410. Verse 11. And the name of the star is called Wormwood; and the third part of the waters became wormwood, signifies the infernal falsity from which their own intelligence is derived, and by which all the truths of the Word are falsified. By "a star" is signified their own intelligence springing from pride from infernal love (n. 408). By "name" is signified its quality (n. 81, 122, 165); by "wormwood" is signified infernal falsity concerning which something will be said presently; by "waters" are signified truths (n. 50), here the truths of the Word, because the subject relates to faith; by "the third part" is signified all, as above; from these taken together the sense results as delivered above. "Wormwood" signifies infernal falsity, from its intense bitterness, whereby it renders food and drink abominable; such falsity is signified therefore by "wormwood," in the following passages:
Behold, I feed these people with wormwood, and I will give them water of gall to drink (Jer. 9:14-15).
Thus saith Jehovah against the prophets: Behold, I feed them with wormwood, and I will make them drink the water of gall; for from the prophets of Jerusalem hypocrisy is gone forth into the whole earth (Jer. 23:15).
Ye turn judgment into gall, and the fruit of justice into wormwood (Amos 5:7; 6:12).
Lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood (Deut. 29:18).
Since the Jewish church had falsified all the truths of the Word, like the church here treated of, and since the Lord by all things of His passion represented it, by permitting the Jews to treat Him as they did the Word, because He was the Word, therefore:
They gave Him vinegar mingled with gall (which is like wormwood), but, tasting it, He would not drink (Matt. 27:34; Mark 15:23; Ps. 69:21).
Because the Jewish church was such, therefore it is thus described:
He hath filled me with bitterness, and hath made me drunken with wormwood (Lam. 3:15, 18-19).