Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 19:9
AC 2368. Verse 9. And they said, Come on. And they said, Is one come to sojourn, and shall he judge indeed? now will we do worse to thee than to them. And they pressed upon the man, upon Lot, exceedingly; and drew near to break open the door. "And they said," signifies a reply from anger; "Come on," signifies the threats of their anger. And they said, " Is one come to sojourn," signifies those who are of another doctrine and another life; "and shall he judge indeed?" signifies, Shall they teach us? "Now will we do worse to thee than to them," signifies that they would reject the good of charity more than the Lord’s Divine Human and Holy proceeding; "and they pressed upon the man," signifies that they desired to offer violence to truth; "upon Lot exceedingly," signifies most especially to the good of charity; "and drew near to break open the door," signifies that they came even to the endeavor to destroy both.
AC 2369. And they said. That this signifies a reply from anger, is evident from what precedes and what follows, and thus without explication.
AC 2370. Come on. That this signifies threats of anger, namely, against the good of charity, is evident from the signification of "Lot," as being the good of charity, to which and concerning which these things are said; and that these are threats of anger, is evident from the words themselves, and also from what follows, as involving that they would altogether reject it if he should say anything more about it, and should persuade; which is meant by "Come on."
AC 2371. And they said, Is one come to sojourn, and shall he judge indeed? That this signifies those who are in another doctrine and another life, is evident from the signification of "sojourning," which is to be instructed and to live, thus doctrine and life (n. 1463, 2025). The state of the church is here described such as it is near the last times, when there is no longer any faith, because there is no charity, namely, that the good of charity, because it has altogether receded from the life, is also rejected from the doctrine.
 The subject here treated of is not those who falsify the good of charity by explaining all things in their own favor, both for their own sake, that they may be the greatest, and for the sake of the good things of this world, that they may possess them all; and who arrogate to themselves the dispensation of rewards, and thereby defile the good of charity by various arts and delusive means; but the subject treated of is those who desire to hear nothing of the goods of charity, or of good works, but only of faith separate from them; and this from reasoning that there is nothing but evil in man, and that the good which is from him is also in itself evil, in which therefore there is thus nothing of salvation; and that no one can merit heaven by any good, nor be saved by it, but only by the faith with which they acknowledge the Lord‘s merit. This is the doctrine that flourishes in the last times, when the church is beginning to expire, and it is ardently taught and favorably received.
 But it is false to infer from these considerations that a man can have an evil life and a good faith; or that because there is nothing but evil in man, he cannot receive good from the Lord that has heaven in it because it has Him in it, and that having heaven in it has also bliss and happiness in it. And it is certainly very false to infer that because no one can merit heaven by any good, therefore it is impossible to receive from the Lord heavenly good in which self-merit is regarded as monstrous wickedness. In such good are all the angels, in such are all the regenerate, and in such are they who perceive delight, and even bliss, in good itself, that is, in the affection of it. Concerning this good, that is, concerning this charity, the Lord speaks thus in Matthew:--
Ye have heard that it has been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy; but I say unto you, Do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that injure you and persecute you, that ye may be sons of your Father who is in the heavens for if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? and if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more (than others)? do not even the publicans so? (Matthew 5:43-48).
In like manner in Luke, with this addition:--
Do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; then shall your reward be great, and ye shall be sons of the Highest (Luke 6:27-36).
 Here the good which is from the Lord is described, and that it is free from all purpose of receiving recompense; on which account they who are in it are called "sons of the Father who is in the heavens," and "sons of the Highest;" and because the Lord is in it, there is also a reward, as we read in Luke:--
When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, nor thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest haply they call thee in turn, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, (the lame,) and the blind; then shalt thou be blessed, for they have not wherewith to recompense thee; but thou shalt be recompensed in the resurrection of the just (Luke 14:12-14).
A "dinner," "supper," or "feast," denotes the good of charity, in which there is the Lord’s dwelling-place with man (n. 2341) so that it is here described, and made clearly manifest, that the recompense is in the good itself, because in this is the Lord; for it is said, "thou shalt be recompensed in the resurrection of the just."
 Those who strive to do good of themselves, because the Lord has so commanded, are they who at length receive this good; and who, being afterwards instructed, acknowledge with faith that all good is from the Lord (n. 1712, 1937, 1947); and they are then so averse to self-merit that when they merely think of it they grow sad, and perceive their blessedness and happiness to be proportionately diminished.
