Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Genesis Chapter 44
Metaphysically Interpreting Genesis 44:1-17
44:1And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth. 44:2And put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack's mouth of the youngest, and his grain money. And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken. 44:3As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses. 44:4And when they were gone out of the city, and were not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good? 44:5Is not this that in which my lord drinketh, and whereby he indeed divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.
44:6And he overtook them, and he spake unto them these words. 44:7And they said unto him, Wherefore speaketh my lord such words as these? Far be it from thy servants that they should do such a thing. 44:8Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks' mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan: how then should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold?44:9With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen. 44:10And he said, Now also let it be according unto your words: he with whom it is found shall be my bondman; and ye shall be blameless. 44:11Then they hasted, and took down every man his sack to the ground, and opened every man his sack. 44:12And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left off at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. 44:13Then they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city.
44:14And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house; and he was yet there: and they fell before him on the ground. 44:15And Joseph said unto them, What deed is this that ye have done? know ye not that such a man as I can indeed divine? 44:16And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's bondmen, both we, and he also in whose hand the cup is found. 44:17And he said, Far be it from me that I should do so: the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my bondman; but as for you, get you up in peace unto your father.
Metaphysically Interpreting Genesis 44:18-34
44:18Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh, my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant; for thou art even as Pharaoh. 44:19My lord asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father, or a brother? 44:20And we said unto my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother; and his father loveth him. 44:21And thou saidst unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him. 44:22And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should leave his father, his father would die. 44:23And thou saidst unto thy servants, Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face no more. 44:24And it came to pass when we came up unto thy servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 44:25And our father said, Go again, buy us a little food. 44:26And we said, We cannot go down: if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down: for we may not see the man's face, expect our youngest brother be with us. 44:27And thy servant my father said unto us, Ye know that my wife bare me two sons: 44:28and the one went out from me, and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces; and I have not seen him since: 44:29and if ye take this one also from me, and harm befall him, ye will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol. 44:30Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad is not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life; 44:31it will come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants will bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to Sheol. 44:32For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then shall I bear the blame to my father for ever. 44:33Now therefore, let thy servant, I pray thee, abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren. 44:34For how shall I go up to my father, if the lad be not with me? lest I see the evil that shall come on my father.
June 12, 1932: Genesis 44:18-34
What is the real theme of this lesson? True repentance and forgiveness form the theme of today's lesson.
What is the meaning of the word “Judah”? “Judah” means “praise Jehovah”; “confession of Jah.” In today’s lesson Judah makes an adjustment of error conditions, through confession and forgiveness.
What does Joseph represent? The highest perception of Truth, expressing through the imaging faculty in physical consciousness (Egypt), is represented by Joseph.
What is one of the great works of the imaging faculty? To descend into the subconscious mind, there to prepare storehouses and fill them with substance and vitality, which may be used when the intellectual man has exhausted his resources.
The chapters preceding this lesson state that Joseph's brothers had made a prior trip down into Egypt to obtain corn. Explain. The previous trip was in preparation for the final reconciliation that was to take place between the intellect and the body. We cannot have a joyous reunion of soul and body unless we are willing let the higher thoughts (Joseph) descend into the subconsciousness (Egypt) and reign there second to the king, the will (Pharaoh).
Why were Joseph's brothers so disturbed by his insistence that they bring down Benjamin, their youngest brother, in order to prove themselves innocent of the charge that they were spies? They knew that they were guilty concerning Joseph; years before, they had become jealous of him and had sold him down into Egypt. They were conscience stricken.
What spiritual law is here in evidence, of which Joseph's brothers must have had some understanding? The law of sowing and reaping must have been understood by Joseph’s brothers. They could see that they were in imminent danger of reaping exactly what they had sown.
Is humanity today as quick to recognize the law of sowing and reaping as were Joseph’s brothers? No. When we get into difficulty of any kind, we are apt to pity ourselves and to wonder why the Lord has allowed error to come upon us. Especially is this true of those who do not closely watch the results of their thinking, speaking, and acting.
Joseph was only testing his brothers. What saving evidence convinced him that they had reformed? Joseph discerned their great love for their father, and saw that they were alert to prevent sorrow's coming to him.
What was the final test that proved their sincerity? Judah, rather than let Benjamin stay behind as a prisoner, thus causing sorrow to his father, offered to remain in Benjamin’s stead. This was unquestionable evidence that the brothers had repented of their ill treatment of Joseph. It was also a prophecy of the vicarious atonement of Jesus.
June 13, 1937: Genesis 44:18-34
What theme runs through the whole story of Joseph? True greatness makes the story of Joseph one of the most moving of all time. Among primal faculties of mind Joseph represents the imagination, but he was great in every faculty. Every side of his nature was enhanced by the magic touch of his creative insight and understanding.
What was Joseph’s object in surrounding his brothers with difficulties on their visits to Egypt? Joseph tested his brothers to find whether the envy, greed, and hatred that they had displayed in selling him to the Ishmaelites had become fixed traits in them or whether they had reformed their character along lines of righteousness and goodness. That he was not avenging a sense of personal injury and injustice is shown by the statement that “he turned himself about from them, and wept,” even while he imposed hard conditions upon them.
