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Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at

Arcana Coelestia


That the Lord is the "east" also appears from the Word, as in Ezekiel: He brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh the way of the east, and behold the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east; and His voice was as the voice of many waters, and the earth shone with His glory (Ezek. 43:1-2, 4). It was in consequence of the Lord's being the "east" that a holy custom prevailed in the representative Jewish Church, before the building of the temple, of turning their faces toward the east when they prayed.


Verse 9. And out of the ground made Jehovah God to grow every tree desirable to behold, and good for food; the tree of lives also, in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge [scientiae] of good and evil. A "tree" signifies perception; a "tree desirable to behold" the perception of truth; a "tree good for food" the perception of good; the "tree of lives" love and the faith thence derived; the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" faith derived from what is sensuous, that is, from mere memory-knowledge [scientia].


The reason why "trees" here signify perceptions is that the celestial man is treated of, but it is otherwise when the subject is the spiritual man, for on the nature of the subject depends that of the predicate.


At this day it is unknown what Perception is. It is a certain internal sensation from the Lord alone, as to whether a thing is true and good; and it was very well known to the Most Ancient church. This perception is so perfect with the angels, that by it they are aware and have knowledge of what is true and good; of what is from the Lord, and what from themselves; and also of the quality of anyone who comes to them, merely from his approach, and from a single one of his ideas. The spiritual man has no perception, but has conscience. A dead man has not even conscience; and very many do not know what conscience is, and still less what perception is.


The "tree of lives" is love and the faith thence derived; "in the midst of the garden" is in the will of the internal man. The will, which in the Word is called the "heart" is the primary possession of the Lord with man and angel. But as no one can do good of himself, the will or heart is not man's, although it is predicated of man; cupidity, which he calls will, is man's. Since then the will is the "midst of the garden" where the tree of lives is placed, and man has no will, but mere cupidity, the "tree of lives" is the mercy of the Lord, from whom comes all love and faith, consequently all life.


But the nature of the "tree of the garden" or perception; of the "tree of lives" or love and the faith thence derived; and of the "tree of knowledge" or faith originating in what is sensuous and in mere memory-knowledge, will be shown in the following pages.


Verse 10. And a river went out of Eden, to water the garden, and from thence it was parted, and was into four heads. A "river out of Eden" signifies wisdom from love, for "Eden" is love; "to water the garden" is to bestow intelligence; to be "thence parted into four heads" is a description of intelligence by means of the four rivers, as follows.


The most ancient people, when comparing man to a "garden" also compared wisdom, and the things relating to wisdom, to "rivers;" nor did they merely compare them, but actually so called them, for such was their way of speaking. It was the same afterwards in the Prophets, who sometimes compared them, and sometimes called them so. As in Isaiah: Thy light shall arise in darkness, and thy thick darkness shall be as the light of day, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like an outlet of waters, whose waters lie not (Isa. 58:10-11). Treating of those who receive faith and love. Again, speaking of the regenerate: As the valleys are they planted, as gardens by the river's side; as lignaloes 108-1 which Jehovah hath planted, as cedar-trees beside the waters (Num. 24:6). In Jeremiah: Blessed is the man who trusteth in Jehovah; he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that sendeth forth her roots by the river (Jer. 17:7-8). In Ezekiel the regenerate are not compared to a garden and a tree, but are so called: The waters made her to grow, the deep of waters uplifted her, the river ran round about her plant, and sent out its channels to all the trees of the field; she was made beautiful in her greatness, in the length of her branches, for her root was by many waters. The cedars in the garden of God did not hide her; the fir-trees were not like her boughs, and the plane-trees were not like her branches, nor was any tree in the garden of God equal to her in her beauty; I have made her beautiful by the multitude of her branches, and all the trees of Eden that were in the garden of God envied her (Ezek. 31:4, 7-9). From these passages it is evident that when the most ancient people compared man, or the things in man, to a "garden" they added the "waters" and "rivers" by which he might be watered, and by these waters and rivers meant such things as would cause his growth.


