(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 9228

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9228. That "seven" signifies an entire period from beginning to end, thus what is full, is evident from many passages in the Word. 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 shall bind up the breach of His people (Isa. 30:26);
the subject here treated of is the salvation of the faithful, and their intelligence and wisdom in the Lord's kingdom. The "moon" denotes faith from the Lord, thus faith in the Lord; and the "sun," love from the Lord, thus love to the Lord (see n. 30-38, 1521, 1529, 1531, 2441, 2495, 3636, 3643, 4060, 4321, 4696, 5377, 7078, 7083, 7171, 8644); "the light of the sun being sevenfold, as the light of seven days" denotes a full state of intelligence and wisdom from love and faith in the Lord.
[2] In Ezekiel:
They that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shield and the buckler, with the bow and with the arrows, and with the handstaff and with the spear; they shall kindle fire with them seven years; so that they shall bring no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; and they shall cleanse the land seven months (Ezek. 39:9, 12);
the subject here treated of is the destruction of falsity. The "weapons" here enumerated denote the falsities by means of which the evil fight against the truths of the church; "to kindle fire with them seven years" signifies complete destruction through the cupidities of the loves of self and of the world; that "they shall bring no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests" signifies until nothing of good remains, either in the interior or in the exterior man; "to cleanse the land seven months" signifies the complete restoration of good and truth in the church. It has already been shown in many places that "weapons" denote truths fighting against falsities, and in the opposite sense falsities fighting against truths; that "bows with arrows" denote doctrinal things of truth, and in the opposite sense doctrinal things of falsity; that a "handstaff" denotes the power of truth, and in the opposite sense the power of falsity; that "to set on fire and burn" denotes to lay waste through the cupidities of the loves of self and of the world; that "wood out of the field" denotes the interior goods of the church, and "wood out of the forests" the memory-knowledges of good and truth; and that "the land" denotes the church. Everyone can see that other things are here signified than those which appear in the letter, as that they should burn the weapons and kindle a fire with them seven years, and that they should bring no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests. Yet we know that holy and Divine things must be signified, because the Word is holy and from the Divine; but what holy and Divine things are contained in these words cannot possibly be known, unless it is known what is signified by "weapons," what by "seven years" and by "seven months," and what by "wood out of the field and wood out of the forests." It is clear therefore that these prophetic words cannot in the least be apprehended without some acquaintance with the internal sense.
[3] In David:
Seven times a day do I praise Thee, because of the judgments of Thy righteousness (Ps. 119:164).
Render unto our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom (Ps. 79:12).
"Sevenfold" denotes to the full. In like manner in Moses, that they should be "punished sevenfold if they transgressed the commandments and the statutes" (Lev. 26:18, 21, 24, 28). He who does not know that "seven" signifies an entire period from beginning to end, consequently what is full, must believe that "seven weeks" signify seven periods of time in the following passage in Daniel:
Know thou and perceive that from the going forth of the Word even unto the restoring and building of Jerusalem, even to Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks (Dan. 9:25);
but the "seven weeks even to Messiah the Prince," signify that which is said of the Lord, that He will come "in the fullness of the times," thus they signify an entire period. From this it is evident that "the seven spirits before the throne of God" (Rev. 1:4); the "book sealed with seven seals" (Rev. 5:1); and the "seven angels having seven vials which are the seven last plagues" (Rev. 15:1, 6, 7; 21:9), do not mean seven spirits, nor seven seals, nor seven angels, nor seven vials, nor seven plagues; but all things in fullness. So by "the barren one bearing seven" (1 Sam. 2:5) is not meant seven, but much, even to fullness.
[4] Because "seven" had such a signification, it was therefore ordained that a priest, at his initiation, should "put on the garments seven days" (Exod. 29:30); that "his hands should be filled seven days" (verses 24, 35); that "the altar should be sanctified seven days" (verse 37); and that "those who were initiated into the priesthood should not go out from the tent for seven days" (Lev. 8:33). In like manner, "when the unclean spirit goeth out of a man and returneth with seven others" (Matt. 12:43-45; Luke 11:24-26); "if a brother sin seven times in the day, and seven times turn again, he should be forgiven" (Luke 17:4); and that "the heart of Nebuchadnezzar should be changed from a man's, and a beast's heart be given to him, until seven times had passed over him" (Dan. 4:16, 23, 25). From this also it was that Job's friends "sat down with him upon the earth seven days and seven nights, and spoke nothing unto him" (Job 2:13). (That "seventy" in like manner signifies what is full, see n. 6508; and also a "week," that is, seven days, n. 2044, 3845.) From all this it can now be seen that by "the eighth day" is signified the beginning of the following state.


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