Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Judges Chapter 2
Metaphysically Interpreting Judges 2:1-5
2:1And the angel of Jehovah came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you: 2:2and ye shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall break down their altars. But ye have not hearkened unto my voice: why have ye done this? 2:3Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you. 2:4And it came to pass, when the angel of Jehovah spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept. 2:5And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto Jehovah.
Metaphysically Interpreting Judges 2:6-10
2:6Now when Joshua had sent the people away, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land. 2:7And the people served Jehovah all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of Jehovah that he had wrought for Israel.2:8And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Jehovah, died, being a hundred and ten years old. 2:9And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill-country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash. 2:10And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, that knew not Jehovah, nor yet the work which he had wrought for Israel.
Metaphysically Interpreting Judges 2:11-23
2:11And the children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and served the Baalim; 2:12and they forsook Jehovah, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the peoples that were round about them, and bowed themselves down unto them: and they provoked Jehovah to anger. 2:13And they forsook Jehovah, and served Baal and the Ashtaroth. 2:14And the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that despoiled them; and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. 2:15Whithersoever they went out, the hand of Jehovah was against them for evil, as Jehovah had spoken, and as Jehovah had sworn unto them: and they were sore distressed.
2:16And Jehovah raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those that despoiled them. 2:17And yet they hearkened not unto their judges; for they played the harlot after other gods, and bowed themselves down unto them: they turned aside quickly out of the way wherein their fathers walked, obeying the commandments of Jehovah; but they did not so. 2:18And when Jehovah raised them up judges, then Jehovah was with the judge, and saved them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented Jehovah because of their groaning by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. 2:19But it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they turned back, and dealt more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their doings, nor from their stubborn way. 2:20And the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel; and he said, Because this nation have transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; 2:21I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations that Joshua left when he died; 2:22that by them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of Jehovah to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not. 2:23So Jehovah left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.
November 16, 1902: Judges 2:6-16
The Revised Version of verse 6 reads: “Now when Joshua had sent the people away, the children of Israel went, every man unto his inheritance to possess the land.” This means that the Spiritual I AM causes the thoughts to locate themselves in the consciousness and become an abiding activity in that particular locality. This is a law of manifestation. An ideal held in the mind eventually incarnates itself in the body and loses its mental character. Even the Spiritual Ideal of man, or Spiritual I AM, is subject to this law and is buried in the personal consciousness as a higher will. This is symbolized by the death of Joshua. He was buried in “Timnathheries (abundant portion) in the hill country of Ephraim (fruitful, the will,) on the north of the mountain of Gaash” (shaking, uncertain). – R.V. This means that a large part of the consciousness came under the dominion of the higher I AM in its incarnation as personal will, but that it is in the north (intellect) and therefore uncertain and shaky.
There is always an expansion of the powers of man after he has realized his spiritual origin and affirmed his I AM dominion, but it may take on a very pronounced mortal character, if it be allowed to look to worldly ambitions instead of spiritual. The whole consciousness undergoes a change under this law, and every thought planted in the soil of the body takes on in a measure the character of that soil, just as the seed planted in the ground is limited in its productiveness to the capacity of the land.
We often wonder why people who have been illuminated by the Spirit, and who have lived for a season in almost a state of spiritual ecstasy, should gradually lose their high thoughts and grow cold in their religious enthusiasm. The explanation is found in this law of the ideal becoming an integral part of the consciousness. In its first inception it was pure and clear, because direct from the Spirit. As it sinks deeper and deeper into the personality, it is tempered by the limited surrounding thoughts, and when the new generation comes into expression, it seems to have forgotten the Lord and the “work which he had done for Israel.”
The worship of Baalim, the plural of Baal, is the reverence which personality pays to the religious forms and ceremonies of sense. It crops out in a multitude of ways. The observance of the letter of the law instead of its spirit sets up antagonistic currents in the consciousness, and we are told that the “anger of the Lord was hot against Israel.” When, we transgress, the law of our right development is impeded, and we are apparently in the hands of our enemies “round about,” which is sense environment.
“Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.” After having once been in the consciousness of Spirit we can never lose its guidance and saving power entirely. The Divine Law itself affords a saving grace and the judgment of the mind calls our attention to the right relation, and we adopt spiritual ways again, because we see that there is no other source for contentment and happiness.
– UNITY magazine.
