Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 20:1
AC 2498. That these historical matters, like all the other things of the Word, involve Divine arcana, is evident from the fact that Abraham now again said that his wife was his sister; for the same thing had occurred when he came into Egypt; for he then said to Sarah, "Say, I pray, thou art my sister" (Gen. 12:13). And not Abraham alone, but Isaac likewise, when he came to Gerar, said that his wife Rebecca was his sister: "The men of that place asked concerning his wife, and he said, She is my sister" (Gen. 26:6, 7); and there are other things in the same chapters that resemble each other, so that such historical matters are related three times; which, without a hidden cause in the internal sense, would by no means have been done.
AC 2499. Verse 1. And Abraham journeyed thence toward the land of the south, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and he sojourned in Gerar. "Abraham journeyed thence toward the land of the south," signifies the Lord’s progression in the goods and truths of faith ("Abraham" is the Lord in that state); "and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur," signifies His state specifically ("Kadesh" is the affection of interior truth proceeding from things rational; " Shur" is the affection of exterior truth proceeding from memory-knowledges); "and he sojourned in Gerar," signifies instruction thence in the spiritual things of faith.
AC 2500. Abraham journeyed thence toward the land of the south. That this signifies the Lord‘s progression in the goods and truths of faith, is evident from the signification of "journeying," as being to progress (n. 1457); and from the signification of the "land of the south," as being the good and truth of faith (n. 1458). It has already been stated concerning Abraham, in the twelfth chapter, that he "journeyed, going and journeying toward the south," when he went into Egypt (verses 9, 10); by which was signified in the internal sense that the Lord when a child progressed into goods and truths in respect to the memory-knowledge of knowledges (n. 1456, 1459); and here it is said that he journeyed "toward the land of the south," by which there is signified a further and more interior progression, which is into goods and truths in respect to the doctrine of faith; on which account it is here said the "land" of the south, because "land" in its proper sense signifies the church, for the sake of which is doctrine (n. 566, 662, 1066, 2117, 2118).
 As regards the Lord’s instruction in general, the nature of it is very clear in the internal sense of this chapter; namely, that it was by continual revelations, and thus by Divine perceptions and thoughts from Himself, that is, from His Divine; which perceptions and thoughts He implanted in Divine intelligence and wisdom, and this even to the perfect union of His Human with His Divine. This way of growing wise is not possible with any man; for it flowed in from the Divine itself, which was His inmost, being of the Father, of whom He was conceived; thus from the Divine Love itself, which the Lord alone had, and which consisted in His desire to save the universal human race.
 It is an arcanum which is as yet known to scarcely anyone, that within love itself there are wisdom and intelligence; these being such as is the love. That wisdom and intelligence are within love comes from the fact that all influx takes place into the love, or what is the same, into the good, thus into man‘s very life. This is the source of the wisdom and intelligence of the angels, which is ineffable. It is also the source of the wisdom and intelligence of men who are in love to the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor; who, although they have no perception of it in themselves while they are living in the body, nevertheless come into it after death, for the reason that it is within this very love and charity (n. 2494). But as regards the Lord’s love, it was infinitely above the love in which the angels are, for it was the Divine love itself; and therefore He had in Himself a supereminence of all wisdom and intelligence; into which however because He was born a man, and was to progress as a man according to Divine order, He introduced Himself by successive steps, in order that He might thus unite His Human to the Divine, and make it Divine; and this by His own power.
AC 2501. That "Abraham" is the Lord in that state, is evident from the representation of Abraham, as being the Lord; here the Lord in that state (n. 1893, 1965, 1989, 2011, 2172, 2198).
AC 2502. And dwelt between Kadesh and Shur. That this signifies His state specifically, is evident from the signification of "dwelling," as being to live (n. 1293). What precedes also indicates this, namely, that Abraham journeyed thence toward the land of the south, by which there is signified the Lord‘s progression into the goods and truths of faith; and as it is now said that he "dwelt between Kadesh and Shur," it follows that nothing else is signified than the Lord’s state specifically, which is described by "Kadesh and Shur"--now to be explained.
AC 2503. That "Kadesh" is the affection of interior truth that proceeds from things rational, and "Shur" the affection of exterior truth that proceeds from memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of "Kadesh and Shur." That "Kadesh" signifies truth about which there is contention, was shown above (n. 1678), thus contention concerning truth in regard to its origin, as to whether it is from the rational; as is evident from what follows. But as with the Lord all truth was from a celestial origin, "Kadesh" here signifies the affection of truth. With every man of the church there are rational truths and truths of mere memory (vera scientifica), the former being more interior, and the latter more exterior. These are distinct from each other, precisely as are man‘s two memories (n. 2469-2473). From this it follows that there are also two affections of truth-one more interior, as being of rational things, and the other more exterior, as being of mere memory truths. The affection of interior truth that proceeds from rational things is here signified by "Kadesh;" and the affection of exterior truth that proceeds from memory truths, by "Shur." "Shur" signifies this truth (n. 1928). Names in the Word signify nothing else than actual things (n. 1224, 1264, 1876, 1888).
AC 2504. And he sojourned in Gerar. That this signifies instruction thence in the spiritual things of faith, is evident from the signification of "sojourning," as being to be instructed (n. 1463, 2025); and from the signification of "Gerar," as being what is spiritual of faith. Gerar is named in several places (Genesis 10:19; 26:1, 6, 17, 20, 26); and in these it signifies faith, and this for the reason that Gerar was in Philistia; and by "Philistia" is signified the mere memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith (n. 1197, 1198); and it was Gerar where the king of the Philistines dwelt. Hence it is that faith itself is signified by "Gerar" (n. 1209); and by the "king of Gerar," the truth itself of faith; for "king" in the internal sense is truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069). Thus by "Abimelech" is signified the doctrine of faith, concerning which in what follows.
 In general there are intellectual things of faith, rational things of faith, and memory-knowledges of faith. They thus proceed in their order from interiors to exteriors. The things of faith which are inmost are called intellectual; those which proceed from them or thence are the rational things of faith; and those which proceed again from these are the memory-knowledges of faith. They are--to use the language of the learned--as prior to posterior, or what is the same, as higher to lower, that is, as interior to exterior. It indeed appears to man as if the memory-knowledge of faith were first, and that the rational then came forth from it, and at length the intellectual; and this for the reason that man advances in this way from his childhood. Nevertheless, although man is not aware of it, the intellectual flows in continually into the rational, and this into the faculty of knowing; but in childhood obscurely, in adult age more evidently, and at last in full light when the man has been regenerated. Then it is apparent that this is the order, and still more fully in the other life (n. 1495). All these are called "spiritual things;" which are distinguished in this way into degrees, and succeed one another in such an order. The spiritual things of faith are all the truths which are from good, that is, from a celestial origin. Whatever is derived from the celestial is a spiritual thing of faith.GENESIS 20:1 - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|