Chapter 4 – The Reaction to Sense Living – Mysteries of Genesis

Chapter 4
GENESIS 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11

Charles Fillmore
Mysteries of Genesis
Chapter 4

THE RESULT of sense living is the resistance that is a part of man’s consciousness. The mind of man is constantly at work, and this work results in the production of thought forms. These thought forms assume individual definiteness; they take on personality. They are aggregated into a composite mind, which works out into the body. Whenever a new idea is introduced into the mind, the personality is disturbed. It resists; but the spiritual idea is always more powerful than the personal, and with this resistance comes more or less commotion in the consciousness.

Those who have entered into this process of spiritual evolution, or what Jesus called the regeneration, are prepared for the reception of these divine new ideas, and instead of resisting they say with Jesus, “Not my will, but thine, be done.” This attitude opens the way for the easy advent into their consciousness of God ideas and leads to an inspiration or steady flow of ideas into it. In this way the sense consciousness is being transformed or lifted up, and the new man appears while the old man is sloughed off. This is crucifixion. The assimilation of the new ideas leads to resurrection and finally to ascension.

There have been many floods upon the earth, and nearly every people has traditions of a time when to them “the whole earth” was engulfed in a great deluge. Geologists are agreed that there have been many deluges in the history of the earth. But these do not necessarily refer to the Flood of Genesis, nor do they corroborate it as history.

As history the story of the great rain in Genesis is very uncertain, and from a historical standpoint we should gain but little of value from its study. But as a symbolic description of certain habits of thought both in the individual and in the race and of the result of those habits of thought in consciousness, we can profit much from the story’s study.

When we observe cloud formations over the earth we can be sure that rain is indicated. The wind may blow the clouds away from the immediate vicinity, but some other part of the earth will get the rain. “Clouds” formed by ignorant or erroneous thinking also indicate a coming storm. The effect of untrue thoughts may become manifest in any part of the body.

The trials and reverses in the life of an individual can be traced to a definite cause in his thinking. In it there has been some error of belief or some confusion of thought, which in its natural course under the law has worked itself into outer expression as in apparent loss, an accident, a disappointment, or a disease. We deplore the condition, yet see in it two possibilities of good. First the manifestation has fulfilled the law and provided an avenue of escape for the pent-up error within, and secondly, it has taught a valuable lesson. There is small comfort in the thought that an earthquake has relieved a strained and abnormal condition in the earth’s crust. Yet when we look a little deeper we see that a strained and abnormal condition in the race thought that had to become manifest has been relieved and the race consciousness is the better for it.

Gen. 6:1-7. And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose. And Jehovah said, My Spirit shall not strive with man for ever, for that he also is flesh: yet shall his days be a hundred and twenty years. The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them: the same were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.

And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented Jehovah that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And Jehovah said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the ground; both man, and beast, and creeping things, and birds of the heavens; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

When we lower our ideals to a material basis, “the sons of God” are taking unto themselves wives of “the daughters of men.” “Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” When we join spiritual faculties like faith, will, and imagination to material surroundings and personalities and sensual desires, we are falling short of the law of Being, which is that these higher faculties shall draw from the formless and be joined to that realm. The Nephilim represent spiritual ideas (sons of God) uniting with psychical forces to bring forth unregenerated physical forces. To unite spiritual ideas with sensual images is in direct opposition to divine law and in the Scripture is termed “wickedness.”

When the wrong use of the spiritual faculties reaches a certain limit, the law (Lord) of our being begins to regulate the consciousness. Outraged nature reacts; a destruction of the false, man-made condition sets in. This it is which is symbolized in the Book of Genesis by the “flood” of Noah.

Gen. 6:8-17. But Noah found favor in the eyes of Jehovah. These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, and perfect in his generations: Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And the earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.

And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is how thou shalt make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A light shalt thou make to the ark, and to a cubit shalt thou finish it upward; and the door of the ark shall thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. And I, behold, I do bring the flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is in the earth shall die.

Lamech, the name of Noah’s father, is a name signifying “a strong young man,” and the name Noah means “rest.” In the days of our youth we idealize the material world and devote our spiritual faculties to the things of sense. This devotion becomes so complete that we no longer use our spiritual faculties for their proper functions on the spiritual plane. This results in abnormal conditions, and the balance must be restored. A reaction sets in and there is a flood of seemingly adverse experiences. But Noah (rest) finds “favor in the eyes of Jehovah.”

One who has indulged the strength of youth (Lamech) in pursuing the things of sense until under the law of spiritual equilibrium he begins to require rest (Noah) may have bodily ills. The cross-currents of thought have brought about a precipitation of negation in the body consciousness, caused by wicked or error thoughts clashing with the spiritually positive ideas. This is followed by the “flood,” which drowns out the material thoughts and cleanses the “earth.”

Science teaches that man’s body contains all the elements that are found in the earth. This gives rise to the thought of “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” Religion however goes a step farther and says that man is the epitome of Being, that he is like his Maker in spirit, soul, and body, the image and likeness of God. If man’s body is of the same character as the earth, it is in some of its aspects like its prototype. The earth’s surface is three fourths water and the body is about eighty per cent water. This is a major negative condition that needs but little augmenting to cause an overflow or a “flood.” Only our positive spiritual thoughts hold back a deluge, and once there is an overbalance the negative is let loose and there is great destruction. There is no stopping this flood by any material means, and one who is spiritually wise will not fear it but rather rejoice in the body cleansing it brings about.

Just as the earth’s waters evaporate and surround it with clouds of mist, so the mists and clouds of life surround man’s body. As the physical forces move on these mists and clouds of earth, so do the mental forces move on and cause the invisible ethers to condense and flood the body with its own negative thoughts. The poetic words “A flood of thoughts came o’er me” is no metaphor but a physiological fact. When mind and body reach a certain tenseness or strained condition, the law forces a conjunction, and a flood is certain to follow. This is exemplified by what is called a “nervous breakdown.” Someone has said that America is fast becoming a nation of neurotics. We certainly need this lesson of Noah (rest) to learn to let go of physical tenseness and material things. This rest can be attained only when we realize that our faculties are spiritual and must seek spiritual expression.

