Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 18:9
AC 2188. Verse 9. And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. "They said to him, Where is Sarah thy wife?" signifies rational truth, which did not then appear because it was in rational good; "and he said, Behold, in the tent," signifies that it was in what is holy.
AC 2189. They said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? That this signifies rational truth, which did not then appear because it was in rational good, is evident from the representation here of Sarah, as being rational truth (n. 2173). How the case is with these things, as also with those which follow, where the state of the rational with the Lord is treated of, which is represented by Sarah, cannot be so well explained to the understanding unless it is known what in general is the state of the rational as to good and as to truth; and with the Lord, as to the Divine and as to the Human in which He then was.
 The primary thing of the rational with man is truth (n. 2072), consequently it is the affection of truth, to the end that man may be reformed, and so regenerated. This is effected by means of knowledges (cognitiones et scientifica) that are of truth, which are continually being implanted in good, that is, in charity, that so the man may receive the life of charity. It is on this account that the affection of truth in man is predominant in his rational. For it is the case with the life of charity (which is the heavenly life itself) that with those who are being reformed and regenerated it is continually being born and growing up and receiving increments, and this by means of truths therefore the more of truth there is insinuated, the more is the life of charity perfected; wherefore according to the quality and quantity of truth, so is the charity with a man.
 From all this it may in some measure be evident how the case is with man‘s rational in truth, however, there is no life, but in good. Truth is only a recipient of life, that is, of good. Truth is as the clothing or garment of good; therefore also truths are called in the Word "clothing," and also "garments." But when good constitutes the rational, truth disappears and becomes as if it were good. Good then shines through the truth, in the same way as takes place with the angels, for when they appear clothed, it is a brightness inducing the appearance of raiment, as was the case also when angels appeared before the prophets.
 This then is what is meant by rational truth not then appearing because it was in rational good, and which is signified by their saying to him, "Where is Sarah thy wife?" But as the Lord’s rational good was then Divine, such as it can be with no angel, it cannot be described otherwise than by comparison, and thus by illustration from something similar, and which is not the same.
AC 2190. And he said, Behold, in the tent. That this signifies that it was in what is holy, is evident from the signification of a "tent," as being what is holy (n. 414, 1102, 1566, 2145). It is said in what is holy, because it was in good. All good is called holy from the fact that it is of love and charity, which are solely from the Lord. But such as are the goods, such are the holinesses. Goods are formed, that is, are born and grow up, by means of the truths of faith, and their quality and quantity are therefore determined by those of the truth of faith implanted in charity (n. 2189), from which it follows that goods or the holinesses differ with every one; and although in the external form they may appear to be alike, yet in the internal forms they are unlike; and this both with those who are out of the church and with those who are within the church. There are more things in the good of charity with a man than man can possibly believe. All the things of his faith are in it, and consequently they are in the holiness of his worship. The quality of the holiness of his worship appears to the angels as in clear day, although the man knows nothing beyond the fact that he is in a certain holy state. Myriads of myriads of his thoughts concerning the goods and truths of faith and of the derivative affections, are in the holiness of his state. But as to the holiness of worship, what it is in general, of the Lord‘s Divine mercy elsewhere. GENESIS 18:9 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|