Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 25:24-26
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AC 3297. Verses 24-26. And her days were fulfilled to bring forth, and behold twins were in her womb. And the first came forth red all over like a hairy garment, and they called his name Esau. And after that came forth his brother, and his hand laid hold on Esau’s heel, and he called his name Jacob: and Isaac was a son of sixty years when she bare them. "And her days were fulfilled to bring forth," signifies the first state of the effect; "and behold twins were in her womb," signifies that both were conceived together; "and the first came forth red all over like a hairy garment," signifies the natural good of the life of truth; "and they called his name Esau," signifies its quality; "and after that came forth his brother," signifies truth; "and his hand laid hold on Esau‘s heel," signifies the lowest of the good of the natural, to which it adhered with some power; "and he called his name Jacob," signifies the doctrine of truth of the natural; "and Isaac was a son of sixty years when she bare them," signifies the state of the Divine rational at that time.

AC 3298. And her days were fulfilled to bring forth. That this signifies the first state of the effect, is evident from the signification of "days," as being states (n. 23, 487, 488, 493, 893, 2788); that these were "fulfilled to bring forth signifies the first state of the effect; for in the spiritual sense to "bring forth" has respect to good and truth, and in this sense means to come into existence (n. 2621, 2629). With good and truth the case is the same as with offspring, in that they are conceived, are in the womb, are born, and afterwards grow to maturity. After conception the efficient (that is, the conceived seed) begins to produce the effect, which takes place in the womb; when these states have been fulfilled, and the time for bringing forth is near, then the effect commences, and is called the first of the effect, for then the offspring begins to act as of itself, and to exert itself to attain that very state which is called the state of the effect.

AC 3299. And behold twins were in her womb. That this signifies that both were conceived together, is evident from the signification of "twins," as being both, namely good, which is represented by Esau, and truth, which is represented by Jacob; and from the signification of "in the womb," as being conception (n. 3293). As to both the good and the truth of the natural being conceived together, the case is this: Whatever is born derives its being from a father and its manifestation from a mother; it must have both in order to become something. The natural as to good is conceived from the good of the rational as a father, and as to truth is conceived from the truth of the rational as a mother (n. 3286, 3288). It is good which gives life, but through truth. Both these are called soul, but still good is principally the soul, while truth clothes it as with a kind of tender vessel or body, so that the good is in the truth. This is what is signified by "twins being in her womb."

AC 3300. And the first came forth red all over like a hairy garment (tunica). That this signifies the natural good of the life of truth, is evident from the signification of "coming forth," as being to be born; from the signification of "red," as being the good of life, as will be shown presently; and from the signification of a "hairy garment," as being the truth of the natural, which also will be shown presently. This being the "first" signifies that as to essence good is prior, as before said (n. 3299); and it is said "like a hairy garment" in order to signify that good is clothed with truth, as with a tender vessel or body, as also before said (n. 3299). In the internal sense of the Word a "garment (tunica)" signifies merely that which invests something else, wherefore also truths are compared to garments (n. 1073, 2576).

[2] That "red," or "ruddy," signifies the good of life, is because all good is of love, and love itself is celestial and spiritual fire, and is also compared to fire and likewise is called "fire" (n. 933-936). So also is love compared to blood, and is called "blood" (n. 1001); and because they are both red, the good which is of love is signified by "red" or "ruddy," as may also be seen from the following passages in the Word. In the prophecy of Jacob, then Israel:--

He shall wash his raiment in wine, and his vesture in the blood of grapes; his eyes are redder than wine, and his teeth are whiter than milk (Gen. 49:11, 12);

where Judah is treated of, by whom is there signified the Lord, as must be evident to every one. "Raiment" and "vesture" in this passage signify the Lord’s Divine natural; "wine" and "the blood of grapes" signify the Divine good and Divine truth of the natural. Of the former it is said that "his eyes are redder than wine;" of the latter that "his teeth are whiter than milk;" it is the conjunction of good and truth in the natural which is thus described.

[3] In Isaiah:--

Who is this that cometh from Edom? Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garments like him that treadeth in the winevat? (Isa. 63:1, 2);

here "Edom" denotes the Divine good of the lord‘s Divine natural, as will appear from what follows; "red in Thine apparel" denotes the good of truth; "garments like him that treadeth in the wine-vat," the truth of good. In Jeremiah:--

Her Nazirites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk; they were more ruddy in bone than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire (Lam. 4:7).

