Spiritual Meaning of

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That to inherit, in the internal sense, when predicated of the Lord, is to have the Father's life, thus to have life in Himself; and when predicated of men, it is to have the Lord's life, that is, to receive life from the Lord, is evident from many passages in the Word. To have life in Himself is the Esse itself of life, that is, Jehovah; whereas to have the Lord's life, or to receive life from the Lord, is to receive the Lord in love and faith; and as those who so receive Him are in the Lord, and are the Lord's, they are called His heirs, and His sons.

[4] In the Word of the Old Testament inheriting is predicated not only of what is celestial, or of good, but also of what is spiritual, or of truth, but still the one is expressed by a different word from the other: the word that is predicated of good may be rendered to possess by inheritance; and the word that is predicated of truth, to inherit. The former word also in the original language involves possession, but the latter, derivation from something else, as is the case with the spiritual in relation to the celestial, or with truth in relation to good. In this verse, where the Lord's Divine rational, or His Divine Human, is represented by Isaac, the word denoting possession by hereditary right is used, because the Lord's Divine Human is the sole heir-possessor, as He also teaches in the parable (Matt. 21:33, 37, 38; Mark 12:7; Luke 20:14); and He declares in several places that all things of the Father are His.

[5] That to possess by inheritance and to inherit, in the Word, when predicated of men, signify to receive life from the Lord, consequently eternal life or heaven, for they alone receive heaven who receive the Lord's life), is evident in John:--

He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be My son (Rev. 21:7).

In Matthew:--

Every one that hath left houses, or brethren, or sisters, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit eternal life (Matthew 19:29; 25:34; Mark 10:17; Luke 18:18).

Here heaven is called eternal life, elsewhere simply life (Matt. 18:8, 9; 19:17; John 3:36; 5:24, 29), for the reason that the Lord is Life itself, and he who receives His life is in heaven.

[6] In David:--

God will save Zion, and build the cities of Judah, and they shall dwell there, and possess it by inheritance, the seed also of His servants shall inherit it, and they that love His name shall dwell therein (Ps. 69:35, 36);

where to possess by inheritance is predicated of those who are in celestial love, and to inherit of those who are in spiritual love. In Isaiah:--

He that putteth his trust in Me shall inherit the land, and shall possess by inheritance the mountain of My holiness (Isaiah 57:13).

[7] In like manner in Moses:--

I will bring you unto the land concerning which I lifted up My hand to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and I will give it to you for an hereditary possession (Exod. 6:8).

In the sense of the letter these words signify that the land of Canaan should be given to them for an hereditary possession, which also was done; but in the internal sense they signify that heaven should be given to those who are in love to the Lord and faith in Him; for as the Lord is represented by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, so love itself and faith itself are signified, consequently those who are in love and faith, and thus those who are in the Lord. The same are also signified by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with whom many shall sit down in the kingdom of the heavens, as we read in (Matthew 8:11); for in heaven Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are not known at all; but it is only known what is represented and signified by them, as also what is signified by sitting down or eating with them. For that all names in the Word signify actual things may be seen above (AC 1224, 1264, 1876, 1888); also that the land of Canaan is the heavenly Canaan or heaven (AC 1585, 1607, 1866), which is called simply the land (AC 1413, 1607, 1733, 2571). So too in Matthew:--

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).

from AC 2658

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info