The Word is in all the Heavens, and the Wisdom of the Angels is derived from it

The Word is in all the Heavens, and the Wisdom of the Angels is derived from it

It has been unknown hitherto that the Word is in the heavens, nor could it be made known so long as the church did not know that angels and spirits are men similar to men in the world; and that they have similar attributes to men in every respect, with the only difference that they are spiritual, and that all things with them are from a spiritual origin; while men in the earth are natural, and all things with them are from a natural origin. So long as this knowledge lay concealed it could not be known that the Word is also in the heavens, and that it is read by the angels there, and also by the spirits who are below the heavens. (SS n. 70)

A copy of the Word written by angels inspired by the Lord is kept with every larger society, in its sacred place, lest as to any jot it should be changed elsewhere. (ibid.. n. 72)

The angels themselves confess that all the wisdom they have is through the Word; for in proportion to their understanding of the Word they are in light. The light of heaven is Divine wisdom, which appears as light before their eyes. In the sacred place where the copy of the Word is kept there is a white and flaming light exceeding every degree of light which is outside of it in heaven. The reason is the same that was mentioned above, that the Lord is in the Word. (ibid.. n. 73).

The Apocalypse

The Apocalypse

Not a single verse of the Apocalypse could be revealed except by the Lord. (CL n. 532)

The Apocalypse does not treat of the successive states of the church, much less of the successive states of kingdoms as some have hitherto believed, but from beginning to end it treats of the last state of the church in heaven and on earth; and of the last judgment; and after this of the New Church which is the New Jerusalem. (AR n. 2)

Things which must shortly come to pass” (Rev. i. 1), signifies that they will certainly be, lest the church should perish. By must shortly come to pass it is not meant that the things foretold in the Apocalypse will immediately and speedily occur, but cer­tainly; and that unless they do the church must perish. In the Divine idea, and therefore in the spiritual sense, there is no time, but instead of time there is state; and as shortly is of time it signifies certainly, and that it will be before its time. For the Apocalypse was given in the first century, and seventeen centuries have now passed; from which it is clear that by shortly that which corresponds to it must be signified, which is certainly. Quite the same is also involved in these words of the Lord: “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake, those days shall be shortened” (Matt. xxiv. 22). By this also it is meant that unless the church should come to an end before its time it would utterly perish. In that chapter the consummation of the age and the Lord’s coming are treated of; and by the consummation of the age the last state of the old church is meant, and by the Lord’s coming, the first state of the new. It was said that in the Divine idea there is no time, but the presence of all things past and future. Therefore it is said by David, “A thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday” (Psalm xc. 4); and again: “I will declare the decree, Jehovah hath said unto me, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten, Thee” (Psalm ii. 7): “this day” is the presence of the Lord’s advent. Hence it is too that an entire period is called a day in the Word, and its first state is called the dawning and the morn­ing, and its last evening and night. (ibid.. n. 4)

John to the seven churches” (ver. 4), signifies, to all who are in the Christian world where the Word is and by means of it the Lord is known, and who draw near to the church. Seven churches are not meant by the seven churches, but all in the Christian world who are of the church. For numbers in the Word signify things, and seven signify all things and all men [omnia et omnes], and therefore also what is full and perfect; and this number occurs in the Word where it treats of a thing that is holy, and in the opposite sense of a thing that is profane. This number therefore involves what is holy, and in the opposite sense what is profane. The reason why numbers signify things, or rather that they are as a kind of adjectives to substantives, denoting some quality in things, is that number in itself is na­tural; for natural things are determined by numbers, but spiritual by things and their states. He therefore who does not know the signification of numbers in the Word, and especially in the Apocalypse, cannot know many mysteries that are contained therein. Now, as seven signify all things and all men, it is plain that by the seven churches all are meant who are in the Christian world where the Word is, and by means of it the Lord is known. These, if they live according to the Lord’s precepts in the Word, constitute the very church.

Which are in Asia” (ver. 4), signifies, to those who are in the light of truth from the Word. Since by all names of persons and places in the Word things of heaven and the church are meant, as was said before, so therefore by Asia, and by the names of the seven churches therein, as will appear from what follows. The reason why those who are in the light of truth from the Word are meant by Asia is, that the Most Ancient Church, and after that the Ancient, and then the Israelitish church, were in Asia; and that the Ancient Word, and afterwards the Israelitish Word, was with them; and all the light of truth is from the Word. (ibid.. n. 10, 11)

I was in the island called Patmos” (ver. 9), signifies a state and place in which he could be enlightened. The reason why the Revelation to John was made in Patmos was that it was an island of Greece, not very far from the Land of Canaan, and between Asia and Europe; and by islands are signified nations more remote from the worship of God, but yet which will draw near to it, because they are capable of being enlightened. The same is signified by Greece, but the Church itself is signified by the Land of Canaan; by Asia those of the Church who are in the light of truth from the Word; and by Europe those to whom the Word is about to come. Hence it is that by the isle of Patmos is signified a state and place in which he could be enlightened. (ibid.. n. 34)

What thou seest write in a book” (ver. 11). It is evident without explanation that this signifies that it was revealed for posterity.

And send to the churches, to those which are in Asia,” signifies for those, in the Christian world who are in the light of truth from the Word. That these are meant by the churches in Asia, see above.

Unto Ephesus and Smyrna, and Pergamos and Thyatira, and Sardis and Philadelphia, and Laodicea,” signifies according to the state of reception of each in particular. For John when this was commanded him was in a spiritual state, and in that state nothing is called by name which does not signify a thing or state. These things which were written by John were therefore not sent to any church in those places, but were told to their angels, by whom are meant those who receive. (ibid.. n. 39-41)

Which are the Books of the Word

Which are the Books of the Word

The books of the Word are all those that have an internal sense; and those that have not are not the Word. The books of the Word in the Old Testament are the five books of Moses, the book of Joshua, the book of Judges, the two books of Samuel, the two books of the Kings, the Psalms of David, the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; and in the New Testament, the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Apocalypse. (AC n. 10,325)