Man is an epitome of all that exists in Being, even as regards the Spirit of God, which is inspired in him. But man is a free agent. He can open his mind to the divine intelligence and know the creative law or he can work out his unfoldment through blind experimentation. Our race is in the experimental stage. In our ignorance we transgress the law to the very limit, and then, a great reaction sets in; a general condition that is negative to the point of dissolution. Then that in us which always looks obediently to God in an extremity is awakened and we seek the divine law. This obedient disposition is represented by Noah, through whom the seed of a new state of consciousness is saved.

Gen. 6:18-22. But I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, and of the cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and gather it to thee; and it shall be food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

The only refuge from this “flood” is the ark of Jehovah. The ark represents a positive, saving state of consciousness, which agrees with or forms a covenant with the principle of Being, with subconscious inspiration, with Christ. This ark is the product of “rest,” “abiding” (Noah), in the spiritual part of us, right in the midst of the flood of error. Noah heeded not the jeers of the people about him but rested on the promise of God.

Your ark must be built on a scientific understanding of the truth as regards the presence, power, and wisdom of God. This is suggested by the mathematical dimensions prescribed for the ark. Your ark is built on affirmations of what you are in Spirit. You take with you into the ark your wife, your sons and their wives (spiritual principles inhering in the soul), and “of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort” (male and female or positive and negative activities of life in the organism).

The idea of divine Truth must be fed with true affirmations as you are being lifted up and above the flood of error thoughts that surge about you. In due time the waters of negation will subside and enable you to walk forth and to people the “earth” of your body with new and better ideas.

In case the error thoughts destroy the body of flesh, the ark represents the new body that the mind spiritually projects and that forms the basis of the organism in the new incarnation.

The story of Noah and the Flood portrays in wonderful symbolism the manner in which one of the faculties of being operates in unfolding the perfect man. The faculty of renunciation is twofold in action: it eliminates the error, and it expands the good. The name Noah connotes the sweet rest and quiet comfort that come after the soul has worked out some of its problems in consciousness and has perceived that there is an original spark of divinity in man that is most sacred and holy and that man’s spiritual development consists in the expansion of this original divine spark. Jehovah, the image-and-likeness man created by Elohim God, recognizes only the good and instructs His Adam man to open his consciousness to good thoughts and to cleanse his consciousness from all evil by the flood waters of denial.

Man is making his body temple an eternal dwelling place for the soul. His goal is to bring into expression the kingdom of the heavens and to establish it within himself. To do this he needs to realize that the old is constantly passing away and the new constantly coming in according to the outworking of the law. He should not resist this change but rather assist in bringing it about. We are born daily and we die daily in some phase of consciousness. Some errors may stick in our mind for a while, but when new light is born in consciousness, old thoughts are carried away by Noah’s Flood.

Gen. 7:1-24. And Jehovah said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee seven and seven, the male and his female; and of the beasts that are not clean two, the male and his female; of the birds also of the heavens, seven and seven, male and female, to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made will I destroy them off the face of the ground. And Noah did according unto all that Jehovah commanded him.

And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creepeth upon the ground, there went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, male and female, as God commanded Noah. And it came to pass after the seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; they, and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God commanded him: and Jehovah shut him in. And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high mountains that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both birds, and cattle, and beasts, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, of all that was on dry land, died. And every living thing was destroyed that was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and creeping things, and birds of the heavens; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only was left, and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days.

“The rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.” The number 40 is made up of the number 4, representing unlimited freedom of action, and the cipher, 0, representing unlimited capacity of action. This number is used where a definite time cannot be given. “Day” and “night” represent periods of understanding and lack of understanding, succeeding each other during the “forty” period. The number of Noah’s age, 600, represents an established degree of spiritual unfoldment. The number 7 represents the evolution and fulfillment of the spiritual law of man on the natural plane.

(For further interpretation of this material see comments on Gen. 6:8-22.)

Gen. 8:1-3. And God remembered Noah, and all the beasts, and all the cattle that were with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged; the fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; and the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters decreased.

This Scripture describes symbolically a change in consciousness from the negative to the positive state. A certain set of negative thoughts run their course and the restorative thought forces are in evidence.

Gen. 8:4-6. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountain of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.

And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:

Ararat symbolizes resting in a state of consciousness high above the physical plane, where one gets a wide perspective of material things. It is the place of rest (Noah) that one arrives at through understanding and that follows turbulence, tribulation, and a flood of negative conditions.

The number 7 represents fullness in the world of phenomena. It always refers to the divine law of perfection for the divine-natural man. As man lays hold of the indwelling Christ, the Saviour, he is raised out of the Adam consciousness. He then enters the seventh stage of his unfoldment, where he finds rest and peace. It is the seventh or perfect stage of man’s natural development.

The ark reaches the seventh stage of unfoldment in a high consciousness, which brings a certain measure of peace and rest.

Gen. 8:7-14. And he sent forth a raven, and it went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. And he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; but the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him to the ark; for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: and he put forth his hand, and took her, and brought her in unto him into the ark. And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; and the dove came in to him at eventide; and, lo, in her mouth an olive-leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. And he stayed yet other seven days, and sent forth the dove; and she returned not again unto him any more.

And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dried. And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dry.

When we begin to realize that we have attained a new and high state of consciousness we are more or less in doubt as to its stability. This uncertainty is symbolized by the raven. The seven days’ wait means that we test the principles of the sevenfold law.

Then we send forth the dove, which represents peace of mind and confidence in the divine law. The dove is nonresistant: we rest in the Spirit. The dove brings back a green olive leaf (which represents the beginning of a new growth). We start on a new cycle of unfoldment.

