5136. Out of the land of the Hebrews. That this signifies from the church, namely, that celestial things were alienated from it through evil, is evident from the signification of the "land of the Hebrews," as being the church. The "land of the Hebrews" here, is the land of Canaan; for Joseph was taken away from there. The reason why the land of Canaan in the Word signifies the church, is that the church has been there from the most ancient time: first the Most Ancient Church, which was before the flood; next the Ancient Church, which was after the flood; afterward the Second Ancient Church, which was called the Hebrew Church; and at last the Jewish Church. And in order that the Jewish Church might be instituted there, Abram was commanded to betake himself thither out of Syria, and it was there promised him that this land should be given to his posterity for an inheritance. This is the reason why "land" or "earth" in the Word signifies the church, and the "whole earth," as sometimes occurs, the universal church; and also the "new heaven and new earth," a new church internal and external.
 The reason why the church was continued there from the most ancient time, is that the man of the Most Ancient Church, who was celestial, was of such a character that in each and all things in the world and upon the earth he saw a representative of the Lord's kingdom; the objects of the world and the earth being to him the means of thinking about heavenly things. This was the origin of all the representatives and significatives that were afterward known in the Ancient Church, for they were collected by those who are meant by "Enoch," and were preserved for the use of posterity (n. 519, 521, 2896). From this it came to pass that every place, and also every mountain and river, in the land of Canaan, where the most ancient people dwelt, and likewise all the kingdoms round about, became representative; and as the Word could not be written except by representatives and significatives, even of places, therefore for the sake of this end the church was successively preserved in the land of Canaan; but after the coming of the Lord it was transferred elsewhere, because representatives were then abolished.
 From the foregoing it is plain that by the land of Canaan, which is here called the "land of the Hebrews," is signified the church; but see what has been previously adduced on these subjects; namely, that the Most Ancient Church, which was before the flood, was in the land of Canaan (n. 567, 3686, 4447, 4454); that part of the Ancient Church, which was after the flood, was there (see n. 3686, 4447); also that a second Ancient Church, which was called the Hebrew Church, was there (n. 4516, 4517); that for the same reason Abram was commanded to go there, and that land was given to his posterity (n. 3686, 4447); that from this the land of Canaan represented the Lord's kingdom (n. 1607, 3038, 3481, 3705, 4240, 4447); and that it is for this reason that by "earth" or "land" in the Word is signified the church (see n. 566, 662, 1066, 1068, 1262, 1413, 1607, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 3355, 4447, 4535).