Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 30:7-8
AC 3924. Verses 7, 8. And she conceived again, and Bilhah Rachel’s handmaid bare a second son to Jacob. And Rachel said, With the wrestlings of God have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali. "And she conceived again, and Bilhah Rachel‘s handmaid bare," signifies here as before reception and acknowledgment; "a second son to Jacob," signifies a second general truth; "and Rachel said, With the wrestlings of God have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed," signifies in the supreme sense own power; in the internal sense, temptation in which there is victory; in the external sense, resistance by the natural man; "and she called his name Naphtali," signifies its quality.
AC 3925. And she conceived again, and Bilhah Rachel’s handmaid bare. That this signifies reception and acknowledgment, is evident from the signification of "conceiving," as being reception; and from the signification of "bearing," as being acknowledgment (n. 3319); and also from the signification of "handmaid," as being a subserving means (n. 3913, 3917); for the subject here is a second general means that is of service for the conjunction of the internal man with the external.
AC 3926. A second son to Jacob. That this signifies a second general truth, is evident from the signification of a "son," as being truth (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147). That the signification here is a general truth, is evident from what has been said above concerning the twelve sons of Jacob, and the twelve tribes named from them, as being the general things of the church, and accordingly the general things of faith and love, or of truth and good, which are signified and represented by them; and that in the opposite sense are also meant general things not of faith and love, but all things of falsity and evil, will appear hereafter.
AC 3927. And Rachel said, With the wrestlings of God have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed. That this signifies in the supreme sense own power; in the internal sense, temptation in which there is victory; and in the external sense, resistance by the natural man, is evident from the signification of the "wrestlings of God" and of "wrestling," as being temptations for temptations are nothing else than wrestlings of the internal man with the external, or of the spiritual man with the natural; for each desires to rule, and when dominion is in question, combat arises, which is here called "wrestling." That "to prevail" is to overcome, is evident without explication.
 That in the supreme sense these words signify own power, is because the Lord, when He was in the world and in the human there, sustained all temptations from His own power, and conquered from His own power; differently from every man, who never sustains any spiritual temptation and conquers in it from his own power; for it is the Lord who sustains and conquers within him. The Lord sustained the most grievous temptations, beyond all others, (n. 1663, 1668, 1690, 1737, 1787, 1789, 1812, 1813, 1815, 1820, 2776, 2786, 2795, 2813, 2816, 3318): That the Lord combated and conquered from His own power, (n. 1616, 1692, 1813, 3381): And that the Lord alone combats in man, (n. 1692).
 That in the internal sense the "wrestlings of God" and "prevailing" denote the temptations in which man conquers, is evident from what has been said just above. But that in the external sense there is signified resistance by the natural man is because all temptation is nothing else; for as before said in spiritual temptations there is dispute about dominion, as to which shall have the supremacy, the internal man or the external; or what is the same, the spiritual man or the natural, for these are opposed to each other (n. 3913). For when man is in temptations, his internal or spiritual man is ruled by the Lord through angels; but his external or natural man through infernal spirits; and the combat between them is that which is perceived by the man as temptation. When a man is such in faith and life that he can be regenerated, he will conquer in temptations; but when he is such that he cannot be regenerated, he yields in temptations. That there is resistance by the natural man, is signified by its being said that she "wrestled with her sister;" for by "Leah," who is here the "sister," is signified the affection of the external man; but by "Rachel," the affection of the internal man (n. 3793, 3819).
AC 3928. And she called his name Naphtali. That this signifies its quality, namely, the quality of the temptation in which there is victory, and also the quality of the resistance by the natural man, is evident from the signification of "name," and of "calling a name," as being quality (n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2724, 3421). The quality itself is that which is signified by "Naphtali," for he was named "Naphtali" from "wrestling." Hence also by Naphtali is represented this second general truth of the church, for temptation is the means of the conjunction of the internal man with the external, because they are at variance with each other, but are reduced to agreement and correspondence by means of temptations. The external man is indeed such that of itself it lusts for nothing else than corporeal and worldly things, these being the delights of its life. But the internal man, when it is opened toward heaven and desires the things of heaven, such as it is with those who can he regenerated, then finds heavenly delight in these things, and while the man is in temptations there is a combat between these two kinds of delight. This the man does not then know, because he does not know what heavenly delight is, and what infernal delight is; and still less that they are so entirely opposed to each other. But the celestial angels cannot possibly be with man in his corporeal and worldly delight until this delight has been reduced to subservience, so that the corporeal and worldly delight is no longer sought as the end; but for the sake of the use of serving the heavenly delight (n. 3913). When this has been effected, the angels can be with the man in both; but in this case his delight becomes bliss, and finally happiness in the other life.
 He who believes that before regeneration the delight of his natural man is not infernal, and that it is not possessed by diabolical spirits, is much mistaken, and does not know how the case is with man, namely, that before regeneration he is possessed as to his natural man by genii and infernal spirits, however much he may appear to himself to be like any other man; and even though he may be with others in what is holy, and may reason about the truths and goods of faith, and may indeed believe himself to be confirmed in them; yet if he does not perceive in himself anything of the affection of what is just and equitable in his employment, and of truth and good in company and in life, let him know that his delight is that of the infernals, for there is no other love in it than that of self and the world; and when this love makes his delight, there is in it no charity and no faith. After this delight has become dominant, it is deadened and dissipated by no other means than the affirmation and acknowledgment of the holy of faith and of the good of life, which is the first means, signified by "Dan," as shown above; and then by means of temptation, which is the second means, and is signified by Naphtali; for this means follows the other, for they who do not affirm and acknowledge the good and truth of faith and charity cannot come into any combat of temptation, because there is nothing within which offers resistance to the evil and falsity to which natural delight persuades.
 In other places in the Word where "Naphtali" is mentioned, there is signified man‘s state after temptations as in the prophecy of Jacob, then Israel:--
Naphtali is a hind let loose, giving sayings of elegance (Gen. 49:21);
where a "hind let loose" denotes the affection of natural truth in the free state which exists after temptations; which state is also the quality that is in the temptations signified by "Naphtali;" for in temptations the struggle is concerning freedom. In like manner in the prophecy of Moses:--
To Naphtali he said, Naphtali is satisfied with favor, and full with the blessing of Jehovah, he shall possess the west and the south (Deut. 33:23);
for the representations of the sons of Jacob and of the tribes are in accordance with the order in which they are named (n. 3862). And in the prophecy of Deborah and Barak:--
Zebulun a people that hath devoted his soul to die, and Naphtali upon the high places of the field (Judges 5:18);
where also in the internal sense the combats of temptations are treated of; and the man is among those who fear nothing of evil because they are in truths and goods; which is to be "upon the high places of the field."GENESIS 30:7-8 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
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