262. Of the literal or external sense of the Word.
The sense of the letter of the Word is according to appearances in the world (n. 589, 926, 1408, 2719, 2720, 1832, 1874, 2242, 2520, 2533). And is adapted to the capacity of the simple (n. 2533, 9048, 9063, 9086). The Word in its literal sense is natural (n. 8783). Because what is natural is the ultimate wherein spiritual and celestial things terminate, and upon which they rest like a house upon its foundation; and otherwise the internal sense of the Word without the external, would be like a house without a foundation (n. 9360, 9430, 9433, 9824, 10044, 10436). The Word is the containant of a spiritual and celestial sense, because it is of such a quality (n. 9407). And that it is holy and Divine in the sense of the letter as to each and all things therein, even to every iota, because it is of such a quality (n. 639, 680, 1869, 1870, 9198, 10321, 10637). The laws enacted for the sons of Israel, are yet the Holy Word, notwithstanding their abrogation, on account of the internal sense which they contain (n. 9211, 9259, 9349). Of the laws, judgments and statutes, for the Israelitish and Jewish church, which was a representative church, there are some which are still in force, both in their external and internal sense; some which ought to be strictly observed in their external sense; some which may be of use, if people are disposed to observe them, and some which are altogether abrogated (n. 9349). The Word is Divine, even as to those which are abrogated (n. 10637).
The quality of the Word as to the sense of the letter, if not understood at the same time as to the internal sense, or what is the same thing, according to true doctrine from the Word (n. 10402). Innumerable heresies arise from the sense of the letter without the internal sense, or without true doctrine from the Word (n. 10400). They who are in an external without an internal cannot endure the interior things of the Word (n. 10694). The Jews were of such a quality, and they are also such at this day (n. 301-303, 3479, 4429, 4433, 4680, 4844, 4847, 10396, 10401, 10407, 10694, 10701, 10707).