411. And many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter, signifies the extinction of spiritual life with many from the falsified truths of the Word. "Many men died," signifies the extinction of spiritual life; for man from the spiritual life with him is called alive, but from the natural life separated from spiritual life, he is called dead; "of the waters because they were made bitter," signifies by the falsified truths of the Word; that "waters" are the truths of the Word may be seen above (n. 409). The reason why "bitter" signifies what is falsified, is, because the bitter of wormwood is meant, and by "wormwood" is signified infernal falsity (n. 410).
 A Christian man has spiritual life from no other source than from the truths of the Word, for in them there is life; but when the truths of the Word are falsified, and man understands and views them according to the falsities of his religion, then spiritual life with him is extinguished. The reason is, because the Word communicates with heaven, therefore when it is read by man, the truths therein ascend into heaven, and the falsities to which truths are adjoined or conjoined, tend towards hell, whence there is a rending asunder, whereby the life of the Word is extinguished. But this is the case only with those who confirm falsities by the Word, but not with those who do not confirm them. I have seen such rendings asunder, and have heard the noise like that of wood split by the fire on a hearth.
 "Bitter" signifies what is falsified also in the following passages:
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter (Isa. 5:20).
They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it (Isa. 24:9).
The like is signified by:
The little book that was eaten, which was sweet in the mouth, and by which the belly was made bitter (Rev. 10:9-10).
And by this:
They came to Marah but they could not drink of the waters, on account of the bitterness; but Jehovah showed him wood, which he cast into the waters, and they became sweet (Exod. 15:23-25).
"Wood," in the Word, signifies good. The same is also signified by:
The wild gourds which were put into the pottage, by reason of which the sons of the prophets cried out, There is death in the pot, which Elisha healed by putting in meal (2 Kings 4:38-41).
Meal signifies truth from good.