That although wisdom and intelligence appear in man, they are, as has been said, of the Lord alone, is plainly declared in Ezekiel by means of similar representatives: Behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward; for the face of the house is the east; and he said, These waters issue out to the border toward the east, and go down into the plain, and come to the sea, which being led into the sea, the waters shall be healed; and it shall come to pass that every living soul which creepeth, whithersoever the water of the rivers shall come, shall live. And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, there come up all trees for food, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed; it is born again in its months, because these its waters issue out of the sanctuary, and the fruit thereof shall be for food, and the leaf thereof for medicine (Ezek. 47:1, 8-9, 12). Here the Lord is signified by the "east" and by the "sanctuary" whence the waters and rivers issued. In like manner in John: He showed me a pure river of water of life, bright as crystal, going forth out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street thereof, and of the river on this side and that, was the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaf of the tree was for the healing of the nations (Rev. 22:1-2).


Verses 11, 12. The name of the first is Pishon; that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good; there is bdellium and the onyx stone. The "first" river, or "Pishon" signifies the intelligence of the faith that is from love; "the land of Havilah" signifies the mind; "gold" signifies good; "bdellium and the onyx stone" truth. "Gold" is mentioned twice because it signifies the good of love and the good of faith from love; and "bdellium and the onyx stone" are mentioned because the one signifies the truth of love, and the other the truth of faith from love. Such is the celestial man.


It is however a very difficult matter to describe these things as they are in the internal sense, for at the present day no one knows what is meant by faith from love, and what by the wisdom and intelligence thence derived. For external men scarcely know of anything but memory-knowledge [scientia], which they call intelligence and wisdom, and faith. They do not even know what love is, and many do not know what the will and understanding are, and that they constitute one mind. And yet each of these things is distinct, yea, most distinct, and the universal heaven is ordinated by the Lord in the most distinct manner according to the differences of love and faith, which are innumerable.


Be it known moreover that there is no wisdom which is not from love, thus from the Lord; nor any intelligence except from faith, thus also from the Lord; and that there is no good except from love, thus from the Lord; and no truth except from faith, thus from the Lord. What are not from love and faith, and thus from the Lord, are indeed called by these names, but they are spurious.


Nothing is more common in the Word than for the good of wisdom or of love to be signified and represented by "gold." All the gold in the ark, in the temple, in the golden table, in the candlestick, in the vessels, and upon the garments of Aaron, signified and represented the good of wisdom or of love. So also in the Prophets, as in Ezekiel: In thy wisdom and in thine intelligence thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver in thy treasures (Ezek. 18:4), where it is plainly said that from wisdom and intelligence are "gold and silver" or the good and the true, for " silver here signifies truth, as it does also in the ark and in the temple. In Isaiah: The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come, they shall bring gold and incense, and they shall show forth the praises of Jehovah (Isa. 60:6). Thus also: The wise men from the east, who came to Jesus when He was born, fell down and worshiped Him; and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh (Matt. 2:1, 11). Here also "gold" signifies good; "frankincense and myrrh" things that are grateful because from love and faith, and which are therefore called "the praises of Jehovah." Wherefore it is said in David: He shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba; prayer also shall be made for him continually, and every day shall He bless him (Ps. 72:15).


The truth of faith is signified and represented in the Word by precious "stones" as by those in the breast-plate of judgment, and on the shoulders of Aaron's ephod. In the breast-plate, "gold, blue, bright crimson, scarlet double-dyed, and fine-twined linen" represented such things as are of love, and the precious "stones" such as are of faith from love; as did likewise the two "stones of memorial" on the shoulders of the ephod, which were onyx stones, set in ouches of gold (Exod. 28:9-22). This signification of precious stones is also plain from Ezekiel, where, speaking of a man possessed of heavenly riches, which are wisdom and intelligence, it is said: Full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty, thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the ruby, the topaz, the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; the sapphire, the chrysoprase, the emerald, and gold; the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was in thee; in the day that thou wast created they were prepared; thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created (Ezek. 28:12, 13, 15), which words it must be evident to everyone do not signify stones, but the celestial and spiritual things of faith; yea, each stone represented some essential of faith.


