Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/286

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
190
SIGNIFICATION OF VARIOUS TERMS

These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were bought from among men, the first-fruits to God and the Lamb" (xiv. 1, 3, 4). It is evident from this description, that they who are in charity are meant by the 144,000; and it is also evident that that number merely designates their state and quality. For that number denotes the same as twelve, since it arises from 12,000 and 12 multiplied into each other; in Like manner as the lesser number 144, which is twelve times twelve, in the same book, "He measured the wall of the Holy Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, 144 cubits, which is the measure of a man, that is of an angel" (Apoc. xxi. 2, 17). In the spiritual sense the wall of the Holy Jerusalem is not a wall, but the truth of faith defending the things which are of the church; for this reason too it is said that it was 144 cubits. It is very plain that this is so, for it is said that it is the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. By a man and by an angel, all of the truth and good of faith is signified. And it is plain also from the twelve precious stones which formed the foundation of the wall, and from the twelve gates, each of which was one pearl (ver. 19-21); for by precious stones truths of faith which are from the good of charity are signified; likewise by a gate, and also by a pearl. Hence now it is evident, that a lesser and greater number involves a similar signification to that of the simple number from which it is formed. From all this it may now be seen that the number of six hundred thousand men going forth out of Egypt also signifies such things. Scarcely any one can believe that this number has such a signification, because it is an historical fact, and everything historical keeps the mind continually in the external sense, and withdraws it from the internal sense. But this number, too, has such a signification; for there is not even the least word, nay not one jot nor a single point in the Word which is not in itself holy, because it involves within it what is holy. That in the historical fact alone there is nothing holy every one must see. (ib. n. 7973. See also p. 127.)

 

Measures and Weights.

"And he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand" (Rev. vi. 5). This signifies the estimation of good and truth, of what kind it was with those referred to. The estimation of good and truth is signified by the balances in his hand; for all measures as well as weights, in the Word, signify estimation of the thing treated of. That measures and weights have such a signification is plain from the following in Daniel: "There was a handwriting before Belshazzar the king of Babylon, when he was drinking