Revised: March 2020
Genesis 4:18 “Now to Enoch was born Irad...”
That’s it. No wife’s name, no ages. Nothing. The English ‘Irad’ is spelled out in Hebrew letters as עירד, aird, with gematria summing to 284. Its meaning today is ‘fugitive’, but has vague obsolete hints having to do with ‘law, law makers and defenders’. Its root, עיר, iyr, means ‘city’ or ‘town,’ and as a verb, ‘to urbanize’. With a letter interchange also summing 284, the word עדיר, adir, suggests land cultivation, like ‘hoeing.’
The temurah of Irad reveals the letters ז מ ג ק which sum to 150. One word with this number is כעס, kaas, ‘anger, wrath, fury,’ and with different vowel points becomes the verb, ‘to be angered, vexed.’
With Enoch as the root, Irad is another branch. While still carrying the accrued angst, shame and anger of our ancestors, we eventually gathered together to form clans into crude communities for mutual survival and defense. We began land cultivation and some sort of despotic civil structure with rules and laws (to protect the despot, of course). All this is hard work over centuries for a rude existence which also cultivates the attendant frustrations and vexations with learning the harsh forces and laws of nature misunderstood.
‘Fugitive’ suggests our separation from the Divine. We were always, as we are today, a son of God, yet unaware of His presence within us through those times. Many are still unconscious of this fact today and remain a fugitive.
Genesis 4:18 (cont’d) “...and Irad was the father of Mehujael,...”
With the advent of this branch from the root of Irad another sphere on the Tree of Life is made manifest for the Literal Qabalist. This father/son line from Cain is for the sole purpose of delineating spiritual causes with physical effects suggested as roots and branches and disguised as characters. What other reason for such a list that makes no mention of wives or other progeny if it were some true descendancy of actual people? And what point would there have been behind such a list of supposed persons who demonstrated no apparent accomplishments and who were destined to drown in a supposed flood? And if such a flood, who, after the event would even record a line of nobodies, or even remember them?
But for the Qabalists Mehujael, מחויאל, sums to 95 by gematria. The frustration, anger and vexation rooted from Irad now finds a new vein of expression in Mehujael. Number 95 calls up מאדים, Mars, the mythical personification with root expressions in ‘strength, might and vehemence.’ Summing to 95 is the verb המן, hahman, ‘to be turbulent’. Paul F. Case suggests it refers to the restless activity associated with Mars energies. And, Hebrew letter Peh (פ), spelled out in plenitude as פה הה, PH HH, equals 95 and expresses total Martial activity in that all four letters of the full spelling of Peh are Mars related.
The root of Mehujael is מח, mech, meaning ‘to protest, destroy, wipe out, efface, erase.’ Mehujael was later to evolve into the name Michael. Religions, even later, were to equate the Archangel Michael with fiery strength and force.
Out of anger comes the Fear from the reciprocal anger of others. Fear, פחד, pachad, the earliest name of the 5th sphere, known today as Geburah, גבורה, ‘strength, might’, evolved our feelings of Volition, the seat of which rests in Geburah, the Sphere of Mars. Believing this inner will-force to be completely personal, the stronger expressions of it gave rise to individuals (despots) who persuaded or forced others into submission. With the establishment of rules and edicts from despots came armies to enforce them. All around him early man perceived potential enemies and destruction, as he himself harbored the same toward others. Everyone was wary of his environment.
From fear evolved severity. Despots reasoned fear kept populations in check, and severity ensured that fear. Severity was the second name given to Geburah. Much later these reactionary roots were eventually to give rise to ideas of Justice (the 3rd name for Geburah), turning the rule of law from self-appointed despots and dictators to governing bodies with hopes of greater, more equitable rulership. We struggle with this type of governing even today, world over.
Genesis 4:18 (cont’d) “...and Mehujael was the father of Methushael...”
Methushael in Hebrew is spelled מתושאל, metushal (777), and the first two letters spell, מת, met, meaning ‘dead, deceased, lifeless, extinct, dying, corpse, necro, dust.’ The last three letters, שאל, shaal, spell out the verb ‘to ask, question, to query.’ Breaking down words, like this name, to discover root words is called Theosophical Articulation. A Literal Qabalist, when putting these words together, might conclude the early natural human’s query into death and dying and the meaning behind it; the early fundamentals of a religious or priest cult.
