This is an exposition of the internal or spiritual sense of the books of Genesis and Exodus, according to the law of correspondences. It unfolds the spiritual significance of the creation; of the stories of Adam and Eve, and of the deluge; of the lives of the patriarchs; of the captivity of the chosen people in Egypt and of their deliverance therefrom, and of their subsequent history; of the ritual of the Jewish religion, its sacrifices and observances:—and in general, traces the foreshadowing through both books of the incarnation and glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many passages from other parts of the Word are also fully explained. Relations of things heard and seen in the spiritual world are interspersed, explaining the process of dying, and of man's resuscitation and conscious entrance into the interior life; the nature of the soul; of heaven and heavenly joy;and of hell, its nature and its miseries. It also treats of the Grand Man, or the whole angelic heaven, and the correspondence of the societies therein with the different organs and senses of the body; the origin and correspondence of diseases; the spirits and inhabitants of the various planets, and of other earths in the starry heavens. All of which are related to a true understanding of the Divine Word. This is book #7 out of 12 and covers Genesis 39 - 43.
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Arcana Coelestia (Heavenly Arcana)
Volume 7: Genesis 39 - 43
Emanuel Swedenborg – A Biographical Primer
Arcana Coelestia, Volume 7
Arcana Coelestia, Vol. 7, E. Swedenborg
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9
By Thomas Hitchcock
Swedish philosopher, born in Stockholm, Jan. 29, 1688, died in London, England, March 29, 1772. He was the son of Jesper Swedberg, bishop of Skara, the name being changed to Swedenborg in 1719 on the occasion of the ennobling of the family. This advancement entitled him, as head of the family, to a seat in the house of nobles of the Swedish diet, but did not confer the title of baron, as has been supposed. Emanuel was educated at Upsal, completing his studies in 1709. After two years of travel in England, Holland, and France, he went to reside at Greifswald in Pomerania, then a Swedish town, and busied himself with scientific research. He also wrote some Latin fables, which were published under the title of Camena Borea. A collection of Latin poems, written by him during his travels, was also published about the same time in a volume entitled Ludus Heliconius. In 1716 he returned to Sweden and established a periodical called Dædalus Hyperboreus, devoted to mathematics and mechanics, which appeared irregularly for two years. During this time he had become intimate with Christopher Polhem, an eminent engineer, and Polhem introduced him to Charles XII., who appointed him assessor extraordinary of the college of mines, and associate engineer with Polhem. For two years Swedenborg maintained close personal relations with the king, and assisted him much in his military operations. During the siege of Frederickshald, at which Charles met his death, Swedenborg constructed, under Polhem's direction, the machines by which several vessels were transported overland from Strömstad to the Iddefiord, 14 miles. At the king's suggestion, it is said, Polhem betrothed his daughter to Swedenborg; but as the young lady preferred another man, Swedenborg relinquished his claim and never married. From 1717 to 1722 he published pamphlets on scientific subjects; among them one describing a method of determining longitude by means of the moon. In 1721 he made a short tour on the continent, visiting mines and smelting works. On his return in 1722 he was promoted to be full assessor of mines, and for the next 12 years he devoted himself to the duties of that office, refusing the professorship of mathematics at Upsal in 1724. In 1734 he published Opera Philosophica et Mineralia in three large folio volumes, illustrated with numerous plates, viz.: vol. i., Principia; vol. ii., De Ferro; vol. iii., De Cupro et Orichalco. In the same year also appeared his Prodromus de Infinito. In 1736 he began another tour of travel, which, with study and writing, occupied him for several years. In 1740-'41 he published his Œconomia Regni Animalis, in two parts, and in 1744-'5 his Regnum Animale, in three parts. Between 1729 and 1741 he was elected successively a member of the academy of sciences at Upsal, corresponding member of the imperial academy of sciences at St. Petersburg, and member of the academy of sciences at Stockholm. His series of scientific publications ended in 1745 with the treatise De Cultu et Amore Dei, &c., in which is set forth, under the form of a prose poem or allegory, his theory of the process of creation. Thereafter, as he says, he was called by God to the work of revealing to men a new system of religious truth. For that end he was permitted to converse with spirits and angels, and behold the wonders of the spiritual world. That he might be more free to perform his task, he resigned his assessorship, retaining half the salary by way of pension. He devoted himself first to the study of the Bible in the original, and then to the writing of books explanatory of his new doctrines, which were published entirely at his own expense. From 1749 to 1756 appeared the Arcana Cœlestia (8 vols. 4to), containing a commentary on Genesis and Exodus, interspersed with accounts of “wonderful things seen and heard in heaven and in hell.” This was followed in 1758 by the De Cœlo et Inferno, De Telluribus in Mundo, De Ultimo Judicio, De Nova Hierosolyma, and De Equo Albo. In 1763 were published the four doctrinal treatises: Doctrina Vitæ, De Fide, De Domino, and De Scriptura Sacra, with a Continuatio de Ultimo Judicio, and the treatise De Divino Amore et de Divina Sapientia. In 1764, the Divina Providentia appeared; in 1766, the Apocalypsis Revelata; in 1768, De Amore Conjugiali; in 1769, Summaria Expositio Doctrinæ and De Commercio Animæ et Corporis; and in 1771, the Vera Christiana Religio. Besides these, he left at his death an immense mass of manuscripts, of which the following have been since printed: Itinerarium, Clavis Hieroglyphica, Opuscula, Apocalypsis Explicata, Adversaria in Libros Veteris Testamenti, Diarium Spirituale, Index Biblicus, Sensus Internus Prophetarum et Psalmorum, Dicta Probantia, De Athanasio Symbolo, De Charitate, Canones, Coronis Veræ Christianæ Religionis, and Invitatio ad Novam Ecclesiam. Copies of a few of these manuscripts have recently been reproduced by the photolithographic process, by subscription, not so much for circulation as for the sake of preserving the contents of the originals from destruction by decay. — Swedenborg's manner of life was simple and modest. He spent much of his time, in later years, in Holland and England, for which countries he expressed great admiration on account of the freedom of speech and writing permitted there. He made no efforts