Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at sacred-texts.com
THE CONTENTS True historical things begin here, all of which are representative, and each word significative. The things related in this chapter concerning Abram represent the Lord's state from earliest childhood up to youth. As the Lord was born in the same way as other men, He also advanced from an obscure state to one more lucid. "Haran" is the first state, which was obscure; "Shechem" is the second; "the oak-grove Moreh" is the third; "the mountain which had Bethel toward the sea and Ai on the east," is the fourth; and the "journey thence toward the south into Egypt," is the fifth.1402.
The things told of Abram's sojourn in Egypt represent and signify the Lord's first instruction. "Abram" is the Lord; "Sarai," as a wife, is truth to be adjoined to the celestial; "Sarai," as a sister, is intellectual truth; "Egypt" is memory-knowledge [scientia]. The progress from memory-knowledges [a scientificis] even to celestial truths is described; this was according to Divine order, that the Lord's Human Essence might be conjoined with His Divine Essence, and at the same time become Jehovah.1403.
THE INTERNAL SENSE From the first chapter of Genesis up to this point, or rather to the mention of Eber, the historicals have not been true but made-up historicals, which in the internal sense signify celestial and spiritual actualities. But in this chapter and in those which follow, the historicals are not made-up but true historicals; and in the internal sense these in like manner signify celestial and spiritual actualities, as anyone may see from the single consideration that it is the Word of the Lord.1404.
In these things now before us, which are true historicals, all the statements and words both in general and in particular have in the internal sense an entirely different signification from that which they bear in the sense of the letter; but the historicals themselves are representative. Abram, who is first treated of, represents in general the Lord, and specifically the celestial man; Isaac, who is afterwards treated of, in like manner represents in general the Lord, and specifically the spiritual man; Jacob also in general represents the Lord, and specifically the natural man. Thus they represent the things which are of the Lord, of His kingdom, and of the church.1405.
But the internal sense, as has already been clearly shown, is of such a nature that all things in general and in particular are to be understood abstractly from the letter, just as if the letter did not exist; for in the internal sense is the Word's soul and life, which does not become manifest unless the sense of the letter as it were vanishes. Thus, from the Lord, do the angels perceive the Word when it is being read by man.1406.
What the historicals in this chapter represent, is evident from the Contents that have been premised; what is signified by the statements and the words, may be seen from what follows, where they are explained.1407.
Verse 1. And Jehovah said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy land, and from thy birth, and from thy father's house, to the land that I will cause thee to see. These and the things which follow occurred historically, as they are written; but the historicals are representative, and each word is significative. By "Abram" in the internal sense is meant the Lord, as has been said before. By "Jehovah said unto Abram," is signified the first mental advertence of all; "get thee out of thy land," signifies the corporeal and worldly things from which He was to recede; "and from thy birth," signifies the more exterior corporeal and worldly things; "and from thy father's house," signifies the more interior of such things; "to the land that I will cause thee to see," signifies the spiritual and celestial things that were to be presented to view.1408.
These and the things which follow occurred historically as they are written; but the historicals are representatives and all the words are significative. The case is the same with all the historicals of the Word, not only with those in the books of Moses, but also with those in the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. In all these, nothing is apparent but mere history; but although it is history in the sense of the letter, still in the internal sense there are arcana of heaven, which lie stored up and hidden there, and which can never be seen so long as the mind, together with the eye, is kept in the historicals; nor are they revealed until the mind is removed from the sense of the letter. The Word of the Lord is like a body that contains within it a living soul; the things belonging to the soul do not appear while the mind is so fixed in corporeal things that it scarcely believes that there is a soul, still less that it will live after death; but as soon as the mind withdraws from corporeal things, those which are of the soul and life become manifest. And this also is the reason, not only why corporeal things must die before man can be born anew, or be regenerated, but also why the body itself must die so that he may come into heaven and see heavenly things.  Such also is the case with the Word of the Lord: its corporeal things are those which are of the sense of the letter; and when the mind is kept in these, the internal things are not seen at all; but when the former are as it were dead, then for the first time are the latter presented to view. But still the things of the sense of the letter are similar to those which are with man while in the body, to wit, to the knowledges of the memory that come from the things of sense, and which are general vessels that contain interior or internal things within them. It may be known from this that the vessels are one thing, and the essentials contained in the vessels another. The vessels are natural; the essentials contained in the vessels are spiritual and celestial. So likewise the historicals of the Word, and all the expressions in the Word, are general, natural, and indeed material vessels, in which are things spiritual and celestial; and these in no wise come into view except by the internal sense.  This will be evident to everyone from the mere fact that many things in the Word are said according to appearances, and indeed according to the fallacies of the senses, as that the Lord is angry, that He punishes, curses, kills, and many other such things; when yet in the internal sense they mean quite the contrary, namely, that the Lord is in no wise angry and punishes, still less does He curse and kill. And yet to those who from simplicity of heart believe the Word as they apprehend it in the letter, no harm is done while they live in charity. The reason is that the Word teaches nothing else than that everyone should live in charity with his neighbor, and love the Lord above all things. They who do this have in themselves the internal things; and therefore with them the fallacies taken from the sense of the letter are easily dispelled.1409.
