Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1963

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1963. 'Abram was a son of eighty-six years' means the Lord's state as regards celestial goods acquired through the conflicts brought about by temptations. This is clear from the meaning of 'eighty', a number that is similar to forty in what it embodies, which, as shown already in 730, 862, means temptations; from the meaning of 'six' as conflict, also dealt with already in 720, 737, 900; as well as from the meaning of 'ten' as remnants, dealt with in 576. With the Lord these remnants were acquisitions of celestial goods by which He united the Human Essence to the Divine Essence; see 1906 (end). These three numbers go to make up the number of eighty-six, which embodies such matters within it, and so means the Lord's state as regards celestial goods that had been acquired through the conflicts brought about by temptations; for all numbers in the Word mean real things, as shown already in 482, 487, 575, 647, 648, 755, 813. As the numbers mentioned herea are numbers of years, and as they in fact occur in a historical narrative regarding Abram, it does seem as though they are not used to mean such things. But nothing is written in the Word that does not pass into a spiritual or celestial sense when it reaches the angels, for with angels none other than spiritual and celestial ideas exist. When the Word is being read by man, angels neither know nor perceive what eighty-six is, nor are they concerned about what age Abram was when Hagar bore him Ishmael. Rather, when such a number is read, the real things embodied in that number instantly present themselves to them, as when all other expressions are read, these present themselves as the things which they have been shown to mean in the internal sense.


a i.e. 80 and 6 - in the Latin and in the Hebrew the words are literally Abram was a son of eighty years and six years

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