Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 28:1-2
AC 3658. Verses 1, 2. And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and commanded him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a woman of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel, thy mother’s father, and take thee from thence a woman of the daughters of Laban thy mother‘s brother. "And Isaac called Jacob," signifies perception by the Lord of the quality in respect to the good of truth; "and blessed him," signifies that thus conjunction would be effected; "and commanded him, and said unto him," signifies reflection and consequent perception "thou shalt not take a woman of the daughters of Canaan," signifies provided that it be not conjoined with the affections of falsity and evil; "arise" signifies provided it should elevate that good thence; "go to Paddan-aram," signifies the knowledges of such truth; "to the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father, and take thee from thence a woman of the daughters of Laban thy mother‘s brother," signifies collateral external good, and the derivative truth that was to be conjoined.
AC 3659. And Isaac called Jacob. That this signifies perception by the Lord of the quality in respect to the good of truth, is evident from the signification of "calling" anyone, as being to perceive the quality (n. 3609) and from the representation of Isaac, as being the Lord as to the Divine good of the Divine rational (n. 1893, 2066, 2072, 2083, 2630, 3012, 3194, 3210); and from the representation of Jacob, as being the Lord as to natural truth (n. 1893, 3305, 3509, 3525, 3546, 3576, 3599). But here, and in what follows in this chapter, Jacob represents the good of this truth; from which it is evident that by the words, "Isaac called Jacob," is signified perception by the Lord of the quality in respect to the good of truth.
 The reason why Jacob here represents the good of this truth, is that he has now carried off the birthright of Esau, and also his blessing, and has thereby put on the person of Esau, but still no further than in respect to the good of the truth which he had before represented for all truth, whatsoever it be and whatsoever its quality, has good within it, inasmuch as truth is not truth except from good; it is from this that it is called truth. By the birthright which he took, and by the blessing, he obtained over Esau the privilege that his posterity should succeed to the promise made to Abraham and Isaac concerning the land of Canaan, and thus that by him should be represented the Lord’s Divine natural, as by Isaac was represented the Divine rational, and by Abraham His Divine Itself. In order therefore that the representative might fall upon one person, it was permitted that he should thus take from Esau the birth-right, and afterwards the blessing. Hence it is that Jacob now represents the good of the natural, but here at first the good of that truth, namely, of the truth which he had represented just before. Esau is also still further treated of, as in the following (verses 6-8) of this chapter, to the intent that there might be represented the good of truth and the interior truth of good of the Lord‘s natural, which could not as yet be represented by Jacob. What and of what quality is the good of truth here represented by Jacob, will appear from what follows.
AC 3660. And blessed him. That this signifies that thus conjunction would be effected, is evident from the signification of being "blessed," as being to be conjoined (n. 3504, 3514, 3530, 3565, 3584). The reason why Isaac the father now blesses Jacob the son, although he had come with guile and taken the blessing from Esau, and Isaac had shuddered at that deed, as appears from (Gen. 27:33, 35), is that Isaac now perceived that it was the posterity of Jacob, and not that of Esau, that was to possess the land of Canaan; and therefore the blessing was confirmed by Isaac. But the guile at which Isaac shuddered signified and foretold what was deceptive in the posterity of Jacob in regard to the representatives; that is to say, that they were very far from sincerely or at heart representing the Divine or celestial things of the Lord’s kingdom, and were thus utterly unlike the Ancient Church, being merely in externals separate from what is internal, and not even in these, inasmuch as they so often fell away into open idolatries.
