The Mysterium Magnum by Jacob Boehme

(1575-1624)

Jacob Boehme

Chapter 30

The Thirtieth Chapter

Of the Line of the Covenant

1. THE line of the Covenant is not so to be understood as if the Covenant fell only upon this line. No, the Covenant befalls the only life, which was in the Word before the times of the humanity. The line of Seth passes only upon the manifestation in the flesh, in which line the Word in the Covenant would externally manifest itself in the flesh. But the spirit proceeding from the centre in the Covenant falls as well upon Cain's line as upon Abel's; yet in Cain's [line] in the spirit, and in Seth's in the external mouth [or manifestation], viz. in the formed and conceived word, that is, in the office and ministry of teaching and preaching. For Seth was sprung forth according to the spirit, out of the Covenant, where the spirit moved itself in the incorporated Word in the Covenant; and Cain was comprehended under the spirit of nature.

2. For by Cain's line the arts were brought forth to light, which were a wonder of the divine wisdom, contemplation and formation, viz. of the formed Word through and in nature. And in Seth the Word was brought into a formal life, viz. into a spiritual contemplation, wherein the Word of God did behold itself with the wisdom in a spiritual image [form or figure]; and in Cain's line it beheld itself in a natural formed word; and both serve to set forth the wonderful deeds of God.

3. Not as Babel judges, that God, out of his purpose and determinate counsel, has thus predestinated and chosen one part of men in his anger to condemnation, and the other part to life: they that so judge are yet under the number seventy-and-seven in the multiplication of the word; for the Promise was given to Adam before Cain was conceived. The Covenant touching grace rested in Adam and Eve; but the spirit of sanctification and regeneration by Christ, passed only upon the seed of the woman, viz. upon the seed of the kingdom of heaven which was shut up; that is, upon the light's tincture, upon the matrix of Venus, wherein Adam, when he was man and woman, should have propagated himself in peculiar desire and love; which, seeing it could not be [by reason of Adam's strong earthly imagination], was taken from Adam and made into a woman.

4. But when the woman became earthly, the heavenly part of this matrix [which was to the producement] of the heavenly birth was shut up in death. Into which matrix the Word of God did again incorporate itself with the Covenant, to open and manifest himself in this matrix with a living and heavenly seed, and to destroy the power of death.

5. For the Word would not open itself in the formed word of nature, viz. in Cain's generation, but in the disappeared heavenly ens; and by the same revived and requickened heavenly ens, that is, by the woman's seed of the heavenly part bruise the Serpent's head, viz. the devil's introduced desire in the wrath of nature; that is, overcome the wrath [and curse of God] in the generation of Cain and Seth.

6. The Word in the Covenant did open itself in Seth and Abel, [it being] as a voice of the teacher, and Cain's generation should in its life receive this voice, and impress it into its life, so that it might produce the new regeneration. But that many of them have continued in death, and contemned this voice, is (see ch. 29, 52) long of the free will, which suffered itself to be held by the devil in the anger of God, and still to this day does suffer itself to be held, in that the Cainical will does love nature and self too much.

7. For if the free will of the soul will apprehend the word in the Covenant, then it must die to its natural selfhood and self-full will, and be wholly resigned to the own will in the Covenant, that it may, with its desire, follow the word and spirit in the Covenant, as the same doth lead, guide and move it.

8. And this Cain is very loath and unwilling to do; he will be a selfish lord, and with the desire doth figure and shape a monster and an evil beast in his free will, which does not resemble the first image of the formed life in the word of God. Now against this beast the words of Christ are directed, when he says, Unless ye be converted, and become as children (that is, unless you do depart from and utterly disclaim the will of the self-generated beast, and enter again into the form of the first life) ye cannot else see the kingdom of God. [Matthew 18:3] Also, ye must be born again of the water of the heavenly world's essence, and of the same holy spirit proceeding from the Covenant, otherwise ye cannot see and behold God. [John 3:5]

9. This evil beast of the Godless form is predestinated to condemnation; but the Covenant is in the life. If the free will resigns itself up to the Covenant, then Christ arises in his humanity, out of the Covenant, in the life; and even then the strange beast dies in Christ's death, and the will forms itself again into the first image, according as God created it. And this is not annexed only unto Seth, but unto Adam's life, viz. unto the only life of man which was in the Word of God, and passes from one upon all; as all branches in one tree do receive sap from the only root of the stock.

