THE SPIRITUAL GAINS PRECEDENCE OF THE MENTAL
GENESIS 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36
Mysteries of Genesis
MAN DEVELOPS his faculties in an orderly manner when he looks to Divine Mind as the one and only guide. But he does not always seek this inner wisdom, and the result is a disorderly development. Jacob represents the mind in man that directs the physical body (Esau) in all its acts. In divine order Jacob should be born first–we should think before we act–but we find that as a rule people do not reflect and then act, and especially is this true among people who are in the first stages of their race journey.
The natural man in his immature consciousness is moved by desire and not by rational thinking. He seeks to satisfy appetite regardless of higher law and sells his birthright for a mess of pottage. When understanding (Jacob) takes the ascendancy, there is an entire change. Jacob went toward Haran (“enlightened,” “mountainous”). The significance of this sentence is that when we let our meditations and blessings fall on the “knowing” part of ourselves (Jacob instead of Esau) we go into a higher mental state or an exalted condition of mind, wherein we receive a higher and clearer conception of things spiritual.
Gen. 32:1, 2. And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And Jacob said when he saw them, This is God’s host: and he called the name of the place Mahanaim.
The name Mahanaim means “two camps,” “two hosts,” “companies.” In the individual consciousness Mahanaim represents spiritual ideas and the physical realm (“two hosts”). This idea is brought out very clearly in the naming of the place by Jacob. The “two hosts” are the angels of God (messengers of God: spiritual ideas) on the one hand, and Jacob and his company, his wives, children, and possessions (manifestations of ideas) on the other.
Gen. 32:3-28. And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the field of Edom. And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye say unto my lord Esau: Thus saith thy servant Jacob, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now: and I have oxen, and asses, and flocks, and men-servants, and maid-servants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find favor in thy sight. And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and moreover he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him. Then Jacob was greatly afraid and was distressed: and he divided the people that were with him, and the flocks, and the herds, and the camels, into two companies; and he said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the company which is left shall escape. And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, O Jehovah, who saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will do thee good: I am not worthy of the least of all the lovingkindnesses, and of all the truth, which thou hast shown unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two companies. Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he come and smite me, the mother with the children. And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
And he lodged there that night, and took of that which he had with him a present for Esau his brother: two hundred she-goats and twenty he-goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty milch camels and their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty she-asses and ten foals. And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said unto his servants, Pass over before me, and put a space betwixt drove and drove. And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goeth thou? and whose are these before thee? then thou shalt say, They are thy servant Jacob’s; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, he also is behind us. And he commanded also the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him; and ye shall say, Moreover, behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept me. So the present passed over before him: and he himself lodged that night in the company.
And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two hand-maids, and his eleven children, and passed over the ford of the Jabbok. And he took them, and sent them over the stream, and sent over that which he had. And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was strained, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for thou hast striven with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
Edom was the name of the country where Esau’s descendants lived. It represents the outer man, the body, or the carnal, physical phase of man’s consciousness and organism. The significance of Seir is virtually the same as that of Edom. Seir apparently designates especially the emotional and stormy yet deep-seated carnal tendencies in the physical.
The Jordan (“flowing of judgment”) may be said to represent that place in consciousness where we are willing to meet the results of our thoughts face to face and understandingly and courageously to pass judgment on all thoughts.
In the soul’s unfoldment the higher faculties forge ahead, establish states of consciousness, and gather possessions of substance that must afterward be distributed to the lower faculties. Jacob represents the soul that has become rich in ideas. A time comes when an equalizing process begins and the body (Esau) must be given some of the riches of the soul.
Until love has done its perfect work man is fearful. Jacob feared to meet Esau. We find it hard to face the full claims of the body (Esau) after we have cheated it of its birthright, unity of soul and body in spiritual thought. Divine courage must supplant this fear before we are equal to facing the consequences of our self-centered thoughts and to taking up the task of harmonizing all our forces. But the vital power of Spirit animates the body, and it responds readily to our true thought when we give it of our substance.
The soul does not like to enter into struggles to overcome material habits, but it is necessary that it do so. The name of the ford where Jacob wrestled with the angel means “wrestling,” and the inference is that it was hard for Jacob to put aside the things that he loved and to enter alone into the invisible to wrestle with the forces of the subconsciousness or sense consciousness in darkness. This struggle with the physical is illustrated in the overcoming by Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. The error is “pressed out” and the rich oil of reality saved.
The life in the subconsciousness has several planes of action. In the deep recesses of the nerves it sends its energy to and fro, coming to the surface here and there in flesh-and-blood sensation. There is a strong man down there about whom the average person knows little. He lives so far below the plane of common consciousness that the great majority of men go through their whole life without making his acquaintance. This man is pure nature, the foundation of the body. Without him man could not take form, and it is his tenacity that keeps our organism intact. He belongs to nature and is universal; hence when the individual attempts to control him and to lift him up, there is resistance, and a severe struggle with him is inevitable. “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.”
The mind controls the body through the thoughts acting on the nerves. The sciatic nerve runs down the leg through the hollow of the thigh, and the will acts directly through this nerve. When the intellect (Jacob) exercises its power in the effort to control the natural man within, there follows a letting go of human will–Jacob’s thigh is out of joint. A great light of understanding breaks in on the struggling soul, of which the intellect is a part, when it discovers that there is a divine-natural body, and it clings to that inner life and strength until it brings to the surface the blessing of perpetual physical vigor. Jacob (intellect) said, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” The blessing carried with it a new name, Israel; one who has striven with God and with men and has prevailed. “Israel” is one who is a prince and has power as regards both God and man, the spiritual and the material.
