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1 Mose 24

German: Luther (1545)         

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1 Abraham war alt und wohl betaget, und der HERR hatte ihn gesegnet allenthalben.

2 Und sprach zu seinem ältesten Knecht seines Hauses, der allen seinen Gütern vorstund: Lege deine Hand unter meine Hüfte

3 und schwöre mir bei dem HERRN, dem Gott des Himmels und der Erde, daß du meinem Sohn kein Weib nehmest von den Töchtern der Kanaaniter, unter welchen ich wohne;

4 sondern daß du ziehest in mein Vaterland und zu meiner Freundschaft und nehmest meinem Sohn Isaak ein Weib.

5 Der Knecht sprach: Wie, wenn das Weib mir nicht wollte folgen in dies Land? Soll ich dann deinen Sohn wiederbringen in jenes Land, daraus du gezogen bist?

6 Abraham sprach zu ihm: Da hüte dich vor, daß du meinen Sohn nicht wieder dahin bringest.

7 Der HERR, der Gott des Himmels, der mich von meines Vaters Hause genommen hat und von meiner Heimat, der mir geredet und mir auch geschworen hat und gesagt: Dies Land will ich deinem Samen geben, der wird seinen Engel vor dir her senden, daß du meinem Sohn daselbst ein Weib nehmest.

8 So aber das Weib dir nicht folgen will, so bist du dieses Eides quitt. Alleine bringe meinen Sohn nicht wieder dorthin.

9 Da legte der Knecht seine Hand unter die Hüfte Abrahams, seines HERRN, und schwur ihm solches.

10 Also nahm der Knecht zehn Kamele von den Kamelen seines HERRN und zog hin und hatte mit sich allerlei Güter seines HERRN; und machte sich auf und zog gen Mesopotamien zu der Stadt Nahors.

11 Da ließ er die Kamele sich lagern außen vor der Stadt bei einem Wasserbrunnen, des Abends um die Zeit, wenn die Weiber pflegten herauszugehen und Wasser zu schöpfen,

12 und sprach: HERR, du Gott meines HERRN Abraham, begegne mir heute und tu Barmherzigkeit an meinem HERRN Abraham.

13 Siehe, ich stehe hie bei dem Wasserbrunnen, und der Leute Töchter in dieser Stadt werden herauskommen, Wasser zu schöpfen.

14 Wenn nun eine Dirne kommt, zu der ich spreche: Neige deinen Krug und laß mich trinken, und sie sprechen wird: Trinke, ich will deine Kamele auch tränken, daß sie die sei, die du deinem Diener Isaak bescheret habest, und ich daran erkenne, daß du Barmherzigkeit an meinem HERRN getan hast.

15 Und ehe er ausgeredet hatte, siehe, da kam heraus Rebekka, Bethuels Tochter, der ein Sohn der Milka war, welche Nahors, Abrahams Bruders, Weib war, und trug einen Krug auf ihrer Achsel.

16 Und sie war eine sehr schöne Dirne von Angesicht, noch eine Jungfrau, und kein Mann hatte sie erkannt. Die stieg hinab zum Brunnen und füllete den Krug und stieg herauf.

17 Da lief ihr der Knecht entgegen und sprach: Laß mich ein wenig Wassers aus deinem Kruge trinken.

18 Und sie sprach: Trinke, mein HERR! Und eilend ließ sie den Krug hernieder auf ihre Hand und gab ihm zu trinken.

19 Und da sie ihm zu trinken gegeben hatte, sprach sie: Ich will deinen Kamelen auch schöpfen, bis sie alle getrunken.

20 Und eilete und goß den Krug aus in die Tränke und lief aber zum Brunnen zu schöpfen und schöpfete allen seinen Kamelen.

21 Der Mann aber wunderte sich ihrer und schwieg stille, bis er erkennete, ob der HERR zu seiner Reise Gnade gegeben hätte, oder nicht.

22 Da nun die Kamele alle getrunken hatten, nahm er eine güldene Spange, eines halben Sekels schwer, und zween Armringe an ihre Hände, zehn Sekel Goldes schwer,

23 und sprach: Meine Tochter, wem gehörest du an? Das sage mir doch. Haben wir auch Raum in deines Vaters Hause zu herbergen?

