Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 31:54-55
AC 4209. Verses 54, 55. And Jacob sacrificed a sacrifice in the mountain, and called his brethren to eat bread; and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mountain. And in the morning Laban arose early, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them; and Laban departed and returned to his place. "And Jacob sacrificed a sacrifice in the mountain," signifies worship from the good of love; "and called his brethren to eat bread," signifies the appropriation of good from the Lord’s Divine natural; "and they did eat bread," signifies the effect; "and tarried all night in the mountain," signifies tranquillity; "and in the morning Laban arose early," signifies the enlightenment of this good from the Lord‘s Divine natural; "and kissed his sons and his daughters," signifies the acknowledgment of these truths and of the affections of the same; "and blessed them," signifies the consequent joy "and Laban departed and returned to his place" signifies the end of the representation by Laban.
AC 4210. And Jacob sacrificed a sacrifice in the mountain. That this signifies worship from the good of love, is evident from the signification of a "sacrifice," as being worship (n. 922, 923, 2180); and from the signification of a "mountain," as being the good of love (n. 795, 796, 1430). "Sacrifice" signifies worship because sacrifices and burnt-offerings were the chief things of all the worship in the later or Hebrew representative church. They also sacrificed on mountains, as is evident from various passages in the Word, because "mountains," from their height, signified things which are high, such as are those which are of heaven and are called celestial; and hence in the supreme sense they signified the Lord, whom these people called the Most High. They thought in this way from the appearance, for things which are more interior appear higher, as does heaven to man. This is interiorly within him, yet man supposes that it is on high. For this reason where what is high is mentioned in the Word, in the internal sense there is signified that which is interior. In the world it must be supposed that heaven is on high, both because the visible heavens spread above us are so called, and because man is in time and place, and therefore thinks from ideas thence derived; and also because few know what that which is interior is, and still fewer that there is there neither place nor time. It is for this reason that the language of the Word is in agreement with the ideas of man’s thought; and if instead of being so it had been in accordance with angelic ideas, the result would have been that men would have perceived nothing at all; but everyone would have stood wondering what it was, and whether it was anything at all, and so would have rejected it as being destitute of anything fit for the understanding.
AC 4211. And called his brethren to eat bread. That this signifies the appropriation of good from the Lord‘s Divine natural, is evident from the signification of "brethren," as being those who were now conjoined by a covenant, that is, by friendship; and in the internal sense those who are in good and truth. These are called "brethren" (n. 367, 2360, 3303, 3459, 3803, 3815, 4121, 4191); from the signification of "eating," as being appropriation (n. 3168, 3513, 3832); and banquets and feasts with the ancients signified appropriation and conjunction by love and charity, (n. 3596); and from the signification of "bread," as being the good of love (n. 276, 680, 1798, 3478, 3735), and in the supreme sense the Lord (n. 2165, 2177, 3478, 3813). As in the supreme sense "bread" signifies the Lord, it therefore signifies everything holy which is from Him, that is, everything good and true; and because there is nothing else good, which is good, except that which is of love and charity, "bread" signifies love and charity. Nor did the sacrifices of old signify anything else, for which reason they were called by the one word "bread" (n. 2165). They also ate together of the flesh of the sacrifices, in order that the heavenly feast might be represented, that is, conjunction by the good of love and charity. This is what is now signified by the Holy Supper; for this succeeded in the place of sacrifices, and of the feasts from the sanctified things; and the Holy Supper is an external of the church that contains within itself an internal, and by means of this internal it conjoins the man who is in love and charity with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord. For in the Holy Supper also, eating" signifies appropriation, the "bread" celestial love, and the " wine" spiritual love; and this so entirely that when a man is in a holy state while eating it, nothing else is perceived in heaven.
