3447. And Abimelech went to him from Gerar. That this signifies the doctrine of faith that looks to rational things, is evident from the representation of Abimelech, as being the doctrine of faith that looks to rational things (n. 2504, 2509, 2510, 3391, 3393, 3397); and from the signification of "Gerar," as being faith (n. 1209, 2504, 3365, 3384, 3385); what the doctrine is that looks to rational things, may be seen above (n. 3368). In this passage, and as far as verse 33, they are treated of who are in the literal sense of the Word and from this in the doctrinal things of faith; and also the agreement of their doctrinal things with the internal sense insofar as they are from the literal sense. Abimelech and Ahuzzath his companion, and Phicol the chief captain of his army, represent these doctrinal things; they are such as make faith the essential, not indeed rejecting charity, but making it secondary, and thus setting doctrine before life. Our churches at this day are almost all of this character, except that which is in Christian Gentilism, where it is permitted to adore saints and their idols.
 As in every church of the Lord there are those who are internal men and those who are external, and the internal are those who are in the affection of good, and the external those who are in the affection of truth; so also with those who are here represented by Abimelech, his companion, and the chief captain of his army-the internal are those treated of above (chapter 21, verses 22 to 33), where it is said of Abimelech and Phicol the captain of his army that they came to Abraham and made a covenant with him in Beersheba (n. 2719-2720); but the external are those here treated of.