Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 22:10
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AC 2815. Verse 10. And Abraham put forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. "Abraham put forth his hand," signifies temptation even to the utmost of power; "and took the knife," signifies as to truth; "to slay his son," signifies until whatever was from the merely human was dead.

AC 2816. Abraham put forth his hand. That this signifies temptation even to the utmost of power, is evident from the series of things; for the Lord’s most grievous and inmost temptations are treated of. The verses which proceed treat of the preparation of the Human Divine for admitting and enduring them: here the act is treated of, which is expressed in the sense of the letter by "Abraham put forth his hand." That power is signified by the "hand" may be seen above (n. 878); here the utmost of power, because nothing but the act was wanting. It is according to the internal sense, that the Lord‘s Divine led His Human into the most grievous temptations, for by "Abraham" is meant the Lord as to His Divine, and this even to the utmost of power. The truth is that the Lord admitted temptations into Himself in order that He might expel thence all that was merely human, and this until nothing but the Divine remained.

[2] That the Lord admitted temptations into Himself, even the last, which was that of the cross, may be seen from the words of the Lord Himself, in Matthew:--

Jesus began to show the disciples that He must suffer many things, and be killed. Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, Spare Thyself, Lord; let this not be done unto Thee. But He turned and said unto Peter, Get thee behind Me, Satan; thou art an offense unto Me; for thou savorest not the things that are of God, but those that are of men (Matthew 16:21-23).

And more manifestly in John:--

No one taketh My life from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again (John 10:18).

And in Luke:--

Behooved it not the Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into His glory? (Luke 24:26).

AC 2817. And took the knife. That this signifies as to truth, is evident from the signification of a "knife," as being the truth of faith (n. 2799); and that the Lords temptation was as to Truth Divine, see above (n. 2813, 2814).

AC 2818. To slay his son. That this signifies until whatever was from the merely human was dead, is evident from the internal sense of these words; for they signify the Lord’s most grievous and inmost temptations, the last of which was that of the cross, in which it is evident that what was merely human also died. This could not be represented by Abraham‘s son or Isaac, because to sacrifice sons was an abomination; but it was represented so far as it could be, namely, even to the attempt, hut not to the act. Hence it is evident that by these words, Abraham took the knife to slay his son," is signified until all that was merely human was dead.

[2] That it was known from the most ancient time that the Lord was to come into the world, and was to suffer death, is evident from the fact that the custom prevailed among the Gentiles of sacrificing their sons, believing that they were thus purified, and propitiated to God; in which abominable custom they could not have placed their most important religious observance, unless they had learned from the ancients that the Son of God was to come, who would, as they believed, be made a sacrifice. To this abomination even the sons of Israel were inclined, and Abraham also; for no one is tempted except by that to which he is inclined. That the sons of Jacob were so inclined is evident in the Prophets but lest they should rush into that abomination, it was permitted to institute burnt-offerings and sacrifices (n. 922, 1128, 1241, 1343, 2180).

AC 2819. As regards the Lords temptations in general, some were more external and some more internal; and the more internal they were, the more grievous. The inmost ones are described by the Evangelists (Matt. 26:37-39, 42, 44; 27:46; Mark 14:33-36; 15:34; Luke 22:42-44); but see what has been said before respecting the Lord’s temptations, namely: That the Lord first contended from goods: and truths which appeared as goods and truths (n. 1661): That the contended against the evils of the love of self and the world from Divine Love toward the whole human race (n. 1690, 1691, 1789, 1812, 1813, 1820). That He alone contended from the Divine Love (n. 1812, 1813): That all the hells fought against the Lord‘s love, which was for the salvation of the whole human race (n. 1820): That the Lord endured the most grievous temptations of all (n. 1663, 1668, 1787): That the Lord became righteousness from His own power by means of temptations and victories (n. 1813, 2025): That the union of His Human Essence with His Divine Essence was effected by the Lord by means of temptations and victories (n. 1737, 1813, 1921, 2025, 2026). See also what has been said before concerning temptations in general (n. 59, 63, 227, 847): That temptation is a combat concerning power, as to whether good or evil, truth or falsity, is to reign supreme (n. 1923): That in temptations there are indignations, and many other affections (n. 1917): That temptations are celestial, spiritual, and natural (n. 847): That in temptations the evil genii and spirits assail the things of the love, and thus the things of the man’s life (n. 847, 1820): What temptations effect (n. 1692, 1717, 1740): That temptation is for the purpose that corporeal things may be subdued (n. 857): That the evils and falsities in a man who is being regenerated are subdued by temptations, not abolished (n. 868): That truth has the first place in combat (n. 1685): That man combats from the goods and truths which he has acquired by knowledges, though they he not in themselves goods and truths (n. 1661): That evil spirits and genii excite the falsities and evils in a man, and hence come temptations (n. 741, 751, 761): That in temptations man thinks that the Lord is absent, whereas He is then more present (n. 840): That man can by no means sustain the combats of temptations of himself, because they are against all the hells (n. 1692): That the Lord alone combats in man (n. 1661, 1692): That by means of temptations evil genii and spirits are deprived of the power of doing evil and inspiring falsity in man (n. 1695, 1717): That temptations come with those who have conscience, and more acute ones with those who have perception (n. 1668): That temptations rarely exist at this day, but in their place anxieties, which are of another character and from another source (n. 762): That men spiritually dead cannot sustain the combats of temptations (n. 270): That all temptations are attended with despair respecting the end (n. 1787, 1820): That after temptations there is fluctuation (n. 848, 857): That the good learn by temptations that they are nothing but evil, and that all things are of mercy (n. 2334): That by temptations goods are conjoined more closely with truths (n. 2272): That men are not save by temptations if they yield in them, nor if they think that they have merited by them (n. 2273): That in every temptation there is freedom, and stronger than out of temptations (n. 1937).

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