8080. And every firstborn of man among thy sons shalt thou redeem. That this signifies that the truths of faith are not to be ascribed to the Lord, but the goods of faith, is evident from the signification of the "firstborn," as being faith (see n. 352, 2435, 6344, 7035, 8042); from the signification of "sons," as being truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 3373); and from the signification of "redeeming," as being to give something else in its place (as above, n. 8074, 8078). That it denotes that these are not to be ascribed, follows from the full meaning of these words: "and every firstborn of man among thy sons thou shalt not cause to pass over (that is, shalt not sacrifice), but shalt redeem." "Not to cause to pass over" denotes not to ascribe (as above, n. 8074, 8078.) From all this it is evident that by "every firstborn of man among thy sons thou shalt redeem" is signified that the truths of faith are not to be ascribed to the Lord, but something else in their place; that this is the good of faith can be seen from the fact that by the "firstborn" in general is signified the good of faith (as above, n. 8042, 8043); but that when it is said "the firstborn of man among his sons" it denotes the truth of faith; for there is the truth of faith, and there is the good of faith.
 That the good of faith, or charity, is this something else which is to be ascribed to the Lord instead of the truths of faith, can also be seen from the fact that the firstborn of the sons of Israel were not accepted; but in their place the Levites, and this for the reason that by Levi was represented the good of faith, or charity (3875, 4497, 4502, 4503); that the tribe of Levi was accepted in place of all the firstborn, see Num. 3:12, 13, 40 to the end; 8:16-18. That the good of faith is this something else which is to be ascribed to the Lord, can also be seen from the fact that faith is not faith without charity (n. 654, 724, 1162, 1176, 2231, 2343, 2349, 2429, 2839, 2982, 3146, 3325, 3849, 3865, 4368, 5351, 7039, 7082-7084, 7342, 7950); and also from the fact that the good of faith is actually in the first place, but the truth of faith only apparently so (n. 3539, 3548, 3556, 3563, 3570, 3576, 3603, 3701, 4925, 4926, 4928, 4930, 4977, 5351, 6256, 6269, 6272, 6273); thus that charity is the firstborn (n. 3325, 3494, 4925, 4926, 4928, 4930).
 That regarded in itself the truth of faith without its good is not to be ascribed to the Lord, that is, given to Him, or acknowledged to be from Him, is because no truth of faith has any life in it until it becomes the good of faith; and the truth of faith becomes the good of faith by willing it and doing it (n. 7835). When therefore it becomes the good of faith, then it is acknowledged by the Lord as being His, for the Lord gives faith mediately through its good. Moreover with the man of the spiritual church all the truth of faith becomes the good of faith when he is being regenerated, and then for the first time it becomes the Lord's.
 The law concerning the redemption of the firstborn of man was delivered to the end that they should not sacrifice their sons, which came into use among the nations with whom there remained the statutes of the Ancient Church, which was a representative church, but which in course of time were wholly adulterated. That the firstborn were to be sanctified to God was one of the statutes of the Ancient Church; but by "sanctifying" they began to understand sacrificing. The descendants of Jacob also inclined to do likewise; and therefore this law was unfolded before them; and to prevent their doing this the Levites were accepted in place of the firstborn, as has been said. In the spiritual world this law was unfolded according to its correspondent sense, which is that the truths of faith are not holy, thus are not to be sanctified or ascribed; but the goods of faith. Moreover sanctification was afterward understood in this manner-that they should give or present the firstborn to Jehovah, and offer a sacrifice for him, according to these words in Luke:
When the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were fulfilled, they brought Jesus up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord. As it was written in the law of the Lord, that every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord, and to offer a sacrifice (Luke 2:22-24).