Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 27:8-10
AC 3516. Verses 8-10. And now my son hearken unto my voice, according to that which I command thee. Go now to the flock, and take me from thence two good kids of the goats, and I will make them dainties for they father, such as he loveth. And thou shalt bring to they father, and he shall eat, that he may bless thee before his death. "And now my son hearken unto my voice, according to that which I command the," signifies desire and delight perceived from the Divine truth in the Divine rational toward natural truth; "go now to the flock," signifies to natural domestic good not conjoined with the Divine rational; "and take me from thence two good kids of the goats," signifies the truths of this good; "and I will make them dainties for they father, such as he loveth," signifies that he should make deliciousnesses therefrom; "and thou shalt bring to they father, and he shall eat," signifies to the Divine good of the Divine rational, and appropriation; "that he may bless thee," signifies conjunction thereby; "before his death," signifies resuscitation in the natural.
AC 3517. And now my son hearken unto my voice, according to that which I command thee. That this signifies desire and delight perceived from the Divine truth in the Divine rational toward natural truth, is evident from the representation of Rebekah who speaks these things, as being the Divine truth of the Divine rational, concerning which above and from the representation of Jacob to whom these things are said, as being natural truth, concerning which also above. That it is desire and delight, is manifest without explication.
AC 3518. Go now to the flock. That this signifies to natural domestic good not conjoined with the Divine rational, is evident from the signification of "flock," as being good (n. 343, 415, 1565), here, natural good because it is said to Jacob, and indeed domestic good, because it was at home, whereas the field whence Esau, by whom is signified the good of the natural, (n. 3500, 3508) took his hunting, was good not domestic. Elsewhere in the Word "flock" is predicated of the good of the rational; but in this case "herd" is predicated of the good of the natural (n. 2566). Natural domestic good is that good which a man derives from his parents, or into which he is born, quite distinct from the good of the natural which flows in from the Lord. The nature and quality of natural good may be seen in (n. 3470, 3471); and therefore for the sake of distinction the one good is called the Good of the Natural, and the other Natural Good. Moreover every man receives domestic good from his father and from his mother, which goods are in themselves distinct that which he receives from the father being interior, and that from the mother exterior. In the Lord these goods were most distinct, for the good which He had from the Father was Divine, but that which He had from the mother was contaminated with hereditary evil; that good in the natural which the Lord had from the Father was His own, because it was His very life, and is that which is represented by Esau; whereas the natural good which the Lord derived from the mother, being contaminated with hereditary evil, was in itself evil, and this is what is meant by "domestic good." Although of such a character, this good was yet of service for the reformation of the natural; but when it had answered this purpose it was rejected.
 The case is similar with every man who is being regenerated: the good which he receives from the Lord as from a new father is interior, but the good which he derives from his parents is exterior; the former good, which he receives from the Lord, is called spiritual; but the latter, which he derives from his parents, is called natural good. The good that a man derives from his parents is serviceable first of all for his reformation, for by means of it are introduced as by what is pleasurable and delightful, first, memory-knowledges, and afterwards the knowledges of truth; but when it has served as a means for this use it is separated from these; and then spiritual good comes forth and manifests itself. This must be evident from much experience, as from the single instance that when a child is first instructed he is affected with the desire of knowing, not at first for any end that is manifest to himself, but from a certain pleasure and delight that is born with him and is also derived from other sources; but afterwards, as he grows up, he is affected with the desire of knowing for the sake of some end, as that he may excel others, or his rivals and next for some end in the world but when he is to be regenerated, he is affected from the delight and pleasantness of truth; and when he is being regenerated, which takes place in adult age, from the love of truth, and afterwards from the love of good and then the ends which had preceded, together with their delights, are separated little by little, and to them succeeds interior good from the Lord, which manifests itself in his affection. From this it is evident that the former delights, which had appeared in the outward form as good, had served as means. Such successions of means are continual.