10. But the properties of nature, viz. of the natural life, have brought themselves out of Adam's stock into sundry boughs and branches, whence the multiplicity of nations, tongues and speeches is arisen. But the life is only one, and the Covenant in the life sprang forth from the root of life, viz. from the Word of God, out of which the life came upon all, even as the sin, viz. the fall and apostasy passed upon all, none excepted. For the children of Seth were concluded under sin as well as Cain's; but the Covenant, with its manifestation, passed upon Seth; for his name signifies, in the Language of Nature, a forth-breathing spring out of the life through the first centre of the soul, wherein the Word of God would open itself through the life.

11. And Moses says, Seth begat Enosh, and then began men to preach of the Name of the Lord (Gen. iv. 26): for the name Enos signifies, in the Language of Nature, a divine lubet through the life, wherein the formed Word would behold itself in the sound and voice of the life. Therefore the spirit of God began to teach out of the Covenant through the life of man, concerning God and his being and will. This was the beginning of the divine contemplation through the formed wisdom in the Word, where the Word did behold itself through the wisdom of the formed human voice.

12. And as the life did form itself by Cain's line through the wonders of the formed wisdom in nature, with all manner of arts and works, and also dominions, governments and orders, and introduced them all for the setting forth of God's wondrous deeds and acts, viz. to a contemplation of evil and good, light and darkness; so likewise the spirit of God did bring forth, out of the line of the Covenant in the manifested Word, the wonders of divine holiness, truth, righteousness, love and patience; and by the preaching of the formed Word did declare what the holy and spiritual kingdom of God is.

13. In Cain the kingdom of nature was represented, and in Abel and Seth the supernatural divine kingdom. Both these arose together and went all along one in another to the remonstrance or contemplation of the divine lubet in the formed wisdom; and each put itself forth in an especial manner into its visible ken as a wonder.

14. for from Adam even unto Lamech, in the line of the wonders, there are seven generations; and in the other line, viz. in the line of the Covenant, from Adam unto Enoch are also seven generations. Enoch is the eighth, viz. a beginning of the prophetical spirit; for in the first seven generations the form of the spiritual kingdom proceeding from the life's tree was set forth.

15. Adam was the stock, for his life takes its original out of the Word. But seeing the life of nature in him did predominate over the life in the formed Word, and would have the supreme dominion, and obscured the life proceeding from the Word, the Word itself freely gave itself with a Covenant to be a life therein; and set forth its figure in Abel, how the natural life should and must be broken, and the Word of the divine power again spring forth afresh out of the first life.

16. Thus Abel was the figure of the Second Adam, Christ, and therefore he must be slain for the Covenant's sake; for Christ should kill the exalted haughty natural will, and bring forth a new one. And therefore Abel also should not beget any natural child, else it had been strange to nature; for they should all proceed forth out of one stock; and the Word would spring forth anew through the only tree in the Covenant, that so the children of grace might be brought forth out of the tree of nature, as the dew out of the day-break.

17. For thus also the figure of the new birth was represented out of the stem; namely, the line went forth out of Adam. He was the first, Abel the second, Seth the third, Enos the fourth, where men began to teach of the spiritual kingdom; Kenan [or Cainan] the fifth, which signifies in the Language of nature, a forth-going, re-conceived [re-apprehended] 1ubet or desire of the divine contemplation, in which the taught word did form itself; viz. in prayer, and in the will's desire and also in their offerings.

18. Mahalaleel was the sixth, and signifies in the Language of Nature an angelical form of an angelical kingdom, where the spirit did typify and portray the kingdom of Christ in this name.

19. Jared was the seventh. By this name is understood, in the Language of nature, a priest or prince of the spiritual kingdom. For as Irad should be the regent or ruler in the kingdom of nature, so Jared should be the regent in the spiritual kingdom; for out of Jared came the office of Moses; and out of Irad proceeded the kingdom of worldly principalities, and framed governments and dominions.

