EIGHT >> The Beginning of a New State
>> Something Different From what Preceded
>> Conjunction to the Full >> Life from Good
And there shall be eight planks, and their bases of silver. That this signifies support in every way by good, and through the truth which is from good, is evident from the signification of "eight," as being in every way, of which in what follows; from the signification of "planks," as being the good which supports (see n. 9634); and from the signification of "bases of silver," as being support through the truth which is from good (n. 9643).
 That "eight" denotes in every way is because by this number is signified the same as by "two," and by "four," for it arises from these multiplied together, and by "two" and "four" is signified conjunction to the full (n. 5194, 8423, 8877), and from this also what is full (see n. 9103), and consequently in every way; for that which is in fullness is also in every way. By "eight" is also signified what is full and in every way, from the fact that by a "week" is signified an entire period from beginning to end (n. 2044, 3845); consequently by "the eighth day" is signified a full state, from which there is afterward made a new beginning. From this it was that male children were circumcised when eight days old (Gen. 17:12; 21:4); for by "circumcision" was signified purification from filthy loves by means of the truth of faith (n. 2039, 2046, 2799, 3412, 3413, 4462); the foreskin corresponded to the defilement of good by these loves (n. 4462, 7045, 7225); and "the sword of stone," with which the circumcision was performed, signified the truth of faith by means of which purification is effected (n. 2039e, 2046e, 2799, 7044).
 What is full and in every way is also signified by "eight" after "seven," in Micah:
When Asshur shall come into our land, and shall tread our palaces, then shall we set over him seven shepherds and eight princes of men. And they shall feed on the land of Asshur with the sword; and He shall deliver us from Asshur (Micah 5:5, 6);
"Asshur" denotes reasoning about the goods and truths of the church from man's own intelligence; total or complete deliverance from the falsity thence, is signified by the "eight princes of men who shall destroy;" the "princes of men" denote the primary truths of good.
 That "eight" denotes what is full, and in every way, is also plain from experience concerning the admission and reception of societies into heaven (as may be seen above, n. 2130). The societies that were first received appeared up to twelve in number, and afterward eight; for those who are admitted and received into heaven are those who have been purified from earthly things, and therefore from the loves of them, and who have afterward been instructed; by the number "eight" was then signified what is full.
 The like is signified by "eight" in other parts of the Word, as by the porch of the gate from the house being "eight ells," and by there being "eight steps" to the house, in Ezekiel 40:9, 31, 41. A new house is there treated of, by which is signified a New Church of the Lord; the truths which lead to good, and from good to truths, are signified by the porch and by the steps.
 He who knows not that in the Word numbers infold realities, is bound to get the idea that where the tabernacle, the temple of Solomon, and afterward a new house, and a new temple, and a new earth, are described in Ezekiel, the measurements and numbers have no real meaning, and therefore no holiness, although in the Word not a syllable is void of meaning. Let him who has intelligence consider the measurements and numbers in Ezekiel, from chapter 40 to chapter 48, and the measurements and numbers given by John in the Revelation, chapter 21, where also it is said that "the angel measured the wall of the New Jerusalem a hundred forty and four cubits," and that "this measure is that of a man, that is, of an angel" (verse 17); also in another passage: "He that hath intelligence, let him compute the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man, and his number is six hundred and sixty-six" (Rev. 13:18); besides those given in many other passages. (That all the numbers mentioned in the Word signify real things, see n. 482, 487, 575, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988, 2075, 2252, 3252, 4264, 4495, 4670, 5265, 5291, 5335, 5708, 6175, 7973; and in the places where it has been shown what is signified by some numbers in particular.) [AC 9659]
On the eighth day thou shalt give it to Me. That this signifies that at the beginning of the following state, when the man lives from good, he is with the Lord, is evident from the signification of "the eighth day," as being the beginning of the following state (see n. 2044, 8400); and from the signification of "giving to Jehovah," as being to the Lord, for by "Jehovah" in the Word is meant the Lord (n. 1736, 2921, 3023, 3035, 5663, 6303, 6945, 6956, 8274, 8864). The reason why these words signify that when a man lives from good he is with the Lord, is that in the internal sense the subject treated of is the two states of the man who is being regenerated; and the first state is when he is being led through the truths of faith to the good of charity; and the second is when he is in this good. And as he is then with the Lord, this is signified by "thou shalt give it to Me." (That there are two states with man when being regenerated; the first when he is being led through the truths of faith to the good of charity, and the second when he is in the good of charity, see n. 7923, 7992, 8505-8506, 8510, 8512, 8516, 8643, 8648, 8658, 8685, 8690, 8701; and that the man is in heaven, thus with the Lord, when he is in the good of charity, n. 8516, 8539, 8722, 8772, 9139.)
