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Five_250_270 And take the fifth of the land of Egypt. That this signifies that are to be preserved and afterward stored up, is evident from the signification of "taking a fifth," as here  involving the same as tithing or taking a tenth: "to tithe," in the Word, signifies to make remains, and to make remains is to gather truths and goods, and then to store them up. (That remains are goods and truths stored up by the Lord in the inner man may be seen above, n. 468, 530, 560, 561, 661, 1050, 1906, 2284, 5135; and that by "tithes" in the Word are signified remains, see n. 576, 1738, 2280; and likewise by "ten," n. 1906, 2284; and hence also by "five," which number is the half of ten.) Half and double in the Word involve the like as the numbers to which they are applied-as "twenty" the like as "ten," "four" the like as "two," "six" as "three," "twenty-four" as "twelve," and so on; so also numbers still further multiplied involve the like, as a "hundred" and also a "thousand" the like as "ten," "seventy-two" and also a "hundred and forty-four" the like as "twelve." What therefore compound numbers involve can be known from the simple numbers from which and with which they are multiplied; also what the more simple numbers involve can be known from the whole numbers, as what "five" is can be known from "ten," and what "two and a half" is from "five," and so on. In general it is to be known that numbers multiplied involve the like as the simple numbers, but what is more full; and that numbers divided involve the same, but what is not so full.

[2] As regards "five" in particular, this number has a twofold signification, signifying a little and hence something, and also signifying remains. That it signifies a little is from its relation to those numbers which signify much, namely, to a "thousand" and a "hundred," and hence also to "ten." (That a "thousand" and a "hundred" signify much may be been above, n. 2575, 2636; and hence also "ten," n. 3107, 4638.) Hence it is that "five" signifies a little and also something (n. 649, 4638). "Five" signifies remains when it has reference to "ten," "ten" signifying remains, as already said. (That all numbers in the Word signify real things may be seen above, n. 575, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988, 2075, 2252, 3252, 4264, 4495, 4670, 5265.)

[3] He who does not know that the Word has an internal sense, not appearing in the letter, will be greatly surprised that the numbers in the Word signify real things, chiefly because he cannot form any spiritual idea from numbers; nevertheless, that numbers flow from the spiritual idea the angels have may be seen above (n. 5265). What the ideas or real things are to which numbers correspond he may indeed know, but the source of this correspondence still lies hidden from him-such as the correspondence of "twelve" to all things of faith, and the correspondence of "seven" to holy things, also the correspondence of "ten," and of "five," to the goods and truths stored up by the Lord in the inner man, and so on. It suffices to know that there is a correspondence, and that it is from this correspondence that all the numbers in the Word signify something in the spiritual world, consequently that the Divine inspired into them lies hidden within them.

[4] Take for instance the following passages in which "five" is mentioned, as in the Lord's parable about the man who went into another country, and delivered to his servants according to their abilities, to one five talents, to another two, and to a third one:

And he that had received the five talents traded with them, and gained other five talents; and likewise he that had received two gained other two; but he that had received one hid his lord's silver in the earth (Matt. 25:14 seq.);

one who does not think beyond the literal sense cannot know but that the very numbers, five, two, and one, were taken simply for composing the story of the parable, and that they involve nothing further, whereas there is a secret in these numbers themselves; for by the "servant who received five talents" are signified those who have admitted goods and truths from the Lord, thus who have received remains; by "him who received two" are signified those who have joined charity to faith when well on in years; and by "him who received one," those who have received faith alone without charity. Of the last it is said that he "hid his lord's silver in the earth;" for by the "silver" he had is signified in the internal sense the truth that is of faith (see n. 1551, 2954); and faith without charity cannot make gain or bear fruit. Such are the things in these numbers. [5] It is similar with other parables, as with the one about the man who, going into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, gave to his servants ten pounds, and told them to trade with them till he came. When he returned the first said:

Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well done, thou good servant, because thou hast been faithful in a very little, be thou over ten cities. And the second said, Lord, thy pound hath made five pounds. And he said unto him also, Be thou also over five cities. The third had laid up the pound in a napkin. But the lord said, Take away from him the pound, and give it unto him that hath ten pounds (Luke 19:12 seq.);

here in like manner "ten" and "five" signify remains-"ten" more, "five" fewer. He who laid up the pound in a napkin denotes those who procure for themselves the truths of faith but do not conjoin them with the goods of charity, and so have no gain or fruit from them.

