Ruth 1 Metaphysical Bible Interpretation

Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Ruth Chapter 1

Metaphysically Interpreting Ruth 1:1-5

1:1And it came to pass in the days when the judges judged, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. 1:2And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem-judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. 1:3And Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. 1:4And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelt there about ten years. 1:5And Mahlon and Chilion died both of them; and the woman was left of her two children and of her husband.

Metaphysically Interpreting Ruth 1:6-22

1:6Then she arose with her daughters-in-law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that Jehovah had visited his people in giving them bread. 1:7And she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah. 1:8And Naomi said unto her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each of you to her mother's house: Jehovah deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me. 1:9Jehovah grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voice, and wept. 1:10And they said unto her, Nay, but we will return with thee unto thy people. 1:11And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? have I yet sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 1:12Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should even have a husband to-night, and should also bear sons; 1:13would ye therefore tarry till they were grown? would ye therefore stay from having husbands? nay, my daughters, for it grieveth me much for your sakes, for the hand of Jehovah is gone forth against me. 1:14And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clave unto her.

1:15And she said, Behold, thy sister-in-law is gone back unto her people, and unto her god: return thou after thy sister-in-law. 1:16And Ruth said,

Entreat me not to leave thee,
   and to return from following after thee,
for whither thou goest, I will go;
   and where thou lodgest, I will lodge;
thy people shall be my people,
   and thy God my God;
1:17where thou diest, will I die,
   and there will I be buried:
Jehovah do so to me,
   and more also,
if aught but death part thee and me.

1:18And when she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, she left off speaking unto her.

1:19So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and the women said, Is this Naomi? 1:20And she said unto them,

Call me not Naomi,
   call me Mara;
   for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
1:21I went out full,
   and Jehovah hath brought me home again empty;
why call ye me Naomi,
   seeing Jehovah hath testified against me,
   and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

1:22So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, with her, who returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

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June 9, 1918: Ruth 1:14-22

LESSON INTERPRETATION

What, in consciousness, does “Ruth” represent? “Ruth” represents the love of the soul in its natural state.

What does “Naomi” represent? “Naomi” represents the soul, when it has failed to unite itself to God. The soul feels that the “Almighty has dealt bitterly” with it, when it fails to express itself under the law of Jehovah.

Explain: “I went out full, and Jehovah hath brought me home again empty,” spoken by Naomi, as recorded in verse twenty-one. “Naomi,” the soul, goes out from Jehovah charged with spiritual ideas. Man has free-will in the exercise of spiritual ideas, and may utilize his soul forces in the sense consciousness, but he is always reduced to his original spiritual starting point, no matter how far away from the source of his Being he may wander.

How is the love nature of man satisfied? The love nature of man is satisfied only as the soul is attached to the thoughts of Spirit. Then love becomes a magnet to attract into one's experience only that which is uplifting and constructive.

What is the meaning of “Bethlehem”? “Bethlehem” means “house of bread.”

What, in consciousness, does “Bethlehem” symbolize? “Bethlehem” symbolizes the substance of Spirit in which the love of man (Ruth) must be established before it can become productive of eternal satisfaction.

April 25, 1920: Ruth 1:14-22

LESSON INTERPRETATION

What does Naomi represent? The Divine Feminine, or Love.

What does her history illustrate? The search of love for satisfaction in outer things, when there seems a dearth in the inner.

What is the result of leaving the true spiritual environment for what seems in the outer to be richer and honor? Disappointment and lack; like the prodigal son, a return to the old home, the Father's house, Israel, the real.

What does Ruth represent? Ruth means sweetness, beauty, firm will. She represents the symmetrical expression of the soul in form. Naomi loves the beautiful body, but in her lack of spiritual sufficiency tries to deny it place in her life.

What does the cleaving of Ruth unto Naomi represent? The spiritual quality of Naomi awakened the soul of her beautiful body, Ruth, and an indissoluble attachment was formed between them.

What is the meaning of Bethlehem, the place to which Naomi returned “in the beginning of barley harvest”? Bethlehem means “house of bread,” and the beginning of barley harvest symbolizes a renewal, or a reunion of the soul and body with the true substance.

What affirmation will cement this union?

“Entreat me not to leave thee.
And to return from following after thee;
For whither thou goest, I will go;
And where thou lodgest, I will lodge;
Thy people shall be my people,
And thy God my God.”

