Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 24:10
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AC 3047. Verse 10. And the servant took ten camels, of the camels of his lord, and departed, and every good of his lord was in his hand; and he arose and went to Aram-naharaim, unto the city of Nahor. "The servant took ten camels, of the camels of his lord, and departed," signifies general Divine memory-knowledges in the natural man; "and every good of his lord was in his band," signifies the goods and truths of these knowledges with it;" " and he arose," signifies elevation; "and went to Aram-naharaim," signifies the knowledges of truth therefrom; "to the city of Nahor," signifies kindred doctrinal things.

AC 3048. The servant took ten camels, of the camels of his lord, and departed. That this signifies general memory-knowledges in the natural man, is evident from the signification here of " servant," as being the natural man (n. 3019, 3020) and from the signification of "ten," as being remains. That these are goods and truths with man stored up by the Lord, may be seen above, (n. 468, 530, 560, 561, 660, 661, 1050, 1906, 2284); and that "ten," or remains, when predicated of the Lord, are the Divine things which the Lord acquired for Himself, (n. 1738, 1906); and also from the signification of "camels," as being general memory-knowledges; and because these were Divine, or acquired by the Lord, it is said that they were "ten," and then it is said that they were "camels, of the camels of his lord." That he "departed," signifies the initiation thereby which is treated of in this chapter.

[2] The subject here is the process of the conjunction of truth with good in the Lordís Divine rational; first, the process of initiation (n. 3012, 3013), the nature of which is described in a series; here, that the Lord separated in the natural man the things which were from Himself, that is, which were Divine, from those which were of the maternal. The things which were from Himself, or which were Divine, are the things by which the initiation was effected; and they are here the "ten camels, of the camels of his lord." And hence it is that in the following verses much mention is made of "camels," as that he made the camels fall on their knees without the city (verse 11); that Rebekah also gave drink to the camels (verses 14, 19, 20); that they were brought into the house, and that straw and provender were given them (verses 31, 32); and further, that Rebekah and her damsels rode upon the camels (verse 61); and that Isaac saw the camels coming; and when Rebekah saw Isaac, that she alighted off her camel (verses 63, 64). Camels are mentioned so often because of the internal sense, in which they signify the general memory-knowledges in the natural man, from which comes the affection of truth which is to be initiated into the affection of good in the rational, and this in the usual way, as shown above; for the rational as to truth cannot possibly be born and perfected without memory-knowledges and knowledges.

[3] That "camels" signify general memory-knowledges, is evident from other passages in the Word where they are mentioned, as in Isaiah:--

The prophecy of the beasts of the south: In the land of straitness and distress; from whence come the young lion and the old lion, the viper and the flying fire-serpent; they carry their riches upon the shoulder of young asses, and their treasures upon the hump of camels, to a people that shall not profit; for Eat shall help in vain and to no purpose (Isaiah 30:6, 7).

The "beasts of the south" denote those who are in the light of knowledges, or in knowledges, but in a life of evil; "carrying their riches upon the shoulder of young asses," denotes the knowledges pertaining to their rational. That a "young ass" is rational truth may be seen above, (n. 2781); "their treasures upon the hump of camels," denotes the knowledges pertaining to their natural; the camelsĎ "hump" is what is natural; the "camels" themselves signify the general memory-knowledges which are there; the "treasures" are the knowledges which they hold as precious; that "Egypt shall help in vain and to no purpose," denotes that memory-knowledges are of no use to them; that "Egypt" is memory-knowledge may be seen above (n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, 2588). That "camels" here are not camels, is plain; for it is said "the young lion and the old lion carry their treasures upon the hump of camels;" and anyone can see that some arcanum of the church is hereby signified.

[4] Again:--

The prophecy of the wilderness of the sea: Thus hath the Lord said, Go, set a watchman let him declare what he seeth: and he saw a chariot, a pair of horsemen, a chariot of an ass, a chariot of a camel, and he hearkened diligently. And he answered and said, Babel is fallen, is fallen (Isa. 21:1, 6, 7, 9).

The "wilderness of the sea" here denotes the emptiness of memory-knowledges that are not for use; a "chariot of an ass," a collection of particular memory-knowledges; a "chariot of a camel," a collection of general memory-knowledges in the natural man. It is the empty reasonings with those signified by "Babel" which are thus described.

