Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 43:18-23
AC 5646. Verses 18-23. And the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph‘s house; and they said, Over the word of the silver that was returned in our bags in the beginning are we brought; to roll down upon us, and to cast himself upon us, and to take us for servants, and our asses. And they came near to the man that was over Joseph’s house, and they spake unto him at the door of the house, and said, In me, my lord, in coming down we came down in the beginning to buy food; and it came to pass when we came to the inn and we opened our bags, and behold everyone‘s silver in the mouth of his bag, our silver in its weight; and we have brought it back in our hand. And other silver have we brought down in our hand to buy food; we know not who put our silver in our bags. And he said, Peace be to you, fear not; your God, and the God of your father, gave you a hidden gift in your bags; your silver came to me. And he brought Simeon out unto them. "And the men were afraid," signifies a drawing back; "because they were brought to Joseph’s house," signifies because the truths that belonged to the natural were to be adjoined and subjected to the internal; "and they said, Over the word of the silver that was returned in our bags in the beginning are we brought," signifies because truth in the exterior natural appears to be given gratuitously, they were therefore to be in subjection; "to roll down upon us and to cast himself upon us," signifies that on this account they were to be reduced under absolute power; "and to take us for servants and our asses," signifies until whatever is in either natural be as nothing; "and they came near to the man that was over Joseph‘s house," signifies the doctrinals of the church; "and they spake unto him at the door of the house," signifies taking counsel of them about introduction; "and said, In me, my lord," signifies a testifying; "in coming down we came down in the beginning to buy food," signifies a disposition to procure good for truths; "and it came to pass when we came to the inn and we opened our bags," signifies introspection into the exterior natural; "and behold everyone’s silver in the mouth of his bag," signifies that it was clearly seen that truths had been given as it were gratuitously; "our silver in its weight," signifies truths according to each one‘s state; "and we have brought it back in our hand," signifies that what had been given gratuitously would be in submission as far as possible; "and other silver have we brought down in our hand to buy food," signifies that there is a disposition to procure good by means of truth from another source; "we know not who put our silver in our bags," signifies non-belief, from ignorance of the source of truth in the exterior natural; "and he said, Peace be to you, fear not," signifies that it is well, let them not despair; "your God, and the God of your father," signifies the Lord’s Divine Human; "gave you a hidden gift in your bags," signifies that it was from Him without any prudence of theirs; "your silver came to me," signifies that it will seem as truth procured by them; "and he brought Simeon out unto them," signifies that he adjoined will to truths.
AC 5647. And the men were afraid. That this signifies a drawing back, is evident from the signification of "being afraid," as here being a drawing back, namely, from conjunction with the internal. Fear arises from various causes, as from danger of loss of life, of gain, honor, and reputation, also of being brought into some servitude and thus losing freedom and with it the life‘s delight. This is the subject treated of in what now follows; for they were afraid lest they should be adjoined to the internal, and thereby lose their own, and with it their freedom, and with freedom the life’s delight, because this depends on freedom. This is the reason why by "the men were afraid" is signified a drawing back lest they should be adjoined. Here in few words it must be told in advance how the case is with this conjunction, that is, the conjunction of the external or natural man with the internal or spiritual. The external or natural man reigns from life‘s earliest age, and knows not that there is an internal or spiritual man. When therefore the man is being reformed and from being natural or external is beginning to become spiritual or internal, the natural at first rebels, for it is taught that the natural man is to be subjugated, that is, that all its concupiscences together with the things that confirm them are to be rooted out. Hence when the natural man is left to itself, it thinks that in this way it would utterly perish; for it knows no otherwise than that the natural is everything, and it is wholly ignorant that in the spiritual there are things immeasurable and unutterable; and when the natural man so thinks, it draws back and is not willing to be subjected to the spiritual. This is what is here meant by their "fear."
AC 5648. Because they were brought to Joseph’s house. That this signifies because the truths that belong to the natural were to be adjoined and subjected to the internal, is evident from the signification of "being brought to Joseph‘s house," as being to be conjoined and subjected to the internal; for by Joseph is represented the internal, because he represents truth from the Divine, or the celestial of the spiritual (n. 5307, 5331, 5332, 5417, 5469); and by a "house" is signified man’s internal as well as his external (n. 3128, 3538, 4973, 5023), here the internal, as it is called "Joseph‘s house;" and by "being brought" (namely, to the internal) is signified to be adjoined, and therefore to be subjected. The reason is that when the natural is adjoined to the internal, it is then subjected to it; for the command which had before belonged to the natural man, then becomes the spiritual man’s; of which command, of the Lord‘s Divine mercy more will be said in the following pages.
