Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of I Samuel Chapter 17
Metaphysically Interpreting I Samuel 17:1-58
17:1Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle; and they were gathered together at Socoh, which belongeth to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. 17:2And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and encamped in the vale of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. 17:3And the Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them. 17:4And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 17:5And he had a helmet of brass upon his head, and he was clad with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. 17:6And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a javelin of brass between his shoulders. 17:7And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and his shield-bearer went before him. 17:8And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. 17:9If he be able to fight with me, and kill me, then will we be your servants; but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. 17:10And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.17:11And when Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
17:12Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Beth-lehem-judah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man was an old man in the days of Saul, stricken in years among men. 17:13And the three eldest sons of Jesse had gone after Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons that went to the battle were Eliab the first-born, and next unto him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. 17:14And David was the youngest; and the three eldest followed Saul. 17:15Now David went to and fro from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Beth-lehem. 17:16And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.
17:17And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to thy brethren; 17:18and bring these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge.
17:19Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the vale of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 17:20And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the place of the wagons, as the host which was going forth to the fight shouted for the battle. 17:21And Israel and the Philistines put the battle in array, army against army. 17:22And David left his baggage in the hand of the keeper of the baggage, and ran to the army, and came and saluted his brethren. 17:23And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them.
17:24And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid. 17:25And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel. 17:26And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? 17:27And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him.
17:28And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why art thou come down? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thy heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. 17:29And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? 17:30And he turned away from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.
17:31And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul; and he sent for him.17:32And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. 17:33And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. 17:34And David said unto Saul, Thy servant was keeping his father's sheep; and when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock, 17:35I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth; and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 17:36Thy servant smote both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. 17:37And David said, Jehovah that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and Jehovah shall be with thee.
17:38And Saul clad David with his apparel, and he put a helmet of brass upon his head, and he clad him with a coat of mail. 17:39And David girded his sword upon his apparel, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him. 17:40And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in the shepherd's bag which he had, even in his wallet; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.
17:41And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him. 17:42And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and withal of a fair countenance. 17:43And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 17:44And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the birds of the heavens, and to the beasts of the field. 17:45Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a javelin: but I come to thee in the name of Jehovah of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. 17:46This day will Jehovah deliver thee into my hand; and I will smite thee, and take thy head from off thee; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day unto the birds of the heavens, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 17:47and that all this assembly may know that Jehovah saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is Jehovah's, and he will give you into our hand.
17:48And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hastened, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 17:49And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead; and the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell upon his face to the earth.
17:50So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. 17:51Then David ran, and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 17:52And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou comest to Gai, and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and unto Ekron. 17:53And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. 17:54And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armor in his tent.
17:55And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell. 17:56And the king said, Inquire thou whose son the stripling is. 17:57And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 17:58And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Beth-lehemite.
August 9, 1903: I Samuel 17:38-49
David as a type of Love represents the soul in its first awakening to power. The soul is the realm of consciousness within man that has not yet proven itself in outward action; it is a rich mine of untried possibilities. The soul's natural outlet is through the heart, that is, Love. But Love has phases of development and acts and is acted upon, moves independent of other faculties, and also in conjunction with them. David is Love in its union with Strength and Power. The next step in the development of Love is Jesus Christ, who represents Love in union with Wisdom. David was born at Bethlehem, the “house of bread” or substance place in the consciousness. Jesus was also born at the same place, and the Scripture says he was “of the house of David.” This all refers to the mystical man, which we are in Spirit. None of us know the heights and depths of our nature. We function in the present race movement on the outer plane of consciousness, but there are inner planes that are fully as substantial of which we are but dimly aware.
The Philistines represent the animal forces of the organism which are arrayed in opposition to spiritual progress. Goliath is physical strength crystallized in the flesh, which crystallization is represented by his heavy armor. Human Will (Saul), with its army of higher forces (Israelites), is not able to break the ranks of this formidable Philistine force. Strength of will against strength of body is too near equal; there is much talk, but no action between the armies. Love with the vibratory power of thought (sling), is the victor. The five smooth stones which he chose out of the brook are the five earthly senses which are lifted through thought from a material to a mental standpoint. This is symbolized by the vulnerable place in which Goliath was hit, the “forehead.” It is not a war of force against force, but a silent declaration of the Divine Law: “ I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts.” “The Lord saveth not with sword or spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.”
The practical lesson for the student in mental and physical regeneration is that there is a way to break down the most formidable wall of materiality, not by will power, but by well directed thoughts moved by Love.
August 9, 1908: I Sam 17:38-49
The two armies, the Israelites and the Philistines, represent two aggregations of thought in the mind of every individual, those that know and strive to follow the Truth, and those that are in open enmity and violent opposition to everything God-like. In metaphysics, we call these armies Truth and error. The error army seems the larger and stronger in every way, because it is principally in the visible or material, while the army of Truth is made up of spiritual, invisible forces.
We are often scared, even terrified, at the giant-like proportions of some leading thought on the error side, represented by Goliath. Our Goliath may be different from that of our neighbor, but it boasts and brags daily of its strength, and intimidates us with its show of power. People who depend upon the resources of materiality, as Saul had come to do, often give up in despair, when these thoughts of sense continue day and night their bullying methods. There is but one way to meet and subdue them, and that is through the power of love, represented by David, the little, ruddy faced shepherd boy. When he suggested that he could, single-handed, vanquish the giant of the Philistines, he was ridiculed by his companions. Saul was grasping at straws, and was willing to try anything. He put his own armor on David, but it did not fit, and was evidently cumbersome. David refused to wear it, saying he had not “proved it.” This illustrates the necessity of doing things in our own natural, original way. People who try to fight their battles by using the exact methods of others, that is, imitating them, usually fail.
