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Revelation 9:11-21
Last update: May 5, 2002


11 and they have over them a king -- the messenger of the abyss -- a name [is] to him in Hebrew, Abaddon, and in the Greek he hath a name, Apollyon.

The "destroying angel" is found in numerous Hebraic texts, especially the Zohar. In this section, the destroying angel is seen as God's agent in all cases of harsh judgment:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 63a - We have a dictum that when death rages in a town or in the world at large, no man should show himself in the street, because the destroying angel is then authorised to kill indiscriminately. Hence the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Noah, “It behoves thee to take heed to thyself and not show thyself before the destroyer, so that he may have no power over thee.” You may perhaps say that there was not here any destroying angel, but only the onrush of the overwhelming waters. This is not so; no doom is ever executed on the world, whether of annihilation or any other chastisement, but the destroying angel is in the midst of the visitation. So here there was indeed a flood, but this was only an embodiment of the destroyer who assumed its name.

The following text shows that the destroyer does not harm the one who has God's "mark" upon him:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 104a - We have thus been taught that when the Holy One loves a man, He sends him a present in the shape of a poor man, so that he should perform some good deed to him, through the merit of which he shall draw to himself a cord of grace from the right side which shall wind round his head and imprint a mark on him, so that, when punishment falls on the world, the destroyer, raising his eyes and noticing the mark, will be careful to avoid him and leave him alone.

In this next section, the destroying angel is not allowed to harm the Torah scholar, who is called a "tree":

Soncino Zohar, Bemidbar, Section 3, Page 202a - Observe how beloved are those who study the Torah before the Holy One, blessed be He, for even when chastisement impends over the world and permission is given to the destroyer to destroy, the Holy One, blessed be He, charges him concerning them, saying: “When thou shalt besiege a city”, because of their numerous sins against Me, for which they have been adjudged guilty, “for many days”, that is to say, three successive days, so that the thing is known in the town, then I will charge thee concerning the sons of My house, “Thou shalt not destroy the tree thereof” this is the learned man in the town, who is a tree of life, a tree that produces fruit.

12 The first wo did go forth, lo, there come yet two woes after these things.

13 And the sixth messenger did sound, and I heard a voice out of the four horns of the altar of gold that is before God,

14 saying to the sixth messenger who had the trumpet, `Loose the four messengers who are bound at the great river Euphrates;'

The correlation between the four horns of the altar and "four corners" of the world was discussed in our notes to chapter seven.

The Euphrates is given a negative connotation, and connected to Babylon, in the following Midrash:

Midrash Rabbah - Lamentations Prologue XIX - R. Abin opened his discourse with the text, And He changeth the times and the seasons (Dan. II, 21). Jeremiah said to Israel, ' Had you been worthy, you would be dwelling in Jerusalem and drinking the waters of Shiloah whose waters are pure and sweet; but now that you are unworthy, you are exiled to Babylon and drink the waters of the Euphrates whose waters are impure and evilsmelling. Hence it is written, And now what hast thou to do in the way to Egypt, to drink the waters of Shihor? Or what hast thou to do in the way to Assyria, to drink the waters of the River? (Jer. II, 18). Had you been worthy, you would be dwelling in Jerusalem uttering songs and praises to the Holy One, blessed be He; but new that you are unworthy, you are exiled to Babylon where you utter lamentations.’ Alas! By the rivers of Babylon (Ps. CXXXVII, 1), Ekah.

In this Midrash, the Euphrates is connected to Edom/Rome:

Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XVI:4 - AND THE FOURTH RIVER IS PERATH (EUPHRATES): that is Edom, PERATH denoting that it upset (hefirah) and harassed His world; PERATH denoting that it was fruitful (parath) and increased through the blessing of that old man [sc. Isaac]; PERATH also denoting that I [God] will ultimately consign it to oblivion (hafer); [finally, it is called] PERATH on account of its ultimate destiny, as it is written, I have trodden the winepress (purah) alone... (Isa. LXIII, 3).

15 and loosed were the four messengers, who have been made ready for the hour, and day, and month, and year, that they may kill the third of men;

16 and the number of the forces of the horsemen [is] two myriads of myriads, and I heard the number of them.

