Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 48:15-16
AC 6274. Verses 15, 16. And he blessed Joseph, and said, The God before whom my fathers walked, Abraham and Isaac, the God who feedeth me since I am, unto this day, the Angel who redeemeth me from all evil, bless the boys; and let my name be called in them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow unto a multitude in the midst of the earth. "And he blessed Joseph," signifies a prediction with respect to the truth of the intellectual and the good of the will having life from the internal; "and said, The God before whom my fathers walked, Abraham and Isaac," signifies the Divine from which internal good and internal truth had life; "the God who feedeth me," signifies this Divine vivifying the good of spiritual truth from the natural; "since I am, unto this day," signifies continually; "the Angel who redeemeth me from all evil," signifies the Lord’s Divine Human, by which is effected deliverance from hell; "bless the boys," signifies give them to have truth and good; "and let my name be called in them," signifies that in them should be the quality of the good of spiritual truth from the natural; "and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac," signifies and the quality of internal good and truth; "and let them grow unto a multitude in the midst of the earth," signifies extension from the inmost.
AC 6275. And he blessed Joseph. That this signifies a prediction with respect to the truth of the intellectual and the good of the will having life from the internal, is evident from the signification of "blessing," as being prediction (n. 6230, 6254) and from the representation of Ephraim and Manasseh, who here are "Joseph," as being the truth of the intellectual and the good of the will in the natural, born from the internal (n. 6234, 6249). That by "Joseph" are meant his sons, is evident from the blessing itself, in which it is said, "The Angel who redeemeth me from all evil, bless the boys, and let my name be called in them;" and the reason is that this good and truth in the natural, represented by Manasseh and Ephraim, are the very internal there. The internal and the external are indeed distinct from each other; but in the natural, where they are together, the internal is as in its own adapt form, which form does nothing from itself, but only from the internal within it; thus it is merely acted upon. The case herein is like the efficient in the effect: the efficient and the effect are distinct from each other, yet the efficient is in the effect as in its own adapted form, and through it acts as cause in the sphere where the effect is produced. In man the like is the case with the good and truth in the natural, born from the internal; for the internal clothes itself with such things as belong to the natural, in order that it may be there and lead a life there; but the things with which it clothes itself are nothing but coverings, which of themselves do nothing at all.
AC 6276. And said, The God before whom my father walked, Abraham and Isaac. That this signifies the Divine from which internal good and internal truth had life, is evident from the signification of "God," as being the Divine; from the signification of" walking," as being to live, or to have life (n. 519, 1794); from the representation of Abraham, as being in the supreme sense the Lord‘s Divine Itself; and from the representation of Isaac, as being His Divine rational, thus the internal human - for Jacob is the Lord’s Divine natural, or His external human (n. 2011, 3245, 3305, 3439, 4615). But in the representative sense "Abraham" is internal good, and "Isaac" internal truth (n. 3703, 6098, 6185). That these things in the representative sense are signified by "Abraham and Isaac," is because that good and truth which are in the Lord‘s kingdom proceed from His Divine and Divine Human; and make the Lord Himself to be there; thus He Himself is His kingdom.
AC 6277. The God who feedeth me. That this signifies this Divine vivifying the good of spiritual truth from the natural, is evident from the signification of "feeding," as being to vivify. That "to feed" is to instruct, (n. 6044) is because a "pasture" is that which sustains the spiritual life of man (n. 6078); but "feeding" and a" pasture" are there said of a flock, whereas "feeding" is here said of Jacob - that he was sustained with food and the necessaries of life; by which in the internal sense the like is signified; for that which sustains and vivifies the life of the body, in the internal sense signifies that which sustains the spiritual life and vivifies it. That Israel represents spiritual good from the natural, has been shown above (n. 5801, 5803, 5806, 5812, 5817, 5819, 5826, 5833); and because this good which Israel represents is the good of truth, therefore the good of spiritual truth is here signified; for in the genuine sense "Israel" is the spiritual church, and the good of this church is the good of truth; because those who belong to this church are instructed about good by means of truth, and when they do according to the truth in which they are instructed, then this truth is called good. This is the good which is called the good of truth, and is represented by Israel.
AC 6278. Since I am, unto this day. That this signifies continually, is evident from the signification of "today" and "to this day," as being what is perpetual and eternal (n. 2838, 4304, 6165); here therefore "since I am, unto this day" signifies continually, namely, vivifying, which is "feeding" (n. 6277).
