Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 27:41-45
AC 3604. Verses 41-45. And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him; and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father draw near, and I will kill Jacob my brother. And the words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah; and she sent and called unto Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold Esau thy brother comforteth himself concerning thee to kill thee. And now my son hearken unto my voice, and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran. And tarry with him some days until thy brother‘s wrath turn away, until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him, and I will send and take thee from thence; why should I be bereaved even of you both in one day? "And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him," signifies that natural good was averse to the inverted conjunction of truth "and Esau said in his heart," signifies thought; "the days of mourning for my father draw near, and I will kill Jacob my brother," signifies the inversion and privation of the self-derived life of truth "and the words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah," signifies the Lord‘s perception from Divine truth concerning the animus or purpose of natural good at that time "and she sent and called unto Jacob her younger son, and said unto him," signifies the state of observation of the affection of truth from influx through Divine truth; "behold Esau thy brother comforteth himself concerning thee to kill thee," signifies the purpose to invert the state and deprive truth of self-derived life; "and now my son hearken unto my voice, and arise," signifies delay as yet; "flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran," signifies to the affection of external or corporeal good; "and tarry with him some days," signifies what is successive; "until thy brother’s wrath turn away," signifies until the state turns thereto "until thy brother‘s anger turn away from thee," signifies what is successive of the state with natural good; "and he forget that which thou hast done to him," signifies habit acquired from the delay; "and I will send and take thee from thence," signifies then the end; "why should I be bereaved even of you both in one day," signifies that otherwise there would be no conjunction.
AC 3605. And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him. That this signifies that natural good was averse to the inverted conjunction of truth, is evident from the signification of "hating," as here in the internal sense being to be averse to, which is the subject treated of in what follows and from the representation of Esau, as being natural good; and of Jacob as being natural truth; and from the signification of a "blessing," as being conjunction (n. 3504, 3514, 3530, 3565, 3584); that here it is an inverted conjunction of truth which is represented by Jacob, is evident from what was said and shown above (n. 3539, 3548, 3556, 3563, 3570, 3576, 3603).
 That in the internal sense " to hate’ denotes to be averse to, is because it is predicated of good, which is represented by Esau, and good does not even know what hatred is, being the direct opposite thereof, and opposites are never possible in the same subject; but instead of hatred, good, or they who are in good, feel a kind of aversion; hence it is that "hatred" here in the internal sense denotes to be averse to; for the internal sense is principally for those who are in heaven, wherefore when it descends thence, and is derived into the literal sense, then, the historicals being of this nature, the affection of aversion falls into the expression "hatred," but yet in such a way that with those who are in heaven there is no idea of hatred. This case is like that which was related from experience (n. 1875), concerning the words in the Lord‘s prayer, " Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;" in that temptation and evil are rejected until what is purely angelic, that is, good, remains without any idea of temptation and of evil, and this with the adjunction of a species of indignation and aversion, in regard to evil being thought of when the Lord is thought of.
 The case is the same when we read in the Word concerning Jehovah or the Lord "hating." As in Zechariah:--
Let none of you think evil in your heart of his neighbor and love no lying oath for all these are things that I hate, saith Jehovah (Zech. 8:17).
Thou shalt not set thee up a pillar, which Jehovah thy God hateth (Deut. 16:22).
Mine heritage is become unto Me as a lion in the forest she hath uttered her voice against Me, therefore I have hated her (Jer. 12:8).
In Gilgal I hated them; because of the wickedness of their works I will drive them out of Mine house I will love them no more (Hosea 9:15).
In these passages "hatred," predicated of Jehovah or the Lord, in the internal sense is not hatred, but mercy, for the Divine is mercy but when this flows in with a man who is in evil, and he runs into the penalty of evil, it then appears as hatred and because it so appears, in the sense of the letter it is likewise so called.
