Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 26:6-7
AC 3383. Verses 6, 7. And Isaac dwelt in Gerar. And the men of the place asked him concerning his woman; and he said, She is my sister, because he feared to say, She is my woman; lest the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was good to look upon. "And Isaac dwelt in Gerar," signifies the Lord‘s state in regard to the things of faith relatively to the rational things that were to be adjoined; "and the men of the place asked him concerning his woman," signifies the investigations of men concerning Divine truth; "and he said, She is my sister," signifies rational truth "because he feared to say, She is my woman; lest the men of the place should kill me for the sake of Rebekah," signifies that he could not open Divine truths themselves, for thus Divine good would not be received; "because she was good to look upon," signifies that it may easily he received from its being called Divine.
AC 3384. And Isaac dwelt in Gerar. That this signifies the Lord’s state in regard to the things of faith relatively to the rational things that were to be adjoined, is evident from the signification of "dwelling in Gerar," as being to be in the things which are of faith; thus the state in regard to these things; for "to dwell" signifies to live (n. 1293), and Gerar" signifies the things which are of faith, (n. 1209, 2504, 3365)-and from the representation of Isaac, as being the Lord as to the Divine rational (n. 1893, 2066, 2072, 2083, 2630). That it is relatively to the rational things that were to be adjoined, is evident from what goes before and from what follows; for in this whole chapter these things are treated of, namely, the rational things which when enlightened by the Divine of the Lord are appearances of truth.
 That "to dwell" denotes to be and to live, thus the state, is evident from many passages in the Word. As in David:--
I will dwell in the house of Jehovah for length of days (Ps. 23:6).
One thing have I asked of Jehovah, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of Jehovah all the days of my life (Ps. 27:4).
He that worketh deceit shall not dwell in the midst of My house (Ps. 101:7)
where "dwelling in the house of Jehovah" denotes being and living in the good of love, for this is the "house of Jehovah." In Isaiah:--
They that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined (Isa. 9:2)
"they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death" denotes the state of those who are in ignorance of good and truth. Again:--
Babel shall not he inhabited forever (Isa. 13:20)
denoting the state of damnation of those who are "Babel."
O Jehovah God of Israel that inhabitest the cherubim (Isa. 37:16)
O shepherd of Israel inhabiting the cherubim, shine forth (Ps. 80:1)
"to inhabit the cherubim" is the Lord as to a state of providence, lest anyone should enter into the holy things of love and faith unless prepared by the Lord (n. 308). In David:--
In face will I both lay me down and sleep, for Thou Jehovah alone makest me dwell in safety (Ps. 4:8)
"to make to dwell in safety" signifies a state of peace. In Jeremiah:--
O thou that dwellest upon many waters, great in treasures, thine end is come, the measure of thy gain (Jer. 51:13)
concerning Babel; "dwelling upon many waters" denotes being in knowledges concerning truth.
 In Daniel:--
God Himself revealeth the deep and secret things, He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him (Daniel 2:22)
where "dwelling" denotes being. Again in the same Prophet Under that tree the beast of the field had shadow, and the fowls of heaven dwelt in the branches thereof (Daniel 4:12). And in Ezekiel:--
Under its branches all the wild beast of the field brought forth, and in its shadow dwelt all great nations (Ezek. 31:6)
where "dwelling" denotes being and living. In Hosea:--
The threshing-floor and the wine-press shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail her. They shall not dwell in the land of Jehovah but Ephraim shall retain to Egypt (Hosea 9:2, 3)
"not to dwell in the land of Jehovah" denotes not to be in a state of the good of love, consequently not in the Lord‘s kingdom.
AC 3385. And the men of the place asked him concerning his woman. This signifies the investigations of men concerning Divine truth, which is evident from the signification of "asking," as being to investigate; and from the signification of the "men of the place," namely, Gerar, as being those who are in the doctrinal things of faith. "Gerar" signifies the things of faith, (n. 1209, 2504); thus the "men of the place" are men of such a state; and from the signification of "woman," who here is Rebekah, as being the Divine truth of the Lord’s Divine rational (n. 3012, 3013, 3077). In what proceeds, the appearances of truth have been treated of, in that they come forth by means of Divine influx from the Lord into man‘s rational things; and the subject here treated of is the reception of these appearances; first by those who are in the doctrinal things of faith, and who are meant by the "men of the place," or of Gerar, and are of the first class of those who are called the spiritual; for as the spiritual have not perception, like the celestial, and are comparatively in obscurity (n. 1043, 2088, 2669, 2708, 2715, 2718, 2831, 3235, 3241, 3246), they investigate whether a thing be so, and also whether it is Divine truth; and as they have no perception as to whether it is so, there is given them what appears like truth, and this according to their rational, that is, according to their apprehension, for in this way it is received. Each person is permitted to believe truths as he apprehends them; otherwise there would be no reception, because no acknowledgment. This is the subject now treated of.
AC 3386. And he said, She is my sister. That this signifies rational truth, is evident from the signification of "sister," as being rational truth (n. 1495, 2508, 2524, 2556). By rational truth is meant that which appears as true according to the apprehension, or before the rational, as just said. The arcanum that Isaac said that Rebekah was his sister; as Abraham had before said that Sarah was his sister, first in Egypt (Gen. 12:11-13, 19), and afterwards in Gerar (Gen. 20:2, 5, 12), involves what is much the same, as may be seen from the explication of the former passages; and as the same thing occurred three times, and is three times related in the Word, it is evident that there is in it an arcanum of the greatest moment, which can never be known to anyone except from the internal sense; but what the arcanum is, appears from what follows.
