Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 11:26
AC 1355. Verse 26. And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. "And Terah lived seventy years," signifies the beginning of the ninth state, which was the last; "Terah" signifies here, as before, idolatrous worship; "and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran," signifies the derivations therefrom. Abram, Nahor, and Haran were persons, from whom also nations were named that were idolaters.
AC 1356. That by "Terah" is signified idolatrous worship, may be seen from the derivations spoken of from (verse 20) to this place. This Second Ancient Church degenerated from a kind of internal worship, and was so adulterated that at last it became idolatrous; as churches are wont to do, in that from internal things they go to external, and finally terminate in mere external things, internal things being blotted out. That such was the case with this church, insomuch that a great part of them did not acknowledge Jehovah as God, but worshiped other gods, is evident in Joshua:--
Joshua said unto all the people, Thus hath said Jehovah the God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt of old time beyond the river, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor; and they served other gods. Now therefore fear Jehovah, and serve Him in integrity and in truth; and put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the river, and in Egypt, and serve ye Jehovah. And if it be evil in your eyes to serve Jehovah, choose ye this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods that your fathers served, that were beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites (Joshua 24:2, 14, 15).
Here it is very plain that Terah, Abram, and Nahor were idolaters.
 That Nahor was a nation in which there was idolatrous worship, is also evident from Laban the Syrian, who dwelt in the city of Nahor, and worshiped the images or teraphim which Rachel carried away (Gen. 24:10; 31:19, 26, 32, 34). And that there was one god of Abraham, another god of Nahor, and another of their father, that is, of Terah, is evident from (Genesis 31:53). It is also plainly stated by Moses concerning Abram, that Jehovah was not known to him:--
I Jehovah appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, in God Shaddai, but by My name Jehovah I was not known to them (Exod. 6:3).
From all this it is evident how much this church fell away among this nation into the idolatrous worship which is here signified by Terah; and because it is signified by Terah, it is also signified by Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
AC 1357. There are three universal kinds of idolatry. The first comes of the love of self; the second, of the love of the world; the third, of the love of pleasures. All idolatrous worship has one or other of these for its end. The worship of idolaters can have no other ends; for they know not and care not for eternal life; they even deny it. These three kinds of idolatry are signified by the three sons of Terah.
AC 1358. That Abram, Nahor, and Haran were persons, from whom also nations were named that were idolaters, is evident from the historical parts of the Word. As regards Nahor this has been already shown; for the city was called the city of Nahor (Gen. 24:10). At that time cities were nothing else than families that dwelt together; and a number of families constituted a nation. That a number of nations were born of Abraham, is evident not only from the posterity of Ishmael, or the Ishmaelites, but also from that of his several sons by his wife Keturah, who are named in (Genesis 25:1-4). GENESIS 11:26 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|