to gain proselytes to his doctrines further than by printing and distributing his writings, and never referred to his intercourse with the spiritual world except when questioned. Several instances are reported of his obtaining information from departed souls respecting affairs unknown even to their families, and describing events in distant places in advance of news by the ordinary means of communication. It is related that, as he lay on his deathbed in London, Ferelius, a Swedish clergyman, solemnly adjured him to tell the truth in regard to his teachings. Swedenborg raised himself half upright in bed, and placing his hand on his breast said with emphasis: “As true as you see me before you, so true is everything I have written. I could have said more had I been permitted. When you come into eternity, you will see all things as I have stated and described them, and we shall have much to say concerning them to each other.” He then received the holy supper from Ferelius, and presented him with a copy of his Arcana Cœlestia. A day or two afterward he peacefully breathed his last. His body was buried in a vault of the Swedish church in Prince's square, a little east of the tower. A eulogium was pronounced upon him in the Swedish house of nobles in October, 1772, by Samuel Sandels, which accords him high praise, not merely for learning and talent, but also for uprightness and fidelity in the discharge of his duties as a public functionary. Several of his acquaintances have also left written testimony to his virtuous character. — Swedenborg's scientific works have long since ceased to be of practical value, but are still highly interesting as collections of facts, and as exhibiting their author's peculiar method of philosophizing. The system he followed was substantially that of Descartes, of whom he continued to the end of his life to speak with admiration, and this led him to conclusions resembling in some striking points those of Spinoza, who was likewise a Cartesian. His “Economy of the Animal Kingdom” is the best of his many productions anterior to his theological career. In it he attempts to deduce a knowledge of the soul from an anatomical and physiological knowledge of the body, and evolves many doctrines which he afterward elaborated in his theological works. Indeed, some of his disciples hold that his seership was the natural result of his intellectual and moral development, and by no means an abnormal condition of mind. According to his own account, it came upon him gradually, and neither astonished nor alarmed him, although in its early stages he was subject to great mental excitement, the phenomena of which may have given rise to exaggerated stories of his insanity. The works written by him subsequent to this change in his mind are quite as systematic and coherent as his earlier productions, and only his claim to a divine mission, and his frequent descriptions of what he saw and heard in the spiritual world, mark them as peculiar. They are consistent from first to last, and though they appeared at intervals during a period of 27 years, they nowhere deviate from the fundamental principles laid down at the outset. — The general features of Swedenborg's theology are presented in his treatise called the “True Christian Religion.” He teaches that God is one in essence and in person, and has been revealed to men as the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Lord is a trinity, not of persons but of principles, and it is these principles which are spoken of in the Scriptures as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Father is the divine love, the Son the divine wisdom, and the Holy Ghost the divine operation or energy acting upon the universe. The Lord is infinite, eternal, self-existent, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, and not only the creator but the sustainer of all creation, which without him would cease to exist. For the sake of redeeming mankind he assumed a natural body born of the Virgin Mary, and glorified it or made it divine, so that it is now invisible to men, and also usually to the angels except as the sun of heaven. Redemption consisted, not in suffering vicariously the punishment of men's sins (for that could not be done, and, if it could, would be useless), but in actual combats, by means of the assumed humanity, with the powers of hell, and overcoming them. This victory restored to man spiritual freedom, which had begun to be impaired by diabolic possessions as narrated in the Gospels, and enabled him to work out his salvation. This he does by looking to the Lord, with faith in him, by repentance, and above all by a life according to the commandments of the decalogue. The chief points that Swedenborg insists on in religion are faith in the Lord and the avoidance of evils as sins against him. Upon everything else, such as outward worship, prayer and meditation, and works of eleemosynary charity, he lays but little stress. The essence of charity is love to the neighbor and occupation in some useful employment. The Word, he says, is the divine truth itself, written to reveal the Lord to man and to serve as a medium of conjunction between earth and heaven. This Word consists of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Leviticus, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, the Psalms, the prophecies, the four Gospels, and the Apocalypse. The other books bound up with these in our Bibles are not the Word, although good and useful to the church. The distinction between the two consists in this: that the Word contains an internal or spiritual sense, which the rest of the Bible has not. This spiritual sense is symbolical, and may be discerned by the application of the law of symbolism resulting from the universal correspondence of natural with spiritual things. Thus, the garden of Eden and all things mentioned as existing in it symbolize the human soul and its affections and thoughts; and the disobedience of Adam and Eve, the alienation of mankind at a remote period from their original state of innocence. Hence, too, the decalogue forbids not merely outward sins, but the inward spiritual sins corresponding to them, and the Psalms and prophecies relate not merely to David and the Jews, but to experiences of the human soul independent of dates and localities. At the same time the literal sense alone can be relied on as a basis of doctrine, and Swedenborg is careful to cite it profusely in support of his teachings. The reason he gives for his mission is that the knowledge of true doctrine had been lost and the church destroyed by a false theology and accompanying evils of life. By the promulgation of the truth revealed to him a new church has been established by the Lord, and thus the prophecies in the Apocalypse of the descent of the New Jerusalem have been fulfilled in their symbolical sense. The second coming of the Lord, predicted in Matt, xxiv., has also been accomplished in the same way, a last judgment