444. Of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand sealed, signifies good works. This is evident from the representation and consequent signification of "Levi" and his tribe, as being spiritual love, which is called charity towards the neighbor. "The tribe of Levi" here signifies good works because spiritual love or charity consists in doing things that are good, and these are good works. Charity, itself, viewed in itself, is the affection of truth and good, and where that affection is, there is a life according to truths and goods, for there is no affection without a life according to the truths and goods for which there is affection. If such affection is thought to be possible and to be present, it is a natural not a spiritual affection. These two kinds of affection differ in this, that natural affection has self and the world for an end; thus the truths and goods by which it is affected are loved 1
for the sake of reputation, that honors and wealth may be acquired, and then a life according to the doctrinals that have been learned is put on merely from self for the sake of appearance, which is thus a feigned life and inwardly hypocritical; while spiritual affection has the Lord, heaven, and eternal life for an end, and has regard to these in truths and goods; thus it loves truths and goods spiritually. When this affection is with man he loves to think and to will these truths and goods, and consequently to live according to them. To live according to truths and goods is what is meant in the Word by "doing," and the life itself is meant by "deeds" and "works" which are so often mentioned in the Word; these, therefore, are what were represented and signified by "Levi" and his tribe in the church with the Jews.
(Odkazy: Revelation 7:7)
 Because this affection is the very essential of the church, the tribe of Levi was assigned to the priesthood; this, too, is why Levi's staff in the tent of meeting blossomed with almonds; and this is why no inheritance was given to that tribe as to the other tribes, but among them all. It is known that the tribe of Levi was appointed to the priesthood; for not only was Aaron made high priest, but also his sons after him, and all the Levites were made ministers to them. That Moses and Aaron were of the tribe of Levi may be seen in Exodus 6:20; Numbers 18:2; and that the Levites were made ministers to Aaron and his sons, in Moses:
The tribe of Levi was taken for the priesthood, to keep the charge of the whole congregation before the tent of meeting, to serve the service of the tabernacle. And the Levites were given to Aaron, and accepted in place of all the firstborn; and further respecting their ministries and functions (Numbers 3 end).
(Odkazy: Exodus 6:16-20)
 The priesthood was given to this tribe because it represented and thence signified love and charity. Love and charity are the spiritual affection of good and truth; since affection is predicated of love in its continuity, for affection is the continuation of love. This, too, is what the priesthood and its ministry signify in the Word, for this affection is the essential of the church, for where it is there the church is, and where it is not there the church is not; for the affection of good and truth is the very spiritual life of man, and when man is affected by good and truth he is in good and truth in respect to his life, and his thought itself is nothing but affection in a different form, for whatever a man thinks he derives from affection; no one can think without affection. This is why the tribe of Levi was appointed to the priesthood. The like is said of the Levites in Ezekiel, where a new land, a new city, and a new temple are treated of (Ezekiel 40:46; 43:19; 44:15; 48:11, 12).
(Odkazy: Ezekiel 48:11-12)
 Because the tribe of Levi represented and thence signified charity in act, thus the goods of charity, which are good works, therefore:
The rod of Levi, upon which was written the name of Aaron, when placed in the tent of meeting before the testimony, blossomed with almonds (Numbers 17:2-11);
"almonds" signifying the goods of charity, since by these all things of the church flourish in man, for when the goods of charity are with man there are also intelligence and faith, for man is then in the affection of understanding what he knows from the Word, and in the will to do according to what he knows. Because the good of charity must be in all things of the church that the church may be in them, and because the affection itself of good and truth, which is charity, is what gives understanding and instruction to all, so not only was the tribe of Levi appointed to the priesthood, but there was no lot and inheritance granted to that tribe like that granted to the other tribes, but was among them all (as is evident in Moses, Numbers 21 and in Joshua 21:1 to the end). So it is said in Moses:
Therefore no part or inheritance with his brethren fell to Levi; Jehovah Himself is his inheritance (Deuteronomy 10:9).
 And because (as has been said) every man acquires knowledge (scientia), intelligence, and wisdom, according to the affection of good and truth that is in him, it is said in Moses:
Jehovah God hath chosen the sons of Levi to minister unto Him and to bless in His name, and according to their mouth shall be every controversy and every stroke (Deuteronomy 21:5).
This signifies in the spiritual sense that the affection of good and truth, which is charity, ministers to the Lord, and teaches those things that are of the church and worship, and discerns between falsities and truths, and between evils and goods; for "the sons of Levi" signify in the spiritual sense the affection of good and truth, which is charity. From this it can be seen that the tribe of Levi was chosen for the priesthood, and an inheritance was given to it among all the tribes, not because that tribe was better than the others, but because it represented charity in act, and good works, which are the effects of all good and truth in man.
