Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 21:37
AC 9098. Verse 37. When a man shall steal an ox, or one of the flock, and shall kill it, or sell it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four of the flock for one of the flock. "When a man shall steal an ox, or one of the flock," signifies one who takes away from anyone his good exterior or interior; "and shall kill it," signifies if he shall extinguish it; "or sell it," signifies or if he shall alienate it; "he shall repay five oxen for an ox," signifies the corresponding penalty to much; "and four of the flock for one of the flock," signifies the corresponding penalty to the full.
AC 9099. When a man shall steal an ox, or one of the flock. That this signifies one who takes away from anyone his good exterior or interior, is evident from the signification of "stealing," as being to take away from anyone his spiritual goods (n. 5135, 8906); from the signification of "an ox," as being the affection of good in the natural, thus exterior good (n. 2180, 2566, 2781, 2830, 5913, 8937); and from the signification of "one of the flock," as being interior good; for the animals which are of the flock signify those things which are of interior good; and the animals which are of the herd signify those things which are of exterior good (n. 2566, 5913, 6048, 8937).
AC 9100. And shall kill it. That this signifies shall extinguish it, is evident without explication.
AC 9101. Or sell it. That this signifies or if he shall alienate it, is evident from the signification of "selling," as being to alienate (n. 4098, 4752, 4758, 5886, 6143).
AC 9102. He shall repay five oxen for an ox. That this signifies the corresponding penalty to much, is evident from the signification of "five," as being somewhat (n. 4638, 5291), and also much (n. 5708, 5956); and from the signification of "repaying," as being amendment (n. 9087), and as being restoration (n. 9097). That it signifies the penalty also, is because when alienated good is to be amended or restored, the man suffers hard things; for he is either left to his evil, thus also to the penalty of his evil, for evil is attended with its penalty (n. 8214), or he is let into temptations, whereby the evil is subdued and removed, which temptations are the penalty that is here signified by "repaying." The reason why a corresponding penalty is meant, is that the evil of the penalty and the evil of the fault correspond (n. 1857, 6559, 8214).
AC 9103. And four of the flock for one of the flock. That this signifies also the corresponding penalty to the full, is evident from the signification of "four," as being conjunction, for "four" signifies the same as "two," because the one number arises from other, being the double of it. That "two" denotes conjunction, (n. 5194, 8423); and consequently also "four," (n. 1686, 8877); from which it follows that these numbers also denote to the full, for that which is conjoined is full; and from the signification of "one of the flock," as being interior good, (n. 9099). The corresponding penalty is signified by "repaying," namely, four of the flock for one of the flock (n. 9102). Interior good is that good which is called charity in the interior man; and exterior good is charity in the exterior man. The latter good must live from the former, for the good of charity in the interior man is the good of spiritual life; and the good of charity in the exterior man is the good of the derivative natural life. The latter good comes to the sensation of man as delight; but the former good does not come to sensation, but to perception that so it ought to be, and makes a contented mind. In the other life spiritual good also comes to sensation.
 The reason why five oxen were to be repaid for an ox, and four of the flock for one of the flock, cannot be known by anyone unless it is known what is meant by "theft" in the spiritual sense, also what by "ox" and by "one of the flock." What these things signify has been unfolded, namely, the taking away and alienation of exterior and interior good. This taking away is effected through evil, and alienation through falsity; consequently the penalty and restoration thereof are signified by "five" and "four." That all numbers in the Word signify things, (n. 575, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988, 2075, 2252, 3252, 4264, 4495, 4670, 5265, 6175); here the things which involve restoration, namely, the number "five" the restoration of exterior good to much; and the number "four" the restoration of interior good to the full. Interior good is to be restored to the full, because this good makes the spiritual life of man, and unless spiritual life is restored to the full, the exterior good which makes the natural life cannot be restored, for the latter life is restored by means of the former, as can be seen from the regeneration of man. That the external man is regenerated by means of the internal, (n. 9043, 9046, 9061). But good in the external or natural man cannot be restored to the full, because the injury remains there as a scar which is grown callous. These are the things which these numbers involve.
 A few words more however shall be said about the restoration of exterior good, which makes the natural life of man, from interior good which makes his spiritual life. The natural of man sees things in the light of the world, which light is called natural light. Man procures for himself this light by means of the objects which enter through the sight and hearing, thus by means of objects which are of the world. Thus man sees those things within himself, almost as the eye sees them. The objects which enter by these senses appear to him at first as pleasure and delight. Afterward the infant man distinguishes between the different delights, from which he learns to discriminate, and by degrees to do so more perfectly. When light from heaven flows into these things, the man begins to see them spiritually, and first to discriminate between the useful and the non-useful. From this he begins to have an insight as to what is true; for that which is useful to him is to him true, and that which is useless is not true. This insight increases according to the influx of the light of heaven, until at last he discriminates not only between truths, but also between truths within these truths; and he does this with greater clearness in proportion as the communication is better opened between the internal and external man; for the light of heaven inflows from the Lord through the internal man into the external man.
 From this then man has perception; but still it is not yet spiritual perception. This perception does not arise from natural truths, but from spiritual truths. Spiritual truths are those which are called the truths of faith. The reason why spiritual perception arises from these truths, is that the light of heaven is Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, and this shines as light before the eyes of the angels, and also shines in their understandings, and gives them intelligence and wisdom; but with variety according to the reception of it in good. Wherefore the knowledges of spiritual things must be with man in his natural in order that there may be spiritual perception; and knowledges of spiritual things must be from revelation. When the light of heaven flows into these knowledges, it flows into its own, for, as before said, this light is the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord (n. 1053, 1521-1533, 1619, 1632, 2776, 3138, 3167, 3195, 3222, 3223, 3341, 3636, 3643, 4180, 4302, 4408, 4415, 4527, 5400, 6032, 6313, 6608). From this the man has intelligence and wisdom in such things as are of eternal life, and these increase according to the reception of that light, that is, of the truths of faith in good. Good is charity.
 That the natural or external man is regenerated, and also amended and restored, through the internal man, can be seen from what has now been said. For the things which are in the external or natural man live from the light of heaven, for this light is living light, because it proceeds from the Lord, who is life itself; but they do not live from natural light, for in itself this light is dead. In order therefore that those things which are in natural light may live, there must be an influx of living light through the internal man from the Lord. This influx accommodates itself according to the knowledges of truth analogous and corresponding in the natural, and according to the compliance there. From this it is evident that the external or natural of man must be regenerated through his internal. In the same way must the good in the natural that has been taken away and alienated, be amended and restored.