Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 30:37-40
AC 4012. Verses 37-40. And Jacob took him a fresh rod of poplar, and hazel, and plane-tree, and peeled white peelings on them, laying bare the white that was upon the rods. And he set the rods which he had peeled in the gutters, in the watering troughs, whither the flocks came to drink, over against the flocks; and they grew warm when they came to drink. And the flocks grew warm at the rods, and the flocks brought forth party-colored, speckled, and spotted. And Jacob separated the lambs, and set the faces of the flock toward the party-colored, and all the black in the flock of Laban; and he put for himself droves for himself alone, and put them not unto Laban‘s flock. "And Jacob took him a fresh rod of poplar," signifies the power proper to natural good; "and hazel, and plane-tree," signifies the derivative power of natural truths; "and peeled white peelings on them, laying bare the white that was upon the rods," signifies a disposition into order by the interior power of truth; "and he set the rods which he had peeled in the gutters," signifies further preparation; "in the watering troughs, whither the flocks came to drink," signifies the affections of truth; "over against the flocks; and they grew warm when they came to drink," signifies even to ardor of affection, that they might be conjoined; "and the flocks grew warm at the rods," signifies the effect from His own power; "and the flocks brought forth party-colored, speckled, and spotted," signifies that thereby natural good itself had such things from the mediate good signified by "Laban;" "and Jacob separated the lambs," signifies as to innocence; "and set the faces of the flock toward the party-colored," signifies to truths scattered over with evils and falsities; "and all the black," signifies to such a state; "in the flock of Laban," signifies in the good signified by "Laban;" "and he put for himself droves for himself alone," signifies the separation of the goods and truths by His own power; "and put them not unto Laban’s flock," signifies absolute separation from the good signified by "Laban."
AC 4013. And Jacob took him a fresh rod of poplar. That this signifies the power proper to natural good, is evident from the signification of a "rod," as being power; and from the signification of "poplar," as being the good of the natural. A "rod" is frequently mentioned in the Word, and everywhere signifies power, both from its being used by shepherds for exercising power over their flocks, and from its serving for the support of the body, and as it were for the right hand; for by the "hand" is signified power (n. 878, 3387). And as this was the signification of a "rod," rods were in ancient times used by kings, and hence the royal badge was a short staff, and also a scepter. Nor were rods used by kings only, but also by priests and prophets, that they also might by their rods signify the power that belonged to them, as for instance did Aaron and Moses. This was the reason why Moses was so frequently commanded to stretch out his rod, and at other times his hand, when miracles were being performed; for Divine power was signified by the "rod;" and by the "hand." It was because a "rod" signifies power that the Egyptian magi made use of it when they performed their magical miracles; and it is from this that magicians are now represented with rods in their hands. All this shows that "rods" signify power.
 But in the original language the rods used by shepherds, and also by kings, as well as those of priests and prophets, are expressed by another word; here, by a word that denotes a traveller‘s staff, and also a shepherd’s rod, as may be seen from other passages (Gen. 32:10; Exod. 12:11; 1 Sam. 17:40, 43; Zech. 11:7, 10). In the present case the rod is not spoken of as supporting the hand, but as a stick cut from a tree, namely, from a poplar, a hazel, and a plane-tree, to set in the watering-troughs before the faces of the flock; but still it has the same signification, for by it is described in the internal sense the power of natural good, and derivatively of natural truths.
 As regards the poplar, of which the rod was made, be it known that trees in general signify perceptions and knowledges, perceptions when predicated of the celestial man, but knowledges when predicated of the spiritual man (n. 103, 2163, 2682, 2722, 2972). Hence trees specifically signify goods and truths, for these pertain to perceptions and knowledges. Some kinds of trees, such as olives and vines, signify the interior goods and truths that are of the spiritual man; and some kinds, such as the poplar, hazel, and plane, signify the exterior goods and truths that are of the natural man. And as in ancient times each tree signified some particular kind of good and truth, the worship held in groves was in accordance with the kinds of trees (n. 2722). The poplar here mentioned is the white poplar, so called from its whiteness from which comes its name. For this reason the "poplar" signified the god that is from truth; or what is the same, the good of truth; as also in (Hosea 4:13); but there falsified.
AC 4014. And hazel, and plane-tree. That this signifies the derivative power of natural truths, is evident from the signification of the "hazel" and the " plane-tree," as being natural truths. That this is the signification of these trees cannot be so evident from other places in the Word, as they are not named elsewhere, except the "plane-tree" in Ezekiel:--
The cedars in the garden of God did not hide him, the fir-trees were not like his boughs, and the plane-trees were not as his branches, nor was any tree like unto him in his beauty (Ezek. 31:8);
where the subject treated of is the knowledges and rational things that appertain to the man of the spiritual church. The "garden of God" is the spiritual church; the "cedars" are rational things the "fir-trees" and "plane-trees," are natural things; the "fir-trees," natural things as to good; and the "plane-trees," as to truth.
