6000. 'And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night' means obscure revelation. This is clear from the meaning of 'God spoke in visions' as revelation. For revelations were made either by means of dreams, or by night visions, or by daytime visions, or by utterances made within a person, or by utterances made outside him by angels who had become visible, as well as by utterances made outside by angels who had not become visible. Various kinds of revelation are meant in the Word by all these. 'A vision of the night' means revelation that is obscure, since 'night' means obscurity, 1712, 2514, and in the spiritual sense obscurity implies that truth is not visible. In the Word 'night' also means falsity due to evil; for people who because of evil are subject to falsity dwell in the obscurity of night, which is why all in hell are said to be in night. Those in hell do, it is true, have an inferior kind of light, for they see one another; but that light is like the light emitted by a coal fire, which is turned into darkness and pitch darkness when heavenly light flows in. This is why the inhabitants of hell are said to be in night and are called angels of the night and darkness, whereas the inhabitants of heaven are called angels of the day and light.
 The meaning of 'the night' as obscurity and also falsity may be seen in addition from the following places in the Word: In John,
Jesus said, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day he does not stumble. But if anyone walks in the night he stumbles, because the light is not in him. John 11:9-10.
'Twelve hours' stands for all states of truth. 'Walking in the day' stands for living in the truth, and 'walking in the night' for living in falsity.
 In the same gospel,
I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; night is coming when nobody will be able to work. John 9:4.
'Day' stands for truth coming from good, and 'night' for falsity coming from evil. The first period of the Church is what is meant by 'day', for at this time truth is entertained by people because they are governed by good. But the final period of the Church is what is meant by 'night', for at that time no truth at all is entertained by its members, because they are not governed by good; and when someone is not governed by good, that is, by charity towards the neighbour, then even if told perfect truths he does not entertain them. In this situation there is no perception at all of what truth is, because the light of truth falls on matters of a bodily and worldly nature, to which alone such people give their attention and which alone they love and consider to have any reality. It does not fall on things of a heavenly nature because they are considered to be of little or no value at all compared with other things. Consequently the light of truth is swallowed up by and snuffed out in what is a mass of thick darkness, like sunlight falling on an object that is black. This is what is meant by 'night is coming when nobody will be able to work'; and the situation is like this at the present day.
 In Matthew,
While the bridegroom was tarrying all the virgins were drowsy and went to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, Behold, the bridegroom is coming. Matthew 25:5-7.
'Midnight' too stands for the final period of the old Church when no faith at all exists because no charity at all does so, and also for the first period of the new Church. In Luke,
I tell you, in that night there will be two upon one bed; one will be taken, the other left. Luke 17:34.
'Night' in the same way here stands for the final period of the old Church, and the first of the new.
 In Matthew,
Jesus said to the disciples, All of you will be made to stumble [by sinning] against Me this night. And to Peter, This night, before the cock crows, you will deny Me three times. Matthew 26:31, 34.
The Lord allowed Himself to be arrested at night, and this was a sign that Divine Truth dwelt for them in the obscurity of night and that falsity springing from evil existed in place of it. Peter's denial of the Lord three times that night also represented the final period of the Church when the truth of faith is indeed taught, but no one believes it. This final period is 'night' because at this time people utterly deny the Lord in their hearts. For like the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve apostles represented all the aspects of faith, 577, 2089, 2129 (end), 2130 (end), 3272, 3354, 3488, 3858, 3913, 3926, 3939, 4060; and Peter represented the faith of the Church, see Preface to Genesis 18, also Preface to Genesis 22, as well as 3750, 4738. So it was that the Lord said to Peter that he would deny Him three times that night, and to the disciples, 'All of you will be made to stumble [by sinning] against Me this night'.
Arcana Coelestia 2129-2130, 2135, 2760)
 In Isaiah,
One was calling to me from Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? The watchman said, Morning comes, and also the night.
This refers to the Coming of the Lord, which is 'morning'. That Coming took place when spiritual truth existed no longer on earth, which is 'the night'.
 In Zechariah,
There will be one day, which is known to Jehovah, not day nor night, because around evening time there will be light. It will happen, that on that day living waters will go out from Jerusalem. And Jehovah will be King over all the earth; on that day there will be one Jehovah, and His name one. Zechariah 14:7-9.
This too refers to the Lord, and also to a new Church. The prophecy that Jehovah, who will be King, will be one and that His name will be one refers to the Lord's Divine Human, which will be one with the Divine Himself, called the Father. Prior to the Lord's Coming the Divine Human was Jehovah in the heavens; for it was by His passing through the heavens that He presented Himself as a Divine Person before the eyes of many on earth. In those times the Divine Human was not so much one with the Divine Himself, called the Father, as when the Lord had made the Divine Human within Himself completely one with the Father. Prior to His Coming the two were seemingly distinct and separate, as is evident from Genesis 19:24, where it says that Jehovah rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from 1
Jehovah out of heaven, 2447. A day when it will be 'not day nor night' is the time when the Lord was born, for then it was 'evening', that is, when representatives in the Church came to an end. 'Light around evening time' is Divine Truth which is to appear then.
 In Isaiah,
Surely at night Ar has been laid waste, Moab has been cut off; surely at night Kir of Moab has been laid waste. Isaiah 15:1.
'Moab' stands for natural good, and in the contrary sense for adulterated good, 2468; in this text a laying waste of that good is referred to. Acts of laying waste are said to happen at night because they are occasions when truth is rendered obscure and falsity enters in. In Jeremiah,
The great city will weep bitterly in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks. Lamentations 1:2.
This refers to a desolation of truth, 'night' standing for falsity.
 In David,
You will not be afraid of the terror of the night, of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the death that lays waste at noonday. Psalms 91:5-6.
'The terror of the night' stands for falsities arising from evil that come from hell. 'The arrow that flies by day' stands for falsity that is taught openly and is destructive of good. 'The death that lays waste at noonday' is evil that is openly practised in life and is destructive of good. In John,
The gates of the holy Jerusalem will not be shut by day, for there is no night there. Revelation 21:25.
There will be no night there, nor do they need a lamp or light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. Revelation 22:5.
'There will be no night there' stands for no falsity there. In Daniel,
Daniel said, I saw in my vision when it was night. After this also I saw in visions of the night. Daniel 7:2, 7.
'Visions of the night' also stands for obscure revelation; for that chapter in Daniel describes four beasts and their horns, and gives many details belonging to revelation that was obscure. Something similar is involved with the different coloured horses that Zechariah saw at night, Zechariah 1:8 and following verses.
1. Two Latin words meaning from and with are in fact used here; they represent a double preposition in the Hebrew.