2242. I will go down, I pray, and I will see. That this signifies visitation, is evident from the signification of "going down to see," as being Judgment (explained in volume 1, n. 1311), consequently that it is visitation. The last time of the church in general, and that of everyone in particular, is called in the Word "visitation," which precedes Judgment; thus a "visitation" is simply an exploration as to quality, that is, as to the quality of the church in general, or of a man in particular; and this exploration is expressed in the sense of the letter by Jehovah "going down and seeing."
 This shows what is the nature of the sense of the letter, for Jehovah does not go down, since going down cannot be predicated of the Lord, because He is always in the highest; nor does Jehovah see whether a thing be so, for seeing whether it be so cannot be predicated of the Lord, because He knows all things from eternity both in general and in particular. Nevertheless it is so expressed because it appears to man as if it were so, for man is in things that are below, and when anything appears there, he does not think or even know how the case is with things that are above, thus neither how they flow in, for his thought goes no further than to what is nearest to him, and hence he cannot perceive otherwise than that there is some such thing as going down and seeing, and this the more because he imagines that no one knows what he is thinking; besides that he has no other idea than that there is a coming down from on high, and, when said of God, from the highest; whereas it is not from the highest, but from the inmost.
 This shows what is the nature of the sense of the letter, namely, that it is according to appearances and if it were not according to appearances, no one would understand and acknowledge the Word; thus no one would receive it. But the angels are not in appearances in the way that man is, and therefore while the Word as to the sense of the letter is for man, as to the internal sense it is for the angels, as also for those men to whom of the Lord's Divine mercy it is given, while living in the world, to be like the angels.
 "Visitation" is mentioned in various places in the Word, and by it is signified either vastation-whether of the church or of each man-or deliverance, and thus exploration as to quality. It denotes vastation in Isaiah:
What will ye do in the day of visitation? it shall come from far. To whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory? (Isa. 10:3).
The stars of the heavens and the constellations thereof shall not shine with their light, the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine, and I will visit evil upon the world, and upon the wicked their iniquity (Isa. 13:10, 11).
That by the stars and constellations which shall not shine, and the sun which shall be darkened, and the moon which shall not make her light to shine, is signified that there will be no love and no charity, may be seen above (n. 2120); and as this is vastation, it is the "day of visitation."
 In Jeremiah:
They shall fall among them that fall, and in the time of their visitation they shall stumble (Jer. 8:12);
meaning the time when they have been vastated, or when there is no charity and faith. In Ezekiel:
The visitations of the city have come near, and every man with his instrument of destruction in his hand (Ezek. 9:1).
Here also vastation is treated of; hence every man has an instrument of destruction. In Hosea:
The days of visitation are come, the days of retribution are come (Hos. 9:7).
The day of thy watchmen, thy visitation, is come; now shall be their perplexity (Micah 7:4),
also denoting vastated charity. In Moses:
In the day of My visiting, and I will visit upon them their sin (Exod. 32:34),
where the people in the wilderness are treated of, after they had made for themselves the golden calf. That deliverance is signified by "visitation" is plain from many passages (as Exod. 3:16; 4:31; Jer. 27:22; 29:10; Luke 1:68, 78; 19:41-42).