Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 34:1-4
AC 4426. Verses 1-4. And Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her and took her, and lay with her, and forced her. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake upon the heart of the damsel. And Shechem said unto Hamor his father, saying, Get me this girl for a woman. "And Dinah went out, signifies the affection of all things of faith, and the church thence derived; "the daughter of Leah, whom she bare unto Jacob," signifies in externals; "to see the daughters of the land," signifies to become acquainted with the affections of truth and the churches thence derived; "and Shechem saw her," signifies truth; "the son of Hamor the Hivite," signifies from the ancients; "the prince of the land," signifies what is primary among the churches; "and he took her, and lay with her, and forced her," signifies that in no other way could this truth be conjoined with the affection of the truth signified by the sons of Jacob her brothers; "and his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob," signifies an inclination to conjunction; "and he loved the damsel, and spake upon her heart," signifies love; "and Shechem said unto Hamor his father," signifies thought from the truth that was among the ancients; "saying, Get me this girl for a woman," signifies that it desired to be conjoined with the affection of that truth.
AC 4427. And Dinah went out. That this signifies the affection of all things of faith and the church thence derived, is evident from the representation of Dinah, as being the affection of all truths and the church thence derived (n. 3963, 3964); for the twelve sons of Jacob represented all things of faith, thus all things of the church (n. 2129, 2130, 3858, 3926, 3939), and therefore Dinah, who was born after the ten sons of Jacob by Leah and the handmaids, signifies the affection of them, and therefore the church. For the church is from the affection of truth, insomuch that whether you say the affection of truth, or the church, it is the same thing, because it is from the affection of truth that a man is the church
AC 4428. The daughter of Leah, whom she bare unto Jacob. That this signifies in externals, is evident from the representation of Leah, as being the affection of external truth (n. 3793, 3819); and from the representation of Jacob, as being in the supreme sense the Lord as to the Divine truth of the natural (n. 3305, 3509, 3525, 3546, 3576, 4234, 4273, 4337), and in the relative sense the external church, or what is the same, the external of the church (n. 3305, 4286). Hence it is evident that "the daughter of Leah whom she bare unto Jacob," signifies the affection of truth in externals.
AC 4429. To see the daughters of the land. That this signifies to become acquainted with the affections of truth and the churches thence derived, is evident from the signification of "to see" as being to become acquainted with; from the signification of "daughters," as being affections and the churches thence derived (n. 2362, 3024, 3963); and from the signification of "the land," here the land of Canaan, as being the region where the church is, and hence also the church itself (n. 662, 1066, 1067, 1262, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928, 3355, 3705, 3686).
 The signification of the things contained in this verse may be seen from what follows, for the subject treated of is the representative of a church that was to be instituted among the descendants of Jacob. That this representative could not be instituted among them until they had been completely vastated in respect to interior truths--that is, until they no longer knew them--may be seen above (n. 4289). These interior truths are all those represented and signified by the rituals that were commanded them; for all the rituals represented and signified something in the Lord’s kingdom in the heavens, and consequently something in the Lord‘s kingdom on earth, that is, in the church; and the things that were signified and represented are the interior truths here meant. Each and all of the things commanded the descendants of Jacob when the representative of a church was being instituted among them (as described in the books of Moses, especially in Exodus and Leviticus) were representative and significative of the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord’s kingdom. All these things were unknown to the descendants of Jacob, because these were of such a nature that if they had known them they would have profaned them (n. 301-303, 2520, 3398, 3479, 3769, 4281, 4293); and therefore they did not come into these representatives until they had been completely vastated in respect to their interiors; and therefore the truths in question and the extinguishing of them by the Israelites are described in this chapter.
