29. It is from this that by "three" in the Word in the spiritual sense is meant what is complete and perfect; and also the whole simultaneously. And as this is the signification of the number three, it is employed in the Word whenever any such thing is marked out for notice. As in the following passages:
Isaiah went naked and barefoot three years (Isa. 20:3).
Jehovah called Samuel three times, and Samuel ran three times to Eli, and Eli understood him the third time (1 Sam. 3:1-8).
David said to Jonathan that he would hide himself in the field three days; and Jonathan afterwards shot three arrows at the side of the stone; and after that David bowed himself down three times before Jonathan (1 Sam. 20:5, 12-41).
Elijah stretched himself three times over the widow's son (1 Kings 17:21).
Elijah commanded that they should pour water on the burnt-offering three times (1 Kings 18:34).
Jesus said, The kingdom of the heavens is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened (Matt. 13:33).
Jesus said unto Peter that he should deny Him thrice (Matt. 26:34).
The Lord said three times unto Peter, Lovest thou Me? (John 21:15-17).
Jonah was in the whale's belly three days and three nights (Jonah 1:17).
Jesus said, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up (John 2:19; Matt. 26:61).
Jesus prayed three times in Gethsemane (Matt. 26:39-44).
Jesus rose again on the third day (Matt. 28:1).
Besides many other passages where the number "three" is mentioned; and it is mentioned wherever a finished and perfect work is treated of, because this is signified by that number.