Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at sacred-texts.com
Verse 24. Peradventure there be fifty righteous in the midst of the city; wilt Thou also destroy and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous that are in the midst of it? "Peradventure there be fifty righteous in the midst of the city," signifies that possibly the truths may be full of goods; "wilt Thou also destroy and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous that are in the midst of it?" signifies intercession from love, that in such case they should not perish.2252.
Peradventure there be fifty righteous in the midst of the city. That this signifies that the truths may possibly be full of goods, is evident from the signification of "fifty," as being what is full; from the signification of "righteous" as being good (see n. 612, 2235); from that of the "midst," as being what is within (n. 1074); and from that of "city," as being truth (n. 402). Thus "fifty righteous in the midst of the city," means in the internal sense that truths may possibly be full of goods within. That there is this meaning in these words cannot be seen from the letter, for the historicals of the literal sense lead the mind in quite a different direction, that is, to different thoughts; and yet that these words are so perceived by those who are in the internal sense, I know of a certainty. The numbers themselves also, as here "fifty," and in what follows "forty-five," "forty," "thirty," "twenty," and "ten," are by no means perceived as numbers by those who are in the internal sense, but as real things or states (as is shown, n. 482, 487, 575, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 2075).  For the ancients marked the states of their church-in one way-by numbers; and the nature of their computation in so doing is evident from the signification of the numbers in the places just referred to. They had the signification of numbers from the representatives which exist in the world of spirits, where, when anything appears as numbered, it does not signify anything that is determined by the numbers, but the thing or state itself; as is evident from the things that have been adduced (n. 2129, 2130, also n. 2089) concerning "twelve," as meaning all the things of faith. It is similar with the numbers which now follow. This shows what is the nature of the Word in the internal sense.  That "fifty" signifies what is full, comes from its following next after the product of seven into seven, or forty-nine, so that it is the impletion of this number, on which account there was in the Representative Church the festival of the Seven Sabbaths on the fiftieth day, and the Jubilee in the fiftieth year. As regards the festival of the seven sabbaths we read in Moses: Ye shall count unto you from the morrow of the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave-offering, seven entire sabbaths shall there be, even unto the morrow of the seventh sabbath shall ye count fifty days, and ye shall offer a new offering unto Jehovah (Lev. 23:15). And concerning the Jubilee: Thou shalt count for thee seven sabbaths of years, seven years seven times, and they shall be to thee seven sabbaths of years, nine and forty years, and ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty in the land to all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a jubilee unto you (Lev. 25:8, 10), which shows that the fiftieth is what is full in relation to sabbaths.  Moreover, wherever "fifty" is mentioned in the Word, it signifies what is full; as when it is said that: The Levites were numbered from a son of thirty years and upward, even unto a son of fifty years (Num. 4:23, 35, 39, 43, 47; 8:25); meaning the full or final state of discharging the ministry. That a man lying with a damsel, a virgin, shall give unto the damsel's father fifty pieces of silver, and she should be to him for a wife, nor could he put her away (Deut. 22:29), which denotes a full fine and full restitution. David's giving to Araunah for the threshing-floor where he built the altar to Jehovah, fifty shekels of silver (2 Sam. 24:24) denotes a full price and a full purchase. Absalom's preparing for himself a chariot and horses, and having fifty men running before him (2 Sam. 15:1), and in like manner: Adonijah's having chariots and horsemen, and fifty men running before him (1 Kings 1:5), denotes full excellence and greatness. For they had from the ancients certain representative and significative numbers, which they observed, and which were also commanded in their rites; but most of them did not know what they signified.  And in the same way, as "fifty" signifies what is full, and as this number was also representative-already said-the same thing is signified by it in the Lord's parable of the steward, who said to him that owed the oil: How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, a hundred baths of oil. And he said unto him, take thy bond, and sit down quickly, and write fifty (Luke 16:6); "fifty" denoting full payment. As fifty is a number, it indeed appears to involve nothing beyond the number; whereas in the internal sense what is full is everywhere meant by it, as in Haggai: One came to the wine-press to draw out fifty out of the wine-press; there were twenty (Hag. 2:16), that is, instead of fullness there was not much. "Fifty" could not have been mentioned here in the Prophet unless it had been significative.2253.
Wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous that are in the midst of it? That this signifies intercession from love-that they should not perish-is evident from the signification of "fifty," and of "righteous," as also of "the midst of it," that is, of the city (concerning which just above, n. 2252), all of which things involve intercession from love, and that they should not perish. (As regards the intercession, see above, n. 2250.) That it was from love is also manifest. With the Lord, when He was in the world, there was no other life than the life of love toward the universal human race, which He ardently desired to eternally save. This is the veriest celestial life, by which He united Himself to the Divine, and the Divine to Himself-for Esse itself, or Jehovah, is nothing else than Mercy, which is of love to the universal human race-and that life was one of pure love, which is never possible with any man. They who do not know what life is, and that the life is such as the love, do not comprehend this. This shows that insofar as anyone loves his neighbor, insofar he partakes of the Lord's life.2254.
Verse 25. Be it far from Thee to do according to this thing, to cause the righteous to die with the wicked, that so the righteous be as the wicked; be it far from Thee; shall not the Judge of all the earth do judgment? "Be it far from Thee to do according to this thing," signifies the Lord's horror; "to cause the righteous to die with the wicked, that so the righteous be as the wicked," signifies that good cannot die, because evil can be separated from it; "be it far from Thee," signifies a greater degree of horror; "shall not the Judge of all the earth do judgment?" signifies that the Divine good cannot do this, after the manner of truth separated from good.2255.
