(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 1330

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1330. These are the births of Shem. That this signifies the derivations of the Second Ancient Church, is evident from the signification of "births," as being the origin and derivation of doctrinal things and of worships (as before said, n. 1145). Here, and elsewhere in the Word, the "births" are no other than those of the church, that is, of doctrinal things and of worships. The internal sense of the Word enfolds nothing else; and therefore when any church is born, it is said that "these are its births," as for instance when the Most Ancient Church was born: "These are the births of the heavens and of the earth" (Gen. 2:4); and in like manner with the other churches which followed, before the flood: "This is the book of the births" (Gen. 5:1). In like manner with the churches after the flood, which were three-the First called Noah, the Second named from Eber, the Third from Jacob, and afterwards from Judah and Israel. When the First of these churches is described, the record begins in a similar manner: "These are the births of the sons of Noah" (verse 1 of the preceding chapter). So with this Second church, named from Eber, in this verse: "These are the births of Shem." And with the Third also, in the twenty-seventh verse of this chapter: "These are the births of Terah." So that "births" signify nothing else than the origins and derivations of the doctrinal things and of the worships of the church that is being described. The reason why the births of this Second church are derived from Shem, or why its beginning is described by "Shem," is that "Shem" signifies internal worship, here, the internal worship of this church. Not that the internal worship of this church was such internal worship as that which was signified by "Shem" in the preceding chapter; but merely that it is the internal worship of the church.


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