Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 34:8-12
AC 4446. Verses 8-12. And Hamor spake with them, saying, Shechem my son, his soul longs for your daughter; give her I pray to him for a woman. And share kinships with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters to you. And ye shall dwell with us, and the land shall be before you, dwell ye, and range through it trading, and get you possession therein. And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brothers, 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 as ye say unto me; and give me the damsel for a woman. "And Hamor spake with them, saying," signifies the good of the Church among the Ancients; "Shechem my son," signifies the truth thence derived; "his soul longs for your daughter, give her I pray to him for a woman," signifies a desire for conjunction with this new church which appears in outward form like the Ancient Church; "and share kinships with us, give your daughters to us, and take our daughters to you," signifies a union of goods and truths; "and ye shall dwell with us," signifies life; "and the land shall be before you, dwell ye," signifies the church which would be one; "and range through it trading, and get you possession therein," signifies doctrinal tenets from what is general that would agree together; "and Shechem said unto her father and unto her brothers," signifies a consultation of the truth from the ancient Divine stock with the good and truth of this religiosity; "let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye say unto me I will give," signifies if they had a like mind on their side to what he had on his; "multiply upon me exceedingly dowry and gift, and I will give as ye say unto me," signifies that he will accept the things that are with them, and will make them his own; "and give me the damsel for a woman," signifies provided there is conjunction.
AC 4447. And Hamor spake with them, saying. That this signifies the good of the Church among the Ancients, is evident from the representation of Hamor, as being what is from the ancients (n. 4431), that is, the good of the church which was among them. For the good of the church is father, and the derivative truth ("Shechem") is son; and therefore by "father" in the Word is signified good, and by "son" truth. It is here said "the good of the Church among the Ancients," but not "the good of the Ancient Church," for the reason that by the "Church among the Ancients" is meant the church that was derived from the Most Ancient Church which existed before the flood, and by the "Ancient Church" is meant the church that existed after the flood. These two churches have sometimes been treated of in the preceding pages, and it has been shown that the Most Ancient Church which was before the flood was celestial, but the Ancient Church which was after the flood was spiritual, and the difference between them has often been treated of.
 The remains of the Most Ancient Church which was celestial still existed in the land of Canaan, especially among those called Hittites and Hivites. The reason why these remains did not exist anywhere else was that the Most Ancient Church called "Man" or "Adam" (n. 478, 479) was in the land of Canaan, and therefore the "garden of Eden," by which was signified the intelligence and wisdom of the men of that church (n. 100, 1588), and by the trees in it their perception, (n. 103, 2163, 2722, 2972) was in that land. And because intelligence and wisdom were signified by this "garden" or paradise, the church itself was meant by it; and because the church was meant, so also was heaven; and because heaven, so also in the supreme sense, was the Lord; and therefore in this sense the "land of Canaan" itself signifies the Lord, in the relative sense heaven and also the church, and in the individual sense the man of the church (n. 1413, 1437, 1607, 3038, 3481, 3705); and therefore also the term "land" or "earth" when mentioned alone in the Word has a like signification (n. 566, 662, 1066, 1067, 1413, 1607, 3355); the "new heaven and new earth" being a new church in respect to its internal and its external (n. 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 3355). That the Most Ancient Church was in the land of Canaan may be seen in (n. 567); and the result of this was that the places there became representative, and for this reason Abram was commanded to go there, and the land was given to his descendants the sons of Jacob in order that the representatives of the places in accordance with which the Word was to be written, might be retained (n. 3686). For the same reason all the places there, as well as the mountains and rivers, and all the borders round about, became representative, (n. 1585, 1866, 4240).
 All this shows what is here meant by the "Church among the Ancients," namely, remains from the Most Ancient Church. And as these remains existed among the Hittites and Hivites, therefore Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, together with their wives, obtained a place of burial with the Hittites in their land (Gen. 23:1-20; 49:29-32; 50:13); and Joseph with the Hivites (Josh. 24:32). Hamor the father of Shechem represented the remains of this Church, and therefore by him is signified the good of the Church among the Ancients, and consequently the origin of interior truth from a Divine stock (n. 4399). The distinction between the Most Ancient Church which was before the flood, and the Ancient Church which was after the flood, see (n. 597, 607, 608, 640, 641, 765, 784, 895, 920, 1114-1128, 1238, 1327, 2896, 2897).
