Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 31:14-16
AC 4095. Verses 14-16. And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Have we any longer a portion and inheritance in our father‘s house? Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and devouring hath also devoured our silver. For all the riches which God hath taken away from our father, they are ours and our sons’; and now all that God hath said unto thee, do. "And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him," signifies the reciprocity of the affections of truth; "Have we any longer a portion and inheritance in our father‘s house?" signifies the first state of their separation from the good signified by "Laban;" "are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us," signifies that it had estranged them, so that they no longer belonged to it; "and devouring hath also devoured our silver," signifies that it would consume the truth of those affections if they were not separated; "for all the riches which God hath taken away from our father, they are ours and our sons’," signifies that all things were from His own power, and that nothing was given by anyone, by flowing in from His Divine into that which He took to Himself therefrom; "and now all that God hath said unto thee, do," signifies the Lord‘s providence.
AC 4096. And Rachel and Leah answered, and said unto him. That this signifies the reciprocity of the affections of truth, is evident from the signification of "answering" when assent is given, as being what is reciprocal (n. 2919), and as being reception (n. 2941, 2957); and from the representation of Rachel, as being the affection of interior truth; and of Leah, as being the affection of external truth (n. 3758, 3782, 3793, 3819). In the internal sense of what has gone before the subject treated of has been the good of the natural, which is signified by "Jacob," when it was being separated from the mediate good, which is "Laban," and how this good of the natural adjoined to itself the affections of truth, which are signified by "Rachel and Leah." The subject now treated of is the reciprocal application to good of these affections of truth. This application is contained in the internal sense of the words which Rachel and Leah now say.
 But these things are of such a nature that they do not fall into any understanding except that which has been instructed, and which perceives delight in the memory-knowledge of such things, and which therefore has spiritual knowledges as its end. Others care nothing for such things, and cannot even apply their minds to them. For they who have worldly and earthly things as their end, cannot withdraw their senses from them; and even if they did so, they would perceive what is undelightful; in which case they would he departing and withdrawing from the things they have as their end, that is, which they love. Let anyone who is of such a nature put himself to the test, as to whether he desires to know how good adjoins itself to the affections of truth; and how the affections of truth apply themselves to good; and whether knowing this is irksome to him or not; and he will say that such things are of no benefit to him, and that he apprehends nothing about them.
 But if such things are told him as relate to his business in the world, even though they are of the most abstruse character, or if he be told the nature of another man’s affections, and how he may thereby join the man to himself by adapting himself both mentally and orally, this he not only apprehends, but also has a perception of the interior things connected with the matter. In like manner he who studies from affection to investigate the abstruse things of the sciences, loves to look and does look into things still more intricate. But when spiritual good and truth are in question, he feels the subject irksome and turns his back on it. These things have been said in order that the quality of the existing man of the church may be known.
 But how the case is with good when it adjoins truths to itself by affections, and with truths when they apply themselves to it, cannot so well appear when the idea or thought is directed to good and truth, but better when it is directed to the societies of spirits and angels through which these flow in; for as before said (n. 4067), man‘s willing and thinking come from these societies, that is, flow in from them, and appear as if they were in him. To know how the case herein is from the societies of spirits and angels, is to know it from causes themselves; and to know it from the heaven of angels is to know it from the ends of these causes. There are also historical things which adjoin themselves, and illustrate these things, causing them to appear more plainly.
 The internal sense treats of the adjunction of good to truths, and of the application of these latter, in the natural; for as often before said Jacob is the good in the natural, and his women are the affections of truth. The good which is of love and charity flows in from the Lord, and does so through angels who are with man; but not into anything else in him than his knowledges. And as good is there fixed, the thought is kept in the truths of the knowledges; and from these many things are called up which are related and are in agreement, and this until the man thinks that it is so, and until he wills it from affection because it is so. When this is being done, good conjoins itself with truths, and the truths apply themselves in freedom; for all affection causes freedom (n. 2870, 2875, 3158, 4031).
 Even then however doubts and sometimes denials are excited by the spirits who have been joined to the man; but in so far as affection prevails, so far he is led to the affirmative, and he is then confirmed in truths by these very things. When good flows in in this manner, it is not perceived that it comes through angels, because it flows in so interiorly, and into the man’s obscurity which he has from worldly and corporeal things. Be it known however that good does not flow in from the angels, but through the angels from the Lord; and this all the angels confess, and therefore they never claim for themselves any good, and are even indignant when anyone attributes it to them. From all this then, as from causes themselves, it may be seen how the case is with the adjoining of good to truths, and with the application of these latter, which are the subjects here treated of in the internal sense.
AC 4097. Have we any longer a portion and inheritance in our father‘s house? That this signifies the first state of their separation from the good signified by "Laban," is evident from the signification of the words, "Have we any longer a portion and inheritance?" as being, Have we any longer any conjunction? and from the signification of "our father’s house," as being the good represented by Laban. From this it results that by these words is signified the first state of their separation from the good signified by "Laban." For the first state is that the mind is held in doubt; the second state is that the doubt is dispelled by reasons; the third is affirmation; and the last is acting. In this manner good together with truths insinuates itself from the intellectual part into the will part, and is appropriated.
AC 4098. Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us. That this signifies that it had estranged them so that they no longer belonged to it, is evident from the signification of "being counted strangers," as being to be estranged; and from the signification of " selling," as being so to estrange that they would no longer belong to it.
AC 4099. And devouring hath also devoured our silver. That this signifies that it would consume the truth of those affections if they were not separated, is evident from the signification of "devouring," as being to consume; and from the signification of "silver," as being truth (n. 1551, 2954). It is evident that "our silver" denotes the truth of those affections, for as often before shown, the affections of truth are represented by Rachel and Leah. What these things involve cannot be known, unless it is known how the case is with the goods and truths which are insinuated by means of a mediate good, or unless it is known of what nature are the societies of spirits which serve as mediate good. The societies of spirits which serve as mediate good are those which are in worldly things; but the societies of angels which serve for introducing the affections of truth are not in worldly but in heavenly things.
 These two kinds of societies are in action about a man who is being regenerated; and in so far as he is initiated by the angels into heavenly things, so far are the spirits who are in worldly things removed; and unless they are removed, truths are dissipated. For worldly things and heavenly things are in agreement in man when heavenly things rule over worldly ones; but they are in disagreement when worldly things rule over heavenly things. When they are in agreement, truths are multiplied in the man‘s natural; but when they are in disagreement truths are diminished, and even consumed, because worldly things darken heavenly things, and so consequently place them in doubt; but when heavenly things have rule, they throw light upon worldly things, and place them in clear light, and dispel doubts. Those things rule which are loved above all others. All this shows what is meant by the truth of affections being consumed if these were not separated; which is signified by "devouring he hath also devoured our silver."
AC 4100. For all the riches which God hath taken away from our father, they are ours and our sons’. That this signifies that all things were from His own power (and that nothing was given by anyone) by flowing in from His Divine into that which He took to Himself therefrom, is evident from what has been said and explained above (n. 4065, 4075, 4081).
AC 4101. And now all that God hath said unto thee, do. That this signifies the Lord‘s providence, is evident from the signification of "doing all that God hath said," as being to obey; but when predicated of the Lord, it signifies to provide; for He does not act from another, but from Himself; neither does God say to Himself that He should "do;" but He says, that is, acts, from Himself. GENESIS 31:14-16 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|