The parables of Noah and of Lot, and others
Luke 17:25–37, also Matthew 24:37–42, 17–18, 28; Mark 13:34–37, 15–16
But first [the Son of Man] must suffer many things, and be rejected by this generation. And even as it came to pass in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man. They ate, they drank, they wed, they were given to be wed, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it came to pass in the days of Lot; they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but the day Lot went out from Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. According to these things shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
In that day whoever shall be on the housetop, and his vessels in the house, let him not come down to take them away; and he who is in the field, let him likewise not turn around to what is behind. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever shall seek to save his soul, shall lose it; and whoever shall lose it, shall preserve it alive.
I say to you, In that night two men shall be in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding grain together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
And they answering said to Him, Where, Lord? And He said to them, Where the body is, there the eagles will be gathered.
Eat, drink, buy and sell, plant and build
AE 840:5. “To eat and drink” signifies here to live for self and the world, and to appropriate to oneself evils and falsities; “to buy and sell” signifies to acquire these [evils and falsities] and to communicate them to others; “to plant and build” signifies to confirm oneself in them and to live in them.
Sodom; fire and brimstone
AR 502. Which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt [Rev. 11:2] signifies the two infernal loves, which are the love of dominating from self-love, and the love of ruling from the pride of one’s own intelligence, which are in the church where one God is not acknowledged, and the Lord is not worshiped, and where they do not live according to the precepts of the Decalogue.... The reason why these loves prevail in [such a] church ...is because man is born into those two loves, and comes into them as he grows up. And those loves cannot be removed except by God the Savior, and by a life according to His precepts; and they cannot be removed by God the Savior unless He is approached. Nor can a life according to His precepts be given unless man is led by Him.
AR 502:2. By “fire and brimstone,” that love with its lusts is signified.
He who is on the rooftop should not come down.
AC 2454:2. According to the internal sense, to be “upon the house” is to be in good (a “house” denotes good...). The “vessels” in a house are the truths which are of good (truths are the vessels of good...). To “go down to take them away” is to turn oneself away from good to truth... for as good is prior it is also higher, and as truth is posterior it is lower. A “field” is the church, being so called from the seed which it receives into it; consequently those [people] are “fields” who are in the good of doctrine.... This shows what is signified by “turning back behind him,” namely, to turn oneself away from good, and to look to doctrinal things. Therefore, because these things are signified by Lot’s wife, it is added, “Remember Lot’s wife.”
AC 2454:5. Truth is said to turn itself away from good and to look to doctrinal things when the man of the church no longer has at heart what kind of a life he lives, but what kind of a doctrine he possesses; when yet it is a life according to doctrine that makes a man of the church, but not doctrine separate from life. For when doctrine is separated from life, then because good, which is of the life, is laid waste, truth, which is of doctrine, is also laid waste, that is, becomes a pillar of salt. Everyone who looks only to doctrine and not to life may know this, when he considers whether, although doctrine teaches them, he believes in the resurrection, in heaven, in hell, even in the Lord, and in the rest of the things that are of doctrine.
Two in one bed; two women grinding; two in the field
AR 137. “Two in one bed” means two in one doctrine but not in similar life.
AE 163:6. “Two [women] grinding” are those who collect and learn such things as are serviceable to faith. “Two [men] in the field” are those in the church who apply goods and truths to themselves.
Questions and Comments
- The parables of Noah and Lot show that those stories in Genesis are also parables, having a deeper meaning.
- Why will there be judgments like the flood and the fire in the day when the Son of Man is revealed?
- AR 502: Humanists believe men can be good and moral without God. The Heavenly Doctrine says this attitude leads to “Sodom and Egypt,” the love of dominating from self-love, and the love of ruling from the pride of one’s own intelligence. Why is this so? Do you see examples of this appearing to happen? How does it explain the push for acceptance of certain kinds of adultery at the end of a church?
- AC 2425: Where do we see a tendency to focus on doctrine instead of on life?