Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 34:5-7
AC 4438. Verses 5-7. And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter; and his sons were with his acquisition in the field; and Jacob was silent until they came. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to speak with him. And the sons of Jacob came from the field as they heard it, and the men were grieved, and they were very angry, because he had wrought folly in Israel, in lying with Jacob’s daughter, and so it ought not to be done. "And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter," signifies a conjunction not legitimate ("Jacob" here is the external Ancient Church); "and his sons were with his acquisition in the field," signifies his descendants--that they were in their religiosity; "and Jacob was silent until they came," signifies a consultation from the truths of faith that belonged to him and his descendants; "and Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to speak with him," signifies a consultation about the truth of that church; "and the sons of Jacob came from the field," signifies that they consulted from their religiosity; "and the men were grieved, and they were very angry," signifies that they were in evil against the truth of the Church among the Ancients; "because he had wrought folly in Israel, in lying with Jacob‘s daughter, and so it ought not to be done," signifies a conjunction that was unlawful in their eyes, because contrary to the truth which they had.
AC 4439. And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter. That this signifies a conjunction not legitimate, namely, with the affection of the truth that belonged to the external church here represented by Jacob, is evident from the signification of "to defile," as being a conjunction not legitimate, for by marriages is signified a conjunction that is legitimate (n. 4434), hence by their "defilement" is signified conjunction not legitimate (n. 4433); from the representation of Dinah, as being the affection of all things of faith, and the church thence derived (n. 4427); and from the representation of Jacob, who here is the external Ancient Church. That by "Jacob" is here signified the external Ancient Church is because this church was to be instituted among his descendants, and would have been instituted if his descendants had received the interior truths that existed among the ancients. That this church is here represented by Jacob is evident also from the connection in this chapter, for he was not in the plot with his sons to smite the city and kill Hamor and Shechem; and therefore he said to Simeon and Levi, "Ye have troubled me to make me stink to the inhabitant of the land" (verse 30); and in his prophetic utterance before his death, "Let not my soul come into their secret, in their congregation let not my glory be united; because in their anger they slew a man, and in their pleasure they unstrung an ox" (Gen. 49:6). Moreover in very many passages in the Word the external Ancient Church is represented by Jacob (n. 422, 4286). The reason why Jacob represents this church is that in the supreme sense he represents the Lord’s Divine natural, to which the external church corresponds. But by his "sons" are signified his descendants, who extinguished in themselves the truth that existed among the ancients, and thus destroyed that which was of the church, the result being that only its representative remained with them (n. 4281, 4288, 4289, 4303).
AC 4440. And his sons were with his acquisition in the field. That this signifies his descendants--that they were in their own religiosity, is evident from the signification of his "sons," as being his descendants; from the signification of "acquisition," as being external truths (n. 1435, 4391); and from the signification of a "field," as being the church (n. 2971, 3766). Hence by "his sons were with his acquisition in the field" is signified that they were in their own religiosity; for such a kind of church as existed among the descendants of Jacob should be called a "religiosity," because it was external worship without internal.
AC 4441. And Jacob was silent until they came. That this signifies a consultation from the truths of faith that belonged to him and his descendants, is evident from the signification of "to be silent," as being to silently think and take counsel; and from the signification of "until they (that is, the sons) came," as being to do this from the truths of faith that belonged to him and his descendants. "Sons" are truths, (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 3373, 4257). As the consultation was made with the sons, thus with the truths signified by the sons of Jacob, it follows that it was from the truths that belonged to Jacob and his descendants.
AC 4442. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to speak with him. That this signifies a consultation about the truth of that church, is evident from the representation of Hamor the father of Shechem, as being the truth of the ancients (n. 4430, 4431); from the representation of Jacob, as being the external Ancient Church (n. 4439); and from the signification of "speaking with him," as being to consult. Hence by these words is signified a consultation about the truth of that church.
 He who does not know that names in the Word signify things, will wonder that by the words "Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to speak with him," is signified a consultation of the truth of the church that existed among the ancients with the truth that was in accordance with the Ancient Church that was to be set up anew among the descendants of Jacob; but this will excite no surprise in anyone who knows that such is the nature of the internal sense of the Word, nor in those who have learned from the books of the ancients their manner of writing; for it was customary with them to set forth things as speaking together, such as wisdom, intelligence, knowledges, and the like; and also to give them names by which such things were signified. The gods and demigods of the ancients were nothing else, and so were the personages whom they devised in order to present their subjects in an historical form.
