Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 10:2
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AC 1149. Verse 2. The sons of Japheth: Comer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. "The sons of Japheth" signify those who had external worship corresponding to internal. "Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras" were so many nations, with whom such worship existed, by which in the internal sense are signified so many different doctrinals that were the same as rituals, which they devoutly observed.

AC 1150. The sons of Japheth. That these signify those who had external worship corresponding to internal, has been explained before. External worship is said to correspond to internal when that which is the essential is in the worship. This essential is the adoration of the Lord from the heart; which is by no means possible unless there is charity, or love to the neighbor. In charity or love toward the neighbor the Lord is present, and then He can be adored from the heart Thus the adoration is from the Lord, for the Lord gives all the ability and all the being in the adoration. Hence it follows that such as is the charity in a man, such is his adoration or worship. All worship is adoration, because the adoration of the Lord must be in it for it to be worship. The sons of Japheth, or the nations and peoples called "sons of Japheth," lived in mutual charity with each other, in friendship, in courtesy, and in simplicity; and therefore the Lord was present in their worship. For when the Lord is present in the external worship, there is internal worship in the external, that is, there is external worship corresponding to internal. There were formerly very many such nations. And there are also at this day those who make worship consist in externals and do not know what internal worship is, or if they know, do not think about such things. If these persons acknowledge the Lord and love the neighbor, the Lord is in their worship, and they are sons of Japheth; but if they deny the Lord, and love only themselves, and do not care for the neighbor, especially if they bear hatred toward him, their worship is external separate from internal, and they are sons of Canaan, or Canaanites.

AC 1151. Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. That these were so many nations among whom such worship existed, and that in the internal sense they signify so many doctrinals, which were the same as rituals, which they devoutly observed, is very evident from the Word, where these nations are frequently mentioned; for they everywhere signify external worship - sometimes external worship corresponding to internal, sometimes the opposite. The reason why they signify the opposite is that all churches, wherever they were, in process of time have been changed, even to their opposites. That the nations here named signify nothing but external worship, consequently their doctrinals which were rituals, can be established, as was said, from the Word in other places, especially in the Prophets.

[2] Thus, of Magog, Meshech, Tubal, and Gomer, it is written in Ezekiel:--

Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, the land of Magog, the prince, head of Meshech and Tubal; and prophesy against him and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold I am against the, O Gog, prince, head of Meshech and Tubal, and I will turn thee about, and put hooks, into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords; Persia, Cush, and Put with them; with them Gomer and all his hordes; the house of Togarmah in the sides of the north, and all his hordes. In the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, that is gathered out of many peoples, upon the mountains of Israel, which have been made a waste (Ezekiel 38:2-6, 8).

This whole chapter treats of the church, which became perverted, and at length made all worship consist in externals, or rituals; charity, which is signified by "the mountains of Israel," being extinguished. Here "Gog, and the land of Magog the prince and head of Meshech and Tubal," is worship in externals. Any one may see that it is not Gog and Magog that are treated of, for the Word of the Lord does not treat of worldly things, but enfolds within it Divine things.

[3] In the same:--

Prophesy upon Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold I am against thee, O Gog, prince, head of Meshech and Tubal; and I will turn thee about, and take a sixth part of thee, I will cause thee to come up from the sides of the north, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel upon the mountains of Israel thou shalt fall, thou and all thy hordes, and the people that are with thee (Ezek. 39:1, 2, 4).

The whole of this chapter, likewise, treats of external worship separated from internal, and become idolatrous, which is here signified by Gog, Meshech, and Tubal, by whom also are meant the doctrinals which they receive and afterwards confirm by the literal sense of the Word, and thus falsify truths and destroy internal worship. For, as was said, the opposite also are signified by the same nations.

[4] In John:--

When the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go forth to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to war. They went up over the plain of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city (Rev. 20:7-9)

where "Gog and Magog" have a similar signification External worship separate from internal, that is, separate from love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor, is nothing else than idolatrous, which encompasses the camp of the saints, and the beloved city.

[5] Of Meshech and Tubal it is said in Ezekiel:--

There is Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude her graves are round about her; all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword; for they caused their terror in the land of the living (Ezekiel 32:26).

The subject here is Egypt, or the memory-knowledges where with men desire to explore spiritual things. "Meshech and Tubal" denote doctrinals which are rituals, and which, when there is no love, are called "uncircumcised." Hence they are slain with the sword, and a terror in the land of the living.

[6] Of Javan it is said in Joel:--

The sons of Judah and the sons of Jerusalem ye have sold Unto the sons of the Javanites that ye might remove them far from their border (Joel 3:6).

"The sons of Judah" denote celestial things of faith; "the sons of Jerusalem," spiritual things of faith - thus things internal; and "the sons of the Javanites," worship in externals separate from what is internal. Because this worship is so widely remote from what is internal, it is said that they have "removed them far from their border."

[7] Javan and Tubal denote true external worship itself in Isaiah:--

It shall come that I will gather all nations and tongues, and they shall I come, and shall see My glow. And I will set a sign among them, and I will send such as escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the Isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the nations (Isaiah 66:18, 19).

The subject here is the kingdom of the Lord and His coming. " Tubal and Javan" denote those who are in external worship corresponding to internal, who are to be instructed concerning internal things.

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