Old Testament Study
by John-Peter Gernaat
Old Testament Study in October by Rev. Michaël Merle related to Moses, the Ten Commandments and the transformation within Moses as a result of standing before YHWH (Yahweh of the Elohim). The translation that Rudolf Steiner gave of the Ten Commandments in a lecture allows us to hear the Commandments, not in the form of “thou shalt …” and “thou shalt not …” but rather as an invitation to humanity to hold before it an external law that they could take into themselves in order to develop new attitudes of self-mastery in their relationship to God and others, thereby allowing humanity to take another step. Therefore Christ could say, when asked, that the greatest commandment is “Love the Lord your God” and, linked to this great commandment, “Love your neighbour as you love yourself”. In other words, work on your relationship to the Divine and to others in terms of your relationship to yourself. The individual should come to a healthy sense of appreciation and love for the new capacities that they were developing and these gave the individual the power and the strength and the possibility to love the other and to offer some appropriate reverend love and worship and devotion to the Divine. The law had, to some extent, achieved this goal in the people of Israel and fully in the person of Jesus of Nazareth and other initiate seekers of the time. Through the Mystery of Whitsun the next step in our relationship to the Divine became possible where Christ sent the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit of Christ now resides in the human being. Now we have a power within us to love in a Divine way. We have gone from loving God and neighbour as we have come to love ourselves to loving God and loving neighbour as God loves us by the power of Christ in us. “Love one another as I have loved you” (Christ’s new commandment).
Moses went up the mountain and received the Commandments in a crystalline form, as stone tablets. The prophets implored that these stones should become a living heart within the people. The external law was to become an inner morality. Following the law in a rigid and crystalline way had to be transformed to becoming a living experience. YHWH has an interest in the coming of Christ and as the agent of the Divine saw in Abraham the seeds of what he, YHWH, could develop. The Commandments and Law form a part of this development. There was also an archangelic being who worked in service of the Trinity working with YHWH. This was Michael.
Moses as a full initiate (under Zarathustra in a previous incarnation and confirmed shortly after birth and again reaffirmed in the forty years he served his father-in-law) alone could meet YHWH, the Elohim. YHWH inscribes the Commandments onto the substance of the earth – stone; much as Jesus inscribed into the earth as he waited for the men who brought the woman taken in adultery to reflect on their own inner state of being. And the Christ is buried in the earth to inscribe the full Divinity into the earth.
Moses remained on the mountain for forty days and nights. This again was a further initiation for Moses.
While Moses was away, with no indication of his return, the people of Israel required something to retain an internal mobility. Aaron responded by asking for the gold from earrings, items that mark that part of the face through which we take in the world as it was created by the Logos, the Word. Gold is sun metal; gold purifies the hearing, bringing to consciousness what is heard. The Sumerian god who was revered as the most powerful god, Enki, was the god who created the ear. He was the god of magic. The magi of Zarathustra spoke the ritual spells that revealed what they knew. Moses had let go of this capacity that he had had once, as a magus, but Aaron still possessed the power of the ritual word. Aaron casts a molten calf; gold that did not solidify but remained molten. He proclaimed to the people of Israel that the molten gold was to them their gods. The calf is a symbol of the Sumerian Epoch, the age of Taurus. This age was past and the world had moved into the age of Aries. The calf replaced Moses for the people if Israel, it did not replace YWHW, who is a being of the Moon having sacrificed his place as a Sun Being.
YHWH instructed Moses to use the connection he had with his I-organisation to speak with the people of Israel who had lost their direction. The people are described as stiff-necked, meaning that they were hard of hearing. YHWH and the Elohim could turn their heads and see what had preceded their task as the creator spirits of Earth: warmth, air and water (refer to Genesis 1: 2). When someone turns their head, their ear becomes visible to our sight. This is a reflection of a quality that is truly human.
When Moses came down the mountain he is described as horned. This is often described as his skin being radiant, but the Hebrews knew the image of the lamassu, the Sumerian depiction of the Four Living Beings, or Cherubim. These beings are horned. Having horns meant being spiritual. Horns are made of hair. Our hair rays from our heads as ‘horns’ forming a halo of light. Moses being horned after visiting with YHWH would also have made him bright and radiant.
Rudolf Steiner speaks of horns as symbols of etheric organs, organs of the formative life force. All etheric organs appear to our supersensible sight as horns. Jesus became radiant at the Transfiguration when the Christ had fully permeated the etheric life-force sheath of the man Jesus. The Transfiguration took place 6 or 8 days later, depending on the Gospel writer. Seven is a full cycle of time. The Transfiguration marks the beginning of a new cycle of time for which the first cycle was the foundation. The sixth day marks the end of a creation process with the seventh as a day of rest. The eighth day becomes the first day of a new process.
Moses achieved a new level of initiation through his encounter with YHWH making him ready for a new cycle. For this reason, Moses had no need to enter the Promised Land with the Israelites. Moses kept his face veiled, he could not be seen. Only when he spoke to the people did he remove his veil and become seen. The Temple in Jerusalem would be veiled until the moment of Christ’s death when the veil was torn from top to bottom and in this event the human being is again able to see into the spiritual world. Not immediately, but after 2000 years we are able to begin to experience the etheric in a new way and see the appearance of Christ in the Etheric.
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