Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 7:23-24
AC 807. Verse 23. And He destroyed every substance that was upon the faces of the ground, from man even to beast, even to creeping thing, and even to the fowl of the heavens; and they were destroyed from the earth; and Noah only was left and that which was with him in the ark. "And He destroyed every substance," signifies cupidities which are of the love of self; "that was upon the faces of the ground," signifies the posterity of the Most Ancient Church; "from man even to beast, even to creeping thing, and even to the fowl of the heavens," signifies the nature of their evil; "man" that nature itself, "beast" cupidities, "creeping thing" pleasures, "fowl of the heavens" falsities therefrom; "and they were destroyed from the earth," is the conclusion-that the Most Ancient Church expired. "Noah only was left, and that which was with him in the ark," signifies that they who constituted the new church were preserved; "that which was with him in the ark," signifies all things that were of the new church.
AC 808. And he destroyed every substance. That this signifies cupidities which are of the love of self, is evident from what follows, where they are described by representatives. "Substance" is predicated of the things of the will, because from the will all things with man arise, that is, come into existence and subsist. The will is the very substance of man, or the man himself. The cupidities of the antediluvians were of the love of self. There are two most universal kinds of cupidities: one kind belongs to the love of self, the other to the love of the world. A man desires nothing else than what he loves, and therefore cupidities belong to his love. With these men the love of self reigned, and consequently its cupidities. For they so loved themselves that they believed themselves to be gods, not acknowledging any God above themselves; and of this they persuaded themselves.
AC 809. That was upon the faces of the ground. That this signifies the posterity of the Most Ancient Church, is evident from the signification of "ground" (of which before) as being the church, and therefore what is of the church. Here, as "every substance that was upon the faces of the ground" is said to be "destroyed," the meaning is that they who were of the Most Ancient Church, and were of such a character, were destroyed. Here it is said "ground," though in (verse 21) it is said "earth," for the reason that the church is never predicated of things of the understanding, but of things of the will. Religious knowledge and its attendant rational convictions (scientificum et rationale fidei) by no means constitute the church or man of the church, but charity, which is of the will. All that is essential comes from the will; and consequently neither does what is doctrinal make the church, unless both in general and in particular it looks to charity, for then charity becomes the end. From the end it is evident what kind of doctrine it is, and whether it is of the church or not. The church of the Lord, like the kingdom of the Lord in the heavens, consists of nothing but love and charity.
AC 810. Both man and beast, and crying thing, and fowl of the heavens. That these words signify the nature of their evil; "man," that nature itself; "beast," cupidities; "creeping thing," pleasures and "fowl of the heavens," falsities thence derived, is evident from the signification of all these things as given above, wherefore there is no need to dwell upon them.
AC 811. And they were destroyed from the earth. That this is the conclusion, namely, that the Most Ancient Church expired; and that by "Noah only was left, and that which was with him in the ark," is signified that they were preserved who constituted the new church; and that by "that which was with him in the ark," are signified all things that were of the new church, needs no further explication, being self-evident.
AC 812. Verse 24. And the waters were strengthened upon the earth a hundred and fifty days. This signifies the last limit of the Most Ancient Church; "a hundred and fifty" is the last limit, and the first.
AC 813. That this signifies the last limit of the Most Ancient Church, and that "a hundred and fifty" is the last limit, and the first, cannot indeed be so well confirmed from the Word as can the more simple numbers, which are frequently occurring. And yet it is evident from the mention of the number "fifteen" concerning which above at (verse 20), which signifies so few as to be scarcely any; and this is still more the case with the number a "hundred and fifty," composed of fifteen multiplied by ten, which last signifies remains. The multiplication of a few (like the multiplication of a half, a fourth, or a tenth), makes it still less, so that at length it becomes almost none, consequently the end or last limit. The same number occurs in the following chapter (Genesis 8:3), where it is said: "the waters receded at the end of a hundred and fifty days," with the same signification.
 The numbers mentioned in the Word are to be understood in a sense entirely abstracted from that of the letter. They are introduced merely to connect together the historic series that is in the sense of the letter. Thus where "seven" occurs, it signifies what is holy, entirely apart from the times and measures with which the number is commonly joined. For the angels, who perceive the internal sense of the Word, know nothing of time and measure, still less of the number designated; and yet they understand the Word fully, when it is being read by man. When therefore a number anywhere occurs, they can have no idea of any number, but of the thing signified by the number. So here by this number they understand that it denotes the last limit of the Most Ancient Church; and in the following chapter (Genesis 8:3), that it denotes the first limit of the Ancient or new Church.