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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 #8 out of 12 and covers Genesis 43 - 50.
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Arcana Coelestia (Heavenly Arcana)
Volume 8: Genesis 44 - 50
Emanuel Swedenborg – A Biographical Primer
Arcana Coelestia, Volume 8
Arcana Coelestia, Vol. 8, 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.
The Contents The subject treated of in this chapter in the internal sense is the intermediate between the internal celestial man and the external natural man; and first that the internal celestial man filled the intermediate with spiritual truth from itself. The intermediate is "Benjamin," the spiritual truth with it is "Joseph's silver cup," the internal celestial man is "Joseph," and the external natural man is the "ten sons of Jacob."
The subject next treated of is the temptation of the external natural man, which continues until there is willing submission to the internal celestial. The temptation is described by their being accused, and by their returning in despair to Joseph. The willing submission is described by their all offering themselves for servants, and Judah's offering himself in their stead. The conjunction of the external man with the internal is not accomplished without temptation and willing submission.
In the representative historic sense the subject here treated of is Jacob's descendants, that they were rejected, but that they obstinately insisted on being representative. Their being rejected is meant by Joseph's desiring to send them away, and to keep Benjamin only; their obstinately insisting is involved in the particulars of their confession and entreaty.
The Internal Sense Verses 1, 2. And he commanded him that was over his house, saying, Fill the men's bags with food, as much as they can carry, and put everyone's silver in his bag's mouth. And put my cup, the silver cup, in the bag's mouth of the youngest, and his grain silver. And he did according to the word of Joseph that he had spoken. "And he commanded him that was over his house, saying," signifies influx from himself; "Fill the men's bags with food," signifies into the natural with the good of truth; "as much as they can carry," signifies to sufficiency; "and put everyone's silver in his bag's mouth," signifies together with truth anew in the exterior natural; "and put my cup, the silver cup, in the bag's mouth of the youngest," signifies interior truth bestowed on the intermediate; "and his grain silver," signifies the truth of good; "and he did according to the word of Joseph that he had spoken," signifies that it was so done.
And he commanded him that was over his house, saying. That this signifies influx from himself, is evident from the signification of "commanding," as being influx (n. 5486); and from the signification of "him that was over his house," as being which communicated. That it was from himself, namely, from the internal celestial, which Joseph represents, is plain. That "to command" is influx, is because in heaven no one is commanded or ordered; but thought is communicated, and the other acts willingly in accordance therewith. Communication of thought together with a desire which wills that something be done, is influx, and on the part of the recipient is perception, and therefore by "commanding" is signified also perception (n. 3661, 3682). Moreover in heaven they not only think, but also talk together, but about things of wisdom; yet in their conversation there is nothing of command from one to another, for no one desires to be master and thereby to look upon another as a servant; but everyone desires to minister to and serve the others. From this it is plain what form of government there is in the heavens, which is described by the Lord in Matthew: It shall not be so among you; but whosoever would become great among you should be your minister, and whosoever would be first should be your servant (Matt. 20:26, 27); and again: He that is greatest among you shall be your minister. Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled, and whosoever shall humble himself shall be exalted (Matt. 23:11, 12). He does this who loves his neighbor from the heart, or who feels delight and blessedness in doing good to others for no selfish end; that is, who has charity toward the neighbor.
Fill the men's bags with food. That this signifies into the natural with the good of truth, is evident from the signification of a "bag," as being the exterior natural (see n. 5497); and from the signification of "food," as being the good of truth (n. 5340, 5342, 5410, 5426, 5487, 5582, 5588, 5655). From this it is plain that by his "commanding him that was over his house to fill the men's bags with food" is signified influx from himself into the natural with the good of truth. As the expressions "good of truth" and "truth of good" frequently occur, the difference between them shall be stated. He who does not know what the celestial church is relatively to the spiritual church, cannot possibly know this difference. The truth of good is of the celestial church, and the good of truth is of the spiritual church. With those who were of the celestial church, good was implanted in the will part, which is the proper seat of good, and from this good, that is, through this good from the Lord, they had a perception of truth; hence they had the truth of good. But with those who are of the spiritual church, good is implanted in the intellectual part by means of truth, for all truth is of the intellectual part, and through truth they are led to good, to do truth being their good; hence they have the good of truth. The latter is properly predicated of those who are of the spiritual church; yet the truth of good, although not properly, is also predicated of them, of which more will be said elsewhere.
