Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of I Samuel Chapter 31
Metaphysically Interpreting I Samuel 31:1-13
31:1Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. 31:2And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. 31:3And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers overtook him; and he was greatly distressed by reason of the archers. 31:4Then said Saul to his armorbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armorbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took his sword, and fell upon it. 31:5And when his armorbearer saw that Saul was dead, he likewise fell upon his sword, and died with him. 31:6So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armorbearer, and all his men, that same day together. 31:7And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were beyond the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.
31:8And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa. 31:9And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to carry the tidings unto the house of their idols, and to the people. 31:10And they put his armor in the house of the Ashtaroth; and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan. 31:11And when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard concerning him that which the Philistines had done to Saul, 31:12all the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan; and they came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. 31:13And they took their bones, and buried them under the tamarisk-tree in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
September 6, 1903: I Samuel 31:1-13
Error destroys itself. Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. The sharp, cutting words we speak are like swords that lacerate the feelings of both enemies and friends. These thoughts and words are sure to return to us, and when they do the conditions are so grievous that we feel that the battle is going “sore against us.”
The death of Saul and his three sons, Jonathan, (Human Love), Abinadab (Physical Will or Body Control), and Melchi-shua (King of Health or Physical Vitality), means the dissolution of the whole organism, the result of disobedience to the Lord, or Law of Beings.
Through continued disregard of the Divine Law man gets farther and farther away from that interior harmony which is perpetually fed from the spiritual springs of Being. The discordant realms of thought from without, represented by the undisciplined and savage Philistines, encroach more and more upon the sacred abiding places of the thoughts within, which are represented by the Israelites. Gilboa means a bubbling spring in a high place, and represents the inner Source of spiritual life. It is here that the enemies of law and order, the Philistines, finally get in one, who has all his life followed the dictates of Personal Will.
“So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.” The armourbearer is the soul's consciousness of its security in God; when that is withdrawn there is a complete loss of hope, and the whole personality gives up.
The undisciplined forces of error thought complete their work in the body by stripping it of all that gave it character, the object being to destroy it entirely.
But there is always a saving grace in the Divine goodness, and if we have ever done a kind act, it has been preserved in the careful records of memory and will come forth when we most need it. Saul had in the beginning of his reign delivered the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead from their enemies, the Ammorites, who were about to put out their right eyes. They remembered the deed, and took the bodies of Saul and his sons away from the Philistines and gave them decent burial. Jabesh-gilead means dry, hard, rough. It represents the forces of nature that gather up and care for the dust and ashes of the organism. Nothing is lost in the Divine economy, and that which is dissipated will in due course be gathered again, and another trial be made in the working of life’s problem.
– UNITY magazine.
September 6, 1908: I Samuel 31:1-13
Everything in man that does not recognize and acknowledge its source in God, must finally die to things spiritual. This is the death of Saul and Jonathan.
Neither Saul nor Jonathan were under the guidance of the Spirit. They stood alone in personal consciousness. Saul's insanity was the epilepsy that always accompanies excessive personality. Jonathan's love for David was personal; he was not in spiritual understanding.
Not having the resource of the Spirit, Personal Will and Personal Consciousness grow weaker and weaker until the Philistines, representing thoughts in open rebellion against all spiritual law, destroy them.
– UNITY magazine.
August 11, 1918: I Samuel 31:1-13
What in consciousness are the “men of Israel”? The “men of Israel” represent the quickened thoughts of the consciousness, but they have not yet come under the dominion of the Christ Mind, and are not established in substance, therefore, they are slain by the Philistines, or lawless thoughts of the most external consciousness.
What in consciousness do the “Philistines” represent as a whole? The “Philistines” represent all thoughts that are in rebellion to spiritual laws.
What in consciousness is the symbolical meaning of the death of “Saul” and “Jonathan”? “Saul” stands for the Will, and “Jonathan” stands for the activities of the Will in the soul. Everything in man that does not recognize and acknowledge God as its Source must finally die, that is, be eliminated from consciousness.
How do the “Philistines” (rebellious thoughts) slay “Saul” and “Jonathan” (Will and Soul) in consciousness? If the Will is not harmonized with Divine Will, rebellious thoughts (“Philistines”) flood the consciousness with erroneous thought-force until personality is overwhelmed and destroyed.
How is the Will regenerated, when one is unfolding in Truth? The Will is regenerated through unifying it with Understanding. This regeneration takes place when we act in harmony with the inspirations of the Spirit.
August 17, 1930: I Samuel 31:1-4
The Philistines drove Saul to self-destruction. Explain. The Philistines represent largely the enmity in the race thought that opposes the good. The personal will (Saul's jealousy directed toward divine love, David) opens the consciousness to this enmity so that finally, in order to escape, the personal will destroys itself.
September 11, 1938: I Samuel 31:3-6
What is represented by the archers overtaking Saul? The archers represent the harassing cares that overtake the one who is governed altogether by personal will and personal considerations in regulating his life. Sooner or later the personal man yields to these insidious foes.
What is the function of the will with respect to thought? The will fixes the attention on those ideas which one desires to hold in mind and develop.
What in us corresponds to the armorbearer of Saul? The spiritual man's armor-bearer is the Christ consciousness, ever attending and protecting him from defeat or injury. The personal man's armor-bearer is his pride or faith in himself, and both may fail him in time of need.
What do the Amalekites represent? They are the resistant carnal thoughts that man is commanded to root out of mind so completely that they cannot again find lodgment there.
Why did Saul save Agag alive? Agag (violent, warlike) is the adversary or ruling ego of the adverse, carnal consciousness in man. The one who is in personal consciousness cannot destroy this adversary but takes it with him wherever he goes.
What is the ultimate fate of the personal will? The personal will is utterly destroyed at last. “So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armorbearer, and all his men that same day together.”
August 17, 1952: I Samuel 31:3-4
Does personal will, when unchecked, become self-destructive? Yes. Saul was forced to fall upon his own sword to avoid falling into the hands of the Philistines (thoughts foreign to or opposed to Spirit).
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 02-04-2014