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Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at

Arcana Coelestia


May God enlarge Japheth, signifies the enlightenment of this church. In the literal sense "to enlarge" is to extend the boundaries, but in the internal sense it is to be enlightened; for enlightenment is the enlargement, as it were, of the boundaries of wisdom and intelligence. As in Isaiah: Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations (Isa. 54:2), meaning enlightenment in spiritual things. The man of the external church is "enlarged" when he is instructed in the truths and goods of faith; and as he is in charity, he is thereby more and more confirmed; and besides, the more he is instructed, the more is the cloud of his intellectual part dispersed-of that intellectual part, that is to say, in which are charity and conscience.


And he shall dwell in the tents of Shem. That this signifies in order that the internals of worship may be in the externals, is evident from all that has been said before concerning Shem, namely, that "Shem" is the internal church, or internal worship, and that external worship is nothing but an inanimate affair, or else an unclean one, unless there is internal worship to vivify and hallow it. That the "tents" signify nothing else than what is holy of love, and the derivative worship, is evident from the signification of "tents" (concerning which, see above, n. 414). It was customary among the ancients to speak of "journeying" and "dwelling in tents" by which was signified in the internal sense holy worship, for the reason that the most ancient people not only journeyed with tents, but also dwelt in tents, and performed their holy worship in them. Hence also "to journey" and "to dwell" signified in the internal sense to live. [2] That "tents" signify holy worship, the following passages-in addition to those before cited (n. 414)-may serve for confirmation. In David: God forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent in which He dwelt in man (Ps. 78:60), where "tent" signifies the same as "temple" in which God is said to "dwell" when He is present with man in love. Hence the man who lived in holy worship, was called by the ancients a tent, and afterwards a temple. In Isaiah: Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations (Isa. 54:2), meaning enlightenment in those things which are of true worship. In Jeremiah: The whole land is laid waste, suddenly have My tents been laid waste, and My curtains in a moment (Jer. 4:20), where it is very manifest that tents are not meant, but holy worship. In Zechariah: Jerusalem shall yet again dwell in her own place, even in Jerusalem. Jehovah also shall save the tents of Judah (Zech. 12:6-7), where the "tents of Judah" stand for the worship of the Lord from the holy of love. [3] From these passages it is now evident what it is "to dwell in the tents of Shem" namely, that internal worship is in external. But because the man Japheth, or the man of the external church, does not well know what internal things are, this shall be briefly told. When a man feels or perceives in himself that he has good thoughts concerning the Lord, and that he has good thoughts concerning the neighbor, and desires to perform kind offices for him, not for the sake of any gain or honor for himself; and when he feels that he has pity for anyone who is in trouble, and still more for one who is in error in respect to the doctrine of faith, then he may know that he dwells in the tents of Shem, that is, that he has internal things in him through which the Lord is working.


And Canaan shall be his servant. That this signifies that those who make worship consist solely in externals are able to perform vile offices, is evident from what has been said above, under the preceding verses (25, 26), about Canaan, as being a servant. Such men are not indeed servants in the church of the Lord on earth, for there are many of them who hold high stations, and who are set over all others, who do nothing from charity and conscience, and yet observe with much strictness the externals of the church, and even condemn those who do not observe them. But such persons, because they are in no charity and conscience, and make worship consist solely in externals without internals, are servants in the kingdom of the Lord, that is, in the other life; for they are among the unhappy. The services which they there perform are vile, and are so many that they cannot be well set forth here, but of the Divine mercy of the Lord will be described hereafter. For in the other life everyone without exception must perform some use, because man is born for no other end than that he may perform use to the society in which he is and to the neighbor, while he lives in the world, and in the other life according to the good pleasure of the Lord. The case in this respect is the same as it is in the human body, every part of which must perform some use, even things which in themselves are of no value, such as humors which in themselves are excrementitious, as are the many salival fluids, the biles, and other secretions, which must be of service not only to the food, but in separating the excrements and purging the intestines. Such also are the uses of manure and dung in the fields and vineyards; and many other such things.


