Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at sacred-texts.com
And Sarah saw. That this signifies the Lord's insight from the Divine spiritual, is evident from the signification of "seeing," as being to understand (see n. 897, 2150, 2325), which is the same as to look into, from the mind's sight; also from the representation of Sarah, as being the Divine spiritual, or Divine truth (see n. 2622). "Sarah saw," means that the Divine spiritual had insight, which is the same as to say that the Lord had it from the Divine spiritual.2652.
The son of Hagar the Egyptian. That this signifies into the merely human rational, and that "Hagar the Egyptian" is the affection of memory-knowledges, of which that rational was born as a mother, is evident from the signification of the "son," namely Ishmael, as being the first rational which the Lord had-treated of in Genesis 16, where Hagar and Ishmael are the subject-also from his representation, and that of Hagar the Egyptian, his mother, explained under that chapter. (That the first or merely human rational in the Lord was conceived from the Divine celestial as a father, and born of the affection of memory-knowledges as a mother, may be seen above, n. 1895, 1896, 1902, 1910.)2653.
Whom she had borne unto Abraham. That this signifies that it came forth from the Divine celestial as a father, is evident from the signification of "bearing," as being to come forth (see n. 2621, 2629); and from the representation of Abraham, as being the Divine celestial (see n. 1989, 2011, 2172, 2198, 2501). (That the first rational came forth from the Divine celestial as a father, may be seen above, n. 1895, 1896, 1902, 1910.)2654.
Mocking. That this signifies not in agreement with or favoring the Divine rational, is evident from the signification of "mocking," as being that which comes of an affection contrary to what does not agree with and favor one's self. In the preceding verse it was said that the child grew, and was weaned, and that Abraham made a great feast when he weaned Isaac; by which is signified that when the Lord's rational was made Divine, the former rational was separated. Therefore there now immediately follows that which concerns the son of Hagar the Egyptian, by whom this rational is meant, as was shown in the explication at the sixteenth chapter, where Ishmael and Hagar are treated of. From this it is likewise manifest that the things which are in the internal sense follow together in a continuous series.  But in regard to the Lord's first rational, seeing that it was born as with another man, namely, by means of knowledges [per scientias et cognitiones], it could not but be in appearances of truth which are not truths in themselves, as is evident from what has been shown before (n. 1911, 1936, 2196, 2203, 2209, 2519); and as it was in appearances of truth, truths without appearances, such as Divine truths are, could not agree with it or favor it, both because this rational does not comprehend them, and because they oppose it. But take examples for illustration.  The human rational-that namely which has its birth 2654-1 from worldly things through impressions of sense, and afterwards from analogies of worldly things by means of knowledges [per scientifica et cognitiones] - is ready to laugh and mock if told that it does not live of itself, but only appears to live so; and that one lives the more, that is, the more wisely and intelligently, and the more blissfully and happily, the less he believes that he lives of himself; and that this is the life of angels, especially of those who are celestial, and inmost, or nearest to the Lord; for they know that no one lives of himself except Jehovah alone, that is, the Lord.  This rational would mock also if it were told that it has nothing of its own, and that its having anything of its own is a fallacy or an appearance; and still more would it mock if told that the more it is in the fallacy that it has anything of its own, the less it has; and the converse. So too would it mock if told that whatever it thinks and does from what is its own is evil, although it were good; and that it is not wise until it believes and perceives that all evil is from hell, and all good from the Lord. In this belief, and even in this perception, are all the angels; who nevertheless have what is their own more abundantly than all others; but they know and perceive that this is from the Lord, although it altogether appears as theirs.  Again: this rational would mock if it were said that in heaven the greatest are they who are least, the wisest they who believe and perceive themselves to be the least wise, and the happiest they who desire others to be the most happy, and themselves the least so; that it is heaven to wish to be below all, but hell to wish to be above all; consequently that in the glory of heaven there is absolutely nothing the same as in the glory of the world.  In the same way would that rational mock, if it were said that in the other life there is nothing of space and time, but that there are states, according to which there are appearances of space and time; and that life is the more heavenly the further it is from what is of space and time, and the nearer it is to what is eternal; in which, namely, in what is eternal, there is nothing at all from the idea of time, nor from anything analogous to it: and so with numberless other things.  That there were such things in the merely human rational, and that therefore this rational mocked at Divine things, the Lord saw, and indeed from the Divine spiritual (which is signified by Sarah's seeing the son of Hagar the Egyptian, n. 2651, 2652). That man is able to look from within into the things in himself which are below, is known by experience to those who are in perception, and even to those who are in conscience; for they see so far as to reprove their very thoughts. Hence the regenerate can see what is the quality of the rational which they had before regeneration. With man such perception is from the Lord; but the Lord's was from Himself.2655.
Verse 10. And she said unto Abraham, Cast out this handmaid and her son; for the son of this handmaid shall not inherit with my son, with Isaac. "She said unto Abraham," signifies perception from the Divine; "cast out this handmaid and her son," signifies that the things of the merely human rational should be banished; "for the son of this handmaid shall not inherit with my son, with Isaac," signifies that the merely human rational could not have a common life with the Divine rational itself, either as to truth or as to good.2656.
She said unto Abraham. That this signifies perception from the Divine, is evident from the signification of "saying" in the historic parts of the Word, which is to perceive (as stated often before); and from the representation of Abraham, as being the Divine celestial, or the Divine good (see n. 2622).2657.
