Spiritual Meaning of

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That a shekel signifies the price or estimation is evident from the following passages in the Word; in Moses:--

And all thy estimation shall be in the shekel of the holiness (Lev. 27:25).

And in another place:--

When a soul hath committed a trespass, and sinned in error from the holy things of Jehovah, he shall bring his guilt-offering to Jehovah, a ram without blemish out of the flock, according to thy estimation, in silver of shekels, after the shekel of holiness (Lev. 5:15).

From these passages it is plain that by a shekel is signified the price or estimation. It is said the shekel of holiness, because the price or estimation has regard to truth and good from the Lord; and truth and good from the Lord are the holy itself in the church. For this reason it is called the shekel of holiness in other places also (Exod. 30:24; Lev. 27:3; Num. 3:47, 50; 7:13, 19, 25, 31, 37, 43, 49, 55, 61, 67, 73; 18:16).

[6] That the shekel denotes the price of what is holy, is clearly evident in Ezekiel, where the Holy Land and the Holy City are treated of. It is there said of the shekel:--

The shekel shall there be twenty gerahs; twenty shekels, five and twenty shekels, fifteen shekels, shall be your maneh (pound) (Ezek. 45:12);

that here by shekel, and by pound, and by the numbers, are signified holy things, that is, good and truth, anyone can see; for the Holy Land, and the Holy City in it (or the New Jerusalem there treated of) is no other than the kingdom of the Lord, where neither shekel nor gerah nor pound, nor the counting by them, but the number itself, from its signification in the internal sense, determines the estimation or the price of what is good and what is true.

[7] In Moses:--

They shall give every man an expiation for his soul lest there should be a plague, half a shekel, after the shekel of holiness: the shekel is twenty gerahs and the half shekel for a therumah (an oblation) to Jehovah (Exod. 30:12, 13);

where ten gerahs, which are the half shekel, denote the remains which are from the Lord. Remains are goods and truths stored up with man, and these are signified by ten, (AC 576, 1738, 1906, 2284); and also that remains are goods and truths from the Lord stored up with man, (AC 1906, 2284). These therefore are called an oblation to Jehovah, and it is said that by them there shall be an expiation for the soul. The reason why it is so often said that the shekel was twenty gerahs, as in the passages quoted, and also in (Lev. 27:25; Num. 3:47; 18:16), is that the shekel which is twenty gerahs signifies the estimation of the good of remains. That twenty signifies the good of remains may be seen above, (AC 2280). On this account the shekel was likewise a weight, according to which the value both of gold and of silver was estimated (Gen. 24:22; Exod. 38:24; Ezek. 4:10; 45:12); the value of gold, because gold signifies good (AC 113, 1551, 1552); and of silver, because silver signifies truth (AC 1551, 2048). From all this it is now plain that by land of four hundred shekels of silver is signified the price of redemption by means of truth. It is called land because the subject is the spiritual church, which is reformed and regenerated by means of truth from the Lord (AC 2954). That by land is signified the church, (AC 662, 1066, 1067, 1262, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118).

from AC 2959

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