Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 37:31-35
AC 4767. Verses 31-35. And they took Joseph’s tunic, and killed a he-goat of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood; and they sent the tunic of various colors, and they brought it to their father, and said, This have we found; know now whether it be thy son‘s tunic or not. And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s tunic; an evil wild beast hath devoured him; Joseph is surely torn in pieces. And Jacob rent his garments, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned over his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him: but he refused to comfort himself and he said, For I shall go down to the grave to my son mourning. And his father wept for him. "And they took Joseph‘s tunic," signifies appearances; "and killed a he-goat of the goats," signifies external truths from delights; "and dipped the tunic in the blood," signifies that they defiled it with falsities from evils; "and they sent the tunic of various colors,’ signifies appearances thus defiled; "and they brought it to their father," signifies comparison with the goods and truths of the Ancient and the Primitive Church; "and said, "This have we found," signifies that it so appears to them; "know I pray whether it be thy son‘s tunic or not," signifies whether there was a likeness; "and he knew it," signifies that indeed it was; "and said, It is my son’s tunic," signifies that it was the truth of the church; "an evil wild beast hath devoured him," signifies that the cupidities of evil had extinguished it; "Joseph is surely torn in pieces," signifies that it is such from falsities as to be not at all; "and Jacob rent his garments," signifies mourning for truth destroyed; "and put sackcloth upon his loins," signifies mourning for goods destroyed; "and mourned over his son many days," signifies the state; "and all his sons," signifies those who are in falsities; "and all his daughters, rose up," signifies those who are in evils; "to comfort him," signifies to interpret from the sense of the letter of the Word; "and be refused to comfort himself," signifies that this could not be; "and he said, For I shall go down to the grave to my son mourning," signifies that the Ancient Church would perish; "and his father wept for him," signifies interior mourning.
AC 4768. And they took Joseph‘s tunic. That this signifies appearances, is evident from the signification of a "tunic," here a tunic of various colors, as being appearances of truth (n. 4677, 4741, 4742). In what now follows, the subject treated of is exculpation from the wicked deed they had committed; and in the internal sense the confirmation of falsity against Divine truths (n. 4766), and this by appearances, which are presented by reasoning from the sense of the letter of the Word. All confirmations of falsity by interpretations from the sense of the letter of the Word are appearances, by which the simple are wont to be misled, and falsity to be presented as truth, and truth as falsity. These appearances are treated of in the internal sense of the following verses.
AC 4769. And killed a he-goat of the goats. That this signifies external truths from delights, is evident from the signification in the Word of a "he-goat of the goats," as being natural truths, that is, truths of the external man from which are the delights of life; and as also being external truths derived from delights, of which hereafter. The truths of the external man, from which are the delights of life, are Divine truths such as those of the literal sense of the Word, from which truths the doctrinals of a genuine church are derived; these truths are properly signified by a "he-goat," and the delights from them are signified by " goats;" thus by a "he-goat of the goats," in the genuine sense, are signified those who are in such truths and in delights therefrom. In the opposite sense however, by a "he-goat of the goats" are signified those who are in external truths (that is, in appearances of truth derived from the sense of the letter) which are in agreement with the delights of their life, such as the delights of the body, which in general are called pleasures, and the delights of the lower mind, which in general are honors and gains. Such persons are signified by a "he-goat of the goats" in the opposite sense. In a word, by a "he-goat of the goats" in this sense are signified those who are in faith separate from charity, for these select from the Word those truths only which are in agreement with the delights of their life, that is, which favor the loves of self and the world. The other truths they bring into conformity by interpretations, and thereby present falsities as appearances of truth
 That a "he-goat of the goats" signifies those who are in faith separate, is evident from Daniel:--
Behold a he-goat of the goats came from the west over the faces of the whole earth, and touched not the earth and the he-goat had a horn of aspect between his eyes. Out of one of the four horns came forth a little horn, and it grew exceedingly toward the south, and toward the east, and toward comeliness. Yea it grew even to the army of the heavens; and some of the army and of the stars it cast down to the earth, and trampled upon them; and it cast down truth unto the earth (Daniel 8:5, 9, 10, 12);
the subject here treated of is the state of the church in general, not only the state of the Jewish Church, but also that of the following, which is the Christian Church; for the Word of the Lord is universal. The "he-goat of the goats," in respect to the Jewish Church, signifies those who made nothing of internal truths, but accepted external truths so far as they favored their loves, which were that they might be the greatest and the wealthiest. For this reason they recognized the Christ or Messiah whom they were expecting, simply as a king, who would exalt them above all the nations and peoples in the whole world, and would make these subject to them as vilest slaves; this was the source of their love for Him. They did not at all know what love toward the neighbor was, except that it was conjunction by participation in such honor, and through gain.
