Spiritual background for GENESIS 24    previous  -  next  -  text  -  Genesis  -  BM Home  -  Full Page

AC 3004. That the deepest arcana lie concealed in the internal sense of the Word, which have heretofore come to no one’s knowledge, may appear from what has been already said and shown, and also from what of the Lord‘s Divine mercy will be shown in the following pages. The same can be very plainly seen from the internal sense of the two names of our Lord, Jesus Christ. When these names are used, few have any other idea than that they are proper names and almost like the names of any other man, but more holy. The more learned indeed are aware that Jesus signifies Saviour, and that Christ means Anointed; and from this they conceive some interior idea; but still these are not the things the angels in heaven perceive from the names in question. The things they perceive are still more Divine. By the name "Jesus," when named by a man who is reading the Word, the angels perceive Divine good; and by "Christ," Divine truth; and by the two names, the Divine marriage of good and truth, and of truth and good; thus the whole Divine in the heavenly marriage, which is heaven. What the heavenly marriage is, see (n. 2173, 2803).

AC 3005. That "Jesus" in the internal sense is Divine good, and that "Christ" is Divine truth, may be seen from many things in the Word. That "Jesus" is Divine good comes from the fact that "Jesus" means "safety," "salvation," and " Saviour;" and because it means these, it signifies the Divine good; for all salvation is from the Divine good which is of the Lord’s love and mercy; and thus is effected by the reception of that good. That "Christ" is Divine truth comes from the fact that the name means "Messiah," "Anointed," and "King;" and that these names signify the Divine truth will he evident from what follows.

AC 3006. These are the things the angels perceive when" Jesus Christ" is named; and this is what is meant when it is said that there is salvation in no other name, as also by the Lord so often speaking of His "name." As in John:--

Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do (John 14:13).

These things are written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in His name (John 20:31);

and in other places. That the "name" is all in one complex by which the Lord is worshiped, and thus denotes the quality of all worship and doctrine, may be seen above (n. 2724); and therefore here it denotes the good of love and of charity conjoined with the truth of faith, which is the complex of all doctrine and of all worship.

AC 3007. That "Christ" is the same as "Messiah," "Anointed," and "King," and that these names are the same as the Divine truth, may be seen from what now follows.

AC 3008. First: That "Christ" is the same as "Messiah," "Anointed," and "King," is evident from the following passages in the Word. In John:--

Andrew findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is being interpreted the Christ (John 1:41).

Many of the multitude when they heard the word said, This is of a truth the Prophet; others said, This is the Christ; but others said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? doth not the Scripture say that the Christ cometh of the seed of David, and from Bethlehem, the town where David was? (John 7:40-42);

"the Christ" here plainly means the Messiah whom they expected. In the same:--

Have the rulers then indeed known that this is truly the Christ? Howbeit we know this man whence he is; but when the Christ cometh no one knoweth whence He is (John 7:26, 27);

"the Christ" denotes the Messiah; that no one would know whence He is, was because He would not be acknowledged. In the same:--The Jews came round about Jesus, and said unto Him, How long dost thou hold our soul in suspense? If thou art the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, but ye believe not (n. 24, 25). Here also "the Christ" denotes the Messiah whom they expected. In the same:--

The multitude answered, We have heard out of the Law that the Christ abideth forever (John 12:34);

"the Christ" meaning the Messiah. In the same:--

Martha said, I have believed that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world (John 11:27);

that is, that He was the Messiah. In Luke:--

There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon and to him was the answer made by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord‘s Christ (Luke 2:25, 26);

meaning that he should see the Messiah, or the Anointed of Jehovah. In the same:--

Jesus said to the disciples, But who say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God (Luke 9:20; Mark 8:29; Matt. 26:63, 64; John 6:68, 69; Mark 14:61, 62).

[2] Now as "Christ" and "Messiah" are the same, and as "Christ" in the Greek and "Messiah" in the Hebrew signify the "Anointed," it is evident that "Christ" is the same as the "Anointed;" and likewise the same as "King," for kings in general were called the "anointed," as is evident from the historic and prophetic parts of the Word in many passages. As in David:--

The kings of the earth set themselves, and (the rulers) took counsel together, against Jehovah and against His Anointed (Ps. 2:2).


Now know I that Jehovah saveth His Anointed; He will answer Him from the heavens of His holiness, in the powers of the salvation of His right hand (Ps. 20:6).


Jehovah is their strength, and a stronghold of salvations to His Anointed (Ps. 28:8).

In Samuel:--

Jehovah will give strength unto His King, and exalt the horn of His Anointed (1 Sam. 2:10).

