Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 29:32
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AC 3859. Verse 32. And Leah conceived and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said, Because Jehovah hath seen my affliction, for now my man will love me. "And Leah conceived and bare a son," signifies spiritual conception and birth from what is external to what is internal; "and she called his name Reuben," signifies the quality thereof, which is described; "for she said, Because Jehovah hath seen," signifies in the supreme sense foresight, in the internal sense faith, in the interior sense understanding, in the external sense sight, and in the present case faith from the Lord; "my affliction," signifies a state of arriving at good; "for now my man will love me," signifies that hence would come the good of truth.

AC 3860. And Leah conceived and bare a son. That this signifies spiritual conception and birth from what is external to what is internal, is evident from the signification of "conceiving and hearing," as in the internal sense being to be regenerated; for the man who is being regenerated is conceived and born anew, wherefore regeneration is called a new birth, but spiritual. Man is indeed born of his parents as a man, but he does not become a man until he is reborn of the Lord Spiritual and heavenly life is that which makes a man, for this distinguishes him from brute animals. It is this spiritual conception and birth which is signified in the Word by the conceptions and births mentioned therein; and by what is here said--that "Leah conceived and bare a son." The generations and nativities are those of faith and love, which they signify, (n. 613, 1145, 1255, 2020, 2584, 3856). That these conceptions and births take place from what is external to what is internal, is signified by "Leah conceiving and bearing," for by Leah is represented the affection of external truth (n. 3793, 3819); and by Reuben the truth of faith, which is the first of regeneration, and the external from which regeneration commences. How the case herein is will appear from what follows concerning the children of Jacob by Leah and by Rachel.

AC 3861. And she called his name Reuben. That this signifies the quality thereof, which is described, is evident from the signification of "name" and of "calling a name," as being quality (n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2724, 3006, 3321). The quality itself is described by the words, "Jehovah hath seen my affliction, for now my man will love me," which are "Reuben." All the names in the Word signify actual things, (n. 1224, 1264, 1876, 1888; and the ancients gave names significative of states, (n. 340, 1946, 2643, 3422). That here the names of all the sons of Jacob signify the universals of the church, will be shown. A real universal has also been put into the name of each; but what universal it is impossible for anyone to know, unless he knows what is involved in the internal sense of the expressions from which each one was called--as for instance in the expression, "hath seen," from which Reuben was named; in the expression, "hath heard," from which Simeon was named; in the expression, "will adhere," from which Levi was named; and in the expression, "will confess," from which Judah was named; and so with regard to all the others.

AC 3862. It has been shown above (n. 3858) that the "twelve tribes" signified all things of truth and good, or of faith and love; and as the sons of Jacob from whom the tribes were named are now treated of one by one, therefore another arcanum is here to be opened, namely, what is involved in them. That all celestial and spiritual heat, or love and charity, is perceived in external form in heaven as a flaming from the sun; and that all celestial and spiritual light, or faith, in the external form in heaven appears as light from the sun; also, that this celestial and spiritual heat has within it wisdom; and that the light therefrom has within it intelligence, and this because they are from the Lord, who is there the sun, may be seen above. (n. 1053, 1521-1533, 1619-1632, 2441, 2495, 2776, 3138, 3167, 3190, 3195, 3222, 3223, 3338, 3339, 3341, 3413, 3485, 3636, 3643). From this it is evident that all good is from the heat which is from the Lord as a sun; and that all truth is from the light therefrom; and it is further evident that all affections, which are of love or good, are variations of that celestial and spiritual heat which is from the Lord, and that thence come the changes of state; and that all thoughts, which are of faith or truth, are variegations of that celestial and spiritual light which is from the Lord, and that thence comes intelligence. In this heat and light are all the angels in heaven, and their affections and thoughts are from no other source, and are nothing else. This is manifest from their speech, which in consequence of this origin consists of variegations or modifications of heavenly light, within which there is heavenly heat, and is therefore also unutterable, and so various and full as to be beyond comprehension (n. 3342, 3344, 3345).

