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ARCANA CCELESTIA



AECANA CCELESTIA



THE



HEAVENLY MYSTERIES

CONTAINED IN

THE HOLY SCRIPTURE, OR WORD OF THE LORD
UNFOLDED

IN AN EXPOSITION OF GENESIS AND EXODUS

TOGETHEK WITH A llELATION OF

WONDERFUL THINGS SEEN IN THE WORLD OF SPIRITS AND
IN THE HEAVEN OF ANGELS



EMANUEL SWEDENBORG



BEING A TRANSLATION OF HIS WOllK ENTITLED
'ARCANA CCELESTIA ^lVM in Scriptura Sacra seu Verbo Domini sunt, detecta :

HK- ClVX IN GeNESI. UnA CUM MiRABILIBUS QUyK VISA SUNT IN MUNDO

Spirituum et in Ccelo Angelorum." LoNDiNi, 1749-1756



IN TWELVE VOLUMES
VOLUME 111.

GENESIS, CHAPTER XVIII. TO CHAPTER XXll.



THE SWEDENBORG SOCIETY

(Instituted 1810)

36 BLOOMSBURY STREET, LONDON

1890



"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,

and all these things shall be added unto you.'"

— Matthew vi. 33.



f7/l
GENESIS.

CHAPTER THE EIGHTEENTH.



PREFACE.

The suhjed ircatcd of at the close of the last chapter was the last
judgnunt, and it was shevm what is signified therehy, namely, not
the destruction of the world, hut the last time of the Church ; when
this time is at hand, the Lord saith, " that He will come in the
clouds of the heavens with power and glory " (IMatt. xxiv. 30 ;
Mark xiii. 26 ; Luke xxi. 27). Heretofore no one has known
what is meant hj the clouds of the heavens ; hut it has been dis-
covered to me that nothing else is 7neant thereby than the literal
sense of the Word, and that hy the power and the glory is meant
the internal sense of the Word, for in the interned sense of the
Word there is glory, inastnuch as whatever is therein has relation
to the Lord and to His Icingdom, see the first part of this work,
nos. 1769-1772. The same is meant hy the cloud which encom-
passed Peter, James, and John, when the Lord appeared to them
in glory, concerning which it is thus written in Luke : " A voice
came forth out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son,
hear ye Him ; and when the voice was past, Jesus was found
alone " (ix. 35, 36). By Hoses and Elias, loho then conversed
vnth the Jjord, was represented the Word of the Old Testament,
which is also called Moses and the Prophets ; hy Moses arc meant
the hooks of Moses and also the historical hooks, and hy Elias the
prophet are m cant all the Prophets. But hy Peter, James, and John
were represented {as in other places, wheresoever they are named
in the hooks of the Evangelists) faith, charity, and the good of
charity : and hy their heing alone present \when the Lord ivas
transfigured], was signified that none else can see the glory of the
Lord, tvhich is in ILis Word, hut they who are in faith, in the
charity of faith, and in the good of charity ; others iiidced are
capable of seeing, hut still they do not see, because they do not believe.
This is the internal sense as to both the above passages. In the
VOL. III. A



2 PREFACE. [Chap, xviii.

Prophets, also, a cloud everywhere signifies the Word in the letter
and glory the Word in its life. The nature and quality of the
internal sense of the Word has already been frequently shewn, and
pointed out in the explanation of each particular expression in
the foregoing chapters. In our Lord's time, those skilled in the
[Mosaic^ law were the last to Relieve that anything in the Word
liad relation to the Lord : at the present day, those skilled in the
law do indeed know, hut possibly tvill he the last to helieve, that
there is any other glory in the Word than what a2)pears in tJie
letter, which nevertheless is the cloud wherein that ylury is.



GENESIS.



CHAPTER THE EIGHTEENTH.

