9496. And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood. That this signifies the power thence derived, is evident from the signification of "staves," as being the power that belongs to truth from good (of which in what follows); and from the signification of "shittim wood," as being the good of merit that belongs to the Lord alone (of which above, n. 9472, 9486). It shall now be told why it was that heaven could be represented by the ark and the Habitation; the fixing of the bounds by the border; stability by the corners; the conjunction of good with truth by the rings; and power by the staves. It has been shown that all nature, with each and all things therein that are in order, is representative of the Lord's kingdom, that is, of heaven and the heavenly things therein (n. 9280). It has also been shown that the universal heaven bears relation to a man, and that for this reason heaven is called the Grand Man (n. 9276). From this it now follows that all the forms by which heavenly things are represented, bear relation to the human form, and have their signification in accordance with their agreement with this form.
 From this it is now plain why it is that when "the ark" signifies heaven where the Lord is, "the border of the ark" signifies the fixing of the bounds; "the sides," the good with which truth is to be conjoined; "the corners," stability; "the rings," the conjunction itself; and "the staves," power. For the staves bear relation to the arms in man, and therefore they signify the same as the arms; the rings bear relation to the joints or sockets by which the arms are joined to the breast; the corners, to the projections themselves, where this joining is effected; the sides, to the chest or thorax; the border, to the circumference in which the bounds are fixed. From this it can be seen that by "the staves," as by "the arms," is signified power. (That the "arms," and "hands," denote power, see n. 878, 4931-4937, 5327, 5328, 6292, 6947, 7188, 7189, 7205, 7518, 7673, 8050, 8153, 8281, 9025, 9133; and that by "the sides" is signified the same as by "the chest" or "thorax" of the body, namely, good; for in this part are the heart and lungs, and by "the heart" is signified celestial good, and by "the lungs" spiritual good, n. 3883-3896, 9300.) From this it is plain that by "the rings" is signified the same as by the joints or joinings of the chest to the shoulders, and of the shoulders to the arms; namely, the conjunction of good with truth; and that by "the corners" is signified stability, for there the strength of the body puts itself forth, and its strength and power come forth through the arms. From all this it can be seen why it is that natural forms not living represent the same as living forms, that is, as the forms in the human body; namely, from the fact that heaven bears relation to a man, and the things in heaven to those which are in man, as can be seen from what has been abundantly shown concerning the correspondence of man with the Grand Man, or with heaven (see the citations in n. 9276).
 As the staves by which the ark was carried signified power, so also did the staves or bars by which the gates of cities were fastened, as is evident from the following passages. In Hosea:
The sword falls upon his cities, and consumes his bars (Hos. 11:6);
"the sword" denotes truth fighting against falsity; "cities" denote doctrinal things; and "bars," power. Again:
For your sake I have sent to Babel, and I will throw down all her bars (Isa. 43:14).
The mighty men of Babel sit in their strongholds; their power is given to oblivion; her bars are broken (Jer. 51:30).
I will break the bar of Damascus (Amos 1:5).
I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron (Isa. 45:2; Ps. 105:16).
They have neither gates, nor bars; they dwell alone (Jer. 49:31).
They all dwell without wall; having neither bars nor gates (Ezek. 38:11).
Her gates are sunk into the earth; He hath destroyed and broken in pieces her bars (Lam. 2:9).
Praise thy God, O Zion, for He strengtheneth the bars of thy gates (Ps. 147:12, 13).
In these passages "cities" signify doctrinal things (n. 2449, 2712, 3216, 4492, 4493); "gates" signify stability and protection; and "bars" (or "staves") signify the power belonging to the truth that is from good. (That all power belongs to truth, but to the truth which is from good, see n. 6344, 6423, 8200, 8304, 9133, 9327, 9410.)