As much as they can carry. That this signifies to sufficiency, may be seen without explication.
And put everyone's silver in his bag's mouth. That this signifies together with truth anew in the exterior natural, is evident from the signification of "silver," as being truth (see n. 1551, 2954, 5658); and from the signification of the "bag's mouth," as being the threshold of the exterior natural (see n. 5497). (What the exterior natural is, and what the interior, may be seen above, n. 4570, 5118, 5126, 5497, 5649.) That it is truth anew, is because silver was once before placed in their bag's mouth (chap. 42:25, 27, 28, 35).
And put my cup, the silver cup, in the bag's mouth of the youngest. That this signifies interior truth bestowed on the intermediate, is evident from the signification of a "silver cup," as being the truth of faith that is from the good of charity (see n. 5120), and because it is called "my cup," that is, Joseph's, it is interior truth (as Benjamin represents the intermediate, also as to truth, he represents interior truth, n. 5600, 5631, thus spiritual truth, n. 5639); from the signification of the "bag's mouth," when predicated of Benjamin as the intermediate, as being where it is adjoined to the natural; for an intermediate to be an intermediate communicates with the external and with the internal (n. 5411, 5413, 5586), its exterior here being the natural; and from the representation of Benjamin, who is here the "youngest," as being the intermediate (n. 5411, 5413, 5443, 5688). From these things it is plain what is signified by Joseph's putting his silver cup in Benjamin's bag.
And his grain silver. That this signifies the truth of good, is evident from the signification of "silver," as being truth (see n. 1551, 2954, 5658); and from the signification of "grain," as being good (n. 5295, 5410); for the interior or spiritual truth which proceeds from the internal celestial, which is "Joseph," is the truth of good. (What the truth of good is, may be seen just above, n. 5733.)
And he did according to the word of Joseph that he had spoken. That this signifies that it was so done, is evident without explication.
Verses 3-5. The morning grew light, and the men were sent away, they and their asses. They were gone out of the city, not yet far off, and Joseph said unto him that was over his house, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore do ye return evil for good? Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and in which divining he divineth? Ye have done evil in so doing. "The morning grew light," signifies a state of enlightenment at that time; "and the men were sent away, they and their asses," signifies that the external natural man was removed somewhat with its truths and memory-knowledges; "they were gone out of the city, not yet far off," signifies the amount of removal; "and Joseph said unto him that was over his house," signifies perception and influx anew; "Up, follow after the men," signifies that it should now adjoin them to itself; "and when thou dost overtake them," signifies mediate adjunction; "say unto them, Wherefore do ye return evil for good?" signifies why is there a turning away; "is not this it in which my lord drinketh?" signifies that there was interior truth with them received from the celestial; "and in which divining he divineth?" signifies that the celestial knows hidden things from its Divine; "ye have done evil in so doing," signifies that it is contrary to Divine law to claim it to themselves.
The morning grew light. That this signifies a state of enlightenment at that time, is evident from the signification of "morning" and "growing light," as being a state of enlightenment. "Morning" in the supreme sense is the Lord (see n. 2405, 2780); and therefore when it is said "the morning grew light," it signifies a state of enlightenment, for all enlightenment is from the Lord. (That "rising in the morning" also means a state of enlightenment may be seen above, n. 3458, 3723.)