We can appreciate why Jacob (the intellect) after this experience was willing to make amends to Esau (the body), whom he had cheated and neglected all these years. When the intellect or conscious mind realizes and exercises its superior ability there is an intuitive feeling of injustice and a fear of the results. An awareness of having disregarded divine law coupled with inability to recall the cause of this fear results in much mental concern. Persons who let the ambitious intellect override the demands and rights of the body (Esau) eventually find themselves afraid and anxious to make restitution to the body.
Gen. 32:29-32. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for, said he, I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. And the sun rose upon him as he passed over Penuel, and he limped upon his thigh. Therefore the children of Israel eat not the sinew of the hip which is upon the hallow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew of the hip.
Instead of Jacob being weaker, as his limp would indicate, he was stronger, because he had made a spiritual adjustment between the higher and the lower in his body consciousness. One can change one’s attitude toward the body and thus change the body itself by following the advise of Paul: “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Do not judge by the appearance, do not call your body temple evil or corruptible flesh; do not fall into the error of mortal mind. See in the body what Jacob saw, the face of God; for it is ever the temple of the living God.
The name Peniel means “turned toward God,” “face of God,” “within the presence of God.” Peniel symbolizes the inner realization of the divine presence, the realization of having met God face to face and of having succeeded through prayer in attaining the divine favor and blessing that have been sought.
(Penuel is the same name as Peniel and carries the same meaning and symbology.)
The “children of Israel eat not the sinew of the hip which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day,” as a reminder of a spiritual truth that they may not understand now but will eventually.
Gen. 33:1-11. And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau was coming, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids. And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost. And he himself passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept. And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Whose are these with thee? And he said, The children whom God hath graciously given thy servant. Then the handmaids came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves. And Leah also and her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves, And he said, What meanest thou by all this company which I met? And he said, To find favor in the sight of my lord. And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; let that which thou hast be thine. And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found favor in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand; forasmuch as I have seen thy face, as one seeth the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me. Take, I pray thee, my gift that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.
Jacob, now become Israel, was reunited with Esau after he crossed the ford Jabbok (“wrestling”). The universal law of the unity of all things was fulfilled. The way in which the mind (Israel) projects its thoughts toward the body (Esau) is symbolized by the way in which Rachel and her children, Leah and her children, and the handmaids with their children were presented to Esau. The handmaids were presented first because they represent physical thoughts. Leah and her children, presented next, represent intellectual thoughts. Rachel (most beloved) and her son Joseph were presented last because they represent the more spiritual thoughts. Then Jacob himself “passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.” This means that the intellect recognizes the body as its equal and the body’s well-being as necessary to harmonious existence. In his spiritual self man must give his body place as a divine creation and co-operate with it in his evolution.
The body always obeys the conscious or subconscious behests of the mind. “Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.” He rufused at first to accept the proffered gifts of Jacob. The body at first feels its own completeness and resists the rich ideas that the mind has developed in its unfoldment. Jacob (illumined intellect) said, “Receive my present at my hand; forasmuch as I have seen thy face, as one seeth the face of God.”
Job says, “In my flesh shall I see God.” (A.V.) Jesus said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” The mind must ideate the body as God substance. This will raise the body to the higher consciousness of its innate divinity. The I AM does not make spiritual union with the body until it sees it as the pure and holy temple of God.
The gifts that Jacob gave to Esau represent the innate abilities that are wrapped up in the body and that can be expressed only through union with the mind. Persons who are skilled in exercises of agility and strength must have the will to win a contest before they are victorious, and trainers are giving more and more attention and assigning ever greater importance to the mental state of their athletes.
Gen. 33:12-16. And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee. And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and that the flocks and herds with me have their young: and if they overdrive them one day, all the flocks will die. Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on gently, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come unto my lord unto Seir. And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find favor in the sight of my lord. So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.
Here is a lesson in co-operation between mind and body. This unity is essential not only to the development of the mental and the physical but to the unfoldment of the spirit. The body is lifted up and the mind strengthened when they work in unison. The children of the mind are the new ideas ushering in the untried capacities of both mind and body. They were now penetrating into the body consciousness (Seir) or the home of the physical (Esau), where the mind will lay hold of the essential physical elements and lift them up to a higher plane.
Gen. 33:17. And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him a house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
The name Succoth means “interwoven,” “booths,” “tents.” Booths or tents represent temporary abiding places as compared with permanent houses. Succoth represents the seeming temporary, carnal, material organism of man, which is the fruit or manifestation of the belief that the spiritually unawakened man holds concerning his physical body. The abiding, spiritual body will come into manifestation when man learns that he is wholly spiritual and that no part of him, not even his body, is material and subject to corruption. Spiritual, true thinking will transform the present material seeming and will bring forth immortality, eternal life, throughout the whole man’s being.
Gen. 33:18-20. And Jacob came in peace to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram; and encamped before the city. And he bought the parcel of ground where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Schechem’s father, for a hundred pieces of money. And he erected there an altar, and called it El-Elohe-Israel.
Jacob again entered the land of Canaan, as the Lord had promised he should, and encamped there. His fears gone–he came in peace to Shechem–he was free to pitch his tent wherever he pleased. So we, studying his example, may overcome the self through the transforming power of love. We may have a vision of the power of God indwelling, and in the patience that this vision teaches us we may cease striving with the personal self and henceforth strive only for the possession of the eternal ideal. Thus we make a new name for ourselves, supplanting the former natural self with the divine self. We find our new name written on the white stone that no one else knows, for it is “I.”
When love has preformed its work in his consciousness man ceases to struggle against the seeming evils in the world without and turns his attention to overcoming the inharmonies of the world within himself. “Ye have heard that it is said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, Resist not him that is evil . . . Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy: but I say unto you, Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you.”
