What if Abraham Had Said to God: “No! I Will Not Kill My Son”?

What if Abraham Had Said to God: “No! I Will Not Kill My Son”?

A few weeks ago I was re-reading Chinua Achebe’s classic, Things Fall Apart – the pre-eminent exemplar of the tragic results of the African encounter with Europe. The jarring similarity between the novel’s tragic hero, Okonkwo, and our biblical Abraham, reacting to their different gods’ commands to sacrifice their sons, is stunning. Okonkwo was one of the most successful self-made leaders of his community – the clan Umuofia. But he also had an outsized fear of failure, in dreaded comparison with his good-for-nothing father.

After the murder of an Umuofian clansman’s wife, the offending neighboring clan sued for peace by delivering a virgin to the widower, as well as a boy-hostage named Ikemefuna, to be used as a future live sacrifice. Ikemefuna was placed in Okonkwo’s household where the boy was raised over many years and quickly became indistinguishable from his own children. Then one day the elders acceded to the gods and declared it was time for the sacrifice.

The oracle had determined that the boy must die. This decree could not be controverted and Okonkwo had no recourse but give up the child. However, the gods did not demand that Okonkwo play a part in the death of the boy he has grown to love. That is why Ezeuolu, Okonkwo’s friend and community stalwart, cautioned him:

The oracle of the Hills and Caves has pronounced [his death]. They will take him outside Umuofia as is the custom, and kill him there. But I want you to have nothing to do with it. He calls you his father. (p. 5; Connell University Edition)

Okonkwo, though emotionally wrecked by the news of Ikemefuna’s impending doom, did not heed his wise friend’s advice. At dawn on the fateful day, he accompanied the village warriors on their journey of death. All nine men, with sheathed long machetes, marched in single file with Ikemefuna, palm wine pot atop his head, heralding the grim procession deep into the dark forest.

Achebe describes the wrenching horror of Ikemefuna’s killing with unflinching resolve:

As the man who had cleared his throat drew up and raised his machete, Okonkwo looked away. He heard the blow. The pot fell and broke in the sand. He heard Ikemefuna cry, ‘My father, they have killed me!’ as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak.(p. 61)

Now flash back to Abraham, his son Isaac, and Abraham’s God. God tells Abraham: “Take your son, your only son, your beloved Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, where you are to offer him as a burnt offering, on one of the mountains I shall point out to you.” (Gen 22:2, NJB) From here on the camera is trained only on Abraham – what he says, what he sees, and what he thinks. He gets up the next day, gathers what was needed for the journey and sets his eyes on Moriah and its mountains, with Isaac and his two servants in tow.

I have always wondered why Abraham never shared his dark burden with Sarah, his lifelong companion. There is too much deep silence in the story; of Abraham and Isaac, but more profoundly of Sarah. I can understand not telling Isaac. What young man in Isaac’s shoes would go along with this plot? Likely, had he been apprised of this plan, Isaac would have disagreed, and demonstrated his disagreement by running away before Abraham was half way through his telling, trusting in young legs to separate himself from a father who would consider such a scheme. Since Abraham did not anticipate the substitution of an animal for Isaac, one can only wonder about the trust relations between father and son after the unbinding. After this incident, could Isaac have dared to accompany his father anywhere, even in broad day light, without imagining some sinister foreboding? Keeping this secret from Isaac is understandable, but Sarah?

Maybe Abraham kept his own council because, at this stage in his relationship with God, his faith was so grounded that the idea of killing his beloved son was unimportant if that was the price God exacted as proof of continued faithfulness. This explanation could suffice if the marginalization of biblical women was not so conspicuous.

There is a troubling pattern about the sidelining of women in patriarchal stories, and it begins with Abraham. The writers, and subsequent redactors of Genesis, present Abraham as the undisputed “father” of the elect, through whom God purposed to bless all nations. Through Abraham, God particularizes a people he identifies as his own. The sign that God used to singularize Abraham and his descendants in covenant was the ritual of male circumcision, an act that, through no fault of theirs, was inaccessible to women. Exclusion from this most important rite, the one that casts Abraham’s descendants as God’s favored, in no small way sets the stage toward making women seem second class in God’s eyes. This was the ugly beginning of patriarchy, an unfortunate launch that would bloom into the obnoxious misogyny common in our own time.