When the most ancient people spoke of "lands" they understood what was signified by them, just as those at the present day who have an idea that the land of Canaan and Mount Zion signify heaven, do not so much as think of any land or mountain when these places are mentioned, but only of the things which they signify. It is so here with the "land of Havilah" which is mentioned again in Genesis 25:18, where it is said of the sons of Ishmael, that they "dwelt from Havilah even unto Shur, which is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria." Those who are in a heavenly idea perceive from these words nothing but intelligence, and what flows from intelligence. So by to "compass"-as where it is said that the river Pishon "compasseth the whole land of Havilah"-they perceive a flowing in; as also in the onyx stones on the shoulders of Aaron's ephod being encompassed with ouches of gold (Exod. 28:11), they perceive that the good of love should inflow into the truth of faith. And so in many other instances.


Verse 13. And the name of the second river is Gihon; the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Cush. The "second river" which is called "Gihon" signifies the knowledge [cognitio] of all things that belong to the good and the true, or to love and faith, and the "land of Cush" signifies the mind or faculty. The mind is constituted of the will and the understanding; and what is said of the first river has reference to the will, and what of this one to the understanding to which belong the knowledges [cognitiones] of good and of truth.


The "land of Cush" or Ethiopia, moreover, abounded in gold, precious stones, and spices, which, as before said, signify good, truth, and the things thence derived which are grateful, such as are those of the knowledges of love and faith. This is evident from the passages above cited (n. 113) from Isa. 60:6; Matt. 2:1, 11; Ps. 72:15. That similar things are meant in the Word by "Cush" or "Ethiopia" and also by "Sheba" is evident from the Prophets, as in Zephaniah, where also the "rivers of Cush" are mentioned: In the morning He will give His judgment for light; for then will I turn to the people with a clear language, that they may all call upon the name of Jehovah, to serve Him with one shoulder; from the passage of the rivers of Cush My suppliants shall bring Mine offering (Zeph. 3:5, 9-10). And in Daniel, speaking of the king of the north and of the south: He shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the desirable things of Egypt; and the Lybians and the Ethiopians shall be under his steps (Dan. 11:43), where "Egypt" denotes memory-knowledges [scientifica], and the "Ethiopians" knowledges [cognitiones]. [2] So in Ezekiel: The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, these were thy merchants, in the chief of all spices, and in every precious stone, and in gold (Ezek. 27:22), by whom in like manner are signified knowledges [cognitiones] of faith. So in David, speaking of the Lord, consequently of the celestial man: In his days shall the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace until there shall be no moon; the kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer a gift (Ps. 72:7, 10).These words, as is plain from their connection with the preceding and subsequent verses, signify celestial things of faith. Similar things were signified by the queen of Sheba, who came to Solomon, and proposed hard questions, and brought him spices, gold, and precious stones (1 Kings 10:1-2). For all things contained in the historical parts of the Word, as well as in the Prophets, signify, represent, and involve arcana.


Verse 14. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel; that is it which goeth eastward toward Asshur; and the fourth river it is Phrath. The "river Hiddekel" is reason, or the clearsightedness of reason. "Asshur" is the rational mind; the "river which goeth eastward toward Asshur" signifies that the clearsightedness of reason comes from the Lord through the internal man into the rational mind, which is of the external man; "Phrath" or Euphrates, is memory-knowledge [scientia], which is the ultimate or boundary.


That "Asshur" signifies the rational mind, or the rational of man, is very evident in the Prophets, as in Ezekiel: Behold, Asshur was a cedar in Lebanon, with fair branches and a shady grove, and lofty in height; and her offshoot was among the thick boughs. The waters made her grow, the deep of waters uplifted her, the river ran round about her plant (Ezek. 31:3-4). The rational is called a "cedar in Lebanon;" the "offshoot among the thick boughs" signifies the knowledges of the memory, which are in this very plight. This is still clearer in Isaiah: In that day shall there be a path from Egypt to Asshur, and Asshur shall come into Egypt, and Egypt into Asshur, and the Egyptians shall serve Asshur. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Asshur, a blessing in the midst of the land, that Jehovah Zebaoth shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, and Asshur the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance (Isa. 19:23-25). By "Egypt" in this and various other passages is signified memory-knowledges, by "Asshur" reason, and by "Israel" intelligence.


