Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 19:24
AC 2443. Verse 24. And Jehovah caused it to rain upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of heaven. "Jehovah caused it to rain upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire," signifies the hell of those who are in the evils of the love of self and the falsities thence derived; "to rain" is to be damned; "brimstone" is the hell of the love of self; "fire" is the hell of the falsities thence derived; "from Jehovah out of heaven," signifies from the laws of order as to truth, because they separate themselves from good.
AC 2444. Jehovah caused it to rain upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire. That this signifies the hell of those who are in the evils of the love of self and the falsities thence derived, is evident from the signification of "raining," as being to be damned; of "brimstone," as being the hell of the evils of the love of self; and of "fire," as being the hell of the falsities thence derived, concerning which presently; also from the signification of " Sodom," as being the evil of the love of self; and of " Gomorrah," as being the falsity thence derived (n. 2220, 2246, 2322).
 Here "Gomorrah" is also mentioned, for the first time in this chapter, for the reason that "Gomorrah" signifies the falsity that comes from the evil of the love of self. For within the church, whose last period or Judgment is here treated of, this evil is that which chiefly acts against good, and its falsity is that which acts against truth; and these two things are so conjoined that he who is in the one is also in the other, and indeed in a like ratio and a like degree. It does indeed appear otherwise, but yet is plainly so in the other life, if not in the world. As regards the love of self, its nature, the vastness of the evils that come from it, and that it is the source of the hells, (n. 693, 694, 760, 1307, 1305, 1321, 1594, 1691, 2041, 2045, 2051, 2057, 2219).
AC 2445. That to "rain" denotes to be damned, is evident from the signification of "rain." In the Word "rain" in the genuine sense signifies a blessing, and therefore also salvation; but in the opposite sense a curse, and therefore also damnation. That it signifies a blessing and therefore salvation, is evident from many passages; but that in the opposite sense it signifies a curse, and therefore damnation, is manifest from the following. In Isaiah:--
There shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a refuge and a covert from flood, and from rain (Isaiah 4:6).
Say to them that daub on what is untempered, that it shall fail there shall be an overflowing rain, and ye hailstones shall fall; an overflowing ram shall there be in Mine anger, and hailstones in wrath unto the consummation (Ezekiel 13:11, 13).
He made their rains hail, a fire of flames in their land, and He smote their vine and their fig-tree (Ps. 105:32, 33);
concerning Egypt, of which we read in Moses:--
Jehovah gave thunders and hail, and fire quivered upon the land; and Jehovah made it rain hail upon the land of Egypt (Exod. 9:23, 24).
AC 2446. That "brimstone" denotes the hell of the evils of the love of self, and "fire" the hell of the falsities thence derived, is evident from the signification in the Word of "brimstone" and the " fire" from it, as being the love of self with its cupidities and the derivative falsities, thus as being hell, for hell consists of such things. That "brimstone" and "fire" have this signification is evident in David:--
Jehovah shall rain upon the wicked snares, fire and brimstone (Ps. 11:6).
That fire and brimstone are not here meant, but something else that is signified by "fire and brimstone," is evident also from its being said that Jehovah "rains snares." In Ezekiel:--
I will contend against him with pestilence and with blood, and I will make it ram an overflowing rain, and hailstones, fire and brimstone, upon him, and upon his troops, and upon the many peoples that are with him (Ezekiel 38:22);
where God is treated of, who lays waste the land of Israel, that is, the church. The signification of "God" see (n. 1151). "Fire" denotes falsities, "brimstone" the evils thence, and at the same time the hells of those who lay waste. In John:--
They who adored the beast were cast into a lake of fire burning with brimstone (Rev. 19:20);
meaning hell. Again:--
The devil was cast into a lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are; and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Rev. 20:10);
manifestly meaning hell. Again:--
The abominable, and murderers, and adulterers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:8);
where also "fire and brimstone" plainly denote hell.
 That they denote the evils of the love of self and the falsities thence derived, from which come the hells - in Isaiah:--
The day of the vengeance of Jehovah, and the year of retribution‘ in the controversy of Zion; and the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the streams thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch (Isaiah 34:8, 9);
where "burning pitch," here mentioned instead of "fire," denotes dense and direful falsities and " brimstone" the evils from the love of self. Again:--
The pile thereof is fire and much wood the breath of Jehovah is like a stream of brimstone kindling in it (Isaiah 30:33);
speaking of Topheth; the "stream of kindling brimstone" denoting falsities from the evils of the love of self. In Luke:--
In the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all; even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed (Luke 17:29, 30).
