Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 27:26-29
AC 3571. Verses 26-29. And Isaac his father said unto him, Come near I pray, and kiss me my son. And he came near, and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his garments, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which Jehovah hath blessed. And God shall give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fat things of the earth, and a multitude of corn and new wine. Peoples shall serve thee, and peoples shall bow down themselves to thee. Be thou a master to thy brethren, and let thy mother‘s sons bow down themselves to thee; cursed are they that curse thee, and blessed are they that bless thee. "And Isaac his father said unto him, Come near I pray," signifies a degree of perception still more interior "and kiss me my son," signifies whether it can be united; "and he came near, and kissed him," signifies presence and unition; "and he smelled the smell of his garments," signifies that which was grateful from the truth of good which he perceived; "and blessed him," signifies conjunction thus; "and said, See, the smell of my son," signifies that which was grateful from the truth of good; "is as the smell of a field," signifies as from good ground out of which is truth; "which Jehovah hath blessed," signifies that it is multiplied and made fruitful from the Divine; "and God shall give thee of the dew of heaven," signifies from Divine truth; "and of the fat things of the earth," signifies from Divine good "and a multitude of corn," signifies the derivative natural good; "and new wine," signifies the derivative natural truth; "peoples shall serve thee," signifies the truths of the church, or spiritual churches; "and peoples shall bow down themselves to thee," signifies the truths of good; "Be thou a master to thy brethren," signifies the dominion at first appearing to be that of the affection of natural truth over the affections of natural good; "and let thy mother’s sons bow down themselves to thee," signifies over all other affections of truth; "cursed are they that curse thee," signifies that he who disjoins himself shall be disjoined "and blessed are they that bless thee," signifies that he who conjoins himself shall be conjoined.
AC 3572. And Isaac his father said unto him, Come near pray. That this signifies a degree of perception still more interior, is evident from the signification of "saying that he should come near," as being a degree of more interior perception from presence; "to come near" has no other signification.
AC 3573. And kiss me my son. That this signifies whether it can be united, is evident from the signification of "kissing;" as being unition and conjunction from affection. "Kissing," which is an outward thing, signifies nothing else than the affection of conjunction which is an inward thing; they also correspond. As is evident from what has been said above, the subject here treated of in the supreme sense is the glorification of the natural in the Lord, that is, how the Lord made the natural in Himself Divine; but in the representative sense the subject is the regeneration of the natural in man, thus the conjunction of the natural with the rational; for the natural is not regenerated until it has been conjoined with the rational. This conjunction is effected by the immediate and mediate influx of the rational into the good and truth of the natural; that is to say, from the good of the rational immediately into the good of the natural, and through this into the truth of the natural; and mediately through the truth of the rational into the truth of the natural, and thence into the good of the natural-which conjunctions are here treated of.
 These conjunctions are impossible except by means provided by the Divine, and indeed by such as are utterly unknown to man, and of which he can scarcely have any idea by means of the things of the world‘s light, that is, which are of the natural lumen with him; but only by means of the things which are of the light of heaven, that is, which are of rational light. Nevertheless all these means have been disclosed in the internal sense of the Word, and are manifest before those who are in that sense, thus before the angels, who see and perceive innumerable things on this subject, of which scarcely one can be unfolded and explained in a manner suited to the apprehension of man.
 But from effects and the signs thereof it is in some measure manifest to man how the case is with this conjunction for the rational mind (that is, man’s interior will and understanding) ought to represent itself in the natural mind just as this mind represents itself in the face and its expressions, insomuch that as the face is the countenance of the natural man, so the natural mind should be the countenance of the rational mind. When the conjunction has been effected, as is the case with those who have been regenerated, then whatever man interiorly wills and thinks in his rational presents itself conspicuously in his natural, and this latter presents itself conspicuously in his face. Such a face have the angels; and such a face had the most ancient people who were celestial men, for they were not at all afraid that others should know their ends and intentions, inasmuch as they willed nothing but good; for he who suffers himself to be led by the Lord never intends or thinks anything else. When the state is of this character, then the rational as to good conjoins itself immediately with the good of the natural, and through this with its truths; and also mediately through the truth that is conjoined with itself in the rational with the truth of the natural, and through this with the good therein; and in this way the conjunction becomes indissoluble.
