Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 24:28-30
AC 3126. Verses 28-30. And the damsel ran, and told her mother‘s house according to these words. And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban; and Laban ran out of doors unto the man, unto the fountain; and it came to pass when he saw the jewel, and the bracelets upon his sisters hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and behold he stood by the camels at the fountain. "And the damsel ran," signifies the desire (animus) of that affection; "and told her mother’s house according to these words," signifies toward natural good of every kind whithersoever enlightenment could reach; and Rebekah had a brother," signifies the affection of good in the natural man; "and his name was Laban," signifies the quality of that affection; "and Laban ran out of doors unto the man, unto the fountain," signifies its desire (animus) toward the truth which was to be initiated into truth Divine; "and it came to pass when he saw the jewel, and the bracelets upon his sister‘s hands," signifies when it was observed that Divine good and Divine truth were in the power of the affection of truth which is the "sister;" "and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister," signifies the inclination of that affection; "saying, Thus spake the man unto me," signifies the propensity or inclination of truth in the natural man; "that he came unto the man," signifies that it adjoined itself; "and behold he stood by the camels," signifies presence in general memory-knowledges; "at the fountain," signifies their enlightenment from truth Divine.
AC 3127. The damsel ran. That this signifies the desire (animus) of that affection, is evident from the signification of "running," as meaning that which is of the inclination or of the desire; and from the signification of a "damsel," as being an affection in which is innocence (n. 3067, 3110).
AC 3128. And told her mother’s house according to these words. That this signifies toward natural good of every kind whithersoever enlightenment could reach, is evident from the signification of the "mother‘s house," as being the good of the external man, that is, natural good. That a "house" denotes good, see (n. 2233, 2234, 2559); also that man’s external or natural is from the mother, but the internal from the father, (n. 1815). The good with man is compared in the Word to a "house," and on this account a man who is in good is called a "house of God;" but internal good is called the "father‘s house," and the good that is in the same degree is called the "house of the brethren;" but external good, which is the same as natural good, is called the "mother’s house." Moreover all good and truth are born in this manner, namely, by the influx of internal good as of a father into external good as of a mother.
 As this verse treats of the origin of the truth which is to be conjoined with good in the rational, it is therefore said that Rebekah (by whom this truth is represented) ran to the house of her mother, for that was the origin of this truth. For as before said and shown, all good flows in by an internal way (that is, by the way of the soul) into man‘s rational, and through this into his faculty of knowing, even into that which is of the senses; and by enlightenment there it causes truths to be seen. Truths are called forth thence, and are divested of their natural form, and are conjoined with good in the midway, that is, in the rational, and at the same time they make the man rational, and at last spiritual. But how these things are accomplished is utterly unknown to man; because at this day it is scarcely known what good is, and that it is distinct from truth; still less that man is reformed by means of the influx of good into truth, and by the conjunction of the two; neither is it known that the rational is distinct from the natural. And when these things, which are most general, are not known, it cannot possibly be known how the initiation of truth into good, and the conjunction of the two, is effected--which are the subjects treated of in this chapter in its internal sense. But whereas these arcana have been revealed, and are manifest to those who are in good, that is, who are angelic minds, therefore however obscure they may appear to others, they nevertheless are to be set forth, because they are in the internal sense.
 Concerning the enlightenment from good through truth in the natural man, which is here called the "mother’s house," the case is this: Divine good with man inflows into his rational, and through the rational into his natural, and indeed into its memory-knowledges, that is, into the knowledges and doctrinal things therein, as before said; and there by a fitting of itself in, it forms truths for itself, through which it then enlightens all things that are in the natural man. But if the life of the natural man is such that it does not receive the Divine good, but either repels it, or perverts it, or suffocates it, then the Divine good cannot be fitted in, thus it cannot form for itself truths; and consequently the natural can no longer he enlightened; for enlightenment in the natural man is effected from good through truths; and when there is no longer enlightenment, there can be no reformation. This is the reason why in the internal sense the natural man also is much treated of in regard to its quality; thus whence truth is, namely, that it is from good there.
AC 3129. And Rebekah had a brother. That this signifies the affection of good in the natural man, is evident from the signification of a "brother" and a "sister" in the Word, namely, that a "brother" is the affection of good, and a "sister" is the affection of truth (n. 367, 2360, 2508, 2524); for in the natural man, as in the rational, there are relationships by both blood and marriage of all the things therein (n. 2556, 2739). And it also is from this that the mind, both the rational and the natural, is called a "house" (or family), where parents, brothers, sisters, kinsmen, and other relatives exist in order.