Four Different Styles in the Word

There are in general four different styles in the Word. The first was that of the Most Ancient Church. Their mode of expression was such that when they mentioned terrestrial and worldly things they thought of the spiritual and celestial things which they represented. They therefore not only expressed themselves by representatives, but also formed them into a cer­tain quasi historical series, that they might be the more living, which was to them in the highest degree delightful. This style was meant when Hannah prophesied, saying, “Speak ye what is high, high, let what is ancient come forth out of your mouth” (1 Sam. ii. 3). These representatives are called by David “dark sayings of old ” (Psalm lxxviii. 2). The particulars concerning the creation, and the garden of Eden, etc., down to the time of Abram, Moses had from the descendants of the Most Ancient Church. The second style is historical, which is found in the books of Moses from the time of Abram, and onwards to Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and the Kings; in which the historical events are precisely as they appear in the sense of the letter, and yet they all and each contain quite other things in the internal sense; of which, by the Divine mercy of the Lord, in their order in the following pages. The third style is prophetical, and was born of the style of the Most Ancient Church, which was greatly revered. But it is not connected and quasi historical, like the most ancient, but broken and even scarcely intelligible except in the internal sense; wherein are the profoundest mysteries, which follow each other in beautiful connected order, and relate to the internal and external man; to the many states of the church; to heaven itself; and in the inmost sense to the Lord. The fourth is that of the Psalms of David; which is intermediate between the prophetical style and that of common speech. The Lord is there treated of in the internal sense under the person of David as a king. (AC n. 66)

The Word of the Old Testament

No mortal conceives from the letter that the Word of the Old Testament contains the mysteries of heaven; and that all and everything therein relates to the Lord, His heaven, the Church, faith, and things that belong to faith. For from the letter, or the sense of the letter, no one perceives anything but that in general they relate to the externals of the Jewish church; and yet there are everywhere internal things which do not appear at all in the external, save a very few which the Lord revealed and explained to the Apostles; as that the sacrifices are significative of the Lord; and that the land of Canaan and Jerusalem—like­wise Paradise—signify heaven; and therefore they are called the heavenly Canaan and Jerusalem.

But that each and all things, yea, the very least, even to the smallest iota, signify and involve spiritual and celestial things, is to this day profoundly unknown to the Christian world, and therefore it pays little attention to the Old Testament. Yet they might know this from a single consideration; that since the Word is the Lord’s and from the Lord, it could not but be that it inwardly contains such things as relate to heaven, to the church, and to faith. Otherwise it could not be called the Word of the Lord, nor be said to have any life within it. For whence is its life, but from those things which are of life? that is, but from the fact that each and all things therein have relation to the Lord, who is the veriest Life? Whatever therefore has not regard interiorly to Him has not life. Nay, whatever expression in the Word does not involve Him, or in its manner relate to Him, is not Divine. (AC n. 1, 2)


How Heretical Opinions are derived from the Letter of the Word

How Heretical Opinions are derived from the Letter of the Word

Many things in the Word are appearances of truth, and not naked truths; and many things are written according to the apprehensions of the natural, yea the sensual man, and yet so that the simple can understand them simply, the intelligent intelligently, and the wise wisely. Now such being the Word, appearances of truth, which are truths clothed, may be taken for naked truths; which when they are confirmed become falsities. But this is done by those who believe themselves to be wise above others, when in fact they are not wise; for it is wise to see whether a thing be true before it is confirmed, and not to confirm whatever one pleases. This they do who have a strong inclination for confirming and are in the pride of their own in­telligence; but they do the former who love truths and are affected by them because they are truths, and who apply them to the uses of life. For these are enlightened of the Lord, and see truths by their own light; but the others are enlightened from themselves, and see falsities by the light of falsities.

That appearances of truth, which are truths clothed can be taken for naked truths from the Word, and that when confirmed they become falsities, is evident from the many heresies there have been, and are still in Christendom. Heresies themselves do not condemn men, but an evil life with confirmations of the falsities which are in heresy, from the Word and by reasonings from the natural man, condemn. For every one is born into the religion (his parents, from infancy is initiated into it, and after­wards retains it; nor is he able of his own power, on account of his occupations in the world, to extricate himself from its falsities. But to live wickedly, and to confirm falsities to the de­struction of genuine truths, this condemns. For he who remains in his religion and believes in God,—and if within the pale of Christianity believes in the Lord, esteems the Word holy, and from a religious motive lives according to the commandments of the Decalogue, does not bind himself in falsities; and ,there­fore when he hears truths and in his own way perceives them, he can embrace them, and so be withdrawn from falsities. But not so he who has confirmed the falsities of his religion; because falsity confirmed remains, and cannot be extirpated. For falsity after confirmation is as if a man were sworn in it,—especially if it coheres with the love of what is his own, and hence with the pride of his own wisdom. (SS n. 91, 92)

No one can know the Divine truths in the literal sense of the Word except by means of doctrine therefrom. If a man has not doctrine for a lamp he is carried away into errors, whithersoever the obscurity of his understanding and the delight of his will leads and draws him. The doctrine which should be for a lamp is what the internal sense teaches; [That is, in those parts of the Word where the internal sense is uncovered, and to the enlightened mind appears in the letter, or where the literal sense coincides with and teaches the doctrine of the internal sense. This teaching is quite consistent with that given elsewhere that “all doctrine ought to be drawn from the letter of the Word, and confirmed by it.” [See also note p. 407] thus it is the internal sense itself, which in some measure lies open to every one who is in the external from the internal, that is, with whom the internal man is open,—although he does not know what the internal sense is; for heaven, which is in the internal sense of the Word, flows into that man when he reads the Word, enlightens him, and gives him perception, and so teaches him. (AC n. 10,400)

That doctrinals are derived from the Word does not make them Divine truths; for any doctrinal whatever may be taken out of the literal sense of the Word. Even such a thing may be seized upon as favours concupiscences, and thus falsity be taken for truth; as in the case of the doctrinals of the Jews, of the Socinians, and of many others. But not so if the doctrinal be formed from the internal sense. The internal sense is not only that sense which lies hidden within the external sense; but also which results from many passages of the literal sense rightly compared with each other; and is apperceived by those who as to their intellectual [faculty] are enlightened by the Lord. For the enlightened intellectual [faculty] discerns between apparent truths and real truths, especially between falsities and truths, although it does not judge of real truths in themselves. But the intellectual [faculty] cannot be enlightened unless it is believed that love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour are the principal and essential [doctrines] of the church. He who proceeds from these [doctrines] acknowledged, if only he be in them, sees unfolded to him innumerable truths, yea, very many mysteries; and this from interior acknowledgment according to the degree of enlightenment from the Lord. (ibid. n. 7233)

Genuine Truth in the Literal Sense of the Word, which the Truth of Doctrine must be, appears only to those who are in Enlightenment from the Lord

Genuine Truth in the Literal Sense of the Word, which the Truth of Doctrine must be, appears only to those who are in Enlightenment from the Lord

