537. Verse 2. And he opened the pit of the abyss, signifies communication and conjunction with the hells where and from which are such falsities. This is evident from the signification of "to open" as here being to communicate and conjoin (of which presently); and from the signification of "the pit of the abyss" as being the hell where and from which are such falsities. These are called in the Word "pits [or wells] of the abyss" because a "pit" [or well] signifies the Word in the sense of the letter and the truth of doctrine therefrom, but in the contrary sense the Word falsified and the falsity of doctrine therefrom; and the "abyss" (or depth of the sea) signifies hell. This signifies the hell where those are who have falsified the truths of the Word by applying its truths to the evils of life, because such hells appear to those who are above like seas, and those who are in them appear to be in their depths. These seas or hells I have also seen, and also those who are in their depths; but those who spoke with me therefrom declared that they were not in waters, but on dry ground. This shows that the waters of these seas are appearances corresponding to the falsities in which those are who are in them. The waters of these seas are grosser and denser according to the falsifications, and the depths also differ in accordance with the evils that have been falsified.
 What "abyss" signifies in the Word will be told below. "To open the pit of the abyss" signifies communication and conjunction with such hells, because the hells are not opened except when evil spirits enter, which takes place when they have fulfilled their time in the world of spirits; for it is not allowed to any evil spirit to go out from hell when he has been once cast into it; if he goes out he nevertheless immediately falls back into it. But every man is conjoined with spirits who are in the world of spirits, who are such as he himself is; consequently a man who falsifies the Word by applying it to evils of life and to falsities confirming those evils, is conjoined with like spirits, and by them with the hells that are in like falsities. Every man after death becomes a spirit, and he then becomes at once attached either with infernal or with heavenly societies, according to his life in the world; and all spirits, before they are cast down into hell or raised up into heaven, are first in the world of spirits, and they are then with men who are living in the world, evil spirits with the evil, and good spirits with the good. Through these man has communication and conjunction either with the hells or with the heavens. This makes clear that "to open the pit" does not signify to open hell, but to have communication, and by communication conjunction with hell. From everyone of the hells falsities of evil exhale in great abundance, and in these falsities are the spirits who are in the world of spirits, and at the same time the men who are in like falsities in our world. No spirit or man can be anywhere else than where the love of his life is, for that which a man loves, that he wills, that he thinks, and that he breathes. (What the world of spirits is, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 421-431, et seq.)
 A "pit" [or well] signifies the Word and the truth of doctrine, and in the contrary sense the Word falsified and the falsity of doctrine therefrom, because "pits" contain waters, and "waters" signify truths, and in the contrary sense falsities (as shown above, n. 71, 483, 518). That a "pit" [or well] has these two meanings can be seen from the following passages in the Word. In Moses:
They journeyed to Beer; this is the well whereof Jehovah said unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give it 1
waters. Then Israel sang this song, Come up, O well; answer ye from it; the princes digged the well, the willing ones of the people delved it, through the lawgiver, with their staves (Numbers 21:16-18).
That this "well" signifies the truth of doctrine from the Word is evident from the song that Israel sang respecting it: "Come up, O well, answer ye from it," signifies that doctrine from the Word should teach truth and that they should receive it, "Come up, O well," signifying the calling forth of truth, and "answer ye from it" reception and instruction; "the princes digged the well, the willing ones of the people delved it, through the lawgiver, with their staves," signifies that those who are in truths and in the goods of truths are enlightened by the Lord, and from Him by means of the Word search out and collect doctrine; "princes" signifying those who are in truths; "the willing ones of the people" those who are in the goods of truth; "to dig" to search out and gather up; "lawgiver" the Lord in respect to the Word and the doctrine from the Word, and "staves" the potency and powers of the mind, here from the Lord by means of the Word, because it is said, "by the lawgiver." This makes clear what "well" here signifies. "Israel sang a song" respecting it, because "Beer," in the original, means a well, and in the spiritual sense "a well" signifies the Word, and doctrine from the Word; likewise "Beersheba," which is often mentioned in the historical parts of the Word.
The Apocalypse Explained 71, The Apocalypse Explained 483, 518)
 The same is meant by:
Jacob's well, at which the Lord sat and spoke with the Samaritan woman, and said, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, thou wouldest ask water of Him, and He would give thee living water; and this should become a fountain of water springing up unto everlasting life (John 4:6-15).
The Lord spoke with the Samaritan woman at that well, because "the Samaritan woman" meant the church to be established with the Gentiles, and "the Samaritans" who are also mentioned in other passages, mean the Gentiles that were to receive doctrine from the Lord and respecting the Lord. This "well" signifies doctrine from the Word, the "water" the truth of doctrine, and "the Lord sitting at that well" the Word or Divine truth. That salvation is from the Lord by means of Divine truth from the Word is signified by "the water which He would give should become a fountain of water springing up unto everlasting life."
 Something similar to what is signified by "the well of Jacob" is signified also by:
The wells that the servants of Abraham and the servants of Isaac dug, respecting which they strove with the servants of Abimelech (Genesis 21:26; 26:1, 15, 18-22, 25, 32).
