Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at sacred-texts.com
And went to Aram-naharaim. That this signifies the knowledges of truth therefrom, is evident from the signification of "Aram" or "Syria," as being the knowledges of good (see n. 1232, 1234); but "Aram-naharaim," or "Syria-of-the-rivers," signifies the knowledges of truth, from naharaim or "rivers;" because "rivers" signify the intelligence which is of the knowledges of truth, as may be seen from the passages of the Word collected above (n. 108, 109, 2702); and from many others, concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy elsewhere.3052.
To the city of Nahor. That this signifies kindred doctrinal things, is evident from the signification of a "city," as being doctrine (see n. 402, 2449); and from the representation of "Nahor," as being what is akin; for Nahor was the brother of Abram, and from him came Bethuel, from whom was Rebekah. Memory-knowledges and doctrinal things are distinct from each other in this way: doctrinal things come from memory-knowledges, for they look to use, and are procured from memory-knowledges by means of reflection. They are here said to be "kindred," by reason of their derivation from things Divine.3053.
Verse 11. And he made the camels kneel down, without the city, by the well of waters, about the time of evening, about the time that the drawers go out. "He made the camels kneel down," signifies a holy disposing of general memory-knowledges; "without the city," signifies removal from doctrinal things; "by the well of waters," signifies for receiving the truths of faith; "about the time of evening," signifies a state of more obscurity at that time; "about the time that the drawers go out," signifies a state of instruction.3054.
He made the camels kneel down. That this signifies a holy disposing of general memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of "making to kneel down," as being to dispose themselves to what is holy; and from the signification of "camels," as being general memory-knowledges (see above, n. 3048).3055.
Without the city. That this signifies removal from doctrinal things, is evident from the signification of a "city," as being doctrine (see n. 402, 2449); thus "without the city" evidently means outside of doctrinal things; thus removal from them.3056.
About the time of evening. That this signifies a state of more obscurity at that time, is evident from the signification of "time," as being state (see n. 2625, 2788, 2837); and from the signification of "evening" as being what is obscure; for "evening" in the Word signifies the state which precedes the last state of a church that is coming to its close, which last state is called "night;" and it also signifies the first state of a church just rising, which state is called "morning" (see n. 2323); in either sense it denotes what is obscure, which is signified by "evening," but it here denotes the obscurity that precedes the morning.3057.
About the time that the drawers go out. That this signifies a state of instruction, is evident from the signification of "time," as being state (see just above, n. 3056); and from the signification of a "drawer," that is, one who draws water, as being to be instructed-to be explained in what follows. What has now been told (from n. 3054) is what is signified in the internal sense by the things related historically in this verse; but what these particulars involve in a series is not easily made plain to one who has not been instructed concerning the natural man, and concerning the memory-knowledges and doctrinal things therein, and also how truths are elevated therefrom into the rational, and become rational; and still less if he does not know what is the quality of the rational relatively to the natural, that is, the quality of the things in the rational relatively to those in the natural.  The things in the rational are not apparent to man while he lives in the body; for those in the natural are what come to perception, and seldom those in the rational, except by a certain kind of light illuminating the things in the natural, or as an inflowing capacity by which the ideas of thought are disposed into order; and also as a faculty of perceiving that which the mind is considering. Unless these and other things be known, what is contained in this verse can with difficulty be explained to the apprehension, as that there is a holy disposing of the general memory-knowledges, and then a removal from doctrinal things for receiving the truths of faith; and that when this is taking place there is an obscure state, and that such is the state of instruction. Nevertheless we may briefly state as much as can be apprehended, and here, how the case is with a man then he is being reformed by the Lord; for the reformation of a man is a kind of image of what took place with the Lord then He was in the world (as was said above, n. 3043).  When a man is being reformed, the general things in his natural man are disposed by the Lord to correspondence with those which are in heaven. (What correspondence is, and that it is between spiritual things and natural things, may be seen above, n. 2987, 2989-2991, 3002.) General things are first disposed, in order that particulars may be successively insinuated into them by the Lord, and singulars into the particulars; for if the general things are not in order, there cannot come forth order in the particulars, because the particulars enter into the generals, and confirm them; still less can there be order in the singulars, because these enter into the particulars as into their generals, and illustrate them. These are the things that are meant by a holy disposing of general memory-knowledges; and this is meant in the internal sense by "making the camels kneel down;" for so they submit themselves for the reception of influx.  When the general memory-knowledges are being disposed in this way, doctrinal things are removed, as they are conclusions from these knowledges; for there flows in through the rational as it were a dictate that this is true, and this not true; but in this way-that it is true because it agrees with the orderly disposition of the general memory-knowledges; and that it is not true because it disagrees; there is no other influx as to truths. Doctrinal things are indeed there before, but they are not doctrinal things until they are believed, but are merely memory-knowledges; and therefore when the man thinks about them, no conclusion is drawn from them, but only concerning them, from other things. This is what is meant by removal from doctrinal things, and it is what is here signified in the internal sense by "without the city." But this is the state that is called an obscure state, and is signified by the "time of evening;" whereas when doctrinal things have been confirmed, so that they are believed, then comes the "morning," or a state of light. The other things contained in this verse are evident from what has been already stated.3058.
That to "draw waters" signifies instruction, and likewise enlightenment from it (as in what follows in this chapter), comes from the fact that in the internal sense "waters" signify the truths of faith (see n. 2702); and therefore to "draw waters" is nothing else than to be instructed in the truths of faith, and thereby to be enlightened; as also in other passages of the Word. In Isaiah: With joy shall ye draw waters out of the fountains of salvation. In that day shall ye confess unto Jehovah (Isa. 12:3-4). To "draw waters" is to be instructed, to understand, and to be wise. Again: Bring ye waters to meet him that is thirsty, ye inhabitants of the land of Tema (Isa. 21:14). To "bring waters to meet him that is thirsty" means to instruct. Again: The afflicted and the needy seek waters, and there are none, and their tongue faileth for thirst (Isa. 41:17). "They that seek waters," are they who desire to be instructed in truths. That "there are none," signifies that no one has truths. Moreover by the "drawers of water" were represented in the Jewish Church those who continually desire to know truths, but for no other end than to know them, while caring nothing for the use. Such were accounted among the lowest, and were represented by the Gibeonites (concerning whom see Joshua 9:21, 23, 27).3059.
