Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Numbers Chapter 21
Metaphysically Interpreting Numbers 21:1-9
21:1And the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who dwelt in the South, heard tell that Israel came by the way of Atharim; and he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive. 21:2And Israel vowed a vow unto Jehovah, and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities. 21:3And Jehovah hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: and the name of the place was called Hormah.
21:4And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. 21:5And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, and there is no water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. 21:6And Jehovah sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.21:7And the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, because we have spoken against Jehovah, and against thee; pray unto Jehovah, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. 21:8And Jehovah said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a standard: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he seeth it, shall live. 21:9And Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it upon the standard: and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked unto the serpent of brass, he lived.
August 31, 1902: Numbers 21:1-9
When we are cowardly and fearful in handling the body forces, as shown in the last lesson, they hold undisturbed their “cities,” or established states of consciousness. But the desire to draw upon the inner life is so great that we find some of our thoughts go in, as it were, the back door. Then King Asad (a wild ass) hears that some of our people are entering his domain in this spying way, and he captures them. This means that a weak thought is apt to be submerged in the prevailing state of consciousness with which it comes in contact. Asad, the wild ass, indicates the undisciplined animal character of the body. Our Israel thoughts represent our conscious abiding unity with the Spirit. When we discover that some of these spiritual thoughts are becoming material, there is a strong resolve made that the body shall be brought into subjection and the animal propensities destroyed. This “vow unto the Lord” places us in line with the natural upward trend of Being (delivered up the Canaanites), and we easily put to route these crude conditions: “utterly destroyed them and their cities.” “And the name of the place was called Hormah,” (destruction). When we consecrate ourselves to God all error is destroyed.
“They journeyed from Mount Hor (new conception) by the way of the Red Sea to compass the land of Edom, (red, the blood of life), and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.” We are constantly getting new concepts of life and its relation to the body, but the way to its control seems hard, and we find ourselves discouraged; then we conclude that our understanding of the law is at fault: “The people spake against Moses.” There is neither bread nor water, substance nor thought, and “our soul loatheth this light bread,” this vague comprehension of the substance of life. Discouraging, complaining thoughts set up cross-currents (“fiery serpents”) in the consciousness, and we find many of our highest ideas poisoned or curdled and confused by these negative thoughts. Science says that the poison of a serpent stops the flow of blood and it curdles in the veins. This is exactly what takes place in the mind when we let in thoughts of discouragement and complaint.
When we quit our error thoughts, repent, a new resolve is made. We appeal to our Perception of the Law (Moses) and he prays (affirms) its perfect action. The Lord is One and indivisible. His Law is one. In it there is not negative thought, no cross-current, but a concentration of all into One. Moses, the Understanding of this Law of Unity, establishes for us in the very center of our minds this one Life Current (“serpent of brass”), and when we look upon it (concentrate our whole attention upon it) we are healed of the poison of negation and discouragement which the cross-currents have produced.
– UNITY magazine.
September 8, 1907: Numbers 21:1-9
Bitterness always has back of it a bite for someone. In this instance it was God. When one rebels against life's conditions and curses God, he sets up some very fiery forces in his thoughts that react upon his body like poison. This is the condition illustrated in this allegory. God does not directly send serpents upon man, when he gets angry, but man's thought sets up cross-currents in his consciousness, and the burning and biting seem like a Divine visitation. The original Hebrew does not imply that these were real serpents, but “the seraphim”, “the burning ones.”
The serpent is a form of elemental life, and physiology says that the seminal fluid, through which physical life is generated, is impregnated with innumerable little serpents. Upon this the Oriental symbol of the serpent with tail in mouth, representing eternal life, is based. When these elemental forms are “lifted up” or spiritualized, they add glory and radiance to the whole man. The brazen serpent which Moses caused to be set up where all could see it, and by looking be healed, represents this elevation of the sense man to a higher consciousness.