That it will not then rain fire and brimstone is obvious; but what is meant is that the falsities and cupidities of the love of self, which are signified by "fire and brimstone," and which make the hells, will then predominate.
 That in the Word "fire" signifies cupidities, and at the same time the hells, and that in this case the "smoke" from the fire signifies the falsity thence derived, and which is in those hells, may be seen above (n. 1861); and in John:--
I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat upon them, having breastplates of fire and of brimstone and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions, and out of their mouth issued fire, smoke, and brimstone: by these three were the third part of men killed, by the fire, and the smoke, and the brimstone (Rev. 9:17, 18);
"fire, smoke, and brimstone" denote evils and falsities of every kind, of which as before said the hells consist.
AC 2447. From Jehovah out of heaven. That this signifies from the laws of order as to truth, because they separate themselves from good, cannot be seen except from the internal sense, by which there is disclosed how the case stands with punishments and damnations: that they in no wise come from Jehovah, that is, from the Lord, but from the man himself, the evil spirit, and the devil; and this from the laws of order as to truth, because they separate themselves from good.
 All order is from Jehovah, that is, from the Lord, and according to this order are all things directed by Him both in general and in particular, but in many different ways, to wit, from Will, from Good-pleasure, from Leave, and from Permission. The things that are from His will and good-pleasure are from the laws of order as to good, and so also are many of those which are from leave, and some of those which are from permission. But when a man separates himself from good he casts himself into the rule of the laws of order that are of truth separated from good, which are such that they condemn; for all truth condemns man and casts him down into hell; whereas the Lord from good, that is, from mercy, saves him, and uplifts him into heaven. From this we see that it is man himself who condemns himself.
 The things done from permission are mostly of this nature, as for example, that one devil punishes and torments another; and innumerable other things of this kind. These things are from the laws of order as to truth separated from good; for the devils could not otherwise be held in bonds, and withheld from rushing upon all the well disposed and good, and eternally destroying them. It is the prevention of this which is the good the Lord has in view. The case herein is similar to that which exists on earth, where a mild and clement king, who intends and does nothing but good, must needs suffer his laws to punish the evil and the wicked (although he punishes no one, but rather grieves that they are such that their evils must punish them), for otherwise he would leave his kingdom itself a prey to them; which would be the height of rigor and of unmercifulness.
 This shows that Jehovah in no wise caused it to rain brimstone and fire, that is in no wise condemned to hell; but that the men themselves who were in evil and thence in falsity did this, because they had separated themselves from good, and so had cast themselves into the rule of the laws of order that come from truth alone. From all which it follows that this is the internal sense of these words.
 That in the Word "evil," "punishing," "cursing’ "damnation," and many other such things are attributed to Jehovah or the Lord, as here that He made it "rain brimstone and fire," we read in Ezekiel:--
I will contend against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him fire and brimstone (Ezekiel 38:22).
The breath of Jehovah like a stream of brimstone doth kindle it (Isaiah 30:33).
Jehovah shall rain upon the wicked snares, fire and brimstone (Ps. 11:6).
There went up a smoke out of His nostrils, and fire out of His mouth, coals did burn from Him (Ps. 18:8).
Lest My fury go forth like fire, and burn, and there is none to quench it (Jeremiah 21:12).
A fire is kindled in Mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell (Deut. 32:22);
besides similar things in many other places. The reason why such things are attributed in the Word to Jehovah or the Lord has been explained in (n. 223, 245, 589, 592, 696, 735, 1093, 1638, 1683, 1874); for such things are as far from coming from the Lord, as good is far from evil, or as heaven is from hell, or what is Divine from what is diabolical. Evil, hell, and the devil do these things; but by no means the Lord, who is mercy itself and good itself; but because He appears to do them, therefore for the reasons mentioned in the numbers cited, they are attributed to Him.
 From its being said in this verse that Jehovah caused it to rain from Jehovah out of heaven, it appears in the sense of the letter as if there were two; one on earth, and one in heaven; but the internal sense teaches how this also is to be understood, namely, that by the Jehovah first named is meant the Lord‘s Divine Human and Holy proceeding (meant in this chapter by the "two men") and by the Jehovah named in the second place is meant the Divine Itself that is called the "Father" (spoken of in the preceding chapter); and that this Trine is in the Lord, as He himself says in John:--
He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; believe Me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me (John 14:9-11).
And concerning the Holy proceeding, in the same:--
The Comforter shall not speak from Himself but He shall take of Mine, and shall declare it unto you (John 16:13-15).
Thus Jehovah is one, although two are here named; two being named for the reason that all the laws of order are from the Lord’s Divine Itself, Divine Human, and Holy proceeding.GENESIS 19:24 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|