Enlightenment is from the Lord alone, and is with those who love truths because they are truths, and apply them to the uses of life; with others there is no enlightenment in the Word. That enlightenment is from the Lord alone is because the Word is from Him, and therefore He is in it; that it is with those who love truths because they are truths and apply them to the uses of life, is because they are in the Lord and the Lord is in them. For the Lord is the Truth itself; and the Lord is loved when man lives according to His Divine truths; thus when uses are performed from them,—according to these words in John: “In that day ye shall know that … ye are in Me, and I in you. He that hath My commandments, and doeth them, he it is that loveth Me; … and I will love Him, and will manifest Myself to him; … and I will come unto him, and make an abode with him” (xiv. 20, 21, 23). These are they who are in enlightenment when they read the Word, and to whom the Word is bright and translucent. The reason why the Word to them is bright and translucent is that in the least parts of the Word there is a spiritual and a celestial sense, and these senses are in the light of heaven; and therefore through these senses and their light the Lord flows in into the natural sense of the Word, and into the light of this with man. Hence, from an interior perception, man acknow­ledges the truth, and then sees it in his thought; and this as often as he is in the affection of truth for the sake of truth. For perception comes from affection, and thought from perception; and thus the acknowledgment is produced which is called faith. (TCR n. 231)

Since few know how it is with the influx of Divine truth, and enlightenment thence with man, it is permitted here to say something on these subjects. It is known in the church that the good of love and the truth of faith is all not from man, but is with him out of heaven, from the Divine there; and that they are in enlightenment who receive this. But the influx and enlightenment are effected in this manner: Man is such that as to his interiors, which are of the thought and will, he can look down­wards and can look upwards. To look downwards is to look out­wards, into the world and to himself; and to look upwards is to look inwards, to heaven and to God. Man looks outwards, which is called downwards, of himself; since when he looks of himself he looks to hell. But man looks inwards not of himself but of the Lord; this is called upwards because as to his interiors which are of the will and the understanding he is then elevated by the Lord to heaven, and so to the Lord. The interiors are in fact actually elevated; and then are actually withdrawn from the body and from the world. When this is effected the interiors of man actually come into heaven, and into its light and heat. Hence he receives influx and enlightenment; the light of heaven illuminates his understanding,—for that light is Divine truth, which proceeds from the Lord as a sun; and the heat of heaven enkindles his will,—for that heat is the good of love, which at the same time proceeds from the Lord as a sun. As man is then among the angels there is communicated to him from them, that is through them from the Lord, the intelligence of truth and the affection of good. It is this communication which is called influx and enlightenment. But it should be known that influx and enlightenment are effected according to the faculty of reception in man; and the faculty of reception is according to his love of truth and of good. They therefore are elevated who are in the love of truth and of good for the sake of truth and good, as ends. (AC n.10,330)

Appearances of Truth in the Letter of the Word

Appearances of Truth in the Letter of the Word

Truths Divine themselves are such that they can never be comprehended by any angel, still less by any man; they exceed every faculty of their understanding. Yet that there may be a conjunction of the Lord with men, truths Divine flow in with them into appearances; when they are in appearances they can both be received and acknowledged. This is effected adequately to the comprehension of every one; therefore appearances, that is truths angelic and human, are of a threefold degree. (AC n. 3362)

If man were not instructed by appearances he would never suffer himself to be instructed at all; what is contrary to the appearance he does not believe nor comprehend, unless late in life when his judgment is ripened and he is gifted with the faith of charity. (ibid. n. 1838)

Many things in the Word, and more than any one could be­lieve, are spoken according to appearances, and according to the fallacies of the senses; as where it is said that Jehovah is in wrath, anger, and, fury, against the wicked that He rejoices to destroy them and blot them out; yea, that He slays them. But these things were said that persuasions and evil lusts might not be broken, but bent for to speak otherwise than as man conceives,—that is according to appearances, fallacies, and per­suasions,—would have been to sow seed in the water, and to say that which would instantly be rejected. But yet these forms of speech may serve as common vessels within which there are things spiritual and celestial; for it can be insinuated into them that all things are from the Lord afterwards that the Lord permits, but that all evil is from diabolical spirits; then that the Lord provides and disposes that evils may be turned into good and finally that nothing but good is from the Lord. Thus the sense of the letter vanishes as it ascends, and the sense becomes spiritual, afterwards celestial, and at last Divine. (ibid. n. 1874)

Rational human truth does not comprehend things Divine, because these are above the sphere of its understanding. For this truth communicates with the knowledges that are in the natural man; and in so far as it looks from these at the things above itself it does not acknowledge them. For this truth is in appearances which it cannot put off; and appearances are those [forms] which are from things of sense, which induce a belief as if things Divine themselves were also such,—when yet these are removed from all appearances,—and when they are spoken of this rational truth cannot believe them, because it cannot com­prehend them. For example: when it is said that man has no life but what is from the Lord, the rational supposes from ap­pearances that then man cannot live as of himself; when yet he then first truly lives when he perceives that his life is from the Lord. The rational, from appearances, supposes the good that a man does is from himself; when yet there is nothing of good from himself but from the Lord. The rational, from appearances, believes that a man merits salvation when he does good; when yet of himself a man can merit nothing, but all merit is the Lord’s. From appearances man, supposes that when he is withheld from evil and kept in good by the Lord, there is nothing with him but what is good and just, yea, and holy; when yet in man there is nothing but what is evil, unjust, and profane. From appearances man thinks that when he does good from charity he does it from the voluntary part in him, when yet it is not from his voluntary but from his intellectual part, in which charity has been implanted. From appearances man conceives that there can be no glory without the glory of the world when yet in the glory of heaven there is nothing at all of the glory of the world. From appearances man believes that no one can love his neighbour more than himself, but that all love begins from himself; when yet in heavenly love there is nothing of the love of self. From appearances man thinks there can be no light but what is from the light of the world; when in the heavens there is nothing of the light of the world, and yet so great light that it exceeds a thousand times the midday light of the world. From appearances man thinks the Lord cannot shine as a sun before the universal heaven; when yet all the light of heaven is from Him. From appearances man cannot conceive that there are progressions in the other life; when yet they appear to themselves to progress just as men on earth,—as in their habitations, courts and paradises; still less can he com­prehend if it be said that these are changes of state, which so appear. From appearances man cannot conceive that spirits and angels—since they are invisible to the [bodily] eyes—can be seen, nor that they can speak with man; when yet they appear to the internal sight, or the sight of the spirit, more visibly than man to man on earth; and in like manner their speech is also more distinctly heard. Besides thousands of thousands of such things which man’s rational [faculty] from its own light (lumen), born of sensual things and thereby darkened, can never believe. Yea, even in natural things themselves the rationalis dim-sighted; for instance, in that it cannot comprehend how the inhabitants directly opposite to us can stand upon their feet and walk; and in very many other things. What then must it not be in things spiritual and celestial, which are far above the natural? (ibid.. n. 2196)

