True Christian Religion, by Emanuel Swedenborg, , tr. by John C. Ager  at sacred-texts.com
(4) Heretofore the spiritual sense of the Word has been unknown. That each thing and all things in nature correspond to spiritual things, and in like manner each and all things in the human body, has been shown in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 87-105). But heretofore it has not been known what correspondence is; yet in most ancient times it was very well known; for to those who then lived, the knowledge of correspondences was the knowledge of knowledges, and was so universal that all their manuscripts and books were written by correspondences. The book of Job, which is a book of the Ancient Church, is full of correspondences. The hieroglyphics of the Egyptians, as well as the fables of most ancient times, were nothing, but correspondences. All the ancient churches were churches representative of spiritual things; their rites and the statutes according to which their worship was established, consisted of pure correspondences; as did all things of the church among the children of Israel. The burnt offerings, the sacrifices, the meat offerings, and the drink offerings, with all their particulars, were correspondences; likewise the tabernacle and all things in it; also their feast, as the feast of unleavened bread, the feast of tabernacles, and the feast of the first-fruits; also the priesthood of Aaron and the Levites, and their garments or holiness. What the spiritual things are to which all these things corresponded has been shown in the Arcana Coelestia, published at London. Furthermore all the statutes and judgments relating to their worship and life were correspondences. Since then, Divine things present themselves in the world in correspondences, the Word was written by pure correspondences; and because the Lord spoke from the Divine He spoke by means of correspondences for whatever is from the Divine falls into such things in nature as correspond to Divine things, and these then store up in their bosom Divine things, which are called celestial and spiritual.202.
I have been informed that the men of the Most Ancient Church which existed before the flood, were of a genius so celestial that they talked with the angels of heaven, and were able to talk with them by means of correspondences, and in consequence the state of their wisdom was such that whatever they saw on earth, they thought of not only naturally, but at the same time spiritually, thus conjointly with the angels of heaven. Furthermore, I have been informed that Enoch (who is mentioned in Gen. 5:21-24) and those associated with him collected correspondences from the lips of these men, and transmitted this knowledge to their posterity; and that from this it came to pass that in many of the kingdoms of Asia the knowledge of correspondences both existed and was cultivated, especially in the land of Canaan, in Egypt, Assyria, Chaldea, Syria, Arabia, Tyre, Sidon, and Nineveh, and that it was thence carried into Greece; but was there turned into myths, as can be seen from the writings of the ancient Greeks.203.
To show that a knowledge of correspondences was long preserved among the nations of Asia, although among those called diviners and sages, and by some Magi, I will present one example from 1 Sam. 5 and 6. It is there recorded that the ark containing the two tables on which the Decalogue was written was captured by the Philistines and placed in the temple of Dagon at Ashdod, and that Dagon fell to the ground before it, and afterwards his head and the palms of his hands, severed from his body, lay upon the threshold of the temple; also that on account of the ark the men of Ashdod and Ekron were smitten by thousands with tumors and their land laid waste by mice, and that therefore the Philistines called together their lords and diviners; and to stay this destruction they determined to make five tumors of gold and five golden mice and a new cart, and upon the cart to place the ark, and beside it the golden tumors and mice; and by two cows, which lowed on the way before the cart, to send it back to the children of Israel, by whom the cows and the cart were offered in sacrifice; and thus the God of Israel was propitiated. That all these things studied out by the diviners of the Philistines were correspondences is evident from their signification, which is as follows: "The Philistines" themselves signified those who are in faith separate from charity; "Dagon" represented that religion; "the tumors" with which they were smitten, signified natural loves, which when separated from spiritual love are unclean; "the mice" signified the devastation of the church by falsifications of truth; "the new cart" signified natural doctrine of the church (as doctrine from spiritual truths is signified in the Word by "a chariot"); "the cows" signified good natural affections; "the golden tumors" signified natural loves purified and made good; "the golden mice" signified the vastation of the church removed by means of good ("gold" in the Word signifying good); "the lowing of the cows in the way" signified the difficult conversion of the natural man's lust of evil to good affections; the offering of the cows together with the cart as a burnt offering, signified that thus the God of Israel was propitiated. All these things which the Philistines did by the advice of their diviners were correspondences from which it is clear that that knowledge was long preserved among the nations.204.
Because the representative rites of the church, which were correspondences, in the course of time began to be turned into idolatries, and also into magic, that knowledge, by the Lord's Divine Providence, gradually perished, and with the Israelitish and Jewish nation was totally obliterated. The worship of that nation did indeed consist solely of correspondences, and was therefore representative of heavenly things, but not a single thing did they know the significance of, for they were wholly natural men, and consequently were neither willing nor able to know anything about things spiritual and celestial, nor therefore about correspondences; for correspondences are representations of things spiritual and celestial in things natural.205.
The idolatries of nations in ancient times originated in a knowledge of correspondences, since all things visible on earth correspond; thus not only trees, but all kind of beasts and birds, also fishes, and all other things. The ancients, who had a knowledge of correspondences, made for themselves images corresponding to heavenly things, and took delight in them because they signified such things as belong to heaven and the church; consequently they placed these images not only in their temples but also in their houses, not for worship but to call to mind the heavenly things they signified. So in Egypt and elsewhere there were images of calves, oxen, and serpents, also of boys, old men, and virgins; because calves and oxen signified the affections and powers of the natural man; serpents the prudence and the cunning of the sensual man; boys innocence and charity; old men wisdom, and virgins affections for truth; and so on. When the knowledge of correspondences had perished, their posterity, because these images and figures had been placed by the ancients in and near their temples, began to worship these as holy, and finally as deities. For the same reason the ancients worshiped in gardens and groves, according to the different kinds of trees in them; also on mountains and hills; for gardens and groves signified wisdom and intelligence, and each tree signified something pertaining thereto; thus the olive signified the good of love; the vine truth from that good; the cedar rational good and truth; a mountain the highest heaven; and a hill the heaven below it. That the knowledge of correspondences remained with many of the people of the East even till the advent of the Lord can be seen also in the coming of the wise men of the East to the Lord when He was born: Therefore a star went before them, and they brought with them gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matt. 2:1, 2, 9-11); for "the star" that went before signified knowledge from heaven; "gold" signified celestial good; "frankincense" spiritual good; and "myrrh" natural good; from which three all worship proceeds. Nevertheless, with the Israelitish and Jewish nation there was no knowledge whatever of correspondences, although every thing pertaining to their worship, and all the statutes and judgments given them by Moses, and all things in the Word, were pure correspondences. This was because in heart the Jews were idolaters, and therefore such that they were not even willing to know that anything in their worship signified what is heavenly and spiritual; for they believed that all things of their worship were holy in themselves; and therefore if things heavenly and spiritual had been disclosed to them they would not only have rejected them but also have profaned them. For this reason heaven was so closed to them that they scarcely knew that there was any eternal life. The truth of this is plainly evident from the fact that they did not acknowledge the Lord, although the whole Sacred Scripture prophesied of Him and foretold His coming. They rejected Him solely for the reason that He taught them of a heavenly instead of an earthly kingdom; for they wanted a Messiah who would exalt them above all the nations in the whole world, and not a Messiah who would have regard to their eternal salvation.206.
After these times the knowledge of correspondences, whereby the spiritual sense of the Word is communicated, was not disclosed, for the reason that the Christians of the primitive church were too simple to have it disclosed to them, and if it had been it would neither have been of any use to them nor would have been understood. After those times darkness settled upon the whole Christian world, first because of the spread of many heresies, and soon after by the deliberations and decrees of the Council of Nice respecting three Divine persons from eternity, and respecting the person of Christ as being the Son of Mary and not the Son of Jehovah God. From this springs the modern belief in justification, which teaches that three Gods are to be approached in their order, on which faith each and all things of the present church depend as the members of the body depend on the head. And because all things of the Word have been applied to confirm that erroneous belief, the spiritual sense could not be disclosed, for if it had been they would have applied that sense also to the same purpose, and thereby have profaned the very holiness of the Word, and thus have completely closed up heaven against themselves, and have separated the Lord from the church.207.
