727. A rod and staff signify power, and indeed the power of Divine Truth, chiefly for the reason that they were branches or boughs of trees, and these signify the knowledges of truth and good, which are the truths of the natural man; and as they were used to support the body, they signified power. This is yet more true with a rod of iron, because iron also signifies the truth of the natural man, and because of its hardness it signifies power that cannot be resisted. That rods and staves signify the power of Divine Truth is from correspondence. It is from this fact that the use of staffs, in the spiritual world - where all things that appear are correspondences - is representative of the power of those [who use them]; similarly in the Jewish church, which, like the ancient churches, was a representative church. This is why Moses wrought miracles and signs in Egypt, and afterwards in the wilderness, by stretching forth his staff. For instance, the waters smitten by the staff were turned into blood (Exod. vii. 1-21). Frogs came up from the rivers and pools, over which the staff was stretched forth (Exod. viii. 1, and following verses). From the dust smitten with the staff there came forth lice (Exod. viii. 12, and following verses). When the staff was stretched out towards heaven there came thunders and hail (Exod. ix. 23). Locusts came forth (Exod. x. 12, and following verses). The sea Suph (Red Sea), when the staff was stretched over it, was divided and afterwards returned (Exod. xiv. 16, 21, 26). From the rock in Horeb, smitten with the staff, waters came forth (Exod. xvii. 5, and following verses; Numb. xx. 7-13). Joshua prevailed against Amalek when Moses lifted up his hand with the staff, and Amalek prevailed when Moses let it down (Exod. xvii. 9-12); also, fire went out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes which Gideon offered, when the angel of Jehovah touched them with the end of his staff (Judg. vi. 21). These miracles were wrought by the stretching out of the staff, because the staff signified, from correspondence, the power of the Lord by means of Divine Truth; this power was treated of in the preceding article.
Exodus 7:1-21, 8:1, 8:1-7, Exodus 8:12, Exodus 8:16-17, Exodus 9:23, 10:12-15, 10:12, 14:16, 14:21, 14:26-27, 14:26, 17:5-7, 17:5, 17:9-12, 17:9-11; Judges 6:21; Numbers 20:7-13; Revelation 12:5)
 That Divine Truth as to power is also signified in other parts of the Word by rods and staves, is evident from the following passages.
"Yea, when I shall walk in the shady valley I will fear no evil, thy rod and thy staff shall comfort me; thou wilt set before me a table in the presence of mine enemies; and thou wilt make fat my head with oil, my cup shall run over" (Psalm xxiii. 4, 5).
To walk in a shady valley, signifies, in the spiritual sense, an obscure understanding, which does not see truths in their light, Thy rod and thy staff shall comfort me, signifies that spiritual Divine Truth, together with natural Divine Truth, shall protect, because these have power, rod denoting spiritual Divine Truth, staff natural Divine Truth, the two together meaning these as to the power of protecting; for to comfort means to protect. As rod and staff signify Divine truth as to power, these words follow: "Thou wilt set before me a table, thou wilt make fat my head with oil, my cup shall run over," this signifies spiritual nourishment through Divine Truth; for to set a table signifies to be spiritually nourished, to make fat the head with oil signifies through the good of love, while the cup signifies truth of doctrine from the Word, the cup being used here for wine.
 In Ezekiel:
"Thy mother was like a vine planted near the waters, whence she had rods of strength for sceptres of them that rule; but she lifted herself up in her stature among the interwoven boughs, therefore she was overturned in anger, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind withered up her fruit; the rods of her strength were broken off and dried up, the fire consumed them all. Now she is planted in the wilderness, in a land of drought and thirst; a fire hath gone out from the rod of her branches, and hath consumed her fruit, so that there is not in her a rod of strength, a sceptre of them that rule" (xix. 10-14).
