The Bible

 

Genesis 1

English: King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

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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.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Arcana Coelestia 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, ...

Apocalypse Explained 257

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 402


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 246, 300, 476, 478, 480, 670, 709, ...

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


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 229, 294, 401, 513, 526, 527, 555, ...

Canons of the New Church 45

Charity 91

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 23, 25, 28

De Verbo (The Word) 14

Spiritual Experiences 1973, 1974, 5605, 6110

Marriage 20, 34, 46, 48, 71

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:




Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 2:3, 7, 16, 19, 5:1, 2, 6:1, 21, 8:17, 9:1, 2, 3, 6, 11:7

Exodus 20:11

Deuteronomy 4:19, 32:4

2 Kings 19:15

2 Chronicles 2:11

Nehemiah 9:6

Job 12:7, 9, 26:8, 38:8

Psalms 8:4, 7, 19:2, 24:2, 33:6, 7, 9, 74:16, 95:5, 104:6, 14, 19, 25, 115:15, 16, 121:2, 136:5, 7, 9, 148:4, 7

Proverbs 8:29

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Isaiah 40:26, 45:7, 61:11

Jeremiah 4:23, 10:12, 31:35

Jonah 1:9

Zechariah 12:1

Matthew 19:4

Mark 4:28, 10:6

Luke 3:38

Acts of the Apostles 4:24, 17:29

1 Corinthians 11:7, 15:38

2 Corinthians 4:6, 6:14

Colossians 3:10

1 Timothy 4:4

Hebrews 6:8, 11:3

James 3:9

2 Peter 5, 6

Revelation 4:11

Word/Phrase Explanations

beginning
In the Word, "beginning" doesn't just mean the beginning of something in time. In the inner sense, it means the initial phase of a spiritual...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

created
The creation of heaven and earth in the first chapter of Genesis means the new creation of the celestial church called 'Man'.

heaven
"Heaven" and "heavens" are used many times in the Bible, with a couple of variations of meaning. Sometimes it is relatively literal, including times when...

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...

form
A person who has yet to be regenerated is called 'a void and an empty earth', and also 'ground where no good or truth has...

Void
A 'void', or 'Vacuity' denotes a person's state before regeneration. From Arcana Coelestia 7: "The first state is the state which precedes, both the state...

darkness
"Darkness" is a state without light. "Light" is truth from the Lord, so "darkness" is a state where truth is lacking.

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

Face of the deep
The face of the deep (Gen. 1:2) signifies the lust of the unregenerate man, and the falsities thence originating.

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

spirit
There are two aspects to the life of each person. We might call them "heart" and "mind," a part of us that wants and feels...

Spirit of God
'The spirit of God,' as in Genesis 1:2, signifies the divine mercy of the Lord. 'The spirit of God' is His emanation. 'The spirit of...

Face of the waters
The face of the water (Gen. 1:2) signifies the knowledges of good and truth.

Waters
'Waters,' 'rivers,' and 'depths,' as in Psalm 78:15-16, signify truths from the Lord.

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...

light
Nov. 4, 1879: Thomas Edison filed a patent for a long-burning light bulb. Nov. 5, 1879: The light bulb was universally accepted as the symbol...

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...

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...

called
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

night
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

evening
Since the light and warmth of the sun represent the Lord’s wisdom and love, it makes sense that evening, a time when the light and...

morning
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

the first
'Resurrection' signifies salvation and eternal life. 'The first,' mentioned in Revelation 20:5, 6, does not mean a first resurrection, but the essence and primary part...

Firmament
The firmament, as in Genesis 1, signifies the internal man. The firmament of heaven is mutual love.

midst
The "midst" of something in the Bible represents the thing that is most central and most important to the spiritual state being described, the motivation...

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...

second
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

Gathered together
'The waters were gathered together' signifies falsities collected.

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

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

Land
Land' in the Word, denotes the church, for the things which signify the church also signify the things relating to the church, for these constitute...

Grass
Grass signifies the scientific principle. Just as green grass serves animals for support, scientific truth serves men for spiritual nourishment. ‘Grass’ is scientific truth, and...

Herb
Every herb in the Word signifies some species of scientifics. 'Herb bearing seed,' as mentioned in Genesis 1:29, signifies every truth which regards use. 'Green...

