Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 10:13-14
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AC 1193. Verses 13, 14. And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, and Pathrusim, and Casluhim, from whom went forth the Philistines, and Caphtorim. "Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim," signifies so many nations, by which so many kinds of rituals are signified; "Mizraim" is memory-knowledge; "Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, and Naphtuhim" are so many rituals which are mere matters of memory-knowledge (scientifica); "Pathrusim and Casluhim" are nations so called, by which are signified the doctrinals of rituals from a similar origin, which were only matters of memory-knowledge; "from whom went forth the Philistines," signifies a nation thence derived, by which is signified the mere memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith and charity. Its being said that they "went forth" signifies that with them knowledges are mere memory-knowledges.

AC 1194. Mizraim begat Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, and Naphtuhim. That these signify so many nations, by which so many rituals are signified, may be seen from what was shown above respecting Mizraim or Egypt (verse 6), namely, that "Egypt" signifies memory-knowledge or matters of memory (scientiam seu scientifica). They who are said to be begotten thereof could be no other or nothing else than rituals, and in fact rituals of external worship. For the Word of the Lord in its bosom and recess, that is, in its internal sense, never treats of other things than those which belong to His kingdom, and thus to the church; so that here the things that were born from memory-knowledges by reasonings are nothing else than rituals.

AC 1195. That "Mizraim" or "Egypt" is memory-knowledge, was shown at verse 6 of this chapter. That "Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, and Naphtuhim" are so many rituals which are merely memory-knowledges, is evident from what has just been stated. Those are said to have rituals which are merely memory-knowledges, who explore spiritual and celestial things by means of reasonings, and thereby devise a worship for themselves. The rituals of this worship, being from reasonings and memory-knowledges, are called rituals of memory-knowledge (ritualia scientifica), wherein there was nothing spiritual and celestial, because they were from themselves. Hence came the idols of Egypt, and its magic. And because their rituals were from this origin, they totally rejected, nay, loathed and hated, the rites of the Ancient Church, as is evident from what is said in (Gen. 43:32; 46:34; Exod. 8:22). Because these things are signified, they are said to be begotten of Mizraim, or of Egypt, that is, of memory-knowledges; and as their memory-knowledges were diverse, the derivative rituals also became different. These diversities, in general, are signified by so many nations. That such things are meant by the Ludim, or Lydians, appears in Jeremiah:--

Egypt riseth up like the river, and like the rivers the waters are troubled; and he saith, I will rise up, I will cover the earth, I will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof. Come up, ye horses, and rage, ye chariot, and let the mighty come forth, Cush and Put, that handle the shield, and the Lydians, that handle and bend the bow (Jeremiah 46:8, 9).

The "rivers of Egypt" here are diverse memory-knowledges which are false; "to go up and cover the earth" is to enter into the things that pertain to the church or to faith by means of memory-knowledges; "to destroy the city" is to destroy truths; "Cush and Put" are knowledges; "the Lydians" are the rituals of memory-knowledge spoken of above; "to handle and bend the bow" is to reason.

AC 1196. That "the Pathrusim and Casluhim" are nations so called, and that they signify doctrinals of rituals from a similar origin, which were only matters of memory-knowledge, is evident from what has been stated; and from their following in this manner in the series. Concerning the Pathrusim see in (Isa. 11:11, 12; Ezek. 29:13-15; 30:13, 14; Jer. 44:1, 15).

AC 1197. From whom went forth the Pelistim (Philistines). That this signifies a nation thence derived, and that by this nation is signified a mere memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith and charity, is evident from the Word, where the Philistines are frequently mentioned. In the Ancient Church all those were called Philistines who talked much about faith, and declared that salvation is in faith, and yet had no life of faith. Therefore they pre-eminently were called "the uncircumcised," which means those who are devoid of charity. That they were called "the uncircumcised" may be seen in (1 Sam. 14:6; 17:26, 36; 31:4; 2 Sam. 1:20). Because they were such, they could not but make the knowledges of faith matters of memory; for the knowledges of spiritual and celestial things and the very mysteries of faith themselves become nothing but matters of memory, when the man who is skilled in them is devoid of charity. The things of the memory are like things dead unless the man is such that from conscience he lives according to them. When he does this, then at the same time as they are things of memory they are also things of life; and only then do they remain with him for his use and salvation after the life of the body. Knowledges (scientiae et cognitiones) are nothing to a man in the other life, even though he may have known all the arcana that have ever been revealed, unless they have affected his life.

