Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 31:47-50
AC 4194. Verses 47-50. And Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed. And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day; therefore he called the name of it Galeed; and Mizpah; for he said, Jehovah watch between me and thee, for we shall be hidden a man from his fellow. If thou shalt afflict my daughters, and if thou shalt take women over my daughters, there is no man with us; see, God is witness between me and thee. "And Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha," signifies its quality on the part of the good represented by Laban; "and Jacob called it Galeed," signifies its quality on the part of the good of the Divine natural; "and Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day therefore he called the name of it Galeed," signifies that it will be so to eternity, hence its quality again; "and Mizpah; for he said, Jehovah watch between me and thee," signifies the presence of the Lord‘s Divine natural; "for we shall be hidden a man from his fellow," signifies separation in respect to what is of the church; "if thou shalt afflict my daughters, and if thou shalt take women over my daughters, there is no man with us," signifies that the affections of truth are to remain within the church; "see, God is witness between me and thee," signifies confirmation.
AC 4195. And Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha. That this signifies its quality on the part of the good represented by Laban, is evident from the signification of " calling," and of "calling by name," as being the quality (n. 144, 145, 1754, 2009, 2724, 3421). In the idiom of Syria whence Laban came, "Jegar-sahadutha" means "the heap of witness." In ancient times such heaps were for a sign, or for a witness, and afterwards were also for worship; here, for a sign and for a witness; for a sign, that the boundary was there; and for a witness, that a covenant was made there, and that neither of them should pass it to do evil to the other; as is evident also from Laban’s words:--This heap be witness, and the pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap to me, and this pillar, for evil (verse 52). From this it is manifest what "Jegar-sahadutha" (or "the heap of witness") involves. But in the internal sense it signifies the quality of good from truths on the part of Laban, that is, on the part of those who are in the goods of works, that is, on the part of the Gentiles.
AC 4196. And Jacob called it Galeed. That this signifies its quality on the part of the good of the Divine natural, is evident from the representation of Jacob, as being the Lord‘s Divine natural, as frequently shown above. In the Hebrew idiom, or in that of Canaan, whence Jacob came, "Galeed" means "a heap" and "a witness," or a "witness heap." What a "witness heap" is in the internal sense, now follows.
AC 4197. And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day; therefore he called the name of it Galeed. That this signifies that it will be so to eternity, hence its quality again, is evident from the signification of a "heap," as being good (n. 4192); and from the signification of a "witness," as being the confirmation of good by truth; from the signification of "this day," as being eternity (n. 2838, 3998); and from the signification of "calling a name," as being the quality (n. 144, 145, 1754, 2009, 2724, 3421). The quality itself is contained in the name "Galeed;" for in ancient times the names imposed contained the quality (n. 340, 1946, 2643, 3422). From this it is manifest what is signified by, "Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day; therefore he called the name of it Galeed," namely, a testification of the conjunction of the good here signified by "Laban" with the good Divine of the Lord’s natural, consequently the conjunction of the Lord with the Gentiles by good; for this good is what is now represented by Laban (n. 4189). The truths of this good are what testify of the conjunction; and yet so long as they live in the world their good is aside, because they have not truths Divine. But they who live in this good (that is, in mutual charity), although they have no truths Divine direct from the Divine fountain (that is, from the Word), they nevertheless have not their good closed up, but such that it can be opened; and it also is opened in the other life, when they are there instructed in the truths of faith, and concerning the Lord. It is otherwise with Christians, of whom those who are in mutual charity, and still more those who are in love to the Lord, are in direct good while living in the world, because they are in truths Divine; and therefore they enter into heaven without such instruction, provided there have not been in their truths falsities, which must first be dispelled. But those Christians who have not lived in charity have closed heaven against themselves, and very many of them to such a degree that it cannot be opened; for they know truths, and deny them, and also harden themselves against them, if not with the mouth, yet in the heart.
 Laban‘s first calling the heap "Jegar-sahadutha" in his own idiom, and then "Galeed" in the idiom of Canaan, when both have nearly the same meaning, is for the sake of the application, and of the conjunction thereby. To speak in the idiom of Canaan, or "with the lip of Canaan," is to apply one’s self to the Divine; for by "Canaan" is signified the Lord‘s kingdom, and in the supreme sense the Lord (n. 1607, 3038, 3705); as is manifest in Isaiah:--
In that day there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak with the lips of Canaan, and that swear to Jehovah Zebaoth. In that day shall there be an altar to Jehovah in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to Jehovah. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness to Jehovah Zebaoth in the land of Egypt (Isa. 19:18-20).
