270. Verse 4. And around the throne were four and twenty thrones, and upon the thrones I saw four and twenty elders sitting, signifies all truths from good in the higher heavens, arranged by the Lord before judgment. This is evident from the signification of "throne" on which was "One sitting," as being the Lord in respect to the Last Judgment (on which see just above, n. 267; and that "throne" signifies judgment, see n. 253. Also from the signification of "the four and twenty thrones around it, and four and twenty elders on them," as being all the truths of heaven in the complex, arranged before judgment. "Four and twenty" signifies all, "thrones" judgment, and "elders" those who are in truths from good, and abstractly truths from good. The higher heavens are here meant, because all who are in them are in truths from the good of love, and because the lower heavens are treated of in what immediately follows. ("Twenty-four" signifies all, because that number signifies the like with the number "twelve," and "twelve" signifies all, and is predicated of truths, see Arcana Coelestia 577, 2089, 2 129, 2130, 3272, 3858, 3913. The number "twenty-four" signifies the like with the number "twelve," because it is the double thereof, and the double of a number signifies something similar as the number from which it arises by multiplication, as may be seen, n. 5291, 5335, 5708, 7973.)
 The like is signified by "the thrones upon which the twelve apostles were to sit," of which in Matthew:
Ye who have followed Me in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30);
the "twelve apostles" signifying all truths in the complex. Likewise in the following words in Revelation:
I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them (Revelation 20:4).
"Judgment was given to those who sat upon thrones" signifies that judgment belongs to the Lord alone, for "elders" in the Word signify all who are in truths from good, and abstractly, truths from good by which is judgment. He who supposes that "elders" and "apostles" in the Word mean elders and apostles is much mistaken; in the spiritual sense of the Word no persons are perceived, but things abstractly from persons, for what is spiritual has nothing in common with persons. It is otherwise in the sense of the letter of the Word, which is natural; in that sense not only are persons mentioned, but the idea of person is implied in many expressions, in order that the Word in its ultimates may be natural, and thus be a basis for the spiritual sense. It is the same with the signification of "elders" as with that of "infants," "children," "young men," "old men," "virgins," "women," and many words of that kind; in the natural sense these are all thought of simply as persons; but in the spiritual sense "infants" mean innocence, "children" charity, "young men" intelligence, "old men" wisdom, "virgins" the affection of truth and good, and "women" the goods of the church; and so in other cases.
The same is true of the natural and spiritual senses of "neighbor;" in the natural sense "neighbor" means any man whatever; but in the spiritual sense the good, truth, sincerity, and justice itself that are in the person. Everyone who reflects can see that this is the neighbor in the spiritual sense; for who loves a person for any other reason? For good and truth make the man, and cause him to be loved, and not the countenance and body.
 But to return to the signification of "elders." That "elders" signify truths from good can be seen from the passages in the Word where they are mentioned. In Isaiah:
Then the moon shall blush, and the sun be ashamed, and Jehovah of Hosts shall reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem; and before His elders shall be glory (Isaiah 24:23).
The "moon" and "sun" mean their idolatrous worship and the falsity of faith and the evil of love; "Mount Zion" and "Jerusalem" mean heaven and the church; "the elders" mean truths from good; it is therefore said, "before them shall be glory," for "glory" signifies Divine truth in heaven (see above n. 33).
(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 33)
 In Lamentations:
My virgins and my young men have gone into captivity. I have cried to my lovers, they have deceived me; and mine elders expired in the city (Lamentations 1:18-19).
Here the vastation of the church is treated of, over which there is lamentation; there is such vastation when there is no longer any spiritual affection of truth, and thence no intelligence in such things as pertain to the church, and when there is then no truth. The "virgins," that are gone into captivity, mean the spiritual affection of truth, "the young men" intelligence; "captivity" is removal from this affection and intelligence; the "elders," who expired, mean the truths of the church.
 In Ezekiel:
Slay to destruction the old man, the young man, and the virgin, and the infant and the women; begin from My sanctuary; therefore they began from the elders who were before the house (Ezekiel 9:6).
Here too, the vastation of the church is treated of; an "old man" and "young man" mean wisdom and intelligence; "virgin" means the affection of truth and good; "infant" innocence; "women" the goods of the church; "to slay to destruction" signifies devastation; the "sanctuary," from which they should begin, is the church in respect to the good of love and the truth of faith, which are "the elders who are before the house."
 In Lamentations:
The faces of the old men were not honored. The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music (Lamentations 5:12, 14).
"Old men" signify the wisdom that is of good; "elders," the truths that are from good; "young men," intelligence. That the God of Israel was seen:
Under His feet as a work of sapphire, by Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy elders, and not by the rest (Exodus 24:1, 9-12);
signified that the Lord is seen solely by those who are in good and in truths from good (see t (Arcana Coelestia 9403-9411) he explanation of the passage in The Arcana Coelestia 9403-9411). This is what the seventy elders of Israel represented, and what the "four and twenty elders" sitting upon as many thrones signified; this also is what the "twelve apostles" signify, of whom it is said that "they are to sit
upon thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (That the "twelve apostles" signify all truths from good, Arcana Coelestia 2129, 3354, 3488, 3858, 6397; that the "twelve tribes of Israel" have a like signification, n. 3858 (Arcana Coelestia 3858), 3926, 4060, 6335; likewise the "elders of Israel," n. 6524, 6525, 6890, 7912, 8578, 8585, 9376, 9404)
(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 6524-6525)