JAPHET (OR JAPHETH) appears only briefly in the book of Genesis as one of Noah's two elder sons. We first read of him entering into the protection of the ark with other members of the patriarch's family. Then when Noah was found intoxicated and unclothed, we read of Japhet's caring respect for his father's dignity. As a result of this dutiful behavior, Japhet became the recipient of a special blessing—the promise of an enlarged dwelling place (see Gen. 7:13 and 9:22, 23, 27).
The spiritual concepts Mary Baker Eddy used to describe Japhet in the Glossary in Science and Health proved invaluable to me at a time in my early twenties when I needed to enlarge my concept of home. I unexpectedly faced an urgent need to find a new flat. Having lived on my own since my late teens, I had already experienced divine Love's provision of home in distinctly different ways, but always in a way that had beautifully met my needs each time. I felt confident that this would be the case again.
However, when some weeks had passed without my finding anything suitable and feeling a bit discouraged, I realized that I needed to gain an even deeper understanding of the meaning of home. One Saturday morning, with the aid of concordances, I researched references to dwelling, home, and existence, in both the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings. The first reference I looked up for existence in Science and Health came from the Glossary: "Japhet (Noah's son). A type of spiritual peace, flowing from the understanding that God is the divine Principle of all existence, and man is His idea, the child of His care" (p. 589).
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