And the men were sent away, they and their asses. That this signifies that the external natural man was removed somewhat with its truths and memory-knowledges, is evident from the representation of Jacob's sons, who are here the "men," as being the truths of the church in the natural (see n. 5403, 5419, 5427, 5458, 5512), and therefore the external natural man (n. 5680); from the signification of "asses," as being memory-knowledges (n. 5492); and from the signification of "sent away, and not far off," as being that it-the external natural man-was removed somewhat. From this it is plain that by "the men were sent away, they and their asses, not far off," is signified the external natural man, removed somewhat with its truths and memory-knowledges, namely, from the internal celestial which is represented by Joseph. As regards the signification of "asses," be it known that they signified one thing when they were used for riding, and another when they served for carrying burdens; for judges, kings, and their sons rode upon he-asses, she-asses, and also upon mules, and these then signified rational, and also natural, truth and good (n. 2781); for which reason when the Lord as Judge and King entered Jerusalem, He rode upon an ass with a colt; for this was the mark of judgeship, and also of royalty. But when asses served for carrying burdens, as here, then they signified memory-knowledges. Nor is the case different with these knowledges. One who in thinking of man's interior things advances no further than to the knowledges that are of the memory, supposes that everything of man consists in these knowledges, not being aware that memory-knowledges are the lowest things in man, and such as for the most part are put away when the body dies (n. 2475-2480); but the things that are in them, namely truth and good together with their affections, remain; and also with the evil there remain falsity and evil together with their affections; memory-knowledges being as it were the body of these. So long as a man lives in the world, he has truth and good, or falsity and evil, in the memory-knowledges, for these are what contain them; and because memory-knowledges contain, and therefore as it were carry, interior things, they are signified by the asses which serve for carrying burdens.
They were gone out of the city, not yet far off. That this signifies the amount of removal, may be seen from what has gone before.
And Joseph said unto him that was over his house. That this signifies perception and influx anew, is evident from the signification of "saying" in the historicals of the Word, as being to perceive (as often before explained); and because it is perception in respect to him who hears and receives, it is influx in respect to him who says; for they mutually answer to each other. (That his "commanding him that was over his house" denotes influx from himself, may be seen above, n. 5732.)
Up, follow after the men. That this signifies that it ought now to adjoin them to itself, is evident from the signification of "following after the men and overtaking them," as being to adjoin; for "to follow" denotes a disposition to adjoin, and "to overtake" denotes adjunction. In the rest of this chapter is described the return of Jacob's sons, and in the following chapter the manifestation of Joseph, by which is signified the conjunction of the celestial of the spiritual with truths in the natural. Hence it is plain that by "follow after the men" is signified that it ought now to adjoin them to itself.
And when thou dost overtake them. That this signifies mediate adjunction, is evident from the signification of their being overtaken by him that was over Joseph's house, as being mediate adjunction.
Say unto them, Wherefore do ye return evil for good? That this signifies why is there a turning away? is evident from the signification of "returning evil for good," as being to turn away, for evil is nothing else than a turning away from good; for they who are in evil spurn good, that is, spiritual good, which is of charity and faith. That "evil" is a turning away, is very evident from the evil in the other life; for they appear in the light of heaven with the feet upward and the head downward (see n. 3641), thus wholly inverted, and consequently turned away.
Is not this it in which my lord drinketh? That this signifies that the interior truth with them was received from the celestial, is evident from the signification of a "cup," which is meant by "this in which my lord drinketh," as being interior truth (see n. 5736); and from the representation of Joseph, who is here "my lord," as being the celestial of the spiritual (n. 5307, 5331, 5332), here the celestial, because interior truth is treated of, which is spiritual and proceeds from the celestial. That it was received is signified by the cup being placed at Joseph's command in the mouth of Benjamin's bag. They are accused as if they had taken the cup. The reason why they were so accused, although the cup had been placed there, is plain from the internal sense, which is this. The truth which is bestowed by the Lord is first received as if it were not bestowed; for before regeneration the man supposes that he procures truth for himself, and so long as he supposes this he is in spiritual theft. To claim good and truth to oneself, and to attribute them to oneself for righteousness and merit, is to take away from the Lord that which is His (see n. 2609, 4174, 5135). It was in order that this might be represented, that this thing was done by Joseph; but still their being accused of theft was in order that conjunction might be effected, for until man has been regenerated he cannot but so believe. He does indeed say with his lips from doctrine that all the truth of faith and good of charity are from the Lord, yet he does not believe it until faith has been implanted in good, when for the first time he acknowledges it from the heart. Confession from doctrine is quite another thing than confession from faith. Many, even those who are not in good, can confess from doctrine, for doctrine to them is merely knowledge; but none can confess from faith except those who are in spiritual good, that is, in charity toward the neighbor. That they were accused of theft in order to bring about conjunction, is plain also from the fact that Joseph thereby brought them back to him, and kept them awhile in thought about what they had done, and that he then manifested, that is conjoined, himself to them.