There are however degrees of the appearances of truth. Na­tural appearances of truth are for the most part fallacies, but when they are with those who are in good they ought not to be called fallacies, but appearances, and even in some respect truths; for the good that is in them, and in which the Divine is, effects that they have a different essence. But rational appearances of truth are more and more interior; the heavens are in these appearances,—that is, the angels who are in the heavens. (ibid. n. 3207)

There are also some things that appear like contradictions; and yet there is no contradiction in the Word viewed in its own light. (SS n. 51)

Doctrine should be drawn from the Literal Sense of the Word, and confirmed by it

Doctrine should be drawn from the Literal Sense of the Word, and confirmed by it

The reason of this is, that the Lord is present therein, and teaches and enlightens; for the Lord never performs any of His operations except in fullness, and the Word is in its fullness in the literal sense, as was shown above. Hence it is that doctrine should be drawn from the sense of the letter. The doctrine of genuine truth can also be drawn entirely from the literal sense of the Word; for the Word in that sense is as a man clothed, whose face is bare, and whose hands also are bare. All things which concern the faith and life of man and consequently his salvation are naked therein, but the rest are clothed. And in many places where they are clothed they appear through, as objects to a woman through a thin veil of silk before her face. As the truths of the Word are multiplied from the love of them, and as by this they are arranged in order, they also shine and appear more and more clearly.

It may be supposed that the doctrine of genuine truth can be acquired by the spiritual sense of the Word, which is given through the knowledge of correspondences; but doctrine is not acquired, but only illustrated and corroborated by that sense; for, as was said before, by some correspondences that are known a man may falsify the Word, by connecting and applying them to confirm that which inheres in his mind from a principle assumed. Besides, the spiritual sense is not given to any one except by the Lord alone; and it is guarded by Him as the angelic heaven is guarded, for this is within it. (TCR n. 229, 230)

The Marriage of the Lord and the Church, and hence the Marriage of Good and Truth, is in every part of the Word

The Marriage of the Lord and the Church, and hence the Marriage of Good and Truth, is in every part of the Word

That the marriage of the Lord and the church, and hence the marriage of good and truth is in all the least parts of the Word, has not hitherto been seen; nor could be seen, because the spiritual sense of the Word was not before revealed, and it can only be seen by means of that sense. For there are two senses in the Word lying concealed within its literal sense, the spiritual and the celestial. In the spiritual sense the things that are in the Word relate chiefly to the church; and in the celestial sense they relate chiefly to the Lord. Then in the spiritual sense they relate to Divine truth, and in the celestial sense to Divine good; hence is that marriage in the literal sense of the Word. But this is not apparent to any but those who, from the spiritual and celestial senses of the Word, know the significations of its words and names; for some words and names are predicted of good and some of truth; and some include both; without this knowledge therefore that marriage in the several particulars of the Word cannot be seen. This is the reason why this arcanum has not before been revealed.

Because there is such a marriage in the least parts of the Word, there are often pairs of expressions in the Word which appear as repetitions of the same thing. They are not repeti­tions however, but one has relation to good, and the other to truth; and both taken together form a conjunction of good and truth, thus one thing. Hence also is the Divinity of the Word and its sanctity; for in every Divine work there is a conjunction of good with truth, and of truth with good. (SS n. 80, 81)

That there are pairs of expressions in the Word, which appear like repetitions of the same thing, must be seen by readers who give attention to the subject; as brother and companion; poor and needy; wilderness and desert; vacuity and emptiness; foe and enemy; sin and iniquity; anger and wrath; nation and people; joy and gladness; mourning and weeping; justice and judgment; etc. These appear as synonymous words, and yet they are not so. For the words brother, poor, wilderness, vacuity, foe, sin, anger, nation, joy, mourning, and justice, are predicated of good, and in the opposite sense of evil; but companion, needy, desert, emptiness, enemy, iniquity, wrath, people, gladness, weeping, and judgment, are predicated of truth, and in the opposite sense of falsity. And yet it appears to the reader who is not acquainted with this arcanum, that poor and needy, desert and wilderness, vacuity and emptiness, foe and enemy, etc., are one thing, whereas they are not so, but form one thing by conjunction. Many things are also coupled together in the Word; as fire and flame; gold and silver; brass and iron; wood and stone; bread and wine; purple and fine linen; etc.; because fire, gold, brass, wood, bread, and purple, signify good; and flame, silver, iron, stone, water, wine, and fine linen, signify truth. In like manner it is said, that men are to love God with all the heart and with all the soul; and that God will create in man a new heart and a new spirit; for the heart is predicated of the good of love, and the soul of truth from that good. There are also words which because they partake of both, that is of good and of truth, are used alone, not being joined with others. But these, and many other things, appear to the angels only, and to those who while in the natural sense are also in the spiritual sense.

It would be tedious to show from the Word that there are such pairs of expressions therein, which appear like repetitions of the same thing; for it would fill sheets. But that all doubt may be removed I will adduce passages where judgment and justice [or righteousness] are mentioned together; also nation and people; and joy and gladness. The following are passages where judgment and justice are mentioned together: “The city was full of judgment, justice lodged in it” (Isa. i. 21). “Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with justice” (Isa. i. 27). “Jehovah of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in justice” (Isa. v. 16). “Let him that glorieth glory in this, that … Jehovah exerciseth judgment and justice in the earth” (Jer. ix. 24). ” Execute ye judgment and justice…. Woe unto him that buildeth his house without justice, and his chambers without judgment…. Did not thy father … do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him?” (Jer. xxii. 3, 13, 15). “I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign,.. and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth” (Jer. 5; xxxiii. 15)…. The reason why judgment and justice are so often mentioned is that judgment is predicated of truths, and justice of good; and therefore also to execute judgment and justice means to act from truth and from good. The reason why judgment is predicated of truth, and justice of good, is that the government of the Lord in the spiritual kingdom is called judgment, and the government of the Lord in the celestial kingdom is called justice….

