Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 19:37-38
AC 2467. Verses 37, 38. And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of Moab even unto this day. And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi; he is the father of the sons of Ammon even unto this day. "The firstborn bare a son," signifies the religion of that church in respect to good; "and called his name Moab," signifies its quality; "he is the father of Moab even unto this day," signifies that this is the source of such persons. "And the younger she also bare a son," signifies the falsified truth of that church; "and called his name Benammi," signifies its quality; "he is the father of the sons of Ammon even unto this day," signifies that this is the source of such persons.
AC 2468. These things, again, need no confirmation; for that such things are signified is evident from the explication itself, and from what precedes and what follows. But what is the nature and quality of the religion signified by " Moab" and the "sons of Ammon," can be seen from their origin, as here described; as well as from many passages in the Word, both historic and prophetic, where these nations are mentioned. To speak generally they denote those who are in an external worship which appears in a manner holy, but who are not in internal worship; and who readily learn as being goods and truths the things that belong to external worship, but reject and despise those of internal worship.
 Such worship and such religion fall to the lot of those who are in natural good, but despise others in comparison with themselves. They are not unlike fruits which in the external form are not unbeautiful, but which are mouldy or rotten within; and they are not unlike marble vases, within which are things impure and even foul; or not unlike women seemly enough in face, form, and manners, but diseased within, and full of impurities. For there is a general good appertaining to such which appears not ill-favored; but the particulars that enter into it are filthy. In the beginning indeed it is not so, but it gradually becomes so; for such men easily suffer themselves to be imbued with whatever things are called good, and with any falsities whatsoever that are derived from these, and which, because they confirm them, they suppose to be truths; and this because they despise the interior things of worship, for the reason that they are in the love of self. Such persons have their existence and derivation from those who are in external worship alone (represented in this chapter by Lot); and this when the good of truth has been desolated. They are described in the Word, both such as they are in the beginning, when their good has not yet become so defiled; and afterwards when it is becoming defiled; and also after this, when it has become utterly defiled; and it is shown that they reject the interior things of worship and of doctrine.
 The character of such in the beginning when their good has not yet become so defiled, is described in Daniel:--
In the time of the end shall the king of the south be at variance with him; and the king of the north shall rush upon him like a storm, with chariot, and with horsemen, and with many ships, and shall come into the lands, and shall overflow, and shall pass through and he shall come into the land of beauty, and many lands shall go to ruin: these shall be rescued out of his hand, Edom, and Moab, and the firstlings of the sons of Ammon (Daniel 11:40, 41).
The "king of the south," denotes those who are in goods and truths; the "king of the north," those who are in evils and falsities; the "king of the north with chariot, horsemen, and ships, coming upon the lands, overflowing, and passing through," signifies that the evils and falsities denoted by "chariots," "horsemen," and "ships," will prevail; "Edom, Moab, and the firstlings of the sons of Ammon who are to be rescued out of his hand," denote those who are in such good that is not as yet so defiled by falsities; on which account they are called the "firstlings of the sons of Ammon."
 In Moses:--
We passed through by the way of the wilderness, and Jehovah said unto Moses, Distress not Moab, neither mingle thyself with them in war, for I will not give thee of his land for an inheritance, because I have given Ar unto the sons of Lot for an inheritance (Deut. 2:8, 9).
And concerning the sons of Ammon:--
Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, Thou art to pass this day over Ar the border of Mob, and thou wilt come near over against the sons of Ammon distress them not, nor mingle thyself with them for I will not give thee of the land of the sons of Ammon for an inheritance, because I have given it unto the soils of Lot for an inheritance (Deut. 2:17-19);
"Ar" denotes such good; "Moab" and the "sons of Ammon" denote those who are in such good, but in the beginning; on which account it is ordered that they be not distressed.
 Hence it is that Moab drove out the Emim, and the Rephaim who were like the Anakim; and that the sons of Ammon also drove out the Rephaim whom they called the Zamzumim (Deut. 2:9-11, 18-21). By the Emim, Rephaim, Anakim, and Zamzumim, are signified those who are imbued with persuasions of what is evil and false (n. 581, 1673); by Moab and the sons of Ammon are here meant those who were not yet so imbued. These nations however when they too had become so imbued, that is, when their good was defiled by falsities, were likewise driven out (Num. 21:21-31; Ezek. 25:8-11).
 Their character when their good is becoming defiled is described in Jeremiah:--
Unto Moab thus saith Jehovah, Woe unto Nebo, for it is laid waste; Kiriathaim is put to shame, is taken; Misgab is put to shame and is dismayed; the praise of Moab is no more; give wing to Moab, for flying she must fly away, and her cities shall become a desolation, without any to dwell therein. Leave the cities, and dwell in the rock, O inhabitants of Moab and be like the dove, she maketh her nest in the passages of the mouth of the pit. I know his anger, saith Jehovah, but it is not firm; his falsities, they have not done right. Therefore will I howl over Moab, and I will cry out to all Noah. From the weeping of Jazer will I weep for thee, O vine of Sibmah thy shoots have passed over the sea, they reached even to the sea of Jazer; upon thy summer fruits and upon thy vintage the spoiler is fallen. Therefore my heart is moved over Moab, like fruits. Woe unto thee, O Moab, the people of Chemosh is destroyed; for thy sons are taken into captivity, and thy daughters into captivity. And I will bring back the captivity of Moab in the latter days (Jeremiah 48:1, 9, 28, 30-32, 36, 46, 47).
