Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 32:29-32
AC 4294. Verses 29-32. And Jacob asked and said, Tell I pray thy name. And he said, Wherefore is this that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel; for I have seen God faces to faces, and my soul is delivered. And the sun arose to him as he passed over Penuel, and he halted upon his thigh. Therefore the sons of Israel eat not the nerve of that which was displaced, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, even unto this day, because he touched in the hollow of Jacob‘s thigh the nerve of that which was displaced. "And Jacob asked and said, Tell I pray thy name," signifies the angelic heaven and its quality; " and he said, Wherefore is this that thou dost ask after my name?" signifies that heaven was not willing to reveal itself; "and he blessed him there," signifies conjunction with the Divine celestial spiritual; "and Jacob called the name of the place Peniel," signifies a state of temptations; "for I have seen God faces to faces and my soul is delivered," signifies that He endured the most grievous temptations as if they were from the Divine; "and the sun arose to him," signifies the conjunction of goods; "as he passed over Penuel," signifies a state of truth in good; "and he halted upon his thigh," signified that truths were not yet disposed into such an order that all together with good might enter into celestial spiritual good; "therefore the sons of Israel eat not the nerve of that which was displaced, which is upon the hollow of the thigh," signifies that those were not appropriated in which were falsities; "even unto this day," signifies even forever, that falsities should not be adjoined; "because he touched in the hollow of Jacob’s thigh the nerve of that which was displaced," signifies the reason, because they are falsities.
 In the internal historical sense, in which the posterity of Jacob is treated of, by "Jacob asked and said, Tell I pray thy name," evil spirits are signified; by "he said, Wherefore is this that thou dost ask after my name?" is signified that from evil spirits they did not acknowledge; by "he blessed him there," is signified that it was so done; by "Jacob called the name of the place Peniel," is signified the state in that they put on representations by "for I have seen God faces to faces, and my soul is delivered," is signified that He was present representatively; by "the sun arose to him," is signified when they came into representations by "as he passed over Penuel," is signified when they came into the land of Canaan; by "he halted upon his thigh," is signified that goods and truths were altogether destroyed with that posterity; by "therefore the sons of Israel eat not the nerve of that which was displaced, which is upon the hollow of the thigh," is signified that the posterity ought to know this; by "unto this day," is signified that they are such forever; by "because he touched in the hollow of Jacob‘s thigh the nerve of that which was displaced," is signified because they had a heredity which could not be eradicated by regeneration, because they would not allow this.
AC 4295. And Jacob asked and said, Tell I pray thy name. That this signifies the angelic heaven and its quality, may be seen from the representation of Jacob, as being the Lord as to the Divine natural; and from the signification of "God," whose name he asked, and also of "men," with whom as a prince he contended and prevailed, as being truths and goods, and thus those who are in truths and goods (n. 4287). And because the angelic heaven is heaven from truths and goods, it is specifically this which is signified by the "God and men" with whom the Lord prevailed. Occasionally also in the Word the angels are called "gods," and this from truths and goods, as in David:--
God stood in the congregation of god, He judged in the midst of the gods. I said, Ye are gods, and all of you sons of the Most High (Ps. 82:1, 6);
where it is plainly evident that the "congregation of god," and the "gods," denote the angelic heaven. In the same:--
Who in the sky can be compared unto Jehovah? who among the sons of the gods can he likened unto Jehovah? (Ps. 89:6).
Confess ye to the God of gods confess ye to the Lord of lords (Ps. 136:2, 3).
From these passages, as also from the fact that no one can contend as a prince with God and prevail, and likewise from the fact that he who is called "God" was not willing to reveal his name, it is evident that it was the angelic heaven with which the Lord fought. That a deep secret lies hidden in these words is plainly evident from the words themselves: "Wherefore is this that thou dost ask after my name?" for if it had been Jehovah God, He would not have concealed his name; nor would Jacob have asked, "What is thy name?" for to ask the name implies that it is another or others than God Himself.
 That the Lord in temptations at last fought with the angels themselves, nay, with the whole angelic heaven, is a secret that has not yet been disclosed. But the case with regard to this matter is that the angels are indeed in the highest wisdom and intelligence, but have all wisdom and intelligence from the Divine of the Lord. From themselves, or from what is their own, they have nothing of wisdom and intelligence. 80 far therefore as they are in truths and goods from the Divine of the Lord, so far they are wise and intelligent. That the angels have nothing of wisdom and intelligence from themselves, they themselves openly confess; nay, they are indignant if anyone ascribes to them anything of wisdom and intelligence, for they know and perceive that this would be to take away from the Divine that which is Divine, and to claim for themselves that which is not theirs, and thus to incur the crime of spiritual theft. The angels also say that all that is their own is evil and false, both from their heredity and from actual life when they were men in the world (n. 1880); and that the evil and falsity is not separated or wiped away from them, they being thus justified, but that it all remains with them, and that it is by the Lord that they are withheld from evil and falsity and are kept in good and truth (n. 1581). All the angels confess these things, and no one is admitted into heaven unless he knows and believes them; for otherwise they cannot be in the light of wisdom and intelligence which is from the Lord, consequently not in good and truth. From this it may also be known how it is to be understood that heaven is not pure in the eyes of God, as we read in (Job 15:15).