AC 4448. Shechem my son. That this signifies the truth thence derived, is evident from the representation of Shechem, as being interior truth (n. 4430), thus the truth thence derived, namely, from the good which is "Hamor" (n. 4447); for all the truth of the church is from its good, and from no other source does this truth ever come forth. This truth, here represented by Shechem, is called interior truth, and in its essence is nothing else than the good of charity. For the Most Ancient Church, being celestial, was in the good of love to the Lord, and thence in the perception of all truth, because the men of that church were almost like angels, and had communication with them, from which came their perception, and therefore they never reasoned about any truth of faith, but said "It is so," because they perceived it from heaven, insomuch that they were not willing even to mention faith, but in its stead charity (n. 202, 337, 2715, 2718, 3246), and this is the reason why by "interior truth" is here meant the good of charity. That there were remains of the church in question with Hamor the Hivite and his son Shechem, was shown just above (n. 4447).
 The case was different with the Ancient Church which was spiritual, for this church was not in love to the Lord, as was the Most Ancient Church, but was in charity toward the neighbor; and they could not attain to charity except through the truth of faith, of which they had no perception, like the most ancient people, and therefore they then began to make an investigation about truth to see whether it is so. As to the difference between the celestial who had perception, and the spiritual who have it not, see (n. 2088, 2669, 2708, 2715, 3235, 3240, 3246, 3887).
AC 4449. His soul longs for your daughter, give her I pray to him for a woman. That by this is signified a desire for conjunction with this new church which appears in outward form like the Ancient Church, is evident from the signification of the "soul longing for," as being a desire; from the representation of Dinah who here is the "daughter," as being the affection of truth, and consequently the church, for the church is the church from the affection of truth, and this is here meant by the "new church;" and from the signification of "giving her for a woman," as being conjunction (n. 4434).
 As regards the fact that the new church set up among the descendants of Jacob appeared in the outward form like the Ancient Church, be it known that the statutes, judgments, and laws commanded to the Israelitish and Jewish nation through Moses, were not foreign to the statutes, judgments, and laws that existed in the Ancient Church, such as those relating to betrothals and marriages, to servants, to the animals that were good for eating and those which were not, to cleansings, festivals, the tabernacles, the perpetual fire, and many other things; and also those concerning altars, burnt-offerings, sacrifices, and libations, which were received in the second Ancient Church which was from Eber. That these were known before they were commanded that nation, is very evident from the historicals of the Word, as for example the altars, burnt-offerings, and sacrifices.
 It is said of Balaam that he ordered seven altars to be built, and burnt-offerings and sacrifices of bullocks and rams to be offered upon them (Num. 23:1, 2, 14, 15, 29). And it is also related of the nations in many places that their altars were destroyed; and also of the prophets of Baal whom Elijah slew, that these offered sacrifices. From all this it is evident that the sacrifices commanded to the people of Jacob were not new, and so neither were the rest of their statutes, judgments, and laws. But became these things had become idolatrous among the nations, especially in that by such things they worshiped some profane god, and thus turned to what is infernal the representatives of Divine things, not to mention their addition of other representatives, therefore in order that the representative worship of the Ancient Church might be restored, the same things were recalled. Hence it is evident that this new church, instituted among the descendants of Jacob, appeared in the outward form like the Ancient Church.
AC 4450. And share kinships with us, give your daughters to us, and take our daughters to you. That this signifies a union of goods and truths, is evident from the signification of "sharing kinships," as being union (n. 4434); and from the signification of "daughters," as being affections, thus goods (n. 489-491, 2362, 3963). That the union is with truths, is signified by "giving us, and taking to you;" for by "Shechem" and by the "sons of Jacob" are signified truths, as before shown. Hence it is evident that by these words is signified the union of goods and truths, that is, that this new church would by this union be like the Ancient Church, not only in the external, but also in the internal form.
