolizes natural truth, consequently the natural sense of the Word, and at the same time a person's natural sight. It is in these two that the power of truth resides.
To be shown that Divine truth exists in its power in the Word's natural meaning, which is its literal sense, see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture, nos. 37-49 the reason being that the sense of the letter is the foundation, containing vessel, and buttress of its spiritual sense, nos. 27-36. And to be shown that all power resides in final elements, called natural, see Angelic Wisdom Regarding Divine Love and Wisdom, nos. 205-221. Consequently it resides in the natural sense of the Word's letter, and in a person's natural sight. These, then, are the rod of iron with which he who overcomes will rule the nations, that is to say, with which he will overcome the evils that come from hell.
A rod of iron has similar symbolic meanings in the following passages:
You shall crush (the nations) with a rod of iron; You shall shatter them like a potter's vessel. (Psalms 2:9)
(The woman) bore a male Child who would rule all nations with a rod of iron. (Revelation 12:5)
Out of the mouth (of Him who sat on the white horse) went a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. (Revelation 19:15)
(Jehovah) shall strike (the wicked) with the rod of His mouth. (Isaiah 11:4)