(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 4279

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4279. These things which have been unfolded thus far are thus to be understood in the supreme sense and in the internal sense; but it is otherwise in the lower sense in which the quality of Jacob and of his posterity is treated of. As the Word is from the Lord, and descends from Him through heaven to man, it is therefore such that it is Divine as to every particular; and as it has descended from the Lord, so it ascends, that is, is uplifted to Him, and this through the heavens. It is known that there are three heavens, and that the inmost heaven is called the third heaven, the middle heaven the second heaven, and the lowest the first heaven; and therefore when the Word ascends as it descends, in the Lord it is Divine; in the third heaven it is celestial (for this heaven is the celestial heaven); in the second heaven it is spiritual (for this heaven is the spiritual heaven); and in the first heaven it is celestial and spiritual natural, and the same heaven is also so termed. But in the church with man, the Word as regards the sense of its letter is natural, that is, worldly and earthly.
[2] From this it is manifest what the nature of the Word is, and how the case is with the Word when it is being read by a man who is in what is holy, that is, in good and truth. For it then appears to him as worldly, or as historical, within which there is nevertheless what is holy; but in the first heaven it appears as celestial and spiritual natural, within which there is nevertheless what is Divine; in the second heaven it is spiritual; in the third heaven it is celestial; and in the Lord it is Divine. The sense of the Word is circumstanced in accordance with the heavens; the supreme sense of the Word, in which the subject treated of is the Lord, is for the inmost or third heaven; its internal sense, in which the subject treated of is the Lord's kingdom, is for the middle or second heaven; but the lower sense of the Word, in which the internal sense is determined to the nation that is named, is for the lowest or first heaven; and the lowest or literal sense is for man while still living in the world, and who is nevertheless of such a nature that the interior sense, and even the internal and the supreme senses, can be communicated to him. For man has communication with the three heavens, because he is created after the image of the three heavens, even so that when he lives in love to the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor, he is a heaven in the least form. Hence it is that within man is the Lord's kingdom, as the Lord Himself teaches in Luke:
Behold, the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21).
[3] These things have been said in order that it may be known that in the Word there is not only the supreme sense, and the internal sense, but also a lower sense, and that in the lower sense the internal sense is determined to the nation there named; and when this is done, the sense manifestly appears from the series of things. That this wrestling of the man with Jacob, and the dislocation and displacement of his thigh, are predicated also of Jacob and his posterity, is manifest; and therefore I may unfold these same words according to this sense. This sense will be called in what follows the INTERNAL HISTORICAL SENSE, and this for the additional reason that it is wont to be occasionally represented to the life and in form in the first heaven, as also I have sometimes been permitted to see. (See the explication premised in the second paragraph of number 4272.)


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