Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 3489

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3489. To those within the Church it is not apparent that this is the condition of the Church, that is to say, that they treat with contempt and loathe everything to do with goodness and truth, and also show hostility towards those things, especially towards the Lord Himself. They do indeed attend places of worship, listen to sermons with some kind of reverence while they are there, go to the Holy Supper, and sometimes discuss those things with one another in a seemly way. The evil accordingly do the same things as the good, even exercising common charity or friendship to one another, and as a consequence others do not see in them any contempt for the goods and truths of faith, or therefore any contempt for the Lord, still less any loathing of these, and least of all any hostility towards them. But those very actions are outward forms, by which one person leads another astray, whereas the inward forms existing with members of the Church are completely different and the complete reverse of those outward forms. It is the inward forms which are described here and which are of that nature. The essential nature of these inward forms is presented visually in heaven; for the angels pay no attention to anything else than the things that are internal - to ends in view, that is, to people's intentions and wills, and to their thoughts stemming from these. How different these are from external things becomes clear from members of the Christian world entering the next life, regarding whom see 2121-2126.

[2] Indeed in the next life it is solely in accordance with internal things that people think and speak, for external things have been left behind with the body. There it is evident that however peaceable such people seemed to be in the world they nevertheless hated one another, and hated everything belonging to faith, hating the Lord above all else; for at the mere mention of the Lord's name in their presence in the next life a sphere not only of contempt but also of loathing and hostility towards Him clearly emanates from them and envelops them, including those who to outward appearances spoke about Him with reverence and also preached about Him. It is similar when charity and faith are mentioned. As to their inward form which is disclosed there, these people are such as they would have been while living in the world if external restraints had been released and taken away from them. That is, if they had not in the world feared for their lives and feared the law, and in particular if they had not feared for their reputation on account of the positions they strove and worked for, and of the wealth they desired and avidly sought after, they would on account of their deadly hatred have laid into one another, as their intentions and thought directed them. And without any conscience they would have seized other people's goods and also without any conscience would have butchered them, no matter how utterly innocent their victims may have been. Such is the nature of Christians interiorly at the present day, apart from a few who remain unknown. From all this it is evident what the nature of the Church is essentially.


  1. And so it was, that Isaac was old and his eyes were becoming dark so that he could not see; and he called Esau his elder son and said to him, My son; and he said to him, Here I am.

  2. And he said, Behold now, I am old; I do not know the day of my death.

  3. And now take, I beg you, your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt venison for me.

  4. And make me savoury food such as I love, and bring it to me, and I will eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die.

  5. And Rebekah was listening to Isaac while he spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, to bring it [home].

  6. And Rebekah said to Jacob her son - she said - Behold, I listened to your father speaking to Esau your brother, saying,

  7. Bring me venison, and make me savoury food, and I will eat, and I will bless you before Jehovah, before my death.

  8. And now, my son, hearken to my voice, to what I command you.

  9. Go now to the flock, and take for me from there two good kids of the she-goats, and I will make them into savoury food for your father, such as he loves.

  10. And bring it to your father, and let him eat, so that he may bless you before his death.

  11. And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man.

  12. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall be in his eyes as one who misleads, and I shall bring upon myself a curse and not a blessing.

  13. And his mother said to him, Upon me be your curse, my son; only hearken to my voice, and go, take them for me.

  14. And he went and took them, and brought them to his mother; and his mother made savoury food such as his father loved.

  15. And Rebekah took the best clothesa of Esau her elder son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son.

  16. And she put the skins of the kids of the she-goats on his hands and on the smooth of his neck.

  17. And she gave the savoury food and the bread which she had made into the hand of Jacob her son.

  18. And he went to his father, and said, My father. And he said, Behold, here I am; who are you, my son?

  19. And Jacob said to his father, I am Esau your firstborn; I have done what you told me. Rise up now; sit, and eat from my venison, so that your soul may bless me.

  20. And Isaac said to his son, Why have you found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because Jehovah your God caused it to come before my face.

  21. And Isaac said to Jacob, Come near now, and I will feel you, my son, whether you are my son Esau, or not.

  22. And Jacob came near to Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, and the hands Esau's hands.

  23. And he did not recognize him because his hands were hairy like the hands of Esau his brother; and he blessed him.

  24. And he said, Are you my very son Esau? And he said, I am.

  25. And he said, Bring it to me, and I will eat from my son's venison, so that my soul may bless you. And he brought it to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank.

  26. And Isaac his father said to him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.

  27. And he came near and kissed him. And he smelled the odour of his clothes, and he blessed him, and he said, See, the odour of my son, like the odour of the field that Jehovah has blessed.

  28. And God will give to you of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the land, and abundance of grain and of new wine.

  29. Peoples will serve you, and peoples will bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and your mother's sons will bow down to you. Cursed are those cursing you, and blessed those blessing you.

  30. And so it was, as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had only just gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.

  31. And he too made savoury food, and brought it to his father; and he said to his father, Let my father arise, and eat from his son's venison, so that your soul may bless me.

  32. And Isaac his father said to him, Who are you? And he said, I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.

  33. And Isaac trembled very greatly, and he said, Who then is he who has hunted venison and brought it to me, and I have eaten from all of it before you came in, and have blessed him? Indeed, he will be blessed!

  34. Even as Esau heard his father's words, he cried out with a great and exceedingly bitter cry, and said to his father, Bless me, me also, my father.

  35. And he said, Your brother came in deceitfully, and has taken away your blessing.

  36. And he said, Does he not call his name Jacob? And he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing. And he said, Have you not reserved a blessing for me?

  37. And Isaac answered, and said to Esau, Behold, I have made him lord over you, and have given all his brothers to him as servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. And for you therefore, what shall I do, my son?

  38. And Esau said to his father, Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, me also, my father. And Esau raised his voice, and wept.

  39. And Isaac his father answered, and said to him, Behold, of the fatness of the land will be your dwelling, and of the dew of heaven from above.

  40. And by your sword you will live, and you will serve your brother; and it will be when you have dominion over him, that you will break his yoke from above your neck.

  41. And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him; and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are approaching, and I will kill Jacob my brother.

  42. And the words of Esau her elder son were pointed out to Rebekah, and she sent and summoned Jacob her younger son, and said to him, Behold, Esau your brother is consoling himself concerning you [by planning] to kill you.

  43. And now, my son, hearken to my voice, and arise, flee to Laban my brother, to Haran.

  44. And stay with him for a few days, until your brother's wrath turns back,

    45 Until your brother's anger turns back from you, and he forgets what you have done to him, and I send and fetch you from there. Why should I be bereft of you both in one day?

    46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I loathe my life on account of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob takes a wife from the daughters of Heth, like these of the daughters of the land, what would life hold for me?


a lit. clothes of desires

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