Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of I Samuel Chapter 15
Metaphysically Interpreting I Samuel 15:1-9
15:1And Samuel said unto Saul, Jehovah sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of Jehovah. 15:2Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, I have marked that which Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him in the way, when he came up out of Egypt. 15:3Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
15:4And Saul summoned the people, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah. 15:5And Saul came to the city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley. 15:6And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them; for ye showed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. 15:7And Saul smote the Amalekites, from Havilah as thou goest to Shur, that is before Egypt. 15:8And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 15:9But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
Metaphysically Interpreting I Samuel 15:10-35
15:10Then came the word of Jehovah unto Samuel, saying, 15:11It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king; for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And Samuel was wroth; and he cried unto Jehovah all night. 15:12And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning; and it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a monument, and turned, and passed on, and went down to Gilgal. 15:13And Samuel came to Saul; and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of Jehovah: I have performed the commandment of Jehovah. 15:14And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? 15:15And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto Jehovah thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. 15:16Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what Jehovah hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.
15:17And Samuel said, Though thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel? And Jehovah anointed thee king over Israel; 15:18and Jehovah sent thee on a journey, and said, Go, and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. 15:19Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of Jehovah, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah? 15:20And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of Jehovah, and have gone the way which Jehovah sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 15:21But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the devoted things, to sacrifice unto Jehovah thy God in Gilgal. 15:22And Samuel said,
Hath Jehovah as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of Jehovah?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to hearken than the fat of rams.
15:23For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim.
Because thou hast rejected the word of Jehovah,
he hath also rejected thee from being king.
15:24And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of Jehovah, and thy words, because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. 15:25Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship Jehovah. 15:26And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee; for thou hast rejected the word of Jehovah, and Jehovah hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. 15:27And as Samuel turned about to go away, Saul laid hold upon the skirt of his robe, and it rent. 15:28And Samuel said unto him, Jehovah hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbor of thine, that is better than thou. 15:29And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent; for he is not a man, that he should repent. 15:30Then he said, I have sinned: yet honor me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship Jehovah thy God. 15:31So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped Jehovah.
As thy sword hath made women childless,
so shall thy mother be childless among women.
15:34Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul. 15:35And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death; for Samuel mourned for Saul: and Jehovah repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.
July 26 1903: I Samuel 15:13-23
Saul, the Dominating Will, is a factor in strengthening the organism on a certain plane of consciousness. If there were no selfishness in human thought, he would not be recognized by the Law. But what may be called an artificial necessity of bodily preservation has given Personal Will a temporary occupation. Hence we find Saul directed by the Lord to “utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites.”
The esoteric meaning of these Amalekites, who were continually preying upon the Israelites, is “consumer” and “destroyer.” Metaphysically it is belief in human consciousness that life and substance can be destroyed and consumed. This belief takes form in the body as consumption, and other diseases that prey upon substance and life as manifest in the organism and seem to destroy it. We first meet with this false belief in Scripture in Exodus 17:8-16, where the Amalekites attacked the children of Israel in the wilderness. “And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.” The hand represents the executive power of the Will, and when we send forth our word of power, we are routing the negative and weak thoughts in the consciousness. A sure cure for consumption is first to understand that life and Substance are always present in Spirit, are part of the One Essence of Being, and cannot be consumed or destroyed. Then affirm the strength, power, and mastery of the I Am Will in maintaining this truth in the body. Man was given dominion in the beginning, and he must maintain that supremacy over all bodily conditions through the power of his word. These thoughts and words of Spiritual dominion must be sent forth daily, until the Amalekites are utterly destroyed.
Just here today's lesson shows the failure of Saul to complete the healing. He saved the king, Agag, which means “the violent one,” also the best of the sheep and oxen. This means that there is still a latent belief in the subjective consciousness that life and substance can under certain conditions be destroyed or sacrificed. Saul said he saved these for sacrifice unto the Lord. The voice of Truth speaking through Samuel says this error must be totally destroyed, and that any other course is disobedience. We may readily understand that Principle demands a complete annihilation of that deep-seated error in human consciousness that life and substance can be consumed and destroyed. Agag, the king of this belief, is abroad in the land with his violent methods in fire, cyclone and flood. These are but reflections of the violence and destructive thoughts sent out by human wills. This violence must be stopped. If Saul, the Will, is not obedient, he must give way to David, Love, as set forth in our next lesson.
– UNITY magazine.
July 26, 1908: I Samuel 15:13-25
The definition of the Amalekites, as given by Young's Concordance, is “warlike dwellers in the vale.” This means destructive thoughts in the subconscious; and Kenites is given as “contention,” which defines itself: contentious thoughts. These thoughts are distinguished from those in opposition to the Spirit, and come under the head of wrangling, disputing, quarrelsome thoughts.
In previous chapters we have been told of the warring Philistines, who represent the enemies of the spiritual mind, or Israelites, working openly in the conscious mind. The 14th chapter of I Samuel ends with the statement, “And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul.”