So Jacob will have thirteen children, but the twelve men gain preferred status. Twelve tribes of Israel from Jacob’s thirteen clearly demonstrates the ease with which women were set aside and denied meaningful representation at this crucial point in God’s covenant process. Dinah glibly disappears, foreshadowing the glass ceiling women in future generations would face. Yes, there are occasional stories in scripture that elevate women – Deborah comes to mind – but when those are exceptions to the rule.

We must be careful to make a clear distinction between God’s dictates and how scripture writers conveyed them. The two are not necessarily the same. It is not clear whether God instituted patriarchy as it has come down to us, or if this is a cultural portrayal by Bible writers of God’s intentions. Either way, the result has been a sad negation of what Paul will later affirm: “There is neither… male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. (Gal 3:28; NIV)

Therefore exploring Abraham’s lack of communication with Sarah on the issue of sacrifice is important. What if Abraham had mentioned God’s order to Sarah? We will never know what direction that conversation might have taken because the story’s author and future redactors did not address or give her voice. However, Sarah, in this situation, is no different from any mother, wife or daughter. She is a ready stand-in for every woman, and as such, we can conjecture what her initial reaction could have been.

Given the experience Sarah went through to have Isaac, it is reasonable to anticipate that she would want to know which God gave Abraham the directive. “Which God asked that you kill our Isaac in Moriah country?” she could have asked. This question is crucial because it helps to clarify our thinking. In this context, Sarah would be asking Abraham to square the God who abhors killing, especially of the innocent, with this ungodly order – what Kierkegaard calls the “dread”. When we advocate positions that are inconsistent with God’s broader principles, we need others close to us to help us navigate the apparent contradictions.

Additionally, Sarah could have queried Abraham specifically about human sacrifice. Was the practice so common that God ordering it would not have raised eyebrows? Abraham apparently never asked God about the veracity of this “strange” request. His seeming acquiescence to this injunction suggests that the practice was common. Suppose it was common, but practiced mainly in communities unexposed to Abraham’s God. Then Sarah would want Abraham to question the source of this order, because it would be anomalous if coming from God. It is conceivable that Abraham was seething inside, and his robotic lack of response could be attributed to shock. If so, it is another reason why seeking Sarah’s input was warranted. Men sometimes “freeze up” when confronted by stupefying situations and, like Okonkwo, act “bravely” by mowing down their children to cover up their bewilderment.

Not so women. They insist on asking for directions at the slightest hint that the man driver is lost. One reason that women in all cultures perennially outlive men is that men routinely confuse recklessness and heroism, and go to war, for example, instead of talking things out. But a more important reason for the longevity imbalance could be that, because women bear a disproportionate burden in the anguish of bringing life into being, they think more carefully before giving up on life.

Finally, had Sarah been consulted, she might have asked: “What if this is a test? No, not of your loyalty, but whether we understand what he’s been teaching us. We see human sacrifices to the pagan gods around us, and God has asked us not to take part in it. What better way to test our understanding, than to ask us to do the very same thing.” What if Sarah had told Abraham: “Tell God No! And if he insists, tell him we have no power to resist him, but we will have no part in killing our Isaac: he calls me mother, and calls you father.”

What then?

Could it be that the provision of an animal to replace Isaac as sacrifice was God’s solution to Abraham’s failure to engage him? Perhaps he was attempting to nudge Abraham to a better vision. Mount Moriah then demonstrates a regression in our walk with God. God always encourages engagement, and Abraham was not oblivious to this. He had bargained with God in his attempt to preserve Sodom: First 50, then 45, down to 20. And signaling his utter surprise at God’s magnanimity, took an extra shot: “I trust my Lord will not be angry if I speak once more; perhaps there will be only ten.” “I will not destroy it,” he replied, “for the sake of the ten.” (Genesis 18:32b, NJB) Would God then begrudge Abraham bargaining for his son’s life? Why then did Abraham not trust in God’s goodness and asked him – why?

Matthew Quartey is a transplanted Ghanaian who now lives in and calls the Adventist ghetto of Berrien Springs, Michigan, home.

