Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at sacred-texts.com
That "Abraham" is the Lord in that state, is evident from the representation of Abraham, as being the Lord; here the Lord in that state (as also before, n. 1893, 1965, 1989, 2011, 2172, 2198).2502.
And dwelt between Kadesh and Shur. That this signifies His state specifically, is evident from the signification of "dwelling," as being to live (see n. 1293). What precedes also indicates this, namely, that Abraham journeyed thence toward the land of the south, by which there is signified the Lord's progression into the goods and truths of faith; and as it is now said that he "dwelt between Kadesh and Shur," it follows that nothing else is signified than the Lord's state specifically, which is described by "Kadesh and Shur"-now to be explained.2503.
That "Kadesh" is the affection of interior truth that proceeds from things rational, and "Shur" the affection of exterior truth that proceeds from memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of "Kadesh and Shur." That "Kadesh" signifies truth about which there is contention, was shown above (n. 1678), thus contention concerning truth in regard to its origin, as to whether it is from the rational; as is evident from what follows. But as with the Lord all truth was from a celestial origin, "Kadesh" here signifies the affection of truth. With every man of the church there are rational truths and truths of mere memory [vera scientifica], the former being more interior, and the latter more exterior. These are distinct from each other, precisely as are man's two memories (see n. 2469-2473, etc.). From this it follows that there are also two affections of truth-one more interior, as being of rational things, and the other more exterior, as being of mere memory truths. The affection of interior truth that proceeds from rational things is here signified by "Kadesh;" and the affection of exterior truth that proceeds from memory truths, by "Shur." (That "Shur" signifies this truth may be seen above, n. 1928. That names in the Word signify nothing else than actual things, has been shown above, n. 1224, 1264, 1876, 1888, and in many other places.)2504.
And he sojourned in Gerar. That this signifies instruction thence in the spiritual things of faith, is evident from the signification of "sojourning," as being to be instructed (see n. 1463, 2025); and from the signification of "Gerar," as being what is spiritual of faith. Gerar is named in several places in Genesis (as chapter 10:19, 26:1, 6, 17, 20, 26); and in these it signifies faith, and this for the reason that Gerar was in Philistia; and by "Philistia" is signified the mere memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith (see n. 1197, 1198); and it was Gerar where the king of the Philistines dwelt. Hence it is that faith itself is signified by "Gerar" (n. 1209); and by the "king of Gerar," the truth itself of faith; for "king" in the internal sense is truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069). Thus by "Abimelech" is signified the doctrine of faith, concerning which in what follows.  In general there are intellectual things of faith, rational things of faith, and memory-knowledges of faith. They thus proceed in their order from interiors to exteriors. The things of faith which are inmost are called intellectual; those which proceed from them or thence are the rational things of faith; and those which proceed again from these are the memory-knowledges of faith. They are-to use the language of the learned-as prior to posterior, or what is the same, as higher to lower, that is, as interior to exterior. It indeed appears to man as if the memory-knowledge of faith were first, and that the rational then came forth from it, and at length the intellectual; and this for the reason that man advances in this way from his childhood. Nevertheless, although man is not aware of it, the intellectual flows in continually into the rational, and this into the faculty of knowing; 2504-1 but in childhood obscurely, in adult age more evidently, and at last in full light when the man has been regenerated. Then it is apparent that this is the order, and still more fully in the other life (see n. 1495). All these are called "spiritual things;" which are distinguished in this way into degrees, and succeed one another in such an order. The spiritual things of faith are all the truths which are from good, that is, from a celestial origin. Whatever is derived from the celestial is a spiritual thing of faith.2505.
Verse 2. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister; and Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. "Abraham said," signifies the Lord's thought; "of Sarah his wife," signifies spiritual truth conjoined with the celestial; "she is my sister," signifies rational truth; "and Abimelech king of Gerar sent," signifies the doctrine of faith ("Abimelech" signifies the doctrine of faith that looks to rational things); "and took Sarah," signifies the affection of consulting the rational.2506.
Abraham said. That this signifies thought, is evident from the signification of "saying," in the historicals of the Word, as being to perceive, as well as to think (see n. 1898, 1919, 2061, 2080, 2238, 2260, 2271, 2287).2507.
Of Sarah his wife. That this signifies spiritual truth conjoined with the celestial, is evident from the signification of "Sarah" as a wife, as being intellectual truth conjoined with the Divine good, or what is the same, spiritual truth conjoined with the celestial (see n. 1468, 1901, 2063, 2065, 2172, 2173, 2198). What the spiritual is, and what the celestial, has often been stated before (see n. 1155, 1577, 1824, 2048, 2088). That is called Celestial, which is of good, that is, which is of love to the Lord and of charity toward the neighbor; and that Spiritual, which is of truth, that is, which is of faith derived from those loves.2508.
She is my sister. That this signifies rational truth, is evident from the signification of a "sister," as being rational intellectual truth (see n. 1495). That rational truth is a "sister," can be seen only from the heavenly marriage; for the things which descend from this have kinships among themselves like the relationships and connections on earth (concerning which see n. 685, 917); and this with indefinite variety. The heavenly marriage itself exists solely between the Divine good and the Divine truth. From this there are conceived in man the intellectual, the rational, and the faculty of knowing; for without conception from the heavenly marriage man cannot possibly be imbued with understanding, with reason, or with knowledge, and consequently cannot be man. In proportion therefore as he receives from the heavenly marriage, in the same proportion is he man. The heavenly marriage is in the Lord Himself, thus the Lord is this marriage itself, for He is the Divine good itself and at the same time the Divine truth. Angels and men are in the heavenly marriage insofar as they are in love to the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor, and insofar as they are thence in faith; that is, insofar as they are in the Lord's good, and thence in truth; and they are then called "daughters and sons," and in their relation to one another "sisters and brothers;" but this with differences. The reason why rational truth is called a "sister" is that it is conceived from the influx of the Divine good into the affection of rational truths; the good which is thence in the rational is called a "brother," and the truth which is thence, a "sister." But this will be better seen from what is said by Abraham in verse 12 of this chapter: "and moreover truly she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife."2509.
