167. If people realized how much was hidden in each verse, they would be dumbfounded. So much is hidden that it could never be told. This fact is scarcely visible in the letter.
To give some idea in a few words: In the world of spirits (since it is a representative world) the literal words, just as they are, are represented in a living way, arranged in beautiful display. Any live representation in that world is then perceived in all its finer detail by the angelic spirits in the second heaven. What the angelic spirits see is then perceived by the angels in the third heaven in great richness. 1 These angels see the represented text filled with angelic ideas for which there are no words, and by the Lord's good pleasure, they see it in all its boundless variety. Such is the nature of the Lord's Word.
1. Swedenborg says a little more about the three heavens in §§459, 684, 1642. Early in Secrets of Heaven he refers to them as the heaven of good spirits, the heaven of angelic spirits, and the heaven of angels (as late as §2026 he is referring to a heaven of angelic spirits as a separate thing from the heaven of angels), but later he tends simply to number them first, second, and third, and to describe the inhabitants of all of them, or at least of the second and third heavens, as angels. He devotes a chapter of his Heaven and Hell (§§29-40) to discussing this subject. The apostle Paul also speaks of a third heaven, in 2 Corinthians 12:2. [LHC]