Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 24:12-14
AC 3059. Verses 12-14. And he said, O Jehovah God of my lord Abraham, cause to meet I pray before me this day; and do mercy with my lord Abraham. Behold I stand by the fountain of waters; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw waters. And let it come to pass that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher I pray thee that I may drink, and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also, her hast Thou appointed for Thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that Thou hast done mercy with my lord. "He said," signifies communication; "Jehovah God of my lord Abraham," signifies of the Divine Itself which is the Father, with the Divine Human which is the Son; "cause to meet I pray before me this day,: signifies providence from eternity; "and do mercy," signifies an influx of love; "with my lord, Abraham," signifies the Divine Human. "Behold I stand by the fountain of waters," signifies the state of the conjunction of truth Divine with the Human; "and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw waters," signifies the affections of truth, and instruction through them; "and let it come to pass that the damsel to whom I shall say," signifies an affection in which is innocence; "let down thy pitcher I pray thee," signifies the submission of memory-knowledges; "that I may drink," signifies instruction in truth therefrom; "and she shall say, Drink," signifies the reciprocal thereto; "and I will give thy camels drink also," signifies the consequent enlightenment of all the memory-knowledges in the natural man; "her hast Thou appointed for Thy servant Isaac," signifies the conjunction of truth Divine with Divine good in the rational; "and thereby shall I know that Thou hast done mercy with my lord," signifies that from the Divine love there is a marriage.
AC 3060. He said. That this signifies communication, is evident from the signification of "saying" in the historical portions of the Word, as being to perceive and to will (concerning which often before); and because it signifies these, it also signifies to communicate, for from perceiving and willing comes communication.
AC 3061. Jehovah God of my lord Abraham. That this signifies of the Divine Itself which is the Father, with the Divine Human which is the Son (that is, communication), is evident from what has been so often said and shown above, namely, that " Jehovah God" is the Divine Itself of the Lord, which is called the "Father;" and that by Abraham is represented His Divine Human (n. 2833, 2836). It may be seen above, that in the Word of the Old Testament "Jehovah" is the Lord Himself (n. 1736, 1815, 2921); and that the Most Ancient Church before the flood and the Ancient Church after the flood understood by "Jehovah" no other than the Lord (n. 1343, 1676, 1990, 2016, 3035). Also that in the Lord is the Trinity-the Divine Itself, the Divine Human, and the proceeding Divine Holy-and these are a one (n. 1999, 2149, 2156, 2288, 2329, 2447). That all the Trinity in the Lord is Jehovah (n. 2156, 2329); and that each and all things in the Lord are Jehovah (n. 1902, 1921). That the Lord is one with the Father, and that no other is understood in heaven by the Father (n. 14, 15, 1725, 1729, 1733, 1815, 2005, 2018, 2025, 2803, 3038). That the Lord is the universal heaven, for He is the all there and that from Him is the all of innocence, of peace, of love, of charity, of mercy, of conjugial love; and all good and truth. That Moses and the Prophets, thus the Word in every particular, is concerning Him; and that all the rites of the church represented Him (n. 2751). That the Lord as to the Divine Human is called the "Son" (n. 2628). That the Divine Human of the Lord was not only conceived, but was also born of His Divine Essence, which is Jehovah (n. 2798); and that thereby the Lord as to the Human was made Jehovah, and Life of Himself (n. 1603, 1737).
 That the Lord was from eternity, is plainly evident from the Word (n. 2803), although He was afterwards born in time; for He spake by Moses and the Prophets; He likewise had appeared to many, and it is there said that He was Jehovah. But this deepest of arcana could be revealed to none but those who are in Divine perception, thus to scarcely any but the men of the Most Ancient Church, who were celestial and in this perception. From these I have heard that Jehovah Himself was the Lord as to the Divine Human when He descended into heaven and flowed in through heaven; for heaven represents one man as to all his members, and is therefore also called the Grand Man (n. 684, 1276, 2996, 2998, 3021). The Divine Itself in heaven, that is, in the Grand Man, was the Divine Human, and was Jehovah Himself thus clothed with the Human.
 But when mankind became such that the Divine Itself, clothed as the Divine Human, could no longer affect them (that is, when Jehovah could no longer come to man, because man had so far removed himself), then Jehovah, who is the Lord as to the Divine Essence, descended and took upon Himself a Human, by conception Divine, and by birth from a virgin such as is that of another man; but this He expelled, and by Divine means made Divine the Human that was born, from which proceeds all the Holy. Thus the Divine Human became an essence by itself which fills the universal heaven, and which also makes it possible for those to be saved who could not be saved before. This then is the Lord, who as to the Divine Human is alone Man, and from whom man has it that he is man (n. 49, 288, 477, 565, 1894).
