Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 26:22-23
AC 3430. Verses 22, 23. And he removed from thence, and digged another well, and for this they strove not; and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now Jehovah hath made us to be enlarged, and we shall be fruitful in the land. And he went up from thence to Beer-sheba. "And he removed from thence," signifies to things still lower; "and digged another well, and for this they strove not," signifies the literal sense of the Word; "and he called the name of it Rehoboth" signifies the consequent quality as to truth; "and he said, For now Jehovah hath made us to be enlarged," signifies the successive increase of truth therefrom; "and we shall be fruitful in the land," signifies the successive increase of good therefrom; "and he went up from thence to Beer-sheba," signifies that from this the doctrine of faith was Divine.
AC 3431. And he removed from there. That this signifies to things still lower, is evident from the signification of removing," as being to other things that follow in the series; here therefore to lower or exterior truths, because hitherto higher or interior truths have been treated of in order. Lower or exterior truths are those which appear in the literal sense of the Word, adapted to the apprehension of the natural man. These truths are now to be treated of.
AC 3432. And digged another well, and for this they strove not. That this signifies the literal sense of the Word, is evident from the signification of a "well," as being the Word (n. 2702, 3096, 3424), here, the Word as to the literal sense, for it is said that he "removed from thence, and digged another well, and for this they strove not," by which is signified that sense of the Word which is more exterior, and which they do not deny; and it is this which is called the literal sense. The literal sense of the Word is threefold; namely, historical, prophetical, and doctrinal, each of which is such that it may be apprehended even by those who are in externals.
 As regards the Word the case is this: In the most ancient time, when the celestial church existed, the Word was not, because the men of that church had the Word inscribed on their hearts; for the Lord taught them immediately through heaven what was good, and thence what was true, and gave them both to perceive from love and charity, and to know from revelation. To them the veriest Word was the Lord. After this church another succeeded that was not celestial but spiritual, and at first this church had no other Word than that which had been gathered from the most ancient people which Word was representative of the Lord, and significative of His kingdom thus the internal sense was to them the very Word. They had also a written Word, both historic and prophetic, which is no longer extant; and in this there was in like manner an internal sense, which had relation to the Lord, (n. 2686). Hence it was the wisdom of that time both to speak and to write by representatives and significatives; within the church concerning Divine things, and out of the church concerning other things; as is evident from the writings of those ancient people which remain with us. But in process of time this wisdom perished, to such a degree that at last they did not know that there was any internal sense even in the books of the Word. The Jewish and Israelitish nation was of the character here referred to, and accounted the prophetic Word holy from the fact that it sounded ancient, and they heard the name Jehovah in the sense of the letter; and they did not believe that anything Divine was deeply hidden within it; nor does the Christian world think any more reverently of the Word.
 From this we can see how in succeeding time wisdom retired from inmost things to outermost; and that man had removed himself from heaven, and had at last descended even to the dust of the earth, wherein he now places wisdom. As it has fared thus with the Word, so that its internal sense has been successively obliterated, and at this day to such a degree that it is not known that there is such a sense, when yet this sense is the veriest Word in which the Divine proximately dwells, therefore its successive states are described in this chapter.
AC 3433. And he called the name of it Rehoboth. That this signifies the consequent quality as to truth, is evident from the signification of "calling a name," as denoting the quality (n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2724, 3006, 3421); and from the signification of "Rehoboth," as being truths, for in the original tongue "Rehoboth" means "breadths," and that in the internal sense of the Word "breadths" denote truths, was shown above (n. 1613).
AC 3434. And he said, For now Jehovah hath made us to be enlarged. That this signifies the successive increase of truth therefrom, is evident from the signification of "breadth," as being truth, concerning which see just above (n. 3433); hence "to be enlarged" is to receive successive increase of truth.
AC 3435. And we shall be fruitful in the land. That this signifies the successive increase of good therefrom, is evident from the signification of "being fruitful," as being successive increase of good. "To be fruitful" is predicated of good, and "to be multiplied" of truth, (n. 43, 55, 913, 983, 2846, 2847). And from the signification of "land," as being the church, and whatever is of the church (n. 662, 1066, 1067, 1262, 1733, 1850, 2928, 3355).
AC 3436. And he went up from thence to Beer-sheba. That this signifies that from this the doctrine of faith was Divine, is evident from the signification of "Beer-sheba," as being the doctrine of faith, which is Divine (n. 2723, 2858, 2859). The doctrine of faith, which is here signified by " Beer-sheba," is the very literal sense of the Word, for the Word is doctrine itself; and although the Word as to the literal sense is such that truths may be drawn from it, it is also such that things not true may be confirmed from it, as is well known from the existence of heresies. But he who reads the Word in order to be wise, that is, to do what is good and understand what is true, is instructed according to his end and affection; for unknown to him the Lord flows in and enlightens his mind, and where he is at a loss, gives understanding from other passages.
 moreover the man who is in simple good, and in simplicity believes the Word according to its literal sense, when instructed in the other life by angels is gifted with the faculty of perceiving truths; and in the meantime the few truths he has are vivified by charity and innocence; and when these are in the truths, the falsities which also had infused themselves in the shade of his ignorance are not hurtful, for they are not adjoined to good, but are withheld therefrom as it were in the circumference, and thus can be easily cast out. Very different however is the case with those who are not in the good of life, for with them the falsities which by a wrong interpretation they have hatched from the Word hold as it were the middle or center, and truths the surroundings or circumferences; and therefore falsities are adjoined to the evil of their life and truths are dispersed.GENESIS 26:22-23 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|