Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 2:2-6
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AC 84. Verses 2, 3. And on the seventh day God finished His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it He rested from all His work which God in making created. The celestial man is the "seventh day," which, as the Lord has worked during the six days, is called "His work;" and as all combat then ceases, the Lord is said to "rest from all His work." On this account the seventh day was sanctified, and called the Sabbath, from a Hebrew word meaning "rest." And thus was man created, formed, and made. These things are very evident from the words.

AC 85. That the celestial man is the "seventh day," and that the seventh day was therefore hallowed, and called the Sabbath, are arcana which have not hitherto been discovered. For none have been acquainted with the nature of the celestial man, and few with that of the spiritual man, whom in consequence of this ignorance they have made to be the same as the celestial man, notwithstanding the great difference that exists between them, as may be seen in (n. 81). As regards the seventh day, and as regards the celestial man being the "seventh day" or "Sabbath," this is evident from the fact that the Lord Himself is the Sabbath; and therefore He says:--

The Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath (Mark 2:27),

which words imply that the Lord is Man himself, and the Sabbath itself. His kingdom in the heavens and on the earth is called, from Him, a Sabbath, or eternal peace and rest.

[2] The Most Ancient Church, which is here treated of, was the Sabbath of the Lord above all that succeeded it. Every subsequent inmost church of the Lord is also a Sabbath; and so is every regenerate person when he becomes celestial, because he is a likeness of the Lord. The six days of combat or labor precede. These things were represented in the Jewish church by the days of labor, and by the seventh day, which was the Sabbath; for in that church there was nothing instituted which was not representative of the Lord and of His kingdom. The like was also represented by the ark when it went forward, and when it rested, for by its journeyings in the wilderness were represented combats and temptations, and by its rest a state of peace; and therefore, when it set forward, Moses said:--

Rise up, Jehovah, and let Thine enemies be scattered, and let them that hate Thee flee before Thy faces. And when it rested, he said, Return, Jehovah, unto the ten thousands of the thousands of Israel (Num. 10:35, 36).

It is there said of the ark that it went from the Mount of Jehovah "to search out a rest for them" (Num. 10:33).

[3] The rest of the celestial man is described by the Sabbath in Isaiah:--

If thou bring back thy foot from the Sabbath, so that thou doest not thy desire in the day of My holiness, and callest the things of the Sabbath delights to the holy of Jehovah, honorable; and shalt honor it, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own desire, nor speaking a word; then shalt thou be delightful to Jehovah, and I will cause thee to be borne over the lofty things of the earth, and will feed thee with the heritage of Jacob (Isaiah 58:13, 14).

Such is the quality of the celestial man that he acts not according to his own desire, but according to the good pleasure of the Lord, which is his "desire." Thus he enjoys internal peace and happiness-here expressed by "being uplifted over the lofty things of the earth"-and at the same time external tranquillity and delight, which is signified by "being fed with the heritage of Jacob."

AC 86. When the spiritual man, who has become the "sixth day," is beginning to be celestial, which state is here first treated of, it is the "eve of the Sabbath," represented in the Jewish Church by the keeping holy of the Sabbath from the evening. The celestial man is the "morning" to be spoken of presently.

AC 87. Another reason why the celestial man is the " Sabbath," or "rest," is that combat ceases when he becomes celestial. The evil spirits retire, and good ones approach, as well as celestial angels; and when these are present, evil spirits cannot possibly remain, but flee far away. And since it was not the man himself who carried on the combat, but the Lord alone for the man, it is said that the Lord "rested."

AC 88. When the spiritual man becomes celestial, he is called the "work of God," because the Lord alone has fought for him, and has created, formed, and made him; and therefore it is here said, "God finished His work on the seventh day;" and twice, that "He rested from all His work." By the Prophets man is repeatedly called the "work of the hands and of the fingers of Jehovah;" as in Isaiah, speaking of the regenerate man:--

Thus hath said Jehovah the Holy One of Israel, and his Former, Seek ye signs of Me, signs concerning My sons, and concerning the work of My hands command ye Me. I have made the earth, and created man upon it; I, even My hands have stretched out the heavens, and all their army have I commanded. For thus hath said Jehovah that createth the heavens, God Himself that formeth the earth and maketh it; He establisheth it, He created it not a void, He formed it to be inhabited; I am Jehovah and there is no God else besides Me (Isaiah 45:11, 12, 18, 21).

