Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 42:25-28
AC 5485. Verses 25-28. And Joseph commanded, and they filled their vessels with corn, and to restore their silver, everyone‘s into his sack, and to give them provision for the way; and he did thus to them. And they lifted their produce upon their asses, and went thence. And one opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, and he saw his silver; and behold it was in the mouth of his bag. And he said unto his brethren, My silver is restored, and lo it is even in my bag; and their heart went forth, and they trembled a man to his brother, saying, What is this that God hath done to us? "And Joseph commanded," signifies influx from the celestial of the spiritual; "and they filled their vessels with corn," signifies that the memory-knowledges were endowed with good from truth; "and to restore their silver," signifies without any ability of theirs; "everyone’s into his sack," signifies wherever there was a receptacle in the natural; "and to give them provision for the way," signifies and that it would support the truths they had; "and he did thus to them," signifies the effect; "and they lifted their produce upon their asses," signifies that truths were gathered into memory-knowledges; "and they went thence," signifies the consequent life; "and one opened his sack," signifies observation; "to give his ass provender in the inn," signifies when there was reflection upon the memory-knowledges in the exterior natural; "he saw his silver," signifies perception that it was without any ability of their own; "and behold it was in the mouth of his bag," signifies that they were bestowed and stored up in the threshold of the exterior natural; "and he said unto his brethren," signifies general perception; "My silver is restored," signifies that there was no aid from them; "and lo it is even in my bag," signifies that it was in the exterior natural; "and their heart went forth," signifies fear; "and they trembled a man to his brother," signifies general terror; "saying, What is this that God hath done to us?" signifies on account of so much providence.
AC 5486. And Joseph commanded. That this signifies influx from the celestial of the spiritual, is evident from the signification of "commanding," when predicated of the celestial of the spiritual, or of the internal in respect to the external, as being influx, for the internal commands in no other way than by influx, and then by disposal for use; and from the representation of Joseph, as being the celestial of the spiritual.
AC 5487. And they filled their vessels with corn. That this signifies that the memory-knowledges were endowed with good from truth, is evident from the signification of "filling," which being free signifies to be endowed with; from the signification of "vessels," as being memory-knowledges (n. 3068, 3079); and from the signification of "corn," as being good from truth, or the good of truth (n. 5295).
AC 5488. And to restore their silver. That this signifies without any ability of theirs, is evident from the signification of "buying with silver," as being to procure for one‘s self from one’s own; here therefore "to restore silver" is to endow gratis, or without any ability of theirs; as also in Isaiah:--
Everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no silver, come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without silver and without price (Isa. 55:1).
AC 5489. Into his sack. That this signifies wherever there was a receptacle in the natural, is evident from the signification of a "sack," as being a receptacle; that it is in the natural, is because the subject treated of is the truths and memory-knowledges that are in the natural. Here a "sack" specifically signifies memory-knowledge, for the reason that as a sack is a receptacle of corn, so memory-knowledge is a receptacle of good, here of the good that is from truth (n. 5487). Few know that memory-knowledge is a receptacle of good, because few reflect upon such things, and yet this may be known from the following considerations. The memory-knowledges that enter into the memory are always introduced by means of some affection; those not introduced by any affection do not stick there, but slip away. The reason of this is that in affection there is life, but not in memory-knowledges except through affection. From this it is plain that memory-knowledges always have conjoined with them such things as are of affection, or what is the same, as are of some love, consequently some good, for everything that is of love is called good, whether it be good or thought to be so. Memory-knowledges therefore together with these goods form as it were a marriage, and hence it is that when this good is excited, the memory-knowledge with which it is conjoined is also at once excited; and conversely, when the memory-knowledge is recalled, the good conjoined with it also comes forth, as everyone can put to the test in himself if he chooses.
 This then is the reason why with the unregenerate, who have rejected the good of charity, the memory-knowledges which are truths of the church have adjoined to them such things as are of the love of self and of the world, thus evil things, which by reason of the delight that is in them they call good, and also by wrong interpretations make out to be good. These memory-knowledges make a fair show when the loves in question reign universally, and according to the degree in which they reign. But with the regenerate the memory-knowledges which are truths of the church have joined with them such things as are of love toward the neighbor and love to God, thus genuine good things. These are stored up by the Lord in the truths of the church with all who are being regenerated; and therefore when the Lord insinuates into such persons a zeal for good, these truths show themselves in their order; and when He insinuates a zeal for truth, this good is present and enkindles it. From all this it is evident how the case is with memory-knowledges and with truths that they are receptacles of good.
