Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 13:10
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AC 1583. Verse 10. And Lot lifted up his eyes, and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was all well watered, before Jehovah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of Jehovah, like the land of Egypt in coming to Zoar. "And Lot lifted up his eyes," signifies that the external man was illuminated by the internal; "and saw all the plain of Jordan," signifies the goods and truths that are in the external man; "that it was all well watered," signifies that these can increase there; "before Jehovah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah," signifies the external man destroyed by the cupidities of evil and the persuasions of falsity; "like the garden of Jehovah," signifies its rational things; "like the land of Egypt in coming to Zoar," signifies memory-knowledges from the affections of good. These things signify that the external man appeared to the Lord such as it is in its beauty when conjoined with the internal man.

AC 1584. Lot lifted up his eyes. That this signifies that the external man was illuminated by the internal, is evident from the signification of "lifting up the eyes," as being to see, and, in the internal sense, to perceive, here, to be illuminated, because it is predicated of Lot, or the external man; for this, when it perceives what the external man is when conjoined with the internal, or what it is in its beauty, is then illuminated by the internal man, and is then in the Divine vision here treated of. Nor can it be doubted that the Lord when a child was as to His external man frequently in such Divine sight, because He alone was to conjoin the external man with the internal. The external man was His Human Essence; the internal man was the Divine Essence.

AC 1585. And saw all the plain of Jordan. That this signifies those goods and truths that were in the external man, is evident from the signification of a "plain," and of "Jordan." In the internal sense "the plain of Jordan" signifies the external man as to all its goods and truths. That "the plain of Jordan" signifies this, is because the Jordan was a boundary of the land of Canaan. The land of Canaan, as before said and shown, signifies the Lord‘s kingdom and church, and in fact the celestial and the spiritual things thereof; on which account it has also been called the Holy Land, and the Heavenly Canaan; and because it signifies the Lord’s kingdom and church, it signifies in the supreme sense the Lord Himself, who is the all in all of His kingdom and of His church.

[2] Hence all things that were in the land of Canaan were representative. Those which were in the midst of the land, or which were the inmost, represented the Lord‘s internal man--as Mount Zion and Jerusalem, the former the celestial things, the latter the spiritual things. Those which were further distant from the center, represented the things more remote from the internals. Those which were the furthest off, or which were the boundaries, represented the external man. The boundaries of Canaan were several; in general, the two rivers Euphrates and Jordan, and also the sea. Hence the Euphrates and the Jordan represented the externals. Here, therefore, "the plain of Jordan," signifies, as it represents, all things that are in the external man. The case is similar when the expression "land of Canaan" is applied to the Lord’s kingdom in the heavens, or to the Lord‘s church on earth, or again to the man of His kingdom or church, or, abstractedly, to the celestial things of love, and so on.

[3] Hence it is that almost all the cities, and even all the mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, and other things, in the land of Canaan, were representative. It has already been shown (n. 120) that the river Euphrates, being a boundary, represented the things of sense and knowledge that belong to the external man. That the case is similar with the Jordan, and the plain of Jordan, may be seen from passages that now follow. In David:--

O my God, my soul is bowed down within me; therefore will I remember Thee from the land of Jordan, and the Hermons, from the mountain of littleness (Ps. 42:6)

where "the land of Jordan" denotes that which is low, thus that which is distant from the celestial, as man’s externals are from his internals.

[4] That the sons of Israel crossed the Jordan when they entered the land of Canaan, and that it was then divided, likewise represented the access to the internal man through the external, and also man‘s entrance into the Lord’s kingdom, besides other things. (Josh. 3:14-17; 4:1-24). And because the external man continually fights against the internal, and desires dominion, the "pride" or "swelling" of Jordan became a prophetic expression. As in Jeremiah:--

How shalt thou offer thyself a match for horses? And in a land of peace thou art confident; but how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? (Jeremiah 12:5).

"The swelling of Jordan" denotes the things that belong to the external man, which rise up and desire to dominate over the internal man, as reasonings do--which here are the "horses"--and the confidence that is from them.

[5] In the same:--

Edom shall be for a desolation; behold he shall come up like a lion from the pride of Jordan to the habitation of Ethan (Jer. 49:17, 19);

"the pride of Jordan" denotes the rising of the external man against the goods and truths of the internal. In Zechariah:--

Howl, O fir tree, for the cedar is fallen, because the magnificent ones are laid waste. Howl, O ye oaks of Bashan, for the defenced forest is come down. A voice of the howling of the shepherds, for their magnificence is laid waste; a voice of the roaring of young lions, for the swelling of Jordan is laid waste (Zechariah 11:2, 3).

That the Jordan was a boundary of the land of Canaan, is evident from (Numbers 34:12); and of the land of Judah toward the east, from (Joshua 15:5).

AC 1586. That it was all well watered. That this signifies that goods and truths can grow there, is evident from the signification of "well watered" (n. 108).

