Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 605

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605. THE INTERNAL SENSE The subject now is the formation of a new Church which is called Noah. The formation of it is described by the ark into which living creatures of every kind were admitted. But before that new Church could come into existence, the member of the Church, as is normal, had inevitably to undergo many temptations, which are described by this ark's being lifted up, carried along, and coming to a stop, on the waters of the flood. At length this member of the Church became a true spiritual man, one who had been set free, which is meant by the waters subsiding, and further details that follow. Nobody who keeps merely to the sense of the letter is able to see this, the chief reason being here that all those details are linked together as a tale of history, and give the idea of historical events. But the style belonging to that period - a style that gave them the greatest pleasure - was such that everything was embodied in allegory and woven together as a historical tale. And the better everything held together as an undivided tale the more it appealed to those people. For in those early times people were not so much inclined towards the things known today but to profounder thoughts whose offspring were the kind of things mentioned here. This was what constituted the wisdom of men of old.

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