Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 18:2
AC 2147. Verse 2. And he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and behold three men standing over him; and he saw them, and ran to meet them from the door of the tent, and bowed himself toward the earth. "He lifted up his eyes," signifies that He saw within Himself; "and behold three men standing over him," signifies the Divine Itself, the Divine Human, and the Holy proceeding; "and he saw them," signifies when He observed this; "and ran to meet them," signifies that in thought He approached nearer to the things that were being perceived; "from the door of the tent," signifies from the holy which at that time appertained to the Lord; "and bowed himself toward the earth," signifies the effect of humiliation, from the consequent joy.
AC 2148. He lifted up his eyes. That this signifies that the Lord saw within Himself, is evident from the signification of "lifting up the eyes." By "eyes" in the Word is signified the interior sight, or the understanding, as may be seen from the passages cited above (n. 212). Hence to "lift up the eyes" means to see and perceive things which are above self. Things that are interior are expressed in the Word by those which are higher, as "looking upward," "lifting up the eyes to heaven," "thinking high things," the reason of which is that man supposes heaven to be on high, or above himself; when yet it is not on high, but is in things internal--as when a man is in the celestial things of love, his heaven is then within him (n. 450). From this it follows that to "lift up the eyes" signifies to see within one‘s self.
AC 2149. Behold three men standing over him. That this signifies the Divine Itself, the Divine Human, and the Holy proceeding, may be seen without explication; for it is known to every one that there is a Trine, and that this Trine is a One. That it is a One is plainly evident in this chapter, to wit, in (verse 3), where it is said, "He said, My Lord, if I pray I have found grace in Thine eyes, pass Thou not, I pray," which words were addressed to the three men. And further, in (verse 10), "And he said, Returning I will return unto thee." In (verse 13), "And Jehovah said unto Abraham." In (verse 15), "He said, Nay, but thou didst laugh." In (verse 17), "And Jehovah said, Shall I hide from Abraham that which I do?" In (verse 19), "Because I have known him." In (verse 20), "And Jehovah said." In (verse 21), "I will go down, and I will see whether they have made a consummation according to the cry thereof which is come unto Me; and if not, I will know." In (verse 23), Abraham said, "Wilt Thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?" In (verse 25), "Be it far from Thee to do according to this thing; be it far from Thee." In (verse 26), "And Jehovah said, If I find fifty righteous I will spare the whole place for their sake." In (verse 27), "I have taken upon me to speak unto my Lord." In (verse 28), "Wilt Thou destroy the whole city for five? And He said, I will not destroy it, if I find there forty and five." In (verse 29), "He added yet to speak unto Him; He said, I will not do it for forty’s sake." In (verse 30), "Let not my Lord be angry; He said, I will not do it if I find thirty there." In (verse 31), "He said, I have taken upon me to speak unto my Lord; He said, I will not destroy it for twenty‘s sake." In (verse 32), "Let not I pray my Lord be angry; and He said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake." And in (verse 33), "And Jehovah went when He had left off speaking to Abraham." From all this it may be seen that by the three men who appeared to Abraham was signified the Divine Itself, the Divine Human, and the Holy proceeding; and that this Trine is in itself a One. In the internal sense the subject here treated of is Jehovah, in that He appeared to the Lord, and that the Lord perceived this; but not by an appearing such as there was to Abraham; for it is historically true that three men were seen by Abraham, but this represents the Divine perception, or the perception from the Divine which the Lord had when in the Human, which perception is treated of in what follows.
AC 2150. And he saw them. That this signifies when the Lord observed this, is evident from the signification of "seeing" in the internal sense, as being to understand and observe, and also to be illuminated (n. 1584). Nothing is more common in the Word than for "seeing" to have this signification. The signification here is that the Lord observed a perception from the Divine to be present, as just stated.
AC 2151. And Abraham ran to meet them. That this signifies that the Lord approached nearer to the things which were perceived, is evident from the series of things in the internal sense; for the preceding verse treats of the Lord‘s perception, in which He then was; this verse treats of His observing the perception to be from the Divine, and here now His approaching nearer to it is represented and thus signified by his running to meet them.
AC 2152. From the door of the tent. That this signifies from the holy which then appertained to the Lord, is evident from the signification of a "tent," as being what is holy, and from the signification of the "door," as being the entrance into what is holy (n. 2145).
AC 2153. And bowed himself toward the earth. That this signifies the effect of the humiliation from the consequent joy, is evident from the signification of "bowing himself," as being to humble. Just as all interior affections have gestures corresponding to them in outward or bodily motions, which gestures are the effects of the affections as their effecting causes, so the action of humbling one’s self has humiliation and also prostration. That this prostration was from joy is evident, because He observed, as before said, the perception to be from the Divine. The state of the Lord‘s humiliation when He was in the Human, has already been treated of in various places, and of the Lord’s Divine mercy shall be further treated of in this chapter. GENESIS 18:2 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|