431. We have so far shown that twelve signifies all things, and that it is used of truths from good; we shall now show that the twelve tribes signify all things of the church, and each tribe some universal and essential of the church. As a representative church was to be established with the sons of Jacob, it was therefore provided by the Lord that his sons should be twelve in number, and that significative names should be given to them, in order that the twelve tribes descended from them, and distinguished by the same names, might signify everything pertaining to that church which they represented, and each tribe some universal and essential of it. What therefore each tribe signified and represented will be explained in what follows. And because all things of the church have reference to truths from good, therefore also the twelve tribes signify truths from good in their whole extent. The reason why they were called tribes was, that the two words used in the original or Hebrew tongue to express tribes, signify a sceptre, and a staff, and by a sceptre is signified the Divine Truth as to sovereignty, and by a staff, the Divine Truth as to power.
Numbers 1:5-15; Revelation 7:4)
 In consequence of this derivation and signification, it was commanded, when the people were murmuring against Moses and Aaron, on account of their authority and power over them, that the princes of all the tribes should place their staves in the tabernacle of the congregation, and in the midst of them the staff of Levi upon which the name of Aaron was written, and which yielded almonds (Num. xvii. 3-8). Staves, as was said, have the same signification as tribes, and by the staff of Levi, on which the name of Aaron was written, is signified the same as by the tribe of Levi and as by Aaron as the high-priest, namely the good of charity towards the neighbour and the good of love to the Lord. The tribe of Levi signifies the good of charity, and Aaron the priest, the good of love; therefore that staff was placed in the midst, and yielded almonds. To be placed in the midst signifies that all things are thence (see above, n. 313), and almonds signify the goods of life.
Numbers 17:2-8, Numbers 17:3-8; The Apocalypse Explained 313)
 Because the twelve tribes signified all things of the church, or truths from good in their whole extent, therefore the breastplate of Aaron, called the Urim and Thummim, was composed of twelve precious stones, on which were the names of the twelve tribes, or the twelve sons of Israel (Exod. xxviii. 15-30; xxxix. 8-21, 29). It is well known that responses from heaven were given by means of it, but the origin of this has not yet been revealed; it shall therefore be stated. All light in the angelic heaven proceeds from the Lord as the Sun, consequently that light in its essence is Divine Truth, and it is the source of all the intelligence and wisdom of angels, and also of men, in things spiritual. This light in heaven is modified into various colours, according to the truths from good that are received. For this reason colours in the Word from correspondence signify truths from good; therefore also responses were given by means of a brilliant lustre from the colours of the stones which were in the Urim and Thummim, and at the same time either by a living voice, or by a tacit perception corresponding to that brilliant lustre. It is therefore evident, that the twelve tribes, whose names were engraved, have a similar signification. But see what has been stated and shown upon this subject in the Arcana Coelestia, namely, that colours in heaven are from the light there, and that they are modifications and variations of it according to reception (n. 1042, 1043, 1053, 1624, 3993, 4530, 4742, 4922); thus, that they are appearances of truth from good, and signify such things as relate to intelligence and wisdom (n. 4530, 4677, 4922, 9466). That colours, in proportion as they arise from red, signify good, and in proportion as they are from white, truth (n. 9476). That in general stones signify truths (n. 643, 1298, 3720, 6426, 8609, 10,376). That precious stones signify truths from good, thus, that twelve precious stones signify all truths from good in heaven and in the church (n. 9863, 9865, 9868, 9873, 9905). That the breast-plate of judgment which was upon the ephod, and was called the Urim and Thummim, signifies in general truths shining forth from Divine Good (n. 9823). That Urim denotes fire shining, and Thummim brilliant lustre, in the angelic tongue, but in the Hebrew tongue integrity (n. 9905). That, therefore, the Urim and Thummim from correspondence signify the brilliancy of Divine Truth from Divine Good in ultimates (n. 9905). That responses were thence given by the variations of light from the precious stones, and at the same time either by a living voice or by tacit perception (n. 3862). That the names of the twelve tribes were engraved thereon, because they signified all the 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).
