Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Genesis Chapter 28
Metaphysically Interpreting Genesis 28:1-5
28:1And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. 28:2Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father. And take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother. 28:3And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a company of peoples. 28:4And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee. That thou mayest inherit the land of thy sojournings, which God gave unto Abraham. 28:5And Isaac sent away Jacob. And he went to Paddan-aram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother.
April 7, 1907: Genesis 28:1-5
When we understand that Jacob and Esau, and all the people and places mentioned in these allegories, represent ideas in the mind of a single individual, they are more easily reconciled with justice and righteousness. Jacob, the ambition for higher things, supplants Esau, the contented creature of sense, and appropriates his birthright and receives his blessing. These are legitimate steps in the upward way of the aspiring soul. The strong man of sense must be bound and his goods taken away from him, taught Jesus. If you do not overcome the animal in you, it will finally be your master. It is easy for a great soul to fall under the illusions of sense and go down instead of up. The law ordained for man is “that ye go forward.”
Taking a wife represents a unification of the I AM with the affections. Jacob was admonished to go to Paddan-aram (table-land) to the house of Bethuel (unity with God) and take a wife from the daughters of Laban (white, pure, shining). This points the way to a unification with the Love Principle in its higher aspects. Exalted ideas, Divine aspirations and pure motives are here designated as necessary to that union with the soul which the I AM is about to make.
– UNITY magazine.
Metaphysically Interpreting Genesis 28:6-9
28:6Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram, to take him a wife from thence. And that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. 28:7And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Paddan-aram. 28:8And Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father. 28:9And Esau went unto Ishmael, and took, besides the wives that he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham's son, the sister of Nebaioth, to be his wife.
Metaphysically Interpreting Genesis 28:10-22
28:10And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. 28:11And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set. And he took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep. 28:12And he dreamed. And behold, a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 28:13And, behold, Jehovah stood above it, and said, I am Jehovah, the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac. The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed. 28:14And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south. And in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 28:15And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee, whithersoever thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land. For I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. 28:16And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely Jehovah is in this place. And I knew it not. 28:17And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
28:18And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. 28:19And he called the name of that place Beth-el. But the name of the city was Luz at the first. 28:20And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 28:21so that I come again to my father's house in peace, and Jehovah will be my God, 28:22then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house. And of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
May 30, 1926: Genesis 28:10-22
Explain the meaning of verse 11. In verse we read that Jacob took a stone and put it under his head for a pillow and lay down to sleep. The passage reveals that, though spiritual illumination may be obscured from the intellect for a time, if one rests with an inner assurance upon the rock of faith, a higher vision presents itself.
Verses 12 and 14 tell of Jacob’s dream of the ladder that reached from earth to heaven, with Jehovah at the top, and messengers of the Lord ascending and descending. Explain. The ladder represents the step-by-step ascension of man from material to spiritual consciousness. Jehovah the spiritual I AM, stands above, assuring man of a substantial inheritance. The angels or messengers represent thoughts or words of truth necessary to the unfoldment of the higher consciousness.
How does man get the assurance of the presence and the power of God, as symbolically set forth in verse 15? The assurance that there is a higher mind comes to the soul as it reaches out for the light and the strength and all the other qualities of the Christ mind. The four points of the compass mentioned in the lesson represent the four dimensions in which Omnipresence works.
Explain Jacob’s recognition of the place of Jehovah even in the most material environment. “Surely Jehovah is in this place; and I knew it not.” God is Spirit, the real presence and power. Matter is but a shadow of a mighty reality. Our bodies seem material, but they are in God and must exist in him regardless of our beliefs about him.
Give the meaning of verse 19: “And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of the city was Luz at the first.” This verse explains the difference between the first concept of man and the second or final concept of man in regard to the whereabouts of God. Luz means separation. Man's first concept is that he is separate from God. Bethel means the house of God, or that man is housed in God, regardless of locality.
Jacob covenanted that he would give a tenth to God, if God would keep him in the way he should go and provide for him. Explain. In his inner consciousness man can make an agreement with the mind of Spirit that can be kept in his everyday affairs. Many metaphysicians write out and sign agreements of this kind and put them away with the assurance that they will be carried out, and it is found by nearly everyone who tries the plan that the agreement is fulfilled. If you wish your material affairs to prosper, agree with Jehovah to give one tenth of your income to some work that is dedicated to God. If your part of the agreement you may rest in the assurance that the Lord will prosper you, that your financial affairs will be taken care of without worry or strain, and that you will come into a land where peace and plenty go hand in hand.