 The sages of old took this custom from the Ancient Church, which was spread over much of the Asiatic world (n. 1238, 2385); for the people of the Ancient Church set forth sacred things by means of representatives and significatives. The Ancient Church however received this from the mouth of the Most Ancient people, who were before the flood (n. 920, 1409, 1977, 2896, 2897); and these from heaven, for they had communication with heaven (n. 784, 1114-1125); and the first heaven, which is the last of the three, is in such representatives and significatives. This is the reason why the Word was written in such a style. But the Word has this peculiar feature, not possessed by the writings of the ancients, that each of the subjects in a continuous series represents the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord‘s kingdom, and in the supreme sense the Lord Himself; even the historicals themselves being of the same character; and--what is more--they are real correspondences, and these continuous through the three heavens from the Lord.
AC 4443. And the sons of Jacob came from the field. That this signifies that they consulted from their religiosity, is evident from the signification of the "sons of Jacob," as being the nation derived from them, among whom there was instituted the representative of a church; and from the signification of a "field," as being a religiosity (n. 4440). That "to come from the field" denotes consultation from the religiosity, follows from the series, as also from the fact that it is their religiosity of which "coming" is predicated.
AC 4444. As they heard it, and the men were grieved, and they were very angry. That this signifies that they were in evil against the truth of the Church among the Ancients, is evident from the signification of being "grieved and very angry," as being to be in evil. That this was against the truth of the Church among the Ancients, follows, because it was against Shechem the son of Hamor, by whom is signified the truth among the ancients, as before said (n. 4430, 4431). That they were in evil is evident from what follows, in that they spoke with fraud (verse 13), and then, after Shechem and Hamor had complied with their demands, they slew them (verses 26-29). Thus by being "grieved and very angry" is here signified that they were in evil. It appears as if these words signify zeal because he lay with their sister, according to the words which presently follow: "Because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter, and so it ought not to be done;" and at the end of the chapter: "They said, Shall he make our sister as a harlot?" (verse 31); but it was not zeal, for zeal is impossible with anyone who is in evil, being possible only with him who is in good, because zeal has good within it (n. 4164).
 It is true that the religiosity which existed with their posterity had good within it, for each and all things of it represented the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord‘s kingdom; but as regards those who were in that religiosity it had no good within it, for they were in mere externals without internals, as shown above. The case herein is the same as it is with the religiosity of that nation as now prevalent among them: they acknowledge Moses and the prophets, thus the Word, which in itself is holy, but as regards them it is not holy, for in everything therein they regard themselves, and thus make the Word worldly, nay, earthly, for that there is anything heavenly in it they do not know and neither do they care. They who are in such a state cannot be in good when in their religiosity, but in evil, for nothing heavenly flows in, because they extinguish it in themselves.
 Moreover it was according to a law known in the Ancient Church that he who forced a virgin should give a dowry and take her for his wife, as thus stated in Moses:--
If a man persuade a virgin who is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall endow her with a dowry to be his wife. If refusing her father refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay silver, as much as is the dowry of virgins (Exod. 27:15, 16).
If a man find a damsel who is a virgin, who has not been betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be caught, the man who lay with her shall give the damsel’s father fifty pieces of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he forced her, and he may not put her away all his days (Deut. 22:28, 29).
That this same law was known to the ancients is very evident from the words of Shechem to the damsel‘s father and brothers: "Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye say unto me I will give. Multiply upon me exceedingly dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me, and give me the damsel for a woman" (verses 11, 12). And as Shechem desired to fulfill this law, and Dinah’s brothers gave their consent provided that he would become as they were by circumcising every male, according to the words which follow: "Nevertheless in this will we consent unto you, if ye will be as we are, that every male with you be circumcised, we will both give our daughters to you, and will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will be one people" (verses 15, 16), it is evident that Dinah‘s brothers did not act from the law (thus not from good), but contrary to the law, and consequently from evil.
