Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at sacred-texts.com
And they said, Seeing we have seen that Jehovah was with thee. That this signifies that they knew the Divine was therein, is evident from the signification of "seeing to see," as being to observe and thus know for certain; and from the signification of "Jehovah being with thee," as being that the Divine was therein. The subject here, as before said (n. 3447), is the agreement of the literal sense of the Word with the internal sense; consequently the agreement therewith of the doctrinal things of faith, which are signified by "Abimelech, Ahuzzath, and Phicol," insofar as they are from the literal sense of the Word; thus also the conjunction of the Lord's kingdom on earth with His kingdom in the heavens and consequently with the Lord, by the Word. For the Word as to the supreme sense is the Lord Himself; and as to the internal sense it is the Lord's kingdom itself in the heavens; and as to the literal sense it is the Lord's kingdom itself on earth, as also before said.  But as regards the Lord's kingdom on earth, that is, His church, the case is that inasmuch as it has its doctrinal things from the literal sense of the Word, it cannot but be various and diverse in respect to these doctrinal things; that is to say, one society will profess one thing to be a truth of faith, because it is so said in the Word, and another society will profess another thing, also because it is so said; and so on. Consequently, as the Lord's church has its doctrinal things from the literal sense of the Word, it will everywhere differ, and this not only as to societies, but sometimes as to the individuals in a society. Nevertheless a difference in the doctrinal things of faith does not prevent the church from being one, provided there is unanimity as to willing well and doing well.  For example, if anyone should acknowledge as a matter of doctrine that charity is from faith, and at the same time lives in charity toward the neighbor, then indeed he is not in truth as to doctrine, but still he is in truth as to life; consequently there is in him the Lord's church or kingdom. And again, if anyone should say that good works ought to be done in order that he may have recompense in heaven, according to the literal sense of the Word in Matt. 10:41, 42; 25:34-46; and in other places; and yet in doing good works never thinks of merit, he in like manner is in the Lord's kingdom, because as to life he is in the truth; and because he is such as to life, he readily suffers himself to be instructed that no one can merit heaven, and that works wherein merit is placed are not good. And so in other cases. For the literal sense is such that in many passages it appears opposed to itself; but the reason is that in this sense there are appearances of truth accommodated to those who are in externals, consequently to those who are also in worldly and even in bodily loves.  Here therefore by "Abimelech" those are treated of who are in the doctrinal things of faith, and who as before said are such as make faith that which is essential to salvation; and there is also treated of the agreement of their, doctrinal things with the internal sense; with whom also it is evident that conjunction is effected, but only with those who are in good, that is, with those who, although they make faith essential as to doctrine, still make charity essential as to life; for when with such there is confidence or trust in the Lord, which they call faith itself, then they are in the affection of love to the Lord, consequently as to life they are in good. But see what was said and shown above on this subject, namely: That what is doctrinal does not make the church, but charity (n. 809, 916, 1798, 1799, 1834, 1844): That doctrinal things are of no account unless men live according to them (n. 1515): That the church is various as to truths, but is one through charity (n. 3267): That there is a parallelism between the Lord and man as to celestial things which are of good, but not as to spiritual things which are of truth (n. 1831, 1832): That there is one only doctrine, namely, that of love to the Lord and of charity toward the neighbor (n. 3445): That the church would be one if all had charity, although they differed as to worship and doctrinal things (n. 809, 1285, 1316, 1798, 1799, 1834, 1844, 2982): That the church would be like the Lord's kingdom in the heavens, if all had charity (n. 2385): That in heaven there are innumerable varieties of good and truth, but that by harmony they nevertheless make a one, like the organs and members of the body (n. 684, 690, 3241).3452.
And we said, Now let there be an oath between us, between us and thee, and let us cut out a covenant with thee. That this signifies that regarded in themselves the doctrinal things of their faith should not be denied, that is, insofar as they are from the literal sense of the Word, is evident from the signification of "an oath between us," as being the agreement of the doctrinal things with the literal sense of the Word; from the signification of "between us and thee," as being the agreement with the internal sense; and from the signification of "let us cut out a covenant," as being that thus there might be conjunction. (That a "covenant" is conjunction, may be seen above, n. 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 2003, 2021.) The sense hence resulting is that because this is the case, regarded in themselves the doctrinal things of their faith should not be denied; for as before said no doctrinal things whatever are denied provided they are from the Word, for they are accepted by the Lord provided that he who is in them is in the life of charity, because with this life all things of the Word can be conjoined; but the interior things of the Word are conjoined with the life which is in the interior good of charity. See what has been stated and adduced above (n. 3224).3453.
If thou shalt do evil to us, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace. That this signifies that they had not done violence to the internal sense of the Word, and that they would not do violence to it, may be seen from the series of things in the internal sense, and from what was said above (at verses 11, 22, 23).3454.
Thou art now the blessed of Jehovah. That this signifies that it was from the Divine, is evident from the signification of "the blessed of Jehovah," when said concerning the Lord-or what is the same, concerning the internal sense of the Word, for the Lord is the Word-as being Divine truth (see n. 3140), thus from the Divine; therefore that they had not done violence to, and would not do violence to the internal sense, because it was from the Divine. But to do violence to the internal sense is to deny those things which are the principal things of this sense, and which are the essential holy things of the Word; and these are, the Divine Human of the Lord, love to Him, and love toward the neighbor. These three are the principal things of the internal sense, and are the holy things of the Word; they are also the internal and holy things of all doctrinal things that are from the Word; and are likewise the internal and holy things of all worship; for in them is the Lord's kingdom itself. A fourth is, that the Word, as to all things therein both in general and in particular, nay, as to the smallest point, is Divine; thus that the Lord is in the Word. This is also confessed and acknowledged by all who have doctrinal things from the Word; and yet at heart those deny it who acknowledge no other holiness in the Word than that which appears in the letter; for such can perceive nothing holy in the historicals, nor in the propheticals, except only a slight external something, from its being called holy; when yet it must be interiorly holy if it be Divine as to the smallest point.3455.
Verses 30, 31. And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink. And they rose early in the morning, and sware a man to his brother; and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace. "And he made them a feast," signifies a dwelling together; "and they did eat and drink," signifies communication; "and they rose early in the morning," signifies a state of enlightenment; "and sware a man to his brother," signifies confirmation with those who are in the good of truth; "and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace," signifies that they were content.3456.
And he made them a feast. That this signifies a dwelling together, is evident from the signification of a "feast," as being a dwelling together (n. 2341).3457.
And they did eat and drink. That this signifies communication, is evident from the signification of "eating," as being to be communicated in respect to the things that are of good (n. 2187, 2343, 3168); and from the signification of "drinking," as being to be communicated in respect to the things that are of truth (n. 3089, 3168).3458.
And they rose early in the morning. That this signifies a state of enlightenment, is evident from the signification of "morning," and of "rising early," as being a state of enlightenment; for in the supreme sense the " morning and daydawn" are the Lord, and in the internal sense the celestial of His love, thus also a state of peace (n. 2333, 2405, 2540, 2780); and in the internal sense "to rise" signifies elevation (n. 2401, 2785, 2912, 2927, 3171); from all which it is evident that their "rising early in the morning" signifies a state of enlightenment.3459.
