(SS) - Teachings for the New Jerusalem on Sacred Scripture

SS 90

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90. As the subject here treated of is the Divinity and holiness of the Word, to what has already been said we may add something worthy of mention. A small piece of paper marked with Hebrew letters, but written as the ancients wrote them, was once sent me from heaven. In those times some of the letters that now are partly formed with straight lines were curved, and had little horns that turned upward. The angels who were then with me said that they themselves discerned complete meanings from the very letters, and that they knew them especially from the curvings of the lines and of the points of each letter. And they explained what the letters meant when taken each by itself and what when taken together; and said that the H that was added to the names of Abram and Sarai means what is infinite and eternal. They also explained in my presence from the letters or syllables alone the meaning of the Word in Psalm 32:2, showing that the sum of their meaning is that the Lord is merciful even to those who do evil.
[2] They informed me that the writing in the third heaven consists of curved letters that are bent in various ways, and that each letter possesses a complete meaning; that the vowels there indicate a sound that corresponds to the affection, and that in that heaven they cannot utter the vowels i and e, but instead of them y and eu, but that they do use the vowels a, o, and u, because they give a full sound.* Further: that they do not pronounce any consonants as hard, but soft, and that it is from this that certain Hebrew letters have a dot in the center as a sign that they are to be pronounced as [hard, and are without this dot when] soft; and they said that hardness in pronouncing the letters is in use in the spiritual heaven because there they are in truths, and truth admits of what is hard, but not good, in which are the angels of the celestial kingdom or third heaven. They also said that these angels possess the Word written with curved letters that have significant points and little horns. This shows what is meant by the words of the Lord:
One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled (Matt. 5:18);
It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail (Luke 16:17).
* These letters are to be pronounced as follows:
i as in machine
e like the a in baby
y like the German ü or the French ü
eu as in French, or like the German ö
a as in father
In Swedish, o and u are sounded as follows:
o either as oo in booth, or as o in note
u somewhat like the ew in hew
But the natural scale as set forth by Helmholtz and Donders would assign to o the sound of o in note, and to u the sound of oo in booth. [Translator]


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