Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 4:13-14
AC 383. Verse 13. And Cain said unto Jehovah, Mine iniquity is greater than can be taken away. "Cain said unto Jehovah," signifies a certain confession that he was in evil, induced by some internal pain; "mine iniquity is greater than can he taken away," signifies despair on that account.
AC 384. Hence it appears that something of good still remained in Cain; but that all the good of charity afterwards perished is evident from what is said of Lamech (verses 19, 23, 24).
AC 385. Verse 14. Behold Thou hast cast me out this day from the faces of the ground, and from Thy faces shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth; and it shall come to pass that every one that findeth me shall slay me. To be "cast out from the faces of the ground," signifies to be separated from all the truth of the church; to be "hid from Thy faces," signifies to be separated from all the good of faith of love; to be a "fugitive and a wanderer in the earth," is not to know what is true and good; "every one that findeth me shall slay me," signifies that all evil and falsity would destroy him.
AC 386. That to be "cast out from the faces of the ground" is to be separated from all the truth of the church, is evident from the signification of "ground," which, in the genuine sense, is the church, or the man of the church, and therefore whatever the church professes, as shown above. The meaning of a word necessarily varies with the subject treated of, and therefore even those who wrongly profess faith, that is who profess a schism or heresy, are also called "ground." Here however to be "driven out from the faces of the ground" signifies to be no longer in the truth of the church.
AC 387. That to be "hid from Thy faces" signifies to be separated from all the good of the faith of love, is evident from the signification of the "faces of Jehovah." The "face of Jehovah," as before said, is mercy, from which proceed all the goods of the faith of love, and therefore the goods of faith are here signified by His "faces."
AC 388. To be a "fugitive and a wanderer in the earth," means as before not to know what is true and good.
AC 389. That "every one finding him would slay him" signifies that every evil and falsity would destroy him, follows from what has been said. For the case is this. When a man deprives himself of charity, he separates himself from the Lord, since it is solely charity, that is, love toward the neighbor, and mercy, that conjoin man with the Lord. Where there is no charity, there is disjunction, and where there is disjunction, man is left to himself or to his Own; and then whatever he thinks is false, and whatever he wills is evil. These are the things that slay man, or cause him to have nothing of life remaining.
AC 390. Those who are in evil and falsity are in continual dread of being slain, as is thus described in Moses:--
Your land shall be a desolation, and your cities a waste, and upon them that are left of you I will bring softness into their heart in the land of their enemies, and the sound of a driven leaf shall chase them, and they shall flee as fleeing from a sword, and they shall fall when none pursueth, and shall stumble every one upon his brother, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth (Lev. 26:33, 36, 37).
The treacherous deal treacherously, yea, in the treachery of the treacherous they deal treacherously. And it shall come to pass that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit, and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare; the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it, and it shall fall, and not rise again (Isaiah 24:16-20).
Behold, I bring a dread upon thee, from all thy circuits shall ye be driven out every man toward his faces, and none shall gather up him that wandereth (Jeremiah 49:5).
We will flee upon the horse, therefore shall ye flee; and, We will ride upon the swift, therefore shall they that pursue you be rendered swift; one thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one, at the rebuke of five shall ye flee (Isaiah 30:16, 17).
In these and other passages of the Word, those who are in falsity and evil are described as "fleeing," and as in "fear of being slain." They are afraid of everybody, because they have no one to protect them. All who are in evil and falsity hate their neighbor, so that they all desire to kill one another.
AC 391. The state of evil spirits in the other life shows most clearly that those who are in evil and falsity are afraid of everybody. Those who have deprived themselves of all charity wander about, and flee from place to place. Wherever they go, if to any societies, these at once perceive their character by their mere coming, for such is the perception that exists in the other life; and they not only drive them away, but also severely punish them, and with such animosity that they would kill them if they could. Evil spirits take the greatest delight in punishing and tormenting one another; it is their highest gratification. Not until now has it been known that evil and falsity themselves are the cause of this, for whatever any one desires for another returns upon himself. Falsity has in itself the penalty of falsity, and evil has in itself the penalty of evil, and consequently they have in themselves the fear of these penalties. GENESIS 4:13-14 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|