 But the "he-goat of the goats" in respect to the Christian Church signifies those who are in external truths from delights, that is, who are in faith separate; for these also care nothing for internal truths, and if they teach them it is only that they may thereby win reputation, be exalted to honors, and acquire gain. These are the delights which are in their hearts while truths are in their mouth. Moreover by wrong interpretations they force the truths which are of genuine faith to favor their loves. Hence it is evident what is signified in the internal sense by the above words in Daniel namely, that by a "he-goat of the goats" are signified those who are in faith separate. The he-goat’s coming from the west denotes from evil. The "west" denotes evil, (n. 3708). His coming over the face of the whole earth, not touching the earth, denotes that he came over the whole church; for by the "earth" in the Word nothing else is meant than the land where the church is, thus the church (n. 566, 662, 1068, 1262, 1413, 1607, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928, 3355, 4447, 4453). The "horns" which he had are powers from falsity (n. 2832). The "horn of aspect between the eyes" is power from reasoning about the truths of faith, as may be seen from what was shown concerning the eye (n. 4403-4421, 4523-4534). The "one horn which grew toward the south, the east, and comeliness" is power from faith separate growing even toward those things which are states of the light of heaven, and states of good and truth. That the "south" is a state of light may be seen above (n. 3708), and that the "east" is a state of good (n. 1250, 3249, 3708); that "comeliness" is a state of truth is evident from the Word here and there. Its "growing even to the army of the heavens, and casting down to the earth some of the army and of the stars, and trampling upon them" denotes that it did so with the knowledges of good and truth. The "army of the heavens" and the "stars" are the knowledges of good and truth, (n. 4697). From this is known what is meant by "casting down truth unto the earth," namely, the casting down of real faith, which in itself is charity; for faith has regard to charity, because it proceeds from charity. That which in the Ancient Church was called truth, in the new church is called faith (n. 4690).
 The "he-goat" has a similar signification in Ezekiel:--
Behold I judge between small cattle and small cattle, between the rams and the he-goats. Is it a small thing to you that ye eat up the good pasture, and trample with your feet the residue of your pastures? ye drink the settling of the waters, the remains ye disturb with your feet; ye strike with your horns all the infirm till ye have scattered them abroad (Ezek. 34:17, 18, 21);
in this passage also by "he-goats" are signified those who are in faith separate, that is, who set doctrine before life, and at last have no care about life; when yet life, and not doctrine separate, makes the man; and the life remains after death, but not doctrine except in so far as it partakes of the life. Of these it is said that they "eat up the good pasture, and trample with their feet the residue of the pastures;" and that they "drink the settling of the waters, and disturb the remains with their feet;" also that they "strike the infirm with their horns till they have scattered them."
 From all this it is now evident who are meant by the "he-goats" and who by the "sheep" of whom the Lord speaks in Matthew:--
Before Him shall be gathered all nations, and He shall separate them one from another as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the he-goats; and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the he-goats on the left, etc. (Matthew 25:32, 33);
that the "sheep" are they who are in charity and thence in the truths of faith, and that the "he-goats" are they who are in no charity, although in the truths of faith, that is, who are in faith separate, is clear from the particulars, in which such persons are described.
 Who and of what quality are those who are in faith. separate and are meant by "he-goats" may be seen from the two following passages: "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall Know them. Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of the heavens; but he that doeth the will of My Father who is in the heavens. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied by Thy name? and by Thy name cast out demons? and in Thy name done many mighty works? And then will I confess unto them, I know you not; depart from Me ye workers of iniquity" (Matt. 7:19-23). And in Luke:
"Then will ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us; but He shall answer and say to you, I know you not whence ye are. Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk before Thee, and Thou hast taught in our streets. But He shall say, I tell you I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me all ye workers of iniquity" (Luke 13:25-27).