Previous Spectrum columns by Matthew Quartey can be found at: http://spectrummagazine.org/authors/matthew-quartey.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

If you respond to this article, please:

Make sure your comments are germane to the topic; be concise in your reply; demonstrate respect for people and ideas whether you agree or disagree with them; and limit yourself to one comment per article, unless the author of the article directly engages you in further conversation. Comments that meet these criteria are welcome on the Spectrum Website. Comments that fail to meet these criteria will be removed.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/8387
1 Like

The Book of Jasher (which Ellen White might have quoted in another context) expands the story of Sarah considerably, but we are still left with a morally incomprehensible view of God, in my opinion.


The theodicy issues run far deeper than the problems of patriarchy.

I think we have some hard decisions to make in the years ahead about what we’re willing to believe about God.

Until we get clear about that, the rest of our activity, however vigorous, is just shadowboxing, it seems to me.

We are responsible for our social influence, and what we teach about God is profoundly socially influential.


A completely different take!

I have never questioned this. Does the author know no mothers? She would have utterly refused, likely told Abraham to sacrifice her in stead… There would have been no litany of questions. No reasoning. She was a mother, and God would hot require such a thing of her.

How does the author explain Isaac’s willingness to be bound? Those young legs could have run before that. No, Isaac trusted his father’s word, and got on the alter, willingly. Isaac trusted God as well. You may note that he was never given a test such as Abraham was, as he has passed his already.

As if faith removes the pain of sacrifice? I would suggest the reading of Tozier’s comments on this passage. Much more cogent and reasonable.

God showed how he felt about Sarah when he told Abraham to send away Hagar and her son, a thing Abraham did not want to do. God respected the marriage relationship.

This whole article seems to show a shallow view of Abrahams faith, and the commendation that God gave to him in the end. Hebrews 11 also gives a comment on his faith. This author seems not to understand the profound act that this was. Even angels looked in awe.

  1. The Omam from the Muslim Church when a guest speaker recently to us Christians said it was Ishmael who was taken by Abraham [not Isaac].
  2. A couple years ago at a Sunday School class by a visiting Rabbi at the Synagogue informed us that Isaac was 37 at the time of this story of the Sacrifice.
  3. This apparently caused a permanent rift between Sarah and Abraham. It appears that she moved out of the “camp”.
  4. Sarah caused a LOT of heart ache with Abraham [over the removal of Ishmael and his mother]. Apparently, Isaac did not forget his brother Ishmael who had to leave when he was around 13. Losing a sibling is always a loss, no matter the cause, no matter the age at the loss.
  5. Even though Abraham is the “Father of the faithful”, happiness was NOT ALWAYS in the home.
  6. There is some speculation that the woman Abraham had children with after Sarah died might have been another name for Hagar.

Thank you for illuminating this story, Matthew Quartey,

Pulling back further for an even longer view, the story of Abraham and Isaac appears to document exactly why there would be no human sacrifices in Israel, as was common in the surrounding cultures.

The truth is always in the story, never in the facts. So it matters not whether Abraham heard God or whether overcome with fear that God had left him Abraham only thought he heard God calling on him to sacrifice Isaac to justify himself before God. Clearly the fact of justification by faith not sacrifice argues for a mistaken hearing of God’s call to sacrifice Isaac. Either way, though, the net effect was that there would never be human sacrifice by the children of Israel, save for the inevitable but short-lived apostasies that arose out of fear that God had left the children of Israel. And the story of Abraham and Isaac surely documents why.

It’s very interesting to follow the narrative as recorded from Genesis 12 through to where ever … If one does one will find:

  • Abraham entered the “promised land” at age 75
  • Abraham was 86 when Ishmael was born
  • Abraham was 99 when he circumcised all the males in the household. That would make Ishmael somewhere around 13 depending on the time in his birth year
  • Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old, which makes Ishmael 14 or thereabouts
  • The promise of the land and nationhood was renewed to Abraham after he had been in the land for 30 years (see Gen 15 where God’s word to him was that his “tribe” would be strangers/in captivity/in service for 400 years cf with Gal 3:16,17 and Ex 12:40)
  • SOP (PP 147) indicates that Abraham was 120 years old at the time of the Mount Moriah experience.
  • If Abraham 120 years old then Isaac was 20 years old.
  • Hagar and Ishmael seem to have been turned out of the camp not that long after Isaac was born, perhaps at the time of Isaac being weaned (see Gen 21:9), with Ishmael being somewhere around 17 or 19 years.

