Genesis 48 Mysteries of Genesis
Chapter XIII: The Blessing of the Faculties
Genesis 48 Spiritually Interpreted
Gen. 48:1-4. And it came to pass after these things, that one said to Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed. And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, and said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a company of peoples, and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.
Describe the yes and no powers of the mind.
In this Scripture the I AM functioning in the illumined intellect (Jacob) is taking cognizance of its abilities and possessions before it sinks back into the subconsciousness for a season of rest. The I AM faculty of imagination (Joseph) is quick to discern what is taking place and brings the will and the understanding, the yes and the no of the mind (Ephraim and Manasseh), to the I AM for a final blessing. (The will and the understanding are the powers that say yes and no to your thoughts.)
The Lord had blessed Jacob (the I AM) at Luz. One interpretation of Luz is "separation," but under the light of Spirit we find that that which we conceive to be apart from God (Luz) is in truth His abode (Bethel, house of God). Therefore this Luz state of consciousness belongs eternally to the I AM and its faculties will (Ephraim) and understanding (Manasseh), which faculties are to multiply and bring forth fruit exceedingly.
Gen. 48:5, 6. And now thy two sons, who were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh, even as Reuben and Simeon, shall be mine. And thy issue, that thou begettest after them, shall be thine; they shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance.
What is implied by Jacob's action in claiming Joseph's two sons as his own?
The I AM (Jacob) here claims Joseph's two sons Ephraim and Manasseh (fruit of the imagination) as his own. The primal faculties of will (Ephraim) and understanding (Manasseh) or of affirmation and denial now come under the dominion of the I AM, symbolized by Jacob. The secondary issues come under the imagination (Joseph).
Gen. 48:7. And as for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when there was still some distance to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way to Ephrath (the same is Bethlehem).
Why are denial and affirmation so important in our choice of thoughts to entertain?
When an important ego is about to change its plane of expression, a memory of past experiences, especially of those which are dear to the heart, flashes into the mind. Spiritually that which is good in the experiences is retained and that which is not good is cast aside. In soul consciousness the soul intuitively rejects the error and claims the good. It is an occasion where denial and affirmation play an important part.
Explain the transition of love from a lower to a higher plane.
Jacob had been on his way from Paddan (a place of substance in the consciousness and body organism of the individual) and was yet some distance from Ephrath
(realization of abundance); that is, the illumined I AM (Jacob) had been passing from a lower plane of substance to a higher plane. During this period of transition the consciousness of love for material substance (Rachel) died, or sank back into the subconscious, there to become the foundation of a more spiritual love. Now through introspection Jacob was eliminating the error and affirming the good.
Gen. 48:8-22. And Israel beheld Joseph's sons, and said, Who are these? And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me here. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them. Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them. And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath let me see thy seed also. And Joseph brought them out from between his knees; and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him. And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the first-born. And he blessed Joseph, and said, The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God who hath fed me all my life long unto this day, the angel who hath redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from
Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head. And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father; for this is the first-born; put thy right hand upon his head. And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it; he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; howbeit his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee will Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh. And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God will be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers. Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.
In what way are understanding and will useful when weakness appears?
When Joseph came to visit his father in the land of Goshen, he brought his two sons with him. Hearing that they were coming, "Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed." Thus understanding (Manasseh) and will (Ephraim) bring strength when weakness appears. Job says, "When they cast thee down, thou shalt say, There is lifting up."
Under divine law what is the order of development of understanding and will? What is the order of development under natural law? Explain.
Jacob blessed his grandsons, and his blessing is significant. Manasseh, being the first-born (under divine law understanding precedes will), would be entitled to the chief blessing, but Jacob laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim and his left hand upon the head of Manasseh instead of the reverse, which was the customary way of blessing. Joseph, thinking his aged father's dim eyesight responsible for this seeming error, called his attention to it. Jacob replied that he knew what he was doing and that although the older son was to become great and important, Ephraim (will) would take precedence under the natural law to which
they were both to be subjected.
That certain laws in race evolution are involved in the blessing by Jacob of Joseph's two sons, also that a special spiritual dispensation to the Hebrews, to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, was instituted must be admitted by those who believe that this Scripture is inspired. But this dependence on the Lord for guidance could not go on forever; the highest test of character is the self-made man. Man must develop from within, and the time comes to every soul when it must glow with its own inner light, regardless of the mistakes it may make.
Unless man accepts divine guidance in unfolding his faculties what is the result? How does understanding as represented by Manasseh come into its rightful heritage?
Jacob saw that the time had come for Ephraim and Manasseh to act on their own initiative, and he knew what he was doing when he gave Ephraim (the will) first place. In the free, full development of man the will and ambition to achieve leap ahead of the understanding. This has been and still is the experience of the human race, and it will continue to be until man in his freedom willingly accepts divine guidance. Then Manasseh (the understanding) will come into his own and assume first place in consciousness. The blunders of man will then be corrected and a mutual understanding be restored to the whole world.
What is the final blessing of the I AM upon the imagination?
Up to this time the faculties symbolized by Ephraim and Manasseh had been under the inspiration of the imagination (Joseph). Joseph's taking his sons from between his knees and handing them over to Jacob for the final blessing symbolizes the restoration of the faculties to their natural estate. The dying of Jacob represents the withdrawal of the activity of this special spiritual inspiration imparted through the I AM.
In what way does the Lord reward a person for exercising his faculties to the best of his ability?
The final blessing of the I AM on the imagination
(Joseph) promised that it would be taken back or "reincarnated" in the land of the fathers. The one extra portion that Jacob gave to Joseph, which he "took out of the hand of the Amorite" (a race inheritance) with his sword (power of the word) and bow (directive power), is an amorous force that finds expression on the generative plane but which eventually must be elevated to spiritual consciousness. The exercise of any faculty to the best of one's ability is appreciated by the Lord (law), and we get an extra portion, a "free gift of God." We receive a certain return for our mental effort although we may not always directly recognize God as the source.
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