Bethel and H’Ai

Genesis 12:7-8 reads: And the Lord appeared to Abram, and said, To your seed will I give this land; and there he built an altar to the Lord, who appeared to him: And he moved from there to a mountain in the east of Beth-El, and pitched his tent, having Beth-El on the west, and H’ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord:

If we look at the gematria of the words Beth El and H’Ai:

Beth El, meaning the house of God, is spelt; beth-yod-taf-aleph-lamed בית אל , having the values: 2-10-400-1-30 = 443.

H’Ai is spelt: heh-ayin-yod, העי having the values: 5-70-10 = 85.

The difference between 443-85 = 358, which is the value for the Messiah (Mashiach, spelt: mem-shin-yod-chet משיח = 40-300-10-8 = 358). This means that the Land given to Abram and his seed - the Promised Land, The land of Canaan, Israel - is the land of the Messiah. Moreover, as we see below, it was/is also The Garden of Eden. The altar that Abram constructed was placed between Beth El and H’Ai with this spiritual distance of 358. Hence Abram’s altar which is in the centre to each of these places is ½ of 358 = 179, which is the value for the Garden of Eden -Gan B’Eden in Hebrew גן בעדן, spelt: gimmel-nun-beth-ayin-daled-nun with values 3-50-2-70-4-50 = 179.


(West) H’Ai (85) _______________________Altar (179) ______________________(East) Beth El (443)


Hence the mid-way point where Abram built his altar was in fact the ‘new’ Garden of Eden, which was halfway (spiritually speaking) to reach the Messiah.

As we note from the Parasha Bereshit, in The Garden of Eden there were the two trees: the Tree of Life and The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and that these trees bear the ratio 1:4, indicating that man has two choices: the path of the ‘one’ towards God, or the path of the ‘four’ towards the phenomenal and material world (See hyperlink the mist Adam truth and the two trees). As we know Adam selected the latter by eating the apple.

Abram is also faced with the same choice as Adam when he returns to the same altar together with Lot.

And he went on his journeys from the Negev to Beth-El, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-El and H'Ai: (Genesis 13:3).

However Abram is determined not to go the way of Adam, the way of the Tree of Knowledge.

It is at this point that strife between Abram and Lot arises. Abram suggests that the tribe of Lot and the tribe of Abraham splits and gives the free choice to Lot as to where he would like to inhabit, knowing that Lot will choose the way of The Tree of Knowledge, the way of multiplicity, the way of Sodom and Gomorrah, gains his right to the Land of Canaan, as promised by God – simply by default, and requiring no effort on his part.

In sequence to this and after the departure of Lot, God again comes to Abram and shows him all the land he has given him and further informs him that his seed will be ‘as the dust of the earth’ (Genesis 13:16). The term dust is afar spelt: ayin-peh-resh עפר = 70-80-200 = 350. The significance of 350 as one half of 700 will be seen later.

Later we see the consequence of Lot’s choosing the world of multiplicity when, because of its abundance, they are invaded by Cherdorlaomer and another 3 kings who take all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot together with him. When Abram frees Lot and the King of Sodom offers Abram all the booty. Abram refuses politely: I will not take from a thread even to a shoe latch, and I will not take anything that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich Genesis 14:23, not for the reason given but because he wants nothing from the sinful world of multiplicity of Sodom that may pollute his being and his presence on the Land of Canaan.

We will see a similar example of choice given to Abraham in the next parasha concerning the sacrifice of Isaac (See hyperlink The Akeda).


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