 A few words must here be added in regard to the internal sense. The internal sense of the Word is especially for those who are in the other life. When those who are there are with a man who is reading the Word, they perceive it according to the internal sense, and not according to the external; for they understand no human words, but only the sense of the words, and this not according to the man’s natural thoughts, but according to their thoughts which are spiritual. Into this spiritual sense the natural sense that is with the man is at once transmuted, just as one turns the language of another into his own which is different, doing it in an instant. So is the sense of natural human thought turned into spiritual, for spiritual language or speech is proper to the angels, and natural language or speech to men. That there is so sudden a change of as it were one language into the other, is because there is a correspondence of each and all things in the natural world with those in the spiritual world.
 Now as the internal sense of the Word is chiefly for those who are in the spiritual world, therefore such things are here mentioned in the internal sense as are for them, and as are pleasant and delightful to them. Yet the more interior such things are, the more remote are they from the apprehension of men to whom only those things which are of the world and the body are pleasant and delightful; and when this is the case, they hold in contempt the spiritual things that belong to the internal sense, and also loathe them. Let everyone explore within himself whether the things contained in the internal sense of the verses that now follow are worthless and distasteful to him, when yet they are what the angelic societies take the greatest delight in. From this it may be plain to one who reflects what a difference there is between the delights of men and the delights of angels, and also in what things the angels vest wisdom, and in what men vest it - that the angels vest wisdom in such things as man thinks worthless and holds in aversion, and that man vests wisdom in such things as the angels care nothing about, and many in such things as the angels reject and shun.
AC 5649. And they said, Over the word of the silver that was returned in our bags in the beginning are we brought. That this signifies that because truth in the exterior natural appears to be given gratuitously, they were therefore to be in subjection, is evident from the signification of the "silver being returned," as being truth bestowed gratuitously, (n. 5530, 5624); from the signification of a "" as being the threshold of the exterior natural (n. 5497); and from the signification of "being brought," as being to be adjoined or subjected (n. 5648).
 The case herein is this. As it was perceived that the truths of memory-knowledge in the exterior natural were given gratuitously, and would therefore be enticed to conjoin themselves with the internal, and thereby be in subjection to it, they would as just said be deprived of their freedom, and thereby of all the delight of life. That this is the case, namely, that it is perceived that truths of memory-knowledge are bestowed gratuitously, and this in the natural mind whether exterior or interior, is quite unknown to man. The reason is that he is in no such perception; for he does not at all know what is bestowed on him gratuitously, still less what is stored up in the exterior natural, and what in the interior. The reason why he has not this perception is usually because worldly and earthly things are dear to him, and not celestial and spiritual things; and therefore he does not believe in any influx through heaven from the Lord, thus not at all that anything is given him; when yet all the truth that he rationally infers from memory-knowledges, and supposes to be of his own ability, is such as is given him. Still less can man perceive whether it is placed in the exterior natural or in the interior, because he is ignorant that the natural is twofold, namely the outer which draws near to the external senses, and the inner which draws back from them and turns to the rational.
 As man knows nothing about either the one or the other, he can therefore have no perception about such things; for the knowledge of a thing must come first in order that there may be a perception of it. Yet the angelic societies know and perceive these things well and clearly, not only what is bestowed on them gratuitously, but also where it is, as may be seen from the following experience. When any spirit who is in good, and hence in ability, comes into an angelic society, he comes at the same time into all the memory-knowledge and intelligence the society has, and in which he had not been before; and he then knows no otherwise than that he had known and understood it so before, and from himself. But when he reflects, he perceives that it is gratuitously bestowed on him through that angelic society by the Lord; and he also knows from the angelic society where it is, whether in the exterior or in the interior natural. For there are angelic societies that are in the exterior natural, and there are others that are in the interior natural. Yet the natural which belongs to them is not such a natural as man has; but it is a spiritual natural, which has become spiritual by having been conjoined and subjected to the spiritual.