Arcana Coelestia 643, 1042-1043, 1053, 1298, 1624, 3720, 3858, 3862, Arcana Coelestia 3993, 4530, Arcana Coelestia 4742, 4922, Arcana Coelestia 6335, Arcana Coelestia 6426, 6640, Arcana Coelestia 8609, 9467, 9823, Arcana Coelestia 9863-9864, 9863, 9865, 9868, 9873, 9873-9874, 9891, 9895, 9905, Arcana Coelestia 10376; Exodus 28:15-30, Exodus 39:8-21, 39:29)
 Since in truths from good, or in good by means of truths there is all power, therefore the names of the twelve tribes were also engraved upon the two onyx stones six upon each, and they were placed upon the two shoulders of the ephod worn by Aaron (Exod. xxviii. 9-14; xxxix. 6, 7). By this the power of Divine Truth from Divine Good was signified and so the power which those possess, who receive Divine Truth in the good of love. For by the onyx stones, truths from the good of love were signified; the shoulders, signified power, and the twelve tribes all who are in truths from good. That there is all power in Divine Truth from Divine Good, and that those who receive it, possess that power, may be seen above (n. 209, 333); and in Heaven and Hell (n. 228-233). That shoulders signify power of every kind, see Arcana Coelestia (n. 4931-4937, 9836).
Arcana Coelestia 4931-4937, Arcana Coelestia 9836; Exodus 28:9-14, Exodus 39:6-7; Heaven and Hell 228-233; The Apocalypse Explained 209, The Apocalypse Explained 333)
 That tribes signify all things of the church is evident from the following passages.
"Then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory" (xxiv. 30).
And in the Apocalypse:
"Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth shall wail because of Him" (i. 7).
These words signify, that at the end of the church the Lord will reveal Himself in the Word by means of the internal sense, that all who are in truths from good will acknowledge Him, and that also those who are in falsities from evil will see Him (see above, n. 37-39). By all the tribes of the earth wailing, is signified that all truths from good will perish, and that falsities from evil will take their place, the tribes of the earth denoting all who are of the church, and also all things of the church.
Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7; The Apocalypse Explained 37-39)
 In Matthew:
"Jesus said" to His 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" (xix. 28).
And in Luke:
"Ye shall eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (xxii. 30).
These words cannot be understood unless the meaning of apostles, thrones, and the tribes of Israel be known from the spiritual sense. Who cannot see that the apostles are not to be judges, but the Lord alone? For every man is judged according to his life, and no one knows the lives of all men, but the Lord alone, and the apostles did not know the life even of one. But the twelve apostles in the spiritual sense, signify all truths from good, sitting upon thrones signifies judgment, and the twelve tribes of Israel signify all who are of the church. These words therefore signify that the Lord will judge everyone from Divine Truth, and according to its reception in good.
Luke 22:30; Matthew 19:28)
 This signification of the apostles, and of the tribes of Israel, is very clear from these words in the Apocalypse.
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 in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb" (xxi. 12, 14).
The New Jerusalem, does not mean any new Jerusalem, neither do its wall and gates mean a wall and gates, nor do the twelve tribes and apostles mean twelve tribes and apostles. That things entirely different are signified by each expression, is evident from this fact alone, that the New Jerusalem means a church new in doctrine; therefore angels, tribes, and apostles, signify such things as belong to that new church, all of which have reference to truth and good, and their conjunction, consequently to truths from good. But these things may be seen explained in the following pages; they are also concisely set forth in the work on The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem.
Revelation 21:12, 21:14; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 1)
 In David:
"Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together; whither the tribes go up, the tribes of Jah, the testimony of Israel, to confess to the name of Jehovah" (Psalm cxxii. 3, 4).
Here also, by Jerusalem is signified the church as to doctrine, which is said to be built as a city that is compact together, when all its doctrines agree and harmonize one with another, and when they mutually point to the Lord and to love towards Him from Him, as their beginning and their end. It is said to be built as a city, because a city signifies doctrine. The truths of doctrine which point to the Lord are signified by the tribes, the tribes of Jah, for tribes signify truths, and the tribes of Jah, truths from good, and these are from the Lord; worship therefrom is signified by confessing to the name of Jehovah.
 Since Israel signifies the church which is in truths from good, therefore in the Word Israel is called "the tribes of the inheritance" (Isaiah lxiii. 17; Jer. x. 16; li. 19; Psalm lxxiv. 2). And because Egypt signifies scientific truths in the natural man, upon which truths from good are founded, these being the truths of the spiritual man, therefore Egypt is called "the corner-stone of the tribes" (Isaiah xix. 13); the corner-stone signifies the foundation (as may be seen above, n. 417:12). And since by the land of Canaan is signified the church, and by the twelve tribes all things of the church, and by each tribe something which is a universal and an essential of the church, therefore that land was divided amongst the tribes (Num. xxvi. 5-56; xxxiv. 17-28; Joshua xv. seq.). This is also clear from what is said in Ezekiel, where a new earth is the subject, by which is signified a new church to be established by the Lord; how it will be distributed for an inheritance, according to the twelve tribes of Israel, is foretold and described (xlvii. 13, 20); and these tribes are also recounted by name (xlviii. 1 to end). That it is not meant that the twelve tribes of Israel should inherit the earth, nor that any tribe there named should do so, is very evident; for eleven of the tribes were dispersed, and everywhere intermingled with the Gentiles and yet the particular quarter of the earth that should be inherited by Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, Reuben, Judah, Benjamin, Simeon, Isaachar, Zebulun, and Gad is stated. From this it is plain, that by the earth or land is there meant the church; by the twelve tribes are meant all things of the church, and by each of the tribes is signified some universal and essential of the church.
