4911. And Judah acknowledged them. That this signifies that being theirs they made affirmation, is evident from the signification of "acknowledging," as being to affirm, and this because he acknowledged from the pledges that it was his. In this passage the genius of that nation is described, which is such that though they reject the internal of the church as false, yet when it is insinuated into them that it is theirs, they accept and affirm it. They who are in the filth of loves, that is, in avarice, and at the same time in the love of self, as that nation is, cannot elevate the mind's view and see truth from any other source than self; and therefore when it is attributed to themselves, they affirm it. For example, if they are told that the Word in itself is Divine, and contains arcana of heaven, and also such arcana as can be comprehended only by angels, they affirm this to be true, for they regard the Word as their own, because it was for them, among them, and treats of them in the letter; but if the arcana or spiritual truths themselves are disclosed to them, they reject them.
 If they are told that the rituals of their church were all holy in themselves, they affirm this to be true, because they regard these rituals as their own; but if it is said that those holy things were in the rituals apart from them, this they deny. Again, if they should be told that the Jewish Church was celestial and the Israelitish Church spiritual, and if it were explained to them what the celestial and spiritual are, they would affirm this also; but if it were said that these churches are called celestial and spiritual for the reason that every particular in them represented celestial and spiritual things, and that representatives have regard to the thing and not to the person, they would deny it. Again, if they are told that in the staff of Moses there was power from Jehovah, and thus Divine power, they affirm it and call it true; but if they are told that this power was not in the staff, but only in the Divine command, this they deny and call it false.
 If they are told that the brazen serpent set up by Moses healed those who were bitten by serpents, and thus that it was miraculous, they affirm it; but if it is said that it was not healing and miraculous in itself, but from the Lord who was represented, they deny it and call it false. (Compare what is related and said of the serpent in several passages, Num. 21:7-9; 2 Kings 18:4; John 3:14, 15.) So also in all other instances. Such are the things which are signified by Judah's acknowledging, and which on the part of the nation signified by him were conjoined with the internal of the church which is represented by Tamar; and because they were such, Judah did not come to her as a husband's brother to a wife, but as a whoremonger to a harlot.