Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 30:12-13
AC 3936. Verses 12, 13. And Zilpah Leah’s handmaid bare a second son to Jacob. And Leah said, In my blessedness; for the daughters will call me blessed; and she called his name Asher. "And Zilpah Leah‘s handmaid bare a second son to Jacob," signifies the acknowledgment of the second general truth; "and Leah said, In my blessedness; for the daughters will call me blessed," signifies in the supreme sense eternity, in the internal sense the happiness of eternal life, and in the external sense the delight of the affections; "and she called his name Asher," signifies its quality.
AC 3937. And Zilpah Leah’s handmaid bare a second son to Jacob. That this signifies the acknowledgment of the second general truth, is evident from the signification of "bearing," as being acknowledgment (n. 3911, 3915, 3919); from the signification of a "handmaid," as being an affirmative means that is of service for the conjunction of the external man with the internal (n. 3913, 3917) from the signification of a "son," as being truth, here a general truth (n. 3926) and from the representation of Jacob, and of Leah, and also of Zilpah. This shows what is the internal sense of these words, namely, the acknowledgment of the second general truth that is of service as a means for conjoining the external man with the internal.
AC 3938. And Leah said, In my blessedness; for the daughters will call me blessed. That this signifies in the supreme sense eternity; in the internal sense, the happiness of eternal life; and in the external sense, the delight of the affections, is evident from the signification of "blessedness," and from the signification of "the daughters will call me blessed." That "blessedness" in the supreme sense is eternity, cannot be seen except from the correspondence with the things in man; for things that are Divine, or that are infinite, are not apprehended except from finite things of which man can form some idea. Without an idea derived from finite things, and especially an idea from the things of space and time, man can comprehend nothing of Divine things, and still less of the Infinite. Without an idea of space and time man cannot have any thought at all (n. 3404); for in respect to his body he is in time, and thus in respect to his thoughts which are from the external senses; whereas the angels, not being in time and space, have ideas of state, and therefore spaces and times in the Word signify states (n. 1274, 1382, 2625, 2788, 2837, 3254, 3356, 3827).
 There are two states, namely, a state that corresponds to space and a state that corresponds to time. The state that corresponds to space is state as to being; and the state that corresponds to time is state as to coming forth (n. 2625). For there are two things that make man, namely, being and coming forth. Man‘s being is nothing else than a recipient of the eternal which proceeds from the Lord; for men, spirits, and angels are nothing but recipients, or forms recipient, of life from the Lord. The reception of life is that of which coming forth is predicated. Man believes that he is, and this of himself; when yet it is not true that he is of himself; but that as before said, he comes forth. Being is solely in the Lord, and is called "Jehovah." From being, which is Jehovah, are all things which appear to be (sicut sint). But the Lord’s being, or Jehovah, can never be communicated to anyone; but solely to the Lord‘s Human. This was made the Divine being, that is, Jehovah. The Lord is Jehovah as to both the Essences (n. 1736, 2004, 2005, 2018, 2025, 2156, 2329, 2921, 3023, 3035).
 Coming forth also is predicated of the Lord; but only when He was in the world, where He put on the Divine. But since He has become the Divine being, coming forth can no longer be predicated of Him, except as a something that proceeds from Him. That which proceeds from Him is that which appears as the coming forth in Him; yet it is not in Him, but is from Him, and causes men, spirits, and angels to come forth; that is, to live. In man, spirit, and angel, coming forth is living; and his living is eternal happiness. The happiness of eternal life is that to which in the supreme sense eternity, which is from the Lord’s Divine being, corresponds. That the happiness of eternal life is that which is signified by "blessedness " in the internal sense, and by the delight of the affections in the external sense, is manifest without explication.
 But that which is here signified is the delight of the affections of truth and good that corresponds to the happiness of eternal life. All affections have their delights; but such as are the affections, such are the delights. The affections of evil and falsity also have their delights; and before a man begins to be regenerated, and to receive from the Lord the affections of truth and good, these delights appear to be the only ones; so much so that men believe that no other delights exist; and consequently that if they were deprived of these, they would utterly perish. But they who receive from the Lord the delights of the affections of truth and good, gradually see and perceive the nature of the delights of their former life, which they had believed to be the only delights, that they are relatively vile, and indeed filthy. And the further a man advances into the delight of the affections of truth and good, the more does he begin to regard the delights of evil and falsity as vile; and at last to hold them in aversion.
 I have sometimes spoken with those in the other life who had been in the delights of evil and falsity; and I have been permitted to tell them that they have no life until they are deprived of their delights. But they said (as say such persons in the world) that if they should be deprived of them, nothing of life would be left them. But I was permitted to reply that life then first begins, together with such happiness as there is in heaven, which in comparison with that of their former delights is unutterable. But this they could not apprehend, because what is unknown is believed to be nothing. It is the same with all in the world who are in the love of self and of the world, and therefore in no charity. They know the delight of these loves, but not the delight of charity. Thus they are altogether ignorant of what charity is, and still more that there is any delight in charity; when yet the delight of charity is that which fills the universal heaven, and constitutes the blessedness and happiness there; and if you will to believe it, it constitutes the intelligence and wisdom also, together with their delights; for into the delights of charity the Lord inflows with the light of truth and the flame of good, and with the derivative intelligence and wisdom. But falsities and evils reject, suffocate, and pervert these delights, and hence come folly and insanity. From all this it is evident what is the nature and quality of the delight of the affections, and that it corresponds to the happiness of eternal life.
