Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 27:11-13
AC 3524. Verses 11-13. And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. Peradventure my father will feel me, and I shall be in his eyes as a misleader; and I shall bring upon myself a curse and not a blessing. And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son; only hearken to my voice, and go, take for me. "And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother," signifies the Lord‘s perception from Divine truth concerning natural truth "behold Esau my brother is a hairy man," signifies the quality of natural good relatively; "and I am a smooth man," signifies the quality of natural truth relatively "peradventure my father will feel me," signifies the inmost degree of perception; "and I shall be in his eyes as a misleader," signifies rejection, because apparently contrary to order; "and I shall bring upon myself a curse, and not a blessing," signifies disjunction; "and his mother said unto him," signifies perception from Divine truth; "upon me be thy curse, my son," signifies that there would be no disjunction; "only hearken unto my voice, and go, take for me," signifies from the effect.
AC 3525. And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother. That this signifies the Lord’s perception from Divine truth concerning natural truth, is evident from the signification of "saying," in the historicals of the Word, as being to perceive (n. 3509); from the representation of Jacob, as being natural truth (n. 3305); and from the representation of Rebekah, as being the Divine truth of the Lord‘s Divine rational (n. 3012, 3013, 3077). That perception from Divine truth concerning natural truth is signified, and not perception from natural truth concerning Divine truth, according to the appearance from the sense of the letter, is because all the observation the natural exercises is from the rational; here therefore, because predicated of the Lord, the signification is "from the Divine truth of the Divine rational."
AC 3526. Behold Esau my brother is a hairy man. That this signifies the quality of natural good relatively, is evident from the signification of "Esau," as being the good of the natural (n. 3494, 3504); and from the signification of "a hairy man," as being the quality of this good. That "hairy" signifies the natural in especial as to truth, may be seen above (n. 3301), and from what now follows.
AC 3527. And I am a smooth man. That this signifies the quality of natural truth relatively, is evident from the representation of Jacob who is here speaking, as being the natural as to truth (n. 3305) and from the signification of a "smooth man," as being its quality, concerning which something shall now be said. Before it can be known what these things signify, it must be known what is meant by "hairy," and what by "smooth." The interiors in man present themselves in a kind of image in his exteriors, especially in his face and its expression; at the present day his inmosts are not seen there, but his interiors are in some measure seen there, unless from infancy he has learned to dissemble, for in this case he assumes to himself as it were another lower mind, and consequently induces on himself another countenance; for it is the lower mind that appears in the face. More than others, hypocrites have acquired this from actual life, thus from habit; and this the more in proportion as they are deceitful. With those who are not hypocrites, rational good appears in the face from a certain fire of life and rational truth from the light of this fire. Man knows these things from a certain connate knowledge, without study; for it is the life of his spirit as to good and as to truth which thus manifests itself; and because man is a spirit clothed with a body, he has such knowledge from the perception of his spirit, thus from himself; and this is the reason why a man is sometimes affected with the countenance of another although this is not from the countenance, but from the mind which thus shines forth. But the natural appears in the face in a more obscure fire of life, and a more obscure light of life; and the corporeal hardly appears at all except in the warmth and fairness of the complexion, and in the change of their states according to the affections.
 Because the interiors thus manifest themselves in especial in the face, as in an image, the most ancient people who were celestial men and utterly ignorant of dissimulation, much more of hypocrisy and deceit, were able to see the minds of one another conspicuous in the face as in a form; and therefore by the "face" were signified the things of the will and of the understanding; that is, interior rational things as to good and truth (n. 358, 1999, 2434) and in fact interior things as to good by the blood and its redness and interior things as to truths by the resultant form and its fairness; but interior natural things by the outgrowths thence, such as the hairs and the scales of the skin, namely, the things from the natural as to good by the hairs, and the things from the natural as to truth by the scales. Consequently they who were in natural good were called "hairy men," but they who were in natural truth, "smooth men." From these considerations it may be seen what is signified in the internal sense by the words, "Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man," namely, the quality relatively to one another of natural good and natural truth. From all this it is evident what Esau represents, namely, the good of the natural, for he was called "Esau" from being hairy (Gen. 25:25), and "Edom" from being ruddy (Gen. 25:30). Mount Seir, where he dwelt, has the same meaning, namely, what is hairy; and because it had this meaning there was a mountain by which they went up to Seir that was called the bare or smooth mountain (Josh. 11:17; 12:7); which was also representative of truth ascending to good.