 That a "witness" denotes the confirmation of good by truth, and of truth by good, and that hence a "testimony" denotes the good from which is truth, and the truth which is from good, may be seen from the Word in other passages. That a "witness" denotes the confirmation of good by truth and of truth by good, is evident from the following passages. In Joshua:--
Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves, that ye have chosen Jehovah to serve Him. And they said, We are witnesses. Now therefore put away the strange gods which are in the midst of you, and incline your heart unto Jehovah the God of Israel. And the people said unto Joshua, Jehovah our God will we serve, and unto His voice will we be obedient. And Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and a judgment in Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak that was in the sanctuary of Jehovah. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be for a witness to us, for it hath heard all the words of Jehovah which He spake unto us; and it shall be to you for a witness, lest ye deny your God (Joshua 24:22-27);
that a "witness" here is confirmation, is manifest, and indeed the confirmation of a covenant, and accordingly of conjunction; for a "covenant" signifies conjunction (n. 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021). And as conjunction with Jehovah or the Lord is not possible except by good; nor the good which conjoins except that which has its quality from truth; it follows that a "witness" denotes the confirmation of good by truth. The good here meant is conjunction with Jehovah or the Lord by their choosing Him to serve Him; the truth by which the confirmation was made being the "stone." A "stone" denotes truth, (n. 643, 1298, 3720). In the supreme sense, the "stone" is the Lord Himself, because all truth is from Him, and therefore He is called the "Stone of Israel" (Gen. 49:24); and it is also said, "Behold, this stone shall be for a witness to us, for it hath heard all the words of Jehovah which He spake unto us."
 In John:--
I will give unto my two witnesses, that they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive-trees and the two lampstands that stand before the God of the earth. And if any man desire to hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies; these have power to shut heaven. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that cometh up out of the abyss shall make war with them, and shall overcome them, and shall kill them. And after three days and a half, the breath of life from God entered into them, so that they stood upon their feet (Rev. 11:3-7, 11);
that the "two witnesses" here mentioned are good and truth (that is, the good in which is truth, and the truth which is from good), both confirmed in hearts, is manifest from its being said that the two witnesses are the two olive-trees and the two lampstands. An "olive-tree" is such good, (n. 886). The "two olive-trees" denote celestial good and spiritual good. Celestial good is that of love to the Lord, and spiritual good is that of charity toward the neighbor. The "lampstands" are the truths of these goods, as will appear when of the Lord’s Divine mercy the subject of lampstands is treated of. That these goods and truths have power to shut heaven and to open heave", may be seen in the preface to the twenty-second chapter. That "the beast out of the abyss (that is, out of hell) will kill them," signifies the vastation of good and truth within the church; and that "the spirit of life from God entered into them, so that they stood upon their feet," signifies a new church.
 That as in ancient times heaps were placed as witnesses, so afterwards were altars, is evident in Joshua:--
The Reubenites and the Gadites said, Behold the pattern of the altar of Jehovah which our fathers made, not for burnt-offering, and not for sacrifice; but it is a witness between us and you. And the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad called the altar, A witness between as that Jehovah is God (Joshua 22:28, 34).
An "altar" is the good of love, and in the supreme sense the Lord Himself, (n. 921, 2777, 2811). In the internal sense a "witness" denotes the confirmation of good by truth.
 As by a "witness" is signified the confirmation of good by truth and of truth by good, therefore in the supreme sense by a "witness" is signified the Lord, because He is the Divine truth that confirms; as in Isaiah:--
I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the true mercies of David; behold I have given Him for a Witness to the peoples, a prince and commander to the peoples (Isa 55:4).
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful Witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth (Rev. 1:5).
In the same:--
These things saith the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God (Rev. 3:14).
 The command given in the representative church, that all truth shall stand on the word of two or three witnesses, and not on that of one (Num. 35:30; Deut. 17:6, 7; 19:15; Matt. 18:16), is founded on the Divine law that one truth does not confirm good, but a number of truths; for one truth without connection with others is not confirmatory, but a number together, because from one may be seen another. One does not produce any form, and thus not any quality, but only a number that are connected in a series. For as one tone does not produce any melody, still less harmony, so neither does one truth. These are the things on which the law in question is founded, although in the outward form it appears to be founded in the civic state; the one however is not contrary to the other, as is also the case with the precepts of the decalogue, concerning which see above (n. 2609).