This describes the desolation of all truth in the Jewish church; the princes, against whom the lamentation is taken up, signify truths, and the mother who became a lioness signifies the church; about these the above is said. Thy mother was like a vine planted near the waters, signifies that the spiritual church, from its establishment, had been instructed in truths, mother denoting the church in general, a vine the spiritual church, in particular, waters truths, while to be planted denotes to be established. Whence she had rods of strength for sceptres of them that rule, signifies that the church had Divine Truth in its power, and thus dominion over the falsities of evil which are from hell, rods of strength denoting Divine Truth as to power, and sceptres Divine Truth as to dominion; for the sceptres of kings were short staves, from a significative tree, here, from the vine. But she lifted herself up in her stature among the thick boughs, signifies the pride of [their] own intelligence from the knowledges (scientifica) of the natural man; such pride is signified by She lifted herself up in her stature, and the knowledges of the natural man are signified by the interwoven boughs. She was overturned in anger, thrown to the ground, signifies its destruction by falsities of evils; the east wind withered her fruit, signifies the destruction of its good, the east wind signifying destruction, and fruit good; that good remaining from the Word with those who are in falsities of evil is meant; and its destruction is signified by the drying up of the fruit by an east wind. The rods of her strength were broken off and dried up, signifies that all Divine Truth was dissipated, consequently that the church had no power against the hells. The fire hath consumed them all, signifies pride from the love of self, which destroyed. Now she is planted in the wilderness, in a land of drought and thirst, signifies desolation, until there is no good of truth or truth of good left. A fire hath gone out from the rod of her branches, signifies pride in every particular of it; it hath consumed her fruit, signifies the consumption of good; so that there is not in her a rod of strength, a sceptre of them that rule, signifies the desolation of Divine Truth as to power and as to dominion, as above.
 In Jeremiah:
"Say ye, How is the staff of strength broken, the staff of beauty; come down from thy glory and sit in thirst, O thou daughter that dwellest in Dibon; for the spoiler of Moab hath come up against thee, and hath destroyed thy strongholds" (xlvii. 17, 18).
The daughter of Dibon signifies the external of the church, and thus the external of the Word, which is the sense of its letter, and the spoiler of Moab signifies its adulteration. This makes it clear what is signified by The staff of strength is broken, the staff of beauty - namely, that they no longer possessed Divine Truth in its power, which, as it is in the natural sense of the Word, is signified by the staff of strength, and in the spiritual sense by the staff of beauty, Come down from thy glory, and sit in thirst, O thou daughter that dwellest in Dibon, signifies the deprivation and want of Divine Truth; to come down from glory denoting the deprivation thereof, glory meaning Divine Truth in light, and thirst the want of it; for the spoiler of Moab hath come up against thee, signifies the adulteration of the Word as to its literal sense; and hath destroyed thy strongholds, signifies the taking away of defence, a stronghold denoting defence against falsities and evils; the literal sense of the Word is that defence.
 In David:
"Jehovah shall send the staff of thy strength out of Zion" (Psalm cx. 2).
The staff of strength here also signifies Divine Truth in its power, and Zion the church which is in love to the Lord, and is therefore called a celestial church.
 In Micah:
"Tend (pasce) thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine inheritance; they shall feed in Bashan and Gilead according to the days of an age" (vii. 14).
Tend thy people with thy rod, signifies the instruction of those who are of the church in Divine truths from the Word, to tend signifying to instruct; people mean those of the church who are in truths, and the rod means there the Word, because it is Divine Truth. The flock of heritage signifies those of the church who are in the spiritual things of the Word, which are the truths of its internal sense; they shall feed in Bashan and Gilead, signifies instruction in the goods of the church and in its truths from the natural sense of the Word.
 In Isaiah:
"He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the impious" (xi. 4).
Here also the rod of the mouth of Jehovah signifies Divine Truth or the Word in the natural sense; and the breath of his lips signifies Divine Truth or the Word in the spiritual sense, both of these destroying the falsities of evil in the church, which is signified by smiting the earth and slaying the impious. "To smite with a rod" (Micah v. 1), and "to pierce through with staves the head of the unfaithful" (Habak. iii. 14), have a similar signification.
