Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Genesis Chapter 12
Metaphysically Interpreting Genesis 12:1-20
12:1Now Jehovah said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee: 12:2and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make they name great; and be thou a blessing; 12:3and I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
12:4So Abram went, as Jehovah had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 12:5And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
12:6And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem, unto the oak of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 12:7And Jehovah appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto Jehovah, who appeared unto him. 12:8And he removed from thence unto the mountain on the east of Beth-el, and pitched his tent, having Beth-el on the west, and Ai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto Jehovah, and called upon the name of Jehovah. 12:9And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.
12:10And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was sore in the land. 12:11And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: 12:12and it will come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they will say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. 12:13Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister; that it may be well with me for thy sake, and that my soul may live because of thee.
12:14And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. 12:15And the princes of Pharaoh saw her, and praised her to Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. 12:16And he dealt well with Abram for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he-asses, and men-servants, and maid-servants, and she-asses, and camels. 12:17And Jehovah plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. 12:18And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? 12:19why saidst thou, She is my sister, so that I took her to be my wife? now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. 12:20And Pharaoh gave men charge concerning him: and they brought him on the way, and his wife, and all that he had.
April 8, 1923: Genesis 12:1-5
What is the spiritual significance of the name "Abram,” and of "Abraham"? The name "Abram" signifies "the faith of God” and "Abraham" signifies the unlimited manifestation of that faith. When Jehovah revealed to Abram that his name henceforth was to be Abraham, he was told that he was to be the father of a multitude. This means that spiritual faith is to be expressed by bringing the faith of God into the multitude of manifested thoughts and acts.
What is symbolized by Abraham’s being sent into another country? Abraham's being sent into another country is a figure in which it is symbolized that faith shall have a larger expression in undeveloped fields of substance and life.
What does Lot represent? Lot means "dark," and his name symbolizes that part of man's consciousness which still is in darkness, in other words, the natural or animal man.
What does the land of Canaan represent? The land of Canaan represents the unlimited elemental forces of being, in which man is placed and to which he gives character through faith in God as omnipresent Spirit. In a metaphysical sense Canaan also is synonymous with the “Garden of Eden,” or the “promised land.”
October 7, 1923: Genesis 12:1-4
What is represented by Jehovah's saying to Abram: “Get thee out of thy county, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee"? Jehovah is the spiritual guide in man's higher consciousness. Abram is the personal self, which has been living in a restricted consciousness. The time is ripe for an expansion of thought and act. To attain its mental freedom necessary to understand the new relation, the ego must deny its attachment to country, kin and even body (house).
Does the person have to change his residence in order to enter into a new county? No. The land which "I will show thee" is a new concept of substance. When we deny our attachment to matter and material conditions and affirm our union with spiritual substance, we enter into the new consciousness of real substance. Substance is not confined to matter. Substance is the idea of a firm foundation of all that we conceive to be permanent and abiding.
Why do we discern that Abram, as a historical character is a type of faith? Abram acted in faith, following obediently his spiritual inspiration. Consequently we conclude that he is a type of faith that may be studied profitably by all people, who aspire to the attainment of the higher life.
What is the meaning of the promises of great blessings to all the families of the earth through Abram? Faith and obedience are attitudes of mind that make possible continual progress. When we have faith in the invisible God, and strive to do his will, we are a source of blessing, not only to ourselves, but to the whole world. There is no real increase in the material world; what seems to be increase is simply change. When, however, the ideals of the mind begin to lay hold of new concepts, increase, multiplication, and expansion enter into consciousness, and the whole world is thereby lifted up spiritually.
January 6, 1924: Genesis 12:1-7
What place has Jehovah in creation? Creation originates and exists in Divine Mind. In the creative process Divine Mind first idealizes itself. In the Scripture this ideal is named Jehovah, meaning I AM the Ever-living. The creation is carried forward through the activity of the Holy Spirit.
How did Jehovah indicate to Abram that he was to leave his kindred and go into another county? Abram is the name which the author of Genesis gave to that quality in man through which he has faith in the forces invisible. When this faith is concentrated upon the one God, a thought consciousness is established and man intuitively knows that he is in communication with the ever-living Source of all existence. It was in this way that Jehovah communicated with Abram.