17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and those sitting upon them, having breastplates of fire, and jacinth, and brimstone; and the heads of the horses [are] as heads of lions, and out of their mouths proceedeth fire, and smoke, and brimstone;

18 by these three were the third of men killed, from the fire, and from the smoke, and from the brimstone, that is proceeding out of their mouth,

19 for their authorities are in their mouth, and in their tails, for their tails [are] like serpents, having heads, and with them they do injure;

As already mentioned, all angelic and demonic entities serve God. Nothing that they do is separate from the will of God:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Raya Mehemna, Page 43a - He prepared for the throne angelic hierarchies to serve Him: malachim (angels), erelim, seraphim, hayoth (living beings), ophanim, hamshalim, elim, elohim, be'ne (sons of) elohim, ishim (supernal "men"). To these He appointed as ministers Samael and all his groups- these are like clouds to ride upon when He descends to earth: they are like horses. That the clouds are called " chariots" is expressed in the words, "Behold the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt" (Isa. XIX, 1).

Serpents and scorpions are terms used to describe chastisement Israel received from God, which He implemented by way of Samael:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 183b-184a - ‘It is written: “And in the wilderness where thou hast seen how that the Lord thy God bare thee as a man doth bear his son in all the way that ye went, until ye came unto this place” (Deut. I, 31). This verse ought surely to run: “And in the wilderness where the Lord thy God bare thee”; what is the significance of the words “where thou hast seen”? The answer is as follows. The Holy One led Israel tnrough a terrible wilderness “wherein were fiery serpents and scorpions” (Ibid. VIII, 15); indeed, the most fearful wilderness in the world. Why did He do this? Because in the hour when they left Egypt and increased to the number of sixty myriad souls, the Holy Kingdom was strengthened and stood firm, high above all, and the Moon was illumined, and thus the wicked dominion, the “other side”, was subdued, and the Holy One brought the Israelites out in order to lead them through the terrible wilderness, the very realm and domain of Samael the wicked, in order that the evil power might be broken and the ruler of the regions of darkness be crushed, that it might rear its head no more. Had the Israelites not sinned, the Holy One would have resolved to remove him altogether from the world. Therefore He led them through his very dominion and territory. But when they sinned the serpent stung them many a time, and then was fulfilled that which was written: “He shall bruise thy head t rosh) and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen. III, 15)- that is to say, Israel first (be-rosh) bruised his head, but because later they knew not how to guard themselves against him he finally smote them and they all fell dead in the wilderness, and then the other half of the verse was fulfilled: “and thou (i.e. the serpent) shalt bruise his heel”. And forty years long were they chastised by him, which corresponded to the forty lashes of the judges. Therefore it says: “where thou hast seen”. They saw with their own eyes the prince of the desert, a prisoner bound before them, and they took his lot and possession. And so I also separated myself from the haunts of men and departed to dwell in the desert in order to be able better to meditate upon the Torah and to subdue that “other side.” Besides, the words of the Torah can best sink into the soul there in the desert, for there is no light except that which issues from darkness, for when that “other side” is subdued the Holy One is exalted in glory. In fact, there can be no true worship except it issue forth from darkness, and no true good except it proceed from evil. And when a man enters upon an evil way and then forsakes it the Holy One is exalted in glory. Hence the perfection of all things is attained when good and evil are first of all commingled, and then become all good, for there is no good so perfect as that which issues out of evil. The divine Glory is extolled and extended thereby, and therein lies the essence of perfect worship. And as for us, we remained in the desert throughout all the days of the year in order to subdue there that “other side”, but now, when the time for the divine worship from the side of holiness has come, we return to an inhabited place where the worship of the Holy One is carried on. Moreover, now in the season of the New Year the time has come for that serpent to demand justice from the Holy One, and he rules there at present, and therefore we went away from there and are come to an inhabited place.’

The idea of the "heads" and the "tails" of the horses in verses 17-19 represents the linkage of the various grades of angels and demons all working in one accord. (The concept of "angelic hierarchies" was mentioned in the above notes from Zohar, Shemoth, Raya Mehemna, Page 43a, and elsewhere in this study.) This is similar to how the entities below the four holy creatures followed their movements (i.e., Revelation 4:9-10). The same principle is true in the evil realm.