BTW EWG (SOP) also indicates that this test of faith "was to impress Abraham’s mind with the reality of the gospel … that he might understand from his own experience something of the greatness of the sacrifice made by the infinite God for man’s redemption."
She continues, "The sacrifice required of Abraham was not alone for his own good … but it was also for the instruction of the sinless intelligences of heaven and of other worlds."
A little further on in SOP’s narrative EGW makes the statement (p155), The trial (for Abraham) was far more severe than that which had been brought upon Adam."

1 Like

The more crucial factor is what kind of an answer you have because it will determine what kind of a believer you are. In a study done at the Boston State Hospital based on how individuals develop inter-personal relationships from childhood on into adulthood known as “object relation theory” there are four general categories of how believers relate to their God and are as follows: The first being “I have a God” known as those who have a God whose existence they do not doubt, the second “I might have a God” known as those wondering whether or not to believe in a God they are not sure exists, the third being “I do not have a God” known as those who are amazed , angered, or quietly surprised others deeply invested in a God who does not interest them and the fourth being “I have a God but wish I did not” known as those struggling with a demanding, harsh God they would like to get rid of if they were not convinced of his existence and power.

Your answer should reveal what category of a believer you are. Try it among those who replied. It’s fun.

1 Like

If I am to be brutally honest, I have to ask - how did God talk to Abraham - did Abraham hear voices - did he have dreams … Today, anyone claiming that God told them to kill their son …

So what makes the difference? How is this a story we tell in Junior SS class? Is it because we intuitively know that this story is told to make a point, rather than to write history. It can be tolerated only if it’s incapsulated safely in Genesis. …and so must the subordination of women as they are thought of as property in the culture in which this story was written. In that case, we can not relegate women to an inferior position today, when compared to men, anymore than we could kill our kids because God tells us to. Again, it’s all about context - time - and place - and purpose. The same can be said about the story of Lot and a number of others. We can not place the stories in Genesis next to the life and message of Christ, and not become a schizophrenic.

Undoubtedly, Jesus quoted from Genesis; and this is often held out as proof of veracity of the stories and the human social values within which they were written, as though they are to be valued and followed today. Since Hawking’s A Brief History of Time wasn’t written yet, there was nothing else to quote from - especially while talking to the Jews of his day. The point is, we have to decide, as someone has already said, we can’t compartmentalize God, within the various Bible stories and hope to make sense of what is meaningful to our personal relationship with the Bible and the God it describes.


Insightful and beautiful. Thank you!

I would also like to express my gratitude for this wonderful reflection of a very perplexing story, one that has been commented by the Rabbis repeatedly and for which there seems to be no final, satisfying understanding.
I would only suggest that the only context in which the story makes sense is one in which child sacrifices were done. The evidence that this was the case among the Israelites is for every one to see. The Law of Moses says that actually God is the one who requires it not just of Abraham, but of everyone (Ex. 22: 28). On the other hand, Ezekiel thought it was one of God’s bad laws (Ez. 20; 25-26). Jeremiah, in open contradiction to what the Law of Moses clearly states, says that God never promulgated such a law, in fact the thought of it never entered his mind (Jer. 19: 5-6). This should be enough to prove wrong those who claim that God is the author of the Bible, or, as the first of the Twenty eight Fundamentals declares, that the Bible is the “infallible” . . . “written word” of God.

1 Like

i think it’s a cultural accommodation by god, unwittingly preserved by the bible writers…

i don’t think it’s difficult to see how patriarchy became the norm in bible times…husband headship was instituted after the fall, Gen 3:16, and over time, this morphed into male headship, aided and abetted by the unavoidable fact that men tend to have more physical strength than women…in an age before gunpowder and automation, manual ability to fight wars, and thus secure a homeland; to hunt and clear farmland, and thus secure food; not to mention to dig wells for a reliable source of water, would have been the prime consideration…

