425. It is unknown to the world at the present day that "brass" signifies natural good, and also that every metal mentioned in the Word has a specific signification in the internal sense-as "gold" celestial good; "silver" spiritual truth; "brass" natural good; "iron" natural truth; and so on with the other metals, and in like manner "wood" and "stone." Such things were signified by the "gold" "silver" "brass" and "wood" used in the ark and in the tabernacle and in the temple, concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. That such is their signification is manifest from the Prophets, as from Isaiah:
Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings. For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron; I will also make thy tribute peace, and thine exactors righteousness (Isa. 60:16-17),
treating of the Lord's advent, of His kingdom, and of the celestial church. "For brass gold" signifies for natural good celestial good; "for iron silver" signifies for natural truth spiritual truth; "for wood brass" signifies for corporeal good natural good; "for stones iron" signifies for sensuous truth natural truth. In Ezekiel:
Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, these were thy merchants, in the soul of man, and vessels of brass they gave thy trading (Ezek. 27:13),
speaking of Tyre, by which are signified those who possess spiritual and celestial riches; "vessels of brass" are natural goods. In Moses:
A land whose stones are iron, and out of whose mountains thou mayest hew brass (Deut. 8:9),
where also "stones" denote sensuous truth; "iron" natural, that is, rational truth; and "brass" natural good. Ezekiel saw:
Four living creatures, or cherubs, whose feet sparkled like the appearance of burnished brass (Ezek. 1:7),
where again "brass" signifies natural good, for the "foot" of man represents what is natural. In like manner there appeared to Daniel, A man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with gold of Uphaz, his body also was like the beryl, and his arms and his feet like the appearance of burnished brass (Dan. 10:5-6).
That the "brazen serpent" (Num. 21:9) represented the sensuous and natural good of the Lord, may be seen above.