Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 26:8-9
AC 3389. Verses 8, 9. And it came to pass, because the days were there prolonged to him, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out through a window, and saw, and behold Isaac was laughing with Rebekah his woman. And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Surely behold she is thy woman, and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her. "And it came to pass, because the days were there prolonged to him," signifies a state of reception; "that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out through a window, and saw," signifies the doctrine of faith looking to rational things in knowledges; "and behold Isaac was laughing with Rebekah his woman," signifies that Divine good was present in Divine truth "and Abimelech called Isaac, and said," signifies the Lord’s perception from doctrine " Surely behold she is thy woman, and how saidst thou, She is my sister?" signifies if Divine truth, it was not also rational "and Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her,"signifies that it would not be received.
AC 3390. And it came to pass, because the days were there prolonged to him That this signifies a state of reception, is evident from the signification of "being prolonged there to him," namely, to Isaac, as being that when the Divine good which is represented by Isaac was there for some time, truth was received, for in the internal sense the reception of truth by the spiritual is treated of; and from the signification of "days" as being states (n. 23, 487, 488, 493, 893, 2788).
AC 3391. And Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out through a window, and saw. That this signifies the doctrine of faith looking to rational things in knowledges, is evident From the representation of Abimelech, as being the doctrine of faith that looks to rational things (n. 2504, 2509, 2510, 2533) from the signification of king of the Philistines," as being doctrinal things (n. 3365) and from the signification of a window," as being the intellectual faculty (n. 655, 658), consequently the internal sight, for this was formerly signified by "windows." This to "look out through a window" is to perceive those things which appear by means of the internal sight, which in general are knowledges such as are of the external man. Rational things, or what is the same, appearances of truth, that is, truths spiritual, are not knowledges, but are in knowledges, for they belong to the rational, thus to the internal man, and it is the internal man which looks to the things of the external man, thus to truths in knowledges. For as knowledges are of the natural man, they are vessels that receive rational things. Truths Divine flow into the rational, and through this into the natural, and in this latter are exhibited as an image of many things in a mirror, (n. 3368).
 That " windows" signify the things of the internal sight that is, of the understanding which in one word are called intellectual things, is evident from those passages of the Word which were adduced in (n. 655); and further from the following. In Joel:--
They shall run to and fro in the city, they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up into the houses, they shall enter in by the windows as a thief (Joel 2:9)
speaking of the evils and falsities of the last days of the church "climbing up into the houses" denotes destroying the goods of the will. "House" denotes the goods of the will (n. 710, 2233, 2334); and "entering in by the windows" denotes destroying truths and their knowledges which are of the understanding. In Zephaniah:--
Jehovah will stretch out His hands upon the north, and destroy Asshur; herds shall lie down in the midst of her; every wild animal of his kind both the pelican and the osprey, shall pass the night in the pomegranates thereof; a voice shall sing in the windows, drought shall be upon the threshold, because he hath laid bare the cedar (Zephaniah 2:13, 14)
where the destruction of the truths of faith by reasonings, which are " Asshur," is treated of (n. 119, 1186); that a "voice shall sing in the windows" signifies the desolation of truth, thus of the intellectual faculty as to truth.
 In the book of Judges:--
Through the window she looked forth, and the mother of Sisera cried through the lattice, Why is his chariot so long in coming? (Judges 5:28)
this is the prophecy of Deborah and Barak concerning the resuscitation of a spiritual church; "looking forth through a window" denotes through the reasonings of those who deny truths and thus destroy what is of the church; for such reasonings are intellectual things in the opposite sense. In Jeremiah:--
Woe unto him that buildeth his house without righteousness, and his chambers without judgment that saith I will build me a roomy house and spacious chambers and cutteth him out windows and it is ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion (Jeremiah 22:13, 14)
"building a house without righteousness, and chambers without judgment" denotes building up a religious system from what is not good and not true. "Righteousness and judgment" are good and truth (n. 2235); "cutting him out windows and ceiling with cedar, and painting with vermilion," denotes falsifying intellectual and spiritual truths. The windows of the temple at Jerusalem represented nothing but that which belongs to intellectual and thus to spiritual things. The like is signified by the windows of the new temple described in (Ezekiel 40:16, 22, 25, 33, 36; 41:16, 26); for anyone can see that in this Prophet the new temple, the new Jerusalem, and the new earth, are nothing else than the Lord‘s kingdom; thus that the things mentioned in regard to them are such as belong to His kingdom.
