Bible, and Torah


[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Bible, and Torah" (search under Outer Life/Doctrine, Rites, Scriptures)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.4": detail "Section 5602 - 5606"
They [in the afterlife] have books there written just as in the world, and the writing in them is the same as in the world — Latin, Hebrew, and Far Eastern. I have often seen books, and also sheets of paper, sent to me from heaven written from top to bottom. I read them just as in the world, but where this writing came from will be said in another place. Everything that people have written remains in their inward memory and is also read before them like a Book.
 But they have the whole Word [Bible] from beginning to end written in this manner, so everyone can read it. The preachers there preach on it, and the rest read it just as in the world. They have songs and sing selections from them just as in the world. The spiritual angels are greatly delighted by songs.
 However, they have the Word written in spiritual language. They have the Word with a double wisdom: the spiritual angels have a meaning intermediate between the inner and the outer meaning; the more inwardly spiritual have it entirely according to the inner meaning; and the heavenly angels according to the innermost meaning. In their Word there are no names or numbers, but in place of them realities. Those who desire to be intelligent and wise can be instructed from the Word about the details. In place of the story of creation, it treats there of the new creation of a human being.
 They have the Word of the ancient Church, which Moses mentioned, calling it "the wars of Jehovah" [Num. 21:14], and the prophetical enunciations—about which he also speaks. They said that this Word has been written so that they can be instructed in the details. It was also inspired, but because it ceased to be suitable to subsequent people another Word was written. The nature of this Word is evident from the first Books of Genesis, which are taken from it.
 There are four kinds of people there just as in the world.
 1) Those who give their attention to the uses in the Word, and certainly see other things but do not give attention to them. They serve as a plane for reception. It is read in this way by heavenly angels.
 2) There are those who draw the doctrinal points of the Word from it. Spiritual angels understand the Word in this way.
 3) There are those who are delighted only by its holy outward aspect without understanding it. These are those who are in the lowest heaven.
 4) And there are those who merely give attention to its literal meaning, and these are those who give attention only to the words there, like the critics and those who write about various things. The former are on the threshold to heaven, the latter are in its very remotest parts.