5122. The three shoots three days are these. That this signifies continuous derivations down to the last or ultimate one, is evident from the signification of "three," as being one period and its continuation from beginning to end (n. 2788, 4495); from the signification of "shoots," as being derivations (n. 5114); and from the signification of "days," as being states (n. 23, 487, 488, 493, 893, 2788, 3462, 3785, 4850). From this it follows that by "the three shoots three days are these" is signified the state of the rebirth of this sensuous which is represented by the butler, from its first down to its ultimate; its successive derivations being signified by the "shoots."
 The states of the rebirth of each sensuous, and of each thing in the natural, and also in the rational, have their progressions from beginning to end; and when they come to the end they commence from a kind of new beginning, that is, from the end to which they had striven in the former state, to a further end; and so on; and at last the order is inverted, and then what was last becomes first, just as while man is being regenerated both as to the rational and as to the natural, the periods of the first state are from the truths which are of faith to the goods which are of charity; and then the truths of faith apparently act the first part, and the goods of charity the second, for the truths of faith look to the good of charity as their end. These periods continue even until the man has been regenerated. Afterward charity, which was the end, becomes the beginning, and from it new states commence, which proceed in both directions, namely, toward what is still more interior, and also toward what is exterior; toward the former being toward love to the Lord, and toward the latter being toward the truths of faith, and further toward natural truths, and also toward sensuous truths, which are then successively reduced to correspondence with the goods of charity and of love in the rational, and thus into heavenly order.
 These are the things which are meant by continuous progressions and derivations down to the ultimate one. Such progressions and derivations with the man who is being regenerated are perpetual, from his infancy even to the last hour of his life in the world, and also afterward even to eternity; and yet he can never be so regenerated that he can in any way be said to be perfect; for there are things to be regenerated that are innumerable, nay, illimitable in number, both in the rational and in the natural, and everyone of them has shoots illimitable, that is, progressions and derivations toward interior things and toward exterior things. Man knows nothing at all of this; but the Lord knows all things and every single thing, and provides for them every moment. If He were to pause even for an instant, all the progressions would be disturbed; for what is prior looks to what follows in a continuous series, and produces series of consequences to eternity. From this it is plain that the Divine foresight and providence are in everything, even the very least; and that unless this were so, or if they were only universal, the human race would perish.