Be it far from Thee to do according to this thing. That this signifies the Lord's horror, is evident without explication.2256.
To cause the righteous to die with the wicked, that so the righteous be as the wicked. That this signifies that good cannot die, because evil can be separated from it, is evident from the signification of "righteous," as being good, and of "wicked," as being evil (see above, n. 2250). Hence to "cause the righteous to die with the wicked," is to make good die with evil. As this ought not to be done, and causes horror to think of, it is removed in the internal sense, and then there is presented this: that good cannot die, because evil can be separated from it.  How this matter stands, is known to few, if any. Be it known that all the good a man has thought and done from infancy even to the last of his life, remains; in like manner all the evil, so that not the least of it completely perishes. Both are inscribed on his book of life (that is, on each of his memories), and on his nature (that is, his native disposition and genius). From these he has formed for himself a life, and so to speak a soul, which after death is of a corresponding quality. But goods are never so commingled with evils, nor evils with goods, that they cannot be separated; for if they should be commingled, the man would eternally perish. In relation to this the Lord exercises His providence, and when a man comes into the other life, if he has lived in the good of love and of charity, the Lord then separates his evils, and by what is good with him elevates him into heaven. But if he has lived in evils, that is, in things contrary to love and charity, the Lord then separates from him what is good, and his evils bring him into hell. Such is the lot of everyone after death; but it is a separation, and in no wise a complete removal.  Moreover, as the will of man, which is the one part of his life, has been utterly destroyed, the Lord separates this destroyed part from the other which is his intellectual part, and in those who are being regenerated, implants in this intellectual part the good of charity, and through this a new will; these are they who have conscience. Thus also, speaking generally, the Lord separates evil from good. These are the arcana which are meant in the internal sense by the statement that good cannot die, because evil can be separated from it.2257.
Be it far from Thee. That this signifies a greater degree of horror, is evident from the words being repeated; thus it also needs no explication.2258.
Shall not the Judge of all the earth do judgment? That this signifies that the Divine good cannot do this after the manner of truth separated from good, is evident from the signification of the "Judge of all the earth," as also from the signification of "judgment." The "Judge of all the earth," signifies in the internal sense the good itself from which comes truth; which also in the representative Church was represented by the priests who were at the same time judges; for as priests they represented the Divine good, and as judges the Divine truth; but the "Judge of all the earth" means both, and this from the signification of "earth," as explained in several places in volume 1. But to prove these things now from the representatives of that church would be too tedious. "Judgment," however, signifies truth (as shown above, n. 2235). From these significations, and at the same time from the series of things in the internal sense, it is evident that "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do judgment?" signifies that the Divine good cannot do this after the manner of truth separated from good.  In order to understand these things, be it known that there are two things which constitute the order of the universal heaven, and thence in the universe, namely, Good and Truth. Good is the essential of order, all the things of which are mercies. Truth is the secondary of order, all the things of which are truths. The Divine good adjudges all to heaven, but the Divine truth condemns all to hell; and therefore unless the Lord's Mercy, which is of good, were eternal, all men, however many, would be condemned. This is what is signified by the statement that the Divine good cannot do this after the manner of truth separated from good. (See also what is said concerning this in volume 1, n. 1728.)  That the evil are nevertheless condemned to hell, is not because the Divine good is separated from the Divine truth, but because the man separates himself from the Divine good. For the Lord in no case sends anyone down into hell, but the man sends himself, as has been already stated a number of times. In the following respect also the Divine good is conjoined with the Divine truth: that unless the evil were separated from the good, the evil would do harm to the good, and would be continually endeavoring to destroy order: thus that the good may not be harmed, is of Mercy. This stands just as in the kingdoms of the earth. If evils were not punished, the whole kingdom would be infected with evils, and so would perish; for which reason kings and judges show more mercy in punishing evils and in expelling from society those guilty of them, than by exercising in their behalf an unseasonable clemency.2259.
Verse 26. And Jehovah said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous in the midst of the city, I will spare all the place for their sake. "Jehovah said," signifies perception; "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous in the midst of the city," signifies here as before, if truths are full of goods; "I will spare all the place for their sake," signifies that they will be saved.2260.
Jehovah said. That this signifies perception, is evident from the signification of "Jehovah's saying," in the historic Word, as being representative of the Lord's perception from the Divine, and something of thought following therefrom, and some reply. (Concerning the expression "Jehovah said," see above, n. 2238.)2261.