[6] It is the same where the Lord mentions these numbers in other places as with him that was called to the supper and said, "I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them" (Luke 14:19); with the rich man who said to Abraham, "I have five brethren;" that one might be sent to tell them, lest they also come into this place of torment (Luke 16:28); with the ten virgins, five of whom were prudent, and five foolish (Matt. 25:1-13); and likewise in these words of the Lord: "think ye that I am come to give peace upon earth? I tell you, Nay; but division; for from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three" (Luke 12:51); and also even in the historic facts that the Lord fed five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, and that He commanded them to sit down by hundreds and by fifties; and after they had eaten they took up twelve baskets of fragments (Matt. 14:15-21; Mark 6:38 seq.; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:5-13).

[7] As these passages are historic it can hardly be believed that the numbers in them are significant as the number "five thousand" of the men, and also the number "five" of the loaves, and "two" of the fishes, as also the number "one hundred," and the number "fifty," of the companies that sat down, and lastly "twelve" which was the number of the baskets containing the fragments; when yet there is a secret in each number. For every detail happened of providence, in order that Divine things might be represented.

[8] In the following passages also, "five" signifies in both the genuine and the opposite sense such things in the spiritual world as it corresponds to. In Isaiah:

There shall be left therein gleanings as in the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the head of the bough, four or five in the branches of a fruitful tree (Isa. 17:6).
In that day there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak with the lips of Canaan, and swear to Jehovah Zebaoth (Isa. 19:18).
One thousand shall flee before the rebuke of one, before the rebuke of five shall ye flee; till ye be left as a mast upon the head of a mountain, and as an ensign on a hill (Isa, 30:17)

In Revelation:

The fifth angel sounded, then I saw a star from heaven fallen into the earth; and there was given to him the key of the pit of the abyss. To the locusts that came out thence it was said that they should not kill the men who had not the seal of God on their foreheads, but that they should be tormented five months (Rev. 9:1, 3-5, 10).
Here is intelligence, if anyone has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains, where the woman sitteth upon them; and they are seven kings; five are fallen, and one is, the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must remain a little while (Rev. 17:9-10).

[9] In like manner the number "five" was representative in the following instances-that the valuation of a man and of a woman should be according to years, from a month to five years, and from five years to twenty (Lev. 27:1-9). Again, if a field were redeemed, a fifth part should be added (Lev. 27:19). And if tithes were redeemed, a fifth part should be added (Lev. 27:31). That the superfluous firstborn were to be redeemed for five shekels (Num. 3:46 to the end). That the firstborn of an unclean beast was to be redeemed by adding a fifth part (Lev. 27:27). That as a fine for certain transgressions a fifth part was to be added (Lev. 22:14; 27:13, 15; Num. 5:6-8). And that if a man shall steal an ox or a sheep, and kill it or sell it, he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep (Exod. 22:1).

[10] That the number "five" holds within it a heavenly secret, and that "ten" does the same, is evident from the cherubim, of which we read in the first book of Kings:
Solomon made in the adytum two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high. Five cubits was the wing of the one cherub, and five cubits the wing of the other cherub; it was ten cubits from the ends of its wings even unto the ends of its wings; so the cherub was ten cubits. Both the cherubim were of one measure and one form (1 Kings 6:23-27).
The same is evident also from the lavers around the temple, and from the lampstands, of which it is written in the same book:

The bases of the lavers were placed, five by the shoulder of the house to the right, and five by the shoulder of the house to the left. Also that the lampstands were placed, five on the right and five on the left, before the adytum (1 Kings 7:39, 49).

That the brazen sea was ten ells from brim to brim, and five ells in height, and thirty ells in circumference (1 Kings 7:23), was in order that holy things might be signified by the numbers "ten" and "five," and also by "thirty," which number of the circumference does not indeed geometrically answer to the diameter, but still it spiritually involves that which is signified by the compass of that vessel.

[11] That in the spiritual world all numbers signify real things is plainly manifest from the numbers in Ezekiel where is described the new earth, the new city, and the new temple, which the angel measured in detail (see Ezek. 40-43, 45-49). The description of nearly all the holy things there is set forth by numbers, and therefore one who does not know what those numbers involve can know scarcely anything about the secrets contained therein. The number "ten" and the number "five" occur there (Ezek. 40:7, 11, 48; 41:2, 9, 11-12; 42:4; 45:11, 14), besides the multiplied numbers, "twenty-five," "fifty," "five hundred," and "five thousand." It is manifest from the details in these chapters that the new earth, the new city, and the new temple signify the Lord's kingdom in the heavens, and hence His church on earth.

