Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 9659

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9659. 'And there shall be eight boards and their bases [made] from silver' means support in every respect from good and through truth that springs from good. This is clear from the meaning of 'eight' as what is so in every respect, dealt with below; from the meaning of 'boards' as good that lends support, dealt with in 9634; and from the meaning of 'bases [made] from silver' as support provided through truth from good, dealt with in 9643.

[2] 'Eight' means in every respect because this number has the same meaning as two and four, being the product of these when multiplied together. 'Two' and 'four' mean being joined together, completely so, 5194, 8423, 8877, and consequently also mean what is complete, 9103, and therefore what is so in every respect; for what exists in completeness does so in every respect. Another reason why 'eight' means what exists in completeness and in every respect is that since 'a week' means a whole period from beginning to end, 2044, 3845, 'the eighth day' means a complete state, from which a new beginning then commences. This explains why males had to be circumcised on the eighth day, Gen 17:12; 21:4, for circumcision was a sign of purification from foul kinds of love by means of the truth of faith, 2039, 2046 (end), 2799, 3412, 3413, 4462. The foreskin corresponded to the defilement of good by those kinds of love, 4462, 7045, 7225, and the knife of flint with which circumcision was carried out was a sign of the truth of faith by means of which purification was accomplished, 2039 (end), 2046 (end), 2799, 7044.

[3] What exists in completeness and in every respect is also meant by 'eight' following 'seven' in Micah,

When Asshur comes into our land and treads our palaces we will set up over him seven shepherds and eight princes of men (homo), and they will feeda the land of Asshur with the sword; and he will deliver [us] from Asshur. Micah 5:5, 6.

'Asshur' stands for reasoning on the basis of one's own intelligence about the Church's forms of good and its truths. Deliverance totally or in every respect from consequent falsity is meant by 'eight princes of men' who will bring destruction, 'princes of men' being the leading truths that rise out of good.

[4] The fact that 'eight' means completeness and in every respect is also clear from an experience I had involving the admission and reception of some communities into heaven, about which see 2130. I saw as many as twelve communities received first, and after them as many as eight more; for people admitted and received into heaven are those who have been purified from earthly things, that is, from all love of them, and have gone on to receive instruction. The number eight on that occasion was a sign of that which was complete.

[5] 'Eight' has a similar meaning elsewhere in the Word, for example where it says that the portico of the gateway was 'eight cubits' long from the house, and that there were 'eight steps' up to the house, in Ezekiel 40:9, 31, 41. The description there is of the new house, by which the Lord's New Church is meant, truths leading to good and from good back to truths being meant by 'the portico' and 'the steps'.

[6] Anyone who does not know that spiritual realities or real things are implied by the numbers used in the Word cannot possibly see any such reality nor thus anything holy in the measures and numbers where the tabernacle, Solomon's temple, and after these the new house, new temple, and new land in Ezekiel, are described, when yet not a syllable in the Word is devoid of spiritual meaning. Let all who have intelligence weigh up in their mind what the measures and numbers in Chapters 40-48 of Ezekiel really mean, also the measures and numbers in John, at Revelation 21:17, where it says that the angel measured the wall of the new Jerusalem, a hundred and forty-four cubits, and that this measure was that of a man (homo), that is, of an angel, and also in the following, besides many other places,

Let him who has intelligence reckon the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man (homo), that is, its number is six hundred and sixty-six. Rev 13:18.

For more about all numbers in the Word, that they mean spiritual realities or real things, see 482, 487, 575, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988, 2075, 2252, 3252, 4264, 4495, 4670, 5265, 5291, 5335, 5708, 6175, 7973, and places where the specific meaning of certain numbers has been shown.


a i.e. destroy

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