[2] In order that these things might be exhibited representatively in the world, such names were given to the several sons of Jacob as would signify the universals of good and truth, or of love and faith, thus universals in respect to the variations of celestial and spiritual heat, and as to the variegations of the derivative light. The very order of these universals is that which determines the flame and its derivative resplendence. When the order begins from love, everything which follows thence in genuine order appears flaming; but when the order begins from faith, everything which follows in genuine order appears lucid; but with every difference according to the things which follow. But if the order in which they follow is not genuine, everything appears obscure, with every difference. Concerning this order and the difference thence resulting, of the Lord‘s Divine mercy something shall be said hereafter. This explains how it was that the Lord gave answers by the Urim and Thummim, and that according to the state of the matter in question they received answers by means of lights and their radiance from the precious and pellucid stones, on which were inscribed the names of the twelve tribes; for as before said, on the names were inscribed the universals of love and faith in the Lord’s kingdom, consequently the universals of flame and light whereby the things of love and faith are represented in heaven.

[3] It may therefore he first confirmed from the Word that the order in which the names of the tribes are mentioned is various in the Word, and this in accordance with the state of the subject treated of; and that from this it may be known that the answers from the Lord given by the Urim and Thummim were shinings forth of light according to the state of the matter in question from order; for all the light of heaven varies according to the states of the subject; and the states of the subject vary according to the order of good and truth. But what of truth and good is signified by each son of Jacob, will be seen from the explication; namely, that by "Reuben" is signified faith from the Lord; by "Simeon" faith of the will which is from the Lord; by "Levi" spiritual love or charity; by "Judah" the Divine of love and the Lord‘s celestial kingdom. What is signified by the eight remaining sons, will be stated in the following chapter. Their order according to birth is what is here described, which is as follows: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin (verses 32-35) of this chapter, and (Gen. 30:6, 8, 11, 13, 18, 20, 24) and (Gen. 35:18). This order is according to the state of the subject here treated of, which is the regeneration of man; for in this case the commencement is from the truth of faith, which is "Reuben;" and progression is thence made to willing what is true, which is "Simeon;" and thence to charity, which is "Levi;" thus to the Lord, who in the supreme sense is represented by Judah. That spiritual conception and birth, or regeneration, proceeds from what is external to what is internal, was stated above (n. 3860); that is, from the truth of faith to the good of love.

[4] Previous to Jacob’s coming to his father Isaac, in Mamre (Kiriath-arba), the twelve sons are named in the following order: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher (Gen. 35:23-26); in which enumeration the sons born of Leah and Rachel are named first, and last those born of the handmaids, and this according to the state of the subject there treated of. They are enumerated in a still different order when they journeyed and came to Egypt (Gen. 46:9-19); and in another order when they were blessed by Jacob, at that time Israel, before his death (Gen. 49:3-27); and in another when they were blessed by Moses (Deut. 33:6-24). They were in the following order when they encamped around the tent of assembly: to the east, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun; to the south, Reuben, Simeon, Gad; to the west, Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin; to the north, Dan, Asher, Naphtali (Num. 2). In what order they stood for blessing the people on Mount Gerizim and for cursing on Mount Ebal, may be seen in (Deut. 27:12, 13). When the princes chosen from each tribe were sent to explore the land, they are enumerated in this order: Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Issachar, Ephraim, Benjamin, Zebulun, Joseph or Manasseh, Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Gad (Num. 13:4-16). But the princes who were to give the land for inheritance are enumerated in another order (Num. 34:19-29). In what order the lot was cast and came forth when the land was given for inheritance, may be seen in Joshua 13 to 19.

[5] When in Ezekiel the boundaries of the new or holy land which the tribes were to inherit are described, they are mentioned in this order: Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, Reuben, Judah, Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun, Gad, all from the corner eastward to the corner of the sea or west, except Gad, who was at the corner of the south, toward the south (Ezek. 48:2-8, 23-26); and when treating of the gates of the new or holy city, they are mentioned in this order: toward the north three gates, of Reuben, Judah, and Levi; toward the east three gates, of Joseph, Benjamin, and Dan; toward the south three gates, of Simeon, Issachar, and Zebulun; toward the west three gates, of God, Asher, and Naphtali (Ezek. 48:31-34). The order of those who were sealed, twelve thousand out of every tribe, see (Rev. 7:5-8). In all these passages the enumeration of the tribes is altogether according to the state of the specific subject that is being treated of, to which the order corresponds; this state being seen from the things that precede and that follow.

