Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 13:7
AC 1570. Verse 7. And there was strife between the herdmen of Abram‘s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle; and the Canaanite and the Perizzite were then dwelling in the land. "There was strife between the herdmen of Abram‘s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle," signifies that the internal man and the external man did not agree; "the herdmen of Abram‘s cattle," are the celestial things "the herdmen of Lot’s cattle," are the sensuous things; "and the Canaanite and the Perizzite were then dwelling in the land," signifies evils and falsities in the external man.
AC 1571. There was strife between the herdmen of Abram‘s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle. That this signifies that the internal man and the external did not agree, is evident from the signification of the herdmen" (or shepherds-- pastores) of cattle," as being those who teach, and thus things that are of worship, as may be known to every one; it is therefore unnecessary to confirm this from the Word. These things relate to what were called "tents" in the preceding (verse 5); and it was there pointed out that these signify worship. What is said in (verse 6), that immediately precedes these words, relates to what were called "flock and herd" in (verse 5); and in the consideration of that verse it was also pointed out that these denote possessions or acquisitions. As worship is here treated of, namely, that of the internal man and of the external, and as these did not yet agree, it is here said that "there was strife between the herdmen;" for Abram represents the internal man, and Lot the external. In worship the nature and quality of the disagreement between the internal man and the external are especially discernible, and this even in every single thing of worship; for when in worship the internal man desires to regard the ends that belong to the kingdom of God, and the external man desires to regard the ends that belong to the world, there thus arises a disagreement which manifests itself in the worship, and that so plainly that the smallest bit of such disagreement is noticed in heaven. This is what is signified by the "strife between the herdmen of Abram‘s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle." The cause is also subjoined, namely, that "the Canaanite and the Perizzite were then dwelling in the land."
AC 1572. That "the herdmen of Abram‘s cattle" are the celestial things which are of the internal man, and that "the herdmen of Lot’s cattle" are the sensuous things which are of the external man, is evident from what has already been said. By the celestial things which are "the herdmen of Abram‘s cattle," are meant the celestial things in worship which are of the internal man. By "the herdmen of Lot’s cattle" are meant the sensuous things that are in worship, which are of the external man, and do not agree with the celestial things of the worship of the internal man. How these things stand, is evident from what has already been shown.
AC 1573. And the Canaanite and the Perizzite were then dwelling in the land. That this signifies evils and falsities in the external man, is evident from the signification of "the Canaanite," as being the hereditary evil from the mother in the external man (n. 1444); and from the signification of "the Perizzite," as being the derivative falsity. That there was with the Lord an evil hereditary from the mother in His external man, may be seen above (n. 1414, 1444); and that there was falsity from this, is a necessary consequence for where there is hereditary evil, there is also falsity; the latter being born of the former. But the falsity that is from evil cannot be born until the man has been imbued with knowledges (scientifica et cognitiones). Evil has nothing but these into which it may operate or flow; for in this way the evil which is of the will part is turned into falsity in the intellectual part; so that this falsity also was hereditary, because it was born of what was hereditary, and yet was not the falsity that is derived from principles of falsity; but it was in the external man, and there the internal man could see it to be false.
 And because there was hereditary evil from the mother before the Lord had been imbued with knowledges, or before Abram sojourned in Egypt, it is said in the preceding chapter, (Gen. 12:6), that "the Canaanite was in the land," but not the Perizzite; but here, after He had been imbued with knowledges, it is said that "the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled in the land;" from which it is evident that by "the Canaanite" is signified evil, and by "the Perizzite" falsity. It is also evident from this, that the mention of the Canaanite and the Perizzite is not in any historical series, for in what goes before and in what follows they are not treated of at all; and the same is true of the mention of the Canaanite in the foregoing chapter, (Gen. 12:6); from all which it is evident that some arcanum lies hidden here which cannot be known except from the internal sense.
