Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Exodus Chapter 1
Metaphysically Interpreting Exodus 1:1-7
1:1Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt (every man and his household came with Jacob): 1:2Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,1:3Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,1:4Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.1:5And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: and Joseph was in Egypt already. 1:6And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. 1:7And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.
May 19, 1907: Exod. 1:1-4
Canaan means low country, and Egypt fortified land. They represent to the metaphysician two phases of substance in consciousness. Canaan is the invisible substance that surrounds and interpenetrates all bodies, and Egypt is the visible or solid form perceived by the outer senses. Canaan is the "Promised Land" because it is not bound by the limitations of material consciousness. It is invaded by alien tribes, but they are to be driven out when the real owners come into their inheritance.
The faculties of the mind, represented by the sons of Jacob, inhabit first the invisible substance, then the visible. This is the way the mind makes that wonderful musician, the soul, and its instrument, the body. Thoughts are first manifest in the invisible substance, then projected into the visible.
When man is ignorant of the laws of creation, and the powers of his mind, he naturally gravitates to a material base of thought and act. Of the sons of Jacob but one, Joseph (the imagination), had knowledge of the invisible, and when he told his dreams and visions the others scoffed. When he appeared they cried in derision, "Behold, this dreamer cometh." They refused to plant their seed words in the soil of the invisible substance, and the result was a famine. "There was no corn in Canaan."
When we refuse to observe the law of the Lord and work our life problem according to Divine Principle, we are compelled to work it in another way. Thousands go down into Egypt and suffer its bondage and trials, who might remain in the "Promised Land" and produce corn enough and to spare, if they were more observant of and obedient to spiritual leadings.
But even in the world of materiality the "chosen of the Lord" Increase and multiply. The strong point of the Israelites was their faith in the One God. No matter how great your trials, nor how dark the way, if you firmly believe in the Omnipresent Good you will succeed, and no oppression will ever be great enough to hold you down.
-- UNITY magazine.
Metaphysically Interpreting Exodus 1:8-22
1:8Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph. 1:9And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 1:10come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they also join themselves unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the land. 1:11Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh store-cities, Pithom and Raamses. 1:12But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. 1:13And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor: 1:14and they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field, all their service, wherein they made them serve with rigor.
1:15And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 1:16and he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the birth-stool; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. 1:17But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men-children alive. 1:18And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men-children alive? 1:19And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwife come unto them. 1:20And God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. 1:21And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them households. 1:22And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.
July 4, 1937: Exod. 1:6-14
What is the chief thought in this lesson? The limitations of the man who is subject to material-mindedness and his desire to rise to a higher consciousness and better his condition.
How does materiality prevail over the religious ideals and instincts in man? When idealism and the intuitive faculty no longer function actively in mind (when Joseph dies), materiality comes by degrees to prevail over the religious nature (the Children of Israel). When this occurs man is no longer free to live from his inner thinking and reasoning center, but is a slave to the authority of custom and man-made beliefs.
What are we to understand by the statement that the Children of Israel "were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them," after the death of Joseph and his generation? The fact that a man is in bondage to materiality does not destroy his religious instincts. These continue to function below the surface of consciousness (in Egypt), but since he is no longer aware of them he does not express them.
What does the enforced work of the Children of Israel under their Egyptian taskmasters symbolize? The Children of Israel built for Pharaoh the "store-cities, Pithom and Raamses," showing the Joseph's policy of laying up stores was still in force. These cities represent reserves of substance in the subconsciousness. No mind action is ever lost or wasted. It leaves its impression on the subconscious mind and gathers power there.
"The more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad." What does this statement show? Injustice and affliction tend to cause mental repression. This results in a concentration of feeling, coloring all the thoughts and actions of the afflicted one. The more pent up the feeling the greater its intensity and the more pronounced the final reaction.
July 4, 1943: Exod. 1:6-14
What do the Israelites in Egyptian slavery represent?They represent thoughts that once were characterized by the illumination of Spirit but that have sunk into material conditions and been obscured by them.
Why did the number of the Israelites increase more rapidly in affliction than in happier circumstances? Affliction quickens thought and stirs the longing for deliverance. The thoughts of the Children of Israel turned toward freedom and they longed for peace but without vision of its possibility. As affliction increased the longing for peace also increased in intensity.
Why were the Egyptians "grieved because of the children of Israel"? Thoughts of sense have nothing in common with spiritual thoughts but are antagonistic to them. Lacking understanding of spiritual things, sense consciousness causes those who are ruled by it to dread even the mention of these subjects.