AC 3392. And behold Isaac was laughing with Rebekah his woman. That this signifies that Divine good was present in Divine truth, or that Divine good was adjoined to Divine truth, is evident from the representation of Isaac, as being the Divine good of the Lord’s rational (n. 3012, 3194, 3210); from the signification of "laughing," as being the love or affection of truth (n. 2072, 2216); and from the representation of Rebekah, as being the Divine truth of the Lord‘s rational (n. 3012, 3013, 3077). Hence it is evident that "Isaac laughing with Rebekah his woman" signifies that Divine good was present with Divine truth. The sense of the words in the series is that at first spiritual truth is received for the reason that it is called Divine; and afterwards because the Divine is in it, which is clearly seen by those who are being regenerated and are becoming men of the spiritual church. These are they who are meant by "Abimelech;" that is, who are in the doctrine of faith, and look to truths in knowledges (n. 3391).
AC 3393. And Abimelech called Isaac, and said. That this signifies the Lord’s perception from doctrine, is evident from the representation of Abimelech, as being the doctrine that looks to rational things (n. 2504, 2509, 2510, 2533, 3391); and from the representation of Isaac, as being the Lord‘s Divine rational; and from the signification of "saying," as being to perceive (n. 1898, 1919, 2080, 2862). And as "Abimelech" signifies that doctrine in which the Divine was now perceived (n. 3392), therefore by Abimelech is also represented the Lord as to that doctrine. For in the supreme sense all things in the Word in both general and particular have relation to the Lord; and the Lord is doctrine itself, that is, the Word, not only as to the supreme sense therein, but also as to the internal sense, and even as to the literal sense, for this sense is representative and significative of the internal sense, and the internal sense is representative and significative of the supreme sense; and that which in the Word is representative and significative is in its essence that which is represented and signified, thus it is the Divine of the Lord; for a representative is nothing but an image of him who is represented and is in an image the Lord Himself presented to view. This may be seen from man’s speech, and also from his gesture, these being merely images of the things which come forth within the man, in his thought and will; so that the speech and gesture are the thought and will in form; for if you take away from them the thought and will, that which is left is a mere inanimate affair, thus nothing human. This shows how the case is with the Word, even in the letter, namely, that it is Divine.
AC 3394. Surely behold she is thy woman, and how saidst thou, She is my sister? That this signifies that if Divine truth it was not also rational, is evident from the signification of "woman," here Rebekah, as being the Divine truth of the Lord‘s Divine rational (n. 3012, 3013, 3077); and from the signification of "sister," as being rational truth (n. 3386); thus "behold she is thy woman, and how saidst thou, She is my sister?" signifies that because truth is Divine, it cannot be rational.
 With this arcanum the case is this: The spiritual, not having perception as the celestial have, do not know that with a regenerated man Divine truth becomes rational truth. They do indeed say that all good and all truth are from the Lord; yet as these come forth in their rational, they suppose them to be their own, and thus as it were from themselves; for the spiritual cannot be separated from their own, and their own so wills it; although as regards this matter with the celestial, these perceive Divine good and truth in the rational, that is, in the rational things which when enlightened by the Divine of the Lord are appearances of truth (n. 3368), even in the natural, that is, in the things of sense and memory-knowledge; and as the celestial are in such a state, they are able to acknowledge that all good and truth flow in from the Lord; and also that there is a perceptive power of good and truth that is communicated and appropriated to them by the Lord, and that constitutes their delight, bliss, and happiness. It was from this that the most ancient people, who were celestial men, in all the objects which they saw with their eyes perceived nothing but celestial and spiritual things (n. 1409).
 Inasmuch as the regenerated spiritual man is here treated of, who through regeneration from the Lord has received Divine good in a new will, and Divine truth in a new understanding; and inasmuch as such persons are in no other perception than that, as before said, if truth were rational it could not be Divine, thus that if it were Divine it would have nothing in common with what is rational, therefore it is here said that if it was Divine truth it was not also rational. This likewise is the reason why such persons are desirous that the things of faith should be believed in simplicity, without any mental view of them on the part of the rational, not being aware that not anything of faith, not even its deepest secret, is comprehended by any man without some rational idea, and also a natural one, but of what quality he does not know (n. 3310). Hereby they may indeed protect themselves against those who reason about everything from what is negative as to whether it is so (n. 2568, 2588). But to those who are in the affirmative concerning the Word (namely, that it is to be believed) such a position is hurtful, as they may thus take away from anyone his freedom of thought, and even bind the conscience to that which is in the highest degree heretical by in this way dominating both the internal and the external things of a man. This and also the above is what is signified by Abimelech’s saying to Isaac, "Behold she is thy woman, and how saidst thou, She is my sister?"
AC 3395. And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, lest I die for her. That this signifies that it would not be received, is evident from what has been said above (n. 3387), at the words, "because he feared to say, She is my woman; lest the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah." That to "say" signifies to perceive and to think, is better seen here than elsewhere. GENESIS 26:8-9 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|