the only ambition women seemed to have in bible times was to give birth to boys, since this was the one thing they could do that men couldn’t - although of course it’s men who determine the gender of their offspring…but what women didn’t know then enabled them to be willing to keep on trying until they succeeded, and to even beg god to step in when they failed… the point is that more boys meant more men, which meant more protection, more food and more water…it’s hard to see how any culture other than patriarchy could have developed, not only in israel, but in the entire world…that is, patriarchy existed, not because god instituted it, or because the bible writers used it to portray god’s intentions, or because gloria steinem hadn’t been born yet…it existed because there were no other viable options…

it’s interesting that this particular incident is cited in the new testament as proof that we are justified by works, James 2:21…it’s also interesting that luther wanted the book of james kept out of the canon…but regardless, i think this particular story takes the cake when we reflect on the kinds of trials god may very well lead us through, especially if we make it to the time of trouble…i think abraham, after taking in this command, would have been beyond grief, confusion, despair, or even rational thought…i think he obeyed, not because it seemed at all right to him, but because he had disciplined himself to obey no matter what he thought, felt, or believed…it’s an amazing level of disciplined obedience…it really called for him to shut out all semblance of reality that he could access through his senses…it was the moment, stripped of all systems of support, where his belief in god was revealed for what it was…

i think abraham instinctively understood that his moment of truth had arrived in this command to offer isaac…this was why he didn’t say anything to sarah…he knew she wouldn’t have endured the trial, and that her desperation would only have made it harder for him to endure it…

It has been about twenty years since I read Soren Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling. His thesis fails, because God’s command and the killing of a son by a parent are not in a transcendent, universal, or absolute sense immoral, as many of us today would think. This is because there is no such thing as transcendent, universal, or absolute morality. Our notions of morality and law, the texts we read, including the biblical text, and all other reality that we encounter are historically conditioned. Accordingly, there is no teleological suspension of the ethical and no unreasoned leap of faith on the part of Abraham that Kierkegaard champions. Instead, as the NT affirms, Abraham reasoned that the Lord would raise Isaac from the dead and keep His promise. So we see what the test of faith for Abraham actually was. He was not tested by the notion that God is commanding him to do something immoral–(Dr. Weiss is correct in alluding that Abraham would not have thought that the killing of his son pursuant to the command of God is an immoral act)–but tested by the appearance and possibility that God is breaking a promise, the promise that He would make Abraham a great nation through Isaac.

Perhaps one of these days the story of Abraham and Isaac might catalyze a hermeneutically-sound understanding of law, particularly the law of God, as it were, in Seventh-day Adventists. Our theologians at the Seminary still continue to engage in form criticism, in the style of Albrecht Alt, for the purpose of trichotomizing law into moral law, civil law, and ceremonial law. Law cannot be dichotomized or trichotomized into moral law and something else, because all law is moral law per se. And all law given to the ancient Israelites is civil law per se. And although there can be subsets of law, like ceremonial law, sexual offenses, torts, etc., ceremonial law is moral law and civil law. And even though something is dubiously categorized as moral law, such law is not transcendent, universal, or absolute but historically conditioned, as Jesus’ treatment of the Mosaic law of divorce evidences. We often mistakenly speak of the law of God as if it were a tangible object that sets forth rules and regulations and is floating somewhere up in heaven. In reality, the law of God properly conceived is an alloy of the divine and perfect thoughts of God and the sinful historical context in which He has inserted Himself. The law of God, as we are capable of understanding it to be, is always and everywhere a work in progress.

Matthew, Your insight in comparing Abraham “questioning” God regarding the fate of Sodom to God’s request of him to sacrifice his son, Issac, is truly inspired. It never occurred to me before that perhaps God wanted Abraham to question Him, to say “No.” While I concede that is a rather brutal way to test someone’s faith, this idea gives me more comfort regarding the character of God and that he did not want human sacrifices. This story has long concerned me since it paints such a different picture of God than we see in the NT (and even in some places of the OT). Preachers have tried to explain it away by saying it was a foreshadowing the Father’s sacrifice of His Son, but that has never been satisfactory to me (especially after I became a mother). But your “thought experiment” of Sarah encouraging Abraham to question God’s request and how that might have played out provides a much more satisfying reason why this story is in the Bible. Thanks for giving me some good food for thought! Kathy


Prof. Weiss, I thought I would offer a few thoughts I hope you will consider:

