Last update: July 6, 2006
The great "mystery" of "Babylon" eludes most of those who write about the end times. Many are focused on some "outwardly idolatrous" religious practice - often described as some combination of "new age," "liberal christianity," and/or Catholicism. The idolatry of Babylon however lies in materialism (or "serving mammon" as Yeshua called it).
Notice the concern expressed when Babylon falls in verses 9-24. Ironically, many of these religious authors are affiliated with groups whose teachings focus on things such as, "how God wants you to have money," etc.
7a In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow ...
Here we have a more direct reference to the principle of midah knegged midah - God administrating either his justice or mecy "measure for measure."
7b ... for she says in her heart, I sit as queen ...
Again we see Babylon proclaiming herself to be "queen" in place of the true "queen" - the Shekinah:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, 51a - 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 (Psalm 118:20). 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. It may be asked, is it consonant with the dignity of the King that the Matrona should declare war for him and receive petitions to him? The following parable may explain. A king married a noble lady, whose worth he esteemed so highly that in comparison with her he regarded all other women as a mere vulgar herd. What shall I do to honour her? he thought. I will give her full control over the palace and over my whole household! So he made a proclamation that all the king's business should pass through the hands of the queen. He also handed over to her all the weapons of war, all his military advisers and generals, all his regalia, and indeed all his treasures of every sort, and said: From now anyone who wishes to speak to me must first make known his suit unto the queen. Similarly, the Holy One, blessed be He, out of His great love for the Community of Israel (represented by the Shekinah) has entrusted everything to her (i.e. the Shekinah), proclaiming all the other nations to be of no account in comparison with her.
It is all part of God's plan to allow the Shekinah to fall into a "dimished state" and allow another to take her place as "queen" for a short while. The following passage expounds on this, with several references to the "tzadik" (i.e., Sefirat of Yesod/Messiah) and "zedek" (i.e., Sefirah of Malkut/Shekinah):
Soncino Zohar, Vayikra, 69a - One day, as the Companions were walking with R. Simeon, he said: I see all other peoples elevated and Israel degraded. What is the reason? Because the King has dismissed the Matrona and put the handmaid in her place. Who is the handmaid? This is the alien Crown whose firstborn God slew in Egypt. R. Simeon wept, and continued: A king without a queen is no king. If a king cleaves to the handmaid of the queen, where is his honour? A voice will one day announce to the Matrona, Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem, for thy king cometh unto thee; he is just and having salvation, etc. (Zechariah 9:9); as if to say: The Righteous One (Zaddik) will be saved, he that was hitherto poor and riding on an ass, viz., as we have explained, the lower Crowns of the heathen nations whose firstborn God killed in Egypt. It is the Zaddik, as it were, who will be saved, because till now he was without Zedek (righteousness), but now they will be joined. R. Isaac here asked R. Simeon to explain how it is that some say the world is founded on seven pillars and some on one pillar, to wit, the Zaddik. He replied: It is all the same. There are seven, but among these is one called Zaddik on which the rest are supported. Hence it is written: The righteous one (Zaddik) is the foundation of the world (Proverbs 10:25). This handmaid, resumed R. Simeon, will one day rule over the holy land below as the Matrona once ruled over it, but the Holy One, blessed be He, will one day restore the Matrona to her place, and then who shall rejoice like the King and the Matrona?-the King, because he has returned to her and parted from the handmaid, and the Matrona because she will be once more united to the King. Hence it is written: Rejoice exceedingly, O daughter of Zion, etc. Observe now that it is written, This shall be to you a statute for ever (Leviticus 16:29). This promise is a decree of the King, fixed and sealed.
The idea of "Babylon" assuming the role of "queen" is to come between the "king above" (Sefirah of Chokmah/Wisdom) and the "king below" (Ze'er Anpin/the six Sefirot from Chesed to Yesod), or to put it another way, between the blessings of the spiritual realm above and the world below, a function of Amalek.
Rabbi Pinchas Winston alludes to this in a recent study:
G-d told Moshe, "Write this as a memorial in the Book, and repeat it carefully (literally, b'aznei -- in the ears) to Yehoshua. I will completely eradicate the memory of Amalek from under heaven." (Shemos 17:14)
The gematria of Amalek is suffek (doubt). Interestingly enough, this word is very close to another word which is quite different in meaning: sippuk (contentment). The first one is spelled: Samech-Peh-Kuf, and the second one is spelled: Samech-YUD-Peh-VAV-Kuf; the Yud and the Vav are extra. Nothing creates a greater sense of lacking than doubt, the exact opposite feeling of sippuk.
