Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 30:1-2
AC 3904. Verses 1, 2. And Rachel saw that she did not bear to Jacob, and Rachel was zealous against her sister; and she said unto Jacob, Give me sons; and if not, I am dead. And Jacob was kindled with anger against Rachel, and he said, Am I in God‘s stead, who withholdeth from thee the fruit of the belly? "And Rachel saw that she did not bear to Jacob," signifies that interior truth was not yet acknowledged; "and Rachel was zealous against her sister," signifies indignation that it was not acknowledged as was external truth; "and she said unto Jacob, Give me sons," signifies that there was a desire to have interior truths from the good of natural truth; "and if not, I am dead," signifies that thus there would be no rising again; "and Jacob was kindled with anger against Rachel," signifies indignation on the part of natural good; "and he said, Am I in God’s stead," signifies that it was impossible for it; "who withholdeth from thee the fruit of the belly," signifies that this must be from the internal.
AC 3905. And Rachel saw that she did not bear to Jacob. That this signifies that interior truth was not yet acknowledged, is evident from the representation of Rachel, as being the affection of interior truth, or interior truth itself (n. 3758, 3782, 3793, 3819); from the signification of "bearing," as being to acknowledge in faith and also in act and from the representation of Jacob, as being the good of natural truth (n. 3669, 3677, 3829), and in the whole of the preceding chapter. The reason why "to bear" is to acknowledge in faith and also in act, is that by "births" in the Word are signified spiritual births (n. 1145, 1255, 3860, 3868). Spiritual birth is the acknowledgment of and faith in truth and good; here, the acknowledgment in faith and also in act, namely, of the interior truth represented by Rachel. As nothing is acknowledged in faith until the man lives according to it, it is for this reason said, "the acknowledgment in faith and also in act." Truths of faith which are not learned for the sake of doing, but only for the sake of knowing them, join themselves to the affections of evil and falsity; for which reason they are not of faith with the man who has learned them, but are interiorly contrary to faith.
AC 3906. And Rachel was zealous against her sister. That this signifies indignation that it was not acknowledged as was external truth, is evident from the signification of "being zealous," as being expressive of indignation, and this because she did not bear as Leah did from the representation of Rachel, as being interior truth (n. 3905); and from the signification of a "sister," who here is Leah, as being external truth. "Leah" is external truth, (n. 3793, 3819). With those who are being regenerated the case is this: They learn to know what internal truth is, but at first do not acknowledge it with such faith as to live according to it. For internal truths are conjoined with spiritual affection, which cannot inflow until external truths have been adapted to correspondence with the internal.
 Take for example this internal truth: All good is from the Lord, and that which is of man‘s own is not good. In the beginning of regeneration this may be known, but yet is not acknowledged in faith and also in act; for to acknowledge it in faith and in act is to have a perception that it is so, and an affection to will it to be so; and this in every act of good; and is also to have a perception that good from what is man’s own cannot but have regard for self, and thus to the preference of self above others, and consequently a contempt for others, and moreover a feeling of self-merit in the good that we do. These things are within external truth before internal truth has been conjoined with it; and this cannot be conjoined until regard for self begins to cease, and regard for the neighbor begins to be felt. From this it is evident what is meant by "indignation that internal truth was not yet acknowledged as was external truth."
AC 3907. And she said unto Jacob, Give me sons. That this signifies a desire to have interior truths from the good of natural truth, is evident from the representation of Jacob, as being the good of natural truth (n. 3905); and from the signification of "sons," as being truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623); here interior truths because from Rachel, by whom is represented interior truth (n. 3758, 3782, 3793, 3819).
AC 3908. And if not, I am dead. That this signifies that thus there would he no rising again, is evident from the signification of "dying," as being not to rise again into life. In ancient times wives called themselves "dead" when they did not bring forth a son or a daughter; and they also believed themselves to be so, because no memory of them, or as it were no life, would be left to posterity. Their so calling and believing themselves was indeed for worldly causes; but as every cause comes forth from a cause prior to itself, and thus everything of cause in the natural world from a cause in the spiritual world, so also does this. The cause in the spiritual world was the heavenly marriage of good and truth, in which there are no other births than truths of faith and goods of charity. These there are "sons and daughters," and are also signified by "sons and daughters" in the Word. Whoever has not these births, that is, truths of faith and goods of charity, is as it were dead, that is, is among the dead who do not rise again to life or heaven. From this we may see what is signified by these words of Rachel: "If not, I am dead."
AC 3909. And Jacob was kindled with anger against Rachel. That this signifies indignation on the part of natural good, is evident from the signification of "being kindled with anger," as being to be indignant; and from the representation of Jacob, as being the good of the natural. It is said "against Rachel," because the interior truth represented by Rachel could not as yet be acknowledged in faith and act by the good of the natural which is "Jacob." That in the internal sense "to be kindled with anger" denotes to be indignant, is because every natural affection on ascending toward the interiors, or toward heaven, becomes more mild, and is at last changed into a heavenly affection. For the things that stand forth in the sense of the letter (as here "to be kindled with anger") are relatively harsh, because they are natural and corporeal, but they become mild and gentle as they are elevated from the corporeal and natural man to the internal or spiritual man. This is the reason why the literal sense is of this nature, being accommodated to the apprehension of the natural man; and why the spiritual sense is not of such a nature, being accommodated to the apprehension of the spiritual man. This shows that "to be kindled with anger" signifies to be indignant. Real spiritual indignation (and especially celestial indignation) derives nothing from the anger of the natural man, but from the interior essence of zeal; which zeal does indeed appear in the outward form like anger, but in internal form is not anger, nor even the indignation of anger; but is a certain sadness that is attended with a prayerful wish that it be not so; and in a form still more interior it is merely a certain obscure feeling that breaks in on the celestial delight on account of something not good and true in another.
AC 3910. And he said, Am I in God‘s stead? That this signifies that it was impossible for it, is evident from the signification of "not being in God’s stead," as being to be impossible; for "God" is named in the Word from ability or power; but "Jehovah" from being or essence (n. 300). For this reason "God" is mentioned when the subject is truth, and "Jehovah" when it is good (n. 2769, 2807, 2822); for ability is predicated of truth when being is predicated of good; for good has power through truth, inasmuch as it is through truth that good performs everything that comes to pass. From this we can see that by the words, "am I in God‘s stead?" there is signified in the internal sense that it was impossible for it.
AC 3911. Who withholdeth from thee the fruit of the belly. That this signifies that this must be from the internal, is evident from the signification that results from the internal sense of the words for in the internal sense the "fruit of the belly" signifies the like as "birth," namely, the acknowledgment of truth and good in faith and in act (n. 3905); and what is more, the consequent conjunction of truth and good. This acknowledgment and conjunction cannot come forth from the external man, but from the internal; for all good inflows from the Lord through the internal man into the external, and there adopts the truths that are insinuated by means of the sensuous things of the external man, and causes the man to acknowledge them in faith and act, and causes them to be adjoined and thus appropriated to the man. That all good inflows from the Lord through the internal man into the truths gathered in the memory of the external man, has been repeatedly shown before. This is what is meant by the explication of the words before us--that this must be from the internal. GENESIS 30:1-2 - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|