Hence it is evident that the new creation, or regeneration, is the work of the Lord alone. The expressions to "create," to "form," and to "make," are employed quite distinctively, both in the above passage--"creating the heavens, forming the earth, and making it"--and in other places in the same Prophet, as:--

Every one that is called by My name, I have created him for My glory, I have formed him, yea, I have made him (Isaiah 43:7),

and also in both the preceding and this chapter of Genesis; as in the passage before us: "He rested from all His work which God in making created." In the internal sense this usage always conveys a distinct idea; and the case is the same where the Lord is called "Creator," "Former," or "Maker."

AC 89. Verse 4. These are the nativities of the heavens and of the earth, when He created them, in the day in which Jehovah God made the earth and the heavens. The "nativities of the heavens and of the earth," are the formations of the celestial man. That his formation is here treated of is very evident from all the particulars which follow, as that no herb was as yet growing; that there was no man to till the ground, as well as that Jehovah God formed man, and afterwards, that He made every beast and bird of the heavens, notwithstanding that the formation of these had been treated of in the foregoing chapter; from all which it is manifest that another man is here treated of. This however is still more evident from the fact, that now for the first time the Lord is called "Jehovah God," whereas in the preceding passages, which treat of the spiritual man, He is called simply "God;" and, further, that now "ground" and "field" are mentioned, while in the preceding passages only "earth" is mentioned. In this verse also "heaven" is first mentioned before "earth," and afterwards "earth" before "heaven;" the reason of which is that "earth" signifies the external man, and "heaven" the internal, and in the spiritual man reformation begins from "earth," that is, from the external man, while in the celestial man, who is here treated of, it begins from the internal man, or from "heaven."

AC 90. Verses 5, 6. And there was no shrub of the field as yet in the earth, and there was no herb of the field as yet growing, because Jehovah God had not caused it to rain upon the earth; and there was no man to till the ground. And He made a mist to ascend from the earth, and watered all the faces of the ground. By the "shrub of the field," and the "herb of the field," are meant in general all that his external man produces. The external man is called "earth" while he remains spiritual, but "ground" and also "field" when he becomes celestial. "Rain," which is soon after called "mist," is the tranquillity of peace when combat ceases.

AC 91. But what these things involve cannot possibly be perceived unless it is known what manís state is while from being spiritual he is becoming celestial, for they are deeply hidden. While he is spiritual, the external man is not yet willing to yield obedience to and serve the internal, and therefore there is a combat; but when he becomes celestial, then the external man begins to obey and serve the internal, and therefore the combat ceases, and tranquillity ensues. (n. 87). This tranquillity is signified by "rain" and "mist," for it is like a vapor with which the external man is watered and bedewed from the internal; and it is this tranquillity, the offspring of peace, which produces what are called the "shrub of the field," and the "herb of the field," which, specifically, are things of the rational mind and of the memory (rationalia et scientifica) from a celestial spiritual origin.

AC 92. The nature of the tranquillity of peace of the external man, on the cessation of combat, or of the unrest caused by cupidities and falsities, can be known only to those who are acquainted with a state of peace. This state is so delightful that it surpasses every idea of delight: it is not only a cessation of combat, but is life proceeding from interior peace, and affecting the external man in such a manner as cannot be described; the truths of faith, and the goods of love, which derive their life from the delight of peace, are then born.

AC 93. The state of the celestial man, thus gifted with the tranquillity of peace-refreshed by the rain-and delivered from the slavery of what is evil and false, is thus described by the Lord in Ezekiel:--

I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil wild beast to cease out of the land, and they shall dwell confidently in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods; and I will make them and the places round about My hill a blessing; and I will cause the rain to come down in his season; rains of blessing shall they be. And the tree of the field shall yield its fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be upon their ground in confidence, and shall know that I am Jehovah, when I have broken the reins of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that make them to serve them; and ye My flock, the flock of My pasture, ye are a man, and I am your God (Ezekiel 34:25-27, 31).

And that this is effected on the "third day," which in the Word signifies the same as the "seventh," is thus declared in Hosea:--

After two days will He vivify us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live before Him; and we shall know, and shall follow on to know Jehovah: His going forth is prepared as the dawn, and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the late rain watering the earth (Hosea 6:2, 3).

And that this state is compared to the "growth of the field," is declared by Ezekiel, when speaking of the Ancient Church:--

I have caused thee to multiply as the growth of the field, and thou hast increased and hast grown up, and hast come to excellent ornaments (Ezekiel 16:7).

And it is also compared to A shoot of the Lords planting, and a work of the hands of Jehovah God (Isa. 60:21).

GENESIS 2:2-6    previous  -  next  -  text  -  summary  -  Genesis  -  Full Page

Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info