The question is, what difference does the letter Yud and Vav make?
First of all, they are two letters from G-d's four-letter Ineffable Name, the first and the third. The Yud corresponds to the sefirah called Chochmah (Wisdom), whereas the Vav corresponds to the sefirah of Yesod, which corresponds to our millennium, Lamed-Vav, (36). The other two letters of the Name are the same, the letter Heh twice, one is for Binah, and the other for Malchus.
In fact, though the Name is normally written from right to left, when it represents the Sefiros, it is written from top to bottom. Then it resembles, of all things, a tree, with the final Heh (for Malchus) becoming the ground, the Vav acting as the trunk and the tree, and the other Yud and Heh acting as the top of the tree. It is Amalek's goal to sever the Yud from the Vav, so that wisdom cannot flow down to the world below, so that suffek and discontentment can rule mankind. 1
7c ... and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.
This verse strikes an interesting contrast to the following, and almost makes it sound as if Babylon is "delusional," thinking it has actually become the "queen":
Jeremiah 51:5 - For Israel has not been widowed, nor Judah of his God, of the Lord of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.
(Jeremiah 51 is an important text to review at this point.)
Arrogance is at the heart of Amalek who disregards where he stands before God. Conversely, an understanding of where one stands before God, and acting accordingly, is what defines true "humility."
The higher a person becomes spiritually, the more humble he becomes. As we get closer to G-d, we become more realistic about our own limitations, vulnerability and mortality. We internalize the reality that every human's position is tenable and only G-d is eternal. Moses was called "the most humble" because when he stood before G-d he knew his place. Anything else precludes room for G-d to fit in. That's why the Talmud likens arrogance to idol worship; both push away the presence of G-d. 2
The history of Israel's enemies is one of arrogance and accusation, constantly mistaking Israel's troubles as a sign that they are spiritually superior to the Jews. The following story illustrates this well, and gives an interesting response:
Soncino Zohar, Bemidbar, 220b-221b - One day a certain clever non-Jew came to him and said: Old man, old man, I want to ask three questions of you. One is, how can you maintain that another Temple will be built for you, whereas only two were destined to be built, the first and the second. A third and a fourth you will not find mentioned in the Scripture, but it is written, Greater shall be the glory of this latter house than of the first (Haggai 2:9). Again, you maintain that you are nearer to the King than all other peoples. Now, one who is near to the King is ever in joy and free from sorrow and oppression, but you are ever in sorrow and oppression and anguish, more than all the rest of mankind, whereas we never suffer sorrow or oppression or anguish at all. This shows that we are near to the King and you are far away. Again, you do not eat nebelah and terefah, [Tr. note: Flesh of animals not killed according to Jewish rites.] in order to protect your health, but we eat whatever we like and we are healthy and strong, whereas you who do not eat are all weak and sickly beyond other peoples. You are a people who are wholly hated of your God. Old man, old man, don't say anything to me, for I will not listen to you. R. Eleazar raised his eyes and looked at him, and he became a heap of bones. When his wrath subsided he turned his head and wept, saying: O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth (Psalm 8:2). How mighty is the power of the Holy Name, and how beloved are the words of the Torah, since there is nothing at all which cannot be found in the Torah, and there is not a single word of the Torah which does not issue from the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He. These questions which that wretch put to me I also one day asked Elijah, and he told me that they had been raised in the celestial Academy before the Holy One, blessed be He. The answer given was as follows. When Israel left Egypt, God desired to make them on earth like ministering angels above, and to build for them a holy house which was to be brought down from the heaven of the firmaments, and to plant Israel as a holy shoot after the pattern of the celestial prototype. Thus it is written, Thou shalt bring them in and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in- this is the first Temple-the sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established (Exodus 15:17) - this is the second Temple; and both were to have been the work of the Almighty. But as they provoked God in the wilderness they died there and God brought their children into the land, and the house was built by human hands, and therefore it did not endure. In the days of Ezra also on account of their sins they were forced to build it themselves and therefore it did not endure. All this time the first building planned by God had not yet been set up. Now of the future time it is written, The Lord buildeth Jerusalem (Psalm 147:2)-He and no other. It is for this building that we are waiting, not a human structure which cannot endure. The Holy One, blessed be He, will send down to us the first House and the second House together, the first in concealment and the second openly. The second will be revealed to show all the world the handiwork of the Holy One, blessed be He, in perfect joy and gladness. The first, which will be concealed, will ascend high over that which is revealed, and all the world will see the clouds of glory surrounding the one which is revealed and enveloping the first one which ascends to the height of the glorious heavens. It is for that building that we are waiting. Even the future city of Jerusalem will not be the work of human hands, all the more so then the Temple, God's habitation. This work should have been completed when Israel first went forth from Egypt, but it has been deferred to the end of days in the last deliverance. As for the second question, assuredly we are nearer to the supernal King than all other peoples. God has made Israel as it were the heart of all mankind, and as the limbs cannot endure for a moment without the heart, so the other nations cannot endure without Israel. And what the heart is among the limbs, such is Israel among the nations. The heart is tender and weak, and it alone feels sorrow and distress, since in it alone is intelligence. The other limbs are distant from the king, which is the wisdom and intelligence situate in the brain, but the heart is near. So Israel is near to the Holy King, while the other nations are far away. Similarly in regard to the third question, Israel being the heart, which is tender and delicate and king of the members, takes for its food only the most purified part of all the blood, and leaves the remnant for the other members, which are not particular. They are therefore strong, as we see, but they also suffer from boils and from other ailments from which the heart is quite free. So God takes to himself Israel, who are clean and pure without any blemish.
