The Bible

Genesis 1

English: King James Version

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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

Arcana Coelestia #10156

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)

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10156. 'Who brought them out of the land of Egypt' means salvation from hell by the Lord. This is clear from the meaning of 'being brought out of the land of Egypt' as being delivered from hell, dealt with in Arcana Coelestia 8866, 9197, thus being saved. 'The land of Egypt' means hell because that land in its true and proper sense means the natural level and the factual knowledge there; and 'being brought out of' the natural man and the factual knowledge there and being raised to the level of the spiritual man, to intelligence and wisdom there, also constitutes being brought out of hell. For a person is born natural, but becomes spiritual through regeneration; and if he does not become spiritual he is in hell. The knowledge which the natural man, that is, a person who has not been regenerated, possesses dwells in the light of the world, whereas the intelligence which the spiritual man, that is, a person who has been regenerated, possesses dwells in the light of heaven. And as long as a person sees things solely in the light of the world he is in hell; but when he sees them at the same time in the light of heaven he is in heaven.

(References: Genesis 1:27-28)


[2] But people who possess no more than natural knowledge and as a consequence do not see things in any light other than the light of the world can have no belief at all in the things that belong to heaven. Furthermore if they wish to investigate these things with the light they see by, called natural illumination, they encounter a kind of thick darkness which blinds them and blots out everything heavenly. For that in the mind which appears to be thick darkness is in reality such. This explains why a merely natural man, however much he thinks himself to be more enlightened than others, at heart rejects Divine and heavenly realities. It is also the reason why so many learned people are made brainless by their knowledge; for more of them than of simple people refuse to accept the things that constitute the faith of the Church and of heaven. It is different with those who allow themselves to be raised by the Lord to the light of heaven. These are first raised above the factual knowledge which the natural man possesses, and then in the light of heaven they behold the things within their natural man, which are called known facts, and clearly distinguish them, choosing those that make sense and are consistent, and rejecting or setting aside those that make no sense and are inconsistent.

[3] In short, the situation is that as long as a person is merely natural his interiors, which behold things in the light of heaven, are closed, and his exteriors, which behold things in the light of the world, are open. At this time the person looks downwards, that is, to the world and towards self; for everything composing his will and thought inclines in that direction. And the direction in which a person looks is also that in which his heart, that is, his will and his love, is turned. But when a person becomes spiritual his interiors, which behold things in the light of heaven, are opened, and then the person looks upwards, which is brought about through his being raised up by the Lord, so that he looks to heaven and towards the Lord. In this direction also everything that composes his will and his thought - thus his heart, that is, his love - is raised.

[4] For the human being has been created in such a way that his internal man should conform to an image of heaven, and his external man to an image of the world, Arcana Coelestia 6057, 9279, to the end that heaven and the world might be brought together in the human being. Thus through him the Lord would flow from heaven into the world and govern it, with each individual person in particular and with all in general, and in this way would join the two together and thereby cause the likeness of heaven to exist in the world as well. When however a person is interested only in the world heaven with him has been closed; but when he allows himself to be raised by the Lord heaven with him is opened and the world becomes subordinate to it. And when this happens hell is separated and removed from him, at which point the person knows what good is and what evil is, but not before. This is what is called 'the image of God' with a person, Genesis 1:26-27.

(References: Genesis 1:26-28, 1:27-28)


[5] These matters have been stated in order that people may know what the spiritual man is and what the natural man is, and that the merely natural man, if he is not made spiritual by the Lord, is an embodiment of hell, consequently that they may know why hell is meant by 'Egypt', when yet the natural level and the factual knowledge there are meant by it.

'Egypt' means factual knowledge, see the places referred to in Arcana Coelestia 9340.

It therefore means the natural level, see those referred to in Arcana Coelestia 9391.

It also means hell, Arcana Coelestia 8866, 9197.

(References: Exodus 29:45)

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