Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 15:2
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AC 1790. Verse 2. And Abram said, Lord Jehovih, what wilt Thou give me, and I am walking childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer the Damascene? "Abram said, Lord Jehovih," signifies the Lord’s perception; "Abram" is the interior man; the "Lord Jehovih" is the internal man relatively to the interior; "what wilt Thou give me, and I am walking childless?" signifies that there was no internal church; "and the steward of my house," signifies an external church; "is this Eliezer the Damascene" denotes the external church.

AC 1791. Abram said, Lord Jehovih. That this signifies the Lord‘s perception, may be seen from the fact that the Lord had the most interior and perfect perception of all things. This perception, as before said, was a perceptive sensation and knowledge of all things that were taking place in heaven, and was a continual communication and internal conversation with Jehovah, which the Lord alone had. This is meant in the internal sense by the words "Abram said to Jehovah;" thus was represented by Abram when he spoke with Jehovah; and the like is signified in what follows wherever the expression "Abram said to Jehovah" occurs.

AC 1792. That "Abram" denotes the interior man, or that Abram represented the Lord’s interior or rational man, has been stated before. What the Lord‘s interior man is, was shown in the foregoing chapter.

AC 1793. That the "Lord Jehovih" is the internal man relatively to the interior, is evident from what has been said concerning the Lord’s internal man, namely, that it Was Jehovah Himself, from whom He was conceived, and whose only Son He was, and to whom the Lord‘s Human became united after He had by the combats of temptation purified the maternal human, that is, that which He derived from the mother. The appellation "Lord Jehovih" occurs very often in the Word; indeed, as often as Jehovah is called "Lord" He is not called "Lord Jehovah," but "Lord Jehovih," and this especially where temptations are treated of.

[2] As in Isaiah:--

Behold, the Lord Jehovih cometh in strength, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd, He shall gather the lambs in His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall lead those that give suck (Isaiah 40:10, 11),

where "the Lord Jehovih cometh in strength," relates to His victory in the combats of temptations; "His arm shall rule for Him," means that it is from His own power. What the reward is that is mentioned in the first verse of this chapter is here declared, namely, that it is the salvation of the whole human race, that is to say, "He feeds His flock like a shepherd, gathers the lambs in His arm, carries them in His bosom, and leads those that give suck;" all of which things pertain to inmost or Divine love.

[3] Again in the same Prophet:--

The Lord Jehovih hath opened Mine ear, and I was not rebellious; I have not turned away backward. I gave My body to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not My face from shame and spitting; and the Lord Jehovih will help Me; behold the Lord Jehovih will help Me (Isa. 50:5-7, 9),

where temptations are manifestly treated of.

AC 1794. What wilt Thou give me, and I am walking childless? That this signifies that there is no internal church, may be seen from the signification of "walking childless." To "walk," in the internal sense, is to live (n. 519); but one who is childless is one who has no seed, or no posterity of his own. This is treated of in (verses 3-5), where it is explained what is meant by one who is childless, or one who has no seed.

AC 1795. And the steward of my house. That this signifies an external church, is evident from the signification of the "steward of a house," in the internal sense, that is, in respect to the church. The external church is called "the steward of a house," when the internal church itself is the house, and the father of the family is the Lord. The external church is circumstanced no otherwise, for all stewardship belongs to the external of the church; as the administration of rituals, and of many things that pertain to the place of worship and to the church itself, that is, to the House of Jehovah or of the Lord.

[2] The externals of the church without the internals are things of naught; they have their being from the internals, and are such as the internals are. The case herein is the same as it is with man: his external or corporeal is in itself a thing of no account unless there is an internal which gives it soul and life. Such therefore as is the internal, such is the external; or such as is the mind (animus et mens), such is the worth of all things which come forth by means of the external or corporeal. The things which are of the heart make the man; not those which are of the mouth and the gestures; and such is the case with the internals of the church. But still the externals of the church are like the externals of a man, in that they take charge of and administer; or what is the same, the external or corporeal man may in like manner be called the steward or administrator of the house, when the house means the interiors. From this it is evident what "childless" means, namely, the state in which there is no internal of the church, but only an external; as was the case at the time of which the Lord complained.

AC 1796. Is this Eliezer the Damascene. From what has just been said it is now evident that these words denote the external church; and the same appears from the signification of a "Damascene." Damascus was the principal city of Syria, where there were remains of the worship of the Ancient Church, and whence came Eber, or the Hebrew nation, with which there was nothing but the external of the church (n. 1238, 1241), thus nothing but the stewardship of the house. That there is in these words something of despair, and consequently of the Lord’s temptation, is evident from the words themselves, and also from the consolation that follows respecting the internal church.

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