2135. The quality of the internal sense of the Word, and how
it is perceived by the angels whilst it is being read by man, may
more especially appear from this chapter. From the historical
sense of the letter nothing else is understood, than that Jehovali
appeared to Abraham under the form of three men ; and that
Sarah, Abraham, and his lad prepared food for them, namely,
cakes of meal of fine flour, the son of an ox, and also butter and
milk; which things, although they are historical truths, and really
liappened, yet are not perceived so by the angels, who have a
perception of the things represented and signified, altogether
abstractedly from the letter, according to the explanation given
in the contents, nos. 2136-2141. Thus, instead of the historical
relation, they perceive the state of the Lord's perception in the
Human, and communication at that time with the Divine,
before the perfect union of His Divine Essence with the
Human, and of the Human with the Divine ; which state is
also that concerning which the Lord thus speaks : " No one hath
seen God at any time : the only-hegotten Son, who is in the bosom
of the Father, He hath revealed Ilim" (John i. 18). And by
tlie different kinds of food here spoken of, the angels perceive
nothing but the different kinds of celestial and spiritual good,
concerning which see the explanation. And further, in regard
to what is said of the son whom Sarah should bare at the
stated time of the next year, they perceive only this, that the
Lord's human rational should become Divine. Lastly, by those
things which Abraham spoke with Jehovah concerning tlie
overthrow of Sodom and Amorah, they have a perception of
nothing else than the Lord's intercession for mankind. And
l»y the numbers fifty, forty-five, forty, thirty, twenty, and ten,
they have a perception of [the Lord's] intercession for those
with wliom truths should be adjoined to goods, and who should
obtain goods by temptations and combats, or by other states.
And so it is in respect to all other passages in the Word, as may
l)etter appear from the explanation of each particular expression,
where it is shewn, that a like signification is involved in like



4 GENESIS. [Chap, xviii.

expressions both in the historical and prophetical parts of the
Word. That there is such an internal sense in the Word
tiiroughout, treating solely of the Lord, of His kingdom in the
heavens, of His church in the earths, and with every individual
person in particular, consequently treating of the goods of love,
and of the truths of faith, may appear to every one from the
passages of the Old Testament cited by the Evangelists, as in
Matthew : " The Lord said unto My Lord, Sit on My right hanxl,
until L make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet " (xxii. 44 ;
Psalm ex. 1). That these words treat of the Lord, does not
appear from the literal sense of the passage as it stands in the
Book of Psalms, and yet that the Lord alone is here meant, He
Himself teaches. Again : " Tliou Bethlehem in the land of
J'lidah, art not the least amonyst the leaders of Judah, for out of
thee shall come forth a leader, Who shall feed my people Lsrael "
(Matt. ii. C ; Micah v. 2). They who, like the Jews, abide
merely in the literal sense of this passage, learn indeed from
that sense, that the Lord should be born in Bethlehem, but in-
asmuch as they expect a leader and a king who shall bring
them back again into tlie land of Canaan, therefore they explain
all the expressions according to the letter, that is, the land of
Judah they interpret as signifying the land of Canaan ; Israel,
as signifying Israel, although they know not where Israel is ;
and tlie leader, as signifying their Messiah ; when nevertheless
by Judah and Israel other things are meant, namely, by
Judah the celestial, by Israel the spiritual, both in heaven
and on earth, and by the leader the Lord. In the same Evan-
gelist : " A voiee was heard in Hamah, lamentation, a cry, and
much weeping, Rachel loeeping for her children, and wotdd not lie
comforted, because they are not" (ii. 18; Jer. xxxi. 15). They
who abide in the literal sense of these words, cannot by any
means conceive thence what is their internal sense, when never-
theless it appears from the Evangelist, that they have such an
internal sense. In the same Evangelist : " Out of Egypt have
I called My Son" (ii. 15 ; Hosea xi. 1), In tlie Propliet whence
this passage is quoted, are these words : " When Israel was a
boy, and I loved him, and out of Egypt have I called My son :
tliey called them, so they went from their faces, and I made
Ephraim to go " (xi. l-o). They who know not that there is an
iutei'nal sense, must needs conceive that Jacob is here meant,
when he went down into P^gypt, and liis descendants when
they came forth from thence, and tliat by P^phraim is meant
the tribe of Ephraim, and thus that this passage contains the
same things as are recorded in the historical parts of the Word;
nevertheless it is plain from the Word of the Evangelist, that
these things signily the Lord : but what is signified by each
])articular expression, cannot be known except it be disclosed
by the internal sense.



2135.] GENESIS.



CHAPTER XVTII.

1. And Jehovah appeared unto him in the oak-groves of
Mamre, and he was sitting at the door of the tent as the day
grew hot.

2. And he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and lo, three men
standing above him, and he saw, and ran to meet them, from
the door of the tent, and bowed himself towards the earth.

