Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 20:7
AC 2532. Verse 7. And now restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live; and if thou restore her not, know thou that dying thou shalt die, thou and all that are thine. "And now restore the man‘s wife," signifies that he should render up the spiritual truth of doctrine without taint from the rational; "for he is a prophet," signifies that thus it should be taught; "and he shall pray for thee," signifies that it will thus be revealed; "and thou shalt live," signifies that thus doctrine will have life; "and if thou restore her not," signifies here as before that if he should not render up the spiritual truth of doctrine without taint from the rational; "know thou that dying thou shalt die," signifies there will be no doctrine of truth and good; "and all that are thine," signifies all things that belong to it together.
AC 2533. And now restore the man’s wife. That this signifies that he should render up the spiritual truth of doctrine without taint from the rational, is evident from the signification of "wife," as being spiritual truth (n. 2507, 2510); and from the signification of the "man," as being doctrine itself; for Abraham (by whom the Lord in that state is represented), when called a "man," signifies celestial truth, which is the same as doctrine from a celestial origin; for in the internal sense a "man" is the intellectual (n. 158, 265, 749, 915, 1007, 2517). Hence it is evident that to "restore the man‘s wife" is to render up the spiritual truth of doctrine without taint. That it means without taint from the rational, is because Abimelech, who was to restore her, signifies doctrine that has regard to rational things, or what is the same, the rational things of doctrine (n. 2510).
 It was said above that although the doctrine of faith is in itself Divine, and therefore above all human and even angelic comprehension, it has nevertheless been dictated in the Word according to man’s comprehension, in a rational manner. The case herein is the same as it is with a parent who is teaching his little boys and girls: when he is teaching, he sets forth everything in accordance with their genius, although he himself thinks from what is more interior or higher; otherwise it would be teaching without their learning, or like casting seed upon a rock. The case is also the same with the angels who in the other life instruct the simple in heart: although these angels are in celestial and spiritual wisdom, yet they do not hold themselves above the comprehension of those whom they teach, but speak in simplicity with them, yet rising by degrees as these are instructed; for if they were to speak from angelic wisdom, the simple would comprehend nothing at all, and thus would not be led to the truths and goods of faith. The case would be the same if the Lord had not taught in the Word in accordance with man‘s comprehension, in a rational manner. Nevertheless in its internal sense the Word is elevated to the angelic understanding; and yet that sense, in its highest elevation in which it is perceived by the angels, is infinitely below the Divine. It is hence manifest what the Word is in its origin, and thus in itself; and that it thus everywhere involves more things than the whole heaven is capable of comprehending, even as to a small part, although in the letter it appears so unimportant and so rude.
 That the Lord is the Word, because the Word is from Him and He is in the Word, is evident in John:--
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word in Him was life, and the life was the light of men the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1, 4, 14; Rev. 19:11, 13, 16).
And as the Lord is the Word, He is also doctrine; for there is no other doctrine which is itself Divine.
AC 2534. For he is a prophet. That this signifies that thus it would be taught, is evident from the signification of a "prophet." In the Word we frequently read of a "prophet;" and in the sense of the letter "prophet" signifies those to whom revelation is made, also abstractedly, revelation itself; but in the internal sense a "prophet" signifies one who teaches, and also abstractedly doctrine itself; and as the Lord (as before said) is doctrine itself, that is, the Word which teaches, He is called a "Prophet," as in Moses:--
A Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me, will Jehovah thy God raise up unto Him shall ye be obedient (Deut. 18:15, 18).
It is said "like unto me," because the Lord was represented by Moses, as well as by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and many more; and because they expected Him it is said in John:--
The men, seeing the sign which Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that Prophet that should come into the world (John 6:14).
 It is because the Lord is the "Prophet" in the highest sense, and that "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Rev. 19:10), that in the internal sense of the Word a "prophet" signifies one who teaches, and also abstractedly, doctrine; which is plainly evident from the following passages. In Luke:--
Thou child shalt be called the prophet of the Highest (Luke 1:76).
This was said by Zacharias of his son John the Baptist, who himself said that he was not the prophet, but one preparing the way by teaching and preaching concerning the Lord’s coming:--
They asked him, What art thou? art thou Elias? but he said, I am not. Art thou that prophet? he answered, No. They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? he said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord (John 1:21-23).
 In Matthew:--
Many will say in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied by Thy name? (Matthew 7:22),
where it is manifest that to "prophesy" is to teach. In John:--
Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings (Rev. 10:11);
to "prophesy" denotes to teach; and what "peoples, nations, tongues, and kings" mean, has been stated and shown before. In the same:--
The nations shall trample the holy city forty-two months but I will give to My two witnesses that they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days clothed in sackcloth (Rev. 11:2, 3);
where also to "prophesy" denotes to teach. In Moses:--
Jehovah said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet (Exod. 7:1);
where "prophet" denotes the one who should teach or speak what Moses would say. In Joel:--
I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy (Joel 2:28);
"shall prophesy" denotes shall teach.
