Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 30:6
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AC 3920. Verse 6. And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and also hath heard my voice, and hath given me a son; therefore she called his name Dan. "And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and also hath heard my voice," signifies in the supreme sense justice and mercy; in the internal sense, the holy of faith; and in the external sense, the good of life; "and hath given me a son," signifies that this truth was acknowledged; "therefore she called his name Dan," signifies its quality.

AC 3921. And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and also hath heard my voice. That this signifies in the supreme sense justice and mercy; in the internal sense, the holy of faith; and in the external sense, the good of life, is evident from the signification of "God judging me," and from that of "hearing my voice." That "God judging me" signifies the Lord‘s justice, is evident without explication, as also that His "hearing my voice" is mercy for the Lord judges all from justice, and hears all from mercy. He judges from justice because from Divine truth, and He hears from mercy because from Divine good; from justice He judges those who do not receive the Divine good; and from mercy He hears those who do. But still when He judges from justice, it is also at the same time from mercy; for in all Divine justice there is mercy, as in Divine truth there is Divine good. But as these are arcana too deep to be told in a few words, they will of the Lord’s Divine mercy be more fully explained elsewhere.

[2] That by "God hath judged me, and also hath heard my voice" is meant in the internal sense the holy of faith, is because faith, which is predicated of truth, corresponds to the Divine justice; and the holy, which is good, to the Divine mercy of the Lord; and further, "to judge" or "judgment" is predicated of the truth of faith (n. 2235); and because it is said of God that He "judged," it denotes what is good or holy. Thus it is evident that the holy of faith is what is signified by both these expressions together; and as this one whole is signified by both of them together, the two expressions are joined together by "and also." That in the external sense the good of life is signified, is also from correspondence, for the good of life corresponds to the holy of faith. That without the internal sense it cannot be known what is signified by "God hath judged me and also hath heard," is evident from the fact that the expressions do not so cohere in the sense of the letter as to present one idea to the understanding.

[3] The reason why in this verse, and in the following down to "Joseph," "God" is named, and in the preceding verses, "Jehovah," is that in these verses the regeneration of the spiritual man is treated of, but in the preceding ones the regeneration of the celestial man; for "God" is named when the subject is the good of faith, which is of the spiritual man but "Jehovah" when the subject is the good of love, which is of the celestial man (n. 2586, 2769, 2807, 2822). For by Judah, to when the narrative was brought down in the preceding chapter, there was represented the celestial man (n. 3881); but by Joseph, to whom it is continued in this chapter, the spiritual man, who is treated of in the (verses 23, 24). That "Jehovah" was named when the narrative was brought down to Judah, may be seen in (verses 32, 33, 35) in the preceding chapter; that "God" is named where it is continued to Joseph, may be seen in (verses 6, 8, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23) of the present chapter; and "Jehovah" is again named afterwards, because the subject proceeds from the spiritual man to the celestial. This is the secret which lies hidden in these words, and which no one can know except from the internal sense, and unless also he knows what the celestial man is, and what the spiritual.

AC 3922. And hath given me a son. That this signifies that this truth was acknowledged, is evident from the signification of a "son," as being truth (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147) and from the signification of "giving a son," as being to give this truth, which is the same as to acknowledge it; for every truth that is acknowledged is given by the Lord. "Giving a son" involves the same as "bearing;" and that "bearing" is acknowledgment may be seen above (n. 3905, 3915, 3919).

AC 3923. Therefore she called his name Dan. That this signifies its quality, is evident from the signification of a "name" and of "calling a name," as being quality (n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2724, 3421). The quality itself is within the name "Dan," for he was so called from "judging." But though the name was given to him from "judging," it nevertheless involves what is signified by all these words of Rachel: "God hath judged me, and also hath heard my voice," that is, the good of life, and the holy of faith, and also in the supreme sense the justice and mercy of the Lord. It is this general principle of the church that is signified by "Dan," and that is represented by the tribe named from Dan. This general principle is the first that is to be affirmed or acknowledged, before a man can be regenerated or made a church. Unless these things are affirmed and acknowledged, the rest of the things both of faith and of life cannot possibly be receiveth, and therefore cannot be affirmed, still less acknowledged. For he who affirms mere faith with himself, and not the holy of faith, that is, charity (for this is the holy of faith), and does not affirm this by the good of life, that is, by the works of charity, can no longer have a relish for the essence of faith, because he rejects it. Affirmation together with acknowledgment is the first general principle with the man who is being regenerated, but is the last with him who has been regenerated; and therefore "Dan" is the first with hint who is to be regenerated, and "Joseph" is the last; for "Joseph" is the spiritual man himself. But "Joseph" is the first with him who has been regenerated, and "Dan" the last; because the man who is to be regenerated commences from the affirmation that it is so, namely, the holy of faith and the good of life. But the regenerate man, who is spiritual, is in spiritual good itself, and from this he regards such affirmation as last; for with him the holy things of faith and goods of life have been confirmed.

[2] That "Dan" is the affirmative which must be the first thing when a man is being regenerated, may also be seen from other passages in the Word where "Dan" is named; as from the prophecy of Jacob, then Israel, respecting his sons:--

Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel; Dan shall be a serpent upon the way, an adder upon the path, that biteth the horse‘s heels, and his rider falleth backward. I wait for thy salvation, O Jehovah (Gen. 49:16-18).

