Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 46:5-7
AC 6009. Verses 5-7. And Jacob rose up from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their babes, and their women, in the carts which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. And they took their cattle, and their acquisition which they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him: his sons, and his sons‘ son’s with him, his daughters, and his sons‘ daughters, and all his seed, brought he with him into Egypt. "And Jacob rose up," signifies the enlightening of natural truth; "from Beersheba," signifies from the doctrine of charity and faith; "and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father," signifies that truths which are spiritual caused natural truth to advance; "and their babes," signifies together with those things which are of innocence; "and their women," signifies and those things which are of charity; "in the carts which Pharaoh had sent to carry him," signifies doctrinals from the memory-knowledges of the church; "and they took their cattle," signifies the goods of truth; "and their acquisition which they had acquired in the land of Canaan," signifies truths procured from prior truths which are of the church; "and came into Egypt," signifies initiation into the memory-knowledges of the church; "Jacob, and all his seed with him," signifies of natural truth and of all things of faith appertaining thereto; "his sons, and his sons’ sons with him," signifies truths in order; "his daughters, and his sons‘ daughters," signifies goods in order; "and all his seed," signified everything of faith and of charity; "brought he with him into Egypt," signifies that they were brought into the memory-knowledges which are of the church.
AC 6010. And Jacob rose up. That this signifies the enlightening of natural truth, is evident from the signification of "rising up," as being elevation into a state of light, thus an enlightening (n. 4881); and from the representation of Jacob, as being natural truth (n. 6001).
AC 6011. From Beersheba. That this signifies from the doctrine of faith and of charity, is evident from the signification of "Beersheba," as being the doctrine of faith and charity (n. 2858, 2859, 3466).)
AC 6012. And the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father. That this signifies that truths which are spiritual caused natural truth to advance, is evident from the representation of the sons of Israel, as being spiritual truths (n. 5414, 5879); and from the representation of Jacob, as being natural truth (n. 3305, 3509, 3525, 3546, 3599, 3775, 4009, 4234, 4520, 4538). The reason why "they carried" denotes that they caused to advance, is that it is predicated of spiritual truths relatively to natural truth, and natural truth cannot be advanced from any other source than spiritual truth, for its life and force of acting are thence derived. It is for this reason that the sons of Jacob are here called the "sons of Israel," and that Jacob is called "Jacob."
AC 6013. And their babes. That this signifies together with those things which are of innocence, is evident from the signification of "babes," as being innocence (n. 3183, 5608). It is said "with those things which are of innocence," also "which are of charity," for the reason that without innocence and charity, natural truth cannot be caused to advance by spiritual truths; for in order that truth may be genuine, it must derive its essence and life from charity, and charity from innocence. For the interior things which vivify truth succeed one another in the following order: inmost is innocence; next lower is charity; and lowest is work of charity from truth or according to truth. The reason why they succeed one another in this order is that they so succeed one another in the heavens. For the inmost or third heaven is the heaven of innocence; the middle or second heaven is the heaven of charity, within which is innocence from the inmost heaven; and the ultimate or first heaven is the heaven of truth, within which is charity from the second heaven, and within this is innocence from the third. All these must be in the same order with man, for in respect to his interiors man is formed after the image of the three heavens; and therefore a regenerated man is a heaven in particular or in the least form But in respect to his exteriors, especially the body, he is formed after the image of the world, and therefore he was called by the ancients a microcosm. For the ear is formed after the whole nature of air and sound; the eye after the whole nature of ether and light; the tongue after the whole sense of the solvent and fluent parts in liquids; the nostrils after the sense of things fluent in the atmosphere; the touch after the sense of cold and heat, also of things of the earth that have weight; and so on. As man’s external senses are formed after the whole image of the natural world, so his internal senses, which belong to his understanding and will, are formed after the whole image of heaven, to the end that every man may be in particular a recipient of Divine good from the Lord, as heaven is in general.