 That "the tribe of Levi" signifies in the Word the goods of charity, which are good works, can be seen also from the following passages. In Jeremiah:
In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous shoot to sprout up unto David; and He shall do judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem 2 shall dwell safely; and this is the name whereby He shall be called, Jehovah our righteousness. There shall not be cut off from David a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, and from the priests the Levites there shall not be cut off a man from before My faces to offer up the burnt-offering and to burn the meal-offering, and to do sacrifice all the days. If ye shall have rendered void My covenant of the day and My covenant of the night, My covenant also with David My servant shall become void that he shall not have a son to reign, and with the Levites, the priests My ministers. As the host of the heavens is not numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured, 3 so will I multiply the seed of David My servant and the Levites My ministers (Jeremiah 33:15-18, 20-22).
This treats of the coming of the Lord, who is "the shoot of David," and who shall be called "Jehovah our Righteousness." "Judah shall then be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely," signifies that then those who are in love to the Lord shall be saved; "Israel shall dwell safely" signifying that those who are in charity towards the neighbor shall not be infested by evils and falsities; "there shall not be cut off from David a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel" signifies that Divine truth proceeding from the Lord is then to reign perpetually in the church, "the throne of the house of Israel" meaning the church wherein Divine truth reigns; "and from the priests the Levites there shall not be cut off a man from before My faces to offer up the burnt-offering and to burn the meal-offering, and to do sacrifice" signifies that then there shall be worship perpetually from the good of love and charity, and from the truths of faith; "Levites" signifying those who are in such worship; "burnt-offering" the worship from the good of love, "meal-offering" worship from the good of charity towards the neighbor; and "sacrifice" worship from the truths of faith.
 "If ye shall have rendered void My covenant of the day and My covenant of the night," signifies if they did not observe the two things, love and faith, that effect conjunction with the Lord; "covenant" meaning conjunction; "covenant of the day" conjunction by love, and "covenant of the night" conjunction by faith; "My covenant also with David My servant shall become void, that he shall not have a son to reign, and with the Levites the priests, My ministers," signifies that they shall then have neither Divine truth nor Divine good; "Levites, priests, ministers," are such as are in the good of love to the Lord and in worship therefrom; "as the host of the heavens is not numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured," signifies the knowledges of truth and good in the spiritual and in the natural man; "host of the heavens" meaning such knowledges in the spiritual man, and "sand of the sea" meaning such knowledges in the natural man; "so will I multiply the seed of David My servant, and the Levites My ministers," signifies the multiplication of Divine truth, and the fructification of Divine good in those who have conjunction with the Lord; here as elsewhere "the Levites, the priests," signify those who are in the good of love and charity, and in an abstract sense, that good itself.
 In Malachi:
Behold I send My messenger, and He shall prepare the way before Me; and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple, even the angel of the covenant, whom ye desire. For He is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap; and He shall sit refining and purifying silver, and shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall purge them as gold and silver, that they may bring to Jehovah an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be sweet unto Jehovah; according to the days of an age and according to former years (Malachi 3:1-4).
What this signifies in the spiritual sense may be seen explained above (n. 242, and 4 433); and that "the sons of Levi" here mean all who are in the good of charity, and thence in the good of faith. This treats of the Lord who was to come; His Divine Human is what is meant by "His temple" to which Jehovah the Lord was to come; that He will purify those who are in the good of charity, and thence in the good of faith, is meant by "He shall purify and purge the sons of Levi." Evidently the sons of Levi are not meant, for it is said that "He shall then purify and purge them," and that "the offering of Judah and Jerusalem shall then be sweet unto Jehovah," and it is known that the Lord did not purify and purge the Levites, and that the offering of Judah and Jerusalem was not sweet to the Lord, for they were utterly opposed to the Lord, and worship by sacrifices and offerings was then abrogated. For "Judah" here means all who are in the good of love to the Lord, and "Jerusalem" the church that is in the truths of doctrine (see above, n. 433).
 In Moses:
Moses said of Levi, Thy Thummim and Thy Urim for Thy holy man, whom thou didst tempt in Massah, with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah; who said to his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; 5 and his brethren he did not recognize, and his sons he did not know; they shall keep Thy word and they shall observe Thy covenant. They shall teach Jacob Thy judgments, and Israel Thy law; they shall put incense in Thy nostrils, and whole burnt offering upon Thine altar, and accept the work of his hands; smite through the loins of them that rise against him and of them that hate him, that they rise not again (Deuteronomy 33:8-11).
