Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at sacred-texts.com
To know whether Jehovah had prospered his way or not. That this signifies inquiry concerning Divine truth, what it was, is evident from the signification of a "way," as being truth (see n. 627, 2333); whether it was Divine is signified by its being said "whether Jehovah had prospered it," which is the same as inquiring whether it was from Jehovah, or from the Divine, and thus what truth it was; for truths which are called forth from the natural man into the rational are not all received; but only those which agree with the good there, and thus by insemination and insertion act as one with it; the rest, although they had appeared as truths before they were elevated, still are not received, because they are not acknowledged. It is good that acknowledges its own truth, and it is truth that acknowledges its own good. That the truth was acknowledged for what it was, and that thus it was received, is also clear from what now follows.3102.
And it came to pass when the camels had done drinking. That this signifies acknowledgment from enlightenment in general memory-knowledges, is evident from the fact that the two expressions, "it came to pass," and "had done," signify what is successive, and involve the end of the act that precedes and the beginning of the act that follows (see above, n. 3093); here therefore they signify acknowledgment, as shown just above. The same is evident also from the signification of "camels," as being general memory-knowledges (see n. 3048, 3071); and from the signification of "drinking," as being here the same as "drawing waters" (see n. 3097), and also the same as "giving to drink" (see n. 3058, 3071), namely, being enlightened. Hence it is evident that by these words, "and it came to pass when the camels had done drinking," is signified the acknowledgment of truth Divine from enlightenment in general memory-knowledges.  The case is really this: Every truth that is elevated out of the natural man, that is, out of memory-knowledges (or out of knowledges and doctrinal things, for these are of the natural man) into the rational, and there received, must first be acknowledged for what it is, and whether it is in agreement with the good that is in the rational or not; if it is in agreement, it is received; and if not, it is rejected. There are many apparent truths in a single company; but only those are conjoined which acknowledge the good there, and thus which mutually love each other. In order, however, that they may be acknowledged to be such, there must be enlightenment in the natural man, by which all things there both in general and in particular may be seen at one view, and that thus there may be choice. This enlightenment in the natural man is from good, but still is by means of truth (see n. 3094). It is this enlightenment that is signified by Rebekah's drawing for the camels, and making them drink, or giving them to drink.3103.
And the man took a jewel of gold. That this signifies Divine good, is evident from the signification of a "jewel of gold," as being good; and here, because in the internal sense the Lord is treated of, it signifies the Divine good; and because this is from the rational, the term "man" [vir] is used (that a "man" denotes the rational, may be seen above, n. 265, 749, 1007). In ancient times, when the forms of worship in churches were representative, and it was known what they signified, when marriages were being entered upon it was customary to give the bride a jewel of gold and bracelets, because the church was represented by the bride, its good by the jewel, and its truth by the bracelets; and because it was known that the conjugial love with the bride and the wife descends from the marriage of the Lord's Divine good and Divine truth (n. 2508, 2618, 2727-2729). The jewel of gold was put upon the nose, as is evident also from what is said afterwards, that he "put the jewel upon her nose" (verse 47), for the reason that the nose signified the life of good, from the respiration there, which in the internal sense is life, and also from the fragrance, which is what is grateful to the love, the good of which it is (n. 96, 97).  That the "jewel" was the badge of marriage as to good, is evident also from other passages of the Word as in Ezekiel: I decked thee with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain upon thy throat; and I put a jewel upon thy nose (Ezek. 16:11-12); concerning the Ancient Church, here called "Jerusalem," which is described as a bride, to whom were given bracelets, a chain, and a jewel. "Bracelets upon the hands" were a badge representative of truth; and a "jewel upon the nose" was a badge representative of good.  In Isaiah: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, the Lord will make bald the crown of their head, and will take away the rings, and the nose jewels, the changes of garments, and the mantles (Isa. 3:16-18, 21-22). The "daughters of Zion who are haughty," denote the affections of evil within the church (n. 2362, 3024); the "rings and the nose jewels which will be removed," denote good and its badges; the "changes of garments and the mantles," truth and its badges.  In Hosea: I will visit upon her the days of the Baalim to which she burned incense; and she put on her nose jewel and her ornaments, and went after her lovers (Hos. 2:13); treating of the perverted church, and the new church after it. The "nose jewel" here also denotes a badge of the good of the church. When these jewels were fitted to the ears, they also signified good, but good in act; and in the opposite sense evil in act (as in Gen. 35:4; Exod. 32:2, 3).3104.
Of half a shekel weight. That this signifies sufficient for initiation, is evident from the signification of a "shekel," a "half shekel," and "weight." That a "shekel" is the price or estimation of good and truth, and that a "half shekel" is the determination of its quantity, may be seen above (n. 2959). That "weight" signifies the state of a thing as to good will be seen presently; and thus it is evident that "of half a shekel weight" signifies and involves the quantity in respect to the good meant by the jewel of gold. That it is for initiation, follows from what precedes and follows.  That "weight" is the state of a thing as to good, is evident from the following passages of the Word. In Ezekiel: The prophet was to eat food by weight, twenty shekels a day; and was to drink water by measure, the sixth part of a hin; for behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem, and they shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and they shall drink water by measure and with astonishment, that they may want bread and water (Ezek. 4:10-11, 16-17). Here the vastation of good and of truth is treated of, a representation of which was made by the prophet. The state of vastated good is signified by their "eating food and bread by weight;" and the state of vastated truth by their "drinking water by measure" (that "bread" is the celestial, and thus is good, may be seen above, n. 276, 680, 1165, 2177; also that "water" is the spiritual, and thus is truth, n. 739, 2702, 3058); hence it is evident that "weight" is predicated of good, and "measure" of truth.  Again: There shall be balances of justice, and an ephah of justice, and a bath of justice (Ezek. 45:10, etc.). This is said of the holy land, by which is signified the Lord's kingdom in the heavens, as may be known from the several particulars there mentioned by the prophet; where there will be no balances, ephah, and bath, but goods and truths which are signified by these weights and measures. In Isaiah: Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and hath made ready the heavens with the palm of his hand, and hath comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? (Isa. 40:12). To "weigh the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance," denotes that from the Lord are the celestial things of love and charity, and that He alone disposes their states. (That "mountains and hills," concerning which such weights are predicated, are the celestial things of love, may be seen above, n. 795, 796, 1430, 2722.)  In Daniel: The writing upon the wall of the palace of Belshazzar was, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. This is the interpretation: Mene, God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it; Tekel, thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting; Peres, thy kingdom is divided and given to the Mede and the Persian (Dan. 5:25-28); where mene or "hath numbered," is predicated of truth; while tekel or "weighed in the balances" is predicated of good; in the internal sense consummation is treated of.3105.
