Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 5:9-11
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AC 500. Verse 9. And Enosh lived ninety years, and begat Kenan. By "Enosh," as before said, is signified a third church, still less celestial than the church "Seth," yet one of the most ancient churches; by "Kenan" is signified a fourth church, which succeeded the former ones.

AC 501. As regards the churches that in course of time succeeded one another, and of which it is said that one was born from another, the case with them was the same as it is with fruits, or with their seeds. In the midst of these, that is, in their inmosts, there are as it were fruits of the fruits, or seeds of the seeds, from which live as it were in regular order the successive parts. For the more remote these are from the inmost toward the circumference, the less of the essence of the fruit or of the seed is there in them, until finally they are but the cuticles or coverings in which the fruits or seeds terminate. Or as in the case of the brain, in the inmost parts of which are subtle organic forms called the cortical substances, from which and by which the operations of the soul proceed; and from which in regular order the purer coverings follow in succession, then the denser ones, and finally the general coverings called meninges, which are terminated in coverings still more general, and at last in the most general of all, which is the skull.

AC 502. These three churches, "Man," "Seth," and "Enosh," constitute the Most Ancient Church, but still with a difference of perfection as to perceptions: the perceptive faculty of the first church gradually diminished in the succeeding churches, and became more general, as observed concerning fruit or its seed, and concerning the brain. Perfection consists in the faculty of perceiving distinctly, which faculty is diminished when the perception is less distinct and more general; an obscurer perception then succeeds in the place of that which was clearer, and thus it begins to vanish away.

AC 503. The perceptive faculty of the Most Ancient Church consisted not only in the perception of what is good and true, but also in the happiness and delight arising from well-doing; without such happiness and delight in doing what is good the perceptive faculty has no life, but by virtue of such happiness and delight it receives life. The life of love, and of the derivative faith, such as the Most Ancient Church enjoyed, is life while in the performance of use, that is, in the good and truth of use: from use, by use, and according to use, is life given by the Lord; there can be no life in what is useless, for whatever is useless is cast away. In this respect the most ancient people were likenesses of the Lord, and therefore in perceptive powers they became images of Him. The perceptive power consists in knowing what is good and true, consequently what is of faith: he who is in love is not delighted in knowing, but in doing what is good and true, that is, in being useful.

AC 504. Verses 10, 11. And Enosh lived after he begat Kenan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters, And all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years, and he died. Here in like manner the "days" and numbers of "years," and also "sons and daughters," and his "dying," signify like things.

AC 505. "Enosh," as before observed, is a third church, yet one of the most ancient churches, but less celestial, and consequently less perceptive, than the church "Seth;" and this latter was not so celestial and perceptive as the parent church, called "Man." These three are what constitute the Most Ancient Church, which, relatively to the succeeding ones, was as the kernel of fruits, or seeds, whereas the succeeding churches are relatively as the membranaceous parts of these.

GENESIS 5:9-11    previous  -  next  -  text  -  summary  -  Genesis  -  Full Page

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