Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 18:8
AR 765. Verse 8. For this in one day shall her plagues come, death and mourning and famine, signifies that on this account at the time of the Last Judgment the punishments of the evils which they have done will return upon them, which are death, which is infernal life and inward grief from being cast down from dominion; mourning, which is internal grief from want and misery in place of opulence; and famine, which is the deprivation of the understanding of all truth. By "for this" is meant because she said in her heart, "I sit a queen, and am not a widow, and shall not see mourning," concerning which just above (n. 764). By "in one day" the time of the Last Judgment is signified, which is also called the Day of Judgment. By "plagues" are signified the punishments of the evils which they did in the world, which will then return upon them. By "death" is signified infernal life and inward grief from being cast down from dominion, which is called torment above (n. 763); concerning which death something will be said presently. By "mourning" is signified internal grief from want and misery in place of opulence, as also above (n. 764). By "female" the deprivation of the understanding of all truth is signified. Into these three plagues or punishments those of that religious persuasion come, who have had dominion from the love of self, and with no love of uses except for the sake of self. These are also atheists in heart, since they attribute all things to their own prudence and to nature. The rest from that nation, who are such, but do not think interiorly in themselves, are idolaters. It may be seen above (n. 323), that the deprivation of the understanding of all truth is meant by the plague or punishment which is called "famine." Every man indeed, as long as he lives in the world, has rationality, that is, the faculty of understanding truth. This faculty remains with every man after death. Still they who have imbued falsities of religion in the world from the love of self and the pride of their own intelligence, after death are not willing to understand truth; and not to be willing is as it were not to be able. This inability from unwillingness is with all such, and is increased from this, that from the delight of the lust of falsity for the sake of dominion they continually imbue new confirming falsities, and thus become as to the understanding mere falsities, and remain so to eternity. Similar things are meant by these words concerning Babel in Jeremiah:--
Your mother is greatly ashamed, she that bare you is suffused with shame; behold, the end shall be a wilderness, dryness, and a desert; from the anger of Jehovah it shall not be inhabited, but shall be a total devastation; everyone that passeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and shall hiss over all her plagues (Jeremiah 50:12, 13).
AR 766. And she shall be burnt up in fire, for strong is the Lord God who judgeth Her, signifies that they will be hatreds against the Lord and against His heaven and church, because they then see that the Lord alone has dominion and reigns over all things in the heavens and on earth, and not at all any man from himself. By "fire" with which she will be burnt up is signified hatred against the Lord and against His heaven and church, of which see below. By "for strong is the Lord that judgeth her," is signified that they see then, that is, in the spiritual world into which they come after death, that the Lord alone has dominion and reigns over all things in the heavens and on earth, and not at all any man from himself. This is signified by "strong is the Lord God that judgeth her," because the Lord does not judge anyone to hell, but they themselves; for when they feel the angelic sphere concerning the Lord flowing down out of heaven, they flee away and cast themselves into hell, as may be evident from the things that were shown above (n. 233, 325, 339, 340, 387, 502). That by "fire" is signified love in both senses, celestial love which is love to the Lord, and infernal love which is the love of self, may be seen above (n. 468, 494). That infernal fire is hatred, is because the love of self hates: for all who are in that love burn with anger according to the degree of it, and are inflamed with hatred and revenge against those who oppose; and they who are of Babylon, against those that deny that they are to be worshiped and adored as sanctities. When, therefore, they hear that the Lord alone is worshiped and adored in heaven, and that to worship any man in place of the Lord is profane, adoration of the Lord becomes in them hatred against Him, and the adulteration of the Word to the end that they may be worshiped becomes profane. This, therefore, is what is signified by "Babylon shall be burned up with fire." It may be seen above (n. 748), that "being burned up with fire" is the punishment of the profanation of what is holy. The like is meant by these words in Jeremiah:--
I am against thee, O Babel, the destroying mountain, that destroyest the whole earth; I will roll thee down from the rocks, and will give thee for a mountain of burning. The walls of Babel are utterly overturned, and her high gates are burned up with fire (Jeremiah 51:25, 58).
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|