Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 19:18-19
AC 2421. Verses 18, 19. And Lot said unto them, Nay I pray my lords. Behold I pray thy servant hath found grace in thine eyes, and thou hast made thy mercy great which thou hast done with me to make alive my soul; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest peradventure evil cleave to me, and I die. "Lot said unto them, Nay I pray my lords," signifies weakness, so that he could not; "Behold I pray thy servant hath found grace in thine eyes," signifies humiliation from the affection of truth; "thou hast made thy mercy great," signifies a semblance of humiliation from the affection of good; "which thou hast done with me to make alive my soul," signifies on account of His desiring to save him; "and I cannot escape to the mountain," signifies doubt as to his being able to have the good of charity; "lest peradventure evil cleave to me, and I die," signifies that then it could not but come to pass that he would be at the same time in evil, and thereby would he condemned.
AC 2422. Lot said unto them, Nay I pray my lords. That this signifies weakness, so that he could not, is evident from the affection in the very words, as also from what follows. There is here treated of the third state of the church represented in this chapter by Lot, which is that they no longer think and act from the affection of good, but from the affection of truth; which state succeeds, when the affection of good begins to be diminished, and as it were to recede. Good is indeed present, but has withdrawn itself more toward the interiors, and therefore is in obscurity; and yet it manifests itself in a certain affection, which is called the affection of truth. What the affection of good is, and what the affection of truth, (n. 1997, 2425). That there are these states is not apparent to man, still less what is the nature of them; but they are apparent to the angels as in clear light, for the angels are in every good affection of man; and they are apparent also to man himself when he comes into the other life. It is in accordance with these affections, and the quality of them, that the good are distinguished into societies (n. 685).
AC 2423. That Behold I pray thy servant hath found grace in thine eyes, signifies humiliation from the affection of truth; and that thou hast made thy mercy great, signifies a semblance of humiliation from the affection of good, is evident from what has been said before concerning "grace" and "mercy" (n. 598, 981). For they who are in the affection of truth cannot humble themselves so far as to acknowledge from the heart that all things are of mercy; and therefore, instead of " mercy" they say " grace;" nay, the less of the affection of truth there is in them, the less of humiliation there is in their mention of grace; whereas on the other hand, the more of the affection of good there is in anyone, the more of humiliation there is in his mention of mercy. This shows how much the adoration, and consequently the worship, that exists with those who are in the affection of truth differs from that which exists with those who are in the affection of good. For in order that there may be worship, there must be adoration; and in order that there may be adoration, there must be humiliation; and this in all things of the worship both in general and particular. What has been said will serve to show why both " grace" and " mercy" are here mentioned.
AC 2424. Which thou hast done with me to make alive my soul. That this signifies on account of His desiring to save him, is evident without explication.
AC 2425. And I cannot escape to the mountain. That this signifies doubt as to his being able to have the good of charity, that is, to think and act from that good, is evident from the signification of a " mountain," as being love and charity (n. 795, 1430).
 As regards this doubt, the case is this. Within the affection of truth of those who are in this affection there is the affection of good, but so obscurely that they do not perceive, thus do not know, what the affection of good is, and what genuine charity is. They do suppose that they know, but it is from truth, thus from memory-knowledge, and not from good itself. Nevertheless they do the goods of charity, not in order to merit anything thereby, but from obedience; and this in so far as they apprehend that it is the truth. For they suffer themselves to be led by the Lord out of their obscurity of good by means of the truth which appears to them to be truth. For example: being ignorant what the neighbor is, they do good to every one whom they suppose to be the neighbor; especially to the poor, because these call themselves poor on account of being destitute of worldly wealth; to orphans and widows, because they are so termed; to strangers, because they are such; and so on with all the rest and this they do so long as they are ignorant what is signified by the poor, by orphans, widows, strangers, and others. Nevertheless seeing that in their affection of apparent truth there lies in obscurity the affection of good, by which the Lord leads them to such action, they are at the same time in good as to their interiors, and in this good the angels are present with them, and are delighted there with their appearances of truth by which such persons are affected.
 But they who are in the good of charity, and from this in the affection of truth, do all things with discrimination, for they are in light; since the light of truth is from no other source than good, because the Lord flows in by means of good. These persons do not do good to the poor, to orphans, to widows, and to strangers, for the mere reason that they are so termed; for they know that those who are good, whether poor or rich, are neighbors more than all others; since by the good, good is done to others; and therefore in so far as these persons do good to the good, they do it to others through them. They also know how to make distinctions among goods, and so among good men. They call the general good itself their neighbor in a greater degree, for in this there is regarded the good of still greater numbers. As still more their neighbor to whom charity is to be done they acknowledge the Lord’s kingdom on earth, which is the church; and the Lord‘s kingdom itself in the heavens even still more. But they who set the Lord before all these-who adore Him alone and love Him above all things-derive the neighbor in all these degrees from Him; for the Lord alone is the neighbor in the highest sense, thus all good is the neighbor in so far as it is from Him.
 But they who are in the opposite derive the degrees of the neighbor from themselves, and acknowledge only those as neighbor who favor and serve them-calling no others brethren and friends-and this with a distinction, accordingly as they make one with them. All this shows what the neighbor is, namely, that a man is our neighbor according to the love in which he is; and that he is truly the neighbor who is in love to the Lord and in charity toward his neighbor, and this with every possible difference; thus it is the good itself with every one that determines the point in question.
AC 2426. Lest peradventure the evil cleave to me, and I die. That this signifies that then it could not but come to pass that he would be at the same time in evil, and that thereby he would be condemned, is evident without explication. What these words involve may be known from what has been said and shown before (n. 301-303, 571, 582, 1001, 1327, 1328), namely, that the Lord constantly provides that evil should not be commingled with good; but that in so far as a man is in evil, so far is he removed from good; for it is better for a man to be altogether in evil, than in evil and at the same time in good. For if he is in evil and at the same time in good, he must needs be damned eternally. It is the deceitful and hypocrites within the church who are most in danger of this. Such therefore is the meaning, in the internal sense, of "lest the evil cleave to me, and I die." GENESIS 19:18-19 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|