Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 11:10
AC 1329. Verse 10. These are the births of Shem: Shem was a son of a hundred years, and begat Arpachshad two years after the flood. " These are the births of Shem," signifies the derivations of the Second Ancient Church; " Shem" is internal worship in general; "a hundred years," signifies the state of that church at the beginning; "Arpachshad" was a nation so named, by which is signified memory-knowledge (scientia); "two years after the flood," signifies the second post-diluvian church.
AC 1330. These are the births of Shem. That this signifies the derivations of the Second Ancient Church, is evident from the signification of "births," as being the origin and derivation of doctrinal things and of worships (n. 1145). Here, and elsewhere in the Word, the "births" are no other than those of the church, that is, of doctrinal things and of worships. The internal sense of the Word enfolds nothing else; and therefore when any church is born, it is said that "these are its births," as for instance when the Most Ancient Church was born: "These are the births of the heavens and of the earth" (Gen. 2:4); and in like manner with the other churches which followed, before the flood: "This is the book of the births" (Gen. 5:1). In like manner with the churches after the flood, which were three,--the First called Noah, the Second named from Eber, the Third from Jacob, and afterwards from Judah and Israel. When the First of these churches is described, the record begins in a similar manner: "These are the births of the sons of Noah" (Gen. 10:1). So with this Second church, named from Eber, in this verse: "These are the births of Shem." And with the Third also, in (verse 27) of this chapter: "These are the births of Terah." So that "births" signify nothing else than the origins and derivations of the doctrinal things and of the worships of the church that is being described. The reason why the births of this Second church are derived from Shem, or why its beginning is described by "Shem," is that " Shem" signifies internal worship, here, the internal worship of this church. Not that the internal worship of this church was such internal worship as that which was signified by "Shem" in the preceding chapter; but merely that it is the internal worship of the church.
AC 1331. From what has been said it is now evident that "Shem" denotes internal worship in general. The quality of the internal worship of this church is evident from those who are named in succession after Shem, namely, that it was characterized by memory-knowledge (fuerit scientificum), as is confirmed by the numbers of the years, when they are examined and unfolded.
AC 1332. That "a hundred years" signifies the state of that church in general, is evident from what has been stated and shown before concerning numbers and years (n. 482, 487, 488, 493, 575, 647, 648, 755, 813, 893), namely, that they signify times and states. But what and of what quality the states were that are signified by the number "a hundred" years, and by the numbers of years in the following verses of this chapter, it would he tedious to explain; moreover the subject is intricate.
AC 1334. That Arpachshad was a nation so named, and that thereby is signified memory-knowledge, was stated at (verse 24) of the preceding chapter (n. 1236).
AC 1335. Two years after the flood. That this signifies the Second post-diluvian church, may be seen from the fact that by a "year," in the Word, as also by a "day" and by a "week," is signified an entire period, greater or less, of fewer or of more years; in fact a period in the abstract, as may be seen from the paragraphs referred to above (n. 488, 493). So here with the "two years after the flood," by which is signified the second period of the church, which was when this second church began. GENESIS 11:10 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|