The knowledge of correspondences, whereby the spiritual sense of the Word is communicated, has been at this day revealed because the Divine truths of the church are now being brought to light, and these are the truths of which the spiritual sense of the Word consists; and when these truths are in man the sense of the letter of the Word cannot be perverted. For the sense of the letter of the Word may be turned in any direction. If it is turned to what is false its internal holiness perishes, and with it its external holiness; but if turned to what is true its holiness remains. But of all this more shall be said in what follows. That the spiritual sense would be opened at this time is meant by John's seeing heaven opened, and then seeing a white horse; also by his seeing and hearing an angel standing in the sun calling all to the great supper (on which see Rev. 19:11-18). But that this sense would not for a long time be acknowledged is meant by the beast and the kings of the earth being about to make war with Him who sat upon the white horse (Rev. 19:19); also by the dragon's persecuting the woman who brought forth the man-child, even to the wilderness, where he cast out of his mouth water as a flood, that he might overwhelm her (Rev. 12:13-17).208.
(5) Henceforth the spiritual sense of the Word will be given only to such as are in genuine truths from the Lord. This is because the spiritual sense can be seen by no one except from the Lord alone, and unless he be in Divine truths from the Lord; for the spiritual sense of the Word treats of the Lord alone and His kingdom; and in that sense are His angels in heaven, for that sense is His Divine truth in heaven. That truth man can do violence to when he possesses a knowledge of correspondences, and by means of it seeks to explore the spiritual sense of the Word from his own intelligence; since by a few correspondences known to him he is able to pervert that sense, and wrest it to confirm even what is false; thus he would do violence to Divine truth, and also to heaven in which that truth resides. Therefore if anyone seeks to open that sense, not from the Lord but from himself, heaven is closed; and when heaven is closed man either sees nothing of truth or is spiritually insane. A further reason is that the Lord teaches everyone by means of the Word, and teaches from those knowledges that a man has, and does not pour in new knowledges directly. Unless, therefore, a man is in Divine truths, or if he is in a few truths only and at the same time in falsities, he may by these falsities falsify the truths, as is done by every heretic in respect to the sense of the letter of the Word. So, in order that no one may enter into the spiritual sense and pervert the genuine truth which belongs to that sense, guards are set by the Lord, which are meant in the Word by "cherubim."209.
(6) Wonderful things in regard to the Word arising from its spiritual sense. In the natural world no wonderful things arise from the Word, because the spiritual sense is not there apparent, and such as it is in itself is not inwardly received by man. But in the spiritual world wonderful things from the Word appear, because all there are spiritual beings, and a spiritual man is affected by spiritual things as a natural man is by natural things. The wonderful things arising from the Word in the spiritual world are many, a few of which I will here mention. In the shrines of the temples there the Word itself shines before the eyes of the angels like a great star, sometimes like a sun; and also from the bright radiance round about it there are seen as it were most beautiful rainbows. This happens as soon as the shrine is opened.  That each truth and all truths of the Word shine has been made evident to me by the fact that when any least sentence from it is written out upon paper, and this is thrown into the air, the very paper shines in the form in which it has been cut. Thus by means of the Word spirits can produce a variety of shining forms, also the forms of birds and fishes. Again, what is still more wonderful, when anyone rubs his face, his hands, or the clothing he has on, with the open Word, touching them with the writing, the face itself, the hands, and the clothing shine as though he were standing in a star encompassed by its light. This I have seen very often, and wondered at it. Thus it was made clear to me how it was that Moses' face shone when he brought the tables of the covenant down from Mount Sinai.  Besides these there are many other wonderful things there which are from the Word; for instance, if anyone who is in falsities looks towards the Word as it lies in its holy place a darkness comes over his eyes, and in consequence the Word appears to him to be black, and sometimes as if covered with soot; and if he likewise touches the Word an explosion follows with a crash, and he is thrown to a corner of the room, and lies there for a brief hour as if dead. If something from the Word is written on a paper by one who is in falsities, and the paper is thrown up toward heaven, a like explosion follows in the air between his eyes and heaven, and the paper is torn to shreds and vanishes; the same thing happens if the paper is thrown towards an angel standing near. This I have often seen.  It has thus been made clear to me that those who are in falsities of doctrine have no communication with heaven through the Word, but their reading of it is dissipated on the way and is lost, like gunpowder wrapped in paper when ignited and thrown into the air. The opposite occurs with those who are in truths of doctrine from the Lord through the Word; their reading of the Word penetrates even into heaven and effects conjunction with the angels there. The angels themselves, when they descend from heaven to discharge any duty below, appear surrounded with little stars, especially about the head; which is a sign that Divine truths from the Word are in them.  Furthermore, in the spiritual world things exist similar to those on earth; but there each thing and all things are from a spiritual origin. Thus gold and silver exist there, and all kinds of precious stones, and the spiritual origin of these is the sense of the letter of the Word; and on this account in the Apocalypse the foundations of the wall of the New Jerusalem are described by twelve precious stones. The reason of this is that the foundations of its wall signify the doctrinals of the New Church, which are derived from the sense of the letter of the Word. For the same reason there were twelve precious stones called Urim and Thummim in Aaron's ephod, by means of which responses were given from heaven. There are many other wonderful things proceeding from the Word that have relation to the power of the truth within it. This power is so great that if described it would surpass all belief; for it is such that it overturns mountains and hills there, and removes them afar off, and hurls them into the sea; and many things besides. In short the power of the Lord proceeding from the Word is infinite.210.
III. THE SENSE OF THE LETTER OF THE WORD IS THE BASIS, THE CONTAINANT, AND THE SUPPORT OF ITS SPIRITUAL AND CELESTIAL SENSE. In everything Divine there is a first, a middle, and a last, the first passing through the middle to the last, and so existing and subsisting; consequently the last is the basis. Again, the first is in the middle, and through the middle in the last; thus the last is the Containant. And since the last is the Containant and the Basis, it is also the Support. The learned can understand that these three may be called end, cause, and effect; also being [esse], becoming [fieri] and standing forth [existere]; and that the end is being, the cause is becoming, and the effect is standing forth; consequently that in every complete thing there is a trine, which is called the first, the middle, and the last, also end, cause, and effect. When this is understood, it can also be understood that every Divine work is complete and perfect in its last; also that the whole is in the last, because in it prior things are together.211.
This is why the number three in the Word means in the spiritual sense what is complete and perfect, also the whole together; and this being the signification of that number, it is used in the Word whenever any such thing is designated as in the following instances: That Isaiah went naked and barefoot three years (Isa. 20:3). That Jehovah called Samuel three times, and Samuel three times ran to Eli, and the third time Eli understood (1 Sam. 3:l-8). That Jonathan told David to hide himself in the field three days, and Jonathan afterwards shot three arrows on the side of the stone, and thereupon David bowed himself three times before Jonathan ( 1 Sam. 20:5, 12-42). That Elijah stretched himself upon the widow's son three times (1 Kings 17:21). That Elijah commanded them to pour water upon the burnt offering three times (1 Kings 18:34). That Jesus said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened (Matt. 13:33). That Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him three times (Matt. 26:34). That three times Jesus said to Peter, Lovest thou Me? (John 21:15-17). That Jonah was in the whale's belly three days and three nights (Jonah 1:17). That Jesus said that He would destroy the temple and would rebuild it in three days (John 2:19; Matt. 26:61). That Jesus prayed in Gethsemane three times (Matt. 26:39-44). That Jesus rose on the third day (Matt. 28:1) besides many other passages where the number three is mentioned; and it is mentioned where a finished and perfect work is treated of, because this is what that number signifies.212.
There are three heavens a highest, a middle, and a lowest. The highest heaven forms the Lord's celestial kingdom, the middle His spiritual kingdom, and the lowest heaven His natural kingdom. As there are three heavens so there are three senses of the Word, a celestial, a spiritual, and a natural; and this agrees with what has been said above (n. 210), namely, that the first is in the middle and through the middle in the last, precisely as the end is in the cause and through the cause in the effect. This makes clear the nature of the Word, namely, that in the sense of its letter, which is natural, there is an inner sense which is spiritual, and in this an inmost sense which is celestial; and thus that the outmost sense, which is natural and is called the sense of the letter, is the containant, and thus the basis and support of the two interior senses.213.
