7643. 'Behold, I am bringing locusts into your border' means that falsity will take possession of their outermost parts. This is clear from the meaning of 'locusts' as falsity in outermost parts, dealt with below; from the meaning of 'border' as outermost parts; and from the meaning of 'bringing', since it is used in connection with falsity, as taking possession of. It says that Jehovah will bring the locusts, but by this their being brought - brought by evil - is meant. This is similar to the attribution made to Jehovah, that is, to the Lord, where it says that 'He made Pharaoh's heart stubborn'; in actual fact it is made such by man, by the evil within him, see above in 7632. Evil does not originate in the Lord but springs from man because man diverts towards himself the good that flows in from the Lord, and instead of regarding, in every single thing, the Lord and what is the Lord's regards himself. This self-regard gives rise to a craving to have dominion over all people and to possess all that others have; it gives rise to contempt for others, and hateful, vengeful, and cruel behaviour towards those who are not disposed to apply themselves to his interests; and also it gives rise to contempt for all things connected with faith and charity, for when these flow in from the Lord he focuses them onto himself and so away from the Lord.
 From all this one may see that man turns into evil the actual good that flows in from the Lord. It also goes to explain why in the next life the evil distance themselves from heaven as far away as they can get; for when heaven draws nearer to them, that is, when the inflow of goodness and truth becomes more forceful, they plunge with greater force into the opposite, that is, into evil and into falsity. Then to the extent that the evil and falsity increase, they drive truth out from themselves and bring about vastation within themselves. And to the same extent they also plunge into the evils brought by punishment; for in the next life evils and punishments are interconnected.
 The Lord is continually rearranging the heavens, and constantly adding new inhabitants of heaven whom He provides with dwellings and inheritances. When He does this heaven draws nearer, that is, flows in with greater force, as a consequence of which hellish spirits plunge with greater force into evils and falsities, and into the punishments that go with them; and since they plunge into evils and falsities, they bring about vastation within themselves, as has been stated. This process does not stop until they have brought about complete vastation and cast themselves deeply into the hells. From this it may be recognized that nothing but good emanates from the Lord, and that evil springs from those people themselves who are ruled by evil. From all this one may now see how to understand the statement that Jehovah, that is, the Lord, made Pharaoh's heart stubborn, and the statement here that He will bring locusts, by which falsity arising from evil in outermost parts is meant.
 In the Word, in those places in which the laying waste of evils is referred to, the locust and the bruchus 1
are mentioned several times; and in those places 'locust' is used to mean in the internal sense falsity that lays waste the outermost parts. For as has been shown before, the human natural is interior and exterior. The falsity that is present in the outermost parts of the natural is meant by 'locust', and the evil there by 'bruchus'. Because 'locust' is used to mean falsity present in the outermost parts of the natural it says that the locusts will be brought 'into the border, and they will cover the surface of the land', and later on in verses 14-15.
The locusts came up over the land of Egypt, and rested at all the border of Egypt, and covered the surface of the whole land.
'The border' and 'the surface' mean the outermost and lowest parts, on which the more internal ones rest, that is, by which they are bounded.
 These things are what 'the locust' and 'the bruchus' are used to mean in David,
He sent among them swarms [of insects], which devoured them, and frogs which destroyed them; and He gave their crops to the bruchus, and their labour to the locust. Psalms 78:45-46.
He spoke so that the locust might come and the bruchus, so that it would be without number. Psalms 105:34.
These verses, which speak about Egypt, refer to 'the bruchus', but no mention is made of it in Moses, only of 'the locust'. The reason why 'the bruchus' also is referred to is that 'the bruchus' means evil and 'the locust' falsity, both of them in the outermost parts of the natural. But when 'the locust' alone is referred to it means both falsity and evil together, for 'the locust' is falsity arising from evil.
 In Nahum,
There the fire will devour you, the sword cut you off; it will devour you like the bruchus. Multiply yourself like the bruchus, multiply yourself like the locust; you have multiplied your merchants, more than the stars of the heavens. The bruchus has spread out, and flown away. Your monarchs are like the locust, your emperors like the locust of locusts. Nahum 3:15-17.
This refers to 'the city of blood', which means teachings that uphold falsity. And since falsity and evil are multiplied chiefly in the outermost parts of the natural (because of the presence there of the illusions of the senses arising from worldly and earthly objects, and of the sensory enjoyments resulting from various kinds of appetites), the multiplication of evil and falsity is for that reason described by 'the bruchus and locust', as it also is in Judges 6:5; 7:12; and in Jeremiah 46:23. With regard to the sensory level, which is the last and lowest of the natural, that it is utterly full of illusions and consequently of falsities, see 5084, 5089, 5094, 6310, 6711, 6313, 6318, 6598, 6612, 6614, 6621, 6624.
