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 Revealed #200

Apocalypse Revealed (Rogers translation)

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200. "'The beginning of the workmanship of God.'" This symbolically means the Word.

That the Word is the beginning of the workmanship of God is something not yet known in the church, because it has not understood these words in John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men... He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, but the world did not know Him... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father... (John 1:1-14)

Someone who understands these words in respect to their inner meaning, and at the same time compares them with what we wrote in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture, as well as with some sections in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Lord, can see that the Word which was in the beginning with God, and which was God, means the underlying Divine truth in the Word that previously existed in this world (as reported in no. 11), and that which is present in the Word that we have today. It does not mean the Word viewed in respect to the words and letters of its languages, but viewed in terms of its essence and life which is inmostly present in the meanings of its words and letters. By this life the Word animates the will's affections of the person who reads it reverently, and by the light of this life it enlightens the thoughts of his intellect. Therefore we are told in John, "In the Word was life, and the life was the light of men." (John 1:4) The Word does this because the Word comes from the Lord and has the Lord as its subject and so is the Lord.

All thought, speech, or writing takes its essence and life from the one doing the thinking, speaking, or writing. It has the person in it, along with his character. And the Word has in it the Lord alone.

Still, no one senses or perceives the Divine life in the Word but one who, when reading it, is impelled by a spiritual affection for truth, for through the Word he is conjoined with the Lord. He experiences something inmostly affecting his heart and spirit, which flows with enlightenment into in his intellect and testifies.

(References: Revelation 3:14)


[2] The following words in the first chapter of Genesis have a similar symbolic meaning to those in John:

In the beginning God created heaven and earth... And the spirit of God moved over the face of the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-3)

The spirit of God is Divine truth, and also light, the Divine truth being the Word; and therefore in John 1:4, 8-9 the Lord calls Himself the Word, and also the light.

A similar meaning is found in this declaration in the book of Psalms:

By the word of Jehovah the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. (Psalms 33:6)

In short, without the Divine truth of the Word, which in its essence is the Divine goodness of the Lord's Divine love and the Divine truth of His Divine wisdom, no mortal could have life. The Word is the means of the Lord's conjunction with a person, and of the person with the Lord, and through that conjunction comes life. There must be something from the Lord that a person can receive which makes possible that conjunction and so eternal life.

[3] It can be seen from this that "the beginning of the workmanship of God" means the Word, and if you would believe it, the Word such as it is in the sense of its letter, for this sense embraces the inner, holy levels, as we showed many times in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture.

Moreover, wonderful to say, the Word has been so written that it communicates with the whole of heaven, and every particular with some society there, as I have been given to know through personal experience, of which more elsewhere.

That the Word in its essence is such as described is still more apparent from these words of the Lord:

The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)

(References: Revelation 3:14)

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