What are Jehovah’s blessings that he promised would be poured out upon Abram? The blessings resulting from faith in the invisible God are like sands of the sea or stars of the heavens in numbers. Without faith in God the soul is in the darkness of materiality. Through faith the soul is flooded first with hope in a future life, then with perception of that life, which is followed by a consciousness of its substance. Thus, "faith is the substance of things hoped for” (Heb. 11:1) (A.V.)
What does the land of Canaan represent? The word Canaan represents "humility, lowliness.” Historically, it was that country between the Mediterranean sea and the river Jordan, a lowland in contradistinction to Gilead; or the table-land east of the Jordan. Metaphysically Canaan represents that meek, humble, and receptive state of mind necessary to one whose spiritual ear is open to the still small voice.
Verse 7 states: "And Jehovah appeared unto Abram.” How does Jehovah manifest or appear to one who has faith in the reality of spiritual things? The substance and the life of Spirit appear in the one who through feeling, warmth, love. Jehovah made himself visible to Moses in the burning bush, which is an eternal description of the warmth of life that is felt in the nerves by the faithful in times of meditation, prayer, and spiritual exultation.
July 6, 1930: Genesis 12:1-3
What is the spiritual significance of the names "Abram" and "Abraham"? "Abram" signifies "the faith of God," and "Abraham" signifies the unlimited manifestation of that faith. Jehovah revealed to Abram that his name henceforth was to be Abraham, and that he was to be the father of a multitude: This means that spiritual faith is to be expressed by bringing the faith of God into the multitude of manifested thoughts and acts.
What is symbolized by Abraham's being sent into another country? Abraham's being sent into another country symbolizes that faith shall have a larger expression in undeveloped fields of substance and life.
April 17, 1932: Genesis 12:1-9
What place has Jehovah in creation? ln the creative process Divine Mind first idealizes itself; this ideal is I AM, or Jehovah. Creation is carried forward through the activity, of the I AM, in conjunction with the Holy Spirit.
How did Jehovah indicate to Abram that he was to leave his kindred and go into another country? Abram is the name that the author of Genesis gave to that faculty in man through which he exercises faith. When man fixes his faith on Spirit, he intuitively knows that he is in communication with the ever living Source of all existence, Jehovah, I AM.
What is required in order to receive fulfillment of the great promises made by Jehovah to Abram and his descendants? The fulfillment of the promises made by Jehovah to Abram is dependent upon the keeping of the divine law of righteousness, justice, and love, as revealed to man through Spirit as the law of life.
What are the blessings that Jehovah promised would be poured out upon Abram? The blessings resulting from faith in the invisible God are like the sands of the sea or the stars of the heavens in number. Through faith the soul is flooded, first with hope in a future life, then with perception of that life, which is followed by a consciousness of its substance. Thus “faith is the substance of things hoped for.” (A.V.)
What does the land of Canaan represent? The word Canaan represents humility, lowliness. Historically, it was that country between the Mediterranean sea and the river Jordan, a lowland in contradistinction to Gilead; or the table-land east of the Jordan. Metaphysically Canaan represents that meek, humble, and receptive state of mind necessary to the one whose spiritual ear is open to the still, small voice.
The 7th verse states: “And Jehovah appeared unto Abram.” How does Jehovah manifest or appear to one who has faith in the reality of spiritual things? The substance and the life of Spirit appear in the soul through feeling, warmth, love. Jehovah made Himself visible to Moses in the burning bush, which is an eternal description of the warmth of life that is felt by the faithful in times of meditation, prayer, and spiritual exultation.
May 2, 1937 Genesis 12:1-9
What are the literal and metaphysical meanings of the name Abram? Literally the name Abram means “father of exaltation.” Metaphysically it means faith or the power of the mind to make substance out of ideas, to substantiate hope.
What does the expression “the land that I will show thee” mean? He who obeys his truest thoughts and impulses gains assurance in himself of the reality of spiritual things. The expression denotes the new concept of substance discerned by the spiritually quickened man, when he is stirred to religious activity by his faith.
Explain the symbology of Abraham's migration from Ur of the Chaldees to Canaan. When the light of understanding and intelligence (Ur of the Chaldees) illumines man, it tends to induce in him an exalted state of mind, strengthens his faith, and stirs him up to go forward to fuller enlightenment. His exaltation is represented by Haran (“elevated,” “exalted”), where the first stop of Abram’s journey was made.