"Dan" here denotes the affirmative of truth, concerning which it is said that it will be "a serpent upon the way, and an adder upon the path," when anyone reasons about truth from sensuous things; "biting the horse’s heels," when it consults the lowest intellectual things or memory-knowledges, and draws conclusions from them; and that it is then led away from the truth, is signified by "his rider falling backward;" for which reason it is said, "I wait for thy salvation, O Jehovah." That the "serpent" is the man who reasons from sensuous things and memory-knowledges concerning Divine arcana, may be seen above (n. 195-197); and that "way" and "path" signify truth (n. 627, 2333); and that the "horse‘s heels" are the lowest intellectual things or memory-knowledges (n. 259); for a "horse" is the intellectual (n. 2761, 2762); the lowest part of which is the "heel."

[3] Again in the prophecy of Moses concerning the twelve tribes:--

Of Dan he said, Dan is a lion’s whelp, he leapeth forth from Bashan (Deut. 33:22);

a "lion" in the internal sense of the Word signifies the truth of the church, from his strength, for truth is that which fights and conquers; hence a "lion‘s whelp" denotes the first of truth, which is affirmation and acknowledgment. It is said "from Bashan," because it is from the good of the natural. In Jeremiah:--

Wash thine heart from wickedness, O Jerusalem, that thou mayest be saved. How long makest thou the thoughts of thine iniquity to lodge in the midst of thee? For a voice declareth from Dan, and causeth to hear iniquity from Mount Ephraim (Jer. 4:14, 15);

"from Dan," denotes the truth that is to be affirmed; "from Mount Ephraim," that it is from the affection of it.

[4] In the same:--

Wait for peace, but there is no good; and for a time of healing, and behold terror. The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan; at the sound of the neighings of his strong ones the whole land trembled and they came and devoured the land and the fulness thereof, the city and them that dwell therein. For behold I will send among you serpents, basilisks, against which there is no enchantment, and they shall bite you (Jer. 8:15-17);

"the snorting of horses heard from Dan" denotes reasoning concerning truth from what is non-affirmative; the "land that trembled," and their "devouring the fulness thereof," denotes the church and all the things of the church; for they who reason concerning truth from what is non-affirmative (that is, negative) destroy all things of faith; the "basilisk serpents" denote reasonings, as above.

[5] In Ezekiel:--

Dan and Javan coming in gave bright iron in thy fairs; cassia and calamus were in thy trading (Ezek. 27:19);

where Tyre is the subject treated of, by which are signified the knowledges of truth and good (n. 1201). "Dan" denotes the first truths that are affirmed; "fairs" and "trading," the acquisitions of truth and good (n. 2967); the "bright iron," natural truth which is the first (n. 425, 426); "cassia and calamus," natural truth from which there is good.

[6] In Amos:--

In that day shall the fair virgins and the young men faint for thirst. They that swear by the guilt of Samaria, and have said, Thy God O Dan liveth; and the way of Beer-sheba liveth; even they shall fall, and shall rise up no more (Amos 8:13, 14);

"thy God O Dan liveth, and the way of Beer-sheba liveth," denotes that they are in the denial of all things of faith and its doctrine. "Way" denotes truth, (n. 627, 2333); and "Beer-sheba," doctrine, (n. 2723, 2858, 2859, 3466). That there is signified the denial of all things of faith, is because Dan was the last boundary of the land of Canaan, and Beer-sheba the first, that is, the midst or inmost of the land; for by the "land of Canaan" was represented and signified the Lord’s kingdom, and thus the church (n. 1607, 3038, 3481), and accordingly all things of love and faith, because these are of the Lord‘s kingdom and church. Hence all things in the land of Canaan were representative, according to their distances, situations, and boundaries (n. 1585, 1866, 3686).

[7] The first boundary, that is, the midst or inmost of the land, was Beer-sheba, before Jerusalem became so, because Abraham was there, and also Isaac; but the last boundary, or the outermost of the land, was Dan; and hence when all things in one complex were signified, it was said, "from Dan even to Beer-sheba;" as in the second book of Samuel:--

To transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beer-sheba (2 Samuel 3:10).

In the same:--

All Israel gathering was gathered together from Dan even to Beer-sheba (2 Samuel 17:11).

And again:--

David said to Joab, Pass through all the tribes of Israel from Dan even to Beer-sheba (2 Samuel 24:2, 15).

And in the first book of Kings:--

Judah and Israel dwelt in security, every man under his vine and under his fig-tree, from Dan even to Beer-sheba (1 Kings 4:25).

By this expression are meant in the historic sense all things of the land of Canaan; but in the internal sense all things of the Lord’s kingdom, and also all things of the church.

[8] The reason why as before said, "Dan" is the first boundary, and also the last, is that the affirmative of truth and good is the first of all things when faith and charity are beginning with man, and the last when man is in charity and thereby in faith. It was from this also that the last lot fell to Dan when the land of Canaan was divided for inheritance (Josh. 19:40); for the lot was cast before Jehovah (Josh. 18:6); and hence it fell according to the representation of each tribe.

[9] And because the lot did not fall to Dan among the inheritances of the rest of the tribes, but beyond their borders (Judges 18:1), that tribe was omitted by John in (Revelation 7:5-8), where the twelve thousand that were sealed are mentioned; for they who are only in the affirmative of truth and also of good, and go no further, are not in the Lord‘s kingdom, that is, among the "sealed." Even the worst men are able to know truths and goods, and also to affirm them; but the quality of the affirmation is known from the life.

[10] "Dan" is also mentioned as a boundary in (Gen. 14:14); where Abraham is described as having pursued the enemy thus far, and where "Dan" has a similar signification. The city called "Dan" was not indeed built by the posterity of Dan at that time, but afterwards (Josh. 19:47; Judges 18:29); yet even then it was called the first boundary with respect to entering into the land of Canaan, or the last with respect to going out; and the inmost of the land was Hebron, and afterwards Beer-sheba, where Abraham and Isaac dwelt.

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info