Verses 12-14. And he said, O Jehovah God of my lord Abraham, cause to meet I pray before me this day; and do mercy with my lord Abraham. Behold I stand by the fountain of waters; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw waters. And let it come to pass that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher I pray thee that I may drink, and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also, her hast Thou appointed for Thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that Thou hast done mercy with my lord. "He said," signifies communication; "Jehovah God of my lord Abraham," signifies of the Divine Itself which is the Father, with the Divine Human which is the Son; "cause to meet I pray before me this day," signifies providence from eternity; "and do mercy," signifies an influx of love; "with my lord, Abraham," signifies the Divine Human. "Behold I stand by the fountain of waters," signifies the state of the conjunction of truth Divine with the Human; "and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw waters," signifies the affections of truth, and instruction through them; "and let it come to pass that the damsel to whom I shall say," signifies an affection in which is innocence; "let down thy pitcher I pray thee," signifies the submission of memory- knowledges; "that I may drink," signifies instruction in truth therefrom; "and she shall say, Drink," signifies the reciprocal thereto; "and I will give thy camels drink also," signifies the consequent enlightenment of all the memory-knowledges in the natural man; "her hast Thou appointed for thy servant Isaac" signifies the conjunction of truth Divine with Divine good in the rational; "and thereby shall I know that Thou hast done mercy with my lord," signifies that from the Divine love there is a marriage.3060.
He said. That this signifies communication, is evident from the signification of "saying" in the historical portions of the Word, as being to perceive and to will (concerning which often before); and because it signifies these, it also signifies to communicate, for from perceiving and willing comes communication.3061.
Jehovah God of my lord Abraham. That this signifies of the Divine Itself which is the Father, with the Divine Human which is the Son (that is, communication), is evident from what has been so often said and shown above, namely, that "Jehovah God" is the Divine Itself of the Lord, which is called the "Father;" and that by Abraham is represented His Divine Human (n. 2833, 2836). It may be seen above, that in the Word of the Old Testament "Jehovah" is the Lord Himself (n. 1736, 1815, 2921); and that the Most Ancient Church before the flood and the Ancient Church after the flood understood by "Jehovah" no other than the Lord (n. 1343, 1676, 1990, 2016, 3035). Also that in the Lord is the Trinity-the Divine Itself, the Divine Human, and the proceeding Divine Holy-and these are a one (n. 1999, 2149, 2156, 2288, 2329, 2447). That all the Trinity in the Lord is Jehovah (n. 2156, 2329); and that each and all things in the Lord are Jehovah (n. 1902, 1921). That the Lord is one with the Father, and that no other is understood in heaven by the Father (n. 14, 15, 1725, 1729, 1733, 1815, 2005, 2018, 2025, 2803, 3038). That the Lord is the universal heaven, for He is the all there; and that from Him is the all of innocence, of peace, of love, of charity, of mercy, of conjugial love; and all good and truth. That Moses and the Prophets, thus the Word in every particular, is concerning Him; and that all the rites of the church represented Him (n. 2751). That the Lord as to the Divine Human is called the "Son" (n. 2628). That the Divine Human of the Lord was not only conceived, but was also born of His Divine Essence, which is Jehovah (n. 2798); and that thereby the Lord as to the Human was made Jehovah, and Life of Himself (n. 1603, 1737).  That the Lord was from eternity, is plainly evident from the Word (see n. 2803), although He was afterwards born in time; for He spoke by Moses and the Prophets; He likewise had appeared to many, and it is there said that He was Jehovah. But this deepest of arcana could be revealed to none but those who are in Divine perception, thus to scarcely any but the men of the Most Ancient Church, who were celestial and in this perception. From these I have heard that Jehovah Himself was the Lord as to the Divine Human when He descended into heaven and flowed in through heaven; for heaven represents one man as to all his members, and is therefore also called the Grand Man (n. 684, 1276, 2996, 2998, 3021). The Divine Itself in heaven, that is, in the Grand Man, was the Divine Human, and was Jehovah Himself thus clothed with the Human.  But when mankind became such that the Divine Itself, clothed as the Divine Human, could no longer affect them (that is, when Jehovah could no longer come to man, because man had so far removed himself), then Jehovah, who is the Lord as to the Divine Essence, descended and took upon Himself a Human, by conception Divine, and by birth from a virgin such as is that of another man; but this He expelled, and by Divine means made Divine the Human that was born, from which proceeds all the Holy. Thus the Divine Human became an essence by itself which fills the universal heaven, and which also makes it possible for those to be saved who could not be saved before. This then is the Lord, who as to the Divine Human is alone Man, and from whom man has it that he is man (n. 49, 288, 477, 565, 1894).3062.
Cause to meet I pray before me this day. That this signifies providence from eternity, is evident from the signification of "causing to meet," as being to provide; and from the signification of "this day," as being from eternity (see n. 2838) and moreover it is evident that what is here treated of, and for which supplication was made, is of Providence.3063.
And do mercy. That this signifies an influx of love is evident from the essence of mercy, as being love. Love is itself turned to mercy and becomes mercy when anyone who is in need of help is regarded from love or charity; hence mercy is the effect of love toward the needy and miserable. But here by "mercy" in the internal sense is meant love; and by "doing mercy" is meant an influx of love, because it is from the Lord's Divine Itself into His Divine Human; for it was the Lord's Divine love through which He made His Human Divine; for love is the very being of life, and no one has Divine love but the Lord. (See what has been said before concerning the Lord's love, namely: That His life was love toward the universal human race, n. 2253: That from this love He fought, n. 1690, 1789, 1812, 1813, 1820: That it transcends all understanding, n. 1799, 2077: That the Lord is Divine love itself, n. 2077, 2500, 2572: That "Jehovah" is love, n. 1735: That nothing lives but love, n. 1589: That whoever has mutual love has the Lord's life, n. 1799, 1802, 1803: That love and charity are the celestial itself, n. 1419, 1824.)3064.