Amalek epitomizes this arrogance to the point of not fearing God:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, 65a - R. Judah said: It is written, Amalek is the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever (Numbers 24:20). Was, then, Amalek the first of the nations? Were there not many tribes, nations, and peoples in the world before Amalek came? But the meaning is that Amalek was the first nation who feared not to proclaim war against Israel, as it says, and he feared not God (Deuteronomy 29:18); whilst the other nations were filled with fear and trembling before Israel at the time of the Exodus, as it says: The peoples heard and were afraid; trembling took hold of the inhabitants of Pelesheth (Exodus 15:14); in fact, apart from Amalek there was no nation that was not awestruck before the mighty works of the Holy One, blessed be He. Therefore his latter end shall be that he perish for ever.
The prophet Daniel spoke of such an insolent person to come:
Daniel 11:36-37 - And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
Looking back, we see these are the characteristics of Laodicea in chapter 3:
Revelation 3:15-17 - I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothingand do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.
The description of Laodicea being "lukewarm" is another hidden reference to Amalek:
Rabbi Tzadok of Lublin explains that there is a mystical klipah (barrier to holiness) called snow which is associated with the nation of Amalek, the Jews' arch-enemy. Amalek attacked the beleaguered Jewish people as they left Egypt, and God instructed us to remember this evil deed of Amalek, as they will always seek to harm the Jewish nation. (see Exodus 17:8-16; Deuteronomy 25:17-19) In fact, the Hebrew word for snow -- sheleg -- has a numerical value (gematria) of 333 -- the same as the word shich'cha, which means forgetfulness. This seems to suggest that snow is not a vehicle for growth at all. And when we venture outside on a snowy day, we are surrounded by forgetfulness and Amalek. What could this possibly mean?
The Torah tells us to remember what Amalek did as we left Egypt because he "happened upon you (karcha) and attacked." (Deuteronomy 28:17-18) The simple reading, as Rashi explains, is that Amalek's attack was a surprising and unexpected one -- "he happened upon you." A key aspect of their hideous crime was the sheer brazenness and trickery involved. However, Rashi suggests that karcha can also mean "he cooled you off," coming from the Hebrew word kar -- cold. As Rashi explains, the Jews were compared to a hot, scalding bath of water, symbolizing their great passion for spiritual achievements as they left Egypt. But Amalek was willing to burn themselves by attacking the Jewish people with the aim of showing that the heat of inspiration will not endure. By doing so, Amalek cooled off the tremendous fear that all of the other nations had for the Jews, giving them license to attack as well. Amalek, we see, relates to cooling. 3
8 Therefore her plagues will come in one daydeath and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.
Ironically, the punishment in Torah for the adulterous daughter of a priest was death by burning.
9 The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning,
Having ignored the following advice, they lament the loss of what they had deemed important:
Matthew 6:19-21 - Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
10 standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.
The fact that these kinks are allowed to "stand at a distance" and avoid this (particular) punishment is an indication of God's tremendous mercy. It is also reminiscent of another episode from Torah, where an arrogant person was judged and others were advised to "stand clear":
Numbers 16:1 - Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain ReubenitesDathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Pelethbecame insolent.
Numbers 16:23-27a - Then the LORD said to Moses, "Say to the assembly, 'Move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.'" Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. He warned the assembly, "Move back from the tents of these wicked men! Do not touch anything belonging to them, or you will be swept away because of all their sins." So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.
