Mysteries of Genesis
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[Mysteries of Genesis]
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The Initial Step toward Redemption
Genesis 12, 13, and 14
ACCORDING to Jesus, when a man turns toward a new country,
a new state of consciousness, he must quicken his faith.
Formerly he has had faith in material processes; he has
attached himself to material things. Thus Abraham long
lived in the sense world or consciousness, represented by
Sodom and Gomorrah. His higher ideal, Jehovah, urged him to
flee from that world and not to move back but to detach his
mind from the things of sense and turn his face toward the
light. This new land that the Lord desired him to go to
represents new ideas and their manifestation, a new
relationship to the substance of things. When the new ideas
begin to multiply in man's mind, his environment changes;
as Paul says, "if any man is in Christ, he is a new
creature." But the beginning is to believe further than you
can see or feel in terms of the senses. A man often finds
it necessary to go into a "new country" that he knows
nothing about; and he has to trust the Lord to carry him
through. "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have
believed." To put faith in things spiritual is the
The call of Abraham is considered the initial step in a
great plan for the redemption of the Adam race from its
material, sensual consciousness, called the fall of man.
From any mortal viewpoint the time seems
long and the way tortuous, but we may, if we will, enter
into the mind of the Spirit, where one day is as a thousand
years and a thousand years are as one day, and here we see
the whole plan worked out in a definite, systematic, and
Every detail in Abraham's experience has a definite
counterpart in the life of each one who is bringing forth
the Christ in man. A study of these things is therefore of
great importance to all who seek the realization of
sonship. To them it is given to understand "the mystery
which hath been hid for ages and generations."
Abraham represents faith, the first great faculty developed
or "called out" by man in the unfoldment of his spiritual
nature or Christ Mind. Faith is that faculty by which we
know God as omnipresent Spirit substance. This substance is
man's supply, as discerned by the author of Hebrews when he
said, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for." By
faith we appropriate the spiritual substance of whatever
things we desire, thus taking the first step necessary to
their manifestation. Abraham, rich in faith, increased his
substance until it was very great.
Volumes might be written about faith in its relation to the
conscious, subconscious, and superconscious departments of
mind; or about its centers of action in the body. Abraham
represents faith in its early establishment in
consciousness, and his life portrays the different
movements of this faculty on the various planes of action
in man's being. In order to understand the lessons that
Abraham's life has for us, a certain familiarity with each
plane of consciousness is necessary.
That in the individual which is called "I" may be
termed attention. It is in reality the spiritual man. It is
the inherent capacity of the "I" to recognize ideas and
through the law of Being to form ideas into states of
consciousness. By forming these new states and setting up
action in their various departments, the "I" (attention)
can then leave them, as the millwright leaves the mill he
has constructed over a waterfall. Nature carries on the
work once it is established.
So we find ourselves in possession of states of
consciousness that may seem to be ignorant. There are, for
instance, the subconscious states that have to do with the
processes of digestion, assimilation, circulation,
respiration, elimination, and the like. We could not be in
possession of an organism having these various powers of
mind unless at some point in our experience we had
established them. If we consciously assumed these powers
ourselves, it is plainly possible that we could again go
back of them and become familiar with their subconscious
Thus it is a question of attention whether or not we shall
know about these various planes of mental activity. If we
fix our thoughts for but ten minutes a day on the heart, we
shall know in a short time what is going on at that center.
So with every department of the organism. Whatever the
process being carried on by an organ in the body, we may be
assured that a center of intelligence is located somewhere
in the vicinity of it, and by continually focusing our
attention there we may become familiar with its office and
Abraham represents man in the first awakening of his faith,
when he is dominated by it. The very name has come to be
almost a synonym for faith. Abraham
was dwelling in a realm of limited thought, and he was
called out by Spirit into a great expansion of all his
thoughts and powers through faith. All the people and
places mentioned in connection with his history have a
symbolical meaning. They represent other faculties and
phases of mind that are called into expression along with
Gen. 12:1-5. Now Jehovah said unto Abram, Get thee out of
thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's
house, unto the land that I will show thee: and I will make
of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy
name great; and be thou a blessing: and I will bless them
that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse:
and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
So Abram went, as Jehovah had spoken unto him; and Lot went
with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he
departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and
Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they
had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran;
and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into
the land of Canaan they came.
