Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 21:13
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AC 2668. Verse 13. And also the son of the handmaid I will make a nation, because he is thy seed. "The son of the handmaid I will make a nation," signifies the spiritual church which was to receive the good of faith; "because he is thy seed," signifies that they also shall have salvation from the Lord‘s Divine Human.

AC 2669. Also the son of the handmaid I will make a nation. That this signifies the spiritual church which was to receive the good of faith, is evident from the signification of the "son of the handmaid," and also of a "nation." The son of the handmaid, or Ishmael, when he was in Abraham’s house, or with Abraham, represented the Lord‘s first rational, as shown above (n. 2652, 2653, 2657, 2658); but now, when separated, he puts on another representation, namely, that of the spiritual church (n. 2666); in the same manner as did Lot before, who while with Abraham represented the Lord’s external man (n. 1428, 1429, 1434, 1547, 1597, 1598, 1698); but when separated from Abraham represented the external church, and the many states of that church (n. 2324, 2371, 2399, 2422, 2459); and in the whole of the nineteenth chapter of Genesis. That a "nation" signifies good may be seen above (n. 1159, 1258-1260, 1416, 1849); here the good of faith, because it is predicated of the spiritual church. Hence now "also the son of the handmaid I will make a nation" signifies the spiritual church which was to receive the good of faith, that is, charity.

[2] The Lord‘s kingdom in the heavens and on earth is celestial and spiritual; and the angels are therefore distinguished into celestial and spiritual (n. 202, 337). To the celestial angels the Lord appears as a Sun, and to the spiritual as a Moon (n. 1053, 1521, 1529-1531). In the same manner are men distinguished into celestial and spiritual. They who were of the Most Ancient Church, which was before the flood, were celestial (n. 607, 608, 780, 895, 920, 1114-1125); but they who were of the Ancient Church, which was after the flood, were spiritual (n. 609, 640, 641, 765). What the difference between these churches was, may be seen above (n. 597, 607); also what the difference is between what is celestial and what is spiritual (n. 81, 1155, 1577, 1824, 2048, 2069, 2088, 2227, 2507).

[3] The celestial are they of whom the Lord says:--He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out; and when He hath led out His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice. But the spiritual are they of whom He says:--

And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one flock, and one shepherd (John 10:3, 4, 16).

The good of love is what makes the celestial church, but the good of faith is what makes the spiritual church. The truth of faith does not make, but introduces.

AC 2670. Because he is thy seed. That this signifies that they also have salvation from the Lord’s Divine Human, is evident from what was said above (n. 2666). That "seed" is faith, but the faith of charity, may be seen above (n. 255, 880, 1025, 1447, 1610, 1940).

AC 2671. From (verse 13 to 21), the Lord‘s spiritual kingdom is treated of in general, and specifically those who become spiritual; and this in order from the first state of their reformation to the last. Their state before reformation, as being one of wandering in the doctrinal things of faith (verse 14). That they are reduced even to ignorance, so as to know nothing of truth (verse 15). That they have grief from it (verse 16). And then comfort and help from the Lord (verse 17). And enlightenment (verse 18). And instruction from the Word (verse 19). That still their state after reformation, in comparison with the celestial, is obscure (verse 20). But that they have light from the Lord’s Divine Human in their affection of memory-knowledges and of appearances of truths (verse 21).

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