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Numbers Chapter 3

Summary of the Spiritual Sense

  1. The derivations of celestial love from the Lord, vers. 1-4.
  2. Charity is to be acknowledged as the living principle of the church from celestial good, vers. 6-10.
  3. The Lord alone is the origin of charity with the man of the church; and charity is primary, although faith appears to be so, vers. 11-13.
  4. Concerning the ordination and arrangement of truths from the good of charity, vers. 14-20.
  5. The derivations, quality, state, governing principle, and functions of those in the good of charity in obscurity, vers. 21-26.
  6. The same things with regard to those in the good of charity in brightness, vers. 27-31.
  7. The governing principle of the spiritual heaven, ver. 32.
  8. The derivations, quality, state, governing principle, and functions, of those in the good of faith in obscurity, vers. 33-37.
  9. Concerning the state of those in the inmost heaven, and their function, ver. 38.
  10. The general quality of all who are in love and charity as to Divine Good and Truth by influx from the Lord, ver. 39.
  11. Concerning the general quality of the spiritual man as to faith derived from charity, vers. 40-43
  12. And concerning the salvation of those who acknowledge faith as primary, and yet sincerely worship the Lord, vers. 44-51.

The Contents of each Verse

  1. Now these are the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day that the lord spoke with Moses in mount Sinai.
  1. The following are the derivations of Divine Good and Divine Truth when revelation is made to the church which is capable of receiving instruction: [more]
  1. And these are the names of the sons of Aaron; Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
  1. From Divine Good proceeds celestial good in the inmost heaven; spiritual truth and good in the middle heaven; and natural truth and good in the ultimate heaven. [more]
  1. These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests which were anointed, whom he consecrated to minister in the priest's office.
  1. And each of these has its specific quality as manifested in truths from good, and united with good, and devoted to the ministry of good in the worship of the Lord. [more]
  1. And Nadab and Abihu died before the lord, when they offered strange fire before the lord, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children: and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest's office in the presence of Aaron their father.
  1. But when spiritual truth and good are profaned by the man of the church, spiritual death is the consequence; and this occurs in the obscurity of good from the lack of truths, so that spiritual truth and good are not productive; yet still the church is amended, on the natural plane, by the ministry of natural truth and good, which are from the Lord through the celestial heaven. [more]
  1. And the lord spoke to Moses, saying,
  1. And there is revelation from the Lord to the man of the church, by Divine Truth giving the perception, [more]
  1. Bring the tribe of Levi near, and set them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister to him.
  1. That charity must be acknowledged as the living principle of the church from celestial good, and that truths from good must minister thereto. [more]
  1. And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tent of meeting, to do the service of the tabernacle.
  1. Also that the inmost worship of the Lord from celestial good; the interior worship of the Lord from spiritual good; and all the externals of worship shall be from charity and truth united; [more]
  1. And they shall keep all the furniture of the tent of meeting, and the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle.
  1. For all the externals of worship and all its internals, with the man of the church must make one and be conjoined in the outward act. [more]
  1. And you shall give the Levites to Aaron and to his sons: they are wholly given to him on the behalf of the children of Israel.
  1. And charity must be acknowledged as proceeding from celestial good and truth, and this not only in general, but as to every particular with the man of the Spiritual Church. [more]
  1. And them shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall keep their priesthood: and the stranger that comes near shall be put to death.
  1. But celestial good and truth alone are essentials of worship; and there can be no genuine worship from selfish love and worldly love; for the profanation of good and truth by these is spiritual death. [more]
  1. And the lord spoke to Moses, saying,
  1. And there is further revelation from the Lord by Divine Truth giving the perception, [more]
  1. And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that opens the womb among the children of Israel; and the Levites shall be mine:
  1. That the Lord alone is the origin of charity with the man of the church, and that this charity is primary with him in reality, although faith appears to be so in the order of regeneration; [more]
  1. For all the firstborn are mine; on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed to me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine they shall be; I am the lord.
  1. Because faith proceeds from the Lord through charity, when, by the work of redemption faith without charity is exterminated; then faith conjoined therewith is sanctified with the man of the church both as to Internals and Externals, all good being from the Lord; and the Lord alone being good itself. [more]
  1. And the lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying,
  1. Again there is revelation from the Lord by Divine Truth, with man, when he is in states of obscure good from lack of truths, and this gives the perception, [more]
  1. Number the children of Levi by their fathers' houses, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shall you number them.
  1. That truths from the good of charity are ordinated and arranged by the Lord, according to man's co-operation in the order of celestial and spiritual good, and this, too, as to every truth of faith in its commencement and in its progress. [more]
  1. And Moses numbered them according to the word of the lord, as he was commanded.
  1. And this ordination and arrangement is by Divine Truth from Divine Good through the influx of good into truths. [more]
  1. And these were the sons of Levi by their names; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari.
  1. And the quality of truths from the good of charity is threefold, namely, those from the good of charity in obscurity; those from that good in brightness; and those from the faith of charity in obscurity, [more]
  1. And these are the names of the sons of Gershon by their families; Libni and Shimei.
  1. The quality of truths from good in obscurity being, according to general principles, such as appertain to the understanding and to the life; [more]
  1. And the sons of Kohath by their families; Amram, and Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.
  1. The quality of truths from good in brightness, according to general principles, being such as have relation to inmost good, interior good, exterior good, and external good; [more]
  1. And the sons of Merari by their families; Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their fathers' houses.
  1. And the quality of truths from the good of faith in obscurity being such as are internal and external respectively. These are the derivations of charity according to its various general forms of good. [more]
  1. Of Gershon was the family of the Libnites, and the family of the Shimeites: these are the families of the Gershonites.
  1. For from the good of charity in obscurity are derived the general goods arising from the reception of truth in the understanding and truth in the life. And those who are in the general goods are relatively in greater obscurity. [more]
  1. Those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, even those that were numbered of them were seven thousand and five hundred.
  1. And the quality of these according to ordination and arrangement as to truths from the commencement of faith to the acquisition of charity, is a holy state of good and fullness as to truth, [more]
  1. The families of the Gershonites shall pitch behind the tabernacle westward.
  1. Their position corresponding to the obscurity of good in the ultimate heaven, [more]
  1. And the prince of the fathers' house of the Gershonites shall be Eliasaph the son of Lael.
  1. And their governing principle being obedience to the literal sense of the Word derived from its internal sense. [more]
  1. And the charge of the sons of Gershon in the tent of meeting shall be the tabernacle, and the Tent, the covering thereof, and the screen for the door of the tent of meeting,
  1. But the functions of this obscure good in the worship of the Lord and the work of salvation, are the preservation of the Word; of its genuine literal sense; of external worship thence, and of the doctrine concerning the Lord contained therein; [more]
  1. And the hangings of the court, and the screen for the door of the court, which is by the tabernacle, and by the altar round about, and the cords of it for all the service thereof.
  1. Of external worship generally, and of the doctrines of external worship in particular, which have relation to good internally and externally; also of the confirmation and conjunction of truth with good in such worship. [more]
  1. And of Kohath was the family of the Amramites, and the family of the Izharites, and the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites: these are the families of the Kohathites.
