Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at sacred-texts.com
And the earrings which were in their ears. That this signifies things actual, is evident from the signification of "earrings," as being badges representative of obedience, for the reason that the "ears" signify obedience (n. 2542, 3869); and the things of obedience are things actual, for to obey involves doing in act. Things actual are here predicated of the falsities that were to be rejected. A few words shall be said regarding the rejection of falsities, even those which are actual, which is here treated of in the internal sense. Before a man by regeneration from the Lord comes to good, and does truth from good, he has very many falsities mixed with truths; for he is introduced by means of truths of faith respecting which in his first age he had no other ideas than those of infancy and childhood; which ideas, as they arise from the external things of the world and the sensuous things of the body, cannot but be classed among fallacies, and consequently among falsities. These also become actual, for what a man believes, he does. It is these falsities which are here meant. They remain with a man until he is regenerate, that is, until he acts from good, and then the good that is, the Lord through the good reduces into order the truths so far learned, and when this is done, falsities are separated from the truths and are removed.  Of all this the man is quite ignorant, and yet there is such a removal and rejection of falsities from his earliest childhood even to his last age, and this with every man, but especially with him who is being regenerated. The like takes place even with a man who is not being regenerated, for when he becomes an adult, and his judgment has attained its maturity, he then regards the judgments of his childhood as vain and absurd, and thus as removed far away from him. But the difference between the regenerate man and the unregenerate is that the regenerate regards those things as removed from him which do not agree with the good of faith and charity, but the unregenerate those which do not agree with the delight of the love in which he is. The latter therefore for the most part regards truths as falsities and falsities as truths. As regards earrings, they were of two kinds, those which were fastened above the nose to the forehead, and those which were fastened to the ears. Those which were fastened above the nose to the forehead were badges representative of good, and are called "nose jewels" (see n. 3103); while those which were fastened to the ears were badges representative of obedience, and are "earrings." But in the original language both are expressed by the same word.4552.
And Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. That this signifies eternal rejection, is evident from the signification of "hiding," as being to reject and bury as dead; and from the signification of "under the oak," as being to eternity; for as the oak is a very long-lived tree, when anything was hidden under it, it signified what is perpetual; and it also signified what is entangled, and moreover what is fallacious and false, because the lowest of the natural is relatively entangled and fallacious insofar as it derives its knowledge and its pleasure from the sensuous things of the body, and thus from fallacies. For by the "oak" is specifically signified the lowest of the natural, consequently in a good sense the truths and goods which are therein, and in the opposite sense the evils and falsities which are therein.  Moreover, when falsities are removed in a regenerate man, they are rejected to the lowest of the natural; and therefore when a man becomes mature in judgment and clearsighted, and especially when he becomes intelligent and wise, they appear still further removed from his interior sight. For with the regenerate man truths are in the inmost of his natural near good, which is like a little sun there; and the truths which depend on these are distant therefrom according to the degrees of-so to speak-their consanguinity and affinity with good. Fallacious truths are in the more outward circumferences, and falsities are rejected to the outermost ones. The latter remain with man forever, but are in this order when the man suffers himself to be led by the Lord, for this order is heavenly order, inasmuch as heaven itself is in such an order. But when a man does not suffer himself to be led by the Lord, but by evil, these things are then in the opposite order, evil with falsities then being in the middle, truths being rejected to the circumferences, and the veriest Divine truths to the outermost circumferences, which order is infernal, for in such an order is hell, the outermost circumferences being the lowest things of the natural.  That "oaks" denote the falsities which are the lowest things of the natural, is because in the Ancient Church, when there was external worship representative of the Lord's kingdom, all trees of whatever kind signified something spiritual or celestial; for instance the olive and the oil from it signified the things which are of celestial love; the vine and the wine from it, the things which are of charity and its derivative faith; and so with the other trees, as the cedar, the fig, the poplar, the beech, and the oak, the signification of which has been occasionally shown in the explications. It is for this reason that they are so often mentioned in the Word, and also in general gardens, groves, and forests, and that men had their worship in these under certain trees. But as this worship became idolatrous, and the posterity of Jacob, with whom the representative of a church was instituted, was prone to idolatry, and consequently set up so many idols therein, they were forbidden to hold worship in gardens and groves, and under the trees therein; nevertheless the trees retained their signification, and therefore not only the more noble, as the olive, the vine, and the cedar, but also the poplar, the beech, and the oak, where mentioned in the Word, are each significative as in the Ancient Church.  That "oaks" in a good sense signify the truths and goods which are lowest of the natural, and in the opposite sense falsities and evils, is evident from the passages in the Word where they are mentioned, when understood in the internal sense, as in Isaiah: They who forsake Jehovah shall be consumed, for they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired; and ye shall be as an oak that casteth its leaves, and as a garden that hath no water (Isa. 1:28-30). The day of Jehovah Zebaoth shall be upon everyone lifted up and low, and upon all the cedars of Lebanon, and upon all the oaks of Bashan (Isa. 2:12-13); that the day of Jehovah will not be upon the cedars and the oaks, everyone may know, but upon those who are signified by them. Again: He who formeth a god heweth him down cedars, and taketh the beech and the oak, and strengtheneth for himself in the trees of the forest (Isa. 44:14).  In Ezekiel: Ye shall acknowledge that I am Jehovah when their pierced ones shall be in the midst of the idols round about their altars, upon every high hill, in all the heads of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every tangled oak, the place where they have given an odor of rest to all their idols (Ezek. 6:13). Moreover the ancients had worship upon hills and mountains because hills and mountains signified celestial love; but when the worship was performed by idolaters, as here, they signify the love of self and of the world (n. 795, 796, 1430, 2722, 4210); and they held it under trees, because as before said these were significative according to their species. "Under the tangled oak" here denotes that the worship was from falsities, which are the lowest things of the natural, for these are in an entangled state (n. 2831). In Hosea: They sacrifice upon the heads of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under the oak, the poplar, and the hard oak, because the shade thereof is good; therefore your daughters commit whoredom, and your daughters-in-law commit adultery (Hos. 4:13); that "to commit whoredom" is to falsify truths, and "to commit adultery" is to pervert goods, may be seen in n. 2466, 2729, 3399. In Zechariah: Open thy doors, O Lebanon, and let the fire devour the cedars, because the magnificent ones are laid waste; howl, ye oaks of Bashan, for the forest of Bazar is come down (Zech. 11:1-2).4553.
Verses 5-7. And they journeyed; and a terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob. And Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, this is Bethel, he and all the people that were with him. And he built there an altar, and called the place El-Bethel; because there the gods were revealed unto him when he fled from before his brother. "And they journeyed," signifies what is continuous; "and a terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob," signifies that falsities and evils could not come near; "and Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan," signifies the natural in its former state; "this is Bethel," signifies the Divine natural; "he and all the people that were with him," signifies with all that was therein; "and he built there an altar," signifies by sanctification; "and he called the place El-Bethel," signifies a holy natural; "because there the gods were revealed unto him," signifies holy truths; "when he fled from before his brother," signifies after truths were set before good.4554.
And they journeyed. That this signifies what is continuous, is evident from the signification of "journeying," as being what is successive (see n. 4375), thus what is continuous, namely, of progression toward interior things.4555.
And a terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob. That this signifies that falsities and evils could not come near, is evident from the signification of a "terror of God," as being protection (to be explained in what follows); from the signification of the "cities that were round about them," as being falsities and evils, "cities" in the genuine sense being truths of doctrine, and in the opposite sense, falsities of doctrine (see n. 402, 2449, 2943, 3216, 4478, 4492, 4493); the reason why "cities" here signify evils also, is that the inhabitants likewise are meant, who in the genuine sense are goods, thus in the opposite sense evils (n. 2268, 2451, 2712); and from the signification of "not pursuing after them," as being not to be able to come near.  That a "terror of God" is protection may be illustrated by what takes place in the other life; for there the hells cannot possibly come near heaven, nor evil spirits any society of heaven, because they are in terror of God. For when evil spirits approach any heavenly society, they suddenly fall into anxieties and torments; and they who have fallen into these a few times dare not approach. Their not daring is what is meant in the internal sense by a "terror of God." Not that God or the Lord terrifies them, but because they are in falsities and evils, and thus in the opposite to goods and truths; and that the falsities and evils themselves cause them to fall into anguish and torment when they approach goods and truths.4556.
And Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, signifies the natural in its former state, and "this is Bethel" signifies the Divine natural, as is evident from the signification of "Luz" as being the natural in its former state, or that very natural which was human. That this was made Divine is signified by, "this is Bethel." (That "Bethel" is the Divine natural may be seen above, n. 4089, 4539.) So also in other places in the Word where "Bethel" is named it is likewise said, "Luz, this is Bethel," and "Bethel, beforetime Luz," as in Joshua: The boundary of the lot of the sons of Benjamin between the sons of Judah and the sons of Joseph went forth to Luz, to the side of Luz southward, this is Bethel (Josh. 18:11, 13). And in the book of Judges: The house of Joseph went up to Bethel, and spied out Bethel; and the name of the city beforetime was Luz (Judg. 1:22-23).4557.
He and all the people that were with him. That this signifies with all that was therein, namely, that was in the natural, is evident from the representation of Jacob, who here is "he," as being the good therein (see n. 4538); and from the signification of "people," as being truths (n. 1259, 1260, 2928, 3295, 3581); thus the "people that were with him" denotes the truths of that good. And as all things in the natural bear relation to good and truth, by these words is here signified with all that was therein.4558.
