584. Verse 20. And the rest of the men who were not killed in these plagues, signifies who did not perish by the cupidities above mentioned. This is evident from the signification of "the rest of the men who were not killed," as being all those who did not perish. "To be killed" signifies in the Word to be killed spiritually, which is to perish in eternal death (see above, n. 547, 572). Also from the signification of "these plagues," as being the cupidities above mentioned, namely, those signified by "fire, smoke, and brimstone going out of the mouth of the horses," which signify the cupidities that arise from the love of evil and the love of falsity, also the lusts of destroying the truths and goods of the church by the falsities of evil (as may be seen above, n. 578. These are called "plagues," because "plagues" signify in the Word such things as destroy the spiritual life, consequently the church in men, and which therefore induce death understood in the spiritual sense. These in brief have reference to the cupidities springing from the loves of self and of the world; for these loves are the roots from which evils and falsities of every genus and species spring up and grow.
Revelation 9:20; The Apocalypse Explained 547, 572, 578)
 Such also is the signification of "plagues" in the following passages in Revelation:
The two witnesses have power over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague as often as they will (Revelation 11:6).
Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for the plague thereof was exceeding great (Revelation 16:21).
In one day shall the plagues of Babylon come, death and mourning and famine (Revelation 18:8).
I saw seven angels having the seven last plagues, through which is to be finished the wrath of God (Revelation 15:1, 6, 8). That "plagues" mean such things as induce upon man spiritual death, consequently that wholly destroy and devastate the church with men in particular and thus in general, will be seen in the explanation of the passages that follow, where "plagues" are mentioned, and especially where "the seven last plagues" are treated of.
 "Plagues" have a like meaning in the following passages in the prophets. In Isaiah:
The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, in the day that Jehovah shall bind up the breach of His people, and shall heal the wound of their plague (Isaiah 30:26).
It is desperate for thy bruise, thy plague is sore. I have smitten thee with the plague of an enemy. I will make health to ascend upon thee; I will heal thee of thy plague (Jeremiah 30:12, 14, 17).
In the same:
Everyone that passeth by Edom shall hiss at all the plagues thereof (4 Jeremiah 49:17).
In the same:
Everyone that passeth by Babylon shall hiss at all her plagues (Jeremiah 50:13).
If they will 1
not take heed to do all the words of the law, Jehovah will make thy plagues wonderful, great plagues and lasting, and evil and lasting diseases. Also every disease and every plague which is not written in the book of this law will Jehovah secretly send upon thee until thou be destroyed (Deuteronomy 28:58, 59, 61).
"Plagues" here signify spiritual plagues, which destroy the soul, not the body, and which are enumerated in this chapter of Deuteronomy (verses 20-68).
Deuteronomy 28:8, 28:20-68, 28:58-59, 28:68)
 What "plagues" signify in the spiritual sense is described by correspondences in Zechariah:
This shall be the plague wherewith Jehovah will plague all the peoples that shall wage war against Jerusalem; his flesh shall waste away as he standeth upon his feet, and his eyes shall waste away in their sockets, and his tongue shall waste away in his mouth. So shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, of the ass, and of every beast that shall be in those camps, as this plague (Zechariah 14:12, 15).
This is said of those who endeavor to destroy the truths of the church by falsities; "Jerusalem" signifies the church in respect to the truths of doctrine, and "to wage war against it" means to endeavor to destroy these truths by falsities. That "one's flesh shall waste away as he standeth upon his feet" signifies that with those who attempt this, all the will of good will perish, and that they will thus become merely corporeal-natural, for "flesh" signifies the will and its good or evil; "feet" signify the things of the natural man, therefore "to stand upon the feet" signifies to live from such things only; "his eyes shall waste away in their sockets" signifies that all understanding of truth will perish, "eyes" signifying that understanding; "his tongue shall waste away in his mouth" signifies that all perception of truth and affection of good will perish. (This prophecy is explained above, n. 455.) Almost the same things are signified by "the plagues of the horse, the mule, the camel, the ass, and every beast," for the "plague" of these signifies the loss of all understanding of truth, as well spiritual as natural; and "the plague of the beast" signifies the loss of all affection for good.
The Apocalypse Explained 455)
 In Luke:
In the same hour in which John sent unto Him, Jesus cured many of diseases and plagues of evil spirits; and on many that were blind He bestowed sight (Luke 7:21).
"The plagues of evil spirits" mean the obsessions and calamitous conditions then inflicted upon men by evil spirits, all of which however signify correspondent spiritual states; for all the healings of diseases performed by the Lord signified spiritual healings, and from this the miracles of the Lord were Divine; as this, that "on many that were blind He bestowed sight," which signified that to those who were in ignorance of truth He gave the understanding of the truths of doctrine:
The wounds [plagas] that the robbers inflicted on the man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho (Luke 10:30);
also signifies spiritual wounds, which were the falsities and evils infused into sojourners and Gentiles by the scribes and Pharisees. (See above, n. 444, where this parable is explained in its spiritual sense.)
1. Latin has "they will," the Hebrew "thou whilt," as also in Apocalypse Explained 696; Arcana Coelestia 2826, 6752.
Deuteronomy 28:8; The Apocalypse Explained 444)