Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1783

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As stated already, the narratives contained here draw on true history; that is to say, Jehovah did in fact speak to Abram as described; the land of Canaan was promised to him as an inheritance; he was in fact commanded as described to arrange a heifer, she-goat, ram, turtle dove and fledgling; birds of prey came down on the carcasses; a deep sleep came over him, and in that sleep a horror of darkness; and when the sun had set he did in fact see what looked like a smoking furnace with a flaming torch passing between the parts; besides all the other details mentioned. These events are historically true, but even so every single one, down to the smallest event that took place, is representative; and the actual words used to describe those events, down to the smallest part of a letter, carry a spiritual meaning, that is, every single detail has an internal sense within it. For every single detail in the Word is inspired, and being inspired cannot derive from other than a heavenly origin; that is, celestial and spiritual things lie concealed in its inner recesses. If this were not so it could not possibly be the Word of the Lord.

[2] These are the things which the internal sense contains. When this sense lies open to view the sense of the letter passes out of sight, as though it did not exist, as also conversely when attention is paid solely to the historical sense, or sense of the letter, the internal sense passes out of sight, as though it did not exist. The relationship of the two senses is like that of heavenly light to the light of the world, and conversely like that of the light of the world to heavenly light. When heavenly light is seen, the light of the world is like thick darkness, as I have been made to know from experience. But when anyone is in the light of the world, heavenly light, if it is seen, would be like thick darkness. It is similar with human minds: to the person who limits everything to human wisdom, or worldly knowledge, heavenly wisdom is seen as something obscure and blank; but to one who possesses heavenly wisdom, human wisdom is like something totally obscure which, unless it had heavenly rays of light within it, would be as thick darkness.

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