The Mysterium Magnum by Jacob Boehme

(1575-1624)

Jacob Boehme

Chapter 31

The Thirty-First Chapter

Of Enoch's Wonderful Line

1. MOSES writes, Enoch begat Methusalah (Gen. v. 21). This name signifies, in the Language of Nature, as much as a forth-proceeding [outgoing] voice, which intimates and denotes the spirit of Enoch; which voice doth form itself into a body, viz. into nature, and goes forth in strong might through the word; and when the conceived or formed word is proceeded forth, it does then contemplate itself: for the syllable -SA- is a fiery glimpse of light; and the syllable -LAH- is the forth-proceeded word, which beholds the property, of what kind of ens it is, wherein the word has formed (or comprehended) itself: The divine sound beholds itself in the human ens and word, contemplating how the free will, proceeding from the human ens, has introduced the divine voice or breath into a form of the spirit.

2. Now says Moses, And Methusalah begat Lamech. The spirit did now put itself forth by Methusalah, even out of the ens into another twig; and called it Lamech, viz. a contemplation and beholding of the great affliction and wound, that the human ens was corrupted. For like as Lamech in Cain's line did express the wound of corruption [and misery that was broke in upon mankind], and spoke of a seventy-and- sevenfold Racha upon the free will which did corrupt the life, even so here the divine spirit said: the human ens is Lamech; that is, the wound is too great, it prevails. Although the strong and mighty breath of God in Methusalah proceeded forth out of the prophetical voice, yet the ens, in propagation, did form itself in the corrupted nature in Lamech; that is, in two wills, as Moses says, The first Lamech in Cain's line took two wives, viz. Adah and Zillah. Even so here likewise it would not be otherwise.

3. Now Moses says, And Lamech begat Noah (Gen. v. 28). With this name the spirit goes forth out of the wound of Lamech into the end of time, and brings the end into the beginning; for NOAH signifies in the Language of Nature, End and Beginning. Now the spirit finds in the end the holy word, which had espoused and incorporated itself in the Covenant, and says, This same shall comfort us in our labour and toil upon the earth which the Lord has cursed (Gen. v. 29).

4. For the comfort of man must come out of the beginning and end; for in the beginning is, and was, the Word of God, which is the beginning of all things; and in the end is also the Word of God, which is the comfort of all things; that the creature shall be delivered from the vanity. Whereunto the spirit looked, and said, this same (where he meant the Word which would manifest itself in the humanity) shall comfort us in our labour upon the earth which the Lord has cursed; for Noah could not comfort men, for he preached to them the rebuke, punishment and perdition. But he that was in the beginning and end, he comforted mankind in their labour and toil upon the earth, which they had in the curse and anger of God.

5. In this name, Noah, the spirit in Lamech looks forwards into the end, and backwards into the beginning; and conceives itself in the beginning and end into a form, and calls the same, Noah, that is, an ark of the wonders which were in the beginning and end, and [in] the whole time; and displays or puts forth this same spirit of the whole form through Noah into three branches, which went forth out of the tree of wonders, viz. out of the prophetical ens of Enoch in the human property. And thereof Moses says, And Noah begat Sem, Ham, and Japhet. These were the three twigs of the second monarchy, under which most excellent mysteries are given us to be understood.

6. Sem signifies an out-breathing divine lubet [or desire] out of the line of the Covenant, out of the life of man, and a comprehension of the lubet, viz. a type of that which secretly passed forth afterwards under the lubet. It points at the humanity of Christ in the flesh, the type of which was Sem, viz. a representation [or express form] in the same lubet; in which lubet also the Covenant was made with Abraham, concerning the seed of the woman, wherein the blessing should appear.

7. The other branch or twig the spirit called Ham, which signifies a strong breathing out of the centre of nature, and a gross amassment or compaction into a flesh. Which denotes the earthly, natural, fleshly man, which holds Sem captive in itself; [understand by Sem] the inward man, which shall arise from death out of the earth. [1] Understand, the man proceeded from the limus of the good part of the earth, which was in Sem formed according to the divine lubet. [2]

[1. Concerning the Resurrection.]

[2. Or taken into the divine lubet.]

8. We do not hereby understand the totally spiritual man, which is only as a spirit, but that [man] which is from the limus of the good part of the earth, which lies captive in Ham, that is, in the gross bestial flesh, and is as dead without the divine lubet, which the spiritual Christus, viz. the totally spiritual man, shall put on at the end of the days in Noah [that is, out of the beginning and end]. This inward hidden man, his gross earthly brother Ham, viz. the gross earthly flesh (which is nothing worth) (John vi. 63), does devour and swallow up.