It is interesting to note that 777 sums to 21 and reduces again to the root 3, the number of the 3rd Sphere, Binah, the Sphere of Saturn and the formation of bodies and their expressions. This is coupled with the Martial aspect of disintegration and putrefaction. The involution of all bodies must transition into their death eventually. Also summing to 777 is עולם הקליפות, olahm ha-qlippoth, ‘the World of Shells or Demons’. Qabalistic commentary records that this is another name for Assiah, the material world or the world of physical results and the activities they evoke. It is the world of matter, made up of the grosser, unripe elements of the other three worlds. In it also is the abode of the evil spirits, called shells, qlippoth, in Qabalah. Are there not yet many evil spirits of mankind, dead to the Life of this world, inhabiting physical vehicles for the mere purpose of creating darkness?
The name מתושאל, metushal, may be a Babylonian root, and Antoine Fabre D'Olivet translates this name "death's fathomless pit", or "abyss of death" (i.e. שאל, sheol). D'Olivet (1767-1825) was an author and commentator of Biblical and Hermetic writings which influenced Eliphas Levi, Papus and others.
What is being suggested by the original Qabalistic author(s) with this string of roots and branches was early mankind’s natural tendencies. It is our history in synopsis, coded under the names of these characters. The Qabalists aware of the method were able to discover cleverly disguised secrets concerning man, nature and God. While immersed in a physical body, we lost our spiritual roots, having become beguiled by sensations. This created within us the sense of isolation, and in our solitary state of mind we began to gather families into clans toward crude civilizations for solace and protection, and at some point coming to question the meaning behind our living, being and the world at large. This account of the descendancy of Cain’s line is not implying that mankind is inherently evil. Cain’s line is still carrying the seed of God Almighty at our center however latent. The line of Cain describes humanity when we humans turn from our conscience, the ‘voice’ that connects us with the Creator. Much was and is accomplished through our efforts in this world, just look around, but the going gets more strenuous when we feel there is never enough for our precious selves and conclude we must continue to fight and kill for our survival (just look around), and even beseech some god or gods to win favors with doing so. The ‘earthly’ gods and the primitive forms of worship were as violent as every other aspect of our very early cultures. While delineating our evolution the Qabalists were also revealing the causes behind our failings. All of which are compounded today and played out in current world events.
Genesis 4:18 (cont’d) “...and Methushael was the father of Lamech.”
Having carefully researched this term/name למך, Lamech, several dictionaries gave up many of the same suggestions: ‘good for nothing, fool, clumsy, lummox’ and ‘to become impoverished’. The letter-name, however, sums to 90 by gematria. There may be no end to the hints and inferences behind this number. It leads to extremes in both directions. A jewel of an example in gematria. Leaning to the ‘involuting side’ of the Tree there is one term which advances the Geburah theme of the 5th sphere in עזוז, yezuz, ‘strong, powerful’ and ‘force, fierceness’. The Martial nuances continue with this Lamech character while exhibiting the additional dubious virtue of a dim wit. A lot of us still around today, wouldn’t you say? Who declares we all perished in that Flood?
But even within the Lamechs of the world resides the Son of God. By the rearrangement of his letters we expose מלך, melek, ‘king’, the name of the 6th Sephirah, Tiphareth, seat of the One Ego (Christ or Krishna) in all humanity. Even the least of us carries the Christ. The name Lamech appears again under the descendants of Seth, Adam’s third son, constructing the other side of the Tree. The double entry of Lamech, as with Enoch, in both lines demonstrates the redemptive element within us all, no matter how far off center we may have wandered in our life’s trajectory. We are all Prodigal Sons essentially. Not to worry.
With the following verses regarding our present Mr. Lamech, however, the dark and negative side of the definitions would seem indicative to proving out this shadow aspect of the story, and our natures. This Lamech character demonstrates how far our separative ego can take us from that Holy Center. For now, there is this…