Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 1:3-5
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AC 20. Verse 3. And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. The first state is when the man begins to know that the good and the true are something higher. Men who are altogether external do not even know what good and truth are; for they fancy all things to be good that belong to the love of self and the love of the world; and all things to be true that favor these loves; not being aware that such goods are evils, and such truths falsities. But when man is conceived anew, he then begins for the first time to know that his goods are not goods, and also, as he comes more into the light, that the Lord is, and that He is good and truth itself. That men ought to know that the Lord is, He Himself teaches in John:--

Except ye believe that I am, ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24).

Also, that the Lord is good itself, or life, and truth itself, or light, and consequently that there is neither good nor truth except from the Lord, is thus declared:--

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness. He was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world (John 1:1, 3, 4, 9).

AC 21. Verses 4, 5. And God saw the light, that it was good, and God distinguished between the light and the darkness. And God called the light day, and the dark He called night. Light is called " good," because it is from the Lord, who is good itself, The "darkness" means all those things which, before man is conceived and born anew, have appeared like light, because evil has appeared like good, and the false like the true; yet they are darkness, consisting merely of the things proper to man himself, which still remain. Whatsoever is of the Lord is compared to "day," because it is of the light; and whatsoever is man’s own is compared to "night," because it is of darkness. These comparisons frequently occur in the Word.

AC 22. Verse 5. And the evening and the morning were the first day. What is meant by "evening," and what by "morning," can now be discerned, "Evening" means every preceding state, because it is a state of shade, or of falsity and of no faith; "morning" is every subsequent state, being one of light, or of truth and of the knowledges of faith, "Evening," in a general sense, signifies all things that are of man‘s own; but "morning," whatever is of the Lord, as is said through David:--

The spirit of Jehovah spake in me, and His word was on my tongue the God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me; He is as the light of the morning, when the sun ariseth, even a morning without clouds, when from brightness, from rain, the tender herb springeth out of the earth (2 Sam. 23:2-4).

As it is "evening" when there is no faith, and "morning" when there is faith, therefore the coming of the Lord into the world is called "morning;" and the time when He comes, because then there is no faith, is called " evening," as in Daniel:--

The Holy One said unto me, Even unto evening when it becomes morning, two thousand and three hundred (Daniel 8:14, 26).

In like manner "morning" is used in the Word to denote every coming of the Lord, consequently it is an expression of new creation.

AC 23. Nothing is more common in the Word than for "day" to be used to denote time itself. As in Isaiah:--

The day of Jehovah is at hand. Behold, the day of Jehovah cometh I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall be shaken out of her place, in the day of the wrath of Mine anger. Her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged (Isaiah 13:6, 9, 13, 22).

And in the same Prophet:--

Her antiquity is of ancient days. And it shall come to pass in that day that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king (Isaiah 23:7, 15).

As "day" is used to denote time, it is also used to denote the state of that time, as in Jeremiah:--

Woe unto us, for the day is gone down, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out (Jeremiah 6:4).

And again:--

If ye shall make vain My covenant of the day, and My covenant of the night, so that there be not day and night in their season (Jeremiah 33:20, 25).

And again:--

Renew our days, as of old (Lam. 5:21).

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info