(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 3246

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3246. And to the sons of the concubines that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts. That this signifies the spiritual adopted by the Lord's Divine Human, that they have allotted places in His spiritual kingdom, is evident from the signification of the "sons of the concubines," as denoting those who are spiritual (concerning whom in what follows); from the representation here of Abraham, as being the Lord's Divine Human; so that by the words "which Abraham had," is signified that they (namely, the spiritual) were adopted by the Lord's Divine Human; and from the signification of the "gifts" which Abraham gave them, as being allotted places in the Lord's spiritual kingdom.
[2] From what has already been shown in several places (as n. 3235, and elsewhere) concerning those who constitute the Lord's spiritual kingdom and are called the spiritual, it can be seen that they are not sons born of the marriage itself of good and truth, but of a certain covenant not so conjugial; they are indeed from the same father, but not from the same mother; that is, they are from the same Divine good, but not from the same Divine truth. For as the celestial are from the very marriage of good and truth, they have good and thence truth; wherefore they never inquire what is true, but perceive it from good; and they discourse not about truth beyond affirming that it is so-according to what the Lord teaches in Matthew:
Let your speech be, Yea, yea; Nay, Nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil (Matt. 5:37);
whereas the spiritual, because they are from a covenant not so conjugial, do not know from any perception what truth is, but call that true which they have been told to be so by parents and masters; and therefore in them there is not the marriage of good and truth; but still the truth which they thus believe is adopted by the Lord for truth when they are in the good of life (concerning this see n. 1832). Therefore it is that those who are spiritual are here called the "sons of the concubines," and by these are meant all the sons of Keturah hitherto enumerated, and also the sons of Hagar, who will be named immediately below, from the twelfth to the eighteenth verse.
[3] In former times, in order that both the celestial and the spiritual might be represented in marriages, it was permissible for a man to have a concubine in addition to a wife; such concubine being given to the husband by the wife, and she was then called his "woman," or was said to be "given to him for a woman," as when Hagar the Egyptian was given to Abraham by Sarah (Gen. 16:3); when Bilhah the handmaid was given by Rachel to Jacob (Gen. 30:4), and the handmaid Zilpah to Jacob by Leah (Gen. 30:9). They are there called "women," but elsewhere they are called "concubines," as Hagar the Egyptian in this verse, and Bilhah in Genesis 35:22, also Keturah herself in 1 Chronicles 1:32.
[4] That those ancients had concubines besides a wife, as was the case not only with Abraham and Jacob, but also with their descendants, as Gideon (Judges 8:31), Saul (2 Sam. 3:7), David (2 Sam. 5:13; 15:16), and Solomon (1 Kings 11:3), was of permission, for the sake of the representation, namely, of the celestial church by a wife, and of the spiritual church by a concubine: this was of permission because they were such that they had no conjugial love, neither was marriage to them marriage, but only a carnal coupling for the sake of procreating offspring. To such there might be permissions without injury to conjugial love, and consequently to its covenant; but never to those who are in good and truth, and who are or can become internal men; for as soon as man is in good and truth, and in things internal, such things cease. For this reason it is not allowable for Christians, as it was for the Jews, to take to themselves a concubine together with a wife, for this is adultery. That the spiritual were adopted by the Lord's Divine Human, may be seen from what has been stated and shown before on the same subject (n. 2661, 2716, 2833, 2834).


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