having been effected in the spiritual world in the year 1757, so that we are now living under a new dispensation. The treatise on “Heaven and Hell” embodies Swedenborg's teachings on the nature of those two realms, and their relations to this world. They exist, he says, not in some other region of space, but within the natural world, as the soul of man exists within his body, being in fact in the souls of men and resting in them as our souls rest in our bodies. At death the body, which is the material envelope of the soul, is cast aside, never to be resumed, and consequently its resurrection is not to be looked for. The soul is the man himself, and is a perfect human being, with a spiritual body of its own, and rises into a conscious perception of the spiritual world, of which the man had previously been unconsciously an inhabitant. He sees and feels and possesses all the other senses, and retains all his personal characteristics. After a longer or shorter preparation in an intermediate state called the world of spirits, which lies between heaven and hell, he is drawn by his own elective affinity to the place where he belongs, and remains there to eternity. Both heaven and hell consist of innumerable societies, each composed of human beings of similar and concordant affections; and both are divided into three distinct regions, according to the degrees of perfection or depravity of their inhabitants. The Arcana Cœlestia, Swedenborg's largest work, is mainly an exposition of the internal or symbolical sense of Genesis and Exodus, with accounts of his experiences in the spiritual world, and various doctrinal teachings interspersed between the chapters. “The Apocalypse Revealed” and “The Apocalypse Explained” are similar expositions of the Apocalypse. In his “Conjugial Love” Swedenborg expounds his doctrine of the relations of the sexes. Males, he says, are masculine and females feminine in soul as well as in body. The masculine element is love clothed with wisdom, while the feminine is wisdom clothed with love. Hence the characteristic of man is wisdom or understanding, and that of woman love or affection. Marriage is the conjunction of two souls who complement each other, and by their union make one complete being, just as the will and the understanding make the individual. Hence the only true marriage is of one man and one woman, and it exists in the next world as well as in this. Polygamy is a degraded state, but not a sin with those whose religion permits it; but adultery is destructive of the life of the soul, and closes heaven against those who confirm themselves in it. The treatises on the “Divine Love and Wisdom” and the “Divine Providence” embody Swedenborg's spiritual philosophy, and exhibit the symmetrical relations of the various parts of his religious system. Love, he says, is the life of man. God alone is Love itself and Life itself, and angels and men are but recipients of life from him. He is very Man, and our humanity is derived from him, so that it is literally true that we are created in his image and likeness. His infinite love clothes itself with infinite wisdom and manifests itself in ceaseless operation, producing, maintaining, and reproducing the boundless universe, with all its innumerable parts and inhabitants. In like manner men, being made in the image of God, also have love or the will, and wisdom or the understanding, and the two produce in them their finite operation. It being the nature of love to desire objects upon which to exercise itself, God could not but create the universe. The creation of this and other solar systems, all of which are inhabited, was effected by a spiritual sun, which is the first emanation proceeding from God, and which is seen in the spiritual world as our sun is seen by us. By means of this spiritual sun natural suns were created, and from them atmospheres, waters, earths, plants, animals, and finally man. Angels, spirits, and devils are men who have been born and died on this or some similar planet. Hence, all things were created from God, and not out of nothing. The spiritual world is related to the natural as cause is to effect, and the supreme first cause of all is God himself. These three, end, cause, and effect, constitute three distinct or discrete degrees, which are repeated in various forms in all created things, and on a grand scale in the universe as a whole. Creation, being from God, is, like the individual man, an image of him, and hence is in the human form in its greatest and least parts, and with more or less approximation to perfection. As we are finitely men, because God is an infinite Man, so all animals, plants, and even minerals wear a resemblance to man, and throughout all nature there is an incessant effort to evolve the human form. In the sight of God and the angels, larger and smaller bodies of human beings and the societies of heaven and hell appear organized like men, and Swedenborg calls the universe the Grand Man (Maximus Homo). As infinite love was the end and infinite wisdom the cause of creation, so the divine life and power are constantly active in sustaining and directing it. This activity is the Divine Providence, and it reaches to every smallest particular of nature and humanity. Man has freedom, because without it he could not be an adequate recipient of the divine love, and by the abuse of his freedom he has introduced evil into the world. The Divine Providence seeks, without destroying this freedom, to lead man back to his original integrity. Hence all the wonderful dealings of God with man recorded in the Scriptures; hence the incarnation; and hence the various forms of religion which exist in the world, all of which embody more or less the essentials of salvation, namely, the worship of God and abstinence from evils as sins against him. The smaller treatises of Swedenborg are mostly extracts from his larger works, with amplifications and additions. — The fullest account of him and his writings is that of William White (2 vols., London, 1867, since republished in one volume). See, also, “Documents concerning Swedenborg,” by R. L. Tafel (London, 1875 et seq.). All of his theological and some of his scientific works have been translated into English. The theological works have also been reprinted in Latin by Dr. J. F. I. Tafel, of Tübingen, Germany, and partially translated and published in French, German, Italian, Danish, and Swedish. Societies for promoting their circulation are in operation both in the United States and in Europe. The principal writers who have undertaken the exposition of Swedenborg's doctrines in England are John Clowes, Robert Hindmarsh, C. A. Tulk, Samuel Noble, J. J. G. Wilkinson, and Jonathan Bayley; in France, E. Richer and J. F. Les Boys-des-Guays; and in the United States, George Bush, Theophilus Parsons, E. H. Sears, Henry James, B. F. Barrett, W. B. Hayden, and Chauncey Giles. For an account of the ecclesiastical organization based upon Swedenborg's doctrines.