 A few words more shall be said about these two states with the man who is being regenerated. It has been already shown (n. 9224) that the truths called the truths of faith enter into man by an external way, and that the good which is of charity and love enters by an internal way. The external way is through the hearing into the memory, and from the memory into the understanding; for the understanding is man's internal sight. The truths which must be of faith enter by this way, to the end that they may be brought into the will, and thus be appropriated to the man. The good which flows in from the Lord by the internal way, flows into the will, for the will is the internal of man. The good which is from the Lord meets there at the common boundary the truths which have entered by the external way, and through conjunction with them causes the truths to become good. Insofar as this is effected, so far the order is inverted, that is, so far the man is not led by truths, but by good; and consequently insofar he is led by the Lord.
 From this it can be seen how during his regeneration a man is raised from the world into heaven. For all things that enter through the hearing, enter from the world; and those which are stored up in the memory, and appear there before the understanding, appear in the light of the world, which is called natural light. But those things which enter the will, or which become of the will, are in the light of heaven, which light is the truth of good from the Lord. When these things come forth from the will into act, they return into the light of the world; but they then appear in this light under a totally different form; for previously the world was within everything; whereas afterward heaven is so. What has here been said shows also why a man is not in heaven until he does truths from willing them, thus from the affection of charity.[AC 9227]
And a son of eight days. That this signifies any beginning of purification whatever, is evident from the signification of "the eighth day." A "week," which is seven days, signifies an entire period of any state or time, as of reformation, of regeneration, of temptation, whether of man in particular, or of the church in general; thus a period is called a "week," whether it be one of a thousand years, of a hundred, of ten, or of as many days, hours, minutes, and so on (as may be seen from the passages cited in Part First, n. 728). And as the eighth day is the first day of a new week, it signifies any beginning whatever. This shows also that, as circumcision was itself a representative of purification, so also was the time of it, namely, the eighth day; not that they then entered into a purer state, and were purified on that account, but for the reason that, as "circumcision" signified purification, so "the eighth day" signified that this ought to be effected at all times, and thus always, as from a new beginning. [AC 2866]
These eight did Milcah bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother. That this signifies a second class of those who are saved, is evident from the signification of "eight;" and from its being again said that "Milcah bare to Nahor, Abraham's brother." Because the eighth day is the first day of the following week, therefore "eight" signifies something that is distinct from what has gone before (see n. 2044); here therefore it denotes another class, and the number was added for the sake of this signification. Milcah's "bearing them to Nahor, Abraham's brother," signifies those out of the church who are in brotherhood from good (as shown above, n. 2863, 2865). Here, being the conclusion, it signifies the same, and in addition the fact that they are saved.[AC 2044]
A son of eight days. That this signifies a beginning and continuance, is evident from the signification of the "eighth day", on which they were circumcised, as being any beginning, and thus continuance (n. 2044).
2866. These eight did Milcah bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother. That this signifies a second class of those who are saved, is evident from the signification of "eight;" and from its being again said that "Milcah bare to Nahor, Abraham's brother". Because the eighth day is the first day of the following week, therefore "eight" signifies something that is distinct from what has gone before (n. 2044); here therefore it denotes another class, and the number was added for the sake of this signification. Milcah's "bearing them to Nahor, Abraham's brother", signifies those out of the church who are in brotherhood from good (n. 2863, 2865). Here, being the conclusion, it signifies the same, and in addition the fact that they are saved. [AC 2633]
Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)