 It is in the same way that anger," "wrath," and "fury" are in the Word predicated of Jehovah or the Lord (n. 245, 592, 696, 1093, 1683, 1874, 2395, 2447, 3235). Above all other peoples the Jewish and Israelitish people were such that as soon as they observed anything unfriendly, even in their associates, they believed it lawful to treat them cruelly, and not only to kill them, but also to expose them to wild beasts and birds; and therefore because the inflowing mercy of the Lord was turned with them into such hatred, not only against their enemies, but also against their companions, they could not believe otherwise than that Jehovah also entertained hatred, was angry, wrathful, and furious, and for this reason it is so expressed in the Word according to the appearance; for such as is a man’s quality, such the Lord appears to him (n. 1838, 1861, 2706). but what the quality of hatred is with those who are in love and charity, that is, who are in good, is evident from the words of the Lord in Matthew:--
Ye have heard that it has been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy but I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that injure and persecute you, that ye may be the sons of your Father who is in the heavens (Matthew 5:43-45).
AC 3606. And Esau said in his heart. That this signifies thought, is evident from the signification of "saying in the heart," as being thought.
AC 3607. The days of mourning for my father draw near, and I will kill Jacob my brother. That this signifies the inversion and privation of the self-derived life of truth, is evident from the signification of "days of mourning," as being the inversion of the state; and from the signification of "killing Jacob his brother," as being to deprive truth of self-derived life. The case herein is similar to what was just now said concerning the signification of "hatred" in the internal sense, namely, that it is not hatred and the same may be seen from what is continually taking place in the other life, where all the good that flows down from heaven to those who are in evil is turned into evil, and with the infernals into the opposite; in like manner truth into falsity (n. 2123); and therefore on the other hand the evil and falsity that is with such spirits is in heaven good and truth and in order that it may become good there are spirits in the way who reject the ideas of evil and falsity, so that the idea of good and truth may be presented (n. 1393, 1875). And moreover when that which is evil and false approaches those who are in good and truth, it does not appear as evil and falsity, but under another form in accordance with the nature and state of their goodness.
 From this it is evident that in the internal sense to "kill Jacob the brother" is not to kill, but is a privation of that life which is not compatible with truth for truth has no life of itself, but from good, inasmuch as truth is only a vessel recipient of good (n. 1496, 1832, 1900, 2063, 2261, 2269, 2697, 3049, 3068, 3128, 3146, 3318, 3387); and that in good there is life, but not in truth, except that which is from good (n. 1589). Wherefore the privation of the self-derived life of truth is not the extinction of truth, but its vivification for when truth appears to itself to have life from itself, then it has no life, except such life as in itself is not life; but when it is deprived of this, it is then gifted with real life, namely, through good from the Lord, who is life itself.
 This plainly appears from those who are in the other life. With such as are in truth alone, the ideas appear closed, so that those things which are of heaven cannot flow in, except only in a manner so general that the influx is scarcely known to be from heaven; whereas with such as are at the same time in good, their ideas appear open, so that the things which are of heaven flow in as into a heaven in miniature, or as into an image of themselves; for they flow in by means of the good that is in them through truths (n. 1869, 2425). That truth is deprived of self-derived life when good begins to be in the prior place, or to have the dominion, may be seen from what has been said and shown above concerning the apparent priority of truth at first, and concerning the subsequent priority of good; this privation of the self-derived life of truth is what is here signified. The reason why these things are called the "mourning for a father," is that days of mourning signify inversion of state, which inversion of state was signified above by the exceeding great shuddering with which Isaac shuddered (verse 33), (n. 3593), and by the great and exceeding bitter cry with which Esau cried out (verse 34), (n. 3597).
AC 3608. And the words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah. That this signifies the Lord‘s perception from Divine truth concerning the animus or purpose of natural good at that time, is evident from the signification of "being told," as being to think and reflect (n. 9862), thus to perceive and from the representation of Rebekah, as being the Divine truth of the Lord’s Divine rational; and from the representation of Esau, as being natural good. From this it is evident that its "being told Rebekah concerning the words of Esau her elder son," signifies the Lords perception from Divine truth concerning the animus or purpose of natural good.
AC 3609. And she called unto Jacob her younger son, and said unto him. That this signifies the state of observation of the affection of truth from influx through Divine truth, is evident from the representation of Rebekah, who "called and said," as being the Divine truth of the Lords Divine rational conjoined with the Divine good therein; from the representation of Jacob, as being natural truth, or the affection of truth therein; and from the signification of calling him and saying to him," as being a state of perception; here a state of observation, because the natural is the subject treated of.