Cast out this handmaid and her son. That this signifies that the things of the merely human rational should be banished, is evident from the signification of "casting out," as being to banish; from the signification of a "handmaid," as being the affection of rational things and memory-knowledges, thus as being the good of them (see n. 2567); and from the signification of her "son," as being the truth of that rational (see n. 264, 489, 533, 1147). But it is apparent good and truth which are predicated of this first or merely human rational. Hence it is that "cast out this handmaid and her son," signifies that the things of the merely human rational were to be banished. How this is, namely, that the first rational was banished when the Divine rational took its place, has been stated and shown several times before; but as it is here treated of specifically, it must be still further explained in a few words.  With every man who is being regenerated there are two rationals, one before regeneration, the other after regeneration. The first, which is before regeneration, is procured through the experience of the senses, by reflections upon things of civic life and of moral life, and by means of the sciences and the reasonings derived from them and by means of them, also by means of the knowledges of spiritual things from the doctrine of faith or from the Word. But these go no further at that time than a little above the ideas of the corporeal memory, which comparatively are quite material. Whatever therefore it then thinks is from such things; or, in order that what it thinks may be comprehended at the same time by interior or intellectual sight, the semblances of such things are presented by comparison, or analogically. Of this kind is the first rational, or that which is before regeneration.  But the rational after regeneration is formed by the Lord through the affections of spiritual truth and good, which affections are implanted by the Lord in a wonderful manner in the truths of the former rational; and those things in it which are in agreement and which favor are thus vivified; but the rest are separated from it as of no use; until at length spiritual goods and truths are collected together as it were into bundles, the incongruous things which cannot be vivified being rejected to the circumference, and this by successive steps, as spiritual goods and truths grow, together with the life of the affections of them. From this it appears what the second rational is.  How the case is with these things may be illustrated by comparison with the fruit of trees. The first rational, in the beginning, is like unripe fruit, which gradually matures till it forms seeds within itself, and when it is of such age as to begin to separate itself from the tree, its state is then full (see above, n. 2636). But the second rational, with which one is gifted by the Lord when he is being regenerated, is like the same fruit in good ground, in which those things which are round about the seeds decay, and the seeds push forth from their inmost parts, and send out a root, and then a shoot above the ground, which grows into a new tree, and unfolds itself at length even into new fruits, and then into gardens and paradises, according to the affections of good and truth which it receives (see Matt. 13:31-32; John 12:24).  But as examples aid conviction, take as an example that which is man's own before regeneration, and that which is his own after it. From the first rational, which he has procured to himself by the means described above, the man believes that he thinks truth and does good from himself, and thus from what is his own. This first rational cannot apprehend otherwise, even if it has been instructed that all the good of love and all the truth of faith are from the Lord. But when man is being regenerated, which takes place in adult age, then from the other rational with which he is gifted by the Lord he begins to think that the good and truth are not from himself, or from what is his own, but from the Lord (but that nevertheless he does good and thinks truth as from himself, may be seen above, n. 1937, 1947). The more he is then confirmed in this, the more is he led into the light of truth respecting these things, till at last he believes that all good and all truth are from the Lord. The Own that belongs to the former rational is then successively separated, and the man is gifted by the Lord with a heavenly Own, which becomes that of his new rational.  Take another example. The first rational, in the beginning, knows no other love than that of self and the world; and although it hears that heavenly love is altogether of another character, it nevertheless does not comprehend it. But then, when the man does any good, he perceives no other delight from it than that he may seem to himself to merit the favor of another, or may hear himself called a Christian, or may obtain from it the joy of eternal life. The second rational, however, with which he is gifted by the Lord through regeneration, begins to feel some delight in good and truth itself, and to be affected by this, not for the sake of anything of his own, but for the sake of the good and truth; and when he is led by this delight, he disclaims merit, till at length he rejects it as an enormity. This delight grows with him step by step, and becomes blessed; and in the other life it becomes happiness, and is itself his heaven. Hence it is now evident how it is with each rational in the man who is being regenerated.  But be it known that although a man is being regenerated, still each and all things of the first rational remain with him, and are merely separated from the second rational, and this in a most wonderful manner by the Lord. But the Lord wholly banished His first rational, so that nothing of it remained; for what is merely human cannot be together with the Divine. Hence He was no longer the son of Mary, but was Jehovah as to each essence.2658.
For the son of this handmaid shall not inherit with my son, with Isaac. That this signifies that the merely human rational could not have a life in common with the Divine rational itself, either as to good or as to truth, is evident from the signification of "inheriting," as being to have another's life (to be explained presently); from the signification of the "son of the handmaid," as being the merely human rational as to truth and as to good (see n. 2657); from the signification of "my son Isaac," as being the Divine rational as to truth (which is "my son"), and as to good (which is "Isaac"), concerning which see n. 2623, 2630. That "Isaac" is the Divine rational as to good, is evident from the signification of "laughter," from which he was named, as being the affection of truth, or the good of truth, in the sixth and seventh verses (2640, 2641, 2643). Hence it is manifest that "the son of this handmaid shall not inherit with my son, with Isaac," denotes that the merely human rational cannot have a life in common with the Divine rational, either as to truth or as to good. That it cannot have a life in common, is evident from the mere fact that the Divine is Life itself, and thus has life in Itself; whereas the merely human is an organ of life, and thus has not life in itself.  When the Lord's Human was made Divine it was no longer an organ of life, or a recipient of life, but was Life itself, such as is that of Jehovah Himself. It had this at first from its very conception from Jehovah, as is clearly manifest from the Lord's own words in John: As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (John 5:26); the Divine Human is what is here called the "Son" (n. 1729, 2159, 2628). In the same: In Him was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1:4). In the same: Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). In the same: Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in Me, though he die, yet shall he live (John 11:25). In the same: The bread of God is He that cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world (John 6:33). But that man is not life, but an organ or recipient of life, may be seen above (n. 2021, and occasionally elsewhere). From all this it is evident that when the Lord was made Jehovah even as to His Human, that which was not life in itself, that is, that which was merely human, was banished. This is signified by its being said that the son of the handmaid could not inherit with the son Isaac.  That to "inherit," in the internal sense, when predicated of the Lord, is to have the Father's life, thus to have life in Himself; and when predicated of men, it is to have the Lord's life, that is, to receive life from the Lord, is evident from many passages in the Word. To have life in Himself is the Esse itself of life, that is, Jehovah; whereas to have the Lord's life, or to receive life from the Lord, is to receive the Lord in love and faith; and as those who so receive Him are in the Lord, and are the Lord's, they are called His "heirs," and His "sons."  In the Word of the Old Testament "inheriting" is predicated not only of what is celestial, or of good, but also of what is spiritual, or of truth, but still the one is expressed by a different word from the other: the word that is predicated of good may be rendered "to possess by inheritance;" and the word that is predicated of truth, "to inherit." The former word also in the original language involves possession, but the latter, derivation from something else, as is the case with the spiritual in relation to the celestial, or with truth in relation to good. In this verse, where the Lord's Divine rational, or His Divine Human, is represented by Isaac, the word denoting possession by hereditary right is used, because the Lord's Divine Human is the sole heir-possessor, as He also teaches in the parable (Matt. 21:33, 37, 38; Mark 12:7; Luke 20:14); and He declares in several places that all things of the Father are His.  That to "possess by inheritance" and to "inherit," in the Word, when predicated of men, signify to receive life from the Lord, consequently eternal life or heaven (for they alone receive heaven who receive the Lord's life), is evident in John: He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be My son (Rev. 21:7). In Matthew: Everyone that hath left houses, or brethren, or sisters, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit eternal life (Matt. 19:29; 25:34; Mark 10:17; Luke 18:18). Here heaven is called "eternal life," elsewhere simply "life" (as in Matt. 18:8-9; 19:17; John 3:36; 5:24, 29), for the reason that the Lord is Life itself, and he who receives His life is in heaven.  In David: God will save Zion, and build the cities of Judah, and they shall dwell there, and possess it by inheritance, the seed also of His servants shall inherit it, and they that love His name shall dwell therein (Ps. 69:35-36); where to "possess by inheritance" is predicated of those who are in celestial love, and to "inherit" of those who are in spiritual love. In Isaiah: He that putteth his trust in Me shall inherit the land, and shall possess by inheritance the mountain of My holiness (Isa. 57:13).  In like manner in Moses: I will bring you unto the land concerning which I lifted up My hand to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and I will give it to you for an hereditary possession (Exod. 6:8). In the sense of the letter these words signify that the land of Canaan should be given to them for an hereditary possession, which also was done; but in the internal sense they signify that heaven should be given to those who are in love to the Lord and faith in Him; for as the Lord is represented by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, so love itself and faith itself are signified, consequently those who are in love and faith, and thus those who are in the Lord. The same are also signified by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with whom many shall sit down in the kingdom of the heavens, as we read in Matthew 8:11; for in heaven Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are not known at all; but it is only known what is represented and signified by them, as also what is signified by sitting down or eating with them. For that all names in the Word signify actual things may be seen above (n. 1224, 1264, 1876, 1888); also that the "land of Canaan" is the heavenly Canaan or heaven (n. 1585, 1607, 1866), which is called simply the "land" (n. 1413, 1607, 1733, 2571). So too in Matthew: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5).2659.