The movement in consciousness represented in this Scripture
is that of an individual who has been spiritually inactive
or laggard. The name of Abraham's father Terah signifies
"loitering." The Lord or spiritual impulse within presses
forth to religious activity. It virtually says, "Get thee
out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy
father's [loiterer's] house, unto the land that I will show
When this call comes, lofty ideas begin to possess the
mind. The name in its original form, Abram, means "exalted
father." Faith in the unseen God and
in divine guidance inspires lofty thoughts that become part
of the consciousness without special effort when man is
obedient to the call of Spirit. To those who depend on the
evidence of the senses it may be blind faith, but it works
out beautifully in the life of those who are true to it.
When Abraham went to seek a new country (consciousness) in
response to the call of the Spirit, Lot went with him. The
name Lot means "hidden," "concealed," "covert," and Lot
represents the negative side of faith. When faith (Abraham)
expands in consciousness (in a new and greater country),
its old subconscious element (Lot) expands also. Lot may
also be said to symbolize the part of man that is still in
darkness; in other words, the natural or animal man. This
part of man's nature he cannot escape, but must take with
him into the new country. He can, however, by association,
lift it up and increase its capacity, as Abraham "lifted
up" and aided Lot, for we read that Lot prospered as well.
(For further interpretation of Abraham and Lot see
commentary on Gen. 13.)
Gen. 12:6-9. And Abram passed through the land unto the
place of Shechem, unto the oak of Moreh. And the Canaanite
was then in the land. And Jehovah appeared unto Abram, and
said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there
builded he an altar unto Jehovah, who appeared unto him.
And he removed from thence unto the mountain on the east of
Beth-el, and pitched his tent, having Beth-el on the west,
and Ai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto
Jehovah, and called upon the name of Jehovah. And Abram
journeyed, going on still toward the South.
In this instance Canaan represents the pure elements of the
natural body. Moreh represents the mind that is receptive
to Truth; a tabernacle. In a tabernacle state of mind the
constructive methods that are always characteristic of the
divine are revealed, and in this state of mind protection
and strength (oak tree) are realized, and victory is
The "oak of Moreh" may also be said to represent a nerve
center in the body, and the tabernacle an aggregation of
The name Shechem means "inclining," "shoulder." Shechem
represents man's wholly material thoughts about himself and
the universe, which tend to make life a burden.
The name Beth-el means "house of God." Beth-el represents
the understanding that all seemingly material things in
reality have their origin in Spirit.
The name Ai means "heap of ruins." Ai refers to egotism and
self-confidence without recognition of Spirit. These
qualities are counterfeits of faith; they are destructive
of the building of a truly spiritual character and must be
put away so that the individual may come into a knowledge
of his unity with God.
Gen. 12:10. And there was a famine in the land: and Abram
went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was
sore in the land.
There was a famine in Abraham's land, and this caused him
to go down into Egypt. Egypt represents the realm of
substance and life in the depths of the body consciousness.
In a sense this is a region of darkness and mystery, yet it
is a great kingdom rich in substance and essential to the
preservation of the body.
It refers to the vitality of the abdominal region. Those
who have not attained an all-round understanding of the
divine law do not know how to affirm the flow of a steady
current of life from below to feed the flame of
intelligence above, and therefore they have periods of
bodily exhaustion. In this condition they seem to lose
divine guidance and are plunged into apparent darkness
(Egypt). This is a very necessary adjustment however.
Gen. 12:11-20. And it came to pass, when he was come near
to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife,
Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:
and it will come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see
thee, that they will say, This is his wife: and they will
kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee,
thou art my sister; that it may be well with me for thy
sake, and that my soul may live because of thee. And it
came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the
Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. And the
princes of Pharaoh saw her, and praised her to Pharaoh: and
the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. And he dealt well
with Abram for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and
he-asses, and men-servants, and maid-servants, and
she-asses, and camels. And Jehovah plagued Pharaoh and his
house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife.
