400. And behold there was a great earthquake, signifies the state of the church entirely changed. This is evident from the signification of "earthquake," as being a change of state of the church, "earth" meaning the church, and its "quaking" a change of state. (That "the earth" means the church, see above, n. 304; and that its "quaking" means a change of state, see Arcana Coelestia 1273-1275, 1377, 3356.) That this prediction, which is signified by "the sixth seal was opened," involves a total change in the state of the church, is evident from what has been said before, and from what follows in this chapter. In what precedes it was predicted that the understanding of the Word in relation to good, and afterwards in relation to truth, would perish, and that at length there would be no understanding of the Word in consequence of the evils of life and the falsities of doctrine from them. The destruction of the understanding of the Word in relation to good was signified by "the red horse" that was seen to go forth from the opened seal of the book (of which above, n. 364; the destruction of the understanding of the Word in relation to truth was signified by "the black horse" that was seen (of which above, n. 372; and that in consequence of the evils of life and the falsities of doctrine there was no understanding of the Word was signified by "the pale horse" (of which above, n. 381; from this it follows that the state of the church was altogether changed. This is evident from what precedes; also from what follows, since it is said that "the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth," with many other things, which signify that there was no longer any good of love nor any truth of faith, nor any knowledges of good and truth; which makes clear that "a great earthquake" here signifies a total change in the state of the church.
Revelation 6:12; The Apocalypse Explained 304, The Apocalypse Explained 364, 372, 381)
 It is evident, moreover, from many passages in the Word, that "an earthquake" signifies a change in the state of the church; and some of these shall be cited in what follows. This signification of "earthquake" is from appearances in the spiritual world. In that world, as well as in the natural world, there are lands, valleys, hills, mountains, and on them societies of spirits and angels dwell. Before the new heaven was formed upon these places, they were seen to undergo remarkable changes; some appeared to sink down, some to be agitated and shaken, and some appeared to be rolled up, as the scroll of a book is rolled up, and to be borne away, and some appeared to shake and tremble as by a great earthquake. Such things were often seen by me before the new heaven was formed, and were always signs of a change there in the state of the church. When there was a quaking and trembling as from an earthquake it was a sign that the state of the church was changed in that place, and the amount of change was made evident from the extent and character of the earth's motion; and when the state of the church with them was completely changed from good into evil and from truth into falsity, the earth there appeared to be rolled up like the scroll of a book and to be taken away; this is what is meant by the words in verse 14 this chapter, namely, "and the heaven departed as a book rolled up." Like things also appeared to John, for when he saw these things he was in the spirit, as he himself says (Revelation 1:10; 4:2); and he who sees in the spirit sees the things that exist and appear in the spiritual world. This now makes clear that "an earthquake" signifies a change of state of the church, that is, from good into evil, and from truth into falsity.
 That "earthquakes" and "tremblings of the earth" have no other meaning in the Word can be seen from the following passages. In Joel:
The earth trembled before Him, the heavens quaked, the sun and the moon were blackened, and the stars withdrew their brightness (Joel 2:10).
"Earth and heavens" here, as often elsewhere, signify the church; "earth" the external church, and "heavens" the internal church. The external church means the worship from good and truth in the natural man; and the internal church, the good of love and the faith, which is in the spiritual man, from which is worship; for as there is an internal and an external man, or a spiritual and a natural man, so is it with the church, since the church is in man, and is made up of men in whom the church is. A change and perversion of the church is signified by "the earth trembled, and the heavens quaked;" "the sun and the moon were blackened" signifies that there is no good of love or truth of faith, and "the stars withdrew their brightness" signifies that there were no longer any knowledges of truth and good.
 In Isaiah:
I will make a man [virum hominem] more rare than fine gold; therefore I will make heaven to tremble, and the earth shall quake out of its place, in the fury of Jehovah of Hosts, and in the day of the fury of His anger (Isaiah 13:12-13).