 The representative that were commanded to the descendants of Jacob were not new, but for the most part were such as had previously been in use among the ancients; but the ancients did not worship the externals, as did the descendants of Jacob (that is, the Jews and Israelites), but they worshiped the internal things, and by means of these they acknowledged the Lord Himself. There were still remains in the land of Canaan of the church of ancient time, especially among those called Hittites and Hivites, and this is the reason why by these nations are represented the truths that had been of the church. From what has been said it may in some measure appear what is signified by Dinah, Jacob‘s daughter by Leah, going out to see the daughters of the land; for by Dinah is represented the external church, such as was instituted among the descendants of Jacob, and by the daughters of the land are signified the churches among the ancients. That in the internal sense of the Word "daughters" everywhere signify churches, has been shown above (n. 2362, 3024); and that the "land" signifies the region and nation where the church is, and thus the church (n. 662, 1066, 1067, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928, 3355, 3686, 3705).
AC 4430. And Shechem saw her. That this signifies truth, is evident from the representation of Shechem as being truth, here the truth of the church from ancient time. That this is represented by Shechem is because there still were remains of the church with that nation to which Shechem belonged. That this was one of the well-disposed nations is manifest from the sincerity with which Hamor and Shechem spoke to Jacob and his sons (verses 8-12), and from the condescension that Shechem might take Dinah for a wife (verses 18-24); for which reason the truth of the church was represented by them. And besides, the city Shechem was Abram’s first station when he came from Syria into the land of Canaan (Gen. 12:6); and was now also Jacob‘s first station in coming from Syria, in which he spread his tent, made booths, and erected an altar (Gen. 33:17-20). That by the journeys or sojournings of Abraham and Jacob were represented progressions into the truths of faith and goods of love which in the supreme sense relate to the Lord and in the relative sense to the man who is being regenerated by the Lord, has been repeatedly shown. Hence by the "city Shechem" was signified the first of light (n. 1440, 1441), consequently interior truth, for this is the first of light.
 But in this chapter in the internal sense the descendants of Jacob are treated of--how they extinguished in themselves this first of light, or interior truth. In this sense, which is the internal historical sense, the sons of Jacob signify all his descendants; for in the internal sense of the Word the things of the Lord’s kingdom are exclusively treated of, thus the things of His church. The sons of Jacob themselves did not constitute any church, but their descendants, and this only after they had gone out of Egypt, and in actuality only after they came into the land of Canaan.
 Moreover as regards this city named from Shechem, it was anciently called "Shalem," as is evident in the foregoing chapter:--
Jacob came to Shalem a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan (Gen. 33:18);
that by "Shalem" is signified tranquillity, and by the "city of Shechem" the interior truths of faith, and that when a man comes to these truths he comes into a tranquil state, may be seen above (n. 4393). But the same city was afterwards called "Shechem," as may be seen in Joshua:--
The bones of Joseph, which the sons of Israel caused to go up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in the portion of the field which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred kesitah (Joshua 24:32).
And in the book of Judges:--
Gaal the son of Ebed said to the citizens of Shechem, Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? is not he the son of Jerubbaal, and Zebul is his officer? serve ye the men of Hamor the father of Shechem, and why should we serve this man? (Judges 9:28).
 The same city was afterwards called "Sychar," as is evident in John:--
Jesus came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near to the field which Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob‘s spring was there (John 4:5, 6).
That by this city is signified interior truth, is evident from these passages, and also from others where it is named, as in Hosea:--
Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, it has been befouled with blood; and as troops wait for a man, a companionship of priests, on the way to Shechem they kill, because they have wrought wickedness; in the house of Israel I have seen a foul thing (Hosea 6:8-10);
where "on the way to Shechem they kill" signifies that they extinguish truths even to those which are interior, thus all external truths. The extinction of interior truth is also signified by Abimelech’s destroying that city and sowing it with salt (Judges 9:45).
AC 4431. The son of Hamor the Hivite. That this signifies from the ancients, is evident from the signification of a "son," who here is Shechem, as being interior truth. A "son" denotes truth, (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 3373, 4257); and from the representation of Hamor, as being the father of this truth, thus meaning from the ancients; for the truth that was interior in the representatives and rituals emanated from the church of ancient time. For this reason Hamor is also named "the Hivite," for the Hivite nation was that by which such truth among the ancients was signified, because the Hivites had been in such truth from ancient time, and hence it is that Hamor is here called "the Hivite." For by all the nations in the land of Canaan some good or truth of the church of ancient time was signified, because the Most Ancient Church, which was celestial, was there (n. 4116). But afterwards these nations, like all the other nations among whom the church had been, turned aside to things idolatrous, and therefore by the same nations idolatries also are signified. Yet because the Hivites had from ancient time signified interior truth, and because they were one of the better disposed nations, with whom iniquity was not so far consummated (that is, the truth of the church was not so far extinguished as with others), the Gibeonite Hivites were of the Lord‘s providence preserved, by means of a covenant made with them by Joshua and the princes (Josh. 9:15). They were Hivites (Joshua 9:7; 11:19). From all that has been said it is now evident whence it is that interior truth from the ancients is signified by "Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite."
