594. Encompassed with a cloud.- That this signifies the ultimate of the Word, is evident from the signification of being encompassed, as denoting what is outside of one, for that which is around is also outside, since it is beyond in the circumference; in this case therefore it denotes the ultimate; and from the signification of a cloud, as denoting Divine Truth in the ultimates, consequently the Word in the sense of the letter. This signification of cloud is evident from appearances in the spiritual world; also from the Word, where clouds are mentioned. From appearances in the spiritual world, as follows; the whole angelic heaven consists solely of the Divine Truth which proceeds from the Lord, the reception of which makes angels. In the highest heaven this truth appears like the pure aura which is called ether; in the lower heaven, as less pure, almost like the atmosphere, which is called air; in the lowest heaven it appears like a thin watery element, upon which vapour rests like a cloud. Such is the appearance of Divine Truth according to degrees in descent. A similar appearance is seen when the angels of the higher heavens speak concerning Divine truths, their discourse, in such case, appearing to the sight of those who are in the lowest heaven under the aspect of a cloud, which flies hither and thither, while the more intelligent among them know from its motion, brightness, and form, what the angels of the higher heavens are mutually discoursing about. The reason why a cloud signifies Divine Truth in ultimates is therefore evident. Because many expressions in the Word are chosen from appearances in the spiritual world, and consequently have a similar signification, therefore this is the case also with respect to clouds.
 That a cloud signifies in the Word the sense of the letter, which is Divine Truth in ultimates, is evident from the following passages.
Thus in Matthew:
"Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John up to a high mountain, and was transfigured before them; and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. While Peter "was yet speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and, behold, a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, hear ye him" (xvii. 1-10; Mark ix. 1-11).
And in Luke:
While "Peter was thus speaking, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them; and they feared as they entered the cloud. And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son; hear ye him" (ix. 34, 35).
The Lord in this transfiguration also represented the Divine Truth, which is the Word. For the Lord, when He was in the world, made His Human Divine Truth, and when He departed out of the world, He made His Human Divine Good by union with the Divine itself, which was in Him from conception. That the Lord made His Human Divine Truth when He was in the world, and afterwards Divine Good, may be seen in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem (n. 303, 304, 305, 306), and that the Lord is the Word (n. 263). For this reason all the circumstances of the transfiguration of the Lord, signify Divine Truth proceeding from the Divine Good of the Lord. The Divine Good of the Divine Love, which was in Him, and from which was the Divine Truth in His Human, was represented by His face shining as the sun, for the face represents the interiors, therefore these shine forth through the face, and the sun signifies the Divine Love; see above (n. 401:3, 424:1-10). The Divine Truth was represented by the Lord's garments which were like the light. Garments in the Word signify truths, and the garments of the Lord the Divine Truth; see above (n. 64, 271, 395); on this account also they appeared like the light; for Divine Truth is the cause of light in the angelic heaven, and is therefore signified by light in the Word; concerning which more may be seen in Heaven and Hell (n. 126-140). Because the Word, which is the Divine Truth, was represented, therefore Moses and Elias were seen speaking with him, Moses and Elias signifying the Word, Moses the historical, and Elias the prophetical Word; but the Word in the letter was represented by the cloud which overshadowed the disciples, and into which they entered. For the disciples, in the Word, represented the church, which, at that time and afterwards, was only in truths from the sense of the letter. And because revelation and responses are given by means of the Divine Truth in ultimates, as stated in the article above, and this truth is the truth of the sense of the letter of the Word, therefore a voice was heard out of the cloud, saying, "This is my beloved Son, hear ye him," denoting that He is the Divine Truth, or the Word.
Heaven and Hell 126-140; Luke 9:34-35; Mark 9:1-10, 9:1-11; Matthew 17:1-5, 17:1-10; The Apocalypse Explained 64, The Apocalypse Explained 271, 395, 401, 412; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 263, 303-306)
 He who does not know that a cloud in the spiritual sense of the Word means the Word in the letter, cannot know the interior truth involved in these words; That in the consummation of the age "they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory" (Matt. xxiv. 30; Mark xiii. 26; xiv. 61, 62; Luke xxi. 27).
