6075. Both we and our fathers. That this signifies that this is so from the ancients, is evident from the signification of "fathers," as being those who were of the ancient churches (see n. 6050). In many passages of the Word where the Jews and the Israelites are treated of, their fathers are mentioned with praise. They who abide in the sense of the letter understand by "fathers" in these passages no others than Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and also the sons of Jacob. But in the internal sense by "fathers" there, when spoken of in a good sense, are not meant these patriarchs, but they who were of the Most Ancient Church which was before the flood, and they who were of the Ancient Church which was after the flood. The men of both these churches were called "fathers" because from them the church had descended, and the things of the church had been derived.
 By "fathers" are meant those who were of the Ancient Churches, in Moses:
Jehovah had delight in thy fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after them (Deut. 10:15).
Remember the days of eternity, understand the years of generation and generation. When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of man, He set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel. But when Jeshurun waxed fat, he forsook God, they sacrifice to demons, to gods that came from what is near, and that your fathers knew not (Deut. 32:7, 8, 15, 17).
This passage occurs in the prophetic song of Moses, in which the Ancient Church is treated of from verse seven to verse fifteen, and the posterity of Jacob from verse fifteen to verse forty-four. The state of the Most Ancient Church which was before the flood is signified by the "days of eternity;" and the state of the Ancient Church which was after the flood by the "years of generation and generation;" the state of their good by the "inheritance which the Most High gave to the nations;" and the state of their truth by the "Most High separating the sons of man, and setting the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel." (That this number, or twelve, means all truths of faith in the complex, may be seen above, n. 577, 2089, 2129, 2130, 3272, 3858, 3913.) From this it is plain that by "fathers" are signified those who were of the Ancient Churches.  In like manner in the following passages. In Isaiah:
Our house of holiness, and our ornament, where our fathers praised Thee, is become a burning of fire (Isa. 64:11).
Did not thy father eat and drink? but he did judgment and justice; then it was well with him (Jer. 22:15).
They sinned to Jehovah, the habitation of justice, and the hope of their fathers, to Jehovah (Jer. 50:7).
We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, the work Thou didst in their days, in the days of antiquity (Ps. 44:1).
"Fathers" have the like signification in Daniel 11:24, 37, 38. That they who were of the Ancient Churches are meant by "fathers" in these passages, is not seen in the sense of the letter, but only from the internal sense, in which the church and its goods and truths are treated of. Moreover the church itself, being the heavenly marriage, that is, the marriage of good and truth, is called in the Word "father" as to good, and "mother" as to truth (n. 3703, 5581).