Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 14:16
AC 1716. Verse 16. And he brought back all the substance, and also brought back his brother Lot and his substance, and the women also, and the people. "He brought back all the substance," signifies that the interior man reduced all things in the external man into a conforming state; "and also brought back his brother Lot and his substance," signifies the external man and all the things belonging to it; "the women and the people," signifies both the goods and the truths.
AC 1717. And he brought back all the substance. That this signifies that the interior man reduced all things in the external man into a conforming state, may be seen from the signification of "bringing back all the substance." The "substance" here is the things which Chedorlaomer and the kings with him took from their enemies; as told in what goes before. By Chedorlaomer and the kings with him, are signified the goods and truths of the exterior man. The substance they took from their enemies was nothing else than their being deprived of the power of doing evil and thinking falsity, which was signified by the wealth of Sodom and Gomorrah, and by all the food which they took (verse 11).
 This matter is of such a nature that it cannot be set forth in few words; but what here follows may be sufficient to give some notion of it. He who is in the combats of temptations, and overcomes, acquires to himself more and more a power (potestas) over the evil spirits, or over the diabolical crew, till at last they do not dare to tempt at all. But as often as a victory is gained, so often does the Lord reduce into order the goods and truths from which the combat was waged; and so often are they thus purified; and so far as they are purified, so far are the celestial things of love insinuated into the exterior man, and a correspondence effected. These are the things that are signified by bringing back all the substance.
 He who supposes that the external man can be reduced into correspondence without combats of temptations is mistaken for temptations are the means of dissipating evils and falsities, as also of introducing goods and truths, and of reducing the things which are of the external man into obedience, so that it may serve the interior or rational man, and through this the internal, that is, the Lord operating through the internal man. That these things are effected by temptations, no one can know but he who has been regenerated through temptations. But how this is done can scarcely be described even in the most general manner, since it is done without the man‘s knowing whence and how; for it is the Lord’s Divine operation.
AC 1718. And also brought back his brother Lot and his substance. That this signifies the external man and all that belongs to it, is evident from the signification of "Lot," which is the external man, as has been stated several times before. What the external man is, is scarcely known at this day; for it is thought that only that which belongs to the body constitutes the external man as the faculties of sense, namely, the touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight; and also the appetites and pleasures. But these constitute the outermost man, which is merely corporeal. The knowledges that belong to the memory, and the affections that are of the love, with which the man has been imbued, properly constitute the external man; also those faculties of sense which properly belong to the spirit, together with the pleasures that the spirit enjoys. That these properly constitute the external or exterior man, is evident from men in the other life, that is, spirits. These in like manner possess an external man, and in like manner an interior man, and consequently an internal man. The body is only as it were a covering, a crust, which is dissolved in order that the man may truly live, and that all things belonging to him may become more excellent.
AC 1719. The women and the people. That this signifies both the goods and the truths, may be seen from the signification of "wives" and of "daughters," as being what is good (n. 489-491, 568, 915)-here the word "women" is used instead of wives and daughters; and from the signification of "people," as being truth (n. 1259, 1260). GENESIS 14:16 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|