Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 7:13
AC 764. Verse 13. In the self-same day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah‘s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark. That they "entered into the ark," signifies here as before that they were saved; "Noah" signifies what was of the church; "Shem, Ham, and Japheth," what was of the churches that were thence derived; "the sons of Noah," signify doctrinal things "the three wives of his sons with them," signify the churches themselves that were thence derived.
AC 765. Thus far the temptation of the man of the church called "Noah" has been treated of: first, his temptation as to things of the understanding, which are truths of faith (verses 6 to 10); and then his temptation as to things of the will, which have regard to the goods of charity (verses 11, 12). The end or purpose of the temptations was that a man of the church or a new church might be born again by their means; seeing that the Most Ancient Church had perished. This church called "Noah" was as before said of a different character from that of the Most Ancient Church; that is to say, it was spiritual, the characteristic of which is that man is born again by means of doctrinal matters of faith, after the implantation of which a conscience is insinuated into him, lest he should act against the truth and good of faith; and in this way he is endowed with charity, which governs the conscience from which he is thus beginning to act. From this it is evident what a spiritual man is: that he is not one who believes faith without charity to be saving, but one who makes charity the essential of faith, and acts from it. That such a man or such a church might arise, was the end in view, and therefore that church itself is now treated of. That the church is now treated of is evident also from the repetition as it were of the same matter; for it is said here: "in the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;" and likewise above in (verse 7), but in these words: "and Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons‘ wives with him, into the ark." But now, because the church is treated of, the sons are named, "Shem, Ham, and Japheth," who when thus named signify the man of the church, but when called "sons," without names, signify truths of faith. Besides, that which was said in (verses 8 and 9) about the beasts and the fowls that went into the ark is repeated again, in (verses 14 to 16), but here with a difference accordant with and applicable to the subject of the church.
AC 767. They entered into the ark. That this signifies that they were saved (namely, the man of the church, who was "Noah," and the other churches descending and derived from him which are here spoken of), is evident from what has been said before about "entering into the ark."
AC 768. That by "Noah" is signified what was of the church, and by "Shem, Ham, and Japheth" what pertained to the churches that were derived therefrom, is evident from the fact that here they were not called merely his "sons," as before in (verse 7), but are called by their names. When thus named they signify the man of the church. The man of the church is not merely the church itself, but is everything that belongs to the church. It is a general term comprehending whatever is of the church, as was said before of the Most Ancient Church, which was called "Man," and likewise of the other churches that were named. Thus by "Noah," and by "Shem, Ham, and Japheth," is signified whatever is of the church and of the churches that were derived from it, in one complex.
 Such is the style and manner of speaking in the Word. Thus where "Judah" is named, in the Prophets, the celestial church is mostly signified, or whatever is of that church; where "Israel" is named, the spiritual church is mostly signified, or whatever is of that church; where "Jacob" is named, the external church is signified; for with every man of the church there is an internal and an external of the church, the internal being where the true church is, and the external being what is derived therefrom, and this latter is "Jacob."
 But the case is different when the men are not named. The reason why this is so is that when named they refer representatively to the kingdom of the Lord. The Lord is the only Man, and is the all of His kingdom; and as the church is His kingdom on earth, the Lord alone is the all of the church. The all of the church is love or charity; and therefore a man (or what is the same, one called by name), signifies love or charity, that is, the all of the church; and then his "wife" signifies simply the church thence derived. So it is here. But what kind of churches are signified by "Shem, Ham, and Japheth" will of the Lord’s Divine mercy be stated hereafter.
AC 769. That by the "sons of Noah" are signified doctrinal things, is evident from the signification of "sons," as shown before; for there can be no church without doctrinal things. And therefore they are not only named, but it is also added that they are his "sons."
AC 770. That by Noah‘s "wife" is signified the church itself, and by the "three wives of his sons with them," the churches themselves that were derived from that church, is evident from what has been said before, namely, that when the man of the church is named, the all of the church is meant, or, as it is termed, the head of the church; and then his "wife" is the church itself, as shown before (n. 252, 253). It is otherwise when "man and wife," or "male and female," are named in the Word, for then by "man" and "male" are signified the things of the understanding, or the truths of faith; and by "wife" and "female," the things of the will, or the goods of faith.
AC 771. As every expression in the Word is from the Lord, and therefore has what is Divine within it, it is evident that there is no word, nor even an iota, that does not signify and involve something. And so it is here, when it is said "three wives," and the wives "of his sons," and also "with them." But what the particulars involve it would take too long to explain. It is sufficient to give only a general idea of their most general import. GENESIS 7:13 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|