Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 30:27-30
AC 3978. Verses 27-30. And Laban said unto him, If I pray I have found grace in thine eyes, I have tested it, and Jehovah hath blessed me for thy sake; and he said, Signify to me thy reward, and I will give it. And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy substance has been with me; for it was little that thou hadst before me, and it hath burst forth into a multitude, and Jehovah hath blessed thee at my foot; and now when shall I also be doing for mine own house? "And Laban said unto him," signifies perception from the good which is signified by "Laban;" "If I pray I have found grace in thine eyes," signifies a strong inclination; "I have tested it, and Jehovah hath blessed me for thy sake," signifies from the Divine, for the sake of the good of the natural, to which it was to be of service; "and he said, Signify to me thy reward, and I will give it," signifies that it would of itself give that which was desired; "and he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee," signifies that it knew its mind (animus) and its power; "and how thy substance has been with me," signifies that this also was from the Divine; "for it was little that thou hadst before me," signifies that its good was barren before it was conjoined; "and it hath burst forth into a multitude," signifies fruitfulness thereafter; "and Jehovah hath blessed thee at my foot," signifies that it was from the Divine which the natural had; "and now when shall I also be doing for mine own house?" signifies that now its own good shall be made fruitful therefrom.
AC 3979. And Laban said unto him. That this signifies perception from the good signified by "Laban," is evident from the signification of "saying," as being perception (n. 1898, 1919, 2080, 2619, 2862, 3395, 3509); and from the representation of Laban, as being collateral good from the Divine (n. 3612, 3665, 3778). That perception from this good is signified by the words "Laban said unto him," is because by persons in the Word are not signified persons, but actual things; in the supreme sense the Divine things that are in the Lord; and in the internal sense, such things in man as are being treated of; thus by two persons, two things in the same individual.
AC 3980. If I pray I have found grace in thine eyes. That this signifies a strong inclination, is evident from the signification of "finding grace in the eyes" of anyone, as being a strong inclination. Strong inclination is predicated of the good which is signified by "Laban," when it desires to be present. He who reflects, or is able to reflect, upon the affections of good and truth in himself, and also upon their delight and pleasure, will notice a strong inclination for the one in preference to the other; but without reflection these and the like things do not appear.
AC 3981. I have tested it, and Jehovah hath blessed me for thy sake. That this signifies that it was from the Divine, for the sake of the good of the natural, to which it was to be of service, is evident from the signification of "testing that Jehovah hath blessed," as being to know for certain that it is from the Divine. That it was for the sake of the good of the natural, to which it was to be of service, is signified by "for thy sake;" for "Jacob" is the good of natural truth (n. 3659, 3669, 3677, 3775, 3829); and "Laban" is the collateral good which serves (as before shown passim); see also (n. 3982, 3986).
AC 3982. And he said, Signify to me thy reward, and I will give it. That this signifies that it would of itself give that which was desired, may be seen without explication. What has been said thus far is of such a nature as cannot be unfolded to the understanding in a clear manner, not only because the mind cannot be turned away in a moment from the historicals about Laban and Jacob to the spiritual things that are treated of in the internal sense (for the historical meaning always adheres and fills the idea, and yet must become null in order that what is not historical may be comprehended in a series and connection), but also because it is necessary to have a clear notion of the goods represented by both Laban and Jacob; and it must be remembered that the good represented by Laban is of such a nature as to be useful merely to introduce genuine goods and truths; and that when it has performed this useful service it is left behind. The quality of this good has already been described. It is like what is immature in unripe fruits, by means of which the juice is introduced; and when it has served this purpose it is afterwards absorbed, and the fruit ripens by means of other fibers, and at last by those of the genuine juice.
 It is known that a man learns many things in infancy and childhood for the sole use that by them as means he may learn those which are more useful; and successively by these such as are still more useful, until at last he learns those of eternal life; and when he learns these, the former are almost blotted out. In like manner when a man is being born anew by the Lord, he is led by various affections of good and truth which are not affections of genuine good and truth, but are of use merely to enable us to apprehend these, and then to enable us to become imbued with them; and when this has been done the previous affections are forgotten and left behind, because they had served merely as means. The case is the same with the collateral good signified by "Laban," in respect to the good of truth signified by "Jacob," as well as by the "flock" of each.
 These are the arcana contained in these words and in those which follow; but they are delivered in an historical form in order that the Word may be read with delight, even by children and by simple-minded persons, to the end that when they are in holy delight from the historical sense, the angels who are with them may be in the holiness of the internal sense; for this sense is adapted to the intelligence of the angels, while the external sense is adapted to that of men. By this means there is a consociation of man with the angels, of which the man knows nothing at all, but only perceives a kind of delight from it that is attended with a holy feeling.
AC 3983. And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee. That this signifies that it had known its mind (animus), and its power, may be seen from the series of things in the internal sense. That to know anyone’s quality is to know his mind, is manifest. And that knowing anyone‘s quality in his service, or "how I have served," is to know his power, may be seen from the signification here of "serving," as being one’s own power (n. 3975, 3977); for by Jacob is represented the Lord‘s Divine natural as to the good of truth, which has power. From this it follows that "how thy substance has been with me" signifies that this also was from the Divine.