AC 3610. Behold Esau thy brother comforteth himself concerning thee to kill thee. That this signifies the purpose to invert the state and deprive truth of self-derived life, is evident from the signification of "comforting one‘s self" for anyone, as being to appease unrest of mind with hope concerning anyone, or concerning anything,- "concerning thee" implying the inversion of the state of truth-and from the signification of "to kill thee," that is, Jacob, as being to deprive truth of self-derived life (n. 3607), where it was shown that depriving truth of life is not extinguishing it, but vivifying it. For the case with respect to the life of truth is this: When they who are in truth, or in the affection of truth, do not live according to the truth which they know and with which they are affected, there is then somewhat of pleasure and delight derived from the love of self or the love of the world, which has adjoined itself to the affection of truth, and which appears as good, when yet it is not good, except as regards the use, in that truths may thus be introduced and learned which afterwards may be serviceable to real good and its life. When truth is in this state, that is, they who are in the affection of truth, then truth is said to have self-derived life, which is not life, as is evident from the fact that in the love of self and the love of the world, or in their pleasure and delight, there is not life; but in celestial and spiritual love, and in their delight and pleasure. Therefore when truth, that is, they who are in such an affection of truth, are deprived of that life, they then for the first time receive life, or are then for the first time vivified.
 These things cannot possibly be apprehended by those who are in the affection of self and of the world, for they believe that no other life is possible; consequently that if they should be deprived of that life, they would altogether cease to live; for they who are in that life can in no wise know what spiritual and heavenly life is. then yet the fact is that when they are deprived of that life of the affection of self and of the world, then life flows in from the Lord such as is the angelic and heavenly life, together with ineffable wisdom and happiness and when the former life is viewed from this life, it appears as no life, or as the unclean life of brute animals, inasmuch as there is nothing of the Divine therein, except that they can think and speak, and thus appear in external form like others.
 In respect to the circumstance that good had the purpose to invert the state and deprive truth of self-derived life, which is signified by Esau comforting himself for Jacob to kill him, the case is this With a man who is being regenerated, the good in him is continually in the purpose to invert the state, and to reduce it into such order that truth may not be in the prior place, but in the posterior; as is consonant with the state of heaven. but this purpose lies deeply concealed, nor is it observed until the purpose has been effected. The case herein is as it is with conjugial love, which does not appear during infancy and childhood, but still lies hidden within nor does it come forth until each and all things have been so disposed that it can manifest itself; meanwhile it produces all means that are suited to itself; that is, they are produced. The case is the same in the vegetable kingdom: in every tree and in every plant there lies inmostly concealed an endeavor to produce fruits or seeds; but this endeavor cannot manifest itself until it has first produced all the means, namely, branches, leaves, and flowers, which being produced the endeavor comes forth into act.
 So also is it with those who are born anew: the conjugial principle of good and truth long lies hidden within; but still it is present as an endeavor in the efficient cause and thence in the effect; yet it does not appear until all things have been disposed into order; and when they have been so disposed, it for the first time comes forth and manifests itself. It is this endeavor which is meant by the purpose to invert the state and deprive truth of self-derived life. Hence it is manifest that the internal sense is altogether different from that which is expressed in the sense of the letter, namely, that it treats of the reduction of truth into order, and its vivification, and not of the destruction and privation of its life.
AC 3611. And now my son hearken unto my voice, and arise. That this signifies delay as yet, is evident from the signification of "hearkening to a voice," as being to obey; namely, that he should tarry yet in that inverted state, which is the subject treated of in what follows.
AC 3612. Flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran. That this signifies to the affection of external or corporeal good, is evident from the representation of Laban, as being the affection of good in the natural man (n. 3129, 3130, 3160); and from the signification of "Haran," as being what is external and thence relatively obscure (n. 1430) but what is here properly signified by Laban" and "Haran" may be seen from what follows, where mention is made of Laban and Haran, namely, that it is the collateral good of a common stock; for goods and truths have a conjunction among themselves like that of parents, brethren, kinsmen, and relations, in families (n. 685, 917, 2508, 2524, 2556, 2739). But these things are altogether hidden from the man who is not in the life of good, and who does not even know what good is, and thus not what truth is; if he first knew these, that is, if he did so from doctrine conjoined with life, or from life conjoined with doctrine, he would then know and perceive innumerable things concerning good and truth, and this successively more and more distinctly, and afterwards their mutual and correlative conjunctions with each other, and at last their proximities in their series, and in each proximity again things innumerable; thus lastly heaven in its form, that is, in its beauty and happiness.