And in which divining he divineth? That this signifies that the celestial knows hidden things from its Divine, is evident from the signification of "divining," as being to know hidden things. That it is from the Divine, is because the celestial of the spiritual, which is "Joseph," represents truth from the Divine, or truth in which is the Divine (see n. 5703).
Ye have done evil in so doing. That this signifies that it is contrary to Divine law to claim it to themselves, is evident from the signification of "theft," which is meant here by the "evil which they did," as being to claim to oneself that which belongs to the Lord, namely, the truth which is signified by Joseph's silver cup (see n. 5747). That this is contrary to the Divine law is manifest (n. 2609). The reason why man ought not to claim to himself anything that is from the Lord, thus not truth and good, is that he may be in the truth; and insofar as he is in the truth, so far he is in the light in which angels are in heaven; and insofar as he is in this light, so far he is in intelligence and wisdom; and insofar as he is in intelligence and wisdom, so far he is in happiness. This is the reason why man ought to acknowledge from the faith of the heart that nothing of truth and good is from himself, but all from the Lord, and this because it is so.
Verses 6-10. And he overtook them, and he spake unto them these words. And they said unto him, Wherefore speaketh my lord according to these words? Far be it from thy servants to do according to this word. Behold, the silver which we found in our bag's mouth we brought back to thee out of the land of Canaan; and how should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold? With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, let him die, and we also will be to my lord for servants. And he said, Now also according to your words so be it; he with whom it is found shall be to me a servant, and ye shall be blameless. "And he overtook them," signifies mediate adjunction; "and he spake unto them these words," signifies the influx of this thing; "and they said unto him," signifies perception; "Wherefore speaketh my lord according to these words?" signifies reflection why such a thing flows in; "far be it from thy servants to do according to this word," signifies when it is not from the will; "behold the silver which we found in our bags' mouth," signifies when truth was bestowed gratuitously; "we brought back to thee out of the land of Canaan," signifies submitted from a principle of religion; "and how should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold?" signifies why then shall we claim to ourselves truth and good, which are from the Divine celestial; "with whomsoever of thy servants it be found, let him die," signifies that he is damned who does so; "and we also will be to my lord for servants," signifies that they will be associates forever without freedom from their own; "and he said, Now also according to your words," signifies that indeed it would be so from justice; "so be it," signifies a milder sentence; "he with whom it is found shall be to me a servant," signifies that he with whom it is shall be forever without freedom of his own; "and ye shall be blameless," signifies that the rest shall be at their own disposal, because not sharing in the fault.
And he overtook them. That this signifies mediate adjunction, is evident from what was said above (see n. 5745).
And he spake unto them these words. That this signifies the influx of this thing, is evident from the signification of "speaking," as being influx (see n. 2951, 3037, 5481); and from the signification of "words," as being things. A "thing" and a "word" are expressed in the original language by the same term.
And they said unto him. That this signifies perception, is evident from the signification of "saying" in the historicals of the Word, as being perception.
Wherefore speaketh my lord such words as these? That this signifies reflection why such a thing flows in, is evident from the signification of "speaking," as being to flow in; and from the signification of "such words as these," as being this thing or such a thing (of which just above, n. 5752). Reflection is involved in the word "wherefore," which is a word of questioning with oneself.
