Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 28:3-5
AC 3666. Verses 3-5. And God Shaddai will bless thee, and will take thee fruitful and multiply thee, and thou shalt be a company of peoples. And He will give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee and to thy, seed with thee, to cause thee to inherit the land of thy sojournings, which God gave unto Abraham. And Isaac sent away Jacob; and he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban the son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau. "And God Shaddai will bless thee," signifies the temptations of that truth and good through which there is conjunction; "and will make thee fruitful and multiply thee," signifies the derivative goods and truths; "and thou shalt be a company of peoples," signifies abundance; "and He will give thee the blessing of Abraham," signifies the conjunction of the Divine Itself with the good and truth of the natural "to thee and to thy seed with thee," signifies with the good and its derivative truth; "to cause thee to inherit the land of thy sojournings," signifies the life of instructions; which God gave unto Abraham," signifies which is from the Divine; "and Isaac sent away Jacob," signifies the beginning of manifestation; "and he went to Paddan-aram," signifies here as before the knowledges of that truth; "to Laban the son of Bethuel the Aramean," signifies collateral good; "the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau," signifies the affinity from the mother, with the good of truth which is "Jacob," and with the truth of good which is "Esau."
AC 3667. And God Shaddai will bless thee. That this signifies the temptations of that truth and good through which there is conjunction, is evident from the signification of "God Shaddai," as being temptations (concerning which signification in what follows); and from the signification of being "blessed," as being conjunction (n. 3504, 3514, 3530, 3565, 3584). Inasmuch as by Jacob is now represented the good of truth, as before shown (n. 3659), therefore that good and truth are here meant by "thee." The reason why "God Shaddai" signifies temptations, is that in ancient times they distinguished the Supreme God (that is, the Lord) by various names, and this in accordance with His attributes, and in accordance with the goods which are from Him, and also in accordance with the truths, the multiplicity of which is a fact that is known to everyone. They who were of the Ancient Church by all these appellations understood only one God, namely, the Lord, whom they called Jehovah; but after the church had declined from good and truth, and at the same time from this wisdom, they began to worship as many gods as there were appellations of the one God; insomuch that every nation, and at last every family, acknowledged one of them for its own god; hence came the many gods of which mention is often made in the Word.
 The same thing took place in the family of Terah the father of Abraham, and also in the house of Abraham himself, who worshiped other gods (n. 1356, 2559), and especially the God Shaddai (n. 1992). That the worship of this God remained in that house, is evident also from these words in Moses:--
I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, in God Shaddai, but by My name Jehovah I was not known to them (Exod. 6:3).
This is the reason why it was said to Abraham: "I am God Shaddai; walk before Me, and be perfect" (Gen. 17:1); and why it is here said by Isaac to Jacob, God Shaddai will bless thee." That this is the case is also clearly evident from what follows in this chapter, in that after the Lord had said to Jacob in a dream, "I am Jehovah the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac" (verse 13), still Jacob afterwards said, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way wherein I walk, and will give me bread to eat and raiment to put on, and I return in peace to my father’s house, then Jehovah shall be to me for God" (verses 20, 21); from which it is evident that neither did the house of Jacob acknowledge Jehovah; but that Jacob would acknowledge Him as his God if He would be his benefactor--just as is the case at this day in Christian Gentilism.
 But as specifically regards God Shaddai, the Lord had been so called in the Ancient Church with respect to temptations and to blessings and benefits after temptations, as was shown in (n. 1992). This is the reason why by " God Shaddai" in the internal sense are signified temptations. That by temptations is effected a conjunction of good and truth, see what has already been stated and shown concerning temptations (n. 2819).
AC 3668. And will make thee fruitful and multiply thee. That this signifies the derivative goods and truths, is evident from the mention of "being fruitful," as having reference to good and of "being multiplied," as having reference to truth (n. 43, 55, 913, 983, 2846, 2847).
