Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 10:6
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AC 1160. Verse 6. And the sons of Ham: Cush, and Mizraim, and Put, and Canaan. By "Ham" is signified, here as before, faith separated from charity; by "the sons of Ham," the things that belong to this separated faith; "Gush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan" were so many nations, by which are signified, in the internal sense, the knowledges, the memory-knowledges, and the worships that are of faith separated from charity.

AC 1161. That by "Ham" is signified faith separated from charity, is evident from what was said and shown concerning Ham in the preceding chapter.

AC 1162. That by "the sons of Ham" are signified the things that belong to this separated faith, follows from this. In order that it may be known what is meant by "Ham," and therefore by "the Sons of Ham," it must first be known what faith separated from charity is. Faith separated from charity is no faith. Where there is no faith, there is no worship, neither internal nor external. If there be any worship at all, it is corrupt worship, and therefore by "Ham" is likewise signified internal worship corrupted. They hold a false opinion who call the mere memory-knowledge of things celestial and spiritual, separated from charity, faith. For sometimes the worst of men have this knowledge more than others-as those who live in continual hatred and vindictiveness, and in adultery, and are therefore infernal, and after the life of the body become devils. It may be seen from this that memory-knowledge is not faith. But faith is the acknowledgment of the things which are of faith; and this acknowledgment is by no means external, but internal, and is the working of the Lord alone through the charity in a man. And this acknowledgment is by no means a thing of the mouth, but of the life. From the life of everyone it may be known what his acknowledgment is. All they are called "sons of Ham" who have a memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith, and have not charity, whether it be a memory-knowledge of the interior knowledges of the Word, and of its veriest mysteries, or a memory-knowledge of all things in the literal sense of the Word, or a memory-knowledge of other truths, whatever their name, from which these may be regarded, or a knowledge of all the rituals of external worship - if they have not charity, they are "sons of Ham." That they who are called" sons of Ham" are of this character, is evident from the nations now treated of.

AC 1163. That "Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan," were so many nations, by which in the internal sense are signified knowledges, memory-knowledges, and rituals that are of faith separated from charity, may be seen from the Word, where these nations are frequently mentioned; for such things are there signified by them; that is to say, by "Cush," or "Ethiopia," are signified the interior knowledges of the Word, whereby such men confirm false principles; by "Mizraim," or "Egypt," memory-knowledges or various matters of memory, whereby men desire to explore the mysteries of faith, and from them confirm principles of falsity; by "Put," or "Lybia," knowledges from the literal sense of the Word, by which in like manner they confirm false principles; and by "Canaan," or "the Canaanites," rituals, or the things of external worship separated from internal. All these, when separated from charity, are called "sons of Ham." By the same nations are also signified simply knowledges and memory-knowledges; by Cush," the interior knowledges of the Word; by "Egypt," memory-knowledges; by "Put," knowledges from the literal sense of the Word. This is the reason why they are taken- as may be seen from the following passages-in both a bad and a good sense.

AC 1164. That by "Cush" or "Ethiopia" are signified the interior knowledges of the Word, by which such men confirm false principles, may be seen in Jeremiah:--

Egypt riseth up like a stream, whose waters toss themselves like the rivers, and he hath said, I will go up, I will cover the earth, I will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof. Go up ye horses, and rage ye chariots; and let the mighty men go forth, Cush and Put that handle the shield (Jeremiah 46:8, 9).

"Egypt" here denotes those who believe nothing unless they apprehend it from memory-knowledges, whereby everything becomes involved in doubt, denial, and falsity, which is to "go up, cover the earth, and destroy the city." "Cush" here denotes more universal and more interior knowledges of the Word, whereby men confirm received principles of falsity. "Put" denotes knowledges from the literal sense of the Word which are according to the appearances of the senses.

[2] In Ezekiel:--

A sword shall come upon Egypt, and there shall be grief in Cush, when the slain shall fall in Egypt; and they shall take her multitude, and her foundations shall be destroyed. Cush, and Put, and Lud, and all Ereb and Cub, and the sons of the land of the covenant shall fall with them by the sword (Ezekiel 30:4, 5).

No one could at all know what these things mean except from the internal sense; and if the names did not signify actual things (res), there would be scarcely any sense. But here by "Egypt" are signified memory-knowledges, whereby men desire to enter into the mysteries of faith. " Cush and Put" are called "the foundations thereof" because they signify knowledges from the Word.

[3] In the same:--

In that day shall messengers go forth from before Me in ships, to make confident Cush afraid; and there shall be grief upon them, as in the day of Egypt (Ezek. 30:9).

"Cush" denotes those knowledges from the Word that confirm falsities which are hatched from memory-knowledges. In the same:--

I will make the land of Egypt into wastes, a waste of desolation, from the tower of Seveneh, even unto the border of Cush (Ezek. 29:10).

Here "Egypt" denotes memory-knowledges; and "Cush" the knowledges of the interior things of the Word, which are the boundaries as far as memory-knowledges go.

