Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 18:13
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AC 2205. Verse 13. And Jehovah said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I indeed truly bear, and I am become old? "Jehovah said unto Abraham," signifies the Lord‘s perception from the Divine; "Wherefore did Sarah laugh?" signifies the thought of rational truth from the affection of it; "saying, Shall I indeed truly bear?" signifies that it wondered that the rational should become Divine; "and I am become old," signifies after it should be no longer of such a nature.

AC 2206. Jehovah said unto Abraham. That this signifies the Lord’s perception from the Divine, is evident from the signification of "saying" as being to perceive (n. 1898, 1919, 2080); and from the words "Jehovah said," as being to perceive from the Divine, for as already often shown, the Lord‘s internal itself was Jehovah.

AC 2207. Wherefore did Sarah laugh? That this signifies the thought of rational truth from its affection, is evident from the signification of "laughing," or of "laughter," as being the affection which is of truth (n. 2072); and from the representation of Sarah as being rational truth. This interrogation involves that the Lord perceived that in His rational there was still what was human.

AC 2208. Shall I indeed truly bear? That this signifies that it wondered that the rational was to become Divine, is evident from the signification here in the internal sense of "bearing," to wit, that as the Lord’s Divine rational is represented by Isaac, so to "bear" here signifies Isaac, that is, the rational in that it should be made Divine; which the rational truth represented by Sarah could not comprehend.

AC 2209. And I am become old. That this signifies after it should no longer be of such a nature, namely, not Divine but human, and that this latter should be put off, is evident from the signification of "becoming old," as being to put off the human (n. 2198, 2203). As regards the rational in general, when it thinks about Divine things, especially from its own truth, it cannot possibly believe that there are such things; both because it does not apprehend them, and because there adhere to it the appearances born from the fallacies of the senses by which and from which it thinks; as is evident from the examples adduced above (n. 2196); to which the following may be added for the sake of illustration.

[2] If the rational be consulted, can it believe that the Word has an internal sense, and this so remote from the literal sense as has been shown? and thus that the Word is that which conjoins heaven with earth, that is, the Lord‘s kingdom in the heavens with the Lord’s kingdom on earth? Can the rational believe that souls after death speak with each other most distinctly, without the speech of words, and yet so fully as to express more in a minute than a man does by his speech in an hour? and that the angels do the same, but in a speech still more perfect, and one that is not perceivable by spirits? also, that on coming into the other life all souls know how to speak in this way, although they receive no instruction in so speaking? Can the rational believe that in one affection of man, nay, in one sigh, there are such numberless things as can never be described, and yet are perceived by angels? and that every affection of man, nay, every idea of his thought, is an image of him, being such as to contain within it in a wonderful manner all the things of his life? not to mention thousands upon thousands of such things.

[3] The rational, which is wise from sensuous things, and is imbued with their fallacies, when thinking of such things, does not believe that they can be so, because it is unable to form to itself any idea except from such things as it perceives by some sense either external or internal; and what then must be the case when it thinks about Divine celestial and spiritual things, which are still higher? For there must always be some appearances from sensuous things, upon which the thought must lean, and when these appearances are withdrawn, the idea perishes, as has also been evident to me from novitiate spirits, who take the greatest delight in the appearances which they have brought with them from the world, saying that if these should be taken away from them, they did not know whether they could think. Such is the rational as regarded in itself.

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