422. Verse 2. And he opened the pit of the abyss, and there went up a smoke out of the pit as the smoke of a great furnace, signifies the falsities of the lusts of the natural man springing from their evil loves. By "the pit of the abyss" is signified the hell above described (n. 421); by "the smoke" from thence, are signified the falsities from lusts; and because it is said "the smoke as of a great furnace," the falsities of lusts springing from evil loves are meant, for "fire" signifies love (n. 468); and "the fire of hell," evil love (n. 494). "A great furnace" has a like signification, because it smokes from fire. Infernal spirits are not in any material fire, but in spiritual fire, which is their love; therefore they do not feel any other fire; on which subject see in the work on Heaven and Hell, published at London in 1758 (n. 134, 566-575). Every love in the spiritual world, when it is excited, appears at a distance as fire, within the hells as a glowing fire, and without, as the smoke of a fire or as the smoke of a furnace. The falsities of the lusts springing from evil loves, are also described by "smoke from a fire" and "from a furnace," in other parts of the Word, as in these passages:
Abraham looked towards Sodom and Gomorrah, and beheld, and lo, the smoke of the earth went up as the smoke of a furnace (Gen. 19:28).
The sun set, and there was thick darkness, and behold, a furnace of smoke and a torch of fire, that passed between those pieces (Gen. 15:17).
They go on to sin, therefore they shall be as the smoke out of the chimney (Hos. 13:2-3).
The wicked shall perish, into smoke shall they consume (Ps. 37:20).
And I will show signs in heaven, and on the earth, fire, and pillars of smoke (Joel 2:30).
They shall cast the evil into a furnace of fire, there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 13:41-42, 49-50, and in other places).