Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 23:12-13
AC 2949. Verses 12, 13. And Abraham bowed himself before the people of the land. And he spoke unto Ephron in the ears of the people of the land, saying, But if thou wilt, I pray thee, hear me; I will give the silver of the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there. "Abraham bowed himself before the people of the land," signifies the Lord‘s joy on account of the good will of those who were of the new spiritual church; "and he spake unto Ephron," signifies influx with those who were able to receive; "in the ears of the people of the land," signifies even unto obedience as to the truths of the church; "but if thou wilt, I pray thee, hear me," signifies more interior influx; "I will give the silver of the field; take it of me," signifies redemption as to the truths of the church which are from the Lord; "and I will bury my dead," signifies that thus they would come forth from night and be vivified.
AC 2950. Abraham bowed himself before the people of the land. That this signifies the Lord’s joy on account of the good will of those who were of the new spiritual church, is evident from the signification of "bowing himself," here being to rejoice (n. 2927), from the representation of Abraham, as being the Lord (concerning which quite often above); and from the signification of the "people of the land," as being those who are of the spiritual church, concerning which see above (n. 2928), where the same words occur; but it is there said that "he bowed himself to the people of the land, to the sons of Heth" (verse 7). The reason why the sons of Heth also are mentioned there, is that there those of the church are signified who are beginning to be initiated, who are also signified by the "sons of the people" (n. 2947); but here those are meant who are into, and therefore it is simply said the "people of the land," without the addition of the " sons of Heth;" and in the former passage there is signified joy on account of their kind reception, but here because of their good will. Reception comes first, because it is of the understanding; good will comes afterwards, because it is of the will (n. 2954).
AC 2951. And he spake unto Ephron. That this signifies influx with those who were able to receive, is evident from the signification of "speaking," as being to think (n. 2271, 2287), and likewise to will (n. 2626), and thus to flow in, because influx is thereby effected; and from the representation of Ephron, as being those with whom the truth and the good of faith could be received (n. 2933).
AC 2952. In the eyes of the people of the land. That this signifies even to obedience as to the truths of the church, is evident from the signification of the "ear," as being obedience (n. 2542, 2942) and from the signification of the "people of the land," as being those who are of the spiritual church and also the truths of this church (n. 1259, 1260, 2928).
AC 2953. But if thou wilt, I pray thee, hear me. That this signifies more interior influx, is evident from the series of the discourse. That Abraham‘s speaking to Ephron signified influx, was stated just above (n. 2951); and here the discourse is continued and the attention aroused by its being said, "but if thou wilt, I pray thee, hear me;" wherefore a more interior influx is signified The internal sense is of such a nature that the expressions and words are almost nothing; but their sense flowing from the series presents an idea, and indeed before the angels a spiritual idea, to which the external or literal sense serves as the object ex quo; for it is the ideas of man’s thought which are the objects of spiritual thoughts with the angels; and in fact chiefly those ideas of thought with man that are from the Word, for the reason that all things in the Word are representative, and the words in both general and particular are significative; and it is at once observed that they are from the Word, because the spiritual and celestial things therein follow in their order in the most regular manner; and in both there is what is holy from the inmost sense, which treats solely of the Lord and His kingdom.
AC 2954. I will give the silver of the field; take it of me. That this signifies redemption as to the truths of the church which are from the Lord, is evident from the signification of "giving silver," as being to redeem by truth (n. 2937); for "silver" is truth (n. 1551); from the signification of "field," as being the church, and also the doctrine of truth (n. 368, 2936); and from the signification of "taking of me," as being what is reciprocal with those who are of the church; the reciprocal is faith that redemption is from the Lord alone. As regards redemption, it is the same as reformation and regeneration and the consequent deliverance from hell and salvation. The redemption or reformation and salvation of the men of the spiritual church is effected through truth; but that of the men of the celestial church through good. The reasons have been repeatedly stated above, namely, that the spiritual have nothing of the will of good, but in its stead have been gifted with the faculty of understanding what is good. The understanding of good is what is principally called truth, and indeed the truth of faith; but willing and thence doing this is what is called good. The spiritual therefore, through the understanding of good, or what is the same, through truth, are introduced into the will of good, or what is the same, into good; not however into anything of the will of good from themselves, for with them all the will of good has been lost (n. 895, 927, 2124); but into a new will which they receive from the Lord (n. 863, 875, 1023, 1043, 1044); and when they have received this will they are then called specifically the redeemed.
AC 2955. I will bury my dead. That this signifies that they would come forth from night and be vivified, is evident from the signification of being "buried," and of "dead," as given above (n. 2917, 2923, 2925, 2931, 2948). They are here said to be vivified, because they are in the course of receiving faith; for from faith, that is, from its good, they receive life; their life is from no other source. That "I will bury my dead" signifies emerging from spiritual night and being vivified, is also for the reason that when a former church is dead, a new one is raised up by the Lord in its place; thus life is given in place of death, and in place of night there comes morning; and also for the reason that with every one who is being reformed and is becoming spiritual, his "dead" is as it were buried, and that which is new, which is living, rises again: thus in place of night with him, or in place of darkness and cold, there arises morning with its light and its heat. Hence it is that the angels, who are in the Lord‘s life, in place of man’s idea about the burial of the dead, have an idea of resurrection and of new life. And this also is the case, for there is always some church on the earth; and when the old expires, and night comes on, then a new church arises elsewhere and there comes morning. GENESIS 23:12-13 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|