Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 3355

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3355. In the internal sense 'an earthquake' is an alteration of the state of the Church. This is clear from the meaning of 'the earth' as the Church, dealt with in 566, 662, 1066, 1068, 1262, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928, and from the meaning of 'a quake' as an alteration of state, here an alteration as regards the things that constitute the Church, namely good and truth. This is also evident from other places in the Word, as in Isaiah,

It will happen, that he who is fleeing from the sound of the terror will fall into the pit, and he who is climbing out of the middle of the pit will be caught in the snare, for the floodgates from on high have been opened and the foundations of the earth have been made to tremble, the earth has been utterly shattered. The earth has been made to quake thoroughly, the earth staggers like a drunken man, it sways to and fro like a hut, and heavy upon it is its transgression, and it will fall and not rise again. And it will be on that day, that Jehovah will visit the host of the height on high and the kings of the ground on the ground. Isa 24:18-21.

Here it is guise evident that 'the earth' is the Church, for the subject is a Church whose 'foundations' are said to 'have been made to tremble', while the Church itself, having been 'shattered' and 'made to quake', 'staggers' and 'sways to and fro' when good and truth are not known any longer. 'The kings of the ground' are truths, in this case falsities, upon which visitation will take place. As regards 'kings' meaning truths and in the contrary sense falsities, see 1672, 2015, and as regards 'the ground' being similar in meaning to 'the earth', namely the Church, though there is a difference, see 566, 1068.

[2] In the same prophet,

I will make a man (homo) more rare than pure gold, and a man (homo) than the gold of Ophir. Therefore I will make heaven quake and the earth will quake out of its place, at the wrath of Jehovah Zebaoth and in the day of His fierce anger. Isa 13:12, 13.

Here also, the subject being Judgement Day, 'the earth' plainly stands for the Church which is said to 'quake out of its place' when it undergoes a change of state - 'place' meaning state, see 1273-1275, 1377, 2625, 2837. In the same prophet,

Is this the man who, making the earth quake, making the kingdoms quake, makes the world into a wilderness and destroys its cities? Isa 14:16, 17.

This refers to Lucifer. 'The earth' stands for the Church, which is said 'to quake' when it lays claim to all things as its own. For 'kingdoms' means the truths accepted by the Church, see 1672, 2547.

[3] In Ezekiel,

It will be on that day, that Gog will come over the land of Israel. My wrath will come up in My anger and in My zeal. In the fire of My wrath I will say, Surely on that day there will be a great earthquake on Israel's ground. Ezek 38:18-20.

'Gog' stands for external worship that has been separated from internal and so made idolatrous, 1151. 'Israel's land' or 'ground' stands for the spiritual Church, 'an earthquake' for an alteration of its state. In Joel,

The earth quaked before Him, the heavens trembled. The sun and the moon were darkened, and the stars withdrew their shining. Joel 2:10.

This also refers to Judgement Day. 'The earth quaked' stands for an altered state of the Church, 'the sun and moon' for the good of love and the truth of faith, 1529, 1530, 2441, 2495, which are said to be 'darkened' when goods and truths are not acknowledged any longer. 'The stars' stands for cognitions of good and truth, 2495, 2849. In David,

The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook and trembled because He was angered. Ps 18:6, 7.

'The earth trembled and quaked' stands for the Church when its state has become perverted

[4] In John,

When he opened the sixth seal I looked again, and behold, a great earthquake took place, and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the full moon became like blood, and the stars in the sky fell to the earth. Rev 6:12, 13.

Here 'an earthquake', 'the sun', 'the moon', and 'the stars' have a similar meaning to that which they have above in Joel. In the same book,

At that hour a great earthquake took place, and a tenth part of the city fell, and there were killed in the earthquake seven thousand people.a Rev 11:13.

From all these places it is evident that 'an earthquake' means nothing other than an alteration of the state of the Church, and that 'the earth' has no other meaning in the internal sense than the Church. And since 'the earth' is the Church it is clear that 'the new heaven and the new earth' which are to take the place of the previous heaven and earth, Isa 65:17; 66:22; Rev 21:1, means nothing other than a new Church, internal and external, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118 (end).


alit. seven thousand names of people

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