Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 35:9-13
AC 4566. Verses 9-13. And God was seen by Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, Thy name is Jacob; thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name; and He called his name Israel. And God said to him, I am God Shaddai; be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be from thee, and kings shall go forth from thy loins; and the land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. And God went up from upon him, in the place in which God spake with him. "And God was seen by Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him," signifies interior natural perception; "and God said to him, Thy name is Jacob," signifies the quality of the Lord‘s external Divine natural; "thy name shall no more be called Jacob," signifies that it should no longer be external only; "but Israel shall be thy name," signifies the quality of the internal natural, or the quality of its spiritual, which is "Israel;" "and He called his name Israel," signifies the internal natural, or the celestial spiritual of the natural; "and God said to him," signifies perception from the Divine; "I am God Shaddai," signifies the state of temptation past, and now Divine consolation; "be fruitful and multiply," signifies good and thence truth, Divine; "a nation and a company of nations shall be from thee," signifies good and the Divine forms of good; "and kings shall go forth from thy loins," signifies truths from the Divine marriage; "and the land which I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, to thee I will give it," signifies Divine good natural appropriated; "and to thy seed after thee will I give the land," signifies Divine truth natural appropriated; "and God went up from upon him, in the place in which He spake with him," signifies the Divine in this state.
AC 4567. And God was seen by Jacob again when he came from Paddanaram, and blessed him. That this signifies interior natural perception, is evident from the signification of "God was seen," as being interior perception. "To see" denotes to understand and perceive, (n. 2150, 2807, 3764, 3863, 4403-4421). Hence "God was seen," when predicated of the Lord, denotes perception from the Divine, which is the same as interior perception. That the natural had this perception, is signified by God’s being seen by Jacob, for Jacob represents the Lord‘s natural, as has been frequently shown. "Again when he came from Paddan-aram" signifies after he had acquired the knowledges of good and truth which are signified by "Paddan-aram" (n. 3664, 3680, 4112). "And blessed him," signifies progression to the more interior things of the natural, and the conjunction of good and truth there; for "to bless" is predicated of all the good with which anyone is gifted by the Lord (n. 1420, 1422, 2846, 3017, 3406), especially of the conjunction of good and truth (n. 3504, 3514, 3530, 3565, 3584).
AC 4568. And God said to him, Thy name is Jacob. That this signifies the quality of the Lord’s external Divine natural, is evident from the signification of "name," as being quality (n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2724, 3006, 3421); and from the representation of Jacob, as being the Lord‘s Divine natural, of which often above. It is called external, because "Israel" is the Lord’s internal Divine natural, of which in what now follows.
AC 4569. Thy name shall no more be called Jacob. That this signifies that it should no longer be external only, is evident from what has just been said, and from what now follows concerning Israel.
AC 4570. But Israel shall be thy name. That this signifies the quality of His internal natural, or the quality of the spiritual of this natural, which is "Israel," and that and He called his name Israel signifies His internal natural, or the celestial spiritual of the natural, is evident from the signification of "name," as being quality (n. 4568); and from the signification of "Israel," as being the internal of the Lord‘s natural. No one can know why Jacob was called Israel unless he knows what the internal natural is, and what the external natural, and further, what is the celestial spiritual of the natural. These things have indeed been explained above, when Jacob was called Israel by the angel; but as they are of such a nature that very little if anything is known about them, it is necessary to explain again what they are.
 There are two things in man that are most distinct from each other, namely, the rational and the natural. The rational constitutes the internal man, and the natural the external; but the natural, like the rational, has also its own external and internal. The external of the natural is from the senses of the body, and from what flows in from the world immediately through these senses. By these man has communication with worldly and bodily things. They who are exclusively in this natural are called sensuous men, for in thought they scarcely go beyond this. But the internal of the natural is constituted of the conclusions drawn analytically and analogically from these things in the external, and yet it draws and deduces its conclusions from the senses. Thus the natural has communication through the senses with worldly and bodily things, and through things analogical and analytical with the rational, and thus with the things of the spiritual world. Such is the natural. There also exists an intermediate which communicates with both the external and the internal, thus by the external with what is in the natural world, and by the internal with what is in the spiritual world. This natural is what Jacob specifically represents, and the internal natural is what Israel represents. The case is the same with the rational, namely, that it is external and internal, and also intermediate; but of the Lord’s Divine providence this subject shall be spoken of in connection with Joseph, for Joseph represents the external of the rational.