The wells that the servants of Abraham and the servants of Isaac dug signify the truths of doctrine, because by "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," in the Word, the Lord is meant; but "Abimelech" king of Gerar, or of the Philistines, means those who place salvation in truths alone without the good of life, as those do at the present day who are in faith alone. And as every truth is from good, or everything of faith from charity, and as those who separate and exclude good from truth, or charity from faith, possess no genuine truth of doctrine, but every truth of the Word with them is like the meaning of the mere words with no perception of the thing, thus like a shell without a kernel, so they dispute about the truths of faith; this was represented and signified by the strifes of the servants of Abimelech with the servants of Abraham and of Isaac respecting the wells. There is an internal spiritual sense in the historical parts as well as in the prophetical parts of the Word, as can be seen from the Arcana Coelestia, where the histories that are contained in Genesis and Exodus are explained in respect to the internal spiritual sense; so, too, what is said about the wells of Abraham and Isaac, as may be seen. Why else should there be historical statements respecting wells in the Word?
 In Luke:
Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a well; and will not straightway draw him out on a Sabbath day? (Luke 14:5).
This was a statute with the Israelitish and Jewish nation, because of the spiritual sense contained in it; for all the statutes, judgments, and commandments given to the sons of Israel signified spiritual things belonging to heaven and to the church; so this statute signified that if anyone falls into falsity or into evil, he must be led out of it by means of the truth that is taught from the Lord on the Sabbath day. The "well" here means falsity and the evil of falsity; "an ass and an ox" signify the truth and good of the natural man; "to fall into a well" signifies into falsity and into the evil of falsity; "to be drawn out on a Sabbath day" signifies to be instructed and thus led out of these; for "the Sabbath day" signifies here the Lord in relation to instruction and doctrine, therefore He calls Himself "Lord of the Sabbath." (That an "ass" signifies the truth of the natural man, see Arcana Coelestia 2781, 5741; and that an "ox" signifies the good of the natural man, n. 2180, 2566, 9134.)
 Nearly the same spiritual sense is contained in these words in Moses:
When a man shall open a pit, or when a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall into it, the owner of the pit shall requite and shall return silver unto the owner 2
of it; and the dead beast shall be his (Exodus 21:33, 34).
"When a man shall open a pit" signifies when one shall proclaim any falsity that he has; or "when a man shall dig a pit" signifies when he shall frame or hatch out a falsity; "and an ox or an ass fall therein" signifies the perversion of good and truth in the natural belonging to another; "the owner of the pit shall requite" signifies that he from whom is the falsity shall make amend; "and return silver to the owner of it" signifies by means of truth with him whose truth and good in the natural has been perverted; "and the dead beast shall be his" signifies that the evil or the falsity shall remain with him (but this may be seen more fully explained in Arcana Coelestia 9084-9089). Here "pit" has the same signification as well.
 So in Matthew:
Blind leaders of the blind. When the blind leads the blind, both fall into the pit (Matthew 15:14; Luke 6:39).
This the Lord said to the scribes and Pharisees, who understood nothing of truth, although they had the Word, in which are all Divine truths; and because they taught falsities and their falsities were also believed by the people, they are called "blind leaders of the blind;" those are called in the Word "blind" who do not understand truth; and because "pit" signifies falsity, it is said that "they both fall into it."
 In David:
Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink; let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the depths of waters. Let not the billows of waters overwhelm me, neither let the abyss swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me (Psalms 69:14, 15).
Here very evidently the "pit" signifies the hell where and from which are falsities, for it is said, "let not the pit shut her mouth upon me," that is, let not the hell from which are falsities, or falsities from hell, wholly possess me, that I may not escape; "deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink," means out of the evil of falsity, lest I perish; "let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the depths of waters," signifies to be delivered from evils and falsities that are from the hells, "them that hate" meaning evils therefrom, and "depths of waters" falsities therefrom; "neither let the abyss swallow me up" signifies, let not the hell where are the falsities of evil, or the falsities of evil from hell, do this.
 In the same:
They make their mouth smooth as butter, and when one's heart draweth near, his words are softer than oil, yet are they drawn swords. But Thou, O God, wilt cast them down into the well of the pit (Psalms 55:21, 23).
This is said of those who simulate good affections when they utter falsities by which they lead astray; "to make the mouth smooth as butter" signifies a simulation of good by means of affections, "butter" signifying the good of external affection. "Their words are softer than oil" has a like signification, "oil" meaning the good of internal affection; "yet are they drawn swords" signifies, and yet they are falsities destroying good and truth, "drawn swords" meaning falsities destroying; "but Thou, O God, wilt cast them down into the well of the pit," signifies into the hell where there are destructive falsities of that kind.
 As "pits" have nearly the same signification in the Word as "wells," for they are like wells, I will also quote some passages respecting them. In Jeremiah:
Their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters; they came to the pits, they found no waters; they returned with their vessels empty (Jeremiah 14:3).
"Nobles" mean those who lead and teach others, "little ones" those who are led and taught, and "waters" truths; this makes evident what is signified by "Their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters;" "the pits in which there were no waters" signify doctrinals in which there are no truths; this makes evident what is signified by "they came to the pits, they found no waters;" that they had no knowledge [scientia] or understanding of truth is signified by "they returned with their vessels empty," "vessels" signifying in the Word things recipient of truth, and thus things of knowledge and understanding.
