Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at sacred-texts.com
And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew. That this signifies that the Lord perceived from His interior man, is evident from the signification of "Abram the Hebrew," as being the interior man conjoined with the internal, explained just below. And as in the internal sense these things are predicated of the Lord, and the historicals are representative, it is evident that the coming of one who had escaped, and his telling, signifies nothing else than that the Lord perceived. The interior man perceives what is going on in the external man just as if one were to tell it. The Lord, who had a perception of all things that were taking place, knew very clearly the quality and the source of all that took place in connection with Himself, as for example if anything of evil were taking possession of the affections of His external man, or anything of falsity of its thoughts, He could not but know what it was, and whence; and also what evil spirits were exciting the evil and the falsity; and how they were exciting them, besides other things; for such things, and others beyond number, are not concealed from the angels, and scarcely from men who have celestial perception, still less from the Lord.1702.
That "Abram the Hebrew" is the interior man to which the internal or Divine man was adjoined, may be seen from the signification of "Abram the Hebrew," or from the surnaming of Abram, in that he is here called "the Hebrew." In what goes before, and in what follows, where Abram is spoken of, he is not called the Hebrew; he is so called in this passage only; and therefore some distinct thing in the Lord is represented and signified by "Abram the Hebrew." What is represented and signified may be seen from the internal sense, namely, that it is the interior man adjoined to the internal or Divine man, as may likewise be seen from the series of things in the internal sense. The Hebrews are named in the Word when anything of servitude is signified, whatever it may be; as may be seen from what follows. The interior man is such that it serves the internal or Divine man; and for this reason the interior man is here called "Abram the Hebrew."  What the interior man is, scarcely anyone knows, and it must therefore be briefly stated. The interior man is intermediate between the internal and the external man. By the interior man the internal man communicates with the external; without this medium, no communication at all is possible. The celestial is distinct from the natural, and still more from the corporeal, and unless there is a medium by which there is communication, the celestial cannot operate at all into the natural, and still less into the corporeal. It is the interior man which is called the rational man; and this man, because it is intermediate, communicates with the internal man, where there is good itself and truth itself; and it also communicates with the exterior man, where there are evil and falsity. By means of the communication with the internal man, a man can think of celestial and spiritual things, or can look upward, which beasts cannot do. By means of the communication with the exterior man, a man can think of worldly and corporeal things, or can look downward; in this differing little from the beasts, which have in like manner an idea of earthly things. In a word, the interior or middle man is the rational man himself, who is spiritual or celestial when he looks upward, but animal when he looks downward.  It is well known that a man can know that he speaks in one way while thinking in another, and that he does one thing while willing another; and that there exist simulation and deceit; also that there is reason, or the rational; and that this is something interior, because it can dissent; and also that with one who is to be regenerated there is something interior which combats with that which is exterior. This that is interior, and that thinks and wills differently from the exterior, and that combats, is the interior man. In this interior man there is conscience with the spiritual man, and perception with the celestial. This interior man, conjoined with the Divine internal man that was in the Lord, is what is here called "Abram the Hebrew."1703.
That the term "Hebrew" is predicated in the Word of some form of servitude, is evident from the following passages. In Moses: When thy brother, a Hebrew, or a Hebrewess, shall be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years, then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee (Deut. 15:12); where it is said "a Hebrew" and "a Hebrewess," because servitude is treated of. In Jeremiah: At the end of seven years ye shall let go every man his brother that is a Hebrew, who hath been sold unto thee, and hath served thee six years (Jer. 34:9, 14); where in like manner the term "Hebrew" is used, because servitude is treated of; otherwise the sons of Jacob are not in the Prophets called "Hebrews." In Samuel: The Philistines said, Be strong, and be men, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews as they have been to you (1 Sam. 4:9); where the word is used for the same reason.  In Moses: Jehovah said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and say to him, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews, Let My people go, that they may serve Me (Exod. 9:1, 13; 10:3); where they are called "Hebrews" from serving. The wife of Potiphar, speaking of Joseph: Called unto the men of her house, and said unto them, See, he hath brought in a Hebrew unto us to mock us (Gen. 39:14). Joseph is here called "a Hebrew" because he was a servant there. The chief of the butlers said unto Pharaoh: There was with us a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard, and he interpreted to us our dreams (Gen. Moreover, the Egyptians called the sons of Israel "Hebrews," because they were servants, or in servitude, as is known (see Exod. 1:15-16, 19, and other places).1704.
And he was dwelling in the oak-groves of Mamre the Amorite. That this signifies the state of perception from the rational man, is evident from the signification of an "oak-grove," and of "the oak-groves of Mamre the Amorite," spoken of before (n. 1442, 1443, 1616).1705.
The brother of Eshcol, and the brother of Aner, and these were men of the covenant of Abram. That by these is signified the state of the rational man in respect to the external man, as regards the quality of its goods and truths, may be seen from their signification as explained below at verse 24, where also they are named. In brief, by Mamre, Eshcol, and Aner, are represented and signified the angels who were with the Lord when He fought in His earliest childhood, and who were adapted to the goods and truths then with the Lord. They are named from these goods and truths. In no case does an angel in heaven have any name; it is goods and truths from which names are predicated of them; for instance, "Michael" and the other angels named in the Word are not angels with such names; but they bear these names from the office they fill, whatever it may be. It is the same here with Mamre, Eshcol, and Aner; but representatively.1706.
Verse 14. And Abram heard that his brother was taken captive; and he hastened his trained men that were born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued unto Dan. "Abram heard that his brother was taken captive," signifies that the interior man perceived in what state was the external man; "and he hastened his trained men that were born in his house," signifies those goods in the external man that were now delivered from the yoke of servitude; "three hundred and eighteen," signifies their quality; "and pursued unto Dan," signifies the commencement of purification.1707.
