Secrets of Heaven is a verse-by-verse exposition of Genesis and Exodus, showing the correspondences (connections through symbol between the material and spiritual world) in which, according to Swedenborg’s analysis, the Bible is written. Each chapter includes embedded sections describing Swedenborg’s spiritual experiences and expounding his theological views.

This book series is Swedenborg’s largest and in many ways most challenging title, but it contains abundant points of interest to reward the adventurous reader. In addition to a deep exploration of biblical inner meaning, it presents Swedenborg’s transcendent visions of heaven and correspondingly horrific views of hell; his reports on the process of dying and entering life after death; his spiritual anthropology (specifically, his descriptions of the spiritual state of the earliest people); and his views on many other topics, including the correspondences of the organs and systems of the human body, the theory of a higher and more perfect level of memory above our conscious memory, the existence and nature of human life on other planets, the dual nature of visions and dreams, and the nature of the human mind and its developmental stages.

Volume 1 covers Genesis 1–8, in which Swedenborg describes the inner meaning of the creation story, the fall of Adam and Eve, and Noah’s deliverance from the flood. He understands the days of creation as an image of the stages of human spiritual transformation; Adam and Eve as symbols for the earliest ancient “church,” a people who eventually fell away from God; and Noah as a symbol of the good individuals who were spared from the evil thinking that flooded human minds during that decline. Interspersed with Swedenborg’s explorations of these narratives are his accounts of stages in the transition to the afterlife. He also describes the nature of the soul after death and the joy experienced in heaven, before concluding with descriptions of hell.

About the Deluxe Edition

A Disclosure of Secrets of Heaven Contained in Sacred Scripture, or the Word of the Lord; Here First Those in Genesis, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels, volume 1, by Emanuel Swedenborg. Originally published by Swedenborg in London in 1749. Translated by Lisa Hyatt Cooper. This Deluxe volume includes a series editor’s preface by Jonathan S. Rose; a translator’s preface; a reader’s guide to Secrets of Heaven by William Ross Woofenden and Jonathan S. Rose; an introduction by Wouter J. Hanegraaff; an explanation of conventions used in the series, along with a list of works by Swedenborg referred to in the volume; the newly translated text of Swedenborg’s work; fifty-eight pages of endnotes by Reuben P. Bell, Lisa Hyatt Cooper, George F. Dole, Robert H. Kirven, James F. Lawrence, Grant H. Odhner, John L. Odhner, Jonathan S. Rose, Stuart Shotwell, Richard Smoley, and Lee S. Woofenden; a bibliography of works cited in the notes; an index to the preface, reader’s guide, introduction, and notes; an index to Secrets of Heaven volume 1; and a biographical note on Swedenborg. 2008.

About the Author

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a Swedish scientist, nobleman, and theologian who spent his life investigating the mysteries of the soul. Born in Stockholm to a staunchly Lutheran family, he graduated from the University of Uppsala and then traveled to England, Holland, France, and Germany to study the leading scientists of the time. He gained favor with Sweden’s King Charles XII, who gave him the position of overseer of the Swedish mining industry. Later, he was given a seat on the Swedish House of Nobles by Charles XII’s successor, Queen Ulrika Eleonora. Between 1743 and 1745 he began to have visions of heaven, hell, and Jesus Christ which resulted in a stream of books about the nature of God, the afterlife, and the inner meaning of the Bible. He devoted the last decades of his life to studying Scripture and presenting his own unique theology to the world.


Lisa Hyatt Cooper is translator of the fifteen-volume Secrets of Heaven for the Swedenborg Foundation’s New Century Edition of Swedenborg. Her past publications include a Latin edition of Swedenborg’s work Other Planets. She contributed translations to Debates with Devils by Donald L. Rose and was the main consultant for five of the twelve volumes of John Elliott’s translation of Arcana Caelestia, published by the Swedenborg Society in London. She currently lives in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania.


“With regard to Swedenborg’s Secrets of Heaven, there never was a time more pressing than now to understand that the internal spiritual meaning of the Christian Bible refers not to the special dispensation of one sect, but to the evolution of a higher spiritual consciousness within each individual.”

—Eugene Taylor, Ph.D., director of the Cambridge Institute of Psychology and Religion.

About the New Century Edition

The New Century Edition of the Works of Emanuel Swedenborg presents a modern-language, scholarly translation of Swedenborg’s theological works. The series’ easy-to-read style retains the dignity, variety, clarity, and gender-inclusive language of Swedenborg’s original Latin, bringing his thought to life. Introductions and annotations by eminent, international scholars place Swedenborg’s writings in their historical context and illuminate obscure references within the text, enabling readers to understand and trace Swedenborg’s influence as never before.

Learn more about the New Century Edition

New Century Edition Subscriptions

If you would like to receive each hardcover Deluxe volume as it comes out, you can become a New Century Edition subscriber.

All subscribers get 30% off the purchase price. Instead of $29.95 per volume, you will be billed $20.95, plus shipping.

