765. Verse 8. For this in one day shall her plagues come, death and mourning and famine, signifies that on this account at the time of the Last Judgment the punishments of the evils which they have done will return upon them, which are death, which is infernal life and inward grief from being cast down from dominion; mourning, which is internal grief from want and misery in place of opulence; and famine, which is the deprivation of the understanding of all truth. By "for this" is meant because she said in her heart, "I sit a queen, and am not a widow, and shall not see mourning," concerning which just above (n. 764). By "in one day" the time of the Last Judgment is signified, which is also called the Day of Judgment. By "plagues" are signified the punishments of the evils which they did in the world, which will then return upon them. By "death" is signified infernal life and inward grief from being cast down from dominion, which is called torment above (n. 763); concerning which death something will be said presently. By "mourning" is signified internal grief from want and misery in place of opulence, as also above (n. 764). By "famine" the deprivation of the understanding of all truth is signified. Into these three plagues or punishments those of that religious persuasion come, who have had dominion from the love of self, and with no love of uses except for the sake of self. These are also atheists in heart, since they attribute all things to their own prudence and to nature. The rest from that nation, who are such, but do not think interiorly in themselves, are idolaters. It may be seen above (n. 323), that the deprivation of the understanding of all truth is meant by the plague or punishment which is called "famine." Every man indeed, as long as he lives in the world, has rationality, that is, the faculty of understanding truth. This faculty remains with every man after death. Still they who have imbued falsities of religion in the world from the love of self and the pride of their own intelligence, after death are not willing to understand truth; and not to be willing is as it were not to be able. This inability from unwillingness is with all such, and is increased from this, that from the delight of the lust of falsity for the sake of dominion they continually imbue new confirming falsities, and thus become as to the understanding mere falsities, and remain so to eternity. Similar things are meant by these words concerning Babel in Jeremiah:
Your mother is greatly ashamed, she that bare you is suffused with shame; behold, the end shall be a wilderness, dryness, and a desert; from the anger of Jehovah it shall not be inhabited, but shall be a total devastation; everyone that passeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and shall hiss over all her plagues (Jer. 50:12, 13).