9. And from the lubet of Sem springs forth the third branch out of the centre of nature, where the divine lubet does behold itself through nature; and this the spirit called Japhet, which is, in the Language of Nature, an appendix of Sem, a birth out of Cain's line of wonders, where the divine lubet does bring itself through nature into a form of the wonders of the divine wisdom. With Sem it introduces itself into a contemplation of the spiritual wonders in the holiness of God, and in Japhet into a natural wonder, viz. into the septenary of the eternal and [the] temporal nature; understand, into a form of the sevenfold wheel, [3] or life's forms, in which vital sphere [4] the Spirit of God appears as a glorious glee, or gleam of the wonders.

[3. Orb, or sphere.]

[4. Or, life's wheel.]

10. Sem is a type of the light-world, and Japhet is a type of the fire-world, where the light does through-shine. Japhet a type [or image] of the Father; and Sem a type of the Son; but Ham is an image and type of the outward world.

11. For the type and figure of the three Principles stood in the three brethren, and clearly points out the second monarchy, even to the end of the world; and withal shows what kind of men would thenceforward possess the world, viz. a spiritual world, and a natural world of wonders, and a bestial world of folly. These are the three sorts of men, viz. out of the stock and fanlily of Sem came Israel, and out of Japhet's the Gentiles, who governed themselves in the light of nature, but Sem's [generation were disciplined] in the Covenant and word of God; but Ham [both in Sem and Japhet] he ruled himself in the bestial brutish property, against whom the curse of God was pronounced through the spirit in his father, Noah; for Paul said, that flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

12. And Moses speaks now further, thus: But when men began to multiply upon the earth, and daughters were born unto them; that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and took unto them wives as they pleased. Then said the Lord, Men will not suffer my spirit any more to reprove them, for they are flesh; yet I will make their days an hundred and twenty years [5] (Gen. vi. 1-3). Here Moses has again the veil before his eyes; for he says that the children of God looked upon the beauty of the daughters of men, and took unto them wives according as they listed, and should not suffer the Spirit of God to reprope and admonish them.

[5. I will yet give them 120 years' respite.]

13. The meaning of it is this: The children of God, in whom the Spirit of God did manifest itself looked, in the lust of the flesh after fleshly women, although they were of the generation and lineage of Ham, without God's Spirit; yet if they were but fair and beautiful for their lust of the flesh, they introduced the seed of the holy ens into such bestial vessels, and afterwards brought forth such tyrants, [6] and fleshly-minded men, who would not suffer the Spirit of God to rebuke them, for they were only flesh, without divine spirit and will.

[6. Giants.]

14. They should not have mixed themselves with the bestial daughters, but looked after those in whom the Spirit of God was, even those who feared and loved God; but they looked only at the lust of their eyes and flesh, and corrupted the holy ens in the Covenant, in which God had espoused [7] and betrothed himself: Against these the spirit here complains, that they would not be instructed and reformed, but follow the lust of the flesh.

[7. Incorporated.]

15. We see this very emphatically set forth unto us in Sem, Ham, and Japhet: that it is so, that the spirit would not that the children of God should mix themselves with the very carnal or bestial people; for after the deluge the spirit divides the three brethren into three families, and would that each family should remain apart by itself.

16. For therefore came the deluge upon the earth, and destroyed these mixed people, and afterwards made a separation amongst them, according to the nature of the three Principles; that each property might possess its choir and line in the nature of the wonders; but yet it would not do. So that at last the spirit divides them with the confusion of the languages at Babel, that so they might come into a several division; for the properties of the tree did there divide and spread forth themselves into seventy-and-seven, viz. into the wonder of the nature of the formed word.

17. Now says Moses, And the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great upon the earth, and that all their thoughts and imaginations in their hearts were only evil continually. Then it repented God that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his very heart. And he said, I will destroy man which I have created from off the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and creeping thing, and all the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them (Gen. vi. 5-7). These are marvellous and wonderful sayings, that the spirit says it repented God that he had made man, and the creatures. Who would understand this without divine knowledge; that anything should grieve the unchangeable God! Reason would be ready to say, has he not known aforehand what would be? How can his will, which is himself, grieve and repent?

