Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 13:17
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AC 1611. Verse 17. Arise, walk through the land, in the length of it, and in the breadth of it; for unto thee will I give it. "Arise, walk through the land," signifies that He should survey the heavenly kingdom; "in the length of it, and in the breadth of it," signifies its celestial and its spiritual: "for unto thee will I give it," signifies that it was to be His.

AC 1612. Arise, walk through the land. That this signifies that He should survey the heavenly kingdom, is evident from the signification of "the land," as being the heavenly kingdom. To "arise and walk through the land," in the sense of the letter, is to explore and see what it is in the spiritual sense, therefore, in which by "the land," that is, the land of Canaan, is signified the kingdom of God in the heavens, or heaven, and the kingdom of God on the earth, or the church, it signifies to survey, and also to perceive.

AC 1613. In the length of it and in the breadth of it. That this signifies the celestial and the spiritual, or what is the same, good and truth (may be seen from the signification of "length" and "breadth"). That "length" signifies good, and "breadth" truth, may be seen explained before (n. 650). The reason is that "the land" signifies the heavenly kingdom, or the church, of which no length and breadth can be predicated, but only those things which are applicable and correspondent, which are goods and truths. The celestial, or good, being primary, is compared to length; and the spiritual or truth, being secondary, is compared to breadth.

[2] That "breadth" is truth, appears plainly enough in the prophetic Word. As in Habakkuk:--

I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and swift nation, that walketh in the breadths of the land (Habakkuk 1:6);

"the Chaldeans" denote those who are in falsity; "to walk in the breadths of the land," denotes to destroy truths, for this is predicated of the Chaldeans. In David:--

O Jehovah, Thou hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; Thou hast made my feet to stand in a broad place (Ps. 31:8);

"to stand in a broad place," denotes in truth. Again:

Out of straightness have I called upon Jah; Jah answered me in a broad place (Ps. 118:5);

"to answer in a broad place," denotes in the truth. In Hosea:--

Jehovah will feed them as a lamb, in a broad place (Hosea 4:16);

"to feed in a broad place," signifies to teach truth.

[3] In Isaiah:--

Asshur shall go through Judah, he shall overflow and pass through, he shall reach even to the neck, and the stretchings out of his wings shall be the fullness of the breadth of thy land (Isaiah 8:8);

"Asshur" denotes reasoning, which will overflow the land, or the church "the wings" denote the reasonings whence falsities arise; "the fullness of the breadth," denotes that it is full of falsities, or things contrary to truth. Because the "length" of a land signifies good, and its "breadth" truth, the New Jerusalem is said to have been measured, and to lie four-square, and its length to be as great as its breadth (Rev. 21:16), from which every one can see that the length and the breadth signify nothing else, since the New Jerusalem is nothing else than the Lord‘s kingdom in the heavens and on earth. From the signification of things in the internal sense, modes of speaking concerning celestial and spiritual things by means of such things as are on earth, as by length and breadth, formerly became familiar; as the terms height and depth are used in common discourse at the present day, when predicated of wisdom.

AC 1614. For unto thee will I give it. That this signifies that it should be His, is evident without explication. That "the land," or the heavenly kingdom, is the Lord’s alone, is evident from what has been shown so many times, namely, that no other is the Lord of heaven; and as He is the Lord of heaven, He is the Lord of the church also. It is also evident from the fact that all the celestial and the spiritual, or good and truth, are from the Lord alone, and from these the Lord is the all in all of His heaven, and this so completely that he who has no apperception of good and truth from the Lord, is no longer in heaven. This is the sphere that reigns in the universal heaven; this also is the soul of heaven; and this is the life that inflows into all who are in good.

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