8298. They sought the deep like lead. That this signifies that evils dragged them down to lower things, like weights in the world, is evident from the signification of "the deep," as being lower things, and the hells in respect to evils (see n. 8279), consequently "to seek the deep" denotes to be dragged down by evils to these lower things. (That the evil sink down by their evils to the hells, like weights in the world, see n. 8279.) It is said "like lead," because by "lead" is signified evil; above, however, it was said "they went down into the depths of the sea like a stone" (verse 5), because by "a stone" is there signified falsity. Both falsity and evil are heavy, consequently both sink down; but still it is evil which makes heaviness in the spiritual sense, and thus sinks down just as from a weight; but not falsity by itself except from the evil which is in it; for from itself falsity has no weight; but from evil it has its tendency to sink.
 Be it known that all metals signify good or truth, and in the opposite sense, evil or falsity. "Lead," being more ignoble than the rest of the metals, signifies the evil which is lowest, such as is the evil of the exterior natural; but in the good sense it signifies good of the same degree, as in these passages:
They are all stubborn ones of stubborn ones, detractors, brass and iron; they are all destroyers. The bellows grew hot; the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain fusing he hath fused; for the evil have not been pulled away. They shall call them rejected silver, because Jehovah hath rejected them (Jer. 6:28-30).
Son of man, the house of Israel is become scoria to Me; all of them are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they have become scoriae of silver (Ezek. 22:18).