As by "Egypt" so also by "Euphrates" are signified memory-knowledges [scientiae seu scientifica], and also the sensuous things from which these knowledges come. This is evident from the Word in the Prophets, as in Micah: My she-enemy hath said, Where is Jehovah thy God? The day in which He shall build thy walls [macerias], that day shall the decree be far removed; that day also He shall come even to thee from Asshur, and to the cities of Egypt, and to the river [Euphrates] (Micah 7:10-12). So did the prophets speak concerning the coming of the Lord who should regenerate man so that he might become like the celestial man. In Jeremiah: What hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? Or what hast thou to do in the way of Asshur, to drink the waters of the river [Euphrates]? (Jer. 2:18), where "Egypt" and "Euphrates" likewise signify memory-knowledges, and "Asshur" reasonings thence derived. In David: Thou hast made a vine to go forth out of Egypt; Thou hast cast out the nations; Thou hast planted her; Thou hast sent out her shoots even to the sea, and her twigs to the river (Euphrates) (Ps. 80:8, 11), where also the "river Euphrates" signifies what is sensuous and of the memory [sensuali et scientifico]. For the Euphrates was the boundary of the dominions of Israel toward Assyria, as the knowledge of the memory is the boundary of the intelligence and wisdom of the spiritual and celestial man. The same is signified by what was said to Abraham: Unto thy seed will I give this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates (Gen. 15:18). These two boundaries have a like signification.


The nature of celestial order, or how the things of life proceed, is evident from these rivers, namely, from the Lord, who is the "East" and that from Him proceeds wisdom, through wisdom intelligence, through intelligence reason, and so by means of reason the knowledges of the memory are vivified. This is the order of life, and such are celestial men; and therefore, since the elders of Israel represented celestial men, they were called "wise, intelligent, and knowing" (Deut. 1:13, 15). Hence it is said of Bezaleel, who constructed the ark, that he was: Filled with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge [scientia], and in all work (Exod. 31:3; 35:31; 36:1-2).


Verse 15. And Jehovah God took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden, to till it and take care of it. By the "garden of Eden" are signified all things of the celestial man, as described; by to "till it and take care of it" is signified that it is permitted him to enjoy all these things, but not to possess them as his own, because they are the Lord's.


The celestial man acknowledges, because he perceives, that all things both in general and in particular are the Lord's. The spiritual man does indeed acknowledge the same, but with the mouth, because he has learned it from the Word. The worldly and corporeal man neither acknowledges nor admits it; but whatever he has he calls his own, and imagines that were he to lose it, he would altogether perish.


That wisdom, intelligence, reason, and knowledge [scientia] are not of man, but of the Lord, is very evident from all that the Lord taught; as in Matthew, where the Lord compares Himself to a householder, who planted a vineyard, and hedged it round, and let it out to husbandmen (21:33); and in John: The Spirit of truth shall guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself, but what things soever He shall hear, He shall speak; He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive of Mine, and shall declare it unto you (John 16:13-14). And in another place: A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven (John 3:27). That this is really so is known to everyone who is acquainted with even a few of the arcana of heaven.


Verse 16. And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden, eating thou mayest eat. To "eat of every tree" is to know from perception what is good and true; for, as before observed, a "tree" signifies perception. The men of the Most Ancient Church had the knowledges of true faith by means of revelations, for they conversed with the Lord and with angels, and were also instructed by visions and dreams, which were most delightful and paradisal to them. They had from the Lord continual perception, so that when they reflected on what was treasured up in the memory they instantly perceived whether it was true and good, insomuch that when anything false presented itself, they not only avoided it but even regarded it with horror: such also is the state of the angels. In place of this perception of the Most Ancient Church, however, there afterwards succeeded the knowledge [cognitio] of what is true and good from what had been previously revealed, and afterwards from what was revealed in the Word.


