Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 37:4-11
AC 4678. Verses 4-11. And his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren; and they hated him, and could not speak for peace unto him. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brethren, and they added yet to hate him. And he said unto them, Hear I pray this dream which I have dreamed; and behold we were binding sheaves in the midst of the field, and lo my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and behold your sheaves came round about, and bowed down themselves to my sheaf And his brethren said to him, shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? and they added yet to hate him for his dreams, and for his words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said, Behold I have dreamed yet a dream, and behold the sun and the moon and eleven stars bowed down themselves to me. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren; and his father rebuked him, and said to him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him, but his father kept the word. "And his brethren saw," signifies those things which are of faith, and in the proximate sense the posterity of Jacob; "that their father loved him more than all his brethren," signifies that it was conjoined with the Divine natural, and in the proximate sense with the Ancient Church, which is the "father;" "and they hated him, and could not speak for peace unto him," signifies contempt and aversion; "and Joseph dreamed a dream," signifies preaching concerning the Divine Human; "and he told it to his brethren," signifies in the presence of those who are of faith separate; "and they added yet to hate him," signifies still greater contempt and aversion; "and he said unto them, Hear I pray this dream which I have dreamed," signifies the contents of the preaching; "and behold we were binding sheaves in the midst of the field," signifies that they were teaching from doctrine; "and lo my sheaf arose, and also stood upright," signifies what is doctrinal concerning the Lord‘s Divine Human; "and behold your sheaves came round about," signifies those who were in faith; "and bowed down themselves to my sheaf," signifies adoration; "and his brethren said to him," signifies those who are of faith separate; "shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us?" signifies were they to be subject as to the things of the understanding and of the will; "and they added yet to hate him for his dreams and for his words," signifies still greater contempt and aversion because of the preaching of the Word; "and he dreamed yet another dream," signifies again a preaching; "and told it to his brethren, and said," signifies in the presence of those who are of faith separate; "behold I have dreamed yet a dream," signifies the contents; "and behold the sun and the moon," signifies natural good and natural truth; "and eleven stars," signifies the knowledges of good and of truth; "bowed down themselves to me," signifies adoration; "and he told it to his father and to his brethren," signifies that it was given to know it; "and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed?" signifies indignation; "father" here is the Jewish religion derived from the Ancient; "shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?" signifies whether the church will adore; "and his brethren envied him," signifies their aversion; "and his father kept the word," signifies that the truth remained in their religiosity.
AC 4679. And his brethren saw. That this signifies those things which are of faith, and in the proximate sense the posterity of Jacob, is evident from the signification of "seeing," as being to notice and understand (n. 2150, 2325, 2807, 3764, 3863); and from the representation of the brethren of Joseph, as being those things which are of faith. For Joseph in this chapter represents the Divine spiritual or Divine truth of the Lord; and his brethren represent the church which turns away from charity to faith, and then to faith separate from charity, and finally to falsities (n. 4665, 4671). Thus by the "brethren" of Joseph are here signified those things which are of faith; and because such was the posterity of Jacob, in the proximate sense that posterity is signified.
AC 4680. That their father loved him more than all his brethren. That this signifies that it was conjoined with the Divine natural, and in the proximate sense with the Ancient Church, which is the "father," is evident from what was explained above (n. 4675), where similar words occur. That in the proximate sense this signifies that it was conjoined with the Ancient Church, and that this church is what is meant by "father," is because in this sense, as before said (n. 4679), by Joseph’s "brethren" are signified the posterity of Jacob, and consequently the church which was represented among them. How these things are to be understood has already been repeatedly stated, but shall be repeated again in a few words for the sake of the series in what follows.
 The Ancient Church which was set up by the Lord after the flood was a representative church, and was of such a nature that all and each of its externals of worship represented the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord‘s kingdom, and in the supreme sense the Divine things themselves of the Lord; but all and each of its internals of worship bore relation to charity. This church was spread over a large part of the Asiatic world, and through many kingdoms there; and although there were differences among them as to doctrinal things of faith, still the church was one, because all in every part of it made charity the essential of the church. Those who at that time separated faith from charity, and made faith the essential of the church were called "Ham." But in course of time this church turned away to idolatry, and in Egypt, Babylon, and other places, to magic; for they began to worship external things without the internal; and as they thus receded from charity, heaven also receded from them, and in its place came spirits from hell who led them.
