7155. And the officers of the sons of Israel saw that they were in evil. That this signifies that they saw themselves near damnation, is evident from the signification of "seeing," as being to perceive (n. 2150, 3764, 4567, 4723, 5400); from the signification of the "officers," as being those who most closely receive and communicate the infestations (n. 7111, 7136); and from the signification of "evil," as being damnation for regarded in itself evil is hell (n. 6279), thus damnation. That "to be in evil" denotes to be near damnation, is because those who most closely received and communicated the infestations were injured, which is signified by their being beaten by the taskmasters (n. 7136), and because through the falsities that were continually injected they were infested even to despair (n. 7147). Hence it is that by "they saw that they were in evil" is signified that they perceived themselves to be near damnation. For as those who are in despair suppose that they can no longer endure the assaults, they think that they must needs deliver themselves up as captives to falsities, such being the state of despair; but then they begin to be relieved, and to be led as it were out of thick darkness into light.