Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 24:21-22
AC 3099. Verses 21, 22. And the man marveling at her, withheld himself, to know whether Jehovah had prospered his way or not. And it came to pass when the camels had done drinking, that the man took a jewel of gold, of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands, ten of gold their weight. "And the man marveling at her, withheld himself," signifies a state of perception as to those things; "to know whether Jehovah had prospered his way or not," signifies concerning Divine truth, what it was; "and it came to pass when the camels had done drinking," signifies acknowledgment from enlightenment in general memory-knowledges; "that the man took a jewel of gold," signifies Divine good; "of half a shekel weight," signifies sufficient for initiation; "and two bracelets," signifies Divine truth; "for her hands," signifies the power of the affection of truth; "ten of gold their weight," signifies what is full for initiation.
AC 3100. The man marveling at her, withheld himself. That this signifies a state of perception as to those things, is evident from the signification of "marveling," and of "withholding himself" (when he saw that those things which he spake in his heart had come to pass), as being somewhat of acknowledgment, and at the same time of waiting to see whether it was not so; for he marveled because he acknowledged that it had so come to pass, and he withheld himself because he waited to see whether it was not so; this is the state of perception which is signified.
AC 3101. To know whether Jehovah had prospered his way or not. That this signifies inquiry concerning Divine truth, what it was, is evident from the signification of a "way," as being truth (n. 627, 2333); whether it was Divine is signified by its being said "whether Jehovah had prospered it," which is the same as inquiring whether it was from Jehovah, or from the Divine, and thus what truth it was; for truths which are called forth from the natural man into the rational are not all received; but only those which agree with the good there, and thus by insemination and insertion act as one with it; the rest, although they had appeared as truths before they were elevated, still are not received, because they are not acknowledged. It is good that acknowledges its own truth, and it is truth that acknowledges its own good. That the truth was acknowledged for what it was, and that thus it was received, is also clear from what now follows.
AC 3102. And it came to pass when the camels had done drinking. That this signifies acknowledgment from enlightenment in general memory-knowledges, is evident from the fact that the two expressions, "it came to pass," and "had done," signify what is successive, and involve the end of the act that precedes and the beginning of the act that follows (n. 3093); here therefore they signify acknowledgment, as shown just above. The same is evident also from the signification of "camels," as being general memory-knowledges (n. 3048, 3071); and from the signification of "drinking," as being here the same as "drawing waters" (n. 3097), and also the same as "giving to drink" (n. 3058, 3071), namely, being enlightened. Hence it is evident that by these words, "and it came to pass when the camels had done drinking," is signified the acknowledgment of truth Divine from enlightenment in general memory-knowledges.
 The case is really this: Every truth that is elevated out of the natural man, that is, out of memory-knowledges (or out of knowledges and doctrinal things, for these are of the natural man) into the rational, and there received, must first be acknowledged for what it is, and whether it is in agreement with the good that is in the rational or not; if it is in agreement, it is received; and if not, it is rejected. There are many apparent truths in a single company; but only those are conjoined which acknowledge the good there, and thus which mutually love each other. In order however that they may be acknowledged to be such, there must be enlightenment in the natural man, by which all things there both in general and in particular may be seen at one view, and that thus there may be choice. This enlightenment in the natural man is from good, but still is by means of truth (n. 3094). It is this enlightenment that is signified by Rebekah‘s drawing for the camels, and making them drink, or giving them to drink.
AC 3103. And the man took a jewel of gold. That this signifies Divine good, is evident from the signification of a "jewel of gold," as being good; and here, because in the internal sense the Lord is treated of, it signifies the Divine good; and because this is from the rational, the term "man (vir)" is used. That a "man" denotes the rational, see (n. 265, 749, 1007). In ancient times, when the forms of worship in churches were representative, and it was known what they signified, when marriages were being entered upon it was customary to give the bride a jewel of gold and bracelets, because the church was represented by the bride, its good by the jewel, and its truth by the bracelets; and because it was known that the conjugial love with the bride and the wife descends from the marriage of the Lord’s Divine good and Divine truth (n. 2508, 2618, 2727-2729). The jewel of gold was put upon the nose, as is evident also from what is said afterwards, that he put the jewel upon her nose" (verse 47), for the reason that the nose signified the life of good, from the respiration there, which in the internal sense is life, and also from the fragrance, which is what is grateful to the love, the good of which it is (n. 96, 97).
 That the "jewel" was the badge of marriage as to good, is evident also from other passages of the Word, as in Ezekiel:--
I decked thee with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain upon thy throat; and I put a jewel upon thy nose (Ezek. 16:11, 12);
concerning the Ancient Church, here called "Jerusalem," which is described as a bride, to whom were given bracelets, a chain, and a jewel. "Bracelets upon the hands" were a badge representative of truth; and a "jewel upon the nose" was a badge representative of good.
 In Isaiah:--
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, the Lord will make bald the crown of their head, and will take away the rings, and the nose jewels, the changes of garments, and the mantles (Isa. 3:16-18, 21, 22).
The "daughters of Zion who are haughty," denote the affections of evil within the church (n. 2362, 3024); the "rings and the nose jewels which will be removed," denote good and its badges; the "changes of garments and the mantles," truth and its badges.
