Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Isaiah Chapter 40
Metaphysically Interpreting Isaiah 40:1-31
40:1Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 40:2Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem; and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she hath received of Jehovah's hand double for all her sins.
40:3The voice of one that crieth, Prepare ye in the wilderness the way of Jehovah; make level in the desert a highway for our God. 40:4Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the uneven shall be made level, and the rough places a plain: 40:5and the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it.
40:6The voice of one saying, Cry. And one said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. 40:7The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the breath of Jehovah bloweth upon it; surely the people is grass. 40:8The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever. 40:9O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up on a high mountain; O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold, your God! 40:10Behold, the Lord Jehovah will come as a mighty one, and his arm will rule for him: Behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 40:11He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and will gently lead those that have their young.
40:12Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? 40:13Who hath directed the Spirit of Jehovah, or being his counsellor hath taught him?40:14With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding? 40:15Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are accounted as the small dust of the balance: Behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. 40:16And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt-offering. 40:17All the nations are as nothing before him; they are accounted by him as less than nothing, and vanity.
40:18To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? 40:19The image, a workman hath cast it, and the goldsmith overlayeth it with gold, and casteth for it silver chains. 40:20He that is too impoverished for such an oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a skilful workman to set up a graven image, that shall not be moved.
40:21Have ye not known? have yet not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? 40:22It is he that sitteth above the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in; 40:23that bringeth princes to nothing; that maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. 40:24Yea, they have not been planted; yea, they have not been sown; yea, their stock hath not taken root in the earth: moreover he bloweth upon them, and they wither, and the whirlwind taketh them away as stubble.
40:25To whom then will ye liken me, that I should be equal to him? saith the Holy One. 40:26Lift up your eyes on high, and see who hath created these, that bringeth out their host by number; he calleth them all by name; by the greatness of his might, and for that he is strong in power, not one is lacking.
40:27Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from Jehovah, and the justice due to me is passed away from my God? 40:28Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard? The everlasting God, Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary; there is no searching of his understanding. 40:29He giveth power to the faint; and to him that hath no might he increaseth strength. 40:30Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 40:31but they that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.
April 21, 1929: Isaiah 40:1-11
What is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the feminine or mother principle in the Godhead. It is recorded in Genesis that God “created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Both the male and female principles in the Godhead are emphasized here as the source of ideal or spiritual man.
The central theme of our lesson today is the “Comforter.” In what respect does the Holy Spirit appear as “Comforter”? In the natural world one of the offices of the Holy Spirit is to comfort, to mother, to forgive, to show mercy, to care for, to nurture, to bind up, and to heal. It is in this respect that God, the principle, appears as God, the personal, in creation. God as principle is of too pure eyes to behold iniquity, but God as Holy Spirit “forgiveth all thine iniquities” and “healeth all thy diseases.”
What is the meaning of the words, “the wilderness” and “the desert”? “The wilderness” signifies the wild, uncultivated thought realm that must be disciplined and trained in righteousness; “the desert” refers to belief in the sense of lack and barrenness. Under divine law the understanding of omnipresent, all-producing substance must be established in mind.
What is the meaning of verse 4: “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the uneven shall be made level, and the rough places a plain”? “Every valley” represents over-humble, servile, inferior, complex thoughts. The phrase “Every mountain and hill” represents pride, arrogance, haughtiness, and self-sufficiency. Under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit these are to be equalized, making “the uneven ... level, and the rough places a plain.”
According to our lesson today “the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it.” What does Jehovah represent? The name Jehovah in Hebrew is “Jah-veh,” representing the male and female qualities of being in manifestation. “Elohim” is the name of the unmanifest God, and “Jah-veh” is the name of the manifest God.
What shall be the manifestation of the work of Spirit? The work of Spirit shall be revealed in all its glory and even the flesh shall radiate the perfection of Spirit. As Job said, “Yet in my flesh shall I see God.” Jesus' body was transformed in the resurrection and transmuted in the ascension, and now exists in the omnipresent ether as God's idea of perfect man in spirit, soul, and body.
