Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Exodus Chapter 23
Metaphysically Interpreting Exodus 23:1-9
23:1Thou shalt not take up a false report: put not thy hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. 23:2Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to turn aside after a multitude to wrest justice: 23:3neither shalt thou favor a poor man in his cause.
23:4If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.
23:5If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, thou shalt forbear to leave him, thou shalt surely release it with him.
23:6Thou shalt not wrest the justice due to thy poor in his cause. 23:7Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked. 23:8And thou shalt take no bribe: for a bribe blindeth them that have sight, and perverteth the words of the righteous.
23:9And a sojourner shalt thou not oppress: for ye know the heart of a sojourner, seeing ye were sojourners in the land of Egypt.
August 22, 1943: Exodus 23:1-9
What is an important principle of life for the individual viewed as a member of the race? The principle of truth in his thinking and in all his dealings. “Thou shalt not take up a false report.” To spread the truth is a duty. To refrain from spreading falsehood is an imperative necessity to all who aspire to keep the divine law.
What is meant by being an unrighteous witness? To live by a low standard of Truth is to be unrighteous as surely as it is unrighteous to be guilty of perjury. All error in thinking and living bears witness to a person's unrighteousness.
Why should we not follow a multitude? Because going with the crowd is yielding to the race thought instead of looking for Spirit to guide us in a clear path. We should stand alone if necessary, rather than yield to the race consciousness merely to he with the crowd.
Why is it not right to favor a poor man in his cause? Because neither fear nor favor is in accord with divine law. Mercy is a divine quality, but the principle that is to be the deciding factor in any case is whether or not a thing is fair and impartial. The financial status of those involved has nothing to do with this.
Is personal enmity or revenge allowable in determining conduct? It has no place whatever among right motives. Social conduct should be based on the principle of what is right without regard to personality or the feelings that it engenders.
When the justice due the poor is “wrested,” what is our duty in the matter? To establish justice to them as a matter of principle, because the poor, lacking influence, must depend on principle to see their rights established. Where the principle of absolute justice is flouted, the poor are without recourse.
What attitude should we have toward a false matter? We should keep it out of our consciousness altogether, not entering into it to fight it or take notice of it. We thus build up a manifest consciousness of universal righteousness that all men will want to enter in preference to the race consciousness.
November 28, 1943: Exodus 23:1,7
“Thou shall not take up a false report.” What does this indicate? That we are free to turn our expression toward either good or evil. Our duty is to speak true words, leaving false reports to die for lack of attention and repetition.
How do we keep “far from a false matter”? By declining to think of it or to lend ourselves to it in any way. To put the mind on constructive subjects is an effective safeguard against entertaining false reports.
How are innocence and righteousness slain? By the spreading abroad of doubts of a person's innocence, this innocence is “slain” or destroyed in the mind of all who entertain the doubts. “To him who accounteth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean,” because his thoughts govern his faith and his opinions. The same is true of the rightness or “righteousness” of a person's ways. What we think of them and not what they are in themselves, determines what they are to us.
Metaphysically Interpreting Exodus 23:10-13
23:10And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the increase thereof: 23:11but the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie fallow; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beast of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.
23:12Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest; that thine ox and thine ass may have rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the sojourner, may be refreshed. 23:13And in all things that I have said unto you take ye heed: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.
November 18, 1951: Exodus 23:1-13
What is the first requirement of our living the life that is consecrated to God? Adhering to Truth in all our thoughts and actions. “Thou shalt not take up a false report.” It is vital that we speak Truth, think Truth, and live by Truth.
What is it “to be an unrighteous witness”? It is to live by false standards, or to accept as true the erroneous conceptions of the race thought. We are “an unrighteous witness” when we accept the judgment of the mass mind concerning any question without determining for ourself if it is in accord with Truth.
How can we prove that we recognize and are living in accord with Principle? We prove our conformance by our ability to stand alone when necessary, instead of permitting ourselves to go along with the crowd at the expense of loyalty to our convictions.
Why are we not to favor a poor man in his cause? Because the decisive factor in our reaching a conclusion or arriving at a judgment concerning any situation should be Principle, rather than the condition of any person involved.
Why are we to befriend an enemy? Friendliness is an expression of divine love, and when we express friendliness toward anyone who is hostile to us, we replace discord with harmony.
What safeguard have we against temptation to bribery, oppression of the helpless, and other kinds of wrongdoing? Our habit of faithfully seeking Truth and of keeping our mind turned toward Truth in the expectation of good fortifies us against every temptation to unworthiness. When we observe the law of love, which is selfless and all-encompassing, we are freed from the bondage of sense consciousness into the glorious liberty of the Christ consciousness.
Metaphysically Interpreting Exodus 23:14-19
23:14Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. 23:15The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep: seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, at the time appointed in the month Abib (for in it thou camest out from Egypt); and none shall appear before me empty:
23:16and the feast of harvest, the first-fruits of thy labors, which thou sowest in the field: and the feast of ingathering, at the end of the year, when thou gatherest in thy labors out of the field. 23:17Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord Jehovah.
23:18Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my feast remain all night until the morning.
23:19The first of the first-fruits of thy ground thou shalt bring into the house of Jehovah thy God. Thou shalt not boil a kid in it mother's milk.
Metaphysically Interpreting Exodus 23:20-33
23:20Behold, I send an angel before thee, to keep thee by the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. 23:21Take ye heed before him, and hearken unto his voice; provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgression: for my name is in him.
23:22But if thou shalt indeed hearken unto his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.
23:23For mine angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Canaanite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: and I will cut them off. 23:24Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works; but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and break in pieces their pillars. 23:25And ye shall serve Jehovah your God, and he will bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. 23:26There shall none cast her young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil. 23:27I will send my terror before thee, and will discomfit all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. 23:28And I will send the hornet before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. 23:29I will not drive them out from before thee in one year, lest the land become desolate, and the beasts of the field multiply against thee. 23:30By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. 23:31And I will set thy border from the Red Sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness unto the River: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand: and thou shalt drive them out before thee. 23:32Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. 23:33They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me; for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 02-03-2014