(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 3688

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3688. The sister of Nebaioth, over his women to himself for a woman. That this signifies the affection of celestial truth more interiorly, is evident from the signification of "sister," as being intellectual or rational truth (see n. 1495, 2508, 2524, 2556, 3386); from the representation of Nebaioth, as being the good which is of the spiritual church (n. 3268); from which the "sister of Nebaioth" signifies the affection of celestial truth; or what is the same thing, the affection of spiritual good; from the signification of "women," or the "daughters of Heth," as being the affections of truth from a ground not genuine (n. 3470, 3620-3622, 3686); and from the signification of "taking a woman," as being to be associated and conjoined. From this it is evident that by these words, together with those immediately preceding, there is signified the conjunction of the good represented by Esau with truth from a Divine origin, thus with the affection of celestial truth more interiorly.
[2] How these things are circumstanced has indeed been already stated, but they are such as are understood with difficulty so long as the most general things of the subject are unknown. Moreover at the present day the world cares not for such things, because earthly things and not heavenly ones are the objects of its care, for the reason as they allege, that they see and know the former things, while the latter they neither see nor know. But inasmuch as the things contained in the internal sense of the Word are not merely to be disclosed, but are also to be explained, we may illustrate by an example how the case is with the truth of good that Esau represents and the good of truth that Jacob represents; and at the same time how the case is with the fact that before the man has been regenerated the good of truth is the inverse of the truth of good; but that they are afterwards conjoined; thus how the case is with all that has been said before.
[3] Let the following serve as the example: A man who is such as to be capable of being regenerated-for the Lord foresees, and since He foresees, He also provides for this-at first, like an infant child, does not yet know what works of charity toward his neighbor are, because he does not as yet know what charity is, nor what his neighbor is, and therefore as he knows from the Word that he ought to give to the poor, and that whoever gives to the poor has a reward in heaven, he does good to beggars more than to others, because he believes that they are the poor who are meant in the Word, not considering that such as beg in the streets for the most part live an impious and wicked life, despise whatever belongs to Divine worship, and surrender themselves to mere sloth and idleness. Nevertheless he who is in the first state of regeneration does good to such persons from his heart; and these good deeds are the goods of external truth from which regeneration begins; the truth of good, which is interior, flows thus into these acts, and does the work according to the knowledges in which the child is.
[4] But afterwards, when he is more enlightened, he is desirous to do good to all whom he believes to be in want and distress; but as yet hardly makes a distinction between the pious and the impious who are in this state, believing everyone to be his neighbor in the same respect and degree. But when he is further enlightened in these matters, he then makes the distinction, and renders aid only to the upright and good, knowing that to aid the wicked is to do harm to many, inasmuch as by his benefits and services he supplies the wicked with the means of injuring others. At last, when he is regenerate, he does good only to the good and pious, because he is then affected not with the person of him to whom he does good, but with the good that is in him; and inasmuch as the Lord is present in what is good and pious, he thereby through his affection for what is good testifies his love to the Lord. When the man is in this charity from the heart, he is regenerate.
[5] From this it is evident that his former state was inverse in respect to this state, inasmuch as he had believed that to be good which was not good; but still at the beginning of regeneration he must needs do that good, because his knowledge of the matter then goes no further; and because the interior good of charity could not flow into any other truth than that which was of the knowledge thereof; and it is also evident that interior good had always been present and had wrought this, but was not able to manifest itself until by knowledges the man had been successively enlightened concerning the true nature of goods and truths. From this it is in some measure evident what the good of truth is which Jacob here represents; and what the truth of good which Esau represents; and that at first these are inverse, but afterwards are conjoined.


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