Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 8:13
AC 893. Verse 13. And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the beginning, on the first of the month, that the waters were dried up from off the earth; and Noah removed the concerning of the ark, and saw, and behold, the faces of the ground were dry. "And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year," signifies a last boundary (or close); "in the beginning, on the first of the month," signifies a first boundary (or recommencement); "the waters were dried up from off the earth" signifies that falsities did not then appear; "and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked," signifies on the removal of falsities there was the light of the truths of faith, which he acknowledged and in which he had faith; "and behold the faces of the ground were dry," signifies regeneration. And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year. That this signifies a last boundary, is evident from the signification of the number "six hundred," concerning which in the preceding chapter (Genesis 7:6); (n. 737), as being a beginning, and there indeed the beginning of temptation, its end being here designated by the same number, a whole year having passed, so that what took place was at the end of the year, and therefore it is added, "in the beginning, on the first of the month," by which is signified a first boundary (or recommencement). Any whole period is designated in the Word as a "day," a "week," a "month," a "year," even though it be a hundred or a thousand years, as the "days" in the first chapter of Genesis, by which are meant periods of the regeneration of the man of the Most Ancient Church; for "day" and "year" in the internal sense signify nothing else than a time, and because they signify a time they signify a state, and therefore in the Word a "year" is continually used with the meaning of a time and a state. As in Isaiah:--
To proclaim the acceptable year of Jehovah, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn (Isaiah 61:2),
where the coming of the Lord is treated of. Again:--
For the day of vengeance was in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed had come (Isaiah 63:4),
where also "day" and "year" denote a time and state. In Habakkuk:--
O Jehovah, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known (Habakkuk 3:2),
where "years" denote a time and state. In David:--
Thou art God Himself, and Thy years are not consumed (Ps. 102:27),
where "years" denote times, and it is shown that with God there is no time. So in the passage before us, the year of the flood by no means signifies any particular year, but a time not determined by fixed years, and at the same time a state. See what has been said before about "years," (n. 482, 487, 488, 493).
AC 894. In the beginning, on the first of the month. That this signifies a first boundary (or recommencement), is now evident from what has been shown. What is further involved in these words is too deeply hidden to be described any further than that there is no definite period of time within which man‘s regeneration is completed, so that he can say, "I am now perfect;" for there are illimitable states of evil and falsity with every man, not only simple states but also states in many ways compounded, which must be so far shaken off as no longer to appear, as said above. In some states the man may be said to be more perfect, but in very many others not so. Those who have been regenerated in the life of the body and have lived in faith in the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor, are continually being perfected in the other life.
AC 895. The waters were dried up from off the earth. That this signifies that falsities did not then appear, is evident from what has been said. Specifically it signifies that falsities have been separated from the things of the will of the man of this church. The "earth" here signifies man’s will, which is nothing but cupidity; wherefore it is said that "the waters were dried up from off the earth." His "ground," as said above, is in his intellectual part, in which truths are sown--never in his will part, which in the spiritual man is separate from the intellectual; wherefore it is said afterwards in this verse that the face of the "ground" was dried. With the man of the Most Ancient Church there was ground in his will, in which the Lord sowed goods, and then from the goods the man could know and perceive truth, or from love could have faith; but if this method were followed now, man could not but perish eternally, for his will is wholly corrupted. How the case is with this sowing in man‘s will part, or--as is the case now--in his intellectual part, is evident from considering that revelations were made to the man of the Most Ancient Church by means of which he from his infancy was initiated into a perception of goods and truths, but as those revelations were sown in his will part, he without new instruction perceived innumerable things, so that from one general principle he knew from the Lord the particulars and the singulars which now men have to learn and so know, and yet after all they can know scarcely a thousandth part of them. For the man of the spiritual church knows nothing but what he learns, and what he knows in this way he retains and believes to be true. Indeed even if he learns what is false, and this is impressed on his mind as true, he believes it, because he has no other perception than that it is so, for so is he persuaded. Those who have conscience have from conscience a certain dictate, but no other than that a thing is true because they have so heard and learned. This is what forms their conscience, as is evident from those who have a conscience of what is false.