20. But the Language of Nature shows very clearly that Jared is only a type of a spiritual kingdom; for the name carries forth the Cherub along with it through the word; for the spiritual kingdom upon the earth was all along captivated in the wrath of God, until Christ, who destroyed the anger.

21. The office of this Jared is twofold, viz. externally it is the figure of the spiritual kingdom, bound with the wrath of God; and internally it is the true holy kingdom, which the penitent man receives or takes possession of : outwardly it is Moses; and inwardly Christ.

22. From this outward kingdom the great mother of the Baby-lonical whoredom is arisen in the kingdom of Moses among the Pharisees; and in the kingdom of Christ among the verbal and titular Christians; [literalists] who do all only boast, and gloriously set up themselves in the figure as an idol, and appear as if they were the holy spiritual kingdom. But the Cherub carries forth the sound through their word, as a consonant of the wrathful anger of God.

23. And therefore they must contend about the kingdom of God's will; for they have not the spirit of the inward spiritual heavenly kingdom; but only the voice out of the figure, where evil and good are in contest. They have and use the letter, but as an empty, unprofitable instrument, as a figure of the spiritual form. for thus also the spirit did represent it by the name Jared, as a mixed kingdom upon the earth, whereby the inward spiritual new born children should be exercised and proved.

24. And by this form it did signify and foretell how that the greatest part in this spiritual office would be taken in the sword of the Cherub, and that their office would be cut off by the Cherub from God's holiness, and given to the spiritual eternal kingdom of the anger.

25. For as Lamech in Cain's line took two wives, viz. two wills, and confirmed his kingdom therein, and at last brought forth [or pronounced] the seventy-and-sevenfold Racha proceeding from the centre of nature (even from the seven properties) upon the murder of the free will, which would murder and slay his life in many: even so likewise Jared carries two wills in his nature's name, viz. one into God's love and mercy in the Covenant, and the other into the figure in which the anger of God arises up and carries the abominable idol (the belly-god) along with it; which is here deciphered and painted forth to the life.

26. And Moses says further, Jared begat Enoch. Here the great and wonderful gate does open; for out of Jared, viz. out of the kingdom of the wonders, the prophet must arise: for the prophet is the mouth of the kingdom. He shows what the kingdom is, and how it is taken and apprehended in the evil and good, and what the issue and end of all things will be; also he declares and points out the means, how the turba has apprehended the life; and denounces severe and earnest threatenings concerning God's anger; how the sword of the Cherub will cut off the false [man or prophet].

27.Enoch signifies in its own speech as much as a forth-breathed breath of the divine good pleasure, [lubet] which has in the time thus beheld itself with the out-breathing in a form; which power of the forth-breathing doth again draw the formed breath into itself, and does only give forth its sound, as a voice of the divine will. And first it does point at a twig, springing from the line of the Covenant, viz. out of the internal priestly office, out of the holy divine lubet of the wisdom of God, out of Jehovah. The spirit would comprehend the deepest love in Jehovah in one name and word, which is called Jesus. But in the meantime it did thereby play, in the time of the figure, in the holy wisdom, in the line of the Covenant, as with an internal hidden holy kingdom, which he would manifest in the fullness of time.

28. Secondly, it signifies the power of the formed word, viz. the person or the body out of the limus of the earth, [viz.] of the heavenly part of the earth; intimating that this body should be taken into the holy word, and translated from this earthliness. As the light does withdraw and swallow up the darkness, even so likewise the good part of the true humanity in Adam's first image shall be translated [extracted or drawn forth] by the word out of the earthliness, and arise out of the earth: which Enoch's translation from this world does point out and signify.

