Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 10253

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10253. 'Five hundred [shekels]' means what is complete. This is clear from the meaning of the number 'five hundred' as what is complete. The reason why 'five hundred' has this meaning is that this number is the product of five multiplied by ten tens, or fives times a hundred; and 'five' means much, as do 'ten' and 'a hundred', and therefore 'five hundred' means what is complete.

'Five' means much, see 5708, 5956, 9102, as likewise does 'ten', 3107, 4638, and also 'a hundred', 4400, 6582, 6594. All numbers in the Word mean spiritual realities, see in the places referred to in 9488. Compound numbers have a similar meaning to the simple ones that give rise to them through multiplication, 5291, 5335, 5708, 7973.

[2] The fact that numbers mean spiritual realities is perfectly clear in Ezekiel, where the house of God, together with everything there inside and outside, and also the new earth or land, are measured and are described by numbers pertaining to measure, in Chapters 40-48. By the new land there the Church should be understood, and by the house of God its holiness. The same is so in John, in the Book of Revelation, where also a new Jerusalem is described by the numbers where measurements are given, by which too a new Church should be understood. Unless the numbers had meant spiritual realities all those measurements would have been pointless.

[3] 'Five hundred' means the whole from one end to the other, thus what is complete. This is clear from those chapters in Ezekiel,

He measured outside the house (or the temple), to the east quarter five hundred rods round about, to the north quarter five hundred rods round about, to the south quarter five hundred rods, and to the west quartera five hundred rods. Its wall round about, the length was five hundred rods, and the breadth five hundred rods, to distinguish between the holy and the profane. Ezek 42:15-20.

From these words it is evident that 'five hundred' means the whole in its entirety, or everything holy from one end to the other, thus what is complete; for it says that the wall, which - according to this account of its length and breadth - formed a square, served to distinguish the holy from the profane.

[4] 'Five hundred' also means much, while a tenth of that number or fifty means some. This is clear from the Lord's words addressed to Simon, in Luke,

Jesus said, There were two debtors who had a certain creditor. One owed five hundred denarii, but the other fifty. When they did not have [anything with which] to repay, he forgave them both. Which of the two loves him more? Simon answered, The one to whom he forgave more. Jesus said, So have the many sins of the woman been forgiven, because she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, [that person] loves little. Luke 7:41-end.

The reason why the Lord used those numbers was that they meant much and some; for He spoke from a Divine [perspective], thus used words carrying a spiritual meaning, in accord with correspondences. The same is so everywhere else, as when He spoke about the virgins, of whom - He said - there were ten, and that five were wise and five were foolish. He spoke of ten because that number means all, that is to say, all who belong to the Church, and of five because this number means some, see 4637, 4638.


a lit. the quarter of the sea

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