All through the Bible life is compared to a battle but not to war: “the battle is Jehovah’s.” The Lord does not fight ignorance and evil; the foundation of all existence being good, the law is constantly at work reducing error to its exact stature. As man develops in consciousness, both the soul and the body constantly become more refined under the law of Spirit. This causes a seeming struggle sometimes with adverse conditions, materiality, ignorance, and evil.
The city of Shechem in the land of Canaan is in the locality where Hamor and his son Shechem dwelt. This is the consciousness into which Jacob (illumined intellect) came. The children of Hamor (“stubborn,” “dark,” “ignorant”) represent the earthly, carnal, state of mind. Shechem represents a burden-bearing attitude of mind (“bending down,” “a burden”). The name El-Elohe-lsrael means “Elohe [Elohim], God of Israel,” “mighty God of Israel,” “Elohim He of Israel.” The altar symbolizes the giving up of the “mind of the flesh” in individual consciousness to make way for the spiritual so that the spiritual may prevail throughout and God alone may be recognized. Thus Israel (the true, spiritual thoughts, beliefs, and faculties) may indeed become a prince, prevailing and ruling with God, having power with both God and man; that is, having power for good in every phase of the consciousness, from the very highest to the most material plane.
Gen. 34:1-3. And Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her; and he took her, and lay with her, and humbled her. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.
The name Dinah means “justified,” “avenged.” Dinah represents the soul side of or the feminine element in the judgment faculty in man, which may be called intuition, the intuition of the natural man. The thought of vengeance that is suggested in the name always comes to the natural man in the process of judging; he is more likely to discern the error side of a proposition than the true side. Dinah, representing this feminine element, went out and mingled with the daughters of the land, who were Hivites. The Hivites were descended from Canaan, son of Ham, and represent the physical and carnal qualities in the individual. Any unlawful relationship of thoughts or elements results in a heavy, burdensome, attitude of mind (Shechem). Hamor represents a central or ruling thought (he was a Hivite prince) in the carnal consciousness of man.
Gen. 34:4-7. And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife. Now Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter; and his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they came. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him. And the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter; which thing ought not to be done.
Shechem (burden-bearing thoughts), representing a belief in the reality of the material and physical, sought to make his relationship with Dinah (feminine, intuitional element) permanent. When Jacob’s sons (the offspring of the illumined intellect) discovered the unholy state of affairs they were naturally grieved and angered.
Gen. 34:8-31. And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you, give her unto him to wife. And make ye marriages with us; give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you. And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein. And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find favor in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give. Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife. And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father with guile, and spake, because he had defiled Dinah their sister, and said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us. Only on this condition will we consent unto you: if ye will be as we are, that every male of you be circumcised; then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people. But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.
And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor’s son. And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob’s daughter: and he was honored above all the house of his father. And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying, These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for, behold, the land is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters. Only on this condition will the men consent unto us to dwell with us, to become one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised. Shall not their cattle and their substance and all their beasts be ours? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us. And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city. And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city unawares, and slew all the males. And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went forth. The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their flocks and their herds and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field; and all their wealth, and all their little ones and their wives, took they captive and made a prey, even all that was in the house. And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me, to make me odious to the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and, I bring few in number, they will gather themselves together against me and smite me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with a harlot?
The whole purpose of Jacob (illumined intellect) in penetrating down into the city of Shechem (materiality) in the land of Canaan (the physical and carnal) was to lay hold of new vigor, vitality and substance. Dinah represents the intuitive natural judgment that determines virtue and law in the physical. When this intuitive natural judgment is united with sense it loses its protective integrity, which is resented by the related faculties on that plane of consciousness (Dinah’s brothers). A strict law of chastity is often observed even among primitive people. They may be cannibals or head-hunters yet be concerned for the preservation of the purity of their women. “And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went forth.”
The thought of judgment and punishment that is suggested in the name Dinah is carried out in the action of Simeon and Levi in taking vengeance for Dinah’s disgrace on Shechem and his people. As man becomes more spiritual in his ideas of judgment, thoughts of revenge, punishment, and evil are eliminated from his mind and he sees the love, mercy, and goodness of God instead.
(On the subject of circumcision see interpretation of Gen. 17:9-14.)
The Canaanites represent the elemental life forces in the subconsciousness.
The Perizzites were inhabitants of Canaan and, like the Canaanites, represent the fundamental life element in the organism, only elevated to a more exalted plane by the outer, personal man and more strongly entrenched in the sense consciousness of the individual.
Gen. 35:1-7. And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Beth-el, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, who appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the foreign gods that are among you, and purify yourselves, and change your garments: and let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hand, and the rings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. And they journeyed: and a terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob. So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan (the same is Beth-el), he and all the people that were with him. And he built there an altar, and called the place El-beth-el; because there God was revealed unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.
God commanded Jacob to arise (lift up his thoughts) and go unto Beth-el (“house of God”). After a progressive soul has passed through such an experience as the one recorded in the preceding chapter, this soul feels the need of and affirms the cleansing, purifying, and uplifting power of the word and resolves to keep its face turned more steadfastly toward the light. The foreign gods here referred to supposedly are little images (made of a material substance such as clay or iron) representing ideas. The rings symbolize ornaments in which a vain and frivolous soul delights.
All these relics of the country they were leaving were now to be cast out of the conscious mind. The change of garments represents a change of thoughts. The name Luz means “turning away,” “departing,” “a shrub bearing nuts.” Luz indicates separation. It also carries with it the idea of substance and strength (“a shrub bearing nuts”) of a more or less material character. When Jacob realized the omnipresence of God he changed the name of Luz to Beth-el (“house of God”). (See interpretation of Gen. 28:18-22.)
On the occasion of this, Jacob’s second journey to Luz, he set up an altar and called the place El-beth-el, which means “toward Beth-el; strength of the house of God.” It symbolizes the revelation from within that the true origin of man is spiritual, that God dwells in man and reveals Himself when man comes to the place in consciousness where he is willing to give up the lower for the higher (builds an altar to Jehovah). Man is the house (temple) of God, and he is greatly strengthened when he perceives this truth.