 The case herein may be compared to that of a tree, which in its first age, or at the beginning of spring, adorns its branches with leaves, and afterwards as its age or the spring advances, decorates them with flowers; and next in summer puts forth the first germs of fruits, which afterwards become fruit and lastly puts seeds therein, which contain in them new trees of a like kind, and indeed whole orchards in potency; and if the seeds are sown, in act. Such analogues are there in nature, which also are representative for universal nature is a theater representative of the Lord‘s kingdom in the heavens, thus of His kingdom on earth, that is, in the church, and hence of His kingdom in every regenerate man. From this it is plain how natural or domestic good, although a merely outward delight and indeed a worldly one, may serve as a means for producing the good of the natural, which may conjoin itself with the good of the rational, and thus become regenerate or spiritual good, that is, good which is from the Lord. These are the things which are represented and signified by "Esau and Jacob" in this chapter.
AC 3519. And take me from thence tow good kids of the she-goats. That this signifies the truths of this good, is evident from the signification of "kids of the she-goats," as being the truths of good, concerning which in what follows. The reason there were two, is that as in the rational, so in the natural, there are things which are of the will and things which are of the understanding. The things in the natural that have relation to the will are delights, and those which have relation to the understanding are memory-knowledges, and in order to be something these two must be conjoined together.
 That "kids of the she-goats" signify the truths of good, may be seen from those passages of the Word where "kids" and " she-goats" are mentioned. Be it known that in the genuine sense all the tame and useful beasts mentioned in the Word signify the celestial things of good and the spiritual things of truth (n. 45, 46, 142, 143, 246, 714, 715, 2180, 2781, 3218); and because there are various kinds of celestial things or goods, and consequently various kinds of spiritual things or truths, one kind is signified by one beast, and another by another; thus one kind is signified by a "lamb," another by a "kid," another by a "sheep," by a "she-goat," a" ram," a "he-goat," a "bullock," an "ox;" another also by a "horse" and by a "camel;" another likewise by birds; and also another by the beasts of the sea, as by "whales"’ and "fishes." There are more genera of celestial and spiritual things than can be enumerated, consequently of goods and truths, although when the celestial or good is mentioned, and also the spiritual or truth, it appears as if it were not manifold, but only one. But how manifold they both are, or how innumerable their genera are, may be seen from what has been said concerning heaven (n. 3241), namely, that it is distinguished into innumerable societies, and this according to the genera of celestial and spiritual things, or of the goods of love and thence of the truths of faith; and moreover every single genus of good, and every single genus of truth, has innumerable species into which the societies of each genus are distinguished, and every species in like manner.
 The most universal genera of good and truth are what were represented by the animals that were offered in the burnt-offerings and sacrifices; and because the genera are most distinct from one another it was expressly enjoined that such and no other should be offered--in some cases, for instance, male and female lambs, also male and female kids; in some cases rams and sheep, and also he-goats; but in others, calves, bullocks, and oxen also pigeons and turtle-doves (n. 922, 1823, 2180, 2805, 2807, 2830, 3218). What was signified by "kids" and she-goats" may be seen both from the sacrifices in which they were offered, and also from other passages in the Word; whence it is evident that male and female "lambs" signified the innocence of the internal or rational man, and that‘ "kids" and she-goats" signified the innocence of the external or natural man, thus the truth and good thereof.
 That the truth and good of the innocence of the external or natural man is signified by "kids" and " she-goats," is evident from the following passages in the Word. In Isaiah:--
The wolf shall abide with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid and the calf, and the young lion, and the sheep together and a little child shall lead them (Isa. 11:6);
where the Lord’s kingdom is treated of, and a state of no fear from evil, or of no dread on account of hell, because one of presence with the Lord. The "lamb" and the "kid" denote those who are in innocence, and because these are the safest of all, they are mentioned first.
