8197. And it was a cloud and darkness. That this signifies the condensation of falsity from evil on the one side, and that it lighted up the night, signifies the enlightenment of truth from good on the other, is evident from the signification of a "cloud and darkness," as being the condensation of falsity from evil (that a "cloud" denotes falsity see n. 1043, 1047, 8137, 8138; also "darkness," n. 1839, 1860, 4418, 4531, 7688, 7711); and from the signification of "to light up the night," as being the enlightenment of truth by good. (That the "pillar of fire by night" denotes a state of obscurity tempered by enlightenment by good, see n. 8108.)
 In regard to this circumstance, that the pillar brought darkness upon the Egyptians, and gave light to the sons of Israel, the case is as follows. The presence of the Lord, here signified by "the pillar," is heavenly light itself, from which heaven has its light, and this light is a thousand times brighter than the noonday light of the world. But the same light becomes thick darkness with the evil: even if they are in the light itself, and it becomes thicker darkness in proportion as the falsity from evil is denser with them. The reason is that the truth Divine proceeding from the Lord appears before the eyes of the angels as light, but to those who are in falsities from evil it cannot appear as light, but as thick darkness, for falsity is opposite to truth and extinguishes truth. Hence it is that the pillar, which was the presence of the Lord, brought cloud and darkness on the Egyptians, because by "the Egyptians" are signified those who are in falsities from evil, and that it lighted up the night with the sons of Israel, because by "the sons of Israel" are signified those who are in truth from good. That the Lord appears to everyone according to his quality, see n. 1861, 6832.