Chapter XI: Joseph a Type of the Christ
Genesis 38 Spiritually Interpreted
Gen. 38:1-11. And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; and he took her, and went in unto her. And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er. And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan. And she yet again bare a son, and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him. And Judah took a wife for Er his first-born, and her name was Tamar. And Er, Judah's first-born, was wicked in the sight of Jehovah; and Jehovah slew him. And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and perform the duty of a husbands' brother unto her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed would not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did was evil in the sight of Jehovah: and he slew him also. Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter-in-law, Remain a widow in thy father's house, till Shelah my son be grown up; for he said, Lest he also die, like his brethren. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house.
The predominant thought in the minds of the people at that time was to produce progeny (seed), and they restored to every device in order to attain their end.
Hirah was an Adullamite, a friend of Judah. The name Hirah means "splendid," "noble," "pure," "liberty." An Adullamite was a native of the city of Addullam, which represents a state of poise in prayer in which spiritual ideas flow into consciousness without obstruction. Being in the valley, it would not refer to a
high, exalted state of mind in prayer but rather to an established equilibrium and adjustment in the body consciousness. But even if at first it seems to be only in the material consciousness, it imparts a "splendid," "noble" quality to the man and leads toward true "liberty." Such a state of consciousness is represented by Hirah.
Shua ("broad," "ample," "riches") represents the broad, rich thoughts of abundant substance in the depths of the subconscious mind. Judah united with a daughter of Shua, who symbolizes the feminine element in the rich subconsciousness. Three sons were born to this union:
Er represents observant, vigilant thoughts. It matters a great deal what one watches or gives attention to. If one persists in recognizing that which appears to be evil, one cannot obtain abiding life and good. (Er was wicked in the sight of Jehovah.)
Onan symbolizes thoughts pertaining to strength and vigor, yet thoughts that are not spiritual but of the intellect. They are influenced too by the lower emotions and tendencies of the carnal soul (Onan's mother was a Canaanitish woman); therefore they are likely to bring about inharmony and error because of the misdirection of energy. Yet in themselves these thoughts are good and if directed by spiritual understanding yield great blessings.
Shelah represents a sense of peace, harmony, and security that has come about through prayer, affirmation, and desire. However Shelah was born in Chezib, which symbolizes a deceptive state of mind that lies deep within the elemental life forces of the individual. This deceptive state of consciousness must be cleansed
thoroughly of its error, its double-minded, idolatrous belief in a power of evil as well as a power of good, so that the truth of the one life and the one God, good, may be established within its depths.
Gen. 38:12-30. And in process of time Shua's daughter, the wife of Judah, died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheep-shearers to Timnah, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold, thy father-in-law goeth up to Timnah to shear his sheep. And she put off from her the garments of her widowhood, and covered herself with her veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in the gate of Enaim, which is by the way to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she was not given unto him to wife. When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot; for she had covered her face. And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Come, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee: for he knew not that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me? And he said, I will send thee a kid of the goats from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it? And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet and thy cord, and thy staff that is in thy hand. And he gave them to her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him. And she arose, and went away, and put off her veil from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood. And Judah sent the kid of the goats by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the woman's hand: but he found her not. Then he asked the men of her place, saying, Where is the prostitute, that was at Enaim by the wayside? And they said, There hath been no prostitute here. And he returned to Judah, and said, I have not found her; and also the men of the place said, There hath
been no prostitute here. And Judah said, Let her take it to her, lest we be put to shame: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her.
And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter-in-law hath played the harlot; and moreover, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. When she was brought forth, she sent to her father-in-law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: and she said; Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and the cords, and the staff. And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She is more righteous than I, forasmuch as I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more. And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb. And it came to pass, when she travailed, that one put out a hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first. And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, Wherefore hast thou made a breach for thyself? therefore his name was called Perez. And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zerah.
Why is an attitude of praise helpful?
The name Judah means "praise Jehovah." Praise is closely related to prayer; under the law of mind, whatever we praise we increase. Praise is the key to the increase of life activity. If you depreciate your life you decrease your consciousness of life. Thus we find that, besides symbolizing the place in consciousness where we come in contact with the highest activities of Divine Mind, Judah also represents the central faculty of consciousness.
Through what part of the physical organism is praise expressed?
This faculty operates in the body consciousness
through the spinal cord, as well as in the top head, and finds its outer expression through the life center, which, unregenerated, is Judas, who hath a devil. When life is separated from the inner faculties and endeavors to find expression without their co-operation, man gives himself over to his animal nature and inclinations.
Explain some of the phases through which man passes on his journey from sense to Spirit.
The name Tamar means "palm," "erect," "upright." Tamar represents victory and conquest through uprightness. "And Judah . . . said, She is more righteous than I, forasmuch as I gave her not to Shelah my son." This consciousness of victory or conquest and overcoming power is of the soul in the individual.
Timnah symbolizes the error race belief that a share of the life forces in man rightly belongs to the purely animal, physical, and sense part of his being. Judah kept his sheep in this Canaanitish city. Sheep represent the pure, natural life of the organism and Canaanites the elemental life forces in man.
Enaim, in whose gate Tamar sat, is supposed to be one with the city of Enam. The name means "two eyes," "double springs." It signifies the fountain of understanding in man, which because of his belief in good and evil, in materiality as well as spirituality, is dedicated to both generation and regeneration, both sense and Spirit. Double-mindedness causes instability. Stability is needed if one is to grow and develop spiritually. One establishes stability of character by giving oneself up wholly, with singleness of purpose, to the regenerative law.
The name Perez means "broken through," "torn asunder." Perez represents victory through praise, or making a way out of apparent limitation and error and prevailing over them by means of prayer and praise.
(Tamar said, "Wherefore hast thou made a breach for thyself? therefore his name was called Perez.")
Zerah ("sunrise," "birth of a child," "germination of a seed") represents awakening to new light, new understanding, in consciousness; the first conscious awakening to the presence of this new inner light or understanding. (The sun rises in the east, and the east denotes the within.)
How does one come into the estate of the Jesus Christ man?
In the journey from sense to Spirit the soul passes through many phases, misdirects its faculties, and practices multitudinous forms of dissipation or waste. (These verses in Genesis illustrate this fact.) But as man follows the light as it is given him to see the light, he gradually learns to understand himself and his soul activities. Then he begins to conform to spiritual law and to conserve his energies, forces, and substance, which in turn results in lifting up the whole man, spirit, soul, and body, out of the mire of materiality and sense into the new estate of the regenerate man, the Jesus Christ man.
Preceding Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 294-301: Genesis 37 Mysteries of Genesis
Following Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 308-311: Genesis 39 Mysteries of Genesis