Verse 11. And the word was evil exceedingly in the eyes of Abraham, on account of his son. "The word was evil exceedingly in the eyes of Abraham," signifies the Lord's state when He first thought of that rational being separated from Himself; "on account of his son," signifies on this account, that He loved it.2660.
The word was evil exceedingly in the eyes of Abraham. That this signifies the Lord's state at first when He thought of that rational being separated from Himself, namely, that it was a state of grief from love, is evident without explication.2661.
On account of his son. That this signifies on this account, that He loved it, namely, the first rational, is evident from the signification of the "son," namely, that of the handmaid, as being the merely human or first rational, described before. Although the cause of this grief is not told, it is evident from what follows. That the cause is the love is plain enough, for it is said "on account of his son;" and the same son is treated of in what follows, from verse 13 to verse 21. Nevertheless in order that it may be known why there was this grief, or on what account it is said that the word was very evil in Abraham's eyes on account of his son; take these few things by way of illustration.  The Lord did not come into the world to save the celestial, but the spiritual. The Most Ancient Church, called "Man," was celestial; and if this church had remained in its integrity, the Lord would have had no need to be born a man. But as soon as this church began to decline, the Lord foresaw that the celestial church would wholly perish from the world; and on that account the prediction was then made concerning the Lord's coming into the world (Gen. 3:15). After the time of that church there was no longer a celestial church, but a spiritual church; for the Ancient Church which was after the flood (spoken of many times in volume 1) was a spiritual church; and this church, that is, those who were of the spiritual church, could not have been saved unless the Lord had come into the world. This is meant by the Lord's words in Matthew: They that are well have no need of a physician, but they that are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Matt. 9:12-13). Also by these words in John: And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd (John 10:16). Also by the parable of the hundred sheep, in Matt. 18:11-13.  Now as by Isaac is represented the Lord's Divine rational, and as by him are also signified the celestial who are called "heirs;" and as by Ishmael is represented the Lord's merely human rational, and as by him are also signified the spiritual who are called "sons" (as is manifest from what was said above, n. 2658), this was the reason why the Lord felt grief from Divine love, as shown in the words of this verse; and also in those which follow from verse 13 to verse 21, where by Hagar's son and the mother of that son is represented the spiritual church; and the state of this church, that is, the state of those who were of this church, is treated of (n. 2612). These arcana cannot as yet be set forth more fully; it may simply be said that with the Lord when in the world all the states of the church were represented, and also in what manner those who belonged to the church were to be saved by Him; and for this reason the same states of the church are likewise signified by these same names.2662.
Verse 12. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be evil in thine eyes because of the child, and because of thine handmaid; all that Sarah saith unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. "God said unto Abraham," signifies the Lord's perception from the Divine; "let it not be evil in thine eyes because of the child, and because of thine handmaid," signifies a change of state toward that rational; "all that Sarah saith unto thee, hearken unto her voice," signifies that He should act according to spiritual truth; "for in Isaac shall thy seed be called," signifies that from the Lord's Divine Human is all salvation for those who are in good.2663.
God said unto Abraham. That this signifies the Lord's perception from the Divine, is evident from the signification of "saying" in the historic parts of the Word, as being to perceive (explained very often before); and because it was from the Divine it is said that "God said to Abraham." By both names, "God" and "Abraham," is meant the Lord; which shows that the historic statements which are the sense of the letter, divide the ideas; but that the internal sense unites them; for in the historic sense of the letter there are two (namely, God and Abraham) who speak to each other; but in the internal sense there is one, namely, the Lord in respect to the Divine. This also shows that they who are three in the sense of the letter are one in the internal sense; as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who are not three gods, but one; and that all the Trinity is complete in the Lord; namely, that in Him is the Father, as He says; and that from Him is the Holy Spirit, as He also says.2664.
Let it not be evil in thine eyes because of the child, and because of thine handmaid. That this signifies a change of state toward that rational, is evident. In the internal sense nearest the words, the meaning is that He should not grieve at having to separate the merely human rational from Himself; and also that He did not grieve; for it belonged to His perception from the Divine that it was necessary that it should be separated; because in no other manner could the human race be saved. This is the change of state that is signified.2665.
All that Sarah saith unto thee, hearken unto her voice. That this signifies that He should act according to spiritual truth, is evident from the representation of Sarah, as being the Divine spiritual, or Divine truth (see n. 2622); and from the signification of "hearkening to the voice," as being to act according to it (see n. 2542). What it is to act according to spiritual truth cannot be unfolded to the apprehension in the fullness in which it can be perceived by those who are in the internal sense; and therefore if we were to state what it is according to their perception, it would scarcely be acknowledged; and there is the further reason that more arcana are first to be unfolded, nay, believed, before the matter when unfolded can enter into the ideas of men's belief. What it signifies in a general way can be told in some small degree, namely, that the Lord formed a conclusion from the Human Divine, and acted according to it, and thus from His own power: for Divine truth was that by means of which He united the Human to the Divine; and Divine good that by means of which He united the Divine to the Human; which unition was reciprocal (see n. 2004).2666.
In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That this signifies that from the Lord's Divine Human is all salvation for those who are in good, is evident from the representation of Isaac, as being the Divine rational (as shown before), thus the Divine Human (for the human commences in the inmost of the rational, n. 2106); and from the signification of "seed," which is predicated of Isaac, as being the celestial rational, or what is the same, those who are celestial (see n. 2085, 2661). Thus that "thy seed shall be called" signifies that they will be heirs, consequently that they will have salvation. The spiritual also are "seed," but from the son of the handmaid, as is said in the following verse: "and also the son of the handmaid, I will make him a nation, because he is thy seed;" and therefore the spiritual also have salvation if they are in good, as will appear from the internal sense of these words. The Lord also teaches the same in many places, and plainly in John: As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, to them that believe in 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 1:12-13).2667.
From the first verse of this chapter to the seventh, the unition of the Lord's Human with His Divine, and of His Divine with His Human, has been treated of; and it has been shown that from that unition the Lord's Human was made Divine. The contents of the several verses may be seen above (n. 2649). From that point the merely human rational has been treated of, as being separated (verse 8); because it was not in agreement with the Divine Rational (verse 9); nor could it have a life in common with it, either as to truth or as to good (verse 10); that the separation was at first a grief to the Lord (verse 11); but that He perceived from the Divine that the human race could be saved in no other manner (verse 12). There now follows the subject of those who were of the spiritual church, who are signified by Hagar's son after he was sent away.2668.
