2089. 'Twelve princes will he beget' means the first and foremost commandments [of faith] inhering in charity. This is clear from the meaning of 'twelve' as all things belonging to faith, and from the meaning of 'princes' as first and foremost features. King and princes are mentioned in various places in the Word, but in the internal sense they nowhere mean king or princes but the first and foremost features of the subject under discussion. That 'kings' means truths taken as a whole has been shown already in 2015, and that 'princes' means the first and foremost aspects of truth, which are commandments, in 1482. For this reason angels, especially spiritual angels, are called principalities, because they are governed by truths. Princes have reference to truths which go with charity because, as stated above in 2088, spiritual people receive charity from the Lord through truths which to them look like truths, and through charity they receive conscience.
 Up to now the world has not known that 'twelve' means all things of faith. Yet every time the number twelve occurs in the Word, in historical or in prophetical sections, it has no other meaning. The twelve sons of Jacob, and therefore the twelve tribes named after them, have no other meaning. And the same applies to the Lord's twelve disciples. Each one of Jacob's sons and each of the disciples represented some essential and primary aspect of faith. What each son of Jacob represented, and therefore what each tribe of Israel represented, will in the Lord's Divine mercy be discussed later on at Gen. 29 and 30, where the sons of Jacob are the subject.