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Revelation 1:1-6
Last update: October 22, 2001


It is suggested that the student have copies of the basic Tree of Life and the extended Tree, present during the text analysis. The links below provide diagrams without annotation, enabling you to enter your own references.

Basic Tree of Life diagram

Extended Tree of Life diagram


1 A revelation of Messiah Yeshua, that God gave to him, to show to his servants what things it must soon come to pass quickly; and he did signify [it], having sent through his messenger to his servant John

John's opening statement holds a great many details, which we will analyze individually.

A revelation ...

The book of Revelation sets John's vision from Messiah at two levels. Through chapter 3, we are concerned with Messianic assemblies and events primarily in the physical world in linear time. That would place this part of John's vision at the level of the Da'at (knowledge) of Yetzirah, similar to the other prophets, with the exception of Moses (and perhaps Enoch, as depicted in that extra-Biblical book). This Sephirah is also the Yesod (foundation) of Beriah, and is said to be the location of the archangel Gabriel, who "guides the person" from the "upper face" of Yetzirah to the "lower face" of Beriah, where he can experience prophetic vision (i.e., Daniel 8:16; 9:21). (See previous study on upper and lower faces in the Tree of Life.)

Beginning in chapter 4, (i.e., "Come up hither ..."), John receives an even higher level of perception. This portion of the vision is at the level of Beriah, where John's view is not limited to linear time and earthly events. This level of prophecy stems from the Da'at (knowledge) of Beriah, which is simultaneously the Yesod (foundation) of the Divine world of Azilut. As discussed earlier, Da'at is the realm of the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit), to which access is granted through Tipheret, which acts as a "gate," namely, a gate of truth.

The Da'at of Beriah, from which John receives the latter, more mystical, part of his vision, is just below (or if you will), directly in the presence of, the Tipheret of Azilut. This Sephirah is associated with Metatron, who is "Head of Creation" and "Divine Son" of the Father (Hokhmah) and Mother (Binah) aspects of God.

(See previous background notes, as well as additional comments on Metatron and Tipheret below.)

... of Messiah Yeshua

As was also mentioned in our background studies, Tipheret is both a barrier and gate to the Da'at (knowledge) beyond it, the latter of which itself is the foundation (Yesod) of the world above it.

To review:

  • The Tipheret of Yetzirah is also the Malkhut of Beriah - the "Kingdom of God), and is the step one must take to being "born again" by acquiring a foundation (Yesod) in the world of Spirit (Beriah), along with that of Water (Yetzirah) as Yeshua taught in John 3:5.
  • The Tipheret of Beriah, which is also the Malkhut of the Divine world of Azilut (i.e., the Shekinah - "the presence of the Lord"), is called the seat of Messiah, known as the "perfect man" and "incarnate link with the Divine," in kabbalistic literature.1
  • The Tipheret of Azilut is the level of Metatron, the "Divine Son" through whom all was created (as Keter of Beriah/Creation), and through whom all petitions to the King (the "Father") must pass. (See comments below from Zohar, Exodus, Vol. ii; Page 51.)

Tipheret (which as we discuseed, is the "synthesis" of all the Sephirot), represents God's salvation throughout the worlds -- "His Yeshua." (i.e., Matthew 1:21: "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Yeshua, for he shall save his people from their sins.")

This salvation extends down the central pillar of "Jacob's Ladder," the Sephirotic Tree of Life, and becomes Derech Hashem, "the Path of God," for man to follow "back to God." Recall that Yeshua referred to Himself as this ladder in John 1:51. The perfect revelation of God, decends "down Jacob's ladder," as the earthly tzaddik spiritually "climbs up Jacob's ladder."

This is similar to Mount Sinai, where God "came down" and the people "went up." Note that Moses was able to "go up higher" than the elders, who in turn, could ascend higher than the people. This is indicative of the "spiritual level" of each. Those at a lower level were warned not to come any "closer" to God, as they did not (yet) merit this.