 The reason why the expression "the appropriation of good from the Lord’s Divine natural" is made use of, is that the subject treated of is the good of the Gentiles, and it is this good which is now represented by Laban (n. 4189). Man‘s conjunction with the Lord is not a conjunction with His Supreme Divine Itself, but with His Divine Human; for man can have no idea whatever of the Lord’s Supreme Divine, which so transcends his idea as altogether to perish and become nothing; but he can have an idea of His Divine Human. For everyone is conjoined by thought and affection with one concerning whom he has some idea, but not with one concerning whom he has no idea. If when anyone is thinking about the Lord‘s Human, he has holiness in his idea, he is thinking also of that holy which coming from the Lord fills heaven, so that he is also thinking of heaven; for in its complex heaven bears relation to a man, and it does this from the Lord (n. 684, 1276, 2996, 2998, 3624-3649); and this accounts for the fact that no conjunction is possible with the Lord’s Supreme Divine, but only with His Divine Human, and through His Divine Human with His Supreme Divine. Hence it is said in John that no one hath seen God at any time, except the Only begotten Son (John 1:18); and that no one can come to the Father except through Him; and hence also He is called the Mediator. That such is the case may be very well known from the fact that all within the church who say they believe in a Supreme Being, and make no account of the Lord, are precisely those who believe nothing at all, not even that there is a heaven, or that there is a hell, and who worship nature. Moreover, if such persons are willing to be instructed by experience, they will see that the evil, even the worst of them, say the same thing.
 But as regards the Lord‘s Human, men think in various ways, one in one way and another in another, and one in a more holy way than another. They who are within the church are able to think that His Human is Divine, and also that as He says He is one with the Father, and that the Father is in Him, and He in the Father. But they who are without the church cannot do this, both because they know nothing about the Lord and because they have no idea of the Divine except from the images which they see with their eyes, and the idols which they can touch with their hands. And yet the Lord conjoins Himself with these by means of the good of their charity and obedience that is within their gross idea of Him. For this reason it is here said that such have an "appropriation of good from the Lord’s Divine natural;" for the conjunction of the Lord with man is according to the state of his thought and the derivative affection. They who are in the most holy idea concerning the Lord, and at the same time in the knowledges and affections of good and truth--as those can be who are within the church--are conjoined with the Lord in respect to His Divine rational; whereas they who are not in such holiness, nor in such interior idea and affection, and yet are in the good of charity, are conjoined with the Lord in respect to His Divine natural. They who have a holiness of a still grosser kind are conjoined with the Lord in respect to His Divine sensuous; and this conjunction is what is represented by the brazen serpent, in that those who looked at it recovered from the bite of the serpents (Num. 21:9). In this conjunction are those among the Gentiles who worship idols, and yet live in charity in accordance with their religion. From all this it is now evident what is meant by the appropriation of good from the Lord‘s Divine natural, which is signified by Jacob’s calling his brethren to eat bread.
AC 4212. And they did eat bread. That this signifies the effect, namely, in the external sense friendship, and in the supreme sense conjunction by good and truth in the Lord‘s natural, is evident.
AC 4213. And tarried all night in the mountain. That this signifies tranquillity, is evident from the signification of "tarrying all night," as being to have peace (n. 3170), thus tranquillity. It was also a rite that those who entered into a covenant should tarry all night in one place, because tarrying all night in one place signified that there was no longer any hostility, and in the internal sense, that there was tranquillity and peace for they who are conjoined in respect to good and truth are in tranquillity and in peace. It is therefore said here, "in the mountain," because by a "mountain" is signified the good of love and charity (n. 4210); for the good of love and charity confers peace. What peace and tranquillity are, see (n. 92, 93, 1726, 2780, 3170, 3696, 3780).
AC 4214. And in the morning Laban arose early. That this signifies the enlightenment of this good from the Lord’s Divine natural, is evident from the signification of "rising early in the morning," as being enlightenment (n. 3458, 3723); and from the representation of Laban, as being such good as is that of the Gentiles (n. 4189). That the enlightenment of this good here meant is from the Lord‘s Divine natural, is manifest from the series. As regards enlightenment, it is all from the Lord, and through the good that is in the man; and such as is the good, such is the enlightenment.