18. Here we must go into the centre. In God there is no grieving or repentance; nothing can grieve or trouble him. But there is a grieving in his expressed formed Word; for it repents the formed Word in the devils that the ens of light is turned into an ens of darkness. It grieves the devil that he did not continue an angel. Also it repents the wicked man eternally that he stood not in the divine ens in the formed Word, and has turned the power of the Word into malice and iniquity. Also there is a grieving in the formed Word in nature, over all kinds of creatures, that the property of the wrath in the curse of the anger does rule and domineer in the formed expressed Word. It grieves the love-ens of the Word, that the devil and wrath domineers in it, and corrupts and destroys many.

19. Now when God says it repents him, it is to be understood according to the creation of the formed Word, not according to the eternal-speaking Word, which is unchangeable, but according to the good property in the creation, that it must be laden with evil against its will. For the spirit says in Moses, And it grieved him in his heart. Yes! it did truly grieve or trouble him in his HEART. The good ens of the earth, which went also along with it into a compaction, which is from the spiritual world's property, from the holy word, the same was in the sin [or fall of man] captivated in death, and shut up in the curse in the earth. Now the formed Word grieved at it, and troubled or affected the eternal-speaking Word, viz. God's heart.

20. For our soul cries unto God's heart, viz. unto the eternal-speaking Word, and moves, troubles or affects the same, that it should move itself in us according to its love. Now the human word works in the divine; and stirs the divine; so that the divine [word] enters into our sorrow for sin, and helps us to repent of our sins. For the spirit in Moses said, when Lamech had begotten Noah, This same shall comfort us in our labour.

21. This was now the spirit of the beginning and end of all things; it repented through nature of the iniquity of man, and [grieved] at the captivity of the vanity of the creatures; and wrought repentance into the holy eternal-speaking Word. The spirit in the formed Word of the whole creation of this world said, It grieves me, that I have brought me into such an evil property in the creatures: And wrought repentance into the living eternal-speaking Word, from whence the out-breathed formed Word has flown forth and proceeded.

22. For that this is so, let us take an example on our repentance: We cannot work any repentance, unless our inward human soul does repent that it has made, formed or brought forth the beast of vanity in itself. But if it will repent, then its formed word must enter or make its earnest approach into the heart of God, and press the same with an incessant importunity, and move in it. And now, when this comes to pass, then presently the deluge comes upon the evil man of the vain will, which must forthwith be drowned in its sorrow in the word of death. Here, then, God repents in man; that the evil beast, full of sinful desire, is born; and in this same divine sorrow it must be drowned in God's love, and die unto the wrathful evil life and will.

23. Now understand aright God's sorrow or repentance in the creature of the creatures. The spirit in the whole creation, even in every life which moves in the fire and air, said, It grieves me, that I have figured this image of vanity on me; and this sorrow of the formed spirit in the expressed Word grieved, that is, moved the eternal-speaking Word in it. Then said the eternal Word, I will yet give them an hundred and twenty years respite (for even so long the time in the dominion or government of Seth's spirit did continue), and then the turba in all flesh shall perish or be thrown down. For this sorrow was nothing else but that the Word in the Covenant did grieve at the misery and vanity of man, and would comfort mankind by the Covenant through Noah, which comfort did first open itself in Abraham, viz. in Enos, his manifestation.

24. For the comfort went forth in the love of the Covenant, and opened itself with its branch at its right limit or juncture of time; for God has confined all things into a certain limit, when everything shall come to pass. And from the comfort of the moving Word in the Covenant proceeded forth the judgement, that the old Adamical man, with all his desires, concupiscences and lusts, should, in the Covenant (when the same should open itself in the flesh) be drowned and mortified in the same new humanity of Christ; and out of the comfort of the Covenant a new human spirit and will should arise, which should live in righteousness and purity; of which the deluge was a type.

25. For the grief or repentance came out of the Covenant upon the formed Word in the life; and therefore, seeing the same Word repented of the vanity, thereupon the vanity of the creature must be drowned; for the will in the Covenant went forth from the vanity, and grieved the life of God, and moved the matrix of nature in the water's birth, and drowned the fiery wrath in the fire's nature.