 From all this it is evident that the things here related in the internal sense take place actually so in the other life, namely, that they perceive what is given them gratuitously, as well as where it is stored up, although man at this day knows nothing of such things. But in ancient times they who were of the church knew such things, being taught them by their memory-knowledges and by their doctrinals. They were interior men; but since those times men have become successively more external, insomuch that at this day they are in the body, thus in the outermost. A sign of this is that they do not even know what the spiritual and the internal are, nor believe in their existence. Nay, to such an outermost in the body have they gone away from interior things, that they do not even believe that there is a life after death, nor that there is a heaven or a hell. Nay, by receding from interior things they have gone to such an outermost, and have become so stupid in spiritual things, as to believe that man‘s life is like that of beasts, and therefore that man will die in like manner; and strange to say the learned believe so more than the simple, and anyone who believes differently is accounted by them a simpleton.
AC 5650. To roll down upon us and to cast himself upon us. That this signifies that on this account they were to be reduced under absolute power, is evident from the signification of "rolling down upon" anyone, as being to present him as culpable; and from the signification of "casting one’s self upon" anyone, as being to reduce him under power, here absolute power, for it follows "and to take us for servants, and our asses." The case herein is that before the natural man is conjoined with the spiritual, or the external with the internal, he is left to think whether he desires to get rid of the concupiscences arising from the love of self and of the world, together with the things by which he has defended them, and to yield the command to the spiritual or internal man. He is left to think this in order that he may be free to choose what he will. When the natural man apart from the spiritual thinks about this, he rejects it; for he loves his concupiscences because he loves himself and the world. Hence he becomes anxious, and supposes that if these were got rid of he would have no life left, for he vests everything in the natural or external man; or supposes that afterward he could do nothing of himself, and all that he would think, will, and do, would flow in through heaven, thus that he would not be his own master any longer. When the natural man on being left to himself is in this state, he draws back and resists. But when some light flows into his natural through heaven from the Lord, he begins to thinks differently, namely, that it is better for the spiritual man to have the supremacy, because thereby he can think and will what is good, and so can come into heaven, but not if the natural man were to rule. And when he reflects that all the angels in the universal heaven are of this character, and that they are consequently in unspeakable joy, he then fights with the natural man, and at last desires it to be subordinated to the spiritual man. In this state is the man placed who is to be regenerated, in order that he may be in freedom to turn whither he will; and so far as he turns to this in freedom, so far he is being regenerated. All this is treated of here in the internal sense.
AC 5651. And take us for servants, and our asses. That this signifies until whatever is in both naturals be as nothing, is evident from the representation of Jacob‘s ten sons, who say this of themselves, as being truths in the natural (n. 5403, 5419, 5427, 5458, 5512); and from the signification of "servants," as being things of slight importance (n. 2541), here of none at all; and from the signification of "asses," as being things in the natural which are memory-knowledges (n. 5492), here in the exterior natural, because the truths signified by "Jacob’s sons" are in the interior natural.
 In regard to whatever is in both naturals being as nothing the case is this. In order that a man may become spiritual, his natural must become as nothing, that is, be able to do nothing whatever of itself, because in so far as the natural is able of itself, so far the spiritual is not able; for the natural has imbibed from infancy nothing else than the things of the cupidities of self and of the world, thus those which are contrary to charity. These evils prevent the influx of good through the internal man from the Lord, for whatever flows in is turned in the natural into evil, the natural being the plane in which the influx terminates. And therefore unless the natural (that is, the evil and falsity which have formed it) becomes as nothing, good cannot possibly flow in through heaven from the Lord. It has no abiding place, but is dissipated; for it cannot stay in evil and falsity. It is for this reason that the internal is closed so long as the natural does not become as nothing. This also is known in the church from the doctrine that the old man must be put off in order that the new may be put on.
 Regeneration is nothing else than that the natural be subjugated, and the spiritual obtain the dominion; and the natural is subjugated when it is reduced to correspondence. When the natural has been reduced to correspondence, it does not react any more, but acts as it is commanded, and obeys the spiritual, almost as the acts of the body obey the behest of the will, and as the speech, together with the expression of the face, conforms to the influx of the thought. From this it is plain that for a man to become spiritual the natural must needs become as nothing whatever in respect to willing.
