7505. A very grievous pestilence. That this signifies a consumption in general, is evident from the signification of "pestilence," as being the vastation of truth; and because it is called "a very grievous pestilence," there is signified the consumption of truth. That a "pestilence" signifies the vastation of truth is plain from the following passages in the Word:
When I send My four evil judgments upon Jerusalem; the sword, and the famine, and the evil beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast (Ezek. 45:21);
"to cut off man and beast" denotes to vastate interior and exterior good.
The sword is without, and the pestilence and the famine within; he that is in the field shall die by the sword; but he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him (Ezek. 7:15);
where "pestilence" denotes the vastation of good.
Therefore because thou hast defiled My sanctuary with all thine abominations, a third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and they shall be consumed in the midst of thee (Ezek. 5:11-12);
where "pestilence" denotes the wasting away of good. In Amos:
I have sent among you the pestilence in the way of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, with the captivity of your horses (Amos 4:10);
where "the pestilence in the way of Egypt" denotes the vastation of good and truth by means of falsities, which are "the way of Egypt;" "your young men have I slain with the sword, with the captivity of horses" denotes the vastation of truth; "young men" denote truths, and "horses" intellectual things (as above, n. 7503). In David:
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror of the night, for the arrow that flieth by day; for the pestilence that creepeth in thick darkness, for the death that wasteth at noonday (Ps. 91:5-6);
where "the pestilence that creepeth in thick darkness" denotes the evil which vastates in secret; "the death that wasteth at noonday" denotes the evil that vastates openly; besides other passages.