In the prefatory remarks to the preceding chapter, the Lord's words in Matthew 25, verses 31 to 33, concerning the Judgment upon the good and the evil were unfolded (see n. 4807-4810). There now come to be unfolded the words which there follow in order, namely: Then shall the king say to them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry, and ye gave Me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and ye gathered Me; naked, and ye clothed Me; I was sick, and ye visited Me; I was in prison, and ye came unto Me (Matt. 25:34-36).
What these words involve in the internal sense will appear from what follows. Be it known in the first place that the works here enumerated are the very works of charity in their order. This no one can see who is not acquainted with the internal sense of the Word, that is, who does not know what is meant by giving the hungry to eat, giving the thirsty to drink, gathering the stranger, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, and coming unto those who are in prison. He who thinks of these acts from the sense of the letter only, infers that they mean good works in the external form, and that there is nothing secret in them beyond this; and yet there is something secret in each of them, which is Divine, because from the Lord. But the secret is not at this day understood, because at this day there are no doctrinals of charity; for ever since men have separated charity from faith, these doctrinals have perished, and in place of them the doctrinals of faith have been invented and received, which do not at all teach what charity is and what the neighbor. The doctrinals existing among the ancients taught all the genera and all the species of charity, and also who the neighbor is toward whom charity is to be exercised, and how one is the neighbor in a different degree and in a different respect from another, and consequently how the exercise of charity varies in its application toward different persons. They also grouped the neighbor together into classes, and assigned them names, calling some the poor, needy, miserable, afflicted; some the blind, lame, halt, and also fatherless and widows; and others the hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick, bound, and so on; thus knowing what duty they owed toward one and toward another. But as before said these doctrinals perished, and with them the understanding of the Word, insomuch that no one at this day knows otherwise than that by the "poor," the "widows," and the "fatherless," in the Word, none other are meant than they who are so called; in like manner here by the "hungry," the "thirsty," the "strangers," the "naked," the "sick," and those who are "in prison;" when yet by these charity is described such as it is in its essence, and the exercise of it such as it must be in its life.
The essence of charity toward the neighbor is the affection of good and truth, and the acknowledgment of self as being evil and false; yea, the neighbor is good and truth itself, and to be affected by these is to have charity. The opposite to the neighbor is evil and falsity, which are held in aversion by one who has charity. He therefore who has charity toward the neighbor is affected by good and truth, because they are from the Lord, and holds in aversion what is evil and what is false because these are from self; and when he does this, he is in humiliation from self-acknowledgment, and when he is in humiliation, he is in a state of reception of good and truth from the Lord. These are the characteristics of charity which in the internal sense are involved in these words of the Lord: "I was hungry, and ye gave Me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and ye gathered Me; naked, and ye clothed Me; I was sick, and ye visited Me; I was in prison, and ye came unto Me." That these words involve such things, no one can know except from the internal sense. The ancients, who had the doctrinals of charity, knew these things; but at this day they appear so remote that everyone will wonder at its being said that these things are within. Moreover, the angels who are with man perceive these words no otherwise, for by the "hungry" they perceive those who from affection desire good; by the "thirsty," those who from affection desire truth; by a "stranger," those who are willing to be instructed; by the "naked," those who acknowledge that there is nothing of good and of truth in themselves; by the "sick," those who acknowledge that in themselves there is nothing but evil; and by the "bound," or those who are "in prison," those who acknowledge that in themselves there is nothing but falsity. If these things are reduced into one meaning, they signify what has been stated just above.
From all this it is evident that there were Divine things within everything the Lord said, although to those who are in merely worldly things, and especially to those who are in bodily things, His words appear to be such as any man might say. Nay, they who are in bodily things will say of these and all other words of the Lord, that they have not so much grace, and therefore not so much weight, as the discourse and preaching of those of the present age who speak with eloquence and learning; when yet their discourse and preaching are like the husk and chaff in comparison with the kernel and grain.
That "to hunger" is from affection to desire good, is because "bread" in the internal sense is the good of love and of charity, and "food" in general is good (n. 2165, 2177, 3478, 4211, 4217, 4735). That "to thirst" is from affection to desire truth, is because "wine" and also "water" denote the truth of faith (that it is so with "wine," see above n. 1071, 1798; and with "water," n. 2702). That a "stranger" is one who is willing to be instructed, may also be seen above (n. 1463, 4444). That the "naked" means one who acknowledges that there is nothing of good or truth in himself, the "sick" one who acknowledges that he is in evil, and the "bound," or he that is "in prison," one who acknowledges that he is in falsity, is plain from the many passages in the Word in which they are mentioned.