What is represented by "a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph"?A dominant idea in the sense realm that is completely out of touch with the imaging faculty (Joseph). Sense consciousness does not allow its subjects to realize that imagination is a creative faculty with a definite function to perform.
In what respect are our spiritual thoughts and impulses "more and mightier" than the thoughts that we derive from the sense realm? In the subconsciousness, where spiritual impulses are instinctive, they obey the law of increase and multiply in the form of emotions, unrealized longings for something better, gropings after what is true and enduring. Sense consciousness, satisfied in itself, aspires to nothing higher and remains more nearly stationary in comparison.
What do the "store-cities" built by the Children of Israel for Pharaoh represent? They represent a group of thoughts pertaining the conservation of substance, built up in the subjective consciousness (Egypt) by our higher ideals (Israelites) while they are in bondage to the darkened sense thoughts represented by the Egyptians. Even when sense consciousness dominates the higher ideals in the subconscious mind the latter remain constructive.
Can spiritual thoughts be made to serve material ends? When materiality dominates the life the higher ideals are turned into selfish channels and a selfish motive is imputed to even as slight a thing as a casual kindness. The list could be indefinitely extended to include all that is viewed with the eye of sense.
July 4, 1926: Exod. 1:8-14
What is represented by the children of Israel's working in Egypt? The children of Israel represent thoughts of truth. Egypt represents the most material plane of consciousness, the body. So the children of Israel in Egypt symbolize thoughts of truth working for the uplift of the body temple.
What is meant by the statement, "Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph"? The king of Egypt represents the will, which rules in body consciousness. The new king "who knew not Joseph" means that the ruling will in the body has taken on a more material state of consciousness—so material that it has ruled out the imagination (Joseph).
When materiality predominates in consciousness what effect does it have upon thoughts of truth? There is always a war going on in man's consciousness between truth and error. Material thoughts fear that the spiritual thoughts may become too powerful and therefore should be suppressed. "Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we."
Why does man act and think from a material standpoint? The natural man is ignorant of the laws of creation and the powers of his mind; therefore he naturally comes to think and to act from a material standpoint. Of the sons of Jacob, only Joseph (the imagination) had knowledge of the invisible, and when he told the others of his dreams and visions they scoffed. When he appeared they cried in derision; "Behold, this dreamer cometh. They refused to plant their seed words in the soil of the invisible substance, and the result was a famine, a consciousness of lack of sustaining life and substance.
What are some of the taskmasters and some of the burdens with which materiality afflicts the natural man? Under the law of material necessities our taskmasters are many. We feel compelled to overwork, because of belief in the necessity for storing up possessions; we become servants of materiality in its many forms.
What line of thought would keep us from the necessity for going down into Egypt? Obedience to divine law always leads one to the light. Thousands go down into Egypt and suffer its bondage and trials, when they might remain in the Promised Land and produce com (vitality) enough and to spare if they were obedient to the leadings of Spirit.
Why did the children of Israel increase and multiply in Egypt? The strong point of the Israelites was their faith in the one God. Faith always increases spirituality, even though one may be bound in material darkness. If one firmly believes in the omnipresent good, no matter how great one's trials or how dark the way, he will succeed and no oppression will ever be great enough to hold him down.
January 6, 1946: Exod. 1:8-14
What is signified by the "new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph"? Egypt signifies the body consciousness. When creative imagination is given free play in this realm the body consciousness is maintained at a high level of receptivity to the good. The "new king over Egypt" signifies a materialistic conception of life and a will exerted on a low plane of understanding.
What keeps us from seeing our way clearly to an understanding of life and its problems? The dulling of the faculty of imagination by material thinking and living.
What will lead to permanent peace and security on earth? Good will on a world-wide scale and the acceptance of the equality of all men in Christ as an actuality.
What truth is expressed in the words of Pharaoh, "the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we"? That spiritual consciousness (the Children of Israel) is more powerful and enduring than the body conscious.
How may we see our way through doubt and uncertainty to the certainty of conviction that belongs to a son of God? By claiming our oneness with Divine Mind, realizing it, and acting upon the claim in all the affairs of daily life.
How can spiritual consciousness (represented by the Children of Israel) be enslaved by the body consciousness (the Egyptians)? Spiritual consciousness is enslaved when body consciousness is devoted to the serving of selfish or material ends. This service vitiates all spirituality.
Is the transition from the lower to the higher consciousness quick and easy, or is it a long-continued process? It usually extends over a considerable period of time, but it may be instantaneous. The length of time required is dependent on the power of the individuals concerned to realize their spiritual heritage.
Transcribed by Jennifer Keating on 10-19-2013