Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 19:8
AC 2361. Verse 8. Behold I pray I have two daughters who have not known man; let me I pray bring them out unto you, and ye may do unto them as is good in your eyes; only unto these men do not anything; for therefore are they come under the shadow of my roof. "Behold I pray I have two daughters who have not known man," signifies the affections of good and of truth; "let me I pray bring them out unto you," signifies blessedness therefrom; "and ye may do unto them as is good in your eyes," signifies enjoyment in so far as they perceived it to be from good; "only unto these men do not anything;" signifies that they should not do violence to the Lord’s Divine Human and Holy proceeding; "for therefore are they come under the shadow of my roof," signifies that they are in the good of charity; the "shadow of the roof," denoting in his obscure general (perception) of it.
AC 2362. Behold I pray I have two daughters who have not known man. That this signifies the affections of good and of truth, is evident from the signification of " daughters," as being affections (n. 489-491). Their "not having known man" signifies that falsity had not contaminated them; for "man (vir)" signifies rational truth, as also in the opposite sense falsity (n. 265, 749, 1007). There are two affections, namely, of good and of truth (n. 1997). The former, or the affection of good, constitutes the celestial church, and is called in the Word the "daughter of Zion," and also the "virgin daughter of Zion;" but the latter, or the affection of truth, constitutes the spiritual church, and is called in the Word the "daughter of Jerusalem."
 As in Isaiah:--
The virgin daughter of Zion hath despised thee, hath mocked at thee after thee hath the daughter of Jerusalem shaken her head (Isaiah 37:22; 2 Kings 19:21).
What shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem; what shall I equal to thee, and comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion (Lam. 2:13).
Thou, O tower of the flock, the hill of the daughter of Zion, even to thee shall it come, and the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem (Micah 4:8).
Shout, O daughter of Zion; make a loud noise, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem (Zephaniah 3:14).
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; make a loud noise, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King shall come unto thee (Zechariah 9:9; Matt. 21:5; John 12:15).
 That the celestial church, or the Lord‘s celestial kingdom, is called the "daughter of Zion" from the affection of good, that is, from love to the Lord Himself, may be seen further in (Isaiah 10:32; 16:1; 52:2; 62:11; Jer. 4:31; 6:2, 23; Lam. 1:6; 2:1, 4, 8, 10; Micah 4:10, 13; Zech. 2:10; Ps. 9:14). And that the spiritual church, or the Lord’s spiritual kingdom, is called the "daughter of Jerusalem" from the affection of truth, and thus from charity toward the neighbor, may be seen in Jeremiah (Lam. 2:15).
 From the fact that the celestial church is from love to the Lord in love toward the neighbor, it is likened especially to an unmarried daughter or virgin, and indeed is also called a "virgin," as in John:--
These are they who have not been defiled with women, for they are virgins these are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, for they are without spot before the throne of God (Rev. 14:4, 5).
That this might be represented in the Jewish Church also, it was enjoined upon the priests that they should not take widows, but virgins, for wives (Lev. 21:13-15; Ezek. 44:22).
 From the things contained in this verse it can be seen how pure is the Word in the internal sense, although it may not so appear in the letter; for when these words are read: " Behold I pray I have two daughters who have not known man; let me I pray bring them out unto you, and ye may do unto them as is good in your eyes, only unto these men do not anything," nothing but what is impure enters the ideas, especially the ideas of those who are in a life of evil. And yet how chaste these words are in the internal sense, is manifest from the explication, by which it is shown that they signify the affections of good and of truth, and the blessedness which they who do no violence to the Lord‘s Divine and Holy perceive from the enjoyment of them.
AC 2363. Let me I pray bring them out unto you. That this signifies blessedness therefrom, that is, from the affections of good and of truth, is evident from the sense of these words when they are predicated of the affections which are here meant by the "daughters." As regards the thing itself, namely, that there is blessedness and happiness solely in the affection of good and of truth, it is a matter profoundly unknown to all who are in evil and its delight. To them the blessedness in the affection of good and of truth appears either as something that is nonexistent, or as something that is sad; while to some it appears as what is painful, and even deadly. This is the case with the genii and the spirits of bell, who think and believe that if the delight of the love of self and of the world. consequently of the evils therein originating, were taken away from them, nothing of life could remain to them; and when they are shown that true life with its blessedness and happiness then begins, they feel a kind of sadness from the loss of their own delight; and when they are brought among those who are in such a life, pain and torture seize upon them; and besides this, they then begin to feel in themselves something that is cadaverous and direfully infernal; so that they call heaven (which is the abode of this blessedness and happiness) their hell, and flee away, in order so far as possible to remove and hide themselves from the Lord’s face.