 But be it known that it is the old natural that must become as nothing, because this has been formed from evils and falsities; and when it has become as nothing the man is then gifted with a new natural, which is called the spiritual natural-spiritual from the fact that the spiritual is what acts through it, and manifests itself through it, as the cause through the effect. It is known that the cause is everything of the effect. Hence the new natural in its thinking, willing, and producing effect, is nothing else than the representative of the spiritual. When this comes to pass the man receives good from the Lord; and when he receives good he is gifted with truths; and when he is gifted with truths he is perfected in intelligence and wisdom; and when he is perfected in intelligence and wisdom he is blessed with happiness to eternity.
AC 5652. And they came near to the man that was over Joseph‘s house. That this signifies the doctrinals of the church, is evident from the signification of the "man over Joseph’s house," as being that which is of the external church (n. 5640), thus doctrine, for this is of the church. Moreover by "man" is signified truth, and thus doctrine (n. 3134), and by a "house," the church (n. 1795) and as "Joseph" is the internal (n. 5469), "Joseph‘s house" is the internal church. Doctrine from the Word is what is over this house, in being of service and in ministering.
AC 5653. And they spake unto him at the door of the house. That this signifies taking counsel of them about introduction, is evident from the signification of "speaking to the man over Joseph’s house," as being to take counsel of them, namely, of doctrinals; and from the signification of the "door of the house," as being introduction (n. 2356, 2385), here from the natural or external man to the spiritual or internal, which is the subject treated of. As this is signified, it is not said in the original "at the door of the house," but "the door of the house."
AC 5654. And said, In me, my lord. That this signifies a testifying, is evident from this very form of speech, as being one of testifying, namely, that they will tell the truth about the silver that was found in the mouth of everyone‘s bag.
AC 5655. In coming down we came down in the beginning to buy food. That this signifies a disposition to procure good for truths, is evident from the signification of "coming down," as being a disposition or an intention; for he who comes down or betakes himself anywhere, does so from a disposition, here to procure good for truths, signified by "to buy food;" for by "buying" is signified procuring and appropriating (n. 5374, 5397, 5406, 5414, 5426), and by "food," the good of truth (n. 5340, 5342), here good for the truths represented by Jacob’s sons, who say this of themselves.
AC 5656. And it came to pass when we came to the inn and we opened our bags. That this signifies introspection into the exterior natural, is evident from the signification of an "inn," as being the exterior natural in general (n. 5495); and from the signification of "opening," as being introspection, for he who opens does so for the sake of looking in; and from the signification of a "bag," as being specifically the exterior natural (n. 5497).)
AC 5657. And behold everyones silver in the mouth of his bag. That this signifies that it was clearly seen that truths had been given as it were gratuitously, is evident from the signification of "everyone‘s silver in his bag," as being truths given gratuitously (n. 5530, 5624). It is similar with "everyone’s silver in the mouth of his bag," with the difference that by this are signified the truths that had been given gratuitously, and that had been stored up in the threshold of the exterior natural; for by the "mouth of the bag" is signified the threshold of the exterior natural (n. 5497). As it were given gratuitously is here signified because they are in a state of doubt as to whether they would be willing to be conjoined with the internal and become as nothing; and when anyone is in a state of doubt, he feels doubtful also about the truths which confirm.
AC 5658. Our silver in its weight. That this signifies truths according to each one‘s state, is evident from the signification of "silver," as being truth (n. 1551, 2954); and from the signification of "weight," as being the state of a thing as to good (n. 3104); thus "truths according to each one’s state" is according to the good they are capable of receiving. Weights and measures are mentioned in many passages of the Word yet in the internal sense they do not signify weights and measures; but weights signify the states of a thing as to good, and measures the states of a thing as to truth. So also do heaviness and extension; heaviness in the natural world corresponds to good in the spiritual world, and extension to truth. The reason is that in heaven, which is the source of correspondences, there is no heaviness and no extension, because there is no space. Things indeed appear heavy and extended among spirits; but these are appearances arising from states of good and truth in a higher heaven.
 That "silver" signifies truth was very well known in ancient times. Hence the ancients distinguished the several ages of the world from the first to the last into the golden, the silver, the copper, and the iron ages, to which they added an age of clay. They called those times the golden ages when there was innocence and wholeness, and when everyone did what was good from good, and what was just from justice. They called those times the silver ages when there was no longer innocence, but still a kind of wholeness that consisted not in doing good from good, but in doing truth from truth; and they gave the name of copper and iron to the ages which are yet lower.