That these repetitions, as it were of the same thing, in the Word, are on account of the marriage of good and truth, may be more clearly seen in places where nations and peoples are mentioned; as in the following: “Ah I sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity” (Isa. i. 4)…. “Jehovah will destroy .. . the covering over all peoples and the nail over all nations” (Isa. xxv. 7). “Come near, ye nations, … and hearken, ye people” (Isa. xxxiv. 1). “I have called thee, … for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations” (Isa. xlii. 6). “Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled” (Isa. xliii. 9). “Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and set up my standard to the people” (Isa. xlix. 22)…. The reason why nations and peoples are mentioned together is that by nations are meant those who are in good, and in the opposite sense those who are in evil, arid by people those who are in truths, and in the opposite sense those who are in falsities. For this reason they who are of the Lord’s spiritual kingdom are called peoples, and they who are of his celestial kingdom are called nations. For in the spiritual kingdom all are in truths, and thence in wisdom; and in the celestial kingdom all are in good, and thence in love.

It is the same with the other expressions, as that where joy is mentioned, gladness also is mentioned; as in these passages: “Behold joy and gladness, slay the ox” (Isa. xxii. 13). “They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isa. xxxv. 10; li. 11)…. “Joy and gladness shall be. found in Zion, thanksgiving and the voice of melody” (Isa. li. 3). “And thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at His birth” (Luke i. 14). “Then will I cause to cease, … the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride” (Jer. vii. 34; xvi. 9; xxv. 10). “Again there shall be heard in this place … the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride” (Jer. xxxiii. 10, 11). And in other places. Both joy and gladness are spoken of because joy is of good, and gladness of truth; or joy is of love, and gladness of wisdom. For joy is of the heart, and gladness of the spirit; or joy is of the will, and gladness of the understanding. It is also evident that there is a marriage of the Lord and the church in these ex­pressions, from the fact that it is said, “The voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride” (Jer. vii. 34; xvi. 9; xxv. 10; xxxiii. 10, 11) and the Lord is the Bridegroom, and the church the bride. That the Lord is the Bridegroom may be seen in Matt. ix. 15; Mark 19, 20; Luke v. 35; and that the church is the bride may be seen in Apoc. xxi. 2, 9; xxii. 17. Therefore John the Baptist said of Jesus, “He that hath the bride is the Bridegroom” (John 29). (ibid.. n. 84-87)

By means of the Literal Sense of the Word Man has Conjunction with the Lord and Consociation with the Angels

By means of the Literal Sense of the Word Man has Conjunction with the Lord and Consociation with the Angels

The reason why there is conjunction with the Lord by means of the Word is, that the Word treats of Him alone; and therefore the Lord is the all and all of it, and is called the Word, as has been shown in the DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE LORD. The conjunction is in the literal sense because in this sense the Word is in its fullness, in its holiness, and in its power, as was shown above. The conjunction is not apparent to man, but exists in his affection for truth, and in his perception of it, and thus in the love and faith of Divine truth in Him.

The reason why there is consociation with angels by means of the literal sense is, that the spiritual and celestial senses are within this sense, and the angels are in those senses,—the angels of the spiritual kingdom in the spiritual sense of the Word, and the angels of the celestial kingdom in its celestial sense. Those senses are evolved from the natural sense of the Word, which is the literal sense, when a true man is in this sense. The evolution is instantaneous; and therefore the consociation also.

That the spiritual angels are in the spiritual sense of the Word, and the celestial angels in its celestial sense, has been shown me by much experience. It has been granted me to perceive that when I read the Word in its literal sense communication took place with the heavens,—now with one society of them, now with another; and that the things which I understood according to the natural sense, the spiritual angels understood according to the spiritual sense, and the celestial angels according to the celes­tial sense, and this in an instant. As this communication has been perceived by me some thousands of times, there remains with me no doubt about it. There are also spirits that are beneath the heavens, who abuse this communication; for they read aloud some passages out of the literal sense of the Word, and immediately observe and mark the society with which communication takes place. This too I have often seen and heard. From these circumstances it is given me to know, by living experience, that the Word, as to its literal sense, is the Divine medium of conjunction with the Lord and with heaven. (SS n. 62-64)

I have been informed from heaven that the most ancient people had immediate revelation, since their interiors were turned to heaven; and that thence there was at that time a conjunction of the Lord with the human race. But that after their times there was not such immediate revelation, but mediate by correspondences; for all their Divine worship consisted of correspondences; and therefore the churches of that time were called representative churches. For they then knew what correspondence and what representation was, and that all things that exist on earth correspond to spiritual things which are in heaven and in the church; or what is the same, represented them. The natural things therefore which constituted the externals of their worship, served them as mediums for thinking spiritually, thus with the angels. After the knowledge of correspondences and representations was lost then the Word was written, in which all the words and the meanings of the words are correspondences; they thus contain a spiritual or internal sense, in which the angels are. When therefore a man reads the Word, and understands it according to the literal or external sense, the angels understand it according to the internal or spiritual sense; for all the thought of angels is spiritual, and the thought of man is natural. These thoughts indeed appear diverse; but still they are one, because they correspond. Hence it is that after man removed himself from hea­ven, and broke the bond, a medium of conjunction of heaven with man by the Word was provided by the Lord. (HH n. 306)

In the Literal Sense of the Word Divine Truth is in its Fullness, in its Holiness, and in its Power

In the Literal Sense of the Word Divine Truth is in its Fullness, in its Holiness, and in its Power

That in the sense of the letter the Word is in its fullness, in its holiness, and in its power, is because the two prior or interior senses, which are called spiritual and celestial, exist simultane­ously in the natural sense, which is the sense of the letter, as stated above. But how they are simultaneously in that sense shall be further explained. There is in heaven and in the world a successive order and a simultaneous order. In successive order one thing succeeds and follows another, from the highest down to the lowest; but in simultaneous order one thing is next to another, from the inmost things to the outermost. Successive order is like a column with degrees from the summit to the base; and simultaneous order is like a work coherent with the periphery, from the centre to the outermost surface. It shall now be explained how successive order, in the ultimate becomes simultaneous order. It comes to pass in this manner: The highest [degrees] of successive order become the inmost of simultaneous order; and the lowest [degrees] of successive order become the outermost of simultaneous order; comparatively as a column of degrees subsiding becomes a body coherent in a plain. Thus the simultaneous is formed from the successive, and this in each and all things of the natural world, and in each and all things of the spiritual world; for everywhere there is a first, a mediate, and an ultimate; and the first tends and passes through the mediate to its ultimate. But it should be well understood that there are degrees of purity, according to which each order is produced. Now to the Word:—The celestial, the spiritual, and the natural proceed from the Lord in successive order, and in the last or ulti­mate they exist in simultaneous order; so then the celestial and spiritual senses of the Word exist simultaneously in its natural sense. When this is comprehended it may be seen how the natural sense of the Word is the containant, the basis, and the foundation of its spiritual and celestial senses; and how Divine good and Divine Truth in the literal sense of the Word are in their fullness, in their holiness, and in their power. It may be seen from all this that the Word is the very Word in its literal sense; for in this interiorly there is spirit and life. This is what the Lord says in John: “The words that I speak unto you are spirit and life” (vi. 63); for the Lord spoke His words in the natural sense. The celestial and the spiritual senses are not the Word without the natural sense; for they are like spirit and life without a body; and are as a palace which has no foundation. (TCR n. 214)