Arcana Coelestia 6310-6311, 6622, 6948-6949)
 In Joel,
What the caterpillar (eruca) left the locust has devoured, and what the locust left the beetle (melolontha) has devoured, and what the beetle left the bruchus has devoured. Awake, you drunkards, and weep; and wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the new wine that has been cut off. For a nation will come up over My land, strong, and without number; and it will turn My vine into a waste, and My fig tree into froth. Joel 1:4-7.
In the same prophet,
The threshing floors are full of clear grain, and the presses overflow with new wine and oil. And I will recompense you for the years that the locust has consumed, the beetle (melolontha), the bruchus, and the caterpillar (eruca). Joel 2:24-25.
Here 'the locust' stands for falsity in the outermost parts which is laying waste truths and forms of good. In Moses,
You will carry much seed out into the field, but you will gather little, because the locust will consume it. You will plant vineyards, but you will not drink wine or gather [anything], for the worm will devour it. Deuteronomy 28:38-39.
Here 'the locust' stands for falsity arising from evil.
 In John,
Out of the smoke of the abyss that had been opened came locusts onto the earth, which were given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth, or any tree, but men (homo) only who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not allowed to kill them, but to torment them for five months. The shapes of the locusts were like horses prepared for war, and on their heads there were so to speak crowns like gold, their faces being like the faces of men (homo). They had hair like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running to war. Finally, they had tails like scorpions, and the stings were in their tails, so that they could do harm to men (homo) for five months. They have a king over them, the angel of the abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon; but in Greek he has the name Apollyon. Revelation 9:3-11.
No one can see what all these things mean except from the internal sense. From each detail there viewed in accordance with the internal sense it is clear that 'locusts' means reasonings that are based on illusions and consequent falsities, and supported also by philosophical arguments. Thus in addition 'locusts' means the falsities which, being present in the outermost parts of the human mind and having a more earthly and bodily nature than all other falsities, can easily deceive and mislead people. For a person can embrace with ease ideas that agree with the senses, but with difficulty those that contradict them.
 To enable people to know that such things are meant by 'locusts', let the details of this passage be explained one by one. 'The abyss' out of which the locusts came is hell. 'The grass of the earth' which they were not to harm is factual knowledge, 'tree' recognition of what is good and true, and 'men' affections for what is good. Their being told to harm only men, not the grass of the earth or any tree, means that truth and good may come to be understood even when there is no living in accordance with them. 'Those who have the seal on their foreheads' are those who have been regenerated. Their being told to torment for five months those who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads means that they were to lay them waste. 'Locusts like horses prepared for war' are reasonings based on falsities that are used to fight against the Church's truths. 'On their heads crowns like gold' and 'faces like those of men' mean that the reasonings have a similar appearance to truth and in origin seem to be good. 'Hair like that of women' and 'teeth like the teeth of lions' are the external things of the natural or the level of the senses, that is, the illusions there which give the appearance of good. 'Breastplates of iron' are external things giving the appearance of truth. 'The sound of wings like that of chariots with many horses running to war' means the falsities of doctrinal teachings which they use to fight with and which they fight for. 'Tails like scorpions' and 'the stings in their tails' are the injuries such things can inflict. 'The king' of the abyss is hellish falsity, 'Abaddon' destruction, 'Apollyon' reasoning based on falsities that seems to be based on truth, especially if those deemed to be wise support those falsities with philosophical arguments completely misapplied; for blind admiration of their wisdom leads people to have faith in them.
 In the good sense 'locust' means fundamental and very general truth, and also the pleasure it gives. This was why John had locusts as his food, and wild honey, Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6. The reason why they were his food was that John represented the Word; and by his food as well as his clothing, which consisted of camel hair together with a skin girdle, he represented the Word in the external sense. For external pleasure is meant by 'locusts and wild honey', 5620, and external truth by a garment made of camel hair and by a skin girdle, 3301. This explains why John is understood to be the Elijah who is going to come and announce the Lord's Coming, 'Elijah' being the Word, see Preface to Chapter 18 of Genesis, and 2762, 5247 (end). And Leviticus 11:22 states that locusts were among the small creatures which people were allowed to eat.
1. i.e. a (wingless) kind of locust, possibly the larva of a locust
Arcana Coelestia 2135; Exodus 10:4)