And two bracelets. That this signifies Divine truth, is evident from the signification of "bracelets," as being truth, here Divine truth, because the Lord is treated of in the internal sense; they are said to have been "two," to denote fullness. Bracelets were placed on the hands of a bride, because by a bride was signified the church, and by her hands were signified powers from truth (that "hands" are predicated of truth, may be seen above, n. 3091). (That "bracelets" have such a signification may be seen in Ezek. 16:11; see above, n. 3103; also Ezek. 23:42.) Bracelets were not only for a bride, but also for a king (but for a king they were on the arm, as appears in 2 Sam. 1:10), for the reason that royalty was representative and significative of Divine truth pertaining to the Lord (n. 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069, 3009); and the "arm" is significative of power (n. 878).3106.
For her hands. That this signifies the power of the affection of truth, is evident from the signification of a "hand," as being power (see n. 878, 3091); and from the representation of Rebekah-here meant by "her"-as being the affection of truth (see n. 2865, 3077).3107.
Ten of gold their weight. That this signifies what is full for initiation, is evident from the signification of "ten," as being a full state, like a "hundred" (see n. 1988, 2636); and from the signification of "gold," which is here a kind of coin from the weight of which the valuation was made; and from the signification of "weight," as being the state of a thing as to good (see above, n. 3104). Hence it is evident that "ten of gold their weight" signifies a full state of what is estimated, as to good. That it is for initiation, is evident from the several particulars in this chapter in which initiation is treated of, that is, betrothal.3108.
These two verses treat of the initiation of truth into good; but what is the nature of this initiation does not easily fall into the idea of thought with anyone who has been enlightened only by such things as are of the light of the world, and not at the same time by such things as are of the light of heaven, from which light the things which are of the light of the world may themselves be enlightened. They who are not in good, and thence in faith, have no other ideas of thought than those which have been formed from objects of the light of the world. These do not know that there is anything spiritual, nor indeed what the rational is in the genuine sense, but only the natural to which they attribute all things; and this is the reason why these things which are said in the internal sense concerning the initiation of truth into good, are to them too remote to appear to amount to anything; when yet to those who are in the light of heaven these are among their precious things. As regards the initiation of truth into good the case is this: Before truth has been initiated and rightly conjoined, it is indeed with man, but it has not been made as it were of him, or as his own; but as soon as it is being initiated into his good, it is appropriated to him; and it then vanishes from his external memory, and passes into the internal memory; or what is the same, it vanishes from the natural or external man, and passes into the rational or internal man, and puts on the very man, and makes his human, that is, his quality as to the human. Such is the case with all truth that is being conjoined with a man's good; such also is the case with the falsity that is being conjoined with evil which he calls good; but the difference is that the former opens the rational, and so makes the man rational; whereas the latter closes the rational and makes the man irrational; although he seems to himself, in the darkness in which he then is, to be pre-eminently rational.3109.
Verses 23-25. And he said, Whose daughter art thou? Tell me I pray is there room in thy father's house for us to pass the night? And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bare unto Nahor. And she said unto him, We have both straw and much provender, also room to pass the night. "He said, Whose daughter art thou?" signifies further exploration concerning innocence; "tell me I pray is there room in thy father's house for us to pass the night;" signifies exploration concerning the good of charity; "and she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bare unto Nahor," signifies here as above the whole of its origin; "and she said unto him," signifies perception; "we have both straw," signifies truths in the form of memory-knowledge; "and much provender," signifies their goods; "also room to pass the night," signifies the state.3110.
He said, Whose daughter art thou? That this signifies further exploration concerning innocence, is evident from the question, "Whose daughter art thou?" as being exploration; that here it is further exploration, is evident from what has been said above (n. 3088, 3101). That it was exploration concerning innocence, is evident from the signification of a damsel, as being an affection in which is innocence (see n. 3067). In this verse indeed the word "damsel" is not found; but seeing that above (in verses 14 and 16) Rebekah is called a and the question is here addressed to her, therefore "thou" here means nothing else than damsel.  As regards the thing itself here treated of, namely, that truth was explored as to what innocence it had, and then also as to what charity, before it was initiated into good and conjoined with it, this cannot but appear wonderful to those who have no knowledge of the subject; but still let them know that in regard to the initiation and conjunction of truth with good in every man there is the most exquisite exploration, and such as surpasses all belief. To the veriest good there is never admitted anything but the veriest truth; for when anything not so true approaches, it does not conjoin itself with good itself, but with some good that in itself is not good, but appears as good; if falsity approaches, the good withdraws itself inward, and the falsity conjoins itself outwardly with some evil which it believes to be good.  This Divine disposal is effected by the Lord, spirits and angels being the mediums; and in this world it is very secret, but it is perfectly well known in the other. Moreover everyone who is of sound reason is able to know it, or at least to have some apprehension of it; for evil and falsity together are hell, and flow in from hell; whereas good and truth together are heaven, and also flow in through heaven from the Lord; and since this is so, evil and truth can no more be joined together than can hell and heaven; wherefore there is a more exquisite balance applied in these things than it is possible for anyone to believe; and this is what is meant by exploration.3111.
Tell me I pray is there room in thy father's house for us to pass the night? That this signifies exploration concerning the good of charity, is evident from the signification of "tell me I pray is there," as being exploration; from the signification of a "house," as being good (see n. 2048, 2233, 2331); and from the signification of "father," in this case, Bethuel, as being the good of charity such as there is with the better Gentiles (see n. 2865)-the very origin of the affection of truth represented by Rebekah being from such good-and from the signification of "room to pass the night," as being a state of "abiding" (see below, n. 3115).  That there is in the internal sense a description of the exploration concerning the origin of the affection of truth as to innocence and the good of charity, is for the reason that the truth which is to be initiated and conjoined with good derives its first origin from no other source, as may be seen from all those with whom truth is received and wedded to good. Within the church, they who have not some measure of innocence and of charity toward the neighbor, howsoever they may be acquainted with truth and profess it with the lips, yet in no wise do they acknowledge it at heart. Outside of the church, among the Gentiles who are called to the truth of faith, or are instructed concerning it in the other life, no others receive it than those who are in innocence, and who live together in mutual charity; for innocence and charity produce the ground in which the seeds of faith can take root and grow.3112.
And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bare unto Nahor. That this signifies the whole of its origin, that is, the whole of the origin of the affection of truth, is evident from the representation of Bethuel, and also of Milcah and of Nahor, as being the origin of the affection of truth, which is represented by Rebekah (see n. 3078).3113.
And she said unto him. That this signifies perception, is evident from the signification in the historical parts of the Word of "saying," as being in the internal sense to perceive, as frequently shown above.3114.
