1158. 'From these the islands of the nations in their lands were spread abroad' means that the worship of even more nations emanated from these - 'islands' being individual pieces of land, and so individual forms of worship, which were more remote still, and 'lands' the general features of those forms of worship. This is clear from the meaning of 'islands' in the Word. Up to now the subject has been those who had external worship corresponding to internal. The seven sons of Japheth have meant those who came nearer to true internal worship, the seven sons of Gomer and of Javan together have meant those who were more remote from true internal worship. 'The islands of the nations' means those who are more remote still, strictly speaking those who lived in charity with one another but who were nevertheless uninformed people who knew nothing whatever about the Lord, about the Church's teachings concerning faith, or about internal worship. They did have some form of external worship however, which they kept up devoutly. Such people are called 'islands' in the Word, and therefore 'islands' means in the internal sense worship that is more remote.
 Those who possess the internal sense of the Word, as angels do, are unaware of what islands are, for they no longer have any ideas of such things. Instead of islands they perceive a more remote kind of worship like that found among gentile nations outside the Church. In a similar way they also perceive by islands things inside the Church itself which are somewhat more remote from charity, as forms of friendship and civility are. Friendship is not the same as charity, civility even less so. They are steps down from charity, though the more they draw from charity the more genuine they are.
 The fact that 'islands' has this meaning becomes clear from the following places in the Word: In Isaiah,
Keep silent before Me, O islands, and let the peoples renew their strength, let them approach. The islands saw and were afraid, the ends of the earth trembled; they drew near and came. Isaiah 41:1, 5.
Here 'islands' stands for upright gentiles outside the Church who have devoutly kept up their own type of external worship. The furthest limits of the Church are called 'the ends of the earth'. In the same prophet,
He will not be in darkness, and He will not break up until He has set judgement on the earth; and the islands wait for His law. Sing to Jehovah a new song, His praise from the end of the earth, you that go down to the sea, and all that is in it, the islands and their inhabitants. They will give glory to Jehovah, and declare His praise in the islands Isaiah 42:4, 10, 12.
Here again 'islands' stands for gentiles outside the Church who have lived without knowledge, in simplicity and uprightness.
 In the same prophet,
Listen to Me, O islands, and hearken, O peoples from afar. Isaiah 49:1.
This similarly stands for gentile nations who are more remote from worship of the Lord and from the cognitions of faith; hence the expression 'from afar' is used. In the same prophet,
In Me the islands will hope and await My arm. Isaiah 51:5.
Here too 'islands' has the same meaning. The phrase 'in Me they will hope and await My arm' is used because they are people who are living uprightly. In Jeremiah,
Hear the Word of Jehovah, O nations, and declare it in the islands afar off. Jeremiah 31:10.
Once again 'islands' has the same meaning. In Zephaniah,
Jehovah will be terrible against them, for He will destroy with leanness all the gods of the earth, and to Him will bow down, each in its place, all the islands of the nations. Zephaniah 2:11.
'The islands of the nations' stands for gentile nations more remote from cognitions of faith.
 In David,
Jehovah reigns, let the earth rejoice, let the many islands be glad! Cloud and thick darkness are round about Him. Psalms 97:1-2.
Again 'islands' has the same meaning. Here their lack of knowledge is expressed in representative fashion by means of 'cloud and thick darkness'. But because they are living in simplicity and uprightness the phrase 'round about Him' is used. Because 'islands' means things that are more remote, 'Tarshish, Pul, Lud, Tubal, and Javan' also, who meant forms of external worship, were called 'islands', in Isaiah 66:19, as also is Kittim in Jeremiah 2:10; Ezekiel 27:6. Furthermore when islands are mentioned as distinct from land or mountains they mean truths of faith because they are planted in the sea. Thus they mean doctrinal teachings which exist as forms of ritual.