 In this whole chapter the subject treated of is Moab; but through him those are treated of who are in such good, in that they suffer themselves to be imbued with falsities; on which account it is said that they should "give wing to Moab, that it may fly away, and that its cities shall become a desolation;" but that they should "leave the cities, and dwell in the rock, and make nests like the dove in the passages of the mouth of the pit," and so on, by which expressions it is signified that they are persuaded to remain in their general goods and truths; and that if they should then be seduced by the falsities of ignorance, they will be brought back from captivity in the latter days but concerning those with whom this was not done it is said, "I will howl over Moab, and I will cry out for all Moab, and my heart is moved over Moab." The falsities with which they are imbued are signified by Nebo, Kiriathaim, Misgab, Sibmah, Jazer, Chemosh, and other names in this chapter.
 In Isaiah:--
A nest sent away shall the daughters of Moab he. Bring forth counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow like the night in the midst of the noonday hide the outcasts, betray not the wanderer, let mine outcasts dwell with thee, O Moab be thou a covert to them from the spoiler. We have heard the arrogance of Moab, he is very arrogant, his pride, and his arrogance, and his anger; his lies are not so; therefore Moab shall howl, for Moab all shall howl. Therefore my bowels shall be stirred like a had over Moab, and mine inward part for the city of Heres. And it shall come to pass when Moab shall be seen, when he is wearied upon the high place, and shall come to his sanctuary to pray, that he shall not prevail. In three years, as if years of hire, and the praise of Moab shall become vile, in all the great multitude; and the remnant shall be very small, and not strong (Isaiah 16:2-4, 6, 11, 12, 14).
Moab is further treated of in this whole chapter, and through him those who are in such good; and they are described there in words similar to those in Jeremiah chapter 48 and are in like manner persuaded to remain in their general goods and truths, and not to suffer themselves to be imbued with falsities. These general goods and truths are signified by their "giving counsel," "executing judgment," "hiding the outcasts," "not betraying the wanderer," and being "a covert to the outcasts from the spoiler;" all of which things signify the externals of worship. But as they suffer themselves to be imbued with falsities, it is said, "in three years, as years of hire, shall the praise of Moab become vile in all the great multitude, and the remnant shall be very small, and not strong."
 As such persons are easily led away, Moab is called "the sending forth of the band of the Philistines," and the sons of Ammon their "obedience," in Isaiah:--
The root of Jesse which standeth for an ensign of the peoples, unto Him shall the nations seek, and His rest shall be glory; the envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the enemies of Judah shall be cut off Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not distress Ephraim and they shall fly upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the sea; together shall they spoil the sons of the east, Edom, Moab the sending forth of their hand, and the sons of Ammon their obedience (Isaiah 11:10, 13, 14);
the "root of Jesse" denotes the Lord; "Judah" those who are in celestial good; "Ephraim" those who are in spiritual truth; the "Philistines" those who are in the mere memory-knowledge of the knowledges of truth, and not in charity, the "sons of the east," those who are in the mere memory-knowledge of the knowledges of good, and also not in charity; and Moab is called the "sending forth of their hand," and the sons of Ammon their "obedience," because they are imbued with falsities by them.
 But of what character become those who are called Moab and the sons of Ammon when their good has been altogether defiled by falsities, is described in David:--
God hath spoken in His holiness, Gilead is Mine, Manasseh is Mine, Ephraim also is the strength of My head, Judah is My lawgiver, Moab is My washpot (Ps. 60:7-9, Ps. 108:8-10);
the "washpot" denotes good defiled by falsities.
 In Jeremiah:--
The praise of Moab is no more in Heshbon they have devised evil against him: come, let us cut him off from being a nation. Moab hath been at peace from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, and hath not gone into exile therefore his taste remaineth in him, and his odor is not changed. On all the housetops of Moab there shall be lamentation everywhere, because I have broken Moab like a vessel in which there is no pleasure (Jeremiah 48:2, 11, 38).
The falsities with which the good denoted by Moab is defiled, are here called "lees, in which the taste and the odor remain," if he is not reformed, which is here denoted by being "emptied from vessel to vessel." This good itself is called the "vessel in which there is no pleasure," just as in David it is called a "washpot," in which washing is done. In Isaiah:--
In this mountain the band of Jehovah resteth, and Moab shall be trodden down under it, as chaff is trodden down in the dunghill (Isaiah 25:10).