And he built there an altar. That this signifies by sanctification, is evident from the signification of an "altar," as being the principal representative of the Lord, and thence the holy of worship (see n. 4541), and when predicated of the Lord, His Divine Human, and the Holy which proceeds therefrom (n. 2811). For that which in the church is the principal representative of the Lord, is also in the supreme sense the Lord Himself as to His Divine Human; for that which represents it is, in this sense, the Human Itself. That the natural was sanctified, is signified by his "building there" (that is, in Bethel) an "altar;" for by "Bethel" is signified the Divine natural (see just above, n. 4556).4559.
And called the place El-Bethel. That this signifies a holy natural, is evident from the signification of "Bethel," as being the Divine natural (see n. 4089, 4539, 4556); but when it is called "El-Bethel" it is not the Divine, but a holy, natural; for when the Lord made His Human Divine, He first made it holy. Between making it Divine and making it holy there is this difference-that what is Divine is Jehovah Himself, but what is holy is from Jehovah. The former is the Divine being, but the latter is what comes forth therefrom. When the Lord glorified Himself, He made his Human also the Divine being, or Jehovah (n. 2156, 2329, 2921, 3023, 3035); but before He did this, He made His Human holy. Such was the process of the glorification of the Lord's Human. Hence also Bethel is now called "El-Bethel," applying what is signified by the "El" which is added, namely, "because there the gods were revealed to him." For "El" in the original language means "God;" but here "gods" in the plural, because in the internal sense "gods" denote holy truths (n. 4402). But in what follows it is called "Bethel," for it is said, "Jacob called the name of the place Bethel" (verse 15); and it is added, "where God spoke with him," where it is in the singular. For "Bethel" in the original language is the "house of God;" but "El-Bethel" is "God the house of God." Hence it is that "El-Bethel" denotes the holy natural, and "Bethel" the Divine natural.4560.
Because there the gods were revealed unto him. That this signifies holy truths, is evident from the signification of "gods," as being holy truths (see n. 4402). That these were adjoined to the good represented by Jacob, is signified by the "gods there revealed to him." That the place was called "El-Bethel," and yet previously (in chap. 28:19) and again later (verse 15 of this chapter), "Bethel," and likewise that here when it is called "El-Bethel" it is said, "because there the gods were revealed unto him," in the plural, and afterwards (verse 15) "where God spoke with him," in the singular, is a mystery, and it is evident that this mystery can be known only from the internal sense. Moreover, many other mysteries are hidden herein, but these cannot be disclosed.4561.
When he fled from before his brother. That this signifies after truths were set before good, is evident from the explication given above (n. 4542), where the same words occur.4562.
Verse 8. And Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died, and she was buried from under Bethel under the oak; and he called the name of it Allon-bacuth. "And Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died" signifies that hereditary evil was expelled; "and she was buried from under Bethel under the oak," signifies rejected forever; "and he called the name of it Allon-bacuth" signifies the quality of the natural in that it was expelled.4563.
And Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died. That this signifies that hereditary evil was expelled, is evident from the signification of "dying," as being the end, or that a thing ceases to be such (see n. 494, 3253, 3259, 3276), here therefore expelled, because the subject treated of is hereditary evil; and from the representation of Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, as being hereditary evil. In nourishing and suckling an infant a nurse properly signifies the insinuation of innocence by means of what is celestial spiritual, for milk denotes the celestial spiritual (n. 2184), and the infant she suckles denotes innocence (n. 430, 1616, 2126, 2305, 2306) But here by "Deborah, Rebekah's nurse," is signified that which was received from the mother and nourished from infancy. That this was the hereditary evil from the mother against which the Lord fought, may be seen from what has been shown regarding this hereditary (n. 1414, 1444, 1573), and from His expelling it, so that at last He was not the son of Mary (see n. 2159, 2574, 2649, 3036).  It is known that man derives evil from both his parents, and that this evil is called hereditary evil. He is therefore born into it, but still it does not manifest itself until the man becomes an adult and acts from his understanding and the derivative will, and meanwhile it lies hidden, especially during infancy. And as of the Lord's mercy no one is blamed for what is hereditary, but for what is actual (n. 966, 2308), and what is hereditary cannot become actual until the man acts from his own understanding and his own will, therefore infants are led by the Lord by means of infants and angels from Him, and hence they appear in a state of innocence while hereditary evil still lurks in everything they do (n. 2300, 2307, 2308). This hereditary evil yields them nourishment, or is as a nurse, until the time when they judge for themselves (n. 4063); and then if they are being regenerated they are brought by the Lord into a state of new infancy, and at last into heavenly wisdom; thus into genuine infancy, that is, into innocence; for genuine infancy or innocence dwells in wisdom (n. 2305, 3183). The difference is, that the innocence of infancy is without, and hereditary evil within; whereas the innocence of wisdom is within, and evil both actual and hereditary is without. From these and other things that have been already stated, it is evident that hereditary evil acts as a nurse from the earliest infancy to the age of new infancy; and hence it is that by a "nurse" is signified hereditary evil, and also that by a "nurse" is signified the insinuation of innocence by means of the celestial spiritual.  As in the internal sense of this chapter the disposition and arrangement of truths by good in the Lord's natural is treated of (n. 4536), and the consequent progression to interior things, therefore hereditary evil is also treated of, in that it was expelled. This is the reason why mention is made in this verse of Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, that she died and was buried under an oak, which is not a thing of sufficient moment to interrupt the series unless it involved such things.  The very mystery that is specifically signified by "Rebekah's nurse" cannot as yet be disclosed, for before this is done it is necessary to know the nature of the influx of the rational into the natural, namely, that it is from the good of the rational immediately into the good of the natural, and from the good of the rational mediately, through the truth there into the good of natural truth. "Rebekah" is the truth of the rational (n. 3012, 3013, 3077); and "Isaac" is the good of the rational (n. 3012, 3194, 3210); "Esau" is the good of the natural by immediate influx from the good of the rational, or "Isaac;" and "Jacob" is the good or good of truth of the natural by mediate influx through the truth of the rational, or "Rebekah." (In regard to this influx, mediate and immediate, see above, n. 3314, 3573.) This must be known before it is possible to have any specific knowledge of the mystery why by "Rebekah's nurse" is here signified and described hereditary evil; for it is from this that the nature of this evil can be seen.4564.
And she was buried from under Bethel under the oak. That this signifies that it was rejected forever, is evident from the signification of "being buried," as being to be rejected, for what is buried is rejected; and from the signification of "under the oak," as being forever (see above, n. 4552). "From under Bethel" signifies outside of the natural, for what is said to be underneath, or below, in the internal sense is without (see n. 2148). "Bethel" is the Divine natural (n. 4089, 4539).  The case herein is this. Evil both hereditary and actual in a man who is being regenerated is not exterminated so as to vanish or become null and void, but is only separated, and by the Lord's disposal is rejected to the circumferences (n. 4551, 4552); and it remains so with the man even to eternity; but he is withheld by the Lord from the evil and is kept in good. When this takes place it appears as if evils were cast away and the man purified from them, or as is said, "justified." All the angels of heaven confess that with them, insofar as it is of themselves, there is nothing but evil and its derivative falsity; but insofar as it is from the Lord, there is good and the derivative truth.  They who have conceived any other opinion on this subject, and have while living in the world confirmed themselves from their doctrine in the idea that they had been justified and were then without sins, thus that they are holy, are remitted into the state of their evils, both from what is actual and from what is hereditary, and are kept in this state until they know by living experience that of themselves they are nothing but evil, and that the good in which they had seemed to themselves to be, was from the Lord, consequently is not theirs, but the Lord's. Such is the case with the angels, and such also is it with the regenerate among men.  But with the Lord it was otherwise. All the hereditary evil from the mother He altogether removed from Himself, expelled, and cast out. For He had no evil by inheritance from His Father, because He was conceived of Jehovah, but only from the mother. This is the difference; and this is what is meant by the Lord's being made righteousness, the Holy itself, and the Divine.4565.
And he called the name of it Allon-bacuth. That this signifies the quality of the natural in that it was expelled, is evident from the signification of "calling a name," as being the quality (see n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2724, 3006, 3421). "Allon-bacuth" in the original language means "the oak of weeping," and the place was so called because the "oak" denotes the lowest of the natural, into which, and at last out of which, hereditary evil was cast. (That the "oak" denotes the lowest of the natural, and also what is perpetual, see above, n. 4552.) But "weeping" signifies the last farewell, and therefore it was customary to weep for the dead when they were buried, although it was known that only the dead body was rejected by burial, and that they who had been therein were alive in respect to their interiors. Hence it is evident what is the quality of that which is signified by "Allon-bacuth" or the "oak of weeping."4566.
Verses 9-13. And God was seen by Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, Thy name is Jacob; thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name; and He called his name Israel. And God said to him, I am God Shaddai; be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be from thee, and kings shall go forth from thy loins; and the land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. And God went up from upon him, in the place in which God spake with him. "And God was seen by Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him," signifies interior natural perception; "and God said to him, thy name is Jacob," signifies the quality of the Lord's external Divine natural; "Thy name shall no more be called Jacob," signifies that it should no longer be external only; "but Israel shall be thy name," signifies the quality of the internal natural, or the quality of its spiritual, which is "Israel"; "and He called his name Israel," signifies the internal natural, or the celestial spiritual of the natural; "and God said to him," signifies perception from the Divine; "I am God Shaddai," signifies the state of temptation past, and now Divine consolation; "be fruitful and multiply," signifies good and thence truth, Divine; "a nation and a company of nations shall be from thee," signifies good and the Divine forms of good; "and kings shall go forth from thy loins," signifies truths from the Divine marriage; "and the land which I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, to thee I will give it," signifies Divine good natural appropriated; "and to thy seed after thee will I give the land," signifies Divine truth natural appropriated; "and God went up from upon him, in the place in which He spake with him," signifies the Divine in this state.4567.
