Genesis 18

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1 And the Lord appeared to him in the vale of Mambre as he was sitting at the door of his tent, in the very heat of the day.

2 And when he had lifted up his eyes, there appeared to him three men standing near him: and as soon as he saw them he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and adored down to the ground.

3 And he said: Lord, if I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away from thy servant:

4 But I will fetch a little water, and wash ye your feet, and rest ye under the tree.

5 And I will set a morsel of bread, and strengthen ye your heart, afterwards you shall pass on: for therefore are you come aside to your servant. And they said: Do as thou hast spoken.

6 Abraham made haste into the tent to Sera, and said to her: Make haste, temper together three measures of flour, and make cakes upon the hearth.

7 And he himself ran to the herd, and took from thence a calf very tender and very good, and gave it to a young man: who made haste and boiled it.

8 He took also butter and milk, and the calf which he had boiled, and set before them: but he stood by them under the tree.

9 And when they had eaten, they said to him: Where is Sara thy wife? He answered: Lo, she is in the tent.

10 And he said to him: I will return and come to thee at this time, life accompanying and Sara thy wife shall have a son. Which when Sara heard, she laughed behind the door of the tent.

11 Now they were both old, and far advanced in years, and it had ceased to be with Sara after the manner of women.

12 And she laughed secretly, saying: After I am grown old, and my lord is an old man, shall I give myself to pleasure?

13 And the Lord said to Abraham: Why did Sera laugh, saying: Shall I who am an old woman bear a child indeed ?

14 Is there any thing hard to God? according to appointment I will return to thee at this same time, life accompanying, and Sara shall have a son.

15 Sara denied, saying: I did not laugh: for she was afraid. But the Lord said, Nay: but thou didst laugh:

16 And when the men rose up from thence, they turned their eyes towards Sodom: and Abraham walked with them, bringing them on the way.

17 And the Lord said: Can I hide from Abraham what I am about to do:

18 "Seeing he shall become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth shall be blessed?

19 For I know that he will command his children, and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord, and do judgment and justice: that for Abraham's sake the Lord may bring to effect all the things he hath spoken unto him.

20 And the Lord said: The cry of Sodom and Gomorrha is multiplied, and their sin is become exceedingly grievous.

21 I will go down and see whether they have done according to the cry that is come to me: or whether it be not so, that I may know.

22 And they turned themselves from thence, and went their way to Sodom: but Abraham as yet stood before the Lord.

23 And drawing nigh he said: Wilt thou destroy the just with the wicked?

24 If there be fifty just men in the city, shall they perish withal? and wilt thou not spare that place for the sake of the fifty just, if they be therein?

25 Far be it from thee to do this thing, and to slay the just with the wicked, and for the just to be in like case as the wicked, this is not beseeming thee: thou who judgest all the earth, wilt not make this judgment.

26 And the Lord said to him: If I And in Sodom fifty just within the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.

27 And Abraham answered, and said: Seeing I have once begun, I will speak to my Lord, whereas I am dust and ashes.

28 What if there be Ave less than fifty just persons? wilt thou for five and forty destroy the whole city? And he said: I will not destroy it, if I find five and forty.

29 And again he said to him: But if forty be found there, what wilt thou do? He said: I will not destroy it for the sake of forty.

30 Lord, saith he, be not angry, I beseech thee, if I speak: What if thirty shall be found there? He answered: I will not do it, if I And thirty there.

31 Seeing, saith he, I have once begun, I will speak to my Lord. What if twenty be found there? He said: I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.

32 I beseech thee, saith he, be not angry, Lord, if I speak yet once more: What if tell should be found there ? And he said: I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.

33 And the Lord departed, after he had left speaking to Abraham: and Abraham returned to his place.

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Swedenborg

Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 468, 1420, 1616, 2072, 2142, 2143, 2144, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 658

True Christian Religion 755


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 340, 397, 1153

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 49

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Word/Phrase Explanations

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

sitting
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

door
In a general sense, doors in the Bible represent the initial desires for good and concepts of truth that introduce people to new levels of...

Tent
'Tent' is used in the Word to signify the celestial and holy aspects of love, because in ancient time they performed holy worship in their...

Heat
Heat, as mentioned in Revelation 16:9, signifies the lust of evils which are contained in self-love and the delights of it.

lifted
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

eyes
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

Three men
'The three men' who appeared to Abraham, as in Genesis 18:2, signify the essential divine, the divine human, and the holy proceeding.

men
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

Near
'Near,' in the Word, signifies presence and conjunction. 'To be near' signifies being on internal levels. Near,' as in Genesis 19:20, signifies truth bordering upon...

meet
In natural language, to "meet" someone can be positive or negative: it can be a welcoming and greeting, or it can be "meeting" them in...

ground
In Zechariah 8:12, 'the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground her increase,' signifies that the spiritual affection of truth produces the good of...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

sight
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

Pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

servant
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

water
Water was obviously of tremendous importance in Biblical times (and every other time). It is the basis of life, the essential ingredient in all drinks,...

wash
'Washing of the hands' was an ancient declaration of innocence, and signifies purification from evils and falsities, as in Psalms 73:13 and Matthew 27:24.

feet
Our feet are the lowest and most utilitarian parts of our bodies, and in the Bible they represent the lowest and most utilitarian part of...

rest
'To slumber' and 'sleep' denotes the state of a person who is not in truths, as in Jeremiah 51:39, 57, Psalm 8:3 and 76:5, and...