 That they so designated these periods was not from comparison, but from correspondence; for the ancients knew that silver corresponds to truth, and gold to good, and this by communication with spirits and angels. For when good is spoken about in a higher heaven, there is an appearance of gold below among those who are beneath them in the first or lowest heaven; and when truth is spoken of, there is an appearance of silver; sometimes so that not only the walls of the rooms where they dwell sparkle with gold and silver, but also the very atmosphere. Tables of gold also, golden lampstands, and many other things, appear with the angels of the first or ultimate heaven who are in good from good; while to those who are in truth from truth, such objects appear of silver. Yet who at the present day knows that it was from their correspondence that the ancients called these the gold and silver ages? Indeed who at this day knows anything about correspondence? And he who does not know this, and still more he who makes pleasure and wisdom consist in disputing whether it is or is not so, cannot know the least of the countless things that belong to correspondence.
AC 5659. And we have brought it back in our hand. That this signifies that what had been given gratuitously would be in submission as far as possible, is evident from the signification of "bringing back," as here being to submit; and from the signification of "in our hand," as being as far as possible (n. 5624). Its having been given gratuitously is signified by the "silver in the mouth of the bag which they had brought back" (n. 5657).
AC 5660. And other silver have we brought down in our hand to buy food. That this signifies that there is a disposition to procure good by means of truth from another source, is evident from the signification of "silver," as being truth (n. 5657); and as by "silver" is signified truth, by the "other silver" is signified other truth, consequently truth from another source (as there is no genuine truth but that which is from the Lord, who bestows it gratuitously, so truth itself is from no other source); and from the signification of "bringing down," as being a disposition for procuring, namely, the good of truth which is signified by the corn they were to buy. The historical sense of the letter implies that the other silver also came to Joseph to buy food from him, and therefore did not come from any other source. But the internal sense does not abide in the historical sense of the letter, for which it does not care, but abides in the subject that is being treated of; and the subject is, that if they were to be subjected as servants because some truths in the exterior natural had been bestowed gratuitously, they would procure good by means of truth from some other source. Such also is the series in the internal sense, for it is presently said, "We know not who put our silver in our bags," by which is signified that they would not believe, because they did not know what was the source of the truth in the exterior natural.
 Something similar takes place in the other life with spirits who are being initiated into good by means of truths, and especially into this one - that all good and truth flow in from the Lord. When they perceive that everything they think and will flows into them, thus that they have no power to think and to will from themselves, they resist as much as they can, believing that if this were so they would have no life of their own, and thereby that all delight would perish, for they vest this in what is their own. Besides, if they cannot do good or believe truth of themselves, they suppose they should let go their hands, doing and thinking nothing from themselves, and should wait for influx. They are permitted to think so, even to the extent of almost coming to the conclusion that they do not desire to receive good and truth from this source, but from some other by which there would not be such a loss of what is their own; and sometimes it is given their to inquire where they may find it. Yet afterward when they find it nowhere, those who are being regenerated come back, and in freedom choose to be led by the Lord in their willing and thinking. They are then informed that they bill receive an own that is heavenly, such as angels have, and with this own, also blessedness and happiness to eternity.
 As regards the own that is heavenly, this comes forth from the new will that is given by the Lord, and differs from the man‘s own in the fact that they who have it no longer regard themselves in each and all things they do, and in each and all things they learn or teach; but they then have regard to the neighbor, the public, the church, the Lord’s kingdom, and thereby to the Lord Himself. It is the ends of life that are changed. The ends that look to lower things, that is, to self and the world, are removed, and ends that look to higher things are substituted in their place. The ends of life are nothing else than the man‘s life itself, for they are his very will and loves, because what a man loves he wills and has for his end. He who is gifted with an own that is heavenly is also in quietude and in peace; for he trusts in the Lord, and believes that nothing of evil will reach him, and knows that concupiscences will not infest him. And besides, they who are in the heavenly own are in freedom itself; for to be led by the Lord is freedom, because they are led in good, by good, to good. From this it is evident that they are in blessedness and happiness, for there is nothing that disturbs them, nothing of the love of self, consequently nothing of enmity, hatred, and revenge; nor is there anything of the love of the world, consequently nothing of fraud, of fear, of unrest.
AC 5661. We know not who put our silver in our bags. That this signifies non-belief, from ignorance of the source of truth in the exterior natural, is evident from the signification of "not knowing," as being in the spiritual sense not believing or non-belief; from the signification of "who put," as being ignorance from what source; from the signification of "silver," as being truth (n. 5658); and from the signification of a "bag," as being the exterior natural (n. 5497).