Click here for more information on Yeshua, Torah and the Tree of Life

... that God gave to him

This instruction "from God to Messiah" was not something the latter received in the physical realm while walking the earth among us, some 2000 years ago. Messiah is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), and existed beyond the physical world of Asiyyah since the "foundation of the world." (Various aspects of this are presented in: Matthew 13:35; 25:34; John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4; Hebrews 4:3; 9:26; 1 Peter 1:20, and Revelation 13:8; 17:8).

The Talmud also speaks of the name of Messiah (His teachings, authority, function, etc.), pre-existing the created world:

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.

As mentioned in our earlier background study on the Divine Aspects of Messiah, Kabbalistic literature links God as Creator to the Messiah and the Divine Tzaddik:

"... the seven voices correspond to the seven lower emanations, and the seventh one is the Shekinah. Having correlated the seventh voice with the Shekinah, it is reasonable to posit that the sixth voice corresponds to Yesod, the divine phallus that overflows to the Shekinah. If the sixth emanation is indeed Yesod, it is significant that the Messiah is mentioned precisely in conjunction with this gradation: the traditional savior (mashiah) is identified as the Righteous (Saddiq) in the divine pleroma, the cosmic pillar or axis mundi. Not only is the redeemer a nationalist, religious, and political hero, he is the element of God that sustains all existence." 2

"... the Righteous One [Divine Tzaddik] who is the foundation of the world is in the middle (i.e., between Netsah and Hod), and it emerges from the South of the world (i.e., apparently the direction of Hesed, God's grace), and he is the prince (i.e., ruler) of both. And in his hand he holds the souls of all living things, for he is the Life of the World, and every term of Creation spoken about (in Scripture), takes place through him. And of him it is written, "and he ceased from work and rested" (Exod. 31:17), for he is the principle of the Sabbath. 3

John states that the message from God comes though Yeshua, an intermediary. As seen in our background studies, the Zohar applies this same role to the Messianic figure Metatron, through whom all our prayers pass, and through whom passes everything coming from heaven to earth (as with Yeshua, in 1 John 2:1-2, 1 Timothy 2:5):

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)

As seen in the diagrams of the extended Tree of Life, the path from Metatron, at the Tipheret of Azilut, going to John, passes through the Sephirah of Messiah, which is at the Tipheret of Beriah. This is reflected in the idea that the 42-letter Name of God, which is associated with Metatron, was inscribed on the Rod of Aaron/Moses (as discussed in our background studies). This rod had had a "heavenly connection" and would transmit the power of God when it touched something in the physical realm. It can be viewed as a physical representation of the "central path" of salvation of the Tree of Life, from the Keter of Azilut ("I AM THAT I AM"), through Tipheret at each level, to the Malkut of Asiyyah.

As previously discussed, both the figure of Metatron and the Sephirah of Tipheret are seen as holding characteristics fulfilled in Yeshua. An interesting link can be found between the two, having to do with the subject of Tefillin. These are the ornaments worn on the arm and forehead in literal fulfillment of the commandment found in Deuteronomy chapter 6. In Kabbalistic literature, the Tefillah of the hand represents Malkut (Kingdom), and that of the head, Tipheret. Binding the two parts to your body is symbolic of unifying Malkut to Tipheret - unifying the Name of God.

There is a recorded dispute between two prominent Kabbalists, Rabbi Avrohom ben David (Rabad) and Rabbi Moses Nachmanides (Ramban). Rabad taught that it was Metatron, a created being (and the inner "angel" of Ezekiel's prophecy), who wore the Tefillin. Ramban believed that the donner of Tefillin was the Tipheret of the Divine world of Azilut ("the Holy One Blessed be He").4

The tension between these two positions is resolved when one recognizes that Metatron is both the first-born and head of Creation (at the Keter of Beriah) as well as the Tipheret of Azilut.

