1740. That 'the king of Sodom' means the evil and falsity that had been overcome is clear from the meaning of 'Sodom' as evil and falsity, as shown above in this chapter. Verse 17 above says that 'the king of Sodom went out to meet Abram' which meant that evil and falsity submitted. The present verse continues the idea that they were suppliant.
 The reason why evil and falsity were overcome, or why evils and falsities are overcome by means of the conflicts constituting temptations, and so why goods and truths are acquired, is that this is the manner in which evils and falsities are dispelled. Once these have been dispelled goods and truths take their place, and in the end are confirmed more and more and so strengthened. Indeed it is evil spirits who activate evils and falsities, and unless they do so a person scarcely knows that they are evils and falsities. But once activated they are evident. And the longer the conflicts brought about by temptations persist, the more evident such evils and falsities become, till at length they are regarded with abhorrence.
 And as evils and falsities are dispelled, so goods and truths take their place; and the more a person contracts an abhorrence of evils and falsities, the more love the Lord instills for goods and truths. Furthermore the greater that abhorrence of evils and falsities becomes, the less do evil spirits dare to approach, for they cannot stand this aversion to and abhorrence of the evils and falsities constituting their life. Sometimes they are seized with terror the moment they start to approach. And the more love there is for goods and truths, the more do angels love to be with man, and this to the angels is heaven; for their own life exists with them when the goods of love and the truths of faith exist with them.