Interpretation of 'Noah'


[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Bible, interpretations of" (search under Outer Life/Doctrine, Rites, Scriptures)": source "Arcana Coelestia, vol.1": detail "Section 605"
The subject now treated of is the formation of a new church, which is called "Noah"; and its formation is described by the ark into which living things of every kind were received. But, as is wont to be the case, before that new church could arise it was necessary that the man of the church should suffer many temptations, which are described by the lifting up of the ark, its fluctuation, and its delay upon the waters of the flood. And finally, that he became a true spiritual man and was set free, is described by the cessation of the waters, and the many things that follow. No one can see this who adheres to the sense of the letter only, in consequence (and especially is this the case here) of all things being historically connected, and presenting the idea of a history of events. But such was the style of the men of that time, and most pleasing to them was it that all things should be wrapped up in representative figures, and that these should be arranged in the form of history; and the more coherent the historical series, the better suited it was to their genius. For in those ancient times men were not so much inclined to knowledges as at this day, but to profound thoughts, of which the offspring was such as has been described. This was the wisdom of the ancients.
 That the "flood," the “ark," and therefore the things described in connection with them, signify regeneration, and also the temptations that precede regeneration, is in some degree known among the learned at this day, who also compare regeneration and temptations to the waters of a flood.