(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 4495

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4495. And it came to pass on the third day. That this signifies what is continuous even to the end, is evident from the signification of the "third day," as being what is complete from beginning to end (see n. 2788), thus also what is continuous. That this is the signification of the "third day," can scarcely be believed by those who regard the historicals of the Word as mere worldly histories, holy merely because they are in the sacred volume. But that not only the historicals of the Word themselves enfold within them spiritual and heavenly things which are not apparent in the letter, but that so also do all the words, and even all the numbers, has been shown in the preceding explications; that such is really the case will of the Lord's Divine mercy become still more evident in the prophetic parts, which do not keep the mind so closely engaged with the succession of statements in the sense of the letter as do the historical parts. But that the number "three," also the number "seven," and the number "twelve," enfold deep secrets within them, must be evident to everyone who examines the Word in regard to its interiors; and if these numbers are so full of significance, it follows that there must be something deeply hidden in all the other numbers that occur in the Word, for the Word is holy throughout.
[2] Sometimes when speaking with angels, as it were written numbers appeared before my eyes like those seen on paper in bright day, and I perceived that the very things they were speaking of fell into such numbers; and from this experience I learned that every number mentioned in the Word holds within it some mystery, as is very evident from the following passages:
He measured the wall of the Holy Jerusalem a hundred and forty-four cubits, which is the measure of a man, that is, of an angel (Rev. 21:17).
He that hath intelligence let him compute the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is six hundred and sixty six (Rev. 13:18).
That the number first mentioned-"144"-results from the multiplication of twelve into itself, and that the number "666" is a product of three and six, is manifest, but what holy thing they enfold within them may appear from the holiness of the number "twelve" (see n. 577, 2089, 2129, 2130, 3272, 3858, 3913), and of the number "three" (n. 720, 901, 1825, 2788, 4010).
[3] This latter number-"three"-being significative of what is complete even to the end, thus of one period, great or small, was received in the representative church, and was employed whenever such a thing was signified; and also in the Word (in which all things have a signification both in general and in particular) as may be seen from the following instances:
That they should go three days' journey and should sacrifice (Exod. 3:18; 5:3).
That they should be ready against the third day, because on the third day Jehovah would come down upon Mount Sinai (Exod. 19:11, 15-16, 18).
That nothing should be left of the flesh of the sacrifice until the third day (Lev. 7:16-18; 19:6-7).
That the water of separation should be sprinkled upon the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day (Num. 19:11-22).
That they who touched one slain in war should be purified on the third day and on the seventh day (Num. 31:19-25).
That Joshua commanded the people to pass over Jordan within three days (Josh. 1:11; 3:2).
That Jehovah called Samuel three times, and Samuel ran to Eli three times, and Eli understood the third time that Jehovah had called Samuel (1 Sam. 3:1-8).
That Jonathan said to David that he should hide himself in the field unto the third day at even, and that Jonathan sent to him on the third morrow, and revealed the disposition of his father; and that Jonathan then shot three arrows at the side of the stone; and that after this David bowed himself three times to the earth before Jonathan (1 Sam. 20:5, 12, 19,20, 35,36, 41).
That three things were offered to David to chose from: that there should come seven years of famine, that he should flee three months before his enemies, or that there should be three days' pestilence in the land (2 Sam. 24:11-13).
That Rehoboam said to the congregation of Israel who sought to be relieved from the yoke of his father, that they should go away three days, and come again; and that they came to Rehoboam the third day, as the King bade, saying, Come to me again the third day (1 Kings 12:5, 12).
That Elijah stretched himself upon the widow's son three times (1 Kings 17:21).
That Elijah told the people to pour water upon the burnt-offering and the wood the third time, and they did it the third time (1 Kings 18:34).
That Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights (Jonah 1:17; Matt. 12:40).
That the Lord spoke of a man who planted a vineyard and sent his servants three times, and afterwards his son (Mark 12:2, 4-6; Luke 20:12-13).
That He said of Peter that he should deny Him thrice (Matt. 26:34; John 13:38).
That He said to Peter three times, Lovest thou Me? (John 21:15-17).
From these and many other places in the Word it may be seen that there was some mystery in the number "three," and that therefore this number was received among the significatives in the ancient churches. That it signifies an entire period of the church and of the things in the church, whether great or small, is manifest; and that it consequently signifies what is complete and also continuous to the end, is very plain in Hosea:
Jehovah will vivify us after two days; on the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live before Him (Hos. 6:2).


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