(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 4563

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4563. And Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died. That this signifies that hereditary evil was expelled, is evident from the signification of "dying," as being the end, or that a thing ceases to be such (see n. 494, 3253, 3259, 3276), here therefore expelled, because the subject treated of is hereditary evil; and from the representation of Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, as being hereditary evil. In nourishing and suckling an infant a nurse properly signifies the insinuation of innocence by means of what is celestial spiritual, for milk denotes the celestial spiritual (n. 2184), and the infant she suckles denotes innocence (n. 430, 1616, 2126, 2305, 2306) But here by "Deborah, Rebekah's nurse," is signified that which was received from the mother and nourished from infancy. That this was the hereditary evil from the mother against which the Lord fought, may be seen from what has been shown regarding this hereditary (n. 1414, 1444, 1573), and from His expelling it, so that at last He was not the son of Mary (see n. 2159, 2574, 2649, 3036).
[2] It is known that man derives evil from both his parents, and that this evil is called hereditary evil. He is therefore born into it, but still it does not manifest itself until the man becomes an adult and acts from his understanding and the derivative will, and meanwhile it lies hidden, especially during infancy. And as of the Lord's mercy no one is blamed for what is hereditary, but for what is actual (n. 966, 2308), and what is hereditary cannot become actual until the man acts from his own understanding and his own will, therefore infants are led by the Lord by means of infants and angels from Him, and hence they appear in a state of innocence while hereditary evil still lurks in everything they do (n. 2300, 2307, 2308). This hereditary evil yields them nourishment, or is as a nurse, until the time when they judge for themselves (n. 4063); and then if they are being regenerated they are brought by the Lord into a state of new infancy, and at last into heavenly wisdom; thus into genuine infancy, that is, into innocence; for genuine infancy or innocence dwells in wisdom (n. 2305, 3183). The difference is, that the innocence of infancy is without, and hereditary evil within; whereas the innocence of wisdom is within, and evil both actual and hereditary is without. From these and other things that have been already stated, it is evident that hereditary evil acts as a nurse from the earliest infancy to the age of new infancy; and hence it is that by a "nurse" is signified hereditary evil, and also that by a "nurse" is signified the insinuation of innocence by means of the celestial spiritual.
[3] As in the internal sense of this chapter the disposition and arrangement of truths by good in the Lord's natural is treated of (n. 4536), and the consequent progression to interior things, therefore hereditary evil is also treated of, in that it was expelled. This is the reason why mention is made in this verse of Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, that she died and was buried under an oak, which is not a thing of sufficient moment to interrupt the series unless it involved such things.
[4] The very mystery that is specifically signified by "Rebekah's nurse" cannot as yet be disclosed, for before this is done it is necessary to know the nature of the influx of the rational into the natural, namely, that it is from the good of the rational immediately into the good of the natural, and from the good of the rational mediately, through the truth there into the good of natural truth. "Rebekah" is the truth of the rational (n. 3012, 3013, 3077); and "Isaac" is the good of the rational (n. 3012, 3194, 3210); "Esau" is the good of the natural by immediate influx from the good of the rational, or "Isaac;" and "Jacob" is the good or good of truth of the natural by mediate influx through the truth of the rational, or "Rebekah." (In regard to this influx, mediate and immediate, see above, n. 3314, 3573.) This must be known before it is possible to have any specific knowledge of the mystery why by "Rebekah's nurse" is here signified and described hereditary evil; for it is from this that the nature of this evil can be seen.


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