Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of II Kings Chapter 17
June 14, 1911: II Kings 17
As we have often heard, all incidents in the Scriptures take place in the individual consciousness, and are representative of the various steps of the soul's unfoldment. Samaria means “Watch Mountain.”
The soul is the battlefield of consciousness, or place of warfare where truth and error strive for supremacy. This lesson pictures forth a fall in consciousness through the soul's failure to hearken to the voice of Truth sounded from the high place in consciousness. Mountain means a high place in consciousness. We are admonished to watch and pray, that we enter not into temptation.
Hoshea means Salvation, or to save. It is the same meaning as Jesus and Joshua. The story states that this king was not so bad as those who were before him, but he was weak in his faith in the power of Spirit; for when the king of Assyria (typifying the thoughts of a lower or material realm) came against him, he became subservient and gave him gifts.
The children of Israel are representative of is-real thoughts, that realm of mind where the thoughts are true, real, fixed upon things eternal, the changeless. Assyria and Egypt typify the aggregation of thoughts in which materiality rules, where the principle of truth is not recognized.
The weakening of this king shows how one even in whom the great I Am dwells will weaken and fall when met by the claims and allurements of the senses. The cause of the lapse was disobedience. “Hoshea did evil in the sight of the Lord.” This evil is clearly stated in the text: they worshiped the works of their own hands, thereby failing to observe the First Commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” When reproved again and again, they “hardened their necks.” When the spiritual I Am is not allowed to reign in consciousness, there is the certain downfall. “Pride goeth before destruction.” We find through historical records that all great religions were spiritual in their beginnings, and gradually deteriorated through contact with the world of things. The same will prove true in the soul's unfoldment, unless we “watch and pray without ceasing.” Someone has said that the price of victory is eternal vigilance. There is an old hymn which begins, “My soul, be on thy guard.” It is wise to heed the admonition and by increased devotion to the Truth be “more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”
Metaphysically Interpreting II Kings 17:1-4
17:1In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel, and reigned nine years. 17:2And he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, yet not as the kings of Israel that were before him. 17:3Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and brought him tribute.17:4And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison.
Metaphysically Interpreting II Kings 17:5-23
17:5Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. 17:6In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away unto Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
17:7And it was so, because the children of Israel had sinned against Jehovah their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, 17:8and walked in the statutes of the nations, whom Jehovah cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they made. 17:9And the children of Israel did secretly things that were not right against Jehovah their God: and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city; 17:10and they set them up pillars and Asherim upon every high hill, and under every green tree; 17:11and there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the nations whom Jehovah carried away before them; and they wrought wicked things to provoke Jehovah to anger; 17:12and they served idols, whereof Jehovah had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. 17:13Yet Jehovah testified unto Israel, and unto Judah, by every prophet, and every seer, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. 17:14Notwithstanding, they would not hear, but hardened their neck, like to the neck of their fathers, who believed not in Jehovah their God. 17:15And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified unto them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the nations that were round about them, concerning whom Jehovah had charged them that they should not do like them. 17:16And they forsook all the commandments of Jehovah their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. 17:17And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, to provoke him to anger. 17:18Therefore Jehovah was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.
17:19Also Judah kept not the commandments of Jehovah their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. 17:20And Jehovah rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.
17:21For he rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drove Israel from following Jehovah, and made them sin a great sin. 17:22And the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them; 17:23until Jehovah removed Israel out of his sight, as he spake by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.
September 12, 1915: II Kings 17:1-14
What is the meaning of Israel? It is that state of consciousness which has been built up in the truth and righteousness of Spirit.
What are Assyria and Egypt? They represent states of consciousness formed by thinking thoughts not based in Principle.
What is materialism? It is that form of error in mortal consciousness which denies God as the one All-Pervading, All-Powerful, All-Knowing Mind.
How is materiality overcome? By keeping the attention fixed on God as Spirit, the underlying Principle of the Universe, the loving Father of all men.