AC 3984. For it was little that thou hadst before me. That this signifies that its good was barren unless it was conjoined, may also be seen from the series in the internal sense. For the quality of the good represented by Laban, before it had been conjoined with the good of truth, which is "Jacob," is described as having been of little use, that is, barren. But how the case is with these things, will appear from what now follows.
AC 3985. And it hath burst forth into a multitude. That this signifies fruitfulness thereafter, is evident from the signification of "bursting forth into a multitude," as being fruitfulness; that is, after it had been conjoined.
AC 3986. And Jehovah hath blessed thee at my foot. That this signifies that it was from the Divine which the natural had, is evident from the signification of "Jehovah blessing," as being to endow with good (n. 3406) and that this is conjunction (n. 3504, 3514, 3530, 3565, 3584); thus "Jehovah blessing" signifies to be endowed with Divine good through conjunction; here, with the good of the natural, which is represented by Jacob. It is the natural that is signified by the "foot." That the "foot" is the natural may be seen above (n. 2162, 3147, 3761), and the same will appear from the correspondence of the Grand Man with everything in man, as show" at the end of the chapters. From this it is evident that by Jehovah hath blessed thee at my foot," is signified from the Divine which the natural had.
 The arcanum which lies concealed within these words and in those which immediately precede, is know" to few, if any, and is therefore to be revealed. The goods that are in men, as well within the church as without it, are absolutely various, so various that the good of one man is never precisely like that of another. The varieties come forth from the truths with which the goods are conjoined; for all good has its quality from truths, and truths have their essential from goods. Varieties come forth also from the affections of everyone’s love; which are enrooted in and appropriated to a man by his life. Even in the man who is within the church there are few genuine truths, and still fewer in the man who is without the church; so that the affections of genuine truth are rare among men.
 Nevertheless they who are in the good of life, that is, who live in love to the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor, are saved. That these can be saved is because the Divine of the Lord is in the good of love to God and in the good of charity toward the neighbor; and where the Divine is within, there all things are disposed into order, so that they can be conjoined with the genuine goods and genuine truths that are in the heavens. That this is the case may be seen from the societies that constitute heaven, which are innumerable, and all of which in both general and particular are various in respect to good and truth, and yet all taken together form One Heaven; being circumstanced as are the members and organs of the human body, which, although everywhere various, nevertheless constitute one man. For a one that is formed of many is never constituted of units of exactly the same pattern; but of varying things harmoniously conjoined. Every one is composed of various things harmoniously conjoined; and the case is the same with the goods and truths in the spiritual world, which, although various, so that they are never precisely the same with one as with another, nevertheless make a one from the Divine through love and charity. For love and charity are spiritual conjunction; and their variety is heavenly harmony, which makes such concord that they are a one in the Divine, that is, in the Lord.
 Moreover the good of love to God and the good of charity toward the neighbor, however various may be the truths and the affections of truth, are nevertheless receptive of genuine truth and good; for they are so to speak not hard and resisting, but are as it were soft and yielding, suffering themselves to be led by the Lord, and thus to be bent to good, and through good to Him. Very different is the case with those who are in the love of self and of the world. These do not suffer themselves to be led and bent by the Lord and to the Lord, but resist stiffly, for they desire to lead themselves; and this is still more the case when they are in principles of falsity that have been confirmed. So long as they are of this character they do not admit the Divine.
 From all this it is now evident what is signified in the internal sense by the words which Jacob spoke to Laban; for by "Laban" is signified such good as is not genuine, because genuine truths have not been implanted in it; but yet it is of such a nature that these can be conjoined with it, and that the Divine can be in it. Such good is wont to exist in young children before they have received genuine truths; and also in the simple within the church, who know few truths of faith, and yet live in charity; and such good also exists among the upright Gentiles, who are in holy worship of their gods. By means of such good, genuine truths and goods can be introduced, as may be seen from what has been said about little children and the simple within the church (n. 3690); and about the upright Gentiles outside of the church (n. 2598-2603).
AC 3987. And now when shall I also be doing for mine own house? That this signifies that now its own good shall be made fruitful therefrom, is evident from the signification of a "house," as being good (n. 2233, 2234, 3128, 3652); and here of "my house," as being the good signified by "Jacob." That "to do for this house" signifies that the good therefrom is to be made fruitful, is manifest from the subject being the fructification of good and the multiplication of truth; for by "Joseph," the last born, this fructification is signified (n. 3965, 3969, 3971); and by the "flock" that Jacob procured for himself by means of Laban‘s flock, as now follows, this signification is described. That good is not fructified nor truth multiplied until the conjunction of the external man with the internal has been effected, may be seen from the fact that it is of the interior man to will good to another, and thereby to think good; but of the external man to do good, and thereby to teach good. Unless doing good is conjoined with willing good, and teaching good with thinking good, there is no good in the man; for the evil can will evil and do good, and also think evil and teach good, as everybody can know. Hypocrites and profane persons are in this study and art more than others, so much so indeed that they can palm themselves off as angels of light, when yet they are devils within; from all which it is evident that good can be made fruitful with no one, unless doing good is conjoined with willing good, and teaching good with thinking good; that is, unless the external man is conjoined with the internal. GENESIS 30:27-30 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|