Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 24:11
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AC 3053. Verse 11. And he made the camels kneel down, without the city, by the well of waters, about the time of evening, about the time that the drawers go out. "He made the camels kneel down," signifies a holy disposing of general memory-knowledges; "without the city," signifies removal from doctrinal things; "by the well of waters," signifies for receiving the truths of faith; " about the time of evening," signifies a state of more obscurity at that time; "about the time that the drawers go out," signifies a state of instruction.

AC 3054. He made the camels kneel down. That this signifies a holy disposing of general memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of "making to kneel down," as being to dispose themselves to what is holy; and from the signification of "camels," as being general memory-knowledges (n. 3048).

AC 3055. Without the city. That this signifies removal from doctrinal things, is evident from the signification of a "city," as being doctrine (n. 402, 2449); thus "without the city" evidently means outside of doctrinal things; thus removal from them.

AC 3056. About the time of evening. That this signifies a state of more obscurity at that time, is evident from the signification of "time," as being state (n. 2625, 2788, 2837); and from the signification of " evening" as being what is obscure; for "evening" in the Word signifies the state which precedes the last state of a church that is coming to its close, which last state is called "night;" and it also signifies the first state of a church just rising, which state is called "morning" (n. 2323); in either sense it denotes what is obscure, which is signified by "evening," but it here denotes the obscurity that precedes the morning.

AC 3057. About the time that the drawers go out. That this signifies a state of instruction, is evident from the signification of "time," as being state (n. 3056); and from the signification of a "drawer," that is, one who draws water, as being to be instructed, to be explained in what follows. What has now been told (n. 3054) is what is signified in the internal sense by the things related historically in this verse; but what these particulars involve in a series is not easily made plain to one who has not been instructed concerning the natural man, and concerning the memory-knowledges and doctrinal things therein, and also how truths are elevated therefrom into the rational, and become rational; and still less if he does not know what is the quality of the rational relatively to the natural, that is, the quality of the things in the rational relatively to those in the natural.

[2] The things in the rational are not apparent to man while he lives in the body; for those in the natural are what come to perception, and seldom those in the rational, except by a certain kind of light illuminating the things in the natural, or as an inflowing capacity by which the ideas of thought are disposed into order; and also as a faculty of perceiving that which the mind is considering. Unless these and other things be known, what is contained in this verse can with difficulty be explained to the apprehension,-as that there is a holy disposing of the general memory-knowledges, and then a removal from doctrinal things for receiving the truths of faith; and that when this is taking place there is an obscure state, and that such is the state of instruction. Nevertheless we may briefly state as much as can be apprehended, and here, how the case is with a man then he is being reformed by the Lord; for the reformation of a man is a kind of image of what took place with the Lord then He was in the world (n. 3043).

[3] When a man is being reformed, the general things in his natural man are disposed by the Lord to correspondence with those which are in heaven. What correspondence is, and that it is between spiritual things and natural things, may be seen above, (n. 2987, 2989-2991, 3002). General things are first disposed, in order that particulars may be successively insinuated into them by the Lord, and singulars into the particulars; for if the general things are not in order, there cannot come forth order in the particulars, because the particulars enter into the generals, and confirm them; still less can there be order in the singulars, because these enter into the particulars as into their generals, and illustrate them. These are the things that are meant by a holy disposing of general memory-knowledges; and this is meant in the internal sense by "making the camels kneel down;" for so they submit themselves for the reception of influx.

[4] When the general memory-knowledges are being disposed in this way, doctrinal things are removed, as they are conclusions from these knowledges; for there flows in through the rational as it were a dictate that this is true, and this not true; but in this way-that it is true because it agrees with the orderly disposition of the general memory-knowledges; and that it is not true because it disagrees; there is no other influx as to truths. Doctrinal things are indeed there before, but they are not doctrinal things until they are believed, but are merely memory-knowledges; and therefore when the man thinks about them, no conclusion is drawn from them, but only concerning them, from other things. This is what is meant by removal from doctrinal things, and it is what is herb signified in the internal sense by "without the city." But this is the state that is called an obscure state, and is signified by the "time of evening;" whereas when doctrinal things have been confirmed, so that they are believed, then comes the "morning," or a state of light. The other things contained in this verse are evident from what has been already stated.

AC 3058. That to "draw waters" signifies instruction, and likewise enlightenment from it, comes from the fact that in the internal sense "waters‘ signify the truths of faith (n. 2702); and therefore to "draw waters" is nothing else than to be instructed in the truths of faith, and thereby to be enlightened. In Isaiah:--

With joy shall ye draw waters out of the fountains of salvation. In that day shall ye confess unto Jehovah (Isa. 12:3, 4).

To "draw waters" is to be instructed, to understand, and to be wise. Again:--

Bring ye waters to meet him that is thirsty, ye inhabitants of the land of Tema (Isaiah 21:14).

To "bring waters to meet him that is thirsty," means to instruct Again:--

The afflicted and the needy seek waters, and there are none, and their tongue faileth for thirst (Isaiah 41:17).

" They that seek waters," are they who desire to be instructed in truths. That "there are none," signifies that no one has truths. Moreover by the "drawers of water" were represented in the Jewish Church those who continually desire to know truths, but for no other end than to know them, while caring nothing for the use. Such were accounted among the lowest, and were represented by the Gibeonites concerning whom see (Joshua 9:21, 23, 27).

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