AC 4432. The prince of the land. That this signifies what is primary among the churches, is evident from the signification of a "prince," as being what is primary (n. 1482, 2089); and from the signification of "the land," as being the church (n. 662, 1066, 1067, 1262, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928, 3355, 3686, 3705).
AC 4433. And he took her, and lay with her, and forced her. That this signifies that in no other way could this truth be conjoined with the affection of the truth signified by the sons of Jacob her brothers, is evident from the signification of "taking her, lying with her, and forcing her," as being to be conjoined, but not in a lawful way, as is done by betrothal. That by these words is signified that in no other way could it be conjoined, cannot be seen unless it is known how the case is. The interior truth from the ancients which is signified by "Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite" is that truth which had been the internal of the church among the ancients, thus which was the internal in their statutes, judgments, and laws: in a word, in their rituals and the like. These truths were their doctrinal things according to which they lived, and indeed doctrinal things of charity; for in the ancient time those who were of the genuine church had no other doctrinal things. Relatively to doctrine the same may be called interior truths of faith, but goods relatively to life. If any church were to be instituted with the nation sprung from Jacob, it was necessary that they should be initiated into these truths and goods; for unless there are internal things within external ones, that is, unless men think of internal things when they are in external ones, and unless they are at the same time affected by the internal things, or at least unless they are affected by external things for the sake of internal things, there is not anything of the church. For internal things make the church, because in these is the Lord; for in these are the spiritual and celestial things which are from Him.
 But the nation sprung from Jacob, that is, the Israelitish and Jewish nation, could not be initiated into these internal things in the lawful way which is effected by betrothal, for the reason that their external worship did not correspond. For from their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they received the worship instituted by Eber, which was different in its externals from the worship of the Ancient Church, as may be seen above (n. 1238, 1241, 1343, 2180). And because their worship was different, the interior truths that existed among the ancients could not be conjoined with it in the lawful manner, by betrothal, but in the way here described. From this it may be understood what is meant by saying that "in no other way could this truth be conjoined with the affection of the truth signified by the sons of Jacob, Dinah’s brothers."
 But although the conjunction could be effected in this manner, according to a law also known to the ancients (Exod. 22:15; Deut. 22:28, 29), still that nation was of such a character that they would by no means suffer any conjunction of the interior truth that was from the ancients with the externals of worship that existed among the descendants of Jacob (n. 4281, 4290, 4293, 4307, 4314, 4316, 4317). For this reason there could not be any church instituted with that nation, but instead of it only the representative of a church (n. 4281, 4288, 4307). That this nation was of such a character that not only was it impossible for them to receive interior truths, but that they also completely extinguished them in themselves, is here represented by the sons of Jacob answering Shechem and Hamor in fraud (verse 13); and then by Simeon and Levi smiting the city with the edge of the sword, and killing Shechem and Hamor (verses 25, 26); and by the rest of the sons coming upon those who were pierced, and pillaging the city, and carrying away the flocks, the herds, and whatever was in the city, in the field, and in the house (verses 27-29). From this it is evident what is signified by the prophecy of Jacob, then Israel:--
Simeon and Levi are brethren, instruments of violence are their swords; let not my soul come into their secret, let not my glory be united in their congregation; because in their anger they slew a man, and in their pleasure they unstrung an ox; cursed be their anger because it was vehement, and their fury because it was grievous; I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel (Gen. 49:5-7).
