Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Exodus Chapter 16
Metaphysically Interpreting Exodus 16:1-36
16:1And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. 16:2And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron in the wilderness: 16:3and the children of Israel said unto them, Would that we had died by the hand of Jehovah in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
16:4Then said Jehovah unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or not. 16:5And it shall come to pass on the sixth day, that they shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily. 16:6And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that Jehovah hath brought you out from the land of Egypt; 16:7and in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of Jehovah; for that he heareth your murmurings against Jehovah: and what are we, that ye murmur against us? 16:8And Moses said, This shall be, when Jehovah shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that Jehovah heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against Jehovah.
16:9And Moses said unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before Jehovah; for he hath heard your murmurings. 16:10And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of Jehovah appeared in the cloud. 16:11And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, 16:12I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread: and ye shall know that I am Jehovah your God.
16:13And it came to pass at even, that the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the camp. 16:14And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness a small round thing, small as the hoar-frost on the ground. 16:15And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, What is it? For they knew not what it was. And Moses said unto them, It is the bread which Jehovah hath given you to eat. 16:16This is the thing which Jehovah hath commanded, Gather ye of it every man according to his eating; an omer a head, according to the number of your persons, shall ye take it, every man for them that are in his tent. 16:17And the children of Israel did so, and gathered some more, some less. 16:18And when they measured it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. 16:19And Moses said unto them, Let no man leave of it till the morning. 16:20Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and became foul: and Moses was wroth with them. 16:21And they gathered it morning by morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.
16:22And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 16:23And he said unto them, This is that which Jehovah hath spoken, Tomorrow is a solemn rest, a holy sabbath unto Jehovah: bake that which ye will bake, and boil that which ye will boil; and all that remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. 16:24And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not become foul, neither was there any worm therein. 16:25And Moses said, Eat that to-day; for to-day is a sabbath unto Jehovah: to-day ye shall not find it in the field. 16:26Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
16:27And it came to pass on the seventh day, that there went out some of the people to gather, and they found none. 16:28And Jehovah said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? 16:29See, for that Jehovah hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. 16:30So the people rested on the seventh day.
16:31And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. 16:32And Moses said, This is the thing which Jehovah hath commanded, Let an omerful of it be kept throughout your generations, that they may see the bread wherewith I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt. 16:33And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omerful of manna therein, and lay it up before Jehovah, to be kept throughout your generations. 16:34As Jehovah commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept. 16:35And the children of Israel did eat the manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat the manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan. 16:36Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.
July 7, 1907: Exodus 16:1-15
According to the record, the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years on their way to the Promised Land, although the journey might have been easily accomplished in forty weeks. The reason is given in Deuteronomy 8:2-3:
“And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.”
When under spiritual discipline we should accept without murmurings whatever comes to us, and try to find the mental cause. We do not go direct to the Promised Land, because we are ignorant of the law of existence. We attribute it to a physical instead of a metaphysical basis. We try to solve the problem of life in material ways instead of spiritual, and thus continually fall short. Thus we wander to and fro, here and there, searching for a way out of our difficulties, yet ignoring the only way, which is an adjustment of our thoughts to Divine Mind. The soul of man is a mental thing, and its growth depends upon spiritual food: thoughts and words of truth.
The Lord is really striving to make himself known to our confused thoughts, and when we cry out in our sense of lack, there is an invisible outpouring and temporary satisfaction. We are not always aware of the source, but we know that we have in some unseen way been fed inwardly. Quails represent thoughts of inward truth in the spiritual sense, and manna the material sense. These are both from the Lord, but in their descent into human consciousness they take on these two aspects. People who have this spiritual refreshing, after a period of darkness, often exclaim: “What an outpouring of the blessed spirit we have had! Oh, if it would only stay with us always!”
When we are obedient to the Divine law, having cast out of our minds all error, the heavenly substance will be ours consciously all the time. But we shall not attain this condition by murmuring against the law, nor calling blindly upon the Lord. We must patiently and earnestly strive to overcome our errors, our sins, our shortcomings. Then the Word of God will create in us a new man, and we shall know that there is a flesh, blood, and substance of an abiding nature, which Jesus Christ manifested, and of which we can also partake through Him.
