Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of II Samuel Chapter 18
Metaphysically Interpreting II Samuel 18:1-18
18:1And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them. 18:2And David sent forth the people, a third part under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said unto the people, I will surely go forth with you myself also. 18:3But the people said, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but thou art worth ten thousand of us; therefore now it is better that thou be ready to succor us out of the city. 18:4And the king said unto them, What seemeth you best I will do. And the king stood by the gate-side, and all the people went out by hundreds and by thousands. 18:5And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.
18:6So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the forest of Ephraim. 18:7And the people of Israel were smitten there before the servants of David, and there was a great slaughter there that day of twenty thousand men. 18:8For the battle was there spread over the face of all the country; and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
18:9And Absalom chanced to meet the servants of David. And Absalom was riding upon his mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between heaven and earth; and the mule that was under him went on. 18:10And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak. 18:11And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest it, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten pieces of silver, and a girdle. 18:12And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand pieces of silver in my hand, yet would I not put forth my hand against the king's son; for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom. 18:13Otherwise if I had dealt falsely against his life (and there is no matter hid from the king), then thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me. 18:14Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. 18:15And ten young men that bare Joab's armor compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.
18:16And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel; for Joab held back the people. 18:17And they took Absalom, and cast him into the great pit in the forest, and raised over him a very great heap of stones: and all Israel fled every one to his tent. 18:18Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself the pillar, which is in the king's dale; for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name; and it is called Absalom's monument, unto this day.
August 15, 1920: II Sam. 18:1-15
From a metaphysical viewpoint, what is the meaning of Absalom? He represents physical beauty without the corresponding beauty of the soul.
What is David’s attitude at such a time as this? Though David (Love) and Absalom (physical strength and beauty) are closely related, David stands true to principle. While he does not want the physical beauty destroyed, he does want it to come under the dominion of the Divine Law.
Give the meaning of Joab. Joab is the executive power of Love. He represents the pivotal center within man which, preserves the unity and integrity of soul and body, the individual will.
Why did Joab slay Absalom? The text does not say that Joab killed Absalom, but that he ran three darts through his heart. He was afterwards killed by the ten young armor-bearers of Joab. The darts represent thoughts, which may be interpreted as life, love, truth. The armor-bearers represent the most external forces of the will, or secondary movements of the mind, which bring about destruction of temporary forms of life.
When the forces of being enter into combat, what is sure to result? They become entangled in the wilderness of the untrained mind, and many people (thoughts) are slain.
Why did this occurrence bring so much sorrow to David? Because Love loves all of its thoughts and its manifestations. And though, like Absalom, these thoughts may be partly of heathenish origin, the eyes of love see only that which is wholesome and good. Love is the fulfillment of the Law, which brings into expression the perfect pattern.
Metaphysically Interpreting II Samuel 18:19-33
18:19Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that Jehovah hath avenged him of his enemies. 18:20And Joab said unto him, Thou shalt not be the bearer of tidings this day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day; but this day thou shalt bear no tidings, because the king's son is dead. 18:21Then said Joab to the Cushite, Go, tell the king what thou hast seen. And the Cushite bowed himself unto Joab, and ran. 18:22Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But come what may, let me, I pray thee, also run after the Cushite. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou wilt have no reward for the tidings? 18:23But come what may, said he, I will run. And he said unto him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the Plain, and outran the Cushite.
18:24Now David was sitting between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof of the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, a man running alone. 18:25And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the king said, If he be alone, there is tidings in his mouth. And he came apace, and drew near. 18:26And the watchman saw another man running; and the watchman called unto the porter, and said, Behold, another man running alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tidings. 18:27And the watchman said, I think the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings.
18:28And Ahimaaz called, and said unto the king, All is well. And he bowed himself before the king with his face to the earth, and said, Blessed be Jehovah thy God, who hath delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king.18:29And the king said, Is it well with the young man Absalom? And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king's servant, even me thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was. 18:30And the king said, Turn aside, and stand here. And he turned aside, and stood still.
18:31And, behold, the Cushite came; and the Cushite said, Tidings for my lord the king; for Jehovah hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee. 18:32And the king said unto the Cushite, Is it well with the young man Absalom? And the Cushite answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise up against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. 18:33And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!
November 8, 1903: II Sam. 18:24-33
David's love for physical beauty, without spiritual understanding as a foundation, is illustrated in Absalom. He was so absorbed in that state of consciousness that he gave himself up to it without realizing its character. When Absalom with an army marched against Jerusalem, David fled and the usurper took possession of the capital. Thus we let our affections for the physical forms of life engross our whole attention, to the exclusion of the Spirit, and the disregard of Divine Law. Parents frequently give up everything to a selfish child. A parallel to this is found in the individual when some cherished idea takes possession of the whole man to the exclusion of good judgment in the preservation of mental poise.
When we give over our love of a thing on the sense plane beyond a certain point, there is a reaction and an adjustment takes place under the working of what may be termed the law of nature. The subjective consciousness is, in a measure, self-regulating. We may transgress the law of nature up to a certain degree, when all at once we seem to lose command; the mind and body are in a state of chemicalization; a war is on between the thoughts of truth and the thoughts of error. Some cherished ideal on the physical plane, that has been ruling, must be deposed and the rightful king restored to dominion. This may appear to be individual as a great sickness, of which he does not understand the cause; its explanation is below the line of conscious mind.
Joab led the army that defeated Absalom, and with his own hand he slew him. Joab represents the pivotal centre within, that preserves the unity and integrity of soul and body: the individual will. This is the focal point around which all the forces of the organism, objective and subjective, adjust themselves.
Yet the conscious love does not want to give up its cherished ideal no matter how great its error. When the messengers bring the tidings of its death, he cries, “O my son Absalom! my son, my son, Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!” This illustrates the absorbing attachment of the affections to the realm of sense, when there is lack of spiritual understanding as accompaniment.
Absalom was the son of a heathen wife; there was no redeeming spirituality as a mixture to the thought and the soul forces were cemented to it as a material reality. This is why it is so hard for us to give up our material possessions, whether they be in the form of children or money. If we love our children with an earthly love, without the understanding that they are the children of God, the very substance of our souls goes out with them. So when the soul loves money, it takes on the metallic substance and is fairly saturated with materiality. Jesus saw this when he said how hard it is for them that love riches to enter the kingdom of heaven.
– UNITY magazine
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 11-08-2013