And they sware a man to his brother. That this signifies confirmation with those who are in the good of truth, is evident from the signification of "swearing," or of an "oath," as being confirmation (n. 2842, 3037, 3375); and from the signification of "a man with his brother," as being the good of truth, or what is the same, those who are in this good. (That "man" signifies truth may be seen above, n. 265, 749, 1007, 3134, 3309; and that a "brother" signifies good, n. 2360; also what the good of truth is, n. 3295, 3332.) Those are in this good who are here represented by Abimelech, or who are represented by the Philistines, of whom Abimelech was king, namely, those who make faith the essential of the church, and place it before charity. They who are such are in no other good than the good of truth, for they elicit and draw forth from the Word nothing but what is of faith, thus what is of truth, and scarcely see what is of good, thus what is of life. Therefore they confirm themselves in doctrinal things of faith, but not in any doctrinal things of charity. When these do good, it is from the doctrinal things of faith, and the good thence is what is called the good of truth.  With those who are in this good the Lord conjoins Himself, but not so much as with those who are in the good of charity; for love and charity are spiritual conjunction, and not faith except through love and charity; and because this is so, it is not said that they "made a covenant with Isaac," but that they "sware a man to his brother;" for a "covenant" is predicated of good, which is of love and charity; but an "oath" of truth, which is of faith (n. 3375); "dwelling together," which is signified by a "feast" (n. 3456) is also predicated of those who are in the good of truth. From those of this character in the other life it has been given me to know that they are separate from those who are in the good of charity; for these are more closely conjoined with the Lord than the former, whose good is so to speak hard, does not suffer itself to be bent, is not communicative, thus is not in heaven, but upon the threshold of heaven.3460.
And Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace. That this signifies that they were content, is evident without explication; and from this also it is evident that with these there was a dwelling together, but not conjunction; concerning which just above (n. 3459).3461.
Verses 32, 33. And it came to pass in that day that the servants of Isaac came and showed him concerning the well which they had digged; and they said unto him, We have found waters. And he called it Shibah; therefore the name of the city is Beersheba unto this day. "And it came to pass in that day," signifies that state; "that the servants of Isaac came," signifies things rational; "and showed him concerning the well which they had digged; and they said unto him, We have found waters," signifies interior truths by means of these things; "and he called it Shibah," signifies the conjunction of confirmed truth thereby; "therefore the name of the city is Beersheba," signifies the quality of the derivative doctrine; "unto this day," signifies the perpetuity of the state.3462.
And it came to pass in that day. That this signifies that state, is evident from the signification of "day," as being state (see n. 23, 487, 488, 493, 893, 2788); here, the state of the doctrine which is treated of.3463.
That the servants of Isaac came. That this signifies rational things, is evident from the signification of "servants," as being rational things and memory-knowledges (n. 2567) and from the representation of Isaac, as being the Lord as to the Divine rational (n. 1893, 2066, 2072, 2083, 2630, 3012, 3194, 3210). From what goes before it is evident what of the Lord is here represented by Isaac, namely, the Word as to its internal sense; for by "Abimelech, Ahuzzath, and Phicol" are signified the doctrinal things of faith which are from the literal sense of the Word, such as are the doctrinal things of those who are called "Philistines" in a good sense, that is, those who are solely in the doctrinal things of faith, and as to life are in good, but in the good of truth, which doctrinal things have some conjunction with the internal sense, thus with the Lord.  For they who are solely in the doctrinal things of faith, and in a life according to them, are in a certain conjunction, but a remote one, for the reason that they do not know from any affection what charity toward the neighbor is, and still less what love to the Lord is, but only from a certain idea of faith; thus neither are they in any perception of good, but in a species of persuasion that what their doctrinal things dictate is true and thus good, and when they are confirmed in these doctrinal things, they may be in what is false equally as in what is true; for nothing but good confirms a man in regard to what is truth. Truth indeed teaches what good is, but without perception; whereas good teaches what truth is from perception.  Everyone may know how this is, and also what is the nature and quality of the difference, merely from this common precept of charity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them (Matt. 7:12). He who acts from this precept does indeed do what is good to others, but because it is so commanded, thus not from the affection of the heart; and whenever he does it, he begins from himself, and also in doing good thinks of merit; whereas he who does not act from precept, but from charity, that is, from affection, acts from the heart, and thus from freedom; and whenever he acts, he begins from really willing what is good, thus for the reason that it is delightful to him; and as he has recompense in the delight, he does not think of merit.  From this then can be seen what the difference is between doing good from faith, and doing good from charity; and that those who do good from faith are more remote from good itself which is the Lord than those who do it from charity; neither can the former be easily introduced into the good of charity so far as to have a perception of it, because they are but little in truths; for no one can be introduced into this good unless things not true are first eradicated, which is impossible while such things are inrooted even to persuasion.3464.
And showed him concerning the well which they had digged; and they said, We have found waters. That this signifies interior truths by means of these things, is evident from the signification of a "well," as being the Word (n. 3424); and from the signification of "waters," as being truths (n. 2702), that is, truths which are from the Word; thus to "show him concerning the well which they had digged," signifies concerning the Word from which they had doctrinal things; "and they said, We have found waters," signifies that in them, that is, in the doctrinal things, there were interior truths. For as before said, there are interior truths in all the doctrinal things that are drawn from the literal sense of the Word, because the literal sense of the Word is like a well that contains water; for in each and every thing of the Word there is an internal sense, which is also in the doctrinal things that are from the Word.  As regards the doctrinal things that are from the literal sense of the Word, the case is this: When a man is in them, and at the same time in a life according to them, he has a correspondence in himself; for the angels who are with him are in interior truths, while he is in exterior ones, and thus through the doctrinal things he has communication with heaven, but according to the good of his life. As for example, when in the Holy Supper he thinks in simplicity of the Lord from the words then used, "This is My body, and this is "My blood," the angels with him are in the idea of love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor; for love to the Lord corresponds to the Lord's body, and to bread; and charity toward the neighbor corresponds to the blood, and the wine (n. 1798, 2165, 2177, 2187); and because there is such a correspondence, there flows an affection out of heaven through the angels into that holy state in which the man then is, which affection he receives in accordance with the good of his life.  For the angels dwell with everyone in his life's affection, thus in the affection of the doctrinal things according to which he lives; but in no case if his life disagrees therewith; for if the life disagrees, as for instance if he is in the affection of gaining honors and riches by means of doctrinal things, then the angels retire, and infernals dwell in this affection, who either infuse into him confirmations of the doctrinal things for the sake of self and the world, thus a persuasive faith-which is such that it is regardless whether a thing is true or false provided it captivates the minds of others-or else they take away all faith, and then the doctrine of his lips is only a sound excited and modified by the fire of these loves.3465.
And he called it Shibah. That this signifies the conjunction of confirmed truth by means of these things, is evident from the signification of "calling by name," as being the quality (see n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 3421; and that "names" thus signify a thing or state, n. 1946, 2643, 3422), here therefore the conjunction of confirmed truth by means of doctrinal things; for in the original tongue "Shibah" means "an oath," which signifies confirmation (n. 2842, 3375). That is called the conjunction of confirmed truth, when interior truths conjoin themselves with exterior truth, which are doctrinal things from the literal sense of the Word. That with such persons there is conjunction by means of the truths which are of faith, and not so much by means of the goods which are of charity, was stated above (n. 3463).3466.
Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba. That this signifies the quality of the doctrine thence derived, is evident from the signification of "name," as being the quality (see above, n. 3465); and from the signification of "city" as being doctrine (see n. 402, 2449, 2712, 2943, 3216); hence comes "Beersheba," which in the original tongue means "the well of the oath," thus the doctrine of confirmed truth. (That "Beersheba" is doctrine may be seen above, n. 2723, 2858-2859.) In chapter 21, verses 30-31, it is said: Because these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take from my hand, that it may be a witness unto me that I have digged this well. Wherefore he called that place Beersheba, because there they sware both of them (Gen. 21:30-31); where by "Beersheba" was signified the state and quality of doctrine, that it was from the Divine, and that by means of it there was conjunction; and because the interiors of that church are there treated of, it is said that "that place" was called Beersheba; whereas here, because the exteriors of that church are treated of, it is said that "the city" was so called; for of interior things is predicated state, which is signified by "place" (n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387); but of exterior things is predicated doctrine, which is signified by "city;" for all doctrine has its state and its quality from its interiors.3467.