From this it follows that the Word without the sense of its letter would be like a palace without a foundation, and thus like a palace in the air instead of on the earth, which would be only the shadow of a palace that would vanish away; or again, that the Word without the sense of its letter would be like a temple containing many holy things, with a shrine in the center of it, but without roof or wall, which are its containants; and if these were lacking or were taken away, its holy things would be seized upon by thieves, would be desecrated by the beasts of the earth and the birds of heaven, and would thus be dispersed. It would also be like the tabernacle of the sons of Israel in the wilderness (in the inmost part of which was the ark of the covenant, and in the middle the golden candlestick, the golden altar upon which was the incense, and the table with the bread of faces upon it) without its outmosts, which were curtains, veils, and pillars. In fact, the Word without the sense of its letter would be like the human body without its coverings which are called skins, and without its supports which are called bones. With both of these absent all its inner parts would fall asunder. Or again, it would be like the heart and lungs in the thorax without their covering which is called the pleura, and their supports which are called ribs. Or it would be like the brain without its coverings which are called the dura mater and pia mater, and without their common covering, containant, and support, which is called the cranium. So would it be with the Word without the sense of its letter; therefore it is said in Isaiah: That Jehovah creates over all the glory a covering (Isa. 4:5).214.
IV. IN THE SENSE OF THE LETTER OF THE WORD DIVINE TRUTH IS IN ITS FULNESS, ITS HOLINESS, AND ITS POWER. In the sense of the letter the Word is in its fullness, its holiness, and its power, 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, n. 210, 212). How they exist simultaneously shall be further explained. In heaven and in the world there is successive order and there is simultaneous order. In successive order one thing succeeds and follows another from the highest down to the lowest; but in simultaneous order one thing stands next to another from inmosts even to outermosts. Successive order is like a column arranged in steps from summit to base; while simultaneous order is like a work coherent with the circumferences from the center even to the outmost surface. I will now explain how successive order becomes simultaneous order in the outmost. It is done as follows: the highest things of successive order become the inmost things of simultaneous order; and the lowest things of successive order become the outermost things of simultaneous order; comparatively as a column arranged in steps when it subsides becomes a body coherent in a plane. Thus is the simultaneous formed from the successive, and this in each and all things both of the natural world and of the spiritual world; for there is everywhere a first, a middle, and a last, and the first tends and passes through the middle to its last. But it must be clearly understood that there are degrees of purity in accordance with which both of these orders are determined.  Now in respect to the Word: the celestial, the spiritual, and the natural go forth from the Lord in successive order; and in the outmost they exist in simultaneous order; and thus the celestial and spiritual senses of the Word exist simultaneously in its natural sense. When this is comprehended it can be seen how the natural sense of the Word is the containant, the basis, and the support of its spiritual and celestial senses; also how the Divine good and truth are in the sense of the letter of the Word in their fullness, their holiness and their power. From all this it is clear that the Word is the real Word in the sense of the letter, for inwardly in this there is spirit and life. This is what the Lord says: The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life (John 6:63); for the words of the Lord were spoken in the natural sense. The celestial and spiritual senses separated from the natural sense are not the Word; for they are like spirit and life without a body, and are like a palace without a foundation (as said above, n. 213).215.
In part the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word are not naked truths, but are appearances of truth, and are like similitudes and comparisons which are taken from such things as exist in nature, and are therefore accommodated and adapted to the capacity of the simple and also of children. But as these are at the same time correspondences, they are receptacles and abodes of genuine truth, and are vessels containing it, as a crystal cup contains noble wine, or a silver dish good food; they are also like garments for clothing the body, as swaddling clothes for an infant, or becoming garments for a maiden; they are also like the knowledges of the natural man, which comprise within them the perceptions and affections of spiritual truth. The naked truths themselves, which are included, contained, clothed, and comprised, are in the spiritual sense of the Word, and the naked goods in its celestial sense. But this shall be illustrated from the Word.  Jesus said: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, for ye cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside may be clean also (Matt. 23:25, 26). Here the Lord spoke by similitudes and comparisons that are also correspondences, using the terms "cup" and "platter," "cup" not only meaning but also signifying the truth of the Word, for by the "cup" wine is meant, and "wine" signifies truth. But by "platter" food is meant, and food signifies good; therefore "to cleanse the inside of the cup and platter" signifies to purify by means of the Word the interiors of the mind, which pertain to the will and thought. "That the outside may thus be clean" signifies that the exteriors, which are the things done and said, are thus purified; for these derive their essence from the former.  Again Jesus said: There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day; and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores (Luke 16:19, 20). Here, too, the Lord spoke by similitudes and comparisons that were correspondences and that contained spiritual things. The "rich man" means the Jewish nation, which is called "rich" because it had the Word, which contains spiritual riches; the "purple and fine linen" with which he was clothed, signify the good and truth of the Word, "purple" its good, and "fine linen" its truth; his "faring sumptuously every day" signifies their satisfaction in having the Word and in hearing many things from it in their temples and synagogues; "the beggar Lazarus" means the Gentiles, because they did not have the Word; that these were despised and rejected by the Jews is meant by his being "laid at the rich man's gate;" and his being "full of sores" signifies that owing to their ignorance of truth the Gentiles were in many falsities.  The Gentiles were meant by Lazarus, because the Lord loved the Gentiles. As: He loved the Lazarus who was raised from the dead (John 11:3, 5, 36); and who is called the Lord's friend (John 11:11); and reclined at the table with the Lord (John 12:2). From the above two passages it is clear that the truths and goods of the sense of the letter of the Word are like vessels, or like clothing for the naked good and truth, both of which lie hidden in the spiritual and celestial senses of the Word.  The Word in the sense of the letter being such, it follows that those who are in Divine truths, and in the belief that the Word inwardly in its bosom is the holy Divine and still more those who are in the belief that the Word is such because of its spiritual and celestial senses, when they read the Word in states of enlightenment from the Lord, see Divine truths in natural light. For the light of heaven, in which the spiritual sense is, flows into the natural light in which the sense of the letter of the Word is, and illuminates the intellectual faculty of man which is called his rational, causing it to see and acknowledge Divine truths, both where they stand forth and where they lie hidden. With some these truths flow in at the same time with the light of heaven, sometimes even when they are unconscious of it.216.
As the Word in its inmost depths, because of its celestial sense, is like a gentle flame that enkindles, and in its intermediate depths, because of its spiritual sense, is like a light that enlightens, so in its outmost because of its natural sense it is like a transparent object receiving both the flame and the light; and from the flame it is ruddy like purple, and from the light is white like snow. Thus it is comparatively like a ruby and a diamond, like a ruby from celestial flame, and like a diamond from spiritual light. The Word in the sense of the letter being such, in this sense it is meant: (1) By the precious stones of which the foundations of the New Jerusalem consisted. (2) By the Urim and Thummim on Aaron's ephod. (3) And by the precious stones in the garden of Eden, where the King of Tyre is said to have been. (4) Also by the curtains, veils, and pillars of the tabernacle. (5) Likewise by the externals of the temple at Jerusalem. (6) The Word in its glory was represented in the Lord when He was transfigured. (7) The power of the Word in its outmosts was represented by the Nazarites. (8) The inexpressible power of the Word. These statements shall be illustrated one by one.217.
(1) The truths of the sense of the letter of the Word are meant by the precious stones of which the foundations of the New Jerusalem consisted (Rev. 21:17-21). It has been mentioned above (n. 209) that precious stones exist in the spiritual world, as well as in the natural world, and that their spiritual origin is the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word. This seems incredible and yet it is true. And this is why precious stones are so frequently mentioned in the Word; and why in the spiritual sense they mean truths. From this it follows that the "precious stones" of which the foundations of the wall around the city New Jerusalem are said to have been built signify the truths of doctrine of the New Church, because "the New Jerusalem" means the New Church in respect to doctrine from the Word; and therefore its "wall" and foundations" of the wall, can mean nothing else than the external of the Word, which is the sense of the letter; for it is from this sense that doctrine exists, and the church by means of doctrine; while the external of the Word is like a wall with its foundations, which encloses and protects a city. Of the New Jerusalem and its foundations we read in the Apocalypse: An angel measured the wall of the city Jerusalem, an hundred and forty and four cubits, which was the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. And the wall had twelve foundations adorned with every precious stone. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third a chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprasus; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst (21:14, 17-20). The wall had twelve foundations formed of as many precious stones, because the number "twelve" signified all things of truth from good; so here all things of doctrine. But this and what precedes and follows in this chapter, may be seen explained in detail and confirmed by parallel passages from the prophetic Word, in our Apocalypse Revealed.218.