Verses 28, 29. And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years; and all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years; and he died. These words signify the duration of the first Ancient Church, and at the same time its state.


That these things are signified is sufficiently evident from what has been said before concerning numbers and years (see n. 482, 487, 488, 493, 575, 647, 648).


CONCERNING VASTATIONS There are many persons who during their life in this world from simplicity and ignorance have imbibed falsities of religious belief, and yet have had a kind of conscience in accordance with the principles of their faith, and have not like others lived in hatred, revenge, and adultery. In the other life these persons cannot be introduced into heavenly societies so long as they remain in these falsities, for they would contaminate them; and they are therefore kept for a time in the lower earth, in order that they may get rid of their false principles. The time that they remain there is longer or shorter according to the nature of the falsity, and the life contracted thereby, and according to the degree in which they have confirmed themselves in their principles. Some suffer there severely, others not severely. These sufferings are what are called Vastations, of which there is frequent mention in the Word. 1106-1 When the period of vastation is completed, they are taken up into heaven, and as newcomers are instructed in the truths of faith, and this by the angels by whom they are received.


There are some who are very willing to be vastated and thus get rid of the false principles which they have brought with them from the world. (No one can get rid of his false principles in the other life except by the lapse of time and by means provided by the Lord.) While these persons remain in the lower earth, they are kept by the Lord in the hope of deliverance, and in the thought of the end in view, which is that they may be amended and prepared to receive heavenly happiness.


Some are kept in a middle state between sleep and waking, and think very little, except when they as it were awake-which takes place by alternations-and then they remember what they had thought and done in the life of the body, and again they relapse into the middle state between being awake and being asleep. In this way these are vastated. They are under the left foot, a little in front.


Those who have fully confirmed themselves in false principles are reduced to complete ignorance, and then they are in obscurity and confusion, so that when they merely think of the things in which they have confirmed themselves, they have inward pain. But after some time has passed, they are as it were created anew, and are imbued with the truths of faith.


Those who have assumed righteousness and merit on account of their good works, and so have attributed the efficacy of salvation to themselves, and not to the Lord and His righteousness and merit, and have confirmed themselves in this in thought and in life, in the other world have their principles of falsity turned into phantasies, so that they seem to themselves to be hewing wood: this is exactly as it appears to them. I have spoken with them. When they are engaged in their labor, and are asked whether they are not fatigued, they reply that they have not yet accomplished enough work to be able to merit heaven. When they are hewing the wood there appears to be something of the Lord under the wood, thus as if the wood were merit that they are getting. The more of the Lord there appears in the wood, the longer they remain in this condition; but when that appearance begins to cease, their vastation is drawing to an end. At length they become such that they too can be admitted into good societies, but still they long fluctuate between truth and falsity. Great care is taken of them by the Lord, because they have lived a dutiful life, and He from time to time sends angels to them. These are they who in the Jewish Church were represented by the hewers of wood (Josh. 9:23, 27).


Those who have lived a good civic and moral life, but have persuaded themselves that they merit heaven by their works, and have believed that it is sufficient to acknowledge an only God as the Creator of the universe, in the other life have their false principles turned into such phantasies that they seem to themselves to be cutting grass, and are called grass-cutters. They are cold, and try to warm themselves by this cutting. Sometimes they go round and inquire among those whom they meet whether they will give them some heat, which indeed spirits can do, but the heat which they receive has no effect upon them, because it is external and what they want is internal heat; and therefore they return to their cutting, and thus gain heat by their labor. Their cold I have felt. They are always hoping to be taken up into heaven, and sometimes consult together how they may introduce themselves by their own power. As these persons have performed good works, they are among those who are vastated; and at length, after some time has passed, they are introduced into good societies, and are instructed.