[6] What was the order of the precious stones in the Urim and Thummim is mentioned and described in the Word, but to what tribe each stone corresponded is not mentioned, for the stones represented all things of light from celestial flame, that is, all things of truth from good, or all things of faith from love; and because they had this representation, heavenly light itself shone through in a miraculous manner in accordance with the state of the subject concerning which there was question and answer, being glowing and shining for an affirmative of what was good and true, together with variegations of colors according to the differences of the state of that which was good and true; just as takes place in heaven, where all celestial and spiritual things are expressed by means of lights and their differences, and this in a manner ineffable and altogether incomprehensible by man; for as before shown within heavenly light there is life from the Lord, consequently wisdom and intelligence, and therefore in the differences of the light there is everything that belongs to the life of truth, that is, everything that belongs to wisdom and intelligence; and in the differences of the flame and of its glowing and resplendence, there is everything that belongs to the life of good and to the life of truth from good, or to love to the Lord and the derivative faith. Such were the Urim and Thummim that were on the breastplate of the ephod and on the heart of Aaron, as is also evident from the fact that the words "Urim and Thummim" mean "Lights and Perfections," and that the breastplate, on which they were placed, was called the "breastplate of judgment," because "judgment" is intelligence and wisdom (n. 2235). The reason why this was on Aaron‘s heart, was that by the "heart" is signified the Divine love (n. 3635), and at the end of this chapter. Hence those precious stones were in settings of gold, for in the internal sense "gold" is the good of love (n. 113, 1551, 1552); and "precious stone," the truth that is transparent from good (n. 114).

[7] Concerning the Urim and Thummim we read in Moses:--

Thou shalt make a breastplate of judgment, a work of designing, like the work of the ephod thou shalt make it, of gold, of blue, and of crimson, and of scarlet double-dyed, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it. Foursquare it shall be doubled and thou shalt set in it settings of stone, four rows of stone shall there be sockets of gold shall there be in their settings. And the stones shall be according to the names of the sons of Israel, twelve according to their names; the engravings of a signet, everyone according to his name, they shall be for the twelve tribes (Exod. 28:15-17, 20; 39:8-14).

The stones that were to be in each row are also there designated. And further:--

The breastplate shall not depart from off the ephod and Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastplate upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before Jehovah continually. And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart when he goeth in before Jehovah; and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the sons of Israel upon his heart before Jehovah continually (Exod. 28:28-30; Lev. 8:7, 8).

That Jehovah or the Lord was inquired of and gave answers by means of the Urim, may be seen in Moses:--

Jehovah said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, and thou shalt put of thy glory upon him, that all the congregation of the sons of Israel may obey. He shall stand before Eleazar the priest, and he shall inquire for him in the judgment of the Urim before Jehovah (Num. 27:18, 20, 21).

And in Samuel:--

Saul inquired of Jehovah, and Jehovah answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets (1 Sam. 28:6).

AC 3863. For she said, Because Jehovah hath seen. That in the supreme sense this signifies foresight, in the internal sense faith, in the interior sense understanding, and in the external sense sight, in the present case faith from the Lord, is evident from the signification of "seeing," concerning which in what follows. From what has been said above, it may be seen that the twelve tribes, named from the twelve sons of Jacob, signified all things of truth and good, or of faith and love, thus all things of the church, and that each tribe signified some universal; thus the twelve tribes signified the twelve universals which comprehend and include within them all things whatsoever that belong to the church; and in the universal sense, all things that belong to the Lord‘s kingdom. The universal which "Reuben" signifies, is faith. The reason why faith is the first universal, is that when man is being regenerated or becoming a church, he must first learn and become imbued with the things of faith, that is, of spiritual truth; for he is introduced by means of the doctrine of faith, or of truth. For man is of such a nature that of himself he does not know what heavenly good is, but must learn it from doctrine, which is called the doctrine of faith. Every doctrine of faith regards life as the end, and therefore good, for good is life.