 In Zechariah:
By the blood of thy covenant I will send forth the bound out of the pit wherein is no water (Zechariah 9:11).
This is said of the deliverance of the faithful by the Lord, who were detained in the lower earth until His coming; and also of the enlightenment of the Gentiles who were in falsities from ignorance. "The blood of thy covenant" signifies Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, thus the Word, which is called a covenant because it is the means of conjunction, "covenant" signifying conjunction. "The bound in the pit in which there is no water" mean those who are in falsities from ignorance, "pit" here meaning doctrine not of truth, and also the lower earth where those who were in falsities from ignorance were detained until the Lord came, "wherein is no water" means where there is no truth; they are called "bound" because they could not be delivered from falsities except by the Lord.
 In Jeremiah:
My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew out for themselves pits, broken pits, that cannot hold waters (Jeremiah 2:13).
"To hew out pits, broken pits, that hold no waters," signifies to hatch out doctrinals from self-intelligence, which are false because they are from man's own (proprium), for man's own is nothing but evil, and because it is evil, falsity is brought forth from it, for evil can bring forth nothing but falsity. (But this may be seen explained above, n. 483.)
The Apocalypse Explained 483)
 In the same:
Jehovah, who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of the desert and the pit, in a land of drought and of dense shade, through a land that no man [vir] passed through, and where no man [homo] dwelt (Jeremiah 2:6).
It has been shown in the Arcana Coelestia, where Exodus is explained, that "the wilderness in which the sons of Israel were led," represented and signified the first state of the church that is to be established with those who are in mere ignorance of good and truth; and as that state was represented and signified by their wanderings in the wilderness, it is said that "Jehovah led them in a land of the desert and the pit, in a land of drought and of dense shade;" "a land of the desert and of drought" means here, as elsewhere in the Word, a state of non-perception of good, and "a land of the pit and of dense shade" means a state of ignorance of truth, and thus of falsity; "that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt," signifies where there is no understanding of truth nor perception of good, "man" [vir] in the Word meaning the understanding of truth, and "man" [homo] the perception of good, and the absence of both meaning no church either in respect to truth or to good.
 In Isaiah:
He that leadeth forth shall hasten that it may be opened, that he may not die in the pit, and that his bread fail not (Isaiah 51:14).
This is said of the Lord. His coming is meant by "he that leadeth forth shall hasten;" deliverance from the falsities of ignorance is signified by "that he die not in the pit," thus "pit" here has a similar signification as "the pit in which were the bound," above; that spiritual instruction and nourishment shall not fail is signified by "that his bread fail not," for "bread" means all spiritual food, and spiritual food means instruction in truths and goods, from which come intelligence and wisdom.
 In Ezekiel:
Behold, I bring strangers upon thee, the violent of the nations; and they shall draw their swords upon the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall profane thy radiance; they shall bring thee down into the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the heart of the seas (Ezekiel 28:7, 8).
This is said of the prince of Tyre, by whom are meant those who hatch out falsities from self-intelligence, which destroy the knowledges of truth and good; their destruction by their own falsities is signified by "Behold, I bring strangers upon thee, the violent of the nations," "strangers" signifying the falsities that destroy truths, and "the violent of the nations" the evils that destroy goods; that such will be destroyed by their falsities that are from self-intelligence is signified by "they shall draw their swords upon the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall profane thy radiance," "swords" meaning falsities destroying truths; "they shall bring thee down into the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the heart of the seas," [signifies their immersion in falsities and destruction and damnation by falsities from hell, ] 3
"pit," in like manner as "well," signifying infernal falsity; "them that are slain" those who perish by falsities, and "the heart of the seas," in like manner as "abyss," the hell where and from which are such falsities.
 The "pit:"
Into which they let down Jeremiah the prophet, and out of which Ebed-melech and the men with him drew Jeremiah by means of old cast off and old worn out things (Jeremiah 38:6-13);
signifies the truth of doctrine falsified, the "prophet" signifying the truth of doctrine, and "to let down into the pit" signifying to be falsified; the "old castoff and old worn out things by which he was drawn out" signify the vindication and restitution of the truth of doctrine by means of such goods and truths of the sense of the letter of the Word as had not been perceived and understood, and therefore had been neglected and rejected; this is the signification of these old things; why otherwise would it be mentioned in the Divine Word that the prophet was drawn out by means of such things? From these few passages it can be seen what "well" and "pit" signify in the Word, namely, the Word and the truth of doctrine, and in the contrary sense the Word falsified and the falsity of doctrine therefrom. In some passages "well" and "pit" have a similar signification as "fountain," respecting the signification of which in both senses see above n. 483.
1. Latin "it," Hebrew "them," as we also find in Arcana Coelestia 2702, 2781.
2. Latin "the owner," Hebrew "to the owner," as we also find in Arcana Coelestia 9064, 9088.
3. The words in brackets are supplied essentially from 315.
Genesis 21:25; The Apocalypse Explained 483)