In these and many other passages the "Anointed" denotes the "King." In the original language the reading is "Messiah." In these prophetic utterances the Lord is treated of in the internal sense; and that He is the "King" is also plain from passages in the New Testament. As in Matthew:--

The governor asked Jesus, Art Thou the King of the Jews? Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest (Matthew 27:11).

And in Luke:--

Pilate asked Jesus, saying, Art Thou the King of the Jews? And He answering him said, Thou sayest (Luke 23:3; Mark 15:2).

And in John:--

They cried out, Hosanna, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel (John 12:13).

And again:--

Nathaniel said, Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God, Thou art the King of Israel (John 1:49).

AC 3009. Second: That "Messiah," "Anointed," and "King," are the same as the Divine truth, is evident from very many passages in the Word, and has been shown several times in the explications (n. 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069); and the Lord Himself so teaches in John:--

Pilate said unto Jesus, Art Thou not a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a King; for this was I born, and for this am come into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth; every one who is of the truth heareth My voice (John 18:37).

It is evident from this that it is the Divine truth itself from which the Lord was called "King." That kings were anointed, and were therefore called the anointed, was because the oil with which they were anointed signified good (n. 886, 2832), denoting that the truth signified by a "king" was from good, consequently was the truth of good; and thus that the royal office with kings might represent the Lord as to the Divine truth which is from Divine good, and thus the Divine marriage of good in truth; while the priestly office represented the Divine marriage of truth in good. The latter is signified by "Jesus;" the former by "Christ."

AC 3010. Hence it is evident what is signified by the "Christs" in Matthew:--

See that no man seduce you; for many shall come in My name, saying, I am the Christ; and shall seduce many. Then if anyone shall say unto you, Lo here is the Christ, or there, believe it not; for there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets (Matthew 24:4, 5, 23, 24; Mark 13:21, 22).

Here by "false Christs" are signified truths not Divine, or falsities; and by "false prophets," those who teach them (n. 2534). And again:--

Be not ye called masters, for one is your Master, even Christ (Matthew 23:10);

"Christ" denotes truth Divine. Hence it is evident what a Christian is, namely, one who is in truth from good.

AC 3011. From what has been said it may be seen what hidden things the Word has stored within it; which can by no means come to anyone’s knowledge except from the internal sense.


AC 3213. In the world of spirits there come forth innumerable and almost continual representatives, which are forms of actual things spiritual and celestial, not unlike those which are in the world. Whence these come it has been granted to me to know by daily intercourse with spirits and angels. They inflow from heaven, and from the ideas and speech of the angels there; for the ideas of angels and their derivative speech, when they come down to spirits, are exhibited representatively in various ways. From these representations upright and well disposed spirits are enabled to know what the angels are saying among themselves, for inwardly within the representatives there is something angelic, which, in consequence of its power to excite affection, is perceived even as to its quality. Angelic ideas and speech cannot be exhibited before spirits in any other way; for as compared with the idea of a spirit an angelic idea contains things illimitable; and unless it were formed and exhibited representatively, and thus visibly by images, a spirit would scarcely understand any thing of its contents, which are for the most part unutterable. But when the ideas are represented by forms, then in so far as the more general things are concerned they become comprehensible to spirits. And wonderful to say there is not even the smallest thing in that which is represented which does not express something spiritual and celestial that is in the idea of the angelic society from which the representative flows down.

AC 3214. Representatives of things spiritual and celestial sometimes come forth in a long series, continued for an hour or two, in such an order successively as is marvelous. There are societies in which these representatives take place; and it has been given me to be with them for many months. But these representations are of such a nature that it would take many pages to relate and describe a single one of them in its order. They are very delightful, for something new and unexpected continually follows in succession, and this until what is represented is being fully perfected; and when all things have been perfectly represented, it is possible to contemplate everything in one view; and then it is at the same time given to take note of what is signified by each detail. Moreover good spirits are in this way initiated into spiritual and celestial ideas.

AC 3215. The representatives that come forth before spirits are of an incredible variety; yet they are for the most part similar to things which exist on the earth, in its three kingdoms. For the better understanding of their nature, see what has been related above concerning them, (n. 1521, 1532, 1619-1625, 1807, 1808, 1971, 1974, 1977, 1980, 1981, 2299, 2601, 2758).

AC 3216. In order that it may be still better known how the case is with representatives in the other life, that is, with those things which appear in the world of spirits, take some further examples. When the angels are speaking about the doctrinal things of charity and faith, then sometimes in a lower sphere, where there is a corresponding society of spirits, there appears the form or pattern of a city or cities, with palaces therein exhibiting such skill in architecture as is amazing, so that you would say that the very art itself was there in its native home; not to mention houses of varied aspect; and wonderful to say in all these objects both in general and in particular there is not the smallest point, or visible atom, that does not represent something of the angelic idea and speech: so that it is evident what innumerable things are contained in these; and also what is signified by the cities seen by the prophets in the Word; and likewise what by the holy city or New Jerusalem; and what by the cities in the prophetic Word; namely, the doctrinal things of charity and faith (n. 402, 2449).

