Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 19:15
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AC 2404. Verse 15. And when the dawn arose the angels pressed Lot to hasten, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters that are found, lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. "When the dawn arose," signifies when the Lord‘s kingdom is approaching; "the angels pressed Lot to hasten," signifies that the Lord withheld them from evil and kept them in good; "saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters that are found," signifies the truth of faith and the affections of truth and of good; "found," denotes that they are separated from evil; "lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city," signifies lest they should perish by the evils of falsity.

AC 2405. When the dawn arose. That this signifies when the Lord’s kingdom is approaching, is evident from the signification in the Word of the "dawn" or "morning." As in this chapter the subject treated of is the successive states of the church, that which is done in the evening is first treated of, next that which is done in the night, and there now follows that which is done in the morning twilight, and presently that which is done after the sun is gone forth. The twilight is here expressed by "when the dawn arose," and it denotes the time when the upright are being separated from the evil; which separation is treated of in this verse, and as far as (verse 22), by Lot together with his wife and daughters being led out and saved. That separation precedes Judgment is evident from the Lord‘s words in Matthew:--

Before Him shall be gathered all nations, and He shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:32).

[2] This time or state is called in the Word the "dawn," because the Lord then comes; or what is the same, His kingdom then approaches. The case is similar with the good, for at such a time there shines out with them a semblance of the morning twilight or dawn; and therefore in the Word the advent of the Lord is compared to the "morning," and is also called the "morning." As in Hosea:--

After two days Jehovah will revive us, on the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live before Him and we shall know, and we shall follow on to know Jehovah; His going forth is as the dawn (Hosea 6:2, 3).

"Two days" denotes the time and state which precedes; the "third day" denotes the Judgment, or the advent of the Lord, and therefore the approach of His kingdom (n. 720, 901), which advent or approach is compared to the "dawn."

[3] In Samuel:--

The God of Israel is as the light of the morning, the sun riseth, a morning without clouds; from the brightness, from the rain, there is a growth from the earth (2 Sam. 23:4).

The "God of Israel" denotes the Lord; for no other God of Israel was meant in that church, and He was represented in each and all things of it. In Joel:--

The day of Jehovah cometh, for it is nigh at hand a day of darkness and of thick darkness, a day of cloud and obscurity; as the dawn spread upon the mountains (Joel 2:1, 2).

Here also the Lord’s advent and His kingdom are treated of; it is said a "day of darkness and of thick darkness," because the good are then being separated from the evil, as here Lot from the men of Sodom; and after the good have been separated, the evil perish.

[4] That the Lord‘s advent or the approach of His kingdom, is not merely compared to the "morning," but is actually called the "morning," may be seen in Daniel:--

A holy one said, How long shall be the vision, the continual sacrifice, and the transgression that maketh waste? He said unto me, Until evening and morning, two thousand three hundred, then shall the holy one be justified. The vision of the evening and the morning which hath been told is truth (Daniel 8:13, 14, 26).

"Morning" here manifestly denotes the Lord’s advent. In David:--

Thy people are willing offerings in the day of thy strength, in honors of holiness, from the womb of the dawn thou hast the dew of thy youth (Ps. 110:3).

In this whole Psalm the subject treated of is the Lord, and His victories in temptations, which are the "day of His strength," and the "honors of His holiness;" "from the womb of the dawn," denotes Himself, thus the Divine love from which He fought.

[5] In Zephaniah:--

Jehovah in the midst of her is righteous, He will not do perversity; in the morning, in the morning will He give judgment for light (Zephaniah 3:5).

The "morning" denotes the time and state of Judgment, which is the same as that of the Lord‘s advent; and this is the same as the approach of His kingdom.

[6] Because the "morning" signified these things, in order that the same might be represented, it was commanded that Aaron and his sons should light up the lamp, and should order it from evening until morning before Jehovah (Exod. 27:21). The "evening" here denotes the twilight before the morning (n. 2323). In like manner it was commanded that the fire upon the altar should be kindled every morning (Lev. 6:5); also that nothing of the paschal lamb and of the sanctified things of the sacrifices should be left till the morning (Exod. 12:10; 23:18; 34:25; Lev. 22:29, 30; Num. 9:12); by which was signified that when the Lord came, sacrifices should cease.

