Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 4:24-26
AC 432. Verse 24. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold. These words signify that they had extinguished the faith meant by "Cain," to do violence to which was sacrilege, and at the same time had extinguished the charity which should be born through faith, a far greater sacrilege, and that for this there was condemnation, that is, a seventy and sevenfold avengement."
AC 433. That Cain’s being "avenged sevenfold" signifies that it was sacrilege to do violence to that separated faith which is meant by "Cain," has been already shown at (verse 15). And that by a "seventy and sevenfold avengement" is signified a far greater sacrilege the consequence of which is damnation, is evident from the signification of "seventy and sevenfold." That the number "seven" is holy, originates in the fact that the "seventh day" signifies the celestial man, the celestial church, the celestial kingdom, and, in the highest sense, the Lord Himself. Hence the number "seven," wherever it occurs in the Word, signifies what is holy, or most sacred; and this holiness and sanctity is predicated of, or according to, the things that are being treated of. From this comes the signification of the number "seventy," which comprises seven ages; for an age, in the Word, is ten years. When anything most holy or sacred was to be expressed, it was said "seventy-sevenfold," as when the Lord said that a man should forgive his brother not until seven times, but until seventy times seven (Matt. 18:22), by which is meant that they should forgive as many times as he sins, so that the forgiving should be without end, or should be eternal, which is holy. And here, that Lamech should "be avenged seventy and sevenfold" means damnation, because of the violation of that which is most sacred.
AC 434. Verse 25. And the man (homo) knew his wife again, and she bare a son, and called his name Seth; for God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, for Cain slew him. The "man" and his "wife" here mean the new church signified above by "Adah and Zillah;" and by her "son," whose name was Seth, is signified a new faith, by which charity might be obtained. By "God appointed another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew," is signified that charity, which Cain had separated and extinguished, was now given by the Lord to this church.
AC 435. That the "man" and his "wife" here mean the new church signified above by Adah and Zillah no one could know or infer from the literal sense, because the "man and his wife" had previously signified the Most Ancient Church and its posterity; but it is very evident from the internal sense, as well as from the fact that immediately afterwards, in the following chapter (Genesis 5:1-4), the man and his wife, and their begetting Seth, are again mentioned, but in entirely different words, and in this case there is signified the first posterity of the Most Ancient Church. If nothing else were signified in the passage before us, there would be no need to say the same thing here: in like manner as in the first chapter the creation of man, and of the fruits of the earth, and of the beasts, is treated of, and then in the second chapter they are treated of again, for the reason, as has been said, that in the first chapter it is the creation of the spiritual man that is treated of, whereas in the second chapter the subject is the creation of the celestial man. Whenever there is such a repetition in the mention of one and the same person or thing, it is always with a difference of signification, but what it is that is signified cannot possibly be known except from the internal sense. Here, the connection itself confirms the signification that has been given, and there is the additional consideration that man (homo) and wife are general terms which signify the parent church that is in question.
AC 436. That by her "son," whom she named Seth, is signified a new faith, by which charity may be attained, is evident from what has been previously stated, as well as from its being related of Cain that a "mark was set upon him, lest any one should slay him." For the subject as it stands in a series is as follows: Faith separated from love was signified by "Cain;" charity, by "Abel;" and that faith in its separated state extinguished charity, was signified by Cain slaying Abel. The preservation of faith in order that charity might be thereby implanted by the Lord, was signified by Jehovah‘s setting a mark on Cain lest any one should slay him. That afterwards the Holy of love and the good thence derived were given by the Lord through faith, was signified by Jabal whom Adah bare; and that the spiritual of faith was given, was signified by his brother Jubal; and that from these there came natural good and truth was signified by Tubal-Cain whom Zillah bare. In these two concluding verses of Genesis 4 we have the conclusion, and thus the summary, of all these matters, to this effect, that by the "man and his wife" is signified that new church which before was called Adah and Zillah, and that by "Seth" is signified the faith through which charity is implanted; and in the verse which now follows, by "Enosh" is signified the charity that is implanted through faith.
AC 437. That "Seth" here signifies a new faith, through which comes charity, is explained by his name, which it is said was given him because God "appointed another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew." That God "appointed another seed" means that the Lord gave another faith; for "another seed" is the faith through which comes charity. That "seed" signifies faith, may be seen above (n. 255).
AC 438. Verse 26. And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enosh: then began they to call upon the name of Jehovah. By "Seth" is signified the faith through which comes charity, as was said above; by his "son," whose name was "Enosh," is signified a church which regarded charity as the principal of faith; by beginning then to "call on the name of Jehovah," is signified the worship of that church from charity.
AC 439. That by "Seth" is signified the faith through which comes charity, was shown in the preceding verse. That by his "son, whose name was Enosh," is signified a church that regarded charity as the principal of faith, is also evident from what has been said before, as well as from the fact that it is called "Enosh," which name also means a "man," not a celestial man, but that human spiritual man which is here called "Enosh." The same is evident also from the words that immediately follow:-" then began they to call upon the name of Jehovah."
AC 440. That by the words just quoted is signified the worship of that church from charity, is evident from the fact that to "call upon the name of Jehovah" is a customary and general form of speech for all worship of the Lord; and that this worship was from charity is evident from the fact that "Jehovah" is here mentioned, whereas in the preceding verse He was called "God," as well as from the fact that the Lord cannot be worshiped except from charity, since true worship cannot proceed from faith that is not of charity, because it is merely of the lips, and not of the heart. That to "call on the name of Jehovah" is a customary form of speech for all worship of the Lord, appears from the Word; thus it is said of Abraham, that "he built an altar to Jehovah, and called on the name of Jehovah" (Gen. 12:8; 13:4); and again, that he "planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of Jehovah, the God of eternity" (Gen. 21:33). That this expression includes all worship, is plain from Isaiah:--
Jehovah the Holy One of Israel hath said, Thou hast not called upon Me, O Jacob, but thou hast been weary of Me, O Israel. Thou hast not brought to Me the small cattle of thy burnt-offerings, neither hast thou honored Me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense (Isaiah 43:22, 23),
in which passage a summary is given of all representative worship.
AC 441. That the invocation of the name of Jehovah did not commence at this time, is sufficiently evident from what has already been said above in regard to the Most Ancient Church, which more than any other adored and worshiped the Lord; and also from the fact that Abel brought an offering of the firstlings of the flock; so that in this passage by "calling upon the name of Jehovah," nothing else is signified than the worship of the new church, after the former church had been extinguished by those who are called "Cain" and "Lamech."
AC 442. From the contents of this chapter as above explained, it is evident that in the most ancient time there were many doctrines and heresies separate from the church, each one of which had its name, which separate doctrines and heresies were the outcome of much more profound thought than any at the present day, because such was the genius of the men of that time.