Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 24:23-25
AC 3109. Verses 23-25. And he said, Whose daughter art thou? Tell me I pray is there room in thy father‘s house for us to pass the night? And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bare unto Nahor. And she said unto him, We have both straw and much provender, also room to pass the night. "He said, Whose daughter art thou?" signifies further exploration concerning innocence; "tell me I pray is there room in thy father’s house for us to pass the night;" signifies exploration concerning the good of charity; "and she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bare unto Nahor," signifies here as above the whole of its origin; "and she said unto him," signifies perception; "we have both straw," signifies truths in the form of memory-knowledge; "and much provender," signifies their goods; "also room to pass the night," signifies the state.
AC 3110. He said, Whose daughter art thou? That this signifies further exploration concerning innocence, is evident from the question, "Whose daughter art thou?" as being exploration; that here it is further exploration, is evident from what has been said above (n. 3088, 3101). That it was exploration concerning innocence, is evident from the signification of a damsel, as being an affection in which is innocence (n. 3067). In this verse indeed the word "damsel" is not found; but in (verses 14 and 16) Rebekah is called a damsel, and the question is here addressed to her, therefore "thou" here means nothing else than damsel.
 As regards the thing itself here treated of, namely, that truth was explored as to who innocence it had, and then also as to what charity, before it was initiated into good and conjoined with it, this cannot but appear wonderful to those who have no knowledge of the subject; but still let them know that in regard to the initiation and conjunction of truth with good in every man there is the most exquisite exploration, and such as surpasses all belief. To the veriest good there is never admitted anything but the veriest truth; for when anything not so true approaches, it does not conjoin itself with good itself, but with some good that in itself is not good, but appears as good; if falsity approaches, the good withdraws itself inward, and the falsity conjoins itself outwardly with some evil which it believes to be good.
 This Divine disposal is effected by the Lord, spirits and angels being the mediums; and in this world it is very secret, but it is perfectly well known in the other. Moreover every one who is of sound reason is able to know it, or at least to have some apprehension of it; for evil and falsity together are hell, and flow in from hell; whereas good and truth together are heaven, and also flow in through heaven from the Lord; and since this is so, evil and truth can no more be joined together than can hell and heaven; wherefore there is a more exquisite balance applied in these things than it is possible for anyone to believe; and this is what is meant by exploration.
AC 3111. Tell me I pray is there room in thy father‘s house for us to pass the night? That this signifies exploration concerning the good of charity, is evident from the signification of "tell me I pray is there," as being exploration; from the signification of a "house," as being good (n. 2048, 2233, 2331); and from the signification of "father," in this case, Bethuel, as being the good of charity such as there is with the better Gentiles (n. 2865)--the very origin of the affection of truth represented by Rebekah being from such good--and from the signification of "room to pass the night," as being a state of "abiding" (n. 3115).
 That there is in the internal sense a description of the exploration concerning the origin of the affection of truth as to innocence and the good of charity, is for the reason that the truth which is to be initiated and conjoined with good derives its first origin from no other source, as may be seen from all those with whom truth is received and wedded to good. Within the church, they who have not some measure of innocence and of charity toward the neighbor, howsoever they may be acquainted with truth and profess it with the lips, yet in no wise do they acknowledge it at heart. Outside of the church, among the Gentiles who are called to the truth of faith, or are instructed concerning it in the other life, no others receive it than those who are in innocence, and who live together in mutual charity; for innocence and charity produce the ground in which the seeds of faith can take root and grow.
AC 3112. And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bare unto Nahor. That this signifies the whole of its origin, that is, the whole of the origin of the affection of truth, is evident from the representation of Bethuel, and also of Milcah and of Nahor, as being the origin of the affection of truth, which is represented by Rebekah (n. 3078).
AC 3113. And she said unto him. That this signifies perception, is evident from the signification in the historical parts of the Word of "saying," as being in the internal sense to perceive, as frequently shown above.
AC 3114. We have both straw and much provender. That "straw" signifies truths in the form of memory-knowledge, and that "much provender" signifies their goods, is evident from the signification of "straw" and of provender." That "straw" signifies these truths, is because it is spoken of as being the food of camels; for when by "camels" is signified the natural man as to the general memory-knowledges therein, then by their food, namely, by straw, nothing else than these can be signified; for the natural man has no other food which is the food of its life, seeing that its nourishment is from such truths; for if such food should fail it, that is, knowing, it would not continue to exist. That this is the case, is evident from the life after death; for then such things are to spirits in place of food (n. 56-58, 680, 681, 1480, 1695, 1973, 1974). In the natural man, as in the rational, there are two classes of things in general which constitute its essence, namely, those of the understanding and those of the will. To the things of the understanding pertain truths; to those of the will pertain goods. The truths of the natural man are truths in the form of memory-knowledge, that is, whatever things are in his external memory; these are what are signified by "straw," when camels, and also when horses, mules, and asses are treated of. But the goods of the natural man are delights, chiefly those of the affection of such truths.
AC 3115. Also room to pass the night. That this signifies the state, is evident from the signification of "room," as being state (n. 2625, 2837); and from the signification of "passing the night," as being to abide or have an abode (n. 2330); here therefore there is signified the state of the affection of truth, in regard to its origin. Its origin is described by the things represented by Bethuel, Milcah, and Nahor; and its relationships by "Laban" in the verses that follow. And because this origin was obscure, its state is signified by "room to pass the night," as also above.
AC 3116. These three verses treat of the exploration of the truth which is to be initiated and thus conjoined with good; and this indeed especially in regard to its origin, for on the origin depend all things in general and in particular; from it the derived things have their form, as from their root, or their seed, as a plant or a tree has from its root or seed. These truths the Lord saw and explored in Himself from the Divine, and from His own wisdom and intelligence initiated; that is to say He initiated truths into the good of the rational. The exploration itself is here described in the internal sense; but the things contained therein can be explained only very briefly. Exploration takes place likewise with every man who is being reformed, and also with every one who receives remains; but of this exploration the man knows nothing at all; it is so entirely in obscurity with him that he does not even believe that there is any; when yet it is taking place every moment, but from the Lord, who alone sees man’s state--not only his present state, but also his future state to eternity. The exploration is a most exquisite balancing, to prevent even the least of falsity from being conjoined with good, and the least of truth from being conjoined with evil; for if there should be such conjunction, the man would perish eternally; because then in the other life he would hang between hell and heaven; and by reason of the good he would be spewed out from hell, and by reason of the evil from heaven. GENESIS 24:23-25 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|