Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 25:5-6
AC 3244. Verses 5, 6. And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. And to the sons of the concubines that Abraham had Abraham gave gifts; and he sent them away from Isaac his son, while he was yet living, eastward to the land of the east. "And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac," signifies in the supreme sense all Divine things in the Divine rational; in the relative sense the celestial things of love in the Lord‘s celestial kingdom; "and to the sons of the concubines that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts," signifies those who are spiritual adopted by the Lord’s Divine Human, that they have allotted places in His spiritual kingdom; "and he sent them away from Isaac his son," signifies the distinction and separation of those who are spiritual from those who are celestial; "while he was yet living," signifies to whom he could give life; "eastward to the land of the east," signifies to the good of faith.
AC 3245. And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. That this signifies in the supreme sense all Divine things in the Divine rational, and in the relative sense the celestial things of love in the Lord‘s celestial kingdom, is evident from the representation of Abraham, as being the Lord as to the Divine Itself; and from the representation of Isaac, as being the Lord as to the Divine rational; and because in the internal sense the Lord is both "Abraham" and "Isaac," and the Lord made His rational Divine from His own Divine; hence it is that the words "Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac" signify all Divine things in the Divine rational. The things which precede and those which follow have regard to this fact--that in the Lord’s rational all things were made Divine. For in the internal sense, where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are treated of, the subject is the Lord‘s Human, and how it was made Divine.
 There are two things which properly constitute the Human, namely, the rational and the natural; the Lord’s rational was represented by Isaac, and His natural by Jacob; the Lord made them both Divine; how He made the rational Divine is contained in what was said of Isaac, but how He made the natural Divine is contained in what is said of Jacob in what follows. But this natural could not be made Divine until the rational had been made Divine, for by means of the rational the natural was made so; hence therefore it is that by the words before us are signified all Divine things in the Divine rational.
 Moreover all and each of the things which in the internal sense treat of the Lord, treat also of His kingdom and church, for the reason that the Divine of the Lord makes His kingdom. Therefore where the Lord is treated of, His kingdom is treated of also (n. 1965); but the internal sense concerning the Lord is the supreme sense, while the internal sense concerning His kingdom is the relative sense. The relative sense of these words--that Abraham gave all to Isaac--is that the celestial things of love are given to the Lord‘s celestial kingdom. For in the relative sense by "Isaac" is signified the celestial kingdom, inasmuch as by the rest of Abraham’s sons, those he had by Keturah, is signified the Lord‘s spiritual kingdom, as shown above; and the same is signified by Ishmael, concerning whom hereafter.
AC 3246. And to the sons of the concubines that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts. That this signifies the spiritual adopted by the Lord’s Divine Human, that they have allotted places in His spiritual kingdom, is evident from the signification of the "sons of the concubines," as denoting those who are spiritual; from the representation here of Abraham, as being the Lord‘s Divine Human; so that by the words "which Abraham had," is signified that the spiritual were adopted by the Lord’s Divine Human; and from the signification of the "gifts" which Abraham gave them, as being allotted places in the Lord‘s spiritual kingdom.
 From what has already been shown in several places (n. 3235) concerning those who constitute the Lord’s spiritual kingdom and are called the spiritual, it can be seen that they are not sons born of the marriage itself of good and truth, but of a certain covenant not so conjugial; they are indeed from the same father, but not from the same mother; that is, they are from the same Divine good, but not from the same Divine truth For as the celestial are from the very marriage of good and truth, they have good and thence truth; wherefore they never inquire what is true, but perceive it from good; and they discourse not about truth beyond affirming that it is so--according to what the Lord teaches in Matthew:--
Let your speech be, Yea, yea; Nay, Nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil (Matthew 5:37);
whereas the spiritual, because they are from a covenant not so conjugial, do not know from any perception what truth is, but call that true which they have been told to be so by parents and masters and therefore in them there is not the marriage of good and truth; but still the truth which they thus believe is adopted by the Lord for truth when they are in the good of life (n. 1832). Therefore it is that those who are spiritual are here called the "sons of the concubines," and by these are meant all the sons of Keturah hitherto enumerated, and also the sons of Hagar, who will be named immediately below, from the twelfth to the eighteenth verse.
