1238. That by "Eber" is signified a nation also, whose father was Eber, one who was called by this name, is to be understood in this way. Those mentioned hitherto were the nations among whom the Ancient Church existed, and were all called sons of Shem, of Ham, of Japheth, and of Canaan, because by Shem, Ham, Japheth, and Canaan are signified the various worships of the church. Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth, and Canaan never existed as men; but because the Ancient Church specifically, and in general every church, is such that it is true internal, corrupt internal, true external, and corrupt external, therefore the above-mentioned names were given in order that all the differences in general might be referred to them and their sons, as to their heads. Moreover the nations here named originally had such worship; and therefore are called the sons of one of the sons of Noah. And for the same reason also, such worships themselves are signified by the names of these nations in the Word.
 This first Ancient Church, signified by Noah and his sons, was not confined to a few, but extended over many kingdoms, as is evident from the nations mentioned, namely, Assyria, Mesopotamia, Syria, Ethiopia, Arabia, Lybia, Egypt, Philistia as far as Tyre and Sidon, and the whole land of Canaan, on this side and beyond Jordan. But afterwards in Syria a kind of external worship began, which from thence spread itself widely around, over many countries, especially over Canaan, and which was different from the worship of the Ancient Church. And as something of a church thus arose that was separate from the Ancient Church, there sprang up thence as it were a new church, which may therefore be called the Second Ancient Church. The first institutor of this was Eber, and therefore this church is called after Eber. At that time, as has been said before, all were distinguished into households, families, and nations. Each nation acknowledged one father, from whom also it was named, as is seen in various places in the Word. Thus the nation which acknowledged Eber as its father was called the Hebrew nation.