AC 5662. And he said, Peace be to you, fear not. That this signifies that it is well, let them not despair, is evident from the signification of "peace," as being to be well; and from the signification of "fear not," as being let them not despair. For the internal sense treats of a change of state, in that they no longer procure truths and through them good by their own power; but are presented with them from the Lord. And because they supposed that they would thus lose their own, thus freedom, and consequently all the delight of life, they were in despair, as is plain from what has gone before. Hence it is that "fear not" here signifies let them not despair; for fear arises from various causes (n. 5647), and therefore also signifies various things.
 That "peace" denotes it is well, is because it is the inmost, and hence the universally reigning thing, in each and all things in heaven; for peace in heaven is like spring on earth, or like the dawn, which does not affect us by sensible changes, but by a universal pleasantness that flows into everything that is perceived, and fills with this pleasantness not only the perception itself but also the several objects. At the present day scarcely anyone knows the meaning of "peace" where mentioned in the Word, as in the benediction, "Jehovah lift up His faces upon thee, and give thee peace" (Num. 6:26); and in other places. Almost everyone believes peace to be security from enemies, and also tranquillity at home and among companions. Such peace is not meant in this passage, but a peace which immeasurably transcends it - the heavenly peace just now spoken of. This peace can be bestowed on no one unless he is led by the Lord and is in the Lord, that is, in heaven where the Lord is all in all; for heavenly peace flows in when the cupidities arising from the love of self and the love of the world are taken away. These are what take peace away, for they infest man’s interiors, and at last cause him to make rest consist in unrest, and peace in annoyances, because his delight is in evils. So long as man is in these he cannot possibly know what peace is, nay, he so long believes that such peace is nothing; and if anyone says that it becomes perceptible when the delights from the love of self and the world are taken away, he laughs, because he makes peace consist in the delight of evil, which is the opposite of peace.
 Because such is the nature of peace, namely, the inmost of all happinesses and blessednesses, and hence the universal that reigns in them all, therefore the ancients used as a common form of speech the words, "Peace be unto you," when they meant that it be well; and asked whether people "had peace" when they meant "is it well?" See what has been said and shown above in regard to peace, namely: That peace in heaven is like spring and the dawn on earth (n. 1726, 2780): That peace in the supreme sense is the Lord, in the representative sense His kingdom, and that it is the Lord‘s Divine affecting with good from the inmost (n. 3780, 4681): That all unrest is from evil and falsity, but peace from good and truth (n. 3170).
AC 5663. Your God, and the God of your father. That this signifies the Lord’s Divine Human, may be seen from the fact that where "God" or "Jehovah" is mentioned in the Word, the Lord and no one else is meant (n. 1343, 1736, 2921, 3035); and when it is said "your God and the God of your father," that is, the God of Israel and of Jacob and his sons, it means the Lord‘s Divine Human, and indeed as to the Divine natural (n. 3305, 4286, 4570); for Israel represented the Lord as to the interior natural, Jacob as to the exterior, and his sons as to the truths in this natural.
 That the Lord was meant in the Word by "God" and "Jehovah," the Jewish Church did not know, nor does the Christian Church know it at this day. That the Christian Church has not known it, is because it has distinguished the Divinity into three persons. But the Ancient Church which was after the flood, and above all the Most Ancient Church which was before the flood, understood by "Jehovah" and "God" no other than the Lord, and Him indeed as to His Divine Human. They also knew about the Divine Itself which is in the Lord, and which He calls His "Father,’ yet they were not able to think about that Divine Itself which is in the Lord, but about the Divine Human, and consequently could not be conjoined with any other Divine; for conjunction is effected through thought which is of the understanding and affection which is of the will, thus through faith and through love. For if we think of the Divine Itself, the thought falls as it were into a boundless universe, and thus is dissipated, whence there is no conjunction. It is otherwise when the Divine Itself is thought of as the Divine Human. And the ancients knew that they could not be saved unless they were conjoined with the Divine.
