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The book of Revelation is of the genre of mystical Jewish writings, called Torat ha

Sod. As such, it cannot be properly interpreted without an understanding of the


concepts and terminology involved in this form of study and writing.
Unfortunately, due to 1900 years of gentile "control" of the texts of the "New
Testament," (this too being a biased name for books of the early Messianic
writers), along with a non-Jewish understanding of God, Messiah and the Bible in
general, the methodology of understanding such writings as Revelation had been
lost.

In the book of Daniel, it is prophesied that in the end times, knowledge would
increase. This "knowledge" is called da'at, and has to do with Torah-based
spiritual understanding given by God. The recent return of Jews and gentiles to
Torah-based faith in Yashua the Messiah (as we have seen in the past 30 years
or so), has been accompanied by a renewal of a Hebrew understanding of the
texts of the Bible, including those in what is called the "New Testament." The
result is that important truths, hidden away for close to two millennia, are being
revealed by God in these days leading up to the return of the Messiah, Y’shua.

This book of Revelation Study draws greatly on extra-Biblical Jewish writings.


Materials for this Revelation study include; the Talmud, Midrash Rabbah, as well
as the Zohar, Bahir, Sefer Yetzirah, and other ancient writings. We will also
reference the books of Enoch and Jasher, as well as the writings of Maimonides
and Nachmanides. Modern rabbinic commentaries will also be presented, as well
as insight from books by prominent Jewish teachers such as Norman Lamm,
Aryeh Kaplan, Gershom Scholem, Yehuda Liebes, Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi, and
others.

A considerable amount of time will be spent researching "background" material


before getting to the actual text analysis. This is especially important with this
study, as Revelation cannot be properly grasped without an appropriate
understanding of many deep Hebrew concepts which are rooted in the Bible's
most mystical passages. This background material encompasses a wide range of
topics and is being presented in a particular sequence. These lessons are
meant to be read in the order they are presented. Following God's
example from Scripture, each lesson will build upon what was previously
learned, "precept upon precept."

If you desire a clearer understanding of what John, the Jewish writer of the
mystical text of Revelation was talking about, we welcome you to take part in
this study.
For this is the way of wisdom -- to acquire ideas one after another until, in the
end, there emerges one complete concept for which all of the prefaces were
necessary.

From Da'ath Tevunoth (The Knowing Heart)


Rabbi Moshe Chayim Luzzatto

BACKGROUND ARTICLES

Section I - Israel

• The Twelve Tribes of Israel

• Comparative Listings of the Tribes of Israel

• The Relationship Between Ephraim and Dan

Section II - The Temple and Priesthood

• The Pattern of Things Above

• The Placement of the Tribes and their Elders

• Metatron

• Melchizedek and the Heavenly Priesthood

• The High Priest Anointed for War

• The Priestly Garments

• The Sacrificial System

• Sacrifices in Ezekiel's Temple

• Comparison of Past and Millennial Temples

Section III - The Moedim

• The Moedim (Appointed Times - an Introduction)

• Shabbat (Sabbath) and the Millennium

• Yom Kippur and the New Covenant

• Shemita, Yovel Year

• Shabbat and Mikdash


Section IV - Spiritual Dimensions

• Spiritual Time, Space, Mass, Light and Energy

• The "Biblical" View of Time

• The Realm of Angels and Spiritual Space

• Angel Case Study: Book of Daniel

• Angel Case Study: Jacob's Ladder

• The Kingdom Offer

• Ezekiel's Chariot: Spiritual Elements and the Divine Name

• Ezekiel's Chariot: the Heavenly Realms

• The Shekina: Menorah, Temple, Bride of Messiah

• The Shekina: New Jerusalem, Messiah, the Wedding Feast

• The Sabbath as the Millennial Bride

• The River of Eden and Tree of Life - Part 1

• The River of Eden and Tree of Life - Part 2

Section V - The Mysteries of God

• Studying the Mysteries of God: Introduction

• Names and Arrangement of the Sephirot

• An Overview of the Sephirot

• Tipheret - the Image of the Eyn Sof

• Tipheret - King, Judge, Enemy of Satan, Atonement, "Son"

• Tipheret - Living Waters, Father, Bridegroom, High Priest

• The Unique Name of God

• The Kingdom of God - Part 1: the Shema

• The Kingdom of God - Part 2: the Chariot and the Shekinah

• The Kingdom of God - Part 3: Unification of the Name

• As Above, so Below

• Yesod - Foundation, Tzaddik, Covenant

• Yesod - Relationship with Tipheret and Malkut


• Yesod - Living Water, Rock, Manna, "the Way, the Truth and the
Life"

Section VI - Messiah

• Part 1 - The Tzaddik

• Part 2 - Atonement

• Part 3 - Divine Aspects

• Part 4 - Atonement and Salvation through Time

• Part 5 - Tikkun

• Part 6 - Tikkun of the Torah

• Part 7 - Messianic Figures and Ideas

• Part 8 - The Role of Man

Section VII - Tree of Life / Additional Studies

• The Tree of Life and the Four Worlds

• The World of Azilut (Emanation)

• The World of Beriah (Creation)

• The World of Yezirah (Formation)

• The World of Asiyyah (Action)

• The Work of Creation

• The Work of the Chariot

• Approaches to Study: Literal, Allegorical, Metaphysical

• Mysteries of the Temple


Section I - Israel

The Twelve Tribes of Israel

The twelve tribes of Israel are mentioned in Revelation, chapters 7 and 21. Their
mention is far more than a "curiosity" (as it is treated in most studies of
Revelation.) Rather, God's prophetic plan through history and concluding in
Revelation centers around Israel, as represented by the twelve sons of Jacob and
their progeny. There are several important points to take note of in their history
that help explain what God's plan for them (and the world) is all about.

BLESSINGS AND PROPHECIES

Although Israel and the Jewish people can trace themselves back to Abraham,
they are commonly called the children of Israel, with "Israel" being another name
for Jacob the grandson of Abraham. (A name given to him by Adonai.) Before
Jacob died, he met with his sons and two of his grandsons to talk to them about
what would happen to them (their descendants) in the last days and convey
certain blessings. (Genesis ch. 48 & 49.) One item of significance regarding this
final episode, was that Jacob took the inheritance of the first born son, Reuben,
and divided it up between the other sons. This was very much due to Reuben's
sin (Genesis ch. 35:22) and his own lack of leadership ability.

To Judah, he gave the kingship, as well as the "leadership" role among the
brothers. This was also a rebuke of Simeon and Levi, as they were #2 and #3 in
line. This may have been due to the violent course of action they had taken
following the rape of their sister Dinah (Genesis chapter 34). Judah was the
fourth son of Leah. Regardless of his mistakes, it was he that showed the best
leadership ability and commanded the respect of his brothers. It was from Judah
that the kingship (scepter) would not pass until Shiloh (Messiah) would come
(Genesis 49:10). As prophesied, Y’shua the Messiah came from the tribe of
Judah.

To Joseph he gave a "double portion" of the land inheritance, passing it on to


Manasseh and Ephraim, his sons. This was due to Joseph's righteousness as he
displayed throughout his time in Egypt and to his family when they were
reunited (Genesis chapters 39-47).

M'LOH HA GOYIM - THE FULLNESS OF THE GENTILES

Jacob's blessing over Joseph's children is especially important with regard to


prophecy (Genesis ch. 48). At this event, Jacob deliberately switches what would
be their normal order of blessing. He gives the younger son, Ephraim, the
"higher" blessing of the older son. What is critical here is verse 19, where Jacob
prophecies that Ephraim's descendants would be among the nations. The term
he uses is m'loh ha goyim, or "fullness of the gentiles." If this phrase sounds
familiar, it is because Paul uses it in Romans 11:25, when speaking of the final
redemption of Israel. Paul is not speaking of "the gentiles" when he uses this
term, rather he is referring to the return the exiled ten tribes. (This will be
covered in detail in our Romans study this summer.)

The name "Ephraim" itself alludes to the future dispersion among the gentiles,
and subsequent redemption:

Genesis 41:52: And the name of the second he called Ephraim: "For God has
caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.

Midrash Rabbah Exodus I:33: It is the custom of the righteous to name their
children from some event which has occurred. What does it say in the case of
Joseph? And he called the name of the first-born Manasseh, for God hath made
me forget all my toil, and all my father's house (Gen. XLI, 51). And the name of
the second called he Ephraim; for God hath made me fruitful in the land of my
affliction (ib. 52), so that he should always be mindful of the miracles God had
done unto him.

There is an interesting teaching in the Zohar concerning a vision of the future


that Jacob had at the time he blesses the two boys. Jacob sees that through
Ephraim, Israel would fall into terrible idolatry:

Soncino Zohar Volume I p. 228a - When Jacob was about to bless Joseph's
sons, he saw by the Holy Spirit that Jeroboam the son of Nebat would issue from
Ephraim, and he exclaimed, “Who are these?”, the word “these” (eleh) being an
allusion to idols. The reason is that besides the evil serpent there is one that
rides on it, and when they are joined together they are called “these”, and they
visit the world with all their hosts.

It is also interesting to note in the above quotation from the Zohar, that there is
an evil entity (spiritual idolatry) that rides upon the back of the serpent. This is
similar language to Revelation chapter 17, where the "whore" (spiritual idolatry)
rides upon the beast.

ISRAEL IS DIVIDED

Towards the end of his reign, King Solomon fell into the sin of idolatry,
worshiping Ashtoreth, Milcom (Molech) and Kemosh. For his idolatry God told
Solomon,

I Kings 11:5 - "Since this is your mind, and you have not kept my covenant and
my statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from
you, and will give it to your servant."

God sent the prophet Ahijah to Jeroboam, of the tribe of Ephraim, whom Solomon
had made ruler over the laborers of the house of Joseph. Ahijah prophesied that
God would take 10 tribes and give them to Jeroboam and if he would listen to all
that God commanded him, and walk in the ways of the Lord, and do what is right
in God's sight, keeping His statutes and commandments, that God would build
for Jeroboam a sure house, as He had built for David, and would give Israel to
him. Immediately upon hearing this, Solomon sought for the death of Jeroboam.
(I Kings 11: 26-40)

Upon Solomon's death the people of Israel gathered at Shechem to make


Rehoboam, Solomon's son king. Jeroboam who, until now, was in Egypt was sent
for. He came together with the people to petition Rehoboam to ease the yoke
that Solomon had placed upon the people of Israel. Rehoboam disregarded the
counsel of his father's advisors, and instead listened to his friends whom he had
grown up with. Rather than easing their burdens, he promised to be even harder
than his father had been. The people rebelled and the ten northern tribes broke
away from the Davidic kings of the tribe of Judah, and under the leadership of
Jeroboam, the Ephraimite, set up a new kingdom.(I Kings 12:1-20)

Just as God had prophesied to Jeroboam through the prophet Ahijah, Jeroboam
was king of ten tribes, and was well established, for Rehoboam's attack was
stopped by God Himself. Instead of doing as God had instructed, Jeroboam
sought to secure his position through establishing a system of idolatry that would
ensure no contact between the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern
kingdom of Judah.

The ten northern tribes quickly fell into the same idolatry for which Solomon had
been judged. Jeroboam made two golden calves and set one in Beth-El, a city of
Ephraim, and the other in Dan, the principle city of the tribe of Dan. Jeroboam
had reason to create his own system of worship. As all the men of Israel were
required to appear in Jerusalem for the feasts of Pesakh (Passover), Shavuot
(Pentecost) and Succot (Tabernacles) each year, this would likely lead to a
reunification of the northern and southern kingdoms, because Jerusalem lay in
the southern kingdom of Judah. Jeroboam halted this pilgrimage and filled the
void of the true Temple worship by creating his own temple, priesthood and
system of worship. (I Kings 12: 22-33)

The northern kingdom of Israel was never able to repent of their idolatry and for
this they were judged by God. Taken captive, Ephraim and its kingdom were
eventually scattered throughout the nations never returning to Israel, just as
Jacob has prophesied. Hosea, who was a prophet to the ten northern tribes,
speaks of their sin and future reunification, especially in chapters 11-13.

EPHRAIM AND DAN IN REVELATION

Ephraim and Dan both sinned with regard to Jeroboam's actions. Ephraim's sin
was the institution of a false system of worship. (Jeroboam was an Ephraimite.)
Dan's sin was one of "accommodation," as the tribe of Dan allowed the golden
calf to reside within its territory.

This sin committed by Ephraim and Dan is significant, as these two tribes are not
among those listed in Revelation chapter 7. Although there are different
groupings of the tribes throughout Scripture, this is the only time where Ephraim
and Dan are missing (replaced by Joseph and Manasseh). Searching Scripture, it
would seem that the sin of idolatry within the land of Israel, has its "payback" in
the last days, when these two tribes are deprived of the opportunity to testify of
the Messiah. It should be noted however, that according to Ezekiel, both tribes
receive their land grant in the Millennium.

There is an interesting verse in the Zohar that links Ephraim to the "church" at
Laodicea found in chapter three of Revelation:

Soncino Zohar Volume II p. 67b - “And Ephraim said, Yet I am become


rich, I have found me out power”, namely, the celestial unholy power which
presided over the act of idolatry committed by Jeroboam (I Kings XII, 28), without
which he would not have been able to succeed. Now, when this king and this
priest of the “other side” are subdued, and their power broken, all the “other
sides” follow suit, and are also subdued and broken, and acknowledge the
sovereignty of the Holy One, and in this way He alone rules above and below, as
it is written: “And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day” (Isa. II, 11).

The phrase "... I am become rich" is quite similar to Revelation 3:17, and is
related to the last days when the Lord's name will be made one (echad - see
below. See also the book of Hosea, especially chapters 11-13.)

THE REUNIFICATION OF EPHRAIM AND JUDAH

One of the important results of the end-time events that lead to the return of the
Messiah is the reunification of the "lost tribes" of Israel/Ephraim with their
brethren. "All of Israel" (the entire twelve tribes) cannot be saved unless they are
all brought back into a unity (echad). It is necessary for those of Israel who are
"lost" among the nations (Ephraim, the "fullness of the gentiles") to come back
in, and only then can this happen. This is the point of the "mystery" of Romans
11:25.

The concept of "echad" (unity) is key to understanding not only Revelation but all
of Scripture. (This will be covered in great detail later in this study.) Although
Scripture says that God is echad (Deuteronomy 6:4), we also know that at the
present time, things are not as they should be between Him, Israel and the rest
of His creation. That is why the prophet Zechariah says that, "In that day, the
Lord's name will be one."

So, although Deuteronomy 6:4 is a statement of fact, it is also a prophecy that


will be fulfilled at the return of Y’shua HaMaschiach and beginning of the
Messianic kingdom.

Shiloh: Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b - The world was created only on David's
account .24 Samuel said: On Moses account;25 R. Johanan said: For the sake of
the Messiah. What is his [the Messiah's] name? — The School of R. Shila said: His
name is Shiloh, for it is written, until Shiloh come.

Ashtoreth: Principal female divinity of the Phoenicians, called Ishtar by the


Assyrians and Astarte by the Greeks and Romans. Closely related to Asherah and
Venus.

Talmud, Shabbath 56b - Rather it is as was taught: R. Jose said, and the high
places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of
corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the
abomination of Moab. Now, is it possible that Assa came and did not destroy
them, then Jehoshaphat, and he did not destroy them, until Josiah came and
destroyed them! But surely Assa and Jehoshaphat destroyed all the idolatrous
cults in Palestine? Hence [the explanation is that] the earlier are assimilated to
the later: just as the later did not do, yet it was ascribed to them, to their glory,
so the earlier ones too did not do, yet it was ascribed to them, to their shame.
But it is written, And Solomon did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord? —
But because he should have restrained his wives, but did not, the Writ regards
him as though he sinned.

Kemosh, Milcom (Molech): The fire god of Ammonites. Essentially identical


with the Moabite god Kemosh. The worship of Molech included child sacrifice.
Molech was fashioned with the face of calf, with outstretched hands upon which
infants were burned. The country of the Ammonites was his possession according
to Jeremiah 49:1.

http://www.yashanet.com/studies/revstudy/rev1.htm

Comparative Listings of the Tribes of Israel

Gene Gene Exod Num Num Num Deut Deut. Judg I Ezeki Ezeki Revel
sis sis us bers bers bers . 33:7- es Chro el el ation
35:2 49:3- 1:1-5 1:3- 1:16- 25:5- 27:1 26 5:12- n. 47:13 48:3 7:4-8
2-25 28 15 50 62 2-13 19 2:1-2 - 1-35
48:30

Reub Reub Reub Reube Reube Reube Reub Reube Reub Reub Reube Reub Reube
en en en n n n en n en en n en n
Sime Sime Sime Simeo Simeo Simeo Sime Sime Simeo Sime Simeo
on on on n n n on on n on n
Levi Levi Levi Levi Levi Levi Levi Levi Levi Levi
Judah Judah Judah Judah Judah Judah Judah Judah Judah Judah Judah Judah
Issac Issac Issac Issach Issach Issach Issac Issach Issac Issac Issach Issac Issach
har har har ar ar ar har ar har har ar har ar
Zebul Zebul Zebul Zebul Zebul Zebul Zebul Zebul Zebul Zebul Zebul Zebul Zebulu
un un un un un un un un un un un un n
Benja Benja Benja Benja Benja Benja Benja Benja Benja Benja Benja Benja Benja
min min min min min min min min min min min min min
Dan Dan Dan Dan Dan Dan Dan Dan Dan Dan Dan Dan
Napht Napht Napht Napht Napht Napht Napht Napht Napht Napht Napht Napht Napht
ali ali ali ali ali ali ali ali ali ali ali ali ali
Gad Gad Gad Gad Gad Gad Gad Gad Gad Gad Gad Gad
Asher Asher Asher Asher Asher Asher Asher Asher Asher Asher Asher Asher Asher
Josep Josep Josep Josep Josep Josep Josep Josep Josep Josep Josep Joseph
h h h h h h h h h h h
Ephrai Ephrai Ephrai Ephrai Ephra Ephrai
m m m m im m
Manas Manas Manas Manas Manas Manas
seh seh seh seh seh seh

Genesis 35:22-25 - 22And it came to pass, when Israel lived in that land, that
Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine; and Israel heard it. Now
the sons of Jacob were twelve; 23The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn,
and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun; 24The sons of
Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin; 25And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maidservant;
Dan, and Naphtali; 26And the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant; Gad, and
Asher; these are the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Padan-Aram.
Genesis 49:3-28 - 3. Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the
beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of
power; 4. Unstable as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your
father’s bed; then defiled you it; he went up to my couch. 5. Simeon and Levi
are brothers; instruments of cruelty are their swords. 6. O my soul, do not come
into their council; to their assembly, let my honor not be united; for in their
anger they slew a man, and in their wanton will they lamed an ox. 7. Cursed be
their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel; I will divide them
in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel. 8. Judah, you are he whom your brothers
shall praise; your hand shall be in the neck of your enemies; your father’s
children shall bow down in your presence. 9. Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the
prey, my son, you are gone up; he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as
an old lion; who shall rouse him up? 10. The staff shall not depart from Judah,
nor the scepter from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and to him shall the
obedience of the people be. 11. Binding his foal to the vine, and his ass’s colt to
the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of
grapes; 12. His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk. 13.
Zebulun shall live at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of
ships; and his border shall be to Sidon. 14. Issachar is a strong ass couching
down between two burdens; 15. And he saw that resting was good, and that the
land was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant to
tribute. 16. Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. 17. Dan
shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that bites the horse heels,
so that his rider shall fall backward. 18. I have waited for your salvation, O Lord.
19. Gad, a troop shall overcome him; but he shall overcome at the last. 20. Out
of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties. 21. Naphtali is
a hind let loose; he gives goodly words. 22. Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful
bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall; 23. The archers fiercely
attacked him, and shot at him, and hated him; 24. But his bow abode in
strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the
mighty El of Jacob; from there is the shepherd, the stone of Israel; 25. By the
Elohim of your father, who shall help you; and by the Almighty, who shall bless
you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies under,
blessings of the breasts, and of the womb; 26. The blessings of your father have
prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors to the utmost bound of the
everlasting hills; they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the
head of him who was separate from his brothers. 27. Benjamin is a ravenous
wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the
booty. 28. All these are the twelve tribes of Israel; and this is it what their father
spoke to them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he
blessed them.
Exodus 1:1-5 - 1And these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came to
Egypt, with Jacob, every man with his household. 2Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and
Judah, 3Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and
Asher. 5And all the souls who came from the loins of Jacob were seventy souls;
for Joseph was in Egypt already.
Numbers 1:3-15 - 3From twenty years old and upward, all who are able to go
forth to war in Israel; you and Aaron shall count them by their armies. 4And with
you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one chief of the house of his
fathers. 5And these are the names of the men who shall stand with you; from the
tribe of Reuben: Elizur the son of Shedeur. 6From Simeon: Shelumiel the son of
Zurishaddai. 7. From Judah: Nahshon the son of Amminadab. 8From Issachar:
Nethaneel the son of Zuar. 9From Zebulun: Eliab the son of Helon. 10From the
sons of Joseph: of Ephraim: Elishama the son of Ammihud; of Manasseh:
Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. 11From Benjamin: Abidan the son of Gideoni.
12
From Dan: Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. 13From Asher: Pagiel the son of
Ocran. 14From Gad: Eliasaph the son of Deuel. 15From Naphtali: Ahira the son of
Enan.
Numbers 1:16-50 - 16These were the renowned of the congregation, princes of
the tribes of their fathers, chiefs of thousands in Israel. 17And Moses and Aaron
took these men who were pointed out by their names. 18And they assembled all
the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they
registered by families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of
the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls. 19As the Lord
commanded Moses, so he counted them in the wilderness of Sinai. 20And the
sons of Reuben, Israel’s eldest son, by their generations, according to their
families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, by
their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to
go forth to war; 21Those who were counted of them, of the tribe of Reuben, were
forty six thousand and five hundred. 22From the sons of Simeon, by their
generations, according to their families, by the house of their fathers, those who
were counted of them, according to the number of the names, by their polls,
every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go forth to
war; 23Those who were counted of them, from the tribe of Simeon, were fifty
nine thousand and three hundred. 24From the children of Gad, by their
generations, according to their families, by the house of their fathers, according
to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all who were
able to go forth to war; 25Those who were counted of them, from the tribe of
Gad, were forty five thousand six hundred and fifty. 26From the sons of Judah,
by their generations, according to their families, by the house of their fathers,
according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all
who were able to go forth to war; 27Those who were counted of them, from the
tribe of Judah, were seventy four thousand and six hundred. 28From the sons of
Issachar, by their generations, according to their families, by the house of their
fathers, according to the number of then names, from twenty years old and
upward, all who were able to go forth to war; 29Those who were counted of
them, from the tribe of Issachar, were fifty four thousand and four hundred.
30
From the sons of Zebulun, by their generations, according to their families, by
the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty
years old and upward, all who were able to go forth to war; 31Those who were
counted of them, from the tribe of Zebulun, were fifty seven thousand and four
hundred. 32From the sons of Joseph, namely, from the sons of Ephraim, by
their generations, according to their families, by the house of their fathers,
according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all
who were able to go forth to war; 33Those who were counted of them, from the
tribe of Ephraim, were forty thousand and five hundred. 34From the sons of
Manasseh, by their generations, according to their families, by the house of
their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and
upward, all who were able to go forth to war; 35Those who were counted of
them, from the tribe of Manasseh, were thirty two thousand and two hundred.
36
From the sons of Benjamin, by their generations, according to their families,
by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from
twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go forth to war; 37Those who
were counted of them, from the tribe of Benjamin, were thirty five thousand and
four hundred. 38From the sons of Dan, by their generations, according to their
families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names,
from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go forth to war; 39Those
who were counted of them, from the tribe of Dan, were sixty two thousand and
seven hundred. 40From the sons of Asher, by their generations, according to
their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the
names, from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go forth to war;
41
Those who were counted of them, from the tribe of Asher, were forty one
thousand and five hundred. 42From the children of Naphtali, throughout their
generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the
number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to
go forth to war; 43Those who were counted of them, from the tribe of Naphtali,
were fifty three thousand and four hundred. 44These are those who were
counted, which Moses and Aaron counted, and the princes of Israel, being
twelve men; each one was for the house of his fathers. 45So were all those who
were counted of the people of Israel, by the house of their fathers, from twenty
years old and upward, all who were able to go forth to war in Israel; 46All those
who were counted were six hundred three thousand and five hundred and fifty.
47
But the Levites, according to the tribe of their fathers, were not counted
among them. 48For the Lord had spoken to Moses, saying, 49Only shall you not
count the tribe of Levi, nor take a census of them among the people of Israel;
50
But you shall appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of Testimony, and over
all its utensils, and over all things that belong to it; they shall carry the
tabernacle, and all its utensils; and they shall minister to it, and shall camp
around the tabernacle.
Numbers 25: 5-62 - 5Reuben, the eldest son of Israel; the sons of Reuben;
Hanoch, from whom comes the family of the Hanochites; of Pallu, the family of
the alluites; 6From Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; from Carmi, the family
of the Carmites. 7These are the families of the Reubenites; and those who were
counted of them were forty three thousand seven hundred and thirty. 8And the
sons of Pallu; Eliab. 9And the sons of Eliab; Nemuel, and Dathan, and Abiram.
These are the Dathan and Abiram, who were regularly summoned to the
congregation, who strove against Moses and against Aaron in the company of
Korah, when they strove against the Lord; 10And the earth opened her mouth,
and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, the time
the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men; and they became a sign. 11And the
sons of Korah did not die. 12The sons of Simeon according to their families; from
Nemuel, the family of the Nemuelites; from Jamin, the family of the Jaminites;
from Jachin, the family of the Jachinites; 13From Zerah, the family of the
Zerahites; from Saul, the family of the Saulites. 14These are the families of the
Simeonites, twenty two thousand and two hundred. 15The sons of Gad according
to their families; from Zephon, the family of the Zephonites; from Haggi, the
family of the Haggites; from Shuni, the family of the Shunites; 16From Ozni, the
family of the Oznites; from Eri, the family of the Erites; 17From Arod, the family
of the Arodites; from Areli, the family of the Arelites. 18These are the families of
the sons of Gad according to those who were counted of them, forty thousand
and five hundred. 19The sons of Judah were Er and Onan; and Er and Onan died
in the land of Canaan. 20And the sons of Judah according to their families were:
from Shelah, the family of the Shelanites; from Perez, the family of the
Perezites; from Zerah, the family of the Zerahites. 21And the sons of Perez were:
from Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; from Hamul, the family of the
Hamulites. 22These are the families of Judah according to those who were
counted of them, seventy six thousand and five hundred. 23From the sons of
Issachar according to their families; from Tola, the family of the Tolaites; from
Puva, the family of the Punites; 24From Jashub, the family of the Jashubites; from
Shimron, the family of the Shimronites. 25These are the families of Issachar
according to those who were counted of them, sixty four thousand and three
hundred. 26From the sons of Zebulun according to their families; of Sered, the
family of the Sardites; from Elon, the family of the Elonites; from Jahleel, the
family of the Jahleelites. 27These are the families of the Zebulunites according to
those who were counted of them, sixty thousand and five hundred. 28The sons of
Joseph according to their families were Manasseh and Ephraim. 29From the
sons of Manasseh; from Machir, the family of the Machirites; and Machir fathered
Gilead; from Gilead come the family of the Gileadites. 30These are the sons of
Gilead; from Jeezer, the family of the Jeezerites; from Helek, the family of the
Helekites; 31And from Asriel, the family of the Asrielites; and from Shechem, the
family of the Shechemites; 32And from Shemida, the family of the Shemidaites;
and from Hepher, the family of the Hepherites. 33And Zelophehad the son of
Hepher had no sons, but daughters; and the names of the daughters of
Zelophehad were Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 34These are the
families of Manasseh, and those who were counted of them, fifty two thousand
and seven hundred. 35These are the sons of Ephraim according to their families;
from Shuthelah, the family of the Shuthelahites; from Becher, the family of the
Becherites; from Tahan, the family of the Tahanites. 36And these are the sons of
Shuthelah; from Eran, the family of the Eranites. 37These are the families of the
sons of Ephraim according to those who were counted of them, thirty two
thousand and five hundred. These are the sons of Joseph according to their
families. 38The sons of Benjamin according to their families; from Belah, the
family of the Belahites; from Ashbel, the family of the Ashbelites; from Ahiram,
the family of the Ahiramites; 39From Shupham, the family of the Shuphamites;
from Hupham, the family of the Huphamites. 40And the sons of Belah were Ard
and Naaman; from Ard, the family of the Ardites; and from Naaman, the family
of the Naamites. 41. These are the sons of Benjamin according to their families;
and those who were counted of them were forty five thousand and six hundred.
42
These are the sons of Dan according to their families; from Shuham, the family
of the Shuhamites. These are the families of Dan according to their families. 43All
the families of the Shuhamites, according to those who were counted of them,
were sixty four thousand and four hundred. 44From the sons of Asher according
to their families; from Jimnah, the family of the Jimnites; from Ishvi, the family of
the Ishvites; from Beriah, the family of the Beriahites. 45From the sons of Beriah;
from Heber, the family of the Heberites; from Malchiel, the family of the
Malchielites. 46And the name of the daughter of Asher was Serah. 47These are
the families of the sons of Asher according to those who were counted of them;
who were fifty three thousand and four hundred. 48From the sons of Naphtali
according to their families; from Jahzeel, the family of the Jahzeelites; from Guni,
the family of the Gunites; 49. From Jezer, the family of the Jezerites; from
Shillem, the family of the Shillemites. 50These are the families of Naphtali
according to their families; and those who were counted of them were forty five
thousand and four hundred. 51These were the counted of the people of Israel, six
hundred thousand and a thousand seven hundred and thirty. 52And the Lord
spoke to Moses, saying, 53To these the land shall be divided for an inheritance
according to the number of names. 54To the more numerous you shall give a
larger inheritance, and to the fewer you shall give a smaller inheritance; to
every one shall his inheritance be given according to those who were counted by
him. 55However the land shall be divided by lot; according to the names of the
tribes of their fathers they shall inherit. 56According to the lot its possession shall
be divided between many and few. 57And these are those who were counted of
the Levites according to their families; from Gershon, the family of the
Gershonites; from Kohath, the family of the Kohathites; from Merari, the family
of the Merarites. 58These are the families of the Levites; the family of the
Libnites, the family of the Hebronites, the family of the Mahlites, the family of
the Mushites, the family of the Korahites. And Kohath fathered Amram. 59And the
name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother
bore to Levi in Egypt; and she bore to Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their
sister. 60And to Aaron was born Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 61And
Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange fire before the Lord. 62And
those who were counted of them were twenty three thousand, all males from a
month old and upward; for they were not counted among the people of Israel,
because there was no inheritance given to them among the people of Israel.
Deuteronomy 27:12-13 - 12 These shall stand upon Mount Gerizim to bless the
people, when you are come over the Jordan; Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and
Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin; 13 And these shall stand upon Mount Ebal
to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.
Deuteronomy 33:7-26 - 6Let Reuben live, and not die; and let not his men be
few. 7And this is the blessing of Judah; and he said, Hear, Lord, the voice of
Judah, and bring him to his people; let his hands be sufficient for him; and be
you a help to him from his enemies. 8And of Levi he said, Let your Thummim
and your Urim be with your pious one, whom you did test at Massah, and with
whom you fought at the waters of Meribah; 9Who said to his father and to his
mother, I have not seen him; nor did he acknowledge his brothers, nor knew his
own children; for they have observed your word, and kept your covenant. 10They
shall teach Jacob your judgments, and Israel your Torah; they shall put incense
before you, and whole burnt sacrifice upon your altar. 11Bless, Lord, his
substance, and accept the work of his hands; strike through the loins of those
who rise against him, and of those who hate him, that they rise not again. 12And
of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the Lord shall live in safety by him; and the
Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall live between his shoulders.
13
And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things
of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that couches beneath, 14And for the
precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by
the moon, 15And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the
precious things of the lasting hills, 16And for the precious things of the earth and
its fullness, and for the good will of him who lived in the bush; let the blessing
come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him who was
separated from his brothers. 17The firstling of his herd, grandeur is his, and his
horns are like the horns of a wild ox; with them he shall push the people
together to the ends of the earth; and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim,
and they are the thousands of Manasseh. 18And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice,
Zebulun, in your going out; and, Issachar, in your tents. 19They shall call the
people to the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness; for
they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hidden in the
sand. 20And of Gad he said, Blessed be he who enlarges Gad; he lives as a lion,
and tears the arm with the crown of the head. 21And he provided the first part
for himself, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated; and he
came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the Lord, and his
judgments with Israel. 22And of Dan he said, Dan is a lion’s cub; he shall leap
from Bashan. 23And of Naphtali he said, O Naphtali, satisfied with favor, and full
with the blessing of the Lord; possess you the west and the south. 24And of
Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his
brothers, and let him dip his foot in oil. 25Your shoes shall be iron and bronze;
and as your days, so shall your strength be.
Judges 5:12-19 - 12Awake, awake, Deborah; awake, awake, utter a song; arise,
Barak, and lead away your captives, you son of Abinoam. 13Then he made him
who remains have dominion over the nobles among the people; the Lord made
me have dominion over the mighty. 14Out of Ephraim was there a root of them
against Amalek; after you, Benjamin with your tribes; from Machir came down
leaders, of Zebulun those who handle the marshal’s staff. 15And the princes of
Issachar were with Deborah; Issachar, and also Barak; into the valley they
rushed forth, at his feet. In the divisions of Reuben great were the resolves.
16
Why then did you sit among the sheepfolds? To hear the bleating of the flocks?
For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart. 17Gilead dwells
beyond the Jordan; and why did Dan remain by the ships? Asher continued on
the sea shore, and abode by his bays. 18Zebulun was a people who risked their
lives to the death, and Naphtali likewise, on the high places of the field. 19The
kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the
waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of silver;
I Chronicles 2:1-2 - 1These are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and
Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun, 2Dan, Joseph, and Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad,
and Asher.
Ezekiel 47:13-48:30 - 13. Thus says the Lord God: This shall be the border,
according to which you shall divide the land for inheritance to the twelve tribes
of Israel; Joseph shall have two portions. 14. And you shall inherit it, one as well
as another; concerning which I raised my hand to give it to your fathers; and this
land shall fall to you for inheritance. 15. And this shall be the border of the land
toward the north side, from the Great Sea, by the way of Hethlon, as you go to
Zedad; 16. Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which is between the border of
Damascus and the border of Hamath; middle Hazar, which is by the coast of
Hauran. 17. And the border from the sea shall be Hazar-Enan, the border of
Damascus, and the north northward, and the border of Hamath. And this is the
north side. 18. And the east side you shall measure from Hauran, and from
Damascus, and from Gilead, and between the land of Israel and the Jordan, from
the border to the east sea. And this is the east side. 19. And the south side
southward, from Tamar to the waters of Meribot-Kadesh, to the river, as far as
the Great Sea. And this is south side towards the Negev. 20. The west side also
shall be the Great Sea from the border, as far as opposite the entrance to
Hamath. This is the west side. 21. And you shall divide this land for yourselves
according to the tribes of Israel. 22. And it shall come to pass, that you shall
divide it by lot for an inheritance to you, and to the foreigners who sojourn
among you, who shall father children among you; and they shall be to you as
those born in the country among the people of Israel; they shall have
inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. 23. And it shall come to pass,
that in whatever tribe the foreigner sojourns, there shall you give him his
inheritance, says the Lord God.
(48) 1. And these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast
of the way of Hethlon, as one goes to Hamath, Hazar-Enan, the border of
Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and
west; a portion for Dan. 2. And by the border of Dan, from the east side to the
west side, a portion for Asher. 3. And by the border of Asher, from the east side
to the west side, a portion for Naphtali. 4. And by the border of Naphtali, from
the east side to the west side, a portion for Manasseh. 5. And by the border of
Manasseh, from the east side to the west side, a portion for Ephraim. 6. And by
the border of Ephraim, from the east side to the west side, a portion for
Reuben. 7. And by the border of Reuben, from the east side to the west side, a
portion for Judah. 8. And by the border of Judah, from the east side to the west
side, shall be the offering which you shall offer of twenty five thousand reeds in
width, and in length as one of the other parts, from the east side to the west
side; and the sanctuary shall be in the midst of it. 9. The portion that you shall
designate to the Lord shall be of twenty five thousand in length, and of ten
thousand in width. 10. And for them, for the priests, shall be this holy portion;
toward the north twenty five thousand in length, and toward the west ten
thousand in width, and toward the east ten thousand in width, and toward the
south twenty five thousand in length; and the sanctuary of the Lord shall be in
its midst. 11. It shall belong to the priests who are sanctified of the sons of
Zadok; who have kept my charge, who did not go astray when the people of
Israel went astray, as the other Levites went astray. 12. And it shall be to them a
section set apart from the designated portion of the land, a thing most holy, by
the border of the Levites. 13. And opposite the border of the priests the Levites
shall have twenty five thousand in length, and ten thousand in width; all the
length shall be twenty five thousand, and the width ten thousand. 14. And they
shall not sell any of it, nor exchange, nor alienate that choice portion of the land;
for it is holy to the Lord. 15. And the five thousand, that are left in the width over
against the twenty five thousand, shall be for common use for the city, for
dwelling, and for open land; and the city shall be in its midst. 16. And these shall
be its measures; the north side four thousand and five hundred, and the south
side four thousand and five hundred, and on the east side four thousand and
five hundred, and the west side four thousand and five hundred. 17. And the
open lands of the city shall be towards the north two hundred and fifty, and
towards the south two hundred and fifty, and towards the east two hundred and
fifty, and toward the west two hundred and fifty. 18. And the remnant in length
corresponding to the designated holy portion shall be ten thousand eastward,
and ten thousand westward; and it shall be alongside the designated holy
portion; and its produce shall be for food to those who work in the city. 19. And
those who work in the city shall work in it from all the tribes of Israel. 20. And
the designated portion shall be twenty five thousand by twenty five thousand;
you shall designate the holy portion square, including the possession of the city.
21. And the remnant shall be for the prince, on the one side and on the other of
the holy portion, and of the possession of the city, in front of the twenty five
thousand of the designated area to the east border, and westward opposite the
twenty five thousand to the west border, opposite the portions for the prince;
and it shall be the holy area; and the sanctuary of the house shall be in its
midst. 22. And thus the possession of the Levites, and the possession of the city,
shall be in the midst of that which is the prince’s; between the border of Judah
and the border of Benjamin, shall be the portion of the prince. 23. As for the rest
of the tribes, from the east side to the west side, Benjamin shall have a portion.
24. And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side to the west side, Simeon
shall have a portion. 25. And by the border of Simeon, from the east side to the
west side, Issachar shall have a portion. 26. And by the border of Issachar, from
the east side to the west side, Zebulun shall have a portion. 27. And by the
border of Zebulun, from the east side to the west side, Gad shall have a portion.
28. And by the border of Gad, at the south side southward, the border shall be
from Tamar to the waters of Meribot-Kadesh, and to the river toward the Great
Sea. 29. This is the land which you shall divide by lot to the tribes of Israel for
inheritance, and these are their portions, says the Lord God. 30. And these are
the exits of the city: on the north side, there is a four thousand and five hundred
measures.
Ezekiel 48:31-35 - 31. And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the
tribes of Israel; three gates northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah,
one gate of Levi. 32. And at the east side there is a measure of four thousand
and five hundred; and three gates; and one gate of Joseph, one gate of
Benjamin, one gate of Dan. 33. And at the south side there is a measure of four
thousand and five hundred; and three gates; one gate of Simeon, one gate of
Issachar, one gate of Zebulun. 34. At the west side there is a measure of four
thousand and five hundred, with their three gates; one gate of Gad, one gate of
Asher, one gate of Naphtali. 35. It shall be eighteen thousand measures
around; and the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there.
http://www.yashanet.com/studies/revstudy/rev1a.htm

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EPHRAIM AND DAN

The information on this page is presented to better clarify the relationship


between Ephraim and Dan following the time of Solomon, what their sin was,
how Jacob foresaw this sin, and the connection to Laodicea in Revelation chapter
three.

The relationship position of the tribes with regard to the Mishkan (Tabernacle)
and to their corresponding angels will also play a role later in this study.

Dan's standard is to the north

Midrash Rabbah Num. II, 18 ff. ... AND THEY SHALL SET FORTH THIRD; a
meet adjunct to Torah and to penitence is power1; for a man should exert his
powers in acquiring Torah and in mastering his evil propensities. The North is the
region whence darkness issues forth into the world, and on that side shall be the
tribe of Dan. Why? For it was that tribe which darkened the world with idolatry,
when Jeroboam made the two golden calves. Idolatry is darkness, as it is said,
And their works are in the dark (Isa. XXIX, 15). Jeroboam went round to all Israel
[inviting them to embrace idolatry] but none of them would agree, except the
tribe of Dan, as it is said, And the king took counsel, and made two calves of
gold... and the other put he in Dan3 (I Kings XII, 28 f.). For this reason the Holy
One, blessed be He, commanded that he should pitch his camp in the North.
Hence it is written, ON THE NORTH SIDE SHALL BE THE STANDARD OF THE CAMP
OF DAN, etc.

The Four Cardinal Directions:


South = Michael corresponds to Rueben
North = Uriel corresponds to Dan
East = Gabriel corresponds to Judah (Kingship)
West = Raphael corresponds to Ephraim

And next to him the tribe of Asher, lighting up the darkness, as it is stated, And
of Asher he said: Blessed be Asher... and let him dip his foot in oil4 (Deut. XXXIII,
24). Therefore Scripture says, AND THOSE THAT PITCH NEXT UNTO HIM SHALL BE
THE TRIBE OF ASHER (Num. II, 27). Next to him was Naphtali, with the blessing of
ample sustenance, as it is written, O Naphtali, satisfied with favor, etc. (Deut.
XXXIII, 23). Therefore Scripture says, AND THE TRIBE OF NAPHTALI... ALL THAT
WERE NUMBERED OF THE CAMP OF DAN... THEY SHALL SET FORTH HINDMOST
BY THEIR STANDARDS (Num. II, 29 ff.). It teaches that all who worship idols go
backwards and not forwards.’ It is, therefore, stated, ‘The Lord by wisdom
founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens’ (Prov. III, 19).
As the Set-Apart One, blessed be He, created the four cardinal directions and
four standards corresponding to them, so also did He set about His throne four
angels-Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael. Michael at His right,
corresponded to Reuben. Why was his name called Michael (Mi ka'el)? When
Israel crossed the Red Sea Moses’ began to chant, Who (mi) is like unto Thee,
etc. (Ex. XV, 11); and when he completed the Torah he said, There is none like
unto God (ka'el), O Jeshurun, etc. (Deut. XXXIII, 26). From the two expressions
‘mi (who) is like unto Thee’ and ‘none ka'el (like unto God) ' you obtain the
combination mi ka'el. Uriel at His left, corresponding to Dan, who was on
the north side. Why was his name called Uriel? On account of the Torah, the
Prophets, and the Hagiographa, by means of which the Set-Apart One, blessed
be He, makes atonement for him [Dan] and gives light unto Israel, as it is said,
Arise, shine, for thy light is come (Isa. LX, I). David also said, The Lord is God,
and hath given us light (Ps. CXVIII, 27). This explains the name ‘Uriel’. Scripture
also states, Though I sit in darkness, the Lord is a light unto me (Micah VII, 8).
Gabriel in front, corresponded to the kingship of Judah and to Moses
and Aaron who were on the east side. Why was his name called Gabriel? It is
written concerning Judah, For Judah prevailed (gabar) above his brethren, etc. (I
Chron. V, 2), and concerning Moses it is written, And he called unto (el) Moses1
(Lev. I, 1), and it is also written, And his name is called Pelejoez-el-gibbor (Isa. IX,
5).2 This explains the name Gabriel. Raphael corresponded to Ephraim. Why
was his name called Raphael? In order to symbolize the healing of the breach
made by Jeroboam who sprang from Ephraim who was on the west; also in
allusion to Heal her now, O God, I beseech Thee (Num. XII, 13). Thus has been
explained the name Raphael.

Dan's inheritance given in Ezekiel is to the north


Ezekiel 48:1 - And these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the
coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goes to Hamath, Hazar-Enan, the border of
Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and
west; a portion for Dan.

Jeroboam the Ephraimite places two golden calves one in Beth-El and in
Dan

I Kings 12:19-33 - And Israel rebelled against the house of David to this day.
20. And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, that
they sent and called him to the congregation, and made him king over all Israel;
there was none who followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only. 21.
And when Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah,
with the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand chosen men, who
were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom back to
Rehoboam the son of Solomon. 22. But the word of God came to Shemaiah the
man of God, saying, 23. Speak to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah,
and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people,
saying, 24. Thus said the Lord, You shall not go up, nor fight against your
brothers the people of Israel; return every man to his house; for this thing is from
me. They listened therefore to the word of the Lord, and turned and went their
way, according to the word of the Lord. 25. Then Jeroboam built Shechem in
Mount Ephraim, and lived there; and went out from there, and built Penuel. 26.
And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of
David; 27. If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of Adonai at Jerusalem,
then shall the heart of this people turn back to their lord, to Rehoboam king of
Judah, and they shall kill me, and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah. 28. And
the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said to them, It
is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel,
which brought you out of the land of Egypt. 29. And he set one in Beth-
El, and the other he placed in Dan. 30. And this thing became a sin; for the
people went to worship before the one, as far as Dan. 31. And he made a house
of high places, and made priests from among all the people, who were not of the
sons of Levi. 32. And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the
fifteenth day of the month, like the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the
altar. So he did in Beth-El, sacrificing to the calves that he had made; and he
placed in Beth-El the priests of the high places that he had made. 33. And he
offered upon the altar which he had made in Beth-El the fifteenth day of the
eighth month, in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained
a feast to the children of Israel; and he offered upon the altar, and burned
incense.

Jacob sees the idols of Jeroboam when he blesses, Ephraim and


Manasseh

Soncino Zohar Volume I, p. 228b - When Jacob was about to bless Joseph's
sons, he saw by the Holy Spirit that Jeroboam the son of Nebat would issue from
Ephraim, and he exclaimed, "Who are these?", the word "these" (eleh) being an
allusion to idols. The reason is that besides the evil serpent there is one that
rides on it, and when they are joined together they are called "these", and they
visit the world with all their hosts. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is called
"this", and is symbolized by the covenant of the holy imprint which is ever on a
man's body. Hence we find written, "These also shall forget" (Is. XLIX, 15), and
again, "For these I am weeping" (Ibid. 16), that sin being the cause to us of
endless weeping; or alternatively, because this place was allowed to gain
dominion over Israel and to destroy the Temple, the word "I" (ani) in this case
referring to the Ruach HaQodesh (Set-apart Spirit). It may be asked, on this
hypothesis, what are we to make of the words "These are the words of the
covenant"? The answer is that the word "these" is here also appropriate, because
the words of the covenant are established by "these", since they are the abode
of all curses, which await all who transgress the covenant. Similarly it is written,
"These are the precepts which the Lord commanded", because the object of all
the precepts is to purify man so that he should not stray from the right path and
should keep far away from there. Hence, too, it is written, "These are the
generations of Noah", because they included Ham the father of Canaan, who was
accursed. The spirit of eleh is the "dross of gold". Aaron in the wilderness offered
gold, which was his own affinity, since he was endowed with the strength of fire,
and fire and gold are all one, but the unclean spirit which haunts the
wilderness found at that time a place on which to fasten, and so Israel,
after being freed at Mount Sinai from the primeval defilement which
brought death into the world, afterwards incurred it again and brought
death upon themselves and all their descendants. Hence, when Jacob saw in
his mind's eye Jeroboam son of Nebat, who made an idol and said, "These are
thy gods, O Israel", he trembled and said, "Who are these?". Hence when he
came afterwards to bless them, he first blessed Elohim and then blessed them
from that source.

Ephraim declares "I am rich" (Revelation 3:17)

Soncino Zohar Volume II p. 67b - "And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I
have found me out power", namely, the celestial unholy power which presided
over the act of idolatry committed by Jeroboam (I Kings XII, 28), without which he
would not have been able to succeed. Now, when this king and this priest of the
"other side" are subdued, and their power broken, all the "other sides" follow
suit, and are also subdued and broken, and acknowledge the sovereignty of the
Holy One, and in this way He alone rules above and below, as it is written: "And
YHWH alone will be exalted in that day" (Isa. II, 11). In just the same way YHWH
broke here on earth the power of an "old and foolish king", namely Pharaoh, who,
when Moses said to him, "The God of the Hebrews hath met with us", replied, "I
know not the Lord," but when the Set-Apart One, desiring that His Name should
be glorified on earth as it is in heaven, punished him and his people, he came
and acknowledged the Holy One. Subsequently his priest also, namely Jethro, the
priest of On, i.e. idolatry, was also humbled, so that he came and acknowledged
the Set-Apart One, saying: "Blessed be YHWH, who hath delivered you.... Now I
know that YHWH is greater than all the gods..." (Ex. XVIII, 10, 11). So when that
king and that priest acknowledged the Qodesh One, blessed be He, and were
humbled before Him, He was exalted above and below, and then, and then only
did He give forth the Torah, as undisputed sovereign over all.’

Jeroboam's Idolatry leads to Rome and Greek Italy

Talmud, Shabbath 56b - Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: When Solomon
married Pharaoh's daughter, Gabriel descended and planted a reed in the sea,
and it gathered a bank around it, on which the great city of Rome was built.24 In
a Baraitha it was taught: On the day that Jeroboam brought the two golden
calves, one into Bethel and the other into Dan, a hut was built, and this
developed into Greek Italy.

Section II

THE PATTERN OF THINGS "ABOVE"

INTRODUCTION
Scripture speaks of several "Temples" in the Bible, all of which are an image of
the Heavenly Temple. The first such representation was the "Tabernacle"
(Mishkan) as first seen in the book of Exodus, beginning in chapter 25. The last
earthly Temple is mention in the book of Ezekiel.

We are told by Ezekiel to study this Temple, as it contains great mysteries about
YHWH and His creation. The Tabernacle/Temple, and its associated priesthood,
feasts, services and implements, is literally a parable, involving elements of both
time and space, given to us by YHWH Himself.

Finally, we have Adonai Himself represented as the "Temple" of New Jerusalem


in Revelation 21:22. It is said that of the 613 commandments given from Elohim
in the Torah, all but 90 have something to do with the Temple. Hence, this is a
critical area of study.

THE PATTERN OF THE TEMPLE

The Bible gives indication that Moses was caught up in the Shekinah of YHWH in
verses such as Exodus 24:15-18. While in the presence of YHWH (in Heaven?)
Moses was shown heavenly items to which he was to use as the pattern for their
earthly counterparts:

Exodus 25:8-9 - "And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among
them. According to the pattern of the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern
of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it."

The book of Hebrews attests to the same thing:

Hebrews 8:5 - "... who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as
Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the Tabernacle. For
He said 'See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the
mountain'."

Extra-Biblical Jewish writings state that the Tabernacle and its


furnishings/implements are indeed an image of what is in heaven:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 149a - "... the structure of the
Tabernacle corresponds to the structure of heaven and earth."

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 231a - "Now, the Tabernacle


below was likewise made after the pattern of the supernal Tabernacle in all its
details. For the Tabernacle in all its works embraced all the works and
achievements of the upper world and the lower, whereby the Shekinah was
made to abide in the world, both in the higher spheres and the lower. Similarly,
the Lower Paradise is made after the pattern of the Upper Paradise, and the
latter contains all the varieties of forms and images to be found in the former.
Hence the work of the Tabernacle, and that of heaven and earth, come under
one and the same mystery."

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 235b - "Now, the lower and
earthly Tabernacle was the counterpart of the upper Tabernacle, whilst the latter
in its turn is the counterpart of a higher Tabernacle, the most high of all. All of
them, however, are implied within each other and form one complete whole, as
it says: "that the tabernacle may be one whole" (Ex. XXVI, 6). The Tabernacle
was erected by Moses, he alone being allowed to raise it up, as only a husband
may raise up his wife. With the erection of the lower Tabernacle there was
erected another Tabernacle on high. This is indicated in the words "the
tabernacle was reared up (hukam)" (Ex. XL, 17), reared up, that is, by the hand
of no man, but as out of the supernal undisclosed mystery in response to the
mystical force indwelling in Moses that it might be perfected with him."

Menacoth 29a - "It was taught: R. Jose b. Judah says, An ark of fire and a table
of fire and a candlestick of fire came down from heaven; and these Moses saw
and reproduced, as it is written, And see that thou make them after their
pattern, which is being shown thee in the mount. Will you then say the same [of
the tabernacle], for it is written, And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according
to the fashion thereof which hath been shown thee in the mount! — Here it is
written ‘according to the fashion thereof’, whilst there ‘after their pattern’."

b.Hag. 12b - ZEBUL is that in which [the heavenly] Jerusalem and the
[heavenly] Temple and the Alter are built, and Michael, the great Prince, stands
and offers up thereon an offering, for it is said: I have surely built you a house of
habitation [ZEBUL] a place for you to dwell in forever (1Kn. 8:13) And where do
we derive that it is called heaven? For it is written: Look down from heaven, and
see, even from your holy and glorious habitation. (Is. 63:15)

The same concept is found when speaking of the first Temple. Here David
receives the heavenly design idea and passes it along to his son Solomon, whom
YHWH had chosen to do the building:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 164a - Then he began to


expound to them this verse: A song of degrees for Solomon (li-shelomoh). Except
YHWH build the house, they labour in vain that build it; except YHWH guard the
city, the watchman waketh but in vain (Ps. CXXVII, 1-2). Said he: ‘Was it Solomon
who composed this Psalm when he built the Temple? (for li-shelomoh could be
understood to mean "of Solomon"). Not so. It was King David who composed it,
about his son Solomon, when Nathan came to him (David) and told him that
Solomon would build the Temple. Then King David showed unto his son Solomon,
as a model, the celestial prototype of the Temple, and David himself, when he
saw it and all the activities connected with it, as set forth in the celestial idea of
it, sang this psalm concerning his son Solomon.

On a related note, Jewish tradition forbids the construction of a building designed


to look like the Temple, as well as the seven-branched Menorah:

RoshHaShannah 24b - Abaye replied: The Torah forbade only those attendants
of which it is possible to make copies, as it has been taught: A man may not
make a house in the form of the Temple, or an exedra in the form of the Temple
hall, or a court corresponding to the Temple court, or a table corresponding to
the [sacred] table or a candlestick corresponding to the [sacred] candlestick, but
he may make one with five or six or eight lamps, but with seven he should not
make, even of other metals.

Jewish literature has a lot to say about the heavenly Temple, including numerous
references to a mysterious figure known as "Metatron," who is given such an
exalted position, that at times he is even "confused" with YHWH Himself. This
Metatron figure bears a great likeness to Y’shua.

The book of Hebrews (especially chapters 4-8) also alludes to the heavenly
tabernacle and priesthood and how they correspond to the earthly ones. Our
Hebrews study, scheduled for the summer of 2000 will address this in detail.

THE "24 ELDERS"

God gives the arrangement of the tribes, as they were to be grouped around the
Tabernacle, in Numbers, chapters 2. In the following chapter, He goes into
further detail, giving the assignments of the tribes of the three children of Levi as
well as their children (a total of eight grandchildren). The tribes of Levi did not
have a place with the other twelve, rather these children and grandchildren were
placed in the area closest to the Tabernacle. The three children were Merari,
Gershon and Kohath. The eight grandsons of Levi were; Libni, Shimei, Amram,
Izehar, Hebron, Uzziel, Mahli and Mushi (see Numbers 3:17-20).

This resulted in a final total of 24 groups, represented by 24 elders, (all


mentioned by name) who surrounded the Tabernacle. The breakdown is as
follows:

(1) Moses' family


(12) The 12 tribes
(3) The tribes of the 3 sons of Levi
(8) The tribes of the 8 grandsons of Levi

There is an obvious parallel to the book of Revelation:

Revelation 4:4 - "Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the
thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting."

Alternatively, the twenty-four elders could be associated with either the 24


courses of the priesthood that each served twice a year for one week throughout
the year. Some also consider the possibility of them being the heads of the 12
tribes plus the 12 Talmidim (‘taught ones’) of Y’shua (the 12 "apostles.")

As the twelve tribes can be seen in the diagram above surrounding the
tabernacle, so too in Revelation are these tribes part of the "gates" surrounding
New Jerusalem as seen in Revelation:

Revelation 21:12-13 - "Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates,
and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the
children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates
on the south, and three gates on the west."
Note that these are the gates that only those who followed His commandments
(Torah) may pass through (Revelation 22:14).

THE MYSTERY OF THE "ARK OF THE COVENANT"

YHWH's presence would manifest itself above the ark of the covenant, first
mentioned in Exodus 25. YHWH, in his holiness could not reside in this "unclean"
earth, nor in the same fashion with His chosen people after the sin of the golden
calf. Therefore, He had to create a special means for Himself to be manifest
among His people as their atonement.

Midrash Rabbah Exodus 50:4 - Why was the ark-cover called kapporeth?-
Because it made atonement (me-kapper) for Israel.

There is an interesting concept in Judaism that the ark weighed nothing. (It is
said that it actually "carried" its bearers along.) Figuring the dimensions and
construction materials of the ark, and its contents, the weight of it would have
been far too much for the four carriers to bear -- in fact it would have snapped
the poles or broken off the golden rings they passed through!

It is also said that the ark took up no space. The reference below shows that
when they placed the ark in the sanctuary and measured from the sides of the
ark to each wall, the sum of those measurements equalled the distance
measured directly from one wall to the other!

Megilah 10b - R. Levi further said: We have a tradition from our ancestors that
the ark took up no room. It has been taught to the same effect: ‘The ark which
Moses made had round it an [empty] space of ten cubits on every side’. Now it is
written, And in front of the Sanctuary was twenty cubits in length [and twenty
cubits in breadth], and it is also written, And the wing of the one cherub was ten
cubits and the wing of the other cherub was ten cubits. Where then was the ark
itself? We must therefore conclude that it stood by a miracle [without occupying
any room].

All of this would indicate that although it was originally built by human hands,
and it could be seen and touched, the ark was truly "not part of our world," it
resided in "spiritual space."

The Placement of the Tribes and Their Elders


YHWH gives the arrangment of the tribes, as they were to be grouped around the
Tabernacle, in Numbers, chapters 2. In the following chapter, He goes into
further detail, giving the assignments of the tribes of the three children of Levi as
well as their children (a total of eight grandchildren). The tribes of Levi did not
have a place with the other twelve, rather these chidren and grandchildren were
placed in the area closest to the Tabernacle as shown above by the names
Merari, Gershon and Kohath (the three children). Not shown are the names of the
tribes of the eight grandsons of Levi; Libni, Shimei, Amram, Izehar, Hebron,
Uzziel, Mahli and Mushi (see Numbers 3:17-20).

This resulted in a final total of 24 groups, represented by 24 elders, (all


mentioned by name) who surrounded the Tabernacle. The breakdown is as
follows:

(1) Moses' family


(12) The 12 tribes
(3) The tribes of the 3 sons of Levi
(8) The tribes of the 8 grandsons of Levi

METATRON
(Last updated 6/23/00)

Jewish literature has a lot to say about the heavenly Tabernacles/Temples,


including numerous references to a mysterious figure known as Metatron, who
is given such an exalted position, that at times he is even associated with God
Himself.

In the Soncino Zohar glossary, Metatron is given the following two definitions:

• The chief of the Chieftains, the power charged with the sustenance of
mankind

• The head of the "world of creation," called also the "servant" or the "body"
of the Shekinah

As seen in the citations below, Metatron also bears a great likeness to Y’shua in
that:

• The heavenly Temple is His

• He is compared to Joshua and to God

• He teaches Jews the mysteries of the Torah

• He performs an atoning work for Israel

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page I43a - ‘This song King Solomon
poured forth when the Temple was erected and all the worlds, above and below,
had reached their perfect consummation. And although concerning the exact
time of its singing there is some difference of opinion among the members of the
Fellowship, we may be certain that it was not sung until that time of absolute
completion, when the Moon-the Shekinah-came to her fulness and was revealed
in the full perfection of her radiance, and when the Temple had been erected in
the likeness of the Temple that is above. The Holy One, blessed be He, then
experienced such joy as He had not known since the creation of the world. When
Moses set up the Tabernacle in the wilderness, another such was raised in the
heavenly spheres, as we learn from the words: "And it came to pass... that the
Tabernacle was reared up", the reference being to the other Tabernacle, to that
which was above, namely the Tabernacle of the "Young Man", Metatron,
and nothing greater. But when the first Temple was completed another Temple
was erected at the same time, which was the centre for all the worlds, shedding
radiance upon all things and giving light to all the spheres. Then the world was
firmly established, and all the supernal casements were opened to pour forth
light, and all the worlds experienced such joy as had never been known to them
before, and celestial and terrestrial beings alike broke forth in song. And the
song which they sang is the "Song of Songs", or, as we might render, "Song of
the Singers", of those musicians who chant to the Holy One, blessed be He.

The following section would indicate that there are in fact two heavenly
tabernacles (in addition to the earthly one):

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 159a - ‘From this we see that the
Holy One, blessed be He, actually gave Moses all the arrangements and all the
shapes of the Tabernacle, each in its appropriate manner, and that he saw
Metatron ministering to the High Priest within it. It may be said that, as the
Tabernacle above was not erected until the Tabernacle below had been
completed, that "youth" (Metatron) could not have served above before
Divine worship had taken place in the earthly Tabernacle. It is true that
the Tabernacle above was not actually erected before the one below; yet Moses
saw a mirroring of the whole beforehand, and also Metatron, as he would be
later when all was complete. The Holy One said to him: "Behold now, the
Tabernacle and the ‘Youth’; all is held in suspense until the Tabernacle below
shall have been built." It should not be thought, however, that Metatron himself
ministers; the fact is, that the Tabernacle belongs to him, and Michael,
the High Priest, it is that serves there, within the Metatron's
Tabernacle, mirroring the function of the Supernal High Priest above, serving
within that other Tabernacle, that hidden one which never is revealed, which is
connected with the mystery of the world to come. There are two celestial
Tabernacles: the one, the supernal concealed Tabernacle, and the
other, the Tabernacle of the Metatron. And there are also two priests: the
one is the primeval Light, and the other Michael, the High Priest below.

In this next section, Metatron is compare to Joshua (much the same as Y’shua
often is) as well as to God Himself:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 164a - Then he began to


expound to them this verse: A song of degrees for Solomon (li-shelomoh). Except
the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; except the Lord guard
the city, the watchman waketh but in vain (Ps. CXXVII, 1-2). Said he: ‘Was it
Solomon who composed this Psalm when he built the Temple? (for li-shelomoh
could be understood to mean "of Solomon"). Not so. It was King David who
composed it, about his son Solomon, when Nathan came to him (David) and told
him that Solomon would build the Temple. Then King David showed unto his son
Solomon, as a model, the celestial prototype of the Temple, and David himself,
when he saw it and all the activities connected with it, as set forth in the
celestial idea of it, sang this psalm concerning his son Solomon. There is also yet
another interpretation, namely, that "for Solomon" (li-shelomoh) refers to Him
"whose is the peace" (shalom), and this psalm is a hymn above all hymns, which
ascends higher than all. "Except the Lord build the house": King David saw all
the seven pillars upon which that house, the Universe, stands-for they stand row
upon row-and above them all is the Master of the House, who advances with
them, giving them power and strength, to each in turn. It is concerning this that
King David said: "Except the King, whose is the peace, and who is the Master of
the House, build the house, they labour in vain that build it"-that is to say, the
pillars. Except the Lord-the King, whose is the peace-guard the city, "the
watchman waketh but in vain". This is the pillar upon which the Universe stands,
namely the "Righteous" who keeps waking guard over the City. The Tabernacle
which Moses constructed had Joshua for its wakeful and constant
guard; for he alone guarded it who is called the "young man", namely
Joshua, of whom it says: "Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man,
departed not out of the Tent" (Ex. XXXIII, 11). Later in its history it was
another "young man" who guarded it, namely Samuel (I Sam. 1l, I8), for
the Tabernacle could be guarded only by a youth. The Temple,
however, was guarded by the Holy One Himself, as it is written, "Except
the Lord guard the City, the watchman waketh but in vain". And who is
the watchman? The "young man", Metatron. And you, holy saints, ye
are not guarded as the Tabernacle was guarded, but as the Temple was
guarded, namely, by the Holy One Himself; for, whenever the righteous are
on a journey the Holy One guards them continually, as it is written: "The Lord
shall keep thy going out and thy coming in from now and forever" (Ps. CXXI, 9).’
Then they accompanied him on his journey for a distance of three miles, and,
parting from him, returned to their own way, and they were moved to quote
these words concerning him. "For he shall give his angels charge over thee to
keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands" (Ps. XCI, 11,
I2); and "Thy father shall be glad and thy mother rejoice" (Prov. XXIII, 25).

