Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of I Samuel Chapter 7
Metaphysically Interpreting I Samuel 7:1-2
7:1And the men of Kiriath-jearim came, and fetched up the ark of Jehovah, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of Jehovah. 7:2And it came to pass, from the day that the ark abode in Kiriath-jearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after Jehovah.
March 24, 1946: I Samuel 7:1-3
What is symbolized by the return of the ark of Jehovah from the land of the Philistines to Kiriath-jearim? The ark is a symbol of the presence of God, the divine spark at the center of our being. Kiriath-jearim (“city of forests”) symbolizes a nerve center with its associated impulses and thoughts. The bringing of the ark to this place represents the vitalizing of our thoughts with the divine spark of inspiration.
What is the significance of the struggle between the Children of Israel and the Philistines? The former represent the realities of life, the latter the unrealities of sense. The two are continually opposed to each other, and the realities of life are kept uppermost in mind only when the mind gives undivided allegiance to the divine.
In this lesson what does Samuel represent? He represents the inner spiritual perception or spiritual discrimination tha leads us to cast off the spell of sense consciousness and be permanently free.
How does one cast off the spell of sense consciousness? Three steps are necessary: first, putting away the false gods, the Baalim and the Ashtaroth, the types of power that are foreign to Spirit; secondly, concentrating one's powers on the development of the inner life from the high plane of Spirit; and thirdly, conforming one's action to one's thinking.
What is signified by the gathering of all Israel to Mizpah? Mizpah means “spiritual watching.” The gathering of all Israel to Mizpah represents the concentration of Truth thoughts in the mind.
What law of mind action is illustrated by the Philistines attacking the Children of Israel at Mizpah? When the Children of Israel (spiritual thoughts) determined to be loyal to Jehovah (to make a stand for Truth), they had to meet the onslaught of the Philistines (sense consciousness).
The children of Israel importuned Samuel not to cease crying to Jehovah to deliver them from the Philistines. Explain. In time of trouble the religious thoughts of man (Children of Israel) seek the aid of spiritual perception (Samuel) in making contact with Divine Mind through prayer, from which all deliverance comes.
Metaphysically Interpreting I Samuel 7:3-17
7:3And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto Jehovah with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you, and direct your hearts unto Jehovah, and serve him only; and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. 7:4Then the children of Israel did put away the Baalim and the Ashtaroth, and served Jehovah only.
7:5And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray for you unto Jehovah. 7:6And they gathered together to Mizpah, and drew water, and poured it out before Jehovah, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against Jehovah. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpah. 7:7And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 7:8And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto Jehovah our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines. 7:9And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a whole burnt-offering unto Jehovah: and Samuel cried unto Jehovah for Israel; and Jehovah answered him. 7:10And as Samuel was offering up the burnt-offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel; but Jehovah thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten down before Israel. 7:11And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Beth-car.
7:12Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and called the name of it Eben-ezer, saying, Hitherto hath Jehovah helped us. 7:13So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more within the border of Israel: and the hand of Jehovah was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 7:14And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even unto Gath; and the border thereof did Israel deliver out of the hand of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
7:15And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 7:16And he went from year to year in circuit to Beth-el and Gilgal, and Mizpah; and he judged Israel in all those places. 7:17And his return was to Ramah, for there was his house; and there he judged Israel: and he built there an altar unto Jehovah.
May 16, 1920: I Samuel 7:2-12
What is the one way for the children of Israel to regain possession of the ark of the covenant? The one way to regain a hold upon the spiritual law, once lost, is to follow the leadings of the “inner voice” to cast out all false images and seek the Lord, the one living God with the whole heart.
What is the meaning of “Mizpah”? The meaning of Mizpah is “watch tower.” The great spiritual teacher instructs us not only to pray, but to both watch and pray.
What is the consequence when the requirements of the Law are complied with? All false gods yield before the one supreme God. When the full light of Truth is admitted into the secret place of the heart, not only is all evil driven out of consciousness, but only that which is pure and true and wholesome can enter.
What is the spiritual significance of “burnt offering” here offered unto Jehovah by Samuel? The burnt offering signifies a transmuting process. The sensual propensities go through the refiner’s fire through which action the “Son of man,” or outer consciousness, is lifted up into the purity and life of Spirit.
When the Philistines (sensualism) try to hinder the activity of the Divine Law, what results with them? Eating, gnawing, destructive thoughts are set into activity, which open the way for plagues and famines. The result is, when the Philistines wake up to the cause of their seeming misfortune, they are greatly discomfited, and are glad to restore the ark of the covenant again to the Israelites.
Define “Ebenezer.” The meaning of Ebenezer is, “Hitherto hath God helped us.” It is the name of the memorial monument erected by the “inner voice,” Samuel, in honor of the victory of the Israelites (real thoughts), over the Philistines (sensualism).
What unalterable Truth is proved in this lesson? The unalterable Truth is that God's Law never fails, that unto the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess the glory of the Most High.
March 2, 1924: I Samuel 7:5-13
What information is necessary in order to understand this lesson? The verses preceding our lesson explain that the ark of Jehovah, which represents one's spiritual understanding of Truth, had been in the house of Abinadab for twenty years, and had been forgotten by the children of Israel. These verses also reveal that Samuel “spake unto the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto Jehovah with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods.”
