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Genesis 18

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1 Now the Lord came to him by the holy tree of Mamre, when he was seated in the doorway of his tent in the middle of the day;

2 And lifting up his eyes, he saw three men before him; and seeing them, he went quickly to them from the door of the tent, and went down on his face to the earth;

3 And said, My Lord, if now I have grace in your eyes, do not go away from your servant:

4 Let me get water for washing your feet, and take your rest under the tree:

5 And let me get a bit of bread to keep up your strength, and after that you may go on your way: for this is why you have come to your servant. And they said, Let it be so.

6 Then Abraham went quickly into the tent, and said to Sarah, Get three measures of meal straight away and make cakes.

7 And running to the herd, he took a young ox, soft and fat, and gave it to the servant and he quickly made it ready;

8 And he took butter and milk and the young ox which he had made ready and put it before them, waiting by them under the tree while they took food.

9 And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, She is in the tent.

10 And he said, I will certainly come back to you in the spring, and Sarah your wife will have a son. And his words came to the ears of Sarah who was at the back of the tent-door.

11 Now Abraham and Sarah were very old, and Sarah was past the time for giving birth.

12 And Sarah, laughing to herself, said, Now that I am used up am I still to have pleasure, my husband himself being old?

13 And the Lord said, Why was Sarah laughing and saying, Is it possible for me, being old, to give birth to a child?

14 Is there any wonder which the Lord is not able to do? At the time I said, in the spring, I will come back to you, and Sarah will have a child.

15 Then Sarah said, I was not laughing; for she was full of fear. And he said, No, but you were laughing.

16 And the men went on from there in the direction of Sodom; and Abraham went with them on their way.

17 And the Lord said, Am I to keep back from Abraham the knowledge of what I do;

18 Seeing that Abraham will certainly become a great and strong nation, and his name will be used by all the nations of the earth as a blessing?

19 For I have made him mine so that he may give orders to his children and those of his line after him, to keep the ways of the Lord, to do what is good and right: so that the Lord may do to Abraham as he has said.

20 And the Lord said, Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is very great, and their sin is very evil,

21 I will go down now, and see if their acts are as bad as they seem from the outcry which has come to me; and if they are not, I will see.

22 And the men, turning from that place, went on to Sodom: but Abraham was still waiting before the Lord.

23 And Abraham came near, and said, Will you let destruction come on the upright with the sinners?

24 If by chance there are fifty upright men in the town, will you give the place to destruction and not have mercy on it because of the fifty upright men?

25 Let such a thing be far from you, to put the upright to death with the sinner: will not the judge of all the earth do right?

26 And the Lord said, If there are fifty upright men in the town, I will have mercy on it because of them.

27 And Abraham answering said, Truly, I who am only dust, have undertaken to put my thoughts before the Lord:

28 If by chance there are five less than fifty upright men, will you give up all the town to destruction because of these five? And he said, I will not give it to destruction if there are forty-five.

29 And again he said to him, By chance there may be forty there. And he said, I will not do it if there are forty.

30 And he said, Let not the Lord be angry with me if I say, What if there are thirty there? And he said, I will not do it if there are thirty.

31 And he said, See now, I have undertaken to put my thoughts before the Lord: what if there are twenty there? And he said, I will have mercy because of the twenty.

32 And he said, O let not the Lord be angry and I will say only one word more: by chance there may be ten there. And he said, I will have mercy because of the ten.

33 And the Lord went on his way when his talk with Abraham was ended, and Abraham went back to his place.

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

Apocalypse Revealed 658

True Christian Religion 755


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Apocalypse Explained 340, 397, 1153

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 49

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Vysvětlení slova/fráze

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...

lord
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...

Mamre
Mamre was an Amorite who lived in the land of Canaan, in the area called Hebron in what would much later be the kingdom of...

seated
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...

tent
'The sanctuary and habitation' together signify heaven and the church, 'sanctuary' regarding the good of love, and 'tabernacle' regarding truths of that good, because the...

day
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

lifting
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
'Pairs of hands, eyes, etc.' relate to the will and understanding, or to good and truth. The right side to the will or good, and...

saw
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...