 But how far man is at this day removed from this state, thus from the heavenly state, may be seen from the fact that it is believed to be of civil prudence to speak, to act, and also to express by the countenance, something else than what one thinks and intends, and even to dispose the natural mind in such a manner that together with its face it may act contrary to the things which it interiorly thinks and wills from an end of evil. To the most ancient people this was an enormous wickedness, and such persons were cast out from their society as devils. From these things, as from effects and their signs, it is evident in what consists the conjunction of the rational or internal of man as to good and truth with his natural or external man; and thus what is the quality of a man-angel, and what the quality of a man-devil.
AC 3574. And he came near, and kissed him. That this signifies presence and unition, is evident from the signification of "coming near," as being presence; and from the signification of "kissing," as being unition or conjunction from affection (n. 3573). That kissing" has this signification is evident also from the following passages in the Word. In David:
Serve Jehovah with fear. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish in the way, for His anger will soon be kindled. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him (Ps. 2:11, 12);
where the Lord is treated of, whose Divine Human is the " Son;" to "kiss Him" is to be conjoined with Him through the faith of love. Again:--
Mercy and truth are met together righteousness and peace have kissed each other (Ps. 85:10);
"righteousness and peace have kissed each other" denotes their conjunction together. In Hosea:--
Ephraim spake horror, and became guilty in Baal and now they sin more and more and have made them a molten image of their silver, even idols in their own intelligence, all of them the work of the craftsmen they say to them, Let the sacrificers of men kiss the calves (Hosea 13:1, 2);
"Ephraim" denotes intelligence, here, man‘s own intelligence, that is, those who believe themselves to be wise, and who desire to be wise, not from the Lord; the "molten image of their silver" denotes good falsified; "all of them the work of the craftsmen" denotes self-intelligence. They who are such are said to "kiss the calves," that is, to embrace magic and to adjoin themselves thereto. In the first book of Kings:--
Jehovah said to Elijah, I have caused to be left seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth that hath not kissed him (1 Kings 19:18);
where "to kiss" denotes to join one’s self from affection, thus to worship.
AC 3575. And he smelled the smell of his garments. That this signifies that which was grateful from the truth of good which he perceived, is evident from the signification of the "smell," as being that which is grateful (n. 925), and of "smelling," as being to perceive that which is grateful; and from the signification of "garments," as being truth (n. 297, 1073, 2576); and because they were Esau‘s, who is here meant by "his," and by Esau is represented the good of the natural, therefore it is the truth of good which is signified. The truth of good is that which is produced in the natural by means of the immediate and mediate influx of the rational (n. 3573); this truth was that which was desired; but because it could not be produced by immediate influx from the good of the rational, unless at the same time by mediate influx (that is, through the truth of the rational); and as this could not be produced except by means of a number of means, which are what are here described by "Esau’ and Jacob" in the internal sense, therefore by "smelling the smell of his garments" is signified the truth of good which was perceived.
AC 3576. And he blessed him. That this signifies conjunction thus, is evident from the signification of "being blessed," as being conjunction (n. 3504, 3514, 3530, 3565). From these particulars which are related concerning Esau and Jacob it is evident that the good of the rational conjoined itself inmostly with the good of the natural, and through the good therein with truth; for Isaac represents the rational as to good; Rebekah, the rational as to truth; Esau, the good of the natural; and Jacob, the truth of it. That the rational as to good, signified by "Isaac," conjoined itself inmostly with the good of the natural; signified by "Esau," and not with the truth of the natural, signified by "Jacob," except mediately, is evident from the fact that Isaac had Esau in mind when he pronounced the blessing on Jacob; nor did he then think of Jacob, but of Esau. He who pronounces a blessing, blesses him of whom he is thinking, and not then him of whom he is not thinking. All the blessing that is uttered with the mouth goes forth from within, and has life in it from the will and thought of him who blesses, and therefore it essentially belongs to him for whom he wills, and of whom he thinks. He who takes it away and thus makes it his own is like one who steals something which should be restored to another. That when Isaac blessed he thought of Esau and not of Jacob, is evident from all that goes before, as from (verses 18 and 19), where Isaac says to Jacob, "Who art thou my son?" and Jacob said unto his father, "I am Esau thy firstborn;" and from (verses 21, 22, and 23), where Isaac said to Jacob, "Come near I pray, and I will feel thee my son, whether thou be my very son Esau, or not;" and after he had felt him, he said, "The voice is Jacob‘s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau, and he recognized him not;" also from (verse 24), "And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am;" and at last when he kissed him, he smelled the smell of his garments," namely, Esau’s and when he then blessed him, he said, "See, the smell of my son;" from all which it is evident that by the son whom he blessed no other was meant than Esau; and therefore also when he heard from Esau that it was Jacob, Isaac shuddered with exceeding great shuddering" (verse 33), "and said, Thy brother came with fraud" (verse 35); but the reason why Jacob retained the blessing, according to what is said in (verses 33 and 37), is that the truth represented by Jacob was apparently to have the dominion for a time, as has been shown several times above.