That the historicals are representative, but all the words significative, is evident from what has already been said and shown concerning representatives and significatives (n. 665, 920, 1361); nevertheless, since representatives begin here, it is well to give briefly a further explanation of the subject. The Most Ancient Church, which was celestial, looked upon all earthly and worldly, and also bodily things, which were in any wise objects of the senses, as being dead things; but as each and all things in the world present some idea of the Lord's kingdom, consequently of things celestial and spiritual, when they saw them or apprehended them by any sense, they thought not of them, but of the celestial and spiritual things; indeed they thought not from the worldly things, but by means of them; and thus with them things that were dead became living.  The things thus signified were collected from their lips by their posterity and were formed by them into doctrinals, which were the Word of the Ancient Church, after the flood. With the Ancient Church these were significative; for through them they learned internal things, and from them they thought of spiritual and celestial things. But when this knowledge began to perish, so that they did not know that such things were signified, and began to regard the terrestrial and worldly things as holy, and to worship them, with no thought of their signification, the same things were then made representative. Thus arose the Representative Church, which had its beginning in Abram and was afterwards instituted with the posterity of Jacob. From this it may be known that representatives had their rise from the significatives of the Ancient Church, and these from the celestial ideas of the Most Ancient Church.  The nature of representatives may be manifest from the historicals of the Word, in which all the acts of the fathers, Abram, Isaac, and Jacob, and afterwards those of Moses, and of the judges and kings of Judah and Israel, were nothing but representatives. Abram in the Word, as has been said, represents the Lord; and because he represents the Lord, he represents also the celestial man; Isaac likewise represents the Lord, and thence the spiritual man; Jacob in like manner represents the Lord, and thence the natural man corresponding to the spiritual.  But with representatives the character of the person is not considered at all, but the thing which he represents; for all the kings of Judah and of Israel, of whatever character, represented the Lord's kingly function; and all the priests, of whatever character, represented His priestly function. Thus the evil as well as the good could represent the Lord and the celestial and spiritual things of His kingdom; for, as has been said and shown above, the representatives were altogether separated from the person. Hence then it is that all the historicals of the Word are representative; and because they are representative, it follows that all the words of the Word are significative, that is, that they have a different signification in the internal sense from that which they bear in the sense of the letter.1410.
Jehovah said unto Abram. That this signifies the first mental advertence of all, depends upon the fact that this historical is representative, and the words themselves significative. Such was the style in the Ancient Church, that when anything was true, they said "Jehovah said," or, "Jehovah spoke," which signified that it was so; as has been shown above. But after significatives had been turned into representatives, then Jehovah or the Lord did actually speak with men; and when it is then said that Jehovah said, or, Jehovah spoke with anyone, it signifies the same as before; for the Lord's words in the true historicals involve the same as His words in the made-up ones. There is only this difference, that the latter are composed to be like true history, and the former are not so composed. Wherefore that "Jehovah said unto Abram," signifies nothing else than the first mental advertence; as when in the Ancient Church anyone was admonished by conscience, or by some other dictate, or by their Word, that a thing was so, it was then said in like manner that "Jehovah said."1411.
Get thee out of thy land. That this signifies the corporeal and worldly things from which He was to recede, is evident from the signification of "land" or "earth," 1411-1 which is variable, adapting itself to the person or thing of which it is predicated-as in the first chapter of Genesis, where likewise "earth" signifies the external man (see also n. 82, 620, 636, 913). That it here signifies corporeal and worldly things, is because these are of the external man. A "land," in the proper sense, is the land, region, or kingdom itself; it is also the inhabitant thereof; and also the people itself and the nation itself, in the land. Thus the word "land" not only signifies in a broad sense the people or the nation, but also in a limited sense the inhabitant. When the word "land" is used with reference to the inhabitant, its signification is then in accordance with the thing concerning which it is used. It is here used respecting corporeal and worldly things; for the land of his birth, out of which Abram was to go, was idolatrous. In the historical sense, therefore, the meaning here is that Abram should go out from that land; but in the representative sense, that He should recede from the things which are of the external man; that is, that external things should not resist, nor bring in disturbance; and because this is concerning the Lord, it signifies that His externals should agree with His internals.1412.
And from thy birth. That this signifies the more exterior corporeal and worldly things, and that "from thy father's house" signifies the more interior of such things, may be seen from the signification of "birth," and from the signification of a "father's house." There are in man corporeal and worldly things more exterior and more interior; the more exterior are those which are proper to the body, such as pleasures and the things of sense; the more internal are affections and things of memory-knowledge; and these are what are signified by "birth" and a "father's house." That these are their significations may be confirmed by many passages of the Word, but as it is evident from the connection, and from looking at the things in the internal sense, there is no need to dwell on the confirmation.1413.
To the land that I will cause thee to see. That this signifies the spiritual and celestial things that would be presented to view, is evident from the signification of "land" (n. 662, 1066), and here indeed of the land of Canaan, by which the Lord's kingdom is represented, as may be seen from many other passages in the Word. The land of Canaan is therefore called the Holy Land, and also the heavenly Canaan. And because it represented the Lord's kingdom, it also represented and signified the celestial and spiritual things that belong to His kingdom; here, those which belong to the Lord Himself.1414.
