Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 14:10
AC 1687. Verse 10. And the valley of Siddim was pits, pits, of bitumen; and the king of Sodom and of Gomorrah fled, and fell there, and they that remained fled to the mountain. The valley of Siddim was pits, pits, of bitumen," signifies the uncleanness of the falsities and cupidities; " and the king of Sodom and of Gomorrah fled, and fell there," signifies that those evils and falsities were overcome; " and they that remained fled to the mountain," signifies but not all of them; "the mountain" is the love of self and of the world.
AC 1688. The valley of Siddim was pits, pits (or full of pits), of bitumen. That this signifies the uncleanness of the falsities and cupidities, is evident from the signification of " Siddim," which is uncleanness (verse 3); also from the signification of "pits," as being falsities and of " bitumen," as being cupidities. Falsities are called " pits," from the unclean water in then‘; and cupidities are called "bitumen," from the foul sulphurous smell in such water.
AC 1689. The king of Sodom and of Gomorrah fled, and fell there. That this signifies that these evils and falsities were overcome, is evident from the signification of " Sodom" and of "Gomorrah," as being the evils of cupidities and the falsities of persuasions spoken of above. Here "the king of Sodom and of Gomorrah" denotes all the evils and falsities, even those signified by the other kings; and also from the signification of "fleeing and falling," as being to be overcome.
AC 1690. They that remained fled to the mountain. That this signifies that not all were overcome, is evident without explication, from the fact that there was a residue that fled away. In the internal sense the temptations are treated of that the Lord sustained in His childhood, concerning which nothing is related in the Word of the New Testament, except concerning His temptation in the wilderness, or soon after He came out of the wilderness, and finally concerning His last temptation in Gethsemane and what then followed. That the Lord’s life, from His earliest childhood even to the last hour of His life in the world, was continual temptation and continual victory, is evident from many things in the Word of the Old Testament; and that it did not cease with the temptation in the wilderness is evident from what is said in Luke:--
And when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from Him for a season (Luke 4:13)
as also from the fact that He was tempted even to the death on the cross, and thus to the last hour of His life in the world. Hence it is evident that the whole of the Lord‘s life in the world, from His earliest childhood, was continual temptation and continual victory. The last was when He prayed on the cross for His enemies, and thus for all in the whole world.
 In the Word of the Lord’s life, in the Gospels, none but the last is mentioned, except His temptation in the wilderness. More were not disclosed to the disciples. The things that were disclosed appear in the sense of the letter so slight as to be scarcely anything; for to speak and to answer in this manner is no temptation, when yet His temptation was more grievous than can ever be comprehended and believed by any human mind. No one can know what temptation is except the one who has been in it. The temptation that is related in (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12, 13; Luke 4:1-13), contains all temptations in a summary; namely, that from love toward the whole human race, the Lord fought against the loves of self and of the world, with which the hells were filled.
 All temptation is an assault upon the love in which the man is, and the temptation is in the same degree as is the love. If the love is not assaulted, there is no temptation. To destroy any one‘s love is to destroy his very life; for the love is the life. The Lord’s life was love toward the whole human race, and was indeed so great, and of such a quality, as to be nothing but pure love. Against this His life, continual temptations were admitted, as before said, from His earliest childhood to His last hour in the world. The love which was the Lord‘s veriest life is signified by His "hungering," and by the devils saying,
If Thou art the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread and by Jesus answering that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God (Luke 4:2-4; Matt. 4:2-4).
 That He fought against the love of the world, or all things that are of the love of the world, is signified by
The devil took Him up into a high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said unto Him, All this power will I give Thee and the glory of them, for it hath been delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will, I give it; if Thou therefore wilt worship before me, all shall be Thine. But Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind Me, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve (Luke 4:5-8; Matt 4:8-10).
 That He fought against the love of self, and all things that are of the love of self, is signified by this:--
The devil took Him into the holy city, and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said unto Him, If Thou art the Son of God, cast Thyself down for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee, and upon their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest Thou dash Thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God (Matt. 4:5-7; Luke 4:9-12).
Continual victory is signified by its being said that after the temptations, "angels came and ministered unto Him" (Matt. 4:11; Mark 1:13).
