Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 18:23
AC 2248. Verse 23. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt Thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? "Abraham drew near, and said, "signifies the Lord‘s thought from the Human, which thought adjoined itself more closely to the Divine; "wilt Thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?" signifies the Lord’s grief from love toward the human race, and His intercession, urging that possibly there might be what is good joined to them, although they were evil.
AC 2249. And Abraham drew near, and said. That this signifies the Lord‘s thought from the Human, which thought adjoined itself more closely to the Divine, follows from the things that precede, where the Lord’s thought concerning the human race is treated of: thus without explication. That in this chapter in the internal sense the state of the Lord‘s thought and perception is so fully described, and at the beginning the state of the conjunction of the Lord’s Human with His Divine, will possibly appear to man as if it were not of so much importance.
 And yet it is of the greatest moment; for before the angels, to whom the internal sense is the Word, these things are presented to the life, together with their representatives, in a most beautiful form; besides numberless things that follow from them and bear their likeness, concerning the Lord‘s conjunction with heaven, and the reception of His Divine in their human; for the ideas of angels are such that they relish such things above all others, and perceive them as being most pleasant; and they are also enlightened and confirmed by them more and more in regard to the unition of the Lord’s Human Essence with His Divine Essence; for the angels have been men, and when men they could not but think of the Lord as a man, and of the Lord as God, as also of the Divine Trinity, and form for themselves various ideas, although at that time they knew not of what quality these ideas were.
 For heavenly arcana are of such a nature that although they surpass all apprehension, yet every one forms for himself some idea of them; for nothing can possibly be retained in the memory, still less enter into anything of thought, except by means of some idea formed in one way or another. And because their ideas could not be formed otherwise than from things in the world, or from things analogous to those in the world; and because fallacies then insinuated themselves from things not understood (which in the other life alienate the ideas of the though--which are then more internal--from the truth and good of faith),
 in order that such things may be dispersed, so much is said in this chapter, in its internal sense, about the conjunction of the Lord‘s Human with His divine, and about His perception and thought; and accordingly when the Word is read, these things are so presented to the perception of the angels that their former ideas, formed from other sources and from scruples easily springing therefrom, are gradually dissipated, and new ideas are insinuated that are in conformity with the light of truth in which the angels are. This takes place more with the spiritual angels than with the celestial; for according to the purification of their ideas are they perfected for the reception of celestial things. It is known that heaven is not pure before the Lord; and it is a truth that the angels are continually being perfected.
AC 2250. Wilt Thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? That this signifies the Lord’s grief from love toward the human race, and His intercession urging that possibly there might be what is good adjoined to them although they were evil, is evident from the zeal of love that here shines forth, and still more in (verse 25) just below, where it is said, "Be it far from Thee to do according to this thing, to cause the righteous to die with the wicked, that so the righteous be as the wicked; be it far from Thee; shall not the Judge of all the earth do judgment?" The same is evident from the signification of "the righteous" as being good (n. 612, 2235), and from the signification of "the wicked" as being opposite to "the righteous," that is, opposite to good, thus evil. It is likewise evident from these words, as also from the things that follow in this chapter, that there is intercession. The Lord‘s intercession for the human race existed at the time when He was in the world, and in fact when He was in a state of humiliation, for as before said, He then spoke with Jehovah as with another. But of course in His state of glorification when the Human Essence has become united to the Divine Essence, and is itself also Jehovah, He does not intercede, but has mercy and affords aid from His Divine, and saves. It is Mercy itself which is the intercession, for such is its essence. GENESIS 18:23 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|