3. And he said, My Lord, if, I pray, I have found grace in
Thine eyes, pass not, 1 pray, from above Thy servant.

4. Let a little water, I pray, be taken, and wash your feet,
and lie down under the tree.

5. And I will take a piece of bread, and support ye your
heart ; afterwards ye shall pass on ; for wherefore have ye passed
to your servant ? xind they said. So do as thou hast spoken.

6. And Abraham hastened towards the tent to Sarah, and
said, Hasten three measures of meal of fine flour, knead and
make cakes.

7. And Abraham ran to the herd, and took a son of an ox,
tender and good, and gave to a boy, and he hastened to
make it.

8. And he took butter and milk, and the son of the ox which
he made, and gave before them, and he was standing before
them under the tree ; and they did eat.

9. And they said unto him. Where is Sarah thy ^\ ife ? and
he said, Behold, in the tent.

10. And he said, lieturning I will return to thee, accord-
ing to this time of life, and lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son ;
and Sarah heard at the door of the tent, and it was behind him.

11. And Abraham and Sarah were old, entering into days ;
it ceased to be with Sarah the way as of women.

12. And Sarah laughed within herself, saying. After that 1
am grown old, shall I have pleasure, and my Lord [is] old ?

13. And Jehovah said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh
at this, saying. Shall 1 truly bring forth, and I am grown old ?

14. Shall anything be wonderful for Jehovah ? at the stated
time I will return unto thee, according to this time of life, and
Sarah shall have a son.

15. And Sarali denied, saying, T did not laugh, because she
was afraid : and He said. Nay, but thou didst laugh.

16. And the men rose up thence, and looked to the faces of
Sodom, and Abraham was going with them to send them away.

17. And Jehovah said, Shall I conceal from Abraham what
I am doing ?

18. And Abraham shall surely be [made] into a great and
numerous nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be
blessed in him.



6 GENESIS. [CiiAr. xviii.

19. Por I have known him, because that he will command
his sons, and his house after him, and they shall keep the
way of Jehovah, to do justice and judgment, that Jehovah
may briug upon Abraham that which lie hath spoken upon
him.

20. And Jehovah said. Because the cry of Sodom and
Amorah is become great, and because their sin is become very
grievous ;

21. I will go down, and see, whether they have made a
consummation according to the cry thereof which hath come to
Me ; and if not, I will know.

22. And the men looked thence, and went towards Sodom,
and Abraliam, he was still standing before Jehovah.

23. And Abraham drew near, and said. Wilt Thou also
destroy the just with the wicked ?

24. Peradventure there be fifty just ones in the midst of the
city, wilt Thou also destroy, and not spare the place, for the
sake of the fifty just ones, who are in the midst thereof ?

25. Far be it from Thee to do according to this thing, to
cause the just to die with the wicked, and that thus the just
should be as the wicked ; far be it from Thee ; shall not the
Judge of the whole earth do judgment ?

26. And Jehovah said, If I find in Sodom fifty just ones in
the midst of the city, and I will spare the whole place for their
sake.

27. And Abraham answered, and said, P.ehold, I pray, I
have taken upon me to speak unto my Lord, and I am dust
and ashes.

28. Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty just ones,
wilt Thou destroy the whole city for the five ? and He said, I
will not destroy if I find there forty and five.

29. And he added yet to speak unto Him, and said, Perad-
venture forty be found there ; and He said, I will not do it for
the sake of the forty.

30. And he said, Let not my Lord, I pray, be angry, and I
will speak, Peradventure thirty he found there ; and He said, I
will not do it if I find thirty there.

31. And he said, Behold, I pray, I have taken upon me to
speak unto my Lord, peradventure twenty be found there ; and
He said, I will not destroy for the sake of the twenty.

32. And he said. Let not my Lord, I pray, be angry, and I
will speak only this time, peradventure ten be found there ;
and He said, I will not destroy ibr the sake of the ten.

33. And Jehovah went when Pie had finished speaking to
Abraham ; and Abraliam returned to his place.



!136-2141.] GENESIS.



THE CONTENTS.

2136. The first thing here treated of is the state of tlie
Lord's perception in the Human, and of [His] communication
at that time with the Divine, before the perfect union of His
Human Essence with the Divine Essence ; which state also
is that concerning which the Lord speaks in these words,
" No one hath seen God at any time ; the only-begotten Son,
Who is in the bosom of the Father," etc. (John i. 18).