What is the meaning of: “And Samuel said. Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray for you unto Jehovah”? Mizpah means “spiritual watching,” being on guard against the encroachment of error. “Take ye heed, watch and pray.”
What is the meaning of the children of Israel’s pouring water out before Jehovah and fasting and confessing their sins? The pouring out of the water represents the conscious denial of sin, while fasting is the determination to refrain from error, accompanied by an open confession to Jehovah of wrongdoing. “We have sinned against Jehovah.”
What is the meaning of: “And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpah the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel”? Whenever the children of Israel (spiritual thoughts) determine to be loyal to Jehovah, and make a stand for Truth, they have to meet the onslaught of the Philistines (sense consciousness).
What is the meaning of Verse 8: “And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto Jehovah our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines”? Ferrar Fenton gives this translation: “The Children of Israel consequently said to Samuel, ‘Work for us with a cry to the EVER-LIVING our God, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines!’” The wording of this is almost identical with that which a modern metaphysician would use in asking a teacher to work for him against error.
What is the metaphysical meaning of verse 9: “And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a whole burnt-offering unto Jehovah: and Samuel cried unto Jehovah for Israel; and Jehovah answered him”? A lamb represents the innocent natural life. Giving the lamb as a burnt-offering to Jehovah represents the transmutation of the natural life to the spiritual life. Samuel’s cry to Jehovah and Jehovah’s answering him represent the appeal to the ever-living principle for help and the consciousness that that help has been given.
December 19, 1926: I Samuel 7:3-12,15
What verses preceding the foregoing ones should one read in order to understand today’s lesson? Verses 1 and 2 of the chapter in which today's lesson is found should be read, for they explain that the ark of Jehovah, which represents spiritual understanding of Truth, had been in the house of Abinadab for twenty years, and had been forgotten by the children of Israel.
Explain: “And Samuel said. Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray for you unto Jehovah.” Mizpah means “spiritual watching” or being on guard against the encroachment of error. “Take ye heed, watch and pray.” The gathering of all Israel to Mizpah represents the concentration of all Truth thoughts in the mind.
What is the meaning of the Israelites pouring water out before Jehovah and fasting and confessing their sins? The pouring out of the water represents conscious denial of sin, while fasting symbolizes determination to refrain from thoughts of error, accomplished by an open confession of wrongdoing to Jehovah. “We have sinned against Jehovah.”
Explain: “And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel.” When the children of Israel (spiritual thoughts) determined to be loyal to Jehovah (to make a stand for Truth), they had to meet the onslaught of the Philistines (sense consciousness).
The children of Israel importuned Samuel not to cease crying to Jehovah to deliver them from the Philistines. Explain. In Ferrar Fenton's translation this Scripture reads, “Work for us with a cry to the EVER-LIVING our God.” This wording is almost identical with that which a modern Truth student would use in asking a teacher to work for him against error.
What is the meaning of the statement, “And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a whole burnt-offering unto Jehovah”? The lamb represents pure, obedient, innocent, natural life. Giving the lamb as a burnt offering to Jehovah represents transmuting natural life to spiritual life.
Explain: “Jehovah thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten down before Israel.” While the inner spiritual perception (Samuel) is getting in touch with Jehovah power, the vibratory energies become so strong that they dissolve the aggregation of error thoughts which then pass away.
What is the meaning of Samuel's setting a stone between Mizpah and Shen and calling it Eben-ezer? Mizpah means “watching” and Shen means “sharply.” The metaphysician watches sharply in order that no error will enter his consciousness. Eben-ezer represents complete realization, typified in Scripture as the rock of Christ.
September 4, 1938: I Samuel 7:3-13
What does “all the house of Israel” represent in contrast with the Philistines? The first represents the real things of life; the second the unreal things of sense consciousness.
How does one cast off the spell of sense consciousness? Three steps are necessary to this end: first, putting away the false gods, the Baalim and the Ashtaroth, the types power that are foreign to Spirit; secondly, concentrating one's powers on the development of the inner life from the high plane of Spirit; and thirdly, conforming one's action to one's thinking.
What immediate gain do we derive from directing our thought toward Jehovah? We learn to center our attention at one focal point, the highest that we can realize. Without concentration we cannot remain in spiritual consciousness.
What mental law is illustrated by verse 7? The law of reaction following upon action in the mental realm as in the physical. The Children of Israel gathered together at Mizpah in order to pray to God and to receive Samuel's judgment, and the Philistines at once attacked them there.
What does Samuel's sacrifice of the lamb as a whole burnt offering to Jehovah represent? It represents the translation of the pure physical life of man, as it exists in the sight of God, to the plane of mind.
With Samuel's petition as a guide, what do we learn of the quality of effectual prayer? We find that Samuel purified his thought of all external matters and directed it wholly towards Jehovah. Complete concentration of thought on the high plane of Spirit brings immediate response, because it is by this method that one makes contact with spiritual power.