11 And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore:
Typically, though these men "see the lesson" they don't "learn the lesson," as repentance remains far from them despite seeing with their own eyes what God has done. This is remindful of how the nations acted after they heard what God had done to mighty Egypt (the "Babylon of its time) on behalf of Israel:
Exodus 15:14-16 - The people will hear and be afraid; Sorrow will take hold of the inhabitants of Philistia. Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed; The mighty men of Moab, Trembling will take hold of them; All the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away. Fear and dread will fall on them; By the greatness of Your arm They will be as still as a stone, Till Your people pass over, O LORD, Till the people pass over Whom You have purchased.
Did any of these nations turn to God, join Israel or even act "neutral" towards God's people? No. They may have "reacted" but not "acted." 4
12 merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble;
13 and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men.
The extensive list of things from creation, mineral, vegetable, animal - even the souls of men - reflects back to Rabbi Nachman's comments in the previous study, on the beauty of these things and their need for rectification. We can find specific reference to the redemption of all four levels of creation in the exodus account. Not only did the Hebrews extract physical elements from Egypt (to redeem them from the klippot of that dark realm) but the souls of men (the erev rav - "mixed multitude") also came out with them.
Exodus 12:35-38 - Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians. Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herdsa great deal of livestock.
A comparison can be made between the materials misused by Babylon in Revelation's verses 12 and 13 above, to those used for the Godly purpose of constructing the tabernacle in the book of Exodus:
Exodus 35:20-29 - And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the LORDs offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments. They came, both men and women, as many as had a willing heart, and brought earrings and nose rings, rings and necklaces, all jewelry of gold, that is, every man who made an offering of gold to the LORD. And every man, with whom was found blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, goats hair, red skins of rams, and badger skins, brought them. Everyone who offered an offering of silver or bronze brought the LORDs offering. And everyone with whom was found acacia wood for any work of the service, brought it. All the women who were gifted artisans spun yarn with their hands, and brought what they had spun, of blue, purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. And all the women whose hearts stirred with wisdom spun yarn of goats hair. The rulers brought onyx stones, and the stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate, and spices and oil for the light, for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense. The children of Israel brought a freewill offering to the LORD, all the men and women whose hearts were willing to bring material for all kinds of work which the LORD, by the hand of Moses, had commanded to be done.
14 The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all.
The concept of "fruit" once again concerns the idea of "tikkun." Those who elevate the sparks of holiness in creation bring "good fruit."
Matthew 7:20 - Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
However, even a "bad tree" (that "rooted" in the Sitra Achra) creates fruit:
Matthew 12:33 - Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.
What is interesting regarding both Matthew passages above is that each follows a particular reference:
Matthew 7:13-14 - Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Matthew 12:31-32 - Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
As discussed in previous studies, both the "narrow gate" (Matthew 7:13) one enters and the "Holy Spirit" (Matthew 12:32) are synonymous in kabbalistic texts with the Shekinah or the Sefirah of Malkut, also called the Matrona or Queen.5
Thus we see the contrast between the "gate" of the "Matrona" versus the gate of the "handmaid" that has taken her place (See citation from Soncino Zohar, Vayikra, 69a in notes to 7b above).
What is especially interesting is the way John expresses the desire of this handmaid as:
"the fruit that your soul longed for ..."
Everything in creation has some type of "nefesh" (basic soul) - including that in the abode of the Sitra Achra (evil realm). As Rabbi Nachman of Breslov teaches, even the longings for wealth and power are rooted in the beauty of the Messianic era:
Interstingly, the pursuit of wealth and power is rooted in messianic concepts. In the days of Mashiach, everyone will have abundant wealth ... Mankind was created to pursue a specific goal -- God. Thus, man's basic instinct is to seek a goal. But when clouded by evil desires, the quest for the goal becomes deflected. Since wealth will be widespread in the future, man's desire for it is rooted in a worthwhile goal -- that of the messianic era. Unfortunately, the pursuit of great wealth today, since it is currently not connected with the service of God, is idolatrous. 6
15 The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
16 and saying, Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls!
See comments to verse 10.
17a For in one hour such great riches came to nothing....
When God "alters his course" from that of extended mercy to the final time of judgment, the results come quickly.
