Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 6:13
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AC 629. Verse 13. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence from their faces, and behold I destroy them with the earth. "God said," signifies that it was so; "the end of all flesh is come before Me," signifies that the human race could not but perish; "for the earth is filled with violence," signifies that they no longer had a will of good; "behold I destroy them with the earth," signifies that the human race would perish with the church.

AC 630. That "God said" signifies that it was so, is evident from the fact that in Jehovah there is nothing but Being (Esse).

AC 631. That the end of all flesh is come before Me signifies that the human race could not but perish, is evident from the words themselves, and from the signification of "flesh," which means every man in general, and specifically the corporeal man, as already shown.

AC 632. That the earth is filled with violence signifies that they no longer had a will of good, is evident from what has been said and shown before concerning the signification of "violence" (verse 11). In the preceding verse the understanding of truth was spoken of, and here the will of good, because both had perished with the man of the church.

AC 633. The case is this: With no man is there any understanding of truth and will of good, not even with those who were of the Most Ancient Church. But when men become celestial it appears as if they had a will of good and understanding of truth, and yet this is of the Lord alone, as they also know, acknowledge, and perceive. So is it with the angels also. So true is this that whoever does not know, acknowledge, and perceive that it is so, has no understanding of truth or will of good whatever. With every man, and with every angel, even the most celestial, that which is his own is nothing but falsity and evil; for it is known that the heavens are not clean before the Lord (Job 15:15), and that all good and all truth are of the Lord alone. But so far as a man or an angel is capable of being perfected, so far of the Lord’s Divine mercy he is perfected, and receives as it were an understanding of truth and a will of good; but his having these is only an appearance. Every man can be perfected--and consequently receive this gift of the Lord‘s mercy--in accordance with the actual doings of his life, and in a manner suited to the hereditary evil implanted by his parents.

AC 634. But it is extremely difficult to say, in a manner to be apprehended, what is the understanding of truth and the will of good in the proper sense, for the reason that a man supposes everything he thinks to be of the understanding, since he calls it so; and everything that he desires he supposes to be of the will, since he calls it so. And it is the more difficult to explain this so as to be apprehended, because most men at this day are also ignorant of the fact that what is of the understanding is distinct from what is of the will, for when they think anything they say they will it, and when they will a thing they say they think it. This is one cause of the difficulty, and another reason why this subject can with difficulty be comprehended is that men are solely in what is of the body, that is, their life is in the most external things.

[2] And for these reasons they do not know that there is in every man something that is interior, and something still interior to that, and indeed an inmost; and that his corporeal and sensuous part is only the outermost. Desires, and things of the memory, are interior; affections and rational things are interior still to these; and the will of good and understanding of truth are inmost. And these are so distinct from each other that nothing can ever be more distinct. The corporeal man makes all these into a one, and confounds them. This is why he believes that when his body dies all things are to die; though in fact he then first begins to live, and this by his interiors following one another closely in their order. If his interiors were not thus distinct, and did not thus succeed each other, men could never be in the other life spirits, angelic spirits, and angels, who are thus distinguished according to their interiors. For this reason there are three heavens, most distinct from each other. From these considerations it may now in some measure be evident what, in the proper sense, are the understanding of truth and the will of good; and that they can be predicated only of the celestial man, or of the angels of the third heaven.

AC 635. What is said in the preceding verse and in this signifies that in the end of the days of the antediluvian church all understanding of truth and will of good had perished, so that among the antediluvians who were imbued with dreadful persuasions and filthy cupidities not even a vestige appeared. But with those who are called "Noah" there continued to be remains, which however could not bring forth anything of understanding and will, but only rational truth and natural good. For the operation of remains is according to the nature of the man. Through remains these people could be regenerated; and persuasions did not obstruct and absorb the Lord’s operation through remains. Persuasions, or principles of falsity, when rooted in impede all operation; and unless these are first eradicated the man can never be regenerated, concerning which subject, of the Lord‘s Divine mercy hereafter.

AC 636. I will destroy them with the earth. That this signifies that together with the church the human race would perish, is evident from its being said "with the earth;" for the "earth" in a wide sense signifies love, as before said, and thus the celestial of the church. Here, since no love and nothing whatever that is celestial remained, the "earth" signifies the love of self, and whatever is contrary to the celestial of the church. And yet there was a man of the church, for they had doctrinal things of faith. For, as before stated, the earth is the containant of the ground, and the ground is the containant of the field; as love is the containant of faith, and faith is the containant of the knowledges of faith.

AC 637. That "I will destroy them with the earth" signified that together with the church the human race would perish, is on this account: If the Lord’s church should be entirely extinguished on the earth, the human race could by no means exist, but one and all would perish. The church, as before said, is as the heart: so long as the heart lives, the neighboring viscera and members can live; but as soon as the heart dies, they one and all die also. The Lord‘s church on earth is as the heart, whence the human race, even that part of it which is outside the church, has life. The reason is quite unknown to any one, but in order that something of it may be known, it may be stated that the whole human race on earth is as a body with its parts, wherein the church is as the heart; and that unless there were a church with which as with a heart the Lord might be united through heaven and the world of spirits, there would be disjunction; and if there were disjunction of the human race from the Lord, it would instantly perish. This is the reason why from the first creation of man there has always been some church, and whenever the church has begun to perish it has yet remained with some.

[2] This was also the reason of the Lord’s coming into the world. If in His Divine mercy He had not come, the whole human race on this earth would have perished, for the church was then at its last extremity, and there was scarcely any good and truth surviving. The reason why the human race cannot live unless it is conjoined with the Lord through heaven and the world of spirits, is that in himself regarded man is much viler than the brutes. If left to himself he would rush into the ruin of himself and of all things; for he desires nothing else than what would be for the destruction of himself and of all. His order should be that one should love another as himself; but now every one loves himself more than others, and thus hates all others. But with brute animals the case is quite different: their order is that according to which they live. Thus they live quite according to the order in which they are, and man entirely contrary to his order. Therefore unless the Lord should have compassion on him, and conjoin him with Himself through angels, he could not live a single moment; but this he does not know.

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