[12] These instances of the use of the number "five" are here brought together because in this and the following verses it is told of the land of Egypt that a fifth part of the produce was to be collected there in the seven years of plenty, and to be preserved for use in the following years of famine. Therefore it has been shown that by a "fifth part" are signified goods and truths stored up in man by the Lord, and reserved for use when there shall be a famine, that is when there shall be a lack and privation of good and truth; for unless such things were stored up in man by the Lord, there would be nothing to uplift him in a state of temptation and vastation, consequently nothing through which he could be regenerated; and thus he would be without the means of salvation in the other life. [AC5291]

 Four kings with five. That this signifies the union of the last named, and the disunion of the first named, may be seen from the signification of "four," and of "five." "Four" signifies union, because it is made up of pairs, as also does two when it has relation to marriages of things (as was also observed, n. 720). But "five" signifies disunion, because it means but little (as shown n. 649). The signification of all things is in accordance with the subject of which they are predicated. [AC1686]

Verse 5. And it was given to them that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months, signifies that from the Divine providence of the Lord, they are not able to take away from those who are not in the faith of charity the faculty of understanding and willing what is true and good, but that they should only be able to induce stupor for a short time. By "its being given them," is signified that it is from the Divine providence of the Lord, as above; "not to be able to kill them," signifies not to be able to take away from those who are not in the faith of charity the faculty of understanding and willing what is true and good, for when this faculty is taken away, man is spiritually killed. By "tormenting them five months," is signified to induce stupor for a short time; "five" signifies a little, or a short time, and "to torment" signifies to induce stupor, because this is what is signified by "a scorpion" (n. 425); and by "the torment like that of a scorpion," as follows (n. 428). That the faculty of understanding truth and of willing it, or rationality and liberty, cannot be taken away from man, is amply shown in the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Providence (n. 73, 74, 82-86, 92-99, 138-149, 322).

[2] That "five months" signify a little, and a short time, is because that is signified by "five;" for times, whether they be hours, days, weeks, months, or years, do not signify time but state; and the numbers determine its quality (n. 4, 10, 348, 947). That "five" signifies something, and also a little, may appear from these passages:

A thousand shall flee at the rebuke of five (Isa. 30:17).
Five shall pursue a hundred (Lev. 26:8).
Jesus said, The kingdom of the heavens is like unto ten virgins, of whom five were prudent and five were foolish (Matt. 25:1-2).
By "ten virgins" are signified all in the church; by "five" are signified a certain part or some of them. The like is signified by "ten" and "five" in the parable:
There were given unto the servants talents that they should trade, and one with his talent gained ten talents, and another five (Luke 19:13-20).

"Ten talents" signify much, and "five talents" a little. Besides other places (as in Isaiah 17:6; 19:18-19; Matthew 14:15-22). [AR427]

And there are yet five years. That this signifies the duration of this state until remains shine forth, is evident from the signification of "five," as being remains (n. 5291); and from the signification of "years," as being states (as just above, n. 5893). Duration is signified by there being "yet" this number of years. From this it is plain that by these words is signified the duration of this state until remains shine forth. Remains are truths and goods stored in the interior man by the Lord (see n. 468, 530, 560, 561, 660, 1050, 1738, 1906, 2284, 5135, 5342). Here, remains are the acknowledgments and affections of truth before good manifests itself. With good these shine forth. Meanwhile so much is drawn from them as conduces to the use of life. Such is the providence of the Lord, and this continually, although man knows nothing whatever of it, nor indeed is willing to know. For he denies a providence in the singulars, when yet it is in the veriest singulars of all, from the first thread of man's life even to the last, and afterward to eternity. With every man there is a concurrence every moment of more things of providence than can be comprised in any number. This I know from heaven. [AC5894]

