(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 4430

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4430. And Shechem saw her. That this signifies truth, is evident from the representation of Shechem as being truth, here the truth of the church from ancient time. That this is represented by Shechem is because there still were remains of the church with that nation to which Shechem belonged. That this was one of the well-disposed nations is manifest from the sincerity with which Hamor and Shechem spoke to Jacob and his sons (verses 8-12), and from the condescension that Shechem might take Dinah for a wife (verses 18-24); for which reason the truth of the church was represented by them. And besides, the city Shechem was Abram's first station when he came from Syria into the land of Canaan (Gen. 12:6); and was now also Jacob's first station in coming from Syria, in which he spread his tent, made booths, and erected an altar (Gen. 33:17-20). That by the journeys or sojournings of Abraham and Jacob were represented progressions into the truths of faith and goods of love which in the supreme sense relate to the Lord and in the relative sense to the man who is being regenerated by the Lord, has been repeatedly shown. Hence by the "city Shechem" was signified the first of light (n. 1440, 1441), consequently interior truth, for this is the first of light.
[2] But in this chapter in the internal sense the descendants of Jacob are treated of - how they extinguished in themselves this first of light, or interior truth. In this sense, which is the internal historical sense, the sons of Jacob signify all his descendants; for in the internal sense of the Word the things of the Lord's kingdom are exclusively treated of, thus the things of His church. The sons of Jacob themselves did not constitute any church, but their descendants, and this only after they had gone out of Egypt, and in actuality only after they came into the land of Canaan.
[3] Moreover as regards this city named from Shechem, it was anciently called "Shalem," as is evident in the foregoing chapter:
Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan (Gen. 33:18);
that by "Shalem" is signified tranquillity, and by the "city of Shechem" the interior truths of faith, and that when a man comes to these truths he comes into a tranquil state, may be seen above (n. 4393). But the same city was afterwards called "Shechem," as may be seen in Joshua:
The bones of Joseph, which the sons of Israel caused to go up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in the portion of the field which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred kesitah (Josh. 24:32).
And in the book of Judges:
Gaal the son of Ebed said to the citizens of Shechem, Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? Is not he the son of Jerubbaal, and Zebul is his officer? Serve ye the men of Hamor the father of Shechem, and why should we serve this man? (Judg. 9:28).
[4] The same city was afterwards called "Sychar," as is evident in John:
Jesus came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near to the field which Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob's spring was there (John 4:5-6).
That by this city is signified interior truth, is evident from these passages, and also from others where it is named, as in Hosea:
Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, it has been befouled with blood; and as troops wait for a man, a companionship of priests, on the way to Shechem they kill, because they have wrought wickedness; in the house of Israel I have seen a foul thing (Hos. 6:8-10);
where "on the way to Shechem they kill" signifies that they extinguish truths even to those which are interior, thus all external truths. The extinction of interior truth is also signified by Abimelech's destroying that city and sowing it with salt (Judges 9:45).


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