[5] Again:--

Thy heart shall be enlarged because the multitude or the sea shall be converted unto thee, the wealth of the nations shall come unto thee. The abundance of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come they shall bring gold and incense, and they shall proclaim the praises of Jehovah (Isaiah 60:5, 6).

This is concerning the Lord, and concerning the Divine celestial and spiritual things in His natural: the "multitude of the sea" denotes the immense supply of natural truth; the "wealth of the nations," the immense supply of natural good; the "abundance of camels," the abundant supply of general memory-knowledges; "gold and frankincense," goods and truths, which are the "praises of Jehovah;" "from Sheba" is from the celestial things of love and faith (n. 113, 117, 1171). That The queen of Sheba came to Solomon to Jerusalem with exceeding great riches, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones (1 Kings 10:1, 2) represented the wisdom and intelligence which came to the Lord, who in the internal sense here is "Solomon." The "camels bearing spices, gold, and precious stones" are the things of wisdom and intelligence in the natural man.

[6] In Jeremiah:--

To Arabia, and to the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babel smote: Arise ye, go up to Arabia, and lay waste the sons of the East. Their tents shall they take, and they shall carry away for themselves their curtains, and all their vessels, and their camels. And their camels shall be a booty, and I will scatter them to every wind (Jer. 49:28, 29, 32).

Here "Arabia and the kingdoms of Hazor," in the opposite sense, denote those who are in knowledges of celestial and spiritual things, but for the end of no other use than that they may be esteemed wise and intelligent by themselves and the world; the "camels which should be taken away from them, and should be for a booty, and should be scattered to every wind," are in general the memory-knowledges and the knowledges of good and truth which are also taken away from Them in the life of the body by their believing contrary things, and in the other life wholly.

[7] In Zechariah:--

And this shall be the plague wherewith Jehovah will smite all the peoples that shall fight against Jerusalem; thus shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of every beast (Zech. 14:12, 15).

Here the "plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass," denotes the privation of intellectual things, which thus succeed in order from rational things to natural things. What is meant by the "horse," may be seen above, (n. 2761, 2762); what by the "mule" (n. 2781); and what by the "ass," (n. 2781); "camels" denote the general memory-knowledges in the natural man. The like was signified by the murrain in Egypt, which was "upon the cattle in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon herd and upon flock" (Exod. 9:2, 3).

[8] From these passages it is evident that by "camels" in the internal sense of the Word are signified the general memory-knowledges of the natural man. General memory-knowledges are those which include in themselves many particulars, and these singulars; and they form in general the natural man as to the intellectual part of it.

AC 3049. And every good of his lord was in his hand. That this signifies the goods and truths of these knowledges with the natural man, is evident from the signification of "every good of his lord," as being both good and truth; for in itself truth is good, because from good; and truth is the form of good, that is to say, when good is formed so as to be perceived intellectually, it is then called truth: and also from the signification of "hand," as being power (n. 878); "in his hand" therefore meaning that which he had. In themselves general memory-knowledges are not goods, nor are they alive; it is the affection of them that causes them to be goods, and to be alive; for when there is this affection they are for the sake of use; since no one is affected by any memory-knowledge or truth except for some use; use makes it a good; and such as the use is, such is the good.

AC 3050. And he arose. That this signifies elevation, is evident from the signification of "arising," as involving something of elevation wherever it is mentioned (n. 2401, 2785, 2912, 2927); here, that the Divine truth from memory-knowledges was to be initiated into the Divine good of the rational.

AC 3051. And went to Aram-naharaim. That this signifies the knowledges of truth therefrom, is evident from the signification of "Aram" or "Syria," as being the knowledges of good (n. 1232, 1234); but "Aram-naharaim," or "Syria-of-the-rivers," signifies the knowledges of truth, from naharaim or "rivers;" because "rivers" signify the intelligence which is of the knowledges of truth, as may be seen from the passages of the Word collected above (n. 108, 109, 2702); and from many others, concerning which, of the Lordís Divine mercy elsewhere.

AC 3052. To the city of Nahor. That this signifies kindred doctrinal things, is evident from the signification of a "city," as being doctrine (n. 402, 2449); and from the representation of "Nahor," as being what is akin; for Nahor was the brother of Abram, and from him came Bethuel, from whom was Rebekah. Memory-knowledges and doctrinal things are distinct from each other in this way doctrinal things come from memory-knowledges, for they look to use, and are procured from memory-knowledges by means of reflection. They are here said to be "kindred," by reason of their derivation from things Divine.

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info