(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 4180

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4180. Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the Dread of Isaac, had been with me. That this signifies unless the Divine and the Divine Human, is evident from the signification of "the God of my father," when predicated of the Lord, as being the Divine as to good; the "Father" being the Divine good, and the "Son" the Divine truth (n. 2803, 3704), here, the Divine good of each Essence; from the signification of "the God of Abraham," as being the Divine Itself which is called the Divine Essence, for Abraham represents the Lord as to the Divine Itself (n. 2011, 3439); and from the signification of the "Dread of Isaac," as being the Divine Human. The "Dread" is mentioned because the Divine truth is meant, for the Divine truth carries with it fear, dread, and terror to those who are not in good; but not so the Divine good, which terrifies no one. The same is meant further on in this chapter: "Jacob swore by the Dread of his father Isaac" (verse 53). For as Laban was then separated from Jacob (that is, the mediate good separated from good Divine) he was in such a state as to wish to inflict evil, as is manifest from what is said of Laban. Therefore as he was in such a state, it is said the "Dread of Isaac." That the "Dread of Isaac" means the God of Isaac, everyone can see, and also that Laban was in that state. Isaac represents the Lord's Divine Human, and this as to the Divine rational (n. 1893, 2066, 2072, 2083, 2630, 3012, 3194, 3210, 3973).
[2] As to the Divine truth which is from the Lord carrying fear with it to those who are not in good, but not the Divine good, the case is this: The Holy which proceeds from the Lord has in itself Divine good and Divine truth. These proceed continually from the Lord. From them is the light which is in the heavens, and therefore the light which is in human minds, and consequently wisdom and intelligence, for these are within that light. But that light, or wisdom and intelligence, affects all according to their reception. Those who are in evil do not receive the Divine good, for they are in no love and charity; for all good is of love and charity. The Divine truth however can be received even by the evil, but only by their external man, not by their internal.
[3] This is like the heat and light from the sun. Spiritual heat is love, and thus good; but spiritual light is faith, and thus truth. When heat is received from the sun, the trees and flowers vegetate and produce leaves, flowers, and fruits or seeds. This comes to pass in the time of spring and summer. When however heat is not received from the sun, but only light, nothing vegetates, but all vegetation grows torpid, as in the time of autumn and winter. So also it is with spiritual heat and light, which are from the Lord. If man is like spring or summer, he receives the good of love and charity, and produces fruits; but if he is like autumn and winter, he does not receive the good of love and charity, and accordingly does not produce fruits. Yet he may still receive light, that is, may know the things of faith or truth. Wintry light has a similar effect, for it presents colors and beauties and makes them conspicuous, like summer light, but with the difference that it does not penetrate toward the interiors, because there is no heat in it, and hence no quickening.
[4] When therefore good is not received, but only light, it is as when heat is not received in objects, but only an image of form and beauty from the light, and hence there is cold within; and where there is cold within, there is a torpor of everything there, and as it were a shrinking and shuddering when light introduces itself there. This is what causes fear, dread, and terror in living things. By this comparison it may in some degree be comprehended how it is with the fear, dread, and terror that come to the evil-that is, that they do not come from the Divine good, but from the Divine truth, and this when they do not receive the Divine good, and yet receive the Divine truth. Also, that Divine truth without good cannot penetrate toward the interiors, but merely adheres to the extremes, that is, to the external man, and mostly to its sensuous part; and that from this a man sometimes appears beautiful in the external form, when yet he is foul in the internal form. From this it may also be seen what is the nature of the faith that exists with very many, which they say saves without good works, that is, without willing well and acting well.
[5] As the Divine truth proceeds from the Divine Human, but not from the Divine Itself, it is therefore the Divine Human which is here signified by the "Dread of Isaac;" for, as just now said, it is the Divine truth which terrifies, but not the Divine good. That the Divine truth proceeds from the Lord's Divine Human, but not from the Divine Itself, is an arcanum not hitherto disclosed. The case is this: Before the Lord came into the world the Divine Itself flowed into the whole heaven; and as heaven then consisted for the most part of the celestial, that is, of those who were in the good of love, through this influx, by the Divine Omnipotence, there was brought forth the light which was in the heavens, and thereby wisdom and intelligence. But after the human race had removed itself from the good of love and charity, that light could no longer be produced through heaven, nor, consequently, the wisdom and intelligence that would penetrate down to the human race. For this cause, from the necessity of their being saved, the Lord came into the world, and made the Human in Himself Divine, in order that as to His Divine Human He might become the Divine Light, and might thus illuminate the universal heaven and the universal world. From eternity He had been the Light itself, for that Light was from the Divine Itself through heaven. And it was the Divine Itself which took on the human, and made this Divine; and when this was made Divine, He could then thereby illuminate not only the celestial heaven itself, but also the spiritual heaven, and likewise the human race, which received and receives the Divine truth in good, that is, in love to Him and in charity toward the neighbor, as is manifest in John:
As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, to them that believe on His name; who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13).
[6] From what has now been said we can see what is signified by these words in John:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. That was the true light, that lighteth every man that cometh into the world (John 1:1-4, 9 seq.).
The "Word" here signifies the Divine truth. Nevertheless that the Lord is Divine good as to each essence, and that the Divine truth proceeds from Him, may be seen above (n. 3704). For the Divine good cannot be received by man, nor even by an angel, but only by the Lord's Divine Human, as is meant by these words in John:
No one hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath exhibited Him (John 1:18).
But the Divine truth can be received, but in such a quality as is possible with the man who receives; and in this the Divine good can dwell, with a difference according to the reception.
[7] Such are the arcana which are presented to the angels when these words are read by man: "Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the Dread of Isaac, had been with me." From this it is manifest how much that is heavenly there is in the Word, and in every particular of it, even when nothing of it is apparent in the sense of the letter; and also what angelic wisdom is in comparison with human wisdom; and that the angels are in the highest arcana while the man does not even know that there is any arcanum within. Rut these things which have been mentioned are only a very few, for in these arcana the angels see and perceive things innumerable, nay, things relatively unlimited, which cannot possibly be uttered, because human speech is not adequate to express them, nor is the human mind capable of receiving them.


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