Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Judges Chapter 4
Metaphysically Interpreting Judges 4:1-24
4:1And the children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, when Ehud was dead. 4:2And Jehovah sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles. 4:3And the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.
4:4Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, she judged Israel at that time. 4:5And she dwelt under the palm-tree of Deborah between Ramah and Beth-el in the hill-country of Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. 4:6And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh-naphtali, and said unto him, Hath not Jehovah, the God of Israel, commanded, saying, Go and draw unto mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? 4:7And I will draw unto thee, to the river Kishon, Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thy hand.4:8And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go; but if thou wilt not go with me, I will not go. 4:9And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding, the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honor; for Jehovah will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh. 4:10And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh; and there went up ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.
4:11Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, even from the children of Hobab the brother-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanannim, which is by Kedesh.
4:12And they told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor. 4:13And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles, unto the river Kishon. 4:14And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which Jehovah hath delivered Sisera into thy hand; is not Jehovah gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him. 4:15And Jehovah discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot, and fled away on his feet. 4:16But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; there was not a man left.
4:17Howbeit Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 4:18And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And he turned in unto her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. 4:19And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him. 4:20And he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and inquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No. 4:21Then Jael Heber's wife took a tent-pin, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the pin into his temples, and it pierced through into the ground; for he was in a deep sleep; so he swooned and died. 4:22And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will show thee the man whom thou seekest. And he came unto her; and, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the tent-pin was in his temples.
4:23So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel. 4:24And the hand of the children of Israel prevailed more and more against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.
April 11, 1920: Judges 4:4-16
What is the central thought in this lesson? Judgment based upon spiritual discrimination, represented by Deborah.
What does the husband of Deborah, Lappidoth, represent? Lappidoth, meaning wisdom, or light of Truth, represents the expressed understanding of discrimination and intuition.
When the intuitive judgment within and the directive power in understanding are rightly joined, what follows? Victory over the enemies of the children of Israel. The children of Israel represent the real, enduring spiritual thoughts, and the enemies are the material, transitory thoughts.
Should Barak (the general of the armies of Israel, representing the will) go into action without good judgment, Deborah? No. The only way to overcome the opposition of the adverse thought realm is to understand the law, keeping constantly one with judgment based upon the inner inspiration. This is here represented by Deborah accompanying Barak to battle.
Does the victory belong to Barak, the will, or to the woman, divine intuitive judgment? The victory belongs to the intuitive judgments. In mixed states of consciousness, where, to appearances error is strongest, it is through following the intuitive leadings of Spirit that the way to the light is opened.
What is the great metaphysical truth to be gleaned from this Scripture? The great truth to be grasped is that so-called wickedness (using the forces of being for selfish ends, or to satisfy the sense consciousness) leads to monotonous, unendurable nothingness. When these forces are lifted up into the purity and light of Spirit, the joy consciousness is established; the finer and interesting realities of life spring into manifestation.
July 27, 1930: Judges 4:1-10
What is the central thought in this lesson? The central thought in this lesson is judgment based on spiritual discrimination. This is represented by Deborah (meaning “a bee,” in the sense of a keener perception than is known to the five senses).
What does Lappidoth, the husband of Deborah, represent? Lappidoth, meaning “wisdom,” or “light of Truth,” represents understanding expressed in discrimination and intuitive discernment.
When the intuitive judgment and the directive power in understanding are rightly joined, what follows? When intuitive judgment and directive power in understanding are rightly joined, victory over the enemies of the children of Israel follows. The children of Israel represent the real, enduring, spiritual thoughts; their enemies are the material, transitory thoughts.
Should Barak, the general of the armies of Israel (representing the fiery executiveness of the active will), go into action without good judgment (Deborah)? No. The only way to overcome the opposition of the adverse thought realm is to understand the law and to keep in constant touch with judgment based on inner inspiration. This union of man's conscious powers is here represented by Deborah's accompanying Barak to battle.
Does the victory belong to the will (Barak), or to divine intuitive judgment (Deborah)? The victory belongs to the will and the judgment in cooperation.
