Genesis 5:3 and 4
Revised: April 2020
Genesis 5:3 “When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.”
The initial number presented in this descendancy, 130, calls up some relevant ideas. The first is a Hebrew grammar verb form, קל, kal, ‘to form, create, generate.’ And the second is a noun, עמודי, amudi, ‘pillars, columns, posts.’ Each sums to 130. These are the ‘pillars’ illustrated on the High Priestess Tarot Key, Jachin and Boaz. All creation moves with the balance of Yin and Yang. Number 130 confirms this in the Qabalistic Tradition with the verb עין, unyan, ‘to be balanced, weighing exactly’, and summing to 130. What is being established here with the very appearance of Seth is the “creation and formation” of both pillars on the Tree of Life (as we look at it).
It might be worth noting here that 130 is also the number of סלם, sulam, ‘stairway, ladder’, from Genesis 28:12; the partial phrase being, “a ladder resting on earth”. The ‘earth’ is Malkuth, the 10th Sphere of the Tree. In Jacob’s dream this ‘stairway resting on earth’ is the Tree of Life, as is Moses’ ‘burning tree’.
The “Pillar of Mercy,” is formed by the three spheres Chokmah, Chesed and Netzach. If you have read the entire Adam Through Cain – Genealogy I (my compliments if you have), it was pointed out that the “Pillar of Severity” is topped by the 3rd sphere, Binah, with the formation of rude physical bodies and the early development of self-consciousness. Unfolding next was the counterfeit and separative will-force with the notion of its pseudo personal powers attributed to the false sense of personality. The rudiments of Geburah, the 5th sphere were beginning to unfold within human consciousness. Under Genesis 4:19, where Lamech’s first wife, Adah, was the branch that formed the “Pillar of Severity” by virtue of עדה, Adah’s name summing to 79, that of בעז, Boaz, the “Pillar of Strength or Severity.” Self-conscious intellect was firmly established as the moving force responsible for our unfolding civilizations. Now, Adam/Eve, the root, has ‘established, created,’ the other half of the Tree of Life here with it’s first branch in Seth.
ימינך, yeminehkah, ‘your right hand’, sums to 130. This is the right hand of Tetragrammaton and the Pillar of Mercy on the Tree of Life (as we look at it). It is taken as an instrument of deliverance in that הצלה, hatzalah, ‘deliverance’ also sums to 130. "Your right hand will save me" – Psalm 138:7. Following the Fallen Adam, Cain’s line personified the evolution of physical vehicles yet too rough for Spirit to express Itself fully. With the appearance of Seth and the personifications of Seth’s lineage the ‘instrument of deliverance’ is detailed in the right hand Pillar that saves humanity by laying the ‘foundation’ for Adam’s evolutionary return.
Seth in Hebrew is שת, Sheth, which means ‘to constitute’ as a verb; and ‘foundation, basis’ as a noun. The Dictionary of Targumim, Talmud and Midrashic Literature states: “Seth (foundation), because with him the world’s foundation was laid.” The ‘World’s Foundation’ is the Qabalistic Tree of Life, completed through the ‘deliverance’ of the right hand Pillar of Mercy. Seth will be dealt with more detail when verse 6 is investigated.
Genesis 5:4 “Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters.”
The first number to be looked at here is not even presented. That is 670, derived by subtracting 130 from 800 (800 -130 = 670). There is reason for this nuance because one special idea brought to surface by this hidden method is נ'שערים, nun’sharim, ‘50 gates,’ also summing to 670. It emphasizes by most arcane subtlety the two Pillars, Jachin and Boaz, by suggesting the “50 Gates of Understanding” (Binah) with the “50 Gates of Wisdom” (Chokmah). Delving into the detailed meaning behind the ‘50 gates’ here would be tangential and overwhelming. They are volumes of erudite Qabalah in themselves. The Tree of Life and both Pillars were finally ‘established’ with the appearance of Seth as a branch when Adam was 130. Seth then became the root and ‘foundation’ of the right hand Pillar. A look back might be warranted here. Genesis 4:251 teaches:
“Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son [and named him Seth, saying ‘God has granted me] another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.’”
...ותקא את־ שמו שת כי שת־ לי אלהים…
...wat-tiq-ra et semow Seth ki sat li elohim...
