Alleged Patriarch Jacob/Israel

The Genesis account of Jacob revolves around the third person of the Hebrew Scripture’s trinity (Abram/Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel).  Jacob is regarded as a major patriarch in Hebrew scripture.  In considering stories from Genesis, we should always remember that the word genesis is Latin from the Greek, and refers to generation, origin, and birth—not history.  Jacob, like his grandfather Abraham before him, was allegedly promised that the multitude of his descendents were to be given possession of Canaan.  The 7th century BCE priest-authors of these tales made it sound as though the Israelites (never defined as Hebrew) had been issued holy land-title to a specific region on planet Earth.  When consulting the more ancient texts on cosmology and astronomy upon which these accounts were structured, it is shown that much of the Jacob myth revolves around ancient astronomical references dressed in occult style: so taking sacred language at face value is precarious. 

Jacob is cast as the twin brother of Esau, thus these characters are personification of the polar activity that is necessary for Creation.  Of the twins born to Isaac and Rebekah it is related that Esau was “first-born,” and like Adam was “red all over.”  Legend says he thrust out his hand from the womb and the midwife wrapped a red thread around his wrist, saying, “This came first.”  But Jacob, following after, “took hold on Esau’s heel” (Genesis 25:26), and thus the first hint of a struggle for domination is introduced into the tale.  And by eight short verses later Esau has sold his “birthright” to Jacob for a bowl of pottage.  With that sale of “birthright” the chapter ends.  Chapter 26 opens with a line that is vital in understanding world condition that influenced several Genesis myths; it says,  “And there was a famine  in the land, besides the famine that was in the days of Abraham.”    

The name Jacob is translated from the Hebrew Yakub, from, yak meaning “unity,” or “one,” in recognition of the singular source of all things.  His name being changed later to Israel signifies the plurality with which the Life Principle is to be expressed in matter-life.  For this reason the priest-authors personified Jacob as the father of the twelve patriarchal principles that had once been taught in ancient star lore.  We still know remnants of that star lore as the twelve signs of the zodiac.  What this means is that Jacob/Israel is not any verifiable historical ancestor of any specific people, but represents the Life Principle through which creative energy is brought forth as defined but diverse life forms.

Later (chapter 27), as father Isaac’s eyesight has failed and he thinks he is dying, he assumed it was time to bless his eldest son, Esau, with “birthrights.”  But Isaac’s beloved wife, Rebekah, counseled the son Jacob, whom she favored, to deceive Isaac so Jacob would receive the blessing intended for Esau.  Dishonesty was thus rewarded, and such is the ethics handed down  to us as holy writ.  By the next chapter Isaac learns of the deception but cannot retract it, which is not due to any code of honor of keeping one’s word; it simply underlines the irrevocable process of nature which declares what is done is done.  These story incidents are despicable when related to human conduct, but this is in Genesis so we are presented personifications of cosmological actions.  This is not, as implied, a sequential storyline; it is but a parallel situation that is used repeatedly in all Genesis myths because the action disguises pre-physical energy development toward matter.

After stealing Esau’s birthright, Jacob is sent away by Isaac to “…Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel (a variation of Bethel) thy mother’s father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughter of Laban thy mother’s brother” (Genesis 28:2).  By verse 10 “…Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.”  Hidden here are subtle clues of the myth’s inspiration.  The word beer refers to a “well,” and sheba means “seven.”  So Jacob starts his movement through the seven primordial energy dimensions on his way to becoming a self-defined energy form.  At this point we read that Jacob “…lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night (through the primordial dimensions) because the sun was set…”  Yes, energies were in the process of becoming set as the Sun—its predetermined form of concentrated energy was becoming visibly manifest.  As this was developing, the energy-form characterized by Jacob had to take “…of the stones of that place…” and use them for his pillow.  How strange.  Jacob is characterized as a deliberative and possessive individual, so it is out of character that he would not take with him something to sleep upon during an overnight journey.  No explanation is forthcoming; he makes-do by laying his head upon a pile of stones.  And then he has a mystifying dream in which a ladder is set upon the  earth “…and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it” (Genesis 28:12).  Strangely, Jacob’s dream was not exclusive to Jacob, for the Persians also had their scala coeli, or ladder of seven steps upon which the souls on earth descended and ascended. 

