3803. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother. That this signifies the affinity of the good which is "Jacob" and of the good which is "Laban," is evident from the signification of "telling," as being to make known; and from the representation of Jacob, as being good (concerning which see above); and from the representation of Rachel to whom this was made known, as being the affection of interior truth (n. 3793); and from the signification of "brother," who here is Jacob, as being good (n. 367, 2360, 3303, 3459); and from the signification of "father," who here is Laban, as also being good (n. 3703). From all this and also from the series it is evident that by "Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother," is signified the affinity of the good which is "Jacob" and of the good which is "Laban." But to set forth this affinity itself, and the consequent conjunction of the two through the affection of interior truth (which is "Rachel") would be to make the subject more obscure, because few know what the good of the natural is, and that this is distinct from the, good of the rational; or what is the collateral good of a common stock; or again what is the affection of interior truth. He who by his own investigation has not acquired for himself some idea concerning these things, receives but a faint idea, if any, from description; for a man receives only so much from others as he either has of his own, or acquires for himself by looking into the matter in himself; all the rest passes away. Suffice it to know that there are innumerable affinities of good and truth, and that the heavenly societies are in accordance therewith (see n. 685, 917, 2739, 3612).
 The reason why Jacob calls himself the "brother" of Laban, when yet he was his sister's son, is that all are brethren from good; and for the same reason Laban in his turn calls Jacob "brother" (verse 15). It is good which makes blood relationship, and which conjoins; for good is of love, and love is spiritual conjunction. This is the reason why in the ancient churches all those who were in good were called brethren, and even in the Jewish Church but inasmuch as this church esteemed all others vile, and supposed themselves alone to be the chosen, they called only those brethren who were born Jews, and all others they called either companions or strangers. The primitive Christian Church also called all brethren who were in good, but afterwards only those who were within their own congregation. But the name "brother" vanished away from among Christians, together with good, and when truth succeeded in the place of good, or faith in the place of charity, then they could no longer from good call one another brethren, but neighbors. This also is the effect of the doctrine of faith without the life of charity, in that brotherhood with one of lower station than themselves seems to be beneath them; for with such persons brotherhood does not derive its origin from the Lord, and consequently from good; but from self, and consequently from honor and gain.
3803a. And that he was Rebekah's son. That this signifies the conjunction of these affinities, is evident without explication; for Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and the sister of Laban, was she from whom was the conjunction.