What does Jacob represent? Jacob represents man in intellectual consciousness moved by the illumination of Spirit.
What is the meaning of verse 10: “And Jacob went from Besr-sheba, and went toward Haran”? “Beer-sheba” means “well of the oath, seventh well.” “Haran” means “enlightened, mountainous.” Metaphysically Beer-sheba represents the establishment of the oath, or the establishment of consciousness in the seventh or fulfilled degree of the natural man. Haran represents our highest aspiration for spiritual attainment.
July 13, 1930: Genesis 28:18-22
Explain: “And he called the name of that place Beth-el: but the name of the city was Luz at the first.” The intellectual man, Jacob, discerns that man should be unified in mind and in body. Bethel means “house of God,” or that man is housed in God. Luz means “separation.” Therefore the name of the city which was “Luz at the first” was called Bethel, or unity, at the last.
May 15, 1932: Genesis 28:10-17
What does Jacob represent? In intellectual consciousness, man, when moved by the illumination of Spirit, is typified by Jacob.
What is the meaning of the 10th verse in today’s lesson: “And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran”? “Well of the oath”, “seventh well” is the meaning of Beer-sheba, while “Haran” means “exalted”, “mountaineer.” Metaphysically Beer-sheba represents the establishment of consciousness in the seventh or fulfilled degree of the natural man. Haran represents our highest aspiration for spiritual attainment.
Explain the meaning of the 11th verse. We read in this verse that Jacob took a stone and, using it under his head as a pillow, lay down to sleep. That passage reveals that, though spiritual illumination may be obscured from the intellect for a time, if one rests with an inner assurance upon the rock of faith, a higher vision presents itself.
The 12th and 13th verses tell of Jacob's dream of the ladder that reached from earth to heaven, with Jehovah at the top, and messengers of the Lord ascending and descending upon it. Explain. The ladder represents the step-by-step ascension of man from material to spiritual consciousness. Jehovah, the spiritual I AM, stands above all, assuring man of a substantial inheritance. The angels, or messengers, represent the thoughts or the words of Truth that are necessary to the unfoldment of the higher consciousness.
How does man get the assurance of the presence and the power of God, as symbolically set forth in the 15th verse? Such assurance comes to the soul as it reaches out for the light, the strength, and all the other qualities of the Christ mind. The four points of the compass mentioned in the lesson represent the four dimensions in which Omnipresence works.
Explain Jacob’s recognition of the presence of Jehovah even in the most material environment. “Surely Jehovah is in this place; and I knew it not.” God is Spirit, the real presence and power. Divine immanence is universal.
In a succeeding verse of this chapter Jacob covenanted that he would give to God a tenth of all that he might have, if God would direct him in the way that he should go, and provide for him. Explain. In his inner consciousness man can make an agreement, with the mind of Spirit and this agreement can be kept in his everyday affairs. Many metaphysicians write out and sign agreements of this kind, and [put?] them away with the assurance that they will be carried out, and it is found by nearly everyone who tries the plan that the agreement is fulfilled. If you wish your material affairs to prosper, agree with Jehovah to give one tenth of your income to some work that is dedicated to God. If you keep your part of the agreement, you may rest in the assurance that the Lord will prosper you, that your financial affairs will be taken care of without worry or strain, and that you will come into a land where peace and plenty go hand in hand.
May 30, 1937: Genesis 28:16-22
Explain how we can deal effectually with difficulties and hindrances to progress. We turn difficulties and hindrances into landmarks of progress by setting them up and examining them impersonally from all angles, then dedicating them to God with a joyful heart (pouring oil upon the stone) in the faith that with His help we can master them.
Interpret the statement, “This Stone, which I have set it up for a pillar, shall be God’s house.” In God consciousness we transmute trials and hardships, and in the process what was material in us becomes spiritualized. At the same time we ourselves become aware of the omnipresence of God.
What is the final significance of the supplanter in man’s experience? In his overcoming man at last supplants the natural with the spiritual.
How can we give to God what is already His? We give by first receiving consciously from Him, appropriating, and transforming His gift by our own efforts into a form bearing the imprint of our individuality. When we have made it our own, we are then in position to give it back to God, whether the gift is material or spiritual.
