Matthew 1:1-25

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Matthew 1

1The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

2Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;

3And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;

4And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;

5And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;

6And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;

7And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;

8And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;

9And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;

10And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;

11And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:

12And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;

13And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;

14And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;

15And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;

16And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

17So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

20But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

21And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

24Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

25And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

From the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.

Chapter I.

verse 1. The look of the generation, &c. – By generations and nativities, in the Word, are signified spiritual generations and nativities, all which in general have reference to good and truth, for nothing else is generated and born from the Lord as a husband, and from the Church as a wife. AR 543

Verses 18-25. Many at this day think of the Lord only as of an ordinary man, like themselves; the reason is, because they only think of His Humanity;, and not at the same time of His Divinity, although His Divinity and His Humanity cannot be separated: “For the Lord is God and man, and God and man in the Lord are not two but one person, yea altogether one, even as the reasonable soul and flesh are one man;” as is taught in the doctrine received throughout the whole Christian world, called the Athanasian Creed, which has been confirmed by several councils. Let me, therefore, entreat the reader, that he may not henceforward separate in his thoughts the Humanity of the Lord from His Divinity, to read the passages quoted above from Luke, as also the following from Matthew: “The birth of jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the holy spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public, example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take to thee Mary your wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the holy spirit : and she shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins. Then Joseph, being raised from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took to him his wife. And he knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born Son; and he called His name Jesus.” Matt 1:18-25. From these words, as well as from the relation of the nativity given in Luke, and from the other passages adduced above, it is evident, that Jesus, who was conceived of Jehovah as a Father, and born of the Virgin Mary, is the Son of God, of whom all “the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” D. Lord, 21.

That the Divine, which is called the Father, was the Essential Divine of the Lord, from which His Humanity existed, and by virtue whereof the Humanity also was made Divine, appears manifest from His conception from the Essential Divine; as in Matthew 1:20, 25; and in Luke 1:81, 34, 35: from which it is evident that the Lord from conception is Jehovah God, and to be Jehovah God from conception is to be so as to the life itself, which is called the soul from the Father, from which the life of the body is derived; hence it also manifestly Appears, that the Humanity of the “Lord is what is called the Son of God, for it is said, “That Holy Thing which shall be horn of you, shall he called the Son of God.” AE 852.

That to come forth from the Father, denotes being, conceived of Him, is manifest from what is said concerning the Lord’s conception, in Matthew 1:18-25. AE 815; see also AE 1069.

That the Divine is in the Human of the Lord, as the soul in the body, the “Word teaches and testifies in Matthew 1:18, 20, 25. AE 1104.AE 613.

Verses 20, 25. That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.-That by the Holy Spirit is meant the Divine which proceeds from Jehovah God, will be seen in the third chapter of this work. Who does not know, that the offspring has a soul and life from the father, and that the body is from the soul? What therefore is more plainly said, than that the Lord had a soul and life from Jehovah God, and whereas the Divine cannot be divided, that the Divine itself of the Father was His soul and life? wherefore the Lord so often called Jehovah God His Father, and Jehovah God called Him His Son. What, then, can be more ludicrous than to be told, that the soul of our Lord was from Mary the mother, as both the Roman Catholics and the Reformed at this day dream, not being yet awakened by the Word. That any Son born from eternity descended and assumed the Humanity, is a totally groundless idea, and is dissipated by the passages in the Word, in which Jehovah Himself says, that He is the Saviour and Redeemer, which are as follow: “Am not I jehovah,and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a saviour ; these is none beside me.” Isaiah 45:21, 22. “I [am] jehovah, and there is no saviour beside me.” Isaiah 43:11. “I jehovah [am] your god, and you shall not acknowledge a God beside me, and there is no saviour beside me.” Hosea 13:4. “That all flesh may know that I jehovah [am] your saviour and your redeemer.” Isaiah 49:26; 40:16. “As for our redeemer, jehovah zebaoth is his name.” Isaiah 47:4. “their redeemer, the mighty jehovah zebaoth 13 his name.” Jer. 1. 34. “Jehovah is my Rock, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14. “Thus says jehovah your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I jehovah am your god.” Isaiah 48:17; 43:14; 49:7. “Thus says jehovah your redeemer, I jehovahmake all things, and alone from Myself.'” Isaiah 44:24. “Thus saith jehovah the King of Israel, and his redeemer, jehovah zebaoth, i am the First and the Last, and beside Me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:6. “You jehovah art our Father, our redeemer: from everlasting is Your name.” Isaiah 63:16. “With the mercy of eternity I will be merciful, says your redeemer jehovah.” Isaiah 54:8. “THOU HAST REDEEMED ME, O JEHOVAH OF TRUTH.” Psalm 31:5. “Israel shall hope in jehovah, because with jehovah is mercy, plenteous redemption with Him; He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” Psalm 130:7, 8. “jehovah is god, and your redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the god of the whole earth he shall be called.” Isaiah 54:5. From these and very many other passages, every man who has eyes, and a mind open through his eyes, may see that God, who is one, descended and was made Man for the sake of an end, which was that He might perform the work of redemption: who cannot see this as in morning light, whilst he attends to those Divine declarations themselves which have been adduced? Nevertheless, they, who are in the shade of night, in consequence of continuing themselves in favour of the birth of another God from eternity, and of His descent and redemption, shut their eyes to those Divine declarations, and think under them how they may apply them to their falses and pervert them.