AC 4434. And his soul clave unto Dinah. That this signifies an inclination to conjunction, is evident from the signification of "his soul cleaving," as being an inclination. That it is to conjunction is evident, because in the internal sense the things which belong to conjugial love involve spiritual conjunction, which is that of truth with good, and of good with truth. The reason why in the internal sense the things which belong to conjugial love involve this conjunction, is that conjugial love derives its origin from the marriage of truth and good, and of good and truth (n. 2618, 2727-2729, 2737, 2803, 3132). Hence also the adulterations of good are meant in the Word by "adulteries," and the falsifications of truth by "whoredoms" (n. 2466, 2729, 2750, 3399). From all this it may be seen that by all that is related of Shechem and of Dinah in this chapter nothing else is meant in the internal sense than the conjunction of the truth represented by Shechem with the affection of truth represented by Dinah; thus that by the words "his soul clave unto Dinah" is signified an inclination to conjunction.
 As in the whole of this chapter conjugial love toward Dinah is treated of, and how Shechem sought her for a woman, and as by the things of conjugial love there is signified spiritual conjunction, I may confirm from the Word that marriages and what belongs to them involve nothing else. In John:--
Let us be glad and exult, and let us give the glory unto Him, because the wedding of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready, as have they who are called unto the wedding supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7, 9).
In the same:--
I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. One of the seven angels spake with me, saying, Come, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb‘s wife and he carried me away in the spirit upon a mountain great and high, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God (Rev. 21:2, 9, 10);
that by what relates to betrothal and marriage naught else is here signified than the Lord’s conjunction with the church, and this by means of truth and good, is very evident, for the "holy city" and the "New Jerusalem" are nothing else than the church. A "city" is the truth of the church, (n. 402, 2268, 2449, 2451, 2712, 2943, 3216); and "Jerusalem" is the spiritual church, (n. 402, 2117, 3654).
 In Malachi:--
Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, for Judah hath profaned the holiness of Jehovah, because he hath loved and hath betrothed to him the daughter of a strange god. Jehovah hath borne witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously (Mal. 2:11, 14);
where "to love and betroth the daughter of a strange god" is to conjoin one‘s self with falsity instead of truth, which is the "wife of youth."
Thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters whom thou hast borne unto Me, and hast sacrificed to devour them. Was there little of thy whoredoms? Thou art the daughter of thy mother, who loathes her husband and her sons; and thou art the sister of thy sisters who loathed their husbands and their sons (Ezek. 16:20, 45);
here the abominations of Jerusalem are treated of, which because they were from evils and falsities, are described in this chapter by such things as are contrary to marriages, namely, by adulteries and whoredoms. The "husbands whom they loathed" are goods; the "sons" are truths; and the "daughters" are the affections of these.
 In Isaiah:--
Sing, O barren one, that didst not bear, resound with singing and shout for joy that didst not travail, because more are the sons of the desolate than the sons of the married one. The reproach of thy widowhood shalt thou remember no more, because thy makers are thy husbands, Jehovah Zebaoth is His name, and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth is He called; for as a woman forsaken and afflicted in spirit hath Jehovah called thee, and as a woman of youth when she is divorced, hath said thy God. All thy sons are taught of Jehovah, and much is the peace of thy sons (Isa. 54:1, 5, 6, 13);
as by marriage is signified the conjunction of truth and good and of good and truth, it is evident what is signified by "husband and wife," by "sons and daughters," by "widows," by the "divorced," and by "bearing," "travailing," "being desolate," and "being barren;" for these things belong to marriage. What these signify in the spiritual sense has been frequently shown in the explications.
 In the same:--
For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem‘s sake I will not rest; it shall no longer be said to thee, Forsaken one but thy land shall be called The married one, for Jehovah shall be well pleased in thee, and thy land shall be married; because a young man shall marry a virgin, thy sons shall marry thee, and there shall be joy of the bridegroom over the bride, thy God shall rejoice over thee (Isa. 62:1, 4, 5);
he who knows not the internal sense of the Word may suppose that such things in the Word are only comparisons, like many expressions in common speech, and that this is the reason why the church is compared to a daughter, to a virgin, and a wife; thus the things of faith and charity to those of marriage. But in the Word all things are representative of spiritual and celestial things, and are real correspondences; for the Word has come down from heaven, and because it has come down thence it is in its origin the Divine celestial and spiritual to which those things which belong to the sense of the letter correspond. Hence it is that the things of the heavenly marriage, which is the conjunction of good and truth, fall into such as correspond, thus into those which belong to marriages on earth.
