9891. Upon the edge thereof which is toward the side of the ephod inward. That this signifies the conjunction and preservation of the middle part, is evident from the signification of "the edge of the breastplate which is toward the side of the ephod inward" as being conjunction with the middle part of heaven, and thus preservation; for by "the ephod" is signified the Divine truth in the spiritual heaven in the external form (see n. 9824), thus heaven in externals; and "the edge which is toward the side of the ephod inward" denotes the middle part; for the subject treated of is the conjunction of all the goods and truths of heaven with the ultimates there, and from this it treats of the preservation of the whole and of all its parts.
 All goods and truths are represented by the twelve stones of the breastplate, and the names of the twelve tribes upon them. The conjunction of these with the ultimates of heaven is represented by the binding of it to the ephod in six places; in two places at the shoulderpieces above; in two at the middle part; and in two at the shoulderpieces underneath above the girdle. By this is representatively exhibited the preservation of the whole of heaven and of all things there.
 The conjunction of the breastplate at the shoulderpieces above, represents the preservation there of celestial goods and truths; the conjunction at the edge toward the side of the ephod inward (that is, at the middle part), represents the preservation of spiritual goods and truths; and the conjunction at the shoulderpieces underneath over against the joining above the girdle, represents the preservation of the natural goods and truths which proceed from the two former. For the goods and truths of heaven are in a threefold order; those which are in the highest parts are called "celestial;" those which are in the middle parts are called "spiritual;" and those which are in the lower parts, which proceed from the former, are called "natural" (of which below).