This is in the blessing of the sons of Israel by Moses, which treats of the Word, because this is signified in the representative sense by "Moses;" and "Urim and Thummin" signify the Divine truth shining forth from Divine good, thus the Word; and "Levi" here means the spiritual affection of truth; the "holy man whom they tempted in Massah and at the waters of Meribah" means the Lord in respect to Divine truth, for the "rock" at which that temptation took place signifies the Lord, and the "waters" from it signify Divine truths; "the father and mother to whom he said I have not seen you" signify the Israelitish church, which did not acknowledge the Lord; the church is called "father" from good, and "mother" from truth; "his brethren whom he did not recognize, and his sons whom he did not know," mean the goods and truths of the church, which were not with them, "brethren" meaning goods, and "sons" truths.
 But as "the sons of Levi" signify the goods and truths of the church, and in general the spiritual affection of truth and good, it is said of them "they shall keep Thy Word, they shall observe Thy covenant; they shall teach Jacob Thy judgments, and Israel Thy law," which signifies that those who are in the spiritual affection of truth do the Word and teach the goods and truths of the church, for the spiritual affection of truth is what does and teaches, since it is into that affection that the Lord flows, doing the good with man and teaching the truth with him; "the Word" here means Divine truth, and "to keep it" means to do it; "covenant" means conjunction thereby with the Lord; "judgments" mean the truths of doctrine from the Word; the "law" means the good of truth; "Jacob and Israel" mean the church; "to put incense in the nostrils" signifies worship from the truths of doctrine, and "to put whole burnt offering upon the altar" signifies worship from the good of love. The dispersion of falsities by truth is signified by "smiting through the loins of them that rise against him;" and the dispersion of evils by "smiting through the loins of them that hate him, that they rise not again. " This is said of Levi, because Divine truth, which is the Word, can only be with those who are in the spiritual affection of truth. The spiritual affection of truth consists in loving the truth itself, and esteeming it above every good of the world, because through it man has eternal life, and the only means by which eternal life is implanted in man are truths, consequently the Word, for through the Word the Lord teaches truths. The spiritual affection of truth, which is to love truths above every good of the world, is thus described by the Lord in Matthew:
The kingdom of the heavens is like unto a man that is a merchant seeking beautiful pearls; who, when he had found one pearl of great price, going away, sold all that he had and bought it (Matthew 13:45-46);
"pearl" signifying truth. (That man has eternal life from no other source than through truths from good, which is from the Lord, see in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 24 at the end.)
 That "Levi" signifies love and charity is evident from the words of his mother Leah when she bare him, which are these:
Leah conceived again and bare a son, and said, Now this time will my husband (vir) cleave unto me, because I have borne him three sons; therefore she called his name Levi (Gen. 29:34).
"She conceived again and bare a son" signifies spiritual conception and birth; "and said, Now this time will my husband (vir) cleave unto me," signifies spiritual love, that is charity, by which conjunction is effected; "because I have borne him three sons" signifies what is successive; "therefore she called his name Levi" signifies conjunction by love, and its quality. (For a further explanation of this see Arcana Coelestia 3873-3877.) "Levi" means a cleaving, and "to cleave" signifies conjunction by spiritual love. The three sons of Leah born in succession, "Reuben, Simeon, and Levi" signify in series the first and chief essentials of the church, namely, truth in the understanding, truth in the will, and truth in act; the same as the three disciples of the Lord, "Peter, James, and John," "Peter" signifying truth in the understanding, "James" truth in the will, and "John" truth in act, which is the good of life or the good of charity. In the original tongue Levi means a cleaving, which signifies conjunction through love and charity. (That this is the signification of "cleaving," see Arcana Coelestia 3875.)
(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 3873)
 That "Levi" in the highest sense signifies the Lord in relation to love and mercy, is evident in Malachi:
That ye may know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that My covenant may be with Levi. My covenant with him was of life and peace; which I gave to him in fear, that he might fear Me, therefore because of My name he was dismayed. The law of truth was in his mouth, and perversity was not found in his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and did turn many away from iniquity. The priest's lips, they shall seek the law from his mouth, for he is the messenger of Jehovah of Hosts. But ye have turned aside out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble in the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi (Malachi 2:4-8).