AC 3387. Because he feared to say, She is my woman; lest the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah. That this signifies that He could not open Divine truths themselves, because thus Divine good would not be received, is evident from the signification of "fearing to say," as being not to be able to open; from the signification of "woman," who here is Rebekah, as being the Lord’s Divine rational as to Divine truth (n. 3012, 3013, 3077) from the signification of "slaying me," as being that good is not received, for by Isaac, who here is "me," is represented the Divine good of the Lord‘s rational (n. 3012, 3194, 3210), for good is said to be slain, or to perish, when it is not received, because with him who does not receive it, it is nullified; and from the signification of the "men of the place," as being those who are in the doctrinal things of faith (n. 3385). From all this it now appears what is the internal sense of these words, namely, that if Divine truths themselves were to be opened, they would not he received by those who are in the doctrinal things of faith, because they surpass all their rational apprehension, thus all their belief, and consequently nothing of good from the Lord could flow in. For good from the Lord, or Divine good, can inflow solely into truths, because truths are the vessels of good, as often shown.
 Truths or appearances of truth are given man to the intent that Divine good may be able to form his understanding, and thus the man himself. For truths exist to the end that good may flow in; for without vessels or receptacles good finds no place, because it finds no state corresponding to itself; and therefore where there are no truths, or where they are not received, there is no rational or human good, consequently the man has no spiritual life. In order therefore that man may nevertheless have truths, and thereby have spiritual life, appearances of truth are given to every one according to his apprehension; which appearances are acknowledged as truths, because they are such that Divine things can be in them.
 In order that it may be known what appearances are, and that they are such things as serve man instead of truths Divine, let us take examples for illustration. If it should be said that in heaven there is no idea of place, thus none of distance, but that instead of these there are ideas of state, this could not possibly be apprehended by man, for this would cause him to believe that there nothing is distinct, but that everything is confused, that is, all in one, or together; when yet all things there are so distinct that nothing can he more so. The places, distances, and spaces, which exist in nature, are in heaven states, (n. 3356). Hence it is manifest that whatever is said in the Word concerning places and spaces, and from them and by means of them, is an appearance of truth; and unless it were said by means of such appearances, it would not be received at all, consequently would be scarcely anything; for so long as he is in the world, that is, in space and time, the idea of space and of time is within almost everything of man’s thought, both in general and in particular.
 That the language of the Word is according to appearances of space appears from almost everything in it; as in Matthew:--
Jesus asked them saying, How then doth David say, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand till I make Thine enemies Thy foot stool (Matthew 22:43, 44)
where to "sit on the right hand" comes from the idea of place, thus according to appearance, when nevertheless what is here described is the state of the Lord‘s Divine power. Again:--
Jesus said, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming upon the clouds of heaven (Matthew 26:64)
here in like manner "sitting on the right hand," and also "coming upon the clouds," are derived from the idea of place with men; hut with angels the idea is of the Lord’s power. In Mark:--
The sons of Zebedee said to Jesus, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on Thy right hand, and the other on Thy left hand, in Thy glory. Jesus answered, To sit on My right hand, and on My left, is not Mine to give, except to those for whom it hath been prepared (Mark 10:37, 40).
From this it is manifest what sort of an idea the disciples had concerning the Lord‘s kingdom, namely, that it was to sit on His right hand and or, His left; and because they had such an idea, the Lord also answered them according to their apprehension, thus according to what appeared to them.
 In David:--
He is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run his course. His going forth is from the end of the heavens and His circuit unto the ends of it (Ps. 19:5, 6)
speaking of the Lord, whose state of Divine power is here described by such things as are of space. In Isaiah:--
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the dawning! Thou saidst in thine heart, I will ascend into the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of heaven; I will ascend above the heights of the cloud (Isa. 14:12, 14)
where "falling form heaven," "ascending into the heavens," "exalting the throne above the stars of heaven," "ascending above the heights of the cloud," all of which are expressions descriptive of the love of self profaning holy things, are all derived from the idea and appearance of space or place. Inasmuch as celestial and spiritual things are presented before man by means of such things as appear to men, and in accordance with such things, therefore heaven is also described as being on high, when yet it is not on high, but is in what is internal (n. 450, 1380, 2148).
AC 3388. Because she was good to look upon. That this signifies that it might he easily received from its being called Divine, is evident from the signification of "good to look upon," as being that which pleases by its form, thus what is easily received. Those are here treated of who are in the doctrinal things of faith, and have no perception of truth from good, but only a conscience of truth from having been so taught by parents and masters. These are they who are called the "men of the place," or of Gerar (n. 3385, 3387). With such persons the first of confirmation of truth is that it is called Divine, for then they at once have an idea of what is holy, which gives a universal confirmation to everything that is stated, eve" if they do not comprehend it. But still what is stated must be adapted to their apprehension for it is not sufficient for a man to know that a thing is; he also desires to know what it is, and what is its nature, in order that he may therein find some confirmation for his intellectual part, and from this again in turn. If this be not the case, a thing may indeed be induced on the memory; but it does not remain there otherwise than as a dead thing, or as a mere sound; and unless confirmatory things from some source or other have fixed it in the memory, it is dissipated like the remembrance of some mere thing of sound. GENESIS 26:6-7 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
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