AC 4451. And ye shall dwell with us. That this signifies life, is evident from the signification of "dwelling," as being to live (n. 1293, 3384, 3613). Thus "to dwell with us" is to live together, and to make one church.
AC 4452. And the land shall be before you, dwell ye. That this signifies the church which would be one, is evident from the signification of "land," as being the church (n. 566, 662, 1066, 1067, 1413, 1607, 3355, 4447); and from the signification of "dwelling with us," as being to live together (n. 4451); thus that the church would be one.
AC 4453. And range through it trading, and get you possession therein. That this signifies doctrinal tenets from what is general that would agree together, is evident from the signification of "trading," as being to acquire knowledges for one’s self, and also to communicate them (n. 2967), hence "to range through the land trading" denotes to enter into the knowledges of good and truth signified by Shechem the son of Hamor and his city; and from the signification of "getting possession therein," as being to make one, thus to agree together, for they who possess a land together, make one and agree. That "to trade" denotes to acquire knowledges, and also to communicate them, is because in heaven, where the Word is perceived according to its internal sense, there is no trading, for in heaven there is no gold, silver, or anything else such as are traded with in this world; and therefore when we read in the Word of "trading," this is understood in a spiritual sense, and there is perceived something that corresponds to trading, which--to speak generally-- is the acquisition and communication of knowledges, and specifically, is that [which is indicated by the object] named. Thus, if "gold" is named, the good of love and wisdom is understood (n. 113, 1551, 1552); if "silver," the truth which is of intelligence and faith (n. 1551, 2048, 2954); if "sheep," "rams," "kids," or "lambs," in which they traded in ancient times, such things are understood as these animals signify, and so on.
 As in Ezekiel:--
Say unto Tyre, O thou that dwellest at the entrances of the sea, the trader of the peoples unto many isles, Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kinds of riches; in silver, in iron, in tin and lead they furnished thy fairs. Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, these were thy traders in the soul of man, and in vessels of brass they furnished thy commerce. The sons of Dedan were thy traders, many isles were the merchandise of thine hand. Syria was thy merchant in the multitude of thy works. Judah and the land of Israel, these were thy traders in wheat, minnith, and pannag, and in honey and oil and balm they furnished thy commerce. Damascus was thy merchant in the multitude of thy works, by reason of the multitude of all riches, in wine of Heshbon and wool of Zachar. Dan and Javan furnished yarn in thy fairs. Dedan was thy trader in garments of freedom for the chariot. The Arabian and all the princes of Kedar, these were the merchants of thy hand, in lambs and rams and he-goats, in these were they thy merchants. The traders of Shebah and Raamah, these were thy traders in the chief of all spice and by every precious stone and gold they furnished thy tradings. Haran and Canneh and Eden, the traders of Sheba, Asshur, Chilmad was thy trader. These were thy traders with perfections, with balls of blue, and broidered work; and with treasures of precious garments bound with cords and in cedar they were in thy merchandise; whence thou hast been filled and become honored exceedingly in the heart of the seas (Ezekiel 27:3, 12, 13, 15-19, 21-25).
 From this and many other passages in the Word it appears that "tradings," "commerce," "merchandise," and "wares," are nothing else than things which relate to the knowledges of good and truth. For what has the prophetic Word to do with the tradings of Tyre unless things spiritual and celestial are signified by them? And because this is so, it must be very evident not only that by the wares are other things signified, but also that by the nation there named are signified those possessed of these other things; and that except from the internal sense it cannot be known what all these signify, as for instance what is signified by "Tarshish," "Javan," "Tubal," "Meshech," the "sons of Dedan," "Syria," "Judah," "Israel," "Dan," "Javan," "Dedan," the "Arabian," "Sheba," "Raamah," "Haran," "Canneh," "Eden," "Assyria," "Chilmad;" and also what is signified by their wares, such as "silver," "iron," "tin," "lead," "vessels of brass," "wheat," "minnith," "pannag," "honey," "oil," "balm," "wine of Heshbon," "wool of Zachar," "yarn," "garments of freedom for the chariot," "lambs," "rams," "he-goats," "spice," "precious stone," "gold," "balls of blue," "broidered work," "cords bound," and "cedar." These and the like things signify the goods and truths of the church and the Lord‘s kingdom, and also the knowledges of these goods and truths. It is for this reason that Tyre is here treated of, because by "Tyre" are signified knowledges (n. 1201). And because such wares, that is, goods and truths, are in the Lord’s church and kingdom, the land of Canaan (which signifies the Lord‘s church and kingdom) bore from the most ancient time a name that is derived from "wares" or "merchandise," for such is the meaning of the name "Canaan" in the original language. From all that has been said it is now evident what is signified by "ranging through the land trading."