Verse 17. But of the tree of the knowledge [scientia] of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof, dying thou shalt die. These words, taken together with those just explained, signify that it is allowable to become acquainted with what is true and good by means of every perception derived from the Lord, but not from self and the world; that is, we are not to inquire into the mysteries of faith by means of the things of sense and of the memory [per sensualia et scientifica], for in this case the celestial of faith is destroyed.


A desire to investigate the mysteries of faith by means of the things of sense and of the memory, was not only the cause of the fall of the posterity of the Most Ancient Church, as treated of in the following chapter, but it is also the cause of the fall of every church; for hence come not only falsities, but also evils of life.


The worldly and corporeal man says in his heart, If I am not instructed concerning the faith, and everything relating to it, by means of the things of sense, so that I may see, or by means of those of the memory [scientifica], so that I may understand, I will not believe; and he confirms himself in this by the consideration that natural things cannot be contrary to spiritual. Thus he is desirous of being instructed from things of sense in what is celestial and Divine, which is as impossible as it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle; for the more he desires to grow wise by such means, the more he blinds himself, till at length he believes nothing, not even that there is anything spiritual, or that there is eternal life. This comes from the principle which he assumes. And this is to "eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" of which the more anyone eats, the more dead he becomes. But he who would be wise from the Lord, and not from the world, says in his heart that the Lord must be believed, that is, the things which the Lord has spoken in the Word, because they are truths; and according to this principle he regulates his thoughts. He confirms himself by things of reason, of knowledge, of the senses, and of nature [per rationalia, scientifica, sensualia et naturalia], and those which are not confirmatory he casts aside.


Everyone may know that man is governed by the principles he assumes, be they ever so false, and that all his knowledge and reasoning favor his principles; for innumerable considerations tending to support them present themselves to his mind, and thus he is confirmed in what is false. He therefore who assumes as a principle that nothing is to be believed until it is seen and understood, can never believe, because spiritual and celestial things cannot be seen with the eyes, or conceived by the imagination. But the true order is for man to be wise from the Lord, that is, from His Word, and then all things follow, and he is enlightened even in matters of reason and of memory-knowledge [in rationalibus et scientificis]. For it is by no means forbidden to learn the sciences, since they are useful to his life and delightful; nor is he who is in faith prohibited from thinking and speaking as do the learned of the world; but it must be from this principle-to believe the Word of the Lord, and, so far as possible, confirm spiritual and celestial truths by natural truths, in terms familiar to the learned world. Thus his starting-point must be the Lord, and not himself; for the former is life, but the latter is death.


He who desires to be wise from the world, has for his "garden" the things of sense and of memory-knowledge [sensualia et scientifica]; the love of self and the love of the world are his "Eden"; his "east" is the west, or himself; his "river Euphrates" is all his memory-knowledge [scientificum], which is condemned; his "second river" where is "Assyria" is infatuated reasoning productive of falsities; his "third river" where is "Ethiopia" is the principles of evil and falsity thence derived, which are the knowledges of his faith; his "fourth river" is the wisdom thence derived, which in the Word is called "magic." And therefore "Egypt"-which signifies memory-knowledge [scientia]-after the knowledge became magical, signifies such a man, because, as may be seen from the Word, he desires to be wise from self. Of such it is written in Ezekiel: Thus hath said the Lord Jehovih, Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great whale that lieth in the midst of his rivers, who hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself. And the land of Egypt shall be for a solitude, and a waste, and they shall know that I am Jehovah, because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it (Ezek. 29:3, 9). Such men are also called "trees of Eden in hell" in the same Prophet, where also Pharaoh, or the Egyptian, is treated of in these words: When I shall have made him descend into hell with them that descend into the pit; to whom art thou thus made like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be made to descend with the trees of Eden into the lower earth, in the midst of the uncircumcised, with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his crew (Ezek. 31:16, 18), where the "trees of Eden" denote knowledges [scientifica et cognitiones] from the Word, which they thus profane by reasonings. Genesis 2, verses 18-25 18. And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a help as with him. 19. And Jehovah God formed out of the ground every beast of the field, and every fowl of the heavens, and brought it to the man to see what he would call it; and whatsoever the man called every living soul, that was the name thereof. 20. And the man gave names to every beast, and to the fowl of the heavens, and to every wild animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a help as with him. 21. And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in the place thereof. 22. And the rib which Jehovah God had taken from the man, He built into a woman, and brought her to the man. 23. And the man said, This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; therefore she shall be called wife, because she was taken out of man [vir]. 24. Therefore shall a man [vir] leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh. 25. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.


