Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 17:14
AC 2055. Verse 14. And the uncircumcised male, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his peoples; he hath made vain My covenant. "The uncircumcised male," signifies one who is not in the truth of faith; "who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin," signifies who is in the love of self and of the world; "that soul shall be cut off from his peoples," signifies eternal death; "he hath made vain My covenant," signifies that he cannot be conjoined.
AC 2056. And the uncircumcised male. That this signifies one who is not in the truth of faith, is evident from the signification of a "male," as being the truth of faith (n. 2046); the "uncircumcised male" therefore here signifies one who is not in the truth of faith, and who is thereby in what is false. That is said to be "uncircumcised" which obstructs and defiles, as before said. When said of the "male," it is that which obstructs and defiles truth; and in like manner when it is said of any other subject, it signifies the darkening and contamination of that subject. Thus an "uncircumcised ear" is mentioned in Jeremiah:--
Upon whom shall I speak and testify, and they will hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken behold the Word of Jehovah is become unto them a reproach they do not desire it (Jeremiah 6:10)
their "ear being uncircumcised" means that there was no hearkening, and that the Word was a reproach unto them.
 Moreover the verse before us treats of those who are within the church, and who are not only in falsity, but also in the impurity of the loves of self and of the world; for these things are said in continuation of what was said before. It is therefore said "the uncircumcised male, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin," and thus the meaning is falsity conjoined with impurity of life. How great a danger of eternal damnation these are incurring may be seen from what was said above (n. 2051). These words especially signify those within the church who profane the goods and truths of faith, of whom it is said, "that soul shall be cut off from his peoples’ for these can commit profanation, but not those who are out side the church (n. 593, 1008, 1010, 1059).
AC 2057. Who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. That this signifies who is in the love of self, is evident from what was said above in regard to the signification of being "circumcised," and of the "foreskin" (n. 2039, 2049, at the end), also as to the signification of "flesh" (n. 2041). The "flesh of the foreskin" here signifies the love of self. Those within the church who are in falsity, and at the same time are in the love of self, are most especially those who profane holy things; but they who are in any other love whatever not so much, for the love of self is the most foul of all, because it is destructive of society, and thus of the human race, as before shown (n. 2045). That it is also diametrically opposed to mutual love, in which heaven consists, and thus is destructive of heavenly order itself, may be seen from the evil spirits and genii in the other life; and also from the hells, in which nothing reigns but the love of self; and because the love of self reigns there, so do all kinds of hatreds, revenges, and cruelties, because these are derived from it.
 Mutual love in heaven consists in the fact that they love the neighbor more than themselves, the effect of which is that the whole heaven represents as it were one man; for by means of mutual love all are so consociated by the Lord, and hence it is that the happinesses of all are communicated to each one, and those of each one to all. Consequently the heavenly form is such that every one is as it were a kind of center, thus a center of communications, and consequently of happinesses, from all; and this in accordance with all the differences of mutual love, which are innumerable. And because those who are in that love perceive the highest happiness in being able to communicate to others that which flows into them, and this from the heart, the communication becomes perpetual and eternal and on this account, as the Lord‘s kingdom increases, so the happiness of each angel increases. As the angels are in distinct societies and abodes, they do not think of this; but the Lord thus disposes all things both in general and in particular. Such is the kingdom of the Lord in the heavens.
 Nothing else endeavors to destroy this form and this order than the love of self, and therefore all in the other life who are in the love of self are more deeply infernal than others, for the love of self communicates nothing to others, but extinguishes and suffocates their delights and happinesses. Whatever delight flows into them from others, they receive to themselves, concentrate it within themselves, turn it into the filthiness of self, prevent its going any further, and thus destroy all that tends to unanimity and consociation. From this comes disunion, and consequently destruction. And as every such person desires to be served, courted, and adored by others, and loves no one but himself, hence comes dissociation, which is determined and puts itself forth into lamentable states, so that they perceive nothing to be more delightful than to torture others, in direful modes and by phantasies, from hatred, revenge, and cruelty. When such persons come to any society where mutual love resides, they are cast down of their own accord, like impure and dead weights in a pure and living aura, because all the influent delight is terminated in themselves; and because they exhale a foul idea of self, their delight is there turned into a cadaverous stench, by which they are made sensible of the hell of self, besides being seized with terrible anguish.
 From this we can see that it is the nature of the love of self to be destructive not only of the human race (n. 2045), but also of heavenly order; and thus that there is nothing in it but impurity, filthiness, profaneness, and hell itself; however little this may appear to those who are in it. They are in the love of self who despise others in comparison with themselves, and hate those who do not favor, serve, and pay a kind of worship to them; and who find a cruel delight in revenge, and in depriving others of honor, reputation, wealth, and life. They who are in the love of self are in these evils; and they who are in these evils may know that they are in the love of self.
AC 2058. That soul shall be cut off from his peoples. That this signifies eternal death, is evident from the signification of "soul," as being life (n. 1000, 1040, 1742); and from the signification of "peoples," as being truths (n. 1259, 1260). Thus "peoples" are they who live in truths, that is, angels; and for a "soul to be cut off" from these, is to be damned, or to perish in eternal death.
AC 2059. He hath made vain My covenant. That this signifies that he cannot be conjoined, is evident from the signification of a "covenant," as being conjunction, explained before. Thus to "make the covenant vain," is to disjoin himself to such an extent that he cannot be conjoined. GENESIS 17:14 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|