Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 49:27
AC 6439. Verse 27. Benjamin is a wolf; he shall seize in the morning, he shall devour the spoil, and at even he shall divide the prey. "Benjamin," signifies the truth of the good of the spiritual church, which is "Joseph;" "is a wolf," signifies the avidity of rescuing and delivering the good; "he shall seize in the morning, he shall devour the spoil," signifies that when the Lord is present it shall be done; "and at even he shall divide the prey," signifies their possession in the Lord‘s kingdom, when as yet they are in obscurity.
AC 6440. Benjamin. That he signifies the truth of the good of the spiritual church, which is "Joseph," is evident from the representation of Benjamin, as being the spiritual of the celestial (n. 4592). The spiritual of the celestial is the truth of good, here the truth of that good which is of the spiritual church, which is represented by Joseph in this prophetic utterance of Israel; for as by Joseph is represented the spiritual church (n. 6417), by him is also represented the good of that church, because the church is the church from good; the truth of this good is "Benjamin."
AC 6441. Is a wolf. That this signifies the avidity of rescuing and delivering the good, is evident from the signification of a "wolf," as being one who seizes and scatters; and as in the Word "beasts" signify cupidities, a" wolf" signifies the avidity of seizing, as is also evident from the passages in the Word where a "wolf" is mentioned; as in Matthew:--
Beware ye of false prophets, who come unto you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves (Matthew 7:15).
And in John:--
He that is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth, and the wolf seizeth them, and scattereth the sheep (John 10:12).
Likewise in other places (Luke 10:3; Jer. 5:6; Ezek. 22:27; Zeph. 3:3). Hence it is plain that by a "wolf" are signified those who seize, but here one who rescues from hell those who have been seized. The signification of a "wolf" is in a similar category to that of a "lion," also a rapacious animal, concerning which also it is said that it "seizeth the rapine," "gathereth spoil," and "preyeth upon prey," as is here said of a wolf; and yet in a good sense a "lion" signifies truth in power from good (n. 6367). It is similar with other rapacious beasts, as leopards, eagles, etc.
AC 6442. He shall seize in the morning, he shall devour the spoil. That this signifies that when the Lord is present it shall be done, is evident from the signification of "morning," as being in the supreme sense the Lord (n. 2405, 2780), hence that "he shall seize in the morning" denotes that when the Lord is present, then shall be rescuing and deliverance of the good; and from the signification of "devouring the spoil," as being to appropriate to Himself those whom He has rescued and delivered. "Devouring" denotes to appropriate and conjoin with one‘s self, (n. 3168, 3513, 3596, 5643); that the "spoil" denotes those who have been rescued and delivered, is manifest). That "seizing," "rapine," "spoil," and "prey" are also spoken of the Lord in the Word because of His rescuing and delivering the good, is evident from what was said above (verse 9) about Judah: "Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, thou art gone up," by which is signified that from the Lord through what is celestial is deliverance from hell (n. 6368). Also from other passages in the Word, as in Isaiah:--
The roaring of Jehovah is like that of a lion, He roareth like young lions, and growleth, and layeth hold of the prey, so that there is none rescuing (Isa. 5:29).
As a lion roareth, and the young lion over his rapine, so shall Jehovah come down to fight upon the mountain of Zion (Isa. 31:4).
I will rescue thee in that day, rescuing I will rescue thee; but thy seed is to thee for a spoil, because thou hast trusted in Me (Jer. 39:17, 18).
Wait ye for Me, saith Jehovah, even unto the day that I rise up unto the prey (Zephaniah 3:8).
And in Isaiah:--
I will divide to Him among many, that He may divide the spoil with the strong ones (Isa. 53:12);
where the Lord is spoken of in the whole chapter.
 That "to devour the rapine or spoil" is to appropriate goods which have been seized by evils, is evident from the prophetic utterance of Balaam, in Moses:--
Behold, the people shall rise up as an old lion, and as a young lion shall he lift himself up; he shall not rest until he eat of the spoil (Num. 23:24).
From all this it is evident that "rapine," "spoil," and "prey," denote the rescuing and deliverance of the good by the Lord. This is predicated of the truth represented by Benjamin, because to truth is attributed power (n. 3091, 4931), but that which it has from good (n. 6344, 6423).
AC 6443. And at even he shall divide the prey. That this signifies their possession in the Lord‘s kingdom when as yet they are in obscurity, is evident from the signification of "evening," as being what is obscure (n. 3056, 3833); and from the signification of "dividing the prey," as being to give a possession in the heavenly kingdom; for by "prey" are signified those who have been rescued and delivered by the Lord; hence by "dividing the prey" is signified distribution, namely, among those who are in heaven, which is the same as their having a possession in the Lord’s kingdom. This is said to be done "in the evening," because they who are being elevated into heaven are at first in obscurity for they cannot come to clearness until they have been in heaven, and have been instructed with respect to truths by the Lord through the angels, into whose society they are sent; for there is need of time in order that the obscurity induced by falsities may be dissipated.
AC 6444. Thee are the things signified by "Benjamin;" but without the internal sense, who can say what the things which are said of him involve, as that he is a "wolf," that he "shall seize in the morning," that he "shall devour the spoil, and at evening shall divide the prey?" These things would be altogether hidden unless revealed by the internal sense. Of this kind are very many things in the prophets, of which if viewed from the letter few are understood; but if viewed from the internal sense all are understood. From all this it may now be seen that by the "sons of Jacob," and by the "tribes" named from them, are signified such things as are of the Lord‘s church and kingdom. GENESIS 49:27 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|