357. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand, signifies the affection of truth from good, from whence comes intelligence with those who will be of the Lord's New Heaven and New Church. By "Levi," in the highest sense, is signified love and mercy; in the spiritual sense, charity in act, which is the good of life; and, in the natural sense, consociation and conjunction. He was named the name also from adhering, by which, in the Word, is signified conjunction through love. But by "Levi" is here signified the love or affection of truth, and thence intelligence, because it follows after Simeon, and in this series forms the intermediate. Since Levi represented these things, therefore this tribe was appointed to the priesthood (Num. 3:1 to the end; Deut. 21:5; and in other places). That the tribe of Levi signifies the love of truth, which is the essential love from which the church is a church, and thence intelligence, may appear from these passages:
The sons of Levi are chosen by Jehovah to minister unto Him, and to bless in His name (Deut. 21:5).
"To bless in the name of Jehovah" is to teach; which they alone can do, who are in the affection of truth, and thence in intelligence.
They guard Thy Word, and kept Thy covenant; they shall teach Jacob Thy judgments, and Israel Thy law (Deut. 33:8-11).
The Lord shall suddenly come to His temple, and 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. 3:1, 3).
"To purify the sons of Levi," is to purify those who are in the affection of truth. As that affection flourishes from intelligence, therefore:
The rod of Levi, upon which was written the name of Aaron, blossomed with almonds (Num. 17:2-11).