The case is similar with the twelve tribes named in this chapter of the Apocalypse, where it is said that twelve thousand were sealed and saved out of every tribe. That by twelve thousand are there signified 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 hereafter explained.
Ezekiel 47:13, 47:13-20, 47:20, 48; Isaiah 19:13, 63:17; Jeremiah 10:16, 51:19; Joshua 15:1; Numbers 26:5-56, 34:17-28; Psalms 74:2; The Apocalypse Explained 417)
 An almost similar statement is made in Moses concerning the church among the ancients, which existed before the Israelitish church.
"Remember the days of eternity, consider the years of many generations; ask thy father and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of men, He set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel" (Deut. xxxii. 7, 8).
These things are said concerning the churches which preceded the church instituted among the sons of Israel, concerning which see the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem (n. 247). The Most Ancient Church which existed before the flood, and which was a celestial church, or a church in the good of love to the Lord, is meant by the days of eternity, when the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of men; for nations signify those who are in the good of love, see above (n. 331), and the sons of men, those who are in truths from good, see also above (n. 63, 151). The Ancient Church, which existed after the flood, and was a spiritual church, is meant by the years of many generations, when the Most High set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel; for peoples signify those who are in spiritual good, which is the good of charity towards the neighbour, see above (n. 331); and the number of the sons of Israel signifies the same as the twelve tribes, according to which the inheritances were distributed, as above in Ezekiel.
Deuteronomy 32:7-8; The Apocalypse Explained 63, 151, The Apocalypse Explained 331; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 247)
 Two interior truths concerning the twelve tribes must here be noted. (i) That their arrangement represented the arrangement of the angelic societies in the heavens; and that therefore they represented all things of the church, for heaven and the church act as one. (ii) That the representation of heaven and of the church is determined according to the order in which they are named; and that the first name, or first tribe, is the index that determines those things that follow and consequently the things of heaven and of the church with variety.
(i) That the arrangement of the twelve tribes of Israel represented the arrangement of the angelic societies in the heavens, and consequently heaven, since heaven consists of angelic societies, is evident from this fact, that every tribe represented and thence signified some universal essential of the church, and that the twelve tribes taken together represented all things of the church, and that the church among the sons of Israel was a representative church; therefore the whole nation, distributed into twelve tribes, represented the church in its entirety, consequently heaven also, for the same goods and the same truths which make the church also make heaven, or those which make heaven also make the church, as may be seen in Heaven and Hell (n. 57).
Heaven and Hell 57)
 The arrangement of the twelve tribes of Israel, according to the arrangement of the angelic societies of heaven, consequently according to the form of heaven, is evident in their encampments, as described by Moses. To the east were encamped the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; to the south, the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad; to the west, the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin; and to the north, the tribes of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali; and the tribe of Levi in the midst of the camp; they also went forward in the same order (Num. ii. 1 to the end). He who knows who those are that dwell in the eastern quarter in heaven, and their quality, and who those are that dwell in the southern, western, and northern quarters, and their quality, and knows at the same time who those are that are signified by each tribe, may know the interior reason why the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun encamped towards the east; why the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad encamped towards the south, and so forth. We shall, for the sake of illustration, speak here only of the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun, who were encamped towards the east. By the tribe of Judah is signified the good of love to the Lord, by the tribe of Issachar, the truth of that good, and by the tribe of Zebulun, the marriage of good and truth, which is also called the celestial marriage. All those also, who dwell in the eastern quarter in heaven, are in the good of love to the Lord and in truths from that good, and are therefore in the celestial marriage. The rest of the tribes are to be understood in a similar manner. That all in heaven have their habitation, according to their quality, in the four quarters, and that the quarters there are not like the quarters in our solar world, may be seen in Heaven and Hell (n. 141-153).
Heaven and Hell 141-153; Numbers 2)
 Because the encampments of the sons of Israel represented the arrangement of angelic societies in heaven, therefore Balaam, when he saw their encampments, saw in spirit as it were heaven, and prophesied and blessed them. Concerning this it is said in Moses,
"And Balaam set his faces towards the wilderness and when he lifted up his eyes, and saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes, the spirit of God came upon him. And he took up his parable, and said, How goodly are thy tabernacles, O Jacob, thy dwelling-places, O Israel! As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river" (Num. xxiv. 1-6).
