The Bible


Matthew 2:2



2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

From Swedenborg's Works


True Christian Religion #84

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84. There are many reasons, as will be revealed in due course in the following pages, why God could not redeem mankind, that is, rescue people from hell and damnation, except by taking upon Himself human form. For redemption was the conquest of the hells and the ordering of the heavens, followed by the establishment of a church. This is something that God in His omnipotence could not do except through the Human, just as no one can work unless he has an arm; His Human is actually called in the Word 'Jehovah's arm' (Isaiah 40:10; 53:1). Or just as no one can attack a fortified city and destroy the shrines of idols it contains, unless he has adequate means at his disposal. It is plain too from the Word that in this Divine task God's omnipotence was exercised through His Human. For God, who dwells in the inmost and thus purest parts, can in no other way penetrate to the outermost, in which the hells are, and so too were the people of that time; as, for comparison, the soul can do nothing without the body. Or as someone cannot defeat an enemy without coming in sight of them, or approaching and meeting them with some sort of weapons, such as pikes, shields or muskets. To effect redemption without the Human was as impossible for God as it is for a man to conquer the Indies without ferrying an army there in ships; or as making trees grow solely by supplying heat and light, without creating air to be the medium of their transmission or soil out of which they can grow. Even better, it is as impossible as casting nets in the air to catch fish there, instead of in water. For Jehovah, such as He is in Himself, cannot by His omnipotence lay a finger upon any devil in hell, or any devil on earth, and restrain him and his fury, or tame his violence, unless He is present in last things as He is in first things. He is present in last things in His Human, which is why He is called in the Word the First and the Last, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.