... to show His servants

Why does God show this to His servants? A similar question is, Why did He command the study of Ezekiel's Temple? (See notes on the Mysteries of the Temple.) God is not interested in us becoming more proficient at "Bible Trivia." There is a purpose for such understanding, namely for us to apply what we learn, thus enabling us to conformed to His image and bring tikkun (restoration) to the world. Both Ezekiel's instruction on study of the Temple, and John's vision in this book, hold the promise of great blessing to the tzaddik who seeks to learn the deeper (i.e., kabbalistic) aspects of God.

... what things it must soon come to pass quickly

That which will "come to pass" leads to the Supernal Sabbath (the seventh Millennium). This is the beginning of an age of righteousness, where all is again brought into harmony in God.

Daniel, (whose book is significantly linked to John's vision), spoke of this time:

Daniel 9:24 - Seventy weeks are determined for thy people, and for thy holy city, to shut up the transgression, and to seal up sins, and to cover iniquity, and to bring in righteousness age-during, and to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the holy of holies.

The harmony ("tipheret") of the Supernal Sabbath was mentioned earlier in our study of spiritual time and space:

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.]

This work of God is opposed by the efforts of haSatan, who desires to put into place his own unholy unification. (This is an important theme of the book of Revelation.) As haSatan in the past did not succeed using men (Babel, ancient Babylon), he will try at the end of days to accomplish this himself in the form of a single man, the anti-Messiah. HaSatan imitates God in this fashion, (in both the physical and spiritual realms), as God also first "tried" to do this through men, (His first "messiah" was the nation of Israel - and those who maintain Torah remain a messiah to Him to this day), before He Himself came as the Sephirot in a tabernacle of flesh, in the form of Yeshua, to accomplish this.

God promised to bring salvation Himself, Isaiah speaks of this in terms of someone coming from Bozrah whose garements are washed in wine/blood:

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 Zohar tells us that this person is the Messiah, whose work has been done since the time of creation:

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."

The Supernal Sabbath is spoken of in many ways, an important one of which is the unification of the Name of God, specifically in the reunion of the bride (the Shekinah with faithful Israel, as represented by Malkut/Kingdom) with the bridegroom (the Messiah, as represented by Tipheret, who brings "harmony.") Our study on the Shekinah offers additional information on the subject of the Shekinah as bride to the Messiah.

The Supernal Sabbath is also seen as a unification of the "male" and "female" aspects of God – Malkut (kingdom) representing the bride/feminine and Tipheret (beauty) being the groom/masculine:

Genesis 1:27 - And God prepared the man in His image; in the image of God He prepared him, a male and a female He prepared them.

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.

... through his messenger

"Angel" and "messenger" are equivalent terms. It is not unusual in Hebrew literature to have one of the Divine Sephirot referred to as angel/messenger. For instance, the Sephirot of Hod and Netzah are referred to as the Hosts of Elohim and Hosts of YHWH respectively.

Another example is found in Nachmanides' exegesis of Exodus, where he refers to the Sephirah of Malkhut (the Shekinah) as,

"... part of the Creator, she is also called Angel." 5

See our background study on the Realm of Angels as messengers of God's perfect will.

2 who did testify the word of God, and the testimony of Messiah Yeshua, as many things also as he did see.

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 near!

The word of God, and the Testimony of Messiah Yeshua ...

John's revelation is grounded in the existing Torah (the Word of God), as well as the "testimony of Yeshua." This is important, as other Jewish writings teach many of the same "end time" concepts as John does. We will be referring to these sources throughout this study.

"Hearing" and "Keeping"

The Hebrew meaning of "hearing" and "keeping" gives deeper insight into what is being said here:

hearing shema, to hear with understanding of obedience

keepingshamar, to guard, protect, attend, take heed, observe, and preserve 6

The book of Revelation begins with a promise of a blessing to those who hear and obey. It ends with a curse (Rev. 22:18-19) to those who do not adhere to its teachings. Between these "bookends" is the message that those who obey God's Torah are the ones that will acquire the blessings of God:

Revelation 3:10 - Because thou did keep the word of my endurance, I also will keep thee from the hour of the trial that is about to come upon all the world, to try those dwelling upon the earth.