Verse 13. And also the son of the handmaid I will make a nation, because he is thy seed. "The son of the handmaid I will make a nation," signifies the spiritual church which was to receive the good of faith; "because he is thy seed," signifies that they also shall have salvation from the Lord's Divine Human.2669.
Also the son of the handmaid I will make a nation. That this signifies the spiritual church which was to receive the good of faith, is evident from the signification of the "son of the handmaid," and also of a "nation." The son of the handmaid, or Ishmael, when he was in Abraham's house, or with Abraham, represented the Lord's first rational, as shown above (n. 2652, 2653, 2657, 2658); but now, when separated, he puts on another representation, namely, that of the spiritual church (n. 2666); in the same manner as did Lot before, who while with Abraham represented the Lord's external man (n. 1428, 1429, 1434, 1547, 1597, 1598, 1698); but when separated from Abraham represented the external church, and the many states of that church (n. 2324, 2371, 2399, 2422, 2459; and in the whole of the nineteenth chapter of Genesis). That a "nation" signifies good may be seen above (n. 1159, 1258-1260, 1416, 1849); here the good of faith, because it is predicated of the spiritual church. Hence now "also the son of the handmaid I will make a nation" signifies the spiritual church which was to receive the good of faith, that is, charity.  The Lord's kingdom in the heavens and on earth is celestial and spiritual; and the angels are therefore distinguished into celestial and spiritual (see n. 202, 337). To the celestial angels the Lord appears as a Sun, and to the spiritual as a Moon (n. 1053, 1521, 1529-1531). In the same manner are men distinguished into celestial and spiritual. They who were of the Most Ancient Church, which was before the flood, were celestial (treated of n. 607, 608, 780, 895, 920, 1114-1125); but they who were of the Ancient Church, which was after the flood, were spiritual (treated of n. 609, 640, 641, 765). What the difference between these churches was, may be seen above (n. 597, 607); also what the difference is between what is celestial and what is spiritual (n. 81, 1155, 1577, 1824, 2048, 2069, 2088, 2227, 2507).  The celestial are they of whom the Lord says: He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out; and when He hath led out His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice (John 10:3-4). But the spiritual are they of whom He says: And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one flock, and one shepherd (John 10:16). The good of love is what makes the celestial church, but the good of faith is what makes the spiritual church. The truth of faith does not make, but introduces.2670.
Because he is thy seed. That this signifies that they also have salvation from the Lord's Divine Human, is evident from what was said above (n. 2666). That "seed" is faith, but the faith of charity, may be seen above (n. 255, 880, 1025, 1447, 1610, 1940).2671.
From this thirteenth verse to the twenty-first, the Lord's spiritual kingdom is treated of in general, and specifically those who become spiritual; and this in order from the first state of their reformation to the last. Their state before reformation, as being one of wandering in the doctrinal things of faith (verse 14). That they are reduced even to ignorance, so as to know nothing of truth (verse 15). That they have grief from it (verse 16). And then comfort and help from the Lord (verse 17). And enlightenment (verse 18). And instruction from the Word (verse 19). That still their state after reformation, in comparison with the celestial, is obscure (verse 20). But that they have light from the Lord's Divine Human in their affection of memory-knowledges and of appearances of truths (verse 21).2672.
Verse 14. And Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave to Hagar, and put them on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away, and she went and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. "Abraham rose early in the morning," signifies the Lord's clear perception from the Divine; "and took bread and a bottle of water," signifies good and truth; "and gave to Hagar," signifies implantation in its life; "and put them on her shoulder," signifies as much as it could receive; "and the child," signifies spiritual truth; "and sent her away," signifies that he left it in what is their own; "and she went and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba" signifies a state of wandering in the doctrinal things of faith.2673.
Abraham rose early in the morning. That this signifies the Lord's clear perception from the Divine, is evident from the signification of "morning," and of "rising early," as being to perceive clearly (see above, n. 2540, where the same words occur); and from the representation of Abraham, as being the Lord's Divine (shown often before). The Lord had a clear perception from the Divine concerning the state of His spiritual kingdom; namely, what they who are of that kingdom or of that church are in the beginning, what they are successively, and what they at length become; for all their state is accurately and fully described in the internal sense, from verse 13 to verse 21 of this chapter.2674.
And he took bread and a bottle of water. That this signifies good and truth, is evident from the signification of "bread," as being what is celestial, or good (see n. 276, 680, 2165); and from the signification of "water," as being what is spiritual, or truth (see n. 28, 680, 739). It is said a "bottle of water," because it is very little truth with which they are gifted in the beginning; as much that is to say as they are able to receive, which is signified by his "putting it on her shoulder" (n. 2676). Everyone can see that these historic statements involve arcana, from the fact that Abraham, who was rich in flock and herd, and also in gold and silver, sent away in this manner his handmaid by whom he had a son, and the boy Ishmael whom he much loved, giving them only bread [and water]. He could also foresee that when these were consumed they would die; and this would have come to pass if they had not received help from the angel. And besides, these things respecting the bread and the bottle of water, and their being put on her shoulder, are not of so much importance as to be narrated. But still it was so done, and was related because these things involve and signify the first state of those who are becoming spiritual-to whom in the beginning something of good and something of truth, and indeed but little, is imparted-and afterwards that the water fails them, and they then receive help from the Lord.2675.
And gave to Hagar. That this signifies implantation in its life, is evident from the signification of "Hagar," as being the life of the exterior man (see n. 1896, 1909). The life of the exterior man is the affection of memory-knowledges, which is specifically signified by "Hagar the Egyptian." With those who are becoming spiritual, good and truth are implanted by the Lord in the affection of memory-knowledges; and this so that they desire to know and to learn what is good and true for the purpose and use of becoming rational and of becoming spiritual; for the affection of memory-knowledges is the mother through whom is born the rational in which is the spiritual (n. 1895, 1896, 1902, 1910). The like does indeed flow in from the Lord with all, but no others receive it for that end and that use except those who can be reformed; the rest do it for other ends and other uses, which are innumerable, and have regard to themselves and the world.2676.
Put it on her shoulder. That this signifies as much as it could receive, is evident from the signification of the "shoulder," as being all power (see n. 1085); thus as much of good and truth as one can receive.2677.
And the child. That this signifies the spiritual, is evident from the signification of a "child," here as being that which is called the spiritual; for Ishmael or the son of the handmaid here represents the man of the spiritual church; and because he here represents the beginning of it, he is called a "child."2678.
And sent her away. That this signifies that He left it in what is their own, is evident from the signification of "sending away," when done by Abraham, who represents the Lord; and also from the first state of those who are being reformed and are becoming spiritual. Their first state is that they suppose they do good and think truth from themselves, thus from what is their own, nor do they then know otherwise; and when told that all good and truth are from the Lord they do not indeed reject it, but do not acknowledge it at heart, because they do not feel it, nor interiorly perceive that anything flows in from any other source than themselves. As all who are being reformed are in such a state at first, they are therefore left by the Lord in what is their own; nevertheless they are led by means of this without knowing it.2679.
