131. These things saith He that hath the sharp two-edged sword, signifies the Lord, who alone combats in temptation. This is evident from the signification of "long sword" or "sword [romphaeae seu gladii]," as meaning truth combating against falsity, and in the opposite sense, falsity combating against truth. It is said to be "sharp two-edged," because it pierces on both sides. Because this is signified by "the long sword," dispersion of falsities is also signified by it, and also temptation. That it signifies dispersion of falsities, see above (n. 73). It signifies temptation, because in what is written to the angel of this church temptations are treated of. Moreover, "the long sword" also signifies temptation, because temptation is a combat of truth against falsity and of falsity against truth. (That spiritual temptation is such combat, see in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 187-201By "these things saith He that hath the sharp long sword with two edges" is meant that the Lord alone combats in temptations, because in the preceding chapter (verse 16) it was said that:
Out of the mouth of the Son of man, walking in the midst of the seven lampstands, a sharp two-edged long sword was seen going forth (Revelation 1:16).
and by the "Son of man" is meant the Lord in respect to Divine truth (as may be seen above, n. 63. (That the Lord alone combats in temptations, and not man at all, see in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 195-200.) By "long sword" or by "sword [romphaeam seu gladium]" is signified the combat of truth against falsity, and of falsity against truth, because by "wars" in the Word are signified spiritual wars, and spiritual wars are wars of truths against falsities and of falsities against truths; and as "wars" in the Word have such a signification, all weapons of war, as "sword," "spear," "bow," "arrows," "shield," and many others, signify each some special thing pertaining to spiritual combat; especially the "sword," because in wars they fight with swords. (That "wars" signify spiritual combats, see Arcana Coelestia 1659, 1664, 8295, 10455; consequently that each weapon of war signifies something pertaining to spiritual combat, see n. 1788, 2686)
Revelation 2:12; The Apocalypse Explained 63, The Apocalypse Explained 73)
 That "sword" in the Word signifies truth combating against falsity, and falsity against truth, and therefore the dispersion of falsities, and also spiritual temptation, can be seen from very many passages, of which I will introduce here only a few by way of confirmation. Thus in Matthew:
Jesus said that He came not to send peace on earth, but a sword (Matthew 10:34).
Here by "sword" is meant the combat of temptation. It was so said, because men at that time were in falsities, and the Lord uncovered interior truths, and only by combats from such truths can falsities be cast out.
 In Luke:
Jesus said to His disciples, Now he that hath a purse let him take it, likewise a wallet; and he that hath no sword let him sell his garments and buy one (Luke 22:35-38).
By "purse" and "wallet" spiritual knowledges, thus truths, are signified; "garments" signify what is their own; and by "sword" combat is signified.
 In Jeremiah:
A sword against the Chaldeans, and against the inhabitants of Babylon, and against her chiefs, and against her wise men. A sword against liars that they may become foolish; a sword against her mighty men that they may be dismayed; a sword against her horses and against her chariots; a sword against her treasures that they may be spoiled; a drought upon her waters that they may be dried up (Jeremiah 50:35-38).
By "sword" here dispersion and vastation of truth are signified; by each in particular against which the sword shall be, as the "Chaldeans," the "inhabitants of Babylon," her "chiefs" and "her wise men," "liars," "mighty men," "horses," "chariots," and "treasures," are signified the persons or things that will be vastated: as by "horses," things intellectual; by "chariots," doctrinals; and by "treasures," knowledges; it is said, therefore, "a drought upon her waters, that they may be dried up," for "waters" are the truths of the church, and "a drought that they may be dried up" is vastation. (That "drought" and "drying up" are where there is no truth, see Arcana Coelestia 8185; that "waters" are truths of the church, see above, n. 71; that "treasures" are knowledges, Arcana Coelestia, 1694, 4508, 10227; that "horses" are things intellectual, and "chariots" doctrinals, see White Horse 2-5.)
The Apocalypse Explained 71)
 In Isaiah:
Jehovah will plead, and with His sword with all flesh, and the slain of Jehovah shall be multiplied (Isaiah 66:16).
Upon all the heights in the desert the devastators are come, because the sword of Jehovah devoureth from the end of the land even to the end of the land (Jeremiah 12:12).
Prophesy and say, a sword sharpened and also furbished, it is sharpened to slay a slaughter, it is furbished that it may have luster; let the sword be doubled for the third time; the sword of the slain, the sword of great slaughter entering into the secret chambers that the heart may melt, and stumblings be multiplied; against all their gates will I set the point of the sword: Ah! It is made into lightning (Ezekiel 21:9-15, 28).
Bring waters to meet him that is thirsty, with bread prevent him that wandereth; for before the sword shall they wander, before the drawn sword, and before the bended bow, and for the grievousness of war (Isaiah 21:14, 15).
