From Swedenborg's Works

Arcana Coelestia #668

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)

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668. 'Sons' means truths and 'wives' goods. This also has been shown already at Chapter 5:4 where the phrase 'sons and daughters' is used. Here however it is 'sons and wives', for 'wives' are goods which have been joined to truths. Indeed no truth can ever be brought forth unless some good or delight exists for it to spring from. Within good and delight there is life, but not within truth apart from that which it derives from good and delight. It is from these that truth is given form and develops, even as faith, which is connected with truth, is given form by and develops out of love, which is connected with good. Truth is like light; there is no light apart from that which flows from the sun or flame. It is from these that light is given form. Truth is merely the form which good takes, and faith merely the form which love takes. The form that truth takes depends therefore on the character of its good, as does that of faith on that of its love or charity. This is the reason why 'wife' and 'wives who mean goods that have been joined to truths are meant at this point. This also is why in the next verse reference is made to pairs of all, male and female, entering the ark, for without goods joined to truths regeneration does not take place.

(References: Genesis 5:4, 6:18)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 701

Other New Christian Commentary

Sons’ wives 1


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

The Bible

Genesis 5:4

English: King James Version

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← Genesis 5:3    Full Chapter    Genesis 5:5 →

4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:

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From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Arcana Coelestia 486, 487, 488, 489, 490, 491


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 435, 568, 570, 575, 668

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

Word/Phrase Explanations

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...

adam
Adam is one of the most crucial and most controversial figures in the Bible, dividing even the faithful into camps: those who believe he literally...

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...

Seth
'Seth,' as in Genesis 4:25 , signifies a new faith which brings charity.

eight
According to Swedenborg, the number eight represents something that is complete within itself, in every respect. Two reasons are offered for this. First, eight is...

hundred
It's a landmark for a young child to count to 100; it sort of covers all the "ordinary" numbers. One hundred is obviously significant for...

begat
To beget or to be begotten is very similar in meaning to birth: It represents one spiritual state leading to the next spiritual state. "Beget,"...

Sons
'Sons of Canaan,' as in Genesis 10, are people who kept external worship separate from internal.

Daughters
"Behold I have two daughters,” etc. (Gen. 19:8), signifies the affections of good and truth, and the blessedness perceivable from the enjoyment thereof, by those...


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