The reason why the Lord says these things of Himself is that He is in those who are such, and therefore He also says: Verily I say unto you, Insofar as ye have done it to one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it to Me (Matt. 25:40). GENESIS 39 1. And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar bought him, Pharaoh's chamberlain, prince of the guards, an Egyptian man, of the hand of the Ishmaelites, who had brought him down thither. 2. And Jehovah was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his lord the Egyptian. 3. And his lord saw that Jehovah was with him, and that Jehovah made all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4. And Joseph found grace in his eyes, and he ministered to him; and he set him over his house, and all that he had he gave into his hand. 5. And it came to pass from the time that he set him over in his house, and over all that he had, that Jehovah blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of Jehovah was in all that he had, in the house and in the field. 6. And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not aught that was with him, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was beautiful in form, and beautiful in look. 7. And it came to pass after these words that his lord's wife lifted up her eyes to Joseph, and she said, Lie with me. 8. And he refused, and said unto his lord's wife, Behold, my lord knoweth not what is with me in the house, and all that he hath he hath given into my hand. 9. He is not greater in this house than I; and he hath not withheld from me anything but thee, because thou art his wife; and how shall I do this great evil, and sin to God? 10. And it came to pass as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, to be with her. 11. And it came to pass on a certain day when he went into the house to do his work; and no man of the men of the house was there in the house. 12. And she caught hold of him in his garment, saying, Lie with me; and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. 13. And it came to pass when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, 14. That she cried unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought us a Hebrew man to mock us; he came to me to lie with me, and I cried with a great voice; 15. And it came to pass when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment by me, and fled, and got him out. 16. And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came to his house. 17. And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant whom thou hast brought unto us, came unto me to mock me; 18. And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment by me, and fled out. 19. And it came to pass when his lord heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, According to these words did thy servant to me; that his anger was kindled. 20. And Joseph's lord took him, and put him into the prison house, the place where the king's bound ones were bound; and he was there in the prison house. 21. And Jehovah was with Joseph, and inclined mercy unto him, and gave him grace in the eyes of the prince of the prison house. 22. And the prince of the prison house gave into Joseph's hand all the bound ones that were in the prison house; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer. 23. The prince of the prison house saw naught of anything that was in his hand, because Jehovah was with him; and that which he did, Jehovah made it to prosper.
THE CONTENTS. In the internal sense here the subject treated of is the Lord, how He made His internal man Divine. "Jacob" was the external man, as described in the preceding chapters; "Joseph" is the internal man, as described in this and the following chapters.
And because this was done according to Divine order, this order is here described; and also temptation, which is the means of conjunction.
THE INTERNAL SENSE. Verse 1. And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar bought him, Pharaoh's chamberlain, prince of the guards, an Egyptian man, of the hand of the Ishmaelites, who had brought him down thither. "And Joseph," signifies the celestial of the spiritual from the rational; "was brought down to Egypt," signifies to the memory-knowledges of the church; "and Potiphar bought him, Pharaoh's chamberlain," signifies that it was among the interior things of memory-knowledges; "prince of the guards," signifies those which are primary for interpretation; "an Egyptian man," signifies natural truth; "of the hand of the Ishmaelites," signifies from simple good; "who had brought him down thither," signifies the descent from that good to these memory-knowledges.
And Joseph. That this signifies the celestial of the spiritual from the rational, is evident from the representation of Joseph, as being the celestial spiritual man that is from the rational (n. 4286); here therefore, because it treats of the Lord, Joseph represents the Lord's internal man. Everyone who is born a man is external and internal; his external is that which is seen with the eyes, and by which he is in company with men, and by which the things proper to the natural world are done; and the internal is that which is not seen with the eyes, and by which man is in company with spirits and angels, and by which the things proper to the spiritual world are done. The reason why every man has an internal and an external, or is an internal and an external man, is that through man there may be a conjunction of heaven with the world; for heaven flows in through the internal man into the external, and thereby perceives what is in the world; and the external man which is in the world thence perceives what is in heaven. It is to this end that man has been so created. In respect to His Human the Lord also had an external and an internal, because it pleased Him to be born like other men. The external (that is, His external man) was represented by Jacob, and afterward by Israel; but His internal man is represented by Joseph. This internal man is what is called the celestial spiritual from the rational; or what is the same thing, the Lord's internal, which was human, was the celestial of the spiritual from the rational. This, and the glorification of it, are treated of in the internal sense of this and the following chapters wherein Joseph is treated of. But what the celestial of the spiritual from the rational is has been explained above (n. 4286, 4585, 4592, 4594), namely, that it is above the celestial of the spiritual from the natural, which is represented by Israel. The Lord was indeed born as are other men, but it is known that he who is born a man derives what is his from both the father and the mother, and that he has his inmost from the father, but his exteriors (that is, the things which clothe this inmost) from the mother. Both that which he derives from the father, and that which he derives from the mother, are defiled with hereditary evil. But it was different with the Lord: that which He derived from the mother in like manner had in it an heredity such as is that of any other man; but that which He derived from the Father, who was Jehovah, was Divine. For this reason the Lord's internal man was not like the internal of another man; for His inmost was Jehovah. This is therefore the intermediate which is called the celestial of the spiritual from the rational. But concerning this, of the Lord's Divine mercy more will be said in the following pages.
Was brought down to Egypt. That this signifies to the memory-knowledges of the church is evident from the signification of "Egypt" as being memory-knowledge (that is, memory-knowledge in general), treated of in n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462; but what the nature of that memory-knowledge was which is properly signified by "Egypt," has not as yet been explained. In the Ancient Church there were doctrinal things and there were memory-knowledges. The doctrinal things treated of love to God and of charity toward the neighbor; but the memory-knowledges treated of the correspondences of the natural world with the spiritual world, and of the representatives of spiritual and celestial things in things natural and earthly. Such were the memory-knowledges of those who were in the Ancient Church. Egypt was one of those countries and kingdoms where the Ancient Church was (1238, 2385); but as in Egypt it was chiefly memory-knowledges that were handed down to posterity, therefore such knowledge in general is signified by "Egypt;" and it is for this reason also that Egypt is so often treated of in the prophetic Word, and by it such knowledge is specifically meant. The very magic of the Egyptians also had its origin thence; for they were acquainted with the correspondences of the natural world with the spiritual, and afterward, when the church among them was at an end, these correspondences were abused by being turned to magical things. Now because they had such knowledges (that taught correspondences, and also representatives and significatives) and as these knowledges were of service to the doctrinal things of the church, especially to the understanding of those things which were said in their Word (that the Ancient Church had a Word both prophetic and historic, similar to the present Word, but yet a different one, can be seen in n. 2686); therefore by "being brought down to Egypt" is signified to the memory-knowledges of the church. As the Lord is represented by Joseph, its being here said that Joseph was "brought down to Egypt," signifies that when the Lord glorified His internal man, that is made it Divine, He was first imbued with the memory-knowledges of the church, and from and by them advanced to things more and more interior, and at last even to those which are Divine. For it pleased Him to glorify Himself, that is, to make Himself Divine, according to the same order as that in which He regenerates man, that is, makes him spiritual (n. 3138, 3212, 3296, 3490, 4402), namely, from external things, which are memory-knowledges and the truths of faith, successively to internal things, which are of charity toward the neighbor and of love to Him. From this it is plain what is signified by the following words in Hosea: When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt (Hos. 11:1); that these words were spoken of the Lord can be seen in Matthew 2:15.