AC 1587. Before Jehovah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. That this signifies the external man destroyed by the cupidities of evil and the persuasions of falsity, is evident from the signification of "Sodom," as being the cupidities of evil, and from the signification of "Gomorrah," as being the persuasions of falsity; for these two are what destroy the external man, and separate it from the internal, and these two were what destroyed the Most Ancient Church before the flood. The cupidities of evil are of the will, and the persuasions of falsity are of the understanding; and when these two reign, the whole external man is destroyed and when it is destroyed, it is also separated from the internal man. Not that the soul or spirit is separated from the body, but that good and truth are separated from man‘s soul or spirit, so as not to flow in except remotely; concerning which influx, of the Lord’s Divine mercy elsewhere. And because the external man was so destroyed in the human race, and its bond with the internal, that is, with good and truth, was broken, the Lord came into the world in order that He might conjoin and unite the external man to the internal, that is, the Human Essence to the Divine. What the external man is when conjoined with the internal, is here described, namely, that before Jehovah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, it was "like the garden of Jehovah, like the land of Egypt in coming to Zoar."

AC 1588. Like the garden of Jehovah. That this signifies its rational things, is evident from the signification of "the garden of Jehovah," as being intelligence (n. 100), and consequently the rational, which is the medium between the internal and the external man. The rational is the intelligence of the external man. The expression "garden of Jehovah" is used when the rational is celestial, that is, from a celestial origin, as it was with the Most Ancient Church, concerning which in Isaiah:--

Jehovah will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness as Eden, and her desert as the garden of Jehovah; joy and gladness shall be found in her, confession and the voice of a song (Isaiah 51:3).

But the expression "garden of God" is used when the rational is spiritual, that is, from a spiritual origin, as it was in the Ancient Church, spoken of in Ezekiel:--

Full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty, thou hast been in Eden the garden of God (Ezekiel 28:12, 13).

Man‘s rational is compared to a "garden," from the representative that is presented in heaven; it is man’s rational that appears as a garden when the celestial spiritual flows into it from the Lord; and even paradises are from this presented to the sight, which in magnificence and beauty surpass every idea of human imagination, which is the effect of the influx of celestial spiritual light from the Lord (n. 1042, 1043). The pleasant and the beautiful things of these paradises are not what affect the beholder, but the celestial spiritual things that live in them.

AC 1589. Like the land of Egypt in coming to Zoar. That this signifies memory-knowledges from the affections of good, is evident from the signification of" Egypt" (n. 1164, 1165); in a good sense (n. 1462), as being memory-knowledge; and from the signification of " Zoar," as being the affection of good. Zoar was a city not far from Sodom, whither also Lot fled when rescued by the angels from the burning of Sodom described (Gen. 19:20, 22, 30). Zoar is also named in other places (Gen. 14:2, 8; Deut. 34:3; Isa. 15:5; Jer. 48:34), where also it signifies affection and as it signifies the affection of good, it also, in the opposite sense, as is common, signifies the affection of evil.

[2] There are three faculties which constitute the external man, namely, the rational, that of memory-knowledge, and the external sensuous. The rational is interior, the faculty of memory-knowledge is exterior, and this sensuous is outermost. It is the rational by means of which the internal man is conjoined with the external; and such as is the rational, such is the conjunction. The external sensuous, here, is the sight and the hearing. But in itself the rational is nothing, unless affection flows into it and makes it active, and causes it to live. It follows from this that the rational is such as is the affection. When the affection of good flows in, it becomes in the rational the affection of truth. The contrary is the case when the affection of evil flows in. As the faculty of memory-knowledge applies itself to the rational, and is an instrumentality for it, it follows that the affection inflows into this also, and disposes it; for nothing but affection ever lives in the external man. The reason of this is that the affection of good comes down from the celestial, that is, from celestial love, which vivifies everything into which it flows; it even vivifies the affections of evil, or cupidities.

[3] For the good of love from the Lord continually flows in through the internal man into the external; but the man who is in the affection of evil, or in cupidity, perverts the good; but still there remains life from it. This may be perceived by comparison with the objects which receive the rays of the sun. There are some that receive these rays most beautifully, and turn them into most beautiful colors, as do the diamond, the ruby, the jacinth, the sapphire, and other precious stones; but there are others which do not so receive them, but turn them into most disagreeable colors. The same may also be seen from the different genius of different men. There are those who receive goods from another with all affection; and there are those who turn them into evils. This shows what is that memory-knowledge from the affections of good that is signified by "the land of Egypt in coming to Zoar," when the rational is "like the garden of Jehovah."

AC 1590. That these things signify that to the Lord there appeared the external man such as it is in its beauty when conjoined with the internal, may be seen from the internal sense, in which the Lord as to His internal man is represented by Abram, and as to the external by Lot. What the beauty of the external man is when conjoined with the internal cannot be described, because it does not exist with any man, but with the Lord alone. What exists in man and angel is from the Lord. Only in a small degree can this appear, from the image of the Lord as to His external man that is presented in the heavens (n. 553 and 1530). The three heavens are images of the Lord‘s external man; but their beauty can never be described by anything so as to present to any one’s apprehension an idea of what it is. As in the Lord everything is infinite, so in heaven everything is indefinite (or unlimited). The indefinite of heaven is an image of the infinite of the Lord.

GENESIS 13:10    previous  -  next  -  text  -  summary  -  Genesis  -  Full Page

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