431. It has been shown thus far that "twelve" signifies all things, and that it is predicated of truths from good; it shall now be shown that "the twelve tribes" signify all things of the church, and each tribe some universal and essential of the church. Because a representative church was to be instituted with the sons of Jacob it was provided by the Lord that his sons should be twelve in number, and that significative names should be given to them, and the twelve tribes from these, known by the same names, should signify all things of the church which they represented, and each tribe some universal essential of it. What, then, each tribe signified and represented will be told in what follows. As all things of the church have relation to truths from good, so "the twelve tribes" signify truths from good in the whole complex. They were called "tribes" because the two words in the original or Hebrew tongue rendered "tribe" mean a scepter and a rod; and a "scepter" signifies Divine truth in relation to government, and a "rod" Divine truth in relation to power.
 Because of this derivation and signification, when the people murmured against Moses and Aaron on account of the government and power exercised over them, it was also commanded that:
The princes of all the tribes should lay up their rods in the Tent of meeting, and in the midst of them the rod of Levi with the name of Aaron written upon it, and this blossomed with almonds (Numbers 17:3-8).
For "rods," as has been said, have a similar meaning as "tribes," and "the rod of Levi, on which was written the name of Aaron," has a similar signification as "the tribe of Levi" and as "Aaron" as high priest, namely, the good of charity towards the neighbor and the good of love to the Lord; "tribe of Levi" signifying the good of charity, and "Aaron the priest" the good of love; consequently this rod was placed in the midst and blossomed with almonds; to be placed "in the midst" signifying that all things are from it (see above, n. 313, and "almonds" signifying the goods of life.
 Because "the twelve tribes" signified all things of the church, or truths from good in the whole complex:
A breastplate was made for Aaron, which was called the Urim and Thummim, composed of twelve precious stones, on which were the names of the twelve tribes, or of the twelve sons of Israel (Exodus 28:15-30; 39:8-21, 29).
It is known that through this answers were given from heaven, but from what origin has not heretofore been revealed; it shall therefore be told. All light in the angelic heaven proceeds from the Lord as a sun; therefore that light in its essence is Divine truth, from which the angels have all their intelligence and wisdom, and men also in spiritual things. This light in heaven is modified into various colors, in accordance with the truths from good that are received; for this reason colors, from correspondence, signify in the Word truths from good; and consequently answers were given by means of a resplendence from the colors of the stones in the Urim and Thummim, and then at the same time either by a living voice or by a silent perception corresponding to the resplendence. This makes clear that "the twelve tribes," whose names were engraved on the stones, have a like signification. (But on this see what is said and shown in Arcana Coelestia, namely, that colors in heaven are from the light there, and that they are modifications and variegations of light in accordance with reception, n. 1042, 1043, 1053, 1624, 3993, 4530, 4742, 4922; thus that they are the appearances of truth from good, and signify such things as belong to intelligence and wisdom, n. 4530, 4677, 4922, 9466; that so far as colors are derived from red they signify good, and so far as they are from white they signify truth, n. 9467; that "stones" in general signify truths, n. 643, 1298, 3720, 6426, 8609, 10376; that "precious stones" signify truths from good; thus "the twelve precious stones" all truths from good in the church and in heaven, n. 9863, 9865, 9868, 9873, 9905; that "the breastplate of judgment" which was upon the ephod, and was called the Urim and Thummim, signifies in general truth shining forth from Divine good, n. 9823; that "Urim" means a shining fire, and "Thummim" resplendence in the angelic tongue, but integrity in the Hebrew tongue, n. 9905; that therefore "Urim and Thummim" signifies from correspondence the resplendence of Divine truth from Divine good in ultimates, n. 9905; that answers were there given by variegations of light from the precious stones, and at the same time then by a living voice or by silent perception, n . 3862; that the names of the twelve tribes were engraved thereon, because they signified all Divine truths of heaven and the church, n. 3858, 6335, 6640, 9863, 9865, 9873, 9874, 9905; besides further particulars, n. 9863, 9864, 9866, 9891, 9895)
 Because truths from good, or good through truths, has all power, so:
The names of the twelve tribes were engraved upon the two onyx stones, six names upon each, and they were placed on the two shoulders of the ephod which Aaron wore (Exodus 28:9-14; 39:6, 7).
