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Chapter 20

The Garments With Which Angels Appear Clothed.

177. Since angels are men, and live among themselves as men do on the earth, they have garments and dwellings and other such things, with the difference, however, that as they are in a more perfect state all things with them are in greater perfection. For as angelic wisdom surpasses human wisdom to such a degree as to be called ineffable, so is it with all things that are perceived and seen by angels, inasmuch as all things perceived and seen by them correspond to their wisdom (see above, n. 173).

178. The garments with which angels are clothed, like all other things with them, correspond; and because they correspond they have real existence (see above n. 175). Their garments correspond to their intelligence, and therefore all in the heavens appear clothed in accordance with their intelligence; and as one is more intelligent than another so the garments of one surpass those of another. The most intelligent have garments that blaze as if with flame, others have garments that glisten as if with light; the less intelligent have garments that are glistening white or white without the effulgence; and the still less intelligent have garments of various colors. But the angels of the inmost heaven are not clothed.

179. As the garments of angels correspond to their intelligence they correspond also to truth, since all intelligence is from Divine truth; and therefore it is the same thing whether you say that angels are clothed in accordance with intelligence or in accordance with Divine truth. The garments of some blaze as if with flame, and those of others glisten as if with light, because flame corresponds to good, and light corresponds to truth from good [20.1]. Some have garments that are glistening white and white without the effulgence, and others garments of various colors, because with the less intelligent the Divine good and truth are less effulgent, and are also received in various ways [20.2], glistening white and white corresponding to truth [20.3], and colors to its varieties [20.4]. Those in the inmost heaven are not clothed, because they are in innocence, and innocence corresponds to nakedness [20.5].

180. As in heaven the angels are clothed with garments, so when seen in the world they have appeared clothed with garments, as those seen by the prophets and those seen at the Lord's sepulchre:-

Whose appearance was as lightning, and their garments glistening and white (Matt. xviii. 3; Mark xvi. 5; Luke xxiv. 4; John xx. 12, 13); and those seen in heaven by John:- Who had garments of fine linen and white ( Apoc. iv. 4; xix. 14).
And because intelligence is from Divine truth:-
The garments of the Lord, when He was transfigured, were radiant and glistening white like the light (Matt. xvii. 2; Mark ix. 3; Luke ix. 29).
As light is Divine truth going forth from the Lord (see above, n. 129), so in the Word garments signify truths and intelligence from truths, as in the Apocalypse:-
Those that have not defiled their garments shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He that overcometh shall be clothed in white garments (iii. 4, 5); Blessed is he that is awake and keepeth his garments (xvi. 15).
And of Jerusalem, which means a church that is in truth [20.6], it is written in Isaiah:-
Awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on the garments of thy beauty, O Jerusalem (lii. 1) And in Ezekiel:- Jerusalem, I girded thee about with fine linen, and covered thee with silk. Thy garments were of fine linen and silk (xvi. 10, 13); besides many other passages. But he who is not in truths is said "not to be clothed with a wedding garment," as in Matthew:- When the king came in he saw a man that had not on a wedding garment; and he said unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? Wherefore he was cast out into the outer darkness (xxii. 11-13).
The house of the wedding feast means heaven and the church because of the conjunction of the Lord with heaven and the church by means of His Divine truth; and for this reason the Lord is called in the Word the Bridegroom and Husband; and heaven, with the church, is called the bride and the wife.

181. That the garments of angels do not merely appear as garments, but are real garments, is evident from the fact that angels both see them and feel them, that they have many garments, and that they put them off and put them on, that they care for those that are not in use, and put them on again when they need them. That they are clothed with a variety of garments I have seen a thousand times. When I asked where they got their garments, they said from the Lord, and that they receive them as gifts, and sometimes they are clothed with them unconsciously. They said also that their garments are changed in accordance with their changes of state, that in the first and second state their garments are shining and glistening white, and in the third and fourth state a little less bright; and this likewise from correspondence, because their changes of state have respect to intelligence and wisdom (of which see above, n. 154, 161).

182. As every one in the spiritual world has garments in accordance with his intelligence, that is, in accordance with truths which are the source of intelligence, so those in the hells, because they have no truths, appear clothed in garments, but in ragged, squalid, and filthy garments, each one in accordance with his insanity; and they can be clothed in no others. It is granted them by the Lord to be clothed, lest they be seen naked.

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Footnotes to Chapter 20

[20.1] From correspondence "garments" in the Word signify truths (n. 1073, 2576, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9216, 9952, 10536).

For the reason that truths clothe good (n. 5248). A "covering" signifies something intellectual, because the intellect is the recipient of truth (n. 6378).
"Shining garments of fine linen" signify truths from the Divine (n. 5319, 9469).
"Flame" signifies spiritual good, and the light therefrom truth from that good (n. 3222, 6832).

[20.2] Angels and spirits appear clothed with garments in accordance with their truths, thus in accordance with their intelligence (n. 165, 5248, 5954, 9212, 9216, 9814, 9952, 10536).

The garments of some angels are resplendent, others are not (n. 5248).

[20.3] In the Word "glistening white" and "white" signify truth because they are from light in heaven (n. 3301, 3993, 4007).

[20.4] Colors in heaven are variegations of the light there (n. 1042, 1043, 1053, 1624, 3993, 4530, 4742, 4922).

Colors signify various things pertaining to intelligence and wisdom (n. 4530, 4677, 4922, 9466).
The precious stones in the Urim and Thummim signified, in accordance with their colors, all things of truth from good in the heavens (n. 9865, 9868, 9905).
So far as colors partake of red they signify good; so far as they partake of white they signify truth (n. 9466).

[20.5] All in the inmost heavens are innocences, and in consequence appear naked (n. 154, 165, 297, 2736, 3887, 8375, 9960).

Innocence is presented in heaven as nakedness (n. 165, 8375, 9960).
To the innocent and the chaste nakedness is no shame, because without offence (n. 165, 213, 8375).

[20.6] "Jerusalem" signifies a church in which there is genuine doctrine (n. 402, 3654, 9166).

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