Gen. 35:8. And Deborah Rebekah’s nurse died, and she was buried below Beth-el under the oak; and the name of it was called Allon-bacuth.
Rebekah represents the soul’s natural delight in the beautiful. The name of Deborah means “a bee.” The name Allon-bacuth means “oak of weeping.” Weeping is an expression of emotion, a negative condition, a letting go throughout the organism. Rebekah’s nurse Deborah represents the quality of the soul by virtue of which it serves instinctively and is guided by discrimination and judgment. In mixed states of consciousness, where error seems strongest, Spirit can lead by following the guidance of instinct. Deborah was buried below Bethel (“house of God”) under the oak (the protection of Spirit).
Allon-bacuth (“oak of weeping”) represents the inner strengthening of the true man that comes when, in trying to serve, he lets go of the outer personal activities and goes within to the source of all strength and true energy (the oak) and rests there in God.
Gen. 35:9-15. And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; and the land which I gave unto Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. And God went up from him in the place where he spake with him. And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he spake with him, a pillar of stone: and he poured out a drink-offering thereon, and poured oil thereon. And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Beth-el.
The foregoing incident left an idelible impression on Jacob’s mind, and he counted it as a great spiritual experience and set up a stone as a pillar in commemoration of it.
The name Aram means “high,” “exalted,” and Aram denotes the intellect. The name Paddan means “field,” “tableland.” Paddan-aram represents substance lifted to a broad, level place in the intellectual thought of the individual. This incident in the life of Jacob has much in common with an earlier one. (See interpretation of Gen. 28:18-22).
Gen. 35:16-21. And they journeyed from Beth-el; and there was still some distance to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labor. And it came to pass, when she was in hard labor, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; for now thou shalt have another son. And it came to pass, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-oni: but his father called him Benjamin. And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath (the same is Beth-lehem). And Jacob set up a pillar upon her grave: the same is the Pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day. And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Eder.
Ephrath is the original name of the town of Bethlehem. Ephrath represents a realization of abundant substance, this increase of substance ideas in consciousness bringing about a corresponding fruitfulness, abundance, throughout one’s life and affairs.
The last of the sons of Jacob was born after his return to Canaan. The death of Rachel and birth of Benjamin represent the transition of a potential soul quality from the subjective to the objective plane of consciousness. Rachel (“ewe,” “lamb”) represents the pure, innocent, potentially spiritual soul that is a composite of faith, love, power, and the like. It is through Jacob (the intellect) that these qualities are made objective, and when this comes to pass there is temporary sorrow (“son of my sorrow”), followed by rejoicing at the realization of the birth of the new power that has come through the transition (“son of my right hand”). “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but when she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for the joy that a man is born into the world.”
The name Eder means “troop,” “flock.” The tower called Eder, beyond which Israel (Jacob) journeyed and spread his tent, symbolizes the gathering of thoughts of dominion and rulership (Israel means “rulership with God”) and the raising of them to a higher degree of understanding; lifting them to a spiritual level by realizing that power and dominion come from God.
Gen. 35:22. And it came to pass, while Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard of it.
All these illustrations show that the divine law must be observed in developing the faculties. Reuben’s laying with Bilhah evidently symbolizes an abortive attempt of man’s perception of Truth (Reuben) to develop them through an illegitimate union with a negative element (Bilhah: “bashfulness,” “timidity”). That there is no record of any progeny from this union indicates that it was not in divine order.
Gen. 35:23-26. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: the sons of Leah: Reuben, Jacob’s first-born, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun; the sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin; and the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s handmaid: Dan and Naphtali; and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s handmaind: Gad and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, that were born to him in Paddan-aram.
Leah (“weary,” “exhausted”) represents the human soul. She became the mother of six sons:
Reuben, whose name means “behold a son,” “vision of the son,” represents faith in its aspect of discernment, of sight in the outer. Reuben like Simeon bespeaks understanding.
Simeon, whose name means “hearkening,” “obeying,” represents the bringing forth of hearing; receptivity.
Levi, whose name signifies “joining,” “clinging,” represents the love faculty in human consciousness.
The name Judah means “praise Jehovah.” Judah symbolizes the prayer and praise faculty in consciousness.
The name Issachar means “he will bring reward,” “who brings recompense.” Issachar represents active zeal.
The name Zebulun means “habitation,” “dwelling.” Zebulun represents the order faculty.
Rachel (“ewe,” “lamb”) symbolizes the spiritual soul. She became the mother of Joseph and Benjamin.
The name Joseph means “Jehovah shall increase.” Joseph represents the imagination.
The name Benjamin means “son of good fortune.” Benjamin represents an active, accomplishing faith.
Bilhah (“bashfulness,” “timidity”) represents a tendency toward self-abasement. She bore Jacob two sons, Dan and Naphtali:
Dan (“a judge”) symbolizes the faculty of judgment.
Naphtali (“my wrestling”) represents the power of elimination.
Zilpah (“distilling,” “dropping,” “leaking”) represents the unfolding soul of man in the phase of its awakening to spiritual thought, marked by hesitation and lack of perseverance; too much of the human is expressed and much of the good is dissipated (leaking). Zipah’s two sons were Gad and Asher.
Gad (“fortunate,” “good fortune”) represents the faculty of power, but still mostly on the personal plane.
Asher (“straightforward”) symbolizes the faculty of understanding.
Gen. 35:27, 28. And Jacob came unto Isaac his father to Mamre, to Kiriath-arba (the same is Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac sojourned.
And the days of Isaac were a hundred and fourscore years. And Isaac gave of the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, old and full of days: and Esau and Jacob his sons buried him.
