158. Verse 2. Be watchful, signifies that they should be in truths and in a life according to them. By "watching," in the Word, nothing else is signified; for he who learns truths and lives according to them, is like one who is awakened out of sleep and becomes watchful. But he who is not in truths, but only in worship, is like one who sleeps and dreams. Natural life, considered in itself, or without spiritual life, is nothing else but sleep; but natural life, in which there is spiritual life, is watchfulness; and this cannot be acquired otherwise than by truths, which are in their own light and in their own day, when man is in the life according to them. Such is signified by "watching" in the following passages:
Watch, for ye know not in what hour the Lord will come (Matt. 24:42).
Happy are those servants whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: Be ye therefore ready, for the Son of man will come at an hour when ye think not (Luke 12:37, 40).
Watch ye, for ye know not when the lord of the house shall come; lest coming suddenly, he find you sleeping; what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch (Mark 13:35-37).
While the bridegroom tarried, the virgins slumbered and slept, and the five foolish came and said, Lord, open to us; but the lord shall answer, I know you not; watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man will come (Matt. 25:1-13).
Because the Lord's coming is called "morning" (n. 151), and then truths are opened, and there is light, therefore that time is called "the beginning of the watches" (Lamentations 2:19); and the Lord is called "a Watcher" (Daniel 4:13); and it is written in Isaiah:
Thy dead shall live; Awake, ye that dwell in the dust (Isa. 26:19).
But that the state of a man who is not in truths is called "slumbering" and "sleeping," may be seen (Jeremiah 51:39, 57; Psalm 13:3; Psalm 76:6; Luke 8:23; and in other places).