4493. 'And they circumcised every male, all who went out of the gate of his city' means the acceptance of externalities. This is clear from the meaning of 'circumcising every male' as being introduced into the representatives and meaningful signs of that people (that is, into those of Jacob's descendants) - solely into the external observances involved in these, dealt with in 4486; and from the meaning of 'going out of the gate of the city' as departing from the doctrine of the Church among the Ancients, dealt with immediately above in 4492. And as the departure from doctrine and the acceptance of externalities is meant, the expression 'those who went out of the gate of his city' occurs twice, without any reference at the same time, as is so elsewhere, to those who went into it. For 'going in' means an acceptance of doctrine and a departure from externalities; but the reverse of this is described here.
 The implications of this must now be stated. Members of the Most Ancient Church, the remnants of which Hamor and Shechem with their families were a part, had an entirely different mental constitution and different disposition from adherents to the Ancient Church. The will in the case of the members of the Most Ancient Church contained that which was whole; but this was not so with adherents to the Ancient Church. Because of this the Lord was able with members of the Most Ancient Church to flow in through the will, and therefore by an internal way, but not so with adherents to the Ancient Church, since in these the will had been destroyed. But the Lord flowed into their understanding, and so not by an internal way but by an external one, as stated above in 4489. Flowing in through the will involves flowing in through the good of love, for all good belongs to the will part of the mind, whereas flowing in through the understanding involves flowing in through the truth of faith, for all truth belongs to the understanding part. Within the latter - the understanding - the Lord formed, in the case of adherents to the Ancient Church, a new will when He regenerated them. For goods and truths were implanted in the will part of the mind of members of the Most Ancient Church, see 895, 927, but in the understanding part of that of adherents to the Ancient Church, 863, 875, 895, 927, 2124, 2256, 4328. The new will is formed within the understanding part of the mind, 928, 1023, 1043, 1044, 4328. A parallelism exists between the Lord and the good residing with man, but not between Him and the truth there, 1831, 1832, 2718, 3514. As a consequence adherents to the Ancient Church dwelt in obscurity compared with members of the Most Ancient, 2708, 2715, 2935, 2937, 3246, 3833. From all this it may be seen that members of the Most Ancient Church had an entirely different mental constitution and different disposition from adherents to the Ancient Church.
 It was for this reason that those who belonged to the Most Ancient Church were internal people and had no external forms of worship, while those who belonged to the Ancient Church were external people and did have them. For the former saw external things in the light of internal ones, as if by the light of the sun in the daytime, whereas the latter saw internal things in the light of external ones, as if by the light of the moon or stars at night. This also explains why the Lord is seen by the former in heaven as the Sun, but by the latter as the Moon, 1521, 1529-1531, 2441, 2495, 4060. The former are those who in explanations above are called celestial, the latter those who are called spiritual.
 To illustrate the essential difference between the two let an example be taken. If a member of the Most Ancient Church had read the Word, the historical or the prophetical, he would have seen its internal sense without prior instruction or any explanation. He would have seen it so perfectly that the celestial and spiritual things belonging to the internal sense would have instantly met his eyes, and scarcely anything belonging to the sense of the letter. Thus the internal sense would have been for him in brightness, but the sense of the letter in obscurity. He would be like someone listening to a person speaking, and taking in only the sense and paying no attention to the words used by the speaker. But if a member of the Ancient Church had read the Word he would not have been able, without prior instruction or explanation, to see its internal sense, and so the internal sense would have been for him in obscurity but the sense of the letter in brightness. He would be like someone listening to a person speaking and in thought hanging on to the words used by him, all the while paying no attention to the sense of them, which would therefore be lost on him. But when a member of the Jewish Church reads the Word he does not understand anything beyond the sense of the letter. He does not know of and also denies the existence of any internal sense. And it is similar with the member of the Christian Church at the present day.
 These considerations show the essential difference between those represented here by Hamor and Shechem who, being part of the remnants of the Most Ancient Church, were interested in internal things and not in external ones, and those meant by the sons of Jacob who were interested in external things and not in internal ones. Those considerations show in addition that Hamor and Shechem could not have acceded to external things and accepted those which existed among the sons of Jacob unless their internals were closed. But if these had been closed they would have perished for ever.
 This is the hidden reason why Hamor and Shechem with their families were slain, a deed that would not otherwise have been allowed. Not that this absolves the sons of Jacob from blame for having committed that hideous crime. They had no knowledge of that hidden reason, nor did they have that as their end in view. Everyone is judged according to the end he has in view, that is, his intention; and it is plainly stated in verse 13 that their intention was deceitful. When the Lord allows any such crime as this it is carried out by the evil and by those in hell who instigate it. But all evil which the evil intend and do to the good the Lord converts into good, as is the case here in that Hamor and Shechem with their families were [eternally] saved.