We have both straw and much provender. That "straw" signifies truths in the form of memory-knowledge, and that "much provender" signifies their goods, is evident from the signification of "straw" and of "provender." That "straw" signifies these truths, is because it is spoken of as being the food of camels; for when by "camels" is signified the natural man as to the general memory-knowledges therein, then by their food, namely, by straw, nothing else than these can be signified; for the natural man has no other food which is the food of its life, seeing that its nourishment is from such truths; for if such food should fail it, that is, knowing, it would not continue to exist. That this is the case, is evident from the life after death; for then such things are to spirits in place of food (see n. 56-58, 680, 681, 1480, 1695, 1973, 1974). In the natural man, as in the rational, there are two classes of things in general which constitute its essence, namely, those of the understanding and those of the will. To the things of the understanding pertain truths; to those of the will pertain goods. The truths of the natural man are truths in the form of memory-knowledge, that is, whatever things are in his external memory; these are what are signified by "straw," when camels, and also when horses, mules, and asses are treated of. But the goods of the natural man are delights, chiefly those of the affection of such truths.3115.
Also room to pass the night. That this signifies the state, is evident from the signification of "room," as being state (see above, n. 2625, 2837); and from the signification of "passing the night," as being to abide or have an abode (see n. 2330); here therefore there is signified the state of the affection of truth, in regard to its origin. Its origin is described by the things represented by Bethuel, Milcah, and Nahor; and its relationships by "Laban" in the verses that follow. And because this origin was obscure, its state is signified by "room to pass the night," as also above.3116.
These three verses treat of the exploration of the truth which is to be initiated and thus conjoined with good; and this indeed especially in regard to its origin, for on the origin depend all things in general and in particular; from it the derived things have their form, as from their root, or their seed, as a plant or a tree has from its root or seed. These truths the Lord saw and explored in Himself from the Divine, and from His own wisdom and intelligence initiated; that is to say He initiated truths into the good of the rational. The exploration itself is here described in the internal sense; but the things contained therein can be explained only very briefly. Exploration takes place likewise with every man who is being reformed, and also with everyone who receives remains; but of this exploration the man knows nothing at all; it is so entirely in obscurity with him that he does not even believe that there is any; when yet it is taking place every moment, but from the Lord, who alone sees man's state-not only his present state, but also his future state to eternity. The exploration is a most exquisite balancing, to prevent even the least of falsity from being conjoined with good, and the least of truth from being conjoined with evil; for if there should be such conjunction, the man would perish eternally; because then in the other life he would hang between hell and heaven; and by reason of the good he would be spewed out from hell, and by reason of the evil from heaven.3117.
Verses 26, 27. And the man bent himself, and bowed himself down to Jehovah; and he said, Blessed be Jehovah the God of my lord Abraham, who hath not forsaken His mercy and His truth from my lord; I being in the way, Jehovah hath led me to the house of my lord's brethren. "The man bent himself, and bowed himself down to Jehovah," signifies gladness and joy; "and he said, Blessed be Jehovah the God of my lord Abraham," signifies here as before, from the Divine Itself and the Divine Human; "who hath not forsaken His mercy," signifies a perception of the influx of love; "and His truth from my lord," signifies the influx of charity therefrom; "I being in the way," signifies in a state of the conjunction of truth with good in the rational; "Jehovah hath led me to the house of my lord's brethren," signifies to the good of truth.3118.
The man bent himself, and bowed himself down to Jehovah. That this signifies gladness and joy, is evident from the signification of "bending himself," and of "bowing himself down," as denoting to be glad and to rejoice. Bending and bowing down are gestures of humiliation, that is, they are humiliation in act, whether in a state of grief or in a state of joy-in a state of grief when that which is wished for does not come to pass, but in a state of joy when it does come to pass; as in this case, that Rebekah, according to the vow of his heart, gave him to drink out of her pitcher, and made his camels drink also. (That "bowing down" is a gesture of joy also, may be seen above, n. 2927, 2950.) The term "gladness" is used, and also "joy," for the reason that in the Word "gladness" is predicated of truth, and "joy" of good. Moreover gladness is of the countenance, but joy of the heart; or what is the same, gladness is of spiritual affection or of truth, but joy is of celestial affection or of good; thus gladness is in a degree less than joy, as bending is likewise less than bowing down; which is also evident from the fact that the man of the spiritual church merely bends himself before the Lord, and invokes grace; whereas the man of the celestial church bows himself down before the Lord and implores mercy (see n. 598, 981, 2423). Both terms are used by reason of the marriage of truth and good in every single thing of the Word (n. 683, 793, 801, 2516, 2712).3119.
And he said, Blessed be Jehovah the God of my lord Abraham. That this signifies from the Divine Itself and the Divine Human, is evident from what was said above (n. 3061), where the same words occur, except that the word "blessed" is here added. "Blessed be Jehovah" was a form of thanksgiving, thus also of joy and gladness, when wished-for events took place. (What the ancients meant by "blessing Jehovah," may be seen above, n. 1096, 1422.)3120.
Who hath not forsaken His mercy. That this signifies a perception of the influx of love, is evident from the signification of "mercy," as being love (see n. 1735, 3063, 3073). That "who hath not forsaken His mercy" signifies a perception of the influx of love, is because these are words of acknowledgment and confession; and all acknowledgment and confession are from the perception of influx.3121.
And His truth from my lord. That this signifies an influx of charity therefrom, is evident from the signification of "truth," as being charity. "Truth" in its proper sense signifies the same as "faith," and in the Hebrew language faith is expressed by a like word; so that what is called "truth" in the Word of the Old Testament is in various places called "faith" in the Word of the New Testament; and for this reason also it has been so often said in the foregoing pages that truth is of faith and good is of love. And yet that in the internal sense faith is nothing else than charity, may be seen from what has been said and shown above in many places-as that there is no faith except by love (n. 30-38): That no faith is possible except where there is charity (n. 654, 724, 1162, 1176, 2261): That faith is the faith of charity (n. 1608, 2049, 2116, 2343, 2349, 2419): That charity makes the church, not faith separate from charity (n. 809, 916, 1798, 1799, 1834, 1844, 2190, 2228, 2442). From all this it is evident that in the internal sense truth or faith is the same as charity; for all faith is from charity; the faith which is not from charity not being faith; or what is the same, in the internal sense all truth is good; for all truth is from good, and the truth which is not from good is not truth, truth being nothing else than the form of good (n. 3049); its birth is from no other source, and its life is from no other.3122.
