3398. That one of the people might lightly have lain with thy woman, and thou wouldst have brought guilt upon us. That this signifies that Divine truth might have been adulterated and thus profaned, is evident from the signification of "lying with," as being to be perverted or adulterated; from the signification of "one of the people," as being some one of the spiritual church (n. 2928); from the signification of "woman" who here is Rebekah, as being Divine truth (concerning which see above); and from the signification of "guilt," as being the blame of the profanation of truth; so that by "one of the people might lightly have lain with thy woman, and thou wouldst have brought guilt upon us," is signified that someone of the church might easily have adulterated Divine truth, and have brought upon himself the blame of the profanation of truth. It was said above (n. 3386) that as Abraham twice called his wife Sarah his sister, first in Egypt, and afterwards in Gerar with Abimelech; and that as Isaac in like manner called his woman Rebekah his sister, also with Abimelech; and as these three cases are recorded in the Word, there must be some very deep secret involved thereby. This very secret is seen in the internal sense, namely, that by "sister" is signified rational truth, and by "woman" Divine truth; and this was called rational truth (that is, "sister"), lest Divine truth (here called the "woman" who was Rebekah) should be adulterated, and thus profaned.
 In regard to the profanation of truth the case is this: Divine truth cannot possibly be profaned except by those who have first acknowledged it; for when those who have first entered into truth by acknowledgment and belief, and have thus been initiated into it, afterwards recede from it, there continually remains an impression of it stamped within, which is recalled at the same time with the falsity and evil; and hence by adhering to these the truth is profaned. Therefore those with whom this is the case have continually in themselves that which condemns them; thus their own hell; for when the infernals approach a sphere where good and truth are, they are instantly sensible of their own hell, because they come into that which they hold in hatred, consequently into torment. Therefore those who have profaned truth dwell continually with that which torments them, and this according to the degree of the profanation. For this reason it is most especially provided by the Lord that Divine good and truth may not be profaned; and this is provided chiefly by the circumstance that the man who is such that he cannot but profane is withheld as far as possible from the acknowledgment and belief of truth and good; for as before said no one can profane except the man who has first acknowledged and believed.
 This was the reason why internal truths were not disclosed to Jacob's descendants the Israelites and Jews, who were not openly told even that there is anything internal in man, thus that there is any internal worship; and scarcely anything was said to them about the life after death, and the Lord's heavenly kingdom; or about the Messiah whom they expected. The reason was that they were of such a character that it was foreseen that if such things had been disclosed to them they could not have helped profaning them, because they desired nothing but earthly things and because that race was of this nature and so remains, it is still permitted that they should be in utter unbelief; for if they had once acknowledged, and had afterwards gone back, they must needs have brought upon themselves the most grievous of all hells.
 This was also the reason why the Lord did not come into the world and reveal the internal things of the Word until there was no good whatever remaining with them, not even natural good, for they could then no longer receive any truth with internal acknowledgment (because it is good that receives truth), and therefore they could not profane it. Such was the state meant by the "fullness of time," and by the "consummation of the age," and also by the "last day" so much treated of in the Prophets. It is for the same reason that the arcana of the internal sense of the Word are now being revealed; for at this day there is scarcely any faith, because not any charity; thus because it is the consummation of the age and when this is the case, then these arcana can be revealed without danger of profanation, because they are not interiorly acknowledged.
 It is for this secret reason that it is related in the Word concerning Abraham and Isaac that when in Gerar with Abimelech they called their wives their sisters. (See further what has been stated and shown above on this subject; namely, That those can profane who acknowledge, but not those who do not acknowledge, still less those who do not know, n. 593, 1008, 1010, 1059: What danger there is from a profanation of holy things and of the Word, n. 571, 582: That they who are within the church can profane holy things; but not they who are without the church, n. 2051: That it is provided by the Lord that profanation may not take place, n. 1001, 2426: That worship becomes external in order to prevent internal worship from being profaned, n. 1327, 1328: That men are kept in ignorance, lest the truths of faith should be profaned, n. 301-303.)