And God was seen by Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. That this signifies interior natural perception, is evident from the signification of "God was seen," as being interior perception. (That "to see" denotes to understand and perceive, see n. 2150, 2807, 3764, 3863, 4403-4421.) Hence "God was seen," when predicated of the Lord, denotes perception from the Divine, which is the same as interior perception. That the natural had this perception, is signified by God's being seen by Jacob, for Jacob represents the Lord's natural, as has been frequently shown. "Again when he came from Paddan-aram" signifies after he had acquired the knowledges of good and truth which are signified by "Paddan-aram" (see n. 3664, 3680, 4112). "And blessed him," signifies progression to the more interior things of the natural, and the conjunction of good and truth there; for "to bless" is predicated of all the good with which anyone is gifted by the Lord (n. 1420, 1422, 2846, 3017, 3406), especially of the conjunction of good and truth (n. 3504, 3514, 3530, 3565, 3584).4568.
And God said to him, Thy name is Jacob. That this signifies the quality of the Lord's external Divine natural, is evident from the signification of "name," as being quality (see n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2724, 3006, 3421); and from the representation of Jacob, as being the Lord's Divine natural, of which often above. It is called external, because "Israel" is the Lord's internal Divine natural, of which in what now follows.4569.
Thy name shall no more be called Jacob. That this signifies that it should no longer be external only, is evident from what has just been said, and from what now follows concerning Israel.4570.
But Israel shall be thy name. That this signifies the quality of His internal natural, or the quality of the spiritual of this natural, which is "Israel," and that and He called his name Israel" signifies His internal natural, or the celestial spiritual of the natural, is evident from the signification of "name," as being quality (see just above, n. 4568); and from the signification of "Israel," as being the internal of the Lord's natural. No one can know why Jacob was called Israel unless he knows what the internal natural is, and what the external natural, and further, what is the celestial spiritual of the natural. These things have indeed been explained above, when Jacob was called Israel by the angel; but as they are of such a nature that very little if anything is known about them, it is necessary to explain again what they are.  There are two things in man that are most distinct from each other, namely, the rational and the natural. The rational constitutes the internal man, and the natural the external; but the natural, like the rational, has also its own external and internal. The external of the natural is from the senses of the body, and from what flows in from the world immediately through these senses. By these man has communication with worldly and bodily things. They who are exclusively in this natural are called sensuous men, for in thought they scarcely go beyond this. But the internal of the natural is constituted of the conclusions drawn analytically and analogically from these things in the external, and yet it draws and deduces its conclusions from the senses. Thus the natural has communication through the senses with worldly and bodily things, and through things analogical and analytical with the rational, and thus with the things of the spiritual world. Such is the natural. There also exists an intermediate which communicates with both the external and the internal, thus by the external with what is in the natural world, and by the internal with what is in the spiritual world. This natural is what Jacob specifically represents, and the internal natural is what Israel represents. The case is the same with the rational, namely, that it is external and internal, and also intermediate; but of the Lord's Divine providence this subject shall be spoken of in connection with Joseph, for Joseph represents the external of the rational.  But what the celestial spiritual is has already been stated, namely, that the celestial is that which is of good, and the spiritual that which is of truth; thus the celestial spiritual is that which is of good from truth. Now as the Lord's church is external and internal, and as by the descendants of Jacob must be represented the internals of the church by means of externals, Jacob could therefore no longer be named Jacob, but Israel (see what has been said of this above, n. 4286, 4292). Be it known moreover that both the rational and the natural are called celestial and spiritual, celestial when they receive good from the Lord, and spiritual when they receive truth from Him; for the good that inflows from the Lord into heaven is called celestial, and the truth is called spiritual. Jacob's being called "Israel" signifies in the supreme sense that the Lord, advancing to interior things, made the natural in Himself Divine, both as to its external and as to its internal; for in the supreme sense what is represented has reference to Him.4571.
And God said to him. That this signifies perception from the Divine, is evident from the signification in the historicals of the Word of "to say" as being to perceive (see n. 1791, 1815, 1819, 1822, 1898, 1919, 2080, 2619, 2862, 3395, 3509). That it was from the Divine is signified by "God said;" for the Divine was in the Lord from conception. This was His being, for He was conceived from Jehovah, and therefore His perception was from the Divine, but it was according to the state of the reception by His Human, because He made the Human in Himself Divine by successive steps. Hence it is evident that as the Divine or God was in Him, by the words "God said to him" is signified perception from the Divine.4572.
I am God Shaddai. That this signifies the state of temptation past, and now Divine consolation, is evident from the signification of "God Shaddai," as being temptation and afterwards consolation. For Jehovah or the Lord was called by the ancients "God Shaddai" with reference to temptations and consolation after them (see n. 1992, 3667); consequently "God Shaddai" signifies a state of temptation that is past, and now Divine consolation. The reason why it is "past" is that temptations were previously represented by Jacob, especially when he wrestled with the angel (Gen. 32:25-32), and when he met Esau (Gen. 33); and the reason why there is now consolation, is that by these temptations there was effected the conjunction of good and truth in the natural. This conjunction itself causes consolation, because conjunction is the end of temptations; for when he arrives at the end, everyone has consolation according to the hard things he suffered in the means.  Be it known in general that all the conjunction of good with truth is effected by means of temptations, the reason of which is that evils and falsities offer resistance and as it were rebel, and strive in every possible way to prevent the conjunction of good with truth and of truth with good. This combat takes place between the spirits who are with the man, namely, between the spirits who are in evils and falsities, and those who are in goods and truths, and is perceived by the man as a temptation within himself. When therefore the spirits who are in evils and falsities are conquered by the spirits who are in goods and truths, and are compelled to depart, the latter have joy through heaven from the Lord, and this joy is perceived by the man as consolation, and as in himself. But the joy and consolation are not on account of victory, but on account of the conjunction of good and truth; for all conjunction of good and truth has joy within itself, because this conjunction is the heavenly marriage within which is the Divine.4573.
Be fruitful and multiply. That this signifies good and thence truth, Divine, is evident from the fact that "fructifying" is predicated of good, and "multiplying" of truth (see n. 43, 55, 913, 983, 2846, 2847).4574.
A nation and a company of nations shall be from thee. That this signifies good and the Divine forms of good, is evident from the signification of a "nation," as being the good of the church (see n. 1259, 1260, 1362, 1416, 1849); and from the signification of a "company of nations," as being the truths which are from good, or what is the same, the forms of good; and in the supreme sense, in which the Lord is treated of, the Divine truths which are from Divine good, or the Divine forms of good.  I will first state what the forms of good are, and then show that a "company of nations" signifies them. The truths that are from good are said to be the forms of good because they are nothing else than goods formed. He who conceives of truths in any other way, and especially he who separates them from good, does not know what truths are. Truths do indeed appear as if separate from good, thus as a form by themselves, but only to those who are not in good, or to those who think and speak otherwise than as they will and thence act. For man is so created that his understanding and will may constitute one mind, and they do constitute one mind when the understanding acts as one with the will, that is, when the man thinks and speaks as he wills and thence acts, for in this case the things of his understanding are forms of his will. The things of the understanding are what are called truths, for truths are properly of the understanding, whereas the things of the will are what are called goods, for goods are properly of the will. From this it follows that regarded in itself the understanding is nothing but the will formed.  But as the term "form" savors of human philosophy, the matter shall be illustrated by an example, from which will be seen that truths are the forms of good. In civil and moral life there exist what is honorable [honestum] and what is becoming [decorum]. What is honorable is to will well to others from the heart in the affairs of civil life, and what is becoming is to testify this in speech and gesture. Thus regarded in itself what is becoming is nothing but the form of what is honorable, for this is its origin, and therefore when what is honorable shows itself by what is becoming (that is, in a becoming manner by speech and gesture), that which is honorable appears in every detail of that which is becoming, insomuch that whatever is uttered in the speech or shown in the gesture appears honorable, and is the form or image through which that which is honorable shines forth. In this way the two things make a one, like an essence and its form, or like what is essential and what is formal. But if anyone separates what is honorable from what is becoming, that is, if anyone wills evil to a companion, and yet speaks well and behaves himself well toward him, there is then no longer anything of what is honorable in the speech and gestures, however much he may study to make a show of the form of what is honorable by what is becoming; for it is really dishonorable, and every discerning person so calls it, because it is either feigned, or fraudulent, or deceitful.  From all this we can see how the case is with truths and goods; for truths in spiritual life are circumstanced as is what is becoming in civil life; and hence it is evident what is the quality of truths when they are the forms of good, and what when separated from good; for when they are not from good they are from some evil, and are its forms, however much they may counterfeit the forms of good. That a "company of nations" denotes the forms of good, may be seen from the signification of "nations," as being goods, of which just above. Hence a "company" or congregation of them denotes a collection of them, which is nothing else than a form; and that this is truth has been shown. And as truths are what are signified, and by a "nation" is signified good, it is therefore said not only that a "nation" shall be from him, but also a "company of nations;" otherwise one expression would have sufficed. Moreover in the Word a "company," a "congregation," and a "multitude" are said of truths. (Regarding "multitude" and "being multiplied" see n. 43, 55, 913, 983, 2846, 2847).4575.
