321. And his name that sat upon him was Death, and hell followed with him, signifies the extinction of spiritual life, and thence damnation. By "death" is here signified spiritual death, which is the extinction of spiritual life; and by "hell" is signified damnation, which follows that death. Every man, indeed, has from creation, and therefore from birth, spiritual life, but that life is extinguished when he denies God, the holiness of the Word, and eternal life; it is extinguished in the will, but remains in the understanding, or rather in the faculty of understanding. By this man is distinguished from beasts. As "death" signifies the extinction of spiritual life, and "hell" damnation thence, therefore "death and hell" in some passages are named together; as in these:
I will redeem them from the hand of hell, I will liberate them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O hell, I will be thy destruction (Hos. 13:14).
The cords of death encompassed me; the cords of hell encompassed me; the snares of death prevented me (Ps. 18:4-5; 116:3).
Like sheep they are laid in hell; death shall feed on them, hell is their habitation, but God will redeem my soul from the hand of hell (Ps. 49:14-15).
I have the keys of hell and death (Rev. 1:18).