AC 4454. And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brothers. That this signifies a consultation of the truth from the ancient Divine stock with the good and truth of this religiosity, is evident from the signification of "saying," as here being to consult; from the representation of Shechem, as being truth from the ancient Divine stock (n. 4447); from the signification of "father," who here is Jacob, as being the good of truth (n. 4273, 4337); and from the signification of "brothers," who here are the sons of Jacob, as being truths, of which above. That "Shechem" is truth from the ancient Divine stock is evident from what was adduced above (n. 4447); for Hamor the Hivite, together with his nation and family, were remains in the land of Canaan of the Most Ancient Church, which was celestial. More than all the churches in the whole world was this church from the Divine, for it was in the good of love to the Lord. Their voluntary and their intellectual made a one, thus one mind, for which reason they had from good a perception of truth, for the Lord flowed in by an internal way into the good of their will, and through this into the good of their understanding, or into their truth; and this is the reason why this church was pre-eminently called "Man" (n. 477-479), and also a "likeness of God" (n. 51, 473, 1013). Hence it is evident why Hamor and Shechem are said to be from the ancient Divine stock (n. 4399). That the Most Ancient Church which was called "Man," or by the Hebrew word "Adam," was in the land of Canaan (n. 4447), is very evident from their descendants called "Nephilim" (Gen. 6:4), who were said in (Num. 13:33) to have been in the land of Canaan (n. 581). But at that time all that land was called the "land of Canaan" which extended from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates (Gen. 15:18).
AC 4455. Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye say unto me I will give. That this signifies if they had a like mind on their side to what he had on his, is evident from the signification of "finding grace in one’s eyes," as being a phrase that implies inclination (n. 3980), here an inclination to this--that he would give whatever they said unto him. That by these words is signified that on his side there would be a mind to it if there were a like mind on theirs, is evident from the series in the internal sense, for in this sense "to give what they say" denotes to make a one with them in respect to truth and good.
AC 4456. Multiply upon me exceedingly dowry and gifts and I will give as ye say unto me. That this signifies that he will accept the things that are with them, and will make them his own, that is, he would accept the external things of the church which belong to them and make them his own together with the internal things which belong to him, and thus they would constitute one church together, is evident from the signification of "giving as ye say," as being to make a one with them in respect to truth and good (n. 4455). The very dowry and gift that he said they should multiply upon him, signify agreement into one; for the dowry given to the virgin who was to be betrothed was a token of mutual consent. He tells them to multiply dowry and gift upon him exceedingly (thus beyond the statute, which was fifty pieces of silver) for the reason that he lay with her before he had accepted their religiosity, and therefore it was for Jacob to consent or refuse, according to the law known to the ancients and stated in (Exodus 22:16); and especially because there was a desire for the conjunction of interior truth which is "Shechem," with the affection of exterior truth which is "Dinah" The reason why the dowry was a token of consent, and thus a confirmation of initiation, is that to pay or give silver was a sign that the thing was one‘s own, and thus that the virgin was his; and to accept it was the reciprocity, thus denoting that the bride was the bridegroom’s, and the bridegroom the bride‘s.
AC 4457. And give me the damsel for a woman. That this signifies provided there is conjunction, is evident from the signification of "giving for a woman," as being conjunction (n. 4434), here only provided there is conjunction, because as yet no bargain had been made. GENESIS 34:8-12 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
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