And Abimelech king of Gerar sent. That this signifies the doctrine of faith, is evident from what was said above (n. 2504), namely, that by "Philistia" is signified the memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith (n. 1197, 1198); by "Gerar," which was in Philistia, faith (n. 1209, 2504); and by a "king," the truth itself of faith (n. 1672, 2015, 2069). Hence by "Abimelech" is signified the doctrine of faith, but the doctrine of faith looking to rational things; as will be manifest from what now follows.2510.
That "Abimelech" is the doctrine of faith looking to rational things is evident from the fact that he looked upon Sarah, not as Abraham's wife, but as his sister; and by Sarah as a sister is signified rational truth (n. 2508). The same is also manifest from what follows; for the doctrine of faith is there treated of, as to whether it has its origin from the rational, or from the celestial. Hence "Abimelech" signifies the doctrine of faith looking to rational things. Doctrine is said to look to rational things when nothing is acknowledged as truth of doctrine except what can be comprehended by the reason, so that the consideration of all the things which are of doctrine is from the rational. Yet that the doctrine of faith is not from a rational but from a celestial origin, is taught in the internal sense in what follows.2511.
And took Sarah. That this signifies the affection of consulting the rational, is evident from the signification of Sarah as a "sister," as being rational truth (see n. 2508); and also from the signification of "taking" her, as being from affection toward her; thus, in the internal sense, from the affection of consulting the rational. The things contained in this verse involve the Lord's first thought respecting the doctrine of faith, as to whether it would be well to consult the rational or not. The reason why the first thought was of such a character is that the Lord progressed according to all Divine order; and whatever was of the human into which He was born, and which He derived from the mother, must necessarily be put off in order that He might put on the Divine; thus also this human thought, namely, as to whether the rational was to be consulted in regard to the doctrinal things of faith.2512.
Verse 3. And God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou wilt die because of the woman whom thou hast taken, for she is married to a husband. "God came to Abimelech," signifies the Lord's perception concerning the doctrine of faith; "in a dream by night," signifies that it was obscure; "and said to him," signifies thought thence; "Behold, thou wilt die because of the woman," signifies that the doctrine of faith would be null and void if the rational were consulted in regard to its contents; "for she is married to a husband," signifies that the doctrine of true faith, and the things therein, are conjoined with the celestial.2513.
God came to Abimelech. That this signifies the Lord's perception concerning the doctrine of faith, is evident from the signification of "God coming," and from the signification of "Abimelech." That "God coming" signifies to perceive, is evident, for perception is nothing else than the Divine advent or influx into the intellectual faculty. (That "Abimelech" signifies the doctrine of faith was shown above, n. 2504, 2509, 2510.)2514.
In a dream by night. That this signifies that the perception was obscure, is evident from the signification of a "dream," and likewise of "night." A "dream," when perception is treated of, signifies something obscure in comparison with wakefulness; and still more when it is said "a dream by night." The Lord's first perception is called obscure, because it was in the human that He was to put off, and the shades of which He was to disperse. The Lord's perception, although from the Divine, was yet in the human, which is such that it does not immediately receive the light itself, but gradually as the shades which are there are dispersed. That He brought Himself into what was less obscure in regard to the doctrine of faith, is signified by "God coming again to Abimelech in a dream," as declared in verse 6, where there is no mention of "night;" and that He afterwards came into clear perception is signified in verse 8 by the words, "Abimelech rose early in the morning."2515.
And said to him. That this signifies thought therefrom, namely, from the perception, is evident from the signification of "saying," as being to perceive, and also to think (as shown in n. 2506). As it is here said that there was thought from the perception, it may be well to state in a few words how the case is with thought. There are thoughts from perception; thoughts from conscience; and thoughts from no conscience. Thoughts from perception exist only with the celestial, that is, with those who are in love to the Lord; such thought is the most internal that exists with man; and it exists with the celestial angels in heaven, for it is perception from the Lord by which and from which their thought exists; and to think contrary to perception is impossible. Thoughts from conscience are lower, and exist with the spiritual, that is, with those who are in the good of charity and faith as to life and as to doctrine. Moreover with these persons to think contrary to conscience is impossible; for this would be to think against the good and truth which are dictated to them from the Lord through conscience.  But thoughts from no conscience exist with those who do not suffer themselves to be inwardly directed by what is good and true, but only by what is evil and false; that is, not by the Lord, but by themselves. Such persons believe that they inwardly think just as do those who think from conscience and perception, for the reason that they do not know what conscience is, still less perception; but the difference is as great as is that between hell and heaven. They who think without conscience think from any cupidities and phantasies whatever; thus from hell; and when it seems otherwise, it is from external decorum for the sake of reputation. But they who think from conscience think from the affections of good and truth; thus from heaven. But as regards the Lord's thought, it transcended all human understanding, for it was immediately from the Divine.2516.
Behold, thou wilt die because of the woman. That this signifies that the doctrine of faith would become null and void if the rational were consulted as to its contents, is evident from the signification of "Abimelech," who is here addressed, as being the doctrine of faith; from the signification of "dying," as being to become null and void; and from the signification of a "sister," who is here called "the woman," as being the rational (see n. 2508). Hence now by "Abimelech dying because of the woman" is signified that the doctrine of faith would become null and void if the rational were consulted.  The reason why there is no doctrine of faith from the rational, is that the rational is in appearances of good and truth, which appearances are not in themselves truths (as before shown, n. 2053, 2196, 2203, 2209). Moreover the rational has under it fallacies which are from external sensuous things confirmed by memory-knowledges, which induce obscurity in these appearances of truth. The rational for the most part is merely human, as also is evident from its birth; and this is why nothing doctrinal of faith can begin from it, and still less be constructed from it; but must be from the Lord's Divine Itself and Divine Human. This is its origin, and indeed so entirely that the Lord is doctrine itself; on which account also in the Word He is called the Word, the Truth, the Light, the Way, the Door; and (what is an arcanum) all doctrine is from the Divine good and the Divine truth, and has in itself the heavenly marriage. Doctrine that has not this in it is not the genuine doctrine of faith. Hence it is that in all the particulars of the Word (the source of doctrine) there is an image of a marriage (see n. 683, 793, 801).  In the literal or external sense of the Word the doctrine of faith does indeed appear as if it possessed much from the rational, and even from the natural; but this is because the Word is for man, and has been in this manner accommodated to him; but still in itself it is spiritual from a celestial origin, that is, from Divine truth conjoined with Divine good. That doctrine would become null and void if as to its contents the rational were consulted, will be illustrated by examples in what follows.2517.