24 Sie sprach zu ihm: Ich bin Bethuels Tochter, des Sohnes Milkas, den sie dem Nahor geboren hat.

25 Und sagte weiter zu ihm: Es ist auch viel Stroh und Futter bei uns und Raums genug zu herbergen.

26 Da neigete sich der Mann und betete den HERRN an

27 und sprach: Gelobet sei der HERR, der Gott meines HERRN Abraham, der seine Barmherzigkeit und seine Wahrheit nicht verlassen hat an meinem HERRN; denn der HERR hat mich den Weg geführet zu meines HERRN Bruders Hause.

28 Und die Dirne lief und sagte solches alles an in ihrer Mutter Hause.

29 Und Rebekka hatte einen Bruder, der hieß Laban; und Laban lief zu dem Manne draußen bei dem Brunnen.

30 Und als er sah die Spangen und Armringe an seiner Schwester Händen und hörete die Worte Rebekkas, seiner Schwester, daß sie sprach: Also hat mir der Mann gesagt, kam er zu dem Manne, und siehe, er stund bei den Kamelen am Brunnen.

31 Und er sprach: Komm herein, du Gesegneter des HERRN! Warum stehest du draußen? Ich habe das Haus geräumet und für die Kamele auch Raum gemacht.

32 Also führete er den Mann ins Haus und zäumete die Kamele ab und gab ihnen Stroh und Futter und Wasser, zu waschen seine Füße und der Männer, die mit ihm waren,

33 und setzte ihm Essen vor. Er sprach aber: Ich will nicht essen, bis daß ich zuvor meine Sache geworben habe. Sie antworteten: Sage her!

34 Er sprach: Ich bin Abrahams Knecht.

35 Und der HERR hat meinen HERRN reichlich gesegnet, und ist groß worden; und hat ihm Schafe und Ochsen, Silber und Gold, Knechte und Mägde, Kamele und Esel gegeben.

36 Dazu hat Sara, meines HERRN Weib, einen Sohn geboren meinem HERRN in seinem Alter; dem hat er alles gegeben, was er hat.

37 Und mein HERR hat einen Eid von mir genommen und gesagt: Du sollst meinem Sohn kein Weib nehmen von den Töchtern der Kanaaniter, in deren Lande ich wohne,

38 sondern zeuch hin zu meines Vaters Hause und zu meinem Geschlecht; daselbst nimm meinem Sohn ein Weib.

39 Ich sprach aber zu meinem HERRN: Wie, wenn mir das Weib nicht folgen will?

40 Da sprach er zu mir: Der HERR, vor dem ich wandle, wird seinen Engel mit dir senden und Gnade zu deiner Reise geben, daß du meinem Sohn ein Weib nehmest von meiner Freundschaft und meines Vaters Hause.

41 Alsdann sollst du meines Eides quitt sein, wenn du zu meiner Freundschaft kommst; geben sie dir nicht, so bist du meines Eides quitt.

42 Also kam ich heute zum Brunnen und sprach: HERR, Gott meines HERRN Abraham, hast du Gnade zu meiner Reise gegeben, daher ich gereiset bin,

43 siehe, so stehe ich hie bei dem Wasserbrunnen. Wenn nun eine Jungfrau herauskommt zu schöpfen, und ich zu ihr spreche: Gib mir ein wenig Wasser zu trinken aus deinem Krug,

44 und sie wird sagen: Trinke du, ich will deinen Kamelen auch schöpfen, daß die sei das Weib, das der HERR meines HERRN Sohne bescheret hat.

45 Ehe ich nun solche Worte ausgeredet hatte in meinem Herzen, siehe, da kommt Rebekka heraus mit einem Krug auf ihrer Achsel und gehet hinab zum Brunnen und schöpfet. Da sprach ich zu ihr: Gib mir zu trinken.

46 Und sie nahm eilend den Krug von ihrer Achsel und sprach: Trinke, und deine Kamele will ich auch tränken. Also trank ich, und sie tränkte die Kamele auch.