And she went and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. That this signifies a state of wandering at that time in the doctrinal things of faith, is evident from the signification of "going and wandering in the wilderness," as being a wandering state; and from the signification of "Beersheba," as being the doctrine of faith (treated of at the end of this chapter, where it is said that Abraham and Abimelech made a covenant in Beersheba, verse 32; and that Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, verse 33). In this verse is described what the quality of the state of those who are reformed is in the beginning, namely, that they are carried away into various wanderings; for it is given them by the Lord to think much about eternal life, and thus much about the truths of faith; but because from what is their own (as just stated) they cannot do otherwise than wander hither and thither, both in doctrine and in life, seizing as truth that which has been inseminated from their infancy, or is impressed upon them by others, or is thought out by themselves-besides their being led away by various affections of which they are not conscious-they are like fruits as yet unripe, on which shape, beauty, and savor cannot be induced in a moment; or like tender blades which cannot in a moment grow up into bloom and ear. But the things which enter in at that time, though for the most part erroneous, are still such as are serviceable for promoting growth; and afterwards, when the men are being reformed, these are partly separated, and are partly conducive to introducing nourishment and as it were juices into the subsequent life-which again can afterwards be partly adapted to the implanting of goods and truths by the Lord, and partly to being serviceable to spiritual things as ultimate planes; and thus as continual means to reformation, which means follow on in perpetual connection and order; for all things even the least with man are foreseen by the Lord, and are provided for his future state to eternity; and this for his good insofar as is in any wise possible, and as he suffers himself to be led by the Lord.2680.
Verse 15. And the water was spent out of the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. "The water was spent out of the bottle," signifies the desolation of truth; "and she cast the child under one of the shrubs," signifies despair that nothing of truth and good was perceived.2681.
The water was spent out of the bottle. That this signifies the desolation of truth, is evident from the signification of being "spent," as being desolated; and from the signification of "water," as being truth (see n. 28, 680, 739).2682.
And she cast the child under one of the shrubs. That this signifies despair that nothing of truth and good was perceived, is evident from the signification of the "child," as being spiritual truth (see n. 2669, 2677); and from the signification of a "shrub" or "bush," as being perception, but so little as to be scarcely anything; on which account it is also said "under one of the shrubs" having the same signification as trees, but in a less degree; and that "trees" signify perceptions may be seen above (n. 103, 2163): also from the feeling there was in the act, which was one of despair; all which shows that by her casting the child under one of the shrubs is signified despair that nothing of truth and good was perceived. That being "cast under one of the shrubs" denotes to be desolated as to truth and good even to despair, is manifest in Job: Alone in want and famine; they flee to the drought, yesternight desolation and wasteness; they pluck mallows upon the shrub; to dwell in the cleft of the valleys, in holes of the dust and of the rocks; among the shrubs they were groaning, under the thistle they were joined together (Job 30:3-4, 6-7); where the desolation of truth is treated of, which is described by forms of expression in common use in the Ancient Church (for the book of Job is a book of the Ancient Church), such as to be alone, in want and in famine, to flee to the drought, yesternight desolation and wasteness; to dwell in the clefts of the valleys and of the rocks; also to pluck mallows upon the shrub, and to groan among the shrubs. So too in Isaiah: They shall come and shall rest all of them in the rivers of desolations, in the clefts of the rocks, and in all shrubs, and in all water courses (Isa. 7:19); where also desolation is treated of, which is described by similar forms of expression, that is to say, by resting in the rivers of desolations, in the clefts of the rocks, and in the shrubs.  In this verse the second state of those who are being reformed is treated of, which is that they are reduced to ignorance till they know nothing of truth, and this even to despair. The cause of their being reduced to such ignorance is that persuasive light may be extinguished, which is of such a nature as to illuminate falsities equally as well as truths, and to induce a belief in falsity by means of truths, and a belief in truth by means of falsities, and at the same time trust in themselves; also that they may be led by experience itself to a knowledge of the fact that nothing of good and nothing of truth is of self or of man's own, but from the Lord. They who are being reformed are reduced into ignorance even to despair, and then they have comfort and enlightenment, as is evident from what follows; for the light of truth from the Lord cannot flow into the persuasive which is from man's own; for this is of such a nature as to extinguish that light. In the other life that which is persuasive appears like the light of winter; but at the approach of the light of heaven, instead of that light there comes darkness, in which there is ignorance of all truth. With those who are being reformed this state is called the state of desolation of truth, and this also is much treated of in the internal sense of the Word.  But of this state few have any knowledge, because few at this day are being regenerated. To those who are not being regenerated it makes no difference whether they know the truth, or do not; nor whether what they do know be truth or not, provided they can palm a thing off for truth. But they who are being regenerated think much about doctrine and life, because they think much about eternal salvation; and therefore if truth be deficient with them, as it is the subject of their thought and affection, they grieve at heart. The state of the one and of the other may be seen from this: While a man is in the body he is living as to his spirit in heaven, and as to his body in the world; for he is born into both, and has been so created that as to his spirit he can be actually with the angels, and at the same time with men by means of what is of the body. But as there are few who believe that they have a spirit which is to live after death, there are few who are being regenerated. To those who believe it, the other life is the whole of their thought and affection, and the world is nothing in comparison; but to those who do not believe it, the world is the whole of their thought and affection, and the other life is in comparison nothing. The former are they who can be regenerated, but the latter are they who cannot.2683.
Verse 16. And she went and sat by herself over against him, withdrawing about a bowshot; for she said, Let me not see the death of the child; and she sat over against him; and she lifted up her voice and wept. "She went and sat by herself over against him," signifies a state of thought; "withdrawing about a bowshot," signifies how far that state was from the doctrine of truth (a "bow" is the doctrine of truth); "for she said, Let me not see the death of the child," signifies grief that it should thus perish; "and she sat over against him," signifies a state of thought; "and she lifted up her voice and wept," signifies a further degree of grief.2684.
And she went and sat by herself over against him. That this signifies a state of thought, is evident from the signification of "going," and also of "sitting by herself," and this over against, as applied to the things that precede and that follow. To "go," here to go away from the child, signifies removal from spiritual truth; which is further expressed and determined by her withdrawing about a bowshot. To "sit by one's self," signifies a solitary state, such as is that of thought in grief and despair; "over against," signifies that she might not look on, and yet might look on; that to "look on" means to think, see above (n. 2245); this is also further expressed and determined by her saying, "Let me not see the death of the child; and she sat over against." There is thus involved in these words the state of thought of those who are in desolation of truth, and in the consequent despair.2685.