AC 4015. And peeled white peelings on them, laying bare the white that was upon the rods. That this signifies a disposition into order by the interior power of truth, is evident from the signification of "peeling" and of "peelings," as being the removal of exterior things in order that interior ones may come to light, thus barings or strippings; from the signification of "white," as being truth (n. 3993, 4007); and from the signification of a "rod," as being power (n. 4013); here, interior power, because upon the rods under the bark. Disposition into order by the interior power of truth, is the power of the interior man acting into the exterior, or of the spiritual man into the natural for all disposition into order of the good and truth in the natural man comes from the spiritual man (that is, through the spiritual man from the Lord), and in fact through the truth therein; for the Lord inflows into the good of the spiritual or interior man; and through the truth therein into the natural man; but not immediately through the good, until the man has been regenerated; and therefore all the disposition into order in the natural man is effected by the interior man. The natural, or natural man, cannot possibly be disposed into order (that is, be regenerated) in any other way. That this is done by the interior man is evident from the acknowledgment of truth, which unless it is made by the interior man is not acknowledgment; and also from conscience, which is the acknowledgment of truth by the interior man; and also from perception. As disposition into order is effected by the interior man by means of truth, power is predicated of truth, and also the "rod" by which power is signified; as well as the "hand," by which also power is signified (n. 3091); as may be confirmed by very many passages in the Word. Not that there is power in truth from itself, but in good; and thus in truth from good; that is, in truth through good from the Lord. This shows to some extent what is meant by the disposition into order of the interior power of truth. In the supreme sense, in which the Lord is treated of, His own power is signified; for the Divine has its own power, because this is from no other.
AC 4016. And he set the rods that he had peeled in the gutters. That this signifies further preparation, is evident from what follows; for it there treats of the effect of the interior power of truth in the natural, power being signified by the "rods" (n. 4013, 4015); disposition into order by the interior man, by "peeling" (n. 4015); and the good of truth in the natural by the "gutters" (n. 3095).
AC 4017. In the watering troughs, whither the flocks came to drink. That this signifies the affections of truth, is evident from the signification of "water," as being knowledges and memory-knowledges, which are the truths of the natural man (n. 28, 2702, 3058); from the signification of "drinking troughs" or "watering troughs," which as being containants of water, are in the internal sense the goods of truth, goods being the containants of truth (n. 3095); and from the signification of "coming to drink," as being the affection of truth. That "coming to drink" is the affection of truth, is because it involves thirst; for "thirst" in the Word signifies appetite and desire, and thus the affection of knowing and imbibing truth, and this because "water" signifies truth in general; whereas "hunger" signifies appetite, desire, and thus the affection of becoming imbued with good; and this because "bread," which is used for food in general (n. 2165), signifies good. Thus it is evident that these words signify the affections of truth.
AC 4018. Over against the flocks; and they grew warm when they came to drink. That this signifies even to ardor of affection that they might be conjoined, is evident from the signification of "growing warm in coming to drink," as being the ardor of affection. That "growing war""‘ signifies ardor, is manifest; and that "coming to drink" signifies the affection of truth, may be seen just above (n. 4017). That "over against the flocks" signifies that they might be conjoined (namely, the truths and goods in the natural), is because it involves looking upon, and the affection excited thereby, for in this manner are spiritual things conjoined. Moreover all the implantation of truth and good, and also all conjunction, is wrought by means of affection. Truths and goods that are learned, but with which the man is not affected, do indeed enter into the memory, but adhere there as lightly as a feather to a wall, which is blown away by the slightest breath of wind.
 With the things which enter into the memory the case is this: Those which enter without affection fall into its shade; but those which enter with affection come into its light; and the things that are in light there are seen and appear clearly and vividly whenever a similar subject is called up; but not so those which lie hid round about in the shade. Such is the effect of the affection of love. It may be seen from this that all the implantation of truth, and the conjunction thereof with good, is effected by means of affection; and the greater the affection, the stronger the conjunction. The "ardor of affection" is here inmost affection.
 But truths cannot be implanted in good and conjoined with it, except by means of the affections of truth and good, which affections well forth as from their fountains, from charity toward the neighbor, and from love to the Lord. But evils and falsities are implanted and conjoined by means of the affections of evil and falsity, which affections well forth as from their fountains, from the love of self and of the world. This being the case; and as the subject here treated of in the internal sense is the conjunction of good and truth in the natural man, therefore here and in what follows mention is made of the growing warm of the flock when they came to drink, by which such things are signified.
AC 4019. And the flocks grew warm at the rods. That this signifies the effect from His own power, is evident from the signification of "growing warm" as being the effect, that is, of the affection (n. 4018); and from the signification of the "rods," as being His own power (n. 4013, 4015).
