896. Verse 10. And he carried me away in the spirit upon a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, signifies that John was carried away into the third heaven, and his sight there opened, before whom was made manifest the Lord's New Church as to doctrine in the form of a city. "He carried me away in the spirit upon a great and high mountain," signifies that John was carried away into the third heaven, where they are who are in love to the Lord, and in the genuine doctrine of truth from Him; great also is predicated of the good of love, and high of truths. The reason why being taken up "into a mountain" signifies to be taken up into the third heaven, is, because it is said "in the spirit," and he who is in the spirit as to his mind and its sight, is in the spiritual world, and there the angels of the third heaven dwell upon mountains, the angels of the second heaven upon hills, and the angels of the lowest heaven in valleys between the hills and mountains. Therefore when anyone in the spirit is taken up into a mountain, it signifies that he is taken up into the third heaven; this elevation is effected in a moment, because it is done by a change in the state of the mind; by "he showed me," is signified his sight then opened, and manifestation. By "the great city, the holy Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God is signified the Lord's New Church as above (n. 878, 880); where also it is explained, for this reason it is called "holy," and is said "to descend out of heaven from God;" its being seen in the form of a city, is because "a city" signifies doctrine (n. 194, 712), and the church is a church from doctrine, and from a life according to it. It was also seen as a city, that it might be described as to all its quality, and this is described by its wall, gates, foundations, and various measures. The church is described in a similar manner in Ezekiel, where it is also said that the prophet:
In the visions of God was brought upon a very high mountain, and he saw a city on the south, which the angel also measured as to its wall and gates, and as to its breadth and height (Ezek. 40:2 seq.).
The like is meant by this passage in Zechariah:
I said to the angel, Whither goest thou? he said, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof (Zech. 2:2).