Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 16:10
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AC 1938. Verse 10. And the Angel of Jehovah said unto her, In multiplying I will multiply thy seed, and it shall not be numbered for multitude. "The Angel of Jehovah said," signifies the thought of the interior man; "In multiplying I will multiply thy seed," signifies the fruitfulness of the rational man when it submits itself to the sovereign control of intellectual truth which is adjoined to good; "and it shall not be numbered for multitude," signifies multiplication beyond measure.

AC 1939. The Angel of Jehovah said. That this signifies the thought of the interior man, is evident from the preceding verse, where the same words occur.

AC 1940. In multiplying I will multiply thy seed. That this signifies the fruitfulness of the rational man when it submits itself to the sovereign control of the interior man when this is adjoined to good, is evident from the signification of "seed," as being love and faith (n. 1025, 1447, 1610), but in the present case by "multiplying seed" is signified the fruitfulness of the celestial things of love in the rational, when the rational has submitted itself to interior or Divine truth. "Multiplication" is predicated of truth, and "fruitfulness" of good, as may be seen from what has already been said and shown (n. 43, 55, 913, 983). But as the Lord is here treated of, "multiplying" signifies becoming fruitful, because all the truth in His rational was made good, and thereby Divine, as is here declared concerning Him. It is otherwise in man, whose rational is formed by the Lord from truth or the affection of truth. This affection is his good, from which he acts.

[2] How the case is with man‘s rational in regard to multiplication and fruitfulness cannot be understood unless we know how the case is with influx, of which it may be said in a general way that in every one there is an internal man, a rational man which is intermediate, and an external man, as before said. It is the internal man that is his inmost from which he is man, and by which he is distinguished from brute animals, which have not such an inmost; and it is as it were the door or entrance for the Lord, that is, for what is celestial and spiritual from the Lord, into man. What is going on there cannot be comprehended by the man, because it is above all his rational, from which he thinks. That rational which appears as man’s own is subject to this inmost, or to this internal man, and into this rational through the internal man there inflow from the Lord the heavenly things of love and of faith, and through this rational they inflow into the memory-knowledges that are in the external man; but the things that inflow are received in accordance with the state of each person.

[3] Now unless the rational submits itself to the Lord‘s goods and truths, it either suffocates, or rejects, or perverts the things that flow in; and this is still more the case when they flow into the sensuous knowledges of the memory. This is what is meant by seed falling on a highway, or upon a rocky place, or among thorns, as the Lord teaches (Matt. 13:3-7; Mark 4:3-7; Luke 8:5-7). But when the rational submits itself and believes the Lord, that is, His Word, the rational is then like good ground or earth, into which the seed falls and bears much fruit.

AC 1941. And it shall not be numbered for multitude. That this signifies multiplication beyond measure, is evident without explication. By these words is signified the truth that, from good, will thus grow multitudinously. In the case of the Lord- who in the internal sense is here treated of-these things cannot be fully expressed in words, because in Him all things are Divine and Infinite, and therefore in order that we may form some idea of how the case is with the multiplication of truth from good, we must speak concerning man. With a man who is in good, that is, in love and charity, the seed that comes from the Lord is made fruitful and multiplied to such an extent that it cannot he numbered for multitude; not so much while he is living in the body, but in the other life to an incredible degree; for so long as a man is living in the body the seed is in corporeal ground, and is there in the midst of jungles and thickets, which are memory-knowledges and pleasures, and also cares and anxieties; but when these are put off, which is done when he passes into the other life, the seed is freed from them and grows, just as the seed of a tree uprising from the ground grows into a sapling, then into a great tree, which is afterwards multiplied into a garden of trees. For all knowledge (scientia), intelligence, and wisdom, together with their delights and happiness, are thus made fruitful and multiplied, and thereby increase to eternity, and this from the smallest seed, as the Lord teaches respecting the grain of mustard-seed (Matt. 13:31). This may be seen very clearly from the knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom of the angels, which while they were men had been to them unutterable.

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