(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 4601

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4601. That Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine. That this signifies the profanation of good by means of faith separate, and that and Israel heard signifies that this faith was rejected, is evident from the representation of Reuben as being faith in doctrine and in understanding, which is the first thing of the church (see n. 3861, 3866), here this faith separate from charity (of which in what follows); and from the signification of "lying with Bilhah his father's concubine," as being the profanation of good, for "to commit adultery" signifies to pervert or adulterate goods (n. 2466, 2729, 3399), but "to lie with a father's concubine" is to profane them; and from the signification of "Israel heard," as being that this faith was rejected. In the proper sense by Israel's hearing is signified that the spiritual church knew this and assented to it; for by "hearing" is signified hearkening to, and by "Israel" the spiritual church; but that the true church does not assent, will appear from what will be said about Reuben. But in the internal sense is signified that this faith was rejected, for it is not said what Jacob felt and thought about this nefarious deed; nevertheless that he utterly abominated and abhorred it, is manifest from his prophecy respecting Reuben:
Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my strength, and the beginning of my might; excellent in honor, and excellent in power. Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel, who wentest up thy father's bed, then profanedst thou it, he went up my couch (Gen. 49:3, 4);
and from Reuben's being on this account deprived of his birthright (1 Chron. 5:1). Hence it is evident that by "Israel heard" is signified that this faith was rejected. (That "birthright" is the faith of the church may be seen above, n. 352, 2435, 3325.)
[2] The profanation of good is effected by faith separate when the truth of the church and its good are acknowledged and believed, and yet the man lives contrary to them. For with those who separate the things of faith from those of charity in the understanding and thence in life, evil is conjoined with truth and falsity with good; and this conjunction itself is what is called profanation. It is otherwise with those, who, although they know what the truth and good of faith are, still do not at heart believe. (See what has been said and shown before on profanation, n. 301-303, 571, 582, 593, 1001, 1003, 1008, 1010, 1059, 1327, 1328, 2051, 2426, 3398, 3399, 3402, 3489, 3898, 4050, 4289; also that the profanation of good by faith separate was represented by Cain's killing Abel; by Ham's being cursed by his father; and by the Egyptians being swallowed up by the Red Sea, n. 3325; and here also by Reuben, n. 3325, 3870).
[3] In order that those who are of the spiritual church could be saved, the Lord miraculously separated their intellectual part from their will part, and bestowed upon the intellectual the power of receiving a new will (n. 863, 875, 895, 927, 928, 1023, 1043, 1044, 2256, 4328, 4493). When therefore the intellectual apprehends and perceives the good which is of faith, and appropriates it to itself, and yet man's will (that is, his willing evil) still reigns and commands, there is effected the conjunction of truth and evil, and of good and falsity. This conjunction is profanation, and is meant by eating and drinking unworthily in the Holy Supper, said of those from whom the good which is there signified by the "body," and the truth which is there signified by the "blood," cannot be separated, because things which have been conjoined in this manner can never be separated to all eternity, and therefore the deepest hell awaits them. But they who know what the truth and good of faith are, and yet do not at heart believe them (as is the case with most people at the present day), cannot profane them, because the intellectual does not receive them and imbue itself with them.
[4] It is the rejection of this separated faith that is here treated of, because in what presently follows truths and goods are treated of in their genuine order, and directly afterwards their conjunction with the rational or intellectual. The sons of Jacob presently named are truths and goods in genuine order, and Isaac is the rational or intellectual. The coming of Jacob and his sons to Isaac, is in the internal sense this conjunction with the intellectual.


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