Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1613

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1613. 'The length of it and the breadth of it' means the celestial dimension and the spiritual dimension, or what amounts to the same, good and truth. 'length' means good and 'breadth' truth; see what has been stated already in 650. The reason is that 'land' means the heavenly kingdom, or Church, to which length and breadth are not attributable, only those things that match them and correspond to them, that is to say, goods and truths. The celestial dimension, or good, being primary, is compared to length, while the spiritual dimension, or truth, being secondary, is compared to breadth.

[2] That 'breadth' is truth is quite clear from the Prophetical part of the Word, as in Habakkuk,

I am rousing the Chaldeans, a bitter and hasty nation, marching' into the breadths of the earth. Hab 1:6.

'Chaldeans' stands for people under the influence of falsity, 'marchinga into the breadths of the earth' for the destruction of truths, for these words are used in reference to the Chaldeans. In David,

O Jehovah, You have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy You have made my feet stand in a broad place. Ps 31:8.

'Standing in a broad place' stands for abiding in the truth. In the same author,

Out of my distress I called on lain; He answered me in a broad place. Ps 118:5.

'Answering in a broad place' stands for answering with the truth. In Hosea,

Jehovah will pasture them like a lamb in a broad place. Hosea 4:16.

'Pasturing in a broad place' stands for teaching the truth.

[3] In Isaiah,

Asshur will go through Judah, it will deluge it and pass through and will reach even to the neck; and the outstretching of its wings will fill the breadth of the land. Isa 8:8.

'Asshur' stands for reasoning which would 'deluge the land', or the Church; 'wings' stands for reasonings from which falsities result; 'filling the breadth of the land' stands for its being full of falsities, or things contrary to the truth. Because the length of the land meant good and its breadth truth it is said that the New Jerusalem when measured lies four-square, its length being the same as its breadth, Rev 21:16. From this anyone may see that length and breadth have no other meaning, since the New Jerusalem is nothing else than the Lord's kingdom in heaven and on earth. Because of the meaning things have in the internal sense it became commonplace in former times to refer to celestial and spiritual things by means of things on earth, such as length and breadth, just as height and depth are used nowadays in everyday speech when people are referring to wisdom.


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