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Revelation 5:7-14
Last update: January 4, 2002


THE MOEDIM

One interesting aspect to the idea of "unity above" concerns the Moedim (the Feasts of the Lord - i.e., Leviticus 23). As given in the Torah of Sinai, these "Appointed Times" took place at throughout the year, involved very different commandments, and seemed to have little in common. However, beyond the physical world of Asiyyah in which we live, the Moedim are unified in both purpose and how they are portrayed.

The Zohar links the offerings asked for by God (to Moses when he ascended the mountain), to the Moedim, and states that these Feasts all point to the seventh day, (i.e. Exodus 24:16), and are "united" above with the Supernal Sabbath:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 135a-b - GOLD AND SILVER, AND BRASS, AND BLUE AND PURPLE, AND SCARLET, AND FINE LINEN, AND GOATS’ HAIR, AND RAMS’ SKINS DYED RED, AND SEALSKINS, AND ACACIA WOOD. Gold symbolizes New Year's Day, the day of "gold", because it is a day of judgement, and the side of judgement, symbolized by gold, dominates it; as it is written, "gold cometh from the north" (Job XXXVII, 22), and "evil will be opened from the north" (Jer. Vl, 2). Silver symbolizes the Day of Atonement, when the sins of Israel are made "white as snow" (Isa. I, I8), for "on that day shall he make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord" (Lev. XVI, 30). Brass is symbolic of the days of the Sacrifices of the Feast of Tabernacles, which alluded to the powers and principalities of the heathen nations, who are designated "mountains of brass". "Blue" (techeleth) corresponds to Passover, which established the dominance of the true object of Faith, symbolized by the colour blue, which could predominate only after the punishment of the firstborn of Egypt was accomplished. So all colours seen in dreams are of good omen, except blue. "Red-purple" (argaman) is connected with Pentecost, symbolizing the giving of the written Law, consisting of two sides, of the Right and of the Left, as it is written: "From his right hand went a fiery law unto them" (Deut. XXXIII, 2). "Scarlet" (tola'ath shani) is connected with the fifteenth day of Ab, a day on which the daughters of Israel used to walk forth in silken dresses. So far six symbolic elements have been enumerated; the rest symbolize the Ten Days of Repentance: [Tr. note: From New Year to the Day of Atonement.] fine linen, goats’ hair, rams, skins dyed red, seal (tahash) skins, acacia wood, oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the incense, beryls and set jewels. These are nine, corresponding to nine days of Repentance, and the Day of Atonement completes it and makes ten days. ‘From all of these we take "the heave offering of the Lord"[Tr. note: Malkuth.] on each of these special seasons, in order that it may rest upon us: on Passover by means of the paschal lamb, on Tabernacles by means of the tabernacle, and so forth. The six [Feast] Days are but a preparation for her. As they are united above in "One", so she is unified below in the mystery of "one", to correspond to them above. The Holy One, blessed be He, who is One above, does not take His seat upon the Throne of Glory, until She has entered within the mystery of the One in accordance with His very essence of Oneness, to be the One in One. This, as we have said, is the significance of the words: "The Lord is One, and His Name is One." It is the mystery of the Sabbath, which is united with the mystery of the One so that it may be the organ of this Oneness.

In chapter 5 we begin to see aspects of the Moedim, which continue dispersed throughout John's vision. Here we have the Lamb of God, an allusion to Pesakh (Passover), being worthy to unleash the first set of judgments. Later, we have a second set of judgments associated with Trumpets (i.e., Yom Teruah - "Rosh haShana") and a final set associated with bowls (i.e., Yom Kippur).

The division of the "spring feasts" (Pesakh, Matzah, Shavuot) and the "fall feasts" (Yom Teruah (also known as Rosh haShana), Yom Kippur, Sukkot), is key to understanding the role of Messiah, and especially the events that occur during the the seven years prior to the coming of Messiah.