For she is married to a husband. That this signifies that the doctrine of true faith is spiritual, and that its contents are conjoined with the celestial, is evident from the signification of being "married to a husband." "Husband," when mentioned in the Word, signifies good, and "wife" then signifies truth. It is otherwise when the husband is called the "man;" for then "man" signifies truth, and "wife" good (see n. 915, and elsewhere). Here therefore her being "married to a husband" signifies that truth is conjoined with good, and in such a manner that the truth also is good. The same is also evident from the signification of "Sarah as a wife," as being spiritual truth, and of "Abraham," as being celestial good, both Divine (see n. 2501, 2507). And as "Sarah" signifies Divine spiritual truth, the doctrine itself of true faith is also meant by "Sarah a wife;" for the doctrine is from truths. It is plain from this that her being "married to a husband" means that the doctrine of true faith is spiritual, and that its contents are conjoined with the celestial.2518.
Verse 4. And Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, Lord, wilt Thou slay also a righteous nation? "Abimelech had not come near her," signifies that in the doctrine of faith rational truth had not been consulted in any manner; "and he said, Lord, wilt Thou slay also a righteous nation?" signifies whether would the good and truth of doctrine be extinguished.2519.
Abimelech had not come near her. That this signifies that in the doctrine of faith rational truth had not been consulted in any manner, is evident from the signification of "Abimelech," as being the doctrine of faith (see n. 2504, 2509, 2510); and from the signification of "coming near her," namely to Sarah as a sister, as being to touch, or in any manner to consult rational truth, which is a "sister" (n. 1495, 2508). The reason why the rational had not been consulted in any manner, is that which has been stated before, namely, that the doctrinal things of faith are in their entirety from the Divine, which is infinitely above the human rational. It is from the Divine that the rational receives its good and its truth. The Divine can enter into the rational, but not the rational into the Divine; as the soul can enter into the body, and form it, but not the body into the soul; or as light can enter into shade, and modify it variously into colors; but not shade into light. But as it appears at first as if the rational ought to be present, because the rational is the very thing that receives the doctrine, it is here shown that the first subject of thought was, whether it also should not be consulted at the same time. But the Lord revealed and answered to Himself that doctrine would thus become null and void; and therefore the rational was not consulted; which is here signified by "Abimelech not coming near her."2520.
And he said, Lord, wilt Thou slay also a righteous nation? That this signifies whether would the good and truth be extinguished, is evident from the signification of "nation," as being good (see n. 1259, 1260, 1416); and as it is predicated of the nation of Abimelech, by whom is signified the doctrine of faith, by a "righteous nation" is here signified both good and truth; for both are of doctrine.  That this was said from the zeal of affection or of love toward the whole human race, is manifest. This love directed the Lord's thoughts while He was still in the maternal human; and although He perceived from the Divine that the doctrine of faith was from a celestial origin only, nevertheless in order that the human race might be provided for, which does not receive anything of which it cannot have some idea from its rational, it is therefore said, " Wilt Thou slay also a righteous nation?" by which is signified whether would the good and truth of doctrine be extinguished. That man does not receive anything of which he cannot have some idea from his rational, is evident from the ideas which man cherishes respecting Divine arcana. Some idea from worldly things or from things analogous to these always adheres to them, by which they are retained in the memory, and by which they are reproduced in the thought; for without an idea from worldly things man can think nothing at all. If therefore truths from a Divine origin were set forth naked, they would never be received, but would completely transcend man's comprehension, and therefore his belief, and most especially with those who are in external worship.  To illustrate this take the following examples: The Divine Itself can be in nothing but the Divine, thus in nothing but the Lord's Divine Human, and with man through this. If the rational were consulted it would say that the Divine Itself can be in the human of everyone. Again: Nothing is holy which does not proceed from the Lord, thus from the Divine, which is one. If the rational were consulted it would say that there may be what is holy from other sources also.  Again: Man does not live, nor do good, nor believe truth, from himself, nay, does not even think from himself; but the good and truth are from the Lord, while the evil and falsity are from hell; and what is more, hell, that is, they who are in hell, do not think from themselves, but receive the Lord's good and truth in the manner indicated. If the rational were consulted it would reject this, because it does not comprehend it. In like manner it would reject the truth that no one is rewarded on account of doing what is good and teaching what is true; and that the external contributes nothing, but only the internal insofar as there is the affection of good in doing what is good, and insofar as there is from that the affection of truth in teaching what is true, and this not from self. And so in a thousand other instances.  It is because the human rational is of such a character that the Word has spoken in accordance with man's apprehension, and also in accordance with his genius. This therefore is the reason why the internal sense of the Word is different from its literal sense; which is very evident in the Word of the Old Testament, where most things have been written in accordance with the apprehension and genius of the people who then lived. On this account almost nothing is said concerning the life after death, salvation, and the internal man. For the Jewish and Israelitish people with whom the church then was, were of such a character that if these things had been disclosed they would not only not have understood them, but would also have derided them. And it would have been the same if it had been disclosed to them that the Messiah or Christ was to come to eternally save their souls: this also they would have rejected as a matter of no moment; as is also evident from the same nation at the present day; for if what is internal or spiritual is mentioned in their presence even now, and it is said that the Messiah will not be the greatest king on the earth, they deride it.  This is why the Lord sometimes spoke like the Prophets, and taught the rest of what He had to say by parables, as He Himself has declared in Matthew: Jesus said, I speak unto them by parables, because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand (Matt. 13:13). By "those who see and hear" are meant those within the church who although they see and hear, still do not understand. Also in John: He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them (John 12:40). Their being "converted" and "healed" implies that nevertheless they would afterwards reject, and so would profane, which involves eternal condemnation (see n. 301-303, 582, 1008, 1010, 1059, 1327, 1328, 2051, 2426). Nevertheless the Lord has disclosed the interior things of the Word in many places, but only for the wise.2521.