They shall quake with fear when I shall make my sword to fly before their faces, that they may tremble every moment, a man for his own soul; by the swords of the mighty casting down their multitude (Ezekiel 32:10-12).
Let the saints exult in glory; let them sing upon their beds. Let the exaltations of God be in their throat, and a two-edged sword in their hand (Psalms 149:5, 6).
In the same:
Gird thy sword upon the thigh, O mighty one, in thy honor ascend the chariot, ride on the Word of truth, thy right hand shall teach thee wonderful things. Thine arrows are sharp (Psalms 45:3-5).
There was given unto him that sat on the red horse a great sword (Revelation 6:4).
In another place:
Out of the mouth of him that sat on the white horse went forth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations. The rest were killed with the sword of him that sat upon the horse (Revelation 19:15, 21).
By "sword" in these passages is signified truth combating and destroying; this destruction is especially apparent in the spiritual world; there those that are in falsities cannot sustain the truth; when they come into the sphere of light, that is, where Divine truth is, they are in anguish, like those who are struggling with death; and thus also they are deprived of truths and are vastated.
Ezekiel 21:14-15; Isaiah 21:14-15; Psalms 149:5-6)
 As most expressions in the Word have also a contrary sense, so also has "sword;" in that sense it signifies falsity combating against truth and destroying it. The vastations of the church, which take place when there are no longer any truths, but only falsities, are described in the Word by a "sword," as in the following passages:
They shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led captive into all nations; Jerusalem shall finally be trodden down by all nations, until the times of the nations shall be fulfilled (Luke 21:24).
The consummation of the age, which is here treated of, is the last time of the church, when falsities are to prevail. "To fall by the edge of the sword" denotes that truth will be destroyed by falsity; "nations" here are evils and "Jerusalem" is the church.
 In Isaiah:
I will make a man more rare than fine gold. Everyone that is found shall be thrust through; and everyone gathered in shall fall by the sword (Isaiah 13:12, 15).
"A man who is rare" for those that are in truths; "to be thrust through" and "to fall by the sword" means to be consumed by falsity.
 In the same:
In that day they shall cast away every man the idols of his silver and the idols of his gold, which your own hands have made unto you. Then shall Asshur fall by the sword, not of a man [viri]; and the sword not of a man [hominis] shall devour him; but he who fleeth for himself before the sword, his young man shall be for tribute (Isaiah 31:7, 8).
"The idols which the hands have made" are falsities from self-intelligence; "Asshur" is the rational by which [per quod]. "To fall by the sword not of a man" [viri], and "not of a man" [hominis], is not to be destroyed by any combat of truth against falsity. "He who fleeth for himself before the sword, his young man shall be for tribute," means that the truth which is not destroyed shall be subservient to falsities. That this is the meaning of these words does not appear in the sense of the letter, which shows how far distant the spiritual sense is from the sense of the letter.
 In Jeremiah:
In vain I have smitten your sons; they accepted not correction; your own sword hath devoured your prophets (Jeremiah 2:30).
Behold, the prophet say, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine. By sword and by famine shall the prophets be consumed. If I go forth into the field, behold the slain with the sword; and if I enter into the city, then behold the sickness of famine (Jeremiah 14:13-18).
Both these passages treat of the vastation of the church in respect to truth; "prophets" are those who teach truths; and "the sword that consumes them" is falsity combating and destroying; "the field" is the church; "the city" is doctrine; "the slain with the sword in the field" are those in the church with whom truths are destroyed; "the famine" that is in the city is dearth of all truth in doctrine.
 In the same:
They have denied Jehovah when they have said, It is not He; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword and famine (Jeremiah 5:12).
In the same:
The young men shall die by the sword; and their sons and their daughters shall die by famine (Jeremiah 11:22).
"Young men" are those who are in truths, and in the abstract, truths themselves; "to die by the sword" is to be destroyed by falsities; "sons and daughters" are the knowledges of truth and good; "famine" is a dearth of these.
 In Lamentations:
We get our bread with peril of our souls, because of the sword of the wilderness (Lamentations 5:9).
"The wilderness" is where there is no good because there is no truth; its "sword" is the destruction of truth; "bread" is good, which is got with "peril of souls," because all good is implanted in man by means of truth.
 In Ezekiel:
The sword is without, and pestilence and famine within; he that is in the field shall die with the sword; and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him (Ezekiel 7:15).
"The sword" is the destruction of truth; "pestilence" consequent extermination; and "famine" complete dearth. Similarly in other places (as in Jeremiah 21:7; 29:17, 18; 34:17).