We now come to another class of out and out enemies of the Spirit, the Amalekites, dwelling not in the conscious mind, but in the sub-conscious, as indicated by “warlike dwellers in the vale.”
Jehovah instructed Samuel to give Saul this message: “Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, I have marked that which Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him in the way, when he came up out of Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant, and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”
Saul summoned his armies and sent word to the Kenites, “Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites lest I destroy you with them for ye showed kindness to the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt.” This indicates that the Spirit was friendly to and would save to the good all contentious thoughts, because there is an element of kindness in them; but the Amalekites, that undercurrent of opposition to everything spiritual, must be utterly cut off. Men, women and children and all that they possessed were to be destroyed.
In carrying out the command of the Lord, or the Law, Saul betrayed his ignorance and lack of understanding of the necessity of a complete denial of every destructive thought in the subconsciousness, by allowing his people to save the oxen and the sheep.
There is a certain acquisitiveness in the Children of the Real (Israel) which attaches itself to substance, often without discrimination. The people saved the oxen and the sheep; that is they possessed themselves of the animal forces in the consciousness. These were tainted with the destructive thought beyond redemption, according to the teaching of the Divine Law. Samuel, representing the spiritual consciousness, prays earnestly for a reconciliation, but the willfulness and self-assurance of Saul is so great as to dethrone him as a permanent ruler of the Real.
– UNITY magazine.
June 6, 1920: I Samuel 15:13-26
To what degree does the Lord demand obedience? The Lord demands full and complete obedience. The Father of Life is patient, loving, kind, unselfishly endeavoring at all times to aid his children to a firmer and better foundation of Truth, which insures everything. In return, he requires that we express to our fullest capacity the priceless gifts he has bestowed upon us, and to prove worthy of the trusts he places with us.
What important test comes to Saul in this lesson? Saul was tested as to whether he would rule from the personal standpoint (which always leads to acts of greed and selfishness), or whether he would follow the leadings of the “inner voice” and carry out the edict of the Lord Jehovah.
What do the Amalekites, who with their livestock were ordered to be killed, represent? They symbolize lustful thoughts, and are personified here as “dwellers of the vale,” which means that error line of thinking which is not open and receptive to the illumination of Spirit, but craves self-gratification.
If we do not destroy the error which God commands us to destroy, what results? Sooner or later this destructive force gets in the lead, and endeavors to destroy us. Obedience unto the Lord (Law) insures not only peace and joy, but it leads into the path of pleasantness and abundant prosperity.
What is a prominent, characteristic of so-called sin or “missing the mark”? Sin tries to conceal the real facts behind some pretense or other, such as throwing the blame on others, or hiding behind the guise of love of freedom.
What is the Truth to be gleaned from this Scripture? The great Truth herein set forth, and which will always prove helpful, is to strive continually to do God's will, whether it meets with the approval of man or not. The true leader never finds himself a tool and a slave to his inferiors, but always has at his command inexhaustible spiritual resources.
March 9, 1924: I Samuel 15:13-23
In the first twelve verses of this chapter is set forth the command of Jehovah to Saul to destroy the Amalekites and all their possessions. What do the Amalekites represent? The Amalekites were descendants of Amalek, who was a grandson of Esau. Esau represents the fleshly, and the Amalekites and their possessions represent the carnal mind in control of the flesh with all its lusts.
Why did not Saul carry out the command of Jehovah to destroy utterly the flesh consciousness and all that goes with it? Saul, representing the will, had not yet been fully cleansed of lust and greed; he thought that the sheep and the oxen, representing the animal forces, could be lifted up as offerings to Jehovah.
Is it not taught in Christian metaphysics that it is possible to raise the natural man to spiritual consciousness? Jesus taught that the Son of man must be lifted up, but the means by [?] which this is accomplished is not understood by the unregenerate will (Saul). The animal forces of natural man are more or less polluted with carnal thoughts, consequently they must go through spiritual regeneration or transmutation before they can be lifted up to eternal life (Jehovah).
What does Agag, the king of the Amalekites, represent? Agag represents the ego or thought entity that reins in the flesh; he represents the adverse, resistant, rebellious, material consciousness, symbolized in the Old Testament by Pharaoh, and called by Paul the “mind of the flesh.”
Why did Saul save Agag? Saul (the partly illumined will) did not yet understand the character of the false entities which had set up a ruling power in the body consciousness. Saul himself was represented as disobedient and rebellious at times, which shows that Agag was an adjunct to the Saul consciousness; and so Saul, in a subtle way, was still desirous of saving him alive.
What did Samuel (good judgment) say about Saul’s act in this matter? Samuel’s reply is set forth in verse 22: “Hath Jehovah as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Jehovah? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”
In the verses immediately following this lesson it is said that Samuel hacked Agag to pieces. Give the metaphysical explanation of this. Samuel (the spiritually illumined judgment) destroyed the carnal mind because it was not in harmony with Truth, but as Jesus said: “he is a liar, and the father thereof.”