 When this church was desolated, a kind of new church began from Heber, which was called the Hebrew Church. This church existed in Syria and Mesopotamia, and also among some nations in the land of Canaan; but this new church differed from the Ancient, in that it made the essential of external worship to consist in sacrifices. It did indeed acknowledge the internal of worship to be charity, but not so much from the heart as did the Ancient Church; but this church also became idolatrous.
 At last it pleased the Lord to set up among the posterity of Abraham from Jacob a new kind of church, and to introduce among that nation the externals of worship of the Ancient Church. But such was the nature of this nation that they could not receive any internal of the church, because their hearts were altogether opposed to charity; and therefore only a representative of a church was instituted among them. This then is the reason why the sons of Jacob, or Joseph’s brethren, signify in the proximate sense such a church, and why Jacob their father signifies the Ancient Church. In many other places in the Word, especially the prophetic, the Ancient Church is meant by "Jacob;" and sometimes also that Ancient Church is called "father and mother", "father" as to its good, and "mother" as to its truth. From this it is now evident that by their father‘s loving Joseph more than all his brethren is signified that the Divine truth of the Lord was conjoined with the Ancient Church.
AC 4681. And they hated him, and could not speak for peace unto him. That this signifies contempt and aversion contempt for the Divine truth which is represented by Joseph, and aversion for it is evident from the signification of "hating," as being to hold in contempt, for "hatred" in the internal sense does not signify hatred such as men have who hate, for the signification of the word grows milder as it rises into heaven, because in heaven they do not know what hatred is, and therefore contempt is what is signified; and from the signification of "not being able to speak for peace unto him," as being to be averse to. For to "speak for peace" means to wish anyone well, inasmuch as by "peace" the ancients understood in the supreme sense the Lord Himself, in the internal sense His kingdom and life therein, or salvation, but in the external sense safety or health in the world. The contrary of this is not to be able to speak for peace to anyone, that is, not to wish him well, thus to be averse to, here to Divine truth.
AC 4682. And Joseph dreamed a dream. That this signifies preaching concerning It, is evident from the signification of "dreaming a dream," as being to preach; and because the dream treats of Joseph, preaching concerning the Lord’s Divine Human is signified That a "dream" here signifies preaching, is because in Joseph‘s two dreams are contained in a summary all the things which were foreseen and provided in regard to Joseph, or in the internal sense all that were foreseen and provided in regard to Divine truth within such a church as is represented by Joseph’s brethren, or such as begins from faith. Moreover Divine truths were manifested in ancient times either by speech, by visions, or by dreams, and from these were the preachings; consequently by "prophets" in the Word, to whom Divine truth was manifested by speech, by visions, or by dreams, are signified those who teach truths, and in the abstract sense the truths of doctrine (n. 2534).
 The like is therefore signified by "seeing visions" and "dreaming dreams;" as in Joel:--
I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; and also upon the servants and upon the maid-servants in those days will I pour out My spirit (Joel 2:28, 29);
where "pouring out the spirit upon them" denotes to instruct concerning truths, and "prophesying" denotes to teach and preach them, and the same is signified by "dreaming dreams." "Old men" are the wise, "young men" the intelligent, "servants" those who know.
 In Jeremiah:--
Thus saith Jehovah Zebaoth, Attend not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you they make you vain, they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of Jehovah. I have heard what the prophets have said, that prophesy a lie in My name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream but he that hath My word, let him tell My word in truth. Behold I am against them that prophesy dreams of a lie, saith Jehovah they tell them, and lead My people astray by their lies (Jer. 23:16, 25, 28, 32);
where again "prophesying" denotes to teach and preach, but from dreams of a lie, from which is their preaching.
 In like manner elsewhere (Jer. 29:8, 9; Zech. 10:2) In Moses:--
If there arise in the midst of thee a prophet, or a dreamer of a dream, who shall give thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods which thou hast not known, and let us serve them thou shalt not obey the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of a dream. And that prophet, or that dreamer of a dream, shall be killed, because he hath spoken revolt against Jehovah your God (Deut. 13:1-3, 5);
both a "prophet" and a "dreamer of a dream" denote one who teaches and preaches, here falsities.
