Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 22:20-23
AC 2860. Verses 20, 21, 22, 23. And it came to pass after these words that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she also hath borne children unto Nahor thy brother. Uz his first-born, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram. And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel. And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight did Milcah bear to Nahor Abraham‘s brother. "It came to pass after these words," signifies the things done relating to those who are within the church; "that it was told Abraham, saying," signifies the Lord’s perception; "Behold, Milcah, she also hath borne children unto Nahor thy brother," signifies those out of the church who are in brotherhood from good: "Uz his first-born, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram; and Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel," signify various religions and their modes of worship; "Bethuel begat Rebekah," signifies from good the affection of truth; "these eight did Milcah bear to Nahor Abraham‘s brother," signifies a second class of those who are saved.
AC 2861. It came to pass after these words. That this signifies the things done relating to those who are within the church, is evident from the signification of "words," as being actual things. In the original language things are called "words;" and thus "after these words" means after the things done. In what precedes, from verse 13 to this verse, the salvation of the spiritual by the Lord’s Divine Human is treated of, and indeed those who are in good within the church. These are they who can be truly spiritual, because they have the Word, and thus the truths of faith. By truths of doctrine conjoined with good of life, man becomes spiritual. All spiritual quality is from this. But the nations without the church, because they have not the Word, and thus not the truths of faith, so long as they live in the world, although in the good of charity, are still not truly spiritual until they have been instructed in the truths of faith. And as most of these nations cannot be instructed in the world, those who have lived in mutual charity and in obedience are of the Lord‘s providence and mercy instructed in the other life, and then receive the truths of faith easily, and become spiritual. That the state and lot of these nations is such in the other life, see (n. 2589-2604).
 As those within the church who are saved by the Lord’s Divine Human are treated of in what precedes, in the things which follow to the end of this chapter those out of the church who are saved are treated of, and are signified by those who were born to Nahor, Abraham‘s brother, from Milcah his wife and Reumah his concubine: this also follows in the series. He who has not become acquainted with the internal sense of the Word would suppose that these things relate merely to the genealogy of the house of Terah, being given on account of Rebekah who became Isaac’s wife, and also on account of Bethuel, whose two granddaughters, Leah and Rachel, became Jacob‘s wives. But as has been very often said and shown, all the names in the Word signify actual things (n. 1224, 1264, 1876, 1888); and unless they signified such things, the Word would not be Divine, but worldly. From this it is also evident that these things which follow relate in series to the Lord’s spiritual church, but to that which is among the Gentiles; and this through Nahor, Abraham‘s brother, in order that those who are in brotherhood from good may be signified (n. 2863).
AC 2862. And it was told Abraham, saying. That this signifies the Lord’s perception, is evident from the signification of "telling," as being to think and reflect; and of "saying," as being to perceive-explained often before. The Lord‘s reflecting and perceiving, treated of in the internal sense of the Word, cannot be expressed in the historical form in any other way than by "telling and saying." In itself also reflection and perception is an internal telling and saying.
AC 2863. Behold, Milcah, she also hath borne children unto Nahor thy brother. That this signifies those out of the church who are in brotherhood from good, is also evident from what was said before respecting Milcah and Nahor (n. 1363, 1369, 1370). For Terah had three sons, Abraham, Nahor, and Haran; and that they worshiped other gods may be seen above (n. 1356). Milcah was the daughter of Haran, who became Nahor’s wife (n. 2369). And Haran died upon the faces of Terah in Ur of the Chaldees (n. 1365-1368). Hence it is evident what is signified by "Milcah" and "Nahor," namely, by " Milcah" the truth of those nations, and by "Nahor" their god.
 That there were truths among the Gentiles is evident from many things, for it is known that formerly there was wisdom and intelligence among the nations, as that they acknowledged one God, and wrote concerning Him in a holy manner; also that they acknowledged the immortality of the soul, and the life after death, and also the happiness of the good and the unhappiness of the evil; and further that they had for their law the precepts of the decalogue, namely, that God is to be worshiped, that parents are to be honored, that men must not kill, steal, commit adultery, nor covet the property of others; nor were they content to be of this character in externals, but were so in internals.
 It is the same at this day; the better behaved Gentiles from all parts of the earth sometimes speak better on such subjects than Christians do; nor do they merely speak better things, but also live according to them. These and many other truths are among the Gentiles, and conjoin themselves with the good which they have from the Lord, from the conjunction of which they are in a state to receive still more truths, because one truth recognizes another, and truths easily consociate themselves together, for they are connected with and related to each other. Hence it is that they who have been in good in the world easily receive the truths of faith in the other life. The falsities that are with them do not conjoin themselves with their good, but only apply themselves to it in such manner as to be separable from it. The falsities which have been conjoined remain, but those which have been merely applied are separated; and they are separated at the time when the men learn the truths of faith and imbue themselves with them. Every truth of faith removes and separates what is false, so that at length the man is averse to it and shuns it. From all this we can see what land of persons are signified by the sons whom Milcah bare to Nahor Abraham‘s brother, namely, those out of the church who are in brotherhood from good.
AC 2864. Uz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram; and Chesed and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel. That these signify various religions and their modes of worship, is evident from the fact that as before said names signify actual things. The things which these names signify are religions and their modes of worship, as also are signified by the names which are found in Genesis 5 and 11. But what each name and each son here signifies, cannot so well be told, as they are merely named. Uz and Buz are also named in (Jeremiah 25:20, 23), but among several other names. Uz is also found in (Lamentations 4:21; Job 1:1); concerning whom see (Genesis 10:23), (n. 1233, 1234).
AC 2865. And Bethuel begat Rebekah. That this signifies from good their affection of truth, is evident from the representation of Bethuel and of Rebekah, treated of in chapter 24, which follows.
AC 2866. These eight did Milcah bear to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. That this signifies a second class of those who are saved, is evident from the signification of "eight;" and from its being again said that "Milcah bare to Nahor, Abraham‘s brother." Because the eighth day is the first day of the following week, therefore "eight" signifies something that is distinct from what has gone before (n. 2044); here therefore it denotes another class, and the number was added for the sake of this signification. Milcah’s "bearing them to Nahor, Abraham‘s brother," signifies those out of the church who are in brotherhood from good (n. 2863, 2865). Here, being the conclusion, it signifies the same, and in addition the fact that they are saved. GENESIS 22:20-23 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|