5581. And their father said unto them. That this signifies perception from the things of the church, is evident from the signification of "saying" in the historicals of the Word, as being perception (of which often above); and from the representation of Israel, who here is the "father," as being the church (that "Israel" is the internal spiritual church, and "Jacob" the external, may be seen above, n. 4286, 4292, 4570). He is called "father" because by "father" in the Word is also signified the church, and likewise by "mother;" but by "mother" the church as to truth, and by "father" the church as to good. The reason of this is that the church is a spiritual marriage, which is from good as the father, and from truth as a mother.