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

Revelation 19:15 - Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

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.

Revelation mirrors God’s word in Deuteronomy, where He promises blessings to those who obey His Torah (in faith – Hebrews 4:2), and curses to those who do not heed it.

Deuteronomy 28:1-2 - And it hath been, if thou does hearken diligently to the voice of YHWH thy God, to observe to do all His commands which I am commanding thee to-day, that YHWH thy God hath made thee uppermost above all the nations of the earth, and all these blessings have come upon thee, and overtaken thee, because thou does hearken to the voice of YHWH thy God:
Deuteronomy 28:15-16a - And it hath been, if thou does not hearken unto the voice of YHWH thy God to observe to do all His commands, and His statutes, which I am commanding thee to-day, that all these revilings have come upon thee, and overtaken thee: `Cursed art thou ...

Note that Moses calls upon two witnesses to this revelation, those being heaven and earth:

Deuteronomy 30:19 - I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

According to Torah, witnesses to a capital offense would initiate the punishment of a person meriting judgment (i.e., witnesses cast the first rocks at a stoning.) In Revelation, we can see judgment being meted out by Moses’ witnesses – heaven and earth unleash horrific plagues upon mankind for rebelling against God.

(A comparison of the judgments in Revelation to the books of Matthew, Leviticus and Deuteronomy, was mentioned earlier in our background study of Yom Kippur and the New Covenant.)

Messiah, (trusting in whom is a part of Torah), is central to God’s blessings. As such, we find that the Zohar designates blessings to those who concern themselves with God’s Torah, finding themselves linked to Tipheret (which as we have shown is linked to Messiah):

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).

The above is a midrash on these words of King David, who made the same claim concerning Torah:

Psalm 119:99-100 - I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

4 John to the seven assemblies that [are] in Asia: Grace to you, and peace, from Him who is, and who was, and who is coming, and from the Seven Spirits that are before His throne,

The Number "Seven"

The number seven is significant in Hebrew culture and faith, having come to symbolize both a number of completion, as well as an incomplete structure that is representative of a greater truth. The number seven as it appears in the Bible is connected with every aspect of religious life in almost every time frame.7

Examples of the use of the number seven include:

  • The seven "lower" Sephirot as taught throughout this study
  • Seven days of creation (Genesis 2)
  • Seven Feasts of the Lord (Leviticus 23:8)
  • Seven pair of clean animals went on the ark with Noah (Genesis 7)
  • Abraham made a covenant with Avimelech using seven ewes (Genesis 21:28-30
  • The time period to be made clean from tzarat, was seven days (Leviticus 14:9)
  • Seven pipes on the Menorah (Zechariah 4:2)
  • Sprinkling of blood seven times (Leviticus 4:6)
  • The Omer is counted for seven weeks (from First Fruits to Shavuot)
  • The bride and groom rejoice for seven days according to Jewish law
  • The bride circles her husband seven times and says seven blessings at their wedding
  • Tefillin are wrapped seven times around the arm

Examples of the importance of the number seven, from Hebraic literature, include:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 230b-232a - R. Jose discoursed on the verse: Whereupon were the foundations thereof fastened ? (Job XXXVIII, 6). He said: ‘When God created the world, He established it on seven pillars.

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.

Talmud - Mas. Sotah 22b - Our Rabbis have taught: There are seven types of Pharisees.

The number seven is also associated with a complete measure of punishment, which is significant in the book of Revelation.

Examples of this are:

  • Reference to Cain and Lamech being avenged sevenfold (Genesis 4:24)
  • Disobedience resulting in a sevenfold increase in discipline (Leviticus 26:18)
  • Nebuchenezzar losing his mind for seven years due to sin (Daniel 4:13)
  • God sending a famine for seven years (2 Kings 8:1)
  • Seven priests, with seven horns, marching on the seventh day at Jericho (Joshua 6:4-13)

Seven is also associated with the demonic realm:

  • Balaam told Balak to build him seven altars and have seven bulls and seven rams brought to him (Numbers 23)

"Assemblies"

In Revelation 1:4, seven assemblies are written to, which are not only the seven physical assemblies of that time, but representative of "types" of assemblies (including future ones), particularly those living in the days where the prophecies of Revelation would come into play.

