« PreviousContinue »
762. “ Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works : in the cup which she bath mixed, mix unto her double,” signifies, just retribution and punishment after death, when the evils and falses, by which they have seduced and destroyed others, will return upon themselves, according to their quantity and quality, which is called the law of retaliation. Reward her as she rewarded you, signifies, just retribution and thus punishment after death ; double unto her double according to her works, signifies that the evils, by which they seduced and destroyed others, will return upon them according to their quantity and quality ; in the cup which she had filled fill to her double, signifies that it will be the same in regard to falses; for by cup or wine are signified falses, n. 316, 635, 642, 672. Nearly the same things are said of Babel in the prophets : “Recompense Babylon according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her; for she hath been proud against Jehovah, against the Holy One of Israel,” Jerem. 1. 29. “For it is the vengeance of Jehovah ; take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her," Jerem. l. 15. “O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed, happy sball he be that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us," Psalm cxxxvii. 8. It is according to the literal sense that they, whom they had seduced and destroyed, were to reward them, but, according to the spiritual sense, they were to reward themselves, because every evil carries its own punishment along with it ; this is sirnilar to what is said in many parts of the Word, that God will recompense and take vengeance upon the injustice and injuries done to him, and froni anger and wrath will destroy them, when, nevertheless, the evils theinselves, which they have committed against God, do this, consequently they do it to themselves; for this is the law of retaliation, which derives its origin from the following divine law, “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for
1 this is the law and the prophets,” Matt. vii. 12; Luke vi. 31. This law in heaven is the law of mutual love or charity, whence there exists what is opposite in hell, in that there happens to every one that which he would do to another, not that they who are in heaven do it, but they who are in hell do it to themselves, for the retribution of retaliation exists from the opposition to that law of life in heaven, as an inherent thing in their evils. By double is signified much according to quantity and quality, in the following places also: “Let them be confounded that persecute me,-bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction,” Jerein. xvji. 18, also much according to the quantity and quality of their conversion from evils, in these passages : “Comfort ye my people, speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, for she hath received of Jehovah's hand double for all her sins," Isaiah xl. 1, 2. “ Return you to the strong-bold, ye prisoners of bope, even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee,” Zech. ix. 12. “For your shame ye shall have double ; therefore in their land they shall possess the double : everlasting joy shall be unto them,” Isaiah Ixi. 7.
763. “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her,” signifies, that in proportion to their elatedness of heart resulting from dominion, and according to their exultation of mind and body resulting from riches, they experience internal grief after death, in consequence of falling from power and becoming contemptible, and being reduced to indigence and misery. By how much she hath glorified herself, is signified in proportion to their elatedness of heart resulting from dominion, since from this they glorify themselves; by how much she hath lived deliciously, is signified in proportion to their exultation of mind and body on account of their riches, and their consequent delights and pleasures, as above, n. 759; by giving her torment, is signified internal grief on account of their fall from power, and consequent degradation ; their torment after death proceeds from no other source; and by giving her mourning, is signified internal grief through being reduced to indigence and misery, their mourning after death proceeding from thence. The delight of the love of ruling grounded in self-love, over all things of the Lord, which are all things of heaven and the church, is turned after death into such torment; and the pleasure of the love of filling the mind and body with delicacies and indulgences procured by wealth, among those who are principled in the above-mentioned love of power, is changed into such mourning; for the delights and satisfactions proceeding from various kinds of love constitute the life of every one, wherefore when those delights and satisfactions are converted into their opposites, the result is torment and mourning, these are the retributions and punishments which are meant in the Word by torments in bell; and the hatred thence derived against the Lord, and against all things of heaven and the church, is meant by hell fire. The like is said of Babylon in the prophets ; as, “ I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight,” Jerem. li. 24. “ Because the spoiler is come upon Babylon, for Jehovah the God of recompenses shall surely requite," Jerem. li. 5, 56. “Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, the worm (the torment which is internal grief) is spread under thee; for thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will be like the Most High: yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee sball say, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?" Isaiah xiv. 11, 13-16, speaking of Lucifer, who in this passage is Babylon, as is evident from verses 422 of that chapter. 764. “For she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and
no widow, and shall see no sorrow," signifies, that these things befall them because from elatedness of heart over dominion, and exultation of mind over riches, they are in full trust and confidence, that they shall reign for ever, and be their own protectors, and that they can never be deprived of their power and possessions. To say in her heart, signifies, from elatedness of heart by reason of dominion, to be in full trust, as also from exultation of mind on account of riches, to be in full confi.
