Egypt

It is important to come to the realization that the Old Testament, particularly Genesis, is primarily mythical and/or allegorical. The Bible is primarily and skillfully written in a literary style that portrays spiritual truth for those who have eyes to see, but in keeping with the tradition of the ancient “Mysteries,” cloaks the deeper meaning from the vulgar.1 This aspect is revealed in the Bible itself in Gal 4,24, which is speaking specifically about Genesis, and in Rev 11,8, Ezek 17,2; 20,49 and 24,3. And the pejorative references to myths in 1 Tim 1,4 and 4,7; 2 Tim 4,4; Tit 1,14 and 2 Pet 1,16 give no real basis to reject the spiritually obvious fact, because these books are seen by most as coming late, when doctrine was being formed in the face of endless speculation, and we know from Rudolf Steiner’s teachings that the Christ-enabled vision of the Apostolic group (including Paul and the Evangelists) did not survive them. Nonetheless, the clearly genuine letters of Paul (e.g., Gal 4,24; 1 Cor 10,1-4) show that he understood the spiritual meaning of the Genesis and Exodus accounts.

In this regard Paul was undoubtedly well acquainted with, and perhaps strongly influenced by, Philo of Alexandria (discussed below), “the most important representative of Hellenistic Judaism” (see 9 Brit 385, “Philo, Judaeus”), whose writings, predominantly on Mosaic “Law,” were primarily allegorical. In 16 Brit 258, “Christianity,” we are told, “Like his elder contemporary Philo of Alexandria, also a Hellenized Jew of the dispersion, he [Paul] interpreted the Old Testament allegorically (symbolically) and affirmed the primacy of spirit over letter in a manner that was in line with Jesus’ freedom with regard to the sabbath.” (Cf. 2 Cor 3, also Christianity as Mystical Fact [CMF], Chaps. 4 and 12.)

And though his writings were largely compromised, and apparently to a great extent disposed of, by later orthodoxy, there is significant evidence that Origen (ca. 185-254), “the most important theologian and biblical scholar of the early Greek church,” also interpreted the Bible allegorically.2 And even Augustine interpreted the millennium of the Apocalypse allegorically.3

It is submitted that the principle “Ye shall know a tree by its fruit” is applicable to the practice of Biblical interpretation, and that one should not be a slave to any particular method, but rather search for what gives the deepest corroboration of verity to the soul. The thesis of this entire work is that no exposition of the Bible story in its entirety more accords with phenomena than that given us by Steiner. And one has only to open one’s eyes and heart to see that the Bible is telling us the very same thing he did, and that it is an integral whole which makes eminent sense from beginning to end—and in the process assures humanity that there is glorious purpose and hope in the entirety of all existence. In the words of St. Paul (Eph 1,9-10),

For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

At the very time the Greeks were formulating their myths of Atlantean memories, Moses and his clan were developing their own, namely, what has come down to us in the Pentateuch and to a great extent even in the “histories,” i.e., Joshua through the Chronicles. Admittedly, some “historical” facts were woven into the story, but something deeper is being told to which the facts are indentured.

Thus, just as in Gal 4 Hagar and Mount Sinai are allegorically equated as the representative of “the law” and Sarah and Christ as what superseded the law (i.e., the new covenant), so also must the entire Genesis account be seen as representing something far deeper and more important than a mere “historical account” (and a highly spotty and equivocal one at that, as archaeology demonstrates). It is here, in Genesis, where the tone is set and where we must take our beginnings if we are to understand the Biblical usage of certain terms. “Egypt” is one of many such terms, and the Exodus can hardly be understood if we don’t thus compass ourselves aright.

First, Egypt represents the third Cultural Era in the post-Atlantean Epoch (see I-1, I-24, I-25, I-85, I-57 and I-58), a time when the human being was beginning to notice the outer world more intently, but when there was still a strong atavistic inner perception of the spiritual world (compared to later Eras). Even within its own Era, Egypt seems to portray that atavistic perception vis-a-vis its Chaldean and other contemporaries. What was brought “from the East” (Gen 11,2) in the transition from the second, Ancient Persian, Cultural Era was represented in the third, Chaldo-Egyptian, Cultural Era by “Egypt,” namely, an “Epimethean” backward vision as compared with the “Promethean” forward looking nature of the Chaldean patriarchs and Moses; the older Sun god and initiation rather than the younger and formative Moon (see I-30 and I-31; the twelvefold zodiacal consciousness there reflected for Israel was prospective, reflecting what was to come to fruition through it).

What the human being was separating from, namely, the ancient clairvoyance, was still something needed by humanity in its evolution. One may draw a comparison with the child fed first from the breast what is vital to its growth and development, and then weaned, so that it gradually looks to harder and harder food from outer sources. The Biblical account shows a pattern of the necessity of going into Egypt for what was otherwise lacking in the background of the Jewish nation. The first such journey was that of Abraham, then Jacob and his sons, then Moses, then the flirtatious alliances of the kings, then Jeremiah (but in his case unwillingly [Jer 43,5-7]), and finally another Joseph, the father of the Solomon Jesus child, and his family. (Curiously, these comprise six journeys. The fulfilling seventh might well be the return of Christianity to its early center in Alexandria where Mark’s Gospel was written and the earliest preeminent church theologians centered. The retracement and transformation of the Egyptian Cultural Era is then to occur in our own fifth Cultural Era, that of the Consciousness Soul.) Until we come to see in this panoply of “journeys” and “enslavements” the progressive account of the human being’s unfolding development into the outer world (the journey of the Prodigal Son away from home), we can scarcely come to see the deeper view of the Biblical message. That it corresponds, more or less, with “historical” facts, is merely reflective of the “As Above, So Below” verity, or pattern, of creation itself.

   
Peter, James & John, Page 16
Egypt, Page 2