Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 15:10
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AC 1828. Verse 10. And he took unto him all these and divided them in the midst, and laid each part over against the other; and the birds he did not divide. "He took unto him all these," signifies that it was so done; "and divided them in the midst," signifies the church and the Lord; "and laid each part over against the other," signifies a parallelism and correspondence as to celestial things; "and the birds he did not divide," signifies spiritual things, wherein there was not such parallelism and correspondence.

AC 1829. He took unto him all these. That this signifies that it was so done, is evident without explication.

AC 1830. And divided them in the midst. That this signifies the church and the Lord, is evident from what follows; for celestial things were signified by the heifer, the she-goat, and the ram, and spiritual things by the turtle-dove and the young pigeon; and these, when divided and placed opposite to each other, can have no other signification.

AC 1831. And laid each part over against the other. That this signifies a parallelism and correspondence as to the celestial things, may be seen from the consideration that the parts on one side signify the church, and the parts on the other the Lord; and when these are placed opposite to each other, this is nothing else than a parallelism and correspondence; and as the heifer, the she-goat, and the ram were so divided and placed, and by these celestial things are signified (verse 9), it is evident that there is a parallelism and correspondence as to celestial things. It is otherwise with spiritual things, concerning which presently. Celestial things, as has often been said, are all that pertain to love to the Lord and to love toward the neighbor. It is the Lord who gives love and charity; it is the church that receives. What unites is conscience, in which the love and charity are implanted; and therefore the middle space between the parts signifies that in man which is called perception, internal dictate, and conscience. The things which are above the perception, dictate, and conscience, are the Lordís; those which are below, are in man. Because they thereby mutually regard each other, there is said to be a parallelism; and because they correspond to each other, as the active and the passive, there is said to be correspondence.

AC 1832. And the birds he did not divide. That this signifies spiritual things, and that in them there is not such a parallelism and correspondence, is evident from the signification of "birds," as being what is spiritual (as distinguished from what is celestial), and as treated of in (verse 9), just above and from the statement that he did not divide the birds in the midst; consequently that there is not such a parallelism and correspondence. By spiritual things are signified, as often said before, all the things of faith, consequently all doctrinal things, for these are called things of faith, although they are not of faith until they have been conjoined with charity. Between these and the Lord there is not a parallelism and correspondence, for they are such things as do not flow in by internal dictate and conscience, as do those which are of love and charity, but they flow in by instruction, and so by hearing, thus not from the interior, but from the exterior, and in this way they form their vessels or recipients in man.

[2] The greater part of them appear as if they were truths, but are not truths, such as those things which are of the literal sense of the Word, and are representatives of truth and significatives of truth, and thus are not in themselves truths; some of them even being falsities, which however can serve as vessels and recipients. But in the Lord there are none but truths that are essentially such; and therefore with these there is no parallelism and correspondence on the part of those apparent truths, but still they may be so adapted as to serve as vessels for the celestial things which are of love and charity. These apparent truths are what constitute the cloud of the intellectual part, before spoken of, into which the Lord insinuates charity, and so makes conscience.

[3] For example: with those who remain in the sense of the letter of the Word, and suppose that it is the Lord who leads into temptation and who then torments manĎs conscience, and who suppose that because He permits evil He is the cause of evil, and that He thrusts the evil down into hell, with other similar things: these are apparent truths, but are not truths; and because they are not truths that are such in themselves, there is no parallelism and correspondence. Still the Lord leaves them intact in man, and miraculously adapts them by means of charity so that they can serve celestial things as vessels. So also with the worship, the religious teachings and morals, and even with the idols, of the well-disposed Gentiles these likewise the Lord leaves intact, and yet adapts them by means of charity so that they also serve as vessels. The case was the same in regard to the very numerous rites in the Ancient Church, and afterwards in the Jewish Church; which in themselves were nothing but rituals in which there was not truth, but which were tolerated and permitted, and indeed commanded, because they were held as sacred by parents, and so were implanted in the minds of children and impressed upon them from infancy as truths.

[4] These and other such things are what are signified by the statement that the birds were not divided. For the things that are once implanted in a manís opinion, and are accounted as holy, the Lord leaves intact, provided they are not contrary to Divine order; and although there is no parallelism and correspondence, still He adapts them. These same things are what was signified in the Jewish Church by the birds not being divided in the sacrifices; for to divide is to place the parts opposite to each other in such a manner that they may adequately correspond; and because the things which have been spoken of are not adequately in correspondence, they are obliterated in the other life with those who suffer themselves to be instructed, and truths themselves are implanted in their affections of good. That in the Jewish Church for the sake of this representation and signification the birds were not divided, is evident in Moses:--

If his offering to Jehovah be a burnt-offering of birds, then he shall bring his offering of turtle-doves or of the sons of the pigeon. And he shall cleave it with its wings, he shall not divide it (Lev. 1:14, 17).

And the same in the case of the sacrifices for sin (Lev. 5:7, 8).

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