 But what the celestial spiritual is has already been stated, namely, that the celestial is that which is of good, and the spiritual that which is of truth; thus the celestial spiritual is that which is of good from truth. Now as the Lord‘s church is external and internal, and as by the descendants of Jacob must be represented the internals of the church by means of externals, Jacob could therefore no longer be named Jacob, but Israel (n. 4286, 4292). Be it known moreover that both the rational and the natural are called celestial and spiritual, celestial when they receive good from the Lord, and spiritual when they receive truth from Him; for the good that inflows from the Lord into heaven is called celestial, and the truth is called spiritual. Jacob’s being called "Israel" signifies in the supreme sense that the Lord, advancing to interior things, made the natural in Himself Divine, both as to its external and as to its internal; for in the supreme sense what is represented has reference to Him.
AC 4571. And God said to him. That this signifies perception from the Divine, is evident from the signification in the historicals of the Word of "to say" as being to perceive (n. 1791, 1815, 1819, 1822, 1898, 1919, 2080, 2619, 2862, 3395, 3509). That it was from the Divine is signified by "God said;" for the Divine was in the Lord from conception. This was His being, for He was conceived from Jehovah, and therefore His perception was from the Divine, but it was according to the state of the reception by His Human, because He made the Human in Himself Divine by successive steps. Hence it is evident that as the Divine or God was in Him, by the words "God said to him" is signified perception from the Divine.
AC 4572. I am God Shaddai. That this signifies the state of temptation past, and now Divine consolation, is evident from the signification of "God Shaddai," as being temptation and afterwards consolation. For Jehovah or the Lord was called by the ancients "God Shaddai" with reference to temptations and consolation after them (n. 1992, 3667); consequently "God Shaddai" signifies a state of temptation that is past, and now Divine consolation. The reason why it is "past," is that temptations were previously represented by Jacob, especially when he wrestled with the angel (Gen. 32:25-32), and when he met Esau (Gen. 33:1); and the reason why there is now consolation, is that by these temptations there was effected the conjunction of good and truth in the natural. This conjunction itself causes consolation, because conjunction is the end of temptations; for when he arrives at the end, everyone has consolation according to the hard things he suffered in the means.
 Be it known in general that all the conjunction of good with truth is effected by means of temptations, the reason of which is that evils and falsities offer resistance and as it were rebel, and strive in every possible way to prevent the conjunction of good with truth and of truth with good. This combat takes place between the spirits who are with the man, namely, between the spirits who are in evils and falsities, and those who are in goods and truths, and is perceived by the man as a temptation within himself. When therefore the spirits who are in evils and falsities are conquered by the spirits who are in goods and truths, and are compelled to depart, the latter have joy through heaven from the Lord, and this joy is perceived by the man as consolation, and as in himself. But the joy and consolation are not on account of victory, but on account of the conjunction of good and truth; for all conjunction of good and truth has joy within itself, because this conjunction is the heavenly marriage within which is the Divine.
AC 4573. Be fruitful and multiply. That this signifies good and thence truth, Divine, is evident from the fact that "fructifying" is predicated of good, and "multiplying" of truth (n. 43, 55, 913, 983, 2846, 2847).
AC 4574. A nation and a company of nations shall be from thee. That this signifies good and the Divine forms of good, is evident from the signification of a "nation," as being the good of the church (n. 1259, 1260, 1362, 1416, 1849); and from the signification of a "company of nations," as being the truths which are from good, or what is the same, the forms of good; and in the supreme sense, in which the Lord is treated of, the Divine truths which are from Divine good, or the Divine forms of good.
 I will first state what the forms of good are, and then show that a "company of nations" signifies them. The truths that are from good are said to be the forms of good because they are nothing else than goods formed. He who conceives of truths in any other way, and especially he who separates them from good, does not know what truths are. Truths do indeed appear as if separate from good, thus as a form by themselves, but only to those who are not in good, or to those who think and speak otherwise than as they will and thence act. For man is so created that his understanding and will may constitute one mind, and they do constitute one mind when the understanding acts as one with the will, that is, when the man thinks and speaks as he wills and thence acts, for in this case the things of his understanding are forms of his will. The things of the understanding are what are called truths, for truths are properly of the understanding; whereas the things of the will are what are called goods, for goods are properly of the will. From this it follows that regarded in itself the understanding is nothing but the will formed.
 But as the term "form" savors of human philosophy, the matter shall be illustrated by an example, from which will be seen that truths are the forms of good. In civil and moral life there exist what is honorable (honestum) and what is becoming (decorum). V"hat is honorable is to will well to others from the heart in the affairs of civil life, and what is becoming is to testify this in speech and gesture. Thus regarded in itself what is becoming is nothing but the form of what is honorable, for this Is its origin, and therefore when what is honorable shows itself by what is becoming (that is, in a becoming manner by speech and gesture), that which is honorable appears in every detail of that which is becoming, insomuch that whatever is uttered in the speech or shown in the gesture appears honorable, and is the form or image through which that which is honorable shines forth. In this way the two things make a one, like an essence and its form, or like what is essential and what is formal. But if anyone separates what is honorable from what is becoming, that is, if anyone wills evil to a companion, and yet speaks well and behaves himself well toward him, there is then no longer anything of what is honorable in the speech and gestures, however much he may study to make a show of the form of what is honorable by what is becoming; for it is really dishonorable, and every discerning person so calls it, because it is either feigned, or fraudulent, or deceitful.