47 Und ich fragte sie und sprach: Wes Tochter bist du? Sie antwortete: Ich bin Bethuels Tochter, des Sohnes Nahors, den ihm Milka geboren hat. Da hängete ich eine Spange an ihre Stirn und Armringe an ihre Hände;

48 und neigete mich und betete den HERRN an und lobte den HERRN, den Gott meines HERRN Abraham, der mich den rechten Weg geführet hat, daß ich seinem Sohn meines HERRN Bruders Tochter nehme.

49 Seid ihr nun die, so an meinem HERRN Freundschaft und Treue beweisen wollt, so saget mir's; wo nicht, so saget mir's aber, daß ich mich wende zur Rechten oder zur Linken.

50 Da antwortete Laban und Bethuel und sprachen: Das kommt vom HERRN; darum können wir nichts wider dich reden, weder Böses noch Gutes.

51 Da ist Rebekka vor dir; nimm sie und zeuch hin, daß sie deines HERRN Sohnes Weib sei, wie der HERR geredet hat.

52 Da diese Worte hörete Abrahams Knecht, bückte er sich dem HERRN zu der Erde.

53 Und zog hervor silberne und güldene Kleinode und Kleider und gab sie Rebekka; aber ihrem Bruder und der Mutter gab er Würze.

54 Da und trank er samt den Männern, die mit ihm waren, und blieb über Nacht allda. Des Morgens aber stund er auf und sprach: Lasset mich ziehen zu meinem HERRN.

55 Aber ihr Bruder und Mutter sprachen: Laß doch die Dirne einen Tag oder zehn bei uns bleiben, danach sollst du ziehen.

56 Da sprach er zu ihnen: Haltet mich nicht auf, denn der HERR hat Gnade zu meiner Reise gegeben. Lasset mich, daß ich zu meinem HERRN ziehe.

57 Da sprachen sie: Lasset uns die Dirne rufen und fragen, was sie dazu sagt.

58 Und riefen der Rebekka und sprachen zu ihr: Willst du mit diesem Manne ziehen? Sie antwortete: Ja, ich will mit ihm.

59 Also ließen sie Rebekka, ihre Schwester, ziehen mit ihrer Amme, samt Abrahams Knecht und seinen Leuten.

60 Und sie segneten Rebekka und sprachen zu ihr: Du bist unsere Schwester; wachse in viel tausendmal tausend, und dein Same besitze die Tore seiner Feinde.

61 Also machte sich Rebekka auf mit ihren Dirnen, und setzten sich auf die Kamele und zogen dem Manne nach. Und der Knecht nahm Rebekka an und zog hin.

62 Isaak aber kam vom Brunnen des Lebendigen und Sehenden (denn er wohnete im Lande gegen Mittag)

63 und war ausgegangen, zu beten auf dem Felde, um den Abend, und hub seine Augen auf und sah, daß Kamele daherkamen.

64 Und Rebekka hub ihre Augen auf und sah Isaak; da fiel sie vom Kamel

65 und sprach zu dem Knecht: Wer ist der Mann, der uns entgegenkommt auf dem Felde? Der Knecht sprach: Das ist mein HERR. Da nahm sie den Mantel und verhüllete sich.

66 Und der Knecht erzählete Isaak alle Sache, die er ausgerichtet hatte.

67 Da führete sie Isaak in die Hütte seiner Mutter Sara und nahm die Rebekka, und sie ward sein Weib, und gewann sie lieb. Also ward Isaak getröstet über seiner Mutter.

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Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 1356, 1358, 1992, 2851, 2943, 2959, 3015, ...


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 600

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Word/Phrase Explanations

Herr
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

gesegnet
The Lord is perfect love expressed as perfect wisdom. He created us so that He could love us, could give us love and wisdom of...

unter
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

gott
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

himmels
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

Sohn
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

isaak
'Isaac' represents spiritual love. 'Isaac,' in Genesis 17:19, signifies the rational divine. 'Isaac' signifies the Lord's divine rational in reference to divine good. Isaac' signifies...

