Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 17:8
AC 2024. Verse 8. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land of thy sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an eternal possession; and I will be to them for God. "I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land of thy sojournings," signifies that the Lord acquired to Himself all things by His own forces or powers, which are "the land of the sojournings;" "I will give unto thee," signifies that the things which are in the heavens and on the earth are His; "and to thy seed after thee," signifies that He would give them to those who should have faith in Him; "all the lad of Canaan," signifies the celestial or heavenly kingdom; "for an eternal possession," signifies to eternity; "and I will be to them for God," signifies that God is one.
AC 2025. I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land of thy sojournings. That this signifies that the Lord acquired to Himself all things by His own forces or powers, which are "the lad of the sojournings," is evident from the signification of "sojourning," as being to be instructed (n. 1463). And as a man acquires life to himself especially by means of instruction in memory-knowledges, doctrinal matters, and the knowledges of faith, therefore "sojourning," signifies the life so acquired. As applied to the Lord, "sojourning" signifies the life which He procured to Himself by means of knowledges, combats of temptations, and victories therein; and as He procured for Himself that life by His own forces, this is here signified by "the land of the sojournings."
 That the Lord procured all things to Himself by His own forces, and by His own forces united the Human Essence to the Divine Essence, and the Divine Essence to the Human Essence; and that He alone thus became righteousness, is clearly evident in the Prophets. As in Isaiah:--
Who is this that cometh from Edom, marching in the multitude of his strength? I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the peoples there was none with Me; I looked around, and there was no one helping; and I was amazed, and there was no one upholding; therefore Mine arm brought salvation unto Me (Isaiah 63:1, 3, 5)
"Edom" denotes the Lord‘s Human Essence; "strength," and "arm," power that this was from what was His own is clearly said, in that "there was no one helping," "no one upholding," and that "His own arm brought salvation unto Him."
 In the same Prophet:--
He saw that there was not any one, and He was amazed that there was none to intercede; and His arm achieved salvation unto Him, and His righteousness supported Him; and He put on righteousness as a coat of mail, and a helmet of salvation upon His head (Isa. 59:16, 17)
meaning in like manner by His own power, and that thereby He became righteousness. That the Lord is righteousness is stated in Daniel:--
Seventy weeks are decreed to expiate iniquity, and to bring in the righteousness of the ages, and to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the holy of holies (Daniel 9:24).
And in Jeremiah:--
I will raise unto David a righteous offshoot, and He shall reign as King, and shall act intelligently, and shall do judgment and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell in confidence; and this is His name whereby they shall call Him, Jehovah our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5, 6; 33:15, 16).
For this reason He is also called "the Habitation of righteousness," in (Jeremiah 31:23; 50:7); and in (Isaiah 9:6), "Wonderful," and "Hero."
 The reason why the Lord so often attributes to the Father that which is His own (n. 1999, 2004); for Jehovah was in Him, and consequently in everything that was His. This can be illustrated by what is similar, though not equal, in man. A man’s soul is in him; and as it is in him, it is in the veriest singulars of him, that is in the veriest singulars of his thought, and of his action. Whatever has not his soul in it, is not his. The Lord‘s soul was Life itself, or Being (Esse) itself, which is Jehovah, for He was conceived from Jehovah; and consequently Jehovah or Life itself was in His veriest singulars; and as Life itself, or Being itself, which is Jehovah, was His, as the soul is man’s, so that which was Jehovah‘s was His, which is what the Lord says: that He "is in the bosom of the Father" (John 1:18), and that "all things whatsoever that the Father hath are His" (John 16:15; 17:10, 11).
 From good, which is Jehovah’s, He united the Divine Essence to the Human Essence; and from truth He united the Human Essence to the Divine Essence; thus He did all things both in general and in particular from Himself; in fact His Human was left to itself, in order that He might fight of Himself against all the hells, and overcome them; and as He had life in Himself that was His own-as already said-He overcame them by His own power and by His own forces, as is also clearly stated in the Prophets, in the passages that have been cited. Consequently, as He acquired all things for Himself by His own forces, He became righteousness, emancipated the world of spirits from infernal genii and spirits, and thereby delivered the human race from destruction-for the human race is ruled by means of spirits-and so redeemed it. For this reason He is so often called in the Word of the Old Testament the Deliverer and the Redeemer, and the Saviour, which is the meaning of His name Jesus.