Moses prayed for the people, they confessed their sins and repented, there was a complete change of thought and especially a concentration upon the One Central Life, represented by the brazen serpent, upon which all must look to be healed. When we turn our attention within and concentrate all our thoughts about life upon Divine Life, as manifest in Christ, a harmonizing and lifting-up process sets in throughout the organism. The life in the seminal fluid is no longer dissipated in sense sensation and psychic leakage, but conserved and concentrated at the various nerve centers. Through the action of the mind in prayer, faith and meditation these life vehicles are transmuted to higher forms of energy and the whole man is lifted up. This is the way the body is spiritualized and it is through this law that man will finally make an immortal body. “As Moses lifted up the Serpent in the wilderness (of sense) even so must the Son of man (personal consciousness) be lifted up.”
– UNITY magazine.
April 28, 1918: Numbers 21:1-9
What in consciousness does “South” represent? “South” represents the subconscious realm of mind in man.
What is the symbolical meaning of “Israel”?, of “the Canaanite”? “Israel” represents the reality of spiritual ideas in consciousness, while “the Canaanite” represents the elemental life forces in the subconscious. Through “Israel” “the Canaanites” are delivered “unto Jehovah,” or come under the law of the Spirit, and are transmuted into spiritual energy.
What is the symbolical meaning of the “fiery serpents” referred to in this lesson? The “fiery serpents” symbolize the cross-currents of thought set up in consciousness through the activity of ideas adverse to Divine Mind.
What in consciousness does the “serpent of brass” set up by Moses represent? The “serpent of brass” symbolizes the sense consciousness, which must be uplifted and spiritualized under the authority (Moses) of Divine Law.
What is the goal to be attained through the spiritualization of one's life forces? Through spiritualizing one's life forces the substance in which they function is redeemed and purified, and the immortal body is brought into manifestation.
How is spiritualization of one's life forces attained? Through the action of the mind in prayer, faith and meditation, the life vehicles are transmuted into higher forms of energy, and the whole man is uplifted and regenerated.
Metaphysically Interpreting Numbers 21:10-20
21:10And the children of Israel journeyed, and encamped in Oboth. 21:11And they journeyed from Oboth, and encamped at Iyeabarim, in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sunrising. 21:12From thence they journeyed, and encamped in the valley of Zered. 21:13From thence they journeyed, and encamped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness, that cometh out of the border of the Amorites: for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. 21:14Wherefore it is said in the book of the Wars of Jehovah,
Vaheb in Suphah,
And the valleys of the Arnon,
21:15And the slope of the valleys
That inclineth toward the dwelling of Ar,
And leaneth upon the border of Moab.
21:16And from thence they journeyed to Beer: that is the well whereof Jehovah said unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water. 21:17Then sang Israel this song:
Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it:
21:18The well, which the princes digged,
Which the nobles of the people delved,
With the sceptre, and with their staves.
And from the wilderness they journeyed to Mattanah; 21:19and from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel to Bamoth; 21:20and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the field of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looketh down upon the desert.
Metaphysically Interpreting Numbers 21:21-32
21:21And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, saying, 21:22Let me pass through thy land: we will not turn aside into field, or into vineyard; we will not drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king's highway, until we have passed thy border. 21:23And Sihon would not suffer Israel to pass through his border: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness, and came to Jahaz; and he fought against Israel. 21:24And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from the Arnon unto the Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon; for the border of the children of Ammon was strong. 21:25And Israel took all these cities: and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the towns thereof. 21:26For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto the Arnon. 21:27Wherefore they that speak in proverbs say,
Come ye to Heshbon;
Let the city of Sihon be built and established:
21:28For a fire is gone out of Heshbon,
A flame from the city of Sihon:
It hath devoured Ar of Moab,
The lords of the high places of the Arnon.
21:29Woe to thee, Moab!
Thou art undone, O people of Chemosh:
He hath given his sons as fugitives,
And his daughters into captivity,
Unto Sihon king of the Amorites.
21:30We have shot at them; Heshbon is perished even unto Dibon,
And we have laid waste even unto Nophah,
Which reacheth unto Medeba.
21:31Thus Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites. 21:32And Moses sent to spy out Jazer; and they took the towns thereof, and drove out the Amorites that were there.
Metaphysically Interpreting Numbers 21:33-35
21:33And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. 21:34And Jehovah said unto Moses, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon. 21:35So they smote him, and his sons and all his people, until there was none left him remaining: and they possessed his land.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 02-02-2014