Those however who have been in the goods and truths of faith, and have gained therefrom a conscience and a life of charity, are taken up by the Lord into heaven immediately after death.


There are girls who have been enticed into harlotry, and thus persuaded that there is no evil in it, being in other respects rightly disposed. These, because they are not yet of an age to be able to know and judge concerning such a life, have an instructor with them, quite severe, who chastises them whenever in thought they break out into such wantonness. Of him they are in great fear, and in this way are vastated. But adult women who have been harlots and have enticed other women, do not undergo vastation, but are in hell.


CHAPTER 10. CONCERNING THE MOST ANCIENT CHURCH, WHICH WAS CALLED MAN, OR ADAM Angels and spirits, or men after death, when permitted by the Lord, can meet all whom they have known in this world, or whom they have heard of-whomsoever they desire-can see them as present, and can converse with them. Wonderful to say, they are at hand in a moment and are most intimately present; so that it is possible to converse not only with friends, who usually find one another, but also with others that have been respected and esteemed. By the Divine mercy of the Lord it has been granted me to converse not only with those whom I had known when they lived in the body, but also with those of especial note in the Word; also with those who were of the Most Ancient Church, which was that called "Man," or "Adam," and with some who were of the subsequent churches, in order that I might know that by the names in the first chapters of Genesis churches are meant; and also that I might know what was the character of the men of the churches of that time. The accounts therefore that follow are what it has been given me to know about the Most Ancient Churches.


They who were of the Most Ancient Church, which was called Man, or Adam, and were celestial men, are very high above the head, and dwell together there in the greatest happiness. They said that others rarely come to them, except some at times, as they expressed it, "from the universe;" and that they were on high above the head not because they were of a lofty spirit, but in order that they might govern those who are there.


Dwellings were shown me of those who were of the second and third posterities of this Most Ancient Church. They are magnificent, extending to a great length, and diversified with beautiful colors of bright crimson and azure blue. For the angels have most magnificent dwellings, such as cannot be described, as I have often seen. To their eyes so real is their appearance that nothing can be more real. But whence such real appearances come will be shown of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. They live in an aura, so to speak, of resplendent pearly and sometimes of diamond-like light. For there are wonderful auras in the other life, of inexpressible variety. They greatly err who do not believe that such things exist there, and indefinitely more than anyone ever could or can conceive. They are indeed representative, like the things sometimes seen by the prophets; but yet are so real that they who are in the other life hold them to be real, and the things which are in the world to be relatively unreal.


They live in the most intense light. The light of this world can scarcely be compared to that in which they live. That light was shown me by a light as of flame that as it were streamed down before my eyes; and they who were of the Most Ancient Church said that the light is such with them, but still more intense.


There was shown me by a certain influx which I cannot describe, what the nature of their speech was when they lived in this world-that it was not articulate, like the vocal speech of our time, but tacit; and was produced not by external but by internal respiration. It was also granted me to perceive the nature of their internal respiration-that it advanced from the navel toward the heart, and so through the lips, without sound; and that it did not enter into the ear of another and strike upon what is called the drum of the ear by an external way, but by a certain way within the mouth, in fact by a passage there which is now called the Eustachian tube. And it was shown me that by such speech they could much more fully express the sentiments of the mind and the ideas of thought than can possibly be done by articulate sounds, or vocal words, which likewise are directed by the respiration, but external. For there is nothing in any word that is not directed by applications of the respiration. But with them this was done much more perfectly, because by the internal respiration; which, from the fact that it is interior, is at once far more perfect, and more applicable and conformable to the very ideas of thought. Besides, they also conversed by slight movements of the lips, and correspondent changes of the face; for being celestial men, whatever they thought shone forth from their faces and eyes, which were varied conformably. They could by no means put on an expression of countenance different from that which was in agreement with their thoughts. Simulation, and still more deceit, was to them a monstrous iniquity.