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.

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...

seeing
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...

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...

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

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...

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....

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...

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
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

washing
It does not take a great leap of imagination to see that “washing” in the Bible represents purification. Washing dirt from the skin is symbolic...

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...

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
'Trees,' in general, signify the perceptions when discussing the celestial self, but when related to the spiritual church, they signify knowledges. A person in the...

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....

To
‘To grieve at heart’ is in reference to love, and ‘to repent,’ to wisdom, as in Genesis 6:6.

after
According to Swedenborg, time and space don’t exist in spiritual reality; they are purely natural things that exist only on the physical plane. This means...

way
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

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...

quickly
'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...

sarah
'Sarah' denotes truth joined to good. Sarai was called 'Sarah' so she would represent the divine intellectual principle by adding the 'H' from the name...

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...

Meal
'Meal and farina' signifies the truth of faith, or truth from good.

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

young
"Youths" or "Young men" generally represent intelligence or the understanding of truth. This is fitting, since adolescent boys tend to be more advanced intellectually than...

ox
'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...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

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...

food
To give food, as in Genesis 41:48, signifies to store up.

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...

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

spring
'Spring' signifies the first state of a church or spiritual era, the same as 'morning.'

son
Marriages in the Bible represent the union we all can have between the desire for good and the understanding of truth (or an understanding of...

birth
To beget or to be begotten is very similar in meaning to birth: It represents one spiritual state leading to the next spiritual state. "Beget,"...

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...

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....

Full
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

fear
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...

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...

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
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

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...

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...

orders
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,...

children
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....

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...

ways
'To set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.

right
'Justice' signifies both good and truth.

Gomorrah
'Sodom' signifies the evil of self-love, and 'Gomorrah,' the falsity derived from it.

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...

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,"...

see
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...

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...

turning
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...

near
'Nigh' denotes truth in affinity with good.

upright
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...

sinners
Swedenborg several times associates the “wicked” with “malevolence,” defines “malevolence” as “destroying good, interior and exterior,” and says that the wicked do this by disowning...

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....

town
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

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

sinner
Swedenborg several times associates the “wicked” with “malevolence,” defines “malevolence” as “destroying good, interior and exterior,” and says that the wicked do this by disowning...

judge
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

answering
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

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

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...

Forty-five
Forty-five signifies conjunction, the same as nine.

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...

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...

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...

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The Meaning of Sodom and Gomorrah

Focus on the internal meaning of the Sodom and Gomorrah story


The Meaning of Sodom and Gomorrah

Focus on the internal meaning of the Sodom and Gomorrah story

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Arcana Coelestia # 2184

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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2184. That 'butter' is the celestial part of the rational, 'milk' the spiritual deriving from this, and 'the young bull' the corresponding natural part, is clear from the meaning of 'butter', and of 'milk', and also of 'a young bull'. As regards 'butter', this in the Word means that which is celestial, and this because of the fat present in butter; for 'fat' means that which is celestial, as shown in Volume One, in 353, and 'oil', being fat, means the celestial itself, in 886. That 'butter' has the same meaning becomes clear in Isaiah,

Behold, a virgin is bearing a son, and will call His name Immanuel. Butter and honey will he eat that he may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. Isaiah 7:14-15.

This refers to the Lord, who is Immanuel; and anyone may see that butter is not meant by 'butter', nor honey by 'honey'. But by 'butter' is meant His celestial, and by 'honey' that which is derived from that celestial.

[2] In the same chapter,

And it will be, because of the abundance of milk which they give, that he will eat butter, for butter and honey will everyone eat that is left in the midst of the land. Isaiah 7:22.

This refers to the Lord's kingdom, and to those on earth who are members of the Lord's kingdom. 'Milk' here stands for spiritual good, 'butter' for celestial good, and 'honey' for the happiness derived from this.