A traditional Hebraic understanding of the spring feasts associates them with the Exodus from Egypt and Mount Sinai. Passover (Pesakh) is associated with a "limited" defeat of the evil realm (Egypt and its spiritual forces) and victory over death (the 10th plague, where the angel of death passed over the homes of those marked by the blood of the lamb.) Unleavened Bread (Matzah) is linked to sanctification, through the purging of sin. The seven-week period between then and the Feasts of Weeks (Shavuot), called the counting of the Omer, is a time of learning and preparation. Finally, Shavuot, coming on the 50th day, is the time of reward - the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

However, one does note get to the end (Shavuot) without having a beginning (Pesakh). As Rabbi Pinchas Winston stated in a recent Torah commentary:

Pesach, specifically Seder Night, is a once-in-a-year opportunity. It is as if G-d, on that night, picks us up and places us in His hand, and raises us up high so that we can see life more the way G-d does. In fact, the first night of Pesach is like the night of Shavuos, when G-d came down and revealed Himself to the Jewish people, with one very big difference. And that is, whereas Shavuos comes at the end of a process, Leil Seder comes in advance of it. Shavuos and "Kabbalos HaTorah" (receiving of the Torah) comes after forty-nine days of Omer-Counting. It is the fiftieth day, which corresponds to the fiftieth gate of the "Fifty Gates of Understanding." Like the number eight, the number fifty represents rising above physicality, which is represented by the number seven.

In other words, the first night of Pesach is a tremendous gift. It is a taste of spiritual perfection, of closeness to G-d so intense that the yetzer hara is completely neutralized by awe of G-d. It is a night on which one can, if taken seriously, gain a taste of the final and eternal redemption, when the yetzer hara will be no more and mitzvos will be performed purely out of love for G-d and Torah. Then, by the next morning after the Seder, G-d gently returns us back to our former realities, with the commandment to count the Omer on the following eve, in order to build for ourselves what was given to us for free the night before. After forty-nine days of Omer-Counting, on the fiftieth day and on holiday of Shavuos itself, we are supposed to have risen back up to the level of Leil Seder. However, since we have earned it this time, it is a higher experience than what we underwent then without making an effort.
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Had Israel not sinned with the golden calf, Shavuot may well have been the "last" of the Feasts, and we quite possibly would have had the ushering in of the Kingdom. That was not the case however, nor did any future generation of Israel merit the coming of Messiah and Kingdom of God being established. Although there were some highlites (the time of David, Solomon and the Temple), the people continually fell away, to the point of being exiled in Babylon, at the time of the prophet Daniel. This brings us to a critical time, as Daniel is key to understanding the book of Revelation.

Daniel's famous prophecy of the "seventy weeks," is directly associated with the fall feasts and coming judgment. These "weeks" are counted as shemita cycles, each one being a period of seven years. Thus, Daniel is speaking of a time frame of 490 years.

Daniel had sought God regarding why Israel was still in exile after their prescribed 70 year punishment. Due to the unrepentance of the people, God increased their punishment seven fold, (as He promised in Leviticus 26:18), increasing it from 70 to 490 years:

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.

After sixty nine of these Shemita cycles, Daniel announced Messiah would come but be killed:

Daniel 9:25-26 - And thou dost know, and dost consider wisely, from the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem till Messiah the Leader is seven weeks, and sixty and two weeks: the broad place hath been built again, and the rampart, even in the distress of the times. And after the sixty and two weeks, cut off is Messiah, and the city and the holy place are not his, the Leader who hath come doth destroy the people; and its end is with a flood, and till the end is war, determined are desolations.

Messiah is cut of after the seven and sixty-two shemita periods (a total of sixty-nine of the seventy shemita "weeks"). The "seventieth shemita" however, lingers unfulfilled in mystery. It has become known as the Time of Jacob's Trouble, a final seven years of judgment, for Israel, and for the world (as depicted in the book Revelation and other texts). This seven year period is identified with the Days of Awe, the seven days of judgment between Yom Teruah (also called Rosh haShana) and Yom Kippur.

The association of Yom Teruah ("day of blowing"), with the beginning of a time of judgment, the Day of the Lord, (as marked by the sounding of the Shofar), is linked to the prophet Joel:

Joel 2:1: Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming.

Joel goes on to speak of the end of this time of judgment, marked by a final Shofar blast, God having mercy on His people, and the beginning of the Kingdom (marked by the bride and groom coming together), themes related to Yom Kippur:

Joel 2:15-18: Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room. Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, "Spare Your people, O LORD, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, "Where is their God?"' Then the LORD will be zealous for His land, And pity His people.