 That "hairy" is predicated of good, and thence of truth, and also in the opposite sense of evil, and thence of falsity, was shown above (n. 3301); but that "smooth" is predicated of truth, and in the opposite sense of falsity, is evident also from the following passages in the Word. In Isaiah:--
Ye that inflame yourselves with gods under every green tree in the smooth things of the valley is thy portion (Isa. 57:5, 6);
where "inflaming" is predicated of evil; and the "smooth things of the valley," of falsity. Again:--
The workman strengthens the smelter, him that smooths with the hammer along with the beating on the anvil, saying to the joint, It is good (Isa. 41:7);
where the "workman strengthening the smelter" is predicated of evil; and "smoothing with the hammer," of falsity. In David:--
They make thy mouth smooth as butter; when his heart approacheth his words are softer than oil (Psalms 55:21);
where a "smooth or flattering mouth" is predicated of falsity; and the "heart and its soft things," of evil. Again:--
Their throat is an open sepulchre, they speak smooth things with their tongue (Ps. 5:9);
"the throat an open sepulchre" is predicated of evil; "the tongue speaking smooth things," of falsity. In Luke:--
Every valley shall be filled up and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places level ways (Luke 3:5);
where "valley" denotes what is lowly (n. 1723, 3417); "mountain and hill," what is lifted up (n. 1691); "the crooked become straight," the evil of ignorance turned into good, for "length" and what belongs thereto are predicated of good (n. 1613); the "rough places made level ways," the falsities of ignorance turned into truths. "Way" is predicated of truth, (n. 627, 2333).
AC 3528. Peradventure my father will feel me. That this signifies the inmost degree of perception, is evident from the signification of "feeling," and thus of being sensible, as being the inmost and the all of perception and from the signification of "father," as being good, here, Divine good, because the Lord is treated of. That "to feel at" signifies the inmost and the all of perception is because all sensation has relation to the sense of touch, and this is derived and comes forth from what is perceptive for sensation is nothing else than external perception, and perception is nothing else than internal sensation. What perception is, may be seen above (n. 104, 371, 495, 503, 521, 536, 1383-1398, 1616, 1919, 2145, 2171, 2831). Moreover all sensation and all perception, which appear so various, are referable to one common and universal sense, namely, the sense of touch; the varieties, such as taste, smell, hearing, and sight, which are external sensations, being nothing but different kinds of touch that originate from internal sensation, that is, from perception. This can be confirmed by much experience, and will of the Lord’s Divine mercy be shown in its own place. From this it is evident that in the internal sense "to feel at" signifies the inmost and the all of perception. Moreover all perception, which is internal sensation, comes forth from good, but not from truth, except from good through truth; for the Lord‘s Divine life flows into good, and through good into truth, and thus produces perception. From this it can be seen what is signified by "peradventure my father will feel me," namely, the inmost and the all of perception from good, thus from the Lord’s Divine.
AC 3529. And I shall be in his eyes as a misleader. That this signifies rejection because apparently contrary to order, is evident from the signification of "being in his eyes," as being to be observed as to quality; for by the "eye" is signified the observation of the internal sight (n. 212, 2701, 2789, 2829, 3198, 3202); and from the signification of "misleading" or of "a misleader," as being contrary to order; here, apparently (all misleading is nothing else) and from this there would be rejection. But what is signified by "apparently contrary to order," will appear from what follows.
AC 3530. And I shall bring upon me a curse and not a blessing. That this signifies disjunction, is evident from the signification of a "curse," as being disjunction, or a turning away from good (n. 245, 379, 1423); and from the signification of a "blessing," as being conjunction with good (n. 3504, 3514).
AC 3531. And his mother said unto him. That this signifies perception from Divine truth, is evident from the signification of "saying," as being to perceive, concerning which often above; and from the representation of Rebekah, here the "mother," as being the Divine truth of the Lord‘s Divine rational (n. 3012, 3013).
AC 3532. Upon me be thy curse, my son. That this signifies that there would he no disjunction, is evident from the signification of a "curse," as being disjunction (n. 3530) and because the perception was from the Divine (n. 3531), it signifies that there should be no disjunction.
AC 3533. Only hearken to my voice, and go, take for me. That this signifies from the effect, is evident from the signification of "hearkening to a voice," as being to obey; and from the signification of "going and taking for me," as being to do; and because this was said to the natural as to truth (represented by Jacob) by the rational as to truth, here the Divine rational (represented by Rebekah), therefore nothing else is signified than from the effect;" for the natural sees from the effect, but the rational sees from the cause. GENESIS 27:11-13 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|