9434. And the aspect of the glory of Jehovah was like devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the sons of Israel. That this signifies Divine truth in heaven itself resplendent from the good of love, but injuring and vastating with those who are in its external separate from the internal, is evident from the signification of "the aspect of the glory of Jehovah," as being the appearing of the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord (that "the aspect" here denotes an appearing before the eyes, is manifest; and that "the glory of Jehovah" denotes the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord, see n. 9429); from the signification of "fire," as being love in both senses (see n. 4906, 5215, 6314, 6832, 7324), here the Divine love itself; from the signification of "the top of the mountain," as being the inmost of heaven, for by "Mount Sinai" is signified heaven (n. 9420, 9427), and by its highest part, which is called the "top" and the "summit," is signified its inmost (n. 9422); from the signification of "devouring," as being to consume, thus to injure and vastate; and from the representation of the sons of Israel, as being those who are in external things apart from internal, as shown frequently above. From all this it can be seen that by "the aspect of the glory of Jehovah like fire on the top of the mountain" is signified Divine truth in heaven itself resplendent from the good of love; and that by its being "like devouring fire in the eyes of the sons of Israel" is signified that it injures and vastates with those who are in its external apart from the internal.
 The case herein is this. There are two loves absolutely opposite to each other-heavenly love, and infernal love; heavenly love is love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor, and infernal love is the love of self and the love of the world. Those with whom infernal loves reign are in hell; but those with whom heavenly loves reign are in heaven. For love is the very life of man, because without love there is absolutely no life; for from love everyone has the heat and fire of his life. That without the vital heat and fire there is no life, is very evident. From this it follows that such as is the love, such is the life; consequently such as is the love, such is the man; and therefore from his loves everyone can know whether heaven is in him, or hell. Love is like fire or flame in man, and is indeed, as before said, the vital fire or flame; and faith is like the light from this fire, or from this flame, and is indeed the light which lights up the interiors of his understanding. From this also it is plain what is the quality of the light from which those have faith who are in infernal love. (That from this light comes a persuasive faith, which in itself is not faith, but the persuasion, for the sake of self and the world, that such is the case, see n. 9363- 9369.) In the church at this day, spiritual life, which is life eternal, is made to consist in faith alone, thus in faith without the goods of heavenly love; but from what has just been said, everyone who reflects can see the nature of such a life.
 It shall now be stated how the case is with the Divine fire, which is the Divine love, with those who are in heavenly love; and how it is with those who are in infernal love. With those who are in heavenly love the Divine fire or love is continually creating and renewing the interiors of the will, and is continually lighting up the interiors of the understanding. But with those who are in infernal love the Divine fire or love is continually injuring and vastating. The reason is that with the latter, the Divine love falls into opposites, whereby it is destroyed; for it is turned into the fire or love of self and of the world, thus into contempt for others in comparison with oneself, into enmities against all who do not favor oneself, and therefore into hatreds, into revenges, and finally into cruelties. It is from this then that before the eyes of the sons of Israel the fire of Jehovah appeared as devouring or consuming; for they were in the love of self and of the world, because they were in external things apart from internal.
 That to them this fire was devouring and consuming, is plain also elsewhere in Moses:
It came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, and the mountain did burn with fire, that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders; and ye said, Behold, Jehovah our God hath made us see His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice out of the midst of the fire; now therefore why should we die? For this great fire will devour us; if we hear the voice of Jehovah our God anymore, we shall surely die (Deut. 5:23-25).
(See also what has been shown at n. 6832, 8814, 8819; and that this people was of such a character, at n. 9380.)
 By a "devouring fire" elsewhere also in the Word is signified vastation, and it is said of the wicked; as in the following passages:
The day of Jehovah cometh; a day of darkness and of thick darkness, a day of cloud and of obscurity. A fire devoureth before it, after it a flame burneth: the land Is as the garden of Eden before it, but after it even a wilderness of a waste (Joel 2:1-3).
Jehovah shall cause the glory of His voice to be heard in the flame of a devouring fire (Isa. 30:30).
Who shall remain to us with the devouring fire? Who shall remain to us with the fire-places of eternity? (Isa. 33:14).
Thou shalt be visited by Jehovah with the flame of a devouring fire (Isa. 29:6).
Thy posterity shall be devoured by the fire (Ezek. 23:25).
In these passages by a "devouring fire" is meant the fire of the cupidities which arise from the loves of self and of the world, because this is the fire which consumes a man, and which vastates the church. This was also represented by the "fire from before Jehovah" which devoured the sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, because they put strange fire into their censers (Lev. 10:1, 2); "putting strange fire into their censers" denotes instituting worship from some other love than heavenly love (that such "fire" denotes the love of self and of the world, and every cupidity arising therefrom, see n. 1297, 1861, 5071, 5215, 6314, 6832, 7324, 7575, 9141).