[2] Such are everywhere signified by "Philistines" in the prophetical parts of the Word, and also in the historical, as for example, when Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines, and made a covenant with Abimelech, the king of the Philistines (Gen. 20:1-18; 21:22-34; 26:1-34). As the knowledges of faith are here signified by the Philistines, Abraham, because he represented the celestial things of faith, sojourned there, and entered into a covenant with them; and likewise Isaac, by whom were represented the spiritual things of faith; but not jacob, because by him the externals of the church were represented.

[3] That the "Philistines" signify in general a mere memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith, and specifically those who make faith and salvation consist in knowledges alone, which they make matters of memory, may be seen in Isaiah:--

Rejoice not thou whole Philistia, because the rod that smote thee is broken; for out of the serpent‘s root shall come forth a basilisk, and his fruit shall be like a fiery flying serpent (Isaiah 14:29).

Here "the root of the serpent" denotes memory-knowledges; "the basilisk," evil from the derivative falsity; and "the fruit a fiery flying serpent," is their works, which are called "a fiery flying serpent" because they come of cupidities.

[4] In Joel:--

What are ye to Me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the borders of Philistia? Will ye render a recompense upon Me? very speedily will I return your recompense upon your own head. Inasmuch as ye have taken My silver and My gold, and have carried into your temples My desirable good things; the sons also of Judah and the sons of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the sons of the Javanites, that ye might cause them to remove far from their border (Joel 3:4-6).

Here it is evident what is meant by the Philistines, and by "all Philistia," or all "the borders" of it. "Silver and gold" here are the spiritual and celestial things of faith; "desirable good things" are the knowledges of them. That they "carried them into their temples," is that they possessed and proclaimed them; and that they "sold the sons of Judah and the sons of Jerusalem," signifies that they had no love and no faith; "Judah" in the Word is the celestial of faith, and "Jerusalem" is the spiritual of faith thence derived, which were "removed far from their borders." So also in other places in the Prophets, as in (Jer. 25:20, 47:1-7; Ezek. 16:27, 57; 25:15, 16; Amos 1:8; Obad. 1:19; Zeph. 2:5; Ps. 83:7; 87:4). And concerning the Caphtorim in (Deut. 2:23; Jer. 47:4; Amos 9:7).

AC 1198. That they "went forth" signifies that with them knowledges are mere memory-knowledges, is evident from what has been stated. They are not said to have been "begotten" by those who were of Egypt, but to have "gone forth" from them, because they are not such as reason from natural memory-knowledges concerning spiritual and celestial things, and thereby frame doctrinals for themselves-like those treated of before-but they are such as learn the knowledges of faith from others, and know and retain them in the memory, with no other end in view than such as they have in learning other things which they care nothing about except merely to know them, and except for the reason that they may thereby be advanced to honors, or some other such reason. So distinct is this mere memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith from the memory-knowledge of natural things, that they have scarcely anything in common; and therefore it is said, not that they were "born," but that they "went forth" from them. Such being the character of the "Philistines," they cannot but pervert even the knowledges of faith by reasonings from them, and thence form for themselves false doctrinals and therefore they are among those who can with difficulty be regenerated and receive charity, both because they are uncircumcised in heart, and because principles of falsity, and consequently the life of their understanding, prevent and oppose.

GENESIS 10:13-14    previous  -  next  -  text  -  summary  -  Genesis  -  Full Page

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