 From all this we can see how the case is with truths and goods; for truths in spiritual life are circumstanced as is what is becoming in civil life; and hence it is evident what is the quality of truths when they are the forms of good, and what when separated from good; for when they are not from good they are from some evil, and are its forms, however much they may counterfeit the forms of good. That a "company of nations" denotes the forms of good, may be seen from the signification of "nations," as being goods, of which just above. Hence a "company" or congregation of them denotes a collection of them, which is nothing else than a form; and that this is truth‘ has been shown. And as truths are what are signified, and by a "nation" is signified good, it is therefore said not only that a "nation" shall be from him, but also a "company of nations;" otherwise one expression would have sufficed. Moreover in the Word a "company," a " congregation," and a "multitude," are said of truths. What "multitude" is, and "being multiplied, (n. 43, 55, 913, 983, 2846, 2847).
AC 4575. And kings shall go forth from thy loins. That this signifies truths from the Divine marriage, is evident from the signification of "kings," as being truths (n. 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670); and from the signification of "loins," as being the things of conjugial love (n. 3021, 4277, 4280), consequently those of the heavenly marriage, and in the supreme sense of the Divine marriage. Truths from the Divine marriage are those which proceed from the Lord’s Divine Human, and are called holy, for the Lord‘s Divine Human is the Divine marriage itself, and the things which proceed from it are holy, and are called celestial and spiritual, and effect the heavenly marriage, which is truth conjoined with good, and good conjoined with truth. This marriage exists in heaven, and in everyone who is in heaven, and also in everyone who is in the church, provided he is in good and at the same time in truth
AC 4576. And the land which I gave unto Abraham and to Isaac, to thee I will give it. That this signifies the Divine good appropriated, is evident from the signification of "land," as being good. For the land of Canaan which is here meant by "the land," denotes in the internal sense the Lord’s kingdom, and hence the church, which is the Lord‘s kingdom on earth (n. 1607, 3481, 3705, 4447, 4517), and as it denotes these, it denotes good, for this is the very essential thing of the Lord’s kingdom and church. But in the supreme sense the "land of Canaan" denotes the Lord‘s Divine good, for the good which is in the Lord’s kingdom in the heavens and on earth is from the Lord. The above is evident also from the representation of Abraham and Isaac, as being the Lord‘s Divine--Abraham the Divine Itself, and Isaac the Divine Human, specifically the Lord’s Divine rational. Concerning Abraham (n. 1989, 2011, 3245, 3251, 3439, 3703, 4206, 4207); and Isaac, (n. 1893, 2066, 2072, 2083, 2630, 2774, 3012, 3194, 3210, 4180); and from the signification of "giving the land to thee," as being to appropriated it to the natural; for by Jacob, who here is "thee" is represented the Lord‘s Divine natural, as has been frequently shown. From all this it is evident that by "the land which I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, to thee will I give it" is signified the Divine good appropriated.
AC 4577. And to thy seed after thee will I give the land. That this signifies Divine truth appropriated, is evident from the signification of "seed," as being the truth of faith (n. 1025, 1447, 1610, 1940), and in the supreme sense the Divine truth (n. 3038); and from the signification of "giving the land," as being to appropriate good (n. 4576); thus by "giving the land to thy seed," is signified in the supreme sense to appropriate Divine good to Divine truth. But that it is the Divine truth which is appropriated, is because before the Lord was glorified He was in respect to his Human the Divine truth, and hence the Lord says of Himself that He is "the Truth" (John 14:6), and hence also He is called the "seed of the woman" (Gen. 3:15). But after the Lord had been glorified in respect to His Human, He became the Divine good; and then from Him as the Divine good proceeded and proceeds the Divine truth, which is the "Spirit of truth" that the Lord was to send, as said in (John 14:16, 17; 15:26, 27; 16:13-15): see (n. 3704). From all this it is evident that by the words "to thy seed after thee" is signified in the supreme sense the Divine truth appropriated to Him; and also that the Divine truth proceeds from the Divine good which is Himself, and is appropriated to those who are in good and thence in truth
AC 4578. And God went up from upon him, in the place in which He spake with him. That this signifies the Divine in this state, is evident from the signification of "God went up from upon him," as being the Divine; for "to go up" involves elevation to interior things, and when predicated of the Lord, who here is "God," it denotes elevation to the Divine (n. 4539); and from the signification of the "place in which He spake with him," as being this state. "Place" denotes state, (n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387, 4321). Hence the "place in which He spake with him" denotes the state in which He was. GENESIS 35:9-13 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|