Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 48:1-2
AC 6218. Verses 1, 2. And it came to pass after these words, that one said unto Joseph, Behold thy father is sick; and he took his two sons with him, Manasseh and Ephraim. And one told Jacob, and said, Behold thy son Joseph cometh unto thee; and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed. "And it came to pass after these words," signifies what follows from what has gone before; "that one said unto Joseph," signifies an eminent perception; "Behold thy father is sick," signifies what is successive of regeneration; "and he took his two sons with him, Manasseh and Ephraim," signifies the will of the church and the intellectual of the church born from the internal; "and one told Jacob," signifies a perception from the truth of the natural; "and said, Behold thy son Joseph cometh unto thee," signifies concerning the presence of the internal; "and Israel strengthened himself," signifies new forces through spiritual good; "and sat upon the bed," signifies that this was turned to the natural.
AC 6219. And it came to pass after these words. That this signifies what follows from what has gone before, is evident from the signification of "words," as being things; thus "after these words" denotes what follows from what has gone before.
AC 6220. That one said unto Joseph. That this signifies an eminent perception, is evident from the signification of "saying," as being perception (n. 1791, 1815, 1819, 1822, 1898, 1919, 2080, 2619, 2862, 3509, 5687); that it is an eminent perception is because the subject treated of in what follows is the intellectual and the will of the church, thus its truth and good, and this from influx through the internal celestial, which is "Joseph."
AC 6221. Behold thy father is sick. That this signifies what is successive of regeneration, is evident from the signification of "dying," as being resurrection into life, and regeneration (n. 3326, 3498, 3505, 4618, 4621, 6036); hence "to be sick," which precedes, denotes what is progressive toward regeneration, thus what is successive of regeneration. That "dying" denotes regeneration, and" being sick" what is successive of regeneration, cannot but appear too remote to be believed; but he who knows anything about angelic thought and speech will acknowledge that it is so. The angels know nothing of death, nor of sickness, and therefore have no idea of them, but in their place, when man reads of them, they have the idea of the continuation of life and of resurrection; and this because when man dies, he puts oil only that which had served him for use in the world, and enters into the life In which he had been with his spirit. This is the idea that presents itself to the angels when "dying" and "being sick" are read of, and likewise the idea of regeneration, because this is resurrection into life; for before this the man had been spiritually dead; but when he has been regenerated he becomes alive and a son of the resurrection. If when he lives in the body, the man himself longs for heaven, he thinks no otherwise of death and the sickness which precedes it than as being resurrection into life; for when he thinks about heaven, he withdraws himself from the idea of the body, especially when he is sick and comes near to death. From this it is plain that the spiritual idea of the death of the body is that of newness of life; therefore when the subject of resurrection or regeneration is considered In heaven, and this idea flows down and is determined into such things as are of the world, it falls only into such as these. Thus is it with the Word, which as to each and all things has descended from the Lord and passed through heaven down into the world; in the descent it has clothed itself with forms adapted to apprehension in the three heavens, and at last with a form adapted to the apprehension of man, which is the literal sense.
AC 6222. And he took his two sons with him, Manasseh and Ephraim. That this signifies the will and the intellectual of the church born from the internal, is evident from the representation of Manasseh, as being the new will in the natural, and its quality (n. 5354); and from the representation of Ephraim, as being the new Intellectual in the natural, and its quality (n. 5354); that they were born from the Internal is signified by their being the sons of Joseph, by whom is represented the internal celestial (n. 5869, 5877).
 It is necessary to explain what is meant by the intellectual and the will of the church. The Intellectual of the church is to perceive from the Word what the truth of faith is, and what the good of charity. It is known that the literal sense of the Word is of such a nature that whatever tenet a man embraces, he confirms from that sense; and this because the things of the literal sense of the Word are general vessels which receive truths, and because the quality of these vessels does not appear as through a transparency until they have received truths; thus because they are only generals, which must first be learned by man, In order that he may receive the particulars and singulars in a fit and proper manner. That the literal sense of the Word is of such a nature that whatever tenet a man embraces he confirms from that sense, is very manifest from so many heresies which have existed in the church, and still do so, each of which is confirmed by its partizans from the literal sense of the Word, and so confirmed that they thoroughly believe it to be true; and thereafter if they were to hear from heaven the very truth, they would not receive a bit of it.
 The reason is that they have not the intellectual of the church; for the intellectual of the church consists in a man’s perceiving, when he reads the Word and carefully compares one passage with another, what is to be believed, and what is to be done. This Intellectual is to be found in such men only as are enlightened by the Lord, and who In the Christian world are also called the enlightened; and this enlightenment is to be found in such men only as desire to know truths, not for the sake of reputation and glory, but for the sake of life and use. This very enlightenment is received by the intellectual in a man, for it is the intellectual which is enlightened. This is very evident from the fact that they who have little of the intellectual cannot possibly see such things from the Word; but have faith in those whom they believe to be enlightened. Be it known further that they who have been regenerated, receive from the Lord an intellectual capable of being enlightened. It is the light of heaven from the Lord which flows into the intellectual and enlightens it; for the intellectual has its light, its sight, and consequently its perception, from no other source.
