Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of I Samuel Chapter 20
Metaphysically Interpreting I Samuel 20:1-42
20:1And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life?20:2And he said unto him, Far from it; thou shalt not die: behold, my father doeth nothing either great or small, but that he discloseth it unto me; and why should my father hide this thing from me? it is not so. 20:3And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father knoweth well that I have found favor in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as Jehovah liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death. 20:4Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee. 20:5And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to-morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even. 20:6If thy father miss me at all, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Beth-lehem his city; for it is the yearly sacrifice there for all the family. 20:7If he say thus, It is well; thy servant shall have peace: but if he be wroth, then know that evil is determined by him. 20:8Therefore deal kindly with thy servant; for thou hast brought thy servant into a covenant of Jehovah with thee: but if there be in me iniquity, slay me thyself; for why shouldest thou bring me to thy father? 20:9And Jonathan said, Far be it from thee; for if I should at all know that evil were determined by my father to come upon thee, then would not I tell it thee? 20:10Then said David to Jonathan, Who shall tell me if perchance thy father answer thee roughly? 20:11And Jonathan said unto David, Come, and let us go out into the field. And they went out both of them into the field.
20:12And Jonathan said unto David, Jehovah, the God of Israel, be witness: when I have sounded my father about this time to-morrow, or the third day, behold, if there be good toward David, shall I not then send unto thee, and disclose it unto thee? 20:13Jehovah do so to Jonathan, and more also, should it please my father to do thee evil, if I disclose it not unto thee, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and Jehovah be with thee, as he hath been with my father. 20:14And thou shalt not only while yet I live show me the lovingkindness of Jehovah, that I die not; 20:15but also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever; no, not when Jehovah hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth. 20:16So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, And Jehovah will require it at the hand of David's enemies. 20:17And Jonathan caused David to swear again, for the love that he had to him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
20:18Then Jonathan said unto him, To-morrow is the new moon: and thou wilt be missed, because thy seat will be empty. 20:19And when thou hast stayed three days, thou shalt go down quickly, and come to the place where thou didst hide thyself when the business was in hand, and shalt remain by the stone Ezel. 20:20And I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot at a mark. 20:21And, behold, I will send the lad, saying, Go, find the arrows. If I say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee; take them, and come; for there is peace to thee and no hurt, as Jehovah liveth. 20:22But if I say thus unto the boy, Behold, the arrows are beyond thee; go thy way; for Jehovah hath sent thee away. 20:23And as touching the matter which thou and I have spoken of, behold, Jehovah is between thee and me for ever.
20:24So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat food.20:25And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, even upon the seat by the wall; and Jonathan stood up, and Abner sat by Saul's side: but David's place was empty.
20:26Nevertheless Saul spake not anything that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean. 20:27And it came to pass on the morrow after the new moon, which was the second day, that David's place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to-day? 20:28And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Beth-lehem: 20:29and he said, Let me go, I pray thee; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he hath commanded me to be there: and now, if I have found favor in thine eyes, let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren. Therefore he is not come unto the king's table.
20:30Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of a perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own shame, and unto the shame of thy mother's nakedness? 20:31For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die. 20:32And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore should he be put to death? what hath he done? 20:33And Saul cast his spear at him to smite him; whereby Jonathan knew that is was determined of his father to put David to death. 20:34So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no food the second day of the month; for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame.
20:35And it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad with him. 20:36And he said unto his lad, Run, find now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 20:37And when the lad was come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, Is not the arrow beyond thee? 20:38And Jonathan cried after the lad, Make speed, haste, stay not. And Jonathan's lad gathered up the arrows, and came to his master. 20:39But the lad knew not anything: only Jonathan and David knew the matter. 20:40And Jonathan gave his weapons unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city. 20:41And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the South, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded. 20:42And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of Jehovah, saying, Jehovah shall be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed, for ever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.
August 23, 1903: I Samuel 20:12-23
The Bible gives in symbols every step in the process of mind and body building. In the various personalities are set forth characteristics of man on seven planes of consciousness. It requires research, study, and a deep knowledge of Being to correctly interpret these wonderfully pregnant stories of creative processes. In them we catch sight of truths we cannot explain for lack of language and proper comparisons. But we should all strive to comprehend what is suggested, because in so doing we shall have opened to us the deeper things. We develop in Spiritual understanding through study and meditation, and the steps are in order from the simple to the complex, just as the child in school is led forward from the primary to the higher grades.
Saul, the Will, draws to himself and builds in his consciousness a certain degree of love. This is his son, or thought expressed, and takes form in the subjective consciousness, as soul. “He loved him as he loved his own soul.” This is Jonathan, whose name signifies Jehovah's gift; that is, he came forth from Being. He may be termed Human Love, while David is Divine Love. These two are closely related in consciousness. Human love cannot live except it be linked to Divine Love – Verses 14-15. Personal Will suppresses its innate Love, David, yet it cannot kill it out entirely.