 Therefore it was the Divine Human that the Ancient Churches worshiped; and Jehovah also manifested Himself to them in the Divine Human. The Divine Human was the Divine Itself in heaven; for heaven constitutes one man, which is called the Grand Man, as his been heretofore shown at the end of the chapters. This Divine in heaven is none other than the Divine Itself, but in heaven it is as a Divine Man. This Man is what the Lord took on and made Divine in Him, and united it to the Divine Itself as it had been united from eternity; for from eternity there was a one. He did this because mankind could not otherwise have been saved; for it was no longer sufficient for the Divine Itself to be able, through heaven and thus through the Divine Human itself there, to flow into human minds; wherefore the Divine Itself willed to unite the Divine Human to itself actually by the Human taken on in the world. The one and the other is the Lord.
AC 5664. Gave you a hidden gift in your bags. That this signifies that it was from Him without any prudence of theirs, is evident from the signification of a "hidden gift," as being the truth and good that are given by the Lord without the man‘s knowing it; and from the signification of "silver brought back in the sacks or bags," as being without any ability of theirs (n. 5488, 5496, 5499). From this it is plain that by "gave you a hidden gift in your bags" is signified that from Him, namely from the Lord’s Divine Human, is truth and good in the natural without any ability of theirs; and because it is without their ability, it is without their prudence. The word "prudence" is used, because prudence corresponds to providence, and that which is of the Divine providence is not of man‘s prudence.
AC 5664a. Your silver came to me. That this signifies that it will seem as truth procured by them, is evident from the signification of "silver," as being truth (n. 1551, 2954). Their "silver coming to him" means that they bought, and thus that they themselves procured; for "to buy" is to procure (n. 5655). Thus by "your silver came to me" is signified truth procured by them; but as the truth which is of faith is never procured by any man, but is insinuated and given by the Lord, and yet seems as if acquired by man, it is said that it will seem as truth procured by them.
 It is known in the church that truth is insinuated and given by the Lord; for it is taught that faith is not from man but from God; thus not only confidence, but also the truths of faith are from Him. Still it appears as if the truths of faith were procured by the man, for he is profoundly ignorant that they flow in, because he does not perceive it. The reason why he does not perceive it is that his interiors are closed, so that he cannot have perceptible communication with spirits and angels; and when the interiors are closed the man can know nothing whatever about influx.
 Be it known however that it is one thing to know the truths of faith, and quite another to believe them. They who merely know the truths of faith, charge their memory with them just as they do with the facts of any other branch of knowledge. These truths man can procure for himself without such an influx, but they have no life, as is plain from the fact that an evil man, even the worst, can know the truths of faith just as much as an upright and pious man. But as before said with the evil these truths have no life; for when an evil man brings them forth he regards in everyone of them either self-glory or gain; so that it is the love of self and of the world that inflates them and makes a sort of life but it is such life as there is in hell, which is called spiritual death. Hence it is that when he brings them forth, he brings them forth from the memory, and not from the heart; whereas he who believes the truths of faith brings them forth from the heart at the same time as from the lips; for with him the truths of faith are so deeply rooted in as to have their root in the outer memory, and to grow from there toward what is interior or higher, like fruit-bearing trees; and like trees they deck themselves with leaves, and at last with blossoms, for the sake of the end of bearing fruit. So it is with such a man.
 He also aims at nothing else through the truths of faith than uses, which are the practices of charity, which to him are the fruits. These are the truths which man cannot procure for himself, even in the smallest degree; but they are gratuitously bestowed on him by the Lord, and this in every moment of his life, nay, if he will believe it, without number in every moment. But as man is of such a nature as to have no perception of their flowing in, for as before said if he had the perception he would resist, because he would believe that he would then lose his own, and with his own his freedom, and with his freedom his delight, and would thus become a thing of nought, it is therefore brought about that man does not know but that he procures truths of himself. This then is what is meant by saying that it will seem as truth procured by them. Moreover in order that a heavenly own and heavenly freedom may be bestowed on man, he must needs do good as of himself and think what is true as of himself; but when he reflects he should acknowledge that these are from the Lord (n. 2882, 2883, 2891).
AC 5665. And he brought Simeon out unto them. That this signifies that he adjoined will to truths, is evident from the representation of Simeon, as being faith in the will, or the will to do the truth which is of faith (n. 3869-3872, 4497, 4502, 4503, 5482); and from the representation of the sons of Jacob, who are they unto whom he brought out Simeon, as being the truths of the church in the natural (n. 5403, 5419, 5427, 5458, 5512). From this it is plain that his "bringing Simeon out unto them" signifies that he adjoined will to truths. GENESIS 43:18-23 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|