9715. Of shittim wood. That this signifies righteousness, is evident from the signification of "shittim wood," as being the good of merit and of righteousness that belongs to the Lord alone (see n. 9472, 9486); it shall here be stated what are the righteousness and the merit that belong to the Lord alone. It is believed that the Lord had merit and righteousness because He fulfilled all things of the law, and because by the passion of the cross He saved the human race; yet these things are not meant in the Word by the righteousness and merit of the Lord; but by His merit and righteousness is meant that He fought alone with all the hells, and subjugated them, and thus reduced into order all things in the hells, and at the same time all things in the heavens. For with every man there are spirits from hell, and also angels from heaven; without these man cannot possibly live; and unless the hells had been subjugated by the Lord, and the heavens brought back into order, no man could have been saved.
 This could not have been effected except by means of His Human; that is, through combats with the hells from His Human. And as the Lord did this from His own power, thus alone, therefore to the Lord alone belong merit and righteousness; and therefore it is He alone who still conquers the hells with man; for He who once conquers them, conquers them forever. Wherefore absolutely nothing of merit and righteousness belongs to man; but the merit and righteousness of the Lord are imputed to him when he acknowledges that nothing is from himself, but everything from the Lord. From this it is that the Lord alone regenerates man; for to regenerate man is to drive away the hells from him, consequently the evils and falsities which are from the hells, and to implant heaven in their stead; that is, the goods of love and the truths of faith, for these make heaven. Moreover, by means of continual combats with the hells the Lord glorified His Human, that is, made it Divine; for as man is regenerated by means of combats which are temptations, so the Lord was glorified by means of combats which were temptations. Consequently the glorification of the Human of the Lord by His own power is merit and righteousness; for thereby man has been saved, for thereby all the hells are kept by the Lord in subjection forever.
 That this is so is evident from the passages in the Word where the merit and righteousness of the Lord are treated of; as in Isaiah:
Who is this that cometh from Edom, with sprinkled garments from Bozrah? marching in the multitude of His strength? I that speak in righteousness, great to save. Wherefore art Thou red in Thy garments, and Thy garment like his that treadeth in the winepress? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was no man with Me; therefore I have trodden them in Mine anger; whence their victory has been sprinkled upon My garments, and I have soiled all My raiment. For the day of vengeance was in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed had come. I looked around, but there was none to help; and I was amazed, but there was none to uphold; therefore Mine arm brought salvation to Me; and My wrath sustained Me. And I trampled the peoples in Mine anger, and I brought down their victory to the earth. Therefore He became the Savior (Isa. 63:1-8);
that these things are said of the Lord, is known; His combats with the hells are described by His "garments being sprinkled," by His "being red in His garments," by His "garments being like his that treadeth in the winepress," and by "the days of vengeance." His victories and subjugations of the hells are described by His "treading them in His anger," whereby "their victory was sprinkled upon His garments," by His "trampling the peoples in anger," and "bringing down their victory to the earth." That the Lord did these things from His own power, is described by His "treading the winepress alone," and by "there being of the peoples no man with Him;" also by His "looking around, but there was none to help;" and by His "being amazed, but there was none to uphold;" likewise by His "own arm bringing salvation unto Him." That from this came salvation, is described by His "marching in the multitude of His strength, mighty to save," by "the year of His redeemed being come," and by His "therefore becoming the Savior."  That all these things belong to righteousness, appears still more clearly in other passages in the same prophet:
He saw that there was no man, and was amazed that there was none to intercede; therefore His arm performed salvation for Him, and His righteousness upheld Him; whence He put on righteousness as a coat of mail, and a helmet of salvation upon His head; He put on garments of vengeance, and covered Himself with zeal as with a cloak (Isa. 59:18, 17).
My righteousness is near, My salvation hath gone forth, and Mine arms shall judge the peoples; in Me shall the islands hope, and upon Mine arm shall they trust (Isa. 51:6);
"the arm which performed salvation for Him, and upon which they shall trust," denotes His own power, by which He subjugated the hells (that "the arm" denotes power, see n. 4932, 7205). From this it is clear what is meant by "the righteousness and merit that belong to the Lord alone."
 In like manner in other passages:
Who hath stirred up one from the east, whom He hath called in righteousness to follow Him? He hath given nations before Him, and made Him to rule over kings (Isa. 41:2).
I have brought near My righteousness, it is not far off, My salvation shall not tarry (Isa. 46:13).
Jehovah will clothe me with garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the mantle of righteousness (Isa. 61:10).
My mouth shall recount Thy righteousness, Thy salvation all the day; I know not the numberings; I will make mention of Thy righteousness, forsake me not until I have declared Thine arm, Thy might, for Thy righteousness is even unto the height; Thou who hast done great things (Ps. 71:15, 16, 18, 19, 24).
Behold the days come when I will raise unto David a righteous offshoot, who shall reign as king, and shall prosper, and shall do judgment and righteousness in the earth. In those days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell securely; and this is His name whereby they shall call Him, Jehovah our Righteousness (Jer. 23:5-6; 33:15-16).
Seventy weeks have been decreed to expiate iniquity, and to bring in the righteousness of the ages (Dan. 9:24).
 That the subjugation of the hells, the setting in order of the heavens by the Lord, the glorification of His Human, and the consequent salvation for the man who receives the Lord in love and faith, are the righteousness and merit that belong to the Lord alone, can be seen from the passages above quoted. But those cannot apprehend this matter who are not aware that there are with man spirits from the hells, and that from them he has evils and falsities; and also that there are angels from heaven with him, and that from them he has goods and truths; and that thus on the one side the life of man is joined to the hells, and on the other to the heavens, that is, through the heavens to the Lord; and thus that man could not possibly be saved unless the hells had been subjugated, and the heavens reduced into order, and in this manner all things made subject to the Lord.
 From all this it can be seen why (as said above, n. 9486) the good of the Lord's merit is the only good that reigns in the heavens; for this good of merit is even now the continual subjugation of the hells, and thus the protection of the faithful. This good is the good of the Lord's love; for from the Divine love He fought and conquered in the world. From the Divine power in the Human thence acquired, He alone forever fights and conquers for heaven and the church; and thus for the whole human race, and thereby saves them. This then is the good of merit, which is called "righteousness," because it belongs to righteousness to restrain the hells which are endeavoring to destroy the human race; and to protect and save the good and faithful. (Concerning the combats or temptations of the Lord while He was in the world, see n. 1663, 1668, 1690-1692, 1737, 1787, 1812, 1813, 1820, 2776, 2786, 2795, 2803, 2814, 2816, 4287, 7193, 8273; and that the Lord alone fights for the human race against the hells, n. 1692, 6574, 8159, 8172, 8175, 8176, 8273, 8969.)