A verse that ties together the themes of the spring and fall Moedim is found in the book of Hebrews. It speaks of Yeshua's work in terms of His first coming for sin, (as the suffering Divine Tzaddik [i.e., Messiah ben Joseph], associated with the "sin" and "weakening of the evil real" -- themes of the spring feasts), and His second coming for salvation, (as Messiah ben David, associated with the judgment, final victory, and Kingdom -- themes of the fall feasts.):

Hebrews 9:28: so Messiah was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Revelation shows the intiation of God's judgment as being associated with Pesakh/Passover (via the Lamb opening the scrolls), and continues to its climax with allusions to Yom Kippur, as associated with the Jubilee. As mentioned above, Hebraic scholars link Pesakh and Shavuot together as the beginning and end of a process. The Zohar also makes a simialr connection between Pesakh and Yom Kippur, explaining how each of these days is dependent on the other:

Below is an expanded version of the text presented earlier in this study:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 39-40b - ON THE TENTH DAY OF THIS MONTH THEY SHALL TAKE TO THEM A LAMB. According to R. Abba, the tenth day was chosen because on this day the Jubilee illumines the Moon (i.e. Binah communicates light to Malkuth); for of the Jubilee it is written: "On the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement" (Lev. XXIII, 27). "They shall take a lamb." Why a lamb? Because it symbolized the power of the lowest "crown", which the Holy One broke, the "crown" to which all the other inferior "crowns " cling, forming the unholy triad signified by the phrase, "lambs, menservants, and womenservants", sent by Jacob to Esau, as a sop, as it were, to the evil powers which the latter represented. The Holy One said: "Do ye perform this act of slaughtering the Passover lamb, and I myself will nullify its power above. Do ye let it pass through fire (v. 8) here below, and I shall lead the impure principality which it represents through the fiery Stream." And why was the lamb to be tied up on the tenth day and slaughtered on the fourteenth? Because, according to R. Abba, the four days corresponded to the four hundred years that Israel was subjected to the power of Egypt.

And why was the slaughter performed in the evening? Because that is the time when judgement predominates above and below, and also because it was at this time ("between the evenings") that Israel's exiles were foretold to Abraham, as it is written: "And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abraham, and lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him" (Gen. xv, I 2). "Horror" signifies one supernal "crown" which represents Egypt; "darkness" is a second such, representing Babylon; and "great" refers to the Edomite (Roman) exile, which was to be the hardest of all. Thus it is seen that the Israelites did not go out of Egypt until all the supernal powers and principalities which were Israel's enemies had been brought to nought; but when these things had come to pass the people were freed from their domination and brought under the holy and heavenly sway of the Holy One, blessed be He, and were joined to Him and to Him alone, as it is written: "For unto me the children of Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt" (Lev. xxv, 55). Similarly, R. Simeon interpreted the verse: "Even the first day ye shall put away leaven (hamez) out of your houses, for whosoever eateth leavened bread (mahmezeth), etc." (Ex. XII, 15). Said he: ‘Seor,hamez, and mahmezeth all mean one and the same thing, and are symbols of the same supernal grade, namely the powers appointed to represent all the other nations, which are pagan and enemies of Israel, and are termed variously "evil imagination", "foreign domination", "strange god", and "other gods".’

Said God to Israel: ‘All these years ye have been subject to an alien power, but now you are free men, you shall put away leaven, etc.’ Said R. Judah: ‘If so, why is leaven prohibited on these seven days only?’ R. Simeon answered: ‘This ceremony is only necessary when the Israelite requires to demonstrate the fact of his freedom. If a king raises a man to a high office, the latter will celebrate his elevation by rejoicing and donning costly festive garments for a few days; but subsequently he merely celebrates the anniversary as it comes round. The same is true of Israel: they, too, have each year their season of joy and gladness when they celebrate the high honour which the Holy One, blessed be He, showed them when He brought them out of the power of impurity into the invincible power of His holiness. Therefore it is written, "seven days ye shall eat mazoth (unleavened bread)".’ Said R. Simeon further: ‘The unleavened bread is called "the bread of poverty " (Deut. XVI, 3), because at that time the moon was not at full strength, the reason being that, although the Israelites were circumcised, the rite had not been completed by "peri'ah", and therefore the seal of the covenant was not revealed in its complete form. But later, when this completion had been achieved-namely at Marah, where Moses "made for them a statute and an ordinance" (Ex. xv, 25)- the Holy One spake unto them, saying: "Until now ye have eaten the ‘bread of poverty’, but from now on your bread shall emanate from a far other region: ‘I will rain bread from heaven for you’ " (Ibid. XVI, 4). This phrase means literally "from heaven", that is, from the very centre of Grace, and not, as previously, from the blemished "Moon". Therefore the holy Israelites observe as a memorial the anniversary of the days when they came under the wings of the Shekinah, and eat the bread which emanates from Her. And why was the rite not brought to its completion in Egypt? Because the Exodus would then have been delayed until those who had undergone this operation had recovered.