THE CONTENTS. The posterity of the Most Ancient Church, which inclined to their Own, 131-1 is here treated of.


Since man is such as not to be content to be led by the Lord, but desires to be led also by himself and the world, or by his Own, therefore the Own which was granted him is here treated of (verse 18).


And first it is given him to know the affections of good and the knowledges of truth with which he is endowed by the Lord; but still he inclines to his Own (verses 19, 20).


Wherefore he is let into a state of his Own, and an Own is given him, which is described by the rib built into a woman (verses 21 to 23).


Celestial and spiritual life are adjoined to the man's Own, so that they appear as a one (verse 24).


And innocence from the Lord is insinuated into this Own, so that it still might not be unacceptable (verse 25).


THE INTERNAL SENSE The first three chapters of Genesis treat in general of the Most Ancient Church, which is called "Man" [homo] from its first period to its last, when it perished: the preceding part of this chapter treats of its most flourishing state, when it was a celestial man; here it now treats of those who inclined to their Own, and of their posterity.


Verse 18. And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help as with him. By "alone" is signified that he was not content to be led by the Lord, but desired to be led by self and the world; by a "help as with him" is signified man's Own, which is subsequently called a "rib built into a woman."


In ancient times those were said to "dwell alone" who were under the Lord's guidance as celestial men, because such were no longer infested by evils, or evil spirits. This was represented in the Jewish Church also by their dwelling alone when they had driven out the nations. On this account it is sometimes said of the Lord's church, in the Word, that she is "alone" as in Jeremiah: Arise, get you up to a quiet nation that dwelleth confidently, saith the Lord, which hath neither gates nor bar; they dwell alone (Jer. 49:31). In the prophecy of Moses: Israel hath dwelt confidently alone (Deut. 33:28). And still more clearly in the prophecy of Balaam: Lo, the people dwelleth alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations (Num. 23:9), where "nations" signify evils. This posterity of the Most Ancient Church was not disposed to dwell alone, that is, to be a celestial man, or to be led by the Lord as a celestial man, but, like the Jewish Church, desired to be among the nations. And because they desired this, it is said, "it is not good that the man should be alone" for he who desires is already in evil, and it is granted him.


That by "a help as with him" is signified man's Own, is evident both from the nature of this Own, and from what follows. As however the man of the church who is here treated of was well disposed, an Own was granted him, but of such a kind that it appeared as it were his own, and therefore it is said "a help as with him."


Innumerable things might be said about man's Own in describing its nature with the corporeal and worldly man, with the spiritual man, and with the celestial man. With the corporeal and worldly man, his Own is his all, he knows of nothing else than his Own, and imagines, as before said, that if he were to lose this Own he would perish. With the spiritual man also his Own has a similar appearance, for although he knows that the Lord is the life of all, and gives wisdom and understanding, and consequently the power to think and to act, yet this knowledge is rather the profession of his lips than the belief of his heart. But the celestial man discerns that the Lord is the life of all and gives the power to think and to act, for he perceives that it is really so. He never desires his Own, nevertheless an Own is given him by the Lord, which is conjoined with all perception of what is good and true, and with all happiness. The angels are in such an Own, and are at the same time in the highest peace and tranquility, for in their Own are those things which are the Lord's, who governs their Own, or them by means of their Own. This Own is the veriest celestial itself, whereas that of the corporeal man is infernal. But concerning this Own more hereafter.


