Spiritual Meaning of

Bible Meanings Back to Words index Back to Time words index
 Morning, Evening

What is meant by evening, and what by morning, can now be discerned, Evening means every preceding state, because it is a state of shade, or of falsity and of no faith; morning is every subsequent state, being one of light, or of truth and of the knowledges of faith, Evening, in a general sense, signifies all things that are of man's own; but morning, whatever is of the Lord, as is said through David:--

The spirit of Jehovah spake in me, and His word was on my tongue the God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me; He is as the light of the morning, when the sun ariseth, even a morning without clouds, when from brightness, from rain, the tender herb springeth out of the earth (2 Sam. 23:2-4).

As it is evening when there is no faith, and morning when there is faith, therefore the coming of the Lord into the world is called morning; and the time when He comes, because then there is no faith, is called evening, as in Daniel:--

The Holy One said unto me, Even unto evening when it becomes morning, two thousand and three hundred (Daniel 8:14, 26).

In like manner morning is used in the Word to denote every coming of the Lord, consequently it is an expression of new creation.

AC 5


The man who is being regenerated, and likewise the man who has been regenerated, also undergo variations of state as to love and as to faith, by means of elevations toward more interior things, and by lowerings toward more exterior things; but there are few who are able to reflect upon this, because they do not know what it is to think and to will in the internal man, and in the external; nor indeed what the internal man is, and what the external. To think and to will in the internal man is to think and to will in heaven, for the internal man is there; but to think and to will in the external man is to think and to will in the world, for the external man is there; and therefore when a man is in love to God and in the consequent faith, he is in the internal man, because in heaven; but when he is in obscurity as to love and the consequent faith, he is in the external man, because in the world. These states also are meant by "morning," "noon," "evening," and "night" or "twilight" in the Word.

[7] It is similar with the states of the church, the first state of which is also called "morning" in the Word, the second "noon," the third "evening," and the fourth or last, "night." But when the church is in its night, in which it is when no longer in love to God and in faith, then from the twilight morning begins with another nation, where a new church is set up.

[8] For it is with the church in general as with man in particular; his first state is a state of innocence, thus also of love toward his parents, nurse, and infant companions; his second is a state of light, for when the infant becomes a child, he learns things that belong to light, that is, the truths of faith, and believes them; the third state is when he begins to love the world and to love himself, which takes place when he becomes a youth and when he thinks from himself, and in proportion as these loves increase, faith decreases, and with faith charity toward the neighbor and love to God; the fourth and last state is when he does not care for these things, and still more when he denies them.

[9] Such also are the states of every church from its beginning to its end. Its first state is likewise a state of in fancy, thus also of innocence, consequently of love to the Lord, which state is called "morning;" the second state is a state of light; the third is a state of light in obscurity, which is its "evening;" and the fourth is a state of no love and hence of no light, which is its "night." This is so because evils increase day by day, and in so far as they increase, one person infects another like a contagion; especially parents their children, besides that hereditary evils are successively condensed, and so transmitted

[10] That "morning" signifies the first state of the church, and also a state of love, is evident from Daniel:--

A holy one said, How long shall be the vision, the continual sacrifice, and the wasting transgressions? And he said to me, Until evening and morning two thousand three hundred;then shall the holy thing be justified (Daniel 8:13, 14);

the subject here treated of is the coming of the Lord; "evening" denotes the state of the church before His coming, while "morning" denotes the first state of the church after His coming, and in the supreme sense it denotes the Lord Himself. That in the supreme sense the Lord is the "morning," is because He is the Sun of heaven, and the Sun of heaven never sets, but is always rising; hence also the Lord is called the "east," consequently also the"morning" (AR 2405, 2780, 9668).

[11] And in Isaiah:--

One crieth unto me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? what of the night? The watchman said, The mob cometh, and also the night (Isa. 21:11, 12);

by the "watchman" in the internal sense is meant one who observes the states of the church and its changes, thus every prophet; by "night" is meant the last state of the church; by "morning" its first state; by "Seir," from which the watchman crieth, is signified the enlightening of the nations which are in darkness (that "Seir" has this meaning, (AR 4240); and that "night" denotes the last state of the church, (AR 6000); "the morning cometh, and also the night," signifies that though there is enlightening to those who are of the new church, yet there is night to those who are in the old. The like is signified by "morning" in these passages:--

In the evening weeping may pass the night, but in the morning shall be singing (Ps. 30:5).

About the time of evening behold terror; before the morning he is not (Isa. 17:14).

[12] As in the supreme sense "morning" signifies the Lord, and from this, love from Him to Him, therefore the manna, which was heavenly bread, "rained down every morning" (Exod. 16:8, 12, 13, 21). That the Lord is the bread which comes down from heaven, thus the manna, (John 6:33, 35, 48, 50); and that "bread" denotes celestial love, which is love from the Lord to the Lord, (AR 2165, 2177, 3464, 4217, 4735, 5405, 5915, 9545). And as the Lord is "the east," and "the morning," and as all celestial love is from Him, therefore also He rose "in the morning on the day of the sabbath" (Mark 16:9); and therefore also the day before the feast of the passover was called "the evening;" for by the feast of the passover was signified the presence of the Lord and the liberation of the faithful by Him from damnation (AR 7867, 9286-9292).

[13] He who is acquainted with the internal sense of the Word, is able to know what is involved in Peter's thrice denying the Lord before the cock crew twice (Matt. 26:34, 74, 75; Mark 14:30, 68, 72; Luke 22:34, 60, 61; John 18:27); for by Peter was represented the faith of the church, or what is the same, the church as to faith; by the time when the cock crew was signified the last state of the church, which time was also called "cockcrowing;" by the denial three times was signified full and complete denial of the Lord in the end of the church. That Peter represented the faith of the church, thus the church as to faith, (AR 2135a, 2760, 3750, 4738); and that these words to Peter signified the denial of the Lord in the church at the time of its end (AR 6000, 6073, 10087); for the Lord is denied when there is no longer any faith, and there is no faith when there is no longer any charity. That "three" signifies what is full and complete, (AR 2788, 4495, 7715, 8347, 9198, 9488, 9489); and from this it was said that he would deny three times. That this was done in twilight, when morning was about to come, is evident in (John 18:28); and that cockcrowing and twilight are the same, is evident in Mark:--

Watch ye, for ye know not when the lord of the house will come; at even, or at midnight, or at cockcrowing, or in the morning (Mark 13:35).

From all this it can now be seen what is signified by "morning."

AC 10134


That evening in general signifies a state of light in obscurity, is evident in Jeremiah:--

Arise and let us go up at noon; woe unto you because the day departeth, because the shades of evening are stretched out; arise, let us go up in the night, and let us destroy palaces (Jer. 6:4, 5);

where evening and night signify the last times of the church, when all faith and love have been destroyed. In Zechariah:--

It shall be one day which is known unto Jehovah, when about the time of evening there shall be light. In that day living waters shall go out from Jerusalem, and Jehovah shall be King over all the earth (Zech. 14:7-9);

speaking of the coming of the Lord; the end of the church is the time of evening; light denotes the Lord as to Divine truth So in Daniel:--

A holy one said unto me, Even until evening, morning, two thousand three hundred (Daniel 8:13, 14).

AC 10135

Back to Words index, Back to Time words index

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