Both Moses and Yeshua taught in this fashion, speaking to their generations with future ones in mind, particularly the one to come at the end of the age. (i.e., in Deuteronomy chapters 29 and 30, Moses speaks to those in front of him as the generation that will see the final salvation of the Lord.)

The Greek word, ekklesia, found throughout Revelation does not mean "church" as seen in most Bibles. The word "church" does not exist in Scripture and was added in more recent times by the Christian church in order to strengthen its claim that it has replaced Israel as the people of God. Young's Literal Translation uses the term "assemblies." The Jewish New Testament uses "Messianic Communities." Both of these properly retain the original Hebrew meaning of the text.

The idea found in some teachings, that the seven assemblies represent consecutive time periods in "church history," also has no basis. This teaching is derived from the concept that we are living in the current "enlightened church age" of Philadelphia, and that the Laodicean age will be the "apostate church" of the Tribulation period. The record of history however, does not show any periods that align themselves with five assemblies previous to Philadelphia. Such interpretations are the result of stripping the text from its original Hebraic meaning.

... Him who is, and who was, and who is coming
... Seven Spirits that are before His throne
...
and from Yeshua Messiah (verse 5)

John's "trifold" greeting comes from various expressions of the Sephirot. The first is in the form of "Him who is, and who was, and who is coming," which would refer to the heavenly Yeshua (i.e., Revelation 22:20), i.e, "Tipheret."

As mentioned earlier in this study, Tipheret is the embodiment of all Sephirot, as well as the coming "bridegroom":

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 136a -138b - … 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)"

The next part of John's greeting is from the "Seven Spirits," which are the lower seven Sephirot, before the throne. (Refer to our background study on the arrangement of the Sephirot.) John's statement is an affirmation of the unity of God, as expressed in the Shema.

(Click here for an example of the Sephirot as found hidden in the text of the book of Romans.)

Lastly, John greets his readers from Messiah Yeshua, the Divine Tzaddik, who lived among us, was resurrected (i.e., verse 5 below), and will return as He left (Acts 1:11).

5 and from Messiah Yeshua, the faithful witness, the first-born out of the dead, and the sovereign of the earth (the ruler of the kings of the earth) to him who did love us, and did bathe us from our sins in his blood,

... Sovereign of the Earth

The Zohar (below) portrays Tipheret as the one who will be sovereign of the earth. The allusion to "right and left" is to the merciful and judgmental sides of God, which (as seen in our background material) are placed in harmony with Tipheret:

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"

... bathe us from our sins in his blood

(See previous study on the blood of the Tzaddik atoning for others.)

The concept of being "bathed in blood," (and making us into a priesthood - re: verse 6) is also an allusion to the sealing of the Torah covenant with blood, and to the priesthood:

Exodus 24:1-11 - And unto Moses He said, `Come up unto YHWH, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and ye have bowed yourselves afar off;' and Moses hath drawn nigh by himself unto YHWH; and they draw not nigh, and the people go not up with him. And Moses cometh in, and recounteth to the people all the words of YHWH, and all the judgments, [Torah] and all the people answer -- one voice, and say, `All the words which YHWH hath spoken [Torah] we do.' And Moses writeth all the words of YHWH, [Torah] and riseth early in the morning, and buildeth an altar under the hill, and twelve standing pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel; and he sendeth the youths of the sons of Israel, and they cause burnt-offerings to ascend, and sacrifice sacrifices of peace-offerings to YHWH -- calves. And Moses taketh half of the blood, and putteth in basins, and half of the blood hath he sprinkled on the altar; and he taketh the Book of the Covenant [Torah] and proclaimeth in the ears of the people, and they say, `All that which YHWH hath spoken [Torah] we do, and obey.' And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words. 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. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.