Moreover in regard to this truth by which is signified charity, the case is this: The most ancient people, who were celestial, by mercy and truth from the Lord understood nothing else than the reception of the influx of love to the Lord, and of the derivative charity toward the neighbor. But the ancients, who were spiritual, by the mercy and truth from the Lord with themselves, understood charity and faith; the reason of which is, that the celestial never thought concerning those things which are of faith or truth, but concerning those which are of love or good, as may be seen from what has been said above concerning the celestial man (n. 202, 337, 2669, 2715). Moreover celestial men when being reformed and regenerated were introduced into love to the Lord through charity toward the neighbor. It is evident therefore that by "mercy from the Lord" nothing else is signified than a perception of the influx of love to Him; and by "truth," a derivative influx of charity toward the neighbor.  But it is otherwise with the spiritual; these think concerning the things of faith; and when being reformed and regenerated they are introduced by means of the things of faith into charity toward the neighbor. And therefore when the spiritual are treated of, by "mercy from the Lord" is meant an influx of charity toward the neighbor; and by "truth" is meant an influx of faith. But still this faith, when the spiritual man has been regenerated, becomes charity; for he then acts from charity; insomuch that one who does not act from charity is not regenerate, but he who acts from charity is regenerate; and in this case he is not solicitous about the things of faith or truth, for he lives from the good of faith, and no longer from its truth; for truth has so conjoined itself with good that it no longer appears, except merely as the form of charity.  From what has been said we can see what the most ancient people, and what the ancients, understood by "mercy and truth," so frequently mentioned in the Word. As in David: The king shall dwell before God forever; O prepare mercy and truth, that they may preserve him (Ps. 61:7). Again: Mercy and truth shall meet together, righteousness and peace shall kiss each other (Ps. 85:10). Again: Thou O Lord art a God great in mercy and truth (Ps. 86:15). Again: My truth and My mercy shall be with Him (Ps. 89:24). Again: Jehovah hath remembered His mercy and His truth toward the house of Israel (Ps. 98:3). Again: O Jehovah, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy and for Thy truth's sake (Ps. 115:1). In Micah: Jehovah God will give the truth to Jacob, the mercy to Abraham, which Thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old (Micah 7:20); where "Jacob" denotes the Lord's external man, and "Abraham" the internal, as to the Human. In Hosea: Jehovah hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, and no mercy, and no knowledge of God (Hos. 4:1). "No truth" denotes no reception of the influx of charity; "no mercy," no reception of the influx of love; "no knowledge of God," no reception of the influx of the truth of faith.3123.
I being in the way. That this signifies in a state of the conjunction of truth with good in the rational, is evident from the signification of a "way," as being truth (see above, n. 627, 2333). That "in the way" here denotes the conjunction of truth with good in the rational, is because this is the subject treated of in this chapter (see n. 3012, 3013); for one is said to be "in the way" when he is making progress toward the place to which he intends to go.3124.
Jehovah hath led me to the house of my lord's brethren. That this signifies to the good of truth, is evident from the signification of the "house of the brethren," of which was Rebekah, as being the good from which is the truth. That the "house of the brethren" is good, here the good from which is the truth, is evident from the signification of a "house," as being good (see n. 2233, 2234, 2559); and of "brethren," as being the origin of that good from which is the truth represented by Rebekah.3125.
The foregoing verses treat of the exploration of the truth which was to be conjoined with good in the rational, in regard to innocence, to charity, and to origin. For inasmuch as the Lord, by His own proper power, made His rational Divine in respect to truth as well as in respect to good, He therefore explored the truth which He conjoined with good. But with men, truth is never conjoined with good by their own power, but by the power of the Lord; which may be seen from the fact that all good and truth flow in from the Lord, and that all reformation and regeneration are from the Lord, and that man does not know one whit of how he is regenerated. At the present day he does not even know that he is regenerated by truth and good, still less that truth is initiated and conjoined with good, and that this is effected as by exploration, that is, most exactly. These two verses treat of perception in regard to the quality of truth, and whence it was; and at the same time of joy because of it. Therefore in what now follows the initiation is treated of.3126.
Verses 28-30. And the damsel ran, and told her mother's house according to these words. And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban; and Laban ran out of doors unto the man, unto the fountain; and it came to pass when he saw the jewel, and the bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spoke the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and behold he stood by the camels at the fountain. "And the damsel ran," signifies the desire [animus] of that affection; "and told her mother's house according to these words," signifies toward natural good of every kind whithersoever enlightenment could reach"; and "Rebekah had a brother" signifies the affection of good in the natural man; "and his name was Laban," signifies the quality of that affection; "and Laban ran out of doors unto the man, unto the fountain," signifies its desire [animus] toward the truth which was to be initiated into truth Divine; "and it came to pass when he saw the jewel, and the bracelets upon his sister's hands," signifies when it was observed that Divine good and Divine truth were in the power of the affection of truth which is the "sister;" "and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister," signifies the inclination of that affection; "saying, Thus spoke the man unto me," signifies the propensity or inclination of truth in the natural man; "that he came unto the man," signifies that it adjoined itself; "and behold he stood by the camels," signifies presence in general memory-knowledges; "at the fountain," signifies their enlightenment from truth Divine.3127.
The damsel ran. That this signifies the desire [animus] of that affection, is evident from the signification of "running," as meaning that which is of the inclination or of the desire; and from the signification of a "damsel," as being an affection in which is innocence (see above, n. 3067, 3110).3128.
And told her mother's house according to these words. That this signifies toward natural good of every kind whithersoever enlightenment could reach, is evident from the signification of the "mother's house," as being the good of the external man, that is, natural good. (That a "house" denotes good may be seen above, n. 2233, 2234, 2559; also that man's external or natural is from the mother, but the internal from the father, n. 1815.) The good with man is compared in the Word to a "house," and on this account a man who is in good is called a "house of God;" but internal good is called the "father's house," and the good that is in the same degree is called the "house of the brethren;" but external good, which is the same as natural good, is called the "mother's house." Moreover all good and truth are born in this manner, namely, by the influx of internal good as of a father into external good as of a mother.  As this verse treats of the origin of the truth which is to be conjoined with good in the rational, it is therefore said that Rebekah (by whom this truth is represented) ran to the house of her mother, for that was the origin of this truth. For as before said and shown, all good flows in by an internal way (that is, by the way of the soul) into man's rational, and through this into his faculty of knowing, even into that which is of the senses; and by enlightenment there it causes truths to be seen. Truths are called forth thence, and are divested of their natural form, and are conjoined with good in the midway, that is, in the rational, and at the same time they make the man rational, and at last spiritual. But how these things are accomplished is utterly unknown to man; because at this day it is scarcely known what good is, and that it is distinct from truth; still less that man is reformed by means of the influx of good into truth, and by the conjunction of the two; neither is it known that the rational is distinct from the natural. And when these things, which are most general, are not known, it cannot possibly be known how the initiation of truth into good, and the conjunction of the two, is effected-which are the subjects treated of in this chapter in its internal sense. But whereas these arcana have been revealed, and are manifest to those who are in good, that is, who are angelic minds, therefore however obscure they may appear to others, they nevertheless are to be set forth, because they are in the internal sense.  Concerning the enlightenment from good through truth in the natural man, which is here called the "mother's house," the case is this: Divine good with man inflows into his rational, and through the rational into his natural, and indeed into its memory-knowledges, that is, into the knowledges and doctrinal things therein, as before said; and there by a fitting of itself in, it forms truths for itself, through which it then enlightens all things that are in the natural man. But if the life of the natural man is such that it does not receive the Divine good, but either repels it, or perverts it, or suffocates it, then the Divine good cannot be fitted in, thus it cannot form for itself truths; and consequently the natural can no longer be enlightened; for enlightenment in the natural man is effected from good through truths; and when there is no longer enlightenment, there can be no reformation. This is the reason why in the internal sense the natural man also is much treated of in regard to its quality; thus whence truth is, namely, that it is from good there.3129.
