FOUR >> All Good >> Full Conjunction >> What is Just
/Opposite Sense >> All Evil
Upon the thirds and upon the fourths. That this signifies the condemnation of falsities and of the derivative evils, is evident from the signification of "sons," as being the falsities of evil (of which just above, n. 10623). The reason why it is said "upon the thirds and upon the fourths," is that "three" is predicated of truths or falsities, and "four" is predicated of goods or evils. For in the Word all numbers signify things, some numbers belonging to the spiritual class, and some to the celestial class. The numbers three, six, and twelve belong to the spiritual class, and the numbers two, four, and eight to the celestial class. The numbers which belong to the spiritual class are predicated of truths or of falsities; and those which belong to the celestial class are predicated of goods or of evils. By "three" is also signified all truth in the complex; and by "four," all good in the complex. From this it is that by "sons the thirds and the fourths" are signified falsities and the derivative evils. But this sense of these words is the celestial sense, because it arises from the fact that they are predicated of these falsities and evils. (What evils and the derivative falsities are, and what falsities and the derivative evils are, may be seen at the places cited in n. 10109.) Here also something shall be said about evils and the derivative falsities, and about falsities and the derivative evils. Evils are the sources of all falsities, because falsities are what confirm evils, and evils and falsities act in a man as do the will and the understanding, for what a man wishes to do he also wishes to understand, because it is by means of the understanding that he forms his evil before himself in thought, and before others in speech. From this it is evident what evil and the derivative falsity are, that is, the falsity of evil. But the evil of falsity is when man has confirmed evil with himself, and has concluded that it is not evil, and consequently does it. In this case he does evil from falsity. For example, he who has confirmed with himself that adulteries are not evils, and from this does them, is in the evil of falsity, because he does them from a false principle. The evils of falsity are chiefly to be found in religious matters, for from the falsities of doctrine a man persuades himself that a thing is good, which nevertheless is evil; and sometimes that a thing is evil, which nevertheless is good. [AC10624]
Upon the thirds and upon the fourths. That this signifies in a long series and the conjunction of them, is evident from the signification of "three," as being what is full from beginning to end (see n. 2788, 4495, 7715), thus what is in a long series, and therefore "the third sons" denote falsities in a long series (that "sons" denote falsities see just above, n. 8876); and from the signification of "four," as being conjunction, in like manner as "two" (n. 1686, 5194, 8423); therefore "the fourth sons" denote falsities conjoined in a long series. That this is the signification of "the third and fourth sons" must needs seem like a paradox, or foreign to the sense of the Word; but be it known that in the internal sense numbers do not signify numbers, but things (n. 482, 487, 575, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988, 2075, 2252, 3252, 4264, 4495, 4670, 5265, 6175). [AC 8877]
And four of the flock for one of the flock. That this signifies also the corresponding penalty to the full, is evident from the signification of "four," as being conjunction, for "four" signifies the same as "two," because the one number arises from other, being the double of it (that "two" denotes conjunction, see n. 5194, 8423; and consequently also "four," see n. 1686, 8877); from which it follows that these numbers also denote to the full, for that which is conjoined is full; and from the signification of "one of the flock," as being interior good, (see just above, n. 9099). The corresponding penalty is signified by "repaying," namely, four of the flock for one of the flock (n. 9102). Interior good is that good which is called charity in the interior man; and exterior good is charity in the exterior man. The latter good must live from the former, for the good of charity in the interior man is the good of spiritual life; and the good of charity in the exterior man is the good of the derivative natural life. The latter good comes to the sensation of man as delight; but the former good does not come to sensation, but to perception that so it ought to be, and makes a contented mind. In the other life spiritual good also comes to sensation.
 The reason why five oxen were to be repaid for an ox, and four of the flock for one of the flock, cannot be known by anyone unless it is known what is meant by "theft" in the spiritual sense, also what by "ox" and by "one of the flock." What these things signify has been unfolded, namely, the taking away and alienation of exterior and interior good. This taking away is effected through evil, and alienation through falsity; consequently the penalty and restoration thereof are signified by "five" and "four." That all numbers in the Word signify things, see n. 575, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988, 2075, 2252, 3252, 4264, 4495, 4670, 5265, 6175; here the things which involve restoration, namely, the number "five" the restoration of exterior good to much; and the number "four" the restoration of interior good to the full. Interior good is to be restored to the full, because this good makes the spiritual life of man, and unless spiritual life is restored to the full, the exterior good which makes the natural life cannot be restored, for the latter life is restored by means of the former, as can be seen from the regeneration of man. (That the external man is regenerated by means of the internal, see n. 9043, 9046, 9061.) But good in the external or natural man cannot be restored to the full, because the injury remains there as a scar which is grown callous. These are the things which these numbers involve.