Jeremiah’s statement about God never having instituted a law of child sacrifice may be accurate.
He and Ezekiel were contemporaries. One source says Jeremiah’s ministry was from about 627BC to 580BC and the contents of the replaced scroll, our chapters 2 to 20, were written in 605BC (the fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign). Ezekiel prophesied from about 593 to 570BC. So it is conceivable that Jeremiah wrote his words first, before God’s words in Ez 20:25. Concerning the issue of child sacrifice and the Mosaic law, in Ex 22:29-30, God told the Israelites that ‘the firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me.’. Ex 13 states that every firstborn was to be sanctified to the Lord (v2) but also states ‘every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.’ (v13). Numbers 3:40-51 explains that only the firstborn of the Levites were to be taken to the Lord and a ‘ransom’ of 5 shekels as a redemption price was to be paid to the Levites ‘to free’ (so to speak) all the firstborn sons of the other tribes. Thus out of the sons of the Levites alone God created and funded an ongoing priesthood. ‘Now behold, I have taken the Levites from among the sons of Israel instead of every firstborn, the first issue of the womb among the sons of Israel. So the Levites shall be Mine.’ (Num 3:12).

Looking back, in the case of Abraham, at the time in question God called Isaac Abraham’s ‘only son’ (Gen 22:2), so in God’s eyes Isaac was the firstborn and was to be offered or devoted to Him. God is the one who opens the womb (miraculously in Sarah’s case) and so as the Creator of new life is offered its firstfruits. In a certain wider and spiritual sense the physical allegory of Isaac’s sacrifice was appropriate, because Isaac was the first new creation life, born by a promise and resulting act of God, much as we who have followed have been created anew by God in Christ. Paul says in Gal 4:28, ‘And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.’ It’s interesting to note that believers in our age are also called firstfruits of the Spirit (Rom 8:23), a kind of firstfruits among His creatures (Jas 1:18), and firstfruits to God and the Lamb (Rev 14:4). I believe we corporately are the first of this new creation life and are offered to God with His promise of many more to follow. In fact, like the Levites in their time, we are to be the new order of Melchizedek priesthood not only now but in the coming age (Is 66:21; Rev 5:10; 20:6).

Concerning God’s view of child sacrifice, several Scriptures say He hated it, considered it an abomination, detestable, evil and forbade it. (See Deut 12:31; 18:9-10; 2Kings 16:3; Ez 23:36-37). He said doing such a thing never entered His mind (Jer 7:30-31; 19:5).
So what are we to make of Ez 20:25-26?
Here are a couple of links to some varying opinions on vs 25 & 26:



1 Like

Where in the Bible do we find the notion of sinless intelligences of…other worlds?
God so loved the world - not worlds. His death was for the benefit of our world alone.
No prophet, neither Jesus nor His Apostles taught about the existence of sinless worlds. If it is not taught in the Bible, silence is golden. Let us not speculate beyond what has been revealed through his word.


I’m not sure that “If it’s not taught in the Bible, silence is golden”, will fly in the SDA church. There is another authority that has written hundreds of thousands of words.
Even though the church states that the Bible is above EGW, we know that isn’t how things work at all. I’m afraid you are fighting a battle that can’t be won.

Our theologians do agree that it’s not Biblical yet they go on to speculate using some proof-texts all in a bid to uphold the authority you are talking about. I have done enough research into her extra-terrestrial teachings. She had drawn the information about the intelligences of other worlds from the following Astronomers: Thomas Chalmers, Alexandef Copland, Thomas Dick, Edward Dorr Griffin, Rev. Baden Powell and many others.Thomas Paine too discoursed on this subject. Emanuel Swedenborg like Ellen White claimed to have visited beings on other planets and conversed with them. His book was first published in 1758. So there were others who discoursed on this subject long before her. Truth has never been popular but in the end will win.

Other intelligent created beings in addition to angels are referred to (alluded to if you like) in Job chapters 1 and 2.

I’ve found that to be true about most everything she wrote…nothing original.

Are you referring to something specific regarding intelligences from other worlds, or some other “truth”?

My point was that all those authors I had referred to had imagined of the existence of life on other planets without any solid evidence. So it was a (science) fiction. As I have already stated the Bible does not support this fanciful opinion. Emanuel Swedenborg was a false prophet. The truth I meant was the non existence of life on other planets other than the loyal angels of God. This is the truth I am confident will triumph in the end.