This signified the power of Divine truth from Divine good, and thus the power that those have who receive Divine truth in the good of love; for the "onyx stones" signified truths from the good of love, the "shoulders" power, and "the twelve tribes" all who are in truths from good. (That Divine truth from Divine good, has all power, and that from it those who receive it have power, may be seen above, n. 209, 333, and in the work on Heaven and Hell 228-233; that "shoulders" signify power of every kind, see Arcana Coelestia 4931-4937, 9836.)
 That "tribes" signify all things of the church can be seen from the following passages. In Matthew:
Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man; 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 glory (2 Matthew 24:30).
And in Revelation:
Behold He cometh with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and they who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth shall lament over Him (Numbers 1:7).
This signifies that at the end of the church the Lord is to reveal Himself in the Word by means of the internal sense, and that all who are in truths from good will recognize Him, and that even those who are in falsities from evil will see Him (see above, n. 37-39); that "all the tribes of the earth shall lament" signifies that all truths from good will perish, and falsities from evil will take their place; "the tribes of the earth" meaning all who are of the church, and also all things of the church.
 In Matthew:
Jesus said to the disciples, Verily I say unto you, that ye who have followed Me in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of His glory ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28).
And in Luke:
Ye shall eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and shall sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Luke 22:30).
This no one can understand unless he knows from the spiritual sense what is meant by "apostles," by "thrones," and by "the tribes of Israel." Who cannot see that the apostles are not to judge, but the Lord alone? For every man is judged according to his life, and no one except the Lord knows the lives of all, the apostles not knowing even the life of a single person. But in the spiritual sense, "the twelve apostles" signify all truths from good; "to sit upon thrones" signifies judgment, and "the twelve tribes of Israel" signify all who are of the church; these words signify, therefore, that the Lord is to judge all from Divine truth, and according to the reception of it in good.
 This signification of "apostles" and of the "tribes of Israel" is clearly seen in these words in Revelation:
The New Jerusalem had a wall great and high, having twelve gates, and above the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. And the wall had twelve foundations, and on them the names of the twelve apostles of the lamb (Revelation 21:12, 14).
"The New Jerusalem" does not mean any new Jerusalem, nor do its "wall and gates" mean a wall and gates, nor do "the twelve tribes and apostles" mean twelve tribes and apostles. Something wholly different is signified by each one of these things, as is evident merely from this, that "the New Jerusalem" means a new church in respect to doctrine; therefore "angels," "tribes," and "apostles" signify such things as belong to that new church, all of which have relation to truth and to good and to their conjunction, consequently to truths from good. (But these things will be seen explained in what follows, but they are briefly explained in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 1.)
 In David:
Jerusalem is builded as a city that is conjoined together; thither the tribes go up, the tribes of Jah, a testimony to Israel, to make confession to the name of Jehovah (Psalms 122:3, 4).
Here, too, "Jerusalem" signifies the church in respect to doctrine, which is said to be "builded as a city that is conjoined together," when all things of its doctrine are accordant and unanimous, and when the Lord and love to Him from Him are mutually regarded as the beginning and the end. It is said to be "builded as a city," because a "city" signifies doctrine; the truths of doctrine which thus look to the Lord are signified by "the tribes, the tribes of Jah;" "tribes" signifying truths, and "tribes of Jah" truths from good that are from the Lord; worship therefrom is signified by "making confession to the name of Jehovah."
(References: Psalms 122:3-4)
 Because "Israel" signifies the church that is in truths from good, Israel is called in the Word:
The tribes of inheritance (Isaiah 63:17; Jeremiah 10:16; 51:19; Psalms 74:2).