As the Lord is here treated of, more arcana are contained than can ever be thought of and declared. For here, in the internal sense, is meant the Lord's first state, when born; which state, because most deeply hidden, cannot well be set forth to the comprehension. Suffice it to say that the Lord was like other men, except that He was conceived of Jehovah, but still was born of a virgin mother, and by birth derived infirmities from the virgin mother like those of man in general. These infirmities are corporeal, and it is said of them in this verse that He should recede from them, in order that celestial and spiritual things might be presented for Him to see. There are two hereditary natures connate in man, one from the father, the other from the mother. The Lord's heredity from the Father was the Divine, but His heredity from the mother was the infirm human. This infirm nature which a man derives hereditarily from his mother, is something corporeal that is dispersed when he is being regenerated, while that which a man derives from his father remains to eternity. But the Lord's heredity from Jehovah, as was said, was the Divine. Another arcanum is that the Lord's Human also was made Divine. In Him alone there was a correspondence of all the things of the body with the Divine-a most perfect correspondence, infinitely perfect, giving rise to a union of the corporeal things with Divine celestial things, and of sensuous things with Divine spiritual things; and thus He was the Perfect Man, and the Only Man.1415.
Verse 2. And I will make thee into a great nation; and I will bless thee, and will make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing. "I will make thee into a great nation" signifies the kingdom in the heavens and on the earth; it is said "a great nation," from things celestial and from goods; "and I will bless thee," signifies the fructification of celestial things and the multiplication of spiritual things; "and will make thy name great," signifies glory; "and thou shalt be a blessing," signifies that from the Lord are all things both in general and in particular.1416.
I will make thee into a great nation. That this signifies the kingdom in the heavens and on the earth, is evident from the signification of a "nation," as being in the internal sense the celestial of love and the derivative good, thus all in the universe in whom is the celestial of love and of charity; and as in the internal sense the Lord is here treated of, there is meant all the celestial and all the derivative good, thus His kingdom, which is with those who are in love and charity. In the supreme sense the Lord is Himself the "great nation," because He is the celestial itself, and good itself; for all the good of love and of charity is from Him alone; and therefore the Lord is His kingdom itself, that is, He is the all in all of His kingdom, as is also acknowledged by all the angels in heaven. Hence now it is evident that "I will make thee into a great nation," signifies the Lord's kingdom in the heavens and on earth.  That in the internal sense, where the Lord and the celestial things of love are treated of, a "nation" signifies the Lord and all celestial things, is evident from the things adduced above concerning the signification of a "nation," and of "nations" (n. 1258, 1259). This may also be further confirmed by the following passages. Concerning Abraham it is said: Thy name shall not any more be called Abram, and thy name shall be Abraham, for the father of a multitude of nations have I given thee (Gen. 17:5). The letter h in "Abraham" was taken from the name Jehovah, on account of his representation of Jehovah or the Lord. In like manner it is said of Sarai: Thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and also give thee a son of her; thus I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall be of her (Gen. 17:15-16); where "nations" denote the celestial things of love, and "kings of peoples" the spiritual things of faith thence derived, which belong to the Lord alone.  Concerning Jacob in like manner: Thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name, and He called his name Israel: and God said, I am God the thunderer; increase and multiply; a nation and a congregation of nations shall be from thee, and kings shall go forth out of thy loins (Gen. 35:10-11); where "Israel" denotes the Lord, and that He Himself is "Israel" in the supreme sense, is well known to some; and when He is "Israel," it is evident that "a nation" and "an assemblage of nations," and "kings out of His loins," are the celestial and the spiritual things of love, and therefore all who are in the celestial and the spiritual things of love. Concerning Ishmael, Abram's son by Hagar, it is said: The son of the handmaid I will make him into a nation, because he is thy seed (Gen. 21:13, 18). What is represented by Ishmael will be seen in its place; the "seed" of Abram is love itself, and from this the term "nation" is used for those begotten of Ishmael.  That a "nation" signifies the celestial things of love, is evident in Moses: If hearing ye will hear My voice, and will keep My covenant, ye shall also be a peculiar treasure unto Me out of all peoples, and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation (Exod. 19:5, 6); where "a kingdom of priests," which is the Lord's kingdom in the heavens and on earth, being so named from the celestial things of love, is manifestly called "a holy nation;" whereas the Lord's kingdom from His kingly function was named from the spiritual things of love, and is called "a holy people;" and for this reason "kings out of the loins," in the passage quoted above, are spiritual things. In Jeremiah: If these statutes have departed from before Me, saith Jehovah, the seed of Israel also shall cease, that it be not a nation before Me all the days (Jer. 31:36); "the seed of Israel" denotes the celestial of charity; and when this ceases, there is no longer a nation before the Lord.  In Isaiah: The people that walk in darkness have seen a great light; Thou hast multiplied the nation (Isa. 9:2-3). This is said of the church of the nations specifically; but in general of all who are in ignorance and live in charity; these are a "nation," because they are of the Lord's kingdom. In David: That I may see the good of Thy chosen; that I may be glad in the gladness of Thy nation, that I may glory in Thine inheritance (Ps. 106:5). Here "nation" plainly denotes the Lord's kingdom. As the signification of "nation" is the celestial of love and the derivative good, there originated, from a perception of this signification, the fact that the men of the Most Ancient Church were distinguished into households, families, and nations; and thereby they perceived the Lord's kingdom, and consequently the celestial itself. From this Perceptive arose the Significative, and from this the Representative.1417.
That "a great nation" is so called from celestial things and goods, is evident from what has just been said and shown, and also from what was said above (n. 1259). Hence it may be known what in the proper sense is the Church of the Nations.1418.
