The Bible

Genesis 1

English: King James Version

Study the Inner Meaning

Genesis 2 →

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 2 →

Study the Inner Meaning

Main explanation(s) from Swedenborg's works:

Arcana Coelestia 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 ...

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 402

Commentary on this chapter:

Stories:

Other references by Swedenborg to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 4, 6, 221, 246, 300, 435, 476 ...

Apocalypse Revealed 200, 414

Conjugial Love 132, 156

Divine Love and Wisdom 11, 18, 287, 358

Divine Providence 123, 328

Sacred Scripture 14, 103

Heaven and Hell 137

The Last Judgment 20

True Christian Religion 20, 34, 46, 48, 364, 490

Show references from Swedenborg's unpublished works



From Swedenborg's Works

Apocalypse Explained #294

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)

Go to section / 1232  

← Previous    Next →

294. Because thou hast created all things. That this signifies that from Him is all existence and life, and heaven for those who receive is evident from the signification of creating, as denoting not only that all things exist from the Lord, but also that all life is from Him. And because the spiritual sense of the Word treats only of heaven and the church, therefore by creating is here primarily signified to reform, thus to give heaven to those who receive, for this is to reform. (That the existence of all things is from the Lord, may be seen in the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 7-12 and 137; and that all life is from the Lord, n. 9, in the same work, and in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 278). But by creating, in this passage, is not signified natural existence and life, but spiritual existence and life; this latter is everywhere signified by creating, when mentioned in the Word; the reason is that the existence of heaven and earth is not the end of creation, but a means to the end. The end of creation is, that the human race may exist and that from it there may be an angelic heaven; this therefore being the end, to create signifies to reform, which is to give heaven to those who receive. Ends are what are meant in the spiritual sense of the Word, but, in the sense of the letter, only the means which involve ends are mentioned; in this manner does what is spiritual lie hidden in the letter of the Word.

(References: Heaven and Hell 7-12, 9; Revelation 4:11; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 278)


[2] That to create signifies to reform and regenerate men, and so to establish the church, is evident from those passages in the Word where the term occurs; as in the following: In Isaiah:

"I will give in the wilderness the cedar of shittah, and the myrtle and the oil tree. That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of Jehovah hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it" (xli. 19, 20).

The subject here treated of is the establishment of the church among the nations; the wilderness signifies their not being in good because in ignorance of truth, for all good into which man is reformed is imparted only by truths. The cedar of shittah signifies genuine truths; the myrtle and the oil tree signify spiritual good and celestial good. It is evident therefore what is signified by giving in the wilderness the cedar of shittah, the myrtle and the oil tree, when treating of the nations who are not in the good of heaven and of the church, because in ignorance of truths. That they may see, and know, and consider and understand together, signifies the knowledges, understanding, perception and affection of the love of good and truth; from these significations it is evident that by the Holy One of Israel creating this is signified reformation; consequently, that to create is to reform.

(References: Isaiah 41:19-20)


[3] In the same:

"Thus saith Jehovah, thy Creator, O Jacob, and thy Former, O Israel; for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. Bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the end of the earth; even every one that is called by my name I have created for my glory, I have formed and made. I, Jehovah, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King" (xliii. 1, 6, 7, 15).

The subject here treated of is also the establishment of the church among the nations; and from their reformation, Jehovah, is called creator and former; therefore it is said, "I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine." Bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the end of the earth, signifies the nations that are out of the church but which receive its truths and goods from the Lord; from far, and from the end of the earth, signifying those who are out of the church, earth denoting the church, sons those who receive truths, and daughters those who receive goods; these are said to be created, formed and made for glory. Glory is the Divine truth which they receive.

(References: Isaiah 43:1, 43:6-7, 43:15)


[4] In David:

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a firm spirit in the midst of me" (Ps. li. 10).

To create a clean heart signifies to reform as to the good of love; to renew a firm spirit in the midst of me, signifies to reform as to the truth of faith; for heart signifies the good of love, and spirit a life according to Divine truth, which is the faith of truth.

(References: Psalms 51:10)


[5] Again:

"Wherefore hast thou created the sons of man in vain? Lord, where are thy former mercies?" (Ps. lxxxix. 47, 49).