With my lord Abraham. That this signifies the Divine Human, is evident from the representation of Abraham here, as being the Lord's Divine Human (see n. 2833, 2836).3065.
Behold I stand by the fountain of waters. That this signifies the state of conjunction of truth Divine in the Human, is evident from the signification of a "fountain," as being truth (see n. 2702); here truth Divine, because the Lord is treated of. The state of conjunction itself is signified by "standing by the fountain;" that this conjunction was in the Human, is evident from the series.3066.
And the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw waters. That this signifies the affections of truth and instruction through them, is evident from the signification of "daughters," as being affections (see n. 489-491, 2362); and from the signification of "the men of the city," as being truths. (The inhabitants of a city are frequently called in the Word the "men of the city," and frequently the "inhabitants of the city;" when they are called the "men of the city," truths are signified, and when they are called the "inhabitants," goods are signified; what "men" signify, may be seen above, n. 265, 749, 915, 1007, 2517; and what "inhabitants," n. 2268, 2451, 2712; what a "city," n. 402, 2450, 2943.) The signification of the above words is evident also from the signification of "drawing water," as being to be instructed (see above, n. 3058). Hence it is evident that by the "daughters of the men of the city coming out to draw waters," are signified the affections of truth, and instruction through them. No one is ever instructed by means of truths, but by means of the affections of truth; for truths apart from affection do indeed come to the ear as sound, but do not enter into the memory; that which causes them to enter into the memory and to abide in it, is affection. For the good of affection is like soil, in which truths are sown as seeds; but such as the soil is (that is, such as the affection is), such is the produce of that which is sown. The end or use determines the quality of the soil, or of the affection, and thus the quality of the produce of what is sown; or, if you prefer to say so, the love itself determines it; for in all things the love is the end and the use, for nothing is regarded as the end and use except that which is loved.3067.
And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say. That this signifies an affection in which is innocence, is evident from the signification of a "damsel." In the Word the affections of good and of truth are called "little children," "damsels," "girls," and "daughters;" but in all cases with a difference as to state: when "daughter" is named, affection in general is signified; when "girl" is named, affection in which is charity is signified; but when it is said "damsel," affection in which is innocence is signified, because the age of girlhood is next to that of infancy, which in the internal sense is innocence. The case is the same with "boy," or "little boy," by which is signified a state in which is innocence (see n. 430).3068.
Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee. That this signifies the submission of memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of "letting down," as being to submit; and from the signification of a "pitcher," as being memory-knowledges. That a "water-jar" or "pitcher" signifies memory-knowledges, comes from the fact that "water" signifies truth (n. 680, 739, 2702); and a pitcher is a vessel containing water, just as memory-knowledge is a vessel in which is truth; for every memory-knowledge is a vessel for truth, and every truth is a vessel for good. Memory-knowledge without truth is an empty vessel; and so too is truth without good; but memory-knowledge in which there is truth, and truth in which there is good, are full vessels. Affection which is of love is that which conjoins so that they may be within in order; for love is spiritual conjunction.3069.
That I may drink. That this signifies instruction in truth therefrom, is evident from the signification of "drinking," as being to be instructed. In the Word throughout mention is made of "drinking;" and where the good and truth of faith are treated of, there "drinking" signifies being instructed in them and receiving them. As in Isaiah: The new wine shall mourn, the vine languisheth, all the glad of heart shall sigh; they shall not drink wine with a song, strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it (Isa. 24:7, 9); "not drinking wine with a song," denotes not being instructed from the affection of truth and not being delighted thereby; that "strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it," denotes aversion. In the same: It shall be as when a thirsty one dreameth, and behold he drinketh; but he awaketh, and behold he is weary, and his soul hath appetite (Isa. 29:8); a "thirsty one" denotes one who desires to be instructed; "drinking," being instructed, but in things that are vain.  In Jeremiah: We have drunk our water for silver; our wood cometh for a price (Lam. 5:4); "drinking waters for silver" denotes being instructed not without cost, and also attributing truth to one's self. That it is given free of cost, and thus that it is not from one's self, but from the Lord, is thus taught in Isaiah: Ho everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no silver; come ye, buy (Isa. 55:1). Also in John: Jesus said, If anyone thirst, let him come unto Me and drink; whosoever believeth in Me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (John 7:37-38); where by "drinking" is signified being instructed, and receiving. In Luke: They shall say, We did eat and drink in Thy presence, and Thou didst teach in our streets; but the Lord says, I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity (Luke 13:26-27); where "eating and drinking in the Lord's presence," denotes instructing and preaching the good and truth of faith from knowledges that are from the Word, which is meant by the words, "Thou didst teach in our streets." But as they did this from themselves, for the sake of their own honor and gain, and thus from no affection of good and truth, and were thus in knowledges of truth but in a life of evil, it is said, "I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me all ye workers of iniquity."  In the same: Jesus, speaking to the disciples, said, That ye may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom (Luke 22:30). That they do not eat and drink in the kingdom of the Lord, and that there is no table there, is plain to everyone; so that by "eating and drinking at the Lord's table in His kingdom," something else is signified, namely, enjoying the perception of good and truth. So too with what the Lord says in Matthew: I say unto you, that I will not drink henceforth of this product of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you in My Father's kingdom (Matt. 26:29); where "drinking" signifies instructing to the life concerning truths, and giving perception of good and truth. These words of the Lord: Be not anxious for your life [anima], what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on (Matt. 6:25, 31; Luke 12:29); are significative of spiritual things, namely, that the all of faith as to good and truth is given by the Lord. In John: Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, Everyone that drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up unto eternal life (John 4:7-14); where "drinking" manifestly denotes being instructed in good and truth, and receiving them.3070.