Human Love, as Jonathan, is working in the subjective soul to perpetuate the link between the inner and the outer. When we are willful and selfish in our external conduct, and ambitious in worldly ways to the exclusion of every kindly impulse, there is yet deep within a soul yearning for Love. If it were not for this inner link of human love, we would through the selfishness of human will be entirely cut off from Divine Love. It is these hidden processes of the soul that saves man from being wholly disconnected from his Divine Source. Hence the compact which Jonathan so strongly urged David to make with him. The Human Soul sees the destructive tendencies of Personal Will (Saul), and it secretly links itself or makes a covenant of eternal friendship with Divine Love (David).
[TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: In the PDF for this lesson, the 4th paragraph starts with a couple misplaced partly duplicated sentences that are removed here.] [T]here is a definite relation between the body consciousness and the moon. The moon is not the governing principle, but it, with all phenomenal existence, is governed by the Mind of Nature. This Mind of Nature is not God in His universal character, but the thought of God put forth to bring about certain creative results. It is the Divine Logos, the Word of God mentioned in John 1.
If man were always wise enough to cultivate obedience to the Divine Will, and seek the guidance of God in every thought and act, no inharmony could possibly enter mind or body. But the Will is free, and in the exercise of that freedom it loses its way in a wilderness of sense. When the Mind of Nature, in its regular period of influx floods the body consciousness with fresh life and intelligence, the disobedient Personal Will does not understand its import. But it feels this influx in moments of quietness, when the fullness of the life flow from within wells up in the body. This is symbolized in today's lesson as the gathering of the king and his household to feast. The monthly period common to women is the influx of this inner life, and if it were understood and utilized, there would be no loss, but a spiritualization of substance. Men are also subject to an ebb and flow of body vitality, an unusual fullness occurring once a month. When this flood of life reaches its highest point intensity is added to every thought and feeling. All the good habits of thought are increased, and also all the bad. If a man is given to “sprees,” he is liable to have one at this time.
Through the violence of Personal Will (Saul), Divine Love has been driven from his household and is hiding in the mountains, “higher planes of consciousness.” Human Love (Jonathan) is still with the king, but he [the king] has let jealousy so fill his mind that he hates his own son and throws his javelin at him. The violence of Personal Will is such that Divine Love cannot reach the consciousness except through Human Love.
The shooting of the arrows by Jonathan, as a sign to David of the King's continued displeasure, is symbolical of the natural interchange or language of love. It is essentially a silent shaft, shot from soul to soul by a power and in manner none can explain. The swift and silent arrow is its closest material symbol. The bow and arrow are prominent in Jonathan's history and fully identify him as Human Love. The same symbol is common today in Cupid and his bow, who is the little boy whom Jonathan sent to pick up the arrows and return them to him. After the boy had gone, Jonathan went to David's hiding place, and they kissed one another in Oriental fashion and wept. This is all symbolical of a sorrow in the subconscious affections of each of us, when we let personal desire and willfulness suppress the natural tenderness and sympathy of the heart.
August 23, 1908: I Samuel 20:30-42
With a few hints, the student can interpret these lessons for himself. Saul, Jonathan, David represent three departments of one man's consciousness. Saul is the Will, functioning in the limitations of personality. David is Love, quickened, but not yet in control. Jonathan is the Soul, personal consciousness, the son, or result of the activity of the Will. The Soul pervades the whole man as a unifying principle, but is especially attracted to the love-center.
“He loved David as his own soul.”
The soul is both masculine and feminine. The thoughts that emanate from the will are masculine, those that emanate from the heart are feminine. Jonathan is from the Will, or the head, hence masculine.
– UNITY magazine.
July 28, 1918: I Samuel 20:30-42
What in consciousness do “Saul,” “Jonathan,” and “David” represent? “Saul” represents the Will functioning in personality. “Jonathan” stands for the Soul, or result in consciousness of the activity of the Will. “David” represents Love, which has been quickened but not yet harmonized.
What is the nature of the soul? The soul is the sum total of man' s consciousness. It is both masculine and feminine. The masculine thoughts emanate from the Will (Saul) while the feminine thoughts emanate from the Heart (David).
Give symbolical meaning of Saul’s desire to kill David. The Will, symbolized by Saul, functioning in sense consciousness, would destroy its love nature if allowed free expression, but Jonathan (the soul) shields and protects Love (David).
What does the shooting of arrows typify in man’s development? The “shooting of arrows” typifies the sending forth of love thoughts to accomplish a definite purpose.
What in consciousness does the “little lad” represent? The “little lad” represents the external consciousness, which must be lost sight of before ideas of love can be implanted in the subconscious.
Sunday, July 11, 1920: I Samuel 20:32-42
What does Jonathan typify in this lesson? He typifies that soul substance, which, in the growth of unfoldment, tries to unite will and love. He symbolizes that soul quality, which, though the offspring of the will (Saul), turns yearningly toward love, here represented by David.
What does the shooting of the arrows by Jonathan signify? It symbolizes the soul's darting forth loving, protecting thoughts towards that which it yearns to serve and to keep from all harm.
What does the boy who picked up the arrows typify? He symbolizes that outer activity in us which is obedient to, and serves the executive power of the soul, here represented by Jonathan.