 That a "testimony" denotes the good from which is truth, and the truth which is from good, follows from what has been said; and also from the fact that the ten precepts of the decalogue written upon the tables of stone are called in one word the "testimony," as in Moses:--
Jehovah gave unto Moses, when He had made an end of speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, the two tables of the testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God (Exod. 31:18).
In the same:--
Moses went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand, tables that were written on their two sides (Exod. 32:15).
And as the tables were placed in the ark, the ark is called the "ark of the testimony," as in Moses:--
Jehovah said to Moses, Thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee (Exod. 25:16, 21).
Moses took and put the testimony into the ark (Exod. 40:20).
In the same:--
I will meet with thee, and I will speak with thee from above the mercy-seat from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony (Exod. 25:22).
In the same:--
That the cloud of incense may cover the mercy-seat, that is upon the testimony (Lev. 16:13).
In the same:--
The rods of the twelve tribes were left in the tent of meeting before the testimony (Num. 17:4).
From this the ark was also called the "ark of the testimony," (Exod. 25:22; 31:7; Rev. 15:5).
 The precepts of the decalogue were therefore called the "testimony," because they were of the covenant, thus of the conjunction between the Lord and man; which conjunction cannot come into existence unless man keeps the precepts, not only in external form, but also in internal. What the internal form of these precepts is, may be seen above (n. 2609); and therefore it is good confirmed by truth, and truth derived from good, which is signified by the "testimony." Because this is so, the tables were also called the "tables of the covenant;" and the ark, the "ark of the covenant." From all this it is manifest what in the genuine sense is signified in the Word by the "testimony" (Deut. 4:45; 6:17, 20; Isa. 8:16; 2 Kings 17:15; Ps. 19:7; 25:10; 78:5; 93:5; 119:2, 22, 24, 59, 79, 88, 138, 167; 122:3, 4; Rev. 6:9; 12:17; 19:10).
AC 4198. And Mizpah; for he said, Jehovah watch between me and thee. That this signifies the presence of the Lord‘s Divine natural, namely, in the good which is now represented by Laban, is evident from the signification of "looking," or "watching," as being presence; for he who looks at another, or sees him from a high outlook, is present with him by sight. Besides, "to see," when predicated of the Lord, denotes foresight and providence (n. 2837, 2839, 3686, 3854, 3863), thus also presence, but by foresight and providence. As regards the presence of the Lord, He is present with everyone, but according to the reception; for everyone’s life is from the Lord alone. They who receive His presence in good and truth, are in the life of intelligence and wisdom; but they who do not receive His presence in good and truth, but in evil and falsity, are in the life of insanity and folly; but yet are in the capacity of understanding and being wise. That they are nevertheless in this, may be seen from their knowing how to feign and simulate what is good and true in the outward form, and thereby to captivate men, which would be by no means the case if they had not this capacity. The quality of the presence is signified by "Mizpah;" here, the quality with those who are in the goods of works, that is, with the Gentiles, who are here represented by Laban; for in the original language the name "Mizpah" is derived from "looking."
AC 4199. For we shall be hidden a man from his fellow. That this signifies separation in respect to what is of the church, is evident from the signification here of "being hidden," as being separation and from the signification of "a man from his fellow," as being those who are within the church, and those who are without it. These are said to be "hidden," because they are separated in respect to good and truth, and thus in respect to the things of the church.
AC 4200. If thou shall afflict my daughters, and if thou shalt take women over my daughters, there is no man with us. That this signifies that the affections of truth are to remain within the church, is evident from the signification of "daughters," here Rachel and Leah, as being the affections of truth (n. 3758, 3782, 3793, 3819); from the signification of "women," as being the affections of a truth that is not genuine, thus such as are not of the church; for the affections of truth make the church; so that to "take women over them" signifies that there would be other affections than those of genuine truth; from the signification of "no man with us," as being when a man shall be hidden from his fellow, that is, when they are separated (n. 4199). From this it is manifest that by these words is signified that the affections of genuine truth are to remain within the church, and not to be defiled with truths not genuine.
AC 4201. See, God is witness between me and thee. That this signifies confirmation, here from the Divine, is evident from the signification of "witness," as being confirmation (n. 4197). GENESIS 31:47-50 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
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