 It was indeed according to their law that they should not enter into marriages with the nations, as stated in Moses: "Lest thou take of their daughters for thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods" (Exod. 34:16); and again: "Thou shalt not contract kinship with the nations, thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, and his daughter thou shalt not take unto thy son, because he will turn aside thy son from following Me, that they may serve other gods" (Deut. 7:3, 4); but this law was given in regard to idolatrous nations, lest by marriages with them the sons of Israel should turn aside from truly representative worship to idolatrous worship; for when they became idolaters they could no longer represent the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord’s kingdom, but the opposites, which are infernal, for they then called forth from hell a certain devil whom they worshiped, and to whom they applied the Divine representatives, and therefore it is said, "Lest they go a whoring after their gods." This law was given for the additional reason that by the "nations" were signified the evils and falsities with which the goods and truths represented by the sons of Israel were not to be commingled, consequently not diabolical and infernal things with heavenly and spiritual things (n. 3024).
 But they were never forbidden to intermarry with the nations who accepted their worship, and who after being circumcised acknowledged Jehovah. These they called "sojourners sojourning with them," who are thus spoken of in Moses:--
If a sojourner shall sojourn with thee, and be willing to keep the passover to Jehovah, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it, and he shall be as an inhabitant of the land; there shall be one law for the inhabitant and for the sojourner that sojourneth in the midst of you (Exod. 12:48, 49).
When a sojourner shall sojourn with you, he shall keep the passover unto Jehovah; according to the statute of the passover, and according to the statutes thereof, so shall be do; one statute shall there be for you, both for the sojourner and for the native of the land (Num. 9:14).
The reason why they were called "sojourners sojourning in the midst of them" and "with them" was that "to sojourn" signified to be instructed; and therefore a "sojourner" signified those who suffered themselves to be instructed in the statutes and doctrinal things. "To sojourn" and a "sojourner" have this signification, (n. 1463, 2025, 3672). In the same:--
If a sojourner shall sojourn with you who shall have made a fire-offering of an odor of rest unto Jehovah, as ye do, so he shall do: as to the assembly, there is one statute for you and for the sojourner that sojourneth, a statute of eternity for your generations as ye are, so is the sojourner before Jehovah; one law and one judgment shall be for you and for the sojourner that sojourneth with you (Num. 15:14-16).
As the native of you shall be the sojourner that sojourneth with you (Lev. 19:34).
One judgment shall there be for you, such as is for the sojourner, such shall be for the native (Lev. 24:22).
 That this statute was known not only to Jacob and his sons, but also to Shechem and Hamor, is evident from their words; for the statutes, judgments, and laws that were given to the Israelitish and Jewish nation were not new, but such as had previously existed in the Ancient Church and in the second Ancient Church which was called Hebrew from Eber, as has been shown. That consequently this law was known is evident from the words, "The sons of Jacob said to Hamor and Shechem, We cannot do this word, to give our sister to a man who has a foreskin, for this is a reproach to us; nevertheless in this will we consent to you, if ye will be as we, to circumcise for you every male, we will both give our daughters to you, and will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you and will be for one people" (verses 14-16); and the same is evident from the words of Hamor and Shechem, in that they not only consented, but also caused themselves and every male of their city to be circumcised (verses 18-24).
 Hence it is evident that Shechem became a sojourner such as is spoken of in the law, and thus could take the daughter of Jacob for a woman; so that to kill them was a wicked deed, as Jacob also testified before his death (Gen. 49:5-7). That not only Judah, but also Moses, and also the kings of the Jews and of the Israelites, and also many of the people, took wives from the nations, is evident from the historicals of the Word; and that these wives received their statutes, judgments, and laws, and were acknowledged as sojourners, is not to be doubted.
AC 4445. Because he had wrought folly in Israel, in lying with Jacob‘s daughter, and so it ought not to be done. That this signifies a conjunction that in their eyes was unlawful, because contrary to the truth which they had, is evident from the signification of "committing folly in lying with Jacob’s daughter," as being unlawful conjunction. To lie with her and thus defile her, denotes conjunction not legitimate, (n. 4439). It is said "in Israel," because by "Israel" is signified the internal of the church; and it is next said "Jacob‘s daughter," because by "Jacob" is signified the external of the church. "Israel" is the internal of the church and "Jacob" the external, (n. 4286, 4292, 4439). Although lawful, the conjunction appeared in their eyes unlawful, (n. 4444). GENESIS 34:5-7 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
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