Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Genesis Chapter 13
Metaphysically Interpreting Genesis 13:1-18
13:1And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the South.13:2And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. 13:3And he went on his journeys from the South even to Beth-el, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-el and Ai, 13:4unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of Jehovah.
13:5And Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. 13:6And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. 13:7And there was a strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle and the herdsmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelt then in the land. 13:8And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen; for we are brethren. 13:9Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me. If thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right. Or if thou take the right hand, then I will go to the left.
13:10And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the Plain of the Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before Jehovah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of Jehovah, like the land of Egypt, as thou goest unto Zoar. 13:11So Lot chose him all the Plain of the Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 13:12Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the Plain, and moved his tent as far as Sodom. 13:13Now the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners against Jehovah exceedingly.
13:14And Jehovah said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward and southward and eastward and westward: 13:15for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 13:16And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: So that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then may thy seed also be numbered. 13:17Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for unto thee will I give it. 13:18And Abram moved his tent, and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built there an altar unto Jehovah.
June 17, 1917: Genesis 13:1-12
13:1And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the South. - Egypt symbolizes “vitality.” Abram (father, which is faith) together with his wife (the soul) and Lot, who represents the negative side of faith, goes south (subconscious).
13:2And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. - Faith works in the rich substance of Spirit, which cattle, silver and gold symbolize.
13:3And he went on his journeys from the South even to Beth-el, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-el and Ai - Bethel means “house of God,” and Ai means “heap of stones.” This verse refers to the establishment in consciousness of faith in God.
13:4unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of Jehovah. - We call on the “name of Jehovah” when established in faith.
13:5And Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. - Lot represents the hidden side of faith, which is rich in possessions in its realm of consciousness.
13:6And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. 13:7And there was a strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle and the herdsmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelt then in the land. - The “land” typifies the body consciousness. The higher qualities of mind and the lower do not harmonize.
13:8And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen; for we are brethren. - Spiritual faith lifts one above antagonism, and does not strive with adverse states of consciousness.
13:9Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me. If thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right. Or if thou take the right hand, then I will go to the left. - The Truth separates itself from the false in consciousness, and works out a harmonious expression, regardless of the course error may take.
13:10And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the Plain of the Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before Jehovah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of Jehovah, like the land of Egypt, as thou goest unto Zoar. - Each state of consciousness “sees” only its own domain. Lot, meaning “hidden,” and pertaining to the flesh, sees those lands corresponding to his mental vision. Jordan means “equilibrium of forces” and Zoar means “inferior.”
13:11So Lot chose him all the Plain of the Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. - States of consciousness naturally separate themselves once the individual is quickened of the Spirit.
13:12Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the Plain, and moved his tent as far as Sodom. - Faith established in God dwells in the realm of realities. Faith in negation (typified by Lot) moves its “tent as far as Sodom,” or links the I Am to the flesh through its desire for sensation. Sodom means “sensuality.”
February 23, 1913: Genesis 13:2-12
Subject: The Unselfishness of Faith
Our Father never faileth
To give his children bread;
They only need to hunger
More richly to be fed;
For Love's abundant table
Most graciously supplies
Each earnest aspiration
That hourly doth arise.
What spiritual faculty does Abram represent? Faith.
What is faith? Faith is that faculty by which we know God as Omnipresent Spirit-Substance. This Substance is man's supply, as Paul discerned when he said, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for.” By faith we appropriate the substance of whatever we desire. Abram, rich in faith, increased his substance until it was very great.
What is the meaning of Egypt? Egypt means the hidden, and represents in man the subconscious. Egypt is a productive land. Abram came up out of Egypt “very rich in cattle and silver and gold.”
What practical lesson does the experience of Abram teach? It is practical only as it applies directly to the experience of every man. In daily Silence we go down into our subconscious, and by meditation upon God as the Source and Substance of every need, we gather the Divine Substance in consciousness and we come into the outer realm rich in ideas of supply. Even though the Substance may not at first be manifest, faith rests secure in the consciousness of abundance, and in due season our “world is framed” according to our faith.
Is the Divine Supply limited to what is called “temporal needs”? No. God is the Substance of our life, of our intelligence, of our strength, of our love, and he is therefore a full supply for every need. When we know that he is the Substance of life, our health springs forth speedily.
What is the relation of faith to unselfishness? Faith in the fullness and omnipresence of Spirit Substance gives confidence and assurance in a plenteous and unfailing supply for everybody. Such faith takes away the limitations of “mine and thine,” and brings one into the realization of supply as universal and inexhaustible.
Our Father, God, the only,
Is 'round and in us all,
Sustaining and embracing,
That none need ever fall.
There's Light and joy and healing.
Oh, come and taste and see;
Our Father faileth never
(The song used in this service is No. 69, “Truth in Song.”)
