756. That "all the fountains of the great deep were broken up" signifies the extreme of temptation as to things of the will, is evident from what has been said just above respecting temptations, that they are of two kinds, one as to things of the understanding, the other as to things of the will, and that the latter relatively to the former are severe; and it is evident likewise from the fact that up to this point temptation as to things of the understanding has been treated of. The same is evident from the signification of the "deep" namely, cupidities and the falsities thence derived (as before at n. 18), and it is evident also from the following passages in the Word. In Ezekiel:
Thus saith the Lord Jehovih, When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited, when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and many waters shall cover thee (Ezek. 26:19),
where the "deep" and "many waters" denote the extreme of temptation. In Jonah:
The waters compassed me about, even to the soul; the deep was round about me (Jonah 2:5),
where likewise the "waters" and the "deep" denote the extreme of temptation. In David:
Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of Thy water-spouts; all Thy breakers and all Thy waves are over me (Ps. 42:7),
where also the "deep" manifestly denotes the extreme of temptation Again:
He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it was dried up; and He made them go through the deeps as in the wilderness, and He saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy, and the waters covered their adversaries (Ps. 111:9-11),
where the "deep" denotes the temptations in the wilderness.
 In ancient times, hell was meant by the "deep;" and phantasies and persuasions of falsity were likened to waters and rivers, as also to a smoke out of the deep. And the hells of some appear so, that is, as deeps and as seas; concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. From those hells come the evil spirits that devastate, and also those that tempt man; and their phantasies that they pour in, and the cupidities with which they inflame a man, are as inundations and exhalations therefrom. For as before said, through evil spirits man is conjoined with hell, and through angels with heaven. And therefore when it is said that "all the fountains of the deep were broken up" such things are signified. That hell is called the " deep" and that the foul emanations therefrom are called "rivers" is evident in Ezekiel:
Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, In the day when he went down into hell I caused a mourning, I covered the deep above him, and I restrained the rivers thereof, and the great waters were stayed (Ezek. 31:15).
Hell is also called the "deep" or "abyss" in John (Rev. 9:1-2, 11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1, 3).