 This being the case, in order that the Lord might reduce the universal heaven into heavenly order, He admitted into Himself temptations from the angels also, who, in so far as they were in what is their own, were so far not in good and truth. These temptations are the inmost of all, for they act solely into the ends, and with such subtlety as cannot possibly be noticed. But in so far as they are not in what is their own, so far they are in good and truth, and so far cannot tempt. Moreover the angels are continually being perfected by the Lord, and yet can never to eternity be so far perfected that their wisdom and intelligence can be compared to the Divine Wisdom and intelligence of the Lord; for they are finite, and the Lord is infinite; and there is no comparison between what is finite and what is infinite. From all this it can now be seen what is meant by the god with whom Jacob as a prince contended; as also why he was not willing to reveal his name.
AC 4296. Wherefore is this that thou dost ask after my name? That this signifies that heaven was not willing to reveal itself, is evident from what has been said and shown just above (n. 4295).
AC 4297. And he blessed him there. That this signifies conjunction with the Divine celestial spiritual, is evident from the signification of "to bless," as being conjunction (n. 3504, 3514, 3565, 3584). That it is conjunction with the Divine celestial spiritual, is evident from what precedes respecting Jacob, in that he was named Israel; for by Israel is represented the Lord as to the Divine celestial spiritual (n. 4286). What the celestial spiritual is, may also be seen in the same number.
AC 4298. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel. That this signifies a state of temptations, is evident from the series of the things; for in old times names were given to the places where anything peculiar happened that were significative of the thing which happened there and of its state (n. 340, 2643, 3422). To this place was given a name which signified a state of temptations, for a state of temptations is here described by the wrestling and contention of Jacob. In the original language "Peniel" means "the faces of God," and "to see the faces of God" denotes to endure the most grievous temptations, as will be explained in what now follows.
AC 4299. For I have seen God faces to faces, and my soul is delivered. That this signifies that He endured the most grievous temptations as if they were from the Divine, is evident from the signification of "seeing God," as being an approach to Him through things interior, namely, goods and truths, hence denoting presence (n. 4198); and from the signification of "faces," as being things interior (n. 1999, 2434, 3527, 3573, 4066), consequently the thoughts and affections, for thoughts and affections are interior things, because they are of the animus and of the mind, and manifest themselves in the face; and from the signification of "my soul is delivered," as being to endure, namely, the Divine presence. That by all these things is signified that He endured the most grievous temptations as if they were from the Divine, cannot appear except from the causes of temptations both proximate and remote. The proximate causes are the evils and falsities in the man, which lead him into temptations, consequently the evil spirits and genii who pour them in (n. 4249). Nevertheless no one can be tempted (that is, undergo any spiritual temptation) except him who has conscience; for spiritual temptation is nothing else than torment of conscience; and consequently none can be tempted except those who are in celestial and spiritual good, for these have conscience, and all others have not, and do not even know what conscience is.
 Conscience is a new will and a new understanding from the Lord; thus it is the Lord’s presence in a man; and this the nearer, in proportion as the man is in the affection of good or of truth. If the Lord‘s presence is nearer than in proportion as the man is in the affection of good or of truth, the man comes into temptation. The reason is that the evils and falsities which are in the man, tempered by the goods and truths that are in him, cannot endure a nearer presence. This may be seen from the things that take place in the other life: that evil spirits cannot possibly approach any heavenly society without beginning to feel anguish and torment; also that evil spirits cannot endure to have angels look upon them, for they are instantly tortured and fall into a swoon; and also from the fact that hell is remote from heaven, for the reason that it cannot endure heaven, that is, the Lord’s presence which is in heaven. This is the reason why it is said of such in the Word:--
Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall upon us and to the hills, Hide us (Luke 23:30).
They shall say to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall down upon us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne (Rev. 6:16).
Moreover the foggy and pitch-dark sphere which exhales from the evils and falsities of those who are in hell appears like a mountain or rock, under which they are hidden (n. 1265, 1267, 1270).
 From all this it can now be known that the words, "I have seen God faces to faces, and my soul is delivered," signify the most grievous temptations as if they were from the Divine. Temptations and torments appear as if from the Divine, because, as before said, they come forth through the Lord‘s Divine presence; but still they are not from the Divine, or from the Lord, but from the evils and falsities which are in him who is being tempted or tormented. For from the Lord nothing proceeds but the Holy which is good and true and merciful. This Holy, which is good and true and merciful, is what those who are in evils and falsities cannot endure, because they are opposites or contraries. Evils, falsities, and unmercifulness are continually intent upon doing violence to these holy things; and in so far as they assault them, so far they are tormented; and when they assault them, and are consequently tormented, they suppose that it is the Divine which torments them. These things are what are meant by the words "as if they were from the Divine."
 That no one can see Jehovah face to face, and live, was known to the ancients, and this knowledge was handed down from them to the posterity of Jacob; for which reason they rejoiced so greatly when they saw an angel and yet lived. As in the book of Judges:--
Gideon saw that he was the angel of Jehovah; and therefore Gideon said, Lord Jehovah forasmuch as I have seen the angel of Jehovah face to face. And Jehovah said unto him, Peace be unto thee, fear not, thou shalt not die (Judges 6:22, 23).
In the same book:--
Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God (Judges 13:22).
And in Moses:--
Jehovah said unto Moses, Thou canst not see My faces, for man shall not see Me, and live (Exod. 33:20).
 When it is said of Moses that he spoke with Jehovah face to face (Exod. 33:11), and that Jehovah knew him face to face (Deut. 34:10), the meaning is that Jehovah appeared to him in a human form adapted to his reception, which was external, namely, as an old man with a beard, sitting with him - as I have been instructed by the angels. It was from this also that the Jews had no other idea of Jehovah than as of a very old man, with a long and snowy beard, who could do greater miracles than other gods. Not that they accounted Him the most holy, for what holiness was they did not know; still less that they could by any possibility see the Holy that proceeds from Him, because they were in bodily and earthly love, without any holy internal (n. 4289, 4293).
