9143. When a fire shall go forth. That this signifies anger from the affection of evil, is evident from the signification of "fire," as being love, here the love of evil and its affection (of which just above, n. 9141). It is said "the affection" of evil, because by affection is meant what is continuous of love. That "fire" denotes anger from the affection of evil, is because anger is from this source, for when that which a man loves is assailed, a fieriness bursts forth and as it were burns. Hence it is that anger is described in the Word by "fire," and it is said "to burn;" as in the following passages:
There went up a smoke out of His nostrils, and fire out of His mouth; coals did burn from Him (Ps. 18:8).
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, for His anger will burn shortly (Ps. 2:12).
Who shall abide for us with the devouring fire? Who shall abide for us on the hearths of eternity? (Isa. 33:14).
He poured upon him the wrath of His anger; it set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart (Isa. 42:25).
Behold, Jehovah will come in fire, and His chariots like the whirlwind; to recompense them in the wrath of His anger, and His rebuke in flames of fire (Isa. 66:15).
I looked back, and came down from the mount, when the mount was burning with fire. I was afraid by reason of the anger and wrath wherewith Jehovah was angry against us (Deut. 9:16, 19).
In these and many other passages anger is described by "fire." The anger is attributed to Jehovah, that is, to the Lord, but it is in man (n. 5798, 6997, 8282, 8483). (That the Lord appeared on Mount Sinai to the Israelitish people in accordance with their nature; thus in fire, smoke, and thick darkness, see n. 6832.) But be it known that anger is a fire that breaks forth from the affection of evil; while zeal is a fire that breaks forth from the affection of good (n. 4164, 4444, 8598). Therefore zeal also is described by "fire," as in these passages:
Jehovah thy God is a devouring fire, a zealous God (Deut. 4:24).
I will pour upon them all the wrath of Mine anger; for all the earth shall be devoured in the fire of My zeal (Zeph. 3:8).
(That the zeal of Jehovah is love and mercy, and that it is called "anger" because it so appears to the wicked when they incur the penalty of their evil, see n. 8875.)