3652. According to the internal sense, the signification is as now follows.
When therefore ye shall see the abomination of desolation;
signifies the devastation of the church, which occurs when the Lord is no longer acknowledged; consequently when there is no love and no faith in Him; also when there is no longer any charity toward the neighbor; and consequently when there is not any faith of good and truth. When this is the case in the church, or rather in the region where the Word is in existence-that is, when men are such in the thoughts of the heart, even if not in the doctrine of their lips-then there is "desolation," and the things just mentioned are its "abomination;" so that the words "when ye shall see the abomination of desolation" signify when anyone observes such things; and what is to be done in such a case is told in what now follows in verses 16 to 18.
 Which was told of by Daniel the prophet;
in the internal sense signifies by the prophets; for where any prophet is mentioned by name in the Word, it is not the prophet that is meant, but the prophetic Word itself; because names never penetrate into heaven (see n. 1876, 1888); and yet the same is not signified by one prophet as by another. What is signified by "Moses," "Elias," and "Elisha," may be seen in the preface to chapter 18 and in n. 2762; but by "Daniel" is signified everything prophetic concerning the Lord's advent, and concerning the state of the church; in the present case concerning its last state. The subject of devastation is largely treated of in the Prophets, and by it in the sense of the letter is signified the devastation of the Jewish and Israelitish Church, but in the internal sense there is signified the devastation of the church in general, thus also the devastation which is now at hand.
 Standing in the holy place;
signifies devastation as to all things which are of good and truth; the "holy place" is a state of love and faith (that "place" in the internal sense is state, see above, n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387); the holy of this state is the good which is of love, and the derivative truth which is of faith; and nothing else than these is meant by "holy" in the Word, because these things are from the Lord, who is the Holy itself, or the Sanctuary.
Let him that readeth understand;
signifies that these things are to be well observed by those who are in the church, especially by those who are in love and faith; who now come to be treated of.
 Then let them that are in Judea flee into the mountains;
signifies that they who are of the church will not look elsewhere than to the Lord, thus to love to Him, and to charity toward the neighbor (that by "Judea" is signified the church, will be shown below; that by a "mountain" is signified the Lord Himself, but by "mountains" love to Him, and charity toward the neighbor, may be seen above, n. 795, 796, 1430, 2722). According to the sense of the letter the meaning would be that when Jerusalem was besieged, as it came to be by the Romans, then they should not betake themselves thither, but to the mountains, according to what is written in Luke:
When ye see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that her devastation is at hand. Then let them that are in Judea flee upon the mountains; and let them that are in the midst of her depart out; and let not them that are in the regions enter therein (Luke 21:20-21);
 but in this passage the case is the same with Jerusalem, namely, that in the sense of the letter it is Jerusalem which is understood, while in the internal sense it is the Lord's church (see n. 402, 2117); for each and all of the things recorded in the Word concerning the Jewish and Israelitish people are representative of the Lord's kingdom in the heavens, and of His kingdom on earth; that is, of the church, as has been often shown. Hence it is that by "Jerusalem" in the internal sense is nowhere meant Jerusalem, nor by "Judea," Judea. But these matters were of such a nature as to be capable of representing the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom, and the events took place for the sake of the representation. In this way the Word could be so written as to be adapted to the apprehension of the man who should read it, and also to the understanding of the angels who are with the man. This likewise was the reason why the Lord spoke in the same manner; for had He spoken otherwise, His Word would not have been adapted to the understanding of those who read it, especially at that time; nor to the understanding of the angels; thus it would neither have been received by man, nor understood by the angels.
 Let him that is upon the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house;
signifies that such as are in the good of charity should not betake themselves to those things which belong to doctrinal matters of faith. In the Word the "housetop" signifies the higher state of man, thus his state as to good; but those things which are below it signify the lower state of man, thus his state as to truth (n. 710, 1708, 2233, 2234, 3142, 3538). As regards the state of a man of the church, the case is this: While he is being regenerated he learns truths for the sake of good, for he has the affection of truth on this account; but after he has been regenerated he acts from truth and good. After the man has arrived at this state he ought not to betake himself to his former state, for if he should do this he would reason from truth concerning the good in which he is, and would thereby pervert his state, for all reasoning ceases, and ought to cease, when a man is in a state to will what is true and good; for he then thinks and acts from the will, consequently from conscience, and not as before from the understanding; and if he should again think and act from this, he would fall into temptations in which he would succumb. This then is what is signified by "Let him that is upon the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house."
 And let him that is in the field not return back to take his garment;
(that is, his tunic), signifies that such as are in the good of truth should not betake themselves from the good thereof to what is doctrinal of truth. In the Word a "field" signifies this state of man in respect to good (what is meant by "field" may be seen above, n. 368, 2971, 3196, 3310, 3317, 3500, 3508); and a "garment" or "tunic" signifies that which clothes good, that is, what is doctrinal of truth, for this is as clothing to good (that a "garment" has this signification may be seen above, n. 297, 1073, 2576, 3301). Everyone can see that in these words deeper things are hidden than those which appear in the letter, for they were spoken by the Lord Himself.