|INTRODUCTIONNOTE: Much of
the material in this study is of a very complex nature. If you are new to Torah-based
Bible study, we recommend you start with our introductory-level
study of the book of Matthew. We also recommend the books on our YashaNet Reading List.
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 Yeshua 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, Yeshua.
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. Begin by reading the background materials. We encourage you to send in
comments and questions as we go forward.