Habakkuk 3:14; Isaiah 11:4; Micah 5:1)
 In Moses:
"Israel sang a song" concerning the fountain in Beer; "O fountain, the princes digged, the chiefs of the people digged out, by [command of] the lawgiver with their staffs" (Numb. xxi. 17, 18).
The fountain in Beer here signifies doctrine from the Word, "Beer" in the original meaning a fountain; the princes who digged, and the chiefs of the people who digged, signify those who are intelligent, and wise from the Lord, who is meant by the lawgiver. The staves with which they digged and digged out, signify the understanding enlightened in Divine truths.
 In Zechariah:
"There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and a man in whose hand is a staff (scipio) by reason of the multitude of days" (viii. 4).
Old men and old women, signify those who are intelligent from doctrine and from affection for truth; the man in whose hand is a staff by reason of the multitude of days, signifies the wise who trust not to themselves but to the Lord alone; that these will be in the church, where there is the doctrine of genuine truth, is signified by In the streets of Jerusalem - Jerusalem denoting the church as to doctrine, and streets truths of doctrine, here genuine truths.
 In Jeremiah:
"Every man is become foolish by knowledge (scientia), every goldsmith is made ashamed by the graven image; the part of Jacob is not like these; but he is the Former of all things, and Israel is the staff of his inheritance, Jehovah Zebaoth is his name" (x. 14, 16; chap. li. 19).
Every man is become foolish by knowledge, signifies by the knowledges (scientifica) of the natural man separated from the spiritual; every goldsmith is made ashamed by the graven image, signifies by falsities from [their] own intelligence. But He is the Former of all things, signifies the Lord from whom is all understanding of truth; Israel is the staff of his inheritance, signifies the church that has Divine Truth, and its power against falsities; and because the subject here treated of is intelligence through Divine Truth, it is said, "Jehovah Zebaoth is his name." The Lord is called Jehovah Zebaoth from Divine truths in their whole extent, for Zebaoth means armies, and armies signify all the truths and goods of the church and heaven.
Exodus 8:5, Exodus 8:16, Exodus 9:23; Jeremiah 10:14, 10:16, Jeremiah 51:19)
 When the sons of Israel murmured in the wilderness against Moses and Aaron on account of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, because they were swallowed up by the earth, it was commanded that
"the princes of the twelve tribes should place their staves in the tent of assembly, before the testimony; and when this was done, the staff of Aaron blossomed, and brought forth almonds" (Numb. xvii. 2-10).
This happened, because they murmured against Jehovah, that is, against the Lord, and indeed against Divine Truth, which is from Him; for Moses and Aaron represented the Lord as to the law, which is the Word; for this reason it was commanded that the princes of the twelve tribes should place their staves in the tent of assembly, before the testimony. For the twelve tribes, and in particular their princes, and also their twelve staves signified the truths of the church in their whole extent, while the tent of assembly represented and thus signified heaven, from which are the truths of the church; and the testimony represented the Lord Himself. The staff of Aaron blossomed and produced almonds, because his staff represented and thus signified truth from the good of love; and because truth from the good of love is the only truth that brings forth fruit, which is the good of charity, therefore it was his staff that blossomed, and brought forth almonds, almonds signifying that good, the same as the tribe of Levi, as may be seen above (n. 444). It must be observed that tribe (tribus) and staff (baculus) are expressed by the same word (as in Numb. i. 16; chap, ii. 5, 7); therefore the twelve staves have a similar signification to that of the twelve tribes, namely, the Divine truths of the church in their whole extent. Concerning the twelve tribes, see above (n. 39, 430, 431, 657).
Numbers 1:16, 2:5, 2:7, 17:2-10; The Apocalypse Explained 39, The Apocalypse Explained 430-431, 444, The Apocalypse Explained 657)
 As a staff signifies the power of Divine Truth, it signifies also the power to resist evils and falsities.