And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou
hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was
thy wife? why saidst thou, She is my sister, so that I took
her to be my wife? now therefore behold thy wife, take her,
and go thy way. And Pharaoh gave men charge concerning him:
and they brought him on the way, and his wife, and all that
Here again we see the result of a lack of spiritual
understanding. Pharaoh represents "the sun." He is the
ruler of the solar plexus, the sun center in the
subconscious mind. This is obscurity or "Egypt" to the
conscious mind. Pharaoh's (the sun's) being in Egypt points
to the truth that the light of the sun of righteousness is
veiled by our life on the lower or sense plane. Pharaoh
also signifies the whole house, the whole body
consciousness; he is the force that rules the body under
the natural regime.
Sarai represents the soul not yet regenerated and under
divine law should not be allowed to unite with Pharaoh
(physical sensation). Not having the divine understanding
when he was drawn down into Egypt (seat of the vital
processes), Abram allowed Sarai (his unregenerate love,
affection, and emotion) to become united with Pharaoh (the
dominating physical ego) and this brought plagues upon the
land of Egypt (bodily ills).
Metaphysicians regenerating their bodies through the power
of the spoken word should heed this lesson. When
quickening, cleansing, and readjusting the cells at their
life center, they should silently declare:
"The sensation of the flesh cannot hold my love, for my
love is the daughter of God, and we are joined in purity
and pure desire in my Father's house."
Thus they may escape the plagues of Egypt and the rebuke of
Pharaoh: "What is this that thou hast done unto me? why
didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?"
Gen. 13:1. And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his
wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the South.
Abram went up out of the land of Egypt, "and Lot
with him"; for the time had not yet come when Abram could
part with Lot (the subjective) and dwell in the Promised
Land (the purely spiritual consciousness).
Lot can also be said to symbolize the part of man's
consciousness that is still spiritually undeveloped. In
other words, Lot represents the natural or animal man.
Abram still had much growth to make before he could sustain
a consciousness of Spirit. He was unable as yet to cross
out the material side of his nature. He still had faith in
materiality and a dual vision as to the fulfillment of the
Scriptures. He saw the negative as well as the positive;
evil as well as good.
Until the Christ Mind is firmly established in the
individual he retains a certain residue of faith in
negative appearances. This divided state of mind causes
confusion and discord.
Gen. 13:2-4. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver,
and in gold. And 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.
Abram (faith) while in Egypt accumulates rich substance
ideas, which are necessary for a well-balanced mind and
body. Bethel (house of God) represents the perfect body
ideal. Ai (heap of rubbish) represents the physical
manifestation with an increased appreciation and possession
of life and substance (cattle, silver, and gold).
The return from Egypt is symbolical of man's return to his
divine-natural consciousness. This was not a single event;
it is something that occurs again and again in the Bible
story, and is repeated in the case of every individual who
comes into a realization of
his spiritual oneness with God. The whole nation of Israel
was called out of Egypt to assume its destiny of bringing
forth the fruit unto righteousness and life everlasting, to
play a part in the restitution of the race to its Edenic
state. This is the essence of the covenant. Jesus came up
out of Egypt where His parents had taken Him as a child.
Abram (faith) did not remain long in Egypt (sense
Gen. 13:5-7. And Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks,
and herds, and tents. And 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. And 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.
It was Abraham rather than Lot who suggested the
separation. When man reaches a certain point in his
spiritual development he realizes that he must let go of
everything that retards his progress. Lot is typical of the
natural man, always eager to take the best for himself. He
chose the plain of the Jordan because it was "like the land
True faith in God is separated from all negative belief
that the body is material, impure, or transient. The
herdsmen of Abraham were separated from the herdsmen of
Lot. The time comes when by reason of the increase of faith
or substance these two types of mind cannot dwell together:
"the land was not able to bear them." So the senses of the
man who has centered his faith on the invisible are by
degrees separated from the appeal of his lower nature and
become true herdsmen of his enduring thoughts. As a true
his vision is fixed on the changeless reality inhabiting
all form, the substance of which all visible manifestation
is but the configuration. His ear becomes attuned to the
unbroken harmony of life that is permeating his mind and
body and the world about him. He learns so to direct his
thought of Spirit substance that if a belief in material
imperfection should find lodgment in his consciousness one
touch of his mind would release the hidden spring that
opens the way to healing of the body.
Gen. 13:8-12. And 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. Is 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. And 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. So Lot chose him all the Plain of the Jordan;
and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the
one from the other. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and
Lot dwelt in the cities of the Plain, and moved his tent as
far as Sodom.