If you become a member of the Swedenborg Foundation for $25, you will also receive an additional 20% discount on this and all other purchases of books published by the Swedenborg Foundation when you order from us. When ordered as part of a subscription, the New Century Edition volumes will then cost $14.95 each, plus shipping.

To enroll for a subscription, phone the Foundation at 610-430-3222, ext 100, or e-mail us at Include your name, address, city, state, zip, home phone, work phone, and e-mail address with your request. Please also let us know whether or not you wish to purchase any of the volumes that have already been published. You may subscribe for the full series or only for the remaining volumes that have not yet been published.

With a subscription, you will receive with our compliments the companion to the New Century Edition, sold separately for $29.95: Emanuel Swedenborg: Essays for the New Century Edition on His Life, Works, and ImpactYou may cancel your subscription at any time without penalty and keep the premium Essays volume as our gift.

Contents of the Deluxe Edition

Series Editor’s Preface, by Jonathan S. Rose
Translator’s Preface, by Lisa Hyatt Cooper
Works Cited in the Translator’s Preface
Selected List of Editions of Secrets of Heaven
A Reader’s Guide to Secrets of Heaven, by William Ross Woofenden and Jonathan S. Rose
Works Cited in the Reader’s Guide
Swedenborg’s Magnum Opus, by Wouter J. Hanegraaff
Works Cited in the Introduction
Short Titles and Other Conventions Used in This Work

Secrets of Heaven

[Author’s Table of Contents]

Genesis Chapter 1

§1–5 / [The Essential Nature of the Word]
Text of Genesis Chapter 1
§6–13 / Summary of Genesis 1
§14–63 / Inner Meaning of Genesis 1
§64–66 / [Content and Mode in the Word]

Genesis Chapter 2

§67–72 / [Secrets of the Other Life]
Text of Genesis Chapter 2:1–17
§73–80 / Summary of Genesis 2:1–17
§81–130 / Inner Meaning of Genesis 2:1–17
Text of Genesis Chapter 2:18–25
§131–136 / Summary of Genesis 2:18–25
§137–165 / Inner Meaning of Genesis 2:18–25
§166–167 / [Representations of Inner Meaning]
§168–181 / Our Resurrection from Death and Entry into Eternal Life

Genesis Chapter 3

§182–189 / Our Entry, Once Revived, into Eternal Life (Continued)
Text of Genesis Chapter 3:1–13
§190–193 / Summary of Genesis 3:1–13
§194–233 / Inner Meaning of Genesis 3:1–13
Text of Genesis Chapter 3:14–19
§234–240 / Summary of Genesis 3:14–19
§241–279 / Inner Meaning of Genesis 3:14–19
Text of Genesis Chapter 3:20–24
§280–285 / Summary of Genesis 3:20–24
§286–313 / Inner Meaning of Genesis 3:20–24
§314–319 / Our Entry into Eternal Life (Continued)

Genesis Chapter 4

§320–323 / What the Life of the Soul or Spirit Is Like
Text of Genesis Chapter 4
§324–336 / Summary of Genesis 4
§337–442 / Inner Meaning of Genesis 4
§443–448 / Several Examples from Spirits of Opinions They Adopted
during Their Physical Lives Concerning the Soul or Spirit

Genesis Chapter 5

§449–459 / Heaven and Heavenly Joy
Text of Genesis Chapter 5
§460–467 / Summary of Genesis 5
§468–536 / Inner Meaning of Genesis 5
§537–546 / Heaven and Heavenly Joy (Continued)

Genesis Chapter 6

§547–553 / Heaven and Heavenly Joy [Continued]
Text of Genesis Chapter 6:1–8
§554–559 / Summary of Genesis 6:1–8
§560–598 / Inner Meaning of Genesis 6:1–8
Text of Genesis Chapter 6:9–22
§599–604 / Summary of Genesis 6:9–22
§605–683 / Inner Meaning of Genesis 6:9–22
§684–691 / The Communities That Make Up Heaven

Genesis Chapter 7

§692–700 / Hell
Text of Genesis Chapter 7
§701–704 / Summary of Genesis 7
§705–813 / Inner Meaning of Genesis 7
§814–823 / The Hells (Continued): The Hells of Those Who Spent Their Lives in Hatred, Revenge, and Cruelty

Genesis Chapter 8

§824–831 / The Hells (Continued): The Hells of Those Who Spent Their Lives in Adultery and Lechery; in Addition, the Hells of Deceivers and Witches
Text of Genesis Chapter 8
§832–837 / Summary of Genesis 8
§838–937 / Inner Meaning of Genesis 8
§938–946 / The Hells (Continued): Misers’ Hells, the Foul Jerusalem and Outlaws in the Wilderness, and the Feces-Laden Hells of Those Who Have Pursued Sensual Pleasure Alone

Notes and Indexes

Works Cited in the Notes
Index to Prefaces, Reader’s Guide, Introduction, and Notes
Index to Secrets of Heaven, volume 1
Biographical Note

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