Far be it from thy servants to do according to this word. That this signifies when it is not from the will, namely of claiming truth to themselves, is evident from the signification of "doing," as being to will; for all deed is of the will. The deed itself is natural, and the will is the spiritual source of it. Its not being from the will is signified by "far be it from thy servants."
Behold the silver which we found in our bags' mouths. That this signifies when truth was bestowed gratuitously, is evident from the signification of "silver," as being truth (n. 1551, 2954, 5658); and from the signification of "we found," as being bestowed gratuitously, for everyone's grain silver was returned to him, thus was bestowed gratuitously (n. 5530, 5624); and from the signification of the "bags' mouths," as being the threshold of the exterior natural (n. 5497).
We brought back to thee out of the land of Canaan. That this signifies submitted from a principle of religion, is evident from the signification of "bringing back," as being to submit (see n. 5624); and from the signification of the "land of Canaan," as being what is religious. The "land of Canaan" signifies various things, for the reason that it signifies that which includes very many things; for it signifies the Lord's kingdom, the church, and consequently the man of the church, because he is a church; and as it signifies these, it signifies also the celestial which is of the church, namely, the good of love; and also its spiritual, which is the truth of faith, and so on; here therefore it signifies the religious principle which is of the church; for it is of the religious principle of the church that no one ought to claim truth and good to himself. From these things it is plain why the same expression sometimes signifies a number of things; for when it involves several things in the complex, it also signifies those which it involves, according to the series of things in the internal sense. That the "land of Canaan" is the Lord's kingdom, see n. 1413, 1437, 1607, 3038, 3481, 3705; and also the church, n. 3686, 3705, 4447. From these flow its other significations.
And how should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold? That this signifies why then shall we claim to ourselves truth and good, which are from the Divine celestial, is evident from the signification of "stealing," as being in the spiritual sense to claim to oneself that which belongs to the Lord (of which above, n. 5749); from the signification of "silver," as being truth (n. 1551, 2954, 5658); and from the signification of "gold," as being good (n. 113, 1551, 1552, 5658). In this whole chapter spiritual theft is treated of, which is the claiming to oneself of the good and truth that are from the Lord. This is a matter of so great moment that a man after death cannot be admitted into heaven until he acknowledges at heart that nothing of good or truth is from himself, but all from the Lord, and that whatever is from himself is nothing but evil. The fact that this is so, is shown to man after death by many experiences. The angels in heaven plainly perceive that all good and truth are from the Lord; and moreover that by the Lord they are withheld from evil and kept in good and so in truth, and this by a mighty force. It has been given me plainly to perceive this now for many years, and also that insofar as I have been left to my own or to myself, I have been inundated with evils, and so far as I have been withheld therefrom by the Lord, I have been lifted up from evil into good. Therefore to claim truth and good to oneself is contrary to the universal that reigns in heaven, as well as contrary to the acknowledgment that all salvation is of mercy, that is, that man of himself is in hell, but is of mercy drawn out thence by the Lord. Man cannot be in humiliation, nor consequently can he receive the Lord's mercy (for this flows in only in humiliation or into a humble heart), unless he acknowledges that there is nothing but evil from himself, and that all good is from the Lord. Without this acknowledgment a man attributes to himself as merit, and at length as righteousness, whatever he does; for to claim to himself the truth and good which are from the Lord is to make himself righteous. This is the source of many evils; for he then regards self in everything that he does for the neighbor, and when he does this he loves himself above all others, whom he then despises, if not in word, yet in heart.