 In brief, the Lord from His earliest childhood up to the last hour of His life in the world, was assaulted by all the hells, against which He continually fought, and subjugated and overcame them, and this solely from love toward the whole human race. And because this love was not human but Divine, and because such as is the greatness of the love, such is that of the temptation, it may be seen how grievous the combats were, and how great the ferocity on the part of the hells. That all this was so, I know of a certainty.
AC 1691. That "the mountain" means the love of self and the love of the world, may be seen from the signification of a " mountain," concerning which presently. All evil and falsity come forth from the love of self and the love of the world; they have no other origin; for the love of self and the love of the world are the opposites of celestial love and spiritual love; and because they are the opposites, they are what are continually endeavoring to destroy the celestial and spiritual things of the kingdom of God. From the love of self and of the world come forth all hatreds; from hatreds, all revenges and cruelties and from these, all deceits; in short, all the hells.
 That in the Word by "mountains" there is signified the love of self and the love of the world, may be seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:--
The proud eyes of man shall be humbled and the loftiness of men shall be brought low. The day of Jehovah Zebaoth is upon all that is proud and lofty, upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, and upon every lofty tower (Isaiah 2:11, 12, 14, 15)
the "high mountains" plainly denote the love of self; and the "hills that are lifted up," the love of the world.
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low (Isa. 40:4)
here also "mountain and hill’- manifestly denote the love of self and the love of the world. Again:--
I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbage (Isa. 42:15)
where also "mountains" denote the love of self, and "hills" the love of the world. In Ezekiel:--
The mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the earth (Ezekiel 38:20).
 In Jeremiah:--
Behold I am against thee. O destroying mountain, which destroyest all the earth; and I will stretch out mine hand against thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a mountain of burning (Jeremiah 51:25)
where Babel and Chaldea are spoken of, by which is signified the love of self and of the world, as before shown. In the Song of Moses:
A fire is kindled in Mine anger, and shall burn‘ unto the lowest hell, and shall devour" the earth and her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains (Deut. 32:22)
"the foundations of the mountains" mean the hells, as is plainly said; these are called the foundations of the mountains, because the love of self and the love of the world reign in them, and are from them.
 In Jonah:--
The waters compassed me about, even to the soul; the deep was round about me the seaweed was wrapped about my head; I went down to the cuttings-off of the mountains; the bars of the earth were upon me forever yet hast Thou brought up my lives from the pit, O Jehovah my God (Jonah 2:5, 6)
the Lord’s temptations against the hells are thus prophetically described by Jonah, when he was in the belly of the great fish. So likewise in other passages of the Word, especially in David. He who is in temptations is in the hells; place has nothing to do with being in the hells, but state.
 As " mountains" and " towers" signify the love of self and of the world, it may be seen what is signified by the Lord‘s being taken by the devil "upon a high mountain," and "upon a pinnacle of the temple," namely, that He was led into temptation combats, the most extreme of all, against the loves of self and of the world, that is, against the hells. " Mountains" also, in the opposite sense, signify celestial and spiritual love, as before shown (n. 795, 796).
AC 1692. Scarcely any one can know what temptations, or combats of temptations, effect. They are the means by which evils and falsities are broken up and dispersed, and by which horror of them is induced; and not only is conscience given, but it is also strengthened thereby, and so the man is regenerated, which is the reason why they who are being regenerated are let into combats, and undergo temptations and they who do not undergo them in the life of the body, do so in the other life, if they are capable of being regenerated, on which account the Lord’s church is called militant. But the Lord alone sustained the most cruel combats of temptations by His own strength or His own power; for He was surrounded by all the hells, and continually conquered them.
 It is the Lord alone also who fights in the men who are in the combats of temptations, and who overcomes. Man from his own power can effect nothing at all against evil or infernal spirits; for they are so connected with the hells that if one were overcome, another would rush in, and so on forever. They are like the sea which presses upon every part of a dike; and if the dike should be broken through by a cleft or a crack, the sea would never cease to burst through and overflow, until nothing was left standing. So would it be with man unless the Lord alone sustained in him the combats of temptations.GENESIS 14:10 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|