Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Daniel Chapter 1
1:1In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. 1:2And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God; and he carried them into the land of Shinar to the house of his god: and he brought the vessels into the treasure-house of his god.
1:3And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring in certain of the children of Israel, even of the seed royal and of the nobles; 1:4youths in whom was no blemish, but well-favored, and skilful in all wisdom, and endued with knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability to stand in the king's palace; and that he should teach them the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. 1:5And the king appointed for them a daily portion of the king's dainties, and of the wine which he drank, and that they should be nourished three years; that at the end thereof they should stand before the king. 1:6Now among these were, of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 1:7And the prince of the eunuchs gave names unto them: unto Daniel he gave the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abed-nego.
1:8But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king's dainties, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 1:9Now God made Daniel to find kindness and compassion in the sight of the prince of the eunuchs. 1:10And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your food and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse looking than the youths that are of your own age? so would ye endanger my head with the king. 1:11Then said Daniel to the steward whom the prince of the eunuchs had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 1:12Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. 1:13Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the youths that eat of the king's dainties; and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. 1:14So he hearkened unto them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 1:15And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer, and they were fatter in flesh, than all the youths that did eat of the king's dainties. 1:16So the steward took away their dainties, and the wine that they should drink, and gave them pulse. 1:17Now as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
1:18And at the end of the days which the king had appointed for bringing them in, the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 1:19And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. 1:20And in every matter of wisdom and understanding, concerning which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his realm. 1:21And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.
July 28, 1929: Dan. 1:1-4
What truth is taught in this lesson? This lesson teaches how to attain spiritual wisdom and understanding; how, even though one may be in bondage to sense, one can come into an understanding of spiritual law.
What do the vessels represent? The vessels, which Nebuchadnezzar carried away to the land of Shinar and used in “the treasure-house of his god,” represent the capacity of the mind to appropriate from universal Spirit substance.
What is the significance of Nebuchadnezzar's using these vessels in “the treasure-house of his god”? The god of Nebuchadnezzar was the god Bel (confusion). Nebuchadnezzar's concept of divine wisdom and substance was carnal and sensual and he used the sacred vessels in a sensual way; neither did he understand the symbols which were given to him in dreams.
September 10, 1911: Dan. 1:8-20
Today's subject is recommended by the International Committee as a “temperance lesson.” Great stress; is laid on the strength of character evinced by Daniel in abstaining from strong drink. No special mention is made of that other defilement, “the king's meat,” except the statement that it referred to “grain, vegetables, herbs [as] opposed to flesh and more delicate food.”
A very deep lesson in spiritual development is veiled in these material symbols, and if space permitted it could be drawn out so clearly that all might see it; but we shall confine ourselves to the single point—dominion over the appetite. [We] find that there is a discriminating faculty quickened that causes us to refuse the “meat” of the king of the earth, which is mortal sense.
To those who do not believe that “plain living and high thinking” go together we recommend the ten days’ trial proposed by Daniel: “Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.” If you will adopt the same abstemious diet, you can prove what is here stated; “At the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.”
Spiritualization of the race concept of the body is absolutely necessary to one who would reach high attainments. The appetite is the open door to the body consciousness, consequently we who would obtain dominion over the “beasts of the field” which roam in this part of our domain, must use discretion in choosing the food upon which they exist. Each plane of consciousness requires a food suited to its realm. Formed or crystallized ideas require food of like character. The body is thought, formed, and requires bread; the mind is thought, formless, and requires ideas for its sustenance. Thus “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
It seems quite reasonable that if we are choice of the thoughts and words we let into the mind, we should also be choice of the food we let into the body. Because some people have carried the food idea too far, and become fearful of everything they eat, is no reason why we should go to the other extreme and accept blindly the idea that it makes no difference what we eat or drink. It does make a difference, and the almost universally observed fact that those who grow more spiritual in thought grow less gross in appetite, proves that there is a demand for a higher grade of food. But the body will, in a measure, adapt itself for a time to any kind of food, when the thought is firmly held that “I eat all things set before me, asking no questions;” and food that has been distressing will be digested with ease. This is the result of the greater power and dominion which the mind exercises over the body, and not a proof that all food is good food for all people.
