Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 6388

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6388. 'Issachar' means recompense gained from works. This is clear from the representation of 'Issachar' as mutual love which is earned as a reward or recompense, dealt with in 3956, 3957. Here recompense gained from works is meant, as is evident in the internal sense from every detail mentioned in this prophetic utterance concerning Issachar, in addition to which Issachar in the original language means reward. The reason why 'Issachar' here means recompense gained from works, whereas previously he meant mutual love, is that here one has to understand by Issachar people with whom some kind and appearance of mutual love, that is, of charity towards the neighbour, is present. But they wish to receive recompense for the good deeds they do; thus genuine mutual love or charity is not merely tainted by them but actually perverted. For people with whom genuine mutual love resides enter into the delight and blessedness that is theirs when they. perform good deeds to their neighbour; there is nothing they desire more. That delight and blessedness is what is meant in the Word by 'reward', for delight or blessedness is the reward, and in the next life it becomes the joy and happiness that is experienced in heaven, and so becomes for those people heaven itself. For when those in heaven with whom that love resides perform useful services and good deeds for others, they feel so full of joy and happiness that they seem to themselves to be in heaven for the first time then. This feeling is granted them by the Lord; and He grants it to each one according to the nature of the service he performs.

[2] But that happiness departs the moment they think of recompense, for thought of recompense, even though they already have the true recompense, renders that love impure and corrupts it. The reason for this is that they are now thinking about themselves, not about their neighbour, that is, how they themselves can be made happy, not how others can be unless they themselves benefit from it. Thus they turn love towards the neighbour into love towards themselves; and to the extent that they do so they prevent joy and happiness from being communicated to them out of heaven, since they channel the flow of happiness from heaven into themselves and do not pass it on to others. They are like objects which do not reflect rays of light but absorb them. Objects that do reflect them are lit up and shining, whereas those that absorb them are dull and not at all shining. People who are like this are therefore separated from angelic society, like those who have nothing in common with heaven; and these are the ones who are described here by 'Issachar'.

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