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 Lightnings, Voices

The signification of voices which are sounds of thunders, is truths Divine; and the signification of lightnings, is the ruddy glow and brightness of these truths, for truths Divine are bright and glowing from the flame of the light that is from the sun of heaven. Hence it is that by voices and lightnings is signified a Divine state in which is revelation; a Divine state, by the descent of such things from heaven; and revelation, by the voices and lightnings being truths Divine. That by voices which are of thunders from heaven are signified truths Divine, see (AC 7573); and that lightnings denote the brightnesses from them which strike upon the internal sight of man, enlightening those who are in truth from good, and confounding those who are in falsity from evil, is evident from passages in the Word where lightnings are mentioned, as in David:--

The clouds dripped waters, the skies gave forth a voice, and Thine arrows went abroad, the voice of Thy thunder into the world, the lightnings enlightened the world, the earth shook and trembled (Ps. 77:17, 18);

where the voice of thunder denotes truth Divine (AC 7573); lightnings denote its brightness; and the world, the church; consequently the lightnings enlightened the world denotes the enlightening of the church by truth Divine.

[2] In like manner in the same:--

His lightnings enlightened the world, the earth shall see and shall fear, the mountains shall melt like wax before Jehovah (Ps. 97:4, 5).

What Jehovah willeth, He doeth in the heavens and in earth, in the seas and in all abysses, who maketh the vapors to ascend from the extremity of the earth, He maketh lightnings for the rain (Ps. 135:6, 7; Jer. 10:13; 51:16);

where lightnings for the rain denotes the brightness of the truth that comes down from heaven. In John:--

There were lightning, voices, and thunders (Rev. 11:19; 16:18);

where voices, lightnings, and thunders denote truths Divine which enlighten the good and terrify the evil.

[3] In Ezekiel:--

The appearance of the living creatures (which were cherubs) was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches, and it went along among the living creatures, so that there was the brightness of fire, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures were running and returning according to the appearance of lightning (Ezek. 1:3, 14);

where fire denotes the good of love, and lightning going forth out of the fire, the truth Divine therefrom. The Divine Providence of the Lord, which is truth Divine proceeding from the Divine good of the Lord, is here described by the cherubs.

[4] In Daniel:--

Behold one clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with gold of Uphaz, and his body was like a tarshish, his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as torches of fire (Daniel 10:5, 6);

the face as the appearance of lightning denotes the love of truth, because the truth which is from love bears with it a flaming from fire, which flaming is lightning.

[5] In Zechariah:--

Jehovah shall appear over them, and His arrow shall go forth as the lightning; and the Lord Jehovah shall sound with the trumpet, and shall advance in whirlwinds of the south (Zech. 9:14);

the arrow which shall go forth as the lightning denotes truth Divine which reproves and penetrates. That an arrow denotes the truth of doctrine, see (AC 2686, 2709); thus an arrow from Jehovah denotes truth Divine.

[6] In Nahum:--

The brightness of a sword, the lightning of a spear, and a multitude of slain (Nahum 3:3).

In Moses:--

I will sharpen the lightning of My sword (Deut. 32:41);

denoting the penetration of truth Divine with the evil, sword denotes truth fighting (AC 2799, 8294); and lightning the brightness of it which strikes upon the intellectual and deprives it of the faculty of seeing truth: in like manner in (Ezekiel 21:20-32). From all this it is also evident that by lightning is meant truth Divine, as in (Matthew 28:3; Luke 17:24).

from AC 8813

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