Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 14:15
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AC 1711. Verse 15. And he divided himself against them by night, he and his servants, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left of Damascus. "He divided himself against them by night,Ď signifies the shade in which the apparent goods and truths were "he and his servants," signifies the rational man, and the things in the external man which obeyed; "and smote them," signifies vindication; "and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left of Damascus," signifies as far as this extended.

AC 1712. He divided himself against them by night. That this signifies the shade in which the apparent goods and truths were, is evident from the signification of "night," as being a state of shade. There is said to be a state of shade when it is not known whether the good and truth are apparent or are genuine. When any one is in apparent good and truth, be supposes them to be genuine good and truth; the evil and falsity that are in apparent good and truth are what cause the shade, and make them appear genuine. They who are in ignorance can know no otherwise than that the good which they do is their own, and that the truth which they think is their own, and it is the same with those who attribute to themselves the goods they do, and place merit in them, not knowing that in this case they are not good, although they appear so; and that the Own and self-merit which they place in them are the evils and falsities which obscure and darken. So in many other cases.

[2] The kind and the measure of the evil and falsity which lie concealed in them, cannot possibly be so well seen in the life of the body as in the other life, where they are presented to view as in clear light. But the case is different if this is done from ignorance that is not confirmed, for in this case those evils and falsities are easily dispersed. But if men confirm themselves in the belief that they can do good and resist evil by their own powers, and that they thus merit salvation, in this case this idea remains attached, and causes the good to be evil, and the truth to be falsity. But still it is according to order for a man to do good as of himself; and therefore he ought not to slacken his hand, with the thought, "If I can do nothing of good from myself, I ought to wait for immediate influx," and thus remain in a passive state, for this would be contrary to order but he must do good as of himself; yet, when he reflects upon the good which he does or has done, let him think, acknowledge, and believe that the Lord has done the work in him.

[3] If he slackens his effort, thinking as has been said, he is then not a subject into which the Lord can operate. The Lord cannot flow into any one who deprives himself of everything into which power can be infused. It is as if one were not willing to learn anything without a revelation to himself; or as if one would teach nothing unless the words were put into him; or as if one would attempt nothing unless he were put into action as one without will. But if these things were done. he would be still more indignant at being like an inanimate thing; when yet that which is animated by the Lord in a man is that which appears as if it were from himself. It is thus an eternal truth that a man does not live from himself, but that if he did not appear to live from himself he could not live at all.

AC 1713. He and his servants. That this signifies the rational man, and the things in the external man which obeyed, is evident from the signification of " he," that is, of Abram, as being the interior man (explained above); and from the signification of "servants," as being the things which obey. All the things that are in the external man before it has been liberated and vindicated, are called "servants," for they do nothing but render obedience to the interior man. For example: in the exterior man there are affections and there are memory-knowledges the former are from the goods of the interior man, and the latter are from the truths of the same. When these are made to act so that they accord with the interior man, they are said to serve and obey; and therefore by "servants" nothing else is here signified than those things in the external man which obeyed.

AC 1714. And smote them. That this signifies vindication, is evident from the connection, and without explication.

AC 1715. And pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left of Damascus. That this signifies as far as this extended, is evident from the signification of Hobah, which is on the left of Damascus." It is not known where Hobah was situated, as there is no further mention of it in the Word. But Damascus was the principal city of Syria (2 Sam. 8:5, 6; Isa. 7:8); and by it is signified almost the same as by Syria (Gen. 10:22) The farthest boundary of the land of Canaan, beyond Dan, is described as being Damascus, as in Amos:--

Ye have taken up Siccuth your king, and Chiun your images the star of your gods which ye made to yourselves, and I will cause you to go away beyond Damascus (Amos 5:26, 27).

The boundary of the holy land, or of the Lordís kingdom, toward the north, is also called the "boundary of Damascus" (Ezek. 47:16-18; 48:1). Here, where it is said that they were smitten and driven as far as Hobah, which is on the left of Damascus, there is signified the extent to which the apparent goods and truths were purified. But unless it is known what was the character of the apparent goods and truths, and by what means they were purified so as to be made genuine, it cannot be explained what is properly meant here by Hobah, on the left of Damascus; except in a general way, that they were purified.

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