Here Metatron teaches the mysteries of Torah, something associated in Judaism


to the Messiah:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 169b - Then they all rejoiced for
that whole day in the words of the Torah, and the inhabitants of the town
appointed the young man to be their head. On the next day R. Jose and R. Hiya
rose and blessed them all, and departed on their way. As they came near to R.
Simeon, he lifted up his eyes, and seeing them, said: ‘To-day did I behold you
with the eyes of the spirit, and I saw that ye dwelt for two days and a night in the
Tabernacle of that Youth, Metatron, and the Youth taught you of the
supernal mysteries in the joy of the Torah. Blessed are ye, my children!’
When they had told him all that had happened to them, he said: ‘Happy are ye,
and happy is my lot, for well do I recollect the day when his father, Rab Saphra,
accompanied me on my way, and when I parted from him I blessed him with this
blessing-that he might have a son who should be a scholar, but not that he
himself should live to see it. Happy, my children, is your lot! Concerning you it is
written: "And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord" (Isa. LIV, 13). There is,
however, another interpretation of this verse. Does God teach all the children of
the Israelites the Torah? Yes, indeed, for when these little ones learn, the
Shekinah comes and lends to each of them power and energy to study; for
without the help of the Holy One the strain on these babes would be too great.’

In Midrash Rabbah we find reference to Metatron and the two Tabernacles, as


well as His performing acts of atonement:

Midrash Rabbah - Numbers XII:12 - When the Holy One, blessed be He, told
Israel to set up the Tabernacle He intimated to the ministering angels that they
also should make a Tabernacle, and when the one below was erected the other
was erected on high. The latter was the tabernacle of the youth whose
name was Metatron, and therein he offers up the souls of the righteous
to atone for Israel in the days of their exile. The reason then why it is
written ETH THE TABERNACLE is because another tabernacle was erected
simultaneously with it. In the same strain it says, The place, O Lord, which Thou
hast made for Thee to dwell in, the Sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have
established (Ex. XV, I7).
Lastly, there is a very interesting connection made between Moses' rod and
Metatron:

Soncino Zohar, Bershith, Section 1, Page 27a - Similarly of Moses it is


written, "And the staff of God was in his hand." This rod is Metatron, from one
side of whom comes life and from the other death."

MELCHIZEDEK AND THE HEAVENLY PRIESTHOOD

As the Tabernacle, Temple and their implements are modeled after heavenly
examples, so too is the priesthood itself. Extra-Biblical Jewish sources speak of a
heavenly priesthood around Melchizedek, who is closely associated with Shem,
the son of Noah.

Mas. Nedarim 32b - R. Zechariah said on R. Ishmael's authority: The Holy One,
blessed be He, intended to bring forth the priesthood from Shem, as it is written,
And he [sc. Melchizedek] was the priest of the most high God. But because he
gave precedence in his blessing to Abraham over God, He brought it forth from
Abraham; as it is written, And he blessed him and said. Blessed be Abram of the
most high God, possessor of heaven and earth, and blessed be the most high
God. Said Abraham to him, ‘Is the blessing of a servant to be given precedence
over that of his master?’ Straightway it [the priesthood] was given to Abraham,
as it is written, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I
make thine enemies thy footstool; which is followed by, The Lord hath sworn,
and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek,’
meaning, ‘because of the words of Melchizedek.’ Hence it is written, And he was
a priest of the most High God, [implying that] he was a priest, but not his seed.

The priesthood of Melchizedek is traced back to Adam. There is a teaching that


the firstborn of each family was originally in the role of priest. Following the sin
of the golden calf, this priesthood was tainted and given over to the Levites. This
is also taught in the book of Hebrews.

Midrash Rabbah - Numbers IV:8 - TAKE THE LEVITES, etc. (III, 45). Our Rabbis
have said: Why did the Holy One, blessed be He, order the firstborn Israelites to
be redeemed by means of the Levites? Because originally, before the tribe of
Levi arose, the firstborn performed the sacrificial service. As our Rabbis have
learned: Before the Tabernacle was erected the high places were permitted and
the sacrificial service was performed by the firstborn. From the moment when
the Tabernacle was erected the high places were forbidden and the service was
confined to the priests. There is proof that the firstborn offered the sacrifices
before the tribe of Levi took office. Go back to the beginning of the creation of
the world. Adam was the world's firstborn. When he offered his sacrifice, as it
says: And it pleased the Lord better than a bullock that hath horns and hoofs (Ps.
LXIX, 32) - he donned high priestly garments; as it says: And the Lord God made
for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them (Gen. III, 21).
They were robes of honour which subsequent firstborn used. When Adam died
he transmitted them to Seth. Seth transmitted them to Methusaleh. When
Methusaleh died he transmitted them to Noah. Noah arose and offered a
sacrifice; as it says: And he took of every clean beast... and offered burnt-
offerings on the altar (Gen. VIII, 20). Noah died and transmitted them to Shem.
But was Shem a firstborn? Japheth, surely, was the firstborn; as it says: Shem...
the brother of Japheth the elder1 (Gen. X, 21)! Why then did he hand them on to
Shem? Because Noah foresaw that the line of the patriarchs would issue from
him. There is proof that Shem offered sacrifices; since it says: And
Melchizedek, king of Salem * brought forth bread and wine; and he was priest
of God the Most High (Gen. XIV, 18). Now was it to him that the priesthood was
given? The priesthood, surely, was not given to any man until Aaron arose. What
then is the meaning of the statement here, ‘and he was priest’? Because he
offered sacrifices like priests. Shem died and handed it on to Abraham. But was
Abraham a firstborn?5 The fact is that because he was a righteous man the
birthright was transferred to him, and he offered sacrifices; as it says: And
offered him up for a buntt-offerteg in the stead of his son (Gen. XXII, 13).
Abraham died and handed it on to Isaac. Isaac arose and handed it on to Jacob.
But was Jacob a firstborn? No; but you find that Jacob prudently took it [the
birthright] from Esau. He said to him: Sell me first thy birthright (Gen. XXV, 31).
Do you suppose perhaps that it was for no good reason that Jacob asked Esau to
sell him the birthright? No! Jacob wished to offer sacrifices and could not,
because he was not the firstborn. Said Esau: ‘What can I expect of this
birthright? ' As it says: Behold I am at the point to die; and what profit shall the
birthright do to me?

* Identified with Shem (footnote from Soncino Midrash Rabbah)

The Zohar has something to say about Melchizedek as well:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 87a - AND MELCHIZEDEK KING


OF SALEM BROUGHT FORTH BREAD AND WINE. R. Simeon adduced here the text
"In Salem also is his tabernacle" (Ps. LXXVI, 3). He said: ‘When God decided to
create the world, He first produced a flame of a scintillating lamp. He blew spark
against spark, causing darkness and fire, and produced from the recesses of the
abyss a certain drop which He joined with the flame, and from the two He
created the world. The flame ascended and encircled itself with the Left, and the
drop ascended and encircled itself with the Right. They then crossed and
changed places, going up and down alternately until they were closely
interlocked, and there issued from between them a full wind. Then those two
sides were made one, and the wind was set between them and they were
entwined with one another, and so there was harmony above and harmony
below; the grade was firmly established, the letter he was crowned with vau and
vau with he, and so he ascended and was joined in a perfect bond. This is
alluded to in the words "Melchizedek (lit. king of righteousness) king of Salem"
(lit. completeness), i.e. the king who rules with complete sovereignty. When is he
completely king? On the Day of Atonement, when all faces are illumined.
According to another explanation, "Melchizedek" alludes to the lower world, and
"king of Salem" to the upper world; and the verse indicates that both are
intertwined inseparably, two worlds like one, so that the lower world also is the
whole, and the whole is one. "Brought forth bread and wine": signifying that both
of these are in it. AND HE WAS PRIEST OF GOD MOST HIGH: i.e. one world
ministers to the other. "Priest" refers to the Right, and "Most High God,’ to the
upper world; and hence a priest is required to bless the world. For this lower
world receives blessings when it is associated with a High Priest; hence there is a
special force in the words "and he blessed him and said, Blessed is Abram to the
Most High God". After this model it behoves the priest on earth to intertwine his
fingers when blessing in the synagogue in order that he may be linked with the
Right and that the two worlds may be linked together. BLESSED IS ABRAM. The
words of the text are a prototype of the formula of blessing (used by the
Israclites). "Blessed is Abram" (in the sense we have given to it) corresponds to
"blessed art Thou ". "To the Most High God" corresponds to "O Lord our God".
"Possessor of heaven and earth" corresponds to "king of the universe. Further,
AND HE BLESSED HIM indicates the course of blessing from below to above;
BLESSED IS THE MOST HIGH GOD indicates from above to below. AND HE GAVE
HIM A TENTH OF ALL: so that he should cleave to the place where the link was
formed with the lower world.’

As they were going along they came across R. Yesa and a certain Judean with
him who was explaining the text "To David: Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my
soul" (Ps. XXV, 1). He said: ‘Why is the inscription of this psalm simply "to David"
and not "A Psalm of David"? It is because the real meaning is "for the sake of
David", i.e. of his grade. "Unto thee, O Lord", i.e. upward-striving; "my soul", i.e.
David himself, his original grade; "I lift up": to wit, I cause to ascend, since David
was ever striving to rise to a higher grade and to link himself to it firmly.
Similarly it was for the sake of his grade that David uttered the words "To David:
Bless the Lord, O my soul" (where the word eth indicates his desire to be linked
above) "and all that is within me bless his holy name" (Ps. CIII, 1), referring to
the "beasts of the field" which are called "inwards".’ Said R. Eleazar to R. Yesa, ‘I
see that you have come in company with the Shekinah.’ He said, "Assuredly it is
so. I have been walking with him three parasangs, and he has told me ever so
many excellent things. I hired him as a porter, not knowing that he was the
shining light which I have discovered him to be.’ R. Eleazar then said to the man,
‘What is your name?’ He said: ‘Joezer’. Whereupon he said: ‘Let Joezer and
Eleazar sit together.’ So they sat down on a rock in that field. The Judean then
commenced to discourse on the text I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy
transgressions, for mine own sake, and thy sins I will not remember (Is. XLIII, 25).
He said: ‘The word "I" occurs here twice: once in reference to Sinai (cf. "I am the
Lord thy God", Ex. XX, 2), and the other in reference to the creation of the world
(cf. "I have made the earth and created man upon it", Is. XLV, 12), to show that
there is no division between the upper and lower worlds. "That blotteth out thy
transgressions": not merely removing them, so that they shall never be seen
more. "For mine own sake": i.e. for the sake of the mercy which I dispense, as it
is written, "For the Lord thy God is a merciful God" (Deut. IV, 31). Another
explanation of the words"that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake"
is as follows. Sinners in this world impair the influence of the upper world, for
when they sin, mercy and the supernal light depart, and the stream of blessing
does not descend to this world, and this grade (of mercy) does not take up the
blessings from above in order to convey them to the lower world. Hence God
acts "for His own sake", in order that the stream of blessing should not be
withheld. Similarly it is written, "See now that I, I am he" (Deut. XXXII, 39), to
show that there is no division between the upper and the lower. See now, in this
way, when there are righteous men in the world, blessings are sent to all worlds.
When Abram came, blessings were sent to the world, as it is written, "And I shall
bless thee, and be thou a blessing, i.e. that blessing should be found both above
and below for his sake. When Isaac came he taught the world that there is a
judge executing judgement above to punish the wicked, and he invoked justice
upon the world in order that its inhabitants might fear God. When Jacob came he
obtained mercy for the world and perfected men's faith in God. Hence in the
days of Abram MELCHIZEDEK KING OF SALEM (salem=completeness), i.e. God
whose throne was then established in its place and whose sovereignty therefore
became complete, BROUGHT OUT BREAD AND WINE, i.e. produced the
appropriate food for the whole world, and did not withhold blessing from all the
worlds; from the upper grades He brought forth food and blessings for all the
worlds. AND HE WAS A PRIEST TO THE MOST HIGH GOD, the whole thus being in
the most perfect order; to show that as the wicked upset the world and cause
blessing to be withheld, so the righteous bring blessing to the world and for their
sakes all its inhabitants are blessed. AND HE GAVE HIM A TENTH OF ALL, to wit,
of those blessings which issue from "all", the source of all the blessings which
descend upon the world.

The subject of the Melchizedek priesthood will be covered in greater detail in our
study on the book of Hebrews beginning later this year. An excellent study on
Hebrews may be found at www.nazarene.net. It provides information such as
this:

Sha’ul identifies Y’shua with the Melchizadek figure in Ps. 110:4. While the
Talmud identifies Melchizadek as a son of Shem (b.Nedarim 32b) the Qumran
community had a more mystical view. In a document found among the Dead Sea
Scrolls (11Q13) Melchizadek is presented as a future Messianic figure who would
redeem those that are his. This Melchizadek is called in the Qumran document
"El" and "Elohim," moreover Is. 61:1-2 is quoted in reference to him with
"Melchizadek" substituted for YHWH. The redemption of this Melchizadek figure
is also tied, in the Qumran text to the Day of Atonement. It is also significant that
the Qumran community believed in two Messiah's "the Messiahs of Aaron and
Israel" (1Qs 9:10-11) A priestly Messiah and a kingly Messiah.

THE HIGH PRIEST ANOINTED FOR WAR

A subject not mentioned in most Bible studies, is that of the "second High Priest,"
who was called the (High) Priest Anointed for War. Scripture only gives a brief
non-specific mention to this person and his role:

Deuteronomy 20:1-3: When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies,
and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of
them: for YHWH thy Elohim is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of
Egypt. And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest
shall approach and speak unto the people, And shall say unto them, Hear, O
Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts
faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them.

This High Priest did not serve in the Tabernacle/Temple as did the High Priest we
read much more about in the Tenakh. Rather, his assignment centered around
the caring and preparedness of the men going to battle -- to assure they were
prepared physically and spiritually, even sending home those he deemed unfit to
fight.

The first Priest anointed for war that we find mention of, was Phineas, the
grandson of Aaron:

Midrash Rabbah - Leviticus XX:2 - Elisheba the daughter of Amminadab did


not enjoy happiness in the world. True, she witnessed five crowns [attained by
her relatives] in one day: her brother-in-law was a king, her brother was a prince,
her husband was High Priest, her two sons were both Deputy High Priests,
Phinehas her grandson was a Priest anointed for war.

Talmud - Mas. Sotah 43a - Thus it states: And Moses sent them, a thousand of
every tribe, to the war, them and Phinehas* — ‘them’ refers to the Sanhedrin;
‘Phinehas’ was the [priest] Anointed for Battle;

* Num. XXXI, 6.

Elsewhere in Midrash Rabbah (below) we find reference to the same person, this
time called, "the War Messiah." What is interesting here is the footnote, which
links the Priest Anointed for War to the coming Messiah. This is especially
significant regarding Yeshua, as the first time He came as the Temple High Priest
(in order to be the final Yom Kippur sacrifice for sin) whereas He will return the
second time as the "War Messiah" to smite His enemies (i.e., Isaiah 59:17 where
He wears the "garments of vengeance."):

Midrash Rabbah - The Song of Songs II:33 - MY BELOVED SPOKE AND SAID
UNTO ME. He spoke through Elijah and said through the Messiah. What did he
say to me? RISE UP, MY LOVE, MY FAIR ONE, AND COME AWAY. R. Azariah said:
FOR LO, THE WINTER (HA-SETHAW) IS PAST: this refers to the kingdom of the
Cutheans which seduces (mesithah) the world and leads it astray by its
falsehoods, as we read, If thy brother, the son of thy mother, entice thee--
yesitheka (Deut. XIII, 7). THE RAIN IS OVER AND GONE: this refers to the
subjection of Israel. THE FLOWERS APPEAR ON THE EARTH: the conquerors have
appeared on the earth. Who are they? R. Berekiah said in the name of R. Isaac:
As it is written, And the Lord showed me four craftsmen (Zech. II, 3), namely,
Elijah, the Messiah, Melchizedek, and the War Messiah.* THE TIME OF THE
ZAMIR IS COME: the time has come for Israel to be delivered; the time has come
for uncircumcision to be cut off; the time has come for the kingdom of the
Cutheans to expire; the time has come for the kingdom of heaven to be
revealed, as it says, And the Lord shall be king over all the earth (ib. XIV, 9). AND
THE VOICE OF THE TURTLE IS HEARD IN OUR LAND: Who is this? This is the voice
of the Messiah

* Lit.,the priest anointed for war’, an expression originally applied to the priest
who accompanied the troops. Cf. Suk. 52a, where instead of ' War Messiah ' we
have ' Messiah son of Joseph’. The two are probably identical, Messiah the son of
Joseph being regarded as the forerunner of the Messiah during the wars that will
precede his advent.

The grouping of Elijah, the Messiah, Melchizedek, and the War Messiah together
(in the above section), is also interesting as the last three are linked to Y’shua,
who was and again will be preceded by Elijah the prophet.

There are distinctions made in Talmud between the two High Priests. As might be
expected, the Temple High Priest is given a higher "rank" than his counterpart.
However the following section of the Talmud, shows distinctions drawn between
the Deputy Temple High Priest and the High Priest Anointed for War, with the
former taking precendent regarding issues of defilement, but the latter's life
being considered more important (if one had to choose between the two of
them) as he has a responsibility to many people:

Talmud - Mas. Nazir 47b - The question was propounded: As between [the
High Priest] anointed for a war, and the deputy [High Priest], which is of superior
sanctity? Does the [High Priest] anointed for war take precedence, because he is
qualified to go to war, or does the deputy take precedence, because he is
qualified to perform the Temple service?* — Come and hear: For it has been
taught: The only difference between a [High Priest] anointed for war and a
deputy is that if they were both walking by the way and encountered a meth
mizwah, the [High Priest] anointed for war is to defile himself, but not the
deputy. But has it not been taught: A [High Priest] anointed for war takes
precedence of a deputy? — Mar Zutra replied: As far as saving his life is
concerned, the [High Priest] anointed for war has a superior claim for many
[people] depend upon him, but as regards defilement, the deputy is of superior
sanctity, as has been taught: R. Hanina b. Antigonus said that the reason the
office of deputy to the High Priest was created, was that should any
disqualification happen to him [the High Priest], he can enter and minister in his
stead.

* But once a priest had been anointed for war, he could no longer take part in the
Temple service.

THE PRIESTLY GARMENTS

In chapter 28 of Exodus we have God's instruction concerning the priesthood and


the garments of the priest. These garments themselves contain a great deal of
meaning, some of it easily understood through Scripture and some of it less so.
Of particular interest are the garments of the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) worn
only on the feast of Yom Kippur. Whereas the regular attire of the High Priest was
made up of eight separate garments, on Yom Kippur He would wear only four
garments, all of them white.

The feast of Yom Kippur has a definite connection to the events in the book of
Revelation that usher in the New Covenant. The book of Hebrews offers a lot of
insight into Y’shua's role as High Priest and as the final Yom Kippur salvation
sacrifice. (This will be part of our Hebrews study later this year.)

Isaiah shows that God Himself dresses as a High Priest for the dual purpose of
atonement for faithful Israel and judgment for adulteress Israel and the nations:

Isaiah 59:15-17 - Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh
himself a prey: and YHWH saw it, and it displeased him that there was no
judgment. And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no
intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness,
it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an
helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of
vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.

At the same time His garments are red with the blood of judgment. There is a
connection between the garments of vengeance and the Lord's Day of
vengeance:

Isaiah 63:1-6 - Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments
from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of
his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art
thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in
the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there
was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my
fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will
stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the
year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and
I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought
salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in
mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their
strength to the earth.

The language is the same as found in Revelation 14:14-20 and 19:11-15:

Revelation 14:14-20 - And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the
cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and
in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with
a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the
time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat
on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And
another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp
sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire;
and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy
sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are
fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine
of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of
the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six
hundred furlongs.

Revelation 19:11-15 - And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse;
and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he
doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were
many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The
Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white
horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a
sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule
them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness
and wrath of Almighty God.

Using Hillel's second rule of interpretation, Gezerah Shavah, (where similar


terminology is used in different verses and it follows that the same
considerations apply to both), we see that Isaiah was speaking of Yeshua as well.

THE SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM

Sacrifices were offered before the first Tabernacle was built. Sacrifices were
offered by: Adam, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses.

• According to Midrash, Adam repented of his sin and God showed him how
to reconcile himself through the sacrifice of an ox.

• Abel sacrificed one of his best sheep as a freewill offering to God.

• Noah took 7 pair of each clean animal onto the ark, enabling him to have
enough to sacrifice with.

• Abraham built 4 altars and sacrificed on them.

• Isaac built one altar.

• Jacob built two altars.

• Moses sacrificed before the Tabernacle was built. Once after a battle
against Amalek, and also at the foot of Mount Sinai before the giving of
the Torah.

In Judaism, it is taught then when a Jew sins against God, Satan in heaven
demands of
God to "take away the soul" of the sinner. God replies that he accepts the
sacrifice in place of the sinner’s death. When the sinner truly repents, God
accepts the sacrifice of the animal.
Only peaceful animals are allowed for sacrifice – ox, sheep, goats, pigeons and
turtledoves, and only healthy strong ones are taken.

All sacrifices – animal or flour – were salted.

There are five kinds of sacrifices:

1. Olah / The offering that is completely burnt

2. Mincha / The flour offering

3. Shelamim / The peace offering

4. Chatat / The sin offering

5. Asham / The trespass offering

The first three of these are free will offerings a Jew could bring to God any time
they wished. The last two were required whenever a Jew sinned.

OLAH

An unblemished male; either a bull, ram or goat was used if a person was able to
afford one. The owner would bring the animal to the Temple courtyard. He would
then lean over the animal, place his hands on the animal’s head and confess the
sins for which he was bringing in the offering. Two cohanim were present; one to
hand the knife to him and the other to catch the blood. After making a
confession over the animal’s head, the person making the offering would then
take the knife and cut the throat of the animal. The blood was collected and was
sprinkled on the four corners of the alter. The organs of the animal were then
removed and washed along with the rest of the body. The body and its organs
were then burnt whole upon the altar. If a person could not afford to bring these
animals then he could bring instead a turtledove or pigeon. The bird was brought
to the cohen who killed the bird by pinching off the back of its neck. None of this
offering was eaten. It also functioned to forgive sins:

• For wrong thoughts

• For failing to fulfill some mitzva of the Torah

• For sins that can be corrected by performing a mitzva

MINCHA (Gift)

If a person was so poor that he could not even afford a bird then he could bring
Mincha offering (Mincha means gift). The Mincha offering was an offering of flour,
about 5 lbs. The flour was placed in a special pan into which some oil had been
poured. More oil was poured over the flour and mixed with a sweet spice. The
pan was then handed to the cohen who brought the pan to the alter where it was
measured out, three hands full, which was burnt on the alter. The flour was not
allowed to rise, could not be sweetened and must be salted. The person offering
this sacrifice eats none of his offering. The priests do eat the leftovers. It was
taught that when the priests eat of this sacrifice, God forgave the sins of Israel.

There was also another Mincha done by the priest once in his lifetime prior to his
beginning service in the Temple in order to prepare him. This one was
completely burnt and not eaten. The High Priest also offered a Mincha for himself
every day. This would direct his thoughts to YHWH and make him worthy to ask
for forgiveness of Israel’s sins.

SHELAMIM (Peace offering)

The Shelamim, or peace offering was not brought to atone for sin, but instead to
express happiness and gratitude to God. An ox or cow, ram or female sheep
were used as an offering. They were slaughtered in the same fashion as the
Olah, except the person would give thanks to YHWH and sing praises when he
laid his hands on the animal’s head. The blood that was collected was sprinkled
on the four corners of the altar. Part of the animal was burned on the altar while
the owner and the cohanim ate the rest. This sacrifice was also offered whenever
Elohim rescued you from a dangerous situation (Shalmay Toda) specifically:

• Recovering from a serious illness

• Crossing the desert safely

• Returning safely from an ocean voyage

• Freed from prison

CHATAT (Sin offering)

The chatat was slaughtered on the north side of the altar – same place as the
Olah, possibly to not embarrass the sinner.) This was required for sin done "by
mistake," i.e.,

• A person did not know the Torah’s commandment (i.e., they did not know
they should not work on the Sabbath.) Ignorance of Torah is not an excuse
to YHWH.

• A person is mistaken about some facts related to the above (i.e., they did
not know that it was Shabbat that day.) Neither is negligence is not an
excuse with YHWH.

ASHAM (Trespass offering)

There are six reasons for offering an Asham:

• When a person steals

• When a person misuses Temple items

• When a person has uncertainty about possibly committing a sin

• For the High Priest who sinned


• For when the Sanhedrin sins

• For when the King sins

THE SALVATION SACRIFICE OF YOM KIPPUR

The sacrifice of Yom Kippur is separate and distinct from all the other sacrifices
offered during the year. While the others reconciled the sinner on a day to day
basis with Adonai, Yom Kippur is the day that Adonai would forgive all the sins
of all the people in every generation – in essence this was their salvation
sacrifice.

Yom Kippur is the only time that the High Priest would enter into the presence of
God in the Holy of Holies, doing this four times in all that day. He would remove
four of his eight garments – all those with gold – and enter only with four white
linen garments. He would change his clothes five times, dipping himself in a
Mikveh each time.

Special offerings were made in addition to the regular ones:

• An offering for all the people paid for with public funds (Korban Mussaf)

• The High Priest’s personal sacrifice paid for with his own money

• The two goats – one sacrificed to Hashem and the other sent to Alazel
after all the sins of the people were "placed" upon it

The High priest would turn to the curtain separating the Holy Place from the Holy
of Holies, and sprinkled the blood of the bull sacrifice one time upward, then
seven times downward. He would repeat this process with the blood of the goat
sacrifice one time upward, then seven times downward.

He then entered the Holy of Holies, took blood from the bull and the goat and put
some on the four corners of the threshing floor. He also sprinkled this on the
altar, repeating the process of sprinkling once upwards, then seven times
downward.

The miracles/signs that took place, showing God’s approval and forgiveness:

• Drawing of lots always produced "LaHashem" in the right hand

• The red ribbon tied to the scapegoat always turned white

• The Center light of the Menora always burned until morning

• Fire on the copper altar never went out even when it wasn’t properly
stoked

• Priests felt full even after eating only a small part of the offerings

• The smoke of the incense offering would fill the Holy of Holies
The Talmud however, records that many of these miracles ceased to occur about
40 years before the destruction of the second Temple, and never returned. This
of course coincides with the time of the death of Yeshua:

Yoma 39b - During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the
lot [‘For the Lord’] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-
coloured strap become white; nor did the westernmost light shine; and the doors
of the Hekal would open by themselves, until R. Johanan b. Zakkai rebuked
them, saying: Hekal, Hekal, why wilt thou be the alarmer thyself? I know about
thee that thou wilt be destroyed, for Zechariah ben Ido has already prophesied
concerning thee: Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy
cedars.

SACRIFICES IN EZEKIEL'S TEMPLE

Burnt offerings, Meat (Meal) offerings, Peace offerings, Sin offerings, Drink
offerings and Trespass offerings all continue in Ezekiel's temple on a daily basis
and during the remaining festivals. These are literal sacrifices. The common
interpretation is that these are performed as memorials or remembrances. The
reason this is taught is because the literal sacrifices does not fit into standard
Christian theology, which teaches that Jesus (Y’shua) took all sacrifices away.

The scriptures are very clear however about what things are done as memorials
and remembrances.

The following scripture verses show what are done as memorials:

• Exodus 3:15; 12:14; 13:9; 17:14; 28:12, 29; 30:16; 39:7

• Leviticus 2:2, 16; 5:12; 6:15; 23:24; 24:7

• Numbers 5:15, 18, 26; 10:10; 16:40; 31:54

• Joshua 4:7; Nehemiah 2:20; Esther 9:28; Psalms 9:6; 135:13; Hosea 12:5;
Zechariah 6:14

• Matthew 26:13; Mark 14:9; Acts 10:4

Likewise the following scriptures show what are done as remembrances:

• Exodus 17:14; Numbers 5:15; Deuteronomy 25:19; 32:26

• 2 Samuel 18:18; 1 Kings 17:18; Job 13:12; 18:17

• Psalms 6:5; 30:4; 34:16; 38:1; 70:1; 77:6; 83:4; 97:12; 102:12; 112:6

• Ecclesiastes 1:11; 2:16; Isaiah 26:8; 43:26; 57:8; Lamentations 3:20

• Ezekiel 21:23-24; 23:19, 21; 29;16; Malachi 3:16

• Mark 11:21; Luke 1:54; 22:19; John 14:26; Acts 10:31; 1 Corinthians 4:17;
11:24-25;
• Philippians 1:3, 1 Thessalonians 3:6; 1 Timothy 4:6; 2 Timothy 1:3, 5, 6;
2:14

• Hebrews 10:3, 32, 2 Peter 1:12, 13, 15; 3:1; Jude 1:5, Revelation 16:19

The word "memorial" does not appear at all in the book of Ezekiel. The word
"remembrance" does appear in the book of Ezekiel but not in the last nine
chapters which describe Ezekiel's temple. Since it is Ezekiel that sets the
standard (through this vision from YHWH) as to what is to be done and how it is
to be done, anything that says anything different is to be rejected.

Ezekiel tells us why these sacrifices are to be performed:

Ezekiel 45:17 (KJV) - And it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, and
meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in
the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin
offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings,
to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.

Here it is made very plain that these sacrifices are to be performed to make
reconciliation. They are not performed as memorials or remembrances.

What is not understood by most people is that there are apparently two levels of
atonement: a higher Atonement of Salvation (the Yom Kippur sacrifice that
Y’shua fulfilled on Pesakh), and a lower atonement of Reconciliation which will
not be fulfilled until after His Millennial reign.

You may read in Hebrews 10:3 the following verse: "But in those sacrifices there
is a remembrance again made of sins every year." The context in which this is
written is the Yom Kippur sacrifice. This will be addressed in detail in our
upcoming Hebrews study.

Daily Offerings

In Exodus 29:38-42 and Numbers 28:3-10 it says that two lambs of a year old are
to be offered as sacrifices every day; one in the morning and one in the evening.
Curiously, in Ezekiel's temple only ONE lamb is to be offered every day; in the
morning (Ezekiel 46:13-15). Perhaps the "other lamb" (Yeshua) is there with
them every day in place of this one lamb?

Half Shekel Tax

This was given as a support for the temple and as a ransom (or redemption
price) for the souls of those twenty years and older, particularly those who would
go to war. For both reasons this will no longer be necessary in the Millennium.

Nazarite Vow (Numbers 6:1-21)

During the time a Nazarite has his vow he is to abstain from:

• Anything made from grapes


• Cutting his hair

When the days of his separation are fulfilled he is to:

• Offer a year old male lamb for a burnt offering

• Offer a year old female lamb for a sin offering

• Offer one ram for peace offerings

• Offer a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mingled with oil,
and wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil, and their meat (meal)
offerings, and their drink offerings.

• Shave his head at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation and burn
it under the peace offering.

The apostle Paul (Shaul, pronounced Shah-ool) undertook two such vows:

Acts 18:18 - And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his
leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and
Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.

"Having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow" describes a Nazarite
vow. The difficulty here is that he shaved his head in Cenchrea, not at the
temple. However, the Mishnah (a Jewish commentary on the Torah) says in Nazir
2:5 that a fellow Nazarite may take the hair of another Nazarite to Jerusalem and
offer it in his stead. Whether this is what happened here or not is uncertain.

In Acts 21:20-28 it is said that there was a report that Shaul was teaching the
Jews living amongst the Gentiles to forsake Moshe and the Torah. Knowing this
report to be false the Messianic Jews in Jerusalem told Shaul to take with him
four men who had taken a Nazarite vow and to pay their expenses so they could
fulfill their vows. At this point he could have disavowed having anything to do
with Torah by refusing to do as they asked. But, he didn't. He paid their
expenses willingly in order to prove that the report had been false.

Apparently, however, Shaul did not take a vow for himself but just paid their
expenses which is no small matter for four men. Unfortunately, this process was
interrupted when the other Jews rioted after recognizing him and having heard
the same false report.

http://www.yashanet.com/studies/revstudy/rev2g.htm

Comparison of Past and Millennial


Temples
Second Ezekiel's Millennial
Description Tabernacle First Temple
Temple Temple
T H E A P P O I N T E D F E S T I V A L S
Shabbat (Sabbath) X X X X
Pesakh (Passover) X X X X
Unleavened Bread X X X ?
Bikkurim (Firstfruits) X X X
Shavuot (Pentecost) X X X
Rosh HaShannah X X X First month (Nisan) ?
Yom Kippur (Day of
X X X
Atonement)
Succot (Tabernacles) X X X X
Sabbatical Year X X X ?
Year of Jubilee X X X X
New Moons X X X X
T H E T E M P L E F U R N I S H I N G S
O U T S I D E
Court of the
X X X Outer and Inner Courts
Tabernacle/Temple
Court of the Priests X X
Court of the Israelites
X
(men)
Court of the Women X
Court of the Gentiles X
The Altar of Sacrifice X X X X
TEN plus one
The Laver X X ?
Sea
The Lots (for Yom
X X X ?
Kippur)
I N S I D E
The Table of
X X X
Showbread
The Golden
X X X
Lampstand (Menorah)
The Altar of Incense X X X
The Veil X X X
The Ark of the Ark plus 2
X Missing
Covenant Cherubim
T H E P R I E S T L Y G A R M E N T S
C O M M O N P R I E S T S
Tunic (broidered coat) X X X X
Drawers (underwear) X X X X
Turban (Mitre) X X X X
Girdle (belt) X X X X
H I G H P R I E S T PRINCE? MESSIAH?
Tunic (broidered coat) X X X
Drawers (underwear) X X X
Turban (Mitre) X X X
Girdle (belt) X X X
The Breastplate (of
X X X
Ephod)
The Apron (of Ephod) X X X
The upper Garment
X X X
(Robe of Ephod)
The Frontlet (Gold
X X X
plate on Turban)
T H E S A C R I F I C E S
Burnt offerings X X X X
Meal offerings X X X X
Peace offerings X X X X
Sin offerings X X X X
** Two ** Two ** Two One Lamb (morning
Daily offerings
Lambs Lambs Lambs only)
Drink offerings X X X X
Trespass offerings X X X X
Red Heifer X X X ?
Half Shekel X X X ?
Nazarite Vow X X X ?

** One lamb in the morning and one in the evening


Section III - The Moedim

THE MOEDIM (APPOINTED TIMES) - AN INTRODUCTION


(Last updated 12/8/00)

The Moedim (moe-eh-DEEM - "Appointed Times"), are typically called, "Jewish


holidays" but in the Bible are referred to as God's feast days. These include:
Pesakh (Passover), Matzah (Unleavened Bread), Yom Habikkurim (First Fruits),
Shavuot (Pentecost), Rosh HaShannah, Yom Kippur and Succot (Tabernacles).
Also given consideration in this section are the Shabbat (Sabbath) and the Yovel
Year (Jubilee Release). Knowledge of the mystical meaning of these appointed
times is critical to an understanding of events taking place in the book of
Revelation.

We will also look beyond the three dimensions of the world we live in, including
the relationship between time and space, and how these are tied to the Sabbath
and the Tabernacle/Temple. The Moedim are spoken of throughout Scripture but
presented as a group in Leviticus chapter 23. We will especially focus on how
they are dealt with in the Millennium.

PESAKH/MATZAH/YOM HABIKKURIM
(PASSOVER/UNLEAVENED BREAD/FIRST FRUITS)

Although Y’shua died on Pesakh as the Pesakh Lamb, he actually fulfilled the
Yom Kippur sacrifice (see below on Yom Kippur). Passover will still be celebrated
in Ezekiel's Temple for seven days (Ezekiel 45:21-24). The feast of Unleavened
Bread is done in conjunction with Pesakh.Historically, Y’shua died on Pesakh, was
in the ground during Unleavend Bread

SHAVUOT
(FEASTS OF WEEKS / PENTECOST)

In Judaism, Shavuot is traditionally understood to be the day that God gave the
Torah to Moshe (Moses) on Mount Sinai. It is also on this day that YHWH poured
the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) on the 120 Jews in the upper room in Acts 2,
apparently indicating that the Torah has been written upon their hearts.
(Jeremiah 31:33). Shavuot however, is missing from Ezekiel's Temple.

Click here for more information on Shavuot and the Millennium.

The "spring" feasts are associated with Y’shua's first coming. Y’shua died on
Passover. He was in the ground on Unleavened Bread. He was resurrected on
Yom HaBikkurim (First Fruits). The Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) came to His
disciples on Shavuot.

ROSH HASHANNAH
(HEAD OF THE YEAR)
This marked the beginning of the Civil year (not the religious year) and is a day
of blowing shofars. It was celebrated on the first day of the seventh month. This
festival also seems to be missing from Ezekiel's Temple, however on the first day
of the first month (beginning of the religious year) there is a festival for cleansing
the sanctuary (Ezekiel 45:18-19). When the Children of Israel were getting ready
to leave Egypt, God told Moshe that the month of Nisan (nee-sahn') was to be
the first month of the year for them (Exodus 12:2). It was only later that the
seventh month became accepted by the Hebrews as the month for marking the
years.

Apparently, in Ezekiel's Temple, God is restoring the beginning of the religious


year to its rightful place, marking our freedom from the world system.

YOM KIPPUR
(DAY OF ATONEMENT)

Every year on this day only, the High Priest entered past the Veil into the Holy of
Holies to make atonement for our souls. For this reason the Veil represents the
Yom Kippur sacrifice. The Bronze Altar represents the actual sacrifices
themselves. The only thing needed to properly perform most sacrifices is an
altar. When the exiles began returning from Babylon, they immediately rebuilt
the altar and began to sacrifice on it. Only after this did they rebuild the Temple,
and lastly the city walls.

The Yom Kippur sacrifice however, requires the Temple as well as the altar. At
the moment Yeshua died on the cross, the Veil of the Temple was torn in two,
from top to bottom, indicating that the requirements of the Yom Kippur sacrifice
had been fulfilled and it was no longer necessary to perform this sacrifice
(Hebrews 6:4 is centered around this.) However, the altar was left intact,
indicating that the other sacrifices were not done away with (as can be seen by
the fact that Paul still sacrificed.)

The Romans later destroyed the (second) Temple and altar, but this does not
indicate the end of the sacrificial system. (If it did, then the system would have
ended with the destruction of the first Temple, hundreds of years earlier, and
Yeshua's sacrifice would have been in vain.) In Ezekiel's Temple, there is no Yom
Kippur sacrifice, however other daily sacrifices are still performed, including
sacrifice for sin.

SUCCOT
(TABERNACLES)

This is the most joyous of all the Lord's festivals and the one that all the nations
will be required to go up to Jerusalem to celebrate during the time of Ezekiel's
Temple (Zechariah 14:16-21). Succot (which is itself the seventh festival) is
related to the Messianic Age.

Succot is to be celebrated for seven days. However, in Leviticus 23:36 it is


written of Succot:
"For seven days present offerings made to the LORD by fire, and on the eighth
day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. It
is the closing assembly; do no regular work."

In the midst of describing a seven-day festival, God mentions an "eight day." This
"extra" day is called Shemini Atzeret ("the eighth conclusion"). It is celebrated on
the eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles, on the day of Tishrei 22. On Tishrei
23, is Simcha Torah, meaning "rejoicing in the Torah". The Jewish people
celebrate Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah as one day. It is considered the
eighth day of the celebration of Succot and represents Olam Haba, the time that
comes after the Millennium. The eighth day is therefore, a picture of eternity --
and rejoicing in eternity is associated with the Torah.

SHABBAT (SABBATH) AND THE MILLENNIUM

The concept of Shabbat is unique among the cultures of the world. Nowhere else
can you find instruction from a supreme being to "take a day off" from one’s
regular activities. The "fourth commandment" is found in Exodus 20:8-11,
Leviticus 23:3,32 and Deuteronomy 5:12-14. It is also mentioned in numerous
other texts including Isaiah 58:13-14 where we are told that we honor Adonai by
keeping the Shabbat.

Shabbat’s origins go back to creation. Genesis 2:1-3 where Elohim worked for six
days then rested on the seventh day. As with much of what the Bible presents to
us, Shabbat is a foreshadowing, reflection or picture of what exists in heaven and
what those who follow YHWH will enjoy (in its heavenly capacity) one day.

Scripture tells us that there is a greater Shabbat yet to come where things will be
restored, to a state much like the original Garden of Eden. This period of time is
known as the Messianic kingdom.

There are parallels drawn to the seventh day Shabbat in Genesis in that are
found in Scripture:

Acts 3:21: And he shall send Messiah Y’shua, which before was preached unto
you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things,
which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world
began.

Romans 8:18-23: For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not
worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the
earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of
God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of
him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall
be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the
children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in
pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the
firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the
adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
2Peter 3:3-9: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers,
walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming?
for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the
beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word
of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in
the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water,
perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are
kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of
ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is
with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is
not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is
longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should
come to repentance.

Revelation 20:2-7: And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is
the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the
bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive
the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he
must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and
judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded
for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped
the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their
foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand
years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were
finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the
first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be
priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And
when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

Revelation 21:1-8: And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first
heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I
John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of
heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with
them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be
their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be
no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:
for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said,
Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are
true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the
beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the
water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his
God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the
abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters,
and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and
brimstone: which is the second death.
Isaiah 65:17-19: For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the
former shall not be remembered, nor come to mind. But be glad and rejoice
forever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her
people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and the voice
of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.

Isaiah 66:22-24: For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make,
shall remain before me, says the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.
And it shall come to pass, that every new moon, and every sabbath, shall all
flesh come to worship before me, says the Lord. And they shall go forth, and look
upon the carcasses of the men who have transgressed against me; for their
worm shall not die, nor shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be a loathing
to all flesh.

Extra-biblical writings also include a teaching that draws a parallel between the
seven days of creation and the timeline of human history since creation.

2000 years from Adam to Abraham


2000 years from Abraham to Messiah
2000 years in the Messianic age
1000 years of Shabbat rest (Millennium-Messianic Kingdom)
= 7000 years corresponds to the 7 days of creation where God rested on the
seventh

There is much about this theme in Jewish literature:

Midrash Rabbah Genesis 12:6: Why do we recite a blessing over a lamp [fire]
at the termination of the Sabbath? Because it was then created for the first time.
R. Huna in Rab's name, and R. Abbahu in R. Johanan's name said: At the
termination of the Day of Atonement, too, we recite a blessing over it, because
the fire rested the whole day. R. Berekiah said in the name of R. Samuel b.
Nahman: Though these things were created in their fulness, yet when Adam
sinned they were spoiled, and they will not again return to their perfection until
the son of Perez [viz. Messiah] comes;

Soncino Zohar 1:119a: A star in the east will swallow seven stars in the north,
and a flame of black fire will hang in the heaven for sixty days, and there shall
be wars towards the north in which two kings shall perish. Then all the nations
shall combine together against the daughter of Jacob in order to drive her from
the world. It is of that time that it is written: "And it is a time of trouble unto
Jacob, but out of it he shall be saved" (Jer. XXX, 7) ...

... From that time the Messiah will begin to declare himself, and round him there
will be gathered many nations and many hosts from the uttermost ends of the
earth. And all the children of Israel will assemble in their various places until the
completion of the century. The Vau will then join the He, and then "they shall
bring all your brethren out of all the nations for an offering unto the Lord" (Is.
LXVI, 20). The children of Ishmael will at the same time rouse all the peoples of
the world to come up to war against Jerusalem, as it is written, "For I will gather
all nations against Jerusalem to battle, etc." (Zech. XIV, 2), also, "The kings of
the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and
against his anointed" (Ps. II, 2); and further, "He that sitteth in heaven laugheth,
the Lord hath them in derision" (Ibid. II, 4). ...

... Happy are those who will be left alive at the end of the sixth millennium to
enter on the Sabbath. For that is the day set apart by the Holy One on which to
effect the union of souls and to cull new souls to join those that are still on earth,
as it is written, "And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that
remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written unto
life in Jerusalem" (Is. IV, 3).’

Sanhedrin 97a: R. Kattina said: Six thousand years shall the world exist, and
one [thousand, the seventh], it shall be desolate, as it is written, And the Lord
alone shall be exalted in that day. Abaye said: it will be desolate two [thousand],
as it is said, After two days will he revive us: in the third day, he will raise us up,
and we shall live in his sight. It has been taught in accordance with R. Kattina:
Just as the seventh year is one year of release in seven, so is the world: one
thousand years out of seven shall be fallow, as it is written, And the Lord alone
shall be exalted in that day,’ and it is further said, A Psalm and song for the
Sabbath day, meaning the day that is altogether Sabbath — and it is also said,
For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past. The Tanna
debe Eliyyahu teaches: The world is to exist six thousand years. In the first two
thousand there was desolation, two thousand years the Torah flourished; and the
next two thousand years is the Messianic era,

Tamid 33b: On sabbath they used to say, a psalm, a song for the sabbath day:
a psalm, a song for the time to come, for the day that will be all sabbath and rest
for everlasting life.

The Haftorah reading for Pesakh Shabbat is Ezekiel 37:1-14, the vision of the
"dry bones" depicting the final restoration of Israel leading into the Shabbat rest
and Millnnium shown in the subsequent chapters.

The book of Ruth is read at Shavuot, the festival most associate with the
initiation of the Messianic Kingdom. Ruth presents the theme of Gentile
salvation, another feature of the Messianic Kingdom.

The salvation of gentiles in the Messianic Kingdom can also be found in other
Scriptures, such as: Genesis 12:3, 18:14, 22:18, 26:4, Isaiah 11:10, 19:6, 54:1-3,
60:1-3; Hosea 1:1-10; Amos 9:11; Malachi 1:11; Psalm 72; Psalm 87; Philippians
2:10 (quoting Isaiah 45:23), Zechariah 14:9-19.

This theme is also be found in the Talmud in Sukkah 55b:

Mishnah. On the first festival day of tabernacles there were offered thirteen
bullocks, two rams and one he-goat.1 fourteen he-lambs therefore remained for
the other eight courses of priests. On the first day, six offered two each and the
remaining [two] one each. on the second day five [courses] offered two each and
the remaining [four] one each. on the third day four [courses] offered two each
and the remaining [six] one each. on the fourth day three offered two each and
the remaining [eight] one each. on the fifth day offered two each and the
remaining [ten] one each. on the sixth day one offered two and the remaining
[twelve] one each. on the seventh day all were equal. on the eighth day they
again cast lots as on the other pilgrim festivals. It was enjoined that [the course]
that offered bullocks on one day should not offer them on the morrow, but that
they should take their turns in rotation.

GEMARA. Must we say that our Mishnah represents the view of Rabbi, and not
that of the Rabbis, since it has been taught, For the bullock which is offered on
the Eighth Day lots are cast as at first, these are the words of Rabbi, but the
Sages ruled, One of the two courses which did not have a third turn in the
bullocks offered it? — You may even say that it represents the view of the
Rabbis, for do not two courses also require the casting of lots? Whose view is
followed in that which has been taught, All the courses repeated a second and a
third time, with the exception of two courses who repeated a second time but
not a third one? Must we say that it follows that of Rabbi, and not that of the
Rabbis? — You may even say that it follows that of the Rabbis, but the statement
that they did not repeat a third time refers to the bullocks of the Festival. What
then does this teach us? — It is this that we were taught, that he who offered
bullocks on the one day shall not offer them on the morrow, but they must all
take their turns in rotation. R. Eleazar stated, To what do those seventy bullocks
[that were offered during the seven days of the Festival] correspond? To the
seventy nations.

YOM KIPPUR AND THE NEW COVENANT

By James Scott Trimm


©1997 All Rights Reserved, Reprinted with permission
The Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism:
P.O. Box 471, Hurst, Texas 76053
www.nazarene.net

In Hebrews 8 through 10, Paul gives a midrash involving The Messiah and the
Yom Kippur ceremony (described in Lev. 16). We can be certain that the subject
is Yom Kippur because it is only on this day that the golden censor is placed in
the holy of holies (Heb. 9:4 & Lev. 16:12), and that the High Priest enters the
holy of holies. Now, Hebrews tells us that the earthly holy of holies is a shadow of
the heavenly holy of holies (see Heb.8:2, 5). In the earthly holy of holies is the
ark of the Covenant, Book of the Covenant and Tablets of the Covenant. These
are symbols of the Old/Mosaic Covenant. In the heavenly holy of holies then, is
kept the New Covenant (see Heb. 8:2, 5-6; 9:11-15,also Heb. 8:8-11 quotes Jer.
31:31-34 on the New Covenant).

Now, there is an important parallel between Lev. 16; Heb. 8-9 and Rev. 5. In Heb.
8 and Rev 5, the Messiah is at the right hand of the throne in the heavenly holy
of holies. In both Hebrews 8-9 and Rev. 5, the Messiah is also able to do
something because of his death and blood. In Rev. 5, he opens the 7 sealed
book, in Heb. 8, he becomes mediator of the New Covenant (compare Rev. 5 & 6
with Heb. 8:3, 6; 9:12, 15). Moreover, in Lev. 16:14, blood is sprinkled on the
mercy seat 7 times, while in Rev. 5 & 6, Messiah opens seals 7 times because of
his blood. It would seem then that the opening of the sealed book in Rev. 5 is
synonymous with becoming mediator of the New Covenant in Heb. 8-9 and the
fulfillment of the meaning of the Yom Kippur ceremony of Lev. 16.

Now, let us look in more detail at the sealed book in Rev. 5. The Book of
Revelation often draws material from the prophets of the Tenakh. In this case the
"sealed book" seems to be a reference to a book mentioned in Is. 29:

• For YHWH has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep...

• The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is
sealed...

• therefore, behold I will again do a marvelous work among this people, a


marvelous work and a wonder...

• In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the
blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.

(Is. 29:10, 11, 14, 18)

Thus, with the revealing of this sealed book, the apostasy ends. This parallels
what we learn in the olive tree parable (Rom. 11:16-27).This parable speaks of
the apostasy of Israel as a "deep sleep" (Rom 11:8 = Is. 29:10). This olive tree
parable goes on to say that this apostasy will end at a time called THE FULLNESS
OF THE GENTILES (Hebrew MILO HAGOYIM = "a multitude of nations" (Gen.
48:19) referring to Joseph's seed ). This is the time of the making of the New
Covenant (compare Jer. 31:31, 34 & Rom. 11:27).
In Rev. 5& 6 we learn that the book is sealed with seven seals. These are seven
things which must happen before the book can be opened. These 7 seals
correspond to the curses which Israel is to go through for not having kept the
Law (Deut 28-29; Lev. 26). These seven seals also parallel the material in Mt. 24
as follows:

Seal: Mt. 24 Deut. 28 Lev. 26


1 Rev 6:1-2 Mt. 24:5
2 Rev. 6:3-4 Mt. 24:6-7a Deut. 28:49 Lev. 26:17-25
3 Rev. 6:5-6 Mt. 24:7b Deut. 28:18,38,51 Lev. 26:16,20,26
Deut. 28:21-22,26-
Lev. 26:16,
4 Rev. 6:7-8 Mt. 24:7c 27,
21,22,25,31
35,52,55,57
5 Rev. 6:9-11 Mt. 24:8-24
Deut. 28:23-24,62,
6 Rev. 6:12-17 Mt. 24:29-31 Lev. 26:19
64
7 Rev. 7
Now, just as the Yom Kippur ceremony of Lev. 16 makes atonement for the sins
of the children of Israel (Lev. 16:16-21), the Messiah in Rev. 5, passes judgement
on Israel for having violated Torah. These judgements are the seals. Once the
judgements of Dt. 28-29 are made, then we can come to Dt. 30:1-4

Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing
and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all
the nations where YHWH your G-d drives you, and you return to YHWH your G-d
and obey his voice, according to all that I have commanded you today, you and
your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, And YHWH your G-d will
bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you
again from all the nations where YHWH your G-d has scattered you.

Then we reach a parallel to Mt. 24:31=Mk 13:27 (remember Mt. 24 parallels the
seven seals):

If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there YHWH
your G-d will gather you, and from there he will bring you. (Dt. 30:4)

Then the text goes on to parallel Jer. 31:31-34 (which speaks of the New
Covenant):

Then YHWH your G-d will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed,
and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your
fathers. And YHWH your G-d will circumcise your heart and the heart of your
descendants, to love YHWH your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul,
that you may live. (Dt. 30:5-6)

All of this is further demonstrated in Rev. 10:1-11 where the sealed book is
revealed. Here the voice of the seventh angel points to the seventh trumpet and
the beginning of the Kingdom of the L-rd (Rev. 10:7 & 11:15) just as in Rev.
22:12 Messiah comes with his reward... i.e. the sealed book he was worthy of in
Rev. 5, also the New Covenant.

SHEMITA, YOVEL YEAR (JUBILEE RELEASE)

The "Shemita" year occured every seventh year (Sabbatical year) during which
the land was to remain fallow. After every seventh Shemitah the fiftieth year was
to be sanctified as a Yovel year (Jubilee), a very holy year. On the 10th of Tishrei
(Yom Kippur) of the Jubilee year, God commanded a horn to be blown:

Lev. 25:8-10 - And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee,
seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be
unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee
to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall
ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the
fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants
thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his
possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. (1)

The forgiveness of debts and return of slaves is also called the "Jubilee release."

Israel failed to fulfill the Shemita and Yovel year requirement from the very
beginning:

Jeremiah 34:13-17 - Thus saith YHWH, the Elohim of Israel; I made a covenant
with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt,
out of the house of bondmen, saying, At the end of seven years let ye go every
man his brother an Hebrew, which hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath
served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee: but your fathers
hearkened not unto me, neither inclined their ear. And ye were now turned, and
had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour;
and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my
name: But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his
servant, and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty at
their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto
you for servants and for handmaids. Therefore thus saith YHWH; Ye have
not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and
every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith YHWH, to
the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be
removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.

God warned what He would do in response to disobedience:

Leviticus 26:23 - I will disperse you among the nations, and will draw out a
sword after you; your land will be desolate and your cities destroyed. Then the
land will enjoy her rests, as long as it remains desolate.

The 70 years of Babylonian captivity were punishment for the 70 sabbatical


years Israel missed from the time they entered the land to the destruction of the
first Temple (490 years). During the captivity God causes the land to receive its
appropriate rest, remaining desolate for seventy years.

Not fulfilling Shemita and Jubilee is a symptom of Israel's diseased spiritual


status. The "sign of the Covenant" (the Torah) became a curse. This is a reason
Messiah had to come and renew the Covenant, only on better terms, reverting of
the Torah back to its original intention -- a blessing:

Hebrews 8:6-8 - But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how
much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon
better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no
place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith,
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the
house of Israel and with the house of Judah.

There is a relationship between Israel correctly following God in faith, the people
of Israel being in their land, and the Temple of Israel standing. Two of these are
only in partial fulfillment today (a remnant of faith and some being in the land),
and the Temple is completely missing.

Israel's falling away, occurred in three stages:

1. Their faith became perverted

a) Prophets were sent to warn them


b) The righteous are taken out

2. They were driven from the Land

3. The destruction of the Temple came

The Tikun Olam (restoration/unification of the upper and lower worlds) can only
occur after you have all three of these "pillars" back in place. This will happen in
the Millennium, when the Temple, and sacrificial system are restored. What is
needed for sacrifice? A priesthood, redemption of Israel's first born (lost at the
sin of the golden calf and accomplished through Yeshua's death) and physical
possession of the land. We will cover this in more detail in later sections of this
study.

The Shemita and Jubilee years were significant for different reasons. Shemita
was what God used to "keep time," whereas Jubilees is more directly associated
with the end of a time period and the Olam Haba (world to come).

The Shemita can be seen as a time tracking mechanism in Daniel's famous


prophecy about the Messiah:

Daniel 9:20-27 - And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin
and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD
my God for the holy mountain of my God; Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer,
even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being
caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he
informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to
give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the
commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly
beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy
weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the
transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for
iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and
prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that
from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto
the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two
weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And
after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and
the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;
and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war
desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for
one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the
oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it
desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured
upon the desolate.

In the above prophecy, Daniel calculates the time of Messiah's arrival in terms of
"weeks." Both the language and the context indicate that these "weeks" are
actually groups of seven years and not days, which is the Shemita cycle. Messiah
would come at some point during or after the 69th Shemita cycle. The 70th (and
"final") Shemita cycle, associated with the events in Revelation, Matthew 24 and
other Scriptures, hangs mysteriously in the future.

YOVEL YEAR AND SHAVUOT

The Yovel year is the culmination of everything achieved in the forty-nine years
leading up to it, similar to the feast of Shavuot (Pentecost), which follows the
forty-nine days of the Omer, following Pesakh (Passover), a time of spiritual
growth, where people focused on the Torah and celebrate their "arrival" on
Shavuot.

The Yovel year is also called a year of freedom (dror) -- the freedom of the
knowledge (called da'at) of the Fifty Gates of Understanding. This teaching lies in
Jewish mysticism and is specifically linked to attaining a higher understanding of
the Torah. (One of the key works Messiah is destined to do is to reveal the
greater truths of the Torah to all of His people):

Pirke Avos 6:2 - The Tablets are God's handiwork and the script was God's
writing engraved (charus) on the Tablets. Do not read "charus" (engraved), but
"cheirus" (freedom), for there is no freer man than one who engages in the study
of Torah.

Shavuot is significant in both the Tenakh ("Old Testament") and "New


Testament." At Sinai, the people; were gathered in God's designated place, they
heard the voice of God (each in their own language of which there were many),
and 3000 were killed for lack of faith.

Judaism also teaches that God's word proceeded as tongues of fire:

Talmud Shabbat 88b - The school of Rabbi Ishmael taught: (Behold My word is
like fire, declares the Lord,) and like a hammer that breaks the rock into pieces
(Jer. 23:29) just as a hammer is divided into many sparks, so every single word
that went forth from the Holy One, blessed be He, split up into seventy
languages.

Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Exodus 20:18 - "The word that went out from
the mouth of the Holy One, may His Name be blessed, was like shooting stars
and lightnings and like flames and torches of fire."

An amazing image of tongues of fire upon the heads of angels, may be seen in
the painting, A Light to Jerusalem, by Baruch Nachshon. This image appears in
the 5760 Jewish Art Calendar provided by the Orthodox Lubavitch. It is placed on
the page with the months of Elul-Tishrei, when the fall feasts of Rosh Hashana,
Yom Kippur and Succot occur.

Click here to see the full sized (200k) image | Click here to see a reduced size
(50k) version

Conversely, in the book of Acts, Jews are again gathered in God's designated
place (the Temple), again hear the apostles in their own language, tongues of
fire again appear, and this time the same number (3000) are saved through
faith. This shows that Shavuot was not the beginning of some new religion (i.e.,
"the Church") to replace the faith of Israel (which would contradict God's own
word.). Rather, it was a direct confirmation of the faith of Israel, and its long-
awaited Messiah, by God. (His indicating "which way" the faith of Israel was to
continue.)

God makes it quite clear that the "New Covenant," is not "new" in the sense of
replacing the "old." It is a re-newal of the same covenant, that being the Torah-
based faith of Israel, only on better terms (Jeremiah 31:31-37, Hebrews 8:6), and
takes place in the Millennium. As of now, it is still in the process of "fading away"
(Hebrews 8:13). The "Law" written on the hearts of His people, is not a "new
law," but the same Torah.

YOVEL YEAR AND BESORAH (THE "GOSPEL")

What is the Gospel message? The standard Christian response to this question
has to do with the death, burial and resurrection of the Messiah, and an
individual attaining salvation by "putting their faith" in Him. There are some
obvious problems with this definition:

• Scripture (Matthew 26:13; Mark 10:29; Luke 20:1) says that Yeshua
preached the Gospel Himself, prior to His death. He never preached
"believing in His resurrected self" to anyone.
• The same goes for His disciples who also preached the Gospel before He
died. (Luke 9:6). Nowhere do we see them preaching believing in the risen
Messiah before Yeshua died - yet they are preaching "the Gospel."

• We are even told that the Gospel was preached to the children of Israel in
Moses' time:

Hebrews 4:2-6 - For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they
did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who
heard did not combine it with faith. Now we who have believed enter that rest,
just as God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, `They shall never enter
my rest.'" And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. For
somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "And on the
seventh day God rested from all his work." And again in the passage above he
says, "They shall never enter my rest." It still remains that some will enter that
rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go
in, because of their disobedience.

The Gospel is not a "new message" of the "New Testament." In its widest sense it
is everything the Torah points to; the Messiah and Tikun Olam. Specifically, it
relates to the Jubilee, which was given as a foreshadowing of the acceptable year
of the Lord. Y’shua pointed to this when was in the Temple and read the
following passage:

Luke 4:18-19 - The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me
to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to
preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at
liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Yeshua of course is quoting Isaiah chapter 61, which includes the additional
words, "and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn." Yeshua
stopped mid-verse, as He is first fulfilling the role of the Temple High Priest, and
only upon His return does He take on the role of the High Priest Anointed for
War.

Historically, Judaism acknowledged "dual roles" for the Messiah. Not


comprehending that Messiah may come twice (2) the "two Messiah" theory
evolved, made up of an kind and atoning Messiah ben Joseph, and a judging and
vengeful Messiah ben David.

YOVEL YEAR, MESSIAH AND THE WORLD TO COME

The Dead Sea Scrolls have provided an important link to the relationship Yeshua
may have had with the Qumran community, especially the sect of "John the
Baptist." We know Y’shua spent a lot of time in the Wilderness and that is where
people first heard the "announcement" of His arrival from John.

In Luke's gospel we see the disciples of John coming to Y’shua and asking Him if
He is the one they have been awaiting. Note carefully His reply:
Luke 7:22 - Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John
what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the
lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is
preached.

Here Yeshua does not give a simple, direct answer. In fact, you could say this is a
"coded message" meant for John's understanding. Y’shua's words are reiterating
the things Messiah was forecast to do, from Isaiah (the "Jubilee release"), with
one important difference. Nowhere does Isaiah in his descriptions of Jubilee
release, say that Messiah will raise the dead. However, an Isaiah scroll found at
Qumran, includes the resurrection reference. Yeshua was quoting from a Qumran
scroll, thus linking Himself and Luke's account to Qumran.

As John's origins were with the Qumran community in the "Wilderness" (as were
Y’shua's), they shared a common view of Isaiah's prophecy. John would
understand Y’shua's response as an affirmative one, telling him -- I am the
Messiah come to initiate the Jubilee release. This is the "Gospel" message.

To make the connection between between Messiah, Melchizadek, the Jubilee


Release, and the salvation atonement of Yom Kippur, we will now look at several
sources. The first of these was already mentioned -- the Isaiah prophecy that
indicates the Messiah will carry out judgment in the "Day of the Lord":

Isaiah 61:1-3 - The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath
anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up
the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the
prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and
the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto
them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for
mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be
called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be
glorified.

Next is Psalm 110, where we see "the Lord" speaking to "the Lord" and stating
His priesthood is in the order of Melchizedek, a heavenly, eternal priesthood -- as
opposed to the earthly Levitical priesthood. (This subject will be covered
extensively in our upcoming study on the book of Hebrews.) This "second Lord"
will be the one to bring judgment to the kings of the earth in the Lord's "day of
wrath."

Psalm 110 - The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I
make thine enemies thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength
out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in
the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning:
thou hast the dew of thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou
art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord at thy right hand
shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the
heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads
over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift
up the head.

Now we move to a mystical passage in the Zohar that ties the Jubilee year with;
Psalm 110, the Shekinah, the Tikun Olam (restoration) and the Millennium. This
section also refers to God's "right hand" creating the world:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 50b - According to another


explanation, “the Lord” refers to the Jubilee and “my lord” to the Sabbatical Year
(cf. Ex. XXI, 5, “I love my lord”). The words “sit at my right hand” are
appropriate, because the Right is located in the Jubilee, and the Sabbatical Year
craves to be linked with the Right. When it first came into being, the Sabbatical
Year was not linked securely (to the supreme power) through either the Right or
the Left. So when it sought to secure itself, the supreme power stretched forth
its right arm to meet it and created this world. It is because it is from the side of
the Left that it has no sure basis till the time of the seventh millennium, when at
length it will be linked through the Right. Then the Sabbatical Year, between the
Right and the Left, will be securely based, there will be a new heaven and a new
earth, and it will not depart from there for ever. According to this explanation,
we must take the words “sit at my right hand” to refer only to a specified period,
viz. “till I make thine enemies thy footstool”, but not in perpetuity; for when that
event has come to pass, it will not depart from there for ever, as it is written,
“for thou shalt spread abroad on the right hand and on the left” (Is. LIV, 3), all
being united. Similarly we can interpret the text “the heavens and the earth” to
mean that the higher Shekinah and the lower Shekinah will be joined in the
union of male and female; this has already been explained, as the colleagues
have noted.’

Finally, we turn to the writings of Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls) where the Yovel
year is tied to the Messiah of Isaiah 61, who is in turn directly associated with
Melchizedek.

Two very significant items here are;

• Use of "year of Melchizadek's favor" in place of, "year of YWHW's favor,"


thus equating Melchizedek to God.

• The statement that Melchizedek atones for the sins of the righteous and
executes judgment, which again are placing him in God's role.

