Genesis 12

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English: Young's Literal Translation         

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1 And Jehovah saith unto Abram, `Go for thyself, from thy land, and from thy kindred, and from the house of thy father, unto the land which I shew thee.

2 And I make thee become a great nation, and bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing.

3 And I bless those blessing thee, and him who is disesteeming thee I curse, and blessed in thee have been all families of the ground.'

4 And Abram goeth on, as Jehovah hath spoken unto him, and Lot goeth with him, and Abram [is] a son of five and seventy years in his going out from Charan.

5 And Abram taketh Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they have gained, and the persons that they have obtained in Charan; and they go out to go towards the land of Canaan; and they come in to the land of Canaan.

6 And Abram passeth over into the land, unto the place Shechem, unto the oak of Moreh; and the Canaanite [is] then in the land.

7 And Jehovah appeareth unto Abram, and saith, `To thy seed I give this land;' and he buildeth there an altar to Jehovah, who hath appeared unto him.

8 And he removeth from thence towards a mountain at the east of Beth-El, and stretcheth out the tent (Beth-El at the west, and Hai at the east), and he buildeth there an altar to Jehovah, and preacheth in the name of Jehovah.

9 And Abram journeyeth, going on and journeying towards the south.

10 And there is a famine in the land, and Abram goeth down towards Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine [is] grievous in the land;

11 and it cometh to pass as he hath drawn near to enter Egypt, that he saith unto Sarai his wife, `Lo, I pray thee, I have known that thou [art] a woman of beautiful appearance;

12 and it hath come to pass that the Egyptians see thee, and they have said, `This [is] his wife,' and they have slain me, and thee they keep alive:

13 say, I pray thee, thou [art] my sister, so that it is well with me because of thee, and my soul hath lived for thy sake.'

14 And it cometh to pass, at the entering of Abram into Egypt, that the Egyptians see the woman that she [is] exceeding fair;

15 and princes of Pharaoh see her, and praise her unto Pharaoh, and the woman is taken [to] Pharaoh's house;

16 and to Abram he hath done good because of her, and he hath sheep and oxen, and he-asses, and men-servants, and handmaids, and she-asses, and camels.

17 And Jehovah plagueth Pharaoh and his house -- great plagues -- for the matter of Sarai, Abram's wife.

18 And Pharaoh calleth for Abram, and saith, `What [is] this thou hast done to me? why hast thou not declared to me that she [is] thy wife?

19 Why hast thou said, She [is] my sister, and I take her to myself for a wife? and now, lo, thy wife, take and go.'

20 And Pharaoh chargeth men concerning him, and they send him away, and his wife, an all that he hath.

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Exploring the Meaning of Genesis 12      

By Rev. George McCurdy

The Inner Meaning of Genesis 12

In Genesis 11, we met Abram for the first time, as his genealogy was traced down through the generations from Noah. Abram represents the beginning of a new spiritual state of humankind - a new church that would record preserve important external truths. Those external truths contained internal ones - true ideas about God the way people should live.

These external truths were encoded in stories, first preserved in oral traditions then in written scriptures in the time of Moses. In the current , Abram, goes, as commanded by God, the land of Canaan. In doing this, he effectively starts the Hebrew church (from Eber, Abraham's forebear).

All the geographic places in the land of Canaan its environs had been given spiritual significations by the people of the Most Ancient Church. In the new Word that would be written there, these places would be mentioned by name would signify spiritual ideas.

When Abraham is driven by famine in the land seek refuge in Egypt, it symbolizes a state of initial instruction for this new church. That early instruction is of an external type. Egypt, in the Word, represents scientific knowledge - the natural sciences - which teach the natural level in people.

There are two levels of "story" nested in the symbolism of the literal text. One is the spiritual story of humankind. Another, higher one, is the story of the inner spiritual process that would take place in the life of Jesus Christ. Both stories are traced out in Swedenborg's exegesis of the Word.

Here's an excerpt from his capstone work, True Christian Religion:

The Word has two senses hidden in its literal sense; these are called the spiritual the celestial senses. In the spiritual sense the contents of the Word refer chiefly the church in the celestial sense chiefly the Lord. Again in the spiritual sense its contents refer Divine truth in the celestial sense Divine good. (True Christian Religion 248)

A detailed description of the inner meaning of this chapter begins in Arcana Coelestia 1401.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 482, 1401, 1402, 1407, 1408, 1409, 1410, ...