Folgen
The basic meaning of "follow" in the Bible is pretty obvious if we consider what it means to "follow the Lord." That obviously doesn't mean...

Land
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

Hause
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

geschworen
The Lord swearing by himself signifies that divine truth testifies, for He is divine truth itself, and this testifies from itself and means itself. It...

samen
'A seed' signifies love, and everyone who has love, as in Genesis 12:7. 8:15, 16. 'A seed' signifies faith grounded in charity. 'A seed' signifies...

geben
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

engel
'A messenger' signifies communication.

Vor
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

senden
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

abrahams
Abraham (or Abram, as he is named in the beginning of his story) is one of the major characters in the story of the sacred...

zehn
Most places in Swedenborg identify “ten” as representing “all,” or in some cases “many” or “much.” The Ten Commandments represent all the guidance we get...

Kamele
A camel (Matt. 22:24) signifies scientific knowledge. Camels are confirming scientifics, and cattle are the knowledges of good and truth (Jer. 49:32.)

mesopotamien
'Mesopotamia' denotes knowledges of truth.

Stadt
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

Nahors
'Nahor,' as in Genesis 22:20, signifies the Lord’s church among the Gentiles.

Wasser
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

Zeit
Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...

heute
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

barmherzigkeit
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

dirne
The damsel of Rebecca (Gen. 24:61) signifies subservient affections. See Daughter.

Diener
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

rebekka
'Rebecca,' as in Genesis 24, signifies divine truth which would be joined to divine good of the Lord’s rational mind, which is 'Isaac.'

jungfrau
'Virgins,' as in Revelation 14:4, signify people who love truths because they are truths, so from a spiritual affection. 'Virgin' signifies the church as a...

Mann
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

getrunken
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

Brunnen
In Genesis 21, 'wells' signify doctrines, both those disputed and not disputed. Without this significance digging wells and disputing about them would have been too...

wunderte sich
Used as nouns, "marvels" and "wonders" are generally synonymous with miracles, which are expressions of the Lord's power in the world. In particular, the Lord...

Stille
'Silence' has various significations. In general it means everything which causes it, which includes astonishment, which is a special cause, as in Revelation 8:1.

Hände
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

tochter
"Behold I have two daughters,” etc. (Gen. 19:8), signifies the affections of good and truth, and the blessedness perceivable from the enjoyment thereof, by those...

geboren
In a general sense, being "born" in the Bible represents one spiritual state producing another, usually some form of love or affection producing or "giving...

viel
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

stroh
The word 'straw,' as in Genesis 24:25, signifies scientific truths, because it is food for camels. Straw,' as in Isaiah 11:6, signifies the Word in...

Futter
'Provender' signifies the good of scientific truths. 'To give provender to his donkey,' as in Genesis 42:27, signifies reflection upon scientific ideas, because 'provender' is...

uns
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

Genug
'Sufficiency' relates to the reception of good, because good is the spiritual nourishment of the soul, as natural food is the nourishment of the body.

Wahrheit
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

Weg
'To set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.

mutter
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

Bruder
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

laban
'Laban' signifies the affection of good in the natural self, or the affection of external good, and properly collateral good of a common stock. The...

sah
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

Schwester
The Lord calls people who are in truth from the good of charity from Him 'sisters,' as in Matthew 12:50. 'Sister' denotes intellectual truth, when...

kam
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

waschen
It does not take a great leap of imagination to see that “washing” in the Bible represents purification. Washing dirt from the skin is symbolic...

Füße
The foot, as in Deuteronomy 33:3, signifies an inferior principle. To set the right foot on the sea and the left on the earth, as...

silber
'Silver,' in the internal sense of the Word, signifies truth, but also falsity. 'Silver' means the truth of faith, or the truth acquired from selfhood,...

Gold
'Money' relates to truth.

Esel
Donkeys signify the things relating to the self-intelligence of the sensual man; and camels, the things of self-intelligence in the natural man (Isa 30:6, 7.)

Sara
'Sarah' denotes truth joined to good. Sarai was called 'Sarah' so she would represent the divine intellectual principle by adding the 'H' from the name...

