10458. And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp. That this signifies hell, in which that nation then was, is evident from the signification of "the camp of the sons of Israel," as being heaven and the church (see n. 4236, 10038); consequently when they were in idolatrous worship, adoring a calf instead of Jehovah, by their "camp" is signified hell; for what is representative of heaven and of the church is turned into what is representative of hell when the people turn themselves from Divine worship to diabolical worship, such as was the worship of the calf. The like is signified by "camp" in Amos:
I have sent among you the pestilence in the way of Egypt; your young men have I slain with the sword, with the captivity of your horses; so that I have made the stink of your camp to come up even into your nose (Amos 4:10);
the vastation of truth is here treated of, and when this is vastated, the "camp" signifies hell. That the vastation of truth is treated of is evident from the details of the passage as viewed in the internal sense; for "pestilence" denotes vastation (n. 7102, 7505); "way" denotes truth, and in the opposite sense falsity (n. 10422); "Egypt" denotes what is external, and also hell (see the places cited in n. 10437); "a sword" denotes falsity fighting against truth (see n. 2799, 4499, 6353, 7102, 8294); "young men" denote the truths of the church (n. 7668); "to be slain" denotes to perish spiritually (see n. 6767, 8902); "captivity" denotes the privation of truth (see n. 7990); "horses" denote an understanding which is enlightened (n. 2760-2762, 3217, 5321, 6125, 6534); and "a stink" denotes what is abominable exhaling from hell (n. 7161). From this it is evident that in this sense a "camp" denotes hell. Hell is also signified by the "camp" of the enemies who were against Jerusalem, and in general against the sons of Israel, in the historicals of the Word.