To create the sons of man signifies to reform by means of Divine truth; the sons of man are all those who are in Divine truths, thus in the abstract Divine truths themselves.

(References: Psalms 89:47, 89:49)


[6] Again:

"The nations shall fear the name of Jehovah, and all the kings of the earth thy glory, because Jehovah hath built up Zion; it shall be written for the generation to come; and the people which shall be created shall praise Jah" (Ps. cii. 15, 16, 18).

This passage treats of reformation. By the nations which shall fear the name of Jehovah are meant those who are in good; and by the kings of the earth, those who are in truths from good. By building Zion is signified to establish the church, Zion denoting the church; by the people which shall be created and shall praise Jah, are signified all those who are reformed.

(References: Psalms 102:18, 102:15-16)


[7] Again:

"Thou givest to them, they gather; thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created; and thou renewest the faces of the earth" (Ps. civ. 28, 30).

That to create here denotes to reform is evident; for by giving, and their gathering is signified that they receive the truths which are given by the Lord. By thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good is signified that they receive the good that flows from the Lord; by thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created, is signified that they are reformed as to life according to Divine truth; and by thou renewest the faces of the earth, is signified the establishment of the church.

(References: Psalms 104:30, 104:28)


[8] In Isaiah:

"Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number; he calleth them all by name; God from eternity; Jehovah, the creator of the ends of the earth, is not weary" (xl. 26, 28).

Here also reformation is treated of, which is signified by creating; by the host which Jehovah bringeth out are signified all truths and goods; by calling them all by name is signified reception according to the quality of every one; by creating the ends of the earth is signified the establishment of the church, thus the reformation of those who are therein.

(References: Isaiah 40:26, 40:28)


[9] In Ezekiel:

"Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God, every precious stone was thy covering, in the days in which thou wast created, they were prepared. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day in which thou wast created, until perversity was found in thee" (xxviii. 13, 15).

These things are spoken of the king of Tyre, by whom are signified those who are in truths and thence in good; concerning whom it is said that they had been in the garden of God, and that every precious stone was their covering. By the garden of God is signified intelligence, and by the precious stones which are also named in the passage are signified the knowledges (cognitiones) of truth and good; these are called a covering, became they are in the natural man, and the natural man covers the spiritual. These are said to have been prepared in the day in which they were created, that is in the day in which they were reformed: hence it is evident what is meant by thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created.

(References: Ezekiel 28:15, 28:13)


[10] In Isaiah:

"Jehovah will create upon every dwelling of Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud by day and the shining of a flame of fire by night; for upon all the glory shall be a covering" (iv. 5).

By Zion is signified the church as to the Word; the internal or spiritual sense of the Word, as to good, is meant by the dwelling thereof; the external or literal sense, as to truths, is meant by the cloud by day, and as to good, by the shining of a flame of fire by night. This sense, because it covers, and is the repository of, the spiritual sense, is called a covering upon all the glory, glory denoting the spiritual sense; these are also said to be created, because they are the truths of heaven and the church.

(References: Isaiah 4:5)


[11] In Malachi:

"Hath not one God created us? wherefore do we act perfidiously?" (ii. 10).

Because by created us is signified reformed, that they might be a church, it is therefore said, "wherefore do we act perfidiously?"

(References: Malachi 2:10)


[12] In Isaiah:

"Thus saith God, Jehovah, he that createth the heavens, and stretcheth them out; he that spreadeth forth the earth, giveth breath to the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein" (xlii. 5).

By creating the heavens and stretching them out, and by spreading forth the earth, is signified to reform; by the heavens are signified both the heavens and the internals of the church - the internals of the church also are heavens with those who are in them; the earth signifies the externals of the church, which are said to be spread forth when truths from good are multiplied: that reformation by truths is hereby signified is evident, for it is said, "he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein."

(References: Isaiah 42:5)


[13] In the same:

"Jehovah, creating the heavens, forming the earth and making it. He hath not created it an emptiness, he formed it to be inhabited" (xlv. 12, 18).

By heavens and by earth, and by creating, are signified similar things as in the passage adduced above. By not creating it an emptiness is signified that it is not without truth and good, in which they are who are reformed; the lack of these is emptiness. By he hath formed it to be inhabited, is signified that they should live according to good and truth, and from them; for to inhabit signifies to live.

