Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Exodus Chapter 18
Metaphysically Interpreting Exodus 18:1-27
18:1Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, how that Jehovah had brought Israel out of Egypt. 18:2And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her away, 18:3and her two sons; of whom the name of the one was Gershom; for he said, I have been a sojourner in a foreign land: 18:4and the name of the other was Eliezer; for he said, The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh. 18:5And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness where he was encamped, at the mount of God: 18:6and he said unto Moses, I, thy father-in-law Jethro, am come unto thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her. 18:7And Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and did obeisance, and kissed him: and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into the tent. 18:8And Moses told his father-in-law all that Jehovah had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how Jehovah delivered them. 18:9And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which Jehovah had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians.
18:10And Jethro said, Blessed be Jehovah, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh; who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 18:11Now I know that Jehovah is greater than all gods; yea, in the thing wherein they dealt proudly against them. 18:12And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took a burnt-offering and sacrifices for God: and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law before God.
18:13And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood about Moses from the morning unto the evening. 18:14And when Moses' father-in-law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand about thee from morning unto even? 18:15And Moses said unto his father-in-law, Because the people come unto me to inquire of God: 18:16when they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between a man and his neighbor, and I make them know the statutes of God, and his laws. 18:17And Moses' father-in-law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. 18:18Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for the thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. 18:19Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God be with thee: be thou for the people to God-ward, and bring thou the causes unto God: 18:20and thou shalt teach them the statutes and the laws, and shalt show them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. 18:21Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating unjust gain; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: 18:22and let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge themselves: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. 18:23If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people also shall go to their place in peace.
18:24So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father-in-law, and did all that he had said.18:25And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 18:26And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves. 18:27And Moses let his father-in-law depart; and he went his way into his own land.
August 15, 1926: Exodus 18:13-24
What is the central idea in today's lesson? The central idea in today's lesson is cooperation. We are all one in Spirit. Under spiritual law the members of the whole human family must learn to concur in action and operate jointly with one another. The law of cooperation also holds good in individual development. In unfolding the spiritual man all the different faculties of being learn the lesson of cooperation.
In applying the law of cooperation, what is the most important point to bear in mind? The most important point to bear in mind is to seek continually to cooperate with the Spirit of truth within. One should never lay aside Truth principles in order to cooperate with others; however, whenever it is found necessary to lay aside personal prejudices in order that the spirit of cooperation may come in, one should never hesitate.
What is the metaphysical meaning of the name of Moses' father-in-law, Jethro? The name Jethro means “very excellent,” and signifies “the exalted one.” Reuel, the other name by which Jethro was called, means “friend of God,” and signifies the mutual comradeship that exists between God and spiritual man.
Moses was the lawgiver; he also sat in judgment over the people. Jethro, “the exalted one,” said in this this connection, “The thing that thou doest is not good.” Explain. Each faculty has its own work to perform, just as each individual has his own line of work. It sometimes happens that when one faculty is quickened more than the others; it tries to carry too much of the burden. Then the Exalted One within says, “The thing that thou doest is not good.”
Give the metaphysical meaning of verse 18: “Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.” The law of equilibrium should be observed in mind and in body. If one faculty is overtaxed, while another faculty lies dormant, the mind becomes unbalanced, and the whole system suffers as a consequence. The dormant faculty should be quickened and set to work.
“Hearken now unto my voice ... thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth ... to be rulers ... let them judge the people.” Explain. Good judgment, like all other faculties, is developed from principle. In this Scripture lesson the Exalted One within is pictured as opening the way for the bringing together of the highest thoughts in consciousness (men) that bear upon good judgment. This aggregation of thoughts forms the nucleus from which evolves the faculty of spiritual judgment.
Give the metaphysical meaning of verse 24: “So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father-in-law, and did all that he had said.” Verse 24 brings out the thought of complete cooperation in the whole consciousness. In Spirit there is true unity. As one's thoughts work together in peace and harmony, these qualities objectify themselves more and more in the environment. The without becomes as the within.
April 22, 1945: Exodus 18:19-24
Is good advice acceptable? Yes, but we should leave the final decision of the matter to a guidance that is higher than that of the personal. Jethro said to Moses, “I will give thee counsel, and God be with thee.” Advice may well be considered and a matter viewed from all sides before we ask divine wisdom to guide our decision.
Is it invariably, true that if we wish a thing to be well done we must do it ourselves? No. On the contrary, we accomplish most by delegating routine or detail work to those who are skilled in it, reserving for ourselves the planning and outlining of what we wish done. Cooperation with others in our work increases our output many times over.
In this lesson who embodies the Exalted One? Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, whose other name, Reuel, means “friendship of God.” This meaning suggests the relation of mutual understanding, fellowship, comradeship that exists between God and the man who is spiritually enlightened.
Can we express the Spirit of God so as to perceive the best way of doing a thing? We can if we claim divine wisdom daily in meditation and prayer and make full use of the wisdom we have.
What qualifications must we have if we are to do properly work delegated to us? Ability, honesty, and a sense of honor. Possessed of these as a foundation we may be trusted to do any work delegated to us. Reverence is also an asset.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 02-06-2014