4162. And he searched, and found not the teraphim. That this signifies that they were not his (namely, that these truths were not Laban's) is evident from the signification of "searching and not finding." In the external historic sense these things involve that they were indeed Laban's, but were hidden; but in the internal sense, that they were not his. (That the "teraphim" denote truths from the Divine, may be seen above, n. 4111.) How the case herein is, namely, that these truths did not belong to the good signified by "Laban," but to the affection of interior truth, may be seen from what has been said above (n. 4151). From all this it is evident what arcanum lies concealed in that which is related concerning the teraphim.
 The reason why truths from the Divine are signified by the "teraphim," is that those who were of the Ancient Church distinguished the Divine (that is, the Lord) by various names, and this according to the different appearances in the effects; as for instance by the name "God Shaddai," from the temptations in which the Lord combats for man, and after which He confers benefits upon him (see n. 1992, 3667); His Providence lest man should of himself enter into the mysteries of faith, they called "cherubs" (n. 308); the truths Divine which they received by answers, they said were "teraphim;" and other of the Divine attributes they also called by particular names.
 They who were wise among them understood by all these names none but the one only Lord; but the simple made for themselves so many representative images of that Divine; and when Divine worship began to be turned into idolatry, they fashioned for themselves so many gods. From this arose so many idolatries among the Gentiles also, who increased the number of them. But as in ancient times Divine things were understood by these names, some of them were retained, as "Shaddai," and also "cherubs," and "teraphim," by which in the Word such things as have been stated are signified. That by "teraphim" are signified the truths Divine which came from answers, is evident in Hosea 3:4.