Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 5:21-24
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AC 516. Verse 21. And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah. By "Enoch," as before said, is signified a seventh church; and by "Methuselah" an eighth.

AC 517. The quality of the church "Enoch" is described in the following verses.

AC 518. Verse 22. And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. To "walk with God" signifies doctrine concerning faith. That he "begat sons and daughters" signifies doctrinal matters concerning truths and goods.

AC 519. There were some at that time who framed doctrines from the things that had been matters of perception in the most ancient and succeeding churches, in order that such doctrine might serve as a rule whereby to know what was good and true: such persons were called "Enoch." This is what is signified by the words, "and Enoch walked with God;" and so did they call that doctrine; which is likewise signified by the name "Enoch," which means to "instruct." The same is evident also from the signification of the expression to "walk," and from the fact that he is said to have "walked with God," not "with Jehovah:" to "walk with God" is to teach and live according to the doctrine of faith, but to "walk with Jehovah" is to live the life of love. To "walk" is a customary form of speaking that signifies to live, as to "walk in the law," to "walk in the statutes," to "walk in the truth." To "walk" has reference properly to a way, which has relation to truth, consequently to faith, or the doctrine of faith. What is signified in the Word by "walking," may in some measure appear from the following passages.

[2] In Micah:--

He hath showed thee, O man, what is good, and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do judgment and the love of mercy, and to humble thyself by walking with thy God? (Micah 6:8),

where to "walk with God" signifies to live according to the things here indicated; here however it is said "with God," while of Enoch another word is used which signifies also "from with God," so that the expression is ambiguous. In David:--

Thou hast delivered my feet from impulsion, that I may walk before God in the light of the living (Ps. 56:13),

where to "walk before God" is to walk in the truth of faith, which is the "light of the living." In like manner in Isaiah:--

The people that walk in darkness see a great light (Isaiah 9:1).

So the Lord says by Moses:--

I will walk in the midst, and will be your God, and ye shall be My people (Lev. 26:12),

signifying that they should live according to the doctrine of the law.

[3] In Jeremiah:--

They shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and to the armies of the heavens, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought (Jeremiah 8:2),

where a manifest distinction is made between the things of love, and those of faith; the things of love being expressed by "loving" and "serving;" and those of faith by "walking" and "seeking." In all the prophetical writings every expression is used with accuracy, nor is one term ever used in the place of another. But to "walk with Jehovah," or "before Jehovah," signifies, in the Word, to live the life of love.

AC 520. Verses 23, 24. And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years. And Enoch walked with God, and he was no more, for God took him. By "all the days of Enoch being three hundred sixty and five years," is signified that they were few. By his "walking with God," is signified, as above, doctrine concerning faith. By "he was no more, for God took him," is signified the preservation of that doctrine for the use of posterity.

AC 521. As to the words "he was no more, for God took him" signifying the preservation of that doctrine for the use of posterity, the case with Enoch, as already said, is that he reduced to doctrine what in the Most Ancient Church had been a matter of perception, and which in the time of that church was not allowable; for to know by perception is a very different thing from learning by doctrine. They who are in perception have no need to learn by formulated doctrine that which they know already. For example: he who knows how to think well, has no occasion to be taught to think by any rules of art, for in this way his faculty of thinking well would be impaired, as is the case with those who stick fast in scholastic dust. To those who learn by perception, the Lord grants to know what is good and true by an inward way; but to those who learn from doctrine, knowledge is given by an external way, or that of the bodily senses; and the difference is like that between light and darkness. Consider also that the perceptions of the celestial man are such as to admit of no description, for they enter into the most minute and particular things, with all variety according to states and circumstances. But as it was foreseen that the perceptive faculty of the Most Ancient Church would perish, and that afterwards mankind would learn by doctrines what is true and good, or by darkness would come to light, it is here said that "God took him," that is, preserved the doctrine for the use of posterity.

AC 522. The state and quality of the perception with those who were called "Enoch" have also been made known to me. It was a kind of general obscure perception without any distinctness; for in such a case the mind determines its view outside of itself into the doctrinal things.

GENESIS 5:21-24    previous  -  next  -  text  -  summary  -  Genesis  -  Full Page

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