Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 24:5-6
AC 3028. Verses 5, 6. And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land; bringing shall I bring back thy son into the land whence thou camest out? And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not back my son thither. "The servant said unto him," signifies the Lord‘s perception concerning the natural man; "Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land," signifies a doubt of the natural man concerning that affection as to whether it was separable "bringing shall I bring back thy son unto the land whence thou camest out?" signifies a question whether it could nevertheless be conjoined with the Divine good of the rational "Abraham said unto him," signifies the Lord’s perception from the Divine; "Beware thou that thou bring not back my son thither," signifies that it could by no means be conjoined.
AC 3029. The servant said unto him. That this signifies the Lord‘s perception concerning the natural man, is evident from the signification of "saying," as being to perceive (n. 1791, 1815, 1819, 1822, 1898, 1919, 2080, 2506, 2515, 2552); and from the signification here of "servant," as being the natural man (n. 3019, 3020). Whatever is done in the natural man, and what the quality of the natural man is, is perceived in the rational; for that which is lower in man is perceived by that which is higher (n. 2654). Hence it is that by "the servant said unto him" is signified the Lord’s perception concerning the natural man.
AC 3030. Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land. That this signifies a doubt of the natural man concerning that affection, as to whether it was separable, is evident from the signification of "woman," as being truth, here from the natural, which was to be conjoined with the Divine good of the rational. And as all conjunction is effected by means of affection (n. 3024), so by "woman" is signified the affection of that truth: and also from the signification of "going after" or "following me unto this land," as being to be separated from the natural and conjoined with the rational; for "land" here as above (n. 3026) is the good of love that is of the rational. That there is doubt is seen from its being said, "Peradventure she be not willing."
 From what has been said above, it is evident what is involved in these words, and in what follows to (verse 8), and further; and in order that these things may be better understood, we may say a few words more. The genuine rational is from good, but comes forth (existit) from truth. Good flows in by an internal way; but truth by an external way. Good thus conjoins itself with truth in the rational, and they cause the rational to be. Unless the good therein is conjoined with truth, there is no rational; although there appears to be, because the man can reason (n. 1944). This is the common way in which the rational is formed with man.
 As the Lord was born like another man, and as it was His will to be instructed like another man, so did He will to make His rational Divine in a similar way, namely, as to good by influx from His Divine by the internal way, and as to truth by influx through the external way. When therefore the rational as to good had been so far formed as to be in a state for receiving truth (which is meant by the words in the beginning of this chapter, "Abraham being old was come into days, and Jehovah blessed Abraham in all things," by which is signified when the state was at hand that the Lord‘s Human should be made Divine, and when all things should be disposed into Divine order, (n. 3016, 3017), there next follows that truth is to be conjoined with the good of the rational, and this, as before said, by the common way, that is, by means of memory-knowledges and knowledges from the natural man.
 The good itself of the rational, which is formed by the internal way, is the very ground; but truth is the seed which is to be sown in this ground. The genuine rational is never born in any other way. In order that it might come forth with the Lord in the same way, and be made Divine by His own power, the Lord came into the world, and it was His will to be born as are other men. Otherwise He might have assumed a human without birth, as was frequently done in ancient times when He appeared to men.
 These are the things contained in this chapter, namely, how truth, called forth from the natural man, was to be conjoined with the good of the rational; and as the good there was Divine, how the truth there should also be made Divine. To man these things (especially to one who does not know that the rational is something distinct from the natural, and who therefore does not know that the rational is formed successively, and this by knowledges) are very obscure, so that they are not understood; but still they are among things easily understood by those who have any knowledge concerning the rational and the natural man, and who are in enlightenment. The angels see them all as in clear day.
 Some idea of them may be obtained from what has been said and shown above, namely: That the rational as to truth is formed by influx into memory-knowledges and knowledges (n. 1495, 1563, 1900, 1964) That it is not born from these two kinds of knowledges, but from the affection of them (n. 1895, 1900): That these two kinds of knowledges are only vessels for good (n. 1469, 1496): That empty memory-knowledges must be destroyed (n. 1489, 1492, 1499, 1500): That in the rational, the affection of good is as a soul in the affection of truth (n. 2072): What is the affection of rational truth, and of the truth of mere memory (n. 2503): That by knowledges the external man is conjoined with the internal, that is, the rational man with the natural, when knowledges are being implanted in things celestial, which are those of love and charity (n. 1450, 1451, 1453, 1616).
