Spiritual Meaning of

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That darkness signifies falsities is evident from very many passages in the Word; as in Isaiah:--

Woe unto them that put darkness for light, and light for darkness (Isaiah 5:20);

darkness denotes falsities, and light truths. In the same:--

He shall look onto the land, and behold darkness, distress, and the light is darkened (Isaiah 5:30);

darkness denoting falsities, and the light darkened the truth not appearing.

[5] In the same:--

Behold, darkness covereth the earth, and thick darkness the peoples (Isaiah 60:2).

In Amos:--

The day of Jehovah, it is darkness, and not light. Shall not the day of Jehovah be darkness, and not light? and thick darkness and no brightness in it? (Amos 5:18, 20).

In Zephaniah:--

The great day of Jehovah is near; that day is a day of wrath, a day of straitness and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and thick darkness, a day of cloud and shade (Zephaniah 1:14, 15).

In these passages, the day of Jehovah denotes the last time and state of the church; darkness and thick darkness falsities and evils.

[6] The Lord likewise calls falsities darkness in Matthew:--

If thine eye be evil, thy whole body is darkened. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness (Matthew 6:33).

Darkness here denotes the falsities which take possession of those who are in knowledges; and the meaning is, how great is this darkness above that of others, or of the Gentiles, who have not knowledges.

[7] Again in Matthew:--

The sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into the outer darkness (Matthew 8:12; 22:13).

The outer darkness denotes the more direful falsities of those who are in the church; for they darken the light, and bring up falsities against truths, which Gentiles cannot do. In John:--

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men and the light appeareth in the darkness, but the darkness comprehended it not (John 1:4, 5).

The darkness here denotes falsities within the church.

[8] Falsities outside of the church are also called darkness, but such as can be illuminated. Such are spoken of in Matthew:--

The people that sat in darkness saw a great light, and to them that sat in the region and shadow of death, did light spring up (Matthew 4:16)

darkness here denoting the falsities of ignorance, such as are those of the Gentiles.

[9] In John:--

And this is the judgment, that the Light is come into the world, but men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their works were evil (John 3:19)

the Light denotes truths, and the darkness falsities; and the Light denotes the Lord, because all truth is from Him; and the darkness the hells, because all falsity is from them.

[10] Again:--

Jesus said, I am the Light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in the darkness (John 8:12).

And again:--

Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness seize upon you, for he that walketh in the darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. I am come a light into the world, that whosever believeth in Me may not abide in the darkness (John 12:35, 46).

The light denotes the Lord, from whom are all good and truth; the darkness falsities, which are dispersed by the Lord alone.

from AC 1839

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