Chapter XI: Joseph a Type of the Christ
Genesis 41 Spiritually Interpreted
Gen. 41:1-44. And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, well-favored and fat-fleshed: and they fed in the reed-grass. And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill-favored and lean-fleshed, and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. And the ill-favored and lean-fleshed kine did eat up the seven well-favored and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. And he slept and dreamed a second time: and, behold, seven ears of grain came up upon one stalk, rank and good. And, behold, seven ears, thin and blasted with the east wind, sprang up after them. And the thin ears swallowed up the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream. And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.
Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day: Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, me and the chief baker: and we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. And there was with us there a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret. And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged.
Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that when thou hearest a dream thou canst interpret it. And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace. And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the brink of the river: and, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fat-fleshed and well-favored; and they fed in the reed-grass: and, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill-favored and lean-fleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness: and the lean and ill-favored kine did eat up the first seven fat kine: and when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill-favored, as at the beginning. So I awoke. And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up upon one stalk, full and good: and, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them: and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears: and I told it unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.
And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: what God is about to do he hath declared unto Pharaoh. The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. And the seven lean and ill-favored kine that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind; they shall be seven years of famine. That is the thing which I spake unto Pharaoh: what God is about to do he hath showed unto Pharaoh. Behold, there
come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: and there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; and the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine which followeth; for it shall be very grievous. And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh, it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. And let them gather all the food of these good years that come, and lay up grain under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. And the food shall be for a store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; and the land perish not through the famine.
And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom the spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou: thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in ventures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he set him over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift
up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt.
How does one "unclothe" dreams of their forms? What lies back of the forms in visions and dreams?
When a person has developed the Joseph state of consciousness and can give vivid form of his ideas by using his imaginative faculty, he does not take his dreams or visions in a literal sense. He rather unclothes the dream of its form by using the same power that he has of clothing ideas with form. Then he clearly sees the idea hidden behind the forms and symbols of his dream. He knows that all forms represent ideas and is able to resolve the form back into the primal idea of Divine Mind. Thus he is taught by Spirit more directly than is the ordinary individual. Spiritual Truth comes to him directly through an always open channel.
What is one sure proof that one is receptive to Spirit? Explain what "things" are.
One of the surest proofs that you have opened yourself to Spirit is that you have symbolical dreams and can spiritually interpret them. Divine ideas are imaged in your placid soul like shadows on a quiet pool. You see them mentally and you may catch their import if you meditate patiently and persistently on the relation that each image or symbol bears to thought. Things are first ideas, then thoughts reduced in radiation to the plane of sense perception. When you still the senses you will begin to perceive the thoughts that are back of things. This may be a slow way, but it is a sure way to learn the language of mind, and in time it will enable you to translate all the shapes and forms you see on any plane of consciousness, into their corresponding thoughts. When this is accomplished you have become a Joseph and stand next to Jesus.
Joseph correctly interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh that later came to pass. The name Pharaoh means "the sun," "the king"; he is the king of the subconscious
realm whose throne is located in the solar plexus. This brain of the body, plays an important role in directing the circulation, the digestion and assimilation of food, and so forth. Students of mind have discovered that the solar plexus is but the organ through which the ruling ego, Pharaoh, acts.
The signet ring that Pharaoh placed upon Joseph's hand represents authority, and the fine raiment with which he clothed Joseph symbolizes approval; that is, the ruling power of the body gives to the imagination authority and approval in both the within and the without.
Gen. 41:45-57. And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. And he gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, he up in the same. And Joseph laid up grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left off numbering; for it was without number. And unto Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On, bare unto him. And Joseph called the name of the first-born Manasseh: For, said he, God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath made me fruitful in the land of my affliction. And the seven years of plenty, that was in the land of Egypt,
came to an end. And the seven years of famine began to come, according as Joseph had said: and there was famine in all the lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine was sore in the land of Egypt. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was sore in all the earth.
In lower Egypt during the time of Joseph was the city of On, one of the world's oldest cities. Here was located one of the great temples of Egypt, whose high priest was Potiphera. The daughter of the high priest was Asenath, who became Joseph's wife.
