3110. He said, Whose daughter art thou? That this signifies further exploration concerning innocence, is evident from the question, "Whose daughter art thou?" as being exploration; that here it is further exploration, is evident from what has been said above (n. 3088, 3101). That it was exploration concerning innocence, is evident from the signification of a damsel, as being an affection in which is innocence (see n. 3067). In this verse indeed the word "damsel" is not found; but seeing that above (in verses 14 and 16) Rebekah is called a and the question is here addressed to her, therefore "thou" here means nothing else than damsel.
 As regards the thing itself here treated of, namely, that truth was explored as to what innocence it had, and then also as to what charity, before it was initiated into good and conjoined with it, this cannot but appear wonderful to those who have no knowledge of the subject; but still let them know that in regard to the initiation and conjunction of truth with good in every man there is the most exquisite exploration, and such as surpasses all belief. To the veriest good there is never admitted anything but the veriest truth; for when anything not so true approaches, it does not conjoin itself with good itself, but with some good that in itself is not good, but appears as good; if falsity approaches, the good withdraws itself inward, and the falsity conjoins itself outwardly with some evil which it believes to be good.
 This Divine disposal is effected by the Lord, spirits and angels being the mediums; and in this world it is very secret, but it is perfectly well known in the other. Moreover everyone who is of sound reason is able to know it, or at least to have some apprehension of it; for evil and falsity together are hell, and flow in from hell; whereas good and truth together are heaven, and also flow in through heaven from the Lord; and since this is so, evil and truth can no more be joined together than can hell and heaven; wherefore there is a more exquisite balance applied in these things than it is possible for anyone to believe; and this is what is meant by exploration.