What is the meaning of “David arose out of a place toward the South, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times”? The meaning is that after love receives the protecting power of the soul, it is able to come out of its hiding place in the subconscious (South), and make a closer union with soul, as symbolized by David and Jonathan kissing each other. David bowed three times in recognition of the Supreme Trinity, God, Christ, Man; or, in outer expression, Mind, Idea and Manifestation.
What is the inner spiritual meaning of Jonathan’s parting words to David, “Jehovah shall be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed forever”? The meaning is that through the deep understanding power of the Spirit, the soul is unified with love, is eternally united with love.
From the within flows a wondrous stream.
On its waters the love lights gleam;
God the Father, his mercy shows.
By the river which ever flows.
Flow! Flow! River of Eden fair and bright;
On! On! bearing a message from the throne of light;
God is love! God is love!
This is the message the river bears
From the throne of love.
God is love, and he that dwells in love, dwells in God.
I have faith in the supreme power of love.
In Spirit, soul, and body I am unified in Divine Love.
Clear and shining the water glows.
Bearing, healing where ere it flows;
All its waters with blessings rife.
Health for all from the stream of life.
(Song used in this Service is No. 51 in “The Voice of Praise.”)
August 24, 1930: I Samuel 20:14-17
Explain how human love links man with divine love. Human love (Jonathan) works in the soul to perpetuate the link between the inner and the outer, the heart and the head. Even when we are willful and selfish and ambitious in worldly ways, deep within ourselves we yearn for love. If it were not for the link of human love, we should, through the selfishness of human will, be cut off entirely from divine love. These hidden soul processes (typified by the compact which Jonathan so strongly urged David to make with him) save man from being disconnected wholly from his divine source.
What is David's part in the evolution of the Christ as manifested in Jesus? David was a Christ type; he was an ancestor of Jesus of Nazareth, who so perfectly expressed and manifested the Christ in human form.
August 24, 1930: I Samuel 20:32-34
What is the significance of Saul's seeking to kill David? The will (Saul), functioning in personal consciousness, is selfishly ambitious, and is destructive in attaining its ends.
August 24, 1930: I Samuel 20:41-42
How was the hand of Saul (personal will) stayed from destroying David (divine love)? When once human love expands to such an extent that it makes definite union with divine love, it works to defend and protect this higher spiritual quality. Jonathan warned David of Saul's intention to slay him, and David “arose and departed.”
What is symbolized by the word Eli? The word Eli means “exaltation, supreme, Most High, my God.” Eli symbolizes a high religious state of consciousness of a priestly character.
What is symbolized by the word Samuel? Samuel means “sublimity of God”; “God hath heard.” The boy Samuel symbolizes the inner voice of the soul, that wisdom and judgment which comes often as a still small voice at the heart center.
Where does man first become conscious of the activity of the Spirit of God? It is deep within the stillness of the silence that man's ears first become attuned to the activity of God-Mind. “And Samuel was laid down to sleep in the temple of Jehovah.”
What is the meaning of the statement that Eli's eyes had begun to grow dim, so that he could not see? Eli represents the intellectual perception of Truth which becomes crystallized in forms and ceremonies, and finally degenerates into ecclesiasticism.
What is meant by “Now Samuel did not yet know Jehovah”? Samuel represents the I AM identity in the subconscious mind which has not yet been quickened, but which is gradually making contact with Eli, the intelligent perception of Spirit.
How do we become conscious of spiritual intelligence in the subconscious mind? First we make ourselves attentive and then we earnestly expect response. “Speak; for thy servant heareth.”
September 10, 1933: I Samuel 20:35-42
What is represented by Jonathan’s shooting the arrows, and by the lad’s bringing them back to him without realizing what he did? This incident represents the sending forth of thoughts of love that are returned to us without any external effort and without our knowledge of what is taking place. However, these thoughts of love are carried and stored up in the very center of our [relations?] (city).
September 18, 1938: I Samuel 20:4-17
What do Jonathan and David represent? In this lesson Jonathan represents the soul; David, love, quickened but not yet under complete control.
Why did Jonathan say to David, “Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee”? The soul clings to love and does its behests regardless of all other considerations.
What does the new moon signify? The moon signifies the personal mind or intellect shining by the reflected light of true wisdom. The new moon was a a regular occasion for feasting and rejoicing in Israel.
Why did David plan to have Jonathan make a misstatement to his father? The whims of the personal will (Saul) are unpredictable except by love, which finds a way to foretell them. The misstatement was for the sole purpose of testing Saul’s attitude toward David, and was not to be made with any intention of deceiving him.
Did Jonathan know that David would succeed Saul as king of Israel? Yes. The soul through its intuitive powers often perceives and accepts coming events.
Why did Jonathan seek to make a covenant with the “house of David” and not with David himself? Since love is the medium of the soul’s expression, Jonathan (the soul) sought an abiding covenant with love (which David represents).
Why did Jonathan call Jehovah, the God of Israel, to witness his covenant with David? Only Jehovah can witness the love of the soul, which is not disclosed to the eye of flesh.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 02-04-2014