Spiritual Meaning of

Bible Meanings Back to Words index Back to Time words index

The signification of evening, is a state of falsity, and also a state of ignorance of truth; for the shade of evening denotes falsity, and also ignorance of truth. For all the times of the day, like all the times of the year, in the spiritual sense signify alternations of states in respect to truth and good (AR 5672, 5962, 6110). Their end and their beginning is evening; and therefore when it is said between the two evenings, all the states are involved. Here therefore by between the two evenings is signified the state of liberation of those who are in truth from good, and the state of damnation of those who are in falsity from evil, which states are signified by the departure of the sons of Israel out of Egypt, when the firstborn there were given up to death. That this is called evening, is evident from these words in Moses:--

Thou shalt sacrifice the Passover in the evening, when the sun has gone down, at the set time of thy going out from Egypt (Deut. 16:6).

[2] From all this it is evident that the end of the state of infestations and the beginning of the state of liberation of those who are represented by the sons of Israel, is meant by between the two evenings. With these, from this beginning, the state tends to morning, which is elevation into heaven. Moreover by between the two evenings is meant the end of the state of infestations and the beginning of the state of damnation of those who are represented by the Egyptians, but the state of these latter tends to night, which is casting down into hell. The casting down of these latter into hell is represented by the immersion in the sea Suph; but the elevation of the former into heaven is represented by the introduction into the land of Canaan.

[3] In the Word throughout mention is made of evening, and by it is signified the last time of the church, and also its first time; the last with those among whom the church is ceasing, and the first with those among whom it is beginning. For this reason by evening is primarily signified the coming of the Lord; for then was the end of the former church and the beginning of a new church, the first state of which is also called evening, because the man of the church begins from obscure light, and advances to clear light, which to him is morning.

[4] That the coming of the Lord into the world is signified by evening and morning, is evident in Daniel:--

I heard a holy one speaking, How long is this vision, the continual (sacrifice), and the transgression, the trampling on the holy thing, and on the army? And he said unto me, Even unto the evening, the morning, two thousand three hundred; for then shall the holy thing be justified (Daniel 8:13, 14);

that here by evening is meant the last time, when the church was completely vastated, and the Lord came into the world; and by morning, the light and the rising of a new church from Him, is evident.

[5] In like manner in Zechariah:--

There shall be one day which shall be known to Jehovah; not day, nor night, for about the time of evening there shall be light (Zech. 14:7).

In Zephaniah:--

Let there be at last a territory left for the house of Judah; they shall feed thereon; in the houses of Ashkelon they shall have quiet in the evening, when Jehovah their God shall visit them, and bring again their captivity (Zephaniah 2:7);

evening denotes the first state of the rising church. As evening signified the last state of the old church and the first of the new, it was therefore commanded that Aaron and his sons should make the lamp go up from evening even unto morning before Jehovah (Exod. 27:20, 21).

[6] That evening denotes the last state of the church, when there is dense falsity because there is no faith, and dense evil because there is no charity, is plain in these passages:--

Woe unto you! for the day goeth away, because the shadows of the evening are stretched out (Jer. 6:4).

I spake unto the people in the morning; and at evening my wife died (Ezek. 24:18);

wife denotes the church.

In the morning it shall blossom, and it shall pass away; in the evening he shall cut it off, it shall wither (Ps. 90:6).

AC 7844

Back to Words index, Back to Time words index

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