The True Meaning of the 7 Days of Creation: Spiritual Rebirth
The 6th Day: Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 1:24-31
previous - next Verses 24, 25. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living soul after its kind, the beast, and the moving thing, and the wild animal of the earth after its kind; and it was so. And God made the wild animal of the earth after its kind, and the beast after its kind, and everything that creepeth on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. Man, like the earth, can produce nothing of good unless the knowledges of faith are first sown in him, whereby he may know what is to be believed and done. It is the office of the understanding to hear the Word, and of the will to do it. To hear the Word and not to do it, is like saying that we believe when we do not live according to our belief; in which case we separate hearing and doing, and thus have a divided mind, and become of those whom the Lord calls "foolish" in the following passage:--
Whosoever heareth My words, and doeth them, I will liken unto a wise man who built his house upon a rock: but every one that heareth My words, and doeth them not, I liken to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand (Matt. 7:24, 26).
The things that belong to the understanding are signified by the "creeping things which the waters bring forth," and also by the "fowl upon the earth," and "upon the faces of the expanse;" but those which are of the will are signified here by the "living soul which the earth produces," and by the "beast" and "creeping thing," and also by the "wild animal of that earth."
Behold, I am for you, and I will look back to you, that ye may be tilled and sown, and I will multiply upon you man and beast, and they shall be multiplied and bring forth fruit; and I will cause you to dwell as in your ancient times (Ezekiel 36:9, 11),
treating of regeneration. In Joel:--
Be not afraid ye beasts of My field, for the dwelling-places of the wilderness are become grassy (Joel 2:22).
In David also:--
So foolish was I, I was as a beast before Thee (Ps. 73:22).
In Jeremiah, treating of regeneration:--
Behold the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast, and I will watch over them to build and to plant (Jeremiah 31:27, 28).
 "Wild animals" have a similar signification, as in Hosea:--
In that day will I make a covenant for them with the will animal of the field, and with the fowl of the heavens, and with the creeping thing of the earth (Hosea 2:18).
Thou shalt not be afraid of the wild animals of the earth, for thy covenant is with the stones of the field, and the wild animals of the field shall be at peace with thee (Job 5:22, 23).
I will make with you a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil wild animal to cease out of the land, that they may dwell confidently in the wilderness (Ezekiel 34:25).
The wild animals of the field shall honor me, because I have given waters in the wilderness (Isaiah 43:20).
All the fowls of the heavens made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the wild animals of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations (Ezekiel 31:6).
This is said of the Assyrian, by whom is signified the spiritual man, and who is compared to the garden of Eden. In David:--
Glorify ye Him, all His angels, glorify Jehovah from the earth, ye whales, fruit-trees, wild animal, and every beast, creeping thing, and flying fowl (Ps. 148:2, 7, 9, 10).
Here mention is made of the same things--as "whales," the "fruit-tree," "wild animal," the "beast," "creeping thing," and "fowl," which, unless they had signified living principles in man, could never have been called upon to glorify Jehovah.
 The Prophets carefully distinguish between "beasts" and "wild animals" "of the earth," and "beasts" and "wild animals" "of the field." Nevertheless goods in man are called "beasts," just as those who are nearest the Lord in heaven are called "animals," both in Ezekiel and in John:--
All the angels stood round about the throne, and the elders, and the four animals, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped the Lamb (Rev. 7:11; 19:4).
Those also who have the gospel preached to them are called "creatures," because they are to be created anew:--
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).
 Hence in the Prophets, by "man" and the "Son of man," in the supreme sense, is meant the Lord; and in the internal sense, wisdom and intelligence; thus every one who is regenerate. As in Jeremiah:--
I beheld the earth, and lo, it was void and emptiness, and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld and lo there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled (Jeremiah 4:23, 25).