And Rebekah had a brother. That this signifies the affection of good in the natural man, is evident from the signification of a "brother" and a "sister" in the Word, namely, that a "brother" is the affection of good, and a "sister" is the affection of truth (see n. 367, 2360, 2508, 2524); for in the natural man, as in the rational, there are relationships by both blood and marriage of all the things therein (see n. 2556, 2739). And it also is from this that the mind, both the rational and the natural, is called a "house" (or family), where parents, brothers, sisters, kinsmen, and other relatives exist in order.3130.
And his name was Laban. That this signifies the quality of that affection, is evident from the signification of "name," as being the quality of anyone (see n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2724). "Laban" therefore is the quality of that affection which is here treated of.3131.
And Laban ran out of doors unto the man, unto the fountain. That this signifies its desire, that is, the desire of the affection of good, toward the truth which was to be initiated into truth Divine, is evident from the signification of running," as manifesting the inclination or desire (as above, n. 3127); from the representation of Laban, as being the affection of good (of which just above, n. 3129, 3130); from the signification of "the man," as being truth (of which, n. 265, 749, 1007); and from the signification of a "fountain," as also being truth, here truth Divine (see n. 2702, 3096; also below, n. 3137).  From these and from the other things here treated of, we can see what is the quality of the internal sense, and what arcana there are in it. Who could know, except from an interior searching of the Word, and at the same time from revelation, that these words, "Laban ran out of doors unto the man, unto the fountain," signify the desire of the affection of good toward the truth that was to be initiated into truth Divine? And yet this is what the angels perceive when these words are read by man; for such are the correspondences between a man's ideas and an angel's that while the man takes these words according to the sense of the letter, and has the idea of Laban as running out of doors to the man unto the fountain, the angel perceives the desire of the affection of good toward the truth which was to be initiated into truth Divine. For the angels have no idea of Laban, nor of running, nor of a fountain, but they have spiritual ideas corresponding to these. That there is such a correspondence of actual things, and thence of ideas, natural and spiritual, may be seen from what was said above concerning correspondences (see n. 1563, 1568, 2763, 2987-3003, 3021).  As regards the actual thing itself, namely, that truth was to be initiated into truth Divine, the case is this: The first truth in the natural man was not truth Divine, but was truth that appeared as if Divine; for in its first infancy no truth is truth, but is apparent truth; but in process of time it puts off the appearance, and puts on the essence of truth. In order that this may be comprehended, it may be illustrated by examples, but for the present merely by the following. It is a truth Divine that the Lord is never angry, never punishes anyone, still less does evil to anyone, and that from the Lord there never comes anything but good; nevertheless in its first infancy this truth takes the form that the Lord is angry when anyone sins, and that therefore the Lord punishes; nay, with some that evil is from the Lord; but as a man advances from childhood, and grows up and matures in judgment, he puts off that which was as truth to him from its appearing to be so, and gradually puts on the real truth, namely that the Lord is never angry, that He does not punish, that still less does He do what is evil; and thus by the former truth he is initiated into this. For that which first enters is the general truth, which in itself is obscure, and in which scarcely anything appears until it has been enlightened by particulars, and these by singulars; and when it has been enlightened the interior things are clear. Thus fallacies and appearances, which in time of ignorance are truths, are dissipated and shaken off.3132.
And it came to pass when he saw the jewel, and the bracelets upon his sister's hands. That this signifies when it was observed that Divine good and Divine truth were in the power of the affection of truth, which is the "sister," is evident from the signification of "seeing," as being to observe (n. 2150); from the signification of the "jewel," as being Divine good (see n. 3103, 3105); from the signification of "bracelets," as being Divine truth (see n. 3103, 3105) from the signification of "hands," as being power (see above, n. 878, 3091); and from the signification of "sister," as being the affection of truth (see n. 2508, 2524, 2556); from all which it is evident that to "see the jewel and the bracelets upon his sister's hands," is to observe that Divine good and Divine truth were in the power of the affection of truth.  The case herein is this: The conjunction of Divine good and Divine truth in the Lord is the very Divine marriage from which is the heavenly marriage, which is likewise a marriage of good and truth; from this also comes conjugial love (see n. 2727-2759). Hence it is that where marriage is treated of in the Word, in the internal sense there is signified the heavenly marriage, which is that of good and truth; and in the supreme sense the Divine marriage, which is in the Lord; wherefore nothing else is here meant by the marriage between Isaac and Rebekah. The conjunction of good and truth is the marriage itself, but the initiation is the betrothal, or the state preceding marriage. But the state that precedes betrothal is what is here described. As in this state it is within the power of the damsel to be betrothed, and afterwards as a wife to be conjoined with a husband, so it is within the power of the affection of truth to be initiated into Divine truth, and in this manner to be conjoined with Divine good. And further: in the first affection and afterwards in every affection of truth with the Lord, there was inmostly the Divine good itself and the Divine truth itself, because there was Jehovah Himself; from this came the power that is here treated of.3133.
And when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister. That this signifies the inclination of that affection, is evident from the affection in these words; and also from the affection in the words that precede; for they bear witness to the inclination on the part of the affection of truth which is here represented by Rebekah the sister.3134.
Saying, Thus spoke the man unto me. That this signifies the inclination of truth in the natural man, is in like manner evident from the affection in these words, and also from what the man, or Abraham's servant, spoke to Rebekah; from which it is evident that it is the inclination that is signified; and also from the signification of a "man" as being truth (see n. 265, 749, 1007), here truth in the natural man from the Divine-because the man is here Abraham's elder servant, by whom is signified the natural man (as may be seen above, n. 3019). In the Word, especially the prophetic, the word "man" [vir] often occurs; as "man and wife," "man and woman," "man and inhabitant," also "man [vir] and man [homo]"; and in such places by "man" [vir] in the internal sense is signified that which is of the understanding, which is truth; and by "wife," "woman," "inhabitant," and "man" [homo], that which is of the will, which is good. As in Isaiah: I see, and there is no man; even among them, and there is no counselor (Isa. 41:28); "no man" denotes no one intelligent, thus no truth. Again: I came, and there was no man; I called, and there was none to answer (Isa. 50:2); the meaning here being the same.  Again: Truth hath stumbled in the street, and uprightness cannot enter; and truth hath been taken away; and he that departeth from evil is mad. And Jehovah saw, and it was evil in His eyes that there was no judgment, and no man, and He was amazed (Isa. 59:14-16). "No man" plainly means no one intelligent, and thus in the universal sense no truth. It here treats of the last time of the church, when there is no longer any truth; and it is therefore said, "truth hath stumbled in the street, uprightness cannot enter, truth hath been taken away." (That "street" also is predicated of truth, may be seen above, n. 2336; and "judgment" also, n. 2235.) In Jeremiah: Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that doeth judgment, that seeketh truth (Jer. 5:1). Here a "man" evidently denotes one who is intelligent; and also truth. In Zephaniah: I will make their streets desolate, that none passeth by; their cities shall be devastated, so that there shall be no man; that there shall be no inhabitant (Zeph. 3:6). "No man" denotes no truth; "no inhabitant," no good (see above, n. 2268, 2451, 2712, and many other places).3135.
