Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Numbers Chapter 14
Metaphysically Interpreting Numbers 14:1-12
14:1And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 14:2And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would that we had died in this wilderness! 14:3And wherefore doth Jehovah bring us unto this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will be a prey: were it not better for us to return into Egypt? 14:4And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.
14:5Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 14:6And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were of them that spied out the land, rent their clothes: 14:7and they spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceeding good land. 14:8If Jehovah delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it unto us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. 14:9Only rebel not against Jehovah, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is removed from over them, and Jehovah is with us: fear them not. 14:10But all the congregation bade stone them with stones.
And the glory of Jehovah appeared in the tent of meeting unto all the children of Israel. 14:11And Jehovah said unto Moses, How long will this people despise me? and how long will they not believe in me, for all the signs which I have wrought among them? 14:12I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a nation greater and mightier than they.
August 24, 1902: Numbers 14:4
Beware how you let the thoughts of fear and inability sway you. One and God are the majority. All power is given unto you in the Jesus Christ consciousness. You can conquer with Joshua (I AM) as your captain.
February 10, 1924: Numbers 14:1-10
Why did the children of Israel cry and weep all the night, as described in verse 1? The spies had returned from the Promised Land, bringing evil report, saying: “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature.”
What is the metaphysical meaning of this passage? When the I AM (Joshua), acting with faith (Caleb) and certain other faculties, touches the realm of the subconscious (promised land) and feels the mighty life forces at work there, it is appalled by the magnitude of the overcoming which will have to be done before the land can be possessed.
What is the meaning of the children of Israel’s murmuring against Aaron, and wishing that they had died in Egypt, or in “this wilderness”? Moses represents the divine law in principle, and Aaron represents the executive power of the law. The unregenerate congregation of thoughts would rather die in the confusion of materiality than make the effort to obey the law and carry it out in right thinking.
What is the meaning of verse 4: “And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt”? To “make a captain” is to form a false ego on the material plane, and to let it lead our thoughts and acts independently of divine law.
What is the meaning of Moses’ and Aaron’s falling on their faces before all the assembly of the children of Israel? The face expresses the intelligence of the mind, and the falling on the face by Moses and Aaron represents an intelligent appeal to the people or to the whole congregation of thoughts.
What is the meaning of Joshua and Caleb's rending their clothes? Joshua (spiritual I AM) and Caleb (faith) express their disapproval of the murmuring and rebellion of the children of Israel, and this inharmony extends to the most external thoughts (clothing).
What is the meaning of verse 8: “If Jehovah delight in us, then he will bring us to this land, and give it unto us; a land which floweth with milk and honey”? The delight of Jehovah means the pleasure of the Cosmic Mind, which will not only bring its peoples into elemental substance, but give it to them as a possession. Milk and honey represent the very essence of sustenance, which flows freely and fully through the substance of the spiritual soul.
Some prominent race thoughts are pointed out in verse 9, and an assurance given that they can be overcome. What are they? The first is rebellion against the work of the high spiritual Jehovah; next is fear; then follows the assurance that we have the overcoming power through Jehovah to attain every victory.
December 2, 1951: Numbers 14:1-11
What is the first effect of fear, as shown in the text of this lesson? The first effect is panic, which paralyzes the reasoning powers. Instead of quickening the thoughts, fear makes quick, clear thinking impossible. Coolness under stress requires courage.
How do immature persons react to fear? They take refuge in order to relieve the tension that they are mentally unable to control. The spiritually mature person finds relief from tension in prayer and in keeping the mind open to divine guidance as a sure way out of an emergency.
In the usual course what follows panic? Negatively, an attempt to justify it by putting the blame for it on someone else. “All the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron.” The constructive view leads a person to avoid a recurrence of panic by making an effort to understand the cause and apply a remedy.
Is death the worst enemy of the sense man? No, the dread of impending death is worse than death itself. The Children of Israel, confronted with the thought of the Nephilim in Canaan, wished that they had already died as slaves in Egypt or in the wilderness. They could not face the thought of death by the sword.
“Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.”
Is the slavery of sense preferable to death? To those in sense consciousness, yes. “Were it not better for us to return into Egypt”?
When we are piled with fear, are we able to formulate a well thought out plan? No, because when the mind is filled with fear, it is in a state of confusion.
What reasoning prevails over the unreason of fear? That of the saving grace of the I AM (Joshua) joined with an unyielding, uncompromising power in man that is loyal to its highest ideals (Caleb). “If Jehovah delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it unto us.”
How do we gain control of the subconscious elemental life forces? Through the activity of the I AM (Jehovah) we gain this control and exercise it. The subconsciousness then becomes a source of sustenance and support for the up-building of the Christ life within us (“the people of the land” become “bread for us”)
To whom does the Promised Land belong? The Promised Land symbolizes the spiritual realm, which belongs to the individual who is spiritually awakened, and who takes possession of it under the direction of the I AM.