 In Zechariah:
Woe to the shepherd of nought forsaking the flock; a sword upon his arm, and upon his right eye; his arm in drying up shall dry up, and his right eye in growing dim shall grow dim (Jeremiah 11:17).
"A sword upon the arm" is the destruction of the voluntary in respect to good; "a sword upon the right eye" is the destruction of the intellectual in respect to truth; that all good and all truth are to perish is signified by "the arm in drying up shall dry up; and the right eye in growing dim shall grow dim."
 In Isaiah:
Thus shall ye say to your lord, Fear not for the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the lads of the king of Asshur have blasphemed Jehovah. Behold, I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land. And Senacherib, king of Asshur, returned; and it came to pass, when he bowed himself in the house of Nisroch his god, his two sons smote him with the sword (Isaiah 37:6, 7, 37, 38).
As it is the rational that acknowledges and that denies the Divine, and when it denies seizes upon every falsity instead of truth, and thus perishes, there was this representative occurrence, namely, that the king of Asshur, because he blasphemed Jehovah, was smitten with the sword by his sons, in the house of Nisroch his god. "Asshur" signifies the rational in either sense (Arcana Coelestia, n. 119, 1186); the "sons" of that king signify falsities, and the "sword" signifies destruction by falsities.
Isaiah 37:6-7, 37:37-38)
 In Moses:
[It was commanded that] the city that worshiped other gods should be smitten with the sword, and burned up with fire (Deuteronomy 13:12-16).
This was decreed because at that time all things were representative; "to worship other gods" is to worship from falsities; "to be smitten with the sword" is to perish by falsity; and "to be burned up with fire" is to perish by the evil of falsity.
Deuteronomy 13:12-13, Deuteronomy 13:15-16)
 In the same:
Whosoever in the field toucheth one that is slain with the sword shall be unclean (Numbers 19:16, 18, 19).
"One in the field slain with the sword" represented those within the church who destroyed truths with themselves; "the field" here is the church.
 That "sword" signifies falsity destroying truth is manifest in David:
The sons of man are set on fire; their teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword (Psalms 57:4).
Behold, they belch out with their mouth, swords are in their lips (Psalms 59:7).
Workers of iniquity sharpen their tongues like a sword; they hurl their arrow with a bitter word (Psalms 64:3).
From this it is clear what is signified by the Lord's words to Peter:
All they that take the sword shall perish by the sword (Matthew 26:51-52);
namely, that those who believe falsities will perish by falsities.
 From this it is now evident what is signified in the Word by "the long sword," "the short sword," or the "sword" [romphaea, macharera, seu gladius] in both senses. Such things are signified by "sword" by reason also of appearance in the spiritual world. When spiritual combats take place there, which are combats of truth against falsity and of falsity against truth, various weapons of war, as swords, spears, shields, and the like are seen; not that the combats are maintained by these, but they are mere appearances, representative of spiritual combats. When falsities are fiercely combating truths, there sometimes appears from heaven the brightness or flashing of a sword vibrating every way, and causing great terror, by which those who are combating from falsities are dispersed.
 This makes clear what is meant by these words in Ezekiel:
They shall be horribly afraid when I shall brandish My sword before their faces, that they may tremble every moment for their soul (Ezekiel 32:10-12).
And in the same:
Prophesy and say, a sword, it is sharpened and also furbished, that it may have luster, that the heart may melt. Ah! It is made into lightning (Ezekiel 21:9-10, 15).
The sword causes so great terror because "iron," of which a sword is made, signifies truth in ultimates, and the brightness and flashing are from the light of heaven and from vibration of this light upon the sword. The light of heaven is Divine truth proceeding from the Lord. Divine truth thus falling upon those who are in falsities strikes terror.
 This also makes clear what is signified by this, that:
Cherubim, after Adam had been driven out, were made to dwell at the east of Eden, and the flame of a sword turning and vibrating every way, to guard the way to the tree of life (Genesis 3:24).
By the "tree of life" is signified celestial love, which is love to the Lord; by "cherubim" a guard; by the "flame of a sword turning every way" the terrific driving off and rejecting of all who are in falsities; the "east of Eden" is where the Lord's presence is in celestial love; by these words, therefore, is signified that every approach to the acknowledgement of the Lord alone is closed to him who does not live a life of love. That "sword" signifies falsity is clearly evident in Ezekiel, where it is said of the prince of Tyre:
They shall unsheathe the swords upon the beauty of thy wisdom (Ezekiel 28:7).
"The prince of Tyre" signifies intelligence from the knowledges of truth; because that is extinguished by falsities it is said that they should unsheathe their swords "upon wisdom," which could not have been said unless by "swords" falsities were meant.
Deuteronomy 13:12-13, 13:15-16; Psalms 64:2-3; Revelation 2:12)