[2] It was a controverted point among the ancients, which was the firstborn of the church, the truth which is of faith, or the good which is of love. They who maintained that the truth which is of faith is the firstborn, argued from the external appearance, and determined this to be the first, because truth is and ought to be first learned, and because by means of it man is introduced to good. But they knew not that good is essentially the firstborn, and that it is insinuated by the Lord through the internal man, in order that it may adopt and receive the truth which is introduced through the external man; nor were they aware that in good there is life from the Lord, and that in truth there is no life but that which it has through good; thus that good is the soul of truth, and appropriates to itself and puts on truth as the soul does its body. From this we can see that according to the external appearance truth is in the first place, and is as it were the firstborn while man is being regenerated; although good is essentially in the first place, and is the firstborn, and is placed first when man has been regenerated. That this is the case may be seen in, (n. 3539, 3548, 3556, 3563, 3570, 3576, 3603, 3701).

[3] As the subject treated of in this chapter, and in those which precede, is the regeneration of the natural, and here its first state, which is that of introduction by means of truth to good, therefore the first son of Jacob, or Reuben, was named from "Jehovah seeing," which in the internal sense signifies faith from the Lord. Regarded in itself, faith is a faith in the understanding and a faith in the will; to know and understand the truth which is of faith is called faith in the understanding; but to will the truth which is of faith is called faith in the will. Faith in the understanding is that which is signified by "Reuben;" but faith in the will is what is signified by "Simeon." That faith in the understanding, or the understanding of truth, precedes faith in the will, or the willing of truth, must be evident to everyone; for when anything is unknown to man (such as heavenly good), he must first know that it exists, and understand what it is, before he can will it.

[4] That in the external sense "to see" signifies sight, is evident without explication; and that in the interior sense "to see" signifies understanding, may also be evident, for the sight of the internal man is nothing else than understanding, and therefore in common discourse understanding is called internal sight, and light is predicated of it, as of external sight, and is called intellectual light. That in the internal sense "to see" denotes faith from the Lord, is evident from the fact that the interior understanding has no other objects than those which are of truth and good, for these are the objects of faith. This interior understanding, or internal sight, which has for its objects the truths which are of faith, does not manifest itself so much as does the understanding which has for its objects the truths of civic and moral life, for the reason that it is within the latter, and is in the light of heaven, which light is in obscurity so long as man is in the light of the world. Nevertheless with those who have been regenerated, it reveals itself, especially by conscience. That in the supreme sense "to see" is foresight, must be evident, for the intelligence which is predicated of the Lord is infinite intelligence, which is nothing else than foresight.

[5] That "seeing," from which Reuben was named, in the internal sense signifies faith from the Lord, is manifest from very many passages in the Word, of which the following may be adduced:--

Jehovah said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a standard and it shall come to pass that everyone that is bitten, and shall see it, shall live. Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it upon a standard and it came to pass that if a serpent had bitten any man, and he looked unto the serpent of brass, he lived again (Num. 21:8, 9).

That the brazen serpent represented the Lord as to the external sensuous or natural, may be seen above (n. 197); and that "brass" signifies the natural (n. 425, 1551). That faith in Him was represented by the living again of those who saw, or looked upon it, the Lord Himself teaches in John:--

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the So" of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but should have eternal life (John 3:14, 15).

[6] In Isaiah:--

The Lord said, Go and say unto this people, Hearing hear ye, but do not understand; and seeing see ye, and do not know; make the heart of this people fat, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and their heart should understand (Isa. 6:9, 10).

That "seeing and not knowing" here signifies understanding what is true and yet not acknowledging it, is manifest; and that "blinding the eyes, lest they should see with their eyes" signifies depriving them of the understanding of truth; and that "seeing" here signifies faith in the Lord, is evident from the Lord’s words in (Matthew 13:13, 14; John 12:36, 37, 39, 40).

[7] In Ezekiel:--

Son of man thou dwellest in the midst of the house of rebellion, who have eyes to see, but see not; who have ears to hear, and hear not (Ezek. 12:2);

"having eyes to see but not seeing" signifies that they were able to understand the truths of faith, but were not willing, and this because of evils (which are the "house of rebellion") inducing a deceptive light on falsities, and darkness on truths, according to these words in Isaiah:--

This is a people of rebellion, lying sons, sons that would not hear the law of Jehovah who have said to the seers, See not; and to them that have vision, See not for us right things, speak to us smooth things, see illusions (Isa. 30:9, 10).