Eid
'To sware' is a binding.

sagen
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

Herzen
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

Wende
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

antwortete
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

Bethuel
Bethuel (Gen. 24), signifies the origin of the affection of good.

reden
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

Kleider
Soft raiment,' as in Matthew 11:9, represents the internal sense of the Word.


When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

sagt
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

tausend
As children, most of us at some point frustrated our mothers into using the phrase “if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand...

Tore
"Gates" in ancient times had a significance that does not hold in the modern world. Cities then were enclosed by walls for protection; gates in...

mittag
'South' denotes truth in light.

Abend
Since the light and warmth of the sun represent the Lord’s wisdom and love, it makes sense that evening, a time when the light and...

augen
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

hütte
'Tent' is used in the Word to signify the celestial and holy aspects of love, because in ancient time they performed holy worship in their...

getröstet
When the Bible talks about someone being comforted or consoled, it generally means that they are being offered ideas that will help bring them to...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library by following this link.


 Conjugial Love
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Correspondences of Water
Illustration of places in the Word that relate to water.
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Family Worship: The Story of Isaac and Rebekah
Ideas for reading and discussing the story of Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24. Includes suggestions for extending the experience such as dramatizing parts of the story.
Religion Lesson | Ages 3 - 12

 Gifts for a Bride
The story includes two love stories: Isaac and Rebekah, and a beautiful wedding Swedenborg witnessed in heaven.
Story | Ages 4 - 8

 Isaac and Rebekah
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Isaac and Rebekah
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Isaac and Rebekah Marry
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Isaac Greets Rebekah
Drawing of Isaac greeting Rebekah after her journey.
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Isaac Marries Rebekah
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Isaac Meets Rebekah
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Marriage & Consent
Consent is more than a person saying "yes" to a marriage proposal. It sets the stage for asking and giving consent throughout a marriage.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Preparing for Marriage
Lesson and activities to explore ways we can prepare for a loving marriage.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 Protecting Marriage
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Puppet Play: Isaac and Rebekah
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Quotes: Marriage Is a Gift from God
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Rebekah at the Well
This story shows the Lord’s love and care for those who trust in Him and obey His teachings. 
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Rebekah at the Well: Servant Asks for Water
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Rebekah Gives Servant Water
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Servant Brings Rebekah
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Story of Isaac and Rebekah Retold
Retelling of the story of Isaac and Rebekah for younger children.
Story | Ages 4 - 8

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Arcana Coelestia # 2851

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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2851. 'Your seed will inherit the gate of their enemies' means that charity and faith will take the place occupied previously by evil and falsity. This is clear from the meaning of 'inheriting' as receiving the Lord's life, dealt with in 2658, here as taking the place of, for when charity and faith exist in the place occupied previously by evil and falsity, the Lord's life enters in there; from the meaning of 'seed' as charity and faith, dealt with in 1025, 1447, 1610, 1941; from the meaning of 'gate', dealt with below; and from the meaning of 'enemies' as evils and falsities, or what amounts to the same, people who are subject to evil and falsity. It is the latter who are meant by enemies and foes in the internal sense of the Word.

[2] As regards the meaning of 'a gate', there are in general two gates with each individual person. One gate is exposed towards hell and is open to evils and falsities from there. In that gate genii and spirits from hell are present. The other gate is exposed towards heaven and is open to goods and truths from there. In that gate angels are present. Thus there is a gate leading to hell and a gate leading to heaven. The gate to hell is open to those who are immersed in evil and falsity, and only through chinks round about overhead does any light at all from heaven penetrate, which enables them to think and to reason. But the gate to heaven is open to those who are immersed in good and truth from there.

