Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 14:24
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AC 1751. Verse 24. Save only that which the lads have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me; Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre, let them take their portion. "Save only that which the lads have eaten," signifies the good spirits; "and the portion of the men who went with me," signifies the angels; "Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre," signifies the things that appertained to them; "let them take their portion," signifies that they have been given into their power (potestas).

AC 1752. Save only that which the lads have eaten. That this signifies the good spirits, is evident from what precedes, and from what follows. It is evident from what precedes, for Mamre, Eshcol, and Aner are mentioned above (verse 13) as being allies of the covenant of Abram, by whom was signified the state of the Lord‘s rational man as to His external man, in respect to the quality of its goods and truths; and thus it is evident that by them were signified the angels who were with the Lord when He was combating, as is plain from the explication there given. The same is evident from what follows, as will presently appear. Those who went with Abram are here called "the lads" or "children," by whom no others are meant than good spirits but by "the men," who am spoken of immediately afterwards, are meant angels. That there were angels with the Lord when He fought against the hells, is evident from the Word; as also from the consideration that when He was in the combats of temptations, it could not be otherwise than that angels should be present, to whom the Lord from His own power gave strength, and as it were power, to fight together with Him, for all the power that the angels have is from the Lord.

[2] That angels fight against the evil, may be seen from what has occasionally been said before concerning the angels with man-that they protect man, and avert the evils which are threatened by infernal spirits (n. 50, 227, 228, 697, 968) but all their power is from the Lord. The good spirits also are angels, but lower ones, for they are in the first heaven; the angelic spirits are in the second; and the angels, properly so called, are in the third (n. 459, 684). Such is the form of government in the other life that the good spirits are subordinate to the angelic spirits, and the angelic spirits to the real angels; so that they constitute one angelic society. The good spirits and the angelic spirits are those who are here called "the lads;" but the real angels, "the men."

AC 1753. And the portion of the men who went with me. That this signifies the angels, is evident from what has just been said; and also from the fact that angels, when they have appeared to men, are in the Word called "men."

AC 1754. Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. That these signify the things appertaining to them, is evident from what is said above in this chapter (verse 13) concerning the same, namely, that by their names are signified the goods and truths from which the combat was waged, and not so much the angels themselves, for the angels are meant by "the lads," and "the men," as has been said. For the angels never have any name given them, but are distinguished in respect to their quality by goods and truths: and on this account nothing else is signified in the Word by a name but the essence and its quality (n. 144, 145, 340). This may be seen also in Isaiah, where the Lord is spoken of:--

His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of eternity, Prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6),

where by the "name" is meant of what quality He is, that is, that He is wonderful, counselor, God, a Hero, Father of eternity, Prince of peace.

[2] In Jeremiah, where also the Lord is spoken of:--

This is His name whereby they shall call Him, Jehovah our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5, 6),

where it is plainly evident that the name is "Righteousness." So too in Moses, where likewise the Lord is spoken of:--

He will not bear your transgression, for My name is in the midst of Him (Exod. 23:21),

where also the "name" denotes the essence, as being Divine. So also in many other passages of the Word, where it is said that "they called on the name of Jehovah;" that "they should not take the name of Jehovah in vain;" and in the Lord’s Prayer, "Hallowed be Thy name." The case is similar with the names of angels; and is so here with the names of Eshcol, Aner, and Mamre, who represent angels, in that these names signify the things appertaining to the angels.

AC 1755. Let them take their portion. That this signifies that they had been given into their power, is evident from what was said above (verses 21-24), namely, that it was the Lord‘s will to receive nothing from them, because He derived no strength from any such thing. That they had been given into the power of the angels stands thus: It is the angels who rule over evil and infernal spirits, as has been made evident to me from much experience. But the Lord foresees and sees all things in both general and particular, and provides and disposes therefore but some things from permission, some from sufferance, some from leave, some from good pleasure, some from will. The desire to rule is itself something of man’s own which differs from anything that the angels receive from the Lord; but still all their dominion is of love and mercy, apart from any desire to rule. But these things, being deeper arcana, cannot be stated to the understanding in a few words. It is sufficient to know that the evil and infernal spirits have been delivered into the power (potestas) of the angels, and that the Lord governs all things, both in general and in particular, down to the veriest singulars, concerning which, of the Lord‘s Divine mercy hereafter, where Providence and Permissions are treated of.

AC 1756. The foregoing are the things that are in general involved in the internal sense of this chapter; but the series or connection itself of the things, and its beauty, cannot appear when each separate thing is explained in detail according to the signification of the words, as they would if they were embraced in a single idea, for when they are all apprehended under a single idea the things that had been scattered appear beautifully coherent and connected. The case herein is like that of one who hears another speaking, and gives his attention to the words; in which case he does not so well apprehend the idea of the speaker as he would if he paid no attention to the words or their signification. For the internal sense of the Word holds nearly the same relation to the external or literal sense as speech does to its words when these are scarcely heard, still less attended to, and when the mind is kept exclusively in the sense of the things signified by the words of the speaker.

[2] The most ancient mode of writing represented subjects by using persons and words which were understood as meaning things that were quite different. Profane writers then composed their historicals in this way, even those matters which pertained to civic and moral life; and in fact so that nothing was exactly the same as it was written in the letter, but under this something else was meant; they even presented affections of every kind as gods and goddesses, to whom the heathen afterwards instituted Divine worship, as may be known to every man of letters, for such ancient books are still extant. They derived this mode of writing from the most ancient people who existed before the flood, who represented heavenly and Divine things to themselves by such as were visible on the earth and in the world, and so filled their minds and souls with joys and delights while beholding the objects of the universe, especially such as were beautiful in their form and order; and therefore all the books of the church of those times were written in this way. Such is the book of Job; and, in imitation of those books, such is Solomon’s Song of Songs. Such were the two books mentioned by Moses in (Num. 21:14, 27); besides many that have perished.

[3] At a later period this style of writing was venerated on account of its antiquity, both among the Gentiles and the posterity of Jacob, to such a degree that whatever was not written in this style they did not venerate as Divine, and therefore when they were moved by the prophetic Spirit, they spoke in a similar manner; and this for many hidden reasons. This was the case with Jacob (Gen. 49:3-17); with Moses (Exod. 15:1-21; Deut. 33:2-29); with Balaam, who was of the sons of the East, from Syria where the Ancient Church still existed (Num. 23:7-10, 19-24; 24:5-9, 17-24) with Deborah and Barak (Judges 5:2-31); with Hannah (1 Sam. 2:2-10). And though very few understood or knew that their words signified the heavenly things of the Lord‘s kingdom and church, still, being touched and penetrated with the awe of admiration, they felt that what was Divine and holy was in them

[4] But that the historicals of the Word are similar-that is, that in respect to every name and every word they are representative and significative of the celestial and the spiritual things of the Lord’s kingdom-has not yet become known to the learned world, except in that the Word is inspired as to the smallest iota, and that there are heavenly arcana in all things of it in both general and particular.