By the "Nazirites" was represented the Lord as to the Divine Human, especially as to the Divine natural; thus the good therein by their being "more ruddy in bone than rubies."

[4] As "red" signified good, especially the good of the natural, therefore in the Jewish Church, in which each and all things were representative of the Lord, and thence of His kingdom (consequently of good and truth, because the Lord’s kingdom is from these), it was commanded that the covering of the tent should be of the skins of red rams (Exod. 25:5; 26:14; 35:7, 23; 36:19); and also that the water of expiation should be made of the ashes of a red heifer burned (Num. 19:2, 9). Unless the color red had signified something celestial in the Lord‘s kingdom, it would never have been commanded that the rams should be red, and the heifer red. That holy things were thereby represented, every one acknowledges who holds the Word to be holy. Inasmuch as the color red had such a signification, the coverings of the tent were interwoven and coupled together with threads of scarlet, crimson, and blue (Exod. 35:6).

[5] As almost all things have also an opposite sense, as has before been frequently stated, "red" in like manner then signifies the evil which is of the love of self; and this because the cupidities of the love of self are compared to fire and are called "fire" (n. 934, 1297, 1527, 1528, 1861, 2446); and in like manner they are compared to blood and are called "blood" (n. 374, 954, 1005). Hence in the opposite sense "red" has this signification; as in Isaiah:--

Jehovah said, Though your sins he as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isa. 1:18).

In Nahum:--

The shield of the mighty men (of Belial) is made red, the valiant men are made crimson, in the fire of torches are the chariots in the day (Nahum 2:3).

In John:--

And there was seen another sign in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads seven diadems (Rev. 12:3).


And I saw and behold a white horse, and he that sat thereon had a bow; and there was given unto him a crown and he went forth conquering and to conquer. And another horse came forth that was red; and to him that sat thereon it was given to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another; and there was given unto him a great sword. Afterwards there came forth a black horse and at last a pale horse, whose name was death (Rev. 6:2, 4, 5, 8).

AC 3301. That a "hairy garment (tunica)" signifies the truth of the natural, is evident from the signification of a "garment (tunica)" as being that which invests something else, and here therefore it signifies truth, because this invests good; for truth is as a vesture (n. 1073, 2576); or what is nearly the same, truth is a vessel receiving good (n. 1469, 1496, 1832, 1900, 2063, 2261, 2269); and also from the signification of "hairy," as being the natural in respect to truth. "Hair," or the "hair of the head," is frequently mentioned in the Word, and there signifies the natural; the reason is that hair is an excrescence in the outermost parts of man, just as is the natural also relatively to his rational and to the interior things thereof. It appears to man, while he lives in the body, that the natural is his all, but this is so far from being true that the natural is rather an excrescence from his internals, as hair is from the things of the body. The two also proceed from the internals in almost the same way. Hence it is that men who in the life of the body have been merely natural, in the other life; when presented to view in accordance with that state, appear as if covered with hair over almost the whole face. Moreover man’s natural is represented by the hair of the head; when it is from good, it is represented by becoming and carefully arranged hair; but when not from good, by unbecoming and disheveled hair.

[2] It is from this representative that in the Word "hair" signifies the natural, especially as to truth; as in Zechariah:--

And it shall come to pass in that day that the prophets shall be ashamed, a man by reason of his vision, when he hath prophesied, neither shall they wear a hairy tunic to deceive (Zechariah 13:4).

"Prophets" denote those who teach truths, here those who teach falsities (n. 2534); "vision" denotes truths, here falsities; a "hairy tunic" denotes the natural as to truth; and because there was no truth, but rather falsity, it is said, "to deceive." Prophets were clothed with such raiment in order to represent that truth, because it is external. Therefore also Elijah the Tishbite from such clothing is called a "hairy man" (2 Kings 1:8); and John, who was the last of the prophets, had "raiment of camel‘s hair" (Matt. 3:4). "Camels" are memory-knowledges in the natural man, (n. 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145); and also memory-knowledges are the truths of the natural, (n. 3293).

