(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 4295

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4295. And Jacob asked and said, Tell I pray thy name. That this signifies the angelic heaven and its quality, may be seen from the representation of Jacob, as being the Lord as to the Divine natural (of which above); and from the signification of "God," whose name he asked, and also of "men," with whom as a prince he contended and prevailed, as being truths and goods, and thus those who are in truths and goods (see n. 4287). And because the angelic heaven is heaven from truths and goods, it is specifically this which is signified by the "God and men" with whom the Lord prevailed. Occasionally also in the Word the angels are called "gods," and this from truths and goods, as in David:
God stood in the congregation of god, He judged in the midst of the gods. I said, Ye are gods, and all of you sons of the Most High (Ps. 82:1, 6);
where it is plainly evident that the "congregation of god," and the "gods," denote the angelic heaven. In the same:
Who in the sky can be compared unto Jehovah? Who among the sons of the gods can be likened unto Jehovah? (Ps. 89:6).
Confess ye to the God of gods; confess ye to the Lord of lords (Ps. 136:2-3).
From these passages, as also from the fact that no one can contend as a prince with God and prevail, and likewise from the fact that he who is called "God" was not willing to reveal his name, it is evident that it was the angelic heaven with which the Lord fought. That a deep secret lies hidden in these words is plainly evident from the words themselves: "Wherefore is this that thou dost ask after my name?" for if it had been Jehovah God, He would not have concealed his name; nor would Jacob have asked, "What is thy name?" for to ask the name implies that it is another or others than God Himself.
[2] That the Lord in temptations at last fought with the angels themselves, nay, with the whole angelic heaven, is a secret that has not yet been disclosed. But the case with regard to this matter is that the angels are indeed in the highest wisdom and intelligence, but have all wisdom and intelligence from the Divine of the Lord. From themselves, or from what is their own, they have nothing of wisdom and intelligence. So far therefore as they are in truths and goods from the Divine of the Lord, so far they are wise and intelligent. That the angels have nothing of wisdom and intelligence from themselves, they themselves openly confess; nay, they are indignant if anyone ascribes to them anything of wisdom and intelligence, for they know and perceive that this would be to take away from the Divine that which is Divine, and to claim for themselves that which is not theirs, and thus to incur the crime of spiritual theft. The angels also say that all that is their own is evil and false, both from their heredity and from actual life when they were men in the world (n. 1880); and that the evil and falsity is not separated or wiped away from them, they being thus justified, but that it all remains with them, and that it is by the Lord that they are withheld from evil and falsity and are kept in good and truth (n. 1581). All the angels confess these things, and no one is admitted into heaven unless he knows and believes them; for otherwise they cannot be in the light of wisdom and intelligence which is from the Lord, consequently not in good and truth. From this it may also be known how it is to be understood that heaven is not pure in the eyes of God, as we read in Job 15:15.
[3] This being the case, in order that the Lord might reduce the universal heaven into heavenly order, He admitted into Himself temptations from the angels also, who, insofar as they were in what is their own, were so far not in good and truth. These temptations are the inmost of all, for they act solely into the ends, and with such subtlety as cannot possibly be noticed. But insofar as they are not in what is their own, so far they are in good and truth, and so far cannot tempt. Moreover the angels are continually being perfected by the Lord, and yet can never to eternity be so far perfected that their wisdom and intelligence can be compared to the Divine wisdom and intelligence of the Lord; for they are finite, and the Lord is infinite; and there is no comparison between what is finite and what is infinite. From all this it can now be seen what is meant by the god with whom Jacob as a prince contended; as also why he was not willing to reveal his name.


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