  1. From the good of charity in its brightness are derived the general goods constituting the inmost, interior, exterior, and external thereof; and those who are in these general goods are, relatively, in less brightness. [more]
  1. According to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, there were eight thousand and six hundred, keeping the charge of the sanctuary.
  1. And their quality according to ordination and arrangement as to truths from the commencement of faith to the acquisition of charity, is a new state of the life of charity, and fullness as to truths, from victory in temptations for the preservation of worship, [more]
  1. The families of the sons of Kohath shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle southward.
  1. Their position corresponding to that of the middle heaven which is in the light of truth from charity. [more]
  1. And the prince of the fathers' house of the families of the Kohathites shall be Elizaphan the son of Uzziel.
  1. And their governing principle is confidence in the Divine protection, from the interior truth of the Word confirmed in the life, [more]
  1. And their charge shall be the ark, and the table, and the candlestick, and the altars, and the vessels of the sanctuary with which they minister, and the screen, and all the service thereof.
  1. Their function being the preservation of the Word in its interiors, and of internal worship by the preservation of the essential principle of the Word, the good and truth thence derived, the worship of the Lord therefrom, the externals of worship in accordance therewith, the doctrine of interior truth, and the good of obedience from interior principles. [more]
  1. And Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest shall be prince of the princes of the Levites, and have the oversight of them that keep the charge of the sanctuary.
  1. And Divine Good as manifested in Divine Truth protecting man from evil is the primary truth of the spiritual heaven, and the governing principle of those who are in the interior good which constitutes that heaven. [more]
  1. Of Merari was the family of the Mahlites, and the family of the Mushites : these are the families of Merari.
  1. From the good of faith in obscurity are derived external obedience from a sense of duty, and reverence for truth from the literal sense of the Word, according to its appearances; and those who are of such a character are, relatively, in a greater degree of obscurity. [more]
  1. And those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, were six thousand and two hundred.
  1. And their quality, according; to ordination and arrangement as to truths, from the commencement of faith to the acquisition of charity, is victory over evil and the conjunction of faith and obedience, [more]
  1. And the prince of the fathers' house of the families of Merari was Zuriel the son of Abihail: they shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle northward.
  1. Their governing principle being faith founded on the ultimate truth of the Word from the love of truth on the natural plane for its own sake, and their position being in the external of the ultimate heaven. [more]
  1. And the appointed charge of the sons of Merari shall be the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and the sockets thereof, and all the instruments thereof, and all the service thereof;
  1. And the function of those who are in the obscurity of truth from good by faith, is the preservation of the Word in its outward form according to appearances, and of external worship in agreement therewith, involving the preservation of good and truth on the lowest plane, and of the ultimate truths by which the church is supported, as well as those things, intellectual and voluntary, by means of which the regeneration of man is promoted, such as worldly knowledges and merely natural uses; [more]
  1. And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords.
  1. With the preservation also of the goods and truths by which the forms of such external worship are supported, the conjunction of those with things internal, and the strengthening of such support and conjunction as to particulars in every sphere. [more]
  1. And those that pitch before the tabernacle eastward, before the tent of meeting toward the sunrising, shall be Moses, and Aaron and his sons, keeping the charge of the sanctuary for the charge of the children of Israel; and the stranger that comes near shall be put to death.
  1. And those who have their position in the inmost heaven which is celestial, and who are thence in the highest light of truth from good, are in Divine Truth and Divine Good and the truths thence derived immediately proceeding from the Lord; and their function is the preservation of the supreme love of the Lord and the neighbour, or of the love of truth conjoined with good in the highest degree; nor is it possible that those who are out of the church, or in evil, can fulfill their uses, or occupy their position without spiritual death. [more]
  1. All that were numbered of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the lord, by their families, all the males from a month old and upward, were twenty and two thousand.
  1. And the quality of all those who are in love and charity of every degree, as to Divine Good and Truth by influx from the Lord, and according to general principles as embodied in truth, from the commencement of faith to the acquisition of charity, is that of the full conjunction of goodness and truth in every degree and on every plane of life. [more]
  1. And the lord said to Moses, Number all the firstborn males of the children of Israel from a month old and upward, and take the number of their names.
  1. And further still, there is revelation from the Lord by Divine Truth, or the Divine Law, that the man of the Spiritual Church should know from the Lord, his quality as to faith, which is first with him in the order of time, even from its commencement to the acquisition of charity, by careful self-examination. [more]
  1. And you shall take the Levites for me (I am the lord) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of the children of Israel.
  1. And at. the same time with the acknowledgement that all charity or love which is the essence of faith, is entirely from the Lord, Who alone is life itself; and that, therefore, charity is really the firstborn, spiritually, and this not only as to interiors, but also as to exteriors, with the man of the church. [more]
  1. And Moses numbered, as the lord commanded him, all the firstborn among the children of Israel.
  1. And thus man, by Divine Truth from the Lord, is enabled to know his quality as to faith, and as to charity. [more]
  1. And all the firstborn males according to the number of names, from a month old and upward, of those that were numbered of them, were twenty and two thousand two hundred and threescore and thirteen.
  1. This being in general, according to Divine ordination and arrangement, from the commencement of faith to the acquisition of charity, fullness of conjunction as to good with truth, and truth with good reciprocally, and also a holy state, with fullness as to remains. [more]
  1. And the lord spoke to Moses, saying,
  1. Also there is revelation from the Lord, by Divine Truth giving the perception, [more]
  1. Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of their cattle: and the Levites shall be mine; I am the lord.
  1. That charity is truly the primary principle of the church, both as to internals and externals, as derived from the Lord, Who alone is life itself. [more]
  1. And for the redemption of the two hundred and threescore and thirteen of the firstborn of the children of Israel, which are over and above the number of the Levites,
  1. And, therefore, all those who are in faith from charity in the external of the church, and are in fullness as to remains, and are thus in faith leading to charity, or in truth leading to good, regarding faith as primary. [more]
  1. You shall take five shekels apiece by the poll; after the shekel of the sanctuary shall you take them (the shekel is twenty gerahs):
  1. Shall yet be saved, If they acknowledge the Lord sincerely from remains of good, individually and into the particulars of life, and by a holy state of truth derived; from good; for truth is essentially from good, and thus faith is essentially from charity. [more]
  1. And you shall give the money with which the odd number of them is redeemed to Aaron and to his sons.
  1. And, on this account, must be ascribed by the man of the external church to the Lord, through the internal of the church. [more]
  1. And Moses took the redemption-money from them that were over and above them that were redeemed by the Levites:
  1. And this actually takes place, according to Divine Law, with the man of the external church, who regards faith as primary, and yet acknowledges the Lord, and who is distinguished from those who are in the faith of charity, or in faith conjoined with charity. [more]
  1. From the firstborn of the children of Israel took he the money; a thousand three hundred and threescore and five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary:
  1. For these also acknowledge the Lord, although they regard faith as primary; and their quality is, relatively, a full state as to faith, through conflict against evil according to their state. [more]
  1. And Moses gave the redemption-money to Aaron and to his sons, according to the word of the lord, as the lord commanded Moses.
  1. And they truly ascribe their life to the Lord, and have conjunction with the internal of the church, according to Divine Truth from Divine Good by the influx of Divine Good into their life of obedience. [more]

