Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 29:33
AC 3867. Verse 33. And she conceived again, and bare a son, and said, Because Jehovah hath heard that I was hated, and hath given me this one also; and she called his name Simeon. "And she conceived again, and bare a son," signifies, as before, spiritual conception and birth from what is external toward things more interior; "because Jehovah hath heard," signifies in the supreme sense providence, in the internal sense the will of faith, in the interior sense obedience, in the external sense hearing, in the present case faith in the will, which is from the Lord alone; "that I was hated," signifies a state of faith if the will is not correspondent to it; "and hath given me this one also," signifies what is successive; "and she called his name Simeon," signifies its quality.
AC 3868. And she conceived again, and bare a son. That this signifies spiritual conception and birth from what is external toward things more interior, is evident from what was said above (n. 3860), where the same words occur. Advancement is said to be made from what is external toward things more interior, when it is made from the memory-knowledge which is of the understanding, to the will; or, speaking spiritually, when it is made from the truth which is of faith, to charity. For the understanding is that which proceeds from the will, and which manifests the will in a certain visible form; in like manner, faith proceeds from charity, and manifests charity in a certain form. From this it is evident that the understanding is the external of the will; and that faith is the external of charity; or what is the same, that the will is the internal of the understanding, and charity the internal of faith. Thus to advance from what is external to things more interior, is to advance from faith in the understanding to faith in the will, consequently from faith to charity, which is represented by Levi (concerning whom in what presently follows). Be it known that by faith, when distinguished from charity, is meant truth, such as the truth of doctrine, or such as there is in the confession called the Apostles’ Creed; and this is according to the general sense in the church; for to have faith in truths is believed to be the faith by which is salvation. Few know that faith is trust and confidence, and among these few, still fewer know that trust or confidence is from charity, and is not possible with anyone who has not lived the life of charity.
AC 3869. And said, Because Jehovah hath heard. That in the supreme sense this signifies providence; in the internal sense, the will of faith; in the interior sense, obedience; in the external sense, hearing; in the present case faith in the will, which is from the Lord alone, is evident from the signification of "hearing." That "to hear" is of the sense of hearing, it is needless to explain; but that in the interior sense "to hear" is obedience, and in the internal sense faith in the will, is evident from many passages in the Word; and also from the nature of hearing in respect to that of sight. That in the interior sense "sight" is understanding, and in the internal sense, faith in the understanding, may be seen above (n. 3863); and this because the quality of things becomes apparent by the internal sight, and thereby they are apprehended by a kind of faith, but an intellectual kind. In like manner when the things which are heard penetrate to the interiors, they are also changed into something like sight, for what is heard is seen interiorly; and therefore by "hearing" there is also signified that which is signified by "sight," namely, that which is of the understanding, and also that which is of faith; but the hearing at the same time persuades that the case is so, and affects not only the intellectual part of man, but also his will part, and causes him to will that which he sees. Hence it is that "hearing" signifies the understanding of a thing, and at the same time obedience; and in the spiritual sense, faith in the will.
 As all this is latent in hearing, namely, obedience and faith in the will, therefore these likewise are signified in common speech by "hearing," "hearkening," and "attending;" for "to hear" is to be obedient; and "to hearken to anyone" is also to obey. For the interior things of a matter are sometimes thus contained within the expressions of man‘s speech, for the reason that it is the spirit of man which thinks and perceives the meaning of the expressions of speech, and this is in a certain communion with spirits and angels, who are in the first principles of the expressions. Moreover such is the circle of things in man, that whatever enters by the ear and eye, or by the hearing and sight, passes into his understanding, and through the understanding into the will, and from the will into act. And in like manner the truth of faith first becomes the truth of faith in memory-knowledge; afterwards the truth of faith in the will; and lastly the truth of faith in act, thus charity. Faith in memory-knowledge, or in the understanding, is "Reuben," as already shown; faith in the will is "Simeon;" and when faith in the will becomes charity it is "Levi."
 That in the supreme sense "to hear" signifies providence, may be seen from what has been said above (n. 3863) concerning "seeing," as being in the supreme sense foresight; for the Lord’s foreseeing is the seeing from eternity to eternity that the case is so; but the Lord‘s providing is the directing that it be so; and is the bending of man’s freedom to good, in so far as He foresees that man will suffer himself to be bent in freedom (n. 3854).
 That by "Jehovah hearing," from which Simeon was named, in the interior sense is signified obedience, and in the internal sense faith in the will from the Lord alone, is manifest from very many passages in the Word; as from the following. In Matthew:--
Behold a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him (Matthew 17:5);
"to hear Him" denotes to have faith in Him, and to obey His commandments; thus to have faith in the will. In John:--
Verily, verily, I say unto you, that the hour cometh when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. Marvel not at this; for the hour cometh in which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice (John 5:25, 28);
"to hear the voice of the Son of God" denotes to have faith in the words of the Lord, and to will them. They who have faith of the will, receive life; wherefore it is said, "they that hear shall live."