26. But the spirit in Noah does especially complain here against man, for their Sodomitical, bestial concupiscence and filthy lusts of the flesh, viz. against unchastity, and unclean lascivious wantonness; and also against the high oppressors and tyrants, who put forth and advanced themselves in their own lust, and would rule and domineer, and no longer suffer the Spirit of God to rule in them, and reprove them that they had intruded themselves, to compel and tyrannise over one another without command. All this was an abomination before God; and it grieved the spirit in the formed Word that it had brought forth such evil beasts, and would no longer endure them.

27. Even this same prophetical spirit, whose root did open and display itself in Enoch, which also by Enoch did propagate and put forth its line with its branches; which also by Noah did grieve at the wickedness and iniquity of mankind, and drowned them with the deluge, even this is he which now also does grieve at the great sins and vanity of men: for his mouth is at present opened; he has been translated in the Spirit of Christ. Now this Word which became man does repent at the vanity and wickedness of men; that its children of the new Covenant will not give willing obedience to the Spirit of Christ. [8] Therefore this prophetical mouth does now disclose and put forth itself for it is the time of its manifestation, and proclaims the great deluge of God's anger, and the flaming sword of Elias, who also was translated into the Mystery; for he must draw forth his sword in the turba.

[8. Suffer the Spirit of Christ to draw them.]

28. Let this be told you, Babel: he complains mightily against your bestial unchastity and tyranny; against your own usurped power, force and violence wherewith you art proud and wanton, and hast thereby set up yourself in God's government. He will drown you with your tyranny and bestial wantonness in the fire of anger. Seeing you wilt not repent you of your vanity, therefore he repents through you, with the turba; and will drown your turba, that so his repenting may be made manifest in his children, and also his refreshing comfort and consolation might be manifested out of his repentance.

29. For without God's repenting there is in us no true sorrow or repentance for the vanity; for the natural spirit desires not to repent, yea, if it could be more wrathful, malicious, evil and vain, it would please, love and delight itselftherein; for it is nature's spirit, strength and might. But the Word of God, which in the creation did impress and give itself into the human ens for a sovereign powerful [and holy] life, the same [incorporated engrafted Word of life], if it be stirred and moved, doth repent and grieve that it has such an evil beast in nature on it; that says, It repents me that I have created the evil beast in nature.

30. But this sorrow is not a sorrow to annihilation, as if he would have no more to do with the creature, but it is a sorrow which sads and moves God's heart, viz. the holy divine Word, and sets the natural spirit a time for to repent, that so it might enter into divine sorrow; but if it does not, then he will drown the natural spirit in its evil will and ways, as came to pass in the deluge.

31. God said, The earth is corrupt, and full of perverseness; and the end of all flesh is come before me, I will destroy them. Here again is a great mystery, in that God said, the earth was corrupt before him; that all flesh had corrupted its way; and that the earth was filled with perverseness through them [and lo: he would destroy them]. The earth was afore with Cain accursed according to the vanity's property; but now he says also in this place, all flesh has corrupted its way, the end of all flesh is come before me. This is not so mean and slight a thing as one would look on it to be; for the spirit complains against all flesh, that all things were become vain in his sight, and full of perveseness.

32. Now says reason, a beast does not sin, it does according to its nature's property; how can any perverseness be attributed to it? So far does reason go, and further it knows not; also it understands nothing of the divine Mystery. It understands nothing of the formed Word that has formed itself through the nature of time. It says only, God has created and made: and considers not that all things are created in the Word, that the Word has introduced and compacted itself into an ens. Also it will know nothing of the eternal spiritual nature of divine manifestation; it understands nothing of the ground or original of the outward visible world, with its creatures; when it says, God has made all things out of nothing, then it means that he has so spoken it forth, and yet it is wholly blind and senseless in it. It looks only upon the outward colour, and knows not from whence it takes its original; thus it is only learned in the external colour, and prats of the painted work of the outside and shell; and concerning the ens whence the colour arises, it is dumb and senseless.

33. The spirit complains against all flesh upon the face of the earth, even whatsoever has breath and sense. [9] The outward nature had corrupted itself in every kind of life, and brought the formed, expressed Word into an ens of vanity; this was the perverseness and violent self-willedness of the natural life. The spirit of nature, which takes its original in the fire, had exalted itself in its fiery property, and introduced itself into a wrathful life, and driven itself even to the utmost end of meekness.

[9. Text: lives in the air and fire.]