AC 5490. And to give them provision for the way. That this signifies, and that it would support the truths which they had, is evident from the signification of "giving provision," as being support; and from the signification of a "way," as being truth (n. 627, 2333); here however "for the way," denotes so long as they were in that state, because to be "on the way" signifies a state of truth conjoined with good (n. 3123). By "provision" is also signified support from truth and good in David:--
He made it rain manna upon them for food, and gave them the corn of the heavens. Man did eat the bread of the mighty; He sent them provision to satiety (Ps. 78:24, 25).
AC 5491. And he did so. That this signifies the effect, is evident without explication.
AC 5492. And they lifted their produce upon their asses. That this signifies that truths were gathered into memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of "produce," as being truth (n. 5276, 5280, 5292, 5402); and from the signification of an "ass," as being memory-knowledge (n. 2781). Hence it follows that by their "lifting their produce upon their asses," is signified that truths were gathered into memory-knowledges. That this is the signification of these words seems strange to him who keeps his mind in the historic sense of the letter, especially if he believes that there is no other internal sense than that which proximately shines forth from the letter; for he says to himself, How can lifting produce upon their asses signify truths gathered into memory-knowledges? But let him know that the literal sense of the Word passes into such a spiritual sense when it passes from man to the angels, or into heaven and even into a still more remote sense when it passes into the inmost heaven, where all and each of the things of the Word pass into affections which are of love and charity, to which sense the internal sense serves as a plane.
 That the historicals of the Word pass into another sense when they are elevated into heaven, may be seen by the man who concludes from reason, and who knows anything about the natural and the spiritual. He can see that to lift produce upon their asses is a purely natural act, and that there is nothing spiritual in it whatever; and he can also see that the angels who are in heaven, or they who are in the spiritual world, cannot apprehend these words otherwise than spiritually, and that they are apprehended spiritually when in their place are understood their correspondences, namely, the truth of the church in place of "produce," and the memory-knowledges that are in the natural in place of "asses." That by "asses" in the Word are signified things that serve, and thus memory-knowledges. For these are things that serve relatively to things spiritual and also to things rational, (n. 2781). Hence also it is plain what angelic thought and speech are relatively to man‘s thought and speech that angelic thought and speech are spiritual, but man’s natural; and that the former falls into the latter when it descends, and that the latter is turned into the former when it ascends. Unless this were so, there would he no communication whatever of man with angels, or of the world with heaven.
AC 5493. And they went thence. That this signifies the consequent life, is evident from the signification of "going," as being to live (n. 3335, 3690, 4882). The case is the same with "going" (which in the spiritual sense denotes to live) as with what was said just above (n. 5492).
AC 5494. And one opened his sack. That this signifies observation, is evident from the signification of a "sack," as being a receptacle in the natural (n. 5489, 5497), which was endowed with good from truth (n. 5487). That to "open" it denotes to observe, is plain from the series; for by the words which follow, "to give his ass provender in the inn," is signified when they reflected upon the memory-knowledges in the exterior natural.
AC 5495. To give his ass provender in the inn. That this signifies when they reflected upon the memory-knowledges in the exterior natural, is evident from the signification of "giving his ass provender," as being to reflect upon memory-knowledges; for provender is the food with which asses are fed, consisting of straw and chaff, and hence it denotes all reflection upon memory-knowledges, for these are what reflections chiefly feed on. An "ass" denotes memory-knowledge, (n. 5492); and from the signification of an "inn," as being the exterior natural. That an "inn" here is the exterior natural cannot indeed be confirmed from parallel passages elsewhere in the Word, but still it can be confirmed from the fact that memory-knowledges are as it were in their inn when in the exterior natural. The natural is two fold, exterior and interior, (n. 5118). When memory-knowledges are in the exterior natural, they communicate directly with the external senses of the body, and there repose and as it were rest upon these senses. Hence it is that this natural is to memory-knowledges an "inn," or place for testing, or for passing the night.