References and Notes

  1.  These being the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day when the Lord spoke with Moses in Mount Sinai, denotes that the following are the derivations of Divine Good and Divine Truth when revelation is made to the church which is capable of receiving; instruction, 1145, 9946, 7010, 2001, 2951, 8753.

    [Back to 1]

  2.  These being the names of the sons of Aaron, denotes that from Divine Good proceeds celestial good in the inmost heaven, for Aaron denotes the Lord, and also celestial good, which is Divine Good in the heavens as proceeding Divine Truth, the son in the highest sense denoting the Divine Truth proceeding, 9946, 9408, 8309, 2803; Nadab the firstborn and Abihu, denote spiritual truth and good in the middle heaven, 9811; and Eleazar and Ithamar denote natural truth and good in the ultimate heaven, 9812.

    [Back to 2]

  3.  These being the names of the sons of Aaron, denotes that each has its specific quality as manifested in truths from good, 144, 489, 9946; the priests which were anointed denote truth united with good, 9954; and being consecrated to minister in the priest's office, denotes to be devoted to the ministry of good in the worship of the Lord, because the consecration of Aaron, or the "filling of his hand," denotes the state when man begins to act from good and no longer from truth leading to good; and this is represented by the offering of the second ram in the inauguration of Aaron into the office of the priesthood in Lev 8:10057.

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  4.  Nadab and Abihu dying before the Lord when they offered strange fire, denotes "when spiritual truth and good are profaned, spiritual death is the consequence," because by dying is denoted spiritual death, 2908, by offering strange fire is denoted profanation, 9475, and Nadab and Abihu denote spiritual truth and good, 9811; the wilderness of Sinai denotes the obscurity of good from the lack of truths, 8753; not having any children, denotes not to be productive spiritually, 9325; and Eleazar and Ithamar ministering in the priest's office in the presence of Aaron their father, denotes that yet still the church is amended on the natural plane by the ministry of natural truth and good which are from the Lord through the celestial heaven, 9812, 9946, 9925.

    [Back to 4]

  5.  This is evident because by Jehovah is denoted the Divine Being as to His love, 2001; by speaking is denoted influx, 2951; by Moses is represented Divine Truth, or the Word, 7010; and by saying is denoted perception, 1791, 1822.

    [Back to 5]

  6.  Bringing the tribe of Levi near, denotes that charity must be acknowledged as the living principle of the church, 3875, 3877, 3572; setting them before Aaron the priest, denotes acknowledgement of subordination to celestial good, 9946; and ministering to Aaron denotes that truths from charity must minister to celestial good, 9925, 9946

    [Back to 6]

  7.  Keeping the charge of Aaron, denotes the preservation of the inmost worship of the Lord from celestial good, 3382, 9946; keeping the charge of the whole congregation, denotes the preservation of the interior worship of the Lord from spiritual good, 7843; to do the service of the tabernacle, denotes to preserve all things of external worship, as appears from the representation of the tabernacle, 3216, and from the series; and it is said "from charity and truth united" because external worship when genuine, or the external act when genuine effects this union or conjunction, as the next verse shows.

    [Back to 7]

  8.  The Levites keeping all the furniture of the tent of meeting and the charge of the children of Israel to do the service of the tabernacle, denotes that all externals of worship, and all its internals, with the man of the church, must make one and be conjoined in the outward act, because the furniture of the tent of meeting evidently denotes the externals of heaven and the church, 35403; and in this connection the children of Israel denote their internals, 3654; while doing the service of the tabernacle or holy place, 3210, denotes the conjunction of the external with the internal by the outward act, 5947, 9776.