It has been shown me to the life how the internal respiration of the most ancient people silently flowed into a kind of external and thus tacit speech, perceived by another in his interior man. They said that this respiration varied with them, according to the state of their love and faith in the Lord. They gave also as a reason that it could not be otherwise, because they had communication with heaven; for they respired with the angels in whose company they were. Angels have a respiration to which internal respiration corresponds; and it likewise varies with them. For when anything befalls them which is contrary to love and faith in the Lord, their respiration is restrained; but when they are in the happiness of love and faith, their respiration is free and full. There is something like this also with every man, but in accordance with his corporeal and worldly loves and also with his principles. When anything opposes these, there is a restriction of the respiration; and when they are favored, the respiration is free and full. These, however, are variations of external respiration. But concerning the respiration of the angels, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter.


It has also been shown that the internal respiration of the men of the Most Ancient Church, which was from the navel toward the interior region of the breast, in the course of time, or in their posterity, was changed, and receded more toward the back region, and toward the abdomen, thus more outward and downward; and that at length, in the last posterity of that church, which existed immediately before the flood, scarcely anything of internal respiration remained; and when at last there remained none of this in the breast, they were suffocated of their own accord; but that in some, external respiration then began, and with it articulate sound, or the language of spoken words. Thus with the men before the flood the respiration was in accordance with the state of their love and faith; and at last, when there was no love and no faith, but a persuasion of falsity, internal respiration ceased; and with this, the immediate communication with angels, and perception.


I have been informed by sons of the Most Ancient Church concerning the state of their perception, that they had perception of all things that belong to faith, almost as have the angels with whom they had communication; for the reason that their interior man, or spirit, by means also of the internal respiration, was joined to heaven; and that love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor are attended with this; for man is thus conjoined with angels through their veriest life, which consists in such love. They said that they had the law written upon them, because they were in love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor; and such being the case, whatever the laws prescribe was in agreement with their perception, and whatever the laws forbid was contrary to it. Nor did they doubt that all laws, human as well as Divine, are founded in love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor, and regard these as their fundamental. Wherefore, as they had this fundamental in them, from the Lord, they could not but know all things that were from it. They believe too that those who live in the world at this day, who love the Lord and the neighbor, have also the law written upon them, and are acceptable citizens everywhere on earth, as the same are in the other life.


I have been further informed that the men of the Most Ancient Church had most delightful dreams, and also visions, and that it was insinuated into them at the same time what they signified. Hence their paradisal representations, and many other things. The objects of the external senses therefore, which are earthly and worldly, were nothing to them; nor had they any perception of delight in them, but only in what they signified and represented; and therefore when they looked at earthly objects they did not think about them at all, but only about the things which they signified and represented, which were most delightful to them; for they were such things as are in heaven, from which they see the Lord Himself.


I have conversed with the third generation of the Most Ancient Church, who said that in their time, when they lived in the world, they expected the Lord, who would save the whole human race; and that it was then a common saying among them that the seed of the woman would tread down the serpent's head. They said that from that time the greatest delight of their life was to procreate offspring; so that their sweetest deliciousnesses were to love their consort for the sake of offspring, which they called most delightful deliciousnesses and most delicious delights, adding that the perception of these delights and deliciousnesses was from influx out of heaven, because the Lord was to be born.


There were near me some of the posterity that lived before the flood-not of those who perished, but of those who were somewhat better than they. At first they flowed in gently and imperceptibly enough; but it was given me to perceive that inwardly they were evil, and that they inwardly acted contrary to love. There exhaled from them a sphere of the odor of a dead body, so that the spirits who were around me fled away. They imagined themselves to be so subtle that no one would perceive what they thought. I spoke with them about the Lord, as to whether or not they had expected Him, as their fathers did. They said that they had represented the Lord to themselves as an old man, holy, with a gray beard; and also that they became holy from Him, and in like manner bearded; whence arose such veneration for beards among their posterity. They added that now also they are able to adore Him, but from themselves. But then an angel came, whose presence they could not endure.