AC 5496. And he saw his silver. That this signifies perception that it was without any ability of their own, is evident from the signification of "seeing," as being to understand and perceive (n. 2150, 2325, 2807, 3764, 3863, 4403-4421, 4567, 4723, 5400); and from the signification of the "silver being restored," as denoting without any power of theirs (n. 5488).
AC 5497. And behold it was in the mouth of his bag. That this signifies that they were bestowed and stored up in the threshold of the exterior natural, is evident from the signification of the "mouth of the bag," as being the threshold of the exterior natural. That they were stored up there is implied, and that they were bestowed follows from what is said before that it was without any ability of their own. As the mouth was the fore part of the sack, therefore nothing else is signified by it than the fore part of the receptacle, thus the exterior natural, for this also is before. A "sack" denotes a receptacle, (n. 5289, 5494). In order that it may be known what the exterior and the interior natural are, it shall be again briefly explained. A boy, being not yet of mature age, cannot think from anything higher than the exterior natural; for he composes his ideas from things of sense. But as he grows up, and from things of sense draws conclusions as to causes, he thereby begins to think from the interior natural; for from things of sense he then forms some truths, which rise above the senses, but still remain within the things that are in nature. But when he becomes a young man, if as he then matures he cultivates his rational, he thus forms reasons from the things in the interior natural, which reasons are truths still higher, and are as it were drawn out from the things in the interior natural. The ideas of thought from these are called in the learned world intellectual and immaterial ideas; while the ideas from the memory-knowledges in both naturals, in so far as from the senses they partake of the world, are called material ideas. In this way man mounts in his understanding from the world toward heaven. But still he does not come into heaven with his understanding unless he receives good from the Lord, which is continually present and flowing in; and if he receives good, truths also are bestowed on him, for in good all truths find their abode; and according as truths are bestowed on him, so also is understanding, by reason of which he is in heaven.
AC 5498. And he said unto his brethren. That this signifies general perception, is evident from the signification of "saying," in the historicals of the Word, as being perception; and from the signification of "unto his brethren," as being what is general, for that which is said to all becomes general.
AC 5499. My silver is restored. That this signifies that there was no aid from them, is evident from the signification of "restoring silver," as being without any ability of theirs, or what is the same thing, that there was no aid from them (n. 5488, 5496).
AC 5500. And lo it is even in my bag. That this signifies that it was in the exterior natural, is evident from the signification of "bag," as being the exterior natural (n. 5497).
AC 5501. And their heart went forth. That this signifies fear; is evident from the signification of the "heart going forth,‘’ as being fear. That the "going forth of the heart" denotes fear, is because the heart palpitates in fear.
AC 5502. And they trembled a man to his brother. That this signifies a general terror, is evident from the signification of "trembling," as being terror; and from the signification of "a man to his brother," as being what is general (n. 5498). The reason why fear is here expressed twice, by the "heart going forth," and by their "trembling," is that one expression has reference to the will, and the other to the understanding; for it is usual in the Word, especially the prophetic, to express one thing twice, merely changing the words. He who does not know the mystery herein might suppose that it is a meaningless repetition; yet this is not so, for one expression refers to good, and the other to truth; and because good is of the will and truth is of the understanding, one refers to the will and the other to the understanding. The reason is that in the Word everything is holy, and the holiness is from the heavenly marriage, which is that of good and truth. Hence it is that heaven is in the Word, and consequently the Lord, who is the all in all things of heaven, insomuch that the Lord is the Word. The double name of the Lord, "Jesus Christ," involves the same; the name "Jesus" expressing the Divine good, and the name "Christ" the Divine truth (n. 3004, 3005, 3008, 3009). Hence it is plain also that the Lord is in all things of the Word, insomuch that He is the Word itself. That a marriage of good and truth, or the heavenly marriage, is in every part of the Word, may be seen above, (n. 683, 793, 801, 2516, 2712, 5138). From this it may also be plainly concluded that man, if he hopes for heaven, must be not only in the truth which is of faith but also in the good which is of charity, and that otherwise there is no heaven in him.
AC 5503. Saying, What is this that God hath done to us? That this signifies on account of so much providence, is evident from the signification of "God‘s doing," as being providence; for everything that God does can be expressed by no other word than providence. The reason of this is that in everything that God or the Lord does there is the eternal and the infinite, and these are in the word "providence." As they were amazed it is therefore signified, on account of so much providence. GENESIS 42:25-28 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|