What is the great metaphysical truth to be gleaned from this Scripture? The great truth to be grasped here is that so-called wickedness (the using of the forces of being for selfish ends or to satisfy the sense consciousness) leads to the unendurable monotony and emptiness of the life that is unaware of Truth. When the life forces are lifted up into the purity and light of Spirit, a joy consciousness is established; the finer and truly interesting realities of life then spring into manifestation.
[TruthUnity note: this lesson is identical to the April 11, 1920 lesson]
July 16, 1933: Judges 4:4-10
What is the meaning of Deborah? Deborah means “a bee.” She represents the Holy Spirit functioning in nature as instinct and in man as intuition or divine knowing.
What is represented by Deborah's welling under the palm tree in the hill country? The palm tree represents mastery; the hill country represents high places in spiritual consciousness. Deborah's dwelling under the palm tree in the hill country represents the uplifting, sustaining power of divine mastery and dominion.
What is the meaning of Barak? Barak represents the executive power or the will of man.
What is represented by Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army? Jabin represents the flesh, and Sisera (captain of Jabin's army) represents the ruling power of sense consciousness or sensation.
In our lesson today, what is the objective of the activity of these faculties? The objective of the activity of these faculties is to master the sensations of the flesh.
Why did Barak refuse to go to battle against Sisera, unless Deborah would accompany him? Under the divine law the will finds that it must be accompanied by spiritual discernment and obedience to Jehovah before it can overcome the sensations of the flesh.
July 16, 1933: Judges 4:13-15
What is represented by the river Kishon and the nine hundred chariots or iron? Kishon means “hard, unyielding,” representing the seemingly fixed flesh consciousness. The chariots of iron represent the hard, material elements against which Spirit must prevail.
In what verse is revealed the cry of victory which should be sent forth? In the 14th verse we read, “Up; for this is the day in which Jehovah hath delivered Sisera into thy hand; is not Jehovah gone out before thee?”
July 17, 1938: Judges 4:1-9
Explain the symbology of verse 1. Ehud (united, strong) represents faith made strong by being unified consciously with Spirit. When this kind of faith is lacking in man (when Ehud is dead), his religious instincts (the children of Israel) no longer function properly.
What is the meaning of the statement, “Jehovah sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan”? The children of Israel themselves paid the price of bondage for failing to keep the divine law, doing “that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah.” Jehovah “sells” everyone who by his actions forfeits the right to express his free will under the law.
When the “children of Israel cried unto Jehovah,” they always obtained deliverance. What was the medium of deliverance in this lesson? Deborah, meaning “a bee” and representing judgment based on spiritual discrimination, was judge of Israel at this period. With Barak (representing the will) she delivered her people from the oppressor.
What does “Jabin king of Canaan” represent? Jabin (intelligent, knowing) represents the discernment and intelligence that are inherent in the elemental life forces of the organism (Canaanites). However intelligence of this order is not subject to spiritual thought but is centered in the “mind of the flesh.”
What is the significance of a woman as judge of Israel? Woman represents the soul which guides the religious instincts of man.
July 17, 1938: Judges 4:12-14
Why could not Barak meet Sisera in battle without having Deborah at his side? Sisera (fermenting, boiling) represents the aggressiveness, passion, inner unrest, and lack of poise that prevail among the life forces of those who are out of touch with spiritual things. The will acting alone cannot conquer or control these forces. Discriminating judgment must be united with the will in man before he can realize freedom from them.
What underlies decisive action? Discriminating judgment leads to action. “Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which Jehovah hath delivered Sisera into thy hand.”
Interpret the statement “And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.” Kedesh (holy place) represents the divine presence within the individual consciousness. When the will and discriminating judgment are imbued with the consciousness of Spirit in man, he is invincible.
Why did Barak go down from Mount Tabor at the approach of Sisera? Mount Tabor (summit) represents a very exalted group of thoughts in consciousness. After a season of exaltation following meditation and prayer, man brings his thought down to bear on practical problems, and concentrates his will on their solution.