As we dwell in thought upon the higher aspects of life, a new relation of things is set up in the organism and the more material foods will be refused naturally, if we listen to the intuitive guide within. Thus “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” When we purpose in the “heart,” or spiritual center of consciousness, that we will be guided by the Spirit, we find that there is a discriminating faculty quickened that causes us to refuse the “meat” of the king of the earth, which is mortal sense.
To those who do not believe that “plain living and high thinking “go together, we recommend the ten days’ trial proposed by Daniel: “Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.” If you will adopt the same abstemious diet, you can prove what is here stated: “At the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.
- UNITY magazine.
August 31, 1919: Dan. 1:8-20
In the consciousness of man what does “Daniel” represent? Daniel means pure judgment, conscious integrity. He typifies the clear, penetrating insight of Spirit; that which knows the difference between nourishing food and temporary stimulants.
Explain the words, “Daniel purposed in his heart.” “Daniel purposed in his heart” means that that unbiased, spiritual judgment in man, represented by Daniel, mirrored forth in consciousness a fixed, definite plan, which would, when carried out, produce the desired end.
Define “prince of the eunuchs.” “Prince of the eunuchs” is that which stands highest in “rank in the pure, illuminating spiritual consciousness, of which sex has been excluded.
How may we know to what extent the body consciousness is spiritualized? … Each kind of food has back of it an idea. Each kind of consciousness craves the food suited to its sphere.
How may the appetite be educated? The appetite may be educated by a daily going into the silence and affirming that the carnal cravings of the soul are merged with the pure spiritual; by knowing that the inner longing to satisfy the appetite is really a hungering for God; a desire to be able to appropriate and assimilate God as unselfish love, pure, regenerated life, illuminating light and wisdom.
When this Truth is established in the mind, what change takes place in consciousness? The soul rejects wines, meats and highly seasoned foods. It feels the need only of “pulse to eat, and water to drink,” which is conducive to clearer, brighter minds, healthier and more beautiful bodies.
October 13, 1929: Dan.1:8-20
What is the meaning of the word” “Daniel”? The word “Daniel” means “spiritual judgment”; in other words, divine judgment. Daniel was noted for his discerning spirit.
Explain the text, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king's dainties, nor with the wine which he drank.” Spiritual judgment is master over sense consciousness; therefore it refuses to be enamored of things that delight the animal appetite and make mind and body lethargic.
What does the “prince of the eunuchs” symbolize? The “prince of the eunuchs” symbolizes a regenerated thought force that is in authority in carrying out the orders of the ruling king, or the will. “There are eunuchs, that made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake.”
Why did God make Daniel “to find kindness and compassion in the sight of the prince of the eunuchs”? Like attracts like. Spiritual judgment (Daniel) and the regenerated life force (eunuch) are from the one source, God, and they are subjectively joined in helping to redeem the appetite.
What relation did the food selected by Daniel and his companions bear to the spiritual illumination of those men? It is plainly stated in verse 8 that “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not” eat the gross food in which the king and his household indulged, but that he would eat pulse (vegetables) and drink water. Modern metaphysicians find that high spiritual attainments are directly related to abstemious eating and drinking. Gross eating inevitably accompanies gross thinking. The glutton betrays his thoughts.
How should the appetite be disciplined by a person who is unfolding spiritually? Such a person should purpose in his heart—or purpose in spiritual consciousness—that he will no longer be influenced by sense mind and sense appetite. This resolution should be followed by the affirmation of innate spiritual purity and regenerated life.
Will pure food and the most careful attention to eating and drinking fulfill the law of complete regeneration? No, pure food is necessary in body regeneration, but the casting out of the evil thoughts and the error states of mind that cause the body to retrograde with [the] years is of first consideration. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
August 11, 1935: Dan. 1:8-20
[It is] wiser [if] appetite is [denied] all authority [as so] does the mind exercise power over the body.