In the bracketed English phrase above ‘Seth’ and ‘granted’ are high-lighted different colors. The same two words are also high-lighted in the Hebrew. The Hebrew verb שת־, sat, is variously translated as ‘placed, set, made, granted, established and constituted’. Seth’s name (שת), spelled the same but with different vowel points, is also the noun meaning ‘foundation, basis’. With this verse in Chapter 4, Seth became the branch of Adam/Eve, who established the root of both pillars. But in Chapter 5 here, Seth becomes the root activating the Right Pillar of the Tree as the Foundation of salvation.
I confess that Verse 5:4 houses some very difficult Qabalistic nuances. As this might well overwhelm the beginners with Literal Qabalah, it is nonetheless included to inform and aid those who are willing to learn the finer details with ferreting esoteric information. It would otherwise be lost within the reprints of the Bible using easier prose in the modern languages targeting lay Christian Ministries.
Genesis 5:4 (cont’d) “...the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years...”
Eight-hundred is the number within שרש, shresh, ‘a root.’ This again reiterates the implication of this descendancy establishing a Foundation. Number 800 is also that of Hebrew letter Peh-final (ף). In The Tarot Dr. Paul F. Case wrote: “Peh (P, Ph, F; value 80; as a final letter, 800) means ‘the mouth as an organ of speech.’ It therefore symbolizes power of utterance. Out of it are the issues of life.”
In the second verse of the Song of Songs self-consciousness cries out: “Let Him kiss me with kisses of His Mouth.” 'His Mouth' in the Hebrew verse is פיהו, peiho. Literally this is “the Mouth of Yeho.” יהו, yeho (Yod, Heh, Vau) is the Divine Name in the Book of Formation, the permutation of which seals the six directions, forming the Cube of Space (the Second Veil of the Absolute, Ain Suph, אין סוף). The Cube of Space, or Ain Suph, was established by Sound vibration. Within a human organism Peh (פ) is that Mouth, symbolic of the fiery, martial force that brings enlightenment with the re-channeling of the reproductive force rooted in the Svadishthana Chakra, the Mars Center, or the Metal Iron of the alchemists. The flash is the discovery of the First Matter and the beginning of the Alchemical Process.
The path of Peh on the Tree of Life is the third reciprocal path connecting sphere seven, Netzach (Victory), with sphere eight, Hod (Splendor), and the Pillar of Mercy with the Pillar of Severity. In the 32 Paths of Wisdom attached to certain volumes of Sepher Yetzirah, Arthur Edward Waite’s commentary on this path states: “The sixteenth path is called the Exciting Intelligence, the delight of glory, the paradise prepared for the just.” This refers to the raising of Kundalini. When Kundalini is raised the blessed recipient actually sees that all existence is fundamentally composed of light, and this world becomes the Heaven (paradise) on Earth. All this and much more may be gleaned from number 800.
Seth’s name in Hebrew, שת, sums to 700. And, once again, 700 is the number of letter 2 Nun-final (ן). This number associated with Seth is indicative of the Nun Force, the reproductive force which created what was said of Moses earlier in the Preface, “his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated.” The birth of Seth, as the Foundation, is the seed of the very Philosophers’ Stone itself brought forth. And מסרת, massoreth, ‘a band, bond (or covenant)’ was also founded in his name.
Coupling together these final letters Peh and Nun (Mars and Scorpio) within the one verse here establishes the Reproductive Force with the Fire of Heaven in the line of Seth. The Spiritual Force that created the universe resides within the descendancy of Adam-Seth. Chiah is the Spiritual Life-Force residing within us. By learning and living the precepts and tenets disguised as personalities (roots and branches) in this and other hidden lessons in sacred literature a Qabalist may actually change the fundamentals of his human structure to receive the Lightening Flash from within. Those Qabalists accomplished enough with the ‘uses of the Qabalists’ eventually come discover the Path of Return.
Qabalistic commentary on the plethora of ideas behind these two name/numbers could fill volumes. All the above was gathered from within a mere partial section of verse 4. Even more could be gleaned if it were investigated letter by letter, and if the Tarot keys were used to spell out the names.
1 This verse in English and Hebrew is from the Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament.
2 Please refer to letters PEH and NUN in the Glossary section of this site.