He came unto the man. This signifies that it (that is, the affection of good that is represented by Laban, see n. 3129, 3130) adjoined itself to the truth signified by the "man" (n. 3134), both of them in the natural man.3136.
And behold he stood by the camels. That this signifies presence in general memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of "standing by," as being to be present; and from the signification of "camels," as being general memory-knowledges (see n. 3048, 3071).3137.
At the fountain. That this signifies their enlightenment from Divine truth, is evident from the signification of a "fountain," as being truth (see n. 2702, 3096), here Divine truth (as above, n. 3131). As the Word is Divine truth, it is called a "fountain." That in the internal sense "to stand at the fountain" here involves the enlightenment of those things which are in the natural man, follows from the series; for where there is Divine truth, there is also enlightenment.3138.
These three verses treat of the preparation and enlightenment of the natural man in order that the truth might be called forth thence which was to be conjoined with good in the rational. But with preparation and enlightenment the case is as follows: There are two lights which form the intellectual things of man-the light of heaven, and the light of the world; the light of heaven is from the Lord, who to angels in the other life is a Sun and Moon (see n. 1053, 1521, 1529, 1530); the light of the world is from the sun and moon which appear before the bodily sight. The internal man has its sight and its understanding from the light of heaven; but the external man has its sight and its understanding from the light of the world. The influx of the light of heaven into the things which are of the world's light, effects enlightenment and at the same time observance; an observance of truth if there is correspondence, and an observance of falsity instead of truth if there is not correspondence. But enlightenment and observance are impossible unless there is affection or love, which is spiritual heat, and which gives life to the things that are enlightened by the light; comparatively as the sun's light does not give life to the things of the vegetable kingdom, but the heat that is in the light, as is evident from the seasons of the year.  In the verses which next follow, the preparation is further described-namely, that the light of heaven which is the Lord's Divine light inflowed into the things that were of the light of the world in His natural man, in order that He might bring out thence the truth which was to be conjoined with good in the rational; thus by the ordinary way. And therefore in order that the Lord might make the human Divine by the ordinary way, He came into the world; that is, it was His will to be born as a man, and to be instructed as a man, and to be reborn as a man; but with the difference that man is reborn of the Lord, whereas the Lord not only regenerated Himself, but also glorified Himself, that is, made Himself Divine; and further, that a man is made new by an influx of charity and faith, but the Lord, by the Divine love which was in Him and which was His. Hence it may be seen that the regeneration of man is an image of the glorification of the Lord; or what is the same, that in the process of the regeneration of man may be seen as in an image, although remotely, the process of the Lord's glorification.3139.
Verses 31-33. And he said, Come, thou blessed of Jehovah, wherefore standest thou without? For I have swept the house, and there is room for the camels. And the man came into the house, and loosed the camels; and he gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men that were with him. And there was set before him to eat; and he said, I will not eat until I have spoken my words. And he said, Speak. "He said, Come, thou blessed of Jehovah," signifies an invitation of the Divine within Him; "wherefore standest thou without?" signifies somewhat therefrom; "for I have swept the house," signifies that all things were prepared and full of goods; "and there is room for the camels," signifies a state for all things that would be serviceable to Him; "and the man came into the house," signifies influx into the good therein; "and loosed the camels," signifies freedom for those things which were to serve; "and he gave straw and provender for the camels," signifies instruction in truths and goods; "and water to wash his feet," signifies purification there; "and the feet of the men that were with him," signifies purification of all things belonging to Him, in the natural man; "and there was set before him to eat," signifies that good in the natural man desired these things should be appropriated; "and he said, I will not eat," signifies refusal; "until I have spoken my words," signifies until instruction should be given; "and he said, Speak," signifies longing.3140.
He said, Come, thou blessed of Jehovah. That this signifies an invitation of the Divine within Him, is evident from the signification of "Come," as being invitation; and from the signification of the "blessed of Jehovah," as being the Divine; that the "blessed Jehovah" is the Divine Itself, may be seen above (n. 1096, 1420, 1422); and it follows that the "blessed of Jehovah" is the Divine therefrom. Good is the Divine Itself, but truth is the Divine thence derived. By the "man" here who was sent by Abraham, is signified the truth which was from the Divine, in the natural man (n. 3134); it is Divine truth which is called the "blessed of Jehovah," and which is invited.3141.
Why standest thou without? That this signifies somewhat therefrom, is evident without explication. The case herein is as follows: The Lord's Divine rational was born of the Divine truth itself conjoined with the Divine good. The Divine rational is Isaac, who was born to Abraham (who here is the Divine good) of Sarah who here is the Divine truth; as before shown. The rational of the Lord alone was thus born Divine, and indeed from Himself; for the veriest being of the Lord was Jehovah or the Divine good itself; and the veriest being of the Lord from this was of Jehovah or was the Divine truth itself. The Divine good in the rational, which is "Isaac," was thus born; and this was not good separate from truth, but was Divine good with Divine truth; and yet both together are called good in the rational, with which was to be conjoined truth from the natural man, which truth is "Rebekah." In order that the Lord might make His human Divine, both as to good and as to truth, and this by the ordinary way (as before said, n. 3138), it could not be done otherwise; for such is the Divine order, according to which is all regeneration, and thus according to which was the Lord's glorification (see n. 3138 at end).  This Divine good through Divine truth in the rational, was that which was flowing into the natural man, and was enlightening all things there. The process itself is here described, namely, that at first it flowed in somewhat more remotely, which is meant here by there being "somewhat therefrom," and that it was not willing to flow in with fuller presence before instruction. For the ordinary way is that instruction must precede, and that influx takes place according to the degrees of instruction; and that truth continually comes into existence thence, which is initiated, and is afterwards conjoined with the good of the rational. From all this it may be seen what is the nature of the arcana that are contained in the internal sense of the Word; and that these arcana are such as to be scarcely apprehended by man even as to their most general things; and yet that they are evident to the angels, together with innumerable particulars which can never be uttered in words.3142.
