5536. Me have ye bereaved. That this signifies that thus the church was no more, is evident from the representation of Jacob, who says this of himself, as being the good of truth (see n. 3659, 3669, 3677, 3775, 4234, 4273, 4538); and because it is the good of truth, it is also the church, for good is the essential of the church; and therefore it is the same whether we say the good of truth, or the church, for with the man with whom is the good of truth, there is the church (that "Jacob" is the church may be seen above, n. 4286, 4520; and hence also that his sons represent the truths of the church, n. 5403, 5419, 5427, 5458, 5512); and from the signification of "bereaving," as being to deprive the church of its truths and goods, as here of those which are represented by Joseph, Benjamin, and Simeon (of which in what follows).
 That "to bereave" denotes to deprive the church of its truths, is because the church is compared to a marriage, its good to the husband, and its truth to the wife, and the truths born of this marriage to sons, and the goods to daughters, and so on. When therefore "bereavement," or "bereaving" is spoken of, it signifies that the church is deprived of its truths, and that thereby it becomes no church. In this sense the terms "bereavement," or "bereaving," are occasionally used elsewhere in the Word, as in Ezekiel:
I will send upon you famine and evil beast, and will make thee bereaved (Ezek. 5:17).
When I make the evil beast to pass through the land, and it shall bereave it, so that it become a desolation, that no man may pass through because of the wild beast (Ezek. 14:15).
I will send against you the wild beast of the field, which shall bereave you, and cut off your beast, and lessen you, that your ways shall be laid waste (Lev. 26:22).
 In these passages "famine" denotes a lack of the knowledges of good and truth, and hence desolation; an "evil beast," falsities from evils; the "land," the church; "sending a famine and an evil beast to bereave the land" denotes to destroy the church by falsities from evils, thus to completely deprive it of truths. In Jeremiah:
I will winnow them with a fan in the gates of the land, I will bereave, I will destroy My people (Jer. 15:7);
where also "bereaving" denotes to deprive of truths. In the same:
Give their sons to the famine, and make them flow away by the hand of the sword; that their wives may become bereaved and widows (Jer. 18:21);
where "their wives becoming bereaved and widows" denotes being without truths and good.
 In Hosea:
Of Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the belly, and from conception; because if they have brought up their sons, then will I make them bereaved of man (Hos. 9:11-12);
with a similar meaning. In Ezekiel:
I will make man, My people, walk over you, who shall possess thee by inheritance, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more add to bereave them. Thus hath said the Lord Jehovih, Because they say to you, Thou art a consumer of man, and hast been a bereaver of thy peoples (Ezek. 36:12-13);
where also "bereaving" is to deprive of truths,
 In Isaiah:
Now hear this, O delicate one, sitting securely, saying in thine heart, I and none besides like me, I shall not sit a widow, neither shall I know bereavement; surely these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, bereavement and widowhood (Isa. 47:8-9);
said of the daughter of Babylon and of Chaldea, that is, of those who are in a holy external and a profane internal, and by virtue of this holy external call themselves the church. "Bereavement and widowhood" denote the deprivation of good and truth. Again:
Lift up thine eyes round about, and see; all they gather themselves together, they come to thee. The sons of thy bereavement shall yet say in thine ears, The place is strait for me; go from me that I may dwell. But thou shalt say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I am bereaved and lonely, banished and far away? Who therefore hath brought up these? I was left alone; these, where were they? (Isa. 49:18, 20-21);
said of Zion or the celestial church, and of its fruitfulness after vastation; the "sons of bereavement" denoting the truths of which she had been deprived in vastation, restored and vastly increased.