And I will bless thee. That this signifies the fructification of celestial things and the multiplication of spiritual things, is evident from the signification in the Word of "to bless," concerning which presently.1419.
And I will make thy name great. That this signifies glory, is evident without explication. In the external sense, by "making a name," and by "glory," there is signified something worldly; but in the internal sense, something celestial. This celestial is not to strive to be the greatest, but to be the least, by serving all; as the Lord Himself said in Matthew: It shall not be so among you; but whosoever would be great among you shall be your minister; and whosoever would be first among you shall be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many (Matt. 20:26-28; Mark 10:44-45). It is the celestial of love not to desire to be one's own, but to belong to all; so that we desire to give others all that is our own; in this consists the essence of celestial love. The Lord, being love itself, or the essence and life of the love of all in the heavens, wills to give to the human race all things that are His; which is signified by His saying that the Son of man came to give His life a ransom for many. From this it is evident that in the internal sense "name" and "glory" are altogether different from what they are in the external sense. In heaven therefore all are rejected who desire to become great and the greatest; because this is contrary to the essence and life of heavenly love, which are from the Lord. Hence also it is that nothing is more contrary to heavenly love than the love of self. Concerning these things see what is related from experience above (n. 450, 452, 952).1420.
And thou shalt be a blessing. That this signifies that all things both in general and in particular are from the Lord, is evident from the signification of "a blessing." A "blessing" is predicated of all goods; in the external sense, of corporeal, worldly, and natural goods; in the internal sense, of spiritual and celestial goods. "To be a blessing," is to be the source of all goods, and the giver of all goods. This can by no means be said of Abram, and hence it is evident that by Abram is represented the Lord, who alone is "a blessing." In like manner in regard to what is said of Abraham hereafter: Abraham shall surely become a great and numerous nation, and in him shall all the nations of the earth be blessed (Gen. 18:18); of Isaac: In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed (Gen. 26:4), and of Jacob: In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed (Gen. 28:14). That nations cannot be blessed, and are not blessed, in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and in their seed, but in the Lord, may be seen by everyone. This is clearly said in David: His name shall endure forever; before the sun shall the name of his son endure; and all nations shall be blessed in him (Ps. 72:17); where the Lord is treated of. Again: Thou shalt set him for blessings forever (Ps. 21:6); where also the Lord is treated of. In Jeremiah: The nations shall be blessed in Him, and in Him shall they glory (Jer. 4:2). From these passages it is now evident that "a blessing" signifies the Lord, and that when He is called "a blessing," it signifies that from Him are all celestial and spiritual things, which alone are goods; and because they alone are goods, they alone are truths; and therefore in proportion as there are celestial and spiritual goods in natural, worldly, and corporeal ones, in the same proportion these are goods, and are "blessed."1421.
Verse 3. And I will bless them that bless thee, and will curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all the families of the ground be blessed. "I will bless them that bless thee," signifies all happiness to those who acknowledge the Lord from the heart; "and will curse him that curseth thee," signifies unhappiness to those who do not acknowledge Him; "and in thee shall all the families of the ground be blessed," signifies that all things true and good are from the Lord.1422.
I will bless them that bless thee. That this signifies all happiness to those who acknowledge the Lord from the heart, is evident from the signification of a "blessing," as involving all and each of the things that are from the Lord, as well those that are good as those that are true; thus celestial, spiritual, natural, worldly, and corporeal things; and because in the universal sense "blessing" embraces all these, it may be seen in each passage, from the connection, what is signified by "to bless;" for this adapts itself to the things of which it is predicated. From this it is evident that "I will bless them that bless thee," signifies all happiness to those who acknowledge the Lord from the heart; for in the internal sense, as already said, the Lord is here treated of.  Among the ancients, "to bless Jehovah," or "the Lord," was a customary form of speech, as is evident from the Word. Thus in David: Bless ye God in the congregations, the Lord from the fountain of Israel (Ps. 68:26). Again: Sing to Jehovah, bless His name, proclaim His salvation from day to day (Ps. 96:2). In Daniel: Then was the secret revealed in a vision of the night; therefore Daniel blessed the God of the heavens; he said, Blessed be the name of God Himself for ever and ever, for wisdom and power are His (Dan. 2:19-20). Of Zacharias and Simeon we also read that they "blessed God" (Luke 1:64, 2:28). Here it is evident that "to bless the Lord" is to sing to Him, to proclaim the good tidings of His salvation, to preach His wisdom and power, and thus to confess and acknowledge the Lord from the heart. They who do this cannot but be blessed by the Lord, that is, be gifted with those things which belong to blessing, namely, with celestial, spiritual, natural, worldly, and corporeal good; these, when they follow each other in this order, are the goods in which there is happiness.  As "to bless Jehovah," or "the Lord," and "to be blessed by Jehovah," or "the Lord," was a common form of speech, it was therefore common also to say "Blessed be Jehovah." As in David: Blessed be Jehovah, because He hath heard the voice of my supplications (Ps. 28:6). Again: Blessed be Jehovah, for He hath made His mercy wonderful to me (Ps. 31:21). Again: Blessed be God, who hath not turned away my prayers, nor His mercy from me (Ps. 66:20). Again: Blessed be Jehovah God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things and blessed be His glorious name for ever, and let the whole earth be filled with His glory (Ps. 72:18-19). Again: Blessed art Thou, O Jehovah teach me Thy statutes (Ps. 119:12). Again: Blessed be Jehovah, my Rock, that teacheth my hands (Ps. 144:1). In Luke: Zacharias, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying, Blessed be the God of Israel, for He hath visited and wrought deliverance for His people (Luke 1:67-68).1423.