 But this intellectual, which is called the intellectual of the church, is more interior than the intellectual which comes from mere memory-knowledges, for it is a perception that the thing is so, not from the dictate of memory-knowledges and philosophy, but from the dictate of the Word In its spiritual sense. For example, they who are in the intellectual of the church are able clearly to perceive that the Word everywhere teaches that love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor are essentials of the church; and that the life of man remains after death; and that his life is from his loves; also that faith separate from charity is not faith; and that faith avails nothing for eternal life except in so far as it is joined to the good of love to the Lord and to the good of charity toward the neighbor; consequently that these and faith must be conjoined together for there to be spiritual life. That these are truths can be clearly perceived by those who have the intellectual enlightened, but not at all by those who have not this.
 It is believed that those have an intellectual in the things of the church who are skilful In confirming the tenets or doctrinals of their own church by many things, and this even to persuasion that it is so, and who also are skilful in dexterously confuting many heresies. But this is not the intellectual of the church; for to confirm a tenet is not of the intellectual, but of ingenuity in the sensuous, and it is sometimes found in the worst of men, and can also be done by those who believe nothing whatever, and also by those who are in very falsities. Nothing is more easy than for all such persons to confirm whatever they please, even to the point of persuading the simple. But the intellectual of the church is to perceive and see, before any tenet is confirmed, whether it is true or not, and then to confirm it
 This is the intellectual which is represented by Ephraim; but the good of the church, which is represented by Manasseh, is the good of charity which is insinuated by the Lord into the man of the church by means of the truths of faith; for these, together with the good of charity, are what flow into the intellectual and enlighten it, and also make the intellectual and the bill constitute one mind. That both the intellectual and the will are born from the internal, may be seen from what has frequently been said and shown above; for all the affection of good and truth, by which comes enlightenment, flows from no other source, and thus is born from no other source, than the internal; that is, through the internal from the Lord.
AC 6223. And one told Jacob. That this signifies a perception from the truth of the natural, is evident from the signification of "telling," as being perception (n. 3608, 5601); and from the representation of Jacob, as being the truth of the natural (n. 3305, 3509, 3525, 3546, 3599, 3775, 4009, 4234, 4520, 4538, 6001).
AC 6224. And said, Behold thy son Joseph cometh unto thee. That this signifies the presence of the internal, is evident from the representation of Joseph, as being the Internal (n. 6177); and from the signification of "coming to" anyone, as being presence (n. 5934, 5941, 5947, 6063, 6089). That "Joseph" is here the internal, and in other places the internal celestial, is in application to those things which are beneath in the natural; when it is applied to the lower things of the natural which are represented by Jacob, it is then called the "internal," and in like manner when it is applied to Pharaoh; but when it is applied to the interior things of the natural, which are represented by Israel, and also by his ten sons, it is then called the "internal celestial," and "internal good," and this on account of the influx
AC 6225. And Israel strengthened himself. That this signifies new forces through spiritual good, is evident from the signification of "strengthening himself," as being to receive new forces; and from the representation of Israel, as being spiritual good from the natural (n. 4286, 4598, 5801, 5803, 5806, 5812, 5817, 5819, 5826, 5833). That it is through spiritual good, is because in what immediately precedes, Jacob is called " Jacob," and here "Israel," for it is said, "One told Jacob, and said, Behold thy son Joseph cometh unto thee; and Israel strengthened himself;" for "Israel" is spiritual good from the natural; but "Jacob" is the truth of the natural; and the truth of the natural, which is of faith there, is confirmed (or strengthened) by means of spiritual good, which is the good of charity. "Israel" is also the internal of the church, and "Jacob" its external (n. 4286, 4292, 4570). The external of the church is strengthened and receives forces from no other source than its internal. In the internal of the church are they who are in the good of charity, which is the good of faith, and also the good of truth, and likewise spiritual good, which are "Israel;" but in the external of the church are they who are in the truth of faith, and not as yet manifestly in good, but in whose truth there is nevertheless good; this truth is "Jacob."
AC 6226. And sat upon the bed. That this signifies that this was turned to the natural, is evident from the signification of "bed," as being the natural (n. 6188). "Israel‘s sitting upon the bed" denotes that spiritual good was turned to the natural, because by "Israel’s bowing himself on the head of the bed" (Gen. 47:31) was signified that spiritual good turned itself to those things which are of the interior natural (n. 6188); and therefore by his removing himself thence and sitting upon the bed is signified that spiritual good turned itself to the natural. What is meant by turning to the interior natural, and to the exterior, cannot be stated to the apprehension, because very few know that the natural is interior and exterior, and that the thought is now in the one and now in the other; and they who do not know this, do not reflect upon it, and consequently cannot have acquired knowledge of it by any experience. And yet this is common with everyone, but with a difference; for the thought is now elevated to what is higher, and now is again let down to what is lower; thus the thought of man now looks upward, and now looks downward.
 Besides, everyone can see that Israel‘s bowing himself on the head of the bed, and afterward sitting upon the bed, are matters too slight to be mentioned in the most holy Word, unless they enfolded some secret which can be disclosed only by means of the internal sense, consequently only by a knowledge of what each word signifies in the spiritual sense, that is, in the sense in which are the angels. For the angels do not, like man, think from the objects of the world, of the body, and of the earth, but from those of heaven; and what the difference is between these two classes of objects is especially evident from the correspondences treated of at the end of several chapters.GENESIS 48:1-2 - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|