Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 20:10-11
AC 2549. Verses 10, 11. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, what sawest thou that thou hast done this word? And Abraham said, Because I said, Surely there is no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me on account of the word of my wife. "Abimelech said unto Abraham," signifies further thought from the doctrine of faith; "what sawest thou that thou hast done this word?" signifies a looking into the cause; "Abraham said," signifies a perception which is an answer; "because I said surely there is no fear of God in this place," signifies thought thence derived: that they would have no respect for spiritual truth in the state in which they were; "and they will kill me on account of the word of my wife," signifies that the celestial things of faith would thus also perish if they were to think that spiritual truth alone could be conjoined with celestial good.
AC 2550. Abimelech said unto Abraham. That this signifies further thought from the doctrine of faith, is evident from what was said above (n. 2545), where are nearly the same words. As the statement is here repeated, it signifies further thought, and indeed concerning the cause. (What thought from the doctrine of faith is may also be seen there).
AC 2551. What sawest thou that thou hast done this word? That this signifies a looking into the cause, is evident without explication; as well as from what follows, where the cause is stated. The reason of there being thus presented in regular order, in the internal sense, how the Lord perceived and thought concerning the doctrine of faith, and concerning the rational as to whether it should be consulted, is that it is angelic to think of these things in such a series. The internal sense of the Word is especially for the angels; and therefore is adapted to their perceptions and thoughts. They are in their delightful, nay, in their blessed and happy states, when they are thinking about the Lord, His Divine and His Human, and how the Human was made Divine; for they are encompassed with a celestial and spiritual sphere which is full of the Lord; so that it may be said that they are in the Lord. Hence nothing is more blessed and happy to them than to think in accordance with the things that belong to that sphere and its derivative affection.
 At the same time moreover they are instructed and perfected, especially in this: how the Lord by degrees and of His own power, as He grew up, made Divine the human into which He was born; and thus how, by means of the knowledges that He revealed to Himself He perfected His rational, dispersed by successive steps its shadows, and introduced it into Divine light. These and innumerable other things are presented before the angels in a celestial and spiritual manner, with a thousand and a thousand representatives, in the light of life, when the Word is being read. But these things, which are so precious to the angels, are to men as of no importance, because above their comprehension, and thus in the shade of their understanding; and on the other hand, the things that are precious to men, such as those which contain within them worldly matters, are of no importance to the angels, because below their state and thus in the shade of their wisdom. Thus, wonderful to say, the things that come to shade with man, and almost into contempt, with the angels pass into light, and into their affection, as is the case with many things of the internal sense of the Word.
AC 2552. Abraham said. That this signifies a perception which is an answer, is evident from the signification of "saying" in the historicals of the Word, as explained many times before (n. 1791, 1815, 1819, 1822, 1898, 1919, 2061, 2080, 2238, 2260, 2271, 2287). With regard to the Lords thought from the doctrine of faith being signified by the words "Abimelech said to Abraham;" and the perception which was an answer being meant by "Abraham said," the case is this perception is a higher thing, and the Lord had it from the Divine Itself; whereas thought is a lower thing, and the Lord had it from the intellectual itself; and as it was perception from which He had the thought, so the answer of the thought was from perception. This may be illustrated by something similar with man. The celestial man cannot think except from perception, nor the spiritual man except from conscience (n. 2515). The perception of the former, like the conscience (of the latter) is from the Lord, and it is not apparent to the man himself whence it is; but his thought is from the rational, and appears to him as from himself. And so again, when a man is thinking concerning any subject from the rational, then the conclusion of the thought, or the answer, comes either from perception or from conscience; consequently an answer is given him by the Lord in accordance with his state of life, his affection, and the truth of doctrine implanted or impressed in agreement therewith.
AC 2553. Because I said, Surely there is no fear of God in this place. That this signifies the thought thence derived: that they would have no respect for spiritual truth in that state in which they were, is evident from the signification of the expression "fear of God," as being respect for Divine or spiritual truth; and from the signification of "place," as being state (n. 1273-1275, 1377). The case herein is this Man cannot apprehend any doctrine that is purely spiritual and celestial, that is, Divine, because it infinitely transcends his apprehension, and thus also his belief. All man’s thoughts are terminated in the natural things which are connected with his senses. Whatever is not said from and according to these natural things is not comprehended, but perishes, like sight that has no bound in some ocean or universe; and therefore if doctrinal matters were set forth before a man in any other manner, they would not be at all received, and thus no respect would be entertained for them; as may be sufficiently evident from everything in the Word where for this very reason purely Divine things themselves are set forth naturally, nay, sensuously; as that Jehovah has ears, eyes, and a face; and that He has feelings like a man, such as anger, and so forth.
 This need was still greater at the time when the Lord came into the world, for then men did not know even what the celestial and the spiritual was, nor even that there was anything internal. Things merely earthly and worldly, and thus external, had full possession of their minds, as was the case with the apostles themselves, who imagined that the Lord‘s kingdom would be like a kingdom of this world, and therefore asked that one might sit on His right hand and another on His left, and who long thought that they should sit upon twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel; not as yet being aware that in the other life they would not have ability to judge even the smallest thing of one man (n. 2129). His looking into this state of the human race was the reason of the Lord’s thinking at first whether the rational was to be consulted in the doctrine of faith; and this from His love, which was that the salvation of all might be provided for, and that the Word might not perish.
AC 2554. They will kill me for my wife‘s sake. That this signifies that thus the celestial things of faith also would perish, if they were to think that spiritual truth alone could be conjoined with celestial good, is evident from the signification of "killing," as being to perish; and from the signification of "wife," as being spiritual truth conjoined with celestial good (n. 2507). This is another reason why the Lord thus thought, and is as follows. The Divine good, which is here called celestial good, is united as by a marriage to the Divine truth, which is here called spiritual truth (n. 2508); and although the Divine good is united in this manner to the Divine truth alone, it nevertheless flows into lower truths, and conjoins itself with them, but not as by a marriage; for it flows into rational truths which are only appearances of truth, and conjoins itself with them; nay, it flows into truths of sense and of memory-knowledge, which are scarcely anything but fallacies, and conjoins itself with these. Unless this were so, no man could possibly have been saved (n. 1831, 1832). That the Divine good might be conjoined with truths of reason and of memory-knowledge, and that man might thus be saved, was the purpose of the Lord’s coming into the world; for without the Lord‘s Human made Divine there cannot possibly be any conjunction; whereas through Him there is conjunction.
 Besides this arcanum, there are still other arcana in the words "they will kill me for my wife’s sake" (by which is signified that so the celestial things of faith would perish, if they were to think that spiritual truth alone could be conjoined with celestial good); for example, that if men were to have no regard for spiritual truth, celestial good would thereby also perish; for when the former is rejected the latter perishes; and again, that unless it were said that they should adore the Father, although there is no access to Him except through the Son, and he who sees the Son sees the Father, (John 14:8-12), it would not have been received.GENESIS 20:10-11 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|