The Literal Sense of the Word is a Guard to the Truths concealed within it

The Literal Sense of the Word is a Guard to the Truths concealed within it

Moreover, it should be known that the literal sense of the Word is a guard to the genuine truths concealed within it; and the guard consists in this, that this sense may be turned in dif­ferent directions, and explained according to the apprehension, and yet the internal not be hurt and violated by it. For it does no harm that the literal sense of the Word is understood by one differently from another. But it does harm if the Divine Truths which are concealed within are perverted; for thereby violence is done to the Word. Lest this should be, the literal sense guards it, —and it guards it with those who from their religion are in falsi­ties and do not confirm them; for these do no violence. This guard is signified by the cherubim, and is also described by means of them in the Word. This is signified by the cherubim which, after A dam and his wife were cast out of the garden of Eden, were placed at its entrance; of which we read that,— When Jehovah God had driven out the man, He made cherubim to dwell at the east of the garden of Eden, and the flame of a sword, which turned this way and that way, to keep the way of the tree of life (Gen. iii. 23, 24). By cherubim a guard is signified; by the way of the tree of life is signified entrance within to the Lord, which men have by means of the Word; by the flame of a sword turning itself this way and that way Divine Truth in its ultimates is signified, which is like the Word in its literal sense, that can thus be turned. (SS n. 97)

The Literal Sense of the Word is the Basis, the Containant, and Foundation of its Spiritual and Celestial Senses

The Literal Sense of the Word is the Basis, the Containant, and Foundation of its Spiritual and Celestial Senses

In everything Divine there is a first, a mediate, and an ulti­mate or last; and the first passes through the mediate to the ultimate, and so exists and subsists; the ultimate therefore is the BASIS. Then the first is in the mediate, and by the mediate in the ultimate; so that the ultimate is the CONTAINANT; and since the ultimate is the containant and the basis, it is also the FOUNDATION. The learned reader will understand that these three may be called the end, the cause, and the effect; and also the Being, Becoming, and Existing; and that the end is Being, the cause Becoming, and the effect Existing; consequently, that in every complete thing there is a trine, which is called the first, the mediate, and the ultimate; also the end, the cause, and the effect. When these points are understood it will also be understood that every Divine work is complete and perfect in the ultimate; and also that all is in the ultimate, because the prior things are together in it. (TCR n. 210)

There are three heavens the highest, the middle, and the lowest. The highest heaven constitutes the Lord’s celestial kingdom; the middle heaven forms His spiritual kingdom; and the lowest heaven, His natural kingdom. And just as there are three heavens, there are also three senses of the Word,—the celes­tial, the spiritual, and the natural; with which also those things coincide which were said above,—that is to say, that the first is in the mediate, and by the mediate in the ultimate; just as the end is in the cause, and by the cause in the effect. From this the nature of the Word is clear,—namely, that within the sense of its letter, which is natural, there is an interior sense which is spiritual, and within this an inmost sense which is celestial; and thus that the ultimate sense, which is natural, and is called the sense of the letter, is the containant, and so the basis and foundation of the two interior senses. (TCR n. 212)

Six Degrees of Divine Truth, the Letter of the Word being the Lowest

Six Degrees of Divine Truth, the Letter of the Word being the Lowest

Truth Divine is not of one degree, but of several: Truth Divine in the first degree, and also in the second, is what immediately proceeds from the Lord; this is above angelic understanding. Truth Divine in the third degree is such as is in the inmost or third heaven; this is such that nothing of it can be apprehended by man. Truth Divine in the fourth degree is such as is in the middle or second heaven; neither is this intelligible to man. Truth Divine in the fifth degree is such as is in the ultimate or first heaven; this may for some little while be perceived by man, but by one enlightened; and yet it is such that a great part of it cannot be uttered by human words; but when it falls into ideas it produces a faculty of perceiving and .also of believing that it is so. And Truth Divine in the sixth degree is such as is with man, accommodated to his apperception; thus it is the sense of the letter of the Word. This sense or this truth is represented by a cloud; and the interior truths by the glory in a cloud. Hence it is that Jehovah, that is the Lord, so often appeared to Moses and to the children of Israel in a cloud. (AC n. 8443)

The Spiritual Sense is in each and all Things of the Word

The Spiritual Sense is in each and all Things of the Word

This cannot be better seen than by examples. For instance, John says in the Apocalypse, “I saw heaven, opened, and behold a white horse, and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire; and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written that no man knew but He Himself And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies which were in the heavens followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords” (xix. 11-14, 16). No one can know what these particulars in­volve except from the internal sense. It is manifest that each is representative and significative of something. For indeed it is said that heaven was opened; that there was a horse which was white; that One sat upon him who in righteousness doth judge and make war; that His eyes were as a flame of fire; that on His head were many crowns; that He had a Name which no man knew but He Himself; that He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood that the armies which were in the heavens followed Him upon white horses; that they were clothed in fine linen, white and clean; and that on His vesture and on His thigh He had a Name written. It is plainly said that He is the Word, and that He who is the Word is the Lord; for it is said, “His name is called the Word of God;” and afterwards, “He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.” From the interpretation of each expression it is clear that the Word is here described as to its spiritual or internal sense. That heaven was opened, represents and signifies that the internal sense of the Word is seen in heaven, and therefore by those to whom heaven is open in the world. The horse, which was white, represents and signifies the understanding of the Word as to its interior truths. That this is the signification of the white horse will be clear from what follows. That He who sat upon him is the Lord as to the Word, therefore the Word, is manifest; for it is said, “His name is called the Word of God;” He is called Faithful, and is said to judge in righteousness, from Good; and is called True, and is said in righteousness to make war, from Truth. For the Lord Him­self is righteousness. His eyes, as a flame of fire, signify Divine Truth from the Divine Good of His Divine Love. The many crowns upon His head signify all goods and truths of faith. Having a name written, that no man knew but Himself, signifies that what the Word is in the internal sense no one sees but Himself, and him to whom He reveals it. Clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, signifies the Word in the letter, to which violence has been done. The armies in the heavens which followed Him upon white horses signify those who are in the understanding of the Word as to its interior truths. Clothed with fine linen white and clean, signifies the same in truth from good. A name written on His vesture and on His thigh, signifies truth and good and their quality. From these particulars, and from those which precede and follow [in the chapter], it is evident that it is therein foretold that at about the last time of the church the spiritual or internal sense of the Word would be opened. (WH n. 1; SS n. 9)

