Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 23:3
previous  -  next  -  text  -  summary  -  Genesis  -  BM Home  -  Full Page

AC 2911. Verse 3. And Abraham rose up from upon the faces of his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying. "Abraham rose up," signifies elevation; "from upon the faces of his dead," signifies in that night; "and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying," signifies those with whom there was to be a new spiritual church.

AC 2912. Abraham rose up. That this signifies elevation, is evident from the signification of "rising up," as implying some elevation (n. 2401, 2785); here elevation from grief, since a new church was about to be raised up in place of the former that perished. From upon the faces of his dead. That this signifies in that night, is evident from the signification of "dying," of "death," and of "dead," as denoting night in regard to the state of the church, concerning which see above, (n. 2908).

AC 2913. And spake unto the sons of Heth, saying. That this signifies those with whom there was to be a new spiritual church, is evident from the signification of "Heth," and of the "Hittites." There were many inhabitants of the land of Canaan, who are enumerated in various places in the Word, and among them the Hittites (Gen. 15:20; Exod. 3:8, 17; 13:5; 23:23; Deut. 7:1; 20:17; Josh. 3:10; 11:1, 3; 12:8; 24:11; 1 Kings 9:20). Most of these were from the Ancient Church, that this extended through many lands, and likewise through the land of Canaan, may be seen above, (n. 1238, 2385). All who were of that church acknowledged charity as the principal, and all their doctrinal things were of charity or of life. Those who elaborated doctrinal things of faith were called "Canaanites," and were separated from the other inhabitants of the land of Canaan (Num. 13:29); (n. 1062, 1063, 1076).

[2] Among the better inhabitants of the land of Canaan were the Hittites, as is evident from the fact that Abraham dwelt among them, and afterwards Isaac and Jacob, and had their burial place there; also from their bearing themselves piously and modestly toward Abraham, as is very plain from what is related of them in this chapter, particularly in (verses 5, 6, 10, 11, 14, 15). And thus by the Hittites, as by a well-disposed nation, is represented and signified the spiritual church, or the truth of the church. But with these, as with the rest of the Ancient church, it came to pass that in course of time they declined from charity or the good of faith; and consequently the falsity of the church is afterwards signified by them (Ezek. 16:3, 45). That still the Hittites were among the more honored, is evident from the fact that there were Hittites with David, as Abimelech (1 Sam. 26:6), and Uriah, who was a Hittite (2 Sam. 11:3, 6, 17, 21), whose wife was Bathsheba, of whom Solomon was born to David (2 Sam. 12:24). That "Heth" signifies the more external knowledges regarding life, which are the external truths of the spiritual church, may be seen above, (n. 1203).

[3] This verse treats of the new church that the Lord sets up anew when the former church expires; and the verses that follow treat of the reception of faith with them. A church among the sons of Heth is not treated of; but the raising up by the Lord of the spiritual church in general, after the former ceases or is consummated; the sons of Heth are merely those who represent and signify this. See what has been said above concerning churches, namely: That in process of time a church decreases and is contaminated (n. 494, 501, 1327, 2422): That it recedes from charity, and produces evils and falsities (n. 1834, 1835): That then the church is said to be laid waste and desolate (n. 407-411, 2243): That a church is set up anew with the Gentiles, and why (n. 1366). That in the church which is being vastated, there is always preserved something of the church as a nucleus (n. 468, 637, 931, 2422): That unless there were a church on earth, the human race would perish (n. 468, 637, 931, 2422): That the church is as the heart and lungs in the grand body, that is, in the human race (n. 637, 931, 2054, 2853): The quality of the spiritual church (n. 765, 2669): That charity constitutes the church, not faith separate (n. 809, 916): That if all had charity, the church would be one, although they should differ as to doctrinal things and worship (n. 1285, 1316, 1798, 1799, 1834, 1844, 2385): That all men on earth who are in the Lordís church, though scattered through the world, still as it were make a one, as in the heavens (n. 2853): That every church is internal and external, and both together constitute one church (n. 409, 1083, 1098, 1100, 1242): That the external church is nothing, if there is no internal church (n. 1795): That the church is compared to the rising and the setting of the sun, also to the seasons of the year, and the times of the day (n. 1837): That the Last Judgment is the last time of the church (n. 900, 931, 1850, 2117, 2118).

GENESIS 23:3    previous  -  next  -  text  -  summary  -  Genesis  -  Full Page

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