Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1951

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1951. 'And he will dwell in opposition toa all his brothers' means incessant strife against things of faith, but rational truth will nevertheless be the conqueror. This is clear from what has just been stated, and the matter is described more fully still where the descendants of Ishmael are referred to, in these words,

They dwelt from Havilah to Shur which is opposite Egyptb as you come towards Asshur. (His lot) fell opposite all his brothers.c Gen 25:18.

The internal sense of these words is evident from the meaning of Havilah, Shur, Egypt, and Assyria. 'Havilah' means that which is connected with intelligence, as is evident from what has been shown in 115. 'Shur' means truth stemming from facts, dealt with above in 1928, 'Egypt' everything that is connected with knowledge, 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, and 'Assyria' that which is connected with reason, 119, 1186. From the meanings of these names when used together so as to present a single concept it is clear that Ishmael represents such a rational. In the next life such truth is represented in various ways, but always as that which is strong, powerful, and hard, to such a degree that it cannot be resisted at all. The mere thought of such truth produces in spirits a sense of terror for the reason that its nature is such that it does not yield, and so does not retreat. These considerations also show what is meant by 'dwelling in opposition toa all his brothers'. Anyone may recognize that an arcanum lies within this description, but up to now the nature of it has not been known.


a lit. against the faces of
b lit. towards the faces of Egypt
c lit. towards the faces of all his brothers

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