908. And in His hand a sharp sickle, signifies the Divine truth accurately exploring and separating. This is evident from the signification of a "sickle," as being the Divine truth accurately exploring and separating. This is the signification of "sickle," because it has almost the same signification as "sword" [gladius et machaera], which means in the spiritual sense the Divine truth fighting against falsity and dispersing it (see above, 73, 131, 367); so here in place of sword [gladius et machaera] a "sickle" is mentioned, because the harvest is treated of, respecting which and the sickle more will be said hereafter. "A sharp sickle" signifies the Divine truth accurately exploring and separating, because the "harvest" signifies the last state of the church preceding the Last Judgment, when the Lord explores everyone and separates; and when this is done the good are raised up into heaven and the evil cast into hell, which is the Last Judgment. That such exploration and separation are effected before the Last Judgment, and have also been done at this day, has been set forth to some extent from experience in the work on The Last Judgment, and also above; and more will be said about it in an appendix at the end of this work.
 That "sharp" signifies what is careful, accurate and complete, is evident without explanation. For a sharp sickle, like a sharp sword, acts with great accuracy and pierces very keenly. This is shown in the following passages. In Isaiah:
Jehovah hath made my mouth like a sharp sword (Isaiah 49:2).
The "mouth" of the prophet signifies the Divine truth, and for this reason is compared to a sharp sword, meaning that the Divine truth pierces and wholly disperses and destroys falsity. So in Revelation:
Out of the mouth of the Son of man went forth a sharp two-edged sword (Revelation 1:16; 2:12; 19:15, 21).
The tongue of the wicked, which speaks falsities from interior evil, and pierces and disperses truths, is also compared to a sharp sword and sharp arrows. In David:
My soul, in the midst of lions do I lie; the sons of man are set on fire, their teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword (Psalms 57:4).
Jehovah deliver my soul from the lip of falsehood, from the tongue of deceit, sharp arrows of the mighty (Psalms 120:2, 4).
Here "the lip of falsehood and the tongue of deceit" stand for falsities from evil; and the dispersion of truth by falsities is signified by "a sharp sword" and "sharp arrows." In like manner in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 5:1).
(References: Revelation 14:14)