Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 29:1
AC 3760. Verse 1. And Jacob lifted up his feet, and went to the land of the sons of the east. "And Jacob lifted up his feet," signifies the elevation of the natural; "and went to the land of the sons of the east," signifies to the truths of love.
AC 3761. And Jacob lifted up his feet. That this signifies the elevation of the natural, is evident from the signification of "lifting up," as being elevation; and from the signification of the "feet," as being the natural, concerning which in what follows. The elevation here signified is that treated of in this chapter, which is from external truth to internal good. In the supreme sense it is shown how the Lord elevated His natural even to the Divine, according to order, by ascending from external truth through the degrees to internal good; and in the representative sense, how the Lord makes new the natural of man when He regenerates him, according to a similar order. That the man who is being regenerated in adult age advances according to the order described in the internal sense in this and the following chapters, is known to few, for the reason that few reflect upon it, and also that few at this day can be regenerated. For these are the last times of the church, when there is no longer any charity, consequently not any faith and this being the case, it is not even known what faith is, although it is on the lips of all that man is saved by faith. Still less is it known what charity is; and as these two are known merely as terms, and are unknown in respect to their essence, it is on this account said that few can reflect upon the order according to which man is made new, or is regenerated, and also that few can be regenerated.
 Because the natural is here treated of, and this is represented by Jacob, it is not said that he "arose," and went to the land of the sons of the east, but that he "lifted up his feet." Both expressions signify elevation. "Arising" has this signification (n. 2401, 2785, 2912, 2927, 3171). But the reason why it is here said, "he lifted up his feet," is that this is said with respect to the natural for "feet" signify the natural (n. 2162, 3147). That "feet" signify the natural, or natural things, comes from the correspondence with the Grand Man which has been spoken of at the close of the preceding chapters, in which Grand Man they who belong to the province of the feet are those who are in natural light and but little in spiritual; consequently the parts under the feet, as the soles and the heels, signify the lowest natural things (n. 259); and hence the shoe, which is also occasionally mentioned in the Word, signifies the corporeal natural which is the ultimate (n. 1748).
AC 3762. And went to the land of the sons of the east. That this signifies to the truths of love (that is, elevation thereto) is evident from the signification of the "land of the sons of the east." That Aram, or Syria, was called the "land of the sons of the east," is evident, because it was thither that Jacob betook himself (n. 3249). That by "Syria" in general are signified the knowledges of good, was shown above (n. 1232, 1234); but specifically, by "Aram-naharaim" (that is, " Syria of the rivers") are signified the knowledges of truth (n. 3051, 3664). In this case however it is not said that he went "to Aram," or " Syria," but "to the land of the sons of the east," in order to signify what is treated of in this chapter throughout, namely, an ascent to the truths of love. Those truths are called the truths of love which have been elsewhere termed celestial truths, for they are knowledges that relate to charity toward the neighbor and love to the Lord in the supreme sense, in which the Lord is treated of, they are the truths of Divine love.
 These truths, that relate to charity toward the neighbor and to love to the Lord, must be learned before it is possible for a man to be regenerated; and must also be acknowledged and believed; and in so far as they are acknowledged, believed, and ingrafted in the life, so far the man is regenerated, and in so far they are at the same time implanted in the man‘s natural, in which they a re as in their own ground. They are first implanted therein through instruction by parents and teachers; next from the Word of the Lord; and afterwards through the man’s own reflection about them; but by these means they are merely stored up in the memory of the natural man, being classed among the knowledges therein, but still not acknowledged, believed, and ingrafted, unless the life is in accordance with them; for in this case the man comes into affection, and in so far as he comes into affection from life, so far these truths are implanted in his natural as in their ground. The truths which are not thus implanted are indeed with the man, but are merely in his memory as a matter of mere knowledge or history, which serves no other purpose than to be talked about and made the means of getting a reputation which is to serve for the acquisition of riches and honors. But in this case these truths are not implanted.
 That by the "land of the sons of the east" are signified the truths of love, thus the knowledges of truth which tend to good, may be seen from the signification of "sons," as being truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623); and from the signification of the "east," as being love (n. 101, 1250, 3249). Their "land" is the ground in which they are. That the " sons of the east" are those who are in the knowledges of truth and good, and consequently in the truths of love, may be seen also from other passages in the Word. As in the first book of Kings:--
The wisdom of Solomon was multiplied more than the wisdom of all the sons of the cast, and than all the wisdom of the Egyptians (1 Kings 4:30);
where by the "wisdom of the sons of the east" are signified the interior knowledges of truth and good, thus those who are in them; but by the "wisdom of the Egyptians" is signified the memory-knowledge of the same, which is in a lower degree. By the "Egyptians" are signified memory-knowledges in general, (n. 1164, 1165, 1462).
 In Jeremiah:--
Thus saith Jehovah, Arise ye, go up against Kedar, lay waste the sons of the east. Their tents and their flocks they shall take they shall take their curtains, and all their vessels, and their camels (Jer. 49:28, 29).
That by the "sons of the east" are here meant those who are in the knowledges of good and truth, is evident from the fact that they were to take their tents and flocks, also their curtains and all their vessels, and likewise their camels; for by "tents" are signified the holy things of good (n. 414, 1102, 2145, 2152, 3312); by "flocks," the goods of charity (n. 343, 2566); by "curtains," holy truths (n. 2576, 3478); by "vessels," truths of faith and memory-knowledges (n. 3068, 3079); by "camels," memory-knowledges in general (n. 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145). Thus by the "sons of the east" are signified those who are in these things, that is, who are in the knowledges of good and truth.
 That the wise men from the east who came to Jesus at His birth were of those who were called the "sons of the east," is evident from the fact that they were in the knowledge that the Lord was to be born, and that they knew of His advent by a star which appeared to them in the east, concerning which things we read in Matthew:--
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him (Matthew 2:1, 2).
That from ancient times such a prophetic knowledge had existed among the sons of the east, who were of Syria, is evident from Balaam‘s prophecy concerning the Lord’s advent, in Moses:--
I see Him, but not now I behold Him, but not nigh there shall arise a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise up out of Israel (Num. 24:17).
That Balaam was from the land of the sons of the east, that is, from Syria, is evident from these words:--
Balaam uttered his enunciation and said, Balak hath brought me from Syria, out of the mountains of the east (Num. 23:7).
Those wise men who came to Jesus at His birth are called magi, but wise men were so called at that time, as is evident from many passages; such as (Gen. 41:8; Exod. 7:11; Dan. 2:27; 4:6, 7; 1 Kings 4:30);
and from the Prophets throughout.
 That in the opposite sense the "sons of the east" signify the knowledges of evil and falsity, thus those who are in them, is evident in Isaiah:--
The envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the enemies of Judah shall be cut off they shall fly on the shoulder of the Philistines toward the sea and together shall they spoil the sons of the east (Isa. 11:13, 14).
Against the sons of Ammon. Behold I have delivered thee to the sons of the east for a possession, and they shall set their ordinances in thee (Ezek. 25:3, 4).
And in the book of Judges:--
When Israel sowed, Midian came up, and Amalek, and the sons of the east; they came up against him (Judges 6:3).
"Midian" denotes those who are in falsity because not in the good of life (n. 3242); "Amalek," those who are in falsities with which they assault truths (n. 1679); the "sons of the east," those who are in the knowledges of falsity.GENESIS 29:1 - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|