AC 4683. And he told it to his brethren. That this signifies in the presence of those who are of faith separate, is evident from the representation of Joseph‘s brethren, as being the church which turns away from charity to faith, or in the abstract sense the things of faith, as above (n. 4665, 4671, 4679); here, those who are of faith separate from charity, because it follows that "they added yet to hate him," by which words are signified still greater contempt and aversion. For as regards this church the fact is that at its beginning charity is preached, but merely as a matter of doctrine, and thus of memory-knowledge, but not from charity itself, thus not from affection, or from the heart. In course of time, as charity and affection are obliterated in the heart, faith is preached; and at last when there is no longer any charity, faith alone, and this is said to be saving without works; then also works are no longer called works of charity, but works of faith, and are called the fruits of faith.
 In this way men do indeed conjoin charity and faith, but from doctrine merely, not from life. And because they vest nothing of salvation in a life of faith, or in good, but only in faith (although they know very well from the Word, and also from their own intelligence, that doctrine is nothing without life, or that faith is nothing without fruits), they vest the saving power of faith in confidence, that in this way they may also get away from fruits; not knowing that all confidence derives its being from the life’s purpose, and that genuine confidence is impossible except in good, but that a spurious and false confidence is possible even in evil. And in order that they may still further separate faith from charity, they also insist that the confidence of a single moment will save, even life‘s last moments, no matter what the previous life has been; although they know that everyone’s life remains with him after death, and that everyone will be judged according to the works of his life. From these few words it may be seen what is the quality of faith separate from charity, and Consequently what the church is that makes faith, and not a life of faith, the essential. The falsities which flow thence as from their fountain head, will of the Lord‘s Divine mercy be spoken of in the following pages.
AC 4684. And they added yet to hate him. That this signifies still greater contempt and aversion, is evident from what was said above (n. 4681), where similar words occur.
AC 4685. And he said unto them, Hear I pray this dream which I have dreamed. That this signifies the contents of the preaching, is evident from the signification of "dreaming a dream," as being a preaching (n. 4682); here the contents of the preaching, because the description of his dream now follows.
AC 4686. For behold we were binding sheaves in the midst of the field. That this signifies that they were teaching from doctrine, is evident from the signification of a "sheaf," as being doctrine, and hence of "binding sheaves," as being to teach from doctrine; and from the signification of a "field," as being the, church (n. 2971, 3766, 4440, 4443). The "midst of the field" is what is interior in the church, thus it is those who are in the faith of some charity; for the "midst" in the internal sense is what is interior and what is inmost (n. 1074, 2940, 2973). For there are some in every church who are in the midst of it, or who are inmost, being those who are in charity, here those who are in the faith of some charity. With these the Lord is present, because the Lord is in charity, and through charity in faith (n. 4672). That these are signified is evident also from what follows that Joseph’s sheaf arose, and the other sheaves came round about it; for by Joseph‘s sheaf is signified doctrine from the Lord’s Divine truth.
 That a "sheaf" signifies doctrine is because as just said a field is the church, and the standing corn in a field is the truth in the church; therefore a sheaf in which there is corn signifies doctrine in which there is truth. "Sheaves" have a similar signification in David:--
They that sow in tears shall reap with singing; going he shall go and weeping he that beareth the cast of seed, but coming he shall come with singing, bearing his sheaves (Ps. 126:5, 6);
said of those who have been in spiritual captivity and are liberated. To "bear the cast of seed" denotes instruction in truths, to "come with singing" denotes the gladness of the affection of truth, and to "bear the sheaves," the doctrinal things of this truth.
AC 4687. And lo my sheaf arose, and also stood upright. That this signifies what is doctrinal concerning the Lord‘s Divine Human, is evident from the signification of a "sheaf," as being doctrine; and from the signification of "arising and standing upright," as being the supreme that should reign, and that they would adore. That this is the Lord’s Divine Human is evident from what follows, namely, that the eleven sheaves bowed down themselves to that sheaf, and in the second dream, that the sun and the moon and eleven stars bowed down themselves to Joseph, whereby is signified the supreme that should reign, and that they would adore; wherefore also Jacob says, "Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?" As before said the Divine truth of the Lord is what is represented by Joseph; the supreme of this is the Lord Himself, and the supreme among doctrinal things is that His Human is Divine.