[3] That the "hair of the head" signified the natural as to truth is plainly evident from the Nazirites, to whom it was commanded that during all the days of their Naziriteship no razor should pass upon their head, until the days were fulfilled during which they separated themselves to Jehovah, and then they should let down the locks of their head, and that then they should shave the head of their Naziriteship at the door of the tent of meeting, and should put the hair upon the fire which was under the eucharistic sacrifice (Num. 6:5, 18). The Nazirites represented the Lord as to the Divine Human; and thence the man of the celestial church, who is a likeness of the Lord (n. 51); and the natural of this man is represented by the hair; and therefore, when the Nazirites were sanctified they were to put off their old or former natural man, into which they were born, and were to put on a new man; which was signified by the command that when the days had been fulfilled during which they were to separate themselves to Jehovah, they were to let down the locks of their head, and put them upon the fire under the sacrifice. For the state of the celestial man is such that he is in good, and from good knows all truths, and never thinks and speaks from truths about good, still less does he think and speak about good from memory-knowledges (n. 202, 337, 2715, 2718, 3246). Moreover celestial men are such that before they put off that state they are in’ a natural so strong as to truth that they are able to battle with the hells; for it is truth that fights, and never good, as the hells cannot make even a distant approach to good. Such is the case with truth and good, (n. 1950, 1951).

[4] From this it is evident whence Samson had strength from his hair; concerning whom it is said:--

The angel of Jehovah appeared to the woman saying, Behold thou shalt conceive, and bear a son, and no razor shall come upon his head for the child shall be a Nazirite unto God from the womb (Judges 13:3, 5);

and afterwards it is related that he told Delilah that if he should be shaven, his strength would depart from him, and be would. be rendered weak; and after he had been shaven his strength departed, and the Philistines seized him; and afterwards, when the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven, his strength returned, so that he pulled down the pillars of the house (Judges 16). Who does not see that in these things there is a heavenly arcanum, which no one knows unless he has been instructed concerning representatives; namely, that the Nazirite represents the celestial man, and that so long as he had hair he represented the natural of this man, which as before said is in truth thus powerful and strong. And as at that time all representatives that were commanded by the Lord had such force and effect, this was the source of Samson‘s strength. But Samson was not a sanctified Nazirite like those described above, namely, as having put on a state of good instead of truth. The effect of his strength by reason of his hair was principally from his representing the Lord, who from the natural man as to truth fought with the hells and subdued them, and this before He put on the Divine good and truth even as to the natural man.

[5] From this also it is evident why it was commanded that the high-priest, upon whose head was poured the oil of anointing, and whose hand was consecrated to put on the garments, should not shave his head, nor rend his clothes (Lev. 21:10); and similarly that the priests the Levites (where the new temple is treated of) were not to shave their heads, nor let down their hair (Ezek. 44:20); namely, that they might represent the Lord’s Divine natural as to the truth which is from good, and which is called the truth of good. That "hair," or a "head of hair," signifies the natural as to truth, is evident also from the prophecies of the Word, as in Ezekiel:--

I set thee as the bud of the field, whence thou didst grow, and didst grow up into beauties of beauties; the breasts have become firm, and thine hair was grown (Ezek. 16:7)

where Jerusalem is treated of, which here signifies the Ancient Church, which in process of time had become perverted. The "breasts become firm" denote natural good; the "hair that was grown," natural truth.

[6] In Daniel:--

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit. His raiment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool; His throne was fiery flames (Daniel 7:9).

And in John:--

In the midst of the lampstands One like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about at the paps with a golden girdle. And His head and His hair were white as white wool, as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire (Rev. 1:13, 14);

"hair white like pure wool" denotes the Divine natural as to truth. In the Word, and in the rituals of the Jewish Church, truth itself was represented by white, which being from good, is called "pure wool" The reason why the representation of truth is by white, and the representation of good by red, is that truth is of light, and good is of the fire from which the light proceeds.

[7] Like other expressions in the Word, "hair" has also an opposite sense, and signifies the natural as to truth perverted, as in Isaiah:--

In that day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, in the passages of the river, with the King of Assyria, the head and the hair of the feet; and it shall also consume the beard (Isa. 7:20).

In Ezekiel:--

Son of man, take thee a sharp sword, a barber‘s razor shalt thou take unto thee, and shalt cause it to pass upon thine head, and upon thy beard; and take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hairs. A third part shalt thou burn with fire in the midst of the city thou shalt take a third part and smite with the sword round about the city and a third part thou shalt scatter to the wind and thou shalt take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts and of these again shalt thou take, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire therefrom shall a fire come forth unto all the house of Israel (Ezekiel 5:1-4).