And in the Apocalypse:
"Behold," Jesus Christ "cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him" (i. 7).
"And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man" (xiv. 14).
And in Daniel:
"I saw in visions of the night, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of the heavens" (vii. 13).
He who is ignorant of the fact that clouds signify the truths of the Word in the sense of the letter, cannot but suppose that in the consummation of the age, that is, in the end of the church, the Lord will come in the clouds of heaven, and manifest himself to the world. But it is well known that since the giving of the Word, the Lord manifests Himself by means of that alone, for the Word, which is the Divine Truth, is the Lord Himself in heaven and in the church. From this it is first evident, that the manifestation there predicted signifies His manifestation in the Word; and the manifestation of the Lord in the Word was accomplished by His opening and revealing its internal or spiritual sense, for in this sense is the Divine Truth itself, such as it is in heaven, and the Divine Truth in heaven is the Lord Himself there. It is now therefore evident that by the Lord's coming in the clouds of heaven with glory, is signified the revelation of Him in the sense of the letter of the Word from its spiritual sense. The clouds of heaven signify those things that are of the sense of the letter, and glory those that are of the spiritual sense, as may be seen in Heaven and Hell (n. 1); and the revelation itself of the spiritual sense, in the White Horse; the Son of man also signifies the Lord as to Divine Truth, as may be seen above (n. 63, 151).
Daniel 7:13; Heaven and Hell 1; Luke 21:27; Mark 13:26, 14:61-62, 14:62; Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7, Revelation 14:14; The Apocalypse Explained 63, The Apocalypse Explained 151)
 That a cloud signifies the Divine Truth in ultimates, consequently the Word in the sense of the letter, is still further evident from the following passages.
Thus in Isaiah:
"Behold, Jehovah rideth upon a light cloud, and cometh into Egypt; and the idols of Egypt are put in commotion before Him, and the heart of the Egyptian melteth in the midst of him " (xix. 1).
By Egypt in these words is not meant Egypt, but the natural man separated from the spiritual, which is then in falsities and evils, and by means of these perverts all the truths and goods of the church. That those falsities and evils destroy it, when truth from good flows in from the Lord, is described by these words of the prophet understood in the internal sense. Jehovah riding upon a light cloud, signifies the Lord enlightening the understanding with truths, to ride, when used in reference to Jehovah, or the Lord, denoting to enlighten the understanding, and a light cloud denoting truth; that then the idols of Egypt are put in commotion, and the heart of the Egyptian melteth, signifies, that the evils and falsities of the natural man separated from the spiritual, then destroy him, idols denoting falsities, the heart denoting evils, and Egypt, the natural man.
 So in Moses:
"There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth in heaven and in his magnificence upon the clouds, the dwelling-place of the God of antiquity, and underneath (are) the arms of the world" (Deut. xxxiii. 26, 27).
Here also by riding in the heaven on the clouds, is signified to enlighten the understanding by the influx of spiritual truth into natural truth, which is the truth of the sense of the letter of the Word. Because the Divine Truth in the heavens is spiritual, and the Divine Truth in the earths (terris) is natural, and the latter is enlightened by the former, therefore it is said, "and in his magnificence upon the clouds." "The dwelling-place of the God of antiquity," denotes the Divine Truth with the angels, while the expression "the arms of the world" denotes truths with men; the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word are meant by the arms of the world, for that sense is the very strength of Divine Truth, arms signifying strength. That the strength of Divine Truth is in the sense of the letter of the Word may be seen in the article above.
 So in David:
God "rode upon a cherub, and did fly; yea he was carried upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his hiding-place; his pavilion round about him, darkness of waters, clouds of the heavens. At the brightness before him the clouds passed" (Psalm xviii. 10-12).
Here also the enlightenment of the Word is described, and thence the enlightenment of the church. Enlightenment by the influx of Divine Truth out of the heavens is signified by, he rode upon a cherub, and did fly. Divine truth in ultimates, which is enlightened, is signified by the wings of the wind, darkness of waters, and clouds of the heavens; the various degrees of the understanding which receives enlightenment are signified by those things. That the obscurities of the ultimate sense are consequently removed, is meant by, at the brightness before him the clouds passed.