Seed
'A seed' signifies love, and everyone who has love, as in Genesis 12:7. 8:15, 16. 'A seed' signifies faith grounded in charity. 'A seed' signifies...

fruit
In Zechariah 8:12, 'the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground her increase,' signifies that the spiritual affection of truth produces the good of...

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...

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...

Third
'Three' denotes fullness, and 'a third,' not full.

Third day
'The third day' signifies the end of a state of preparation for reception, and so an end of purification, as in Exodus 19:16. 'The third...

signs
The Bible often speaks of signs and miracles as things that convinced people of the Lord's leading. Swedenborg divides the two, identifying "signs" as things...

days
"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...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

Great lights
Great lights, as in luminaries, signify love and faith, and are called in Genesis 1:14-17, the sun, moon, and stars.

Stars
'Stars' signify the knowledge of truth and good. 'Stars' are frequently mentioned in the Word, and always signify goods and truths, but in an opposite...

fourth
'The fourth watch' signifies the first state of the church at break of day, when good begins to act by truth.

life
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...

Fowl
Fowl signify spiritual truth; a bird, natural truth; and a winged thing, sensual truth. Fowl signify intellectual things. Fowl signify thoughts, and all that creeps...

Fly
To fly, when spoken of the Lord, signifies to foresee and to provide. To fly, when predicated of the Lord, also signifies omnipresence. To fly...

Open
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

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...

Fruitful
To be fruitful is predicated of goodnesses, and to be multiplied, of truths.

multiply
'Spreading themselves on the earth,' as in Genesis 8:17, signifies the internal self operating on the external.

fill
There are two ways something can be filled: It can be filled with something bad against the wishes of its owner, or it can be...

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...

Cattle
Animals in the Bible generally refer to spiritual activity, the things we actually do on a spiritual level. "Cattle," as typically used in the Bible,...

beast
"Beasts" represent the affection for doing good things, a true desire to do them from the heart. In the negative sense, "beasts" stand for the...

Us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

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,...

Image
'An image' signifies falsities from self-derived intelligence.

Fish
Fish signify sensual affections which are the ultimate affections of the natural man. Also, those who are in common truths, which are also ultimates of...

sea
'The sea and the waves roaring' means heresy and controversies in the church and individual.

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

male
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

female
Female signifies good.

meat
'Provision' or 'meat,' as in Genesis 42:25 and Psalm 78:25, signifies support from truth and good.

green
The color green is almost exclusively used in connection with plants in the Bible (the exceptions include two stomach-turning references to moldy plagues in Leviticus),...

sixth
Like most numbers in the Bible, "six" can have various meanings depending on context, but has a couple that are primary. When used in relation...

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 at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Animals and Plants in Heaven
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Celebrating the Seven Days of Creation
Offers a wide array of ideas for play time, art projects, field trips, and more.
Activity | Ages up to 10

 Correspondences of Light
Illustrations of three stories in the Word that talk about light. (Quotations are the King James translation.)
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Creation Chain
Make a paper chain with the names (or pictures) of the people in your family and other things that the Lord has made. Or make a paper chain that illustrates several things in creation that depend on one another. 
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 Creation Diorama
A great family project to build and display in your home.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Creation Mobile
Assemble this lovely mobile to remind you of all the Lord's precious gifts to us.
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 Creation Poem with Hand Motions
A lovely poem about creation with hand motions.
Activity | Ages up to 10

 Creation | Seas to Trees Pop-up
Color cut-and-fold pop-up project showing dry land rising out of the water and then growing a tree illustrating Genesis 1:9-13. Sample activity from Creation: reflection of God, Level C, ages 11-14.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 14

 Creation Sequencing Cards
Children can color and cut out these cards, then practice putting them in order from day 1-7.
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 Creation Story (circle book project)
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Creation | The First Day - Level A
Complete lesson with activity choices: light and darkness game and song, separate light and darkness collage, scripted story discussion, coloring page, and a memory verse. Sample lesson from Creation: reflection of God, Level A, ages 3-6.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 6

 Creation | The First Day - Level B
Complete lesson with activity choices: light and darkness experiment with accompanying video, let there be light folding paper project, scripted story discussion, coloring page, and a memory verse. Sample lesson from Creation: reflection of God, Level B, ages 7-10.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Creation | The First Day - Level C
Complete lesson with activity choices: living in the dark--group blindfold games, video and discussion on the bible, creation and a can of peaches, scripted story discussion, and an illustrated quotation card. Sample Lesson from Creation: reflection of God, Level C.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 14