"Behold, the Lord Jehovah Zebaoth doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the staff and the stay (scipio), the whole staff of bread, and the whole staff of water, the mighty man and the man of war, the judge and the prophet" (iii. 1, 2).
To remove the whole staff of bread and the whole staff of water, signifies here to take away all the good and truth of the church, and when these are taken away there is no longer any power to resist evils and falsities, so as to hinder their free entrance. Bread signifies the good of the church, water its truth, and staff good and truth as to their power to resist evils and falsities; the words therefore follow that the mighty man and the man of war, the judge and the prophet, will also be removed, and the mighty man and the man of war signify truth fighting against evil and falsity, and the judge and prophet the doctrine of good and truth.
 In Ezekiel:
"Behold I break the staff of bread in Jerusalem, that they may eat bread by weight and in carefulness, and drink waters by measure and with astonishment" (iv. 16).
To break the staff of bread, signifies that good and truth shall fail in the church, for bread here signifies good and truth, therefore the words follow, "They shall eat bread by weight and in carefulness, and drink waters by measure," which signifies a deficiency of good and truth, and thus of the power to resist evils and falsities. To break the staff of bread and of water (Ezek. v. 16; xiv. 13; Psalm cv. 16; Levit. xxvi. 26) has a similar signification.
Ezekiel 4:16, 5:16, 14:13; Leviticus 26:26; Psalms 105:16)
 As rod and staff signify the power of Divine Truth, and thus Divine Truth as to power, therefore in the opposite sense they also signify the power of infernal falsity, and thence infernal falsity as to power. In this sense rod and staff are named in the following passages.
"Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked, the rod of them that rule" (xiv. 5).
To break the staff of the wicked signifies to destroy the power of falsity from evil; and to break the rod of them that rule, signifies the rule of falsity.
 In David:
"The staff of impiety shall not rest upon the lot of the just, that the just may not put forth their hands to perversity" (Psalm cxxv. 3).
The staff of impiety, signifies the power of falsity from evil; upon the lot of the just, signifies over truths from good, which the faithful have, and especially those who are in love to the Lord, for these, in the Word, are called the just; lest the just put forth their hands to perversity, signifies lest they falsify truths.
 In Lamentations:
"I am the man that hath seen misery by the rod of his fury; he hath led me into darkness, and not into light" (iii. 1, 2).
This is said of the devastation of the church; and by the rod of fury is signified the rule of infernal falsity; He hath led me and brought me into darkness, and not into light, signifies into mere falsities, and thus not into truths.
 In Isaiah:
"Thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor" (ix. 4).
This is said of the nations who were in falsities from ignorance, because they had not the Word, and to whom therefore the Lord was not known. The evil with which they were oppressed, and the falsity by which they were infested, are signified by the yoke of the burden, the staff of the shoulder, and the rod of the oppressor; to break signifies to destroy these, for to break is said of a yoke, a staff, and a rod, but to destroy is said of evil and falsity, which heavily weigh upon, powerfully persuade and compel to obedience.
 In the same:
"At the voice of Jehovah, Asshur shall be dismayed, he shall be smitten with a staff; then every passage of the rod of foundation, upon which Jehovah shall cause to rest, shall be with timbrels and harps" (xxx. 31, 32).
This treats of the time of a last judgment, when there shall be a new church. Asshur who shall be dismayed at the voice of Jehovah, and shall be smitten with a staff, signifies reasoning from falsities, which shall be dispersed by Divine Truth. That then the truths of the literal sense of the Word will be understood and received with joy, is signified by the words, "Then the passage of the rod of the foundation shall be with timbrels and harps," passage signifying opening and free reception, and timbrels and harps signifying the delights of the affection for truth. The truths of the literal sense of the Word are signified by the rod of the foundation, because that sense is a foundation for the truths of its spiritual sense; and as the spiritual sense rests upon the literal sense, it is said, "Upon which Jehovah shall cause to rest."