 But after the time of reformation and regeneration has been completed, then the good itself which had lain inmostly concealed, and from within had disposed each and all things that had appeared to be of truth, or that truth had attributed to itself, comes forth and openly has the dominion. This is signified by what Isaac said to Esau: "By thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother, and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from upon thy neck" (verse 40), the internal sense of which words is that so long as truth is being conjoined with good, good is apparently made to take a lower place; but that it will be in the prior place, and then there will be a conjunction of the rational with the good of the natural, and thereby with the truth; and thus truth will come to be of good; consequently Esau will then represent the good itself of the natural, and Jacob the truth itself thereof, both conjoined with the rational; thus in the supreme sense the Lord‘s Divine natural; Esau, as to the Divine good, and Jacob as to the Divine truth, therein.
AC 3577. As the smell of a field. That this signifies as from good ground out of which comes truth, is evident from the signification of the "smell of a field," as being the perception of truth from good, like the exhalation from the harvest in a field. "Field" denotes good ground, (n. 3500). The reason why "smell" signifies perception, is that the delights of good and the pleasant things of truth which are perceived in the other life, manifest themselves there by corresponding odors (n. 1514, 1517-1519); and from this and also from the correspondences it is evident that smell is nothing else than the perceptive, but the natural perceptive that corresponds to the spiritual perceptive.
AC 3578. Which Jehovah hath blessed. That this signifies that it is multiplied and made fruitful from the Divine, is evident from the signification of "Jehovah blessing," as being to be multiplied as to truth and to be made fruitful as to good (n. 2846, 3406).
AC 3579. And God shall give thee of the dew of heaven. That this signifies from Divine truth, and that of the fat things of the earth signifies from Divine good, is evident from the signification of the "dew of heaven," as being truth; and from the signification of "fat things," as being good (n. 353), both Divine in the supreme sense, in which they are predicated of the Lord. With the multiplication of truth and fructification of good the case is this: When the rational flows into the natural, it there presents its good in a general form; through this good it produces truths therein, almost as the life in man builds up fibers, and disposes them into forms according to uses. This good, through these truths disposed into heavenly order, produces further good; and through this good further truths, which are derivations. Such a natural idea may be had of the formation of truth from good, and further of good through truth, whereby again truth is formed; but a spiritual idea cannot be had except by those who are in the other life, for there ideas are formed from the light of heaven, in which is intelligence.
 That "dew" signifies truth, is evident also from the Word elsewhere, as in Zechariah:--
The seed of peace, the vine shall give her fruit and the earth shall give her produce, and the heavens shall give their dew (Zech. 8:12);
speaking of a new church, where the "vine giving its fruit" denotes the spiritual of the church or the truth of faith, giving good; and the "earth giving its produce," the celestial of the church or the good of charity, giving truth; these are the "dew which the heavens shall give." In Haggai:
Because of Mine house that lieth waste over you the heavens are closed from dew, and the earth is closed from her produce (Haggai 1:9, 10);
where the "dew of the heavens and the produce of the earth," which were restrained, have a like signification.
 In David:--
From the womb of the dawning, thou hast the dew of thy birth (Ps. 110:3);
concerning the Lord the "dew of birth" denoting the celestial of love. In Moses:--
Blessed of Jehovah be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep lying beneath (Deut. 33:13);
concerning Joseph; the " precious things of heaven" are spiritual things (n. 3166), which are signified by dew;" the deep lying beneath" signifies natural things. Again:--
Israel dwelt securely, alone at the fountain of Jacob, in a land of corn and new wine, yea his heavens dropped down dew (Deut. 33:28);
where also the "dew which the heavens dropped" denotes the spiritual things which are of truth.
 In the genuine sense "dew" is the truth of good which is from a state of innocence and peace; for by "morning" or "day-dawn," when the dew descends, are signified these states (n. 2333, 2405, 2540, 2780); hence also the manna which was from heaven was with the dew that descended in the morning, as may be seen from Moses:--
In the morning the dew was laid round about the camp and when the laying of the dew withdrew, behold on the faces of the wilderness a small round thing, small as the hoar frost on the ground (Exod. 16:13, 14).