Gen. 8:15-22. And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth from the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee. Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee of all flesh, both birds, and cattle, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him: every beast, every creeping things, and every bird, whatsoever moveth upon the earth, after their families, went forth out of the ark.

And Noah builded an alter unto Jehovah, and took of every clean beast, and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. And Jehovah smelled the sweet savor; and Jehovah said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake, for that the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

The altar in this case represents an abiding resolution of the spiritual-minded one (Noah) who makes a covenant with the Lord to continue to “sacrifice” his sensations or transmute them on the spiritual plane. The spiritual-minded person should have his daily meditations and prayers, during which he lifts up all his states of consciousness, both masculine and feminine, seeking to know the reality back of appearances and to restore them to the Lord. This is symbolized by the daily sacrifice of the animals that came out of the ark. Thus the body is secured against the results of another universal judgment of error thoughts.

Gen. 9:1-7. And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every bird of the heavens; with all wherewith the ground teemeth, and all the fishes of the sea, into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be food for you; as the green herb have I given you all. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood, the blood of your lives, will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it: and at the hand of man, even at the hand of every man’s brother, will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man. And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.

Noah (the consciousness), with his sons (states of mind), after the Flood (his purification) is very closely related to God.

The “flood” cleanses man of certain cloudy states of mind, and he begins to see that he lives on three planes of consciousness, represented by Noah’s three sons: Ham, whose name means “hot,” typifying body mind; Shem, whose name means “renowned,” typifying Spirit-mind, and Japheth, whose name means “extended and wide,” typifying the intellect. He also sees that his body mind organizes a fourth plane, that of the visible flesh, Canaan.

The matter of food is also to be solved. “Every moving thing that liveth shall be food for you; as the green herb have I given you all.” The wording implies that green herbs are to be the food of both man and animal. But the next command is “But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.” The importance of the living element in blood is its soul (Hebrew nephesh), which becomes part of man’s soul when he eats the blood of animals. This is forbidden, hence to this day orthodox Hebrews drain the blood from the animal flesh before it is offered for food. It is also significant that green herbs are now recommended for food for both animals and man. When we eat of the flesh of animals as popularly prepared we appropriate the soul of the animal as well as the body, and our soul is mentally impregnated with animal tendencies. As Byron said, “the eating of meat makes me savage.”

God covenants or agrees to bless the purified consciousness and its realm of ideas (seed). Every idea (living creature) that is illumined of Spirit–even an idea relating to the body consciousness (earth)–is blessed when man knows the creative law and operates in accord with it.

Once the consciousness has been cleansed and man has awakened to his spiritual nature, he is saved through obedience to divine law and is no longer subject to dissolution through negative means. This “covenant,” which is eternal, is with those who give up mind and body to the keeping of divine law. The “bow” signifies the orderly arrangement of ideas in Divine Mind and their perfect manifestation. One who is poised in Truth rests in the consciousness of God’s presence even in the midst of error (the cloud).

Gen. 9:8-19. And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that go out of the ark, even every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

And the sons of Noah, that went forth from the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah: and of these was the whole earth over-spread.

God made a covenant with Noah that the earth should not again be flooded, and the rainbow was given as a sign of this covenant. The rainbow as a token of the covenant between God and the earth involves the law of obedience. It is also symbolic of the human race and of the law of unity. The rainbow is formed of many drops of water, each of which acts as a prism, receiving light from the sun and transmitting it by refraction. Each drop represents a human being and the whole race. Only as the drops refract the sun’s rays do they become visible and only as man “refracts” God does he make his demonstration.

The seven colors of the solar spectrum are produced by different rates of vibration of a universal energy that in its myriad activities makes the visible universe.

When man is like Noah, obedient to the guidance of God, he is never flooded by negative conditions. When the whole race enters into this obedience, the perfect principles of unity and God refraction and reflection will be forever established. The rainbow is the sign of this state in which we shall all form with our obedient mind a circle of natural perfection. As the rainbow connects the heavens and the earth, so the state of perfect obedience and unity in Spirit brings the earth and the kingdom of the heavens together as one.

Gen. 9:20-29. And Noah began to be a husbandman, and planted a vineyard: and he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his youngest son had done unto him. And he said,

Cursed be Canaan;
A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
And he said,
Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Shem;
And let Canaan be his servant.
God enlarge Japheth,
And let him dwell in the tents of Shem;
And let Canaan be his servant.
And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.

Noah had planted a vineyard, and he drank of the wine: took into his physical nature the juice of the grape. This is symbolical of the new spiritual life that is still contaminated by the sense consciousness. Noah had given his attention to the cultivation of the vineyard (earth consciousness) rather than the cultivation of the spiritual consciousness. More thoroughly to explain what the drunkenness of Noah signifies we must resolve the allegory into its spiritual elements.

Noah became “uncovered” or naked (lost his garment of Truth) because he mixed sense (artificial) stimulants with the new wine of life, Spirit. His cultivation of the life force in this physical manner is like the work of some of our physical scientists. Athletes cultivate the physical in an effort to increase the flow of life force and imagine that the physical side is the whole thing. Instead of illuminating Noah or giving him life the wine put him to sleep. He was intoxicated with error thought, and this opened his consciousness to negation. The higher man saw at once that he was not expressing spiritual Truth.

Although the sons of Noah were supposed to be on a higher plane than he, yet they were also in sense consciousness in a measure, and this is especially true of Ham. Now there is a higher and lower physical consciousness, and the name of Canaan, Ham’s son, is introduced to symbolize the lower physical thought, the organized body. Ham saw the ignorance and the nakedness that sense thinking had produced in his father but did nothing to remedy it, nor did he try to extenuate the uncovering in any way. To Ham the thing was more or less a joke, and he told his brothers about it, evidently in a scandalous way. This reveals that man cannot get spiritual life out of material thought.

Shem, representing the Spirit in man, and Japheth, representing the intellectual nature, have pity on their father (man) because of his exposure of his nakedness and sensuality and try to cover it up without seeing it as a reality. They put a garment over their shoulders and walk backward and spread it over their father’s nakedness. They do not view the occurrence as a reality.

