4496. When they were in pain. That this signifies cupidities is evident from the signification of the "pain" after circumcision, as being cupidity. The reason why this pain signifies cupidity is that circumcision signifies purification from the love of self and of the world (n. 2039, 2044, 2049, 2632, 3412, 3413, 4462), and all the cupidity of the flesh is from these loves, and is therefore signified by this "pain," because when a man is being purified from these loves, as is the case when he is being regenerated, he is in pain and anxiety, and it is the cupidities then being removed which are in pain and anguish. When any mystery is being represented by a ritual, each particular of the rite, until it is completed, enfolds something of the mystery. Such is the case with the lancets or knives with which the circumcision was performed, in that they were of stone (n. 2039, 2046, 2799); with the blood shed at the time; with the manner of the operation, and consequently with the state. This may be seen further from the processes of cleansings, inaugurations, and sanctifications, and all the other ceremonies. In the present instance by the "pain" after circumcision is signified the cupidity of Hamor, Shechem, and the men of the city, in their having a desire for the externals in which were the descendants of Jacob (see above, n. 4493).