4697. 'And the eleven stars' means cognitions of good and truth. This is clear from the meaning of 'stars' as cognitions of good and truth. The reason 'stars' in the Word means those cognitions is that they are tiny sources of light shining in the night, which send out flickers of light at that time into our sky, even as cognitions transmit glimmers of goodness and truth. This meaning of 'stars' as those cognitions may be seen from many places in the Word, as in Jeremiah,
[Thus] said Jehovah who gives the sun for light by day and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar. Jeremiah 31:35.
This refers to a new Church. 'Giving the sun for light by day' means good flowing from love and charity, and 'the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for light by night' means truth and cognitions.
 Similarly in David,
Jehovah who made the great lights, the sun to have dominion by day, the moon and stars to have dominion by night. Psalms 136:7-9.
Anyone unacquainted with the internal sense of the Word will presume that here 'the sun' is used to mean the sun of this world, and 'the moon and stars' to mean the moon and the stars, but no spiritual and heavenly meaning comes out of that presumption. Yet the Word in every individual part is heavenly. From this it is also evident that it is the goods of love and charity, and the truths of faith, together with cognitions of these, that are meant.
 This is similar to what occurs in Chapter 1 of Genesis, where the new creation of the heavenly man is the subject,
God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens, to make a distinction between the day and the night; and they will be for signs, and for set times, and for days and for years. And they will be for lights in the expanse of the heavens, to give light upon the earth; and it was so. And God made the two great lights, the greater light to have dominion over the day, and the lesser light to have dominion over the night, and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth, and to have dominion over the day and the night, and to make a distinction between the light and the darkness. Genesis 1:14-18.
See [in Volume One, paragraphs] 30-38.
 In Matthew,
Immediately after the affliction of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Matthew 24:29.
Here 'the sun' and 'the moon' mean love and charity, or good and truth, while 'stars' means cognitions - see 4060; and because the last day or last state of the Church is the subject here, 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light' means that at that time the good of love and charity will perish, and 'the stars will fall from heaven' means that the cognitions of good and truth will perish too. That these things are meant is evident from the prophetical parts of the Word where similar descriptions occur regarding the day or state of the Church.
 As in Isaiah,
Behold, the day of Jehovah will come, cruel, to make the earth a waste, and He will destroy sinners from it. For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not shine with their light. The sun will be obscured in its rising, and the moon will not give its light. Isaiah 13:9-10.
The day of Jehovah is near. The sun and the moon have been darkened, and the stars have withdrawn their shining. Joel 3:14-15.
When I have blotted you out, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars, I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light. All the bright lights in heaven I will make dark over you, and I will put darkness over your land. Ezekiel 32:7-8.
And in John,
The fourth angel sounded, and a third part of the sun was struck, and a third part of the moon, and a third part of the stars, so that a third part of them was darkened and the day did not shine for a third part of it; and the night likewise. Revelation 8:12.
 This meaning of 'stars' as cognitions of good and truth is in addition evident from the following places: In Daniel,
Out of one horn of the he-goat of the she-goats there grew one small-sized horn and it grew exceedingly towards the south, and towards the east, and towards the glorious [land]; and it grew even towards the hosts of heaven, and it cast down to the earth some of the host, and of the stars, and trampled on them. Daniel 8:9-10.
And in John,
The great dragon drew with his tail a third part of the stars of heaven and cast them down to the earth. Revelation 12:4.
Clearly the actual stars are not meant here, the subject in Daniel and John being the state of the Church in the last times.
 Similarly in David,
Jehovah counts the number of stars; He gives names to them all. Psalms 147:4.
In the same author,
Praise Jehovah, sun and moon; praise Him, all stars of light. Psalms 148:3.
A great sign was seen in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Revelation 12:1.
 Since cognitions of good and truth are meant by 'stars', the teachings of the Church are meant too, since these are cognitions. Teaching to do with faith separated from charity in the last times is described as 'a star' in the following verses in John,
The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and It fell onto a third part of the rivers, and onto the fountains of waters. The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third part of the waters became wormwood, and many people died in the waters, because they were made bitter. Revelation 8:10-11.
'The waters' which were made bitter by that star are truths, and 'the rivers' and 'the fountains of waters' are intelligence imparted by those truths, and wisdom from the Word. For 'waters' meaning truths, see 2702, 3058, 3424; for 'rivers' intelligence, 3051; and for 'fountains' wisdom from the Word, 2702, 3424.