[3] For there are two paths which lead into a person's rational mind, a higher or internal path along which good and truth from the Lord enter in, and a lower or external path along which evil and falsity enter in surreptitiously from hell. In the middle is the rational mind towards which the two paths converge. From the goods and truths present there the rational mind is compared in the Word to a city and is actually called a city. And because it is compared to and actually called a city it is depicted as having gates, and is described in various places as having enemies, that is, evil genii and spirits, besieging it and assaulting it, while angels from the Lord are defending it, that is, the Lord Himself is doing so. The genii and spirits from hell, with their evils and falsities, can go no further than towards the lower or outer gate, and cannot pass at all into the city. If they were able to pass into the city, which is the rational mind, man would be completely done for. But when they reach the point, as it seems to them, that they have taken the city by storm, it is then closed, so that good and truth no longer flow into it from heaven, apart, as has been stated, from that small amount which comes in through chinks round about. As a consequence such persons no longer possess any charity at all or any faith at all, but make good consist in evil, and truth in falsity. They also as a consequence cease to be truly rational, though they seem to themselves to be so, 1914, 1944, and are called 'dead men', though they themselves believe they are more alive than any others, 81, 290 (end). These things are so because the gate to heaven is closed to them. The fact that it is closed to them is quite apparent and is discerned in the next life, and so conversely that the gate to heaven is open to those in whom good and truth are present.

[4] As regards 'the gate of enemies' in particular, spoken of in this verse, it is the gate that exists with a person in his natural mind. That gate when the person is wholly natural or as yet unregenerate is occupied by evils and falsities, or what amounts to the same, evil genii and spirits are flowing into it together with evil desires and false persuasions, see 687, 698, 1692. When however a person is spiritual or being regenerated, evils and falsities, or what amounts to the same, evil genii and spirits, are driven away from that gate, that is, from the natural mind. Once they have been driven away, goods and truths, or charity and faith, take their place; and these - charity and faith - are meant by 'your seed will inherit the gate of their enemies'. This is what takes place in particular with each individual person when he is being regenerated, and similarly in the next life with those entering the Lord's kingdom; and also what takes place in general, that is, in the Church, which is made up of many individuals.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 697)


[5] This transformation was represented by the children of Israel driving the nations from the land of Canaan. Such expulsion of those nations is what, in the literal sense, the words 'your seed will inherit the gate of their enemies' are used to mean; but in the internal sense the things which have just been described are meant. This also explains why in ancient times it was customary to use words such as these when blessing persons who were about to be married, as is also evident from the blessing which Laban gave to Rebekah his sister when, already betrothed, she was about to go to Isaac,

Our sister, may you be [the mother] of thousands of myriads, and may your seed inherit the gate of those who hate you. Genesis 24:60.

[6] That such things are meant in the Word by 'the gate of enemies' or 'of those who hate' becomes clear from the following places: In Isaiah,

I will kill your root with famine, and your remnant will I slay. Wail, O gate; cry, O city; you have melted away, O Philistia, all of you, for smoke comes out of the north. Isaiah 14:30-31.

'Killing the root with famine and slaying the remnant' stands for the removal of goods and truths which the Lord has stored away inwardly - 'the remnant' meaning such goods and truths, see 468, 530, 560-562, 661, 798, 1050, 1738, 1906, 2284. 'Gate' stands for the place of entry into things that are interior, that is, into the rational mind. 'City' stands for that mind, or what amounts to the same, for the goods and truths there, 402, 2268, 2449, 2451, 2712. 'Philistia' stands for knowledge of the cognitions of faith, or what amounts to the same, for those who have a knowledge of those cognitions but not of the goods that spring from faith, 1197, 1198. 'Smoke from the north' stands for falsity from hell - smoke being falsity arising out of evil, 1861.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 1197-1198, Arcana Coelestia 2450-2451)


[7] In the same prophet,

The city of hollowness will be broken down, every house will be shut up to prevent it being entered. There will be an outcry in the streets over [the lack] of wine, all joy will be made desolate, the gladness of the earth will be banished. What is left in the city will be desolation, and the gate will be smitten with vastation, for thus will it be in the midst of the earth, in the midst of the peoples. Isaiah 24:10-13.