AC 3130. And his name was Laban. That this signifies the quality of that affection, is evident from the signification of name," as being the quality of anyone (n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2724). "Laban" therefore is the quality of that affection which is here treated of.
AC 3131. And Laban ran out of doors unto the man, unto the fountain. That this signifies its desire, that is, the desire of the affection of good, toward the truth which was to be initiated into truth Divine, is evident from the signification of running," as manifesting the inclination or desire (n. 3127); from the representation of Laban, as being the affection of good (n. 3129, 3130); from the signification of "the man," as being truth (n. 265, 749, 1007); and from the signification of a "fountain," as also being truth, here truth Divine (n. 2702, 3096, 3137).
 From these and from the other things here treated of, we can see what is the quality of the internal sense, and what arcana there are in it. Who could know, except from an interior searching of the Word, and at the same time from revelation, that these words, "Laban ran out of doors unto the man, unto the fountain," signify the desire of the affection of good toward the truth that was to be initiated into truth Divine? And yet this is what the angels perceive when these words are read by man; for such are the correspondences between a man‘s ideas and an angel’s that while the man takes these words according to the sense of the letter, and has the idea of Laban as running out of doors to the man unto the fountain, the angel perceives the desire of the affection of good toward the truth which was to be initiated into truth Divine. For the angels have no idea of Laban, nor of running, nor of a fountain, but they have spiritual ideas corresponding to these. That there is such a correspondence of actual things, and thence of ideas, natural and spiritual, may be seen from what was said above concerning correspondences (n. 1563, 1568, 2763, 2987-3003, 3021).
 As regards the actual thing itself, namely, that truth was to be initiated into truth Divine, the case is this: The first truth in the natural man was not truth Divine, but was truth that appeared as if Divine; for in its first infancy no truth is truth, but is apparent truth; but in process of time it puts off the appearance, and puts on the essence of truth. In order that this may be comprehended, it may be illustrated by examples, but for the present merely by the following. It is a truth Divine that the Lord is never angry, never punishes anyone, still less does evil to anyone, and that from the Lord there never comes anything but good; nevertheless in its first infancy this truth takes the form that the Lord is angry when anyone sins, and that therefore the Lord punishes; nay, with some that evil is from the Lord; but as a man advances from childhood, and grows up and matures in judgment, he puts off that which was as truth to him from its appearing to be so, and gradually puts on the real truth, namely that the Lord is never angry, that He does not punish, that still less does He do what is evil; and thus by the former truth he is initiated into this. For that which first enters is the general truth, which in itself is obscure, and in which scarcely anything appears until it has been enlightened by particulars, and these by singulars; and when it has been enlightened the interior things are clear. Thus fallacies and appearances, which in time of ignorance are truths, are dissipated and shaken off.
AC 3132. And it came to pass when he saw the jewel, and the bracelets upon his sister‘s hands. That this signifies when it was observed that Divine good and Divine truth were in the power of the affection of truth which is the " sister," is evident from the signification of "seeing," as being to observe (n. 2150); from the signification of the "jewel," as being Divine good (n. 3103, 3105); from the signification of "bracelets," as being Divine truth (n. 3103, 3105) from the signification of "hands," as being power (n. 878, 3091); and from the signification of " sister," as being the affection of truth (n. 2508, 2524, 2556); from all which it is evident that to "see the jewel and the bracelets upon his sister’s hands," is to observe that Divine good and Divine truth were in the power of the affection of truth.
 The case herein is this: The conjunction of Divine good and Divine truth in the Lord is the very Divine marriage from which is the heavenly marriage, which is likewise a marriage of good and truth; from this also comes conjugial love (n. 2727-2759). Hence it is that where marriage is treated of in the Word, in the internal sense there is signified the heavenly marriage, which is that of good and truth; and in the supreme sense the Divine marriage, which is in the Lord; wherefore nothing else is here meant by the marriage between Isaac and Rebekah. The conjunction of good and truth is the marriage itself, but the initiation is the betrothal, or the state preceding marriage. But the state that precedes betrothal is what is here described. As in this state it is within the power of the damsel to be betrothed, and afterwards as a wife to be conjoined with a husband, so it is within the power of the affection of truth to be initiated into Divine truth, and in this manner to be conjoined with Divine good. And further: in the first affection and afterwards in every affection of truth with the Lord, there was inmostly the Divine good itself and the Divine truth itself, because there was Jehovah Himself; from this came the power that is here treated of.
AC 3133. And when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister. That this signifies the inclination of that affection, is evident from the affection in these words; and also from the affection in the words that precede; for they bear witness to the inclination on the part of the affection of truth which is here represented by Rebekah the sister.
