Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 13:1
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AC 1540. The true historicals of the Word began, as before said, with the the twelfth chapter. Up to that point, or rather to Eber, they were made--up historicals. In the internal sense, the historicals here continued respecting Abram are significative of the Lord, and in fact of His first life, such as it was before His external man had been conjoined with the internal so as to make one thing; that is, before His external man had been in like manner made celestial and Divine. The historicals are what represent the Lord; the words themselves are significative of the things that are represented. But being historical, the mind of the reader cannot but be held in them; especially at this day, when most persons, and indeed nearly all, do not believe that there is an internal sense, and still less that it exists in every word; and it may be that in spite of the fact that the internal sense has been so plainly shown thus far, they will not even now acknowledge its existence, and this for the reason that the internal sense appears to recede so far from the sense of the letter as to be scarcely recognized in it. And yet that these historicals cannot be the Word they might know from the mere fact that when separated from the internal sense there is no more of the Divine in them than in any other history; whereas the internal sense makes the Word to be Divine.

[2] That the internal sense is the Word itself, is evident from many things that have been revealed, as, "Out of Egypt have I called My son" (Matt. 2:15); besides many others. The Lord Himself also, after His resurrection, taught the disciples what had been written concerning Him in Moses and the Prophets (Luke 24:27); and thus that there is nothing written in the Word that does not regard Him, His kingdom, and the church. These are the spiritual and celestial things of the Word; but the things contained in the literal sense are for the most part worldly, corporeal, and earthly; which cannot possibly make the Word of the Lord. At this day men are of such a character that they perceive nothing but such things; and what spiritual and heavenly things are, they scarcely know. It was otherwise with the men of the Most Ancient and of the Ancient Church, who, had they lived at this day, and had read the Word, would not have attended at all to the sense of the letter, which they would look upon as nothing, but to the internal sense. They wonder greatly that any one perceives the Word in any other way. All the books of the Ancients were therefore so written as to have in their interior sense a different meaning from that in the letter.

AC 1541. Verse 1. And Abram went up out of Egypt, he and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, toward the south. In the internal sense, the things here stated, and those which follow in this chapter, also represent the Lord; there being a continuation of His life from childhood. "Abram went up out of Egypt," signifies from memory-knowledges, which left the Lord. In the internal sense, "Abram" is the Lord, here the Lord when still a child; "Egypt," here as before, is memory-knowledge; "he and his wife," signifies the celestial truths that were then with the Lord; "and all that he had" signifies all things that were of the celestial things " and Lot with him," signifies what is sensuous; "toward the south," signifies into celestial light.

AC 1542. That in the internal sense these things, and those that follow in this chapter, also represent the Lord, and that it is a continuation of His life from childhood, may be seen from what was said and shown in the preceding chapter, and also from what follows but especially from the consideration that this is the Word of the Lord, and that it has come down from Him through heaven, and therefore that not even the least bit of a word has been written that does not involve heavenly arcana. That which comes from such an origin cannot possibly be of any other nature. It has been shown already that in the internal sense the Lord‘s instruction when a child is treated of. There are two things with man which prevent his becoming celestial, one of which belongs to his intellectual, and the other to his will part: that which belongs to the intellectual part consists of the empty memory-knowledges he learns in childhood and youth; and that which belongs to the will part consists of pleasures from the cupidities which he favors. These are the hindrances that prevent his being able to attain to celestial things. These are first to be dispersed; and when they have been dispersed, he can then for the first time be admitted into the light of celestial things, and at last into celestial light.

[2] As the Lord was born as are other men, and was to be informed as others are, it was necessary for Him to learn memory-knowledges, which was represented and signified by Abram’s sojourn in Egypt; and that the empty memory-knowledges at last left Him, was represented by Pharaoh‘s commanding his men respecting him, and by their sending him away, and his wife, and all that he had. (Genesis 12:20). But that the pleasures which pertain to the things of the will, and which constitute the sensuous man, but the outermost of it, also left Him, is represented in this chapter by Lot, in that he separated himself from Abram; for Lot represents such a man.

AC 1543. And Abram went up out of Egypt. That this signifies from memory-knowledges, which left the Lord, is evident from the signification of "Abram," as representing the Lord; and also from the signification of "Egypt," which is memory-knowledge; and also from the signification of "going up," for this expression is used of emerging from the lower things, which are the memory-knowledges, to the higher, which are the celestial things; and therefore, in the Word, "to go up from Egypt into the land of Canaan"--an expression which often occurs--involves the like things.

AC 1544. It has already been shown that here, in the internal sense, "Abram" is the Lord while still a child, and that "Egypt" is memory-knowledge.

AC 1545. He and he wife. That this signifies the celestial truths then in the Lord, may be seen from the signification of "he," that is, of Abram, as being the Lord, and consequently the celestial that was in Him. A man is a man from the things that are in him; the Lord, from the celestial things; for He alone was celestial, so as to be the celestial itself; on which account celestial things are signified by "Abram," and still more by "Abraham." This may be further seen from the signification of a "wife," as being truth adjoined to the celestial (n. 1468). That the truths are celestial truths, or truths which are from celestial things, is evident from the fact that "he" is named first, and "his wife" afterwards. For celestial truth is one thing, and truth celestial is another; celestial truth is that which derives its origin from the celestial; truth celestial is that which is from the truth which is implanted in the celestial by means of knowledges (cognitiones).

AC 1546. And all that he had. That this signifies all things that were of the celestial things, is evident from what has now been said.

AC 1547. And Lot with him. That this signifies what is sensuous, has already been briefly stated (n. 1428); but as Lot is here specifically treated of, it must be known what it is in the Lord that he represents. Pharaoh represented the memory-knowledges that at last sent the Lord away; but Lot represents sensuous things, by which is meant the external man and its pleases that pertain to sensuous things, thus those things which are outermost, and which are wont to captivate man in his childhood, and draw him away from goods. For so far as a man indulges the pleasures that originate from cupidities, he is drawn away from the celestial things that are of love and charity; because in those pleasures there is love from self and from the world, with which celestial love cannot agree. There are, however, pleasures that agree perfectly with celestial things, and that likewise appear similar in external form (n. 945, 994, 995, 997). But the pleasures that originate from cupidities are to be restrained and wiped out, because they block the way to celestial things. It is these pleasures, and not the others, that are treated of in this chapter--by Lot, in that he separated himself from Abram; and here it is said that such pleasures were present, which are signified by "Lot with him." But in general by " Lot" is signified the external man, as will be evident from what follows.

AC 1548. Toward the south. That this signifies into celestial light, is evident from the signification of "the south," as being a state of light as to the interiors (n. 1458). There are two states from which comes celestial light. The first is that into which man is introduced from infancy; for it is known that infants are in innocence and in the goods of love, which are the celestial things into which they are at first introduced by the Lord, and which are stored up in the child for use in later life, and for his use when he comes into the other life; these are what are called the first remains, spoken of in several places before. The other state is, that man is introduced into spiritual and celestial things by means of knowledges, which must be implanted in the celestial things given from infancy. With the Lord, these were implanted in His first celestial things, from which He had the light which is here called "the south."

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info