416. Saying with a great voice, Woe, woe, woe, to them that dwell upon the earth, by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels which are about to sound, signifies deepest lamentation over the damned state of those in the church, who in doctrine and life have confirmed themselves in faith separated from charity. By "woe" is signified lamentation over the evil with anyone, and thence over his unhappy state; here, over the damned state of those who are treated of in the next chapter, and afterwards. And by "Woe, woe, woe," is signified the deepest lamentation; for triplication makes the superlative, because "three" signifies all and full (n. 505). By "them that dwell upon the earth" are meant they who are in the church where the Word is, and by which the Lord is known: that "earth" signifies the church may be seen above (n. 285). By "the voices of the trumpet of the three angels which are about to sound," is signified the exploration and manifestation of the state of the church and of life with those who by doctrine and life have confirmed in themselves faith separated from charity, over whose state lamentation is made. "Woe" signifies lamentation over the present or future calamity, unhappiness, or damnation of others, in these passages:
Woe unto you, Pharisees and hypocrites (Matt. 23:13-16, 23, 25, 27, 29).
Woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed (Luke 22:22).
Woe unto him by whom offenses come (Luke 17:1).
Woe unto them that join house to house. Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning to follow strong drink. Woe unto them that draw iniquity. Woe unto them that call evil good. Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes. Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine (Isa. 5:8, 11, 18, 20-22; and in many other places).