Unto this day. That this signifies the perpetuity of the state, is evident from the signification of "unto this day," as being perpetuity of state (n. 2838).3468.
Verses 34, 35. And Esau was a son of forty years, and he took for a woman Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. And they were bitterness of spirit to Isaac and to Rebekah. "And Esau was a son of forty years," signifies a state of temptation as to the natural good of truth; "and he took for a woman Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite," signifies the adjunction of natural truth from another source than from genuine truth itself; "and they were bitterness of spirit to Isaac and to Rebekah," signifies that from this source there at first came grief.3469.
And Esau was a son of forty years. That this signifies a state of temptation as to the natural good of truth, is evident from the representation of Esau, as being the natural good of truth (n. 3300, 3302, 3322); and from the signification of "forty years," as being states of temptation. (That "forty" signifies temptations may be seen above, n. 730, 862, 2272; and that "years" signify states, n. 487, 488, 493, 893.) The reason why these things concerning Esau are joined to what has been related concerning Abimelech and Isaac, is that those are treated of who are in the good of truth, that is, who are in life according to things that are derived from the literal sense of the Word; for these are signified by "Abimelech, Ahuzzath, and Phicol," as before repeatedly said.  They therefore who are in the good of truth, or in a life according to doctrinal things, are regenerate as to the interiors, which are their rational, but not yet as to the exteriors, which are their natural things; for man is regenerated as to the rational before he is regenerated as to the natural (n. 3286, 3288); because the natural is altogether in the world, and in the natural as in a plane there are founded man's thought and will. This is the reason why during regeneration man observes a combat between his rational or internal man and his natural or external man; and why his external man is regenerated much later, and likewise with much greater difficulty, than his internal man. For that which is nearer to the world and nearer to the body cannot be easily constrained to render obedience to the internal man; but only after considerable length of time and by means of many new states into which the man is introduced, which are states of self-acknowledgment, and of acknowledgment of the Lord, that is, of one's own wretchedness, and of the Lord's mercy; thus states of humiliation resulting from temptation combats. Because this is so, there is here next adjoined what is said of Esau and his two wives, whereby such things are signified in the internal sense.  Everyone knows what natural good is, namely, that it is the good into which man is born; but what the natural good of truth is, is known to few, if any. There are four kinds of natural good, that is, of the good that is born with man, namely, natural good from the love of good, natural good from the love of truth, and also natural good from the love of evil, and natural good from the love of falsity. For the good into which man is born he derives from his parents, either father or mother; for all that which parents have contracted by frequent use and habit, or have become imbued with by actual life until it has become so familiar to them that it appears as if natural, is transmitted into their children, and becomes hereditary. If parents who have lived in the good of the love of good and in this life have perceived their delight and blessedness, conceive offspring in this state, the offspring receive therefrom an inclination to similar good; and if parents who have lived in the good of the love of truth (concerning which good see n. 3459, 3463) and in this life have perceived their delight, are in this state when they conceive offspring, the offspring receive therefrom an inclination to the like good.  The case is similar with those who receive hereditarily the good of the love of evil and the good of the love of what is false. These latter are called goods by reason of their appearing in outward form as goods in those persons in whom they are, although they are the very reverse of goods. Very many in whom natural good appears have such good. They who are in the natural good of the love of evil are pliant and prone to evils of every kind; for they suffer themselves to be easily led astray, and from this good are compliant, especially to foul pleasures, to adulteries, and also to cruelties; and they who are in the natural good of falsity are prone to falsities of every kind, and from this good learn with avidity what is persuasive, especially from hypocrites and cunning persons, who know how to captivate the mind, to insinuate themselves into the affections, and to feign innocence. At the present day most people who in the Christian world are in natural good, are born into these so-called goods of evil and falsity, because their parents have by actual life contracted the delight of evil and of falsity, and thus have implanted it in their children, and thereby in their descendants.3470.
And he took for a woman Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. That this signifies the adjunction of natural truth from another source than from genuine truth itself, is evident from the signification of a "woman," as being truth adjoined to good (concerning which see above, where Sarah and Rebekah are treated of, n. 1468, 1909, 2063, 2065, 2172, 2173, 2198, 2507, 2904, 3012, 3013, 3077); but the subject here treated of is natural truth adjoined to natural good; and from the representation of "Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite," as being truth from another source than genuine truth itself. For the Hittites were among the upright Gentiles in the land of Canaan, among whom Abraham dwelt, and from whom he bought the cave of Machpelah for a sepulchre (Gen. 23); and by whom is there represented a spiritual church among the Gentiles (n. 2913, 2986); and because this church is not in truth from the Word, by the same is signified truth not from genuine truth itself. For the nation that represents a church, signifies also the truth and good such as belongs to that church; a church being a church from truth and good; so that when a church is mentioned, truth and good are understood; and when truth and good are mentioned, a church is understood.  The case herein is this: Until it has been reformed, the natural good of truth is not spiritual good, that is, the good of faith and the good of charity. As just stated (n. 3469) natural good is from parents; but spiritual good is from the Lord; and therefore in order that a man may receive spiritual good, he must be regenerated; and while this is taking place there are first adjoined to him truths from another source than from genuine truth itself, which are such as do not adhere, but serve only as means for introducing genuine truths; and when these have been introduced, the truths not genuine are separated. The case herein is as it is with children, who first learn many things, even trifling ones, such as things relating to sports and the like; not that these may make them wise, but that they may prepare the way for the reception of useful things which are of wisdom; and when these have been received, the former are separated, and indeed cast away. Or as is the case with fruits, which are first filled with sour juice before they can receive sweet juice, the sour juice which is not genuine being the means of introducing the sweet, on the entrance of which the former is dispersed.  Such also is the case with man's natural when being regenerated, for natural good is such that of itself it is not willing to obey and serve rational good as a servant serves its master, but desires to command. But in order that it may be reduced to a state of compliance and service, it is harassed by states of vastation and temptation until its concupiscences decline; and then by the influx of the good of faith and of charity through the internal man from the Lord, the natural is tempered, until the good received hereditarily is by degrees extirpated, and a new good is implanted in its place, into which good the truths of faith are then insinuated, which are like new fibers inserted into the heart of man, through which fibers new juice is introduced, until a new heart has by degrees grown there.  The truths which are first introduced cannot be from a genuine fountain, because evils and falsities are in the former or natural good; but they are such seeming truths, or such appearances of truths, as have a certain affinity with genuine truths, by which there is gradually given the opportunity and place for real genuine truths to insinuate themselves. Genuine good is like the blood in the arteries, or the juice in the fibers, and leads and applies truths into form. The good which is thus formed in the natural or external man is a general good, as it were woven or connected together of the particulars and singulars of spiritual good through the rational or internal man from the Lord, who alone forms and creates anew. Hence it is that in the Word the Lord is so often called the Former and Creator.3471.
