Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of I Kings Chapter 11
Metaphysically Interpreting I Kings 11:1-13
11:1Now king Solomon loved many foreign women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites; 11:2of the nations concerning which Jehovah said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go among them, neither shall they come among you; for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. 11:3And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. 11:4For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not perfect with Jehovah his God, as was the heart of David his father. 11:5For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 11:6And Solomon did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and went not fully after Jehovah, as did David his father. 11:7Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, in the mount that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the children of Ammon. 11:8And so did he for all his foreign wives, who burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
11:9And Jehovah was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned away from Jehovah, the God of Israel, who had appeared unto him twice, 11:10and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which Jehovah commanded. 11:11Wherefore Jehovah said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. 11:12Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it, for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. 11:13Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but I will give one tribe to thy son, for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen.
December 6, 1896: I Kings 11:4-13
11:1Now king Solomon loved many foreign women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites; 11:2of the nations concerning which Jehovah said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go among them, neither shall they come among you; for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. 11:3And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.
In the allegorical story of David and Solomon it is not the history of men that interests us, but the dominant states of mind which they represent, the consciousness of Love and of Wisdom. These two principles are inseparably united in the Solomon consciousness, though only the latter is dominant; the one becomes merged into the other, or the other is the matured development of the one. The David (Love) quality is an inherent, fundamental counterpart factor of the Wisdom consciousness. “But King Solomon loved many strange women, princesses of the nations which the Lord said: Ye shall not go into them, for surely they will turn away your heart; Solomon clave unto these in love.”
His 700 wives and 300 concubines, 1,000 in all denote the abundant fullness and diversified bestowment of the overflowing loves of this consciousness, the more full and abundant because of the “largeness of heart” peculiar to it; for “God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart even as the sand on the sea shore.” (chap. 4:29)
There is never a high spiritual attainment without a correspondingly great danger connected with it. In the “largeness” of the endowment there is a corresponding “largeness of heart” which seeks a thousand objects on which to bestow itself and its overflowing heart love; for Love is a most important factor of this consciousness. The great danger is that we bestow our heart's best energies and affections on the multifarious attractions of the world; for this is the signification of the 1,000 wives, and these wives were “strange women”, foreigners, not of Israel (the Spiritual) but of the surrounding nations (worldly things).
There is no allusion to time in these lessons on Solomon, singularly and very properly because we are dealing with mental qualities and not with personalities. Even the expression, “when Solomon was old” does not refer to years of life, but to the state of the consciousness, exhausting itself through misapplied thought. The bestowal of the heart's energies and love on these thousand worldly interests will “turn away the heart” from the spiritual, “after other gods” of materiality and sense: “for where your treasure is there will your heart be also,” there will you worship. Such a divided heart largely centered on worldly idols, cannot be “perfect with the Lord his God, as was David” (Divine Love); it is “a house divided against itself.”
If we do “not go fully after the Lord” as does Love in its consciousness, we weaken and undermine our consciousness of Wisdom, so that the consciousness becomes “old.” The eye must be “single,” if we would have the “whole body full of light.” Not to have the “single eye” is to have the “evil eye;” “Solomon did evil.”
11:5For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 11:6And Solomon did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and went not fully after Jehovah, as did David his father. 11:7Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, in the mount that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the children of Ammon. 11:8And so did he for all his foreign wives, who burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
We are worshippers of idols and false gods to the degree in which worldly things absorb our heart's best love.
11:9And Jehovah was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned away from Jehovah, the God of Israel, who had appeared unto him twice, 11:10and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which Jehovah commanded.
To the demonstrator of Truth and Wisdom, “the Lord appears twice:” first there is a day of choosing, when we choose to seek Divine Wisdom; then the illumined soul in the light of Wisdom and Truth is enabled to see the wonderful rewards of faithful obedience to the Spirit and the direful consequences of disobedience. The good realized through faithful obedience, the natural man calls God's favor, and the painful consequences of disobedience he calls God's anger. They are both natural results of our own thoughts and acts, which yield their harvest according to our own sowing, obeying the same law of the Good.
11:11Wherefore Jehovah said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.
If we have been “disobedient to the heavenly vision,” and have burned incense on a thousand altars to false gods, we must fall from our high place in conscious dominion, lose our kingdom.
11:12Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it, for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. 11:13Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but I will give one tribe to thy son, for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen.
Through fidelity the David consciousness advanced or ripened into the higher consciousness of Wisdom. But unfaithfulness to principle brings retrogression and loss of dominion. Yet your dominion remains during the life of the consciousness (“in thy day I will not do it”), for in it is the saving and salvable element of Love (“for David's sake”). Still the element of love of materiality, idolatry, must disintegrate and disappear with the consciousness. Only a tithe remains (“one tribe”), representing the small portion of thought remaining loyal to the spiritual (“for David and Jerusalem's sake”).