These are they who are in faith separate, and are called "he-goats." But what "he-goats" signify in a good sense-as those used in sacrifices and occasionally mentioned in the prophets-will of the Lord‘s Divine mercy be told elsewhere.
AC 4770. And dipped the tunic in the blood. That this signifies that they defiled it with falsities from evils, is evident from the signification of "dipping in blood," as being to defile with falsities; for "blood" in the opposite sense is truth falsified (n. 4735). As it was the blood of the he-goat, by which are signified external truths from delights, such as those have who are in faith separate, it is clear that falsities from evils are meant - as is evident also from what follows, where Jacob says, "An evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is surely torn in pieces;" for by these words is signified that the cupidities of evil had extinguished it, and thus that from falsities it became such as to be not at all. That there are three origins of falsity - the doctrine of the church, the fallacies of the senses, and a life of cupidities - and that the falsity from this last is the worst, may be seen above (n. 4729).
AC 4771. And they sent the tunic of many colors. That this signifies appearances thus defiled, is evident from the signification of a "tunic of various colors," as being appearances (n. 4677, 4741, 4742, 4768). That they were defiled is meant by the tunic being dipped in blood (n. 4770).
AC 4772. And they brought it to their father. That this signifies comparison with the goods and truths of the Ancient and the Primitive Church, is evident from the representation of Jacob, who here is the "father," as being the Ancient Church (n. 4680, 4700), and also the Primitive Church, that is, the Christian Church in its beginning, of which hereafter. To bring such a tunic to this church, is in the internal sense to institute a comparison of falsified goods and truths with the goods and truths of the genuine church. That by Jacob is here represented not only the Ancient, but also the Primitive Church, that is, the Christian Church in its beginning, is because these are altogether the same as to internals, and differ only in externals. The externals of the Ancient Church were all representative of the Lord and of the celestial and spiritual things of His kingdom, that is, of love and charity and the faith thence derived, consequently of such things as are of the Christian Church. Thus when the externals of the Ancient, and also of the Jewish Church, are unfolded and as it were unwrapped, the Christian Church is disclosed. This was signified also by the veil of the temple being rent asunder (Matt. 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45). It is for this reason that by Jacob the father is represented not only the Ancient, but also the Primitive Christian Church.
AC 4773. And said, This have we found. That this signifies that it so appears to them, is evident from the series of things in the internal sense; for they did not say that it was Joseph’s tunic, but that they found it; leaving it to their father to know whether it were his son‘s tunic or not. Hence it follows that by these words is signified that it so appears to them.
AC 4774. Know I pray whether it be thy son’s tunic or not. That this signifies whether there was a likeness, is evident from the signification of "Knowing whether it be," as being whether it is like. This refers to what precedes, and follows from it, namely, that a comparison was instituted of falsified goods and truths with the genuine goods and truths of the church, as is signified by their bringing the tunic dipped in blood to their father (n. 4772). Hence in this passage, by "Know I pray whether it be thy son‘s tunic," is signified that he should compare whether it was like, or whether there was a likeness.
AC 4775. And he knew it. That this signifies that indeed it was, and that and said, It is my son’s tunic signifies that it was the truth of the church, is evident from the signification of a "tunic," as being the truth of the church (n. 4677). But as it was defiled, it was indeed known that it was [the truth of the church] but not truth like that of the Ancient and the Primitive Church; hence it is said that indeed it was.
AC 4776. An evil wild beast hath devoured him. That this signifies that the cupidities of evil had extinguished it, is evident from the signification of an "evil wild beast," as being a lie from a life of cupidities (n. 4729), consequently cupidities; and from the signification of "devouring," as being to extinguish, because predicated of the truth of the church. The veriest truth of the church is that love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor are the primary things (Mark 12:29-31). Cupidities extinguish this truth; for those who are in a life of cupidities cannot be in a life of love and charity, for the two are exact opposites. A life of cupidities consists in loving self only, and not the neighbor except from self, or for the sake of self. Hence those who are in this life extinguish charity in themselves; and those who extinguish charity, extinguish also love to the Lord; for there is no other means of loving the Lord than charity, because the Lord is in charity. The affection of charity is heavenly affection itself, which is from the Lord alone. From this it may be seen that the cupidities of evil extinguish the veriest truth of the church, on the extinction of which a means is devised which is called saving, namely, faith; and when this is separated from charity, truths themselves are defiled, for then it is no longer known what charity is, nor even what the neighbor is, and consequently neither what the internal of man is, nor even what heaven is. For the internal of man, and heaven in man, is charity - that is, willing well to another, to society, to one‘s country, to the church, to the Lord’s kingdom, and thus to the Lord Himself. From this we may conclude what is the quality of the truths of the church when those things which are essential are not known, and when the things contrary to them, or cupidities, reign. When a life of cupidities speaks concerning these truths, are not they defiled to such a degree that they can no longer be recognized?