    [Back to 8]

  9.  Giving the Levites to Aaron and his sons; and their being wholly given to him on the behalf of the children of Israel, denotes that charity must be acknowledged as proceeding from celestial good and truth, and this not only in general but as to every particular with the man of the Spiritual Church, 3875, 9946, 10227, 3654. But it is said "not only in general but as to every particular," because of the repetition, which indicates that the acknowledgement is to be made both by the will and understanding, or by the internal and external man, and thus as to the whole man, 683.

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  10.  Appointing Aaron and his sons, and their keeping their priesthood, denotes that celestial good and truth alone are the essentials of worship, 9946; and the stranger that comes near being put to death, denotes that there can be no genuine worship from selfish love and worldly love, 4544; while by the stranger being put to death, is denoted that the profanation of good and truth by these is spiritual death, 2908.

    [Back to 10]

  11.  This is evident, because by Jehovah is denoted the Divine Being as to His love, 2001; by speaking is denoted influx, 2951; by Moses is represented Divine Truth, or the Word, 7010; and by saying is denoted perception, 1791, 1822.

    [Back to 11]

  12.  "I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that opens the womb among the children of Israel; and the Levites shall be mine," denotes that the Lord alone is the origin of charity with the man of the church, and that this charity is primary with him in reality; although faith appears to be so in the order of regeneration, 3875, 3654, 3325.

    [Back to 12]

  13.  All the firstborn being the Lord's, denotes that faith proceeds from the Lord through charity, 8042, 8043; the day of smiting all the firstborn in Egypt, denotes that, by the work of redemption, faith without charity is exterminated, 7882, 7948; hallowing all the firstborn both man and beast, denotes that faith conjoined with charity is sanctified with the man of the church, both as to internals and externals, 8042, 7872; "mine they shall be," denotes that all good is from the Lord, 8042; and "I am the Lord," denotes that He alone is good itself, 2001.

    [Back to 13]

  14.  The Lord speaking to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying, denotes, that again there is revelation from the Lord, by Divine Truth, with man when he is in states of obscure good from lack of truths; and that this gives perception, 2001, 2951, 7010, 8753, 1791, 1822.

    [Back to 14]

  15.  Numbering the children of Levi, denotes that truths from the good of charity are to be ordinated and arranged by the Lord, 10217; by their fathers' houses and by their families, denotes according to man's co-operation in the order of celestial and spiritual good, 7833, 917; and every male from a month old and upward, denotes as to every truth of faith in its commencement and in its progress, 725, 851, 10225.

    [Back to 15]

  16.  Moses numbering them, according to the word of the Lord, as he was commanded, denotes that this ordination and arrangement is by Divine Truth from Divine Good, through the influx of good into truths, 10217, 7010, 2001, 5486.

    [Back to 16]

  17.  These being the sons of Levi by their names, Gershon, and Kohath and Merari, denotes that the quality of truths from the good of charity is threefold, namely, those in the good of charity in obscurity; those from that good in brightness; and those from the faith of charity in obscurity, as appears from the meaning and signification of each name as follows: by sons are denoted truths, 489; by Gershon is meant his banishment and change of pilgrimage, and therefore he denotes the good of charity in obscurity, 996020, 1463; by Kohath is meant congregation, and therefore he denotes the good of charity in brightness, 6338, 7843; and by Merari is meant bitterness, and therefore he denotes the faith of charity in its obscurity, 7854.

    [Back to 17]

  18.  These being the names of the sons of Gershon by their families, that is, Libni and Shimei, denotes that the quality of truths from good in obscurity is, according to general principles, such as appertains to the understanding and to the life, because by name is denoted quality, 144; by sons are denoted truths, 489; by families are denoted general principles of good and truth, 7833, 72302; by Gershon is denoted good in obscurity, ver. 17; Libni means whiteness, and therefore by him is denoted the truth which relates to the understanding, 3993; and Shimei means my reputation, or my fame, and therefore by him is denoted the merely natural love of approbation, and thus, in the best sense, good which appertains to the life or will, 1308.

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  19.  The sons of Kohath by their families being Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel, denotes the quality of truths from good in brightness, according to their general principles, which are such as have relation to inmost good, interior good, exterior good, and external good, because sons denote truths, 489; families denote general principles or derivations of good and truth, 7833, 72302; by Amram is meant an exalted people, and therefore he denotes inmost good and truth, 795, 1259; by Izhar is meant, fine olive oil, and therefore he denotes interior good, 886; by Hebron, is meant association, or friendship, and therefore he denotes exterior good, 38755; and by Uzziel is meant the strength of God or the kid of God, and therefore he denotes external good, 6343, 7832; and in addition, the order in which these names are mentioned indicates successive degrees of good.

    [Back to 19]

  20.  The sons of Merari by their families being Mahli and Mushi; and these being families of the Levites according to their fathers' houses, denotes that the quality of truths from the good of faith in obscurity, is internal and external respectively; and that these are the derivations of charity according to its various general forms of good. The proofs are as follows: sons denote truths, 489; families denote general principles or derivations of good and truth, 7833, 72302; by Mahli is meant weak or diseased, and therefore he denotes the quality of the internal good derived from the good represented by Merari, as compared with the good denoted by the other families of the Levites, 3820, 5712; by Mushi is meant that which touches or takes away, and therefore he denotes the most external good, which is disposed to separate itself from higher good and is sensual, or corporeal, 10130, 1581; and the families of the Levites according to their fathers' houses, denotes the derivation of charity according to the various forms of good, 7833, 72302.

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  21.  Of Gershon there being the family of the Libnites and the family of the Shimeites; and these being the families of the Gershonites, denotes that from the good of charity in obscurity, are derived the general goods arising from the reception of truth in the understanding and of truth in the life; and that those who are in these general goods are relatively in greater obscurity, vers. 17, 18, 5114.

