Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 4295

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4295. 'And Jacob asked and said, Tell me, I pray, your name' means the angelic heaven and the nature of that heaven. This becomes clear from the representation of Jacob' as the Lord's Divine Natural, dealt with already, and from the meaning of 'God' whose name he asked for, and also of 'men', with whom he contended as a prince and prevailed, as truths and goods, and so as those who are governed by truths and goods, dealt with above in 4287. And since the angelic heaven is heaven by virtue of truths and goods it is that heaven specifically which is meant by God and men with whom the Lord prevailed. Angels are also sometimes called 'gods' in the Word, it being by virtue of truths and goods that they are called such, as in David,

God stands in the assembly of God, in the midst of the gods will He judge. I said, You are gods, and sons of the Most High, all of you. Ps 82:1 ,6.

Here it is quite plain that 'the assembly of God' and 'the gods' are the angelic heaven. In the same author,

Who in the sky will be compared to Jehovah? He will be likened to Jehovah among the sons of gods. Ps 89:6.

In the same author,

Confess the God of gods; confess the Lord of lords Ps 136:2, 3.

From these quotations it is evident - as it is also from the fact that no one can contend as a prince with God and prevail, and likewise from the fact that the one who is called a god was unwilling to reveal his name- that it was the angelic heaven with which the Lord fought. It is quite plain from the actual words themselves 'Why is it that you ask my name?' that an arcanum lies within them, for if he had been Jehovah God he would not have concealed his name. Nor would Jacob have asked 'What is your name?' for asking the name implies some person or persons other than God Himself.

[2] The truth that the Lord at length fought with actual angels, indeed with the whole angelic heaven, is an arcanum which has not been disclosed up to now But the implications of this are as follows: Angels do indeed possess supreme wisdom and intelligence, yet all their wisdom and intelligence comes to them from the Lord's Divine. They have no wisdom or intelligence at all that originates in themselves, that is, in their proprium. Therefore it is only insofar as they are governed by truths and goods received from the Lord's Divine that they are wise and intelligent. The fact that angels have no wisdom or intelligence at all originating in themselves they themselves openly confess. Indeed they are also quite angry if anyone attributes to them any wisdom or intelligence at all, for they know and perceive that it would be taking away from the Divine that which is His and it would be claiming for themselves that which is not theirs, and so would be engaging in the crime of spiritual theft. Angels also say that their entire proprium consists in evil and falsity, both because of their heredity and also because of their own conduct in the world when they were men, 1880. Nor, they say, is evil or falsity separated - that is, wiped away - from them, whereby they are made righteous; rather, the whole of it remains with them, though the Lord withholds them from that evil and falsity and keeps them in good and truth, 1581. These things are confessed by every angel, and no one is allowed into heaven if he does not know and believe them. For otherwise they cannot dwell in the light of wisdom and intelligence coming from the Lord, nor consequently in good and truth. From this one can also know how the words in Job 15:15 stating that heaven is not pure in the eyes of God are to be understood.

[3] This being so, in order that the Lord might bring the whole of heaven into proper heavenly order, He even allowed angels into Himself to tempt Him, who, insofar as they acted from their proprium, did not do so from good and truth. These temptations are the inmost of all, for they go to work solely on the ends one has in view and with a subtlety such as can by no means be detected. But insofar as angels do not act from their proprium they act from good and truth and are unable to tempt anyone. What is more, angels are being perfected constantly by the Lord, and yet their perfection cannot ever reach the point when their wisdom and intelligence can be compared with the Lord's Divine wisdom and intelligence, since they are finite whereas the Lord is Infinite, and no comparison of finite with Infinite is possible. From all this one may now see what 'God with whom Jacob contended as a prince' is used to mean, and also why he was unwilling to reveal his name.

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