Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 18:20
AC 2237. Verse 20. And Jehovah said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah has become great, and because their sin has become very grievous. "Jehovah said," signifies perception; "because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah has become great, and because their sin has become very grievous," signifies that the falsity and evil of the love of self have grown even to consummation. "Cry" is falsity, and "sin" is evil.
AC 2238. Jehovah said. That this signifies perception, is evident from the signification, in the historical sense, of "saying," as being to perceive, as shown several times before. When the expression "Jehovah said" occurs in the historicals of the Word, it signifies a perception which is not altogether continuous with the previous one, but is a sequent one, and sometimes a new one (n. 2061).
AC 2239. Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah has become great, and because their sin has become very grievous. That this signifies that the falsity and evil of the love of self have increased even to consummation, is evident from the signification of "Sodom," as being evil from the love of self; and of "Gomorrah," as being the derivative falsity (n. 2220); also from the signification of a " cry," as being falsity; and of "sin," as being evil (to be explained presently); from all which it is evident that the "cry having become great, and the sin having become very grievous," signifies that the falsity and evil had come to their height, or to consummation. This is better seen from what follows, where it is said that if ten were found there the city should be spared (verse 32); by which is signified, if there were still any remains, that is, anything of good and truth; for when there is no longer anything of good and truth within man, there is then wasteness and desolation, consequently consummation.
AC 2240. That a "cry" denotes falsity, and "sin" evil, is evident from the signification in the Word of a "cry." That a "cry" signifies falsity, can be evident to no one unless he knows the internal sense of the Word. The word sometimes occurs in the Prophets, and when vastation and desolation are there treated of, it is said that men "howl and cry," by which is signified that goods and truths have been vastated; and a term is there made use of by which in the internal sense falsity is described; as in Jeremiah:--
A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and the howling of the powerful ones of the flock because Jehovah layeth waste their pasture (Jeremiah 25:36),
where the "cry of the shepherds" denotes that they are in falsity, from which there comes vastation.
 In the same:--
Behold, waters rise up from the north, and shall become an overflowing stream, and shall overflow the land and the fullness thereof, the city and them that dwell therein and the men shall cry, and every inhabitant of the land shall howl, because of the day that cometh to lay waste (Jeremiah 47:2, 4),
where the desolation of faith is treated of, which is brought about by falsities; the "overflowing stream" is falsity (n. 705, 790).
 In Zephaniah:--
The voice of a cry from the fish gate, and a howling from the second, and a great shattering from the hills, and their wealth shall become a spoil, and their houses a desolation (Zephaniah 1:10, 13),
where also a "cry" is predicated of the falsities which lay waste.
 In Isaiah:--
In the way of Horonaim they shall rouse up a cry of shattering, for the waters of Nimrim shall be desolations, for the grass has dried up, the herb is consumed, there is no green thing (Isaiah 15:5, 6; Jer. 48:3),
where the desolation of faith and its consummation is described by a "cry."
 In Jeremiah:--
Judah hath mourned, and her gates languish, they have been blackened upon the earth, and the cry of Jerusalem is gone up and their illustrious ones have sent their younger ones to the waters they came to the pits, they found no waters, they returned with their vessels empty (Jeremiah 14:2, 3),
where the "cry of Jerusalem" denotes falsities for by their "finding no waters" is signified that there were no knowledges of truth, which are " waters" (n. 28, 680, 739).
 In Isaiah:--
I will exult in Jerusalem and be glad in My people, and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying (Isaiah 65:19),
where there "not being heard the voice of weeping" denotes that there shall not be evil; "nor the voice of crying" denotes that there shall not he falsity. Very many of these things cannot be understood from the sense of the letter, but only from the internal sense, and this is the case with a "cry."
 In the same:--
Jehovah looked for judgment, but behold a scab for righteousness, but behold a cry (Isa. 5:7),
where also the vastation of good and truth is treated of. There is in this passage a kind of reciprocation, such as is occasionally found in the Prophets, and which is of such a nature that in the place of truth there is found evil, which is meant by there being" a scab instead of judgment;" and falsity in place of good, which is meant by there being " a cry instead of righteousness", for that " judgment" is truth, and "righteousness" good, was shown above, (n. 2235).
 There is a like reciprocation in Moses, where Sodom and Gomorrah are treated of:--
Of the vine of Sodom is their vine, and of the fields of Gomorrah are their grapes; they have grapes of gall, clusters of bitternesses. (Deut. 32:32),
where there is a similar mode of speaking; for the "vine" is predicated of truths and falsities, and the "fields" and "grapes," of goods and evils so that" the vine of Sodom" is falsity from evil, and "the fields and grapes of Gomorrah" are evils from falsities for there are two kinds of falsity (n. 1212); and so also there are two kinds of evil. Both kinds of falsity and evil are signified in this verse by the " cry of Sodom and Gomorrah having become great, and their sin having become exceeding grievous " as is evident from the fact that "cry" is named in the first place, and "sin" in the second; and yet " Sodom," which is evil from the love of self, is mentioned first; and " Gomorrah," which is the derivative falsity, second.GENESIS 18:20 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
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