Observe that when the Israelites were about to enter the Holy Land, Moses described it as "a land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness" (Deut. VIII, 9), in contrast to the "bread of misery, of poverty", which was their food in Egypt, when the moon did not derive blessing and light from the sun, when she was not illumined by the Jubilee. And because they did not carry out the peritah in Egypt, the unification and harmonization of the Divine attributes was not manifested in its fulness. Why they continued to eat the "bread of poverty" in the land of Israel was in remembrance of Egypt.’ R. Simeon also connected the words, "Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement" (Lev. XXIII, 27), with the words, "In the tenth day of this month" (Ex. XII, 3), used in regard to the Passover lamb; for the one "tenth day" is dependent on the other.

As Revelation is chiefly concerned with the events leading to the coming of Messiah and establishment of the Kingdom and World to Come, we see numerous references to Yom Kippur and Sukkot, the Feasts that in Judaism, are associated with these themes:

  • 6:11; 7:9,13; 19:14 - White Robes (Yom Kippur)
  • 7:9 - "Palm Branches" (Lulavs - Sukkot)
  • 7:10 - Hoshana Rabbah prayer (Sukkot)
  • 7:17 - Living Waters (Sukkot)
  • 8:3 - Golden censer (Yom Kippur)
  • 8:4; 15:8 - Temple filled with smoke of the incense (Yom Kippur)
  • 11:19 - Temple opened (Yom Kippur)
  • 15:5 - Ark in view (Yom Kippur)

The Zohar gives explanation of another important "two-stage" process, comparing the work of Moses, who united the Shekinah (called the "Matrona" in this text) with the world below, to Solomon, who united the Shekinah to the heavenly Groom above. Note that the latter of these could not have been done if the former had not been completed:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page I45a-145b - David endeavoured to prepare the virgins (the celestial grades) and to adorn them for the Matrona's presence so that She and her maidens might be manifested in beauty and grace. When Solomon came he found that Matrona and the virgins thus adorned, so he in his turn aspired to lead the Bride to the Bridegroom. He brought the Bridegroom to the place where beneath the marriage canopy the Bride awaited Him, and drew them together with words of love, that they might be united as One, in one perfection, in perfect love. Therefore Solomon produced a more sublime song than all other men. 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: he first led Him to the Canopy, and then brought them both down to this world and prepared a habitation for them in the Sanctuary which he built. It might be asked, How could Moses bring down the Shekinah alone? Would not this cause separation above? The answer is that the Holy One first caused the Shekinah to be united with Moses, and She became, as it were, Moses’ bride, as has already been pointed out. As soon as She was united with Moses, She descended to this world and united Herself with it, and She became firmly established in this world, as never before. But no man since Adam was first created has ever brought about love and union above except King Solomon, who, as we have said, first prepared that union and then invited the Bridegroom and the Bride to the House which he prepared for them. Blessed are David and Solomon his son who have furthered the Supernal Union. Since the day when the Holy One said to the Moon, Go and make Thyself small, She was never again joined! in perfect union with the Sun until Solomon came. ‘Shir hashirim asher lishlomoh.' Here are five grades which shall unite in the world to come: shir (song) is one; hashirim (songs) are two, which together make three; asher (which) is four; lishlomoh (Solomon's) is five. "Solomon" is in the fifth; for the fiftieth day is the mystery of the Jubilee. Mark now. Solomon would not have been able to bring about the union above had not union of the Shekinah with the world below been already completed in Her union with Moses; one could not have been without the other. All this is a supreme mystery, which yet is revealed to those of a wise heart.