When we put our faith wholeheartedly in spiritual reality
and follow our ideal without wavering, we are willing to
allow sense consciousness the choice of its own field of
action. Abraham gave Lot his choice of land. When we
withdraw our interest from the natural man, there is a
separation. True thought and untrue thought cannot
Canaan means "lowland," but it is here that Abraham lived
after his separation from Lot. Is it not significant that
this "lowland" became the Promised Land, the land "flowing
with milk and honey"? True faith, which works through love,
has power to refine the body and so make it the promised
land of the soul. When man rediscovers this lost domain,
the promises of the Scriptures will be fulfilled.
Every faculty of the mind has an active and a passive side,
an objective and a subjective, a positive and a negative.
Abraham represents the faculty of faith in its positive
expression. To complete the symbol we find Lot ("hidden,"
"concealed") representing the negative or undeveloped
aspect of faith. His domain is the flesh. He accompanied
Abraham into Egypt and back again. When they separated, Lot
chose to dwell in the "Plain of the Jordan . . . like the
land of Egypt, as thou goest unto Zoar." The river Jordan
here symbolizes the descending flow of thought running
through the organism from head to foot. When mortal beliefs
rule the individual, the life flow is muddy with sense
concepts and turbulent with materiality. The Jordan is
noted as a muddy stream. Zoar ("smallness," "littleness")
represents that which is inferior. We should beware how we
link our I AM consciousness with the faith that is
established in the flesh, typified by Lot.
(For Sodom and Gomorrah see interpretation of Gen. 10).
Gen. 13:13-18. Now the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners
against Jehovah exceedingly. And 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: for all the land which
thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for
ever. And 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. Arise, walk through the land in
the length of it and in the breadth of it; for unto thee
will I give it. And Abram moved his tent, and came and
dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built
there an altar unto Jehovah.
Hebron ("community," "alliance," "friendship") represents
an association of ideas; in other words, concentration.
Spiritual unfoldment always causes one to direct toward
God's children everywhere a kindly feeling that is
constant, deep, tender. Ability to do this is one of the
indispensable qualifications of every successful spiritual
Mamre ("firmness," "vigor," "strength") refers to the front
brain, the seat of conscious thought. The lesson here is
that faith in God (Abraham) brings about the right
relationship among all the associated faculties, and withal
an enduring firmness, vigor, and strength. Mamre in the
sense of "fatness," "abundantly supplied," "well-fed,"
refers to a consciousness of substance and riches. The
qualities represented by Mamre are not of the highest
spiritual consciousness, the Christ Mind, but they belong
more to the spiritually awakening intellect of the
In Truth a person does not have to change his residence in
order to enter a new country. "The land which thou seest"
refers to a new concept of substance. When we deny our
attachment to matter and material conditions and affirm our
unity with spiritual substance, we enter the new
consciousness of real substance.
Substance is not confined to matter; it is the idea that is
the firm foundation of all that we conceive to be permanent.
Abraham's moving his tent signifies that the center of
consciousness changed; in this case from a lower to a
Gen. 14:1-11. And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel
king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king
of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, that they made war with
Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah,
Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the
king of Bela (the same is Zoar). All these joined together
in the vale of Siddim (the same is the Salt Sea). Twelve
years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year
they rebelled. And in the fourteenth year came
Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote
the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, and the Zuzim in Ham, and
the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, and the Horites in their
mount Seir, unto El-paran, which is by the wilderness. And
they returned, and came to En-mishpat (the same is Kadesh),
and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the
Amorites, that dwelt in Hazazon-tamar. And there went out
the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king
of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela
(the same is Zoar); and they set the battle in array
against them in the vale of Siddim; against Chedorlaomer
king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, and Amraphel king of
Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings against the
five. Now the vale of Siddim was full of slime pits; and
the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and they fell there,
and they that remained fled to the mountain. And they took
all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their
victuals, and went their way.
Amraphel ("keeper of the treasures," "speaker of
mysteries") represents the belief of unawakened man that in
generation, in physical reproduction, he is fulfilling the
creative law of Being.
Shinar ("two rivers," "divided stream," "divided mind")
represents a belief in two powers, an evil as well as a
good power, and error results.