Here "Levi" in the highest sense means the Lord in respect to His Divine Human, for it is said of Levi, that "the law of truth was in his mouth, and perversity was not found in his lips," and that "the priest's lips they shall seek the law from his mouth, for he is the messenger of Jehovah of Hosts;" therefore "the covenant of Levi" means conjunction with the Lord through love and charity; "the covenant of life and peace" signifies that conjunction; "fear," which is also predicated of Him, signifies love. "The priest's lips they shall seek the law from his mouth" signifies that all truth of doctrine is from the Lord, and is with such as are in love to Him. He is called "the messenger of Jehovah" because of the Divine truth that the Lord teaches in the Word and through the Word; "they turned aside out of the way and caused many to stumble in the law, they corrupted the covenant of Levi," signifies that the church that was among the Israelites perverted the truths of the Word and the goods of life therefrom, and thus destroyed conjunction with the Lord; "way" signifying the truths of doctrine, "law" its goods, and the "covenant of Levi" conjunction with the Lord. From this what is signified in the representative sense by Levi and his tribe can be seen, namely, the good of charity, which is the good of life, also the spiritual affection of good and truth, and in the highest sense, the Lord in relation to spiritual love.
 As most things in the Word have also a contrary sense, so has "Levi" and his tribe; and in this sense "Levi" signifies the evil of falsity, which is the opposite of the good of charity; also life apart from charity, consequently no charity towards the neighbor. This is signified by "Levi" in the prophecy of Israel the father respecting his sons:
Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of violence are their swords; into their secret let not my soul come; unto their assembly let not my glory be united; for in their anger they slew a man, and in their good pleasure they houghed an ox. Accursed be their anger, for it is strong, and their fury, for it is hard. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel (Genesis 49:5-7).
For the explanation of this see the article above n. 443, where "Simeon" is treated of.
(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 443)
 Again, the "Levite" in the Lord's parable of the man wounded by robbers has this contrary signification; and that parable shall here be explained, because it treats of charity towards the neighbor, and because the Lord there spoke from beginning to end by correspondences, which have heretofore been unknown. In Luke:
The lawyer wishing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor? And Jesus continuing said, A certain man was going down from Jerusalem into Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and smote him, and departed leaving him half dead. And by chance a certain priest was going down that way; and seeing him he passed by. And in like manner a Levite, when he was at the place, came and saw and passed by. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to him; and when he saw him he was moved with compassion, and coming near he bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and then setting him on his own beast he led him to an inn and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed he took out two denaries and gave them to the host, and said to him, Take care of him, and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come back again I will repay thee. Which now of these three seems to thee to have been a neighbor unto him that fell among the robbers? He said, He that showed mercy unto him. And Jesus said unto him, Go, and do thou likewise (Luke 10:29-37).
This treats of charity towards the neighbor, and of good works by which charity is in its effect and in its fullness.
"Jerusalem" here signifies the church where there is true doctrine, and "Jericho" the church where there are knowledges of truth and good; so the "priest" signifies those who have no love to the Lord, and the "Levite" those who have no charity towards the neighbor, such as those were who were in Jerusalem at that time; but the "Samaritan" signifies the nations that were in the good of charity; the "man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho" signifies those who wished to be instructed in the truths and knowledges of the church; the "robbers among whom he fell" signify those in the perverted church, such as the Jewish church was at that time; "they stripped him and smote him, and left him half dead," signifies that they deprived him of truths and imbued him with falsities, and thus doing injury to spiritual life to such a degree that scarcely any spiritual life remains; "to strip" signifying in the Word to deprive of truths, "to smite" signifying to injure the mind and spiritual life by falsities, and "to be half dead" signifying to be almost destitute of that life; "to be moved with compassion" signifies mercy and charity from within, mercy and charity also forming a one; "to bind up the wounds and to pour in oil and wine" signifies providing a remedy against the falsities that have injured his life, by instructing him in the good of love and the truth of faith, "oil" in the Word signifying the good of love, and "wine" the good and truth of faith; "to set him on his own beast" signifies according to his understanding so far as he was able, "horse" (in like manner as beast), signifying the understanding; "to lead him to an inn and to take care of him" signifies to lead him to those who are better instructed in the knowledges of good and truth, an "inn" being a place where foods and drinks are bought, which signify the knowledges of good and truth, thence spiritual nourishment which is communicated by instruction; "he gave to the host two denaries, and said to him, Take care of him, and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come back again I will repay thee," signifies all things of charity in the measure of his ability and capacity. From this it can now be seen what "Levi," "his tribe," and "the Levites" signify in each sense. (More respecting what is represented and thence signified by "Levi," and the tribe named from him, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia 3875-3877, 4497, 4502, 4503, 6352, 10017.)