 With this supreme of doctrinal things the case is this: The Most Ancient Church, which was celestial, and which above all others was called Man, adored the infinite being, and the derivative infinite coming-forth; and because, from the things which could be perceived in their internal man and those which could be felt in their external, and from the visible things in the world, the men of that church could have no perception of the infinite being, but could have some perception of the derivative infinite coming-forth, they therefore adored the infinite coming-forth in which is the infinite being. The infinite coming-forth in which is the infinite being they perceived as a Divine Man, because they knew that the infinite coming-forth was brought forth through heaven from the infinite being; and as heaven is the Grand Man, corresponding to each and all things that are in man (as has been shown at the end of the preceding chapters, and will be shown at the end of several to follow), they therefore could have no other idea of perception concerning the infinite coming-forth from the infinite being, than as of a Divine Man; for whatever from the infinite being passes through heaven as the Grand Man is attended with an image thereof in each and all things. When that celestial church began to fall away, they foresaw that the infinite coming-forth could no longer have influx into the minds of men, and that so the human race would perish; therefore it was revealed to them that One should be born who would make the Human in Himself Divine, and in this way become the same infinite coming-forth as had been before, and would at last become one with the infinite being as also it had been before. From this came their prophecy in Genesis concerning the Lord (Gen. 3:15).
 This is described in John in these words:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. The same was in the beginning with God. All thing were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1-4, 14);
the "Word" is the Divine truth, which in its essence is the infinite coming-forth from the infinite being, and is the Lord Himself as to His Human. This very Human it is from which truth Divine now proceeds and flows into heaven, and through heaven into the minds of men; consequently which rules and governs the universe, as it has ruled and governed it from eternity; for it is one and the same with the infinite being, because He conjoined the Human with the Divine, which was done by this, that He made the Human in Himself also Divine. From this it is now evident that the supreme of truth Divine is the Lord‘s Divine Human, and hence that the supreme among the doctrinal things of the church is that His Human is Divine.
AC 4688. And behold your sheaves came round about. That this signifies those who were in faith, namely, in the faith of some charity, is evident from the signification of "coming round about," as here being an approaching to adore, for it follows that "they bowed down themselves to his sheaf," by which is signified adoration; and from the signification of a "sheaf," as being doctrine (n. 4686), here all things of doctrine, or all things of faith. That "sheaves" here have such a signification is because in the genuine sense all things of faith are represented by all the sons of Jacob (n. 3858, 3926), thus also by the sheaves, because these in the dream took the place of the sons of Jacob; and also because the scene lay in the midst of the field, and by the midst of the field is signified what is interior, or those who are interior in the church (n. 4686), thus those who are in the faith of some charity. These therefore are the "sheaves which came round about, and bowed down themselves to the sheaf of Joseph." That those are not meant who are exterior or more remote from the midst, and who in the proper sense are here the "brethren" of Joseph, is plain from what precedes and what follows that they hated him more and more, that is, despised him and felt aversion; for "hating," "not speaking for peace," and "envying," which are said of his brethren, signify contempt and aversion.
AC 4689. And bowed down themselves to my sheaf. That this signifies adoration, is evident from the signification of "bowing down themselves," as being the effect of humiliation (n. 2153), consequently adoration; and from the signification of "Joseph’s sheaf," as here being the doctrine concerning the Lord‘s Divine Human (n. 4686), thus it signifies the Divine Human which those in the interior of the church adored. but those who are exterior, that is, those who are of faith separate, are as far as possible from adoring. Faith separate from charity has this effect because as before said the Lord is present in charity, and in faith only through charity; for charity is the conjoining medium. What is truth without good? and what is the intellect without the will? thus what is faith without charity? or what is confidence without its essence?