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  22.  Numbering them denotes quality according to ordination and arrangement, 10217; according to the number of the males, denotes as to truths, 725; from a month old and upward, denotes from the commencement of faith to the acquisition of the good of truth which is incipient charity, 851, 10225; seven thousand denotes a holy state of good, 716; and five hundred, denotes fullness as to truths, 10253.

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  23.  The families of the Gershonites pitching behind the tabernacle westward, denotes that their position corresponds to the obscurity of good in the ultimate heaven, 3708, 9755, 1616.

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  24.  The prince of the fathers' house of the Gershonites being Eliasaph the son of Lael, denotes that their governing principle is obedience to the literal sense of the Word, derived from its internal sense, because Eliasaph means increased of God, and the Word is completed in its literal sense; and Lael denotes that from which the literal sense is derived, namely, the internal sense, 4981, 10331, 8944.

    [Back to 24]

  25.  The charge of the sons of Gershon in the tent of meeting, denotes the functions of this obscure good in the worship of the Lord and the work of salvation, 3382, 35403; the tabernacle denotes the Word, 3439; the tent denotes the genuine literal sense, 3439, the covering denotes external worship thence, 9632; and the screen for the door of the tent denotes doctrine concerning the Lord contained therein, 2576.

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  26.  The hangings of the court, denote external worship generally, because they signify the truths of the ultimate heaven, 9743; the screen for the door of the court, denotes the doctrines of external worship in particular, because it signifies introduction into the ultimate heaven, and also a guard lest it should be entered by any except by those who are prepared, truths adapted to that heaven being the means, 9763, 25767; which is by the tabernacle, and by the altar round about, denotes which have relation to good internally and externally, 3210, 9714; and the cords of it for all the service thereof, denotes the confirmation and conjunction of truth with good in such worship, 9777, 5947.

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  27.  Of Kohath there being the family of the Amramites, and the family of the Izharites, and the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites; and these being the families of the Kohathites, denotes that from the good of charity in its brightness, are derived the general goods constituting the inmost, interior, exterior, and external thereof; and that those who are in these general goods are relatively in less brightness, vers. 17, 19, 5114.

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  28.  According to the number of all the males, denotes their quality according to ordination and arrangement as to truths, 10217, 725; from a month old and upward, denotes from the commencement of faith to the acquisition of the good of faith, which is incipient charity, 851, 10225; eight thousand and six hundred denotes a new state of the life of charity and fullness as to truths from victory in temptations, 2044, 737, 7973; keeping the charge of the sanctuary, denotes for the preservation of worship, 3210, 3382.

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  29.  The families of the sons of Kohath pitching on the side of the tabernacle southward, denotes that their position corresponds to that of the middle heaven which is in the light of truth from charity, 9684, 1616.

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  30.  The prince of the fathers' house of the families of the Kohathites being Elizaphan the son of Uzziel, denotes that their governing principle is confidence in the Divine protection from the interior truth of the Word confirmed in the life, because a prince denotes primary truth, and thus a governing principle, 1482; by Elizaphan is meant one whom God protects, and therefore he denotes confidence in the Divine protection, 8975; and by Uzziel is meant the power of God or the kid of God, and therefore he denotes the interior truth of the Word confirmed in the life, there being no protection from truth only in the understanding, and not in the will or love, 6343, 7832.

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  31.  The charge of the Kohathites, denotes the functions of the spiritual, ver. 29; the ark denotes the Word in its interiors, because it denotes the Lord especially as to His Divine Truth, 9485; the table denotes the good of love, and the good, of faith", which is charity, and thus it denotes the essential principle of worship and of the Word, 9527, 9545; the candlestick denotes the spiritual heaven, and also the truth of faith, which enlightens the mind, and thus the table signifies good, and the candlestick truth, 9548; the altars denote worship, 9714, 10177; the vessels of the sanctuary, denote the externals of worship, 10340; the screen denotes the doctrines of interior truth, 25764, 9670; and the service thereof, denotes the good of obedience from interior principles, 3409.

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  32.  Eleazar the son of Aaron, the priest, denotes Divine Good as manifested in Divine Truth, 9946; the word Eleazar means the help of God and the court of God, and therefore denotes the Lord protecting man from evil, 8652; a prince denotes a primary truth, and thus a governing truth, 1482; and governing the princes of the Levites, and having the oversight of them that keep the charge of the sanctuary, denotes the governing principle of those who are in the interior good which constitutes that heaven, 3875, 3210.

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  33.  Of Merari there being the family of the Mahlites, and the family of the Mushites; and these being the families of Merari, denotes that from the good of faith in obscurity are derived external obedience from a sense of duty, and reverence for truth in the literal sense of the Word according to its appearances; and that those who are of such a character are, relatively, in a greater degree of obscurity, vers. 17, 20, and 5114.

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  34.  Those that were numbered of them according to the number of all the males, denotes their quality as to ordination and arrangement according to truths, 10217, 725; from a month old and upward, denotes from the commencement of faith to the acquisition of the good of faith, which is incipient charity, 851, 10225; and six thousand and two hundred, denotes victory over evil and the conjunction of faith and obedience, 737, 5194.

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  35.  The prince of the fathers' house of the families of Merari, being Zuriel the son of Abihail, denotes, 1482, that the governing principle of those in the good of faith in obscurity, is faith founded on the ultimate truth of the Word from the love of truth, on the natural plane, for its own sake, because by Zuriel is meant God is my rock, and therefore he denotes faith founded on the ultimate truth of the Word, 2760 preface, and by Abihail is meant the father of strength, and therefore he denotes the love of truth, 3703, 3727 end; and their pitching on the side of the tabernacle northward, denotes that their position is in the external of the ultimate heaven, 3708, 9648, 1616.

