Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 9:8-10
AC 1019. Verse 8. And God said unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying. "God said unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying," signifies the truth of the things that follow in regard to the spiritual church, which is meant by "Noah and his sons with him."
AC 1020. That these things are signified is evident from the fact that all things put historically, from the first chapter of Genesis to Eber in the eleventh chapter, signify things quite different from those which appear in the letter, and the historical series is only made-up history, after the manner of the most ancient people, who when they would attest the truth of a thing, declared that "Jehovah said" it. Here however it is said that "God" said, because the subject treated of is the spiritual church. They used the same form of speaking when anything true was coming to pass, or had done so.
AC 1021. That by "Noah and his sons with him" is signified the Ancient Church, has been shown before, and will be evident in what follows in this chapter, so that there is no need to confirm it now.
AC 1022. Verses 9, 10. And I, behold, I establish My covenant with you, and with your seed after you; and with every living soul that is with you, the fowl, the beast, and every wild animal of the earth with you; of all that go out of the ark, even every wild animal of the earth. "And I, behold, I establish My covenant," signifies the presence of the Lord in charity; "with you," signifies the regenerate spiritual man; "and with your seed after you," signifies those who are being created anew; "and with every living soul that is with you," signifies in general all things in man that have been regenerated; "the fowl," signifies specifically the things of his understanding; "the beast," the things of his new will; "and every wild animal of the earth," signifies the lower things of his understanding and those of his will therefrom; "with you," signifies here as before what is in the regenerate spiritual man; "of all that go out of the ark," signifies the men of the church; "even every wild animal of the earth," signifies the men outside of the church.
AC 1023. And I, behold, I establish My, covenant. That this signifies the presence of the Lord in charity, is evident from the signification of "covenant," as shown above (n. 666), where it was shown that a "covenant" signifies regeneration, and indeed the conjunction of the Lord with the regenerate man by love; and that the heavenly marriage is that veriest covenant itself, and consequently so is the heavenly marriage with every regenerate man. This marriage or covenant has been treated of before. With the man of the Most Ancient Church the heavenly marriage was in the Own of his will part, but with the man of the Ancient Church the heavenly marriage was effected in the Own of his intellectual part. For when man‘s will part had become wholly corrupt, the Lord miraculously separated the Own of his intellectual part from that corrupt Own of his will part, and in the Own of his intellectual part He formed a new will, which is conscience, and into the conscience insinuated charity, and into the charity innocence, and thus conjoined Himself with man, or what is the same made a covenant with him. So far as the Own of man’s will part can be separated from this Own of the intellectual part, the Lord can be present with him, or conjoin Himself, or enter into a covenant with him. Temptations and the like means of regeneration cause the Own of man‘s will part to be quiescent, to become as nothing, and as it were to die. So far as this is done the Lord through conscience implanted in the Own of man’s intellectual part can work In charity. And this is what is here called a "covenant."
AC 1024. With you. That this signifies the regenerate spiritual man, is evident from what has been said before, namely, that Noah and his sons signify the spiritual church which succeeded the Most Ancient celestial church; and since the church is signified, so also is each man of the church, thus the regenerate spiritual man.
AC 1025. And with your seed after you. That this signifies those who are being created anew, is evident from the signification of "seed," and also from what follows. From the signification of "seed," inasmuch as "seed" signifies in the literal sense posterity, but in the internal sense faith; and since, as has been often said, there is no faith except where there is charity, it is charity itself which is meant in the internal sense by "seed." From what follows it is evident that not only the man who is within the church is meant, but also the man who is without the church, thus the whole human race. Wherever there is charity, even among nations most remote from the church, there is "seed," for heavenly seed is charity. No man can do anything of good from himself, but all good is from the Lord. The good which the Gentiles do is also from the Lord, of whom, by the Divine mercy of the Lord, hereafter. That the "seed of God" is faith, has been shown before (n. 255). By faith there, and elsewhere, is meant the charity from which is faith; for there is no other faith that is faith, than the faith of charity.
 It is the same also in other places in the Word where "seed" is named, as the "seed of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob," by which is signified love or charity. For Abraham represented the celestial love, and Isaac the spiritual love, which are of the internal man. Jacob represented the same, but that of the external man. It is so not only in the prophetic, but also in the historic parts of the Word. The history in the Word is not perceived in heaven, but what is signified by it. The Word was written not only for man, but also for angels. When man reads the Word and takes from it nothing but the literal sense, angels then take not the literal, but the internal sense. The material, worldly, and corporeal ideas which man has when he reads the Word, become with angels spiritual and heavenly ideas--as when man reads about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the angels do not think at all of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but of what is represented and thus signified by them.
