The Bible

Genesis 1:17

English: King James Version

Study the Inner Meaning

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

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Arcana Coelestia 30


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 414


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 229, 527, 610

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


Word/Phrase Explanations

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...

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

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...

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...

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

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...

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 #737

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)

Study this Passage

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737. 'Noah was a son of six hundred years' means his initial state of temptation. This is clear from the fact from here down to Eber in Chapter 11 nothing else is meant by numbers, years of age, or names than real things, as was the case also with the ages and names of all those mentioned in Chapter 5. Here 'six hundred years' means the initial state of temptation. This becomes clear from its prime factors which are ten and six multiplied again by ten. When the same factors are involved it makes no difference whether the number arrived at is large or small. As for ten, this has been shown already at 6:3 to mean remnants, while the meaning of six here as labour and conflict is clear from places throughout the Word. For the situation is this: What has gone before dealt with man's preparation for temptation, that is to say, he was supplied by the Lord with truths of the understanding and with goods of the will. These truths and goods are remnants, but they are not brought forth so as to be acknowledged until man is being regenerated. In the case of those who are being regenerated by means of temptations the remnants existing with any man are for the angels present with him. From these remnants they draw out those things with which they protect him against the evil spirits who activate falsities with him and in this way attack him. It is because remnants are meant by 'ten' and conflict by 'six' that six hundred years are spoken of, a number in which ten and six are the prime factors and which means a state of temptation.

(References: Acts of the Apostles 5:19; Genesis 6:1, 6:3, Genesis 8:1, 9:1, 10:1)


[2] As regards conflict being the particular meaning of 'six', this is clear from Genesis 1, which describes the six days of man's regeneration prior to his becoming celestial. During those six days there was constant conflict, but on the seventh day came rest. Consequently there are six days of labour, and the seventh is the sabbath, a word which means rest. This also is why a Hebrew slave was to serve for six years and in the seventh was to go free, Exodus 21:2; Deuteronomy 15:12; Jeremiah 34:14, and why for six years they were to sow the land and gather in the produce, but in the seventh they were to leave it alone, Exodus 23:10-12. The same applied to a vineyard. It is also the reason why in the seventh year the land was to have a sabbath of rest, a sabbath to Jehovah, Leviticus 25:3-4. Because 'six' means labour and conflict it also means the dispersion of falsity, as in Ezekiel,

Behold, six men coming from the direction of the upper gate, which looks towards the north, every man with a weapon of dispersion in his hand. Ezekiel 9:2.

And in the same prophet, against Gog,

I will cause you to turn about, and I will split you into six, and cause you to come up from the uttermost parts of the north. Ezekiel 39:2.

Here 'six' and 'splitting into six' stand for dispersion, 'the north' for falsities, and 'Gog' for people who seize on doctrinal matters based on things of an external nature with which they destroy internal worship. From Job,

He will deliver you in six troubles, and in a seventh no evil will touch you. Job 5:19.

This stands for the conflict that constitutes temptations.

[3] 'Six' occurs in other parts of the Word where it does not mean labour, conflict, or the dispersion of falsity, but the holiness of faith. In these instances it is related to twelve, which means faith and all things of faith in their entirety, and to three which means that which is holy. Consequently there is also a genuine derivative meaning to the number six, as in Ezekiel 40:5, where the man's measuring rod with which he measured the holy city of Israel was six cubits long; and in other places. The reason for this derivative is that in the conflict of temptation the holiness of faith is present, and also that six days of labour and conflict look forward to the holy seventh day.

(References: Genesis 7:6)

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   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 893, 1709, 1963, 2276, 3306, 4178, 5335, 8494, 8888, 8975, 9278, 9431

Other New Christian Commentary

Six 1

Six hundred years 1


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


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