 That they who are in faith separate from charity do not at all adore the Lord’s Divine Human, was made evident to me from those of this character who come into the other life from the Christian world, with many of whom I have spoken; for in that life the heart speaks, and not the mouth as in the world. The thoughts of everyone are there communicated much more clearly than by any speech in the world; and no one is allowed to speak otherwise than as he thinks and believes. Many of those who in the world have even preached the Lord, there wholly deny Him; and when it is inquired from what end or for what reason they preached Him, and also in outward holy form adored Him, it is found that they did so because it was incumbent upon them on account of the office which they held, and because they thereby gained honors and wealth; and that those who did not preach Him, but yet confessed Him, did so because they were born in the church, and because they would lose their reputation if they should speak against religion. Not a single person from the Christian world knew that the Lord‘s Human is Divine; and scarcely anyone knew that He alone rules heaven and the universe, still less that His Divine Human is the all in heaven. That this is so, could not be openly revealed, because it was foreseen by the Lord that the Christian Church would turn away from charity to faith, consequently would separate itself from Him, and so not only reject but also profane the holy which is from His Divine Human; for faith separate from charity cannot do otherwise.
 That faith is at this day separated from charity, is evident; for churches separate from one another according to their dogmas, and whoever believes differently from what their dogma teaches is cast out from their communion, and is also defamed. But one who robs, and without mercy deprives others of their possessions, provided he does not do it openly, who schemes craftily against the neighbor, who brings the works of charity into disrepute, and who commits adultery - he is nevertheless called a Christian, provided he frequents sacred observances and speaks in accordance with doctrine. From this it is evident that at this day it is doctrine, not life, that constitutes the church; and that the fruits which are adjoined to faith are in their doctrine only, and not at all in their minds.
AC 4690. And his brethren said to him. That this signifies those who are of faith separate, is evident from the representation of Joseph’s brethren, as being the church which turns away from charity to faith, and at last separates faith from charity (n. 4665, 4671, 4679); but those who are interior in this church are signified by the "sheaves" in the dream (n. 4686, 4688). The reason why Joseph‘s brethren represent this church is that in the proximate sense they signify the representative of a church, or the religiosity which was instituted among the posterity of Jacob, which posterity did not indeed know anything about faith as it is understood in the Christian Church, but only about the Truth was to them the same as faith is to Christians, moreover in the Hebrew language the same word is used for both. But the Jewish Church understood by truth the precepts of the Decalogue, and also the laws, judgments, testimonies, and statutes, which were handed down by Moses. They did not know the interiors of truth, nor did they wish to know them.
 The Christian Church however gives the name of faith to those doctrinal matters which they say are the interior things of the church and must be believed; for by faith the common people understand no other than the faith of creeds, or that which book of creeds teach; but those who think that the doctrinal things of faith or the knowledge of them cannot save anyone, and that few are in a life of faith, call confidence faith. These however are above the common people, and are more learned than others. From these things it is evident that the subject here treated of in the internal sense is not only the representative of a church which was instituted with the posterity of Jacob, but also the Christian Church which succeeded; for the Word of the Lord is universal, and comprehends in general every church. For it was equally foreseen by the Lord both how the case would be with the Christian Church, and how it would be with the Jewish Church, but proximately with the Jewish, wherefore this sense is called the proximate sense, or the internal historical sense, and the other the internal sense.
AC 4691. Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? That this signifies were they to be subject as to the things of the understanding and of the will, is evident from the signification of "reigning," as being to be subject as to the things of the understanding; and from the signification of "having dominion," as being to be subject as to the things of the will. That "to reign over them and to have dominion over them" denotes that they were to be made subject is evident, but the reason why the two expressions are here used is that one refers to the things of the understanding, and the other to the things of the will. It is common in the Word, especially the prophetic, for one thing to be expressed in two ways; and he who does not know the mystery in this, cannot but think it a mere repetition for the sake of emphasis. But this is not so, for in every particular of the Word there is the heavenly marriage, namely, the marriage of truth with good and of good with truth; just as there is a marriage of the understanding and the will in man. One expression has reference to truth, the other to good; thus one has reference to the intellect, for to this belongs truth, and the other to the will, for to this belongs good. Moreover the expressions in the Word consist of terms that constantly have such a signification. This is the secret which lies concealed in two expressions being used for one thing (n. 683, 793, 801, 2173, 2516, 2712, 4138). So also here in regard to "reigning over them" and "having dominion over them" - "reigning" refers to truth which is of the understanding, and "having dominion" to good which is of the will. "Kingdom" is also predicated of truth (n. 1672, 2547), and "dominion" of good, as in Daniel, in which passage also the subject is the Lord’s Divine Human:
There was given Him dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should worship Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not perish (Daniel 7:14);
and in David:
Thy kingdom is a kingdom of all eternities, and Thy dominion is into all generation and generation (Ps. 145:13).