 So again:
"Sing unto God, praise his name; extol him that rideth upon the clouds" (Psalm lxviii. 4).
By Him that rideth upon the clouds, is here also meant the Lord as to enlightenment. Clouds denote truths in the ultimates, which are enlightened, and this enlightenment takes place by the influx of light, which is Divine Truth, out of the spiritual world or heaven.
Ezekiel 10:3-4; Psalms 68:4)
 So in Nahum:
"The way of Jehovah is in storms and tempest, and the clouds are the dust of his feet" (i. 3).
Truth in ultimates, which is the truth of the sense of the letter of the Word, is called the clouds, the dust of the feet of Jehovah, because it is the natural and lowest [truth], in which the Divine Truth in heaven, which is spiritual, terminates, and upon which also it subsists. Divine Truth in ultimates, because little understood unless it be enlightened out of heaven, and therefore a ground of disputation and controversy, is meant by the storm and the tempest, in which is the way of Jehovah, spiritual storm and tempest denoting disputation concerning the genuine sense [of the Word], which nevertheless the Lord enlightens by influx in the case of those who desire the truth.
 So in David:
"His seed shall be for ever, and his throne as the sun before thee. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in the clouds" (lxxxix. 36, 37).
These things are said of the Lord, and by the seed which shall endure for ever, is signified the Divine Truth from Him. His throne which shall be as the sun, and as the moon, signifies heaven and the church, as to the good of love, and as to the truth of faith; throne signifies heaven and the church, "as the sun" signifies as to the good of love, and "as the moon" signifies as to the truth of faith. A faithful witness in the clouds, signifies that He is the Divine Truth; for "witness," when used in reference to the Lord, signifies that which goes forth from Him, and this bears witness concerning Him because it is of Him.
Jehovah "layeth his chambers in the waters; who maketh the clouds his chariot; who walketh upon the wings of the wind" (Psalm civ. 3).
These few words are descriptive of heaven and the church, and at the same time of doctrine from the Word. Jehovah layeth his chambers in the waters, signifies that the Lord forms heaven and the church from Divine Truths; waters signify Divine Truths, the chambers of Jehovah signify the heavens and the church, and to lay, signifies to form. Who maketh the clouds his chariot, signifies doctrine from ultimate Divine Truths, clouds denoting ultimate Divine Truths, such as are in the sense of the letter of the Word, and a chariot denoting doctrine; this is said because everything of the doctrine of the church must be formed from, and confirmed by the sense of the letter of the Word. Who walketh upon the wings of the wind, signifies life communicated to doctrine from spiritual influx, to walk signifying to live, and, when used in reference to the Lord, life itself, the wings of the wind denoting the spiritual things of the Word. That waters signify truths, maybe seen above (n. 71, 483, 518, 537, 538).
Psalms 104:3; The Apocalypse Explained 71, The Apocalypse Explained 483, The Apocalypse Explained 518, The Apocalypse Explained 537-538)
 So in Isaiah:
"I will lay" my vineyard "waste; I will even command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it" (v. 5, 6).
These words mean that then there shall be no understanding of Divine Truth or the Word in the church; the vineyard denotes the church, clouds denote the Word in the letter, and by their raining no rain, is meant that there shall be no understanding of Divine Truth from the Word.
 Again, in David:
Jehovah, "who covereth the heavens with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains" (Psalm cxlvii. 8).
To cover the heavens with clouds, signifies to defend and keep together the spiritual things of the Word which are in the heavens, by natural truths such as are in the sense of the letter of the Word. Who prepareth rain for the earth, signifies instruction thence for the church; who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains, signifies nourishment by means of it for those who are in the good of love.
 The same is signified by the following words in Isaiah:
"Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds pour down with justice; let the earth open, and bring forth salvation" (xlv. 8).
And in Judges:
"Jehovah, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedest out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens also dropped, the clouds also dropped waters" (v. 4).
