3762. And went to the land of the sons of the east. That this signifies to the truths of love (that is, elevation thereto) is evident from the signification of the "land of the sons of the east." That Aram, or Syria, was called the "land of the sons of the east," is evident, because it was thither that Jacob betook himself (see n. 3249). That by "Syria" in general are signified the knowledges of good, was shown above (n. 1232, 1234); but specifically, by "Aram-naharaim" (that is, "Syria of the rivers") are signified the knowledges of truth (n. 3051, 3664). In this case however it is not said that he went "to Aram," or "Syria," but "to the land of the sons of the east," in order to signify what is treated of in this chapter throughout, namely, an ascent to the truths of love. Those truths are called the truths of love which have been elsewhere termed celestial truths, for they are knowledges that relate to charity toward the neighbor and love to the Lord; in the supreme sense, in which the Lord is treated of, they are the truths of Divine love.
 These truths, that relate to charity toward the neighbor and to love to the Lord, must be learned before it is possible for a man to be regenerated; and must also be acknowledged and believed; and insofar as they are acknowledged, believed, and ingrafted in the life, so far the man is regenerated, and insofar they are at the same time implanted in the man's natural, in which they are as in their own ground. They are first implanted therein through instruction by parents and teachers; next from the Word of the Lord; and afterwards through the man's own reflection about them; but by these means they are merely stored up in the memory of the natural man, being classed among the knowledges therein, but still not acknowledged, believed, and ingrafted, unless the life is in accordance with them; for in this case the man comes into affection, and insofar as he comes into affection from life, so far these truths are implanted in his natural as in their ground. The truths which are not thus implanted are indeed with the man, but are merely in his memory as a matter of mere knowledge or history, which serves no other purpose than to be talked about and made the means of getting a reputation which is to serve for the acquisition of riches and honors. But in this case these truths are not implanted.
 That by the "land of the sons of the east" are signified the truths of love, thus the knowledges of truth which tend to good, may be seen from the signification of "sons," as being truths (see n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623); and from the signification of the "east," as being love (n. 101, 1250, 3249). Their "land" is the ground in which they are. That the "sons of the east" are those who are in the knowledges of truth and good, and consequently in the truths of love, may be seen also from other passages in the Word. As in the first book of Kings:
The wisdom of Solomon was multiplied more than the wisdom of all the sons of the east, and than all the wisdom of the Egyptians (1 Kings:4:30);
where by the "wisdom of the sons of the east" are signified the interior knowledges of truth and good, thus those who are in them;" but by the "wisdom of the Egyptians" is signified the memory-knowledge of the same, which is in a lower degree. (That by the "Egyptians" are signified memory-knowledges in general, may be seen n. 1164, 1165, 1462.)
 In Jeremiah:
Thus saith Jehovah, Arise ye, go up against Kedar, lay waste the sons of the east. Their tents and their flocks they shall take; they shall take their curtains, and all their vessels, and their camels (Jer. 49:28-29).
That by the "sons of the east" are here meant those who are in the knowledges of good and truth, is evident from the fact that they were to take their tents and flocks, also their curtains and all their vessels, and likewise their camels; for by "tents" are signified the holy things of good (n. 414, 1102, 2145, 2152, 3312); by "flocks," the goods of charity (n. 343, 2566); by "curtains," holy truths (n. 2576, 3478); by "vessels," truths of faith and memory-knowledges (n. 3068, 3079); by "camels," memory-knowledges in general (n. 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145). Thus by the "sons of the east" are signified those who are in these things, that is, who are in the knowledges of good and truth.
 That the wise men from the east who came to Jesus at His birth were of those who were called the "sons of the east," is evident from the fact that they were in the knowledge that the Lord was to be born, and that they knew of His advent by a star which appeared to them in the east, concerning which things we read in Matthew:
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him (Matt. 2:1-2).
That from ancient times such a prophetic knowledge had existed among the sons of the east, who were of Syria, is evident from Balaam's prophecy concerning the Lord's advent, in Moses:
I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not nigh there shall arise a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise up out of Israel (Num. 24:17).
That Balaam was from the land of the sons of the east, that is, from Syria, is evident from these words:
Balaam uttered his enunciation and said, Balak hath brought me from Syria, out of the mountains of the east (Num. 23:7).
Those wise men who came to Jesus at His birth are called magi,* but wise men were so called at that time, as is evident from many passages; such as Gen. 41:8; Exod. 7:11; Dan. 2:27; 4:6, 7; 1 Kings 4:30; and from the Prophets throughout.
 That in the opposite sense the "sons of the east" signify the knowledges of evil and falsity, thus those who are in them, is evident in Isaiah:
The envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the enemies of Judah shall be cut off; they shall fly on the shoulder of the Philistines toward the sea; and together shall they spoil the sons of the east (Isa. 11:13-14).
Against the sons of Ammon. Behold I have delivered thee to the sons of the east for a possession, and they shall set their ordinances in thee (Ezek. 25:3-4).
And in the book of Judges:
When Israel sowed, Midian came up, and Amalek, and the sons of the east; they came up against him (Judg. 6:3).
"Midian" denotes those who are in falsity because not in the good of life (n. 3242); "Amalek," those who are in falsities with which they assault truths (n. 1679); the "sons of the east," those who are in the knowledges of falsity.
* Translated "magicians" in the passages cited.