And they were bitterness of spirit to Isaac and to Rebekah. That this signifies that from this source there at first came grief, is evident from the signification of "bitterness of spirit," as being grief; and from the representation of Isaac and Rebekah, as being the Lord's Divine rational as to Divine good and Divine truth; for in the supreme sense the Lord is the subject here treated of; but in the representative sense, those who are likenesses or images of Him; that is, in the supreme sense it is shown how the Lord made the Human in Himself Divine; and in the representative sense how the Lord regenerates man, that is, makes him celestial and spiritual. That the regeneration of man is an image of the Lord's glorification, may be seen above (n. 3043, 3138, 3212, 3296). The reason why there was grief at first, is that when truths are being inserted into natural good, they at first cause pain, for they oppress the conscience, and induce anxieties, because there are concupiscences present, against which spiritual truth combats; but this first grief by degrees diminishes, and at last vanishes away. It is as with a weak and sickly body, which is to be restored to health by painful means; in this state, at first it has grief.3472.
CONTINUATION CONCERNING CORRESPONDENCES AND REPRESENTATIONS, ESPECIALLY THOSE IN THE WORD. That the things in the literal sense of the Word are each and all representative of the spiritual and celestial things of the Lord's kingdom in the heavens, and in the supreme sense are representative of the Lord Himself, may be seen from what has been thus far shown, and from what of the Lord's Divine mercy is still to be shown. But as man has removed himself so far from heaven, and has immersed himself in lowest nature, and even in what is earthly, it is altogether repugnant to him to hear that the Word contains deeper things than he apprehends from the letter; and this is still more the case when it is said that it contains things incomprehensible, which are adapted solely to the wisdom of angels; and this is even still more so when it is said that it contains Divine things themselves, which infinitely transcend the understanding of angels. The Christian world does indeed acknowledge that the Word is Divine, yet that it is Divine in this manner it denies at heart, if not with the lips; nor is this to be wondered at, inasmuch as the earthly thought in which man is at this day does not apprehend things of a sublime character; and is not willing to apprehend them.3473.
That the Word in the letter stores up such things within it, is often presented to the sight of the spirits or souls who come into the other life; and it has sometimes been granted me to be present when this was done, as may be seen from the experiences adduced in the first part of this work concerning the Holy Scripture or Word, as containing things Divine which are manifest to good spirits and angels (n. 1767-1776, and 1869-1879); from which experiences I may for the sake of confirmation again relate what now follows.3474.
A certain spirit came to me not long after his departure from the body, as I was able to infer from the fact that he did not yet know that he was in the other life, but supposed that he was living in the world. It was perceived that he had been devoted to studies, concerning which I spoke with him. But he was suddenly taken up on high; and, surprised at this, I imagined that he was of those who have aspired to high things, for such are wont to be carried up on high; or else that he had placed heaven on high, for such likewise are often taken up on high, in order that they may know from experience that heaven is not in what is high, but in what is internal. But I soon perceived that he was carried up to the angelic spirits who are in front a little to the right at the first entrance into heaven. He then spoke with me from thence, saying that he saw things more sublime than human minds could possibly apprehend. While this was taking place I was reading the first chapter of Deuteronomy, concerning the Jewish people, in that men were sent to explore the land of Canaan and what was in it. While I was reading this, he said that he perceived nothing of the sense of the letter, but the things in the spiritual sense; and that these were wonders that he could not describe. This was in the first entrance to the heaven of angelic spirits. What wonders then would be perceived in that heaven itself! And what in the angelic heaven!  Certain spirits who were with me, and who before had not believed that the Word of the Lord is of such a nature, then began to repent of their unbelief; and in this state they said that they believed because they heard that spirit say that he heard, saw, and perceived it to be so. But other spirits still persisted in their unbelief, and said that it was not so, but that these things were fancies; and therefore they too were suddenly taken up, and spoke with me from thence; and they confessed that it was anything but fancy, because they really perceived it to be so, and this by a perception more exquisite than can ever be given to any sense during the life of the body.  Soon others also were taken up into the same heaven, and among them one whom I had known in the life of his body, who testified to the same effect, saying also, among other things, that he was too much amazed to be able to describe the glory of the Word in its internal sense. Then, speaking from a kind of pity, he said that it was strange that men know nothing at all of such things.  On two occasions after this I saw others taken up into the second heaven among the angelic spirits, and they spoke with me thence while I was reading the third chapter of Deuteronomy from beginning to end. They said that they were only in the interior sense of the Word, at the same time asserting that there was not even a point in which there was not something spiritual that coheres most beautifully with all the rest and further that the names signify actual things. Thus they too were confirmed, for they had not believed before that each and all things in the Word have been inspired by the Lord; and this they desired to confirm before other, by an oath, but it was not permitted.3475.
That in the heavens there come forth continual representatives such as are in the Word, has already been several times stated and shown. These representatives are of such a nature that spirits and angels see them in a much clearer light than that of this world at noonday; and they are also of such a nature that when seen in their external form the spirits and angels perceive what they signify in their internal form; and therein things still more interior. For there are three heavens: in the first heaven these representatives appear in an external form, with a perception of what they signify in the internal form; in the second heaven they appear such as they are in their internal form, with a perception of what they are in a more interior form; in the third heaven they appear in this more interior form, which is their inmost form. The representatives that appear in the first heaven are the generals of those things which appear in the second; and these are the generals of those which appear in the third; thus within those which appear in the first heaven are those which appear in the second; and within these are those which appear in the third. And as they are thus presented according to degrees, it may be seen how perfect and full of wisdom, and at the same time how happy, are the representatives in the inmost heaven; and that they are utterly unspeakable; for myriads of myriads of them present only one single particular of the general representative. In both general and particular these representatives involve such things as are of the Lord's kingdom; and these such as are of the Lord Himself. They who are in the first heaven, in their representatives see such things as come forth in the interior sphere of that kingdom; and within these such things as come forth in the sphere still more interior; and thus see representatives of the Lord, but remotely. They who are in the second heaven, in their representatives see such things as come forth in the inmost sphere of that kingdom, and within these see representatives of the Lord more nearly. But they who are in the third heaven see the Lord Himself.3476.
From all this men may know how the case is with the Word; for the Word has been given by the Lord to man and also to the angels in order that by it they may be with Him; for the Word is the medium that unites earth with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord. Its literal sense is that which unites man with the first heaven; and as within the literal there is an internal sense which treats of the Lord's kingdom, and within this a supreme sense which treats of the Lord; and as these senses are in order one within another, it is evident what is the nature of the union with the Lord that is effected by means of the Word.3477.
It has been said that there are continual representatives in the heavens, and indeed such as involve the deepest arcana of wisdom. Those which are manifest to man from the literal sense of the Word are relatively as few as are the waters of a small pool as compared with those of the ocean. The nature of representatives in the heavens may be seen from what has been occasionally related above from things seen, and likewise from the following. There were represented before certain spirits, as I myself saw, a broad way and a narrow way such as are described in the Word; a broad way which led to hell, and a narrow way which led to heaven. The broad way was planted with trees, flowers, and the like that in outward form appeared beautiful and delightful, but unseen snakes and serpents of various kinds were hidden there. The narrow way did not seem to be so much adorned with trees and flowers, but appeared sad and dark; and yet there were in it angel infants most beautifully adorned, in delightful paradises and flower-gardens, which the spirits did not see. They were then asked which way they wished to go. They said, The broad way; when suddenly their eyes were opened, and in the broad way they saw the serpents, but in the narrow way the angels. They were then again asked which way they wished to go, whereupon they remained silent; and so far as their sight was opened, they said that they wished to go the narrow way; and so far as their sight was closed, that they wished to go the broad way.3478.
