4462. 'To give our sister to a man who has a foreskin' means unless they could identify the truth and the good of the Church with representatives and disregard the spiritual entities meant by these. This is clear from the meaning of 'the foreskin' as an external representative - as the sign that they were members of the Church. It was usual therefore to speak of circumcision and the foreskin when they needed to distinguish between those who belonged to the Church and those who did not. For circumcision meant the departure from filthy loves, namely self-love and love of the world, and the acceptance of heavenly loves, which are love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour, and so an acceptance of the Church. This is why these words mean an acceptance of their semblance of religion and that therefore they identified the truth and the good of the Church with representatives, disregarding the internal things meant by these. For otherwise they would not be like them, as the words that follow show, 'Only on this [condition] will we consent to you: If you will be as we are'. As regards 'circumcision' being the sign of purification from filthy loves, see 2039, 2632, and the expression 'uncircumcised' being used of those who were governed by those loves, 2049, 3412, 3413.
Arcana Coelestia 3412-3413)
 Scarcely anyone at the present day knows what circumcision means specifically, and this therefore must be stated. The genital organs in both sexes mean things associated with the joining together of good and truth. They not only mean them but also in actual fact correspond to them. It has been shown at the ends of chapters that all the organs and members in the human being have a correspondence with spiritual things in heaven, including therefore the organs and members devoted to procreation. These correspond to the marriage of good and truth, from which marriage conjugial love also comes down, see 2618, 2727-2729, 2803, 3132, 4434. Because the foreskin covered the genital organ it corresponded in the Most Ancient Church to the obscuration of good and truth, but in the Ancient Church to the defilement of them. With a person who belonged to the Most Ancient Church, because he was an internal man, good and truth were able to be obscured but not defiled, but with one who belonged to the Ancient Church, because he was in comparison with his predecessor an external man, good and truth were able to be defiled since it is external things, that is to say, external loves, that cause defilement. For this reason those who belonged to the Most Ancient Church had no knowledge of circumcision, only those who belonged to the Ancient Church had it.
 In addition circumcision spread from this Church to many nations. It was imposed on Abraham and his descendants not as something new but as the revival of a practice which had been abandoned, it becoming for his descendants the sign that they belonged to the Church. But that nation did not know, and did not wish to know, what it was a sign of, for they identified religion with representatives alone, which are externals. They therefore condemned the uncircumcised as a whole, when yet circumcision was to be merely a sign representative of purification from self-love and love of the world, from which those are purified who have been circumcised spiritually and are called circumcised at heart, as in Moses,
Jehovah God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, so that you will love Jehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 30:6.
In the same author,
You shall circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and you shall be stiff-necked no longer. Deuteronomy 10:16, 18.
And in Jeremiah,
Break up your fallow ground, and remove the foreskin of your heart. Jeremiah 4:3-4.
 People however who are governed by self-love and love of the world are called 'uncircumcised', in spite of their having been circumcised, as in Jeremiah,
Behold, the days are coming in which I will visit every one circumcised in the foreskin - Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that have the corners [of their hair] cut and who dwell in the wilderness, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart. Jeremiah 9:25-26.
From this it is also evident that many other nations were circumcised, for it is said 'I will visit every one circumcised in the foreskin', and so, as stated above, that circumcision was not something new, nor was it confined to the descendants of Jacob as a distinguishing feature. The Philistines were not circumcised, and therefore 'the uncircumcised' is generally used to mean the Philistines, 1 Samuel 14:6; 17:26, 36; 31:4; 2 Samuel 1:20; and elsewhere.