April 4, 1920: Judges 2:6-16
What is the meaning of Joshua, and the mission of the force that he represents? Joshua means “Savior.” He represents intellectual illumination. The mission of this power is to serve the Law (Lord); to lead to the light.
What is the meaning the death of Joshua? When the illumination of the intellect fades away for lack of substance and life in the subconsciousness, Joshua is said to have died. This means the intellectual light becomes a stored-up memory of a high character, which is typified by the mountain country in which Joshua was buried.
Explain, “and there arose another generation after them, that knew not Jehovah, nor yet the work which he had wrought for Israel.” As night follows the day, so in the early religious experiences of the soul a season of darkness always follows a high illumination. At tins time, the untried powers of the soul, also past sins and shortcomings, are brought into evidence, and to appearances, disorder and confusion prevail.
In the light of Truth, is this experience a “going back” in spiritual unfoldment? No. It is only a letting go in order to get tat a better hold. Back of all are the unalterable Laws of God, working to bring into expression the poise and serenity and Joy of Divine Mind, to the final bringing forth of the perfect creation. As in the winnowing process, the grain is carefully separated from the chaff and stored away for future use, so the Lord preserves the “finest of the wheat”, which springs up in an illumined mind, and preserves it until such time as it can be best used in the soul unfoldment.
What is the final step into light out of this season of darkness? The dawning of a new day. God has so ordained it. When all mortal means of deliverance have failed, the only source of escape is to turn to the one Helper within. When Spirit is appealed to, the freeing power is set into activity and the path which leads into the light is made clear.
Under the Jesus Christ dispensation in which met we are living today, are these experiences necessary? No. Though one may go down into the depths temporarily, the beacon light of spiritual illumination is not extinguished; those who have learned to trust the Lord, to keep the face turned towards the light regardless of appearances, are learning to pass from one state of consciousness to another (from glory to glory), with little or no disturbance. They have learned to make practical use of the Law; to walk on the waters of the [un]tried seas of thought, and not be afraid.
February 24, 1924: Judges 2:16-18
What is the general them of this lesson? The general theme of this lesson is the development of judgment. Our attention is called to the fact that we are worshiping or giving our allegiance to materiality, or “other gods” than Jehovah; instead of being true to divine judgment, “they hearkened not unto their judges.”
July 16, 1944: Judges 2:6-16
When does faith in God come easily and naturally? When we see divine power being demonstrated before our eyes, as happens when a leader, whose faith is firm, opens the way for power to become manifest. In such an event faith is easier for us to hold than doubt.
When did Jehovah do His great work for Israel? During the leadership of Moses, Joshua, and Caleb, whose continuing great faith made great works possible.
What is the mission of the I AM (represented by Joshua) to our true thoughts (the children of Israel)? Its mission is to bring us into a realization of our rightful place in the realm of spiritual power (the Promised Land).
What follows this realization? We begin to possess ourselves of our heritage, that is, to express the power of Spirit in our life and affairs. As our consciousness of spiritual substance increases, our faith grows surer.
How is the death of Joshua best interpreted? When some central idea leads an individual to apply all his powers to its realization, the idea seems to “die,” to become merged in the general activity of his being as a whole. This merging is represented by the death of Joshua.
How can the rising of a generation “that knew not Jehovah” be explained? Obedience to divine law includes the training of children in the knowledge of their true nature as divine. Where the I AM is preoccupied with the inner life of the individual, the next generation is not always given the instruction needed to make them conscious of their spiritual source. Left uniformed, they allow their thoughts to become fixed on externals and grow material-minded.
What overtakes those who are unconscious of Truth? The divine law takes effect in negation and error and this effect is destructive instead of constructive. “The anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel.”
Why is thoroughness in matters of faith essential? Because the undivided mind reaches its goal through the full concentration of its powers, whereas the divided mind scatters its forces and achieves nothing of value.
What is the significance of judges to save Israel from those who despoiled them? Judges present the clear-seeing thoughts in the mind that grasp Truth and cause us to see wherein we are out of harmony with it. By moving us to align our thoughts with Truth and persevere in expressing it, they save us out of negation, error, and the bondage that these bring in their train.
April 28, 1945: Judges 2:6-7,11-12, 18-19
How are high ideals realized? By entering into spiritual consciousness, the realm of the ideal, and there working toward their realization.
What quality is as important as faith? Courage, which everyone must realize before he can accomplish much of value in life.
What is the foundation of courage? Unshakable faith in a power that is sufficient for all our needs.