When Noah awoke from his wine–that is, returned to his spiritual consciousness–his first words were “Cursed be Canaan.” Canaan means “lowland” and represents the body consciousness. “A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren,” he said, thus placing the stamp of materiality upon the body consciousness and showing that it cannot give spiritual life.

But Noah said to the God of Shem, “Let Canaan be his servant”; that is, let the flesh come under the dominion of the spiritual man. Of Japheth Noah said, “Let him dwell in the tents of Shem”; that is, let the intellectual man dwell under the protection of the spiritual man, not as a servant but as a younger brother. Thus the physical mind (Ham) and the body (Canaan) come under the dominion of both the intellectual man and the spiritual man, the I AM itself.

The sons of Noah represent the positive, permanent thoughts that rise above the negative, wicked conditions, even the catastrophe of death (the Flood), and come down to earth again. In other words, they are carried over and reincarnated when the soul again takes on a body of flesh.

In order to get the most from physical man we must seek to develop him along spiritual lines. When the spiritual man (Noah) begins a new cycle, a new evolution in physical consciousness (after the cleansing of the “flood”) he must give attention to the impact of the ideas put into the body consciousness, select carefully his food and drink, and refuse to give himself to the sense consciousness in any way.

We find the 10th chapter of Genesis to be devoted to genealogy. It gives an account of the descendents of Noah and his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Gen. 10:1-32. Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, namely, of Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood. The sons of Japheth: Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. And the sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. And the sons of Javan: Elishah, and Tarshish, and Kittim, and Dodanim. Of these were the isles of the nations divided in their lands, every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

And the sons of Ham: Cush, and Mizraim, and Put, and Canaan. And the sons of Cush: Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, Sabteca; and the sons of Raamah: Sheba, and Dedan. And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before Jehovah: wherefore it is said, Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before Jehovah. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land he went forth into Assyria, and builded Nineveh, and Rehoboth-Ir, and Calah, and Resen, between Nineveh and Calah (the same is the great city). And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, and Pathrusim, and Casluhim (whence went forth the Philistines), and Caphtorim.

And Canaan begat Sidon his first-born, and Heth, and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite, and the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, and the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanite spread abroad. And the border of the Canaanite was from Sidon, as thou goest toward Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest toward Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboiim, unto Lasha. These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, in their nations.

And unto Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Japheth, to him also were children born. The sons of Shem: Elam, and Asshur, and Arpachshad, and Lud, and Aram. And the sons of Aram: Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash. And Arpachshad begat Shelah; and Shelah begat Eber. And unto Eber was born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan. And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah, and Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah, and Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba, and Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan. And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest toward Sephar, the mountain of the east. These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.

These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and of these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.

The name Shem means “upright,” “renowned,” “splendor,” “name.” Metaphysically Shem represents the spiritual in man.

The name Ham means “oblique,” “curved,” “inferior,” “hot,” “blackened.” Metaphysically Ham represents the physical in man, given over to sensuality.

The name Japheth means “extended and wide,” “increase,” “expansion,” “unfoldment,” “extends without limitation.” Metaphysically Japheth represents the intellect or reason, the mental realm. To “extend without limitation” this realm would have to extend into the spiritual.

Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, represent the spiritual, the physical, and the mental in man.

The names of the “sons of Japheth” follow:

The name Gomer means “organic accumulation,” “finished or perfected,” “ended.” Gomer represents human reason in its greatest perfection and completion; but by reasoning alone man cannot reach spiritual wisdom and Truth or come in conscious touch with God, Spirit.

The name Magog means “region of God,” “from the upper, i.e., north,” “extreme extension.” Symbolically Magog represents the satanic or selfish thought force in human consciousness warring against the true thought force that springs from the ideas that Jesus taught and demonstrated.

The name Madai means “sufficiency,” “indefinite capacity,” “middle portion.” Madai represents the phase of being in man that lies between the outer or conscious thinking mind and the superconscious mind or Spirit; the psychic realm.

The name Javan means “the East,” “the dove,” “warmth,” “fertility,” “mire,” “deception.” Javan symbolizes the human or personal intellect in man and one of its governing characteristics, the deceptive, error belief that understanding is gained through the impressions of the senses in contact with the outer world and through books, teachers, and experience rather than through the Spirit of God within the soul of man. In the broadest sense Javan also represents the spiritual phase of intelligence or illumined and inspired intellect, hence the idea of the East, of fertility and productiveness.

The name Tubal signifies “diffusive motion,” “welling,” “triumphal song.” Tubal represents the expanding possibilities of the consciousness of man, with the joy and the good that result from increased understanding.

The name Meshech means “perceptibility,” “drawing out,” “deducing.” Meshech stands for perception through the senses, judgment according to appearances, and the work of the mind in conceiving ideas and in drawing conclusions.

The name Tiras means “determination of forms,” “thought,” “imagination,” “desire.” Metaphysically Tiras represents the imagination or formative faculty of man made active in the mind of the individual by the inner longing of the soul (desire), whichever leads to unfoldment Godward. As the seventh son of Japheth, Tiras represents a certain fullness or completeness of that which Japheth symbolizes, the mental phase of man’s being. The power to think, to image in the mind, is the formative power in man.

The names of “the sons of Gomer,” with their meaning, follow:

The name Ashkenaz means “fire that spreads,” “latent fire,” “hidden fire.” Ashkenaz represents the life thought formed in Spirit, the “fire that spreads” to assist in doing away with the confused state of mind represented by Babylon. When the life thought is taken up consciously by man it extends quickly to the whole consciousness, overthrowing sense confusion and its inharmonies. Fire stands for cleansing and purification and is generally used in the Bible as a symbol of the destruction of evil and error.

The name Riphath signifies “centrifugal force,” “spoken word,” “pardon,” “healing.” Riphath symbolizes the power actively expressing itself through the will and the word. This power, though more mental than spiritual, is refining and healing.