Withdrawing about a bowshot. That this signifies how distant the state was from the doctrine of truth, is evident from the signification of "withdrawing," as being to be distant; and from the signification of a "bow," as being the doctrine of truth (concerning which presently); a "shot" signifies as far distant as possible, since it was as far as an arrow could be sent by a bow. It is here said a "bowshot," because a "bow" is predicated of the spiritual man, and he is a shooter of the bow-as is said of him in verse 20 below: "and he dwelt in the wilderness, and became a shooter of the bow."2686.
That a "bow" here denotes the doctrine of truth, is evident from its signification. Wherever wars are treated of in the Word, and wherever they are mentioned, no other wars are signified than spiritual ones (n. 1664). There were books also in the Ancient Word that were entitled "The Wars of Jehovah;" as is evident in Moses (Num. 21:14-16); which, being written in the prophetic style, had an internal sense, and treated of the combats and temptations of the Lord, and also of those of the church, and of the men of the church. This is manifest from the fact that some things were taken from these books by Moses; and also from other books of that church called "The Books of the Prophetic Enunciators" (respecting which see Num. 21:27-30), in which almost the same words are found as in Jeremiah (compare Num. 21:28, and Jer. 48:45). From this it may also be concluded that the Ancient Church had writings both historic and prophetic that were Divine and inspired, and that in their internal sense treated of the Lord and His kingdom; and that these were the Word to them, as are to us those historic and prophetic books which in the sense of the letter treat of the Jews and Israelites, but in their internal sense of the Lord, and of the things which are His.  As in the Word, and also in the books of the Ancient Church, "war" signified spiritual war, so all arms, such as sword, spear, buckler, shield, darts, bow, and arrows, signified special things belonging to war as understood in the spiritual sense. What the several kinds of arms specifically signify, will of the Lord's Divine mercy be told elsewhere. Here it will now be shown what a "bow" signifies, namely, the doctrine of truth; and this from the darts, arrows, or other missiles, which denote the doctrinal things from which and with which those in especial fight who are spiritual, and who were thence formerly called "shooters with the bow."  That a "bow" signifies the doctrine of truth is evident from the following passages. In Isaiah: Jehovah's arrows are sharp, and all His bows are bent, the hoofs of His horses are counted as rock, and His wheels as the whirlwind (Isa. 5:28). Here the truths of doctrine are treated of; "arrows" are spiritual truths; "bows" are doctrine; the "horses' hoofs" are natural truths; the "wheels" are their doctrine; and as these things have such a signification they are attributed to Jehovah, to whom they cannot be attributed except in a spiritual sense; for otherwise they would be empty words and unbecoming. In Jeremiah: The Lord hath bent His bow like an enemy, He hath stood with His right hand as an adversary, and hath slain all that were pleasant to the eye in the tent of the daughter of Zion, He hath poured out His fury like fire (Lam. 2:4). Here "bow" denotes the doctrine of truth, which appears to those who are in falsities as an enemy and as hostile; no other bow can be predicated of the Lord. In Habakkuk: O Jehovah, Thou ridest upon Thy horses, Thy chariots of salvation, Thy bow will be made quite bare (Hab. 3:8-9). Here also the "bow" is the doctrine of good and truth. In Moses: They grieved him, and shot at him, the archers hated him, his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob; from thence is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel (Gen. 49:23-24); where Joseph is spoken of. His "bow" denotes the doctrine of good and truth.  In John: I saw and behold a white horse, and he that sat thereon had a bow, and there was given unto him a crown (Rev. 6:2). The "white horse" denotes wisdom; "he that sat thereon," the Word, as is said plainly in chapter 19:13, where the white horse is again treated of; and as he that sat thereon was the Word, it is evident that the "bow" is the doctrine of truth. In Isaiah: Who hath raised up righteousness from the east, and called him to his footsteps? He hath given nations before him, and made him to rule over kings; he gave them as dust to his sword, as the driven stubble to his bow (Isa. 41:2); where the Lord is treated of; the "sword" denotes truth; the "bow," doctrine from Him. In the same: I will set a sign among them, and I will send such as escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan (Isa. 66:19). They that "draw the bow" denote those who teach doctrine. The signification of "Tarshish" may be seen above (n. 1156); that of "Lud" (n. 1195, 1231), that of "Tubal" (n. 1151), and that of "Javan" (1152-1153, 1155).  In Jeremiah: For the voice of the horseman and of him that shooteth the bow, the whole city fleeth; they have entered into clouds, and climbed up upon the rocks, the whole city is forsaken (Jer. 4:29). The "horseman" denotes those who declare truth; the "bow," the doctrine of truth, which they who are in falsities flee from or fear. In the same: Set yourselves in array against Babel round about; all ye that bend the bow shoot at her, spare not with the arrow, for she hath sinned against Jehovah (Jer. 50:14, 29; 51:2-3); where "they that shoot, and bend the bow" denote those who declare and teach the doctrine of truth.  In Zechariah: I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and He shall speak peace unto the nations (Zech. 9:10). "Ephraim" denotes the understanding of truth in the church; the "bow," doctrine. In Samuel: David lamented with this lamentation over Saul, and over Jonathan his son, and he said it to teach the sons of Judah the bow (2 Sam. 1:17-18). where the "bow" is not the subject, but the doctrinal things of faith. In Ezekiel: Said the Lord Jehovih, This is the day whereof I have spoken; and they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn up the weapons, the shield and the buckler, the bow and the arrows, and the hand staff and the spear, and they shall kindle fire in them seven years (Ezek. 39:8-9). The arms here named are all arms of spiritual war; the "bow with the arrows" denote doctrine and its truths. In the other life truths themselves, when separated from good and represented to the sight, appear like arrows.  As a "bow" signifies the doctrine of truth, in the opposite sense it signifies the doctrine of falsity. The same things in the Word have usually an opposite sense, as has been said and shown in several places; thus in Jeremiah: Behold a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be stirred up from the sides of the earth; they lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and shall not have compassion; their voice shall roar like the sea, they shall ride upon horses set in array as a man for battle, against thee, O daughter of Zion (Jer. 6:22-23); where "bow" denotes the doctrine of falsity. In the same: Behold a people cometh from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be stirred up from the sides of the earth, they lay hold on bow and spear, they are cruel, and have no compassion (Jer. 50:41-42); where the meaning is similar. In the same: They bend their tongue; their bow is a lie, and not for truth, they are grown strong in the land; for they have gone forth from evil to evil, and have not known Me (Jer. 9:3).  That the "bow" is the doctrine of falsity is plainly manifest, for it is said, "they bend their tongue; their bow is a lie, and not for truth." In the same: Jehovah Zebaoth said, Behold I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of his might (Jer. 49:35). In David: Come, behold the works of Jehovah, who hath made desolations in the earth; He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth, He breaketh the bow, He cutteth the spear in sunder, He burneth the chariots in the fire (Ps. 46:9). In Judah is God known, His name is great in Israel; in Salem also shall be His tabernacle, and His dwelling-place in Zion; there brake He the fiery shafts of the bow, the shield and the sword, and the war (Ps. 76:1-3). In the same: Lo the wicked bend the bow, they make ready their arrows upon the string, to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart (Ps. 11:2). Here the "bow and arrows" plainly denote doctrinal things of falsity.2687.