Note: gaps in the scroll text are indicated by "...":

11Q13, Col. 2 - ... And concerning what Scripture says, "In this year of Jubilee
you shall return everyone of you, to your property (Leviticus 25:13). And what is
also written; and this is the manner of the remission; every creditor shall remit
the claim that is held against a neighbor, not exacting it of a neighbor who is a
member of the community, because God's remission has been proclaimed"
(Deuteronomy 15:2) the interpretation is that it applies to the Last Days and
concerns the captives just as Isaiah said: "To proclaim the Jubilee to the captives
(Isaiah 61:1) ... just as ... and from the inheritance of Melchizadek, for ...
Melchizadek, who will return them to what is rightfully theirs. He will proclaim to
them the Jubilee, thereby releasing them from the debt of their sins. He shall
proclaim this decree in the first week of the Jubilee period that follows nine
Jubilee periods. Then the "Day of Atonement" shall follow after the tenth Jubilee
period, when he shall atone for all the Sons of Light, and the people who are
predestined to Melchizadek ... upon them ... For this is the time decreed for the
"year of Melchizadek's favor," and by his might he will judge God's holy ones
and so establish a righteous kingdom, as it is written about him in the songs of
David: "An ELOHIM has taken his place in the council of EL; in the midst of the
ELOHIM he holds judgment (Psalm 82:1). Scripture also says about him: "Over it
take your seat in the highest heaven; an ELOHIM will judge the peoples" (Psalm
7:7-8). Concerning what Scripture says about him: "How long will you judge
unjustly, and show partiality with the wicked? Selah" (Psalm 82:2). The
interpretation applies to Belial and the spirits predestined to him, because all of
them have rebelled, turning from God's precepts and so becoming utterly
wicked. Therefore Melchizadek will thoroughly prosecute the vengeance required
by God's statutes. Also, he will deliver all the captives from the power of Belial,
and from the power of the spirits predestined to him. Allied with him will be all
the "righteous ELOHIM" (Isaiah 61:3). The ... is that whi(ch) ... all) the ELOHIM.
The "messenger who brings good news, who announces Salvation" is the one of
whom it is written; "to proclaim the year of YHWH's favor, the day of the
vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn (Isaiah 61:2). This scriputure's
interpretation: he is to instruct them about all the periods of history for
eternity ... and in the statutes of the truth ... dominion that passes from Belial
and returns to the Sons of Light ... by the judgment of God, just as it is written
concerning him; "Who says to Zion 'Your ELOHIM reigns'" (Isaiah 52:7). Zion is
the congregation of all the sons of righteousness, who uphold the covenant and
turn from walking in the way of the people. "Your ELOHIM" is Melchizadek, who
will deliver then from the power of Belial. Concerning what scriputre says, "Then
you shall have the trumpet sounded loud in the seventh month ..." (Leviticus
25:9). (3)

1. According to Maimonides, the commandments involving the Jubilee year,


apply only when all of Israel dwells in the land of Israel (Mishneh Torah 10:1,8-
10,15-16).

2. Interestingly, the idea of Elijah the prophet coming more than once is found in
Mid. Zuta, Shir haShirim 2:8 and Seder 'Olam Rabba, ch 17, as cited by Raphael
Patai on page 134 of his book The Messiah Texts (1979, Wayne State University
Press.) The texts also imply that Elijah is with Messiah each time, lending support
to the idea that Judaism does have a tradition of the Messiah having a first and
second coming.

3. Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation, Wise, Abegg and Cook 1996, Harper San
Francisco, (with ELOHIM, EL and YWHW restored).

SHABBAT AND MIKDASH


KEY:
Am Yisra'el = Nation of Israel
BT = Babylonian Talmud
B'nei Yisra'el = Children of Israel
B'raita = account/teaching
Bamidbar = (Book of) Numbers
B'resheet = (Book of) Genesis
Devarim = (Book of) Deuteronomy
Gemara = later part of the Talmud
HaKadosh Barukh Hu = blessed are you in holiness
Kohanim = priests
Korban = sacrifice/offering
M'lakhah = work
Mahn = Manna
Mikdash = Sanctuary
Mishkanh = Tabernacle
Mitzvot = commandments
Mosheh = Moses
Parashat = weekly Torah reading
Pesach = Passsover
Sefer = book
Sh'mot = (Book of) Exodus
Shabbat = Sabbath
Vayyikra = (Book of) Leviticus
Yeshayahu = Isaiah
Yom haKippurim = Yom Kippur

I. A SIGN BETWEEN GOD AND THE B'NEI YISRA'EL

After concluding the many commands regarding the construction of the Mishkan
(Tabernacle), God gave the following instruction to Mosheh:

You yourself are to speak to the B'nei Yisra'el: You shall keep my Shabbatot, for
this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, given in order
that you may know that I, YHVH, sanctify you. You shall keep the Shabbat,
because it is holy for you; everyone who profanes it shall be put to death;
whoever does any work on it shall be cut off from among the people. Six days
shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Shabbat of solemn rest, holy to
YHVH; whoever does any work on the Shabbat day shall be put to death.
Therefore the B'nei Yisra'el shall keep the Shabbat, observing the Shabbat
throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign forever
between me and the B'nei Yisra'el that in six days YHVH made heaven and earth,
and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. (Sh'mot 31:13-17)

This is not the only place where the commands regarding the Mishkan and
Shabbat are juxtaposed. Following the tragic narrative of the Golden Calf,
Mosheh prefaced his presentation of the commands of the Mishkan to the B'nei
Yisra'el with a short statement about Shabbat:

Mosheh assembled all the congregation of the B'nei Yisra'el and said to them:
These are the things that YHVH has commanded you to do: Six days shall work
be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy Shabbat of solemn rest to
YHVH; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. You shall kindle no fire
in all your dwellings on the Shabbat day. (Sh'mot 35:1-3)

Immediately afterwards, he presented the details of the Mishkan to the people,


whereupon they began their donations and building.

II. SHABBAT PRECLUDES EVEN THE MISHKAN-CONSTRUCTION

Beginning from the Mekhilta (at the beginning of Parashat Vayakhel), many
commentaries maintain that the juxtaposition of Shabbat with the construction of
the Mishkan teaches us the limits of the Mitzvah of building a Mishkan - that
even that, the noblest of human endeavors, must cease on Shabbat. Note R.
Hirsch's words (from his commentary at the beginning of Vayakhel:

The mastery of Man over matter, in getting, producing, changing, manufacturing


the raw materials of the world, attains it highest meaning in the Temple. The
world submits to Man, for him to submit himself and his world to God, and for
him to change this earthly world into a home for the Kingdom of God, to a
Temple in which the Glory of God tarries on earth. The building of the Temple is
a sanctification of human labor, and in the context here, it is represented as
being a combination of all those creative activities of Man, by the cessation of
which - by cessation from all M'lakhah - the Shabbat is made into an
acknowledgment of man's allegiance to God ...

III. M'LAKHAH IN THE MISHKAN = M'LAKHAH ON SHABBAT

There is another significant connection between the Mishkan and Shabbat made
by the Rabbis.

The Torah, in its initial command to avoid a certain class of activities on Shabbat,
does not specify those actions. Rather, the Torah states: "Do not do any
M'lakhah". (Sh'mot 20:10). This command is repeated in many other Shabbat-
passages (31:14-15, 35:2, Vayyikra 23:3, Devarim 5:14). What is the meaning of
M'lakhah? This key word - which is not only the principal phrase of prohibited
work on Shabbat but also on the other Holy Days of the calendar (see Sh'mot 12,
Vayyikra 23) - means something akin to "work" and is first used in the
description of God's creation of the world (B'resheet 2:2-3). Nevertheless, it is
not at all clear which type of work is prohibited on Shabbat. How do we
distinguish prohibited actions from those which are permitted on Shabbat?
The Gemara (Shabbat 49b) records a B'raita that indicates that the definition of
M'lakhah is based upon its meaning in the Mishkan (see Tosafot ibid. who
indicates that this is the reason that the two sections were juxtaposed in the
Torah) - any activity which was an integral part of the construction of the
Mishkan is defined as M'lakhah and is, therefore, prohibited on Shabbat.

This association, while explaining the significance of the Torah's juxtaposition of


these two institutions on one occasion (most probably at the beginning of
Parashat Vayakhel) does not explain our section, nor does it explain the
passages cited below from Vayyikra. [As to why the operative and categorical
definition of prohibited "work" on Shabbat should be derived from the Mishkan -
that is a topic in and of itself, beyond the scope of this shiur].

IV. KEEPING SHABBAT AND REVERING THE MIKDASH

There are two other places in the Torah where Shabbat and Mishkan are linked -
but, in those passages, the importance of both of these institutions is linked
within one verse:

Et Shab'totai Tish'moru v'et Mikdashi Tira'u, Ani YHVH - You shall keep my
Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am YHVH. (Vayyikra 19:30, 26:2)

Why does the Torah associate the observance of Shabbat with proper reverence
for the Mikdash?

These questions lead us to a larger one regarding Shabbat as presented in our


Parashah. Up until this point, the commands regarding Shabbat (in the Mahn and
in the Ten Statements) were framed in terms of a "gift from God" (Mahn) or
testifying to God as the Creator (the Ten Statements). In addition, the selection
in the Ten Statements would seem to imply that Shabbat should ideally be
observed by all of humanity, as God created us all and we should all testify to
that fact. Yet, in our Parashah, Shabbat is clearly presented as a uniquely
Israelite practice, one which does not "belong" to other nations. (Indeed, the
Rabbis stated that a non-Jew should not observe Shabbat - see BT Sanhedrin
58b, MT M'lakhim 10:9). Besides this "nationalistic shift", several new terms are
introduced in our Parashah:

Chillul: A term with which we are most familiar, denoting a violation of Shabbat,
is Chillul Shabbat. This term shows up, for the first time in a Shabbat context,
in our Parashah - M'challeleha (everyone who profanes it - 31:14). Although
translated "desecration", the word Chillul actually means "defilement" or
"pollution". It is usually associated with holy people (e.g. Kohanim - Vayyikra
21:9), places (e.g. the Mishkan - Vayyikra 21:23) or sancta (e.g. Terumah -
Bamidbar 18:32). How can such a term be associated with a time period, such as
Shabbat? How can a day become polluted or defiled?

• Ot: Shabbat is a sign of a covenant between God and the B'nei Yisra'el.
Although hand-T'fillin are called an Ot (Sh'mot 13:9,16), as was the blood
to be placed on the doorposts in Egypt (ibid. 12:13), Shabbat was never
previously referred to in this manner. Each of these two earlier occasions
are "signs" which tell us (or remind us) about some other event (e.g. the
Exodus) and might properly be called an Ot - but how can a day be
considered a "sign"? What "other event" is signified here?

• Karet: the punishment of being "cut off from the people" for violating
Shabbat. Until now, we have not been told what the punishment is for a
violation of Shabbat - but why is it Karet - and why is it first mentioned
here?

• laDa'at Ki Ani YHWH M'kadish'khem - "that you may know that I,


YHWH, sanctify you." How does the "sign" of the Shabbat inform us that
God sanctifies us? In addition, why mention this here, instead of earlier
(e.g. during the Mahn narrative)?

In this shiur, I would like to suggest an additional reason for the Shabbat-Mikdash
association (besides the two mentioned above - that even the building of the
Mishkan ceases for Shabbat and that the activities involved in the construction of
the Mishkan define "M'lakhah" for Shabbat) - one which would explain the
appearance of these new terms in our Parashah.

V. THE PURPOSE OF THE MISHKAN

In order to understand the significance of this command regarding Shabbat given


at the conclusion of the command regarding the Mishkan, we have to go back
and review the purpose of the Mishkan:

v'Asu Li Mikdash, v'Shakhanti b'Tokham -


"Let them make a Mikdash for Me, that I may dwell among them" (Sh'mot 25:8).

The phrasing here is odd - it should have said "Let me dwell in it (i.e. the
Mishkan)". The implication is that by constructing this sanctuary, God will cause
His presence to be manifest among the people.

This signals a fundamental change in the relationship between God and the B'nei
Yisra'el - one which implies a unique statement not only about that relationship
but also about the quality and nature of the community of the B'nei Yisra'el. Up
until this point, God had made covenants, promises and oaths to our ancestors
which He began to fulfill through the Exodus. God has commanded us and
brought us close to Him in order to be a "kingdom of Kohanim and holy nation"
(19:6) - but none of these events, commands or promises imply anything about
our direct encounter-relationship with the Divine.

With the command to build the Mishkan, that relationship shifts from a purely
command-driven one to an encounter-laden one. Besides sanctifying ourselves
and becoming God's Kohanim (see Yeshayahu 61:6), we are now God's people
and stand in His Presence - at least potentially. God "walks in our camp"
(Devarim 23:15 - compare with B'resheet 3:8).

How is this new relationship manifested? What indicates - both to us and to the
rest of the world - that God is, indeed, "in our midst"?
VI. CHILLUL - INTRODUCING DEATH

Before answering this question, let's examine the difficult word "Chillul" which is
first introduced into the lexicon of Shabbat in our Parashah.

Although, as mentioned above, Chillul is translated as "defile" or "pollute" (see


BDB, p. 320 ), it has another meaning which may be informative in both the
context of Mikdash and that of Shabbat.

A Challal (same root) is a corpse (see B'resheet 34:27, Bamidbar 19:18). The
Mikdash becomes defiled by bringing Tum'ah (impurity) into it (or by contact on
the part of a person who is impure with the sancta). The most essential source of
Tum'ah is a corpse (read Bamidbar 19 carefully); since the Mikdash is the focus
of the encounter between the B'nei Yisra'el and the Living God (see Sh'mot
29:43), any contact with death (a Challal) serves to defile (Chillul) that
encounter.

We can see this most clearly from the closing verses of Parashat Yitro:

Make an altar of earth for Me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and
fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause My
name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. If you make an altar of
stones for Me, do not build it with hewn stones, for by your sword upon them
vat'Challalehah (you will defile it).

As Rashi points out (ad loc.), since the purpose of a sword is to shorten a man's
life and the altar's purpose is to lengthen man's life, it is inappropriate to wield
the "shortener" on the "lengthener". This comment becomes more impactful
when viewed against the backdrop of the previous promise, "... I will come to you
and bless you." The encounter with God (which, at this point in Sefer Sh'mot, is
limited to the place and time of an offering and not extended to the entire
community, as it is through the construction of the Mishkan) is defiled via
contact with (an instrument of) death.

VII. KARET - VIOLATION OF THE SPECIAL NATURE OF AM YISRA'EL

The punishment which is introduced (along with death) into the Shabbat
vocabulary in our Parashah is Karet - excision. Whatever Karet may mean, it
implies some sort of disconnection or excommunication (by God) from the
people of Yisra'el.

The first occasion where Karet is found (explicitly; it may be the notion behind
Man's exile from Eden) is in B'resheet 17. Avraham is commanded to circumcise
himself and all of the males in his household, and "If any male fails to circumcise
the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off (root: K-R-T) from his people;
he has broken My covenant." (17:14)

Karet here seems to be the natural result of communal disassociation - since this
individual is unwilling to demonstrate his fellowship with the people of Avraham
via circumcision, he is, indeed, separated from them.
The second occurrence of this punishment (although not mentioned explicitly
until later, in Bamidbar 9:13) is failure to participate in the Korban Pesach
(Pesach offering). Here again, the individual who doesn't see himself as a
member of the people and does not identify with their destiny and history is
excised from the people.

These two Mitzvot 'Aseh (which are the only two which carry this punishment for
non-fulfillment), in combination, serve as rituals which affirm the individual's
identification with- and allegiance to - the history (Pesach) and mission (B'rit
Milah) of Am Yisra'el. (Rabbi Soloveitchik zt"l refers to two covenants - the B'rit
Goral - covenant of fate - and the B'rit Yi'ud - covenant of destiny - shared by all
members of K'lal Yisra'el.)

Put together, we see that Karet is a punishment given by God to someone who
denies the special Godly character of the B'nei Yisra'el.

This can be seen in several of the Mitzvot Lo Ta'aseh which carry this
punishment. Karet is the indicated Divine punishment for entering the Mikdash
(or eating sancta) while in a state of Tum'ah; in the same way, performing some
of the rituals unique to the Mikdash outside carry this punishment. See, for
instance, earlier in our Parashah (30:33,38); using the special formula for the
K'toret (incense) or Shemen haMish'chah (anointing oil) for your own purpose
makes the violator liable for Karet.

One other example of this Karet-communal identity connection is found in the


laws of Yom haKippurim. Someone who fails to afflict himself on that day of
atonement is excised from the people. "Indeed, any person who does not afflict
himself throughout that day shall be excised from among his people" (Vayyikra
23:29).

VIII. SHABBAT - TEACHES THAT GOD HAS SANCTIFIED US

We can now understand the enhanced nature of Shabbat as reflected in this


Parashah - and the import of this new "terminology" we find here.

As opposed to the earlier presentation, Shabbat is presented here as a "sign"


(Ot) - because, with the introduction of the Mishkan, God's Presence will become
manifest among the people. Shabbat is the weekly sign of that constant
Presence. Unlike the physical Mishkan, the existence of which has not always
been assured in our history, Shabbat is an eternal (l'doroteikhem - for your
generations) focal point and sign of our ongoing encounter with God. Note that
unlike the earlier presentation (in Sh'mot 20), where we are told that in response
to His "rest", God sanctified and bless the day of Shabbat (which is why we
should avoid M'lakhah) , here, we are just told that on the seventh day Shavat
vaYinafash - He rested and had repose. We cease work on Shabbat out of a
sense of shared repose with God, much more than just the commandedness
implied in the earlier passages.

Since Shabbat is the sign of the special relationship between God and the B'nei
Yisra'el and of the "shared experience" between the two (as evidenced by the
twinned phrases "holy for you" and "holy to YHVH"), this special "place in time"
must be guarded carefully.

The newly introduced phrase "Sh'mirat Shabbat" takes on a new meaning in this
light. As opposed to the purely Halakhic meaning - avoiding M'lakhah (see BT
Berakhot 20b and Rashi ad loc. s.v. biSh'mirah) - "guarding" Shabbat means that
it is now a possession (as R. Hirsch points out) and a "closed circle" between God
and the B'nei Yisra'el which must be protected. This also explains why Shabbat is
not to be celebrated or observed by other nations; even though creation is a
universal experience which should be declared by all creatures, the partnership-
fellowship with God which is unique to the B'nei Yisra'el and which informs the
meaning of Shabbat is not to be shared with others.

This sense of "Sh'mirah" is perhaps best expressed by Rambam in his


prescription for the mood and mode just before the onset of Shabbat:

What is honor? - This is what the Sages have said, that it is incumbent on one to
wash one's face, hands, and feet in hot water before Shabbat because of the
honor of Shabbat, and he wraps himself in tzitzit and sits seriously, waiting for to
greet the Shabbat, as one who goes out to greet the king. The early Sages would
gather their disciples before Shabbat and wrap themselves (in the tallit) and say:
Let us go out to greet the Shabbat king. (MT Shabbat 30:2)

Someone who violates the Shabbat by bringing mundane activities into this
sphere is not only violating God's commandment - and failing to testify to God's
creation of the world, he is also denying the special Godly nature of the Jewish
people. This is as much of a Chillul as bringing impurity into the physical
Mishkan.

Shabbat is a Mishkan in time, where Am Yisra'el and HaKadosh Barukh Hu


encounter each other as the beloved and lover of Shir haShirim (the Song of
Songs) (which explains the custom to read this beautiful love song every Friday
evening at the onset of Shabbat).

Text Copyright © 1998 by Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom.


Used with permission from the author.
The author is Educational Coordinator of the
Jewish Studies Institute of the Yeshiva of Los Angeles.
Section IV – Spiritual Dimensions

SPIRITUAL TIME, SPACE, MASS, LIGHT AND ENERGY

The "Spiritual Dimensions" section is a very deep area of study, but one that is
key to understanding some of the most difficult areas of Scripture, such as those
verses in Revelation where the text seems to shift between events on earth and
in the heavenlies, as well as not follow a linear time line.

Consider the following quote:

Time is an accident consequent upon motion and is necessarily attached to it.


Neither of them exists without the other. Motion does not exist except in time,
and time cannot be conceived by the intellect except together with motion. And
all that with regard to which no motion can be found, does not fall under time.

A brilliant insight from Albert Einstein, perhaps?

If you answered "probably," you're only off by about 700 years.

In as much as the above quotation sounds like a 20th century theory of Einstein,
it is actually from Maimonides, the great Jewish Torah scholar of the twelfth
century. (1) Actually, Einstein and his colleagues probably were inspired by
Maimonides' writings, which were well ahead of their time.

The last sentence of Maimonides' quote actually pertains to God Himself. As


"motion" (as well as space) imply measurement and can only apply to physical
objects, and as God is not corporeal, then He is not confined by time or space.
Time was created by God, for us. He operates beyond time as we know it.

TIME AND SPACE IN OUR 3-DIMENSIONAL WORLD


There are many ways that "time" and "space" can be shown to have a
relationship. A simple example is found in the game of chess. Chess strategy
involves interplay between space (how many of the 64 squares of the board you
control), and time (how many moves that you are ahead or behind your
opponent). Experienced players often "trade" space for time, having to use their
intuition as to whether they are getting the "better end of the deal." Only after a
beginner understands this "dimension," of the game, can he move forward to
becoming an advanced player.

In mathematics, there are complex equations that cannot be solved without


introducing a "4th dimension" (something beyond the X, Y and Z coordinates in
3-dimensional space). Again, without "expanding" beyond the elementary and
obvious, one cannot advance to the next level of understanding.

Physics has shown that there are relationships between things like energy and
mass, as well as time and space, Einstein's famous equation, E=mc2 (Energy
equals mass times the constant of the speed of light, squared) was one of the
first to link two such elements. Experiments have been done sending atomic
clocks through the atmosphere in different directions, arriving at the same
destination at the same moment -- however when the clocks were checked, the
times were different, thus showing that speed through space affected time.

FIVE SPIRITUAL ELEMENTS

The concepts we call, "time" and "space," as well as, "light," "mass," and
"energy," are all part of God's creation and may be considered a "reflection" of
His attributes. As God is consistent in what He does, when studying the
Scriptures, we should not be surprised to find that there are corresponding
elements in the spiritual realm. The study of these spiritual elements plays a key
role in understanding who God is, who we are, what is to come, and how we are
to get there.

The following are offered for consideration:

• spiritual time, represented by repeated "events" not constricted to the


physical linear aspect of time, i.e., the Moedim (including Shabbat,
Shemitta and Yovel years, and the seven "Feasts of God"). Many of these
are associated with events in the Millennium or Olam Haba (the world to
come).

• spiritual space, the dimension(s) beyond our physical one, including


aspects of those set on earth for us (i.e., the Tabernacle/Temple, a place
where God could "reside" among us on this sinful earth.) Spiritual space is
necessary for God's spiritual light to be transmitted, just as physical space
is needed for physical light.

• spiritual light, God's word and/or perfect will, either of which is a


constant. "You are the light of the world," is an admonition for God's
people to teach others His Torah, which is His light. (Thy word is a lamp
unto my feet, and a light unto my path. - Psalm 119:105.) The glory of
God is also represented by "light" in Scripture.

• spiritual mass, any entity whose function is to implement the will of God
(i.e., angels, the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit), Messiah or the Shekinah).
This would also include "evil angels" (demons), including haSatan, who
also ultimately serve God's purpose.

• spiritual energy, the result of the work of; angels, the Ruach Ha Kodesh
(Holy Spirit), Messiah the Shekinah or demons -- i.e., miracles or
revelation

TIME AND SPACE: SHABBAT AND THE TEMPLE

The Sabbath is shown to have a time-transcending character, as seen in the


mystical teachings of the Zohar, and is directly tied to the Millenium/Olam Haba:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 88a - Therefore the Sabbath is


more precious than all other times and seasons and festivals, because it
contains and unites all in itself, whereas no other festival or holy day does
so.’ Said R. Hiya: ‘Because all things are found in the Sabbath it is mentioned
three times in the story of Creation: "And on the seventh day God ended his
work"; "and he rested on the seventh day"; "and God blessed the seventh day"
(Gen. II, 2, 3).’

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 88b - The unique character of the
Sabbath is expressed in the words: "Between Me and the children of Israel." And
because the Faith is centred in the Sabbath, man is given on this day an
additional, a supernal soul, a soul in which is all perfection, according to the
pattern of the world to come. What does the word "Sabbath" mean? The
Name of the Holy One, the Name which is in perfect harmony at all sides.’
[Tr. Note: This idea is based upon the mystic significance of the three letters of
the word Sabbath, shin, beth, tau.]

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 205b - ‘The prayer offered by the
holy people on the Sabbath is of three parts, corresponding to the three
Sabbaths, but being in essence only one. [Tr. note: i.e. the Sabbath of the
Creation, the Sabbath on which the Torah was given, and the Sabbath of the
Millennium.]

Our definition of spiritual space has to do with a place (and means) by which God
can "reside" among His creation -- especially in their sinful state.

The first place we see the idea of God creating "spiritual space," is in creation.
According to mystical Jewish tradition, the purpose of creation was to provide
God with a "dwelling place in the lower realms." Eden was a place where man
walked with God, in the spirit (ruach) of the garden. This "space" was corupted
by the sin of Adam and Even, and they were banished from it.
God's process of redemption brings us to Mount Sinai, where once again, sin (the
golden calf) gets in the way of the plan. In order for God to reside among his
people, He needs to create a spiritual space that is not tainted by sin -- first, the
Tabernacle, and later, the Temple.

Recall that Moses built the first Tabernacle and its elements according to a
heavenly model. The Zohar (3) states that God made everything in this "lower"
world along the same pattern as that in the "upper" world. A similar thought is
expressed in Midrash Rabbah:

Midrash Rabbah - Genesis II:2 - NOW THE EARTH WAS TOHU E.V.
‘UNFORMED’, etc. R. Abbahu and R. Judah b. R. Simon [gave the follow-ing
illustrations]. R. Abbahu said: This may be compared to the case of a king who
bought two slaves on the same bill of sale and at the same price. One he
ordered to be supported at the public expense, while the other he ordered to toil
for his bread. The latter sat bewildered and astonished: ‘Both of us were bought
at the same price,’ exclaimed he, ‘yet he is supported from the treasury whilst I
have to gain my bread by my toil!’ Thus the earth sat bewildered and
astonished, saying, ' The celestial beings [sc. the angels] and the terrestial ones
[sc. man] were created at the same time: yet the celestial beings are fed by the
radiance of the Shechinah, whereas the terrestial beings, if they do not toil, do
not eat.

We are taught in Scripture that our bodies are the Temple of God's Spirit. Just as
the Tabernacle and Temple were constructed according to an image given by
God, we ourselves are created in the image of the same God. God's
"characteristics" are consistent and can be seen in all He does. By studying
God's Temple (as commanded in Ezekiel) and properly keeping His Sabbath, we
actually learn more of how to restore our personal relationship with Him. Such
"wisdom" is considered greater than prophecy in Jewish tradition.

As Paul said, these things are indeed a (wonderful) shadow of what is to come,
and don't let anyone "trouble you," if you choose to study and do them in faith
(Colossians 2:17).

A UNION OF TIME AND SPACE

It is reasonable to assume that we can look for His "pattern" throughout any part
of His creation. As we find the Temple and Shabbat closely linked in the Torah
(when they are formally given to us, i.e. Leviticus 19:30), and coming to their
fullness together in the Millennium, it is sensible to look for a connection
involving spiritual time and space between the two.

Besides the weekly Shabbat, the three pilgrimage feasts of Pesakh, Shavuot and
Succot were also called "sabbaths" and related to the Temple:

Deuteronomy 16:16 - Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before
the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened
bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall
not appear before the LORD empty:
The Jewish scholar Nachmanides (12th century), taught that all 613
commandments of the Torah are related in some fashion to the Temple and
Shabbat (2), making the Temple and Shabbat as critical to understanding God's
revelation (His Torah) and the spiritual world, as the study of physical time and
space are to understanding the "reality" of our physical world.

Science proclaims that our present reality is dependent on the relationship


between space and time. Reality is made up of the three aspects of the
dimension of space (height, width and depth -- or "X," "Y'" and "Z" coordinates)
along with the single dimension of time. (i.e., If you want to know the "location"
of something on this earth, you need to know the three aspects of where it
was/is and the single aspect of when it was/is.)

The consistency of God's rules would apply to the reality of the spiritual realm.
As the Millennium is the return of spiritual reality to its "proper state," we should
view the union of of the Temple with Shabbat at that time in such terms, keeping
in mind the three aspects of space and one of time. (We will also see later in this
study, that there is a "fifth dimension," a spiritual/moral one, that indicates a
status of: good/evil, clean/unclean, holy/unholy. This, like the others, is also not
"static," (i.e., things that are clean can become unclean and vice-versa).

As we go through this study, we will find that "space-related" things such as; the
structure of the Temple, the terms of the Besorah ("Gospel") and the New
Covenant, are interwoven with the "time-related items" of; Shabbat, Yovel Year
(Jubilee) and Yom Kippur.

Physical time and space are indeed a shadow of their spiritual counterparts:

"Space by itself and time by itself, are doomed to fade into mere shadows."
- Herman Minkowski, a contemporary of Einstein, in a scientific address given
September 21, 1908

"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday,


or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to
come ..."
- Sha'ul's letter to the Colossians, chapter 2, verses 16 & 17

"HaMakom V'HaZman Echad Hu" - "Time and Space are One"


- 16th century Jewish saying

"Mehitabut ha'orot, nithavu hakelim -"From the condensation of the lights, were
the vessels brought into being."
- Ancient Jewish mystical saying

1. The Fifteenth Premise, from Maimonides' The Guide of the Perplexed, Introduction to the Second Part. A study of any of Maimonides'

works is very beneficial to understanding deep Biblical concepts. Much of his material can be found on Internet bookstores such as

Amazon.com. His work, The Guide of the Perplexed, is an outstanding piece of literature and recommended for understanding the Jewish

Scriptures.
2. Nachmanides commentary on Leviticus

3. Zohar, commentary on Exodus 3:1

THE "BIBLICAL" VIEW OF TIME

The "normal" way most people look at time is linear. The past is "behind us," and
the future "ahead of us." Adam and Eve existed about 6,000 years ago, the
Torah came to Moses about 3,300 years ago, and the Messiah came about 2,000
years ago. This is all indeed true, from our point of view, from the "dimensions"
we live in. As we will see however, there are a number of places in Scripture
where things are hard to understand if we hold a linear view of time to be the
only possibility.

The Biblical view of time is different. It is less concerned with "linear years" as it
is with the cycle of events occuring within a year and the relationship these
events have with God's eternal plan (i.e., references to them being a "picture" of
what is in the heavenlies and a "shadow" of what is to come.)

Scripture tells us:

• Time was given for our "benefit" as part of creation

• We are but visitors on this earth. Our real home is in the heavenlies,
"outside of time"

It would seem that we are not to live our lives in a strictly linear fashion (overly
concerned with our "time" on this earth), but with our minds in the heavenlies
(outside of time).

As such, Paul gave this command:

Colossians 3:1-2 - If you then be risen with Messiah, seek those things which
are above, where Messiah sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on
things above, not on things on the earth.

Which raises the questions, HOW does one; Seek those things which are above
and, Set his affection on things above? ("Affection" meaning; to interest oneself
with concern or obedience. Strongs #5426.)

The answer begins with, "Study to show thyself approved." (2 Timothy 2:15)

Study what? God's Torah. (NOTE: There was no New Testament written when
Paul wrote this.) For it is in the Torah that the foundation lies to understanding
the deep mysteries of God, the heavenlies and His will for our lives.

In the Torah (extended through the whole Tenakh/Old Testament) we learn


about; the Moedim (God's feasts), the Sabbath, the Shmitta and Yovel (Jubilee)
years, the Tabernacle/Temple, the Sacrificial system and priesthood, Creation,
the Shekinah and the unity of God. All of these make up what was, what is and
what is to come. They also all relate to Messiah, who is the same, yesterday,
today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
GOD AND TIME

According to Ezekiel, God wants His people to study the third Temple (Ezekiel
chapters 40-48). This is the Millennial Temple. What's the point of this? Is there
some type of "mystery" here? Indeed there is. Ezekiel's Temple is a "physical
parable" given to us to study and understand.

(Y’shua also spoke in parables -- God makes it deliberately "difficult" to learn


about deep spiritual things for a purpose.)

A key point missed in most studies, is that the priests of the Millenial Temple
(which includes gentiles - Isaiah 66:20-21) are in a perpetual state of Yom
Kippur, as they are all dressed in the four linen garments as the High Priest
would be on the Day of Atonement:

Ezekiel 44:17-18 - And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the
gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool
shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and
within. They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen
breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that
causeth sweat.

The same garments are dispensed to those who are killed for the sake of Torah
and Y’shua in the "Great Tribulation." They are now allowed to serve as priests in
the same fashion:

Revelation 6:9-11 - And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the
altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the
testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How
long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them
that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of
them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season,
until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they
were, should be fulfilled.

There is an allusion to this union of time (Yom Kippur) and space (the Temple) in
the heavenlies, found in Hebrews. Unfortunately, this book is consistently
misinterpreted, as the fact that it is concerned primarily with the Yom Kippur
sacrifice is not understood. (We will cover this in detail in our upcoming Hebrews
study.)

In Hebrews, we are told that the earthly Yom Kippur sacrifice (done "in time" as
we relate to it, by a tainted priesthood) could never be the perfect sacrifice that
the Yom Kippur sacrifice was, done "outside of time" (as we relate to it), by a
High Priest of the heavenly priesthood:

Hebrews 10:1 - For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not
the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered
year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
The writer of Hebrews looks beyond Y’shua's death on the cross, as He is called
"the Lamb slain since the foundation of the world" (Hebrews 4:2 and also
Revelation 13:8). The atonement He provided was completed since before man
was created.

The Zohar speaks of Messiah's work being from time eternal:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 239b, 240a - “He hath washed
his garments in wine”, even from the time of the Creation the reference
being to the coming of the Messiah on earth. “Wine” indicates the left side,
and “the blood of grapes” the left side below. The Messiah is destined to rule
above over all the forces of the idolatrous nations and to break their power
above and below. We may also explain that as wine brings joyfulness and yet
typifies judgement, so the Messiah will bring gladness to Israel, but judgement to
the Gentiles. The “spirit of God which hovered over the face of the waters” (Gen.
I, 2) is the spirit of the Messiah, and from the time of the Creation he
“washed his garments in celestial wine.”

This creates some serious topics of discussion. How could Y’shua already have
done this before He "came to the earth?" Why did He have to come do this
"again?"

Similar questions arise from Philippians chapter 2. Here it speaks of Y’shua


receiving a name above all other names, from the Father, following His death.
Did He not always have this name?

Another example is seen in Revelation chapter 12. Here we read of Satan and his
angels being evicted from the heavenly realm of God, during the period of great
tribulation on the earth. But did this not "already happen" a long time ago? Does
it "happen again," or do we need to adjust how we think about things involving
spiritual time and space?

CREATION, MESSIAH AND THE ALEPH-BET

The simple answer to all of these questions about time, is that from "God's point
of reference," these things are already done as He exists outside of time. We
however, are to experience them "in time," which God created for us.

Recall how Y’shua explains that He is eternal, in the book of Revelation:

Revelation 1:8 - I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith
the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Greek-based Bibles use "Alpha and Omega," which strips away the depth of
Yeshua's words. In the Hebrew, the letters are called the Aleph and the Tav (or
"Tau"). Y’shua (the lamb slain since the foundation of the world), says He is
(presently) the beginning AND the end. This concept is found throughout Jewish
literature, where Aleph and Tav represent a totality without beginning or end.

Here we see the Aleph alone representing the composite unity (echad) of the
Godhead:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 21a - First of all is Aleph, the
beginning and end of all grades, that on which all the grades are imprinted and
which yet is always called “one”, to show that although the Godhead contains
many forms, it is still only one.

NOTE: Although the Zohar speaks of the Godhead containing many forms or
aspects (in fact three major ones), this is not the same as the idea of the
"Christian Trinity." This will be addressed later in this study.

All of creation is represented by the 22 Hebrew letters from Aleph to Tav:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 30a - “The heavens” are the
totality of twenty-two letters.

The relationship between male and female is associated with the first two letters,
Aleph and Beth:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 200a - The aleph is the image of
the male principle as against the beth, which is the image of the female
principle;

NOTE: it is critical to note that these remarks about "male" and "female" are
strictly allegorical. To take them otherwise leads to paganism.

Technically (according to Jewish literature), God began creation of the earth with
the second letter, the "beth," which is "feminine." "Beth" is the first letter of the
first book Bereshith (Genesis). "Beth" is related to Wisdom, which is directly
associated with creation and therefore with Messiah, through whom all was
created.

We see all this in the Zohar along with the unity of God and His creation
expressed through the Aleph:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 3b - Thou hast already bestowed


on the letter Beth this great gift, it is not meet for the Supreme King to take
away the gift which He has made to His servant and give it to another. The Lord
said to her: Aleph, Aleph, although I will begin the creation of the world with the
beth, thou wilt remain the first of the letters. My unity shall not be expressed
except through thee, on thee shall be based all calculations and operations of
the world, and unity shall not be expressed save by the letter Aleph. Then the
Holy One, blessed be His name, made higher-world letters of a large pattern and
lower-world letters of a small pattern. It is therefore that we have here two
words beginning with beth (Bereshith bara) and then two words beginning with
aleph (Elohim eth). They represent the higher-world letters and the lower-world
letters, which two operate, above and below, together and as one. BERESHITH
(In the beginning). Said R. Yudai: ‘What is the meaning of Bereshith? It
means “with Wisdom”, the Wisdom on which the world is based, and through
this it introduces us to deep and recondite mysteries. In it, too, is the inscription
of six chief supernal directions, out of which there issues the totality of
existence.’
Psalm 136:5 - To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy
endureth for ever.

Jeremiah 10:12 - He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the
world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.

John 1:1-3 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and
the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were
made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

As mentioned earlier in this study, this unity (as expressed in the Shema -
Deuteronomy 6:4, which we will cover later), will be reestablished through
Messiah at the time of the Millennium, where Y’shua is seen proclaiming that He
is the Aleph and the Tav.

An interesting section in the Zohar has the letters "competing" for position in the
creation process. Again, we remind the reader that this is strictly allegorical.

Here we have the Tav asking God to be first:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 2b - May it please Thee, O Lord


of the world, to place me first in the creation of the world, seeing that I am the
concluding letter of EMeTh (Truth) which is engraved upon Thy seal, and seeing
that Thou art called by this very name of EMeTh, it is most appropriate for the
King to begin with the final letter of EMeTh and to create with me the world. The
Holy One, blessed be He, said to her: Thou art worthy and deserving, but it is not
proper that I begin with thee the creation of the world, since thou art destined
to serve as a mark on the foreheads of the faithful ones (Ezek. IX, 4)
who have kept the Law from Aleph to Tau, and through the absence of
this mark the rest will be killed; and, further, thou formest the conclusion of
MaWeTh (death).

The Zohar's reference to Ezekiel is as follows:

Ezekiel 9:4 - And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city,
through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men
that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

Note that the response from God in the previous paragraphs complements that
found in Revelation. The mark on their heads is the Tav. In both cases, those who
receive this mark (or seal) are the ones who keep the Torah (the Law) and can
enter into the heavenly wedding feast:

Revelation 7:3 - And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the
seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom
it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the
sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their
foreheads.
Revelation 12:17 - And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to
make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of
God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 14:12 - Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep
the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Revelation 22:14 - Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they
may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the
city.

COMMENTS: By studying all of these things on a deep level, we see that time is
not only linear. With God in the heavenlies, there is no "past and future," as they
are one. The beginning is the end.

A "visual aid" that helps in making a contrast between this


idea and the more common one of linear time, is the Mobius
Strip.You can create a model of a Mobius Strip by taking a
long and narrow strip of paper and give it a single "twist"
before joining it at the ends. Next, pick any point on the strip
and call this your "beginning." If you start to "follow" the strip Mobius
from that point, you will reach your end at the same point Strip
you began. The end is the beginning.
Picture along this path with no real beginning or end, God's eternal Torah, the
cycle of His feast days repeating "year after year," and the study of His Temple --
the shadows of what is to come.

THE REALM OF ANGELS AND "SPIRITUAL SPACE"

In Scripture we are give some basic understanding of how things work in our
lives on this planet. We also are shown a little bit about the heavenly realms (i.e.,
"other dimensions"). There is an order to the physical world, the spiritual realm
and to the Godhead.

Paul intimated this in his Romans letter:

Romans 1:19-20 - Because that which may be known of God is manifest in


them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the
creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are
made, even his eternal power and Godhead ...

The difficulty we face lies in comprehending the connection and relationships


between God, the things of this world and what is going on in the "spiritual
realm." Our discussion will now focus on the interaction between God, the
heavenly realms and the physical world, beginning with the role of angels as
seen in Scripture.
RELATIONSHIP OF ANGELS TO THE
SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL REALMS

Angels play an important role in the book of Revelation, being involved with
many of God's judgments upon the earth. The term "angel" has to do with being
a "messenger" or "worker" (Hebrew: mal'akh) -- one who is sent to bring about
God's presence by carrying out His will. As such, even the "bad angels" (demons)
are subject to the will of God and serve His purpose.

Although we may think of this in terms of miraculous events (i.e., walls tumbling
down), in the mystical levels of study if the Scriptures, such as those found in the
Qumran scrolls1, we find that the main purpose of angels is to give mankind
instruction in the mysteries of truth. Alternately, the evil angels attempt to
mislead and confuse in these areas.

This is an important concept, as in the book of Revelation we have Yeshua telling


John to deliver messages of truth to each of the angels overseeing a particular
Messianic community:

Revelation 1:19 - The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right
hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the
seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven
churches.

Earlier in the study we linked angels to the concept of "spiritual mass." This is
not to say that these beings have any permanent physical form. We are using
that term to draw an association with things in the physical realm where there is
a relationship between mass, energy and the constant of light.

The realm of angels is (generally) outside of our physical space. In this


relationship between spiritual light, mass and energy, angels act as messengers
or agents of change in the prophetic sense, causing God's word/will to be carried
out in the earthly/physical realm. Angels are not the only means by which God
"accomplishes things," (i.e., His Messiah, Holy Spirit and the Shekina are all said
to have such roles, even haSatan and the other evil angels serve God's purpose).

As mentioned earlier, God's word/will would be the equivalent of "spiritual light,"


as this is constant (unchanging). Although there are different "aspects" of God
revealed at different times (i.e., judgment and mercy), God does not change.

Consider this spiritual light to be the "cause" in a cause and effect relationship.
The "effect" would be the equivalent of "spiritual energy," (i.e., miracles, or
revelation revealed to man). As Maimonides taught, "every form in which an
angel is seen exists in the vision of prophecy."2

The following chart depicts the relationship between spiritual light, mass and
energy:

Dimension Spiritual Light Spiritual Mass Spiritual Energy


Characteris Constant Entity Prophetic fulfillment
tic
Aspect/Will of Angel/Spirit/Shekina/Me
Definitive Miracle/Enlightenment
God ssiah
Function Cause Messenger/Worker Effect
Example Bowls/trumpets in
Judgment Angels
#1 Revelation
Example Israel's miraculous
Mercy Shekina
#2 protection
Example
Knowledge Spirit Discernment of Scripture
#3
Example
Wisdom Messiah Creation
#4
There can be a "reversal of roles" with spiritual energy and light. Prayer is an
example of where our spiritual energy can "cause" God to act from His spiritual
dimension:

James 5:15-16 - And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall
raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess
your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The
effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

As it is God's Spirit living within us that prompts us to pray, God is both the
cause and the effect regarding prayer and all other "spiritual transactions"
between man and Himself. Cause and effect are inseparable and dependent
upon each other, as with God, the beginning is the end, and the end the
beginning.

An example of this reciprocal cause and effect can be seen with God and
Pharaoh in the book of Exodus. As God's spritual actions (from the heavenlies)
caused Pharaoh to act a certain way (here on earth), so did Pharaoh's actions
"cause" God to act a certain way. Although, from our physical point of view, the
Exodus events were taking place in linear time (with Pharaoh having "free will"),
from the spiritual perspective, they were outside of time, as God is both the
Aleph and the Tav ("Alpha and Omega") -- the cause and the effect.

FUNCTIONING IN SPIRITUAL SPACE

Angels function in the realm of spiritual space. Here, the concepts of "near" and
"far" do not relate to measurable distance, as in physical space. Rather, the term
near means "similar to," and far means "different" or "opposite." In spiritual
space, things that are opposite cannot, by definition, be brought together (i.e.,
Holy God and sinful man). This can only be accomplished in the physical realm.

For instance, in physical space, man has to deal with both good and evil
simultaneously within himself. The concept of this internal struggle is expressed
in Judaism as man having a "good inclination" (Hebrew: yetzer tov), and an "evil
inclination" (Hebrew: yetzer hara), within him.

Paul alludes to this struggle in his Romans letter:


Romans 7:15-23 - For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I
not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto
the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in
me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will
is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the
good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do
that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then
a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law
of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring
against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin
which is in my members.

Furthermore, as God's holiness and man's sinfulness are opposite from each
other in the spiritual sense, he created the Tabernacle/Temple (spiritual space)
and the sacrificial system (spiritual time) in this physical realm for us, as a
means to deal with our sin. Eventually, the act of Messiah dying in the physical
realm was required to bridge this gap. Here, YHWH Himself came in a "Temple of
flesh" - in a human form that served as a temporary dwelling place for His
holiness as He walked among us.

The idea of such a "temporary shelter" is seen in the Feast of Succot where
"booths" are built and lived in during the week. Succot is also called the Feast of
"Booths" or "Tabernacles." In Judaism this is the feast most associated with the
Messianic kingdom.

As such we are told:

John 1:14 - And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld
his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The word "dwelt" in the above passage is skenoo in the Greek (Strongs #4637),
and means, to reside, as God did in the Tabernacle of old. God literally
"tabernacled" among us in a temporary human body (which acted as spiritual
space here on earth, as did the physical Tabernacle/Temple), in order to
accomplish what had to be done in this physical realm.

As angels have no physical bodies they do not have the same internal struggle
with good and evil that man does -- they are one or the other, good or bad, in
either case ultimately serving God's purpose. Angels are differentiated by their
task -- resulting in the spiritual energy they produce in the physical realm.

The Midrash teaches the same idea, expressing it in a different manner:

Midrash Rabbah 50:2 - One angel cannot have two missions. Neither can two
angels share the same mission.

The concept of angels not being separated by physical space, but by mission, is
important to understand and will be addressed in a subsequent section on
"Ezekiel's Chariot." The idea of one angel not having two tasks is seen in the
Related Studies section: Angel Case Study: Book of Daniel.
Angels are relegated to a specific status or "spiritual plane." They are also called
Omdim, meaing "Those who stand," because they can never grow spiritually.
When angels praise God, it is an honor to God, but it has no effect on their own
spiritual condition. In this sense, man has a great advantage over angels as he
can achieve higher spiritual levels. When man praises God, he himself grows.
Man accomplishes this by learning and doing God's Torah, through which he
attaches himself to God.

In 1 John 2:4 it says that if we say we know Him and do not keep His
commandments (Torah) we are liars. It is by doing Torah that we come to know
Him.

ANGELS IN ACTION

In one of the more important episodes of their involvement, angels were directly
involved with the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. This is mentioned in Acts
7:38,53; Galatians 3:19 and Hebrews 2:2, though not made so clear in the
Tenakh ("Old Testament.") There is a hint of this in Deuteronomy 33:2, but the
greatest mention is found in the Talmud. Incidently, this is not the only time
when the "New Testament" refers to events not found in the pages of the
Tenakh, but present in other Jewish writings.

Angels were also very involved with the arrival of the Torah in the flesh – Y’shua:

• Angels informed Joseph and Mary what God was doing

• It is possible that the "star" the magi saw and followed was an angel (see
below)

• Angels heralded His birth

• An angel instructed the magi not to return to Herod

• An angel told Joseph to flee to Egypt -- and later to return to the land of
Israel

• Angles came to comfort Him after haSatan had tempted Him

• Angels appeared at his tomb

• Angels appeared to the disciples when Yeshua ascended to heaven

TYPES, FORMS AND ROLES OF ANGELS

Angels can manifest themselves in a number of forms. For the most part they
"operate" sight unseen in a separate "dimension" but can "cross over" to the
dimension we exist in. Both "good" and "bad" angels can take on human form
and closely interact with us:

• We might be "entertaining" them unaware (Hebrews 13:2).


• The disciples seem to have believed in "guardian angels," that may have
even resembled the person they were "assigned to." (Acts 12;15).

• Satan's angles can take on the appearance of "men of God" and deceive
us (2 Corinthians 11:15).

• Angels once left their "abode" and had relations with human women (Jude
6).

• Throughout the Gospels, we see that around Y’shua's time there were
many instances of evil angles inhabiting humans in the form of "demon
possession." Among the scrolls found at Qumran is one with incantations
to exorcise demons.

Humans can also be given sight into the realm of angels, as was the case in 2
Kings, chapter 6. The prophet Elisha could see into another dimension that his
servant did not have access to. On the one hand, there was a real physical threat
to them "at that time" and "in this dimension." On the other hand, they had
nothing to fear as God's angels, though in another "dimension" were ready to
protect them.

There is also the possibility of them either taking the form of, or acting through
or upon an animal, as is the case with Balaam's donkey in Numbers 22, or the
lion's mouths being shut in Daniel 6:23.

Angels are also referred to in terms related to fire:

• In Genesis 3:24, Adam and Even, upon being banished from the Garden of
Eden, are kept from re-entering by a pair of cherubim and a flaming
sword.

• In Psalm 104:4 - Angels are referred to as both wind and fire. The book of
Hebrews makes reference to this Psalm as well.

Angels are referred to as "wheels" in Ezekiel's "chariot" vision. This will be


covered in detail later in this study.

There are also teachings to the effect that angels have a close association with
the stars and planets -- that their governing forces are "controlled" by these
beings. Maimonides supports this in his Guide3 as do other sources such as the
book of Enoch.

The Zohar associates "stars" with the demons that Messiah fights with in the end
of days, and to the Messiah Himself.4

The Qumran community classified angels in the Dead Sea Scrolls as follows5:

• Ministering Angels - who attend to God and to man

• Angels of Sanctification - who stand as witnesses regarding the Covenants


and ordinances and who serve to sanctify men called to holy service (i.e.,
the priesthood).
• Angels of the Presence - who manifest the supernatural emanations of
God. They are also called Angels of the Face.

• Cherubim - the "higher" angels of Ezekiel's book, who are said to have
"wings" and who mark the place of the chariot throne.

• Ophanim - the "lower" angels of Ezekiel's book, also called a wheel within
a wheel. These angels are said to connect the lowest heavenly realm to
the ones above.

• A hierarchy of seven angels who oversee the work of all other angels
(archangels).

Scripture only gives us the proper name of two archangels -- Michael and
Gabriel. It would seem, according to the book of Enoch, that the names of the
seven are most likely; Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Phanuel, Uriel, Sariel (aka
Sarakiel) and Raguel. The book of Enoch also states Seraphim and Ophanin as
watching the throne of God's glory.6

Lastly, the most "mysterious" of the spiritual beings found in Jewish literature,
Metatron, is given many titles throughout the Talmud, Midrash Rabbah and
Zohar, including:

• Angel of the Universe (Soncino Talmud - Mas. Chullin 60a, footnote 11)

• Genius of the Universe (Soncino Talmud - Mas. Yevamoth 16b, footnote


10)

• Prince of the Universe (Soncino Talmud - Mas. Yevamoth 16b, footnote 10)

• Chief of the angels (Soncino Zohar, Vol. 2, p. 209a, p. 226b)

• the chief of the Chieftains with the power charged with the sustenance of
mankind (Soncino Zohar Glossary)

• the head of the "world of creation" (Soncino Zohar Glossary)

• the "servant" or the "body" of the Shekinah (Soncino Zohar Glossary)

• the angel of the Lord (Soncino Zohar, Vol. 3, p. 186a)

• the head of the Academy who pronounces sentence on all (Soncino Zohar,
Vol. 3, p. 186a)

• the heavenly High Priest (Soncino Zohar, Vol. 2, p. 15a)

• the Intercessor (Soncino Zohar, Vol. 2, p. 15a)

• the elder of his house (Soncino Zohar, Vol. 1, p. 181b)

• the watchman (Soncino Zohar, Vol. 2, p. 131a, 164a, 226b)

• "His Servant" (referring to Isaiah 50, Soncino Zohar, Vol. 2, p. 131b)


The Talmud says that Metatron is regarded as the angel who went before the
Israelites in the wilderness7 and whose name is similar to that of his master.8 The
Zohar also says that the angels of Ezekiel's chariot vision are in the midst of a
"wheel" (Hebrew: ofan), and that this "wheel" is Metatron -- "who is more exalted
than all the other hosts."9

1. Manual of Discipline, column 4

2. Moses Maimonides, The Guide of the Perplexed, Part II, section 6

3. ibid

4. Soncino Zohar Vol. 1, p. 119a, Vol. 2, p. 7b

5. Psalms Scroll, column 5-6, Blessings scroll, column 3

6. Book of Enoch, LXX, 9

7. Soncino Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 3b, footnote 21,

8. Soncino Talmud - Mas. Yevamoth 16b, footnote 10

9. Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 21a

ANGEL CASE STUDY: BOOK OF DANIEL

On of the more interesting examples of angelic involvement (in the vision of


prophecy as Maimonides refers to it) can be found in the book of Daniel,
chapters 8-12. We will select specific verses for examination, concentrating less
on the prophecies themselves, and mostly on the messengers -- the angels:

Daniel 8:15-19 - And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the
vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the
appearance of a man. And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai,
which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So he
came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my
face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end
shall be the vision. Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on
my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. And he said,
Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for
at the time appointed the end shall be.

Daniel 9:2 - In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the
number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the
prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem

Daniel 9:20-27 - And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin
and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD
my God for the holy mountain of my God; Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer,
even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being
caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he
informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to
give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the
commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly
beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy
weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the
transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for
iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and
prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that
from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto
the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the
street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after
threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the
people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;
and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war
desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for
one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the
oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it
desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured
upon the desolate.

Daniel 10:7-21 - And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with
me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to
hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there
remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into
corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and
when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and
my face toward the ground. And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me
upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel,
a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand
upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto
me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first
day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before
thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of
the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one
of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of
Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in
the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. And when he had spoken
such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. And,
behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened
my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the
vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. For how
can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway
there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. Then there
came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he
strengthened me, And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto
thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was
strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me. Then
said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight
with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall
come. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there
is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
Daniel 12:4-6 - But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even
to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be
increased. Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on
this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the
river. And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the
river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?

Analyzing these verses, we find the following:

8:15-19 - Here we see the angel acting as an agent in the role of carrying out
the prophetic will of God -- in this case not by creating a visible miracle, but
rather by passing along information from the Godhead directly to Daniel.

In our equation involving light, mass and energy in the spiritual realm we have:

Spiritual Light Spiritual Mass (Entity) Spiritual Energy


The vision of the Angel(s) appearing to Understanding of the
future Daniel revelation
Gabriel takes on the form of a man before Daniel. It would seem that Gabriel did
not actually manifest himself in the physical realm, but rather Daniel (in similar
fashion to Enoch) was given sight into the spiritual realm.

9:2 - This is a key verse that is often overlooked. Daniel's entire prayer in
chapters 9 and 10 is in the context of the seventy years of captivity as described
in Jeremiah. God made a specific link between these years in captivity and the
number of shemita cycles that Israel had missed, stating that for each year they
were in captivity the land would lie fallow. Earlier in Daniel, we saw the great
feast put on by Belshazar. Why is this feast being held at this time, and why did
Belshazar use the stolen Temple implements to mock God?

The answer is that the seventy year prophecy was not a secret. Belshazar and
his astrologers were well aware of Hebrew teachings, including those about
shemita and all that Jeremiah had said concerning the kingdom that placed Israel
into captivity itself falling. What Belshazar and others (including Daniel), were
not aware of, was exactly when the seventy years had begun, as Israel went into
captivity in stages. Belshazar had incorrectly calculated that the seventy years
had passed, and was celebrating his "victory" over the God of Israel, as he and
his kingdom were still standing. That night several things happened: God's finger
wrote upon the wall of his palace, Belshazar died, and Babylon was taken over by
the Medo-Persians. (Perhaps he was off by 1 day?!)

All of this is the background to Daniel chapter 9, where we find the prophet
petitioning God to explain to him the meaning of the seventy year prophecy. As
he is to learn, there is more to this seventy years than the immediate literal
fulfullment.

9:21-22 - Gabriel "flew swiftly" and "touched Daniel." Neither of these should be
taken in a literal sense. When Scripture speaks of angels swiftly flying or moving,
it is not describing physical motion. As mentioned earlier, distance in the spiritual
realm is not measured as it is in the physical world. Here, the language would
indicate that Daniel was being given entry into spiritual space, where Gabriel
began to grant greater revelation upon him. This movement would be the rapid
impartation of revelation from the Godhead, through the angel, to Daniel (as
seen in the table above).

9:23 - The prayers of the righteous are heard by God, but sometimes there are
reasons beyond our understanding why God takes His time in answering. This
can be seen in the verse, "At the beginning of thy supplications the
commandment came forth," whereby the angel informs Daniel that God heard
his prayers and sent forth an angel to reply from the moment Daniel began
praying. This is repeated in 10:12, where further explanation is given.

9:24-27 - This is Daniel's famous prophecy of the Messiah. Knowing that Daniel
had specifically been seeking insight into the 70 year captivity, we now have the
angel explaining a deeper meaning to this time period. Each of the 70 years
represent a full shemita cycle (each being seven years long), totalling a period of
490 years. Daniel is told that this time period is directly related to the arrival of
the Messiah and the next Kingdom offer.

(Click here to read an article about the Kingdom offer.)

This Kingdom offer would be rejected however, and the Messiah would be cut off
after 69 of the 70 shemita cycles. The 70th shemita cycle would be put off to a
time in the future. When it would finally take place could in fact be influenced by
the actions of God's people. If they merit it, Messiah will come sooner than later.
This teaching is prevalent in Judaism. (See the article on the Kingdom offer.) This
might explain why Yeshua, in the Gospels, said that He did not know when His
return (the 70th shemita cycle) would take place. It isn't that He did not "know"
-- rather, that event is not fixed in time, per se, as the people could hasten or
delay it.

On a side note (one we will discuss more fully later in this study), we see the idea
of "seventy sevens" one other place in Scripture. In Matthew 18:22, Yeshua
teaches that we are to forgive seventy times seven times. Of course, he does not
mean a literal 490 times is all that is required. Rather, what we see here is
Yeshua providing a "balance" between God's judgment and mercy.

10:12-20 - Here we have a further declaration that Daniel's prayer had been
heard. Beyond that however, we can also see several principles regarding how
angels work:

• God had given the assignment of giving greater revelation to Daniel to an


angel - most likely this is Gabriel. (Principle: a specific task is given to a
specific angel.)

• This angel had to complete another assignment before embarking on this


one. (Principle: angels are given one assignment at a time.)

• This assignment was fighting with "the prince of the kingdom of Persia,"
which is a demon. (The term "prince" is often used to represent spiritual
beings, good and bad, including Michael, Yeshua and haSatan.) This
"prince" is given specific jurisdiction over Persia. (Principle: there is a link
between angels and physical areas/kingdoms.)

• This delay took "21 days" and the angel Michael came to take over for this
angel so that he could fulfill his task with Daniel. He would then return to
the task of fighting with the prince of Persia. (Principle: one angel is
assigned per specific task.)

• Persia is in control of Daniel's people at this time as Cyrus is on the throne


(10:1). This would indicate that the angel combating the prince of Persia is
fighting a battle on Israel's behalf. He is restraining Persia for a time. He
will depart when it is time for the Selucid Greeks to come take over
Persia's role as Israel's oppressor (10:20). (Principle: angels may be given
assignments for a specific or limited period of time.)

10:15-19 - Here we see Daniel becoming weak due to the intensity of receiving
such revelation from an angel of God. Daniel is strengthened however, enabling
him to continue. Here is an example of God being both the cause and effect in a
"spiritual transaction." (See previous section.)

10:21 - Michael is consistently portrayed as being perhaps the most powerful of


the archangels, fighting the more difficult battles in the heavenlies and having
an important role in the last days (Daniel 12:1, Jude 9, Revelation 12:7). As
angels have a job of "restraining evil angels," there is a likelihood that it is
Michael who is the force bridling the activities of the greatest of the evil ones,
the anti-Messiah. (Compare the language in Daniel 10:20 to that found in 2
Thessalonians 2:7. We also see Michael being "assigned" to haSatan himself, in
Jude 9.)

12:6 - Here we see one angel asking another to explain, "How long shall it be to
the end of these wonders?" Here we have a sixth principle: Each of the angels
has knowledge limited to what is in "their domain."

ANGEL CASE STUDY: JACOB'S LADDER

Jacob, the son of Isaac, is an individual who had a number of interesting


"experiences" with angels. We will examine one of Jacob's most mystical angelic
encounters, his dream of a mystical "ladder."

Genesis 28:10-17 - And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward
Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because
the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his
pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a
ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the
angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the LORD stood
above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of
Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy
seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west,
and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed
shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will
keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this
land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee
of. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this
place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place!
this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

Here is what we know about this dream at the "literal" level:

• Jacob sees some type of "ladder" with angels on it

• The bottom of the ladder is set up on the earth

• The top of the ladder reaches to heaven

• An unknown number of angels are on the ladder

• Some of the angels are ascending, others are descending

• God Himself is at the top of the ladder

• God gives Jacob a message about his inheriting the land and always being
with him

Obviously, there is some deep meaning here, and if the literal interpretation of
the Genesis text is all we had to go on, we would have all the more difficulty
coming up with an interpretation. There are two things in our favor however.

The first bit of help we get is from Y’shua in the Gospel of John:

John 1:44-51 - Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip
findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in
the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And
Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip
saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of
him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him,
Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip
called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered
and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under
the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. And he
saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open,
and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

In this story, we see the following exchange between Y’shua and Nathanael:

• Y’shua making a prophetic revelation about Nathanael to Nathanael.

• In return, Nathanael makes a declaration of faith in Y’shua, as the Son of


God.
• In response to this statement of faith by Nathanael, Y’shua informs him
that he will have continued and greater revelation.

• Y’shua links Nathanael's relationship to God, and his forthcoming greater


understanding, directly to Jacob's dream, revealing Himself to be that
ladder (in verse 51).

Returning to Jacob, we see that he too received a deeper understanding of God


through the dream. God tells Jacob that the promises made to his grandfather
Abraham, and father Isaac, would continue through him, and that He would
always be with him. Jacob awakens to proclaim that he now knew things that he
did not earlier understand (28:16).

We now know from comparing these Scriptures that:

• There is a connection between this "ladder" and greater spiritual


knowledge

• The ladder is directly related to Y’shua Himself

• Angels are involved in this process of granting spiritual knowledge, going


up and down the ladder between God in heaven and the earth below

DEEPER LEVELS OF UNDERSTANDING

The picture is starting to get a bit clearer, and some may be satisified "knowing"
this much, however to those with a thirst for a more intimate knowledge of God,
many questions remain. In order to explore the meanings of such mystical
Scriptures, it is necessary to analyze the texts at the deepest level of study-
called the SOD level. Such study is in an area called Kabbalah and requires an
absolutely firm grounding in God's Torah, as it is easy to go astray and into
paganism.

Nonetheless, we are not to shy away from studying the deeper, mystical areas of
God. In fact in the book of Hebrews we are told to move from "milk to meat," and
that stagnation will result in backsliding and possibly worse. This is not to
mention the fact that the entire book of Revelation is in the genre of Jewish
mytical writings and must be studied as such.

We will only touch lightly on mystical teachings in this section of the study --
enough to give some insight to the particulars of Jacob's ladder. A fuller
explanation of the Kabbalistic understanding of how God reveals Himself to man
will presented later in this study.

In the Jewish mystical writings we see a type of "trinity" of the Godhead,


although it is not the same, nor arrived at in the same fashion, as the "Christian
trinity." Instead, we have a view of God represented by what are called three
"pillars." Each of these pillars is made up of several "characteristics" or
"emanations" of God. One of the "outer" pillars represent the "masculine"
characteristics of God as found in Scripture (such as "judgment" and
"understanding"), the other represents the "feminine" ones (such as "mercy" and
"wisdom"). The third (center) pillar is the perfect "balance" between the other
two.

It is critical to understand that the use of the terms masculine and feminine are
metaphorical - they are not to be taken literally as already mentioned. Such use
of masculine and feminine aspects, or attributes, of God, comes directly from
Scripture. For instance, in Proverbs chapter 8, "Wisdom" is personified and said
to have done many great things. The connection between what Wisdom does in
Proverbs and what Yeshua does is obvious. Yet, the entire passage is written in
the feminine. (Hebrew, like French and Spanish, has masculine and femine
words.) The term "Holy Spirit" is Ruach haKodesh in Hebrew, and is also
feminine. In Scripture, we see God speaking of Himself as "panting as a woman
in labor." Even Yeshua compares himself to a (female) hen who wanted to gather
her chicks.

In the creation account, we see the most direct evidence that the image of God
has both a masculine and feminine side to it:

Genesis 1:26-27 - So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
created he him; male and female created he them.n. 1:26-27).