 In Zechariah:
"The pride of Asshur shall be cast down, and the staff of Egypt shall depart" (x. 11).
The pride of Asshur signifies the pride of [man's] own intelligence, and the staff of Egypt signifies the power arising from the confirmation of its falsities by the knowledges (scientifica) of the natural man.
 In Isaiah:
"Woe to Asshur, the rod of mine anger and the staff of mine indignation, which is in their hand. O my people, inhabitant of Zion, be not afraid of Asshur, that he smite thee with a rod, and lift up his staff upon thee in the way of Egypt" (x. 5, 24, 26).
Here also Asshur signifies reasonings from [man's] own intelligence, by which truths are perverted and falsified; the consequent falsities, and perversions of truth, are signified by the rod of mine anger, and by the staff of mine indignation, which is in their hand. That truths will not be perverted with those of the church who are in celestial love and in truths therefrom, is signified by Fear not, O inhabitant of Zion. That he smite thee with a rod, and lift up a staff upon thee in the way of Egypt, signifies that falsity urges, excites, and strives to pervert by means of such things as pertain to the natural man, the way of Egypt denoting the knowledges (scientifica) of the natural man from which reasonings arise. Since Egypt signifies the natural man with the things that are in it, and, the natural man separated from the spiritual is in mere falsities, therefore Egypt is called the staff of a bruised reed, which entereth into and pierceth the hand, when one leaneth upon it (Ezekiel xxix. 6, 7; Isaiah xxxvi. 6). This may be seen explained above (n. 627:10).
Ezekiel 29:6-7; Isaiah 10:5, 10:24, 10:26, Isaiah 36:6; The Apocalypse Explained 627)
 In Isaiah:
"Rejoice not, O Philistia, that the rod of him that smiteth thee is broken; for out of the serpent's root shall go forth a basilisk, whose fruit is a fiery flying serpent (prester volans)" (xiv. 29).
That Philistia signifies a religion of faith separated from charity, the serpent's root that false principle, the basilisk the destruction of the good and truth of the church, and the fiery flying serpent reasonings from the falsities of evil, may be seen above (n. 386:3). Thus these serpents have a similar signification to that of the dragon in this chapter of the Apocalypse. That Philistia should not rejoice that the rod of him that smiteth her is broken, signifies that she should not boast that the dominion of that falsity is not yet destroyed.
Isaiah 14:29; The Apocalypse Explained 386)
 In Hosea:
"My people ask questions of wood, and their staff answereth them, for the spirit of whoredoms hath seduced them, and they have committed whoredom under their god" (iv. 12).
This treats of the falsification of the Word. To ask questions of wood, or of an idol of wood, signifies to consult the intelligence which is from their proprium which favours its loves. The staff answereth them, signifies falsity in which confidence is reposed, for when the proprium is consulted falsity replies; the proprium is of the will, thus of the love, and its falsity is of the understanding, thus of the thought. The spirit of whoredoms that has seduced them, signifies the desire to falsify; to commit whoredom under their god, signifies to falsify the truths of the Word.
 From these things it is now evident what rod and staff signify in both senses; and also the meaning of the rod of iron, with which the male child is to tend all nations, can be seen; and also of these words in the Apocalypse, "Out of the mouth" of him who sat upon the white horse proceedeth a sharp sword, that with it he may smite the nations; and he shall tend (pascet) them with a rod of iron (xix. 15).
Also by these words above,
"To him that overcometh will I give power over the nations, that he may rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken" (ii. 26, 27).
The explanation of this may be seen above (n. 176). The signification of the following words in David is similar:
"Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, as the vessel of a potter thou shalt scatter them" (Psalm ii. 9).
Exodus 8:16; Psalms 2:9; Revelation 2:26-27, 12:5, Revelation 19:15; The Apocalypse Explained 176)