 What is meant by being conjoined, or by conjunction, here signified in the internal sense by being "blessed," was shown above, namely, that the natural as to good and as to truth should be adjoined to the rational, or what is the same thing, the external man to the internal; for in order that the Lord might make His natural Divine, He had to implant therein such good and truth as would correspond with the good and truth of the Divine rational. Without corresponding goods and truths no conjunction is possible. There are innumerable goods and truths of the natural, or such as are proper to the natural man; so innumerable that man can scarcely know their most general kinds, in spite of the fact that when mention is made of natural good and truth it appears to man as one simple thing; for the whole natural and all that is in it is nothing else than this good and truth. And this being the case, it is evident that there are goods and truths of the natural in which the goods and truths of the rational can be, and that there are goods and truths of the natural in which the goods and truths of the rational cannot be; consequently, that there are goods and truths of the natural which can be adjoined to the goods and truths of the rational by correspondence. Such goods and truths are treated of in this and the following chapters.
 To know these goods and truths, and to distinguish them from one another, and also to view their qualities, and thus how they are adapted for conjunction, does not so well appear to man so long as he does not think from what is interior, or from enlightenment by the light of heaven; for in this case such things appear to him to be both obscure and undelightful. But nevertheless they are suited to the apprehension and understanding of angels, and even to the apprehension of spirits; for the thoughts of angels and spirits are not distracted by cares for worldly, corporeal, and earthly things, as they had formerly been when they lived as men in the world. Angels and spirits are in the pleasantness of intelligence and the bliss of wisdom when such things are present with them from the internal sense of the Word; for then what is Divine shines upon them, because in the supreme sense the Lord is treated of, and in the representative sense the church and regeneration; and thereby they are in the Lord‘s Divine sphere, and in that of His ends and uses.
AC 3661. And commanded him, and said unto him. That this signifies reflection and consequent perception, is evident from the signification in the historicals of the Word of "commanding," as being to reflect; and from the signification of "saying," as being to perceive (n. 1791, 1815, 1819, 1822, 1898, 1919, 2080, 2619, 2862). Reflection is the mental view of a thing in regard to its nature and quality, and from this comes perception.
AC 3662. Thou shalt not take a woman of the daughters of Canaan. That this signifies provided that it be not conjoined with the affections of falsity and evil, is evident from the signification of "taking a woman," as being to be associated or conjoined; from the signification of "daughters," as being affections (n. 568, 2362, 3024); and from the signification of "Canaan," as being falsity and evil (n. 1093, 1140, 1141, 1167, 1205, 1444, 1573, 1574, 1868).
AC 3663. Arise. That this signifies provided it should elevate that good thence, is evident from the signification of "arising," as implying some elevation (n. 2401, 2785, 2912, 2927, 3171); in the present case an elevation from such things as are signified by the "daughters of Canaan," to such things as are signified by the "daughters of Laban," concerning which in what follows.
AC 3664. Go to Paddan-aram. That this signifies the knowledges of such truth, is evident from the signification of "Aram," or "Syria," as being knowledges (n. 1232, 1234, 3249). That "Paddan-aram" signifies the knowledges of truth is because it was in Syria of the rivers, where Nahor, Bethuel, and Laban dwelt; and that by "Syria" are signified the knowledges of truth may be seen above (n. 3051). Paddan-aram is also mentioned above (Gen. 25:20), and again below (Gen. 31:18); in which places likewise it signifies the knowledges of truth.
AC 3665. To the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father, and take thee from thence a woman of the daughters of Laban thy mother‘s brother. That this signifies collateral external good, and the derivative truth that was to be conjoined, is evident from the representation of Bethuel, as being the good of the Gentiles of the first class (n. 2865); from the representation of Laban, as being the affection of good in the natural man, that is the affection of external good, and properly the collateral good of a common stock (n. 3129, 3130, 3160, 3612); and from the signification of "taking a woman of his daughters," as being to be associated to or conjoined with the derivative affections of truth. That "taking a woman" denotes to be conjoined, is manifest, and that "daughters" are affections, may be seen above (n. 568, 2362, 3024). Hence it is evident what these words signify, namely, that the good of the natural, here represented by Jacob, was to be conjoined with the truths derived from collateral external good.