(2) The Goods and Truths of the Word in the sense of its letter are meant by the Urim and Thummim on Aaron's ephod. The Urim and Thummim were on Aaron's ephod, whose priesthood represented the Lord in respect to the Divine good and the work of salvation. The garments of the priesthood, or of its holiness, represented the Divine truths from the Lord; the ephod represented Divine truth in its outmost, and thus the Word in the sense of the letter, for that is Divine truth in its outmost. So the twelve precious stones, with the names of the two tribes of Israel, which composed the Urim and Thummim, represented Divine truths from Divine good in their whole complex. Concerning these we read in Moses as follows: They shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet and fine-twined linen with cunning word. Afterwards thou shalt make a breastplate of judgment according to the work of the ephod and thou shalt fill it with a filling of stones, four rows of stones, a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle, the first row; an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond the second row; a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst the third row; a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper the fourth row. And the stones shall be according to the names of the sons of Israel like the engravings of a signet, everyone according to his name they shall be for the twelve tribes. And Aaron shall bear it upon the breastplate Of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and let them be upon Aaron's heart when he goeth in before Jehovah (Ezek. 28:6, 5-21, 29, 30). What was represented by the garments of Aaron, his ephod, robe, broidered coat, miter, and girdle has been explained in the Arcana Coelestia, published at London, where this chapter is treated of. It is there shown that the ephod represented Divine truth in its outmost; the precious stones in the ephod represented truths translucent from good; the twelve arranged in four rows represented all those truths from first to last; the twelve tribes represented all things pertaining to the church; the breastplate Divine truth from Divine good in the universal sense; the Urim and Thummim the resplendency of Divine truth from Divine good in outmosts; for in angelic language Urim means shining fire, and Thummim means resplendence, and in the Hebrew integrity. It is also there shown that responses were given by variegations of lights and at the same time by tacit perception or by a living voice; besides other things. From all this it can be seen that these stones also signified truths from good in the outmost sense of the Word; and by no other means are responses given from heaven, for in that sense is the Divine going forth in its fullness.219.
(3) Like things are meant by, the precious stones in the garden of Eden, where the King of Tyre is said to have been. We read in Ezekiel: King of Tyre Thou sealest up thy measure, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, , the sardius, the topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle and gold (28:12, 13). In the Word "Tyre" signifies the church in respect to knowledges of good and truth; "the king" signifies the truth of the church; "the garden of Eden" signifies wisdom and intelligence from the Word; "precious stones" signify truths translucent because of good, such as are in the sense of the letter of the Word: and this being the signification of these stones, they are called "his covering." That the sense of the letter is a covering to the Interiors of the Word, may be seen above (n. 213).220.
(4) Truths and goods in outmosts, such as are contained in the sense of the letter of the Word, were represented by the curtains, veils, and pillars of the tabernacle. The tabernacle built by Moses in the wilderness represented heaven and the church, and therefore the form of it was shown by Jehovah on Mount Sinai. As a consequence, all things in that tabernacle, namely, the candlestick, the golden altar for incense, and the table on which was the bread of faces, represented and signified the holy things of heaven and the church; the holy of holies, where the ark of the covenant was kept, represented and thus signified the inmost of heaven and the church; the law itself written upon the two tables signified the Word; and the cherubs above the ark signified guards to protect the holy things of the Word from desecration. Since, then, externals derive their essence from internals, and both externals and internals derive their essence from the inmost, which here was the law, so all things belonging to the tabernacle represented and signified the holy things of the Word. From this it follows that the outmost parts of the tabernacle, its curtains, veils, and pillars, which were coverings, containers, and supports, signified the outmost things of the Word, which are the truths and goods of the sense of its letter. Because this was what they signified: All the curtains and veils were of fine-twined linen, and blue and purple and scarlet double-dyed, with cherubs (Exod. 26:1, 31, 36). What was represented and signified by the tabernacle and by all things in it, both in general and in particular, has been explained in Arcana Coelestia, where this chapter is treated of. It is there shown that the curtains and veils represented the externals of heaven and the church, and thus also the externals of the Word and that the "linen" [xylinum seu byssinum] signified truth from a spiritual origin; "blue" truth from a celestial origin; "purple" celestial good; "scarlet double-dyed" spiritual good; and the "cherubs" guards of the interiors of the Word.221.
(5) Likewise by the externals of the temple at Jerusalem. This is because heaven and the church were represented by the temple as well as by the tabernacle, the temple representing the heaven in which spiritual angels dwell, and the tabernacle the heaven where celestial angels dwell. Spiritual angels are those who are in wisdom from the Word, celestial angels those who are in love from the Word. That the temple at Jerusalem signified, in the highest sense, the Lord's Divine Human, He teaches in John: Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. He spoke of the temple of His body (2:19, 21) and where the Lord is meant, the Word also is meant, because He is the Word. As then the interiors of the temple represented the interiors of heaven and the church, thus also of the Word, so its exteriors represented and signified the exteriors of heaven and the church, thus also of the Word, which belong to the sense of its letter. Of the exteriors of the temple we read: That they were built of whole stone [unhewn] and of cedar within; and that all its walls were carved inside with cherubs and palms and open flowers; and the floor was covered with gold (1 Kings 6:7, 29, 30). By all these things the externals of the Word, which are the holy things of the sense of its letter, are signified.222.
(6) The Word in its glory was represented in the Lord when He was transfigured. Of the Lord when transfigured before Peter, James, and John we read: That His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as the light, and that Moses and Elias were seen talking with Him; and that a bright cloud overshadowed the disciples, and a voice was heard from the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son, hear ye Him (Matt. 17:1-5). I have been told that the Lord then represented the Word His "face" which "shone like the sun," represented the Divine good of His Divine love; His "garments" which "became as the light," represented the Divine truth of His Divine wisdom; "Moses and Elias" the historic and prophetic Word, "Moses" the Word written through him, and in general the historic Word, and "Elias" the whole prophetic Word; the "bright cloud" which "overshadowed the disciples" represented the Word in the sense of the letter; so from it a voice was heard, saying, "This is my beloved Son, hear ye Him," for no announcements or responses are ever made from heaven except through outmosts such as are in the sense of the letter of the Word, for they are made by the Lord in fullness.223.
(7) The power of the Word in its outmosts was represented by the Nazarites. In the book of Judges we read that Samson was a Nazarite from his mother's womb, and that his strength lay in his hair; moreover, "Nazarite" and "Nazariteship" mean the hair. That his strength lay in his hair, he himself showed, when he said: There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite from my mother's womb; if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and I shall be like any other man (Judges 16:17). No one can know why the Nazariteship, which means the hair, was instituted, and why Samson's strength lay in his hair, unless he knows what is signified in the Word by the "head." The "head" signifies the intelligence that men and angels have from the Lord through Divine truth; and therefore the "hair" signifies intelligence from Divine truth in things outmost or last. Because of this signification of the "hair" there was a law for the Nazarites: That they should not shave the hair of their head, because that was the Nazariteship of God upon their head (Num. 6:1-21). therefore it was also a law, That the high priest and his sons should not shave their heals, lest they die, and lest wrath come upon the whole house of Israel (Lev. 10:6). Because the hair, on account of that signification, which is from correspondence, was so holy, the Son of Man, who is the Lord in respect to the Word, is described even as to the hair: That it was white as white wool, as snow (Apoc. 1:14). Likewise as the Ancient of Days (Dan. 7:9). Because the hair signifies truth in outmosts, thus the sense of the letter of the Word, those in the spiritual world who despise the Word become bald; and on the other hand, those who have held the Word in high esteem and have regarded it as holy appear with comely hair. It was because of this correspondence, That forty-two youths were torn to pieces by two she-bears, because they called Elisha bald-head (Kings 2:23, 24); for "Elisha" represented the church in regard to doctrine from the Word, and "she-bears" signify the power of truth in outmosts. The power of Divine truth or of the Word is in the sense of its letter, because there the Word is in its fullness, and because the angels of both of the Lord's kingdoms and men are together in that sense.224.