AC 4692. And they added yet to hate him for his dreams, and for his words. That this signifies still greater contempt and aversion because of the preaching of truth - here concerning the Lord‘s Divine Human - is evident from the signification of "adding," as being more; from the signification of "hating," as being to despise and be averse to (n. 4681); from the signification of a "dream," as being preaching (n. 4682, 4685); and from the signification of "words," as being truths. That "words" denote truths is because every word in heaven is from the Lord; therefore "words" in the internal sense signify truths, and the "Word" in general signifies all Divine truth.
 As regards the subject itself, this is the supreme truth of all which the church that has separated faith from charity especially despises, and to which it is averse, namely, that the Human of the Lord is Divine. All who were of the Ancient Church and did not separate charity from faith, believed that the God of the universe was a Divine Man, and that He was the Divine being; and hence they named Him "Jehovah." They knew this from the most ancient people, and also because He had appeared as a Man to some of their brethren. They also knew that all the rituals and externals of their church represented Him. But those who were of faith separate could not so believe, because they could not comprehend how the Human could be Divine, nor could they comprehend that the Divine love effected this; for whatever they did not comprehend from some idea received through the external senses of the holy, they regarded as nothing. Faith separate from charity is attended with this, for with those who hold it the internal of perception is closed, as there is no intermediate through which there can be influx.
 The Jewish Church which succeeded did indeed believe that Jehovah was Man and also God, because He had appeared as a man to Moses and the prophets, for which reason the Jews called every angel who appeared to them "Jehovah;" nevertheless they had no other idea of Him than the Gentiles had of their gods, to whom the Jews preferred Jehovah God because He could perform miracles (n. 4299), not knowing that Jehovah was "the Lord" in the Word (n. 2921, 3035), and that it was His Divine Human which all their rituals represented. Their only thought of the Messiah or Christ was that He would be the greatest prophet, greater than Moses; and the greatest king, greater than David, who would bring them with stupendous miracles into the land of Canaan. They did not wish to hear anything about His heavenly kingdom, because they apprehended nothing but worldly things, for they were separated from charity.
 The Christian Church, however, in external worship does indeed adore the Lord’s Human as Divine, especially in the Holy Supper, because He said that the bread therein was His body, and the wine His blood; but in their doctrine they make His Human not Divine, for they make a distinction between the Divine nature and the human nature. The reason of this also is that the church has turned away from charity to faith, and at last to faith separate. And because they do not acknowledge the Lord‘s Human to be Divine, many stumble and at heart deny Him (n. 4689). Nevertheless the truth is that the Lord’s Divine Human is the Divine coming-forth from the Divine being, spoken of above (n. 4687), and that He is the Divine being, for the Divine being and the Divine coming-forth are one, as also the Lord plainly teaches in John
Jesus said to Philip, Have I been so long time with you, and hast thou not known Me? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me (John 14:9-11);
and also in other places. For the Divine coming-forth is the Divine Itself proceeding from the Divine being, and in image is a Man; because heaven, of which it is the all, represents a Grand Man, as was said above (n. 4687), and has been shown at the end of the chapters, in the correspondence of all things in man therewith.
 The Lord was indeed born as is another man, and had an infirm human from the mother; but this human the Lord entirely cast out, so that He was no longer the son of Mary, and made the Human in Himself Divine, which is meant by His being glorified; and He also showed to Peter, James, and John, when He was transfigured, that He was a Divine Man.
AC 4693. And he dreamed yet another dream. That this signifies again a preaching, is evident from the signification of a "dream," as being a preaching (n. 4682).
AC 4694. And told it to his brethren, and said. That this signifies in the presence of those who are of faith separate, is evident from the representation of Joseph‘s brethren, as being those who are of faith separate (n. 4665, 4671, 4679, 4690).
