TETRAD: Measure of Man

Spiritual Meaning of

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The signification of a measure, is the state of a thing as to truth (AR 3104); consequently one measure for all the curtains denotes a like state of the matter for all the truths. By a like state of the matter, when said concerning the truths of faith in the spiritual kingdom, is meant that they all look to good, and that through good they look to the Lord from whom they are; for the truths which do not look to good, and thus to the Lord, are not truths of faith, consequently are not the truths of the church or of heaven. The truths which look in another direction may indeed in their external form appear like truths, but they are not truths, because they are devoid of life; for the life of truth is good, and good is from the Lord, who alone is life. Truths which look in another direction are like the members of a body without a soul, which are not members of any body, because they are lifeless, and therefore of no use.

[2] That measure signifies the state of a thing as to truth, and also the state of a thing as to good, is evident from the passages in the Word that treat of the measurements of the New Jerusalem, and also of the new temple. By the New or Holy Jerusalem is signified the Lord’s New Church, in like manner by the temple; and therefore by their measurements are signified states as to truth and as to good; as in John:–

The angel had a golden reed, to measure the holy Jerusalem, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof; and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. And be measured the wall thereof, a hundred forty and four cubits, which is the measure of a man, that is, of an angel (Rev. 21:15-17);

that the measurements here signify states as to good and truth, is very manifest, for the holy Jerusalem denotes the Lord’s New Church; the gates and the wall denote the protecting truths of faith; twelve thousand denotes all truths and goods in the complex; likewise a hundred forty and four (AR 7973), for this number signifies the like as the number twelve, because it arises from twelve multiplied into twelve. That twelve denotes all truths and goods in the complex, (AR 577, 2089, 2129, 2130, 3272, 3858, 3913); the measure of a man, that is, of an angel, signifies that such is the state of the church and of heaven in respect to the goods of love and the truths of faith, for a man denotes the church, and an angel, heaven. Unless it were known what is signified by the holy Jerusalem, by its gate and its wall, by the number twelve thousand furlongs, and by the measure of the wall being an hundred forty and four, also what by measure, what by a man, and what by an angel, who would ever know what is meant by the measure of the city being twelve thousand furlongs, and the measure of the wall a hundred forty and four cubits, the measure of a man, that is, of an angel?

[3] The like is signified by measurement in Zechariah:–

I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, when behold a man, in whose hand was a measuring line. I said, Whither goest thou? He said, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof (Zech. 2:1, 2).

Also in Ezekiel, where a man who had a measuring reed measured the houses of the new city, and also the temple, as to the outer walls, the inner walls, the gates, the foundations, the thresholds, the windows, the steps (Ezekiel chapters 40-42). Unless these measurements signified the states of the matter in respect to truth and good, such things would never have been mentioned. By measuring in general is signified the state of truth and good; as in these passages:–

Thus said Jehovah, If the heavens above shall be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, behold still will I disapprove the seed of Israel for all that they have done. Behold the days come in which the city shall be built to Jehovah. And the measuring line shall go out more fully over the hill Gareb, and shall turn about unto Goah (Jer. 31:37-39).

Who hath measured the waters in His fist, and meted out the heavens with the span, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? (Isa. 40:12).

AC 9603

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Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).

Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.



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