29. Thirdly, it signifies and points at the prophet, viz. the voice of the divine lubet, which did declare and set forth the kingdom of Christ, and also the kingdom of the wonders in their future transactions and junctures of time; for the prophetical voice did manifest itself again out of the translation. And did foretell and signify out of the essence of the spirit, viz. out of the most spiritual kingdom, that is, out of the human angelical kingdom, through the soul's spirit; and then also from the whole body of the kingdom, viz. from the nature of the wonders, from the limus of the earth and of the stars, [I say, it did set forth both from the spiritual and from the corporal kingdom], how the outward kingdom of man should afterwards arise in this world's being, and what would happen and come to pass therein. This the inward holy omniscient spirit does signify throughl the outward, viz. through the wonders of the pregnatress [or mother] of the outward beings, viz. through the spirit of the outward world. for the inward spirit did view itself through the formed wisdom of God, and did contemplate and behold itself in the formed spirit of the wonders: this the name Enoch signifies unto us.

30. Now the spirit in Moses does further demonstrate, and says, Enoch was sixty-five years old, and he begat Methuselah, and after that he begat him he continued in a divine life three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: so that the whole age of Enoch was three hundred sixty and five years. And seeing he led a divine life God took him away, and he was no more seen (Gen. v. 21-24). Here the veil hangs right before the face of Moses, by reason of the unworthiness of man; and the spirit signifies very clearly in Moses (if we had but the eyes of our understanding open), when these mysteries should be manifested [or fulfilled].

31. But seeing the Most High has freely granted us by his counsel to understand this, we will, so far as we dare, somewhat unfold these mysteries to our schoolfellows, and show the precious pearl unto the children; and yet withal suffer a bolt to lie before our description, that the false heart shall not enter into it: but we shall be sufficiently and fundamentally intelligible unto those that are ours.

32. Moses points in each degree in the lines, only upon one person, which he also sets into the line through which the spirit of wonders goes. Afterwards says Moses, and he yet lived such a time, and begat sons and daughters; of which he says nothing any further. Thereby he would intimate and signify unto us the spirit of the manifestation of the wonders of God in each line. Their age, which the spirit sets down, denotes the times how long each dominion and government, both the worldly and the spiritual [or ecclesiastical kingdom] should stand in its form and structure. That is to say, how long each prevailing monarchy of the secular and worldly power and domination should continue; and so likewise of the spiritual monarchy.

33. And these monarchies [Or monarchs] of the wonders are forthwith represented out of the first twigs, springing from the beginning of the human tree. That is, they are set forth in each line in seven numbers, from Adam through Cain even unto Lamech; and in the other line from Adam unto Jared. By which numbers and names the spirit points in each line especially at seven of the forth-proceeding properties of the tree and powers of the wonders; intimating how the powers of the wonders should afterwards bring themselves into governments, and how one figure should arise out of the other, and how one should destroy and break down the other, and set forth out of the destruction another form, as it has been brought to pass in the spiritual and worldly governments [Ecclesiastical and temporal ]. For always the worldly government is to be understood with the spiritual; for the outward formed Word in the dominion and regiment of nature does evermore set forth its form by, with, and in the spiritual [or ecclesiastical] form [or manner of discipline]. Therefore observe and mark here, with precise exactness.

34. There are seven times appointed to proceed from the tree of life in the word of power. The first proceeds from the pure life of Adam; for before the creature the life was in the Word, whence it was brought pure into the image; this continued until the fall. From this pure life there springs forth a twig in the inward [kingdom], this same was Abel; but seeing the fall hung on him externally, this same pure life was carried through death into the holy world. This signifies and points at the kingdom of Christ, who should bring us through death into the pure life.

35. The second time begins with Seth. For Moses says, that Adam was a hundred and thirty years old, and begat a son in his own likeness, and called him Seth. Understand, he was such an image as Adam was after the fall, and was set in the spiritual line of the wonders; and Cain also with him, in a worldly natural line of the wonders, for both kingdoms [Secular, and ecclesiastical] go together. Seth's time continues till the deluge, and bears the supremacy, even to the deluge, or Noah's flood.

36. The third time begins with Enos, under Seth's time, and carries forth itself all along as a spiritual ministry, or knowledge of God, under Seth's time,as a hidden kingdom; and continued till Abraham, to whom the Covenant of Christ was established in the flesh.