And will curse him that curseth thee. That this signifies the unhappiness of those who do not acknowledge the Lord, is evident from the signification of "being cursed," and of "cursing," as being to turn one's self away from the Lord, as has been shown before (n. 245, 379), and consequently not to acknowledge Him; for they who do not acknowledge, turn themselves away. Thus "to curse" here involves all things opposite to those involved in "blessing."1424.
And in thee shall all the families of the ground be blessed. That this signifies that all goods and truths are from the Lord, is evident from the signification of "to bless," which is treated of in this verse and the preceding; also from the signification of "the families of the ground," as being all good and truth; for in the Word "families" signify the like as do "nations" and "peoples," being predicated of both; and it is said, "families of the nations," and "families of the peoples." "Nations," as has been shown, signify goods; and "peoples," as has also been shown, signify truths (n. 1259); and therefore "families" signify goods and also truths (n. 1261). The reason why these are called "all the families of the ground," is that all goods and truths are of the faith of love, which is of the church. That by "the ground" is signified the church, consequently the faith of the church, was shown above (n. 566).1425.
Verse 4. And Abram went as Jehovah spoke unto him; and Lot went with him. And Abram was a son of five years and seventy years when he went forth out of Haran. By "Abram," as already said, is represented the Lord as to His Human Essence. "And Abram went as Jehovah spoke unto him" signifies His progression toward Divine things; "and Lot went with him," signifies what is sensuous; by "Lot" is represented the Lord as to His sensuous and corporeal man; "and Abram was a son of five years and seventy years," signifies that as yet there was not very much of the Divine; "when he went forth out of Haran," signifies an obscure state of the Lord.1426.
That by "Abram" is represented the Lord as to His Human Essence, is evident from everything that is said of Abram. Afterwards he represents the Lord both as to the Human and also the Divine Essence, and he is then called "Abraham." The things that have so far been said, from the first verse, represent and signify the Lord's first mental advertence that He was to put on celestial and thus Divine things. Here there commence the progressions of His Human Essence to His Divine Essence.1427.
And Abram went as Jehovah spoke unto him. That this signifies progression toward Divine things, is evident from what has just been said.1428.
And Lot went with him. That this signifies what is sensuous, and that by "Lot" is represented the Lord as to His sensuous and corporeal man, is evident from the representation of Lot in what follows, where it is said that he was separated from Abram, and was saved by angels; but afterwards, when he was separated, Lot put on another representation, concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. It is evident that the Lord was born as are other men, but of a virgin mother, and that He possessed what is sensuous and corporeal as do other men; but He differed from other men in the fact that His sensuous and corporeal was afterwards united to celestial things, and was made Divine. The Lord's sensuous and corporeal itself, or what is the same, His sensuous and corporeal man, as it was in His state of childhood-not as it became when united by means of celestial things to the Divine-is represented by Lot.1429.
Abram was a son of five years and seventy years. That this signifies that as yet there was not very much of the Divine, is evident from the signification of the number "five" as being a little, and of the number "seventy" as being what is holy. That "five" denotes a little, has been shown above (n. 649); and also that "seventy," like "seven," signifies what is holy (n. 395, 433, 716, 881): here, because "seventy" is a predicated of the Lord, it signifies the holy Divine. That in the internal sense the numbers of Abram's years also signify other things, is evident from what has been said and shown before concerning years and numbers (n. 482, 487, 493, 575, 647, 648,, 755, 813); and also from the fact that there is not a syllable or iota in the Word which has not an internal sense; and unless spiritual and celestial things were involved, it would not have been mentioned that Abram was then five years and seventy years old; neither would this have taken place at this age of Abram; as is evident also from other numbers, both of years and of measures, that occur in the Word.1430.
When he went forth out of Haran. That this signifies an obscure state of the Lord, like that of man's childhood, is evident from the signification of "Haran" in the preceding chapter, whither Terah first came with Abram, and where Terah the father of Abram died,(Gen. 11:31-32); and also from what follows, in that Jacob went to Haran, where Laban dwelt (Gen. 27:43; 28:10; 29:4). Haran was a region where worship was external; and indeed, as regards Terah, Abram, and Laban, it was idolatrous; yet in the internal sense the same is not signified as in the external, but only something that is obscure. When from the external sense we pass to the internal the idea of idolatry does not remain, but is wiped away, just as the idea of holy love arises from the mention of a mountain (see n. 795); in passing from the external sense to the internal, the idea of a mountain first perishes, and there remains the idea of height, and by height is represented holiness. So in all other cases.1431.
Verse 5. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gotten, and the soul that they had gained in Haran: and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. "And Abram took Sarai his wife," signifies good to which truth has been adjoined; by "Abram," as has been said, is meant the Lord; here, when He was a child; by Sarai" as a "wife," is meant truth: "and Lot his brother's son," signifies sensuous truth, thus the first that is insinuated into a child; "and all their substance that they had gotten," signifies all things that are sensuous truths; "and the soul that they had gained in Haran," signifies every living essential that was possible in that obscure state; "and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan," signifies that He thus advanced to the celestial things of love; "and into the land of Canaan they came," signifies that He attained to the celestial things of love.1432.
