870. And Death and Hell delivered up the dead who were in them. This symbolizes the impious at heart in the church, who in themselves were devils and satanic spirits, called together for judgment.
The people meant by Death and Hell are no others than people who inwardly were devils and satanic spirits - Death meaning people who inwardly were devils, and Hell people who inwardly were satanic spirits - accordingly all the impious at heart, who nevertheless in outward appearances seemed to be people of the church. For they were the only people who were called together for this universal judgment, inasmuch as only those people are judged who in outward appearances seem to be people of the church, whether laymen or clergy, but who inwardly are devils and satanic spirits. That is because in their case, their outward displays and inward realities have to be separated, and because they also can be judged, since they have known and professed the tenets of the church.
That Death means the impious at heart who in themselves were devils, and Hell those who in themselves were satanic spirits, is apparent from the statement in the next verse, verse 14, that Death and Hell were cast into the lake of fire, when neither death nor hell can be cast into hell. But those can be who, as regards their interiors, personify death and hell, that is to say, who in themselves are devils and satanic spirits.
Just who are meant by the Devil and Satan may be seen in nos. 97, 841, 857 1 above; and that those are Death who in themselves are devils, in no. 866 above.
Death and hell are mentioned also elsewhere, as in the following:
(The Son of Man said,) "I have the keys of hell and death." (Revelation 1:18)
The name of him who sat on (the pale horse) was Death, and Hell followed him. (Revelation 6:8)
Likewise in Hosea 13:14; Psalms 18:4-5; 49:14-15; 116:3.
1. No. 857 is missing. Nevertheless we find three references to it, in nos. 550, 858, 870, and because both nos. 550 and 858 include as well a reference to no. 856, and no. 858 in the text comes immediately after 856, it seems quite likely that no. 857 was omitted accidentally by the printer of the first edition.
(Odkazy: Revelation 20:13)