There was also represented before certain spirits the tabernacle with the ark; for they who during their abode in the world have been greatly delighted with the Word, have such things actually presented to view. Such was the case with the tabernacle, together with all its appurtenances, its courts, its curtains round about, its veils within, the golden altar, or altar of incense, the table with the loaves upon it, the lampstand, the mercy-seat with the cherubim. At the same time it was given to the well-disposed spirits to perceive what each thing signified: that the three heavens were represented by the tabernacle, and the Lord Himself by the Testimony in the ark on which was the mercy-seat; and in proportion as their sight was opened, they saw therein things more and more heavenly and Divine, of which they had no knowledge in the life of the body; and wonderful to say there was not the smallest thing there that was not representative, even to the hooks and rings.  For instance, the bread that was on the table-in this as in a representative and symbol they perceived that food by which angels live, thus celestial and spiritual love together with their joys and felicities; and in these loves and joys they perceived the Lord Himself, as the bread or manna from heaven; besides many particulars from the form, position, and number of the loaves; and from the gold encompassing the table, and from the lampstand, by which these things when illuminated exhibited still further representations of things unspeakable; and the same with everything else; from all which it might also appear that the rituals or representatives of the Jewish Church contained within them all the arcana of the Christian Church; and likewise that they to whom the representatives and significatives of the Word of the Old Testament are opened may know and perceive the arcana of the Lord's Church on earth while they live in the world; and the arcana of arcana which are in the Lord's kingdom in the heavens when they come into the other life.3479.
The Jews who lived before the coming of the Lord, as well as those who lived afterwards, had no other opinion concerning the rituals of their church than that Divine worship consisted solely in external things, and cared naught for what these represented and signified. For they did not know, and were not willing to know, that there was anything internal in worship and in the Word, thus that there was any life after death, nor consequently that there was any heaven, for they were altogether sensuous and corporeal; and inasmuch as they were in externals separate from things internal, relatively to these externals their worship was merely idolatrous, and therefore they were very prone to worship any gods whatsoever, provided only they were persuaded that such gods could cause them to prosper.  But as that nation was of such a nature that they could be in a holy external, and thus could have holy rituals by which the heavenly things of the Lord's kingdom were represented, and could have a holy veneration for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and also for Moses and Aaron, and afterwards for David; by all of whom the Lord was represented; and especially could have a holy reverence for the Word, in which each and all things are representative and significative of Divine things, therefore in that nation a representative church was instituted. If however that nation had known internal things so far as to acknowledge them, they would have profaned them, and thereby when in a holy external would have been at the same time in a profane internal, so that there could have been through them no communication of representatives with heaven; and for this reason interior things were not disclosed to them, not even that the Lord was within, in order that He might save their souls.  Inasmuch as the tribe of Judah was of this character more than the other tribes, and at this day just as in former times regard as holy the rituals which can be observed outside Jerusalem, and as they have a holy veneration for their fathers, especially as they regard the Word of the Old Testament as holy, and inasmuch as it was foreseen that Christians would almost reject this Word, and would likewise defile its internal things with things profane, therefore that nation has been preserved until this time, according to the words of the Lord in Matt. 24:34. It would have been otherwise if Christians, being acquainted with internal things, had also lived as internal men; in this case that nation, like other nations, would before many generations have been cut off.  But the case with that nation is that their holy external or holy of worship cannot at all affect their internals, because these are unclean from the base love of self and from the unclean love of the world; and also from the idolatry of worshiping external things separate from internal; and thus because they have not anything of heaven in them, neither can they carry anything of heaven with them into the other life, except a few who live in mutual love, and thus do not despise others in comparison with themselves.3480.
It was also shown how the unclean things with that nation did not prevent the interiors of the Word, or its spiritual and celestial things, from being nevertheless presented in heaven; for the unclean things were removed so as not to be perceived, and evils were turned to good, so that the mere external holiness served as a plane, and thus the internal things of the Word were presented before the angels, without the interposition of any hindrances. From this it was made manifest how that people, interiorly idolatrous, could represent things holy, and even the Lord Himself; and thus how the Lord could dwell in the midst of their uncleanness (Lev. 16:16); consequently how there could be something like a church there; for a church merely representative is a semblance of a church, and not a church.  With Christians this cannot be the case, because they are acquainted with the interior things of worship, but do not believe them; thus they cannot be in a holy external separate from its internal. Moreover with those who are in the life of faith, communication is effected by the goods pertaining to them, evils and falsities being in the meantime removed; and it is a remarkable fact that all things of the Word, when being read by them, lie open to the angels, and this even though they who read do not attend to its meaning (as has been shown me by much experience); for the internal in them, which is not so perceptible, serves as a plane.3481.
I have very frequently spoken with the Jews in the other life. They appear in front, in the lower earth, beneath the plane of the left foot. I once spoke to them concerning the Word, the land of Canaan, and the Lord: concerning the Word, that there are in it deepest arcana which are not manifest to men; and this they affirmed; then, that all the arcana which are therein treat of the Messiah and His kingdom which also they were willing to allow: but when I said that Messiah in the Hebrew tongue is the same as Christ in the Greek, they were not willing to hear. Again, when I said that the Messiah is most holy, and that Jehovah is in Him, and that no other is meant by the Holy One of Israel and by the God of Jacob; and that because He is most holy, none can be in His kingdom but those who are holy, not in external form but internal, thus who are not in the unclean love of the world, and in the exaltation of themselves against other nations, and in hatred among themselves, this they could not hear.  Afterwards when I told them that according to the prophecies the Messiah's kingdom must be eternal, and that they who are with Him will also inherit the earth forever; and that if His kingdom were of this world, and they were to be introduced into the land of Canaan, it would only be for the few years which are of a man's life; besides that all those who died after they were driven out of the land of Canaan would not enjoy such blessedness and that from this they might know that by the land of Canaan is represented and signified the heavenly kingdom; and especially as they now know that they are in the other life, and are to live forever, so that it is manifest that the Messiah has His kingdom there; and that if it were given them to speak with angels they might know that the universal angelic heaven is His kingdom; and moreover that by the new earth, the New Jerusalem, and the new temple in Ezekiel, nothing can be signified but such a kingdom of the Messiah-to these things they could make no reply, except merely that they who were to be introduced into the land of Canaan by the Messiah, and were to die after so few years and leave the blessedness which they were to enjoy there, would weep bitterly.3482.
Although the language used in the Word to man appears simple, and in some passages unpolished, it is the angelic language itself, but in its lowest form; for when the angelic speech, which is spiritual, falls into human words, it cannot fall into any other speech than such as this; every single thing therein being representative, and every single word being significative. As the ancients had interaction with spirits and angels, they had no other speech than this, which was full of representatives, and in every expression of which there was a spiritual sense. The books of the ancients were also written in this way; for it was the study of their wisdom so to speak and so to write. From this also it is evident how far man afterwards removed himself from heaven. At this day he does not even know that there is in the Word anything else than that which appears in the letter; not even that there is a spiritual sense within; and whatever is said beyond the literal sense is called mystical, and is rejected merely on this account. Hence also it is that communication with heaven is at this day intercepted, insomuch that few believe there is any heaven, and wonderful to say, among the learned and erudite much fewer than among the simple.3483.
Whatever is seen anywhere in the universe is representative of the Lord's kingdom, insomuch that there is not anything in the atmospheric and starry universe, or in the earth and its three kingdoms, which is not in its own manner representative. All things in nature, in both general and particular, are ultimate images, inasmuch as from the Divine are celestial things which are of good, from celestial things spiritual things which are of truth, and from both celestial and spiritual things are natural things. From this it is evident how gross, nay, how earthly and also inverted is that human intelligence which ascribes everything to nature separate or exempt from an influx prior to itself, or from an efficient cause. Moreover they who so think and speak seem to themselves to be wiser than others; that is, in attributing all things to nature, when yet on the contrary angelic intelligence consists in ascribing nothing to nature, but all and everything to the Divine of the Lord, thus to life, and not to anything dead. The learned know that subsistence is a perpetual coming forth; but still it is contrary to the affection of falsity and thence to a reputation for learning to say that nature continually subsists, as it originally came into existence, from the Divine of the Lord. Inasmuch therefore as each and all things subsist, that is, continually come forth, from the Divine, and as each and all things thence derived must needs be representative of those things whereby they came into existence, it follows that the visible universe is nothing else than a theater representative of the Lord's kingdom; and that this kingdom is a theater representative of the Lord Himself.3484.