And kings shall go forth from thy loins. That this signifies truths from the Divine marriage, is evident from the signification of "kings," as being truths (see n. 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670); and from the signification of "loins," as being the things of conjugial love (n. 3021, 4277, 4280), consequently those of the heavenly marriage, and in the supreme sense of the Divine marriage. Truths from the Divine marriage are those which proceed from the Lord's Divine Human, and are called holy, for the Lord's Divine Human is the Divine marriage itself, and the things which proceed from it are holy, and are called celestial and spiritual, and effect the heavenly marriage, which is truth conjoined with good, and good conjoined with truth. This marriage exists in heaven, and in everyone who is in heaven, and also in everyone who is in the church, provided he is in good and at the same time in truth.4576.
And the land which I gave unto Abraham and to Isaac, to thee I will give it. That this signifies the Divine good appropriated, is evident from the signification of "land," as being good. For the land of Canaan which is here meant by "the land," denotes in the internal sense the Lord's kingdom, and hence the church, which is the Lord's kingdom on earth (see n. 1607, 3481, 3705, 4447, 4517), and as it denotes these, it denotes good, for this is the very essential thing of the Lord's kingdom and church. But in the supreme sense the "land of Canaan" denotes the Lord's Divine good, for the good which is in the Lord's kingdom in the heavens and on earth is from the Lord. The above is evident also from the representation of Abraham and Isaac, as being the Lord's Divine-Abraham the Divine Itself, and Isaac the Divine Human, specifically the Lord's Divine rational (concerning Abraham see n. 1989, 2011, 3245, 3251, 3439, 3703, 4206, 4207; and Isaac, n. 1893, 2066, 2072, 2083, 2630, 2774, 3012, 3194, 3210, 4180); and from the signification of "giving the land to thee," as being to appropriate it to the natural; for by Jacob, who here is "thee," is represented the Lord's Divine natural, as has been frequently shown. From all this it is evident that by "the land which I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, to thee will I give it" is signified the Divine good appropriated.4577.
And to thy seed after thee will I give the land. That this signifies Divine truth appropriated, is evident from the signification of "seed," as being the truth of faith (see n. 1025, 1447, 1610, 1940), and in the supreme sense the Divine truth (n. 3038); and from the signification of "giving the land," as being to appropriate good (of which just above, n. 4576); thus by "giving the land to thy seed," is signified in the supreme sense to appropriate Divine good to Divine truth. But that it is the Divine truth which is appropriated, is because before the Lord was glorified He was in respect to his Human the Divine truth, and hence the Lord says of Himself that He is "the Truth" (John 14:6), and hence also He is called the "seed of the woman" (Gen. 3:15). But after the Lord had been glorified in respect to His Human, He became the Divine good; and then from Him as the Divine good proceeded and proceeds the Divine truth, which is the "Spirit of truth" that the Lord was to send, as said in John 14:16, 17; 15:26, 27; 16:13-15: see n. 3704. From all this it is evident that by the words "to thy seed after thee" is signified in the supreme sense the Divine truth appropriated to Him; and also that the Divine truth proceeds from the Divine good which is Himself, and is appropriated to those who are in good and thence in truth.4578.
And God went up from upon him, in the place in which He spoke with him. That this signifies the Divine in this state, is evident from the signification of "God went up from upon him," as being the Divine; for "to go up" involves elevation to interior things, and when predicated of the Lord, who here is "God," it denotes elevation to the Divine (see n. 4539); and from the signification of the "place in which He spoke with him," as being this state. (That "place" denotes state, see n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387, 4321.) Hence the "place in which He spoke with him" denotes the state in which He was.4579.
Verses 14, 15. And Jacob set up a pillar in the place in which He spoke with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured out a drink-offering thereon, and poured oil thereon. And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel. "And Jacob set up a pillar in the place in which He spoke with him, a pillar of stone," signifies the holy of truth in that Divine state; "and he poured out a drink-offering thereon," signifies the Divine good of truth; "and poured oil thereon," signifies the Divine good of love; "and Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel," signifies the Divine natural and its state.4580.
And Jacob set up a pillar in the place in which He spoke with him, a pillar of stone. That this signifies the holy of truth in that Divine state, is evident from the signification of a "pillar," as being the holy of truth (of which in what follows); and from the signification of "in the place in which He spoke with him," as being in that state (see just above, n. 4578). Something shall first be said with regard to the origin of the setting up of pillars, and of the pouring a drink-offering upon them, and of pouring oil upon them.  The pillars set up in ancient times were either for a sign, or for a witness, or for worship. Those for worship were anointed, and were then holy, and worship was also held there, thus in temples, in groves, in forests under the trees, and in other places. This ritual derived its representation from the fact that in the most ancient times stones were set up on the boundaries between families of nations, lest they should pass over the boundaries to do one another evil (as for instance in the case of Laban and Jacob, Gen. 31:52). That they should not pass the boundaries to do evil was to them a law of nations. And as the stones were on the boundaries, when the most ancient people (who in everything on the earth saw a corresponding celestial and spiritual thing) saw these stones as boundaries, they thought about the truths which are the ultimates of order. But their descendants, who beheld in objects less of what is spiritual and celestial, and more of what is worldly, began to think of them with sanctity merely from the veneration derived from old time. And at last the descendants of the most ancient people who lived immediately before the flood, and who no longer saw anything spiritual and celestial in earthly and worldly things regarded as objects, began to regard these stones as holy, pouring drink-offerings upon them, and anointing them with oil; and they were then called "pillars," and were used for worship.  This remained after the flood in the Ancient Church, which was representative, but with the difference that the pillars served these people as a means for attaining to internal worship; for the infants and children were instructed by their parents in regard to what they represented, and were thus brought to know holy things, and to be affected with the things which the pillars represented. It is for this reason that the ancients had pillars for worship in their temples, groves, and forests, and upon hills and mountains. But when the internal of worship altogether perished with the Ancient Church, and they began to hold the externals as holy and Divine, and thus to worship them idolatrously, they then erected pillars for their several gods. And as the posterity of Jacob were most prone to idolatrous things, they were forbidden to erect pillars, and also to have groves, and even to hold any worship upon mountains and hills; but they were to be gathered together to one place, where the ark was, and afterwards where the temple was, thus to Jerusalem; otherwise each family would have had its own externals and idols that they would have worshiped, and consequently a representative of a church could not have been instituted with that nation. (See what was above shown concerning pillars, n. 3727.) All this shows what was the origin of the pillars, and what they signified, and that when they were employed in worship they represented holy truth, and therefore it is here said "a pillar of stone," for a "stone" signifies truth in the ultimate of order (n. 1298, 3720, 3769, 3771, 3773, 3789, 3798). Be it known moreover that what is holy is especially predicated of Divine truth; for the Divine is in the Lord, and Divine truth proceeds from Him (n. 3704, 4577), and is called the Holy.4581.
And he poured out a drink-offering thereon. That this signifies the Divine good of truth, is evident from the signification of a "drink-offering," as being the Divine good of truth, of which below; but first I will state what the good of truth is. The good of truth is that which has elsewhere been called the good of faith, and is love toward the neighbor, or charity. There are two universal kinds of good, one of which is called the good of faith, and the other the good of love. The good of faith is what is signified by a "drink-offering," and the good of love by "oil." They who are brought by the Lord to good by an internal way are in the good of love, but they who are brought by an external way are in the good of faith. The men of the celestial church, and likewise the angels of the inmost or third heaven, are in the good of love; but the men of the spiritual church, and likewise the angels of the middle or second heaven, are in the good of faith. For this reason the former good is called celestial good, but the latter spiritual good. The difference is the same as that between willing well from good will, and willing well from good understanding. The latter therefore, namely, spiritual good, or the good of faith, or the good of truth, is what is signified by a "drink-offering;" but the former, namely, celestial good, or the good of love, is what is understood in the internal sense by "oil."  That such things were signified by the "oil" and the "drink-offering" cannot indeed be seen except from the internal sense, and yet it must be apparent to everyone that holy things were represented, for otherwise what else would be the pouring out of a drink-offering and of oil upon a pillar of stone than a ridiculous and idolatrous performance? And so in the making of a king, unless holy things were signified and involved in the putting of a crown on his head, anointing him with oil from a horn upon his forehead and upon his wrists, putting a scepter into his hand besides a sword and keys, investing him with a crimson robe and then seating him upon a throne of silver; and afterwards in his riding on a horse in royal trappings and being served at table by those of highest rank, not to mention other formalities, unless all these ceremonies represented holy things, and were venerable through their correspondence with the things of heaven and thence of the church, they would be like babies' plays on a larger scale, or like plays on the stage.  Nevertheless all these rituals derived their origin from the most ancient times, when rituals were holy from their representing holy things, and from correspondence with the holy things in heaven and thence in the church. Moreover, at the present day they are regarded as venerable, not because it is known what they represent, or to what they correspond, but by an interpretation as of emblems that are in use. But if it were known what each of these things represents, and to what holy thing it corresponds - the crown, the oil, the horn, the scepter, the sword, the keys, riding upon a white horse, and eating while nobles are serving-men would think of them with much more reverence. But this they do not know, and wonderful to say, do not desire to know, to such a degree have the representatives and significatives which are in such things and everywhere in the Word been at the present day destroyed in the minds of men.  That a "drink-offering" signifies the good of truth, or spiritual good, may be seen from the sacrifices in which it was employed. Sacrifices were made from the herd or from the flock, and were representative of the internal worship of the Lord (n. 922, 923, 1823, 2180, 2805, 2807, 2830, 3519). To these were added the meat-offering and the drink-offering. The meat-offering, which consisted of fine flour mingled with oil, signified celestial good, or what is the same, the good of love, "oil" signifying love to the Lord, and "fine flour" charity toward the neighbor. But the drink-offering, which consisted of wine, signified spiritual good, or what is the same, the good of faith. Both together therefore (namely, the meat-offering and the drink-offering) signified the same things as the bread and wine in the Holy Supper.  That these were added to the burnt-offerings and sacrifices is evident in Moses: Thou shalt offer two lambs of the first year day by day continually; the one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer between the evenings; and a tenth of fine flour mingled with beaten oil, a fourth of a hin, and drink offering of the fourth of a hin of wine for the first lamb; and so also for the second lamb (Exod. 29:38-41). In the day when ye wave the sheaf of the firstfruits of the harvest, ye shall offer a lamb without blemish of the first year, for a burnt-offering unto Jehovah, the meat-offering whereof shall be two tenths of fine flour mingled with oil, and the drink offering whereof shall be of wine, the fourth of a hin (Lev. 23:12, 13, 18). On the day when the days of his Naziriteship are fulfilled, he shall offer his gift unto Jehovah (sacrifices), and a basket of unleavened things of fine flour, cakes mingled with oil, with unleavened wafers anointed with oil, with their meat-offering and their drink-offerings (Num. 6:13-15, 17). Upon the burnt-offering they shall offer a meat-offering of a tenth of fine flour mingled with the fourth of a hin of oil; and wine for the drink offering, the fourth of a hin, in one manner for the burnt-offering of a ram, and in another manner for that of an ox (Num. 15:3-5, 11). With the burnt-offering of the daily sacrifice thou shalt offer a drink-offering, the fourth of a hin for a lamb; in the holy place shalt thou pour out a drink-offering of wine unto Jehovah (Num. 28:6, 7). Moreover concerning the meat-offerings and drink-offerings in the sacrifices of various kinds, see Num. 28:7-31; 29:1-40.  