 In Hosea:--
I will visit upon her the days of the Baalim to which she burned incense; and she put on her nose jewel and her ornaments, and went after her lovers (Hosea 2:13);
treating of the perverted church, and the new church after it. The "nose jewel" here also denotes a badge of the good of the church. When these jewels were fitted to the ears, they also signified good, but good in act; and in the opposite sense evil in act (Gen. 35:4; Exod. 32:2, 3).
AC 3104. Of half a shekel weight. That this signifies sufficient for initiation, is evident from the signification of a "shekel," a "half shekel," and "weight." That a "shekel" is the price or estimation of good and truth, and that a "half shekel" is the determination of its quantity, see (n. 2959). That "weight" signifies the state of a thing as to good will be seen presently; and thus it is evident that "of half a shekel weight" signifies and involves the quantity in respect to the good meant by the jewel of gold. That it is for initiation, follows from what precedes and follows.
 That "weight" is the state of a thing as to good, is evident from the following passages of the Word. In Ezekiel:--
The prophet was to eat food by weight, twenty shekels a day; and was to drink water by measure, the sixth part of a hin; for behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem, and they shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and they shall drink water by measure and with astonishment, that they may want bread and water (Ezek. 4:10, 11, 16, 17).
Here the vastation of good and of truth is treated of, a representation of which was made by the prophet. The state of vastated good is signified by their,"eating food and bread by weight;" and the state of vastated truth by their "drinking water by measure". That "bread" is the celestial, and thus is good, see (n. 276, 680, 1165, 2177); also that "water" is the spiritual, and thus is truth, (n. 739, 2702, 3058); hence it is evident that "weight" is predicated of good, and "measure" of truth.
There shall be balances of justice, and an ephah of justice, and a bath of justice (Ezek. 45:10).
This is said of the holy land, by which is signified the Lord‘s kingdom in the heavens, as may be known from the several particulars there mentioned by the prophet; where there will be no balances, ephah, and bath, but goods and truths which are signified by these weights and measures. In Isaiah:--
Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and hath made ready the heavens with the palm of his hand, and hath comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? (Isa. 40:12).
To "weigh the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance," denotes that from the Lord are the celestial things of love and charity, and that He alone disposes their states. That "mountains and hills," concerning which such weights are predicated, are the celestial things of love, see (n. 795, 796, 1430, 2722).
 In Daniel:--
The writing upon the wall of the palace of Belshazzar was, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. This is the interpretation: Mene, God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it; Tekel, thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting; Peres, thy kingdom is divided and given to the Mede and the Persian (Daniel 5:25-28);
where mene or "hath numbered," is predicated of truth; while tekel or "weighed in the balances" is predicated of good; in the internal sense consummation is treated of.
AC 3105. And two bracelets. That this signifies Divine truth, is evident from the signification of "bracelets," as being truth, here Divine truth, because the Lord is treated of in the internal sense; they are said to have been "two," to denote fullness. Bracelets were placed on the hands of a bride, because by a bride was signified the church, and by her hands were signified powers from truth. That "hands" are predicated of truth, see (n. 3091). That "bracelets" have such a signification, see (Ezek. 16:11; 23:42); (n. 3103). Bracelets were not only for a bride, but also for a king, but for a king they were on the arm, as appears in (2 Sam. 1:10), for the reason that royalty was representative and significative of Divine truth pertaining to the Lord (n. 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069, 3009); and the "arm" is significative of power (n. 878).
AC 3106. For her hands. That this signifies the power of the affection of truth, is evident from the signification of a " hand," as being power (n. 878, 3091); and from the representation of Rebekah--here meant by "her"--as being the affection of truth (n. 2865, 3077).
AC 3107. Ten of gold their weight. That this signifies what is full for initiation, is evident from the signification of "ten," as being a full state, like a "hundred" (n. 1988, 2636); and from the signification of "gold," which is here a kind of coin from the weight of which the valuation was made; and from the signification of "weight," as being the state of a thing as to good (n. 3104). Hence it is evident that "ten of gold their weight" signifies a full state of what is estimated, as to good. That it is for initiation, is evident from the several particulars in this chapter in which initiation is treated of, that is, betrothal.
AC 3108. These two verses treat of the initiation of truth into good; but what is the nature of this initiation does not easily fall into the idea of thought with anyone who has been enlightened only by such things as are of the light of the world, and not at the same time by such things as are of the light of heaven, from which light the things which are of the light of the world may themselves be enlightened. They who are not in good, and thence in faith, have no other ideas of thought than those which have been formed from objects of the light of the world. These do not know that there is anything spiritual, nor indeed what the rational is in the genuine sense, but only the natural to which they attribute all things; and this is the reason why these things which are said in the internal sense concerning the initiation of truth into good, are to them too remote to appear to amount to anything; when yet to those who are in the light of heaven these are among their precious things. As regards the initiation of truth into good the case is this: Before truth has been initiated and rightly conjoined, it is indeed with man, but it has not been made as it were of him, or as his own; but as soon as it is being initiated into his good, it is appropriated to him; and it then vanishes from his external memory, and passes into the internal memory; or what is the same, it vanishes from the natural or external man, and passes into the rational or internal man, and puts on the very man, and makes his human, that is, his quality as to the human. much is the case with all truth that is being conjoined with a man’s good; such also is the case with the falsity that is being conjoined with evil which he calls good; but the difference is that the former opens the rational, and so makes the man rational; whereas the latter closes the rational and makes the man irrational; although he seems to himself, in the darkness in which he then is, to be pre-eminently rational. GENESIS 24:21-22 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
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