 Family Worship: The Story of Creation
Ideas for reading and discussing the story of creation in Genesis 1. Includes suggestions for extending the experience such as going for a nature walk.
Religion Lesson | Ages 3 - 15

 God Said What? The Creation Story
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Memory Verse: Giving Thanks for Creation
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Life Is Eternal
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Overview of Creation Reflection of God Levels A, B, C for ages 3-14
Overview of Creation: reflection of God, Levels A, B, C for ages 3-14.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 14

 Prophecies of the Advent
Prophecies of Jesus' advent on earth often use the image of new light dawning in darkness to describe the spiritual impact His birth would have on the world.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Quotes: Giving Thanks for Creation
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Stars
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Summary of Creation and Thankfulness
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Sun and the Fruit of Creation
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Thankfulness
A Thanksgiving "wreath" to color and display.
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 Thanking the Lord for Creation
How can your words and actions show the Lord that you appreciate His creation?
Activity | Ages over 15

 The Creation
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Creation: A General View
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

 The Creation: The Fifth and Sixth Days
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

 The Creation: The First Four Days
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

 The Days of Creation Collage Book or Mural
Ideas from an art teacher for making a creation book or mural.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 The Fifth Day of Creation
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Fifth Day of Creation
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The First Day of Creation
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The First Day of Creation
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Fourth Day of Creation
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Fourth Day of Creation
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Greatest Gift
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 The Meaning of the Tree of Life
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Purpose of Creation
Birth brings a person into the natural world, but God's ultimate purpose is that a person be born again into heavenly life, the life of the spirit.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 The Second Day of Creation
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Second Day of Creation
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Seven Days of Creation
An illustrated story of the seven days of creation.
Story | Ages 3 - 7

 The Sixth Day of Creation
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Sixth Day of Creation
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Story of Creation
Family lessons provide a worship talk and a variety of activities for children and teens..
Religion Lesson | Ages 4 - 17

 The Story of Creation: Family Worship Ideas
Detailed notes on the seven days of creation.
Article | Ages over 18

 The Third Day of Creation
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Third Day of Creation
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Universe
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Word Made Flesh
Like Genesis, the Gospel of John begins with creation. While Genesis describes the creation of natural light, John describes a second creation into spiritual light.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Two Great Lights
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Using the Lord’s Creation
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Where Did Everything Come From?
Grandpa explains to Annika and Peter where everything came from.
Story | Ages 4 - 6

 Why Are We Here?
Lesson and activities to explore why we were created - what God intends for us.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #893

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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893. Verse 13 And it happened in the six hundred and first year, at the beginning, on the first of the month, that the waters dried up from over the earth, and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and saw out, and behold, the face 1 of the ground was dry.

'It happened in the six hundred and first year' means a finishing point. 'At the beginning, on the first of the month' means a starting point. 'The waters dried up from over the earth' means that falsities were not at that time apparent. 'And Noah removed the covering of the ark, and saw out' means the light, once falsities had been removed, shed by the truths of faith, which he acknowledged and in which he had faith. 'And behold, the face 1 of the ground was dry' means regeneration.

-----
Footnotes:

1. literally, the faces

[893a] 1 That 'it happened in the six hundred and first year means a finishing point is clear from the meaning of the number six hundred, dealt with at Chapter 7:6, in 737, as a beginning, and in particular in that verse as the beginning of temptation. The end of it is specified by the same number, with a whole year having now passed by. It took place therefore at the end of a year, and this also is why the words are added 'at the beginning, on the first of the month', meaning a starting point. In the Word any complete period is specified either by a day, or a week, or a month, or a year, and even by a hundred or a thousand years - for example, 'the days' mentioned in Genesis 1, which meant stages in the regeneration of the member of the Most Ancient Church. For in the internal sense day and year mean nothing else than a period of time; and meaning a period of time they also mean a state. Consequently a year stands in the Word for a period of time and for a state, as in Isaiah,

To proclaim the year of Jehovah's good pleasure, and the day of vengeance for our God; to comfort all who mourn. Isaiah 61:2.

This refers to the Lord's Coming. In the same prophet,

The day of vengeance was in My heart, and the year of My redeemed had come. Isaiah 63:4.