Abram heard that his brother was taken captive. That this signifies that the interior man perceived in what state the external was, is evident from the signification of "Abram" in the verse that immediately precedes this, as being the interior man to which the internal or Divine man was adjoined; and from the signification of "Lot," as being the external man, as has been shown before; also from the signification of "hearing that his brother was captive," as being to perceive in what state the external man was, namely, as was said in verse 12, that apparent goods and truths had possession of it.  The case is this: When the interior man (meant by "Abram the Hebrew") perceived that the goods and truths from which the combat was waged were not goods and truths except apparently, and that they had possession of the whole of the external man (signified by "Lot, his brother's son"), then the interior man, or the Divine internal man through the interior, purified them. How this is done, no one can possibly know but he to whom it has been revealed; for the influx of the internal man, through the interior or middle man, into the external man, is an arcanum, especially at the present time, when few, if any, know what the interior man is, and still less what the internal man is. What the internal man is, and what the interior man, may be seen just above, at verse 13. But here it shall be briefly stated what is the nature of the influx.  The internal man in everyone belongs to the Lord alone; for there the Lord stores up the goods and truths with which He gifts man from infancy. Thence through these He flows into the interior or rational man, and through this into the exterior; in this way it is given to the man to think, and to be a man. But the influx from the internal man into the interior or middle man, and so into the exterior man, is twofold; it is either by celestial things, or by spiritual things or what is the same, it is either by goods, or by truths. By celestial things, or goods, it flows in only with regenerate men, who have been gifted either with perception or with conscience; thus it flows in by perception or by conscience; for which reason the influx by celestial things has no existence except with those who are in love to the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor. But by spiritual things, or truths, the Lord flows in with every man; and unless there were this influx the man could not think, and therefore could not speak. When a man is such that he perverts the goods and truths, and when he cares nothing for celestial and spiritual things, there is then no influx of celestial things, or goods, but the way for these is closed; and yet there is an influx of spiritual things, or truths, for a way for them is continually kept open. Hence may be seen what is the nature of the interior or middle, that is, of the rational man.  The internal man in the interior or middle man is here signified by "Abram." When the celestial things, or goods, flow in from the internal man into the interior man, the internal man then appropriates to itself the interior or middle man, and makes it its own; but the interior or middle man is still distinct from the internal man. The case is similar when the internal man flows in through the interior or middle man into the exterior man, for then it likewise appropriates the exterior man to itself, and makes it its own; but yet the exterior man is distinct from the interior man. So now, when the internal man perceived in the interior or middle man that the state of the external man was such, namely, that the external man was made captive, that is, that not genuine but apparent goods and truths had taken possession of it, from which it had fought against so many enemies, it then flowed in, and reduced all things to order, and liberated it from the things which infested it, and thus purified it, that is to say, so that its goods and truths were not apparent but genuine goods and truths, and were thus conjoined with the internal or Divine man; and this, as before said, by means of the interior or middle man.  In this the Lord was not like any man for His interior man as to celestial things or goods was Divine, and was adjoined to His internal man even from birth. His internal man, together with this interior man, was Jehovah Himself, His Father. But He was similar to other men in this, that His interior man as to spiritual things or truths had been adjoined to His external man, and thus was Human; but this also was made Divine, that is, Jehovah, by means of combats of temptations and continual victories from its own power. The external man is what is called "Lot;" in the former state however this is called "Abram's brothers son," but in this "Abram's brother;" for it was called his brother's son when possessed by apparent goods and truths, but his brother when possessed by genuine goods and truths.1708.
And he hastened his trained men that were born in his house. That this signifies these goods and truths in the external man which were now delivered from the yoke of servitude, is evident from the signification of the "trained men," as also of those "born in Abram's house." Abram's "men in training," or novitiates, in the internal sense, are those goods in the external man which can be conjoined with the interior man; those "born in the house," in the internal sense, are the same goods and also truths, as being proper to that man. But these things contain more arcana that can be told; in the first place these-how, after the combats of temptations, apparent goods become genuine goods, and that they can then be conjoined with the interior or middle man, and through this with the internal man, and be made in like manner Divine. For the Lord adjoined His Human Essence to His Divine Essence by degrees, and this by means of combats of temptations and victories, as before said. These goods that were made genuine are what are called Abram's "men in training," or novitiates; for these goods were in training, and were novitiates; and as they were procured by His own power, they are called "born in his house."1709.
Three hundred and eighteen men. That this signifies their quality, namely, that they are the holy things of combat, is involved in the number "eighteen," and also in the number "three hundred;" for these numbers are composed of three and six. "Three" signifies what is holy (as shown n. 720, 901); and "six" combat (as shown n. 737, 900). That Abram hastened so many, is an historical truth but still it was representative, as is all the history in the Word in the five books of Moses, in Joshua, in Judges, in Samuel, in the Kings, in Daniel, and in Jonah, where the numbers in like manner involve arcana; for nothing has been written in the Word which was not of this nature, otherwise it would not be the Word, and otherwise it would not have been related that Abram hastened three hundred and eighteen; and also that these were in training, and born in his house; besides many other things which are said in this chapter.1710.
And pursued even to Dan. That this signifies a state of purification, is evident from the connection of the things in the internal sense. To "pursue the enemies" is here to expel the evils and falsities which were with the goods and truths, and that caused them to merely appear to be goods and truths, and thus to liberate and purify them. "Even to Dan," signifies to the farthest limit of Canaan, thus to the uttermost boundaries whither they had fled. That "Dan" signifies the farthest limits, or the extreme boundaries of Canaan, is evident in many places in the Word. As in Samuel: To transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba (2 Sam. 3:10). Again: In gathering, all Israel shall be gathered together, from Dan even to Beersheba (2 Sam. 17:11). Again: David said to Joab, Go now to and fro through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba (2 Sam. 24:2, 15). In the book of Kings: Judah and Israel dwelt in safety, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba (1 Kings 4:25). From these passages it is evident that Dan was the farthest boundary of Canaan, whither the enemies were pursued which infested the goods and truths of the external man. But as Dan was a boundary of Canaan, and therefore within Canaan, lest they should stay there, they were driven further, namely, "to Hobah on the left of Damascus," as is evident from the things stated in the verse next following, and in this way purification was effected. By the land of Canaan, in a holy sense, as before said, is signified the Lord's kingdom, thus the celestial of love, or good; primarily, the good with the Lord.1711.