 Most people believe that those men are enlightened who are able to reason about good and truth and about evil and falsity; and that their enlightenment is the greater in proportion to the subtlety and acuteness with which they can speak about these things, and at the same time confirm them by many memory-knowledges, and likewise make what they say appear probable by comparisons, especially those drawn from things of sense, and by other modes of persuasion. And yet such men may be in no enlightenment, in spite of their power of imagination and perception. This power is of two kinds, one which comes from the light of heaven, and the other from a fatuous light; and in the outward form these two appear alike, although in the inward form they are quite different. That which is from the light of heaven is in good, that is, is with those who are in good, and who from good are able to see truth, and to know as in clear day whether a thing is so, or is not so. But that which is from fatuous light is in evil, that is, is with those who are in evil; and their being able to reason about such things comes from the fact that they possess some capacity of knowing them, but no affection of doing them; and that this is to be in no enlightenment everyone can comprehend.
 As regards fatuous light the case in the other life is this: They who have been in such light in this world are in the like in the other life, and there reason about good and truth and about evil and falsity, and this much more perfectly and excellently than when in the life of the body; for their thoughts are not there beclogged and impeded by the cares of the body and of the world, nor so terminated or bounded in them, as when they were in the body and the world. But still it at once appears (not to them, but to good spirits and angels) that their reasonings are those of fatuous light, and that the light of heaven that inflows with them is instantly turned into such a light; so that which was the light of heaven with them is either suffocated, as when the light of the sun falls upon something opaque and becomes black; or is reflected, as with those who are in principles of falsity; or is perverted, as when the sun’s light flows into ugly and unclean objects, and produces repulsive colors and offensive smells. Such is the case with those who are in fatuous light and believe themselves to be more enlightened than others simply because they are able to reason intelligently and wisely, while nevertheless living an evil life.
 Who these are, and what is their character, appears from everything they speak, provided they do not counterfeit what is good for the sake of deceiving. Among them are those who deny or despise the Lord, and within themselves ridicule those who confess Him. Among them are those who love adulteries, and who ridicule those who believe marriages to be holy, and by no means to be violated. Among them are those who believe the precepts and doctrinal things of the church to be for the sake of the common people, that they may thereby be kept in bonds, and who in themselves make them of no account. Among them in like manner are those who ascribe all things to nature, and believe those to be simple-minded and of feeble judgment who ascribe them to the Divine. Among them also are those who attribute everything to their own prudence, and who say, and have confirmed themselves in the opinion, that there is a Supreme Being that exercises some government in general or in the universal, but nothing in particular or individually. And so in other cases.
 Such persons are in fatuous light even in the other life, and among their like they also reason acutely; but when they approach any heavenly society, this light is extinguished and becomes darkness; and consequently their thought is obscured to such a degree that they cannot think at all; for they are then cramped and constricted by the light of heaven, which as before said is with them either suffocated, rejected, or perverted; and they therefore throw themselves down headlong, and cast themselves into hell, where such light prevails. From all this can be seen what true enlightenment is, namely, that it comes from the good which is from the Lord; and also what false enlightenment is, namely, that it comes from the evil which is from hell.
AC 4215. And kissed his sons and his daughters. That this signifies the acknowledgment of these truths, and of the affections of the same, is evident from the signification of "kissing," as being conjunction from affection (n. 3573, 3574), consequently acknowledgment (for where there is conjunction by means of good and truth, there is the acknowledgment of these); from the signification of "sons," as being truths or verities (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 3773); and from the signification of "daughters," here Rachel and Leah, as being the affections of the same, that is, of truths (n. 3758, 3782, 3793, 3819).
