8106. By day in a pillar of cloud. That this signifies that when there was a state of enlightenment it was tempered by obscurity of truth, is evident from the signification of "by day," or "in the day," as being in a state of enlightenment; for the times of day, as morning, noon, evening, and night, correspond to the various degrees of enlightenment which belong to intelligence and wisdom in the other life (see n. 5672, 5962, 6110); whence "day" denotes a state of enlightenment or clear perception, and "night" a state of no enlightenment, or of obscure perception (n. 7680); and from the signification of "cloud," as being obscurity of truth, because a cloud takes away the brightness of light from the sun, and also tempers it.
 In the Word throughout it is said that Jehovah appeared "in a cloud," and that He was "girded with a cloud," also that "beneath His feet was a cloud;" in which passages by "cloud" is meant obscurity of truth, specifically, the literal sense of the Word, for relatively to the internal sense this sense is obscurity of truth (see the preface to Gen. 18; also n. 4391, 5922, 6343, 6752). This was signified by the "cloud" when the Lord was seen by Peter, James, and John in glory (Luke 9:34); when from Mount Sinai by the people; and when by Moses upon his entering to Him there (Exod. 19:9; 20:18; 24:15-18; 34:5); and also by the circumstance that the Lord so often said that He "would come in the clouds of heaven" (Matt. 24:30; 26:63, 64; Mark 13:26; 14:61, 62; Luke 21:27).
 The literal sense of the Word is called a "cloud," because the internal sense, which is called "glory," cannot be comprehended by man, except one who is regenerated, and is also enlightened. If the internal sense of the Word, or truth Divine in its glory, were to appear before a man who is not regenerated, it would be like thick darkness, in which he would see nothing at all, and by which he would also be blinded, that is, would believe nothing. From all this it can be seen what is signified by a "cloud by day," namely, obscurity of truth; and when the Word is treated of, the literal sense.
 It is said "in a pillar of cloud and of fire," because by "a pillar" is signified a prop which supports (see Jer. 1:18; Ps. 75:3; Rev. 3:12; Job 9:6); and it is predicated of the natural, because the natural is like a prop or base to the spiritual; for the spiritual closes in the natural, and there rests. Hence it is that the feet of the angel descending from heaven appeared "as pillars of fire" (Rev. 10:1); for by "feet" is signified the natural (see n. 2162, 3147, 3761, 3986, 4280, 4938-4952, 5327, 5328).