And she shall say, Drink. That this signifies the reciprocal thereto, is evident from its being a response, and confirmation, consequently what is reciprocal.3071.
And I will give thy camels drink also. That this signifies the enlightenment of all memory-knowledges in the natural man therefrom, is evident from the signification of "camels," as being general memory-knowledges, thus these knowledges in general, or all (see above, n. 3048); and from the signification of "giving to drink," as being to enlighten. That "drawing water" denotes to instruct, was shown above (n. 3058); thus to "give to drink" denotes to enlighten; for enlightenment comes from instruction.3072.
Her hast Thou appointed for Thy servant Isaac. That this signifies the conjunction of truth Divine with Divine good in the rational, is evident from the signification of "appointing," that is to say, for a wife, as being to conjoin by a covenant of marriage, and from the representation of Isaac, as being the Divine good of the rational (see n. 3024). That "she," or Rebekah, represents the truth Divine that is to be conjoined with the Divine good of the rational, has been stated above in several places; and the same is evident from the particulars in the internal sense of this chapter.3073.
And thereby shall I know that Thou hast done mercy with my lord. That this signifies that the marriage is from Divine love, is evident from the signification of "mercy," as here in the internal sense being the Divine love (see n. 3063). And because the subject treated of is the betrothing of Rebekah to Isaac, that is, of the conjunction of Divine truth with the Divine good of the rational; by "doing mercy with my lord" nothing else is signified than a marriage, thus a marriage from Divine love. This also is the conclusion of his supplication, and the end that was had in view.3074.
What is contained in these three verses in the internal sense, may in some measure be seen from the explication. But as these things are disconnected, that which they involve in their series cannot appear unless they are all collected together into a single idea, and the mental view is then withdrawn from the sense of the letter; for so long as the attention is there, not only is the idea confused, but the mind is also held in doubt; and so far as it is in doubt, it is obscured. A summary description is here given of the process in which truth appears by means of memory-knowledges, and is elevated from them out of the natural man into the rational, and becomes rational truth (in the Lord, Divine); namely, that this is effected by the influx of the Divine love into the Human, from which comes the affection of truth in which is innocence. By virtue of such an influx, the memory-knowledges in the natural man were enlightened, and the truths made their appearance that were to be elevated into the rational and there conjoined with the good of the Divine love. The same things are described more particularly in what follows. But he who does not know that all things in general and in particular are disposed, even in the natural man, by an influx of love, and from this of an affection in which there is innocence, can have but a very obscure idea, if any, of what was said above and of what has now been said.3075.
Verses 15, 16. And it came to pass that scarcely had he done speaking, when behold Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. And the damsel was exceeding good to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her; and she went down to the fountain, and filled her pitcher, and came up. "And it came to pass that scarcely had he done speaking" signifies the effect of will; "when behold Rebekah came out," signifies the affection of truth from doctrinal things; "who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother," signifies all the origin of this affection; "with her pitcher upon her shoulder," signifies receptions of truth, and endeavor; "and the damsel was exceeding good to look upon," signifies the beauty of the affection of truth; "a virgin, neither had any man known her," signifies pure from all falsity; "and she went down to the fountain," signifies truth Divine; "and filled her pitcher," signifies the vessels of reception; "and came up," signifies elevation.3076.
And it came to pass that scarcely had he done speaking. That this signifies the effect of will, is evident from what immediately follows, that is, that all things in general and particular came to pass according to his prayer, or were accomplished as he wished. That "speaking" signifies willing may be seen above (n. 2626, 3037).3077.
And behold Rebekah came out. That this signifies the affection of truth from doctrinal things, is evident from the representation of Rebekah, as being the truth Divine that was to be conjoined with the Divine good of the rational; but here, before she was betrothed, she puts on the representation of the affection of truth from doctrinal things; for from this comes truth, truth not being truth unless it has life, and its life is affection which is of love. That Rebekah represents the truth Divine that was to be conjoined with the Divine good of the rational, is evident from the several things contained in this chapter in the internal sense, and also from the fact that Isaac represents the Lord's Divine rational (n. 1893, 2066, 2083, 2630); thus Rebekah, who became wife to Isaac, represents that in the rational which was conjoined as a wife to a husband; and it may be seen that this is Divine truth. For in the same way Abraham represented the Divine good itself, and Sarah his wife the Divine truth itself conjoined with the Divine good (n. 1468, 1901, 2063, 2065, 2904); and it is the same with Isaac and Rebekah, but in the Lord's Divine Human, namely, in His rational. In general, by a husband in the Word is signified good, and by a wife its truth (n. 1468, 2517). Moreover the essence of all marriage also (that is, conjugial love) is from the Divine marriage of good and truth, and of truth and good, in the Lord (n. 2508, 2618, 2728, 2729, 2803). That the affection of truth is from doctrinal things, is because it is said that she "came out," that is, from the city; and that by a "city" are signified doctrinal things, may be seen above (n. 402, 2451). Moreover truths are from doctrinal things.3078.
Who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother. That this signifies all the origin of this affection, is evident from the representation of Bethuel, and also of Milcah, and of Nahor, and of Abraham. What each represents specifically cannot be set forth and presented to the apprehension, for the reason that the first affection of truth did indeed derive its origin from the Divine things acquired by the Lord in the natural man (n. 3019), but still things from the mother were there, which could not be separated in a moment, and the affection was from them also. The quality of this affection in its origin is described in the internal sense by the words, "born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother."  Every affection, although it appears simple and as one thing, nevertheless contains within it things so innumerable that it cannot be comprehended by any idea, still less be described; for in every affection there is the man's whole life that has been acquired from his infancy even to the time of life when he is in the affection; nay, there are other things besides, namely, those which he has inherited from father and mother, grandparents and great-grandparents; for the affection is the whole man such as he is. In the other life, by a manifestation of the affection there is sometimes presented to view how much there is in anyone of the love of self, and how much of the love of the world; and how much of the love of principles, and for what end and use; also how much of the love of good and truth, and what is the quality of that good and truth, and also how the good and truth are disposed, that is, how far conjoined, approximating, or separate; thus how much they agree or disagree with heavenly order. As just stated, all these things are presented to view by a manifestation of the affection, because the affection is the whole man. That such is the case appears incredible to man, and yet it is true.3079.