There will always be a consciousness. Perfect obedience brings perfect dominion and peace. Disobedience and a divided heart results in a divided consciousness, the greater part being in rebellion against or secession from the Spiritual.
– UNITY magazine.
March 23, 1924: I Kings 11:6-11
Does Solomon represent one who is perfected in the use of wisdom? No. Solomon represents the neophyte. He was divinely illumined, and through this illumination he was raised to great honor as a leader of his people. But he had not been tried sufficiently to keep him from lapsing into his former state of ignorance: “And Solomon did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and went not fully after Jehovah, as did David his father.”
The Scripture states that Solomon married many foreign wives. What do these marriages represent? It is through the feminine or love side of man that he becomes attached to sensation. The serpent (sensation) tempted Eve, and Eve tempted Adam.
What is the result when the faculty symbolized by Solomon attaches itself to sense consciousness? When attached to sense the dominion and the power of wisdom (Solomon) are taken away from man, and he becomes the servant of sense, as described in verse 11: “Wherefore Jehovah said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.”
May 6, 1945: I Kings 11:4,11
Is there a point beyond which nonresistance ceases to be a virtue? The sacrifice of our principles in order to keep the peace or the compromising of our faith in spiritual truth by allying it with the worship of form in an effort to placate the form worshipers is unjustifiable. In such a surrender there is vital injury to the character.
May 6, 1945: I Kings 11:4,11
Peace remains with us or departs from us according as we keep or fail to keep the divine law. In his old age Solomon worshiped heathen gods and the unity of his kingdom was destroyed by his falling away from the true God. Unless we keep our mind single, we cannot reap the harvest from the good seed that we have sown. Unless we build for peace in peacetime as well as in wartime, we shall be unable to make a lasting peace after defeating our enemies in war. Lasting peace will come as an expression of divine wisdom linked with divine love and applied to the affairs of men, not as the fiat of a conqueror in a war of hate and destruction.
– UNITY magazine.
April 27, 1947: I Kings 11:4-9
How can we gauge the sincerity of our desire for peace? By our willingness to sacrifice self-interest in order to gain and realize the ideal of good for all.
How can we insure our continuing loyalty to God? By studying to retain the vigorous faith and newness of outlook and interest that characterize those who are at the peak of their powers.
What forms of peace are of interest to the seeker after Truth? The peace of solitude, in which a person realizes the presence of God and communes with the divine in his own soul; and the peace of concord or agreement with others, which leads to a state of unquestioned good will or brotherhood.
October 24, 1948: I Kings 11:6,9-11
What should be our attitude toward good and evil? We should choose and treasure the good and know that evil, as far as we are concerned, is nonexistent. If we rely on our innate spiritual wisdom, we know what is good of itself.
Is a person's exercise of his intellectual capacity itself sufficient to maintain lasting peace? No. The active will to maintain peace is needed. The desire for peace must be backed up by the will to maintain peace and a willingness to do whatever is required of us to carry out our desire for peace.
In the work of maintaining peace to what do we owe our supreme allegiance? To Truth for its own sake.
Metaphysically Interpreting I Kings 11:14-25
11:14And Jehovah raised up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom. 11:15For it came to pass, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the host was gone up to bury the slain, and had smitten every male in Edom 11:16(for Joab and all Israel remained there six months, until he had cut off every male in Edom); 11:17that Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father's servants with him, to go into Egypt, Hadad being yet a little child. 11:18And they arose out of Midian, and came to Paran; and they took men with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house, and appointed him victuals, and gave him land. 11:19And Hadad found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him to wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen. 11:20And the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house; and Genubath was in Pharaoh's house among the sons of Pharaoh. 11:21And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country. 11:22Then Pharaoh said unto him, But what hast thou lacked with me, that, behold, thou seekest to go to thine own country? And he answered, Nothing: howbeit only let me depart.
11:23And God raised up another adversary unto him, Rezon the son of Eliada, who had fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah. 11:24And he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a troop, when David slew them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus. 11:25And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, besides the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.
Metaphysically Interpreting I Kings 11:26-40
11:26And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah, a servant of Solomon, whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow, he also lifted up his hand against the king. 11:27And this was the reason why he lifted up his hand against the king: Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breach of the city of David his father. 11:28And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor; and Solomon saw the young man that he was industrious, and he gave him charge over all the labor of the house of Joseph. 11:29And it came to pass at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; now Ahijah had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field. 11:30And Ahijah laid hold of the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces. 11:31And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces; for thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee 11:32(but he shall have one tribe, for my servant David's sake and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel); 11:33because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon; and they have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and mine ordinances, as did David his father. 11:34Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand; but I will make him prince all the days of his life, for David my servant's sake whom I chose, who kept my commandments and my statutes; 11:35but I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes. 11:36And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a lamp alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there. 11:37And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel. 11:38And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that which is right in mine eyes, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and will build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee. 11:39And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever. 11:40Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam; but Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
July 1, 1934: I Kings 11:29-39
What symbol of the divided mind is afforded by this lesson? The story of Rehoboam and Jeroboam and their struggle for ascendancy furnishes us a symbol of the divided mind.
