3518. 'Go now to the flock' means to homeborn natural good that has not been joined to the Divine Rational. This is clear from the meaning of 'the flock' as good, dealt with in 343, 415, 1565, here natural good since the words are addressed to Jacob. Indeed homeborn good is meant since it was homebred, whereas the field from which Esau, who means the good of the natural, 3500, 3508, was to obtain his venison, means good that was not homeborn. In other places in the Word 'the flock' is used to refer to the good of the rational; but in such cases 'the herd' is used to refer to the good of the natural, see 2566. homeborn natural good is the good which a person possesses from his parents or is the good that he is born with, which is quite distinct and separate from the good of the natural which flows in from the Lord. What natural good is, and its essential nature, see 3470, 3471. To distinguish one from the other therefore, the first good is called the good of the natural, but the second natural good. What is more, everyone receives homeborn good both from father and from mother; and these are distinct from each other. Good received from the father is interior, that from the mother exterior. In the Lord's case these two forms of good were quite distinct and separate, for the Good which He had from the Father was Divine, whereas that which He had from the mother was polluted with hereditary evil. That Good within the Natural which the Lord had from the Father was His very own since it was His life itself; and this Good is represented by 'Esau'. But the natural good which the Lord possessed from the mother, being polluted with hereditary evil, was by its very nature evil; and it is this good that is meant by the description 'homeborn good'. Yet in spite of being thus polluted, homeborn good was nevertheless of service in the reformation of the natural. But once it had rendered its service it was cast away.
 With everyone who is being regenerated something similar takes place. The good which a person receives from the Lord as a new Father is interior, but the good he possesses from parents is exterior. The good which he receives from the Lord is called spiritual good, whereas that which he possesses from parents is called natural good. The latter good - that which he possesses from parents - is of service first of all in the reformation of him, for it is through that good, serving as joy and delight, that facts, and after that cognitions of truth, are brought in. But once it has served as the means to effect that purpose it is separated, and spiritual good comes to the fore and manifests itself. This becomes clear from much experience, merely for example from the fact that when a child first starts to learn he is moved by a desire for knowing, not initially on account of any end in view that is seen by himself but because of some innate joy and delight and because of other incentives. Later on, as he grows up, he is moved by a desire for knowing on account of some end he has in view - excelling others, that is, his rivals. Later still he is so moved on account of some worldly end. But when about to be regenerated his desire for knowing stems from the delight and pleasantness of truth, and when undergoing regeneration, which takes place in adult years, from a love of truth, and later on from a love of good. The ends in view which had existed previously, and their delights, are now separated little by little, to be replaced by interior good which comes from the Lord and manifests itself in his affection. From this it is evident that previous delights, which seemed in outward appearance to be forms of good, have served as means. Consecutive series of means such as these occur unceasingly.
 Such series may be compared to a tree, which at the initial stage or the start of spring decks its branches with leaves, and after that as that stage or spring advances it adorns them with blossom. Then, around summertime, it produces the elementary signs of its fruit, which go on to develop into the fruit itself; and at length within the fruit it produces seeds, in which are contained new trees like itself - potentially a whole garden, which becomes a reality if those seeds are planted. Such are the comparisons existing in the natural world. They are also representatives, for the whole natural order is a theatre representative of the Lord's kingdom in heaven, and therefore of the Lord's kingdom on earth, which is the Church, and consequently of the Lord's kingdom with every regenerate person. From all this it is evident how natural or homeborn good, despite being a merely external and indeed worldly delight, may be of service as the means for producing the good of the natural which may join itself to the good of the rational and so become regenerate or spiritual good, that is, good which comes from the Lord. These are the things which are represented and meant in this chapter by Esau and Jacob.
(Odkazy: Genesis 27:9)