Verses 19, 20. And Jehovah God formed out of the ground every beast of the field, and every fowl of the heavens, and brought it to the man to see what he would call it; and whatsoever the man called every living soul, that was the name thereof. And the man gave names to every beast, and to the fowl of the heavens, and to every wild animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a help as with him. By "beasts" are signified celestial affections, and by "fowls of the heavens" spiritual affections; that is to say, by "beasts" are signified things of the will, and by "fowls" things of the understanding. To "bring them to the man to see what he would call them" is to enable him to know their quality, and his "giving them names" signifies that he knew it. But notwithstanding that he knew the quality of the affections of good and of the knowledges of truth that were given him by the Lord, still he inclined to his Own, which is expressed in the same terms as before-that "there was not found a help as with him."


That by "beasts" and "animals" were anciently signified affections and like things in man, may appear strange at the present day; but as the men of those times were in a celestial idea, and as such things are represented in the world of spirits by animals, and in fact by such animals as they are like, therefore when they spoke in that way they meant nothing else. Nor is anything else meant in the Word in those places where beasts are mentioned either generally or specifically. The whole prophetic Word is full of such things, and therefore one who does not know what each beast specifically signifies, cannot possibly understand what the Word contains in the internal sense. But, as before observed, beasts are of two kinds- evil or noxious beasts, and good or harmless ones-and by the good beasts are signified good affections, as for instance by sheep, lambs, and doves; and as it is the celestial, or the celestial spiritual man, who is treated of, such are here meant. That "beasts" in general signify affections, may be seen above, confirmed by some passages in the Word (n. 45, 46), so that there is no need of further confirmation.


That to "call by name" signifies to know the quality, is because the ancients, by the "name" understood the essence of a thing, and by "seeing and calling by name" they understood to know the quality. The reason was that they gave names to their sons and daughters according to the things which were signified, for every name had something peculiar in it, from which, and by which, they might know the origin and the nature of their children, as will be seen in a future part of this work, when, of the Lord's Divine mercy, we come to treat of the twelve sons of Jacob. As therefore the names implied the source and quality of the things named, nothing else was understood by "calling by name." This was the customary mode of speaking among them, but one who does not understand this may wonder that such things should be signified.


In the Word also by "name" is signified the essence of a thing, and by "seeing and calling by name" is signified to know the quality. As in Isaiah: I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, Jehovah, who call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob My servant's sake, and Israel My chosen, I have even called thee by thy name, I have surnamed thee, and thou hast not known Me (Isa. 45:3-4). In this passage, to "call by name" and to "surname" signifies to foreknow the quality. Again: Thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of Jehovah shall declare (Isa. 62:2),signifying to become of another character, as appears from the preceding and subsequent verses. Again: Fear not, O Israel, for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine (Isa. 43:1), denoting that He knew their quality. Again in the same Prophet: Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their army by number. He will call them all by name (Isa. 40:26), meaning that He knew them all. In the Revelation: Thou hast a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments: he that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels (Rev. 3:4-5). Whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life (Rev. 13:8). By "names" in these passages are by no means meant names, but qualities; nor is the name of anyone ever known in heaven, but his quality.


From what has been stated, the connection of what is signified may be seen. In verse 18 it is said, "It is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a help as with him" and presently "beasts" and "birds" are spoken of, which nevertheless had been treated of before, and immediately it is repeated that "for the man there was not found a help as with him" which denotes that although he was permitted to know his quality as to the affections of good, and knowledges of truth, still he inclined to his Own; for those who are such as to desire what is their own, begin to despise the things of the Lord, however plainly they may be represented and shown to them.


Verse 21. And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in the place thereof. By a "rib" which is a bone of the chest, is meant man's Own, in which there is but little vitality, and indeed an Own which is dear to him; by "flesh in the place of the rib" is meant an Own in which there is vitality; by a "deep sleep" is meant the state into which he was let so that he might seem to himself to have what is his own, which state resembles sleep, because while in it he knows not but that he lives, thinks, speaks, and acts, from himself. But when he begins to know that this is false, he is then roused as it were out of sleep, and becomes awake.


