259. The internal sense of the Word is principally for the use of angels, and it is also for the use of men.
In order that it may be known what the internal sense is, of what quality it is, and whence it is, it may here be observed in general, that they speak and think in heaven differently from the way they do in the world; in heaven spiritually, but in the world naturally; therefore when man reads the Word, the angels who are with him perceive it spiritually, whilst he perceives it naturally; consequently, the angels are in the internal sense, whilst men are in the external sense; nevertheless these two senses make one by correspondence.
The Word is understood differently by the angels in the heavens and by men on earth, the angels perceiving the internal or spiritual sense, but men the external or natural sense (n. 1887, 2395). The angels perceive the Word in its internal sense, and not in its external sense, proved from the experience of those who spoke with me from heaven, whilst I was reading the Word (n. 1769-1772). The ideas and speech of the angels are spiritual, but the ideas and speech of men are natural; therefore there is an internal sense, which is spiritual, for the use of the angels, illustrated by experience (n. 2333). Nevertheless the sense of the letter of the Word serves the spiritual ideas of the angels as a means of conveyance, just as the words of speech serve men to convey the sense of the subject (n. 2143). The things relating to the internal sense of the Word, fall into such things as belong to the light of heaven, thus into the perception of angels (n. 2618, 2619, 2629, 3086). The things which the angels perceive from the Word are on this account precious to them (n. 2540, 2541, 2545, 2551). The angels do not understand a single syllable of the sense of the letter of the Word (n. 64, 65, 1434, 1929). They do not know the names of persons and places mentioned in the Word (n. 1434, 1888, 4442, 4480). Names cannot enter heaven, nor be pronounced there (n. 1876, 1888).
All names mentioned in the Word signify things, and in heaven are changed into the ideas of the thing (n. 768, 1888, 4310, 4442, 5225, 5287, 10329). The angels think abstractly from persons (n. 6613, 8343, 8985, 9007). How elegant the internal sense of the Word is, even where nothing but mere names occur, shown by examples from the Word (n. 1224, 1888, 2395). Many names in a series express one thing in the internal sense (n. 5095). All numbers in the Word signify things (n. 482, 487, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988, 2075, 2252, 3252, 4264, 6175, 9488, 9659, 10217, 10253). Spirits also perceive the Word in its internal sense, so far as their interiors are open into heaven (n. 1771). The sense of the letter of the Word, which is natural, is changed instantly with the angels into the spiritual sense, because there is a correspondence (n. 5648). And this is effected without their hearing or knowing what is contained in the literal or external sense (n. 10215). Thus the literal or external sense is only with man, and proceeds no further (n. 2015).
There is an internal sense of the Word, and likewise an inmost or supreme sense, concerning which see (n. 9407, 10604, 10614, 10627). The spiritual angels, that is, those who belong to the spiritual kingdom of the Lord, perceive the Word in its internal sense, and the celestial angels, that is, those who belong to the celestial kingdom of the Lord, perceive the Word in its inmost sense (n. 2157, 2275).
The Word is for men, and also for angels, being accommodated to each (n. 7381, 8862, 10322). The Word is the means of uniting heaven and earth (n. 2310, 2495, 9212, 9216, 9357). The conjunction of heaven with man is effected by means of the Word (n. 9396, 9400, 9401, 10452). Therefore the Word is called "a covenant" (n. 9396). Because "covenant" signifies conjunction (n. 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021, 6804, 8767, 8778, 9396, 10632).
There is an internal sense in the Word, because the Word has descended from the Lord through the three heavens to man (n. 2310, 6597). And thereby it is accommodated to the angels of the three heavens, and also to men (n. 7381, 8862). Hence it is that the Word is Divine (n. 2989, 4989); and is holy (n. 10276); and is spiritual (n. 4480); and is divinely inspired (n. 9094). This is the meaning of inspiration (n. 9094).
The regenerate man also, is actually in the internal sense of the Word, although he knows it not, since his internal man, which is endowed with spiritual perception, is open (n. 10400). But in this case the spiritual of the Word flows into natural ideas, and thus is presented naturally, because, while man lives in the world, he thinks in the natural (n. 5614). Hence the light of truth, with the enlightened, is from their internal, that is, through their internal from the Lord (n. 10691, 10694). By the same way holiness flows in with those who esteem the Word holy (n. 6789). As the regenerate man is actually in the internal sense of the Word, and in the sanctity of that sense, although he does not know it, therefore after death he comes into it, and is no longer in the sense of the letter (n. 3226, 3342, 3343).