Verse 5. Said he not himself unto me, She is my sister? And she herself also said, He is my brother: in the uprightness of my heart and in the blamelessness of my hands have I done this. "Said he not himself unto me," signifies exculpation for having so thought; "she is my sister," signifies that it was the rational which should be consulted; "and she herself also said, He is my brother," signifies that the rational itself so dictated that celestial good should be adjoined to it; "in the uprightness of my heart," signifies that it was so thought from innocence and simple good; "and in the blamelessness of my hands have I done this," signifies from the affection of truth, and so with all ability.2522.
Said he not himself unto me. That this signifies exculpation for having so thought, is evident from the particulars in this verse, as also from the signification of "saying," as being to think (see n. 2506).2523.
She is my sister. That this signifies that it was the rational which should be consulted (that is, that he so thought), is evident from the signification of "sister" in this chapter as being rational truth (see n. 1495, 2508). In the internal sense of the Word the Lord's whole life is described, such as it was to be in the world, even as to the perceptions and thoughts, for these were foreseen and provided because from the Divine; this being done for the additional reason that all these things might be set forth at that time as present to the angels, who perceive the Word according to the internal sense; and that so the Lord might be before them, and at the same time how by successive steps He put off the human, and put on the Divine. Unless these things had been as if present to the angels, through the Word, and also through all the rites in the Jewish Church, the Lord would have been obliged to come into the world immediately after the fall of the Most Ancient Church, which is called Man or Adam; for there was an immediate prophecy of the Lord's advent (Gen. 3:15); and what is more, the human race of that time could not otherwise have been saved.  As regards the Lord's life itself, it was a continual progression of the Human to the Divine, even to absolute union (as already frequently stated), for in order that He might combat with the hells and overcome them, He must needs do it from the Human; for there is no combat with the hells from the Divine. It therefore pleased Him to put on the human like another man, to be an infant like another, to grow up into knowledges [in scientias et in cognitiones], which things are represented by Abraham's sojourning in Egypt (chapter 12), and now in Gerar; thus it pleased Him to cultivate the rational as another man, and in this way to disperse its shade, and bring it into light, and this from His own power. That the Lord's progression from the Human to the Divine was of this nature, can be denied by no one if he only considers that He was a little child, and learned to talk like one; and so on. But there was this difference: that the Divine Itself was in Him, seeing that He was conceived of Jehovah.2524.
And she herself also said, He is my brother. That this signifies that the rational itself dictated that celestial good should be adjoined to it, is evident from the signification of a "sister" (here meant by "she herself") as being the rational (n. 1495, 2508); and from the signification of a "brother," as being the good of truth (n. 367, 2508). For the case herein is as follows: Divine good and Divine truth are united to each other as if by marriage; for thence comes the heavenly marriage, and thence comes marriage love also, even down to lower nature. But the good and truth of the rational are not conjoined with each other as by marriage, but by consanguinity, like brother and sister; since the rational as to truth is conceived from the influx of Divine good into the affection of knowledges [scientiarum et cognitionum] (see n. 1895, 1902, 1910); and the good of the rational, through the influx of Divine good into that truth, which then becomes the good itself of charity, which is the "brother" of faith, or what is the same, of truth (n. 367).  But in regard to the good and truth of the rational, the procuring of this takes place in such a way that its good is from Divine good, whereas its truth is not from Divine truth; for the truth of the rational is procured by means of knowledges [scientias et cognitiones], which are insinuated through the external and internal senses, thus by an external way. Hence it is that there adhere to its truths many fallacies from the senses, which cause the truths not to be truths; nevertheless when Divine good flows into them, and conceives them, they then appear as truths, and are acknowledged as truths, although they are nothing but appearances of truth. The good itself is then modified in these truths according to the shades there, and becomes in quality like the truth. This is one arcanum which lies hidden in these words, that the rational thus dictated that celestial good should be adjoined to it.2525.
In the uprightness of my heart. That this signifies that it was so thought from innocence and simple good, is evident from the signification of "uprightness," and of "heart." In the original tongue "uprightness" is expressed by a word which signifies also integrity and perfection, and also simplicity; moreover "heart" signifies love and charity, which are of good, as is well known. Hence it is that "from the uprightness of the heart" means from innocence and simple good.2526.
And in the blamelessness of my hands have I done this. That this signifies from the affection of truth, and so from all ability, is evident from the signification of "blamelessness," and also of "hands." In the original language "blamelessness" is expressed by a word which also means cleanness and purity. "Hands" are predicated of truth, and signify power, thus ability (n. 878). That "I have done this from the uprightness of my heart and the blamelessness of my hands" signifies that it was so thought from innocence and simple good, and from the affection of truth, and thus from all ability, is because good is good from innocence; and truth is truth from good; and when these are in their order, there is then all ability. That these things are involved in the words is plain; for there is not an upright, sound, or perfect heart (by which good is signified) unless innocence be in the good, as just said; from this it becomes simple good. And there are not blameless, clean, or pure hands (which are predicated of truths) unless good be in the truths, as also just said; that is, unless there be the affection of truth. When the thought is from these, it is also from all ability or power; which is likewise signified by "hands" (n. 878).2527.
Verse 6. And God said unto him in the dream, Yea, I know that in the uprightness of thy heart thou hast done this; and I also withheld thee from sinning against Me; therefore I did not suffer thee to touch her. "God said unto him in the dream," signifies perception less obscure; "Yea, I know that in the uprightness of thy heart thou hast done this," signifies here as before that it was so thought from innocence and from simple good; thus that there was no fault; "and I also withheld thee from sinning against Me," signifies that no harm resulted; "therefore I did not suffer thee to touch her," signifies that the rational was not at all consulted.2528.
