312. And I saw, and behold, a black horse, signifies the understanding of the Word destroyed as to truth, thus as to doctrine with these. That "a horse" signifies the understanding of the Word, was shown above; the reason why "black" signifies what is not true, thus falsity, is because black is the opposite of white, and white is predicated of truth (n. 167, 231, 232); white also derives its origin from light, and black from darkness, thus from the absence of light, and light is truth. But in the spiritual world there exists blackness from a twofold origin, one from the absence of flaming light, which light is with those who are in the Lord's celestial kingdom, and the other from the absence of bright light, which is the light with those who are in the Lord's spiritual kingdom; the latter blackness has the same signification as "darkness," but the former as "thick darkness." There is a difference between these two kinds of blackness, the one is abominable, the other not so much so; it is the same with the falsities which they signify. They who appear in the abominable kind of blackness are called devils, such holding truth in abomination as horned owls do the light of the sun. But they appear in that kind of blackness, which is not abominable, who are called satans; these do not abominate truth, but are averse to it; the latter may therefore be compared to owls, and the former to horned owls. That "black," in the Word, is spoken of falsity, may appear from these passages:
Her Nazarites were whiter than snow, their form is darkened more than blackness (Lam. 4:7-8).
The day shall grow black over the prophets (Micah 3:6).
In the day when thou goest down into hell, I will make Lebanon black over thee (Ezek. 31:15).
The sun became black as sackcloth of hair (Rev. 6:12).
The sun, the moon, and the stars, became black (Jer. 4:27-28; Ezek. 32:7; Joel 2:10; 3:15; and elsewhere).
The reason why "the third animal" showed "a black horse," was, because it had a face like a man, by which is signified the Divine truth of the Word as to wisdom (n. 243), therefore this animal showed that there was no longer any truth of wisdom with those who were the third in order.