(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 4307

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4307. That in the internal historical sense by "Jacob asked and said, Tell I pray thy name," are signified evil spirits, may be seen from many things in this sense, in which these words and those which follow are predicated of the posterity of Jacob; for the internal sense is determined by its application to the subject treated of. That not good spirits, but evil ones are signified by him who wrestled with Jacob, may be seen from the fact that by "wrestling" is signified temptation (n. 3927, 3928, 4274); and temptation is never caused by good spirits, but by evil, for temptation is the excitation of the evil and falsity that are in the man (n. 741, 751, 761, 1820, 4249, 4299). Good spirits and angels never excite evils and falsities, but defend man against them, and bend them to good; for good spirits are led by the Lord, and from the Lord nothing ever proceeds but holy good and holy truth. That the Lord tempts no one, is known from the doctrine received in the church, and may also be seen above (n. 1875, 2768). From this, and also from the fact that the posterity of Jacob gave way in every temptation, both in the wilderness and afterwards, it is evident that not good spirits, but evil, are signified by him who wrestled with Jacob. Moreover that nation, which is here signified by "Jacob," was not in any spiritual and heavenly love, but in bodily and worldly love (n. 4281, 4288-4290, 4293); and the presence of spirits with men is determined in accordance with their loves. Good spirits and angels are present with those who are in spiritual and heavenly love, and evil spirits with those who are solely in bodily and worldly love; and this so much that everyone may know the quality of the spirits with him by merely observing the quality of his loves, or what is the same, the quality of his ends; for everyone has for an end that which he loves.
[2] The reason why the spirit called himself God was that Jacob believed this; like his posterity, who constantly believed that Jehovah was in their holy external, when yet Jehovah was present only representatively, as will be evident from what follows. They also believed that Jehovah led into temptations, that all evil was from Him, and that He was in anger and fury when they were punished. For this reason it was so expressed in the Word, in accordance with their belief, when yet Jehovah never leads into temptations, nor is there ever anything evil from Him, nor is He ever in anger, and still less in fury (see n. 223, 245, 592, 696, 1093, 1683, 1874, 1875, 2395, 3605, 3607, 3614). This is also the reason why he who wrestled with Jacob was not willing to reveal his name. That in the internal spiritual sense by him who wrestled with Jacob is meant the angelic heaven (n. 4295), is because the Lord, who in the supreme sense is there represented by Jacob, allowed angels also to tempt Him; and because the angels were at that time left to what is their own, as was shown in the number cited.


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