AC 3062. Cause to meet I pray before me this day. That this signifies providence from eternity, is evident from the signification of "causing to meet," as being to provide; and from the signification of "this day," as being from eternity (n. 2838) and moreover it is evident that what is here treated of, and for which supplication was made, is of Providence.
AC 3063. And do mercy. That this signifies an Influx of love, is evident from the essence of mercy, as being love. Love is itself turned to mercy and becomes mercy when anyone who is in need of help is regarded from love or charity; hence mercy is the effect of love toward the needy and miserable. But here by "mercy" in the internal sense is meant love; and by "doing mercy" is meant an influx of love, because it is from the Lord’s Divine Itself into His Divine Human; for it was the Lord‘s Divine love through which He made His Human Divine; for love is the very being of life, and no one has Divine love but the Lord. See what has been said before concerning the Lord’s love, namely: That His life was love toward the universal human race, (n. 2253): That from this love He fought, (n. 1690, 1789, 1812, 1813, 1820): That it transcends all understanding, (n. 1799, 2077): That the Lord is Divine love itself, (n. 2077, 2500, 2572): That "Jehovah" is love, (n. 1735): That nothing lives but love, (n. 1589): That whoever has mutual love has the Lord‘s life, (n. 1799, 1802, 1803): That love and charity are the celestial itself, (n. 1419, 1824).
AC 3064. With my lord Abraham. That this signifies the Divine Human, is evident from the representation of Abraham here, as being the Lord’s Divine Human (n. 2833, 2836).
AC 3065. Behold I stand by the fountain of waters. That this signifies the state of conjunction of truth Divine in the Human, is evident from the signification of a "fountain," as being truth (n. 2702); here truth Divine, because the Lord is treated of. The state of conjunction itself is signified by "standing by the fountain;" that this conjunction was in the Human, is evident from the series.
AC 3066. And the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw waters. That this signifies the affections of truth and instruction through them, is evident from the signification of "daughters," as being affections (n. 489-491, 2362); and from the signification of "the men of the city," as being truths. The inhabitants of a city are frequently called in the Word the "men of the city," and frequently the "inhabitants of the city;" when they are called the "men of the city," truths are signified, and when they are called the "inhabitants," goods are signified; what "men" signify, may be seen above, (n. 265, 749, 915, 1007, 2517); and what "inhabitants," (n. 2268, 2451, 2712); what a "city," (n. 402, 2450, 2943). The signification of the above words is evident also from the signification of "drawing water," as being to be instructed (n. 3058). Hence it is evident that by the "daughters of the men of the city coming out to draw waters," are signified the affections of truth, and instruction through them. No one is ever instructed by means of truths, but by means of one affections of truth; for truths apart from affection do indeed come to the ear as sound, but do not enter into the memory; that which causes them to enter into the memory and to abide in it, is affection. For the good of affection is like soil, in which truths are sown as seeds; but such as the soil is (that is, such as the affection is), such is the produce of that which is sown. The end or use determines the (quality of the soil, or of the affection, and thus the quality of the produce of what is sown; or, if you prefer to say so, the love itself determines it; for in all things the love is the end and the use, for nothing is regarded as the end and use except that which is loved.
AC 3067. And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say. That this signifies an affection in which is innocence, is evident from the signification of a " damsel." In the Word the affections of good and of truth are called "little children," " damsels," "girls," and "daughters;" but in all cases with a difference as to state: when "daughter" is named, affection in general is signified; when "girl" is named, affection in which is charity is signified; but when it is said damsel," affection in which is innocence is signified, because the age of girlhood is next to that of infancy, which in the internal sense is innocence. The case is the same with "boy," or "little boy," by which is signified a state in which is innocence (n. 430).
AC 3068. Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee. That this signifies the submission of memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of "letting down," as being to submit; and from the signification of a "pitcher," as being memory-knowledges. That a "water-jar" or "pitcher" signifies memory-knowledges, comes from the fact that "water" signifies truth (n. 680, 739, 2702); and a pitcher is a vessel containing water, just as memory-knowledge is a vessel in which is truth; for every memory-knowledge is a vessel for truth, and every truth is a vessel for good. Memory-knowledge without truth is an empty vessel; and so too is truth without good; but memory-knowledge in which there is truth, and truth in which there is good, are full vessels. Affection which is of love is that which conjoins so that they may be within in order; for love is spiritual conjunction.
