Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 7:7-9
previous  -  next  -  text  -  summary  -  Genesis  -  BM Home  -  Full Page

AC 740. Verse 7. And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, from before the waters of the flood. "Noah went into the ark, from before the waters of the flood," signifies that he was protected in temptation; by "sons" are signified truths, as before; by "wife," goods; by "sons" "wives," truths conjoined with goods.

AC 741. Noah went into the ark from before the waters of the flood. That this signifies that he was protected, must be evident to every one. Temptations are nothing else than combats of evil spirits with the angels who are with a man. Evil spirits call up all the wrong things that from his infancy a man has either done or even thought, thus both his evils and his falsities, and condemn him, and there is nothing that gives them greater delight than to do this, for the very delight of their life consists therein. But through angels the Lord guards the man, and restrains the evil spirits and genii from ranging beyond bounds and inundating the man beyond what he is able to bear.

AC 742. That by "sons" are signified truths, by "wife" goods, and by "sons" "wives" truths conjoined with goods, has been explained before at (Genesis 6:18), where the same words occur. By truths and goods (though here called "sons" and "wives") are meant those things which were in the man called "Noah," and by means of which he was protected. Such is the most ancient style of the Word, connected in the manner of history, but involving heavenly arcana.

AC 743. Verses 8, 9. Of the clean beast, and of the beast that is not clean, and of the fowl, and of everything that creepeth upon the ground, there went in two and two, to Noah into the ark, male and female, as God had commanded Noah. By "the clean beast," affections of good are signified as before; by "the beast that is not clean," cupidities; by "the fowl," in general, thoughts; by "everything that creepeth upon the ground," the sensuous part and its every pleasure; "two and two," signify things corresponding; that they "went into the ark," signifies that they were protected; "male and female," signify as before truth and good; "as God commanded Noah," signifies that so it came to pass.

AC 744. That affections of good are signified by "the clean beast," has been stated and explained before, at (verse 2) of this chapter, and therefore need not be dwelt upon; as also that cupidities, that is, evil affections, are signified by "the beast not clean."

AC 745. That by the "fowl," or "bird," in general are signified thoughts, may be seen from what has been said before concerning birds-that they signify things of the understanding, or things rational. But there they were called "fowls of the heavens," and here only "the fowl;" and therefore they signify thoughts in general. For there are many kinds of birds, both clean and unclean, which are distinguished in (verse 14) into the "fowl," the "flying thing," and the "winged thing." The clean birds are thoughts of truth; the unclean are false thoughts; concerning which, of the Lord‘s Divine mercy hereafter.

AC 746. Everything that creepeth upon the ground. That this signifies the sensuous part and its every pleasure, has also been said and shown before. The most ancient people compared and likened the sensuous things of man and his pleasures to reptiles and creeping things, and even called them so, because they are the outermost things, and as it were creep on the surface of a man, and must not be permitted to raise themselves higher.

AC 747. That "two and two" signify things that correspond, any one may see from their being pairs; they cannot be pairs unless they correspond to each other, as do goods and truths, and evils and falsities. For there is in all things a semblance of a marriage, or a coupling, as of truths with goods, and of evils with falsities, because there is a marriage of the understanding with the will, or of the things of the understanding with those of the will. And indeed everything has its marriage or its coupling, without which it could not possibly subsist.

AC 748. That their "going into the ark" signifies that they were protected, was stated before in (verse 7), where it is said concerning Noah and his sons and their wives.

AC 749. That "male and female" signify truth and good, may be seen from what has been said before, in (verses 2 and 3) of this chapter, where "male and female" are predicated of fowls, and "man and wife" of beasts. The reason was also then stated, namely, that there is a marriage of the things of the will with those of the understanding, and not so much of the things of the understanding, in themselves regarded, with those of the will. The former are related as man and wife, the latter as male and female. And because the subject here, as before said, is the temptation of that man as to the things of his understanding, it is said "male and female," and there is meant a combat or temptation as to the things of the understanding.

AC 750. As God commanded Noah. That this signifies that so it came to pass, has been shown at (Genesis 6:22) of the preceding chapter, and in this chapter at (verse 5).

AC 751. As the subject here treated of is the temptation of the man of the new church called "Noah," and as few if any know the nature of temptations (because at this day there are few who undergo such temptations, and those who do undergo them know not but that it is something inherent in themselves which thus suffers), the subject shall be briefly explained. There are evil spirits who as before said in times of temptation call up a man’s falsities and evils, and in fact call forth from his memory whatever he has thought and done from his infancy. Evil spirits do this with a skill and a malignity so great as to be indescribable. But the angels with the man draw out his goods and truths, and thus defend him. This combat is what is felt and perceived by the man, causing the pain and remorse of conscience.

[2] There are two kinds of temptations, one as to things of the understanding, the other as to those of the will. When a man is tempted as to things of the understanding, the evil spirits call up only the evil things he has been guilty of (here signified by the "unclean beasts"), and accuse and condemn him; they do indeed also call up his good deeds (here signified by the "clean beasts"), but pervert them in a thousand ways. At the same time they call up what he has thought (here signified by the "fowl"), and such things also as are signified by "everything that creepeth upon the ground."

[3] But this temptation is light, and is perceived only by the recalling of such things to mind and a certain anxiety therefrom. But when a man is tempted as to the things of the will, his thoughts and doings are not so much called up, but there are evil genii (as evil spirits of this kind may be called) who inflame him with their cupidities and foul loves with which he also is imbued, and thus combat by means of the man‘s cupidities themselves, which they do so maliciously and secretly that it could not be believed to be from them. For in a moment they infuse themselves into the life of his cupidities, and almost instantly invert and change an affection of good and truth into an affection of evil and falsity, so that the man cannot possibly know but that it is done of his own self, and comes forth of his own will. This temptation is most severe, and is perceived as an inward pain and tormenting fire. Of this more will be said hereafter. That such is the case has been given me to perceive and know by manifold experience; and also when and how the evil spirits or genii were flowing in and inundating, and who and whence they were; concerning which experiences, of the Lord’s Divine mercy special and particular mention will be made hereafter.

GENESIS 7:7-9    previous  -  next  -  text  -  summary  -  Genesis  -  Full Page

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