Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 14:18
AC 1724. Verse 18. And Melchizedek king of Salem bought forth bread and wine; and he was priest to God Most High. "Melchizedek" signifies the celestial things of the interior man in the Lord; "king of Salem," signifies a state of peace as to interior or rational things; "brought forth bread," signifies celestial things and the refreshment from them; "and wine," signifies spiritual things and the refreshment from them; "and he was priest," signifies the holy of love; "to God Most High," signifies the internal man, which is Jehovah.
AC 1725. Melchizedek. That this signifies the celestial things of the interior man in the Lord, may be seen from the signification of the name "Melchizedek," to be explained presently; and also from the things that precede and from those which follow. What the internal man is, and what the interior man, and what the external, has been sufficiently shown above; also that the internal man flows in through the interior man into the external; as also that the internal man flows into the interior man either by celestial things or by spiritual things; by celestial things with every regenerate man, that is, with those who live in love to the Lord and in love toward the neighbor; but by spiritual things with every man, whatever his quality may be; thence is his light from heaven, that is, his ability to think and speak, and to be a man. On this subject see what was said before (n. 1707).
 The celestial things of the interior man are all those which are of celestial love, as has often been said before. These celestial things in the Lords interior man, or the Lord‘s interior man as to these celestial things, is called "Melchizedek." The internal man in the Lord was Jehovah Himself. The interior man, when purified after the combats of temptations, was also made Divine and Jehovah; in like manner also the external; but now, when the interior man was in the state of the combats of temptation, and was not yet much purified by the combats of the temptations, it is called as to the celestial things "Melchizedek," that is, "King of holiness and righteousness."
 That this is really so, may also be seen in David, where the Lord’s combats of temptations are in like manner treated of, and at last His interior man as to celestial things is called "Melchizedek." Thus in David:--
Jehovah said unto my Lord, bit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. Jehovah shall send forth the scepter of Thy strength out of Zion; rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies. Thy people are willing offerings in the day of Thy might in honors of holiness from the womb of the morning Thou hast the dew of Thy birth. Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever, after My word Melchizedek. The Lord at Thy right hand smote through kings in the day of His anger (Ps. 110:1-5).
Here the Lord‘s combats of temptations with the hells are treated of, as in the chapter before us, as may be seen from every word. That the Lord is here treated of He Himself teaches (Matt. 22:41-43; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42-44); to "make His enemies His footstool," to "rule in the midst of His enemies," the "day of might," to " smite kings in the day of His anger," signify the combats of temptations, and victories.
AC 1726. King of Salem. That this signifies a state of peace as to interior or rational things, is evident from the signification of "Salem." In the original language "Salem" means "peace," and also "perfection;" thus it signifies a state of peace, and a state of perfection. A state of peace is the state of the Lord’s kingdom; in that state the Lord‘s celestial and spiritual things are as in their morning, and in their spring; for peace is like the dawn in the early morning, and like the spring in the springtime. The dawn and the spring cause all things that then meet the senses to be full of joy and gladness; every object draws an affection from the general one of the dawn and of the springtime. So is it with the state of peace in the Lord’s kingdom: in the state of peace all celestial and spiritual things are as it were in their morning or springtide flower and smile, that is, in their happiness itself. So does the state of peace affect everything, for the Lord is peace itself. This is signified by Salem also in David:--
In Judah is God known, His name is great in Israel, in Salem also is His tabernacle, and His dwelling place in Zion (Ps. 76:1, 2).
When a man is in the combats of temptations, he is by turns gifted by the Lord with a state of peace, and is thus refreshed. A state of peace is here signified by "Salem;" and presently also by the "bread and wine," by which celestial and spiritual things are signified; thus a state of celestial and spiritual things in peace, which state is refreshment itself.
AC 1727. Brought forth bread and wine. That to "bring forth bread" signifies celestial things and refreshment from them, and to "bring forth wine" signifies spiritual things and refreshment from them, is evident from the signification of "bread," as being what is celestial (n. 276, 680); and from the signification of "wine," as also of the "vine" and the "vineyard," as being what is spiritual (n. 1069, 1071). and because "bread" signifies celestial things, and " wine" spiritual things, they were made symbols also in the Holy Supper. That Melchizedek brought forth bread and wine, has here a similar signification; for bread in the Ancient Church was the representative of all celestial things, and wine the representative of all spiritual things; thus here of the Lord Himself, from whom is all that is celestial and all that is spiritual.
AC 1728. And he was priest. That this signifies the holy of love, is evident from the signification of "priest" in the Word. There are two things which are predicated of the Lord, namely, that He is King, and that He is Priest. A king, or the royalty, signifies the holy which is true; and a priest, or the priesthood, signifies the holy which is good; the former is the Divine spiritual, the latter the Divine celestial. The Lord as King governs each and all things in the universe from Divine truth; and as Priest, from Divine good. Divine truth is the very order of His universal kingdom, all the laws of which are truths, or eternal verities Divine good is the very essential of order, all things of which are of mercy. Both of these are predicated of the Lord. If Divine truth alone were His, no mortal could be saved, for truths condemn every one to bell; but Divine good, which is of mercy, uplifts from hell to heaven. These are what the kings and priests in the Jewish Church represented and these likewise Melchizedek represented, as king of Salem, and priest to God Most High.
AC 1729. To God Most High. That this signifies the internal man, which is Jehovah, is evident from what has been said already several times concerning the Lord‘s internal man, that it is Jehovah Himself, and thus that the Lord is the same as Jehovah the Father; as He Himself says in John:--
I am the way, and the truth, and the life. Philip saith, Show us the Father. Jesus saith unto him, Am I so long time with you, and dost thou not know Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? Believe Me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me (John 14:6, 8-11).
 It is the Lord’s Human Essence which is called the " Son of man;" which also, after the combats of the temptations, was united to His Divine Essence, so that it was itself also made Jehovah; wherefore in heaven they know no other Jehovah the Father than the Lord (n. 15). With the Lord all is Jehovah; not only His internal and His interior man, but also the external man, and the very body; and therefore He alone rose into heaven with the body also; as is sufficiently evident in the Gospels, where His resurrection is treated of; as also from the words of the Lord Himself:--
Wherefore do thoughts arise in your hearts? See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; handle Me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have. And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet (Luke 24:38-40).
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|