When Jacob awoke from his dream he declared, “How dreadful is this place! this is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”  “This place” happened to refer to the pre-physical dimensions through which each energy-form takes up the hard responsibility of physical production.  The “gate of heaven” referred to the dimensions of creative energy through which the “Lord” (laws of Creation) causes energies to take on identity as matter form. 

Later at Haran, Jacob is supposed to have labored seven years for his uncle Laban in payment to marry Laban’s daughter Rachel (the name means “God’s ewe), but is tricked into marrying the older sister Leah.  (Again deception is the championed way to acquire something.)  So Jacob then labored another seven years to wed his beloved Rachel.  He is presented as so virtuous, but while he toiled for Laban, he managed to produce four sons by the “hated” Leah–Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah.  But Jacob earned Rachel, and made ready to depart, but not before he acquired a goodly part of Laban’s herds through practiced deception before taking off with his spoils.  In morals Rachel was no better than Jacob for she stole her father’s household gods.  Laban, incensed at that, tracked them down and searched through all the baggage to no avail, for Rachel had sat on them and pretended impatience with her father as he searched.  All this drama, remember, is set in pre-physical energy dimensions, so the household gods of Laban represent archetypal forms that are being carried toward manifestation as matter forms.

  After Jacob married Rachel, she remained barren, so Jacob had another son by Rachel’s maid, Bilhah, and Rachel named the boy Naphtali.  Then jealous Leah gave her maid Zilpah to Jacob to breed, and the maid bore the son,  Gad, then bore another son who was named Asher.  The breeding marathon continued, and  Leah bore a fifth son, Issachar; then a sixth son, Zebulun.  The seventh union with the hated Leah resulted in a daughter, Dinah.  After all that, God finally “remembered Rachel” (Genesis 30:22).  By verse 24 Rachel has a son, Joseph.

After considerable intrigues through chapters 30 to 35, God then commanded Jacob to return to Canaan, and Jacob headed straight for Bethel, house of God, the very same spot that Abram had camped and had his name changed to Abraham.  And Jacob, like Abram, has his name changed and became Israel.  Jacob then receives the same “covenant” as extended to Noah, Abraham and every other mythic character that reaches this transitional point in creation activity; their “seed” is blessed so that they may pass over into energy-as-matter form. 

The changing of names was standard in Pagan mythic tales to indicate the transubstantiation of primordial elements into a different atomic value.  (Refer to Abraham, Sarah and India post, September 2010).  In older Greek myth, for example, the god Apollo spoke through a priestess to Alkeids, saying, “From this day forth thy name shall no more be Alkeids but Herakles.”  Why the Greek story is scorned as “myth,” but the Hebrew Scripture version is to be accepted as truth and “history” is, shall we say, eccentric.  To recognize the mythic quality in the Genesis stories brings into question the legitimacy of claiming such characters as Abraham and Jacob/Israel as having been historical persons.  And without Abraham as an alleged historical ancestor the whole foundation of Judaism, Christianity and Islam stand upon quicksand.

As noted, the wife of Jacob, his beloved Rachel, was long barren, just as was the beloved sister-wife of Abraham, Saraha.  Indeed,  all the “barren” women in scriptural tales—Sari, Rachel, Rebekah, Elisabeth, etc.—personify primordial substance that remains inactive until endowed with creative energy.  It is only when primal energies involve as energy-substance that they develop generative capacity to involve further as matter form.

When Rachel gave birth to Joseph it indicates that a prototype energy-form has been established and all related creative energies then act in compliance.  By chapter 35 Rachel bears a second son, Benjamin, but dies in childbirth, thus conveniently removing her from the plot.  And, too, father Isaac soon dies, the mess with the twin brother Esau is absolved, and by chapter 27 emphasis falls upon Joseph, the first-born son to Jacob/Israel by Rachel with whom the book of Genesis is to conclude.

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