6561. Thy father did command before he died, saying. That this signifies that it is by command of the church, is evident from the representation of Israel, here the "father," as being the church (see n. 4286, 6426); from the signification of "commanding," as being influx (n. 6560), and in this case command, because it comes from the church, thus from the Divine; and from the signification of "before he died," as being while the church still existed. That it is by command of the church that everyone ought to forgive his brother or neighbor, is evident from the Lord's words in Matthew:
Peter said unto Jesus, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? until seven times? Jesus saith to him, I say not until seven times, but until seventy times seven (Matt. 18:21, 22).
But it was ingrained in the Jewish nation that they should never forgive, but should hold as an enemy everyone who had in any way injured them, and they then thought it allowable to hate him, and to treat him as they chose, even to kill him. The reason was that this nation was in externals alone without what is internal, thus was in no command of the internal church. This was the reason why the brethren of Joseph were so much afraid that Joseph would hate them, and would requite evil to them.