Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 18:3
AC 2154. Verse 3. And he said, My Lord, if I pray I have found grace in Thine eyes, pass not I pray from Thy servant. "And he said," signifies that the Lord so thought; "My Lord," signifies the Trine in a One; "if I pray I have found grace in Thine eyes," signifies the deference of the Lord‘s state when He noticed that perception; "pass not I pray from Thy servant," signifies that He intensely desired that what He began to perceive should not pass away. The "servant" is the human that appertained to the Lord before it was made Divine.
AC 2155. He said. That this signifies that the Lord so thought, is evident from the signification of "saying," when found in the historical sense, as being to perceive (n. 1898, 1919, 2080).
AC 2156. My Lord. That this signifies the Trine in a One, namely, the Divine Itself, the Divine Human, and the Holy proceeding, which Trine is in a One, is evident from its being here said "Lord," in the singular number. So too in (verses 27, 31), "Behold I pray I have taken upon me to speak unto my Lord," and in (verses 30, 32), "Let not I pray my Lord be angry." The three men are also called "Jehovah," in (verse 13), "Jehovah said unto Abraham;" in (verse 14), "Shall anything be wonderful for Jehovah?" in (verse 22), "Abraham was yet standing before Jehovah;" and in (verse 33), "And Jehovah went when He left off speaking to Abraham." Hence it is evident that the three men (that is, the Divine Itself, the Divine Human, and the Holy proceeding), are the same as the Lord, and the Lord the same as Jehovah. In the Christian Faith, called the Creed, the same is acknowledged, where it is said in plain words, "There are not three Uncreate, nor three Infinite, nor three Eternal, nor three Almighty, nor three Lords, but One." There are none who separate this Trine which is in a One except those who say that they acknowledge one Supreme Existence (Ens), the Creator of the Universe; which is forgiven those who are outside of the church. But they who are within the church, and say this, although they say it and sometimes think it, do not in fact acknowledge any God; still less do they acknowledge the Lord.
AC 2157. If I pray I have found grace in Thine eyes. That this signifies the deference of the Lord’s state when He observed that perception, may be seen from the affection of humiliation which there is in these very words; and also in those which directly follow--"Pass not I pray from over Thy servant"--in which likewise there is humiliation. In every particular in the Word there are both affection and subject matter. The celestial angels perceive the Word such as it is in the internal sense as to the affection; but the spiritual angels perceive it such as it is in the internal sense as to the matter. Those who perceive the Word in the internal sense as to the affection, pay no attention to the words which belong to the matter, but form for themselves ideas from the affection and its series, and this with endless variety. Here for example at the words, "If I pray I have found grace in Thine eyes, pass not I pray from over Thy servant," they perceive the Lord‘s state of humiliation in the Human, but only the affection of the humiliation. From this, in a manner, variety, and abundance inexpressible, they form for themselves celestial ideas, which can scarcely be called ideas, but rather so many lights of affections and perceptions, which follow in a continuous series, in accordance with the series of the affection of the things contained in the Word that is being read.
 This shows that the perception, thought, and speech of the celestial angels are more ineffable and much richer than the perception, thought, and speech of the spiritual angels, the latter being simply determined to the subject matter (rem), in accordance with the series of the expressions. That the speech of the celestial angels is of this nature, see (n. 1647). Hence it is that these words, "If I pray I have found grace in Thine eyes," in the celestial sense signify the deference of the Lord’s state when He observed that perception. Moreover to "find grace in thine eyes" was a customary mode of speech for every expression of deference; as may be seen from Laban‘s deference to Jacob:--
Laban said unto him, If I pray I have found grace in thine eyes (Gen. 30:27);
also from Jacob’s deference to Esau:--
Jacob said, Nay, I pray, if I pray I have found grace in thine eyes (Gen. 33:10).
AC 2158. Pass not I pray from over Thy servant. That this signifies that He intensely desired, appears from what has just been said, the case being much the same, namely, that here also there is deference, which is expressed in this way, and at the same time the affection of desire that what He began to perceive should not pass away.