David, unlike Saul, did not depend upon the army, but proclaimed the hosts of the Lord as his resource. He evidently understood the power of the Word, and met with strong denials, and affirmations of efficiency, every boast of the giant. He was fearless, and his assurance was the one thing that led him to victory. It is found that an open, verbal statement of Truth will often demonstrate where the silent thought will fail. The Philistines represent the most external thoughts, and they respond most quickly to the spoken Word. Warts, birthmarks, and congested glands vanish at the audible Word of denial. The flesh is very responsive to the Word of Authority. The smooth stone which David used is the rock of faith, and the sling the assurance and force of the mind in sending it forth to do its perfect work destroying Error in its stronghold of mortal thought, the forehead.
The lesson may be summed up as an illustration of the necessity of boldness, courage, and fearlessness in demonstrating the Truth. Some metaphysicians think that sympathetic love will bring results, but they are often disappointed. Love must have the assurance of Truth, and send it forth with confidence, courage and power in both thought and word.
– UNITY magazine
July 14, 1918: I Samuel 17:38-49
What in consciousness does David represent? David represents the power of love to vanquish error.
Why did David offer to go out before the Philistines? David (Love) offered to go out before the Philistines (error), because he was fearless. “Love thinketh no evil.” He had all faith in the One Presence and One Power, the Good Omnipotent.
Why did David refuse to wear the armor of Saul? David refused to wear the armor of Saul, because the habit of looking to things external for help is foreign to one who knows the power of God within to be all sufficient.
What was David's assurance of victory? David's assurance of victory was the courage and boldness of Divine Faith and Love. His defense was the powerful Word of Truth. The Word of authority boldly spoken in love and faith strengthens the whole man and puts out the mortal thoughts and appearances of error in the body-consciousness.
July 4, 1920: I Samuel 17:40-49
How many ways may Bible stories be read? In two ways. First, the literal narrative, and second, the spiritual meaning.
What is the spiritual meaning of the victory David over Goliath? Goliath represents the Ego of sense, and David represents the Ego of Love. Sense Ego is terrifying in its apparent size and power, and intimidates the spiritual thoughts (Israelites), until the Ego of Love (David) appears and kills the giant with a well rounded thought (smooth stone).
What is the character of this effective thought that sank into the forehead of Goliath? It is the denial of the ignorance and arrogance of sense, and the affirmation that Spirit is the only intelligence, life, and power.
How should these statements be made? As David made them, in the name of the Lord of hosts, or Christ Jesus.
What further affirmations should one make to overcome the sense Ego? One should affirm that the personality of sense delivered into the hands of Spirit, and that its head taken off and its body dissipated and given to “fowls of the air and the wild beasts of the earth” (elementals).
David (spiritual Love) had been anointed King of Israel, but Saul (personal will) was still on the throne. Why this seeming inconsistency? David was anointed king of Israel when but 15 years of age. This represents the spiritual idea implanted in the mind (long before it is enthroned) that shall eventually be ruler of the whole man.
July 24, 1927: I Samuel 17:31-37
What do the two armies, the Israelites and the Philistines, represent? The army of the Israelites represents an aggregation of thoughts that know and strive to follow the truth; the army of the Philistines represents an aggregation of thoughts that are in open enmity and in violent opposition to everything Godlike. These two thought aggregations exist in the mind of every individual.
What does Goliath represent? Goliath represents the central ego in sense consciousness. One is often frightened, even terrified, at the giant-like proportions of some leading error thought (Goliath). Persons who, like Saul, depend upon the resources of materiality often give up in despair when sense thoughts continue their bullying methods day and night.
When sense consciousness assumes gigantic proportions, how shall we handle it? The one way to meet and to subdue sense consciousness is through the power of love (represented by David, the ruddy-faced shepherd boy).
What outstanding spiritual qualify was associated with David (love) in his overcoming Goliath (giant error thought)? David had experienced the power of Spirit in subduing the lion and the bear (destructive animal tendencies); this experience endued him with courage, fearlessness, and boldness. “And David said, Jehovah that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.”
July 24, 1927: I Samuel 17:40-42
What is the metaphysical meaning of David’s choosing five smooth stones out of the brook? The brook represents the spiritual life in man; the five smooth stones represent the five senses that have been divested of their material roughness. The five senses are expressions of inner, spiritual ideas; they have tremendous power when directed by one who understands their spiritual quality.
July 24, 1927: I Samuel 17:48-51
What dissolving idea did David use when he threw the stone that smote Goliath in the forehead? The forehead is the seat of intellectual and sense consciousness. David denied in toto that Goliath (sense consciousness) had any power to withstand the truth of God. Some metaphysicians find that they can overcome formidable error thoughts by audibly affirming words of truth. A woman whose finger joints were dislocated by rheumatism had prayed in vain for their restoration. She shut herself in a room, and stayed for seven days in fasting and in prayer. At the end of that time she was moved by Spirit to assure her fingers audibly that they were God's fingers and were perfect. They snapped into place one at a time and were immediately healed.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 02-02-2014