Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 13:2
AC 1549. Verse 2. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. "Abram was very rich in cattle," signifies the goods with which the Lord was then enriched; "in silver," signifies the truths; "and in gold," signifies the goods from truths.
AC 1550. Abram was very rich in cattle. That this signifies goods, is evident from the signification of "cattle," and of "flock," as being good (n. 343, 415).
AC 1551. In silver. That this signifies truths, is evident from the signification of "silver," as being truth. The most ancient people compared the goods and truths in man to metals; the inmost or the celestial goods, which are of love to the Lord, to gold; the truths which are from these, to silver; but the lower or natural goods, to copper; and the lower truths, to iron; nor did they simply compare them, but they likewise called them so. Hence periods of time were also likened to the same metals, and were called the golden, the silver, the copper, and the iron ages; for the ages followed one another in this order. The golden age was the time of the Most Ancient Church, which was a celestial man; the silver age was the time of the Ancient Church, which was a spiritual man; the copper age was the time of the succeeding church; and to this succeeded the iron age. Similar things are also signified by the statue seen by Nebuchadnezzar in a dream, whose "head was of good gold, the breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, the legs of iron" (Dan. 2:32, 33). That this was to be the series, or that the periods of the church succeeded one another in this order, is evident from the same Prophet, and in the same chapter.
 That in the internal sense of the Word, "silver," wherever named, signifies truth, and in the opposite sense falsity, is evident from the following passages. In Isaiah:--
For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron; I will also make thine officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness (Isaiah 60:17)
where it is evident what each metal means. The Lord’s coming, and His celestial kingdom and church, are there treated of; "gold for brass," is celestial good instead of natural good; "silver for iron," is spiritual truth instead of natural truth; "brass for wood," is natural good instead of corporeal good; "iron for stones," is natural truth instead of sensuous truth. In the same:--
Ho, every one that thirsteth, go ye to the waters and he that hath no silver; go ye, buy and eat (Isaiah 55:1);
"he that hath no silver," is he who is in ignorance of truth, and yet in the good of charity, like many within the church, and the nations outside the church.
 In the same:--
The isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish in the beginning, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of Jehovah thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 60:9).
Here a new church, or that of the Gentiles, is treated of specifically, and the Lord‘s kingdom universally; "the ships from Tarshish" denote knowledges; "silver," truths; and "gold," goods; for these are the things which they shall "bring to the name of Jehovah." In Ezekiel:--
Thou didst take the vessels of thine adorning of My gold and of My silver, which I had given thee, and madest for thee images of a male (Ezekiel 16:17).
Here "gold" denotes the knowledges of celestial things; "silver," those of spiritual things. In the same:--
Thou wast adorned with gold and silver, and thy raiment was fine linen and silk, and broidered work (Ezekiel 16:13).
This is said of Jerusalem, by which the Lord’s church is signified, and the adornment of which is thus described. Again:--
Behold, thou art wise, there is no secret that they have hidden from thee; in thy wisdom and in thine intelligence thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures (Ezekiel 28:3, 4).
This is said of Tyre, and it is plain that here "gold" is the wealth of wisdom, and "silver" the wealth of intelligence.
 In Joel:--
Ye have taken My silver and My gold, and have carried into you temples My goodly desirable things (Joel 3:5).
This is said concerning Tyre, Zidon, and Philistia; by which are signified knowledges, which are "the gold and the silver" that they have carried into their temples. In Haggai:--
The choice of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory; the silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine; the glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former (Haggai 2:7-9);
where the Lord‘s church is treated of, concerning which "gold" and "silver" are predicated. In Malachi:--
He shall sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and shall purify the sons of Levi (Malachi 3:3);
where the Lord’s coming is treated of. In David:--
The discourses of Jehovah are pure discourses, silver smelted in a crucible of earth, smelted seven times (Ps. 12:6);
the "silver purified seven times," denotes Divine truth. In respect to the command given to the sons of Israel, when they were to go out of Egypt:--
Every woman shall borrow of her neighbor, and of her that is a guest in her house, vessels of silver and vessels of gold, and garment and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters, and shall spoil the Egyptians (Exod. 3:22; 11:2, 3; 12:35, 36);
every one can see that the sons of Israel would by no means have been told thus to steal, and to spoil the Egyptians, unless some arcana were thus to be represented; but what the arcana are may be seen from the signification of "silver," of "gold," and of "garments," and of "Egypt;" and it may also be seen that much the same was there represented as is here represented by Abram, who was rich in silver and gold from Egypt.
 As "silver" signifies truth, so in the opposite sense it signifies falsity; for they who are in falsity think that falsity is truth; as is also evident in the Prophets. In Moses:--
Thou shalt not covet the silver and the gold of the nations, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein; for it is an abomination to Jehovah thy God; detesting thou shalt detest it (Deut. 7:25, 26)
"the gold of the nations" denotes evils, and their "silver" falsities. Again:--
Ye shall not make with Me gods of silver, and gods of gold shall ye not make unto you (Exod. 20:23);
by which in the internal sense nothing else is signified than falsities and cupidities; "gods of silver" are falsities; and "gods of gold" are cupidities. In Isaiah:--
In that day shall they cast away every man his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin (Isaiah 31:7);
"idols of silver and idols of gold," denote similar things as before; "your own hands have made them," means that they are from man‘s Own. In Jeremiah:--
They are become brutish and foolish; a teaching of vanities is that stock; silver beaten out is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the artificer and of the hands of the founder; blue and crimson are their clothing, it is all the work of the wise (Jeremiah 10:8, 9)
denoting the like things, as is very evident.
AC 1552. And in gold. That this signifies goods from truths, is evident from the signification of "gold," as being celestial good, or the good of wisdom and of love as is evident from the things just shown, and also from those shown before (n. 113). That the goods here are from truths, follows from what was said in the foregoing chapter, that the Lord conjoined intellectual truths with celestial things. GENESIS 13:2 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|