With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, let him die. That this signifies that he is damned who does so, is evident from the signification of "dying," as being to be damned; for spiritual death is nothing else than damnation. It is plain from what was said just above (n. 5758), that they who claim to themselves the truth and good which are of the Lord, cannot be in heaven, but are outside of it; and they who are outside of heaven are damned. But this law is one of judgment from truth; whereas when judgment is made at the same time from good, then they who do what is true and good, and from ignorance or simplicity attribute these to themselves, are not damned, but in the other life are set free by a method of vastation. Moreover everyone ought to do what is true and good as of himself, yet believing that it is from the Lord (n. 2882, 2883, 2891); and when he does so, then as he grows up and increases in intelligence and faith he puts off that fallacy, and at last acknowledges at heart that his every effort of doing good and thinking truth was and is from the Lord. Wherefore he that was sent by Joseph, though he indeed confirms, yet presently rejects, the judgment that he should die with whom the cup was found; for he says, "Now also according to your words so be it; he with whom it is found shall be to me a servant, and ye shall be blameless," words which convey a milder sentence. But it is otherwise with those who do so, not from ignorance and simplicity, but from principles which they have confirmed in their faith, and also in life. Yet because they do what is good, the Lord from mercy preserves in them something of ignorance and simplicity.
And we also will be to my lord for servants. That this signifies that they will be associates forever without freedom from their own, is evident from the signification of "we also," as being associates; and from the signification of "being servants," as being to be without freedom from their own; for one who is a servant has no freedom from his own, but is dependent on the own and freedom of his master. What it is to be without freedom from one's own, will of the Lord's Divine mercy be told in the following pages.
And he said, Now also according to your words. That this signifies that it would indeed be so from justice, is evident from what has been explained just above (see n. 5758, 5759). Its being from justice that he who did this should die is signified by, "now also according to your words;" but a milder sentence now follows.
So be it. That this signifies a milder sentence, is evident from the words that follow, in which this milder sentence is given.
He with whom it is found shall be to me a servant. That this signifies that he with whom it is, shall be forever without his own freedom, is evident from the signification of a "servant," as being to be without one's own freedom (as above, n. 5760). The case is this. Joseph's silver cup, placed by his order with Benjamin, signifies interior truth (see n. 5736, 5747). He who is in interior truth knows that all truth and good are from the Lord, and also that all freedom from his own, or from the man himself, is infernal; for when a man thinks or does anything from his own freedom, he thinks and does nothing but evil. In consequence he is a servant of the devil, for all evil flows in from hell. He also feels delight in such freedom, because it agrees with the evil in which he is, and into which he was born. Wherefore this freedom from one's own must be put off, and heavenly freedom must be put on instead, which consists in willing what is good and thence doing it, and in desiring what is true and thence thinking it. When a man receives this freedom he is a servant of the Lord, and is then in freedom itself, and not in the bondage in which he was before, and which appeared like freedom. This then is what is meant by being forever without one's own freedom. (The nature and source of freedom may be seen above, n. 2870-2893; and also that freedom itself is to be led by the Lord, n. 2890.)
And ye shall be blameless. That this signifies that the rest shall be at their own disposal, because not sharing in the fault, is evident from the signification of "blameless" in regard to a servant, as being to be at his own disposal; because not sharing in the fault, follows. It was of old a custom among the Gentiles, when anyone sinned, to make his companions also guilty of the offense, and even to punish a whole house for the crime of one in it. But such a law is derived from hell, where all the companions conspire together for evil. The societies there are so constituted that they act together as one against good, and thus they are kept consociated, though they are in deadly hatred one against another. They are in the union and friendship of robbers. Hence because companions in hell conspire together for evil, when they do evil they are all punished. But to do so in the world is wholly contrary to the Divine order; for in the world the good are consociated with the evil, because one does not know what the interiors of another are, and for the most part does not care. Wherefore the Divine law for men is that everyone shall pay the penalty of his own iniquity; as is written in Moses: The fathers shall not die for the sons, neither shall the sons die for the fathers; everyone shall be slain in his own sin (Deut. 24:16); and in Ezekiel: The soul that hath sinned, it shall die, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him (Ezek. 18:20). From these passages it is plain how the case is with what the sons of Jacob said, "with whomsoever of thy servants it be found, let him die, and we also will be to my lord for servants." But he who was sent by Joseph changed this judgment, and said, "he with whom it is found shall be to me a servant, and ye shall be blameless;" in like manner further on where Judah says to Joseph, "Behold we are servants to my lord, both we and he also in whose hand the cup was found." And Joseph said, "Far be it from me to do this; the man in whose hand the cup was found, he shall be to me a servant; and ye, go ye up in peace to your father" (verses 16, 17).