AC 6014. And their women. That this signifies and those things which are of charity, is evident from the signification of "women," as being goods, when their "men" are truths (n. 4823), consequently the things which are of charity; for all spiritual goods are of charity toward the neighbor, and all celestial goods are of love to the Lord.
AC 6015. In the carts which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. That this signifies doctrinals from the memory-knowledges of the church, is evident from the signification of "carts," as being doctrinal things (n. 5945); and from the representation of Pharaoh, as being the memory-knowledge of the church in general; for by "Egypt" is signified the memory-knowledge of the church (n. 1462, 4749, 4964, 4966), and therefore by its "king" is signified this memory-knowledge in general, as also elsewhere in the Word; but in most passages, as by "Egypt," so also by "Pharaoh," is signified perverted memory-knowledge. That "Pharaoh" is memory-knowledge in general, is evident in Isaiah:--
Fools are the princes of Zoan, the wise ones of the counselors of Pharaoh; counsel has become brutish; how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of the kings of antiquity? (Isa. 19:11);
here "Pharaoh" is the memory-knowledge of the church in general, and therefore he is called the "son of the wise," and the "son of the kings of antiquity;" the "wise," and the "kings of antiquity," denote the truths of the Ancient Church. But such knowledge made foolishness is here meant, for‘ it is said, "fools are the princes of Zoan; the counsel is become brutish."
They depart to go down into Egypt, but they have not asked at My mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt. Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh become to you for a shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt for a reproach (Isa. 30:2, 3);
"to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt" denotes to trust to memory’ knowledges in the things of faith, and not to have faith in any spiritual truth, unless memory-knowledge and what is sensuous dictate it, which nevertheless is of perverted order; for the truths of faith ought to be in the first place, and confirming memory-knowledges in the second place, because if these are in the first place nothing whatever of truth is believed.
 In Jeremiah:--
Hath said Jehovah Zebaoth the God of Israel, Behold I visit upon Amon in No, and upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt, and upon its gods, and upon its kings; especially upon Pharaoh, and them that trust in him (Jer. 46:25);
here also "Pharaoh" denotes memory-knowledge in general; "they that trust in him" are those who trust in memory-knowledges, but not in the Word, that is, in the Lord in the Word. Thus everything is perverted in the doctrinals of faith, and hence comes falsity, and also denial that the Divine and heavenly is anything. Such especially are in the habit of saying, "Make me see these things with the eye, or show me scientifically that it is so, and then I will believe." And yet if they were to see, and if it were shown, they would not believe, because what is negative reigns universally.
 In the same:--
Against Pharaoh: Behold waters rise up from the north, which shall become an overflowing stream, and shall overflow the land and the fulness thereof, the city and them that dwell therein; so that the men shall cry, and all the inhabitant of the land shall howl, at the voice of the stamping of the hoofs of his strong horses, and at the tumult of his chariot, the rumbling of his wheels (Jer. 47:1, 2, 3);
from each of the things here said about Pharaoh, it is clear that "Pharaoh" is memory-knowledge in general, here in perverted order, which destroys the truths of faith. An "overflowing stream" is memory-knowledge destroying the understanding of truth, and thus vastating; "they shall overflow the land and the fulness thereof" denotes that this is done to the whole church; "the city and them that dwell therein" denotes to the truth of the church and the good thence derived; "the stamping of the hoofs of the horses" denotes the lowest memory-knowledges, which are direct from things of sense; "the tumult of the chariot" denotes the derivative false doctrine; "the rumbling of the wheels" denotes things of sense and their fallacies, which cause to advance.
 In Ezekiel:--
Hath said the Lord Jehovah; Behold I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great whale that lieth in the midst of his rivers, that saith, The river is mine, and I have made myself. Therefore I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick to thy scales (Ezek. 29:3, 4);
here also "Pharaoh" denotes memory-knowledge in general, as in like manner is evident from all that is said of him.