March 24, 1918: Exodus 16:4-15
What in consciousness is the “bread from heaven” referred to in this lesson? The “bread from heaven” represents spiritual ideas which take form in body-substance and nourish and sustain man.
What in consciousness do the “children of Israel” typify? The “children of Israel” typify the illumined thoughts in consciousness, which are undergoing spiritual discipline.
Why do we not go direct to the “Promised Land,” and come into our inheritance as spiritual beings? Man has lived in material thought, has acted independently of God, and so must reduce everything to a spiritual basis, and turn his attention to the one God before he can come into the “Promised Land.”
What in consciousness do the “quails” referred to in verse 13 represent? “Quails” represent life ideas which soar above the physical law and make a union with Spirit.
What in consciousness does the “manna” represent? The “manna” represents the Divine Substance Idea made manifest to the consciousness that appropriates it. “Manna” is the manifest substance of the Lord.
How is redemption of the whole man accomplished? Redemption is accomplished through overcoming the errors in consciousness. In this way all law is fulfilled and spiritual growth proceeds naturally from lower to higher planes of consciousness. The work of overcoming is effected through making a union with the Word of God in man, thus establishing an entirely new order of thought.
August 8, 1926: Exodus 16:11-18
Why were the children of Israel forty years in the wilderness? The children of Israel were forty years in the wilderness because they were not meek and lowly enough to make themselves receptive to Divine Mind. As a consequence they wandered to and fro in the wilderness of mortal thought, ignorant of the laws of the Promised Land.
The children of Israel murmured against their lot. When one meets with an unpleasant experience, what is the scientific solution of the problem? When one meets with an unpleasant experience, one should not murmur against his lot, but he should go within himself and find the mental cause of the inharmony. Any problem can be met and solved under the light of Spirit. The outer adjustment follows naturally.
In the journey from the darkness of sense consciousness (Egypt) to spiritual consciousness (the Promised Land), do our strong spiritual realizations ever stir up opposition? Yes. A full realization of spiritual strength store up earthly thoughts which oppose spiritual unfoldment. These earthly thoughts long for the fleshpots of Egypt and refuse to be satisfied with spiritual food.
Is the Lord always mindful of the needs of his children? Yes, the Lord is working continually to open new avenues through which he may pour his blessings out upon us. Even on the sense plane of consciousness, when man feels a lack, there is an invisible outpouring and he receives temporary satisfaction.
“And it came to pass at even, that the quails came up, and covered the camp.” Explain. The quails symbolize free, spiritual thoughts, which no doubt the children of Israel appropriated every evening. “At even ye shall eat flesh.” To eat quail in the evening means to realize spiritual strength, which lifts one above physical laws and establishes him in spiritual consciousness.
“And in the morning the dew lay round about the camp. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness a small round thing, as small as the hoarfrost on the ground. ... And Moses said unto them, It is bread which Jehovah hath given you to eat.” Explain. Ideas of divine substance descend from the heavens of the mind and take form in body consciousness. A manifestation of this character is known as the living manna which comes down from heaven. “In the morning ye shall be filled with bread and ye shall know that I am Jehovah your God.”
“And the children of Israel did eat the manna forty years ... until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.” Give the metaphysical interpretation of this Scripture. Through obedience to divine law we may consciously eat of the heavenly manna continuously. By our striving constantly to overcome error and to lay hold of Truth, the Word of God in us becomes flesh and we find that we are new creatures in Jesus Christ.
July 31, 1932: Exodus 16:1-5,14-15
In this lesson what do Aaron and Moses symbolize? Aaron here typifies the executive power of divine law or the ruling power of the intellectual consciousness, while Moses represents the evolution of the law from within outward.
Why did the Children of Israel murmur against Moses and Aaron? At the period of unfoldment dealt with in today’s lesson the Children of Israel (man’s real, spiritual thoughts) are in their infancy, not yet grounded and rooted in consciousness, and the outworking of the evolutionary law arouses in him impatience and condemnation.
Why is it that often the Children of Israel (our real thoughts) spend forty years in the wilderness? Our real thoughts (the Children of Israel) undergo thorough discipline in the wilderness of the subconscious mind, because they are not meek and lowly enough to make themselves receptive to Divine Mind. As a consequence they wander to and fro in sense consciousness ignorant of the laws of the Supermind, the Promised Land.