If I find in Sodom fifty righteous in the midst of the city. That this signifies if truths are full of goods, is evident from the signification of "fifty," as being what is full, and from the signification of "the midst of the city," as being within truth, or in truth (as explained above, n. 2252, where the same words occur). It may be supposed that a man cannot but be saved if truths are full of goods. But be it known that there are very few truths with man, and that if there are any, they have no life unless there are goods in them; and that if there are goods in them, he is saved, but from Mercy. For, as before said, the truths with man are very few; and the goods which are in them have their quality in accordance with the truths, and the man's life.  Regarded in themselves, truths do not give life. It is goods that give life. Truths are only recipients of life, that is, of good. And therefore no one can ever say that he can be saved by truths (or as the common expression is, by faith alone), unless there is good in the truths which are of faith, and this good that must be in the truths must be the good of charity; hence faith itself, in the internal sense, is nothing else than charity (as shown above, n. 2231). As regards people's saying that the acknowledgment of truth is the faith that saves, be it known that with those who live in things contrary to charity, there cannot possibly be any acknowledgment but only persuasion, to which there has been adjoined the life of the love of self or of the world; thus in the acknowledgment they refer to there is not the life of faith, which is that of charity. The worst men of all-from the love of self or the world, that is, for the sake of being eminent above others in what is called intelligence and wisdom, and thus of winning honors, reputation, and gains-can learn the truths of faith, and confirm them by many things; but still with them these truths are dead.  The life of truth, and thus of faith, is solely from the Lord, who is life itself. The Lord's life is mercy, which is that of love toward the universal human race. In the Lord's life those can in no wise have part who although they profess the truths of faith despise others in comparison with themselves, and who, when their life of the love of self and of the world is touched, hold the neighbor in hatred, and take delight in his loss of wealth, of honor, of reputation, and of life. But the case with the truths of faith is that by means of them man is regenerated, for they are the veriest vessels recipient of good. Such therefore as are the truths, and such as are the goods in the truths, and such as is their conjunction and the consequent capability of being perfected in the other life, such is the state of blessedness and happiness after death.2262.
I will spare all the place for their sake. That this signifies that they will be saved, follows from the series as a conclusion, and thus without explication. "Place" signifies state (as shown above, n. 1273, 1378), and therefore it is here said the "place" instead of the "city," to signify that they who are in such a state would be saved.2263.
Verse 27. And Abraham answered and said, Behold I pray I have taken upon me to speak unto my Lord, and I am dust and ashes. "Abraham answered and said," signifies the Lord's thought from the human; "Behold I pray I have taken upon me to speak unto my Lord, and I am dust and ashes," signifies the humiliation of the human as to its relative quality.2264.
Abraham answered and said. That this signifies the Lord's thought from the human, is evident from the signification of "Abraham" in this chapter, as being the Lord in respect to the human, concerning which several times above.2265.
Behold I pray I have taken upon me to speak unto my Lord, and I am dust and ashes. That this signifies the humiliation of the human as to its relative quality, is evident. The Lord's state in the human (or His state of humiliation), and the Lord's state in the Divine (or His state of glorification), have been treated of several times before; and it has been shown that in His state of humiliation the Lord spoke with Jehovah as with another; but in His state of glorification, as with Himself (n. 1999). As in the present passage Abraham (as before said) represents the Lord in His human, it is said in that state that relatively to the Divine the human is dust and ashes; on which account that state is also called His state of humiliation. The humiliation results from the self-acknowledgment that one is relatively of such a character. By the human in this place is not meant the Divine Human, but the human which the Lord derived from the mother, and which He utterly expelled, and put on in its stead the Divine Human. It is the former human, namely, the maternal human, of which "dust and ashes" are here predicated. (See what has been said above at n. 2159.)2266.
Verse 28. Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous; wilt Thou destroy all the city for five? And He said, I will not destroy it if I find there forty and five. "Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous," signifies if there should be somewhat less; "wilt thou destroy all the city for five?" signifies, shall man perish for the little which is wanting? "and He said, I will not destroy it if I find there forty and five," signifies that he should not perish if good and truth could be conjoined together.2267.
Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous. That this signifies if there should be somewhat less, is evident from the signification of "five," as being a little, or less (in regard to which signification of this number, see volume 1, n. 649). What the "fifty righteous" signify, has been shown above (n. 2252).2268.
Wilt Thou destroy all the city for five? That this signifies shall man perish for the little which is wanting, is evident from the signification of "five" as being a little (as just stated); and from the signification of a "city," as being truth, also explained before. In regard to the truths in it the human mind is compared in the Word to a "city," and is also so called; and in regard to the goods which are in the truths, it is compared to the inhabitants of the city, and the goods are also so called; for the case as regards these is much the same. If the truths which are in man's memories, and in the thoughts of his mind, are devoid of goods, they are like a city without inhabitants, and are in the same way vacant and empty. Nay, even of the angels it may be declared that when a man lives in love to the Lord, and in charity toward the neighbor, they dwell as it were in his truths, and insinuate affections of good from the Lord; for they are delighted to dwell thus, that is, to live with such men. Very different is it with those who are in some truths, but in no goods of charity.2269.
