393. And there was given him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne, signifies propitiation lest the angels of the Lord's spiritual kingdom should be hurt by the spirits of the satanic kingdom, that were below. By "the incense" and by "the golden altar" is signified the worship of the Lord from spiritual love (n. 277, 392); by "prayers" are signified those things which relate to charity and thence to faith in worship (n. 278); and by "saints" are meant those who are of the Lord's spiritual kingdom; and by "the just," those who are of His celestial kingdom (n. 173). From this it may appear, that they who are in the Lord's spiritual kingdom are here treated of. That here "much incense offered with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar" signifies propitiation lest they should be hurt by the spirits of the satanic kingdom who were below, because propitiations and expiations were made by incense, especially when dangers threatened; as may appear from the following passages:
When the congregation murmured against Moses and Aaron, and were affected with a plague, Aaron took fire from the altar, and put incense into a censer, and ran between the living and the dead to expiate, and the plague was stayed (Num. 16:42-50).
The altar of incense was also placed in the tent, before the mercy-seat that was over the ark, and incense was offered on it every morning when the lamps were trimmed (Exod. 30:1-10).
And it was commanded, that as often as Aaron entered within the veil, he should offer incense, and the cloud of incense should cover the mercy-seat, lest he should die (Lev. 16:11-13).
From these things it may appear, that propitiations in the representative Israelitish church were made by offering incense; in like manner here, that they might not be hurt by the satanic spirits who were below.