Why must will and understanding be dominant factors in soul development? In what way was Asenath a complement to Joseph?
Asenath represents the feminine or love side of the natural man. Two sons were born of this union, Manasseh (understanding) and Ephraim (will), and they inherited Joseph's allotment in the Promised Land (regenerated perfect body). Understanding and will are dominant forces in the race because they are necessary in the development of the soul. If the imagination (Joseph) were wholly free (unmarried or without responsibility), it would indulge in daydreams and fanciful schemes that could not be worked out in a practical world governed by inexorable law. If in this dreamy state the mind is given a definite thought of Truth (such as monotheism, taught at the school of On) and is joined with the natural soul (Asenath), it brings forth the two stabilizing mental qualities will and understanding, symbolized by Joseph's sons
Ephraim and Manasseh.
Why is Manasseh said to represent the faculty of understanding?
The name Manasseh means "who makes to forget." Manasseh was the first son born to Joseph, who had a great deal to forget. Joseph needed to forget the wrong done him by his brothers, the temptation of Potiphar's wife, and the error of long imprisonment. Thus Manasseh represents the understanding of how to use one's ability to forget or deny that which is no longer profitable to the man.
Why is Ephraim said to represent the will?
The name Ephraim means "very fruitful." Ephraim represents the ability of man to add to his consciousness through the action of his will whatever he may choose to affirm and to become fruitful in his thoughts even in the land of affliction.
Describe the benefits derived from the use of denial and affirmation.
The first step for the beginner in Truth is to set up a new and better state of consciousness based on the absolute. He must develop the Manasseh quality of forgetting the not-good by denial and the Ephraim quality of increasing the good by affirming it to be the real. The understanding and the will must be especially active in one who would overcome and master the sensations of the body, which is one of the first steps in its regeneration.
When does the spiritually awakening man experience an increase of physical vitality? Explain the seven fat and seven lean years in terms of the increase and decrease in physical vitality.
Joseph was thirty years old when he began his great work in Egypt. At about that age a man completes a natural cycle in the evolution of his soul and is ready for an adventure into the spiritual. When the spiritually awakening man has reached this stage of development there is an increase of energy throughout the body. As we have previously noted, the imagination is the "increasing faculty" as well as the formative faculty. The Hebrew meaning of the name Joseph is "Jehovah shall increase." The great increase
that comes at this period in his unfoldment lasts about seven years, or passes through seven stages of activity, symbolized in Pharaoh's dream by the seven fat kine and the seven full ears of corn.
Those who are wise will conserve this energy in the storehouse of subconsciousness, because there is certain to be a reaction proportionate to action. The law holds good for every form of energy. When this generated force is properly conserved, the reaction is not felt. When we exalt the Joseph state of consciousness (as did Pharaoh) and let it rule in our body, Spirit will show us how to handle the situation. Then we shall make storage batteries of our "cities," which are the ganglionic centers of the body (Egypt). When Pharaoh gave Joseph the power and authority to do this conserving work, he changed his name to Zaphenathpaneah, a compound word meaning "savior of the universe," "sustainer of the life of the world," "governor of the district or place of stored-up life." This would clearly indicate that the body should be ruled over by the spiritualized imaginative faculty working under the direction and by the power of Spirit.
The word famine implies extreme scarcity of food, reducing people to an extremity of hunger, of starvation. Here Egypt (the subconsciousness), the storehouse of plenty, is the source from which all the surrounding countries (states of consciousness) come for sustenance when the outer man has exhausted his resources.
How can the life energy be conserved?
The seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine show that the unregenerate man lives in a consciousness of duality, seeing good and evil, heat and cold, plenty and poverty, feast and famine; the spiritualized
imagination (Joseph) sees the whole of life as one. He sees no lack but recognizes a coming consciousness of lack and relates it to the present consciousness of plenty, and by this unifying work he lays up a store of substance for future use. The imagination should rank high among all the faculties of man, for without its magic touch life would become flat, stale, and meaningless; but once imagination is awakened, man is filled with health, life, substance, and abundance.
Preceding Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 312-314: Genesis 40 Mysteries of Genesis
Following Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 323: Chapter XII: The I AM and Its Faculties in the Body