It has also been granted me to converse with those who were of the church called "Enosh," concerning which in Genesis 4:26. Their influx was gentle, and their conversation unassuming. They said that they live in charity with one another, and perform offices of friendship to others who come among them. But it was evident that their charity was the charity of friendship. 1125-1 They live quietly, as good citizens, and do no injury to anyone.


There appeared to me a narrow room; and the door being opened a tall man came into view, clothed in white, the whiteness being intense. I wondered who he was, and was told that a man clothed in white signified those who were called "Noah," who were the first of all of the Ancient Church, which was the church after the flood; and that they were thus represented because they were few.


It has been granted me to converse with those of the Ancient Church, or of the church after the flood, who were called "Shem." They inflowed gently through the region of the head into the region of the breast, toward the heart, but not to the heart. The quality of spirits can be known from their influx.


There appeared one veiled over as with a cloud, about whose face were many wandering stars, which signify falsities. I was told that such were the posterity of the Ancient Church when it began to perish, especially among those who instituted worship by sacrifices, and by images.


Some account of the antediluvians who perished follows at the end of this chapter. CHAPTER 10. 1. And these are the nativities of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood. 2. The sons of Japheth: Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. 3. And the sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. 4. And the sons of Javan: Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 5. From these were spread abroad the isles of the nations in their lands, everyone according to his tongue, according to their families, as to their nations. 6. And the sons of Ham: Cush, and Mizraim, and Put, and Canaan. 7. And the sons of Cush: Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabteca. And the sons of Raamah: Sheba, and Dedan. 8. And Cush begat Nimrod. He began to be a mighty one in the earth. 9. He was mighty in hunting before Jehovah; wherefore it was said, As Nimrod, mighty in hunting before Jehovah. 10. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11. Out of that land went forth Asshur, and built Nineveh, and the city of Rehoboth, and Calah. 12. And Resen, between Nineveh and Calah; this is that great city. 13. And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim. 14. And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, from whom went forth the Philistines, and Caphtorim. 15. And Canaan begat Zidon, his firstborn, and Heth. 16. And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite. 17. And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite. 18. And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. And afterwards were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad. 19. And the border of the Canaanites was from Zidon, in coming to Gerar, even unto Gaza; in coming to Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboiim, even unto Lasha. 20. These are the sons of Ham, according to their families, according to their tongues, in their lands, in their nations. 21. And there was born to Shem also; he is the father of all the sons of Eber; the elder brother of Japheth. 22. The sons of Shem: Elam, and Asshur, and Arpachshad, and Lud, and Aram. 23. And the sons of Aram: Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash. 24. And Arpachshad begat Shelah; and Shelah begat Eber. 25. And unto Eber were born two sons; the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. 26. And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah. 27. And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah. 28. And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba. 29. And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan. 30. And their dwelling was from Mesha, in coming to Sephar, the mountain of the east. 31. These are the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their tongues, in their lands, according to their nations. 32. These are the families of the sons of Noah, according to their nativities, in their nations; and from these were spread abroad the nations in the earth after the flood.


THE CONTENTS The subject treated of throughout this whole chapter is the Ancient Church, and its propagation (verse 1).


They who had external worship corresponding to internal are the "sons of Japheth" (verse 2). They who had worship more remote from internal are the "sons of Gomer and Javan" (verses 3, 4). And they who had worship still more remote are the "isles of the nations" (verse 5).


They who cultivated knowledges, memory-knowledges, and rituals, and separated them from things internal, are the "sons of Ham" (verse 6). They who cultivated the knowledges of spiritual things are the "sons of Cush;" and they who cultivated the knowledges of celestial things are the "sons of Raamah" (verse 7).


Those treated of who have external worship in which are interior evils and falsities, "Nimrod" being such worship (verses 8, 9). The evils in such worship (verse 10). The falsities in such worship (verses 11, 12).