 In Isaiah:--
Jehovah hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes; the prophets and your heads, the seers, hath He covered; the vision of all hath become like the words of a sealed book, which they give to him that knoweth letters, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I cannot, for it is sealed (Isaiah 29:10, 11);
where by "prophets" are meant those who teach truth; and by "seers" those who see truth; who are said to be "covered" when they know and see nothing of the truth. As in ancient times those who taught were called "prophets," they were therefore called also "seers," because to "see" signifies to understand (n. 2150, 2325); that they were called "seers" may be seen (1 Sam. 9:9; 2 Sam. 24:11). They were also called "men of God," from the signification of "man" (n. 158, 265, 749, 915, 1007, 2517); that they were called "men of God," (2 Kings 1:9-16; 4:7, 9, 16, 21, 22, 25, 27, 40, 42; 5:8, 14, 20; 13:19; 23:16, 17).
 That in the internal sense by "prophets" are signified those who teach, is evident in Jeremiah in the whole of chapter 23, and in Ezekiel in the whole of chapter 13, where "prophets" are specifically treated of; as also in many other places where they are mentioned Hence also by "false prophets" are signified those who teach falsities; as in Matthew:--
In the consummation of the age many false prophets shall arise, and shall mislead many. There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs, and shall mislead if possible even the elect (Matthew 24:11, 24);
where by "false prophets" no others are signified. In like manner by the "false prophet" in (Rev. 16:13; 19:20; 20:10).
 This shows how greatly the internal sense of the Word is obscured by the ideas that have been formed from the representatives of the Jewish Church; for whenever a "prophet" is mentioned in the Word, there at once occurs the idea of prophets such as they were at that time; which idea is a great obstacle to perceiving what is signified by them. Yet the wiser anyone is, the more easily is the idea gathered from those representatives removed; as for example where the "temple" is mentioned, they who think more wisely do not perceive the temple at Jerusalem, but the Temple of the Lord; where "Mount Zion," or "Zion," is mentioned, they do not perceive that mountain at Jerusalem, but the Lord‘s kingdom; and where "Jerusalem" is mentioned, they do not perceive the city that was in the tribes of Benjamin and Judah, but the holy and heavenly Jerusalem.
AC 2535. He shall pray for thee. That this signifies that it will thus be revealed, is evident from the signification of "praying." Prayer, regarded in itself, is speech with God, and some internal view at the time of the matters of the prayer, to which there answers something like an influx into the perception or thought of the mind, so that there is a certain opening of the man’s interiors toward God; but this with a difference according to the man‘s state, and according to the essence of the subject of the prayer. If the man prays from love and faith, and for only heavenly and spiritual things, there then comes forth in the prayer something like a revelation (which is manifested in the affection of him that prays) as to hope, consolation, or a certain inward joy. It is from this that to "pray" signifies in the internal sense to be revealed. Still more is this the case here, where praying is predicated of a prophet, by whom is meant the Lord, whose prayer was nothing else than internal speech with the Divine, and at the same time revelation. That there was revelation is evident in Luke:--
It came to pass when Jesus was baptized, and prayed, that the heaven was opened (Luke 3:21).
In the same:--
It came to pass that He took Peter, James, and John, and went up into the mountain to pray and as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment became white and glistening (Luke 9:28, 29).
When He prayed, saying, Father glorify Thy name, then came there a voice from heaven: I have both glorified, and will glorify again (John 12:27, 28);
where it is plain that the Lord’s "praying" was speech with the Divine, and revelation at the same time.
AC 2536. And thou shalt live. That this signifies that thus doctrine will have life, is evident without explication.
AC 2537. And if thou restore her not. That this signifies that if spiritual truth were not rendered up without taint from the rational, is evident from what has been said just above (n. 2533), where are the same words.
AC 2538. Know thou that dying thou shalt die. That this signifies that there will be no doctrine of truth and good, is also evident from what was said above (n. 2516); where also the words are similar. In like manner that "all that are thine" signifies all the things that are of it, namely, of the doctrine, together. That in the internal sense "all" signifies everything or all things, is because in the Word persons signify actual things; and thus "all that belonged to Abimelech" signifies everything or all things that are of doctrine. From all this then it is evident what is the internal sense of the words in this verse; namely, that He should render up the spiritual truth of doctrine without taint from the rational, and that thereby it would be taught and revealed to Him, and thus doctrine would have life; but that if He should not render up spiritual truth without taint from the rational, the doctrine of truth and good would become null and void in respect to each and all things of it.
 In regard to doctrine the case is this: In so far as there is what is human (that is, what is of sense, of memory-knowledge, and of the rational) as the ground of belief, so far the doctrine is null and void. But in so far as what is of sense, of memory-knowledge, and of the rational is removed, that is, in so far as doctrine is believed without these things, so far doctrine lives; for so far the Divine flows in. It is that which is proper to the human that hinders the influx and the reception. But it is one thing to believe from what is of the rational, of memory-knowledge, and of sense (that is, to consult such things in order to believe), and quite another thing to confirm and corroborate by means of things rational, of memory-knowledge, and of sense, that which is believed. What the difference is will be made plain in what follows; for these things also are treated of in this chapter in the internal sense.GENESIS 20:7 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
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