Spiritual Meaning of
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That the number ten, and also tenths, signify remains, is evident from the following passages of the Word:--
Many houses shall be a desolation, great and fair, without an inhabitant; for ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and the seed of a homer shall yield an ephah (Isa. 5:9, 10),
speaking of the vastation of things spiritual and celestial: ten acres of vineyard making a bath, signifies that the remains of things spiritual were so few; and the seed of a homer yielding an ephah, signifies that there were so few remains of things celestial. In the same:--
And many things are forsaken in the midst of the land, yet in it shall be a tenth part, and it shall return, and nevertheless it shall be consumed (Isaiah 6:12, 13);
where the midst of the land signifies the internal man; a tenth part signifies the smallness of the remains. In Ezekiel:--
Ye shall have balances of justice, and an ephah of justice, and a bath of justice: the ephah and the bath shall be of one measure, the bath to contain the tenth of a homer, and an ephah the tenth of a homer; the measure thereof shall be after the homer; and the ordinance of oil, a bath of oil, the tenth of a bath out of a kor, ten baths to the homer, for ten baths are a homer (Ezekiel 14:10, 11, 14);
in this passage the holy things of Jehovah are treated of by measures, whereby are signified the kinds of the holy things; by ten are here signified the remains of celestial and of the derivative spiritual things; for unless such holy arcana were contained herein, what could be the use or intent of describing so many measures determined by numbers, as is done in this and the former chapters in the same Prophet, where the subject is the heavenly Jerusalem and the New Temple?
 In Amos:--
The virgin Israel is fallen, she shall no more rise. Thus saith the Lord Jehovih, The city that went out a thousand shall have a hundred remaining, and that which went out a hundred, shall have ten remaining to the house of Israel (Amos 5:2, 3),
where, speaking of remains it is said that very little would be left, being only a tenth part, or remains of remains. Again:-
I abhor the pride of Jacob and his palaces, and will shut up the city, and its fullness, and it shall come to pass if there shall be left ten men in one house they shall even die (Amos 6:8, 9),
speaking of remains which should scarcely remain. In Moses:--
An Ammonite or Moabite shall not come into the congregation of Jehovah, even the tenth generation of them shall not come into the congregation of Jehovah to eternity (Deut. 23:3);
an Ammonite and a Moabite, signify the profanation of the celestial and spiritual things of faith, the remains of which are spoken of in what precedes.
 Hence it appears also that tenths represent remains. And so in Malachi:--
Bring ye all the tithes (tenths) into the treasure-house, that there may be booty in My house, and let them prove Me, bestir ye in this, if I will not open for you the cataracts of heaven, and pour you out a blessing (Malachi 3:10);
that there may be booty in My house, signifies remains in the internal man, which are compared to booty, because they are insinuated as by stealth among so many evils and falsities; and it is by these remains that all blessing comes. That all man's charity comes by the remains which are in the internal man, was also represented in the Jewish Church by this statute:
that when they had made an end of tithing all the tithes, they should give to the Levite, to the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow (Deut. 26:12).
 Inasmuch as remains are of the Lord alone, therefore the tenths are called holiness to Jehovah; as in Moses:--
All the tenths of the land, of the seed of the land, of the fruit of the tree, they are Jehovah's, holiness to Jehovah: all the tenths of the herd and of the flock, whatsoever passeth under the (pastoral) rod, the tenth shall be holiness to Jehovah (Lev. 27:30, 31).
That the Decalogue consisted of ten precepts, or ten words, and that Jehovah wrote them on tables (Deut. 10:4), signifies remains, and their being written by the hand of Jehovah signifies that remains are of the Lord alone; their being in the internal man was represented by the tables.
from AC 576
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|