Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 7973

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7973. 'Around six hundred thousand men on foot' means all aspects of the truth and good of faith in their entirety. This is clear from the meaning of the number 'six hundred thousand' as all aspects of faith in their entirety, for this number is a multiple of six and also of twelve, and 'twelve' means all aspects of faith and charity, 577, 2089, 2129 (end), 2130 (end), 3272, 3858, 3913. This is why Jacob's sons were twelve in number, why their descendants were divided into the same number of tribes, and also why the Lord chose twelve disciples, that is to say, in order that they might represent all aspects of faith and charity. Regarding the tribes, see 3858, 3862, 3926, 3979, 4060, 6335, 6737, 6640, 7876, 7891; and regarding the disciples, 3354, 3488, 5858 (end), 6397.

[2] At this point 'six hundred thousand' has a similar meaning because a larger or smaller number that is a multiple or a factor carries a meaning similar to that of the simple numbers that are being multiplied or divided, 5291, 5335, 5708. This is plainly evident from the number twelve. Whether this is divided into six or multiplied into seventy-two, 144 (which is twelve twelves), 12000, or 144000, the meaning is similar, as with 144000 in John,

I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of Israel - out of each tribe twelve thousand. Rev 7:4, 5
and following verses.

Here 'the children of Israel' is not used to mean the children of Israel, 'tribes' the tribes, or 'the number' a number, but to mean the kinds of things contained in the internal sense, namely all aspects of faith and charity. Each tribe in particular accordingly means one kind or one group, in keeping with the explanations at Genesis 29 and 30.

[3] Similarly with the following in the same author,

Behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144000, having His Father's name written on their foreheads. They were singing a new song before the throne, and no one could learn the song except 144000 bought from the earth. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were bought from men (homo), being the first fruits to God and the Lamb. Rev 14:1, 3, 4.

From this description it is evident that those governed by charity are meant by 144000. It is also evident that the sole purpose of this number is to indicate the state and its essential nature. That number is similar to twelve in what it indicates, for it is the product of 12000 and it multiplied.

[4] It is similar with the smaller number 144, Which is twelve times twelve, in the same author,

He measured the wall of the holy Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, 144 cubits, which is the measure of a man (homo), that is, of an angel. Rev 21:2, 17.

'The wall of the holy Jerusalem' is not in the spiritual sense a wall; instead it is the truth of faith defending things of the Church, see 6419; and this also is why it is said to have been '144 cubits'. It is plainly evident that such must be meant, since it says 'it is the measure of a man, that is, of an angel'. 'Man' and 'angel' mean every aspect of the truth and good of faith.

[5] The same is also evident from the twelve precious stones that the foundation of the wall consisted of, and from the twelve gates, each of which was a pearl, Rev 21:19-21. For by 'precious stones' truths of faith that spring from the good of charity are meant, 643, 3720, 6426, and similarly by 'gate' and also by 'pearl'. From this it is now clear that a smaller or larger number carries a meaning similar to the simple number that is divided or multiplied. As regards the fact that all numbers in the Word mean spiritual things, see 481, 487, 575, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988, 2075, 2252, 3252, 4164, 4495, 4670, 5265.

[6] From these considerations one may now see that the number 'six hundred thousand' men going out of Egypt also means such things. But scarcely anyone is able to believe that such are meant by this number because it refers to a historical event; and any historical event fixes the mind all the time on the external sense and draws it away from the internal sense. Nevertheless that number too means such spiritual things, for there is not a part of a word, not even indeed one jot or one tittle in the Word, that is not in itself holy, because it holds what is holy within it. Anyone at all can see that there is nothing holy about a merely historical event.

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