Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 14:8-9
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AC 1681. Verses 8, 9. And there went out the kind of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, this is Zoar; and they set the battle in array with them in the valley of Siddim; with Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five. "There went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, this is Zoar," signifies, as before, the evils and falsities that reign generally; "and they set the battle in array with them," signifies that they began the attack; " in the valley of Siddim," signifies here as before, uncleanness; " with Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar," signifies the truths and goods in the external man; "Chedorlaomer king of Elam," signifies the truth; "Tidal king of Goiim," the good; and the others the things derived from these; "four kings with five," signifies the union of the last named, and the disunion of the others.

AC 1682. There went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, this is Zoar. That these signify the evils and falsities that reign generally, is evident from what was said above, at (verse 2), concerning these kings, namely, that they are cupidities of evil and persuasions of falsity. In that verse by the same kings are signified all evils and all falsities in general, or what is the same, cupidities of evil and persuasions of falsity, and therefore it is said that war was made with them. Afterwards the war with the Rephaim, Zuzim, Emim, and Horites, was treated of; also the war with the Amalekite and the Amorite; and finally with these kings who were named in the beginning. Here therefore by the same kings are signified only the reigning evils and falsities that are of a less degree.

AC 1683. They set the battle in array with them. That this signifies that they began the attack, is evident from the signification of "setting the battle in array," as meaning to fight against; for it is said above (verse 3) that they rebelled. The same is evident also from the fact that evil spirits are those who make the assault. For it is the case that the Lord never began the combat with any hell, but the hells assaulted Him; as is also the case with every man who is in temptation, or In combat with evil spirits. In manís case the angels never make the assault, but always and continually the evil or infernal spirits do so; the angels only ward off and defend. This comes from the Lord, who never desires to bring evil upon any one, or to thrust him down into hell, even if he were the worst and the most bitter enemy of all; but it is he who brings the evil upon himself, and precipitates himself into bell. This also follows from the nature of evil, and from the nature of good. It is the nature of evil to desire to maltreat every one; but that of good to desire to maltreat no one. The evil are in their very life when they are assaulting; for they continually desire to destroy. The good are in their very life when they are assaulting no one, and when they can be of use in defending others from evils.

AC 1684. In the valley of Siddim. That this signifies uncleanness, is evident from what was before said (verse 3) concerning the valley of Siddim and the Salt Sea.

AC 1685. With Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar. That this signifies the truths and goods in the external man, is evident from the signification of the same in (verse 1) of this chapter. That "Chedorlaomer king of Elam signifies truths, and "Tidal king of Goiim" goods, and the others the things derived from these, is evident from the fact that the same kings are here enumerated in a different order from that of (verse 1) above. There "Chedorlaomer king of Elam" stands in the third place, but here in the first; and there "Tidal king of Goiim" is in the fourth place, but here in the second. It is truth that is first in combat, for combat is from truth; for from truth it is known what falsity is and what evil is; on which account such combats never arise until the man has been imbued with knowledges (scientiae et cognitiones) of truth and good. Hence by "Chedorlaomer," who is here named in the first place, is signified the truth that was in the Lord; which is also evident from the signification of "Elam," as being faith from charity, which is the same thing as truth, as has been shown before, (Gen. 10:29). It follows from this that "Tidal king of Goiim," or of nations," signifies good; and that the other kings signify the truths and goods that are derived from these.

AC 1686. Four kings with five. That this signifies the union of the last named, and the disunion of the first named, may be seen from the signification of " four," and of " five." " Four" signifies union, because it is made up of pairs, as also does two when it has relation to marriages of things (n. 720). But "five" signifies disunion, because it means but little (n. 649). The signification of all things is in accordance with the subject of which they are predicated.

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