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  36.  The appointed charge of the sons of Merari, denotes the function of those who are in the obscurity of truth from good by faith, 3382, 489, 3708; the tabernacle denotes worship and the Word, here, in their outward form and appearances according to the series, 3210; the boards denote the good which supports heaven, 9634; the bars denote the power of good by truths, 4024, 94963; the pillars and sockets denote the ultimate good and truth by which the church is supported, 9757; and the instruments and the service, denote those things, intellectual and voluntary; by means of which the regeneration of man is promoted, such as worldly knowledges and merely natural uses, 5948, 5949, 3409.

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  37.  The pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, or bases, denote the goods and truths by which the forms of such, external worship are supported, 9741, 9757; and the pins and cords, denote the conjunction of those things with what is internal, and the strengthening of such support and conjunction as to particulars in every sphere, 9854, 9777.

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  38.  Those that pitch before the tabernacle eastward, before the tent of meeting towards the sun rising, being Moses and Aaron and his sons, denotes that those who have their position in the inmost heaven, which is celestial, and who are thence in the greatest light of truth from good, are in Divine Truth and Divine Good, and the' truths thence derived immediately proceeding from the Lord, because "before the tabernacle eastward, and before the tent of meeting toward the sun rising," denote the inmost heaven as to its internal and external, 3708, 9668, 683; and Moses and Aaron and his sons denotes Divine Truth and Divine Good and the truths thence proceeding, which are immediately from the Lord, 7010, 9946; their keeping the charge of the sanctuary for the charge of the children of Israel, denotes that their function is the preservation of the supreme love of the Lord and the neighbour, or of the love of truth conjoined with good in the highest degree, 3210, 9680, 3654, 3382; and the stranger that comes near being put to death, denotes that it is not possible for those who are out of the church, or in evil to fulfill their uses, or occupy their position without spiritual death, 1097, 2049, 9378, 2908.

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  39.  All that were numbered of the Levites, denotes the quality of all those who are in love and charity of every degree, 3875, 10217; which Moses and Aaron numbered, denotes as to Divine Truth and Good, 7010, 9946; at the commandment of the Lord, denotes by influx from the Lord, 5486; by their families, denotes according to general principles, 7833; all the males, denotes as embodied in truths, 725; from a month old and upward, denotes from the commencement of faith to the acquisition of the good of faith which is incipient charity, 851, 10225; and twenty and two thousand denotes the full conjunction of good and truth in every degree and on every plane of life, because twenty-two is a multiple of two, 5194.

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  40.  By the Lord saying to Moses, is denoted revelation by Divine Truth, 2001, 7010, 1822; numbering denotes knowing, from the Lord, the quality of our spiritual life, 10217; the firstborn males, denote faith, which is first in the order of time, 352; from a month old and upward, denotes from the commencement of faith to the acquisition of charity, 851, 10225; and taking the number of the names, denotes the discovery of quality by careful self-examination, 144, 10217.

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  41.  Taking the Levites for the Lord, denotes the acknowledgement that all charity or love is really the firstborn, 3875; " I am the Lord," denotes that the Lord is love itself and that charity is from Him, 2001; instead of the firstborn of the children of Israel, denotes instead of faith which is apparently primary with the man of the Spiritual Church, 352, 3654; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the cattle of the children of Israel, denotes that this is true, not only of the internal of the church, but also of the external, 7424.

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  42.  Moses numbering, as the Lord commanded him, all the firstborn among the children of Israel, denotes that thus man, by Divine Truth from the Lord, is enabled to know his quality as to faith and as to charity, 7010, 10217, 5486, 352.

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  43.  All the firstborn males, according to the number of the names of those that were numbered of them, properly denotes the quality of faith, or truth, according to Divine ordination and arrangement, 352, 144, 725, 10217; from a month old and upward, denotes from the commencement of faith to the acquisition of charity, 851, 10225; and twenty and two thousand and two hundred and three score and thirteen, denotes fullness of conjunction as to good with truth, and truth with good, reciprocally, and also a holy state with fullness as to remains. For twenty-two thousand denotes the full conjunction of good with truth being spoken of the Levites, ver. 39, and two hundred denotes the conjunction of truth with good, being spoken of the Israelites, 5194; and three score and thirteen denotes a holy state and fullness as to remains, since sixty denotes fullness of remains, 5335, and thirteen denotes a holy state of remains, 2109.

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  44.  This is evident because by Jehovah is denoted the Divine Being as to His love, 2001; by speaking is denoted influx, 2951; by Moses is represented Divine Truth, or the Word, 7010; and by saying is denoted perception, 1791, 1822.

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  45.  Taking the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of their cattle; and the Levites being the Lord's, denotes that charity is truly the primary principle of the church, both as to internals and externals, as derived from the Lord Who alone is Life Itself, ver. 41.

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  46.  The redemption of the two hundred and three score and thirteen, of the firstborn of the children of Israel, which are over and above the Levites, denotes that all those who are in faith from charity, in the external of the church, are to be redeemed, because the Israelites signify the external of the church, and the Levites the internal, as is evident from their respective positions in the encampment about the tabernacle, and also from the signification of the Levites, 3875, 3654; two hundred denotes the reciprocal conjunction of truth with good, ver. 43; three score and thirteen denotes fullness and holiness as to remains, 5335, 2109; and their being over and above the number of the Levites, denotes that they are in faith leading to charity, or in truth leading to good, and regard faith as primary, since the expression implies a distinction from those in faith conjoined with charity.

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  47.  Taking five shekels apiece by the poll, denotes the sincere acknowledgement of the Lord from remains individually and as to the particulars of life, 2959; taking them after the shekel of the sanctuary, denotes from a holy state of truth derived from good, 10221; and the shekel being twenty gerahs, denotes that truth is essentially from good, and thus faith is essentially from charity, 10222.

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  48.  Giving the money with which the odd number is redeemed to Aaron and to his sons, denotes that the good and truth of remains is from the Lord, and must be ascribed to Him through the internal of the church, 10227, 9946, 2959.