The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined (Isa. 9:2);

where "seeing a great light" signifies receiving and believing the truths which are of faith. On those who are in faith heavenly light is said to "shine," for the light which is in heaven is Divine truth from Divine good.

[8] Again:--

Jehovah hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes the prophets and your heads, the seers hath He covered (Isa. 29:10);

"to close the eyes" denotes to close the understanding of truth. "The eye" denotes the understanding, (n. 2701); "covering the seers" denotes to cover those who know and teach the truths of faith. Seers were formerly called "prophets," and "prophets" denote those who teach, and also the truths of doctrine, (n. 2534). Again:--

The priest and the prophet err through strong drink; they err among the seers; they stumble in judgment (Isa. 28:7);

where the sense is the same; that the "judgment" wherein they "stumble" is the truth of faith may be seen above (n. 2235). Again:--

The eyes of them that see shall not be closed, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken (Isa. 32:3).

[9] Again:--

Thine eyes shall behold the king In his beauty, they shall see the land of far distances (Isa. 33:17);

"to behold the king in beauty" denotes the truths of faith which are from the Lord, which are called "beautiful" from good; "to see the land of far distances" denotes the good of love. A "king" is the truth of faith, (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670); "beautiful" is predicated from good, (n. 553, 3080, 3821); and "land" is the good of love, (n. 620, 636, 3368, 3379). In Matthew:--

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Matthew 5:8);

where it is manifest that "to see God" is to believe in Him, thus to see Him by faith; for they who are in faith, from faith see God, because God is in faith, and is that in faith which constitutes true faith.

[10] Again:--

If thine eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out for it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the gehenna of fire (Matthew 18:9);

that in this passage the "eye" does not mean the eye, and that it is not to be plucked out, is manifest, for this does not cause to stumble; but the understanding of truth, which is here meant by the "eye" (n. 2701). That it is better not to know and apprehend the truths of faith, than to know and apprehend them and yet live a life of evil, is signified by its "being better to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the gehenna of fire."

[11] In the same:--

Blessed are your eyes, for they see and your ears, for they hear. Verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see the things which ye see, but did not see them (Matthew 13:16, 17; John 12:40);

"seeing" here denotes knowing and understanding the things which are of faith in the Lord, thus faith; for they were not blessed because they saw the Lord, and saw His miracles, but because they believed; as may be seen from these words in John:--

I said unto you, that ye also have seen Me, and believe not. This is the will of Him that sent Me, that everyone who seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, should have eternal life. Not that anyone hath seen the Father, save He that is with the Father, He hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me hath eternal life (John 6:36, 40, 46, 47);

"seeing and not believing" denotes knowing the truths of faith and not receiving them; "seeing and believing" denotes knowing and receiving them; "no one having seen the Father save He that is with the Father" denotes that Divine good cannot be acknowledged except by means of Divine truth. The "Father" is Divine good, and the "Son" Divine truth, (n. 3704). Hence the internal sense is that no one can have celestial good unless He acknowledges the Lord.

[12] In like manner in the same Evangelist:--

No one hath seen God at any time the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him (John 1:18).

And again:--

Jesus said, He that seeth Me, seeth Him that sent Me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me should not abide in darkness (John 12:45, 46);

where it is said plainly that "to see" is to believe, or to have faith. Again:--

Jesus said, If ye had known Me, ye would have known My Father also; and from henceforth ye know Him and have seen Him. He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father (John 14:7, 9).


The Spirit of Truth whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him I will not leave you orphans; I come unto you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more but ye see Me because I live ye shall live also (John 14:17-19);

where "seeing" signifies having faith, for the Lord is seen only by faith, because faith is the eye of love, the Lord being seen by love through faith, and love being the life of faith; wherefore it is said, "Ye see Me; because I live, ye shall live also."