That the meat-offering and the drink-offering had this signification may be seen from the fact that love and faith effect everything of worship; and it may be seen above that the bread (which here is of fine flour mingled with oil) and the wine in the Holy Supper signify love and faith, thus everything of worship (n. 1798, 2165, 2177, 2187, 2343, 2359, 3464, 3735, 3813, 4211, 4217).  But when the people fell away from the genuine representative of the worship of the Lord, and turned away to other gods and poured out drink-offerings to them, then by the drink-offerings were signified things which are opposite to charity and faith, namely, the evils and falsities of the love of the world, as in Isaiah: Ye did become heated with gods under every green tree, thou hast also poured out to them a drink-offering, thou hast offered a meat-offering (Isa. 57:5-6); "to become heated with gods" denotes the concupiscences of falsity (that "gods" denote falsities, n. 4402, 4544); "under every green tree" denotes from the belief of all falsities (n. 2722, 4552); "to pour out to them a drink-offering and offer a meat-offering" denotes the worship of them. Again: Ye that forsake Jehovah, that forget the mountain of My holiness, that prepare a table for Gad, and fill a drink-offering to Meni (Isa. 65:11). In Jeremiah: The sons gather wood, and the fathers kindle a fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes to the queen of the heavens, and to pour out a drink-offering to other gods (Jer. 7:18).  Again: Doing we will do every word that is gone forth out of our mouth, to burn incense to the queen of the heavens, and to pour out drink-offerings to her as we and our fathers have done, and our princes in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem (Jer. 44:17-19); "the queen of the heavens" denotes all falsities, for in the genuine sense the "armies of the heavens" are truths, but in the opposite sense falsities, and in like manner the "king and queen;" thus the "queen" denotes all of them, and "to pour drink-offerings to her" is to worship.  Again: The Chaldeans shall burn the city, and the houses upon whose roofs they have offered incense to Baal, and have poured out drink-offerings to other gods (Jer. 32:29); "the Chaldeans" denote those who are in worship in which there is falsity; "to burn the city" denotes to destroy and vastate those who are in doctrinal things of what is false; "to offer incense to Baal upon the roofs of the houses" denotes the worship of what is evil; "to pour out drink-offerings to other gods" denotes the worship of what is false.  In Hosea: They shall not dwell in Jehovah's land, and Ephraim shall return into Egypt, and they shall eat what is unclean in Assyria; they shall not pour out wine to Jehovah (Hos. 9:3, 4); "not to dwell in Jehovah's land" denotes not to be in the good of love; "Ephraim shall return into Egypt" denotes that the intellectual of the church will become mere knowledge and sensuous; "they shall eat what is unclean in Assyria" denotes impure and profane things from reasoning; "they shall not pour out wine to Jehovah" denotes no worship from truth.  In Moses: It shall be said, Where are their gods, the rock in which they trusted, that did eat the fat of the sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink-offering? Let them arise and help them (Deut. 33:37-38); "gods," as above, denote falsities; "that did eat the fat of the sacrifices" denotes that they destroyed the good of worship; "that drank the wine of their drink-offering" denotes that they destroyed the truth of worship. Drink-offerings are also predicated of blood, in David: They shall multiply their griefs, they have hastened to another, lest I pour out their drink-offerings of blood, and lest I take up their names upon my lips (Ps. 16:4); and by these words are signified the profanations of truth; for in this sense "blood" denotes violence offered to charity (n. 374, 1005), and profanation (n. 1003).4582.
And poured oil thereon. That this signifies the Divine good of love, is evident from the signification of "oil," as being the Divine good of love (see n. 886, 3728). By "setting up a pillar of stone and pouring out a drink-offering and oil upon it," is described in the internal sense the process of advance from truth which is in the ultimate, to interior truth and good, and at last to the good of love. For the "pillar of stone" is truth in the ultimate of order (n. 4580), the "drink-offering" is interior truth and good (n. 4581), and the "oil" is the good of love. Such was the Lord's process of advancement in making His Human Divine, and such also is that undergone by man when by regeneration the Lord makes him celestial.4583.
And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel. That this signifies the Divine natural and its state, is evident from the signification of "calling a name," as being quality (seen. 144, 145, 1754, 2009, 2724, 3006, 3421); and from the signification of "Bethel," as being the Divine natural (n. 4559, 4560). That it is the state of this that is referred to, is signified by "the place where God spoke with him" (as above, n. 4578).4584.
Verses 16-20. And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was still a tract of land to come to Ephrath; and Rachel brought forth, and suffered hard things in her bringing forth. And it came to pass in her suffering hard things in her bringing forth that the midwife said unto her, Fear not, for this also is to thee a son. And it came to pass as her soul was going forth, that she was about to die; and she called his name Benoni; and his father called him Benjamin. And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, this is Bethlehem. And Jacob set up a pillar upon her grave; this is the pillar of Rachel's grave even to this day. "And they journeyed from Bethel, and there was still a tract of land to come to Ephrath," signifies that now was the spiritual of the celestial ("Joseph" is the celestial of the spiritual); "and Rachel brought forth, and suffered hard things in her bringing forth," signifies the temptations of interior truth; "and it came to pass in her suffering hard things in her bringing forth," signifies after temptations; "that the midwife said unto her, Fear not," signifies perception from the natural; "for this also is to thee a son," signifies spiritual truth; "and it came to pass as her soul was in departing that she was about to die," signifies a state of temptations; "and she called his name Benoni," signifies the quality of this state; "and his father called him Benjamin," signifies the quality of the spiritual of the celestial; "and Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath," signifies the end of the former affection of interior truth; "this is Bethlehem," signifies in place thereof the resurrection of a new spiritual of the celestial; "and Jacob set up a pillar upon her grave," signifies the holy of the spiritual truth that would rise again there; "this is the pillar of Rachel's grave even to this day," signifies the state of the holy forever.4585.
And they journeyed from Bethel, and there was still a tract of land to come to Ephrath. That this signifies that now was the spiritual of the celestial, is evident from the signification of "journeying from Bethel" as being what is continuous of the advancement of the Divine from the Divine natural (that "journeying" denotes what is continuous may be seen above, n. 4554, here in the supreme sense what is continuous of the advancement of the Divine, and that "Bethel" is the Divine natural, n. 4559, 4560); from the signification of a "tract of land in coming," as being what is intermediate (of which in what follows); and from the signification of "Ephrath," as being the spiritual of the celestial in a former state (of which below where Bethlehem is treated of, which is the spiritual of the celestial in a new state), hence it is said, "Ephrath, this is Bethlehem" (verse 19).  In these verses the subject treated of is the advancement of the Lord's Divine toward interior things, for when the Lord made His Human Divine He advanced in a like order to that in which He makes man new by regeneration, namely, from what is external to interior things, thus from the truth which is in the ultimate of order to a good which is interior, and is called spiritual good, and from this to celestial good. But these things cannot fall into the understanding of anyone unless it is known what the external man and the internal man are, and that the former is distinct from the latter, although while man is living in the body they appear as one; also unless it is known that the natural constitutes the external man, and the rational the internal; and further, unless it is known what the spiritual is and what the celestial.  These things have indeed already been occasionally unfolded, nevertheless they who have previously had no idea about them in consequence of having no desire to know the things of eternal life, find it impossible to have any such idea. Such people say, "What is the internal man? Is it possible that it can be distinct from the external? What is the natural, and the rational? Are they not one? Moreover, What is the spiritual, and the celestial? Is not this a new distinction? We have heard of the spiritual, but that the celestial is something else we have not heard." The case however is thus: They who have not previously acquired any idea on these subjects, for the reason that the cares of the world and of the body have possession of all their thought and take away all desire of knowing anything else; or because they deem it sufficient to know their doctrinal tenets as they are commonly known, and that it is of no consequence to have any further thought about the matter, saying, "We see the world, but the other life we do not see, perhaps it exists and perhaps not"-much persons put away all these subjects, for even at the first look they at heart reject them.  Nevertheless as they are such things as are contained in the internal sense of the Word, and these cannot be explained without adequate terms, and we have no terms more adequate for expressing exterior things than the term natural, for interior things than the term rational, for those things which are of truth the term spiritual, and those which are of good the term celestial, it is absolutely necessary to make use of these terms, for without terms adapted to the subject nothing can be described. In order therefore that those who desire to know may receive some idea of what the spiritual of the celestial is which Benjamin represents and which "Bethlehem" signifies, I will briefly explain it. In the supreme sense the subject that has been treated of is the glorification of the Lord's natural, and in the relative sense the regeneration of man as to his natural. That Jacob represented the man of the church as to his external, and Israel as to his internal, thus Jacob as to his exterior natural, and Israel as to his interior natural, has been shown above (n. 4286); for the spiritual man is from the natural, and the celestial man is from the rational. It has also been shown that the Lord's glorification advanced from external things to more interior things, in like manner as the regeneration of man advances, and that for the sake of this representation Jacob was called "Israel."  But a further advance toward more interior things is now treated of, namely, toward the rational, for as just said, the rational constitutes the internal man. The intermediate between the internal of the natural and the external of the rational is what is meant by the spiritual of the celestial, which is signified by "Ephrath" and "Bethlehem," and is represented by Benjamin. This intermediate derives somewhat from the internal of the natural which is "Israel," and from the external of the rational which is "Joseph;" for that which is intermediate derives something from each extreme, otherwise it could not serve as an intermediate. In order that anyone from being spiritual may become celestial, he must needs advance through this intermediate, for to climb up to higher things without an intermediate is not possible.  And therefore the nature of the advance through this intermediate is here described by Jacob's coming to Ephrath, and by Rachel's bringing forth Benjamin there. Hence it is evident that by their journeying from Bethel, and by there being yet a tract of land to come to Ephrath, is signified what is continuous of the advancement of the Lord's Divine from the Divine natural to the spiritual of the celestial which is signified by "Ephrath" and "Bethlehem," and is represented by Benjamin. The spiritual of the celestial is the intermediate that is spoken of, being called "spiritual" from the spiritual man, which viewed in itself is the interior of the natural man, and "celestial" from the celestial man, which viewed in itself is the rational man. "Joseph" is the exterior rational man, and therefore the celestial of the spiritual from the rational is predicated of him.4586.