What proof have we that Samuel concentrated the full power of his thought on gaining deliverance for Israel from the Philistines? The nature of the deliverance, namely violent thunder following the gathering of storm clouds, depicts the nature of Samuel's appeal to Jehovah. A mild petition would have brought an answer like the distilling of the dew. “I will be as the dew unto Israel.”
What does the stone Eben-ezer represent? Eben-ezer (gem of help) represents realization and acknowledgment of God's aid in gaining victory over the errors of sense (Philistines).
Samuel placed Eben-ezer between Mizpah and Shen. What is here symbolized? Mizpah (the watchtower of prayer), and Shen (the assimilating of true ideas gained through prayer) together herald the lifting up of the whole organism and the bringing into manifestation of the real man.
August 20, 1944: I Samuel 7:3-12
In this lesson what does Samuel represent? He represents the spiritual discrimination that leads us to cast off the spell of sense consciousness and be permanently free.
What steps do we take in order to realize freedom from sense consciousness? First, we put away our false gods, our reliance on material things instead of the one power, Spirit. Next we direct our hearts to Jehovah and serve Him only, by watching over our inner life and keeping ourselves in spiritual consciousness. Finally we conform our action to our thought in all that we do. These steps bring us to a realization of freedom.
What is represented by the sacrifice of the lamb as a whole burnt offering to Jehovah? It represents the translation of the pure physical life as it exists in the sight of God to the plane of mind. As Samuel offered up the sacrifice he continued to cry unto Jehovah, thus keeping his heart directed toward God. This directing of the thought continually toward God refines and spiritualizes the body as well as the mind and soul.
What is the key to the attainment of spiritual unity? Acceptance of the truth that Jehovah is the one source. Throughout the Scriptures every event is attributed to Jehovah. So now, when sense consciousness disappears before spiritual consciousness, it is always the divine energy acting on substance that is responsible.
March 24, 1946: I Samuel 7:13-15
What is signified by the subduing of the Philistines and the fact that the cities that they had taken were restored to Israel? When the sense consciousness is wholly subdued by the spiritual consciousness, all the thought activities formerly dominated by sense come under the dominion of the spiritual nature, and there is peace in heart and mind.
How is permanent freedom from sense consciousness realized? By developing spiritual discrimination and letting it direct us in regulating the affairs of everyday life.
August 3, 1952: I Samuel 7:5-17
Why did Samuel call the Children of Israel together at Mizpah? The name Mizpah means “watchtower,” and represents a high consciousness of life, a “high watch” or broad vision of life and circumstances. Spiritual perception (Samuel) leads us to collect our true thoughts (Israelites) in this high state of mind in order to worship God. “Look unto me, and be ye saved.”
Seeing the Israelites assembled in Mizpah, the Philistines decided to attack and scatter them. What does this signify? Sense consciousness or the forces of error (the Philistines) are not overcome by exalted thinking alone without corresponding action. Error invades the mind of the idealist, and he can put it down only by invoking the power of Spirit and expressing that Spirit in the measure in which his consciousness is able to contain it. He should not hold his spiritual powers in reserve, but should use them daily in meeting and conquering error in both his thoughts and his actions.
“Jehovah thundered with a great thunder.” What measure of the power of Spirit can we express? The zeal and earnestness of our efforts to dispel error determine the power of our spiritual thoughts to counteract it. “Samuel cried unto Jehovah for Israel; and Jehovah answered him.” When our spiritual perception is steadfast to God and not dulled by sense consciousness, we behold the overcoming power of Spirit in action.
At what point in our conquest of error is it wise for us to halt? Not until our work is so fully done that we can rejoice confidently in victory. “The men of Israel ... pursued the Philistines ... until they came under Beth-car.” Beth-car means “house of exultation, house of lambs.” When we have conquered all of what is real that our consciousness can grasp, we have reached a milestone in our progress.
What memorial of our progress in spiritual thinking and living do we erect? We build an abiding consciousness in the soul, typified in the Scripture by the rock of Christ (Eben-ezer, “stone of the help, precious stone of succor”). Samuel set the stone between Mizpah and Shen. Shen means “tooth, peak,” and suggests assimilation of ideas gained through prayer. The watchtower of prayer and the assimilating of true ideas gained through it heralds the lifting up of the whole organism.
What else does the setting up of the stone Eben-ezer denote? It denotes the bringing of the ideal man into manifestation, the establishing of the Christ consciousness in every individual.
What victory does such a state insure? The subduing of sense consciousness. “So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more within the border of Israel.”
The cities “from Ekron even unto Gath” were restored to Israel. What meaning attaches to this statement? Ekron (“migration”) represents the belief of the sense consciousness that nothing is or can be abiding on earth. Gath (“wine press”) represents a group of thoughts in the sense consciousness that cause us to believe in trial and suffering. These negative states of mind are transformed into constructive states by the entrance into the mind of the illumined thoughts of Truth (Israel).
When are nations or individuals established in stability and security? When through spiritual perception (Samuel) they realize conscious unity with God (Beth-el), make total denial of sense bondage (Gilgal), give themselves to spiritual watching (Mizpah), and habitually hold themselves in an exalted state of mind (Ramah), they know stability and security.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 02-05-2014