"Man" [virum hominem] means intelligence, and "to make him more rare than fine gold" means that there is scarcely any intelligence left, intelligence meaning intelligence from truths, for all intelligence is from truths; "therefore I will make heaven to tremble, and the earth shall quake out of its place," signifies that the good of love and the truth of faith and worship therefrom in externals are dispersed, "heaven and earth" signifying here, as above, the internal and the external of the church; the internal of the church is the good of love and the good of faith, and its external is worship therefrom; for such as the internal of the man of the church is such is his external, since the external proceeds solely from the internal. Apart from the internal, external worship is inanimate, the voice is without spirit, and the thought from which is the voice, and the will from which is gesture, are without life, for there is nothing spiritual therein from which there is life. What is signified by "the fury of Jehovah, and the glowing of His anger," will be told in the explanation of verse 17, below.
 In the same:
The flood-gates from on high were opened, and the foundations of the earth quaked, in breaking the earth was broken, in shaking the earth was shaken, in staggering the earth staggers as a drunkard, it sways like a hut; and its transgression is heavy upon it; and it shall fall and shall not rise again (Isaiah 24:18-20).
This is most evidently said of the church, not of the earth; for who can think that the foundations of the earth have quaked, that the earth has been shaken, that it staggers like a drunkard, that it sways like a hut? But anyone can understand these words when, instead of the earth, the church is thought of. These words evidently signify a change and perversion of the church, for it is said "its transgression is heavy upon it, and it shall fall and shall not rise again;" "the flood-gates that were opened from on high," also mean an inundation of evil and of falsity.
 In David:
The earth tottered and quaked; the foundations of the mountains trembled, because He was wroth (Psalms 18:7).
This does not mean that it was the earth and its foundations that tottered and quaked, but the church and the truths upon which it was founded; for "earth" signifies the church, and the "foundations of the mountains" signify the truths on which the church is founded, which are truths from good; "because He was wroth" has the like signification as "the wrath of Jehovah," in the Word. Its being said that "the earth tottered and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains trembled," is from appearances in the spiritual world, where such things occur when the state of the church is changed with those who dwell there. Moreover, those who are in truths there dwell at the foot of mountains, for all the dwelling places of the angels are so arranged that those who are in the good of love to the Lord dwell upon mountains, and those who are in truths from that good dwell lower down. When the state of these in respect to truths is changed, their habitations, and thus the foundations of the mountains, tremble. That there are such things in the spiritual world, and that they exist from changes of the state of the church there, no one except he to whom it is revealed can know.
 In Nahum:
The mountains quake before Jehovah, and the hills dissolve, and the earth is burned up before Him, and the world and all that dwelt therein. His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are torn down before Him (Nahum 1:5-6).
"Mountains" signify the church in which there is love to the Lord, and "hills" the church in which there is love towards the neighbor; so, too, "mountains" signify love to the Lord, and "hills" love towards the neighbor, for the reason that angels who are in love to the Lord dwell upon mountains, and those who are in love toward the neighbor dwell upon hills. When in place of love to the Lord love of self reigns, and in place of love towards the neighbor love of the world reigns, then the mountains are said "to quake," and the hills "to dissolve;" for this occurs in the spiritual world, not with the angels, who are in heaven, but with those spirits that made for themselves a semblance of heaven upon the mountains and hills before the Last Judgment. Because the love of self and the world is meant, it is said that "they dissolve," and that "the earth is burned up before Him, the world and all that dwell therein," also that "His wrath is poured out like fire," for "fire" signifies such loves, and "to dissolve" and "to be burned" signify to perish by them; "the rocks that are torn down," signify the truths of faith, because those who are in faith, and do good from obedience, although not from charity, dwell in the spiritual world upon rocks.
 In Job:
Jehovah who maketh the earth to tremble out of its place, so that the pillars thereof shake (Job 9:6).
And in Jeremiah:
Jehovah is God in truth, He is the living God, and King of an age; by His rage the earth quaketh, and the nations are not able to abide His indignation (Jeremiah 10:10).