2137. The state of the Lord's perception in the Human, at
that time, is signified by the oak-groves of Mamre, verse 1 ; in
which state that He apperceivcd the Divine, which manifested
itself before His Human, verse 2; at which He rejoiced,
verse 3 ; and that He was desirous that the Divine should
approach nearer to His Human, by putting on something
natural, verse 4 ; and that His Human should approach nearer
to the Divine by putting on the celestial, verse 5. The celestial
and the spiritual, which He put on, are signified by the three
measures of meal of fine flour whereof cakes were made,
verse 6 ; and that He also put on a conformable natural, is
signified by the son of an ox, verse 7. Hence the conformation
and communication of the Divine with the Human, and of the
Human with the Divine, verse 8.

2138. The second thing treated of, is the Lord's perception in
that state concerning the Rational with Him, that it would put
off the Human, and be made Divine.

2139. That the rational would be made Divine, is signified
by the Son whom Sarah should bear, verses 9, 10 ; that liumau
rational truth with the Lord did not perceive, and consequently
did not believe it, is signified by Sarah's laughing at the tent
door, which was behind him, verses 10-13, 15. A confirmation
that the Lord would also put off human rational truth, and
instead thereof would put on Divine Truth, verse 14.

2140. The third thing treated of, is the Lord's grief and
anxiety over the human race, because they were so much
imbued with the love of self, and the consequent lust of bearing
rule over others from evil and falsity, for whom in that state
He interceded, and obtained that those should be saved, with
whom there were goods and truths ; but who those are, is
related in order.

2141. The Lord's perception respecting the human race, as
being immersed in evil and falsity ; Sodom is the love of self
and the consequent lust of bearing rule from evil ; Aniorah [is
the lust of bearing rule] from falsity, verses IG, 20 ; that it
could not be concealed from the Lord in that state, because all
salvation is by Him and from Him, verses 17-19 ; namely, that
they were to be visited, when their wickedness came to its



8 GENESIS. [Chap, xviii. i.

height, verses 20, 21. When He was in that perception,
verse 22, that He interceded for them ; first for those with whom
there were truths, and whose truths were full of goods, who are
signified by the fifty, verses 23-26 ; also for those in whom
there was less good, but whose good was nevertheless conjoined
with truths, who are signified by the forty-five, verses 27, 28 ;
afterwards for those who have lieen in temptations, who are
signified by the forty, verse 29 ; as likewise for those who have
been engaged in some combats against evils, who are signified by
the thirty, verse 30 ; afterwards for those with whom tliere were
states of the affection of good from other sources, who are
signified by the twenty, verse 31 ; lastly for those with whom
there were states of the affection of truth, who are signified by
the ten, verse 32 ; in all these several cases answer was made,
that they should be saved, verses 26, 28-32. Hereupon the
Lord returned to His former state of perception, verse 33.
These are the arcana contained in this chapter in the internal
sense, which do not at all appear from the letter.



THE INTERNAL SENSE.



2142. Verse 1. And Jehovah appeared to him in the oak-
groves of Mature, and, he was sitting at the door of the tent, as tfoe
day grew hot. Jehovah appeared to him, signifies the Lord's
perception : in the oak-groves of Mamre, signifies the quality of
perception : and. he was sitting at the door of the tent, signifies
the Holy which then belonged to Him : as the day grew hot,
signifies from love.

2143. Jehovah appeared to him: that this signifies the Lord's
perception, may appear from this consideration, that the his-
torical things of the Word are merely representative, and the
expressions are significative of those things which are contained
in the internal sense. The subject here treated of in the
internal sense is the Lord, and His perception, which was
represented by Jehovah's a})pearing to Abraham ; such is the
nature of every appearing, of every discourse, and of every fact
recorded in the historical parts of the Word ; they are all
representative, but what they rej^resent does not appear, unless
the historical expressions are no otherwise attended to than as
objects, like the objects of sight, which give the means and
opportunity of thinking about things more sublime ; as for
example, when gardens are seen, they give the means and
opportunity of thinking about fruits and their uses, and also
about the delights of life thence derived, and what is still more
sublime, about paradisiacal or heavenly happiness; when such



2142-2144.] GENESIS. .9

thoughts are suggested, the particular objects contained in a
garden are seen indeed, but so slightly as not to be attended
to. The case is the same in respect to the historical relations
of the Word, the expressions whereof are not attended to
when the celestial and spiritual things are thought of, which
are contained in the internal sense.