That ye shall give a fifth to Pharaoh. That this signifies remains, that these are for the general in the natural which is under the auspices of the internal, is evident from the signification of "five" and of a "fifth part," as being remains (see n. 5291, 5894); and from the representation of Pharaoh, as being what is general in the natural (see above, n. 6153). It is said "under the auspices of the internal" for the reason spoken of above (n. 6145). What remains are may be seen above (n. 1050, 1738, 1906, 2284, 5135, 5897, 5898), namely, that they are goods and truths from the Lord stored up in the interior man. These are let down into the exterior or natural man when he is in a state of good; but the moment he comes into a state of evil they are drawn back and stored up again. The reason of their being drawn back and stored up again, is to prevent their being mingled with evils, and thus perishing. When a man cannot be regenerated, the remains in him are carefully preserved in his interiors. But when a man is being regenerated, then, Insofar as this is the case, the remains are let down from the interiors into the exteriors, for the reason that by regeneration the interiors are conjoined with the exteriors and act as a one. Remains are then first let down to generals, and afterward successively to particulars. As the subject here treated of in the internal sense is the regeneration of the natural, it may be known from what has been said what is meant by remains being for what is general in the natural. [AC6156]

Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail, and covered the mountains. That this signifies that nothing of charity remained; and that "fifteen" signifies so few as to be scarcely any, is evident from the signification of the number "five" (of which above, chapter 6, verse 15), where it was shown that in the style of the Word, or in the internal sense, "five" signifies a few; and since the number "fifteen" is composed of five, signifying a few, and of ten, which signifies remains (as was shown above, chapter 6, verse 3), therefore "fifteen" signifies remains, which with this people were scarcely any. For so many were the persuasions of falsity that they extinguished every good. As for the remains with man, the fact was, as already said, that principles of falsity, and still more, persuasions of falsity, such as were with these antediluvians, had so entirely shut in and hidden away the remains that these could not be brought out, and if brought out they would forthwith have been falsified. For such is the life of persuasions that it not only rejects every truth and absorbs every falsity, but also perverts every truth that comes near.798.

But here the numbers or measures of the ark signify nothing else than the remains which were with the man of this church when he was being reformed, and that they were but few. This is evident from the fact that in these numbers five predominates, which in the Word signifies some or a little, as in Isaiah:

There shall be left therein gleanings, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the branches of a fruitful one (Isa. 17:6),
where "two or three" and "five" denote a few. Again:

One thousand at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee; until ye be left as a pole upon the top of a mountain (Isa. 30:17),where also "five" denotes a few. So too the least fine, after restitution, was a "fifth part" (Lev. 5:16; 6:5; 22:14; Num. 5:7). And the least addition when they redeemed a beast, a house, a field, or the tithes, was a "fifth part" (Lev. 27:13, 15, 19,649.

Peradventure there be fifty righteous in the midst of the city. That this signifies that the truths may possibly be full of goods, is evident from the signification of "fifty," as being what is full; from the signification of "righteous" as being good (see n. 612, 2235); from that of the "midst," as being what is within (n. 1074); and from that of "city," as being truth (n. 402). Thus "fifty righteous in the midst of the city," means in the internal sense that truths may possibly be full of goods within. That there is this meaning in these words cannot be seen from the letter, for the historicals of the literal sense lead the mind in quite a different direction, that is, to different thoughts; and yet that these words are so perceived by those who are in the internal sense, I know of a certainty. The numbers themselves also, as here "fifty," and in what follows "forty-five," "forty," "thirty," "twenty," and "ten," are by no means perceived as numbers by those who are in the internal sense, but as real things or states (as is shown, n. 482, 487, 575, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 2075).

[2] For the ancients marked the states of their church-in one way-by numbers; and the nature of their computation in so doing is evident from the signification of the numbers in the places just referred to. They had the signification of numbers from the representatives which exist in the world of spirits, where, when anything appears as numbered, it does not signify anything that is determined by the numbers, but the thing or state itself; as is evident from the things that have been adduced (n. 2129, 2130, also n. 2089) concerning "twelve," as meaning all the things of faith. It is similar with the numbers which now follow. This shows what is the nature of the Word in the internal sense.

[3] That "fifty" signifies what is full, comes from its following next after the product of seven into seven, or forty-nine, so that it is the impletion of this number, on which account there was in the Representative Church the festival of the Seven Sabbaths on the fiftieth day, and the Jubilee in the fiftieth year. As regards the festival of the seven Sabbaths we read in Moses:

Ye shall count unto you from the morrow of the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave-offering, seven entire Sabbaths shall there be, even unto the morrow of the seventh Sabbath shall ye count fifty days, and ye shall offer a new offering unto Jehovah (Lev. 23:15).