From very much experience I have been instructed that there is but one only life, which is that of the Lord, and which flows in and causes man to live, nay, causes both the good and the evil to live. To this life correspond forms which are substances, and which by continual Divine influx are so vivified that they appear to themselves to live from themselves. This correspondence is that of the organs with their life; but such as are the recipient organs, such is the life which they live. Those men who are in love and charity are in correspondence, for the life itself is received by them fitly; but they who are in what is contrary to love and charity are not in correspondence, because the life itself is not received fitly; hence such a life comes forth as is in accordance with their quality. This may be illustrated by natural forms into which the light of the sun flows; such as are the recipient forms, such are the modifications of light in connection with them. In the spiritual world the modifications are spiritual; and therefore in that world such as are the recipient forms, such is their intelligence and such their wisdom. Hence good spirits and angels appear as the very forms of charity, while wicked spirits and infernals appear as forms of hatred.3485.
The representations that come forth in the other life are appearances, but living ones, because they are from the light of life. The light of life is the Divine wisdom, which is from the Lord alone. Hence all things that come forth from this light are real; and are not like those things that come forth from the light of the world. Wherefore they who are in the other life have sometimes said that the things they see there are real things, and the things which man sees are in comparison not real; because the former things live, and thus immediately affect their life, while the latter things do not live, thus do not immediately affect the life, except insofar and in such a manner as the things in their minds which are of this world's light conjoin themselves fitly and correspondently with the things of the light of heaven. From all this it is now evident what representations are, and what correspondences.3486.
CHAPTER 27 At the beginning of the preceding chapter (n. 3353-3356) were unfolded the things the Lord spoke and foretold concerning the consummation of the age, or the end of the days of the church (Matt. 24:3-7). Here, of the Lord's Divine mercy it is permitted to unfold the things which follow on in order in the same chapter (verses 8-14), where are these words: All these things are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you into tribulation, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall deliver up one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall arise, and shall lead many astray. And because iniquity shall be multiplied, the charity of many shall wax cold. But he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole inhabited earth, for a testimony unto all nations; and then shall the end come (Matt. 24:8-14).3487.
By the words that precede and that have been already unfolded (n. 3353-3356), there was described the first state of the perversion of the church, which was that they would begin no longer to know what is good and what is true; but would dispute about it among themselves, from which falsities would originate. By the words now cited there is described the second state of the perversion of the church, which is that they would despise good and truth, and also turn away from them and thus that faith in the Lord would step by step expire, as charity would cease.3488.
That the second state of the perversion of the church was described by the foregoing words of the Lord in the evangelist, is evident from their internal sense, which is as follows: All these things are the beginning of sorrows; signifies those things which precede-that is, which are of the first state of the perversion of the church-which as before said is that they would begin no longer to know what is good and what is true, but would dispute about it among themselves, from which would arise falsities, and therefore heresies. That such things perverted the church before many centuries had elapsed, is evident from the fact that the church in the Christian world was divided, and this according to opinions concerning good and truth; thus that the perversion of the church commenced long ago.  Then shall they deliver you into tribulation, and shall kill you; signifies that good and truth would perish, first by "tribulation," that is, by perversion; afterwards by their "killing" them, that is, by denial. (That to "kill," when predicated of good and truth, is not to receive, thus is to deny, may be seen above, n. 3387, 3395.) By "you," that is, by the apostles, are signified all things of faith in one complex, thus its good as well as its truth. That these things are signified by the twelve apostles may be seen above (n. 577, 2089, 2129, 2130, 3272, 3354) and here the same is clearly evident; for it is not the preaching of the apostles that is treated of, but the consummation of the age.  And ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake; signifies contempt and aversion for all things which are of good and truth; "to hate" is to despise and hold in aversion, for this is of hatred; "of all nations" signifies by those who are in evil (that such are meant by "nations" may be seen above, n. 1259, 1260, 1849, 1868, 2588); "for My name's sake" is on account of the Lord, thus on account of all things which are from Him (that the Lord's "name" is everything in one complex by which He is worshiped, thus everything which is of His church, may be seen above, n. 2724, 3006).  And then shall many be offended, and shall deliver up one another, and shall hate one another; signifies enmities on account of these things; "many shall be offended" denotes enmity in itself; the Human itself of the Lord is that against which there is enmity; that this would be an offense and a stumbling-block is here and there predicted in the Word; "they shall deliver up one another" denotes enmity among themselves from falsity against truth; "and shall hate one another" denotes enmity among themselves from evil against good.  And many false prophets shall arise, and shall lead many astray; signifies preachings of falsity (that "false prophets" are those who teach falsities, thus false doctrine, may be seen above, n. 2534) "and shall lead many astray" denotes that there should be derivations therefrom.  And because iniquity shall be multiplied, the charity of many shall wax cold; signifies the expiring of charity together with faith; "because iniquity shall be multiplied" denotes according to the falsities of faith; "the charity of many shall wax cold" denotes the expiring of charity, for they keep pace together; where faith is not, there charity is not, and where charity is not, faith is not; but charity is that which receives faith, and no charity is that which rejects faith: this is the origin of every falsity and every evil.  But he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved; signifies the salvation of those who are in charity; "he that endureth to the end" is he who does not suffer himself to be led astray, thus who does not succumb in temptations.  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole inhabited earth, for a testimony unto all nations; signifies that this should first become known in the Christian world; "shall be preached" denotes that it should be made known; "this gospel of the kingdom" is this truth that it is so; "gospel" denotes the annunciation; "kingdom" denotes truth (that "kingdom" denotes truth may be seen above, n. 1672, 2547); "in the whole inhabited earth" denotes the Christian world (that "earth" is the region where the church is, thus the Christian world, may be seen above, n. 662, 1066, 1067, 1262, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928, 3355). The church here is called "inhabited" from the life of faith, that is, from the good which is of truth; for in the internal sense "to inhabit" denotes to live; and the "inhabitants" are the goods of truth (n. 1293, 2268, 2451, 2712, 3384); "for a testimony" denotes that they may know, and not make a pretext that they have been ignorant; "to all nations" denotes to evils (n. 1259, 1260, 1849, 1868, 2588); for when they are in falsity and evil, they no longer know what is true and what is good; they then believe falsity to be truth, and evil to be good, and the reverse; and when the church is in this state, "then shall the end come." In what now follows and what of the Lord's Divine mercy will be unfolded prefatory to the next chapter of Genesis, that state of the church is treated of which is called the "abomination of desolation," which is the third state.3489.
