Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 17:13
AC 2050. Verse 13. Circumcising he shall be circumcised that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy silver; and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an eternal covenant. "Circumcising he shall be circumcised,’ signifies that they must wholly remove from themselves the loves of self and of the world; "that is born in thy house, and that is bought with thy silver," signifies those within the church, of both kinds; "and My covenant shall be in your flesh," signifies the conjunction of the Lord with man in his impurity, and also a significative rite; "for an eternal covenant," signifies conjunction.
AC 2051. Circumcising he shall be circumcised. That this signifies that they must wholly remove from themselves the loves of self and of the world, that is, that they must do this who are within the church and who are signified by him "that is born in the house," and by him "that is bought with silver," is evident from the representation of circumcision," as being purification from the loves of self and of the world (n. 2039). It is here repeated that they are to be circumcised, and it is said, "circumcising he shall be circumcised," by which is expressed the necessity, that is, for their being wholly purified from those loves. And as those are signified who are within the church, the "sons that are strangers" are not mentioned here, because by them (n. 2049) are signified those who are outside the church.
 From the repetition of what was said in the preceding verse concerning those born in the house and those bought with silver, every one can see that there is a Divine arcanum which is not seen from the sense of the letter. The arcanum is, that purification from those filthy loves is necessary most of all within the church, and this for the reason that they who are within the church are able to render holy things themselves impure, which they who are outside the church- that is, the Gentiles cannot do; so that the danger of damnation is greater in the case of the former. Moreover those who are within the church are able to form principles of falsity contrary to the very truths of faith, and to become imbued with them; whereas those who are outside the church cannot do this, because they are ignorant of these truths. Thus the former can profane holy truths, but not the latter (n. 1059, 1327, 1328).
AC 2052. That is born in thy house, and that is bought with thy silver. That this signifies those who are within the church, of both kinds,-that is, the celestial, meant by "him that is born in the house," and the spiritual, meant by "him that is bought with silver," (n. 2048).
AC 2053. My covenant shall be in your flesh. That this signifies the conjunction of the Lord with man in his impurity, is evident from the signification of a " covenant," as being conjunction; and from the signification of "flesh," as being what is man‘s own (n. 2041): how impure what is man’s own is was also stated there, and was shown in (n. 141, 150, 154, 210, 215, 694, 731, 874-876, 987, 1047). As regards the words "my covenant in your flesh" denoting the conjunction of the Lord with man in his impurity, the case is this: With man there is no pure intellectual truth, that is, truth Divine; for the truths of faith appertaining to man are appearances of truth, to which fallacies of the senses adjoin themselves, and to these the falsities that belong to the cupidities of the love of self and of the world. Such are the truths appertaining to man. How impure these are may be seen from the fact that such things are adjoined to them.
 But still the Lord conjoins Himself with man in these impure truths, for He animates and vivifies them with innocence and charity, and thereby forms conscience. The truths of conscience are various, that is, they are according to each person‘s religion; and these truths, provided they are not contrary to the goods of faith, the Lord will not do violence to, because the man has been imbued with them, and has regarded them as holy. The Lord breaks no one, but bends him, as may be seen from the fact that in every dogma within the church there are some who are being gifted with conscience, which conscience is a better one in proportion as its truths approach more closely to the genuine truths of faith. As conscience is formed from truths of faith of this kind, it is evident that it has been formed in the intellectual part of man, for it is the intellectual part that receives these truths and therefore the Lord has miraculously separated this part from the will part-an arcanum not previously known, and concerning which see (n. 863, 875, 895, 927, 1023). That a "covenant in your flesh" also denotes what is significative, namely, of purification, is evident from what has been shown in respect to circumcision in (n. 2039).
AC 2054. For an eternal covenant. That this signifies conjunction, is evident from the signification of a "covenant," as being conjunction, explained before. As those are here treated of who are within the church, the "covenant" is again spoken of; and it is here called an eternal covenant, both because it is most especially necessary for those within the church to be "circumcised," that is, purified from the loves of self and of the world (n. 2051); and also because with them there is the nearest conjunction of the Lord and His heaven, since this is effected by means of the goods and truths of faith. There is indeed a conjunction with those also who are outside of the church, but a more remote one, because they are not in the goods and truths of faith (n. 2049). The church, in the Lord’s kingdom, is circumstanced as are the heart and lungs in man. Man‘s interior things are conjoined with his external things by means of the heart and lungs, and from these live all the surrounding viscera. Such also is the case with the human race: the conjunction of the Lord and His heaven is nearest with the church, but more remote with those who are outside of the church, who are circumstanced as are the organs that live by means of the heart and lungs. The celestial are like the heart, and the spiritual are like the lungs. Because of the necessity for the purification of both of these, they who are within the church are here treated of specifically, and the "covenant" is stated twice. GENESIS 17:13 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|