Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 11:7
AC 1319. Verse 7. Come, let us go down, and there confound their lip, that they hear not a man the lip of his fellow. "Come, let us go down," signifies that a judgment was thus effected; "and there confound their lip," signifies that not any one has the truth of doctrine; "that they hear not a man the lip of his fellow," signifies that all are at variance with one another.
AC 1320. Come, let us go down. That this signifies that a judgment was thus effected, is evident from what was said above (verse 5) about the signification of "going down.Ď The reason why it is here said, in the plural, "let us go down and confound their lip," is that it is the execution of a judgment, which is effected by means of spirits, and indeed by means of evil spirits.
AC 1321. And there confound their lip. That this signifies that not any one has the truth of doctrine, may be seen from the signification of "lip," as being doctrine, concerning which see above (verse 1). Hence it follows that to "confound the lips" is to confound the things that are of doctrine, that is, the truths of doctrine. In the internal sense, "to confound" signifies not only to darken, but also to blot out and dissipate, so that there is not any truth. When the worship of self succeeds in the place of the worship of the Lord, then all truth is not only perverted, but is even abolished, and at last falsity is acknowledged in the place of truth, and evil in the place of good. For all the light of truth is from the Lord, and all darkness is from man; and when man takes the place of the Lord in worship, the light of truth becomes thick darkness; and then the light is seen by men as thick darkness, and thick darkness is seen as the light.
 Such moreover is precisely the life of such persons after death; the life of falsity is to them as if it were light, but the life of truth is to them as thick darkness. But when they approach toward heaven, the light of such a life is changed into total darkness. So long as they are in the world, they can indeed speak truth, even with eloquence and apparent zeal; and as there is with all such persons a constant reflection upon self, they seem to themselves to think as they speak; but as their very end is the worship of self, their thoughts derive from the end that they do not acknowledge truth except in so far as self is in the truth. When a man in whose mouth is the truth is of such a character, it is evident that he does not possess the truth; and in the other life this is plainly evident, for there such men not only do not acknowledge the truth which they had professed in the life of the body, but hold it in hatred, and persecute it; and this just in proportion as their arrogance or their worship of self is not taken away.
AC 1322. That they hear not a man the lip of his fellow. That this signifies that all are at variance, or that the one is against the other, is evident from the words themselves. "Not to hear one anotherís lip," is not to acknowledge what another says, and in the internal sense not to acknowledge what another teaches, that is, his doctrine, for "lip" is doctrine, as has been shown above (verse 1). They acknowledge it indeed with the mouth, but not with the heart; but agreement with the mouth is nothing when there is disagreement of the heart. The case in this respect is the same as it is with evil spirits in the other life, who, in like manner as the good, are distinguished into societies, but are kept conjoined together by being attached by the like phantasies and cupidities, so that they act as a one in persecuting truths and goods. Thus there is a certain common interest by which they are held together; but as soon as this common bond is dissolved, they rush one upon another, and then their delight consists in tormenting their associate or associates. The case is similar with such doctrine and worship in this world those in it acknowledge what pertains to doctrine and ritual harmoniously enough; but the common interest that holds them together is the worship of self; and so far as they can share in this common interest, they acknowledge; but so far as they cannot share or hope to share in it, they are disunited; for the reason given just above, that no one of this character possesses any truth, but every one has falsity in the place of truth, and evil in the place of good. This therefore is what is signified by their "not hearing a man the lip of his fellow." GENESIS 11:7 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|