Arioch ("lionlike," "venerable") represents the seeming
power, strength, and ("lionlike") dominion that sex lust
has over man; also the belief so prevalent among all
peoples that the secret desires and habits pertaining to
the sex life must be good and must have been ordained of
God because of ages of acceptance and practice. Therefore
they are regarded as sacred ("venerable").
Ellasar ("strong rebellion," "oath of Assyria," "oak of
Assyria") represents a state of consciousness whose central
thought and belief has to do with sex on the physical
plane. It does not look to Spirit for its strength and
power but trusts in the "mind of the flesh."
Chedorlaomer ("handful of sheaves," "roundness of a sheaf")
represents the generative function of the body given over
to the expression of sex lust.
Elam ("hidden," "concealed," "everlasting") represents
thoughts of the abidingness, resourcefulness, and creative
power of Truth. The natural man may not know the truth of
his being; it may be hidden under the debris of sense
thought and belief. It will come to light in due time
however and will bring forth its fruit of perfection in the
life of every individual.
Tidal ("veneration," "awe," "fear") represents the
prominent place that sensuality has in the material and
carnal states of consciousness that belong to the outer,
animal man; also the fearfulness that results from sense
Goiim ("Gentiles," "people, especially foreign") represents
the carnal, material thoughts and states of consciousness
that belong to the outer man (Gentile).
Bera ("spontaneous gift," "son of desire," "son of evil")
represents the directing thoughts and desires of the
sensual state of consciousness denoted by Sodom.
(For Sodom see interpretation of Gen. 10.)
Birsha ("son of wickedness," "son of impiety," "fat with
evil") was King of Gomorrah in Abraham's time. The name
Gomorrah means "material force," "tyranny," "oppression."
Gomorrah denotes a state of mind that is adverse to the law
of Spirit. This state of mind has to do with the submerged
or hidden subconscious phase of man's sensual life. Birsha
represents the ruling thought in this state of
consciousness in the individual.
Shinab ("sharpened desire," "father of mutation," "father
of transgression") represents the presiding thought of the
state of consciousness denoted by Admah.
Admah ("dumb," "unrelenting," "tomb") represents the
seeming strength and mercilessness of the death thought and
condition that enters into man's experience as the result
of his carnal, material, adverse thoughts and activities.
Shemeber ("superior brilliance," "high flight," "superior
name") represents the innate spiritual ideal implanted in
man from the beginning that causes him to grow, unfold, and
unceasingly desire and seek to attain a higher and better
Zeboiim ("wars," "rending with the teeth") represents
ravenous appetites, sensual passions, the wild-beast
nature holding sway in the subconsciousness. The fact that
Shemeber was King of Zeboiim shows that the perfect-man
idea of God is implanted in the physical being of man as
well as in his more inner spiritual consciousness.
Zoar ("reduced," "lessened") denotes inferiority. It was
one of the wicked cities of the plain belonging to Moab
Bela ("swallow up," "utterly consume or destroy")
represents the destructive tendencies in consciousness. The
city of Bela symbolizes a group of destroying, consuming
thoughts. It suggests the destroying of letting go of error
by denial, an absorption or "swallowing up" of error by
Truth or of darkness by light, thus doing away with the
Siddim ("extensions," "stony land") represents the very
lowest material idea and manifestation of substance in the
sense consciousness and the body consciousness of the
Rephaim ("bonds," "terrors," "giants") was the name of a
people of great stature, and Rephaim represents the seeming
strength of binding, fear-producing, opposing thoughts in
consciousness at a certain stage of man's unfoldment into
Ashteroth-karnaim ("horned Ashteroth," "Ashteroth of two
peaks") represents the state of consciousness in man that
attributes double honor, authority, and power to purely
intellectual understanding and capacity. In this state of
consciousness man does not recognize that God instead of
intellect is the source of intelligence. The intellect
borrows its real light from Spirit, just as the moon, which
has no light of its own, reflects light from the sun.
Ashteroth refers to the
moon or intellect, while Karnaim (two horns or peaks)
suggests exultation and power.
Zuzim ("glittering," "flowing out like rays," "sprouting,"
"restless") was the name of a people "in Ham." Zuzim
represents the confusion, fears, unrestrained emotions, and
general terrors of the physical consciousness of "mind of
the flesh," seemingly very prominent and flourishing at a
certain stage in the evolution or unfoldment of the
Ham ("inferior," "hot") represents the material
consciousness in man.