AC 896. And Noah removed the covering of the ark and saw. That this signifies, on the removal of falsities the light of the truths of faith, which he acknowledged and in which he had faith, is evident from the signification of "removing the covering," as being to take away what obstructs the light. As by the "ark" is signified the man of the Ancient Church who was to be regenerated, by the "covering" nothing else can be signified than what obstructs or prevents from seeing heaven, or the light. What prevented was falsity; wherefore it is said that he "saw." In the Word "to see" signifies to understand and to have faith. Here it means that the man acknowledged truths and had faith in them. It is one thing to know truths, and quite another to acknowledge them, and still another to have faith in them. To know is the first thing of regeneration, to acknowledge is the second, to have faith is the third. What difference there is between knowing, acknowledging, and having faith is evident from the fact that the worst men may know, and yet not acknowledge, like the Jews and those who attempt to destroy doctrinal things by specious reasoning; and that unbelievers may acknowledge, and in certain states preach, confirm, and persuade with zeal; but none can have faith who are not believers.
 Those who have faith, know, acknowledge, and believe, they have charity, and they have conscience; and therefore faith can never be predicated of any one, that is, it cannot be said that he has faith, unless these things are true of him. This then it is to be regenerate. Merely to know what is of faith is of a man’s memory, without the concurrence of his reason. To acknowledge what is of faith is a rational consent induced by certain causes and for the sake of certain ends. But to have faith is of conscience, that is, of the Lord working through conscience. This is abundantly evident from those who are in the other life. Those who only know are many of them in hell. Those who acknowledge are also many of them there, because their acknowledgment in the life of the body has been in certain states only, and when in the other life they perceive that what they had preached, taught, and persuaded others is true, they wonder greatly and acknowledge it only when it is recalled to their memory as what they had preached. But those who have had faith are all in heaven.
AC 897. In this place, the subject being the man of the Ancient Church when regenerated, by "seeing" is signified acknowledging and having faith. That "seeing" has this signification is evident from the Word; as in Isaiah:--
Ye looked not unto the Maker thereof, and the Former thereof from afar ye have not seen (Isaiah 22:11),
speaking of the city of Zion; "not to see the Former from afar" is not to acknowledge, still less to have faith. Again:--
Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and smear over their eyes, lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and their heart should understand, and turn again, and he healed (Isaiah 6:10);
"to see with their eyes," denotes acknowledging and having faith. Again:--
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light (Isaiah 9:2),
said of the Gentiles who received faith; as it is here said of Noah, that he "removed the covering and saw." Again:--
And in that day shall the deaf hear the word of the Book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of thick darkness and out of darkness (Isaiah 29:18),
speaking of the conversion of the Gentiles to faith; "to see" denotes to receive faith. Again:--
Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see (Isaiah 42:18),
where the meaning is similar. In Ezekiel:--
Who have eyes to see, and see not, who have ears to hear, and hear not; for they are a rebellious house (Ezekiel 12:2),
meaning who can understand, acknowledge, and have faith, and yet will not. That "to see" signifies to have faith, is evident from the representation of the Lord by the brazen serpent in the wilderness, on seeing which all were healed; as in Moses:--
Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a standard; and it shall come to pass that every one that is bitten, when he seeth it, shall live; and it came to pass that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked unto the serpent of brass, he lived (Num. 21:8, 9);
from which passage every one can see that "to see" signifies faith; for what would seeing avail in this case, except as a representative of faith in the Lord? Hence also it is evident that Reuben, Jacob‘s firstborn, being so called from "seeing," signifies in the internal sense faith. See what was said before about the firstborn of the church, (n. 352, 367).
AC 898. And behold, the faces of the ground were dry. That this signifies regeneration, is evident from the signification of "ground," as being the man of the church, which has been repeatedly shown above. The face of the ground is said to be "dry" when falsities no longer appear. GENESIS 8:13 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|