It is written in the Apocalypse, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away…. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband…. The city had a wall great and high, which had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel…. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb…. And the city lieth four square, and the length is as large as the breadth. And he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs; and the length, and the breadth, and the height of it were equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits; the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. And the wall of it was of jasper; but the city itself was pure gold, like unto pure glass; and the foundations of the wall of the city were of every precious stone…. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; … and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass…. The glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb was the lamp thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it, and the icings of the earth shall bring their glory and honour into it” (xxi. 1, 2, 12-24). When a man reads these words he does not understand them otherwise than according to the sense of the letter; he therefore understands that the visible heaven and earth will be dissolved, and a new heaven be created; and that the holy city Jerusalem will descend upon the new earth; and that as to its measure it will be according to the description. But the angels understand these things very differently; that is, the particulars which man understands naturally they understand spiritually. And the things which the angels understand are what they signify, and this is the internal or spiritual sense of the Word. According to this internal or spiritual sense, in which the angels are, by a new heaven and a new earth a new church is meant, both in the heavens and on the earth, each of which shall be spoken of hereafter; by the city Jerusalem descending from God out of heaven its heavenly doctrine is signified; by the length, breadth, and height, which are equal, are signified all the goods and truths of that doctrine in the complex; by its wall are meant the truths which protect it; by the measure of the wall, which is a hundred and forty-four cubits, which is the measure of a man, that is of an angel, all those defending truths in the complex are meant, and their quality; by the twelve gates, which are of pearl, introductive truths are meant,—which are likewise signified by the twelve angels at the gates; by the foundations of the wall, which are of every precious stone, the knowledges are meant whereon that doctrine is founded; by the twelve tribes of Israel, and also by the twelve Apostles, are meant all things of the church in general and in particular; by gold like unto pure glass, whereof the city and its streets were built, the good of love is signified, by which the doctrine and its truths are made transparent; by the nations who are saved, and the kings of the earth who bring glory and honour into the city, are meant all from the church who are in goods and truths; by God and the Lamb the Lord is meant as to the very Divine and the Divine Human. (HD n. 1)

In the Apocalypse, chap. vi., it is said, That when the Lamb opened the first seal of the book there went forth a white horse, and he who sat thereon had a bow, and a crown was given unto him; that when He opened the second seal there went forth a red horse, and unto him who sat thereon there was given a great sword; that when He opened the third seal there went forth a black horse, and he that sat thereon had a pair of balances in his hand; and that when He opened the fourth seal there went forth a pale horse, and the name of him that sat thereon was Death. What these things signify can only be evolved by means of the spiritual sense; and it is fully evolved when it is known what is signified by the opening of the seals, by the horses, and by the other particular things mentioned. By these things the successive states of the church are described as to its understanding of the Word, from its beginning to its end. The opening of the seals of the book by the Lamb signifies the making of those states of the church manifest by the Lord. By a horse the understanding of the Word is signified; the white horse is the understanding of truth from the Word in the first state of the church. The bow of him that sat upon that horse signifies the doctrine of charity and faith contending against falsities; the crown signifies eternal life, the reward of victory. The red horse signifies the understanding of the Word as to good, destroyed in the second state of the church; the great sword is falsity fighting against truth. The black horse signifies the understanding of the Word destroyed, as to truth, in the third state of the church; the pair of balances signifies that the estimation of truth is so little as scarcely to be any. The pale horse signifies the understanding of the Word annihilated, by evils of life and the falsities from them, in the fourth or last state of the church; and death signifies eternal damnation. That such is the signification of these things in the spiritual sense is not apparent in the sense of the letter, or the natural sense; unless therefore the spiritual sense were once opened, the Word, as to this passage and the rest of the Apocalypse, would have been closed entirely so that at length no one would know where the Divine Holiness therein was con­cealed. It is equally so, in respect to what is signified by the four horses and the four chariots that came forth from between the two mountains of brass, in Zechariah vi. 1-8.

In the Apocalypse, chap. ix., it is written: “The fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth, and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit; and he opened the bot­tomless pit, and there arose a smoke out of the pit as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit; and there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth, and unto them was given power as the scorpions of the earth have power … The shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared for battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold; and their faces were as the faces of men, and they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions; and they had breastplates as of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of many chariots running to battle; and they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails; and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is .Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” Neither would any one be able to understand these things unless the spiritual sense were laid open to him, for nothing here is uselessly said, but all things, even to the least par­ticulars, have a signification. The subject here treated of is the state of the church when all knowledges of truth from the Word are destroyed, and consequently man, having become sensual, persuades himself that falsities are truths. By a star fallen from heaven are signified the knowledges of truth destroyed; by the sun and air being darkened is signified the light of truth made darkness; by the locusts which came forth out of the smoke of the pit are signified falsities in the extremes,—such as pertain to those who have become sensual, and who see and judge all things from fallacies by a scorpion is signified their persuasive [power]. That the locusts appeared as horses prepared for battle signifies their ratiocinations, as if from the understanding of truth; that the locusts had crowns like unto gold upon their heads, and faces as the faces of men, signifies that they appeared to them­selves as conquerors, and wise; their having hair as the hair of women signifies that they appeared to themselves as if they were in the affection of truth; their having teeth as the teeth of lions signifies that sensual things, which are the ultimates of the natural man, appeared to them as if they had power over all things; their having breastplates as breastplates of iron signifies argumentations grounded in fallacies, by which they fight and prevail; that the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots running to battle signifies ratiocinations as if from truths of doctrine from the Word, for which they were to contend; their having tails like scorpions signifies persuasions; their having stings in their tails signifies the cunning arts of deceiving thereby; their having power to hurt men five months signifies that they induce a kind of stupor on those who are in the understanding of truth and in the perception of good; their having t king over them, the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name is Abaddon, or Apollyon, signifies that their falsities were from hell, where they are who are merely natural and in self-intelligence. This is the spiritual sense of these words; nothing of which appears in the sense of the letter. There is such a spiritual sense throughout the Apocalypse. (SS n. 12, 13)