As mentioned, the middle pillar of the Godhead in Jewish mystcal writings is the
one that "holds the balance" between the feminine pillar (which is said to be
"expansive") and the masculine pillar (which is said to be "constrictive"). The
middle pillar is associated with equilibrium, the perfect will of God, or His grace
(Hebrew = hesed).

UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY OF THE LADDER

In the Zohar, the middle pillar is associated with Jacob. (Abraham is associated
with the right side and Isaac with the left side.) Jacob is also said to have
understood the unity of the Godhead (the union of the three pillars) in the form
of this ladder:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 150a - AND BEHOLD, THE LORD
STOOD (nitsab) UPON IT, ETC. Here Jacob discerned the essential unity of the
object of faith. This is implied in the term nitsab (firmly knit), which implies that
Jacob saw all grades stationed as one on that ladder so as to be knit into one
whole. And inasmuch as that ladder is situated between two sides, God said to
him: I AM THE LORD, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM THY FATHER, AND THE GOD OF
ISAAC , these two being respectively of the two sides, one of the right and the
other of the left.

In the Jewish mystical writings, the middle pillar of this Godhead, is also linked
with both Metatron (who we've mentioned several times in earlier parts of this
study) and also to the "Son of Yah" (Yah being a name for God, as in Yahweh).

Zohar, vol. 3, p. 227, (Amsterdam Edition) - The Middle Pillar [of the G-
dhead] is Metatron, Who has accomplished peace above, According to the
glorious state there.
Zohar, vol. 2, p. 115, (Amsterdam Edition) - Better is a neighbor that is
near, than a brother far off. This neighbor is the Middle Pillar in the G-dhead,
which is the Son of Yah.

The middle pillar is the one that connects the realm of God in the heavenly Holy
of Holies, represented by the Crown (Keter), down to the earth, represented by
the Kingdom (Malkhut). In between these two extremes, it passes through an
area called Tiferet, meaning beauty. In Kabbalah, Tiferet is directly associated
with Metatron, also known as YHWH ELOHIM. (All of these locations represent
"aspects" or "emanations" of God and are called the Sephirot. They will be
discussed in detail later in this study.)

As angels are the entities that carry out the will of God, "moving" from the
heavenlies "down" to earth and then back "up" to heaven. The middle pillar (the
ladder) is directly associated with the perfect will of God and His grace. We now
begin to get greater insight into what Jacob's dream and Yeshua's words meant.

We also know from Scripture that Yeshua is the mediator between God and man.
All prayers must go "through" Him. In Kabbalah, this same role is given to
Metatron, who as we mentioned, is also associated with Tiferet, a point on the
middle pillar. All blessings also return through Metatron:

"To keep the way of the tree of life." (Gen. 3:24) Who is the way to the tree of
life? It is the great Metatron, for he is the way to that great tree, to that mighty
tree of life. Thus it is written, "The Angel of G-d, which went before the camp of
Israel, removed and went behind them." (Ex. 14:19) And Metatron is called the
Angel of G-d. Come and see, thus says R. Simeon. The holy One, blessed Be He,
has prepared for Himself a holy Temple above in the heavens, a holy city, a city
in the heavens, and called it Jerusalem, the holy city. Every petition sent to the
King, must be through Metatron. Every message and petition from here below,
must first go to Metatron, and from thence to the king. Metatron is the
Mediator of all that comes from heaven down to the earth, or from the
earth up to heaven. And because he is the mediator of all, it is written "And
the Angel of G-d, which went before the camp of Israel, removed; that is, before
Israel which is above." (Ex. 14:19) This Angel of G-d is the same of whom it is
written "And YHWH went before them…" (Ex. 13:21) to go by day and by night
as the ancients have expounded it. Whoever will speak to me [says G-d] shall
not be able to do so, till he has made it known to Metatron. thus the holy One,
blessed be He, on account of the great love to and mercy with which He has over
the Assembly of Israel, commits her (the Assembly) to Metatron's care. What
shall I do for Him (Metatron)? I will commit my Whole house into His hand, etc.
Henceforth be you a Keeper As it is written "The Keeper of Israel" (Ps. 121:4)

The Zohar tells us that Jacob's ladder is also "the gate of heaven" through which
all blessing flow, thus giving it the same role as Metatron (Yeshua). It is also
compare to the Temple on earth. another reference to Yeshua:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 150b - Jacob then said: THIS IS
NONE OTHER THAN THE HOUSE OF GOD , implying: This is not to remain idle; its
covenant is not meant to exist in isolation. It is in sooth a godly abode, to be
used for the promotion of fecundity and for receiving blessing from all the bodily
organs. For indeed this is THE GATE OF HEAVEN , or, in other words, the gate of
the Body, the gate assuredly through which pass the blessings downwards,
so that it is attached both on high and below: on high, as being the gate of
heaven, and below, as being none other than the house of God."

We know from Scripture that Yeshua says HE is the gate:

Using all of this insight, we now have a view of Jacob's ladder as a representation
of all of these:

• the "middle pillar" of the Godhead

• Y’shua

• Metatron

• The Son of God (Yah)

• the perfect Will of God (His grace)

• the "gate of heaven"

• the earthly Temple

We will look further into the concept of the Image of God, in the next major
section of our study.

THE KINGDOM OFFER

By James Scott Trimm


©1997 All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.
For more info write: The Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471, Hurst, TX 76053, www.nazarene.net

In examining the text of Isaiah 60:22 the ancient Rabbis noticed what they called
a "contradiction" in the phrase "I, the L-RD, will hasten it in its time." The Talmud
discusses this verse as follows:

R. Alexandri said: R. Joshua b. Levi pointed out a contradiction. It is written, "In


its time [will the Messianic Kingdom come], whilst it is also written, "I [the L-RD]
will hasten it!"-- If they are worthy, I will hasten it; if not, [it will come] at the due
time. [b.San. 98a]

Thus, the Rabbis understood this verse to mean that the L-RD would offer to
hasten the Messianic Kingdom, if they were worthy but if not, the Kingdom would
not come until its due time.

Tractate Sanhedrin of the Talmud also tells us that the Rabbis believed that such
an offer was to be made around the Hebrew year 4,000 (around the first
Century). The Talmud relates this tradition which it accredits to the school of
Elijah:

The school of Elijah teaches: The world is to exist six thousand years. In the first
two thousand years was chaos; two thousand years the Torah flourished; and the
next two thousand years are the days of the Messiah, but through our many
iniquities all these years have been lost. [b.San. 96a-97b]

The text goes on to discuss the delay of the Messianic Kingdom, and then says:

Rab said: All the predetermined dates [for the Messianic Kingdom] have passed,
and the matter [now] depends only on repentance and good deeds. [b.San. 97b]

This requirement for repentance prior to the Messianic Kingdom is taken directly
from the Torah (see Deut. 30:1-6).

MESSIAH OFFERS THE KINGDOM

Now as we have already discussed, Is. 60:22 tells us that the L-RD will either
"hasten" the Kingdom, or let it come about "in its [due] time", all depending on
the requirement of repentance (Deut. 30:1-6.) This Kingdom offer began in the
days of Yochanan the immerser (John the Baptist), as we read in Mt. 11:12:

Only from the days of Yochanan the immerser until now the Kingdom of Heaven
is constricted and the forceful despoil it. [Mt. 11:12 from the DuTillet Hebrew
ms.]

And in Luke 16:16 we read:

The Law and the prophets were until Yochanan henceforth the Kingdom of G-d is
announced but everyone treats it with violence. [Lk.16:16 from Old Syriac &
Peshitta Aramaic]

Yochanan had been announcing, "Repent you of your lives, for the Kingdom of
Heaven is near to come" (Mt. 3:2 DuTillet.) And as soon as his work began,
Y'shua proclaimed, "Turn you, turn you, in repentance: for the Kingdom of
Heaven is near."(Mt. 4:17 DuTillet = Mk. 1:14-15) Now the word for "near" here
in the DuTillet and ShemTob Hebrew versions is hbrq, in the Aramaic of the Old
Syriac and Peshitta the Aramaic equivalent thbrqd appears. In their book
Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus, David Bivin and Roy Blizzard Jr.
correctly point out that the Hebrew word "karav" brq means "to come up to and
be with," or "to be where something or someone else is."; "It's here! It has
arrived!" (p. 88) An example of its usage may be seen in 2Kn. 16:12 where we
read "...and the king drew near (brqyv) to the altar..." meaning he was right
there at the altar.

Bivin and Blizzard, however, appear to have an amillennial view of the Kingdom,
writing "It [the Kingdom] is G-d ruling in the lives of men. Those who are ruled by
G-d are the Kingdom of G-d." (p. 90) In truth, the phrase "Kingdom of G-d" is a
variation of the phrase in the Tenach (Old Testament) "Kingdom of YHWH"
(1Chron. 28:5; 2Chron. 13:8) a term used to describe the Kingdom of Israel. After
studying the "Kingdom of G-d" with the Messiah for forty days (Acts 1:3) the
emissaries wanted to know if the Kingdom would be restored to Israel "at this
time", Y'shua answers that it is not for them to know the time (Acts 1:6-7).

The truth is that the Kingdom of G-d/Heaven is the restored Kingdom of Israel
(see Jer. 23:5-6; Is. 9:6-7; 11 with 1Chron. 28:5; 2Chron.13:8.) The Hebrew text
of Mt. 3:2 & 4:17 = Mk. 1:14-15 does indicate that the Kingdom was right there,
available, if they would just repent. The passage is a conditional statement with
an implied "if" as we find in Jonah 3:4.

Y'shua continued to proclaim this Kingdom offer throughout his career (Mt. 12:28
= Lk. 11:20; Mk. 12:34; Lk.10:9, 11; 17:21) even sending out his emissaries with
the same proclamation (Mt. 10:7.) This is the meaning of the passage, "...if you
are willing to receive it [the Kingdom], he [Yochanan] is Elijah who is to come."
(Mt. 11:14 see 11:12).

THE KINGDOM REJECTED

Despite the fact that the Kingdom was being offered as early as the service of
Yochanan (John) the immerser, repentance was required for it to be realized (Mt.
3:2-3; Mt.4:17 = Mk. 1:14-15; Dt. 30:1-6). However, from the time of Yochanan
forward, the Kingdom was being rejected, "plundered" and "treated with
violence" (Mt. 11:12 DuTillet; Lk. 16:16 Old Syriac & Peshitta.) Y'shua compared
this rejection to those who would not dance for flute players (Mt. 11:12, 16-19.)

Y'shua also mentions this rejection in Lk. 17 where we read "...the Kingdom of G-
d is among you... But first he [Y'shua] must suffer many things and BE REJECTED
BY THIS GENERATION." (Lk. 17:21, 25.) Mt. 21:43 tells us that the Kingdom would
be taken from those to whom Y'shua was speaking and given "to a nation"
bearing its fruits (the fruits being repentance, see Mt. 3:2, 8) the words "to a
nation" in the Aramaic is L'AM meaning "to a people" i.e. another generation (see
Lk. 17:21,25; Jer. 31:35-37; Rom. 11) This is also the meaning of Mt.8:11-12 =
Lk. 13:28.

THE KINGDOM OFFER EXTENDED

It would seem that the Kingdom offer was extended beyond the crucifixion. In his
discourse at the Temple in Acts 3:12-26 Kefa repeated the Kingdom offer saying:

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that
the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the L-rd, and that He
may send Y'shua the Messiah, who was proclaimed to you before, whom heaven
must receive until the time of restoration of all things, which G-d has spoken by
the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:19-21)

Thus it would appear that if the people of Israel had entered a national
repentance, even then, the Messiah would have returned to restore the Kingdom
to Israel right then and there.

THE KINGDOM OFFER EXPIRES

This Kingdom offer seems to have continued throughout the entire Acts period,
until it expired at the end of the Book of Acts. In Acts 28 "Paul called the leaders
of the Jews together... to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the
Kingdom of G-d, persuading them concerning Y'shua..." (Acts 28:17, 23). Once
again a corporate repentance did not occur "... some disbelieved. So they did not
agree among themselves." (Acts 28:24b-25a). At this time Paul made known that
the Kingdom offer had ended saying "...the salvation of G-d has been sent to the
Gentiles, and they will hear it!" (Acts. 28:28) this parallels Romans 11:11 "...to
provoke them [Israel] to jealousy, salvation has been sent to the Gentiles."
Which ties this concept to the Olive Tree Parable of Romans 11.

THE OLIVE TREE AND THE MYSTERY

The Olive Tree Parable of Romans 11 , when viewed in light of the Kingdom offer,
teaches that when the Kingdom offer expired in Acts 28:28 = Rom. 11:11, that
wild branches (Gentiles) were grafted into the natural olive tree, but that at
some point in the future, the natural branches would be grafted into their own
olive tree. This concept of unity between Jews and Gentiles in the one body is
echoed in Eph. 2-3 and Col. 1:19-26 a unity which Paul describes as a mystery
"which was in the past concealed but now revealed" (Eph. 3:3-6 & Col. 1:26) This
is because the time period of the wild branches in the olive tree following the
Kingdom offer was in the past concealed. Daniel's prophecy of weeks of years
(Dan. 9:24-27) goes directly from the coming of the Messiah to the final seven
year period commonly known as the tribulation. Daniel accounts for no space
between the two. This is why there was such expectation that the Kingdom
would come in the first century.

There was a mystery, a parenthetical period of time in Daniel's prophecy which


was in the past concealed but later revealed. Had the Kingdom offer been
accepted in the first century, then Daniel's last seven years would have run from
63 C.E. to 70 C.E. These Years seemed in many ways to fulfil endtime prophecies
(so much so that post-millenialists claim that the events of Revelations and Mt.
24 occurred during these years). This is because these years WOULD have been
Daniel's final week, had the Kingdom offer been accepted.

WHY THE KINGDOM OFFER EXPIRED

It has already been discussed that the Kingdom offer expired in 63 C.E., but why?
What happened in 63 C.E.? This year was the year of the death of James the Just.
According to the ancient Nazarene writer Hegesippus, James the Just was very
popular with the Jewish community in general, and many had come to be
believers in Y'shua as the Messiah as a result of his charisma with the people.
Certain of James's enemies, fearing that all Israel would join the Nazarene
movement, pressed him to stand on a wing of the Temple and deny Y'shua.

Instead, James repeated the same hybrid of Ps. 110:1 & Dan. 7:13 which Y'shua
had recited at his trial. In response, James' opponents cast him to the ground and
stoned him to death (Hegesippus as quoted by Eusebius in Eccl. Hist 2:23). Upon
the death of James the Just, the Nazarene movement lost its steam. Even within
the movement apostate elements began to arise. Furthermore, the Essene and
Pharisaic elements of the movement began to polarize. There was no longer any
chance that the Kingdom offer would receive national acceptance in time for the
Messianic Kingdom to occur in the first century. This was the very year that Acts
28:28 took place.

THE KINGDOM RESTORED

Now despite the fact that the condition of repentance was not met in the first
Century, G-d had still promised that if the Kingdom was not hastened, that it
would still take place "in its [due] time." (Is. 60:22). The emissaries understood,
after studying the Kingdom of G-d with Y'shua for forty days, that the Kingdom
would eventually be restored to Israel (Acts 1:3, 6-7). Prophecies regarding this
Kingdom were yet to be fulfilled (Jer. 23:5-6; Is. 9:6-7; 11), and in the New
Scriptures G-d reiterated this promise (Rev. 20:1-6).

EZEKIEL'S "CHARIOT" - PART 1


SPIRITUAL ELEMENTS AND THE DIVINE NAME
(Last update 7/3/00)

The prophet Ezekiel was given a view into the heavenly realms which is
disclosed in the first and tenth chapters of the book of Ezekiel. Much of the
imagery is similar to that found in the book of Revelation. Ezekiel's account of a
"Holy Chariot" is considered to be the highest level of mystical teaching in
Judaism. The mystical teachings introduced in this section will be developed in
detail in Section V of our Revelation background articles.

Our study of Ezekiel's Chariot falls into two areas:


• A discussion of the text, the terms used and their meaning

• A look at some of the mystical aspects of what Ezekiel saw in his vision

We will find that Ezekiel's chariot vision has a relationship to many other
heavenly mysteries, including:
• The four "worlds" or heavens (i.e., Paul having a vision at the level of the
third heaven as depicted in 2 Corinthians 12).

• The arrangement of various "firmaments" within the Heavenlies and their


relationship to the emanations of God in our world

• The role and capacity of angels (as we have already discussed somewhat
in this study)

• The 12 tribes of Israel

• The ephod and breastplate of the High Priest

• The "cup of blessing" (cup of salvation)

• The "river of Eden"

• Jacob's ladder

• The Shekinah (called the Matrona in the Zohar)

• Metatron / Y’shua

• The name of God - YHWH

All of these topics will be addressed at some point in this study. It should also be
noted that the prophet Isaiah had the same view into the heavenly realm as
seen in Isaiah chapter six. Isaiah however, does not go into the same level of
detail as Ezekiel, but a reading of his account is recommended to supplement
that of Ezekiel, as well as the chapters in Revelation listed above.

THE FIRST CREATURE


The first description that Ezekiel gives is that of four beasts, each of which has
four faces. Although one face is said to resemble a man, another an ox, another
an eagle, and another a lion, all four are simply faces of men that bear those
type of characteristics. This is indicated in 1:5 where he says that each has a
face of a man. In Ezekiel's second Chariot account he shows that the face of the
ox is actually that of an angel (a cherub). This is mentioned in 10:14. Cherubs
are angels with young humanlike faces. Ezekiel refers to what he sees as both
four beasts, as well as a single beast (10:20).
Ezekiel goes on to describe these four (unified) cherubs as having human-like
hands but not feet. He next states that these four, four-faced, cherubs are
adhered to one another, although their faces and wings were separated above.
Thus the four beasts are actually a type of singular entity. Symbolically, this
could mean that these angels, though acting independently, are unified in a
single greater purpose.
The prophet next goes on to mention that the beasts have the appearance of
coals of fire. The allusion to angelic beings being like fire, is consistent with that
found in Psalms and repeated in the book of Hebrews.
Ezekiel then goes on to explain the "movement" of these beings. It is imperative
at this point to recall what "movement" is with regard to (beings in) spiritual
space. As mentioned earlier in this study, angelic movement is not related to
physical movement, but to carrying out the will of God.
Understanding this greatly helps explain what Ezekiel is trying to convey -
otherwise we would be faced with a series of contradictions, as these beasts
would somehow be moving:
• separately from each other even though they are joined

• in the direction of each of its four separate faces at the same time

The above contradictions are avoided when we realize that the "movement"
Ezekiel is speaking of is the carrying out of God's divine purpose.
The text here states:
Ezekiel 1:12 - And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was
to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.
The term "spirit" in the above text is ruach in the Hebrew, which can mean
spirit, air or purpose. Thus, the living creature is moving according to the
purpose God gives it.1
THE SECOND CREATURE
Ezekiel next describes another body beneath the four (unified) creatures, this
one also made up of four distinct bodies. This unified body is joined to the four
beasts above and to the earth below. His description of these four bodies in one
is that of both eyes and wheels. These wheels are each said to have four faces.
Ezekiel describes the relationship of these four faces/wheels as being a wheel
within a wheel. This is different than that of the four living creatures who were
said to be connected to each other (in more of a side by side fashion).
The term "full of eyes" can also mean they had many colors. The word for eyes
here is einayim from the root ein (pronounced: ayin). It is the same word found
in this passage:
Numbers 11:7 - And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof
(ve-'eino) as the colour of (k-'ein) bdellium.
As with the four creatures, the movement of these wheels has no variation.
Moreover, the movement of these "wheels" is directly related to that of the four
upper beasts, indicating some type of hierarchy. The wheels only move when the
beasts move and in the same "direction" that they do. This is confirmed in 1:36,
where Ezekiel says that the ruach (purpose) of the living creature(s) was also in
the wheels.
To summarize: The first living creature(s) move only according to the divine
purpose of God. The second creature(s) move according to the first creature(s).
The Zohar supports this view:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 241b - R. Simeon discoursed in
this connection on the verse: “When those went these went, and when those
stood these stood” (Ezek. 1, 21). ‘That means’, he said, ‘that when the Hayoth
(living creatures) went the Ofanim (Wheels) also went, as we read, “and when
the Hayoth went the Ofanim went hard by them” (Ibid. 19). For the movements
of the Ofanim are only induced by the movements of the Hayoth, nor can they
pause independently of the Hayoth, for the two move together as one.
Following this, Ezekiel goes on to explain that above the first creature is the
likeness of a firmament and upon this is the likeness of a throne which has the
appearance of a sapphire stone. Upon this throne is the likeness as the
appearance of a man.
In the second vision of chapter 10, Ezekiel makes it very clear that the living
creatures he was describing were cherubim and confirms that the motion of the
wheels below these cherubim was directly related to them. He then adds one
more detail in this second vision, that the wheels were full of eyes all about and
that they had flesh and hands and wings (10:12).
He then adds that there is a specific relationship between the wheels and the
cherubs, stating that each wheel is directly related to a particular cherub (10:9).
Ezekiel confirms that the original four living creatures are in fact one creature
calling it the living creature that he saw (10:20), just as he calls the four wheels
one wheel upon the earth (1:15).
It should also be noted that most of the things Ezekiel describes, he does not do
so in an absolute manner, but rather refers to them being in the likeness of
something. This includes, the living creatures, the throne, the man on the
throne, the glory of the Lord, and the firmament in relation to that which is
above the creatures (1:22).
The exceptions to this are when he speaks of the wheels, and also when he
again mentions the firmament specifically in relation to the throne (10:1). Here
he speaks more directly.
RELATIONSHIP TO THE SPIRITUAL ELEMENTS
Ezekiel's chariot vision gives us insight into the working of all the spiritual
elements previously discussed in this study -- time, space, light, energy and
mass. As we will see, it also gives us a look at how complex and inter-related
these elements are.
As mentioned above, the vision of the chariot shows a heavenly beast, which is
really four beasts, that Ezekiel identifies as cherubim, which are angels. These
angels are carrying out the purpose of God, though no specific mention is given
of the particulars of their assignments. Here we have an example of the
relationship between spiritual light (the divine cause or will of God), spiritual
mass (the angels carrying out the will of God), and the resulting spiritual energy
(the effect of their action upon man/creation). These concepts were discussed in
detail in a previous section of this study.
As for the wheels, there are two main opinions as to what they are. One is that
these are also angelic beings called ophanim, who are of a lower order than the
cherubim. There is also an opinion that these wheels represent various heavenly
realms. In actuality, both opinions can be true as there is a close relationship
between angels and the realms (both spiritual and physical) that are assigned to
them.(Remember not to fall into the trap of thinking "3-dimensionally" when
studying these aspects of God and the heavenly realms!)
What we see from Ezekiel is a connection between these orders of angels, as
well as between the angels and the firmaments they operate in. Ezekiel makes it
clear that the Ophanim only move according to how the Cherubim move. This
would indicate something of a "chain of command," whereby the Cherubim
receive more direct instruction than do the ophanim, although the divine
purpose resides in both. This concept is supported by Ezekiel's explanation that
there is a connection between the "throne" and the Cherubim, a second
connection between the Cherubim and the Ophanim, and a third connection
between the Ophanim and the earth.
Ezekiel also shows that the realm of this beast is not the highest of the
Heavenlies, as he states that there is a firmament above the one that the throne
lies in (1:22). As will later see, the firmament above the four beasts is not the
highest of the firmaments -- there is yet one more, the Supernal firmament,
which is unknowable to human beings.
These various firmaments (also called grades in the Zohar) and the beings that
exist in each, have a relationship to one another.
This is mentioned in the Zohar as follows:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 48b - Mark also this! All the
supernal hosts with their cohorts and lightful chariots of celestial speed are
joined one to another, grade to grade, the lower to the higher, each to its
counterpart; and above them all a holy “Living being” (Hayah) (cf. Ezek. I) is set,
and all those myriads of armies move and rest according to its will and direction.
This is that Living Creature to which all Hayoth are linked, as each is also to
each, all moving and swimming in the sea, concerning which it is written: “This
is the great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small
and great beasts” (Ps. CIV, 25).
The Zohar also speaks of the Ofanim/angels having a relationship to four
quarters of the globe:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 241b - Now observe that the
Ofanim (Wheels) are carried by the Hayoth (living creatures). For that which is of
a higher grade, though it seems to be carried by that which is of a lower grade,
really carries it. It was the same with the Ark, which also carried its carriers. [Tr.
note: T. B. Sotah, 35a.] We must distinguish between the Hayah, “the spirit of
which was in the Ofanim”, and the Hayoth, with which the Ofanim went. This
one turned towards all four quarters of the globe. In regard to this it says: “This
is the Hayah that I saw under the God of Israel by the river Chebar” (Ibid. x, 20);
it is the same which forms a throne to the likeness of Man, and is below the
superior holy Hayoth. For they are in grades, one above the other.
The idea of Ezekiel's angels being connected to the four quarters of the globe, is
consistent with the description of angels of Revelation:
Revelation 7:1 - And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four
corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should
not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
RELATIONSHIP TO THE DIVINE NAME
As noted earlier, the mystical teachings introduced in this section will be
developed in detail in Section V of our Revelation background articles.
The Zohar also teaches a concept where each one of the four letters of the
divine name, YHWH (Yod-Hay-Vav-Hay), is associated with one of four heavens.
The highest level of heaven is associated with the first letter, the Yod.
As God is infinite, He is beyond definition. (As soon as you define Him, He is no
longer infinite.) In Jewish mystical studies, such as the Zohar, God as such is
known as the Eyn Sof, meaning, that which is outside of time and space as we
know it. We cannot comprehend God at this level as we would have to be infinite
ourselves. This subject matter will be discussed in detail later in this study.
NOTE: The idea of the four firmaments (or heavens) is reflected throughout the
Zohar. These four firmaments are just one way of clasifying the divisions
between this universe and Eyn Sof. There are other teachings that subdivide this
"area" into seven heavens or ten heavens. These ideas are not necessarily in
conflict as they are looking at different aspects of the heavenly realms. 2
Although God is infinite and cannot be understood by mere humans, He reveals
Himself to us in many ways. This is one of the fundamental differences between
Judaism and Islam, the latter of which has only an En Sof-type view of God, that
teaches that we are separate from Him and cannot in any way know Him. This
also sets Judaism apart from Pantheism, which does not view God as being
separate and distinct from creation (i.e., "everything is God.").
What we can come to know and understand about Him are what Scripture calls
the image of God, also called emanations or characteristics of God (i.e., God is
merciful, He is judgmental, etc.), as well as Elohim. Although God reveals
Himself in many ways, He is one (echad). This was and is the difference between
Judaism and paganism, the latter of which sees these different divine
emanations (in nature, etc.) and assigns a "god" for each of them, instead of
realizing there is one God "behind all of them."
The aspects of God that He reveals to us are found in the lower
heavens/firmaments, including nature and in man himself - who is of course,
made in the image of God. These concepts will be studied in detail later in this
study.
The next firmament (below the En Sof), which is the "highest" Ezekiel was able
to "look into," is associated with the first He (pronounced "Hay") in Y-H-W-H. The
level below this is related to the letter Waw(pronounced “Vav”), and the level
below that ("closest" to the earth) is associated with the second He:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 21a - But there is also a
firmament above the heavens of which it is written, "and a likeness upon the
heads of the Hayyah, a firmament like the ice, etc." (Ezek. I, 22). This is the
first He’ beyond which it is impossible for the human mind to penetrate,
because what is further is enveloped in the thought of God, which is elevated
above the comprehension of man. If that which is within the Thought cannot be
comprehended, how much less the Thought itself! What is within the Thought no
one can conceive, much less can one know the En Sof, of which no trace can be
found and to which thought cannot reach by any means.
The Zohar goes on to explain that the firmament Ezekiel saw just above the four
living creatures (where the throne was present) is not the highest firmament (of
Eyn Sof). Further, the reason Ezekiel called this the likeness of a throne (rather
than simply "a throne"), is that there is a different Supernal throne of God above
this.
What Ezekiel was allowed to see is an emanation of God:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 217b - "And above the
firmament that was over their heads was as the appearance of a sapphire stone,
the likeness of a throne" (Ezek. I, 26). This firmament’, said R. Simeon, ‘is the
lower firmament, as you, Companions, have explained. Happy is my portion and
happy is your portion, since as regards the supernal firmament there is no one
who can ever discern it. Above that lower firmament, then, there is that
"sapphire stone", that precious jewel by which it is adorned. It says, "the
likeness of a throne", and not "the throne". For there is throne and throne. The
term "the throne" would signify the Supernal Throne, which is undisclosed and
beyond all knowledge and comprehension. Hence it says here "a throne", to wit,
a lower throne.
As previously stated, Scripture shows that the Tabernacle/Temple and its
artifacts, including the garments of the Priests, were made in the image of what
Moses was shown existed in the heavenly realm. The Zohar directly associates
the ephod and breastplate of the Priest with the vision of the heavenlies as seen
by Ezekiel:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 231b - Observe that the ephod
and breastplate were "behind and before", and so the Priest, when clothed in
them, resembled the supernal pattern. As has already been said, when his face
was illumined and the letters stood out brightly, then a message was thereby
conveyed to him. For this reason the breastplate and the ephod were tied
together; and although they had distinct functions, they had the same
symbolism and were therefore united by the four rings that held them together,
back and front. They thus symbolize the Chariots which are united from below to
those above, and the whole symbolizes the Ofanim and Hayoth (Wheels and
Sacred Beasts).
As discussed earlier, in the study of Metatron, there are also two heavenly
Temples (and High Priests) in addition to that established here on the earth. One
is in the realm Ezekiel could see into, which in the Zohar is called Metatron's
Tabernacle, and has the angel Michael as its High Priest. There is a higher
Temple above this however, with a Supernal High Priest.
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 159a - ‘From this we see that the
Holy One, blessed be He, actually gave Moses all the arrangements and all the
shapes of the Tabernacle, each in its appropriate manner, and that he saw
Metatron ministering to the High Priest within it. It may be said that, as the
Tabernacle above was not erected until the Tabernacle below had been
completed, that "youth" (Metatron) could not have served above before Divine
worship had taken place in the earthly Tabernacle. It is true that the Tabernacle
above was not actually erected before the one below; yet Moses saw a mirroring
of the whole beforehand, and also Metatron, as he would be later when all was
complete. The Holy One said to him: "Behold now, the Tabernacle and the
‘Youth’; all is held in suspense until the Tabernacle below shall have been built."
It should not be thought, however, that Metatron himself ministers; the fact is,
that the Tabernacle belongs to him, and Michael, the High Priest, it is that serves
there, within the Metatron's Tabernacle, mirroring the function of the Supernal
High Priest above, serving within that other Tabernacle, that hidden one which
never is revealed, which is connected with the mystery of the world to come.
There are two celestial Tabernacles: the one, the supernal concealed
Tabernacle, and the other, the Tabernacle of the Metatron. And there are also
two priests: the one is the primeval Light, and the other Michael, the High Priest
below.

1. Moses Maimonides, The Guide of the Perplexed, Section III, part 2.

2. James Trimm, Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism (www.nazarene.net)

EZEKIEL'S "HOLY CHARIOT" - PART 2


THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE HEAVENLY REALMS
As noted earlier, the mystical teachings introduced in this section will be
developed in detail in Section V of our Revelation background articles.
In the previous section of this study, we discussed how the "wheel" in Ezekiel's
Chariot vision is a "connection" between the heavenly realm immediately around
us and the "other heavens." As shown in the section below, the Zohar,
associates this wheel with Metatron, who is associated with the Messiah. The
Zohar also states that "beyond" the angels (holy beasts) that Ezekiel say, there
are also angels (hayoth) who do not disclose themselves.
In the following Zohar section, there is an association made between the "four
heavens" (or four "worlds") and the name of YHWH. The Zohar says that these
undisclosed angels are in the two higher heavens, represented by the Yod (the
"Y") and the first He' (or "Hay" - the first "H"). This places the cherubim angels
that Ezekiel saw in the realm of the Vav (the "V"), also called the World of
Yetzirah (Formation). These worlds will be discussed in detail later in this study.
The ophanim seem to be the connection between this realm of the Vav and that
of what could be called the "first heaven" which is that of the second or "lesser"
He' ("H") of Y-H-V-H, the one closest to the physical world we live in:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 21a - It is said of the Hayyoth
that "they run to and fro" (Ezek. I, 14), and so no eye can follow them. The
Hayyoth which disclose themselves are those in the midst of which there is an
Ofan (wheel), which is Metatron, who is more exalted than all the other hosts.
The Hayyoth which are never disclosed are those which are under the two
undisclosed letters Yod, He’, which rule over Vau, He’, these being the pedestal
of the former. The most mysterious and incomprehensible essence rules over all
and is mounted upon all. The Hayyoth which disclose themselves are below
those which remain undisclosed and derive light from them and follow them. The
celestial Hayyoth are all comprised in the "firmament of the heaven", and are
referred to in the words "let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven",
"and they shall be for lights in the firmament of the heaven". They are all
suspended in that firmament.
A summation of the "four heavens" as seen by Ezekiel might be as follows:
• A "sapphire stone" that represents the highest heaven, associated with
the Yod ("Y")

• The "likeness of a throne" that sits in the next heavenly grade, that of the
first He' ("H")

• The holy beasts (cherubim) that resides in the grade below the previous,
that of the Vav ("W")

• The wheel (ophanim) that makes the connection to the most immediate
heaven around us, that of the second or "lesser" He' ("H")

The concept of multiple heavens, is mentioned by Paul in one of his epistles.


Here he speaks of a man (most likely himself) who went up to the third heaven.
This man was given great insight into the deepest mysteries:
2 Corinthians 12:2-4 - I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago,
(whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God
knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man,
(whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that
he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not
lawful for a man to utter.
The Soncino Zohar (Appendix III), summarizes as follows:
For, according to the Zohar, God, the protector of Israel, is borne along by four
Hayyoth or Holy Beasts, constituting His throne, and these are borne on other
angelic beings, which again rest on higher firmaments, under which is the lowest
heaven, to which belongs the earth and all its creatures.
What we see is that there are multiple heavenly realms, and a continuum
between these heavens and the various "entities" that inhabit them. Angels in
our immediate realm "trace" their authority back to Ezekiel's holy beasts, who
"answer" directly to God.
Ezekiel's vision of the Divine Chariot gives us insight as to "how things work" in
the spiritual realm, and provides links to a number of specific concepts in
Scripture.
A LINK TO JACOB'S LADDER
The Zohar makes a connection between this continuity of the heavenly realms
and the patriarch Jacob. This goes back to the dream of Jacob's ladder, covered
earlier in this study:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 150a - Jacob was beholden to
dreams, as explained before. AND BEHOLD, THE LORD STOOD (nitsab) UPON IT,
ETC. Here Jacob discerned the essential unity of the object of faith. This is
implied in the term nitsab (firmly knit), which implies that Jacob saw all grades
stationed as one on that ladder so as to be knit into one whole. And inasmuch as
that ladder is situated between two sides, God said to him: I AM THE LORD, THE
GOD OF ABRAHAM THY FATHER, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC , these two being
respectively of the two sides, one of the right and the other of the left. According
to another explanation, the Lord was standing over him, to wit, over Jacob, so as
to form the Divine Chariot, with the Community of Israel, embodied in Jacob, as
the uniting link in the midst, between the right and the left. That Jacob was in
the midst is proved by the fact that the text here calls Abraham "thy father", but
not Isaac, thus showing that Jacob was next to Abraham; and hence the text
naturally continues: THE LAND WHEREON THOU LIEST , showing that the whole
formed one sacred Chariot. Here Jacob saw that he was to be the crown of the
patriarchs. The words "the God of thy father Abraham and the God of Isaac"
show that Jacob was attached to either side and holding fast to both of them.
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 48b - R. Simeon discoursed on
the verse: Now I beheld the living creatures (Hayoth), and behold one wheel
upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces (Ezek. I, 15). ‘This
verse’, he said, ‘we can explain as follows. The Holy One reveals His dominion
and power in all things, a power which shall never be shaken. He manifested His
power in the Patriarchs, and particularly in Jacob. Now Jacob is united with the
Tree of Life, over which death has no dominion, since in it all life is contained,
emanating from it unto all those who are in perfect union with it. For this reason
Jacob did not really die. He died in a physical sense when “he gathered up his
feet into the bed” (Gen. XLIX, 33), which bed is mysteriously called “the bed of
Solomon” (S.S. III, 7), the bed of the “strange woman” whose “feet go down to
death” (Prov. v, 5). But of all the Fathers the Holy One chose Jacob to be the
centre of perfection and fulfilment, as it is written: “Jacob whom I have chosen”
(Isa. XLI, 8). Mark also this! All the supernal hosts with their cohorts and lightful
chariots of celestial speed are joined one to another, grade to grade, the lower
to the higher, each to its counterpart; and above them all a holy “Living being”
(Hayah) (cf. Ezek. I) is set, and all those myriads of armies move and rest
according to its will and direction. This is that Living Creature to which all Hayoth
are linked, as each is also to each, all moving and swimming in the sea,
concerning which it is written: “This is the great and wide sea, wherein are
things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts” (Ps. CIV, 25).
Note in the above portion about Jacob, the references to "the bed of Solomon"
into which Jacob gathered up his feet. This is a references to the Shekinah and
will be discussed later in this Revelation study.
Putting everything together up to this point, what we now have from the Zohar is
a link between Jacob's ladder, Jacob himself (who was a "picture" of Messiah),
and the Ophanim (wheel). We also know that the Zohar says the wheel is
Metatron. As Yeshua says that He is that ladder (John 1:51), we can now make
an association between Yeshua, Ezekiel's wheel and Jacob's ladder. All three
represent a connection between the earthly realm and the higher heavens
approaching God.
A LINK TO THE SHEKINAH AND THE 12 TRIBES
The Zorah depicts a group of twelve angels, made up of four archangels, that are
themselves associated with the four holy beasts of Ezekiel. Each of these four
angels has two angels subordinate to him. There is further, a direct connection
between these twelve angels and the twelve tribes of Israel. In turn, there are
tens of thousands of angels below these twelve, watching over the affairs of God
and His people in this realm.
NOTE: The following are the most pertinent excerpts taken from a very lengthy
section:
Soncino Zohar, Bemidbar, Section 3, Page 154a - MAKE UNTO THEE TWO
TRUMPETS OF SILVER, ETC. R. Simeon adduced here the verse: “And when the
Hayoth (living creatures) went, the wheels went hard by them; and when
the.Hayoth were lifted up from the bottom the wheels were lifted up” (Ezek. I,
19). ‘The Hayoth’, he said, ‘are borne along by the supernal power; and so were
the movements of the tribes below who bore on their standards the likenesses of
the Hayoth, that of Lion, Eagle, Ox, Man. Angels attended each of the standards.
... The first standard bore the likeness of Lion and was attended by Michael,
who had under him two chieftains, Zophiel and Zadkiel ...
Each of the Hayoth had four wings formed of white flaming fire, as well as four
faces turned towards the four cardinal points, all illumined by the white light of
the sun; the one turned to the east was illumined with a joyous light, the one
towards the west with a concentrated light, the one towards the north was
within the penumbra of the sun. These contained three groups. [Tr. note:
Corresponding to the three tribes under each standard.] ...
There were, besides, a long succession of lower grades. These were
innumerable. The second group contained fifty-four thousand and four hundred
besides those of the lower grades, who were innumerable. The third group,
which followed behind, contained fifty-seven thousand and four hundred. So
soon as the first standard began to march the tabernacle was taken down, and
all the Levites chanted hymns, and the lords of praise were all ranged there “for
the spirit of the Hayoth was in the Ophanim (Wheels)”. ...
The second standard bore on it the Eagle, symbolic of the angel Uriel, and
was ranged on the south. Two chieftains accompanied him, namely, Shamshiel
and Hasdiel. ... All the firmaments indeed moved forward along with these hosts
in front of the tabernacle. We thus read: “And when the Hayoth went, the
Ophanim went hard by them”. ...
Then follows the third standard to the north. It had for its ensign Ox and was
accompanied by the angel Gabriel and his two chieftains, Kafziel and Hizkiel ...
Seven fiery rivers flow in front of him, and when thirsty he draws up a whole
riverful at one gulp. Yet this river is straightway filled again as before,
unfailingly. And were it not for a stream of water from the region of the lion
quenching the fiery coals, the world could not endure. ...
On the fourth side the fourth standard, on the west, had for its symbol Man,
the angel Raphael, [Tr. note: Whose chief function, as his name (RaFA=to cure)
denotes, was the healing of men.] with whom there is healing.1
The Zohar links the twelve groups (of thousands of angels) with the reunification
of the twelve tribes and the Shekinah, with Her spouse:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 197b - These are the twelve
supernal legions, which are all comprised under the four sacred Hayoth
mentioned before. All these ascend towards the Divine Throne, so as to take her
up on high that she may join her Spouse, and that He should be with Her in
surpassing glory. The Most High King then seats Himself on the Divine Throne in
perfect unison with His Spouse, and joy is thus diffused through the universe.
A LINK TO THE TABERNACLE AND TEMPLE
As shown earlier in this study, there were twenty-four groups in the encampment
surrounding the Tabernacle. As the Tabernacle and Temple on earth are a
reflection of what is in the heavenlies, this would imply some type of heavenly
arrangement totaling twenty-four entities. This is shown as follows:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 241b - R. Simeon discoursed in
this connection on the verse: “When those went these went, and when those
stood these stood” (Ezek. 1, 21). ‘That means’, he said, ‘that when the Hayoth
(living creatures) went the Ofanim (Wheels) also went, as we read, “and when
the Hayoth went the Ofanim went hard by them” (Ibid. 19). For the movements
of the Ofanim are only induced by the movements of the Hayoth, nor can they
pause independently of the Hayoth, for the two move together as one. Now the
celestial gate of the east is provided with twenty-four openings guarded by
twenty-four sentinels who are surrounded by a flaming fire. There are at the
entrance of the gate twenty-four sockets supporting twenty- four pillars. These
pillars remain in their place and do not soar into space; they are thus designated
“standing ones”, in the verse: “I will give thee a place to walk among these
standing ones” (Zech. III, 7). And as long as those pillars remain immobile those
that are above them go to and fro through the world, survey things, and
whatever they overhear they carry up on high.
The Zohar states that the first Tabernacle had to built before Solomon's Temple
as the two served different and sequential purposes in linking the heavenly
grades together. Moses' Tabernacle "connected" the Shekinah with the next
heavenly realm. Solomon's Temple then made the "connection" between the
Shekinah and the higher heaven, the realm of the "bridegroom.":
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 145a - Moses, by building the
Tabernacle, brought about the union of the Matrona with the world here below,
Solomon brought about the perfect union of the Matrona with the Bridegroom
above.
Solomon's Temple is also connected to the River of Eden that appears at the end
of the book of Revelation. (Which we will discuss later in this study.) The
following verses also show that just as there is a Temple above and below, the
same applies to the throne:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 242a - The Throne immediately
underneath the God of Israel is in the form of Jacob, and the Throne below in
that of David; this is the one that turns to the four corners of the world. It follows
that the spirit of the highest diffuses through the lower, and directs and guides
the whole. There was similar direction in the lower world. Just as in connection
with the upper world we read that “the spirit of the Hayah is in the Ofanim”, so
of the lower world it is written, “And Moses reared up the tabernacle”, he being
the guiding spirit below; wherefore it is written: “And he reared up, fixed, put.”
‘Observe that Moses set up the Tabernacle in the recondite spirit of his own high
grade; but the Temple that Solomon built was the recondite expression of the
River that went forth from Eden, signifying homely peace and rest. The
Tabernacle expressed love and affection, but not restfulness, whereas the
Temple of Solomon meant rest, as it says, “he shall be a man of rest” (I Chron.
XXII, 9). Each one builded according to his own grade. ‘Moses first firmly
established in the side of holiness the central Point which was hid in darkness
and buried, and afterwards all the rest, which is but the enlargement of this
Point. And if this Point had not been established first, all that spread from it
could not have been established. This is referred to in the words, “he reared up
the tabernacle”.

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 232a - It has already been


explained that the verse, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the
earth”, means that the lower world was created after the pattern of the upper.
Now, the Tabernacle below was likewise made after the pattern of the supernal
Tabernacle in all its details. For the Tabernacle in all its works embraced all the
works and achievements of the upper world and the lower, whereby the
Shekinah was made to abide in the world, both in the higher spheres and the
lower. Similarly, the Lower Paradise is made after the pattern of the Upper
Paradise, and the latter contains all the varieties of forms and images to be
found in the former. ... For whoever then looked at the Tabernacle saw in it an
epitome of the upper world and the lower; for all the works of the universe were
contained in the equipment of the Tabernacle. Thus whoever gazed with
attention at the clasps of the Tabernacle saw in their gleam the radiance of the
stars, inasmuch as they were disposed in the same way as the stars in heaven.’
1. The Midrash Rabbah, gives a slightly different alignment of the angels.

THE SHEKINAH - PART 1


THE MENORAH, TEMPLE, BRIDE OF MESSIA

As noted earlier, the mystical teachings introduced in this section will be


developed in detail in Section V of our Revelation background articles.
The term "Shekinah" means "dwelling" and is used to describe God's presence in
this world. The word Shekinah is not found in the Bible. Its earliest appearance is
in the Targums where it used with regard to God dwelling among the children of
Israel. As such, the term and concept of Shekinah are not found very often in
Christian literature. The "New Testament" allusions to the Shekinah include Luke
2:9; John 1:14; and Romans 9:4, where it is referred to as God's "glory," and is
connected to the Messiah and the Millennium. The Zohar has hundreds of
references to the Shekinah.
The Soncino Zohar gives the following appraisal. Note that the presence of the
Shekinah is said to exist within the presence of people, now that the Temple is
no longer:
Soncino Zohar, Appendix III - If we ask, how does God manifest His presence
in Israel, the answer is, through the Divine Light, the Shekinah. This light is the
connecting link between the divine and the non-divine. For, according to the
Zohar, God, the protector of Israel, is borne along by four Hayyoth or Holy
Beasts, constituting His throne, and these are borne on other angelic beings,
which again rest on higher firmaments, under which is the lowest heaven, to
which belongs the earth and all its creatures. ... Through this hierarchy an
emanation of the Divine Presence is conveyed to earth, just as, on the other
hand, the prayer of human beings is conveyed up to heaven. The Shekinah
originally rested on the Tabernacle and Temple, but even now it
accompanies the wise, especially when three study together. The ‘throne
of God’, consisting of the Hayyoth, is the instrument of God's providence on
earth. For the Hayyoth are pictured as having each a human face, but with the
aspect respectively of a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle. According, therefore, to
the aspect through which he is looked upon from on high will be the providential
care which a man receives here on earth.
THE SHEKINAH AND THE MENORAH
The following was mentioned in the previous section of this study:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 48b - Now Jacob is united with
the Tree of Life, over which death has no dominion, since in it all life is
contained, emanating from it unto all those who are in perfect union with it. For
this reason Jacob did not really die. He died in a physical sense when “he
gathered up his feet into the bed” (Gen. XLIX, 33), which bed is mysteriously
called “the bed of Solomon” (S.S. III, 7), the bed of the “strange woman”
whose “feet go down to death” (Prov. v, 5).
As previously stated, the reference to the "bed of Solomon" (also known as the
couch of Solomon and the litter of Solomon) is linked to the Shekinah and is
found in the following Scripture verse:
Song of Solomon 3:7 - Behold his bed, which is Solomon's; threescore valiant
men are about it, of the valiant of Israel.
The Zohar explains that the couch of Solomon is a reference to the Shekinah. It
is taught that the book of Song of Solomon, or Song of Songs, is an allusion to
the "Holy of Holies" and reflects the history of this world, the Millennium and the
wedding of the Shekinah to God. The Shekinah is said to be protected by an
array of sixty angels, with another ten "hidden" in their midst, making a total of
seventy. These seventy angels have the task of protecting the Shekinah from
the angels of the seventy nations:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 5a - R. Judah illustrated from the
verse: "Behold, it is the couch of Solomon, threescore mighty men are about it,
of the mighty men of Israel" (S.S. III, 7), which he expounded thus: ‘Six
luminosities form a circle surrounding a seventh luminosity in the centre. The six
on the circumference sustain the sixty valiant angels surrounding the "couch of
Solomon". The "couch" is an allusion to the Shekinah, and "Solomon" refers to
the "King to whom peace (shalom) belongs": "threescore mighty men are about
it"-these are the sixty myriads of exalted angels, part of the army of the
Shekinah which accompanied Jacob into Egypt.’
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 30b - There are on high seven
firmaments, and seven zones of earth. Correspondingly, in the lower world there
are seven graded firmaments and seven zones of earth. These, as the
Companions have expounded, are arranged like the rungs of a ladder, rising one
above the other, and each zone has ten divisions, so that there are seventy in
all. Each one of these is presided over by a Chieftain, and these seventy
Chieftains have under their charge the seventy nations of the earth. These
seventy earth-divisions, again, border on and surround the Holy Land, as
Scripture says: “Behold, it is the couch of Solomon; threescore mighty men are
about, of the mighty men of Israel” (S.S. III, 7), there being, in addition to
the threescore mentioned, ten concealed among their number.
There is also found a relationship between the Shekinah (called the "Matrona"),
the angels of Ezekiel's vision and the "way of the tree of life" (that we will
address at the end of this section), as found in the book of Genesis:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 50b - 52a - ‘How many
thousands, how many myriads, of celestial cohorts surround the Holy One and
follow in His train! Princes of supernal countenances are there, and beings full of
eyes; lords of the sharp weapons, lords of the piercing cry, lords of the heralding
trumpet, lords of mercy, lords of judgement; and above them the Lord has
appointed the Matrona to minister before Him in the Palace. She for her own
bodyguard has armed hosts of sixty different degrees. Holding their swords,
they stand around Her. They come and go, entering and departing again on the
errands of their Master. Each with his six wings outspread they circle the world
in swift and silent flight. Before each of them coals of fire burn. Their garments
are woven of flames from a bright and burning fire. A sharp flaming sword also is
at the shoulder of each to guard Her. Concerning these swords it is written:
"The flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree
of life" (Gen. III, 23). Now, what is "the way of the Tree of Life"? This is
the great Matrona who is the way to the great and mighty Tree of Life.
Concerning this it is written: "Behold the bed which is Solomon's; the
three score valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel" (S.S. III, 7),
namely, the Supernal Israel. "They all hold swords" (Ibid. 8), and when the
Matrona moves they all move with her, as it is written: "and the angel of God,
which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them" (Ex. XIV,
19). Is, then, the Shekinah called "the angel of the Lord"? Assuredly!
We can now begin to understand the mystical significance of the Menorah as it
relates to the Shekinah. The Menorah is a seven-branched candlestick, having
three candles to each side of the main one in the center. Each Menorah has six
candles surrounding one in the center, representing the angelic guardians of the
Shekinah.
In order to represent the sixty/seventy guardians of the Shekinah, Solomon
made ten menorahs for the Temple:
2 Chronicles 4:7 - And he made ten lampstands of gold according to their
form, and set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left.
The Zohar gives the following explaination of the relationship between the sixty
guardians of the Shekinah and the Menorah's branches:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 14b - R. Simeon here discoursed
as follows: ‘In his going down into Egypt Jacob was accompanied by six angelic
grades, each consisting of ten thousand myriads. Correspondingly Israel was
made up of six grades, in correspondence to which again there are six steps to
the supernal celestial Throne, and corresponding to them six steps to the lower
celestial Throne. ... Observe that each grade was an epitome of ten grades, so
that altogether there were sixty, indentical with the “threescore mighty men”
that are round about the Shekinah. And these sixty, again, are the sixty myriads
that accompanied Israel in their departure from exile and accompanied Jacob
into exile.’ R. Hiya asked him: ‘But are there not seven grades, each an epitome
of the ten grades, thus amounting to seventy?’ R. Simeon said in reply: ‘That
number has no bearing on this matter, as we learn from the description of the
candlestick, of which it says: “And there shall be six branches going out of the
sides thereof: three branches of the candlestick out of the one side thereof, and
three branches of the candlestick out of the other side thereof... And thou shalt
make the lamps thereof seven” (Ex. xxv, 32). The central branch is not counted
with the rest, as it says, “and they shall light the lamps thereof over against it”
(Ibid.).’
THE SHEKINAH AND THE TEMPLE
The following verse discusses the two Tabernacles, one above and one below,
and how the Shekinah was also meant to abide in both as the "connection"
between this world and the heavenly realms above:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 231b - It has already been
explained that the verse, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the
earth", means that the lower world was created after the pattern of the upper.
Now, the Tabernacle below was likewise made after the pattern of the supernal
Tabernacle in all its details. For the Tabernacle in all its works embraced all the
works and achievements of the upper world and the lower, whereby the
Shekinah was made to abide in the world, both in the higher spheres
and the lower. Similarly, the Lower Paradise is made after the pattern of the
Upper Paradise, and the latter contains all the varieties of forms and images to
be found in the former. Hence the work of the Tabernacle, and that of heaven
and earth, come under one and the same mystery. It is written: "Lift up your
eyes on high, and see: who hath created these? He that bringeth out their hosts
by number.... Not one faileth" (Isa. XL, 26).
The mystery of how the Shekinah was "severed" from God, is explained in the
Zohar, which points back to the sin of the Golden Calf in the book of Exodus:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 190b, 191a - ‘This is one of
those sayings whose significance was revealed to me in a whisper from the
school of knowledge in Paradise itself, and which should not be repeated openly.
Yet, in spite of all this, I will now reveal it unto you, O my beloved children, my
children whom my soul loves! What else can I do? It was told to me in a whisper,
but I will tell it to you openly, and when the days of the Messiah shall be come,
when we shall see face to face, all the “faces” will give their consent. Now, the
sin which the “outsiders”- “the mixed multitude”- committed, and in which the
holy people participated, was a sin against the “Holy Mother”, the Shekinah,
because they said, “Up, make us a god” (Elohim) (Ex. XXXII, 1)- Elohim, the
Glory of Israel, She who rested upon them like a mother on her children. This is
the secret contained in the words: “They changed their glory into the similitude
of an ox that eateth grass” (Ps. CVI, 20). Yea, verily, that is the Glory of Israel:
their Mother. Therefore it also says, “The glory has departed” (I Sam. IV, 22),
because they caused the Shekinah to go into exile with them.
Due to this sin of the Golden Calf, the Shekinah is no longer in her unified
position. She is in exile with God's people, to be reunited one day. The Zohar
places the Shekinah in the lowest of the four "heavens," that of the "lesser He"
(the second "H" of Y-H-V-H) - the spiritual realm immediately around us:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 9b - ‘A mystery of mysteries has
been revealed to them that are wise of heart. The "He" of the second Temple is
in exile with her twelve tribes and their hosts.
Returning to Ezekiel's Chariot vision, the Zohar indicates that what Ezekiel saw
(Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10) was a picture of the Shekinah being in unity with
God in the higher and lower realms. Hence, this was a picture of what was to
come one day (in the Millennium):
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 198a - "the Lord's heave-
offering" indicates the Divine Throne, so called because they raise it and cause it
to ascend on high. [Tr. note: i.e. from the world of beriah to the world of aziluth].
And it is for this reason that Ezekiel, in his vision of the ascending Hayoth, failed
to see what it was that they were taking up with them, since it was the Matrona
rising to join the Most High King in hidden and supreme glory. "And let every
wise-hearted among you come and make all that the Lord hath commanded."
This is an allusion to the sixty well-springs that feed the world and so are
enjoined to come and bring with them from the treasury of life, by executing the
commands of the Holy One, so as to benefit the world.’
It is no wonder that Ezekiel is also instructed to tell God's people that they
should study the Temple (Ezekiel 43:10-11). It does in fact, contain the mysteries
of the universe.
THE SHEKINAH AS BRIDE
The terms of "beriah" and "aziluth" (above) relate respectively to the "third
heaven" (Beriah is directly above Ezekiel's Chariot) and the fourth, or highest
heaven (Aziluth), which is the realm of the En Sof. The Zohar describes that this
unification of God's name will include the marriage of the Shekinah to her
Spouse:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 198a - Thus Scripture says, "And
Moses assembled", "Moses" being an allusion to Heaven; while the words "all the
congregation of the children of Israel" allude to the twelve supernal holy legions.
The next words, "and said unto them... This is the thing... Take ye from among
you an offering unto the Lord", means, "prepare yourselves, all of you, to take
and to bear upon you the glory of the Divine Throne so as to raise it aloft to the
divine heights; appoint from among you those supernal glorified chiefs who shall
take up that offering containing the mystery of the Divine Throne, in order to
bring about a union with the "patriarchs", (Tr. note: Al. "with her spouse".) for
the Matrona (i.e. the Shekinah) may not come to her Spouse except those
youthful bridesmaids follow in her train until she is brought to Him, as it says,
"The virgins her companions in her train being brought unto thee" (Ps. XLV, 15),
to wit, that she may join her Spouse.
The Zohar now states that this Divine Throne is associated with those who follow
God, hence both the Shekinah and this body of believers are His bride:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 238a - ’AND THEY BROUGHT THE
TABERNACLE UNTO MOSES, ETC. It is written: “And above the firmament” (Ezek.
I, 26). This alludes to the firmament that is placed over the four Hayoth (Holy
Animals) who are impinged on by the spirit of the Hayah (Holy Animal), by
whose spirit they all rise aloft, as it says: “and when the Hayoth were lifted up
from the earth, the Ofanim (Wheels) were lifted up beside them, for the spirit of
the Hayah was in the Ofanim” (lbid. I, 21). It is when the space of that region, as
it were, impinges on them that the four Hayoth rise and carry aloft the superior
Hayah, bringing it to the Supernal Illumination. This is esoterically alluded to in
the words, “The virgins her companions in her train being brought unto thee”
(Ps. XLV, 15), the four Hayoth being so designated. These raise the Supernal
Hayah higher and higher so as to uphold the Supernal Throne, as esoterically
indicated in the words, “and [they] bore up the ark, and it was lifted up above
the earth” (Gen. Vll, 17). The same allusion can be found in the words, “And they
brought the tabernacle unto Moses”, Moses being a synonym of Adam. The
Tabernacle is symbolic of all the members of the Body when suffused with
a holy desire for the union of the male and female principles. So “they brought
the tabernacle”, since the bride is first to be brought to her spouse, who
subsequently takes up his abode with her permanently.
The Zohar makes an association between the Shekinah and the Temple and
indicates that the Shekinah's spouse is the Messiah.
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 9a - On that day the whole earth
will be shaken from one end to the other, and thus the whole world will know
that the Messiah has revealed himself in the land of Galilee. And all who are
diligent in the study of the Torah-and there shall be few such in the
world-will gather round him. His army will gain in strength through the
merit of little infants at school, symbolized by the word ephroah-"young
bird" (cf. Deut. XXII, 6). And if such will not be found at that time it will be
through the merit of the sucklings, "the eggs" (Ibid), "those that are weaned
from the milk, and drawn from the breasts" (Isa. XXII, 9), for whose sake the
Shekinah dwells in the midst of Israel in exile, as indeed there will be few sages
at that time. This is the implication of the words "And the dam sitting upon the
young, or upon the eggs", which, allegorically interpreted, means that it does
not depend upon the Mother to free them from exile, but upon the Supreme
King; for it is the young ones and the sucklings that will give strength to
the Messiah, and then the Supernal Mother, which "sits upon them",
will be stirred up towards Her Spouse. He will tarry for twelve months
longer, and then he will appear and raise her from the dust: "I will raise
up on that day the tabernacle of David that is fallen" (Amos IX, II). On that
day the Messiah will begin to gather the captives from one end of the world to
the other: "If any of thine be driven out unto the utmost parts of heaven, from
thence will the Lord thy God gather thee" (Deut. xxx, 4). From that day on the
Holy One will perform for Israel all the signs and wonders which He performed
for them in Egypt: "As in the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt, will I
show unto him wonders" (Micah Vll, I5).’
It is interesting that the Zohar (above) implies that there would be few faithful
ones on earth at the time of the Messiah's coming. This mirrors the words of the
Messiah Himself:
Luke 18:8 - Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on
the earth?
Furthermore, the Zohar calls the faithful ones "little infants" - the identical term
Yeshua uses in the same sermon from Luke's Gospel:
Luke 18:15-17 - And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch
them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them
unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not:
for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not
receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.
THE SHEKINAH - PART 2
NEW JERUSALEM, MESSIAH, THE WEDDING FEAST