In this manner it is representatively described that there is no longer any interior and exterior natural truth, which is signified by the "hair" and the "beard." That concupiscences have destroyed it is signified by its being "burned with fire;" that reasonings have destroyed it is signified by "smiting with the sword round about the city;" that false principles have destroyed it, is signified by "scattering it to the wind." The meaning of this passage is similar to what the Lord teaches in Matthew, that of the seed, which is truth, some fell among thorns, some on the rock, and some upon the way (Matthew 13:1-9).

[8] That the "hair of the head" signifies the unclean truths and falsities which are of the natural man, was represented also by the command that when a woman that had been taken captive from the enemy was to be married, she was to be brought into the house, the hair of her head was to be shaved, her nails were to be pared, and the raiment of her captivity was to be put off (Deut. 21:12, 13); also that when the Levites were consecrated, the water of expiation was to be sprinkled upon them, they were to cause a razor to pass over all their flesh, and their clothes were to be washed, and thus they were to be cleansed (Num. 8:7); and also that Nebuchadnezzar was driven out from men to eat grass like oxen, and his body to be wet with the dew of heaven, until his hair grew like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds‘ claws (Dan. 4:33). That in leprosy the colors of the hair and beard were to be observed, as to whether they were white, reddish, yellow, black, and also those of the garments; and that he who was cleansed from leprosy should shave off all the hair of the head, beard, and eyebrows (Lev. 13:1-59; 14:8, 9), signified unclean falsities from what is profane, which in the internal sense is "leprosy."

[9] "Baldness" however signified the natural in which there was nothing of truth, as in Isaiah:--

He is gone up to Bayith, and to Dibon, to the high places, to weep over Nebo, and Moab shall howl over Medeba; on all their heads is baldness, every beard is shaved (Isa. 15:2).

In the same:--

It shall come to pass that instead of braided work there shall be baldness, and branding instead of beauty (Isa. 3:24).

That the children who said to Elisha, "Go up, thou bald-head; go up, thou bald-head," were torn in pieces by bears from the wood (2 Kings 2:23, 24) represented those who blaspheme the Word, speaking as if there were no truth in it; for Elisha represented the Lord as to the Word (n. 2762). From this it is now manifest how much power there was at that time in representatives.

AC 3302. And they called his name Esau. That this signifies its quality, namely, the quality of the natural as to good, is evident from the signification of "calling a name," or of "calling by name," as being to know what the thing is, thus its quality (n. 144, 145, 440, 768, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2724, 3237); and from the fact that all names whatever in the Word in the internal sense denote actual things (n. 1224, 1888); and such is the case with the name Esau. That "Esau" signifies the Lord’s Divine natural as to Divine good when first conceived, is evident from what has been already said, and from what follows concerning Esau, as also from other parts of the Word; but as Esau and Edom have nearly the same signification, with the difference that "Edom" is the Divine natural as to good to which are adjoined the doctrinal things of truth, therefore at (verse 30), where Esau is called "Edom," of the Lord‘s Divine mercy this will be confirmed by passages from the Word.

AC 3303. And after that came forth his brother. That this signifies truth, is evident from the signification of "brother," as being good, and also truth, for these are called "brothers." That charity is the "brother" of faith, or good the "brother" of truth, may be seen above (n. 367). So on the other hand faith is the "brother" of charity, or truth the "brother" of good; also in the natural, the affection of good is called "brother," and the affection of truth "sister" (n. 3160); likewise, "husband and wife," and "man (vir) and woman;" but these always relatively to the states treated of.

AC 3304. And his hand laid hold on Esau’s heel. This signifies the lowest of the good of the natural to which it adhered with some power, which is evident from the signification of "band," as being power (n. 878); and it is predicated of truth, (n. 3091); from the signification of "laying hold of," as being to adhere; from the signification of "heel," as being the lowest of the natural (n. 259); and from the representation of Esau, as being the good of the natural (n. 3302). Hence it is evident that "his hand laid hold on Esau‘s heel" signifies the lowest of the good of the natural to which truth adhered with some power.

