3676. To Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean. That this signifies collateral good, is evident from the representation of Laban, as being collateral good of a common stock (concerning which see also above, n. 3665); and from the representation of Bethuel, as being the good of the Gentiles of the first class (see n. 2865, 3665), from which as from a common stock comes the good which is represented by Laban. The reason why Bethuel is here surnamed the "Aramean," is that by "Aram" or "Syria" are signified the knowledges of good and truth (see n. 1232, 1234, 3249), which are here treated of. External truth, from which is the good here represented by Jacob, is nothing else than knowledges; for these are the truths which are learned first of all, and are also accounted as truths by those who are in the beginning of regeneration. Yet knowledges are not truths in themselves, but from the Divine things within them; and when these Divine things shine forth, the knowledges for the first time become truths. Meanwhile they are like general vessels, through which and in which truths can be received, like those spoken of above (n. 3665), and like all the memory-knowledges that are first learned.