586. 'The imagination of the thoughts of his heart was altogether evil all the day long' means that there was no perception of good and truth, the reason being, as has been stated and shown, that they immersed doctrinal matters concerning faith in their filthy desires. Once this had happened all perception perished, its place being taken by dreadful persuasion, that is, firmly fixed and lethal delusions, which also brought about their extinction and suffocation. Such deadly persuasion is here meant by 'the imagination of the thoughts of his heart'. But when 'the imagination of the heart' stands alone without the expression 'of the thoughts' the evil which belongs to self-love or to evil desires is meant, as in Chapter 8 below where, after Noah had offered burnt offerings, Jehovah said,
I will curse the ground no more on account of man, for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his childhood. Gen 8:21.
 'Imagination' is that which a person fashions for himself and of which he persuades himself, as in Habakkuk,
What profit is a graven image since its image-worker has graven it, a metal image and a teacher of lies, since the image-worker trusts in his own imagination to make dumb idols? Hab 2:18.
'A graven image' means false persuasions resulting from ideas conceived and hatched by self. 'An image-worker' is someone who persuades himself, to whom 'imagination' has reference. In Isaiah,
O your perversity! Surely the potter will not be regarded as the clay, that the thing made will say to its maker, He did not make me? Or that the work of his imagination will say to its image-worker, He had no understanding? Isa 29:16.
'Imagination' here stands for thought originating in the proprium and for resulting false persuasion. In general 'imagination' is that which a conceives from the heart or will, and also from his thinking or persuasion, as in David,
Jehovah knows our imagination, and remembers that we are dust. Ps 103:14.
I know his imagination which he is performing this day, before I bring him into the land. Deut 31:21.
586[a] Verse 6 And Jehovah repenteda that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
'He repented' means mercy; 'He was grieved in heart' has a similar meaning. 'Repenting' has regard to wisdom, 'grieving in heart' to love.