Take up a lamentation upon Pharaoh king of Egypt. Thou art as whales in the seas; and thou hast come forth with thy streams, and troubled the waters with thy feet, and fouled their streams. When I shall extinguish thee I will cover the heavens, and make the stars thereof black; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not make her light to shine; all the luminaries of light will I make black over thee, and will set darkness upon thy land (Ezek. 32:2, 3, 7, 8);
that these things, like many in the prophets, cannot be comprehended by anyone without the internal sense, is evident, as that Pharaoh is as whales in the seas, that he came forth from his streams, and troubled the waters with his feet; that over him the heavens should be covered, the stars should be made black, and all the luminaries of light; that the sun should be covered with a cloud, the moon not give her light, and darkness be set upon his land. But the internal sense teaches what these things signify, namely, that memory-knowledges pervert the truths of the church if a man enters by their means into the secrets of faith and believes nothing unless he sees it from them, nay, unless he sees it from things of sense. That this is the internal sense is evident from the explication of each expression.
 Pharaoh is called "king of Eat" from memory-truth; for memory-knowledge is truth in the natural. A "king" denotes truth, (n. 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044), and the king of a people has the like signification as the people (n. 4789). Thus "Pharaoh" has the like signification as "Egypt," but in general. That "Egypt" is memory-knowledge has been frequently shown. Pharaoh is compared to "whales in the seas," because a "whale" or "sea-monster" signifies the generals of memory-knowledges (n. 42), and "seas" signify collections of memory-knowledges (n. 28). It is also said that he "came forth with his streams," because by "streams" are signified the things of intelligence (n. 108, 109, 2702, 3051), here of insanity, because derived from things of sense and memory-knowledges (n. 5196). It is then said that he "troubled the waters with his feet, and fouled their streams," because by "waters" are signified spiritual truths (n. 680, 739, 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976, 5668), and by "feet," the things of the natural (n. 2162, 3147, 3761, 3986, 4280, 4938-4952) thus "to trouble the waters with his feet" denotes to defile and pervert the truths of faith through the memory-knowledges of the natural; and "to foul their streams" is to do thus to intelligence.
 It is finally said that "when he shall be extinguished the heavens shall be covered," because by the "heavens" are signified the interiors of man, since these are indeed his heavens. These are closed when memory-knowledges have dominion over the truths of faith, or the natural over the spiritual. That then the knowledges of truth and of good perish, is signified by the words, "I will make the stars of the heavens black, and all the luminaries of light". The "stars" are these knowledges (n. 2495, 2849, 4697); and "luminaries" are goods and truths, (n. 30-38). That then neither can the good of love any more flow in, is signified by "I will cover the sun with a cloud;" and that neither can the good of faith flow in, is signified by "the moon shall not make her light to shine". The "sun" is the good of love, and the "moon" the good of faith, (n. 1529, 1530, 2120, 2495, 3636, 3643, 4060, 4696). And that thus only falsities will have possession of the natural mind, is signified by "I will set darkness upon thy land". "Darkness" is falsities, (n. 1839, 1860, 4418, 4531); and the "land of Pharaoh" or the "land of Egypt" is the natural mind, (n. 5276, 5278, 5280, 5288, 5301). From all this it is now evident what is the sense contained in these prophetic words. As by "Pharaoh" is signified memory-knowledge in general, by him is also signified the natural in general (n. 5799).
AC 6016. And they took their cattle. That this signifies the goods of truth, is evident from the signification of "cattle," as being the good of truth; for by "cattle" are meant both flocks and herds, and also horses, camels, mules, and asses. And as "flocks" in the internal sense are interior goods, and "herds" exterior goods, but "horses," "camels," "mules," and "asses" such things as are of the intellectual, all of which bear relation to truths, therefore by " cattle" is signified the good of truth.
AC 6017. And their acquisition which they had acquired in the land of Canaan. That this signifies truths procured from prior truths which are of the church, is evident from the signification of "acquisition," as being truth procured (n. 4105), and also good procured (n. 4391, 448); and from the signification of the "land of Canaan," as being the church (n. 3686, 3705, 4447, 4517, 5136). That they were procured from prior truths of the church, follows, because when truths multiply themselves from good, they are multiplied from prior truths.
