4901. And it came to pass about three months after. That this signifies a new state, is evident from the signification of "three" as being what is complete, and hence the last and the first together, or the end and the beginning together (see n. 1825, 2788, 4495); and from the signification of "month" as being state (n. 3814). For in the internal sense all periods of time signify states, as hour, day, week, month, year, age; and also the lesser divisions of time, as noon, evening, night, and morning, which are times of the day; and as summer, autumn, winter, and spring, which are times of the year; and also the several periods of life, as infancy and childhood, youth, adult age, and old age; all of which times, with others, signify states. What states are may be seen above (n. 4850).
 That times signify states is because times do not exist in the other life. The progression of the life of spirits and angels indeed appears as in time; but they have no thought from times, as men in the world have; their thought is from states of the life, and this without notion of times. The reason of this is that the progressions of their life are not distinguished into different ages, for there they do not grow old, and there are no days or years, because their sun, which is the Lord, is always rising and never sets. Hence no notion of time enters their thoughts, but only a notion of state and its progressions - notions being taken from the things that are and exist before the senses.
 These things must needs seem paradoxical, but only for the reason that man in every idea of his thought has somewhat adjoined from time and space. From this source are his memory and recollection, and also his lower thought, the ideas of which are called material. But that memory out of which comes such ideas is quiescent in the other life. They who are in that life are in interior memory, and in the ideas of its thought; and thought from this latter memory has not times and spaces adjoined to it, but states and their progressions instead. Hence also it is that they correspond, and in consequence of such correspondence times in the Word signify states. (That man has an exterior memory which is proper to him in the body, and also an interior memory which is proper to his spirit, may be seen above, n. 2469-2494.)
 That by "about three months after" is signified a new state, is because by "months," into which also times in the world are distinguished, is signified state, and by "three" is signified the last and the first together, or the end and the beginning together, as said above. Because in the spiritual world there is a continual progression of states from one into another, and consequently in the last or end of every state there is a first or beginning, hence what is continuous, therefore by the words "about three months after" is signified a new state. It is similar also in the church, which is the spiritual world or the Lord's kingdom on earth, the last of the church with one nation being always the first of the church with another. As the last is thus continued into the first, it is several times said of the Lord that He is the Last and the First (as in Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; Rev. 21:6; 22:13); and thereby in the relative sense is signified what is perpetual, and in the supreme sense what is eternal.