For I have swept the house. That this signifies that all things were prepared, and full of goods, is evident from the signification of "sweeping," as being to prepare and to be filled (of which we shall speak presently); and from the signification of a "house" as being good (concerning which above, n. 2233, 2234, 2559; and that man himself, from the good which is in him, is called a house, n. 3128). The reason "to sweep" signifies to prepare and to be filled, is that nothing else is required of man than to sweep the house; that is, to reject the cupidities of evil and the derivative persuasions of falsity; for he is then filled with goods, because good is continually flowing in from the Lord-but into "the house," that is, into the man who is purified from such things as impede the influx, that is, which reflect, or pervert, or suffocate the inflowing good. Hence it was common with the ancients to speak of sweeping or cleaning the house, and of sweeping and preparing the way; and by sweeping the house was meant to purify one's self from evils, and thereby to prepare one's self for goods to enter; but by sweeping the way was meant to prepare one's self so that truths might be received (for by a "house" was signified good, n. 3128; and by a "way," truth, n. 627, 2333).  As in Isaiah: The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Sweep [prepare] ye the way of Jehovah; make straight in the desert a highway for our God (Isa. 40:3). In the same: Cast up, cast up, sweep [prepare] the way, take away the stumbling-block out of the way of My people (Isa. 57:14). Again: Go through, go through the gates, sweep [prepare] the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway, gather out the stones (Isa. 62:10). In Malachi: Behold I send Mine angel, and He shall sweep [prepare] the way before Me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple (Mal. 3:1). In these passages, to "sweep the way" signifies to make themselves ready and prepare to receive truth. The subject treated of therein is the advent of the Lord, for which they were to prepare themselves for receiving the truth of faith, and thereby the good of charity, and by this eternal salvation.  In David: Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt, Thou didst drive out the nations and plantedst it; Thou didst sweep before it, and didst cause its root to be rooted, and it filled the land (Ps. 80:8-9); where in the supreme sense the Lord is treated of; the "vine out of Egypt" is truth from memory-knowledges; "driving out the nations" is purifying from evils; "sweeping before it," is making ready so that goods may fill. In the opposite sense "to sweep the house" is said also of the man who deprives himself of all goods and truths, and thus is filled with evils and falsities; as in Luke: The unclean spirit, finding no rest, says, I will return into my house whence I came out; and when he is come he findeth it swept and garnished; then goeth he and taketh to him seven other spirits worse than himself, and they enter in and dwell there (Luke 11:24-26; Matt. 12:43-45).3143.
And there is room for the camels. That this signifies a state for all things that would be serviceable to Him, is evident from the signification of "room," as being state (see above, n. 1273-1277, 1376-1381, 2625); and from the signification of "camels," as being general memory-knowledges (see n. 3048, 3071). That these are things for service may be seen above (n. 1486, 3019, 3020); for all things that belong to the natural man are for no other use than to serve the spiritual; wherefore also menservants, maidservants, camels, and asses, in the internal sense chiefly signify the things which belong to the natural man.3144.
And the man came into the house. That this signifies influx into the good therein, is evident from the signification of "coming;" here, to flow in; and from the signification of a house," as being good (see n. 2233, 2234, 2559).3145.
And loosed the camels. That this signifies freedom for those things which were to serve, is evident from the signification of "loosing," as being to make free; and from the signification of "camels," as being general memory-knowledges, and thus the things which were to serve (as just above, n. 3143). The real case herein is this: Without freedom no production of truth in the natural man is possible, nor any calling forth therefrom into the rational, and conjunction with good there. All these things take place in a free state; for it is the affection of truth from good which produces freedom. Unless truth is learned from affection, thus in freedom, it is not implanted; still less is it exalted toward the interiors and there made faith. That all reformation is effected in freedom, and that all freedom is of affection, and that the Lord keeps man in freedom, so that he may from himself and from what is his own be affected with truth and good and thereby be regenerated, may be seen above (n. 2870-2893). This is what is signified by "loosing the camels;" for if they were not significative of such things, these particulars would be too trifling to be recorded.3146.
And he gave straw and provender for the camels. That this signifies instruction in truths and goods, is evident from the signification of "straw," as being the truths of the natural man, and from the signification of "provender" as being the goods therein (concerning which see above, n. 3114). Because these things are signified by "straw and provender," it follows that to "give straw and provender" is to instruct in truths and goods. That freedom is for the sake of these things, namely, that man may be instructed in the affection and from the affection of truth, and thus that truths may be insinuated even to the spiritual man, or even to the soul, and may there be conjoined with good, may be seen from what was shown above concerning freedom (n. 2870-2893). Such is the inrooting of faith, or of the truth which is of faith, that unless it is coupled with good in the rational, the truth of faith never receives any life, nor does any fruit come from it; for all that which is called the fruit of faith, is the fruit of the good of love and charity through the truth of faith. Unless spiritual heat, which is the good of love, operated by spiritual light, which is the truth of faith, the man would be as ground hard frozen as in winter time, when nothing grows, still less bears fruit. For as light without heat produces nothing, so faith produces nothing without love.3147.
And water to wash his feet. That this signifies purification there, is evident from the signification of "water for washing," or of washing with water, as being to purify (concerning which presently); and from the signification of "feet," as being natural things, or what is the same, the things in the natural man (see n. 2162). In the representative church it was customary to wash the feet with water, and thereby to signify that the unclean things of the natural man were washed away. The unclean things of the natural man are all those things which are of the love of self and of the love of the world; and when these unclean things have been washed away, then goods and truths flow in, for it is solely these unclean things that hinder the influx of good and truth from the Lord.  For good is continually flowing in from the Lord, but when it comes through the internal or spiritual man to his external or natural man, it is there either perverted, turned back, or suffocated. But when the things which are of the love of self and of the love of the world are removed, then good is received there and is made fruitful; for then man practices the works of charity. This is evident from many considerations; as when in misfortune, distress, and sickness, the things that belong to the external or natural man are merely lulled, the man forthwith begins to think piously and to will what is good, and also to practice works of piety insofar as he is able; but when the state is changed, there is a change also in all this.  These things were signified by the washings in the Ancient Church, and the same were represented in the Jewish Church, The reason why they were signified in the Ancient Church, but represented in the Jewish church, was that the man of the Ancient Church regarded the rite as a something external in worship, and did not believe that he was purified by that washing, but by the washing away of the impurities of the natural man, which as before said are the things which are of the love of self and of the world. But the man of the Jewish Church believed that he was purified by that washing; neither knowing nor desiring to know that the purification of the interiors was signified.  That by "washing" is signified a cleansing from the impurities referred to, is evident in Isaiah: Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes, cease to do evil (Isa. 1:16); where it is evident that to "wash themselves" means to make themselves pure and to put away evils. Again: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof, in the spirit of judgment and in the spirit of expurgation (Isa. 4:4); where "washing away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purging the blood of Jerusalem," denotes purifying from evils and falsities. In Jeremiah: O Jerusalem, wash thy heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall the thoughts of thine iniquity lodge within thee? (Jer. 4:14).  