 Its being said that there was with the Lord hereditary evil from the mother may cause surprise, but as it is here so plainly declared, and as the Lord is treated of in the internal sense, it cannot be doubted that so it was. For no human being can possibly be born of another human being without thence deriving evil. But the hereditary evil derived from the father is one thing, and that from the mother is another. The hereditary evil from the father is more internal, and remains to eternity, for it cannot possibly be eradicated; but the Lord had not such evil, because He was born of Jehovah the Father, and thus as to internals was Divine or Jehovah. But the hereditary evil from the mother is of the external man; this did exist with the Lord, and it is called "the Canaanite in the land;" and the falsity from this is "the Perizzite." Thus was the Lord born as are other men, and had infirmities as have other men.
 That He derived hereditary evil from the mother is clearly evident from the fact that He underwent temptations; no one can possibly be tempted who has no evil; it is the evil in a man which tempts, and through which he is tempted. That the Lord was tempted, and that he underwent temptations a thousandfold more grievous than any man can ever endure; and that He endured them alone, and overcame evil, or the devil and all hell, by His own power, is also evident. Concerning these temptations we read thus in Luke:--
Jesus was led in the spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted by the devil, so that He did not eat in those days. But after the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him for a season. Thence He returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee (Luke 4:1, 2, 13, 14).
 And in Mark:--
The Spirit impelling Jesus made Him go forth into the wilderness. And He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted, and He was with the wild beasts (Mark 1:12, 13);
where hell is signified by "the wild beasts." Moreover, He was tempted even unto death, so that His sweat was drops of blood:--
And being in an agony, He prayed the more earnestly and His sweat became as drops of blood falling down upon the earth (Luke 22:44).
 No angel can ever be tempted of the devil; because, while he is in the Lord, evil spirits cannot approach him, even distantly, without being instantly seized with horror and terror. Much less would hell have been able to approach the Lord if He had been born Divine; that is, without evil adhering from the mother.
 It is likewise a common expression with preachers, that the Lord also bore the iniquities and evils of the human race; but for Him to admit into Himself iniquities and evils, except by the hereditary way, is utterly impossible; for the Divine is not susceptible of evil. And therefore in order that He might conquer evil by His own powers--which no man has been able to do, or is able to do--and so might alone become righteousness, He was willing to be born as are other men. If it had not been for this, there would have been no need of His being born; for the Lord could have assumed the Human Essence without birth, as He did sometimes assume it, when seen by the Most Ancient Church, and likewise by the prophets, but for the additional purpose of putting on evil, against which He might fight, and which He might conquer, and might thus conjoin in Himself the Divine Essence with the Human Essence, He came into the world.
 But the Lord had no evil that was actual, or His own, as He also says in John:--
Which of you convicted Me of sin? (John 8:46).
From what has been said it is now clearly evident what is signified by there being "strife between the herdmen of Abram‘s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle," which words immediately precede. The reason was that "the Canaanite and the Perizzite were then dwelling in the land."
AC 1574. That "the Canaanite" signifies the hereditary evil from the mother, in the external man, was before shown (n. 1444); but that "the Perizzite" signifies the falsity that is from evil, is evident from other passages in the Word where the Perizzite is named. As in the following concerning Jacob:--
Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me, to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and I am mortals of number (i.e. few) and they will gather themselves together against me and smite me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house (Gen. 34:30);
where in like manner evil is signified by "the Canaanite," and falsity by "the Perizzite."
 In Joshua:--
Joshua said to the sons of Joseph, If thou be much people, get thee up to the forest, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzite and of the Rephaim, if Mount Ephraim is too narrow for thee (Joshua 17:15)
where principles of falsity are signified by "the Perizzite," and persuasions of falsity by "the Rephaim," which they were to extirpate; for in the spiritual sense "Mount Ephraim" is intelligence.
 In the book of Judges:--
After the death of Joshua, the sons of Israel also asked of Jehovah, Who shall go up for us first against the Canaanite, to fight against him? And Jehovah said, Judah shall go up; behold I have given the land into his hand. And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, and let us fight against the Canaanite; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. And Simeon went with him. And Judah went up; and Jehovah gave the Canaanite and the Perizzite into their hand (Judges 1:1-4);
where by "Judah" likewise is represented the Lord as to celestial things, and by "Simeon" as to the derivative spiritual things; "the Canaanite" is evil, and "the Perizzite" falsity, which were overcome. This was the response, or Divine oracle, which, with this explanation, is understood.GENESIS 13:7 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|