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  49.  Moses taking the redemption money from them that were over and above them that were redeemed by the Levites, denotes that this, actually, takes place according to Divine Law with the man of the external church who regards faith as primary, and yet acknowledges the Lord, and who is distinguished from those who are in the faith of charity or in faith conjoined with charity, 7010, ver. 46, 3875.

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  50.  Moses taking the money from the firstborn of the children of Israel, denotes that these also acknowledge the Lord although they regard faith as primary, 10227, ver. 46; and one thousand three hundred, and three score and five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, denotes a full state as to faith through conflicts against evil according to their state, 5955, 737, 5708, 10221.

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  51.  Moses giving the redemption money to Aaron and his sons, according to the Word of the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses, denotes that the external men as well as the internal, like the spiritual as distinguished from the celestial, truly ascribe their life to the Lord, and have conjunction with the internal of the church, according to Divine Truth from Divine Good by the influx of Divine Good into their life of obedience, 7010, 9946, 5486.

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Discussion

Let us consider for a moment, the state in which mankind would be without any knowledge whatever of the Lord and of a future state.

It is true, that this cannot properly be said of the world in which we live. For mankind not only has such a revelation, but the human race has never been without it. Traditions of a golden age, have been handed down from time immemorial; and there could not have been such a happy state with no knowledge of a Divine Being and a future life. And in the revelation made to this New Age we are told that the earliest inhabitants of this earth, who lived like wild animals, were, nevertheless, regenerated, 286; and they could not have been regenerated apart from a revelation giving them a knowledge of the Lord, and of the future state.

But not only so. In the revelation that the world now has in the Bible, which has been acknowledged as a revelation ever since the first part of it was written by Moses, there is an allegorical description of the spiritual state of that earliest race of men (Gen. i. - ii.); and we now may know from it, that they had definite instruction that it would be dangerous for them to ascribe their life to themselves, and not to the Lord (Gen 1:3, 2:16-17). Hence, then, our revelation contains a part of the most ancient one; and we ought not to forget that.

But still we may know how lamentable is the state of those without a revelation, from thinking of that of those, who in the present day, as well as in all past time, are, or have been, ignorant of it, or who have denied it. And these remarks are made to show the great importance of the revelation given to Moses by the Lord in Mount Sinai, as the beginning of our chapter states. Do not let us then forget the strict historical statement here made. We need not, however, suppose, that when the Lord commanded Moses to number the Levites as He did, nothing else was contained in the directions given, but what concerned them and the Israelites. For surely revelation from the Divine Being involves a great deal more than such things. Hence, then, we must look for something more than the history in the Word of the Lord, and thus in the generations of Aaron and Moses. For these generations, as the references show, describe the derivations of Divine Good and Truth, which we are all capable of understanding to be such as they are described in the first section of the connected series to the end of ver. 4. For if these things were not true, neither the spiritual nor the natural worlds could have existed, nor could the human race have existed and have been regenerated. This, then, is our great lesson to begin with; and we now therefore may proceed to study the succeeding sections.

But how much more valuable is it to have the gift of charity, or love to the neighbour, and to acknowledge that it is from the Lord than it is to perceive, that we have a true revelation. Charity is the living principle of the church in ourselves. When we have it, it never fails, and is never idle. It loves to work for the good of all; and it regards all kinds and degrees of usefulness from those things that concern our souls to those which concern our bodies, as worthy of a proper share of attention. And this is all involved in the second section to the end of ver. 10. "All religion has relation to life, and the life of religion is to do good " (Doct. of Life, 2). The outward act, in which true charity is fully expressed, is at once the complex, the continent, and the basis of the higher life. But this outward act would be vitiated if celestial good, or love to the Lord, were not within it, as the essential. For you cannot separate this from charity. If you show me a man that is truly charitable I will affirm that that man loves the Lord, even if he is ignorant of true doctrine concerning Him. Charity, however, is intermediate, and thus ministers on the one hand to celestial and on the other to natural things, as appears from ver. 7, where the full conjunction of all man's powers in action is expressed by doing the service of the tabernacle. Nor must we neglect the caution at the end of the section, by assuming the worship of the Lord merely outwardly, because such hypocrisy involves spiritual death, or in other words separation from Him.

The third section is short, but it is very weighty. We must not put faith before charity, although the former may appear to us exceedingly important in our early religious experiences; for who does not know that what a man loves, is of far more consequence than what he thinks or believes intellectually? Now this reminds us of Cain and Abel in the most ancient allegory, and warns us to beware lest we give to faith undue pre-eminence, and destroy charity by neglecting the cultivation of the heart, and its affections, and at length by asserting that faith alone will save us. This contention has been the bane of all preceding churches. Let us not contaminate ourselves with it in our daily lives; for it is possible to do this by neglecting our obvious duty, while yet with our lips we loudly praise even the genuine doctrine that faith apart from charity, and good works expressing both together, is dead.

And therefore we are to pay attention to what follows in respect to the numbering of the Levites, not forgetting that these, considered as distinct from the priests on the one hand, and the people on the other, denote the worship of the Lord and the work of salvation among those in natural good derived from the Lord through celestial and spiritual good, 10017. For this is the reason why the families of the Levites represent different qualities of good in the ultimate heaven, as described from vers. 14-37, while yet it sometimes happens that they signify also either celestial good, or spiritual good as the case may be, 3875, 3877, chap 2:17. In fact, the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camps when the army set forward, is a fine symbolic description of the stimulating presence of Divine Love operating even in the natural man. But observe, before proceeding, that it is said, "Number the sons of Levi, every male," to indicate, ordination and arrangement as to truths, because the quality of good is according to truths, by which it is formed.