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 413, 414


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 440, 796, 921, 1025, 1403, 1461, 1475, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 503


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 340, 654, 750

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 49

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Word/Phrase Explanations

Jehovah
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

Abram
Abram and Nahor taking to themselves wives, Sarah and Milcah (Gen 11:29), signifies marriages of evil with falsity in idolatrous worship. Abram, Nahor, and Haran,...

land
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

Father
Father, son, mother, and daughter, as in Luke 12:51, 53: By father against son, and by son against the father, is understood evil against truth,...

shew
'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

nation
'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...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

blessing
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...

families
Families (Gen 8:19) signify goodnesses and truths arranged in man by the Lord, according to order. Families have respect to truths. (Nahum 3:4)

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

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...

Five
Five also signifies all things of one part.

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...

brother
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

Go out
To go out to meet, as in Genesis 14:17, signifies to submit themselves. To go out, as in Genesis 28:10, signifies to live more remotely....

Land of Canaan
The land of Canaan' in the Word, means love, and consequently, the will of the celestial self.

canaan
Canaan signifies a worship in things external without internals, which arose out of the internal church corrupted, called Ham. Thus it is that Ham is...

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

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

Shechem
In Genesis 12:6, 'Abram’s passing through the land unto the place Shechem' signifies a new state of the Lord when the celestial aspects of love...

Moreh
'Moreh' signifies the earliest moment of the Lord's perception.

seed
'A seed' signifies love, and everyone who has love, as in Genesis 12:7. 8:15, 16. 'A seed' signifies faith grounded in charity. 'A seed' signifies...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

buildeth
wrought (also entwined or entwisted) is predicated of the natural scientific principle, and in Isaiah 45:13, of divine natural truth.

altar
The first altar mentioned in the Word was built by Noah after he came out of the ark. On that altar, he sacrificed clean animals...

removeth
As with many verbs, the meaning of "remove" in the Bible varies a good bit depending on context. It generally involves a separation of spiritual...

mountain
'Hills' signify the good of charity.

beth-el
When Jacob had his famous dream, of a staircase leading to heaven, he named the place "Bethel," which is Hebrew for "the house of God."...

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...

hai
Hai, or Ai, signifies light derived from worldly things.

journeyeth
'To journey' signifies the institutes and order of life.

going
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...

going on
Journeying' or 'going on' denotes progressing or advancing in life, in the opposite sense, it means going back.

south
'South' denotes truth in light.

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,"...

egypt
'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

sojourn
There is a long history of using travel to round out an education, from the 19th-century “world tours” taken by Oxford and Cambridge graduates to...

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

drawn
"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,...

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...

enter
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

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

woman of
'The woman of Samaria' signifies the church which would be founded among the Gentiles.

woman
'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...

see
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

slain
'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...

say
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...

sister
The Lord calls people who are in truth from the good of charity from Him 'sisters,' as in Matthew 12:50. 'Sister' denotes intellectual truth, when...

soul
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

egyptians
Egyptians represent those who are in natural science, thus the natural, but the Hebrews, those who are of the church, thus respectively the spiritual. The...

princes
Captains and Rulers (Jer. 51:23) signifies principal evils and falsities. Captains and Rulers (Ezek 33:6) signifies principal truths. See Chief Captains.

pharaoh
'Pharaoh' signifies scientific ideas, or the natural principle in general. 'Pharaoh' signifies false ideas infesting the truth of the church. Pharaoh,' in Genesis 40, represents...

sheep
A flock, as in Genesis 26, denotes interior or rational good. A flock signifies those who are in spiritual good. A flock signifies natural interior...

asses
Donkeys signify the things relating to the self-intelligence of the sensual man; and camels, the things of self-intelligence in the natural man (Isa 30:6, 7.)

servants
“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...

handmaids
'A handmaid' signifies the affection of rational and scientific things. 'A handmaid,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:3, signifies the affirming medium of conjoining inner truths...

camels
A camel (Matt. 22:24) signifies scientific knowledge. Camels are confirming scientifics, and cattle are the knowledges of good and truth (Jer. 49:32.)

plagues
'Plagues' signify evils of love, and falsities of faith. 'The plagues of Egypt' signify the falsities and lust which cause the church to perish. In...

calleth
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

declared
'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...

send
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

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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

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The Lord promises Abraham many descendants.
Story | Ages 2 - 8

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Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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

 The Call of Abram
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

 The Call of Abram
Family lessons provide a worship talk and a variety of activities for children and teens..
Religion Lesson | Ages 4 - 17

 The Call of Abram
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Call of Abram
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Lord’s State at Birth
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

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Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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