 Quite different is it with those who do not do this, but lead a life of evil, teaching and professing that in faith alone there is salvation. People of this character are not aware that such a good is possible; and wonderful to say (as has been given me to know from much experience) in the other life these same people desire to merit heaven on account of whatever good deeds they recollect; because then for the first time are they aware that in faith separated from charity there is no salvation. These are the people of whom the Lord says in Matthew:--
They will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied by Thy name, and by Thy name cast out demons, and in Thy name done many mighty works? But then will I confess unto them, I know you not; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew 7:22, 23).
In the case of these same people it also becomes apparent that they have paid no attention whatever to the things which the Lord Himself so often taught concerning the good of love and of charity; but that these things have been to them like passing clouds, or like things seen in the night: for example such things as are found in (Matthew 3:8, 9; 5:7-48; 6:1-20; 7:16-20, 24-27; 9:13; 12:33; 13:8, 23; 18:21-23, 24-35; 19:19; 22:34-39; 24:12, 13; 25:34-46; Mark 4:18-20; 11:13, 14, 20; 12:28-35; Luke 3:8, 9; 6:27-39, 43-49; 7:47; 8:8, 14, 15; 10:25-28; 12:58, 59; 13:6-10; John 3:19, 21; 5:42; 13:34, 35; 14:14, 15, 20, 21, 23; 15:1-8, 9-19; 21:15-17). Such, then, and other such things as these, are what are signified by the men of Sodom, that is, those who are in evil, (n. 2220, 2246, 2322) saying to Lot, "Is one come to sojourn, and shall he judge indeed?" that is, Shall they who are in another doctrine and another life teach us?
AC 2372. And shall he judge indeed? That this signifies, Shall they teach us? is evident from the signification of "judging," as being to teach. That "righteousness" is predicated of the practice of good, but "judgment" of the instruction of truth, was shown above (n. 2235); hence in the internal sense to "judge" is to instruct or teach. To teach truth is the same as to teach what is good, because all truth looks to good.
AC 2373. Now will we do worse to thee than to them. That this signifies that they would reject the good of charity more than the Lord‘s Divine Human and Holy proceeding, is evident from the signification of "Lot," as being the good of charity, for Lot represents those who are in the good of charity (n. 2324, 2351, 2371); and from the signification of the "men," or "angels," as being the Lord as to the Divine Human and Holy proceeding. Hence it is evident that to do worse to thee than to them" has this meaning. The reason why they who are in evil within the church reject charity more than they deny the Lord, is that in this way they can favor their concupiscences by a kind of religion, and have external worship with no internal (that is, worship of the lips and not of the heart), and the more they make this worship to be Divine and holy, so much the greater are their dignities and wealth, besides many other causes that are hidden and yet are manifest. Nevertheless the truth really is that he who rejects the one (that is, does so in doctrine and at the same time in life) rejects also the other (for even if he dare not do this openly he does it in his heart); and this is here expressed in the sense of the letter by its being said that the men of Sodom drew near to break open the door, by which is signified that they came even to the endeavor to destroy both. But that which prevents this endeavor from bursting forth into act is by no means hidden.
AC 2374. They pressed upon the man. That this signifies that they desired to offer violence to truth, is evident from the signification of a man (vir), as being the intellectual and rational in man, and consequently truth (n. 158, 1007). To offer violence to truth is to pervert the things of faith; and these are perverted when they are separated from charity, and when it is denied that they lead to the good of life.
AC 2375. Upon Lot exceedingly. That this signifies that they desired to offer violence especially to the good of charity, is evident from the signification of "Lot," as being the good of charity (n. 2324, 2351, 2371, 2373). From the very words--that they "pressed upon the man, upon Lot exceedingly"--it is evident that one thing is signified by the "man," and another by "Lot exceedingly;" otherwise one expression would have sufficed.
AC 2376. And drew near to break open the door. That this signifies that they came even to the endeavor to destroy both, is evident from the signification of "drawing near," as being to endeavor, and from the signification of a "door," as being that which introduces to good and to the Lord, and also as being good itself and the Lord Himself (n. 2356, 2357, 2373). GENESIS 19:9 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|