Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Genesis Chapter 35
Metaphysically Interpreting Genesis 35:1-15
35:1And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Beth-el, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, who appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.35:2Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the foreign gods that are among you, and purify yourselves, and change your garments: 35:3and let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. 35:4And they gave unto Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hand, and the rings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.
35:5And they journeyed: and a terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob. 35:6So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan (the same is Beth-el), he and all the people that were with him. 35:7And he built there an altar, and called the place El-beth-el; because there God was revealed unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother. 35:8And Deborah Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried below Beth-el under the oak: and the name of it was called Allon-bacuth.
35:9And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. 35:10And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. 35:11And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; 35:12and the land which I gave unto Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. 35:13And God went up from him in the place where he spake with him. 35:14And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he spake with him, a pillar of stone: and he poured out a drink-offering thereon, and poured oil thereon. 35:15And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Beth-el.
July 2, 1950: Gen. 35:1-12
Why was Jacob told to go “up” to Bethel? Bethel (Beth-el) means “house of God” and represents the body, which houses the mind or spirit. Jacob (“the supplanter”) represents the illumined intellect as contrasted with the animal or body consciousness, represented by Esau. We ascend in consciousness, when we rise from them the intellectual to the spiritual sphere. The body then becomes irradiated by Spirit.
Is this transformation of the body to be a permanent or a temporary one? It is to be a permanent one (“Go up to Beth-el and dwell there”), a continuation of the physical evolution, as we have already glimpsed in our consideration of the race history.
What is the “altar unto God” that Jacob was to erect in Bethel? It is a place in consciousness where we are willing to surrender the lower to the higher, the personal to the impersonal, the animal to the divine. It is built up in commemoration of the sacrifice of the physical or animal for the intellectual and the looking forward toward the attainment of spiritual perfection by the whole man.
Do we lose in the surrender of the flesh man as we seek to demonstrate our oneness with Spirit? No. This process involves a transforming of the flesh man, leaving us further ahead along the road of spiritual progress than before we undertook to make the change.
What is the first Step in the transforming process? The denial or discontinuance of all thought habits we may have that are out of harmony with the higher, worthier, selfless thinking that we intend to make habitual henceforth. We “put away the foreign gods that are among” us, our unworthy thoughts and vain desires, and replace them with the thoughts of the one God, the eternal good. Denial is expressed in the words “Purify yourselves, and change your garments.”
What is the next step in the transforming process? The practice of acting in conformity with our constructive thinking (“And they journeyed”). This practice develops character, which in turn bears weight and influence in the racial or social sphere.
How did Jacob receive his new name, and how can we receive a new name for ourselves? Jacob ascended in consciousness from the middle ground of intellect (Paddan-aram) to the higher ground of Spirit (Beth-el) and remained there. We can do this by keeping ourselves in the thought of what is good, right, just, and true, avoiding craft, deceit, cunning, and the desire to get the better of life for selfish purposes. Qualities of character give us a name for stability and dependability. They inspire trust and confidence which are the basis of civilization.
Is goodness self-perpetuating? Only as we hold ourselves steadfastly in the consciousness of the good (“I am God Almighty”). In the consciousness of divine power we continue to develop more and more of Truth (“be fruitful and multiply”).
Metaphysically Interpreting Genesis 35:16-26
35:16And they journeyed from Beth-el; and there was still some distance to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labor. 35:17And it came to pass, when she was in hard labor, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; for now thou shalt have another son. 35:18And it came to pass, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-oni: but his father called him Benjamin. 35:19And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath (the same is Beth-lehem). 35:20And Jacob set up a pillar upon her grave: the same is the Pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day. 35:21And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Eder.
Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: 35:23The sons of Leah: Reuben, Jacob's first-born, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun; 35:24the sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin; 35:25and the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid: Dan and Naphtali; 35:26and the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid: Gad and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, that were born to him in Paddan-aram.
Metaphysically Interpreting Genesis 35:27-29
35:27And Jacob came unto Isaac his father to Mamre, to Kiriath-arba (the same is Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac sojourned. 35:28And the days of Isaac were a hundred and fourscore years. 35:29And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, old and full of days: and Esau and Jacob his sons buried him.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-01-2014