 The case herein is this: When man is being regenerated, he is at first led by the Lord as an infant, then as a child, afterwards as a youth, and at last as an adult. The truths he learns as an infant child are altogether external and corporeal, for as yet he is unable to apprehend interior truths. These truths are no other than knowledges of such things as contain, in their inmost, things Divine; for there are knowledges of things that do not contain anything Divine in their inmost; and there are knowledges that do contain it. The knowledges that do contain what is Divine are such that they can admit interior truths more and more, successively, and in order; whereas the knowledges which do not contain what is Divine are such that they do not admit, but reject these interior truths; for the knowledges of external and corporeal good and truth are like ground, which according to its quality admits seeds of one nature and not of another, bringing to maturity one kind of seeds, and suffocating another. Knowledges which contain in their inmost what is Divine, admit into them spiritual and celestial truth and good, possessing this capacity from the Divine which is within, and which disposes; but the knowledges which do not contain in them what is Divine, admit only what is false and evil, such being their nature. Those knowledges of external and corporeal truth which admit spiritual and celestial truth and good, are here signified by the "daughters of Laban of the house of Bethuel;" but those which do not thus admit them, are signified by the "daughters of Canaan."
 The knowledges which are learned from infancy to childhood are like most general vessels, which are to be filled with goods, and in proportion as they are filled the man is enlightened. If the vessels are such as to admit into them genuine goods, then the man is enlightened from the Divine that is within them, and this successively more and more; but if they are such that genuine goods cannot be in them, then the man is not enlightened. It does appear that he is enlightened, but this is from a fatuous light, which is that of falsity and evil, whereby he is more and more darkened in respect to good and truth.
 Such knowledges are manifold, and so manifold that their genera can scarcely be counted; still less can their species be discriminated; for they are derived in many ways from the Divine through the rational into the natural. For some flow in immediately through the good of the rational, and thence into the good of the natural and also into the truth of this good, and thence further into the external or corporeal natural, where also they divide into various streams. And some flow in mediately through the truth of the rational into the truth of the natural, and also into the good of this truth, and thence further into the external or corporeal natural (n. 3573, 3616). They are like nations, families, and houses, and like the blood relationships and the connections therein, there being in them some which descend in a direct line from the first father, and some which descend in a line more and more indirect or collateral. In the heavens these things are most distinct, for all the societies therein, and thus the proximities, are distinguished according to the genera and species of good and truth (n. 685, 2508, 2524, 2556, 2739, 3612). These societies and proximities were represented by the most ancient people, who were celestial men, by their dwelling together classified in this manner into nations, families, and houses (n. 470, 471, 483, 1159, 1246); and for this reason it was enjoined that they who were of the representative church should contract marriages within the families of their own nation; for in this way they could represent heaven, and the conjunction of its societies as to good and truth--as was the case here with Jacob, in that he was to go to the house of Bethuel is mother’s father, and take him a woman of the daughters of Laban his mother‘s brother.
 With regard to these very knowledges of external or corporeal truth which are from collateral good, and which as before said contain in them what is Divine, and thus are capable of admitting genuine goods--such as are the knowledges with young children who are afterwards regenerated--they are in general such as are contained in the historicals of the Word, such as what is said therein concerning paradise, concerning the first man in it, concerning the tree of life in its midst, and concerning the tree of knowledge, where was the serpent that practised the deception. These are the knowledges that contain within them what is Divine, and admit into them spiritual and celestial goods and truths, because they represent and signify these goods and truths. Such knowledges also are all other things in the historicals of the Word, as what is said concerning the tabernacle and the temple and concerning the construction of these; in like manner what is said concerning the garments of Aaron and of his sons; also concerning the feasts of tabernacles, of the firstfruits of harvest, of unleavened bread, and concerning other like things. When such knowledges as these are known and thought of by a young child, the angels who are with him think of the Divine things which they represent and signify; and because the angels are affected therewith, their affection is communicated, and causes the delight and pleasure which the child experiences therein; and prepares his mind to receive genuine truths and goods. Such and very many others are the knowledges of external and corporeal truth that are derived from collateral good.GENESIS 28:1-2 - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|