Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 14:20
previous  -  next  -  text  -  summary  -  Genesis  -  BM Home  -  Full Page

AC 1734. Verse 20. And blessed be God Most High, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. "Blessed be God Most High," signifies the Lord’s internal man; "who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand," signifies victory. "And he gave him tithes of all," signifies remains derived from victory.

AC 1735. Blessed be God Most High. That this signifies the Lord‘s internal man, is evident from the things which were said just above concerning the internal man. In the Ancient Church, Jehovah was called "God Most High" for the reason that "height" represented and therefore signified what is internal, and thus "the Most High" signified what is inmost. Hence the worship of the Ancient Church was upon high places, mountains, and hills. The inmost also has the same relation to the exterior and the outermost, as the highest bears to the lower and the lowest. The Most High or the Inmost is the Celestial of Love, or Love itself. Jehovah, or he Lord’s internal man, was the very Celestial of Love, that is, Love itself, to which no other attributes are fitting than those of pure Love, thus of pure Mercy toward the whole human race which is such that it wills to save all and make them happy to eternity, and to bestow on them all that it has; thus out of pure mercy to draw all who are willing to follow, to heaven, that is, to itself, by the strong force of love. This Love itself is Jehovah.

[2] Of nothing can Am or Is be predicated except of Love. From this Love-because in Love, or of Love itself-is the very Being (Esse) of all life, that is, Life itself; and because Jehovah alone is the Being of life, or Life itself, as He alone is Love, each and all things have thence their being and their life; nor can any one be and live of himself except Jehovah alone, that is, the Lord alone; and as no one can be and live of himself except the Lord alone, it is a fallacy of sense that men seem to themselves to live of themselves. The angels plainly perceive that they do not live of themselves, but from the Lord, since they live in the very being of the Lord‘s life, because in His love. But yet to them above all others there is given the appearance as of living from themselves, together with ineffable happiness. This therefore is to live in the Lord, which is never possible unless we live in His love, that is, in charity toward the neighbor.

AC 1736. That the Lord is Jehovah, who is here called "God Most High," is plainly evident from the Word. In Isaiah:--

Jehovah Zebaoth is His name, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth is He called (Isaiah 54:5)

where it is plain that the Redeemer and the Holy One of Israel, who is the Lord alone, is "Jehovah Zebaoth" and "the God of the whole earth." Again:--

Thus said Jehovah thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I am Jehovah thy God (Isaiah 48:17).


I do help thee, saith Jehovah, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 41:14).

The expressions "the Holy One of Israel," and "the God of Israel" occur many times. That the Lord is the Holy One of Israel and the God of Israel is clearly evident in that They saw the God of Israel, and there was under His feet as it were a work of sapphire stone, and as it were the substance of heaven for clearness (Exod. 24:10).

[2] No other was acknowledged and called Jehovah by the Jewish Church, for it worshiped the one God Jehovah, and this was the more fully the case for the reason-which was unknown to most of them-that all the rites of that church represented the Lord, and all the things of the Word in the internal sense were significative of Him. In Isaiah:--

He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord Jehovih will wipe away the tear from off all faces. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us; this is Jehovah, we have waited for Him; let us exult and be glad in his salvation (Isaiah 25:8, 9),

treating of the coming of the Lord.

[3] In the same:--

Behold the Lord Jehovih will come in strength, and His arm shall rule for Him. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd, He shall gather the little lambs in His arm, He shall carry them in His bosom, He shall lead the sucklings (Isa. 40:10, 11).

Here the Lord is plainly spoken of, who is "the Lord Jehovih." That He "shall come in strength," and "His arm rule for Him," signifies that He would conquer the hells by His own power; to "feed His flock, gather the little lambs in His arm, carry them in His bosom, and lead the sucklings," are predicated of His love or mercy.

[4] Again:--

Thus said Jehovah that created the heavens, God Himself that formed the earth and made it, He established it, He created it not an emptiness, He formed it to be inhabited: I am Jehovah, and there is none else. Am not I Jehovah, and there is no God else besides Me? a just God, and a Saviour, there is none besides Me. Look unto Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth for I am God, and there is none else (Isa. 45:18, 21, 22).

Here the Lord is manifestly spoken of as being alone Jehovah and God. To "create the heavens and form the earth" is to regenerate, thus the Creator of heaven and earth is the Regenerator, (n. 16, 88, 472); and therefore the Lord is often called the Creator, Former, and Maker.

[5] Again:

Thou art our Father, for Abraham knoweth us not, and Israel doth not acknowledge us. Thou, O Jehovah, art our Father, our Redeemer, Thy name is from everlasting (Isa. 63:16).

Here the Lord is plainly meant, who alone is the "Redeemer." In Moses:--

Take heed of His face, and hear His voice, provoke Him not, for He will not bear your transgression, for My name is in the midst of Him (Exod. 23:21).

That "name" means essence, see above (n. 144, 145); and "in the midst" means the inmost (n. 1074).

[6] In Isaiah:--

Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6),

plainly said of the Lord. In Jeremiah:--

Behold the days come that I will raise unto David a righteous offshoot, and He shall reign a King, and shall act intelligently, and shall do judgment and justice in the earth; in His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell in confidence; and this is His name whereby they shall call Him, Jehovah our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5, 6),

plainly meaning the Lord. In Zechariah:--

Jehovah shall be King over all the earth; in that day there shall be one Jehovah, and His name one (Zechariah 14:9),

plainly speaking of the Lord. The "name" denotes the essence.

AC 1737. Who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. That this signifies victory, may be seen without explication. The conjunction of the Human Essence with the Divine Essence was procured and effected by the Lord by continual combats of temptations and victories, and this from His own power. He who apprehends the mode of the conjunction and union in any other way is much mistaken. By this He became righteousness. The conjunction or union was effected with the Celestial of Love, that is, with Love itself, which, as before said, is Jehovah. The conjunction of men with the Lord is also effected by temptations, and by the implanting of faith in love. Unless faith is implanted in love, that is, unless a man by the things that are of faith receives the life of faith, that is, charity, there is no conjunction. This alone is to follow Him, namely, to be conjoined with the Lord just as the Lord as to His Human Essence was conjoined with Jehovah. Hence also all such are called "sons of God," from the Lord who was the only Son of God, and hence they become images of Him.

AC 1738. And he gave him tithes of all. That this signifies remains derived from victory, is evident from the signification of" tithes," as being remains (n. 576). But what remains are may be seen above (n. 468, 530, 560, 561, 661, 1050), namely, that they are all the states of love and charity, and consequently all the states of innocence and peace, with which a man is gifted. These states are given to man from infancy, but less by degrees as the man advances into adult age. But when a man is being regenerated, he then receives new remains also, besides the former, thus new life. For it is from remains, or by remains, that a man is a man; for without the state of love and charity, and without the state of innocence-which states insinuate themselves into the other states of his life-a man is not a man, but is worse than any wild beast. The remains acquired in the combats of temptations are those which are here meant. These remains are what are signified by the tithes given to Melchizedek by Abram; and they are all the celestial things of love which the Lord procured to Himself by the continual combats and victories by which He was continually being united to His Divine Essence, until His Human Essence in like manner became Love, or the Being of life, that is, Jehovah.

GENESIS 14:20    previous  -  next  -  text  -  summary  -  Genesis  -  Full Page

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