AC 4300. And the sun arose to him. That this signifies conjunction of goods, is evident from the signification of the "sun arising," as being the conjunction of goods. By the "dawn coming up" is signified when conjunction is at hand, or is commencing, (n. 4283). From this it follows that the "sun arose" denotes the conjunction itself; for in the internal sense the "sun" signifies celestial love (n. 1529, 1530, 2441, 2495, 3636, 3643, 4060); consequently it signifies goods, for these are of this love. When celestial love manifests itself with a man (that is, when it is observed), the sun is said "to arise" upon him, for the goods of this love are then conjoined with him.
AC 4301. As he passed over Penuel. That this signifies the state of truth in good, is evident from the signification of "Penuel," as being the state of truth in good. For Jabbok was the stream first passed over by Jacob when he entered into the land of Canaan, and by this is signified the first insinuation of the affections of truth, see (n. 4270, 4271). It is the Penuel that he now passes over, and therefore by it is signified a state of truth that is insinuated into good. The conjunction of good is also treated of, and good is not good unless there is truth in it; for good has its quality and also its form from truth, insomuch that good cannot be called good in any man unless there is truth in it; but truth receives its essence, and consequently its life, from good; and this being the case, and the subject treated of being the conjunction of goods, the state of truth in good is also treated of.
 As regards the state of truth in good, this can indeed be described, but yet it cannot be apprehended, except by those who have celestial perception. Others cannot even have an idea of the conjunction of truth with good, because with them truth is in obscurity; for they call that truth which they have learned from doctrinal things, and that good which is done according to this truth; whereas they who have perception are in celestial light as to their understanding (that is, as to their intellectual sight), and they are affected with truths which are conjoined with good, as the eye or bodily sight is affected with flowers in gardens and meadows in the time of spring; and they who are in interior perception are affected with these truths as with a fragrance that is exhaled from them. Such is the angelic state, and therefore such angels perceive all the differences and all the varieties of the insinuation and conjunction of truth in good, and thus endless things more than man; for man does not even know that there is any insinuation and conjunction, and that a man becomes spiritual thereby.
 A few words shall be added in order to convey some notion of this matter. There are two things which constitute the internal man-the understanding and the will. To the understanding pertain truths, and to the will goods; for what a man knows and understands to be so, he calls truth; and what he does from will, thus what he wills, he calls good. These two faculties should constitute a one. This may be illustrated by comparison with the sight of the eye, and with the pleasantness and delight that are experienced by means of this sight. When the eye sees objects, it experiences a pleasantness and delight from them in accordance with their forms, colors, and their consequent beauties both in general and in their parts; in a word, in accordance with the order or dispositions into series. This pleasantness and delight are not of the eye, but of the animus and its affection; and in so far as the man is affected with them, so far he sees them and retains them in memory, while the things that the eye sees from no affection, are passed over and are not implanted in the memory, thus are not conjoined with it.
 From this it is evident that the objects of the external sight are implanted in accordance with the pleasantness and delight of the affections; and that they are in this pleasantness and delight; for when a similar pleasantness or delight recurs, such objects also recur; and in like manner when similar objects recur, such pleasantness and delight also recur, with variety according to the states. It is the same with the understanding, which is the internal sight-its objects are spiritual, and are called truths; the field of these objects is the memory; the pleasantness and delight of this sight is good; and thus good is that in which truths are inseminated and implanted. From this it may in some measure appear what the insinuation of truth into good is, and what the conjunction of truth in good; also, what the good is which is here treated of, and in regard to which angels perceive things so innumerable, while man perceives scarcely anything.
AC 4302. And he halted upon his thigh. That this signifies that truths were not yet disposed into such an order that all together with good might enter into celestial spiritual good; is evident from the signification of "halting," as being to be in good in which there are not yet genuine truths, but general ones into which genuine truths can be insinuated, and such as do not disagree with genuine truths. But in the supreme sense, in which the Lord is treated of, by "halting upon the thigh" is signified that truths had not yet been disposed into such an order that all together with good might enter into celestial spiritual good. The "thigh" is celestial spiritual good (n. 4277, 4278).
 As regards the order in which truths must be when they enter into good (here celestial spiritual good), neither can this be set forth to the apprehension; for it must first be known what order is, and then what is the order of truths; also what celestial spiritual good is, and then how truths enter into it by means of good. Although these things should be described, they still would not be manifest except to those who are in heavenly perception, and by no means to those who are in natural perception alone. For they who are in heavenly perception are in the light of heaven from the Lord, in which light there is intelligence and wisdom. But they who are in natural light are not in any intelligence and wisdom, except in so far as the light of heaven flows into this light, and so disposes it that the things which are of heaven may appear as in a mirror, or in a certain representative image, in the things which are of natural light; for without the influx of the light of heaven, natural light presents nothing of spiritual truth to view.
 This only can be said respecting the order in which truths must be in order that they may enter into good-that all truths, like goods, both as to generals and as to particulars, and even as to the veriest singulars, in heaven are disposed into such an order that the one regards the other in such a form as do the members, organs, and viscera of the human body, or their uses, have mutual regard to one another, in general, also in particular, and likewise in the veriest singulars, and thus effect that all are a one. It is from this order in which truths and goods are disposed that heaven itself is called the Grand Man. Its life itself is from the Lord, who from Himself disposes all things in general and in particular into such order; and hence heaven is a likeness and an image of the Lord; and therefore when truths are disposed into such an order as that in which heaven is, they are then in heavenly order and can enter into good. The truths and goods with every angel are in such an order; and the truths and goods with every man who is being regenerated are also being disposed, into such an order. In a word, the order of heaven is the disposal of the truths that are of faith in the goods that are of charity toward the neighbor, and the disposal of these goods in the good that is of love to the Lord.