Midrash Rabbah - Exodus 30:1 - Our Sages said that God replied to Israel: ' If I were to alter My course of judgment, I would destroy them in a single flash, as it says, If I alter [My judgment], then with the flash of My sword [would I act] (Deuteronomy 32:41)
17b ... Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance
Evil, defined as a "absence of God's light," and represented by the concept of "Babylon," is present in all three worlds of Creation; Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. As Rabbi Moshe Luzzatto states in Derech Hashem:
Included in God's decree that the world contain both good and evil, He also decreed that evil would be found throughout Creation in every degree and at every possible level ... 7
Examining verses 9 through 17, it is interesting that John mentions three groups as "standing at a distance," those being; Kings, Merchants and Shipmasters. This would seem to reflect the worlds of Beriah (Kings and the aspect of time [which begins in Beriah] expressed as "judgment in one hour"), Asiyah (Merchants and the actual physical aspects of their trade as listed) and Yetzirah (which is called the "sea" - which the "shipmasters" trade on)
These three groups, associated with evil in each world of Creation, have their "good" counterparts, as we will see in verse 20.
18 and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What is like this great city?
19 They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.
20a Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets ...
Again, we see three groups (as in verse 17b above), corresponding in the same way to the three worlds of creation ("heaven," the apostles and the prophets). Heaven (Beriah) speaks for itself, the apostles (disciples/talmidim) correspond to the earthly realm (Asiyah) and the prophets are by definition the ones who make the connection between these two, through the world of Yetzirah.
Thus we see that Babylon/Amalek exists in all three Worlds of Creation, and tikkun (repair) and rejoicing comes to all three Worlds.
Again, as explained by Rabbi Moshe Luzzatto in Derech Hashem:
It was therefore arranged that every good concept have its counterpart in evil. This is what Scripture means when it says (Ecclesiastes 7:14) "God has made one opposite the other." 8
Along the same lines, Rabbi Pinchas Winston says:
... there is the concept of 'zu l'umas zu' -- 'this against this' -- which means that, for everything positive in the spiritual world, there is something that corresponds to it in a negative way in the spiritual world, exactly. In fact, it is like standing on top of a mirror, where everything that exists on top of the mirror exists in reverse 'below' the mirror. 9
20b ... for God has avenged you on her!
God's vengeance is said to involved His "separating" the Sefirah of Mercy from the Sefirah of Judgment. The final judgment comes against Edom/Esau/Rome by the hand of His Messiah, who will hand over everything to Israel:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, 112b - So it is written: And he divided himself against them by night, he and his servants, and he smote them (Genesis 14:15). By dividing is here meant that the Holy One separated His attribute of mercy from that of justice in order to avenge Abraham.
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, 36a - And as it was then even so shall it be in the future, as it says: Who is this that cometh from Edom (=Rome), with dyed garments from Bozra? (Isaiah 63:1); for He will clothe Himself entirely in judgement to avenge His people.
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, 8a - the Holy One swears to them to destroy the wicked kingdom (Rome) by the hand of the Messiah, to avenge Israel, and to give her all the good things which he has promised her.
It is at this time when Israel's enemies are destroyed that Amalek meets its end. At a personal level, the time to do this is on Shabbat, as one needs to be at peace to defeat Amalek. On a grand scale, Amalek is defeated at the time of the Great Shabbat. 10
Isaiah chapters 63 to 66 is a good section to review concerning God's judgment.
21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore.
Again, there is great similarity to Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 51: 63-64 - And it shall be, when you have finished reading this book, that you shall bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates; And you shall say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her; and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.
22 The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore.
23 The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.
As mentioned, the Sitra Achra has within it the aspects of messianism, such as the "voice of the bride and bridegroom." (See comments to verse 14 above)
An interesting contrast can be made between the "messianic hopes" of Babylon and Israel:
Isaiah 65:17-25 - For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying. No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, And their offspring with them. It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpents food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, Says the LORD.
1. From Weekly Parshah Sheet, Tetzaveh/Zachor: Shedding our Skin, Rabbi Pinchas Winston, from www.thirtysix.org
4. From Act, Don't Just React, Parsha commentary on Parsha Beshalach, from http://www.aish.com/torahportion/kolyaakov/Act3_Dont_Just_React.asp
5. The identification of Yeshua's mother Miryam ("Mary") in the Catholic Church as the "Queen of Heaven" has its roots in a misapplication of the Jewish concept of the Shekinah. Many attributes of the latter were transferred to Miryam in the formative years of Christianity.
6. Mashiach - Who? What? Why? How? Where? When?, Chaim Kramer, Breslov Research Institute, Jerusalem, 1998, p. 88.
7. Derech Hashem (The Way of God), Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, Feldheim Publishers, 1997, p. 207
9. From Once a Spy Always a Spy? Rabbi Pinchas Winston. Commentary on Parsha Shlach, from http://www.torah.org/learning/perceptions/5761/shlach.html
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