[3] In Moses,

Jehovah alone leads him, and there is no foreign god with him. He causes him to ride on the heights of the land, and He feeds [him] with the produce of the fields, and He causes him to suck honey out of the rock and oil out of the flinty rock - butter from the herd, and milk from the flock, with the fat of lambs and of rams, the breed 1 of Bashan, and of goats, with the kidney-fat of wheat; and of the blood of the grape you will drink unmixed wine. Deuteronomy 32:12-14.

No one is able to understand what all these things mean unless he knows the internal sense of each one. It seems like a pile of expressions such as belong to the oratory employed by the wise men of the world. But yet each expression means that which is celestial and that which is spiritual going with it, and also the blessing and happiness which flow from these, and all of them in a co-ordinated sequence. 'Butter from the herd' is the celestial-natural, 'milk from the flock' the celestial-spiritual of the rational.

[4] As regards 'milk' however, this means, as has been stated, that which is spiritual derived from that which is celestial, that is, the celestial-spiritual. What the celestial-spiritual is, see Volume One, in 1577, 1824, and in various other places. The reason 'milk' means that which is spiritual derived from that which is celestial is that 'water' means that which is spiritual, 680, 739, while milk, because of the fat in it, means the celestial-spiritual; or (what amounts to the same) truth rooted in good; or (also amounting to the same) faith grounded in love or charity; or (yet the same) the understanding part of the good present in the will; or (likewise amounting to the same) the affection for truth that has the affection for good within it; or (still yet the same) the affection for cognitions and facts that springs from the affection that belongs to charity towards the neighbour, such as exists with those who love the neighbour and confirm themselves in this love from the cognitions of faith and also from factual knowledge, which they love because they love the neighbour. All these are the same as the celestial-spiritual, and may be used in reference to any particular matter under discussion.

[5] That the celestial-spiritual is meant is also evident from the Word, as in Isaiah,

Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters, and he who has no money, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money on that which is not bread? Isaiah 55:1-2.

Here 'wine' stands for the spiritual element of faith, 'milk' for the spiritual element of love. In Moses,

He washes his garment in wine and his vesture in the blood of grapes. His eyes are redder than wine, and his teeth are whiter than milk. Genesis 49:11-12.

This is the prophecy of Jacob, who by now was Israel, regarding Judah - 'Judah' being used here to describe the Lord. By 'teeth whiter than milk' is meant the celestial-spiritual which belonged to His Natural.

[6] In Joel,

It will be, on that day, that the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will run with milk, and all the streams of Judah will run with water. Joel 3:18.

Here, where the subject is the Lord's kingdom, 'milk' stands for the celestial-spiritual. Also in the Word the land of Canaan, which represents and means the Lord's kingdom, is called 'a land flowing with milk and honey', as in Numbers 13:27; 14:8; Deuteronomy 26:9, 15; 27:3; Jeremiah 11:5; 32:22; Ezekiel 20:6, 15. In these places nothing else is meant by 'milk' than the abundance of celestial-spiritual things, and by 'honey' the abundant happiness derived from these. 'Land' is the celestial part itself of the kingdom from which they come.

[7] As regards 'a young bull' meaning the celestial-natural, this has been shown just above in 2180. The celestial-natural is the same as natural good, that is, good within the natural. Man's natural, like his rational, has its own good and its own truth, for then a marriage of good and truth exists everywhere, as stated above in 2173. The good that belongs to the natural is the delight which is perceived from charity, that is, from the friendship that is the product of charity; and from that delight springs the joy or satisfaction which belongs properly to the body. The truth of the natural consists in that factual knowledge which gives support to that delight. All this shows what the celestial- natural is.

-----
Footnotes:

1. literally, sons

-----

(Odkazy: Genesis 18:8)


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Odkazy z vydaných prací:

Arcana Coelestia 2643, 2830, 2928, 2967, 3187, 3235, 4563, 6380, 6740, 6745, 6857, 8568, 9301, 9671, 10530


Odkazy z nepublikovaných prací E. Swedenborga:

Apocalypse Explained 322

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.


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