 That "to halt" denotes to be in good in which there are not yet genuine truths, but nevertheless general truths into which genuine truth can be insinuated, and such as do not disagree with genuine truths; and thus that the "lame" are those who are in good, but not in genuine good because of their ignorance of truth (that is, in such good as are the Gentiles who live in mutual charity), may be seen from those passages in the Word where the "lame" and the "halt" are mentioned in a good sense. As in Isaiah:--
The eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be opened; then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing (Isa. 35:5, 6).
Behold, I bring them from the land of the north, and I will gather them from the sides of the earth, among them the blind and the lame one, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together (Jer. 31:8).
In that day, saith Jehovah, I will gather her that halteth, and I will assemble her that is driven, and I will make her that halteth for remains, and her that was driven a numerous nation; and Jehovah shall reign over them in the mountain of Zion, from henceforth and to eternity (Micah 4:6, 7).
At that time I will save her that halteth, and assemble her that was driven, and I will make them a praise and a name (Zephaniah 3:19).
That in these passages by the "lame" and the "halt" are not meant the lame and the halt, may be seen by everyone, for it is said of them that they "shall leap," "shall be assembled," "shall be made for remains," and "shall be saved;" but it is evident that those are signified who are in good and not so much in truths, as is the case with well-disposed Gentiles, and also with those of a similar nature within the church.
 Such are also meant by the "lame" of whom the Lord speaks in Luke:--
Jesus said, When thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind; then thou shalt be blessed (Luke 14:13, 14).
And in the same:--
The master of the house said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the lame, and the blind (Luke 14:21).
The Ancient Church distinguished into classes the neighbor or neighbors toward whom they were to perform the works of charity; and some they called "maimed," some "lame," some "blind," and some "deaf," meaning those who were spiritually so. Some also they called the "hungry," the "thirsty," "strangers," the "naked," the "sick," the "captives" (Matt. 25:33-36); and some "widows," "orphans," the "needy," the "poor," and the "miserable;" by whom they meant no other than those who were such as to truth and good, and who were to be suitably instructed, led on their way, and thus provided for as to their souls. But as at this day charity does not make the church, but faith, what is meant in the Word by these persons is altogether unknown; and yet it is manifest to everyone that it is not meant that the maimed, the lame, and the blind are to be called to a feast, and that it was not commanded by the master of the house that such should be brought in, but that those are meant who are spiritually such; also that in every thing spoken by the Lord there is what is Divine, consequently a celestial and spiritual sense.
 Similar is the meaning of the Lord’s words in Mark:--
If thy foot cause thee to stumble, cut it off; it is good for thee to enter into life lame, rather than having two feet to be cast into the gehenna of fire, into fire unquenchable (Mark 9:45; Matt. 18:8);
by the "foot which must be cut off" if it caused stumbling, is meant the natural, which is constantly opposing itself to the spiritual - that it must be destroyed if it attempt to impair truths; and thus that on account of the disagreement and dissuasion of the natural man, it is better to be in simple good, although in the denial of truth. This is signified by "entering into life lame." The "foot" is the natural (n. 2162, 3147, 3761, 3986, 4280).
 By the "lame" in the Word are also signified those who are in no good, and thence in no truth, as in Isaiah:--
Then shall the prey that multiplieth be divided, the lame shall plunder the prey (Isa. 33:23).
When I am halting they are glad and gather themselves together; the lame whom I knew not gather themselves together against me (Ps. 35:15).
And because such are signified by the "lame," it was forbidden to sacrifice anything that was lame (Deut. 15:21, 22; Mal. 1:8, 13); and also that anyone of the seed of Aaron who was lame should discharge the office of the priesthood (Lev. 21:18). It is similar with the lame as with the blind, for the "blind" in a good sense signify those who are in ignorance of truth, and in the opposite sense those who are in falsities (n. 2383).
 In the original language the "lame" is expressed by one word, and "he that halteth" by another, and by the "lame" in the proper sense are signified those who are in natural good into which spiritual truths cannot flow, on account of natural appearances and the fallacies of the senses; and in the opposite sense those who are in no natural good, but in evil, which altogether obstructs the influx of spiritual truth; whereas by "him that halteth," in the proper sense, are signified those who are in natural good into which general truths are admitted, but on account of their ignorance, not particular and singular truths; and in the opposite sense, those who are in evil and thus do not admit even general truths.
AC 4303. Therefore the sons of Israel eat not the nerve of that which was displaced, which is upon the hollow of the thigh. That this signifies that those truths were not appropriated in which were falsities, is evident from the signification of "eating," as being to be conjoined and appropriated (n. 2187, 2343, 3168, 3513, 3596, 3832); and from the signification of a "nerve" as being truth; for truths in good are circumstanced as are nerves in the flesh, and moreover in the spiritual sense truths are nerves, and good is flesh (n. 3813). similar things are also signified by sinews and flesh in Ezekiel:--
Thus said the Lord Jehovah unto these bones, I will put sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and I will put breath in you; and I beheld, and lo, there were sinews upon them, and flesh came up (Ezek. 37:5, 6, 8).