August 27, 1933: I Samuel 15:13-26
What does King Saul represent? King Saul represents the personal will spiritually quickened, yet functioning in the limitations of personality.
What are “the sinners the Amalekites”? These sinners represent man's animal appetites and passions.
When man's Lord (higher self) desires a greater unfoldment of the soul, what is required of man? Man's first step towards a greater degree of spiritual unfoldment is to cleanse his physical consciousness of its grosser elements.
Why did Jehovah refuse the oxen and the sheep that Saul had saved for sacrifice? The oxen and the sheep represent animal strength and life, which is not susceptible of spiritual consciousness.
If all strength and life are from God, why was not this offering an acceptable one, since it consisted of that which in reality belonged to God? The failure was in Saul's concept of the real character of strength and life. He was not obedient, and in that respect he lacked proper spiritual illumination to discern between the natural and the spiritual.
How do we carry out the command of the apostle Paul “be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”? We can fulfill this command only by realizing that the essence of everything is an idea, and that this idea is spiritual. When we transform that which has been considered physical to its spiritual counterpart, we change the idea, and the idea reacts upon the concrete form and its real essence appears.
What is the highest and best discipline we can give the personal will? To acknowledge that its spiritual source is I AM, and that it must be obedient to the inner urge of the I AM or Jehovah, [to] effectively discipline the personal will.
When we realize that ideas rule the world, what is the effect of our realization on our belief in form, ceremonies, and rituals? When we conceive the supreme reality in the realm of ideas and give ourselves wholly to them, we are not required to make material sacrifices, nor do we see the necessity of such observances of man-made religious law.
How did Samuel express this idea? “And Samuel said, Hath Jehovah as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Jehovah? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice; and to hearken than the fat of rams.”
September 11, 1938: I Samuel 15:20-23
How is obedience best shown? Man shows his obedience best by actually following the word of command, not by mere affirmations of fulfillment.
What symptom of self-will or weakness did Saul exhibit in his campaign against the Amalekites? Saul allowed his soldiers to carry off spoils of war and later put the responsibility for this breach of discipline upon them, instead of shouldering it himself. Such conduct does not befit a king.
Why is obedience better than sacrifice? Sacrifice represents a refining process that is constantly going on in consciousness. Obedience shows that that process is already well developed. Obedience often involves sacrifice. In the sense in which sacrifice is used in this lesson, it is the observance of an outer rite, whereas obedience is an inner state of mind and heart.
In what respect is stubbornness like idolatry and teraphim (verse 23)? Stubbornness is unyielding self-will and indicates that the personal self is in command of the life. It is like the worship of idols (teraphim), which tends to fix the mind on low, personal ideals.
April 13, 1947: I Samuel 15:22-26,34-35
Why is to obey “better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams”? Because obedience is proof of power exercised in the spiritual realm, which is better than authority exercised in the sense world, or the formal observance of religious rites without understanding their spiritual meaning.
Why is humility a mark of greatness? Humility leads a person to set aside self-will and consider the rights of others. The small-minded person obeys only his own impulses, disregarding the claims of others to his consideration.
Does humility require us to resign ourselves to the will of another? No, only to the divine will. However it behooves us to exercise wisdom and intuitive perception in all our undertakings, so that we may recognize the divine will in whatever guise it presents itself.
August 17, 1952: I Samuel 15:17-22
To what does personal will, when overdeveloped, lead? It leads to disobedience. The personal will cannot measure up to the perfect standard of right and Truth. The divine will, working through love of Truth and love of the right, enables us to recognize both.
How is this best expressed? In the words of Jesus, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”
Does love inspire in us obedience to the divine will? Yes. Without love in the heart no one would will to do the will of God. Love creates right desire and right resolve in the heart and mind.
Cannot a person follow explicit divine commandments even though his will is established in personal consciousness only? No. Under the dominance of the personal will a person misinterprets the commandments, entertains biased judgments, acts either willfully or stubbornly.
Does spiritual perception (Samuel) always function perfectly? Where it is counteracted or overshadowed by personal bias it cannot so function. Samuel, who represents spiritual perception, would not agree to anoint a king over the Hebrews until after Jehovah had commanded him to do so. Even after Samuel agreed to anoint a king over the Hebrews he emphasized all the disadvantages to them of having a kingdom rather than the rule of judges.
Why is obedience better than sacrifice? Because it reveals trust, teachableness, humility, and selflessness, all traits of the inner life or character, whereas sacrifice, in an external sense, is often merely a matter of conformity to established usage or custom and may have no inner significance whatever. In a spiritual sense sacrifice involves obedience of a high order.
What meaning has the word “hearken” that is not included in the word “obedience”? One meaning, no longer in use, is “to wait.” When we are undecided on a course, it is better to wait for confirmation of our intuitional leading than to rush headlong into unconsidered action, which may cause us to go contrary to the divine law. The chief meaning of “hearken” is “to hear attentively.” When we “hearken” to the voice of God, wait for Him and hear Him, we are successful in our undertakings.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 02-06-2014