There are several reasons why God could not redeem men, that is, draw them out from damnation and hell, except by the Humanity which He assumed; for redemption was the subjugation of the hells, and the orderly arrangement of the heavens, and after these the new establishment of the church, which things God could not effect of His omnipotence, except by the Humanity in like manner as no man can work unless he has an arm; His Humanity also in the Word is called the arm of Jehovah: Isaiah 40:10; 53:1. in like manner, too, as no one can attack a fortified city, and destroy the temples of the idols which are in it, except by mediate powers; that God in this Divine work had omnipotence by His Humanity, is also evident from the Word; for God, who is in the inmost, and thereby the purest principles, could not in any other possible manner pass to the ultimates in which the hells are, and in which mankind were at that time, comparatively as the soul cannot act at all without the body; or as no one can conquer enemies, who do not come into his view, or to whom he cannot accede and approach with arms, as spears, shields, or muskets. To do the work of redemption without the Humanity was as impossible for God, as it is for a man to subdue the Indies, without transferring thither soldiers by ships; also as to cause trees to grow merely by heat and light, without the creation of air, through which heat and light may pass, and without the creation of earth, from which trees may be produced; yea, it is as impossible, as it is to catch fish by casting nets into the air, instead of casting them into water: for Jehovah, such as He is in Himself, from His omnipotence, cannot reach any devil in hell, nor any devil on earth, so as to restrain him and his fury, and to subdue his violence, unless He be in ultimates as He is in first principles; He is in ultimates in His Humanity, wherefore in the Word He is called the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. TCR 83, 84.

Verse 20. Inasmuch as by the Holy Spirit is meant Divine Truth, and this [Divine Truth] was in the Lord, and was the Lord Himself; John 14:6. and thus whereas the Holy Spirit could not proceed from any other source, therefore it is written, “The Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified;” John 7:39. and after His glorification, “He breathed on the disciples, and said, Receive you the Holy Spirit.” John 20:22. The reason why the Lord breathed on the disciples, and so said, was, because breathing was a representative external sign of Divine inspiration: but inspiration is insertion into angelic societies. From these considerations, the intellect may be enabled to comprehend what was said concerning the Lord’s conception, by the angel Gabriel, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the virtue of the Highest shall overshadow you, therefore that Holy Thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35. Also, “The angel of the Lord said to Joseph in a dream, Fear not to take Mary your bride, for what is born in her is from the Holy Spirit; and Joseph, did not touch her until she brought forth her first-begotten Son.” Matt 1:20, 25. The Holy Spirit, in these passages, is the Divine Truth proceeding from Jehovah the Father, and this proceeding is the virtue of the Highest, which on that occasion overshadowed the mother. This, therefore, coincides with the following passage in John: ” The Word was with God, and God was the Word, and the Word was made flesh.” 1:1, 14. By the Word, in this passage, is meant the Divine Truth. TCR 140; see also TCR 188.

Hence it may appear how the angels spoke by the prophets, namely, that the Lord Himself spoke, although by angels, and that the angels did not speak at all from themselves. That the Word is from the Lord appears from many passages, as from Matthew 1:22, 23. AC 1925.

Verse 23. They shall call His name emmanuel.-By a name and calling a name is denoted the quality, of a thing; and this being the signification of names, therefore, to call, without making mention of a name, in the internal sense of the Word, signifies to be of such a quality; as in Isaiah, “Hear you this, O house of Jacob, called by the name of Israel, and from the waters of Judah they came forth, because they are called from the city of holiness, and stay themselves on the God of Israel;” Is 48:1, 2. where “to be called from the city of holiness” denotes to be of such a quality; and in Luke, “Behold you shall conceive in the womb, and shalt bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest.” Luke 1:31, 32. To be called the Son of the Highest denotes to be so. AC 3421.

It is also written in Isaiah, “A virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name God-with-us: butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to reprobate the evil and to choose the good;” Is 7:14, 15. that these words are spoken of the Lord, may be seen confirmed in Matthew 1:23: any one may see that by butter and honey, there mentioned, are not meant butter and honey, but somewhat Divine corresponding thereto; for it follows, “That He may know to reprobate the evil and choose the good,” which is not known by eating butter and honey; but by butter is signified the delight of spiritual good, and by honey the delight of natural good, consequently, the Divine-Spiritual and the Divine-Natural of the Lord are thereby signified, and thus His Humanity interior and exterior; that the Lord’s Humanity is what is understood, may appear from its being said, “That a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son;” and. that this is Divine, is evident from His name being called God-with-us; name denoting quality, here therefore, that it was Divine, AE 619.

Verse 25. See AC 9356.


Chapter I.

Verse 11. About the time, &c. – See Dr. Hammond on the proper construction of the Greek particle .

Verse 19. Not willing to expose her to public infamy.– See Doddridge’s Family Expositor, se100:8,

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