 So with Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the angels do not know of these persons, nor perceive anything else than the Ancient Church; and the interior angels do not even perceive the church, but the faith of that church, and according to the connection the state of the things treated of. Thus when "seed" is mentioned in the Word (as here the seed of Noah, that a covenant was made with them and with their seed after them), angels do not perceive such a posterity; for there was no Noah, but the Ancient Church was so called; and by "seed" angels understand charity, which was the essential of the faith of that church. And again when in the history of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob their "seed" is spoken of, angels never understand the posterity of these men, but all in the universe, both in the church and out of it, in whom there is heavenly seed, or charity; and the interior angels perceive love itself--abstractedly--which is heavenly seed.
 That by "seed" is signified love, and also every one in whom there is love, is evident from the following passages in Genesis:--
And Jehovah appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land (Genesis 12:7);
All the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever; and I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth (Genesis 13:15, 16).
Those who are in the sense of the letter do not apprehend anything else than that by "seed" is meant the posterity of Abram, and by this "land," the land of Canaan, especially as this land was given to his posterity. But those who are in the internal sense, as is the whole heaven, by the "seed of Abram" perceive nothing else than love; by the "land of Canaan" nothing else than the kingdom of the Lord in the heavens and on the earth; and in the land‘s being given them they perceive nothing but its representation, of which, by the Divine mercy of the Lord, elsewhere. And again it is said of Abram:--
Jehovah led him forth abroad, and said, Look up now toward heaven, and number the stars, if thou be able to number them; and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be (Gen. 15:15).
Here likewise Abram is named because he represented love, or saving faith; and by his "seed" no other posterity is meant, in the internal sense, than all in the universe who have love.
And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee, and I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land of thy sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be to them for God; this is My covenant, which thou shalt keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee, that every male be circumcised unto you (Gen. 17:7, 8, 10).
Here "establishing His covenant" likewise signifies the conjunction of the Lord with men throughout the universe by love, which love was represented by Abram. From this it is evident what is signified by his "seed," namely, all in the universe who have love. The covenant here treated of was circumcision, by which is never understood in heaven circumcision of the flesh, but circumcision of the heart, which those have who have love. Circumcision was a representative of regeneration by love, as is clearly explained in Moses:--
And Jehovah thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live (Deut. 30:6),
from which it is evident what circumcision is in the internal sense; and therefore wherever circumcision is mentioned, nothing else is meant than love and charity, and the life therefrom.
 That by the "seed of Abraham" all in the universe who have love are signified, is evident also from the words of the Lord to Abraham and to Isaac. To Abraham, after he was willing to sacrifice Isaac as commanded, the Lord said:--
In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall inherit the gate of thine enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed (Gen. 22:17, 18),
where it is plainly evident that by "seed" are meant all in the universe who have love.
 As Abraham represented celestial love, as already said, so Isaac represented spiritual love; and therefore by the "seed of Isaac" nothing else is signified than every man in whom there is spiritual love, or charity. Of him it is said:--
Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these lands; and I will establish the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heavens, and will give unto thy seed all these lands’ and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed (Gen. 26:3, 4, 24),
where it is manifest that all nations are meant who are in charity. Celestial love was represented by Abraham as the father of the spiritual love that was represented by Isaac; for the spiritual is born of the celestial, as shown above.
 As Jacob represented the externals of the church, which come forth from the internals, and thus all things springing in the external man from love and charity, by his "seed" are signified all in the universe who have external worship in which is internal, and who do works of charity in which there is charity from the Lord. Of this "seed" it was said to Jacob after he had seen the ladder in his dream:--
I am Jehovah, the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac; the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the ground be blessed (Gen. 28:13, 14; 32:12; 48:4).
 That such is the signification of "seed" is evident from the passages of the Word cited above (n. 255); and also from the following. In Isaiah:--
But thou, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, My friend (Isaiah 41:8),
where the subject is the regeneration of man; and, as is often the case, a distinction is made between Israel and Jacob, and by "Israel" is signified the internal spiritual church, by "Jacob" the externals of the same church, and both are called the "seed of Abraham," that is, of the celestial church, because the celestial, spiritual, and natural follow one another in succession. In Jeremiah:--
I had planted thee a wholly noble vine, a seed of truth; how then art thou turned into the degenerate ones of a strange vine unto Me? (Jeremiah 2:21).
This is said of the spiritual church, which is a "noble vine," whose charity, or faith of charity, is called a "seed of truth."