dence; I sit a queen, signifies, that they shall reign, in the present instance for ever, because it follows, and shall see no sorrow; and am no widow, signifies, that they shall be their own protectors ; for by a widow is signified one who is without protection, because without a husband. The words queen and widow are used, and not king and man or husband, because Babylon as a church is understood; and I shall see no sorrow, signifies, that they can never be deprived of those two things viz., of power and riches; that their being deprived of them is the cause of mourning after deaih, may be seen above, n. 763. The like is said of Babylon in Isaiah: “ Thou shalt no more be called the lady of kingdoms. And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever; that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children. But these two things shall come to thee in a moment, in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall
upon thee for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments. For thou hast trusted in wickedness; thou hast said, seeth me. Thy wisdom it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside
Therefore shall evil come upon thee,” xlvii. 5, 8 -11. By a widow in the Word is meant one who is without protection, for, in a spiritual sense, by a widow is signified one who is in good and not in truth, for by a man is signified truth, and by his wife, good ; consequently, by a widow is signified good without truth, and good without truth is without protection, since truth protects good; this is the signification of a widow when mentioned in the Word, as in Isaiah ix. 13, 14, 16, x. 1, 2, Jerem. xxii. 3, xlix. 10, 11, Lament. v. 2, 3, Ezek. xxii. 6, 7, Malachi jii. 5, Psalm lxviii. 5, cxlvi. 7, 8, 9, Exod. xxii. 20—23, Deut. x. 18, xxvii. 19, Matt. xxiii. 14, Luke iv. 26, xx. 47.
765. “ Therefore in one day shall her plagues come, death, and sorrow, and famine," signifies, that therefore at the time of the last judgment, the punishment of the evils they have committed shall return upon them, namely,
death, which is infernal life, and intestine grief in consequence of their fall from power, sorrow, which is eternal grief through being reduced from a state of opulence to want and misery, and famine, which is the deprivation of the understanding of all truth. By “therefore," is meant because she hath said in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow, of which above, n. 764; in one day, signifies, the time of the last judgment, which is also called the day of judgment; by plagues are signified the punishments of the evils, which they committed in the world, and which will then return upon them ; by death is signified infernal life, and intestine grief, in consequence of their fall from power, as above, n. 764, it is called torment, concerning which death something will be said presently ; by sorrow is signified internal grief, through being reduced from a state of opulence to want and misery, as above, n. 764; by famine is signified the deprivation of the understanding of all truth; into these three plagues, or punishments, do they come who are of that religion, who have ruled from self-love, and not from any love of usefulness, except for the sake of themselves; these are also atheists at heart, since they attribute every thing to their own prudence and to nature : the rest of that nation, who are like them, but do not think interiorly in themselves, are idolaters. That by the plague or punishment which is called famine, is meant the deprivation of the understanding of all truth, may be seen above, n. 323; every man, indeed, so long as he lives in the world, has rationality, that is, the faculty of understanding truth; this faculty continues with every man after death, but yet they who, from self-love, and the pride of self-derived intelligence, have imbibed false principles of religion in this world, have no desire to understand truth after death ; and not to will or desire is as not having the ability : this want of ability through the absence of will or desire prevails among all such persons as are above described, and is increased from the circumstance of the delight of the concupiscence of falsity for the sake of dominion, causing them to imbibe continually new confirming falses, and thus to become in point of un