'The city of hollowness' which 'will be broken down' stands for the human mind deprived of truth. 'Every house will be shut up' stands for lack of good - 'house' meaning good, 2233. 'An outcry in the streets over [the lack of] wine' stands for a state of falsity - 'outcry' having reference to falsities, 2240. 'Wine' means truth over which there will be an outcry because there is none, 1071, 1798, and 'streets' means the things that lead to truths, 2336. 'The joy which is being made desolate' has reference to truth, 'the gladness of the earth that is being banished' to good. All this shows what is meant by 'what is left in the city will be desolation' and 'the gate will be smitten with vastation'. The gate is said to be vastated when nothing but evils and falsities reign.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234)


[8] In Jeremiah,

The roads of Zion are mourning that none come to the appointed feast. All her gates are desolate, her priests groan, her virgins are afflicted, and she herself is in bitterness. Her enemies have become the head, her foes secure, because Jehovah has afflicted [her] over the multitude of her transgressions. Her young children have gone away captive before the enemy. Lamentations 1:4-5.

'The roads of Zion mourning' stands for there being no longer any truths that come from good -'roads' meaning truths, 189, 627, 2333. 'All her gates are desolate' stands for all the entrances being occupied by falsities. 'Her enemies have become the head' stands for evils reigning.

[9] In the same prophet,

Jehovah has caused the rampart, and the wall of the daughter of Zion, to mourn; they languish together. Her gates have become pressed down into the ground; He has destroyed and broken her bars; her king and her princes are among the nations. The law is no more; even her prophets have found no vision from Jehovah. All your foes have opened their mouth against you, they have hissed and gnashed their teeth; they have said, We have swallowed her up; this is the day we have awaited; we have found, we have seen it. Lamentations 2:8-9, 16.

'Gates pressed down into the ground' stands for the natural mind when occupied by evils and falsities. 'Her king and princes are among the nations' stands for truths immersed in evils - 'king' meaning truth in general, 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069, 'princes' first and foremost truths, 1482, 2089, and 'nations' evil, 1259, 1260, 1849, 1868, 2588.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 1089, Arcana Coelestia 1259-1260)


[10] In Moses,

A nation from far away, from the end of the earth will distress you within all your gates until your high and fortified walls in which you trust come down in all your land. And it will distress you within all your gates, in the whole of your land. Thus will your enemy distress you. Deuteronomy 28:49, 52-53.

These calamities are found among the curses which Moses foretold to the people if they did not hold fast to the commandments and statutes. 'A nation from far away, from the end of the earth' stands in the internal sense for evils and falsities, that is, for those who are immersed in evil and falsity. 'Distressing them within all their gates' stands for sealing off every access to good and truth.

[11] In Nahum,

Behold, your people are women in the midst of you. The gates of your land have been opened wide to your enemies; fire has devoured your bars. Draw yourself water for the siege, strengthen your fortifications; go into the mud and tread the bitumen; strengthen the brick-kiln. Nahum 3:13-14.

'The gates of the land opened wide to enemies' stands for evils occupying the position where goods ought to be. In the Book of Judges, The highways ceased to be, and they went along by-paths; they went along twisting ways; the streets in Israel ceased to be. He chose new gods, at which point the gates were assailed - was a shield seen, or a spear, among the forty thousand of Israel? Judges 5:6-8.

This is the prophecy of Deborah and Barak. 'The gates were assailed' stands for an assault on goods and truths.

[12] In David,

Those who dwell in the gate plot against me; those who drink strong drink sing songs. Psalms 69:12.

'Those who dwell in the gate' stands for evils and falsities, and also for those who are from hell. In Ezekiel,

In the visions of God he was brought to the door of the inner gate which looked towards the north. There he saw the great abominations of the house of Israel. He was also brought to the door of the gate of the house of Jehovah which looked towards the north. There also [he saw] abominations. Ezekiel 8:3, 6, 14-15.

'The door of the inner gate which looked towards the north' stands for the place where interior falsities exist. 'The door of the gate of the house of Jehovah towards the north' stands for the place where interior evils exist. The fact that the falsities and evils are interior, and that it is an interior sphere in which such spirits and genii reside, see 2121-2124.

[13] In David,

Behold, sons are a possession of Jehovah, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like darts in the hand of a strong man so are the sons of youth. 1 Blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them. They will not be put to shame, for they will speak with enemies in the gate. Psalms 127:3-5.