In Ezekiel: I washed thee with water, and I washed away thy bloods from upon thee, and anointed thee with oil (Jer. 16:9); concerning Jerusalem, by which is there meant the Ancient Church; "washing with waters" denotes purifying from falsities; "washing away bloods" denotes purging from evils; "anointing with oil" denotes filling then with good. In David: Wash me from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow (Ps. 51:2, 7). Here "being washed" plainly denotes being purified from evils and their falsities.  These are the things that were signified by "washing" in the representative church; and it was commanded for the sake of the representation that when they had become unclean they should wash the skin, the hands, the feet, and also the garments, and should be cleansed; by all which things were signified those which are of the natural man. Lavers also, of brass, were placed outside the temple, namely, the brazen sea and the ten brazen lavers (1 Kings 7:23-39); and a laver of brass at which Aaron and his sons were to wash was placed between the tent of meeting and the altar; and thus outside the tent (Exod. 30:18, 19, 21); by which also was signified that only external or natural things were to be purified; for unless these have been purified, that is, unless the things that are of the love of self and of the world have been removed, the internal things which are of love to the Lord and toward the neighbor cannot possibly flow in, as before said.  For the better understanding of how these things are circumstanced, namely, that external things are to be purified, take as an example and illustration good works, or what is the same, the goods of charity which at this day are called the fruits of faith; these are external things, because they are the exercises of charity. Good works are evil works unless those things are removed which are of the love of self and of the world; for when works are done before these have been removed, they indeed appear good outwardly, but are inwardly evil; for they are done either for the sake of reputation, or for gain, or for the sake of one's honor, or for recompense, thus they are either self-meritorious 3147-1 or hypocritical; for that which is of the love of self and the world causes the works to be such. But when these evils are removed, the works then become good; and they are goods of charity; that is, in them there is not regard to self, to the world, to reputation, to recompense; thus they are neither self-meritorious nor hypocritical; for then celestial love and spiritual love flow in from the Lord into the works and cause them to be love and charity in act; and then the Lord through these loves also purifies the natural or external man, and disposes it into order, so as to receive correspondently the celestial and spiritual things that flow in.  This is clearly evident from what the Lord taught when He washed the feet of the disciples, as we read in John: Then cometh He to Simon Peter; and Peter saith unto Him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto Him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me. Simon Peter saith unto Him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that hath been washed, needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit; ye are clean already, but not all (John 13:4-17). "He that hath been washed, needeth not save to wash his feet" signifies that he who has been reformed, has need only to be cleansed as to natural things, that is, has need that evils and falsities should be removed from them; and then all things are disposed into order by the influx of spiritual things from the Lord. Moreover to wash the feet was an office of charity, as meaning not to reflect on the evils of another; and it was also an office of humility, as meaning to cleanse another from evils as from impurities; as also is evident from the Lord's words in the passage just quoted (verses 12-17; also Luke 7:37, 38, 44, 46; John 11:2; 1 Sam. 25:41).  Everybody can see that washing himself does not purify anyone from evils and falsities, but only from the impurities that cling to him; nevertheless, as washing was among the rites commanded in the church, it follows that it involves something special, namely, spiritual washing, that is, purification from the uncleannesses which inwardly adhere to man. Therefore they who knew these things in that church, and thought about the purification of the heart, or the removal of the evils of the love of self and of the love of the world from the natural man, and who endeavored to effect this with all diligence, observed the rite of washing as external worship according to commandment; but those who did not know this and did not desire to know it, but thought that the mere rite of washing their garments, skin, hands, and feet, would purify them, and that provided they did these things they might be allowed to live in avarice, hatreds, revenge, unmercifulness, and cruelties, which are spiritual impurity, practiced this rite as an idolatrous one. Nevertheless they could represent by it, and by representation exhibit something of the church, whereby there might be some conjunction of heaven with man before the Lord's advent; yet such conjunction as affected the man of the church little or not at all.  The Jews and Israelites were such that they had no thought about the internal man, nor willingness to know anything about it; thus none at all concerning celestial and spiritual things, relating to the life after death. But yet lest all communication with heaven and thus with the Lord should perish, they were bound to external rites, whereby internal things were signified. All their captivities and plagues were in general for the end that external rites might be strictly observed for the sake of the representation. Hence then it was that Moses washed Aaron and his sons with water at the door of the tent, that they might be sanctified (Exod. 29:4; 40:12; Lev. 8:6); that Aaron and his sons were to wash their hands and feet before they entered into the tent of meeting and came near to the altar to minister, that they might not die; and that this was to be to them a statute forever (Exod. 30:18-21; 40:30-31); that Aaron was to wash his flesh before he put on the garments of ministry (Lev. 16:4, 24); that the Levites were to be purified by being sprinkled with the water of expiation; and that they were to cause a razor to pass over their flesh, and to wash their garments, and thus should be pure (Num. 8:6-7); that whoever should eat the carcass even of a clean beast, or one that was torn, should wash his garments, and bathe himself in water; and if he did not wash himself and bathe his flesh, he should bear his iniquity (Lev. 17:15-16); that whoever touched the bed of one affected with the flux, or who sat upon a vessel on which he had sat, and whoever touched his flesh, should wash his garments, and bathe himself with water, and should be unclean till the evening (Lev. 15:5-7, 10-12); that whoever let go the he-goat, as a scape-goat, should wash his flesh (Lev. 16:26); that when a leprous person was cleansed, he was to wash his garments, shave off all his hair, and wash himself with water, and he should be clean (Lev. 14:8, 9); nay, that the very vessels which were made unclean by the touch of things unclean, should be passed through water, and should be unclean until evening (Lev. 11:32). From these things it may be seen that no one was made clean or pure as to internal things by the rite of washing, but only represented one pure or spiritually clean, for the reason given above. That this is so, the Lord teaches plainly in Matthew (15:1-2, 20), and in Mark (7:1-23).3148.
And the feet of the men that were with him. That this signifies the purification of all things belonging to Him, in the natural man, is evident from the signification of "feet," as being the things of the natural man (see n. 2162); and from the signification of "the men that were with him," as being all things there. It was the custom for travelers, when they came into any house, to wash their feet; as when the brethren of Joseph were introduced into Joseph's house (Gen. 43:24); and when the Levite and his attendant were received into the house of the old man (Judges 19:21); and when Uriah on his return home was commanded by David to go down to his house and to wash his feet (2 Sam. 11:8). The reason was that traveling and journeying signified what relates to instruction, and thence to life (see n. 1293, 1457, 1463, 2025); and that these were to be purified was shown above; and further, lest the impurity understood in the spiritual sense should adhere, and defile the house, that is, the man; as is also evident from the fact that the disciples were to shake off the dust of the feet, if the city or the house would not receive peace (Matt. 10:14).3149.
And there was set before him to eat. That this signifies that it was the will of the affection of good in the natural man that these things should be appropriated, is evident from the representation of Laban, by whom it was set, as being the affection of good in the natural man (see n. 3129, 3130); and from the signification of "eating," as being to be communicated and appropriated (see n. 2187, 2343), namely, the Divine things treated of above (n. 3140, 3141).3150.
And he said, I will not eat. That this signifies refusal, that is, that they were not yet to be so appropriated, is evident without explication.
3147-1 The words "merit," "to merit," and "meritorious," are used by Swedenborg in a bad sense, meaning self-merit, etc., except when applied to the Lord. [Reviser.]