34. For the devil was an insinuating predominant prince in the wrath's property, which had incited and stirred up the centre of the outward nature in the fire's matrix, and had not only corrupted the natural life of man, but also the creatures; for he moved and acted man in God's anger, who used the creatures for their service and food, so that the curse and the vanity was also manifest in every life, that man in his conversation stood in the curse and vanity, and so came, in the vanity in the curse, even into the abyss, viz. into the end of this world. Therefore said the spirit, the end of all flesh, in its perverseness and violence, is come before me. Every life had, through the vanity of man, brought itself unto the end of the outward nature; and the throat of wrath was open in nature, and would devour and swallow up all things in the wrath.

35. For the kingdom of God's anger, viz. the dark world, had gotten the upper hand in its property, and brought the good part of nature even unto the end. Therefore the formed, expressed Word did move, or repent through every life of this vanity, that it should bear the abomination on it; and said, that it would destroy with water the womb or pregnatress of vanity proceeding from the fire's mother, and break its power and force.

36. For before the flood the fire's root was more strong and potent than the water's root, and that, from the original of the fiery motion; that is, the Fiat stood in the fiery property, and compacted the earth and stones. So that there was then a great wrath poured forth in nature, and that, by reason of the casting out or ejection of the hierarch Lucifer into the darkness.

37. And here, by the flood or deluge, the force and violence was taken from the wrathful fire root in the centre of nature. For the repenting or grieving of the formed Word was nothing else but a type of Christ, where the eternal living divine Word in the human property did repent and grieve in the formed creatural word, at our sins and vanity, and mortified the same vanity in his death in the creature; [10] and drowned the formed creatural word in the human property with the divine water of love and meekness in the holy heavenly blood.

[10. Died from the vanity.]

38. So also in this place, the formed Word grieved at the vanity of the creatures, in that they were laden therewith, and brought the life of all the creatures into death; and in its sorrow moved the meekness of the water-source in nature, so that all the fountains of the deep did open themselves, as Moses says, and devoured the fire-source in the water. This signifies unto man the Baptism of Christ, where the fire-source of the soul in God's anger was, in the Word of Christ's Covenant, baptised with the regenerated water of the spirit (understand the spiritual water), which shall quench the fire of God's anger. As it was above mentioned concerning the seven times, that each time of the seven degrees of nature has brought itself unto its end; and in the end there was a sorrow for the abomination; and in the repentance and sorrow the turba was broken and destroyed.

39. Now behold here aright: by Noah, with the flood, the second time, viz. Seth's time, was at the end; and with Adam, in the fall, when he lusted to eat of the vanity, the first time was at the end.

40. In Adam the Word repented, and gave itself with a Covenant into the life, to help comfort and restore the life. And by Noah the Word repented, and moved all the fountains of the deep in nature, and drowned the wrath, and opened the Covenant of grace.

41. And when the time of Enos was at the end, in the days of the children of Nimrod, the Word grieved at the vanity of man, that they would not know God, and drowned the understanding of the one only tongue, and divided it, and gave by [11] its repentance the certain understanding in the Covenant with Abraham.

[11. Or, out of]

42. And when the time of Cainan was at the end, that the children of Abraham's Covenant were compelled in the vanity of servitude, the Word grieved at the vanity, and destroyed Pharaoh; and afterwards all the men of the children of Israel in the wilderness, save Joshua and Caleb, and gave them, out of its sorrow and repentance, the Law of his Covenant: a true type of Christ, who should drown the abomination in his blood.

43. Thus also when Mahalaleel's [12] time was come to the end, the Word grieved in the deepest repentance, and brought the life of God in Christ Jesus into the formed creatural Word in the human ens, and drowned the turba in the human ens, with God's love and mercy, and gave them the spirit of comfort, and the Gospel.

[12. Chart at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahalalel]

44. Thus even now also, where the time of Jared is at the end, which has been covered with Babel, even now, at this present, the Word doth repent and grieve at our great vanity, and will destroy the abomination with the devouring jaws of wrath: with sword, hunger, fire, and death; and gives, out of its sorrow, grief and repentance, a lily out of Enoch's mouth, in God's sweetness.

45. And when Enoch's line shall be at the end, that the vanity does again grow in the turba, then comes the greatest grief and sorrow of all, upon the nature of the wonders; that it is at the end, and there is no more any remedy for it. Even then comes the last motion with [13] the turba in the first Principle of the eternal nature, and swallows up the outward nature in the fire. Even then the formed Word shall be wholly freed from vanity, and gives, by [14] its last repentance, the holy spiritual world. Amen.

[13. Or, of.]

[14. From, or out of]

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