Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 27:21-23
AC 3557. Verses 21-23. And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near I pray, and I will feel thee my son, whether thou be my very son Esau, or not. And Jacob came near to Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. And he recognized him not, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau‘s hands; and he blessed him. "And Isaac said unto Jacob," signifies perception concerning this natural; come near I pray, and I will feel thee my son," signifies inmost perception from presence; "whether thou be my very son Esau, or not," signifies that it was not natural good; "and Jacob came near to Isaac his father,"signifies a state of presence; "and he felt him," signifies thence all perception; "and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau," signifies that in this case the intellectual part is of truth which is within, but the will part is of good which is without, thus they are of inverted order; "and he recognized him not, because his hands were hairy as his brother Esau‘s hands," signifies that from the will part that was without it was perceived that it was natural good; " and he blessed him," signifies the consequent conjunction.
AC 3558. And Isaac said unto Jacob. That this signifies perception concerning this natural, is evident from the signification of "saying," as being to perceive, concerning which above and from the representation of Jacob as being the natural as to truth, here only the natural, because he also represented apparently, or in an external form simulated, Esau; thus also the natural as to good, which is Esau, and likewise his hunting, which is the truth that is of that good (n. 3501). The reason why "he said" is so often repeated, is also because what is new thus begins, or a new perception (n. 2061, 2238, 2260).
AC 3559. Come near I pray, and I will feel thee my son. That this signifies inmost perception from presence, is evident from the signification of "coming near," as being presence and from the signification of "feeling," as being an inmost and complete perception (n. 3528).
AC 3560. Whether thou be my very son Esau, or not. That this signifies that it was not natural good, is evident from the doubt expressed in these words and in those which presently follow; and as it is the rational which perceives what and of what quality the natural is, there is signified a perception that it was not natural good, or Esau.
AC 3561. And Jacob came near to Isaac his father. That this signifies a state of presence, is evident from what goes before.
AC 3562. And he felt him. That this signifies all perception, is evident from the signification of "feeling," as being an inmost and complete perception (n. 3528, 3559), here, all perception, because the perception of all things is from that which is inmost, that is, they who are in inmost perception are in the perception of all things which are beneath; for the things which are beneath are nothing but derivations and compositions therefrom, inasmuch as the inmost is the all in all of the things beneath it; for unless whatever is beneath is from things interior or what is the same, from things superior, as an effect from its efficient cause, it does not come into existence. And this shows why the end makes a man happy or unhappy in the other life; for the end is the inmost of every cause, insomuch that unless the end is in the cause, nay, unless it is the all thereof, the cause is not; and in like manner the end is the inmost of every effect, for the effect is from such cause; and because this is so, whatever pertains to man derives its being from the end which is in him, and hence in the other life his state is such as is his end (n. 1317, 1568, 1571, 1645, 1909, 3425). From this it may be seen that as feeling signifies inmost perception, it therefore signifies all perception.
AC 3563. And said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. That this signifies that in this case the intellectual part is of truth which is within, but that the will part is of good which is without, thus that they are of inverted order, is evident from the predication of "voice" as being of truth, and from the predication of "hand" as being of good. "Voice" is predicated of truth, (n. 219, 220); and from its being said, "the voice is Jacob‘s voice," by whom is represented natural truth. And the reason why "hand" is predicated of good is that by "hand" is signified power and faculty (n. 878, 3541), which is derived from no other source than good, all the power and faculty of truth being therefrom, although it appears to be from truth; the same is evident also from its being said, "the hands are the hands of Esau," by whom good is represented, as also has been shown above. That these things are of inverted order is evident from the fact that it is according to order for good which is of the will to be within, and for truth which is of the understanding to be without. However, as before said, these things are such that they cannot be so well set forth to the apprehension, because few are in any knowledge concerning such things for even if they should be most clearly set forth, yet when knowledge is wanting they are not apprehended and yet it is necessary to state how the case is, because this is the subject here treated of.
