5662. And he said, Peace be to you, fear not. That this signifies that it is well, let them not despair, is evident from the signification of "peace," as being to be well (of which in what follows); and from the signification of "fear not," as being let them not despair. For the internal sense treats of a change of state, in that they no longer procure truths and through them good by their own power; but are presented with them from the Lord. And because they supposed that they would thus lose their own, thus freedom, and consequently all the delight of life, they were in despair, as is plain from what has gone before. Hence it is that "fear not" here signifies let them not despair; for fear arises from various causes (see n. 5647), and therefore also signifies various things.  That "peace" denotes it is well, is because it is the inmost, and hence the universally reigning thing, in each and all things in heaven; for peace in heaven is like spring on earth, or like the dawn, which does not affect us by sensible changes, but by a universal pleasantness that flows into everything that is perceived, and fills with this pleasantness not only the perception itself but also the several objects. At the present day scarcely anyone knows the meaning of "peace" where mentioned in the Word, as in the benediction, "Jehovah lift up His faces upon thee, and give thee peace" (Num. 6:26); and in other places. Almost everyone believes peace to be security from enemies, and also tranquillity at home and among companions. Such peace is not meant in this passage, but a peace which immeasurably transcends it - the heavenly peace just now spoken of. This peace can be bestowed on no one unless he is led by the Lord and is in the Lord, that is, in heaven where the Lord is all in all; for heavenly peace flows in when the cupidities arising from the love of self and the love of the world are taken away. These are what take peace away, for they infest man's interiors, and at last cause him to make rest consist in unrest, and peace in annoyances, because his delight is in evils. So long as man is in these he cannot possibly know what peace is, nay, he so long believes that such peace is nothing; and if anyone says that it becomes perceptible when the delights from the love of self and the world are taken away, he laughs, because he makes peace consist in the delight of evil, which is the opposite of peace.
 Because such is the nature of peace, namely, the inmost of all happinesses and blessednesses, and hence the universal that reigns in them all, therefore the ancients used as a common form of speech the words, "Peace be unto you," when they meant that it be well; and asked whether people "had peace" when they meant "Is it well?" See what has been said and shown above in regard to peace, namely: That peace in heaven is like spring and the dawn on earth (n. 1726, 2780): That peace in the supreme sense is the Lord, in the representative sense His kingdom, and that it is the Lord's Divine affecting with good from the inmost (n. 3780, 4681): That all unrest is from evil and falsity, but peace from good and truth (n. 3170).