Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 9:14-15
AC 1046. Verses 14, 15. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living soul of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. "And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth," signifies when on account of the Own of man’s will part the faith of charity does not appear; "that the bow shall be seen in the cloud," signifies when man is still such that he can be regenerated; "and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you," signifies the mercy of the Lord specifically toward the regenerate and those who can be regenerated; "and every living soul of all flesh," signifies the whole human race; "and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh," signifies that man‘s intellectual part should no more be able to put on such a persuasion for its destruction as did the posterity of the Most Ancient Church. These things regard all men in general.
AC 1047. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth. That this signifies when on account of the Own of man’s will part the faith of charity does not appear, is evident from what has been said just above about the earth or the Own of man‘s will part-namely, that it is of such a nature that it continually pours into the intellectual part of man what is obscure, or false, which is a clouding over" and is the source of all falsity. This is sufficiently evident from the fact that the loves of self and of the world-which are of man’s will-are nothing but hatred. For in so far as any one loves himself, so far he hates the neighbor. And because these loves are so contrary to heavenly love, such things must needs continually flow in from them as are contrary to mutual love, and in the intellectual part all these are falsities. Thence comes all its darkness and obscurity. Falsity beclouds truth, just as a dark cloud does the light of the sun. And because falsity and truth cannot be together, just as darkness and light cannot, it plainly follows that the one departs as the other comes. And since this happens with alternation, it is therefore said here, "When I bring a cloud over the earth," that is, when through the Own of the will part, the faith of charity, or truth with its derivative good, does not appear, and still less good with its derivative truth.
AC 1048. That the bow shall be seen in the cloud. That this signifies when man is still such that he can be regenerated, is evident from the signification of the "bow in the cloud," which is a sign or indication of regeneration, as said above. With regard to the bow in the cloud, the case further is this. The quality of a man, or of a soul after the death of the body, is known at once; by the Lord it is known from eternity, and what it will be to eternity. By the angels his quality is perceived the moment he comes near. There is a certain sphere which exhales-so to speak-from his nature, or from everything in him; and this sphere, wonderful to say, is such that from it is perceived in what faith and in what charity the man is. It is this sphere that becomes visible as a bow when it so pleases the Lord. (Concerning this sphere, of the Lord‘s Divine mercy hereafter.) Hence it is evident what is here signified by the bow when seen in the cloud, namely, when man is such that he can be regenerated.
AC 1049. And I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you. That this signifies the mercy of the Lord, specifically toward the regenerate and those who can be regenerated, also follows, for, with the Lord, to "remember" is to have mercy. Remembering cannot be predicated of the Lord, because from eternity He knows all things both in general and in particular; but to have mercy is what is predicated of Him, because He knows that such is man’s character-that is to say, as before said-that man‘s Own is infernal, and that it is his very hell. For by the Own of his will, man communicates with hell, and from hell and from itself this Own desires nothing so much and so strongly as to cast itself down into hell; nor is it content with this, but desires to cast down all in the universe. Since man of himself is such a devil, and the Lord knows this, it follows that His "remembering the covenant" means nothing else than having mercy on man, and by Divine means regenerating him, and drawing him to heaven by a mighty force, so far as the man is such as to render this possible.
AC 1050. And every living soul of all flesh. That this signifies the whole human race, is evident from the signification of "living soul of all flesh." Every man is called a living soul from what is living in him. No man can ever live, still less as a man, if he has not something living in him, that is, if he has not something of innocence, of charity, and of mercy, or something from it like or emulating it. This something of innocence, charity, and mercy man receives from the Lord during infancy and childhood, as is evident from the state of infants and also from that of childhood. What the man then receives is preserved in him, and the things that are preserved are called in the Word "remains," and are of the Lord alone in the man. What is thus preserved is what causes the man, when he comes to adult age, to be capable of being a man. (Concerning remains see what is said above, (n. 468, 530, 560-563, 576).
 That the states of innocence, charity, and mercy which a man has had in infancy and during the years of childhood, cause him to be capable of being a man, is plainly evident from this, that man is not born into any exercise of life, as brute animals are, but has everything to learn, and what he learns becomes by exercise habitual, and thus as it were natural to him. He cannot even walk or speak until he learns, and so with everything else. By use these things become as it were natural to him. And such is the case also with the states of innocence, charity, and mercy with which he is in like manner imbued from infancy, and without which states he would be much viler than a brute. Yet these are states which man does not learn, but receives as a gift from the Lord, and which the Lord preserves in him. Together with the truths of faith, they are also what are called "remains," and are of the Lord alone. In so far as a man in adult age extinguishes these states, he becomes dead. When a man is being regenerated, these states are the beginnings of regeneration, and he is led into them; for the Lord works through the remains, as already stated.
 These remains with every man are what are here called the "living soul of all flesh." That "all flesh" signifies every man, and thus the whole human race, is evident from the signification of "flesh" everywhere in the Word. See what was shown in (n. 574). As in Matthew:--
Except those days should be shortened, no flesh would be saved (Matthew 24:22; Mark 13:20).
Jesus said, Father glorify Thy Son, as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh (John 17:2).
And the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together (Isaiah 40:5).
And all flesh shall know that I Jehovah am thy Saviour (Isaiah 49:26).
AC 1051. And the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. That this signifies that man’s intellectual part should no more be able to put on such a persuasion for its destruction as did the last posterity of the Most Ancient Church, is evident from what has been frequently said and shown before in regard to the waters of the flood, and also in regard to those before the flood who perished; namely, that with them not only the will part was destroyed and made infernal, but also the intellectual part; so that they could not be regenerated, that is, have a new will formed in their intellectual part. GENESIS 9:14-15 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|