Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 18:12
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AC 2201. Verse 12. And Sarah laughed within herself, saying After I am grown old, shall I have pleasure? and my lord old? "Sarah laughed within herself," signifies the affection of that rational truth in regard to its being so done; "saying, After I am grown old, shall I have pleasure?" signifies that it was not of the affection of that truth that it should change its state; "and my lord old," signifies that the affection of truth wondered that the rational good to which truth was adjoined should also put off the human.

AC 2202. Sarah laughed within herself. That this signifies the affection of that rational truth in regard to its being so done, is evident from the signification of "laughing" or of "laughter," as being the affection of truth (n. 2072). What these things involve now follows.

AC 2203. Saying, After I am grown old, shall I have pleasure? That this signifies that it was not of the affection of that truth that it should change its state, is evident from the signification of "growing old," as being to put off the human, and thus to change the state (n. 2198); and from the signification of "shall I have pleasure;" as being not to desire; thus that this was not its affection. How the case is with these things is evident from what was said of Sarah above (n. 2196), that she stood at the door of the tent, and it was behind him; that is, that the human rational as to truth is of such a nature that it cannot understand what the Divine is, for the reason that that truth is in appearances; and therefore that which it cannot understand, it does not believe; and by that which it does not believe it is not affected. The appearances in which the rational is, are such as to affect it, for there is delight in the appearances themselves; and therefore if it is deprived of appearances, it supposes that there is nothing of delight left; whereas heavenly affection is not in appearances, but in good and truth itself. As rational truth is of this nature, this is pardoned, and it is permitted to be in appearances, and to have delight in them. Such truth as was in appearances is represented by Sarah, when the Lord had conjoined Himself with the Divine, and therefore it is said that she "stood at the door," and that she "laughed and said, After I am grown old, shall I have pleasure n" by which is signified that it was not of its affection that it should change its state.

AC 2204. And my lord old? That this signifies that the affection of truth wondered that the rational good to which truth was adjoined should also put off the human, is evident from the representation of Abraham, who is here "my lord," as here denoting rational good (n. 2198), also from the signification of "growing old," as being to put off the human (n. 2198). Human rational good is such as to have in itself much from worldly delights, for it is formed not only from truths, but also from the delights of sensuous things, and from many of the delights that are in the world. Into these delights (when the man is being reformed and regenerated) spiritual good is insinuated by the Lord; and thereby what is worldly is then tempered, and thus afterwards has its happiness therein. But the Lord utterly expelled from the rational all that was worldly, and so made it Divine; which is what the rational truth meant by "Sarah" wondered at.

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info