Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 18:19
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AC 2229. Verse 19. For I know him, because he will command his sons, and his house after him, and they will keep the way of Jehovah to do righteousness and judgment; that Jehovah may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken concerning him. "For I know him," signifies that it is true; "because he will command his sons, and his house after him, and they will keep the way of Jehovah to do righteousness and judgment," signifies that all the doctrine of charity and faith is from Him; "sons" are they who are in truths, "house," they who are in goods, "way" is doctrine, "righteousness" has regard to good, "judgment" to truth; "that Jehovah may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken concerning him," signifies that the Human Essence will for this reason be adjoined to the Divine Essence.

AC 2230. For I know him. That this signifies that it is true, is evident from the signification of "knowing." Properly speaking, to "know (cognoscere)" anyone, is to know (scire) that he is of such and such a quality; and it is the same when the term is applied to any thing, or to anything else: to "know" it means to know that such is its quality; and therefore to "know (nosse)" has reference to that which is predicated, and it signifies that that which is meant in accordance with the series of things is so, or is true.

AC 2231. Because he will command his sons, and his house after him, and they will keep the way of Jehovah, to do righteousness and judgment That this signifies that all the doctrine of charity and faith is from Him, is evident from the signification of a " son," of a "house," of a "way," of righteousness," and of "judgment;" which when summed up, or gathered into one sense, signify all the doctrine of charity and faith. For by "sons" are signified all who are in truths, by "house" all who are in goods, by a "way" the doctrine by which they are instructed, which doctrine in regard to good is signified by "righteousness," and in regard to truth by "judgment." Doctrine concerning good is the doctrine of charity, and doctrine concerning truth is the doctrine of faith.

[2] In general, there is only one doctrine, namely, the doctrine of charity, for (n. 2228) all things of faith look to charity. Between charity and faith there is no other difference than that between willing what is good and thinking what is good (for he who wills what is good also thinks what is good), thus than that between the will and the understanding. They who reflect, know that the will is one thing and the understanding another. This is also known in the learned world, and it plainly appears with those who will evil and yet from thought speak well; from all which it is evident to every one that the will is one thing, and the understanding another; and thus that the human mind is distinguished into two parts, which do not make a one. Yet man was so created that these two parts should constitute one mind; nor should there be any other distinction (to speak by comparison) than such as there is between a flame and the light from it (love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor being like the flame, and all perception and thought being like the light from it); thus love and charity should be the all of the perception and thought, that is should be in each and all things of them. Perception or thought concerning the quality of love and charity is that which is called faith.

[3] But as the human race began to will what is evil, to hate the neighbor, and to exercise revenges and cruelties, insomuch that that part of the mind which is called the will was altogether destroyed, men began to make a distinction between charity and faith, and to refer to faith all the doctrinal matters that were of their religion, and call them by the single term faith; and at length they went so far as to say that they could be saved by faith alone-by which they meant their doctrinal things-provided they merely believed these, no matter how they might live. Thus was charity separated from faith, which is then nothing else whatever (to speak by comparison) than a kind of light without flame, such as is wont to be the light of the sun in time of winter, which is cold and icy, insomuch that the vegetation of the earth grows torpid and dies; whereas faith from charity is like the light in the time of spring and summer, by which all things germinate and bloom.

[4] This may also be known from the fact that love and charity are celestial flame, and that faith is the spiritual light therefrom. In this manner also do they present themselves to perception and sight in the other life; for there the Lord’s celestial manifests itself before the angels by a flaming radiance like that of the sun, and the Lord‘s spiritual by the light from this radiance, by which also angels and spirits are affected as to their interiors, in accordance with the life of love and charity that appertains to them. This is the source in the other life of joys and happinesses with all their varieties. And all this shows how the case is with the statement that faith alone saves.

AC 2232. That "sons" are those who are in truths, is evident from the signification of a "son" in the Word as being truth (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147). By "sons" in the abstract sense are signified truths; but as applied to man, "sons" denote all those who are in truths.

AC 2233. That a "house" denotes those who are in goods, is evident from the signification of a "house," as being good (n. 710, 1708, 2048). By a "house," or those born in the house, in the abstract sense goods are in like manner signified, but as applied to man they denote all who are in good.

AC 2234. That a "way" denotes doctrine, is evident from the signification of a "way." A "way" in the Word is predicated of truths, because truths lead to good and proceed from good (n. 627); and as a "way" is predicated of truths, it denotes doctrine, because doctrine comprises in one complex all the things which lead to good, that is, to charity.

AC 2235. That "righteousness" has regard to good, and "judgment" to truth, is evident from the signification of "righteousness," and from the signification of "judgment." In the Word, "righteousness and judgment" are many times named together, but what they signify in the internal sense has not yet been known. In the proximate sense "righteousness" is predicated of what is righteous or just (justus), and " judgment" of what is right (rectus). There is what is righteous when anything is judged from good, and this according to conscience; but what is right when anything is judged from the law, and thus from the righteousness of the law, thus also according to conscience, because it has the law for its rule. But in the internal sense "righteousness" denotes that which is from good, and "judgment" that which is from truth. Good is all that which be longs to love and charity; truth is all that which belongs to the derivative faith. Truth derives its essence from good, and is called truth from good, just as faith derives its essence from love, and in the same way judgment from righteousness.