Here too 'day' and 'year' stand for a period of time and for a state. In Habakkuk,

Your work, O Jehovah, in the midst of the years make it live, in the midst of the years do You make it known. Habakkuk 3:2.

Here 'years' stands for a period of time and for a state. In David,

'You are God Himself, and Your years have no end. Psalms 102:27.

This statement, in which 'years' stands for periods of time, means that time does not exist with God. The same applies in the present verse where 'the year' of the flood in no way means any one particular year but a period of time that is not determined by a specific number of years. At the same time it means a state. See what has been said already about 'years' in 482, 487, 488, 493.

1. This paragraph is not numbered in the Latin.

-----

(References: Arcana Coelestia 487-488, Genesis 7:6)


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   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 1332, 1988, 2075, 2103, 2109, 2111, 2199, 2213, 2636, 2649, 2726, 2788, 2838, 3016, 3176, 3251, 3281, 3298, 3390, 3405, 3419, 3462, 3469, 3498, 3703, 3785, 3824, 3827, 3830, 3941, 4010, 4060, 4168, 4283, 4334, 4387, 4548, 4616, ...


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 137

Other New Christian Commentary

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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #3703

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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3703. 'And He said, I am Jehovah, the God of Abraham your father' means the Lord in whom that good originated. This becomes clear from the fact that Jehovah is the Divine Being (Esse) itself of the Lord, who is called 'the God of Abraham' by virtue of Divine Good - 'Abraham' representing the Lord as regards Divine Good, see 2172, 2198. And because Divine Good is the source of all celestial and spiritual goods, and consequently of all truths also, the phrase 'your (that is, Jacob's) father Abraham' is used, when in fact Isaac was his father. The reason why 'father' in the internal sense means good is that good is the source of every single thing that has being and truth the means by which it is brought into being. Thus every single thing is born from a marriage of good and truth. Heaven itself, which consists of nothing else at all but the Divine marriage of Good and Truth, derives from the Divine Marriage of Good and Truth and of Truth and Good within the Lord.

[2] The whole natural order also in every single part has reference to what is good and what is true. In it, that is, the natural order, the celestial and spiritual goods and truths that belong to heaven are represented, and in heaven Divine Goods and Truths that are the Lord's are represented. From this it becomes clear that good is like the father and truth is like the mother, and that therefore 'father' in the internal sense of the Word means good, and 'mother' truth. Indeed they mean the goodness and truth in which lower or derived goods and truths originate, which in relation to them are as daughters and sons, and are also consequently called daughters and sons in the Word, 489-491, 2362. They are also in relation to that good and truth as brothers and sisters, as grandchildren and great grandchildren, as sons-in-law, fathers-in-law, and daughters-in-law; in short they are as every degree of blood relationship and relationship by marriage. And all these relationships stem from the marriage of good, which is the father, to truth, which is the mother. For all things - every single one - in heaven exist as in blood relationships of love to and faith in the Lord, or what amounts to the same, of good and truth, see 685, 917, 2739, 3612, and the most ancient people therefore compared all these things to marriages, 54, 55. See also 718, 747, 1432, 2508, 2516, 2524, 2556.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 54-55)


[3] That 'father' in the internal sense of the Word means good may be seen from very many places, as from the following: In Isaiah,

Pay attention to Me, you who are pursuing righteousness, who are seeking Jehovah; look to the rock from which you were hewn; and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug; look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you, for when he was but one I called him; and I blessed him, and I will multiply him. For Jehovah will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of Jehovah. Isaiah 51:1-3.

This refers to the Lord and His Coming, as is evident from every detail. As regards Divine Truth He is called 'a rock' and 'a pit', and as regards Divine Good 'Abraham your father'. And because the Divine marriage of Good and Truth is represented by Abraham and Sarah, see 1468, 1901, 1965, 1989, 2011, 2063, 2065, 2172, 2173, 2198, 2507, 2833, 2836, 2904, 3245, 3251, 3305 (end), the expressions 'Abraham your father' and 'Sarah who bore you' are used. This explains why it is said that they were to look to the rock and to the pit, and to Abraham their father and to Sarah. It also explains why the promises follow immediately after, declaring that 'Jehovah will comfort Zion', which is the celestial Church, see 2362, and that 'He will comfort her waste places, and will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of Jehovah'.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2172-2173)


[4] Abraham has a similar meaning when elsewhere in the Word he is called 'father', as in John,

Jesus said, I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you also do what you have seen with your father. They answered and said to Him, Our father is Abraham. Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham's sons, you would do the works of Abraham. You do the works of your father. John 8:38-39, 41.