And concerning the Jubilee:

Thou shalt count for thee seven Sabbaths of years, seven years seven times, and they shall be to thee seven Sabbaths of years, nine and forty years, and ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty in the land to all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a jubilee unto you (Lev. 25:8, 10),

which shows that the fiftieth is what is full in relation to Sabbaths.

[4] Moreover, wherever "fifty" is mentioned in the Word, it signifies what is full; as when it is said that:

The Levites were numbered from a son of thirty years and upward, even unto a son of fifty years (Num. 4:23, 35, 39, 43, 47; 8:25);
meaning the full or final state of discharging the ministry.
That a man lying with a damsel, a virgin, shall give unto the damsel's father fifty pieces of silver, and she should be to him for a wife, nor could he put her away (Deut. 22:29),
which denotes a full fine and full restitution.
David's giving to Araunah for the threshing-floor where he built the altar to Jehovah, fifty shekels of silver (2 Sam. 24:24)
denotes a full price and a full purchase.
Absalom's preparing for himself a chariot and horses, and having fifty men running before him (2 Sam. 15:1),
and in like manner:
Adonijah's having chariots and horsemen, and fifty men running before him (1 Kings 1:5),
denotes full excellence and greatness. For they had from the ancients certain representative and significative numbers, which they observed, and which were also commanded in their rites; but most of them did not know what they signified.

[5] And in the same way, as "fifty" signifies what is full, and as this number was also representative-already said-the same thing is signified by it in the Lord's parable of the steward, who said to him that owed the oil:

How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, a hundred baths of oil. And he said unto him, take thy bond, and sit down quickly, and write fifty (Luke 16:6);
"fifty" denoting full payment. As fifty is a number, it indeed appears to involve nothing beyond the number; whereas in the internal sense what is full is everywhere meant by it, as in Haggai:

One came to the wine-press to draw out fifty out of the wine-press; there were twenty (Hag. 2:16),
that is, instead of fullness there was not much. "Fifty" could [AC2252]

Five hundred. That this signifies full, is evident from the signification of the number "five hundred," as being what is full. That "five hundred" denotes what is full is because this number is compounded of five twice multiplied by ten, or five times a hundred; and by "five" is signified much, in like manner by "ten," and by a "hundred;" hence by "five hundred" is signified what is full. (That by "five" is signified much, see n. 5708, 5956, 9102; so by "ten," n. 3107, 4638; also by a "hundred," n. 4400, 6582, 6594; and that all numbers in the Word signify real things, see the places cited in n. 9488; and that compound numbers signify the like as the simple ones from which they come forth by multiplication, n. 5291, 5335, 5708, 7973.)

[2] That numbers signify real things is clearly evident in Ezekiel, where the house of God with all within and without it, and also the new earth, are measured, and are described by the numbers of the measure (chapters 40 to 48); and by the "new earth" is there meant the church, and by the "house of God" the holiness of it; in like manner by John in Revelation, where also the New Jerusalem, by which also is meant a new church, is described by the numbers of the measure. If numbers had not signified real things, all these measurements would have been of no value.

[3] That "five hundred" signifies the whole from one end to the other, thus what is full, is evident from this in Ezekiel:

He measured outside the house, or temple, on the eastern quarter, five hundred reeds round about; on the northern quarter five hundred reeds round about; on the southern quarter five hundred reeds; and on the quarter of the sea five hundred reeds. Its wall round about; the length five hundred reeds, and the breadth five hundred reeds; to distinguish between that which was holy and that which was profane (Ezek. 42:15-20);

from which words it is plain that "five hundred" denotes the whole in the complex, or everything holy from one end to the other, thus what is full, for it is said that the wall, which was of this length and breadth in a square, distinguished between what was holy and what was profane.

[4] That "five hundred" signifies much; and its tenth part, or "fifty," relatively something is evident from the Lord's words to Simon in Luke:

Jesus said, A certain creditor had two debtors; the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. When they had nothing to pay, he forgave them both; therefore which of them will love him most? Simon answered, He to whom he forgave most. Jesus said, Just so the woman's many sins are forgiven, because she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little (Luke 7:41, to the end).

The Lord employed these numbers because they signified much and something; for He spoke from the Divine, thus by means of significatives according to correspondences; and also in all other places, as when He spoke of the virgins, whom He called "ten," and "five" of them wise, and "five" foolish. He said "ten," because by this number are signified all, that is, of the church; and "five," because by this number is signified some part (n. 4637, 4638). [AC10253]

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)

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