(8) The inexpressible power of the Word. Hardly anyone at this day knows that there is any power in truths; for truth is supposed to be nothing more than a statement uttered by someone in authority, which ought for that reason to be obeyed; thus truth is supposed to be like a mere breath from the mouth or sound in the ear; and yet truth and good are the principles of all things in both worlds, the spiritual and the natural; also they are the means by which the universe was created, and through which the universe is preserved, and the means as well by which man was created; therefore these two are the all in all things. That the universe was created by Divine truth, is clearly declared in John: In the beginning was the Word, and God was the Word; by It were all things made that were made and by It the world was made (John 1:1, 3, 10). And in David: By the Word of Jehovah were the heavens made (Ps. 33:6). In both of these passages "The Word" means the Divine truth. As the universe was created by this truth, so also was the universe preserved by it; for as subsistence is perpetual existence, so preservation is perpetual creation.  It was by means of Divine truth that man was made, because all things in man have relation to understanding and will, the understanding being the receptacle of Divine truth, and the will of Divine good; therefore, the human mind, which consists of those two principles, is nothing but a form of Divine good and Divine truth spiritually and naturally organized. The human brain is that form. And as the whole of man depends upon his mind, so all things of his body are appendages, which are moved by these two principles, and life from them.  From all this it can now be seen why God came into the world as the Word, and became Man, namely, that the work of redemption might be accomplished; for God then, by means of His Human, which was Divine truth, put on all power, overthrew the hells (which had grown up even as far as to the heavens where the angels were), and subjugated them, and reduced them to obedience to Himself, and this was done not by a spoken word but by the Divine Word which is Divine truth. Afterward He opened a great gulf between the hells and the heavens, which no one from hell can cross; if anyone attempts it, at the first step he is tortured like a serpent laid on a sheet of hot iron, or on an ant hill. For at the first approach of the odor of Divine truth the devils and satans instantly cast themselves into the abyss and throw themselves into caves and stop them up so closely that not a crevice is visible. This is because the will of such is in evils, and the understanding in falsities, that is, in what is opposite to the Divine good and the Divine truth. And because the whole of man, as just said, consists of these two principles of life, they are thus from head to foot, completely and grievously overpowered in consequence of their sensation of the opposite.  From all this it can be seen that the power of Divine truth is inexpressible. And as the Word which the Christian church possesses is the containant of Divine truth in three degrees, that Word is evidently what is meant in John (1:1, 3, 10). That its power is inexpressible I could prove by many evidences of experience in the spiritual world; but as these evidences would surpass belief, or appear incredible, I omit presenting them; but some you will find recorded above (n. 209). The following will serve to keep these truths in remembrance: That a church that is in Divine truths from the Lord has power over the hells, and that the Lord's words to Peter refer to such a church: Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matt. 16:18). This the Lord said after Peter had confessed, That He was the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:16). "Rock" here means such truth, for everywhere in the Word "rock" means the Lord in respect to Divine truth.225.
V. THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH SHOULD BE DRAWN FROM THE SENSE OF THE LETTER OF THE WORD, AND CONFIRMED THEREBY. It was shown in the preceding section that the Word is in its fullness, in its holiness, and in its power in the sense of the letter; and since the Lord is the Word and is "the First and the Last" as He says in the Apocalypse (1:17), it follows that He is fully present in that sense, and that from it He teaches and enlightens man. But this shall be shown in the following order: (1) Without doctrine the Word is not understood. (2) Doctrine should be drawn from the sense of the letter of the Word. (3) But Divine truth, which is of doctrine, can be seen only by those who are in enlightenment from the Lord.226.
(1) Without doctrine the Word is not understood. This is because the Word in the sense of the letter consists purely of correspondences, in order that it may at the same time include things spiritual and celestial, and each word may be a container and support of these. For this reason, in the sense of the letter Divine truths are rarely naked truths, but are truths clothed; and these are called appearances of truth, many of which are adapted to the understanding of the simple, who do not raise their thoughts above such things as they see before their eyes; others appear like contradictions, although when the Word is viewed in its spiritual light, there is no contradiction to be found in it; furthermore, in some portions of the prophets there are collections of the names of places and persons from which no sense can be elicited. As the Word is such in the sense of the letter it is clear that it cannot be understood without doctrine.  This may be illustrated by examples. It is said, That Jehovah repents (Exod. 32:12, 14; Jonah 3:9, 4:2). It is also said, That Jehovah does not repent (Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29). Without doctrine these statements cannot be harmonized. It is said, That Jehovah visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons unto the third and fourth generation (Num. 14:18). It is also said: That the father shall not be put to death for the son, neither shall the son be put to death for the father; but everyone for his own sin (Deut. 24:16). In the light of doctrine these statements do not conflict, but agree.  Jesus said: Ask, and it shall he given you; seek, and ye shall find; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened (Matt. 7:7, 8; 21:21, 22). Without doctrine it might be supposed that everyone is to receive whatever he asks; but from doctrine it is known that when man's asking is from the Lord whatever he asks is given him; and this the Lord also teaches: If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:7).  The Lord says: Blessed are ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God (Luke 6:20). Without doctrine this might be thought to teach that heaven is for the poor, and not for the rich; but doctrine teaches that the poor in spirit are meant; for the Lord says: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3).  Again, the Lord says: Judge not, that ye be not judged; for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged (Matt. 7:1, 2; Luke 6:37). Without doctrine one might be led to conclude from this that he ought not to judge a wicked man to be wicked; but according to doctrine, it is lawful to judge, but justly, for the Lord says: Judge righteous judgment (John 7:24).  Jesus says: Be not ye called teacher; for one is your Teacher, even Christ. And call no man your father on earth; for one is your Father, which is in the heavens. Neither be ye called masters; for one is your Master, even Christ (Matt. 23:8-10). Without doctrine it would follow from this that no man ought to call another teacher or father or master; but from doctrine it is known that this is permissible in the natural sense, but not in the spiritual sense.  Jesus said to His disciples: When the Son of Man shall sit upon the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28). From these words one might conclude that the Lord's disciples are to judge, when in fact they are unable to judge anyone; and so this arcanum will be made clear by the doctrine that the Lord alone, who is omniscient and who knows the hearts of all, is to judge, and is able to judge, and that by His "twelve disciples" is meant the church in respect to all the truths and goods which it has from the Lord through the Word; thus doctrine shows that it is by these truths that everyone is to be judged, according to the Lord's words in John (3:17, 18; 12:47, 48). There are many other like statements in the Word, which make it evident that without doctrine the Word is not understood.227.
By means of doctrine not only is the Word understood, it also shines in the understanding, since it then becomes like a candelabrum with its lamps lighted. Thus man sees in it more things than he saw before, and also understands things he did not understand before; and things obscure and discordant he either passes over without seeing, or he so sees and explains them as to bring them into accord with doctrine. That the Word is looked at from doctrine and is explained according to it, the practice of the Christian world testifies. All the Reformed look at the Word from their own doctrine and explain it accordingly; likewise, the Papists from their doctrine, and even the Jews from theirs; consequently from false doctrines they see falsities and from true doctrine truths. All this makes clear that true doctrine is like a lamp in the dark, or a guidepost by the wayside.228.
From all this it can be seen, that those who read the Word without doctrine are in obscurity respecting all truth; and that their minds are wavering and uncertain; prone to error and open to heresies, which they embrace when favor or authority encourages and reputation is not endangered. To such the Word is like a candelabrum without light, and they see many things as if in shade, and in fact see scarcely anything, for doctrine is the only lamp. I have seen such examined by angels, and it was found that they could confirm from the Word anything they wished; and that they did confirm especially whatever belonged to their own love or to the love of those whom they favor. I have also seen them stripped of their garments, which was a sign that they were destitute of truths. In the spiritual world garments are truths.229.
(2) Doctrine should be drawn from the sense of the letter of the Word and confirmed by it. This is because in it the Lord is present, and teaches and enlightens; for the Lord never operates except in fullness, and in the sense of the letter the Word is in its fullness, as has been shown above. This is why doctrine should be drawn from the sense of the letter. Moreover, the doctrine of genuine truth may be fully drawn from the sense of the letter of the Word; since the Word in that sense is like a man clothed, with his face bare and his hands bare; and all things pertaining to man's faith and life and thus his salvation are there naked; while the rest are clothed; but in many places where they are clothed, they show through, as objects are seen by a woman through a thin silk veil before her face. Furthermore, as the truths of the Word are multiplied as it were, by love for them, and by this love are arranged in order, they more and more clearly shine forth and are seen.230.