The reason why what is man's own (and indeed an Own which is dear to him) is called a "rib" which is a bone of the chest, is that among the most ancient people the chest signified charity, because it contains both the heart and the lungs; and bones signified the viler things, because they possess a minimum of vitality; while flesh denoted such as had vitality. The ground of these significations is one of the deepest arcana known to the men of the most Ancient Church, concerning which of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter.


In the Word also, man's Own is signified by "bones" and indeed an Own vivified by the Lord, as in Isaiah: Jehovah shall satisfy thy soul in droughts, and make thy bones alert, and thou shalt be like a watered garden (Isa. 58:11). Again: Then shall ye see, and your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall sprout as the blade (Isa. 66:14). In David: All my bones shall say, Jehovah, who is like unto Thee? (Ps. 35:10). This is still more evident from Ezekiel, where he speaks of bones receiving flesh, and having spirit put into them: The hand of Jehovah set me in the midst of the valley, and it was full of bones; and He said to me, prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of Jehovah; thus saith the Lord Jehovih to these bones, Behold, I bring breath [spiritus] into you, and ye shall live, and I will lay sinews upon you, and will make flesh come upon you, and cover you with skin, and I will put breath [spiritus] in you, and ye shall live, and ye shall know that I am Jehovah (Ezek. 37:1, 4-6). [2] The Own of man, when viewed from heaven, appears like a something that is wholly bony, inanimate, and very ugly, consequently as being in itself dead, but when vivified by the Lord it looks like flesh. For man's Own is a mere dead thing, although to him it appears as something, indeed as everything. Whatever lives in him is from the Lord's life, and if this were withdrawn he would fall down as dead as a stone; for man is only an organ of life, and such as is the organ, such is the life's affection. The Lord alone has what is His Own; by this Own He redeemed man, and by this Own He saves him. The Lord's Own is Life, and from His Own, man's Own, which in itself is dead, is made alive. The Lord's Own is also signified by the Lord's words in Luke: A spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have (Luke 24:39). It was also meant by not a bone of the paschal lamb being broken (Exod. 12:46).


The state of man when in his Own, or when he supposes that he lives from himself, is compared to "deep sleep" and indeed by the ancients was called deep sleep; and in the Word it is said of such that they have "poured out upon them the spirit of deep sleep" (Isa. 29:10), and that they sleep a sleep (Jer. 51:57). That man's Own is in itself dead, and that no one has any life from himself, has been shown so clearly in the world of spirits, that evil spirits who love nothing but their Own, and obstinately insist that they live from themselves, were convinced by sensible experience, and were forced to confess that they do not live from themselves. For a number of years I have been permitted in an especial manner to know how the case is with what is man's own, and it has been granted to me to perceive clearly that I could think nothing from myself, but that every idea of thought flows in, and sometimes I could perceive how and whence it flowed in. The man who supposes that he lives from himself is therefore in what is false, and by believing that he lives from himself appropriates to himself everything evil and false, which he would never do if his belief were in accordance with the real truth of the case.


108-1 The Latin is tentoria, "tents" seemingly a misprint for santalos. [Reviser.]

131-1 The Latin word proprium is the term used in the original text that in this and other places has been rendered by the expression "Own." The dictionary meaning of propius, as an adjective, is "one's own" "proper" "belonging to one's self alone" "special" "particular" "peculiar." The neuter of this which is the word proprium, when used as a noun means "possession" "property;" also "a peculiarity" "characteristic mark" "distinguishing sign" "characteristic." The English adjective "own" is defined by Webster to mean "belonging to" "belonging exclusively or especially to" "peculiar;" so that our word "own" is a very exact equivalent of proprius, and if we make it a noun by writing it "Own" in order to answer to the Latin proprium, we effect a very close translation. [Reviser.]

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