Spiritual Meaning of

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That eight denotes in every way is because by this number is signified the same as by two, and by four, for it arises from these multiplied together, and by two and four is signified conjunction to the full (AC 5194, 8423, 8877), and from this also what is full (AC 9103), and consequently in every way; for that which is in fullness is also in every way. By eight is also signified what is full and in every way, from the fact that by a week is signified an entire period from beginning to end (AC 2044, 3845); consequently by the eighth day is signified a full state, from which there is afterward made a new beginning. From this it was that male children were circumcised when eight days old (Gen. 17:12; 21:4); for by circumcision was signified purification from filthy loves by means of the truth of faith (AC 2039, 2046, 2799, 3412, 3413, 4462); the foreskin corresponded to the defilement of good by these loves (AC 4462, 7045, 7225); and the sword of stone, with which the circumcision was performed, signified the truth of faith by means of which purification is effected (AC 2039, 2046, 2799, 7044).

[3] What is full and in every way is also signified by eight after seven, in Micah:--

When Asshur shall come into our land, and shall tread our palaces, then shall we set over him seven shepherds and eight princes of men. And they shall feed on the land of Asshur with the sword; and He shall deliver us from Asshur (Micah 5:5, 6);

Asshur denotes reasoning about the goods and truths of the church from man's own intelligence; total or complete deliverance from the falsity thence, is signified by the eight princes of men who shall destroy; the princes of men denote the primary truths of good.

[4] That eight denotes what is full, and in every way, is also plain from experience concerning the admission and reception of societies into heaven (AC 2130). The societies that were first received appeared up to twelve in number, and afterward eight; for those who are admitted and received into heaven are those who have been purified from earthly things, and therefore from the loves of them, and who have afterward been instructed; by the number eight was then signified what is full.

[5] The like is signified by eight in other parts of the Word, as by the porch of the gate from the house being eight ells, and by there being eight steps to the house, in (Ezekiel 40:9, 31, 41). A new house is there treated of, by which is signified a New Church of the Lord; the truths which lead to good, and from good to truths, are signified by the porch and by the steps.

[6] He who knows not that in the Word numbers infold realities, is bound to get the idea that where the tabernacle, the temple of Solomon, and afterward a new house, and a new temple, and a new earth, are described in Ezekiel, the measurements and numbers have no real meaning, and therefore no holiness, although in the Word not a syllable is void of meaning. Let him who has intelligence consider the measurements and numbers in Ezekiel, from chapter 40 to chapter 48, and the measurements and numbers given by John in the Revelation, chapter 21, where also it is said that the angel measured the wall of the New Jerusalem a hundred forty and four cubits, and that this measure is that of a man, that is, of an angel (Rev. 21:17); also in another passage:--

He that hath intelligence, let him compute the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man, and his number is six hundred and sixty six (Rev. 13:18);

besides those given in many other passages. That all the numbers mentioned in the Word signify real things, (AC 482, 487, 575, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988, 2075, 2252, 3252, 4264, 4495, 4670, 5265, 5291, 5335, 5708, 6175, 7973); and in the places where it has been shown what is signified by some numbers in particular.

from AC 9659

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