Spiritual Meaning of

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That thirty signifies somewhat of combat, thus but a little of combat, comes from the fact that this number is compounded by the multiplication of five (by which is signified some little), and six (by which is signified labor or combat (AC 649, 720, 737, 900, 1709).

[2] Hence also this number, wherever read in the Word, signifies something that is relatively little; as in Zechariah:--

I said unto them, If it be good in your eyes, give me my hire and if not, forbear and they weighed my hire, thirty pieces of silver. And Jehovah said unto me, Cast it unto the potter, the goodly price whereat I was valued by them and I took the thirty silver pieces, and cast it to the potter in the house of Jehovah (Zechariah 11:12, 13);

denoting that they valued so little the Lord's merit, and redemption and salvation by Him. The potter denotes reformation and regeneration.

[3] Hence the same thirty silver pieces are spoken of in Matthew:--

They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him whom they had bought from the sons of Israel, and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me (Matthew 27:9, 10);

from which it is plainly evident that thirty here denotes the price of what is but little valued. The valuation of a servant who was held as being of little account, was thirty shekels; as is evident in Moses:--

If the ox gore a manservant, or a maidservant, he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver; and the ox shall be stoned (Exod. 21:32).

Of how little account a servant was held, is evident in the same chapter (Exodus 21:20, 21). In the internal sense a servant denotes labor.

[4] That the Levites were taken for the work of the ministerial office--which is described by the expression one coming to exercise warfare, and to do the work in the tent--from a son of thirty years to one of fifty (Num. 4:3, 23, 30, 35, 39, 43), was because thirty signified those who were being initiated, and who therefore could as yet exercise but little warfare as understood in the spiritual sense.

[5] So in other passages where thirty is named in the Word; as that they should offer upon a son of an ox a meat-offering of three tenths (Num. 15:9); which was because the sacrifice of an ox represented natural good (AC 2180); and natural good is but little in comparison with spiritual good, which was represented by the sacrifice of a ram; and still less in comparison with celestial good, which was represented by the sacrifice of a lamb; in connection with which there was another rate of tenths for the meat offering, as is evident in the same chapter (Numbers 15:4-6; 28:12, 13, 20, 21, 28, 29; 29:3, 4, 9, 10, 14, 15); which rates of tenths, or which proportions, would never have been commanded, unless they had involved heavenly arcana. In Mark also thirty denotes a little:--

The seed which fell into good ground yielded fruit growing up and increasing, and brought forth, one thirty, and another sixty, and another a hundred (Mark 4:8),

where thirty denotes a small growth, and that which has labored but little.

from AC 2276

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