July 23, 1944: Judges 4:1-9
Are wisdom and judgment interactive? They are. Wisdom quickens judgment and understanding, and judgment, when used aright, develops greater wisdom.
Where do these faculties arise? They arise in the mental or spiritual realm, but their effects extend to the body.
What is meant by the words “Jehovah sold them [Israel] into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor”? The name Jabin means “perceiving,” “discerning,” “knowing.” Metaphysically Jabin symbolizes the discernment and intelligence inherent in the elemental life forces of the organism (Canaanites). This intelligence is not subject to spiritual thought, but is centered in the “mind of the flesh.” When the divine law is flouted by a person his true thoughts are submerged (sold) in the lower elemental life, forces and he comes into complete bondage.
How can this bondage be removed? By the combined action of will and spiritual discrimination (Barak and Deborah). These faculties overcome and scatter the aggressiveness, passion, inner unrest, and lack of poise and dominion that exist in the life forces of a person who is under the dominion of sense thought.
What phase of individual life does Deborah represent? She represents the soul, which, since it is in touch with the power of the inner realm, takes the lead in matters relating to that realm, including prophetic insight, wisdom, and judgment. The name Deborah means “bee,” signifying the active quality of discriminating judgment.
July 23, 1944: Judges 4:13-16
Can we by the use of wisdom and judgment turn our powers into channels of active constructiveness, when they have followed destructive ones? We can when we learn to keep our thoughts exalted (Mount Tabor). Sound judgment has an impersonal quality, and exaltation of thought is conducive to this.
How does sound judgment forestall defeat? By doing away with indecision and inaction and imparting the wisdom to act at the right time in the right way. “Up; for this is the day in which Jehovah hath delivered Sisera into thy hand.”
Is it possible for us to know the right course before undertaking to follow it? We may know the right course in time to follow it with confidence by affirming that the Spirit of Jehovah goes before us and makes our way clear and unmistakable, and by keeping our mind open and receptive to the guidance of divine wisdom.
How do wisdom and judgment serve us in completing the task of freeing ourselves from bondage to the tower or elemental life forces and asserting our better nature? They lead us to keep at our task without slackening until it is complete. Nothing but a thorough job gives freedom.
July 13, 1952: Judges 4:4-8
How is belief in both good and evil as equally real symbolized in the text of this lesson? As the subjection of the Israelites to the Canaanites. To keep our higher thoughts (Israelites) out of the grip of the intelligence and discernment that is inherent in the elemental life forces of the organism (Canaanites), we must do battle with all our forces.
Are the intelligence and discernment just mentioned actuated by spiritual thoughts? No, they are actuated by the carnal mind instead.
When must we call will and discriminating power to our aid? When our faith is not consciously unified with Truth, we need will and discriminating power to enable us to overcome. These faculties are represented by Deborah and Barak, respectively.
What meanings attach to the names, Deborah, Barak, Lappidoth? The name Deborah means “bee.” Bees are noted for their sense of discrimination and keen perception. The name Lappidoth means “light radiations, enlightened,” or wisdom. When these two unite, marvelous results follow. The name Barak means “lightning,” or “the fiery executiveness of an active will.”
What is the main determining factor in success or failure? Whether we succeed or fail in any undertaking is determined largely by the state of mind in which we face it.
When a problem confronts us what should we do first? We should quietly affirm that our intuition is functioning in perfect unison with infinite wisdom. “Divine wisdom enlightens me, and I know just what to do” is a good statement to hold in mind and make at such times. At the same time we should keep the mind in an expectant, receptive attitude.
What does the name Sisera mean, actually and metaphysically? Sisera means “fermenting, boiling.” Metaphysically, it represents the great aggressiveness, passion, inner unrest, and lack of poise and self-dominion that exist in the life forces, when they are under the dominion of carnal thought. Sisera as captain of the army here represents the executive power of the elemental discernment that is found in the race thought.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 12-29-2013