As noted earlier, the mystical teachings introduced in this section will be


developed in detail in Section V of our Revelation background articles.
THE SHEKINAH AND NEW JERUSALEM
The following verse shows a multiplicity of ideas that closely mirror themes from
the book of Revelation. This verse would "feel quite comfortable" if it were
placed within the latter:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 10a - Then the lower He'
(Shekinah) shall be filled from the upper spring (the highest Sephiroth), and be
crowned and radiate in perfection until the Sabbath of the Lord arrives to gather
souls in the joy of holiness throughout this whole seventh millennium. Then the
holy spirits of the people of Israel at the fulness of time will be invested with
new, holy bodies, and be called "Saints": "And it shall come to pass that he that
is left in Zion and that remaineth in Jerusalem shall be called holy" (Isa. III, 4).
These are the veiled mysteries.’
The term "Sephiroth" (above) is an emanation or characteristic of God and will
be explained fully in a later section. The book of Revelation shows "New
Jerusalem" to come from the heavens, with the glory of God (the Shekinah) and
all the Lamb (the Messiah) unified to provide its "light.":
Revelation 21:9-10 - And there came unto me one of the seven angels which
had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying,
Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me
away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city,
the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God ...
Revelation 21:22-23 - And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty
and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither
of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb
is the light thereof.
The following Zohar section agrees with Revelation that the heavenly Jerusalem
will decend at the end of the 1000-year Sabbath. This Heavenly Jerusalem is
directly tied to the Shekinah, and is the "gate" for entry into God's presence:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 51a - For thus said R. Simeon:
"The Holy One prepared for Himself a holy Palace, a supernal Palace, a holy City,
a supernal City, which is called ‘Jerusalem, the holy city’. He who wishes to
see the King, must enter through this holy City and thence take his way to
the King: ‘this is the gate of the Lord into which the righteous shall enter’ (Ps.
CXVIII, 20)." Every message which the King wishes to send out is sent through
the Matrona, and, conversely, every message sent from the lower spheres to the
King must first reach the Matrona, and from her it goes to the King. Thus the
Matrona is the messenger between the upper regions and the lower. For this
reason she is called "the angel (messenger) of God".
In the Amsterdam Edition of the Zohar, the same position and function of
"messenger of God" is given to Metatron:
Amsterdam Edition Zohar, Exodus, Vol. ii; Page 51 - "To keep the way of
the tree of life." (Gen. 3:24) Who is the way to the tree of life? It is the great
Metatron, for he is the way to that great tree, to that mighty tree of life. Thus it
is written, "The Angel of G-d, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and
went behind them." (Ex. 14:19) And Metatron is called the Angel of G-d. Come
and see, thus says R. Simeon. The holy One, blessed Be He, has prepared for
Himself a holy Temple above in the heavens, a holy city, a city in the heavens,
and called it Jerusalem, the holy city. Every petition sent to the King, must be
through Metatron. Every message and petition from here below, must first go to
Metatron, and from thence to the king. Metatron is the Mediator of all that
comes from heaven down to the earth, or from the earth up to heaven. And
because he is the mediator of all, it is written "And the Angel of G-d, which went
before the camp of Israel, removed; that is, before Israel which is above." (Ex.
14:19) This Angel of G-d is the same of whom it is written "And YHWH went
before them…" (Ex. 13:21) to go by day and by night as the ancients have
expounded it. Whoever will speak to me [says G-d] shall not be able to do so, till
he has made it known to Metatron. thus the holy One, blessed be He, on account
of the great love to and mercy with which He has over the Assembly of Israel,
commits her (the Assembly) to Metatron's care. What shall I do for Him
(Metatron)? I will commit my Whole house into His hand, etc. Henceforth be you
a Keeper As it is written "The Keeper of Israel" (Ps. 121:4)
THE SHEKINAH'S UNITY WITH THE MESSIAH
Both the Zohar (above) and Revelation (22:14) state that the only righteous will
pass through the gates of New Jerusalem to spend eternity with God. We know
also from Scripture, that the path to the Father goes through Yeshua. Hence, an
immediate parallel can be drawn between "New Jerusalem" and Y’shua.
A mystical connection between the Shekinah and Messiah may be found in
another section of the Zohar. Here we see an allusion to the number forty-two,
which (as previously discussed) is associated with Yeshua Himself in chapter one
of Matthew's Gospel:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 5a - Blessed are the souls of the
righteous who perceive it! "There is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great
and thy Name is great. Who would not be in awe of thee, thou king of the
nations?" (Jer. x, 6-7). Said R. Simeon: ‘When the Shekinah went down to
Egypt, a celestial "living being" (Hayah, cf.Ezek. 1, 5), called "Israel", in
form like the patriarch Jacob, went down with Her, accompanied by
forty- two heavenly attendants, each of whom bore a letter belonging
to the Holy Name. ... When R. Isaac was once studying with R. Eleazar, the
son of R. Simeon, he asked him: ‘Did the Shekinah go down to Egypt with Jacob?’
Said R. Eleazar: ‘Surely! Did not God say to Jacob, "I will go down with thee into
Egypt" (Gen. XLVI, 4)?’
The book of Ezekiel also connects the glory of God (the Shekinah) with the
Messiah who comes via the eastern gate of the Temple. Ezekiel also links this
vision to the Chariot vision he had by the river Chebar (Ezekiel chapters 1 and
10):
Ezekiel 43:1-4 - Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that
looketh toward the east: And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from
the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth
shined with his glory. And it was according to the appearance of the vision which
I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city:
and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon
my face. And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate
whose prospect is toward the east.
Returning to the Soncino Appendix commentary from the beginning of this
section:
"The Shekinah originally rested on the Tabernacle and Temple, but even now it
accompanies the wise, especially when three study together."
This same idea is found in the Mishna:
Avot 3 - If two sit together and occupy themselves with the words of the Torah,
the Shekinah abides in their midst.
The above sounds very much like the words of Y’shua, who was of course, the
Torah in the flesh:
Matthew 18:20 - For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.
Obviously, Y’shua in the flesh is not in our midst, so then who is, but the
Shekinah? Looking into the "future," the Shekinah and Messiah both are seen as
coming from Edom and exacting justice:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 52a - And in the future all of
them shall be delivered up, as it says: "Who is this that cometh from
Edom...?" (Isa. LXIII, 1). And this indeed is the significance of the words: "And
he went behind them"- that the Shekinah will uproot them all at the end of
days.’
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 238a - HE HATH WASHED HIS
GARMENT IN WINE . With this may be compared the verse: “Who is this that
cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah?” (IS. LXIII, 1); and also:
“I have trodden the winepress alone, etc.” (Ibid. 3). “Wine” here alludes to the
side of Geburah, of stern justice which will be visited on the idolatrous nations.
AND HIS VESTURE IN THE BLOOD OF GRAPE . This is the lower-world tree, the
judgement court which is called “grapes”, in which the “wine” is kept. Thus the
Messiah will be clothed in both to crush beneath him all the idolatrous peoples
and kings.
Both the Messiah and Shekinah are seen in a single section of the Zohar, as the
"Lion of Judah," taking vengeance in the end of days. This interesting verse also
indicates two distinct roles for one Messiah, (as opposed to the traditional "two-
Messiah" theory often used to explain "conflicting" verses about Him.) Once
again, Metatron is also directly linked to the Messiah:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 237b - SHALL BOW DOWN
BEFORE THEE . They only, but not other peoples, who will only bow down at the
time of the Messiah. But here the expression only indicates Israel, all of whom
would bow down to the Exilarch in Babylon, but not other peoples. JUDAH lS A
LlON'S WHELP : first he will be a whelp, and then a lion, corresponding to
the transition from “lad” [tr.note: i.e. Metatron.] to “man”, as it is
written: “The Lord is a man of war” (Ex. xv, 3). FROM THE PREY, MY SON, THOU
ART GONE UP The word “prey” includes the angel of death, who preys upon
mankind. From that prey the Shekinah shook itself free. It “stooped down” in the
captivity of Babylon, it “couched” in the captivity of Edom, “as a lion” which is
strong and as a “lioness” which is stronger. So Israel are strong, because though
the Gentiles entice and oppress them, they adhere to their laws and their
customs like a lion and a lioness. So, too, the Shekinah, which, although it
is fallen, remains strong like a lion and a lioness. For just as these
crouch only to spring upon their prey, which they smell from afar, so
the Shekinah only crouches to take vengeance on idolaters and to
spring upon them. WHO SHALL ROUSE HIM UP . He will not rise to take any
petty vengeance. The word “who” (Mi) here indicates the supernal world, which
has dominion over all; it is similarly used in the verse “From the womb of whom
(Mi) came the ice” (Job XXXVIII, 29), as we have explained. THE SCEPTRE SHALL
NOT DEPART FROM JUDAH, ETC .
A further connection between the Shekinah and Metatron is made in the Zohar.
Here it is said that Metatron actually embodies the Shekinah, thus making Him
the visible presence of God on earth:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 94b - “I am the Lord, that is my
name, and my glory will I not give to another” (Isa. XLII, 8). Nor is it to be
thought that the body which harbours the daughter of the king shall be sold into
the power of earthly crowns of defilement. Against this the Scripture says: “And
the land shall not be sold in perpetuity” (Lev. xxv, 23). Which is the body of
the King's daughter? Metatron; and this same body is identical with the
handmaid of the Shekinah.
Another section directly ties the litter (bed/couch) of Solomon, (which as we
have seen is the Shekinah), to Metatron. Again, the translator's note ("Tr") is
unedited from the Soncino Zohar:
Soncino Zohar, Vayikra, Section 3, Page 60a - R. Simeon then discoursed
on the verse: “Behold it is the litter of Solomon, threescore mighty men are
round about it”, etc. (S.S. III, 7). He said: ‘The “litter” here is the throne of glory
of the King, Solomon, the “king to whom all peace belongs”. Threescore mighty
men are round about it, clinging to its sides as emissaries from stern judgement;
they are called the sixty rods of fire wherewith that Youth [Tr. note:
Metatron.] is girt.
Finally, another section of the Zohar tells of a Rabbi Abba describing an
encounter with the Shekinah. Note that the Shekinah is described as "three
separate lights," a concept of Elohim (God as He reveals Himself to us), that we
will discuss later in this study. Again, Metatron is directly involved with the
Shekinah. The concept of our good works hastening the arrival of Messiah can
also be seen (if you "read between the lines") in the last sentence of this
paragraph:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 209a - R. Abba further said to
them: ‘Let me relate to you what I saw. When I set out on my journey to-day I
saw a light ahead of me which split into three separate lights. They all went
in front of me and then disappeared. I said to myself: Assuredly, what I saw was
the Shekinah. Happy is my portion. Now I know that those lights I saw were
yourselves. Verily, you are the supernal lights and lamps to lighten this world
and the world to come.’ R. Abba continued, saying: ‘Until now I did not know that
all these hidden pearls were in your possession. And now that I see that all these
words of yours have been uttered by the will and command of your Master, I
know that they are all ascending this day to the Divine Throne, and that the
Chief of the angels [Tr. note: Metatron] is taking them up and weaving them into
crowns for his Master, and this very day sixty holy legions are adorned with
crowns, made of the words uttered here this day, to the glory of the Divine
Throne,’
THE BRIDE AND WEDDING FEAST
The following is an extensive section from the Zohar that depicts the heavenly
wedding feast that is to occur in the Millennium. The Zohar ties Ezekiel's Chariot
vision directly to this.
Look for the following themes in these verses:
• The one ascending to heaven in Proverbs 30:4 is God Himself (Recall what
we earlier said about the connection between the lower and upper
"heavens")

• At the time of this "wedding," God assembles those of His above and
below (as is also seen in the final chapters of the book of Revelation)
• The 12 tribes are associated with the Shekinah, who as a unity, make up
the "bride"

• The "heave offering" is shown to be symbolic of raising the Shekinah from


the third heaven where Ezekiel's throne was (Beriah) to the highest
heaven of the Ein Sof (Aziluth)

• Ezekiel's Chariot vision is considered to be a picture of the unification of


the Shekinah with her spouse - though the prophet himself could not see it
to this level of detail

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 197b-198a - According to


another exposition: "Who hath ascended up into heaven?" refers to the Holy
One, blessed be He, the allusion being contained in the word Mi (Who?), as
explained elsewhere. Here in this passage is contained the mystery of the Divine
Chariot, consisting of the four directions of the world which are the four
primordial elements, all of which depend on that supernal region called Mi
(Who?), as already said. ‘Observe this. When the hour arrives at which it pleases
the Holy One, blessed be He, to unify the Supernal Chariot, [Tr. note: Al. "to
combine the Supernal Chariot with the Lower Chariot".] a voice issues from that
divine supernal region called Heaven to assemble all the saints beneath and all
the holy chiefs and supernal legions, so that they should all be in readiness
together. Thus Scripture says, "And Moses assembled", "Moses" being an
allusion to Heaven; while the words "all the congregation of the children of
Israel" allude to the twelve supernal holy legions. The next words, "and said unto
them... This is the thing... Take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord",
means, "prepare yourselves, all of you, to take and to bear upon you the glory of
the Divine Throne so as to raise it aloft to the divine heights; appoint from
among you those supernal glorified chiefs who shall take up that offering
containing the mystery of the Divine Throne, in order to bring about a union with
the "patriarchs",[Tr. note: Al. "with her spouse". [ for the Matrona (i.e. the
Shekinah) may not come to her Spouse except those youthful bridesmaids follow
in her train until she is brought to Him, as it says, "The virgins her companions in
her train being brought unto thee" (Ps. XLV, 15), to wit, that she may join her
Spouse. The next words, "Whosoever is of a noble heart", are an allusion to the
four superior legions that contain within themselves all the other legions; it is
these who issue forth with the exalted patriarchs called "nobles", as in the
passage, "which the nobles of the people delved" (Num. XXI, 18), indicating the
patriarchs. The verse continues, "let him bring it". The singular, "him", where we
should expect "them", indicates the merging of them all into a unity. In the next
words, "the Lord's offering", the accusative particle "eth" indicates the inclusion
of all the other supernal legions which were to be integrated into one unity; their
number is twelve, symbolized by "gold, and silver, and brass; and blue, and
purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goat's hair; and rams’ skins dyed red,
and sealskins, and acacia-wood; and oil for the light, and spices for the anointing
oil, and for the sweet incense". These are the twelve supernal legions, which are
all comprised under the four sacred Hayoth mentioned before. All these ascend
towards the Divine Throne, so as to take her up on high that she may join her
Spouse, and that He should be with Her in surpassing glory. The Most High King
then seats Himself on the Divine Throne in perfect unison with His Spouse, and
joy is thus diffused through the universe. (Observe that Scripture here mentions
gold before silver, the reason being that this is the scale of values here below;
but when it enumerates according to the scale of values in the Heavenly Chariot,
Scripture commences from the right and proceeds to the left. So we find it
written: "Mine is the silver, and Mine the gold" (Haggai II, 8), first silver and then
gold, but here below the left comes first and then the right, as it is written,
"gold, and silver, and brass".) Now the phrase, "every noble-hearted", as already
said, comprises those four legions who together are named noble-hearted; "the
Lord's heave-offering" indicates the Divine Throne, so called because they raise
it and cause it to ascend on high. [Tr. note: i.e. from the world of beriah to the
world of aziluth]. And it is for this reason that Ezekiel, in his vision of the
ascending Hayoth, failed to see what it was that they were taking up with them,
since it was the Matrona rising to join the Most High King in hidden and supreme
glory. "And let every wise-hearted among you come and make all that the Lord
hath commanded." This is an allusion to the sixty well-springs that feed the
world and so are enjoined to come and bring with them from the treasury of life,
by executing the commands of the Holy One, so as to benefit the world.’
Thus, we have seen that the "bride" is a unity made up of the following:
• The Shekinah

• The 12 tribes of Israel

• The Tabernacle/Temple

• All who are part of the Faith of Israel

• "New Jerusalem"

In addition to the above, the Sabbath itself is considered to be the bride. This
will be the subject of the next section.
THE SABBATH AS MILLENNIAL BRIDE
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 119a - Happy are those who will
be left alive at the end of the sixth millennium to enter on the Sabbath. For that
is the day set apart by the Holy One on which to effect the union of souls and to
cull new souls to join those that are still on earth, as it is written, "And it shall
come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem,
shall be called holy, even every one that is written unto life in Jerusalem"
(Is. IV, 3).’
The concept that man's time on earth is destined for 6,000 years is found
throughout Jewish literature. (This was discussed earlier in this Revelation
study.) There is a mystical teaching related to the Sabbath that says that when
God created the world, He gave creation enough "power" to last for "six days"
(6,000 years). He then created the Sabbath for the purpose of restoration and
revival of the world. Just as the Millennial Sabbath will renew the earth after its
six thousand-year days, the weekly Sabbath gives the earth a renewal every
seven days.
As such, the Talmud goes as far as saying:
Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 119:B - "Whoever sanctifies the Shabbat, and
recites the 'kiddush' blessing over the wine together with the verse of
'Va'yechulu' on Shabbat, is considered like the Holy One's partner in the creation
of the world".
As previously mentioned, the Millennial Kingdom could be brought in even
sooner than its "designated" time. The Kingdom offer has been presented more
than once. Judaism teaches that the righteous behavior of Israel, namely their
proper keeping of the weekly Sabbath, can usher in the Millennial Sabbath -- the
era of Messiah.
In this context, the Sabbath is considered to be such an important
commandment, that it is said to be the equivalent of all the other
commandments:
Midrash Rabbah - Exodus XXV:12 - R. Levi said: If Israel kept the Sabbath
properly even for one day, the son of David would come. Why? Because it is
equivalent to all the commandments; for so it says, For He is our God, and we
are the people of His pasture, and the flock of His hand. To-day, if ye would but
hearken to His voice! (Ps. XCV, 7) R. Johanan said: The Holy One, blessed be He,
told Israel: ‘Though I have set a definite term for the millennium which will come
at the appointed time whether Israel returns to Me in penitence or not, still if
they repent even for one day, I will bring it before its appointed time.’ Hence, ‘
To-day, [redemption cometh] if ye would but hearken to His voice’; and just as
we find that the son of David will come as a reward for the observance of all
commandments [one day], so also will he come for the observance of one
Sabbath day, because the Sabbath is equivalent to all commandments. R.
Eleazar b. Abina said: In the Torah, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa we find it
stated that the Sabbath is equivalent to all commandments. In the Torah,
because when Moses forgot to tell them the command of the Sabbath, God said
to him: ’How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws?’ (Ex. XVI,
28), and immediately after this it says, See that the Lord hath given you the
sabbath (ib. 29) In the Prophets, for it says, But the house of Israel rebelled
against Me in the wilderness; they walked not in My statutes (Ezek. XX, 13), and
immediately afterwards it says, And My sabbaths they greatly profaned (ib.). In
the Hagiographa, because it says, Thou camest down also upon Mount Sinai, and
spokest with them from heaven (Neh. IX, 13), and immediately afterwards it
says, And madest known unto them Thy holy sabbath. God said: ' If ye virtuously
observe the Sabbath, I will regard you as observing all the commands of the
Law, but if you profane it, I will regard it as if you had profaned all the
commands’; for so it says, That keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, and
keepeth his hand from doing any evil (Isa. LVI, 2). When man keeps the Sabbath,
whatsoever he decrees God fulfils, for it says, If thou turn away thy foot because
of the sabbath (ib. LVIII, 13), and immediately after this it says, Then shalt thou
delight thyself in the Lord (ib. 14), which has the same meaning as the verse, So
shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and He shall give thee the petitions of thy
heart (Ps. XXXVII, 4). Moreover, whatever benefit you derive in this world, is but
the fruit thereof, but the stock will remain for you in the World to Come, because
it says, And I wil feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of
the Lord hath spoken it (Isa. LVIII, 14).
The Midrash Rabbah refers to the Sabbath as being the Lord's bride, specifically
that of "the Holy One, blessed be He," which we will show in future sections to
designate Messiah:
Midrash Rabbah - Genesis X:9 - Rabbi asked R. Ishmael b. R. Jose: ‘Have you
heard from your father the actual meaning of AND ON THE SEVENTH DAY GOD
FINISHED, etc.?’ Said he to him: ' It is like a man striking the hammer on the
anvil, raising it by day and bringing it down after nightfall.’ R. Simeon b. Yohai
said: Mortal man, who does not know his minutes, his [exact] times or his hours,
must add from the profane to the sacred; but the Holy One, blessed be He,
who knows His moments, His times, and His hours, can enter it by a hair's
breadth. Genibah and the Rabbis discussed this. Genibah said: This may be
compared to a king who made a bridal chamber, which he plastered, painted,
and adorned; now what did the bridal chamber lack? A bride to enter it.
Similarly, what did the world still lack? The Sabbath.
The Talmud makes the same connection:
Talmud - Mas. Shabbath 119a - R. Hanina robed himself and stood at sunset
of Sabbath eve [and] exclaimed, ‘Come and let us go forth to welcome the
queen Sabbath.’ R. Jannai donned his robes, on Sabbath eve and exclaimed,
‘Come, O bride, Come, O bride!’
Talmud - Mas. Baba Kama 32b - ‘Come, let us go forth to meet the bride, the
queen!’ Some [explicitly] read:’. . . to meet Sabbath, the bride, the queen.’
The following section from the Zohar makes the important point that the
Shekinah, the Sabbath and the community of Israel are all considered to be the
Lord's bride:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 63b - AND MOSES SAID UNTO
THEM, LET NO MAN LEAVE OF IT UNTIL THE MORNING. R. Judah said: Every day
the world is blessed through that superior day, the Seventh. For the six Days
receive blessing from the seventh, and each dispenses the blessing so received
on its own day, but not on the next. Hence the Israelites were commanded not
to leave of the manna till the morning. The sixth day has more blessing than the
rest, for on this day, as R. Eleazar has said, the Shekinah prepares the table for
the King. Hence the sixth day has two portions, one for itself and one in
preparation for the joy of the union of the King with the Shekinah, which
takes place on Sabbath night, and from which all the six days of the week derive
their blessing. For that reason the table has to be prepared on the Sabbath
night, so that when the blessings descend from above they may find something
on which to rest, as it were, for "no blessing rests on an empty table". Those
who are aware of this mystery of the union of the Holy One with the Shekinah on
Sabbath night consider, therefore, this time the most appropriate one for their
own marital union.’ SEE FOR THAT THE LORD HATH GIVEN YOU THE SABBATH.
What is the meaning of the word "Sabbath"? The day in which all the other days
rest, the day which comprises the other days, and from which they derive
blessing. R. Jose said: ‘The Community of Israel is also called "Sabbath",
for she is God's spouse. That is why the Sabbath is called "Bride", and it is
written, "Ye shall keep the Sabbath, for it is holy unto you" (Ex. XXXI, 13): it is
holy to you, but not to other nations; "it is a sign between me and the children of
Israel" (Ibid. v, 17): it is Israel's eternal heritage.’
In the days of the Temple, on the Sabbath, the Levitical choir would sing Psalm
92, which was called, “A psalm, a song for the Sabbath day." Jewish tradition
holds that this psalm is a song for the Millennial Sabbath, when restoration
would come to creation. According to Talmud, at the end of the Millennium, the
earth will be destroyed as “the L-rd alone shall be exalted on that day” (Isaiah
2:12):
Tamid 33b: On sabbath they used to say, a psalm, a song for the sabbath day:
a psalm, a song for the time to come, for the day that will be all sabbath and
rest for everlasting life.
A more modern song, sung on Friday evenings by Jews around the world to greet
the Sabbath (Shabbat), is called "L'cha Doedee" (meaning "Come My Beloved").
This song follows in the same tradition of viewing the Millennial Sabbath as the
bride of the Lord.
L'cha Doedee
Come my beloved to welcome the bride, the presence of Shabbat we receive.
"Observe and Remember" in one divine utterance, we heard from the One and
Only god, the Lord is One, and His Name One, for renown, for splendor, and for
praise. Come my beloved.
Shake of the dust, arise! Dress in garments of glory, my people, through the son
of Jesse, the Bethlehemite, redemption draws near to my soul. Come my
beloved.
Wake up, wake up! For your light has come, awaken, awaken, sign a song, for
the glory of the Lord is revealed to you! Come my beloved.
A number of mystical teachings surround the Millennial Sabbath. Many of the
Psalms have deeper meanings that pertain to this. The following section from
the Zohar, which concerns the Sabbath, cites several Psalms and also mentions
the following:
• The "River of Eden" - The same River that appears at the end of the book
of Revelation - discussed in the next part of this study.

• The "Moon" (the Shekinah) separating herself from "the other side," - the
realm of evil - this will be discussed later in this study.

• The "Sun (of Righteousness)" - a term related directly to the Messiah -


discussed later in this study.

• Ezekiel's "living creatures" (hayoth) lifting the throne (in the third heaven)
upwards to the highest heaven (unifying it with the "supernal throne) -
discussed earlier in this study.

• A union of the Sabbath "below" (associated with the Shekinah), with that
"above" - associated with "Tifereth" - a term related directly to the
Messiah - discussed later in this study.

Shemoth, Section 2, Page 136b-138a - Therefore David uttered this Psalm of


praise, through the Holy Spirit, in regard to the light and the effulgence of the
Sabbath and its pre-eminence over the other days of the week because of the
mystery of the Supernal Name which in it lightens up and radiates and sparkles
in the spheres of holiness, and is completed above and below. ‘Therefore the
"Men of the Great Synagogue" have ordered that this Psalm of David should be
the first one to be sung on the Sabbath day, since it refers to those particular
"Heavens" which lighten all the others. Then follows (in the liturgy) that "river
which goes out of Eden", alluded to in the Psalm which follows this one in the
Sabbath service: "Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous" (Ps. XXXIII); for this "River"
gathers into itself the whole mystery of the "heavens" and the source of life on
this day, and the sun is perfected for its appointed task of the distribution of
light. Then the Moon, when she separates herself from the "other side"-
as on this day she does-in order to receive light from the sun, is alluded to in the
Psalm following this one, namely (Ps. XXXIV): "Of David, when he changed his
behaviour towards Abimelech." When the "other side" has separated itself from
the "Moon", then the latter is united with the "Sun", and therefore this Psalm
begins (acrostically) with the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet,
signifying the merging of the Sun with the Moon. Then follows the union of the
Matrona with Her Spouse: "A prayer of Moses, the man of God" (Ps. xc): He
spreads out both His right and His left hands to receive Her and to unite Himself
with Her in perfect union. Then follow other psalms of joy and ardent longing. "A
psalm. Sing unto the Lord a new song, for he hath done marvelous things: his
right hand and his holy arm hath wrought salvation for him" (Ps. XCVIII). This
Psalm has been expounded elsewhere, and the Companions were perfectly
correct in their assertion that it was chanted by the kine who bore the sacred
ark. [Tr. note: v Zohar, Genesis, 123a.] This corresponded to the mystery above:
when the "living beings,’ (Hayoth) lay hold of the Throne in order to raise it to
the highest heights, then we sing this Psalm. As to the question, why, then, is it
called "new" when it is perpetually being repeated, the fact is that it is indeed a
"new song" because it refers to the "new" moon at the time when she receives
light from the sun. "His right hand and his holy arm hath wrought salvation for
him": this denotes the rousing of the right and the left hand to receive Her (the
Moon, signifying the Shekinah) when She arrives at "Beth Shemesh", the "House
of the Sun", which hands receive and bear Her even as the kine bare the ark.
This psalm of praise was therefore ordered to be chanted on the Sabbath by the
"one people", namely the children of Israel. (Ps. XCII): "A song. A psalm for (to)
the sabbath day. It is good to praise the Lord, to sing unto thy name, O most
high. To proclaim thy lovingkindness in the morning and thy faithfulness in the
nights." It has been established by the Companions that this hymn of praise was
sung by the first man (Adam) after he had been driven out of the Garden of
Eden, when the Sabbath drew nigh unto the Holy One and interceded for the
created being. Then he sang this hymn in honour of the Sabbath which had
delivered him. It is a hymn of praise sung by the world below to the world above,
to a world which is altogether "Sabbath", the sphere of the "King whose is the
peace". It is a hymn of the sabbath below unto the Sabbath above: the
sabbath below, which is like night, sings to the Sabbath above, which is like day.
In fact, whenever "Sabbath" is mentioned it refers to the "eve of the Sabbath"
(i.e. the Shekinah), but when it says "the Sabbath day", it denotes the
Supernal Sabbath (i.e. Tifereth). The former is symbolized by the Female,
the latter by the Male. Thus "And the children of Israel should keep the Sabbath"
(Ex. XXXI, I6) alludes to the Female, which is the night (layla), and "remember
the Sabbath day" (Ibtd. xx, 8) alludes to the Male. Thus the sabbath here below
sings a hymn to the Sabbath above. Therefore this psalm is anonymous, as we
find everywhere where there is a reference to the world below (the Shekinah)
that the Name is not actually mentioned, as, for example, "And he called unto
Moses" (Lev. 1, I), "And to Moses he said, go up to the Lord" (Ex. XXIX, I). Since
in this psalm reference is made to a higher sphere, therefore the divine name is
not applied to the lower grade, just as a candle cannot shine in the sunlight. All
the hymns sung in praise of and on the Sabbath are the aids to its ascension to
supernal regions where it is crowned with supernal holy crowns above all other
days.
Note the last sentence of this section above. Here we see another example of
"helping" to usher in the Messianic era. The hymns sung in praise (which are
equivalent to prayers), are directed to the the time when God and His bride, His
people, are unified as one.
We see the same prayer of unification of offered by Y’shua Himself:
John 17:21-24 - Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall
believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art
in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe
that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them;
that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they
may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent
me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also,
whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my
glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of
the world.
THE RIVER OF EDEN AND TREE OF LIFE - PART 1
(Last updated 7/8/00)
As noted earlier, the mystical teachings introduced in this section will be
developed in detail in Section V of our Revelation background articles.
There is an interesting reference to a river coming out of Eden found in the book
of Genesis.
Genesis 2:8-10 - And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and
there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the
LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the
tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good
and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it
was parted, and became into four heads.
Scripture gives no detailed explanation of this river. It does not appear again
until the very end of the book of Revelation, where it is shown, along with the
Tree of Life, to provide benefit for mankind:
Revelation 22:1-2 - And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as
crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the
street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare
twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the
tree were for the healing of the nations.
SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF WATER
In these verses, the waters of the River of Eden are associated with providing for
man when he is in a state of sinlessness. Its first appearance is before the fall
and it returns with the creation of the new heaven and new earth. Between
Genesis 2 and Revelation 21 however, man has the issue of sin to deal with -- it
is here that we see these waters taking on a different role - helping man connect
to God.
Water is seen as playing a special purpose in the Tenakh, in the form of the
mikvah, or immersion. Within the Torah, the mikvah is associated with those
commandments for which there is no readily apparent reason (such as the
kosher laws). These commandments are known as Chukim. The keeping of such
commandments is seen as a sign of someone whose faith is strong enough to
place God's will above their own understanding.
There is a very mystical element to the process of the mikvah, that somehow it
works to bridge the gap between God and man. The mikvah was a very
important part of the conversion process in Judaism, being associated with a
spiritual change in identity. Such an act of faith, taking part in a ritual that does
not have an obvious meaning, was a sign of the convert's readiness.
One of the main reasons for the Mikvah, as seen in the Tenakh, had to do with
purification - the process of going from spiritually "unclean" to "clean." God's
commandments regarding spiritual impurity are also in the class of Chukim. The
commandments regarding purification covered many areas - from the High
Priest at Yom Kippur to a woman after giving birth. An excellent book on this
subject is Waters of Eden, by Aryeh Kaplan.
For the purpose of this study we will address the aspect of this world being in an
impure state due to the sin of Adam. When Adam sinned - all of creation fell into
an impure state with him. This creates a "difficulty" for God to relate to us as
man cannot in his impure state approach God, nor can God "reside" in the
tainted "physical space" we exist in. It should be noted that sin and impurity are
not synonymous as one could become impure without actually sinning.
To alleviate this problem,Adonai Elohim gave both the Torah as well as the
Tabernacle/Temple. However, as the Temple is holy "spiritual space" that God
has "carved out of" our physical realm for Him to dwell in, no one in an impure
state can enter the Temple. God gave the commandment of the mikvah to allow
His people to make themselves spiritually clean in order to enter into "His
space."
(The concepts of physical and spiritual space were addressed earlier in this
study.)
There is therefore a deep mystical connection between the waters of the
mikvah, that purify a man for a certain amount of time, and the River of Eden
that he once existed with in continued state of purity (and will again one day).
Because of this connection to Eden, water holds a spiritual significance
throughout Scripture -- and not only for the "good guys."
The Egyptians worshipped the Nile River as a source of spiritual blessings.
(Notice that at the time of the ten plagues, Moses kept meeting Pharaoah by the
river, when the latter would be worshipping?) The ten plagues that Elohim
launched on Egypt were specifically against their gods, with the Nile being an
early target. In the book of Revelation we will see that water is again a primary
target of God's wrath.
YHWH, WATER, TREES AND ROCKS
When the Children of Israel left Egypt, they came to a place where the waters
were bitter:
Exodus 15:22-27 - So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went
out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and
found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the
waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.
And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he
cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast
into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute
and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently
hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his
sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put
none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for
I am the LORD that healeth thee. And they came to Elim, where were twelve
wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by
the waters.
Here Scripture gives us a direct connection between the "sweetening of the
waters" and the establishment of God's Torah. (Note they receive these
commandments long before they get to Mount Sinai.) The blessings that come
with the water are tied to their faith - as shown by their obedience to God's
Torah (re: James 1:22; 2:18; 1 John 2:3-5). With their relationship to God and His
Torah comes a test of their faith. This is followed by their arrival at Elim, where
they come to a place with twelve wells (water) and seventy palms (trees). The
significance of these wells and trees will be covered later.
The Zohar states that not only the waters represent Torah -- the tree that God
used to sweeten them is also the Torah. Moreover, it says there is no difference
between God and the Torah -- they are in unity:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2,Page 60a - In Scripture “water” stands
as a symbol for the Torah: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters”
(Isa. LV, 1). ‘But’, remarked R. Jesse, ‘the time for the giving of the Torah was
not yet, and how could they expect to find this “water” there?’ Said R. Eleazar:
‘They went out into the wilderness to see the glory of the Holy One, but could
not, for He removed it from there. We learn from this that “water” is the symbol
of the Torah, and the Holy One and the Torah are one.’ Said R. Simeon: ‘There in
the wilderness a strange power, representing the nations of the world, the ruling
spirit of the desert, appeared to them, but they soon discovered that it was not
the radiance of their King's glory. Hence it says: AND WHEN THEY CAME TO
MARAH THEY COULD NOT DRINK OF THE WATERS OF MARAH, FOR THEY WERE
BITTER, and they did not feel the same “sweetness” in their souls as before.
Moreover, this power came to act as an accuser against them. Then HE (Moses)
CRIED UNTO THE LORD, AND THE LORD SHOWED HIM A TREE, WHICH, WHEN HE
CAST IT INTO THE WATERS, THE WATERS WERE MADE SWEET. The tree is a
symbol of the Torah, which is “a tree of life to those who lay hold upon her”
(Prov. III, 18), and the Torah and the Holy One, blessed be He, are one.’ R. Abba
said: ‘The “Tree” is a direct symbol of the Holy One, for it says: “The tree of the
field is (the supernal) Adam” (Deut. XX, 19). The “field” is the “Field of the holy
apples”. Thus, when the light of their King's glory manifested itself to them, “the
waters were made sweet”, and the accuser became an intercessor.’
Later on when Moses fails to follow God's command concerning speaking to a
rock (to draw water from it), He is chastised by the Lord and not allowed to enter
the promised land. Moses' striking the rock and not speaking to it is called a
failure to sanctify God:
Numbers 20:8 - Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou,
and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall
give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so
thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
Numbers 20:12 - And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye
believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye
shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
When we start to understand (beyond the literal level of the text) the connection
between God, the water, the tree and the rock, some of Paul's concepts in the
"New Testament" become a bit clearer:
1 Corinthians 10:4 - And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank
of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
WATER, GRACE AND SALVATION
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2,Page 64b - R. Abba further said: ‘We
know that “water” everywhere symbolizes God's kindness, “Grace”
Water, in the form of rain, is seen to be related to God's salvation:
Hosea 6:1-3 - Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he
will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive
us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then
shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as
the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain
unto the earth.
A short while ago, the leader of the Orthodox Hassidim, Rabbi Menachem
Schneerson, passed away. A number of his followers believed him to be the
Messiah. Upon the death of the rabbi, they announced that he would rise on the
third day, quoting the above section of Hosea as a resurrection verse.
Hosea's reference to raising us up on the "third day," establishes the topic as
salvation. The book of James confirms Hosea's prophecy of an early and latter
"rain," associating it with the return of the Lord:
James 5:7-8 - Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.
Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath
long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient;
stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
Zechariah connects a fountain of water in the Millennium to sin and impurity:
Zechariah 13:1 - In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of
David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
The pouring out of water is associated with the pouring out of God's Spirit:
Isaiah 44:3 - For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the
dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine
offspring:
This is confirmed by Y’shua's statement, connecting water and the spirit with
salvation:
John 3:5 - Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born
of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
John's Gospel also makes a connection between a pool of water (that was used
to mikvah) and an angel that would come and cause the waters to have healing
powers:
John 5:1-4 - After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to
Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called
in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great
multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the
water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled
the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was
made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
Conversely, a lack of water is associated with being away from the will of God. In
Genesis we see Hagar temporarily being cast into the desert, only to have a
mysterious well show up to save her. What is signicant is that this well and its
water is connected with God being with the lad (Ishmael):
Genesis 21:14-20 - And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took
bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder,
and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the
wilderness of Beersheba. And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the
child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him
a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of
the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. And God
heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven,
and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the
voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for
I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of
water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.
And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and
became an archer.
Yeshua makes a connection between being in oppostion to Him and "dry" places
-- those without (God's) rest:
Luke 11:23,24 - He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth
not with me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh
through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my
house whence I came out.
THE RIVER, SHEKINAH AND MILLENNIUM
The Zohar (below) provides a link between the Shekinah and this river of Eden.
In the following passages we have mention of a sin committed by Israel with the
"mixed multitude." This is a reference to the sin of the golden calf. Although
water still has spiritual properties in the time between Genesis 2 and Revelation
21, the River of Eden itself is said to be "dried up" during the time of Israel's
exile (in that it is not fully functioning as seen in Genesis and Revelation). This
causes a "disconnect" between the En Sof, the Shekinah and mankind.
When Israel comes out of exile at the time of Messiah, and following the
Millennium, the river of Eden resumes its uninterrupted flow and the Tree of Life
is "replanted" into the re-established Eden on earth (as in Revelation 22).
The Zohar describes this as a time when everything from the "Yod" to the "lesser
He" (of God's name, Y-H-W-H) are united:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 26a - AND THE TREE OF LIFE.
This means that at that time the Tree of Life will be planted in the Garden, so
that “he shall take also of the Tree of Life and eat and live for ever” (Gen. III,
22). The Shekinah will no longer be in the power of the “evil influence”, i.e. the
mixed multitude who are “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”, and shall
no longer receive into itself anyone unclean, to fulfil what is written, “the Lord
alone shall lead him and there shall be no strange god with him” (Deut. XL, 12).
For this reason proselytes will no longer be admitted in the days of the Messiah.
The Shekinah will be like a vine on which there cannot be grafted any shoot from
another species, and Israel shall be “every tree pleasant to see”, and their
former beauty shall be restored to them, of which we are told: “He cast from
heaven to earth the beauty of Israel” (Lam. II, 1). “The tree of the knowledge of
good and evil” shall be thrust from them and shall not cleave to them or mingle
with them, for of Israel it is said: “and of the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil ye shall not eat”. This tree is the “mixed multitude”, and God pointed out to
them that through mixing with them they suffered two losses, of the first and of
the second Temple, as it is said: “and on the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt
surely die”. They caused the Zaddik to be left parched and desolate by the loss
of the first Temple, which is the Shekinah in heaven, and by the loss of the
second Temple, which is the Shekinah on earth. Hence it is written, “and the
river shall be drained dry”; i.e. the river vau shall dry in the lower he, so as to
deprive it of the flow of yod issuing from En-Sof. But as soon as Israel shall go
forth from captivity, that is, the holy people alone, then that river which was
dried up shall become “the river that goes forth from Eden to water the garden”.
This river is the Central Column; “goes forth from Eden” is the supernal
Mother; “to water the garden” is the Shekinah on earth. In reference to that time
it is said of Moses and Israel, “Then thou shalt delight in the Lord”, and the
words shall be fulfilled, “then Moses shall sing” (Ex. XV, 1) ...
It is interesting to note that in this section(above) it states that there will be no
more proselytes admitted, and no more "mixed multitude," insinuating that the
door is closed -- those who are truly of God will be permanently separated from
those who are not.
This parallels the book of Revelation which states:
Revelation 22:11 - He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is
filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still:
and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Other verses in the Zohar that link the River of Eden to the reunification of the
Name of God and the 1000-year Millennium are:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 95b - …when the Yod is united
with the He, they produce "the river which issues from Eden to water the
Garden"
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 145b - The Day of the Holy One,
blessed be He, is a thousand years, and this number symbolizes also the River
which goes out of Eden.
It would seem that the full return of the River of Eden is at the end of the
Millennium when sin is no more. The fountain mentioned in Zechariah 13:1
however, is opened during the Millennium for purification, as during the 1000-
year period there is still sin (and sin sacrifice) occuring.
The following verse associates the theme of Jubilee with the River of Eden, and
the end times, something we have discussed earlier in this study:
Soncino Zohar, Vayikra, Section 3, Page 58a - Mark now that in future
generations the Torah will be forgotten, and there will be none to close and
open. Alas for that generation! There will be no generation like the present until
the Messiah comes and knowledge shall be diffused throughout the world. It is
written: "A river went forth from Eden" (Gen. II, 10). It has been laid down that
the name of that river is Jubilee, but in the book of Rab Hamnuna the Elder it is
called Life, because life issues thence to the world. We have also laid down that
the great and mighty Tree in which is food for all is called the Tree of Life,
because its roots are in that Life. We have learnt that that river sends forth deep
streams with the oil of plenitude to water the Garden and feed the trees and the
shoots.
Jacob is connected to the River of Eden and the idea of his bringing together the
unification of the Name of God. This was also mentioned in a prior section:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 247b - Up to this point the
blessings were given in general; they were now particularized with the words:
BLESSINGS OF HEAVEN ABOVE, ETC. THE BLESSINGS OF THY FATHER HAVE
PREVAILED ABOVE THE BLESSINGS OF MY PROGENITORS . This was so because
Jacob inherited the cream of all more than the other patriarchs, he being perfect
in all, and he gave all to Joseph. This was fitting, because the Righteous One
takes all and inherits all, and all blessings are deposited with him. He first
dispenses blessings above, and all the limbs of the body are disposed so as to
receive them, and thus is brought into being the "river which goes forth from
Eden". Why Eden (lit. delight)? Because whenever all the limbs are knit together
in harmony and in mutual delight, from top to bottom, then they pour blessings
upon it, and it becomes a river which flows forth, literally, from "delight". Or
again, the word "Eden" may refer to the supreme Wisdom, from which the
whole flows forth like a river until it reaches this grade, where all is turned to
blessing.
Note the references (above) to "harmony" and "wisdom." These are hidden
references to the Messiah, that will be discussed in the next section on the
Image of God.
Jacob's actions foreshadowed what the Messiah will later do in finality - bringing
His bride to Him. The Shekinah is directly involved with the singing of the Song
of Moses unto the Lord at this time of the Messiah. This song is associated with
the River of Eden and the union of the Shekinah (the Matrona), with the Messiah.
As mentioned, this is the time that the name of God will be One, with the; Yod,
Hay, Vav, and "lesser Hay," (Y-H-W-H) all being united:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2,page 54b - Moses and the children of
Israel will then sing “this song unto the Lord”: the song of the Matrona to the
Holy One, blessed be He. We have been taught that every one who sings this
hymn daily with true devotion will be worthy to sing it at the Redemption that is
to be, for it refers both to the past world and to the future world; it contains
confirmations of faith and mysteries relating to the days of the Messiah. The
Shekinah will sing this song to the Lord, because the King will receive Her with a
radiant countenance. R. Jose said that the Shekinah will praise the Lord for all
the concentration of light and holiness which the Holy King shall direct towards
her. Said R. Judah: ‘If this is the song of the Shekinah, why does it say that
Moses and the children of Israel sang it? Blessed were they that they knew how
to praise Him for all the power and might which the Shekinah receives and shall
receive from Him, the Holy King!’ According to R. Abba, the singing is to be
directed, not to any of the emanations of the Deity, but to the Holy King in His
very essence, as it says, concerning the song of Moses and the children of Israel,
that they sang “to the Lord”.R. Jose said that the words “this song to the Lord”
refer to the “river that issues forth from Eden” (Gen. II,10), from which all the
abundance of oil issues to kindle the lights; whereas the words “I will sing unto
the Lord” (Ibid.) refer to the Supernal Holy King. AND SPAKE, SAYING.: this
repetition denotes that it is to be sung in all generations, in order that it should
never be forgotten, for he who is worthy to sing this song in this world shall be
worthy to sing it in the world to come, and to declare praises with it in the days
of the Messiah, when the Community of Israel will rejoice in the Holy One.
“Saying” means saying at the time of the Exodus, saying when Israel was in the
Holy Land, saying in exile, saying when Israel will be redeemed, saying in the
world to come. I WILL SING UNTO THE LORD. As stated above, they spoke in the
name of the Shekinah, hence the singular. “To the Lord”-to the Holy King. For
highly exalted is He (gaoh gaah): He ascends to be crowned with His crowns in
order to dispense blessings, and perform wonderful works, and to be exalted in
and through all; exalted in this world, exalted likewise in the world to come;
exalted in order that He may crown Himself with His crowns and be glorified in
perfect joy.
Revelation also states that the song of Moses will be sung to the Lord at that
time:
Revelation 14:1-3 - And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion,
and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name
written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of
many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of
harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before
the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn
that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed
from the earth.
Revelation 15:1-3 - And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous,
seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of
God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had
gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and
over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of
God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the
Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and
true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
THE RIVER OF EDEN AND TREE OF LIFE - PART 2
(Last updated 7/3/00)
As noted earlier, the mystical teachings introduced in this section will be
developed in detail in Section V of our Revelation background articles.
THE TREE OF LIFE
Earlier in this study, we made mention of the Shekinah guarding the way of the
tree of life. Upon her marriage to the Messiah, this "tree of life" will appear again
with the River of Eden:
Revelation 22:2 - In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river,
was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her
fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Revelation 22:14 - Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they
may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the
city.
It should be noted that Revelation make it clear that it is those who do God's
commandments that enter the city. Any "faith" that does not involve submission
to God's Torah is not a valid faith. This will be addressed more fully when we
begin the textual analysis of this study.
As in Revelation, the Zohar states that the Tree of Life provides for the need of
everything -- above and below:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2,Page 58b-59a - ‘There is a mighty and
wondrous tree in the celestial sphere which supplies nourishment to beings
above and below. It has twelve boundaries and stretches along the four sides of
the world which encompass it. Seventy branches ascend from it and imbibe
nourishment from its roots. Each branch, as the time arrives for it to be
dominant, endeavours to drain the whole life of the tree, which is the essence of
all the branches, and without which they would not exist. Israel clings to the
main body of the tree, and when its time comes to be dominant, it endeavours
to protect the branches and to give peace to all. This is also symbolized by the
seventy oxen offered on the feast of Tabernacles. Therefore it says: “Who is like
unto thee among the gods (elim), O Lord?”; elim in the sense of “trees”, as in
the passage, “for ye shall be ashamed of the elim (terebinths) which ye desired”
(Isa. I, 29). “Who among these is like unto Thee, Who hast pity on all? Among
the surroundings of the tree is any like unto Thee, eager to be the guardian of
all, even when it dominates them”, not wishing to destroy them? “Who is like
unto Thee, glorified in holiness?” Namely, in that supreme power called
“Holiness”, “power of the Lord”, “pleasantness of the Lord”, as already stated.’
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2,Page 64b - Blessed are the Israelites
who “sow beside the water”-the water which is under the branches of the Holy
One's Tree, a Tree great and mighty, containing food for the whole universe.
This Tree is encompassed by twelve frontiers and adjoins all four sides of the
world, and has seventy branches, and Israel is in the “body” of the Tree, and the
seventy branches encompass her. This is symbolized by the “twelve wells of
water and the threescore and ten palm trees”, as we have often explained.
The following section associates the Tree of Life with "Tifereth." As we will see in
the following section on the Image of God, Tifereth is directly associated with the
Messiah.
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 62b - It has been said at that
hour Israel was perfected below according to her prototype above, for it is
written, “and they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water and
threescore and ten palm trees” (Ex. xv, 27). Now the Holy Tree [Tr. note:
Tifereth.] spreads to twelve boundaries on the four quarters of the earth, and to
seventy branches closely intertwined, so that what was above should have here
its counterpart below.
WATER, WELLS AND ROCKS
In the following Zohar passage, the River of Eden is linked to the digging of wells
by the Patriarchs, which is seen as a symbol of faith. The wells and the river are
further associated with the end of days and resurrection of the dead.
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 141a - AND ISAAC DIGGED
AGAIN THE WELLS, ETC . R. Eleazar said: ‘In digging these wells Isaac acted
fittingly, for he discerned from his knowledge of the mysteries of Wisdom that in
this way he could attach himself more firmly to his faith. Abraham likewise made
a point of digging a well of water. Jacob found the well already prepared for him,
and he sat down by it. Thus they all looked for a well and strove through it to
preserve their faith pure and undiminished. ...
Hence our ancestors strengthened themselves in the true faith in digging the
well, symbolic of the supernal well, which is the abode of the mystery of perfect
faith.’ AND HE REMOVED FROM THENCE, AND DIGGED ANOTHER WELL. R. Hiya
discoursed on the verse: And the Lord will guide thee continually, and satisfy thy
soul in brightness, and make strong thy bones (Is. LVIII, 11). ‘The true believers’,
he said, ‘have derived strength from this verse, where promise is made to them
of the world to come, for the word "continually" includes both this world and the
world to come. Again, the term "continually", which seems superfluous, is an
allusion to the continual burnt-offering which is offered at dusk, and is held firm
underneath the arm of Isaac and is symbolic of the world to come. The term
"guiding" is similarly used by David in the verse: "He guideth me in straight
paths for his name's sake" (Ps. XXIII, 3). "And satisfy thy soul in brightness"; this
is the "clear mirror" from the contemplation of which all souls obtain delight and
benefit. "And make strong thy bones": these words do not seem to harmonise
with what has gone before, which we have interpreted of the souls of the
righteous ascending on high. We interpret them, therefore, to allude to the
resurrection of the dead, when the Holy One, blessed be He, will reconstitute the
bones and restore the body to its former state. The soul will then derive stronger
illumination from the "clear mirror", so as to illumine the body to the full extent
of which it is capabie. Hence: "And thou shalt be like a watered garden" (Is. LVIII,
11), that is, like the celestial garden whose supernal waters never fail, but
flow on for ever and ever; "and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not"
(Ibid.), alluding to the river that issues from Eden and flows on for all eternity.
Observe that the "well of living waters" is a symbol within a symbol for
guiding faith. There is the well which is the very source of the waters, and
there is the well which is fed by that source of water. There are thus two grades,
which are, however, really one with two aspects, male and female, in fitting
union. The well and the issue of waters are one, designated by the name of
"well", it being at once the supernal never-ceasing fountain and the well that
is filled by it. And whoever gazes at that well gazes at the true object of
faith. This is the symbol which the patriarchs transmitted in digging the well, in
such a way as to indicate that the source and the well are indissoluble.
The idea of wells and water being associated with faith is found throughout
Scripture.
Note that the Zohar section above (Bereshith, Section 1, Page 141a,b) refers to
the well:
• that Jacob sat by

• having waters who never fail or cease, but flow on forever

• being "a symbol within a symbol for guiding faith."

• being the true object of faith

We see a connection to the Zohar's view of the waters of Eden in John's Gospel.
(For those not aware, John's Gospel is very much at the "Sod" or mystical level.)
John gives an account of an incident at the well of Jacob (who as we've discussed
was a picture of Messiah), and the living waters that Yeshua offers.
Yeshua engages a Samaritan woman in a a discussion that is far deeper than
appears on the literal ("p'shat") level. Yeshua, who sits by the well as Jacob did,
says that He is the true object of faith and that His living waters never fail. He
also makes reference to the "gift of God" - the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit):
John 4:6-15 - Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with
his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh
a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For
his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman
of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which
am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is
that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he
would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast
nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that
living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and
drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said
unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever
drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I
shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come
hither to draw.
Later in John's Gospel, we find Yeshua appearing to the people at the end of the
feast of Succot (John 7:2), again associating water with the Ruach haKodesh:
John 7:37-39 - In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and
cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that
believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of
living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him
should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not
yet glorified.)
This same source of "living water" is found in the Tenakh, which tells of a "rock"
that followed Moses and the Children of Israel in the wilderness. That rock was
also a "well" that provided for them. God says that He would be found at this
rock/well:
Exodus 17:5-7 - And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and
take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the
river, take in thine hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon
the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water
out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders
of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of
the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD,
saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?
Rav Sha'ul (Paul) tells us that this rock/well was alsoYeshua:
1 Corinthians 10:4 - And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank
of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Messiah.
What does Paul mean when he says. "... that rock was Messiah?" This certainly
cannot be understood at a literal level. Recall that the portion of the Zohar
quoted earlier in this section (Bereshith, Section 1, Page 26a), stated that, "This
river is the Central Column." As we have touched on lightly in this study, the
"central column" is directly associated with Jacob, Jacob's "ladder" and Messiah.
It is also interesting to note that Yeshua's first miracle has to do with water and
the mikvah - and a wedding. The waterpots were specifically those used for
mikvah:
John 2:6 - And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of
the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
The rock, well, water and mikvah all connect back to the River of Eden, and as
Yeshua shows us, to salvation. These are all physical manifestations of what God
does spiritually.
LINKING WITH THE RIVER OF EDEN THROUGH TORAH
The Torah is seen at having multiple levels of meaning. (See our section on
PARDES for some basics concerning this.) The following Zohar section connects
Torah to water, and the Torah student to a Tree by this water. The student,
through diligent study and with the guidance of the Ruach haKodesh, can attain
deeper understanding of the Torah.
Soncino Zohar, Bemidbar, Section 3, Page 202a - ‘How goodly’, he said,
‘are the ways and paths of the Torah, since it is full of good counsel for man, and
every word of it radiates light in many directions. This verse can be taken
literally, and it can be expounded homiletically, and it contains also a lesson of
the higher wisdom. He who constantly occupies himself with the Torah is
compared by the Psalmist to “a tree planted by streams of water” (Ps. I, 3). Just
as a tree has roots, bark, sap, branches, leaves, flowers and fruit, seven kinds in
all, so the Torah has the literal meaning, the homiletical meaning, the mystery of
wisdom, numerical values, hidden mysteries, still deeper mysteries, and the
laws of fit and unfit, forbidden and permitted, and clean and unclean. From this
point branches spread out in all directions, and to one who knows it in this way it
is indeed like a tree, and if not he is not truly wise.
The Zohar links the idea of connecting ourselves to the River of Eden (a symbol
of faith as discussed above) to the study of Torah. In a similar fashion to Paul
saying that the rock in the wilderness was Yeshua, this passage also contains a
mystical association between the rod of Moses and Metatron (whom we have
seen is an allusion to the Messiah):
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 27a - AND THE LORD GOD TOOK
THE MAN AND PUT HIM IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, ETC. From whence did he take
him? He took him from the four elements which are hinted at in the verse "and
from there it parted and became four heads". God detached him from these and
placed him in the Garden of Eden. So does God do now to any man created from
the four elements when he repents of his sins and occupies himself with
the Torah; God takes him from his original elements, as it is said, "and from
there he parts", i.e. he separates himself from the desires which they inspire,
and God places him in his garden, which is the Shekinah, "to dress it", by means
of positive precepts, "and to keep it", by means of negative precepts. If he keeps
the law, he makes himself master of the four elements, and becomes a river
from which they are watered, and they obey him and he is their ruler. But if he
transgresses the law, they are watered from the bitterness of the tree of evil,
which is the evil inclination, and all his limbs are full of bitterness; but when the
members of the body are kept holy from the side of good, it may be said of them
that "they came to Marah and were not able to drink waters from Marah, for
they were bitter" (Ex. XV, 23). Similarly, the study of the Talmud is bitter
compared with that of the esoteric wisdom, of which it is said, "And God showed
him a tree" (Ibid.); this is a tree of life, and through it "the waters were
sweetened". Similarly of Moses it is written, "And the staff of God was in his
hand." This rod is Metatron, from one side of whom comes life and from the
other death. When the rod remains a rod, it is a help from the side of good, and
when it is turned into a serpent it is hostile, so that "Moses fled from it", and God
delivered it into his hand. This rod typifies the Oral Law which prescribes what is
permitted and what is forbidden. When Moses struck the rock God took it back
from him, and "he went down to him with a rod" (II Sam. XXXIII, 21), to smite
him with it, the "rod" being the evil inclination, which is a serpent, the cause of
the captivity. A further lesson can be derived from the words "and from there it
parted": happy is the man who devotes himself to the Torah, for when God takes
him from this body, from the four elements, he is detached from them and
ascends to become the head of the four Hayyoth, as it is written, "and
they shall bear thee on their hands" (Ps. XCI, 12).
Note the reference above to man, through faithfulness to Torah, becoming the
head of the four Hayyoth (Ezekiel's highest angels). This is confirmed by Rav
Sha'ul:
1 Corinthians 6:3 - Know ye not that we shall judge angels?
The section below associates the "wise" (those who study Torah) with
penetrating the real essence of wisdom. This knowledge is compared to the
River of Eden. Again, the Tree of Life is mentioned as bringing forth blessings to
God's creation. Here again, the Zohar says that within this Tree is a light, which
is related to Tifereth, a term which we will see, is connected to Messiah:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 2a - It is written: And the wise
shall be resplendent as the splendour (zohar) of the firmament, and they that
turn many to righteousness shall be like the stars for ever and ever (Dan. XII, 3).
“The wise” are those who penetrate to the real essence of wisdom; “they shall
be resplendent”, i.e. illumined with the radiance of the supernal Wisdom; “as the
splendour”, this is the flashing of the Stream that goes forth from Eden (Gen. Xl,
10), this being alluded to as “the firmament”. There are suspended the stars,
the planets, the sun and the moon, and all the radiant lights. The brightness of
this firmament shines upon the Garden of Eden, and in the midst of the Garden
stands the Tree of Life, whose branches spread over all forms and trees and
spices in fitting vessels. All the beasts of the field and all the fowls of the air
shelter beneath the branches of this Tree. The fruit of the Tree gives life to all. It
is everlasting. The “other side” has no abode therein, but only the side of
holiness. Blessed are they who taste thereof; they will live for ever and ever, and
it is they who are called “the wise”, and they are vouchsafed life in this world as
well as in the world to come. The Tree rises to a height of five hundred
parasangs, and its circumference is six myriads of parasangs. Within this Tree is
a light [Tr. note: Tifereth.] out of which radiate certain colours: they come and
go, never being at rest save in the Tree.
The Zohar suggests that a person involved in diligent study of the Torah, enables
himself to receive the blessings of the waters of the River of Eden in this lifetime.
He is thus, in a sense, seen as already being "outside of time" and connected
with the World to Come.
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 92a - Happy the portion of the
man who rises at that hour to study with zest the Torah, for the Holy One,
blessed be He, and all the righteous listen to his voice; for so it is written, “Thou
that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken for thy voice, cause me to
hear it” (S. S. VIII, 13). Nay more, God draws round him a certain thread of grace
which secures him the protection both of the higher and the lower angels, as it is
written, “By day the Lord will command his grace, and at night I shall chant his
song” (Ps. XLII, 9).’ R. Hizkiah said: ‘Whoever studies the Torah at that hour has
constantly a portion in the future world.’ Said R. Jose to him: ‘What do you mean
by “constantly”?’ He replied: ‘I have learnt that at midnight, when the Holy One,
blessed be He, enters the Garden of Eden, all the plants of the Garden are
watered more plenteously by the stream which is called ”the ancient stream”
and “the stream of delight”, the waters of which never cease to flow. When a
man rises and studies the Torah at this hour, the water of that stream is, as it
were, poured on his head and he is watered by it along with the other plants of
the Garden of Eden. Moreover, because all the righteous in the Garden listen to
him, he is given a right to be watered by that stream, and in this way he has a
portion constantly in the future world.’
The idea of connecting to the heavenly realm is not foreign to the "New
Testament." Paul instructed believers to do just this:
Colossians 3:1-3 - If ye then be risen with Messiah, seek those things which
are above, where Messiah sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on
things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid
with Messiah in God.
Colossians 3:10 - And have put on the new man, which is renewed in
knowledge after the image of him that created him.
Paul's statements of; seeking things which are above, and being renewed in
knowledge after the image of him that created him are speaking of the same
thing, (Torah study) and enter into the mystical areas of Judaism.
It is not possible to fully understand the mysteries of the River of Eden, the Tree
of Life, the rock of Exodus, the well of Jacob, Jacob's ladder, and the rod of
Moses, at anything but the Sod level of Hebrew Biblical interpretation. This
requires an understanding of how the invisible and indefinable God who created
everything, reveals Himself to us in the finite realm that we exist in.
Submission to Torah, and the study of Torah with the enlightenment of the
Ruach HaKodesh, is the first step to understanding the greater mysteries. It is
through Torah that we learn of what the Image of God is. This in turn allows us to
more fully understand and connect to the infinite Eyn Sof. This will be an
important part of the next major section of this study.
We conclude this section with a verse from the Talmud that links faithfulness in
teaching Torah in this life, to the rewards in the next, associating this with the
theme of water:
Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 92a - R. Shesheth said: Whoever teaches the Torah
in this world will be privileged to teach it in the next, as it is written, And he that
watereth shall water again too.
Section V – The Mysteries of God
Studying the Mysteries of God: Introduction
(Last updated 08/30/00)
This is the beginning of our fifth background section for our Revelation study.
Thus far, the teachings have gone from the more basic and literal (i.e., the study
of the tribes in Section I) through deeper areas (the Temple, Priesthood and
Feast Days in Sections II and III) to the previous section IV, concerning Spiritual
Dimensions, which looked at some of the more mystical concepts involving the
realm beyond our physical world.
Section V involves the deepest area of Hebrew Bible study, which is concerned
with the very "nature of God." Jewish tradition says that these teachings (which
have been virtually unavailable to the non-Jewish world since the time of Yeshua
and Paul), would be disclosed as we approached the Messianic era. At that time,
it would not only be permissible, but also obligatory to study these "sod-level"
teachings of God's Word. 1
METHODS OF STUDY
Any study of God (or other subjects in the Bible) can be approached in one of
several ways. Historically, Judaism can be seen to fall into such methodologies
regarding the study of Torah. As with most related groups of systems there is
overlap in both theory and practice, so it should not be thought that these are
exclusive to any degree. The "deepest" of these, the mystical area commonly
known as Kabbalah, is where much of the text of Scripture is said to have a
(hidden) means of actually connecting us spiritually with God.
WORDS OF CAUTION
The remainder of this background study is concerned with the mystical aspects
of Torah study, commonly known as Kabbalah. (Also called Torat haSod - the
mystical study of Torah.) Unfortunately, many people have a negative image of
Kabbalah, usually having heard from someone that it is dark or evil. When
speaking of Torah-based Kabbalah, nothing could be further from the truth. It is
a fact that through history, people (often gentiles) have introduced occultic
elements into Jewish mystical studies. It is also true that many people today
(especially in "Hollywood" in the United States) say they are "into Kabbalah"
(often spelled with a "C" or a "Q") which is also usually tied to something
pagan/occult.
None of these things however, has anything to do with Torah-based Kabbalah,
which is the study the mystical parts of the Bible in order to learn more about
the God of the Bible -- something we are in fact commanded to do. It should be
noted that various groups have also abused concepts such as "Bible Study," or
"gifts of the Spirit." No one would consider a general condemnation of these
things based on the actions of a few confused people, therefore it is equally
incorrect and irresponsible to condemn Kabbalah on similar grounds.
Nonetheless, as this is the most mystical area of Bible study, caution must be
exercised in terms of the student being spiritually prepared. This is true with any
area of study. (i.e., No one takes advanced Calculus before learning the basics of
mathematics) Therefore it is imperative that anyone embarking on a serious
course of study in Kabbalah must be well versed in Torah, in both understanding
as well as observance.
Learning to "drink milk" (Torah study and observance)
HAS TO COME BEFORE
someone tries to "eat meat" (deeper level studies of Torah)
Even those who are Torah observant (also called "Torah submissive") should
proceed slowly and diligently when entering the study of the mysteries of God
and His creation. God will allow you to be tested. Anyone who is not following
Torah in faith, should NOT be dealing with mystical studies. Such people are
almost certain to go off the right path. (Our Matthew study is a good place to
start to learn about Torah!)
NOTE: The thoughts and beliefs expressed in the remainder of this study are not
meant to be "dogmatic." This material concerns the very nature of God and
mysteries of creation, and is therefore complex. There are many areas that can
legitimately have more than one interpretation and meaning. This study
represents our present understanding of these issues. Although Kabbalah has
been an area of study for centuries, it is only in this present generation that an
approach grounded in both Torah and Messiah Yeshua, has been applied.
BEING CONFORMED TO HIS IMAGE
When examining how we are to relate to God, we are faced with a number of
difficulties. The first of these involves who "God" is. Earlier in this study we
brought up the term Eyn Sof -- meaning eternal, infinite and boundless. (Eyn
meaning "without," and Sof meaning "end," "border" or "definition").
God, who brought all of creation into existence, has no physical form and cannot
be assigned any specific attributes. Nor, as we have previously discussed, is He
limited by time or space. Upon assigning any type of dimensional attribute to
God, you have "defined Him," and placed Him within the finite realm of
existence, making Him no longer eternal, infinite and boundless.
This concept of God, creates a problem for us. How can finite beings
comprehend an infinite being if we cannot define this being? Seeing this is not
possible, there is a definite "gap" between man and this "impersonal" God in
terms of having any kind of personal relationship.
The fact is however, that the Bible in many places does assign "human-like"
attributes to God.
Consider the following:

Moses saw God "face to face" (Exodus 33:11) and saw the "back" of God (Exodus
33:23)

The leaders of Israel "saw God" (Exodus 24:9-12)


The people of Israel "saw the voices" of God (Exodus 20:15)


God appears as a cloud or pillar of smoke to the children of Israel


God is said to have hands, feet, and wings (Daniel 5, Exodus 24:10, Psalm 57:2,
Ruth 2:12)

God enjoys the smell of the sacrifices (Leviticus, chapters 1,2,3,4,8,23 -


Numbers, chapters 15,28,29)

In the creation account, God's image is said to be both male and female - why do
we refer to God as "He" or "the Father" - in the male gender?

Why are the Holy Spirit, the Shekinah, the Kingdom and the voice from heaven
(the Bat Kol - Luke 3:22) all feminine terms in Hebrew Bible study?

What does Paul mean by "Jerusalem above is free and is Mother to all" (Galatians
4:26)?

If God is infinite and not operating within the realm of space and time, how can
we pray to Him, and "cause Him to act," within the space and time we live in?
There is more to ponder. Scripture tells is we are made in God's image:
Genesis 1:26-27 - And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our
likeness ... So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created
he him; male and female created he them.
However, if we are "already" created in the image of God, then why are we told
that we will be conformed to His image?:
1 Corinthians 15:49 - And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall
also bear the image of the heavenly.
2 Corinthians 3:18 - But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the
glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as
by the Spirit of the Lord.
Furthermore, we are also told we will be conformed to the image of Yeshua ...
Romans 8:29 - For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be
conformed to the image of his Son ...
... Whom Scripture says is the image of the invisible Eyn Sof:
Colossians 1:15 -

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Yeshua tells us that we are "to be perfect, as our Father in heaven is." However,
if God as Eyn Sof is undefinable, then how can we know how to be perfect like
Him? What is this "image of God" that we are to be conformed to?
The dilemma is that although we are aware of God's existence, we cannot begin
to fathom the nature of the unknowable, infinite, Eyn Sof.
Did God give us any way to sort all this out?
We begin our quest for answers with the Eyn Sof, which in the Zohar is also
known as the Uncaused Cause, or the Cause of Causes, as there is nothing
above or beyond this.
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 22b - Who is it that says, “See
now that I, I am he”? This is the Cause which is above all those on high, that
which is called the Cause of causes. It is above those other causes, since none of
those causes does anything till it obtains permission from that which is above it,
as we pointed out above in respect to the expression, “Let us make man”. “Us”
certainly refers to two, of which one said to the other above it, “let us make”,
nor did it do anything save with the permission and direction of the one above it,
while the one above did nothing without consulting its colleague. But that which
is called “the Cause above all causes”, which has no superior or even equal, as it
is written, “To whom shall ye liken me, that I should be equal?” (Is. XL, 25)
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Raya Mehemna, Page 42b - It is thus that the
Cause of causes has brought forth the ten Sephiroth, and called the Crown the
“Source”, an inexhaustible fount of light, wherefore He designates Himself “En-
sof”, Limitless. He has neither shape nor form, and there is no vessel that could
contain Him, no means to comprehend Him.
CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD - THE SEPHIROT
What is revealed concerning God, is what we can read about or experience when
there is some type of interaction between the Eyn Sof and His creation. This
"bridge" between the unknowable, infinite God, and man, makes known to us
various aspects of God's being. These "emanations" of God, are known as the
Sephirot (singular: Sephirah). The Eyn Sof caused the Sephirot to come into
existence in creation.
These are divine emanations by which God reveals Himself to man, and by
which that He conducts the worlds. 2
For example: In Scripture, at times we can clearly see the wrath of God in action.
Does this mean He is no longer a merciful God? (A lot of people "see this" when
they compare the God of the "Old Testament" to the God of the "New
Testament.") Of course God is the same throughout Scripture. What we are
"seeing" in this case is God's characteristic (Sephirot) of judgment coming to the
forefront. God does not change. Our perception of Him does based on what we
can "see."
The term Sephirot has no English equivalent. The word meaning can be traced to
several Hebrew roots meaning; cipher, numeral, "to tell," or sapphire. The
Sephirot are what "bridge the gap" between the Eyn Sof and the finite creation.
The Sephirot can be regarded in one of two ways, which are considered
complimentary, not contradictory:

Characteristics of God as He relates to His creation


Instruments of God's activity as we can understand


By studying the Sephirot we can understand several things including:

How there can be a relationship between the infinite God and the finite world?