When the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it (Num. 11:9).
As the manna was heavenly bread, in the supreme sense it signified the Lord as to the Divine good; hence with men the celestial of love, for this is from the Divine of the Lord (n. 276, 680, 1798, 2165, 2177, 3464, 3478); the "dew" in which and with which the manna descended, in the supreme sense denotes the Divine truth; and in the relative sense, the spiritual truth with men; "morning" is the state of peace in which these goods are (n. 92, 93, 1726, 2780, 3170).
 Inasmuch as "dew" signifies the truth which is from good, or what is the same, the spiritual which is from the celestial, therefore also in the Word spiritual truth is compared to "dew;" for things which signify serve also for comparison with the same thing, as in Isaiah:--
Thus hath Jehovah said unto me, I will be still, and I will behold in My dwelling-place; like serene heat upon light; like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest (Isa. 18:4).
O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your holiness is as a cloud of the dawn, and as the dew that falleth in the morning (Hosea 6:4; 13:3).
I will be as the dew unto Israel, he shall blossom as the lily, and shall fix his roots as Lebanon (Hosea 14:5).
The remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples as dew from Jehovah, as drops upon the herb (Micah 5:7).
Like the goodly oil upon the head that came down upon the border of Aaron’s garments; like the dew of Hermon that cometh down upon the mountains of Zion for there Jehovah commanded the blessing of life for evermore (Ps. 133:2, 3).
And in Moses:--
My doctrine shall drop as the rain, My word shall distil as the dew; as the small rain upon the grass; and as drops upon the herb (Deut. 32:2);
where "dew" denotes the multiplication of truth from good, and the fructification of good through truth; and as the dew is that which every morning renders the field and vineyard fruitful, good itself and truth are signified by "corn and new wine," concerning which in what follows.
AC 3580. And a multitude of corn. That this signifies the derivative natural good, and that new wine signifies the derivative natural truth, is evident from the signification of "corn," as being good; and from the signification of "new wine," as being truth; which when predicated of the natural signify natural good and truth, and then "bread and wine" are predicated of the rational. That "bread" is celestial good, see above, (n. 276, 680, 1798, 2165, 2177, 3464, 3478); and that "wine" is what is spiritual, thus truth from good, (n. 1071, 1798).
 That "corn and new wine" have this signification, may be seen also from the following passages in the Word. In Haggai:--
The heavens are closed from dew, and the earth is closed from her produce. And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine; and upon that which the ground bringeth forth (Haggai 1:10, 11);
where "drought" denotes a lack of dew and of rain, thus a lack of truth derived from any good; "drought upon the corn" is a lack of good and "drought upon the new wine" is a lack of truth. In Moses:--
Israel shall dwell securely, alone at the fountain of Jacob in a land of corn and new wine; yea, his heavens shall drop down dew (Deut. 33:28);
"alone" denotes those who are not infested by evils and falsities (n. 139, 471); a "land of corn and new wine" denotes the good and truth of the church.
 In Hosea:--
I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall bud forth as the lily, and shall fix his roots as Lebanon; his branches shall go forth, and his honor shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon; they that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall vivify the corn, and blossom as the vine; his memory shall be as the wine of Lebanon (Hosea 14:5-7);
where corn" denotes spiritual good and wine," spiritual truth. In Isaiah:--
The curse shall devour the earth. The new wine shall mourn, the vine shall languish, all the glad of heart shall sigh (Isa. 24:6, 7);
where the vastation of the spiritual church is treated of; the "new wine mourning" denotes that truth shall cease.
 In Jeremiah:--
Jehovah hath redeemed Jacob. And they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together unto the goodness of Jehovah, to the corn and to the new wine, and to the oil, and to the sons of the flock and of the herd (Jer. 31:11, 12);
the "corn and new wine" denote good and the derivative truth " oil," the good from which they come, and which is from them; "the sons of the flock and of the herd," the truth which thus comes therefrom; and as these things have such a signification, they are called the goodness of Jehovah."