And Potiphar bought him, Pharaoh's chamberlain. That this signifies that it was among the interior things of memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of "Pharaoh's chamberlain," as being the interior things of memory-knowledges (see n. 4789); his "buying" signifies that he ascribed these things to himself (n. 4397, 4487). The interior things of memory-knowledges are those which approach more nearly to spiritual things, and are applications of memory-knowledges to heavenly things; for these are what the internal man sees, when the external only sees the memory-knowledges in the outward form.
Prince of the guards. That this signifies those which are primary for interpretation, is evident from the signification of "prince of the guards," as being things primary for interpretation (n. 4790): things primary for interpretation are those which primarily conduce to the interpretation of the Word, and thus to the understanding of the doctrinal things of love to God and of charity toward the neighbor, which are from the Word. Be it known that the memory-knowledges of the ancients were altogether different from those of the present day. As before said the memory-knowledges of the ancients treated of the correspondence of things in the natural world with things in the spiritual world. The memory-knowledges which are now called philosophy, such as that of Aristotle and others like him, were unknown to them. This is evident also from the books of the ancient writers, most of which were written in language that signified, represented, and corresponded to interior things, as is evident from the following instances, not to mention others. They located Helicon on a mountain, and by it they meant heaven; they gave to Parnassus a place below on a hill, by which they meant memory-knowledges, where they said that a flying horse, called Pegasus, broke open a fountain with his hoof; the sciences they called virgins, with other such traditions. For they knew from correspondences and representatives that a mountain denotes heaven; a hill, that heaven which is beneath, or which is with man; a horse, the understanding; the wings with which he flew, spiritual things; a hoof, the natural mind; a fountain, intelligence; the three virgins who were called the Graces, affections of good; and the virgins who were called the Muses, affections of truth. So also they assigned to the sun horses, the food of which they called ambrosia, and their drink, nectar; for they knew that the sun signified celestial love, horses the intellectual things therefrom; and that food signifies celestial things, and drink spiritual things. From the ancients also there still survives the custom for kings at their coronation to sit upon a silver throne, to be clothed with a crimson robe, to be anointed with oil, to wear a crown on the head, and to carry a scepter, sword, and keys in their hands, to ride in royal pomp upon a white horse whose hoofs are shod with silver, and to be waited on at table by the chiefs of the kingdom, with other ceremonies; for they knew that a king represented Divine truth which is from Divine good, and hence they knew what is signified by a silver throne, a crimson robe, anointing oil, a crown, a scepter, a sword, keys, a white horse, hoofs shod with silver, and being waited on by chief men. Who at this day knows these significations, and where are the knowledges that teach them? Men call such things emblems, not knowing anything whatever about correspondence and representation. From all this it is evident of what nature were the knowledges of the ancients, and that they brought them into a knowledge of spiritual and heavenly things which at this day are scarcely known to exist. The knowledges which succeeded those of the ancients, and are properly called philosophy, rather draw away the mind from the knowledge of such things, because they can also be applied to the confirmation of falsities; and moreover when truths are confirmed by means of them, they plunge the mind into darkness, because they are for the most part bare expressions, whereby confirmations are effected which are comprehended by few, and regarding which even these few are not agreed. From this it is evident how far mankind has receded from the erudition of the ancients, which led to wisdom. The Gentiles received those knowledges from the Ancient Church, the external worship of which consisted in representatives and significatives, and the internal in those things which were represented and signified. These were the knowledges which, in the genuine sense, are signified by "Egypt."
An Egyptian man. That this signifies natural truth, is evident from the signification of a "man," as being truth (see n. 3134); and from the signification of "Egypt," as being memory-knowledge in general, treated of just above (n. 4964, 4966); and because "Egypt" is memory-knowledge, it is also the natural; for all the memory-knowledge in man is natural, because it is in his natural man, even the memory-knowledge concerning spiritual and celestial things. The reason of this is that man sees these knowledges in the natural, and from it; and those which he does not see from the natural, he does not apprehend. But the regenerate man, who is called spiritual, and the unregenerate man, who is merely natural, see these knowledges in different ways; with the former the knowledges are enlightened by the light of heaven, but with the latter not so, but by the light which flows in through spirits who are in falsity and evil; which light is indeed from the light of heaven, but becomes in them opaque, like the light of evening or of night; for such spirits, and hence such men, see as owls-clearly at night, and obscurely in the daytime, that is, they see falsities clearly and truths obscurely; and hence see clearly the things of the world, and obscurely, if at all, the things of heaven. From these considerations it is evident that genuine memory-knowledge is natural truth; for all genuine memory-knowledge, such as is signified by "Egypt" in a good sense, is natural truth.