Verse 15. And he divided himself against them by night, he and his servants, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left of Damascus. "He divided himself against them by night," signifies the shade in which the apparent goods and truths were; "he and his servants," signifies the rational man, and the things in the external man which obeyed; "and smote them," signifies vindication; "and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left of Damascus," signifies as far as this extended.1712.
He divided himself against them by night. That this signifies the shade in which the apparent goods and truths were, is evident from the signification of "night," as being a state of shade. There is said to be a state of shade when it is not known whether the good and truth are apparent or are genuine. When anyone is in apparent good and truth, he supposes them to be genuine good and truth; the evil and falsity that are in apparent good and truth are what cause the shade, and make them appear genuine. They who are in ignorance can know no otherwise than that the good which they do is their own, and that the truth which they think is their own, and it is the same with those who attribute to themselves the goods they do, and place merit in them, not knowing that in this case they are not good, although they appear so; and that the Own and self-merit which they place in them are the evils and falsities which obscure and darken. So in many other cases.  The kind and the measure of the evil and falsity which lie concealed in them, cannot possibly be so well seen in the life of the body as in the other life, where they are presented to view as in clear light. But the case is different if this is done from ignorance that is not confirmed, for in this case those evils and falsities are easily dispersed. But if men confirm themselves in the belief that they can do good and resist evil by their own powers, and that they thus merit salvation, in this case this idea remains attached, and causes the good to be evil, and the truth to be falsity. But still it is according to order for a man to do good as of himself; and therefore he ought not to slacken his hand, with the thought, "If I can do nothing of good from myself, I ought to wait for immediate influx," and thus remain in a passive state, for this would be contrary to order; but he must do good as of himself; yet, when he reflects upon the good which he does or has done, let him think, acknowledge, and believe that the Lord has done the work in him.  If he slackens his effort, thinking as has been said, he is then not a subject into which the Lord can operate. The Lord cannot flow into anyone who deprives himself of everything into which power can be infused. It is as if one were not willing to learn anything without a revelation to himself; or as if one would teach nothing unless the words were put into him; or as if one would attempt nothing unless he were put into action as one without will. But if these things were done, he would be still more indignant at being like an inanimate thing; when yet that which is animated by the Lord in a man is that which appears as if it were from himself. It is thus an eternal truth that a man does not live from himself, but that if he did not appear to live from himself he could not live at all.1713.
He and his servants. That this signifies the rational man, and the things in the external man which obeyed, is evident from the signification of "he," that is, of Abram, as being the interior man (explained above); and from the signification of "servants," as being the things which obey. All the things that are in the external man before it has been liberated and vindicated, are called "servants," for they do nothing but render obedience to the interior man. For example: in the exterior man there are affections and there are memory-knowledges; the former are from the goods of the interior man, and the latter are from the truths of the same. When these are made to act so that they accord with the interior man, they are said to serve and obey; and therefore by "servants" nothing else is here signified than those things in the external man which obeyed.1714.
And smote them. That this signifies vindication, is evident from the connection, and without explication.1715.
And pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left of Damascus. That this signifies as far as this extended, is evident from the signification of "Hobah, which is on the left of Damascus." It is not known where Hobah was situated, as there is no further mention of it in the Word. But Damascus was the principal city of Syria (as is evident from 2 Sam. 8:5, 6; Isa. 7:8); and by it is signified almost the same as by Syria (spoken of before, Gen. 10:22). The farthest boundary of the land of Canaan, beyond Dan, is described as being Damascus, as in Amos: Ye have taken up Siccuth your king, and Chiun your images; the star of your gods which ye made to yourselves, and I will cause you to go away beyond Damascus (Amos 5:26-27). The boundary of the holy land, or of the Lord's kingdom, toward the north, is also called the "boundary of Damascus" (Ezek. 47:16-18, 48:1). Here, where it is said that they were smitten and driven as far as Hobah, which is on the left of Damascus, there is signified the extent to which the apparent goods and truths were purified. But unless it is known what was the character of the apparent goods and truths, and by what means they were purified so as to be made genuine, it cannot be explained what is properly meant here by Hobah, on the left of Damascus; except in a general way, that they were purified.1716.
Verse 16. And he brought back all the substance, and also brought back his brother Lot and his substance, and the women also, and the people. "He brought back all the substance," signifies that the interior man reduced all things in the external man into a conforming state; "and also brought back his brother Lot and his substance," signifies the external man and all the things belonging to it; "the women and the people," signifies both the goods and the truths.1717.
And he brought back all the substance. That this signifies that the interior man reduced all things in the external man into a conforming state, may be seen from the signification of "bringing back all the substance." The "substance" here is the things which Chedorlaomer and the kings with him took from their enemies; as told in what goes before. By Chedorlaomer and the kings with him, are signified the goods and truths of the exterior man. The substance they took from their enemies was nothing else than their being deprived of the power of doing evil and thinking falsity, which was signified by the wealth of Sodom and Gomorrah, and by all the food which they took (treated of above, at verse 11).  This matter is of such a nature that it cannot be set forth in few words; but what here follows may be sufficient to give some notion of it. He who is in the combats of temptations, and overcomes, acquires to himself more and more a power [potestas] over the evil spirits, or over the diabolical crew, till at last they do not dare to tempt at all. But as often as a victory is gained, so often does the Lord reduce into order the goods and truths from which the combat was waged; and so often are they thus purified; and so far as they are purified, so far are the celestial things of love insinuated into the exterior man, and a correspondence effected. These are the things that are signified by bringing back all the substance.  He who supposes that the external man can be reduced into correspondence without combats of temptations is mistaken; for temptations are the means of dissipating evils and falsities, as also of introducing goods and truths, and of reducing the things which are of the external man into obedience, so that it may serve the interior or rational man, and through this the internal, that is, the Lord operating through the internal man. That these things are effected by temptations, no one can know but he who has been regenerated through temptations. But how this is done can scarcely be described even in the most general manner, since it is done without the man's knowing whence and how; for it is the Lord's Divine operation.1718.