AC 6018. And came into Egypt. That this signifies initiation into the memory-knowledges of the church, is evident from the signification of "coming" or "going down, into Egypt," as being the initiation of truth into the memory-knowledges of the church (n. 6004).
AC 6019. Jacob, and all his seed with him. That this signifies of natural truth and of all things of faith appertaining thereto (that is, their initiation into the memory-knowledges of the church), is evident from the representation of Jacob, as being natural truth (n. 3305, 3509, 3525, 3546, 3599, 3775, 4009, 4234, 4520, 4538); and from the signification of "seed," as being the faith of charity (n. 255, 1025, 1447, 1610, 1940, 2848, 3310). Thus "all his seed with him" denotes all things of faith appertaining to natural truth.
AC 6020. His sons, and his sons‘ sons, with him. That this signifies truths in their order, is evident from the signification of "sons," as being truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 3373), thus also "sons’ sons," but truths which are from the former in their order.
AC 6021. His daughters, and his sons‘ daughters. That this signifies goods in order, is evident from the signification of "daughters," as being goods (n. 489-491, 2362, 3963), thus also "sons’ daughters," but the goods which are from the former, thus in their order as in the case of the sons.
AC 6022. And all his seed. That this signifies everything of faith and of charity, is evident from the signification of "seed," as being the faith of charity (n. 6019), thus both faith and charity; for where the one is, there is the other.
AC 6023. Brought he with him into Egypt. That this signifies that they were brought into the memory-knowledges of the church, is evident from the signification of "coming" or "going down, into Egypt," as being to initiate and bring truths into the memory-knowledges of the church (n. 6004, 6018). The same is also signified by "bringing with him into Egypt" (n. 5373, 6004). Truths are initiated and brought in when memory-knowledges are ruled by truths; and they are ruled by truths when truth is acknowledged because the Lord has so said in the Word, and the memory-knowledges which affirm it are accepted, but those which oppose it are removed. Thus truth becomes lord over those memory-knowledges which are affirmative of it, while those not affirmative are rejected. When this is the case, then the man in thinking from memory-knowledges is not led into falsities, as is the case where truths are not within. For memory-knowledges are not true from themselves, but from the truths within them, and such as are the truths in them, such a general truth is the memory-knowledge. For a memory-knowledge is merely a vessel (n. 1469, 1496), which is capable of receiving both truths and falsities, and this with endless variety.
 As for example the memory©knowledge of the church that every man is the neighbor. Into this memory©knowledge may be initiated and brought truths in endless abundance; as that every man is indeed the neighbor, but each one with a difference; that he is most the neighbor who is in good, and this also with a difference according to the quality of the good; that the origin of the neighbor is from the Lord Himself, so that the nearer any are to Him, that is, the more they are in good, the more they are the neighbor; and the more remote they are from Him, the less; and also that a society is more the neighbor than an individual man, and a kingdom in general more than a society, but our own country more than other kingdoms; that the church is still more the neighbor than our country, and the Lord‘s kingdom still more; and also that the neighbor is loved when anyone discharges his office aright for the good of others, or of his country, or of the church; and so on. This shows how many truths can be brought into this one memory-knowledge of the church, for they are so many that it is difficult to distribute them into genera, and to assign to each genus some specific truths, in order that it may be distinguished and recognized. This was a study in the ancient churches.
 That the same memory-knowledge can be filled with falsities in endless abundance, may also be seen by inverting the above truths, and saying that everyone is neighbor to himself, and that in every instance the origin of the neighbor is from self; and that therefore a man’s nearest neighbor is he who most favors him, and makes one with him, and thereby presents himself in him as an image of himself; nay, that neither is his country the neighbor, except in so far as concerns his own advantage; and so on without end. Yet the memory-knowledge remains the same: that every man is the neighbor. But by one this is filled with truths, by another with falsities. The case is similar with all other memory-knowledges.GENESIS 46:5-7 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|