Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 1:9-13
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AC 27. Verse 9. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together to one place, and let the dry (land) appear; and it was so. When it is known that there is both an internal and an external man, and that truths and goods flow in from, or through, the internal man to the external, from the Lord, although it does not so appear, then those truths and goods, or the knowledges of the true and the good in the regenerating man, are stored up in his memory, and are classed among its knowledges (scientifica); for whatsoever is insinuated into the memory of the external man, whether it be natural, or spiritual, or celestial, abides there as memory-knowledge (scientificum), and is brought forth thence by the Lord. These knowledges are the "waters gathered together into one place," and are called "seas," but the external man himself is called the "dry (land)," and presently "earth," as in what follows.

AC 28. Verse 10. And God called the dry (land) earth, and the gathering together of the waters called He seas; and God saw that it was good. It is a very common thing in the Word for "waters" to signify knowledges (cognitiones et scientifica), and consequently for "seas" to signify a collection of knowledges. As in Isaiah:--

The earth shall be full of the knowledge (scientia) of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9).

And in the same Prophet, where a lack of knowledges (cognitionum et scientificorum) is treated of:--

The waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be dried up and become utterly dry, and the streams shall recede (Isaiah 19:5, 6).

In Haggai, speaking of a new church:--

I will shake the heavens and the earth, and the sea and the dry (land); and I will shake all nations; and the desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory (Haggai 2:6, 7).

And concerning man in the process of regeneration, in Zechariah:--

There shall be one day, it is known to Jehovah; not day, nor night; but it shall come to pass that at evening time it shall be light; and it shall be in that day that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem, part of them toward the eastern sea, and part of them toward the hinder sea (Zechariah 14:7, 8).

David also, describing a vastated man who is to be regenerated and who will worship the Lord:--

Jehovah despiseth not His prisoners; let the heavens and the earth praise Him, the seas and everything that creepeth therein (Ps. 69:33, 34).

That the "earth" signifies a recipient, appears from Zechariah:--

Jehovah stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man in the midst of him (Zechariah 12:1).

AC 29. Verses 11, 12. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the tender herb, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit-tree bearing fruit after its kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth; and it was so. And the earth brought forth the tender herb, the herb yielding seed after its kind, and the tree bearing fruit, whose seed was in itself, after its kind; and God saw that it was good. When the "earth," or man, has been thus prepared to receive celestial seeds from the Lord, and to produce something of what is good and true, then the Lord first causes some tender thing to spring forth, which is called the "tender herb;" then something more useful, which again bears seed in itself, and is called the "herb yielding seed;" and at length something good which becomes fruitful, and is called the "tree bearing fruit, whose seed is in itself," each according to its own kind. The man who is being regenerated is at first of such a quality that he supposes the good which he does, and the truth which be speaks, to be from himself, when in reality all good and all truth are from the Lord, so that whosoever supposes them to be from himself has not as yet the life of true faith, which nevertheless he may afterwards receive; for he cannot as yet believe that they are from the Lord, because he is only in a state of preparation for the reception of the life of faith. This state is here represented by things inanimate, and the succeeding one of the life of faith, by animate things.

[2] The Lord is He who sows, the "seed" is His Word, and the "earth" is man, as He himself has deigned to declare (Matt. 13:19-24, 37-39; Mark 4:14-21; Luke 8:11-16). To the same purport He gives this description:--

So is the kingdom of God, as a man when he casteth seed into the earth, and sleepeth and riseth night and day, and the seed groweth and riseth up, he knoweth not how; for the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear (Mark 4:26-28).

By the "kingdom of God," in the universal sense, is meant the universal heaven; in a sense less universal, the true church of the Lord; and in a particular sense, every one who is of true faith, or who is regenerate by a life of faith. Wherefore such a person is also called "heaven," because heaven is in him; and likewise the "kingdom of God," because the kingdom of God is in him; as the Lord Himself teaches in Luke:--

Being demanded of the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them, and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; neither shall they say, Lo here! or, Lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:20, 21).

This is the third successive stage of the regeneration of man, being his state of repentance, and in like manner proceeding from shade to light, or from evening to morning; wherefore it is said (verse 13), and the evening and the morning were the third day.

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