And He said, I will not destroy it if I find there forty and five. That this signifies that man should not perish if good and truth could be conjoined together, is evident from the signification of the number forty-five, as being conjunction. It has been already shown that the simple numbers retain their signification even when they are multiplied; and that consequently the greater numbers have a signification similar to that of the less; and such is the case with forty-five, which number is compounded by the multiplication of five into nine; and as it has been compounded by the multiplication of five into nine, it has the same signification as have "five" and "nine." That "five" signifies a little, was shown above (n. 649), and that "nine" signifies conjunction, or what is conjoined (n. 2075); and thus the signification here is: If goods have in some measure been conjoined with truths. That in the Word numbers signify actual things, or states, is evident from what was said about fifty (n. 2252); also from what has been shown before concerning numbers (n. 482, 487, 575, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988).  It is because "five" signifies a little, and "forty-five" conjunction, that the very setting forth of these numbers in this verse is of such a nature, for it is said, "Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous;" and by this is signified, If there should be somewhat less; and then it is said, "Wilt Thou destroy all the city for five?" by which is signified, Shall they perish for the little which is wanting? For as "five" signifies a little, this number is not employed again, but it is said, "I will not destroy it if I find there forty and five;" by which is signified that they would not perish if good and truth could be conjoined together. The reason also of its being said here "forty and five," and not "if there lack five of fifty," is because "five" not only signifies a little (as was shown, n. 649), but also signifies disjunction (as was likewise shown in volume 1, n. 1686); and therefore in order that not disjunction, but conjunction, might be signified, this number forty-five is named; for "forty-five" denotes some conjunction, as stated above; and thus in the internal sense all things follow on in a beautiful sequence Of their own.  As regards the conjunction of good with truth, it is an arcanum which cannot be described so that it can be grasped by the ordinary comprehension. It must be told in a few words. The more genuine and pure the truth, the better can the good which is from the Lord be adapted into it as its recipient vessel; but the less genuine and pure the truth, the less can the good which is from the Lord be adapted into it; for they must correspond to each other, and the conjunction of the two is effected according to the correspondence. Goods cannot possibly be insinuated into falsities, nor evils into truths, as their recipient vessels; for they are of a contrary character and nature, the one casting out the other as its enemy; nay, should they attempt to conjoin themselves together, the one would spew out the other, that is to say, good would spew out evil as if it were poison, and evil would spew out good as if it were an emetic. Such enmity between good and evil has been provided by the Lord in order to prevent the possibility of their being commingled, for if they were commingled, the man would perish. In the deceitful and in hypocrites they are not far from being conjoined together, but still precautions are taken by the Lord in order to prevent their being so conjoined. This is the reason why in the other life those who are deceitful and those who are hypocrites suffer things more direful than those which are suffered by any others.2270.
Verse 29. And he added yet to speak unto Him, and said, Peradventure forty shall be found there; and He said, I will not do it for forty's sake. "He added yet to speak unto Him," signifies thought; "and said, Peradventure forty shall be found there," signifies those who have been in temptations; "and He said, I will not do it for forty's sake," signifies that they shall be saved.2271.
He added yet to speak unto Him. That this signifies thought, is evident from the signification in the internal sense of "speaking." To "speak" or "speaking" is nothing else than that which flows forth from the thought; and as internal things are signified by external things-like understanding by "seeing," the understanding by the "eye," obedience by the "ear," and so forth-so thinking is signified by "speaking."2272.
And he said, Peradventure forty shall be found there. That this signifies those who have been in temptation, is evident from the signification of the number forty, as being temptations (explained in volume 1, n. 730). How these things follow on in a series may be seen from temptations. Temptations take place to the end not only that the man may be confirmed in truths, but also that truths may be more closely conjoined with goods; for man is then battling for truths against falsities, and as he is then in interior distress and in torment, the delights of the life of cupidities and their derivative pleasures come to a cessation; and then goods flow in from the Lord, the consequence of which is that evils are at the same time regarded as abominable, and the effect of this is new thoughts of a nature contrary to those possessed before, to which the man may afterwards be bent, thus from evils to goods, and these goods be conjoined with truths. And as the conjunction of good with truth is effected by means of temptations, and as it has been said in a former verse that those would be saved with whom goods can be conjoined with truths, therefore there follows what is here said; and indeed in such words as to signify that goods and truths can be conjoined by means of temptations. This is the connection of the subject matters for those who are in the internal sense.2273.
And He said, I will not do it for forty's sake. That this signifies that they will be saved, is evident without any unfolding of the meaning. As regards those who in the preceding verse are signified by "forty-five," it was said, "I will not destroy it if I find forty and five," and the signification was that they should not perish if goods were able to be conjoined with truths, and there here follows a statement concerning the forty: "I will not do it for forty's sake;" by which is not signified that they should be saved on account of temptations, for there are some who even undergo temptations and who yield in them; and therefore with these goods are not conjoined. I would even say that a man is not saved on account of temptations if he places anything of merit in them; for if he does this, it is from the love of self, in that he congratulates himself on their account, and believes that he has merited heaven more than others, and at the same time he is thinking of his own preeminence over others by despising others in comparison with himself; all of which things are contrary to mutual love, and therefore to heavenly blessedness.  The temptations in which a man overcomes are attended with a belief that all others are more worthy than himself, and that he is infernal rather than heavenly; for while in temptations such ideas are presented to him; and therefore when after temptations he comes into thoughts contrary to these, it is an indication that he has not overcome; for the thoughts which the man has had in temptations are those to which can be bent the thoughts which he has after the temptations; and if the latter cannot be bent to the former, the man has either yielded in the temptation, or he again comes into similar ones, and sometimes into more grievous ones, until he has been reduced to such sanity that he believes he has merited nothing. Hence it is evident that by "forty" are here signified those with whom by means of temptations goods have been conjoined with truths.2274.
Verse 30. And he said, Oh let not my Lord be angry, and I will speak: peradventure thirty shall be found there; and He said, I will not do it if I find thirty there. "And he said, Oh let not my Lord be angry, and I will speak," signifies anxiety concerning the human race; "peradventure thirty shall be found there," signifies somewhat of combat; "and He said, I will not do it if I find thirty there," signifies that these shall be saved.2275.