What makes faithfulness not only attainable by us but an easy attitude to hold? Devotion to the ideal that we wish to realize, and a clear vision of what we wish to accomplish. As long as we have these two things we remain faithful, for we “know him whom” we “have believed.” The Children of Israel served Jehovah as long as Joshua and the elders, who had known him, lived.
Is unity of purpose a helpful factor in accomplishing what we set out to do? Unity always gives strength, and when purpose is held singly and unwaveringly, it can hardly be defeated. It is when the purpose is temporarily forgotten or obscured that negation undermines the structure that we are building and makes our efforts empty of results.
March 10, 1946: Judges 2:7,11,16-23
Is the exercise of good judgment necessary to successful living? It is. The pitfalls of error are avoided by the use of good judgment. Habitual lapses from Truth into error interfere with successful living and even defeat it.
Is the faithful worshiping of God and the faithful following of His divine law of life a matter of good judgment? No better judgment could be shown than that which requires us to be faithful to God and unifies our soul with the highest truth that we can conceive of.
Is the desire to live life fully and completely a goal impossible for us to realize? No. Others have realized this goal, and with the inspiration of the ideal before us, directing us, we too can realize it. The full life is not easily or cheaply won. It requires the faithful expression of all our faculties and powers.
Why does the faculty of judgment occupy a position of authority over our thoughts of reality? Because judgment insures balance, poise, and self-dominion, all of which enable us to adjust ourselves to the realities of life.
What is the main cause of a people's forgetting God and of the decay of faith in spiritual reality? Lack of proper understanding of the fundamental principles of life.
Interpret the statement, “Jehovah was with the judge.” Those who show balanced reason and right judgment are in touch with divine wisdom and understanding, and are expressing these faculties.
How do we gain strength sufficient to hold ourselves true to the highest standard that we can conceive of? By using our full strength in being true to our highest conception of truth. Half-hearted efforts lead to partial failure and disappointment.
April 29, 1951: Judges 2:7-10
What is the meaning of the name Caleb? The name means “bold, impetuous, fearless.” All these meanings characterize those who have developed faith. Faith urges its possessor on to deeds of courage.
What does Joshua represent in this lesson? He represents the power of a high ideal to lead us to overcome difficulties and transform our life and affairs into the image of the ideal. The elders and the judges are to a lesser degree also representative of this power.
What causes the apparent decay of faith in a generation following one of great faith and achievements? Lack of first-hand knowledge of the action of faith, and further, the lack of knowledge of God. “And there arose another generation after them, that knew not Jehovah, nor yet the work which he had wrought for Israel.” In the early religious experiences of the soul a season of darkness always follows a high illumination, and there is disorder and confusion. But this is only a letting go of the old in order to get a better hold on the new.
July 6, 1952: Judges 2:8-17
How is the death of Joshua and the subsequent falling away of the Children of Israel into idolatry explained? As night follows day, so in the religious experiences of the soul, a season of darkness or unrest often follows a high illumination. At this time the untried powers of the soul are brought into evidence, and disorder and confusion prevail. Such an experience is not necessarily a going back; it is a letting go of the old in order to get a better hold of the new.
What two traits of character, developed concurrently, insure that their possessor lives successfully? Integrity of character and thoroughly developed individuality. We realize them by giving complete devotion to the cause of Truth.
What was Joshua's mission? The mission of Joshua (“Jehovah is deliverer”) was to bring the Children of Israel to a realization of their inheritance in the Promised Land. After they had attained this consciousness they were sent forth to take actual possession of the land.
After the Children of Israel had chosen, on Joshua's challenge, to serve Jehovah, they fell into idolatry and served the Baalim and the Ashtaroth. Why was this? After having experienced a period of high and profound spiritual illumination the Children of Israel (here representing the unfolding spiritual consciousness) forgot the invisible God, Jehovah (for a time lost sight of their spiritual nature) and served instead the graven images of materiality that they could see (lived in the world of sense, or material consciousness).
What is necessary to a life of full self-expression? An undivided allegiance to the divine ideal is necessary. So long as a person is in bondage to material thinking, he cannot know full self-expression in the highest sense.
What is the chief office of a judge? To apply and interpret the law in order that his hearers may know what is right and just.
What lesson for us individually has the period of the Judges? It symbolizes one step in our spiritual growth, namely, the time when we come to understand God as law, the law of cause and effect, impartial and undeviating.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 12-28-2013