And in Matthew,

Do not presume to say within yourselves, We have Abraham as our father. I tell you that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree not bearing good fruit will be cut down and cast into the fire. Matthew 3:9-10.

And in Luke,

When the poor man Lazarus died he was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and when he was in hell he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Calling out he said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me. I ask you, father, to send him to my father's house. Luke 16:19-end.

In these places it is evident that Abraham was not meant but the Lord as regards Divine Good. For Abraham is unknown in heaven, and when his name is used in the Word the Lord is meant, see 1834, 1876, 1989, 3305 (end).

(References: John 8:30, 8:38; Luke 16:19-31, 16:22-24, 16:27)


[5] That 'father' means good in the internal sense becomes clear from the following places: In Moses,

Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged on the land which Jehovah your God gives you. Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16.

This commandment, like the rest of the Ten Commandments, is true in both senses - in the internal sense 'honouring father and mother' is loving what is good and true, and in what is good and true loving the Lord, see 2609, 3690. 'Days on the land' means resulting states of good within the Lord's kingdom, as is clear from the meaning of 'days' as states, 23, 487, 488, 493, 893, 2788, and from the meaning of Canaan, to which 'the land' refers here, as the Lord's kingdom, 1607, 3038, 3481, and from 'being prolonged' haying reference to good, 1613.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 487-488)


[6] Since 'father and mother' had these meanings many laws were therefore laid down in the Jewish representative Church relating to parents and sons. In every case good and truth were meant in the internal sense, and in the highest sense the Lord as regards Divine Good and Divine Truth, as in Moses,

Whoever strikes his father and his mother shall surely die. If anyone curses his father or his mother he shall surely die. Exodus 21:15, 17.

In the same author,

Any man who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he who curses his father and his mother, his blood shall be on him. Leviticus 20:9.

Cursed is he who treats his father and his mother with contempt; and all the people shall say, Amen. Deuteronomy 27:16, 17.

In Ezekiel,

Behold, the princes of Israel, every one according to his power, 1 have in you been intent on shedding blood; in you they have treated father and mother with contempt. Ezekiel 22:6-7.

In Moses,

When a man has a stubborn and rebellious son, in no way obeying the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and though they correct him he still does not obey them, his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders of the city, and to the gateway of their place. And all the men of that city shall stone him with stones so that he dies. Deuteronomy 21:18-19, 21.

[7] In all these places 'father and mother' in the sense of the letter is used to mean father and mother, but in the internal sense good and truth are meant, and in the highest sense the Lord as regards Divine Good and Divine Truth. This is also the Lord's own teaching in Matthew,

Jesus stretching out His hand over His disciples said, Beyond My mother and My brothers; whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven is My brother, and sister, and mother. Matthew 12:49-50.

And in the same gospel,

Refuse to be called master, for one is your Master, Christ; but all you are brothers. And call nobody your father on earth, for one is your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 23:8-9.

It is not being called master or being called father on earth that is forbidden here, but acknowledging in the heart any other father than the Lord. That is, when the names master and father are used one should understand the Lord whom in the highest sense they represent, in the same way, as stated just above in 3702, as anything perceived on earth by the most ancient people who were celestial was to them the means for thought concerning the Lord.

(References: Matthew 12:49)


[8] Much the same is embodied in what the Lord told one of the disciples who said,

Lord, let me first go away and bury my father. Jesus said to him, Follow Me; leave the dead to bury the dead. Matthew 8:21-22.

Indeed the relationship of father on earth to Father in heaven, who is the Lord, is as one who is dead to one who is living, even as the law itself about honouring parents is so to speak dead unless it holds honour, worship, and love to the Lord within it. For that law about honouring parents comes down from the latter Divine law. And because it comes down from the latter, the living element which exists within the law about honouring parents is received from this Divine law. This is why the Lord said, 'Follow Me, leave the dead to bury the dead'. What Elijah told Elisha is also similar in meaning,

Elijah passed beside Elisha and cast his mantle over him, and he left the oxen and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me kiss, I beg you, my father and mother; then I will go after you. He therefore said to him, Go away; go back again; for what have I done to you? 1 Kings 19:19-20.