In Isaiah, where, in the internal sense, by "man", is meant a regenerate person, and in the supreme sense, the Lord himself, as the One Man:--
Thus saith Jehovah the Holy One of Israel, and his Former, I have made the earth, and created man upon it; I, even My hands have stretched out the heavens, and all their army have I commanded (Isaiah 45:11, 12).
 The Lord therefore appeared to the prophets as a man, as in Ezekiel:--
Above the expanse, as the appearance of a sapphire stone, the likeness of a throne, and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it (Ezekiel 1:26).
And when seen by Daniel He was called the "Son of man," that is, the man, which is the same thing:--
I saw, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him; and there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, and nations, and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed (Daniel 7:13, 14).
 The Lord also frequently calls Himself the "Son of man," that is, the man, and, as in Daniel, foretells His coming in glory:--
Then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (Matt. 24:30).
The "clouds of heaven" are the literal sense of the Word; "power and great glory" are the internal sense of the Word, which in all things both in general and in particular has reference solely to the Lord and His kingdom; and it is from this that the internal sense derives its power and glory.
 While man is unregenerate he is governed quite otherwise than when regenerated. While unregenerate there are evil spirits with him, who so domineer over him that the angels, though present, are scarcely able to do anything more than merely guide him so that he may not plunge into the lowest evil, and bend him to some good--in fact bend him to good by means of his own cupidities, and to truth by means of the fallacies of the senses. He then has communication with the world of spirits through the spirits who are with him, but not so much with heaven, because evil spirits rule, and the angels only avert their rule.
 But when the man is regenerate, the angels rule, and inspire him with all goods and truths, and with fear and horror of evils and falsities. The angels indeed lead, but only as ministers, for it is the Lord alone who governs man through angels and spirits. And as this is done through the ministry of angels, it is here first said, in the plural number, "Let us make man in our image;" and yet because the Lord alone governs and disposes, it is said in the following verse, in the singular number, "God created him in His own image." This the Lord also plainly declares in Isaiah:--
Thus saith Jehovah thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb, I Jehovah make all things, stretching forth the heavens alone, spreading abroad the earth by Myself (Isaiah 44:24).
The angels moreover themselves confess that there is no power in them, but that they act from the Lord alone.
He that walketh in the darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be sons of light (John 12:35, 36).
He is called also a "friend:"--
Ye are My friends if ye do whatsoever I command you (John 15:14, 15).
But the celestial man, who is a "likeness," is called a "son of God," in John:--
As many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become sons of God, even to them that believe on His name; who were born not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12, 13).
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet, the flock and all cattle, and also the beasts of the feilds, the fowl of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas (Ps. 8:6-8).
Here therefore " beasts" are first mentioned, and then " fowl," and afterwards the "fish of the sea," because the celestial man proceeds from love, which belongs to the will, differing herein from the spiritual man, in describing whom "fishes" and "fowl" are first named, which belong to the understanding, and this to faith; and afterwards mention is made of "beasts."Verse 27. And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him. The reason why "image" is here twice mentioned, is that faith, which belongs to the understanding, is called "His image;" whereas love, which belongs to the will, and which in the spiritual man comes after, but in the celestial man precedes, is called the "image of God." Verse 28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth. As the most ancient people called the conjunction of the understanding and the will, or of faith and love, a marriage, everything of good produced from that marriage they called "fructifications," and everything of truth, "multiplications." Hence they are so called in the Prophets, as for instance in Ezekiel:--
I will multiply upon you man and beast, and they shall multiply and be fruitful, and I will cause you to dwell as in your ancient times, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings, and ye shall know that I am Jehovah, yea, I will cause man to walk upon you, even My people Israel (Ezekiel 36:11, 12).
By "man" is here meant the spiritual man who is called Israel; by "ancient times," the Most Ancient Church; by "beginnings," the Ancient Church after the flood. The reason why "multiplication," which is of truth, is first mentioned, and "fructification," which is of good, afterwards, is that the passage treats of one who is to become regenerated, and not of one who is already regenerated.