AC 3217. When the angels are discoursing of that which relates to the understanding, then in the world of spirits, beneath the angels, or in the corresponding societies, there appear horses; and these of a size, form, color, attitude, and varied equipment, in accordance with the ideas which the angels have concerning the understanding. There is also a place at some depth a little to the right, which is called the abode of the intelligent, where horses continually appear, and this by reason of those present being in thought about what is of the understanding; and when angels whose discourse is about this subject flow into their thoughts, there is a representation of horses. This shows what was signified by the horses seen by the prophets, and also by the horses mentioned elsewhere in the Word; namely, the things of the understanding (n. 2760-2762).

AC 3218. When the angels are in affections, and are at the same time discoursing about them, then in the lower sphere among spirits such things fall into representative species of animals. When the discourse is about good affections, there are presented beautiful, tame, and useful animals, such as were used in sacrifice in the representative Divine worship in the Jewish Church-as lambs, sheep, kids, she-goats, ran’s, he-goats, calves, bullocks, oxen; and then whatever appears upon the animal presents some image of their thought, which it is given to upright and well disposed spirits to perceive. This shows what was signified by the animals that were employed in the rites of the Jewish Church; and what by the same when mentioned in the Word; namely, affections (n. 1823, 2179, 2180). But the discourse of the angels about evil affections is represented by beasts that are repulsive. fierce, and useless, such as tigers, bears, wolves, scorpions, serpents, mice, and the like; and these affections are also signified by the same beasts in the Word.

AC 3219. When the angels are conversing about knowledges, and ideas, and influx, there then appear in the world of spirits as it were birds, formed in accordance with the subject of their discourse. Hence it is that in the Word "birds" signify rational things, or those which are of thought (n. 40, 745, 776, 991). There were once presented to my view birds, one dark and unsightly, but two noble and beautiful; and when I saw them, there then fell upon me some spirits with such violence as to strike a tremor into my nerves and bones. I imagined that then, as several times before, evil spirits were assaulting me, with intent to destroy me; but this was not the case; for when the tremor ceased, together with the emotion of the spirits who fell upon me, I spoke with them, asking what was the matter.

[2] They said that they had fallen down from a certain angelic society in which there was discourse concerning thoughts and influx; and that they had held the opinion that things relating to thought flow in from without, that is, through the external senses, according to the appearance; whereas the heavenly society in which they were, held the opinion that they inflow from within; and as they (the speakers) were in falsity, they fell down-not that they were cast down, for the angels cast no one down from them, but being in falsity they fell down of themselves; and they said that this was the cause.

[3] By this it was given to know that discourse in heaven concerning thoughts and influx is represented by birds; and that of those who are in falsity by dark and unsightly birds; but that of those who are in the truth, by birds noble and beautiful. I was at the same time instructed that all things of thought inflow from within, and not from without, although it appears so; and I was told that it is contrary to order for the posterior to flow into the prior, or the grosser into the purer; thus for the body to inflow into the soul.

AC 3220. When the angels are discoursing about things of intelligence and wisdom, and about perceptions and knowledges, the influx from them into the corresponding societies of spirits falls into representations of such things as are in the vegetable kingdom; as into representations of paradises, of vine-yards, of forests, of meadows with flowers, and into many lovely forms that surpass all human imagination. Hence it is that things which are of wisdom and intelligence are described in the Word by paradises, vineyards, forests, meadows; and that where these are mentioned, such things are signified.

AC 3221. The discourses of the angels are sometimes represented by clouds, and by their forms, colors, movements, and changes; things affirmative of truth by bright and ascending clouds; things negative by dark and descending clouds; things affirmative of falsity by dusky and black clouds; consent and dissent by the various gatherings together and partings asunder of the clouds, and these latter as in a sky like that of the heavens in the night.

AC 3222. Moreover loves and their affections are represented by flames, and this with inexpressible variation; whereas truths are represented by lights, and by innumerable modifications of light. This shows whence it is that by "flames" in the Word are signified the goods which are of love; and by "lights" the truths which are of faith.