With her pitcher upon her shoulder. That this signifies receptions of truth, and endeavor, is evident from the signification of a "pitcher," as being memory-knowledge, and thus a receptacle of truth (see n. 3068); and from the signification of the "shoulder," as being all power, and thus endeavor (see n. 1085). That "pitchers" or "water-jars," also vessels in general, signify in the internal sense things which are in the position of being a receptacle (as are memory-knowledges and knowledges in relation to truths, and as are truths themselves in relation to good), may be seen from many passages in the Word. The "vessels" of the temple and of the altar have no other signification, and because they signified such things they were also holy, their holiness being from no other source.  And when Belshazzar, with his great men and his wives, was drinking wine out of the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had brought from the temple of Jerusalem, and they were praising the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone, it was because of such signification of the vessels that the writing then appeared on the wall of his palace (Dan. 5:2, etc.). The "vessels of gold and of silver" denote the knowledges of good and truth, which were profaned; for the Chaldeans denote those who are in knowledges, but such as have been profaned by the falsities that are in them (n. 1368); so that the knowledges serve them to worship gods of gold and silver; for Belshazzar is called king of the Chaldeans in this same chapter (verse 30).  That "vessels" signify the externals of spiritual things, is also plain from other passages in the Word, as in Isaiah: As the sons of Israel bring their offering in a clean vessel into the house of Jehovah (Isa. 66:20); where the Lord's kingdom is treated of. The "offering in a clean vessel" is representative of the external man relatively to the internal; that which brings the gift is the internal man; the "clean vessel" is the external man that is in agreement, thus it denotes the things in the external man, which are memory-knowledges, knowledges, and doctrinal things.  In Jeremiah: The cry of Jerusalem is gone up, and their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters; they came to the pits, they found no waters, they returned with their vessels empty, they are ashamed (Jer. 14:2-3); "empty vessels" denote knowledges wherein there is no truth, and also truths wherein there is no good. Again: Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babel, hath devoured me, he hath troubled me, he hath made me an empty vessel (Jer. 51:34); where an "empty vessel" has a similar meaning. That it is Babel that lays waste, may be seen above (n. 1327, at the end). In Moses: As the valleys are they planted, as gardens by the river's side; waters shall flow from his buckets, and his seed shall be at many waters (Num. 24:6-7). This is Balaam's parable concerning Jacob and Israel; "waters flowing from his buckets," signify that truths flow from knowledges.  In the parable of the ten virgins, five of whom took oil in their vessels with their lamps, while the foolish did not (Matt. 25:4), by the "virgins" are signified affections. That the wise "took oil in their vessels," denotes that there was good in truths, and thus charity in faith. That "oil" denotes good, may be seen above (n. 886); "lamps" denote love.3080.
And the damsel was exceeding good to look upon. That this signifies the beauty of the affection of truth, is evident from the signification of a "damsel," as being an affection in which is innocence (see n. 3067). That "exceeding good to look upon" signifies beauty (here the beauty of the affection of truth, because it is said of the damsel) comes from the fact that all beauty is from good in which there is innocence. Good itself when it flows in from the internal man into the external, makes beauty; and from this is all human beauty. This may likewise be seen from the fact that no one is affected by the face of another, but by the affection which beams forth from the face; and that they who are in good are affected by the affection of good which is there, and in the measure in which there is innocence in the good. Thus it is the spiritual in the natural which affects, but not the natural without the spiritual. In like manner they who are in good are affected by little children, who appear to them beautiful in proportion to the innocence of charity in their faces, gestures, and speech. (That goodness and charity are what form and cause beauty, may be seen above, n. 553.) Hence then it is that the "damsel exceeding good to look upon" signifies the beauty of the affection of truth in which there is good.3081.
A virgin, neither had any man known her. That this signifies pure from all falsity, is evident from the signification of a "virgin." A "virgin" is often mentioned in the Word, and there signifies the Lord's kingdom, and likewise the church, and consequently everyone who is a kingdom of the Lord or who is a church; and this from the conjugial love in chaste virgins. In the spiritual sense conjugial love is the affection of good in truth, and the affection of truth from good, from which affections, conjoined as it were in marriage, comes conjugial love (see n. 2508, 2618, 2727-2729). And because as before said this is seen in a virgin, the kingdom of the Lord, which is also compared to marriage and is called a marriage, is called a "virgin." That by "a man had not known her," is signified pure from all falsity, is because by a "man" in the Word is signified not only rational truth, but also in the opposite sense falsity (see n. 265, 749, 1007); thus to be "known by a man" is to be contaminated with falsity, and "not to be known by a man" is to be pure from falsity: by a "man" is not here meant a husband [vir conjugii].  That by a "virgin" in the Word are signified those who are in the kingdom of the Lord, or what is the same, those in whom the kingdom of the Lord is, is evident in John: These are they who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins; these are they who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, for they are without spot before the throne of God (Rev. 14:4-5). Here those are plainly called "virgins" who follow the Lamb, that is, who are in the Lord's kingdom; and they are also said to be "without spot."  In the proper sense, those are "virgins" who are in love to the Lord, that is, the celestial, and thus those who are in the affection of good. Those also are called "virgins" who are in charity toward the neighbor, that is, the spiritual, and thus who are in the affection of truth; as may be seen from passages in the Word. Thus in Isaiah: The virgin daughter of Zion hath despised thee, and hath mocked thee; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head after thee (Isa. 37:22). This is said to the king of Asshur; the "virgin daughter of Zion" denotes the celestial church; the "daughter of Jerusalem," the spiritual church.  