1. The mode of [the people in] the earliest church.
Their method of expressing themselves involved thought of the spiritual and heavenly things represented by the earthly, mundane objects they mentioned. Not only did they express themselves in words representing higher things, they also spun those words into a kind of narrative thread to lend them greater life. This practice gave the earliest people the fullest pleasure possible.
This early manner of writing is meant in Hannah’s prophecy:
“Speak deeply, deeply; let what is ancient come out of your mouth” (1 Samuel 2:3).
David calls those representative signs
“enigmas from ancient times” (Psalms 78:2, 3, 4)
Moses received the present accounts of creation and the Garden of Eden, extending up to the time of Abram, from the descendants of the earliest church.
2. The narrative mode.
This mode is used in the books of Moses from Abram’s story on, and in Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. The historical events in these books are exactly what they appear to be in the literal sense, but as a whole and in detail they still contain an entirely different meaning on the inner plane. What follows will, with the Lord’s divine mercy, explain that meaning in order.
3. The prophetic mode.
The inspiration for this was the mode used by the earliest church, a manner of writing [the authors] revered. But the prophetic mode lacks the cohesiveness and semi-historical quality of the earliest church’s mode. It is choppy, and almost completely unintelligible except on the inner level, which holds profound secrets forming a well-connected chain of ideas. They deal with our outer and inner beings, the many stages of the church, heaven itself, and—at the very core—the Lord.
4. David’s Psalms.
This mode is midway between the prophetic mode and people’s usual way of speaking. The inner meaning speaks of the Lord under the character of David when he was king.
from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, section 66