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By abysses in the Word are meant waters and abundance of waters in the deeps; and by waters in a good sense are signified truths, and in the opposite sense falsities (AC 739, 790, 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976, 5668), and by deeps are signified the hells. Hence it is that abysses denote falsities from cupidities; also that they denote the hells. That by abysses in the Word are meant waters in the deeps and abundance of waters, is evident in these passages:--

The waters made the cedar to grow, the abyss made it high; so that with its rivers it went round thy plant, and it sent out water-channels unto all the trees of the field (Ezek. 31:4).

He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and made them drink the great abysses; He brought forth streams out of the rock, and made the waters to come down like streams (Ps. 78:15, 16).

A good land, a land of rivers of water, of fountains and abysses, going forth from valley and from mountain (Deut. 8:7).

In these passages abysses denote waters in abundance; and waters in abundance, or abysses, denote truths of faith in abundance. He made them to drink great abysses out of the rock denotes that He made them receive truths of faith without lack, for rock denotes faith from the Lord, thus the Lord as to faith; the abysses going forth from valley and from mountain denote truths of faith from love. Consequently also among the blessings of Joseph were blessings of the abyss that lieth beneath (Gen. 49:25; Deut. 33:13).

[2] That abysses denote falsities from cupidities, consequently also the hells, is evident in the following passages:--

Awake, as in the days of old, the generations of eternity; dost Thou not dry up the sea, the waters of the great abyss, and make the depths of the sea for a way, that the redeemed may pass over? (Isa. 51:9, 10).

Jehovah who cleft asunder the waters before them, who led them through the abysses, like a horse in the wilderness; they stumbled not (Isa. 63:12, 13).

Thus said the Lord Jehovih, When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall make the abyss to come up against thee, and many waters shall cover thee (Ezek. 26:19).

I saw a star from heaven fallen to the earth, to which was given the key of the pit of the abyss, and he opened the pit of the abyss (Rev. 9:1, 2, 11).

The beast that cometh up out of the abyss made war with them (Rev. 11:7).

The beast that thou sawest was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss, and go into perdition (Rev. 17:8).

In these passages the abyss denotes the hells, thus also falsities from cupidities, for these are in the hells and make them.

[3] As these things are signified by abysses, by them are also signified temptations, for temptations are effected by means of falsities and evils that are injected by the hells. In this sense abyss is used in these passages:--

The waters compassed me about, even to the soul; the abyss was round about me (Jonah 2:5).

Abyss crieth unto abyss at the voice of thy water-channels; all thy breakers and thy waves have passed over me (Ps. 42:7).

Who hast shown me many and evil straitnesses, return and quicken me, and make me return and come up from the abysses of the earth (Ps. 71:20).

from AC 8278

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info