(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 716

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716. That holy things are signified by "seven" is evident from what has been said before respecting the seventh day, or the sabbath (n. 84-87), namely, that the Lord is the seventh day; and that from Him every celestial church, or celestial man, is a seventh day, and indeed the celestial itself, which is most holy because it is from the Lord alone. For this reason, in the Word, "seven" signifies what is holy; and in fact, as here, in the internal sense partakes not at all of the idea of number. For they who are in the internal sense, as angels and angelic spirits are, do not even know what number is, and therefore not what seven is. Therefore it is not meant here that seven pairs were to be taken of all the clean beasts; or that there was so much of good in proportion to evil as seven to two; but that the things of the will with which this man of the church was furnished were goods, which are holy, whereby he could be regenerated, as was said above.
[2] That "seven" signifies what is holy, or holy things, is evident from the rituals in the representative church, wherein the number seven so frequently occurs. For example, they were to sprinkle of the blood and the oil seven times, as related in Leviticus:
Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them; and he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all its vessels, to sanctify them (Lev. 8:10-11).
Here "seven times" would be entirely without significance if what is holy were not thus represented. And in another place: When Aaron came into the holy place it is said: He shall take of the blood of the bullock and sprinkle with his finger upon the faces of the mercy seat toward the east; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times (Lev. 16:14).
And so at the altar:
He shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it and sanctify it (Lev. 16:19).
The particulars here, each and all, signify the Lord Himself, and therefore the holy of love; that is to say, the "blood" the "mercy seat" and also the "altar" and the "east" toward which the blood was to be sprinkled, and therefore also "seven."
[3] And likewise in the sacrifices, of which in Leviticus:
If a soul shall sin through error, and if the anointed priest shall sin so as to bring guilt on the people, he shall slay the bullock before Jehovah, and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before Jehovah, toward the veil of the sanctuary (Lev. 4:2-3, 6).
Here in like manner "seven" signifies what is holy; because the subject treated of is expiation, which is of the Lord alone, and therefore the subject treated of is the Lord. Similar rites were also instituted in respect to the cleansing of leprosy, concerning which in Leviticus:
Of the blood of the bird, with cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop, the priest shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall make him clean. In like manner he was to sprinkle of the oil that was upon the palm of his left hand seven times before Jehovah. And so in a house where there was leprosy, he was to take cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet, and with the blood of the bird sprinkle seven times (Lev. 14:6-7, 27, 51).Here anyone may see that there is nothing at all in the "cedar wood" the "scarlet" the "oil" the "blood of a bird" nor yet in "seven" except from the fact that they are representative of holy things. Take away from them what is holy, and all that remains is dead, or profanely idolatrous. But when they signify holy things there is Divine worship therein, which is internal, and is only represented by the externals. The Jews indeed could not know what these things signified; nor does anyone at the present day know what was signified by the "cedar wood" the "hyssop" the "scarlet" and the "bird." But if they had only been willing to think that holy things were involved which they did not know, and so had worshiped the Lord, or the Messiah who was to come, who would heal them of their leprosy-that is, of their profanation of holy things-they might have been saved. For they who so think and believe are at once instructed in the other life, if they desire, as to what each and all things represented.
[4] And in like manner it was commanded respecting the red heifer:
The priest shall take of her blood with his finger and sprinkle of her blood toward the face of the tent of meeting seven times (Num. 19:4).
As the "seventh day" or "sabbath" signified the Lord, and from Him the celestial man, and the celestial itself, the seventh day in the Jewish Church was of all religious observances the most holy; and hence came the "sabbath of sabbath" in the seventh year (Lev. 25:4), and the "jubilee" that was proclaimed after the seven sabbaths of years, or after seven times seven years (25:8-9). That in the highest sense "seven" signifies the Lord, and hence the holy of love, is evident also from the golden candlestick and its seven lamps (concerning which in Exod. 25:31-33, 37; 37:17-19, 23; Num. 8:2, 3; Zech. 4:2) and of which it is thus written by John:
Seven golden lampstands; and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like unto the Son of man (Rev. 1:12-13).
It very clearly appears in this passage that the "lampstand with the seven lamps" signifies the Lord, and that the "lamps" are the holy things of love, or celestial things; and therefore they were "seven."
[5] And again:
Out of the throne went forth seven torches of fire, burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God (Rev. 4:5).
Here the "seven torches" that went forth out of the throne of the Lord are the seven lights, or lamps. The same is signified wherever the number "seven" occurs in the Prophets, as in Isaiah:
The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that Jehovah bindeth up the breach of His people (Isa. 30:26).
Here the "sevenfold light, as the light of seven days" does not signify sevenfold, but the holy of the love signified by the "sun." See also what was said and shown above respecting the number "seven" (chapter 4, verse 15). From all this again it is clearly evident that whatever numbers are used in the Word never mean numbers (as was also shown before, chapter 6:3).


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