The Bible


Genesis 1:9-14 : Third Day of Creation


9 God said, "Let the waters under the sky be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear;" and it was so.

10 God called the dry land "earth," and the gathering together of the waters he called "seas." God saw that it was good.

11 God said, "Let the earth put forth grass, herbs yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with its seed in it, on the earth;" and it was so.

12 The earth brought forth grass, herbs yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with its seed in it, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.

13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day.

14 God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of sky to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years;



Seven Practices of Peace - Part 3 of 7 – Cultivating

By Rev. Todd Beiswenger

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It's easy to dream big, but it is hard to actually DO big. As we embark on a new life, we need to cultivate new habits. The most sucessful way to do this is start with a tiny habit, much like how Scriptures say the first vegetation to turn up was "tender herbs", i.e. small plants. Taking care of small plants will lead to bigger ones, and eventually they're bear the fruit of our dreams.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 29 [1-2], 8093; Exodus 13:17-19; Genesis 1:9-14)

From Swedenborg's Works


Arcana Coelestia #29

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29. Verses 11-12 And God said, Let the earth cause tender plants to spring up, seed-bearing plants, fruit trees bearing fruit, each according to its kind, in which is its seed, upon the earth; and it was so. And the earth brought forth tender herbs, seed-bearing plants, each according to its kind, and trees bearing fruit, in which is their seed, each according to its kind; and God saw that it was good.

Once the earth or the individual has been made ready in such a way that he can receive from the Lord heavenly seeds and produce some measure of good and truth, the Lord first of all causes something tender to spring up, which is: called 'a tender plant', then something more useful which reproduces itself and is called 'a seed-bearing plant', and finally something good which bears fruit and is called 'a tree bearing fruit' in which is its seed, 'each one according to its kind'. The person who is being regenerated is at first such as imagines that any good he does comes from himself, and that any truth he utters comes from himself; but the fact of the matter is that all good and all truth come from the Lord. Consequently anyone who imagines that these originate in himself does not as yet have the life that belongs to true faith, though he is able to receive it later on. Indeed he is not yet able to believe that they come from the Lord because his state is one of preparation for receiving the life inherent in faith. That state is represented in these verses by plant life, the subsequent state, when the life inherent in faith is present, by living creatures.

[2] The Lord Himself saw fit to tell us that He is 'the sower', that 'the seed' is His Word, and that 'the earth' is man, Matthew 13:19-24, 37-39; Mark 4:14-21; Luke 8:11-16. He describes the matter again in a similar way,

The kingdom of God is like a man casting seed into the ground, and sleeping and rising night and day, and the seed sprouts and springs up, he knows not how; for the earth bears fruit of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. Mark 4:26-28.

In the universal sense, 'the kingdom of God' is used to mean the whole of heaven, in the less universal sense the Lord's true Church, and in particular every individual who has true faith, that is, who has been regenerated by means of the life that inheres in faith. For that reason the individual is also called 'heaven', for heaven is within him, and 'the kingdom of God', since that too is within him. This the Lord Himself teaches through Luke,

Jesus was asked by the Pharisees, When is the kingdom of God coming? He answered them and said, The kingdom of God is not coming with observation, nor will people say, Behold, here it is! or, Behold, there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:20-21.

This is the third stage of a person's regeneration, a state when he is repentant. It is like passing from shadow into the light, or from evening to morning, and this is why it is said in Verse 13, And there was evening, and there was morning, a third day.

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