672. Verse 7. And one of the four animals gave to the seven angels seven golden vials, signifies those truths and goods by which the evils and falsities of the church are disclosed, taken from the sense of the letter of the Word. That "the four animals," which are cherubim, signify the Word in ultimates, and guards lest its genuine truths and goods should be violated, may be seen above (n. 239); and because the interior truths and goods of the Word are guarded by the sense of its letter, that sense of the Word is therefore signified by "one of the four animals." The same is signified by "the seven vials" as by "the seven plagues," for they are that which contains; and that which contains in the Word signifies the same as the things which are contained; as by "a cup" the same as by "wine," and by "a platter" the same as by "food." That by "cups," "goblets," "vials," and "plates," similar things are signified as by their contents, will be seen in what now follows. What is signified by "the seven angels" has been said above. That "vials were given to them," is because the subject treated of is the influx of truth and good into the church, that evils and falsities may be disclosed; and naked goods and truths cannot flow in, for these are not received; but truths clothed, such as are in the sense of the letter of the Word. And besides, the Lord always operates from inmosts through ultimates, or in fullness. This is the reason that "vials were given to the angels," by which is signified, containing truths and goods such as those are of the sense of the letter of the Word, by which falsities and evils are detected. That the sense of the letter of the Word is a container may be seen in Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture (n. 27-36, 37-49).
 That by "vials," "plates," "cups," and "goblets," and by "bottles" those things are signified which are contained in them; may be evident from the following passages:
Jehovah said, Take the cup of anger from My hand, and make all the nations to drink; when they refuse to take the cup, thou shalt say, Ye shall certainly drink (Jer. 25:15-16, 28).
Babylon is a golden cup in the hand of Jehovah, that maketh the whole earth drunken (Jer. 51:7).
I will give the cup of thy sister into thy hand; thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sadness, with the cup of devastation, with the cup of thy sister Samaria (Ezek. 23:31-34).
The cup of Jehovah shall go around to thee, that there may be vomit upon thy glory (Hab. 2:16).
Even unto thee, O daughter of Edom, shall the cup pass over; thou shalt be made drunken and shalt make thyself bare (Lam. 4:21).
Jehovah shall rain upon the wicked winds of storms; the portion of their cup (Ps. 11:6).
In the hand of Jehovah there is a cup, and He hath mixed the wine, He hath filled it with the mixture and hath poured out; all the wicked of the earth shall drink (Ps. 75:8).
They who adore the beast shall drink of the wine of the anger of God, mixed with unmixed wine in the cup of His wrath (Rev. 14:10).
Awake, rise up, O Jerusalem, who hast drunk from the hand of Jehovah the cup of His anger; thou hast drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling (Isa. 51:17).
The woman having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and the uncleanness of whoredom (Rev. 17:4).
Double unto her double; in the cup which she hath mingled, mingle to her double (Rev. 18:6).
I make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all people (Zech. 12:2).
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside5 of the cup, that the outside* may be clean also (Matt. 23:25-26; Luke 11:39).
Jesus said to the sons of Zebedee, Can ye drink of the cup that I shall drink of? (Matt. 20:22-23; Mark 10:38-39.)
Jesus said to Peter, The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it? (John 18:11.)
Jesus said in Gethsemane, If possible, let this cup pass from Me (Matt. 26:39, 42, 44).
Jesus taking the cup said, Drink all ye of it; this is My blood, of the New Testament (Matt. 26:27-28; Mark 14:23-24; Luke 22:17).
Jehovah is my cup, thou maintainest my lot (Ps. 16:5).
Thou preparest a table before me, my cup shall abound (Ps. 23:5).
What shall I render unto Jehovah? I will take the cup of salvation (Ps. 116:12-13).
To drink of the cup of consolation (Jer. 16:7).
The same as by "a goblet" and "a cup" is also signified by a "vial," likewise by "a bottle" (Matt. 9:17; Luke 5:37, 38; Jer. 13:12; 48:12; Hab. 2:15). By "vials," "censers," and "incense-boxes," containing incense, the same is signified as by "incense": in general, by vessels of every kind the same is signified as by the things in them.
* The original Latin has "outside" for "inside."