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. 32, pp. 158-160 of transcript.
In Chapter 32 we come to a very interesting and very curiously worded incident and I want to read the incident verbatim to you. 32:24-29.
"And Jacob was left alone."
Right there you have a paradox and a mystery. This is all one sentence holds. Jacob was left alone, and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. Right there the grammatical sense has been shattered. If he is alone, he is alone, but it says. "He is alone and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day." Now watch the wording of this - especially the pronouns,
"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 out of joint."
Well the cat is out of the bag right there. The hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint 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 (second cat out of the bag), and he said, thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel, for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men and hast prevailed. 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.'"
That's a real oddball paragraph, but it's deliberately so, of course. It's obvious that regardless of who translated it or how it would read in the Hebrew that that writer intended that this literary form with the deliberate confusion of pronouns, because, how many people are wrestling really? There's only one, it's Jacob, of course. In reading it, it would be impossible to tell which of the persons the pronouns are referring to - he grabbed him by the you-know-what and he said to him this and that - it's all the same person.
Obviously the man Jacob wrestles with is himself. The person he now is, wrestles with the person he can now become, as is true of all of us. It's not easy to change, to let the new self prevail, or the new dimension of our self, or of our awareness of our self prevail. It can be a long struggle, all night - I will not let thee go except thou bless me - indicates that we want to be sure that before our present self lets go, there will be a blessing in the changeover for us. Change just for the sake of being different in and of itself is pointless, it's another form of self-deception, preserving the status-quo, but a change which entails a blessing in it for us is always good, progressive, a change for the better, but we must be sure there will be a blessing in it for us, or at least we must at least think there will be a blessing in it for us.
We can be wrong, but are we really wrong? Suppose you want to move or something, because you think that change will be a blessing for you, but suppose you move and it wasn't the change for the better. Have you been wrong? - you followed good intentions, you were doing what you thought was right and even if the immediate result is not apparent to you, there was no error committed. Some people, especially I find some people who are working very hard on recognizing divine guidance become so fearful of making a mistake, they get so hung up on this "I might not be following guidance, but my own blah-blah-blah", and they get a hang-up about that, and it's not necessary.
If you think there is a blessing in it for you, if you honestly believe this change is desirable and right for you - go ahead and do it - and then if it wasn't all that it was cracked up to be in your imagination, Divine Mind will see to it that you are enabled to make further changes, further adjustments. The change of mind is always possible for a sincere follower of truth, so in this case there is a blessing, a great blessing for Jacob - he receives a significant change of name from Jacob to Israel, and the significance of this change is that the name Jacob means supplanter, characterizes intellectual striving with facts and equates with knowledge of truth.
Progress is made, but it, or it can be long and hard, and it can contain some terrific struggles. As long as our mentality is working in truth, by process of striving with facts and trying to equate facts with knowledge of truth. Israel means prince with God, not supplanter, but prince with God, the same person but functioning in a different consciousness of truth. Now, the person is no longer or the mentality of the person is no longer just a fact-gatherer and mental manipulator, he is now a knower-er, willing cooperator with God, the word prince with God, working with God, the mentality not just striving with facts about truth, but now working with truth.
The supplanter has been supplanted, not by another, but by his own higher level of consciousness. Now, I'll try to illustrate the difference this makes to the person. It is the difference between knowing all the quotes from Christian Healing, for instance, and simply knowing Christian Healing, there's a big difference. There are teachers today in our movement who all they can do is throw quotes from Christian Healing and insist that their classes also can throw quotes back at them and you paaaasssss. And what do you know about Christian Healing? But, there are teachers who think Christian Healing and therefore can teach Christian Healing and do not insist that their class throw quotes back at them, but that their class demonstrate that they live and know Christian Healing.
That's the difference between Jacob and Israel in a person. It is the difference between being a so-called authority on knowledge concerning spiritual matters and being spiritually minded. You see, we've often paid very high fees to guest speakers who come here and share their knowledge of fact-gathering on spiritual matters, and they can be very expensive speakers, and, on a certain level they can be very interesting, but they're still Jacob, we have had people who have come here and who don't do all this but simply radiate their spiritual-mindedness around themselves.
May Rowland's like that, she's a walking spiritual-minded center of light, she doesn't quote much, very little. She doesn't share all kinds of facts, she just "be's" herself, and you can hardly escape being blessed if you come within that woman's radius. There's a difference between Jacob and Israel, and it's something that I think that we're all learning to allow to happen in us.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on February 15, 2015.