That the church is of such a character does not appear to those who are within the church; namely, that they despise and hold in aversion all things which are of good and truth; also that they bear enmities against such things, and especially against the Lord Himself; for they frequent places of worship, hear preaching, and are in a kind of sanctity when there; they go to the Holy Supper, and at times converse with one another in a becoming manner concerning such things-this is done by bad men as well as by good men-and they also live among themselves in civic charity or friendship. Consequently in the eyes of men no contempt appears, still less aversion; and less still enmity against the goods and truths of faith, and thus against the Lord. These things however are external forms by which one person misleads another; while the internal forms of the men of the church are altogether unlike, being quite contrary to the external forms. The internal forms are those which are here described, and which are as above mentioned; their real quality appears to the life in the heavens, for the angels do not attend to any other than internal things, that is, to ends, or to intentions and desires, and to the derivative thoughts.  How unlike these are to the externals is evident from those who come from the Christian world into the other life, concerning whom see above (n. 2121-2126); for in the other life they think and speak according to their internals alone; for externals are left behind together with the body; and there it is manifest that however peaceable such have seemed in the world, they nevertheless entertained hatred one against another, and against all things which are of faith, and especially against the Lord; for when in the other life the Lord is merely mentioned in their presence, a sphere not only of contempt but also of aversion and enmity against Him is manifestly exhaled and diffused from them, even from those who in appearance had spoken and preached piously about Him; and it is the same when charity and faith are mentioned.  In the internal form (which is there manifested) they are of such a character that if while they had lived in this world their externals had been loosed and removed, that is, had they not then feared for their life and had they not feared the laws, and especially had they not feared for their reputation, on account of the honors which they solicited and pursued, and on account of the wealth which they desired and eagerly sought, they would have rushed one against another with intestine hatred, in accordance with their impulses and thoughts; and would have seized the goods of others without any conscience, and likewise without any conscience would have butchered others, most especially the innocent. Such as regards their interiors are Christians at this day [A.D. 1751], except a few whom they do not know; from which it is evident what is the quality of the church. GENESIS 27 1. And it came to pass that Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim that he could not see, and he called Esau his elder son, and said unto him, My son; and he said unto him, Behold me. 2. And he said, Behold I pray I am old, I know not the day of my death. 3. And now take I pray thy weapons, thy quiver, and thy bow, and go out to the field, and hunt me a hunting. 4. And make me dainties, such as I have loved, and bring to me, and I will eat, that my soul may bless thee before I die. 5. And Rebekah heard when Isaac spoke to Esau his son; and Esau went to the field to hunt for a hunting, to bring it. 6. And Rebekah said unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, 7. Bring me a hunting, and make me dainties, and I will eat, and will bless thee before Jehovah before my death. 8. And now my son hearken unto my voice, according to that which I command thee. 9. Go now to the flock, and take me from thence two good kids of the she-goats, and I will make them dainties for thy father, such as he loveth. 10. And thou shalt bring to thy father, and he shall eat, that he may bless thee before his death. 11. And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. 12. Peradventure my father will feel me, and I shall be in his eyes as a misleader; and I shall bring upon myself a curse and not a blessing. 13. And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse my son; only hearken to my voice, and go, take for me. 14. And he went, and took, and brought to his mother; and his mother made dainties, such as his father loved. 15. And Rebekah took garments of desires of Esau her elder son that were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son. 16. And the skins of the kids of the she-goats she caused to be put upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck. 17. And she gave the dainties, and the bread, which she had made, into the hand of Jacob her son. 18. And he came unto his father and said, My father; and he said, Behold me, who art thou my son? 19. And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou spokest unto me; arise I pray thee, sit, and eat of my hunting, that thy soul may bless me. 20. And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast hastened to find it, my son? And he said, Because Jehovah thy God made it come to meet my face. 21. And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near I pray, and I will feel thee my son, whether thou be my very son Esau, or not. 22. And Jacob came near to Isaac his father, and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. 23. And he recognized him not, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands; and he blessed him. 24. And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am. 25. And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's hunting, that my soul may bless thee; and he brought it near to him, and he did eat, and he brought him wine, and he drank. 26. And Isaac his father said unto him, Come near I pray, and kiss me, my son. 27. And he came near, and kissed him, and he smelled the smell of his garments, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which Jehovah hath blessed. 28. And God shall give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fat things of the earth, and a multitude of corn and new wine. 29. Peoples shall serve thee, and peoples shall bow down themselves to thee. Be thou a master to thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down themselves to thee; cursed are they that curse thee, and blessed are they that bless thee. 30. And it came to pass as Isaac made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was scarcely yet gone out from the faces of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came from his hunting. 31. And he also made dainties, and brought unto his father, and he said unto his father, Let my father arise and eat of his son's hunting, that thy soul may bless me. 32. And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn, Esau. 33. And Isaac shuddered with exceeding great shuddering, and said, Who then is he that hath hunted hunting, and brought it to me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and blessed him? Yea, and he shall be blessed. 34. When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceeding great and bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, me also, O my father. 35. And he said, Thy brother came with fraud, and hath taken away thy blessing. 36. And he said, Is it not that his name is called Jacob? And he hath supplanted me these two times; he hath taken away my birthright, and behold now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me? 37. And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold I have made him thy master, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and new vine have I sustained him; and what then shall I do for thee, my son? 38. And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but this one blessing, my father? Bless me, me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. 39. And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold of the fat things of the earth shall be thy dwelling, and of the dew of heaven from above. 40. And upon thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother, and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion that thou shalt break his yoke from upon thy neck. 41. And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him; and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father draw near, and I will kill Jacob my brother. 42. And the words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah; and she sent and called unto Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold Esau thy brother comforteth himself concerning thee to kill thee. 43. And now, my son, hearken unto my voice, and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran. 44. And tarry with him some days until thy brother's wrath turn away; 45. Until thy brother's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him, and I will send and take thee from thence; why should I be bereaved even of you both in one day? 46. And Rebekah said to Isaac, I loathe my life because of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob should take a woman of the daughters of Heth, such as these, of the daughters of the land, wherefore have I lives?3490.
THE CONTENTS. In the preceding chapters, where Isaac and Rebekah are treated of, the subject in the internal sense is the rational, and how the Lord made it Divine in Himself. In the present chapter, in the internal sense, the subject is the natural, and how the Lord made it Divine in Himself. "Esau" is the good thereof, and "Jacob" the truth. For when the Lord was in the world He made His whole Human Divine in Himself, both the interior Human which is the rational, and the exterior Human which is the natural, and also the very corporeal, and this according to Divine order, according to which the Lord also makes new or regenerates man. And therefore in the representative sense the regeneration of man as to his natural is also here treated of, in which sense "Esau" is the good of the natural, and "Jacob" the truth thereof, and yet both Divine, because all the good and truth in one who is regenerate are from the Lord.3491.
THE INTERNAL SENSE Verse 1. And it came to pass that Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim that he could not see; and he called Esau his elder son, and said unto him, My son; and he said unto him, Behold me. "And it came to pass that Isaac was old," signifies when the state was at hand; "and his eyes were dim that he could not see," signifies when the rational desired to enlighten the natural with the Divine; "and he called Esau his elder son," signifies the affection of the good of the natural, or the good of life; "and said unto him, My son; and he said unto him, Behold me," signifies presence from being foreseen and provided.3492.
And it came to pass that Isaac was old. That this signifies when the state was at hand, is evident from the signification of "growing old," as being the presence of a new state; for in the Word "old age" signifies both the putting off of a former state, and the putting on of a new one; and this for the reason that old age is the last of age, when corporeal things begin to be put off, and with them the loves of the preceding age, and thus when the interiors begin to be enlightened, for these are enlightened when corporeal things are removed; and also because the angels, who perceive in a spiritual manner the things that are in the Word, have no longer any idea of any old age, but instead of it an idea of new life, thus here an idea that the state was at hand, namely, that the Divine rational which is represented by Isaac desired a natural corresponding to itself, that is, one that would also be Divine.3493.