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

tree
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

bread
The word “bread” is used two ways in the Bible. In some cases it means actual bread; in others it stands for food in general....

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

come
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

abraham
Abraham (or Abram, as he is named in the beginning of his story) is one of the major characters in the story of the sacred...

haste
'To hasten' or 'hastiness' in the internal sense, does not denote what is quick, but what is certain, and also what is full, thus every...

Make
'To make,' as in Hosea 8:11, refers to good. In the opposite sense it refers to evil. To make heaven, and earth, and the sea,...

measures
The Bible uses a somewhat dizzying array of unfamiliar measurement, leaving translators a choice between being accurate and confusing or inaccurate and clear. Since they...

flour
In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

upon
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

Herd
'A herd,' as mentioned in Genesis 32:7, denotes exterior or natural good, and also not good things.

tender
'Weak eyed' relates to the understanding.

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

young
'The son of a cow' signifies the celestial natural level and natural exterior good.

Butter
Butter (Isa. 7:14, 16) signifies the Lord's celestial principle, and honey that is derived from thence. Butter of the herd (Deut. 32:13) signifies the celestial...

milk
Water represents true ideas about day-to-day life, and other drinks and liquids in general represent different forms of truth. Milk is a drink that contains...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

wife
It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...

life
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

Behind
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

old
'Old waste places' signify the celestial aspects of faith.

Women
'Women,' as in Genesis 45:19, signify the affections of truth. But in Genesis 31:50, 'women' signify affections of not genuine truth, so not of the...

my lord
Characters in the Bible will often address others using the term “my lord,” and it seems to be no more than an expression of respect....

to
‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.

pleasure
'To be satisfied with favor' signifies being filled with the good of love, and 'to be full with the blessings of the Lord' signifies being...

bear
Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...

child
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

time
Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...

afraid
Fear of the unknown and fear of change are both common ideas, and together cover a broad spectrum of the fears we tend to have...

rose up
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

sodom
"Sodom" in the Bible represents the love of self and the love of ruling or dominating others springing from the love of self. This is...

Hide
'To hide themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains,' as mentioned in Revelation 6:15, signifies being in evils and in falsities...

Mighty
Mighty,' as in Revelation 19:18, signify people who are educated about doctrine derived from the Word. By extension, 'mighty' signifies education or learning derived from...

Nation
'A nation,' as in Genesis 21:18, signifies the spiritual church which should receive the good of faith. Nation from afar,' as in Jeremiah 5:17, signifies...

Nations
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

Earth
"Earth" in the Bible can mean a person or a group of like-minded people as in a church. But it refers specifically to the external...

blessed
The Lord is perfect love expressed as perfect wisdom. He created us so that He could love us, could give us love and wisdom of...

know
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

command
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

keep
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

Judgment
Judgement' pertains to the Lord's divine human and holy proceeding. Judgment' has two sides, a principle of good, and a principle of truth. The faithful...

Justice
'Justice' signifies both good and truth.

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

cry
As with most common verbs, the spiritual meaning of “crying” or “crying out” (meaning a shout or wail, not weeping) is highly dependent on context....

sin
In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

go down
To go up and to go down: in the Word, mention is made of going up and going down when speaking of going from one...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

turned
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

drawing
"Drawing" is used a number of different ways in the Bible, generally in the sense of pulling, leading or moving: People most commonly draw water,...

Nigh
'Nigh' denotes truth in affinity with good.

Just
He is said to be 'just' in a spiritual sense, who lives according to divine laws. They on the right hand being called 'just,' as...

Wicked
'The wicked' or 'unrighteous' denotes being not in truth of faith.

fifty
God rested on the seventh day of creation. That represents a state of holiness and tranquility that was preserved in the form of the sabbath....

City
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

Perish
'To perish,' or 'die,' relates to damnation, or the state in hell.

place
'A room' or 'place' denotes state.

Slay
'To slay a man to his wounding,' means extinguishing faith, and 'to slay a young man to his hurt,' signifies extinguishing charity, as in Genesis...

speak
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

dust
'Powder' or 'dust' refers to love of self and the world.

Dust and ashes
The dust and ashes mentioned in Genesis 18:27 signify the Lord's merely human principle from the mother, in respect to his essential divine principle.

Ashes
Ashes as in ('Ezekiel 27:30') signify what is condemned; because fire from which they are derived signify infernal love. Ashes of the furnace ('Exodus 9:8')...

Five
Five also signifies all things of one part.

forty
'Forty' means completeness because 'four' means what is complete, as does 'ten.' Forty is the product of four and ten. Compound numbers have a meaning...

Find
To not to be found any more, signifies not to rise again.

angry
Anger is an emotion so common to people that it requires no definition. However a couple of points of interest can be raised. 1) The...

Thirty
'Thirty' has a twofold significance because it is is the product of five and six, and also three and ten. From five multiplied by six,...

Twenty
'Twenty,' when referring to a quantity, signifies everything or fullness, because it is ten twice. 'Twenty,' as in Genesis 18:31, like all numbers occurring in...

Tell
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

ten
Most places in Swedenborg identify “ten” as representing “all,” or in some cases “many” or “much.” The Ten Commandments represent all the guidance we get...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library by following this link.


 Abraham and Lot
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Abraham and Sarah's Family
The Lord promises Abraham many descendants.
Story | Ages 2 - 8

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A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Abraham and the Angels, Birth of Isaac
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Isaac’s Birth Foretold
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Appearing of the Angels to Abraham
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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