If appetite is not a safe guide in the choice of food and drink, how can we tell what is best for us? Spiritual judgment (Daniel) is a sure guide in this matter. “And the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”
What is the result of a man’s using intelligence in the choice of food and drink? When a man chooses his food and drink wisely, he not only insures his physical fitness, but quickens his mental and spiritual powers.
How are temperate habits in eating and drinking most easily formed? By bearing in mind the thought that we do all things to the glory of God, we find it easy to reject stimulants in favor of what is wholesome and nutritious.
How can we demonstrate freedom from the claims of the personal will? We free ourselves from the dominance of the personal will by making our choice in each case a matter of principle.
Why is the subject of food and drink important to those who wish to develop the spiritual nature? Those who wish to reach high attainments find that they must refrain from heavy, coarse food and intoxicating drink, and give adequate thought to the spiritualization of the body. Such course is absolutely necessary to those who wish to think clearly and have ready understanding.
Are we responsible for our health? Since it is our duty to obey the commandment “Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” we are responsible for our physical, mental, moral and spiritual health.
What is the chief spiritual food of man? Man nourishes and develops his spiritual nature most surely by keeping the divine law. “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to accomplish his work.”
May 29, 1938: Dan. 1:3-20
What is the keynote of this lesson? Purpose, consciously directed desire, makes this lesson on temperance an outstanding lesson in self-control.
What is the meaning of the name Daniel, and what does it represent? Daniel means “God is judge.” The name represents the clear insight of Spirit. Daniel saw that the food appointed for him and his companions was such that they could not partake of it without losing mental acumen and physical fitness.
What purpose moved Daniel to protest against the fare appointed by the king? His purpose was to eat and drink only what nourished and built up the body and quickened the mind and soul. Of what is “the prince of the eunuchs” a symbol? The term symbolizes that which stands highest in rank in the pure, illuminated spiritual consciousness. Spiritual insight (Daniel) is close to this highest expression.
Interpret verse 10 in the light of these meanings? “My lord the king” represents the personal will, which one must outwit in reforming one's diet. Spiritual consciousness causes man to know what is best for him in matters of food and drink, but his will must be trained to choose and follow what the spiritual consciousness approves, and this training.
June 25, 1944: Dan. 1:8-16, 19, 20
What is the first step toward reforming the diet, so as to insure simple, wholesome food and drink in harmony with the law of our well-being? An act of will comes first. Daniel purposed in his heart” that he would not eat or drink what was unwholesome or ill-suited to him. We will to keep the body undefiled by refusing wrong food.
Is this problem of wholesome diet a continuing one? [It could] be a problem [until] we learn to desire what is good for us, instead of allowing appetite to be the deciding factor. As long as sense appetite rules a person, he has a continuing problem on his hands. As long as sense appetite rules a person, he has a continuing problem on his hands.
What helps may we enlist along the way toward overcoming? Besides will power and transformed desire, we find use for tact, friendliness, earnestness, sincerity, and quickened perception. These traits all stand us in good stead where other persons are involved, which is usually the case in the preparation and serving of food.
Is there a real connection between plain living and high thinking? Wholesome food simply prepared and served makes for a clean, healthy body, and this in turn is conducive tell high thinking. The less time and attention we spend on the machinery of living, the more time we have to devote to the essentials. Once it becomes a habit, plain living frees us to give ourselves to what is most worthwhile.
What connection subsists between simple, wholesome diet and quickened mental and soul faculties? Food that is good for us gives us a feeling of well-being; and since body, soul, and spirit form an entity, all three show the effects of divine order when it is established in the body. The mental and soul faculties [increase as] understanding increases [unreadable text].
Was the vegetarian diet of Daniel and his companions [responsible] for the fact, as stated in the [passage] that they were “ten times better [in] wisdom and understanding than all the magicians and enchanters” in the king’s realm? Diet played an important part, but it was not the sole cause of their superior wisdom and understanding. Their purpose to be faithful to God and their trust in God and seeking to know and do the right in all their ways accounted for their outstanding ability. Also they had had three years of preparation before they appeased before the king.
