Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 9:11
AC 1031. Verse 11. And I will establish My covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. "And I will establish My covenant with you," signifies the presence of the Lord with all who have charity, and refers to those who go forth from the ark and to every wild animal of the earth, that is, to men within the church and men without the church; "neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood," signifies that they shall not perish like the last posterity of the Most Ancient Church; "neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth," signifies that there shall not come forth any such deadly and suffocating persuasion.
AC 1032. And I will establish my covenant with you. That this signifies the presence of the Lord with all who have charity, and refers to those who go forth from the ark and to every wild animal of the earth, that is, to men within the church and men without, is evident from what has been said just above. That the Lord enters into a covenant, or conjoins Himself by charity, with Gentiles also who are outside the church, shall now be shown. The man of the church supposes that all who are out of the church, and are called Gentiles, cannot be saved, because they have no knowledges of faith, and are therefore wholly ignorant of the Lord, saying that without faith and without knowledge of the Lord there is no salvation, and thus he condemns all who are out of the church. Indeed many of this sort who are in some doctrine, even if it be heresy, suppose that all outside this, that is, all who do not hold the same opinion, cannot be saved; when in fact the case is not so at all. The Lord has mercy toward the whole human race, and wills to save and draw to Himself all who are in the universe.
 The mercy of the Lord is infinite, and does not suffer itself to be limited to those few who are within the church, but extends itself to all in the whole world. Their being born out of the church and being thus in ignorance of faith, is not their fault; and no one is ever condemned for not having faith in the Lord when he is ignorant of Him. Who that thinks aright will ever say that the greatest part of the human race must perish in eternal death because they were not born in Europe, where there are comparatively few? And who that thinks aright will say that the Lord suffered so great a multitude to be born to perish in eternal death? This would be contrary to the Divine, and contrary to mercy. And besides, those who are out of the church, and are called Gentiles, live a much more moral life than those who are within the church, and embrace much more easily the doctrine of true faith, as is still more evident from souls in the other life. The worst of all come from the so-called Christian world, holding the neighbor in deadly hatred, and even the Lord. Above all others in the whole world they are adulterers.
 It is not so with those from other parts of the world. Very many of those who have worshiped idols are of such a disposition as to abhor hatred and adultery, and to fear Christians because of their being of this character and desirous of tormenting every one. Indeed Gentiles are so disposed as to listen readily, when taught by angels about the truths of faith, and that the Lord rules the universe, and to be easily imbued with faith and thus to reject their idols. For this reason Gentiles who have lived a moral life and in mutual charity and innocence, are regenerated in the other life. While they live in the world the Lord is present with them in charity and innocence, for there is nothing of charity and innocence except from the Lord. The Lord also gives them a conscience of what is right and good according to their religion, and insinuates innocence and charity into that conscience; and when there is innocence and charity in the conscience, they easily suffer themselves to be imbued with the truth of faith from good. The Lord Himself said this, in Luke:--
And one said unto Him, Lord, are they few that be saved? and He said unto them, Ye shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and yourselves cast forth without; and they shall come from the east and the west, and from the north and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God; and behold, there are last who shall be first, and there are first who shall be last (Luke 13:23, 28-30).
By "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" are here meant all who have love, as shown above.
AC 1033. With regard to a conscience of what is right and good being given to Gentiles according to their religion, the case is this: Conscience, in general, is either true, spurious, or false. True conscience is that which is formed by the Lord of the truths of faith. When a man has been gifted with this, he fears to act contrary to the truths of faith, because he would thus act contrary to conscience. This conscience no one can receive who is not in the truths of faith, and therefore there are not very many in the Christian world who receive it, for each one sets up his own dogma as the truth of faith. But still those who are being regenerated receive conscience together with charity, for the very ground of conscience is charity. Spurious conscience is that which is formed with Gentiles from their religious worship into which they have been born and educated, to act contrary to which is to them to act contrary to conscience. When their conscience has been founded in charity and mercy, and in obedience, they are in such a state that they can receive true conscience in the other life, and they also do receive it; for they love nothing before and beyond the truth of faith. False conscience is that which is formed, not from internal but from external things, that is, not from charity but from the love of self and of the world. For there are those who seem to themselves to act contrary to conscience when they act against the neighbor, and also seem to themselves to be then inwardly pained; and yet it is for the reason that they perceive in their thought that their life, honor, fame, wealth, or gain, is thus imperiled, and therefore they themselves are injured. Some inherit such a softness of heart, some acquire it; but it is a false conscience.
AC 1034. Neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood. That this signifies that they should not perish, as did the last posterity of the Most Ancient Church, is evident from what has been said before about those before the flood, who perished, being signified by those who were cut off by the waters of the flood. It has been shown before (n. 310) how the case was, namely, that the last posterity of the Most Ancient Church was of such a nature that both the will part and the intellectual part of their mind had become corrupt, so that the intellectual could not be separated from the will, and a new will be formed in the intellectual, since both parts of their mind cohered together. And because this was foreseen, it was also provided by the Lord that the intellectual in man might be separated from the will, and thus be renewed. And therefore because it was provided that such men as were that race before the flood should not afterwards exist, therefore it is here said, "neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood."
AC 1035. Neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. That this signifies that such a deadly and suffocating persuasion should no longer come forth, is evident from the signification of "a flood" relatively to the antediluvians who perished, as described above; as well as from their direful persuasions (n. 311, 563, 570, 581, 586); as also from what has been shown of the succeeding church, called "Noah;" and further from what follows concerning the rainbow. GENESIS 9:11 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|