 That no one can be saved unless he has lived in the good of charity, and so has become imbued with its affections, which are to will well to others, and from willing well to do well to them; and that no one can receive the truths of faith - that is, become imbued with them and appropriate them to himself - but he who is in a life of charity, has been made manifest to me from those who are in heaven, with whom I have been permitted to converse. There all are forms of charity, with beauty and goodness according to the quality of their charity; their delight, satisfaction, and happiness are from their being able to do good to others from good-will. The man who has not lived in charity cannot possibly Know that heaven and its joy consist in Willing well and in doing well from willing well, because his heaven is willing well to himself, and from this willing well doing well to others, when yet this is hell. For heaven is distinguished from hell in this, that heaven, as above said, is doing good from good-will, and hell is doing evil from ill-will. They who are in love toward the neighbor do good from good-will; but they who are in the love of self do evil from ill-will. The reason of this is, that they love no one but themselves, and others only so far as they see themselves in them, and them in themselves; they also regard these with hatred, which manifests itself as soon as they recede and are no longer theirs. This is like robbers, who so long as they are banded together love one another, but still at heart desire to kill one another, if plunder may thus be obtained.
 From these things it may be seen what heaven is, that it is love toward the neighbor; and what hell is, that it is the love of self. They who are in love toward the neighbor are capable of receiving all the truths of faith, and of being imbued with them and making them their own; for in love toward the neighbor there is the all of faith, because heaven and the Lord are in it. They on the other hand who are in the love of self can in no wise receive the truths of faith, because hell is in this love; nor can they receive the truths of faith in any other way than for the sake of self-honor and gain; thus they cannot possibly become imbued with them and make them their own. But the things which they become imbued with and make their own are denials of truth, for at heart they do not believe even that there is a hell and a heaven, nor that there is a life after death, and therefore they believe nothing that is said about hell and heaven, or about a life after death, thus nothing at all that is said from the Word and from doctrine about faith and charity. When they are in worship they appear to themselves to believe, but this because it has been implanted in them from early childhood to put on this state at such a time; but as soon as they are out of worship they are also out of this state; and then thinking in themselves, they believe nothing at all, and also according to the life of their loves devise things to favor them, which they call truths, and which they confirm from the literal sense of the Word, when yet they are falsities. Such are all who in life and doctrine are in faith separate.
 Be it known moreover that all things are in the loves, for the loves are what make the life; consequently the Lord‘s life flows solely into the loves. Such therefore as are the loves, such are the lives, because such are the receptions of life. Love toward the neighbor receives the life of heaven, and the love of self receive the life of hell; thus in love toward the neighbor there is the all of heaven, and in the love of self the all of hell That all things are in the loves may be illustrated from many things in nature. Animals, both those that walk on the earth and those that fly in the air or swim in the water, are all impelled according to their loves, and into their loves flows whatever is conducive to their life, that is, to their sustenance, habitation, and procreation. Hence animals of every kind know their food, their abodes, and what concerns their conjugial, such as mating, building nests, laying eggs, and bringing up their young.
 The bees also know how to build cells, to suck honey from flowers, to fill with it the honey-combs, and to make provision for themselves against winter, and even to conduct a certain form of government under a queen; besides other marvels. All these things are effected by influx into their loves; the effects of life being varied only by the forms of their affections. All these things are in their loves; what then would there not be in heavenly love, if man were in this? Would there not be the all of wisdom and intelligence, which is in heaven? From this also it is that they who have lived in charity, and no others, are received into heaven; and that from charity they have the capacity of receiving and being imbued with all truths, that is, with all things of faith. But the contrary happens to those who are in faith separate, that is, in some truths and not in charity Their loves receive such things as are in agreement with them, that is to say, the loves of self and of the world receive those things which are contrary to truths, such as are in the hells.
