Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 12:2
AC 1415. Verse 2. And I will make thee into a great nation; and I will bless thee, and will make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing. "I will make thee into a great nation" signifies the kingdom in the heavens and on the earth; it is said "a great nation," from things celestial and from goods; "and I will bless thee," signifies the fructification of celestial things and the multiplication of spiritual things; "and will make thy name great," signifies glory; "and thou shalt be a blessing," signifies that from the Lord are all things both in general and in particular.
AC 1416. I will make thee into a great nation. That this signifies the kingdom in the heavens and on the earth, is evident from the signification of a "nation," as being in the internal sense the celestial of love and the derivative good, thus all in the universe in whom is the celestial of love and of charity; and as in the internal sense the Lord is here treated of, there is meant all the celestial and all the derivative good, thus His kingdom, which is with those who are in love and charity. In the supreme sense the Lord is Himself the "great nation," because He is the celestial itself, and good itself; for all the good of love and of charity is from Him alone; and therefore the Lord is His kingdom itself, that is, He is the all in all of His kingdom, as is also acknowledged by all the angels in heaven. Hence now it is evident that "I will make thee into a great nation," signifies the Lord’s kingdom in the heavens and on earth.
 That in the internal sense, where the Lord and the celestial things of love are treated of, a "nation" signifies the Lord and all celestial things, is evident from the things adduced above concerning the signification of a "nation," and of "nations" (n. 1258, 1259). This may also be further confirmed by the following passages. Concerning Abraham it is said:--
Thy name shall not any more be called Abram, and thy name shall be Abraham, for the father of a multitude of nations have I given thee (Gen. 17:5).
The letter h in "Abraham" was taken from the name Jehovah, on account of his representation of Jehovah or the Lord. In like manner it is said of Sarai: Thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and also give thee a son of her; thus I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall be of her (Gen. 17:15, 16); where "nations" denote the celestial things of love, and "kind of peoples" the spiritual things of faith thence derived, which belong to the Lord alone.
 Concerning Jacob in like manner:--
Thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name, and He called his name Israel: and God said, I am God the thunderer; increase and multiply a nation and a congregation of nations shall be from thee, and kings shall go forth out of thy loins (Gen. 35:10, 11)
where "Israel" denotes the Lord, and that He Himself is "Israel" in the supreme sense, is well known to some; and when He is "Israel," it is evident that "a nation" and "an assemblage of nations," and "kings out of His loins," are the celestial and the spiritual things of love, and therefore all who are in the celestial and the spiritual things of love. Concerning Ishmael, Abram‘s son by Hagar, it is said:--
The son of the handmaid I will make him into a nation, because he is thy seed (Gen. 21:13, 18).
What is represented by Ishmael will be seen in its place; the "seed" of Abram is love itself, and from this the term "nation" is used for those begotten of Ishmael.
 That a "nation" signifies the celestial things of love, is evident in Moses:--
If hearing ye will hear My voice, and will keep My covenant, ye shall also be a peculiar treasure unto Me out of all peoples, and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation (Exod. 19:5, 6)
where "a kingdom of priests," which is the Lord’s kingdom the heavens and on earth, being so named from the celestial things of love, is manifestly called "a holy nation;" whereas the Lord‘s kingdom from His kingly function was named from the spiritual things of love, and is called "a holy people;" and for this reason " kings out of the loins," in the passage quoted above, are spiritual things. In Jeremiah:--
If these statutes have departed from before Me, saith Jehovah, the seed of Israel also shall cease, that it be not a nation before Me all the days (Jeremiah 31:36)
"the seed of Israel" denotes the celestial of charity; and when this ceases, there is no longer a nation before the Lord.
 In Isaiah:--
The people that walk in darkness have seen a great light; Thou hast multiplied the nation (Isaiah 9:2, 3).
This is said of the church of the nations specifically; but in general of all who are in ignorance and live in charity; these are a "nation," because they are of the Lord’s kingdom. In David:--
That I may see the good of Thy chosen that I may be glad in the gladness of Thy nation, that I may glory in Thine inheritance (Ps. 106:5)
here "nation" plainly denotes the Lord‘s kingdom. As the signification of nation" is the celestial of love and the derivative good, there originated, from a perception of this signification, the fact that the men of the Most Ancient Church were distinguished into households, families, and nations; and thereby they perceived the Lord’s kingdom, and consequently the celestial itself. From this Perceptive arose the Significative, and from this the Representative.
AC 1417. That "a great nation" is so called from celestial things and goods, is evident from what has just been said and shown, and also from what was said above (n. 1259). Hence it may be known what in the proper sense is the Church of the Nations.
AC 1418. And I will bless thee. That this signifies the fructification of celestial things and the multiplication of spiritual things, is evident from the signification in the Word of "to bless," concerning which presently.
AC 1419. And I will make thy name great. That this signifies glory, is evident without explication. In the external sense, by "making a name," and by "glory," there is signified something worldly; but in the internal sense, something celestial. This celestial is not to strive to be the greatest, but to be the least, by serving all; as the Lord Himself said in Matthew:--
It shall not be so among you but whosoever would be great among you shall be your minister and whosoever would be first among you shall be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:26-28; Mark 10:44, 45)
It is the celestial of love not to desire to be one‘s own, but to belong to all; so that we desire to give others all that is our own in this consists the essence of celestial love. The Lord, being love itself, or the essence and life of the love of all in the heavens, wills to give to the human race all things that are His; which is signified by His saying that the Son of man came to give His life a ransom for many. From this it is evident that in the internal sense "name" and glory" are altogether different from what they are in the external sense. In heaven therefore all are rejected who desire to become great and the greatest; because this is contrary to the essence and life of heavenly love, which are from the Lord. Hence also it is that nothing is more contrary to heavenly love than the love of self. Concerning these things see what is related from experience above (n. 450, 452, 952).
AC 1420. And thou shalt be a blessing. That this signifies that all things both in general and in particular are from the Lord, is evident from the signification of "a blessing." A "blessing" is predicated of all goods; in the external sense, of corporeal, worldly, and natural goods in the internal sense, of spiritual and celestial goods. "To be a blessing," is to be the source of all goods, and the giver of all goods. This can by no means be said of Abram, and hence it is evident that by Abram is represented the Lord, who alone is "a blessing." In like manner in regard to what is said of Abraham hereafter:--
Abraham shall surely become a great and numerous nation, and in him shall all the nations of the earth be blessed (Gen. 18:18)
In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed (Gen. 26:4),
and of Jacob:--
In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth he blessed (Gen. 28:14).
That nations cannot be blessed, and are not blessed, in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and in their seed, but in the Lord, may be seen by every one. This is clearly said in David:--
His name shall endure forever; before the sun shall the name of his son endure; and all nations shall be blessed in him (Ps. 72:17);
where the Lord is treated of. Again:--
Thou shalt set him for blessings forever (Ps. 21:6);
where also the Lord is treated of. In Jeremiah:--
The nations shall be blessed in Him, and in Him shall they glory (Jeremiah 4:2).
From these passages it is now evident that "a blessing" signifies the Lord, and that when He is called "a blessing," it signifies that from Him are all celestial and spiritual things, which alone are goods and because they alone are goods, they alone are truths; and therefore in proportion as there are celestial and spiritual goods in natural, worldly, and corporeal ones, in the same proportion these are goods, and are "blessed."GENESIS 12:2 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|