And also brought back his brother Lot and his substance. That this signifies the external man and all that belongs to it, is evident from the signification of "Lot," which is the external man, as has been stated several times before. What the external man is, is scarcely known at this day; for it is thought that only that which belongs to the body constitutes the external man; as the faculties of sense, namely, the touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight; and also the appetites and pleasures. But these constitute the outermost man, which is merely corporeal. The knowledges that belong to the memory, and the affections that are of the love, with which the man has been imbued, properly constitute the external man; also those faculties of sense which properly belong to the spirit, together with the pleasures that the spirit enjoys. That these properly constitute the external or exterior man, is evident from men in the other life, that is, spirits. These in like manner possess an external man, and in like manner an interior man, and consequently an internal man. The body is only as it were a covering, a crust, which is dissolved in order that the man may truly live, and that all things belonging to him may become more excellent.1719.
The women and the people. That this signifies both the goods and the truths, may be seen from the signification of "wives" and of "daughters," as being what is good (spoken of before, n. 489-491, 568, 915)-here the word "women" is used instead of wives and daughters; and from the signification of "people," as being truth (also explained before, n. 1259, 1260).1720.
Verse 17. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him, after his return from smiting Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, this is the king's valley. "The king of Sodom went out to meet him," signifies that the evil and falsity submitted themselves; "after his return from smiting Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him," signifies the liberation and vindication of the apparent goods and truths; "at the valley of Shaveh, this is the king's valley," signifies the state of the external man as to goods and truths at that time.1721.
The king of Sodom went out to meet him. That this signifies that the evil and falsity submitted themselves, is evident from the signification of "the king of Sodom," as being the evil and falsity against which was the combat; and from the signification of "going out to meet," as being to submit one's self. The king of Sodom is here spoken of, because the fact that evil and falsity submitted themselves occurs here in the series; but he is [specially] treated of in verse 21, which follows.1722.
After his return from smiting Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him. That this signifies the liberation and vindication of the apparent goods and truths, is evident from the things which precede, and from what was said above concerning Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him.1723.
At the valley of Shaveh, this is the king's valley. That this signifies the state of the external man as to goods and truths at that time, may be seen from the signification of "the valley of Shaveh," and also of "the king's valley." "The valley of Shaveh" signifies the goods of the external man; and "the king's valley" signifies the truths of the same. The external man is called a "valley" from the fact that it is below. That which is more external is also lower, as that which is more internal is also higher. That a "king" signifies truth, has been said before (n. 1672).1724.
Verse 18. And Melchizedek king of Salem bought forth bread and wine; and he was priest to God Most High. "Melchizedek" signifies the celestial things of the interior man in the Lord; "king of Salem," signifies a state of peace as to interior or rational things; "brought forth bread," signifies celestial things and the refreshment from them; "and wine," signifies spiritual things and the refreshment from them; "and he was priest," signifies the holy of love; "to God Most High," signifies the internal man, which is Jehovah.1725.
Melchizedek. That this signifies the celestial things of the interior man in the Lord, may be seen from the signification of the name "Melchizedek," to be explained presently; and also from the things that precede and from those which follow. What the internal man is, and what the interior man, and what the external, has been sufficiently shown above; also that the internal man flows in through the interior man into the external; as also that the internal man flows into the interior man either by celestial things or by spiritual things; by celestial things with every regenerate man, that is, with those who live in love to the Lord and in love toward the neighbor; but by spiritual things with every man, whatever his quality may be; thence is his light from heaven, that is, his ability to think and speak, and to be a man. On this subject see what was said before (n. 1707).  The celestial things of the interior man are all those which are of celestial love, as has often been said before. These celestial things in the Lord's interior man, or the Lord's interior man as to these celestial things, is called "Melchizedek." The internal man in the Lord was Jehovah Himself. The interior man, when purified after the combats of temptations, was also made Divine and Jehovah; in like manner also the external; but now, when the interior man was in the state of the combats of temptation, and was not yet much purified by the combats of the temptations, it is called as to the celestial things "Melchizedek," that is, "King of holiness and righteousness."  That this is really so, may also be seen in David, where the Lord's combats of temptations are in like manner treated of, and at last His interior man as to celestial things is called "Melchizedek." Thus in David: Jehovah said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. Jehovah shall send forth the scepter of Thy strength out of Zion; rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies. Thy people are willing offerings in the day of Thy might; in honors of holiness; from the womb of the morning Thou hast the dew of Thy birth. 1725-1 Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, after My word 1725-2 Melchizedek. The Lord at Thy right hand smote through kings in the day of His anger (Ps. 110:1-5). Here the Lord's combats of temptations with the hells are treated of, as in the chapter before us, as may be seen from every word. That the Lord is here treated of He Himself teaches (see Matt. 22:41-43; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42-44); to "make His enemies His footstool," to "rule in the midst of His enemies," the "day of might," to "smite kings in the day of His anger," signify the combats of temptations, and victories.1726.
King of Salem. That this signifies a state of peace as to interior or rational things, is evident from the signification of "Salem." In the original language "Salem" means "peace," and also "perfection;" thus it signifies a state of peace, and a state of perfection. A state of peace is the state of the Lord's kingdom; in that state the Lord's celestial and spiritual things are as in their morning, and in their spring; for peace is like the dawn in the early morning, and like the spring in the springtime. The dawn and the spring cause all things that then meet the senses to be full of joy and gladness; every object draws an affection from the general one of the dawn and of the springtime. So is it with the state of peace in the Lord's kingdom: in the state of peace all celestial and spiritual things are as it were in their morning or springtide flower and smile, that is, in their happiness itself. So does the state of peace affect everything, for the Lord is peace itself. This is signified by Salem also in David: In Judah is God known, His name is great in Israel, in Salem also is His tabernacle, and His dwelling place in Zion (Ps. 76:1, 2). When a man is in the combats of temptations, he is by turns gifted by the Lord with a state of peace, and is thus refreshed. A state of peace is here signified by "Salem;" and presently also by the "bread and wine," by which celestial and spiritual things are signified; thus a state of celestial and spiritual things in peace, which state is refreshment itself.1727.