And his eyes were dim that he could not see. That this signifies when the rational desired to enlighten the natural with the Divine, is evident from the signification of "eyes," as being the interior or rational sight (see n. 2701); and from the signification of "seeing," as being to perceive and understand (n. 2150, 2325, 2807); hence when the eyes are said to be dim," it signifies that there is no longer any perception, here, no perception of those things which are in the natural; and this being the signification of these words, it is signified that the rational desired to enlighten the natural with the Divine. How the case herein is may be seen from what has been said and shown before concerning the rational and natural in man when he is being regenerated, namely, that the rational is regenerated before the natural, for the reason that the rational is more interior and thus nearer to the Divine; and also because it is purer, and thus fitter to receive the Divine than is the natural; and further because the natural is to be regenerated through the rational, as may be seen above (n. 3286, 3288, 3321).  When therefore the rational has been regenerated and not the natural, the former appears to itself to be dim-sighted, because there is not correspondence; for the rational has its sight from the light of heaven, and the natural has its sight from the light of the world; and unless there is correspondence, the rational can see nothing which is in the natural, all therein being to it as shade, or even as thick darkness. But when there is correspondence, then the things in the natural appear to the rational in light, because the things which are of the light of the world are then enlightened by those which are of the light of heaven, and thereupon become as it were translucent. But these things appear better from what has been before said and shown concerning correspondence (n. 2987, 2989, 2991, 2996, 3002, 3138, 3167, 3222, 3223, 3225, 3337, 3485). Hence it may in some sort be apprehended that by the words, "the eyes of Isaac were dim that he could not see," is signified that the rational desired to enlighten the natural with the Divine, that is, to make it also Divine, for in the supreme sense the Lord is treated of; which may consequently be illustrated by what takes place with man when being regenerated, as before mentioned, for the regeneration of man is an image of the Lord's glorification (n. 3043, 3138, 3212, 3296, 3490).3494.
And he called Esau his elder son. That this signifies the affection of good of the natural, or the good of life, is evident from the representation of Esau, as being the Divine good of the natural (concerning which see n. 3300, 3302, 3322); and because the good of the natural is that which appears in the affection and life, therefore it is the affection of good of the natural, or the good of life, that is here represented by Esau. The affection of good in the natural, and the derivative good of life, is what is called the "elder son;" but the affection of truth, and the derivative doctrine of truth, is what is called the "younger son." That the affection of good, and the derivative good of life, is the "elder son," that is, the firstborn, is evident from the fact that infants are first of all in good, for they are in a state of innocence, and in a state of love toward their parents and nurse, and in a state of mutual charity toward their infant companions; so that good is the firstborn with every man. This good, into which man is thus initiated when an infant, remains; for whatever is imbibed from infancy enters into the life; and because it remains, it becomes the good of life; for if man should be without such good as that which he has derived from infancy, he would not be a man, but would be more of a wild beast than any in the forest. This good does not indeed appear to be present, because all that is imbibed in the infantile age does not appear otherwise than as something natural-as is sufficiently manifest from walking, and from the other motions of the body; from the manners and decorums of civil life; also from speech, and various other things. From this it may be seen that good is the "elder son," that is, the firstborn, and consequently that truth is the "younger son," or is born afterwards; for truth is not learned till the infant becomes a child, a youth, and an adult.  Good as well as truth in the natural or external man is a "son," that is to say, a son of the rational or internal man; for whatever comes forth in the natural or external man flows in from the rational or internal man, and from this also comes forth and is born; that which does not come forth and is not born therefrom is not a living human thing; it would be as you might say something sensuous corporeal without a soul. From this it is that both good and truth are called "sons," and indeed sons of the rational. And yet it is not the rational which produces and brings forth the natural, but it is an influx through the rational into the natural, which influx is from the Lord. Therefore all infants who are born are His sons, and afterwards when they become wise, insofar as they are still infants, that is, in the innocence of infancy, in the love of infancy toward their parent, now the Lord, and in the mutual charity of infancy toward their infant companions, now their neighbor, so far they are adopted by the Lord as sons.3495.
And said unto him, My son; and he said unto him, Behold me. That this signifies presence from being foreseen and provided, is evident from the signification of "calling him and saying to him, My son," as being from what was foreseen and provided, because it is predicated of the Lord's Divine; and from the signification of "saying unto him, Behold me" (which is the reply) as being presence.3496.
Verses 2-4. And he said, Behold I pray I am old; I know not the day of my death. And now take I pray thy weapons, thy quiver, and thy bow, and go out to the field, and hunt me a hunting. And make me dainties, such as I have loved, and bring to me, and I will eat, that my soul may bless thee before I die. "And he said, Behold I pray I am old," signifies that the state was at hand; "I know not the day of my death," signifies life in the natural; "and now take I pray thy weapons, thy quiver, and thy bow," signifies the doctrinal things of good which he had; "and go out to the field," signifies where there is good ground; "and hunt me a hunting," signifies the truth of good; "and make me dainties, such as I have loved," signifies pleasant things from thence, because from good; and "bring to me, and I will eat," signifies" appropriation; "that my soul may bless thee," signifies adjunction to his life; "before I die," signifies the first state of resuscitation in the natural.3497.
And he said, Behold I pray I am old. That this signifies that the state was at hand, is evident from what has been said above concerning the signification of "growing old" (n. 3492).3498.
I know not the day of my death. That this signifies life in the natural, is evident from the signification of "day," as being state (n. 23, 487, 488, 493, 893, 2788); and from the signification of death," as being to rise again, or to be resuscitated into life (n. 3326); thus by the "day of death" is signified a state of resuscitation of life, or what is the same, life; that this is in the natural is evident, because life therein is here treated of. How the case herein is cannot be seen unless it is known how the case is with the life of the rational and with the life of the natural; or what is the same, with the life of the internal man and the life of the external. The life of the rational or internal man is distinct from the life of the natural or external man, and indeed so distinct that the life of the rational or internal man is possible apart from the life of the natural or external man; but the life of the natural or external man is not possible without the life of the rational or internal man, for the external man lives from the internal, insomuch that if the life of the internal man should cease, the life of the external would immediately become a nullity, because exterior things depend on interior ones as posterior things on prior, or as the effect on the efficient cause, for if the efficient cause should cease, the effect would immediately become a nullity. It is the same with the life of the external man relatively to the life of the internal.  This may be plainly seen from man; for when man is in the world, or lives in the body, his rational is distinct from his natural, insomuch that he can be withdrawn from the external sensuous things of the body, and also in some degree from the interior sensuous things of his natural man, and can be in his rational, thus in spiritual thought. This appears better from the fact that when a man dies he altogether leaves the external sensuous things of the body, and then retains the life of his interior man; and also that although he indeed has with him the memory-knowledges of the external or natural memory, he nevertheless does not enjoy the use of them (see n. 2475-2477, 2479-2486). From this it is evident that the rational or internal man is distinct from the external; but during man's life in the body his rational does not appear to be distinct from his natural, because he is in the world, or in nature; and this being so, the life of the rational appears within the natural, insomuch that there does not appear to be any life in the rational unless it is in the natural at the same time. (That the rational appears to have life only insofar as the natural corresponds to it, may be seen above, n. 3493.) From this it may be seen that it is life corresponding in the natural which is signified by these words which Isaac spoke unto Esau, "I know not the day of my death;" for the rational is represented by Isaac, and the natural by Esau, both as to the good therein.3499.
And now take I pray thy weapons, thy quiver, and thy bow. That this signifies the doctrinal things of good which he had, is evident from the signification of "weapons, quiver, and bow," as being doctrinal things (n. 2686, 2709), here, the doctrinal things of good which he had, that is, which were had by the good of the natural that is represented by Esau.3500.
And go out to the field. That this signifies where there is good ground, is evident from the signification of "field," as being the good of the church, also the good of doctrine (see n. 2971, 3196, 3310, 3317), thus good ground.