Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 5:29-32
AC 528. Verse 29. And he called his name Noah, saying, He shall comfort us from our work, and the toil of our hands, out of the ground which Jehovah hath cursed. By "Noah" is signified the Ancient Church. By "comforting us from our work and the toil of our hands, out of the ground which Jehovah hath cursed," is signified doctrine, whereby what had been perverted would be restored.
AC 529. That by "Noah" is signified the Ancient Church, or the parent of the three churches after the flood, will appear from the following pages, where Noah is largely treated of.
AC 530. By the names in this chapter, as we have said, are signified churches, or what is the same, doctrines; for the church exists and has its name from doctrine; thus by "Noah" is signified the Ancient Church, or the doctrine that remained from the Most Ancient Church. How the case is with churches or doctrines has already been stated, namely, that they decline, until there no longer remains anything of the goods and truths of faith, and then the church is said in the Word to be vastated. But still remains are always preserved, or some with whom the good and truth of faith remain, although they are few; for unless the good and truth of faith were preserved in these few, there would be no conjunction of heaven with mankind. As regards the remains that are in a man individually, the fewer they are the less can the matters of reason and knowledge that he possesses be enlightened, for the light of good and truth flows in from the remains, or through the remains, from the Lord. If there were no remains in a man he would not be a man, but much viler than a brute; and the fewer remains there are, the less is he a man, and the more remains there are, the more is he a man. Remains are like some heavenly star, which, the smaller it is the less light it gives, and the larger, the more light. The few things that remained from the Most Ancient Church were among those who constituted the church called Noah; but these were not remains of perception, but of perfection, and also of doctrine derived from the things of perception in the most ancient churches; and therefore a new church was now raised up by the Lord, which being of an entirely different native character from the most ancient churches, is to be called the Ancient Church-Ancient from the fact that it existed at the close of the ages before the flood, and during the first period after it. Of this church, by the Divine mercy of the Lord, more will be said hereafter.
AC 531. That by "comforting us from our work and the toil of our hands, out of the ground which Jehovah hath cursed," is signified doctrine, whereby what had been perverted would be restored, will also appear, of the Lord’s Divine mercy, in the following pages. By "work" is signified that they could not perceive what is true except with labor and distress. By the "toil of the hands out of the ground which Jehovah hath cursed," is signified that they could do nothing good. Thus is described "Lamech," that is, the vastated church. There is "work and labor of the hands" when, from themselves or from their Own, men must seek out what is true and do what is good. That which comes of this is the "ground which Jehovah hath cursed," that is, nothing comes of it but what is false and evil. But what is signified by Jehovah cursing, see (n. 245). To "comfort" has reference to the "son," or Noah, whereby is signified a new regeneration, thus a new church, which is the Ancient Church. By this church, or "Noah," is therefore likewise signified rest, and comfort that comes from rest, just as it was said of the Most Ancient Church that it was the seventh day, in which the Lord rested. (n. 84-88).
AC 532. Verses 30, 31. And Lamech lived after he begat that Noah (illum Noachum) five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters. And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years, and he died. By "Lamech," as before said, is signified the church vastated. By "sons and daughters," are signified the conceptions and births of such a church.
AC 533. As nothing more is related concerning Lamech than that he begat sons and daughters, which are the conceptions and births of such a church, we shall dwell no longer on the subject. What the births were, or the "sons and daughters," appears from the church; for such as is the church, such are the births from it. Both the churches called "Methuselah" and "Lamech" expired just before the flood.
AC 534. Verse 32. And Noah was a son of five hundred years; and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth. By "Noah," as has been said, is signified the Ancient Church. By "Shem, Ham, and Japheth" are signified three Ancient Churches, the parent of which was the Ancient Church called "Noah."
AC 535. That the church called "Noah" is not to be numbered among the churches that were before the flood, appears from (verse 29), where it is said that it should "comfort them from their work and the toil of their hands, out of the ground which Jehovah hath cursed." The "comfort" was that it should survive and endure. But concerning Noah and his sons, of the Lord‘s Divine mercy hereafter.
AC 536. As in the foregoing pages much has been said about the perception possessed by the churches that existed before the flood, and as at this day perception is a thing utterly unknown, so much so that some may imagine it to be a kind of continuous revelation, or to be something implanted in men; others that it is merely imaginary, and others other things; and as perception is the very Celestial itself given by the Lord to those who are in the faith of love, and as there is perception in the universal heaven of endless variety: therefore in order that there may be among men some conception of what perception is, of the Lord’s Divine mercy I may in the following pages describe the principal kinds of perception that exist in the Heavens.