And Abram took Sarai his wife. That this signifies good to which truth has been adjoined, is evident from that which is signified in the Word by a man and his wife (see n. 915); thus here, in the internal sense, by "Sarai" is signified truth. In all things of man both in general and in particular there is an image of a marriage; nor can there possibly be anything so small as not to contain this image within it, whether it be in the external man and each and everything belonging to it, or in the internal man and each and everything belonging to it. The reason is that all things both in general and in particular come forth and subsist from the Lord, and from the unition of His Human Essence, as in a marriage, with His Divine Essence; and from the conjunction or heavenly marriage of both with His kingdom in the heavens and on earth. In the present case therefore, where there was to be represented the truth that is joined to the Lord's good, and this by historic facts concerning Abram, it could be represented in no other way than by a "wife." That there is an image of a marriage in all things both in general and in particular, may be seen above (n. 54, 55, 718, 747, 917).1433.
That by "Abram" is meant the Lord, in the present case when He was a child; and that by "Sarai his wife" is meant truth, is evident from what has been already said.1434.
And Lot his brother's son. That this signifies sensuous truth, and thus the first that was insinuated into the Lord when a child, is evident from the signification of "Lot," as being the sensuous-as stated in the explication of the preceding verse-and from the signification of "son," as being truth (see n. 264, 489, 491, 533); and also from the signification of "brother," as being the truth of faith (n. 367). Thus sensuous truth is what is here signified, for in the internal sense there is no reflection on the persons and words, but only upon their signification. In heaven they do not know who Lot is, but only the quality that is represented by him; nor do they know what a son is, but the spiritual state by which one is relatively as a son; nor do they know what a brother is, except from brotherhood such as there is in heaven. As regards sensuous truth, it is the first truth that insinuates itself; for in childhood the judgment does not go higher. Sensuous truth consists in seeing all earthly and worldly things as being created by God, and each and every thing for a purpose, and in all things whatsoever a certain image of God's kingdom. This sensuous truth is insinuated solely with the celestial man; and as the Lord alone was a celestial man, these and similar sensuous truths were insinuated into Him in earliest childhood: whereby He was prepared for the reception of celestial things.1435.
And all the substance that they had gotten. That this signifies all things that are sensuous truths, is evident from what has already been said. All the memory-knowledge from which a man thinks, is called "acquisition" or "substance." Without the acquisition of memory-knowledges, a man cannot as a man have any idea of thought. The ideas of thought are founded upon those things which have been impressed on the memory from the things of sense; and therefore memory-knowledges are vessels of spiritual things; and affections that are from good pleasures of the body are vessels of celestial things. All these are called "the substance gotten," and indeed in Haran, by which is signified an obscure state, such as is that of infancy up to childhood.1436.
And the soul that they had gained in Haran. That this signifies every living essential that was possible in that obscure state, is evident from the signification of "soul," as being what is living essential; and from the signification of "Haran" as being an obscure state, concerning which see the preceding verse. The soul in the proper sense signifies that which lives in man, and thus his very life. That in man which lives is not the body, but the soul, and the body lives by means of the soul. The life itself of man, or the living part of him, is from celestial love; there cannot possibly be anything living which does not derive its origin from this; and therefore by "soul" is here signified the good which lives from celestial love, which good is the living essential itself. In the literal sense, by "soul" is here meant every man, and also every beast that was alive, and which they had procured for themselves; but in the internal sense nothing else is signified than what is living essential.1437.
And they went forth to go into the land of Canaan. That this signifies that He thus advanced to the celestial things of love, is evident from the signification of "the land of Canaan." That the land of Canaan represents the Lord's kingdom in the heavens and on earth, is evident from many things in the Word. The reason is that the Representative Church was instituted there, in which all things both in general and in particular represented the Lord and the celestial and spiritual things of His kingdom. Not only were the rites representative, but everything connected with them, as well the persons who ministered, as the things by which they ministered, and also the places of the ministration. As the Representative Church was there, the land was called the Holy Land, although it was anything but holy, for it was inhabited by the idolatrous and the profane. This then is the reason why by "the land of Canaan," here and in what follows, are signified the celestial things of love; for the celestial things of love, and these alone, are in the Lord's kingdom, and constitute His Kingdom.1438.
And into the land of Canaan they came. That this signifies that He attained to the celestial things of love, is evident from what has just been said concerning the land of Canaan. There is here described the first thing in the Lord's life-from birth to childhood-namely, that He attained to the celestial things of love. The celestial things of love are the very essentials; the rest come from them. With these He was first of all imbued; for from these as from their seed were all things afterwards made fruitful. The seed itself in Him was celestial, because He was born of Jehovah; and therefore He was the only one who had this seed in Himself. All men whatever have no other seed than something filthy and infernal, in and from which is what is their own; and this is from what is inherited from the father, as is known to everyone; wherefore, unless they receive from the Lord a new seed and a new Own, that is, a new will and a new understanding, they cannot be otherwise than accursed to hell; from which all men, spirits, and angels, are drawn forth, and are continually withheld by the Lord.1439.