AC 4020. And the flocks brought forth party-colored, speckled, and spotted. That this signifies that thereby natural good had such things from the mediate good signified by "Laban," is evident from the signification of "bringing forth," as being acknowledgment and conjunction (n. 3911, 3915); from the signification of "party-colored," as being the truths with which evils are mingled (n. 4005); from the signification of "speckled," as being the goods with which evils are mingled; and from the signification of "spotted," as being the truths with which falsities are mingled (n. 3993, 3995, 4005). Such are the things here signified, and which coming from the good signified by "Laban" accrued to the good of natural truth represented by Jacob.
AC 4021. And Jacob separated the lambs. That this signifies in respect to innocence, is evident from the signification of "lambs," as being innocence (n. 3994). It is said "in respect to innocence," because in what now follows the subject treated of is the disposition into order of the good and truth of the natural, that it may receive and apply innocence.
AC 4022. And set the faces of the flock toward the party-colored. That this signifies to truths that are scattered over with evils and falsities, is evident from the signification of "party-colored," as being truth that is scattered over and mingled with evils (n. 4005, 4020).
AC 4023. And all the black. That this signifies to such a state, namely, that which is signified by the "black in the lambs", concerning which state see (n. 3994, 4001).
AC 4024. In the flock of Laban. That this signifies in the good signified by "Laban," is evident from the signification of a "flock," and from the representation of Laban, as being good, namely, mediate good, by means of which the natural has goods and truths.
AC 4025. And he put for himself droves for himself alone. That this signifies the separation of the goods and truths by His own power, is evident from the signification of "droves," or of the "flock," as being goods and truths; and from the signification of "putting for himself, for himself alone," as being to separate those things which have been procured by His own power. In the supreme sense here the subject treated of is the Lord, how He made His natural Divine, and this from His own power, but still by means according to order. The goods and truths that He made Divine in Himself are here the "droves, which he put for himself, for himself alone."
AC 4026. And put them not unto Laban’s flock. That this signifies absolute separation from the good signified by "Laban," is evident from what has now been said, and thus without further explication. For goods and truths Divine were altogether separated from the goods and truths that derive anything from what is human, because they are beyond them, and become infinite.
AC 4027. The things which have been here unfolded as to the internal sense of the words, are too interior and too arcane to admit of being clearly set forth to the understanding. For the subject treated of in the supreme sense is the Lord, how He made His natural Divine; and in the representative sense, how He makes man‘s natural new when He regenerates him. All these things are here fully presented in the internal sense.
 The things here contained in the supreme sense concerning the Lord, how by His own power He made the natural in Himself Divine, are such as surpass even the angelic understanding. Something of them may be seen in the regeneration of man, because man’s regeneration is an image of the Lord‘s glorification (n. 3138, 3212, 3296, 3490). Of this regeneration man may have some idea (no one however except the man who has been regenerated), but only an obscure idea so long as he lives in the body; for the corporeal and worldly things in which even such a man is, continually cast shadows on his mind and keep it in lower things. But they who have not been regenerated can have no apprehension of the matter, being without knowledges because without perceptions; nay, they know nothing whatever of what regeneration is, nor do they believe that it is possible. They do not even know what the affection of charity is by means of which regeneration is effected; and therefore they do not know what conscience is still less what the internal man is; and less still what is the correspondence of the internal man with the external. The words they may indeed know, and many do know them, but they are ignorant of the thing. Seeing therefore that even the idea of these things is wanting, however clearly the arcana here contained in the internal sense should be set forth, it would still be like presenting something to sight in the dark, or telling something to the deaf. Moreover the affections of the love of self and of the world that reign with them do not permit them to know, nor even to hear such things for they immediately reject them, nay, spew them out. Very different is the case with those who are in the affection of charity. These are delighted with such things; for the angels with them are in their happiness when the man is in them, because they are then in things that treat of the Lord, in whom they are; and also in those which treat of the neighbor and his regeneration. From the angels (that is, through the angels from the Lord) delight and bliss flow in with the man who is in the affection of charity while reading these things, and more so when he believes what is holy to be within them, and still more when he apprehends anything of that which is contained in the internal sense.
 The subject here treated of is the influx of the Lord into the good of the internal man, and indeed through the good into the truth therein; also the influx therefrom into the external or natural man, and the affection of good and truth into which the influx takes place; and also the reception of truth and its conjunction with the good therein; and likewise the good that serves as a means, here signified by "Laban" and his "flock." Concerning these subjects the angels, who are in the internal sense of the Word, or to whom the internal sense is the Word, see and perceive innumerable things of which scarcely anything can come to man’s understanding; and that which does come to it falls into his obscurity-which is the reason wily these things are not explained more particularly.GENESIS 30:37-40 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|