[2] As regards truth adhering with some power to the lowest good of the natural, the case is this: The natural, or the natural man, when being regenerated, has its conception as to good and truth from the rational, or through the rational from the spiritual; through this from the celestial; and through this from the Divine. Thus does the influx follow in succession, and beginning from the Divine descends until it terminates in the lowest of the natural, that is, in the worldly and corporeal. When the lowest natural is affected with faults by what is hereditary from the mother, truth cannot be united to good, but can only adhere to it with some power; nor is truth united to good until these faults have been driven away. This is the reason why although good is indeed born with man, truth is not; and therefore infants are devoid of any knowledge of truth; and truth has to be learned, and afterwards conjoined with good (n. 1831, 1832). Hence also it is said that they "struggled together in the midst of her," that is, they fought (n. 3289). From this it follows that from the first conception truth supplants good, as is said of Jacob in regard to Esau:--

Is not he named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times (Gen. 27:36).

And in Hosea:--

To visit upon Jacob his ways, according to his doings will he recompense him; in the womb he supplanted his brother (Hosea 12:2, 3).

[3] They who keep the mind solely in the historicals, and who are not able to withdraw it from them, do not know but that these and former passages simply foretell the events which came to pass between Esau and Jacob, and this conviction is confirmed also by what follows. But the Word of the Lord is of such a nature that the historicals are in their own series, while the spiritual things of the internal sense are in theirs; so that the former may be viewed by the external man, and the latter by the internal man, and that in this way there may be a correspondence between the two, namely, between the external man and the internal; and this by means of the Word, for the Word is the union of earth and heaven, as has been frequently shown. Thus in every one who is in a holy state while reading the Word, there is a union of his external man which is on the earth, with his internal man which is in heaven.

AC 3305. And he called his name Jacob. That this signifies the doctrine of truth of the natural, is evident from the signification of "calling a name," or of "calling by name;" as being quality (n. 3302). The quality that is represented by Jacob is the doctrine of truth of the natural, as may be seen from the representation of Esau, as being the good of life of the truth of the natural (n. 3300), and from many places in the Word, where he is named. There are two things which constitute the natural, as there are two that constitute the rational, nay, that constitute the whole man, one of which is of life, and the other of doctrine. That which is of life belongs to the will, while that which is of doctrine belongs to the understanding. The former is called good, and the latter truth. This good is that which is represented by Esau, and the truth by Jacob; or what is the same, the good of life of the truth of the natural is that which is represented by Esau, and the doctrine of truth of the natural is that which is represented by Jacob. Whether you say the good of life of the truth of the natural and the doctrine of truth of the natural, or those who are in these things, it is the same; for the good of life and the doctrine of truth cannot exist apart from their subject. If they have no subject they are a kind of abstract affair which nevertheless has regard to the man in whom this may be. Wherefore by "Jacob" are here signified those who are in the doctrine of truth of the natural.

[2] They who abide in the mere sense of the letter believe that by "Jacob" in the Word is meant all that people which was descended from Jacob, and for this reason they apply to that people all things that have been said historically and prophetically concerning Jacob. But the Word is Divine chiefly in this respect, that all things in it both in general and in particular do not regard one nation or one people, but the universal human race; namely, that which is, which has been, and which will be; and also that which is still more universal, namely, the Lord’s kingdom in the heavens; and in the supreme sense, the Lord Himself. It is for this reason that the Word is Divine. If it had regard merely to one nation, then it would be human, and there would be nothing more of the Divine in it than there was of the holy of worship with that nation; and every one may know that there was none of this with the people called "Jacob;" from which it is evident that by "Jacob" in the Word is not meant Jacob, and also that by "Israel" is not meant Israel; for almost everywhere in the prophecies, when Jacob is named, Israel is named also, and no one can know what is specifically meant by the one, and what by the other, except from the sense which lies more deeply concealed and contains within it the arcana of heaven.

[3] That by "Jacob" therefore in the internal sense is signified the doctrine of truth of the natural; or what is the same, those who are in this doctrine, of whatever nation they may be; and that in the supreme sense the Lord is meant, is evident from the following passages. In Luke:--

The angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary for thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of his father David; and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:30-33).