God said unto him in the dream. That this signifies perception less obscure, is evident from what was said and explained above (n. 2514). The name "God" is used in this chapter, but not "Jehovah," except in the last verse, for the reason that spiritual things are treated of, that is, the doctrinal things of faith. When this is the subject He is called "God;" but when celestial things, or love and charity, are treated of, He is then called "Jehovah" (see n. 709, 732, 2001).2529.
Yea, I know that in the uprightness of thy heart thou hast done this. That this signifies that it was so thought from innocence and from simple good, is evident from what was said above (n. 2525, 2526), where are the same words. That it is not also said, as above, "in the blamelessness of thy hands," is for the hidden reason that in the affection of truth (which is signified by the "blamelessness of the hands") there was something of the human; for truth was insinuated into the Lord also through the human of His birth, but good from the Divine alone; as is evident from the coming forth [existentia] of the rational as to good and as to truth (n. 2524).2530.
And I also withheld thee from sinning against Me. That this signifies that no harm resulted, that is, that in the doctrine of faith the rational was not consulted (as also follows presently) is evident without explication.2531.
Therefore I did not suffer thee to touch her. That this signifies that the rational was not at all consulted, is evident from the signification of "suffering to touch," as being to consult (as is also meant by "coming near her" in verse 4, n. 2519); and from the signification of "Sarah as a sister," who is here meant, as being the rational (see n. 1495, 2508).  That it may be further known how the case is with the doctrine of faith, as being spiritual from a celestial origin, be it known that it is Divine truth from Divine good, and thus wholly Divine. What is Divine is incomprehensible, because above all understanding, even the angelic; but still this Divine, which in itself is incomprehensible, can flow in through the Lord's Divine Human into man's rational; and when it flows into his rational, it is there received according to the truths which are therein; thus variously, and not with one as with another. Insofar therefore as the truths with a man are more genuine, so far the Divine which flows in is received more perfectly, and so far the man's understanding is enlightened.  In the Lord's Word are Truths themselves; but in its literal sense are truths which are accommodated to the apprehension of those who are in external worship; whereas in its internal sense are truths accommodated to those who are internal men; that is, to those who are angelic as to doctrine and at the same time as to life. Their rational is enlightened therefrom to such a degree that their enlightenment is compared to the brightness of the stars and the sun (Dan. 12:3; Matt. 13:43). Hence it is plain how important it is that interior truths be known and received. These truths may indeed be known, but by no means received, except by those who have love to the Lord, or faith in Him; for as the Lord is the Divine good, so He is the Divine truth; consequently He is doctrine itself, since whatever is in the doctrine of true faith looks to the Lord, and looks also to the heavenly kingdom and the church, and to all things of the heavenly kingdom and the church. But all these are His, and are the intermediate ends through which the last end, that is, the Lord, is regarded.  That the Lord is doctrine itself as to truth and good, and thus that it is He who alone is regarded in doctrine, He teaches John: Jesus said, I am the way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6, 7); where the "Way" is doctrine, the "Truth" all that is of doctrine, and the "Life" the good itself which is the life of the truth. And that love to Him or faith in Him is what receives, He also teaches in John: His own received Him not; but as many as received Him, to them gave He power to be the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:11-13). Those are "born of God" who are in love and thence in faith.2532.
Verse 7. And now restore the man's wife; for he is a prophet, and shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live; and if thou restore her not, know thou that dying thou shalt die, thou and all that are thine. "And now restore the man's wife," signifies that he should render up the spiritual truth of doctrine without taint from the rational; "for he is a prophet," signifies that thus it should be taught; "and he shall pray for thee," signifies that it will thus be revealed; "and thou shalt live," signifies that thus doctrine will have life; "and if thou restore her not," signifies here as before that if he should not render up the spiritual truth of doctrine without taint from the rational; "know thou that dying thou shalt die," signifies there will be no doctrine of truth and good; "and all that are thine," signifies all things that belong to it together.2533.
And now restore the man's wife. That this signifies that he should render up the spiritual truth of doctrine without taint from the rational, is evident from the signification of "wife," as being spiritual truth (see n. 2507, 2510); and from the signification of the "man," as being doctrine itself; for Abraham (by whom the Lord in that state is represented), when called a "man," signifies celestial truth, which is the same as doctrine from a celestial origin; for in the internal sense a "man" is the intellectual (see n. 158, 265, 749, 915, 1007, 2517). Hence it is evident that to "restore the man's wife" is to render up the spiritual truth of doctrine without taint. That it means without taint from the rational, is because Abimelech, who was to restore her, signifies doctrine that has regard to rational things, or what is the same, the rational things of doctrine (n. 2510).  It was said above that although the doctrine of faith is in itself Divine, and therefore above all human and even angelic comprehension, it has nevertheless been dictated in the Word according to man's comprehension, in a rational manner. The case herein is the same as it is with a parent who is teaching his little boys and girls: when he is teaching, he sets forth everything in accordance with their genius, although he himself thinks from what is more interior or higher; otherwise it would be teaching without their learning, or like casting seed upon a rock. The case is also the same with the angels who in the other life instruct the simple in heart: although these angels are in celestial and spiritual wisdom, yet they do not hold themselves above the comprehension of those whom they teach, but speak in simplicity with them, yet rising by degrees as these are instructed; for if they were to speak from angelic wisdom, the simple would comprehend nothing at all, and thus would not be led to the truths and goods of faith. The case would be the same if the Lord had not taught in the Word in accordance with man's comprehension, in a rational manner. Nevertheless in its internal sense the Word is elevated to the angelic understanding; and yet that sense, in its highest elevation in which it is perceived by the angels, is infinitely below the Divine. It is hence manifest what the Word is in its origin, and thus in itself; and that it thus everywhere involves more things than the whole heaven is capable of comprehending, even as to a small part, although in the letter it appears so unimportant and so rude.  That the Lord is the Word, because the Word is from Him and He is in the Word, is evident in John: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word; in Him was life, and the life was the light of men; the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1, 4, 14; see also Rev. 19:11, 13, 16). And as the Lord is the Word, He is also doctrine; for there is no other doctrine which is itself Divine.2534.
