Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 17:9
AC 2031. Verse 9. And God said unto Abraham, And thou shalt keep My covenant, thou and thy seed after thee, unto their generations. "God said unto Abraham," signifies perception; "and thou shalt keep My covenant," signifies still closer union; "thou and thy seed after thee," signifies that from Him there is conjunction with all who have faith in Him; "unto their generations," signifies the things which are of faith.
AC 2032. God said unto Abraham. That this signifies perception, is evident from the signification of "God said," in the historic Word as being to perceive (n. 1602, 1791, 1815, 1819, 1822).
AC 2033. Thou shalt keep My covenant. That this signifies still closer union, is evident from the signification of a " covenant," as being union and conjunction (verses 2, 4, 7); (n. 665, 666, 1023, 1038). The repeated mention here of " covenant," so frequently mentioned before, denotes a closer union. In the historical sense, which relates to Abraham, nothing else can be said than that he is to keep the covenant; but in the internal sense, in which the Lord is treated of, what is historical vanishes, and the things that can be predicated of Him succeed in its place, which relate to a closer union. The unition of the Lord’s Human Essence with His Divine Essence was not effected all at once, but through the whole course of His life, from infancy to the last of His life in the world. Thus He ascended continuously to glorification, that is, to union; according to what is said in John:--
Jesus said, Father glorify Thy name; there came a voice from heaven: I have both glorified and will glorify it again (John 12:28),
(n. 1690, 1864).
AC 2034. Thou and thy seed after thee. That this signifies that from Him there is conjunction with all who have faith in Him, is evident from the signification of "seed," as being faith, spoken of several times before; and from the signification of "after thee," as being to follow Him (n. 2019). The union of the Divine Essence with the Human Essence, and of the Human Essence with the Divine Essence, has already been treated of; and the subject here treated of is the conjunction of the Lord with those who believe in Him, and therefore there is a repetition of the word "thou;" for it is said, " Thou shalt keep My covenant, thou and thy seed;" and from this repetition of the words in connection with "seed" it is evident that in the internal sense conjunction is signified, and in fact with those who are the seed, by which is signified the faith of charity, as shown above (n. 1025, 1447, 1510); and that faith is charity itself may be seen in (n. 30-38, 379, 389, 654, 724, 809, 916, 1017, 1076, 1077, 1162, 1176, 1258, 1798, 1799, 1834, 1844).
 Moreover when speaking of His union with the Father, the Lord speaks immediately and without a break of His conjunction with the human race; because this was the cause of the union, as is evident in John:--
That they all may be one, as Thou Father art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one, I in them, and Thou in Me, for I have made known unto them Thy name, and will make it known, that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them (John 17:21, 22, 26)
from which it is evident that in the union of Himself with the Father the Lord had in view the conjunction of Himself with the human race, and that He had this at heart, because it was His love; for all conjunction is effected by means of love, love being conjunction itself.
 Again in the same gospel:--
Because I live, ye shall live also in that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in Me, and I in you; he that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me (John 14:19-21);
from which in like manner it is evident that in the union of His Human Essence with His Divine Essence the Lord had in view the conjunction of Himself with the human race, and that this was His end, and this His love, which was such that the salvation of the human race, as beheld in the union of Himself with His Father, was to Him the inmost joy. There is also here described that which unites, namely, to have and to do His commandments, and thereby to love the Lord.
Father, glorify Thy name; there came therefore a voice from heaven, I have both glorified and will glorify it again. Jesus said, This voice hath not come for My sake, but for your sakes. But I, when I shall be lifted up from the earth, will draw all after Me (John 12:28, 30, 32)
by "glorification" is meant union, as before said; and that in the union of Himself with the Father He regarded the conjunction of Himself with the human race, is openly said in the words, "when I shall be lifted up, I will draw all after Me."
 That conjunction of the Infinite or Supreme Divine with the human race was effected through the Lord‘s Human made Divine, and that this conjunction was the cause of the Lord’s coming into the world, is an arcanum into which many inquire in their own minds, and because they do not comprehend, they do not believe it; and as they do not believe for the reason that they do not comprehend, it becomes a scandal or stumbling block to them. That this is so, I have learned from much experience from those who come into the other life. Very many of these-almost the greater part of those who had been men of talent in the world-when they merely think that the Lord became a man, and in external form was like other men, that He suffered, and that nevertheless He rules the universe, at once fill the sphere with scandals, because this had been a scandal or stumbling block to them in the life of the body; although at that time they had divulged nothing about it, and had adored Him with outward sanctity. For in the other life the interiors are open, and are made manifest by the sphere diffused from them (n. 1048, 1053, 1316, 1504). In this way it is plainly perceived of what faith they had been, and what they had thought concerning the Lord.
 Seeing that such is the case, it may be well to explain the matter a little further. After all the celestial in man had perished, that is, all love to God, so that there was no longer any will of good, the human race had then been separated from the Divine; for nothing effects conjunction except love, and when this had been annihilated, there was disjunction; and when there is disjunction, then destruction and extirpation follow. Therefore the promise was then made respecting the Lord‘s coming into the world, who should unite the Human to the Divine, and by this union should effect in Himself the conjunction of the human race by means of the faith of love and of charity.
 From the time of the first promise (Gen. 3:15) the faith of love in the Lord who was to come effected conjunction. But when there was no longer any faith of love remaining in the whole world, then the Lord came and united the Human Essence to the Divine Essence, so that they were altogether one, as He Himself clearly says; and at the same time He taught the way of truth, that every one who should believe in Him-that is, who should love Him and the things that are His, and who should be in His love which is love toward the universal human race, thus in love toward the neighbor-should be conjoined and saved.
 When, in the Lord, the Human was made Divine, and the Divine Human, the result was an influx of the Infinite or Supreme Divine with man that otherwise could not possibly have existed; and an additional result was the dispersion of the direful persuasions of falsity and the direful cupidities of evil with which the world of spirits was brimful, and with which it was continually being filled full from the souls arriving from the world; and they who were in those persuasions and cupidities were cast into hell, and thereby were separated. Unless this had been done, the human race would have perished, for the Lord rules the human race by means of spirits. Nor could they have been dispersed in any other way, for no operation of the Divine was possible through man’s rational things into those of internal sense, because these are far below the Supreme Divine when not so united not to mention still deeper arcana that cannot be explained to the apprehension of any man (n. 1676, 1990), that in the heaven of the celestial angels the Lord appears as a sun, and in the heaven of the spiritual angels as a moon; and that the Sun is the celestial of His love, and the Moon the spiritual of His love (n. 1053, 1521, 1529-1531), and that all things both in general and in particular are under His view (n. 1274, 1277).
AC 2035. Unto their generations. That this signifies the things which are of faith, is evident from the signification of " generations," and of "births," as being the things that are of faith (n. 613, 1145, 1255, 1330); and that those which are of love and faith are related as by blood and marriage (n. 685, 917). GENESIS 17:9 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|