And Rachel brought forth, and suffered hard things in her bringing forth. That this signifies the temptations of interior truth, is evident from the signification of "bringing forth," as being the coming forth of the spiritual things which are of truth and of the celestial things which are of good, for in the internal sense "to bring forth" denotes the things of the spiritual birth (see n. 1145, 1255, 2584, 3860, 3868, 3905, 3915, 3919, 4070); from the representation of Rachel, as being the affection of interior truth (see n. 3758, 3782, 3793, 3819); and from the signification of "suffering hard things," as being to undergo temptations, for when "to suffer hard things" is predicated of truths and goods, or of spiritual things and celestial things, it cannot mean anything else, because no one can attain to these except by means of temptations, for then interior goods and truths fight with the evils and falsities from what is hereditary and what is actual, the man being kept by the Lord from within in goods and truths, and being assaulted by the evils and falsities which burst forth from what is hereditary, and which are present from what is actual, that is, by the spirits and genii who are in these evils and falsities and are with the man. Hence come temptations, whereby not only are evils and falsities, when overcome, cast out and removed, but also goods and truths are confirmed. These are the things which are signified by Rachel's bringing forth, and by her suffering hard things in her bringing forth.4587.
And it came to pass in her suffering hard things in her bringing forth. That this signifies after temptations, is evident from what was said just above (n. 4586), and thus without further explication.4588.
That the midwife said unto her, Fear not. That this signifies perception from the natural, is evident from the signification of "saying" in the historicals of the Word as being perception (see n. 1791, 1815, 1819, 1822, 1898, 1919, 2080, 2619, 2862, 3395, 3509); and from the signification of a "midwife," as being the natural. The reason why "midwife" here denotes the natural is that when interior temptations are being undergone, that is, when the interior man is undergoing temptations, the natural is then like a midwife; for unless the natural affords aid, it is impossible for any birth of interior truth to take place; for when interior truths are born, it is the natural which receives them into its bosom, because it affords the opportunity for them to work their way out. It is always the case with the things of spiritual birth, that their reception must be wholly in the natural; and this is the reason why when a man is being regenerated, the natural is first prepared to receive; and insofar as this is made receptive, so far interior truths and goods can be brought forth and multiplied. This is also the reason why if during the bodily life the natural man has not been prepared to receive the truths and goods of faith, he cannot receive them in the other life, consequently cannot be saved. This is what is meant by the common saying that as the tree falls, so it lies; or as man dies, such he will be. For man has with him in the other life all his natural memory, or that of his external man (although not there permitted to use it, n. 2469-2494), so that it is there as a foundation plane, into which interior truths and goods fall; and if this plane is not a receptacle of the goods and truths which flow in from within, these interior goods and truths are either extinguished, or perverted, or rejected. From all this it is evident that the natural is like a midwife.  That insofar as the natural is a recipient when the interior man brings forth, it is like a midwife, may be seen also from the internal sense of the things related of the midwives who contrary to the command of Pharaoh saved alive the sons of the Hebrew women, of which we read in Moses: The king of Egypt said to the midwives of the Hebrew women, and he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools, if it be a son, then ye shall kill him, but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt spoke to them, but saved the male children alive. And the king of Egypt called the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this word, and have saved the male children alive? And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women, for they are lively, and have brought forth ere the midwife come unto them. And God did well to the midwives, and the people were multiplied, and became very numerous. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that He made them houses (Exod. 1:15-21); by the daughters and sons the Hebrew women brought forth, are represented the goods and truths of a new church; by the midwives, the natural insofar as it is a recipient of goods and truths; by the king of Egypt, memory-knowledge in general (see n. 1164, 1165, 1186), which extinguishes truths when it enters into the things of faith by an inverted way, believing nothing except what the senses and memory-knowledge dictate. That the "midwives" here are receptions of truth in the natural, will of the Lord's Divine mercy be confirmed when the contents of that chapter come to be unfolded.4589.
For this also is to thee a son. That this signifies spiritual truth may be seen from the signification of a "son," as being truth (see n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 3373), here spiritual truth, because the "son" here is Benjamin, by whom is represented the spiritual of the celestial.4590.
And it came to pass as her soul was in departing that she was about to die. That this signifies a state of temptations, is evident from the signification of the "soul going forth and dying," as being the utmost of temptation, which exists when the old man is dying and the new man is receiving life. That this is the signification is manifest from what precedes, in that her "suffering hard things in bringing forth" denotes the temptation of interior truth (n. 4586, 4587); and from what follows at verse 19, that "Rachel died."4591.
And she called his name Benoni. That this signifies the quality of this state, is evident from the signification of "calling a name," as being quality, as often shown above. The state here described in the internal sense is a state of temptations, the quality of which is what is signified by "Benoni," for in the original language "Benoni" means "the son of my sorrow" or "mourning." (That in ancient times names significative of the state were given to infants, may be seen above, n. 1946, 2643, 3422, 4298.)4592.
