9666. And the middle bar in the middle of the planks shall pass through from extremity to extremity. That this signifies the primary power from which the powers are everywhere continued, is evident from the signification of a "bar," or "stave," as being power (see n. 9496); from the signification of "the middle," as being what is inmost and primary (n. 1074, 2940, 2973, 5897, 6084, 6103); from the signification of "passing through from extremity to extremity," when it is said of a bar, by which is signified power, as being the powers which are thence derived and everywhere continued.
 How the case is with these things cannot be known unless it is known how it is with interior and exterior things in the spiritual world. Those things which are best and purest, thus which are more perfect than the rest, are in the inmost; those which proceed thence toward the exteriors are less perfect according to the degree of removal from the inmost things; and finally those things which are in the extremes are the least perfect of all (n. 9648). Those things are said to be less perfect which can be more easily wrested from their form and beauty, thus from their order. It is the same with fruits, which contain in their inmost part seeds, on the outside of which is the pulp. The seeds are in a more perfect state than the pulp which is outside; as can be seen from the fact that when the pulp decays, the seeds nevertheless remain entire. The case is the same with the seeds; inmostly in them is the prolific germ, and this is in a more perfect state than those parts of the seed which are outside; for when the exterior parts are dissolved the prolific germ remains in its entirety, and produces a new tree or plant. The case is the same in heaven, where the inmost things, being nearer to the Lord, are in a more perfect state than the exterior ones. From this it is that the inmost heaven excels in wisdom and intelligence, and therefore in happiness, the heavens which are below. The case is the same in each heaven, the inmost therein being more perfect than the things round about. It is the same with a man who is in the good of love and the truths of faith. His internal is in a more perfect state than his external, for the internal man is in the heat and light of heaven, but the external is in the heat and light of the world. It is the same in every perfect form; its inmost is the best. It is the inmost which is meant by "the middle."
 That by "passing through from extremity to extremity," when said of the bar, is signified the power thence derived and everywhere continued, is because "from extremity to extremity," signifies the first end and the last, thus from beginning to end, for the first end is the beginning. It is for this reason that by "the extremities" are signified all things and everywhere; as in Jeremiah:
The sword of Jehovah devoureth from the extremity of the land unto the extremity thereof (Jer. 12:12).
A "sword" denotes truth fighting against falsity and destroying it, and in the opposite sense falsity fighting against truth and destroying it (n. 2799, 4499, 6353, 7102, 8294); "devouring from the extremity of the land unto the extremity thereof" denotes all things of the church, because "the land" denotes the church (n. 9334). In David:
His going forth is from the extremity of the heavens, and His circuit unto the extremities thereof (Ps. 19:6);
where also "from the extremity of the heavens unto the extremities thereof" denotes all things and everywhere.
 And in Mark:
He shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the extremity of the earth even unto the extremity of heaven (Mark 13:27);
where "the extremity of the earth and the extremity of heaven" denote all the external and internal things of the church (that "the earth" denotes the external of the church, and "heaven" its internal, see n. 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 3355, 4535, where the signification of "the new earth and the new heaven" is unfolded). So with "extremities" in the plural, as in these passages:
Look unto Me, that ye be saved, all the extremities of the earth (Isa. 45:22).
O God of our salvation, the trust of all the extremities of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea (Ps. 65:5).
And also in the singular number, when it is said "even unto the extremity," as in these passages:
That My salvation may be even unto the extremity of the earth (Isa. 49:6).
Jehovah shall make it to be heard even unto the extremity of the earth, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold thy salvation cometh (Isa. 62:11).
A tumult shall come even unto the extremity of the earth (Jer. 25:31).
In these passages "even unto the extremity" implies from extremity to extremity.
 But when by "extremity" is meant only what is extreme or ultimate, then by it is signified that which is ultimate of heaven or of the church; as in Isaiah:
Sing unto Jehovah a new song, His praise, the extremity of the earth, going down to the sea, and the fullness thereof; ye Isles, and the inhabitants thereof (Isa. 42:10);
where "the extremity of the earth going down to the sea" denotes the ultimate of the church where good and truth are in obscurity (that "the sea" has this signification, see n. 9653); "the isles" denote those who are more remote from truths, and consequently from worship (n. 1158).
Bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the extremity of the earth (Isa. 43:6);
where "sons from far" denote those who are in obscurity as to truths; and "daughters from the extremity of the earth" denote those who are in obscurity as to goods; such as were the Gentiles. (That "sons" denote those who are in truths, and in the abstract sense, truths, see n. 264, 489, 491, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3373, 3704; also that "daughters" denote those who are in goods, and in the abstract sense, goods, n. 489-491, 2362, 3963, 8994.) From this it is also evident that "extremity" is predicated of good, and "from far" of truth (see also Ps. 65:5, and Isa. 13:5). But be it known that by "the extremity of heaven" is not meant any extremity of space, but of the state of good and truth; for in heaven there is no space, but only the appearance of it according to the states of good and truth.