METAPHYSICAL BIBLE INTERPRETATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Fall semester 1975 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Lecture given on November 4, 1975
Deut. 34, pp. 235-238 of transcript.
Now, in the book of Numbers, chapter 20, verses 10-12, we're told that Moses is not to lead the Israelites into the promised land. In Deuteronomy, chapter 34, the death of Moses, if you want to call it a death, at the age of 120. They sure picked symbolic ages to make their transitions, didn't they? This happens before the Israelites enter the promised land. Then Joshua becomes Moses' successor. Now the metaphysical meaning behind this, at least one of them is understood when we remember that Moses stands for only a certain degree of human unfoldment; that which results from learning and obeying the letter of the law, or the letter of the true teaching. We memorize all the answers to the annotations, we know the formulas, we've done all the rote retention work in our memory and intellect and to the sense that we understand it we are practicing carrying out these formulas in our daily living. This is great, the positive thinking is marvelous.
Denials and affirmations do work, they are consciousness conditioners and they produce very definite and even very spectacular results. However, the promised land refers to deeper levels of spiritual awareness, not just learning the letter of the teachings and developing a certain adeptness in demonstrating them - that's what Dr. Bach referred to in his book, The Unity Way of Life, as the shallows in the Unity teachings in which even the simplest child can wade and enjoy himself, but in that same movement there are depths which only the most skillful swimmer can enter. See, although the promised land then is not exactly those depths, it does refer to the deeper levels of spiritual awareness.
Learning the letter of the truth and practicing its demonstration prepares us for entering into this deeper realm of mind, but knowledge itself does not constitute this realm, knowing the letter, knowing the how-to*s do not constitute this deeper realm, this deeper realm of consciousness. Something else is needful and that something else is symbolized by the leadership of Joshua, in the character Joshua and in the book, Let There Be Light. Mrs. Turner even refers to Joshua as a type of Jesus Christ, a forerunner type of Christ. Now, the word Joshua means "Jehovah is salvation". Right there we have something that has not appeared in O.T. symbolism up until now.
Salvation, we haven't been talking about salvation, it hasn't appeared yet, but here it has appeared. That's leading us into the deeper levels of understanding, not just cause and effect, how-to, think and grow rich, and it also means "Whom Jehovah makes triumphant", and metaphysically he represents developing spiritual understanding. A step further, the gathering of knowledge and practice of the how-to's in demonstration.
Q. Didn't Moses pass on his understanding to Joshua?
A. "And lay thy hands upon him and set him before Eliazar the priest, before all the congregation and give him a charge in their sight." Yes, "thou shalt put off thy honor upon him." Later on with Elijah and Eliaha this is done even more emphatically.
The transition of Moses is described in these words, Deuteronomy 34:
"And so, Moses, the servant of Jehovah died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of Jehovah." All under Divine Order, Divine Cooperation all the way through. They buried him in the valley of Moab over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day."
"And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated." Here you see the implication is that nobody really knows in himself when this changeover occurs . You can't find the tomb of Moses in yourself, you won't find the corpse of Moses, just as they did not find, Mary Magdalene did not find the corpse of Jesus when she looked for Him outside the tomb, instead she found something much greater than what she thought she was looking for. So, this changeover in our unfoldment from leaning this letter and practicing this know-how and then it becomes more of a spiritual understanding in which all the other things are more synthesized, more distilled in us, we don't know exactly when.
Remember, this something greater does not dispense with or abandon those, but it incorporates them in a more integrated way, it's more than a matter of consciousness rather than knowledge of how-to, then it's synthesized into consciousness. Most of you, in your own private religious life don't really do very much denying and affirming, not a lot, you'd still do some, but most of what you do in your private religious life is, you meditate, you just let consciousness become infilled with more and more light and more and more understanding and devotion, however, in your public religious life, you're going to do plenty of, I hope, denying and affirming with people. You will be dealing with the Moses level of truth and in your profession as ministers.
Because those are the people you are taking care of, the Israelites, seeking the promised land, and you're there to greet them and you do the Moses job, not only Moses, but you'll do a lot of it. However, in your own religious, private, secret unfoldment, most of you I would guess, you're Jesus Christ, you're even more than Joshua I would say, that you're really now young Jesus Christ's in your private religious and spiritual unfoldment. Think of how much credit Jesus gives Moses. Who was He talking to in the great transfiguration?
Moses and Elijah which means something. He was Jesus Christ, but He shared the spotlight there and what a spotlight - eh? Moses and Elijah. This means something - the transfiguration spotlight. You're going to be Jesus Christ in yourself, but in your career or profession, you're also going to be Moses and Elijah, but then, the cloud comes, Peter wants to separate the three, building three tabernacles, and then the voice comes, "This is my beloved Son, hear ye Him", and then the cloud lifts and who's there? Jesus, meaning that He embodies all three, Moses, Elijah and Jesus. A hundred and twenty years, purely symbolic number, with that zero following the twelve - beautiful.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on February 9, 2015.