(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 4923

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4923. Saying, this came out first. That this signifies that it had the priority, is evident from the signification of "coming out first," or being the firstborn, as being priority and superiority (n. 3325). The subject treated of here and through the remainder of this chapter is primogeniture. One who has no knowledge of the internal sense of the Word may suppose that it is primogeniture only that is treated of, and consequently the prerogatives which the firstborn would have according to the laws; but one who knows anything of the internal sense can see plainly enough that something more exalted also lies concealed and stored up in these words, not only from the very fact that one of the children put out his hand and drew it back again, whereupon the other came out, but also from the fact that they were named from this, and that the midwife bound double-dyed upon the hand of the first; and further from the fact that very similar incidents were related of Esau and Jacob-that they struggled together in the womb, and that when Esau came out first, Jacob took hold of his heel (Gen. 25:22, 26); and from the similarity of the case of the two sons of Joseph, on the younger of whom Jacob placed his right hand, and on the other his left hand, when he blessed them (Gen. 48:14, 17-19).
[2] The Jews and also some Christians believe indeed that in these, and also in the rest of the passages of the Word, there is some meaning stored up, which they call mystical, the reason of this belief being that an idea of holiness in regard to the Word has been impressed upon them from early childhood; but when it is inquired what this mystical meaning is, they do not know. If they are told that because the Word is Divine, this meaning must necessarily be such as is in heaven among the angels; and that no other mystical meaning can exist in the Word, or if so, that it would be either fabulous or magical or idolatrous; and furthermore that this mystical meaning which is in heaven among the angels is nothing else than what is called the spiritual and celestial, and treats solely of the Lord, of His kingdom, and of the church, consequently of good and truth; and that if they knew what good and truth, or what faith and love, are, they would be able to know this meaning-when this is told them, scarcely anyone believes it; nay, in such ignorance at the present day are they who are of the church, that what is related concerning the celestial and spiritual, is scarcely comprehensible to them. Be it so; nevertheless as it has been granted me of the Lord's Divine mercy to be at the same time in heaven as a spirit and on earth as a man, and therefore to speak with angels, and this now continually for many years, I cannot do otherwise than open those things of the Word which are called mystical, that is, its interiors, which are the spiritual and celestial things of the Lord's kingdom. But what the incidents related of the two sons of Tamar involve in the internal sense, will be shown in the following pages.


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