And he said, Oh let not my Lord be angry, and I will speak. That this signifies anxiety concerning the state of the human race, may be seen, not so much from the words, as from the affection that belongs to them. The internal sense of the Word contains within it two things, to wit, what is spiritual, and what is celestial. That which is spiritual consists in there being comprehended, abstractedly from the letter, actual things to which the literal sense serves as an object, just as do those things which the eye sees, when they serve as objects for suggesting thought about matters of a more exalted nature. That which is celestial consists in there being solely perceived the affection that belongs to the actual things that are in the internal sense. In the former are the spiritual angels, in the latter are the celestial angels. They who are in the latter, that is, in the affection, perceive at once from the affection alone what the letter involves when it is being read by man, and from it they form for themselves celestial ideas, and this with endless variety, and in an ineffable manner, in accordance with the onflowing harmony of the celestial things of love that are in the affection. From this we may see what the Word of the Lord contains within its remote recesses. When therefore these words are read: "Oh let not my Lord be angry, and I will speak," the celestial angels at once perceive a certain anxiety, and indeed the anxiety of love toward the human race; and at the same time there are insinuated into them innumerable and ineffable things in regard to the anxiety of love which the Lord felt when He thought about the state of the human race.2276.
Peradventure thirty shall be found. That this signifies somewhat of combat, is evident from the signification of the number thirty. That "thirty" signifies somewhat of combat, thus but a little of combat, comes from the fact that this number is compounded by the multiplication of five (by which is signified some little), and six (by which is signified labor or combat, as was shown in volume 1, n. 649, 720, 737, 900, 1709).  Hence also this number, wherever read in the Word, signifies something that is relatively little; as in Zechariah: I said unto them, If it be good in your eyes, give me my hire; and if not, forbear; and they weighed my hire, thirty pieces of silver. And Jehovah said unto me, Cast it unto the potter, the goodly price 2276-1 whereat I was valued by them; and I took the thirty silver pieces, and cast it to the potter in the house of Jehovah (Zech. 11:12-13); denoting that they valued so little the Lord's merit, and redemption and salvation by Him. The "potter" denotes reformation and regeneration.  Hence the same thirty silver pieces are spoken of in Matthew: They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him whom they had bought from the sons of Israel, and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me (Matt. 27:9-10); from which it is plainly evident that "thirty" here denotes the price of what is but little valued. The valuation of a servant who was held as being of little account, was thirty shekels; as is evident in Moses: If the ox gore a manservant, or a maidservant, he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver; and the ox shall be stoned (Exod. 21:32). Of how little account a servant was held, is evident in the same chapter (verses 20-21). In the internal sense a "servant" denotes labor.  That the Levites were taken for the work of the ministerial office-which is described by the expression "one coming to exercise warfare, and to do the work in the tent"-from a "son of thirty years to one of fifty" (Num. 4:3, 23, 30, 35, 39, 43), was because "thirty" signified those who were being initiated, and who therefore could as yet exercise but little warfare as understood in the spiritual sense.  So in other passages where "thirty" is named in the Word; as that they should offer "upon a son of an ox a meat-offering of three tenths" (Num. 15:9); which was because the sacrifice of an ox represented natural good (as shown above, n. 2180); and natural good is but little in comparison with spiritual good, which was represented by the sacrifice of a ram; and still less in comparison with celestial good, which was represented by the sacrifice of a lamb; in connection with which there was another rate of tenths for the meat-offering, as is evident in the same chapter (verses 4 to 6; also Num. 28:12-13, 20-21, 28-29; 29:3-4, 9-10, 14-15); which rates of tenths, or which proportions, would never have been commanded, unless they had involved heavenly arcana. In Mark also "thirty" denotes a little: The seed which fell into good ground yielded fruit growing up and increasing, and brought forth, one thirty, and another sixty, and another a hundred (Mark 4:8), where "thirty" denotes a small growth, and that which has labored but little. These numbers would not have been marked out for use, unless they had contained within them the things which they signify.2277.
He said, I will not do it if I find thirty there. That this signifies that these shall be saved, is evident from the series or connection of things in the internal sense, without any unfolding of the meaning.2278.
Verse 31. And he said, Behold I pray I have taken upon me to speak unto my Lord: peradventure twenty shall be found there; and He said, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake. "He said, Behold I pray I have taken upon me to speak unto my Lord," signifies here as before the humiliation of the human before the Divine; "peradventure twenty shall be found there," signifies if there be not anything of combat, but still there be good "and He said, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake," signifies that they will be saved.2279.
He said, Behold I pray I have taken upon me to speak unto my Lord. That this signifies the humiliation of the human before the Divine, is evident from what was said above (n. 2265), where are the same words.2280.