 In Hosea:--
She did not know that I gave her the corn, and the new wine, and the oil, and multiplied unto her silver and gold which they made for Baal. Therefore will I return and take away My corn and My new wine in their appointed season, and I will pluck away My wool and My flax (Hosea 2:8, 9);
where the church perverted is treated of; and it is manifest that by "corn" is not meant corn; nor by "new wine," new wine; neither by "oil," "silver," "gold," "wool," and "flax," are such things meant, but those which are spiritual; that is, those of good and truth.
 In like manner where a new church is treated of, in the same Prophet:--
I will betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness and thou shalt know Jehovah. And it shall come to pass in that day that I will hearken to the heavens; and these shall hearken to the earth; and the earth shall hearken to the corn, and the new wine, and the oil; and these shall hearken to Jezreel (Hosea 2:20-22);
where "Jezreel" denotes a new church. In Joel:--
Awake ye drunkards and weep, and howl all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine, for it is cut off from your mouth. The field is wasted, the land mourneth for the corn is wasted, the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth (Joel 1:5, 10).
Rejoice ye sons of Zion, and be glad in Jehovah your God; for He hath given you the early rain for righteousness; and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the early rain and the latter rain in the first. And the floors shall be filled with pure corn, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil (Joel 2:23, 24).
Again in the same Prophet:--
And it shall come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drop down sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall go forth out of the house of Jehovah (Joel 3:18);
where the Lord‘s kingdom is treated of; and by " sweet wine " by "milk," and by "waters," are signified spiritual things whose abundance is thus described.
 In Zechariah:--
Jehovah their God shall save them in that day as the flock of His people. For how great is His goodness! and how great is His beauty! corn shall make the young men to flourish, and new wine the virgins (Zech. 9:16, 17).
Thou dost visit the earth, and delightest in it; Thou greatly enrichest it; the stream of God is full of waters; Thou preparest them corn; the meadows are clothed with flocks;the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing (Ps. 65:9, 13).
From all this we can see what is signified by "corn and new wine."
AC 3581. Peoples shall serve thee. That this signifies the truths of the church, and that peoples shall bow down themselves to thee, signifies the truths of good, is evident from the mention of serving," as being concerning truths (n. 2567, 3409); and from the signification of "peoples," as being truths (n. 1259, 1260, 2928, 3295). By the "peoples" first mentioned are signified the truths of the church, which are called spiritual truths; and by the "peoples" mentioned the second time are signified the truths of good, which are spiritual goods, and are called truths relatively, the goods of charity being such truths. Because there is this distinction, the "peoples" mentioned in the first place and in the second are not expressed in the Hebrew tongue by the same word, but yet by a word somewhat akin.
AC 3582. Be thou a master to thy brethren. That this signifies the dominion at first appearing to be of that of the affection of natural truth over the affections of natural good, is evident from the signification of being "a master," as being dominion and from the signification of "brethren," as being the affections of good, here, of natural good (n. 367, 2360, 3303). Concerning the apparent dominion at first of truth over good, see (n. 3324, 3325, 3330, 3332, 3336, 3470, 3539, 3548, 3556, 3563, 3570).
AC 3583. And let thy mother’s sons bow down themselves to thee. That this signifies over all other affections of truth, is evident from the signification of "sons," as also being truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 3373); and from the signification of mother," as being the affection of spiritual truth, and thence the church; because the church is and is so called from truth and the affection thereof (n. 289, 2691, 2717).
AC 3584. Cursed are they that curse thee. That this signifies that he who disjoins himself shall be disjoined; and that blessed are they that bless thee signifies that he who conjoins himself shall be conjoined, is evident from the signification of "being cursed,‘ as being to be disjoined and of "being blessed," as being to be conjoined (n. 3504, 3514, 3530, 3565). These things are predicated of truths, and by "those who curse" are signified falsities which separate themselves from truths and by "those who bless" are signified truths which adjoin themselves to other truths; for with truths and goods the case is that they form a society together, at last making as it were one city; and in such a manner they also consociate. This originates from the form of heaven, in which the angels are ranged in order according to the relationships and affinities of good and truth, and thus together constitute one kingdom or one city, from which truths and goods flow in with man, and are disposed in him into a similar form, and this by the Lord alone. But how the case herein is, will be more plainly evident from the correspondence of the Grand Man, which is heaven, with each and everything that is in man; which correspondence will of the Lord’s Divine mercy be described at the close of the chapters. From all this it is now evident what is involved in the blessing of Isaac pronounced to Jacob, but meant with respect to Esau; namely, the fructification of good through the multiplication of truth, and again the fructification of truth. GENESIS 27:26-29 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|