Kiriath-arba (“city of Arba”) represents the tendency of the sense mind to attribute strength, power, knowledge, and greatness to the outer formed world rather than to Spirit. Kiriath-arba was the old name of Hebron, which represents an association of ideas.
Mamre signifies a consciousness of substance and riches.
The death of Isaac represents the passing or giving up of that phase of the individual consciousness which has to do with the pleasures of the natural man; or its sinking back into the subconsciousness (giving up of the ghost).
Gen. 36:1-5. Now these are the generations of Esau (the same is Edom). Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan: Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah the daughter of Anah, the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite, and Basemath Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebaioth. And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Basemath bare Reuel; and Oholibamah bare Jeush, and Jalam, and Korah: these are the sons of Esau, that were born unto him in the land of Canaan.
Metaphysically Esau symbolizes the body or physical vigor. He took wives from among the daughters of Canaan (“lowland”), which represents the body consciousness.
His first wife was Adah (“beauty,” “comeliness,” “adornment,” “ornament,” “pleasure”), who represents a phase of the human soul or love nature. Love, even in its limited expression in personal consciousness, adorns a person with a certain beauty of character and a grace and comeliness not found in those lacking in love.
Another of Esau’s wives was Oholibamah, whose name means “tent of the high place,” “my tabernacle is exalted.” Oholibamah was the granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite.
The name Zibeon means “wild robber,” and the Hivites represent thoughts belonging to the carnal consciousness in man. Oholibamah signifies the lifting up and exalting of materiality by the carnal phase of the soul.
Another of his wives was Basemath, whose name means “fragrant,” “sweet,” “pleasant.” Basemath represents the soul or feminine element in man in the fineness of its ability to perceive or receive intuitively.
Adah bore to Esau a son, Eliphaz, whose name means “God is purification,” “God is dispenser,” “God of strength.”
Basemath bore Reuel, whose name signifies “led of God,” “shepherded of God,” “companion of God.” Reuel denotes a thought of divine guidance and care; also a sense of mutual understanding, comradeship, fellowship existing between God and man.
Oholibamah bore Jeush and Jalam and Korah.
The name Jeush means “he will bring together.” Jeush represents strong, unifying, attracting, accumulating thoughts in consciousness; also the final lifting up and unifying of the entire man in spiritual life and wholeness. The name Jalam means “whom God hides.”
The name Korah means “ice,” “bald.” Korah denotes the coldness, the crystallization (“ice”), and the barrenness (baldness) of consciousness that result from dominance of the “mind of the flesh” (Esau) in the individual.
Gen. 36:6-12. And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the souls of his house, and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his possessions, which he had gathered in the land of Canaan; and went into a land away from his brother Jacob. For their substance was too great for them to dwell together; and the land of their sojournings could not bear them because of their cattle. And Esau dwelt in mount Seir: Esau is Edom.
And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir: these are the names of Esau’s sons: Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, Reuel the son of Basemath the wife of Esau. And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz. And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these are the sons of Adah, Esau’s wife.
The original separation between mind (Jacob) and body (Esau) was caused by the cunning mind taking advantage of the stupid body; also the lusts and weaknesses of the body appetite played their part. Here is illustrated a further separation because of the physical possessions of Esau. Those who cultivate the physical grow physically and require so much room that the mental is crowded out, and they exalt the things of the flesh. Esau dwelt in Mount Seir. The name Seir means “shaggy,” “rough,” “tempestuous,” “hairy,” pointing to the deep-seated emotions in carnal consciousness. Eventually the two states of consciousness represented by Jacob and Esau must be merged.
(For Eliphaz and Basemath see the interpretation of Gen. 36:3, 4.)
The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz.
The name Teman means “prosperity,” “abundance,” “good faith.” Teman denotes the realm of the subconsciousness, with its inherently rich stores of substance and good. Here this realm is under the influence of the Esau-Edom state of mind in the individual; in other words, under the influence of material thought. Omar represents the ability of the outer man to receive the higher Truth ideals (“mountaineer,” “summit”) and to express them (“bringing forth,” “bearing into the light”). The name Zepho (Zephi) means “outlook,” “watchtower.” Zepho represents an expectant state of mind that seemingly belongs to the outer or physical man but whose desire is toward Spirit.
The name Gatam means “puny,” “exhausted,” and the like. (Eliphaz, father of Gatam, represents an active thought of strength.) Strength is from God, while that represented by Eliphaz is of the physical consciousness and does not lay hold of the truth about strength. The meanings attributed to Gatam’s name –“puny,” “greatest fatigue,” “burned field”–clearly indicate the results of believing in material strength. Until man realizes that his strength is spiritual it cannot become abiding, unfailing, and enduring.
The name Kenaz means “spear thrower,” “lancer,” “archer,” “hunter.” A “hunter,” in the sense of a Kenaz, denotes a thought that is connected with the animal forces of the organism. Kenaz symbolizes the thought of man engrossed in the animal phase of his nature, in animal strength and activity (“spear thrower,” “lancer,” “archer”).
Timna was Eliphaz’s concubine. Timna represents a restricting, curbing influence (“withheld,” “restrained,” “forbidden”) that is ever at work in the soul of man and in his body consciousness. If there were no restraint on the carnal mind in man and its activities, man would destroy himself utterly.
Timna bore Amalek, whose name means “warlike,” “dweller in the vale,” “that licks up or consumes.” Amalek symbolizes lust, the base desire that, once established in the animal forces of the subconscious mind of man, is the begetter of destructive, rebellious, perverted appetites and passions. Amalek’s father was Eliphaz, whose name means “God of strength,” “God is purification.” Thus desire at its origin is good and is of God; but when it is misinterpreted by the carnal man it becomes lust (Amalek).