AC 3223. There are two lights whereby man is enlightened--the light of the world, and the light of heaven. The light of the world is from the sun; the light of heaven is from the Lord. The light of the world is for the natural or external man, thus for those things which are in hint, and although the things which are therein do not appear to be of this light, they nevertheless are so; for nothing can be comprehended by the natural man except by such things as come forth and appear in the solar world, thus except they have somewhat of form from the light and shade therein. All ideas of time and ideas of space, which are of so much account in the natural man that he cannot think without them, are also of the light of the world. But the light of heaven is for the spiritual or internal man. Man‘s interior mind, in which are his intellectual ideas that are called immaterial, is in this light. Man is unaware of this, although he calls his intellect sight, and ascribes light to it; the reason is that so long as he is in worldly and corporeal things he has a perception only of such things as are of the light of the world, but not of such things as are of the light of heaven; the light of heaven is from the Lord alone, and the universal heaven is in this light.

[2] This light (namely, that of heaven) is immensely more perfect than the light of the world; the things which in the light of the world make one ray, in the light of heaven make myriads; within the light of heaven there are intelligence and wisdom. This light is that which flows into the light of the world which is in the external or natural man, and causes him to perceive sensuously the objects of actual things; and unless this light flowed in, man could not have any perception, for the things which are of the light of the world derive from it their life. Between these lights, or between the things which are in the light of heaven and those in the light of the world, there exists a correspondence when the external or natural man makes one with the internal or spiritual man, that is, when the former is subservient to the latter; and the things which then come forth in the light of the world are representative of such things as come forth in the light of heaven.

AC 3224. It is surprising that man does not as yet know that his intellectual mind is in a certain light that is altogether different from the light of the world; but such is the condition that to those who are in the light of the world the light of heaven is as it were darkness, and to those who are in the light of heaven the light of the world is as it were darkness. This arises principally from the loves, which are the heats of the light. They who are in the loves of self and of the world, thus only in the heat of the light of the world, are affected solely by evils and falsities, and these are the things which extinguish truths, which are of the light of heaven. But they who are in love to the Lord and in love toward the neighbor, thus in spiritual heat, which is of the light of heaven, are affected with goods and truths, which extinguish falsities; but still with these persons there exists a correspondence.

[2] Spirits who are only in the things which are of the light of the world, and are thence in falsities derived from evils, have indeed light from heaven in the other life, but such a light as is fatuous, or as that which issues from a lighted coal or firebrand; but on the approach of the light of heaven this light is at once extinguished, and becomes thick darkness. They who are in this light are in phantasies, and the things which they see in phantasies they believe to be truths, nor to them is anything else truth. Their phantasies are also closely bound to filthy and obscene objects, with which they are most especially delighted; thus they think like persons who are insane and delirious. In regard to falsities, they do not reason whether these be so or not, but they instantly affirm them; whereas in regard to goods and truths they carry on a continual ratiocination, which terminates in what is negative.

[3] For truths and goods, which are from the light of heaven, flow into the interior mind, which with them is closed; wherefore the light flows in around and outside of this mind, and becomes such that it is modified solely by the falsities which appear to them as truths. Truths and goods cannot be acknowledged, except with those whose interior mind is open, into which the light from the Lord may inflow; and so far as this mind is open, truths and goods are acknowledged. This mind is open only with those who are in innocence, in love to the Lord, and in charity toward their neighbor; but not with those who are in the truths of faith, unless they are at the same time in the good of life.

AC 3225. From all this then it is evident what correspondence is and whence it is, also what representation is and whence; namely, that there is correspondence between those things which are of the light of heaven and those which are of the light of the world, that is, between those things which are of the internal or spiritual man and those which are of the external or natural man; and that there is representation in regard to whatever comes forth in the things which are of the light of the world (that is, in regard to whatever comes forth in the external or natural man), relatively to those which are of the light of heaven, that is, which are from the internal or spiritual man.

AC 3226. Among the eminent faculties which man possesses, although he is ignorant of it, and which he carries with him into the other life when he passes thither after his liberation from the body, is that he perceives what is signified by the representatives which appear in the other life; also that he is able by the sense of his mind to express fully in a moment of time what he could not express during hours in the body; and this by ideas from those things which are of the light of heaven, assisted and given as it were wings by suitable appearances representative of the subject of discourse, which are such as cannot be described; and whereas man after death comes into these faculties, and in the other life has no need to be instructed respecting them, it is evident that he is in them (that is, that they are in him) during his life in the body, although he does not know it.

[2] The reason of this is that there is a continual influx with man through heaven from the Lord. This influx is an influx of spiritual and celestial things, which fall into his natural things and are there presented representatively. In heaven among the angels nothing else is thought of than the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord’s kingdom; but in the world, with man, scarcely anything else is thought of than the corporeal and natural things which belong to the kingdom in which he is, and to the necessaries of life. And since the spiritual and celestial things of heaven which flow in are presented representatively with man In his natural things, they therefore remain implanted, and when a man puts off the body and leaves the world behind, he is in them.

AC 3227. The subject of Representations and Correspondences is continued at the end of the next chapter.

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