AC 3134. Saying, Thus spake the man unto me. That this signifies the inclination of truth in the natural man, is in like manner evident from the affection in these words, and also from what the man, or Abraham‘s servant, spake to Rebekah; from which it is evident that it is the inclination that is signified; and also from the signification of a "man" as being truth (n. 265, 749, 1007), here truth in the natural man from the Divine--because the man is here Abraham’s elder servant, by whom is signified the natural man (n. 3019). In the Word, especially the prophetic, the word "man (vir)" often occurs; as "man and wife," "man and woman," "man and inhabitant," also "man (vir) and man (homo); "and in such places by "man (vir)" in the internal sense is signified that which is of the understanding, which is truth; and by "wife," "woman," "inhabitant," and "man (homo)," that which is of the will, which is good. As in Isaiah:--
I see, and there is no man; even among them, and there is no counselor (Isa. 41:28);
"no man" denotes no one intelligent, thus no truth. Again:--
I came, and there was no man; I called, and there was none to answer (Isa. 50:2);
the meaning here being the same.
Truth hath stumbled in the street, and uprightness cannot enter; and truth hath been taken away; and he that departeth from evil is mad. And Jehovah saw, and it was evil in His eyes that there was no judgment, and no man, and He was amazed (Isa. 59:14-16).
"No man" plainly means no one intelligent, and thus in the universal sense no truth. It here treats of the last time of the church, when there is no longer any truth; and it is therefore said, "truth hath stumbled in the street, uprightness cannot enter, truth hath been taken away." That "street" also is predicated of truth, see (n. 2336); and "judgment" (n. 2235). In Jeremiah:--
Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that doeth judgment, that seeketh truth (Jer. 5:1).
Here a "man" evidently denotes one who is intelligent; and also truth. In Zephaniah:--
I will make their streets desolate, that none passeth by; their cities shall be devastated, so that there shall be no man; that there shall be no inhabitant (Zeph. 3:6).
"No man" denotes no truth; "no inhabitant," no good (n. 2268, 2451, 2712).
AC 3135. He came unto the man. This signifies that it (that is, the affection of good that is represented by Laban, (n. 3129, 3130) adjoined itself to the truth signified by the "man" (n. 3134), both of them in the natural man.
AC 3136. And behold he stood by the camels. That this signifies presence in general memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of "standing by," as being to be present; and from the signification of "camels," as being general memory-knowledges (n. 3048, 3071).
AC 3137. At the fountain. That this signifies their enlightenment from Divine truth, is evident from the signification of a "fountain," as being truth (n. 2702, 3096), here Divine truth (n. 3131). As the Word is Divine truth, it is called a "fountain." That in the internal sense "to stand at the fountain" here involves the enlightenment of those things which are in the natural man, follows from the series; for where there is Divine truth, there is also enlightenment.
AC 3138. These three verses treat of the preparation and enlightenment of the natural man in order that the truth might be called forth thence which was to be conjoined with good in the rational. But with preparation and enlightenment the case is as follows: There are two lights which form the intellectual things of man--the light of heaven, and the light of the world; the light of heaven is from the Lord, who to angels in the other life is a Sun and Moon (n. 1053, 1521, 1529, 1530); the light of the world is from the sun and moon which appear before the bodily sight. The internal man has its sight and its understanding from the light of heaven; but the external man has its sight and its understanding from the light of the world. The influx of the light of heaven into the things which are of the world‘s light, effects enlightenment and at the same time observance; an observance of truth if there is correspondence, and an observance of falsity instead of truth if there is not correspondence. But enlightenment and observance are impossible unless there is affection or love, which is spiritual heat, and which gives life to the things that are enlightened by the light; comparatively as the sun’s light does not give life to the things of the vegetable kingdom, but the heat that is in the light, as is evident from the seasons of the year.
 In the verses which next follow, the preparation is further described--namely, that the light of heaven which is the Lord‘s Divine light inflowed into the things that were of the light of the world in His natural man, in order that He might bring out thence the truth which was to be conjoined with good in the rational; thus by the ordinary way. And therefore in order that the Lord might make the human Divine by the ordinary way, He came into the world; that is, it was His will to be born as a man, and to be instructed as a man, and to be re-born as a man; but with the difference that man is re-born of the Lord, whereas the Lord not only regenerated Himself, but also glorified Himself, that is, made Himself Divine; and further, that a man is made new by an influx of charity and faith, but the Lord, by the Divine love which was in Him and which was His. Hence it may be seen that the regeneration of man is an image of the glorification of the Lord; or what is the same, that in the process of the regeneration of man may be seen as in an image, although remotely, the process of the Lord’s glorification.GENESIS 24:28-30 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|