4111. And Rachel stole the teraphim which were her father's. That this signifies a change of the state signified by "Laban" in respect to truth, is evident from the signification here of "stealing" as being to take away what is dear and holy, thus to change the state; from the signification of the "teraphim," as being truths (concerning which below); and from the signification of "father," here Laban, as being the good signified by him (concerning which above); "father" also signifies good (n. 3703). From all this it is evident that by "Rachel stole the teraphim which were her father's," is signified a change of the state signified by "Laban" in respect to truth.
 What these things involve may also be seen from the state of spirits when they are being separated. The states of spirits in respect to good and truth are in accordance with the societies in which they are; for as before shown all thought inflows through others, and proximately through those with whom the subjects of the thought are in society; and therefore when these are removed from one society and are sent into another, the states of their thoughts and affections are changed, and consequently their state as to truth and good. But if they are sent into unaccordant societies, they have a sense of discomfort, and consequently a sense of restraint, and therefore they are separated from those societies and are carried away into accordant ones. It is for this reason that the evil cannot be present or stay in societies of the good, nor the good in societies of the evil; and that all spirits and angels have been distinguished into societies in accordance with the affections which are of love. But every affection of love contains within it manifold and various things (n. 3078, 3189, 4005); and yet one thing is regnant, so that each spirit can be in a number of societies, but still strives continually toward that one which is of his reigning affection, and is at last brought into it.
 As regards the good signified by "Laban," and its change of state, so long as it was with the good represented by Jacob, it was nearer the Divine, for "Jacob" is that good in the natural; and as it was nearer the Divine, it was also then in a more perfect state of truth and good; but when it was separated from this good, it came into another state both as to truth and as to good. For speaking generally, the changes of state in the other life are nothing else than approaches to the Divine and removals from the Divine. From this it is now manifest what is meant by the change of state when the good signified by "Laban" was being separated.
 That "Rachel stole the teraphim which were her father's," signifies a change of state as to truths, is because by the "teraphim" are meant his gods, as is evident from what follows, for Laban says to Jacob:
Wherefore hast thou stolen my gods? And Jacob answered, With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, he shall not live before our brethren (Gen. 31:30, 32);
and in the internal sense "gods" signify truths, for which reason in the Word "God" is named when the subject is truth (see n. 2586, 2769, 2807, 2822).
 The teraphim were idols that were used when they consulted or inquired of God, and because the answers which they received were to them truths Divine, truths were therefore signified by "teraphim," as in Hosea:
The sons of Israel sat many days without king, and without prince, and without sacrifice, and without ephod and teraphim (Hos. 3:4);
"ephod and teraphim" denote the truths Divine they received by the answers, for when they inquired of God, they put on the ephod (1 Sam. 23:9-12). In Zechariah:
The teraphim speak iniquity, and the diviners see a lie, and the dreams speak vanity (Zech. 10:2);
where also the "teraphim" denote answers, but in that state iniquitous ones.
 And because such things were signified by "teraphim," they were found with some, although they were forbidden; as with Micah, in the book of Judges:
Micah had a house of God, and he made an ephod and teraphim, and filled the hand of one of his sons, that he might become his priest. And some of the Danites said to their brethren, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod and teraphim, and a graven image and a molten image? And when these went into the house of Micah, they took the graven image, the ephod and the teraphim, and the molten image. And the priest's heart was good, and he took the ephod and the teraphim and the graven image. And Micah followed the sons of Dan, and said, Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and are gone away, and what have I more? (Judg. 17:5; 18:14, 18, 20, 24).
Michal also, David's wife, had them, as related in the first book of Samuel:
And Michal took the teraphim, and laid them in the bed, and covered them with a garment. And Saul's messengers came, and behold, the teraphim were in the bed (1 Sam. 19:13, 16).
That nevertheless they were idols, which were forbidden, is manifest from what is said of them elsewhere (1 Sam. 15:23; 2 Kings 23:24; Ezek. 21:26).