(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 9437

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9437. And Moses was in the mountain forty days and forty nights. That this signifies what is complete in respect to instruction and influx, is evident from the signification of "forty," as being what is full or complete. That "forty" denotes what is full or complete, is because "four" denotes what is full (see n. 9103), in like manner "ten" (n. 3107, 4638), and the number forty arises from four multiplied into ten; for multiplied numbers signify the same as the simple numbers from which they have been multiplied (n. 5291, 5335, 5708, 7973). (That all numbers in the Word signify real things, see n. 575, 3252, 4264, 4495, 4670, 5265, 6175.) It is from this then that Moses was in the mountain forty days and forty nights. That "forty" here signifies what is complete in respect to instruction and influx, is plain from what follows in chapters 25 to 32, in which are recounted the things concerning which he was instructed, which were the ark, Aaron, the Urim and Thummim, and the sacrifices. That "forty" signifies what is complete as to influx also, is because from that time Moses began to represent the holy external of the Word, which mediates between the Lord and the people; and mediation is effected by influx through this holy external into the representative in which the people were (see n. 9419).
[2] As "forty" signified what is full or complete, therefore Moses remained on Mount Sinai not only on this occasion, but also on another, "forty days and forty nights" (Exod. 34:28; Deut. 9:18, 25; 10:10). And for this reason the sons of Israel wandered in the wilderness "forty years," until, as it is said, "all that generation was consumed" (Num. 14:33, 34; 32:13). And for this reason it was said by Jonah to the Ninevites that "the city would be overthrown after forty days" (Jonah 3:4). And for this reason the prophet was commanded "to lie on the right side, and to bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days" (Ezek. 4:6). For this reason also it is said of Egypt that it should be surrendered to "an utter solitude forty years, and after those years should be gathered together from the peoples" (Ezek. 29:11-13). And for this reason "it rained upon the earth, so that it was inundated with a flood, forty days and forty nights" (Gen. 7:4, 12, 17). From this it is evident why it was decreed that a wicked man should be "beaten with forty stripes" (Deut. 25:3); for "forty stripes" signified punishment to the full. From this it is also evident what is meant in the prophetic song of Deborah and Barak, that "there was neither shield nor spear seen in the forty thousands of Israel" (Judges 5:8); "in the forty thousands of Israel" denotes in all. It is evident also from this why the temple built by Solomon was "forty cubits long" (1 Kings 6:17); in like manner the new temple described in Ezekiel (41:2); for by "the temple," in the supreme sense, is signified the Lord; in the internal sense, heaven and the church; and thus by "forty," what is complete in respect to representation. In like manner in other passages.


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