 A few words more however shall be said about the restoration of exterior good, which makes the natural life of man, from interior good which makes his spiritual life. The natural of man sees things in the light of the world, which light is called natural light. Man procures for himself this light by means of the objects which enter through the sight and hearing, thus by means of objects which are of the world. Thus man sees those things within himself, almost as the eye sees them. The objects which enter by these senses appear to him at first as pleasure and delight. Afterward the infant man distinguishes between the different delights, from which he learns to discriminate, and by degrees to do so more perfectly. When light from heaven flows into these things, the man begins to see them spiritually, and first to discriminate between the useful and the non-useful. From this he begins to have an insight as to what is true; for that which is useful to him is to him true, and that which is useless is not true. This insight increases according to the influx of the light of heaven, until at last he discriminates not only between truths, but also between truths within these truths; and he does this with greater clearness in proportion as the communication is better opened between the internal and external man; for the light of heaven inflows from the Lord through the internal man into the external man.
 From this then man has perception; but still it is not yet spiritual perception. This perception does not arise from natural truths, but from spiritual truths. Spiritual truths are those which are called the truths of faith. The reason why spiritual perception arises from these truths, is that the light of heaven is Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, and this shines as light before the eyes of the angels, and also shines in their understandings, and gives them intelligence and wisdom; but with variety according to the reception of it in good. Wherefore the knowledges of spiritual things must be with man in his natural in order that there may be spiritual perception; and knowledges of spiritual things must be from revelation. When the light of heaven flows into these knowledges, it flows into its own, for, as before said, this light is the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord (n. 1053, 1521-1533, 1619-1632, 2776, 3138, 3167, 3195, 3222, 3223, 3341, 3636, 3643, 4180, 4302, 4408, 4415, 4527, 5400, 6032, 6313, 6608). From this the man has intelligence and wisdom in such things as are of eternal life, and these increase according to the reception of that light, that is, of the truths of faith in good. Good is charity.
 That the natural or external man is regenerated, and also amended and restored, through the internal man, can be seen from what has now been said. For the things which are in the external or natural man live from the light of heaven, for this light is living light, because it proceeds from the Lord, who is life itself; but they do not live from natural light, for in itself this light is dead. In order therefore that those things which are in natural light may live, there must be an influx of living light through the internal man from the Lord. This influx accommodates itself according to the knowledges of truth analogous and corresponding in the natural, and according to the compliance there. From this it is evident that the external or natural of man must be regenerated through his internal. In the same way must the good in the natural that has been taken away and alienated, be amended and restored. [AC 9103]
Four rows of stones, a row. That this signifies the conjunction of all, namely, of truths from good, is evident from the signification of "four," as being conjunction (see n. 1686, 9601, 9674); and from the signification of "rows of stones," as being truths from good in their order. That there were four rows, and in each row three stones, was in order that there might be represented the conjunction of all truths from one good, and thereby perfection; for by "four" is signified conjunction (as said above), and by "three," perfection (n. 9825); for when there is one good from which all truths proceed (n. 9863), and to which therefore all look, then this one good is the conjunction of all.
 That it is so may be illustrated by what exists in the heavens. All in the heavens without exception turn their faces to the Lord, and wonderful to say, this is the case to whatsoever quarter they may turn. It is from this that all who are in the heavens are conjoined as a one. But those who are outside heaven turn their faces backward from the Lord, and the more so the more remote from heaven they are; consequently with them there is disjunction, because with them there is no love toward God and toward the neighbor; but love toward self and the world. But this secret is incredible to those who think according to the fallacies of the senses; for these cannot comprehend how in every change of position the direction of all faces in heaven can possibly be constantly to the Lord, who is the Sun there. (See what was adduced above on this subject, n. 9828.).
