Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 24:2
AC 3018. Verse 2. And Abraham said unto his servant, the elder of his house, who administered all that he had, Put I pray thy hand under my thigh. "Abraham said unto his servant, the elder of his house," signifies the arrangement in order and influx of the Lord in His natural, which is "the servant, the elder of the house;" "who administered all that he had," signifies the offices of the natural man; "Put I pray thy hand under my thigh," signifies the pledging of it according to its power to the good of conjugial love.
AC 3019. Abraham said unto his servant, the elder of his house. That this signifies the arrangement in order and influx of the Lord in His natural, which is the "servant the elder of the house," is evident from the signification here of "saying" as being to command, because it is said to a servant; and as the subject here treated of is the disposition by the Divine of the things that are in the natural man, "to say" denotes to arrange in order and to flow in; for all that is done in the natural or external man is arranged in order by the rational or internal man, and is effected by influx. That the "servant the elder of the house" is the natural, or the natural man, is evident from the signification of "servant," as being that which is lower and which serves what is higher; or what is the same, that which is outer and serves what is inner (n. 2541, 2567). All things that are of the natural man, such as memory-knowledges of whatever kind, are nothing but things of service; for they serve the rational by enabling it to think equitably and will justly. That the "elder of the house" is the natural man, may be seen from what follows.
AC 3020. Who administered all that he had. That this signifies the offices of the natural man, is evident from the signification of "administering,’ and indeed of "administering all things," as being to discharge offices or duties. That the natural man in respect to the rational, or what is the same, the external man in respect to the internal, is like the administrator in a house, may be seen above, (n. 1795). All things that are in man are as one household (that is, as one family) in this respect, that there is one who fills the office of master of the house, and others who fill that of servants. The rational mind itself is that which disposes all things as master of the house, and arranges them in order by influx into the natural mind; but it is the natural mind that ministers and is the administrator.
 As the natural mind is distinct from the rational mind and is in a degree below it, and as it also acts as if from what is its own, it is called relatively a "servant the elder of the house," and it is said to administer all the things in itself that belong to it. That the natural mind is distinct from the rational, and is in a lower degree, and is as if in what is its own, may be seen from the things within it, and from its offices. The things which are therein are all memory-knowledges, thus also all knowledges of every kind whatever; in a word, they are all things in both general and particular that belong to the outer or corporeal memory (n. 2471, 2480). To this mind also belongs all the imaginative faculty, which is the interior sensuous with man, and which is in the greatest vigor with children; and in the first age of adolescence; to the same mind belong also all natural affections that man has in common with brute animals; all of which shows what its offices are.
 But the rational mind is more internal. The knowledges in it are not open before man, but while he lives in the body are imperceptible; for they are all things in both general and particular that belong to the interior memory (n. 2470-2474, 2489, 2490). To this mind also belongs all the thinking faculty that is perceptive of what is equitable and just, and of what is true and good; also all spiritual affections, which are properly human, and by which man is distinguished from the brute animals. From these things this mind flows into the natural mind, and excites the things that are therein, and views them with a kind of sight, and in this manner judges and forms conclusions. That these two minds are distinct is clearly evident from the fact that with many persons the natural mind bears rule over the rational mind; or what is the same, the external man over the internal man; and that it does not bear rule but serves with those only who are in the good of charity, that is, who suffer themselves to be led by the Lord.
AC 3021. Put I pray thy hand under my thigh. That this signifies pledging it according to its power to the good of conjugial love, is evident from the signification of "hand," as being power (n. 878); and from the signification of "thigh," as being the good of conjugial love, concerning which in what follows. That it is pledging to the extent of its power, is evident from the fact that they who were pledged to anything that related to conjugial love, by an ancient rite placed the hand under the thigh of him to whom they were being pledged, and in this manner they were put under oath by him; and this for the reason that the "thigh" signified conjugial love, and the "hand" power, or so far as was possible; for all the parts of the human body correspond to spiritual and celestial things in the Grand Man which is heaven, as was shown above (n. 2996, 2998); and as will be shown more fully, of the Lord‘s Divine mercy hereafter. The thighs themselves together with the loins, correspond to conjugial love. These things were well known to the men of the most ancient times; and therefore they had a number of rites based on this correspondence, of which one was that they placed the hands under the thigh when they were pledged to any good of conjugial love. The knowledge of such things, which was in highest esteem among the ancients, and was one of the chief things of their knowledge and intelligence, is at this day wholly lost; so completely that it is not even known that there is any correspondence and some may therefore wonder that such things are signified by the rite here described. The rite is mentioned in the present case because the betrothing of Isaac to some one of the family of Abraham is treated of, and the discharge of the duty was intrusted to the elder servant.
 That as before said the "thigh" from correspondence signifies conjugial love, may also be seen from other passages in the Word; as from the process enjoined when a woman was accused by her husband of adultery. In Moses:--
The priest shall cause the woman to swear with the oath of cursing; and the priest shall say unto the woman, Jehovah make thee a curse and an oath in the midst of thy people, when Jehovah doth make thy thigh to fall away, and thy belly to swell. And when he hath given her the water to drink, then it shall come to pass, if she be defiled, and hath trespassed a trespass against her husband, that the waters that are accursed shall enter into her and become bitterness, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall fall away, and the woman shall be a curse among her people (Num. 5:21, 27).