December 12, 1915: II Kings 17:1-14
The soul is the battlefield of consciousness. Truth and error contend for possession of the soul, and history, sacred or secular, is but a record of the war that constantly goes forward between the higher and lower states of consciousness, of which personalities are the puppets. Thoughts that have been wrought out in truth and righteousness make the spiritual mind called Israel, and thoughts in which no principle was observed in the thinking are named Assyria and Egypt. If man keeps his attention fixed on the God of Spirit he is protected from the materialism that is constantly encroaching upon his spiritual soul; but if he worships the mysterious and occult, he defeats the protective action of the higher law, and falls into the hands of the Assyrians.
Hoshea means “save.” Joshua and Jesus are the same word, with Jah, Jehovah, added: “Jehovah saves.” The text relates that this king was not as bad as his predecessors, but he was weak in his faith in the power of Spirit, because when the king of Assyria came up against him, he became his servant and gave him presents. This shows how one with the saving grace of the great I Am, Jehovah, within him, weakens, when attacked by materiality. The secret of this weakness is disobedience. “Hoshea did evil in the sight of the Lord.” This evil, or error, is enumerated in the text, and is to be found in nearly all forms of worship. They made other gods, calves of gold, stone obelisks, carved wooden poles representing divine things, and in other ways materialized the God idea. When they were reprimanded for all this, they “hardened their necks;” obstinacy and self-will was the response.
History shows that all great religions were spiritual at their beginnings and became material with age. This law holds good in the evolution of the soul, and should be headed off by an increased devotion to Truth and the God of Spirit every time the tendency to drop into material ways of thought is observed.
This weakness of the soul for materialism does not prove that there is such a Divine Law, but that it pertains to a certain phase of soul evolution. The race is coming out of materialism, and the dominant thought is in that direction. Ample provision has been made for all who keep the eye of faith on the Absolute Good: the “gates of hell” shall not prevail against them.
– UNITY magazine.
March 19, 1922: II Kings 17:9-13
What is the central idea of this lesson? The central idea of this lesson is a warning against idolatry, which, among Truth seekers, sometimes leads into occultism, hypnotism, mediumship, clairvoyance, fortune telling, and divination.
What are the “commandments” and “statutes” of Jehovah? They are:
- We must recognize that God is a real directive power in all our affairs.
- We must acknowledge him first in everything that we do, and test all things visible and invisible, by the spiritual standards revealed to us through prayer.
What does the burning of the incense in high places symbolize? The burning of the incense in high places symbolizes an attempt to seek the favor of imaginary deities, through occult ceremonies.
What is it to serve idols? To serve idols is to seek contact with an authority less pure and less powerful than Jehovah. This may take the form of worship for priests, teachers, and religious leaders. It also may represent becoming so attached to our families, our personal possessions, and even our intellectual attainments, that we put them first in our worship, instead of God.
What is the meaning of “they ... hardened their neck”? It means that willfulness, stubbornness, and disobedience, harden our necks.
What is the remedy for such states of mind and such bodily conditions? The remedy is mental and physical relaxation; a state of receptivity to the higher self by holding, with Jesus: “Not my will, but thine, be done.”
What is it to worship the host of heaven? The word “heaven,” as here used, refers to the skies in which are the sun, moon, and stars. Ignorant men have worshiped these heavenly bodies, in all ages. Paganism teaches that the sun, moon, and stars influence man's destiny. Shakespeare says that it is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings. This is also the teaching of the Bible.
What are divination and enchantment and passing through the fire, referred to in verse seventeen? Divination and enchantment are attempts to uncover secrets by mysterious incantations, such as words repeated and intoned over and over, until they cast a psychic spell and reveal the so-called hidden things. Passing through the fire represents the overcoming of the elemental forces by the exercise of the personal will, and a display of power over the forces of nature. The Christ man never does anything solely for display.
