Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 1:6-8
AC 24. Verse 6. And God said, Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it distinguish between the waters in the waters. After the spirit of God, or the Lordís mercy, has brought forth into day the knowledges of the true and of the good, and has given the first light, that the Lord is, that He is good itself, and truth itself, and that there is no good and truth but from Him, He then makes a distinction between the internal man and the external, consequently between the knowledges (cognitiones) that are in the internal man, and the memory-knowledges (scientifica) that belong to the external man. The internal man is called an "expanse;" the knowledges (cognitiones) which are in the internal man are called "the waters above the expanse;" and the memory-knowledges of the external man are called "the waters beneath the expanse."
 Man, before he is being regenerated, does not even know that any internal man exists, much less is he acquainted with its nature and quality. He supposes the internal and the external man to be not distinct from each other. For, being immersed in bodily and worldly things, he has also immersed in them the things that belong to his internal man, and has made of things that are distinct a confused and obscure unit. Therefore it is first said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters," and then, "Let it distinguish between the waters in the waters;" but not, Let it distinguish between the waters which are "under" the expanse and the waters which are "above" the expanse, as is said in (verses 7 and 8): And God made the expanse, and made a distinction between the waters which were under the expanse, and the waters which were above the expanse and it was so. And God called the expanse heaven.
 The next thing therefore that man observes in the course of regeneration is that he begins to know that there is an internal man, or that the things which are in the internal man are goods and truths, which are of the Lord alone. Now as the external man, when being regenerated, is of such a nature that he still supposes the goods that he does to be done of himself, and the truths that he speaks to be spoken of himself, and whereas, being such, he is led by them of the Lord, as by things of his own, to do what is good and to speak what is true, therefore mention is first made of a distinction of the waters under the expanse, and afterwards of those above the expanse. It is also an arcanum of heaven, that man, by things of his own, as well by the fallacies of the senses as by cupidities, is led and bent by the Lord to things that are true and good, and thus that every movement and moment of regeneration, both in general and in particular, proceeds from evening to morning, thus from the external man to the internal, or from "earth" to "heaven." Therefore the expanse, or internal man, is now called "heaven."
AC 25. To "spread out the earth and stretch out the heavens," is a common form of speaking with the Prophets, when treating of the regeneration of man. As in Isaiah:--
Thus saith Jehovah thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb; I am Jehovah that maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the heavens alone, that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself (Isaiah 44:24).
And again, where the advent of the Lord is openly spoken of:--
A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench; He shall bring forth judgment unto truth (Isaiah 42:3);
that is, He does not break fallacies, nor quench cupidities, but bends them to what is true and good; and therefore it follows,
Jehovah God createth the heavens, and stretcheth them out; He spreadeth out the earth, and the productions thereof; He giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein (Isaiah 42:5).
Not to mention other passages to the same purport.
AC 26. Verse 8. And the evening and the morning were the second day. The meaning of "evening," of "morning," and of "day," was shown in (verse 5) of this chapter. GENESIS 1:6-8 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|