Leviticus 8:22-24 - And he brought the other ram, the ram of consecration: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram. And he slew it; and Moses took of the blood of it, and put it upon the tip of Aaron's right ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot. And he brought Aaron's sons, and Moses put of the blood upon the tip of their right ear, and upon the thumbs of their right hands, and upon the great toes of their right feet: and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about.

Leviticus 8:30 - And Moses took of the anointing oil, and of the blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons' garments with him; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him.

Just as the original covenant was sealed with blood, so is the renewed covenant, with the blood of Messiah, which does not negate the original. The covenant at Sinai was based on the blood of animals and promise of Israel, God's earthly messiah (i.e., "All the words which YHWH has spoken we do.") The renewed covenant was based on Messiah's shed blood and His "better promise," and is grounded in God's Torah, just as the original was.

(See our comments to Hebrews chapter 8 and Hebrews chapter 9 [also written to Jewish believers as the primary audience], which offer explanation as to the sacrificial work of Yeshua as our Yom Kippur sacrifice.)

"Seeing God"

As mentioned in our background study on the Names of God, concerning the verse in Exodus 24 (see above quotation), that says "they saw the God of Israel," -- without an understanding of the Sephirot, there would be a clear contradition in the Bible, as we are told that no man has ever seen "God." The voice (Tipheret) of God was projected to Moses (giving him the Torah), in a similar fashion as the sword (Torah) comes from the mouth of Yeshua. (See comments on verse 16.)

Peter supports the idea of God redeeming Israel with blood, and the words of Isaiah 49, that Messiah existed "hidden" since before the foundation of the world, yet "manifested" in the days they lived in, and that He would be despised by His people (the "builders"):

1 Peter 1:18b-20 - ...were ye redeemed from your foolish behaviour delivered by fathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and unspotted -- Messiah's -- foreknown, indeed, before the foundation of the world, and manifested in the last times because of you,

1 Peter 2:4 - to you, then, who are believing [is] the preciousness; and to the unbelieving, a stone that the builders disapproved of, this one did become for the head of a corner,

Isaiah 49 is an important passage for understanding the physical manifestation of Messiah in Yeshua (sovereign of the earth / "King of kings"). Isaiah speaks of one "called from the womb" whose mouth is like a "sharp sword." This person was "hidden in the shadow of God’s hand" and in His "quiver." The latter reference can be understood as that emanation of God "hidden" within the Sephirot. The person is also called "Israel," in whom God will be glorified, yet this person is also the one who returns Jacob (the nation of Israel) to God, as well as bringing salvation to the gentiles. This "Israel" is the Supernal Israel, which again is associated with the sephirah of Tipheret.

This same person in Isaiah 49, is "despised by the nation" (Israel). He will arise to be "worshipped by kings and princes." God "hears" this person and "preserves" him to be a (new/renewed) covenant to the people at some point in time. This person will establish the earth (bring harmony/tipheret) and preach to "the prisoners," who will in turn find God’s salvation through "springs of water." (See teaching on River of Eden) God then reminds the nation of Israel, that He will never abandon them, as they are "engraved in the palms of His hand."

The final verses reveal who the prisoners in darkness are – the "lost children" of the bride – the Jews among the nations ("Ephraim," also called the "fullness of the gentiles") who will return to their Torah and Messiah, through the work of Messiah. Those who oppose Israel (and thus God), are said to be made drunk with their own blood – an allusion that will be important later in this study.

6 and did make us a kingdom of priests (kings and priests) to his God and Father, to him [is] the glory and the power to the ages of the ages! Amen.

... a Kingdom of Priests

Isaiah, speaking of the end times, says this of Israel’s destiny:

Isaiah 61:6 - But you shall be named the priests of the LORD, they shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory you shall boast.