Emim ("the terrible," "formidable people," "objects of
terror," that is, "idols") was the name of a race of giants
in Shaveh-kiriathaim. Metaphysically Emim represents giant
terrors and fears in human consciousness that are a result
of man's believing in the outer, formed world and the
conditions that man has built up as being real and true.
Shaveh-kiriathaim ("plain of the twin cities," "plain of
the double meetings") is the name of a place. The name
Shaveh means "a plain," and Shaveh represents an equalized,
poised state of mind and body. The name Kiriathaim means
"double city," and Kiriathaim denotes double strength or
supply. Shaveh-kiriathaim thus denotes poise and
equilibrium in the consciousness and the organism, doubly
established and sure.
The Horites ("cave dwellers," "dwellers in black holes"),
inhabitants of Edom, represent forces in action in man's
physical organism, more especially the deep-seated,
subconscious, fleshly forces and tendencies.
Seir ("bristling," "hairy," "rough," "horror") represents
the physical or sense consciousness in man.
El-paran ("strength of Paran," "oak of the region
of the caves") denotes the seeming strength of the
multitude of confused and undisciplined thoughts and
energies in man's subconscious mind that are given over to
the furtherance of sense expression.
En-mishpat ("fountain of judgment," "fountain of right")
symbolizes the truth that under the law of adjustment, when
it reaches a certain point in expression, sense indulgence
destroys the very error desires that keep it active in
consciousness. Then these desires die for lack of fuel to
keep them alive.
The name Kadesh means "holy," "consecrated," "a sanctuary."
Kadesh represents the divine presence within the individual
The Amalekites ("warlike," "valley dweller," "that licks
up") represent the base desires of the individual; the
animal forces, appetites, and passions of the subconscious
(For Amorites see interpretation of Gen. 10.)
Hazazon-tamar ("a division of palms," "felling of palms,"
"victory divided") represents a divided mind. This mind
must be conquered before one can become fearless and so
gain a real victory over error. When the thoughts are
divided the results are divided.
This whole Scripture reveals the working out of sense on
the lowest plane of consciousness. The kings in this
chapter who served Chedorlaomer for twelve years and then
rebelled represent ruling thoughts in the hidden sense
consciousness of man. Error fights error, destroying much
of it, and the remainder is lifted up (flees to the
mountain) and eventually is absorbed by Truth. We often
refer to this movement of mind as a transmuting process. A
close study of these verses tells us that even in battling
the Spirit of the Lord is constantly working, through the
law of sowing and reaping, to unveil to man's consciousness
a higher way of life.
Gen. 14:12. And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who
dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
Lot and all his possessions were carried away by
Chedorlaomer and the kings with him, who symbolize the rule
of sensuality in man. These sense beliefs and desires have
seemingly overpowered the negative side of faith that Lot
symbolizes. The power of this side of faith has been taken
over to build up and sustain flesh that is ruled over by
carnal thought. But when knowledge of this occurrence comes
to the positive side of the faith faculty in the individual
(Abraham) who has come up out of material thought (Egypt)
and passed to a higher concept of God (Hebrew), let us see
what happens. Positive faith (Abraham) gets into action
with a thought power that destroys sense rule (Chedorlaomer
and his allies) and restores negative faith (Lot) to its
rightful place in consciousness.
Gen. 14:13-20. And there came one that had escaped, and
told Abram the Hebrew: now he dwelt by the oaks of Mamre,
the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner; and
these were confederate with Abram. And when Abram heard
that his brother was taken captive, he led forth his
trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen,
and pursued as far as Dan. And he divided himself against
them by night, he and his servants, and smote them, and
pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of
Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also
brought back his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women
also, and the
people. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him, after
his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer and the kings
that were with him, at the vale of Shaveh (the same is the
King's Vale). And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth
bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High. And he
blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be God Most
High, who hath delivered thine enemies into thine hand. And
he gave him a tenth of all.
Mamre ("strength"), Aner ("adolescent youth"), and Eshcol
("fruitfulness"), the Amorites who "were confederate with
Abram," suggest thoughts of vigor and abundant substance
inspired by faith. These thoughts are apparently material
in expression (Amorites), yet they are friendly toward the
individual's higher concepts or faith in God (Abraham),
because in reality their true origin is Spirit. They lend
their conception of strength and power to the aid of faith
while it is gaining its victory over error.
