THE SEFIROT IN A "NEW TESTAMENT" TEXT

Last updated July 22, 2011

As we have mentioned earlier, there are allusions to Tiferet in the texts of the "New Testament" in the for form of Yeshua being, "the image of the invisible God, etc." Looking deeper into one of Paul's letters, we can find a hidden reference to the ten Sephirot.

To begin, when speaking of these ten emanations of God, the following can be considered as true:

  • Keter is so "close" to Eyn Sof itself, that little can be known about it. It represents the eternal depth of riches of Eyn Sof.
  • Chokmah is Godly wisdom and the first Sephirah that can be known in some way.
  • Binah is understanding/knowledge, the counterpart to Chokmah.
  • Chesed symbolizes love and mercy in Scripture. It is the "natural way" of God.
  • Gevurah the counterpart to Chesed, symbolizes justice and severity in Scripture.
  • Tiferet has a central relationship to all of the other Sephirot, and an involvement with the unification of the Sephirot and the name of God.
  • Netzach and Hod are considered to be the conductors through which God's essence is conveyed between the upper realms and the lower ones.
  • Yesod is the "foundation" of "all thing." It is called "all."
  • Malkut is associated with the "glory" (Shekinah) of God.

With this in mind, we turn to the end of chapter 11 of the letter to the Romans, where we find Paul speaking of God in the following terms:

Romans 11:33-36: O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Keeping in mind the characteristics of the Sephirot (shown above), we can break down Paul's salutation in Romans 11, as follows:

  1. O the depth of the riches
  2. both of the wisdom
  3. and knowledge of God!
  4. how unsearchable are his judgments,
  5. and his ways past finding out!
  6. For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
  7. Or who hath first given to him,
  8. and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
  9. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things:
  10. to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Laid out in the traditional 3-column Tree of Life format, we have:

  Keter
O depth of riches,
 
Binah
and knowledge of God,
  Chokmah
both of the wisdom,
Gevurah
how unsearchable His judgments
  Chesed
and untraceable His ways!
  Tiferet
for who did know the mind of the Lord? or who did become His counsellor?
 
Hod
and it shall be given back to him again?
  Netzach
or who did first give to Him,
  Yesod
because of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things;
 
  Malkut
to Him is the glory -- to the ages. Amen.
 


Compare the above to this verse from the Tenakh, where we also find the lower seven middot (emotive Sefirot) mentioned:

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.

 
Gevurah
and the power,
  Chesed
Thine, O LORD is the greatness
  Tiferet
a
nd the glory
 
Hod
and the majesty: 
  Netzach
the victory
  Yesod
for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine;
 
  Malkut
thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.