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Arcana Caelestia, or Heavenly Secrets as some call it, is the first and longest of Emanuel Swedenborg's works, consists of eight Latin volumes, or twelve in the current English translation.

It expounds clause by clause the spiritual or internal sense of the whole of Genesis and Exodus, a heavenly sense which exists within the literal sense as the soul within the body, according to a Divine creative law, called the law of correspondences. Numerous passages are cited from all parts of Scripture in confirmation, their spiritual meaning being given. Also the doctrines contained in the internal sense are authoritatively explained and illustrated. Interspersed with the expository material are descriptions of what Swedenborg heard and saw in the spiritual world. These form a continuous series in themselves and serve as a basis for several of his later works.


Here is an extract from the first volume of Arcana Caelestia as Swedenborg starts to expound the meaning of the first verse of the Bible:

In the beginning God created heaven and earth.

The most ancient times of all are called 'the beginning', and are throughout the Prophets referred to as 'days of antiquity' and also 'days of eternity'. 'The beginning' also embodies within it that first Period when a person is being regenerated, for at that time he is being born anew and receiving life. Regeneration itself is therefore called a new creation of man. Almost everywhere in the prophetical sections 'to create', 'to form', and 'to make' mean to regenerate ...