538. 'Having seven heads' signifies insanity resulting from the truths of the Word falsified and profaned. By 'head' is signified wisdom and intelligence, and in the opposite sense insanity. Here, however, by 'seven heads', because they were the dragon's, is properly signified insanity resulting from the truths of the Word falsified and profaned; for 'seven are predicated of things holy and in the opposite sense of things profane (n. 10, 737).* It therefore follows on, that upon his heads were seen 'seven diadems', and by 'diadems' are signified the truths of the Word there falsified and profaned. That by 'head' is signified wisdom and intelligence is plain from these passages:-
I will give you wise and intelligent men and place them as your heads Deut. i 13.
Jehovah has closed your eyes, the prophets, and your heads, the seers has he covered Isa. xxix 10.
By 'the head of Nebuchadnezzar's image of pure gold' (Dan. ii 32) nothing else is signified but the wisdom of the First Age, which existed with the men of the Most Ancient Church. By 'head' in the opposite sense insanity and folly is signified, in David:-
God shall break the head of the enemy, the hairy scalp of those that go about in their guilt Ps. lxviii 21 [H.B. 22].
Nor is anything else signified by 'the head of the serpent' which should be trodden upon (Gen. iii 15), and by 'smiting the head over much land' (Ps. cx 6, 7). Also by 'putting dust upon the head', and by 'inducing baldness' and 'putting the hand upon the head' when they were ashamed or grieved at having acted insanely or against wisdom (Isa. vii 20; xv 2; Ezek. vii 18; xxvii 30; Jer. ii 37; xiv 3, 4; Lam. ii 10; 2 Sam. xiii 19). Moreover insanity resulting from the truths of the Word falsified and profaned is signified also in the following passages in the Apocalypse, xiii 1, 3; xxii 3, 7, 9. * The Original Edition has n. 173, probably a misprint for 10 and 737.