Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Judges Chapter 6
Metaphysically Interpreting Judges 6:1-10
6:1And the children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah: and Jehovah delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. 6:2And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel; and because of Midian the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and the caves, and the strongholds. 6:3And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east; they came up against them; 6:4and they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance in Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. 6:5For they came up with their cattle and their tents; they came in as locusts for multitude; both they and their camels were without number: and they came into the land to destroy it. 6:6And Israel was brought very low because of Midian; and the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah.
6:7And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah because of Midian, 6:8that Jehovah sent a prophet unto the children of Israel: and he said unto them, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; 6:9and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land; 6:10and I said unto you, I am Jehovah your God; ye shall not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell. But ye have not hearkened unto my voice.
Metaphysically Interpreting Judges 6:11-27
6:11And the angel of Jehovah came, and sat under the oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. 6:12And the angel of Jehovah appeared unto him, and said unto him, Jehovah is with thee, thou mighty man of valor. 6:13And Gideon said unto him, Oh, my lord, if Jehovah is with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where are all his wondrous works which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not Jehovah bring us up from Egypt? but now Jehovah hath cast us off, and delivered us into the hand of Midian. 6:14And Jehovah looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and save Israel from the hand of Midian: have not I sent thee? 6:15And he said unto him, Oh, Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house. 6:16And Jehovah said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. 6:17And he said unto him, If now I have found favor in thy sight, then show me a sign that it is thou that talkest with me. 6:18Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and lay it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again.
6:19And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of meal: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it. 6:20And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. 6:21Then the angel of Jehovah put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there went up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and the angel of Jehovah departed out of his sight. 6:22And Gideon saw that he was the angel of Jehovah; and Gideon said, Alas, O Lord Jehovah! forasmuch as I have seen the angel of Jehovah face to face. 6:23And Jehovah said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. 6:24Then Gideon built an altar there unto Jehovah, and called it Jehovah-shalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
6:25And it came to pass the same night, that Jehovah said unto him, Take thy father's bullock, even the second bullock seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the Asherah that is by it; 6:26and build an altar unto Jehovah thy God upon the top of this stronghold, in the orderly manner, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt-offering with the wood of the Asherah which thou shalt cut down. 6:27Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as Jehovah had spoken unto him: and it came to pass, because he feared his father's household and the men of the city, so that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.
April 28, 1945: Judges 6:11-16
When we have lost courage and are disheartened and fearful because of hard conditions, how can we overcome these conditions? We overcome hard conditions by first overcoming the negative state of mind that makes us a prey to them. It is easier to hold fast our courage than to regain it after we have allowed it to slip from us. Nevertheless we can regain courage by cultivating strong, confident assurance and faith. “The angel of Jehovah came, and sat under the oak” while Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress. The oak represents strength or endurance, and the angel's first words were a positive affirmation.
Are the high claims that we make in our affirmations untrue or inconsistent with our possibilities? High claims often seem inconsistent with facts or existing conditions; but they are true in the ideal, because in this realm only the good is true. We do not wish to conform our thoughts or our words to negative appearances for we can never overcome negation by acceptance or conformity. Such states are met with denials.
If courage is not regained immediately, what course is advisable for us to follow? A stronger thought more firmly held. The first affirmation of the angel for Gideon was: “Jehovah is with thee, thou mighty man of valor.” Gideon replied with an argument, which called forth a stronger affirmation: “Go in this thy might, and save Israel from the hand of Midian: have not I sent thee?” A second doubting called forth these words: “Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.”
In the regaining of confidence and courage is humility an asset or a hindrance? It is an asset, preventing the overconfidence of personality. Gideon first made sure of his reliance on God. When this was well established he depended upon it utterly, sending away 31,700 of his followers and retaining three hundred unarmed men with whom to meet the host of the Midianites. He tested God's presence and power, but only that he might put his faith to the supreme test, and the results justified his method. Faith, like wisdom, is justified by its works.
July 20, 1952: Judges 6:11-17
What inner meaning does the story of Gideon have for us? That when we are undergoing trials, and seek divine help through meditation and prayer, the way out of our troubles is revealed to us. Gideon was beating out wheat (dividing the true from the false) when the angel of Jehovah (messenger or thought of God) appeared unto him to assure him of divine help (“Jehovah is with thee”).
What is signified by Gideon's conversation with the angel? Our struggle to accept the truth that divine power is greater than any human problem.
Does God always reveal to us the cause of our troubles? No. When, in seeking His help, we cry unto God, “Why did this happen?” (“Why then is all this befallen us?”), God does not answer our question from the human point of view, but from the divine, with assurance of victory (“Go in this thy might, and save Israel”).
Do we readily accept the assurance of divine aid? No, our human doubts and fears, our feelings of inadequacy or inferiority, rise up to trouble us. “Wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is the poorest ... and I am the least in my father's house.”
How are our fears and doubts at length overcome? By a growing sense of power and spiritual dominion. “I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite.”
Even after we receive divine assurance of victory, does our mind accept it unreservedly? No, humanly we want some outer confirmation of our spiritual realization. “If now I have found favor in thy sight, then show me a sign that that it is thou that talkest with me.”
July 20, 1952: Judges 6:25-27
What is signified by Jehovah's telling Gideon to throw down the altar of Baal and build an altar unto Jehovah? When we invoke the guidance of God, we are to follow divine instruction, and not look for guidance elsewhere, or rely on luck or chance (worship Baal).
What overcoming in particular is illustrated by Gideon's successful warfare against the Midianites? The enemy against whom Gideon waged war was Midian, which means “strife” or “contention.” Petty quarrels, jealousies, uncharitable thoughts can be overcome only by positive denial (Gideon) made in the realization that the power and love of God will overcome all strife.
Are we to overcome every instance of quarreling, Jealousy, or bickering as an individual case? No, we must “smite the Midianites as one man,” that is, as impersonal evil, and consider even that as an unreality that never was and never shall be.
Metaphysically Interpreting Judges 6:28-35
6:28And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. 6:29And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they inquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. 6:30Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die, because he hath broken down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the Asherah that was by it. 6:31And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye contend for Baal? Or will ye save him? he that will contend for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him contend for himself, because one hath broken down his altar. 6:32Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal contend against him, because he hath broken down his altar.
6:33Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east assembled themselves together; and they passed over, and encamped in the valley of Jezreel. 6:34But the Spirit of Jehovah came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered together after him. 6:35And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; and they also were gathered together after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.
Metaphysically Interpreting Judges 6:36-40
6:36And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as thou hast spoken, 6:37behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing-floor; if there be dew on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the ground, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as thou hast spoken. 6:38And it was so; for he rose up early on the morrow, and pressed the fleece together, and wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. 6:39And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be kindled against me, and I will speak but this once: let me make trial, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. 6:40And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 12-29-2013