The name Togarmah means “centralizing energy,” “gravitation,” “hard,” “strong.” Togarmah represents strength and a drawing, centralizing force or energy; a force or energy of the intellect rather than of the inner spiritual understanding and therefore characterized by very great hardness and selfishness.

The names of “the sons of Javan” are given here:

The name Elishah means “God firmly establishes,” “uprightness of God,” “God saves.” Even the human reason acknowledges that God is the saving power of His people. The intellectual powers of man are human and they are deceptive. Yet they are productive on their own plane; and Elishah represents the power back of the intellect that knows God to be the one true helping, sustaining, saving power in man.

The name Tarshish means “precipitating force,” “hard,” “severity.” Tarshish symbolizes the hard, unyielding, argumentative tendency that is characteristic of the purely intellectual and reasoning nature in man when unmixed with divine love and the softening influence of spiritual wisdom.

The name Kittim signifies “the cut off,” “the rejected,” “outsiders.” Kittim represents a phase of the outer, sense-reasoning mind in man, as opposed to the inner, true spiritual understanding. This phase of thought must be cut off, rejected, by the individual who would progress spiritually, since it is an “outsider,” uncivilized and reprobate as far as Truth is concerned.

The name Dodanim means “confederates,” “the elect,” “lovable,” “pleasing.” Dodanim represents unifying thoughts of a very excellent character belonging to the intellect in man.

These are the names of “the sons of Ham”:

The name Cush means “burned,” “blackened,” “firelike.” Cush represents the darkened thought in which man has held his body and its activities, the seemingly mortal, physical part of himself. But this all changes as he perceives the Truth and holds in mind the perfect-body idea.

The name Mizraim means “limitation,” “bondage,” “tribulation.” Mizraim is symbolical of the sense belief that the life as well as the organism of man is bound in materiality and that man is subject to sorrows and to all forms of error that hinder him from receiving good.

The name Put signifies “state of being stifled,” “asphyxiation or suffocation.” Put represents the darkened, sorrowful, and very material dying state of mind and body that results from a lack of spiritual inspiration, of the inbreathing and understanding of Spirit.

The name Canaan means “material existence,” “realized nothingness,” “lowland,” “inferior.” Canaan thus represents the body consciousness; the fleshly organism and tendencies of man; the physical rather than the spiritual. We also think of Canaan as denoting the subconsciousness.

Here are the names of “the sons of Cush,” with their meaning:

The name Seba signifies “radical mixture,” “vital fluid,” “intoxicated.” Seba represents intemperate desire expressing itself in the body consciousness. The Seba thought or state of thought is not poised, moderate, or well balanced as regards anything; it goes to extremes, especially in the indulgence of the appetites and desires of the flesh.

The name Havilah means “struggle of elementary life,” “virtue born of trial.” Havilah symbolizes the effort, the travail, the trials that are necessary to bring into manifestation the inner spiritual possibilities that lie back of and are wrapped up in the seemingly material organism.

The name Sabtah means “determining motion,” “a trun,” “orbit.” Sabtah represents the general cyclical trend of the activity of the sensual in man. Led away by outer seeming, man has through the exercise of his personal will set up a course of action in sense consciousness that falls short of the divine ideal and is contentious and destructive.

The name Raamah signifies “moved with agitation,” “trembling,” “quaking.” Raamah represents the result or fruit of the ignorant thought of the sense man regarding his body. This result takes the shape of the nameless fears, inner trembling, and un-Godlike emotions that the sense man experiences.

The significance of the name Sabteca is the same as that of Sabtah but greatly intensified.

The following are the names of “the sons of Raamah”:

The name Sheba means “rest or repose,” “stability,” “restoration.” Sheba represents a thought of wholeness or fullness on some plane of existence. Whether this thought belongs to the inner man or the outer man depends on who the person in the Bible name Sheba is and on his descent, history, or activities. If the activities are constructive or if he owns descent from Shem he represents higher and more spiritual thoughts than if the activities are not constructive and he is descended from Ham.

The name Dedan means “mutual attraction,” “selective affinity,” “physical love.” Dedan refers to a phase of physical or animal attraction and affection.

The names of the children of Cush, with their meaning, are given here:

The name Nimrod means “self-ruling will,” “rebellion.” Nimrod denotes the rule of the personal will in the animal forces of the organism; also a material belief in courage and might.

The name Babel signifies “court of Baal,” “confusion,” “chaos,” “vanity.” When man thinks that he can comprehend and contract the divine in outer or purely mental or psychic ways the result is always confusion.

The name Erech means “long,” “extended,” “slack”; in a good sense, “prolonged,” “lasting.” Erech represents a state of consciousness in which, because of long and extended material thinking the natural, inherent wholeness and goodness of man is conceived by him entirely in terms of the material, bringing about the disastrous results of error in body and affairs.

The name Accad signifies “castle,” “fortress,” “highland.” Accad represents a fixed state of belief that protection, great strength, exalted position, and superiority are to be attained through the intellectual and the physical alone.

The name Calneh signifies “complete concentration,” “centralized ambition.” Calneh represents selfishness, a centering in self; also confidence in material conditions rather than trust in God.

The name Shinar signifies “two rivers,” “divided stream,” “divided mind.” Shinar represents a belief in two powers, an evil as well as a good one, and the error results.

Assyria represents the reasonings, philosophical as well as physical, that do not recognize a spiritual head of the universe but are based on sense observation.

The name Nineveh means “exterior growth,” “coordination,” “education of youth.” Nineveh represents the seat of the natural animal forces in man’s body consciousness. The people of Nineveh were not willfully wicked; they were only awaiting spiritual instruction that would turn their attention away from the outer and material to God.

Rehoboth-Ir (“broad places,” “enlargements,” “forums”) symbolizes thoughts of a broadening, increasing nature, principally on the intellectual or mental plane in the individual.

The name Calah signifies “completed,” “integrity,” “an ancient.” Calah represents a state of consciousness built about the belief that age (in terms of years) and experience bring balanced judgment and fullness or perfection.