What does this lesson teach concerning repentance? Judah's plea to Joseph reveals a complete transformation of character from the time when he proposed that the brothers sell Joseph into slavery. That act brought sorrow to Jacob and made deception and hypocrisy on the part of his sons unavoidable. In Egypt Judah proposed to become a slave to Joseph rather than fail to keep his promise to restore Benjamin to his father. True repentance rebuilds what sin has destroyed, making the new structure of character stronger than the original.
Why is this transformation in character especially outstanding in Judah? Judah (“confession of Jah”) typifies the central faculty of consciousness. He represents the spiritual faculty of praise and accumulation. Instead of accumulating material wealth, the repentant Judah built up a strong reserve of honor, justice, and dependability. “From the prey thou art gone up” to be a guard and protector of those who gauge a man's integrity by his word.
How is full forgiveness realized? One realizes forgiveness in full only after one has repented of wrongdoing and has repaired the injury that yielding to temptation has wrought in one’s character.
Is it permissible for us to forgive ourselves? This is not only permissible but essential before we can make progress in constructive thinking and living. As long as we condemn ourselves we neutralize our efforts to realize the good and do right.
September 20, 1942: Genesis 44:13-34
What transformation is brought out clearly in this lesson? That of the faculty represented by Judah. From extreme selfishness or self-centeredness he progressed to self-effacement and such complete expression of the good that he represents praise of God, or divine selflessness made manifest. The Judah who sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites becomes the man who offers himself as a bondman in Egypt so that Benjamin may go free.
What common ground exists between these two states of mind? None. The second reverses the bent of the first. The mature, responsible Judah is not the same man as the youthful, self-centered Judah. He has been born again into a consciousness of duty, responsibility, and consideration for others.
What is true repentance? It is a change of mind that includes a complete change of motive or incentive, accompanied by an irresistible stimulus to action of an opposite nature from that which was indulged in before. Instead of giving way to selfishness, we learn to think first of others to see ourselves in them. We lay aside envy, and express appreciation and right judgment.
What is necessary if the imagination is to work to good purpose in the subconsciousness (Egypt)? Faith in God and a habit of cultivating God consciousness without faltering. Joseph had both these essentials.
What does Pharaoh represent? He represents the entire body consciousness. The disciplined and enlightened imagination permeates this consciousness. Joseph was “even as Pharaoh.”
What connection subsists between imagination and faith? A twofold connection that is very close. Reuben, the eldest brother, represents faith in its outer aspect. It was he who planned to save Joseph from the pit and restore him to his father. Benjamin, the youngest and only full brother of Joseph, represents an active efficient faith.
What effect has true repentance on character? It reforms character, quickening the faculties to express spiritual instead of sensual qualities.
Does Judah's intercession with Joseph, as told in this lesson, fulfill the prophecy contained in Joseph's boyhood dreams? Judah's words “thou saidst unto thy servants” and “thy servant my father” show that the dream of the sheaves bowing down to Joseph's sheaf as well as of the sun, moon, and stars making obeisance to him was fulfilled. Judah represented both the father and the brothers as being servants of Joseph.
How did this event affect Joseph? Because of the repentance and change of character in the brothers that it implied, Judah's action removed the last barrier of distrust of his brothers from Joseph's mind and heart. It allowed his love for them, unexpressed through his years of exile In Egypt, to pour forth.
September 16, 1945: Genesis 44:18-34
The name Judah means “praise Jehovah.” In what respect is the meaning applicable to the one who first bore it? The transformation that Judah's character shows from that of a leader in wrongdoing to that of a leader in righteousness, dependability, and sound principles is proof of the power of Divine Mind to bring good out of seeming evil. It is therefore ground for praise to God that such power is available to man.
In the effort to account for our present circumstances is it desirable to review the past? Not always, but to gain a full understanding of the present situation, retrospection is sometimes desirable. To look back with longing or dissatisfaction or criticism or in an escapist attitude is inadvisable.
Benjamin represents an active, accomplishing faith in the consciousness. Why is the youngest son represented as “a little one” who could not leave his father? Because faith often seems so small in its power to accomplish what the mind sees should be done as to be esteemed too slight and undeveloped to be of use to us. Nevertheless it is a faculty that is dispensable to our proper development, and the mind leans upon it. “His father loveth him.”
“His brother is dead.” In hearing himself described as dead did Joseph discern at last how his brothers had accounted to their father for his disappearance? He no doubt discerned the nature of the deception they had practiced on Jacob and at the same time saw how easily they explained to strangers his absence from the family circle. Imagination is often accounted inactive (“dead”) and of no worth to the other faculties. However it remains alive in the subconsciousness (Egypt) and can easily become active there.
Is a sense of responsibility to others as well as for them a token of well-developed character? It is a token of mental maturity and of character that is founded on spiritual values. “Thy servants will bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to Sheol.”
What final proof of maturity of character does this lesson afford? Judah's offer or request to become a bondman to Joseph in Benjamin's stead so that the latter could return to his father and so that no evil would befall the father through his sons' acts. No stronger proof of faithfulness, honesty, and dependability could be given.
When are our mistakes and errors of value to us? As we learn the lesson they contain and profit by them to avoid a repetition of them. If we have a teachable spirit we learn from our mistakes to act constructively instead of destructively; to use sound judgment instead of allowing impulse to lead us into ill-considered actions.
Is unselfishness a sign of mature character? Virtually always. Selfishness is the mark of an unsocial character. To be aware of the rights of others and have consideration for their rights and feelings is a mark of the well-rounded developed character.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-06-2014