Now this description, therefore, involves a very great practical lesson, which, it is to be feared, many do not learn well enough as they journey through the wilderness of this world. For they often forget, in their anxiety about being good, that they cannot be good unless they act according to truths, since the truth every one loves best, is an indication of the good that he delights in. Or again, some are so very eager in their pursuit of truth, or in the acquisition of knowledge, that they are disposed to neglect charity, and therefore, if they proceed at all, they do so but slowly. And hence we may see the importance of conjoining faith with love and charity in definite actions. And as the whole camp of the Israelites could not have proceeded at all unless each division of the Levites, denoted by Gershon, and Kohath and Merari, had done its proper duty, so neither can the spiritual, or celestial man advance, when the natural affections and powers do not co-operate. Consider, therefore, how very much more is involved, in this description of the derivations, numbers, positions, governors and functions of the Levites, than appears upon the surface. And in reality, it shows that there is no action in our lives that we ought to consider insignificant to be used in order to promote our spiritual progress.

It is impossible indeed, in this short commentary, to speak at length on the particulars named up to the point just above indicated, but as an illustration of the value of applying: the correspondence of the names of persons, a comparison may be made of the spiritual signification of the princes of the four camps of the Levites in this chapter with that of the leaders of the four camps in chapter ii. Beginning with the east, we find that the leading principle of the celestial heaven is, according to the correspondence of Nahshon the son of Amminadab, truth immediately proceeding from good; and turning to the same quarter in this chapter we observe that, practically, the same principle is denoted by Moses and Aaron and his sons, for they signify "Divine Truth and Divine Good, and the truths thence derived immediately proceeding from the Lord," ver. 38. Again taking the south, in the former chapter, we notice that the leading principle of the middle heaven, according to the correspondence of Elizur the son of Shedeur, is faith from charity, which is the foundation of the church, and also that, in this chapter, the correspondence of Elizaphan the son of Uzziel is "confidence in the Divine protection, derived from the interior truth of the Word confirmed in the life," which amounts to the same thing, ver. 30. Thirdly, we come to the west, and in the former chapter we observe that the leading principle of the obscure good of the ultimate heaven is, according to the correspondence of Elishama the son of Ammihud, obedience to truth from the love of good, while in this chapter, the correspondence of Eliazaph the son of Lael, is "obedience to the literal sense of the Word, derived from its internal sense," ver. 24. And, lastly, taking the north in chap. ii, we see that the leading principle of those in the obscure truth of the ultimate heaven, according to the correspondence of Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai, is good which aids, derived from Divine Truth which protects man in temptations, and also that, in this chapter, the correspondence of Zuriel the son of Abihail is "faith founded on the ultimate truth of the Word, from the love of truth on the natural plane for its own sake," ver. 35.

And now, in conclusion, we have a very interesting subject to take into consideration, namely, the distinction between those who are in faith, and those who are in charity generally; and between those who are in faith alone from an evil life, and those who are in faith alone from doctrine only, and not from an evil life. For the Levites taken all together, clearly denote those who are in charity, as distinguished from those who are in love to the Lord, and who are represented by the priests; and we have already seen that although these are separate, yet they are conjoined by this, namely, that there can be no true love to the neighbour, with one who does not love the Lord as well, nor can any one truly love the Lord, and not at the same time love the neighbour, this conjunction clearly arising from the nature of the Lord's love. But the number of the Levites was exactly twenty-two thousand; and when we reflect on this number, we perceive that it not only signifies "the full conjunction of good and truth in every degree and on every plane of life," ver. 39, but we recognize also, that while a thousand denotes fullness, 2575, twenty and two, which both signify conjunction, also may denote, since it is love by which only there is conjunction, love to the Lord as the inmost, and love to the neighbour as the outward expression of love to the Lord. Hence, then, we can now proceed, and consider the difference between the Levites taken all together, and the children (or sons) of Israel taken all together. For the former denote all in charity, and the latter denote all in faith, or truth, a son, and a male, specifically denoting truth. But the whole number of the children of Israel, was twenty-two thousand two hundred three score and thirteen, thus showing, correspondentially, that love and charity were involved with those who were in faith, because twenty-two thousand was the number of the Levites. And therefore, it is said, that the children of Israel, taken all together, represent those in faith conjoined with charity, and not those in faith without charity in this case, these being denoted by the firstborn of the Egyptians who perished, although not named here.

But now we have to notice, that although all in genuine faith are in faith conjoined with charity, yet some are disposed, in the beginning of regeneration especially, to give to faith an undue preeminence, and that these are represented by the persons numbered above twenty-two thousand, namely, the two hundred three score and thirteen. Again, however, by examining the correspondence of this number, which gives their real quality, we see that notwithstanding their exaltation of faith above charity externally, they do it not internally; for two hundred signifies their conjunction with the Lord, which can only be by charity or by love; that they have this love within them by virtue of remains, which are signified by the five shekels; and from the fact also that the shekel is called the shekel of the sanctuary, denoting thus the conjunction of truth with good a second time, or externally, by acknowledgement of the Lord and obedience to Him; and the reason is given, namely, that they act essentially from good, when yet ostensibly they are exalting faith. And that this is their state is fully confirmed from a study of the number of shekels, which being exactly five times the number of persons in excess of the Levites, yet correctly signifies "a full state as to faith through conflict against evil according to their state," the five evidently denoting not much, but a little as compared with the quality signified by twenty-two thousand, and hence again we learn; that, according to the poetó

"There's a Divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will."

For the "Divinity" is essentially Divine Love in the inmost of all things collectively, and in the inmost of each person taken separately, interpenetrating all the lower affections, and stimulating all the derivative intellectual powers, wherever any individual is disposed willingly to do the Lord's will, notwithstanding the fact that he has been externally educated into the belief that nothing but faith alone saves him. Now we must remember this fact, therefore, of the universality of the Divine influence in order to discern clearly that there are thousands of good Christians, or may be such, in every denomination of the Spiritual Church, who are really in charity and love while earnestly exalting faith only as saving; and that such persons form, as it were, the border of the Lord's garment or of His robe of righteousness, where the bells and the pomegranates are in regular order, or where lowest truths are conjoined with good (Exod 28:31-35) in innocence and humility.

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