Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 33:4
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AC 4349. Verse 4. And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell upon his neck, and kissed him; and they wept. "And Esau ran to meet him," signifies the influx of Divine good natural, "and embraced him," signifies the first conjunction of love; "and fell upon his neck," signifies the second conjunction of all things in that universal; "and kissed him," signifies interior conjunction from love; "and they wept," signifies the effect.

AC 4350. And Esau ran to meet him. That this signifies the influx of Divine good natural, is evident from the signification of "running to meet," as being influx; and from the representation of Esau, as being Divine good natural (n. 4337, 4340). That "to run to meet" here denotes influx, is because Divine good flows in through the internal man, and comes to meet the truth which is being insinuated through the external man, in order that they may be conjoined. The same is also manifest from what follows; for it follows that he embraced him, fell upon his neck, and kissed him; by which as will be seen is signified conjunction by love.

AC 4351. And embraced him. That this signifies the first conjunction of love, is evident from the signification of "to embrace," as being affection (n. 3807). And as affection is of love, and love looks to conjunction, it is therefore the conjunction of love which is here signified. That it is the first conjunction of love, is because there follows that he fell upon his neck, and then that he kissed him, which signify closer and more interior conjunctions from love. That embracing is an effect which flows from the conjunction of love, is manifest without further explication, and consequently that in the internal sense it denotes this conjunction; for the things of the internal sense are presented in the Word by those which are external.

AC 4352. And fell upon his neck. That this signifies a second conjunction of all things which are in that universal, is evident from the signification of "to fall upon the neck," as being closer conjunction, for it is a closer embrace. Moreover by the "neck" is signified in the internal sense the influx and communication of the interiors with the exteriors, and the consequent conjunction (n. 3542, 3603). That this denotes a conjunction of all things or with all things in that universal, is because Jacob, who is here meant by his, denotes the universal of all things in respect to truths (n. 4346).

[2] The conjunction of good with truths in the natural is here described, with which the case is this: Good flows in through the internal man into the external, and there conjoins itself with the truths that have been insinuated through the external man. For the good that flows in through the internal is of love, because there is not any spiritual and celestial good that is not of love, from this it is, and from this it is called good in man. The love itself which is in good and with good is that which conjoins. Unless love were within and present, there could not possibly be any conjunction; for love is nothing else than spiritual conjunction, because this is effected by it. The love is from no other source than the Lord, for He is the fountain and origin of all celestial and spiritual love, consequently of all the good thence derived. This love is twofold-celestial and spiritual. Celestial love is love to the Lord, and spiritual love is love toward the neighbor, which is called charity. It is these loves from which is all celestial and spiritual good, and which conjoin themselves with the truths which are called the truths of faith; for the truths of faith regarded without love are only words without life; but through love, and thus through conjunction with the good of love, they receive life. It may be seen from this, that there is never anything of faith except with those who are in the good of love, and that the faith is according to the love.

[3] And as there is never anything of faith except with those who are in the good of love, therefore neither is there any confidence or trust. With all those who are not in love and charity, the trust or confidence which is called the trust or confidence of faith, is either spurious, or such as is also possible with diabolical spirits when they are in a state of fear or of anguish, or in a state of persuasion from the love of self and of the world. But because at this day men have made faith saving without the goods of charity, and yet see from afar that the truths of faith cannot save, because these exist also with the wicked, therefore they acknowledge confidence and trust, and call this faith, not knowing what it is, and that it is possible even with the wicked, and that there is no spiritual confidence except that which flows in through the good of love and charity not at the time when the man is in fear and anguish, or in persuasion from the love of self and of the world, but when he is in a state of freedom; and not with any but those in whom good has been conjoined with truths, and inrooted by the previous course of life; thus not in sickness, misfortunes, perils of life, or when death is at hand. If this confidence or trust which appears in a state of compulsion would save a man, all mortals would be saved; for to this kind of confidence everyone is easily reduced, and there are none to whom the Lord, who wills the salvation of all, would not impart it. But as regards the confidence or trust which is called faith what this is, what is its nature and with whom it is found, will of the Lord‘s Divine mercy be told elsewhere.

AC 4353. And kissed him. That this signifies interior conjunction from love, is evident from the signification of "kissing," as being conjunction from love (n. 3573, 3574, 4215), here interior conjunction. In this verse the conjunction of the Divine good of the natural which is "Esau," with the truth there which is "Jacob," is treated of in general; but in what follows this conjunction is described specifically. As regards the conjunction itself, it is this which effects man’s regeneration; for man is regenerated by the fact that the truths in him are being conjoined with good, that is, that the things which belong to faith are being conjoined with those which belong to charity. The process is fully described in these and the following verses. The Lord is indeed the subject treated of how He made His natural Divine, consequently how He united Divine good to the truth in His natural. But as man‘s regeneration is an image of the Lord’s glorification (n. 3138, 3212, 3296, 3490), this regeneration is also treated of at the same time in the internal sense. And as regeneration can fall into man‘s idea, but not so fully the Lord’s glorification, the latter may be illustrated by the former.

[2] It is manifest from what has been explained that the conjunction of good with truths (by which regeneration is effected) progresses more and more interiorly; that is, truths are successively conjoined more interiorly with good. For the end of regeneration is that the internal man may be conjoined with the external, thus the spiritual with the natural through the rational. Without the conjunction of both of these there is no regeneration. Nor can this conjunction be effected until good has first been conjoined with truths in the natural; for the natural must be the plane, and the things that are in the natural must correspond. This is the reason why when the natural is being regenerated, the conjunction of good with truths becomes successively more interior. For the spiritual conjoins itself first with the things which are inmost in the natural, and then by means of these with those which are more exterior. Nor can man‘s internal conjoin itself with his external, unless the truth in the external becomes the good of truth, that is, truth in will and act (n. 4337); for then for the first time they can be conjoined, inasmuch as the Lord flows in with man through his internal man, and in fact through the good therein. This good can be conjoined with good in the external man, but not good with truth immediately.

[3] From this it may be seen that the truth in man must first become truth in will and act (that is, the good of truth), before the conjunction of the rational with the natural, or the internal man with the external, can take place. But how truth becomes the good of truth, must be evident to everyone who pays attention. All Divine truth regards these two precepts to love God above all things, and the neighbor as one’s self. It is these precepts from which and for the sake of which truths are, and to which truths tend, more nearly and more remotely. Therefore when truths are put into act, they are insinuated successively into their beginning and their end, namely, into charity toward the neighbor, and into love to the Lord; and thereby truth becomes good, which is called the good of truth; and when this takes place, it can then be conjoined with the internal man, which conjunction becomes successively more interior, in proportion as more interior truths are implanted in this good. Act precedes, man‘s willing follows; for that which a man does from the understanding, he at last does from the will, and finally puts it on as a habit; and it is then insinuated in his rational or internal man. And when it has been insinuated in this, the man no longer does good from truth, but from good; for he then begins to perceive therein somewhat of blessedness, and as it were somewhat of heaven. This remains with him after death, and by means of it he is uplifted into heaven by the Lord.

AC 4354. And they wept. That this signifies the effect, is evident from the signification of "weeping," as being the effect of grief, and also the effect of joy (n. 3801), here, the effect of joy from the conjunction of good with truths through love.

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info