Gen. 36:13. And these are the sons of Reuel: Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah: these were the sons of Basemath, Esau’s wife.
(For Reuel see interpretation of Gen. 36:4.)
Reuel’s first son was Nahath, who represents one of the prevailing beliefs of the outer man at a certain period of his unfoldment: restful, lulling, contentment (“resting,” “quieting”) in his seemingly material type of expression (“lowness”). However higher thoughts must be introduced into even the outer consciousness of man if he is to be aroused out of the false lethargy of the carnal and to be quickened throughout his whole spirit, soul, and body to the Truth of his being.
The name of another son, Zerah, means “sunrise,” “germination of a seed.” “splendor.” Zerah denotes the rise of new light or understanding in the consciousness; the first conscious awakening to the presence of this new inner light or understanding. (The sun rises in the east; and the east signifies the within.)
Shammah, a third son, represents a destructive, fearful tendency in consciousness that leads to inharmonies of mind and body. The outer man, apart from the dominion of Spirit, is very likely to swing from one extreme to the other, from the height of noble thinking and feeling (“fame,” “renown”) to the depths of fear, desolation, emptiness, and error. By consciously laying hold of the Christ Truth and making it practical in his life, this outer man must come into a better balance, greater stability and poise.
Mizzah, the fourth son, represents a steady tearing down and wearing away of the consciousness and organism (“flowing down,” “disintegration,” “exhaustion”) as the result of fear, fear being one of the most subtle and destructive errors that the carnal mind in man contains. The destructive element is redeemed through divine love, which knows only the good.
Gen. 36:14. And these were the sons of Oholibamah the daughter of Anah, the daughter of Zibeon, Esau’s wife: and she bare to Esau Jeush, and Jalam, and Korah.
(For Oholibamah see interpretation of Gen. 36:2. For Oholibamah’s sons, Jeush, Jalam, and Korah, see interpretation of Gen. 36:1-5.)
Gen. 36:15-19. These are the chiefs of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz the first-born of Esau: chief Teman, chief Omar, chief Zepho, chief Kenaz, chief Korah, chief Gatam, chief Amalek: these are the chiefs that came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Adah. And these are the sons of Reuel, Esau’s son: chief Nahath, chief Zerah, chief Shammah, chief Mizzah: these are the chiefs that came of Reuel in the land of Edom: these are the sons of Basemath, Esau’s wife. And these are the sons of Oholibamah, Esau’s wife: chief Jeush, chief Jalam, chief Korah: these are the chiefs that came of Oholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau’s wife. These are the sons of Esau, and these are their chiefs: the same is Edom.
(See interpretation of Gen. 36:9-12 for the sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, Gatam, and Amalek. For Korah, see interpretation of Gen. 36:5.)
(See interpretation of Gen. 36:13 for the sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, Mizzah.)
(See interpretation of Gen. 36:1-5 for the sons of Oholibamah: Jeush and Korah.)
(See interpretation of Gen. 36:1-5 for Jalam.)
Gen. 36:20-30. These are the sons of Seir the Horite, the inhabitants of the land: Lotan and Shobal and Zibeon and Anah, and Dishon and Ezer and Dishan: these are the chiefs that came of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom. And the children of Lotan were Hori and Heman; and Lotan’s sister was Timna. And these are the children of Shobal: Alvan and Manahath and Ebal, Shepho and Onam. And these are the children of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah; this is Anah who found the hot springs in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father. And these are the children of Anah: Dishon and Oholibamah the daughter of Anah. And these are the children of Dishon: Hemdan and Eshban and Ithran and Cheran. These are the children of Ezer: Bilhan and Zaavan and Akan. These are the children of Dishan: Uz and Aran. These are the chiefs that came of the Horites: chief Lotan, chief Shobal, chief Zibeon, chief Anah, chief Dishon, chief Ezer, chief Dishan: these are the chiefs that came of the Horites, according to their chiefs in the land of Seir.
The Horites were very closely connected with the Edomites, the descendants of Esau. They were inhabitants of the land of Mount Seir before they were overcome by Esau. After that they lived in the land with the Edomites.
Metaphysically the Horites, like the Edomites, represent forces having their seat of action in the physical organism. The Horites denote more especially the deep-seated, subconscious errors (cave dwellers) and fleshly tendencies and activities of the physical in man, while the Edomites designate forces in the outer or body consciousness.
The name of Lotan, the son of Seir the Horite, means “covered,” “secret,” “dark.” Metaphysically Lotan represents a secret, hidden, ignorant ruling thought in the realm in man symbolized by the Horites.
Shobal, the name of another son, means “way,” “traveling.” Each individual is “traveling” the pathway of life. To a great extent the race has been and still is “wandering” about in ignorance and darkness as to the true source of man’s being. The “way” that each takes in his thoughts, beliefs, and expressions determines whether that which he brings forth shall be the fruit of the “mind of the flesh” or the fruit of the Spirit (“growing,” “producing ears,” “rain”).
The name Zibeon means “immersed,” “ravenous preyer,” “wild robber,” “dyed.” Metaphysically Zibeon symbolizes a wild, lawless sense thought that has the capacity of adapting itself to the varying ideas and moods of the individual, and that thus remains in his consciousness (until it is cast forth by Truth), robbing his body of its energy and substance.
The name Anah means “answering.” Metaphysically Anah denotes error tendencies or strongly influencing thoughts deep within the subjective life forces in the individual consciousness that cause these life forces to respond to the desires of the flesh or sense man (“answering”) instead of listening to Spirit. (The Hivites and the Horites were descendants of Canaan, son of Ham; they were hostile to the Israelites in the Promised Land, and they had to be destroyed.)
The name Dishon means “fatness,” “opulence,” “fertile,” “ashes.” Metaphysically Dishon symbolizes richness and seeming fertility on the physical plane.