That he at that time saw the encampments of the sons of Israel according to the arrangement of the tribes stated above, is evident, for it is said that he set his faces towards the wilderness and saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes. And because he then saw the arrangement of heaven in them, therefore the spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied and said, "How goodly are thy tabernacles, O Jacob, and thy habitations, O Israel!" Tabernacles and dwelling-places signify habitations, such as are in the heavens; tabernacles the habitations of those who are in the good of love, and dwelling-places, the habitations of those who are in truths from that good. The fructifications of good, and the multiplications of truth, and intelligence and wisdom therefrom, are signified by the words, "As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river." For all good, and all truth thence, flows according to the form of heaven, as may be seen from what is said in Heaven and Hell, where the form of heaven and the consociations and communications therein are treated of (n. 200-212).
Heaven and Hell 200-212; Numbers 24:1-4, 24:1-6)
 (ii) That the representation of heaven and of the church is determined according to the order in which the tribes are named, and that the first name, or first tribe, is the index which determines all things that follow, consequently the things of heaven and of the church with variety. This interior truth can scarcely be comprehended by any one unless he be in a spiritual idea. Still it shall be briefly explained. For example, let the tribe of Judah be the first that is named. Because this tribe signifies the good of love, then from the good of love as their beginning the significations of the rest of the tribes which follow are determined, and this with variety according to the order in which they are named. For each of the tribes signifies some universal of the church, and a universal admits into itself specific varieties, thus a variety from the first [principle] from which it descends. Therefore, all things there in a series derive their spiritual sense specifically from the good of love, signified by the tribe of Judah. If the tribe of Reuben be first named by which truth in the light, and the understanding of truth are signified, the rest of the tribes which follow derive their significations therefrom and these harmonize and agree with the universal which each signifies. The case here may be compared with that of colours that appear tinged with the primary colour which diffuses itself into the other colours, and varies their appearance.
 From these things it is evident why responses were given upon every thing by means of the Urim and Thummim, for by means of the precious stones there was a brilliant lustre from the origin of colour from that stone upon which some tribe [was named], and from which the determination commenced. The colours also of those stones corresponded to the universals signified by the inscribed tribes. He who knows this, and at the same time what the universal is which each tribe signifies, may in some measure perceive, if he be in spiritual illustration, what the different tribes signify in their series, in agreement with which they are named in the Word; thus, what they signify, in the order in which the tribes were born which is as follows:- Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin (Gen. xxix. and xxx. and xxxv. 18); what they signify in the order in which they journeyed into Egypt, which is as follows:- "Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Gad, Asher, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali" (Gen. xlvi. 9-21); what they signify in the order in which they were blessed by Israel their father, of which the following is the order: "Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Joseph, Benjamin" (Gen. xlix.). The order in which they were blessed by Moses was different, being as follows: "Reuben, Judah, Levi, Benjamin, Joseph, Ephraim, Manasseh, Zebulun, Gad, Dan, Naphtali, Asher" (Deut. xxxiii.); where Simeon and Issachar are omitted, and Ephraim and Manasseh substituted in their place. And he may know what is signified by those tribes in the series mentioned in other places, as in Gen. xxxv. 23-26; Num. i. 5-16; vii. 1 to end; xiii. 4-15; xxvi. 5-56; xxxiv. 17-28; Deut. xxvii. 12, 13; Joshua xv.-xix.; Ezekiel xlviii. 1 to end. That the twelve tribes have various significations according to the order in which they are named, and thus signify all things of heaven, with variety, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 3862, 3926, 3939, 4603, and following numbers, 6337, 6640, 10,335). But what they signify in the series, in which they are named in this chapter of the Apocalypse, will be shown below. The order according to which they are here named is this: Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin; Dan and Ephraim being passed by, or not named.
Arcana Coelestia 3862, 3926, 3939, Arcana Coelestia 4603, Arcana Coelestia 6337, Arcana Coelestia 6640, Arcana Coelestia 10335; Deuteronomy 27:12-13, Deuteronomy 33:1, 33:6-24; Exodus 28:9-30; Ezekiel 48; Genesis 29:1, 29:31-35, 30:1-24, 30:1, 35:18, 35:23-26, 46:9-21, 46:9-24, 49:1-28, 49:1; Joshua 15, 16:1, 17:1, 18:1, 19; Numbers 1:5, 1:5-15, Numbers 1:16, Numbers 7:1, 7, 13:4-15, Numbers 17:2-8, Numbers 26:5-56, Numbers 34:17-28; Revelation 7:4)