3427. And he called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him. That this signifies denial on these accounts as well as on others, in being against the teachers, and on account of other things besides, is evident from the fact that the names which were given of old were significative of the actual thing or state (n. 3422); whence they were enabled to bear in mind many things concerning these, especially in regard to their quality. In the present case, as the shepherds of Gerar disputed with the shepherds of Isaac, a name was given to the well from this circumstance.
That "disputing" or "contending" signifies also denying, may be seen above (n. 3425); hence comes the name "Esek," which in the original tongue means "contention" or "dispute," and is derived from a kindred word which means oppression and injury. And because by "well" here is signified the Word as to the literal sense in which is the internal sense, by "Esek," or "contention," is signified a denial of the internal sense of the Word. The causes of the denial are also contained in the same expression, and are manifestly those things treated of just above (n. 3425), namely, that the literal and spiritual senses appear opposed; and also other things besides.
 As regards the internal sense of the Word, the case is this: They who are in the mere memory-knowledge of knowledges and are called "Philistines," and they who are in the mere doctrinal things of faith, who are called "shepherds of the valley of Gerar," and are in no charity toward the neighbor, cannot possibly do otherwise than deny that there is an internal sense of the Word. The principal causes are that in their hearts they do not acknowledge the Lord, although they profess Him with the mouth; and also that at heart they do not love the neighbor, although they profess love toward him; and he who does not at heart acknowledge the Lord, and at heart love the neighbor, cannot possibly do otherwise than deny the internal sense of the Word; for the Word in its internal sense treats of nothing else than love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor; and therefore the Lord says that on these two commandments hang the Law and the Prophets, that is, the whole Word (Matt. 22:37-40). How greatly these deny the internal sense of the Word has also been given me to see from such persons in the other life, for when the existence of an internal sense of the Word that does not appear in its literal sense, and that treats of love to the Lord and the neighbor, is merely mentioned in their presence, there is perceived not only denial by them, but also aversion, and even loathing. This is the primary cause of this denial.
 Another cause is that they altogether invert the Word by setting that above which is beneath, or what is the same, by setting that before which is behind; for they make faith to be the essential of the church, and the things which are of love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor to be the fruits of faith; when yet the truth is that if love to the Lord is compared to the tree of life in the paradise of Eden, charity and its works are the fruits therefrom, and faith and all things of faith are only the leaves. As therefore they so invert the Word as to derive the fruits not from the tree but from the leaves, it is not surprising that they deny the internal sense of the Word and acknowledge only its literal sense; for from the literal sense any dogma, even the most heretical, can be confirmed, as is well known.
 Moreover they who are in the mere doctrinal things of faith and not in the good of life, cannot but be in persuasive faith, that is, in preconceived principles, false as well as true; consequently they must be more stupid than others, for insofar as anyone is in persuasive faith, so far he is stupid; but insofar as anyone is in the good of life (that is, in love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor), so far he is in intelligence, that is, in faith from the Lord. Hence also it is that the former must needs be in the negative as regards the internal sense of the Word; but the latter must needs be in the affirmative for with those who are merely in doctrinal things, and not in the good of life, the interiors are closed, so that the light of truth from the Lord cannot flow in and give them to perceive that it is so; whereas with those who are in love to the Lord the interiors are open so that the light of truth from the Lord can flow in, affect their minds, and give a perception that it is so.
 A further cause is that they have no other delight in reading the Word than that they may thus acquire honors and riches, and thereby reputation, which delight is the delight of the love of self and of the world; and this to such a degree that if they do not obtain from it such advantages, they will entirely reject the Word. They who are such, in their heart not only deny the internal sense of the Word when they hear of it, but also the literal sense itself, however much they may suppose that they believe it. For he who has as his end the delight of the love of self and of the world, completely casts out of his heart everything pertaining to eternal life; and only from his natural and corporeal man makes a profession of such things, which he calls truths not for the sake of the Lord and His kingdom, but for the sake of himself and his own. These and many other things cause those called "shepherds of the valley of Gerar," and "Philistines," to deny the internal sense of the Word.