Verses 11, 12. And they hastened, and they made everyone his bag come down to the earth, and opened every man his bag. And he searched; he began at the eldest, and left off at the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin's bag. "And they hastened," signifies impatience; "and made everyone his bag come down to the earth," signifies that they brought what was in the natural down to things of sense; "and opened every man his bag," signifies that they might thus make the matter manifest to themselves; "and he searched," signifies investigation; "he began at the eldest, and left off at the youngest," signifies order; "and the cup was found in Benjamin's bag," signifies that interior truth from the celestial was with the intermediate.
And they hastened. That this signifies impatience, is evident from the signification of "hastening," when persons are eager to clear themselves, as being impatience.
And they made everyone his bag come down to the earth. That this signifies that they brought what was in the natural down to things of sense, is evident from the signification of "making to come down," when it has reference to what here follows, as being to bring to; from the signification of a "bag," as being the exterior natural (see n. 5497); and from the signification of the "earth," when it is said that they "made come down to" it, as being the ultimate and lowest, thus the sensuous; for the sensuous is the lowest and ultimate, because things of sense are in the very threshold to the outside world. To bring to things of sense, is wholly to confirm that a thing is so; for the matter is then brought down to the evidence of the senses.
And opened every man his bag. That this signifies that they might thus make the matter manifest to themselves, is evident from the signification of "opening the bag," as being to open what is in the natural, thus to make the matter manifest.
And he searched. That this signifies investigation, is evident without explication.
He began at the eldest, and left off at the youngest. That this signifies order, is evident from what has been said above (n. 5704).
And the cup was found in Benjamin's bag. That this signifies that interior truth from the celestial was with the intermediate, is evident from the signification of the "cup," as being interior truth (see n. 5736); and from the representation of Benjamin, as being the intermediate (n. 5411, 5413, 5443). That such truth from the celestial was with the intermediate, is signified by the cup being placed in Benjamin's bag by Joseph's order. How these matters stand is clear from what has been said before.
Verses 13-17. And they rent their garments, and laded everyone his ass, and returned to the city. And Judah and his brethren entered Joseph's house, and he was yet there; and they fell before him to the earth. And Joseph said unto them, What deed is this that ye have done? Knew ye not that such a man as I divining divineth? And Judah said, What shall we say to my lord? what shall we speak? and how shall we be justified? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants; behold we are servants to my lord, both we, and he also in whose hand the cup was found. And he said, Far be it from me to do this; the man in whose hand the cup was found, he shall be to me a servant; and ye, go ye up in peace to your father. "And they rent their garments," signifies mourning; "and laded everyone his ass, and returned to the city," signifies that truths were brought back from things of sense to memory-knowledges; "and Judah and his brethren entered," signifies the good of the church with its truths; "Joseph's house," signifies communication with the internal; "and he was yet there," signifies foresight; "and they fell before him to the earth," signifies humiliation; "and Joseph said unto them," signifies their perception then; "What deed is this that ye have done?" signifies that to claim to themselves what is not theirs is an enormous evil; "knew ye not that such a man as I divining divineth?" signifies that it cannot be concealed from Him who sees future and hidden things; "and Judah said," signifies perception given to the good of the church in the natural; "What shall we say to my lord? what shall we speak?" signifies a wavering; "and how shall we be justified?" signifies that we are guilty; "God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants," signifies confession; "behold we are servants to my lord," signifies that they are forever to be deprived of freedom of their own; "both we," signifies the associates; "and he also in whose hand the cup was found," signifies as well as he with whom there is interior truth from the Divine celestial; "and he said, Far be it from me to do this," signifies that it should by no means be so; "the man in whose hand the cup was found," signifies but that he with whom is interior truth received from the Divine; "he shall be to me a servant," signifies that he will be forever subject; "and ye, go ye up in peace to your father," signifies that the associates, with whom there is not that truth, are to return to the former state.
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