Here by the "house of Jacob" is not meant the Jewish nation or people, can be seen by all, for the Lord‘s kingdom was not over that people, but over all in the universe who have faith in Him, and who from faith are in charity. Hence it is evident that by "Jacob" as here named by the angel is not meant the people of Jacob; and consequently neither in other places, by the "seed of Jacob," the "sons of Jacob," the "land of Jacob," the "inheritance of Jacob," the "king of Jacob," and the "God of Jacob," which expressions so often occur in the Word of the Old Testament, are these intended.

[4] The case is the same in respect to "Israel," as in Matthew:--

The angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called My Son (Matthew 2:13, 15);

and in the Prophet it is said:--

When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt (Hos. 11:1).

That in this passage "Israel" is the Lord, is very evident; and yet from the sense of the letter it cannot be known but that the "child Israel" means the earliest descendants of Jacob, who came into Eat and were afterwards called out thence. It is the same in other passages where "Jacob" and "Israel’ are named, although this does not appear from the sense of the letter, as in Isaiah:--

Hear O Jacob My servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen; thus saith Jehovah who made thee, and formed thee from the womb, who will help thee; Fear not O Jacob My servant, and thou Jeshurun whom I have chosen for I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and streams upon the dry ground; I will pour My spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring; this one shall say, I am Jehovah‘s and this shall call himself by the name of Jacob and that one shall write with his hand unto Jehovah, and surname himself by the name of Israel (Isa. 44:1-3, 5);

where "Jacob" and "Israel" evidently denote the Lord; and the "seed," and " offspring of Jacob," those who are in faith in Him.

[5] In the prophecy concerning the sons of Israel in Moses:--

Joseph shall sit in the strength of his bow, and the arms of his hands shall be made strong by the bands of the Mighty One of Jacob; from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel (Gen. 49:24);

where also the "Mighty One of Jacob" and the "stone of Israel" clearly denote the Lord. In Isaiah:--

My glory will I not give to another; attend unto Me, O Jacob, and Israel My called, I am He; I am the first, I also am the last (Isa. 48:11, 12);

here also " Jacob" and "Israel" signify the Lord. In Ezekiel:--

I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his companions, and I will add them upon him with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in My hand. I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations, whither they he gone, and will gather them from every side, and bring them upon their own land and I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel and one king shall be king to them all, and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. My servant David shall be king over them, and they all shall have one shepherd. And they shall dwell on the land that I have given unto Jacob My servant, wherein your fathers dwelt and they shall dwell therein, they and their sons, and their sons’, forever; and David My servant shall be prince to them forever: I will make a covenant of peace with them, it shall be an everlasting covenant with them and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And the nations shall know that I Jehovah do sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in the midst of them for evermore (Ezekiel 37:19, 21, 22, 24-28);

here again it is clearly manifest that by "Joseph," "Ephraim," "Judah," "Israel," "Jacob," and "David," are not meant these persons, but in the supreme sense Divine spiritual things which are in the Lord, and which are the Lord‘s in His kingdom and church. That David was not to be, as is said, their king and prince forever, every one may know; but that by "David" is meant the Lord may be seen above (n. 1888). It may also be known that Israel will not be gathered together from wherever they have been dispersed, and will not be sanctified, and the sanctuary placed in the midst of them forever, as is said; but this is to be with those who in the representative sense are signified by "Israel;" and who, as is known, are all the faithful.

[6] In Micah:--

Assembling I will assemble O Jacob, all of thee; gathering I will gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah (Micah 2:12);

where the meaning is similar. In Isaiah:--

Jacob shall cause to take root those who come; Israel shall blossom and bud; and they shall fill the face of the world with produce (Isa. 27:6);

where also the meaning is similar. In the same:--

Thus saith Jehovah who redeemed Abraham, to the house of Jacob; Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale for when he seeth his children, the work of My hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify My name; yea, they shall sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall stand in awe of the God of Israel. They also that err in spirit shall know intelligence (Isa. 29:22-24).

In the same:--

Thus saith Jehovah to His anointed, to Cyrus, chose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him, and I will loose the loins of kings; to open the door before him, and the gates shall not be shut I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight I will break in pieces the doors of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron; I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I am Jehovah, who am called by thy name, the God of Israel, for Jacob My servant’s sake, and Israel Mine elect. I have called thee by thy name, I have surnamed thee when thou didst not know Me (Isa. 45:1-4);

where also the Lord is plainly treated of. In Micah:--

In the last days it shall come to pass that the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established as the head of the mountains: and many nations shall go, and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the doctrine, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem (Micah 4:1, 2).