'Speaking with enemies in the gate' stands for having no fear of evils and falsities, nor thus of hell. In Isaiah,

On that day Jehovah Zebaoth will be a spirit of judgement to him who sits in judgement, and strength to those who turn back the battle towards the gate. They are also made senseless from wine, and err from strong drink. Isaiah 28:5-7.

In the same prophet,

They will be cut off who cause people to sin by a word, and who lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate and cause him who is just to turn aside to something empty. Isaiah 29:20-21.

In the same prophet,

Elam bore the quiver in the chariot of man (homo), [and] horsemen, Kir uncovered the shield, and the choicest of your valleys was full of chariots and horsemen; they positioned themselves at the gate. And he looked on that day to the armoury of the house of the forest. Isaiah 22:6-8.

In Jeremiah,

Judah mourned and her gates languished; the people were in black down to the ground, and the cry of Jerusalem went up. Their great men sent lesser ones to the waters; they came to the pits, they found no water. Jeremiah 14:1-3.

In the same prophet,

The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their singing. Lamentations 5:14

(Odkazy: Jeremiah 14:2-3)


[14] All these places show what is meant by 'the gate of enemies', namely hell, or those from hell who are constantly mounting an assault on goods and truths. They have their seat with a person, as has been stated, in his natural mind; but when the person is such that he allows goods and truths, and so angels, to enter in, the Lord drives away from that seat those who are from hell. And once they have been driven away, the gate to heaven, or heaven itself, is opened. This gate also is mentioned in various places in the Word, as in Isaiah,

A song in the land of Judah, Ours is a strong city, salvation will establish walls and rampart. Open the gates and the righteous nation that keeps faith will enter in. Isaiah 26:1-2.

In the same prophet,

Thus said Jehovah to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped to put down nations before him, and I will open the loins of kings, to open doors before him, and the gates will not be shut; I will go before you and make straight the crooked places; I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut asunder the bars of iron. Isaiah 45:1-2.

In the same prophet,

The sons of the foreigner will build up your walls, and their kings will minister to you. They will keep your gates open continually, day and night they will not be shut. Violence will no more be heard in your land, devastation and ruin within your borders; and you will call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise. Isaiah 60:10-11, 18.

In the same prophet,

Go through, go through the gates; prepare the way for the people; level out, level out the highway. Say to the daughter of Zion, Behold, your salvation comes. Isaiah 62:10-12.

In Micah,

They will go through the gate, and go out by it; and their king will go on before them, and Jehovah at the head of them. Micah 2:13.

In David,

Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O eternal doors, and the King of glory will come in. Who is this King of glory? Jehovah strong and mighty, Jehovah mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates, lift up, O eternal doors. Psalms 24:7-10.

In the same author,

Celebrate Jehovah, O Jerusalem, praise your God, O Zion! For He strengthens the bars of your gates, He blesses your children in the midst of you. Psalms 147:12-13.

(Odkazy: Isaiah 14:1-2)


[15] From all these places it is evident that 'the gate of heaven' is the place where angels are present with a person, that is, where good and truth are flowing in from the Lord. Thus there are, as has been stated, two gates, to which the Lord refers in Matthew as follows,

Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the road is broad which leads away to destruction; and those who enter by it are many. For narrow and strait is the road that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:12-14; Luke 13:23-24.

In addition the gates to the New Jerusalem and the gates to the new Temple are dealt with extensively in Ezekiel and also in John, in the Book of Revelation. By these gates nothing else is meant than the entrances into heaven - see Ezekiel 40:6-49; 43:1-2, 4; 44:1-3; 46:1-9, 12; 48:31-34; Revelation 21:12-13, 21, 25; 22:14; Isaiah 54:11-12. And this is why Jerusalem is called The Gate of the People, Micah 1:9; Obad. verse 13.

-----
Footnotes:

1. literally, the sons of firstfruits

-----

(Odkazy: Genesis 22:17; Matthew 7:13-14; Obadiah 1:13)


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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 2943, 3187, 3672, 3721, 8327, 9338, 9927, 9954, 10447


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 278, 375

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1 Mose 24:26

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