(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 4482

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4482. And behold the land is broad in spaces before them. That this signifies the extension, namely, of the truth of doctrine, is evident from the signification of "land" as being the church (see just above, n. 4480); and from the signification of "broad in spaces," as being extension in respect to truths, thus in respect to the things of doctrine. In the Word, description according to measures does not signify measures in the internal sense, but qualities of state; for measures imply spaces, and in the other life there are no spaces or times, but states corresponding thereto (see n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387, 3404, 4321), and therefore the lengths, breadths, and heights of measured space signify such things as belong to state. That "length" signifies holiness, "height" good, and "breadth" truth, may be seen above (n. 650, 1613, 3433, 3434), and therefore by a "land broad in spaces" is signified the extension of the truth of doctrine in the church.
[2] This signification of the expression "a land broad in spaces" must excite wonder in one who is not aware that there is something spiritual in the Word other than what appears in the literal sense, but that nevertheless such is the case may be seen from the passages in the Word where "breadth" is mentioned; as in Isaiah:
Assyria shall go through Judah; he shall inundate and pass through; he shall reach even to the neck, and the extensions of his wings shall be the fullness of the breadth of the land (Isa. 8:8).
In David:
O Jehovah Thou hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy, Thou hast made my feet to stand in breadth (Ps. 31:8).
In the same:
Out of straitness I called upon Jah; He answered me in breadth (Ps. 118:5).
In Habakkuk:
I raise up the Chaldeans, a bitter and swift nation that walks in the breadths of the land (Hab. 1:6);
where by "breadths" nothing else is signified than the truth of the church.
[3] The reason why "breadth" has this signification is that in the spiritual world, or in heaven, the Lord is the center of all things, for He is the sun there. They who are in a state of good are interior in proportion to the quality and quantity of the good in which they are, and therefore "height" is predicated of good. They who are in a like degree of good are also in a like degree of truth, and therefore are as it were at a like distance, or, so to speak, in the same circumference, and hence "breadth" is predicated of truths; and therefore when a man is reading the Word this is what the angels who are with him understand by "breadth." In those historicals of the Word where the ark, the altar, the temple, and the spaces outside the cities are treated of, by the dimensions of these in respect to lengths, breadths, and heights, are perceived the states of good and truth. The case is similar where the new earth, the new Jerusalem, and the new temple are treated of in Ezekiel (40 to 47), by which are signified heaven and a new church, as may be seen from every particular. So also in John, where it is said of the new Jerusalem that it will be foursquare, and its length as great as its breadth (Rev. 21:16).
[4] Things which in the spiritual world are interior are described in the Word by things that are higher, and things which are exterior by things that are lower (n. 2148); for while a man is in this world he cannot apprehend interior and exterior things in any other way, because he is in space and time, and the things of space and time have entered the ideas of his thought, and have tinctured most of these; from which it is evident that terms relating to measure, which are limitations of space, such as heights, lengths, and breadths, are in the spiritual sense those which determine the states of the affections of good and the affections of truth.


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