 When all the firstborn of Egypt were smitten, it was commanded that they should slay perfect and male young of the flock, of lambs or of kids, and should put some of the blood on the door-posts and on the lintel of the houses, and thus there should not be a plague on them from the destroyer (Exod. 12:5, 7, 13). The "firstborn of Egypt" denotes the good of love and charity extinct (n. 3325); lambs" and "kids" am states of innocence; and those who are in these states are safe from evil, for all in heaven are protected by the Lord through states of innocence; and this protection was represented by the slaying of a lamb or kid, and by the blood upon the door-posts and lintel of the houses.
 When Jehovah appeared to anyone through an angel, a kid of the goats was sacrificed, lest the man should die-as when he appeared to Gideon (Judges 6:19), and to Manoah (Judges 13:15, 16, 19). The reason was that Jehovah or the Lord cannot appear to anyone, not even to an angel, unless he to whom He appears is in a state of innocence; and therefore as soon as the Lord is present with anyone he is let into a state of innocence for the Lord enters through innocence, even with the angels in heaven. On this account no one can come into heaven unless he has somewhat of innocence, according to the words of the Lord in (Matthew 18:3; Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17). Men believed they should die when Jehovah appeared, unless they offered such a burnt-offering, (Judges 13:22, 23).
 Inasmuch as genuine conjugial love is innocence (n. 2736), it was customary in the representative church to enter in unto a wife by a present of a kid of the she-goats as we read of Samson (Judges 15:1); likewise of Judah when he went in unto Tamar (Gen. 38:17, 20, 23). That a "kid" and a "she-goat" signified innocence, is also evident from the sacrifices of guilt, which they were to offer when anyone had sinned through error (Lev. 1:10; 4:28; 5:6); sin through error is a sin of ignorance in which is innocence. The same is evident from the following Divine command in Moses:--The first of the first-fruits of thy ground thou shalt bring into the house of Jehovah thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother‘s milk (Exod. 23:19; 34:26); where by the "first-fruits of the ground, which they were to bring into the house of Jehovah," is signified the state of innocence which is in infancy; and by "not seething a kid in its mother’s milk," that they should not destroy the innocence of infancy. Because these things are signified, in both passages the one command follows the other without a break; and yet in the literal sense they appear to be altogether different but in the internal sense they cohere together.
 Because as before said "kids" and "she-goats" signified innocence, it was also commanded that the curtain of the tent over the tabernacle should be made of the wool of she-goats (Exod. 25:4; 26:7; 35:5, 6, 23, 26; 36:14), for a sign that all the holy things therein represented derived their essence from innocence. By the "wool of she-goats" is signified the ultimate or outermost of the innocence that is in ignorance, such as exists with the Gentiles and who in the internal sense are the "curtains" of the tabernacle. From all this it is evident what and of what quality are the truths of good that are signified by the "two good kids of the she-goats" concerning which Rebekah his mother spoke unto Jacob her son, namely, that they are those of innocence or of infancy, being in fact those which Esau was to bring to his father Isaac; concerning which above (n. 3501, 3508) and which indeed were not these truths of good, but at first appeared as if they were and it is for this reason that by means of these Jacob simulated Esau.
AC 3520. And I will make the dainties for thy father, such as he loveth. That this signifies that he should make deliciousnesses therefrom, is evident from the signification of "dainties," as being pleasant things from good (n. 3502). They are here called "deliciousnesses," because they are truths not from genuine good, but from domestic good (n. 3518).
AC 3521. And thou shalt bring to thy father, and he shall eat. That this signifies to the Divine good of the Divine rational, and appropriation, is evident from the representation of Isaac, here the "father", as being the Divine good of the Divine rational; and from the signification of "eating," as being appropriation (n. 3513) but that truth from domestic good is not appropriated, will appear from what follows.
AC 3522. That he may bless thee. That this signifies conjunction thereby, is evident from the signification of "blessing," as being conjunction (n. 3504, 3514).
AC 3523. Before his death. That this signifies resuscitation in the natural, is evident from the signification of "death," as being resuscitation (n. 3498, 3505); that it is in the natural is evident. GENESIS 27:8-10 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|