Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 7:16
AC 781. Verse 16. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him; and Jehovah shut after him. "They that went in," signifies the things that were with the man of the church; "went in male and female of all flesh," signifies that there were with him truths and goods of every kind; "as God had commanded," signifies for the reception of which he had been prepared; "and Jehovah shut after him," signifies that man no longer had such communication with heaven as had the man of the celestial church.
AC 782. Thus far, down to (verse 11), the church has been described as having been preserved in those who were called "Noah." The state of the church then follows, which is described, and first in this passage, as already explained. Then is described the quality of this state of the church. The single verses and even single words involve peculiarities of its state. And because the state of the church is now treated of, what was said just before is repeated, being said twice; here, in the words "and they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh;" while in the verse just preceding it is said, "and they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two, of all flesh." This repetition in the Word signifies that another state is treated of. Otherwise, as any one may comprehend, it would be an entirely useless repetition.
AC 783. That "they that went in," signifies the things that were with the man of the church, is therefore evident; and it also follows that "went in male and female, of all flesh," signifies that there were with him goods and truths of every kind, for it has been stated and shown several times before that the "male" and the "female" signify truths and goods. "As God commanded him." That this signifies that he had been prepared to receive them, has also been mentioned below. With the Lord, to "command" is to prepare and do.
AC 784. And Jehovah shut after him. That this signifies that man no longer had such communication with heaven as had the man of the celestial church, appears from the following statement of the case. The state of the Most Ancient Church was such that they had internal communication with heaven, and so through heaven with the Lord. They were in love to the Lord. Those who are in love to the Lord are like angels, with the difference only that they are clothed with a body. Their interiors were uncovered, and were opened even from the Lord. But this new church was different. They were not in love to the Lord, but in faith, and through faith were in charity toward the neighbor. Such cannot have internal communication, like the most ancient man, but external. But the nature of internal and of external communication it would take too long to explain. Every man, even the wicked, has communication with heaven, through the angels with him (but with a difference as to degree, that is, nearer or more remote), for otherwise man could not exist. The degrees of this communication are without limit. A spiritual man cannot possibly have such communication as can the celestial man, for the reason that the Lord is in love, and not so much in faith. And this is what is signified by "Jehovah shut after him."
 And since those times heaven has never been open in the way it was to the man of the Most Ancient Church. It is true that many afterwards spoke with spirits and angels: as Moses, Aaron, and others, but in an entirely different way, concerning which, of the Lord‘s Divine mercy hereafter. The reason why heaven was closed is deeply hidden, and why it is so closed at this day that man does not even know that there are spirits, still less that there are angels, with him, and supposes himself to be entirely alone when without companions in the world, and when he is thinking by himself. And yet he is continually in the company of spirits, who observe and perceive what the man is thinking, and what he intends and devises, as fully and plainly as if it were manifest before all in the world. This the man is ignorant of, so closed to him is heaven, and yet it is most true. The reason is that if heaven were not so closed to him while he is in no faith, still less in the truth of faith, and still less in charity, it would be most perilous to him. This is also signified by the words:--
Jehovah God drove out the man, and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden the cherubim, and the flame of a sword that turned itself to keep the way of the tree of lives (Genesis 3:24);
see also what is said (n. 301-303).GENESIS 7:16 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|