Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 18:28
AC 2266. Verse 28. Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous; wilt Thou destroy all the city for five? and He said, I will not destroy it if I find there forty and five. "Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous," signifies if there should be somewhat less; "wilt thou destroy all the city for five?" signifies, shall man perish for the little which is wanting? "and He said, I will not destroy it if I find there forty and five," signifies that he should not perish if good and truth could be conjoined together.
AC 2267. Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous. That this signifies if there should be somewhat less, is evident from the signification of "five," as being a little, or less, in regard to which signification of this number, see (n. 649). What the "fifty righteous" signify, has been shown above (n. 2252).
AC 2268. Wilt Thou destroy all the city for five? That this signifies shall man perish for the little which is wanting, is evident from the signification of "five," as being (as just stated) and from the signification of a "city," as being truth, also explained before. In regard to the truths in it the human mind is compared in the Word to a "city," and is also so called; and in regard to the goods which are in the truths, it is compared to the inhabitants of the city, and the goods are also called; for the case as regards these is much the same. If the truths which are in man‘s memories, and in the thoughts of his mind, are devoid of goods, they are like a city without inhabitants, and are in the same way vacant and empty. Nay, even of the angels it may be declared that when a man lives in love to the Lord, and in charity toward the neighbor, they dwell as it were in his truths, and insinuate affections of good from the Lord; for they are delighted to dwell this, that is, to live with such men. Very different is it with those who are in some truths, but in no goods of charity.
AC 2269. And He said, I will not destroy it if I find there forty and five. That this signifies that man should not perish if good and truth could be conjoined together, is evident from the signification of the number forty-five, as being conjunction. It has been already shown that the simple numbers retain their signification even when they are multiplied; and that consequently the greater numbers have a signification similar to that of the less and such is the case with forty-five, which number is compounded by the multiplication of five into nine; and as it has been compounded by the multiplication of five into nine, it has the same signification as have "five" and "nine." That "five" signifies a little, was shown above (n. 649), and that "nine" signifies conjunction, or what is conjoined (n. 2075); and thus the signification here is: If goods have in some measure been conjoined with truths. That in the Word numbers signify actual things, or states, is evident from what was said about fifty (n. 2252); also from what has been shown before concerning numbers (n. 482, 487, 575, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988).
 It is because "five" signifies a little, and "forty-five" conjunction, that the very setting forth of these numbers in this verse is of such a nature, for it is said, "Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous;" and by this is signified, If there should be somewhat less; and then it is said, "Wilt Thou destroy all the city for five?" by which is signified, Shall they perish for the little which is wanting? for as "five" signifies a little, this number is not employed again, but it is said, "I will not destroy it if I find there forty and five;" by which is signified that they would not perish if good and truth could be conjoined together. The reason also of its being said here "forty and five," and not "if there lack five of fifty," is because "five" not only signifies a little (n. 649), but also signifies disjunction (n. 1686); and therefore in order that not disjunction, but conjunction, might be signified, this number forty-five is named; for " forty-five" denotes some conjunction, as stated above; and thus in the internal sense all things follow on in a beautiful sequence Of their own.
 As regards the conjunction of good with truth, it is an arcanum which cannot be described so that it can be grasped by the ordinary comprehension. It must be told in a few words. The more genuine and pure the truth, the better can the good which is from the Lord be adapted into it as its recipient vessel; but the less genuine and pure the truth, the less can the good which is from the Lord be adapted into it; for they must correspond to each other, and the conjunction of the two is effected according to the correspondence. Goods cannot possibly be insinuated into falsities, nor evils into truths, as their recipient vessels; for they are of a contrary character and nature, the one casting out the other as its enemy; nay, should they attempt to conjoin themselves together, the one would spew out the other, that is to say, good would spew out evil as if it were poison, and evil would spew out good as if it were an emetic. Such enmity between good and evil has been provided by the Lord in order to prevent the possibility of their being commingled, for if they were commingled, the man would perish. In the deceitful and in hypocrites they are not far from being conjoined together, but still precautions are taken by the Lord in order to prevent their being so conjoined. This is the reason why in the other life those who are deceitful and those who are hypocrites suffer things more direful than those which are suffered by any others.GENESIS 18:28 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|