[Unreadable words start this question relating to the Israelites murmuring against Moses:] pleasant experience, what is the scientific solution of the problem? In such a case one should not murmur against his lot, but should go within himself and find the mental cause of the inharmony. Any problem can be met and solved in the light of Spirit. The outer adjustment then follows naturally.
In the journey from the darkness of sense consciousness (Egypt) to spiritual consciousness (the Promised Land), do our strong spiritual realizations ever stir up opposition? Yes. A full realization of spiritual strength stirs up sense thoughts which oppose spiritual unfoldment. These sense thoughts of appetite long for the fleshpots of Egypt, and refuse to be satisfied with spiritual food.
Is the Lord always mindful of the needs of his children? Yes. The Lord is working continually, opening new avenues through which He may pour out His blessings upon us.
“And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness a small round thing, small as the hoarfrost on the ground. ... And Moses said unto them, It is the bread which Jehovah hath given you to eat.” Explain. The miraculous supply of bread called manna, given to the Israelites represents that external supply which the Lord gives to those who are doing their best to follow His law in the wilderness of sense. The real living bread is the substance of the spiritual body, as explained by Jesus in John 6:41-59.
July 31, 1932: Exodus 16:35
“And the children of Israel did eat the manna forty years ... until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.” Give the metaphysical interpretation of this passage from the Scriptures. Through obedience to divine law, we may consciously eat of the heavenly manna continuously. By our striving constantly to overcome error and to lay hold of Truth, the Word of God in us becomes flesh, and we find that we are new creatures in Jesus Christ.
August 8, 1937: Exodus 16:11-20
Why are the Israelites, who represent our highest ideals of Truth, always shown as murmuring against Moses, when things were not to their liking? Our ideal of Truth, from the unreasoning viewpoint, is that God provides everything for us without our taking any thought to shape our own destiny. The law of life requires us to work with God to bring our good into manifestation. This idea is new to the beginner in Truth study, and he sometimes feels that the task is beyond his powers.
“At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread: and ye shall know that I am Jehovah your God.” Interpret metaphysically the purpose here expressed. Through our ideal nature we realize that all supply comes from the one source and that we appropriate it through the I AM. We learn also that even in the midst of seeming lack (the desert) divine substance is always available, since it is infinite.
Why were the Children of Israel told to gather of the manna, “every man according to his eating”? Physical demands vary with the individual, therefore in gathering “some more, some less,” the Israelites provided themselves with adequate supplies. The same thing holds good of the “true bread out of heaven.” Persons whose soul life is well developed require more of the true bread of the Christ substance than those who realize their need to a lesser degree.
What is meant by the injunction not to keep the manna overnight? Each day’s supply should be sufficient to satisfy the needs of the day, with no occasion to worry over tomorrow. The prayer “Give us this day the substance of tomorrow's bread” shows the habit providing for the future. Spiritual food needs to be gathered daily according to the needs of the individual.
August 15, 1943: Exodus 16:11-18
How can we increase our visible supply of substance? By studying and applying the law of increase, which includes praise and thanksgiving and precludes complaining about and finding fault with apparent lack.
Where does all supply originate? In the realm of spiritual substance.
How are our religious thoughts and ideals nourished and sustained? By our identifying ourselves with Jehovah through the I AM. “Ye shall know that I am Jehovah your God.”
What attitude of mind is established in us when we so identify ourselves? The attitude of faith and a lively expectation of good to come. “At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread.”
Will this same attitude serve us now as regards supply? Yes. It serves now as it always has done, because it is based on divine law. Instead of fearing a scarcity of food and expecting it to develop, we should give tranks for abundance and expect it to increase. This is the first step in the demonstration of supply.
What is the second step? It is the going forward to meet the supply halfway; in effect, suiting our action to our word and doing whatever is needed to make supply manifest.
Where does abundance first manifest itself? In the mind and soul of the possessor. Abundance follows consciousness of supply.
How should food be apportioned? According to actually existing requirements. “They gathered every man according to his eating.”
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 02-03-2014