2324. And Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. That this signifies those who are in the good of charity, but in external worship, who here are "Lot," and who are among the evil, but separate from them-which is to "sit in the gate of Sodom"-can be seen from the representation of "Lot," and from the signification of "gate," and also from that of "Sodom." From the representation of "Lot:" Lot when with Abraham represented the Lord's sensuous part, thus His external man (as shown in Volume 1, n. 1428, 1434, 1547). But here, when separated from Abraham, Lot no longer retains the representation of the Lord, but the representation of those who are with the Lord, namely, the external man of the church, that is, those who are in the good of charity, but in external worship.
 No, in this chapter Lot not only represents the external man of the church, or what is the same, the external church such as it is in the beginning, but also such as it is in its progress, and also in its end. It is the end of that church which is signified by "Moab" and the "son of Ammon," as of the Lord's Divine mercy will appear from the series of the things that follow. It is a common thing in the Word for one person to represent a number of states that succeed each other, and which are described by the successive acts of his life.
 From the signification of a "gate:" a gate is that through which one enters into a city, and through which he goes out of the city; consequently, to "sit in the gate" does indeed here signify to be with the evil, but still to be separate from them; as is wont to be the case with the men of the church who are in the good of charity; these, although they are among the wicked, are still separate from them; not as to civic society, but as to spiritual life. (That "Sodom" signifies evil in general, or what is the same, the evil, especially within the church, was said above, n. 2322.)