[2] That such is the signification of "righteousness and judgment" is evident from the following passages in the Word. In Jeremiah:--

Thus saith Jehovah, Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and rescue the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor. Woe to him that buildeth his house in that which is not righteousness and his chambers in that which is not judgment. Did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and righteousness? then he had that which is good (Jeremiah 22:3, 13, 15),

where "judgment" denotes the things that are of truth, and "righteousness" the things that are of good. In Ezekiel:--

If the wicked shall return from his sin, and do judgment and righteousness, all his sins that he hath sinned shall not be mentioned unto him; he hath done judgment and righteousness: he shall surely live. When the wicked turns himself from his wickedness, and does judgment and righteousness, for these he shall live (Ezekiel 33:14, 16, 19),

where in like manner "judgment" denotes truth, which is of faith; and "righteousness" good, which is of charity.

[3] So in Amos:--

Let judgment flow like waters, and righteousness like a mighty river (Amos 5:24).

In Isaiah:--

Thus saith Jehovah, Keep ye judgment, and do righteousness, for My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to reveal itself (Isaiah 56:1).

In the same:--

To peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it, with judgment and with righteousness, from henceforth and even to eternity (Isaiah 9:7),

denoting that they are in the truths of faith and in the goods of charity. In the same:--

Jehovah is exalted, for He dwelleth on high; He hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness (Isaiah 33:5),

where "judgment" denotes faith, "righteousness" love, and "Zion" the church. "Judgment" stands first because love comes through faith; but when "righteousness" stands first, it is because the faith is from love, as in Hosea:--

I will betroth thee unto Me to eternity, and I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness and judgment, and in mercy and in compassions; and I will betroth thee unto Me in faith, and thou shalt know Jehovah (Hosea 2:19, 20),

where "righteousness" stands first, as also "mercy," which are of love; and "judgment" follows, as also "compassions," which are of faith from love; both are called "faith" or "faithfulness."

[4] In David:--

Thy mercy, O Jehovah, is in the heavens, thy truth reacheth unto the skies (aetheres). Thy righteousness is like the mountains of God, Thy judgments are a great deep (Ps. 36:5, 6),

where both "mercy" and "righteousness" are in like manner of love, and "truth" and "judgments" are of faith. In the same Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look forth from heaven. Yea, Jehovah shall give good, and our land shall yield its increase (Ps. 85:11, 12), where "truth," which is of faith, denotes " judgment," and "righteousness" love or mercy. In Zechariah:--

I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and in righteousness (Zechariah 8:8),

from which also it is evident that "judgment" denotes truth, and "righteousness" good; because "truth" is here used in place of "judgment." In like manner in David:--

He that walketh perfect, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh truth (Ps. 15:2).

[5] As faith is of charity, or as truth is of good, the truths of good are occasionally called the "judgments of righteousness;" and thus "judgments" signify almost the same as "precepts;" as in Isaiah:--

They will seek Me day by day, and desire to know My ways, as a nation that doeth righteousness and forsaketh not the judgment of their God they will ask of Me judgments of righteousness, they will desire to draw near to God (Isaiah 58:2).

That "precepts" signify the same may be seen in David:--

Seven times a day have I praised Thee because of the judgments of Thy righteousness; all Thy precepts are righteousness (Ps. 119:164, 172).

It is especially said of the Lord that He "does judgment and righteousness," when He creates man anew as in Jeremiah:--

Let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am Jehovah that doeth mercy, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I am well pleased (Jeremiah 9:24),

where mercy, which is of love, is described by "judgment and righteousness." In the same:--

I will raise up unto David a righteous offshoot, and He shall reign as King, and shall act intelligently, and shall do judgement and righteousness in the earth (Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15).

[6] Hence it is said in John:--

If I go away, I will send the Comforter unto you; and when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment of sin, because they believe not on Me of righteousness, because I go unto My father, and ye shall see Me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged (John 16:7-11).

" Sin" here denotes all unfaithfulness. His "reproving in regard to righteousness" means in regard to all that is against good, when yet the Lord united the Human to the Divine to save the world-which is the meaning of "I go unto My Father and ye shall see Me no more." His " reproving in regard to judgment" means in regard to all that is against truth, when yet evils were cast down into their hells so as no longer to be able to inflict injury-which is meant by the prince of the world being judged. In general, His "reproving in regard to sin, righteousness, and judgment," means that it was in regard to all unfaithfulness against good and truth; and thus that there was no charity and faith; for in ancient times by righteousness and judgment were understood, as regards the Lord, all mercy and grace; and as regards man, all charity and faith.

AC 2236. That Jehovah may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken concerning him. That this signifies that on this account the Human Essence will be adjoined to the Divine Essence, is not so evident from the signification of the words as from the fact that all things said in the Word involve the Lord’s coming to unite the Human Essence to the Divine Essence, by which unition He should save the human race. These are the things signified in the internal sense by His "bringing upon Abraham that which He hath spoken concerning him."

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