In Jeremiah: Again will I build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel; again shalt thou deck thy timbrels, and shalt go forth in the dance of them that make merry. Their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. Then shall the virgin be glad in the dance, and the young men and the old together (Jer. 31:4, 12-13). The "virgin of Israel" denotes the spiritual church; the affection of truth from good in this church is described here, as in other places, by "timbrels and dances." In the same: The ways of Zion do mourn, her priests do sigh, her virgins are sad. The Lord hath trodden the winepress, for the virgin daughter of Judah. Behold my sorrow; my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity (Lam. 1:4, 15, 18). "Virgins" denote the affections of good and of truth. And again in the same: The women in Zion were ravished, the virgins in the cities of Judah (Lam. 5:11). Here the "virgins" denote the affections of good.  In Amos: They shall run to and fro to seek the word of Jehovah, and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and the young men faint for thirst (Amos 8:12-13). The "fair virgins" denote the affections of truth; the "young men," truths, or what is the same, those who are in them; concerning these it is said that "they shall run to and fro to seek the word of Jehovah, and shall not find it," and consequently "they shall faint for thirst."  In Zechariah: Jehovah their God shall preserve them in that day, as the flock of His people; for how great is His goodness and how great is His beauty: corn shall make the young men grow [germinare], and new wine the virgins (Zech. 9:16-17); "young men" denoting truths, and "virgins," affections. In David: The King's daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of inweavings of gold. She is led unto the King in broidered work; the virgins, her companions, that follow her, are brought unto Thee (Ps. 45:13-14). The "King's daughter" denotes the Lord's spiritual kingdom; the "virgins, her companions, that follow her," denote the affections of truth.  In the same: They have seen Thy goings, O God, the goings of my God in, the sanctuary. The singers went before, the players on the harp followed after, in the midst of the damsels playing the timbrels (Ps. 68:24-25). The "damsels playing the timbrels" also denote the affections of truth, the term "virgin" being used in distinction from to express innocence. "Virgins" are so called from conjugial love, and thus denote those who are in innocence; for conjugial love is innocence itself (see n. 2736). In John therefore in the passage quoted from Revelation, they are said to "follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth;" for by the "Lamb" is meant the Lord as to innocence; and all who are in heaven are called "virgins" from the innocence which is in their good. According to the amount and quality of the innocence in good, they "follow the Lamb."3082.
And she went down to the fountain. That this signifies Divine truth, is evident from the signification of the "fountain," as being Divine truth (see n. 2702, 3065).3083.
And filled her pitcher. That this signifies vessels of reception, is evident from the signification of a "pitcher," which, being a vessel for the reception of water, is in the internal sense a recipient of the knowledges of truth, and also of truth itself, which is signified by "water." (That "water" in the internal sense denotes knowledges, and also truth, may be seen above, n. 28, 680, 2680, 2702, 3058.)3084.
And came up. That this signifies elevation, is evident from the signification of "coming up," as being to be elevated. Being elevated is said of passing from what is lower to what is higher, and also therefore of passing from what is exterior to what is interior, which is the same thing; for what is lower or higher in a human idea is exterior or interior in the angelic idea; for instance, heaven, which appears to man higher, but to angels interior; and the natural with man-this is exterior relatively to his spiritual; and so again is the spiritual relatively to the celestial; or what is the same, memory-knowledge, which is of the natural man, is exterior relatively to truth, and truth is exterior relatively to good; and therefore memory-knowledge relatively to truth is called a veil and also clothing, and truth likewise is so called relatively to good; and it is from this that one is said to "go up" to Jerusalem, but to "go down" from Jerusalem; also to "go up from Jerusalem to Zion," and to "go down from Zion to Jerusalem;" for by what is round about Jerusalem are signified the exteriors of the church, but by Jerusalem the interiors, and by Zion the inmosts. As in the passage before us in the internal sense there is described the first of the elevation of truth out of the natural man to the rational, it is therefore said first that the affection of truth represented by Rebekah "went down to the fountain," and then that she "came up;" for, as before said (n. 3074), the Divine love flows into the affection of good, and from this into the affection of truth, and vivifies and enlightens the things that are in the natural man, and then disposes them in order (this is signified by "going down"); and by virtue of this, truths are raised out of the natural man into the rational, and are conjoined with the good there (this is signified by "going up").3085.
In these two verses is described the affection of truth as to origin, as to quality, and as to the first of initiation; as to origin, by the words, "Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother," by which in the internal sense is set forth all the origin of this affection (as may be seen, n. 3077, 3078); as to quality, by the words, "her pitcher was upon her shoulder; and the damsel was exceeding good to look upon," by which is described the quality (see n. 3079-3081); as to the first of initiation, by the words, "she went down to the fountain, and filled her pitcher, and came up" (as may be seen, n. 3082-3084).  But as before said, these things are not only beyond ordinary apprehension, but are also beyond that of more cultivated men-that is to say, such things as are contained in the internal sense in this chapter and in some that follow. The reason of this is that it scarcely enters the mind of anyone that there is a continual Divine influx through the internal man into the external; that is, an influx of celestial and spiritual things through the rational man into the natural, or what is the same, into the natural things of the external man; and that by this influx truths are continually called forth from the natural man, are elevated, and are implanted in the good which is in the rational. As it is not known that this takes place, how should all the process be known, and in what manner it is effected; a process of wisdom so great (because from the Divine) that it can never be explored as to a ten-thousandth part; the things that can be seen being only the most general?  And as such is the case, let no one wonder that the things here contained in the internal sense cannot be described to the apprehension, and that what are described transcend the apprehension; for they treat of this process and describe it. And besides, the internal sense is principally for the angels; and this in order that through the Word there may be communication between heaven and man; and by the angels such things as are referred to above are accounted as things most delightful, because heavenly food is nothing else than all that which is of intelligence and wisdom; and to them the blessedness of wisdom and intelligence is whatever treats of the Lord.3086.