For he is a prophet. That this signifies that thus it would be taught, is evident from the signification of a "prophet." In the Word we frequently read of a "prophet;" and in the sense of the letter "prophet" signifies those to whom revelation is made, also abstractedly, revelation itself; but in the internal sense a "prophet" signifies one who teaches, and also abstractedly doctrine itself; and as the Lord (as before said) is doctrine itself, that is, the Word which teaches, He is called a "Prophet," as in Moses: A Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me, will Jehovah thy God raise up; unto Him shall ye be obedient (Deut. 18:15, 18). It is said "like unto me," because the Lord was represented by Moses, as well as by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and many more; and because they expected Him it is said in John: The men, seeing the sign which Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that Prophet that should come into the world (John 6:14).  It is because the Lord is the "Prophet" in the highest sense, and that "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Rev. 19:10), that in the internal sense of the Word a "prophet" signifies one who teaches, and also abstractedly, doctrine; which is plainly evident from the following passages. In Luke: Thou child shalt be called the prophet of the Highest (Luke 1:76). This was said by Zacharias of his son John the Baptist, who himself said that he was not the prophet, but one preparing the way by teaching and preaching concerning the Lord's coming: They asked him, What art thou? Art thou Elias? But he said, I am not. Art thou that prophet? he answered, No. They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? he said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord (John 1:21-23).  In Matthew: Many will say in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied by Thy name? (Matt. 7:22), where it is manifest that to "prophesy" is to teach. In John: Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings (Rev. 10:11); to "prophesy" denotes to teach; and what "peoples, nations, tongues, and kings" mean, has been stated and shown before. In the same: The nations shall trample the holy city forty-two months; but I will give to My two witnesses that they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days clothed in sackcloth (Rev. 11:2-3); where also to "prophesy" denotes to teach. In Moses: Jehovah said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet (Exod. 7:1); where "prophet" denotes the one who should teach or speak what Moses would say. In Joel: I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy (Joel 2:28); "shall prophesy" denotes shall teach.  In Isaiah: Jehovah hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes; the prophets and your heads, the seers, hath He covered; the vision of all hath become like the words of a sealed book, which they give to him that knoweth letters, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I cannot, for it is sealed (Isa. 29:10-11); where by "prophets" are meant those who teach truth; and by "seers" those who see truth; who are said to be "covered" when they know and see nothing of the truth. As in ancient times those who taught were called "prophets," they were therefore called also "seers," because to "see" signifies to understand (n. 2150, 2325; that they were called "seers" may be seen 1 Sam. 9:9; 2 Sam. 24:11). They were also called "men of God," from the signification of "man" (n. 158, 265, 749, 915, 1007, 2517; that they were called "men of God," 2 Kings 1:9-16; 4:7, 9, 16, 21-22, 25, 27, 40, 42; 5:8, 14, 20; 13:19; 23:16-17).  That in the internal sense by "prophets" are signified those who teach, is evident in Jeremiah in the whole of chapter 23, and in Ezekiel in the whole of chapter 13, where "prophets" are specifically treated of; as also in many other places where they are mentioned. Hence also by "false prophets" are signified those who teach falsities; as in Matthew: In the consummation of the age many false prophets shall arise, and shall mislead many. There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs, and shall mislead if possible even the elect (Matt. 24:11, 24); where by "false prophets" no others are signified. In like manner by the "false prophet" in Rev. 16:13; 19:20; 20:10.  This shows how greatly the internal sense of the Word is obscured by the ideas that have been formed from the representatives of the Jewish Church; for whenever a "prophet" is mentioned in the Word, there at once occurs the idea of prophets such as they were at that time; which idea is a great obstacle to perceiving what is signified by them. Yet the wiser anyone is, the more easily is the idea gathered from those representatives removed; as for example where the "temple" is mentioned, they who think more wisely do not perceive the temple at Jerusalem, but the Temple of the Lord; where "Mount Zion," or "Zion," is mentioned, they do not perceive that mountain at Jerusalem, but the Lord's kingdom; and where "Jerusalem" is mentioned, they do not perceive the city that was in the tribes of Benjamin and Judah, but the holy and heavenly Jerusalem.2535.
He shall pray for thee. That this signifies that it will thus be revealed, is evident from the signification of "praying." Prayer, regarded in itself, is speech with God, and some internal view at the time of the matters of the prayer, to which there answers something like an influx into the perception or thought of the mind, so that there is a certain opening of the man's interiors toward God; but this with a difference according to the man's state, and according to the essence of the subject of the prayer. If the man prays from love and faith, and for only heavenly and spiritual things, there then comes forth in the prayer something like a revelation (which is manifested in the affection of him that prays) as to hope, consolation, or a certain inward joy. It is from this that to "pray" signifies in the internal sense to be revealed. Still more is this the case here, where praying is predicated of a prophet, by whom is meant the Lord, whose prayer was nothing else than internal speech with the Divine, and at the same time revelation. That there was revelation is evident in Luke: It came to pass when Jesus was baptized, and prayed, that the heaven was opened (Luke 3:21). In the same: It came to pass that He took Peter, James, and John, and went up into the mountain to pray; and as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment became white and glistening (Luke 9:28-29). In John: When He prayed, saying, Father glorify Thy name, then came there a voice from heaven: I have both glorified, and will glorify again (John 12:27-28); where it is plain that the Lord's "praying" was speech with the Divine, and revelation at the same time.2536.
And thou shalt live. That this signifies that thus doctrine will have life, is evident without explication.2537.
And if thou restore her not. That this signifies that if spiritual truth were not rendered up without taint from the rational, is evident from what has been said just above (n. 2533), where are the same words.2538.