Peradventure twenty shall be found there. That this signifies if there be not anything of combat, but still there be good, is evident from the signification of "twenty." As all the numbers that are mentioned in the Word signify actual things, and states (as before said and shown in many places, see n. 2252), so also does "twenty;" and what it signifies can be seen from its derivation, namely, from twice ten. "Ten" in the Word, as also "tenths," signify remains, by which is meant everything good and true that the Lord insinuates into man from infancy even to the end of his life, and which are treated of in the following verse. Twice ten, or double tenths, that is, twenty, signify the same, but in a higher degree, namely, good.  Goods of three kinds are signified by remains, namely, the goods of infancy, the goods of ignorance, and the goods of intelligence. The goods of infancy are those which are insinuated into man from his very birth up to the age in which he is beginning to be instructed and to know something. The goods of ignorance are what are insinuated when he is being instructed and is beginning to know something. The goods of intelligence are what are insinuated when he is able to reflect upon what is good and what is true. The good of infancy exists from the man's infancy up to the tenth year of his age; the good of ignorance, from this age up to his twentieth year. From this year the man begins to become rational, and to have the faculty of reflecting upon good and truth, and to procure for himself the good of intelligence.  The good of ignorance is that which is signified by "twenty," because those who are in the good of ignorance do not come into any temptation for no one is tempted before he is able to reflect, and in his own way to perceive the nature of good and truth. Those who have received goods by means of temptations have been treated of in the two immediately preceding verses; those who have not been in temptations, and yet have good, are now treated of in this verse.  As those who have this good, which is called the good of ignorance, are signified by "twenty," all those who went forth from Egypt were reckoned from "a son of twenty years" and upward; or as it is expressed, "everyone going forth into the army," by whom are meant those who were no longer in the good of ignorance, concerning whom we read in Numbers (1:20, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 38, 40, 42, 45; 26:4); and also that all those who were more than twenty years old died in the wilderness (32:10, 11), because evil could be imputed to them, and they represented those who yield in temptations; as well as that the valuing made of a male, from "a son of five years" to "a son of twenty years" was "twenty shekels" (Lev. 17:5); and another valuing from "a son of twenty years" old to one of sixty was fifty shekels (verse 3).  As regards the before-mentioned goods, namely those of infancy, of ignorance, and of intelligence, the case is this. The good of intelligence is the best, for this is of wisdom the good which precedes it, namely that of ignorance, is indeed good, but as there is but little of intelligence in it, it cannot be called the good of wisdom; and as for the good of infancy, it is indeed good in itself, but still it is less good than the other two; for as yet there is not any truth of intelligence adjoined to it, and thus it has not become any good of wisdom, but it is only a plane for being able to become so; for it is the knowledges of good and truth that cause a man to be wise as a man. Infancy itself, by which is signified innocence, does not belong to infancy, but to wisdom; as can be better seen from what will be said about little children in the other life, at the end of this chapter.  By "twenty," in this verse, as has been said, there is signified no other good than the good of ignorance which good is not only declared to be with those who are under their twentieth year, as already said, but also with all who are in the good of charity and at the same time in ignorance of truth, as are those within the church who are in the good of charity, but from whatever cause, do not know what the truth of faith is; as is the case with very many of those who think devoutly about God and kindly about the neighbor; and as is also the case with all outside the church, who are called Gentiles, and who in like manner live in the good of charity. Both the latter and the former, although not in the truths of faith, yet being in good, are in the faculty of receiving the truths of faith in the other life equally as are little children; for their understanding has not as yet been tainted with principles of falsity, nor their will so confirmed in a life of evil, because they are ignorant of its being falsity and evil; and the life of charity is attended with this: that the falsity and evil of ignorance may be easily bent to truth and good. Not so is it with those who have confirmed themselves in things contrary to the truth, and at the same time have lived a life in things contrary to good.  In other cases by "two tenths" in the Word is signified good both celestial and spiritual, good celestial and thence spiritual by the two tenths of which every loaf of the showbread or bread of faces was prepared (Lev. 24:5), and spiritual good by the two tenths of the meat-offering with the sacrifice of the ram (Num. 15:6; 28:12, 20, 28; 29:3, 9, 14), concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy elsewhere.2281.
And He said I will not destroy it for twenty's sake. That this signifies that they will be saved, is evident from the series of things in the internal sense, and thus without any unfolding of the meaning.2282.
Verse 32. And he said, Oh let not my Lord be angry, and I will speak but this once: peradventure ten shall be found there; and He said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake. "He said, Oh let not my Lord be angry, and I will speak but this once," signifies anxiety still continued concerning the state of the human race; "peradventure ten shall be found there," signifies if there should still be remains; "and He said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake," signifies that they will be saved.2283.
He said, Oh let not my Lord be angry, and I will speak but this once. That this signifies anxiety still continued concerning the state of the human race, is evident from the affection of these words, as shown above (n. 2275), where the same words occur.2284.
