4293. In the internal historical sense, by "for as a prince hast thou contended with God and with men, and hast prevailed," is signified on account of the contumacy which was in their phantasies and cupidities, as is evident from the signification of "God" and from the signification of "men" as being truths and goods (see n. 4287). These same words have here an opposite sense, because in this sense they are said of the posterity of Jacob, among whom (as shown above) there were interiorly no truths and goods, but falsities and evils. Falsities are phantasies because they are of phantasies, and evils are cupidities because they are of cupidities.
 That this nation insisted on being representative, that is, they insisted that they should be the church above all nations in the whole world, may be seen above (n. 4290). That this was also permitted on account of the contumacy that was in their phantasies and cupidities, is here meant. The nature of their phantasies and their cupidities no one can know who has not had some interaction with them in the other life; and in order that I might know it, this has been granted me, so that I have occasionally spoken with them there. More than all others they love themselves and they love the wealth of the world; and more than all others they fear the loss of this honor, and also the loss of gain; and therefore also at this day, as of old, they despise all others in comparison with themselves, and likewise seek wealth for themselves with the most intense application, and moreover are timid. As this nation had been of this character from ancient times, they could more than others be kept in a holy external without any holy internal, and thus could represent in external form the things of the church. It is these phantasies and these cupidities that have produced such contumacy.
 The same also appears from many things related of them in the historicals of the Word. After being punished they could be in such external humiliation as could no other people, for they could lie prostrate on the ground for entire days and wallow in the dust, not getting up until the third day; they could wail for many days, go in sackcloth, in rent garments, with ashes or dust sprinkled upon their heads; they could fast continuously for several days, and meanwhile burst forth into bitter weeping. But these things they did solely from bodily and earthly love, and from the fear of the loss of preeminence and worldly wealth; for it was not anything internal that affected them, because they knew not at all and did not even want to know what anything internal is, such as that there is a life after death, and that there is an eternal salvation.
 From this it is evident that, being of such a nature, they must needs be deprived of all holy internal, for this in no wise agrees with such a holy external, because the two things are utterly contrary to each other; and also that they could, better than others, serve as the representative of the church, that is, could represent holy things in an external form without any holy internal; and thus that by means of this nation something of communication with the heavens could be possible (see n. 4288).