How God can be an unchanging, yet appear in different ways with varying
characteristics?

How God who is One, can be referred to in the plural?


How God can be given (human) characteristics in Scripture?


A key to better understanding, is to fathom that the Eyn Sof is the beginning
(existing prior to creation in Genesis) and the end (following the new heavens
and earth of Revelation). As such, the "God of the Bible" that we read and learn
about in the pages of the Bible, refers primarily to the knowable Sephirot (also
referred to as the plural Elohim), and not the Eyn Sof . When the Bible talks
about God's mercy, or His judgment, those qualities are not themselves the Eyn
Sof, but rather two aspects of God contained within the Sephirot. When Scripture
speaks of God having hands, wings, a face or a back, these are symbols of the
Sephirot.
Whereas the Eyn Sof is infinite, unknowable and never changes, the Sephirot
(within creation) are identifiable and often operate distinctly, thus giving an
appearance of "change," to God, though He never does. However, because the
Sephirot emanate from Eyn Sof, they are also "Divine."
For clarity of understanding, it could be said that the Sephirot is to the Eyn Sof,
what man's body is to his soul. Our bodies are vessels that contain our souls,
and are used by us to perform deeds that reflect our souls. Our bodies will fade
away. Our souls go on for eternity. Thus, the being known as "God," consists of
both the infinite and the finite, as well as the personal and impersonal aspects of
God.
By understanding the Sephirot, we retain the idea of an "unknowable" God who
is eternal, infinite and boundless, yet who is also the personal God that; "spoke"
at Mount Sinai, "followed" the children of Israel in the wilderness in the form of a
rock/well, "appeared" as the Shekinah, and whose "attributes" were/are most
perfectly found in Yeshua.
NOTE: Although we will devote several lessons to the Sephirot, it is beyond the
scope of this study to provide a comprehensive teaching of this subject. There
are many resources in bookstores and on the Internet (including the YashaNet
Reading List), that can help in attaining a fuller understanding. As this is a very
deep and sensitive area of study, please feel free to write to YashaNet, for more
information, and we will be happy to make appropriate recommendations.

Click here to send us a question or comment on this part of the study!


1. Zohar, Selections translated and annotated by Moshe Miller, Moshe L. Miller,
Fiftieth Gate Publications and Seminars, Morristown NJ, 2000, Foreword to the
book.
2. ibid, p.39.
NAMES AND ARRANGEMENT OF THE SEPHIROT
(Last updated 3/11/01)

Though appearing to be distinct, each Sephirot has a relationship with the


others. An illustration of this can be seen by the principle that God chastises
those He loves. Here we see the God's Sephirah of judgment acting with His
Sephirah of mercy.
It is also taught that when the Sephirot came into being in creation, that they
came in sequence, with the lowest one emanating from the ones before it, and
so on, all the way to the "top" one, which has the closest relationship to the Eyn
Sof. (This will be addressed more fully in the following section.) It is important to
remember, that although the Sephirot came into the existence of creation, they
emanate from the eternal Eyn Sof, and therefore are, in this respect, "eternal."
Through a careful study of the Tenakh, the Jewish sages have identified ten
Sephirot (ten being the number of divine perfection). Listed consecutively from
the "highest" to "lowest," they are known by the following names and associated
characteristics and alternative names:
1. Keter (Primary meaning: Crown. Also known as: Upper Crown,

Ayin (nothingness), Hokhmah Penimit (internal wisdom), Mahshavah Elohit


(divine thought), Spirit of God, root of roots, mysterious wisdom, the (primitive)
point, "white head," ancient, Will, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, (I AM THAT I AM)
2. Chokmah (

Primary meaning: Wisdom. Also known as: Revelation, the Primordial Torah (the
Torah that existed before creation), Father, Yesh me-ayin (being from
nothingness), beginning, YAH, YHWH)
3. Binah (

Primary meaning: Understanding. Also known as: Intellect, Teshuvah


(Repentance), Reason, palace, temple, womb, upper Mother, Jerusalem above,
freedom, Jubilee, "YHWH pronounced as ELOHIM")
4. Chesed (
Primary meaning: Mercy. Also known as: Grace, Love of God, right arm of God,
white, EL, associated with Abraham)
5.

Gevurah (Also called "Din" - Primary meaning: Judgment. Also known as:
Strength, Severity, Fear of God, left arm of God, red, ELOHIM, YAH, associated
with Isaac)
6. Tipheret (

Primary meaning: Beauty. Also known as: Harmony, Rahamim (compassion), the
attribute of mercy, the written Torah, Bridegroom, Husband, Son, King, Father,
Messiah, Tabernacle/Temple, the Holy Tree, (Tree of Life), heaven, the letter
"vav," Creator, Gate of Righteousness, Sun, "the Holy One blessed be He," HA-
SHEM, YHWH, YHWH-ELOHIM, the Great Name, the Unique Name, the Lucid
Mirror, Open Miracles, lulov [on Succoth], the shofar [as related to the mitzvot of
blowing the shofar], green, Tefillin of the Head, associated with Jacob)
7. Netzach (

Primary meaning: Victory. Also known as: eternity, prophecy, orchestration,


initiative, persistence, bitachon (confidence), right leg, "Hosts of YHWH,"
associated with Moses)
8. Hod (

Primary meaning: Glory. Also known as: majesty, splendor, reverberation,


prophecy, surrender, temimut (sincerity), anchor, steadfastness, left leg, "Hosts
of ELOHIM," associated with Aaron)
9. Yesod (

Primary meaning: Foundation. Also known as: "Almighty God, Living God," the
"lower end" of the heavens, El Shaddai, El Hai, Tzaddik (Righteous One), pillar
connecting heaven and earth, seal of truth, phallus, the non-Lucid Mirror,
procreative power, Messiah, Covenant, Hidden Miracles, "all things," purity,
associated with Joseph)
10.Malkut (

Primary meaning: Kingdom. Also known as: Atarah (diadem), Kingship, Shekinah
(presence), Sabbath, lower Crown, the attribute of justice, Assembly of Israel,
Court of God, the oral Torah, Bride, Wife, lower Mother "the Spirit of His
holiness," the lesser "hay," ADONAI, the Honorable Name, the non-Lucid Mirror,
Hidden Miracles, the etrog [on Succot], earth, moon, queen, Tefillin of the Hand,
humility, associated with David)
(Note: As we will discuss later on, there is an additional "quasi-Sephirah" called
Da'at (Knowledge). This Sephirah is counted when Keter is not considered, for
reasons explained in the next part of this study.)
These ten Sephirot are further divided into two groups. The three "upper" ones,
associated with the "higher heavenly realms," are:
• Keter-Crown

• Chokmah-Wisdom
• Binah-Understanding

(NOTE: When Da'at-Knowledge is mentioned it is considered as emanating


from the realm of the above three.)
The remaining seven are considered the "lower" ones and are associated with
creation and the world:
• Chesed-Mercy

• Gevurah-Judgment

• Tipheret-Beauty/Harmony

• Netzach-Victory

• Hod-Glory

• Yesod-Foundation

• Malkut-Kingdom

The names of the ten Sephirot are found scattered through the Scriptures.
Speaking of Betzalel's qualifications for building the Tabernacle, God says that
He gave him great insight into the three higher Sephirot:
Exodus 31:3 - And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in
understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
Here we see that Betzalel was filled with the Sephirot of Chokhmah-Wisdom and
Binah-Understanding. Note also that he possessed the "Spirit of God," which, as
we will discuss later, is associated with Da'at-Knowledge.
The Talmud comments on how even Moses deferred to Bezalel:
Talmud - Mas. Berachoth 55a - R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R.
Johanan: Bezalel was so called on account of his wisdom. At the time when the
Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses; Go and tell Bezalel to make me a
tabernacle, an ark and vessels, Moses went and reversed the order, saying,
Make an ark and vessels and a tabernacle. Bezalel said to him: Moses, our
Teacher, as a rule a man first builds a house and then brings vessels into it; but
you say, Make me an ark and vessels and a tabernacle. Where shall I put the
vessels that I am to make? Can it be that the Holy One, blessed be He, said to
you, Make a tabernacle, an ark and vessels? Moses replied: Perhaps you were in
the shadow of God and knew!
The seven lower Sephirot can be found in another Scripture:
1 Chronicles 29:11 - Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and
the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and
in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as
head above all.
In the above verse, greatness is associated with Chesed (mercy) and "all" with
Yesod (foundation).
The Sephirot are often arranged vertically in four groups.1 Each one of these
groups is associated with one of the four heavens, previously mentioned in this
study. The four heavens are further linked to the carrying out of the will of God,
represented as "four worlds" of; calling (known as "emanation"), creating,
forming and making.
These four worlds are found together in Isaiah 43:7:
Even every one that is called by My name; for I have created him for My Glory,
I have formed him: yea I have made him.
These four levels of calling, creating, forming and making, recur throughout the
Scriptures and throughout Kabbalah. A common arrangement of the Sephirot
with regard to these "four worlds" is as follows:

Keter, which is so close to the Eyn Sof, and therefore unknowable, is considered
distinct from and above the remaining nine. It is therefore not considered in the
arrangement.

Chokmah is the highest possible Sephirah that can be contemplated. It is


associated with the aspects of time (the past), of "Father" and the "Y" in Y-H-W-
H.
• Binah, is the "Mother" aspect and associated with the dimension of time
(the future) and the first "H" in Y-H-V-H.

• The next six Sephirot are grouped together and relate to the six directions
of the space continuum and represent the concept of "relationship."
Collectively, these six are called "Zer Anpin" (small face), and are
associated with the "V," the Vav, which has a numeric value of six.
Tipheret is considered central to this group and often represents Zer
Anpin in itself.

• Last is Malkut, the Sephirah most closely associated with God's presence
on earth (the Shekinah). She is the bride and the last or small "H" in Y-H-
V-H.

This arrangement looks as follows:


Chokmah "Y" (Yod) Father
Binah "H" ("greater" Hay) "upper" Mother
Chesed
Gevurah
Tipheret "V" (Vav)
Son, Bridegroom
Netzach "Zer Anpin"
Hod
Yesod
Malkut "H" ("lesser" Hay) Daughter, Bride, "lower Mother"
(NOTE: Other systems of Kabbalah have different arrangements).2
With regard to the concept of dimensions, we recall the idea introduced earlier in
this study, that there are in reality five dimensions. There are three dimensions
of space (north-south, east-west, up-down) and one of time (beginning-end). In
addition to this, there is a moral/spiritual fifth dimension which ranges from
good-evil, (or clean-unclean). This dimension is directly related to the soul.
The ten Sephirot are said to to parallel the ten possible directions of these five
dimensions. These five pairs of opposites give us deeper insight into the nature
of the Eyn Sof.
The following table demonstrates this:
Keter Good - Evil Malkut
Chokmah Past - Future Binah
Netzach Up- Down Hod
Tipheret East - West Yesod
Gevurah North - South Chesed
In the relationship between Keter and Malkut, It should be noted that Malkhut
is not itself "evil" as all the Sephirot are aspects of God and therefore good.
Malkhut, being the Sephirot furthest from Eyn Sof, is simply said to be
representing the direction away from God, although (as Yeshua taught), it is also
the beginning point in a relationship with God.
The upper Sephirot of Chokmah and Binah relate to beginning and end (past
and future), as God Himself is the Aleph and the Tav. (Alpha and Omega in
Greek "New Testaments.")
Netzach and Hod have to do with bringing Divine governance down from
above, and are the source of prophecy, hence the connection to up and down.
Tipheret has a relationship to the East, particularly as the gate of the Holy of
Holies (This will be discussed in detail later). Yesod is considered to be the
"lower end" of the heavens (toward the "west"), thus the expression, "as far as
east is from the west."
Gevurah is judgment, which is said to come from the north (also the direction
from which evil comes). Alternately, Hesed (mercy) comes from the south, the
'right arm" of God.
THE TREE OF LIFE
The relationship between the ten Sephirot, (and the "quasi-Sephirah" of Da'at,
explained in the next part of this study), is said to be ruled by three Divine
principles; Mercy, Justice and Will (or Grace). As such, the Sephirot are presented
in three "columns" or "pillars." This arrangement is known as the "Tree of Life,"
or "Image of God".
(It should be noted that in the Tree of Life diagram, "east" is to the top, "south"
to the right, "west" to the bottom and "north" to the left.)
Those Sephirot said to be ruled by
Mercy are on the right and are
governed by the Sephirah of
Chokmah (Wisdom). This is said to
be the expansive or active side.
(Think of God's mercy as "enduring
forever.")
The Sephirot on the opposite side of
Justice are governed by the Sephirah
of Binah (Understanding). This is
considered to be the constrictive or
passive side. (Think of justice being
"firm.")
Lastly, the middle pillar, ruled by the
Sephirah of Keter (Crown), and
associated with the Will (or Grace) of
God, is one of equilibrium or perfect
harmony. As seen above, the center
pillar runs from Keter to Malkhut,
which represent the dimensional
range of good to evil. This middle
pillar is associated with the "Tree of
Knowledge," having to do with the
mystery of the "Tree of Knowledge
of Good and Evil," seen in Genesis
2:9.
An example of these three pillars is related in the Zohar, which speaks of the
Patriarchs having relationships to the various attributes of God, with Jacob (as
the central pillar) bringing harmony to the judgmental side of Isaac and the
merciful side of Abraham. (This was alluded to earlier in our study.).
This section is a good illustration of the Sephirot being how we perceive God,
and how such an understanding enables us to see that God does not change:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 175b-176a - R. Simeon, we are
told, explained thus the words, "And the middle bar in the midst of the boards
shall pass from one end to the other." ‘ "The middle bar" ‘, he said, ‘signifies
Jacob, the perfect saint, as we have pointed out on another occasion in
connection with the characterization of Jacob as "a complete man, dwelling in
tents" (Gen. xxv, 27). It does not say, "dwelling in a tent", but "dwelling in
tents,’, which denotes that he unified the two "tents" (of Severity and Mercy).
The same implication may be found here: "The middle bar in the midst of the
boards shall pass from one end to the other", uniting them. Jacob was perfect in
regard to both sides, the Holy Ancient and the Microprosopus, and also to the
supernal Grace and the supernal Power, harmonizing the two.’ R. Simeon said
further: ‘I perceive that Wisdom (‘Hokmah) is the totality of all the holy Sefiroth,
and that supernal Grace (Hesed) emanates from Wisdom, and Power (Geburah),
which is the prompter of severe judgement, from Understanding (Binah). Jacob
harmonized both sides: the Fathers (Abraham and Isaac) signified the totality of
all, and Jacob signified the union of the Fathers. ...
Said R. Eleazar: ‘It would seem that Jacob emanated from the region of severe
Judgement, for Isaac laid hold on this attribute as his portion.’ Said R. Simeon to
him: ‘But was this the only grade? Isaac emanated from Grace, surely, and so
did all the Fathers. In fact, Judgement proceeds from Mercy, and Mercy from
Judgement. Abraham inherited Mercy, and Isaac proceeded therefrom, but with
the aura of Judgement about him; and Jacob in turn issued in Mercy from the
midst of Judgement. So one quality emanates from another, each imbibes from
each, and finally it is made manifest that all are one, and all depend on One, and
the One is all in all. Blessed be His Name for ever and ever.’ Said R. Eleazar: ‘It is
evident that there can be no perfection except the one aspect be joined to the
other and a third hold them together to harmonize and complete them, like
Jacob in relation to Abraham and Isaac. That is why it is written: "And the middle
bar in the midst of the boards shall be fastening from one end to the other." We
have been taught that all this differentiation of the Divine Personality is
from our side and relative to our knowledge, and that, above, all is one, all
is set in one balance, unvarying and eternal, as it is written: "I the Lord change
not" (Mal. III, 6).’
As we have seen earlier in this study, the "middle pillar" of the Tree of Life is
closely associated with; Jacob, the Messiah, and the figure of Metatron. This
middle pillar (the pillar of equilibrium) strikes the "balance" between the
masculine and feminine sides.
THE "PLURALITY" OF GOD
Understanding the concept of the Sephirot enables us to explain the fact that the
word often used in Scripture for "God," Elohim, often appears in the plural -
several times with plural verbs and adjectives. When we realize that "God" in the
Bible is "represented" to us by His Sephirot, the problem of what appears to be
"multiple gods" is eliminated and a proper understanding of the plurality of the
Godhead (Sephirot/Elohim) may be attained.
The Zohar cautions against confusing the Eyn Sof with the Sephirot, by believing
that that any one particular Sephirot "is" the Eyn Sof. (Though each can be said
to contain some degree of all the others within it.) Each of us is to study the
Sephirot and learn about Elohim/God to the best of our ability:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Raya Mehemna, Page 42b - Should one ask: "Is
it not written, Ye saw no manner of similitude?" the answer would be: "Truly we
did behold him under a certain similitude, for is it not written, ‘and the similitude
of the Lord should he (Moses) behold, (Num. XII, 8)?,’ But only in the similitude
which Moses beheld was the Lord revealed, not in any other similitude of any
creature formed by His signs. Hence it is written: "To whom then will ye liken
God? Or what likeness will ye compare unto him?" (Isa. XL, 18). Even that
"similitude" was a likeness of the Holy One, blessed be He, not in His own place,
for that cannot be penetrated, but in the aspect of the King when He shows forth
His power to rule over the whole of His creation, appearing, therefore, to each of
His creatures according to the capacity of each to comprehend Him, as it is
written: "And through the prophets I am represented in similitudes" (Hos. XII,
11). And therefore He says: "Although I represent Myself to you in your own
likeness, to whom will ye liken Me that I should be equal to him?" For in the
beginning, before shape and form had been created, He was without form and
similitude. Therefore it is forbidden to one who apprehends Him as He is before
creation to picture Him under any form or shape whatsoever, not even by His
letters He and Vau, nor by the whole of His Holy Name, nor by any letter or sign
soever. The words, "For ye saw no manner of similitude" thus mean, "Ye saw
nothing which could be represented by any form or shape, nothing which ye
could present or simulate by any finite conception". But when He had created
the form of supernal Man it was to Him as a chariot, and He descended on it, to
be known according to the style "YHWH", in order that He might be known by
His attributes and perceived in each attribute separately. For this reason He let
Himself be called "El, Elohim, Shaddai, Zebaoth, and YHWH", each being a
symbol to men of His various Divine attributes, that it may be made manifest
that the world is sustained by mercy and by justice, according to the works of
men. Had the brightness of the glory of the Holy One, blessed be His Name, not
been shed over the whole of His creation, how could He have been perceived
even by the wise? He would have remained unapprehendable, and the words
"The whole earth is full of his glory" (Isa. VI, 3) could never be spoken with truth.
But woe unto the man who should presume to compare the Lord with any
attribute, even one which is His own, much less any human created form,
"whose foundation is in the dust,, (Job IV, I9), and whose products are frail
creatures, soon vanishing, soon forgotten.
What is interesting at the end of the section (above) is the idea that God is
revealed through His creation. This is very much reminiscent of what Paul said
about the image ("that which may be known") of God:
Romans 1:19-20 - Because that which may be known of God is manifest in
them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the
creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are
made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
As Paul mentions, the things seen of God are there for a purpose -- for us to
learn of and become conformed to the image of God. The same applies to the
Sephirot, which came into existence from Eyn Sof, prior to the world we live.
As the Sephirotic "Tree of Life" is in the image of God, and the rest of creation
came through this, we can then expect to see some type of Sephirot pattern
within creation. (This is a deep subject that we will deal with in a separate
study.)
For now, it can be said:
The Universe is based on order; its basic pattern is summed up in the Laws
embodied in the Sephirotic Tree. The Tree at first sight is a rigid structure, but as
study and experience increase, the rigiditity of the diagram begins to dissolve as
the subtleties of its dynamics begin to emerge. 3
As we will discuss in detail further in this study, the Sephirot provide a "path" for
us to follow in our relationship with God, beginning with the one "furthest from
God," (closest to this world), that being Malkut-Kingdom. This explains why
Yeshua said we must first start by seeking the Kingdom.
The next section of this study will feature a detailed look at each of the Sephirot
and their interrelationships.
Click here to send us a question or comment on this part of the study!

1. All of the Sephirot exist in each of the four worlds, however they are also said
to have the particular relationships mentioned in this section. Also, the world of
Azilut (Emanation) is said to be outside of the realm of time, and contains the
other three worlds (Beriah, Yezirah and Asiyyah), as well as the purest essence
of the Sephirot, "within itself."
2. Another arrangement of the Sephirot in four worlds is as follows:
Keter
Pure Will
Chokma 4th heaven - "Y" (Yod)
Realm of Eyn Sof
h (Azilut - world Emanation)
Godly Unity
Binah
Chesed 3rd heaven - "H" ("greater"
Intellect/Thought
Gevurah Hay)
Realm of the Throne
Tipheret (Beriah - world Creation)
Netzach
2nd heaven - "V" (Vav) Emotional/Speech
Hod
(Yezirah - world of Formation) Realm of Angels
Yesod
Physical/Actions
1st heaven - "H" ("lesser"
Realm of the
Malkut Hay)
Shekinah
(Asiyyah - world of Action)
and physical creation
3. The Way of Kabbalah, Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi, Samuel Weiser, Inc. York
Beach, Maine, 1976, p.142.

AN OVERVIEW OF THE SEPHIROT


(Last updated 3/14/01)

The following is an overview of the Sephirot, the emanations/characteristics of


God in creation. This is not meant to be an all-encompassing analysis. That is
beyond the scope of this study, though as we go forward, we will bring forward
examples of their occurence in Scripture. An understanding of the Sephirot (and
their relationship to Torah), is important in achieving the deepest level of
interpretation of Scripture, especially the more mystical texts, such as the book
of Revelation.

KETER - CROWN

Primary meaning: Crown. Also known as: Upper Crown, Ayin (nothingness),
Hokhmah Penimit (internal wisdom), Mahshavah Elohit (divine thought), Spirit of
God, root of roots, mysterious wisdom, the (primitive) point, "white head,"
ancient, Will, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, (I AM THAT I AM).
This is the first Sephirah and nearest in "proximity" to the Eyn Sof. As such, it is
said to "crown" all the others. Keter is said to rest on the edge, between infinity
and the finite world. Keter acts as a "barrier" between the other nine Sephirot
and the infinite Eyn Sof. It is also the divine principle that sits atop the middle
pillar of the Tree of Life (see previous section) known as the Will of God.

Keter is associated with the name God revealed Himself to Moses, Ehyeh Asher
Ehyeh ("I Am That I Am"). Other than this, there is little that can be said about it,
other than the powers of the rest of the Sephirot may be said to reside in it.
Although, as a sephirah, Keter is one of the emanations/characteristics of God, it
is in a slightly lesser sense as unknowable as the Eyn Sof.

As Keter cannot be known, it is also known as Ayin, meaning nothingness. From


Keter/Ayin emanates the next Sephirah, Chokmah, (wisdom).

This is seen in the book of Job:

Job: 28:12 - Wisdom comes into being from nothing (ayin).

CHOKHMAH - WISDOM

Primary meaning: Wisdom. Also known as: Revelation, the Primordial Torah (the
Torah that existed before creation), Father, Yesh me-ayin (being from
nothingness), beginning, YAH, YHWH.

Chokhmah (wisdom) is the first of the Sephirot that we can begin to actually
understand. In Scripture, Chokhmah is said to have been with God at the
creation of the world.

Speaking of Wisdom, it says:

Proverbs 8:22 - The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his
works of old.

As mentioned, Keter is associated with the infinite Eyn Sof and divine Will of God,
and is quite unknowable as this is outside the realm of creation. By comparison,
Chokhmah is considered to be the totality of all things to later come into
creation, and is the highest emanation of God that we can actually understand
(to some degree). Chokhmah is associated with the Eternal Torah, that was the
"blueprint" of all that would come into existence, therefore it is said that "by
Chokhmah" all things exist. Hokhmah is "general" in nature, consisting of vast
ideas and concepts of God.

As stated in a recent commentary on the Zohar:

The Zohar (Vol III, 235b, in Raya Mehemna), breaks up the word chochmah itself
into two words, koach, and mah. Koach means "potential," and "mah" means
"what is." Thus chochmah means, "the potential of what is," or, "the potential to
be." 1

Speaking of the Eternal Torah, Midrash Rabbah says the following:


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis I:1, - Then I was by Him, as a nursling (amon); and
I was daily all delight (Prov. VIII, 30). 'Amon' means tutor; 'amon' means covered;
'amon' means hidden; and some say, 'amon' means great. 'Amon' is a tutor, as
you read, As an omen (nursing father) carrieth the sucking child (Num. XI, 12).

It is interesting to note that the very first verse of Midrash Rabbah (above) calls
Torah a "tutor." This is consistent with what Paul says about Torah in Galatians,
chapter 3. With regard to Torah and creation, Chokhmah has a relationship with
Yeshua, as it is written that He (like Wisdom); was there in the beginning with
God, is God, and it is by Him that all things exist:

John: 1:1-3 - In the beginning was the Word, [the Torah] and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things
were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Because Chokhmah is an active force within God, that causes ideas to come into
reality, it is associated with the concept of Abba ("Father") with regard to the
remaining eight Sephirot.

As there is a great deal of reference to Wisdom in Scripture, we will include a


separate detailed section on Chokhmah/Wisdom later in this study.

BINAH - UNDERSTANDING

Primary meaning: Understanding. Also known as: Intellect, Teshuvah


(Repentance), Reason, palace, temple, womb, upper Mother, Jerusalem above,
freedom, Jubilee, "YHWH pronounced as ELOHIM".

Binah (understanding) is said to have a relationship with Chokhmah, in that it


takes the general principles and concepts of the latter, and gives definition to
them, differentiating them into specific entities. Binah is also said to give a
"garment" to Chokhmah (the latter which is associated with the mystical name
YHWH), through the name ELOHIM, which manifests through the remaining
seven Sephirot. These seven ("lower") sephirot are also called "body" or
"building" of Azilut (the realm of the Eyn Sof).

Binah is said to be the feminine counterpart to the masculine Chokhmah.


Wisdom and Understanding are often mentioned together in Scripture, as one is
very much "in need" of the other. Binah is said to be the divine source of souls,
hence the "upper mother" aspect, which is also associated with New Jerusalem
(i.e., Galatians 4:26).

Binah is the head of the "restrictive" column of the Tree of Life. Its various
attributes are considered to be: judgment, understanding, reason and
repentance. All of these be seen in the following Scripture, where God judges
Israel for not understanding, and tells them to repent and reason with Him:

Isaiah 1:2-19 - Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the LORD has
spoken: "Sons have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me.
The ox knows its owner, and the ass its master's crib; but Israel does not know,
my people does not understand." Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with
iniquity, offspring of evildoers, sons who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the
LORD, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged.
Why will you still be smitten, that you continue to rebel? The whole head is
sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there
is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and bleeding wounds; they are not
pressed out, or bound up, or softened with oil. Your country lies desolate, your
cities are burned with fire; in your very presence aliens devour your land; it is
desolate, as overthrown by aliens. And the daughter of Zion is left like a booth in
a vineyard, like a lodge in a cucumber field, like a besieged city. If the LORD of
hosts had not left us a few survivors, we should have been like Sodom, and
become like Gomor'rah. Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Give
ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomor'rah! "What to me is the
multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings
of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of
lambs, or of he-goats. "When you come to appear before me, who requires of
you this trampling of my courts? Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an
abomination to me. New moon and sabbath and the calling of assemblies--I
cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your
appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me, I am weary
of bearing them. When you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from
you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of
blood. Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your
doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice,
correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. "Come now, let
us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they
shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become
like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;

A SUMMATION THUS FAR:

Keter (crown), Chokhmah (wisdom) and Binah (understanding) are all directly
related to the highest of the four heavens, that of Azilut. As such, they are
distinct from the remaining seven Sephirot, which have a closer relationship to
the lower heavens that are part of creation.

Keter is so "close" to Eyn Sof itself, that little can be known about it, except at
rare times where God reveals Himself as Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh ("I Am That I Am").
Chokmah is the highest of the Sephirot that is understandable and attainable by
man. Out of Chokhma (wisdom), comes Binah (understanding), from which flows
the remaining seven Sephirot.

An example of using the above concepts to understand a mystical scripture,


would be the interpretation of the following verse:

Proverbs 9:1 - Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven
pillars.
Here we see Wisdom "building" a house (which is Binah/Understanding), from
which come seven pillars -- the seven lower Sephirot.

DA'AT - KNOWLEDGE

As mentioned in the previous section of this study, located beneath the


"supernal Sephirotic triad" of Keter, Chokhmah and Binah (and within the triad of
Chokhmah, Binah and Tipheret), is Da'at ("knowledge"). Da'at is considered a
"quasi-Sephirah," or "non-Sephirah," appearing on the central column between
Keter and Tipheret.

The reason for this status is explained in Rabbi Moshe Miller's commentary on
the Zohar:

"... there are only ten Sephirot, not eleven. However, sometimes keter is counted
in the ten, and at other times da'at is counted instead of keter, depending on
whether we are looking at them from the point of view of the Creator, or from
the point of view of the created. In the process of creation, in which the Sephirot
are emanted from above, i.e., from God to the physical world, keter is counted,
and not da'at, since it is the first emanation, the manifestation of the Divine Will,
whence all other emanations derive

... But when the process is from below to above, man elevating himself from
level to level in his desire to cleave to God, da'at is counted and not keter, since
the latter is a level so sublime that it is in general beyond the scope of the
average individual's ability to internalize or comprehend." 2

Corresponding to this location of Da'at, is the realm of the Ruach haKodesh


(Holy Spirit).

Da'at is knowledge that emerges out of nowhere and comes direct from God. It is
not only seen but known, not only observing, but becoming. 3

The location of Da'at on the Tree of Life, with regard to the Ruach haKodesh, is
significant. Looking at it from the "top down" (God's perspective), the Ruach
haKodesh comes "out of" Binah (following the order of Keter, Chokhmah, Binah,
etc.). Binah, however (representing the supernal "Mother"), is never separated
from Chokhmah (the supernal Father). Therefore, the Ruach haKodesh
"proceeds" from the Father (John 15:26) "through the Mother."

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2,page 55a - The Yod and the He [Father
and Mother], in the Divine Name are mingled, and one is contained in the other
and they are never separated, being for ever united in love, being the source
whence emanate all those streams and springs of blessing and satisfaction to
the universe.

From the "bottom up" (our perspective), one ascends the middle pillar through
Tipheret to attain the Ruach haKodesh. Therefore it can be said that Tipheret
(the Son) also gives access to the Ruach haKodesh. This explains how Yeshua, in
John's gospel, can say in different places, that both He and the Father send the
Ruach haKodesh (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7).

This may also explain why Yeshua had to return to His heavenly abode, in order
for the Ruach to come:

John 16:7 - But I tell you the truth; it is better for you that I go away, for if I may
not go away, the Comforter will not come unto you, and if I go on, I will send Him
unto you;

While on earth, Yeshua fulfilled the role of Messiah. (Tzaddik - "Righteous One -
this will be covered in a later section on the Sephirah of Yesod, which is on the
central column below Tipheret.) This action established the "connection"
between the heavenly and earthly realms. (This is a function of the divine
Tzaddik, with the earthly realm being associated with the Shekinah and
community of believers.) Having done this, Yeshua had to "return" to the higher
heavenly realm to the place of Tipheret, to renew the "channel of flow" of the
Ruach haKodesh.

The Father is also said to send the Ruach haKodesh on the authority ("name") of
Yeshua (John 14:26). Yeshua's authority was given to Him by the Father, for His
earthly role as Tzaddik and crucified Messiah:

Philippians 2:7-11 - But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the
form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in
fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even
the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and
given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Yeshua
every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things
under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Yeshua haMashiach
is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

This concept of Yeshua's authority, with regard to the Ruach haKodesh, helps
explain one of the more peculiar discussions in the book of Matthew:

Matthew 21:23-27 - And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests
and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By
what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? And
Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell
me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The
baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned
with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why
did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for
all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell.
And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these
things.

Here we see the situation whereby the religious leaders had "quenched" the
Ruach haKodesh in themselves (due to their own sin), and therby lacked the
Da'at to understand who Yeshua was (i.e., Romans 10:2). Prior to this (Matthew
12:31), they had gone as far as blaspheming the Ruach haKodesh, which was
working through Yeshua. (Our text analysis of Revelation chapter 2, will delve
more into this subject.)

As these religious leaders were not using properly what they had been given,
Yeshua would not bestow any more Da'at upon them (revealing the authority
from the Father), even taking what they had from them (Matthew 21:43 as a
fulfillment of the parable of 25:29).

The principle of being given spiritual blessings by God based on merit is also
addressed later in this study. The prophet Daniel said that da'at would increase
in the last days:

Daniel 12:4 - But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to
the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge [da'at] shall be
increased.

Daniel associates the idea that, "many shall run to and fro," directly to the
increase of da'at. As discussed in the introduction to this study, the idea of
"running" in the spiritual realm (where one gains da'at) is not physical travel, but
a mystical process of drawing nearer to God. Daniel is saying that in the last
days people's knowlege of the mysteries of God will increase, as they seek, are
given, and make use of, the means of acquiring this wisdom and understanding
from God.

CHESED - MERCY

Primary meaning: Mercy. Also known as: Grace, Love of God, right arm of God,
white, EL, associated with Abraham.

GEVURAH - JUDGMENT

Also called "Din" - Primary meaning: Judgment. Also known as: Strength,
Severity, Fear of God, left arm of God, red, ELOHIM, YAH, associated with Isaac.

Chesed symbolizes love and mercy in Scripture. It is the active, giving, aspect of
God. It is said to radiate the essence of the infinite Eyn Sof. The term "grace" as
seen in the "New Testament" is equivalent to Chesed, which is also called loving-
kindness.

Gevurah is a counterpart to Chesed. Gevurah symbolizes justice and severity in


Scripture. It is the passive, firm, aspect of God. Gevurah balances the Sephirot of
Chesed, as it "restricts" the force of Chesed, giving it definition and limit. (Thus
preventing the radiance of God's essence from overwhelming everything and
leaving no room for anything else to exist!)

As the Zohar puts it:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Raya Mehemna, Page 42b - Had the brightness
of the glory of the Holy One, blessed be His Name, not been shed over the whole
of His creation, how could He have been perceived even by the wise? He would
have remained unapprehendable, and the words "The whole earth is full of his
glory" (Isaiah 6:3) could never be spoken with truth.

Gevurah is also said to be the feminine counterpart to the masculine Chesed.

TIPHERET - BEAUTY

Primary meaning: Beauty. Also known as: Harmony, Rahamim (compassion), the
attribute of mercy, the written Torah, Bridegroom, Husband, Son, King, Father,
Messiah, Tabernacle/Temple, the Holy Tree, (Tree of Life), heaven, the letter
"vav," Creator, Gate of Righteousess, Sun, "the Holy One blessed be He," HA-
SHEM, YHWH, YHWH-ELOHIM, the Great Name, the Unique Name, the Lucid
Mirror, Open Miracles, lulov [on Succoth], the shofar [as related to the mitzvot of
blowing the shofar], green, Tefillin of the Head, associated with Jacob.

Tipheret and Malkut ("Kingdom," see below) are said to be the two principle
Sephirot of the "lower seven" that deal with the world we live in. This is mainly
because of the relationship Tipheret has to the bridegroom, Messiah and written
Torah, and the association Malkut has with the bride, Shekinah and oral Torah.
Logically, the connection between bride and bridegroom implies a very intimate
relationship between Tipheret and Malkut, as depicted in the great wedding feast
to come in the Millennial Sabbath.

Tipheret is also associated with the "love of God" and in this respect offset by
Malkut, which is linked with the "fear of God." (See section on Malkut, below, for
more on this relationship.)

Tipheret has a central relationship to all of the other Sephirot, and an


involvement with the unification of the Sephirot and the name of God (this is
discussed in the next section). Because of this function, Tipheret is also known
by the name of "Harmony."

This name applies to Messiah as well, as He is the one that ultimately will bring
harmony and usher in the Kingdom and Olam Haba (world to come). Because
Tipheret brings harmony, it is also known by the most holy name Ha-Kadosh
Barukh Hu (The Holy One, Blessed be He), as well as the combined name YHWH-
ELOHIM.

As seen in the chart presented earlier in this study, Tipheret is seen as having a
relationship with the physical direction of East. This was the side of the
Tabernacle that Moses and Aaron and His sons made their camp. The star that
announced the birth of Messiah was in the east. It is also taught that the Messiah
will come to Jerusalem through the eastern gate.

Understanding of this relationship between Tipheret, which is associated with


beauty, and the direction of east, enables us to see a little deeper into passages
such as the following. The gate in question is the eastern one, where the sick
were placed. Note the name it is given:
Acts 3:2 - And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom
they laid daily at the [east] gate of the temple which is called Beautiful
[tipheret] to ask alms of them that entered into the temple.

Tipheret has a strong relationship with both Chokhmah and Binah above it, as
well as Chesed and Gevurah, alongside it. (See the Tree of Life chart.) With the
"lower" Sephirot of Chesed and Gevurah, Tipheret forms the triad of "Divine
Soul," and is often seen as the bridge between man and God. Along this line,
Tipheret is also analogous with the "voice of God," and is linked to the voice
heard on Mount Sinai.

NOTE: We will expound on the subject of Tipheret in several additional sections,


later in this study.

A SUMMATION THUS FAR:

The four Sephirot of Chokmah (wisdom), Binah (understanding), Chesed (mercy)


and Gevurah (judgment) are also considered to represent the inter-related and
often conflicting qualities of man. (Remember through all this study that we [in
fact all of creation], are made in the image of God - the Sephirot.) These Sephirot
are all "harmonized" within the Sephirah of Tipheret, which is itself an "image" of
the Eyn Sof.

NETZACH - VICTORY

Primary meaning: Victory. Also known as: eternity, prophecy, orchestration,


initiative, persistence, bitachon (confidence), right leg, "Hosts of YHWH,"
associated with Moses

HOD - GLORY

Primary meaning: Glory. Also known as: majesty, splendor, reverberation,


prophecy, surrender, temimut (sincerity), anchor, steadfastness, left leg, "Hosts
of ELOHIM, associated with Aaron."

YESOD - FOUNDATION

Primary meaning: Foundation. Also known as: "Almighty God, Living God," the
"lower end" of the heavens, El Shaddai, El Hai, Tzaddik (Righteous One), pillar
connecting heaven and earth, seal of truth, phallus, the non-Lucid Mirror,
procreative power, Messsiah, Covenant, Hidden Miracles, "all things," purity,
associated with Joseph.

The next three Sephirot, Netzach, Hod and Yesod, relate to the "second world,"
that of the realm of angels. (See previous study on Ezekiel's Chariot.) Yesod is
also known as the lower end (or termination) of the heavens.

Yesod acts as a channel for the light and power of the preceding Sephirot to
come to the last Sephirah of Malkut. In this way it is also linked to the ladder in
Jacob's dream. Therefore, it is considered both "all things" as well as El Shaddai
(the Lord our provider).
The concept of Tzaddik (Righteous One), comes from Proverbs 10:25; "The
righteous one is the foundation (Yesod) of the world." Because of these
characteristics, Yesod is often associated with Tipheret, and is even regarded as
being the groom (linked to Tipheret) to the bride (Malkut) in some literature.
More precisely, the function of Yesod is to bring Tipheret and Malkut together.

(NOTE: We will expound on the subject of Yesod in an indepent section later in


this study.)

Yesod is closely linked to Netzach and Hod, the three of them relating to the
most "physical" aspects of the image of God and God's governance and guidance
of the world. As such, Netzach and Hod also have a relationship to the angels
who do God's will in this world, the "Hosts of YHWH," (on the side of Chokmah
and Chesed) and the "Hosts of ELOHIM" (on the side of Binah and Gevurah).

Netzach and Hod act as "filters" through which pass the higher emanations of
Chesed and Gevurah. They are also considered to be the conductors through
which the God's essence is conveyed from the three upper Sephirot (Keter,
Chokmah, Binah) to the lower Sephirot. They are in this sense, the source of
prophecy.

The following Zohar passage gives insight as to the role of Netzach and Hod in
connecting this world to the one above. All parts of the Tabernacle/Temple are
said to be a representation of the heavenly realms. Netzach and Hod are
represented by the hooks:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 175b - THE HOOKS OF THE


PILLARS AND THEIR FILLETS SHALL BE OF SILVER. Said R. Isaac: ‘I presume that
the "hooks of the pillars" symbolize all those who are attached to the supernal
unifying pillars, [Tr. note: i.e. Nezah and Hod, who are attached to the three
Sefiroth above them] and that all those who are below depend on them. What is
the significance of the word vavim (hooks; also the letter vau, the numerical
value of which is six)? Six within six (vv), all united and nourished by the Spine
which is set over them. And we have learnt in the Book of the Hidden Mystery
(Sifra di-zeniutha) this dictum: "Hooks above, hooks below (six above, six below),
all comprehended in one meaning and one name, having one and the same
significance."

Kabbalist Aryeh Kaplan writes about the triad of Netzach, Hod and Yesod as
follows:

These are said to surround the physical world, that is, all influence and
enlightenment in the physical world comes through these. 4

MALKUT - KINGDOM

Primary meaning: Kingdom. Also known as: Atarah (diadem), Kingship, Shekinah
(presence), Sabbath, lower Crown, the attribute of justice, Assembly of Israel,
Court of God, the oral Torah, Bride, Wife, lower Mother, "the Spirit of His
holiness," the lesser "hay," ADONAI, the Honorable Name, the non-Lucid Mirror,
Hidden Miracles, the etrog [on Succot], earth, moon, queen, Tefillin of the Hand,
humility, associated with David.)

Malkut is the Sephirah directly associated with the Shekina, God's visible
presence on earth. The realm of Malkut is the first spiritual world closest to the
physical earth. Malkut, with its association to the image of "the bride," has a
special relationship with the sephirah of Tipheret, the latter being linked to
Messiah and the bridegroom. This insight can be applied to the gospel texts
where Yeshua, the bridegroom, seeks to bring in the Kingdom (Malkut), the
bride.

When Malkhut is said to draw more from the left (judgmental) side of the Tree of
Life, it is associated with the "fear of God." This gives Malkut another aspect to
its relationship with Tipheret, which is linked to the "love of God," drawing more
from the right (merciful) side.

Malkut also has a relationship with Chokmah in that they are the first and last of
the nine knowable Sephirot (those below Keter). An understanding of this
relationship between Malkut and Chokmah, sheds light on certain scriptures.
Malkhut, with its aspect of "fear of God," and being the closest Sephirah to man,
is the first one that we should try "seek." Chokmah, as mentioned, is Wisdom,
the Sephirot from which all things in creation emanate.

Keeping this in mind, note the following verses, which when interpreted apart
from the Sod level, don't seem to have have a direct connection.

Proverbs 9:10a - The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:

Matthew 6:33 - But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you. 5

However, by interjecting the equivalent Sephirotic terms, the interpretation of


the above two verses becomes quite similar:

Proverbs 9:10a - The MALKUT of the LORD is the beginning of CHOKMAH:

Matthew 6:33 - But seek ye first the MALKUT of God, and his righteousness;
and CHOKMAH shall be added unto you.

We can now see that Solomon and Yeshua are teaching the same lesson. In both
cases, we are told to seek the closest Sephirot of Malkut (the Kingdom) so that
knowledge (Da'at) of the entire Image of God (which is imbedded Chokmah) will
be opened up to us.

Wisdom was then given to Solomon through the "daughter" which is also the
Sephirah of Malkhut-Kingship. It is an important Kabbalistic teaching that
Malkhut-Kingship is the Sefirah through which all others are revealed. Since
Solomon made himself a counterpart of Malkhut-Kingship, he could draw through
it. 6
NOTE: We will expound on the subject of Malkut-Kingdom, in several additional
sections, later in this study.

1. Zohar, Selections translated and annotated by Moshe Miller, Rabbi Moshe L.


Miller, Fiftieth Gate Publications and Seminars, Morristown NJ, 2000, p.45.

2. ibid, p.42.

3. Kabbalah, Tradition of Hidden Knowledge, Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi, Thames


and Hudson, 1979, p.6.

4. The Bahir: Translation, Introduction and Commentary, Aryeh Kaplan, Samuel


Weiser, Inc., York Beach Maine, 1979, p.183.

5. Alternately, the term "all these things," could represent Yesod, the Sephirah
immediately above Malkut, as all the other Sephirot (and the creation that
springs from them), "channel" through Yesod in order to get to Malkut on the the
kabbalistic "Tree of Life." This will be addressed in detail in our further teachings
on Yesod.

6. The Bahir: Translation, Introduction and Commentary, Aryeh Kaplan, Samuel


Weiser, Inc., York Beach Maine, 1979, p.130.

TIPHERET - THE IMAGE OF THE EYN SOF


(Last updated 3/26/01)

Through the next two major sections of our study (concerning the Sephirot of
Tipheret and Yesod), we present information at a kabbalistic level, regarding the
subject of Messiah.

TIPHERET - ATTAINING THE NESHEMAH

The Soncino Zohar Appendix III - The Divine Name, states the following:

It remains to say a few words on the place occupied by the Holy Name, the
Tetragrammaton [YHVH], in the scheme of the Zohar. In the Cabbalistic doctrine
the name formed by the four Hebrew letters yod, he, vau, he, has a special and
intimate connection with the grade of Tifereth, of which it is in the strict sense
the proper name. We must understand this to mean that if one could grasp with
sufficient clearness the nature of the grade Tifereth, especially as the originator
of the neshamah, he would automatically perceive that this is the fitting
appellation which should be given to it. To this grade of comprehension Moses
and the other prophets actually rose, and this was the basis of their inspiration.
There is, however, a difference between the inspiration of Moses and that of the
other prophets. Moses was able to grasp the connection between the grade and
the Name fully and clearly, but the others only through a haze, as it were, since
their comprehension only reached fully to the two inferior grades of Nezah and
Hod, the two ‘pillars’ or ‘willows of the brook’, as they are fancifully called.
The term Neshemah (above) needs to be explained. A common Kabbalistic view
of man (living in the present spiritual realm) is that of three spiritual "parts," or if
you will, three parts of his soul.1

There are several schools of thought within this area, but in its most basic terms,
the Nefesh is the "soul" that all breathing creatures, man and beast, possess -
their lifeforce. Regarding the Torah, Nefesh is connected to the basic
performance of the commandments in order to have a relationship with God and
help us get through the physical dimension of life.

The Ruach is the spirit that distinguishes man from the animals. (This is not the
same as the Ruach haKodesh - God's Holy Spirit) The Ruach gives man with the
ability to go beyond the physical existence of animals, and reach into spiritual
dimensions -- specifically to try to understand the deeper meanings of God's
Torah.

All people have a Nefesh and Ruach within their being. The Neshemah however,
is an additional part of man's spiritual makeup. Neshemah is a spirit (or "spiritual
connection"), given by God when a person through faith/trust, begins to truly
seek Him (through His Torah). The Neshemah is the spiritual faculty given to
man that connects with the Ruach haKodesh (God's Holy Spirit).

Such a person is considered linked to Tipheret and is even thought of as being


greater than the prophets:

Soncino Zohar, Vayikra, Section 3, Section 2, Page 35a - What, now, is the
difference between those who study the Torah and faithful prophets? The former
are ever superior, since they stand on a higher level. Those who study the Torah
stand in a place called Tifereth (Beauty), which is the pillar of all faith, whereas
the prophets stand lower in the place called Nezah (Victory) and Hod (Majesty);
and those who merely speak in the spirit of holiness stand lower still. He who
studies the Torah needs neither peace offerings nor burnt offerings, since the
Torah is superior to all and the bond of faith; wherefore it is written “Her ways
are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace” (Prov. III, 17), and also,
“Great peace have they which love thy law and they have no occasion for
stumbling” (Ps. CXIX, 165).’

God has promised a reward to those who seek Him in faith:

Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please God, because


anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those
who earnestly seek him.

Exploring a bit deeper, Nefesh, as it is freely given and present in all men, is said
to come from the right side of the Tree of Life, the side of Chesed (mercy). The
Ruach, is said to be from the left side, which is the critical/judgmental side. Here
is where man can choose between following the path of Torah to God, or
considering himself not under God's Torah and moving away from Him.
This is where man's yetzer hara (evil inclination) comes into play. (The yetzer
hara is also said to come from the left side, which is also where evil eminates
from.) When presented with God's Torah, and its defintion of sin, man can give in
to his yetzer hara and transgress the Torah, or can place his yetzer hara under
subjugation, even using it to serve God. (Think of an athlete channeling natural
aggressiveness into better performance.)

Lastly, the Neshemah is said to be of the central pillar of the Tree of Life, (where
Tipheret is located), that of balance and harmony (between man's animal and
spiritual aspects).

When Adam was created, it was the Neshemah that God breathed into Him:

Genesis 2:7 - And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; [neshmat hayyim] and man
became a living soul [nefesh hayyah].

Having the Neshemah directly placed into him by God, Adam had very personal
relationship with his maker. The Neshemah is what we have lost through sin, and
what we need to recover in order to go on and become conformed to His image.
It is interesting that in the Genesis text, the word we see is neshmat, the plural
of neshemah. This implies a spiritual attachment to the multiple Sephirot of God.
(Adam was "well connected.")

TIPHERET - MESSIAH AND FAITH

Recall that the Zohar Appendix (top of page) states that Tipheret (which is
directly associated with Messiah), is the originator of the neshamah, which
connects us to God in faith.

The "New Testament" states that Yeshua fills a similar role:

Hebrews 12:2a - Looking unto Yeshua, the author and finisher of our faith;

The Zohar Appendix commentary above (as well as Zohar, Section 2, Page 136a
-138b, below), make clear that to comprehend Tipheret is equivalent to grasping
the essence of God. The relationship between the centralized, harmonizing
Tipheret and the invisible Eyn Sof, can again be compared to that of Yeshua and
the invisible God.

This gives us a better understanding of two verses quoted earlier in this study:

Romans 8:29 - For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be


conformed to the image of his Son ...

Colossians 1:15 -

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

One can grasp the image of the invisible God throught Tipheret, due to its
embodiment of the characteristics of all the Sephirot. The Messiah's
encompassing relationship to the Sephirot (also called spirits of God) and to
da'at, (knowledge) is seen in this prophetic verse:

Isaiah 11:2 - The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and
of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and
of the fear of the LORD

This same Messiah (whom the Spirit of the Lord rests on), will usher in the Day of
the Lord and Jubilee Release, a time when all things are brought into beauty and
harmony:

Isaiah 61:1-3 - The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath
anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up
the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the
prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and
the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto
them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for
mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be
called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be
glorified.

Revelation 21:3-4 - And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold,
the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be
his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall
wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither
sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things
are passed away.

TIPHERET - HARMONY OF THE SEPHIROT

As mentioned earlier in this study, Paul makes the mystical statement that the
rock (or "well") that followed the children of Israel in the Wilderness was Yeshua.
The Zohar gives a description of this rock as holding the characteristics of
Tipheret -- a combination of both judgment and mercy, and also a reflection of
God Himself:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2,Page 64b - Geburah emanates from


her. Therefore She is called “Supernal Rock”. And in the same verse the words,
“And hast forgotten God that formed thee” refer to the brightness of the Father,
viz. the Supernal Grace.’ R. Abba further said: ‘We know that “water”
everywhere symbolizes God's kindness, “Grace”, and yet the Holy One, blessed
be He, on this occasion caused water to come from the “Rock” (the symbol of
Judgement), though it ought to be connected with “Greatness” (=Grace). In this,
however, consisted the “sign” and wonder of the Holy One: “Who turned the
Rock into a pool” (Ps. CXIV, 8). “Turned” suggests that it is not the usual function
of the rock to produce water. Therefore He caused water to come from the place
below by means of the Supernal Rock. And what is the name of the place below?
“Sela”’, for it is written: “And thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock
(sela’)” (Num. xx, 8). And wherewith did this sela’ bring forth water? By the
power of the Supernal Rock.’

(Note: This rock/well is also closely associated with the Sephirah of Yesod as we
will discuss later in this study.)

The Zohar states that Tifereth itself, may be considered, the "central pillar" of
the Tree of Life:

Zohar Appendix III - The Designations and The Categories, 3a - Thus it is


possible to speak of a ‘straight line’ from Kether to Tifereth, and to designate
Tifereth the ‘central pillar’.

The following section of the Zohar indicates how the central column of the
Sephirot (i.e., Tipheret), is the perfect will of God that holds the merciful and
judgmental columns in harmony. This section goes so far to say that the three
must be in agreement before God makes a "final decision" to pass judgment.
However, the Zohar says, even when this has happened, true repentance can
still move the merciful side of God to reconsider:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 22b - They all rose and
prostrated themselves before him, saying, ‘happy the man whose Master agrees
with him in the exposition of hidden mysteries which have not been revealed to
the holy angels.’ He proceeded: ‘Friends, we must expound the rest of the verse,
since it contains many hidden mysteries. The next words are: I kill and make
alive, etc. That is to say, through the Sefiroth on the right side I make alive, and
through the Sefiroth on the left side I kill; but if the Central Column does not
concur, sentence cannot be passed, since they form a court of three. Sometimes,
even when they all three agree to condemn, there comes the right hand which is
outstretched to receive those that repent; this is the YHWH, and it is also the
Shekinah, which is called "right hand", from the side of Hesed (kindness).

An example of the above teaching, that judgment can be suspended even after
God has "made up His mind," would be when God sent Jonah to preach to
Ninevah. His instructions to Jonah were not to "warn" Ninevah. Rather, God said
they were going to be destroyed. There was no offer of repentance attached. As
the story goes, Ninevah, without being told to, immediately repented, and God's
judgment on that generation was withdrawn.

As mentioned earlier, Jacob was a picture of the Messiah to come, in that he had
the qualities that balanced the merciful and judgmental sides of God in perfect
harmony. Here the idea of Jacob unifying "tents," takes on a mystical meaning of
harmonizing the pillars of the Tree of Life.

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 175b - R. Simeon, we are told,


explained thus the words, "And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall
pass from one end to the other." ‘ "The middle bar" ‘, he said, ‘signifies Jacob,
the perfect saint, as we have pointed out on another occasion in connection with
the characterization of Jacob as "a complete man, dwelling in tents" (Gen. xxv,
27). It does not say, "dwelling in a tent", but "dwelling in tents,’, which denotes
that he unified the two "tents" (of Severity and Mercy). The same implication
may be found here: "The middle bar in the midst of the boards shall pass from
one end to the other", uniting them. Jacob was perfect in regard to both sides,
the Holy Ancient and the Microprosopus, and also to the supernal Grace and the
supernal Power, harmonizing the two.’ R. Simeon said further: ‘I perceive that
Wisdom (‘Hokmah) is the totality of all the holy Sefiroth, and that supernal Grace
(Hesed) emanates from Wisdom, and Power (Geburah), which is the prompter of
severe judgement, from Understanding (Binah). Jacob harmonized both sides:
the Fathers (Abraham and Isaac) signified the totality of all, and Jacob signified
the union of the Fathers. Then came the merit of Jacob and synthetized both and
made them one, for he signifies supernal harmony.’

TIPHERET - THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

The book of Malachi contains a mystical allusion to a Sun of righteousness, even


referring to this "Sun" as a person. The context clearly shows that Sun of
righteousness is another name for the Messiah, who will usher in the Day of the
Lord and subsequent healing of all things (Rev. 22:1-3).

Malachi 4:1-6 - For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all
the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that
cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them
neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of
righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and
grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall
be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the
LORD of hosts. Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded
unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will
send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of
the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the
heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a
curse.

The Zohar makes a connection between Tipheret and this "Sun." This passage
states that to grasp the Sun is equivalent to grasping all the grades as the Sun is
said to be a Tabernacle, representing of all the grades (Sephirot):

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 136a -138b - Because of this


current, we have a true Faith in this world, and all mankind can discourse of the
mystery of the Faith of the Holy One in connection with these grades, as if they
were revealed to and not hidden from them. Therefore it says: "And their words
to the end of the world" (Ibid.), which means that from the beginning to the end
of the world the "wise of heart" discourse of those hidden grades although they
cannot be comprehended. And how far are they comprehended? "In them hath
he set a tent for the sun" (Ibid.), because the holy sun [Tr. note: ‘ Tifereth.]
is as a tabernacle of all those supreme grades, and is as a light which has
taken into itself all the hidden lights and the whole current of their extension,
whereby Faith is manifested in the whole world. To grasp the Sun is
equivalent to grasping all grades, because the sun is a "tent" including all
and absorbing all; and he in turn lights up all the shining colours below. Hence
"He is a bridegroom coming forth from his canopy (covering)" (v. 6), in the
gleam and flash of those hidden lights which in strong yearning and desire give
him tokens of their love, as to a bridegroom to whom all his friends give presents
and gifts. And what is "his covering"? Eden, the "covering" which covers up all
things. "He rejoiceth" from the side of the primeval light in which judgement has
no place at all. "As a strong man" (gibbor) - from the side of "strength"
(geburah); and note that it does not say here "a strong man", but "as a strong
man", which means that Judgement is tempered by Mercy.

Thus the sun gathers all together in one, in perfect devotion and love. "To run on
the way", in order to nourish and complement the Moon on every side and make
it possible for her to shed her light downwards. "His going forth is from the end
of the heaven" (v. 7). He goes forth from the end of that supernal heaven, from
the termination [Tr. note: Yesod.] of the Body, as it is written, "From one end of
heaven to the other end of the heaven" (Deut. IV, 32); where the "one end"
designates the upper world, and the "other end" its termination. "And his circuit
unto the ends of it" (Ibid.): he (the sun) runs through all those holy regions that
are capable of being vivified and nourished by his rays. "And there is nothing hid
from the heat thereof" (Ibid.): nothing is hidden from that radiance, for it is
directed towards all together, to each according to its capacity of reception.

The following text also has reference to the "Sun" containing aspects of all the
"grades" (sephirot). Here the sun is representative of YHWH and "shield" of
Elohim:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 224b - R. Jose then continued to


discourse, citing the verse: “For the Lord God (YHWH ELOHIM) is a sun and a
shield; the Lord giveth grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them
that walk uprightly” (Ps. LXXXIV, 12). ‘The “sun”, he said, ‘contains the
mystery of the Divine Name YHWH, wherein is the abode of rest of all
the grades, whereas “shield” contains the mystery of the Divine Name ELOHIM;
the same is indicated in “I am thy shield” (Gen. XV, 1). The two together, sun
and shield, constitute thus the mystery of the Divine Name complete: “the Lord
giveth grace and glory”, so that the whole should merge into a unity.

The kabbalistic "tree of life" containing "all of the grades/Sephirot) (as shown in
our previous study on the ten Sephirot), can be said to be a representation of the
Messiah.

As one modern kabbalah author writes:

The cosmic tree then, would not only be the ontic source of all souls, but it would
also be a Messianic figure. 2

At the end of the age, the Messiah is "kissed" by God, given His proper
adoration, and commence vengeance upon His enemies:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 8b-9a - He shall take out from a
certain temple in it a crown inscribed with holy names. It was with this crown
that the Holy One adorned Himself when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and
He avenged Himself on all the chariots of Pharaoh and his horsemen. With this
same crown will He crown King Messiah. As soon as he is crowned, the
Holy One will take him and kiss him as before. All the holy multitude and
the whole holy army will surround him and will bestow upon him many wonderful
gifts, and he will be adorned by them all. Then will he enter into one of the
temples and behold there all the upper angels, who are called "the mourners of
Zion" because they continually weep over the destruction of the Holy Temple.
These angels shall give him a robe of deep red in order that he may commence
his work of revenge.

TIPHERET - BACK TO JACOB'S LADDER

Lastly, several times earlier in this study, we have mentioned the dream Jacob
had of a ladder reaching from earth to heaven. The following section of the
Zohar indicates that by this dream, Jacob comprehended the unity (harmony) of
the Sephirot:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 150a - Jacob was beholden to


dreams, as explained before. AND BEHOLD, THE LORD STOOD (nitsab) UPON IT,
ETC. Here Jacob discerned the essential unity of the object of faith. This is
implied in the term nitsab (firmly knit), which implies that Jacob saw all grades
stationed as one on that ladder so as to be knit into one whole. And
inasmuch as that ladder is situated between two sides, God said to him: I AM
THE LORD, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM THY FATHER, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC , these
two being respectively of the two sides, one of the right and the other of the left.

As mentioned earlier, Tipheret is an image of the Eyn Sof, the invisible God. As
such, Tipheret is the mystical key to salvation, becoming conformed to the
image of God, and growing in intimacy in our relationship with God.

If one could outline a "process" to what has been presented thus far, it might
look like this:

• When man focuses on his spiritual self (ruach) and

• does not seek his own righteousness, but rather

• seeks God's Kingdom (Malkut) through humility, Torah study and prayer,

• he will receive Neshemah from God and "connect" with the Ruach
haKodesh, which will

• draw him to God and provide him with a certain level of God's Chokmah
(wisdom), which embodies all the Sephirot within it. With this knowlege of
the Sephirot,

• he is enabled to understand that Tipheret is the; Holy Sun, Temple,


Bridegroom, Messiah, giver of the Neshemah, author of our faith, and as
the "tabernacle of all those supreme grades," is also a reflection of the
Eyn Sof.
• He can then begin to understand how Yeshua can be the image of the
invisible God (Colossians 1:15) and is Elohim, who tabernacled among us
in the flesh (John, chapter 1) and will come again to judge the world.

(Note: We will deal with the dual role of Yeshua, as the suffering servant and
judge of the world, in our study of Yesod.)

1. Kabbalistic teachings actually indicate five levels of the soul, but only the
three mentioned (Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshemah), can be experience in this
lifetime. The two higher levels, called Chayah (Vitality) and Yechidah
(Uniqueness), are given to those who enter the Kingdom of God.

2. Along the Path: Studies in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism and Hermeneutics,


Elliot R. Wolfson, State University of New York Press, Albany, 1995, p. 82.

TIPHERET - ADDITIONAL REFERENCES - PART 1


(Last updated 8/21/00)

There are numerous additional references to the Sephirah Tipheret in Jewish


literature, that can be connected to the Tenakh, and the "New Testament." The
next two sections of this study will further clarify the connection between
Messiah and Tipheret.

TIPHERET - KING, RULER AND JUDGE

In the Appendix to the Soncino Zohar, Tipheret is personified to a highest


degree, and called the; Holy King, Ruler, and Judge of the world:

Zohar Appendix III - The Designations and The Categories, 3b - A second


use of the terms ‘right and left’ is based on the identification of the grade
Tifereth with the Holy King, the Ruler and Judge of the world. The Holy King as
judge can exercise either clemency or rigour, and it is a not unnatural figure to
say that He exercises clemency with His right hand and rigour with His left.

The "New Testament" makes the claim that Yeshua is the King, Ruler and Judge,
though He will fulfill these roles at a future time:

Matthew 21:5 - Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto
thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

Revelation 19:16 - And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written,
KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Matthew 2:6 - And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among
the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my
people Israel.

Revelation 19:15 - And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he
should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he
treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
John 5:22 - For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment
unto the Son:

John 5:30 - I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my
judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father
which hath sent me.

In the Zohar section below, is a discussion of a heavenly Temple that was


established at the same time that the earthly Temple was built. This higher
Temple is said to be that of Metatron, whom we have discussed as representing
the Messiah. This Temple is also associated with the middle pillar of the Tree of
Life, which is associated with Tipheret.

