Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 17:21
AC 2091. Verse 21. And My covenant will I set up with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the following year. "My covenant will I set up with Isaac," signifies union with the Divine rational; "whom Sarah shall bear unto thee," signifies the Divine truth conjoined with Good, from which it will come forth; "at this set time in the following year," signifies a state of union then.
AC 2092. My covenant will I set up with Isaac. That this signifies union with the Divine rational, is evident from the signification of a "covenant," as being union (explained before); and from the representation of "Isaac," as being the Divine rational (n. 2083).
AC 2093. Whom Sarah shall bear unto thee. That this signifies the Divine truth conjoined with the Divine good, from which it will come forth, is evident from the representation of " Sarah," as being the Divine truth (n. 2063, 2081); and from the representation of "Abraham," as being the Divine good (n. 2063).
 How the Lord’s first rational was conceived and born, has been stated in the foregoing chapter, where "Ishmael" is treated of, by whom that rational was represented. But here, and also in the following chapter, that rational is treated of which was made Divine by the Lord, and this by the conjunction, as by marriage, of the Divine good with the Divine truth. The first rational cannot be conceived otherwise than by the influx of the internal man into the affection of memory-knowledges in the external man; nor can it be born otherwise than from the affection of memory-knowledges, which was represented by Hagar, Sarah‘s handmaid (n. 1896, 1902, 1910).
 But the second or Divine rational is not conceived and born in this way, but by means of the conjunction of the truth of the internal man with the good of the same, and the influx thence derived. With the Lord this was effected of His own proper power from the Divine itself, that is, from Jehovah As has been repeatedly stated above, His internal man was Jehovah; and the good itself that was represented by Abraham belonged to His internal man, as also did the truth itself that was represented by Sarah, and therefore both were Divine. From this source therefore was the Lord’s Divine rational conceived and born; and in fact from the influx of the good into the truth, and thus by means of the truth; for the chief characteristic of the rational is truth (n. 2072). On this account it is here said, "whom Sarah shall bear unto thee," which signifies Divine truth conjoined with Good, from which that Divine rational will come forth; and above (verse 17) it was said that Sarah was a "daughter of ninety years," which signifies that the truth conjoined with good shall do this.
 With every man whatever because he has been created in the likeness and image of God, the like, but not the equal of this takes place, that is to say, his first rational is also conceived and born by means of the influx of his internal man into the life of the affection of memory-knowledges in his external man; but his second rational, from the influx of the good and truth from the Lord through his internal man. This second rational he receives from the Lord when he is being regenerated, for he then perceives in his rational what the good and the truth of faith are. In man the internal man is above his rational, and is the Lord‘s (n. 1889, 1940).
AC 2094. In the preceding chapter, and up to this point in the present one, the subject has been the conception and birth of the rational that appertained to the Lord; and how it was made Divine is also treated of in what follows. But some may suppose that to know these things does not conduce much to faith, provided it is known that the Lord’s Human Essence was made Divine, and that the Lord is God as to both the Human Essence and the Divine Essence. But the case is this: They who in simplicity believe this to be so, do not need to know how it was effected, for knowing how it was effected is simply for the end that they may believe it to be so.
 But at the present day there are many who believe nothing unless they know from reason that it is so, as may be clearly seen from the fact that few believe in the Lord, although they confess Him with the lips because this is according to the doctrine of faith. Yet still they say to themselves and to one another that if they knew it could be so they would believe. The reason why they do not believe and yet say this, is that the Lord was born as are other men, and in the external form was like others. These persons cannot possibly receive any faith unless they first comprehend in some measure how it can be so, and this is why these things have been explained. They who believe the Word in simplicity have no need to know all these things, for they are already in the end to which the others just described cannot come except by a knowledge (cognitio) of such things.
 Moreover these are the things that are contained in the internal sense, and the internal sense is the Word of the Lord in the heavens, and is so perceived by those who are there. When a man is in the truth, that is, in the internal sense, he can make one as to thought with those in heaven, even though he may be in a relatively very general and obscure idea. The celestial in heaven, who are in faith itself, look at these things from good, and see that they are so; but the spiritual look at them from truth and are also confirmed, and thus perfected, by such things as are contained in the internal sense; but this by thousands of interior reasons which cannot flow perceptibly into man‘s idea.
AC 2095. At this set time in the following year. That this signifies a state of union then, is evident from what has been said concerning the age of Abraham, in that he was a "son of a hundred years;" and concerning that of Sarah, in that she was a "daughter of ninety years," when Isaac was to be born; by which was signified that the rational of the Lord’s Human Essence would then be united to His Divine Essence, and that truth conjoined with good would effect this (n. 1988, 2074, 2075). So that the "following year" is a state of union. GENESIS 17:21 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|