Here the subject treated of is the new creation of man, that is, his regeneration. But when truths have been distorted, they then no longer become truths, but in proportion as they are distorted to what is opposite, they accede to falsities; and hence it is that by the "nerve of that which was displaced" is signified falsity. The hollow of the thigh is where there is the conjunction of conjugial love with natural good, consequently where there is influx of spiritual truth into natural good, (n. 4277, 4280). Hence it is evident that by "therefore the sons of Israel eat not the nerve of that which was displaced which is upon the hollow of the thigh," is signified that those truths were not appropriated in which were falsities. That these things are said of the sons of Israel because by "Israel" is signified the Divine celestial spiritual, may be seen above (n. 4286), and by "sons" truths (n. 489, 491, 2623); and thus the meaning is that the truths of the Divine celestial spiritual did not appropriate to themselves any falsities.
AC 4304. Even unto this day. That this signifies even forever, that falsities should not be adjoined, is evident from the signification of "even unto this day," as being, wherever used in the Word, what is perpetual and eternal (n. 2838).
AC 4305. Because he touched in the hollow of Jacob‘s thigh the nerve of that which was displaced. That this signifies the reason, because there were falsities, is evident from the signification of "touching in the hollow of Jacob’s thigh," as here being the reason, because there were falsities. That this is signified by "touching in the hollow of Jacob‘s thigh," may be seen from what has been said above (n. 4277, 4278, 4303).
AC 4306. That these same words which have been explained thus far, treat also of the posterity of Jacob, and that this sense is called the lower sense, and also the internal historical sense, see (n. 4279, 4288). How these words are to be understood in this sense, shall now be explained.
AC 4307. That in the internal historical sense, by Jacob asked and said, Tell I pray thy name, are signified evil spirits, may be seen from many things in this sense, in which these words and those which follow are predicated of the posterity of Jacob; for the internal sense is determined by its application to the subject treated of. That not good spirits, but evil ones are signified by him who wrestled with Jacob, may be seen from the fact that by "wrestling" is signified temptation (n. 3927, 3928, 4274); and temptation is never caused by good spirits, but by evil, for temptation is the excitation of the evil and falsity that are in the man (n. 741, 751, 761, 1820, 4249, 4299). Good spirits and angels never excite evils and falsities, but defend man against them, and bend them to good; for good spirits are led by the Lord, and from the Lord nothing ever proceeds but holy good and holy truth. That the Lord tempts no one, is known from the doctrine received in the church, and may also be seen above (n. 1875, 2768). From this, and also from the fact that the posterity of Jacob gave way in every temptation, both in the wilderness and afterwards, it is evident that not good spirits, but evil, are signified by him who wrestled with Jacob. Moreover that nation, which is here signified by "Jacob," was not in any spiritual and heavenly love, but in bodily and worldly love (n. 4281, 4288-4290, 4293) and the presence of spirits with men is determined in accordance with their loves. Good spirits and angels are present with those who are in spiritual and heavenly love, and evil spirits with those who are solely in bodily and worldly love; and this so much that everyone may know the quality of the spirits with him by merely observing the quality of his loves, or what is the same, the quality of his ends; for everyone has for an end that which he loves.
 The reason why the spirit called himself God was that Jacob believed this; like his posterity, who constantly believed that Jehovah was in their holy external, when yet Jehovah was present only representatively, as will be evident from what follows. They also believed that Jehovah led into temptations, that all evil was from Him, and that He was in anger and fury when they were punished. For this reason it was so expressed in the Word, in accordance with their belief, when yet Jehovah never leads into temptations, nor is there ever anything evil from Him, nor is He ever in anger, and still less in fury (n. 223, 245, 592, 696, 1093, 1683, 1874, 1875, 2395, 3605, 3607, 3614). This is also the reason why he who wrestled with Jacob was not willing to reveal his name. That in the internal spiritual sense by him who wrestled with Jacob is meant the angelic heaven (n. 4295), is because the Lord, who in the supreme sense is there represented by Jacob, allowed angels also to tempt Him; and because the angels were at that time left to what is their own, as was shown in the number cited.
AC 4308. That in the internal historical sense, by he said, Wherefore is this that thou dost ask after my name, is signified that they did not acknowledge that it was from evil spirits, is evident from what is said just above (n. 4307).
AC 4309. That in the internal historical sense, by he blessed him there, is signified that it was so done, is evident from the signification here of "to bless," as being that they served as a representative of a church (n. 4290); for which reason by "he blessed him there" is here signified that it was so done.
AC 4310. That in the internal historical sense by Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, is signified the state in which they put on the representations, is evident from the signification of "calling a name," as being the quality; from the signification of "place," as being state (n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387); and from the signification of "Peniel" as being in this sense to put on representations, for these are the subject treated of in what precedes and what follows. What "Peniel" signifies is explained by the words, "for I have seen God faces to faces, and my soul is delivered," by which is signified that the Lord was present representatively, thus here that they put on representations. Names of places, like names of persons, as also the things themselves, do not signify the same in one sense as in another. Thus "Jacob" himself in the sense of the letter signifies Jacob himself; in the internal historical sense, his posterity (n. 4281); in the internal spiritual sense, the natural man in him who is regenerate; but in the supreme sense, "Jacob" signifies the Lord as to the Divine natural, as has been often shown. It is the same with all other names, and thus with Peniel.
AC 4311. That in the internal historical sense by for I have seen God faces to faces, and my soul is delivered, is signified that He was present representatively, is evident from the signification of "seeing God faces to faces," when these words are predicated of the state in which the posterity of Jacob were, as being that the Lord was present representatively; for to see God faces to faces in the external form and with the bodily sight, is not to see Him present (n. 4299). That He was not present as with those who are regenerate, and thereby are in spiritual love and faith, is manifest from what has been said of that nation (n. 4281, 4288, 4290, 4293) - that they were in external worship, and not at the same time in internal, or what is the same, in bodily and worldly, and not in spiritual and heavenly love. With such the Lord could never be present except representatively.
