Beginning to unravel the mystery of the serpent in the Bible: It must be remembered that the serpent is responsible for Adam and Eve leaving the garden. According to the Bible it is the “fault” of the serpent that Adam and Eve ate the fruit which causes their expulsion. But think about this? The tree is Eve’s tree. The tree is named after her. It is the tree of life. The name Eve means life, making it in actuality the tree of Eve. She doesn’t need the permission of the serpent, a deity or anyone to eat from her own tree. It is her right. It is more than her right, it is an expression of her essence. In fact, if she doesn’t eat from the tree, she would never leave the garden of Eden bringing herself/ her life essence to fruition here on Earth. If it is the serpent who midwifed this process, then the serpent as well is responsible for bringing/birthing life here on Earth as we know it today. This is not a curse at all, but a precious blessing.
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
Here is my translation of the final line of this verse:
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
Wherefore I dissolve into the oneness of thee and find comfort
as the dry earth gives forth the flowering of abundant fruit.
The King James Bible became the standard from which many if not most other, later Bibles took their cues when translating Biblical verses. At the time the KJV (King James Version) was created, the patriarchal aspects of Christianity were well established with their emphasis on sin and repentance. In the KJV of Job 42:5-6, there is an emphasis on self loathing and repentance. The original Hebrew words, though, had alternate meanings which provide a possibilty of completely different meanings. I re-translated only Job 42:6 above. Here are the Hebrew meanings which I used for the translation:
1)The Hebrew word translated as “abhor” in the KJV is ma’ac (Strong’s 3988). It does mean abhor but can also mean “dissolve” or “melt” (Jeff A. Benner’s Lexicon 1291D ) When something dissolves or melts, it becomes part of or one with its surrounding.
2)The word translated as “repent” is nacham (Strong’s 5162) which is more frequently used to mean “to comfort” or “rest.”
3)The Hebrew word translated as dust is aphar (Strong’s 6083) means dust but also dry earth.
4) This is perhaps the most fascinating of the words used in this passage. The word for ashes is epher (Strong’s 665) which means more literally “anything in abundance” (Benner’s 1388C). Ashes are, of course, plentiful. Epher comes from a word-root which means “fruitful,” especially the abundance of fruit.
So while the KJV speaks about repenting and dust and ashes, the words themselves can indicate both the concept of oneness (ma’ac) and the flowering of fruit (epher). Now is the moment of power when our fruit, both metaphorically and actually, flowers.
Thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry;
When he shall hear it, he will answer thee.
Isaiah 30:19 (KJV)
This is a complicated passage with lots of overtones. There are two Hebrew words for weeping or crying. The first is used twice – bekow or bekah. This is not necessarily a weeping out of distress but means the action of flowing, an overflowing, torrent, tears, etc. . . In short, it can indicate a deep up welling of emotion which would presumably include happy emotion, that is any strong overflowing emotion. The word is also related to the Hebrew word for blessing which uses the root “B-K”. I have always felt that when I am experiencing blessings or giving them, I feel that the same deep flow of emotion, that deep upwelling of passion which is described by the word bekah.
The second word is used once and indicates a cry of distress. It is also considered a cry of trembling.
The words used in the second line are the same words used in Genesis 22:18 when Abraham takes Isaac for sacrifice but then listens to God’s voice, obeys it and thus is blessed. The two keys words which are in both passages are b’quoli meaning voice and samata meaning to obey (or in the passage above to answer).
B’quoli is far more than a simple meek voice. It can mean a musical instrument, the wind, thunder,stamping of hoofs, earthquake, or the din of war. In the Genesis passage, it indicates the voice of God specifically and by definition represents an earth-shattering vibration or uproar. In the Isaiah passage, the same word is used to indicate the voice of the community, of human beings.
Samata is the word used when Abraham “obeys” god. But in Isaiah it is god who is “obeying.” Samata‘s more literal meaning is to “listen with the breath.” This follows the beliefs of indigenous peoples who say that when knowledge is true, one can taste it. In both passages, knowledge of the divine is being shared back and forth through breath and vibration.
Here is my spiritual translation of Isaiah 30:19
Trembling, blessing tear-struck passion, weep no longer.
For the beauty of your wild thundering song
tastes divinity, scents harmony.