Elijah represented the Lord - see Preface to Chapter 18, and 2762.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


[9] In Malachi,

Lo, I am sending you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah comes. And he will turn the heart of the fathers to the sons, and the heart of the sons to their fathers lest I come and smite the earth with a ban. Malachi 4:5-6.

And in Luke where the angel addresses Zechariah regarding his son John,

He will go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children. Luke 1:17.

From these places it is evident that 'fathers' and 'sons' are not used to mean fathers and sons but the goods and truths of the Church which the Lord is going to restore.

[10] In Malachi,

May Jehovah be magnified upon the border of Israel! A son should honour his father, and a servant his lord. If I am a Father, where is My honour? If I am a Lord, where is the fear of Me? Malachi 1:5-6.

'A son' stands for those who are governed by the good of the Church, 'a servant' those who are governed by its truth. Here 'a Father' clearly stands for the Lord as regards Divine Good, and 'a Lord' as regards Divine Truth.

[11] In David,

My father and my mother have forsaken me, and Jehovah welcomes me. Psalms 27:10.

'Father and mother' stands for good and truth which are said to have forsaken a person when it is realized that of himself he is unable to perform anything good or to know anything true. For the meaning, it is evident, is not that David's mother and father forsook him.

[12] In the same author,

You are more beautiful by far than the sons of men. All glorious is the king's daughter within, in her clothing with gold interweavings. Instead of your fathers will be your sons; you will make them into princes in all the earth. Psalms 45:2, 13, 16.

This refers to the Lord. 'Instead of your fathers will be your sons' stands for Divine Truths becoming as Divine Goods. 'The king's daughter' stands for the love of truth; 'clothing with gold interweavings' for the nature of that truth grounded in good. Since the subject is the Lord and His Divine Human, as is evident from this Psalm as a whole and in every part, every single phrase clearly has reference to one and the same thing. So the phrase 'the king's daughter' is not used to mean the daughter of the king, nor are the phrases 'clothing with gold interweavings', 'instead of your fathers will be your sons', and 'their being made into princes in all the earth' to be taken literally, but each phrase means Divine celestial and spiritual things. 'A daughter' means affection or love, see 490, 491, 2362; 'the king' Divine Truth, 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069, 3009; 'gold' good, 113, 1551, 1552. 'That which is interwoven' has reference to natural knowledge, 2831, in this case therefore to Divine natural truth. 'Clothing' means such truths as clothe good, 297, 2576; 'sons instead of fathers' truths begotten from good, in this case Divine Truths being as Divine Goods, 264, 489, 491, 533, 1147, 1729, 1733, 2159, 2623, 2803, 2813. 'Princes in all the earth' are the first and foremost things of the Lord's kingdom and Church - 'princes' being the things that are first and foremost, 1482, 2089, 'the earth' the Lord's kingdom and Church, 1413, 1607, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118 (end), 3355.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 490-491, 1551-1552, 2117-2118)


[13] In Moses,

Your fathers Jehovah delighted to love, and He chose their seed after them, even you out of all peoples, as at this day. Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart and be stiff-necked no longer. Deuteronomy 10:15-16.

'Fathers' here in the internal sense stands for the Ancient and Most Ancient Churches, whose members were so called by virtue of the love they had of good and truth - the most ancient people, who were celestial, by virtue of their love of good, the ancients, who were spiritual, by virtue of their love of truth. The goods and truths existing in the Church are referred to as 'the seed Jehovah chose'. Clearly Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the latter's twelve sons are not meant by the fathers referred to here, nor the Israelite and Jewish people by 'the seed'. Rather the statement is made regarding them and addressed to them in order that the internal sense may be given some external form and so be intelligible to men.

[14] In Isaiah,

The boy will uplift himself against the old man, and the base fellow against the honourable; for a man will take hold of his brother in his father's house, [saying,] You have clothing, you will be leader for us. He will say, In my house there is neither bread [nor clothing]. Do not make me a leader 2 of the people. Isaiah 3:5-7.

This refers in the internal sense to a perverted state of the Church when truth is no longer acknowledged as truth, and it is not known what good is. 'A man will take hold of his brother in his father's house' stands for acknowledging everything as good. 'Clothing' stands for truth, 1073, 2576, 'a leader (or prince)' for a first and foremost matter of doctrine drawn from truth, 1482, 2089. 'In the house there is neither bread nor clothing' stands for neither good nor truth - 'bread' meaning good, 276, 680, 3478, and 'clothing' truth, 297, 2576.