Verse 6. And Abram passed through the land, even unto the place Shechem, even unto the oak-grove Moreh: and the Canaanite was then in the land. "Abram passed through the land, even unto the place Shechem" signifies the Lord's second state, when the celestial things of love became apparent to Him, which are signified by "Shechem;" "even unto the oak-grove Moreh," signifies the third state, namely, the first perception, which is "the oak-grove Moreh;" "and the Canaanite was then in the land," signifies the evil heredity from the mother in His external man.1440.
Abram passed through the land, even unto the place Shechem. That this signifies the Lord's second state, when the celestial things of love became apparent to Him, is evident from what precedes and from the order of all these events-from what precedes, in that He advanced to the celestial things of love and attained to them, which is signified by "they went forth to go into the land of Canaan," and by "they came into the land of Canaan;" and from the order of the events, in that after He had advanced to celestial things and had attained to them, they then became apparent to Him. In celestial things there is the very light of the soul; because the Divine itself, that is, Jehovah Himself, is in them; and as the Lord was to conjoin the Human Essence to the Divine Essence, when He attained to celestial things it could not be otherwise than that Jehovah appeared to Him.1441.
That these things are signified by "Shechem," is also evident from the fact that Shechem is as it were the first station in the land of Canaan, in journeying from Syria, or from Haran; and as the celestial things of love are signified by "the land of Canaan," it is evident that their first appearing is signified by Shechem. When Jacob returned from Haran into the land of Canaan, he in like manner came to Shechem, as is evident from the following passage: Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him a house, and made booths for his cattle; therefore he called the name of the place Succoth. And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram, and encamped before the city. And he erected there an altar (Gen. 33:17-20); where also by " Shechem" is signified the first of light. In David: God hath spoken in His holiness I will exult, I will divide Shechem, and will mete out the valley of Succoth; Gilead is Mine and Manasseh is Mine and Ephraim is the strength of Mine head; Judah is My lawgiver; Moab is My wash-pot; upon Edom will I cast My shoe; over Philistia will I sound in triumph (Ps. 60:6-8; 108:7-9); where the signification of "Shechem" is similar. That names signify nothing else than actual things [res], and that so also does "Shechem," may be plainly seen from these prophetic sayings of David; for otherwise they would be little but an accumulation of names. That Shechem was made a city of refuge (Josh. 20:7), and also a city of the priests (Josh. 21:21), and that a covenant was made there (Josh. 24:1, 25), involve also what is similar.1442.
Unto the oak-grove Moreh. That this signifies the first perception, is also evident from the order. As soon as Jehovah appeared to the Lord in His celestial things it is evident that He attained perception; all perception is from celestial things. What perception is, has been declared and shown before (n. 104, 202, 371, 483, 495, 503, 521, 536, 865). Everyone receives perception from the Lord when he comes to celestial things. They who have become celestial men, such as those of the Most Ancient Church, have all received perception, as before shown (n. 125, 597, 607, 784, 895). They who become spiritual men, that is, who receive charity from the Lord, have something analogous to perception, or rather they have a dictate of conscience, more or less clear, in proportion as they are in the celestial things of charity. The celestial things of charity are attended with this; for in them alone the Lord is present, and in them He appears to man. How much more must this have been the case with the Lord, who from infancy advanced to Jehovah, and was conjoined and united to Him, so that they were One.1443.
As regards "the oak-grove Moreh" being the first perception, the case is this. There are with man things intellectual, things rational, and things of memory [scientifica]; his inmost things are intellectual, his interior things are rational, and his exterior things are those of the memory [scientifica]; all these are called his spiritual things, which are in the order here given. The intellectual things of the celestial man are compared to a garden of trees of every kind; his rational things, to a forest of cedars and similar trees, such as there were in Lebanon; but his memory-knowledges [scientifica] are compared to oak-groves, and this from their intertwined branches such as are those of the oak. By trees themselves are signified perceptions; as by the trees of the garden of Eden eastward, inmost perceptions, or those of intellectual things (as before shown, n. 99, 100, 103) by the trees of the forest of Lebanon, interior perceptions, or those of rational things; but by the trees of an oak-grove, exterior perceptions, or those of memory-knowledges, which belong to the external man. Hence it is that "the oak-grove Moreh" signifies the Lord's first perception; for He was as yet a child, and His spiritual things were not more interior than this. Besides, the oak-grove Moreh was where the sons of Israel also first came when they passed over the Jordan and saw the land of Canaan, concerning which in Moses: Thou shalt put the blessing upon Mount Gerizim, and the curse upon Mount Ebal. Are they not beyond Jordan, behind the way of the going down of the sun, in the land of the Canaanite that dwelleth in the plain over against Gilgal, beside the oak-groves of Moreh (Deut. 11:29-30); by which also is signified the first of perception, for the entrance of the sons of Israel represents the entrance of the faithful into the Lord's kingdom.1444.
