none of the other candidates mattered

so i was thinking about how the numbers had found their way outside of jacobs cave/lighthouse since at least 1977 when the DI put them on the swan hatch. so does that mean all of the other candidates had been crossed off already by then? so jacob had narrowed his candidates down to the 6 of them well before they got there? ive read theories that he could only see until his death, which makes me wonder why he himself didnt cross off locke. any thoughts?

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