 Hence also it is that the Lord likened the kingdom of the heavens (that is, His kingdom in heaven, and His kingdom on earth which is the church) to a "man, a king, who made a wedding for his son, and invited many to it" (Matt. 22:2-14); and also to "ten virgins who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom" (Matt. 25:1-13). And the Lord likewise called those who are of the church "sons of the wedding":--
Jesus said, Can the sons of the wedding mourn, so long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then will they fast (Matt. 9:15).
 Hence also the affection of good and the affection of truth are called "the joy and gladness of the bridegroom and the bride," because heavenly joy is from and in these affections. As in Isaiah:--
Thy sons shall marry thee, and there shall be the joy of the bridegroom over the bride, Jehovah thy God shall rejoice over thee (Isa. 62:5).
The voice of joy and the voice of gladness, and the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that say, Confess ye to Jehovah, because good is Jehovah (Jer. 33:11).
In the same:--
I will cause to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, because the land shall go forth into a waste (Jer. 7:34; 16:9; 25:10).
And in John:--
The light of a lamp shall not shine in Babylon any more, and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall not be heard in her any more (Rev. 18:23).
 As through love truly conjugial marriages on earth correspond to the heavenly marriage, which is that of good and truth, therefore the laws delivered in the Word concerning betrothals and marriages wholly correspond to the spiritual laws of the heavenly marriage, as that they were to espouse only one wife (Mark 10:2-8; Luke 16:18); for such is the case in the heavenly marriage, namely, that good cannot be conjoined except with its own truth, and truth with its own good. If good were conjoined with any other truth than its own, it would not subsist at all, but would be rent asunder and so would perish. In the spiritual church the wife represents good and the man represents truth, but in the celestial church the husband represents good and the wife truth; and--what is a mystery--they not only represent, but also in all their activities correspond to them.
 Moreover the laws delivered in the Old Testament about marriages have in like manner a correspondence with the laws of the heavenly marriage, such as those in (Exod. 21:7-11; 22:15, 16; 34:16; Num. 36:6; Deut. 7:3, 4; 22:28, 29), and also the laws about the forbidden degrees (Lev. 18:6-20); as regards each of which, of the Lord’s Divine mercy elsewhere. That the degrees and laws of marriages have their origin in the laws of truth and good, which are those of the heavenly marriage, and bear relation to them, is manifest in Ezekiel:--
The priests the Levites shall not take for their wives a widow nor her that is divorced, but virgins of the seed of the house of Israel and a widow that has been the widow of a priest shall they take (Ezek. 44:22);
the subject here treated of is the holy city New Jerusalem and the heavenly Canaan, and it is evident that these are the Lord‘s kingdom and His church. Consequently by "the Levites" are not signified Levites, nor by a "widow and her that is divorced" are there signified a widow and one who has been divorced, but the things to which these correspond.
AC 4435. And he loved the damsel, and spake upon her heart. That this signified love, is evident without explication.
AC 4436. And Shechem said unto Hamor his father. That this signifies thought from the truth that was among the ancients, is evident from the signification in the historicals of the Word of "to say," as being perception and the consequent thought (n. 3395); and from the representation of Shechem the son of Hamor, as being the truth among the ancients (n. 4430, 4431). Hence it is evident that "Shechem said unto Hamor his father," denotes thought from the truth that was among the ancients.
AC 4437. Saying, Get me this girl for a woman. That this signifies that it desired to be conjoined with the affection of that truth, is evident from the signification of a "girl," here Dinah, as being the affection of the truth signified by the sons of Jacob her brothers (n. 4427, 4433); and from the signification of "getting for a woman," as being to be conjoined (n. 4434). GENESIS 34:1-4 - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
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