6585. Were born upon Joseph's knees. That this signifies that they were from good conjoined with truth from the internal, is evident from the signification of "bringing forth on the knees," as being the conjunction of good and truth (see n. 3915); and from the representation of Joseph, as being the internal (n. 6499). The sons of Machir being born upon Joseph's knees involves that Joseph acknowledged them as his own, for when it is so said, it is signified that they are adopted as his own, as may be seen from the sons born of Bilhah the maidservant of Rachel, concerning whom Rachel says:
Behold my handmaid Bilhah, come unto her, and she shall bear upon my knees, and I also shall be built up by her (Gen. 30:3).
The reason why these sons were acknowledged by Joseph as his own, was that by Manasseh is represented the will of the church, thus its good; and the internal which is represented by Joseph flows in with good, but not with truth except through good; hence it is that these are said to be "born upon Joseph's knees."