He who entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep to him the porter openeth and the sheep hear his voice. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one flock, and one shepherd. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me (John 10:2, 3, 16, 27);
"to hear the voice" manifestly denotes to obey from faith of the will. Again:--
Everyone that is of the truth heareth My voice (John 18:37);
where the same thing is meant. In Luke:--
Abraham said unto him, They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them. If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rose from the dead (Luke 16:29, 31);
"to hear Moses and the Prophets" denotes to know the things contained in the Word, and to have faith therein; thus also to will them; for to have faith and not to will, is to see and not to hear, but to have faith and to will is both to "see" and to "hear;" wherefore both "seeing" and "hearing" are mentioned together in the Word throughout; and by "seeing" is signified the same as by "Reuben;" and by "hearing" the same as by " Simeon;" for they are joined together as brother to brother.
 That "seeing" and "hearing" are mentioned together, is evident from the following passages. In Matthew:--
Therefore speak I to them by parables because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand, and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive for this people‘s heart is waxed gross, and with ears they have heard dully, and their eyes they have closed lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart. But 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, and have not seen them; and to hear the things which ye hear, and have not heard them (Matthew 13:13-17; John 12:40; Isa. 6:9).
Jesus said to the disciples, Why reason ye because ye have no bread? Do ye not yet comprehend, neither understand? Have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? (Mark 8:17, 18).
 In Luke:--
Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God; but to others in parables that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not hear (Luke 8:10).
The eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be opened (Isa. 35:5).
And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of thick darkness, and out of darkness (Isa. 29:18).
Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see (Isa. 42:18).
Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears (Isa. 43:8).
The eyes of them that see shall not be closed, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken (Isa. 32:3).
Thine eyes shall see thy teachers, and thine ears shall hear a word (Isa. 30:20, 21).
He that stoppeth his ear from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil, shall dwell on high (Isa. 33:15, 16).
Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of the house of rebellion, that have eyes to see, and see not; that have ears to hear, and hear not (Ezek. 12:2).
In these passages mention is made of both "seeing" and "hearing" because the one follows the other; that is, faith in the understanding which is "seeing," and faith in the will which is "hearing;" otherwise it would have been sufficient to mention one only; and from this it is also evident why one son of Jacob was named from "seeing" and another from "hearing."
 That "seeing".signifies faith in memory-knowledge or in the understanding; and "hearing," faith in obedience or in the will, is from the correspondences in the other life, and the derivative significatives for those who are intellectual and are thence in faith belong to the province of the eye; and those who are obedient and thence in faith belong to the province of the ear. That this is the case will be seen at the close of the chapters, where of the Lord’s Divine mercy the Grand Man, and the correspondence of all things in the human body therewith, will be described.
 Hence then it is that in the internal sense the "eye" is the understanding (n. 2701); and that the "ear" is obedience, and in the spiritual sense the derivative faith, or faith in the will; as is evident also from the following passages. In Isaiah:--
Yea, thou heardest not yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time thine ear opened not itself (Isa. 48:8).
The Lord Jehovih will waken mine ear to hear, as they that are taught the Lord Jehovih hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious (Isa. 50:4, 5).
In attending attend to Me, and eat ye that which is good, that your soul may delight itself in fatness Incline your ear, and come unto Me; hear that your soul may live (Isa. 55:2, 3).
To whom shall I speak and testify, that they may hear behold their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken (Jer. 6:10).
This thing I commanded them, saying, Hear ye My voice and I will be your God, and ye shall be My people and they heard not, nor inclined their ear (Jer. 7:23, 24, 26).
Hear the word of Jehovah, O ye women and let your ear receive the word of His mouth (Jer. 9:20).
Ye have not inclined your ear, and have not obeyed Me (Jer. 35:15).
Son of man, all My words that I have spoken unto thee, receive in thy heart, and hear with thine ears (Ezek. 3:10).
I will set my zeal against thee, and they shall deal with thee In fury they shall take away thy nose and thine ears (Ezek. 23:25);
"to take away the nose and the ears" denotes the perception of truth and good, and the obedience of faith. In Zechariah:--
They refused to hearken, and turned a stubborn shoulder, and made their ears heavy, that they should not hear; and their heart have they set as adamant, that they might not hear the law (Zech. 7:11, 12).
 In Amos:--
Thus saith Jehovah, As the shepherd snatcheth out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the sons of Israel be snatched away in Samaria, in the corner of a bed, and on the end of a couch (Amos 3:12);
"to snatch the two legs" denotes the will of good; and the "piece of an ear," the will of truth. That a "piece of an ear" denotes this can as before said be seen solely from the correspondences in the other life, and the derivative significatives, according to which is the internal sense of the Word, and also the rituals in the Israelitish and Jewish Church. Hence it was that when Aaron and his sons were inaugurated into the ministry, it was commanded, among other things, that Moses should take of the blood of a ram, and should put it on the tip of Aaron‘s ear, and upon the tip of the ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot (Exod. 29:20). By this ritual was represented the will of faith, into which also as priest he was to be initiated. That this ritual was holy, everyone may know, because it was enjoined upon Moses by Jehovah; and so also putting blood on the tip of the ear was holy. But what particular holy thing this signified can be known only from the internal sense of things in the Word, which sense here is that the holy of faith from the will must be preserved.