[4] In Isaiah:--

The king of Assyria shall lead the captivity of Egypt and the captivity of Cush, boys and old men, naked and barefoot, and with buttocks uncovered, the nakedness of Egypt; and they shall be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope, and of Egypt their glory (Isaiah 20:4, 5).

"Cush" here denotes knowledges from the Word, whereby falsities acquired through memory-knowledges are confirmed; "Asshur" is reasoning which leads men "captive." In Nahum:--

Cush and Egypt were her strength, and there was no end; Put and Lubim were thy helpers (Nahum 3:9).

This is said of the church vastated, and here in like manner "Egypt" denotes memory-knowledges, and "Cush" knowledges.

[5] "Cush and Egypt" here denote simply knowledges and memory-knowledges, which are truths, useful to those who are in the faith of charity; thus they are here used in a good sense. In Isaiah:--

Thus said Jehovah, The labor of Egypt, and the merchandise of Cush, and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall pass over unto thee, and they shall be thine they shall go after thee in fetters, they shall pass over and shall bow down unto thee; they shall pray unto thee; God is in thee only, and there Is no other God besides (Isaiah 14:14).

"The labor of Egypt" denotes memory-knowledge; and "the merchandise of Cush and of the Sabeans," knowledges of spiritual things which are serviceable to those who acknowledge the Lord; for all memory-knowledge and knowledge are for them.

[6] In Daniel:--

The king of the north shall have dominion over the hidden stores of gold and silver, and over all the desirable things of Egypt; and the Lubim (Put) and Cushim shall be at thy steps (Daniel 11:43).

"Put and Cush" here denote knowledges from the Word; and "Egypt," memory-knowledges. In Zephaniah:--

From the crossing of the rivers of Gush, My worshipers (Zephaniah 3:10),

denoting those who are without knowledges, that is, the Gentiles. In David:--

Great ones shall come out of Egypt; Cush shall hasten his hands unto God (Ps. 68:31).

"Egypt" here denotes memory-knowledges, and "Cush," knowledges.

[7] In the same:--

I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon as among them that know Me behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Cush; this one was born there (in the city of God) (Ps. 87:4).

"Cush" denotes knowledges from the Word; and therefore it is said that he "was born in the city of God." It is because "Cush" signifies the interior knowledges of the Word and the intelligence thence derived, that it is said that the second river that went forth from the garden of Eden "encompassed the whole land of Cush" (n. 117).

AC 1165. That by "Mizraim," or "Egypt," in the Word, are signified the memory-knowledges (that is, the various matters of memory) wherewith men desire to explore the secrets of faith, and to confirm the principles of falsity thereby conceived; and that it also signifies simply memory-knowledges, thus such as are useful, is evident not only from the passages already adduced, but from very many others also, which, if all cited, would fill pages. (Isa. 19:1-25; 30:1-3; 31:1-3; Jer. 2:18, 36; 42:14-22; 46:1-28; Ezek. 16:26; 23:3, 8; 29:1-21; 30:1-26; Hos. 7:11; 9:3, 6; 11:1, 5, 11; Micah 7:5; Zech. 10:10, 11; Ps. 80:8-19).

AC 1166. That by "Put," or "Lybia," in the Word, are signified the knowledges from the literal sense by which in like manner false principles are confirmed, and also simply such knowledges, is evident from the passages cited above where "Cush" is spoken of. Because by him there are in like manner signified those knowledges which are more interior, "Put" and "Cush" are mentioned together in the Word, as may be seen in the passages above cited (Jer. 46:8, 9; Ezek. 30:4, 5; Nahum 3:9; Dan. 11:43).

AC 1167. That by "Canaan," or "the Canaanite," when mentioned in the Word, are signified rituals, that is, the things of external worship separated from internal, is evident from very many passages, especially in the historicals. Because the Canaanites were of this character at the time when the sons of Jacob were introduced into their land, it was permitted that they should be exterminated. But in the internal sense of the Word, all those are meant by "Canaanites" who have external worship separated from internal. And as the Jews and Israelites more than others were of this nature, they specifically are signified by "Canaanites" in the prophetical Word, as may be seen from these two passages only:--

They have shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan; and the land was profaned with bloods, and they were defiled with their works, and went a whoring in the doings. (Ps. 106:38, 39).

"To shed the blood of sons and daughters," here signifies in the internal sense that they extinguished all truths of faith and goods of charity; "to sacrifice sons and daughters to the idols of Canaan" signifies to profane the things which are of faith and charity by external worship separate from internal, which is nothing else than idolatrous. Thus were they defiled with their works, and went a whoring in their doings. In Ezekiel:--

Thus saith the Lord Jehovah unto Jerusalem, Thy tradings and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother a Hittite (Ezekiel 16:3).

Here they are plainly said to be of the land of Canaan. (That "Canaan" signifies external worship separated from internal see above, (n. 1078, 1094)

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