SOMEON ASKED – “What is the meaning of this verse, “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed’. – Isaiah 65: 20
This verse follows and is part of the description of the wonder and promise of the Holy city in the New Jerusalem. The verse before it says “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying”.
The verse at the top is describing the process of getting there. ‘A hundred years old’ means a complete state of union. In Matthew – “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields, for My name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will be allotted the inheritance of eternal life” – Matt. 19:29. Here ‘a hundredfold’ stands for that which is complete, otherwise described as ‘good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over’, in Luke 6:38. Also In Luke, “Some seed fell on good ground, and when it had grown up it brought forth fruit a hundredfold”. – Luke 8:8
These scriptures also show that becoming complete is a process. Before even being regenerated a person must be prepared. The innocence of childhood is essential in this; but the innocence of childhood is an external innocence until it is incorporated into the soul by ones own intelligence and will. This is in preparation for one becoming willing to be led by the Lord. A person can only be regenerated when they come of age (or later), for not until then is he or she able to exercise reason and judgement, and by so doing to receive a principled soul of goods and truths from the Lord.
Before entering that state he or she is being prepared by experiences that serve as ‘the soil’ for receiving the seeds of truth and good. A person is not aware of how the Lord is providentially preparing them, but they are responding intuitively to His prompting. This takes place during learning to work, education, making a living, having a responsibility or any number of paths in life. Through these things the Lord providentially guides us so that our states of innocence can be combined with our intelligence. This builds thoughts and feelings that make one receptive to God. Often this involves periods of deep grief or loss that ‘soften the soil’ of the soul.
This implantation occurs for many years before regeneration takes place. When a person has been endowed with these things and so has been prepared, his state is now said to be complete, for the things that are interior have been arranged. Remains bonded in the soul allow a person to receive and be regenerated by the Lord.
In heaven this scripture has another related meaning. All children who die young to heaven and are taught there by angels. Because they have not yet formed their own conscience they are all capable of being taught the good and truths of heaven by wise angels. Everyone born has hereditary evil so this is a process also. Children and those with innocence will increase in joy and wisdom for eternity. Old men and women there do not remain old but gradually return to the bloom of youth because the innocence in their soul is continually increasing and bonding with their wisdom. Innocent children are not angles but in time become angels and grow in love and wisdom forever.
The scripture above also describes ‘the accursed’, which are those who refuse to undergo this process and so go in the opposite direction. Those who willfully reject Him, and come to love to harm, hate and destroy are kept separate from heaven in hell. They are governed by the Lord there to not sink into a deeper and worse state.
The Lord provides peace to the heavenly and there is no longer weeping from the fear of the evil, their ‘tears are wiped away’, as they move ever more into new internal skills and gifts in their heavenly life. The Lord by His might brings light and justice to all.
Swedenborg adds are remarkable passage about the 100 years that shows how remains give us an idea of the Lord’s glorification process: “These things that are so with man may serve to illustrate what is meant by a complete state of the Human united to the Divine in the Lord. That is to say, they may illustrate the state when the Lord by His own power – through the conflicts brought about by temptations and through victories, and through the powers of Divine wisdom and intelligence – gathered to Himself within the Human, that is, within the Rational, so much of the Divine that He was able to unite the Divine itself to the Divine acquired within the Rational. And it was to represent this state that, even though Abraham had spent many years in the land of Canaan, Isaac was not born to him until he was a hundred years old. These are the arcana contained within the number ‘a hundred years’, which was Abraham’s age”. – AC 2636