[7] In a general sense it is called " Morning" both when the dawn appears, and when the sun rises; and in this latter case "morning" denotes the Judgment as it concerns both the good and the evil, as in this chapter:--The sun was gone forth upon the earth, and Lot came unto Zoar; and Jehovah caused it to rain upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire (verses 23, 24). In like manner in so far as regards the Judgment upon the evil; in David:--

In the mornings will I destroy all the wicked of the land, to cut off from the city of Jehovah all the workers of iniquity (Ps. 101:8).

And in Jeremiah:--

Let that man be as the cities which Jehovah overthrew, and He repenteth not; and let him hear a cry in the morning (Jeremiah 20:16).

As in the proper sense the "morning" signifies the Lord, His advent, and thus the approach of His kingdom, it is evident what it signifies besides, namely, the rise of a new church (for this is the Lord’s kingdom on earth), and this both in general and in particular, and even in the least particular; in general, when any church on the globe is being raised up anew; in particular, when a man is being regenerated, and being made new (for then the Lord‘s kingdom is arising in him, and he is becoming a church); and in the least particular, whenever the good of love and faith is working in him; for in this consists the advent of the Lord. Hence the Lord’s resurrection on the third day in the morning (Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1) involves all these things (even in the particular and the least particular) in regard to His rising again in the minds of the regenerate every day, and even every moment.

AC 2406. The angels pressed Lot to hasten. That this signifies that the Lord withheld them from evil and kept them in good, evident from the signification of "pressing" and "hastening," as being to urge; and that by these words is signified to be withheld from evil, is evident both from the internal sense of these words and from what follows. The internal sense is that when the church begins to fall away from the good of charity, its people are at that time withheld from evil by the Lord more strongly than when it is in the good of charity. The same is evident from what follows, namely, that although the angels pressed Lot to go out of the city, he still lingered; and that they then laid hold of the hands of himself, his wife, and his daughters, and led them forth, and set them without the city; by which is signified and described the character of man in that state; for it is the second state of this church that is here treated of. The first state is described in the first three verses of this chapter; which state is such that they are in the good of charity and acknowledge the Lord, and are confirmed in good by Him. The second state is described here, which is such that with the men of the church themselves evils begin to act against goods, and that they are then powerfully withheld from evils and kept in goods by the Lord; which state is treated of in this verse, and in (verse 15, 16, 17).

[2] As regards this matter, few, if any, know that all men without exception are withheld from evils by the Lord, and this by a mightier force than man can ever believe. For the endeavor of every man is continually toward evil, and this both from what is hereditary, into which he is born, and from what is actual, which he has procured for himself; and this to such a degree that if he were not withheld by the Lord, he would rush headlong every moment toward the lowest hell. But the mercy of the Lord is so great that at every moment, even the least, the man is uplifted and held back, to prevent him from rushing thither. This is the case with the good also, but with a difference according to their life of charity and faith. Thus the Lord combats continually with man, and for man with hell, although it does not so appear to the man. That it is really so has been given me to know by much experience, which of the Lord‘s Divine mercy will be related elsewhere. (n. 929, 1581).

AC 2407. Saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters that are found. That this signifies the truth of faith and the affections of truth and of good, and that "found" means separated (from evil), is evident from the signification of "arising," as being to be elevated from evil (n. 2401); also from the signification in this place of "wife," as being the truth of faith, respecting which see under (verse 26), where it is said of Lot’s wife that she was turned into a statue of salt, and also from the signification of the "two daughters," as being the affections of truth and of good (n. 2362). That "found" denotes separated from evil, is also evident, because they were set free. By these few words is this second state of the church here described, namely, that they do not from good suffer themselves to be led to truth, as before, but through truth to good; and yet they are in an obscure affection of good; for in the proportion that truth is made the leader, good is obscure; whereas in the proportion that good is made the leader, truth is plain and evident in its own light.

AC 2408. Lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. That this signifies lest they should perish in the evils of falsity, is evident from the signification of "iniquity," as being evil; and from the signification of "city," as being what is doctrinal, even if it is false (n. 402). What the evil of falsity is may be seen in (n. 1212, 1679).

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info