Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 8:14
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AC 899. Verse 14. In the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dry. "The second month," signifies the whole state before regeneration; "on the seven and twentieth day of the month," signifies what is holy; "was the earth dry," signifies that he was regenerate. These words are a conclusion to what goes before, and a beginning to what follows.

AC 900. In the second month. That this signifies the whole state before regeneration, is evident from the signification of "two" in the Word. "Two" signifies the same as "six," that is, the combat and labor which precede regeneration; thus here the whole state which precedes the completion of man’s regeneration. Periods of time, great and small, are commonly distinguished in the Word as "threes" or " sevens," and are called "days," "weeks," "months," "years," or "ages." "Three" and "seven" are holy, "two" and "six," which precede, are not holy, but are relatively profane, as before shown (n. 720). "Three" and "seven" are both sacred for the additional reason that they are predicated of the last judgment, which is to come on the "third," or on the "seventh" day. The last judgment comes to every one when the Lord comes, both in general and in particular. For example, there was a last judgment when the Lord came into the world, and there will be a last judgment when He shall come in glory; there is a last judgment when He comes to any man whatever in particular; and there is also a last judgment for every one when he dies. This last judgment is what is meant by the "third day" and the "seventh day," which is holy to those who have lived well, but not holy to those who have lived ill. Thus the "third day," or the "seventh day," is predicated as well of those who are adjudged to death, as of those who are adjudged to life; and therefore these numbers signify what is not holy to those who are adjudged to death, and what is holy to those who are adjudged to life. "Two" and "six," preceding three and seven, have relation to and signify in general all that state which precedes. This is the signification of "two" and of "six" in application to any subject, and to any matter that is the subject of which they are predicated, as is more clearly evident from what now follows about the number twenty-seven.

AC 901. That the "seven and twentieth day" signifies what is holy, is evident from what has just been said, since it is composed of three multiplied by itself twice. Three multiplied by itself is nine, and nine multiplied again by three is twenty-seven. In "twenty-seven" therefore three is the ruling number. Thus did the most ancient people compute their numbers, and understood by them nothing but actual things (res). That "three" has the same signification as "seven," is evident from what has been just said. There is a hidden reason why the Lord rose on the third day. The Lord‘s resurrection itself involves all holiness, and the resurrection of all, and therefore in the Jewish Church this number became representative, and in the Word is holy; just as it is in heaven, where no numbers are thought of, but instead of "three" and "seven" they have a general holy idea of the resurrection and of the coming of the Lord.

[2] That "three" and "seven" signify what is holy, is evident from the following passages in the Word. In Moses:--

He that toucheth the dead shall be unclean seven days; the same shall expiate himself therefrom on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean; but if he expiate not himself on the third day, on the seventh day he shall not be clean. He that toucheth one slain with a sword, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days; the clean shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall expiate him, and he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even (Num. 19:11, 12, 16, 19).

That these things are representative, or that the outward things signify internal ones, is very evident, as that one would be unclean who had touched a dead body, one slain, a bone of a man, a grave. All these things signify in the internal sense things proper to man, which are dead and profane. So also the washing in water and being clean at even were representative, and also the third day and the seventh day, which signify what is holy because on those days he was to be purified and would thus be clean.

[3] In like manner concerning those who returned from battle against the Midianites:--

Encamp ye without the camp seven days; whosoever hath slain a soul, and whosoever hath touched one slain, ye shall expiate yourselves on the third day and on the seventh day (Num. 31:19).

If this were but a ritual, and the third day and the seventh were not representative and significative of holiness, or of expiation, it would be a dead thing, like that which is without a cause, and like a cause without an end, or like a thing separated from its cause, and this cause from its end, and thus in no way Divine. That the "third day" was representative, and thus significative, of what is holy, is very evident from the coming of the Lord upon Mount Sinai, for which it was thus commanded:--

And Jehovah said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and to-morrow, and let them wash their garments, and be ready against the third day; for on the third day Jehovah will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai (Exod. 19:10, 11, 14, 15).

[4] For a similar reason Joshua crossed the Jordan on the third day:--

Joshua commanded, Pass through the midst of the camp, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals, for within three days ye are to pass over this Jordan, to go in to inherit the land (Josh. 1:11; 3:2).

The crossing of the Jordan represented the introduction of the sons of Israel, that is, of those who are regenerate, into the kingdom of the Lord; Joshua, who led them in, represented the Lord; and this was done on the third day. Because the third day was holy, as was the seventh, it was ordained that the year of tithes should be the third year, and that then the people should show themselves holy by works of charity (Deut. 26:12-15); the "tithes" represented remains, which because they are of the Lord alone, are holy. That Jonah was three days and three nights in the bowels of the fish (Jonah 1:17) manifestly represented the burial and resurrection of the Lord on the third day (Matt. 12:40).

[5] That "three" signifies that holy thing is evident also in the Prophets, as in Hosea:--

After two days will Jehovah revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live before Him (Hosea 6:2),

where also the "third day" plainly denotes the coming of the Lord and His resurrection. In Zechariah:--

It shall come to pass that in all the land two parts therein shall be cut off and expire, but the third shall be left therein, and I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried (Zechariah 13:8, 9),

where the "third part," like "three," denotes what is holy. The same is involved by the third part as by three, and also by the third part of the third part, as in the present passage, for three is the third of the third of twenty-seven.

AC 902. That the earth’s being "dry" signifies that the man was regenerate, is evident from what was said before about the waters being dried up from off the earth, and the face of the ground being dried, in (verses 7 and 13).

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info