4242. And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye say unto my lord Esau. That this signifies the first acknowledgment of good as being in the higher place, may be seen from the signification here of "commanding the messengers to say," as being reflection and the consequent perception that it is so (see n. 3661, 3682), consequently acknowledgment; and from the representation of Esau, as being good (n. 4234, 4239). That good was in the higher place is signified by his not calling Esau his "brother," but his "lord," and also (as follows) by his calling himself his "servant," and afterwards speaking in the same manner. (That while man is being regenerated truth is apparently in the first place and good in the second; but good in the first place and truth in the second when he has been regenerated, may be seen above, n. 1904, 2063, 2189, 2697, 2979, 3286, 3288, 3310, 3325, 3330, 3332, 3336, 3470, 3509, 3539, 3548, 3556, 3563, 3570, 3576, 3579, 3603, 3701.) This is also what is meant by the prophetic utterance of Isaac the father to Esau his son:
By thy sword shalt thou live, and thou shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck (Gen. 27:40).
It is the inversion of state foretold in these prophetic words which is treated of in the present chapter.