AC 4777. Joseph is surely torn in pieces. That this signifies that it is such from falsities as to be not at all, is evident from the signification of "being torn in pieces," as being to be dissipated by falsities, or what is the same, to be such from falsities as to be not at all. Falsities from evils or from cupidities are what are here meant (n. 4770); in regard to which see what was said just above (n. 4776).
AC 4778. And [Jacob] rent his garments. That this signifies mourning for destroyed truths, is evident from the signification of the "rending of garments," as being a representative of mourning for destroyed truth, of which above (n. 4763).
AC 4779. And put sackcloth upon his loins. That this signifies mourning for destroyed good, is evident from the signification of "putting sackcloth upon the loins," as being a representative of mourning for destroyed good. For the "loins" signify conjugial love, and hence all celestial and spiritual love (n. 3021, 3294, 4277, 4280, 4575), and this from correspondence; for as all the organs, members, and viscera of the human body correspond to the Grand Man - as has been shown at the end of the chapters - so also the loins correspond to those in the Grand Man, or heaven, who have been in genuine conjugial love; and as conjugial love is the fundamental of all loves, therefore by the "loins" is signified in general all celestial and spiritual love. From this came the rite of putting sackcloth on the loins when they mourned over good destroyed, for all good is of love.
 That they put sackcloth on the loins to testify to this mourning may be seen from the historic and prophetic parts of the Word, as in Amos:--
I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; thus I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only-begotten, and the end thereof as a bitter day (Amos 8:10);
where "bringing up sackcloth upon all loins" denotes mourning over destroyed goods; "all loins" denotes all the goods of love. In Jonah:--
The men of Nineveh believed in God, and therefore they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least. And when the word came unto the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, and laid his robe from upon him, and covered him with sackcloths, and sat on ashes. And he made proclamation, Let man and beast be covered with sackcloth (Jonah 3:5-8);
manifestly for a sign representative of mourning over the evil on account of which Nineveh was to perish; thus over destroyed good.
 In Ezekiel:--
They shall utter a cry over thee with their voice, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cause dust to come up upon their heads, they shall roll themselves in ashes and they shall make themselves bald for thee, and gird them with sackcloths (Ezek. 27:30, 31);
said of Tyre, the particulars being representative of mourning for falsities and evils, thus for destroyed truths and goods. "To utter a cry and to cry bitterly" denotes a lamentation over falsity or destroyed truth (n. 2240); "causing dust to come up upon the head" denotes being damned on account of evil (n. 278); "rolling themselves in ashes" denotes being damned on account of falsity; "making themselves bald" denotes mourning because the natural man had no truth (n. 3301); "girding them with sackcloths" denotes mourning because it had no good. Likewise in Jeremiah:--
0 daughter of My people gird thyself with sackcloth, and roll thyself in ashes; make thee the mourning of an only-begotten, the wailing of bitternesses; for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us (Jer. 6:26).
The elders of the daughter of Zion shall sit in the earth, they shall keep silence, they shall cause dust to go up upon their head, they shall gird themselves with sackcloths, the virgins of Jerusalem shall cause their head to go down into the earth (Lam. 2:10);
here there are similar representatives according to the kinds of good and truth which were destroyed, as above.
 In Isaiah:--
The prophecy concerning Moab; he shall go up to Bayith and Dibon, into the lofty places to weep Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba; on all his heads is baldness, every beard is shaven. In his streets they have girded on sackcloth, on his housetops and in his streets he shall wholly howl, going down into weeping (Isa. 15:2, 3);
"Moab" denotes those who adulterate goods (n. 2468). The mourning over this adulteration which is signified by "Moab," is described by such things as correspond to evil of this kind; and therefore almost the same occurs in Jeremiah:--
Every head is baldness, and every beard shaven; upon all hands are cuttings, and upon the loins sackcloth. On all the housetops of Moab and in the streets thereof is wholly mourning (Jer. 48:37, 38).
