Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 10:30-31
AC 1248. Verse 30. And their dwelling was from Mesha, in coming unto Sephar, a mountain of the east. By these words is signified the extension of the worship, even from the truths of faith to the good of charity. "Mesha" signifies truth; "Sephar," good; "a mountain of the east," charity.
AC 1249. That by these words is signified the extension of the worship, even from the truths of faith to the good of charity; and that "Mesha" signifies truth, and "Sephar" good, cannot indeed be confirmed from the Word, because no mention is made of Mesha and Sephar in the Prophets. Still, this may be seen from its being the conclusion from what goes before, and especially from the fact that "a mountain of the east" is the final thing to which the words that go before bear reference, and in the Word by "a mountain of the east" is signified charity from the Lord-as will be shown in what follows and the same may be seen from the fact that all things of the church have charity in view, as their finality or end. From all which it follows that "Mesha" signifies truth, or the terminus from which the progression commences (terminus a quo); and that " Sephar" signifies good, and thereby charity, which is "a mountain of the east," or the terminus to which the progression tends (terminus ad quem).
AC 1250. That "a mountain of the east" signifies charity, and in fact charity from the Lord, is evident from the signification of a "mountain" in the Word, as being love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor, as has been shown before (n. 795). And that "the east" signified the Lord, and things celestial from Him, which are of love and charity, may be seen above (n. 101), as well as from the following passages. In Ezekiel:--
The cherubim lifted up their wings, and the glory of Jehovah went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east of the city (Ezekiel 11:22, 23).
Here "the mountain which is on the east" signifies nothing else than what is celestial, which is of love and charity, and which is of the Lord, for it is said that "the glory of Jehovah stood" thereon. Again:--
He brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh to the way of the east; and behold the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east (Ezek. 43:1, 2),
where "the east" has a like signification.
He brought me back by the way of the outer gate of the sanctuary which looketh toward the east, and it was shut. And Jehovah said unto me, This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, neither shall any man enter in by it, but Jehovah the God of Israel shall enter in by it (Ezek. 44:1, 2).
Here likewise "the east" denotes what is celestial, which is of love, which is of the Lord alone. And again: When the prince shall make a freewill offering, a burnt-offering, and peace-offerings, a freewill offering unto Jehovah, one shall open for Him the gate that looketh toward the east, and he shall make his burnt-offering and his peace-offerings, as he shall do on the Sabbath day (Ezek. 46:12), in like manner denoting what is celestial, which is of love to the Lord.
 And in another place:--
He brought me back unto the door of the house, and behold waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward, for the face of the house was toward the east (Ezek. 47:1, 8),
speaking of the New Jerusalem "the east" denotes the Lord, and thus the celestial, which is of love; " waters" are things spiritual. The same is signified in the passage before us by "a mountain of the east." moreover they who dwelt in Syria were called " sons of the east," concerning which, of the Lord‘s Divine mercy hereafter.
AC 1251. Verse 31. These are the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their tongues, in their lands, according to their nation. "These are the sons of Shem," signifies derivations from internal worship, which is " Shem;" "according to their families, according to their tongues, in their lands, in their nations," signifies according to the genius of each in particular and in general "according to their families," is according to their differences in respect to charity; "according to their tongues," is according to the differences in respect to faith; "in their lands," is in general relatively to the things that are of faith; "in their nations," is in general relatively to the things that are of charity.
AC 1252. That these things are signified, needs no further confirmation; for they are the same words as occur above (verse 20); see what is said there. The significations of the terms, as here of the "families, tongues, lands, and nations," are determined by the relation of the terms to the things of which they are predicated. There they are predicated of Ham, or of corrupt internal worship; but here of Shem, or of true internal worship; and therefore the "families and nations" there relate to the morals, and the "tongues and lands" to the opinions, of a corrupt internal church; while here the "families and nations" relate to the charity, and the "tongues and lands" to the faith, of a true internal church. Concerning the signification of "nations and families," see what follows in this chapter. GENESIS 10:30-31 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|