Hebraic Mind
The Hebraic mind made several important, indeed decisive, contributions to the evolution of consciousness, outlined by Barfield in Saving the Appearances.1

It is in the apocalypses of the Hebrews, for example, that "we first detect a conception of history as something which had a beginning and is moving towards an end. The apocalypses have even been pointed to as the earliest example of something that could be called a doctrine of evolution" (SA 150).

"We shall understand the place of the Jews in the history of the earth, that is, of man as a whole," Barfield writes

when we see the Children of Israel occupying the position in that history which memory occupies in the composition of an individual man. The Jews, with their language trailing vestiges of the world's Creator and their special awareness of history, were the dawning memory in the human race. They . . . tore the phenomena from their setting of original participation and made them inward, with intent to re-utter them from within as word. They cultivated the inwardness of the represented. They pinpointed participation to the Divine Name, the I AM spoken only from within, and it was the logic of their whole development that the cosmos of wisdom should henceforth have its perennial source, not without, and behind the appearances, but within the consciousness of man; not in front of his senses and his figuration, but behind them. (SA 155)

The Hebraic "mission" might thus be seen as the preparation of "humanity against the day when it [interiorization, the development of a room of one's own] should be complete--that is, our own time" (SA 124).

In a careful examination of the 104th Psalm ["Thou deckest thyself with light as it were with a garment; and spreadest out the heavens like a curtain"] Barfield finds the disappearance of the immanence of the divine which all previous religions had taken for granted. The Psalm exhibits

not only no hint of mythology, but no real suggestion of manifestation. Everything proclaims the glory of God, but nothing represents Him. Nothing could be more beautiful, and nothing could be less Platonic. . . . it is not by contemplating . . . phenomena that we shall rise to the contemplation of the invisible Divinity who brought them into being. Here, too, the appearances are indeed grounded in divinity; but they are not grounded in the same way. They are not appearances--still less, "names"--of God. They are things created by God. There is, in short, nothing to suggest "immanence," and everything to suggest the contrary. (SA 107-108)

Jewish "detachment from knowledge" of the world of appearances, Barfield concludes, "arose . . . not so much from any want of mental alertness as from a positive objection to participation as such" (SA 108). After all, the Greeks likewise would later strive as well to eliminate participation from their thinking, but for "the Jewish nation, with a different impulse and a more considered purpose . . . there was no question of turning their attention to the phenomenon for its own sake, or at all. The killing out of participation was the end, in itself, and imagery of all kinds was the quarry marked out for destruction" (SA 149).2

Though admiring of its contributions, Barfield remains through and through critical of the failures of imagination of the Hebraic mind. He criticizes harshly, for example, their abandonment of participation. He finds the admonition that "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth below, or that is in the water under the earth" "perhaps the unlikeliest thing that ever happened.

As far as we know, in every other nation at that time there prevailed unquestioned the participating consciousness which apprehends the phenomena as representations and naturally expresses itself in making images. For the Jews, henceforward, any dealings with those nations were strictly forbidden. Everywhere throughout the world original participation was in full swing. For the Jews, from that moment on, original participation, and anything smacking of it, became a deadly sin. And what is the Old Testament but the tale of their long struggle against that very sin, their repeated relapses and their final victory. (SA 109)

And he criticizes as well their failure to acknowledge Christ as the Messiah as surprising and, indeed, contradictory:

We may permit ourselves to ask what would have happened if the incarnation of the Word had been understood at the time when it occurred; if Christ had been acknowledged instead of being crucified. In fact, by the time the Event happened, the pharisaical element in Jewish religion had apparently triumphed, balking the nation of the opportunity of fulfilling its destiny. Instead of realizing that the inwardness of the Divine Name--a consummation to which their whole history had been leading--the Children of Israel had turned aside. The Name had ceased to be uttered even by the priests in the temple, and the Creator had been removed to an infinite external distance, as Being, omnipotent, indeed, and infinitely superior, but, in the way He was thought of, existentially parallel with man himself. (SA 171)

See in particular Saving the Appearances, Chaps. XVI, XXIII, XXIV.
1Though Barfield's primary discussion of the Hebraic mind is to be found in Saving the Appearances, it is not, of course, limited to that book. Much earlier, in History in English Words, he had already offered the following characterisation:
    To one semitic tribe the passionate inner world of its thoughts and feelings had remained almost more real than the outward one of matter and energy. The language of the Old Testament is alone enough to tell us that, while the Greek Aryans had been pouring their vigor into the creation of intellectual wisdom and liberty, the Hebrews had been building up within themselves an extraordinary moral and emotional life, as narrow as it was intense. (HEW 37)
2Barfield is careful to distinguish Jewish loss of wonder at the phenomenal from the reductionism of materialistic science:
    If the children of Israel were enjoined not to worship 'the sun or the moon or any other star,' it was because they were tempted by the glory of these appearances to do that very thing. They refrained because they were commanded to refrain, not because they had been educated to see the greater light and the less as a ball of gas and a ball of rock, which just happened to be there. It was not, in other words, a materialist non-participation. (SA 112)