AC 3669. And thou shalt be a company of peoples. That this signifies abundance, is evident without explication a "company of peoples" is specifically predicated of truths, for by "peoples" in the Word are signified those who are in truth (n. 1259, 1260, 2928, 3581), whereas by "nations" are signified those who are in good (n. 1259, 1260, 1416, 1849). It is here said a "company of peoples," because the subject treated of is the good of truth represented by Jacob; for the good which is from truth is one thing, and the good from which is truth is another; the good which is from truth is that which is here called "Jacob," and the good from which is truth is that which is called "Esau." The good which is from truth is inverse to the good from which is truth. Those who are being regenerated, before their regeneration is completed are in the good which is from truth; whereas the same when regenerated are in the good from which is truth. That their state is inverse may be seen above (n. 3539, 3548, 3556, 3563, 3570, 3576, 3603).
AC 3670. And He will give thee the blessing of Abraham. That this signifies the conjunction of the Divine Itself with the good and truth of the natural, is evident from the signification of a "blessing," as being conjunction (n. 3660, 3667); and from the representation of Abraham, as being the Lord‘s Divine Itself which is called the "Father" (n. 2011, 3251, 3439). And inasmuch as these words are spoken to Jacob, by whom there would be represented the Lord’s Divine natural as to the Divine good and truth therein, therefore the conjunction of the Divine Itself with the good and truth of the natural is what is signified, in the internal sense, by "He will give thee the blessing of Abraham." In the sense of the letter, it is the possession of the land of Canaan that is meant by the "blessing of Abraham," and also by the words which follow: "to cause thee to inherit the land of thy sojournings, which God gave unto Abraham;" and according to this sense do all apprehend the words who believe that the historicals of the Word do not contain within them things more heavenly and secret: and especially so do the Jewish nation, who on the strength of these words claim for themselves privileges above every other nation and people. Their fathers understood the words in the same manner, and especially were they so understood by Jacob, whose quality is evident from what was said just above (n. 3667), in that he would not have known Jehovah, nor have been willing to acknowledge Him, unless He had given him corporeal and worldly blessings. But that neither Abraham, nor Isaac, nor Jacob was meant, and that by Jacob is represented the Lord as to the natural which He would make Divine, is abundantly manifest from the explications given above. That it is immaterial what is the quality of the man who represents, as to whether he is evil or good, and that evil men equally with good men can represent and have represented the Lord‘s Divine, may be seen above (n. 665, 1097, 1361).
 The same may be seen from the representatives which exist even to this day; for all kings, whoever they may be, and of whatever quality, by the royalty itself that appertains to them represent the Lord; in like manner all priests, whoever and of whatever quality they may be, by the priestly office itself. The royal and the priestly office itself is holy, whatever be the quality of him who ministers therein; and this is the reason why the Word taught by an evil man is equally holy, and also the sacrament of baptism and the Holy Supper, and other such things. And from this it is also evident that no king can possibly claim for himself anything of the sanctity that belongs to his royalty; nor any priest anything of the sanctity that belongs to his priesthood. In so far as either claims anything thereof to himself, or attributes it to himself, so far he brands himself with the character of a spiritual thief, or with the mark of spiritual theft; and also in so far as he does evil, that is, acts contrary to what is just and equitable, and contrary to what is good and true, so far a king puts off the representative of holy royalty, and a priest the representative of holy priesthood, and represents the Opposite. For this reason in the representative Jewish Church there were so many laws enjoined concerning the holiness in which priests especially should be during their ministration--on which subject, of the Lord’s Divine mercy, more will be said in what follows.
AC 3671. To thee and to thy seed with thee. That this signifies with the good and its derivative truth, is evident from the representation of Jacob, who is here meant by "thee," as being the good of truth, or the good which is from truth; and from the signification of "seed," as being the good and truth of faith (n. 1025, 1447, 1610, 2848, 3373). "With thee" signifies that it was adjoined to the good of truth which is "Jacob." With good and truth the case is the same as with seeds and the ground; interior good is as the seed which brings forth, but only in good ground; exterior good and truth are as the ground in which the seed brings forth; this seed (that is, interior good and truth) cannot otherwise be rooted. For this reason man‘s rational is first of all regenerated, for therein are seeds, and afterwards the natural, in order that it may serve as ground (n. 3286, 3288, 3321, 3368, 3493, 3576, 3620, 3623); and since the natural is as ground, good and truth are capable of being made fruitful and multiplying in the rational, which could not be the case unless they had ground somewhere, in which they might take root like seed. From this comparison it may be seen as in a mirror how the case is with regeneration and with many of its arcana.
