Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 29:12-13
AC 3802. Verses 12, 13. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother, and that he was Rebekah‘s son; and she ran and told her father. And it came to pass when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house; and he told Laban all these words. "And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father‘s brother," signifies the affinity of the good which is "Jacob" and of the good which is " Laban;" "and that he was Rebekah’s son," signifies the conjunction of these affinities; "and she ran and told her father," signifies acknowledgment by means of interior truths; "and it came to pass when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister‘s son," signifies the acknowledgment of the related good; "that he ran to meet him," signifies agreement; "and embraced him," signifies affection; "and kissed him," signifies initiation; "and brought him to his house," signifies to conjunction; "and he told Laban all these words," signifies from truths.
AC 3803. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother. That this signifies the affinity of the good which is "Jacob" and of the good which is "Laban," is evident from the signification of "telling," as being to make known; and from the representation of Jacob, as being good; and from the representation of Rachel to whom this was made known, as being the affection of interior truth (n. 3793); and from the signification of "brother," who here is Jacob, as being good (n. 367, 2360, 3303, 3459); and from the signification of "father," who here is Laban, as also being good (n. 3703). From all this and also from the series it is evident that by "Jacob told Rachel that he was her father‘s brother," is signified the affinity of the good which is "Jacob" and of the good which is "Laban." But to set forth this affinity itself, and the consequent conjunction of the two through the affection of interior truth (which is "Rachel") would be to make the subject more obscure, because few know what the good of the natural is, and that this is distinct from the, good of the rational; or what is the collateral good of a common stock; or again what is the affection of interior truth. He who by his own investigation has not acquired for himself some idea concerning these things, receives but a faint idea, if any, from description; for a man receives only so much from others as he either has of his own, or acquires for himself by looking into the matter in himself; all the rest passes away. Suffice it to know that there are innumerable affinities of good and truth, and that the heavenly societies are in accordance therewith (n. 685, 917, 2739, 3612).
 The reason why Jacob calls himself the brother" of Laban, when yet he was his sister’s son, is that all are brethren from good and for the same reason Laban in his turn calls Jacob "brother" (verse 15). It is good which makes blood relationship, and which conjoins; for good is of love, and love is spiritual conjunction. This is the reason why in the ancient churches all those who were in good were called brethren, and even in the Jewish Church but inasmuch as this church esteemed all others vile, and supposed themselves alone to be the chosen, they called only those brethren who were born Jews, and all others they called either companions or strangers. The primitive Christian Church also called all brethren who were in good, but afterwards only those who were within their own congregation. But the name "brother" vanished away from among Christians, together with good, and when truth succeeded in the place of good, or faith in the place of charity, then they could no longer from good call one another brethren, but neighbors. This also is the effect of the doctrine of faith without the life of charity, in that brotherhood with one of lower station than themselves seems to be beneath them; for with such persons brotherhood does not derive its origin from the Lord, and consequently from good; but from self, and consequently from honor and gain.
AC 3803a. And that he was Rebekah‘s son. That this signifies the conjunction of these affinities, is evident without explication; for Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and the sister of Laban, was she from whom was the conjunction.
AC 3804. And she ran and told her father. That this signifies acknowledgment by means of interior truths, is evident from the signification of "running and telling," as being the affection of making known, in the present case from acknowledgment; and from the signification of her "father," as being the good which is signified by "Laban." That the acknowledgment was by means of interior truths, is represented by Rachel, who signifies the affection of interior truth. From this it results that by these words is signified acknowledgment by means of interior truths. The case herein is this: The good which Jacob represents (which is the good of the natural), like all good in general, is known and acknowledged as to its existence, but not as to its quality, except by means of truths; for good receives its quality from truths, and thus by means of truths is known and acknowledged. Good does not become the good which is called the good of charity until truths are implanted in it, and such as are the truths that are implanted in it, such good does it become.
 For this reason the good of one person, although it may appear precisely similar to that of another, is yet not the same; and with all persons whatsoever in the universe the good of one is different from that of another. It is the same with human faces, in which for the most part the affections are portrayed, and throughout the whole human race none are exactly alike. Truths themselves constitute as it were the face of beauty, the good of which is from the form of truth, but it is good that affects. Such are all angelic forms, and such would man be if from interior life he were in love to the Lord, and in charity toward his neighbor. He was created into such forms, because into the likeness and image of God; and such forms as to their spirits are they who are regenerated, however they may appear as to the body. From this it is evident what is meant by good being acknowledged by means of interior truths.
AC 3805. And it came to pass when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son. That this signifies the acknowledgment of the related good, is evident in like manner from what results from the signification of these words in the internal sense; it is reciprocal acknowledgment which is thus described. It is evident that the subject here treated of is the good‘s choice, which choice precedes the marriage of good and truth.
AC 3806. He ran to meet him. That this signifies agreement, is evident from the signification of "to run to meet," as being agreement, for it looks to conjunction; concerning which below. It is well known that agreement or similitude conjoins.
AC 3807. And embraced him. That this signifies affection, is evident from the signification of "embracing," as being affection; for interior affection falls into this gesture, every affection having gestures in the body which correspond to it. That affection in general is expressed by embracing, is well known.
AC 3808. And kissed him. That this signifies initiation, is evident from the signification of" kissing," as being conjunction from affection (n. 3573, 3574, 3800), here, initiation into this conjunction, for initiation is precedent to conjunction.
AC 3809. And brought him to his house. That this signifies to conjunction, is evident from the signification of "bringing to a house," as being to himself; for in the internal sense man himself is called a "house" (n. 3128, 3142, 3538); and this from good, which properly is a "house" (n. 2233, 2234, 3652, 3720). In the present case therefore the signification is to the good which is represented by Laban; so that by "bringing to his house" is here signified conjunction. There is here fully described in the internal sense the process of the conjunction of natural good which is "Jacob," with collateral good which is "Laban." The following five things constitute this process; namely, mutual acknowledgment, agreement, affection, initiation, and conjunction. Mutual acknowledgment was signified by Rachel running and telling her father, and by Laban hearing the report of Jacob his sister’s son (n. 3804, 3805); agreement was signified by Laban running to meet him (n. 3806); affection by Laban embracing him (n. 3807); initiation by his kissing him (n. 3808); and conjunction by his bringing him to his house, as here stated.
AC 3810. And he told Laban all these words. That this signifies from truths, that is, that the acknowledgment, agreement, affection, initiation, and conjunction were therefrom, is evident from the series, and also from the words as explained according to the internal sense, whereof this is the conclusion (n. 3804). GENESIS 29:12-13 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|