37. The fourth time begins with Cainan, which is the spiritual form in prayers and spiritual offerings, wherein the Word formed itself in the wisdom, and carried itself forth all along, under Seth's and Enos's time, and manifested itself with Moses. Like as Enos's time was first truly manifested with Abraham, with the promise in the Covenant, this time of Cainan continued in its manifestation and dominion under Moses, till Christ in the flesh.

38. The fifth time begins with Mahalaleel, and 'tis the reception or formation of the angelical form, viz. of the new regeneration out of the Covenant; and goes secretly all along under the ministry of Enos, under Seth and Cainan, in the Word of the Promise, through all the three times; and did manifest itself with the fulfilling of the Covenant in the humanity of Christ, where the true Mahalaleel and angelical image, which did disappear in Adam, was again manifest in the humanity of Christ.

39. The sixth time begins with Jared, which is the spiritual priesthood under the external, where outwardly Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel were in their times in their orders [or outward forms], as the ministry and preaching of Enos concerning God and his being and will; so likewise the preaching of Abraham concerning the Covenant and circumcision; also Moses with the Book of the Law. Under all these the inward priest Jared went along hiddenly. Inwardly this spiritual priesthood is Christ in the new man; and outwardly in the selt-elected priests it is Babel.

40. This sixth time began in the kingdom of Christ after the death of the Apostles, when as men chose themselves teachers out of favour and outward respects. That is, it did even then first open itself out of the hiddenness [veil] of the shadow, and put itself forth in the churches of stone, where the church stood in stead of the holy temple of Christ: then indeed the holy Jared, viz. Christ's voice, ruled in Christ's children internally; but externally the Cherub with the sword [did alone bear rule]. For the outward authority which these self-elected priests do manage is the sword of the Cherub; which is signified in the name Jared; which powerfully forces itself forth all along in the word, in the Language of nature. [That is, in the word Jared the Language of Nature does emphatically express, that the sword of the Cherub should domineer the whole time of the sixth Seal among the priests, who should have taught the love of Jesus: but by this sword they fall. Amen. ]

41. This sixth time is hidden and manifest; it is known, and also not known: for Christ said, My kingdom is not of this world. So that this time has been fain to pass away, as it were, in a mystery under Anti-christ, where inwardly, in the children of God, Christ's kingdom has been manifest. But in the rest (who have also lived under this time, and have been called Christians) only Babel and the Antichrist has been manifest, both in the priests, and [in] their hearers. for they which have been born of God have heard the true Jared, viz. Christ's voice in them; but the others have heard only the outward voice in Babel, viz. disputation and contention about Christ's kingdom.

42. For all war which the Christians manage, is only the sword of the Cherub proceeding from Babel. True Christians wage no war; for they have broken the sword of the Cherub in the death of Christ, and are dead with Christ, and risen again in him, and they live no longer to the external might and dominion; for their kingdom is manifest in Christ, and is not of this world.

43. This sixth kingdom [or seal] begins after the death of the Apostles, and continues with its outward government even to Mount Zion, till translated Enoch doth again appear in spirit and power. For Enoch is the prophetical root, and holds in his dominion [Or regiment] Noah, Moses, and the sword of Elias. At the end of this sixth time the outward Jared falls, and with him that same outward building, viz. the city, Babel.

44. The sign of the end is deciphered [Or stands with such a figure] with such a figure: And denotes the time when the triple cross does open and declare itself in the voice of Enoch, as a manifestation of the holy Trinity, to make known the same in the figure and similitude in all visible things. [Image received by Abr. von Somervelt, as delineated in the author's manuscript] Triple cross above a sword Moreover, it denotes the conquest of the sword of the Cherub in Babel, when the force and violence of the city, Babel, turns its sword with the point downwards. Thirdly, it denotes the great rod and punishment upon Babel, which rod does mightily advance its power on high. Fourthly, it denotes the wrathful enkindled fire of God's anger, which shall devour the sword and rod. This will be the end of the sixth time. The threefold cross does betoken the time when this shall come to pass [or be fulfilled]. When the kingdom of Christ shall attain such a number, then is the sixth time wholly past.