 To understand good and truth and to will them is of the rational; the perceptions of good and truth therefrom are as seed; but to know them and bring them into act is of the natural. The very memory-knowledges and works are like ground, and when man is affected with the memory-knowledges which confirm good and truth; and especially when he feels a delight in bringing them into act, the seeds are therein, and grow as in their ground. By this means good is made fruitful, and truth is multiplied, and they continually ascend from this ground into the rational, and perfect it. The case is otherwise when man understands good and truth, and also inwardly perceives some inclination of will thereto, but yet does not love to know them, and still less to do them. In this case good cannot be made fruitful nor truth be multiplied, in the rational.
AC 3672. To cause thee to inherit the land of thy sojournings. That this signifies the life of instructions, is evident from the signification of "inheriting," as being to have another’s life (n. 2658, 2851); in the present case, life from the Divine, which is signified by the words which presently follow; and from the signification of "sojournings," as being instructions (n. 1463, 2025); "land" signifies where life is. The life of instructions here treated of is the life of good from truth, which is here represented by Jacob; for when man lives according to the truths in which he is instructed, he is then in the life of instructions.
AC 3673. Which God gave unto Abraham. That this signifies which is from the Divine, is evident from the representation of Abraham, as being the Lord as to the Divine which in the Word is called the "Father" (n. 2011, 3251, 3439). That "God gave" signifies that it was appropriated to the Lord, is evident; for that which is given is his to whom it is given. Hence it is manifest that by these words "which God gave unto Abraham," is signified life which is from the Divine.
AC 3674. And Isaac sent away Jacob. That this signifies the beginning of manifestation (existentia), is evident from the fact that Jacob now begins to represent the good of truth, thus the beginning of the manifestation of the Lord‘s Divine natural; for this is contained in what follows concerning the sojourning of Jacob with Laban. Wherefore by "Isaac sent away Jacob" is signified the beginning of manifestation.
AC 3675. And he went to Paddan-aram. That this signifies the knowledges of that truth, is evident from the signification of Paddan-aram, as being the knowledges of truth (n. 3664).
AC 3676. To Laban the son of Bethuel the Aramean. That this signifies collateral good, is evident from the representation of Laban, as being collateral good of a common stock (n. 3665) and from the representation of Bethuel, as being the good of the Gentiles of the first class (n. 2865, 3665), from which as from a common stock comes the good which is represented by Laban. The reason why Bethuel is here surnamed the "Aramean," is that by "Aram" or "Syria" are signified the knowledges of good and truth (n. 1232, 1234, 3249), which are here treated of. External truth, from which is the good here represented by Jacob, is nothing else than knowledges; for these are the truths which are learned first of all, and are also accounted as truths by those who are in the beginning of regeneration. Yet knowledges are not truths in themselves, but from the Divine things within them; and when these Divine things shine forth, the knowledges for the first time become truths. Meanwhile they are like general vessels, through which and in which truths can be received, like those spoken of above (n. 3665), and like all the memory-knowledges that are first learned.
AC 3677. The brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau. That this signifies the affinity from the mother with the good of truth which is "Jacob" and with the truth of good which is "Esau," is evident from the representation of Rebekah, as being the Lord’s Divine rational as to Divine truth; and from the representation of Jacob, as being the good of truth, or the good which is from truth in the natural; and from the representation of Esau, as being the truth of good, or the good from which is truth in the natural (n. 3669). And because all the goods and truths that are in the natural or external man are conceived and born of the rational or internal man; that is, of the good of the rational as a father, and of the truth thereof as a mother (n. 3314, 3573, 3616), therefore by the above words is signified the affinity from the mother with the good of truth which is "Jacob" and with the truth of good which is "Esau."
 Moreover they are circumstanced in precisely the same way; but to explain these things to the apprehension is very difficult, because even the most general facts in regard to the subject are at this day unknown as for instance, what spiritual good is and what its truth, and that there are innumerable genera of good and its truth, and still more innumerable species, also that they are conjoined with each other by degrees as it were of consanguinity and affinity. These most general things being unknown, a description of the degrees and affinities would fall into mere shade, and the more so because the learned of the day do not desire to know such things, for they love to stray in the mere shell; and to dispute, not concerning the quality of such things, but whether they exist or not; and so long as they are in this state they desire to know nothing whatever concerning these innumerable kinds of good and truth.GENESIS 28:3-5 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
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