Going forth out of Seir, and marching out of the field of Edom, signifies in reference to Jehovah, the enlightenment of the Gentiles by the Lord, when He assumed the Human. By the earth trembling, is signified the completely changed state of the church at that time. By the heavens dropping, and the clouds dropping waters, are signified instruction, influx, and the perception of Divine Truth; to drop signifies instruction and influx, water denotes truths, the heavens denote the interior things of truth, and clouds, the exterior, such as they are in the sense of the letter of the Word.
Isaiah 45:8; Judges 5:4)
 Again, in David:
"The clouds dropped waters; the skies uttered a voice, thy darts also went forth" (Ps. lxxvii. 17).
By the clouds dropping waters, is signified that genuine truths are from the sense of the letter of the Word; by the skies uttering a voice is signified influx from the heavens; by thy darts also went forth, are signified Divine Truths therefrom.
So in Job:
God "bindeth up the waters in his clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them. He spreadeth his cloud upon" his throne (xxvi. 8, 9).
Here, also, clouds denote ultimate truths in order, and because these contain in themselves and include spiritual truths, so that they may not be dissipated, this is expressed and signified by God binding up the waters in His clouds, and by the cloud not being rent. Because exterior truths which are called natural, also encompass and enclose interior truths, which are called spiritual, and are proper to the angels of the heavens, this fact is expressed and signified by, "He spreadeth his cloud upon his throne."
Acts of the Apostles 26:8-9; Job 26:8-9; Psalms 77:17)
 And in Isaiah:
"Jehovah said, I will take my rest, and I will behold in my dwelling-place as a clear heat upon light, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest" (xviii. 4).
A cloud of dew signifies truth fructifying from good.
Again, in the same prophet:
"Jehovah will create upon every dwelling-place of Mount Zion, and upon all her assemblies, a cloud by day, and the smoke and shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a covering" (iv. 5).
Here the dwelling-place of Mount Zion signifies the good of the celestial church, and her assemblies signify the truths of that good; its defence, lest it should be injured from too much light or from too much shade, is signified by the cloud by day, and the smoke and shining of a flaming fire by night. And since all spiritual good and truth are preserved by natural good and truth from being injured, it is therefore said that upon all the glory shall be a covering, glory denoting spiritual good and truth.
Isaiah 4:5, Isaiah 18:4)
 The same is signified by, "The cloud upon the tabernacle by day and the fire by night" (Exod. xl. 36-38; Num. ix. 15-17 to end; x. 11, 12, 34; xiv. 14; Deut. i. 33). Also by Jehovah going before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, and by night in a pillar of fire (Exod. xiii. 21), and by the pillar of a cloud that stood between the camp of the sons of Israel and the camp of the Egyptians (Exod. xiv. 19-21).
And in David:
God led them in a cloud by day, and all the night in the light of fire (Psalm lxxviii. 14).
"Egypt was glad when they departed; for the fear of them fell upon them. He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give them light in the night" (Psalm cv. 38, 39).
The reason why a cloud was upon the tabernacle by day, and a fire by night, was, that the tabernacle represented heaven and the church, the cloud, the presence of the Lord by means of Divine Truth, and the fire, His presence by means of Divine Good, which is called the good of faith, each ultimate in order, therefore they were as coverings for the tabernacle; on this account it is said in the passages adduced above from David and Isaiah: "Over all the glory shall be a covering and, "be spread a cloud for a covering."
The same is signified by the cloud which covered Mount Horeb, and into which Moses entered; also by the cloud in which Jehovah descended on Mount Sinai, and by the pillar of a cloud which stood at the door of the tent of Moses (Exod. xxiv. 15-17, 18; xix. 16, 18; xxxiv. 5; xxxiii. 9, 10).
Deuteronomy 1:33; Exodus 13:21, 14:19-21, Exodus 19:9, 19:16, 19:18, 24:15-18, 33:9-10, 34:5, 40:36-38; Numbers 9:15-23, 10:11-12, 10:34, 14:14; Psalms 78:14, Psalms 105:38-39)
 This is also the signification of the cloud in the following passages in Ezekiel:
"I looked, and behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it" (i. 4).
"The cherubim stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court. Then the glory of Jehovah went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of Jehovah's glory" (x. 3, 4).