May 4, 1924: II Kings 17:9-18
What is the basis of everyone’s character? All character is based upon ideas. These ideas are built into consciousness through the activity of the mind, which is called thinking.
From what source does one draw the ideas that enter into his thoughts? There are two great sources from which the individual draws his ideas: First, the spiritual realm which is the mind of God; second, the race thought which is the mental or soul realm.
From which source should one draw his ideas? There is but one righteous source from which man should draw his ideas; that source is Divine Mind, or as called in the Scriptures Jehovah God. As Jesus said: “But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
What is the theme of our lesson today? Our lesson today tells us that the children of Israel failed to observe the righteous law and were looking to the psychic and material realms for their spiritual life.
What effect did the loss of direct contact with the mind of Jehovah have on the children of Israel? They sank into the materialism of the heathen nations that surrounded them; they served idols, burned incense to heathen gods, worshiped the stars, and used divination and enchantment; that is, resorted to fortune telling, crystal gazing, and astrology, and did many things that were contrary to the spiritual law as taught by the prophets and wise men.
Has the lapse from religion as a part of the governing principle in the life of a nation any parallel in the Christian nations of this day and age? Yes. When we translate the material, intellectual, and psychical sins of the children of Israel into modern language, we find that the Christian people of today are doing almost identically the things described in this lesson.
What will be the result to our civilization if we continue to live in the mixed race thought, and if we, as a people, fail to draw upon the original divine source for our guidance and sustenance? If we, not only as individuals, but also as nations, do not reform and make God a living issue in our affairs, our civilization will go down as did that of the Israelites, as so forcibly expressed by the writer of this scripture: “Therefore Jehovah was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.”
What is symbolized by only the tribe of Judah’s being left? Judah means “praise.” Judah represents the highest spiritual consciousness, of which Judas is the outer manifestation. When Judas is wholly possessed of the devil of personality, a separation takes place between the higher and the lower principles in man. Then the sacred spiritual fires burn on the altar of Spirit deep within the soul, waiting until the trials and tribulations of the outer man call his attention to the saving grace of praise and obedient recognition of the divine law. “Man’s extremity is God's opportunity.”
May 25, 1947: II Kings 17:5-12
From a metaphysical viewpoint what is history? A record of the war that is waged constantly between the higher and the lower states of consciousness, with persons as the puppets.
Why does a nation rise to power and later decline? It rises because of the aspiration of its people and leaders to realize the power that lends itself to expression on a national scale. It declines and falls because of the hold that materialism gains on the national consciousness.
May 25, 1947: II Kings 17:22-23
What class of thoughts is represented in this lesson by Israel, by Assyria, and by Egypt? Thoughts that are imbued with Truth and righteousness are represented by Israel; those not in accord with Truth are represented by Assyria and Egypt.
In what does disobedience to the divine law result? In weakness and inability to cope with the materialistic bent of thought.
Metaphysically Interpreting II Kings 17:24-41
17:24And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof. 17:25And so it was, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not Jehovah: therefore Jehovah sent lions among them, which killed some of them. 17:26Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast carried away, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the law of the god of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the law of the god of the land. 17:27Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the law of the god of the land. 17:28So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Beth-el, and taught them how they should fear Jehovah.
17:29Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt. 17:30And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, 17:31and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burnt their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 17:32So they feared Jehovah, and made unto them from among themselves priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places. 17:33They feared Jehovah, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away.
17:34Unto this day they do after the former manner: they fear not Jehovah, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law or after the commandment which Jehovah commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel; 17:35with whom Jehovah had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them: 17:36but Jehovah, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm, him shall ye fear, and unto him shall ye bow yourselves, and to him shall ye sacrifice: 17:37and the statutes and the ordinances, and the law and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods: 17:38and the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods: 17:39but Jehovah your God shall ye fear; and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies. 17:40Howbeit they did not hearken, but they did after their former manner. 17:41So these nations feared Jehovah, and served their graven images; their children likewise, and their children's children, as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 02-07-2014