Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 26:2-3
AC 3366. Verses 2, 3. And Jehovah appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land of which I tell thee. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these lands, and I will set up the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father. "And Jehovah appeared unto him, and said," signifies thought from the Divine; " go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land of which I tell thee," signifies that he should not go down to memory-knowledges, but to rational things, which being enlightened by the Divine are appearances of truth; "sojourn in this land," signifies instruction; "and I will be with thee," signifies the Divine and will bless thee," signifies that thus there would be increase; "for unto thee," signifies good; "and unto thy seed," signifies truth; "I will give all these lands," signifies spiritual things; "and I will set up the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father," signifies confirmation thus.
AC 3367. And Jehovah appeared into him, and said. That this signifies thought from the Divine, is evident from the signification of "appearing," when said of the Lord, who is Jehovah, as being the Divine Itself that was in Him. Jehovah was in the Lord, and the Lord Himself is Jehovah, (n. 1343, 1725, 1729, 1733, 1736, 1791, 1815, 1819, 1822, 1902, 1921, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2018, 2025, 2156, 2329, 2447, 2921, 3023, 3035, 3061), and in so far as the Lord had united the Human essence to the Divine, so far He spoke with Jehovah as with Himself (n. 1745, 1999), thus "Jehovah appearing to him," in the internal sense signifies from the Divine. Thought is signified which is evident from the signification of "saying," as being to perceive and also to think.
AC 3368. Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land of which I tell thee. That this signifies that He should not go down to memory-knowledges, but to rational things which being enlightened by the Divine are appearances of truth, is evident from the signification of "Egypt," as being memory-knowledge (n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462); and from the signification of "land," as being here rational things which when enlightened by the Divine are appearances of truth; for the land which is here meant is Gerar, where Abimelech king of the Philistines was, and by " Gerar" is signified faith; by "Abimelech," the doctrine of faith that looks to rational things; and by the "king of the Philistines," doctrinal things (n. 3363, 3365); so that the "land," namely, Gerar where Abimelech was, has the above signification in the internal sense.
 For the signification of "land" is various (n. 620, 636, 1066), denoting the quality of the nation of which it is predicated (n. 1262). But in the proper sense "land" signifies the church (n. 3355); and because it signifies the church, it signifies also those things which are of the church, consequently the doctrinal things of charity and faith; thus also rational things which being enlightened by the Divine are appearances of truth; for that these appearances are the truths of the church, thus its doctrinal things, may be seen above (n. 3364, 3365). Whether you say rational things enlightened by the Divine, or appearances of truth, or celestial and spiritual truths such as are in the Lords kingdom in the heavens, or in heaven, and such as are in His kingdom on the earths, or in the church, comes to the same thing; and the same are also called doctrinal things, but this from the truths that are in them. The angelic and human rational is and is called rational from appearances of truth that are enlightened by the Divine, and without these it is not rational; thus rational things are these appearances of truth.
 The reason why it is here said that He should not go down into Egypt, that is, not to memory-knowledges, is that memory-knowledges have already been treated of; for Abraham’s sojourning in Egypt represented the Lord‘s instruction in His childhood in memory-knowledges (n. 1502). As regards the arcanum that He should not go down into Egypt, but should sojourn in the land of Gerar, that is, that He should not look to memory-knowledges, but to rational things, the case is this: All appearances of truth that have what is Divine in them belong to the rational, insomuch that rational truths and appearances of truth are the same; whereas memory-knowledges belong to the natural, insomuch that natural truths and memory-truths are the same. Rational truths, or appearances of truth, cannot possibly be and come forth except from the influx of the Divine into the rational, and through rational things into the memory-knowledges which are of the natural. The things which then take place in the rational appear in the natural; just as an image of many things appears all together in a mirror and thereby they are presented before the man, and also before an angel; before an angel however they are not presented so evidently in the natural as they are with those who are in the world of spirits and are in the spiritual natural, and hence these have representatives of truth.
 The case is similar with every man, for as before said the man who is in good is a little heaven, or what is the same is an image of the Grand Heaven; and because Divine truth cannot inflow immediately into memory-knowledges, which are of the natural man, but only through rational things, as before said, therefore it is here said that Isaac should not go down into Egypt, but should reside in the land of Gerar. But a clear idea cannot be had concerning these things unless the nature of influx is known, and also the nature of ideas; and therefore of the Lord’s Divine mercy these things will be treated of at the close of the chapters, where experiences are related.
AC 3369. Sojourn in this land. That this signifies instruction, is evident from the signification of sojourning," as being to instruct (n. 1463, 2025); and from the signification in this place of "land," as being rational things which when enlightened by the Divine are appearances of truth (n. 3368). Thus sojourning in this land" signifies instruction in these things.
AC 3370. And I will be with thee That this signifies the Divine, is evident from the fact that it is Jehovah who speaks, thus the Divine Itself; and when it is said by Him "I will he with thee," it signifies in this connection that thus the Divine would be in them.
AC 3371. And will bless thee. That this signifies that thus there would he increase, is evident from the signification of "blessing," as being to make fruitful in goods and to multiply in truths (n. 981, 1420, 1422, 1731, 2846, 3140); thus signifying increase.
