Chapter IX: Man Develops Spiritual Faculties
Genesis 31 Spiritually Interpreted
Gen. 31:1-16. And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory. And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as beforetime. And Jehovah said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.
And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, and said unto them, I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as beforetime; but the God of my father hath been with me. And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me. If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the flock bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstreaked shall be thy wages; then bare all the flock ringstreaked. Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me. And it came to pass at the time that the flock conceive, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the he-goats which leaped upon the flock were ringstreaked, speckled, and grizzled. And the angel of God said unto me in the dream, Jacob: and I said, Here am I. And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see: all the he-goats which leap upon the flock are ringstreaked, speckled, and grizzled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. I am the God of Beth-el, where thou anointedst a pillar, where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy nativity. And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house? Are we not accounted by him as foreigners? for he hath sold us, and hath also quite devoured our money. For all the riches which God hath taken away from our father, that is ours and our children's: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.
Laban and his family represent the pure natural in man, to which Jacob (spiritual illumination) brings expansion. Laban acknowledged that Jacob had brought him prosperity. But the spiritually illumined intellect (Jacob) reaps a share of the increase, and to this the natural man objects when his sons or "afterthoughts" call his attention to it.
Jehovah appeared to Jacob in a dream and told him to leave Haran. What does this reveal when considered in relation to spiritual growth?
In his dream Jehovah showed Jacob (illumined intellect) that he had finished his work in Haran (a high exalted state of consciousness on the natural plane) and now must function in a more fertile, productive soil. He must return with his possessions to the land of his nativity.
The wives for whom Jacob had labored also had their substance share and inherited part of the increase. When the mind is spiritually quickened all the faculties respond, especially the imagination, as indicated by the "ringstreaked, speckled, and grizzled" progeny.
Gen. 31:17, 18. Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon the camels; and he carried away all his cattle, and all his substance which he had gathered, the cattle of his getting, which he had gathered in Paddan-aram, to go to Isaac his father unto the land of Canaan.
Jacob was moving from Haran all the possessions he had acquired in Paddan-aram (the place of substance in the organism) to Canaan (the state of consciousness that to the individual is the kingdom of heaven). He took away with him a great wealth of substance, including camels, cattle, sheep, gold, and silver, and even the teraphim (highest thoughts) of that land.
Explain the statement "I am the God of Beth-el, where thou anointedst a pillar, where thou vowedst a vow unto me."
"I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst a pillar, where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy nativity."
We recall that Bethel, "the house of God," symbolizes the consciousness in which Jacob dwelt when he beheld the ladder reaching to heaven and exclaimed, "Surely Jehovah is in this place; and I knew it not."
Gen. 31:19-21. Now Laban was gone to shear his sheep: and Rachel stole the teraphim that were her father's. And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled. So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the River, and set his face toward the mountain of Gilead.
When permitted, what effect does Spirit have on one's power of judgment?
Gilead represents a high state of consciousness, where Spirit reveals its discerning, judging power. In this state of consciousness man refuses to allow his high ideals to become subject to error reasonings. Thus his spiritual discernment is not clouded by mortal thinking.
Gen. 31:22-32. And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled. And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey; and he overtook him in the mountain of Gilead. And God came to Laban the Syrian in a
dream of the night, and said unto him, Take heed to thyself that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad. And Laban came up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountain: and Laban with his brethren encamped in the mountain of Gilead. And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters as captives of the sword? Wherefore didst thou flee secretly, and steal away from me, and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth and with songs, with tabret and with harp; and didst not suffer me to kiss my sons and my daughters? now hast thou done foolishly. It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take heed to thyself that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad. And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father's house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods? And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Lest thou shouldest take thy daughters from me by force. With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, he shall not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.
The teraphim were household gods of the Eastern peoples. They were images, apparently human in form, that were used for purposes of worship in the homes of the people. They were supposed to bring prosperity and health and general domestic good. Even the Israelites used these images much of the time, though the practice was of heathen origin.
Is there a higher source of supply than that symbolized by the teraphim? Explain.
Metaphysically the teraphim represent thoughts tending to the outer only for supply, protection, and all good (givers of prosperity, guardians of comforts,
nourishers, domestic idols); thoughts that imply trust in the many outer channels through which one's good comes to one instead of faith in God as one's sustenance and power of development; also the many thoughts and desires that man entertains and gives expression to in outer ways and that should first of all be centered in the one Presence within him.
Gen. 31:33-53. And Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the tent of the two maid-servants; but he found them not. And he went out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent. Now Rachel had taken the teraphim, and put them in the camel's saddle, and sat upon them. And Laban felt all about the tent, but found them not. And she said to her father, Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise up before thee; for the manner of women is upon me. And he searched, but found not the teraphim.
And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast hotly pursued after me? Whereas thou hast felt about all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? Set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us two. These twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she-goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flocks have I not eaten. That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from mine eyes. These twenty years have I been in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy flock: and thou hast changed my wages ten times. Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the Fear
of Isaac, had been with me, surely now hadst thou sent me away empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.
And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, The daughters are my daughters, and the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children whom they have borne? And now come, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee. And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made a heap: and they did eat there by the heap. And Laban called it Jegar-saha dutha: but Jacob called it Galeed. And Laban said, This heap is witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed: and Mispah, for he said, Jehovah watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. If thou shalt afflict my daughters, and if thou shalt take wives besides my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee. And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold the pillar, which I have set betwixt me and thee. This heap be witness, and the pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm. The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the Fear of his father Isaac.
What is the true bread of life?
Man should remember always that he does not live by bread alone, by outer ways and means, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God: by the inner creative, sustaining, energizing life, love, power, strength, and intelligence of Spirit.
Give the meaning of the name Mizpah and its metaphysical interpretation. What does the name Galeed mean, and what does it signify?
Laban symbolizes that which is pure and gentle. He was told in a dream what had happened, but God also revealed to him that he was not to speak good or bad to Jacob. However, he searched the tents for the teraphim without discovering them, as Rachel had placed them on the camel's back under the saddle on which she was riding. A covenant was made between Jacob and Laban. They gathered stones in a heap and they ate there. Laban called the heap Jegar-sahadutha, the Aramaic name for Galeed. Galeed means "massive witness," "heap of witnesses," "rock of time," "great endurance." It was the heap of stones that Jacob and Laban gathered for a witness between them when Jacob with his wives, children, and possessions left Laban to return to Esau and to Jacob's own country. It was also called Mizpah, "watchtower," and thus signifies the watchtower of prayer, while Galeed signifies the witness that Spirit with man bears to Truth. By following the true Jehovah Spirit in ourselves we shall always deal justly with every phase of our consciousness and of our entire organism, as well as with persons. "This heap be witness, and the pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm."
Gen. 31:54, 55. And Jacob offered a sacrifice in the mountain, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mountain. And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place.
Jacob offered a sacrifice, and he and his brethren ate bread together. The sacrifice consisted of an animal
slaughtered as an offering to the deity in man, symbolizing the surrender to Spirit of the animal forces that they may be transmuted into higher states of consciousness. Eating bread means joining in communion, partaking of spiritual substance. Early in the morning Laban arose and kissed his sons and his daughters in token of affection. Then he invoked divine favor upon them and returned to his place.
Preceding Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 238-246: Genesis 30 Mysteries of Genesis
Following Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 254: Chapter X: The Spiritual Gains Precedence of the Mental