 What it is to be present representatively, must be briefly told. A man who is in bodily and worldly love and not at the same time in spiritual and heavenly love, has none but evil spirits with him, even when he is in a holy external; for good spirits cannot possibly be present with such a person, because they at once perceive in what kind of love a man is. There is a sphere which is exhaled from his interiors, which spirits perceive as manifestly as a man perceives by his sense of smell offensive and foul vapors floating around him in the air. That nation which is here treated of, was in such a state as to good and truth, or as to love and faith. In order however that they might serve as the representative of a church, it was miraculously provided by the Lord that when they were in a holy external, and were at the same time surrounded by evil spirits, the holy in which they were might yet be uplifted into heaven; and this by good spirits and angels not within but without them, for within them there was nothing but emptiness or uncleanness. Communication was therefore given not with the man himself, but with the holy itself in which they were when they fulfilled the statutes and precepts given them, which were all representative of spiritual and heavenly things of the Lord’s kingdom. This is signified by the Lord‘s being present with that nation representatively. But the Lord is present in a very different way with those within the church who are in spiritual love and thence in faith. With these there are good spirits and angels not only in their external worship, but also at the same time in their internal; and therefore with them there exists a communication of heaven with themselves; for the Lord flows into them through heaven through their internals into their externals. To these the holy of worship is profitable in the other life, but not to the former.
 It is similar with priests and elders who preach holy things, and yet are in evil life and evil belief. With these there are not good, but evil spirits, even when they are in worship that appears holy in the external form. For it is the love of self and of the world, or a love for securing honors and acquiring gain and thereby fame, that fires them and presents an appearance of affection for what is holy, sometimes to such a degree that no simulation is perceived, nor is at the time believed by them to exist; when yet they are in the midst of evil spirits, who are then in a similar state, and who breathe upon them and into them. That evil spirits can be in such a state, and are so when they are in their externals, and are inflated with the love of self and of the world, has been given me to know by manifold experience, which of the Lord’s Divine mercy will be described hereafter at the end of the chapters. Such preachers have no communication with heaven in themselves; and yet those have who hear and receive the words from their mouth, if they are in a pious and holy internal; for it matters not from whom the voice of good and truth flows forth, provided their life is not manifestly wicked; for this life causes a scandal.
 That the nation descended from Jacob was of such a character (namely, that they were surrounded with evil spirits, and yet the Lord was present with them representatively), may be seen from many passages in the Word; for they were very far from worshiping Jehovah with the heart, and as soon as miracles were lacking, they immediately turned to other gods and became idolaters. This was a manifest proof that at heart they worshiped other gods and confessed Jehovah with the mouth only, and this merely for the reason that they might be the greatest and have pre-eminence over all the nations round about. That this people at heart worshiped an Egyptian idol, and only confessed Jehovah with the mouth on account of His miracles (with Aaron himself among them), is plainly evident from the golden calf which Aaron made for them, and this but a month after they had seen such great miracles on Mount Sinai, besides those which they had seen in Egypt (Exod. 32). That Aaron also was of the same character is plainly stated at (Exod. 32:2-5, 35). The same appears also from many other passages in Moses, in the book of the Judges, in the books of Samuel, and in the books of the Kings.
 That they were only in external worship and not in any internal worship, is evident also from the fact that they were forbidden to come near to Mount Sinai when the Law was promulgated, and were told that if they touched the mountain, they should surely die (Exod. 19:11-13; 20:16, 19). The reason was that their internal was unclean. It is also said in Moses:--
That Jehovah dwelt with them in the midst of their uncleannesses (Lev. 16:16).
The quality of that nation is evident also from the song of Moses (Deut. 32:15-43), and from many passages in the Prophets. From all this it may be known that with that nation there was not any church, but only a representative of a church, and that the Lord was present with them only representatively.
 Compare also what has previously been stated in regard to them:--That with the posterity of Jacob there was a representative of a church, but not a church (n. 4281, 4288): That the representative of a church was not instituted with them until after they had been altogether vastated as to a holy internal, and that they would otherwise have profaned holy things (n. 3398, 4289): That when they remained in their statutes they could represent, but not when they turned aside from them (n. 3881): That on this account they were kept strictly in rituals, and that they were driven thereto by external means (n. 3147, 4281): That their worship was made external without internal in order that they might serve as a representative of a church (n. 4281): That for this reason also the interior things of the church were not disclosed to them (n. 301-303, 2520, 3398, 3479, 3769): That they were of such a nature that they could more than others be in a holy external without an internal (n. 4293): That for this reason they have been preserved to this day (n. 3479): And that their holy external does not affect them at all as to their souls (n. 3479).
AC 4312. That in the internal historical sense, by the sun arose to him, is signified when they came into representations, is evident from the signification of the "sun arising" in this sense, in which the posterity of Jacob is treated of, as being when they came into representations. By the "arising of the dawn" is signified the state before they came into representatives (n. 4289). The sun is also said to "arise" with everyone who is becoming a church, thus also with everyone who is becoming representative of a church.
AC 4313. That in the internal historical sense, by as he passed over Penuel, is signified when they came into the land of Canaan, is evident from the fact that Penuel was the first station after Jacob had passed over the river Jabbok, and that all boundaries were significative according to distance and situation (n. 1585, 1866, 4116, 4240). Thus "Penuel,"being the first boundary, signifies when they came into the land of Canaan.