And his father called him Benjamin. That this signifies the quality of the spiritual of the celestial, is evident from the representation of Benjamin, as being the spiritual of the celestial. What this is was explained above (see n. 4585), namely, that it is the intermediate which exists between the spiritual and the celestial, or between the spiritual man and the celestial man. In the original language "Benjamin" means "the son of the right hand;" and by a "son of the right hand" is signified spiritual truth which is from celestial good and the consequent power, for good has power by means of truth (n. 3563). A "son" is truth (see n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 3373), and the "hand" is power (n. 878, 3091, 3563); hence the "right hand" is the highest power. Hence it is evident what is signified by "sitting at the right hand of God," namely, a state of power by virtue of the truth which is from good (n. 3387), which when predicated of the Lord is omnipotence, and also the Divine truth which proceeds from the Lord's Divine good (as in Ps. 110:1; Matt. 22:44; 26:63, 64; Mark 14:61, 62; 16:19; Luke 22:69); and whereas it denotes Divine power that is, omnipotent is therefore said, "at the right hand of the power" (or virtue) "of God."  It is manifest from this what in the genuine sense is signified by "Benjamin," namely, the spiritual truth which is from the celestial good which is "Joseph." Both together therefore are that intermediate which as before said is between the spiritual man and the celestial man (n. 4585). But this good and this truth are distinct from the celestial which is represented by "Judah," and the spiritual which is represented by "Israel," of which the former is higher or more interior, and the latter is lower or more external, for as before said they are an intermediate. But no one can have an idea of the good which is represented by Joseph, and of the truth which is represented by Benjamin, except the man who is enlightened by the light of heaven. The angels have a clear idea of them, because all the ideas of their thought are from the light of heaven which is from the Lord, in which they see and perceive illimitable things which man cannot possibly comprehend, still less utter. As an illustration take the following.  All men whatever are born natural, with the power of becoming either celestial or spiritual; but the Lord alone was born spiritual celestial, and for this reason He was born at Bethlehem, where is the boundary of the land of Benjamin, for by "Bethlehem" is signified the spiritual of the celestial, and by Benjamin is represented the spiritual of the celestial. The reason why the Lord alone was born spiritual celestial is that the Divine was in Him. These things cannot possibly be comprehended by anyone who is not in the light of heaven; for he who is in the light of the world, and has his perception therefrom, scarcely knows what truth is and what good is, still less what it is to ascend through degrees to the interior things of truth and good; thus he is in complete ignorance of those innumerable things of truth and good in every degree which are manifest before the angels as in noonday light. Hence it is evident of what nature is the wisdom of angels relatively to that of men.  There are six names which frequently occur in the prophets where the church is treated of, namely, "Judah," "Joseph," "Benjamin," "Ephraim," "Israel," and "Jacob." He who does not know what of the good and truth of the church is meant by each one of these in the internal sense cannot possibly know anything of the Divine arcana of the Word there. Nor can he know what of the church is meant, unless he knows what the celestial is which is "Judah," what the celestial of the spiritual is which is "Joseph," what the spiritual of the celestial is which is "Benjamin," what the intellectual of the church is which is "Ephraim," what the internal spiritual is which is "Israel," and what the external spiritual is which is "Jacob."  As regards Benjamin specifically, as he represents the spiritual of the celestial, and Joseph the celestial of the spiritual, and thus both together the intermediate between the celestial and the spiritual man, and as they are consequently most closely conjoined, therefore also their conjunction is described in the history of Joseph as follows: Joseph told his brethren that they must bring their youngest brother, lest they should die (Gen. 42:20). When they returned with Benjamin, and Joseph saw Benjamin his brother, he said, Is this your youngest brother? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son. And Joseph made haste, for his bowels did yearn toward his brother; and he sought where to weep, and he therefore entered into his chamber, and wept there (Gen. 43:29-30). He multiplied Benjamin's portion fivefold above the portions of them all (Gen. 43:34). After he had made himself known to his brethren, he fell upon his brother Benjamin's necks and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his necks (Gen. 45:14). He gave changes of garments to them all, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of garments (Gen. 45:22).  From all this it is evident that Joseph and Benjamin were most closely conjoined, not because they were of one mother, but because by them is represented the spiritual conjunction which exists between the good which is "Joseph" and the truth which is "Benjamin," and because both are intermediate between the celestial and the spiritual man. For this reason Joseph could not be conjoined with his brethren, nor with his father, except by means of Benjamin, for without an intermediate no conjunction is possible, and this was the reason why Joseph did not reveal himself sooner.  Moreover, by "Benjamin" in other parts of the Word, especially the prophetic, is signified the spiritual truth which is of the church, as in the prophecy of Moses concerning the sons of Israel: To Benjamin he said, The beloved of Jehovah, He shall dwell confidently upon him, covering upon him all the day, and He shall dwell between his shoulders (Deut. 33:12); "the beloved of Jehovah" is spiritual truth which is from celestial good; it is said of this good that it "dwells confidently" with that truth, "covers it the whole day," and also "dwells between its shoulders," for in the internal sense the "shoulders" denote all power (n. 1085), and good has all its power by means of truth (n. 3563).  In Jeremiah: Flee ye sons of Benjamin out of the midst of Jerusalem, and sounding sound with the trumpet, and take up a prophecy upon the house of the vineyard; for evil looks forth from the north, and a great shattering (Jer. 6:1); "the sons of Benjamin" denote spiritual truth from the celestial; "Jerusalem" denotes the spiritual church; the "house of the vineyard," or "Bethhaccherem," the same; the "evil out of the north," man's sensuous and the derivative memory-knowledge. Again: It shall come to pass if ye hallow the sabbath day they shall enter in from the cities of Judah, and from the circuits of Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountain, and from the south, offering burnt-offering and sacrifice, and meat-offering, and frankincense, and offering thanksgiving, unto the house of Jehovah (Jer. 17:24, 26).  And again elsewhere: In the cities of the mountain, in the cities of the plain, in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the circuits of Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks yet pass over beside the hands of him that numbereth them (Jer. 33:13); here also the "land of Benjamin" denotes the spiritual truth of the church; for all the things of the church, from the first degree to the last, are signified by the "cities of Judah," the "circuits of Jerusalem," the "land of Benjamin," the "plain," the "mountain," and the "south."  In Hosea: Sound ye with the horn in Gibeah, with the trumpet in Ramah, shout ye Bethaven, after thee Benjamin, Ephraim shall become solitudes in the day of rebuke (Hos. 5:8, 9); "Gibeah," "Ramah," and "Bethaven" denote the things of that spiritual truth from the celestial which is "Benjamin," for Gibeah was in Benjamin (Judges 19:14), and Ramah also (Josh. 18:25), and likewise Bethaven (Josh. 18:12); "to sound with the horn and with the trumpet," and "to shout," denote to announce that the intellectual of the church, which is "Ephraim," is made desolate.  In Obadiah: The house of Jacob shall become a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, the house of Esau for stubble; and they of the south shall inherit the mountain of Esau, and those who are in the plain the Philistines; and they shall inherit the field of Ephraim, and the field of Samaria; and Benjamin, Gilead (Obad. 1:18-19); that names signify things is very evident here, as in other places, for unless it is known what is signified by the "house of Jacob," the "house of Joseph," the "house of Esau," the "mountain of Esau," the "Philistines," the "field of Ephraim," the "field of Samaria," "Benjamin," and "Gilead," and moreover what by "them of the south," by a "house," a "plain," a "mountain," and a "field," nothing here can possibly be comprehended; nor were the things done that are here historically related. But the man who knows what each expression involves, will find heavenly arcana therein. Here also "Benjamin" is the spiritual from the celestial.  In like manner these words in Zechariah: Jehovah shall be king upon the whole earth; in that day there shall be one Jehovah, and His name one; the whole earth shall encompass as a plain from Gibeah even to Rimmon, and she shall dwell under herself thence from Benjamin's gate even unto the place of the first gate, even unto the gate of the corners, and from the tower of Hananeel even unto the king's wine presses (Zech. 14:9, 10). So in David: Give ear, O Shepherd, Thou that leadest Joseph like a flock, Thou that sittest upon the cherubim; before Ephraim, and Benjamin, and Manasseh, stir up Thy power, and come to save us (Ps. 80:1, 2). So in the prophecy of Deborah and Barak: Jehovah shall rule for me among the mighty; out of Ephraim whose root is in Amalek, after thee Benjamin in thy peoples, out of Machir shall come down lawgivers, and out of Zebulun they that draw the scepter of the scribe (Judges 5:13, 14).  In John: I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed out of every tribe of Israel; of the tribe of Zebulun were sealed twelve thousand, of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand, of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand (Rev. 7:4, 8); where by the "tribes of Israel" are signified those who are in goods and truths, and therefore in the Lord's kingdom; for "tribes" and "twelve," or what is the same, "twelve thousand," are all things of love and faith, or all things of good and truth (n. 577, 2089, 2129, 2130, 3272, 3858, 3913, 3926, 3939, 4060). These things are here distributed into four classes, the last of which is the twelve thousand sealed of Zebulun, and of Joseph, and of Benjamin, because by the tribe of Zebulun is signified the heavenly marriage (n. 3960, 3961), in which is heaven, thus in which are all things; "Joseph" here is the celestial of the spiritual, or the good of truth; and "Benjamin" is the truth of this good, or the spiritual of the celestial. This is the conjugial in heaven, and therefore these are named last.  As Benjamin represented the spiritual of the celestial in the church, or the truth of good, which is the intermediate between celestial good and spiritual truth, therefore Jerusalem fell as an inheritance to the sons of Benjamin; for before Zion was built there, "Jerusalem" signified the church in general. (That Jerusalem fell to Benjamin may be seen in Joshua 18:28; and also in Judges 1:21.)4593.
And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath. That this signifies the end of the former affection of interior truth, is evident from the signification of "dying," as being to cease to be such (see n. 494), thus the end; from the representation of Rachel, as being the affection of interior truth (n. 3758, 3782, 3793, 3819); from the signification of "to be buried," as being the rejection of a former state, and the resuscitation of a new one (n. 2916, 2917, 3256); and from the signification of "Ephrath," as being the spiritual of the celestial in a former state (n. 4585). From all this it is evident that by Rachel's dying and being buried in the way to Ephrath is signified the end of the former state of the affection of interior truth and the resuscitation of a new state which is "Bethlehem," the explication of which follows.  In the genuine sense by Rachel's dying and being buried in the way to Ephrath is signified that which is hereditary, in that by means of temptations it was expelled forever, and which was the human affection of interior truth, which the Divine affection expelled. It was for this reason that this son was called by his mother "Benoni," or "son of sorrow," but by his father "Benjamin," or "son of the right hand." In the human affection from the mother there is a heredity in which is evil, but in the Divine affection there is nothing but good; for in the human affection there is the glory of self and of the world as an end for the sake of self; but in the Divine affection there is an end for the sake of self that it may be from self to save the human race, according to the Lord's words in John: I pray for those whom Thou hast given Me, for all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine, but I am glorified in them; that they all may be one, as Thou Father art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us. The glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them, that they may be one as We are one; I in them, and Thou in Me (John 17:9-10, 21-23).4594.