AC 3372. For unto thee. That this signifies good, is evident from the fact that "unto thee" refers to Isaac, by whom is represented the Lord as to the Divine rational, as has been often shown; and the Lord‘s Divine rational is nothing but good; even the truth therein being good, because Divine.
AC 3373. And unto thy seed. That this signifies truth, is evident from the signification of "seed," as being truth (n. 29, 255, 1025, 1447, 1610, 1940, 2848, 3310); thus it signifies the truth which is from the Lord’s Divine, which is "thy seed." They who apprehend the Word only according to the sense of the letter cannot know but that "seed" denotes posterity, consequently here the posterity of Isaac from Esau and Jacob, and chiefly from Jacob, because the Word was in that nation and it contains so many historical facts concerning them. But in the internal sense by "seed" there is not meant any posterity from Isaac, but all those who are sons of the Lord, thus the sons of His kingdom, or what is the same, who are in good and truth from the Lord; and because these are " seed," it follows that the very good and truth from the Lord are "seed," for hence come the sons wherefore also the very truths from the Lord are called the sons of the kingdom," in Matthew:--
He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world the good seed are the sons of the kingdom (Matthew 13:37, 38)
hence also by " sons" in general are signified truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623).
 Every one who thinks somewhat more deeply or interiorly may know that in the Divine Word by the "seed of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob," so often mentioned, and concerning which it is so frequently said that it should be blessed, and this above all nations and people in the world, cannot be signified their posterity; for above all nations they were least of all in the good of love to the Lord and of charity toward the neighbor, and were not even in any truth of faith; for they were utterly ignorant of what the Lord is, what His kingdom, thus what heaven is, and what the life after death, both because they did not want to know, and because if they had learned about these things, they would at heart have totally denied them, and would thus have profaned interior goods and truths, just as they so frequently profaned exterior ones by becoming open idolaters; which is the reason why in the sense of the letter of the Word of the Old Testament any interior things so rarely stand forth to view. Being of this nature, the Lord has said concerning them in Isaiah:--
He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them (John 12:40)
and again when they said:--
We are Abraham‘s seed; Abraham is our father; Jesus said unto them, If ye were Abraham’s sons, ye would do the works of Abraham ye are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father ye will to do (John 8:33, 39, 44)
by "Abraham" here is meant the Lord, as everywhere in the Word; and that the Jews were not His seed, or sons, but the seed of the devil, is plainly stated. All this shows very plainly that by the "seed of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob," as mentioned in the historical and prophetical Word, are by no means meant their posterity for the Word throughout is Divine, but all those who are the Lord‘s "seed," that is, who are in the good and truth of faith in Him. From the Lord alone comes heavenly seed, that is, all good and truth, (n. 1438, 1614, 2016, 2803, 2882, 2883, 2891, 2899, 2904, 3195).
AC 3374. I will give all these lands. That this signifies spiritual things, is evident from the signification of "lands," as here being rational things, which when enlightened by the Divine are appearances of truth (n. 3368). That these appearances are truths has already been shown (n. 3364, 3365); consequently by "lands" are here meant spiritual things, for these are nothing else than truths from the Divine, as may be seen from what has been frequently said above as to what is meant by spiritual things. By the spiritual in a genuine sense is meant the very light of truth which is from the Lord, just as by the celestial is meant all the flame of good from the Lord. From this we may see that as this light inflows from the Lord into both man’s rational and his natural, the spiritual is predicated of both, and that it is the Divine as to the truth that flows in. This shows what in the genuine sense the spiritual is; and that there is a spiritual rational and a spiritual natural.
AC 3375. And I will set up the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father. That this signifies confirmation, is evident from the signification of an "oath," or of "swearing," as being confirmation (n. 2842). It is not here said to "set up the covenant" made with Abraham, but the "oath," for the reason that a "covenant" is predicated of the celestial or of good, but an "oath" of the spiritual or of truths (n. 3037), which are the subject here treated of. And for the same reason in what follows it is not said of Isaac that he "made a covenant with Abimelech," but that he "sware a man to his brother" (verse 31); whereas it is said of Abraham that he and Abimelech "made a covenant" (Gen. 21:32; Ps. 105:8-10). By the confirmation here referred to which is signified by an "oath," there is meant the conjunction of the Lord with those who are in His kingdom; for an "oath" is the confirmation of a covenant; and by a "covenant" is signified conjunction (n. 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021).
AC 3376. The internal sense of these two verses is that when the Divine truth flows in by rational things, it presents appearances of truth, and thus fructifies and multiplies itself in respect to the good and truth through which the Lord conjoins Himself with angels and men. That this is the sense cannot be seen from the first exposition wherein everything is scattered, that is to say, from what was said in (n. 3366) - that there was thought from the Divine not to go down to memory-knowledges, but to rational things which when enlightened by the Divine are appearances of truth, and that from these would come instruction from the Divine, and increase, thus good and truth, which are spiritual, whereby there is conjunction of the Lord with the things in His Word. These things which before man appear thus scattered, are yet in the internal sense conjoined together in the most orderly manner, and before the angels, or in heaven, appear and are perceived in a most beautiful series and connection; nay, are attended with angelic representatives in a heavenly form; and this with inexpressible variety. Such is the Word throughout in its internal sense. GENESIS 26:2-3 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|