8 And when he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, having each one harps and golden vials full of perfumes, which are the prayers of the saints,

As discussed in our background study of the Tabernacle/Temple, the prayers of the saints are mixed with incense upon the altar, kabbalistically located at the Yesod of Beriah, the midpoint of the extended Tree of Life. (See notes to chapter 6, verse 9.)

9 and they sing a new song, saying, `Worthy art thou to take the scroll, and to open the seals of it, because thou wast slain, and didst redeem men to God in thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation,

The presence of the lamb with the scrolls being with the four living creatures about the throne, and the golden vials of incense (verse 8 above), places the origin of the first set of (seal) judgments in the third world of Beriah. This will be important as we move forward.

The idea of the "lamb" (associated with the "suffering servant" personage of Messiah ben Joseph), beginning the redemptive process at the heavenly level of Beriah is reflected in the following teaching, that was cited earlier in our study on Messiah and Tikkun):

In hindsight, it is clear that Yosef ended up in jail as a stepping stone to become second-in-command of Egypt. Certainly, there are other more pleasant ways to promote a person in life. However, Divine Providence chose this route for Yosef for reasons that may be known only to Heaven. On the other hand, the fact that Yosef was able to succeed and remain spiritually unscathed even in the lowest part of the lowly Egypt, was a tremendous comment about Yosef's spiritual stature. Furthermore, he did not lose his ability to reveal the unknown even while he was there, evident by his ability to correctly interpret the dreams of Paroah's servants who "happened" to be in prison at the same time he was there.

This, perhaps, is the basis of Yosef's ability to play such an important role in the Final Redemption of the Jewish people, when they seem to be at their spiritual lowest. This, perhaps, is the basis of Yosef's ability to play such an important role in the Final Redemption of the Jewish people, when they seem to be at their spiritual lowest. If the first Moshiach to come - Moshiach ben Yosef - is a spiritual heir to his illustrious ancestor, then a major part of his success will be his ability to reveal the hidden ONLY FOR THE SAKE OF HEAVEN, (many can do it for their own gain and glory), to act as a pure and successful channel for the Light of G-d.

... That is Moshiach ben Yosef, someone from whom the unadulterated truth will flow like a stream of clear, refreshing, life-giving water. He will be a person so pure, so devoted to the will of G-d, that the Light of G-d will be drawn to him like metal filings to a magnet, and all that he does will be successful. His truth will be like fire that will burn up the straw - the lie - of Eisav. If so, why must he die in the process of bringing redemption (Succah 53a), only to be revived again by Moshiach ben Dovid, the final Moshiach? 2

SONG

The theme of "song" is also associated with the unification of God's name:

"Then there is one who expands even further until he unites with all of existence, with all creatures, with all worlds, singing a song with them all. There is one who ascends with all these songs in unison -- the song of the soul, the song of the nation, the song of humanity, the song of the cosmos -- resounding together, blending in harmony, circulating the sap of life, the sound of holy joy." 3

The following text from the Zohar associates songs of praise with the concept of, "as above, so below":

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 164a-165b - When the Holy One enters the synagogue, and the people are united in prayer and sing together praises to the King, He is honoured and glorified, that is to say, the Holy King is strengthened to ascend in glory and beauty. On the other hand, "in the want of people is the confusion of the prince"; that is to say, when He enters a synagogue and finds no congregation come to pray and praise, all the celestial hosts and all the chieftains above are degraded from the high estate to which they were raised by the glorification of that King. For when the Israelites worship the Supernal King with prayer and praise, all the celestial hosts join them and sing in unison with them, and are strengthened by that holy exercise, that the Holy One may be exalted from above and from below in harmony; but when Israel does not assemble to worship the Lord, they lose this dignity, since they do not ascend and cannot praise their Master in fitting manner.

The time of the first (Solomon's) Temple was a high point in Israel's history, symbolizing a unity between God and His people. The following section of the Zohar, commenting on the "ultimate song" (the Song of Songs), offers great insight into this, linking many of the concepts covered in this study to this point:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page I43a-145b - 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. [Tr. note:"R. Akiba says: ‘AII the Writings are holy, but the Song of Songs is holy of holies". T. B. Yadaim, III, 5.] It is written in the Book of Adam that on the day when the Temple would be erected the Patriarchs would awaken song both above and below. Not that they would sing themselves, but they would rouse to song those mighty singers who preside over all worlds.

