737. Noah was a son of six hundred years. That this signifies his first state of temptation, is evident, because here and as far as to Ber in the eleventh chapter, numbers and periods of years and names mean nothing else than actual things; just as do also the ages and all the names in the fifth chapter. That "six hundred years" here signify the first state of temptation, is evident from the dominant numbers in six hundred, which are ten and six, twice multiplied into themselves. A greater or less number from the same factors changes nothing. As regards the number "ten" it has been shown already (at chapter 6, verse 3) that it signifies remains; and that "six" here signifies labor and combat is evident from many passages in the Word. For the case is this: In what has gone before the subject is the preparation of the man called "Noah" for temptation-that he was furnished by the Lord with truths of the understanding and goods of the will. These truths and goods are remains, which are not brought out so as to be recognized until the man is being regenerated. In the case of those who are being regenerated through temptations, the remains in a man are for the angels that are with him, who draw out from them the things wherewith they defend the man against the evil spirits who excite the falsities in him, and thus assail him. As the remains are signified by "ten" and the combats by "six" for this reason the years are said to be "six hundred" in which the dominant numbers are ten and six, and signify a state of temptation.
 As regards the number "six" in particular that it signifies combat is evident from the first chapter of Genesis, where the six days are described in which man was regenerated, before he became celestial, and in which there was continual combat, but on the seventh day, rest. It is for this reason that there are six days of labor and the seventh is the sabbath, which signifies rest. And hence it is that a Hebrew servant served six years, and the seventh year was free (Exod. 21:2; Deut. 15:12; Jer. 34:14); also that six years they sowed the land and gathered in the fruits thereof, but the seventh year omitted to sow it (Exod. 23:10-12), and dealt in like manner with the vineyard; and that in the seventh year was "a sabbath of sabbath unto the land, a sabbath of Jehovah" (Lev. 25:3, 4). As "six" signifies labor and combat, it also signifies the dispersion of falsities, as in Ezekiel: Behold six men came from the way of the upper gate which looketh toward the north, and everyone had his weapon of dispersion in his hand (Ezek. 9:2);
and again, against Gog:
I will make thee to turn again, and will make thee a sixth, and will cause thee to come up from the sides of the north (Ezek. 39:2).
Here "six" and "to reduce to a sixth" denote dispersion; the "north" falsities; "Gog" those who derive matters of doctrine from things external, whereby they destroy internal worship. In Job:
In six troubles He shall deliver thee, yea, in the seventh there shall no evil touch thee (Job 5:19),
meaning the combat of temptations.
 But "six" occurs in the Word where it does not signify labor, combat, or the dispersion of falsities, but the holy of faith, because of its relation to "twelve" which signifies faith and all things of faith in one complex; and to "three" which signifies the holy; whence is derived the genuine signification of the number "six;" as in Ezekiel (chapter 40, verse 5), where the reed of the man, with which he measured the holy city of Israel, was "six cubits;" and in other places. The reason of this derivation is that the holy of faith is in the combats of temptation, and that the six days of labor and combat look to the holy seventh day.