 The man of this age believes that if at the hour of death he merely has the confidence of faith, he can get into heaven no matter in what affection he may have lived during the whole course of his life. I have sometimes spoken with those who have so lived, and have so believed. When they come into the other life, they at first have no other idea than that they may enter into heaven, without any regard to their past life, in which they had put on the delight of the affection of evil and falsity from the loves of self and of the world, which had been their ends. I have been permitted to tell them that everyone can be admitted into heaven, because heaven is denied by the Lord to no one; but whether they can live there they can know when admitted. Some who firmly believed that they could, have also been admitted. But as the life there is that of love to the Lord and of love toward the neighbor, which constitutes all the sphere and happiness of the life there, on coming into it they began to be distressed, not being able to breathe in such a sphere, and they then began to perceive the filthiness of their affections, thus to feel infernal torment. In consequence of this they cast themselves headlong down, saying that they desired to be far away, and marveling that that was heaven which to them was hell. This shows what is the nature of the one delight, and what is that of the other; and that they who are in the delight of the affections of evil and falsity can by no means be among those who are in the delight of the affection of good and truth; and that these delights are opposite to each other, as are heaven and hell (n. 537-539, 541, 547, 1397, 1398, 2130, 2401).
 Furthermore, as regards the happiness of eternal life: during his life in the world the man who is in the affection of good and truth cannot perceive it, but a certain delight in its stead. The reason of this is that while in the body he is in worldly cares and consequent anxieties that prevent the happiness of eternal life (which is deep within him) from then being manifested in any other way. For when this happiness inflows from within into the cares and anxieties that are with the man outwardly, it sinks down among the cares and anxieties there, and becomes a kind of obscure delight; but still it is a delight within which there is blessedness, and within this happiness. Such is the happiness of being content in God. But when a man is divested of his body, and at the same time of these worldly cares and anxieties, the happiness which had lain hidden in obscurity within his interior man comes forth and reveals itself.
 As affection is so often spoken of, let us state what is meant by affection. Affection is nothing else than love, but is what is continuous of it. For from love a man is affected either with evil and falsity, or with good and truth. As this love is present and is within all things in general and particular that belong to him, it is not perceived as love, but is varied according to its matter in hand, and according to the man‘s states and their changes; and this continually in everything that he wills, thinks, and does. It is this continuous of love that is called affection; and it is this continuous that reigns in a man’s life and makes all his delight, and consequently his very life; for man‘s life is nothing else than the delight of his affection; and thus is nothing else than the affection of his love. Love is man’s willing, and derivatively is his thinking, and thereby his acting.
AC 3939. And she called his name Asher: That this signifies its quality, is evident from the signification of "calling a name," as being quality, as above. The quality itself is that which Asher represents. "Asher" in the original language means "blessedness;" but the name involves all that is signified by the words of his mother Leah "in my blessedness; for the daughters will call me blessed," namely, the delight of the affections which corresponds to the happiness of eternal life. This is the fourth general principle that conjoins the external man with the internal; for when a man perceives this corresponding delight within himself, his external man is then beginning to be conjoined with his internal man. It is the delights of the affections of truth and good that conjoin them; for without the delights of the affections nothing is conjoined, because the man‘s life is in them. All conjunction is through the affections, (n. 3024, 3066, 3336, 3849, 3909). By the "daughters who call her blessed" are signified churches. In the internal sense of the Word "daughters" signify churches (n. 2362). This was said by Leah because by the births from the handmaids are signified the general truths which are the means that are of service for conjunction, to the intent that the church may come forth in the man. For when a man perceives this delight or affection, he is beginning to become a church; and this being the case this is said of the fourth or last son of the handmaids.
 "Asher" is often named in the Word, but by him, as well as by the other sons, is signified the quality then treated of, that is, the quality of those in that state which is the subject there treated of; and the quality is also according to the order in which the sons are named, being of one kind when the order begins with "Reuben" or faith, of another when it begins with "Judah" or celestial love, and of another when with "Joseph" or spiritual love; for the essence and quality of that which is first is derived and passes on into the things which follow. This is the ground of their varying significations in the places where they are named. Here, where their birth is treated of, the general principles of the church are signified by them; and consequently all things of faith and love that make the church; and this for the reason that in what goes before, the regeneration of man is treated of, or man’s states before he becomes a church; and in the supreme sense the Lord, how He made His Human Divine; and thus the ascent of the ladder which was seen by Jacob in Bethel, even to Jehovah.GENESIS 30:12-13 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|