That some idea, although a most general one, may be formed of what is here contained in the internal sense, be it known that this whole chapter treats of the truth Divine that was to be conjoined with the Divine good; to wit that Divine good flowed into the natural man, that is, into the memory-knowledges, the knowledges, and the doctrinal things therein, for these are of the natural man insofar as they are in its memory; and that by this influx it enlightened, vivified, and disposed into order all things therein; for all light, life, and order in the natural man are from influx from the Divine, as may be known to everyone if he attends to it. By means of this influx there comes forth affection; first, the general affection of truth, treated of in these two verses in regard to its origin (n. 3077, 3078); its quality (n. 3079-3081); and the first of initiation (n. 3082-3084); but in the verses now immediately following, the process is further described in the internal sense, namely, the exploration of that truth, also the separation of the things from the mother, which at first were adjoined to it, and so on.  But I know that these are arcana too deep to fall within apprehension; and this as before said for the reason that they are things unknown; but as the internal sense describes them, and this as to all their circumstances, they must needs be set forth, no matter how much they may appear to be above the apprehension. At the very least it may in this way be seen what great arcana there are in the internal sense of the Word; also that the arcana are such as scarcely to be seen in the light of the world, in which man is during his life in the body, but that they always appear more distinctly and clearly in proportion as man comes from the light of the world into the light of heaven, into which he comes after death; thus into the light in which blessed and happy souls are, that is, the angels.3087.
Verses 17-20. And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me I pray sip a little water from thy pitcher. And she said, Drink, my lord; and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and made him drink. And she finished making him drink, and she said, I will draw for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw, and drew for all his camels. "The servant ran to meet her, and said," signifies exploration from Divine good; "let me I pray sip a little water from thy pitcher," signifies inquiry whether anything of truth from this source can be conjoined; "and she said, Drink, my lord," signifies reciprocation; "and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand," signifies submission of the recipients from power; "and made him drink," signifies initiation. "And she finished making him drink," signifies what is successive; "and she said, I will draw for thy camels also, until they have done drinking," signifies reciprocation as to the enlightenment of all the memory-knowledges in the natural man. "And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough," signifies the separation of the affection of truth which was being initiated into Divine good; "and ran again unto the well," signifies a lower affection of truth; "and drew for all his camels," signifies whereby the general memory-knowledges were enlightened.3088.
The servant ran to meet her, and said. That this signifies exploration from Divine good, is evident from the signification of "running to meet her," as being an exploration as to whether the case was as he had spoken in his heart (the internal sense so dictates); also from the signification of "saying," as being to perceive (often shown before) and thus to explore. That this was from Divine good, is because the servant here acts in the stead of his lord, that is, of Abraham and also of Isaac; for he that is sent puts on the personality of him who sends. This is often the case in the Word, as when angels are spoken of who are first mentioned as angels, and are afterwards called "Jehovah" (as the angel who appeared to Moses in the bush, Exod. 3:2, 4; and the angel that appeared to Gideon, Judges 6:11-12, 14). For the same reason Rebekah addresses him as "my lord" in the next verse.3089.
Let me I pray sip a little water from thy pitcher. That this signifies inquiry whether anything of truth from this source could be conjoined, is evident from the signification of "sipping," as being similar to that of "drinking;" but diminutively, because exploring is implied. (That "to drink", is to perceive may be seen above, n. 3069.) In the internal sense "to drink" also denotes to be communicated and to be conjoined, and is predicated of what is spiritual, as "to eat" is predicated of what is celestial (n. 2187, 2343). The same is further evident from the signification of "water," as being truth (see n. 680, 739, 2702). Here therefore the words "let me I pray sip a little water from thy pitcher," signify exploring whether anything of truth from this source could be conjoined. The "pitcher" is the recipient, in which and out of which is truth (n. 3068, 3079). That there was an exploration is because the first affection of truth was attended with something from the maternal, which was to be separated (n. 3040, 3078). With a man about to be regenerated the case is that his first affection of truth is very impure; for there is in it an affection of use and an end for the sake of himself, for the sake of the world, for the sake of glory in heaven, and the like, which ends regard himself, but not the community, the Lord's kingdom, and still less the Lord. Such an affection necessarily precedes; nevertheless it is successively purified by the Lord, till at last falsities and evils are removed and are cast as it were into the circumference; and yet they had been of service as means.3090.
And she said, Drink, my lord. That this signifies reciprocation, is evident from the assent or consent. What the reciprocation of truth is when it is to be conjoined with good, is apparent from marriages; for marriage comes from the fact that there is consent on both sides. This has its origin from the marriage of good and truth; on the side of good there is will, and on that of truth there is consent, and from this comes the conjunction. Although this reciprocation is not apparent with man when he is being regenerated, that is, when he is entering into the heavenly marriage, it nevertheless takes place. The same is more manifest from the fact that when a man is being regenerated, there is effected a likeness of a marriage between the will and the understanding; good being of the will, and truth of the understanding. Therefore the ancients instituted a marriage between the will and the understanding, and between the several things of the will and those of the understanding (n. 54, 55).3091.
And she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand. That this signifies submission of the recipients from power, 3091-1 is evident from the signification of "letting down," as being submission; from the signification of a "pitcher" as being a recipient (see n. 3068, 3079); and from the signification of the "hand," as being power (see n. 878). The submission of the recipients, from power, consists in the doctrinal things, the knowledges, and the memory-knowledges (which are the recipients, n. 3068, 3079), applying themselves. There is a chain of subordination, thus of application, and consequently of submission, from the First of life, or the Lord. As the things which are in a lower place ought to serve the higher, they must be in submission; for without their submission there is no conjunction. The "power" here spoken of is from truth; this causes the things which are below to submit. In the Word power is especially attributed to truth; and therefore the "hands," "arms," and "shoulders" (by which in the internal sense powers are signified) are predicated of truth (see n. 878, 1085); and the power which appears to be from truth is itself from good, through truth.3092.
And made him drink. That this signifies initiation, is evident from the signification of "giving to drink" [potare], in that it is almost the same as that of "drinking" [bibere]; but "drinking" here involves more activity on the part of him who drinks. That "drinking" is receiving, and also being conjoined, may be seen above (n. 3069, 3089); thus "making him drink" [facere potare] denotes to give an opportunity to receive, which is the first of initiation.3093.