It may be supposed that the doctrine of genuine truth can be acquired by means of the spiritual sense of the Word, which is given through a knowledge of correspondences; but doctrine is not acquired by means of that sense, but only illustrated and corroborated. For (as before said, n. 208) it is possible for a man, by means of some well-known correspondences, to falsify the Word by bringing these together and applying them to confirm what is established in his own mind by some principle already adopted. Moreover, it is by the Lord only that the spiritual sense is communicated to any man; and it is guarded by the Lord as He guards the angelic heaven, for heaven is in that sense.231.
(3) Genuine Truth, of which doctrine must consist, can be seen in the sense of the letter of the Word only by those who are in enlightenment from the Lord. Enlightenment is from the Lord alone, and exists in those who love truths because they are truths, and who make truths uses of life. To no others is enlightenment in the Word possible. Enlightenment is from the Lord alone, because the Word is from Him, and consequently He is in it. Enlightenment is given to those who love truths because they are truths, and who make them uses of life, because such are in the Lord, and the Lord is in them; for the Lord is Truth itself (as shown in the chapter that treats of the Lord); and men love the Lord when they live in accordance with His Divine truths, that is, when from those truths they perform uses, as is taught in 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 keepeth 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 My abode with him (John 14:20, 21, 23). Such as these are in enlightenment when they read the Word; and with such the Word is both luminous and translucent. With such the Word is both luminous and translucent because a spiritual sense and a celestial sense are contained in every particular of the Word, and these senses are in the light of heaven; and thus by means of these and the light of these the Lord inflows into the natural sense of the Word and into the light of that sense in man; and in consequence man acknowledges truth from an interior perception, and then sees it in his thought, and this as often as he is in an affection for truth for the sake of truth. For perception comes from affection, and thought from perception; and thus the acknowledgment, which is called faith, is produced.232.
The opposite occurs with those who from the doctrine of a false religion read the Word, and still more with those who confirm that doctrine by the Word, doing this with a view to their own glory and worldly possessions. With such the truths of the Word are as if in the dimness of night, and falsities are as if in the light of day. They read truths but see them not; and if they but see the shadow of them, they falsify them. These are they of whom the Lord says, That they have eyes and see not, and ears but do not understand (Matt. 13:14, 15). Consequently their light in respect to spiritual matters, which pertain to the church, is merely natural, and their mental vision like that of one who when he awakens in his bed sees phantoms, or like that of a sleepwalker, who thinks himself to be awake when he is asleep.233.
It has been granted me to talk with many after their death, who believed that they were to shine like stars in heaven, because, as they claimed, they had regarded the Word as holy, had often read it through, and had gathered from it many things by which they had confirmed the dogmas of their faith, and in consequence had become celebrated as learned men, for which reason they believed that they were to be Michaels and Raphaels. But many of them were examined in respect to the love from which they had studied the Word; and it was found that some of them had studied it from love of self, that they might be worshiped as leaders in the church, and some from love of the world, that they might gain riches; and when these had been examined in respect to their knowledge of the Word, it was found that they had learned from it nothing of genuine truth, but only such truth as may be called truth falsified, which in itself is putrid falsity, for in heaven it has a putrid odor. To these it was said that this was the case with them because self and the world had been their ends when they read the Word, and not the truth of faith and good of life. And when self and the world are ends, the mind in reading the Word sticks fast in self and the world, and in consequence their thought is always from what is their own; and man's own is in darkness respecting everything that pertains to heaven and the church; and in such a state it is impossible for man to be lifted up by the Lord and raised into the light of heaven, and therefore to receive any influx from the Lord through heaven. I also saw these persons admitted into heaven, and when found to be destitute of the truths they were cast down, and still their pride in their own merit remained with them. It was otherwise with those who had studied the Word from an affection for knowing the truth because it is truth, and because it subserves the uses of life, not only their own but also the uses of the neighbor; these I have seen raised up into heaven, and thus into the light in which Divine truth there is; and I have seen them exalted at the same time into angelic wisdom, and into its happiness in which the angels of heaven are.234.
VI. BY MEANS OF THE SENSE OF THE LETTER OF THE WORD THERE IS CONJUNCTION WITH THE LORD AND AFFILIATION WITH THE ANGELS. There is conjunction with the Lord by means of the Word because He is the Word, that is, the essential Divine truth and good therein. This conjunction is effected by means of the sense of the letter, because the Word in that sense is in its fullness, in its holiness, and in its power (as has been shown above in its own section). This conjunction is not apparent to man, but it exists in affection for truth and in the perception of truth. There is affiliation with the angels of heaven by means of the sense of the letter, because within that sense there is a spiritual and a celestial sense; and the angels are in these senses, the angels of the Lord's spiritual kingdom in the spiritual sense of the Word, and the angels of His celestial kingdom in its celestial sense. These two senses are evolved from the natural sense of the Word when it is read by a man who regards the Word as holy. The evolution is instantaneous; consequently the affiliation is also.235.
That the spiritual angels are in the spiritual sense of the Word, and the celestial angels in its celestial sense, has been made evident to me by much experience. It has been granted to me to perceive that when I read the Word in the sense of its letter a sharing with the heavens was effected, now with this society there and now with that; and the things that 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 instantly. Having perceived this sharing some thousands of times, I have not the least doubt about it remaining. Moreover, there are spirits who are below the heavens, who abuse this sharing by reciting certain passages from the sense of the letter of the Word, and immediately observing and noting the society with which the sharing is effected. This, too, I have often seen and heard. In this way it has been given me to know by a living experience, that the Word in the sense of its letter is the Divine medium of conjunction with the Lord and affiliation with the angels of heaven.236.
But how from the natural sense the spiritual angels perceive their sense, and the celestial angels theirs, when man is reading the Word, shall be illustrated by examples. Let four of the commandments of the Decalogue serve as examples. The Fifth Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill" - By this man understands not only killing but also cherishing hatred and longing for revenge even to murder. A spiritual angel understands "killing" to mean acting the devil and murdering a man's soul; while a celestial angel understands "killing" to mean hating the Lord and the Word.  The Sixth Commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery": Man understands "committing adultery" to mean whoredom, obscene actions, lascivious conversation, and filthy thoughts. A spiritual angel understands "committing adultery" to mean adulterating the goods of the Word, and falsifying its truths; while a celestial angel understands "committing adultery" to mean denying the Divine of the Lord and profaning the Word.  The Seventh Commandment, "Thou shalt not steal": Man understands "stealing" to mean stealing, defrauding, and depriving the neighbor of his goods by any pretext. A spiritual angel understands "stealing" to mean depriving others of their truths and goods of faith by means of evils and falsities; while a celestial angel understands "stealing" to mean attributing to oneself what belongs to the Lord, and claiming for oneself the Lord's righteousness and merit.  The Eighth Commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness" - Man understands "bearing false witness" to mean lying and defaming anyone; a spiritual angel understands "bearing false witness" to mean saying and persuading that falsity is truth and evil is good, and the converse; while a celestial angel understands "bearing false witness" to mean blaspheming the Lord and the Word.  These examples show how what is spiritual and celestial is evolved and drawn forth from the natural sense of the Word, within which they are. And what is wonderful, the angels draw forth what belongs to them without knowing what the man is thinking; and yet the thoughts of angels and men make one by correspondences, like end, cause, and effect. Moreover, ends actually reside in the celestial kingdom, causes in the spiritual kingdom, and effects in the natural kingdom. From this comes the affiliation of men with angels by means of the Word.237.
A spiritual angel draws out and calls forth from the sense of the letter of the Word what is spiritual, and a celestial angel what is celestial, because these meanings are in accord with the nature of the angel and are homogeneous therewith. The truth of this can be illustrated by like things in the three kingdoms of nature, the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral. In the Animal Kingdom: From the food, when it has become chyle, the blood-vessels draw out and call forth their blood, the nervous fibers their juice, and the substances which are the origins of fibers, their spirit. In the Vegetable Kingdom: A tree with its trunk, branches, leaves, and fruit stands on its root, and out of the soil by means of its root it draws out and calls forth a grosser juice for the trunk, branches, and leaves, a purer for the pulp of the fruit, and the purest for the seeds within the fruit. In the Mineral Kingdom: In certain places in the bosom of the earth there are veins impregnated with gold, silver, copper, and iron; from the exhalations and effluvia out of the rocks, the gold, the silver, the copper, and the iron draw each its own element, the watery element conveying these round about.238.
