Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 21:14
AC 2672. Verse 14. And Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave to Hagar, and put them on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away, and she went and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba. "Abraham rose early in the morning," signifies the Lord‘s clear perception from the Divine; "and took bread and a bottle of water," signifies good and truth; "and gave to Hagar," signifies implantation in its life; "and put them on her shoulder," signifies as much as it could receive; "and the child," signifies spiritual truth; "and sent her away," signifies that he left it in what is their own; "and she went and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba," signifies a state of wandering in the doctrinal things of faith.
AC 2673. Abraham rose early in the morning. That this signifies the Lord’s clear perception from the Divine, is evident from the signification of "morning," and of "rising early," as being to perceive clearly (n. 2540), where the same words occur); and from the representation of Abraham, as being the Lord‘s Divine. The Lord had a clear perception from the Divine concerning the state of His spiritual kingdom; namely, what they who are of that kingdom or of that church are in the beginning, what they are successively, and what they at length become for all their state is accurately and fully described in the internal sense, from (verse 13 to 21) of this chapter.
AC 2674. And he took bread and a bottle of water. That this signifies good and truth, is evident from the signification of "bread," as being what is celestial, or good (n. 276, 680, 2165); and from the signification of " water," as being what is spiritual, or truth (n. 28, 680, 739). It is said a "bottle of water," because it is very little truth with which they are gifted in the beginning; as much that is to say as they are able to receive, which is signified by his "putting it on her shoulder" (n. 2676). Every one can see that these historic statements involve arcana, from the fact that Abraham, who was rich in flock and herd, and also in gold and silver, sent away in this manner his handmaid by whom he had a son, and the boy Ishmael whom he much loved, giving them only bread [and water]. He could also foresee that when these were consumed they would die; and this would have come to pass if they had not received help from the angel. And besides, these things respecting the bread and the bottle of water, and their being put on her shoulder, are not of so much importance as to be narrated. But still it was so done, and was related because these things involve and signify the first state of those who are becoming spiritual--to whom in the beginning something of good and something of truth, and indeed but little, is imparted--and afterwards that the water fails them, and they then receive help from the Lord.
AC 2675. And gave to Hagar. That this signifies implantation in its life, is evident from the signification of "Hagar," as being the life of the exterior man (n. 1896, 1909). The life of the exterior man is the affection of memory-knowledges, which is specifically signified by "Hagar the Egyptian." With those who are becoming spiritual, good and truth are implanted by the Lord in the affection of memory-knowledges; and this so that they desire to know and to learn what is good and true for the purpose and use of becoming rational and of becoming spiritual; for the affection of memory-knowledges is the mother through whom is born the rational in which is the spiritual (n. 1895, 1896, 1902, 1910). The like does indeed flow in from the Lord with all, but no others receive it for that end and that use except those who can be reformed; the rest do it for other ends and other uses, which are innumerable, and have regard to themselves and the world.
AC 2676. Put it on her shoulder. That this signifies as much as it could receive, is evident from the signification of the "shoulder," as being all power (n. 1085); thus as much of good and truth as one can receive.
AC 2677. And the child. That this signifies the spiritual, is evident from the signification of a "child," here as being that which is called the spiritual; for Ishmael or the son of the handmaid here represents the man of the spiritual church; and because he here represents the beginning of it, he is called a "child."
AC 2678. And sent her away. That this signifies that He left it in what is their own, is evident from the signification of "sending away," when done by Abraham, who represents the Lord; and also from the first state of those who are being reformed and are becoming spiritual. Their first state is that they suppose they do good and think truth from themselves, thus from what is their own, nor do they then know otherwise; and when told that all good and truth are from the Lord they do not indeed reject it, but do not acknowledge it at heart, because they do not feel it, nor interiorly perceive that anything flows in from any other source than themselves. As all who are being reformed are in such a state at first, they are therefore left by the Lord in what is their own; nevertheless they are led by means of this without knowing it.
AC 2679. And she went and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba. That this signifies a state of wandering at that time in the doctrinal things of faith, is evident from the signification of "going and wandering in the wilderness," as being a wandering state and from the signification of "Beer-sheba," as being the doctrine of faith (treated of at the end of this chapter, where it is said that Abraham and Abimelech made a covenant in Beer-sheba, (verse 32); and that Abraham planted a grove in Beer-sheba, (verse 33). In this verse is described what the quality of the state of those who are reformed is in the beginning, namely, that they are carried away into various wanderings; for it is given them by the Lord to think much about eternal life, and thus much about the truths of faith; but because from what is their own they cannot do otherwise than wander hither and thither, both in doctrine and in life, seizing as truth that which has been inseminated from their infancy, or is impressed upon them by others, or is thought out by themselves--besides their being led away by various affections of which they are not conscious--they are like fruits as yet unripe, on which shape, beauty, and savor cannot be induced in a moment; or like tender blades which cannot in a moment grow up into bloom and ear. But the things which enter in at that time, though for the most part erroneous, are still such as are serviceable for promoting growth; and afterwards, when the men are being reformed, these are partly separated, and are partly conducive to introducing nourishment and as it were juices into the subsequent life--which again can afterwards be partly adapted to the implanting of goods and truths by the Lord, and partly to being serviceable to spiritual things as ultimate planes; and thus as continual means to reformation, which means follow on in perpetual connection and order; for all things even the least with man are foreseen by the Lord, and are provided for his future state to eternity; and this for his good in so far as is in any wise possible, and as he suffers himself to be led by the Lord. GENESIS 21:14 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|