And she finished making him drink. That this signifies what is successive of initiation, is evident from the fact that "finished," or "to finish," involves the end of the act that precedes and the beginning of the act that follows, and thus what is successive; and also from the signification of "making to drink," as being to be initiated (of which just above, n. 3092).3094.
And she said, I will draw for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. That this signifies reciprocation as to the enlightenment of all the memory-knowledges in the natural man is evident from the signification of "camels" as being general memory-knowledges in the natural man (see n. 3048, 3071); and from the signification of "drawing," that is, "drawing water," as being to instruct and also to enlighten (see n. 3058, 3071). It is evident that this is reciprocation because she said that she would do this, and also did it; that is, drew water for the camels. The enlightenment that is here treated of is on the part of truth, although it is from good through truth. As regards the enlightenment of memory-knowledges in the natural man the case is this: All enlightenment is from good; for the good which is of love is comparatively as the sun's flame, from which are heat and light; but truth is as the object through which the flame shines, by which there is enlightenment from light; and such as is the light therefrom, such is the enlightenment.  There is nothing else that receives good but truth, and such as is the truth, such is the reception, and such is the consequent enlightenment. When therefore there is enlightenment by means of truth, the enlightenment appears to be from the truth, as if it were its own; although it is of good, which thus gives light through the truth. Moreover the enlightenment of good by means of truth penetrates still further, and affects more deeply, and produces a lower affection of truth, which will be spoken of presently. The light of heaven is from the Divine good of the Lord through His Divine truth; and because it is through the Divine truth in His Human, it penetrates not only to those who are celestial, but also to the spiritual, and enlightens with wisdom and intelligence all who are in heaven. And because this is the source of wisdom and intelligence, therefore the Divine good and the Divine truth in the Lord's Human are so much treated of in the internal sense of the Word; and in the present passage, this sense treats of the first enlightenment of truth from good, and of good through truth.3095.
And she hasted and emptied her pitcher into the trough. That this signifies the separation of the affection of the truth which was being initiated into Divine good, is evident from the signification of "emptying the pitcher," as being to separate the truth; for by a "pitcher," as a containing vessel, is signified not merely the memory-knowledge in which is truth, but also the truth in which is good (see n. 3068, 3079); and here, because initiation is treated of, it signifies the truth which was being initiated into Divine good. And because truth itself cannot possibly be conjoined with good except through its affection (see n. 3024 at the beginning, 3066), for in affection is the life through which is conjunction, therefore here it is the affection of truth that is meant. The meaning of the passage is also evident from the signification of a "trough," or "watering place," as being the good of truth; for the water in the trough signifies truth (see n. 739, 2702), and the trough itself signifies the same as wood, namely, good (see n. 2784, 2812). The good of truth is that which is produced from good by means of truth, and is like an offspring born of truth as a mother, and of good as a father. All the genuine good in the natural man is from this, that is, from the marriage of good and truth in the rational. This good is that which is called the good of truth, and is signified in the Word by a "trough," or "watering place."3096.
And she ran again unto the well to draw. That this signifies a lower affection of truth, is evident from the signification of a "well," as being truth (see n. 2702), but truth that is lower; and as the initiation of truth is here treated of, a lower affection of truth is signified, as just said (n. 3094). The difference of signification in the internal sense between a "fountain" and a "well" may be seen in the number already cited (n. 2702), namely, that the term "fountain" is used when a purer and a higher truth is treated of, but "well" when a truth not so pure and also lower; as is the case in this chapter likewise, in which it is sometimes said a "fountain" and sometimes a "well." Natural truth is lower truth; and the affection of natural truth is a lower affection of truth; from this affection, proximately, are the general memory-knowledges enlightened; and that this enlightenment penetrates further and affects more deeply, may be seen above (n. 3094).3097.
And drew for all his camels. That this signifies that general memory-knowledges were enlightened thereby, is evident from the signification of "drawing," as being to instruct, and also to enlighten (see n. 3058, 3071); and from the signification of "camels," as being general memory-knowledges (n. 3048).3098.
The things contained in the internal sense from n. 3088 to this point, are also such as can be apprehended by those only who have been instructed concerning the internals of man, and who are in truths; for through truths and according to truths, comes enlightenment. The subject here is the first initiation of truth into good; for as before said good itself flows into the natural through the rational, thus by an internal way, and enlightens the things which are therein; whereas truth itself inflows into the natural through the sensuous part, especially that of hearing and sight, and thus by an external way. Truth has its rise from this source, as may be known to everyone who reflects; but the conjunction of good and truth is not there, but is in the rational; therefore truth is called forth therefrom, thus out of the natural sphere into the spiritual; for the truth that is to be conjoined with good is spiritual. How the case is with the truth that is first called forth thence, is treated of in these verses (n. 3087-3097).3099.
Verses 21, 22. And the man, marveling at her, withheld himself, to know whether Jehovah had prospered his way or not. And it came to pass when the camels had done drinking, that the man took a jewel of gold, of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands, ten of gold their weight. "And the man, marveling at her, withheld himself," signifies a state of perception as to those things; "to know whether Jehovah had prospered his way or not," signifies concerning Divine truth, what it was; "and it came to pass when the camels had done drinking," signifies acknowledgment from enlightenment in general memory-knowledges; "that the man took a jewel of gold," signifies Divine good; "of half a shekel weight," signifies sufficient for initiation; "and two bracelets," signifies Divine truth; "for her hands," signifies the power of the affection of truth; "ten of gold their weight," signifies what is full for initiation.3100.
The man marveling at her, withheld himself. That this signifies a state of perception as to those things, is evident from the signification of "marveling," and of "withholding himself" (when he saw that those things which he spoke in his heart had come to pass), as being somewhat of acknowledgment, and at the same time of waiting to see whether it was not so; for he marveled because he acknowledged that it had so come to pass, and he withheld himself because he waited to see whether it was not so; this is the state of perception which is signified.
3091-1 That is, with all their might. [Reviser.]