AC 6279. The Angel who redeemeth me from all evil. That this signifies the Lord’s Divine Human by which is effected deliverance from hell, is evident from the signification of "angel," as being the Lord‘s Divine Human; from the signification of "redeeming," as being to deliver; and from the signification of "evil," as being hell. The reason why "evil" denotes hell is that hell itself is nothing but evil; for whether you say that all in hell are evil, or that hell is evil, it is the same. In the spiritual sense, when "evil" is mentioned, hell is meant, for they who are in the spiritual sense, as are the angels in heaven, think and speak abstractedly from persons, because universally, and therefore to them evil is hell. It is the same with "sin," when thereby is meant the ruling evil, as in Genesis:--
Jehovah said unto Cain, If thou doest not well, sin coucheth at the door; and unto thee is his desire, and thou shall rule over him (Gen. 4:6, 7);
where "sin" denotes hell, which is at hand when a man does evil. The very evil with man is nothing else than hell, for it inflows therefrom, and the man is then a hell in the least form, as also is everyone there. So on the other hand, the very good in man is nothing else than heaven in him; for good flows in through heaven from the Lord; and the man who is in good, is heaven in the smallest image, as also is everyone in heaven.
AC 6280. That the "redeeming Angel" is the Lord as to the Divine Human, is evident from the fact that by assuming the Human and making it Divine the Lord redeemed man, that is, delivered him from hell; whence the Lord as to His Divine Human is called the "Redeemer." That the Divine Human is called the "Angel" is because the word "angel" means "sent," and the Lord as to the Divine Human is said to be "sent," as is plain from many passages in the Word of the Evangelists. Moreover before the Lord’s coming into the world the Divine Human was Jehovah Himself flowing in through heaven when He spake the Word; for Jehovah was above the heavens, but that which passed from Him through the heavens was at that time the Divine Human; for by the influx of Jehovah into heaven, He set forth a man, and the very Divine thence derived was a Divine man. This then is the Divine Human from eternity, and is what is called "Sent," by which is meant proceeding, and this is the same as "Angel."
 But as Jehovah by this Divine Human of His, could not flow in any longer with men, because they had so far removed themselves from this Divine, He therefore took on the Human and made it Divine, and thus by influx from this into heaven He could reach even those of the human race who would receive the good of charity and the truth of faith from the Divine Human, which was thus made visible, and could thus deliver them from hell, which could not possibly have been effected in any other way. This deliverance is that which is called "redemption," and the Divine Human Itself, which delivered or redeemed, is what is called the "redeeming Angel."
 But be it known that in respect to the Divine Human, as well as in respect to the Divine Itself, the Lord is above heaven; for He is the Sun which illumines heaven; thus that heaven is far beneath Him. The Divine Human which is in heaven is the Divine truth which proceeds from Him, which is the light from Him as a sun. In respect to His essence the Lord is not Divine truth, for this is from Him as light from the sun, but He is Divine good itself, one with Jehovah.
 The Lord‘s Divine Human is called "Angel" in other places also in the Word, as when He appeared to Moses in the bush, of which it is written in Exodus:--
When Moses came to the mountain of God, unto Horeb, the Angel of Jehovah appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. Jehovah saw that Moses turned aside to see, therefore God called unto him out of the midst of the bush. And he said further, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (Exod. 3:1, 2, 4, 6);
it is the Lord’s Divine Human which is here called the "Angel of Jehovah," and it is plainly said that it was Jehovah Himself. That Jehovah was there in the Divine Human may be seen from the fact that the Divine Itself could Such appear except through the Divine Human; according to the Lord‘s words in John: "No one hath ever seen God, the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath set Him forth" (John 1:18); and in another place: "Ye have neither ever heard the voice of the Father, nor seen His shape" (John 5:37).
 Moreover the Lord as to the Divine Human is called the "Angel" where it treats of leading the people into the land of Canaan, of which we read in Exodus:--
Behold I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee unto the place which I have prepared. Beware thou of His faces, for He will not bear your transgression, because My name is in the midst of Him (Exod. 23:20, 21, 23);
that the "Angel" in this passage is the Divine Human, is evident from the fact that it is said, "because My name is in the midst of Him," that is, Jehovah Himself is. By "My name" is signified the quality of Jehovah which is in the Divine Human. The Lord as to the Divine Human is the "name of Jehovah," (n. 2628); and the "name of God" is His quality, as also everything in one complex by means of which God is worshiped, (n. 2724, 3006).
 In Isaiah:--
In all their distress He had distress, and the Angel of His faces will deliver them; in His love and in His indulgence He redeemed them, and He took them, and carried them all the days of eternity (Isa. 63:9);
that the "Angel of the faces of Jehovah" is the Lord as to the Divine Human, is manifest, for it is said that "He redeemed them."
 In Malachi:--
Behold the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come unto His temple, even the Angel of the covenant whom ye desire; Behold He cometh, saith Jehovah Zebaoth. But who shall endure the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appeareth? Then shall the meat-offering of Judah and Jerusalem be sweet to Jehovah, as in the days of eternity, and as in former years (Mal. 3:1, 2, 4);
that the "Angel of the covenant" is the Lord as to the Divine Human is very evident, for the subject treated of is His coming; the "offering of Judah and Jerusalem being then sweet to Jehovah" signifies that worship from love and faith in Him will then he sweet. That by "Judah" here is not meant Judah, nor by "Jerusalem" Jerusalem, is clearly evident; for neither then nor afterward was the offering of Judah and Jerusalem sweet. That the "days of eternity" are the states of the Most Ancient Church, which was celestial; and that the "former years" are the states of the Ancient Church, which was spiritual, may be seen above (n. 6239). moreover by an "angel" in the Word, in the internal sense, is not signified an angel, but something Divine in the Lord (n. 1925, 2319, 2821, 3039, 4085).
