By New Christian Bible Study Staff
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.
(References: Arcana Coelestia 3623)
763. Verse 15. And the serpent cast out after the woman out of his mouth water as a river, signifies crafty reasonings in abundance respecting justification by faith alone by those who think sensually and not spiritually. This is evident from the signification of a "serpent," as being those who are sensual, and in an abstract sense the sensual, which is the ultimate of the natural in man (see above, n. 70, 581, 739); that "dragons" also mean those who are sensual may be seen above n. 714; also from the signification of "the woman," as being the church which will be the New Jerusalem (which is treated of in this chapter several times); also from the signification of "mouth," as being thought, from which is speech (see above n. 580; also from the signification of "water," as being the truth of faith, and in the contrary sense falsity (see above, n. 483, 518, 537, 538); also from the signification of "river," as being intelligence from the understanding of the truth, and in the contrary sense reasoning from falsities (see also above, n. 518; consequently "casting out water as a river" signifies reasoning from falsities in abundance. Keen reasonings respecting justification by faith alone by those who think sensually and not spiritually are here meant, because "the dragon" means those who defend justification by faith alone, and who are sensual, and therefore think and reason sensually and not spiritually. (That "the dragon" signifies those who defend justification by faith alone may be seen above, n. 714.) This is meant for the reason also that "dragons" and "serpents" signify those who are sensual, and because sensual men are more crafty than the rest, and reason keenly from falsities and from fallacies. (That "the dragon" and "the serpent" in an abstract sense signify craftiness may be (seen above, n. 715, 739, 581.) From this it is clear what is signified by the words "the dragon cast out after the woman out of his mouth water as a river."
 Because such is the signification, something shall also be said about their crafty reasonings respecting justification by faith alone. Their dogma is that man is justified and saved by faith alone without the works of the law, which are the goods of charity. But inasmuch as they find in the Word of both Testaments "works" and "deeds," as well as "doing" and "loving," so frequently mentioned, they can do no otherwise than affirm that one ought to live well; but since they have separated works or deeds from faith as not justifying and saving, they craftily join these and faith together, but still in such a manner that they rather separate than conjoin them. But as their reasonings are too abundant and too crafty to be set forth in a few words, therefore they shall be set forth in a small work on Spiritual Faith, and be so presented as to be comprehended even by the simple. It is commonly believed, and they themselves who defend justification by faith alone believe, that they think and reason spiritually because they think and reason keenly and craftily. But let it be known that only he who is in enlightenment from the Lord, and thence in the spiritual affection of truth, thinks and reasons spiritually, for these are in the light of truth, and the light of truth is the light of heaven from which the angels have intelligence and wisdom; that light is what is called spiritual light, and consequently those who are in that light are spiritual. But those who are in falsities, however keenly they may think and reason, are not spiritual, but natural, yea, sensual, for their thoughts and reasonings therefrom are for the most part from the fallacies of the senses, which some adorn with eloquence and embellish with the flowers of rhetoric, and confirm by appearances from nature alone, while others add knowledges and adapt them to their reasonings, and these they proclaim from the fire of self-love and the pride of self-intelligence therefrom that sounds like the affection of truth. In such things their craftiness consists, and to such as cannot or dare not enter with any understanding into the things that pertain to the church and the Word this seems to be wisdom. Sensual men have the ability to think, speak, and act craftily, because all evil has its seat in man's sensual, and in it cunning is as predominant as intelligence is in the spiritual man. This has been made evident to me by the cunning of the infernals, which is such and so great that it cannot be described; and in the hells all are sensual. This is the meaning of the Lord's words in Luke:
The sons of this age are for their own generation more prudent than the sons of the light (Luke 16:8);
also by these words respecting the serpent in Moses:
The serpent was more crafty than any wild beast of the field which Jehovah God had made (Genesis 3:1);
"the serpent" signifies the sensual of man. (762)
(References: The Apocalypse Explained 762)