 That nevertheless all blessedness and happiness consist in the affection of the good which is of love and charity, and also of the truth which is of faith in so far as the latter leads to the former, can be seen from the fact that heaven (that is, angelic life) consists in this blessedness, and that it affects from the inmosts those who receive it, because it flows in through the inmosts from the Lord (n. 540, 541, 545). Then also do wisdom and intelligence enter into and fill the inmost recesses of the mind, and kindle the good with heavenly flame, and the truth with heavenly light; and this with a perception of blessedness and happiness of which no description can be given except that they are unutterable. They who are in this state perceive how dead, how sad, and how lamentable is the life of those who are in the evils of the love of self and of the world.
 In order to obtain a clear idea of the nature of this life of the love of self and of the world (or what is the same, of a life of pride, avarice, envy, hatred, revenge, unmercifulness, adultery), let any person of talent make for himself an impersonation of some one of these evils; or if he can, let him paint it before his eyes in accordance with the ideas he is able to conceive of it from experience, knowledge, and reason; and he will then see, in proportion to the energy of his description or picture, how horrible these evils are, and that they are diabolical forms, in which there is nothing human. Forms such as these do all those become after death who perceive the delight of their life in such evils, and the greater is their delight in them, the more horrible are their own forms.
 On the other hand, let the same person delineate for himself an impersonation of love and charity, or let him express it before his eyes under some form; and then in proportion to his power of description or portrayal he will see that the form is angelic, full of bliss and beauty, and pervaded within with what is heavenly and Divine. Can anyone believe that these two forms can abide together? or that the diabolical form can be put off and be transmuted into the form of charity? and this by a faith to which the life is contrary? For after death every one‘s life remains or what is the same, his affection; and in accordance with this is then all his thought, and consequently his faith, which thus manifests itself as it had been at heart.
AC 2364. And ye may do unto them as is good in your eyes. That this signifies enjoyment in so far as (they perceived it to be) from good, can be seen even from the sense of the words, as well as from the series, when these words are predicated of the affections signified by the "daughters." That Lot applied himself prudently, is signified by his "going out unto them to the door" (n. 2356). This prudence is evident from the words just quoted, together with what else is contained in this verse, namely, that they should enjoy the blessedness of the affections of good and of truth, in so far as this was from good; which is signified by their "doing unto them as was good in their eyes." To enjoy in so far as this was from good, here means in so far as they knew it to be good, beyond which no one is required to go; for all are bent by the Lord to the good of life through the good of their faith, thus Gentiles otherwise than Christians, the simple otherwise than the learned, little children otherwise than adults. They who have imbued their life with evil are bent by abstaining from evil and intending good, and by doing this according to their apprehension. It is their intention or end that is regarded; and although their acts may not be good in themselves, they nevertheless derive from the end something of good, and of the derivative life, which makes their blessedness.
AC 2365. Only unto these men do not anything. That this signifies that they should not do violence to the Lord’s Divine Human and Holy proceeding, is evident from the signification of the "men" and the "angels," as above.
AC 2366. For therefore are they come under the shadow of my roof. That this signifies that they are in the good of charity, is evident from the signification of a "house," as being good (n. 710, 2233, 2234), which is here called the "shadow of the roof" for a reason to be presently explained.
AC 2367. As to the "shadow of the roof" denoting in an obscure general (perception), the case is this: with man, even when regenerate, the perception of good and truth is very obscure, and this is still more the case with a man who is in external worship, such as is here represented by "Lot." while a man is in corporeal things (that is, while he is living in the body), the affections, like the perceptions, are of a very genera nature, and consequently are very obscure, no matter how much the man may suppose that such is not the case. There are myriads of myriads of particulars in every little affection, and even in every idea of his perception, that appear to him as all one, as of the Lord‘s Divine mercy will be shown hereafter, when affections and ideas are treated of. Sometimes it is possible for a man by reflection to explore and describe a few of the things that are in him, but there lie hidden innumerable other things, things without limit or measure, that never come to his knowledge, nor can come so long as he is living in the body, but which become manifest after corporeal and worldly things have been abolished-- as may be sufficiently evident from the fact that when a man who has been in the good of love and of charity passes into the other life, he passes from an obscure life into a clearer one, as from a kind of night into day; and in proportion as he passes into the Lord’s heaven, in the same proportion does he pass into a light that is more and more clear, until he arrives at the light in which are the angels, a light of intelligence and wisdom that is unutterable. In comparison with this the light in which is man, is darkness. Hence it is here said that they "came under the shadow of his roof;" by which is signified that those signified by "Lot" are in their obscure general (perception); that is, that they know but little concerning the Lord‘s Divine and Holy; but that nevertheless they acknowledge and have faith in the existence of these, and that these are in the good of charity, that is, present with those who are in this good. GENESIS 19:8 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|