Brought forth bread and wine. That to "bring forth bread" signifies celestial things and refreshment from them, and to "bring forth wine" signifies spiritual things and refreshment from them, is evident from the signification of "bread," as being what is celestial (spoken of n. 276, 680); and from the signification of "wine," as also of the "vine" and the "vineyard," as being what is spiritual (explained n. 1069, 1071). And because "bread" signifies celestial things, and "wine" spiritual things, they were made symbols also in the Holy Supper. That Melchizedek brought forth bread and wine, has here a similar signification; for bread in the Ancient Church was the representative of all celestial things, and wine the representative of all spiritual things; thus here of the Lord Himself, from whom is all that is celestial and all that is spiritual.1728.
And he was priest. That this signifies the holy of love, is evident from the signification of "priest" in the Word. There are two things which are predicated of the Lord, namely, that He is King, and that He is Priest. A king, or the royalty, signifies the holy which is true; and a priest, or the priesthood, signifies the holy which is good; the former is the Divine spiritual, the latter the Divine celestial. The Lord as King governs each and all things in the universe from Divine truth; and as Priest, from Divine good. Divine truth is the very order of His universal kingdom, all the laws of which are truths, or eternal verities; Divine good is the very essential of order, all things of which are of mercy. Both of these are predicated of the Lord. If Divine truth alone were His, no mortal could be saved, for truths condemn everyone to hell; but Divine good, which is of mercy, uplifts from hell to heaven. These are what the kings and priests in the Jewish Church represented and these likewise Melchizedek represented, as king of Salem, and priest to God Most High.1729.
To God Most High. That this signifies the internal man, which is Jehovah, is evident from what has been said already several times concerning the Lord's internal man, that it is Jehovah Himself, and thus that the Lord is the same as Jehovah the Father; as He Himself says in John: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. Philip saith, Show us the Father. Jesus saith unto him, Am I so long time with you, and dost thou not know Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? Believe Me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me (John 14:6, 8-11).  It is the Lord's Human Essence which is called the "Son of man;" which also, after the combats of the temptations, was united to His Divine Essence, so that it was itself also made Jehovah; wherefore in heaven they know no other Jehovah the Father than the Lord (see above, n. 15). With the Lord all is Jehovah; not only His internal and His interior man, but also the external man, and the very body; and therefore He alone rose into heaven with the body also; as is sufficiently evident in the Gospels, where His resurrection is treated of; as also from the words of the Lord Himself: Wherefore do thoughts arise in your hearts? See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; handle Me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have. And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet (Luke 24:38-40).1730.
Verse 19. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram to God Most High, Possessor of the heavens and the earth. "And he blessed him," signifies the enjoyment of celestial and spiritual things; "and said, Blessed be Abram to God Most High," signifies the Lord's interior man, that it came into the enjoyment of goods from His internal man; "Possessor of the heavens and the earth," signifies the conjunction of the internal man, or Jehovah, with the interior and the exterior man.1731.
He blessed him. That this signifies the enjoyment of celestial and spiritual things, may be seen from the signification of "blessing," as being to enjoy all goods (see n. 981, 1096). They are in the enjoyment of all goods who enjoy celestial and spiritual goods; for all goods, of whatever name, are from these. The things which are contained in this verse declare and proclaim the conjunction of the Lord's Human Essence with His Divine Essence the blessing itself involves this.1732.
Blessed be Abram to God Most High. That this signifies the Lord's interior man, that it came into the enjoyment of goods from His internal man, is in like manner evident from the signification of "blessing" as being the enjoyment of goods, as before said; also from the signification of "Abram" here, as being the interior or rational man, treated of above (at verse 13); and also from the signification of "God Most High," as being the Lord's internal, which subject also has been treated of before. By "Abram," as before said, is signified the interior or rational man which is to be united to the internal man or Jehovah, and this by the combats of temptations and victories. For with the interior man the case is as follows. The interior man, as before said, is intermediate between the internal and the external man, and enables the internal man to flow into the external; for without the interior man there is no communication. There is thus effected a communication of celestial things, and of spiritual. When the communication was of celestial things, the interior man was called "Melchizedek;" but when there is a communication of spiritual things, it is called "Abram the Hebrew."1733.
Possessor of the heavens and the earth. This signifies the conjunction of the internal man or Jehovah with the interior and the exterior man, as appears from the signification of "heaven and earth." That which is interior in man is called "heaven;" and that which is exterior is called "earth." The reason why "heaven" signifies that which is interior in man, is that a man as to his interiors is an image of heaven, and so is a kind of little heaven. Primarily the Lord's interior man is heaven, because the Lord is the all in all of heaven, and thus is heaven itself. It follows from this that the exterior man is called the earth. For the same reason also, by the "new heavens" and the "new earth," spoken of in the Prophets and in Revelation, nothing else is meant than the Lord's kingdom, and everyone who is a kingdom of the Lord, or in whom the Lord's kingdom is. That "heaven and earth" signify these things may be seen, as to "heaven," n. 82, 911; and as to "earth," n. 82, 620, 636, 913.  That here "God Most High, Possessor of the heavens and earth," signifies the conjunction in the Lord of the internal man with the interior and exterior man, may be seen from the fact that as to His internal man the Lord was Jehovah Himself; and because the internal man or Jehovah led and instructed the external, as a father his son, therefore relatively to Jehovah He is called, as to the external man, the "Son of God;" but relatively to the mother, He is called the "Son of Man." The Lord's internal man, which is Jehovah Himself, is what is here called "God Most High;" and before plenary conjunction or union was effected, it is called "Possessor of the heavens and earth," that is, Possessor of all things which are in the interior and the exterior man; for these, as before said, are here meant by "the heavens and the earth."1734.