The Word in the letter is like a casket, where precious stones, pearls, and diadems lie in order. The thoughts of a man's mind, who regards the Word as holy, and who reads it for the sake of the uses of life, may be compared to one holding such a casket in his hand, and throwing it toward heaven; and the casket opening in its ascent, the precious things in it are disclosed to the angels, who are deeply delighted in seeing and examining them. This delight of the angels is communicated to the man, and effects an affiliation and a sharing of perceptions. For the sake of this affiliation with angels, and at the same time conjunction with the Lord, the Holy Supper was instituted, the bread of which in heaven becomes Divine good, and the wine Divine truth, each from the Lord. Such correspondence exists by creation, to the end that the angelic heaven may make one with the church on earth, and in general the spiritual world may make one with the natural world, and the Lord may conjoin Himself with both at once.239.
The affiliation of man with angels is effected by the natural or literal sense of the Word for the further reason that in every man by creation there are three degrees of life, a celestial, a spiritual, and a natural; but so long as man is in the world he is in the natural degree; yet at the same time he is also in the angelic spiritual degree so far as he is in genuine truths, and he is in the celestial degree so far as he is in a life according to those truths. Nevertheless he does not enter the spiritual and celestial itself until after death, because these two are enclosed and stored up within his natural ideas; so when the natural passes away by death, the spiritual and celestial remain, and from these the ideas of his thoughts then come. All this makes clear that in the Word alone there is spirit and life, as the Lord says: The words that I speak unto you, are spirit and are life (John 6:63); The water that I shall give you shall become a fountain of water springing up unto eternal life (John 4:14); Man liveth not by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4); Work for that meat which abideth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you (John 6:27).240.
VII. THE WORD IS IN ALL THE HEAVENS AND ANGELIC WISDOM IS FROM IT. It has not been known heretofore that the Word exists in the heavens, nor could it be made known so long as it was unknown in the church that angels and spirits are men in face and body wholly like men in our world; and that the things about them are in all respects like those about men, with the sole difference that the angels are spiritual, and that all things about them are from a spiritual origin, while men in the world are natural, and all things about them are from a natural origin. So long as this remained unknown it could not be known that there is a Word also in the heavens, and that it is read by the angels there; and also by the spirits who are below the heavens. But that this might not remain for ever unknown, it has been granted me to associate with angels and spirits, to talk with them, to see the things about them, and afterwards relate many things that I saw and heard, which has been done in a work on Heaven and Hell (London, 1758). It can be seen from that work that angels and spirits are men, and that there are with them in abundance all things that men have with them in the world. (That angels and spirits are men see that work, n. 73-77, and n. 453-456; that the things about them are like the things about men in the world, n. 170-190; moreover, that they have among them Divine worship and preaching in churches, n. 221-227; that they have writings and books, n. 258-264; and the Sacred Scripture or the Word, n. 259.)241.
In respect to the Word in heaven, it is written in a spiritual style, which is wholly different from the natural style. This spiritual style consists of mere letters, each one of which involves some meaning; and there are lines, turns, and dots over and between the letters, and in them, which heighten the meaning. With the angels of the spiritual kingdom the letters are similar to those used in print in our world; among the angels of the celestial kingdom they are with some like the Arabic letters, and with some like the ancient Hebrew letters, but curved above and below, with marks over, between, and within them; with every particular of these also involving a complete sense.  Such being the nature of their writing, with them the names of persons and places in the Word are expressed by signs, whereby the wise are enabled to understand the spiritual and celestial significance of each name, as by "Moses" the Word of God written through him, and in general the historic Word is meant; by "Elias" the prophetic Word; by "Abraham," "Isaac," and "Jacob," the Lord in respect to the celestial Divine, the spiritual Divine, and the natural Divine; by "Aaron" the Lord's priesthood; by "David" His royalty; by the names of Jacob's sons, or the twelve tribes of Israel, the various constituents of heaven and the church, and like things by the names of the Lord's twelve disciples; by "Zion" and "Jerusalem," the church in respect to doctrine from the Word; by "the land of Canaan," the church itself; by places and cities there on either side of Jordan, various things pertaining to the church and its doctrine. It is the same with numbers; in the copies of the Word in heaven these are not found; but instead of them the things to which the numbers correspond. From all this it can be seen that the Word in heaven is in its literal sense similar to our Word, and at the same time corresponds to it; and that they are therefore one.  It is a wonderful fact that the Word in the heavens is so written that the simple understand it simply, and the wise wisely; for the letters have over them many turns and markings, which, as before said, heighten the meaning; and to these the simple pay no attention and know nothing about them; but the wise give attention to them, each according to his own wisdom, even to the highest. A copy of the Word written by angels who are inspired by the Lord is kept by every larger society in its sacred repository, that the Word may not be changed elsewhere in the least point. The Word in our world is similar to the Word in heaven in this respect, that here, too, the simple understand it simply, and the wise wisely; but this takes place in a different way.242.
That the angels gain all their wisdom through the Word they themselves confess; for so far as they are in the understanding of the Word, so far they are in light. The light of heaven is the Divine wisdom, and this to angelic eyes is light. In the sacred repository where a copy of the Word is kept, the light is flame-like and brilliant, surpassing every degree of light in heaven outside of that repository. The wisdom of the celestial angels surpasses the wisdom of the spiritual angels almost as much as the wisdom of the latter surpasses that of men; and this because the celestial angels are in good of love from the Lord, and the spiritual angels are in truths of wisdom from the Lord; and where the good of love is there wisdom abides also; but where truths are, only so much of wisdom abides as there is also good of love. This is the reason why the Word in the Lord's celestial kingdom is written differently from the Word in His spiritual kingdom; for in the Word of the celestial kingdom goods of love are expressed, and the marks are affections of the love; while in the Word of the spiritual kingdom truths of wisdom are expressed, and the marks are interior perceptions of truth. From all this one may conclude what kind of wisdom lies concealed in the Word which is in the world; for in it all angelic wisdom, which is ineffable, is concealed; and the man, who from the Lord through the Word becomes an angel, enters into that wisdom after death.243.
VIII. THE CHURCH IS FROM THE WORD, AND WITH MAN IT IS SUCH AS HIS UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORD IS. That the church is from the Word no one can doubt, since it has been shown above, that the Word is Divine truth (n. 189-192); that the doctrine of the church is from the Word (n. 225-233); and that by means of the Word there is conjunction with the Lord (n. 234-239). But that the understanding of the Word constitutes the church, may be called in question; for there are those who believe themselves to be of the church by virtue of their having the Word and reading it, or hearing preaching from it, and knowing something of the sense of its letter. But how this or that in the Word is to be understood they do not know; and some do not regard it as of much importance. Therefore it shall now be established that it is not the Word that constitutes the church, but the understanding of it, and that the church is such as is the understanding of the Word with those who are in the church.244.
The church is in accordance with the understanding of the Word because it is in accordance with the truths of faith and the goods of charity, and these two are the universals which not only pervade the whole literal sense of the Word, but are also concealed within it like the precious things in a treasury. The things in the literal sense of the Word are apparent to every man because they present themselves directly to the eye; but the things that lie hidden in the spiritual sense are apparent only to those who love truths because they are truths, and do goods because they are goods. To them the treasure that the literal sense covers and guards lies open. These goods and truths are the essential constituents of the church.245.
It is known that the church is in accordance with its doctrine, and that doctrine is from the Word; nevertheless it is not doctrine but soundness and purity of doctrine, consequently the understanding of the Word, that establishes the church. Neither is it doctrine, but a faith and life in accordance with doctrine, that establishes and constitutes the special church in the individual man. So too it is not the Word that establishes and constitutes the church in particular in man, but a faith according to the truths, and a life according to the goods, which man derives from the Word, and applies to himself. The Word is like a mine containing in its depths gold and silver in great abundance, and like a mine which at greater and greater depths conceals stones more and more precious; these mines are opened in the measure of man's understanding of the Word. The Word such as it is in itself, in its bosom, and in its depth, when not understood, would no more form a church in man than mines in Asia would make a European rich; although it would be otherwise if he were one of the owners and workers of the mine. The Word with those who search in it for truths of faith and goods of life, is like the treasuries of the king of Persia, or of the emperor of the Moguls or of China, and men of the church are like officers placed over them, who are permitted to take for their use as much as they please. But those who merely have possession of the Word and read it, but do not try to get from it genuine truths for their faith or genuine goods for their life, are like those who know by hearsay that there are such great treasures there, but do not receive a penny from them. Those who have the Word, but do not gain from it any understanding of genuine truth, or any will for genuine good, are like those who think themselves rich for having money borrowed from others, or like those who hold estates, houses, and merchandise belonging to others. This, as everyone can see, is mere hallucination. They are also like those who go about magnificently clothed, and are driven about in gilded carriages, with attendants behind and beside them, and couriers ahead, and yet none of this is their own property.246.