AC 2026. That by "1 will give unto thee" is meant that the things which are in the heavens and on the earth are His, follows from what has just been said. In the sense of the letter, the words "I will give unto thee" mean that God or Jehovah would give to the Lord; just as it is said in the Word of the Evangelists that the Father gave unto Him all things that are in heaven and on the earth. But in the internal sense, in which the truth itself is presented in its purity, it means that the Lord acquired them for Himself, because Jehovah was in Him, and in everything belonging to Him, as before said. This may be further illustrated by that which is like it; for it is as if the interior or rational man, or the thought, should say that the corporeal would have rest or tranquillity if it would desist from doing this or that: in this case he that speaks is the same man as he that is spoken to, for both the rational and the corporeal belong to the man, and therefore when mention is made of the former, the latter also is understood.
 Moreover that the things in the heavens and on the earth are the Lord‘s, is evident from very many passages in the Word, both in the Old Testament, and also in the Evangelists (Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:22; John 3:34, 35; 17:2; Matt. 28:18); and (n. 458, 551, 552, 1607). And as the Lord rules the universal heaven, He also rules all things on earth; for they have been so connected together that He who rules the one rules all things; for on the heaven of angels depends the heaven of angelic spirits, on this the world of spirits, and on this again the human race. And in like manner on the heavens depend all things that are in the world and in nature, for without influx from the Lord through the heavens, nothing that is in nature and its three Kingdoms would come forth and endure (n. 1632).
AC 2027. That "to thy seed after thee" signifies that He would give all these things to those who should have faith in Him, is evident from the signification of "seed," as being faith (n. 1025, 1447, 1610), and in fact the faith of charity (n. 379, 389, 654, 724, 809, 916, 1017, 1162, 1176, 1258). They who place merit in the actions of their lives have not the faith of charity, and therefore are not the seed here meant; for thereby they desire to be saved, not because of the Lord’s righteousness, but because of their own. That there is no faith of charity in them, that is, no charity, is evident from the fact, that they set themselves before others, and thus regard themselves and not others, except in so far as they are of service to them; and they either despise or hate those who are not willing to render them service. Thus by the love of self they dissociate, and never associate; and thus destroy what is heavenly, namely, mutual love, which gives heaven its stability; for heaven itself is in it, and all its consociation and unanimity subsist and consist in it; for in the other life whatever destroys unanimity is contrary to the order of heaven itself, and thus conspires to the destruction of the whole. Such are they who place merit in the actions of their lives, and claim righteousness for themselves. Of these there are many in the other life.
 They sometimes shine in the face like little torches, but from an illusive fire that proceeds from self-justification, and in fact they are cold. They are sometimes seen running about and confirming self-merit from the literal sense of the Word, for they hate the truths which are of the internal sense (n. 1877). Their sphere is a sphere of self-regard, and is thus destructive of all ideas that do not regard self as a kind of deity. The sphere of many of this sort together is so conflicting that there is nothing there but enmity and hostility; for when every one desires the same thing, namely, to be served, he murders others in his heart.
 Some of them are among those who say that they have labored in the Lord‘s vineyard, whereas they have at the same time continually had in mind their own pre-eminence, glory, and honors, as well as gain; and even that they might become the greatest in heaven and be served by the angels, in heart despising others in comparison with themselves, and thus being imbued with no mutual love, in which heaven consists, but with the love of self, in which they place heaven; for they know not what heaven is. (Respecting such see above, n. 450-452, 1594, 1679). These are of those who desire to be first, but become last (Matt. 19:30; 20:16; Mark 10:31); and who say that they have prophesied by the name of the Lord, and have done many wonderful works; but to whom it is said, "I know you not" (Matt. 7:22, 23).
 Very different is the case with those who from simplicity of heart have supposed that they merit heaven, and have lived in charity; these have looked upon meriting heaven as something that is promised, and they easily acknowledge it to be of the Lord’s mercy; for the life of charity is attended with this, because true charity loves all truth.
AC 2028. All the land of Canaan. That this signifies the heavenly kingdom, is evident from the signification of the "land of Canaan," as being the heavenly kingdom, (n. 1413, 1437, 1607).
AC 2029. For an eternal possession. That this signifies what is eternal, is evident without explication. They are called "possessors," and also " heirs," not from merit, but from mercy.
AC 2030. And I will be to them for God. That this signifies that God is one, is evident from the fact that the subject here treated of is the Lord‘s Human Essence that was to be united to His Divine Essence, and thereby itself likewise become God. Thus "I will be to them for God," signifies in the internal sense that God is one. GENESIS 17:8 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|