 When king Hezekiah heard the blasphemies which Rabshakeh spoke against Jerusalem, he rent his garments and covered himself with sackcloths (Isa. 37:1; 2 Kings 19:1); because he spoke against Jehovah, the king, and Jerusalem, wherefore there was mourning; that it was against truth is signified by his rending his garments (n. 4763); and that it was against good, by his covering himself with sackcloth. For where truth is treated of in the Word, good also is treated of, on account of the heavenly marriage which is that of good and truth and of truth and good in every particular; as also in David:--
Thou hast turned my mourning into dancing; Thou hast opened my sackcloth and girded me with joy (Ps. 30:11);
here "dancing" is predicated of truths, and "joy" of goods, as also in other passages in the Word; thus "to open sackcloth" denotes to take away mourning over destroyed good.
 In the second book of Samuel:--
David said to Joab and to all the people that were with him, Rend your garments, and gird yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner (2 Sam. 3:31);
because a wicked deed had been committed against what is true and good, it was therefore commanded by David that they should rend their garments and gird themselves with sackcloth. So likewise because Ahab had acted contrary to what was equitable and just (in the spiritual sense contrary to truth and good), when he heard the words of Elijah that he should be cut off, he rent his garments, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went slowly (1 Kings 21:27).
 That sackcloth is predicated of destroyed good, is also evident in the Revelation:--
When he opened the sixth seal, lo there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, and the whole moon became as blood (Rev. 6:12);
an "earthquake" denotes a change of the state of the church as to good and truth (n. 3355); the "sun" denotes the good of love (n. 1529, 1530, 2441, 2495, 4060, 4300, 4696), and therefore sackcloth is predicated of it when it is destroyed; the "moon" denotes the truth of faith (n. 1529, 1530, 2120, 2495, 4060), of which blood is predicated, because "blood" is truth falsified and profaned (n. 4735).
 As being clothed in sack-cloth and rolling in ashes represented mourning over evils and falsities, it also represented humiliation, and likewise repentance; for the primary thing in humiliation is to acknowledge that of himself one is nothing but evil and falsity. The same is true of repentance, which is effected solely through humiliation, and this through the confession of the heart that of himself one is of such a nature. That putting on sackcloth was a token of humiliation can be seen in (1 Kings 21:27-29); and that it was of repentance, in (Matthew 11:21; Luke 10:13); but that it was nothing but a representative, thus only an external thing of the body, and not an internal thing of the heart, is plain from Isaiah:--
Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Jehovah? Is not this the fast that I choose, to open the bonds of wickedness, to break bread to the hungry? etc. (Isa. 58:5-7).
AC 4780. And mourned over his son many days. That this signifies the state, namely, the state of mourning for destroyed good and truth, is evident from the representation of Joseph, who here is the "son," as being Divine truth, specifically those truths spoken of above (n. 4776); and from the signification of "days," as being states (n. 23, 487, 488, 493, 893, 2788, 3785), here a state of great mourning, because it is said "many days."
AC 4781. And all his sons. That this signifies those who are in falsities, is evident from the signification of "sons," as being truths, and in the opposite sense falsities, or those who are in truths or falsities (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3373, 3704), here those who are in falsities, because by the sons of Jacob, or Joseph’s brethren, are represented those who are in faith separate, thus those who have extinguished Divine truth, and hence are in falsities--as was shown above.
AC 4782. And all his daughters rose up. That this signifies those who are in evils, is evident from the signification of "daughters," as being goods, and in the opposite sense evils, or those who are in goods or evils (n. 489-491, 568, 2362, 3024, 3963).
AC 4783. To comfort him. That this signifies to interpret from the sense of the letter of the Word, is evident from the signification of "comforting," as being to allay unrest of mind by the hope of something (n. 3610), here unrest or mourning over destroyed good and truth; and as this mourning cannot be allayed except by interpretations from the Word, and as the sons and daughters of Jacob are here treated of, by whom are signified those who are in falsities and evils (n. 4781, 4782), therefore by "comforting" are signified the interpretations which are made from the sense of the letter. For the sense of the letter has general things, which are as vessels, and can be filled with truths and also with falsities, and thus be so explained as to favor anything; and because they are general things, they are also comparatively obscure, having light from no other source than the internal sense; for the internal sense is in the light of heaven, because it is the Word for the angels; but the sense of the letter is in the light of the world, because it is the Word for men before they come into the light of heaven from the Lord, from which they then have enlightenment. From this it is evident that the sense of the letter is of service to the simple for initiation into the internal sense.