Faith brings into action all its accumulated wisdom and
understanding ("he led forth his trained men") and makes a
union with the judgment faculty (Dan). Then faith strikes
at the very root of sensuality, the mortal man's belief
that life is material. This belief is the hiding or lurking
place (Hobah) for the error thoughts symbolized by the
kings who took Lot captive.
We can never fully overcome sensuality until we put away
belief in materiality. We must know that our whole being,
including the body, is not material but spiritual. By
sowing according to belief in the flesh we reap the
corruption of the flesh, but by sowing
according to Spirit we reap eternal life. (Damascus also,
like Hobah, signifies a state of consciousness founded on a
material conception of life in the body.)
We find a rich symbology in the story of Abraham's
victorious return from the battle. He was met at the "vale
of Shaveh" (which means "plain," a level place, a place of
equality) by Melchizedek (whose name means "king of
righteousness"), priest of God, who here symbolizes the
Christ consciousness in the individual. The King of Sodom
also met and greeted Abraham on the "plain" of equality
(Shaveh). He here represents the ruling power in the
When the Christ consciousness rules in both the mind and
the body, the individual is established in right thinking
and right doing (righteousness). Then he has come to the
place of peace, poise, equilibrium, and wholeness signified
by Shaveh. When this place is reached in both the inner and
the outer consciousness (Salem and Sodom) there is a great
increase of substance and of life in one's realization.
This increase comes from the higher spiritual mind within,
the Christ, and is symbolized by the bread and the wine
that Melchizedek gave to Abraham. Melchizedek blessed
Abraham and blessed God, and Abraham gave him "a tenth of
all." When a person realizes that his victories are gained
by the power of God alone, he should willingly use a tenth
of his increase of power, understanding, and substance for
the furtherance of the Christ Truth.
Gen. 14:21-24. And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give
me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. And Abram
said to the king of Sodom,
I have lifted up my hand unto Jehovah, God Most High,
possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take a
thread nor a shoe-latchet nor aught that is thine, lest
thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: save only that
which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men
that went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take
Abraham refused the proffered gifts of the King of Sodom
(sense man), which teaches us that there must be a lifting
up and transmuting of the seeming material life and
substance in the body before it can be utilized by the
higher faculties of the mind. None of the credit for the
multiplication of substance and strength should be given to
the mortal in man's nature. Spirit gives all the increase
Abram represents the spiritual ego, and the King of Sodom
represents the personal, the physical ego. The spiritual
ego or spiritual man has its first development on the
physical plane. The two egos, the spiritual and the
physical, are united there in appropriating physical
things, personal things, that they consider valuable, such
as appetites, passions, and other things on the sense
plane. The spiritual man advances or develops beyond that.
He does not want these things, so he gives them all to the
personality, the physical ego. Then the physical man is
willing to give up anything to the spiritual man, and he
will claim that he supplied the spiritual man. That is the
glorification of the personality. The personal man claims
that he is the whole thing, that everything belongs to him.
It is personal selfishness, and the spiritual man does not
want to be told that he got anything from the physical. He
gets his things from the realm of ideas, the spiritual
Man is prone to feel that the outer or sense world is the
source of his good, at least a measure of it. But in order
fully to realize our sonship and our divine heritage, we
must hold fast to Spirit. We must see Spirit as our only
cause and sustenance. We have a tendency to plead the cause
of the good in our sense nature. This is characteristic of
all of us. We try hard to save some of our sense thoughts
and secret habits. We have indulged in them so long (and
our ancestors before us did likewise, beyond the memory of
man) that we cannot help thinking there is some good in
them. However we, like Abraham, must keep our vision high.
We must hold steadfastly to the realization that God is the
one source of all, that in spirit and in truth all is good.
The young ("immature") men who went with Abram had partaken
("eaten") of the pleasures of sense. They represent the
primitive understanding, and as such they are excused from
the operation of the spiritual law. The plane of activity
for life and strength at a certain stage of man's
development is the physical, material plane. During this
stage God in His grace grants to man, when his motive is
pure, a degree of immunity from the effects of his ignorant
transgression of the divine law.
[Go forward to Chapter 6 ->]
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