In addition to this, Tipheret is called the Supernal King as well as the King to
whom peace belongs. This is reminiscent of the title "Prince of Peace," given to
the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 143a - R. Jose thereupon began


to speak on the words: The song of songs, which is Solomon's (S.S.I, 1). Said he:
‘This song King Solomon poured forth when the Temple was erected and all the
worlds, above and below, had reached their perfect consummation. And
although concerning the exact time of its singing there is some difference of
opinion among the members of the Fellowship, we may be certain that it was not
sung until that time of absolute completion, when the Moon-the Shekinah-came
to her fulness and was revealed in the full perfection of her radiance, and when
the Temple had been erected in the likeness of the Temple that is above. The
Holy One, blessed be He, then experienced such joy as He had not known since
the creation of the world. When Moses set up the Tabernacle in the wilderness,
another such was raised in the heavenly spheres, as we learn from the words:
“And it came to pass... that the Tabernacle was reared up”, the reference being
to the other Tabernacle, to that which was above, namely the Tabernacle of the
“Young Man”, Metatron, and nothing greater. But when the first Temple was
completed another Temple was erected at the same time, which was the centre
for all the worlds, shedding radiance upon all things and giving light to all the
spheres. Then the world was firmly established, and all the supernal casements
were opened to pour forth light, and all the worlds experienced such joy as had
never been known to them before, and celestial and terrestrial beings alike
broke forth in song. And the song which they sang is the “Song of Songs”, or, as
we might render, “Song of the Singers”, of those musicians who chant to the
Holy One, blessed be He. King David sang “A song of degrees”: King Solomon
sang “the Song of Songs”. Now what is the difference between the two? Do we
not interpret both titles to signify one and the same thing? Verily, this is so, for
both things are certainly one, but in the days of David all the singers of the
spheres were not yet set in their rightful places to chant the praises of their King,
because the Temple was not as yet in existence. For, as on earth, the levitic
singers are divided into groups, so is it likewise above, and the upper correspond
to the lower. But not before the Temple was erected did they assume these their
due places, and the lamp [Tr. note: Malkuth.] which before gave no light began
then to shed radiance abroad, and then this song was sung to the glory of the
Supernal King, [Tr. note:Tifereth.] the “King to whom peace belongs”.
This song is superior to all the hymns of praise which had ever been sung before.
The day on which this hymn was revealed on earth was perfect in all things, and
therefore the song is holy of holies.

This next section of the Zohar, gives credit to Tipheret (the Holy One), for
maintaining the order of the universe:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 22a - AND GOD SPAKE UNTO
MOSES, ETC. R. Abba began his reflections on this portion with the verse: Trust
the Lord for ever (lit. unto ’Ad), for in KAH TETRAGRAMMATON is fashioning of
worlds (lit. rock of ages) (Isa. XXVI, 4). ‘AII mankind’, he said, ‘should cleave to
the Holy One, blessed be He, and put their trust in Him, in order that their
strength should be drawn from the sphere called ’Ad [Tr.note: Tifereth.], which
sustains the universe and binds it into an indissoluble whole.

The "New Testament" attributes the same function to Yeshua:

Colossians 1:16,17 - For by him were all things created, that are in heaven,
and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or
dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for
him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Hebrews 1:1-3 - God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time
past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by
his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the
worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his
person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by
himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

In the following passage we have discussion within the context of Jacob (a


picture of Messiah) talking with his sons about the end times when unity
(tipheret) will come to the earth. A connection is made between this concept and
the heave offering found in the Torah. Here, the heave offering is said to
represent the unification of what is below (represented by Malkut/Kingdom) to
what is above (represented by Tipheret). This, as wehave seen, is a function of
Messiah. There is also a lesson given that only some people are able to perform
the heave offering while completely focusing on the Heavenly King, Tipheret, for
which they are blessed:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 133b - ‘Now when Jacob


perceived that the Shekinah was withdrawing from him, he questioned his sons,
as we have pointed out. And as Jacob and his sons proclaimed the union of the
world above and the world below, so also must we. Blessed is he who
concentrates his mind and will, with true humility and longing, upon this
mystery. Blessed is he in this world and blessed shall he be in the world to
come!’ Said R. Hamnuna the Ancient: ‘This stirring up of the unity has indeed
been rightly and justly expounded, and that which we have just now heard is
indeed very true; and in the future time these word's which we have now uttered
will stand before the Ancient of Days and in no wise be abashed.’He then began
to expound this passage as follows. ‘ “They shall take Me a heave offering.” Here
we have displayed an inclusive union of the above with the below, for it does not
say “They shall take a heave offering”, but “They shall take Me a heave
offering”, which denotes a fusion of the upper with the lower spheres. [Tr. note:
i.e. Tifereth with Malkuth.] “On the part of everyone whose heart is willing ye
should take my heave offering.” The words “on the part of” seem at first sight to
be superfluous, but in reality they contain a deep lesson for the masters of the
esoteric lore. Blessed are the righteous who have learnt how to centre all
their thoughts and desires on the Heavenly King, and whose aspirations
are directed, not towards the vain and foolish toys of this world and its lusts, but
to attaching themselves wholeheartedly to the world above in order to draw
down the favour of the Lord Himself from heaven to earth.

TIPHERET - ENEMY OF SATAN, ATONEMENT OF ISRAEL

In the same Appendix is an interesting statement that Satan (called Samael) is


the enemy of Tipheret, again called the Holy King, who will be united with
Shekinah, further linking Tipheret to the Messiah:

Zohar Appendix III - The Designations and The Categories, 3c - The


distinction between ‘right’ and ‘left’ in the Zohar corresponds, not only to the
distinction between reward and punishment in the next world, but also between
good and evil, and specifically moral good and evil in this world. Samael, the
power of evil, the tempter, the accuser, the evil Serpent, is placed on the left
and is identified with the grade Geburah. Now Samael is represented as the
opponent not of Hesed but of Tifereth. He is the Great Dragon, who on New Year
swallows the Moon, that is, prevents the union of the Matrona with the Holy King,
until Israel by their sacrifice on the Day of Atonement induce him to desist.

What is interesting in the verse above is the allusion to left and right
representing good and evil in this world and their accompanying reward or
punishment in the next world.

This is reminiscent of Yeshua's description of what faces the nations He will one
day judge:

Matthew 25:32-33 - And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall
separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the
goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

It may sound odd to hear of Satan "being placed on the left side" with Gevurah,
an attribute of God. However, even the prince of darkness is subject to the will of
God and serves His ultimate purpose. (Recall that the Yetzer hara - man's "evil
inclination," is also said to come from the left side.)

Another key point above, is the reference to Satan "swallowing the Moon" on
New Year (Rosh Hashana) and being defeated by Israel's Yom Kippur sacrifice.
The seven day period between these two feasts mirrors the seven years
tribulation period preceding the final defeat of Satan.

The "New Testament" states that it is Yeshua's salvation sacrifice that defeats
Satan:

Revelation 12:10 - And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come
salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his
Messiah; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them
before our God day and night.

Note the linguistic similarity between the Zohar Appendix (above) and
Revelation:

Revelation 12:1-11 - And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman


clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown
of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to
be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great
red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his
heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them
to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be
delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth
a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was
caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness,
where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a
thousand two hundred and threescore days. And there was war in heaven:
Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his
angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil,
and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the
earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in
heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and
the power of his Messiah: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which
accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the
blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not
their lives unto the death.

Both the Zohar and book of Revelation use terms such as sun, moon and stars to
represent heavenly beings. Paul, in speaking of the resurrection and end times,
also alludes to the glory of heavenly beings, using the same terms. The context
of the passage below is concerned with physical bodies that will pass away, as
opposed to spiritual and eternal ones. The latter are represented by the sun,
moon and stars.

The Sod level understanding here would be that of Tipheret/Messiah (sun),


Malkut/Shekinah (moon) and the angels of God (stars):

1 Corinthians 15:35-57 - But some man will say, How are the dead raised up?
and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not
quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body
that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But
God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All
flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of
beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies,
and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the
terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the
moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in
glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised
in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in
weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual
body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written,
The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a
quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is
natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth,
earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they
also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are
heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the
image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot
inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I
shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a
moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall
sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For
this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on
immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this
mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying
that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O
grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is
the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord
Yeshua haMashiach.

The Zohar section above also speaks of Israel, by their sacrifice on the Day of
Atonement, inducing Satan to desist. The book of Hebrews says that Yeshua is
Israel's final Yom Kippur sacrifice for salvation. (Explanatory notes have been
interjected into the text):

Hebrews 9:7- 28 - But into the second went the high priest alone once every
year, [Yom Kippur sacrifice] not without blood, which he offered for himself,
and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into
the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet
standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered
both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as
pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers
washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
[the Millennial Sabbath] But Messiah being come an high priest of good
things to come, [Jubilee Release] by a greater and more perfect tabernacle,
[Tipheret, the heavenly tabernacle of all the Supreme grades - Zohar
Shemoth, Section 2, Page 136a -138b] not made with hands, that is to say,
not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own
blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption
for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling
the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the
blood of Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to
God, purge your conscience from dead works [works of Torah- Ephesians
2:10-13, Romans 3:31] to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the
mediator of the new testament, [the New Covenant made with Israel,
Jeremiah chapter 31] that by means of death, for the redemption of the
transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might
receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must
also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after
men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
[through faith we are considered heirs, but inheritance only comes
upon death] Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without
blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to
the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool,
and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the
blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled
with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all
things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no
remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens
should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better
sacrifices than these. For Messiah is not entered into the holy places made with
hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in
the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the
high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then
must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in
the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of
himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
So Messiah was once offered to bear the sins of many; [the context is still
solely the Yom Kippur sacrifice for salvation] and unto them that look for
him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. [at "Yom
Kippur" - the end of the seven year tribulation].

TIPHERET - THE "SON"

The following section of the Zohar, relates a conversation between two rabbis,
discussing Proverbs 30:4, particularly the end of the verse, which asks "and what
is his son's name, if thou canst tell?" The answer they arrive at for the name of
the "Son of God" should not be surprising:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 79b - ‘R. Jose applied the verse,
“Who hath ascended, etc.”, first to Moses, then to the Holy One, and finally to
the four elements, and I saw that thou, Master, didst bless him!’ Said R. Simeon:
‘What he said was perfectly true. All the applications signify one and the same
thing, since they all have their root and fulfilment in the Holy One, and they are
all practically equivalent.’ R. Jesse was deeply impressed by these words and
said: ‘Now I see that this is indeed so. And I have also heard it on another
occasion from the mouth of the Master. But what is the meaning of the words,
“And what is his son's name?” ‘ R. Simeon replied: ‘The inner meaning of this I
myself have taught my son, R. Eleazar.’ ‘I pray thee, tell it to me, for I did ask
thee concerning it in a dream, but when I awoke I had forgotten thine answer.’
‘And now, when I tell thee, wilt thou remember it?’ ‘I surely will,’ replied R. Jesse,
‘I always remember what my Mastor tells me.’ Said R. Simeon: ‘The words must
be understood in the light of the expression, “My first-born son Israel” (Ex. IV,
22), and “Israel, in whom I am glorified” (Isa. XLIX, 3). “Israel” here refers to the
supernal world, and it is this which is called “son”. Whereupon R. Jesse replied:
‘With all due respect to the Master, this is a secret which I already know.’ But yet
again he forgot it. He was much perturbed. But when he went into his house and
lay down to sleep, he saw in his dream an haggadic book, wherein it was written:
“Wisdom (Hokmah) and glory (Tifereth) in His sanctuary.” When he awoke, he
straightway went to R. Simeon, kissed his hand, and said: ‘This night I saw in my
dream an haggadic book wherein were written the words: “Wisdom and glory in
His sanctuary”, “Wisdom” above, “Glory” below, and “in His sanctuary” at the
side. This I saw in a dream, and I found it on my lips when I awoke.’ Said R.
Simeon to him: ‘Until this time thou wast too young to join the company of the
“reapers of the field”, but now everything has been shown unto thee! Thus the
meaning is: Wisdom (Hokmah) is His Name and Glory (Tifereth) the name of
His son.’

Another section of the Zohar refers to the "firstborn son Israel," (also known as
"supernal Israel.") and links this to Tipheret. (Keep in mind that Israel is also
God's Messiah.) There is a reference to the "Jubilee," which as we have seen is
directly associated with Messiah and the Millennium:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 85a - ‘We have been taught in
the name of R. Simeon that in the hour when the Torah was given to Israel
Mother and children were together in perfect harmony, as it is written, “the
mother of the children rejoiced” (Ps. XCIII, 9).’ Thus “I” in this verse refers to the
Shekinah, called “daughter” in the dictum “Abraham had a daughter, the
Shekinah”. “The Lord thy God” has the same reference as in the verse, “My
firstborn son Israel” (Ex. IV, 22) (i.e. Tifereth); while the words “who hath
brought thee out of the land of Egypt” refer to the mystery of “Jubilee.”

Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, refers to Yeshua as bringing to us both


wisdom and understanding (the higher Sephirot). This is done through faith and
is referred to as the mystery of his will. This is further associated with the end
times where He will bring all things into harmony:

Ephesians 1:8-9 - Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and


prudence [understanding]; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will,
according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the
dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in
Messiah, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
The language in the next section of the Zohar, parallels Paul's statement in
Ephesians (above). Here we have Tipheret called "the firstborn son" of the Father
(Chokhmah/Wisdom) and Mother (Binah/Understanding). This is of course at the
"Sod" level, (i.e., metaphorical), but so is the idea of "Father" in the Bible
(otherwise you have to have a literal mother and impregnation to have a "son").

It is the Son (Tipheret) Who brings us (our Neshamah - see previous section), into
a relationship with Wisdom (Chokhmah) and Understanding (Binah). This is all
tied to spiritual knowledge (da'at), caled the mystery of the heavens, which is
the realm of the Ruach haKodesh (God's Holy Spirit).

All of this is considered (in the same language as Paul) to be part of what is
called the mystery of the Faith:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 136b - The word OMeR (speech)
indicates the letters and paths which proceed from the Father[Tr. note:
Hokmah.] the Mother, [Tr. note: Binah.] and the head which issues from them,
who is the firstborn Son. [Tr. note: ‘ Tifereth.] Aleph symbolizes the Father,
and when it ascends and descends, the Mem unites itself with it, producing em,
which signifies Mother; the resh is the Head (rosh =head), signifying Son. When
these three unite the result is that they form “Word”, “Speech”. Thus the Father,
the Mother, and the first born Son radiate one within the other in one union,
which has its reign and duration upon the Sabbath. Thus all are united so as to
become one, and therefore they hasten one to another that Omer, as a supernal
reign, in order that all should be one. But when all has been conveyed down to
that “firmament”, then it diffuses light upon the “Glory of God” below that it may
produce beings in the likeness of the heavens which give light to that Glory.
“And night unto night declareth knowledge.” These are those “chariots” which
form the body of the Throne; they are called “nights”, as it is written: “My reins
also instruct me in the nights” (Ps. XVI, 7). The upper chariot is called “Days” or
“day unto day’,, the lower “Nights”, or “night unto night”. Ye-hawe (declares)
may also mean “makes alive”, to wit, produces the progeny of the heavens,
“brings unto life” generations. “Knowledge” designates the mystery of the
heavens: as the heavens have six sides, so also the generations which they
bring into life in their likeness. Thus “day unto day” is included in a supernal
sphere called “Word” (omer), and “night unto night” in the mystery of the Male,
who gives light to her and whose name is “Knowledge”. And because this
“Word” is not like other words, but is a supernal mystery, Scripture comes back
to it and says: “There is no word (omer) nor speeches, their voices are not
heard” (v. 3). This “word” is a supreme mystery of supernal grades, where there
are no voices nor speech, and which cannot be understood like the other grades
which constitute the mystery of the Faith, and which are voices that can be
heard. And yet “Their line is gone out through all the earth” (v. 4), although they
are supernal mysteries which can never be perfectly comprehended, yet the
current of their flow is downward. Because of this current, we have a true Faith
in this world, and all mankind can discourse of the mystery of the Faith of the
Holy One in connection with these grades, as if they were revealed to and not
hidden from them. Therefore it says: “And their words to the end of the world”
(Ibid.), which means that from the beginning to the end of the world the “wise of
heart” discourse of those hidden grades although they cannot be
comprehended. And how far are they comprehended? “In them hath he set a
tent for the sun” (Ibid.), because the holy sun [Tr. note: ‘ Tifereth.] is as a
tabernacle of all those supreme grades, and is as a light which has taken into
itself all the hidden lights and the whole current of their extension, whereby
Faith is manifested in the whole world. To grasp the Sun is equivalent to
grasping all grades, because the sun is a “tent” including all and absorbing all;
and he in turn lights up all the shining colours below. Hence “He is a bridegroom
coming forth from his canopy (covering)” (v. 6), in the gleam and flash of those
hidden lights which in strong yearning and desire give him tokens of their love,
as to a bridegroom to whom all his friends give presents and gifts. And what is
“his covering”? Eden, the “covering” which covers up all things. “He rejoiceth”
from the side of the primeval light in which judgement has no place at all. “As a
strong man” (gibbor)-from the side of “strength” (geburah); and note that it does
not say here “a strong man”, but “as a strong man”, which means that
Judgement is tempered by Mercy. Thus the sun gathers all together in one, in
perfect devotion and love. “To run on the way”, in order to nourish and
complement the Moon on every side and make it possible for her to shed her
light downwards. “His going forth is from the end of the heaven” (v. 7). He goes
forth from the end of that supernal heaven, from the termination[Tr. note:
Yesod.] of the Body, as it is written, “From one end of heaven to the other end of
the heaven” (Deut. IV, 32); where the “one end” designates the upper world, and
the “other end” its termination. “And his circuit unto the ends of it” (Ibid.): he
(the sun) runs through all those holy regions that are capable of being vivified
and nourished by his rays. “And there is nothing hid from the heat thereof”
(Ibid.): nothing is hidden from that radiance, for it is directed towards all
together, to each according to its capacity of reception. When all are thus
completed and vivified by the Sun, then the Moon is crowned in the likeness
of the supernal perfect Mother in fifty gates.

Note also the reference to the bridegroom being "strength" (gevurah) above and
in the book of Revelation:

Revelation 12:10 - And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come
salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his
Messiah.

TIPHERET - ADDITIONAL REFERENCES - PART 2


(Last updated 3/23/01)

In this section we continue to review references to the Sephirah of Tipheret in


Jewish literature, that can be connected to the Messiah, the Tenakh, and the
"New Testament."

TIPHERET - LIVING WATERS AND THE "FATHER"

The following section of the Zohar comments on the fifth commandment to


honor father and mother. Much has been written on why this commandment is
within the "first five," which are said to be commandments between God and
man (as opposed to the "second five," considered to be between man and
neighbor).

The Zohar extends the idea of "father and mother" beyond our physical parents,
to honoring God, that is both the "masculine" and "femine" aspects of God
(Chokhmah and Binah). Tipheret is referred to in the context of the living waters
of Eden (see previous study section) that decend from the realm of Eyn Sof. As
previously mentioned, in the "New Testament," Yeshua called Himself the source
of living waters. Interestingly, we also see Tipheret called "the Father" in this
section:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 90a - HONOUR THY FATHER AND
THY MOTHER. R. Hiya connected this command with the words: “And a river
went out of Eden to water the garden” (Gen. II, 10). ‘The “river” he said, is
the issue of the fountain which flows perennially and from whence the whole
Garden of Eden is watered, and this issue [Tr. Note: Tifereth.] of the holy
fountain is called Ab- "Father".’

(Note: The subject of "living waters" is also closely associated with the Sephirah
of Yesod, which we will discuss in a future section.)

The prophet Isaiah refers to a significant child being called "father":

Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the
government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

John makes the following series of mystical references to Yeshua being one with
the Father:

John 1:14 - And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld
his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and
truth.

John 10:30 - I and my Father are one.

John 14:7-11 - If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and
from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord,
shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Yeshua saith unto him, Have I been so
long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen
me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I
speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he
doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or
else believe me for the very works' sake.

John 15:23-24 - He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done
among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now
have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
John 17:21-23 - That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I
in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou
hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they
may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be
made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and
hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

The next Zohar section speaks of the flow of blessings (the waters of Eden) from
Chokhmah (Wisdom) down through Yesod (Foundation), then to Malkut
(Kingdom). This text refers to Tipheret (which is in the middle), as being "the
Lord."

Note also the role of Yesod, which will be discussed in detail in the sections of
this study:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 135b - ‘The congregation


respond: “Blessed is the Lord who is blessed for ever and ever.” The expression
“who is blessed” indicates the streaming of blessings from the source of life to
the place whence issue nourishment and bounty for all creatures. And why do we
call this source “blessed”? Because it sustains and waters ’olam va'ed (lit. for
ever and ever), which is the Sabbath eve. In this way blessings are transmitted
to this ’olam va'ed from the highest world, so that it attains its full perfection.
Thus in this benediction, “blessed” represents the ultimate source whence all
blessings emanate ; [Tr. note: Hohmah.] “the Lord” is the centre [Tr. note:
Tifereth.] of all the supernal sides; “who is blessed” represents the peace of the
house, the fountain of the cistern, [Tr. note: Yesod]. providing completion and
nourishment for all, while “for ever and ever” refers to the world below, [Tr.
note: Malkuth.] which needs these blessings: the “good oil” of “blessed”, “the
Lord”, and “the Blessed One” is all for this ’olam va'ed. Therefore the whole
congregation has to recite this every day; but on Sabbath eve it must be recited
with special devotion and gladness, in order that the Sabbath may be fitly
blessed by the holy people. When they begin to recite this benediction a voice is
heard in all the heavens that are sanctified by the entrance of the Sabbath:
“Blessed are ye, holy people, for that ye bless and sanctify on earth below, that
thereby many supernal holy hosts may be blessed and sanctified above.”
Blessed are they in this world and blessed are they in the world to come. The
Israelites do not recite this benediction until they are crowned with the
crowns of holy souls, as we have said before. Blessed is the people who is
worthy of them in this world, so that it may merit them in the world to come.

The end of this portion (above) speaks of the faithful as receiving "crowns," for
their faithfulness, which is of course similar to the teachings of the "New
Testament":

2 Timothy 4:8 - Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,


which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me
only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
James1:12 - Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried,
he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that
love him.

1 Peter 5:4 - And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a
crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Revelation 3:11 - Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that
no man take thy crown.

The language in the Zohar portion (above) concerns; a) Tipheret (Messiah), b)


the "House," c) Yesod (Foundation) and d) God's people sanctifying themselves
so as to act as vessels that can receive God's living waters.

This closely resembles a portion in one of Paul's letters to Timothy:

2 Timothy 2:19-21 - Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure,


having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that
nameth the name of Messiah depart from iniquity. But in a great house there
are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and
some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself
from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the
master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

TIPHERET - THE BRIDEGROOM OF UNITY

The Biblical book Song of Solomon ("Song of Songs") is considered to be one of


the most mystical texts of the Bible. The term "Song of Songs" is equated with
"Holy of Holies." It is evident from its text that Song of Songs is not meant to be
taken at the literal level. Its deeper meaning is found at a Kaballistic level, where
which understands it as being a dialogue between the Messiah and the Shekinah,
who are presently separated, but will become united at the end of this age, when
the Name of God is made One again.

The following text concerns the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4), and two other verses
that also start with the words, "Hear O Israel." The teaching shows that the
Shema is directly tied to the idea of the unification of God's name, which comes
when Tipheret (the husband) and Malkut (the bride) come together in the
Millennium. (This will be discussed in detail in an upcoming section of this
study.):

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 160b - R. Hiya and R. Jose were
walking together. Said R. Jose: ‘Let us now think on spiritual matters and talk on
the words of the Torah.’ He thereupon began by pointing out that three passages
are introduced by the words, Hear, O Israel. “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the
Lord is One” (Deut. VI, 4); “Hear, O Israel, this day thou hast become a people to
the Lord thy God” (Ibid. XXVII, 9); and “Hear, O Israel, thou art to pass the Jordan
this day” (Ibid. LX, I). ‘Why’, he said, ‘did Moses commence in each of these
cases with the word “hear”? In the first, indeed, the word seems appropriate, but
what is its point in the other two cases? The truth is that in all three passages it
is meant to teach a special lesson. This is obvious in the case of the first, where
the word “hear” indicates the unity in the supernal Wisdom of what is
above and what is below. The word Shema’ consists of shem (name) and ‘ain
(seventy), indicating the combination of this Name and the other seventy from
whence it derives blessing. At the recitation of the Shema’, therefore, one must
concentrate attention on this union of all the Divine names. For these seventy
Names constitute the mystery of the supernal Chariot from whence that Name
receives blessing and in which it is contained. Then comes the word Israel,
referring, as we have learnt, to “Ancient Israel” (Tifereth), so that this
emanation may also be included. So “Hear, O Israel,” signifies the union of the
Spouse with her Husband (i.e. Malkuth with Tifereth), so that all is in all,
and all is one.

The union of Tipheret to the Shekinah (at the end of this age) is said to be the
union of the "Supernal Sabbath," to the earthly Sabbath, a time known as Yom
Shekulo Shabbat - "a time that is all Sabbath" - the Kingdom of God on earth.
The following text associates Tipheret (which is "male") with the heavenly
Sabbath and the Shekinah (which is "female") to the earthly Sabbath:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 138a - In fact, whenever


“Sabbath” is mentioned it refers to the “eve of the Sabbath” (i.e. the Shekinah),
but when it says “the Sabbath day”, it denotes the Supernal Sabbath (i.e.
Tifereth). The former is symbolized by the Female, the latter by the Male. Thus
“And the children of Israel should keep the Sabbath” (Ex. XXXI, I6) alludes to the
Female, which is the night (layla), and “remember the Sabbath day” (Ibtd. xx, 8)
alludes to the Male. Thus the sabbath here below sings a hymn to the Sabbath
above.

This next reference contains an interesting teaching that says in the days of
Solomon, the sun (Tipheret) was hidden and the moon (the Shekinah) was
present. In the days of Moses however, the moon was "gathered in," while the
sun "held sway."

As mentioned earlier, Moses is the only prophet ever to have vision "at the level
of Tipheret." That being the case, and Tipheret being linked to the "voice of
God," and knowing that Moses "spoke directly with God," and that according to
Paul, the "well" (rock) in the wilderness was Yeshua, we can see a close
association between Moses and Yeshua, the latter of whom, being Messiah, is
associated with Tipheret:

Soncino Zohar, Bemidbar, Section 3, Page 181b - When Miriam departed,


the well which accompanied Israel in the wilderness also departed. Therefore
THERE WAS NO WATER FOR THE CONGREGATION, because the well had
departed both above and below. Then the right hand was broken, as it says,
“Let Aaron be gathered to his people”, and finally the sun was darkened, when
God said to Moses, “And die in the mountain”, etc. There never was a generation
like that in which Moses was present along with Aaron and Miriam. And think not
that there was the like in the days of Solomon, for in the days of Solomon the
Moon held sway but the Sun was gathered in, whereas in the days of Moses the
Moon was gathered in but the Sun held sway. It is written: “And the sun ariseth
and the sun goeth down” (Eccl. 1, 5). This signifies, as we have explained, that
when the Israelites came forth from Egypt the Sun [Tr. note: Tifereth.] shone
for them and not the Moon, but it went down in the wilderness. To where, then,
was it gathered in? “Unto its place”, in order to give light to the Moon.
So it was with Moses, and that is the point of the verse, “What profit is there to a
man from all his labour”, etc. (Ibid. 3). The “man” here is Joshua, who laboured
to give Israel possession of the land and yet did not succeed in bringing the
Moon to fullness, because he laboured for Israel “under the sun”, that is, on a
lower plane than the sun of Moses, and he did not really take his place. That
being so, what was his glory, seeing that he did not reach perfection on either
side (either of the sun or of the moon)? R. Simeon said: ‘What is “under the
sun”? This is the moon; and whoever attaches himself to the moon without the
sun, his labour is “under the sun” assuredly; and this was the original sin of the
world; and hence it says, “What profit is there to man in all his labour, to wit, to
the first Adam and all who have followed him.’

What is interesting in the above text is the implication that the sun (Tipheret)
departs for the moon (Shekinah) to manifest. This is reminiscent of Yeshua's
words when He was approaching the time of His departure:

John 16:7 - Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go
away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I
will send him unto you.

As mentioned earlier, the merciful (right) side of God can "carry the day," when
moved by true repentance -- even when His "mind is made up." The following
text shows an example for us, in this life. Although we are to be conformed to
the entire image of God (left and right sides), we too are to bring the thoughts
and actions of the (judgmental) left side "into" the (merciful) right side, allowing
the latter to "have the final say." In this way we fully emulate God and are
acceptable to Him.

This section also teaches, that one cannot wait to do this after leaving this world.
(i.e., And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. -
Hebrews 9:27.):

Soncino Zohar, Bemidbar, Section 3, Page 178a - R.Simeon, he quoted to


him the verse: “See life with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of
thy vanity” (Eccl. IX, 9). ‘This’, he said, ‘is a hint to a man that he should unite
Life with this place, [Tr. note: i.e. Tifereth with Malkuth.] the measure of day
with the measure of night. All Solomon's words’, he went on, ‘are written in
wisdom, yet it would seem that here he is giving the rein to worldliness, and
equally in the words that follow: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do with thy
might, for there is no work nor device”, etc. How could the wise Solomon speak
thus? But, indeed, all the words of Solomon have a deep inner significance. What
is indicated here is that a man should always merge the left in the right,
and all his actions should be controlled by the right. Thus we interpret,
“all that thy hand findeth to do” of the left, and “that do with thy might” of the
right. When a man is careful that all his acts should be towards the right side,
and that he should include the left in the right, then God dwells within him in this
world and brings him into the next world. A man should not say, When I
reach that world I will seek mercy of the King and repent before him,
for “there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom” after a man
departs from this world, but if a man desires that the Holy King should
illumine him for that world and give him a share in the world to come, he should
strive in this world to place his actions in the sphere of the right.

The example given above, is that man is to understand and follow Tipheret. As
was already mentioned; "To grasp the Sun (Tipheret) is equivalent to grasping all
grades," (Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 136a -138b).

Paul taught the same about Yeshua. To "grasp Him" (by faith) enables us to be
like Him ("the image of the invisible God" - Colossians 1:15), in Whom is the
fulness of God (all the grades/Sephirot), "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of
the Godhead bodily." (Colossians 2:9):

Ephesians 3:17-19 - That Messiah may dwell in your hearts by faith; [to
"grasp Him"] that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to
comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and
height [the dimensions of physical space as represented by Tipheret];
And to know the love of Messiah, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be
filled with all the fulness of God ["all of the grades"].

TIPHERET - HIGH PRIEST

The Zohar explains that the purpose of the Priesthood here on earth was similar
to that of Tipheret in the heavenlies, that being to unify the left and right sides of
the Godhead, which in turn unifies the upper and lower worlds (i.e., Tipheret and
Malkut).

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 244a - It is written: “The one


lamb thou shalt offer in the morning, and the second lamb shalt thou offer at
even” (Num. XXVIII, 4). Prayers have been ordained to correspond to the daily
offerings. Through the impulse from below there is a stirring above, and through
the impulse from above there is a stirring higher up still, until the impulse
reaches the place where the lamp is to be lit and it is lit. Thus by the impulse of
the smoke (of the sacrifice) from below, the lamp is kindled above, and when
this is kindled all the other lamps are kindled and all the worlds are blessed from
it. Thus the impulse of the sacrifice is the mainstay of the world and the blessing
of all worlds. When the smoke commences to rise, the holy forms in charge of
the world derive satisfaction, and are disposed thereby to stir the grades above
them; and so the impulse rises until the King desires to associate with the
Matron. Through the yearning of the lower world the lower waters flow forth to
meet the upper waters, for the upper waters do not flow save from the impulse
of the desire from below. Thus mutual desire is kindled and the lower waters flow
to meet the upper waters, and worlds are blest, and all lamps are kindled, and
upper and lower are endowed with blessings. Observe that the function of
the priests and Levites is to unite the Left with the Right. Said R. Hizkiah:
‘That is so, but I have been told that one rouses the Left and the other the Right,
because the union of male and female is only brought about by Left and Right,
as it says: “O that his left hand were under my head, and his right hand should
embrace me” (S. S. II, 6). Then male and female are united, and there is mutual
desire and worlds are blessed and upper and lower rejoice. Hence we see that
the sacrifice is the support and the mainstay of the world, and the joy of upper
and lower.’ Said R. Jose: ‘You are certainly right, and I had heard this before but
had forgotten it. This, too, I have learnt, that nowadays prayer takes the place of
sacrifice, and a man should fittingly pronounce the praise of his Master, and if
not, his prayer is no prayer. The most perfect form of praising God is to unify the
Holy Name in the fitting manner, for through this upper and lower are set in
motion, and blessings flow to all worlds.’

Midrash Rabbah gives us a direct connection between Tipheret and the High
Priesthood:

Midrash Rabbah - Exodus IX:7 - And the honour of his excellent (tifereth)
majesty, and elsewhere we read: And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron
thy brother, for splendour and for beauty-tifereth (Ex. XXVIII, 2). Just as the word
'tifereth' in this connection refers to the robes of the High Priest, so does the
word 'tifereth' mentioned in the story of Ahasuerus refer to the robes of the High
Priest. ’

Midrash Rabbah also connects Tipheret to the one who calmed the seas
(Matthew 8:24-27):

Midrash Rabbah - Esther II:1 - A fool spendeth all his spirit (Prov. XXIX, 11):
this applies to Ahasuerus. But a wise man stilleth it within him (ib.): this applies
to God who calmed Ahasuerus, in the same way as it says, Who stillest the
roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples
(Ps. LXV, 8.). 1. WHEN HE SHOWED THE RICHES OF HIS GLORIOUS KINGDOM (I,
4). The School of Jannai and Hezekiah both said: He used every day to open six
treasuries and show them the contents. R. Hiyya b. Abba said: He showed them
the accounts of his expenditure. R. Judah b. Simon said: He showed them the
dishes of the Land of Israel. R. Levi said He showed them the priestly robes. It
says here, HIS GLORIOUS (TIFERETH) KINGDOM, and it says elsewhere, And
thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, for splendour and for
beauty-le-tifereth (Ex. XXVIII, 2). Just as the word 'tifereth' there refers to the
garments of the high priest, so here it refers to the garments of the high
priest.

Concerning the above, the "New Testament" teaches that Yeshua is our heavenly
High Priest, and that we are to be conformed to His image (Romans 8:29). Paul,
in his letter to Ephesians, encourages believers to do this by being "strong in the
Lord and in the power of his might."

Paul's description of how we are to do this, is to "put on" the priestly garments:
Ephesians 6:10-17: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the
power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to
stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of
this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you
the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and
having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with
truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with
the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take
the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

THE UNIQUE NAME OF GOD


(Last updated 7/18/01)

There is a specific and important reason that we have presented the preceding
material on Tipheret and that of the following sections. Though many of the
Pharisees and other Jews may not have accepted Yeshua when he walked among
them, and later Jews have come to reject the Christianized view of Messiah (in
the form of an anti-Torah "Jesus"), it is clear that the Jewish sages of the Talmud,
Midrash, Zohar, and other writings, arrived at conclusions that mirror the
teachings of the "New Testament," when the latter is interpreted at the same
level.

This is especially true in their teachings on; Yesod, the Tzaddik, Tipheret,
Metatron, the "middle pillar," Melchizadek, Boel, and the "Memra." This makes
sense, as Yeshua fills the "mold" that the Torah presents of Him. One can only
wonder where we would all be in our learning if the the "New Testament"
writings had been taught at such a level since their origin, as opposed to the
non-Hebraic, anti-Torah interpretation that has been placed on them.

What do the following three Scriptures have in common?

Matthew 1:17 - All the generations, therefore, from Abraham unto David are
fourteen generations, and from David unto the Babylonian removal fourteen
generations, and from the Babylonian removal unto the Messiah, fourteen
generations.

Numbers 33:1-2 - These are the journeys of the children of Israel, which went
forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies under the hand of Moses and
Aaron. And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the
commandment of the LORD: and these are their journeys according to their
goings out.

Exodus 24:9-10 - Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and
seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was
under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the
body of heaven in his clearness.
If the "connection" seems difficult to see - don't worry - it's far from obvious.
(Yes, the "answer" will be revealed.) This is a complex section - the reader is
encouraged to refer back to previous sections on the Shekinah and Tipheret
wherever needed.

One of the more interesting, yet esoteric topics in Bible study, is that of the use
of numbers. Most Bible students are aware of certain numbers that have special
signficance. Numbers such as 3,7,10,12 and 40, appear often in both the Tenakh
and "New Testament." The Jewish mystical writings have a lot to say about
numbers and also about the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, including their "role"
in creation, their numerical values, combinations of certain letters, and the
amount of letters used to form various "names" of God.

The most obvious example would be the four-letter name of God, YHWH. There
are also other "names" of God referred to in Judaism, including one with twelve
letters, one with forty-two letters, and another containing seventy-two. The focus
of this study will be on the forty-two letter name of God, also known as the
Unique Name of God.

There is no single name of forty-two letters known in any language. Maimonides


concluded that the forty-two letters formed several words, each expressing a
definite idea or fundamental attribute of the Supreme Being, and all together
providing the true definition of the Divine essence.1

Early commentators say that the forty-two letters are a combination of the first
forty-two letters of the Torah. The Name may also be associated with the phrase
God used to reply to Moses, "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh", ("I Am that I Am"), which
comes out to 42 in gematria (doubling the value of the Name Ehyeh, which
equals 21 in Hebrew numerology.)

There is an interesting blessing regarding this particular name of God,


reminiscent of how the book of Revelation begins with a blessing:

Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 71a - The forty-two lettered Name is entrusted only
to him who is pious, meek, middle-aged, free from bad temper, sober, and not
insistent on his rights. And he who knows it, is heedful thereof, and observes it in
purity, is beloved above and popular below, feared by man, and inherits two
worlds, this world and the future world.

THE NAME IN CREATION

The forty-two letter Name of God is closely associated with God and His role in
creation. The following verse from the Zohar speaks to this, also describing these
letters as being an "ornament," which is another translation of the word Tipheret
(Strong's #8597):

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 30a - AND THE EARTH WAS
VOID AND WITHOUT FORM. This describes the original state-as it were, the dregs
of ink clinging to the point of the pen-in which there was no subsistence, until
the world was graven with forty-two letters, all of which are the ornamentation of
the Holy Name.

The "New Testament" refers to this being the role of Yeshua:

John 1:3 - All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing
made that was made.

The "Holy Name" of God (in the Zohar above), also called the Unique Name, is
directly associated with Tipheret. (See section below on "The Name at Sinai.")

The Zohar has a section on the creation of all the heavens, which is said to have
"six sides." These heavens (which testify to God) are said to hold the mystery of
the forty-two letter name of God:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 16a - Up to this point only


extend the allusions to the Most Mysterious who carves out and builds and
vivifies in mysterious ways, through the esoteric explanation of one verse. From
this point onwards bara shith, “he created six”, from the end of heaven to the
end thereof, six sides which extend from the supernal mystic essence, through
the expansion of creative force from a primal point. Here has been inscribed the
mystery of the name of forty-two letters.

The forty-two letters of the Divine Name are also said to be the power (along
with the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet) behind the Urim and
Thummin, which the High Priest used to determine the will of God. Here we see
reference to the luminous speculum (mirror) and non-luminous speculum. The
former is the clear mirror through which only Moses saw (Tipheret), and the
latter the dim mirror (Malkut) through which all other prophets see. (See section
below on "The Name at Sinai" for more on this subject):

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 234a - R. Judah followed with a


discourse on the verse: “The counsel of the Lord is with them that fear him; and
his covenant to make them know it” (Ps. xxv, 14). ‘ “The counsel” he said,
‘alludes to the sublime mystical knowledge which remains hidden and
undisclosed save for those that fear the Lord continuously and thus prove
themselves worthy of these secrets and able to keep them. Observe that the
world has been made and established by an engraving of forty-two letters, all of
which are the adornment of the Divine Name. These letters combined and
soared aloft and dived downwards, forming themselves into crowns in the four
directions of the world, so that it might endure. They then went forth and
created the upper world and the lower, the world of unification and the world of
division. In the latter they are called “mountains of separation” ("bather" - Song
of Songs II, 17), which are watered when the south side begins to come near
them. The water flows with supernal energy and with ecstatic joy. Whilst the
Thought mounts up with exulting joy out of the most Undisclosed One, there
flows out of it a spark: the two then come into contact with each other, as
explained elsewhere. [Tr. note: Zohar, Exodus, 220b.] These forty-two letters
thus constitute the supernal mystical principle; by them were created the upper
and the lower worlds, and they indeed constitute the basis and recondite
significance of all the worlds. Thus is explained the verse, “The secret of the Lord
is to them that fear him; and his covenant to make them know it”, the first part
alluding to the undisclosed engraven letters, whereas the latter speaks of the
revealed. Now, it is written: “And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgement
the Urim and the Thummim” (Ex. XXVIII, 30). The term “Urim” (lit. Iight,
illumination) signifies the luminous speculum, which consisted of the engravure
of the Divine Name composed of forty-two letters by which the world was
created; whereas the Thummim consisted of the non-luminous speculum made
of the Divine Name as manifested in the twenty-two letters. The combination of
the two is thus called Urim and Thummim. Observe that by the power of these
sunken letters were the other letters, namely, the raised letters forming the
names of the tribes, now illumined, now darkened. The letters of the Divine
Name embrace the mystery of the Torah, and all the worlds are a projection of
the mystery of those letters.

THE NAME WITH JACOB

The following section explains how the Shekinah accompanied Jacob when he
went to Egypt. It is said that "forty-two heavenly attendants," which are
associated with the Holy Name of God, were with the Shekinah:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 5a - Said R. Simeon: ‘When the


Shekinah went down to Egypt, a celestial "living being" (Hayah, cf.Ezek. 1, 5),
called "Israel", in form like the patriarch Jacob, went down with Her,
accompanied by forty-two heavenly attendants, each of whom bore a letter
belonging to the Holy Name. They all descended with Jacob to Egypt, and hence
it says “and these are the names of the children of Israel which came into
Egypt... with Jacob”.’ ... When R. Isaac was once studying with R. Eleazar, the
son of R. Simeon, he asked him: ‘Did the Shekinah go down to Egypt with Jacob?’
Said R. Eleazar: ‘Surely! Did not God say to Jacob, "I will go down with thee into
Egypt" (Gen. XLVI, 4)?’

One of the mystical interpretations of Exodus 12:40-41, is that the heavenly


hosts that accompanied Jacob into Egypt, left with Moses and the children of
Israel:

Exodus 12:40-41 - Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in
Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the
four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all
the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.

THE NAME WITH MOSES

Next, we have mention of the rod that Moses carried with him. Earlier in our
study, we saw how the Zohar said this rod was Metatron, who exercises both
mercy (life) and judgment (death). (See section below on The Name in Song of
Songs, regarding the colors red and white symbolizing judgment and mercy.)

Here, the rod is said to have the forty-two letter name of God engraved in it:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 8b - “And in the Egyptian's hand
was a spear like a weaver's beam” (I Chr. XI, 23). This alludes to the divine rod
which was in Moses’ hand, and on which there was engraved the divine ineffable
Name radiating in various combinations of letters. These same letters were in
possession of Bezalel, who was called “weaver”, and his school, as it is written:
“Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart... of the craftsman and the skilled
workman, and the weaver, etc.” (Exod. XXXV, 35). So that rod had engraved on
it the ineffable Name on every side, in forty-two various combinations,
which were illumined in different colours.

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 27a - AND THE LORD GOD TOOK
THE MAN AND PUT HIM IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, ETC. From whence did he take
him? He took him from the four elements which are hinted at in the verse “and
from there it parted and became four heads”. God detached him from these and
placed him in the Garden of Eden. So does God do now to any man created from
the four elements when he repents of his sins and occupies himself with the
Torah; God takes him from his original elements, as it is said, “and from there he
parts”, i.e. he separates himself from the desires which they inspire, and God
places him in his garden, which is the Shekinah, “to dress it”, by means of
positive precepts, “and to keep it”, by means of negative precepts. If he keeps
the law, he makes himself master of the four elements, and becomes a river
from which they are watered, and they obey him and he is their ruler. But if he
transgresses the law, they are watered from the bitterness of the tree of evil,
which is the evil inclination, and all his limbs are full of bitterness; but when the
members of the body are kept holy from the side of good, it may be said of them
that “they came to Marah and were not able to drink waters from Marah, for they
were bitter” (Ex. XV, 23). Similarly, the study of the Talmud is bitter compared
with that of the esoteric wisdom, of which it is said, “And God showed him a
tree” (Ibid.); this is a tree of life, and through it “the waters were sweetened”.
Similarly of Moses it is written, “And the staff of God was in his hand.” This rod
is Metatron, from one side of whom comes life and from the other
death.

THE NAME AT SINAI

When Moses received the commandments at Sinai directly from God, he heard
(shema) His voice. As seen in our earlier studies, Moses had an intimate
understanding of this emanation of God:

Soncino Zohar Appendix III - The Divine Name - It remains to say a few
words on the place occupied by the Holy Name, the Tetragrammaton [YHVH], in
the scheme of the Zohar. In the Cabbalistic doctrine the name formed by the
four Hebrew letters yod, he, vau, he, has a special and intimate connection with
the grade of Tifereth, of which it is in the strict sense the proper name. We must
understand this to mean that if one could grasp with sufficient clearness the
nature of the grade Tifereth, especially as the originator of the neshamah, he
would automatically perceive that this is the fitting appellation which should be
given to it. To this grade of comprehension Moses and the other prophets
actually rose, and this was the basis of their inspiration. There is, however, a
difference between the inspiration of Moses and that of the other prophets.
Moses was able to grasp the connection between the grade and the Name fully
and clearly, but the others only through a haze, as it were, since their
comprehension only reached fully to the two inferior grades of Nezah and Hod,
the two ‘pillars’ or ‘willows of the brook’, as they are fancifully called.

Jewish mystical literature identifies the voice at Sinai, and the God "seen" at this
time, with the sephirah of Tipheret (the sephirah associated with the Messiah).
Among the titles given to Tipheret, is the "Great Name," or "Unique Name" of
God. The last sephirah (Malkhut/Kingdom) is also known as Atarah, and is
entitled the "Honorable Name" of God.

A recent publication2 on the life of the famous Jewish mystic and teacher, Rabbi
Moses ben Nachman (Nachmanides, also called Ramban), annunciates this
thought:

"Moses received his prophecy via the central sephirah of Tifereth, whereas Israel
received theirs via the last sefirah of the Atziluth, via Atarah or Malkhuth. ... In
slightly different words, all Torah prophecy derives from the Great [Unique]
Name, the sefirah of tifereth. Moses, because of his greatness, received Torah
prophecy from it directly, whereas Israel, could receive such prophecy only via
the Honorable Name, the sefirah of Atarah (Malkut), which serves as a garment
to the Sefirah of Tifereth, which so to speak, rests in her."

The author quotes from Nachmanides teachings about the giving of the Ten
Commandments:

"And God descended upon Mount Sinai" (Exodus 19:20) - If you will look into this
Portion, you will understand that the Great [Unique] Name descended on Mount
Sinaia, and rested on it in Fire [Atarah, called "Fire"]. And He [Unique Name]
spoke with Moses; and in the whole Portion this Name talks to him. And also
Moses' going up ("Moses rose up to God" - 19:3), and his going forth ("Moses
[went] led forth the people towards God" [Ibid., v.17]) towards the place of
Divine Honor [Atarah] ..."

Nachmanides also makes it a point to associate Tifereth, with coming in a cloud,


adding yet another link between Yeshua and Tipheret:

"The correct interpretation in my eyes is, He [God] said to him [Moses]: 'I come
to you in a thickening of the cloud, that you approach to the dark cloud, in order
that the people may hear My words, and they themselves will be prophets
through My words, and they will not have to believe via others.'"

THE NAME IN THE WILDERNESS

The manna in the wilderness is also associated with the forty-two letter Name of
God. The children of Israel in their journey from Sinai to the Promised Land,
stopped a total of forty-two times, at each point meeting with God in the form of
the Shekinah appearing:
Midrash Rabbah - Exodus XXV:5 - and God said, BEHOLD, I WILL CAUSE TO
RAIN BREAD FROM HEAVEN FOR YOU. R. Judah b. Shalom the Levite said in the
name of R. Jonah, and also R. Levi in the name of R. Hama b. R. Hanina said: The
manna descended after [they had travelled] forty-two stages.

This gives us yet another "connection," as in the "New Testament," Yeshua refers
to Himself as being this manna:

John 6:33 - For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and
giveth life unto the world.

During this excursion to the Promised Land, The children of Israel experience
their encounter with the evil prophet, Balaam, who offered his services to the
king Balak, who had sought him out. The Talmud records that Balak (and
Balaam) offered a total of forty-two sacrifices to come against the power(s) that
supported Israel:

Talmud - Mas. Sotah 47a - R. Hanina said: On account of the forty-two


sacrifices which Balak, king of Moab, offered, were forty-two children cut off from
Israel.

The Zohar states the same about Balak and Balaam, and then goes on to explain
that the prophet Elisha exacted revenge upon forty-two children for the curses
that Balak and Balaam attempted to inflict upon Israel:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 224a - R. Simeon said: ‘Observe


that the forty-two offerings brought by Balaam and Balak were offerings diverted
from the “other side” towards the Holy One, blessed be He, and so the “other
side”, which is called “curse”, had to be repaid these offerings from Israel. This is
the inner implication of the verse, “And he (Elisha) looked behind him and saw
them” (2 Kings II, 24). That is to say, “behind him”, meaning the “other side”,
which stands behind the Shekinah. He turned “and saw them” (the children), as
being meet for punishment; “and cursed them in the name of the Lord” (Ibid.),
inducing the Divine Name, as it were, to discharge the debt owing to the “other
side”, for the latter's offerings which had been diverted to Him. Thus all is made
right before the Holy One, blessed be He, and not a single act is lost, whether for
good or for evil.

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 224b - Straightway “he [Elisha]


cursed them in the name of the Lord”. “And there came forth two bears”(2 Kings
II, 24)-she bears, as indicated by the feminine numeral sh'tayim, big with
offspring, “and tare forty and two children of them” (Ibid.), in correspondence, as
has been explained, to the number of offerings brought by Balak.

The Scripture verse in question is from 2 Kings:

2 Kings 2:24 - And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in
the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and
tare forty and two children of them.
THE NAME IN SONG OF SONGS

Song of Songs (Song of Solomon) is perhaps the most "mysterious" book of the
Bible with its dialogue between a man and a woman, filled with sexual imagery.
It is a book that clearly holds a deep meaning not found at its literal level. The
writings of the Zohar refer to "Song of Songs" as "Holy of Holies," expressing that
its words are a depiction of (spiritual) history, involving the unification of God,
with the bride (the Shekinah) longing to be united with the bridegroom
(Tipheret/Messiah).

In Midrash Rabbah Song of Songs, we see the Shekinah speak of how it met with
the children of Israel a total of forty-two times in their wildernesss journey:

Midrash Rabbah - The Song of Songs I:41 - MY MOTHER'S SONS, the sons of
my nation, namely the spies, WERE INCENSED AGAINST ME: they attacked me,
they filled the Judge with wrath against me. THEYMADE ME KEEPER OF THE
VINEYARDS: because I stayed in the wilderness journeying forty-two
stages, I was not able to enter the land of Israel. Hence, MY OWN VINEYARD I
DID NOT KEEP.

The Zohar alludes to the Song of Songs, chapter 2, verse 1, which says: I am the
rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. This section speaks of the lily
(shoshana = lily or rose) as being the beloved of the man in the story. The lily is
related to the "Community of Israel" (and the Shekinah which resides among
them). (See also Song of Solomon 3:3, where he feeds among the lilies
[shoshanim]). The colors red and white are associated in the Zohar with the
sephirot of judgment and mercy respectively. (Also, as we will discuss later, the
color green is associated with the sephirah of Tipheret.)

This opening verse of the Zohar speaks of these 42 legs of the journey in the
Wilderness as "42 couplings," and links these to the 42-letter Name, thus giving
a sexual connotation associated with the creation of something:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 1a - Rabbi Hizkiah opened his


discourse with the text: As a lily among thorns, etc. (S.S. II, 2). ‘What’, he said,
‘does the lily symbolise? It symbolises the Community of Israel. As the lily among
thorns is tinged with red and white, so the Community of Israel is visited now
with justice and now with mercy; as the lily possesses thirteen leaves, so the
Community of Israel is vouchsafed thirteen categories of mercy which surround
it on every side. For this reason, the term Elohim (God) mentioned here (in the
first verse of Genesis) is separated by thirteen words from the next mention of
Elohim, symbolising the thirteen categories of mercy which surround the
Community of Israel to protect it. The second mention of Elohim is separated
from the third by five words, representing the five strong leaves that surround
the lily, symbolic of the five ways of salvation which are the “five gates”. This is
alluded to in the verse “I will lift up the cup of salvation” (Ps. CXVI, 13). This is
the “cup of benediction”,which has to be raised by five fingers and no more,
after the model of the lily, which rests on five strong leaves in the shape of five
fingers. Thus the lily is a symbol of the cup of benediction. Immediately after the
third mention of Elohim appears the light which, so soon as created, was
treasured up and enclosed in that b'rith (covenant) which entered the lily and
fructified it, and this is what is called “ tree bearing fruit wherein is the seed
thereof”: and this seed is preserved in the very sign of the covenant. And as
the ideal covenant was formed through forty-two copulations, so the
engraven ineffable name is formed of the forty-two letters of the work
of creation.’

Returning to our opening question regarding the "connection" between the


verses in Matthew, Numbers and Exodus. In the first verse, we have Matthew
listing forty-two generations that led to Messiah. In Numbers, we learn that the
children of Israel met with the Shekinah a total of forty-two times in the
wilderness. Lastly, in Exodus, we find that the "God of Israel" seen my Moses and
the others was that emanation of God represented by the forty-two letter Name.

1. The Kabbalah: The Religious Philosophy of the Hebrews, Adolphe Franck,


University Books, 1967, p.19

2. Ramban: Philosopher and Kabbalist, Chayim J. Henoch, Jason Aronson, Inc.,


London 1998, p.148.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD


PART 1 - THE SHEMA
(Last updated 6/21/02)

One of the most intriguing subjects of Bible study is that of the Kingdom of God.
An understanding of this subject is fundamental to comprehending the events of
the "last days" as read about in Revelation.

There are several reasons why a study of the Kingdom is very complex:

A) There are many aspects to the Kingdom, including;

• unification of the Name of God

• unification of the "upper" and "lower" heavens

• relationship of the Temple to the Kingdom

• wedding of the Shekinah (Malkut) to the Messiah (Tipheret)

• reunion of Judah and Ephraim (to God)

• inclusion of gentiles into the faith of Israel and her Messiah

• establishment of Messiah's rule on the earth

• preparation for the Olam Haba, where God creates a new heaven and new
earth

B) There are different levels from which the Kingdom may be studied.
For instance, the Kingdom can be viewed in the plain sense as a time when God
brings justice to the earth, and believers receive the full reward of their faith.
Taking it a step further, the Kingdom can be viewed in terms of understanding
how the various aspects of the Kingdom are connected and seeking to enhance
its arrival. Lastly, at a more mystical level, the Kingdom can be studied with
regard to how we can experience elements of it in the here and now.1

The latter would be mirrored in Yeshua's twelve disciples, who were given
enormouse insight into the Scriptures and power to perform miracles, all
reflective of them actually "walking in the Kingdom," as they brought the
message of Messiah to Israel and the world. (The reader may wish to refer back
to Methods of Study, found in the first part of this section.)

C) There are several approaches to take in doing research on the Kingdom.

You could search on all instances of the word "kingdom" in the texts of the Bible.
You could do the same with sources such as; Talmud, Midrash and Zohar. You
could also pick a starting point such as Yeshua's parables about the Kingdom, as
found in the gospels, particularly in chapters such as Matthew 13.

OUR APPROACH

Seeing that Yeshua's parables were based in the faith of Israel, we will begin this
study by looking at what is considered to be the foundational verse of this faith,
in order to see what the coming Kingdom is about. We begin with Deuteronomy
6:4, the single most important scripture verse in Judaism, even today.

This verse is called the Shema (pronounced sheh-MAH):

Shema Israel, Adonai (YHVH) Elohenu, Adonai (YHVH) Echad.

Hear O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.

The Shema is the prayer/statement that differentiates Judaism from the pagan
world, making it clear that there is only one God. When the Shema is recited
however, there is a long-standing tradition, to add a second sentence to this
verse from Deuteronomy, one not found in the Bible:

Hear O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.


Blessed be His Name whose glorious kingdom is forever and ever.

THE WORDS OF THE SHEMA

A comprehensive look at the Shema is beyond the scope of this study. A highly
recommended book on this topic is; The Shema: Spirituality and Law in Judaism,
by Norman Lamm (an Orthodox rabbi and president of Yeshiva University). We
will touch lightly on various themes found in the various sections of the Shema.
Hear O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.

Hear (Shema)

The term for "hear" (shema) carries with it the implication of understanding, and
subsequent obedience. This trusting relationship is the foundation of the Hebrew
concept of "faith in God." The word "shema"is in the singular, hence it can be
said that this is an admonition for Israel as a single body to always have faith in
God and take heed to His direction.

O Israel

There is also a teaching in Judaism regarding the term "Israel," with regard to the
subsequent verse (Blessed be His Name whose glorious kingdom is forever and
ever) added when the Shema is sung or prayed. As Scripture shows, Jacob's
name was changed to Israel by God. It is taught in Midrash Rabbah, that the
second line in the Shema (Blessed be His Name whose glorious kingdom is
forever and ever), was added due to the righteousness of Jacob.

At the time just before his death, when his sons were brought together before
him, Jacob had planned to reveal to them the time of Messiah's return. However,
God chose to withdraw the Shekina from him momentarily, and Jacob thought he
may have done something wrong to curse his family. His sons came to him and
said, "Hear O Israel (his name being "Israel"), the Lord is our God the Lord is
One. Upon hearing his sons say this, Jacob replied, Blessed be His Name whose
glorious kingdom is forever and ever.

The Midrash Rabbah also makes an interesting reference to the Kingdom of God.
The words "The Lord our God, the Lord is one," are directly tied to the
establishment of the Kingdom of God. This concept of "accepting the Kingdom"
while reciting the Shema helps us understand why so many Jews have died with
these words on their lips:

Midrash Rabbah - Deuteronomy II:31 - ... if one was reciting the shema’
whilst walking [he should] stop, in order to accept the Kingdom of Heaven
standing. And what part [of the shema’] is termed ‘the Kingdom of Heaven’?
[The words], The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Whence did Israel merit to recite
the shema’? R. Phinehas b. Hama said: Israel merited to recite the shema’ at the
Revelation on Sinai. How [is this to be inferred]? You find that it was with this
word [shema’] that God first began [to speak] at Sinai. He said to them: ' Hear, O
Israel, I am the Lord thy God,’and they all answered and exclaimed: ' The Lord
our God, the Lord is one.’ And Moses said, ‘Blessed be the name of His glorious
kingdom for ever and ever.’

The Zohar teaches that Jacob, through his righeousness, brought about a
unification of the Name of God - one that will be permanently accomplished by
the Messiah. (See section below on Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 175b.)
Hence, when we say "Hear O Israel ...", it is if we are speaking to Jacob through
time, calling out to reassure him that we continue his desire to reunify the Name
of God and usher in the Messianic kingdom.
The Lord is Our God (Adonai Elohenu)

The term "Adonai" is substituted for the four-letter name of God, YHWH.
Scripture also refers to God as Elohim - a plural term (as is Elohenu). YHWH is
usually associated with the merciful (right) side of God, and Elohim with the (left)
side of judgment. These two characteristics of God (mercy and judgment) as
represented by the termsYHWH and Elohim, do not reveal everything there is to
know about God, but give us a degree of understanding of complex nature of the
Eyn Sof.

Of course there is only one God, and as stated earlier in our study, these
differences are based on our perceptions of Him. Pagan religions could see the
reality of a deity in the world, but as they did not understand his various
emanations, they created multiple gods to account for their observations.

The prophet Isaiah made it clear that there was one God behind everything:

Isaiah 45:6-7 - That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the
west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form
the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all
these things.

The name YHWH also has an association with the upper sephirot (Keter, Binah,
Chockmah) and the Eyn Sof, whereas Elohim is related to the seven lower
sephirot. The former reflects the "more personal" view of God (i.e., the God who
loves you and who wants our love), the latter are "less personal" (i.e., the God
who created the universe).

The Lord is One (Adonai Echad)

This phrase (ending Deuteronomy 6:4), is an excellent example of how Scripture


can be approached at the three levels mentioned in our section on Methods of
Study.

• At the elementary (literal/p'shat) level, "the Lord is One" teaches that God
is the only true God, and there exists no other gods other than Him.
Rashi, who taught very much at this level, viewed the Shema in terms of
the entire world one day coming to know the one true God.

• At the next ("philosophical") level, the phrase can be interpreted to refer


to God's uniqueness, focusing on his qualities as well as His being the only
God. Maimonides was a great teacher at this level, and wrote about how
we could not truly know anything about God due to His unique
characteristics

• Lastly, the verse can be understood on the mystical (sod) level,


understanding "YHWH echad" as relating to the unity of God, as seen in
the sephirot and their interrelationships. This view was that of
Nachmanides, and is the one we will be focusing on in this section of our
study.
The unity of the Sephirot is expressed in the last word of the Shema: Echad. The
word Echad is made up of three letters: aleph, chet, dalet. The rabbis explains
that the aleph refers to the sefirah Keter, because the letter aleph represents the
number "one," and God is One. The chet, corresponds to the number eight, and
hence, the eight sefirot that follow Keter. The dalet always symbolizes Malchut,
because it corresponds to the number four, which emphasizes God's kingship
over all four directions of physical existence. 2

One of the fundamental questions that the Shema brings forth, concerns the
unity of God's Name. The Shema says that "the Lord is One," as if to say that this
is an established fact. The prophet Zechariah however, states that the unification
of the Name will come in the future:

Zechariah 14:9 - And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day
shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

This presents us with one of those "seeming contradictions" of Scripture. Is there


presently a perfect unity of God's Name, or is His Name "fractured," and to be
restored in the Messianic era? Or is there "more than one view?"

Knowing that God does not "operate within time" as we do, we can understand
that both statements are true. The Eyn Sof, who is the "beginning and the end" is
one, though there will be a fulfillment of the unity of His Name in this physical
world when His Kingdom is established.

SHEMA - UNIFYING THE NAME OF GOD

The Zohar presents an idea of a "tri-unity" of God. (For a refresher on the three
pillars of the Tree of Life, refer to the section on the Names and Arrangement of
the Sephirot.). It is imperative to understand that this is not the same, and not
arrived at in the same fashion, as the "Christian trinity."

The "trinity" of the Zohar has to do with the three pillars of the Tree of Life - the
left side of judgment (Elohim), the right side of mercy (YHVH) and the "balanced"
center pillar, the unified YHVH.

The concept of the Christian trinity came about following the deterioration of the
Messianic Nazarene community in the early second century, and is a merger of
the remnants of these deep Jewish teachings (which had become distorted), and
pagan ideas of three-part gods.3

In the following commentary on the Shema, the Zohar states the following about
the unification of the three pillars of the Tree of Life, as well as speaking of a
unification of time.

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Raya Mehemna, Page 43b - ... the Shema,
contains the mystery of the right side, called "The Supernal Grace", for it effects
the union of all things extending unto the four quarters of the universe; and the
Holy One, blessed be He, through the medium of this attribute, brings forth order
and harmony in the whole universe, a harmony which extends even to the
lowest depths. By this attribute of Grace the Holy One created the world, when
He wrapped Himself in the garment of light. This Supernal Grace is the Unifier.
For this reason the section of the Shema is joined to that of "And it shall be"; for
the act which makes each day a unity and likewise forms the whole sum of
separate days into the perfect whole, is the fact of following the Divine Will in
knowledge and action; and through this act alone (of concentration on the union
during prayer and the recitation of the Shema) can that union of which we have
frequently spoken be attained: that is, the union of each day, the union which is
expressed in the sentence: "Hear, O Israel, YHWH Elohenu YHWH is one". These
three are one. How can the three Names be one? Only through the perception of
Faith: in the vision of the Holy Spirit, in the beholding of the hidden eyes alone.
The mystery of the audible voice is similar to this, for though it is one yet it
consists of three elements-fire, air, and water, which have, however, become
one in the mystery of the voice. Even so it is with the mystery of the threefold
Divine manifestations designated by YHWH Elohenu YHWH - three modes which
yet form one unity. This is the significance of the voice which man produces in
the act of unification, when his intent is to unify all from the En-sof to the end of
creation. This is the daily unification, the secret of which has been revealed in
the holy spirit. There are many kinds of unification, and all are appropriate, one
involving the other, but the one which is effected on earth by the symbolism of
the voice is the most appropriate. 4

As mentioned earlier in this study, Jacob was a forerunner of the Messiah and
through his righteousness, there was a (temporary) unification of the Tree of Life.
The following Zohar verse (commentary on Exodus/Shemoth) presents these
points:

A unification of above and below was created through Jacob, as he brought God's
two "sides" of mercy and judgment together.

Jacob's name was changed to Israel as a direct result of this.

The Sefirot are crowns, which are the image of God (that we are to be conformed
to.)

The "second" crown/sefirot of Wisdom, created the remaining eight crowns below
it.