 That by interpretations from the sense of the letter the Word can be so explained as to favor anything, is very manifest from the fact that all kinds of doctrines, and even of heresies, are thus confirmed, as for instance the dogma concerning faith separate is confirmed by these words of the Lord:--
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but should have eternal life (John 3:16);
from which words, and also from other passages, it is concluded that faith alone without works is what gives eternal life; and when those who are in this faith have persuaded themselves of this, they no longer attend to what the Lord so often said concerning love to Him, and concerning charity and works (n. 1017, 2371, 3934), thus not to what is said in John:
"As many as received, to them gave He power to be sons of God, even to them that believe in His name; who were born not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12, 13).
If they are told that no one can believe in the Lord unless he is in charity, they straightway take refuge in interpretations such as these--that the law has been abrogated, that they were born in sins and so cannot do good of themselves, and that they who practise cannot but claim merit for themselves; and they also confirm these things from the sense of the letter of the Word, as from what is said in the parable of the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18:10-14), and from other passages; although these do not at all apply to the case.
 They who are in faith separate cannot believe otherwise than that anyone can be admitted into heaven out of grace, no matter how he has lived, thus that not the life but the faith remains with man after death. This they confirm also from the sense of the letter of the Word, when yet it is evident from the very spiritual sense of the Word that the Lord has mercy toward everyone, thus that if heaven were of mercy or grace, regardless of what the life has been, everyone would be saved. The reason why they who are in faith separate so believe is that they do not at all know what heaven is, and this because they do not know what charity is. If they knew how much peace and joy and happiness there is in charity, they would know what heaven is; but this is altogether hidden from them.
 Again, they who are in faith separate cannot believe otherwise than that they will rise again with the body, and this only at the day of judgment; which they also confirm from many passages of the Word explained according to the sense of the letter, and at the same time taking no thought of what the Lord said concerning the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:22-31); and of what He said to the thief: "Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with Me in paradise" (Luke 23:43); and of what He said at other times. The reason why they who are in faith separate so believe is that if they were told that the body will not rise again, they would wholly deny any resurrection, for they do not know nor apprehend what the internal man is, since no one can know what the internal man is, and his life after death, save he who is in charity, for charity is of the internal man.
 They who are in faith separate cannot believe otherwise than that the works of charity consist solely in giving to the poor and in assisting the miserable, and this they also confirm from the sense of the letter of the Word; when yet the works of charity consist in doing what is just and equitable, each in his own employment, from the love of what is just and equitable, and of what is good and true.
 They who are in faith separate see nothing else in the Word than what confirms their dogmas, for they have no interior insight; they who are not in the affection of charity having only an external sight, or lower insight, from which no one can possibly see higher things, since they appear to him like darkness. Hence they see falsities as truths, and truth as falsities, and thus by interpretations from the sense of the letter they destroy the good pasture, and defile the clear waters of the sacred fountain or the Word, according to these words in Ezekiel:--
Is it a small thing to you that ye eat up the good pasture, and trample with your feet the remainder of your pastures? ye drink the settling of the waters, the remains ye disturb with your feet; ye strike with your horns all the infirm till ye have scattered them abroad (Ezek. 34:18, 21).
AC 4784. And he refused to comfort himself. That this signifies that this could not be, is evident from what has now been said.
AC 4785. And he said, For I shall go down to the grave to my son mourning. That this signifies that the Ancient Church would perish, is evident from the representation of Jacob, who says this of himself, as being the Ancient Church (n. 4680, 4700, 4772); and from the representation of Joseph who here is "my son," as being the Divine spiritual, or the Divine truth, of which above; and from the signification of "going down to the grave mourning," as being to die, and when predicated of the church and also of Divine truth, to perish.
AC 4786. And his father wept for him. That this signifies interior mourning, is evident from the signification of "weeping," as being grief and sadness to the last degree, thus interior mourning. Among the externals by which internals were represented in the ancient churches was wailing and weeping over the dead, by which was signified interior mourning (although the mourning itself was not interior), as we read concerning the Egyptians who went with Joseph to bury Jacob:--
When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is in the passage of Jordan, they wailed there with a very great and sore wailing; and he made a mourning for his father seven days. And the inhabitant of the land, the Canaanite, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, and they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians (Gen. 1:10, 11);
and concerning David‘s weeping over Abner:--
They buried Abner in Hebron; and the king lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept (2 Sam. 3:32).
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|