Concerning those who form for themselves new kinds of worship out of memory-knowledges by means of reasonings (verses 13, 14); and concerning those who make mere memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith (verse 14).


Concerning external worship without internal, which is "Canaan," and the derivations of this worship (verses 15-18); and its extension (verses 19, 20).


Concerning internal worship, which is "Shem," and its extension even to the second Ancient Church (verse 21). Concerning internal worship and its derivations, which being from charity, are derivations of wisdom, of intelligence, of memory-knowledge, and of knowledges, which are signified by the "nations" (verses 22-24).


Concerning a certain church which arose in Syria, instituted by Eber, which is to be called the second Ancient Church, the internal worship of which is "Peleg," the external "Joktan" (verse 25). Its rituals are the nations named in verses 26 to 29. The extension of this church (verse 30).


That there were different kinds of worship in the Ancient Church, in accordance with the genius of each nation (verses 31, 32).


THE INTERNAL SENSE It has been stated already that there are four different styles in the Word. The first, which was that of the Most Ancient Church, is such as is that from the first chapter of Genesis to this chapter. The second is the historical style, as in the following books of Moses, and in the rest of the historical books. The third is the prophetic style. The fourth is intermediate between the prophetic style and that of common speech. Concerning these styles see n. 66.


In this chapter, and in the following one as far as Eber, the most ancient style is continued; but here it is intermediate between the style of made-up history, and that of true history. For by Noah, and his sons, Shem, Ham, Japheth, and Canaan, nothing else was meant, nor is anything else meant, than the Ancient Church regarded abstractly as to its worship-namely, by "Shem" internal worship, by "Japheth" corresponding external worship, by "Ham" internal worship corrupted, by "Canaan" external worship separated from internal. Such persons never existed; but the kinds of worship were so named because all other different kinds, or all specific differences, could be reduced to these as fundamental ones. By "Noah" therefore was meant merely the Ancient Church in general, as a parent comprehending all. And yet by the names in this chapter, except those of Eber and his posterity, are meant so many nations; and so many nations there were that constituted the Ancient Church; which church was widely spread around the land of Canaan.


They who are here named "sons of Japheth" were all such as had external worship corresponding to internal; that is, who lived in simplicity, in friendship, and in mutual charity. Nor did they know any other doctrinal teachings than external rites. They who are named "sons of Ham" were those who had internal worship corrupted. They who are called "sons of Canaan" were those who had external worship separate from internal. They who are called "sons of Shem" were internal men, and worshiped the Lord and loved the neighbor; whose church was nearly like our true Christian Church.


What manner of men they were specifically is not related in this chapter, for they are only recounted as to their names. But this appears from the writings of the prophets, where the names of these nations occur in different places, and everywhere with no other signification-though sometimes in the genuine, and sometimes in the opposite sense.


Although these were the names of the nations that constituted the Ancient Church, yet in the internal sense they mean actual things [res], namely, the worships themselves. In heaven nothing at all is known about the names, countries, nations, and the like; the angels have no idea of such things, but of the actual things signified by them. The Word of the Lord is living by virtue of the internal sense. This is as the soul, of which the external sense is as the body. And just as with man when his body dies the soul lives, and when the soul lives he no longer knows the things that pertain to the body, so when he comes among angels he does not know what the Word is in the sense of the letter, but only what it is in its soul. Such was the man of the Most Ancient Church; who, if he were living and read the Word at the present day, would not cleave at all to the sense of the letter; but would be as if he did not see it, but only the internal sense abstractly from the letter; and indeed as if the letter had no existence. Thus he would be in the life or soul of the Word. It is the same everywhere in the Word, even in its historical parts, which were just such as are narrated, and yet there is not so much as one little word therein that does not, in the internal sense, enfold within it deep secrets which never appear to those who hold the mind in the historical connection. Thus in this chapter by the names, in the literal or historical sense, are meant the peoples that constituted the Ancient Church, but in the internal sense their doctrinals are signified.