For she said, Let me not see the death of the child. That this signifies grief that it should so perish, is evident from the signification of "seeing the death," as being to perish; and from the signification of the "child," as being spiritual truth-explained above. Hence, and from the feeling of despair on account of the desolation of truth, it is manifest that it is interior grief that is within these words.2688.
And she sat over against him. That this signifies a state of thought, is evident from what was said above (n. 2684), where are the same words. The reason that this is said again in this verse is that the state of thought was increased and aggravated even to the last degree of grief, as is manifest from what just precedes: "let me not see the death of the child;" and from what next follows: "she lifted up her voice and wept."2689.
And she lifted up her voice and wept. That this signifies a further degree of grief, is evident from the signification of "lifting up the voice and weeping," as being the last degree of grief; for weeping with a loud voice is nothing else. The state of desolation of truth, and also of removal from truths, with those who are becoming spiritual, is described in this verse. How these things are to be understood shall be briefly told. Those who cannot be reformed do not at all know what it is to grieve on account of being deprived of truths; for they suppose that no one can feel in the least anxious about such a thing. The only anxiety they believe to be possible is on account of being deprived of the goods of the body and the world; such as health, honors, reputation, wealth, and life. But they who can be reformed believe altogether differently: these are kept by the Lord in the affection of good and in the thought of truth; and therefore they come into anxiety when deprived of this thought and affection.  It is known that all anxiety and grief arise from being deprived of the things with which we are affected, or which we love. They who are affected only with corporeal and worldly things, or who love such things only, grieve when they are deprived of them; but they who are affected with spiritual goods and truths and love them, grieve when they are deprived of them. Everyone's life is nothing but affection or love. Hence it is evident what is the state of those who are desolated as to the goods and truths with which they are affected, or which they love, namely, that their state of grief is more severe, because more internal; and in the deprivation of good and truth they do not regard the death of the body, for which they do not care, but eternal death. It is their state which is here described.  That it may be known who those are that can be kept by the Lord in the affection of good and truth, and thus be reformed and become spiritual, and who those are that cannot, we will briefly state that during childhood, while being for the first time imbued with goods and truths, everyone is kept by the Lord in the affirmative idea that what he is told and taught by his parents and masters is true. With those who can become spiritual men this affirmative is confirmed by means of knowledges [scientifica et cognitiones]; for whatever they afterwards learn that has an affinity with it, insinuates itself into this affirmative, and corroborates it; and this more and more, even to affection. These are they who become spiritual men in accordance with the essence of the truth in which they have faith, and who conquer in temptations. But it is otherwise with those who cannot become spiritual men. Although during their childhood these are in the affirmative, yet in the age that follows they admit doubts, and thus trench upon the affirmative of good and truth; and when they come to adult age, they admit negatives, even to the affection of falsity. If these should be brought into temptations, they would wholly yield; and on this account they are exempted from them.  But the real cause of their admitting doubts, and afterwards negatives, is to be found in their life of evil. They who are in a life of evil cannot possibly do otherwise; for as before said the life of everyone is his affection or love; and such as is the affection or love, such is the thought. The affection of evil and the thought of truth never conjoin themselves together. With those in whom there is an appearance of this conjunction, there is really no such conjunction, but only the thought of truth without the affection of it; and therefore with such persons truth is not truth, but only something of sound, or of the mouth, from which the heart is absent. Such truth even the worst can know, and sometimes better than others. With some also there is found a persuasion of truth, of such a nature that no one can know but that it is genuine; and yet it is not so if there is no life of good: it is an affection of the love of self or of the world, which induces such a persuasion that they defend it even with the vehemence of apparent zeal; nay, they will even go so far as to condemn those who do not receive it, or believe in the same way. But this truth is of such a quality as is the principle with each person from which it starts, being strong in proportion as the love of self or of the world is strong. It indeed attaches itself to evil, but does not conjoin itself with it, and is therefore extirpated in the other life. Very different is it with those who are in the life of good. With these truth itself has its own ground and heart, and has its life from the Lord.2690.
Verse 17. And God heard the voice of the child; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? Fear not, for God hath heard the voice of the child where he is. "God heard the voice of the child," signifies help at that time; "and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven," signifies consolation; "and said unto her, What aileth thee Hagar?" signifies perception concerning one's state; "fear not, for God hath heard the voice of the child where he is," signifies the hope of help.2691.
God heard the voice of the child. That this signifies help at that time, is evident from the signification of "God hearing a voice," said in the historic sense, as being in the internal sense to bring help; and from the signification of the "child," as being spiritual truth-explained before; here it is the state in which the spiritual was as to truth; for it is said that He heard the voice of the child, and again in this verse, that He heard the voice of the child where he was, that is, in what state; and in what precedes it was shown that it was in a state of the greatest grief on account of the privation of truth. The voice of the child, and not Hagar's, is said to have been heard, because the state of the spiritual man is treated of. By the child, or Ishmael, is represented the man of the spiritual church; by his mother Hagar, the affection of the knowledges of truth, which is that which had grief. Man's rational is born of the affection of memory-knowledges as a mother (n. 1895-1896, 1902, 1910, 2094, 2524); but his spiritual is born of the affection of the knowledges of truth from doctrine, especially from the Word. The spiritual itself is here the "child;" and the affection of the knowledges of truth is "Hagar."2692.
And the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven. That this signifies consolation, is evident from the signification of "calling out of heaven," and also of the "angel of God," as well as of "Hagar." To "call out of heaven," signifies influx; the "angel of God," signifies the Lord (n. 1925, 2319); and "Hagar," the affection of the knowledges of truth (n. 2691). The influx of the Lord into the affection of truth, when this is in deepest grief on account of the deprivation, is consolation. That which flows in with man from the Lord is said to be "called out of heaven," because it is through heaven, and is there manifest; but in man's perception and thought it is obscure, manifesting itself only by a change of the state of his affection; as here by its receiving consolation.2693.
And said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? That this signifies perception concerning its state, is evident from the signification of "saying" in the historic parts of the Word, as being to perceive-explained before; and from the signification of "What aileth thee, Hagar?" as being the state in which it was: here it signifies that the Lord thoroughly knew its state, although she was questioned, and it is said, What aileth thee, Hagar ? In the sense of the letter it is interrogation from the Lord, but in the internal sense it is infinite perception of all things. We read here and there in the Word that men are questioned as to their state; but the reason is that man believes that no one knows his thoughts, still less the state of his affection. A further reason is that men may have consolation from being able to express their feelings, which often proves a relief (see n. 1701, 1931).2694.
