Genesis 18

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English: Darby Version

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1 And Jehovah appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre. And he sat at the tent-door in the heat of the day.

2 And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, three men standing near him. And when he saw [them], he ran to meet them from the tent-door, and bowed himself to the earth,

3 and said, Lord, if now I have found favour in thine eyes, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant.

4 Let now a little water be fetched, that ye may wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.

5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread; and refresh yourselves; after that ye shall pass on; for therefore have ye passed on towards your servant. And they said, So do as thou hast said.

6 And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, Knead quickly three seahs of wheaten flour, and make cakes.

7 And Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf tender and good, and gave [it] to the attendant; and he hasted to dress it.

8 And he took thick and sweet milk, and the calf that he had dressed, and set [it] before them; and he stood before them under the tree, and they ate.

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

10 And he said, I will certainly return to thee at [this] time of the year, and behold, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah was listening at the tent-door, which was behind him.

11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old [and] advanced in age: it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

12 And Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am become old, shall I have pleasure, and my lord old?

13 And Jehovah said to Abraham, Why is this, that Sarah laughs, saying, Shall I indeed bear, when I am become old?

14 Is [any] matter too wonderful for Jehovah? At the time appointed I will return to thee, at [this] time of the year, and Sarah shall have a son.

15 And Sarah denied, saying, I did not laugh; for she was afraid. And he said, No; but thou didst laugh.

16 And the men rose up thence, and looked toward Sodom; and Abraham went with them to conduct them.

17 And Jehovah said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing?

18 Since Abraham shall indeed become a great and mighty nation; and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him.

19 For I know him that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of Jehovah, to do righteousness and justice, in order that Jehovah may bring upon Abraham what he hath spoken of him.

20 And Jehovah said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grievous,

21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come to me; and if not, I will know [it].

22 And the men turned thence, and went towards Sodom; and Abraham remained yet standing before Jehovah.

23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also cause the righteous to perish with the wicked?

24 There are perhaps fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not forgive the place for the sake of the fifty righteous that are therein?

25 Far be it from thee to do so, to slay the righteous with the wicked, that the righteous should be as the wicked -- far be it from thee! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?

26 And Jehovah said, If I find at Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will forgive all the place for their sakes.

27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have ventured to speak unto the Lord; I, who am dust and ashes.

28 Perhaps there may want five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city on account of the five? And he said, If I shall find forty-five there, I will not destroy [it].

29 And he continued yet to speak with him, and said, Perhaps there may be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for the forty's sake.

30 And he said, Oh, let not the Lord be angry that I speak! Perhaps there may be thirty found there. And he said, I will not do it if I find thirty there.

31 And he said, Behold now, I have ventured to speak with the Lord. Perhaps there may be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy [it] for the twenty's sake.

32 And he said, Oh, let not the Lord be angry, that I speak yet but this time! Perhaps there may be ten found there. And he said, I will not destroy [it] for the ten's sake.

33 And Jehovah went away when he had ended speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.

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Swedenborg

Weitere Verweise Swedenborgs zu diesem Kapitel:

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

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...

sat
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
'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...

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...

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 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...

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...

bowed
To bow in prayer is common in most religious practices, so it's not surprising that “to bow” in the Bible represents humility and worship in...

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...

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...

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
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...

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....

Passed
'Passed' or 'expired' denotes the conclusion of whatever state is being discussed.

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...

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...

Quickly
'Quickly' signifies certain and full, because 'time' signifies state and so 'quickly' and 'speedily' mean a current state of affection and thought, or what is...

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

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,...

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...

Sweet
Sweet' signifies delightful things from the good of truth and the truth of good. Everything sweet in the natural world corresponds to delightful and pleasant...

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...

ate
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

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...

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...

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

old
Swedenborg tells us that space and time in the physical world correspond to states of life in the spiritual world. So when the Bible talks...

age
“Age” is used in slightly different ways in natural language, and those differences are reflected in the word’s spiritual meanings. All the variations, though, reflect...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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
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
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...

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,...

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...

way
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...

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...

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

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,"...

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...

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...

drew
"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,...

righteous
The word "righteous" has taken on a bit of negative shading in modern language. That may be because we hear it most often as part...

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

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...

Place
'A dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

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...

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...

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

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...

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...

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.

Dust
Dust, in Ezekiel 26:12, signifies the lowest things which are of the sensual principle of man. In Isaiah 40:12, the dust signifies exterior or natural...

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)...

Want
'Want of spiritual nourishment,' denotes a lack of knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom.

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.

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...

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

 Abraham and the Angels
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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