Know thou that dying thou shalt die. That this signifies that there will be no doctrine of truth and good, is also evident from what was said above (n. 2516); where also the words are similar. In like manner that "all that are thine" signifies all the things that are of it, namely, of the doctrine, together. That in the internal sense "all" signifies everything or all things, is because in the Word persons signify actual things; and thus "all that belonged to Abimelech" signifies everything or all things that are of doctrine. From all this then it is evident what is the internal sense of the words in this verse; namely, that He should render up the spiritual truth of doctrine without taint from the rational, and that thereby it would be taught and revealed to Him, and thus doctrine would have life; but that if He should not render up spiritual truth without taint from the rational, the doctrine of truth and good would become null and void in respect to each and all things of it.  In regard to doctrine the case is this: Insofar as there is what is human (that is, what is of sense, of memory-knowledge, and of the rational) as the ground of belief, so far the doctrine is null and void. But insofar as what is of sense, of memory-knowledge, and of the rational is removed, that is, insofar as doctrine is believed without these things, so far doctrine lives; for so far the Divine flows in. It is that which is proper to the human that hinders the influx and the reception. But it is one thing to believe from what is of the rational, of memory-knowledge, and of sense (that is, to consult such things in order to believe), and quite another thing to confirm and corroborate by means of things rational, of memory-knowledge, and of sense, that which is believed. What the difference is will be made plain in what follows; for these things also are treated of in this chapter in the internal sense.2539.
Verse 8. And Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and spoke all these words in their ears; and the men feared greatly. "Abimelech rose early in the morning," signifies clear perception, and the light of confirmation from celestial good; "and called all his servants," signifies things rational and of memory-knowledge; "and spoke all these words in their ears," signifies an exhortation to the things thence derived that confirm, even until they should become obedient; "and the men feared greatly," signifies until they were also averse.2540.
Abimelech rose early in the morning. That this signifies clear perception, and the light of confirmation from celestial good, is evident from the signification of "rising in the morning," also of "Abimelech," and also of "early." What "morning" signifies has been shown above (n. 2333, 2405): that it is here clear perception is manifest in itself, as well as from the series; that the perception was at first obscure (n. 2513, 2514); and that afterwards it was less obscure (n. 2528). That "Abimelech" signifies the doctrine of faith looking to rational things, may be seen above (n. 2509, 2510); and what "early" signifies is manifest from the signification of "morning." As it is here said that he "rose early in the morning," this not only signifies clear perception, but also the light of confirmation from celestial good; for it is celestial good from which comes the confirming light of truth; all of which shows that this is the signification.  The reason why the perception which the Lord had when in the Human, and His thought concerning what is rational in the doctrine of faith, are so much treated of in the internal sense, is that which has been stated above; as well as that it is angelic to think with distinctiveness of various things concerning the Lord's life in the world, and how He put off the human rational, and made the rational Divine from His own power; and at the same time concerning the doctrine of charity and faith, such as it is when the rational mixes itself with it; besides many more things dependent on these, which are interior things of the church and of man. To the man whose mind and heart are set upon worldly and corporeal things, these things appear as unimportant, and perchance as of no advantage to him; yet to the angels, whose minds and hearts are set upon celestial and spiritual things, these same things are precious; and their ideas and perceptions respecting them are ineffable. This shows that very many things which seem unimportant to man, because they transcend his comprehension, are held in the highest estimation by the angels, because they enter into the light of their wisdom; and on the other hand, things that are most highly esteemed by man, because they are of the world, and therefore come within his comprehension, are unimportant to the angels, for they pass outside of the light of their wisdom. And such is the case with the internal sense of the Word, relatively to angels and to men, in many places.2541.
And called all his servants. That this signifies rational things and memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification in the Word of "servants" (concerning which hereafter at verse 14, n. 2567). In a man who is in the Lord's kingdom, or who is the Lord's kingdom, there are celestial things, spiritual things, rational things, memory-knowledges, and things of sense; and these are in subordination to one another. Celestial and spiritual things hold the first place, and are the Lord's; to these rational things are subordinate, and are subservient; to these again memory-knowledges are subordinate and subservient; and lastly the things of sense are subordinate and subservient to these, that is to memory-knowledges. The things which are subservient, or which serve, are relatively servants, and in the Word are called "servants." That there is such a subordination, the man who thinks only from sense and memory-knowledge is ignorant; and he who knows anything of them nevertheless has a most obscure idea, because he is still in corporeal things; but the angels have a most distinct idea; for thousands, nay myriads, of ideas that to the angels are distinct, present nothing but a single obscure idea to men. For example, in regard to Abimelech calling his servants and speaking all the words in their ears, and the men fearing greatly, the angels perceive deeper arcana than man can possibly apprehend, or can even believe-namely, how the Lord reduced rational things and memory-knowledges to obedience; and indeed in such manner that He reduced to obedience not the rational things and memory-knowledges themselves, but the affections that rose up against the celestial and spiritual things of doctrine, for on the subjugation of these the rational things and memory-knowledges were reduced to obedience, and at the same time into order. To the angels, these are among the most common things; but to man they are perchance among those which are most obscure or unintelligible to him.2542.
And spoke all these words in their ears. That this signifies an exhortation to the things thence derived that confirm, even until they should become obedient, is evident from the series in the internal sense, as well as from the signification of "ears." From the series: There are many confirmatory things that support whatever the rational acknowledges; for it is precisely from these confirmatory things that its acknowledgment comes; and therefore it is that when rational things are being reduced to obedience exhortation is made to the things that confirm; for these are ever pressing in, and as it were rising up. From the signification of "ears:" In the internal sense of the Word "ears" signify obedience, by reason of the correspondence between hearing and obeying; which correspondence is moreover latent in the very word "hear," and still more in "hearken;" the origin of which correspondence is from the other life, where they who are willing and obedient belong to the province of the ear, and indeed correspond to the hearing itself; which is an arcanum not yet known. But these things will become more clearly manifest when in what follows, of the Lord's Divine mercy, correspondence will be treated of. That "ears" have this signification is evident from many passages in the Word. For the present we may adduce a single passage from Isaiah: Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest peradventure they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and their heart should understand (Isa. 6:10). Here to "see with the eyes" is to understand; and to "hear with the ears" is to perceive with affection, consequently to obey. And nothing else is signified where the Lord says, "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear" (Matt. 11:15, 13:9, 43; Luke 8:8; 14:35).2543.