Of the hand of the Ishmaelites. That this signifies from simple good, is evident from the representation of the Ishmaelites, as being those who are in simple good (see n. 3263, 4747), here therefore the natural truth which is from simple good. In chapter 37, verse 36, it is so said that the Midianites sold Joseph into Egypt unto Potiphar, Pharaoh's chamberlain, prince of the guards; but here it is said that Potiphar, Pharaoh's chamberlain, prince of the guards, bought him of the hand of the Ishmaelites, who had brought him down thither. This way of speaking is used for the sake of the internal sense; for in the first instance the alienation of Divine truth is treated of, which is not wrought by those who are in simple good, but by those who are in simple truth, who are represented by the Midianites (see n. 4788); but here it treats of the acquisition or attainment of memory-knowledges, and of the natural truth which is from simple good; and therefore it is said "of the Ishmaelites," for these represent those who are in simple good. From this it is plain that it is so said for the sake of the internal sense. Nor is there any contradiction in the historical narrative; for it is said of the Midianites that they drew Joseph out of the pit, and consequently that they delivered him to the Ishmaelites, by whom he was brought down into Egypt; thus that as the Midianites delivered him up to the Ishmaelites who were going to Egypt, they sold him into Egypt.
Who had brought him down thither. That this signifies the descent from that good to these memory-knowledges, is evident from the representation of the Ishmaelites, who brought him down, as being those who are in simple good (treated of just above, n. 4968); and from the signification of "Egypt," which is meant by "thither," as being memory-knowledge in general (of which just above, n. 4964, 4966). It is said "go down," because memory-knowledges are treated of, which are exterior; for in the Word to go from interior to exterior things is called "going down," but from exterior to interior "going up" (n. 3084, 4539).
Verses 2-6. And Jehovah was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his lord the Egyptian. And his lord saw that Jehovah was with him, and that Jehovah made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his eyes, and he ministered to him; and he set him over his house, and all that he had he gave into his hand. And it came to pass from the time that he set him over in his house, and over all that he had, that Jehovah blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of Jehovah was in all that he had, in the house and in the field. And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not aught that was with him, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was beautiful in form, and beautiful in look. "And Jehovah was with Joseph," signifies that the Divine was in the celestial of the spiritual; "and he was a prosperous man," signifies that all things were provided; "and he was in the house of his lord the Egyptian," signifies that it might be initiated into natural good; "and his lord saw that Jehovah was with him," signifies that it was perceived in natural good that the Divine was therein; "and that Jehovah made all that he did to prosper in his hand," signifies that all things were of the Divine providence; "and Joseph found grace in his eyes," signifies that it was accepted; "and he ministered to him," signifies that the memory-knowledge was appropriated to its good; "and he set him over his house," signifies that good applied itself thereto; "and all that he had he gave into his hand," signifies that all that belonged to it was as it were in its power; "and it came to pass from the time that he set him over in his house, and over all that he had," signifies a second state after good applied itself thereto, and all that belonged to it was as it were in its power; "that Jehovah blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake," signifies that from the Divine it then had the celestial natural; "and the blessing of Jehovah," signifies increase; "was in all that he had, in the house and in the field," signifies in life and in doctrine; "and he left all that he had in Joseph's hand," signifies that it appeared as if all things were in its power; "and he knew not aught that was with him, save the bread which he did eat" signifies that good was thence made its own; "and Joseph was beautiful in form," signifies the good of life thence derived; "and beautiful in look," signifies the truth of faith thence derived.
And Jehovah was with Joseph. That this signifies that the Divine was in the celestial of the spiritual, is evident from the representation of Joseph, as being the celestial of the spiritual from the rational (of which above, n. 4963); and because the subject treated of is the Lord here as to the internal man in His Human - by "Jehovah was with him" is signified that the Divine was therein; for the Divine was in His Human, because He was conceived of Jehovah. In the case of the angels, the Divine is not in them, but is present with them, because they are only forms recipient of the Divine from the Lord.
And he was a prosperous man. That this signifies that all things were provided, is evident from the signification of "being prosperous," when said of the Lord, as being that it was provided, namely, that He should be enriched with all good.