And power was given them over the fourth part of the earth to kill, signifies the destruction of all the good of the church. Since by "death" is meant the extinction of man's spiritual life, and by "hell" damnation, it follows that "to kill" here means to destroy the life of man's soul; the life of the soul is spiritual life; "a fourth part of the earth" signifies all the good of the church; "the earth" is the church (n. 285). That "a fourth part" is all good, cannot be known by anyone, unless he knows what numbers in the Word signify. The numbers "two" and "four" in the Word, are predicated of goods, and signify them; and the numbers "three" and "six" are predicated of truths, and signify them; thus "a fourth part," or simply "a fourth," signifies all good, and "a third part," or simply "a third," signifies all truth; therefore "to kill a fourth part of the earth," here signifies to destroy all the good of the church. That "power was not given to him that sat upon the pale horse to kill a fourth part of the habitable earth," is evident. [AR322]
 Besides, "four" in the Word signifies the conjunction of good and truth. That "four" has these significations, may indeed be confirmed from the Word; as by "the four animals or cherubim" (Ezekiel 1, 3, 10; Revelation 4); by "the four chariots between the two mountains of brass" (Zechariah 6); by "the four horns" (Zechariah 1:18); and by "the four horns of the altar" (Exodus 27:1-8; Revelation 9:13); by "the four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth" (Revelation 7:1; Matthew 24:31); as also by "visiting the iniquity upon the thirds and fourths" (Numbers 14:18); and in other places by "the third and fourth generation." By these, and by many other passages in the Word, I say, it can be confirmed that "four" is predicated of goods, and signifies them, and also the conjunction of good and truth; but since this would not appear without a prolix explanation of these passages, it is sufficient to mention, that nothing else is meant in heaven by "four" and by "a fourth part." [AC 9864]
And the breadth four cubits. That this signifies the marriage of truth with good, is evident from the signification of "breadth," as being truth (see n. 1613, 3433, 3434, 4482, 9487); and from the signification of "four," as being conjunction, thus marriage, for the conjunction of truth and good is called the heavenly marriage (n. 2173, 2618, 2728, 2729, 2803). "Four" denotes conjunction or marriage because this number arises from two multiplied by itself, and "two" denotes conjunction (n. 5194, 8423); and because multiplied numbers have a similar signification to that of the simple numbers of which they are compounded (as was said just above, n. 9600). (That all numbers in the Word signify real things, may be seen in the passages cited in n. 9488.) [AC 9601]
And four parts shall be for you. That this signifies those things which were not yet remains, is evident from the signification of "four parts," when said of the residue when a fifth part, by which are signified remains, has been taken away (see n. 6156), as being the things which are not yet remains. By "four" is signified the like as by "two," namely, things which are pairs and which are conjoined together (n. 1686), as are good and truth. When these have not as yet become remains, they are here signified by "four parts." For goods and truths do not become remains until they are being appropriated to man, and they are for the first time being appropriated to man when they are received from affection in freedom. [AC 6157]
The altar shall be foursquare. That this signifies thus what is righteous, is evident from the signification of "foursquare," as being what is righteous (of which in what follows); and from the signification of "the altar," as being a representative of the Lord, and of the worship of Him. Consequently by "the altar being foursquare" is signified what is righteous in the Lord, and consequently in worship. Worship is said to be "righteous" when the good and truth which are in it are from the Lord, and not from man; for what is righteous is from the Lord alone (see n. 9263). That "foursquare" denotes what is righteous, originates in the representatives in the other life. There, goods are presented as round, and the goods of the external man, which are called "righteous," are presented as foursquare; but truths and rights are presented as linear and triangular. From this then it is that by "foursquare" is signified what is righteous, as also by "the altar of incense being foursquare" (Exod. 30:2), and by "the breastplate of judgment being a doubled square" (Exod. 28:16), and likewise by "the New Jerusalem being foursquare" (Rev. 21:16). The "New Jerusalem" here denotes the New Church of the Lord which is to succeed our present church; the external good of it, which is what is righteous, is signified by its being "foursquare." [AC 9717]
Foursquare it shall be, doubled. That this signifies what is righteous and perfect, is evident from the signification of "foursquare," as being what is righteous (see n. 9717). That it also means what is perfect, is because it was doubled, and that which is doubled involves all things of good and all things of truth. That which is on the right side involves the good from which is truth, and that which is on the left side involves the truth which is from good (n. 9495, 9604, 9736), thus the perfect conjunction of both is involved. It is also from this that "two" signifies conjunction (n. 8423), and also each and all things (n. 9166), as likewise what is full (n. 9103). [AC 9861]
And the city lieth foursquare, signifies justice in it. The reason why the city was seen "foursquare" is because "a quadrangle" or "a square" signifies what is just, for "a triangle" signifies what is right, all these in the ultimate degree, or the natural. "A quadrangle" or "a square" signifies what is just because it has four sides, and the four sides look towards the four quarters, and to look equally towards the four quarters, is to respect all things from justice; for which reason three gates opened into the city from each quarter, and it is said in Isaiah:
Open ye the gates, that a just nation which keepeth faithfulness may enter in (Isa. 26:2).
"The city lieth foursquare" that the length and breadth thereof might be equal, and by "length" is signified the good of that church, and by "breadth" its truth, and when good and truth are equal, then there is what is just. It is owing to this signification of "a square," that in common discourse a man is said to be "square," who is a man that does not from injustice incline either to this or that party. Because "foursquare" signifies what is just, therefore, the altar of burnt-offering, by which was signified worship from good and thence from celestial truth, was "foursquare" (Exod. 27:1); also the altar of incense, by which was signified worship from good and thence from spiritual truth, was likewise "foursquare" (Exod. 30:1, 2). And also, the breastplate of judgment, in which was the Urim and Thummim, was "foursquare" doubled (Exod. 28:15, 16; 39:9); besides other passages.AR905.
Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)