(References: Isaiah 45:12, 45:18)


[14] Again:

"Behold, I create a new heaven and a new earth. Be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for, behold, I am about to create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people gladness" (lxv. 17, 18).

By creating a new heaven and a new earth are not meant the visible heaven and the habitable earth, but a new church, internal and external, heaven denoting the internal of the church, and earth its external (what the internal of the church is, and what the external, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 246); therefore it is said, "behold, I am about to create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people gladness." Jerusalem is the church, rejoicing its delight from good, and gladness its delight from truth. Similar things are signified by the new heavens and the new earth in the same prophet (lxvi. 22), and by the new heaven and the new earth in the Apocalypse (xxi. 1).

(References: Isaiah 65:17-18, Isaiah 66:22; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 246)


[15] And similarly by the things in the first chapter of Genesis:

"In the beginning Jehovah created the heaven and the earth; and the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the faces of the abyss. And the spirit of God moved upon the faces of the waters. And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. And God created man into his own image, into the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (i. 1-3, 27).

This passage treats of the establishment of the first church on this earth; the reformation of the members of that church, as to their internal, and as to their external state, is meant by the creation of the heaven and the earth. That there was no church before, because men were without good and without truth, is signified by the earth being void and empty; and that they were then in dense ignorance and also in falsities, is signified by the darkness upon the faces of the abyss; their first enlightenment is signified by the spirit of God moving upon the faces of the waters, and by God saying, "Let there be light, and there was light." By the spirit of God is signified Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, and by moving upon the faces of the waters is signified enlightenment; the same is signified by light; and by there was light is signified the reception of Divine truth. That God created man into His own image signifies that he was in the love of good and truth, and corresponded to heaven as its likeness. For the love of good and truth is an image of God, and hence also the angelic heaven is an image of God; therefore, in the sight of the Lord, it is as one man (as may be seen in the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 59-67, 68-72, 73-77, 78-86, 87-102). That He created them male and female signifies that He reformed them as to truth and as to good; male, in the Word, denotes truth, and female denotes good. From these considerations it is evident that it is not the creation of heaven and earth, but the new creation and reformation of those who composed the first church, which is described in this chapter and in the following chapters; and that similar things are there meant by the creation of heaven and earth as by the creation of the new heaven and new earth in the passages above adduced.

(References: Genesis 1:1-3, 1:27; Heaven and Hell 59-67, 68-72, 73-77, 78-86, 87-102; Isaiah 66:22; Revelation 21:1)


[16] That creation in the Word signifies reformation and the establishment of the church, which is effected by the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord is also evident from these words in John:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. And the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory" (i. 1-5, 9, 10, 14).

By the Word is here meant the Lord as to Divine truth. That all things were created by the Divine truth is meant by these words, "all things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made"; also by these, "the world was made by him." And since by the Word is meant the Lord as to Divine truth, it is therefore said, "in him was life, and the life was the light of men; that was the true light"; light signifying Divine truth, and life all intelligence and wisdom therefrom; for this constitutes man's essential life, and life eternal is according to it. The presence of the Lord as Divine truth, with every one, from which come life and light, is meant by the light shining in darkness and enlightening every man that cometh into the world; but that those who are in the falsities of evil do not perceive, consequently, do not receive that truth, is meant by the darkness not comprehending, and by the world knowing him not; for darkness signifies the falsities of evil. That it is the Lord as to the Divine Human who is here meant by the Word is clearly manifest, for it is said, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory," glory also signifying Divine truth. (That all things were created by means of Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, which is here meant by the Word, may be seen in the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 137, 139; and in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 263). Hence also it is clear that to make or create here also signifies to make man new or to reform him; for here, as in the book of Genesis, mention is immediately made of light. (That by light is signified that proceeding Divine truth whereby all are reformed, may be seen in the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 126-140, and in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 49).

(References: Heaven and Hell 126-140, 139; John 1:1-5, 1:14, 1:9-10; Revelation 4:11; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 49, The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 263)

Go to section / 1232  

← Previous    Next →


Translate: