Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 23:19
AC 2977. Verse 19. And after this Abraham buried Sarah his wife, in the cave of the field of Machpelah, upon the faces of Mamre, the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan. "After this," signifies that it was so; "Abraham buried Sarah his wife," signifies that they received from the Lord truth conjoined with good; "in the cave of the field of Machpelah, upon the faces of Mamre,‘ signifies that thus they were regenerated so far as they could be; "the same is Hebron," signifies that this was a new church; "in the land of Canaan," signifies which in the Lord’s kingdom is one.
AC 2978. After this. That this signifies that it was so, is evident from the series, for here is the conclusion, namely, that they were regenerated, and thus a new spiritual church was set up again.
AC 2979. Abraham buried Sarah his wife. That this signifies that they received from the Lord truth conjoined with good, is evident from the signification of "burying," as being to regenerate (n. 2916, 2917); that man is regenerate when he has received from the Lord truth conjoined with good will be shown presently; from the representation of "Abraham," as being the Lord (of which often before); and from the representation of "Sarah as a wife," as being truth conjoined with good (n. 2063, 2065, 2507).
 With the regeneration of the spiritual man the case is this. He is first instructed in the truths of faith, and then he is held by the Lord in the affection of truth. The good of faith, which is charity toward the neighbor, is at the same time insinuated into him, but in such a way that he is scarcely aware of it; for it lies hidden in the affection of truth, and this to the end that the truth which is of faith may be conjoined with the good which is of charity. As time goes on, the affection of truth which is of faith increases, and truth is regarded for the sake of its end, that is, for the sake of good, or what is the same, for the sake of the life, and this more and more. Thus is truth insinuated into good, and when this takes place the man imbues himself with the good of life according to the truth that has been insinuated; and so he acts or seems to himself to act from good. Previous to this time, the truth of faith was principal, but afterwards the good of life becomes so.
 When this is the case the man is regenerate; but he is regenerate according to the quality and the amount of the truth that has been insinuated in good; and when truth and good act as one, he is regenerate according to the quality and the amount of the good: such is the case with all regeneration. Regeneration is effected to the end that man may be received into heaven. Heaven is nothing else than the marriage of truth and good, and of good and truth (n. 2508, 2618, 2728, 2729); and if the marriage of truth and good be not formed with a man, he cannot be in the heavenly marriage, that is, in heaven.
AC 2980. In the cave of the field of Machpelah, upon the faces of Mamre. That this signifies that thus they were regenerated so far as they could be, is evident from the signification of a "cave," as being the truth of faith that is in obscurity (n. 2935); from the signification of "field," as being the good of faith (n. 2971); from the signification of "Machpelah upon the faces of Mamre," or "before Mamre," as being the quality and the amount of regeneration (n. 2970); thus the signification is that they were regenerated by means of the truth and good of faith so far as they could be, that is, according to their capacity and understanding (n. 2913, 2928, 2975).
AC 2981. The same is Hebron. That this signifies that this is a new church, is evident from the signification of "Hebron," as being the spiritual church (concerning which see above in this chapter, (n. 2909). It was there said, "Kiriath-arba, the same is Hebron," for the reason that by "Kiriath-arba" is signified the church as to truth, and by "Hebron," the church as to good; but here Kiriath-arba is no longer mentioned, but Hebron, because the regenerated man is treated of, who no longer acts from truth, but from good (n. 2979).
AC 2982. In the land of Canaan. That this signifies which church is one in the Lord‘s kingdom, is evident from the representation of the "land of Canaan," as being the kingdom of the Lord (n. 1413, 1437, 1585, 1607). With the churches of the Lord, the case is this: In ancient times there were many churches at the same time; and there were as at this day distinctions among them in regard to doctrinal matters; but still they made a one in the fact that they acknowledged love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor as the principal and very essential thing; and therefore that the purpose of doctrinal things was not to teach them how to think, but how to live. And when with each and all, love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor--that is, the good of life--is the essential thing then churches, however numerous the may be, make one church, all then being one in the Lord’s kingdom. Such also is heaven; there are innumerable societies there, all distinct; but still they constitute one heaven, because in all there is love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor.
 But the case is wholly different with churches that call faith the essential of the church; supposing that it they know this and think this they are saved, no matter what their life may be. In this case the several churches do not make one church, nor indeed are they churches. The good of faith, that is, the very life of love and of charity according to the things of faith, is that which makes the church. Doctrinal matters are for the sake of life. Every one may know this: what are doctrinal matters except for the sake of all end? and what is the end but life? or that a man may become such as those doctrinal things teach? It is indeed said that the very faith itself which saves is confidence; but this confidence is quite impossible except in the good of life. Without the good of life there is no reception, and where there is no reception there is no confidence, except at times a certain apparent confidence, in suffering conditions of mind or body, when the cupidities of the love of self and of the world are at rest. But with those who are in evil of life, when this crisis passes or the condition is changed, such fallacious confidence altogether vanishes; for a confidence is found even with the wicked. But whoever desires to know the quality of his confidence, let him examine in himself the affections and ends, as well as the practices of his life.GENESIS 23:19 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|