Such was the Jewish nation; and therefore, because it had the Word, it was likened by the Lord to a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day, and yet did not gain enough truth and good from the Word to have pity upon poor Lazarus, who lay at his door full of sores. Not only did that nation appropriate no truths from the Word, it drew from it falsities in such abundance, that finally not a single truth could be seen by them; for through falsities truths are not merely covered, they are even obliterated and cast out. For this reason the Jews did not acknowledge the Messiah, although all the prophets had foretold His coming.247.
In many places in the prophets the church with the Israelitish and Jewish nation is described as wholly destroyed and reduced to nothing by their having falsified the meaning or understanding of the Word; for nothing else destroys a church. The understanding of the Word both true and false is described in the Prophets by "Ephraim," especially in Hosea; for in the Word "Ephraim" signifies the understanding of the Word in the church. As the understanding of the Word constitutes the church, Ephraim is called: A dear son and a pleasant child (Jer. 31:20); The firstborn (Jer. 31:9); The strength of the head of Jehovah (Ps. 60:7; 108:8); Mighty (Zech. 10:7); Filled with a bow (Zech. 9:13); and the sons of Ephraim are said to be, Armed and shooters with the bow (Ps. 78:9); for a bow signifies doctrine from the Word fighting against falsities. Therefore also, Ephraim was transferred to Israel's right hand, and blessed; and was accepted in the place of Reuben (Gen. 48:5, 11 seq.); and therefore, Ephraim, with his brother Manasseh, in the blessing of the sons of Israel by Moses, under the name of their father Joseph, was exalted above them all (Deut. 33:13-17).  But what the church is when the understanding of the Word is destroyed, is also depicted in the Prophets by "Ephraim," especially in Hosea, as in the following passages: Israel and Ephraim shall fall; Ephraim shall become a desolation; Ephraim is oppressed and crushed of judgment (Hos. 5:5, 9, 11-14). O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? for your mercy is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away (Hos. 6:4). They shall not dwell in the land of Jehovah; but Ephraim shall return into Egypt, and shall eat what is unclean in Assyria (Hos. 9:3). "The land of Jehovah" is the church; "Egypt" is the knowing faculty of the natural man; "Assyria" is reasoning therefrom; and these two together falsify the interior understanding of the Word; therefore it is said that "Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and shall eat what is unclean in Assyria."  Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind; he daily multiplieth lies and destruction; they make a covenant with Assyria and oil is carried into Egypt (Hos. 12:1). "To feed upon the wind," "to follow after the east wind," and "to multiply lies and destruction," is to falsify truths and thus destroy the church. "Ephraim's whoredom" has a like signification, since "whoredom" signifies falsification of the understanding of the Word, that is, of its genuine truth; as in the following: I have known Ephraim; that he hath surely committed whoredom, and Israel is defiled (Hos. 5:3). I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel; there Ephraim hath committed whoredom and Israel hath become defiled (Hos. 6:10). Israel is the church itself, and Ephraim is the understanding of the Word, from which and according to which is the church; therefore it is said "Ephraim hath committed whoredom, and Israel is defiled."  As the church with the Israelitish and Jewish nation became wholly destroyed by falsifications of the Word, it is said of Ephraim: I must give thee up, Ephraim. I must deliver thee, Israel. I must make thee as Admah. I must set thee as Zeboim (Hos. 11:8). Since then the prophet Hosea, from the first chapter to the last, treats of the falsification of the genuine understanding of the Word, and the destruction of the church thereby; and since "whoredom" signifies falsification of truth therein; that prophet was commanded to represent this state of the church by, Taking a harlot to himself for a wife, and begetting children by her (Hos. 1), and again by, Taking a woman who was an adulteress (Hos. 3). These passages are presented in order to show and prove from the Word, that the church is such as is the understanding of the Word in it; excellent and precious if the understanding of it is from genuine truths out of the Word; but destroyed and even filthy if from truths falsified.248.
IX. IN EVERY PARTICULAR OF THE WORD THERE IS A MARRIAGE OF THE LORD AND THE CHURCH, AND IN CONSEQUENCE A MARRIAGE OF GOOD AND TRUTH. That in every particular of the Word there is a marriage of the Lord and the church, and in consequence a marriage of good and truth, has not been seen heretofore; nor could it be seen because the spiritual sense of the Word has not been disclosed until now, and through that only can this marriage be seen. For there are two senses in the Word, concealed within the sense of its letter, which are called the spiritual sense and the celestial sense. These interior contents of the Word have relation in the spiritual sense chiefly to the church, and in the celestial sense chiefly to the Lord. Again these contents have relation in the spiritual sense to Divine truth, and in the celestial sense to Divine good. From this there is in the Word such a marriage. But this is manifest only to those who from the spiritual and celestial senses of the Word know the significations of the words and names; for some words and names are predicated of good, and some of truth, and some include both; therefore without a knowledge of their significance, that marriage in the particulars of the Word cannot be seen. This is why this arcanum has not been disclosed until now. Because there is such a marriage in every particular of the Word, there are very often two expressions in it that appear like repetitions of the same thing; and yet they are not repetitions, but one of them has relation to good and the other to truth; and the two taken together constitute their conjunction, and thus one thing. From this also is the Divine holiness of the Word; for in every Divine work there is good conjoined with truth, and truth conjoined with good.249.
There is said to be a marriage of the Lord and the church, and in consequence of good and truth, in every particular of the Word, because where there is a marriage of the Lord and the church there is also a marriage of good and truth, since the latter is from the former. For when the church, that is, the man of the church, is in truths, the Lord flows into his truths with good, and makes them alive; or what is the same thing, when the man of the church is in the understanding of truth the Lord flows into his understanding through the good of charity, and thus pours life into it. In every man there are two faculties of life called the understanding and will. The understanding is the receptacle of truth and thus of wisdom, and the will is the receptacle of good and thus of charity. That man may be a man of the church these two faculties must make one; and they make one when man forms his understanding out of genuine truths, which in appearance is done as if by himself, and when his will is filled with the good of love, which is done by the Lord. In consequence of this, man has both a life of truth and a life of good, a life of truth in his understanding, and a life of good in his will, and when these are made one they constitute one life and not two. This is the marriage of the Lord and the church, and also the marriage of good and truth in man.250.
Readers of the Word who pay attention to it can see that there are dual expressions in the Word that seem like repetitions of the same thing; as for example, brother and companion, poor and needy, waste and wilderness, void and emptiness, foe and enemy, sin and iniquity, anger and wrath, nation and people, joy and gladness, mourning and weeping, justice and judgment, and so on; which expressions seem to be synonymous, and yet they are not; for brother, poor, waste, void, foe, sin, anger, nation, joy, mourning, and justice, are predicated of good, and in the opposite sense of evil; while companion, needy, wilderness, emptiness, enemy, iniquity, wrath, people, gladness, weeping, and judgment, are predicated of truth, and in the opposite sense of falsity. Nevertheless to a reader who is ignorant of this arcanum, poor and needy, waste and wilderness, void and emptiness, and so forth, seem to be one, and yet they are not one, but they become one by conjunction. Many other things in the Word are joined together, as fire and flame, gold and silver, brass and iron, wood and stone, bread and water, bread and wine, purple and fine linen, and so on; because fire, gold, brass, wood, bread, and purple, are predicated of good; while flame, silver, iron, stone, water, wine, and fine linen, are predicated of truth. Likewise it is said that man should love God "with his whole heart, and his whole soul;" also that God will create in man "a new heart and a new spirit;" because "heart" is predicated of good of love, and "soul" and "spirit" of the truths of faith There are also words which, because they involve in their meaning both good and truth, are used alone, no others being joined with them. But these and many other things are manifest only to the angels, and to those who are in the spiritual sense as well as in the natural sense.