The cherubim here signify the Lord's care, that he may not be approached except through the good of love; hence cherubim signify the heavens, particularly, the inmost or third heaven, because the angels of that heaven receive Divine Truth in the good of love, therefore it is Divine Truth that defends, which, in its essence, is the good of love. This Divine Truth, as it descends out of the inmost heaven into the lower heavens, and at length into the world where men are, from being pure becomes gradually denser. This is the reason why it appears in the lowest degree like a cloud, which signifies the Divine Truth accommodated to the apprehension of the angels in the lowest heaven, who are spiritual-natural, and, lastly, to the apprehension of men in the natural world. And because the Divine Truth in this degree is similar to the Divine Truth as it is in the sense of the letter of the Word, therefore a cloud signifies the Word as to the sense of the letter. This Divine Truth is that which filled the court like a cloud, and lastly the house, at the right side of which the cherubim stood. And because this Divine Truth is interiorly spiritual, and shines from celestial light, therefore it is called glory, and it is said that the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of Jehovah. Hence also it is said in Job:
"When" "God causeth the light of his cloud to shine?" (xxxvi. 15).
Ezekiel 1:4, Ezekiel 10:3-4; Job 37:15)
 Since the higher heavens appear to the eyes of those who are in the lower heavens as though covered over with a thin bright cloud, because the lower angels cannot behold the higher or interior Divine except according to their quality, therefore also the Divine Truth in the higher heavens, or what is the same thing, the higher heavens themselves, are in some passages of the Word meant by clouds. For whether we say Divine Truth, or the heavens, it is the same thing, since the heavens are heavens from the Divine Truth, and the angels there are angels from the reception of it. In this sense clouds are mentioned in Isaiah:
Lucifer, "thou saidst in thine heart, I will ascend above the heights of the cloud; I will become like the Most High" (xiv. 14).
And in Jeremiah:
"Forsake" Babylon, "and let us go everyone into his own land; for her judgment hath reached unto the heavens, and she hath lifted up herself even to the clouds" (li. 9).
And in David:
"Ascribe ye strength unto God; over Israel is his majesty, and his strength is in the clouds" (Psalm lxviii. 34).
In these passages clouds signify the same thing as the waters above the firmament (Gen. i. 7), and the waters above the heavens (Psalm cxlviii. 4); for clouds are formed of water. That waters signify Divine Truth, may be seen above (n. 7, 483, 518).
Genesis 1:7; Isaiah 14:13-14, 14:14; Jeremiah 51:9; Psalms 68:34, Psalms 148:4; The Apocalypse Explained 71, The Apocalypse Explained 483, The Apocalypse Explained 518)
 Since there are clouds of a thinner and brighter quality, and also of a denser and darker kind, and because the thinner and brighter appear beneath the heavens, but the denser and darker about many of the hells, it is therefore evident that, in the opposite sense, clouds also signify the falsities of evil, which are contrary to truths from good; as in the following passages.
Thus in Ezekiel:
As for Egypt, "a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity" (xxx. 18).
Again, in the same prophet:
He shall ascend, "like a cloud to cover the land" (xxxviii. 9).
The sheep "scattered in the day of cloud and thick darkness" (xxxiv. 12).
Hence also the last judgment, when those who are in falsities of evil are about to perish, is called "A day of cloud and obscurity" (Joel ii. 2; Zephaniah i. 15). The signification of "the cloud, and thick darkness," which appeared to the sons of Israel when the law was given from Mount Sinai, is similar (Deut. iv. 11, 12, 15; v. 22, 26). For although Jehovah, that is, the Lord, descended upon that mountain in a bright cloud, yet it appeared before the eyes of the people, who were in falsities of evil, like a gloomy cloud; see the Arcana Coelestia (n. 1861, 6832, 8814, 8819, 9434, 10,551).
Arcana Coelestia 1861, 6832, 8814, 8819, 9434, 10551; Deuteronomy 4:11-12, 4:15, 5:22-26; Exodus 19:9; Ezekiel 30:18, 34:12, 38:9; Isaiah 14:14; Joel 2:2; Matthew 17:1-5; Revelation 10:1; Zephaniah 1:15)