AC 6281. As regards "redeeming," in the proper sense this signifies to restore and appropriate to Himself that which had been His; and it is predicated of slavery, of death, and of evil; when of slavery, they are meant who have been enslaved, in the spiritual sense enslaved by hell; when of death, they are meant who are in condemnation; and when of evil, as here, they are meant who are in hell, for the evil from which the angel redeems is hell (n. 6279). As the Lord delivered man from these evils by making the Human in Himself Divine, therefore His Divine Human is called in the Word the "Redeemer," as in Isaiah:--
I aid thee, saith Jehovah, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 41:14).
Thus hath said Jehovah, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One (Isa. 49:7, 26).
Jehovah Zebaoth is His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall He be called (Isa. 54:5).
In these passages, the Divine Itself, which is called "Jehovah," is distinguished from the Divine Human, which is called the "Redeemer the Holy One of Israel."
 But that it is Jehovah Himself in the Divine Human, is evident from the following passages. In Isaiah:--
Thus hath said Jehovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Jehovah Zebaoth, I am the first, and I am the last, and besides Me there is no God (Isa. 44:6).
Thus hath said Jehovah thy Redeemer, I am Jehovah thy God, that teacheth thee (Isa. 48:17).
Thou art our Father, for Abraham knoweth us not, and Israel doth not acknowledge us; Thou Jehovah art our Father, our Redeemer; from everlasting is Thy name (Isa. 63:16).
Jehovah who redeemed thy life from the pit (Ps. 103:4).
 From these passages also it is plain that by "Jehovah" in the Word no other is meant than the Lord (n. 1343, 1736, 2921, 3035, 5663); and that "Jehovah the Redeemer" is His Divine Human. Therefore also those who have been redeemed are called the "redeemed of Jehovah" in Isaiah:--
Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold thy salvation cometh; Behold His reward is with Him, and the price of His work before Him. They shall call them, The people of holiness, the redeemed of Jehovah (Isa. 62:11, 12);
that it is the Lord from whom they are called the "redeemed of Jehovah," is very clear; for it is said of His coming: "Behold thy salvation cometh; behold His reward is with Him." See besides (Isa. 43:1; 52:2, 3; 63:4, 9; Hosea 13:14; Exod. 6:6; 15:13; Job 19:25), where it is evident that "redemption" is predicated of slavery, of death, and of evil.
AC 6282. Bless the boys. That this signifies give them to have truth and good, is evident from the signification of "blessing," as being to endow with truth and good; for in the spiritual sense "blessing" involves nothing else (n. 1420, 1422, 4981); and from the representation of Ephraim and Manasseh, who here are the "boys," as being the intellectual and the will of the church, to which truth and good should be given: to the intellectual, truth; and to the will, good.
AC 6283. And let my name be called in them. That this signifies that in them should be the quality of the good of spiritual truth from the natural, is evident from the signification of the "name being called in" anyone, as being his quality in him (n. 1754, 1896, 2009, 3421); and from the representation of Israel, as being the good of spiritual truth from the natural (n. 6277); and because the quality of Israel was in them, therefore they also were received among the rest of the sons of Jacob, and were made tribes, one of Manasseh and the other of Ephraim, and with them the twelve tribes were made up, when the tribe of Levi, being made the priesthood, was not numbered among the tribes that obtained inheritance by lot (Joshua and Ezekiel 48).
AC 6284. And the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac. That this signifies, and the quality of internal good and truth, is evident from the signification of "name," as being the quality (n. 6283); and from the representation of Abraham and Isaac, as being internal good and truth (n. 6276). Internal good and truth must be in external good and truth, in order for these to be good and truth. For, as was said above (n. 6275), the external is merely a formed something, of such a nature that the internal can be in it, and lead a life there according to the influx into itself from the Lord; neither also is the internal anything else relatively to the highest, which is the Lord, whence is all life; and the things beneath are merely forms recipient of life through the degrees in their order, down to the last, which is the body.
AC 6285. And let them grow unto a multitude in the midst of the earth. That this signifies extension from the inmost, is evident from the signification of the "midst," as being the inmost (n. 2940, 2973, 6068, 6084, 6103). Hence "growing unto a multitude" is extension; for the truths that are signified by a "multitude" extend themselves round about from the inmost, as from a center; and the greater the extension thence is, and the better this is in accordance with heavenly order, so much the more perfect is the state; this is the state which is signified by this part of the blessing: "and let them grow unto a multitude in the midst of the earth." GENESIS 48:15-16 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
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