The name Resen means “executive power,” “control from above,” “restraint.” Resen indicates recognition by the natural man that there is a higher guiding, ruling, judging, restraining power in his life than that of the purely human and material.

The name Ludim signifies “travails,” “conception,” “nativity or physical birth.” Ludim represents man’s material beliefs regarding the origin and continuation of the race; also the expression of these beliefs.

The name Anamim means “statues,” “rockmen,” “fountains.” Anamim represents hard, material thoughts about life (“fountains”). Such thoughts aid in building a corruptible body, a mere statue in so far as its being truly alive through union with the divine source of all life is concerned.

The name Lehabim means “inflamed uprisings,” “passionate.” Lehabim represents the life of the seemingly material and physical organism activated wholly by the tendencies and desires of the outer animal man.

Naphtuhim (“the opened,” “the hollow,” “the empty ones”) represent empty thoughts of lack, thoughts that the physical man is wholly material.

The name Pathrusim signifies “region of the south,” “broken into fragments,” “dust.” The Pathrusim represent thoughts belonging to a state of mind that, though there is good in it, is still in darkness so far as the individual is consciously or subconsciously concerned.

The name Casluhim signifies “tried for atonement,” “forgiveness of sins,” “hopes of life.” The thought represented by Casluhim is that man’s outer consciousness evolves, unfolds, Godward by means of trials, testings, and experience.

The name Philistines signifies “transitory,” “migrating,” “wandering.” The Philistines represent forces foreign to Spirit. The five great cities of the Philistines ruled by “lords” denote the five senses under the dominion of thoughts foreign to Spirit (strangers, foreigners).

The name Caphtorim means “converts,” “converters.” Caphtorim represents changing, growing, unfolding thoughts that belong to the seemingly physical in man.

The name Sidon signifies “catching of fish,” “providing,” “hunter.” Sidon symbolizes a great increase of ideas on the animal plane of thought or being in the individual.

The name Heth means “sundered,” “broken,” “terrified.” Heth represents a very active thought of fear, the result of thinking apart from Spirit.

The name Jebusite signifies “trodden down,” “conquered,” “profaned.” A Jebusite represents the spiritual or peace center in consciousness (Jerusalem) in subjection to purely sense and carnal thoughts, beliefs, and desires.

The name Amorites signifies “mountaineers,” “highlanders.” The Amorites represent the race thought of the generation of the flesh. Sex and procreation are very strongly rooted in man’s consciousness and have been elevated by man in personal thought to the very heights.

The name Girgashite signifies “belonging to that which is dense,” “marshy ground.” A Girgashite represents the material state of thought that unawakened man holds concerning himself and especially concerning his material organism.

The name Hivite signifies “physical existence,” “life born of effort,” “wickedness.” A Hivite represents the thoughts belonging to the carnal consciousness in man.

The name Arkite means “fugitive,” “blind passions.” An Arkite represents thoughts pertaining to the carnal consciousness in man.

The name Sinite means “clayey,” “muddy,” “hateful passions.” A Sinite represents thoughts missing the mark, falling short of the divine law.

The name Arvadite means “avarice,” “plunder,” “pirate’s den.” An Arvadite represents a retreat or refuge or unstable, erring, destructive thoughts in a mixed, confused, ever-changing consciousness of man.

The name Zemarite signifies “hunger for dominion or thirst for power,” “despot.” A Zemarite represents rebellious, tyrannical, despotic thoughts and desires belonging to the “mind of the flesh” consciousness in unredeemed man, the outer seeking dominion.

The name Hamathite means “inclosed,” “held together,” “fortress.” A Hamathite represents confidence in material conditions rather than trust in God.

The name Gerar signifies “a sojourn,” “a lodging place,” “an encampment.” Gerar symbolizes subjective substance and life. In the beginning of man’s journey Spiritward this substance and life are in possession of the sense nature (Philistines), and the ruling ego of the sense nature lives in the region of this place.

The name Gaza means “strength,” “power,” “stronghold,” Gaza represents strength on a purely physical or sense plane.

The name Sodom signifies “consumed with fire,” “hidden wiles,” “covered conspiracies.” Sodom represents an obscure or concealed thought or habit in man.

The name Gomorrah means “overbearing,” “tyranny,” “oppression.” Gomorrah represents a state of mind in man that is submerged in sense and is very tyrannical in its nature.

The name Admah means “silent,” “unrelenting,” “a tomb,” “a fortress.” Admah represents the seeming strength and merciless sureness of the death thought and condition that enters into man’s experience as the result of his carnal, material, adverse thoughts and activities.

The name Zeboiim signifies “wars,” “plunderings,” “rendings with the teeth.” Zeboiim refers to ravenous appetites, sensual passions, the wild-beast nature holding sway deep in the subconsciousness of many.

The name Lasha signifies “bursting forth,” “fountains,” “for looking upon.” The cities that are mentioned in the text with Lasha as being on the southern border of Canaan are representative of the subconscious substance and life in man ruled over and actuated by various phases of the subjective carnal, sense mind. Lasha symbolizes the bursting forth of this inner substance and life into greater activity in consciousness. Lasha also refers to the penetration by higher ideals, truer understanding, of a seemingly mortal and material state of the subjective substance and life in unawakened man.

The names of the children of Shem, with their meaning, are listed here:

The name Eber signifies “passed over,” “overcome,” “a shoot.” Eber represents the germination in man’s consciousness of the spiritual phase of his being.

The name Elam signifies “eternal or everlasting,” “fully developed.” Elam symbolizes thoughts of the abidingness, resourcefulness, and creative power of Truth, of that which is of God, Spirit.

The name Asshur signifies “a step,” “level ongoing,” “observance of laws,” “harmonious.” Asshur typifies mental recognition that the entire man, spirit, soul, and body, is free, is of spiritual origin, and is not bound by any limitation of matter.

