Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 24:64-65
AC 3201. Verses 64, 65. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and saw Isaac, and she alighted from off the camel. And she said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant said, It is my lord. And she took a veil and covered herself. "Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and saw Isaac," signifies the reciprocal attention of the affection of truth; "and she alighted from off the camel," signifies the separation thereof from the memory-knowledges in the natural man at the perception of rational good; " and she said unto the servant," signifies exploration from the Divine natural; "what man is this that walketh in the field to meet us?" signifies concerning the rational which was in good alone; "and the servant said, It is my lord," signifies acknowledgment. "And she took a veil and covered herself," signifies the appearances of truth.
AC 3202. Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and saw Isaac. That this signifies the reciprocal attention of the affection of truth, appears from the signification 3325 of "lifting up the eyes and seeing," as being attention (n. 3198); here, reciprocal, because it was before said of Isaac that he "lifted up his eyes and saw," and here it is said of Rebekah, that she "lifted up her eyes, and saw Isaac;" and also from the representation of Rebekah, as being the affection of truth, concerning which see above in many places.
AC 3203. And she alighted from off the camel. That this signifies the separation thereof from the memory-knowledges in the natural man at the perception of rational good, is evident from the signification of "alighting," as being to be separated; and from the signification of "camels," as being the memory-knowledges in the natural man (n. 3048, 3071). That it was at the perception of the rational good which is represented by Isaac, is evident.
 What it is to be separated from the natural man, was stated and shown above (n. 3161, 3175, 3182, 3188, 3190), namely, that the affection of truth is separated therefrom when it is no longer a matter of memory-knowledge, but becomes of the life; for when it becomes of the life, by habit the man becomes imbued with it like his disposition or nature; and when he is thus imbued with it, it then flows forth into act as it were spontaneously, and this without his thinking about it from any memory-knowledge; nay, when it becomes of the life it can then exercise command over the memory-knowledges, and draw from them innumerable things which confirm. Such is the case with all truth; in the first age it is a matter of memory-knowledge, but as the man advances in age it becomes of the life. The case herein is like that of children when they are learning to walk, to speak, to think, also to see from the understanding, and to conclude from the judgment which things, when by habit they have become voluntary, and thus spontaneous, vanish from among matters of memory-knowledge, and flow forth of their own accord
 So also is it with those things which are of the knowledges of spiritual good and truth with men who from the Lord are being regenerated or born again; in the beginning such men are not unlike children, and at first spiritual truths are to them mere memory-knowledges; for doctrinal things, when being learned and inserted in the memory, are nothing else; but these are successively called forth thence by the Lord, and are implanted in the life, that is, in good; for good is life. When this has been effected there takes place as it were a turning round, namely, that the man begins to act from good, that is, from life, and no longer as before from memory-knowledge. Thus he who is being born anew is in this respect like a child (although the things imbibed are of the spiritual life); until he no longer acts from what is doctrinal, or truth; but from charity, or good; and when this is the case, he then for the first time is in a blessed state, and is in wisdom.
 All this shows what it is to be separated from the memory-knowledges in the natural man, which is signified by Rebekah’s alighting from off the camel; and this before she knew that it was Isaac; in which circumstances, as every one can see, some arcana are involved.
AC 3204. And she said unto the servant. That this signifies exploration from the Divine natural, appears from the signification here of "saying," as denoting to explore; for she asked, "I‘,hat man is this that walketh in the field to meet us?" and from the signification of the "servant," as being the Divine natural (n. 3191, 3192).
AC 3205. What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? That this signifies concerning the rational which was in good alone, namely, exploration respecting it, appears from what was said above concerning Isaac, that "he went out to meditate in the field," by which is signified the state of the rational in good (n. 3196); here, the rational is signified by "this man;" and its being in good is signified by "walking" (that is, meditating) "in the field." "To meet us" denotes for conjunction.
AC 3206. And the servant said, I it is my lord. That this signifies acknowledgment, namely, by the Divine natural, which is here the "servant," is evident without explication. That initiation is effected by the Divine natural, see (n. 3192); also that good recognizes its own truth; and truth its own good (n. 3179).
AC 3207. And she took a veil and covered herself. That this signifies appearances of truth, is evident from the signification of the veil with which brides covered the face when they first saw the bridegroom, as being appearances of truth; for among the ancients brides represented the affections of truth, and bridegrooms the affections of good; or what is the same, brides represented the church, which was called a "bride" from the affection of truth; the affection of good which is from the Lord being the bridegroom, and hence all through the Word the Lord Himself is called the "bridegroom." Brides veiled their faces on their first coming to the bridegroom, in order that they might represent appearances of truth. Appearances of truth, are not truths in themselves, but they appear as truths; concerning which see below. The affection of truth cannot approach the affection of good except through appearances of truth; nor is it stripped of appearances until it is being conjoined; for then it becomes the truth of good, and becomes genuine in so far as the good is genuine.
 Good itself is holy, because it is the Divine proceeding from the Lord, and flows in by the higher way or gate in man; but in so far as its origin is concerned, truth is not holy; because it flows in by a lower way or gate, and at first is of the natural man; but when it is elevated thence toward the rational man it is by degrees purified; and at the first sight of the affection of good it is separated from memory-knowledges, and puts on appearances of truth, and thus comes near to good; an indication that such is its origin, and that it could not endure the first sight of Divine good until it has entered into the bridegroom’s chamber (that is, into the sanctuary of good), and the conjunction has been effected; for then truth no longer looks at good from appearances, or through appearances; but it is looked at from good apart from them.
 Be it known however that neither with man, nor indeed with an angel, are any truths ever pure, that is, devoid of appearances; for all both in general and in particular are appearances of truth; nevertheless they are accepted by the Lord as truths, provided good is in them. To the Lord alone belong pure truths, because Divine; for as the Lord is Good itself, so He is Truth itself. But see what has been said concerning truths and their appearances; namely, That the coverings and veils of the tent signified appearances of truth (n. 2576): That truths with man are appearances tainted with fallacies (n. 2053): That the rational things of man are appearances of truth (n. 2516): That truths are in appearances (n. 2196, 2203, 2209, 2242): That Divine good flows into appearances, even into fallacies (n. 2554): That appearances of truth are adapted by the Lord as if they were truths (n. 1832): That the Word is written according to appearances (n. 1838).
 But what appearances are, may be clearly seen from those passages of the Word where it speaks according to appearances. There are however degrees of appearances of truth. Natural appearances of truth are mostly fallacies; but with those who are in good they are not to be called fallacies, but appearances, and even in some respects truths; for the good which is in therein, and in which is the Divine, causes another essence to be in them. But rational appearances of truth are more and more interior; in them are the heavens, that is, the angels who are in the heavens (n. 2576).
 In order that some idea may be formed of what appearances of truth are, let the following examples serve for illustration. I. Man believes that he is reformed and regenerated through the truth of faith; but this is an appearance; he is reformed and regenerated through the good of faith, that is, through charity toward the neighbor and love to the Lord. II. Man believes that truth enables us to perceive what good is, because it teaches; but this is an appearance; it is good that enables truth to perceive, for good is the soul or life of truth. III. Man believes that truth introduces to good when he lives according to the truth which he has learned; but it is good which flows into truth, and introduces it to itself. IV. It appears to man that truth perfects good, when yet good perfects truth. V. Goods of life appear to man to be the fruits of faith; but they are the fruits of charity. From these few examples it may in some measure be known what appearances of truth are. Such appearances are innumerable.GENESIS 24:64-65 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|