 It is from the correspondence that "kissing" signifies conjunction from affection; for there is a correspondence of heaven with all the organs and members of the body, as shown at the end of the chapters. There is a correspondence of the internal things of man with all things of the face, and hence the animus shines forth from the countenance, and the interior animus or mind from the eyes. There is also a correspondence of the thoughts and affections with the actions and gestures of the body; as is well known in regard to those which are of a voluntary as well as those which are of an involuntary character. For humiliation of heart produces kneeling, which is an external gesture of the body; humiliation still greater and more internal produces prostration to the earth; gladness of heart and joy of mind produce singing and joyful shouting; sadness and internal mourning produce weeping and wailing; but conjunction from affection produces kissing. From all this it is evident that because such external acts correspond, they are signs of things internal; and that in them as signs there is an internal from which they take their quality. But with those who desire to counterfeit internal things by means of external, such externals are also signs, but signs of simulation, hypocrisy, and deceit. Such is the case with kissing, by which everyone wishes to signify that he loves another from the heart; for he knows that the act of kissing comes from such love, and is a mark of conjunction from affection, and he thereby desires to persuade his neighbor that he loves him for the sake of the good that is in him; when in fact it may be for his own sake, and for his own honor and gain, and thus not for the sake of good, but of evil. For he who regards himself as the end, and not as an intermediate end to good, and desires to be conjoined with another as to that end, is in evil.
AC 4216. And blessed them. That this signifies the consequent joy, is evident from the signification of "blessing," as being to devoutly wish success and happiness (n. 3185); thus to testify joy when anyone is going away.
AC 4217. And Laban departed and returned to his place. That this signifies the end of the representation by Laban, is evident from the signification of " returning to his place," as being to return to the former state. "Place" is state, (n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387, 3404). Consequently by these words is signified the end of the representation by Laban. From all that has been shown it may be seen that all things in the Word both in general and particular contain interior things, and that the interior things are of such a nature as to be adapted to the perception of the angels who are with man. For example: when "bread" is mentioned in the Word, the angels become aware not of material but of spiritual bread; thus instead of bread they perceive the Lord, who is the Bread of life, as He Himself teaches in (John 6:33, 35). And because they perceive the Lord, they perceive what is from the Lord, thus His love toward the universal human race; and they then perceive at the same time man‘s reciprocal love to the Lord; for these two things cohere in one idea of thought and affection.
 Not unlike this are the thoughts of the man who is in a holy state when receiving the bread of the Holy Supper; for he then thinks not of bread, but of the Lord and His mercy, and of what is of love to Him and of charity toward the neighbor, because he thinks of repentance and amendment of life; but this with variety according to the holiness in which he is, not only as to his thought, but also as to his affection. From this it is manifest that "bread" as mentioned in the Word suggests to the angels no idea of bread, but the idea of love, together with innumerable things that are of love. It is the same with "wine," which when read of in the Word, and also when received in the Holy Supper, suggests to the angels no thought of wine, but of charity toward the neighbor. This being the case, and as in this way there is a connection of man with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord, the bread and wine have become symbols, and unite the man who is in holiness of life with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord.
 The same is the case with everything in the Word, and therefore the Word is a medium uniting man with the Lord; and unless there were such a uniting medium, heaven could not inflow with man; for without a medium there would be no unition, but heaven would remove itself away from man; and if this were removed, no one could any longer be led to good, not even to corporeal and worldly good; but all bonds whatever, even those which are external, would be broken. For the Lord rules the man who is in good by means of internal bonds, which are of conscience; but one who is in evil by external bonds alone; and if these should be broken, every such man would become insane; even as is the man who is without fear of the law, without fear for his life, and without fear of the loss of honor and gain, and thus of reputation--for these are the external bonds--and so the human race would perish. From all this it may be seen why the Word exists, and what the character of the Word is. The church of the Lord where the Word is, is like the heart and the lungs, and the church of the Lord where the Word is not, is like the rest of the viscera which live from the heart and the lungs, (n. 637, 931, 2054, 2853).