The men feared greatly. That this signifies even until they should become averse, is evident from the signification here of "fearing;" and from the signification of the "men." "Fearing," or "fear," like all other emotions, though in appearance simple, involves in itself many things, namely, in worldly matters the loss of life, of reputation, of honor, and of gain; and in heavenly matters the loss of what is good and true, and of the life thence derived. As fear involves these things it also involves aversion to whatever endeavors to destroy them; and this the more in proportion as the man is in the affection of what is good and true. To this very affection aversion is the opposite or contrary, and therefore by "fearing" is here signified to become averse. How great was the Lord's aversion is evident from the zeal with which the things in the next verse are said; which zeal was for doctrine, that it might be free from contamination by anything rational or by anything of memory-knowledge. (That "men" signify rational things and memory-knowledges, or all intellectual things whatever, has been shown above, n. 158, 265, 749, 915, 1007.)2544.
Verse 9. And Abimelech called Abraham and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? And wherein have I sinned against thee that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? Thou hast done unto me deeds that ought not to be done. "Abimelech called Abraham and said unto him," signifies the Lord's thought from the doctrine of faith; "what hast thou done unto us? And wherein have I sinned against thee?" signifies self-conviction for having so thought; "that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin," signifies that thereby the doctrine of faith and all doctrinal things would be in danger; "thou hast done unto me deeds that ought not to be done," signifies horror.2545.
Abimelech called Abraham and said unto him. That this signifies the Lord's thought from the doctrine of faith, is evident from the representation of Abimelech, and also of Abraham, and from the signification of "saying," which have all been explained several times. What it is to think from the doctrine of faith cannot be explained to the apprehension; for the perception of this can fall into angelic ideas only; but to these it is presented in a light so great, attended with heavenly representatives, that scarcely anything of it can be described; as is evident when we say that the Lord's thought was from intellectual truth, which was above that rational which He looked upon therefrom; but that the perception from which He thought was from Divine truth.2546.
What hast thou done unto us? And wherein have I sinned against thee? That this signifies self-conviction for having so thought, is evident from the emotion and zeal in these words (see n. 2543), on account of the faculties of reason and memory-knowledge desiring to rise up and enter, and thus to have some share in the doctrine of faith, which is Divine.2547.
That thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin. That this signifies that thereby the doctrine of faith and all doctrinal things would be in danger, is evident from the signification of "Abimelech," here meant by "me," as being the doctrine of faith; and from the signification of "kingdom," as being the truth of doctrine or that which is doctrinal. That in the internal sense "kingdom" signifies the truths of doctrine; and in the opposite sense, falsities of doctrine, is evident from the Word; as in Jeremiah: He is the Former of all things, and the scepter of His inheritance Jehovah Zebaoth is His name. Thou art My hammer, weapons of war; and I will scatter nations in thee, and destroy kingdoms in thee (Jer. 51:19-20), where the Lord is treated of, who evidently will not scatter nations nor destroy kingdoms, but will scatter and destroy the things signified by nations and kingdoms, namely, the evils and falsities of doctrine.  In Ezekiel: Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations whither they be gone, and will gather them from every side, and bring them into their own land; I will make them one nation in the land in the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall no more be two nations, neither shall they any more be divided into two kingdoms (Ezek. 37:21-22); here "Israel" denotes the spiritual church; and "nation" the good of that church or of doctrine. (That "nations" denote goods may be seen above, n. 1259, 1260, 1416, 1849.) "Kingdom" denotes its truths. It is evident that something else than nations and kingdoms is here meant by "nations and kingdoms," for it is said of the sons of Israel or of the Israelites that they are to be "gathered and brought back into the land," the fact being that when dispersed among the nations they were transformed into Gentiles.  In Isaiah: I will confound Egypt with Egypt, and they shall fight every man against his brother, and every man against his companion, city against city, kingdom against kingdom (Isa. 19:2), where "Egypt" denotes reasonings from memory-knowledges concerning the truths of faith (n. 1164, 1165, 1186); "city" denotes doctrine, here one that is heretical (n. 402, 2268, 2449); "kingdom" denotes the falsity of doctrine; so that "city against city, and kingdom against kingdom" denotes that heresies and falsities will fight among themselves; in like manner as is denoted by what the Lord said in regard to the consummation of the age, in Matthew: Nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (Matt. 24:7); denoting evils against evils, and falsities against falsities.  That which Daniel prophesied in regard to the four kingdoms (chapter 2:37-46, 7:17 to the end); and concerning the kingdoms of Media and Persia (chapter 8:20 to the end); and concerning the kingdoms of the king of the south and the king of the north (chapter 11); and that which John prophesied in the Revelation concerning kings and kingdoms, have no other signification: "kingdoms" there merely mean the states of the church in respect to truths and falsities. States of monarchs and of the kingdoms of the earth in the sense of the letter, are in the internal sense states of the church and of the Lord's kingdom; in which sense there are none other than spiritual and celestial things; for regarded in itself the Lord's Word is solely spiritual and celestial; but in order that it may be read and apprehended by every man whatever, the things of heaven are set forth by such things as are on earth.2548.
Thou hast done unto me deeds that ought not to be done. That this signifies horror, is evident from the emotion in the words; as well as from the series, namely, that the Lord was averse (n. 2543); that He reproved Himself from zeal (n. 2546); and here that He felt horror.2549.
Verses 10, 11. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou that thou hast done this word? And Abraham said, Because I said, Surely there is no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me on account of the word of my wife. "Abimelech said unto Abraham," signifies further thought from the doctrine of faith; "what sawest thou that thou hast done this word?" signifies a looking into the cause; "Abraham said," signifies a perception which is an answer; "because I said surely there is no fear of God in this place," signifies thought thence derived: that they would have no respect for spiritual truth in the state in which they were; "and they will kill me on account of the word of my wife," signifies that the celestial things of faith would thus also perish if they were to think that spiritual truth alone could be conjoined with celestial good.2550.
Abimelech said unto Abraham. That this signifies further thought from the doctrine of faith, is evident from what was said above (n. 2545), where are nearly the same words. As the statement is here repeated, it signifies further thought, and indeed concerning the cause. (What thought from the doctrine of faith is may also be seen there.)
2504-1 See n. 1901 at the end as compared with n. 1902. [Reviser.]