Verse 20. And blessed be God Most High, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. "Blessed be God Most High," signifies the Lord's internal man; "who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand," signifies victory. "And he gave him tithes of all," signifies remains derived from victory.1735.
Blessed be God Most High. That this signifies the Lord's internal man, is evident from the things which were said just above concerning the internal man. In the Ancient Church, Jehovah was called "God Most High" for the reason that "height" represented and therefore signified what is internal, and thus "the Most High" signified what is inmost. Hence the worship of the Ancient Church was upon high places, mountains, and hills. The inmost also has the same relation to the exterior and the outermost, as the highest bears to the lower and the lowest. The Most High or the Inmost is the Celestial of Love, or Love, itself. Jehovah, or the Lord's internal man, was the very Celestial of Love, that is, Love itself, to which no other attributes are fitting than those of pure Love, thus of pure Mercy toward the whole human race which is such that it wills to save all and make them happy to eternity, and to bestow on them all that it has; thus out of pure mercy to draw all who are willing to follow, to heaven, that is, to itself, by the strong force of love. This Love itself is Jehovah.  Of nothing can Am or Is be predicated except of Love. From this Love-because in Love, or of Love itself-is the very Being [Esse] of all life, that is, Life itself; and because Jehovah alone is Being of life, or Life itself, as He alone is Love, each and all things have thence their being and their life; nor can anyone be and live of himself except Jehovah alone, that is, the Lord alone; and as no one can be and live of himself except the Lord alone, it is a fallacy of sense that men seem to themselves to live of themselves. The angels plainly perceive that they do not live of themselves, but from the Lord, since they live in the very being of the Lord's life, because in His love. But yet to them above all others there is given the appearance as of living from themselves, together with ineffable happiness. This therefore is to live in the Lord, which is never possible unless we live in His love, that is, in charity toward the neighbor.1736.
That the Lord is Jehovah, who is here called "God Most High," is plainly evident from the Word. In Isaiah: Jehovah Zebaoth is His name, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth is He called (Isa. 54:5); where it is plain that the Redeemer and the Holy One of Israel, who is the Lord alone, is "Jehovah Zebaoth" and "the God of the whole earth." Again: Thus said Jehovah thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I am Jehovah thy God (Isa. 48:17). Again: I do help thee, saith Jehovah, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 41:14). The expressions "the Holy One of Israel," and "the God of Israel" occur many times. That the Lord is the Holy One of Israel and the God of Israel is clearly evident in that: They saw the God of Israel, and there was under His feet as it were a work of sapphire stone, and as it were the substance of heaven for clearness (Exod. 24:10).  No other was acknowledged and called Jehovah by the Jewish Church, for it worshiped the one God Jehovah, and this was the more fully the case for the reason-which was unknown to most of them-that all the rites of that church represented the Lord, and all the things of the Word in the internal sense were significative of Him. In Isaiah: He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord Jehovih will wipe away the tear from off all faces. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us; this is Jehovah, we have waited for Him; let us exult and be glad in his salvation (Isa. 25:8-9); treating of the coming of the Lord.  In the same: Behold the Lord Jehovih will come in strength, and His arm shall rule for Him. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd, He shall gather the little lambs in His arm, He shall carry them in His bosom, He shall lead the sucklings (Isa. 40:10-11). Here the Lord is plainly spoken of, who is "the Lord Jehovih." That He "shall come in strength," and "His arm rule for Him," signifies that He would conquer the hells by His own power; to "feed His flock, gather the little lambs in His arm, carry them in His bosom, and lead the sucklings," are predicated of His love or mercy.  Again: Thus said Jehovah that created the heavens, God Himself that formed the earth and made it, He established it, He created it not an emptiness, He formed it to be inhabited: I am Jehovah, and there is none else. Am not I Jehovah, and there is no God else besides Me? a just God, and a Saviour, there is none besides Me. Look unto Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else (Isa. 45:18, 21-22). Here the Lord is manifestly spoken of as being alone Jehovah and God. That to "create the heavens and form the earth" is to regenerate, thus that the Creator of heaven and earth is the Regenerator, may be seen above at n. 16, 88, 472, and elsewhere; and therefore the Lord is often called the Creator, Former, and Maker.  Again: Thou art our Father, for Abraham knoweth us not, and Israel doth not acknowledge us. Thou, O Jehovah, art our Father, our Redeemer, Thy name is from everlasting (Isa. 63:16). Here the Lord is plainly meant, who alone is the "Redeemer." In Moses: Take heed of His face, and hear His voice, provoke Him not, for He will not bear your transgression, for My name is in the midst of Him (Exod. 23:21). That "name" means essence, see above (n. 144, 145); and "in the midst" means the inmost (n. 1074).  In Isaiah: Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6), plainly said of the Lord. In Jeremiah: Behold the days come that I will raise unto David a righteous offshoot, and He shall reign a King, and shall act intelligently, and shall do judgment and justice in the earth; in His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell in confidence; and this is His name whereby they shall call Him, Jehovah our Righteousness (Jer. 23:5-6), plainly meaning the Lord. In Zechariah: Jehovah shall be King over all the earth; in that day there shall be one Jehovah, and His name one (Zech. 14:9), plainly speaking of the Lord. The "name" denotes the essence.1737.
Who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. That this signifies victory, may be seen without explication. The conjunction of the Human Essence with the Divine Essence was procured and effected by the Lord by continual combats of temptations and victories, and this from His own power. He who apprehends the mode of the conjunction and union in any other way is much mistaken. By this He became righteousness. The conjunction or union was effected with the Celestial of Love, that is, with Love itself, which, as before said, is Jehovah. The conjunction of men with the Lord is also effected by temptations, and by the implanting of faith in love. Unless faith is implanted in love, that is, unless a man by the things that are of faith receives the life of faith, that is, charity, there is no conjunction. This alone is to follow Him, namely, to be conjoined with the Lord just as the Lord as to His Human Essence was conjoined with Jehovah. Hence also all such are called "sons of God," from the Lord who was the only Son of God, and hence they become images of Him.1738.