What symbolism is in the cry, “All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field” that “withereth” and “fadeth”? This symbol of the perishable grass points direct to the body of flesh before it is quickened by Spirit.
How is the quickening of the flesh accomplished? The quickening is accomplished by the word of God, through spiritual man. “But the word of our God shall stand forever. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion ... lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold, your God!”
April 23, 1940: Isaiah 40:1-11
What is the source of man's deepest and most lasting comfort? Man finds enduring comfort only in Spirit. Jesus Christ described the “Comforter” as the “Spirit of truth,” which “shall be in you.”
In matters of comfort is man sufficient unto himself? The Spirit of truth is sufficient to comfort him when he appeals to it and permits it to help him balance his life according to the divine standard.
How do we express the mental or spiritual quality that Jesus called the “Spirit of truth”? We call it spiritual understanding.
What is the second voice heard by the prophet? Isaiah discerned that man must know enduring from the transitory, and he cried out that all flesh is as the grass, but that the “word of our God shall stand forever.”
What are the good tidings to Zion and Jerusalem? These are the announcement that those who attain to Spiritual consciousness (Zion) and peace (Jerusalem) shall see God (“Behold, your God!”) and that God is love (“He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and will gently lead those that have their young”).
Why is Jerusalem said to have received “double for her sins”? Jerusalem, the consciousness of peace in man, is disrupted, when man sins or falls short of the divine law. When he ceases to sin, he continues nevertheless to suffer, until he erases from mind the memory of past sins by a change of mind or “repentance.”
What is the first voice that Isaiah hears crying in this lesson? The voice of good judgment and common sense cries to man to prepare himself to follow the way by which his good will come to him. Preparation is necessary.
What are the “wilderness” and the “desert” mentioned in this lesson? Both these words represent the subconscious side of man's nature.
What is the great leveling and smoothing out process spoken of by the prophet? The process of forming new thought habits to replace the old ones that were full of error levels all inequalities and smoothes out all difficulties. The forming of new habits is part of the preparation of a highway in the “wilderness” or subconsciousness of man.
July 21, 1946: Isaiah 40:30-31
Whence come strength and power? From God. “It is he that giveth thee power to get wealth.” “They that wait Jehovah shall renew their strength.”
January 11, 1948: Isaiah 40:28-31
Is our strength a matter altogether of our physical inheritance? No, it has its source in the primal energy that inheres in all things and animates all life. The source of this universal energy is God, the Spirit or life of the universe.
Can we make conscious union with this energy or power, so as to maintain our health and vitality always at a normal level? We can and do through prayer, meditation, and right conduct. “They that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength.” We can even keep our health above the normal standard of the sense consciousness. “They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.”
How do we identify ourselves with our spiritual or higher self? By entering into spiritual consciousness, recognizing God as our animating spirit, and living in accordance with His Truth.
November 6, 1949: Isaiah 40:27-31
Is the nature of God such that He loses sight of the individual and his well-being in the vastness of the whole? No. God provides for the individual and his well-being with the same care that He designs the corolla of a flower, according to a definite pattern or law peculiar to each species. He does not withhold the justice due to us in the cosmic scheme, but we do not always recognize the law under which it is meted out.
Why do we have to keep reminding ourselves that “The Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither, is weary”? The Creator is unhurried, and our patience is finite; therefore we do not always comprehend or see the out-working of the divine law in our affairs. We expect immediate relief on change regardless of the fact that causes usually work slowly, unseen, and unsuspected by us.
Why is there no “searching” of the understanding of God? Since the finite cannot comprehend the Infinite there can be no complete understanding of the mind of God. Sense consciousness cannot comprehend the nature of God.
How do we gain strength from God? Through expecting divine help and taking it when it comes. “They that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength.” To wait is confidently to expect and then to go forward as though we had received. In going forward or in acting on our faith we gain strength.
Is the strength we gain through faith in divine power more sustaining than mere physical strength? Yes. Spiritual strength is always more sustaining than physical strength, because it connects its possessor with the source of all strength, God. “To him that hath no might he increaseth strength.”
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-21-2014