4478. And spoke unto the men of their city, saying. That this signifies persuasion, is evident from the signification of "to speak," as being to will and also to flow in (see n. 2951, 3037), here to persuade, because he who wills is in persuasion, and he who flows in therefrom, communicates persuasion. The "men of the city" are they who are in truths of doctrine, here who are in similar truths to those represented by Shechem. For in ancient times a city was nothing else than one family of a nation, and the dwelling together of those who were of one family was called a "city." And as in the internal sense it is not the family that is understood, but the quality of the family in respect to life and doctrine, by "city" is signified the truth of doctrine, and by its "inhabitants" the good of doctrine (see n. 402, 2268, 2449, 2451, 2712, 2943, 3216). But when the inhabitants of a city are called the "men" of the city, it is not the good of doctrine but its truths which are then signified, for in the Word "men" [viri] denote truths (n. 3134).