That it may be seen that the prophetical parts of the Word of the Old Testament in many places are not intelligible without the spiritual sense, I will adduce only a few passages; as this in Isaiah: “Then Jehovah of Hosts shall stir up a scourge against Ashur, according to the smiting of Midian at the rock of Oreb; and His rod shall be upon the sea, which He shall lift up after the manner of Egypt. And it shall come to pass in that day, that His burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and His yoke from, off thy neck…. He shall come against Aiath,; He shall pass to Migron; against Michmash, He shall direct His arms; they shall pass over Mebara; Gebah shall be a lodging to us; Bamah shall tremble; Gibeah of Saul shall flee. Wail with thy voice, O daughter of Gallim; hearken, O Latish, O wretched Anathoth. Madmenah shall be a wanderer; the inhabitants of Gebim shall gather themselves to­gether; as yet there is not a day to stand in Nob; the mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem, shall shake her hand…. Jehovah shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by the Mighty One” (x. 26-34). Here mere names occur, from which no meaning can be drawn but by the aid of the spiritual sense; in which sense all names in the Word signify things pertaining to heaven and the church. From this sense it is gathered that these things signify that the whole church was devastated, by means of sensuous knowledges perverting all truth and confirming all falsity. In another place in the same Prophet it is written: “In that day … the envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim; but they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines towards the west; they shall spoil them of the east together; they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab…. Jehovah shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and with His mighty wind shall He shake His hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod; and there shall be a highway for the remnant of His people which shall be left, from, Assyria” (xi. 11-16). Here also no one can see anything Divine unless he knows what is signified by each particular name; and yet the subject treated of is the advent of the Lord, and what shall then come to pass, as plainly appears from verses 1-10. Who then without the aid of the spiritual sense would see that these things in their order signify, that they who are in falsities through ignorance, and have not suffered themselves to be seduced by evils, will come to the Lord; that the Church will then understand the Word; and that then falsities will be no longer hurtful to them. The case is the same where no names occur; as in Ezekiel: “Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Thou son of man, speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, .Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves from every side to My sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh and drink blood. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth; … ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of My sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. Ye shall be filled at My table with the horse and the chariot, with the mighty man, and with every man of war…. And I will set My glory among the heathen” (xxxix. 17-21). He who does not know from the spiritual sense what is signified by sacrifice, what by flesh and blood, what by the horse and the chariot, the mighty man, and the man of war, will understand no otherwise than that such things are to be eaten and drunken; but the spiritual sense teaches that to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the sacrifice which the Lord Jehovah shall offer upon the mountains of Israel, signifies to appropriate Divine Good and Divine Truth from the Word. For the subject referred to is the calling together of all to the Lord’s kingdom; and in particular the establishment of the church by the Lord among the Gentiles. Who cannot see that flesh is not here meant by flesh, nor blood by blood?—so that men should drink blood till they are drunken, and that they should be filled with the horse, the chariot, the mighty man, and every man of war? So in a thou­sand other places in the Prophets.

Without the spiritual sense no one could know why the Prophet Jeremiah was commanded to buy himself a girdle, and put it on his loins; and not to draw it through the waters, but to hide it in the hole of a rock by the Euphrates (Jer. xiii. 1-7); or why the Prophet Isaiah was commanded to loose the sackcloth from off his loins, and to put off the shoe from off his foot, and go naked and barefoot three years (Isaiah xx. 2, 3); or why the Prophet Ezekiel was commanded to pass a razor upon his head, and upon his beard, and afterwards to divide [the hairs of] them, and burn a third part in the midst of the city, smite a third part with the sword, scatter a third part in the wind, and bind a little of them in his skirts, and at last to cast them into the midst of the fire (Ezek. v. 1-4); or why the same prophet was commanded to lie upon his left side three hundred and ninety days, and upon his right side forty days; and to make himself a cake of wheat, and barley, and millet, and fitches, with cows’ dung, and eat it; and in the meantime to raise a rampart and a mound against Jerusalem, and besiege it (Ezek. iv. 1-15); or why the Prophet Hosea was twice commanded to take to himself a harlot to wife (Hosea i. 2-9; iii. 2, 3), and many such things. Moreover, who without the spiritual sense would know what is signified by all things belonging to the tabernacle,—by the ark, the mercy seat, the cherubim, the candlestick, the altar of incense, the bread of faces on the table, and its veils and curtains? Or who, without the spiritual sense, would know what is signified by Aaron’s garments of holiness,—by his coat, his cloak, the ephod, the Urini and Thummim, the mitre, and other things? Who, without the spiritual sense, would know what is signified by all the things which were enjoined concerning burnt-offerings, sacrifices, meat-offerings, and drink-offerings? concerning Sabbaths also, and feasts? The truth is, that not the least thing of these was enjoined which did not signify something relating to the Lord, to heaven, and to the church. From these few examples it may be clearly seen that there is a spiritual sense in each and all things of the Word. (SS n. 15, 16)

Why the Spiritual Sense of the Word was not revealed before

Why the Spiritual Sense of the Word was not revealed before

The knowledge of correspondences through which the spiritual sense of the Word is given was not disclosed after that time, be­cause the Christians in the primitive church were so exceedingly simple that it could not have been disclosed to them; for if it had been disclosed it would have been of no use to them, nor would they have understood it. After their times darkness arose upon the whole Christian world; first, through the heresies of many that were spread abroad, and immediately afterwards through the counsels and decrees of the Council of Nice concerning three Divine Persons from eternity, and concerning the Person of Christ, that He was the Son of Mary and not the Son of Jehovah God. Thence came forth the present belief in justi­fication, in which they approach three Gods in their order; on which belief each and all things of the present church depend, as the members of the body upon its head. And as they applied all things in the Word to confirm this erroneous belief, the spiritual sense could not be disclosed; for if it had been disclosed they would have applied that sense also to the same purpose, and thereby would have profaned the very holiness of the Word, and so would have entirely closed heaven against themselves, and removed the Lord from the church.

The knowledge of correspondences through which the spiritual sense is given is at this day revealed, because now the Divine truths of the Church are coming forth to light, and it is these of which the internal sense of the Word consists; and while these are in man he cannot pervert the literal sense of the Word. For the literal sense of the Word can be turned hither and thither; but if it is turned to falsity, its internal holiness, and with this its external, is destroyed; and if it be turned to the truth it re­mains. But of these things more will be said hereafter. That the spiritual sense would be opened at this day is meant by the fact that John saw heaven opened, and then a white horse, and that he saw and heard that an angel standing in the sun called all to a great supper; of which in the Apocalypse, xix. 11-18. But that for a long time this would not be acknowledged is meant by the beast, and by the kings of the earth that were about to make war against Him who sat upon the white horse (Apoc. xix. 19); and also by the dragon, in that it persecuted the woman which brought forth the man-child, even into the desert, and then cast out of his mouth waters as a flood, that he might overwhelm her. (TCR n. 206, 207)