 The good of the natural comes forth from no other source in man than interior good, that is, from the good of the rational; that the natural has good from no other source, is evident; but the influx causes the good in the natural to be such as the natural is; and as this is the only source of the good of the natural, the truth of the natural is from the same source; for where good is, there is truth, both being necessary in order that there may be anything; but the influx causes the truth therein to be such as is that into which it flows. The influx takes place in this way: The good of the rational flows into the natural in two ways through the shortest way, into the good itself of the natural, thus immediately and through the good of the natural into the truth there; this good and this truth are what is represented by Esau and his hunting. The good of the rational also flows into the natural by a way less short, namely, through the truth of the rational, and by this influx forms something like good, but it is truth.
 It is according to order that the good of the rational should inflow into the good of the natural and at the same time into its truth, immediately; and also through the truth, of the rational into the good of the natural, thus mediately; and in like manner into the truth of the natural both immediately and mediately; and when this is the ease, then the influx is according to order. Such influx exists with those who have been regenerated but as before said there is another influx before they have been regenerated, namely, that the good of the rational does not flow immediately into the good of the natural, hut mediately through the truth of the rational, and thus presents something like good in the natural, but which is not genuine good, and consequently not genuine truth; yet it is such that inmostly it really has good from the influx through the truth of the rational; but no further. Therefore also good comes forth there under another form, namely, outwardly like the good which is represented by Esau, but inwardly like the truth which is represented by Jacob; and as this is not according to order, it is said to be of inverted order; but yet in respect to the fact that man can be regenerated in no other way, it is according to order.
 I am aware that these things, even though clearly stated, and consequently possible of clear perception on the part of those who are in the knowledge of such things, are yet obscure to those who do not know what influx is; and still more so to those who do not know that the rational is distinct from the natural; and still more so to those who have not any distinct idea about good and truth. But what the quality of natural good is, and of natural truth, in the state previous to regeneration, can appear solely from the affections at that time. When man is affected with truth, not for the sake of ends of life, but for the sake of other ends, such as that he may become learned, and this from a certain affection of emulation, or from a certain affection of childish envy, and also from a certain affection of glory; then are the good of the natural and the truth of the natural in such an order as is here represented by Jacob, consequently relatively to each other they are in inverted order; that is, the will part which is of good is without, and the intellectual part which is of truth is within.
 But in the state after regeneration it is otherwise; for then man is not only affected with truth for the sake of ends of life, but still more is he affected with the good itself of life and the former affections, namely those of emulation, of childish envy, and of glory, separate themselves, and this until it appears as if they were dissipated; for then the good which is of the will is within, and the truth which is of the understanding is without; yet still in such a manner that truth acts as a one with good, because from good. This order is genuine and the former order tends to the forming of this order, inasmuch as the will part, which is then without, admits many things that are serviceable to regeneration, and is like a sponge that absorbs both clear and muddy waters thus also it admits things that would otherwise be rejected, which yet serve as means, and also for forming ideas about goods and truths, and for other uses.
AC 3564. And he recognized him not, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands. That this signifies that from the will part which was without it was perceived that it was natural good, is evident from the fact that he did not recognize Jacob to be Jacob, that is, the truth which Jacob represents but he perceived Esau, that is, the natural good which was without and this because of the influx spoken of above (n. 3563), for between interior good and exterior good there is communication because there is parallelism (n. 1831, 1832, 3514) but not between good and truth, unless the influx of good into truth is such as has been described just above.
AC 3565. And he blessed him. That this signifies the consequent conjunction, is evident from the signification of being blessed," as being conjunction (n. 3504, 3514, 3530); but in this state the conjunction was no other than that which was described above (n. 3563). With the truth represented by Jacob there was inmost conjunction, but not mediate conjunction; thus through the end which is the inmost good, and which was that thus and no otherwise it could be effected. When there is this end, then for the first time there is a conjunction of the inmost things with the outermost; mediate conjunction comes successively, and is produced by the end; for in the end lies concealed all the progression, inasmuch as the Lord acts through the ends, and through then successively disposes the intermediate things into order; from which comes the conjunction which is signified by Isaac blessing Jacob. GENESIS 27:21-23 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|