AC 4314. That in the internal historical sense, by he halted upon his thigh, is signified that goods and truths were altogether destroyed with that posterity, is evident from the representation of Jacob, who here is "he," as being his posterity (n. 4281); and from the signification of "halting upon the thigh" as denoting those who are in no good, and consequently in no truth (n. 4302). Here therefore by his "halting upon his thigh" is signified that goods and truths were altogether destroyed with that posterity.
 The quality of that nation is also plainly evident from many things spoken by the Lord Himself in parables, which in their internal historical sense were said of that nation - as in the parable of the man that was a king, who took account with his servant in whom there was no mercy toward another (Matt. 18:23-35): in the parable of the householder who let out his vineyard to husbandmen, and went abroad, and the husbandmen seized the servants whom he sent, and beat one with rods, and killed another, and stoned another; and at let he sent his son, whom they cast out of the vineyard and killed; on hearing which parable the Scribes and Pharisees recognized it as spoken of themselves (Matt. 21:33-45; Mark 12:1-9; Luke 20:9-19): in the parable of the man who gave talents to his servants, and he who received the one talent went and hid it in the earth (Matt. 25:14-30; Luke 19:13-16): in the parable of those who came to him that was wounded by the robbers (Luke 10:30-37): in the parable of those who were invited to the great supper, and all excused themselves, of whom the Lord says, I say to you that none of those men who were bidden shall taste of my supper (Luke 14:16-24): in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) in the parable of those who despise others in comparison with themselves (Luke 18:10-14): in the parable of the two sons, one of whom said, I will go into the vineyard, but went not; and Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and harlots go into the kingdom of heaven before you" (Matt. 21:28-32).
 The quality of that nation the Lord openly declared in (Matthew 23:13-39), where He says:
"Ye witness against yourselves, that ye are the sons of them that killed the prophets, and ye fill up the measure of your fathers" (Matthew 23:13-33).
"Jesus said unto them, Rightly did Esaias prophesy of you, This people honoreth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the precepts of men, forsaking the commandments of God" (Mark 7:6-13).
The Jews answered Jesus that they were the seed of Abraham; but Jesus said to them, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father ye will to do; he was a murderer from the beginning, and stood not in the truth, because the truth is not in him; when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own,; because he is the speaker of a lie, and the father of it" (John 8:33, 44).
Because they were such, they are also called an "evil and adulterous generation" (Matt. 12:39), and the "offspring of vipers" (Matt. 3:7; 23:33; Luke 3:7) "O offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?" (Matt. 12:34).
 That not even any natural good was left with that nation, is signified by the fig-tree spoken of in Matthew:
Jesus seeing a fig-tree in the way, came to it, but found nothing there on but leaves only therefore He said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforth forever and presently the fig-tree withered away (Matthew 21:19);
that the fig-tree denotes natural good may be seen above (n. 217).
 From these passages it may be seen that goods and truths were altogether destroyed with that nation. Goods and truths are said to be destroyed when there are none Interiorly. The goods and truths which appear outwardly derive their being and their living from those which are internal; and therefore such as are the internal ones, such are the external, howsoever the latter may appear to the eyes of man. There are some whom I knew in their bodily life, and who then appeared as having zeal for the Lord, for the church, for their country and the common good, and for justice and equity; and yet in the other life these same are among the infernals, and (what astonished me) among the worst there. The reason was, that their interiors had been foul and profane, and that they had counterfeited that zeal for the sake of reputation, in order to acquire honors and also to gain wealth; thus for their own sakes, and not for the sake of what they professed with the mouth. When therefore these externals are put off, which takes place when men die, the Internals are laid open and appear as they had been within, and which during life they had hidden from the world. This is what is meant by the goods and truths being altogether destroyed.
AC 4315. That in the internal historical sense, by therefore the sons of Israel eat not the nerve of that which was displaced which is upon the hollow of the thigh, is signified that the posterity ought to know this, may be seen from the fact that this was a memorial whereby they should remember that such was their quality, thus that thereby they ought to know this.
AC 4316. That in the internal historical sense, by even unto this day, is signified that they are such forever, is evident from the signification of "even unto this day," which where mentioned in the Word means forever (n. 2838). That this posterity was such from the earliest times, may be seen from the sons of Jacob themselves from Reuben, in that he "lay with Bilhah his father‘s concubine" (Gen. 35:22); from Simeon and Levi, who killed Hamor and Shechem, and all the men of their city; and that the rest of his sons came upon the pierced and plundered the city (Gen. 34:1-31). Therefore Jacob, then Israel, before he died, spoke of them thus of Reuben, "Thou shalt not excel, because thou wentest up on thy father’s bed; then didst thou make thyself unworthy; he went up on my couch" (Gen. 49:3, 4); and of Simeon and Levi, "Into their secret let not my soul come, with their assembly let not my glory be united; for in their anger they slew a man, and in their set purpose they houghed an ox. Cursed be their anger for it was vehement, and their fury for it was grievous; I will divide them among Jacob, and scatter them among Israel" (Gen. 49:5-7).
 The quality of Judah may also be seen from the fact that he took a Canaanitess for his wife (Gen. 38:1, 2); which nevertheless was contrary to what had been commanded, as may be seen from Abraham‘s words to his servant, whom he sent to betroth Rebekah to his son Isaac (Gen. 24:3, 6); and from many other passages in the Word. A third part of that nation was from this stock, that is, from his son Shelah who was born of the Canaanitish mother (Gen. 38:11; 46:12; Num. 26:20; 1 Chron. 4:21, 22). The same may be further seen from the wicked deed of these and the other sons of Jacob against Joseph (Gen. 37:18-36). The quality of their posterity in Egypt is manifest from what is related of them when they were in the wilderness, where they were so often rebellious and afterwards in the land of Canaan, where they so frequently became idolaters. Lastly, their quality in the Lord’s time has been shown Just above (n. 4314); and what they are at this day is known, namely, opposed to the Lord, to the things of the church, to charity toward the neighbor, and to one another. From all this it may be seen that this nation has ever been of this nature. Let no one therefore any longer entertain the opinion that there was any church among them, or more than a representative of a church, and still less that they were chosen in preference to others.
