Spiritual Meaning of
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The signification in the Word of the dawn or morning. When treating the successive states of the church in Gen. 18, that which is done in the evening is first treated of, next that which is done in the night, and there now follows that which is done in the morning twilight, and presently that which is done after the sun is gone forth. The twilight is here expressed by when the dawn arose, and it denotes the time when the upright are being separated from the evil; which separation is treated of in this verse, and as far as Gen. 18:22, by Lot together with his wife and daughters being led out and saved. That separation precedes Judgment is evident from the Lord's words in Matthew:--
Before Him shall be gathered all nations, and He shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:32).
 This time or state is called in the Word the dawn, because the Lord then comes; or what is the same, His kingdom then approaches. The case is similar with the good, for at such a time there shines out with them a semblance of the morning twilight or dawn; and therefore in the Word the advent of the Lord is compared to the morning, and is also called the morning. As in Hosea:--
After two days Jehovah will revive us, on the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live before Him and we shall know, and we shall follow on to know Jehovah; His going forth is as the dawn (Hosea 6:2, 3).
Two days denotes the time and state which precedes; the third day denotes the Judgment, or the advent of the Lord, and therefore the approach of His kingdom (AR 720, 901), which advent or approach is compared to the dawn.
 In Samuel:--
The God of Israel is as the light of the morning, the sun riseth, a morning without clouds; from the brightness, from the rain, there is a growth from the earth (2 Sam. 23:4).
The God of Israel denotes the Lord; for no other God of Israel was meant in that church, and He was represented in each and all things of it. In Joel:--
The day of Jehovah cometh, for it is nigh at hand a day of darkness and of thick darkness, a day of cloud and obscurity; as the dawn spread upon the mountains (Joel 2:1, 2).
Here also the Lord's advent and His kingdom are treated of; it is said a day of darkness and of thick darkness, because the good are then being separated from the evil, as here Lot from the men of Sodom; and after the good have been separated, the evil perish.
 That the Lord's advent or the approach of His kingdom, is not merely compared to the morning, but is actually called the morning, may be seen in Daniel:--
A holy one said, How long shall be the vision, the continual sacrifice, and the transgression that maketh waste? He said unto me, Until evening and morning, two thousand three hundred, then shall the holy one be justified. The vision of the evening and the morning which hath been told is truth (Daniel 8:13, 14, 26).
Morning here manifestly denotes the Lord's advent. In David:--
Thy people are willing offerings in the day of thy strength, in honors of holiness, from the womb of the dawn thou hast the dew of thy youth (Ps. 110:3).
In this whole Psalm the subject treated of is the Lord, and His victories in temptations, which are the day of His strength, and the honors of His holiness; from the womb of the dawn, denotes Himself, thus the Divine love from which He fought.
 In Zephaniah:--
Jehovah in the midst of her is righteous, He will not do perversity; in the morning, in the morning will He give judgment for light (Zephaniah 3:5).
The morning denotes the time and state of Judgment, which is the same as that of the Lord's advent; and this is the same as the approach of His kingdom.
 Because the morning signified these things, in order that the same might be represented, it was commanded that Aaron and his sons should light up the lamp, and should order it from evening until morning before Jehovah (Exod. 27:21). The evening here denotes the twilight before the morning (AR 2323). In like manner it was commanded that the fire upon the altar should be kindled every morning (Lev. 6:5); also that nothing of the paschal lamb and of the sanctified things of the sacrifices should be left till the morning (Exod. 12:10; 23:18; 34:25; Lev. 22:29, 30; Num. 9:12); by which was signified that when the Lord came, sacrifices should cease.
 In a general sense it is called Morning both when the dawn appears, and when the sun rises; and in this latter case morning denotes the Judgment as it concerns both the good and the evil, as in this chapter:--The sun was gone forth upon the earth, and Lot came unto Zoar; and Jehovah caused it to rain upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire (verses 23, 24). In like manner in so far as regards the Judgment upon the evil; in David:--
In the mornings will I destroy all the wicked of the land, to cut off from the city of Jehovah all the workers of iniquity (Ps. 101:8).
And in Jeremiah:--
Let that man be as the cities which Jehovah overthrew, and He repenteth not; and let him hear a cry in the morning (Jeremiah 20:16).
As in the proper sense the morning signifies the Lord, His advent, and thus the approach of His kingdom, it is evident what it signifies besides, namely, the rise of a new church (for this is the Lord's kingdom on earth), and this both in general and in particular, and even in the least particular; in general, when any church on the globe is being raised up anew; in particular, when a man is being regenerated, and being made new (for then the Lord's kingdom is arising in him, and he is becoming a church); and in the least particular, whenever the good of love and faith is working in him; for in this consists the advent of the Lord. Hence the Lord's resurrection on the third day in the morning (Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1) involves all these things (even in the particular and the least particular) in regard to His rising again in the minds of the regenerate every day, and even every moment.
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|