How does man overcome habitual inaction? Inaction is overcome through faith, which translates steadfastness (substance) into attainment through works that express the mind's conviction.
What class of cherished ideas is man best able to express? He expresses best the ideas in which he has faith, or into which he puts something of himself.
How does faith achieve its object? Faith achieves by impelling man to act upon his convictions, or follow his inner guidance.
What is represented by the Canaanites that Abram found in “the land” that Jehovah had promised him? The Canaanite represents the elemental life forces in the subconsciousness. Man must bring these into subjection, reclaiming them from materiality and impregnating them with understanding.
How does one demonstrate over a consciousness of burden? A teachable state of mind enables one to cast his burden “upon Jehovah” or spiritual consciousness. Shechem, where Abram sojourned, means “a burden,” but in that place was “the oak of Moreh.” Moreh means “teacher,” “prophet,” and symbolizes a state of mind receptive of Truth.
August 2, 1942: Genesis 12:1-9
In what respect was Abram's faith outstanding? It was timeless, and in this respect it partook of the infinite. Many of the promises made to Abram were not fulfilled during his lifetime, but his faith remained steadfast nevertheless.
What does the name Abram represent? Abram, meaning “father of exaltation,” represents the faculty through which man has faith in the invisible.
How are hope and desire made substantial? Through the exercise of faith.
In metaphysical terms, what is “the land that I will show thee”? It is the new conception of substance that the spiritually quickened man experiences when he is stirred to religious activity.
What truth is evident in the verse “I will bless thee, and make thy Name great; and be thou a blessing”? That we receive in the measure in which we give. As Abram was blessed by Jehovah, he was in turn to be a blessing to others.
What does the name Terah represent? Terah (loitering) represents a state of spiritual inactivity. While Terah lived, Abram went no farther than Haran (elevated, exalted); that is, although his was an exalted state of mind, he did not give it practical expression.
What is our chief debt to Abram? We owe to him our first clear knowledge of the true God, His spiritual and holy nature, and the undivided devotion that we are to render Him.
How was Abram made great? First he was great in faith in God. Next he was great in patience, in working toward the realization of his hopes and desires. He lived at peace with the Canaanites, among whom he was a stranger. He built up a Godlike character and realized the joy of achievement in the spiritual realm. These attainments all fitted him to become the founder and the inspiration of an enduring people.
July 15, 1945: Genesis 12:1-9
To what does faith in God lead us? To exaltation of mind and heart. The name Abram means “father of exaltation.”
What is the meaning to us of “the land that I will show thee?” It is a new conception of substance, not a change of location. We enter a new consciousness of real substance by denying our attachment to matter and material conditions and affirming our unity with spiritual substance.
What is one function of faith? To elevate and stabilize the thoughts.
What instances of elevation of thought through faith are generally known to us? The lifting up of the serpent (symbolizing the elemental life forces) by Moses in the wilderness that the people might look and be healed; and the words of Jesus Christ, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself.”
On what basis does the pioneering spirit rest? On that of faith. The pioneer has the courage and vision to trust himself to the unknown in search of Truth.
Is faith a stable ingredient of success or prosperity? Yes. It enables us to succeed in our undertakings, for it lends not only strength, courage, and assurance, but patience and persistence, all of which enter into successful effort.
Does faith act as a relief to the burdened mind? Faith in God leads us to turn over our burden to God and go free. Shechem, the place where Abraham built “an altar unto Jehovah, who appeared unto him,” means “shoulder,” “burden.”
Are humility and loyalty involved in faith? Both issue out of faith. Abraham builded an altar unto Jehovah, and called upon the name or Jehovah wherever he pitched his tent. His habitual reliance on God made his character one of the greatest of which we have any record.
October 10, 1948: Genesis 12:1-5
In his natural estate is the full-grown man a man of faith? No. Sense consciousness harbors doubts, which weaken faith. As we awaken to the reality of the spiritual realm, we become strong in faith in God, and the material realm no longer seems fundamental to us.
What prophecy of the realization of the Christ does this lesson contain? The prophecy in Jehovah's promise to Abram, "In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed."
What must we do before our faith can he fulfilled? We must meet the conditions that make fulfillment possible.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 12-05-2013