Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 11:28
AC 1365. Verse 28. And Haran died upon the faces of Terah his father, in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. "And Haran died upon the faces of Terah his father, in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees," signifies that interior worship was blotted out and became merely idolatrous; by "Haran" is signified interior idolatrous worship; by "Terah his father," as before, idolatrous worship in general; by "the land of his nativity," the origin whence it was derived; by Car of the Chaldees," external worship in which there are falsities.
AC 1366. And Haran died upon the faces of Terah his father, in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. That this signifies that interior worship was blotted out and became merely idolatrous, is evident from the signification of "Haran," of "Terah," of "nativity," and of "Ur of the Chaldees;" and also from its being said that he " died upon the faces of Terah his father." As regards the fact that interior worship was blotted out, or that there came to be none, the case is this. The church cannot come forth anew among any nation until it has been so vastated that nothing of evil and falsity remains in its internal worship. So long as there is evil in its internal worship, the things that are good and true, which constitute its internal worship, are impeded; for so long as evils and falsities are present, goods and truths cannot be received. This may be seen from the fact that they who have been born in any heresy, and have so confirmed themselves in its falsities that they are entirely persuaded, can with difficulty, if ever, be brought to receive the truths which are contrary to their falsities. But with Gentiles who do not know what is the truth of faith, and yet live in charity, the case is different. This was the reason why the Lord‘s church could not be restored among the Jews, but among Gentiles who had no knowledges of faith. The former, by their falsities, entirely darken and thus extinguish the light of truth; but the Gentiles not so much, for they do not know what is the truth of faith; and what they do not know they cannot darken and extinguish.
 As a new church was now to be restored, those were taken to form it with whom goods and truths could be implanted, being those with whom all knowledge of the good and of the truth of faith had been blotted out, and who, like the Gentiles, had become external idolaters. As regards Terah and Abram, it has been shown above that they were of this character, that is to say, they worshiped other gods, and had no knowledge of Jehovah, nor consequently of what is the good and the truth of faith. They had thus become better fitted to receive the seed of truth than others in Syria among whom knowledges as yet remained. That they did remain with some is evident from Balaam, who was from Syria, and who not only worshiped Jehovah, but also offered sacrifice, and was at the same time a prophet. These therefore are the things contained in this verse, namely, that interior worship had been blotted out and had become merely idolatrous.
AC 1367. That by "Haran" is signified interior idolatrous worship, and by "Terah" idolatrous worship in general, has been stated and shown before. That the origin is signified by "the land of his nativity " and that their idolatrous worship was thence derived, is evident from the signification of nativity," as being origin and derivation, concerning which see under (verses 10 and 27).
AC 1368. That by "Ur of the Chaldees" is signified external worship in which there are falsities, is evident from the signification in the Word of "the Chaldeans." It has been shown above, at (verse 9), that by "Babel" is signified worship in which interiorly there are evils; but by "Chaldea" is signified worship in which interiorly there are falsities. Consequently by "Babel" is signified worship in which there in inwardly nothing of good; and by "Chaldea," worship in which there is inwardly nothing of truth. Worship in which there is inwardly nothing good and nothing true, is a worship wherein there is interiorly what is profane and idolatrous. That such worship is signified in the Word by "Chaldea," may be seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:
Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people is no more; Asshur founded it in Ziim; they shall set up the watch-towers thereof, they shall raise up her palaces he shall make it a ruin (Isa. 23:13).
"The land of the Chaldeans which is not a people," denotes falsities; "Asshur founded it," denotes reasonings; "the watch-towers," phantasies. Again:--
Thus hath said Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have thrown down the bars, all of the", and the Chaldeans in whose ships is a cry (Isa. 43:14).
"Babylon" denotes worship in which inwardly there is evil; "the Chaldeans," worship in which inwardly there is falsity; the "ships" are knowledges of truth which are corrupted.
Sit thou silent and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for they shall no more call thee the lady of kingdoms. I was wrath with My people, I profaned My inheritance, and gave them into thy hand; these two things shall come to thee suddenly in one day, the loss of children and widowhood together; to the full shall they come upon thee, because of the multitude of thy sorceries, and because of the greatness of thine enchantments (Isa. 47:5, 6, 9).
Here it is evident that "Chaldea" is the profanation of truth, and is called "sorceries" and "enchantments." Again Go ye forth out of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans (Isa. 48:20) that is, from the profanation of good and of truth in worship. In Ezekiel:--
Cause Jerusalem to know her abominations thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother a Hittite thou hast committed whoredom with the sons of Egypt; thou hast committed whoredom with the sons of Asshur; hence thou hast multiplied thy whoredom even into the land of Chaldea (Ezekiel 16:2, 3, 26, 28, 29).
This is said specifically of the Jewish Church; "the Sons of Egypt" denote memory-knowledges; "the sons of Assyria," reasonings; "the land of Chaldea into which she multiplied her whoredom," the profanation of truth. That countries are not meant by Egypt, Assyria, and Chaldea, and that no other whoredom is spoken Of, may be seen by any one.
Oholah hath committed whoredom, and hath doted on her lovers the Assyrians, her neighbors; and she hath not forsaken her whoredoms from Egypt; she hath added to her whoredoms; and she saw men, it was portrayed upon the wall, images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion, girded with girdles upon their loins, dyed turbans hanging down on their heads, all of them leaders to look upon, the likeness of the sons of Babylon, of the Chaldeans, the land of their nativity. As soon as she saw them she loved them lewdly, and sent messengers unto them into Chaldea; the sons of Babylon polluted her by their whoredoms (Ezek. 23:5, 8, 14-17).
Here the Chaldeans are called "sons of Babylon," and denote truths profaned in worship. "Oholah" denotes the spiritual church, which is called Samaria.
 In Habakkuk:--
I stir up the Chaldeans, a bitter and hasty nation, that march through the breadths of the earth, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs, a horrible and a terrible one, and from itself doth its judgment and its exaltation go forth; whose horses are swifter than leopards, and keener than the evening wolves and the horsemen thereof spread themselves, yea, the horsemen thereof come from afar; they By as an eagle that hasteth to devour wholly doth it come for violence the panting desire of its faces is toward the east (Habakkuk 1:6, 9).
The Chaldean nation is here described by many representatives that are significant of the profanations of truth in worship.
 Moreover, Babylon and Chaldea are described in two entire chapters in Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51, where what is signified by each is plainly evident, namely, by Babylon the profanation of celestial things, and by Chaldea the profanation of spiritual things, in worship. From all this therefore it is evident what is signified by "Ur of the Chaldees," namely, external worship in which there is inwardly profane idolatry. Moreover it has been permitted that I should be instructed by themselves that such was the character of their worship.GENESIS 11:28 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|