And as "Egypt" signifies true knowledges (scientifica) which are in the natural man, and upon these are founded truths from good, which are the truths of the spiritual man, Egypt is called:
The cornerstone of the tribes (Isaiah 19:13);
the "cornerstone" signifying the foundation (see above, n. 417. And as "the land of Canaan" signifies the church, and "the twelve tribes" all things of the church, and each tribe some universal and essential of the church, that land was divided among the tribes (Numbers 26:5-56; 34:17-28; 15:1, et seq.). This, too, is clearly evident in Ezekiel, where a new land is treated of, which signifies a new church to be established by the Lord; and it is foretold and described how it is to be distributed for an inheritance according to the twelve tribes of Israel (Ezekiel 47:13, 20); and these tribes are enumerated by name (Ezekiel 48:1-35 end). Evidently it is not there meant that the twelve tribes of Israel are to inherit the land, or any one tribe there named; for eleven of the tribes were scattered, and mingled with the nations everywhere, and yet it is told what portion of the land the tribe of Dan was to inherit, what Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, Reuben, Judah, Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun, and Gad; from which it is plain that the "land" there means the church, and "the twelve tribes" all things of the church, and each tribe some universal essential of the church. It is similar with the twelve tribes enumerated in this chapter of Revelation, that "twelve thousand were sealed out of each tribe," and were saved. That "twelve thousand" here signifies all persons and all things may be seen in the preceding article; but what universal essential of the church is signified by each tribe will be told in what follows.
 Of the church among the ancients, which preceded the Israelitish church, nearly the same is said in Moses:
Remember the days of eternity, consider the years of generation and generation; ask thy father and he will tell thee; thy elders, and they will say it unto thee; when the Most High gave to the nations an inheritance, when He separated the sons of man, He set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel (Deuteronomy 32:7, 8).
This was said of the churches that preceded the church instituted among the sons of Israel. (Respecting these see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 247.) The Most Ancient Church, which was before the flood, and was a celestial church, or a church that was in the good of love to the Lord, is meant by "the days of eternity, when the Most High gave to the nations an inheritance, when He separated the sons of man," "nations" signifying those who are in the good of love (see above, n. 331), and "the sons of man" those who are in truths from good (see also above, n. 63, 151). The Ancient Church, which was after the flood, and was a spiritual church, is meant by "the years of generation and generation, when the Most High set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel;" "peoples" signifying those who are in spiritual good, which is the good of charity towards the neighbor (see above, n. 331); and "the number of the sons of Israel" having a like signification as "the twelve tribes" according to which the inheritances were given (as above in Ezekiel).
 Here two arcana respecting the twelve tribes shall be mentioned:
1. Their arrangements represented the arrangements of the angelic societies in the heavens; and for this reason they represented all things of the church, for heaven and the church act as one.
2. The representation of heaven and of the church is determined according to the order in which the tribes are named; and the first name or the first tribe is the guide that determines the things that follow, and accordingly the things of heaven and of the church, with variations.
1. The arrangements of the twelve tribes of Israel represented the arrangements of the angelic societies in the heavens, and therefore heaven itself, since heaven consists of angelic societies, as can be seen from this, that each tribe represented and thence signified some universal essential of the church, and the twelve tribes taken together represented all things of the church, and the church that was instituted among the sons of Israel was a representative church; consequently the whole nation divided into twelve tribes, represented the church in the whole complex and therefore also heaven; for the same goods and the same truths that make the church make heaven also, or the same that make heaven make the church also (see in the work on Heaven and Hell 57).
 The arrangements of the twelve tribes of Israel according to the arrangements of the angelic societies of heaven, consequently according to the form of heaven, are represented in their encampments, as described in Moses, namely:
To the east the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun were encamped; and to the south the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad; to the west the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin; to the north the tribes of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali; and the tribe of Levi in the midst of the camp; and in the same order they went forward (Numbers 2 to the end).
Anyone that knows who and of what quality those are in heaven who dwell in the eastern quarter, and who and of what quality those are who dwell in the southern, western, and northern quarters, and that knows also who and what those are who are signified by each tribe, is able to know the arcanum involved in the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun encamping to the east, the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad encamping to the south, and so on. For the sake of illustration, only the encampment on the east, of the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun will now be explained. "The tribe of Judah" signifies the good of love to the Lord, "the tribe of Issachar" the truth of that good, and "the tribe of Zebulun" the marriage of good and truth, which is also called the celestial marriage; so, too, those who dwell in the eastern quarter of heaven are all in the good of love to the Lord and in truths from that good, and thence in the celestial marriage. The other tribes must be viewed in a similar way. (That all in heaven have dwelling places in the four quarters according to their quality, and that the quarters there are not like the quarters in our solar world, may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell 141-153.)