AC 3031. Bringing shall I bring back thy son unto the land whence thou camest out? That this signifies a question whether it could nevertheless be conjoined with the Divine good of the rational, is evident from what was said above concerning Abraham, and concerning the land whence he came forth (n. 1353, 1356, 1992, 2559); from which it is evident that the land whence Abram came was Syria, where was the second Ancient Church, called the Hebrew Church from Eber by whom it was established (n. 1238, 1241, 1327, 1343). But about the time of Abraham this church also fell away from the truth, and some of its households to such an extent that they were wholly ignorant of Jehovah, and worshiped other gods. This is the "land" here meant, and concerning which the servant asked Abraham whether he should bring back his son to the land whence he came out; and it is from this that by the "land" is here signified an affection which does not agree with truth. And because this is its meaning, by bringing back the son, or what is the same, by his marrying a woman there, and remaining there with her, is signified to conjoin an affection that does not agree with truth, with the Divine good of the rational. But that this could not be done is declared by Abraham’s answer, the consideration of which now follows.
AC 3032. Abraham said unto him. That this signifies the Lord‘s perception from the Divine, is evident from the signification of "saying," as being to perceive (n. 3029); and from the representation of Abraham, as being the Lord as to the Divine Human, from which comes this perception.
AC 3033. Beware thou that thou bring not back my son thither. That this signifies that it could by no means be conjoined, is evident from what was said above (n. 3031), where it was explained what is signified in the internal sense by bringing back his son to the land from which Abraham went forth. That an affection which does not agree with truth cannot be Conjoined with the good of the rational, is evident from what has been said above concerning the conjunction of good and truth, or what is the same, concerning the heavenly marriage (n. 2173, 2507, 2727-2759). That on this account the ancients instituted a marriage between the affection of good and the affection of truth, may be seen above, (n. 1904); also that falsity cannot possibly be conjoined with good, or truth with evil, because they are of a contrary nature, (n. 2388, 2429, 2531); and that good is insinuated into the knowledges of truth as its own recipient vessels, and that thus conjunction is effected, (n. 1469, 1496, 1832, 1900, 1950, 2063, 2189, 2261, 2269, 2428, 2434, 2697).
 That there can be no conjunction of falsity with good, or of truth with evil, but only of falsity with evil, and of truth with good, it has been given me to perceive to the life; and I have perceived that the case is as follows: When a man has the affection of good, that is, when he wills good from the heart, then whenever anything is to be thought of that is to be willed and done, his good willing flows into his thinking, and there it applies itself to the knowledges which are there, and joins itself with them as its recipient vessels, and by this conjunction impels him so to think, to will, and to act. It is as it were an ingrafting of good in truths or in the knowledges of truth. But when a man has not the affection of good, but the affection of evil, that is, then he wills evil (as when he believes all to be good that is for himself, so that he may become great and may be rich, thus possess honor and wealth, and this is his end), then when anything is to be thought of that is to be willed and done, his willing equally flows into his thinking, and there excites knowledges which appear in the semblance of truth; and so it impels the man to think, to will, and to do; and this by a wrong application of knowledges, and by looking upon certain general truths which he has drawn from the sense of the letter of the Word or from other knowledge as being applicable in every sense: it is in this way that evil is coupled with falsity, for in this case the truth which is therein is deprived of all the essence of truth.
 In the other life such persons (however much in this life they may have seemed to be more highly instructed than others) are more stupid than others and so far as they are in the persuasion that they are in truth, they induce thick darkness on others. Such have at times been with me; but they were not susceptible of any affection of good from truth, howsoever the truths were recalled to their mind which they had known in the life of the body; for evil was with them, with which truths could not be conjoined. Neither can such persons be in the company of the good; but if there is anything of natural good with them, they are vastated even till they know nothing of truth; and then there is insinuated into the remaining good something of truth, as much as the little remaining good can receive. But they who have been in the affection of good from the heart, are able to receive all truth in accordance with the amount and the quality of the good that has been with them.GENESIS 24:5-6 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|