45. The seventh time begins with Enoch, [Read the 35th question of Boehme's Forty Questions of the Soul] Archive.Org viz. with the prophetical mouth, who declares the secret wonders of God under all the six times; laying open what should be [and have been] done, and brings itself all along quite from under the veil of Noah, Abraham, and Moses, even into the kingdom of Christ, where this same prophetical spirit is translated in Christ's spirit, till the end of the sixth time; then he manifests himself in the number of the triple cross. When the triple cross does manifest itself then stands the right triple crown upon the cross. And even then the Enochian prophet's mouth does express and speak forth the great wonders of the triple cross; that is, he speaks no more magically [viz. in types and parables], but shows the holy Trinity in the figure, viz. the formed word of God in all visible things, and reveals all mysteries, within and without.

46. And even then is the time when Enoch, and the children under his voice, do lead a divine life, of which the first life of Enoch was a type. And then there is a blessed and golden year, till Enoch's last translation comes. And then the turba is born, which, when it shall enkindle its fire, the floor shall be purged, for it is the end of all time.

47. Enoch begat Methuselah, who was the man of the longest age, and was translated three hundred years after. This intimates and declares, that the spirit which in Enoch did bring forth a twig, viz. Methuselah, who attained the highest age, shall rule in the last and highest age [of the world], and in the meanwhile hide itself before that time, and remain as it were translated; as Enoch was translated, and was no more seen.

48. His translation was not a dying, or a putting off of nature and creature, but he went into the Mystery, between the spiritual and the outward world, viz. into Paradise; and is the prophetical root, out of the stem of Adam, in the line of the Covenant, out of which spirit the prophetical mouth afterwards spoke.

49. This spirit was translated in Christ's living voice, when it spoke in the flesh, and must be silent till the voice of Jared is finished; then he proceeds forth again from his first root, through all voices, viz. through the voice of Noah, who denounces the deluge of anger to come upon Babel, and through the stock of Noah, and the whole forth-spreading propagation of his tree through all the lines, viz. through the Heathenish [Ham's], Japhetical, and Sem's line, and through Abraham's, and Nimrod's children in Babel, through Moses, and the prophets; and lastly through the voice of the manifested Word in the spirit of Christ; and reveals the whole mystery of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

50. For through his voice all the aforementioned voices of the wonderful lines, whence the kingdoms of this world have had their rise, shall be changed into one voice and knowledge, and transplanted into one kingdom, viz. into the first tree of Adam, which is no longer called Adam, but Christ in Adam. All nations, tongues and speeches hear this voice; for it is the first word, whence the life of mankind proceeded; for all wonders do join again together in the word into one body, and that body is the formed divine Word, which at first with Adam did introduce itself into one only stem; and through him into a tree of manifold boughs, branches and fruits, to the contemplation of the divine wisdom, in the wonders of the powers, colours and virtues, according to evil and good.

51. This high tree does disclose and clearly open itself, what it has been in time, and what it shall be eternally; and in its manifestation [disclosure], Moses puts away his veil, and Christ his parables in his doctrine. And then the prophetical mouth of this tree of wonders does express in divine power all the voices of the powers of the tree, whereby Babel takes her end: and this is a wonder. And in this same wonder all numbers and names are made manifest, and this no man can hinder.

52. For that which is lost in the spirits of the letters shall be again found, and the spirit of the letter shall be found again in the formed word of the creation; and in the creation shall be found and known the Being of all Beings; and in the Being of all Beings the eternal understanding of the holy Trinity. Even then the contentions about the knowledge of God, his being and will, do cease. When the branches shall know that they stand in the tree they will never say that they are peculiar and singular trees; but they will rejoice in their stem, and they will see that they are altogether boughs and branches of one tree, and that they do all receive power and life from one only stem.

53. And here Moses shall keep sheep, and every sheep eats his own pasture. Therefore observe: when this approaches near to be fulfilled, then Noah denounces the deluge, and Elias brings the flaming sword upon the false Israel; and the turba in the fire of the wrath devours the wild tree, with its fruits and branches. Let this be told you, Babel.

54. For as concerning Enoch's divine time, our speech is taken from us, seeing Babel is not worthy of it, and also shall not see it. And likewise we must be silent concerning the discovery of the times of The Ancient, whose number shall stand open in the rose of the lily.

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