Of what is the Rehoboam kingdom the type? the Jeroboam? The Rehoboam kingdom (called the kingdom of Judah) stands for the natural life forces of the organism, the subjective consciousness. The Jeroboam kingdom (the kingdom of Israel) signifies the intellect or objective consciousness. The division of the Israelites into two kingdoms represents the separation between the subjective and objective planes of consciousness.
What do Ahijah and his new garment represent? Ahijah (“brother of Jehovah”) represents the consciousness man has of his oneness with the Christ; the new garment, the harmony of the twelve faculties when unified in man.
Can love exist in the divided mind? The true Christ love is found only in single-mindedness. It has no place in the divided mind.
Are harmony and unity natural to man? Both these states are natural to man, and the natural unity of man's system seeks always to sustain itself.
When man's mental kingdom is centralized in God, what is the result? Man then becomes true, pure, honest, righteous in all his ways, and just in thought and deed.
How can the divided mind be united? By concentration on one's highest ideal, especially the ideal of God in one's actual daily life, this unification is accomplished.
How did Jesus indicate the necessity of concentrating the mind on the Christ in order to be whole? By the words “He that gathereth not with me scattereth.”
What place has impulse in the work of unifying the mind? Impulse is completely out of place in a work of this character. Good judgment and attention to underlying causes are required instead.
What is the central faculty of consciousness? The central faculty, represented by Judah, is an energy or mind substance that forms the vital part of man. This energy is not constant in its action, but is susceptible of either the highest or the lowest motivation.
July 9, 1939: I Kings 11:26-31
Interpret the name Jeroboam. The name Jeroboam means “adverse people”; “contentious people.” Man's thoughts are his people.
Does Jeroboam's background give a clue to his rebellion against King Solomon? Jeroboam's background combined with the opportunity afforded him by his work as overseer of the work on Millo made him ripe for rebellion. Contentious by nature, with a coldly calculating will directed altogether toward selfish objectives, he was a potential leader in worldly affairs.
How can we apply the story of Jeroboam's rebellion in a practical way? The adverse consciousness represented by Jeroboam leads a man to criticize and condemn all authority to which he is subject, when he does not understand it. Self-interest, a fruit of the adverse consciousness, causes him to take advantage of his opportunity as a trusted servant or employee to advance his own claims, although his grasp of principle may be no surer than his master's. The adverse consciousness is a stranger to loyalty and true allegiance, therefore to humility and obedience.
What is “the labor of the house of Joseph”? Metaphysically this expression describes the action of the imagination, which Joseph represents. Indirectly it refers also to the action of the will and the understanding, represented by the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, who superseded Joseph in the development of the Promised Land.
What does the prophet Ahijah represent? Ahijah (Jehovah's Bend) represents the establishing in consciousness of the close relationship that exists between man and the Christ or Jehovah. Even when a man harbors adverse consciousness, the opposite or constructive state is always available, awaiting only his turning from his old habit of thinking to embrace the new and better way. Intuition allows him to bridge the gap between the two.
Of what is Ahijah's new garment a symbol? The prophet's new garment is a symbol of the twelve chief faculties of man working harmoniously to clothe him with new ideas. The destroyed garment rent into twelve pieces symbolizes the breaking up of mental unity in the man whose powers are scattered or disrupted.
July 9, 1939: I Kings 11:37-40
How does the man whose mind is divided between self-interest and the desire to remain loyal to Truth weigh his chances of success? He considers first what it would mean to him to command his religious impulses (be king over Israel) so as to make them serve his purpose (all that his soul desires). This is the selfish, adverse view of opportunity and power. Then he reminds himself that obedience and loyalty to the truth for its own sake will mean that his work will be permanent and not passing (a sure house), but only in so far as he gives up personal ambition and selfish desire for power.
Explain the reference to afflicting the seed of David. When man allows the love of his heart (David) to cling to low ideals (idols), he soon finds himself a stranger to peace (Solomon, the son of David), powerless to profit by his subjective forces (Rehoboam, the grandson of David.)
What is the meaning of Solomon's attempt to have Jeroboam killed? When man has realized peace of mind through developing intuitive wisdom, he tries to maintain himself in peace by ridding himself of the adverse consciousness that the intellect would impose on him. The intellect (Jeroboam) takes refuge in the realm of the five senses (Egypt) where peace of mind cannot penetrate.
Metaphysically Interpreting I Kings 11:41-43
11:41Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon? 11:42And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. 11:43And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 02-08-2014