[15] Because father and mother, and also daughters and sons, represented goodness and truth in the representative Churches many laws existed which possessed from those representatives that which was Divine within them, such as the following,

If a priest's daughter has acted profanely by committing whoredom, she is profaning her father; she shall be burnt with fire. Leviticus 21:9.

'A priest's daughter' stands for the affection for good, 'father' for the good from which that affection springs. 'Committing whoredom' stands for profaning what is good. What 'committing whoredom' is, see 2466, 2729, 3399, and what 'acting profanely', 1008, 1010, 1059, 2051, 3398, 3399. Also,

If a priest's daughter has been made a widow or divorced and has no seed she shall return to her father's house, as in her youth; she shall eat of her father's bread. No stranger shall eat of it. Leviticus 22:13.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3398-3399)


[16] And this law also,

If you see among the captives a wife with a beautiful form and you desire her to take her for yourself as wife you shall bring her inside your home; and she shall shave her head and pare her nails; and she shall take off the clothing of her captivity born upon her, and shall sit in your house and lament her father and her mother a hill month; and after that you shall go in to her and know her, and she shall be your wife. Deuteronomy 21:11-13.

Every single detail in this law is representative of natural truth, which is adopted by good once it has been purified from falsities. Such truth is meant by 'a wife beautiful in form among the captives'; purification from falsities by 'bringing her inside your home', and by her 'shaving her head, paring her nails, taking off the clothing of her captivity, and lamenting her father and mother'; and adoption by 'after that going in to her, knowing her, and taking her as a wife'.

[17] The Marriage Laws requiring marriages to be contracted within the tribe and the family, and also the Inheritance Laws forbidding the transfer of inheritances from one tribe to another, which are written in the Word, also had the same origins, that is to say, in the celestial and spiritual marriage in the Lord's kingdom, or the marriage of good and truth, which are meant by 'father and mother'. The same applies to the laws laid down relating to the permissible and the forbidden degrees of affinity. Each law in the Word concerning those matters has reference inwardly to the law of the affiliation and joining together of good and truth in heaven, and to the affiliations of evil and falsity in hell, which are separated from the former. For laws to do with permissible and forbidden degrees, see Leviticus 20; for laws forbidding the transfer of inheritances from one tribe to another, and for those requiring marriages to be contracted within the tribe, see Numbers 27:7-9, and elsewhere. In heaven the position of every single thing is fixed according to blood relationships of good and truth and to relationships of them through marriage, see 685, 917, 2739, 3612.

(References: Numbers 27:7-11)


[18] Since the Israelitish people represented the Lord's kingdom in heaven and so the heavenly order existing there, the command was also given for them to be singled out according to tribes, according to families, and according to the houses of their fathers, see Numbers 26:1-end. In addition to this they were required to pitch camp around the tent of meeting in conformity with that heavenly order, and also to journey in conformity with it, as stated in Moses,

Each one of the children of Israel shall pitch camp beneath his own standard, by the ensigns of his father's house, at a distance around the tent of meeting. And in the same formations they also set out. Numbers 2:2, 34.

This was why, when Balaam saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes, the Spirit of God came upon him and he delivered this utterance, How good your tabernacles are, O Jacob, your dwelling-places, O Israel? They are like valleys that are planted, like gardens beside a river, etc., etc. Numbers 24:2, 5-6, and following verses.

From every word used here it is evident that not Jacob or Israel were meant but the Lord's kingdom in heaven and His Church on earth, which were represented by that order in which he saw them spread out at that time.

(References: Numbers 24:2-3)


[19] From these examples one may also know what is meant in the internal sense of the Word by orphans! that is, the fatherless, namely people whose state is a state of innocence and charity and who wish to know and put into effect what is good but are not able to do so. Such a state exists in particular with those outside the Church whom the Lord cares about and adopts in the next life as His sons. And since those people are meant by 'orphans', when these are mentioned in the Word, sojourners and widows are in many instances mentioned too. For 'sojourners' means those who are receiving instruction in goods and truths, 1463, and 'widows' those whose state is one of good but not so much of truth, or those whose state is one of truth but not so much of good, and who yet desire what they lack. Since these three - orphans, sojourners, and widows - belong to a very similar line of meaning, therefore all three are in most places mentioned together, as has been stated, see Deuteronomy 14:29; 16:11, 14; 24:17, 19; Jeremiah 7:6; 22:3; Ezekiel 22:6-7; Zechariah 7:10; Psalms 94:6; 146:9. From these considerations one may now see what 'father' means in the genuine sense, namely good, and in the highest sense the Lord.