In David:--

Jehovah loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob glorious things shall be preached in thee, O city of God (Ps. 87:2, 3).

In Jeremiah:--

They shall serve Jehovah their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them. And thou, fear thou not, O Jacob My servant, saith Jehovah; neither be dismayed, O Israel; for lo I will save thee from afar (Jeremiah 30:9, 10).

In Isaiah:--

Listen O isles unto me; and hearken ye peoples from far; Jehovah hath called me from the womb from the bowels of my mother hath He made mention of my name; and He said unto me, Thou art My servant Israel, in whom I will be made glorious (Isa. 49:1, 3).


Then shalt thou delight thyself in Jehovah, and I will make thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and I will feed thee with the heritage of Jacob (Isa. 58:14).


I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of My mountains, that Mine elect may possess it, and My servants shall dwell there (Isa. 65:9).

[7] In the supreme sense of all these passages by "Jacob" and "Israel" is meant the Lord; and in the representative sense the Lord‘s spiritual kingdom, and the church which is a church from the doctrine of truth and the life of good. By "Jacob" are meant those who are in the externals of this church; and by "Israel" those who are in its internals. From these and many other passages it is evident that by "Jacob" is nowhere meant Jacob, neither by "Israel," Israel; and in the same way, by "Isaac" is not meant Isaac, nor by "Abraham," Abraham, where they are named; as in Matthew:--

Many shall come from the east and the west, and shall recline with Abraham, and Israel, and Jacob, in the kingdom of the heavens (Matthew 8:11).

In Luke:--

Ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God (Luke 13:28);

and again:--

Lazarus was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:20, 22).

For in heaven they know nothing of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and when these words are read by man, the angels perceive nought but the Lord as to the Divine and the Divine Human; and by "reclining with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," they perceive nought but being with the Lord; and by being "in Abraham‘s bosom," nought but being in the Lord. But it was thus said because at that time man was so far removed from internal things that he did not know and was not willing to know otherwise than that all things in the Word are according to the letter; and when the Lord spoke with men according to the letter, it was that they might receive faith, and also that there might even then be an internal sense within, by which there could be the conjunction of man with Himself. This being the case, it may appear what is signified in the Word of the Old Testament by the "God of Jacob," and by the "Holy One of Israel," namely, the Lord Himself. The "God of Jacob" is the Lord, (2 Sam. 23:1; Isa. 2:3; 41:21; Micah 4:2; Ps. 20:1; 46:7; 75:9; 76:6; 81:1, 4; 84:8; 94:7; 114:7; 132:2; 146:5). The "Holy One of Israel" is the Lord, (Isa. 1:4; 5:19, 24; 10:20; 12:6; 17:7; 29:19; 30:11, 12, 15; 31:1; 37:23; 41:14, 16, 20; 43:3, 14; 45:11; 47:4; 48:17; 49:7; 54:5; 55:5; 60:14; Jer. 50:29; Ezek. 39:7; Ps. 71:22; 78:41; 89:18).

AC 3306. And Isaac was a son of sixty years when she bare them. That this signifies the state of the Divine rational at that time, evident from what has been said above concerning numbers (n. 3252, 3275). But what the number "sixty" involves may be seen from the simple numbers of which it is composed, namely, five and twelve, for five times twelve are sixty; what "five" signifies may be seen above (n. 649, 1686); and what "twelve" (n. 3272). It is composed also of six and ten, for six times ten are sixty. What "six" signifies may be seen above (n. 720, 737, 900); and what "ten" (n. 576, 2284, 3107). It is composed also of two and thirty, for twice thirty are sixty. What "two" signifies may be seen above (n. 720, 900, 1335, 1686); and what "thirty" (n. 2276). As the number "sixty" is composed of these simple numbers, it involves the things signified by them in their order, all of which signify the state in which the Lord’s Divine rational then was. These things are manifest before the angels in clear light from the Lord; but before man, especially one who believes that no arcanum is concealed in the numbers mentioned in the Word, they cannot be unfolded; both on account of his incredulity, and also because so many contents cannot be reduced into a series suitable to man‘s apprehension.

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info