And he was in the house of his lord the Egyptian. That this signifies that it might be initiated into natural good, is evident from the signification of a "lord," as being good, of which presently; and from the signification of an "Egyptian," as being memory-knowledge in general, and hence the natural (see n. 4967). That to be "in a house" is to be initiated, is because a "house" is the mind in which good is (see n. 3538), here the natural mind; and moreover "house" is predicated of good (n. 3652, 3720). There is in man a natural mind and a rational mind; the natural mind is in his external man, the rational mind in his internal. Memory-knowledges are the truths of the natural mind, which are said to be "in their house" when they are conjoined there with good; for good and truth constitute together one house, as husband and wife. But the goods and truths here treated of are interior; for they correspond to the celestial of the spiritual from the rational, which is represented by Joseph. The interior corresponding truths in the natural mind are applications to uses, and the interior goods therein are uses. The name "Lord" is often used in the Word; and one who has no knowledge of the internal sense supposes that nothing more is meant by it than what is meant by the use of this term in common speech; but "Lord" is never used in the Word except where good is treated of, and the same is true of "Jehovah;" but when truth is treated of, "God" and "King" are used. For this reason by a "lord" is signified good, as is evident from the following passages. In Moses: Jehovah your God, He is God of gods, and Lord of lords (Deut. 10:17). In David: Confess ye to Jehovah. Confess ye to the God of gods. Confess ye to the Lord of lords (Ps. 136:1-3); where Jehovah or the Lord is called "God of gods" from the Divine truth which proceeds from Him, and "Lord of lords" from the Divine good which is in Him. So in the Revelation: The Lamb shall overcome them; for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings (Rev. 17:14). And again: He that sat upon the white horse hath upon His vesture and upon His thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16); that the Lord is here called "King of kings" from Divine truth, and "Lord of lords" from Divine good, is plain from the particulars; the "name written" is His quality (n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2724, 3006); the "vesture" on which it was written is the truth of faith (n. 1073, 2576, 4545, 4763); the "thigh" on which also that quality was written, is the good of love (n. 3021, 4277, 4280, 4575). From this also it is plain that the Lord from Divine truth is called "King of kings" and from Divine good "Lord of lords." (That the Lord is called "King" from Divine truth may be seen above, n. 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670, 4581.) From this it is also clear what is meant by the "Lord's Christ," in Luke: Answer was made to Simeon by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, until he had seen the Lord's Christ (Luke 2:26); the "Lord's Christ" is the Divine truth of the Divine good; for "Christ" is the same as "Messiah," and "Messiah" is the "Anointed" or "King" (n. 3008, 3009). "The Lord" here is Jehovah. In the Word of the New Testament the name "Jehovah" is nowhere used; but instead of it "Lord" and "God" (n. 2921); as also in Luke: Jesus said, How say they that the Christ is David's Son? for David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand (Luke 20:41-42). The same passage reads thus in David: The saying of Jehovah unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand (Ps. 110:1). It is plain that "Jehovah" in David is called "Lord" in the Evangelist. "Lord" there denotes the Divine good of the Divine Human; omnipotence is signified by "sitting at the right hand" (n. 3387, 4592, 4933e). When the Lord was in the world He was Divine truth; but when He was glorified, that is, when He had made the Human in Himself Divine, He became Divine good, from which thereafter Divine truth proceeds. For this reason the disciples after the resurrection did not call Him "Master," as before, but "Lord," as is evident in John (21:7, 12, 15-17, 20), and also in the rest of the Evangelists. The Divine truth, which the Lord was when in the world, and which thereafter proceeds from Him, that is, from the Divine good, is called also "the angel of the covenant," in Malachi: The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple, and the Angel of the covenant whom ye desire (Mal. 3:1). As Divine good is meant by "Lord," and Divine truth by "King," therefore where the Lord is spoken of as having dominion and a kingdom, "dominion" is predicated of Divine good, and a "kingdom" of Divine truth, and therefore also the Lord is called "Lord of nations," and "King of peoples;" for by "nations" are signified those who are in good, and by "peoples" those who are in truth (n. 1259, 1260, 1849, 3581). Good is called a "lord" relatively to a servant, and it is called a "father" relatively to a son-as in Malachi: A son honoreth his father, and a servant his lord; if then I be a father, where is My honor; and if I be a lord, where is My fear? (Mal. 1:6). And in David: Joseph was sold for a servant. The discourse of Jehovah proved him. The king sent and loosed him, the ruler of nations opened for him, he set him lord of his house, and ruler in all his possession (Ps. 105:17, 19-21); that by "Joseph" here is meant the Lord, is evident from the several particulars; the "lord" here is the Divine good of the Divine Human.
And his lord saw that Jehovah was with him. That this signifies that it was perceived in natural good that the Divine was therein, is evident from the signification of "seeing," as being understanding and perceiving (n. 2150, 3764, 4339, 4567, 4723); and from the signification of "lord," as being good (as shown just above, n. 4973), here natural good, because it is an Egyptian who is here the "lord." That the Divine was therein, is signified by Jehovah being with him (as above, n. 4971).
And that Jehovah made all that he did to prosper in his hand. That this signifies that all things were of the Divine providence, is evident from the signification of "being made to prosper" as being to be provided (of which above, n. 4972). Hence "Jehovah's making it to prosper in his hand" denotes the Divine providence. 4975a. And Joseph found grace in his eyes. That this signifies that it was accepted, namely, by natural good, which is signified by his "lord," is evident from the signification of "finding grace in one's sight," as being to be accepted. It is said "in the eyes," because grace is predicated of the understanding, and this is signified by the "eyes" (see n. 2701, 3820, 4526).
And he ministered unto him. That this signifies that the memory-knowledge was appropriated to its good, is evident from the signification of "ministering," as being to be of service by supplying that which another needs, here to be appropriated, because the subject treated of is natural good to which memory-knowledge was to be appropriated. Moreover, "to minister" is predicated of memory-knowledges; for in the Word by a "minister" and by a "servant" is signified memory-knowledge or natural truth, because this is subordinate to good, as to its lord. Memory-knowledge relatively to the delight of the natural man, or what is the same thing, natural truth relatively to its good, is circumstanced exactly as is water to bread, or drink to food. Water or drink causes bread and food to be diluted, so that they may be conveyed into the blood, and thence into all parts of the body, to nourish them; for without water or drink, bread or food is not resolved into its minute particles, nor is it distributed for use. The same is true of memory-knowledge relatively to delight, or of truth relatively to good; and therefore good has an appetite for and desires truth, and this for the sake of its use in ministering to and being of service to itself. Moreover, they correspond in a similar way, for in the other life man is not nourished by any natural food and drink, but by spiritual food and drink. Spiritual food is good, and spiritual drink is truth; and therefore when "bread" or "food" is mentioned in the Word, the angels understand spiritual bread or food, that is, the good of love and of charity; and when "water" or "drink" is mentioned, they understand spiritual water or drink, that is, the truth of faith. From this we can see what the truth of faith is without the good of charity, and also in what way the former without the latter can nourish the internal man, that is to say in the same way as water or drink alone can nourish without bread and food, for it is known that the result of this is emaciation and death.
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