Chapter XIII: The Blessing of the Faculties
Genesis 50 Spiritually Interpreted
Gen. 50:1-13. And Joseph fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him. And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel. And forty days were fulfilled for him, for so are fulfilled the days of embalming: and the Egyptians wept for him threescore and ten days.
And when the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have found favor in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again. And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear. And Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, and all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father's house: only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company. And they came to the threshing-floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and there they lamented with a very great and sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days. And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abel-mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan. And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them: for his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field, for a possession of a burying place, of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre.
Whenever the I AM withdraws, no matter in what state of consciousness it has been functioning, there is a
great shock to the soul, and all the forces of the natural man are filled with grief and consternation. "And he made a mourning for his father seven days." The imagination (Joseph), favorite faculty (son) of the illumined intellect (Jacob), mourned greatly, not fully understanding that the withdrawal of the I AM eventually would culminate in good.
What causes man to grieve at giving up his personal hold on old ideas and objects?
The name Atad means "bramble," "thornbush," "a thorn." It was on the threshing floor of Atad that Joseph and his brethren mourned seven days for their father Jacob. A threshing floor may be thought of as a place of judgment or separation, of letting go of that which is no longer needful to be expressed in consciousness. Atad represents the belief that vexations, trials, and sorrows are real. It is this unredeemed thought or belief in man that causes him to experience deep grief and tribulation at giving up his personal hold on old ideas and objects which are due to be released from his mind and affairs. This unredeemed belief is concerned with and dwells on the trial side of the process rather than on the blessing side of it.
The Canaanites symbolize the semispiritual in man. They changed the name (or character) of Atad. "And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning on the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abel-mizraim." The Egyptians symbolize materiality.
What causes man to grieve at giving up his personal hold on old ideas and objects? Explain how one sifts ideas and thoughts.
Abel-mizraim ("mourning of Egypt or Egyptians," "mourning or meadow of distress") represents the feeling of sorrow and loss in the sense man that often accompanies the letting go of some good idea in consciousness after it has finished its work. Man's tendency
is to cling to the old ideas that have been helpful to him. But when their work is done in the individual for the time being, these old ideas, no matter how well they have served, must be released from consciousness so that other and higher ideas may take their place. This is a process of judgment, a sifting of ideas and thoughts, a letting go of the chaff and a laying hold of the wheat (on the threshing floor).
The Jordan represents a stream of thought, good, bad, and indifferent, flowing through the subconscious.
Machpelah refers to the subconscious body substance.
Ephron the Hittite symbolizes a phase of thought that is quick to change its thinking base. The word Hittite denotes thoughts belonging to the carnal consciousness of man.
Mamre suggests strength, vigor; it also represents the seat of the conscious mind.
(For further discussion of these names see interpretation of Gen. 23:3-20.)
In what way is the descent of imagination into the subconscious helpful to the illumined ego? Is the physical man also blessed?
This closing chapter of Genesis is an allegorical account of the end of the work of Jacob and his family in Egypt. The descent of Joseph (the illumined imagination) into Egypt paved the way for Jacob (the spiritually illumined ego) and his kin to make contact with subconscious substance. These pioneers of Jehovah accomplished their work, and their leader Jacob "died" or withdrew from consciousness. That the whole man, including the physical, was helped by Jacob is evidenced by the interest the Egyptians took in the funeral of Jacob and the great company that went up to Canaan with the Children of Israel.
Gen. 50:14-21. And Joseph returned into Egypt,
he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.
And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, It may be that Joseph will hate us, and will fully requite us all the evil which we did unto him. And they sent a message unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the transgression of thy brethren, and their sin, for that they did unto thee evil. And now, we pray thee, forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we are thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? And as for you, ye meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
The imagination returning to the body consciousness (Egypt) again takes up the work of redeeming it.
The confession of the brothers of Joseph to their crime against him and his loving forgiveness both point to the spiritual uplift that has taken place in soul evolution.
Explain the promise "Fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones."
"Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones" signifies that the imagination in its divine purity and holiness is one of the sources of good to the whole man. What you mold in your mind under the spiritual law is formed in your affairs and thus is the source of prosperity.
Gen. 50:22-26. And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father's house: and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years. And Joseph saw Ephraim's children
of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were born upon Joseph's knees. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die; but God will surely visit you, and bring you up out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. And Joseph died, being a hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
What is meant by Joseph's seeing Ephraim's children of the third generation?
Joseph also died in Egypt but not until he had lived among the children of Ephraim unto "the third generation." This means that the Joseph qualities of mind are developing a deeper understanding of spiritual things. Machir, the name of a son of Manasseh (understanding), means "acquired," "purchased." The children of Machir that were "born upon Joseph's knees" represent the balance and poise that must actively exist in us if we are abidingly to possess true understanding. The Joseph characteristics gradually become a part of the whole body consciousness.
What does the removal of the patriarch's bones from Egypt to Canaan represent?
The insistence by all these patriarchs that their bones be taken to Canaan for burial is emblematic of the truth that the substance of them and what they represent is to be restored to its source, Spirit. Although Joseph died and was embalmed and put in a coffin in Egypt, his bones were finally brought to Canaan, as stated in the last chapter of the Book of Joshua.
Preceding Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 365-371: Genesis 49 Mysteries of Genesis
Following Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 379-398: Mysteries of Genesis Question Helps