[13] Again:--

Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they who see not may see and that they who see may be made blind. The Pharisees said, Are we also blind I Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye would not have sin; but now ye say, We see therefore your sin remaineth (John 9:39-41);

here "they who see" denote those who imagine themselves to be more intelligent than others, concerning whom it is said that they "should be made blind," that is, should not receive faith. "Not to see," or "to be blind," is predicated of those who are in falsities, and also of those who are in ignorance, (n. 2383). In Luke:--

Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God; but to the rest in parables that seeing they may not see and hearing they may not hear (Luke 8:10).


I say unto you, There be some standing here who shall not taste of death, until they see the kingdom of God (Luke 9:27; Mark 9:1);

"to see the kingdom of God" denotes to believe. Again:--

Jesus said unto His disciples, The days shall come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, but ye shall not see (Luke 17:22);

where the consummation of the age, or last time of the church, is treated of, when there is no longer any faith.

[14] Again:--

It came to pass when Jesus sat down with them, that He took the bread, and blessed, and breaking, gave to them; and their eyes were opened, and they knew Him (Luke 24:30, 31);

by which was signified that the Lord appears by good, but not by truth without good, for "bread" is the good of love (n. 276, 680, 2165, 2177, 3478, 3735, 3813). From these and other passages it is evident that "seeing," in the internal sense, signifies faith from the Lord, for there is no other faith which is faith than that which comes from the Lord. This also enables man to "see," that is, to believe; but faith from self, or from what is man‘s own, is not faith, for it causes him to see falsities as truths, and truths as falsities; and if he sees truths as truths, still he does not see, because he does not believe, for he sees himself in them, and not the Lord.

[15] That "to see" is to have faith in the Lord, is very plain from what has been frequently said above concerning the light of heaven, namely, that being from the Lord, it is attended with intelligence and wisdom, consequently with faith in Him; for faith in the Lord is inwardly within intelligence and wisdom; wherefore "to see" from that light, as angels do, can signify nothing else than faith in the Lord. The Lord Himself also is in that light, because it proceeds from Him. It is that light also which shines within the conscience of those who have faith in the Lord, although while he lives in the body the man is unaware of the fact, for it is then obscured by the light of the world.

AC 3864. My affliction (namely, "Because Jehovah hath seen"). That this signifies a state of arriving at good, is evident from the signification of "affliction," as being temptation (n. 1846); and because this is the means of arriving at good, "my affliction" here signifies a state of coming from truth (which is external), and of arriving at good (which is internal).

AC 3865. For now my man will love me. That this signifies that hence would come the good of truth, is evident from the signification of "will love," as being the good therefrom; for all good is of love, and is therefore here signified by "loving;" and from the signification of "man," as being truth (n. 3134). What the good of truth is, has often been explained above, namely, that it is the affection of truth for the sake of life; for life is the good which is regarded in the truth by those who are afterwards regenerated. without a life according to truth, no conjunction of truth with good is effected, consequently no appropriation.

[2] Everyone can plainly see this by directing his attention to those who live ill, and to those who live well: they who live ill, even although like others they have been instructed during childhood and youth in the doctrines of the church, are nevertheless found on examination to believe nothing at all concerning the Lord, or concerning faith in Him and the truths of the church; whereas they who live well have everyone of them faith in the truths which they believe to be truths. They however who teach truths, as do the overseers of the church, and live ill, may indeed profess to believe, yet still at heart they do not believe.

[3] With some of these there is a persuasion which has the semblance of faith, amounting to no more than mere memory-knowledge confirmed, not because it is truth, but because it is expedient to make profession of it for the sake of one’s office, honor, and gain. This penetrates no deeper than through the ears into the memory, and from the memory it goes forth into the lips, but not into the heart, and from this into confession. From this it is evident that it is the life which shows the quality of the acknowledgment of truth; that is, the quality of the faith; and that it is faith separated from the good of life which declares that however a man lives he may nevertheless be saved through grace; and which argues against the doctrine that everyone‘s life remains with him after death.

AC 3866. From the internal sense of the words which Leah uttered concerning Reuben at his birth-" Jehovah hath seen mine affliction, for now my man will love me," it may be seen what of the church " Reuben" signifies, or the tribe which took its name from Reuben, namely, that which is the first of regeneration, or which is the first when man is becoming a church; and that this is the truth of doctrine whereby he may attain to the good of life.

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info