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 175b - R. Simeon, we are told,


explained thus the words, "And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall
pass from one end to the other." ‘ "The middle bar"', he said, ‘signifies Jacob, the
perfect saint, as we have pointed out on another occasion in connection with the
characterization of Jacob as "a complete man, dwelling in tents" (Gen. xxv, 27).
It does not say, "dwelling in a tent", but "dwelling in tents,’, which denotes that
he unified the two "tents" (of Severity and Mercy). The same implication may be
found here: "The middle bar in the midst of the boards shall pass from one end
to the other", uniting them. Jacob was perfect in regard to both sides, the Holy
Ancient and the Microprosopus, and also to the supernal Grace and the supernal
Power, harmonizing the two.’ R. Simeon said further: ‘I perceive that Wisdom
(‘Hokmah) is the totality of all the holy Sefiroth, and that supernal Grace (Hesed)
emanates from Wisdom, and Power (Geburah), which is the prompter of severe
judgement, from Understanding (Binah). Jacob harmonized both sides: the
Fathers (Abraham and Isaac) signified the totality of all, and Jacob signified the
union of the Fathers. Then came the merit of Jacob and synthetized both and
made them one, for he signifies supernal harmony.’ R. Simeon added, so we are
told, that on that account Jacob was called Israel, because "Jacob" symbolizes
that which is below, "Israel" that which is above; "Jacob" betokens
incompleteness, "Israel" is the completion of all. Said R. Judah: ‘When Wisdom
began to cause the shaping of Crowns, [Tr. note: * i.e. Sefiroth.] with which
Crown did it commence? With that which is called "Understanding" (Binah), for in
Understanding all is contained; and therefore fifty gates are opened in its name,
and thus it is found that all the letters and all the crowns are engraved in
Wisdom. Therefore it is written: "Thou hast made them all in Wisdom" (Ps. CIV,
24). 5

1. It should be noted that this is the area of mystical studies that has led people
into dangerous areas, that being the attempt to gain insight and experience into
the spiritual realm outside of God's will as found in Torah (i.e., consorting with
spirits). As this is forbidden by Torah, someone studying Hebrew Kabbalah and
following Torah, has no need to fear this.

2. See Perceptions On The Parsha, Parshas Emor, Eighth Parshah, And Counting,
by Rabbi Pinchas Winston at
http://www.torah.org/learning/perceptions/5761/emor.html

3. One source of information on this is; The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop,
Chick Publications edition, Chapter II, Section I - Trinity in Unity. Interestingly,
this book is popular among evangelical Protestants who often refer to it to
condemn the practices of Catholicism.

4. Throughout our quotations from the Soncino translations, we have replaced


the term "Tetragrammaton" with "YHWH," for the sake of clarity.

5. A comprehensive look at the concepts behind the "Fifty Gates of


Understanding" ("Nun Sha'arei Binah,"), is beyond the scope of this study. This
has to do with the ultimate goal of man being that he can view creation through
the eyes of God, and become a full partner with the Creator in bringing creation
to fruition.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
PART 2 - THE CHARIOT AND THE SHEKINAH
(Last updated 8/30/00)

The subjects of Ezekiel's Chariot and the Shekinah were discussed in previous
sections. The reader may wish to revisit those portions when reviewing the
material in this part of our study.

BACK TO THE CHARIOT

As discussed in our previous sections on Ezekiel's Chariot, the vision the prophet
saw was of the angelic realm that "supported" the throne of God. These angels
(Seraphim and Ophanim) worked as messengers for God, carrying out His will on
the earth. (This was discussed in our study on angels.) As the angels are so close
to God and directly involved in serving Him, they are considered to be "part of"
of the sephirot of Netzah (on the merciful "right side," made up of the "Hosts of
YHWH," generally used by God to bring blessings), and Hod, (on the left side,
made up of the "Hosts of ELOHIM," generally used by God to bring judgment.)

The following commentary on the Shema, from the Zohar, mentions Ezekiel's
chariot and brings forth a relationship between seventy names and two other
names. The seventy are associated with the angelic beings who watch over the
nations, and also defend the Shekinah from the nations and the (evil) powers
associated with them. These seventy angelic beings were mentioned earlier in
our study on the Shekinah and the Menorah. The two other names in this section
are related to the Shekinah and to Tipheret. This combination of the heavenly
hosts, the Shekinah, and Tipheret (amounting to 70+1+1), brings us to the 72-
letter name of God. It would seem that this name is associated with God in His
fully unified state, which occurs with the establishment of His Kingdom.

The Zohar section also addresses the interesting fact that in the Torah, the last
letter of the first word (the "a" in Shema, which is the Ayin) and the last letter of
the last word (the "d" in Echad, which is the Dalet), are both written very large.
These two letter combined spell 'ed, which means "witness." Hence, the Shema
acts as a witness through time:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 160b-161b - R. Hiya and R. Jose


were walking together. Said R. Jose: ‘Let us now think on spiritual matters and
talk on the words of the Torah.’ He thereupon began by pointing out that three
passages are introduced by the words, Hear, O Israel. "Hear O Israel, the Lord
our God, the Lord is One" (Deut. VI, 4); "Hear, O Israel, this day thou hast
become a people to the Lord thy God" (Ibid. XXVII, 9); and "Hear, O Israel, thou
art to pass the Jordan this day" (Ibid. LX, I). ‘Why’, he said, ‘did Moses commence
in each of these cases with the word "hear"? In the first, indeed, the word seems
appropriate, but what is its point in the other two cases? The truth is that in all
three passages it is meant to teach a special lesson. This is obvious in the case
of the first, where the word "hear" indicates the unity in the supernal Wisdom of
what is above and what is below. The word Shema’ consists of shem (name) and
‘ain (seventy), indicating the combination of this Name and the other seventy
from whence it derives blessing. At the recitation of the Shema’, therefore, one
must concentrate attention on this union of all the Divine names. For these
seventy Names constitute the mystery of the supernal Chariot from whence that
Name receives blessing and in which it is contained. Then comes the word Israel,
referring, as we have learnt, to "Ancient Israel" (Tifereth), so that this emanation
may also be included. So "Hear, O Israel," signifies the union of the Spouse with
her Husband (i.e. Malkuth with Tifereth), so that all is in all, and all is one.

... At the time of the recitation of the Shema, a man has to be prepared to
proclaim the unity of the Divine Name and to accept the yoke of the Kingdom of
Heaven. On the head of him who thus recites the Shema, to accept the yoke of
the Kingdom of Heaven, the Shekinah rests-a witness to testify of him before the
Holy King that twice daily does he declare the Unity of the Name, and thus,
consciously, unite the Above and the Below. Therefore is the letter ‘ain of the
Shema written large, and also the daleth, of the ehad (one), which, when put
together, make the word ‘ed (witness): a witness before the Holy King. The
mystery contained in the words, "The Lord our God, the Lord", the mystery of the
Unity in three aspects (lit. "in three sides") has often been referred to by the
Holy Lamp (R. Simeon), and we are not permitted to enlarge upon what he has
said. However, certain it is, that upon the head of the man who unifies the Name
of the Holy One above and below, the Shekinah descends to rest, and to bless
him with seven blessings, and to proclaim concerning him: "Thou art my servant,
Israel, in whom I am glorified" (Isa. XLIX, 3).’

The Zohar makes another connection to Ezekiel's Chariot, linking it to the "Holy
One" of Proverbs chapter 30 (Who has a "Son" [Proverbs 30:4] directly
associated with Tipheret). The following reference is an allusion to the
Millennium, when the Name of God as well as His creation will all be unified:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 197b - According to another


exposition: "Who hath ascended up into heaven?" refers to the Holy One,
blessed be He, the allusion being contained in the word Mi (Who?), as explained
elsewhere. Here in this passage is contained the mystery of the Divine Chariot,
consisting of the four directions of the world which are the four primordial
elements, all of which depend on that supernal region called Mi (Who?), as
already said. ‘Observe this. When the hour arrives at which it pleases the Holy
One, blessed be He, to unify the Supernal Chariot, [Tr. note: Al. "to combine the
Supernal Chariot with the Lower Chariot".] a voice issues from that divine
supernal region called Heaven to assemble all the saints beneath and all the
holy chiefs and supernal legions, so that they should all be in readiness together.

The voice that calls the saints and angels together in the Zohar passage above,
is quite similar to that found in Revelation:

Revelation 19:1-9 - And after these things I heard a great voice of much
people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power,
unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath
judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and
hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia
And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and
the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying,
Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye
his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were
the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice
of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb
is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she
should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the
righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are
called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are
the true sayings of God.

BACK TO THE SHEKINAH

The Zohar's comments on Ezekiel's vision provide us with a link between the
Chariot and the Shekinah (also called the Matrona). Ezekiel's vision was actually
one representing the unity of God (i.e., the "Godhead" or "Tree of Life"), from the
aspect of the Shekinah "being raised up." It is further taught here that this was
the mystical meaning to the heave offering:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 198a - "the Lord's heave-


offering" indicates the Divine Throne, so called because they raise it and cause it
to ascend on high. [Tr. note: i.e. from the world of beriah to the world of aziluth].
And it is for this reason that Ezekiel, in his vision of the ascending Hayoth, failed
to see what it was that they were taking up with them, since it was the Matrona
rising to join the Most High King in hidden and supreme glory. "And let every
wise-hearted among you come and make all that the Lord hath commanded."
This is an allusion to the sixty well-springs that feed the world and so are
enjoined to come and bring with them from the treasury of life, by executing the
commands of the Holy One, so as to benefit the world.’

As mentioned earlier in our study, though God's Name is unified in one sense (as
Ezekiel was privy to), from our perspective (living in physical time) it is not.
Recall that in the mystical Hebrew writings, the letters of the ineffable Name of
God, Y-H-V-H (Yod, Hay, Vav, Hay), are said to be related to the various aspects
of God. The first letter, the Yod, is directly associated with the unknowable God,
called the En Sof. The last (or lower) Hay (or as the Zohar refers to it, the "He")
is associated with the Shekina. The Zohar says that the Shekina (signified by the
"He"), is in exile with Israel, and its degree of light is dependent on their faith:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 8a-10a - At the period when


there is perfection, peace, and harmony, the two names are not separated one
from another, and it is forbidden to separate them even in thought and
imagination; but now in exile we do separate them, the Matrona from Her
Spouse, as She (Shekinah) lies in dust (in exile with Israel). "Apart from thee"
being far away from Thee, and being ruled by other powers, "we make mention
of thy name" in separation, thy Name being separated from the Name expressed
by Beka. All this in the days of exile; for the first exile began during the first
Temple, and lasted seventy years, during which time the Mother (the Shekinah)
did not brood over Israel, and there was a separation between the Yod and the
He, the Yod ascending higher and higher to infinity (En Sof), and the holy Temple
above- corresponding to the Temple below-did not send forth living waters, its
source being cut off. The seventy years of the first exile corresponded to the
seven years which it took to build the first Temple (I K. VI, 38). However, far be it
from us to think that during that time the kingdom of Babylon had power in the
heavens over Israel.

The fact is that as long as the Temple stood there was a bright light descending
from the Supernal Mother, but as soon as it was destroyed, through Israel's sin,
and the kingdom of Babylon got the upper hand, that light was covered up and
darkness prevailed here below and the angels below ceased from giving out
light, and then the power symbolized by the letter Yod of the Holy Name
ascended into the upper regions, into the Infinite, and thus during the whole
seventy years of exile Israel had no divine light to guide her, and, truly, that was
the essence of the exile. When, however, Babylon's power was taken away from
her and Israel returned to the Holy Land, a light did shine for her, but it was not
as bright as before, being only the emanation of the lower He (Hay) since the
whole of Israel did not return to purity to be a "peculiar people" as before.
Therefore, the emanation of the supernal Yod did not descend to illumine in the
same measure as before, but only a little. Hence Israel were involved in many
wars until "the darkness covered the earth" and the lower He was darkened and
fell to the ground, and the upper source was removed as before, and the second
Temple was destroyed and all its twelve tribes went into exile in the kingdom of
Edom. The He also went into exile there, and therefore the exile was prolonged.

This Zohar passage continues with a description of the arrival of the Messiah and
advent of the Millennium, with language very reminiscent of that in the book of
Revelation:

... ‘A mystery of mysteries has been revealed to them that are wise of heart. The
He of the second Temple [the Shekniah] is in exile with her twelve tribes and
their hosts. Twelve tribes form a great number, and because the mystery of the
He is in them, the exile lasts during this whole number.

... From then the Holy One, blessed be He, [Tipheret] shall begin to do signs and
wonders, as we have described. But over Israel those tribulations will come. After
that King Messiah shall fight against the whole world, aided by the Right Hand of
the Holy One.

... Then the lower He (Shekinah) shall be filled from the upper spring [see section
on Rivers of Eden] (the highest Sephiroth), and be crowned and radiate in
perfection until the Sabbath of the Lord arrives to gather souls in the joy of
holiness throughout this whole seventh millennium. Then the holy spirits of the
people of Israel at the fulness of time will be invested with new, holy bodies, and
be called "Saints": "And it shall come to pass that he that is left in Zion and that
remaineth in Jerusalem shall be called holy" (Isa. III, 4). These are the veiled
mysteries.’
The depiction of the days of Messiah's return include great signs that leave no
doubt as to what is occuring. A lack of interest in God's Torah, (equivalent to
Yeshua's words in Luke 18:8) is also mentioned:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 9a - On that day the whole earth
will be shaken from one end to the other, and thus the whole world will know
that the Messiah has revealed himself in the land of Galilee. And all who are
diligent in the study of the Torah-and there shall be few such in the world-will
gather round him.

... On that day the Messiah will begin to gather the captives from one end of the
world to the other: "If any of thine be driven out unto the utmost parts of
heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee" (Deut. xxx, 4). From that
day on the Holy One will perform for Israel all the signs and wonders which He
performed for them in Egypt: "As in the days of thy coming out of the land of
Egypt, will I show unto him wonders" (Micah Vll, I5).’

The marriage of the Shekina to the Messiah, and unification of the three pillars of
the Godhead, is also linked to the unification of the worlds above and below.

Commenting on the Shema, the Zohar says:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 215b-217b - The term SH e M a’


(hear) is esoterically analysed into SH e M (name) and the letter ‘Ain (= 70), that
is, one Name comprising seventy names whilst remaining a unity. "Israel" here
signifies "Ancient Israel", [Tipheret] in contrast to "Little Israel", of whom it is
written: "When Israel was a child, then I loved him" (Hos. XI, 1). "Ancient Israel"
symbolizes the union of the Shekinah with her Spouse, and in pronouncing that
name we have to concentrate our mind on the principle of unity, on the union of
the two habitations; we have to put all our being, all the members of our body,
our complete devotion, into that thought so as to rise and attach ourselves to
the En-sof (Infinite), and thus achieve the oneness of the upper and the lower
worlds. The words, "the Lord our God" are to reunite all the Members to the
place from which they issued, which is the innermost Sanctuary. The same
thought is continued in the words, "the Lord is one", in the recital of which we
have to make our thoughts range throughout all the grades up to the Infinite
(En-sof) in love and fear ...

This same section of the Zohar links all of creation together (regarding the word
"One" in the Shema), and mentioned Ezekiel's Chariot as being a representation
of this unification:

... As we have learnt, "one" alludes to above, below, and the four quarters of the
universe, these being the supernal Chariot, so that all are embraced in a single
unity reaching out to the En-sof (Infinite).

Continuing on the subject of the last days, the Zohar contains a very mystical
passage about the arrival of Messiah, the lack of faith in the world (Luke 18:8),
the downfall of "Rome" (i.e., Edom/Babylon), and the rescue of Israel and the
Shekinah to establish the Kingdom of God:
Soncino Zohar, Bemidbar, Section 3, Page 212b - SEE HIM BUT NOT NOW:
since some of these things were fulfilled at that time and some later, while some
are left for the Messiah. We have learnt that God will one day build Jerusalem
and display a certain fixed star flashing with seventy streamers and seventy
flames in the midst of the firmament, and it will shine and flash for seventy days.
It will appear on the sixth day of the week on the twenty-fifth of the sixth month,
and will disappear on the seventh day after seventy days. On the first day it will
be seen in the city of Rome, and on that day three lofty walls of that city shall
fall and a mighty palace shall be overthrown, and the ruler of that city shall die.
Then that star will become visible throughout the whole world. In that time
mighty wars will arise in all quarters of the world, and no faith shall be found
among men. When that star shines in the midst of the firmament, a certain
powerful king shall arise who will seek domination over all kings and make war
on two sides and prevail against them. On the day when the star disappears the
Holy Land will be shaken over an area of forty-five miles all round the place
where the Temple used to be, and a cave will be laid open beneath the ground
from which shall issue a mighty fire to consume the world. From that cave shall
spread a great and noble branch which will rule over all the world and to which
shall be given the kingship, and the heavenly saints shall gather to it. Then will
the King Messiah appear and the kingship shall be given to him. Mankind will
then suffer one calamity after another, and the enemies of Israel will prevail, but
the spirit of the Messiah shall rise against them and destroy the sinful Edom and
burn in fire the land of Seir. Hence it is written, “And Edom shall be a possession,
Seir also shall be a possession of his which were his enemies, while Israel doth
valiantly”. And in that time the Holy One, blessed be He, shall raise the dead of
his people, and death shall be forgotten of them.’ R. Abba said: ‘Why is it
written, “For in joy ye shall go out” (Isa. LV, 12)? Because when Israel go out
from captivity the Shekinah will go forth with them and they with Her.

Another blessing is found in the Zohar, for those who work to unify the Name of
God. Here, the Shekinah is said to bless such a man with seven blessings. The
Jewish tradition of a bride circling the groom seven times at their wedding, stems
from this mystical teaching. This also adds the understanding of Yeshua's use of
the wedding metaphor, concerning His future return (John 14:2).

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 9a - "The Lord our God, the
Lord", the mystery of the Unity in three aspects (lit. "in three sides") has often
been referred to by the Holy Lamp (R. Simeon), and we are not permitted to
enlarge upon what he has said. However, certain it is, that upon the head of the
man who unifies the Name of the Holy One above and below, the Shekinah
descends to rest, and to bless him with seven blessings, and to proclaim
concerning him: "Thou art my servant, Israel, in whom I am glorified" (Isa. XLIX,
3).’

UNIFICATION IN THE SONG OF SONGS

The Song of Songs (also known as the book Song of Solomon) is considered to be
a very deep esoteric writing (at the sod level) that is a story of a groom
(Messiah/Tipheret) and His bride (the Shekinah/Malkut). Song of Songs is a view
of what was, what is, and what is to come, and as such is related to the Yovel
year (Jubilee) also is called "Holy of Holies."

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 145b - "The Holy of Holies"


above is the mystery of the Supernal Wisdom and Jubilee. Corresponding to this,
the Bridegroom and the Bride inherit the inheritance of Father and Mother, but in
a reversed manner. The inheritance of the Father passes to the Daughter in the
ascension of the Holy Name, wherefore She is also called "Holy" and "Wisdom".
The possession of the Mother is inherited by the Son, and is called "the Holies",
because He takes all those supernal holy attributes and gathers them up unto
Himself, and then takes them to the Bride. Therefore it says: "Song of Songs":
"Song" corresponding to the "Holy" and "Songs" to the "Holies", in order that
both these aspects may be fused into one whole in manner due. "Which is
Solomon's": as has been already pointed out, this refers to the King "whose is
the peace". Yet think not that this praise is His, for it ascends to a still more
supernal realm. The mystery is as follows. When the Masculine and the Feminine
are united as one under the Highest King, then that Supernal King ascends and
is filled with all the sanctifications and benedictions, and pours them down
below, this being His great pleasure, to be filled with such sanctifications and
benedictions and to pour them down below. Therefore the significance of all our
prayers and praises is that by means of them the upper Fountain may be filled;
for when it is so filled and attains completeness, then the universe below, and all
that appertains thereto, is filled also and receives completeness from the
completion which has been consummated in the upper sphere.

The world below cannot, indeed, be in a state of harmony except it receive that
peace and perfection from above, even as the moon has no light in herself, but
shines with the reflected radiance of the sun. All our prayers and intercessions
have this purpose, namely, that the region from whence light issues may be
invigorated; for then from its reflection all below is supplied. This is the whole
significance of Solomon's Canticle, that "the King to whom peace belongs" may
be invigorated, for when that is so, all is invigorated from His reflected glory, but
otherwise there is no remedy for the moon.

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 143a - ‘On the day when this
song [Song of Songs] was revealed the Shekinah descended to earth, as it is
written, "And the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud." Why?
Because "the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord" (I Kings VIII, 11),
On that day this hymn was revealed, and Solomon sang in the power of the Holy
Spirit this song wherein is to be found the summary of the whole Torah, of the
whole work of Creation, of the mystery of the Patriarchs, of the story of the
Egyptian exile, and the Exodus therefrom, and of the Song of the Sea. It is the
quintessence of the Decalogue, of the Sinaitic covenant, of the significance of
Israel's wanderings through the desert, until their arrival in the Promised Land
and the building of the Temple. It contains the crowning of the Holy Name with
love and joy, the prophecy of Israel's exile among the nations, of their
redemption, of the resurrection of the dead, and of all else until that Day which
is "Sabbath to the Lord". All that was, is, and shall be, is contained in it; and,
indeed, even that which will take place on the "Seventh Day", which will be the
"Lord's Sabbath", is indicated in this song. Therefore we are taught that he who
recites a verse from the Song of Songs as a mere drinking song causes the Torah
to dress in sackcloth and to complain before the Holy One, blessed be He: "Thy
children have turned me into an amusement for a drinking bout." Yea, assuredly
the Torah says this. Therefore it behoves the faithful to be wary, and to guard
every word of the Song of Songs like a crown upon their heads. It may be asked,
why, then, is the Song of Songs placed among the Hagiographa (which are not
so sacred as the other two parts of Scripture)? The answer is, because it is the
Hymn of Praise sung by the Community of Israel at the time when she is
crowned above. Therefore no other hymn is so pleasing to the Holy One as this.

There is an interesting portion in Song of Songs that speaks of their unification


coming ever so close to happening, only to fail. The Shekinah is even "beaten"
by those who were to be her watchmen.

The Shekinah is speaking in this portion:

Song of Songs 5:4-7 -- My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and
my bowels were moved for him. I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands
dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the
handles of the lock. I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn
himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could
not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. The watchmen that went
about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the
walls took away my veil from me.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD


PART 3 - THE UNIFICATION OF THE NAME
(Last updated 8/30/00)

This section on the Kingdom touches on several aspects of the Kingdom in


relation to the Unification of the Name of God - including the principle of
sanctifying the Name of God, and the relationship of the Kingdom to the Temple.

SANCTIFICATION AND UNIFICATION

There was an opportunity to bring about the Kingdom and unification of the
name at the time of Mount Sinai. However, the covenant was tainted by the sin
of the people and the Messianic era was not ushered in. If the people had
maintained their faith in God along with obedience of His commandments
(Hebrews 4:2), they would have achieved a sanctification of the Name of God
(kiddush Hashem). This happened again at the time of Yeshua's life on earth,
when the Torah in the flesh tabernacled among His people, who for the most part
rejected Him.

The Zohar speaks of a time when this sanctification will be achieved and
declared throughout the heavenly realms. It is a time of perfect peace (i.e., Rev.
21):
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 51b - At last comes the moment
when a voice proclaims throughout all the spheres: "Sanctified! Sanctified!" Then
there is peace everywhere, perfect peace, even to the wicked in Gehenna, and
all the souls crown themselves, some above, and some below.

In chapter four of the book of Revelation, John has a similar vision to that of
Ezekiel. Here the angels are also proclaiming God's sanctity (sanctified = holy):

Revelation 4:8 - And the four living creatures, each by itself severally, had six
wings, around and within [are] full of eyes, and rest they have not day and night,
saying, `Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and who is, and who is
coming;'

The Torah connects our works (done in faith) to hastening the Day of the Lord.
The Torah portion (parshat) of Kedoshim (Lev 19:1-20:27), starts with the
command from God to "be Holy, for I, YHVH your G-d, am Holy." (Holy =
Sanctified) What then follows is a list of things by which that command is
fulfilled. This is similar to the extended Shema as found in Deuteronomy 6:4-25.
In verse 5, God first tells Israel that He wants their love. His instuctions on how to
learn how to love Him are seen in the next twenty verses, which point to
following Torah.

What is interesting is that the commandments in Parshat Kedoshim are not to


much "religious" instruction, but moral injunctions. The reason for this has to do
with what it means to be sanctified. The commands of Torah are the means for
us to be conformed to the image of God. (Hence the importance placed on Torah
study. See comments below on Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 160b-161b.)
The Godly attributes we are to learn are already part of our makeup, since we
are created in His image. The Torah was given to help us see this "image of
God."

The bottom line is that God's Name is sanctified as are we, through learning and
doing Torah.

In most Jewish prayer books, in one of the special paragraphs said in advance of
a performing a mitzvah (one of God's specific commandments or any righteous
deed), we find the following prayer, which is to focus us on the purpose of the
mitzvah:

[I hereby do this mitzvah] for the sake of the unification of The Holy One, Blessed
is He, and His Divine Presence, in fear and in love, to unify the Name of yud-h'eh
with vav h'eh in completion, in the name of the entire Jewish people.

A hymn popular in Messianic Jewish circles is called Kadosh, meaning "Holy"


(holy = sanctified). It has the following chorus, descriptive of the eternal, infinite
God:

Who was and Who is and Who is to come.


Christianity has an older hymn called "Holy, Holy, Holy," that reflects the same
concept. The second stanza says:

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee


Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea
Cherubim and Saraphim falling down before thee
Which wert and art and evermore shalt be

One of the mysteries revealed to us concerning Yeshua is found in Hebrews 13:8,


which says that He is the same yesterday and today, and forever. Yeshua, in
Revelation 1:8, tells John that He is the One who is, who was and who is to come.
In Revelation 1:19, He instructs John to: write the things he has seen, and the
things which are and the things which will take place after this.

John chapter 17 is one of the most mystical portions of the entire Bible. Here we
have Yeshua, praying to the Father for his disciples and the future generations of
those who come to faith:

John 17:17 - Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Torat ha-sod (Torah-based Kabbalah) places great emphasis on the word "truth."
In the Hebrew, the word for truth is emet, spelled Aleph-Mem-Tav. The letters
Aleph and Tav, are the first and last letters in the Hebrew alphabet. When found
together in scripture, Aleph-Tav represents God as the beginning and the end
(i.e., Isaiah 44:6). The letter Mem is the middle letter of the alphabet.

The first two letters of Emet, Aleph-Mem, spell em, which means mother. This is
the beginning of man. The last two letters, Mem-Tav, spell met, the Hebrew word
for death - the end of man. The letter Mem gets its name from the mayim, the
word for water. Throughout scripture, water represents change, especially
spiritual change (i.e., purification in the mikvah). Thus, Aleph is the past, Tav is
the future, and Mem is the transition from past to future - what we call the
present.1

THE TEMPLE AND UNIFICATION

One of the more mysterious commands given by God is found in the book of
Ezekiel, where the people are told to study the Millennial Temple that the
prophet describes:

Ezekiel 43:10-11 - Thou, son of man, Shew the house of Israel the house, And
they are ashamed of their iniquities, And they have measured the measurement.
And since they have been ashamed of all that they have done, The form of the
house, and its measurement, And its outlets, and its inlets, and all its forms, And
all its statutes, even all its forms, And all its laws cause them to know, And write
[it] before their eyes, And they observe all its forms, And all its statutes, and
have done them.

As we know, Revelation 1:3 contain a special blessing for those who hear and
take heed to its teachings. Is there a connection to Ezekiel's instruction?
Revelation 1:3 - Happy is he who is reading, and those hearing, the words of
the prophecy, and keeping the things written in it -- for the time is nigh!

The Talmud teaches that the Temple is a physical representation of the Kingdom.
(The footnote marked by the asterisk (*) is from the Soncino Talmud and shown
below the text):

Soncino Talmud - Mas. Pesachim 54a - Surely it was taught: Seven things
were created before the world was created, and these are they: The Torah,
repentance, the Garden of Eden, Gehenna, the Throne of Glory, the Temple, and
the name of the Messiah. The Torah, for it is written, The Lord made me [sc. the
Torah] as the beginning of his way. Repentance, for it is written, Before the
mountains were brought forth, and it is written, Thou turnest man to contrition,
and sayest, Repent, ye children of men. The Garden of Eden, as it is written, And
the Lord planted a garden in Eden from aforetime. The Gehenna, for it is written,
For Tophet [i.e., Gehenna] is ordered of old. The Throne of Glory and the Temple,
for it is written, Thou throne of glory, on high from the beginning, Thou place of
our sanctuary. The name of the Messiah, as it is written, His [sc. the Messiah's]
name shall endure for ever, and has exited before the sun!* — I will tell you: only
its cavity was created before the world was created, but its fire [was created] on
the eve of the Sabbath.

* the goal of Creation is that the Kingdom of God (represented by the Temple)
shall be established on earth, as it is in heaven; and finally, the name of the
Messiah, i.e., the assurance that God's purpose will ultimately be achieved.

The Zohar supports the idea of the original Tabernacle being a symbol of the
unity of the upper and lower worlds:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 231b - It has already been


explained that the verse, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the
earth", means that the lower world was created after the pattern of the upper.
Now, the Tabernacle below was likewise made after the pattern of the supernal
Tabernacle in all its details. For the Tabernacle in all its works embraced all the
works and achievements of the upper world and the lower, whereby the
Shekinah was made to abide in the world, both in the higher spheres and the
lower. Similarly, the Lower Paradise is made after the pattern of the Upper
Paradise, and the latter contains all the varieties of forms and images to be
found in the former. Hence the work of the Tabernacle, and that of heaven and
earth, come under one and the same mystery. It is written: "Lift up your eyes on
high, and see: who hath created these? He that bringeth out their hosts by
number.... Not one faileth" (Isa. XL, 26).

As mentioned earlier, the Zohar (as do other texts including the Torah itself) says
that Moses was shown how to design the Temple and its ornaments based on a
vision (from Tipheret) of what existed in the heavenly realms. The Zohar goes on
to say that the pattern of these things not only represented reality in spiritual
space, but also in spiritual time: (See the previous section on Time and Space:
Shabbat and the Temple.)
Recall that the reference to "the Holy One, blessed be He," is to Tipheret, and
the "glory of the Almighty," is to the Shekinah:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 233b-234b - And observe that


all these measurements prescribed for this world had for their object the
establishment of this world after the pattern of the upper world, so that the two
should be knit together into one mystery. At the destined time, when the Holy
One, blessed be He, will bestir Himself to renew the world, all the world will be
found to express one mystery, and the glory of the Almighty will then be
over all, in fulfilment of the verse, "In that day shall the Lord be one, and his
name one" (Zech. XIV, 9).’ R. Judah followed with a discourse on the verse: "The
counsel (sod) of the Lord is with them that fear him; and his covenant to make
them know it" (Ps. xxv, 14). ‘ "The counsel", he said, ‘alludes to the sublime
mystical knowledge which remains hidden and undisclosed save for those that
fear the Lord continuously and thus prove themselves worthy of these secrets
and able to keep them.

There are several important aspects to the above text:

• There is a mystery of the upper and lower worlds being brought together.
This is associated with the unification of the Name of God, as the upper
world, represented by Tipheret, as represented by the
Messiah/Bridegroom, will be unified to the lower world, as represented by
Malkut, the Shekinah/Bride.

• "The Holy One Blessed be He" is a specific name associated with Tipheret
throughout the mystical Jewish writings. He is the one that will come to
renew the world.

• This is a time when "the glory of the Almighty will then be over all." This is
the time that Yeshua prayed for in John 17, where he said (using very
similar language):

John 17:21-22 - That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in
thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast
sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may
be one, even as we are one. (Click here for the complete text of John 17.)

• The blessing offered at the end of the Zohar passage (mentioned earlier in
this section), is directly tied to understanding this mystery of the coming
Kingdom and unification of the Name (in the same fashion as Revelation
1:3).

THE TORAH AND UNIFICATION

The Zohar reaches a conclusion about the combined name YHWH Elohim as
found in the Shema, calling it the "whole mystery of faith," and "secret of
secrets." It connects an understanding of this deepest mystery to the diligent
study of Torah. The Zohar speaks of Torah as an amon - another name for a tutor
- (i.e., Galatians 3:24), and that Torah was the architect of creation (functioning
on behalf of the Eyn Sof). This would link Torah very closely to Yeshua (the goal
of Torah - Romans 10:4), by whom all things were made, (according to John,
chapter 1).

In this passage, reference is also made to the Angel of the Lord, which has a
direct connection to Tipheret. Finally, the unified name YHWH Elohim is said to
be a synthesis of both written and oral Torah:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 160b-161b - The whole mystery


of the Faith depends upon this; from this comes the knowledge of the mystery of
mysteries, the secret of secrets. YHWH ELOHIM is a full Name, and the whole is
one. Herein is a mystery of mysteries to the masters of the esoteric knowledge.
And, indeed, blessed are they who endeavour to comprehend the Torah. When
the Holy One resolved to create the world, He guided Himself by the Torah as by
a plan, as has been pointed out [Tr. note: v. Zohar, Gen., 134a, in connection
with the words "Then I was by him as amon" (Prov. VIII, 30), where the word
amon (nursling) may also be read uman (architect). Was the Torah, then, an
architect? Yes; for if a King resolves to build him a palace, without an architect
and a plan how can he proceed?

... Therefore is it presented before the Holy King, that afterwards it may know
Him in this world, and be devoted to the Holy One in the mystery of the Faith.
Concerning this it is written: "Thou hast been shown to know", that is, shown by
the angel to the Holy One, in order to know, to understand, to penetrate in this
world to the mystery of the Faith, the mystery of the Torah. And he who, having
come into this world, does not study the Torah to know Him-better were it for
him that he had never been born; since the only aim and object of the Holy One
in sending man into this world is that he may know and understand that YHWH is
Elohim.

... And he who, having come into this world, does not study the Torah to know
Him-better were it for him that he had never been born; since the only aim and
object of the Holy One in sending man into this world is that he may know and
understand that YHWH is Elohim. This is the sum of the whole mystery of the
Faith, of the whole Torah, of all that is above and below, of the Written and Oral
Torah, all together forming one unity. The essence of the mystery of Faith is to
know that this is a complete Name. This knowledge that YHWH is One with
Elohim is indeed the synthesis of the whole Torah, both of the Written and of the
Oral, for “Torah” stands for both, the former being symbolic of YHWH and the
latter of Elohim. The Torah being the mystery of the Holy Name, it is therefore
called by two names, one of which is general, and the other particular. The
general is complemented by the particular, also the particular by the general,
both combining to form one synthesis. In the Torah we find, therefore, the
synthesis of the Above and the Below, for the one Name, YHWH, is above, while
the other, Elohim, is below, one indicating the higher world and the other the
lower. And therefore is it written: “Thou hast been shown to know that YHWH is
Elohim.” This is the essence of all things, and it is necessary that man should
perceive it in this world.’
Recall what the we earlier saw in the Zohar about the one who has the 42-letter
divine name and His role with creation:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 234b - The letters of the Divine
Name embrace the mystery of the Torah, and all the worlds are a projection of
the mystery of those letters.

UNIFICATION AT SINAI

As mentioned, the offer of the Kingdom was put before Israel at Mount Sinai as
well as with the appearance of Yeshua. There was a brief unification of the Name
at Sinai, but this did not achieve a permament status, due to the sin of the
Golden Calf.

The following Zohar section explains the difference between what was seen by
Moses at Sinai as compared to the (less clear) vision of Ezekiel. Here it is
(metaphorically) said that Moses saw the "Head" and the "Body" of God, whereas
Ezekiel saw but the "hand," which is further explained to be the Shekinah (as
was discussed earlier in this section.) The presence of the word "eth" (Aleph-Tav,
meaning beginning and end) is significant:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 82b - We have been taught that
when the Holy One revealed Himself on Mount Sinai all the Israelites saw the
Divine manifestation as one sees a light streaming through the glass of a lamp,
and by means of that light each one of them saw more than did the prophet
Ezekiel, since those celestial voices were all revealed together, whilst to Ezekiel
only the Shekinah was revealed in Her Chariot, and he but caught glimpses of it
as though through many barriers. Said R. Judah: ‘Blessed was Moses, concerning
whom it says: “And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai and the Lord called
Moses up to the top of the mount”, and blessed was that generation concerning
whom it says: “And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai before the eyes of the
whole people.” As the Torah, however, was given from the Right Hand (“from his
right hand went a fiery law for them”, Deut. XXXIII, 2), what essential difference
was there between the manifestation to the people and the manifestation to
Ezekiel?’ R. Jose replied: ‘On Sinai the “Head” and the “Body” of the King were
revealed, as it is written: “He bowed the heavens and came down” (2 Sam. XXII,
10); but to Ezekiel it was, as it were, only the “Hand” which was shown: “And the
hand of the Lord was there upon him” (Ezek. I, 3). And even the “Hand” has two
aspects, a higher and a lower. Observe that he says: “The heavens were opened
and I saw visions (maroth) of God” (Ezek. I, 1). “Maroth” is written in a defective
form, to indicate that he merely had a vision of the Shekinah.’ Said R. Jesse: ‘But
is the Shekinah not a representation of the whole of the Deity?’ R. Jose replied:
‘The “Head” of the King is not to be compared to His “Feet”, although both are in
the “Body” of the King.’ Observe that Isaiah said “I saw (eth) the Lord” (Isa. VI,
1), but Ezekiel said “I saw visions of God”.’ They meant, however, the same
thing, and both belonged to the same grade (of spiritual perception). Why, then,
did Isaiah not give a detailed account of his visions, like Ezekiel? According to R.
Jose, it was necessary that Ezekiel should speak in a detailed manner in order to
impress the people in exile with the fact that the Holy One loved them, and that
the Shekinah and Her Chariots had gone down into exile also, to be present with
them.

The following passage offers more insight into the Sinai experience. It says that
Moses and a number of others, "saw the God of Israel." As Scripture states that
no man has actually "seen" God, what (who) is it that they saw?

Again, the Zohar indicates that the presence of the word "eth" (Aleph-Tav) in the
text, shows that what they "saw" was more than the Shekinah. This "extra
quality of enlightenment" that they experienced is directly associated with none
other than Metatron, whom as we have seen, is a figure of Messiah:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 126a - AND THEY SAW THE GOD
OF ISRAEL, AND THERE WAS UNDER HIS FEET AS IT WERE A PAVED WORK OF
A.SAPPHIRE STONE. Said R. Judah: ‘It is written: “This thy stature is like to a palm
tree” (S.S. VII, 8).What love, indeed, has the Holy One bestowed upon the
Community of Israel in that He never separates.Himself from her, but is
perpetually and perfectly united with her, even as a palm tree in which male
and.female are one in complete and continual union! See now. When Nadab and
Abihu and the seventy elders.”saw”, what did they actually see? “They saw the
God of Israel”, that is to say, the Shekinah manifested.Herself unto them.’ But R.
Jose interpreted the demonstrative pronoun eth in this verse (“and they saw.eth
the God of Israel”) as denoting something more, over and above R. Judah's
exposition, a kind of extra quality of enlightenment, as it were-although what
they saw they saw from a distance. R. Isaac asked: [It.says here, “Under his feet
was as it were a work of sapphire stone, but Ezekiel said] “This is the living
creature (Hayah) which I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar”
(Ezek. x, 20). Now, which Hayah is here indicated?’ R. Jose replied in the name of
R. Hiya that the reference is to the little Hayah. [Tr. Note: Metatron.]

A recent commentary on Nachmanides (Ramban) also speaks of the connection


between the Tabernacle/Temple and the unity of God as seen at Mount Sinai.

Specifically, the Tabernacle alludes to the mystery of God's Unity, which


represents a main theme of Revelation on Mount Sinai, according to Ramban. He
writes: "And the verse mentions twice regarding the Tabernacle: 'And the Glory
of God filled the Tabernacle' (Exodus 40:34), parallel to (Deuteronomy 5:21) 'His
Glory and His Greatness'" (Exodus 25:1).

... This mystical unity between the two Divine Names, or sephiroth, via which
flows the divine blessing to all spheres of Creation, above and below, is
particularly accentuated by the mystical symbolism of the appearance of the
Shekinah between the two Cherubim. These two Cherubim represent the perfect
harmony between Justice and Mercy. They are the two attributes that are
primarily involved in the Divine Revelation and conduct in the Divine Atziluth,
the Chariot of Ezekiel, and the patterns of the Tabernacle. 2
As we will see in our text analysis, the feast days of Rosh ha-Shanah and Yom
Kippur played a role with the unification of the Name at Sinai, and will again at
the end of the age.

UNIFICATION AT THE END OF DAYS

The book of Revelation speaks of the return of the River of Eden (mentioned in
only one other place in Scripture - Genesis, in the story of the Garden of Eden).
Here, the River is associated with the unification of the Yod to the He, and the to
the Jubilee, which as we have seen in a previous section is a representation of
the Millennial Kingdom.

In this section of the Zohar, the freedom of the Jubilee year is credited to "the
Holy One Blessed be He," a title given to the sephirot of Tipheret, which as we
have seen is associated with the Messiah. Because of this, He is called "the son
of freedom." We also find reference to the idea that the Name of God is both
united as well as disunited at the same time.

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 95b - Another then discoursed


on the text: Happy art thou, O land, when thy king is a son of freedom and thy
princes eat in due season (Eccl. X, 17). ‘Just before this it is written: “Woe to
thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning.” There
is an apparent but not a real contradiction between these verses. The reference
in the verse “happy art thou, O land,” is to the supernal realm which has control
over all the life above, and is therefore called “land of the living”. Of this it is
written, “a land which the Lord thy God careth for continually” (Deut. XI, 12), and
again “a land where thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack
anything in it” (Ibid. VIII, 9). Why so? Because “thy king is a son of freedom”. By
this is meant the Holy One, blessed be He, [Tipheret] who is called a “son of
freedom” because of the Jubilee, which is the source of freedom. It is true that,
according to this explanation, we should expect to have in our text the word
heruth (freedom) and not, as we actually find written, horin (free ones). The
reason is, as we have learnt in our secret Mishnah, that when the Yod is united
with the He, they produce “the river which issues from Eden to water the
Garden” (Gen. II, 10). It is, in fact, misleading to say “when they unite”, for they
are indeed united, and therefore it is written ben horin.

Revelation 22:1- And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as


crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the
street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare
twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the
tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but
the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve
him.

The complete unity of the Name of God, as accomplished by Messiah, is


represented in the deeper teachings of the Feast of Succot (Tabernacles). Recall
that when Yeshua entered Jerusalem, the people laid palm branches (lulav) out
for Him. Also, when Yeshua appeared on the mountain with Moses and Elijah,
Peter immediately wanted to build succas (booths). Both the lulav and booths
are part of Succot. It is interesting to note, that neither of these events took
place at the time of the actual Feast of Succot. Also consider, that Yeshua is the
Yom Kippur sacrifice, yet He died at Passover. As we will discuss later in this
study, the unification of all things, includes the unification of the Feasts, which at
this time, in our physical world, appear separate and unrelated.

Recall in the following text that the "Sun" is associated with the sephirah of
Tipheret and the Messiah/bridegroom, and the moon with the sefirah of Malkhut
and the Shekinah/bride:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 215a - R. Simeon further


discoursed, citing the verse: “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of
wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands upon him” (Deut. XXXIV, 9). ‘In many
places we have laid down’, he said, ‘that the face of Moses was as the face of
the sun, whilst that of Joshua was like that of the moon. For the moon has no
light of its own, but receives its light by reflection from the sun until it becomes
full, when it may be said to reach its state of completeness. The completeness of
the moon is when it is called “reflection” (d'muth), in relation to the supernal Sun
called YHWH, for it receives this name only when it is complete, for it has many
names according to its various manifestations. So when it is complete on all
sides it is called YHWH, its completeness corresponding to the higher
completeness. The Daughter, as it were, is the heiress of the Mother. This is the
case on the fifteenth day of the month, and thus, “On the fifteenth day of this
seventh month is the feast of Tabernacles” (Lev. XXIV, 34). It is also written,
“Howbeit on the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of Atonement” (Ibid.
27), which has the same allusion. When the World-to-be is symbolized hy all the
Ten Utterances, and centred in this month, it is first named “ten”, and
afterwards when the moon is joined with them in completeness it is named
“fifteen”, the He (=5) joining the Yod (= 10), both forming the Divine Name YH.
In the completed name YHWH there is a second He added, the first He’ being
associated with the supernal mystery, and the second symbolizing the
Providence that provides the lower world with its sustenance. The moon is thus
in its completeness, a completeness embracing the upper and the lower worlds,
through the inner meaning of the Divine Name, all forming a unity of perfection.
Joshua is the symbol of the fulness of the moon, he truly being the son of Nun, as
the letter Nun is expressive of the recondite significance of the moon. And so
“Joshua was full of the spirit of wisdom”, full in the completeness of the Divine
Name. For the Supreme Point, identical with the letter Yod, expanded and
produced a Spirit, which Spirit produced a Temple. That Spirit then expanded
further, and so became six directions. Having expanded through all these, it
filled out and caused to come into being the Lower Temple. Thus the Divine
Name became manifest in a unity of completeness. “Joshua”, then, “was full of
the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands upon him”, that is, he poured
out blessings upon him, and the well, so to speak became filled through him.
And you,’ concluded R. Simeon, ‘you exalted saints, each one of you is filled with
the spirit of wisdom and has attained the full phase of the mystic wisdom,
inasmuch as the Holy One, blessed be He, [Tipheret] found delight in you and
had laid His hands upon you. Happy is my portion in that my eyes have seen
this, to wit, the fulness of the spirit of wisdom that is in you.’

1. See Waters of Eden, Aryeh Kaplan, 1976, NCSY, Brooklyn, NY.

2. Ramban: Philosopher and Kabbalist, Chayim J. Henoch, Jason Aronson Inc.,


Jerusalem, 1998, p. 93.

AS ABOVE, SO BELOW
(Last updated 1/27/01)

As we have seen earlier in this study, both the Scriptures and extra-Biblical
Hebrew texts show that the earthly Tabernacle and its elements were designed
by Moses, from the pattern of their heavenly counterparts.

In our study on the spiritual elements, we showed a relationship between


spiritual time and space, particularly with regard to the physical
Tabernacle/Temple.

In this section we will continue to examine the idea that the physical elements
on earth have heavenly counterparts in that the heavenly realms and angels
correspond to nations and kings. We will also look at the principle that events
taking place on earth in physical time, are preceded by corresponding events in
the heavenly realms.

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 197a - Observe that God has
made the earthly kingdom after the pattern of the heavenly kingdom, and
whatever is done on earth has been preceded by its prototype in heaven.

THE REALM OF "DARKNESS"

As we have seen throughout previous studies, God is revealed through His


emanations as observed through creation, including man, who is made in his
image. God's will is carried out through the Sephirot, as well as the work of the
angels, the Shekinah and Messiah. All of this heavenly realm, (which is
represented by the Temple, as well as Ezekiel's chariot) is working toward the
establishment of the Kingdom of God.

Scripture shows us that there is also an evil spiritual realm that is opposed to this
plan, in fact attempting to subvert God's Kingdom with an unholy kingdom. Much
of Scripture is concerned with this ongoing "battle," and the book of Revelation is
the climactic "final scenes" of this saga.

It is often hard for people to understand things such as, "why is there a demonic
realm?" or "where evil comes from?" or "why does God allow Satan to do the
things he does?" Although the full answers may only come to us when we are
one day with the Lord, both Scriptures and other writings shed light on this
subject.
Isaiah makes a very blunt statement regarding this:

Isaiah 45:6-7 - That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the
west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form
the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all
these things.

The Zohar supports this idea and goes into even greater detail, saying that there
is a symmetry between the holy sephirot (also called "crowns") and an unholy
sephirot (created by God), also made up of ten "crowns." The latter is known as
Sitra Ahra, "the other side.":

Soncino Zohar, Vayikra, Section 3 Page 41b - R. Simeon said: ‘As there are
ten Crowns of Faith above, so there are ten crowns of unclean sorcery below. All
things on earth are attached either to one side or to the other.

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 95a - The reason is, as we have
learnt, that God has made lower crowns which are not holy, and which, in fact,
pollute, and with these are marked all who are not circumcised.

The Zohar (in a commentary on the Egyptian demonic connection) states that
realm of angels (both "good" and "bad" ones), is also known as "the sea." The
region of demons (the "unholy order" below), is closely associated with the "left
side" of the Tree of Life (the ten sephirot), which is known as the side of
"judgment."

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2,Page 56b - PHARAOH'S CHARIOTS AND


MIGHT HE CAST INTO THE SEA. R. Isaac referred to the verse: “When he uttereth
his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens” (Jer. X, 13), and said:
‘According to tradition, the Holy One created seven heavens, and in each heaven
stars and planets are fixed. Arabot (also called Asiyyah, the realm of the
Shekinah) is above them all. The length of each heaven is such that it would take
two hundred years to traverse, and the distance between each heaven and the
next would take five hundred years to traverse. As for Arabot, one would need
one thousand five hundred years to cover its whole length, and the selfsame
number for traversing its breadth. All the heavens are lighted from the radiance
of Arabot. Above Arabot is the heaven of the Hayoth, and above this latter
sphere another heaven, brighter than all, as it is written: “And the likeness of the
firmament upon the heads of the Hayoth” (Ezek. I, 22). And below there are
many chariots at the right hand and at the left, of many grades, each with its
own name. And beneath them are others, smaller and yet more varied, which
are the smallest ranks of this celestial but unholy order; as it is written: “The sea
is great... small beasts and great are there” (Ps. CIV, 25), as we have affirmed,
that on the left side below there is a ruler, the “other side”, attached to those
above, but they are crushed by the great holy power, according to our
interpretation of the words, “Pharaoh's chariots and his might he cast into the
sea”.’
It may seem odd to include the angels who are in opposition to God (demons)
within the Tree of Life, however, they are created spiritual beings and are in fact
serving the will of God.

For example:

Judges 9:22-23 - When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel, God
sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of
Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech.

Revelation 17:17 - For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to
agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be
fulfilled.

In addition to the existence of ten holy and ten unholy sephirot, there is further
parallelism between the angels who serving to establish God's Kingdom, and
those who are working (according to God's will) in opposition to it. We have seen
already that there exists a special group of seventy angels who serve to protect
Israel from the "seventy nations" of the earth. (Recall also, that at Succot there
were sacrifices offered for these seventy nations.)

Here, the Zohar says that the gentile nations also have angels assigned to them:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 95b - All the lands of the
Gentiles have been committed to great chieftains who are appointed over them.

At the time of the unification of the Name of God, this left side (of judgment) will
be brought into harmony by the right side (of mercy), and these angels (demons)
and the pain and suffering associated with the left side, will be no more.

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 133b - The Lord is one above;
and His Name is One below. We say this response silently, although it is a
triumphant expression of the Oneness, because of the "evil eye", which still has
power under the present dispensation; but in the future (Messianic Age) when
the "evil eye" will have ceased to exist and will have no dominion whatsoever
over this world, then we shall proclaim the Divine Unity and its full
accomplishment openly and in a loud voice. At present, as the "other side" still
cleaves to the Shekinah ...

... ‘In the prayer before the entrance of the Sabbath the Throne of Glory is
prepared for the Holy Heavenly King. And when the Sabbath arrives the
Shekinah is in perfect union with Him and is separated from the "other side", and
all the potencies of severe judgement are severed from Her, She being in closest
union with the Holy Light and crowned with many crowns by the Holy King, and
all the principalities of severity and all the lords of judgement flee from Her, and
no other domination reigns in any of the worlds, and her countenance is
illumined by the supernal light, and she is crowned here below by the Holy
People, all of whom are invested with new souls.
... "And He being merciful, forgiveth iniquity and destroyeth not", because the
Shekinah is then entirely severed from the mystery of the "other side" and all
the lords of judgement have separated themselves and passed away from Her,

As mentioned, the book of Revelation is the climax of the "battle" between the
forces of the Kingdom of God and those who attempt to usurp this with an
ungodly kingdom. The being who may be said to be in direct opposition to God,
is an angel commonly known as haSatan (literally: the adversary, commonly
called "Satan"). The One who inevitably ushers in this Kingdom of God is
Messiah, whom we have seen in our section on Tipheret, is the direct opponent
to haSatan.

Much has been written about the "fall of Satan" (also called Lucifer), and his
rebellious group of angels. It is beyond the scope of this study to provide a
comprehensive study of this event, however the following is helpful in
understanding the material we are analyzing. Before attending to this, we will
briefly discuss the idea of how "evil" came into being.

Jewish mysticism offers a very "logical" explanation as to how evil originated.


Before creation, there was only the infinite Eyn Sof. The first act of creation was
for the Eyn Sof to "contract back," in order to create a realm that was not part of
the Eyn Sof. (This explanation is necessary otherwise you have pantheism, which
states that "everything is God.")

God then emanated a "finite" part of "Himself" into this realm, which was the
Torah, also called the "word" or the "Light." As soon as the aspect of "Light"
entered the universe, there also entered "darkness," as you cannot have
something defined as "Light," without its inverse. That which was not the Light
(within the universe God created) took on the existence of darkness. Thus,
whatever God (Eyn Sof) commanded was Torah/Light, and what he did not
command (darkness/evil) was also created by implication.

The embodiment of these opposites (light and darkness) is found in Messiah and
haSatan. Messiah is light (John 1:9; 9:5), haSatan is darkness (Ephesians 6:12;
Revelation 16:10). Messiah is the word (John 1:1), haSatan opposes the word and
says to man, "did God really say ..." (Genesis 3:1). Messiah is the truth (John
14:6), haSatan is the father of all lies (John 8:44). Messiah came as the Torah in
the flesh (John 1:14), haSatan will come as a man opposed to Torah (2
Thessalonians 2:3).1

LABAN AND BALAAM

The Zohar has an interesting section regarding both Laban (Jacob's father-in-law)
and Balaam, the evil prophet who attempted to curse the children of Israel. It
states that both had expertise in tapping into the "spiritual sea," for the purpose
of gaining supernatural power. The passage below makes specific reference to
Laban's use of the ten unholy sephirot (crowns).

Balaam realized that he could not make use of the same to curse Israel, as their
power is also given to them by God. When God issues His protection (as in this
case and also with Pharaoh in the time of the Egyptian captivity - see subsequent
section below), then those who call upon the unholy powers will experience a
divine "power shortage":

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 167a - It is written in regard to


Balaam: “And God came unto Balaam at night” (Num. XXII, 20). Similarly in
regard to Laban it is written: “And God, came to Laban the Aramean in a dream
of the night, and said unto him: Take heed to thyself that thou speak not to
Jacob either good or bad” (Gen. XXXI, 24). Instead of the words “that thou speak
not”, we should have expected here “that thou do no evil to Jacob” But the truth
is that Laban in his pursuit after Jacob did not intend to contend against him with
armed force, as he was well aware that Jacob and his sons were more than a
match for him, but he designed to kill him with the power of his mouth. Hence:
“that thou speak not”, and not “that thou do not”. It is also written: “It is in the
power of my hand to do you hurt” (Gen. XXXI, 29). Laban knew this from the
warning given him, as he himself continued: “But the God of your father spoke to
me, etc.” (Ibid.). And this is the very testimony which God commanded the
Israelites to pronounce, as it is written: “And thou shalt testify and say before
the Lord thy God: An Aramean intended to destroy my father, etc.” (Deut. XXVI,
5). Of Balaam it is further written: “and he went not as at other times, to meet
enchantments” (Num. XXIV, 1), this being his wont, since he was an adept in
divinations. Laban also said: “I have observed the signs” (Gen. XXX, 27), that is
to say, he tested Jacob's fortune by means of his divinations, and when he set
out to destroy him he also intended to accomplish his end by the same power of
magic and sorcery, but God did not permit him. And it was in allusion to this that
Balaam his grandson said: “For there is no enchantment with Jacob, neither is
there any divination with Israel” (Num. XXIII, 23), as much as to say: “Who can
prevail against them, seeing that when my grandfather sought to destroy their
ancestor by means of enchantments and sorceries, he did not succeed, as he
was not permitted to curse him?” Laban, indeed, employed against Jacob
all the ten kinds of magic and divination of the flashing of the
underworld crowns, but could do him no hurt, as it is written: “and he
changed my wages ten times, but God suffered him not to hurt me” (Gen. XXXI,
7), where the term monim (times) is akin to the term minim, signifying “kinds”.
These ten kinds of witchcraft are alluded to in the verse saying: “There shall not
be found among you... one that useth divination, a soothsayer, or an enchanter,
or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or one that consulteth a ghost or a familiar spirit, or
a necromancer” (Deut. XVIII, 10-11). R. Jose said: ‘Divination and enchantment
are two different arts of the same potency. Balaam made use of divination
against Israel, as it says: “with divinations in their hand” (Num. XXII, 7). Laban,
on the other hand, used enchantments against Jacob, but neither of them
succeeded. Hence Balaam said: “For there is no enchantment with Jacob, neither
is there any divination with Israel” (Ibid. XXIII, 23), the first half of the verse
alluding to the days of Laban, the other half to the time of Balaam himself.
Balaam said in effect to Balak: “How can anyone prevail against them, seeing
that all the divinations and sorceries residing in our crowns derive their potency
from the flashing of the supernal sovereignty, which is attached to them, as it is
written: ‘The Lord his God is with them, and the shouting for the King is among
them” (Ibid. 21).’

EGYPT

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 38a - Now, as there are ten
crowns above, so likewise there are ten such below; and all are concealed in the
three grades symbolized by “the firstborn of Pharaoh”

God's judgment against Egypt, for their enslavement and cruelty of the children
of Israel is well documented in the Torah's book of Exodus. If you examine the
Zohar references in this section of our study, you may find it is interesting to
note that most of its commentaries concerning the role of the demonic realm
and the final unification of the name of God, come from the book of Exodus. As
we will see, the judgments against Egypt and the redemption of Israel serve as a
preview of what one day will played out on an even grander scale at the end of
the age.

The following section of the Zohar deals with the relationship between the
heavenly and earthly realms and their corresponding "leaders."

As you read this, note the following insights that are given:

• Again, the realm which the spiritual entities exist is called "the sea." This
sheds light on the Revelation passage that depicts the "dragon" coming
from the sea.

• Both the "good" and "bad" angels come from the sea, which is created
from the waters of the "Supernal Sea" (the realm of the Eyn Sof, rivers of
Eden), thus showing that all angelic beings (including haSatan), even in
their opposition to God, are serving the will of God. He is in control of all
that happens.

• Foolish men associate themselves with those elements of the spiritual sea
that are working in opposition to God.

• The sorcerers of Egypt made use of "ten species of sorcery," which are
related to the ten unholy "sephirot." (Hence the ten plagues sent by God.)

• God first established a victory over the Egyptian's heavenly chieftains,


which rendered their earthly sorcerers ineffective.

• Scripture thus declares a "double victory," with both "heavenly Egypt" and
"earthly Egypt" being defeated (see Isaiah 19:2).

• Both the heavenly and earthly realms are divided into seven "zones,"
which in turn is divided into ten divisions, giving a total of seventy. (These
are the seventy nations that Israel offered sacrifices for each Succot.)
Each of these seventy divisions has a "chieftain" ruling over it.
• The same punishment given to the Egyptians, is one day destined for
Rome. Keep in mind these texts were written long after the collapse of the
Roman empire. As we will see, the Zohar is referring to a future "Rome"
that will be defeated at the time of Messiah.

This fascinating text reads as follows:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 30b - Observe that ever so many
streams and rivers rise out of the Supernal Sea, which in their courses divide and
subdivide again into many other rivers and streams: and the portion that fell to
the side of Egypt were waters swarming with such creatures. For all waters
issuing from that sea breed various kinds of fishes, to wit, messengers sent into
the world to carry out the will of their Master through the spirit of Wisdom. In
regard to this a traditional text tells us that there are waters that breed wise
men and other waters that breed foolish men, according to the various rivers
that branch off into all sides. Now the Egyptian rivers breed masters of sorcery of
various kinds, and of ten degrees, as enumerated in the verse, "one that useth
divination, a soothsayer, or a charmer, or one that consulteth a ghost or a
familiar spirit, or a necromancer" (Deut. XVIII, 10-11). Here we have ten species
of sorcery. And at that time the Holy One, blessed be He, stretched forth His
finger and disturbed the brooks and rivers of Egypt so that their fishes of wisdom
were confounded: some waters turned into blood, others threw up small fishes of
no account upon whom the spirit of sorcery never rested. Then there came upon
them the plague called ’arob (lit. mixture, i.e. mixture of various beasts) which
allegorically indicates that the Almighty confounded their magical arts so that
their practitioners were not able to piece them together. Moreover, that
confusion produced a mingling of a perverse and hybrid kind similar to those
referred to in the words of Scripture, "thou shalt not sow thy field with two kinds
of seed; neither shall there come upon thee a garment of two kinds of stuff
mingled together" (Lev. XIX, 19).

Many were then the legions that bestirred themselves above, but the Holy One,
blessed be He, confounded them altogether; these mighty deeds which the
Almighty performed in Egypt were accomplished by the raising of one of his
hands against them, both on high and below. It was then that the wisdom of
Egypt perished, as Scripture says: "and the wisdom of their wise men shall
perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid" (Isa. XXIX, 14).
Note further the pronouncement: "And I will confuse Egypt with Egypt"
(Ibid. XIX, 2), that is to say, celestial Egypt with terrestrial Egypt. For
the celestial legions are in charge of the terrestrial ones, and they both were
altogether thrown in disorder. They were confused on high so that the Egyptians
could not derive inspiration from the celestial sources as formerly.

It was with this object that the Almighty brought on them the ’arob, or mixture
and confusion, manifested in a mixed horde of beasts that assailed them; as well
as the plague of vermin, engendered from the dust of the earth. Observe that
whatever is engendered on earth grows through the stimulus of a celestial
Chieftain who has charge over it, and that all on earth is shaped after a celestial
pattern. There are on high seven firmaments, and seven zones of earth.
Correspondingly, in the lower world there are seven graded firmaments and
seven zones of earth. These, as the Companions have expounded, are arranged
like the rungs of a ladder, rising one above the other, and each zone has ten
divisions, so that there are seventy in all. Each one of these is presided over by a
Chieftain, and these seventy Chieftains have under their charge the seventy
nations of the earth.

These seventy earth-divisions, again, border on and surround the Holy Land, as
Scripture says: "Behold, it is the couch of Solomon; threescore mighty men are
about, of the mighty men of Israel" (S.S. III, 7), there being, in addition to the
threescore mentioned, ten concealed among their number. All these surround
the Holy Land. This alludes to the upper world, and the same is reproduced in
the lower world. Now at that time the Holy One, blessed be He, stretched forth
His finger over the zone that was allotted to the Egyptians, and a fiery flame
passed through the whole tract and dried up all the alluvial soil, with the result
that the dust of the earth generated vermin. It was Aaron that smote the dust, in
order to show that the right hand of the Holy One, blessed be He, breaks His
enemies, as we read: "Thy right hand, O Lord, dasheth in pieces the enemy" (Ex.
xv, 6). The same punishment is destined to be meted out by the Holy One,
blessed be He, to Rome the great Metropolis, as it is written: "And the streams
thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone" (Isa.
XXXIV, 9). Thus "all the dust of the earth became vermin throughout all the land
of Egypt".

A similar text closely links the holy and unholy Sephirot and events in ancient
Egypt:

Soncino Zohar, Vayikra, Section 3, Page 70b- The Holy One, blessed be He,
has produced ten holy crowns above wherewith He crowns and invests Himself,
and He is they and they are He, being linked together like the flame and the
coal. Corresponding to these are ten crowns beneath, which are not holy, and
which cling to the uncleanness of the nails of a certain holy Crown called
Wisdom, wherefore they are called “wisdoms”. We have learnt that these ten
species of wisdom came down to this world, and all were concentrated in Egypt,
save one which spread through the rest of the world. [Tr. note: v. T.B. Kiddushin,
49b.] They are all species of sorcery, and through them the Egyptians were more
skilled in sorcery than all other men. When the Egyptians desired to consort with
the demons, they used to go out to certain high mountains and offer sacrifices
and make trenches in the ground and pour some of the blood around the
trenches and the rest into them and put flesh over it, and bring offerings to the
demons. Then the demons used to collect and consort with them on the
mountain. Israel, being subject to the Egyptians, learnt their ways and went
astray after them; hence God said to them: “After the doings of the land of Egypt
in which ye have dwelt shall ye not do”, and also, “And they shall no more
sacrifice their sacrifices unto the satyrs after whom they go a-whoring”, since, as
we have learnt, the demons used to appear to them in the form of he-goats. R.
Hiya said: ‘This is the last of the unholy crowns, as we have learnt.’ R. Isaac said,
in the name of R. Judah, that the souls of the wicked are the demons of this
world. Said R. Jose: ‘If so, the wicked are well off; where is their punishment in
Gehinnom? Where is the evil in store for them in the other world?’ R. Hiya
replied: ‘We have learnt and laid down that when the souls of the wicked leave
this world many executioners of judgement await them and take them to
Gehinnom, and subject them there to three tortures every day. Afterwards they
go about the world in company with them and mislead the wicked, from whom
repentance is withheld, and then return to Gehinnom and punish them there,
and so every day’.

These next two texts supports the idea of seventy heavenly chieftains who
oversee the nations.

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 16b - ‘As soon as Joseph died,
the celestial representative of Egypt was given domination over all the other
nations, as it says: “And Joseph died... and a new king arose”, like one who rose
to power from a lowly position. R. Tanhum said: ‘Every nation has its own
representative above, and when God elevates one He degrades another, and
when He gives power to this one it is only on account of Israel, as it says: “Her
adversaries have become chiefs” (Lam. 1, 5).’ R. Isaac said: ‘Israel singly is
equivalent to all the other nations together; as seventy is th