The name Arpachshad signifies “providential regeneration,” “realm of astrology.” Arpachshad represents the belief in man that his good depends wholly on something outside of himself–his ruling star, fate, providence–instead of depending on the power of his own thoughts to establish within himself and his world what he wills.

The name Lud signifies “desire to bring forth,” “conception,” “creation.” Lud represents man’s earliest conception of the truth that he is the offspring of God.

The name Aram means “highland,” “high or exalted.” Aram symbolizes the intellect, which has its foundation in Spirit; but in unawakened man it is linked up entirely with the outer or material realm so that it reasons from the basis of the senses instead of acknowledging Divine Mind as the source of all intelligence.

The names of “the sons of Aram,” with their meaning, follow:

The name Uz means “growing might,” “formative power,” “plan.” Uz denotes the process of thought by which man arrives at a conclusion (be it true or erroneous) and establishes it in consciousness.

The name Hul means “circle,” “ecstasy,” “travail,” “fear.” Hul stands for that in the intellect of man which seeks to conform to both the spiritual and outer-sense ideas of wisdom and understanding.

The name Gether means “abundance,” “pressed out,” “vale of trial.” Gether represents man’s belief that much physical effort is needed to make a living and to acquire abundance; thus he experiences hard labor and many inharmonies.

The name Mash signifies “pressing out by contractile force,” “harvest of fruits.” In Mash we see the intellect in the role of obtaining knowledge. The intellect is not naturally receptive to spiritual understanding. It is aggressive in its nature and it works very hard in the outer seeking to obtain by force, by personal determination, and by much persistent study and research the knowledge that it desires. The very pressure of its outer seeking does open to it something of the inner light and intelligence of Spirit, though in its ignorance it usually takes to itself the honor of having worked out the ideas that come to it from Spirit.

However fruit is realized in increased knowledge.

The name Shelah means “security,” “peace,” “demand,” “prayer.” Shelah represents a sense of peace, harmony, and security that has come about by prayer, affirmation, and desire centered in that which is good and true.

The names of the children of Eber, with their meaning, are given here:

The name Peleg means “separation through grace,” “cleaving,” “dividing.” Peleg represents man’s first realization of the difference and seeming separation between his apparently material organism and his inner spiritual ideals. Thus was the “earth divided,” and the individual began to recognize his higher nature.

The name Joktan signifies “that which is diminished,” “lessened,” “of little concern.” Joktan represents the lessening to the vanishing point of error in the consciousness and life of the unfolding individual.

The following are the names, with their meaning, of the children of Joktan:

The name Almodad signifies “measure of God,” “the agitator.” Almodad represents a certain discernment of the boundless possibilities that are open to man if he makes practical application of Truth. This understanding however proves to be a disturbing element (“agitator”) in consciousness because it is not definite enough to bring about the real change of mind that is needed to establish peace and order and to bring forth spiritual fruit.

The name Sheleph means “reaction,” “refraction,” “drawing out.” Sheleph represents a working out from within of the spiritual in man; or at least a striving of Spirit within man for greater expression in and through the individual.

The name Hazarmaveth means “village of death,” “court of death.” Hazarmaveth symbolizes a central thought or group of thoughts belonging to the sense mind of man and having as its ruling idea a strong belief in death. Its conception of justice (“court”) is always active on the negative, condemnatory, and destructive side.

The name Jerah signifies “he will breathe,” “he will become inspired,” “moon.” Jerah represents the light (understanding) of the inspired intellect, or to the capacity of the intellect of man for being illumined by Spirit and for radiating the light of Spirit, divine understanding.

The name Hadoram signifies “powerful,” “pompous,” “majestic.” Hadoram represents the lifting up of the outer, sense mind of man, and the attributing of power and might to it as though it were man’s highest source of light and good.

The name Uzal signifies “continual going forth,” “divine spark.” Uzal represents the continual unfoldment that takes place in the progressively inclined individual because of his natural tendency to conform to the divine ideal or divine spark within him, which is ever urging him on to higher light, new understanding, purer thoughts and ways.

The name Diklah means “palm tree,” “palm grove,” “ethereal lightness.” Diklah denotes the inherent belief of man’s inner, spiritual, or true self that complete victory over all error and complete triumph in understanding and life are his heritage.

The name Obal signifies “extreme attenuation of matter,” “stripped,” “barren.” Obal denotes the barrenness, nakedness, and nothingness of all that is not founded in Truth.

The name Abimael means “a father from God,” “father of abundance.” Abimael stands for the thought of man as being descended from God; also for the thought of abundance as coming from God. At a certain stage of man’s unfoldment however the thought represented by Abimael is not established in consciousness with enough positiveness to produce spiritual results.

The name Ophir signifies “a final state,” “purity,” “ashes.” Ophir symbolizes that which remains after the deeper purification by fire has taken place. Through purification by the Christ Spirit, by the baptism of fire, all that is true is refined, purified, and elevated to its rightful place in the kingdom, while the dross or error of the carnal, adverse mind is reduced to dust and ashes.

The name Jobab signifies “fullness of joy,” “trumpet call of victory,” “desert,” “wail of tribulation.” Here Jobab represents a certain fulfillment of the seeming mortal and an entrance into that which the positive, spiritual meanings of the name denotes: a realization of dominion over error and a rejoicing in Truth.

The name Mesha means “harvest of spiritual fruits,” “heaped-up fullness of being,” “refuge,” “freedom.” Mesha symbolizes a place in consciousness wherein the inner life forces of the organism are freed from the dominion of carnal thought, thus raising them to higher and more spiritual expression.

The name Sephar means “remembering,” “engraving,” “book.” The east always represents the within, and a mountain denotes a high plane of thought. In the consciousness of the individual, Sephar represents that high place within the spiritual realm of his being where a record is kept of all the thoughts, ideals, tendencies, desires, and activities to which he has given attention, even to those that belong to the seemingly changeable and unestablished phase of his consciousness (the Arabian tribes that were descended from Joktan).

