Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 18:18
AC 2226. Verse 18. And Abraham shall surely be for a nation great and numerous; and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him. "Abraham shall surely be for a nation great and numerous," signifies that from the Lord will be all good and all the derivative truth; "and in him shall all the nations of the earth be blessed," signifies that all who are in charity will be saved by Him.
AC 2227. Abraham shall surely be for a nation great and numerous. That this signifies that all good and all the derivative truth will be from the Lord, is evident from the representation of Abraham, as being the Lord, and also from the signification of a "nation," as being good (n. 1159, 1258-1260, 1416, 1849); here a "nation great and numerous," by which is signified good and the derivative truth That "great" is predicated of good, and "numerous" of truth, appears from other places in the Word, but I must refrain from citing them here. The derivative truth, that is, truth from good, in the genuine sense is spiritual good. There are two kinds of good that are distinct from each other, namely, celestial good and spiritual good. Celestial good is that of love to the Lord, spiritual good is that of love toward the neighbor. From the former, or celestial good, comes the latter, or spiritual good; for no one can love the Lord unless he also loves his neighbor. In love to the Lord is love toward the neighbor; for love to the Lord is from the Lord, and thus is from love itself toward the universal human race. To be in love to the Lord is the same as to be in the Lord; and he who is in the Lord cannot be otherwise than in His love; which is toward the human race and thus toward the neighbor; thus is he in both kinds of good, celestial and spiritual. The former is the veriest good itself; but the latter is its truth, or the truth therefrom; which truth is spiritual good, as said. The former is what is signified by "great," but the latter by "numerous."
AC 2228. All the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him. That this signifies that all who are in charity will be saved by Him, is evident from the signification of being "blessed," as being to be endowed with all goods which are from a heavenly origin, as explained in (n. 981, 1096, 1420, 1422). They who are endowed with goods from a heavenly origin, that is, with both celestial and spiritual goods (n. 2177), are also endowed with eternal salvation, that is, are saved. By "all the nations of the earth" are meant in the internal sense those who are in the good of love and of charity, as is evident from the signification of a "nation," as being good (n. 1159, 1258-1260, 1416, 1849). That all men in the whole globe are not meant by "all the nations of the earth," is evident to every one, because there are very many among them who are not saved, but only those who are in charity, that is, who have attained the life of charity.
 That none may be unaware how the case is with the salvation of men after their decease, it shall be briefly stated. There are many who say that man is saved by faith, or, in their words, if he only has faith; but for the most part they are those who do not know what faith is. Some suppose that it is mere thought; some that it is an acknowledgment of something to be believed; some that it is the whole doctrine of faith, which is to be believed; and others otherwise. Thus in the bare knowledge of what faith is they wander in error, consequently in the knowledge of what that is by which man is saved. Faith, however, is not mere thought, nor is it an acknowledgment of something to be believed, nor a knowledge of all things which belong to the doctrine of faith By these no one can be saved; for they can take root no deeper than in the thought, and thought saves no one, but the life which the man has procured for himself in the world by means of the knowledges of faith. This life remains; whereas all thought which does not accord with the life perishes, even so as to become none at all. The heavenly consociations are according to lives and by no means according to thoughts which are not of the life. Thoughts which are not of the life are counterfeit, and such are altogether rejected.
 In general, life is twofold, being on the one hand infernal, on the other heavenly. Infernal life is acquired from all those ends, thoughts, and works which flow from the love of self, consequently from hatred against the neighbor; heavenly life, from all those ends, thoughts, and works which are of love toward the neighbor. The latter is the life to which all things that are called faith have regard, and which is procured by all things of faith. All this shows what faith is, namely, that it is charity, for to charity all things lead which are said to be of the doctrine of faith; in it they are all contained, and from it they are all derived. The soul, after the life of the body, is such as its love is.GENESIS 18:18 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|