Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 11:6
AC 1314. Verse 6. And Jehovah said, Behold, the people are one, and they all have one lip, and this is what they begin to do; and now nothing will be withholden from them of all which they have thought to do. "And Jehovah said," signifies that it was so; "Behold, the people are one, and they all have one lip," signifies that they all had one truth of faith and doctrine; "and this is what they begin to do," signifies that they now begin to become different; "and now nothing will be withholden from them of all which they have thought to do," signifies unless their state is now changed.
AC 1315. And Jehovah said. That this signifies that it was so, is evident from the fact, that here, as has been shown before, we have not true history, but made-up history; and therefore when it is said that "Jehovah said," it can signify nothing else than that it was so, as has also been shown before.
AC 1316. Behold, the people are one, and they all have one lip. That this signifies that they all had one truth of faith and doctrine, is evident from the signification of "people," as being the truth of faith, and from the signification of "lip," as being doctrine. It has been shown before (n. 1259), that "people" signifies the truth of faith, that is, those who are in the truth of faith; and that "lip" signifies the doctrine of faith, was shown just above at (verse 1). The people is said to be "one," and their "lip one," when all have as their end the common good of society, the common good of the church, and the kingdom of the Lord; for when this is the case the Lord is in the end, and all are a one from Him. But the Lord cannot possibly be present with a man whose end is his own good; the Own itself of man estranges the Lord, because thereby the man twists and turns the common good of society, and that of the church itself, and even the kingdom of the Lord, to himself, insomuch that it is as if it existed for him. He thus takes away from the Lord what is His, and puts himself in His place. When this condition reigns in a man, there is the like of it in every single thought he has, and even in the least particulars of his thoughts for such is the case with whatever is regnant in any man.
 This does not appear so manifestly in the life of the body as it does in the other life, for there whatever is regnant in any one manifests itself by a certain sphere which is perceived by all around him, and which is of this character because it exhales from every single thing in him. The sphere of him who has regard to himself in everything, appropriates to itself, and, as is said there, absorbs everything that is favorable to itself, and therefore it absorbs all the delight of the surrounding spirits, and destroys all their freedom, so that such a person has to be banished from society. But when the people is one, and the lip one, that is, when the common good of all is regarded, one person never appropriates to himself another‘s delight, or destroys another’s freedom, but in so far as he can he promotes and increases it. This is the reason why the heavenly societies are as a one, and this solely through mutual love from the Lord; and the case is the same in the church.
AC 1317. And this is what they begin to do. That this signifies that now they began to become different, is evident from the connection. To "begin to do," here signifies their thought or intention, and consequently their end, as also is evident from the words that next follow, "and now nothing will be withholden from them of all which they have thought to do." That in the internal sense their end is signified, is because nothing else than the end in a man is regarded by the Lord. Whatever may be his thoughts and deeds--which vary in ways innumerable-- provided the end is made good, they are all good; whereas if the end is evil, they are all evil. It is the end that reigns in everything a man thinks and does. The angels with a man, being the Lord‘s angels, rule nothing in the man but his ends; for when they rule these, they rule also his thoughts and actions, seeing that all these are of the end. The end with a man is his very life; and all things that he thinks and does have life from the end, for, as was said, they are of the end; and therefore such as is the end, such is the man’s life. The end is nothing else than the love; for a man cannot have anything as an end except that which he loves. He who thinks one thing and does another, still has as the end that which he loves in the dissimulation itself, or in the deceit, there is the end, which is the love of self or the love of the world, and the derivative delight of his life. From these considerations any one may conclude that such as is a man‘s love, such is his life. These therefore are the things signified by "beginning to do."
AC 1318. And now nothing will be withholden from them of all which they have thought to do. That this signifies unless their state is now changed, may be seen from what follows. The internal sense of the Word is of such a nature that it keeps constantly in view the things that follow, and also the conclusion, although this does not appear to be so in the literal sense. As regards those who are of the character described above, unless their state were changed, they could not be withheld from doing all they thought of doing. But that their state was changed, is evident from what follows. The thought of doing is nothing else than the intention, that is, the end. The end with a man can never be withheld, that is, changed, unless his state is changed; for the end is the very life of a man, as was said. When the state is changed, the end also is changed; and with the end the thought. The nature of the change of state that took place with the man of this church, will of the Lord’s Divine mercy be shown in what follows. GENESIS 11:6 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|