Are great wisdom and understanding needed as much now as in the days of the Babylonian captivity? They are needed by individuals and by the world at large today as never before. Whoever will develop understanding and wisdom to make war obsolete will be greater than Daniel.
What is the meaning of the name “Daniel”? The name means “God is judge,” and represents spiritual judgment. Daniel typifies the clear, penetrating insight of Spirit.
What follows the cultivating of physical and mental purity? An opening of the way to the higher realms of thought. Daniel opened his mind to the cosmic consciousness so that he was able to recall dreams that others had had and forgotten.
May 30, 1948: Dan. 1:8-20
How do we form a conviction in regard to any subject? Either by accepting it unquestioningly as true beyond dispute or by obtaining a well-thought-out and reasoned understanding of the subject.
Is it safe to hold fast to a conviction that rests on “inherited” belief? When a person has “inherited” or in childhood unquestioningly accepted his parents’ belief, he should upon reaching the age of understanding carefully examine it before deciding to stand by it with his mind, heart, soul, and strength. Conviction rests safely on understanding only.
What does it mean to love God with our whole mind, soul, heart, and strength? It means that we hold goodness, cleanliness, purity, and uprightness above all else as worth working for and standing by. This truth is symbolized in the account of Daniel, who purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with food that to him was unclean, unwholesome, or harmful.
Why did Daniel “find kindness and compassion in the sight of the prince of the eunuchs”? The name Daniel means “God is judge.” Daniel represents spiritual judgment. The “prince of the eunuchs” represents a state of consciousness that has risen above sensuality, but that has not yet laid hold on the life of Spirit. Between Daniel and the prince of the eunuchs a spiritual bond existed, so that, when Daniel determined to keep his mind and body clean and to eat only clean food, he found the prince of the eunuchs in sympathy with his desires.
Why did the prince of the eunuchs fear the king? Babylon represents mental and sense confusion, or confusion in both the inner and the outer realm, and the king of Babylon represents the will to promote confusion. We do well to guard ourselves against confusion in all its forms and to hold fast to spiritual consciousness. The sense or unillumined will claims domination over the other faculties that are seeking spiritual guidance but that are not yet awakened.
What is the best proof of the effect of a given diet? An impartial trial for a period of time sufficient to allow its effects to become obvious. In the case of Daniel and his companions, what were the effects of pulse and water? The ten-day trial brought improved physical health. The three years of vegetarian diet and water resulted in the youths having a clearer mind and an increased ability to acquire learning.
What requirements of Truth does this lesson emphasize? Reasonableness and resourcefulness. An unreasonable position is untenable. The “enchantment” that Daniel and his companions made use of was their power to prove the sum working of the law of life when it is faithfully kept.
July 28, 1929: Dan. 1:19, 20
What is implied as being the source of the wisdom and understanding of the four youths of the children of Israel? As explained in verses 8 to 16, Daniel and his companions asked that they be excused from drinking the wine and eating the meat and the dainties of the king's table. They were allowed to prove the efficacy of a vegetarian diet. In verses 15 and 17 it is stated: “At the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer, and they were fatter in flesh than all the youths that did eat of the king's dainties.... God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” Verse 20 states: “And in every matter of wisdom and understanding, concerning which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his realm.”
What was the occasion of the exhibition of wisdom and understanding on the part of Daniel? It is related in the second chapter of Daniel that Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that troubled him, the incidents of which he had even forgotten. He demanded of his Chaldeans, magicians, and enchanters that they not only tell him the dream, but that they give the interpretation thereof. “If ye make not known unto me the dream and the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.” They answered: “There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter, forasmuch as no king, lord, or ruler, hath asked such a thing of any magician, or enchanter, or Chaldean.... So the decree went forth, and the wise men were to be slain.”
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 10-20-2013