METAPHYSICAL BIBLE INTERPRETATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Fall semester 1975 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Lecture given on October 20, 1975
Gen. 29, pp. 156-157 of transcript.
Beginning in Chapter 29, we read of the results of Jacobs seeking a wife. He falls in love with a woman named Rachel, works seven years to gain her father's permission to marry her which was the custom. After the 7 years he was politely told by that father-in-law that Rachel was a younger sister and in that country only the older sister could marry first so that if he still wanted Rachel he had to take her sister, the ugly one, Leah, and then work another seven years. Then he could have Rachel. Jacob does this without protest with beautiful non-resistance, and we are told that the extra seven years he had to work to gain Rachel passed as of a few moments.
Now this incident symbolizes a certain type of inner work and inner priority arrangement that we have to do in ourselves which is called in general soul development. The observance of proper sequence in this process. Leah represents the more earthy, more human, down to earth, less glamorous qualities of soul development and these must be cultivated, married and developed, and bear children first.
Rachel, her younger and more attractive sister represents the more poetic, idealistic aesthetic and ethereal soul qualities. These can be cultivated, married and developed, bear children only after a certain type of inner work has first been accomplished.
Now all this is beautifully symbolized in Jacob's preference for Rachel, but having to work and wait while married to Leah before attaining Rachel, i.e. it's the old law of first things first. The right arrangement of priorities. When Jesus much later gives a more condensed and sophisticated version of this, who does he name first - God or Caesar? Caesar - not that Caesar is more important than God, but in the priorities of soul development, filling one's responsibilities to Caesar must precede your being able to fulfill your responsibilities to God. How can you be spiritual minded if you are also dishonest in paying your bills. See! It is not very glamorous to have bills to pay - that's Leah, that's the less attractive, less ethereal side of life, but it has to be married and cultivated before you can become Lady Bountiful.
It would be a more glamorous, more ethereal type of soul development. See. Some people want to go around loving everybody before they learn how to stop being so cranky to the people they meet at 7 o'clock in the morning on the job. You cannot have it that way. You cannot obtain the ideal, the ethereal without first properly taking care of the things that are yours to do here on earth. We would like it the other way around in some cases, like people will say in the matter of healing. "Well heal me first, then I'll believe in the principle of spiritual healing." You have to believe it first, then you gain greater degrees of healing consciousness. For a sick person to believe in spiritual healing is not a very glamorous thing. It's tough when yoirre lying sick in bed to realize you've got to change your belief and start believing in the reality of the healing principle. But that's Leah. You do that and then your work will be easier to gain what will follow that which is an increase in healing consciousness and a very glamorous thing called "being healed".
A lot of people are working on a prosperity consciousness and they are very careless about paying their debts or about distributing their finances in a really honest and sensible way. This business of rendering unto Caesar those things which belong to Caesar by the laws of the land then you develop greater consciousness which will enable you to sense God and in Jacob's case he works and meets the responsibilities to do right by Leah and then he makes hinself worthy to receiving Rachel. Now 11 of Jacob's sons were born during the years of Chapters 29 and 30. Their mother being Leah, his first wife, Bilhah, Rachel's maid, and Leah's maid, and finally Rachel, the beloved wife. Evidently this sort of marital conduct was acceptable in those days.
I would imagine if the wife consented it was not considered immoral or dishonest. There was no cheating. It was all above board as these were all legitimate children. But the metaphysical meaning is an illustration of the ways in which one may cultivate and develop awareness of the qualities which make up a complete human soul, 12 sons, 12 faculties, 12 powers of man.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on February 15, 2015.