Peter makes reference to this "kingdom of priests" in his epistle:

1 Peter 2:4-5 - Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Messiah Yeshua.

1 Peter 2:7-10 - Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, "The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone," and "A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense." They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

It is important to note to whom Peter is speaking. His letter is addresses to the Jewish believers in the diaspora – NOT to a gentile "church":

1 Peter 1:1 - Peter, an apostle of Yeshua Messiah, to the choice sojourners of the dispersion of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

Peter later addresses his audience as those who were, "once not a people" of God, but now are:

1 Peter 2:10-12 - who [were] once not a people, and [are] now the people of God; who had not found kindness, and now have found kindness.

Again, this is not a reference to a gentile "church." Hosea shows us who Peter is referring to. Hosea was a prophet to the northern tribes, known collectively as Ephraim. God specifically calls this group, "Not a people." Those who are the Israelites of the northern tribes who went away from God into spiritual adultery. Their sin was spiritual adultery, the replacement of God’s Torah with a false torah (something that will be addressed in the next chapter studies.)

Click here for the full text of Hosea, chapters 1 and 2.

The people "who now have obtained mercy" are the faithful remnant of Ephraim/Israel, scattered among the nations – this is Peter’s audience. (See also Isaiah 49 [above] for God reaching out to the diaspora.)

Isaiah spoke of God's promise to Israel in these terms:

Isaiah 62 - For Zion's sake I am not silent, And for Jerusalem's sake I do not rest, Till her righteousness go out as brightness, And her salvation, as a torch that burneth. And nations have seen thy righteousness, And all kings thine honour, And He is giving to thee a new name, That the mouth of YHVH doth define. And thou hast been a crown of beauty in the hand of YHVH, And a diadem of royalty in the hand of thy God, It is not said of thee any more, `Forsaken!' And of thy land it is not said any more, `Desolate,' For to thee is cried, `My delight [is] in her,' And to thy land, `Married,' For YHVH hath delighted in thee, And thy land is married. For a young man doth marry a virgin, Thy Builders do marry thee, With the joy of a bridegroom over a bride, Rejoice over thee doth thy God. `On thy walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen, All the day, and all the night, Continually, they are not silent.' O ye remembrancers of YHVH, Keep not silence for yourselves, And give not silence to Him, Till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem A praise in the earth. Sworn hath YHVH by His right hand, Even by the arm of His strength: `I give not thy corn any more [as] food for thine enemies, Nor do sons of a stranger drink thy new wine, For which thou hast laboured. For, those gathering it do eat it, and have praised YHVH, And those collecting it do drink it in My holy courts.' Pass ye on, pass on through the gates, Prepare ye the way of the people, Raise up, raise up the highway, clear it from stones, Lift up an ensign over the peoples. Lo, YHVH hath proclaimed unto the end of the earth: `Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Lo, thy salvation hath come,' Lo, his hire [is] with him, and his wage before him. And they have cried to them, `People of the Holy One, Redeemed of YHVH,' Yea, to thee is called, `Sought out one, a city not forsaken!'

It is important to note that God promises that even those who cannot become priests in the (previous) earthly Temple, will one day be allowed to do so in the Millennial Temple. These are those gentiles who become part of the covenant of Israel:

Isaiah 66: 21 - And I will also take some of them [gentiles] for priests and Levites," says YHWH.

Isaiah 56:4-8 - For thus said YHVH of the eunuchs, Who do keep My sabbaths, And have fixed on that which I desired, And are keeping hold on My covenant: I have given to them in My house, And within My walls a station and a name, Better than sons and than daughters, A name age-during I give to him That is not cut off. And sons of the stranger [gentiles], who are joined to YHWH, To serve Him, and to love the name of YHVH, To be to Him for servants, Every keeper of the sabbath from polluting it, And those keeping hold on My covenant. I have brought them unto My holy mountain, And caused them to rejoice in My house of prayer, Their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices [Are] for a pleasing thing on Mine altar, For My house, `A house of prayer,' Is called for all the peoples. An affirmation of the Lord YHVH, Who is gathering the outcasts of Israel: `Again I gather to him -- to his gathered ones.'