The name Ezer means “envelop,” “help,” “unite,” “treasure.” Metaphysically Ezer symbolizes man’s innate belief in a substance, a wisdom (“treasure”), an established oneness with All-Good (unity), and a power to aid and to protect (“envelop,” “help”) that comes from something higher, stronger, and more real and lasting than sense consciousness can give.
The name Dishan means virtually the same thing as Dishon. Metaphysically Dishan represents a very active, rich, or fertile controlling thought belonging to the Horite consciousness in the individual.
The children of Lotan were Hori and Heman.
The name Hori means “cave dweller,” “imprisoned,” “black.” Metaphysically Hori denotes thoughts belonging to the depths of the subconsciousness (“cave dweller”), or a person wholly given over to the error beliefs signified by the Horites.
The name Heman means “lasting,” “faithful,” “trustworthy.” Heman represents thoughts full of faith and trust in God. Great wisdom and harmony are the result of these thoughts.
The children of Shobal were Alvan and Manahath and Ebal, Shepho and Onam.
The name Alvan means “tall,” “sublime.” Metaphysically Alvan denotes a lofty concept on the part of man in regard to the sensual or physical phase of his organism, whereby he glimpses the truth that even the outer man has his origin in Spirit.
The name Manahath means “resting,” “restoring,” “forsaking.” Metaphysically Manahath designates a peaceful, restful thought and place in consciousness; a ceasing from outer activity, wherein both soul and body are nenewed, and wherein something of error is forsaken and a degree of Truth is realized.
The name Ebal means “stripped of all,” “bare,” “barren,” “stone.” Metaphysically Ebal represents the adverse activity of the law in those who think and act out of harmony with divine principle; that in us which takes cognizance of the working out of error resulting from ignorance and disobedience. This phase of the activity of the law always seems hard (“stone”) to the sense consciousness upon which it falls, and it surely exposes (“bares”) the nothingness of all that does not measure up to the spiritual.
The name Shepho means “nakedness,” “barren,” “wasted away,” “unconcerned.” Metaphysically Shepho denotes a mental activity in the body consciousness that is wholly “unconcerned” with the things of Spirit, hence is unfruitful and “naked” in so far as real life, strength, wholeness, substance, and good are concerned (“nakedness,” “barren” “wasted away”).
The name Onam means “vigorous,” “powerful,” “wealthy,” “substantial.” Metaphysically Onam denotes thoughts pertaining to strength and vigor; also to understanding and substance. He represents a belief in purely physical strength and power, outer possessions, and the carnal thought of understanding.
The children of Zibeon were Aiah and Anah.
The name Aiah means “a cry,” “a clamor,” “a vulture.” Metaphysically Aiah denotes destructive, devouring thoughts pertaining to the animal consciousness and to what should be the higher thought realm in the individual (“a cry,” “a clamor,” and so on).
The name Anah means “answering.” (For further comment see interpretation of Gen. 36:20).
The children of Anah were Dishon and Oholibamah. (For Dishon see interpretation of Gen. 36:21; for Oholibamah, Gen. 36:2.)
The children of Dishon were Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, Cheran.
The name Hemdan means “desirable,” “pleasant,” “precious.” Metaphysically Hemdan represents the seemingly “desirable” and “pleasant” sense beliefs and activities of one who is not awakened spiritually. These beliefs and activities however are but transitory and soon turn to dust and ashes, to vanity and vexation of spirit.
The name Eshban means “man of wisdom,” “man of understanding,” “son of fire.” Metaphysically Eshban represents the belief held by the outer man that wisdom and understanding come through the perceptions of the senses, and through reasoning.
The name Ithran means “abundant,” “excellent,” “plenty,” Metaphysically Ithran represents ideas of great “excellence” and of great value; thoughts that are superior to their fellows, being active both in the deep-seated sense consciousness (Horites) in the individual and on the more spiritual level of his mind (the Israelites). These are ideas that have taken on abundant substance, they involve belief in bountiful supply, and they lead to “plenty.”
The name Cheran means “lyre,” “united,” “a joyous shout.” Metaphysically Cheran denotes a harmonious, unifying thought that is active in the depths of the physical being of man (“united,” “lyre”). Since this thought is not consciously united with Spirit, though its origin and tendency are good, it cannot bring about the perfect union of man with God and the true spiritual harmony implied by the meaning of the name.
The children of Ezer were Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.
The name Bilhan means “confused,” “weak,” “tender.” Metaphysically Bilhan represents a “confused” state of mind and a lack of self-assertion (“weak”) that are the result of a giving way to the fulfillment of the thoughts and desires of the unredeemed subconsciousness.
The name Zaavan means “disquieted,” “trembling,” “terrified.” Metaphysically Zaavan denotes a confused, fearful, unstable thought tendency in the outer or body consciousness of the individual.
The name Akan means “warped,” “keen of vision.” Metaphysically Akan represents a ruling thought, or at least a very strong influential thought, in the sense consciousness. This thought aids in diverting the individual from Truth and causes much trouble in the flesh. It is quick to perceive (“keen”) on the sense plane but is blind (“warped”) to the real truth of man’s being.
The children of Dishan were Uz and Aran.
The name Uz means “substantiation,” “formative power,” “purpose,” “fertility.” Metaphysically Uz denotes the process of thought by which man arrives at a conclusion (be it Truth or error) and establishes it in consciousness (“substantiation,” and so forth).
The name Aran means “active,” “a wild goat,” “firmness.” Metaphysically Aran represents aggressiveness and a firmness or obstinacy of thought that is untrained and undisciplined and is guided not by understanding but by outer desires (“a wild goat,” “firmness”). This makes a place of refuge for many of the sense ideas of man that should be overcome.
(For the names of the chiefs that came of the Horites–Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan–see interpretation of Gen. 36:20, 21.)
