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

Heaven and Hell #137

Heaven and Hell (Dole translation)

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137. It says in John,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word: all things were made by means of him, and without him nothing was made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of humankind. He was in the world, and the world was made by means of him. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory. (John 1:1, 3-4, 10, 14)

It is clear that the Lord is the one who is meant by "the Word," since it says that the Word was made flesh. Precisely what is meant by "the Word," though, is not yet known and must therefore be stated. The Word in this passage is the divine truth that is in the Lord and from the Lord, 1 so here it is also called the light, which is divine truth, as has been shown earlier in this chapter. Now we need to explain the statement that all things were made and created by means of divine truth.

(References: John 1:1-14)


[2] In heaven, it is divine truth that possesses all power, and apart from it there is no power whatever. 2 All angels are called "powers" because of divine truth, and are powers to the extent that they are recipients or vessels of it. Through it they prevail over the hells and over all who oppose them. A thousand enemies there cannot bear one ray of heavenly light, which is divine truth. Since angels are angels because of their acceptance of divine truth, it follows that all heaven is from this source and no other, since heaven is made up of angels.

[3] People cannot believe that this kind of power is inherent in divine truth if the only concept of truth they have has to do with thought or speech, which have no power in them except to the extent that other people concede it by being obedient. There is an intrinsic power within divine truth, though, power of such nature that by means of it heaven, the world, and everything in them was created.

We can illustrate the fact that this kind of power is inherent in divine truth by two comparisons - by the power of what is true and good in us, and by the power of light and warmth from the sun in our world.

By the power of what is true and good in us: Everything we do, we do out of our discernment and intent. Out of our intent, we act by means of what is good, and out of our discernment by means of what is true. In fact, all the elements of our volition are related to what is good, and all the elements of our discernment are related to what is true. 3 On this basis, then, we set our whole body in motion and a thousand things there rush to do our bidding of their own accord. We can see from this that our whole body is formed for obedience to what is good and true and therefore from what is good and true.

[4] By the power of light and warmth from the sun in our world: Everything that grows in our world - things like trees, shrubs, flowers, grasses, fruits, and seeds - arises only by means of the warmth and light of the sun. So we can see what kind of productive power is inherent in that warmth and light. What about the divine light that is divine truth, then, and the divine warmth that is divine good, the source from which heaven comes into being and consequently the world as well, since as we have shown above, it is through heaven that the world comes into being?

This enables us to determine how to understand the statement that all things were made by means of the Word, and that without him nothing was made that was made, and further that the world was made by means of him, namely that this was accomplished by means of divine truth from the Lord. 4

This is also why in the book of creation it first mentions light and then the things that arise from light (Genesis 1:3-4). It is also why everything in all heaven and earth has to do with what is good and true and to their union if it is
to be anything at all. 5

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Footnotes:

1. "The Word" in Sacred Scripture has various meanings - speech, the thought of the mind, every entity that actually comes into being, or anything at all, and in the highest sense divine truth and the Lord: 9987."The Word" means divine truth: 2803, 2884 [2894?], 4692, 5075, 5272, 7830 [7930?], 9987."The Word" means the Lord: 2533, 2859.

2. Divine truth emanating from the Lord is what possesses all power: 6948, 8200. All power in heaven belongs to the true from the good: 3091, 3563, 6344, 6413 [6423?], 8304, 9643, 10019, 10182. Angels are called powers, and are powers as a result of their acceptance of divine truth from the Lord: 9639. Angels are recipients of divine truth from the Lord, and are therefore often called "gods" in the Word: 4295, 4402, 8301, 8192, 9398 [8988?].

3. Discernment is the recipient of what is true, and volition is the recipient of what is good: 3623, 6125, 7503, 9300, 9930. Therefore, all the elements of our discernment are related to what is true, whether these things are actually true or whether we believe them to be so; and all the elements of our volition are similarly related to what is good: 803, 10122.

4. Divine truth emanating from the Lord is the only thing that is real: 6880, 7004, 8200. By means of divine truth all things were made and created: 2803, 2884, 5272, 7835 [7796?].

5. [Swedenborg's note at this point refers the reader back to the note in ?107 above.]

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