Here, too, "the earth" signifies the church, but the church in which are falsities, which is said "to quake" when falsities are believed and are called truths. "Nations" signify the evils of falsity; the casting down into hell and destruction of these evils is signified by "the nations are not able to abide His indignation. " Because "the earth" here signifies the church in which are falsities, it is said "God in truth, He is the living God, and the King of an age;" for Jehovah is called "God" and "King" from Divine truth, "a living God" from Divine truth in the heavens, and "King of an age," from Divine truth on the earth; and as good is also treated of in the Word wherever truth is treated of, because of the heavenly marriage in the particulars of the Word, and so on the other hand, where falsity is treated of, evil is also treated of, mention is made also of "the nations," by which the evils of falsity are signified. What the evils of falsity that flow from the falsities of doctrine are, may be illustrated as follows: where the doctrine prevails that faith alone and not the good of life saves, also that to one who has faith nothing of evil is imputed, and that a man may be saved by faith alone, even at the end of his life, provided he then believes that the Lord has delivered all from the yoke of the law by His fulfillment of it, and has made atonement by His blood, in that case the evils that a man does in consequence of such a faith are the evils of falsity.
 In Ezekiel:
In the day in which Gog shall come upon the ground of Israel, in My anger wrath shall go up, and in My zeal and in the fire of My indignation I will speak: Surely there shall be in this day a great earthquake upon the ground of Israel, that the fishes of the sea, and the fowl of the heavens, and the wild beast of the field, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the ground, and every man who is upon the faces of the ground may quake before Me; and the mountains shall be thrown down and the steps shall fall, and every wall shall fall down to the earth (Ezekiel 38:18-20).
"Gog" signifies external worship without internal; "the ground of Israel" signifies the church; this makes clear what is signified by "in that day Gog shall come upon the ground of Israel;" that "then there shall be a great earthquake," signifies a change of the church, and its overthrow; for external worship derives its all from internal worship, so that the external is just such as the internal is, consequently where there is no internal worship the external worship is not worship but mere gesture and speech; the thought that is present at the time is solely from the natural memory, and the affection is from the body, such as arises from habit before men; "the fishes of the sea, the fowl of the heavens, the wild beast of the field, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, shall quake" signifies all things of man; for "fishes of the sea" signify natural things in general, and in particular, knowledges there, "the fowl of the heavens" signify in general intellectual things, in particular, thoughts from truths, but here from falsities, "the wild beast of the field" signifies affection and lust for falsity and evil, and the creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" signifies the sensual, which is the ultimate of the natural, with its delights and knowledges; and as these signify all things of man it is said, "and every man who is upon the faces of the ground," "every man" in the spiritual sense meaning everything of man in respect to intelligence and wisdom; "the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steps shall fall, and every wall shall fall down to the earth" signifies that every good of love and every truth of that good shall perish, and thus every evil and falsity will break in unresisted; "mountains" signifying the goods of love, "steps" the truths therefrom, and "wall" defense; and where there is no defense there every evil and falsity breaks in unresisted. Who does not see that this does not mean that fishes of the sea, the fowl of the heavens, the wild beast of the field, and the creeping thing of the ground are to quake before Jehovah?
 In Jeremiah:
At the sound of the fall of Edom and of the inhabitants of Teman the earth quaked, there is a cry, and the sound of it was heard in the sea of Suph (Jeremiah 49:21).
Here "Edom and the inhabitants of Teman" are not meant, but the evils and falsities that are opposed to the goods and truths of the celestial kingdom; therefore "at the sound of the fall of Edom and of the inhabitants of Teman the earth quaked" signifies that the church was changed and perished by those evils and falsities; "a cry, and the sound of it was heard in the sea of Suph" signifies their damnation; "the sea of Suph" meaning damnation; "cry" is predicated of the damnation of evil, and "sound" of the damnation of falsity. (That "the sea of Suph" signifies damnation and hell, see Arcana Coelestia 8099.)
 In David:
O God, Thou hast cast us off, Thou hast made a breach in us, Thou hast been angry; restore rest to us. Thou hast made the earth to quake; Thou hast broken it up; heal the breaches thereof, for it is moved (Psalms 60:1, 2).
"Breach" signifies a falling away of the church and the consequent perversion of truth and breaking in of falsity; this therefore is signified by "Thou hast made the earth to quake, Thou hast broken it up," also by "the earth is moved," "earth" meaning the church.
 In Haggai:
Yet once, it is for a little while, when I make the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land to quake, and then I will make all nations to quake that the choice of all nations may come; and I will fill this house with glory (Haggai 2:6-7).