AC 4695. Behold I have dreamed yet a dream. That this signifies the contents of the preaching, is evident from what was said above (n. 4685).
AC 4696. And behold the sun and the moon. That this signifies natural good and natural truth, is evident from the signification of the "sun," as being celestial good (n. 1529, 1530, 2120, 2441, 2495, 3636, 3643, 4060); and from the signification of the "moon," as being spiritual good, or truth (n. 1529, 1530, 2495). The "sun" in the supreme sense signifies the Lord, because He appears as a sun to those in heaven who are in celestial love; and the "moon" also in the supreme sense signifies the Lord, because He appears as a moon to those in heaven who are in spiritual love; all the light in heaven is thence. Therefore the light from the sun there is the celestial of love, or good, and the light from the moon there is the spiritual of love, or truth; in the present passage therefore the "sun" is natural good, and the "moon" natural truth, because they are predicated of Jacob and Leah, as is evident from (verse 10), where Jacob says, "Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?" for by Jacob is represented natural good, and by Leah natural truth, as before occasionally shown. The Divine which comes from the Lord is in the supreme sense the Divine in Him; but in the relative sense is the Divine from Him. The Divine good from Him is what is called celestial, and the Divine truth from Him is what is called spiritual. When the rational receives these, the good and the truth of the rational are what are signified; but when the natural receives them, the good and truth of the natural are what are signified. Here they are the good and truth of the natural, because they are predicated of Jacob and Leah.
AC 4697. And eleven stars. That this signifies the knowledges of good and truth, is evident from the signification of "stars," as being the knowledges of good and truth. That "stars" have this signification in the Word is because they are small luminaries which shine at night, when they give forth into our atmosphere gleams of light, just as knowledges give forth gleams of good and truth. That such knowledges are signified by "stars," is evident from many passages in the Word, as in Jeremiah:
Thus said Jehovah who giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who stirreth up the sea that the waves thereof are tumultuous (Jer. 31:35);
where a new church is treated of, and by "giving the sun for a light by day" is signified the good of love and of charity, and by "giving the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night" is signified truth and knowledges.
 So too in David:
Jehovah who made great luminaries, the sun to rule by day, and the moon and stars to rule by night (Ps. 136:7-9);
one who knows nothing of the internal sense of the Word will believe that by the "sun" here is meant the sun of the world, and by the "moon and stars," the moon and stars of the world; but from this arises no spiritual and heavenly sense, and yet the Word is heavenly in every particular; from which again it is evident that the goods of love and charity, and the truths of faith, together with the knowledges of these, are what is signified.
 So also in the first chapter of Genesis, where the new creation of the celestial man is described:
God said, Let there be luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to distinguish between the day and the night; and let them be for signs and for stated times, and for days and for years; and let them be for luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth; and it was so And God made two great luminaries; the greater luminary to rule by day, and the lesser luminary to rule by night; and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light up on the earth, and to rule in the day and in the night, and to distinguish between the light and the darkness (Gen. 1:14-18; n. 30-38).
 In Matthew:
Immediately after the affliction of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken (Matthew 24:29);
that here by the "sun and moon" are signified love and charity, or good and truth, and by the "stars" knowledges, may be seen above (n. 4060); and because the last day or the last state of the church is here treated of, by "the sun being darkened and the moon not giving her light" is signified that then the good of love and of charity Will perish; and by "the stars falling from heaven," that the knowledges of good and of truth will also perish.
 That these things are signified, is evident from the prophetic parts of the Word, in which similar things are said of the last state of the church, as in Isaiah;
Behold the day of Jehovah cometh cruel, to make the earth a waste, and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it For the stars of the heavens and the constellations thereof shall not shine with their light the sun shall be darkened in his rising, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine (Isa. 13:9, 10).
The day of Jehovah is near. The sun and the moon have been blackened, and the stars have withdrawn their shining (Joel 3:14, 16).
When I shall extinguish thee I will cover the heavens, and I will blacken the stars thereof; I Will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not make her light to shine, all the luminaries of light in heaven will I make black over thee, and will set darkness upon thy land. (Ezek. 32:7, 8)
And in the Revelation:
The fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; that the third part of them should be darkened, and the day should not shine for the third part of it, and the night in like manner (Rev. 8:12).
