Arcana Coelestia # 4279

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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4279. The explanations given so far to these two verses present what they contain in the highest sense and in the internal sense. But in the lower sense they have a different meaning. There the essential nature of Jacob and his future descendants is the subject. Because the Word originates in the Lord and comes down from Him by way of heaven to man its nature is therefore such that it is Divine in every detail. And as it has come down from the Lord so it goes up, that is, is raised up to Him, returning by way of the heavens. It is well known that there are three heavens, and that the inmost is termed the third heaven, that the middle one is called the second heaven, while the lowest is referred to as the first heaven. Consequently since it goes up by the same path as it comes down the Word as it exists in the Lord is Divine, celestial as it exists in the third heaven since that heaven is the celestial heaven, spiritual as it exists in the second heaven since that heaven is the spiritual heaven, but celestial-natural and spiritual-natural as it exists in the first heaven, which is also given the names celestial-natural and spiritual-natural. As it exists in the Church with man however, the Word in the sense of the letter is natural, that is, worldly and earthly.

[2] From this one may see the nature of the Word and what happens to it when a person reads it with a holy mind, that is, one in whom good and truth are present. For when he reads it, it is seen by him as something existing in this world or as a historical document, but which nevertheless is inwardly holy. But in the first heaven it is seen as something celestial-natural and spiritual-natural, which however is inwardly Divine. In the second heaven it is spiritual, and in the third celestial; and in the Lord it is Divine. The sense in the Word varies according to whatever heaven it may be. The highest sense of the Word, whose subject is the Lord, exists for the inmost or third heaven; the internal sense, whose subject is the Lord's kingdom, exists for the middle or second heaven; the lower sense, in which the internal sense is narrowed down to the nation referred to there, exists for the lower or first heaven. But the lowest or literal sense exists for man while he is still living in the world. Yet man's nature is such that the more interior sense, and also the internal and highest sense, can be communicated to him. For man has communication with the three heavens; indeed he is created on the pattern of the three heavens, so much so that when love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour constitute his life he is heaven in miniature. Consequently such a person has the Lord's kingdom within him, as the Lord Himself teaches in Luke,

Behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21.

[3] These things have been stated so that people may know that the Word contains not only a highest sense and an internal sense but also a lower sense, and that in this sense, that is to say, in the lower, the internal sense is narrowed down to the nation referred to there; and when this is done that sense is plain to see from the train of thought. At present it is self-evident that the man's wrestling with Jacob and the disjointing and displacing of his thigh also has reference to Jacob and his descendants. That being so, let these same words be explained according to that sense. In what follows below this sense will be termed the INTERNAL HISTORICAL SENSE. It will be called this for the added reason that it is quite usual for this sense to be represented from time to time in the first heaven as something animate and taking visible form, as also I have been allowed to see several times. See the explanation given already in the latter part of 4272.

(Odkazy: Genesis 32:25)

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Ze Swedenborgových prací

Odkazy z vydaných prací:

Arcana Coelestia 4286, 4288, 4306, 9139

Divine Love and Wisdom 377

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 48, 121, 303

Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.