This is Bethlehem. That this signifies in place thereof the resurrection of a new spiritual of the celestial, is evident from the signification of "Bethlehem," as being the spiritual of the celestial in a new state; for "Ephrath" is the spiritual of the celestial in a former state (n. 4585), and by her being buried there is signified the resurrection of a new state (n. 4593). That Rachel brought forth her second son or Benjamin in Bethlehem, and died in bringing him forth, also that David was born in Bethlehem and was there anointed king, and finally that the Lord was there born, is a mystery which as yet has not been revealed, and could not be revealed to anyone who did not know what is signified by "Ephrath" and by "Bethlehem," and what was represented by Benjamin, and also by David; and especially who did not know what the spiritual of the celestial is, for this was signified by these places and was represented by these persons.  The reason why the Lord was born there and not elsewhere, is that He alone was born a spiritual celestial man, but all others natural, with the capacity or ability to become either celestial or spiritual by regeneration from the Lord. The reason why the Lord was born a spiritual celestial man was that He might make His Human Divine, and this according to order from the lowest degree to the highest, and might thus dispose into order all things in the heavens and in the hells. For the spiritual celestial is intermediate between the natural or external man and the rational or internal man (see above, n. 4585, 4592), thus below it was the natural or external, and above it was the rational or internal.  He who cannot apprehend these things, cannot possibly comprehend, by any revelation whatever, why the Lord was born at Bethlehem. For from the most ancient time "Ephrath" signified the spiritual of the celestial, and therefore afterwards "Bethlehem" had the same signification. This then is the reason why the following is said in David: He sware to Jehovah, he vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob, If I shall come into the tent of my house, if I shall go upon the couch of my bed, if I shall give sleep to mine eyes, slumber to mine eyelids, until I find a place for Jehovah, habitations for the Mighty One of Jacob; lo we heard of Him in Ephrata, we found Him in the fields of the forest; we will go into His habitations, we will bow ourselves at His footstool (Ps. 132:2-7); that these things were said of the Lord is very evident; "we heard of Him," and "we found Him," are expressed in the original language at the end of the words by the letter "h" taken from the name Jehovah.  And in Micah: Thou Bethlehem Ephrata, it is little that thou be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall one come forth unto Me who shall be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from the days of eternity (Micah 5:2; Matt. 2:6). From these prophecies it was known to the Jewish people that the Messiah or Christ would be born at Bethlehem, as is evident in Matthew: Herod, gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, inquired of them where the Christ (the Messiah) should be born; and they said to him, In Bethlehem of Judea (Matt. 2:4, 5). And in John: The Jews said, Doth not the Scripture say that the Christ (Messiah) should come of the seed of David, and from Bethlehem, the city where David was? (John 7:42). And that He was born there may be seen in Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-7. For this reason also, and because He was from David, the Lord is called a "rod out of the stock of Jesse," and the "root of Jesse" (Isa. 11:1, 10); for Jesse, David's father, was a Bethlehemite; and David was born at Bethlehem and was anointed king there (1 Sam. 16:1-14; 17:12). Hence Bethlehem was called "the city of David" (Luke 2:4, 11; John 7:42). By David is especially represented the Lord as to His royalty or the Divine truth (n. 1888).4595.
And Jacob set up a pillar upon her grave. That this signifies the holy of the spiritual truth that would rise again there, is evident from the signification of a "pillar," as being the holy of truth (see n. 4580), here of spiritual truth from the celestial, because this is the truth treated of; and from the signification of a "grave," as being resurrection (n. 2916, 2917, 3256).4596.
This is the pillar of Rachel's grave even to this day. That this signifies the state of the holy forever, is evident from the signification of a "pillar," as being the holy of truth; and from the signification of a "grave," as being resurrection (of which just above); and from the signification of "even to this day," as being forever (see n. 2838, 3998).4597.
Verses 21, 22. And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Eder. And it came to pass while Israel abode in this land that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine, and Israel heard. "And Israel journeyed," signifies the celestial spiritual of the natural at this time; "and spread his tent beyond the tower of Eder," signifies the interior things thereof; "and it came to pass while Israel abode in this land," signifies when in this state; "that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine," signifies the profanation of good by faith separate; "and Israel heard," signifies that this faith was rejected.4598.
And Israel journeyed. That this means the celestial spiritual of the natural at this time, is evident from the signification of "journeying," as being what is successive or continuous (see n. 4375, 4554), here more toward interior things; and from the representation of "Israel" here, as being the celestial spiritual of the natural (n. 4286). What the celestial spiritual of the natural is, has been explained before, namely, that it is the good of truth, or the good of charity procured by means of the truth of faith. What advancement toward interior things is, is little known in the world. It is not an advancement into memory-knowledges, for this frequently exists without any advancement toward interior things, and very frequently with a departure from them. Neither is it an advancement into the judgment of manhood, for this also sometimes exists together with a departure from interior things. Nor is it an advancement into knowledges of interior truth, for these knowledges avail nothing unless the man is affected with them. An advancement toward interior things is an advancement toward heaven and the Lord by means of the knowledges of truth implanted in the affection of them, thus by means of affections.  What is the nature of an advancement toward interior things is not apparent to anyone in this world; but in the other life it is plainly apparent, for there it is an advancement from a kind of mist into light, because they who are in exterior things alone are relatively in a mist, and by the angels are seen to be in one; whereas they who are in interior things are in light, and consequently are in wisdom, for the light there is wisdom; and wonderful to say, they who are in a mist cannot see those who are in light as in light, but they who are in light can see those who are in a mist as in a mist. As the subject here treated of is the advancement of the Lord's Divine toward interior things, Jacob is here called "Israel," but at other times he is called "Jacob," as in the preceding verse of this chapter, and in the last verse.4599.
And spread his tent beyond the tower of Eder. That this signifies the interior things thereof, is evident from the signification of "spreading a tent," as being the advancement of what is holy, here toward interior things (that a "tent" denotes what is holy may be seen above, n. 414, 1102, 2145, 2152, 3312, 4391); from the signification of "beyond the tower," as being into interior things (of which in what follows); and from the signification of "Eder," as being the quality of the state, namely, of the advancement of what is holy toward interior things. From ancient times this tower had this signification, but as it is mentioned nowhere else in the Word, except in Joshua 15:21, this cannot be confirmed from parallel passages, as is the case with other names. The reason why "beyond the tower" denotes toward interior things, is that the things which are interior are expressed by things lofty and high, thus by mountains, hills, towers, the roofs of houses, and the like. The reason is, that to minds which derive their ideas from the natural things of the world through the external senses, interior things appear as higher (n. 2148).  That "towers" signify interior things may be seen also from other passages in the Word, as in Isaiah: My well beloved had a vineyard in a horn of the son of oil, which he fenced round and cleared of stones, and planted it with a noble vine, and built a tower in the midst of it (Isa. 5:1-2); the "vineyard" denotes the spiritual church; the "noble vine," spiritual good; the "tower built in the midst of it," the interior things of truth. In like manner also in the Lord's parable in Matthew: A man a householder planted a vineyard, and set a hedge about it, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen. (Matt. 21:33; Mark 12:1).  In Ezekiel: The sons of Arvad and thine army were upon thy walls round about, and the Gammadim were in thy towers, they hung their shields upon thy walls round about; these have perfected thy beauty (Ezek. 27:11); treating of Tyre, by which are signified the knowledges of good and truth, or those who are in these knowledges; the "Gammadim in its towers" denote the knowledges of interior truth.  In Micah: Jehovah shall reign over them in Mount Zion from now and to eternity; and thou tower of the flock, the hill of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, and the former kingdom shall return, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem (Micah 4:7-8); where is described the Lord's celestial kingdom; its inmost which is love to the Lord, by "Mount Zion;" its derivative which is mutual love, by the "hill of the daughter of Zion," which love in the spiritual sense is called charity toward the neighbor; its interior truths of good by the "tower of the flock;" that from this comes the spiritual of the celestial kingdom is signified by the "kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem." In David: Let Mount Zion be glad, let the daughters of Judah exult because of Thy judgments encompass ye Zion, and gird it around, count the towers thereof (Ps. 48:11, 12); where the "towers" denote the interior truths which defend what is of love and charity.  In Luke: Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple for which of you, desiring to build a tower, sitteth not down first and counteth the cost, whether he have wherewith to complete it? Or what king, going to make war with another king, doth not first sit down and consult whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand (Luke 14:27-28, 31, 33); he who does not know the internal sense of the Word must suppose that the Lord here spoke by comparisons, and that by building a tower and making war nothing further is meant, not knowing that all the comparisons in the Word are significative and representative, and that "to build a tower" is to procure for one's self interior truths, and that "to make war" is to combat from these; for the subject here treated of is the temptations undergone by those who are of the church, and who are here called the Lord's "disciples." These temptations are signified by the "cross" which they must carry; and that they by no means conquer from themselves or from what is their own, but from the Lord, is signified by "whosoever renounceth not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple." Thus do all these things cohere; whereas if the things that are related of the tower and the war are understood only comparatively, without an interior sense, they do not cohere. From this it is manifest what light there is from the internal sense.  The interiors of those who are in the love of self and the world, thus the falsities from which they combat, and by which they confirm their religiosity, are also expressed in the opposite sense by "towers," as in Isaiah: The loftiness of men shall be brought low, and Jehovah Zebaoth shall be exalted above everyone proud and high, and upon everyone that is lifted up, and he shall be humbled; and upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, and upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, and upon every lofty tower, and upon every fortified wall (Isa. 2:11-15); where the interiors and the exteriors of these loves are described by the "cedars," "oaks," "mountains," "hills," "tower," and "wall" (interior falsities by the "tower"), thus also interior things by those which are high, with the difference that they who are in evils and falsities believe themselves high and above others, but they who are in goods and truths believe themselves less and below others (Matt. 20:26, 27; Mark 10:44). Nevertheless goods and truths are described by high things, because in heaven they are nearer the Highest, that is, the Lord. Moreover "towers" in the word are predicated of truths, but "mountains" of goods.4600.
And it came to pass, while Israel abode in this land. That this signifies when in this state, namely, of good from truth, is evident from the signification of "to abide," as being to live, for "to abide" signifies the like as "to dwell," but with the difference that "to abide" is predicated of truth, and "to dwell" of good (that "to dwell" denotes to be and to live, thus state, may be seen above, n. 3384); from the signification of "land," as being the church as to good (n. 566, 662, 1066, 1067, 1262, 1413, 1607, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2571, 2928, 3355, 4447, 4535), here as to the good of truth, the state of which (in which Israel now was) is what is signified.