4442. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to speak with him. That this signifies a consultation about the truth of that church, is evident from the representation of Hamor the father of Shechem, as being the truth of the ancients (see n. 4430, 4431); from the representation of Jacob, as being the external Ancient Church (n. 4439); and from the signification of "speaking with him," as being to consult. Hence by these words is signified a consultation about the truth of that church.
 He who does not know that names in the Word signify things, will wonder that by the words "Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to speak with him," is signified a consultation of the truth of the church that existed among the ancients with the truth that was in accordance with the Ancient Church that was to be set up anew among the descendants of Jacob; but this will excite no surprise in anyone who knows that such is the nature of the internal sense of the Word, nor in those who have learned from the books of the ancients their manner of writing; for it was customary with them to set forth things as speaking together, such as wisdom, intelligence, knowledges, and the like; and also to give them names by which such things were signified. The gods and demigods of the ancients were nothing else, and so were the personages whom they devised in order to present their subjects in a historical form.
 The sages of old took this custom from the Ancient Church, which was spread over much of the Asiatic world (n. 1238, 2385); for the people of the Ancient Church set forth sacred things by means of representatives and significatives. The Ancient Church, however, received this from the mouth of the Most Ancient people, who were before the flood (n. 920, 1409, 1977, 2896, 2897); and these from heaven, for they had communication with heaven (n. 784, 1114-1125); and the first heaven, which is the last of the three, is in such representatives and significatives. This is the reason why the Word was written in such a style. But the Word has this peculiar feature, not possessed by the writings of the ancients, that each of the subjects in a continuous series represents the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom, and in the supreme sense the Lord Himself; even the historicals themselves being of the same character; and-what is more-they are real correspondences, and these continuous through the three heavens from the Lord.