714. Verse 20. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found, signifies that there was no longer any truth of faith nor any good of love.]*
714b. Verse 21. And great hail as of the weight of a talent cometh down from heaven upon men, signifies direful and atrocious falsities, by which every truth of the Word, and thence of the church, is destroyed. That "hail" signifies falsity destroying truth and good, may be seen above (n. 399); and because it is said "great hail as of the weight of a talent," is signified direful and atrocious falsities, by which every truth and good of the Word and thence of the church is destroyed. The reason why it is said "of the weight of a talent" is because a talent was the largest weight of silver and also of gold; and by "silver" is signified truth, and by "gold" good, and in the opposite sense falsity and evil (n. 211). Its being said that "the hail cometh down from heaven upon men," is according to the appearances from which and from correspondences is the literal sense of the Word. This is similar to what was said before of "the plagues," that "they were poured out from heaven upon men by angels" when yet they are truths and goods sent down by the Lord, which among those who are below, are turned into falsities and evils (n. 673). In the spiritual world also, among those who are engaged in reasonings from falsities against the truths of the Word, hail sometimes appears to come down, and upon others sulphur and fire, and because these appear in the atmosphere above them, and come as it were from heaven, therefore from that appearance it is said that such hail came down from heaven.
* This verse is omitted in the original Latin, but the spiritual sense of the words is here repeated as it is given at the beginning of the chapter; the reader is referred, however, to n. 336 of this work, where nearly the same expressions occur together with their explanation.-Tr.