AC 3613. And tarry with him some days. That this signifies what is successive, is evident from the signification of "to tarry," as being the like as "to dwell," thus as "to live" (n. 1293, 2268, 2451, 2712, 3384), but "to tarry" is predicated of the life of truth with good, and "to dwell," of the life of good with truth; and from the signification of "days," as being times and states (n. 23, 487, 488, 493, 2788, 3462); thus it is the life of subsequent times and states, consequently what is successive, that is here signified by "tarrying with him some days." This successive condition-that is, the tarrying of Jacob with Laban-is treated of in the chapters which follow.
AC 3614. Until thy brother’s wrath turn away. That this signifies until the state turns thereto; and that until thy brother‘s anger turn away from thee signifies what is successive of the state with natural good, is evident from the signification of "wrath" and "anger," as being states which are repugnant, as will be shown in what follows. When these states become such that they are no longer repugnant, but begin to conjoin themselves, it is then said that "wrath turns away," and that "anger turns away;" hence it is that "until thy brother’s wrath turns away" signifies until the state turns thereto; and that "until thy brother‘s anger turn away" signifies what is successive of the state with natural good. That "wrath" involves one thing, and anger" another, may be seen from the words being in other respects alike, and that otherwise there would be an idle repetition, namely, "until thy brother’s wrath turn away" and "until thy brother‘s anger turn away.’ That is implied in each expression is manifest from the general explication, and also from the predication of wrath and the predication of anger for wrath is predicated of truth, here of the truth of good, which is represented by Esau; whereas "anger" is predicated of this good itself.
 "wrath" and "anger" are frequently mentioned in the Word, but in the internal sense they do not signify wrath and anger, but repugnance, and this for the reason that whatever is repugnant to any affection produces wrath or anger, so that in the internal sense they are only repugnances; but the repugnance of truth is called "wrath," and the repugnance of good is called "anger;" and in the opposite sense "wrath" is the repugnance of falsity or its affection, that is, of the principles of falsity; and "anger" is the repugnance of evil or its cupidity, that is, of the love of self and the love of the world. In this sense "wrath" is properly wrath, and "anger" is anger; but when they are predicted of good and truth, "wrath" and "anger" are zeal; which zeal, because in external form it appears like wrath and anger, therefore in the sense of the letter" is also so called.
 That in the internal sense "wrath" and "anger" are merely repugnances, may be seen from the following passages in the Word. In Isaiah:--
Jehovah hath heat against all the nations, and wrath against all their army (Isa. 34:2).
The "heat of Jehovah against the nations" denotes repugnance against evil. "Nations" are evils, (n. 1259, 1260, 1849, 1868, 2588); "wrath against all their army" denotes repugnance against the derivative falsities. The "stars," which are called the "army of the heavens," are knowledges, and thus truths and in the opposite sense falsities, (n. 1128, 1808, 2120, 2495, 2849). Again:--
Who gave Jacob for a prey, and Israel to the spoilers? did not Jehovah? He against whom we have sinned? Therefore he poured upon him the wrath of His anger (Isa. 42:24, 25).
The "wrath of anger" denotes repugnance against the falsity of evil; "Jacob," those who are in evil; and Israel," those who are in falsity.
I have trodden the wine-press alone and of the peoples there was no man with Me; and I have trodden them in Mine anger, and destroyed them in My wrath and I trampled the peoples in Mine anger, and made them drunk in My wrath (Isa. 63:3, 6);
where the Lord is treated of and His victories in temptations to "tread and trample in anger" denotes victories over evils; and to "destroy and make drunk in wrath," victories over falsities to "trample upon," in the Word, is predicated of evil; and to "make drunken," of falsity. In Jeremiah:--
Thus saith the Lord Jehovih, Behold, Mine anger and My wrath shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the tree of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground and it shall burn and shall not be quenched (Jer. 7:20);
where mention is made of both "anger" and "wrath," because both evil and falsity are treated of.
