Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 9487

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9487. 'Two cubits and a half shall be its length' means all so far as good is concerned. This is clear from the meaning of 'two and a half' as much and as what is complete, and as all when this number has reference to something Divine (the reason why 'two and a half' means much and what is complete is that this number is similar in meaning to five, ten, a hundred, and a thousand, since twice two and a half makes five, twice five makes ten, and ten times ten makes a hundred; for doubles and multiples have a similar meaning to the simple numbers of which they are the products, 5291, 5335, 5708, 7973. For the meaning of 'five' as much and completeness, see 5708, 5956, 9102; likewise 'ten', 3107, 4638; also 'a hundred', 2636, 4400; and a thousand, 2575, 8715. So it is that when these numbers are used in reference to something Divine they mean all); and from the meaning of 'length' as good, dealt with in 1613, 8898.

[2] To say that 'length' in the Word means good and 'breadth' truth may seem to be like nonsense; nevertheless this is indeed what they mean. The reason why they do so is that all things without exception in the Word mean realities such as belong to heaven and to the Church, and so such as are connected with the good of love and with the truth of faith. No spatial dimensions such as 'length' and 'breadth' imply can be attributed to these; but instead of spatial dimensions the state of their essential being (esse), which is a state of good, and the resulting state of manifestation (existere), which is a state of truth, can be attributed to them. Furthermore in heaven spatial dimensions are appearances produced by those states, 4882, 9440. From all this it becomes clear that spiritual realities are meant by the measurements and dimensions given in Chapters 40-48 of Ezekiel, where a new temple and a new land are the subject. They are consequently meant here in Exodus, where the ark, the dwelling-place, the court, the tables there, and the altars are the subject. Such realities are in a similar way meant where the temple in Jerusalem is the subject, also when it says that the holy Jerusalem coming down from heaven was square, its breadth being as great as its length, Rev 21:16; Zech 2:1, 2. For 'Jerusalem' means a new Church, the character of its good being meant by the measurement of its length, and the character of its truth by that of its breadth.

[3] The fact that 'breadth' or 'broad place' means truth is plainly evident in David,

In distress I called on Jah; He answered me in a broad place. Ps 118:5.

In the same author,

You have made my feet stand in a broad place. Ps 31:8.

In Isaiah,

The outstretchings of Asshur's wings will fill the breadth of the land. Isa 8:8.

In Habakkuk,

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

'Marching into the breadths of the earth', when said of the Chaldeans, means destroying the truths of faith.


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