Peradventure ten shall be found there. That this signifies if there should still be remains, is evident from the signification of the number "ten," as being remains (explained in volume 1, n. 576, 1738). What remains are has been stated and shown before in various places (as in n. 468, 530, 560, 561, 660, 661, 1050, 1738, 1906), namely, that they are all the good and all the truth with man which lie stored up in his memories and in his life.  It is well known that there is nothing good and nothing true, except from the Lord; and also that what is good and true is continually inflowing from the Lord into man, but that it is received in various ways, and in fact in accordance with the life of evil, and in accordance with the principles of falsity in which the man has confirmed himself. These are what either quench, or stifle, or pervert the goods and truths that are continually flowing in from the Lord. Lest therefore goods should be commingled with evils, and truths with falsities (for if they were commingled the man would perish eternally), the Lord separates them, and stores up in his interior man the goods and truths which the man receives; whence He will never permit them to come forth so long as the man is in evil and falsity, but only at such a time as he is in a holy state, or in some anxiety, sickness, or other trouble. These things which the Lord has thus stored up with man are what are called "remains," of which very much mention is made in the Word; but it has not yet been known to anyone that this is what they signify.  According to the quality and quantity of the remains-that is, of the good and truth with a man-does he enjoy bliss and happiness in the other life; for, as has been said, these remains are stored up in his interior man, and they are opened at the time when the man has left corporeal and worldly things behind. The Lord alone knows the quality and extent of the remains in a man; the man himself cannot possibly know this, for at the present day man is of such a character that he is able to counterfeit what is good, while within there is nothing but evil; and a man may also appear to be evil and yet have good within. On this account no man is ever allowed to judge concerning the quality of the spiritual life of another, for the Lord alone, as before said, knows this; but everyone may judge of another in regard to the quality of his moral and civil life, for this concerns society.  It is very common for those who have taken up an opinion respecting any truth of faith, to judge of others that they cannot be saved, unless they believe as they do-a judgment which the Lord has forbidden (Matt. 7:1-2). On the other hand, I have learned from much experience that men of every religion are saved, provided that by a life of charity they have received remains of good and of apparent truth. This is what is meant by its being said that if ten were found, they should not be destroyed for the ten's sake; by which is signified that they would be saved if there were remains.  The life of charity consists in thinking kindly of another, and in wishing him well; and in perceiving joy in oneself from the fact that others also are saved. But those have not the life of charity who desire that none should be saved except those who believe as they do; and especially is this the case with those who are indignant that it is otherwise. This may be seen from the mere fact that more from the Gentiles are saved than from Christians; for those Gentiles who have thought kindly of their neighbor and have wished well to him, receive the truths of faith in the other life better than those who are called Christians, and acknowledge the Lord more than Christians do. For nothing is more delightful and blessed to the angels than to instruct those who come from the earth into the other life.2285.
I will not destroy it for ten's sake. That this signifies that they will be saved, is evident from the series of the things in the internal sense, and thus without any unfolding of the meaning.2286.
Verse 33. And Jehovah went when He had completed His speaking unto Abraham; and Abraham returned unto his place. "Jehovah went when He had completed His speaking unto Abraham," signifies that this state of perception in which the Lord was, then ceased to be such; "and Abraham returned unto his place," signifies that the Lord returned into the state in which He had been before He perceived these things.2287.
Jehovah went when He had completed His speaking unto Abraham. That this signifies that this state of perception in which the Lord was, then ceased to be such, is evident from the signification of "speaking," and from the representation of Abraham. "To speak," in the internal sense, signifies to think (as shown above, n. 2271); but here it signifies to perceive, because it is declared of Jehovah that He "had completed His speaking" to Abraham; for the thought was from perception, as before said, and the perception was from the Lord's internal, which was Jehovah. But "Abraham" in this chapter represents the Lord in the human state, as often stated above. From this we can see that by its being said that "Jehovah went when He had completed His speaking unto Abraham," nothing else is signified in the internal sense than that the state of perception in which the Lord had been, then came to its close and completion. The reason why the Lord's perception and thought are so much treated of in this chapter in the internal sense, may be seen above (n. 2249).2288.
Abraham returned to his place. That this signifies that the Lord returned into the state in which He had been before He perceived these things, is evident from the representation of Abraham in this chapter, as being the Lord in the human state; and from the signification of a "place," as being a state (as shown above, volume 1, n. 1273, 1378); thus to "return to his place," in the internal sense, here signifies to return to the state in which He had been before. That while He lived in this world the Lord had two states, namely, a state of humiliation and a state of glorification, has been said and shown before. His state of humiliation was when He was in the human which He took by inheritance from the mother; His state of glorification was when He was in the Divine which He had from Jehovah His Father. The former state, namely, that of the human from the mother, the Lord altogether put off, and put on the Divine Human, when He passed out of the world, and returned to the Divine Itself, in which He was from eternity (John 17:5), together with the Human made Divine; from both of which comes the Holy which fills the universal heaven. Thus from the Divine Itself and the Divine Human, by means of the proceeding Holy, He directs the universe.2289.
CONCERNING THE STATE OF LITTLE CHILDREN IN THE OTHER LIFE. I have been given to know with certainty that all little children in the wide world who die, are raised again by the Lord and are taken up into heaven, and there are brought up and instructed among angels who have the care of them, and that they also grow up in proportion to their advance in intelligence and wisdom. From this we can see how immense is the Lord's heaven from little children alone; for they are all instructed in the truths of faith and in the goods of mutual love, and become angels.2290.
They who know nothing about the state of the life after death may suppose that little children are in angelic intelligence and wisdom as soon as they come into the other life; but I have been instructed by much experience that such is not the case. Those who die not long after birth are of an infantile mind, almost as on earth, nor do they know anything more; for they possess only the faculty of knowing, and from this of understanding, and from this of being wise; which faculty is more perfect because they are not in the body, but are spirits. That they are so when they first come into heaven, has not merely been told, but has also been shown me; for of the Lord's Divine mercy little children have on several occasions been sent to me in choirs, and I have also been allowed to read to them the Lord's Prayer; and at the same time I have been given to perceive how the angels in whose company they were, insinuated into their tender and novitiate ideas the meaning of the things which are in this Prayer, and filled them, so far as the little ones were able to receive; and afterwards how the capacity was given the little ones of thinking such things as it were from themselves.2291.