 It is usual with the Prophets in speaking of evil to speak also of falsity, as in speaking of good to speak also of truth, and this because of the heavenly marriage, which is the marriage of good and truth, in everything of the Word (n. 683, 793, 801, 2173, 2516, 2712); hence also both "anger" and "wrath" are mentioned; otherwise one term would have been sufficient. In the same Prophet:--
I Myself will fight with you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in wrath, and in great heat; and I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast (Jer. 21:5, 6).
Here in like manner "anger" is predicated of the punishment of evil, and " wrath," of the punishment of falsity, and "heat," of the punishment of both; "anger" and " wrath," because they denote repugnance, also denote punishment; for things which are repugnant come into collision, and then evil and falsity are punished; for in evil there is repugnance to good, and in falsity there is repugnance to truth; and because there is repugnance, there is also collision; that from this comes punishment may be seen above (n. 696, 967).
 In Ezekiel:--
Thus shall Mine anger be consummated, and I will make My wrath to rest upon them, and I will comfort Myself, and they shall know that I Jehovah have spoken in My zeal when I have consummated My wrath upon them, when I shall do judgments in thee in anger and in wrath and in the reproofs of wrath (Ezek. 5:13, 15);
where also "anger" denotes the punishment of evil; "wrath," the punishment of falsity, from its repugnance and consequent attack. In Moses:--
It shall not please Jehovah to pardon him, because then the anger of Jehovah and His zeal shall smoke against that man. And Jehovah shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel. The whole land thereof shall be brimstone and salt, and a burning; it shall not be sown, and shall not bud, neither shall therein any herb come up like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim, which Jehovah overthrew in His anger and in His wrath; and all the nations shall say, Wherefore hath Jehovah done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger? (Deut. 29:20-24).
Inasmuch as " Sodom" denotes evil, and "Gomorrah" the derivative falsity (n. 2220, 2246, 2322), and the nation of which Moses here speaks is compared thereto in respect to evil and falsity, therefore "anger" is spoken of in respect to evil, and "wrath" in respect to falsity, and "heat of anger" in respect to both. That such things are attributed to Jehovah or the Lord is according to the appearance, because it so appears to man when he runs into evil and the evil punishes him (n. 245, 592, 696, 1093, 1683, 1874, 2395, 2447, 3235, 3605).
AC 3615. And he forget that which thou hast done to him. That this signifies habit acquired from the delay, is evident from the signification here of forgetting," as being the successive abolition of repugnance; and as this is effected by means of delay add the consequent habit, therefore this is signified by "and he forget that which thou hast done unto him."
AC 3616. And I will send and take thee from thence. That this signifies then the end, is evident from what goes before and from what follows; for the end, which is here signified by "sending and taking thee from thence," is when truth is in agreement with good, and thus truth serves in subordination to good; this end, after the tarrying of Jacob with Laban was ended, is represented by Esau when he ran to meet Jacob, and embraced him, and fell upon his neck, and kissed him, and they wept (Gen. 33:4) for when the end is, that is, the conjunction, then the good of the rational flows immediately into the good of the natural, and through the good into its truth, and also mediately through the truth of the rational into the truth of the natural, and through this into the good therein (n. 3573). From this it is evident why it was said by Rebekah, by whom is represented the truth of the rational, to Jacob, by whom is represented the truth of the natural, I will send and take thee from thence."
AC 3617. Why should I be bereaved even of you both in one day? That this signifies that otherwise there would be no conjunction, is evident from the fact that if those things were not done which in the internal sense are represented in what follows by Jacob sojourning with Laban, truth could not have been conjoined with good, thus good could not have been united to the truth in the natural, consequently the rational would be deprived of both; for without the conjunction in the natural of truth with good, and the unition of good with truth, there is no regeneration, which in the relative sense is the subject treated of in this chapter. This also is the conclusion of that which goes before. GENESIS 27:41-45 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
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