This is said of the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, and the "new temple" there signifies a new church that is to be established by the Lord. This is meant by "Yet once, it is for a little while," and by "then I will make all nations quake that the choice of all nations may come; and I will fill this house with glory," "nations" and "the choice of nations" signifying all who are in good (see above, n. 175, 331), "house" signifying the church, and "glory" Divine truth. This new church is further described by "the temple" in that chapter thus:
The glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former, for in this place I will give peace (Haggai 2:9).
The judgment in the spiritual world that will precede is described by "I make the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land to quake" "the heavens and the earth" meaning all interior things of the church, and "sea and dry land" all the exterior things of it.
The Apocalypse Explained 175, The Apocalypse Explained 331)
 In the Gospels:
Nation shall be stirred up against nation, kingdom against kingdom; for there shall be pestilences, famines, and earthquakes, in divers places (Matthew 24:7; Mark 13:8; Luke 21:11).
"Nation shall be stirred up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom," signifies that evil is to fight with evil, and falsity with falsity, "nation" signifying the good of the church, and in a contrary sense its evil, and "kingdom" signifying the truth of the church, and in a contrary sense its falsity; "there shall be pestilences, famines, and earthquakes in divers places," signifies that there will no longer be any goods and truths, and knowledges of good and truth, and thus that the state of the church is changed, which is meant by "an earthquake." In these chapters of the Gospels the successive states of the church even to its consummation are foretold, but these are described by pure correspondences. (These are explained in Arcana Coelestia 3353-3356, 3486-3489, 3650-3655, 3751-3757, 3897-3901, 4056-4060, 4229-4231, 4332-4335, 4422-4434.)
Arcana Coelestia 4056; Luke 21:10-11)
 It is recorded also in the Word that there was an earthquake when the Lord suffered upon the cross, and also when the angel descended and rolled away the stone from the mouth of the sepulcher; and each of these earthquakes signified a change in the state of the church. Of the earthquake that occurred when the Lord suffered it is thus written:
The veil in the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks were rent. The centurion and they that were with him guarding Jesus, seeing the earthquake and the things that were done, feared exceedingly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God (Matthew 27:51, 54).
And of the earthquake that occurred when the angel descended and rolled away the stone from the mouth of the sepulcher it is said:
When Mary Magdalene came and the other Mary to see the sepulcher, and behold, there was a great earthquake; for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and coming, rolled away the stone from the mouth, and sat upon it (Matthew 28:1-2
These earthquakes occurred to indicate that the state of the church was then changed; for the Lord by His last temptation, which He endured in Gethsemane and upon the cross, conquered the hells, and put in order all things there and in the heavens, and also glorified His Human, that is, made it Divine; for this reason "there was an earthquake, and the rocks were rent." "The veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom" signified that His Human was made Divine; for within the veil was the ark in which was the Testimony, and "the Testimony" signified the Lord in respect to His Divine Human (see above 392). "The veil" signified the external of the church which was with the Jews and Israelites, and that covered their eyes that they might not see the Lord and Divine truth, or the Word in its own light. The "great earthquake" that occurred when the angel descended from heaven and rolled away the stone from the mouth of the sepulcher, has a like signification, namely, that the state of the church was altogether changed; for the Lord then rose again, and in respect to His Human assumed all dominion over heaven and earth, as He Himself says in Matthew (Matthew 28:18). "The angel rolled away the stone from the mouth and sat upon it" signifies that the Lord removed all the falsity that had shut off access to Him, and that He opened Divine truth, "the stone" signifying the Divine truth which the Jews had falsified by their tradition; for it is said that:
The chief priests and Pharisees sealed the stone with a guard; but that an angel from heaven removed it and sat upon it (Matthew 27:66; 28:2).
The things that have been said respecting these earthquakes, and the veil of the temple, and the stone before the mouth of sepulcher, are but a few, but the things signified by them are many, for each and everything that is written in the Gospels respecting the Lord's Passion involves arcana and is significative. The earthquakes mentioned elsewhere in Revelation also signify changes of the state of the church (as chap. Revelation 11:13; 16:17-19).
Psalms 18:6-7; Revelation 6:12, Revelation 16:18-19; The Apocalypse Explained 392)