 That by the "ear" is signified obedience, and in the internal sense the consequent faith, is still more plainly evident from the ritual respecting a servant who was not willing to depart from service; concerning whom we read in Moses:--
If a manservant or maidservant shall not be willing to depart from service, his master shall bring him unto God, and shall bring him to the door, or unto the doorpost, and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him forever (Exod. 21:5, 6; Deut. 15:17);
"boring the ear through with an awl at the doorpost" signifies serving or obeying perpetually; in the spiritual sense it signifies not to will to understand truth, but to will truth from obedience, which relatively is not freedom.
 As in the internal sense the obedience of faith is understood by "ears," and obeying by "hearing," it is evident what is signified by these words of the Lord, so often uttered by Him:--
He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear (Matt. 13:9, 43; Mark 4:9, 23; 7:16; Luke 8:8; 14:35; Rev. 2:7, 11, 29; 3:13, 22).
 That in the supreme sense "to hear" signifies providence; and "to see" foresight, is evident from the passages in the Word where "eyes" and "ears" are predicated of Jehovah or the Lord; as in Isaiah:--
Incline Thine ear O Jehovah and hear; open Thine eyes O Jehovah and see (Isa. 37:17).
O my God incline Thine ear and hear; open O Jehovah Thine eyes and see our wastes (Daniel 9:18).
O God incline Thine ear unto me, and hear my speech (Ps. 17:6).
Incline Thine ear unto me, and save me (Ps. 71:2).
Turn Thine ear to my prayers because of Thy truth, answer me because of Thy righteousness (Ps. 143:1).
O Jehovah Thou heardest my voice; hide not Thine ear at my sighing, at my cry (Lam. 3:55, 56).
O Jehovah hide not Thy faces from me in the day of my distress; incline Thine ear to me in the day when I cry, answer me (Ps. 102:1, 2).
It is known that Jehovah has not ears nor eyes like a man, but that it is some attribute predicable of the Divine that is signified by the "ear" and by the "eye," namely, infinite will and infinite understanding. Infinite will is providence, and infinite understanding is foresight; these are what are understood by "ear" and "eye" in the supreme sense, when they are attributed to Jehovah. From all this it is now manifest what in every sense is signified by "Jehovah hath heard," from which Simeon was named.
AC 3870. That I was hated. That this signifies a state of faith if the will be not correspondent thereto, is evident from the signification of "being hated," as being not loved, for such is the state of faith if the will does not correspond to it. In the internal sense the subject treated of is the progress of man’s regeneration from external to internal; that is, from the truth of faith to the good of charity. The truth of faith is external, and the good of charity is internal. In order that the truth of faith may live, it must be introduced into the will, that it may there receive life; for truth does not live from knowing, but from willing. Life flows in from the Lord through the new willing that He creates in man. The first life manifests itself by obedience, which is the first of the will; the second by the affection of doing the truth, which is the progression of the will, and which exists when delight and bliss are perceived in doing the truth. Unless there takes place such a progress of faith, truth does not become truth, but becomes a separate affair from life, sometimes confirmative of falsity, and sometimes persuasive of it, thus a foul affair; for it couples itself with the man‘s evil affection, or cupidity; that is, with his own proper will, which is contrary to charity. Such is the faith that by many at this day is believed to be faith, and to save without the works of charity.
 But this faith, which is separate from charity, and therefore contrary to charity, is represented in what follows by Reuben, in that he lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine (Gen. 35:22), and concerning which Jacob, then Israel, expresses his detestation in the words:--
Reuben, my firstborn, thou art my might, and the beginning of my strength; light as water thou shalt not excel, because thou wentest up on thy father‘s bed, then defiledst thou it; he went up on my couch (Gen. 49:3, 4).
The will and affection of this faith, namely, that which is separated from charity, as being contrary to charity, is also described in the same chapter by Simeon and Levi in these words:--
Simeon and Levi are brethren; weapons of violence are their swords let not my soul come into their secret; into their assembly let not my glory unite itself; for in their fury they slew a man, and in their will they unstrung an ox. Cursed be their fury, for it was fierce; and their anger, for it was cruel; I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel (Gen. 49:5-7).
That it is faith separate from charity which is here described by "Simeon and Levi," will of the Lord’s Divine mercy be shown in what follows.
AC 3871. And hath given me the one also. That this signifies what is successive, namely, faith in obedience or in the will, as succeeding faith in memory-knowledge or in the understanding, was shown above. This is signified by "and hath given me this one also."
AC 3872. And she called his name Simeon. That this signifies its quality, is evident from the signification of "name," and of "calling a name," as being quality (n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2724, 3006, 3421). The quality itself is contained in the internal sense of the words which Leah uttered-" Jehovah hath heard that I was hated, and hath given me this one also." This quality is what is signified by " Simeon," and also by the tribe named from him; and this is the second universal of the church, that is, the second during man‘s regeneration and when he is becoming a church; namely, obedience, or the will of doing the truth of faith; into which obedience, and in which will, charity is implanted, which next succeeds, and is signified by "Levi." GENESIS 29:33 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
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