(References: Ezekiel 22:7)


[20] Now because most things in the Word also have a contrary sense, so has the word 'father'. In that sense it means evil. Equally so 'mother', which in the genuine sense means truth, in the contrary sense means falsity. The contrary meanings may be seen from the following places: In David,

The iniquity of his fathers will be remembered before Jehovah, and the sin of his mother will not be wiped out. Psalms 109:14.

In the same author,

They drew back and acted treacherously like their fathers; they turned about like a deceitful bow. Psalms 78:57.

In Moses,

Until the remainder of you waste away in their iniquity in the lands of your enemies: and they will also waste away in their fathers' iniquities with them. Leviticus 26:39. In Isaiah,

Prepare slaughter for his sons because of the iniquity of their fathers, and let them not rise up again and possess the earth, and fill the face of the earth with cities. Isaiah 14:21.

In the same prophet, I will repay your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together. Isaiah 65:7.

(References: Isaiah 65:6-7)


[21] In Jeremiah,

The house of Israel is ashamed, they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets, who say to wood, You are my father, and to a stone, You gave birth to me. For they have turned their neck to Me and not their face. Jeremiah 2:26-27.

In the same prophet,

Behold, I am laying before this people stumbling-blocks, and fathers and sons together will stumble against them, neighbour and his friend, and they will perish. Jeremiah 6:21.

In the same prophet,

The sons gather pieces of wood, and the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for Melecheth. 3 Jeremiah 7:18.

In Ezekiel,

I will do in you that which I have not done, and such things as I will not do any longer, because of your abominations. Therefore fathers will eat their sons, and sons will eat their fathers; and I will execute judgements on you, and I will scatter the whole remnant of you to every wind. Ezekiel 5:9-10.

This refers to the profanation of what is holy. In the same prophet,

Thus said the Lord Jehovih to Jerusalem, Your tracings and your births are of the land of the Canaanite. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. Ezekiel 16:3.

[22] In Matthew,

Brother will deliver up brother to death, and father the son; and children will rise up against parents and put them to death. And so you will be hated by everyone for My name's sake. I have come to set a man (homo) against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's (homo) foes will be those in his own household. Whoever loves father and mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and whoever loves son and daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. Matthew 10:21-22, 35-37; Luke 12:49, 52-53.

In the same gospel,

Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for My name's sake will receive a hundredfold and will be allotted the inheritance of eternal life. Matthew 19:29; Luke 18:29-30; Mark 10:29-30.

In Luke,

If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and his mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own soul, he cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:26.

[23] In Mark,

Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his children, and children will rise up together against parents and will kill them; for you will be hated by all for My name's sake. Mark 13:12-13; Luke 21:16-17.

This refers to the close of the age and is describing the state of the Church when perverted as regards good and truth, that is to say, when evil rises up against truth, and falsity against good. The meaning of 'father' in the contrary sense as evil is evident from the places just quoted and also from the following in John,

Jesus said, If God were your father you would love Me, for from God I went forth and now come. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning and took no stand on the truth because the truth is not in him. When he speaks a lie he speaks from what are his own, for he is the teller of a lie and the father of it. John 8:42, 44.

-----
Footnotes:

1. literally, arm

2. or a prince

3. melecheth is a Hebrew word for a queen.

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(References: Genesis 28:13; John 8:41-42; Luke 21:17, 21:18; Numbers 24:2-3)


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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 3704, 3794, 3803, 4069, 4111, 4145, 4159, 4207, 4334, 4576, 4615, 4674, 5506, 5515, 5902, 6041, 6050, 6075, 6098, 6276, 6432, 6458, 6549, 8876, 8897, 9185, 9226, 10623

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 122, 246


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 9, 118, 200, 240, 254, 376, 721, 821, 966

Other New Christian Commentary

Father 1

Wrought 1

Father and Lord 1

Orphans 1

Prolonged 1


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg

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