3875. And said, Now this time will my man cleave to me. That this signifies in the supreme sense love and mercy, in the internal sense charity, in the external sense conjunction, and in the present case spiritual love, is evident from the signification of "to cleave." That in the external or proximately interior sense "to cleave" is conjunction, is evident without explication. That in the internal sense "to cleave" is charity, is evident from the fact that charity, or what is the same thing, mutual love, is spiritual conjunction; for it is a conjunction of the affections of the will, and a consequent agreement of the thoughts of the understanding; thus it is a conjunction of minds as to both parts. That in the supreme sense "to cleave" is love and mercy, is hence manifest, for the infinite and eternal which is predicated of charity or spiritual love, is mercy, which is the Divine love toward the human race, sunk as it is in such great miseries. For as of himself man is nothing but evil, and as that which is in him, so far as it is from him, is nothing else than infernal, and as he is looked upon by the Lord from Divine love, his elevation out of the hell in which he is of himself, and his deliverance, is called "mercy." Hence, because mercy is from the Divine love, by "to cleave," in the supreme sense, there is signified both love and mercy.
 That in the internal sense "to cleave" signifies spiritual love, or what is the same, charity toward the neighbor, may be seen also from other passages in the Word; as in Isaiah:
Let not the son of the stranger that cleaveth to Jehovah, speak, saying, Jehovah in separating separates me from His people. The sons of the stranger that cleave unto Jehovah, to minister unto Him, and to love the name of Jehovah, shall be His servants (Isa. 56:3, 6);
"to cleave unto Jehovah" denotes to observe the commandments, which is of spiritual love; for no one observes the commandments of God from the heart, except the man who is in the good of charity toward the neighbor. In Jeremiah:
In those days the sons of Israel shall come, they and the sons of Judah, going and weeping shall they go, and shall seek Jehovah their God. They shall ask Zion concerning the way, thither shall their faces be, Come ye and let us cleave to Jehovah with an everlasting covenant that shall not be forgotten (Jer. 50:4-5);
where "to cleave to Jehovah" in like manner denotes to observe the commandments from the heart, that is, from the good of charity.
 In Zechariah:
Many nations shall cleave to Jehovah in that day, and shall be My people (Zech. 2:11);
where the sense is the same. In Isaiah:
Jehovah will have compassion on Jacob, and will again choose Israel, and set them in their own land; and the sojourner shall cleave to them, and they shall join themselves unto the house of Jacob (Isa. 14:1);
"the sojourner cleaving to them" denotes being in a similar observance of the law; "to join themselves unto the house of Jacob" signifies to be in the good of charity, in which they are who are signified by the "house of Jacob." In Matthew:
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will cleave to the one and despise the other (Matt. 6:24);
where "to love" denotes the celestial of love; and "to cleave" the spiritual of love; both are mentioned because they are distinct, otherwise it would have been sufficient to mention one.
 They who are in spiritual love are on this account called the "sons of Levi," as in Malachi:
Who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appeareth? He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver (Mal. 3:2-3).
That in the supreme sense the Lord is signified by "Levi," from His Divine love and mercy toward those who are in spiritual love, may be seen in the same prophet:
That ye may know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that My covenant might be with Levi, saith Jehovah Zebaoth; my covenant shall be with him of life and peace. Ye are turned aside out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble in the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi. Therefore I have made you contemptible (Mal. 2:4-5, 8-9).
And as in the supreme sense "Levi" signifies the Lord's Divine love or mercy, and in the internal sense spiritual love, therefore the tribe of Levi was made the priesthood; for in the internal sense of the Word the "priesthood" is nothing else than the holy of love; and the "royalty" the holy of faith (see n. 1728, 2015, 3670).
 As by the expression "to cleave," from which Levi was named, there is signified spiritual love, which is the same as mutual love, by the same expression in the original tongue there is also signified a mutual giving and receiving; and in the Jewish Church by mutual giving and receiving there was represented mutual love, concerning which of the Lord's Divine mercy elsewhere. Mutual love differs from friendship in this respect-that mutual love regards the good which is in a man, and because it is directed to good, it is directed to him who is in good; but friendship regards the man; and this also is mutual love when it regards the man from good, or for the sake of good; but when it does not regard him from good or for the sake of good, but for the sake of self which it calls good, then friendship is not mutual love, but approaches the love of self, and insofar as it approaches this, so far it is opposite to mutual love. In itself mutual love is nothing else than charity toward the neighbor; for by the neighbor in the internal sense for by the neighbor in the internal sense nothing else is signified than good, and in the supreme sense the Lord, because all good is from Him, and He is good itself (n. 2425, 3419). This mutual love or charity toward the neighbor is what is meant by spiritual love, and is signified by "Levi."
 Moreover in the Word both celestial love and conjugial love are in the sense of the letter expressed by the expression "to cleave," but from a word in the original tongue different from that from which Levi was named. This word signifies a still closer conjunction, as in the following passages. In Moses:
Thou shalt fear Jehovah thy God; Him shalt thou serve, and to Him shalt thou cleave (Deut. 10:20).
Ye shall walk after Jehovah your God, and fear Him, and keep His commandments, and hear His voice, and ye shall serve Him and cleave unto Him (Deut. 13:4).
To love Jehovah your God, and to walk in all His ways, and to cleave unto Him (Deut. 11:22).
To love Jehovah thy God, to obey His voice, and to cleave unto Him; for He is thy life (Deut. 30:20).
Take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of Jehovah commanded you, to love Jehovah your God, and to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and to cleave unto Him, and to serve Him with all your heart, and with all your soul (Josh. 22:5).
In the second book of Kings:
King Hezekiah trusted in Jehovah the God of Israel. He clave to Jehovah, he departed not from following Him, but kept His commandments, which Jehovah commanded Moses (2 Kings 18:5-6).
As a girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto Me the whole house of Israel, and the whole house of Judah; that they might be unto Me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for adornment; and they have not obeyed (Jer. 13:11).
 That conjugial love also is expressed by "cleaving" is manifest from the following passages:
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh (Gen. 2:24).
For your hardness of heart, Moses wrote this commandment; but from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female; for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh; what therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder (Mark 10:5-9; Matt. 19:5).
The soul of Shechem clave to Dinah the daughter of Jacob; he loved the damsel, and spake to the heart of the damsel (Gen. 34:3).
Solomon loved many strange women; Solomon clave to these in love (1 Kings 11:1, 2).
From all this it is now evident that "to cleave" is a term of love, received into use by the churches in ancient times, which churches were in significatives; and that in the internal sense it denotes nothing else than spiritual conjunction, which is charity and love.