That the "thigh should fall away," signified evil relating to conjugial love, that is, it signified adultery. The other particulars mentioned in the same process signify each of them some special thing belonging to the subject, so that there is not the least thing that does not involve something, however surprising this may seem to a man who reads the Word without any idea of its sanctity. Because of the signification of the "thigh" as being the good of conjugial love, mention is sometimes made of "coming forth from the thigh,"-as is said of Jacob:--
Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come forth from thy the (Gen. 35:11).
And in another place:--
Every soul that came with Jacob into Egypt, that came forth from his thigh (Gen. 46:26; Exod. 1:5).
And of Gideon:--
Gideon had seventy sons that came forth from his thigh (Judges 8:30).
 And as the "thighs" and the "loins" signify the things belonging to conjugial love, they also signify the things of love and charity, for the reason that conjugial love is the fundamental love of all loves (n. 686, 2733, 2737-2739); for all loves are from the same origin, that is, from the heavenly marriage, which is that of good and truth (n. 2727-2759). That the "thigh" signifies the good of celestial love and the good of spiritual love, is evident from the following passages. In John:--
He that sat on the white horse had upon His vesture and upon His thigh a name written: King of kings, and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16).
That He who sat on the white horse is the Word, thus the Lord who is the Word, may be seen above (n. 2760-2762); also that "vesture" is the Divine truth (n. 2576); therefore He is called "King of kings" (n. 3009). Hence it is plain what the "thigh" is, namely, the Divine good which is of His love; from which He is also called "Lord of lords" (n. 3004-3011). And because this is the Lord’s quality, it is said that He "had thereon a name written;" for "name" signifies quality (n. 1896, 2009, 2724, 3006).
 In David:--
Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, 0 Mighty One, in Thy glory and honor (Ps. 45:3)
speaking of the Lord; where "sword" denotes truth combating (n. 2799); and "thigh" the good of love; to "gird the sword upon the thigh" signifies that the truth from which He would fight would be from the good of love. In Isaiah:--
Righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and truth the girdle of His thighs (Isaiah 11:5);
speaking here too of the Lord; and because "righteousness" is predicated of the good of love (n. 2235), it is called the girdle of the loins;" and because truth is from good, it is called the "girdle of the thighs;" thus "loins" are predicated of the love of good, and "thighs" of the love of truth.
 In the same:--
None shall be weary nor stumble in Him, He shall not slumber nor sleep, neither is the girdle of His thighs loosed, nor the latchet of His shoes broken off (Isaiah 5:27).
This again is said of the Lord, and the "girdle of His thighs" denotes the love of truth, as before. In Jeremiah:--
Jehovah said unto Jeremiah that he should buy a linen girdle and put it on his loins, but should not pass it through water; and that he should go to the Euphrates and hide it in a hole of the rock; and having done this, when he went and took it from the place, it was marred (Jeremiah 13:1-6).
The "linen girdle" denotes truth, and "putting it on the loins" was a representative that truth was from good. Every one can see that these are representatives, and their signification cannot be known except from correspondences, concerning which of the Lord‘s Divine mercy something will be said at the end of certain chapters.
 So too with the signification of the things seen by Ezekiel, by Daniel, and by Nebuchadnezzar. As In Ezekiel:--
Above the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone and upon the likeness of the throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the appearance of a burning coal, as the appearance of fire within it round about; from the appearance of his loins and upward, and from the appearance of his loins and downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about Him as the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about, so was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Jehovah (Ezekiel 1:26-28).
That this was representative of the Lord and of His kingdom is evident; and that the appearance of the loins upward and the appearance of the loins downward has reference to His love, is evident from the signification of "fire," as being love (n. 934); and from the signification of "brightness" and a "rainbow" as being the derivative wisdom and intelligence (n. 1042, 1043, 1053).
 Concerning Daniel it is said:--
A man appeared to him clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with pure gold of Uphaz his body also was like the tharshish stone, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and feet like the shining of burnished brass (Dan. 10:5, 6).
What is signified by these particulars-by "loins," "body," "face," "eyes," "arms," and "feet"--can appear to no one except from representations and their correspondences. From these it is evident that the Lord’s celestial kingdom is thus represented, in which the "loins" are Divine love; and the "gold of Uphaz" with which these were girded, is the good of wisdom which is from love (n. 113, 1551, 1552).
 Concerning what was seen by Nebuchadnezzar we read in Daniel:--
The head of the statue was good gold; its breast and its arms were silver; its belly and thighs were brass; the feet were part iron and part clay (Daniel 2:32, 33).
By that statue were represented the successive states of the church; by the "head which was gold," the first state, which was celestial, because it was a state of love to the Lord; by the breast and arms which were silver," the second state, which was spiritual, as it was a state of charity toward the neighbor; by the "belly and thighs which were brass," the third state, which was a state of natural good, for this is " brass," (n. 425, 1551). Natural good is of love or charity toward the neighbor in a degree below spiritual good. By the "feet which were iron and clay" is meant the fourth state, which was one of natural truth, which is "iron," (n. 425, 426); and also of no coherence with good (which is "clay"). From all these things it may be seen what is signified by the "thighs" and the "loins," namely, in the chief place conjugial love, and from this all genuine love, as is evident from the passages quoted, and likewise from others (Gen. 32:25, 32; Isa. 20:2-4; Nahum 2:1; Ps. 69:23; Exod. 12:11; Luke 12:35, 36). In the opposite sense also are signified the opposite loves, which are the loves of self and of the world (1 Kings 2:5; Isa. 32:10, 11; Jer. 30:6; 48:37; Ezek. 29:7; Amos 8:10).GENESIS 24:2 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
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