 Moreover that "stars" are the knowledges of good and truth is plain from the following passages: in Daniel:
Out of one of the horns of the he-goat came forth a little horn, and it grew exceedingly toward the south, and toward the east, and toward adornment. And 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 (Daniel 8:9, 10);
and in the Revelation:
The great dragon with his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth (Rev. 12:4).
That "stars" are not meant in these passages, is evident. In Daniel and the Revelation is described the state of the church in its last times.
 Likewise in David:
Jehovah counteth the number of the stars; He giveth names to all (Ps. 147:4).
Praise ye Jehovah sun and moon, praise Him all ye stars of light (Ps 148:3)
And in the Revelation:
A great sign was seen in heaven; a woman encompassed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars (Rev. 12:1).
 As "stars" signify the knowledges of good and truth, they signify also the doctrinals of the church, for these are knowledges. The doctrinal respecting faith separate from charity in the last times, is thus described by a star in the Revelation:
The third angel sounded, and there fell from heaven a great star burning as a torch, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; and the name of the star is called Wormwood, and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter (Rev. 8:10, 11)
the waters made bitter by this star are truths, and the "rivers and fountains of waters" are intelligence thence and wisdom from the Word. "Waters" are truths, (n. 2702, 3058, 3424); "rivers" are intelligence, (n. 3051); and "fountains" are wisdom from the Word, (n. 2702, 3424).
AC 4698. Bowed down themselves to me. That this signifies adoration, is evident from the signification of "bowing down themselves," as being adoration, of which above (n. 4689).
AC 4699. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren. That this signifies that it was given to know it, may be seen without explication.
AC 4700. And his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? That this signifies indignation, is evident from the signification of "rebuking," as being to be indignant, and this because of the preaching of truth concerning the Lord’s Divine Human, which preaching is signified by "dreaming a dream" (n. 4682, 4693, 4695). The father and brethren of Joseph here denote the Jewish religion derived from the ancient. The external of this religion was for the most part like the external of the Ancient Church. With those who were of the Ancient Church however there was an internal in their externals, but not with those who were of the Jewish religion, because the Jews did not acknowledge any internal, nor do they at this day; and yet there was an internal within. This external with its internal is what is here called "father," and the external without the internal is what is called "brethren;" hence the statement follows that "his brethren envied him, but his father kept the word;" and by the first words are signified the aversion of those who are in an external without the internal, and by the last is signified that truth still remained in their religion.
 This is the same as it is in the Christian Church, where those who are in the external without the internal eat the bread and drink the wine in the Holy Supper with no other thought than that this should be done because it has been commanded and is accepted by the church. Some of them believe that the bread and the wine are holy, but not that the holiness in them comes from the fact that "bread" is the holy of love and charity in heaven, and that "wine" is the holy of charity and faith there (n. 3464, 3735). Whereas those who are in external and at the same time in internal worship do not adore the bread and wine, but the Lord whom these represent, and from whom is the holy of love, of charity, and of faith; and this they do, not from doctrine, but from love, charity, and faith, appropriated to the life.
AC 4701. Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? That this signifies will the church adore, is evident from the signification of "coming to bow down," as being to be about to adore (n. 4689, 4698); and from the signification of "father" (who here is "I"), and "mother" and "brethren," as being the church, here the Jewish Church, as just shown.
AC 4702. And his brethren envied him. That this signifies their aversion, is evident from the signification of "envying," as also being aversion, like "to hate," and "not to speak to him for peace," as above (n. 4681); for in the original the word "envying" signifies also being jealous and quarreling; and as jealousy and quarreling are the effects of hatred, aversion also is signified by the same word.
AC 4703. But his father kept the word. That this signifies that truth remained in their religiosity, is evident from the signification here of "father" as being the Jewish religion derived from the ancient (n. 4700); and from the signification of "keeping," as being to preserve inwardly, thus to remain; and from the signification of "word," as being truth (n. 4692). What is further meant by truth remaining in their religiosity may be seen above (n. 4700). GENESIS 37:4-11 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|