 It was because the encampments of the sons of Israel represented the arrangements of the angelic societies in heaven, that when Balaam saw their encampments he in the spirit saw heaven, as it were, and prophesied and blessed them, respecting which it is said in Moses:
Balaam set his face towards the wilderness, and when he lifted up his eyes, he saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes; and the spirit of God was upon him. And he took up his prophetic enunciation, and said, How good are thy tents, O Jacob, thy habitations, O Israel! As valleys are they planted, as gardens by the river (Numbers 24:1-4, et seq.).
Evidently Balaam then saw the encampments of the sons of Israel according to tribes arranged as above described, for it is said that he "set his face toward the wilderness, and saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes;" and because he then saw in them the order of heaven, the spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied and said, "How good are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy habitations, O Israel!" "tents and habitations" signifying such dwelling places as are in the heavens; "tents" the habitations of those who are in the good of love, and "habitations" the dwelling places of those who are in truths from that good. The fructifications of good and the multiplications of truth and the consequent intelligence and wisdom are signified by "as valleys are they planted, as gardens by the river;" for every good, and thus every truth flows in according to the form of heaven (as can be seen from what is shown in the work on Heaven and Hell, On the Form of Heaven, according to Which are the Consociations and Communications There, n 200-212).
(References: Numbers 24:1-6)
 2. The representation of heaven and the church is determined according to the order in which the tribes are named, and the first name or the first tribe is the guide that determines all things that follow, and accordingly all things of heaven and of the church, with variations. This arcanum can hardly be comprehended by anyone unless he is in spiritual thought, nevertheless it shall be briefly explained. If, for example, the tribe of Judah is the first tribe that is named, as this tribe signifies the good of love, then from the good of love as the beginning, the significations of the other tribes that follow are determined, and this with variations according to the order in which they are named; for each tribe signifies some universal of the church, and the universal admits into itself specific variations, thus some specific variation derived from the first from which it descends; so in this case, all things in the series derive their specific spiritual sense from the good of love, which is signified by the tribe of Judah. So if the tribe of Reuben, which signifies truth in the light and the understanding of truth, is named first, from this the other tribes that follow derive their significations, agreeing and coinciding with the universal which each signifies. It is comparatively as with colors, that are seen tinged by the primary color which diffuses itself into the other colors and varies their appearance.
 When this is understood it can be seen how it was that answers were given in respect to any matter through the Urim and Thummim, for there was a shining forth through the precious stones from the origin of color out of that stone under which was the name of some tribe, from which the determination began. Moreover, the colors of these stones corresponded to the universals signified by the tribes inscribed on them. When anyone knows this, and knows also what the universal is that each tribe signifies, if he is in spiritual illustration he can in some measure perceive what the tribes signify in their sequence, as they are named in the Word; as what they signify in the sequence in which the sons of Jacob were born, in which the order is as follows:
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin (Genesis 29:31-35, 30:1-24, 35:18);
what they signify in the sequence given in their journeying into Egypt, in which they are named in the following order:
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Gad, Asher, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali (Genesis 46:9-21);
what they signify in the sequence in which they received the blessing of Israel their father, where they are named in the following order:
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Joseph, Benjamin (Genesis 49:1-28);
differently when they were blessed by Moses, in the following order:
Reuben, Judah, Levi, Benjamin, Joseph, Ephraim, Manasseh, Zebulun, Gad, Dan, Naphtali, Asher (Deuteronomy 33:6-24);
where Simeon and Issachar are omitted, and Ephraim and Manasseh substituted in their place; also what is signified by these tribes in the sequence in other passages (as in Genesis 35:23-26; Numbers 1:5-16; 7:1 to end; 13:4-15; 26:5-56; 34:17-28; Deuteronomy 27:12-13; Joshua 15:1-19; Ezekiel 48:1 to end). (That the twelve tribes have different significations according to the order in which they are named, and thus signify all the things of heaven with variations, see Arcana Coelestia 3862, 3926, 3939, 4603, et seq., 6337, 6640, 10335.) It shall be told in what follows what they signify in the sequence in which they are named in this chapter of Revelation, where they are named in the following order: Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin; and Dan and Ephraim are left out or not named.