AC 2159. That the "servant" denotes the human that appertained to the Lord, before it was made Divine, may be seen from many passages in the Prophets. The reason is--as already shown several times--that until He had put it off and made it Divine the human that appertained to the Lord was merely a servant. The human that appertained to Him was from the mother, thus was infirm, having with it from the mother an hereditary which by means of the combats of temptations He overcame and utterly expelled, insomuch that nothing was left of that which was infirm and hereditary from the mother, nay, at last there remained not anything whatever from the mother. Thus He entirely put off all that was from the mother, and therefore was no longer her son, as also He himself says in Mark:--
They said unto Him, Behold Thy mother and Thy brethren without seek for Thee: and He answered them, saying, Who is My mother, or My brethren? And looking round on them that sat about Him, He said, Behold My mother and My brethren; for whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is My brother, and My sister, and My mother (Mark 3:32-35; Matt. 12:46-49; Luke 8:20, 21).
 And when He had put off this human, he put on the Divine Human, from which He called Himself the "Son of man," as we find many times in the Word of the New Testament; and also the "Son of God;" and by the "Son of man" He meant the truth itself, and by the "Son of God" the good itself, which belonged to His Human Essence when this was made Divine. The former state was that of the Lord‘s humiliation, but the latter that of His glorification (n. 1999).
 In the former state, namely, that of humiliation, when as yet He had appertaining to Him an infirm human, He adored Jehovah as one other than Himself, and indeed like a servant; for relatively to the Divine the human is nothing else, on which account in the Word the term "servant" is predicated of that human, as in Isaiah:--
I will defend this city to save it, for Mine own sake, and for My servant David’s sake (Isaiah 37:35),
where the Assyrians are treated of, in whose camp a hundred and eighty-five thousand were smitten by an angel. "David" denotes the Lord, who, as He was to come, in respect to the human is called a "servant." In the Word "David" denotes the Lord (n. 1888).
 In the same Prophet:--
Behold My servant upon whom I will lean; My chosen, My soul is well pleased. I have put My spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment unto the nations (Isaiah 42:1),
manifestly concerning the Lord, of whom, when He was in the human, the terms "servant" and "chosen" are predicated. Again:--
Who is blind but My servant? and deaf, as the angel I will send? who is blind as the perfect one, and blind as the servant of Jehovah? (Isa. 42:19),
where also the Lord is spoken of; and of whom in like manner the terms "servant" and "angel" are predicated when He was in the human.
Ye are My witnesses, saith Jehovah, and My servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He (Isa. 43:10).
Said Jehovah, My Former from the womb to be His servant; to bring Jacob again unto Him, and that Israel be gathered unto Him; and He said, Thou art a slight thing that thou shouldest be My servant, to set up the tribes of Jacob I have given thee for a light of the nations to be My salvation unto the extremity of the earth (Isa. 49:5, 6),
where also the Lord and His human are manifestly treated of before He was made the "light of the nations," and "salvation unto the extremity of the earth." Again:--
Who is among you that feareth Jehovah, that heareth the voice of His servant, who walketh in darkness, and hath no brightness? let him trust in the name of Jehovah, and lean upon His God (Isa. 50:10).
"Servant" here also denotes the human that appertained to the Lord; and that He was in this human and taught the way of truth, is the "voice of the servant of Jehovah."
Jehovah goeth before you, and the God of Israel gathereth you. Behold, My servant shall act prudently, he shall be lifted up, and shall be exalted, and shall be raised up exceedingly (Isa. 52:12, 13).
It is evident that "servant" is here predicated of the Lord when He was in the human; for it is said of Him that He "shall be lifted up, exalted, and raised up." Again:--
He hath no form and no honor we saw him, but there was no appearance; He was despised, a man of sorrows, acquainted with disease. Jehovah willed to bruise him He made him infirm; if he shall make his soul guilt, he shall see seed, he shall prolong days, and the will of Jehovah shall prosper by his hand he shall see of the labor of his soul, he shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; and he himself hath carried their iniquities (Isa. 53:2, 3, 10, 11).
Here, as in the whole of this chapter, the Lord‘s state of humiliation is openly treated of; and it is also said that He was then in an infirm human, namely, that He was a "man of sorrows, acquainted with disease, infirm, was in the labor of His soul," besides a number of other statements, in which state He is called "servant."GENESIS 18:3 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|