And he gave him tithes of all. That this signifies remains derived from victory, is evident from the signification of "tithes" as being remains (spoken of before, n. 576). But what remains are may be seen above (n. 468, 530, 560, 561, 661, 1050), namely, that they are all the states of love and charity, and consequently all the states of innocence and peace, with which a man is gifted. These states are given to man from infancy, but less by degrees as the man advances into adult age. But when a man is being regenerated, he then receives new remains also, besides the former, thus new life. For it is from remains, or by remains, that a man is a man; for without the state of love and charity, and without the state of innocence-which states insinuate themselves into the other states of his life-a man is not a man, but is worse than any wild beast. The remains acquired in the combats of temptations are those which are here meant. These remains are what are signified by the tithes given to Melchizedek by Abram; and they are all the celestial things of love which the Lord procured to Himself by the continual combats and victories by which He was continually being united to His Divine Essence, until His Human Essence in like manner became Love, or the Being of life, that is, Jehovah.1739.
Verse 21. And the king of Sodom said to Abram, Give me the soul, and take the substance to thyself. "The king of Sodom said," signifies the evil and falsity which were overcome; "unto Abram" signifies the Lord's rational; "Give me the soul, and take the substance to thyself," signifies that He should give them life, and they would not care for other things.1740.
The king of Sodom said. That this signifies the evil and falsity which were overcome, is evident from the signification of "Sodom," which is evil and falsity, as was shown above in this chapter. It is said above (in verse 17), that the king of Sodom went out to meet Abram, by which is signified that evil and falsity submitted themselves; it is now added that they are suppliants.  That evil and falsity were conquered, or that evils and falsities are conquered by the combats of temptations, and that goods and truths are thereby put on, comes from the fact that evils and falsities are thus dissipated; and when these have been dissipated, goods and truths succeed in their place; and these are afterwards confirmed more and more, and are thus strengthened. For it is by evil spirits that evils and falsities are excited; and unless they are excited, the man scarcely knows that they are evils and falsities; but when excited they are manifest. And the longer the combats of temptations last, the more manifest do the evils and falsities become, until at last they are held in abhorrence.  And as evils and falsities are dissipated, goods and truths take their place; and the greater the horror that is conceived for evils and falsities, the more of love for goods and truths is insinuated by the Lord. And further, the greater the horror for evils and falsities, the less do evil spirits dare to approach, for they cannot endure aversion and horror for the evils and falsities in which their life consists, and are sometimes seized with terror on their first approach. And the more of love there is for goods and truths, the more do the angels love to be with the man, and together with the angels, heaven; for they are in their own life when in the goods of love and truths of faith.1741.
To Abram. That this signifies the Lord's rational, is evident from the representation of Abram. In the two chapters which precede, Abram represented the Lord or His state in childhood; here in this chapter, he represents the Lord's rational, and is then called "Abram the Hebrew;" as is evident from what has been said and shown above at verse 13; and here the representation is the same; for in this chapter no other Abram is meant than Abram the Hebrew. The Lord's spiritual which is adjoined to His internal man is Abram the Hebrew but the celestial which is adjoined to His internal man is represented and signified by Melchizedek, as before said.1742.
Give me the soul, and take the substance to thyself. That this signifies that He should give them life, and they would not care for other things, is evident from the signification of "soul," as being life (treated of before, n. 1000, 1005, 1040); and from the signification of the "substance," as being the other things that are not so properly of life, of which more will be said presently.  The life which evil spirits have, and which they love extremely, is the life of the cupidities of the love of self and of the world, hence a life of hatreds, revenge, and cruelties; and they suppose that there can be no delight in any other life. They are like men-for they have been men, and they retain this belief from their life when they were men-who place all life in the delights of such cupidities, not knowing but that such life is the only life, and that when they lose it they will utterly die. But of what nature is that life which they love, is plain from those of this character in the other life, where it is turned into a fetid and excrementitious life, and wonderful to say, they perceive the stench as most enjoyable; as may be seen from what is related from experience in n. 820, 954.  It was the same with the demons, who, when the Lord cast them out of the maniac, fearing for their life, asked that they might be sent into the swine (Mark 5:7-13). That these demons were those who in the life of the body had been given up to filthy avarice, may be seen from the fact that such seem to themselves in the other life to pass their time among swine, for the reason that the life of swine corresponds to avarice, and is therefore delightful to them; as is evident from what is related from experience in n. 939.1743.
Verse 22. And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lifted up my hand to Jehovah God Most High, Possessor of the heavens and the earth. "Abram said to the king of Sodom," signifies the reply; "I have lifted up my hand to Jehovah," signifies the state of mind in the Lord; "Possessor of the heavens and the earth," signifies conjunction.1744.
Abram said to the king of Sodom. That this signifies the reply, is evident without explication.1745.
I have lifted up my hand to Jehovah. That this signifies the state of mind in the Lord, is evident from the signification of "lifting up the hands." The lifting up of the hand to Jehovah is a gesture of the body corresponding to an affection of the mind, as is well known. In the sense of the letter, those things which are interior, or of the mind, are expressed by external things which correspond; but in the internal sense it is internal things that are meant; here therefore the lifting up of the hand means the mind, or an affection of the mind.  So long as the Lord was in a state of temptations, He spoke with Jehovah as with another; but so far as His Human Essence was united to, He spoke with Jehovah as with Himself; which is evident from many passages in the Gospels, as also from many in the Prophets and in David. The cause is clearly evident from what has been said before concerning the inheritance from the mother. So far as this remained, He was as it were absent from Jehovah; but so far as this was extirpated, He was present, and was Jehovah Himself.  This may be illustrated by the conjunction of the Lord with the angels. Sometimes an angel does not speak from himself, but from the Lord, and he then does not know but that he is the Lord; but then his externals are quiescent. It is otherwise when his externals are active. The reason is, that the internal man of the angels is the Lord's possession; and so far then as there are no obstructions on the part of what is their own, it is the Lord's, and even is the Lord. But in the Lord, a plenary conjunction or an eternal union with Jehovah was wrought, so that His very Human Essence also is Jehovah.1746.
