(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 10225

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10225. From a son of twenty years and upward. That this signifies the state of the intelligence of truth and good, is evident from the signification of "twenty," when said of a man's age, as being a state of the intelligence of truth and good. That "twenty" denotes a state of the intelligence of truth and good, is because when a man attains the age of twenty years he begins to think from himself; for from earliest infancy to extreme old age a man passes through a number of states in respect to his interiors that belong to intelligence and wisdom. The first state is from birth to his fifth year; this is a state of ignorance and of innocence in ignorance, and is called infancy. The second state is from the fifth year to the twentieth; this is a state of instruction and of memory-knowledge, and is called childhood and youth. The third state is from the twentieth year to the sixtieth, which is a state of intelligence, and is called adolescence, young manhood, and manhood. The fourth or last state is from the sixtieth year upward, which is a state of wisdom, and of innocence in wisdom.
[2] These successive states of the life of man are signified by the numbers of the years of age-"five," "twenty," and "sixty," in the following passages in Moses:
When anyone shall make a special vow, the estimation of a male shall be from a son of twenty years even to a son of sixty years, fifty shekels of silver. If it be a female, the estimation shall be thirty shekels. And if from a son of five years even unto to a son of twenty years, the estimation shall be, if a male, twenty shekels; and if a female, ten shekels. And if it be from the son of a month even unto five years, the estimation of a male shall be five shekels; of a female three shekels. And if it be from a son of sixty years upward, the estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and of a female ten shekels (Lev. 27:2-7).
[3] That the first state is a state of ignorance and also of innocence in ignorance is plain. During the continuance of this state, the interiors are being formed for use, consequently are not manifest, but only those most external, that belong to the sensuous man; and when these alone are manifest, there is ignorance; for whatever man understands and perceives is from the interiors; from which it can also be seen that the innocence which exists at that time and is called the innocence of infancy, is innocence most external.
[4] That the second state is a state of instruction and of memory-knowledge is also plain; this state is not as yet a state of intelligence, because at that time the child or youth does not form any conclusions from himself, neither does he from himself discriminate between truths and truths, nor even between truths and falsities, but from others; he merely thinks and speaks things of memory, thus from mere memory-knowledge; nor does he see and perceive whether a thing is so, except on the authority of his teacher, consequently because another has said so.
[5] But the third is called a state of intelligence, because the man then thinks from himself, and discriminates and forms conclusions; and that which he then concludes is his own, and not another's. At this time faith begins, for faith is not the faith of the man himself until he has confirmed what he believes by the ideas of his own thought. Previous to this, faith was not his, but another's in him, for his belief was in the person, not in the thing. From this it can be seen that the state of intelligence commences with man when he no longer thinks from a teacher, but from himself; which is not the case until the interiors are opened toward heaven. Be it known that the exteriors with man are in the world, and the interiors in heaven; and that in proportion as light flows in from heaven into what is from the world, the man is intelligent and wise; and this according to the degree and quality of the opening of his interiors, which are so far opened as the man lives for heaven and not for the world.
[6] But the last state is a state of wisdom and of innocence in wisdom; which is when the man is no longer concerned about understanding truths and goods, but about willing and living them; for this is to be wise. And a man is able to will truths and goods, and to live them, just insofar as he is in innocence, that is, insofar as he believes that he has nothing of wisdom from himself, but that whatever he has of wisdom is from the Lord; also insofar as he loves to have it so; hence it is that this state is also a state of innocence in wisdom.
[7] From the succession of these states the man who is wise may also see the wonderful things of the Divine Providence, which are that a prior state is constantly the plane of the states which follow, and that the opening or unfolding of the interiors proceeds successively from outermosts even to inmosts; and at last so that what was first (namely, ignorance and innocence), but in outermosts, is also last, but in inmosts; for he who knows that of himself he is ignorant of all things, and that whatever he knows is from the Lord, is in the ignorance of wisdom, and also in the innocence of wisdom. From all this it can be seen what is the state of intelligence which is signified by "twenty," when this number is predicated of man's age.
[8] The like is also meant by this number in other passages of the Word, as in Moses:
Take ye the sum of all the congregation, from a son of twenty years and upward, everyone that goeth forth into the army in Israel (Num. 1:2, 3, 18, and following verses).

The subject treated of in this passage is the encampment and journeying of the sons of Israel according to the tribes, and thereby is also signified the setting in order and disposing by the Lord of the truths and goods of faith and love; by the "encampment," the setting in order and disposing (n. 4236, 8103, 8130, 8131, 8155); and by the "tribes," the goods and truths of faith and love in the whole complex (n. 3858, 3926, 3939, 4060, 6335, 6337, 6397). Hence by "a son of twenty years and upward" are meant those who are in a state of intelligence, for with these the truths and goods of faith and love can be set in order and disposed by the Lord, because the Lord flows into their understanding and will, and sets them in order and disposes them, and also removes and casts down falsities and evils. Therefore it is said "from a son of twenty years and upward everyone that goeth forth into the army," for by "the army" is signified truths disposed in this order-that they do not fear falsities and evils; but repel them if they assault. (That such truths are meant in the internal sense by an "army," see n. 3448, 7236, 7988, 8019.)
[9] But with those who are in a state of infancy and childhood, thus who are under twenty years of age, truths and goods have not been so set in order as to enable them to go forth into the army and into warfare, because, as before said, they do not as yet from themselves discriminate, and form any conclusions; consequently they cannot as yet by means of the rational dispel anything of falsity or evil; and they who are not able to do this are not let into combats. For this reason a man is not admitted into temptations, which are spiritual combats against falsities and evils, until he is in a state of intelligence, that is, until he comes to his own judgment (n. 3928, 4248, 4249, 8963).
[10] The like is signified by the age of "twenty years and upward" in other passages in Moses:
Jehovah said to Moses and Eleazar, Take ye the sum of all the assembly of the sons of Israel, from a son of twenty years and upward, everyone that goeth forth to warfare in Israel (Num. 26:2, 3);
in the spiritual sense by "going forth to warfare" is signified to go forth into combats against the falsities and evils which are from hell.
[11] One who does not know that a "son of twenty years and upward" signifies a state of intelligence, or those who are in this state, cannot know either why, when they murmured against Jehovah, it is said that they should "die in the wilderness from twenty years and upward, all who came up out of Egypt" (Num. 14:29; 32:10, 11); for they who are in such a state of intelligence that they can discriminate, conclude, and judge from themselves are blamable for their evil; but not those who are not yet in this state. From this also it is evident that by "twenty years," when said of a person's age, is signified a state of understanding, or of judgment. But the number "twenty" has a different signification when said of a different subject (see above, n. 10222).


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