What is represented by Jacob’s flight from Esau? The intellectual man seeks to escape from the dominance of the senses. Jacob had no sooner fled from Esau than he dreamed of a higher expression of life and a world of power above the physical. Haran means “elevated,” “exalted,” and the understanding that causes one to seek higher ground brings with it illumination.
Explain the meaning of Jacob's ladder. We advance to higher states of consciousness step by step, by thinking true thoughts and seeing the Most High in all our ideals and experiences. As we grow in understanding, we develop greater awareness of God. The ladder represents these various stages or steps in Truth.
Why did Jacob find the gate of heaven “dreadful”? In his dream Jacob saw the ladder, but did not ascend it. Understanding is a gradual, progressive growth, and we are prone to be depressed by visions of Truth that are beyond our present power to express. It is dreadful to see the gate of heaven and at the same time be unable to enter it.
What is the “gate of heaven”? The power we possess to visualize spiritual truth either in symbols or in the abstract is the gate of heaven within our own thoughts.
August 23, 1942: Genesis 28:10-22
Why is Jacob called the “supplanter”? Because he represents the mentality of man, whereas Esau represents the body or physical man. The mental should supplant the physical. We should think before we act.
Is forethought a characteristic of the natural man? No, the natural course is action followed by thought. Therefore Esau was the first-born.
Jacob “went toward Haran.” What does this statement signify? The name Haran means “exalted,” “mountaineer.” When we consciously engage in meditation, that is, with conscious direction of our thoughts, we enter a high or exalted state of mind. This state makes the conception of spiritual things clearer.
What does Jacob's dream symbolize? The ladder is a symbol of the step-by-step realization by which we assimilate the divine ideas of Truth that come to us from above. The angels are our spiritual thoughts.
What is the highest realization of which man is capable? That of the omnipresence of God. “Behold, I am with thee.” Wanderer, outcast, fugitive, it matters not; one does not escape the divine presence.
What does the “house of God” represent? It represents the body of spiritual man.
What do we “understand” by the “gate of heaven”? This is the state of consciousness through which we pass from activity on the outer or physical side to meditation and prayer on the inner or mental side.
Does Jacob’s pledge of a tenth of all that Jehovah might give him imply more than worldly goods and possessions? It implies a share of all God’s gifts. Our inner resources as well as our material goods are to be devoted to unselfish ends.
On what condition did the promise of the tithe rest? On the condition that Jehovah should remain in Jacob's conscious thought as a guiding and directing influence, should inspire his faith in Jehovah as the source of his prosperity and well-being, and be a protecting presence.
August 19, 1945: Genesis 28:10-22
What part does faith play in the transformation of character? It has a vital part in this transforming work, for character is molded by thought, word, and act, and we put our faith into all three of these. When we live sincerely we live by faith.
Is character building a slow or a gradual work? It is gradual, conforming to the law of growth in the outer world, but since its consummation is timeless and eternal the time required to mold character seems short in comparison with its enduring nature.
What difference in meaning is discernible between the stone under Jacob’s head and the same stone set up for a pillar? Under Jacob's head the stone represents matter and material conditions an uneasy resting place or foundation for the intellect (Jacob). When set up as a pillar, the same stone anointed with oil represents “God's house” or the consciousness of God, an enduring state or condition.
How can we make our awakening to Truth of the greatest value to us? By interpreting Truth aright and applying it aright to ourselves. Unless we do both these things, Truth is of little practical value to us.
What is the spiritual birthright of each individual? Faith, joy, peace, love, wisdom, and all good. These form our heritage as children of God.
As we express faith in our words and acts, what reaction do we experience? We find that, like the faithful of all ages, we become fitted to reap the substantial rewards of faith. In his dream Jacob was told: “The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.”
At what stage of our development do we realize the omnipresence of God? When we awake from the dream of sense consciousness to a realization of the truth that we are spiritual beings, we realize that God is everywhere present. “Surely Jehovah is in this place; and I knew it not.”
What is a “house of God” that Jacob discerned? Whatever embraces consciousness of God is the house of God. Our body is the house of God; for in it dwells our mind and soul through which we have consciousness of God.
What is represented by the darkness of night, when Jacob tarried in a certain place? Indecision or ignorance of the right course to follow. '“The sun was set,” and Jacob waited for clearer light before resuming his journey. When we are undecided, we too should wait for light on our course instead of acting without guidance or understanding.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 12-29-2013