Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 3693

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3693. 'And spent the night there because the sun had gone down' means life enveloped in obscurity. This is clear from the meaning of 'the night' as a state of shade, dealt with in 1712, so that 'spending the night' is living within that state; and from the meaning of 'the sun going down' as being in obscurity, for at sundown it is evening, which means obscurity' see 3056. The obscurity meant here is obscurity of intelligence as regards truth, and obscurity of wisdom as regards good, for the light which angels receive from the Lord holds intelligence and wisdom within it, and also has its origin in these, 1521, 1524, 1529, 1530, 3138, 3167, 3195, 3339, 3341, 3636, 3637, 3643. To the extent therefore that the light is with them so also is intelligence and wisdom, but to the extent that the light is not with them, and so shade instead, neither is intelligence or wisdom, 2776, 3190, 3337. This is why something that comes to be understood is said in everyday language to have light shed upon it. People do not know the origin of this use of words, and so they believe the usage to be no more than a comparison. In addition to this one there are many other expressions used by a person which spring from a perception of such things as exist in the next life where he is as to his spirit. Those things have entered into his vocabulary because they have been acknowledged interiorly yet have become hidden from view through things of the body which are such that they blot out the matters of perception among which his interior man exists.

[2] 'Sundown' in the Word means the falsity and evil in which those people are immersed with whom no charity or faith is present, and so means the last period of the Church - see 1837. Also it means obscurity as regards things that belong to good and truth, the kind of obscurity which envelops people who are in a degree more remote from matters of doctrine that are Divine - see 3691. For 'sundown' or 'the sun went down' means these things, as becomes clear from the following places in the Word: In Micah,

It will be night for you instead of vision, and darkness for you instead of divination; and the sun will go down over the prophets, and the day will become black over them. Micah 3:6.

'The sun will go down over the prophets' stands for their not possessing truth and an understanding of it any longer - 'the prophets' standing for people who teach the truths of doctrine, 2534. In Amos,

It will happen on that day, that I will make the sun go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in broad daylight; and I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation. Amos 8:9, 10.

'Making the sun go down at noon' stands for obscurity as regards truth with people who possess cognitions of good and truth - 'noon' being a state of light or of cognitions of truth, see 1458, 3195.

[3] In Isaiah,

Your sun will no longer go down, and your moon will not be withdrawn, for Jehovah will be to you an everlasting light. Isa 60:20.

This refers to the Lord's kingdom. 'The sun will no longer go down' stands for those who will be provided with the life of good and with wisdom because the Lord's celestial love and light will be with them. 'The moon will not be withdrawn' stands for those who will be provided with the life of truth and with intelligence because the Lord's spiritual love and light will be with them. For in the next life the Lord is to celestial angels a sun, and to spiritual a moon, and from that sun and moon they receive wisdom and intelligence, see 1053, 1521, 1529-1531, 2441, 2495, 3636, 3643. From this it is evident what is meant in the internal sense of the Word by 'sunrise' and 'sundown'.

[4] In David,

O Jehovah my God, You are very great! You are clothed with glory and honour - He who covers Himself with light as with a garment, [who] stretches out the heavens like a curtain, [Who] made the moon for established festivals - the sun knows its going down. You dispose the darkness, and it becomes night. Ps 104:1, 2, 19, 20,

Here similarly 'the moon' stands for intelligence, and 'the sun' for wisdom from the Lord, while 'sundown' stands for obscurity in both. 'Disposing the darkness so that it becomes night' stands for lessening the state of obscurity. For angels experience changes of state, ranging from a great profusion of light to a smaller amount of light, or from a great profusion of wisdom to a smaller amount of wisdom, and those changes of state are like morning, when the sun rises, noon when at its highest point, evening when it goes down, and then morning once again, as will in the Lord's Divine mercy be stated elsewhere.

[5] In Joshua,

From the wilderness and Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea, the going down of the sun, will be your boundary. Josh 1:4.

This is describing the full extent of the land of Canaan, which in the internal sense is the Lord's kingdom, see 1607, 3038, 3481. 'The River Euphrates' is one boundary of this, that is to say, of spiritual and celestial things, 1866, while 'the Great Sea' and 'the going down of the sun' are the other boundary, by which their furthest limit - which is obscurity compared with all else - is represented. For all the boundaries and all the places in that land have a representation, see 1585.

[6] In Moses,

If you take your neighbour's clothing as a pledge you shall restore it to him before the sun goes down; for this is his only covering; it is his clothing for his skin, in which he will lie down. Exod 22:26, 27.

And elsewhere in the same author,

If the man is poor you shall not lie down upon his pledge; you shall surely restore the pledge to him before the sun goes down, and let him lie on his own clothing and bless you; and it shall be righteousness to you before Jehovah your God. Deut 24:12,13.

This law, like every other, holds within it that which is a representative and a meaningful sign of Divine Law, which has to do with that which is good and true in the Lord's kingdom; and, as every detail shows, that which is held within it is also the origin of it. The goodness and truth held within it and from which the law springs is the precept that companions are not to be cheated out of external truths, which consist both in the matters of doctrine on which they base their lives and in their religious practices - 'clothing' meaning such truths, see 297, 1073, 2576, and the requirement to restore it [to the one who is poor] before the sun went down meaning before truth present with him perished. And since that truth is external it is said that that clothing is for his skin, in which he will lie down.

[7] In the same author,

The soul which has touched anything unclean shall be unclean until the evening and shall not eat any of the holy things; but when he has bathed his flesh with water, and the sun has gone down, he will be clean; and afterwards he shall eat from the holy things. Lev 22:6, 7.

And elsewhere in the same author,

The person who is not clean - towards evening he shall bathe himself with water; and when the sun goes down he shall enter the midst of the camp. Deut 23:10, 11.

This law also, it is clear, has its origin in the laws of good and truth, or the laws of order, existing in the Lord's kingdom, for why else would it have been commanded that the unclean person was to wait until evening when he was to bathe himself with water, and after the sun had gone down would be clean? The law of order existing in the Lord's kingdom from which the law stated above derives is this: When good and angelic spirits sink into a state of self-love and consequently into a state of falsity, they are returned for a brief while into their own natural or lower state and there they are equipped with cognitions of good and truth that relate to that matter. This is what is meant by 'bathing themselves with water in the evening', for 'bathing oneself with water' means being purified from falsities, see 3147, 3148, and 'water' means cognitions of truth, 28, 680, 739, 2702, 3058. And after being in that state of obscurity meant by 'sundown' they return to their previous state, meant by their then being clean and entering into the midst of the camp. This matter will in the Lord's Divine mercy be described from experience elsewhere. From all these places that have been quoted it is evident that 'sundown' in the Word means a state of obscurity as regards truth in the case of those who are good and a state of falsity in the case of those who are evil.

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