9891. 'On the edge of it which is on this side of the ephod, inwards' means the joining to and preservation of the middle part. This is clear from the meaning of 'the edge of the breastplate which is on this side of the ephod, inwards' as a joining to the middle part of heaven, and so the preservation of it; for 'the ephod' means Divine Truth in the spiritual heaven in an outward form, 9824, thus heaven in outermost things, and 'the edge which is on this side of the ephod' means the middle part. The subject is the joining of all the forms of good and the truths of heaven to the last and lowest things there, and thereby the preservation of the whole and all its parts.
 All those forms of good and truths are represented by the twelve stones in the breastplate and by the names of the twelve tribes inscribed on the stones there. The joining of them to the last and lowest things of heaven is represented by the tying of the breastplate to the ephod in six places - two at the shoulder-pieces above, two at the middle part, and two at the shoulder-pieces below, above the girdle. From all this the preservation of the whole of heaven and all its parts is demonstrated in a representative fashion.
 The joining of the breastplate at the shoulder-pieces above represents the preservation of the celestial forms of good and truths there; but the joining at 'the edge on this side of the ephod, inwards', or to the middle part, represents the preservation of the spiritual forms of good and truths. And the joining at the shoulder-pieces below against the join above the girdle of the ephod represents the preservation of the natural forms of good and truths coming forth from the celestial and spiritual ones. For the forms of good and the truths of heaven exist in a threefold order. Those on the highest levels are called celestial, those on the middle levels are called spiritual, and those on levels below are called natural coming forth from those celestial and spiritual ones; these will be dealt with below.