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 Setting Sun

That in the Word the setting of the sun signifies the falsity and evil in which they are who have no charity and faith; thus that it signifies also the last time of the church, may be seen above (AR 1837); and also that it signifies obscurity in respect to those things which are of good and truth, such as exists with those who are in a degree more remote from Divine doctrinal things, may be seen above (AR 3691). That the setting of the sun, or the sun being set, has these significations, may be seen from the following passages in the Word. In Micah:--

Night unto you instead of vision; and darkness unto you instead of divination; and the sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall be black over them (Micah 3:6);

the sun shall go down upon the prophets signifies that they have no longer any truth and understanding of truth; prophets denote those who teach the truths of doctrine (AR 2534). In Amos:--

It shall come to pass in that day that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the day of light; and I will turn your feast into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation (Amos 8:9, 10);

to cause the sun to go down at noon denotes obscurity as to truth with those who are in the knowledges of good and truth. Noon signifies a state of light, or of the knowledges of truth, (AR 1458, 3195).

[3] In Isaiah:--

Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for Jehovah shall be thine everlasting light (Isa. 60:20);

where the Lord's kingdom is treated of; the sun shall no more go down denotes that they shall be in the life of good and in wisdom, because in the Lord's celestial love and light; the moon shall not withdraw itself denotes that they shall be in the life of truth, and in intelligence, because in the Lord's spiritual love and light. In the other life the Lord is a sun to the celestial angels, and a moon to the spiritual angels, and hence they have wisdom and intelligence, (AR 1053, 1521, 1529-1531, 2441, 2495, 3636, 3643). From this it is evident what is meant in the internal sense of the Word by the rising' and setting" of the sun.

[4] In David:--

O Jehovah my God Thou art very great Thou hast put on glory and honor who covereth Himself with light as with a garment He stretcheth out the heavens like a curtain he made the moon for appointed festivals He knoweth the going down of the sun. Thou disposest the darkness that it may become night (Ps. 104:1, 2, 19, 20);

here in like manner the moon denotes intelligence, and the sun wisdom, from the Lord; the going down of the sun denotes the obscurity of each; to dispose the darkness that it may become night, signifies the moderating of a state of obscurity. That the angels have changes of state between the highest degree of light and a less degree, or between the highest degree of wisdom and a less degree, and that these changes of state are as the morning when the sun rises, and as midday when it is in its greatest altitude, and as the evening when it sets, and afterwards as morning again, will of the Lord's Divine mercy be shown elsewhere.

[5] In Joshua:--

From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your border (Joshua 1:4)

where there is described the extension of the land of Canaan, by which is signified in the internal sense the Lord's kingdom (AR 1607, 3038, 3481). The river Euphrates is one border of it, that is, of things spiritual and celestial, (AR 1866); and the great sea and the going down of the sun" is another, by which is represented the ultimate, which is relatively obscure also the all the borders and all the places in that land are representative, (AR 1585).

[6] In Joshua:--

If in taking a pledge thou shalt take for a pledge thy neighbor's garment, thou shalt restore it unto him before the sun goeth down for that is his only covering, it is his garment for his skin, wherein he shall sleep (Exod. 22:26, 27).

And again

If he be a poor man, thou shalt not lie down upon his pledge thou shalt surely restore to him the pledge before the sun goeth down and he shall bless thee and it shall be righteousness unto thee before Jehovah thy God (Deut. 24:12, 13).

That in this law, as in all the rest, there is what is representative and significative of the Divine law, which is that of good and truth in the Lord's kingdom, from which this law comes, is manifest from its particulars. That it contains as the very ground of the law that a man's companions ought not to be deprived of external truths, which are the doctrinal things according to which they live, and their rituals; and that such truths are the garment, may be seen above (AR 297, 1073, 2576). Restoring the pledge before the sun went down, denotes before truth perishes with him; and because this truth is external, it is said that the garment is for his skin in which he shall sleep."

[7] Again:--

The soul that hath touched what is unclean shall be unclean until the even, and shall not eat of the holy things; but when he has bathed his flesh in water, and the sun is down, he shall be clean; and afterwards he shall eat of the holy things (Lev. 22:6, 7).

And again:--

He that is not clean, toward evening shall bathe himself in waters; and when the sun is down, he shall enter into the midst of the camp (Deut. 23:10, 11).

That this law also has its origin in the laws of good and truth, or the laws of order in the Lord's kingdom, is evident; otherwise it would never have been commanded that the unclean person should be unclean until the evening, and should then wash himself with waters, and after the sun was down should be clean. The law of order in the Lord's kingdom from which the above law comes, is that when good and angelic spirits lapse into a state of the love of self, and thereby into a state of falsity, they are then remitted a little into their natural or lower state, and are there imbued with knowledges of good and truth that bear upon the matter in question, which is signified by washing themselves with waters in the evening. Washing with waters denotes to be purified from falsities, (AR 3147, 3148); and waters" are the knowledges of truth, (AR 28, 680, 739, 2702, 3058). And after they have been in that obscure state which is signified by the going down of the sun, they return into their former state, which is signified by their being clean, and entering into the midst of the camp, on which subject of the Lord's Divine mercy something shall be said elsewhere from experience. From what has been said it is now evident that when mentioned in the Word the going down of the sun with the good signifies an obscure state as to truth; and with the evil a state of falsity.

AC 3693

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