AC 4317. That in the Internal historical sense, by because he touched in the hollow of Jacob‘s thigh the nerve of that which was displaced, is signified because they had a heredity which could not be eradicated by regeneration, because they would not allow this, is evident from the signification of the "thigh," as being conjugial love, and consequently every heavenly and spiritual love (n. 4280); and because the "hollow of the thigh" is where there is the conjunction of conjugial love, and also of all heavenly and spiritual love, with natural good (n. 4277, 4280). Hence to "touch it," or to Injure it so as to occasion halting, is to destroy the good which is of these loves, and as this happened to Jacob, it is signified that this nature passed from him to his posterity, and thus was hereditary. That the "nerve of that which was displaced" signifies falsity, may be seen above (n. 4303), here falsity from hereditary evil. It follows from this and from the series, that this heredity could not be eradicated from them by regeneration, because they would not allow this.
 That they had such a heredity and that they could not be regenerated, is very evident from all that is related of them in the Word, and particularly from these passages in Moses:
Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all things that Jehovah hath done in your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh and unto all his servants, and unto all his land; and Jehovah hath not given you a heart to know, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, even unto this day (Deut. 29:2, 4).
In the same:
I know the figment of the people which they do at this day, before I bring them into the land which I sware (Deut. 31:21).
I will hide My faces from them, I will see what is the last of them for they are a generation of perversities, sons in whom is no truth. I would exterminate them, I would cause their memory to cease from man, were it not that I feared the indignation of the enemy. For they are a nation that perisheth in counsels, and there is no intelligence in them for their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and their grapes are of the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are hemlock, the clusters are bitter to them. Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel head of asps. Is not this laid up in store with Me, sealed in My treasures? (Deut. 32:20, 26-34);
in many other places, especially in Jeremiah.
 That this was signified by the "touch upon the hollow of Jacob’s thigh," and his consequent lameness, is manifest in sea:
The controversy of Jehovah with Judah, to visit upon Jacob, according to his ways, and according to his works He will render to him; he supplanted his brother in the womb; in his grief he contended with God, and contended toward the angel, and prevailed; he wept and entreated him (Hosea 12:3-5);
where "to contend with God," in the internal historical sense, is to be urgent that the representative of a church should be with them (n. 4290, 4293). From this it is evident that they had such a heredity from Jacob himself, and the same might be shown from many more passages which must be passed over for the present.
 As regards heredity specifically, it is believed in the church at this day that all hereditary evil is from the first parent, and that all are therefore condemned in regard thereto. But the case is not so. Hereditary evil derives its origin from everyone‘s parents and parents’ parents, or from grandparents and ancestors successively. Every evil which they have acquired by actual life, even so that by frequent use or habit it has become like a nature, is derived into the children, and becomes hereditary to them, together with that which had been implanted in the parents from grandparents and ancestors. The hereditary evil from the father is more inward, and the hereditary evil from the mother is more outward. The former cannot be easily rooted out, but the latter can. When man is being regenerated, the hereditary evil inrooted from his nearest parents is plucked up by the roots; but with those who are not being regenerated, or who cannot be regenerated, it remains. This then is hereditary evil (n. 313, 494, 2122, 2910, 3518, 3701). This is also evident to everyone who reflects, and also from the fact that every family has some peculiar evil or good by which it is distinguished from other families; and that this is from parents and ancestors is down. It is similar with the Jewish nation remaining at this day, which is evidently distinct from other nations, and is known from them, not only by its peculiar genius, but also by manners, speech, and face.
 But what hereditary evil is, few know; it is believed to consist in doing evil; but it consists in willing and hence thinking evil; hereditary evil being in the will itself and in the thought thence derived; and being the very conatus or endeavor that is therein, and which adjoins itself even when the man is doing what is good. It is known by the delight that is felt when evil befalls another. This root lies deeply hidden, for the very inward form that receives from heaven (that is, through heaven from the Lord) what is good and true, is depraved, and so to speak, distorted; so that when good and truth flow in from the Lord, they are either reflected, or perverted, or suffocated. It is from this cause that no perception of good and truth exists at this day, but in place of it, with the regenerate, conscience, which acknowledges as good and true what is learned from parents and masters. It is from hereditary evil to love self more than others, to will evil to others if they do not honor us, to perceive delight in revenge, and also to love the world more than heaven; and from the same source come all the derivative cupidities or evil affections. Man is ignorant that such things are in hereditary evil, and still more that they are opposite to heavenly affections; and yet it is manifestly shown in the other life how much of evil from what is hereditary each one has drawn to himself by actual life, and also how far he has removed himself from heaven by evil affections from this source.
 That hereditary evil could not be eradicated from the posterity of Jacob by regeneration because they would not allow it, is likewise manifest from the historicals of the Word; for they gave way in all the temptations in the wilderness as recorded by Moses: and also afterwards in the land of Canaan, whenever they did not see miracles and yet those temptations were outward but not inward or spiritual. In respect to spiritual things they could not be tempted, because as before shown they knew no internal truths, and had no internal good; and no one can be tempted except as to what he knows and what he has. Temptations are the veriest means of regeneration. These things are signified by their not allowing regeneration. As regards their state and lot in the other life, see above (n. 939-941, 3481).