As the army of the heavens cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the seed of David My servant, and the Levites that minister unto Me (Jeremiah 33:22),
where "seed" plainly denotes heavenly seed, for by David is signified the Lord. That the seed of David was not as the army of the heavens that cannot be numbered, neither as the sand of the sea that cannot be measured, is known to every one. Again:--
Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will raise unto David a righteous offshoot, and He shall reign as king and shall act intelligently, and shall do judgment and righteousness in the land; in His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell confidently; and this is His name whereby He shall be called, Jehovah our righteousness; therefore behold the days come, saith Jehovah, that they shall no more say, As Jehovah liveth, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, As Jehovah liveth, who brought up and who led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country (Jeremiah 23:5-8).
Here things very different from those appearing in the letter are signified. David is not meant by "David," nor Judah by "Judah," nor Israel by "Israel;" but by "David" is signified the Lord, by "Judah" what is celestial, by "Israel" what is spiritual; and therefore by "the seed of Israel" those who have charity, or the faith of charity.
 In David:--
Ye that fear Jehovah, praise Him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify Him; and stand in awe of Him, all ye the seed of Israel (Ps. 22:23),
where by "the seed of Israel" no other seed is meant than the spiritual church. In Isaiah:--
A seed of holiness is the stock thereof (Isaiah 6:13),
meaning remains which are holy, because they are the Lord‘s. Again:--
I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah a possessor of My mountains; and Mine elect shall possess it, and My servants shall dwell there (Isaiah 65:9),
where the celestial church, external and internal, is treated of. Again:--
They shall not generate for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of Jehovah, and their offspring with them (Isaiah 65:23),
where the subject is the new heavens and the new earth, or the kingdom of the Lord. Those who are therein, being "generated" from love, or regenerated, are called the "seed of the blessed of Jehovah."
AC 1026. And with every living soul that is with you. That this signifies in general all things in man that are regenerated, is evident from what precedes and from what follows, and also from the signification or "living."’ Everything is called "living" that has received life from the Lord, and everything a "living soul" that lives therefrom in the regenerate man. For according to the life which the regenerate man receives, everything in him is living, as well the things of his reason as his affections; and this life is apparent in everything of his thought and speech in the sight of angels, but not in that of man.
AC 1027. The fowl. That this signifies specifically the things of his understanding, is evident from what has been said and shown before about fowls (n. 40, 776).
AC 1028. The beast. That this signifies specifically the things of his new will, is evident also from what has been said and shown before concerning beasts and their signification (n. 45, 46, 142, 143, 246, 776).
AC 1029. And every wild animal of the earth. That this signifies the lower things of his understanding and those of his will therefrom, is evident also from what has been said and shown before as to the signification of a "wild animal." For with every man there are things interior and things exterior. The interior are things of reason, here signified by "the fowl," and also affections, signified by the "beast." The exterior are things of knowledge (scientifica) and pleasures, which are here signified by the "wild animal of the earth." That by "fowl, beast, and wild animal," is not signified any fowl, beast, or wild animal, but what is living in the regenerate man, any one may know and conclude from this, that a covenant cannot be made by God with brute animals (yet it is said, "I establish My covenant with every living soul that is with you, the fowl, the beast, and the wild animal of the earth with you"), but with man, who is described by them in this way as to his interiors and exteriors.
AC 1030. Of all that go out of the ark. That this signifies the men of the church, and that "even every wild animal of the earth" signifies the man who is outside the church, is evident from the series of things in the internal sense; for all that went forth from the ark have been named before--as every living soul, the fowl, the beast, and the wild animal of the earth--and here it is said again, "of all that go out of the ark, even every wild animal of the earth." Thus the "wild animal of "he earth" is named a second time, and there would not be this repetition unless something else were here meant. And there also follows: "I will establish My covenant with you," as was said before. From this it is evident that by "those going out of the ark" are signified the regenerate, or the men of the church, and by the "wild animal of the earth" are signified all in the universe who are outside the church.
 The "wild animal of the earth," in the Word, when living things are not meant by it, signifies those things which are more vile and partake more or less of the ferine nature, and this in accordance with the subject of which it is predicated. When it is predicated of what is in man, then the "wild animal of the earth" signifies lower things which are of the external man and of the body, as presently in this same verse, and thus what is more vile. When it is predicated of an entire society, which is called a composite man or person, then the "wild animal of the earth" signifies those who are not of the church, because they are more vile; and so in other cases according to the subject of which it is predicated. As in Hosea:--
In that day will I make a covenant for them with the wild animal of the field, and with the fowl of the heavens, and with the creeping thing of the earth (Hosea 2:18).
The wild animal of the field shall honor Me, because I give waters in the wilderness (Isaiah 43:20).
All the birds of the heavens made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches all the wild animals of the field brought forth, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations (Ezekiel 31:6).
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|