Gen. 36:31-39. And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel. And Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom; and the name of his city was Dinhabah. And Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead. And Jobab died, and Husham of the land of Temanites reigned in his stead. And Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who smote Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Avith. And Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead. And Samlah died, and Shaul of Rehoboth by the River reigned in his stead. And Shaul died, and Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead. And Baalhanan the son of Achbor died, and Hadar reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Pau; and his wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Me-zahab.
The name Bela means “destroy,” “utterly consume.” Metaphysically Bela represents destructive tendencies in consciousness.
The name Dinhabah means “robbers’ den,” “place of plundering.” Metphysically Dinhabah signifies an aggregation of thoughts belonging to man’s outer, carnal consciousness. These thoughts are error; they build up and sustain destructive sense tendencies that rob the real inner man of the substance that is rightly his. The name Jobab means “howling of wild beasts,” “wail of tribulation.” Metaphysically Jobab denotes the noisy, contentious tumultuousness of the outer personal man while under the dominion of the “mind of the flesh.”
The name Husham means “hasting,” “vehement,” “passionate.” Metaphysically Husham represents the hurried attitude of mind as related to satisfying physical desire. This attitude belongs to the outer consciousness and tends to confusion and disorder.
The name Hadad means “quick,” “might,” “majesty.” Metaphysically Hadad represents the setting up as all-powerful of the intellect in its spiritually unawakened state.
The name Samlah means “outer garment,” “mantle,” “clothed.” Metaphysically Samlah represents the general ruling characteristics of the outer, mortal phase of consciousness in man represented also by Edom.
The name Shaul means “desired,” “demanded,” “inquiring,” “excavating.” Shaul is a form of the name Saul, and its meaning is the same. Shaul symbolizes the will in individual consciousness, the presonal will.
The name Baalhanan means “Baal is gracious,” “possessor of compassion,” “lord of mercy.” Metaphysically Baalhanan represents grace, mercy, and kindliness as belonging to and being expressed by the outer man (“Baal is gracious,” and so forth). All these God qualities are expressed in a measure by the outer physical and mental man even before their true origin is understood to be spiritual. Until man learns the Truth, he usually takes to himself all the honor and glory resulting from any good that he does, instead of ascribing all honor and glory to God, Divine Mind.
The name Hadar, a form of the name Hadad, means “where one returns for rest,” “concealed inner chamber,” “hidden principle.” While Hadad represents the setting up as all-powerful of the intellect in its spiritually unawakened state, Hadar, in addition to that, represents the “hidden principle” of all light, all wisdom, all knowledge (God, Spirit) that exists back of the intellect, back of every expression of intelligence or understanding.
Matred (“a short spear”) and Mehetabel (“God benefits”), women of Edom, represent activities in the soul’s progress toward spiritual perfection. Even the phase of the soul represented by Edom, the outer physical man, has impulses that are uplifting and that are ever moving toward the more perfect understanding and expression of Being.
Me-zahab, the name of Matred’s father, means “water of gold,” “emanations of the shining one.” Me-zahab represents a wisdom that is of the one light or sun, Spirit, though it may be somewhat negative, as suggested by “water,” “water of gold.” Matred represents a pushing or urging forward of the soul (“thrusting forward”), by means of the wisdom symbolized by Me-zahab, to still higher and clearer light and dominion (“a scepter”). Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred (“to whom God does good,” “God is the greatest good”) represents the further awakening of the human soul to the goodness of God.
Gen. 36:40-43. And these are the names of the chiefs that came to Esau, according to their families, after their places, by their names: chief Timna, chief Alvah, chief Jetheth, chief Oholibamah, chief Elah, chief Pinon, chief Kenaz, chief Teman, chief Mibzar, chief Magdiel, chief Iram: these are the chiefs of Edom, according to their habitations in the land of their possession. This is Esau, the father of the Edomites.
(For Timna see the interpretation of Gen. 36:12.)
The name Alvah means “sublimation (of evil),” “sublimity,” “wicked.” Metaphysically Alvah represents the animal nature exalting itself–“sublimation (of evil).” This is evil in the sight of Truth, since true sublimity and exaltation come only from the unifying of the entire being with the spiritual or Christ consciousness.
The name Jetheth means “securing,” “stability,” “subjection,” Metaphysically Jetheth represents in the outer, material consciousness of man a ruling belief in the use of force to compel, drive, suppress in order to keep the individual steadfast. This of course is error and leads to bondage instead of true freedom.
The name Elah means “terebinth,” “oak,” a name implying strength, hardiness, and size. Metaphysically Elah represents the consciousness of strength and protection that is based on material beliefs; hence a limited consciousness, one likely to fail at the very time when most needed.
The name Pinon means “darkness,” “perplexity,” “hopelessness.” Metaphysically Pinon represents the great anxiety, confusion, and hopelessness that often come over the purely mortal, darkened consciousness of man in times of error reaping.
The name Kenaz means “possessor,” “lancer,” “hunter,” “flank.” The name Teman means “abundance,” “good faith,” “firm.” (For further comment see interpretation of Gen. 36:11.)
The name Mibzar means “inaccessible,” “lofty,” “impervious.” Metaphysically Mibzar represents ruling belief of the carnal mind in man that the things of Spirit, of God, are hard to understand, that they are so far removed from the apparently finite mind of man that they are unattainable.
The name Magdiel means “most precious fruits of God,” “praise of God,” “God is renowned.” Metaphysically Magdiel represents the truth about the outer and seemingly material phase of man’s being Esau and Edom). This truth is that even man’s physical body is the precious fruit of God. It has its origin in Spirit and is innately spiritual. It must eventually express and manifest God, Spirit, thus giving all praise, honor, and glory to the Father-Mind, through which it came into existence (“God is renowned”).
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Mysteries of Genesis
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