Spiritual Meaning of
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That tribes signify the goods of love and truths of faith, is evident also from the Lord's words in Matthew:--
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 (Matthew 24:30);
where by all the tribes of the earth mourning, is signified that there would no longer be any acknowledgment of truth and of the life of good, for the subject treated of is the consummation of the age. In like manner in John:--
Behold He cometh with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn because of Him (Rev. 1:7).
What is signified by coming in the clouds of heaven (AR 2135A); see further what was shown me from experience concerning twelve (AR 2129, 2130).
 The reason why all things of faith and love are called tribes, is that the same expression in the original tongue signifies also a scepter and a staff. That a scepter, and also a staff, signifies power, will of the Lord's Divine mercy be shown elsewhere. Hence the name tribe involves in it that goods and truths have within them all power from the Lord. For this reason also the angels are called powers, and likewise sovereignties, for princes signify the primary things of charity and faith, as do the twelve princes descended from Ishmael (Gen. 25:16) (AR 2089, 3272), and also the princes who presided over the tribes (Num. 7) (Num. 13:4-16).
 From what has been hitherto said concerning the twelve tribes, it may be known why the Lord's disciples, who were afterwards called apostles, were twelve in number; and that they represented the church of the Lord as to goods and truths in like manner as did the tribes (AR 2129, 3354, 3488, 3857). That Peter represented faith; James, charity; and John, the works of charity, may be seen above (preface to chapter 18 and to chapter 22), (AR 3750). This likewise is very plain from what the Lord said concerning them and to them.
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|