Verse 1. And these are the nativities of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth; and unto them were sons born after the flood. "These are the nativities of the sons of Noah," signifies derivations of the doctrinals and worships of the Ancient Church, which in general is "Noah;" "Shem, Ham, and Japheth" signify here as before-"Shem" true internal worship, "Ham" internal worship corrupted, and "Japheth" external worship corresponding to internal; "and unto them were sons born" signifies doctrinals derived therefrom; "after the flood," signifies from the time when this new church arose.


These are the nativities of the sons of Noah. That these signify derivations of the doctrinals and worships of the Ancient Church, which in general is "Noah," is evident from the signification of "nativities" (of which above). In the external or literal sense, "nativities" or "births," as is known, are generations of one from another; but in the internal sense all things have regard to what is celestial and spiritual, that is, to the things of charity and of faith. Thus here the "nativities" are those of the church, consequently are doctrinal matters, as will be made more clear in what follows.


Shem, Ham, and Japheth. That these signify here as before-"Shem" true internal worship, "Ham" internal worship corrupted, and "Japheth" external worship corresponding to internal, is evident from what has been previously stated concerning them; where it was shown, not only that Shem, Ham, and Japheth signify those kinds of worship, but also what is meant by true internal worship, or Shem; what by internal worship corrupted, or Ham; and what by external worship corresponding to internal, or Japheth. They need not therefore be further dwelt upon.


And unto them were sons born. That these signify the doctrinals thence derived, is evident from the signification of "sons" in the internal sense, as being the truths of faith, and also the falsities, consequently doctrinal matters; by which both true and false are meant, for such are the doctrinals of churches. (That "sons" have such a signification may be seen above, n. 264, 489, 491, 535.)


After the flood. That this signifies from the time when this new church arose, is evident likewise from what has been said in the preceding chapters; for the end of the Most Ancient Church is described by the flood, and also the beginning of the Ancient Church. It must be observed that the church before the flood is called the Most Ancient Church, and the church after the flood, the Ancient Church.


Verse 2. The sons of Japheth: Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. "The sons of Japheth" signify those who had external worship corresponding to internal. "Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras" were so many nations, with whom such worship existed, by which in the internal sense are signified so many different doctrinals that were the same as rituals, which they devoutly observed.


The sons of Japheth. That these signify those who had external worship corresponding to internal, has been explained before. External worship is said to correspond to internal when that which is the essential is in the worship. This essential is the adoration of the Lord from the heart; which is by no means possible unless there is charity, or love to the neighbor. In charity or love toward the neighbor the Lord is present, and then He can be adored from the heart. Thus the adoration is from the Lord, for the Lord gives all the ability and all the being in the adoration. Hence it follows that such as is the charity in a man, such is his adoration or worship. All worship is adoration, because the adoration of the Lord must be in it for it to be worship. The sons of Japheth, or the nations and peoples called "sons of Japheth," lived in mutual charity with each other, in friendship, in courtesy, and in simplicity; and therefore the Lord was present in their worship. For when the Lord is present in the external worship, there is internal worship in the external, that is, there is external worship corresponding to internal. There were formerly very many such nations. And there are also at this day those who make worship consist in externals and do not know what internal worship is, or if they know, do not think about such things. If these persons acknowledge the Lord and love the neighbor, the Lord is in their worship, and they are sons of Japheth; but if they deny the Lord, and love only themselves, and do not care for the neighbor, especially if they bear hatred toward him, their worship is external separate from internal, and they are sons of Canaan, or Canaanites.


1106-1 Vastation in the Latin is the same word as wasting or laying waste. [Reviser.]

1125-1 Swedenborg often uses the term "friendship" in the sense of mere personal and selfish regard. See Arcana Coelestia, n. 1158:2, 3875:5, 4054, 4804, etc. [REVISER].

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