Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 6:7
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AC 591. Verse 7. And Jehovah said, I will destroy man whom I have created from upon the faces of the ground; both man and beast, and creeping thing, and fowl of the heavens; for it repenteth Me that I have made them. "Jehovah said, I will destroy man," signifies that man would extinguish himself; "whom I have created, from upon the faces of the ground," signifies the man of the posterity of the Most Ancient Church; "both man and beast and creeping thing," signifies that whatsoever is of the will would extinguish him; "and fowl of the heavens," is whatever is of the understanding or thought; "for it repenteth Me that I have made them," signifies as before, compassion.

AC 592. Jehovah said, I will destroy man. That this signifies that man would extinguish himself, is evident from what has been explained before, namely, that it is predicated of Jehovah or the Lord that He punishes, that He tempts, that He does evil, that He destroys or kills, and that He curses. As for example, that He slew Er, Judah‘s firstborn; and Onan, another son of Judah (Gen 38:7, 10); that Jehovah smote all the firstborn of Egypt (Exodus 12:12, 29). And so in Jeremiah:--

Whom I have slain in Mine anger and in My wrath (Jeremiah 33:5).

In David:--

He cast upon them the wrath of His anger; vehement anger, and fury and straitness, a sending of evil angels (Ps. 78:49).

In Amos:--

Shall evil befall a city, and Jehovah hath not done it? (Amos 3:6).

In John:--

Seven golden vials full of the wrath of God who liveth forever and ever (Rev. 15:1, 7; 16:1).

All these things are predicated of Jehovah, although entirely contrary to His nature. They are predicated of Him for the reason explained before; and also in order that men may first form the very general idea that the Lord governs and disposes all things both in general and in particular; and may afterwards learn that nothing of evil is from the Lord, much less does He kill; but that it is man who brings evil upon himself, and ruins and destroys himself although it is not man, but evil spirits who excite and lead him; and yet it is man, because he believes that he is himself the doer. So now here it is said of Jehovah that He would "destroy man," when in fact it was man who would destroy and extinguish himself.

[2] The state of the case may be very evident from those in the other life who are in torment and in hell, and who are continually lamenting and attributing all the evil of punishment to the Lord. So in the world of evil spirits there are those who make it their delight, even their greatest delight, to hurt and punish others; and those who are hurt and punished think it is from the Lord. But they are told, and it is shown them, that not the least of evil is from the Lord, but they bring it upon themselves; for such is the state and such the equilibrium of all things in the other life that evil returns upon him who does evil, and he comes the evil of punishment; and for the same reason it is inevitable. This is said to be permitted for the sake of the amendment of the evil. But still the Lord turns all the evil of punishment into good; so that there is never anything but good from the Lord. But hitherto no one has known what permission is; what is permitted is believed to be done by Him who permits, because He permits. But the fact is quite otherwise, concerning which, of the Lord’s Divine mercy hereafter.

AC 593. Whom I have created, from upon the faces of the ground. That this signifies the man from the posterity of the Most Ancient Church, is evident not only from its being said, the man whom He had "created," that is, whom He had regenerated; and afterwards whom He had "made," that is, had perfected, or regenerated until he became celestial; but also from its being said "from upon the faces of the ground." The "ground" is where the church is, as has been shown before. The same is evident from the fact that those are treated of who immersed the doctrinal things of faith in their cupidities; and those who had not doctrinal things of faith could not do so. They who are outside the church are in ignorance of truth and good, and those who are in ignorance may be in a kind of innocence while speaking and acting somewhat contrary to the truths and goods of faith; for they may act from a certain zeal for the worship with which they have been imbued from infancy, and which they therefore believe to be true and good. But the case is entirely different with those who have the doctrine of faith among them. These can mingle truths with falsities, and holy things with profane. Hence their lot in the other life is much worse than the lot of those who are called Gentiles, concerning whom, of the Lord‘s Divine mercy hereafter.

AC 594. Both man and beast, and creeping thing. That this signifies that whatsoever is of the will would extinguish him, is evident from the signification of "man," of "beast," and of "creeping" thing." Man is man solely from the will and understanding, by which he is distinguished from brutes; in all other respects he is very similar to them. In the case of these men all will of good and understanding of truth had perished. In place of a will of good there followed insane cupidities; in place of an understanding of truth insane phantasies; and these were commingled with their cupidities, so that after they had thus as it were destroyed remains, they could not but be extinguished. That all things of the will are called "beasts" and creeping things," is evident from what has been said before concerning beasts and creeping things. But here, because of the character of the man treated of, good affections are not signified by "beasts," but evil, consequently cupidities and by "creeping things," pleasures, both bodily and sensuous. That such things are signified by "beasts" and "creeping things" needs no further confirmation from the Word, because they have been treated of before (n. 45, 46, 142, 143).

AC 595. That the fowl of the heavens signifies whatever is of the understanding, that is, of thought, may also be seen above (n. 40).

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