2144. In the oak-groves of Mamre: that this signifies the
quality of perception, appears from the representation and
signification of oak -groves, and also from the representation
and signification of Mamre. Wliat oak - groves in general
represented and signified, was shewn nos. 1442, 1443 ; and
what the oak-groves of Mamre in particular represented and
signified, was shewn no. 1616, namely, that they represented
and signified perceptions, but such as are human from scientifics,
and from the first rational things thence deduced. What per- 2
ception is, is at this day a thing most unknown, because at
this day no one is in perception, such as was enjoyed by the
Ancients, and particularly by the Most Ancient, the latter of
whom, by virtue of perception, knew whether a thing was
good, and consequently whether it was true ; it was an influx
into their rational from the Lord through heaven, whereby,
instantly, whilst they were thinking of anything holy, they
perceived whether it was so, or was not so. Such perception
was afterwards lost among men, when they began to be no
longer in heavenly ideas, but only in worldly and corporeal ;
and instead thereof conscience succeeded, which also is a kind
of perception, for to act against conscience and according to
conscience, is nothing else than to apperceive thence whether a
thing is so or is not so, whether it is to be done, or not to be
done. The perception of conscience, however, is not from the 3
good which flows in, but from the truth which, according to the
holy [principle] of man's worship, is implanted in the rational
from nifancy, and is afterwards confirmed ; this alone, in such
a case, he supposes to be good. Hence conscience is a species of
perception, but a perception arising from truth of such a
nature, that when charity and innocence are insinuated by the
Lord, ^here exists the good of that conscience. From these few
observations it may appear what perception is, but there is
much difference between perception and conscience. See what
was said about perception, nos. 104, 125, 371, 483, 495, 503,
521, 536, 597, 607, 784, 865, 895, 1121, 1616; and about the
perception of spirits and angels, nos. 202, 203, 1008, 1383,
1384, 1390-1392, 1394, 1397, 1504; and that the learned
do not know what perception is, no. 1387. As regards the 4
Lord during His life in the world, all His thouglit was from
Divine perception, because He alone was a Divine and celestial
man, for in Him alone was Jehovah Himself, from whom He
derived His perception, concerning which see nos. 1616, 1791.



10 GENESIS. [Chap, xviii. 2.

His perceptions were more and more interior as He approached
nearer to union with Jehovah. The quality of His perception
at this time may appear from what was said concerning the
oak-groves of Mamre, no. 1616; and what that quality was
when He perceived tlie things which are contained in this
chapter, is described in what presently follows.

2145. Sitting at the door of the tent: that this signifies the
Holy which then belonged to Him, that is, the Holy of love,
which is signified by the day growing hot, as immediately
follows, appears from the signification of a tent, as denoting what
is holy, concerning wliicli see nos. 414, 1102, 15G6, where may
be seen the reason why holy things are signified by tents.
Inasmuch as the Lord at that time was in a state of perception,
which is signified by the oak-groves of Mamre, which is an
inferior rational perception, but, nevertheless, more interior than
what is signified by the oak-grove of Moreh, concerning which
see nos. 1442, 1443, therefore it is here represented and thus
signified by his sitting at the door of the tent, that is, at the
entrance to the holy [state]. How the case is with perceptions,
as being less and more interior, may be illustrated by the per-
ceptions of the Most Ancient people, from whom I have heard,
that the more they were in scientifics from the objects of hear-
ing and sight, in the same degree their perceptions were
inferior ; but the more they were elevated from those things to
the heavenly things of charity and love, in the same degree
their perceptions were more interior, because they were then
nearer to the Lord.

2146. As the day grew hot : that this signifies from love,
appears from the signification of heat, as denoting love in the
internal sense ; and whereas heat is either of the day or of the
year, love is represented either by the heat of the day, or by
the heat of the year, according to what is contained in the
historical relation. That heat signifies love, may appear from
this consideration, that love is called spiritual heat, and that
heat is spoken of all affection, even in common discourse; and,
moreover, the same may appear from this consideration, that
love and its affections manifest themselves by a kind of heat in
man's interiors, and also in his exteriors, and in his bodily
parts ; yea, heat has no other source or origin with man,
when it flows forth from his interiors. Such, however, as the
love is, such also is the heat. Celestial love and spiritual love
are what give birth to genuine heat; all other heat, that is,
that heat which is derived from the loves of self of the world,
and also from other defiled loves, is unclean, and in the other life
degenerates into what is excretnentitious, see no. 1773. More-
over, it must be known, that holiness is never predicated except
of love and charity, and not even of faith, but so far as the



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