On that day, it is said, Jacob the "perfect" one arose and entered the Garden of Eden and caused it also to sing, and all the spices of the Garden likewise. He, therefore, it is who gave utterance to the song, since but for him the Garden would not have sung. This song comprises the whole Torah: it is a song in which those that are above and those that are below participate; a song formed in the likeness of the world above, which is the supernal Sabbath, a song through which the supernal Holy Name is crowned. Therefore it is holy of holies. Why so? Because all its words are instinct with love and joy. This is because the "cup of blessing" was then given with the Right Hand; and when this is so all is joy and love; therefore all the words of the Song of Songs are perfected with love and with joy.

(Another significant "song" from the Tenakh, that will play a role in the unification of the Name of God as found in the book of Revelation, is the Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32). This will be elaborated on in Chapter 15.)

10 and didst make them to our God kings and priests, and they shall reign upon the earth.'

In fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah's words, which show that gentiles will also be taken as priests:

Isaiah 66:19-21 - And I have set among them a sign, And have sent out of them those escaping unto the nations, (Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, drawing bow, Tubal and Javan, the isles that are far off,) Who have not heard My fame, nor seen Mine honour, And they have declared Mine honour among nations. And they have brought all your brethren out of all the nations, A present to YHVH, On horses, and on chariot, and on litters, And on mules, and on dromedaries, Unto My holy mountain Jerusalem, said YHVH, As the sons of Israel bring the present in a clean vessel, Into the house of YHVH. And also of them I take for priests, For Levites, said YHVH.

See previous notes to Revelation 4:10 on who is being made kings and priests.

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.

12 In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"

Among this large group of angels are numerous types, each with certain functions. The book of Enoch alludes to this in the following section, which mirrors the time John writes of:

Enoch 61:10-11 - And He will summon all the host of the heavens, and all the holy ones above, and the host of God, the Cherubic, Seraphin and Ophannin, and all the angels of power, and all the angels of principalities, and the Elect One, and the other powers on the earth (and) over the water On that day shall raise one voice, and bless and glorify and exalt in the spirit of faith, and in the spirit of wisdom, and in the spirit of patience, and in the spirit of mercy, and in the spirit of judgement and of peace, and in the spirit of goodness, and shall all say with one voice: " Blessed is He, and may the name of the Lord of Spirits be blessed for ever and ever."

13 and every creature that is in the heaven, and in the earth, and under the earth, and the things that are upon the sea, and the all things in them, heard I saying, `To Him who is sitting upon the throne, and to the Lamb, [is] the blessing, and the honour, and the glory, and the might -- to the ages of the ages!'

A kabbalistic understanding of the "location" of the creatures in verse 13 includes everything "within creation," outlined as follows:

  • "... in the heaven" = Beriah
  • "... in the earth" = Asiyyah
  • "... under the earth" = Gehenna (said to be "beneath" the Malkut of Asiyyah)
  • "... upon the sea" = Yetzirah (said to be the "watery" realm between the heavens and earth)

Not only do these things (blessing, honor, glory, might), permeate all of space in creation, they also pervade all of time ("to the ages of ages").

The idea of God being present not only in all places but through all of time, is reflected in the concept of the "613 commandments" of Judaism. There has never been a single, agreed upon list of the 613 commands. Rather, this number represents an ideal that reflects upon God's presence in space and time.

The 613 commandments are divided into two groups; 365 "negative commandments," representing the days of the year (and thus time), and 248 "positive commandments," which was somehow calculated as being the number of bones in the body, (representing the physical aspect of man as he exists in space). Thus the totality of the commandments was considered comprehensive and represented all the possible actions that a human might actually perform in the course of time.4


1. Perceptions on the Parsha, Parashas Tzav, The Supreme Sacrifice, Rabbi Pinchas Winston, http://www.torah.org/learning/perceptions/5761/tzav.html.

2. Zohar: Selections translated and annotated by Moshe Miller, Moshe L. Miller, Fiftieth Gate Publications and Seminars, Morristown, NJ, 2000, p.39.. Parshas Vayaishev - Yesod HaOlam, Rabbi Pinchas Winston (www.torah.org).

3. The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism, Daniel C. Matt, HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1996, p.153.

4. The Mystic Quest, An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism, David S. Ariel, Jason Aronson Publishers, London, 1988, p. 145.


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