Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 14:3
AC 1665. Verse 3. All these were gathered together at the valley of Siddim, this is the Salt Sea. "All these were gathered together at the valley of Siddim," signifies that they were in the unclean things of cupidities; "this is the Salt Sea," signifies the filthy things of the derivative falsities.
AC 1666. All these were gathered together at the valley of Siddim. That this signifies that they were in the unclean things of cupidities, may be seen from the signification of " the valley of Siddim," concerning which see below (verse 10), where it is said that "the valley of Siddim was pits, pits, of bitumen," that is, that it was full of pits of bitumen, by which are signified the foul and unclean things of cupidities (n. 1299). The same may be seen from the fact that by Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim were signified the cupidities of evil and the persuasions of falsity, which in themselves are unclean. That they are unclean may be seen by every one within the church; and it also is actually seen in the other life. Such spirits desire nothing better than to pass their time in marshy, boggy, and excrementitious places, so that their nature carries such things with it. Such unclean things sensibly exhale from them when they approach the sphere of good spirits; especially when they desire to infest the good, that is, to gather together to attack them. From this it is evident what "the valley of Siddim" is.
 That "this is the Salt Sea," signifies the filthy things of the derivative falsities, may be seen from the signification of "the Salt Sea," which is as it were the same as that of the valley of Siddim; for it is said, "the valley of Siddim, this is the Salt Sea;" but these words are added for the reason that "the Salt Sea" signifies the falsities which burst forth from the cupidities; for there cannot possibly be any cupidity that does not produce falsities. The life of cupidities may be likened to a coal fire, and the falsities to the obscure light from it. As there cannot be fire without light, so neither can there be cupidity without falsity. All cupidity is of some foul love; for that which is loved is desired (cupitur), and hence is called cupidity and in cupidity itself there is the love in question in its continuity. whatever favors or dissents to this love or cupidity is called falsity. Hence it is evident why the words "the Salt Sea" are here added to the words "the valley of Siddim."
 As cupidities and falsities are what vastate or lay waste man, that is, deprive him of all the life of the love of good, and of the affection of truth, vastation is described in many passages by "saltness." As in Jeremiah:--
He that maketh flesh his arm shall be like a bare shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh, and shall inhabit the parched places In the wilderness, a salt land, and not inhabited (Jeremiah 17:5, 6).
The miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given up to salt (Ezekiel 47:11).
Jehovah turneth rivers into a wilderness, and water-springs into drought, a fruitful land into one of saltness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein (Ps. 107:33, 34).
Moab shall be as Sodom, and the sons of Ammon as Gomorrah, a place left to the nettle, and a pit of salt, and a desolation forever (Zephaniah 2:9).
 In Moses:--
The whole land is brimstone and salt, a burning; it shall not be sown and shall not sprout, neither shall any herb spring up in it as in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, of Admah and Zeboiim (Deut. 29:23).
"The whole land brimstone and salt, a burning," denotes vastated goods and truths; "brimstone," the vastation of good; "salt," the vastation of truth; for parching and saltness destroy the land and the products of the land just as cupidity destroys goods and as falsity destroys truths. As "salt" was significative of devastation, it was also customary to sow with salt the cities which were destroyed, that they might not be rebuilt (Judges 9:45). "Salt" is used also in the opposite sense, signifying that which gives fertility, and as it were relish.GENESIS 14:3 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|