 When the understanding is united with the will, or faith with love, the man is called by the Lord "a married land," as in Isaiah:--
Thy land shall be no more termed waste, but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah (My delight is in her), and thy land Beulah (married), for Jehovah delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married (Isaiah 62:4).
The fruits thence issuing, which are of truth, are called "sons," and those which are of good are called "daughters," and this very frequently in the Word.
 The earth is "replenished," or filled, when there are many truths and goods; for when the Lord blesses and speaks to man, that is, works upon him, there is an immense increase of good and truth, as the Lord says in Matthew:--
The kingdom of the heavens is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the heavens come and build their nests in the branches thereof (Matthew 13:31, 32).
A "grain of mustard-seed" is man‘s good before he becomes spiritual, which is "the least of all seeds," because he thinks that he does good of himself, and what is of himself is nothing but evil. But as he is in a state of regeneration, there is something of good in him, but it is the least of all.
 At length as faith is joined with love it grows larger, and becomes an "herb;" and lastly, when the conjunction is completed, it becomes a "tree," and then the "birds of the heavens" (in this passage also denoting truths, or things intellectual) "build their nests in its branches," which are memory knowledges. When man is spiritual, as well as during the time of his becoming spiritual, he is in a state of combat, and therefore it is said, "subdue the earth and have dominion."Verse 29. And God said, Behold, I give you every herb bearing seed which is upon the faces of all the earth; and every tree in which is fruit; the tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for food. The celestial man is delighted with celestial things alone, which being in agreement with his life are called celestial food. The spiritual man is delighted with spiritual things, and as these are in agreement with his life they are called spiritual food. The natural man in like manner is delighted with natural things, which, being of his life, are called food, and consist chiefly of memory-knowledges. As the spiritual man is here treated of, his spiritual food is described by representatives, as by the "herb bearing seed," and by the "tree in which is fruit," which are called, in general, the "tree yielding seed." His natural food is described in the following verse.
By the river, upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, there cometh up every tree of food, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed; it is born again in its month; because there its waters issue out of the sanctuary; and the fruit thereof shall be for food, and the leaf thereof for medicine (Ezekiel 47:12).
"Waters issuing out of the sanctuary," signify the life and mercy of the Lord, who is the "sanctuary." "Fruit" is wisdom, which shall be food for them; the "leaf" is intelligence which shall be for their use, and this use is called "medicine." But that spiritual food is called "herb," appears from David:--
My shepherd, I shall not want; Thou makest me to lie down in pastures of herb (Ps. 23:1, 2).
Jehovah causeth the grass to grow for the beast, and herb for the service of man, that he may bring forth bread out of the earth (Ps. 104:14),
where the term "beast" is used to express both the wild animal of the earth and the fowl of the heavens which are also mentioned in (Ps. 104:11, 12).
 Unless the Lord defended man every moment, yea, even the smallest part of every moment, he would instantly perish, in consequence of the indescribably intense and mortal hatred which prevails in the world of spirits against the things relating to love and faith toward the Lord. The certainty of this fact I can affirm, having been now for some years (notwithstanding my remaining in the body) associated with spirits in the other life, even with the worst of them, and I have sometimes been surrounded by thousands, to whom it was permitted to spit forth their venom, and infest me by all possible methods, yet without their being able to hurt a single hair of my head, so secure was I under the Lord’s protection. From so many years‘ experience I have been thoroughly instructed concerning the world of spirits and its nature, as well as concerning the combat which those being regenerated must needs endure, in order to attain the happiness of eternal life. But as no one can be so well instructed in such subjects by a general description as to believe them with an undoubting faith, the particulars will of the Lord’s Divine mercy be related in the following pages.Verse 31. And God saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. This state is called "very good," the former ones being merely called "good;" because now the things which are of faith make a one with those which are of love, and thus a marriage is effected between spiritual things and celestial things.