Spiritual Meaning of
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That brimstone denotes the hell of the evils of the love of self, and fire the hell of the falsities thence derived, is evident from the signification in the Word of brimstone and the fire from it, as being the love of self with its cupidities and the derivative falsities, thus as being hell, for hell consists of such things. That brimstone and fire have this signification is evident in David:--
Jehovah shall rain upon the wicked snares, fire and brimstone (Ps. 11:6).
That fire and brimstone are not here meant, but something else that is signified by fire and brimstone, is evident also from its being said that Jehovah rains snares. In Ezekiel:--
I will contend against him with pestilence and with blood, and I will make it ram an overflowing rain, and hailstones, fire and brimstone, upon him, and upon his troops, and upon the many peoples that are with him (Ezekiel 38:22);
where God is treated of, who lays waste the land of Israel, that is, the church. The signification of God see (AC 1151). Fire denotes falsities, brimstone the evils thence, and at the same time the hells of those who lay waste. In John:--
They who adored the beast were cast into a lake of fire burning with brimstone (Rev. 19:20);
meaning hell. Again:--
The devil was cast into a lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are; and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Rev. 20:10);
manifestly meaning hell. Again:--
The abominable, and murderers, and adulterers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:8);
where also fire and brimstone plainly denote hell.
 That they denote the evils of the love of self and the falsities thence derived, from which come the hells - in Isaiah:--
The day of the vengeance of Jehovah, and the year of retribution' in the controversy of Zion; and the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the streams thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch (Isaiah 34:8, 9);
where burning pitch, here mentioned instead of fire, denotes dense and direful falsities and brimstone the evils from the love of self. Again:--
The pile thereof is fire and much wood the breath of Jehovah is like a stream of brimstone kindling in it (Isaiah 30:33);
speaking of Topheth; the stream of kindling brimstone denoting falsities from the evils of the love of self. In Luke:--
In the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all; even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed (Luke 17:29, 30).
That it will not then rain fire and brimstone is obvious; but what is meant is that the falsities and cupidities of the love of self, which are signified by fire and brimstone, and which make the hells, will then predominate.
 That in the Word fire signifies cupidities, and at the same time the hells, and that in this case the smoke from the fire signifies the falsity thence derived, and which is in those hells, may be seen above (AC 1861); and in John:--
I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat upon them, having breastplates of fire and of brimstone and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions, and out of their mouth issued fire, smoke, and brimstone: by these three were the third part of men killed, by the fire, and the smoke, and the brimstone (Rev. 9:17, 18);
fire, smoke, and brimstone denote evils and falsities of every kind, of which as before said the hells consist.
from AC 2446
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|