Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 9:18
AC 1060. Verse 18. And the sons of Noah, that went forth from the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth; and Ham is the father of Canaan. "The sons of Noah, that went forth from the ark," signify those who constituted the Ancient Church; "that went forth from the ark," signifies those who are regenerate; " Shem," signifies the internal church; "Ham," signifies the church corrupted; "Japheth," signifies the external church; "and Ham is the father of Canaan," signifies that from the corrupted church sprang worship in externals without internals, which worship is signified by "Canaan."
AC 1061. And the sons of Noah, that went forth from the ark. That these signify those who constituted the Ancient Church, and that they "that went forth from the ark" are those who are regenerate, is evident from all that follows; from which it will be plain how the case is.
AC 1062. That "Shem" signifies the internal church, "Ham" the church corrupted, and "Japheth" the external church, is also evident from what follows, where their quality is described. As in every church, so in the Ancient there were men who were internal, men who were internal and corrupted, and men who were external. Those who are internal are those who make charity the principal of their faith; those who are internal and corrupted make faith without charity the principal of their faith; and those who are external think little about the internal man, but still perform works of charity and sacredly observe the rites of the church. Besides these three kinds of men there are no others who are to be called men of the spiritual church; and because they were all men of the church, they are said to have "gone forth from the ark." Those in the Ancient Church who were internal men, that is, who made charity the principal of their faith, were called " Shem;" those who were internal and corrupted, who made faith without charity the principal, were called "Ham;" while those who were external and thought little about the internal man, but still performed works of charity and sacredly observed the rites of the church, were called "Japheth." The nature of each will be seen from the particulars in what follows.
AC 1063. And Ham is the father of Canaan. That this signifies that from the corrupted church sprang worship in externals without internals, which worship is signified by "Canaan," is likewise evident from what follows for what is contained in this verse is premised to what is in the following verses. That "Ham" signifies the corrupted church, that is, those who make faith separate from charity the principal of their faith, is evident in David:--
He smote all the firstborn in Egypt, the beginning of strength, in the tents of Ham (Ps. 78:51).
By "the firstborn in Egypt" was represented faith without charity. That faith is called the firstborn of the church may be seen above (n. 352, 367); and that faith is thence called the "beginning of strength," as here in David, may be seen in (Genesis 49:3), in what is said of Reuben, who represented faith because he was the firstborn of Jacob, and is called the "beginning of strength." The "tents of Ham" are the worship therefrom. That "tents" signify worship may be seen above (n. 414). Egypt is hence called the "land of Ham" (Ps. 105:23, 27; 106:22). Such men, who in the Ancient Church were called "Ham," because they lived a life of all cupidities, merely prating that they could be saved by faith howsoever they lived, appeared to the ancient people black from the heat of cupidities, and from this were called "Ham." Ham is said to be the "father of Canaan" for the reason that such men care nothing how a man lives, provided he frequents sacred rites--for they do still desire some worship. But external worship is the only worship for them; internal worship, which belongs solely to charity, they reject. Hence Ham is said to be "the father of Canaan."GENESIS 9:18 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|