July 6, 1930: Genesis 13:7-12
What does Lot represent? Lot means “dark,” and 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.”
Should this story of Abraham be taken as history? No. Paul refers to this in Gal. 4:24, where he says, “Which things contain an allegory.” In our lesson today from the 11th chapter of Hebrews. Abraham is treated as a type of faith.
What is the city “which hath the foundations, whose builder and maker is God”? The spiritual body is here typified as a city. Its foundation is the ideal body created by Divine Mind. By faith we bring this ideal body into manifestation.
How is spiritual faith used by Christian healers in restoring the body to health? Christian healers find that they can restore to perfection the most interior parts of the body by realizing in faith that in Divine Mind these parts are already perfect.
April 24, 1932: Genesis 13:5-15
What do Abram and Lot represent in man's consciousness? Abram represents potential faith in the unseen, the spiritual realm. Lot represents faith in the seen, the material realm.
Was the land or consciousness, in which they dwelt sufficient for the expanding or developing faith of both? No. The material consciousness is limited in its activity; consequently, the expanding faith of Abram needed a larger field of expression. He therefore separated himself from Lot.
Through what attitude of mind was this separation amicably adjusted? The separation was handled peacefully through the recognition by Abram of the fact that he and Lot were of one universal brotherhood, and that there was an inexhaustible universal substance to which they both had access.
Which of these two manifested the greater degree of generosity? Abram, spiritual faith, realizing the reality of inexhaustible supply, said: “If thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou take the right hand, then I will go to the left.”
Lot chose the “Plain of the Jordan,” the site of Sodom and Gomorrah. What does this symbolize? Jordan means “the descending one, the south flowing.” The meaning is that Lot went down into the material realms of body consciousness, the seat of physical sensation, Sodom and Gomorrah.
What is the meaning of “Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan”? “The land of Canaan” represents the unlimited elemental forces of Being in which man is placed and to which he gives character through his faith in God as omnipresent Spirit substance.
May 2, 1937: Genesis 13:14-18
Why did Abrabam separate himself from Lot? Lot (“hidden,” “concealed”) represents the subjective or negative side of faith. If one is to realize the substance of one's hopes, one must put away all faith in negation, and live objectively. Abraham, the expanding of faith in consciousness, therefore separates himself from Lot.
September 6, 1942: Genesis 13:13
Why were the “men of Sodom” said to be “sinners” against Jehovah exceedingly? Because they represent demoralizing, sensual thoughts and desires, which are contrary to divine law. Divine Mind is the only mind substance, and anyone who thinks sensual, demoralizing thoughts misuses the substance of Divine Mind (sins against Jehovah exceedingly).
July 22, 1945: Genesis 13:1-12
Does faith in materiality, like faith in spirituality, yield an increase? Yes. In this lesson Egypt represents the material realm. Abraham while in Egypt became very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. Materiality, when fed by faith, increases manifold.
Abraham and Lot, uncle and nephew, represent phases of faith. What are these phases? Abraham represents the expanding of objective faith in the consciousness, Lot the subjective phase. The latter increases as well as the former. Lot too had flocks and herds, and tents.
Where we feel an urge toward selfish expression but at the same time are subconsciously in the grip of selfish desires, what adjustment must we make? These two states cannot exist in the mind of the same person without disruption of his power to establish himself in satisfying relations of unity with God. Therefore one or the other must go. The positive and negative poles must be separated. Abraham suggested a separation from Lot.
What is the true source of blessedness? Faith in the inner source of all good. When we have faith in God, we are not afraid to let others have their choice of what appear to be material advantages, for we know that the divine law maintains an exact balance and that we cannot lose what is our own.
What is signified by “the land of Canaan”? Canaan represents the unlimited elemental forces of Being that we may utilize at will through our faith in God as the omnipresent Spirit.
How is communication with the super-mind of Spirit established? It is developed gradually by faithful obedience to the inner urge of Spirit. Once established, we are guided by the Spirit in various ways.
Does faith in God give long-range vision of God's work for and in mankind? Added to imagination, faith gives a person vision of this character. Abraham believed that his descendants would inherit the entire land in which he sojourned in a tent as a foreigner and a stranger. He believed that they would be “as the dust of the earth” for multitude. He had long-range vision and it was justified.
Why is the expression of the divine law sometimes a long, involved process? When the divine law is neither consciously recognized nor invoked, its operation in human affairs is sometimes slow and involved. When it is recognized and used, the effect is the quick and powerful one that the metaphysician calls demonstration.
Does faith in spiritual truth develop in us a consciousness of God? Invariably. Wherever Abraham pitched his tent he also built an altar and worshiped Jehovah. Altar and tent together made home for him. Faith in God brings God into all our thoughts.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 12-07-2013