April 29, 1923: Ruth 1:14-22

LESSON INTERPRETATION

What is the central idea in this lesson? The central idea in this lesson is the unfaltering loyalty of the soul of love to its one source, God.

What does Naomi symbolize? Naomi means “winsome one,” and she symbolizes love, the feminine of the soul, in its development through the natural to the divine.

What were the circumstances preceding the return of Naomi and Ruth to Bethlehem? Elimelech and Naomi and their two sons were Israelites, who originally lived in Bethlehem. There was a famine in their native land, and in the hope of bettering their condition they moved into the country of Moab (heathendom). The sons married in Moab, and afterward died. Elimelech also had died, and Naomi, with her daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, decided to return to Bethlehem. Orpah turned back; Ruth, alone, loved and was faithful to her mother-in-law.

What is the metaphysical meaning of the “land of Moab”? The “land of Moab” represents the body and the most external conditions of life. Ruth means “rose of Moab.” She is a type of the beautiful, the pure, and the loving characteristics of externality. Ruth represents the one and only good that Naomi took with her back to Bethlehem (which means divine substance, the real).

What attributes of love are symbolized in verse 16? “And Ruth said. Entreat me not to leave thee, and to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” Here is represented human love raised to divine love by its willingness to leave the love of the unreal; to follow after the real; to go wherever true love leads; to be steadfast in that love, in other words to love in the highest and the best degree, and to acknowledge and to worship the God of love.

August 3, 1930: Ruth 1:6-10

What is the central idea in this lesson? The central idea in this lesson is the unfaltering loyalty of the soul of love to its one source, God.

What does Naomi symbolize? Naomi means “winsome one,” and she symbolizes love, the feminine of the soul, in its development through the natural to the divine.

What were the circumstances preceding the return of Naomi and Ruth to Bethlehem? Elimelech and Naomi and their two sons were Israelites, who lived originally in Bethlehem. There was a famine in their native land, and, in the hope of bettering their condition, they moved into the country of Moab (heathendom). The sons married in Moab, and afterward died. Elimelech also died, and Naomi, with her daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, decided to return to Bethlehem. Orpah turned back; Ruth, alone, loved and was faithful to her mother-in-law.

What is the metaphysical meaning of the “land of Moab”? The “land of Moab” represents the body and the most external conditions of life.

What does “Ruth” symbolize? Ruth means “rose of Moab.” She is a type of the beautiful, the pure, and the loving characteristics of externality. Ruth represents the one and only good that Naomi took back to Bethlehem (which means divine substance, the real).

August 3, 1930: Ruth 1:14-22

What attributes of love are symbolized in verse 16? “And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, and to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” Here is represented human love raised to divine love by its willingness to leave the love of the unreal; to follow after the real; to go wherever true love leads; to be steadfast in that love, in other words to love in the highest and the best degree, and to acknowledge and to worship the God of love.

What is represented by the return to Bethlehem of Naomi and Ruth at the beginning of the barley harvest? The meaning of the return at this time of these women, one representing love and the other purity, signifies their making again union with divine substance. The barley harvest represents the consummation or the fruit of their longing for God.

July 14, 1935: Ruth 1:14-22

What two phases of the soul are dealt with in this lesson? Naomi is a symbol of the soul as it meets adverse conditions (apparent lack) by turning to the resources of sense, instead of to God. The love of the soul for the things of God is shown in Ruth.

What does Moab signify? Moab has a double significance. It represents the body and the most external conditions of life, yet it has in it the possibility of good.

Can love be entirely separated from the soul? In reality it cannot be separated, because love is of the soul's essence or nature.

Is love an aid to the development of faith and courage? Active love in the soul lends strength to faith, and is a spur to courage. “Love is ... strong, patient, faithful.”

What causes lack to appear in one’s life? One cause is the bitter or sophisticated outlook of those who do not develop true wisdom and understanding.

“I {wisdom} walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice;
That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance.”

Why did Naomi call her lot a bitter one? Naomi thought of God as the author of her troubles, and did not understand that she herself had invited them by the choice she had made years before.

To what are afflictions due? They are effects of past thoughts or actions that were out of harmony with the divine law.

Ruth and Naomi came to Bethlehem in the beginning of the barley harvest. Explain the symbolism of this statement. A reunion of the soul and body with true substance.

August 7, 1938: Ruth 1:6-18

Lesson Interpretation

What does the statement that Naomi began the homeward journey from Moab to Judah in the company of her two daughters-in-law indicate? Naomi and the two daughters-in-law represent three aspects of the soul. On his journey back to his original spiritual starting point (Judah, praise) from the material realm, man needs to enlist all his soul forces and enter into consciousness of his divine source.