 In former times, in order that both the celestial and the spiritual might be represented in marriages, it was permissible for a man to have a concubine in addition to a wife; such concubine being given to the husband by the wife, and she was then called his "woman," or was said to be "given to him for a woman," as when Hagar the Egyptian was given to Abraham by Sarah (Gen. 16:3); when Bilhah the handmaid was given by Rachel to Jacob (Gen. 30:4), and the handmaid Zilpah to Jacob by Leah (Gen. 30:9). They are there called "women," but elsewhere they are called "concubines," as Hagar the Egyptian in this verse, and Bilhah in (Genesis 35:22), also Keturah herself in (1 Chronicles 1:32).
 That those ancients had concubines besides a wife, as was the case not only with Abraham and Jacob, but also with their descendants, as Gideon (Judges 8:31), Saul (2 Sam. 3:7), David (2 Sam. 5:13; 15:16), and Solomon (1 Kings 11:3), was of permission, for the sake of the representation, namely, of the celestial church by a wife, and of the spiritual church by a concubine: this was of permission because they were such that they had no conjugial love, neither was marriage to them marriage, but only a carnal coupling for the sake of procreating offspring. To such there might be permissions without injury to conjugial love and consequently to its covenant; but never to those who are in good and truth, and who are or can become internal men; for as soon as man is in good and truth, and in thing internal, such things cease. For this reason it is not allowable for Christians, as it was for the Jews, to take to themselves a concubine together with a wife, for this is adultery. That the spiritual were adopted by the Lord‘s Divine Human, may be seen from what has been stated and shown before on the same subject (n. 2661, 2716, 2833, 2834).
AC 3247. And he sent them away from Isaac his son. That this signifies the distinction and separation of those who are spiritual from those who are celestial, is evident from what has just been said, namely, that the sons of Abraham by Keturah and by Hagar the Egyptian who are called the "sons of the concubines," represent the spiritual; and that Isaac, in the relative sense, represents the celestial (n. 3245); and that these two classes were separated.
AC 3248. While he was yet living. That this signifies to whom he could give life, is evident from the signification of "while he was yet living," or "while he yet might live," as being to give life; for by Abraham is here represented the Lord as to the Divine Human. That the spiritual have life from the Lord’s Divine Human may be seen above (n. 2661, 2716, 2833, 2834). When their life is from this source the Lord is said to "live" with them, even in common speech. Hence it is that in the internal sense by "while Abraham was yet living" is signified giving life. Life is given to those who are spiritual by means of the good of faith, which is meant by the words which now follow.
AC 3249. Eastward to the land of the east. That this signifies to the good of faith, is evident from the signification of the east" and the "land of the east," which will be treated of in what follows. The good of faith which is signified by the land of the east," is no other than that which in the Word is called charity toward the neighbor; and charity toward the neighbor is nothing else than a life according to the Lord‘s commandments. That this is signified by the "land of the east" may be seen above (n. 1250); therefore they who were in the knowledges of the good of faith were called "sons of the east." The land of the sons of the east was Aram of Syria. Aram or Syria represents the knowledges of good, (n. 1232, 1234); and Aram Naharaim, or Syria of the rivers, represents the knowledges of truth, (n. 3051). And as by the "Syrians" or "sons of the east" were signified those who were in the knowledges of good and truth, they were preeminently called the "wise," as in the first book of Kings, where it is said of Solomon:--
The wisdom of Solomon was multiplied above the wisdom of all the sons of the east (1 Kings 4:30);
and as in Matthew, where it is said of those who came to Jesus when He was born:--
Wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He that is born king of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him (Matthew 2:1, 2).
For in Syria were the last remains of the Ancient Church, and therefore in that land there still remained the knowledges of good and truth, as can also be seen from Balaam, who not only adored Jehovah, but also prophesied concerning the Lord, and called Him the "Star out of Jacob, and the Scepter out of Israel" (Num. 24:17). That Balaam was of the sons of the east in Syria is manifest, for he says this of himself when he utters the declaration:--
From Syria hath Balak brought me, the king of Moab, from the mountains of the east (Num. 33:7).
That it was Aram or Syria where the sons of the east dwelt, is evident from the fact that when Jacob went into Syria he is said to have gone "to the land of the sons of the east" (Gen. 29:1).GENESIS 25:5-6 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|