And I would say that this is the very definition of there are no limits. When we can taste the divine and live in harmonious interaction with that knowledge, there truly are no limits.
When the world is created at the beginning of Genesis, God begins by separating out apparent opposites. Heaven/Earth Light/Dark Day/Night Male/Female. The word used is the Hebrew word BEDEL. The root letter for this word are the three letters examined in the previous three blogs: B-D-L.
B or Beit, Beis or Beyt is all that is quintessentially earth, manifest, humanity. L or Lam or Lamed is all that is quintessentially divinity. What is between the two letters? The D which is Dal or Dalet and means door as in a door that swings in either direction.
Traditionally people have come to think of the separation of creation as an iron clad barrier which allows no further contact or communication. But this is not what the word indicates. As a word rebus, it is easy to see that between earth (B) and heaven (L) there is a door which is freely swinging allowing continued movement in both directions.
How does this paradigm shift change our thinking? What repercussions can it have for how we live our lives?
This older glyph of dal is an image of a door hanging downward, like a curtain, able to swing in any direction. The door as symbol has a long and sacred history of representing thresholds and transitions between states of being or otherworlds. To help one move between realms, magic rituals would be performed and talismans would be placed within the threshold. The Jewish mezuzah, containing scripture passages, placed on doorways is based upon this same magic. Doors, gateways, and thresholds are considered sacred in many cultures.
Ariel Golan posits that the door represents transition, especially between the realms of the heavens and the underworld. Doors, or their equivalents, gateways, are found at places of thresholds. Golan discusses the worldwide prevalence of door/gates: “The Hittites built special gates to mark the boundary between sacral and secular areas . . . The Druids attached mystic significance to an entrance, to gates. Pagan Germanic tribes erected ritual gates. The ancient Egyptian temples and medieval Muslim mosques had hypertrophied façade walls whose forms emphasized the entrance . . . In Buddhism, there are free-standing gates of a religious significance. Symbolic gates were constructed in pre-Columbian America.”[i]
[i] Ariel Golan, Prehistoric Religion; 263.
Lam or lamed is the twelfth of twenty-two letters meaning that it sits squarely in the center of the aleph-beis. As others have pointed out, this makes lam the heart of the aleph-beis just as our human heart is the center of our own bodies. Lam is also the largest letter, physically, making it the Supreme King.
Lam, as one of the two letters of the name of god, EL, connects it to concepts of supremacy and power.
Fabre d’Olivet in his opus, “The Hebrew Tongue Restored” written in 1921 writes about a beautiful dimension of lam (pg 377): “As a symbolic image, it represents the arm of man, the wing of a bird that which extends, raises and unfolds itself. As a grammatical sign, it is expansive movement and is applied to all ideas of extension, elevation, occupation, possession.”
Lam is the staff of authority, the heart of hearts, the supreme king, the principle of expansion, and not uncoincidentally, the second letter of the two letter name of god – El. It is, in summation the quintessential letter which stands for divinity and the stuff of the heavens.
Ancient Hebrew was written with pictographs much like (and sometimes the same as) Egyptian hieroglyphs. Hieroglyph literally means sacred script. Glyph means writing and hiero means sacred or holy. In this and my next few posts I am going to look at three letters which form a very important word in the Bible. It is a word we are all familiar with but in common translations appears very different than its pictographic meaning. I will reveal the word and its importance when all three letters have been presented.
Ancient letters put together form a rebus or a word puzzle which helps us to understand its original meaning. These meanings are frequently lost when the text is translated into English.
The pictograph of B is considered by many to be the inside layout of a tent from the time period. The entrance to the dwelling or home is in the upper left corner and there is a separation between the men’s and women’s sections (with the women’s section being the interior). There is, however, another meaning to this pictograph. It can be seen as the very center of a labyrinth. Labyrinths and spirals have long been considered to be the womb of the great mother goddess. What is born through such a pathway? Life here on earth. In fact throughout Neolithic Europe, figurines of goddesses can be found which have the symbol of the ancient B inscribed on Her belly, Her womb. (Note: I have several of these images in my book ONE GODS: The Mystic Pagan’s Guide to the Bible.)
So the letter B can mean all that is quintessentially Earth material. All that has been birthed from the Great Goddess. It represents our home here on the Earth which includes us in our mortal bodies.