Gen. 11:1-9. And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Come, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And Jehovah came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And Jehovah said, Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do: and now nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do. Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So Jehovah scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off building the city. Therefore was the name of it called Babel; because Jehovah did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did Jehovah scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Here is related the building by the descendents of Noah of a city and a tower that was to reach to heaven.

“And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech,” which indicates that there was unity in the interchange of intelligence and purpose but that it was based on materiality: “And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.” They built the city and the tower; but Jehovah confounded their language and they were scattered abroad “upon the face of all the earth.”

According to Ferrar Fenton’s translation of the Bible in modern English, the word Jehovah should be translated “chief.” The chief was the priest or ruling religious power. So it was not Jehovah who confused the tongues of the people but their religious leaders. This is true today.

Interpreted in individual consciousness, it is not Spirit that leads man astray but man’s interpretation of the message of Spirit as molded by man’s mentality. In other words, it was the Adversary or personal ego of the people that asserted its disintegrating nature and destroyed the work of their hands.

The name Babel means “confusion.” Babel represents the mental chaos that is the result of thinking from a wholly material standpoint.

Whether the story of the building of Babel and the scattering of its people be history or allegory matters little; it illustrates the ephemeral character of man’s work exemplified times beyond number in the buried cities of the past. Not only cities but great nations have occupied large areas of this earth, only to be swept away.

This universal scattering of the nations that bravely set out to build cities and civilizations planned to reach to heaven and endure forever, should make thinking persons pause and inquire the cause of such stupendous failure. The fact is that the foundations of their cities were material instead of spiritual; there was an excess of “stone, and slime.”

However every great nation has claimed God as its originator and often its temporal heads as ruling by divine right. As long as these nations had faith in this divine source they prospered, but when the personal element began to assert itself, decline set in, the nation collapsed, and its people scattered.

This is not only the history of cities and nations but also of numerous colonies of Utopian pattern for the betterment of men. Their plans are perfect and appear to be based on laws that will work toward universal happiness and prosperity. But they fail because their leader is some human being, and there is often some other human being in the colony who is ambitious to rule. Politics and party strife then enter and break down the unity that is so necessary to the success of any enterprise.

History shows that often just preceding a great national collapse dictators or “chiefs” assume the power personally to make and enforce the laws for the people. This condition repeats itself in world affairs and presages a breakdown of man-made civilization. The towers of Babel totter and philosophic onlookers foretell a lapse of the human family into primitive savagery.

That the principles on which the governments of the world are based are inadequate to meet the needs of a world nation is patent to anyone who studies the economic and moral status of various countries. God created all men of one blood, according to the Scriptures, and that universal bond of humanity is asserting itself in the tremendous increase in facilities for intercourse among men of every country. The struggle for separate national existence must be broken down, and a new and larger understanding of race solidarity established.

We see that history is repeating itself on a larger scale than ever before and is again ready to scatter the inhabitants of Babel who have attempted to build to heaven without God. After the breaking up of the present materially founded governments, the spiritually wise will get together and form a federation based on the principles laid down by Jesus Christ, and we shall then enter into that universal peace and security called the millennium. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony unto all the nations; and then shall the end come.” The prophecies of Jesus, as set forth symbolically in Matthew 24, undoubtedly point to their fulfillment at this time, and the “tribulations” there recited are upon us. But we need not be fearful or troubled if we are depending on God to take care of us. “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,” “but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.”

Gen. 11:10-32. These are the generations of Shem. Shem was a hundred years old, and begat Arpachshad two years after the flood: and Shem lived after he begat Arpachshad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.

And Arpachshad lived five and thirty years, and begat Shelah: and Arpachshad lived after he begat Shelah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.

And Shelah lived thirty years, and begat Eber: and Shelah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.

And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg: and Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters.

(For interpretation of the foregoing names see comment on Gen. 10.)

And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu: and Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters.

And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug: and Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters.

And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor: and Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.

And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah: and Nahor lived after he begat Terah a hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters.

And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah. And Sarai was barren; she had no child. And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.

The name Reu means “leading to pasture,” “shepherd,” “friend.” Reu represents the co-operative feeling, the feeling of friendship, evolving in the individual consciousness into a sense of loving, active, responsibility for the welfare of others.

The name Serug means “interwoven,” “tendril,” “strength.” Serug represents the budding, sprouting, and development of spiritual “seed” or Truth ideas deep down in the subconsciousness by way of preparation for the saving work in the body. In the Serug phase of man’s unfoldment the work is done mostly in secret, with now and then just a ray of light breaking through to consciousness.

The name Nahor signifies “angry,” “passionate,” “piercing,” “slaying.” Nahor denotes the piercing and breaking up of the sense consciousness hitherto unpenetrated by Truth so that the way may be opened for a new line of thought activity (Abram). This activity may be more of the subconscious than of the conscious mind. Much turmoil often accompanies this inner first breaking up of lesser ideals because of the efforts of the outer, limited, emotional self (“angry,” “passionate”).

The name Haran means “strong,” “mountaineer,” “exalted.” Haran symbolizes an exalted state of mind, wherein Truth is lifted up in consciousness and the individual is strengthened in his determination to go on toward fuller spiritual enlightenment and upliftment.

(For Abram, Sarai, Terah, and Lot see interpretation of Gen. 12. For Canaan see the interpretation of Gen. 10.)

The name Ur (of the Chaldees) signifies “light.”

“Orient,” “brightness or brilliance,” “fire or blaze.” Ur therefore symbolizes the activity of the understanding or intelligence in man; the inner spiritual part of man’s being, whence true light shines forth into the entire consciousness.

The name Milcah means “queen,” “rule,” “counsel.” Milcah symbolizes the soul in the act of expressing dominion, wisdom, good judgment.

The name Iscah signifies “who looks upon,” “scans abroad,” “discerns.” Iscah represents the soul in the act of being attentive to the things of Spirit.

Chapter 5

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Mysteries of Genesis
Table of Contents

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