Possessor of the heavens and the earth. This signifies conjunction, as appears from what was said above, at verse 19; where the same words occur, with the same signification.1747.
Verse 23. That from a thread even to the thong of a shoe, I will not take aught that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have enriched Abram. "That from a thread even to the thong of a shoe," signifies all natural and corporeal things that were unclean; "I will not take aught that is thine," signifies that in celestial love here was nothing of the kind; "lest thou shouldest say, I have enriched Abram," signifies that the Lord derived no strength whatever from such things.1748.
That from a thread even to the thong [or latchet] of a shoe. That this signifies all natural and corporeal things that were unclean, is evident from the signification of "the thong of a shoe." In the Word the sole of the foot and the heel signify the ultimate natural (as before shown, n. 259). A shoe is that which covers the sole of the foot and the heel; a "shoe" therefore signifies what is natural still further, thus the corporeal itself. The signification of a "shoe" is according to the subject. When predicated of goods it is taken in a good sense; and when of evil, in a bad sense; as here in treating of the substance of the king of Sodom, by whom evil and falsity are signified, the "thong of a shoe" signifies unclean natural and corporeal things. By the "thread of a shoe" falsity is signified, and by the "thong of a shoe" evil, and this the most worthless of all, because the word is a diminutive.  That such things are signified by a "shoe," is evident also from other passages in the Word; as when Jehovah appeared to Moses out of the midst of the bush, and said to Moses: Draw not nigh hither; put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground (Exod. 3:5). The prince of the army of Jehovah said in like manner to Joshua: Put off thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holiness (Josh. 5:15). Here everyone can see that the shoe would take away nothing from the holiness, provided the man were holy in himself; but that it was said for the reason that the shoe represented the ultimate natural and corporeal which was to be put off.  That it is the unclean natural and corporeal, is also plain in David: Moab is my washpot, upon Edom will I cast My shoe (Ps. 60:8). The command to the disciples involves what is similar: Whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, as ye go out of that house or that city, shake off the dust of your feet (Matt. 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5); where the "dust of the feet" has a signification like that of a "shoe," namely, uncleanness from evil and falsity, because the sole of the foot is the ultimate natural. They were commanded to do this because they were at that time in representatives, and thought that heavenly arcana were stored up in these alone, and not in naked truths.  Because a "shoe" signified the ultimate natural, the putting off of the shoe, or the shoe-loosing, signified that one should be divested of the ultimate things of nature; as in the case of him who was not willing to fulfill the duty of brother-in-law, spoken of in Moses: If the man is not willing to fulfill the duties of a husband's brother, then his brother's wife shall come unto him in the eyes of the elders, and draw his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face; and she shall answer and say, So shall it be done to the man that doth not build up his brother's house. And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe taken off (Deut. 25:5-10); meaning that which is devoid of all natural charity.  That a "shoe" signifies the ultimate natural, in a good sense also, is likewise evident from the Word; as in Moses, concerning Asher: Blessed be Asher above the sons; let him be acceptable unto his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil; iron and brass shall thy shoe be (Deut. 33:24, 25); where the "shoe" denotes the ultimate natural; a "shoe of iron" natural truth, a "shoe of brass" natural good, as is evident from the signification of iron and brass (see n. 425, 426). And because a "shoe" signified the ultimate natural and corporeal, it became a symbol of what is least and most worthless; for the ultimate natural and corporeal is the most worthless of all things in man. This was meant by John the Baptist, when he said, There cometh One that is mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose (Luke 3:16; Mark 1:7; John 1:27).1749.
I will not take aught that is thine. That this signifies that in celestial love there was nothing of the kind, may be seen from the fact that it was Abram who said that he would not take aught from the king of Sodom. Abram represented the Lord, now victorious, and thus the things which were of celestial love, which He procured to Himself by the victories; and the king of Sodom represented evil and falsity, from which there was nothing in the Lord as a victor, or in celestial love.  What is meant by these things in the internal sense cannot be made evident unless it be known how the case is in the other life. With evil and infernal spirits there reigns the love of self and of the world. Hence they think that they are the gods of the universe, and that they can do much. When they are vanquished, although they perceive that they can do nothing at all, there still remains the notion of power and dominion; and they think that they can contribute much to the Lord's power and dominion, and therefore in order that they may reign together with the good spirits, they offer them their services. But as the things by which they think that they can effect anything are nothing but evil and falsity; and in the Lord, or in celestial love, there is nothing but good and truth, the king of Sodom, by whom such are represented, is here told in reply that there was nothing of the kind in the Lord, or that the Lord had no power from evil and falsity.  Dominion from evil and falsity is altogether contrary to dominion from good and truth. Dominion from evil and falsity consists in desiring to make all slaves; dominion from good and truth in desiring to make all free. Dominion from evil and falsity consists in destroying all; but dominion from good and truth in saving all. From which it is evident that dominion from evil and falsity is of the devil, and that dominion from good and truth is of the Lord. That the two kinds of dominion are altogether contrary to each other may be seen from the Lord's words in Matthew 12:24-30; also from His saying that no one can serve two masters (Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13).1750.
Lest thou shouldest say, I have enriched Abram. That this signifies that the Lord derived no strength whatever from such things, may be seen from the signification of "being enriched," which is to acquire power and strength. How these things are, is evident from what has just been said.
1725-1 Nativitatis; but elsewhere juventutis, as T.C.R. 764 [Rotch ed.]
1725-2 Juxta verbum meum; but elsewhere juxta modum, as n. 6148. [Idem.]