Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 5998

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5998. 'And offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac' means worship springing from them, and an inflowing from the Divine Intellectual. This is clear from the meaning of 'offering sacrifices' as worship, dealt with in 922, 923, 1180; and from the representation of 'Isaac' in the highest sense as the Lord's Divine Rational or Intellectual, dealt with in 1893, 2066, 2072, 2083, 2630, 3012, 3194, 3210. It follows that there is an inflowing from this into the worship, for what is described here is worship springing from charity and faith, meant by 'Beersheba', 5997, where he offered the sacrifices. Jacob's offering of sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac shows what the fathers of the Jewish and Israelite nation were like; it shows that each worshipped his own God. Isaac's God was different from his, as is evident from the fact that he offered sacrifices to Isaac's, and the fact that he was told in the visions of the night, 'I am God, the God of your father'. It is also evident from the fact that he had sworn by that same God, as described in Genesis 31:53,

May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor judgea between us, the God of their father. At that time Jacob swore by the Dread of his father Isaac.

It is also clear that Jacob did not initially acknowledge Jehovah, for he said,

If God will be with me, and guard me on this road on which I am walking, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, and I come back in peace to my father's house, then Jehovah will be my God. Gen 28:20, 21.

Thus he acknowledged Jehovah conditionally.

[2] It was the custom among them to acknowledge their fathers' gods, but their own one specifically. They derived the custom from their fathers in Syria; for Terah, Abram's father, and even Abram himself when he was there, worshipped gods other than Jehovah, see 1356, 1992, 3667. Their descendants, who were called Jacob and Israel, were consequently of such a nature that in their hearts they worshipped the gods of the gentiles. Jehovah they worshipped solely with their lips, and in name only. The reason they were like this was that nothing but externals devoid of anything internal interested them; and people like that cannot help thinking that worship consists in nothing more than declaring God's name and saying that He is their God, and in doing so as long as He confers benefits on them. They have no idea that worship consists in a life of charity and faith.


a The verb rendered may judge here is plural.

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