Fear not, for God hath heard the voice of the child where he is. That this signifies the hope of help, is evident from the signification of "fear not," as being not to despair; for when fear is taken away, hope is present; and from the signification of "hearing the voice of the child," as being help (see above, n. 2691, where the words are similar). In the verses which precede, the state of desolation in which those are who are being reformed and are becoming spiritual, is treated of; now the subject is their being restored, and here their comfort and hope of help.  That they who are being reformed are reduced into ignorance of truth, or desolation, even to grief and despair, and that they then for the first time have comfort and help from the Lord, is unknown at this day, for the reason that few are reformed. They who are such that they can be reformed are brought into this state, if not in the life of the body, nevertheless in the other life, where this state is well known, and is called vastation or desolation, concerning which there has been some mention in volume 1 (where also see n. 1109). They who are in such vastation or desolation are reduced even to despair; and when they are in this state they then receive comfort and help from the Lord, and are at length taken away into heaven, where they are instructed among the angels as it were anew in the goods and truths of faith. The reason of this vastation and desolation is chiefly that the persuasive which they have conceived from what is their own may be broken (see n. 2682); and that they may also receive the perception of good and truth, which they cannot receive until the persuasive which is from their own has been as it were softened. This is effected by the state of anxiety and grief even to despair. What is good, nay, what is blessed and happy, no one can perceive with an exquisite sense unless he has been in a state of what is not good, not blessed, and not happy. From this he acquires a sphere of perception, and this in the degree in which he has been in the opposite state. The sphere of perception and the extension of its limits arise from the realizing of contrasts. These are causes of vastation or desolation, besides many others.  But take examples for illustration. If to those who ascribe all things to their own prudence and little or nothing to Divine Providence, it be proved by thousands of reasons that the Divine Providence is universal, and this because it is in the most minute particulars; and that not even a hair falls from the head (that is, nothing happens however small) which is not foreseen and provided accordingly, nevertheless their state of thought about their own prudence is not changed by it, except at the very moment when they find themselves convinced by the reasons. Nay, if the same thing were attested to them by living experiences; just at the moment when they see the experiences, or are in them, they may confess that it is so; but after the lapse of a few moments they return to their former state of opinion. Such things have some momentary effect upon the thought, but not upon the affection; and unless the affection is broken, the thought remains in its own state; for the thought has its belief and its life from the affection. But when anxiety and grief are induced upon them by the fact of their own helplessness, and this even to despair, their persuasive is broken, and their state is changed; and then they can be led into the belief that they can do nothing of themselves, but that all power, prudence, intelligence, and wisdom are from the Lord. The case is similar with those who believe that faith is from themselves, and that good is from themselves.  Take another example for illustration: If to those who have conceived the persuasion that when justified there is no longer any evil in them, but it is completely wiped away and blotted out, and thus they are pure-if to these it be made clear by thousands of reasons that nothing is wiped away or blotted out, but that they are kept back from evil and held in good by the Lord (that is to say those who are of such a character that from the life of good in which they had been in the world this is possible to them); and if moreover they be convinced by experience that of themselves they are nothing but evil, and indeed are most impure heaps of evils-after all they will not recede from the belief of their opinion. But when they are reduced to such a state that they perceive hell in themselves, and this to such a degree as to despair of ever being able to be saved, then for the first time that persuasive is broken, and with it their pride, and their contempt of others in comparison with themselves, and also the arrogance that they are the only ones who are saved; and they can be led into the true confession of faith, not only that all good is from the Lord, but also that all things are of His mercy; and at length into humiliation of heart before the Lord, which is not possible without the acknowledgment of the true character of self. Hence now it is manifest why they who are being reformed, or are becoming spiritual, are reduced into the state of vastation or desolation treated of in the verses which precede; and that when they are in that state even to despair, they then for the first time receive comfort and help from the Lord.2695.
Verse 18. Arise, lift up the child, and strengthen thy hand in him, for I will make him a great nation. "Arise," signifies elevation of mind; "lift up the child," signifies the spiritual as to truth; "and strengthen thy hand in him" signifies support therefrom; "for I will make him a great nation," signifies the spiritual church.2696.
Arise. That this signifies elevation of mind, is evident from the signification in the Word of "arising," as involving where mentioned some kind of elevation (see n. 2401); here elevation of mind, because enlightenment-and in the following verse instruction-in truths.2697.
Lift up the child. That this signifies the spiritual as to truth, is evident from the signification of the "child," as being the spiritual especially as to truth (see n. 2677, 2687); for the man of the spiritual church seems to be regenerated by means of the truths of faith, but does not know that it is by means of the good of truth; for this is not apparent, and only manifests itself in the affection of truth, and then in life according to truth. Never can anyone be regenerated by means of truth, except when in the truth there is good; for truth without good has no life; and therefore by truth separate from good there does not come any new life; which however a man possesses by regeneration.2698.
And strengthen thy hand in him. That this signifies support from it, is evident from the signification of "being strengthened," as meaning to be supported; and from the signification of the "hand," as being power (see n. 878), which relates to support. "In him," that is, in the child, means from it, that is, from the spiritual as to truth. They who are in internal grief, and in despair from the privation of truth, are elevated and sustained solely by truth, because it is for this that they have grief and despair. With those who are in the affection of good, their good desires good as one hungers for bread; but with those who are in the affection of truth, their good desires truth, as one thirsts for water. What "strengthening the hand in him" here means, will not be understood by anyone except from the internal sense.2699.
For I will make him a great nation. That this signifies the spiritual church, is evident from the signification of a "great nation," as being the spiritual church, which will receive the good of faith (see above, n. 2669). It is said a "great nation," because the spiritual kingdom is the Lord's second kingdom (spoken of also in the same number). As the man of the spiritual church is represented by Ishmael, so also is the spiritual church itself represented by him, and also the Lord's spiritual kingdom in the heavens; for the image and likeness of the one is in the other. The first state after desolation was described in the preceding verse, which was a state of consolation and of the hope of help. Their second state after desolation is described in this verse, which is a state of enlightenment and of refreshment therefrom.  As these states are unknown in the world, for the reason as before said that at this day few are being regenerated, we may describe the state of those who are being regenerated in the other life, where it is most fully known. Those who have been in vastation or desolation there, after being comforted by the hope of help, are elevated by the Lord into heaven, thus from a state of shade which is a state of ignorance, into a state of light which is a state of enlightenment and of the refreshment therefrom, thus into a joy that affects their inmosts. It is actually light into which they come, of such a quality as to enlighten not only their sight, but also their understanding at the same time; and how much this light refreshes them may be seen from the opposite state, from which they have been delivered. Some who had been of an infantile disposition and of simple faith, then appear to themselves in white and shining garments; some with crowns; some are taken around to various angelic societies, and are everywhere received with charity as brethren; and whatever of good is gratifying to their new life is shown them: to some it is given to see the immensity of heaven, or of the Lord's kingdom, and at the same time to perceive the blessedness of those who are there; besides innumerable other things which cannot be described. Such is the state of the first enlightenment, and of the refreshment therefrom with those who come out of desolation.2700.
Verse 19. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the child drink. "God opened her eyes," signifies intelligence; "and she saw a well of water," signifies the Lord's Word from which are truths; "and she filled the bottle with water," signifies truths from the Word; "and she gave the child drink," signifies instruction in spiritual things.
2654-1 Natura, probably a misprint for natum. [Rotch ed.]