And the Canaanite was then in the land. That this signifies the evil heredity from the mother, in His external man, is evident from what has been already said concerning that which was inherited by the Lord; for He was born as are other men, and inherited evils from the mother, against which He fought, and which He overcame. It is well known that the Lord underwent and endured the most grievous temptations (concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter), temptations so great that He fought alone and by His own power against the whole of hell. No one can undergo temptation unless evil adheres to him; he who has no evil cannot have the least temptation; evil is what the infernal spirits excite.  In the Lord there was not any evil that was actual, or His own, as there is in all men, but there was hereditary evil from the mother, which is here called "the Canaanite then in the land." Concerning this, see what was said above, at verse 1 (n. 1414), namely, that there are two hereditary natures connate in man, one from the father, the other from the mother; that which is from the father remains to eternity, but that which is from the mother is dispersed by the Lord while the man is being regenerated. The Lord's hereditary nature from His Father, however, was the Divine. His heredity from the mother was evil, and this is treated of here, and is that through which He underwent temptations (see Mark 1:12-13; Matt. 4:1; Luke 4:1-2). But, as already said, He had no evil that was actual, or His own, nor had He any hereditary evil from the mother after He had overcome hell by means of temptations; on which account it is here said that there was such evil at that time, that is, that the "Canaanite was then in the land."  The Canaanites were those who dwelt by the sea and by the coast of Jordan, as is evident in Moses. The spies on their return said: We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey, and this is the fruit of it. Howbeit the people that dwelleth in the land is strong, and the cities are fenced, very great; and moreover we saw the children of Anak there; Amalek dwelleth in the south; and the Hittite and the Jebusite and the Amorite dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanite dwelleth by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan (Num. 13:27-29). That the Canaanites dwelt by the sea and by the coast of Jordan, signified evil thence in the external man, such as is the heredity from the mother; for the sea and the Jordan were boundaries.  That such evil is signified by "the Canaanite," is also evident in Zechariah: In that day there shall be no more a Canaanite in the house of Jehovah Zebaoth (Zech. 14:21); where the Lord's kingdom is treated of, and it is signified that the Lord will conquer the evil meant by the Canaanite and will expel it from His kingdom. All kinds of evils are signified by the idolatrous nations in the land of Canaan, among which were the Canaanites (see Gen. 15:18-21; Exod. 3:8, 17; 23:23, 28; 33:2; 34:11; Deut. 7:1; 20:17; Josh. 3:10; 24:11; Judges 3:5). What evil is signified by each nation specifically, shall of the Lord's Divine mercy be told elsewhere.1445.
Verse 7. And Jehovah was seen of Abram, and said, To thy seed will I give this land. And there he built an altar to Jehovah, who was seen of him. "Jehovah was seen of Abram," signifies that Jehovah appeared to the Lord while yet a child; "and said, To thy seed will I give this land," signifies that celestial things should be given to those who should have faith in Him; "and there he built an altar to Jehovah, who was seen of him," signifies the first worship of His Father from the celestial of love.1446.
Jehovah was seen of Abram. That this signifies that Jehovah appeared to the Lord while yet a child, is evident from the things that precede; also from the very representation of the Lord by Abram; and also from the order, in that He attained to celestial things, then to perception, from which there follows that Jehovah was seen.1447.
And said, To thy seed will I give this land. That this signifies that celestial things should be given to those who should have faith in Him, is evident from the signification of "seed," and from the signification of "land." That "seed" signifies faith in the Lord, was shown above (n. 255, 256); and that "land" signifies celestial things, was also shown above, at verse 1 of this chapter (and also n. 620, 636, 662, 1066). In the sense of the letter, by "the seed of Abram" is meant his posterity from Jacob, and by "land" is meant the land of Canaan itself, which would be given them for a possession, so that they might represent the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom and church, and that the Representative Church might be instituted among them, and because the Lord was to be born there; but in the internal sense nothing else is signified by "seed" than faith in the Lord, and by "land" nothing else than celestial things, and in the present passage that celestial things should be given those who should have faith in Him. What is meant by having faith in the Lord has already been shown repeatedly.1448.
And there he built an altar to Jehovah who was seen of him. That this signifies the first worship of His Father from the celestial of love, is evident from the signification of "an altar," as being the principal representative of worship (n. 921).1449.
Verse 8. And he removed from thence into the mountain on the east of Bethel, and spread his tent; having Bethel toward the sea, and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to Jehovah, and called on the name of Jehovah. "He removed from thence into the mountain on the east of Bethel," signifies the Lord's fourth state when a child, namely, the progression of the celestial things of love, signified by being transferred to a mountain on the east of Bethel; "and spread his tent," signifies the holy things of faith; "having Bethel toward the sea, and Ai on the east," signifies that His state was still obscure; "and there he built an altar to Jehovah," signifies the external worship of His Father from that state; "and called on the name of Jehovah," signifies the internal worship of His Father from that state.1450.
And he removed from thence into the mountain on the east of Bethel. That this signifies the Lord's fourth state when a child, is evident from what precedes and from what follows, and also from the order itself. The order was that the Lord should first of all be imbued from infancy with the celestial things of love. The celestial things of love are love to Jehovah and love to the neighbor, and innocence itself in these. From these, as from the veriest fountains of life, flow all other things both in general and particular, for all other things are merely derivations. These celestial things are insinuated into man chiefly in his state of infancy up to childhood, and in fact without knowledges; for they flow in from the Lord, and affect him, before the man knows what love is and what affection is; as may be seen from the state of infants, and afterwards from the state of early childhood. These things in man are the remains which have been spoken of several times; and which are insinuated by the Lord and stored up for use in afterlife (concerning which see n. 468, 530, 560, 561, 660, 661). As the Lord was born as are other men, He was also introduced according to order into celestial things, and in fact by degrees from infancy to childhood, and afterwards into knowledges; and how the case was with Him in regard to these is described in this verse, and is represented in what follows by Abraham's sojourn in Egypt.
1411-1 The Latin word terra means both "land" and "earth."