39. And all the tribes of the earth shall lament over Him, signifies that the falsities of the church will oppose. This is evident from the signification of "lamenting" as being to mourn, to grieve, to be displeased, to be angry, to be averse from, thus also to oppose; and from the signification of "tribes," as being all truths and goods in the complex, and in the contrary sense, all falsities and evils in the complex (of which in what follows); also from the signification of "the earth," as being the church (see above, n. 29. By "all the tribes of the earth," then, the whole church is meant, and by "their lamenting over Him" is signified that truth and good will be no more, because falsities and evils are to prevail and oppose. For this verse treats, in general, of what the state of the church will be at its end, when there will be no longer any faith, because no charity, namely, that the Lord will then reveal Himself, and that all who are in truths from good will acknowledge Him, and that they also will see Him, who are in falsities from evil, but that the falsities of the church will oppose. (That Revelation does not treat of the successive states of the church, but of its last state when it is at its end, see above, n. 5; and that its end is when there is no faith, because no charity, see the little work on The Last Judgment 33-39 seq.; and when there is no faith, because no charity, falsities from evil prevail and oppose truths from good.)
 In the Word "tribes" are often mentioned, inasmuch as the Israelitish people were divided into twelve tribes, and one who does not know the internal sense of the Word supposes that by "tribes" are meant the tribes of Israel; but by "tribes" are not meant tribes, nor by "Israel" is Israel meant, but by "tribes" are meant all those who are in truths from good, and by "Israel" the Lord's church. He who is ignorant of this will easily adopt the common belief that the sons of Israel were chosen in preference to all others on earth, and that they are also to be brought at last into the land of Canaan; indeed, that heaven also is to be formed chiefly from them; when, in fact, by their names they are not meant, but they who are in truths from good, thus those who are of the church; by the twelve tribes, all such, and by each tribe, some particular truth and good pertaining to those who are of the church.
 When this is understood, what is meant by these words in Revelation can be seen:
I heard the number of them which were sealed, a hundred and forty and four thousand sealed of all the tribes of the sons of Israel. Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Asher were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Naphtali were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasseh were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zebulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand (Revelation 7:4-8).
Here those who are of the Israelitish nation are not meant, but all, how many soever, who are in the truths from good, for all such are sealed for heaven. Moreover, the numbers "one hundred and forty-four thousand" and "twelve thousand" signify all; and each tribe signifies all who are in that truth or good which is signified by its name, as may appear from what is shown in the Arcana Coelestia; as what good and truth are signified by "Judah," n. 3881, 6363; what by "Reuben," n. 3861, 3866, 4605, 4731, 4734, 4761, 6342-6345; what by "Gad," n. 3934, 3935; what by "Asher," n. 3938, 3939, 6408; what by "Naphtali," n. 3927, 3928; what by "Manasseh," n. 3969, 5351, 5354, 6222, 6234, 6238, 6267, 6296; what by "Simeon," n. 3869-3872, 4497, 4502-4503, 5482, 5626, 5630; what by "Levi," n. 3875, 3877, 4497, 4502-4503; what by "Issachar," n. 3956, 3957; what by "Zebulon," n. 3960, 3961, 6383; what by "Joseph," n. 3969, 3971, 4669, 6417; and what by "Benjamin," n. 3969, 4592, 5411, 5413, 5443, 5639, 5686, 5688, 5689, 6440. That all numbers in the Word signify things, see n. 482, 487, 647-648, 755, 813, 1963, 2075, 2252, 3252, 4264, 4495, 4670, 5265, 6175, 9488, 9659, 10217, 10253. That "twelve" signifies all, and all things in respect to truths from good, see n. 577, 2089, 2129, 2130, 3272, 3858, 3913, likewise the numbers "72," "144," "1200," "144, 000," because they arise from the number 12 by multiplication, n. Arcana Coelestia 7973. That composite numbers have a like meaning with the simple numbers from which they are produced by multiplication, see n. 5291, 5335, 5708, 7973).
 He who is not aware that numbers signify things, and what the numbers "twelve," "one hundred and forty-four," and "twelve thousand" signify, likewise what "tribes" and "apostles" signify, cannot know what is signified by these words in Revelation:
The holy city, New Jerusalem, had a wall great and high, having twelve gates, and in the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; and the wall had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the apostles of the Lamb. The wall was a hundred and forty and four cubits, and the length and the breadth of the city twelve thousand furlongs (Revelation 21:12, 21:14, 16-17).
What is signified by all this you will see explained in the small work on The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine 1); namely, that by "Jerusalem" is signified the church in respect to doctrine; by its "wall," protecting truths; by the "gates," introductory truths; by the" foundations," the knowledges on which doctrine is based; by "twelve angels," and by "twelve tribes," all truths and goods in the complex; "the twelve apostles," have a like signification, and the numbers "twelve," "one hundred and forty-four," and "twelve thousand," signify all things and all persons.
 Furthermore, he who is aware that such things are signified by the twelve tribes can see the arcanum in this:
Why the names of the twelve tribes were engraved on the precious stones in the Urim and Thummim, likewise what that breastplate signified (Exodus 28:21; 39:10-15).
(This arcanum may be seen unfolded in Arcana Coelestia 3858, 6335, 6640, 9863, 9865, 9873, 9874, 9905) He can also see what is signified by this:
That the twelve apostles should sit upon twelve thrones, and are to judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28);
namely, that the Lord alone will judge everyone by truths from good (n. 2129, 6397). Also what is meant by:
The predictions of Israel, the father, respecting his sons (Genesis 49:2-28);
as well as numerous other passages of the Word, where tribes are mentioned (as in Isaiah 19:13; 49:6; 63:17; Jeremiah 10:16; Ezekiel 48:1 seq.; Psalms 122:3-5; Deuteronomy 32:8; Numbers 24:2; Revelation 5:9; 7:4-9; 11:9; 13:7; 14:6
 Again, what is meant by the Lord's Word respecting the consummation of the age and His coming:
After the affliction of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken; and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth lament; and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory (Matthew 24:29-30).
(These words can be seen explained in detail in the work on Heaven and Hell 1; and in the following passages in the Arcana Coelestia, namely, that the twelve tribes of Israel represented and thence signified all truths and goods in the complex, thus all things of faith and love, n. 3858, 3926, 4060, 6335; that like things are signified by the twelve apostles, n. 2129, 3354, 3488, 3858, 6397; and that their signification varies according to the order in which they are named, n. 3862, 3926, 3939, 4603, seq., 6337, 6640, 10335)