The nature of their tender understanding was also shown me when I was praying the Lord's Prayer; and they then inflowed into the ideas of my thought from their own understanding, which was so tender that they understood scarcely anything beyond the sense of the words. Yet their ideas in that tenderness were capable of being opened even to the Lord, that is, even from the Lord, for the Lord inflows into the ideas of little children especially, from the inmosts; for nothing has as yet closed their ideas, as is the case with adults; no principle of falsity against the understanding of truth, and no life of evil against the reception of good, and thus not against becoming wise.2292.
From all this we can see that little children do not come into the state of angels immediately after death; but that they are introduced successively, by means of the knowledges of good and truth, and this in accordance with all heavenly order; for the very least of all the things of their natural disposition are there most exquisitely perceived; and according to all the movements of their inclination both in general and in particular they are impelled to receive the truths of good and the goods of truth, and this under the Lord's constant oversight.2293.
Especially are they all the time initiated into knowing no other Father, and thereafter in acknowledging no other than the Lord alone, and that they have life from Him; for that they are lives, that is, truly human and angelic lives, is from the intelligence of truth and the wisdom of good, which they have solely from the Lord. Hence it is that they know no otherwise than that they have been born in heaven.2294.
Many times when children have been with me in choirs, they being as yet quite infantile, they have been heard as a tender something devoid of order, so that they did not as yet act as a one, as they do afterwards when they become older; and what surprised me, the spirits about me could not refrain from trying to lead them to think and to speak. Such a desire is innate in spirits. But I often noticed that the little children resisted, not being willing to think or speak in such a way. I have often observed this refusal and resistance attended with a kind of indignation, and when any ability to speak was granted them they merely said that it was not so. I have been instructed that such is the temptation of little children in the other life, to accustom and inaugurate them not only in the resisting of falsity and evil, but also in not allowing themselves to think, speak, and act from others, and thus in not suffering themselves to be led by any other than the Lord alone.2295.
When little children are not in that state, but in a more interior sphere, namely, the angelic sphere, they cannot possibly be infested by spirits; even if they are in the midst of them. Moreover the little children who are in the other life are sometimes sent by the Lord to little children on earth (although the little child on earth is quite unaware of it), and those little ones of heaven are in the highest degree delighted with these little ones of earth.2296.
The manner in which all things are insinuated into the little ones of the other life by means of delightful and pleasant things suited to their genius, has also been shown me; for I have been permitted to see the little children most beautifully clothed, having their bosoms and tender arms encircled with garlands of flowers that were resplendent with the most pleasing and heavenly colors. Once also I was permitted to see the little children with their maiden educatresses in a paradisal garden, that consisted not so much of trees, as of laurel espaliers and of bowers thus formed; beautifully laid out with paths that led toward the more interior parts; and I also saw the little children themselves, clothed as above described; and when they entered the garden the flower arch above the entrance shone most joyously. From this we can see the nature of their deliciousnesses, and also that by means of pleasant and delightful things they are introduced into the goods of innocence and charity, which are continually being insinuated by the Lord into those delightful and pleasant things.2297.
Moreover, as the little children are perfected, they are encompassed with atmospheres in accordance with the state of their perfection. (That in the other life there are atmospheres of endless variety and ineffable beauty, may be seen from experience in Volume 1, n. 1621.) Especially are there presented to their atmospheres as of sporting little children in least forms, not visible, but perceptible only by an inmost idea; from which they receive this heavenly idea: that everything around them is alive, and that they are in the Lord's life, and this idea affects their deepest being with happiness.2298.
It has been shown me by a method of communication that is familiar in the other life of what nature are the ideas of little children when they see any objects. They were as if everything was alive, so that they had life in every idea of their thought. I also perceived that little children on earth have very similar ideas when they are at play; for as yet they have not reflection, such as adults have, as regards that which is devoid of life.2299.
Especially are the little children instructed by means of representatives adapted to their various genius; and how beautiful these are, and at the same time how full of wisdom from within, no one can possibly believe. In this way there is by degrees insinuated into them an intelligence that draws its soul from good. I may here mention one representative only that I was permitted to see, from which the nature of the rest may be inferred. They represented the Lord rising out of the sepulcher, and at the same time the unition of His Human with the Divine; which was done in a manner so wise as to surpass all human wisdom, and at the same time in an innocent infantile manner. They presented also the idea of a sepulcher, but not at the same time the idea of the Lord, except so remotely that it was scarcely perceived that it was the Lord, except as it were from afar; for the reason that in the idea of a sepulcher there is something funereal, which they thus removed. They afterwards in the most discreet manner admitted into the sepulcher something of an atmospherical nature, yet appearing thinly aqueous, by which they signified, also with becoming remoteness, spiritual life in baptism. I afterwards saw represented by them the Lord's descent to the bound, and His ascent with the bound into heaven; and this with incomparable sagacity and piety. A child-like feature of the representation was that when they represented the Lord among the bound in the lower earth, they let down cords that were almost invisible, and that were very soft and tender, with which to lift the Lord in His ascent; with a constant holy fear lest anything in the representative should touch upon something in which there was not what is spiritual celestial. Besides other representatives wherein the little ones are, and by which, as well as by sports of infancy adapted to their various dispositions, they are brought into knowledges of truth and affections of good.2300.
Moreover little children are of diverse genius and of diverse natural disposition, and this from what they inherit from their parents, and by succession from grandparents and great-grandparents; for the actual life with parents, confirmed by habit, becomes a second nature, and is implanted hereditarily in the infants, and this is the source of their diverse tendencies.
2276-1 Literally, "the magnificence of the price." [Reviser.]