7926. To inflict a plague on Egypt. That this signifies whence comes damnation to those of the church who have been in faith separate from charity, is evident from the signification of "plague," which here is the death of the firstborn, as being the damnation of those of the church who are in faith separate from charity (see n. 7766, 7778). For by "Egypt" or "the Egyptians" are signified those who have been in the memory-knowledge of such things as are of the church, but who have separated life from doctrine, that is, charity from faith. Moreover, the Egyptians were of this character, for they had a memory-knowledge of the things which were of the church of that time, which church was representative. They were acquainted with the representations of spiritual things in natural, which then constituted the rituals of the church; consequently they were acquainted with correspondences, as can be plainly seen from their hieroglyphics, which were images of natural things that represented spiritual things; consequently by "the Egyptians" are also signified those who are in the memory-knowledge of the things of faith, but in a life of evil. Such in the other life are vastated as to all things of faith, or as to all things of the church, and finally are damned, which damnation is what in the internal sense is meant by the death of the firstborn in Egypt.
 As it is said that "Jehovah will pass through to inflict a plague on Egypt," and thereby is signified the presence of the Divine, whence comes the damnation of those of the church who are in faith separate from charity, it must be told how this is. Jehovah or the Lord does not render Himself present with those who are in hell in order to bring damnation, and yet it is His presence that causes it. For the hells continually desire to infest the good, and also continually strive to ascend into heaven and disturb those who are there, but they cannot force their way higher than to those who are in the lowest limits of heaven; for there is in them a spirit of enmity which continually breathes hostility and violence. But the Lord constantly provides that they who are in the uttermost borders of heaven may be kept in safety and quiet; this is effected by His presence among them. Accordingly, when the infernals introduce themselves where the Lord is present, that is, into His presence, they cast themselves into the evils of vastation, and finally into damnation; for the presence of the Lord into which they rush occasions such effects, as has already been shown in various places. From this it is evident that the Lord does not render Himself present among them in order to bring on them the evils of punishment, but that they cast themselves into them. From all this it is evident that nothing but good comes from the Lord, and that all evil is from those who are in evil, thus that the evil bring themselves into vastations, damnation, and hell in the same way it can be seen how it is to be understood that "Jehovah will pass through to inflict a plague on Egypt."