Metaphysically Interpreting Numbers 14:13-25
14:13And Moses said unto Jehovah, Then the Egyptians will hear it; for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them; 14:14and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that thou Jehovah art in the midst of this people; for thou Jehovah art seen face to face, and thy cloud standeth over them, and thou goest before them, in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night. 14:15Now if thou shalt kill this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, 14:16Because Jehovah was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness. 14:17And now, I pray thee, let the power of the Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying,
14:18Jehovah is slow to anger,
and abundant in lovingkindness,
forgiving iniquity and transgression;
and that will by no means clear the guilty,
visiting the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children,
upon the third and upon the fourth generation.
14:19Pardon, I pray thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy lovingkindness, and according as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.
14:20And Jehovah said, I have pardoned according to thy word: 14:21but in very deed, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of Jehovah; 14:22because all those men that have seen my glory, and my signs, which I wrought in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have tempted me these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; 14:23surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that despised me see it: 14:24but my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. 14:25Now the Amalekite and the Canaanite dwell in the valley: to-morrow turn ye, and get you into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.
Metaphysically Interpreting Numbers 14:26-45
14:26And Jehovah spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 14:27How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, that murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. 14:28Say unto them, As I live, saith Jehovah, surely as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: 14:29your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, that have murmured against me, 14:30surely ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware that I would make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. 14:31But your little ones, that ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have rejected. 14:32But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. 14:33And your children shall be wanderers in the wilderness forty years, and shall bear your whoredoms, until your dead bodies be consumed in the wilderness. 14:34After the number of the days in which ye spied out the land, even forty days, for every day a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my alienation. 14:35I, Jehovah, have spoken, surely this will I do unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.
14:36And the men, whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up an evil report against the land, 14:37even those men that did bring up an evil report of the land, died by the plague before Jehovah. 14:38But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, remained alive of those men that went to spy out the land.
14:39And Moses told these words unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly. 14:40And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up to the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we are here, and will go up unto the place which Jehovah hath promised: for we have sinned. 14:41And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of Jehovah, seeing it shall not prosper? 14:42Go not up, for Jehovah is not among you; that ye be not smitten down before your enemies. 14:43For there the Amalekite and the Canaanite are before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned back from following Jehovah, therefore Jehovah will not be with you. 14:44But they presumed to go up to the top of the mountain: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. 14:45Then the Amalekite came down, and the Canaanite who dwelt in that mountain, and smote them and beat them down, even unto Hormah.
February 10, 1946: Numbers 14:11-24.
What effect on our life has unbelief? It is destructive rather than constructive. Unbelief disrupts the unity of the individual so that his thinking is not centered in the Supreme Being and his philosophy of life becomes unsettled.
Has the coming of adversity upon a person any especial significance, or is it an inexplicable thing that just “happens”? Adversity overtakes the one fails in some way to keep the divine law. Failure may be in thought, word, or act; the penalty comes as certainly in the one case as in the other.
How may we avoid adverse experiences? By avoiding adverse thinking and acting, becoming constructive in all our ways. Constructiveness builds a foundation for happy experiences.
Is it safe or desirable to allow someone else to do our thinking for us? Not if we are capable of discerning right from wrong. Everyone whose judgment is developed sufficiently to lead him to recognize and choose the right course should think for himself. The habit of thinking develops greater thought power, making original concepts possible and rendering authority neither needful or desirable.
Which is the greater, power that takes effect outwardly or power that influences mind, soul, and heart, transforming the life? Spiritual power is greater than material power. The Children of Israel were delivered by external signs and wonders. A greater demonstration of divine power was God’s forgiving of their transgressions through loving-kindness and unchanging love.
Is it consistent to believe that divine love is capable of unlimited forgiveness but that “the iniquity of the fathers” is visited “upon the third and upon the fourth generation of their children”? Both these statements are true, but to receive forgiveness it is necessary for the transgressor to put himself in touch with divine love. Unless he becomes conscious of it he cannot realize it in his life, and the penalty takes effect with cumulative force.
What spirit is necessary to the full realization of our good? That of faithfulness and purposefulness. “My servant Caleb ... had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully.”
What is the nature of the reward of faithfulness? The invisible substance of faith becomes the actual substance of reality. “Him will I bring into the land whereinto he went.”
What is the nature of the penalty? Failure to realize the good that awaits us as our true heritage, and falling into varying degrees of adversity.
How does anyone become conscious of the spiritual power underlying life and affecting it causatively? By observing his consciousness and noting how its content eventually is made actual in his life and affairs.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 02-02-2014