Paul supports what the Torah (above) says, making it clear that a gentile coming to faith in Yeshua, goes from being apart from the faith of Israel, to being included in it (and not having some "new" faith to follow):

Ephesians 2:11-13 - Wherefore, remember, that you [gentiles] were once the nations in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that called Circumcision in the flesh made by hands, that you were at that time apart from Messiah, having been alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, having no hope, and without God, in the world; and now, in Messiah Yeshua, you being once afar off became nigh in the blood of the Messiah.

The above is significant with regard to the "enmity" the Torah creates between certain groups, i.e., Jew and gentile, eunuch and whole, male and female. (Note the Torah itself is not the enmity which was removed.) This enmity was done away with at the death of Yeshua, as it was only after this that He instructed His disciples to "go out to the gentiles" (preaching Torah!) The enmity will be fully dissolved in the Millennium, the time of the Supernal Sabbath. (See our Romans study for more on this topic.)

The Supernal Temple and Priesthood (of the order of Melchisedek) are of a different (heavenly) order -- one that predates the earthly Temple and Levitical priesthood. Thus, this is not a "change" to the Torah, but a "renewal," that was already part of Torah, as neither Torah or God changes. (In a similar fashion, the "New Covenant" in the book of Jeremiah is also a "Renewed Covenant.")

A newly published Hebraic Roots translation of the New Testament, correctly reflects this:

Hebrews 7:12 - But as a renewal took place in the Cohen-hood, so a renewal also took place in the Torah.. 8

As mentioned in our background study, Midrash Rabbah has references to Tipheret as being associated with the office of High Priest, thus supporting Revelation’s claim to believers being a kingdom of priests, under Messiah Yeshua, the High Priest:

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 - 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.

(See notes to verse 13 in the next section, regarding Metatron as the High Priest depicted in Ephesians 6:11-17.)


1. The Way of Kabbalah, Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi, Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach Maine, 1976, p. 213.

2. Along the Path: Studies in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism, and Hermeneutics, Elliot R. Wolfson, State University of New York Press, Albany, 1995, p. 83.

3. On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah, Gershom Scholem, Schocken Books, New York, 1991, p. 96.

4. Ramban: Philosopher and Kabbalist, Chayim J. Henoch, Jason Aronson, Inc., London 1998, pp. 280-281.

5. ibid, p. 281

6. A recommended resource for understanding the linguistic Hebrew roots of Revelation is A Semitic Approach to the Text of Revelation, edited by James Scott Trimm, available from sanj@nazarene.net.

7. The Jewish Book of Numbers, Ronald H. Isaacs, Jason Aronson, Inc., London, 1996, p.64.

8. Hebraic Roots Version New Testament, Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism, 2001, Hurst Texas, http://www.nazarene.net/hrv/index.htm. The footnote states: Aramaic: SHUKLAFA from the Semitic root KHALAF "Change, transform, renew or revive". The word SHUKLAFA appears only five times in the entire Peshita NT. Of these, all but one (Ya'akov 1:17) are in Hebrews. Of those four usages, three of them are right here in our section (7:11-12, 18-19), the other is in 12:27 where it implies a renewal or repair and seems to refer back in summary to the three usages in Chapter 7 which we are dealing with. The Hebrew form of this same root is Strong's word # 2498. This Hebrew cognate of the word appears in Is. 40:31 & 41:1 ". . . let the people renew their strength . . .". The verb is used to mean "renew" or "revive" in the Hebrew Tanak in Is. 40:31; 41:1; Job 14:7, 13 & 29:20. The Peshitta Tanak agrees and uses the KHALAF verb in Is. 40:31; 41:1; Job 14:7  & 29:20 to mean "renew". The Greek translator misunderstood the word here to mean "change" however there can be no change of the Torah (Deut. 4:2; 12:32 & Mt. 5:17).


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