 That they who are in such good care for external things only, and despise, reject, and indeed spew out the internal things of worship and of doctrine, and that consequently they have falsities instead of truths - in Ezekiel:--
Son of man, set thy face toward the sons of Ammon, and prophesy against them, and say unto the sons of Ammon, Hear the word of the Lord Jehovah. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because thou saidst, Aha, against My sanctuary when it was profaned, and against the land of Israel when it was made desolate, and against the house of Judah when they went into captivity, I will make Rabbah a habitation for camels, and the sons of Ammon a couching-place for the flock. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because thou hast clapped the hand, and hast stamped with the foot, and hast been glad with all the contempt of thy soul against the ground of Israel, therefore behold I will stretch out My hand upon thee, and give thee for a spoil to the nations, and I will cut thee off from the peoples, and destroy thee from the lands (Ezekiel 25:2-11).
These words: "Aha, against My sanctuary when it was profaned, and against the land of Israel when it was made desolate, and against the house of Judah when they went into captivity," "thou hast clapped the hand, and hast stamped with the foot, and hast been glad with all the contempt of thy soul against the land of Israel," are expressions of contempt, derision, and rejection of the interior things of worship and of doctrine; and when these are rejected, external things are of no avail; but such persons are "given for a spoil to the nations," that is, they are taken possession of by evils, and are " cut off from the peoples," that is by falsities, and are "destroyed from the earth," that is they become of no church.
 In Zephaniah:--
I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the blasphemies of the sons of Ammon, who have reproached My people they enlarged against their border: therefore, as I live, Moab shall be as Sodom, and the sons of Ammon as Gomorrah, a place abandoned to the nettle, and a pit of salt, and a perpetual desolation. This they have for their pride, because they reproached and enlarged against the people of Jehovah Zebaoth (Zephaniah 2:8-10).
To "reproach the people," and to "enlarge against their boundary, and against the people of Jehovah Zebaoth," is to hold as vile and to reject interior truths, which are the "people of Jehovah Zebaoth." The consequence of this is that goods become evils of falsity, which are "Sodom" and a "place abandoned to the nettle;" and truths become falsities, which are "Gomorrah" and a "pit of salt." For it is from internal things that external are capable of being good and true.
 In David:--
Thine enemies craftily meditate a secret thing against thy people, they consult together against thy hidden ones: Come, let us cut them off from being a nation, and let the name of Israel be no more in remembrance for they consult together with one heart; against thee do they cut out a covenant, the tents of Edom, and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagarenes, Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre Asshur also is joined with them, they are an arm to the sons of Lot (Ps. 83:2-8).
To "consult together against the hidden ones," to "cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel should be no more in remembrance," denotes to utterly reject interior things; the "tents of Edom, the Ishmaelites, Noah, the Hagarenes, Gebal, and Ammon," denote those who are in the external things of worship and of doctrine; "Philistia with Tyre" denote the things they say concerning internal things while not being in them; "Asshur, who is an arm to the sons of Lot," denotes the reasoning by which they contend in favor of external things and against internal things.
 In Moses:--
A man shall not take his father’s wife, and shall not violate his father‘s skirt. He that is bruised with a bruising, or is bruised in the testicle, shall not come into the congregation of Jehovah a Moabite and an Ammonite shall not come into the congregation of Jehovah; even to the tenth generation, they shall not come into the congregation of Jehovah forever (Deut. 22:30; 23:1-3).
These words show what is the character of Moab and Ammon in the "end of days," or when they have become altogether imbued with falsities (that is, those with whom good is being adulterated and truth falsified), in that they despise, reject, and at length utterly cast out all interior things. On this account they are here mentioned after mention has been made of foul adulteries, such as taking a father’s wife, and violating a father‘s skirt; nearly as is related of Lot’s daughters, from whom came Moab and Ammon; and also after the mention of those who are bruised with a bruising, and bruised in the testicle, by whom are signified those who utterly reject whatever is of love and charity. The "congregation of Jehovah" is heaven, into which they cannot come, because they have no remains, which are solely from interior goods and interior truths, and are signified by the "tenth generation" (n. 576, 1738, 2280).
 These were also among the nations who sacrificed their sons and daughters to Molech, by which is signified in the internal sense that they extinguished truths and goods; for the god of Moab was Chemosh, and the god of the sons of Ammon was Molech and Milchom (1 Kings 11:7, 33; 2 Kings 23:13), to which they sacrificed (2 Kings 3:27). That by "sons and daughters" are signified truths and goods, may be seen above (n. 489-491, 533, 1147).
 Such then is the signification of Moab and Ammon; but as regards the various kinds of falsity by which they adulterate goods and extinguish truths, these are numerous, being thus recounted in Jeremiah, but merely by names:--
Judgment is come upon the land of the plain, upon Holon, upon Jahzah, and upon Mephaath; and upon Dibon, and upon Nebo, and upon Beth-diblathaim and upon Kiriathaim, and upon Beth-gamul, and upon Beth-meon; and upon Kerioth, and upon Bozrah, and upon all the cities of the land of Moab, far and near. The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken. Make him drunken, because he magnified himself against Jehovah; and let Moab exult in his vomit (Jeremiah 48:21-26).
These are the kinds of falsity that assemble together in those who are called Moab and Ammon; but what is the nature and quality of these various kinds of falsity can be seen from the signification of these several names in the internal sense. That in the Word names signify nothing else than actual things, has often been shown already.