AC 3069. That I may drink. That this signifies instruction in truth therefrom, is evident from the signification of "drinking," as being to be instructed. In the Word throughout mention is made of "drinking;" and where the good and truth of faith are treated of, there "drinking" signifies being instructed in them and receiving them. As in Isaiah:--
The new wine shall mourn, the vine languisheth, all the glad of heart shall sigh they shall not drink wine with a song, strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it (Isaiah 24:7, 9);
"not drinking wine with a song," denotes not being instructed from the affection of truth and not being delighted thereby; that "strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it," denotes aversion. In the same:--
It shall be as when a thirsty one dreameth, and behold he drinketh; but he awaketh, and behold he is weary, and his soul hath appetite (Isaiah 29:8);
a "thirsty one" denotes one who desires to be instructed; "drinking," being instructed, but in things that are vain
 In Jeremiah:--
We have drunk our water for silver; our wood cometh for a price (Lam. 5:4)
"drinking waters for silver" denotes being instructed not with-out cost, and also attributing truth to one‘s self. That it is given free of cost, and thus that it is not from one’s self, but from the Lord, is thus taught in Isaiah:--
Ho every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and be that hath no silver come ye, buy (Isa. 55:1).
Also in John:--
Jesus said, If anyone thirst, let him come unto Me and drink; whosoever believeth in Me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (John 7:37, 38);
where by "drinking" is signified being instructed, and receiving. In Luke:--
They shall say, We did eat and drink in Thy presence, and Thou didst teach in our streets but the Lord says, I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity (Luke 13:26, 27);
where "eating and drinking in the Lord‘s presence," denotes instructing and preaching the good and truth of faith from knowledges that are from the Word, which is meant by the words, "Thou didst teach in our streets." But as they did this from themselves, for the sake of their own honor and gain, and thus from no affection of good and truth, and were thus in knowledges of truth but in a life of evil, it is said, "I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me all ye workers of iniquity."
 In the same:--
Jesus, speaking to the disciples, said, That ye may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom (Luke 22:30).
That they do not eat and drink in the kingdom of the Lord, and that there is no table there, is plain to every one; so that by "eating and drinking at the Lord’s table in His kingdom," something else is signified, namely, enjoying the perception of good and truth. So too with what the Lord says in Matthew:--
I say unto you, that I will not drink henceforth of this product of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you in My Father‘s kingdom (Matthew 26:29);
where "drinking" signifies instructing to the life concerning truths, and giving perception of good and truth. These words of the Lord:--
Be not anxious for your life (anima), what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on (Matt. 6:25, 31; Luke 12:29);
are significative of spiritual things, namely, that the all of faith as to good and truth is given by the Lord. In John:--
Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, Every one that drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up unto eternal life (John 4:7-14);
where "drinking" manifestly denotes being instructed in good and truth, and receiving them.
AC 3070. And she shall say, Drink. That this signifies the reciprocal thereto, is evident from its being a response, and confirmation, consequently what is reciprocal.
AC 3071. And I will give thy camels drink also. That this signifies the enlightenment of all memory-knowledges in the natural man therefrom, is evident from the signification of "camels," as being general memory-knowledges, thus these knowledges in general, or all (n. 3048); and from the signification of "giving to drink," as being to enlighten. That "drawing water" denotes to instruct, was shown above (n. 3058); thus to "give to drink" denotes to enlighten; for enlightenment comes from instruction.
AC 3072. Her hast Thou appointed for Thy servant Isaac. That this signifies the conjunction of truth Divine with Divine good in the rational, is evident from the signification of "appointing," that is to say, for a wife, as being to conjoin by a covenant of marriage and from the representation of Isaac, as being the Divine good of the rational (n. 3024). That "she," or Rebekah, represents the truth Divine that is to be conjoined with the Divine good of the rational, has been stated above in several places; and the same is evident from the particulars in the internal sense of this chapter.
AC 3073. And thereby shall I know that Thou hast done mercy with my lord. That this signifies that the marriage is from Divine love, is evident from the signification of "mercy," as here in the internal sense being the Divine love (n. 3063). And because the subject treated of is the betrothing of Rebekah to Isaac, that is, of the conjunction of Divine truth with the Divine good of the rational; by "doing mercy with my lord" nothing else is signified than a marriage, thus a marriage from Divine love. This also is the conclusion of his supplication, and the end that was had in view.
AC 3074. What is contained in these three verses in the internal sense, may in some measure be seen from the explication. But as these things are disconnected, that which they involve in their series cannot appear unless they are all collected together into a single idea, and the mental view is then withdrawn from the sense of the letter; for so long as the attention is there; not only is the idea confused, but the mind is also held in doubt; and so far as it is in doubt, it is obscured. A summary description is here given of the process in which truth appears by means of memory-knowledges, and is elevated from them out of the natural man into the rational, and becomes rational truth (in the Lord, Divine); namely, that this is effected by the influx of the Divine love into the Human, from which comes the affection of truth in which is innocence. By virtue of such an influx, the memory-knowledges in the natural man were enlightened, and the truths made their appearance that were to be elevated into the rational and there conjoined with the good of the Divine love. The same things are described more particularly in what follows. But he who does not know that all things in general and in particular are disposed, even in the natural man, by an influx of love, and from this of an affection in which there is innocence, can have but a very obscure idea, if any, of what was said above and of what has now been said. GENESIS 24:12-14 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|