Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 21:18
AC 2695. Verse 18. Arise, lift up the child, and strengthen thy hand in him, for I will make him a great nation. "Arise," signifies elevation of mind; "lift up the child," signifies the spiritual as to truth; "and strengthen thy hand in him"‘ signifies support therefrom; "for I will make him a great nation," signifies the spiritual church.
AC 2696. Arise. That this signifies elevation of mind, is evident from the signification in the Word of "arising," as involving where mentioned some kind of elevation (n. 2401); here elevation of mind, because enlightenment--and in the following verse instruction--in truths.
AC 2697. Lift up the child. That this signifies the spiritual as to truth, is evident from the signification of the "child," as being the spiritual especially as to truth (n. 2677, 2687); for the man of the spiritual church seems to be regenerated by means of the truths of faith, but does not know that it is by means of the good of truth; for this is not apparent, and only manifests itself in the affection of truth, and then in life according to truth. Never can anyone be regenerated by means of truth, except when in the truth there is good; for truth without good has no life; and therefore by truth separate from good there does not come any new life; which however a man possesses by regeneration.
AC 2698. And strengthen thy hand in him. That this signifies support from it, is evident from the signification of "being strengthened," as meaning to be supported; and from the signification of the "hand," as being power (n. 878), which relates to support. "In him," that is, in the child, means from it, that is, from the spiritual as to truth. They who are in internal grief, and in despair from the privation of truth, are elevated and sustained solely by truth, because it is for this that they have grief and despair. With those who are in the affection of good, their good desires good as one hungers for bread; but with those who are in the affection of truth, their good desires truth, as one thirsts for water. What "strengthening the hand in him" here means, will not be understood by anyone except from the internal sense.
AC 2699. For I will make him a great nation. That this signifies the spiritual church, is evident from the signification of a "great nation," as being the spiritual church, which will receive the good of faith (n. 2669). It is said a "great nation," because the spiritual kingdom is the Lord’s second kingdom. As the man of the spiritual church is represented by Ishmael, so also is the spiritual church itself represented by him, and also the Lord‘s spiritual kingdom in the heavens; for the image and likeness of the one is in the other. The first state after desolation was described in the preceding verse, which was a state of consolation and of the hope of help. Their second state after desolation is described in this verse, which is a state of enlightenment and of refreshment therefrom.
 As these states are unknown in the world, for the reason as before said that at this day few are being regenerated, we may describe the state of those who are being regenerated in the other life, where it is most fully known. Those who have been in vastation or desolation there, after being comforted by the hope of help, are elevated by the Lord into heaven, thus from a state of shade which is a state of ignorance, into a state of light which is a state of enlightenment and of the refreshment therefrom, thus into a joy that affects their inmosts. It is actually light into which they come, of such a quality as to enlighten not only their sight, but also their understanding at the same time; and how much this light refreshes them may be seen from the opposite state, from which they have been delivered. Some who had been of an infantile disposition and of simple faith, then appear to themselves in white and shining garments; some with crowns; some are taken around to various angelic societies, and are everywhere received with charity as brethren; and whatever of good is gratifying to their new life is shown them: to some it is given to see the immensity of heaven, or of the Lord’s kingdom, and at the same time to perceive the blessedness of those who are there; besides innumerable other things which cannot be described. Such is the state of the first enlightenment, and of the refreshment therefrom with those who come out of desolation.GENESIS 21:18 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|