What does Ruth represent? Ruth (sympathetic companion) represents the love of the natural soul for the things of God. Moab (seed of the father) represents the realm of externals and also the physical body of man. Ruth was a Moabitess, but she broke away from her attachment to externals in order to seek the realities of Life (the land of Israel).

Why did Naomi say, “The hand of Jehovah is gone forth against me”? The divine feminine quality is not aggressive, and because of passivity it allows man to feel unequal to solving his problems and meeting life victoriously. This consciousness makes a negative impression on the soul, which reacts accordingly. Naomi (the soul when it has failed to unite itself with God) sees even the hand of Jehovah as against her.

What does Orpah represent? Orpah (youthful freshness) represents the youthfulness, grace, and activity of the soul.

What unspoken but obvious reason moved Ruth to insist on accompanying Naomi back to Judah? Ruth was unwilling to let Naomi make the long journey alone. She showed both self-forgetfulness and devotion.

On what ground did Ruth avow her determination to make the journey? On the ground of her devotion to the widowed, childless woman. Love pours out its wealth of affection as a substitute for other blessings that have been withdrawn and more than compensates for them all.

What results from the association of the natural phase of the soul with the divine feminine? The combination brings forth the highest development of the soul. It is but right that the two should be inseparable.

“Jehovah do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.” What is the meaning of this vow? Ruth dedicated herself to the care of Naomi throughout the rest of their joint life, and asked Jehovah to cut her off from the land of the living if she failed in her resolve.

March 17, 1946: Ruth, 1:8-17

In this lesson how is the complex nature of the soul represented? By the three women Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah. Love, the divine feminine, is represented by Naomi, the love of the natural soul for the things of God by Ruth, and the youthfulness, grace, and activity of the natural soul by Orpah.

Among the expressions of the soul’s forces how does duty compare with love? To do our full duty under circumstances that test and try our soul calls for high resolve and courage. Nevertheless duty moves the soul less powerfully than love. Voluntarily to go beyond the call of duty calIs for love, which is the loftiest expression of the soul.

What calls forth the supreme love of devotion to the ideal. When this spark touches the soul the response is deathless affection.

What is the nature of divine love? It is selfless, concerned only with giving itself to its object. “God so loved the world, that he gave.” Love always gives, never seizes anything for itself.

Does the act of giving oneself through love entail hardship or suffering? No, it is natural and instinctive to give oneself through love. Such expression is spontaneous and effortless. To refrain from giving to those whom one loves requires effort.

In what respect does the story of Ruth and Naomi provide a useful lesson for the youth of today? It furnishes a lesson in service as the pivotal element in character in contrast with the selfishness of sense consciousness. Lacking love's impulse to serve, a person easily becomes centered in self, with deplorable effect on the life.

Why is it important that the conscious and the subconscious expression of love (Naomi and Ruth) be united in the individual? When the conscious and the subconscious expression of love are united, the result is complete harmony and peace for the individual. The repression of subconscious feelings or emotions sometimes means discord and mental aberration, whereas conscious expression of them leads to a sense of fulfillment.

How is the consciousness of the unity of the soul's forces set forth in this lesson? In Ruth’s pledge of love to Naomi “Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.”

July 13, 1948: Ruth 1:16-18

What two soul qualities are dealt with in this lesson? First, the quality of the soul that leads to lack and hardship through turning to the resources of sense rather than to God. This quality is represented by Naomi. Secondly, love, albeit the love of the natural soul for the things of God. This is represented by Ruth.

Moab represents the carnal or sense self. How can this fact be reconciled with the life and character of Ruth the Moabitess? Divine Mind attracts the things of God through even the carnal mind or limited, personal self. Ruth overcame the selfishness of personality and devoted herself to her bereft mother-in-law. In the experience of Ruth we see proof of the infinite reach of divine love.

Is love dependent upon youth and beauty? No. Love knows a deeper experience than that of youth and beauty, namely that which springs from loyalty and devotion.

Is God the author of all that comes to us, whether good or evil? God is the author of all good. Evil comes upon us as the effect of habits of thinking that are not in harmony with divine law. Divine law brings back to us our own thought and its expression in the experiences we meet.

How do we form the habit of seeing the Spirit of God in all that comes to us? By keeping our soul qualities unspoiled and our faith simple.

Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 12-10-2013