Spiritual Meaning of

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The signification of a year, is as being an entire period of the church from beginning to end; thus from the signification of the years, as being periods (AR 2905); and from the signification of the lives of Sarah, as being states as to truth Divine, of which also just above, (AR 2904); thus denoting here the limit when there was no longer any truth Divine remaining; which also follows from what immediately precedes.

[2] That a year signifies the entire time of a state of the church from beginning to end, or what is the same, an entire period; and consequently that years signify times or periods within the general period, may be seen from the following passages in the Word. In Isaiah:--

Jehovah hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the afflicted; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and an opening of every kind to the bound, to proclaim the year of Jehovah's good pleasure, and the day of vengeance to our God (Isaiah 61:1, 2);

said of the Lord's advent; the year of Jehovah's good pleasure denotes the time of a new church. In the same:--

The day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed is come (Isaiah 63:4);

this too is said of the Lord's advent; the year of the redeemed denotes the time of a new church. In the same:--

It is the day of vengeance to Jehovah; the year of retributions for the controversy of Zion (Isaiah 34:8);

where the signification is similar.

[3] The same time is also called the year of visitation in Jeremiah:--

I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, in the year of their visitation (Jeremiah 11:23).

In the same:--

I will bring upon Moab the year of their visitation (Jeremiah 48:44).

Still more plainly in Ezekiel:--

After many days thou shalt be visited; in the futurity of years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, that is gathered out of many peoples, upon the mountains of Israel, which shall be for a waste continually (Ezekiel 38:8);

the futurity of years denotes the last time of the church, which then becomes no church, those being rejected who before were of the church, and others received from elsewhere. In Isaiah:--

Thus hath the Lord said unto me, Yet within a year, according to the years of a hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall be consumed (Isaiah 21:16);

here also is meant the last time.

[4] In Ezekiel:--

Thou art become guilty in thy bind that thou hast shed, and art defiled in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years; therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the nations, and a mocking to all the lands (Ezekiel 22:4);

to come even unto the years denotes to the end, when the Lord withdraws from the church. In Isaiah:--

Now hath Jehovah spoken, saying, "Within three years, as the years of a hireling, and the glory of Moab shall be brought into contempt, with all his great multitude, and the remnant shall he very small (Isaiah 16:14);

within three years also denotes the end of the former church. That three denotes what is complete, and a beginning, may be seen above (AR 1825, 2788).

[5] Similar is the signification of seven, and also of seventy (AR 720, 728, 901); and therefore it is said in Isaiah:--

And it shall come to pass in that day that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king; after the end of seventy years it shall be to Tyre as in the song of a harlot. And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years that Jehovah will visit Tyre, and she shall return to her harlot hire (Isaiah 23:15-17);

seventy years denotes the entire period, from the time at which the church began even till it expires; which is also meant by the days of one king, for a king signifies the truth of the church (AR 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069). The seventy years of captivity in which the Jews were, also involve something similar, of which likewise it is said in Jeremiah:--

These nations shall serve the king of Babel seventy years; and it shall come to pass when seventy years are fulfilled, I will visit their iniquity upon the king of Babel, and upon this nation, saith Jehovah (Jeremiah 25:11, 12; 29:10).

[6] That a year, and also years, denote the entire period of a church, or the time of its duration, may be seen still further in Malachi:--

Behold I send Mine angel, and he shall prepare the way before Me; and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple, even the angel of the covenant whom ye desire; behold He cometh, said Jehovah Zebaoth; and who may endure the day of His coming? Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto Jehovah, according to the days of an age, and according to the ancient years (Malachi 3:1, 2, 4);

where the advent of the Lord is treated of; the days of an age denote the Most Ancient Church; ancient years, the Ancient Church; the offering of Judah, worship from celestial love and the offering of Jerusalem, worship from spiritual love; that Judah is not meant here, nor Jerusalem, is plain. In David:--

I have considered the days of old, and the years of the ages (Ps. 77:5);

where the days of old and the years of the ages denote the same churches. This is still more plain in Moses:--

Remember the days of an age, understand the years of generation and generation; ask thy father, and he will show thee; thine elders, and they will tell thee. When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of man (Deut. 32:7, 8).

[7] That a year and years denote the full time of a church, is also plain in Habakkuk:--

O Jehovah, I have heard Thy fame, I was afraid; O Jehovah, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in anger remember mercy. God will come from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran (Habakkuk 3:2, 3);

This is said of the Lord's advent; in the midst of the years denotes in the fullness of times; and what is meant by the fullness of times" may be seen just above (AR 2905).

[8] As a year and years signify the full time between its two limits, which are the beginning and the end when predicated of the Lord's kingdom on earth (that is, the church) so they signify what is eternal when predicated of the Lord's kingdom in heaven. As in David:--

O God, Thy years are to generation and generation; and Thou art He, and Thy years shall not be brought to an end. The sons of Thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before Thee (Ps. 102:24, 27, 28).

In the same:--

Thou wilt add days to the days of the king, his years shall be as generation and generation; he shall dwell before God forever (Ps. 61:6, 7);

where years denote what is eternal, for this treats of the Lord and His kingdom.

[9] The lambs which were offered for burnt-offering and sacrifice being sons of their year (Lev. 12:6; 14:10; Num. 6:12; 7:15, 21, 27, 33, 39, 45, 51, 57, 63, 69, 75, 81), signified the celestial things of innocence in the Lord's kingdom, which are eternal. And for this reason also the burnt-offering of calves that were sons of a year is mentioned as being most grateful (Micah 6:6).

[10] That in the internal sense a year does not signify a year, is also evident from the fact that the angels, who are in the internal sense of the Word, cannot have an idea of any year; but because a year is a full period of time in nature, which belongs to the world, therefore instead of a year they have an idea of what is full in respect to states of the church, and of what is eternal in respect to states of heaven; times with them are states (AR 1274, 1382, 2625, 2788, 2837).

AC 2906

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