This passage of the Zohar gives further insight into this concept:

Soncino Zohar, Bemidbar, Section 3, Page 119b - He then discoursed (concerning the other nations), citing the verse: “How shall I curse, whom EL (God) hath not cursed, and how shall I execrate, whom the Lord hath not execrated?” (Num. XXIII, 8). ‘Observe’, he said, ‘that the lower world is modelled on the upper world. On high there is a Right and a Left; so below there are Israel and the idolatrous nations, the former on the right, attached to the holiness of the Holy King, the latter on the left, on the side of the unclean spirit. The grades are linked one with another, all depending finally on the one at the head, and the tail has to move in accordance with the head. Balaam could avail himself of all the lower grades, but he saw that even the lowest was still guided by the head. Hence his declaration: “How shall I curse, whom EL hath not cursed?”, because the superior Head did not exercise rigour in those days. It is true that El denotes Goodness and Mercy, but it also expresses Rigour, as it says, “and El (God) hath indignation every day” (Ps. VII, I2). As for the compound “El-Shaddai”, this signifies the God who put a limit to the universe. [Tr. note: SHaDaY (Shaddai)=He who... enough; i.e. He who, at the proper moment, put a limit to the expanding universe at the Creation by the word of command: “Enough!”, v. T.B., Hagigah, 12a.] Hence “How shall I curse, whom El hath not cursed?”. For, as the Head moves, so does the Tail.’[Tr. note: This is in reply to the question of R. Judah as to how men of other nations awake during the night.] R. Eleazar wept. He discoursed on the verse: “The sound thereof shall go like the serpents”, etc. (Jer. XLVI, 22). ‘At the present time,’ he said, ‘when Israel is in exile, he is assuredly as the serpent. For when the serpent presses its head into the sand its tail flies upwards, being master, as it were, and lashing out at anyone near him; so Israel in exile has his head bowed down into the dust whilst the tail obtains the mastery. But although the head is bowed down into the sand, it is the same head, and that directs and rules the movements of the tail; and so at the present time it is indeed the other nations, who are attached to the tail, that rise on high, have the mastery and are lashing out, whilst the head is bowed down into the dust, as it says, “The virgin of Israel is fallen, she shall no more rise” (Amos v, 2); yet it is the head that directs the tail in its motions, as it says: “They made me keeper of the vineyards” (S.S. I, 6), to wit, of the idolatrous nations, which are the tail.’

20 and the rest of men, who were not killed in these plagues, neither did reform from the works of their hands, that they may not bow before the demons, and idols, those of gold, and those of silver, and those of brass, and those of stone, and those of wood, that are neither able to see, nor to hear, nor to walk,

21 yea they did not reform from their murders, nor from their sorceries, nor from their whoredoms, nor from their thefts.

Here we see the principal of midah knegged midah (measure for measure punishment). As men turned from God toward demons, God now turns these demons upon them.

The idea "bowing down before demons and idols" does not necessitate a "primitive" act of worshipping a physical (i.e., "carved") statue or anything similar. Involvement with anything "spiritual" that does not correspond to Torah, opens the door to the unleashing of demons as seen in this chapter.

John's mention of "gold," "silver,' "brass," etc., has a mystical connection to the demonic "pit" (which is linked to gehenna or hell) itself. Author Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi describes this pit as having seven levels to it. (Thus making this the "evil counterpart" to Beriah/Heaven, which is also said to have seven levels or "seven heavens" within it.)

Concerning the occupants of this pit and its levels, Halevi states:

... they are confined under the greatest concentration of laws in the Universe, constraining them from being too dangerous to themselves and to the Cosmos. Thus, they are imprisoned we are told, in one of the Seven Palaces of Impurity while their impurities are melted, burnt and blasted away like metals under a process of elemental and chemical refinement. Indeed the symbology of the metallic and mineral realms is used to explain the qualities of Hell, with its sometimes slow and sometimes violent methods of extreme pressure, heat, cold and geological aeons of time. This is another reason Hell is placed beneath the Malkut of Earth [Asiyyah]. 1

The book of Enoch speaks of "mountains" of metals being brought down before the presence of God:

Enoch 52:1-9 - And after those days in that place where I had seen all the visions of that which is hidden -for I had been carried off in a whirlwind and they had borne me towards the west-There mine eyes saw all the secret things of heaven that shall be, a mountain of iron, and a mountain of copper, and a mountain of silver, and a mountain of gold, and a mountain of soft metal, and a mountain of lead. And I asked the angel who went with me, saying, 'What things are these which I have seen in secret?' And he said unto me: 'All these things which thou hast seen shall serve the dominion of His Anointed that he may be potent and mighty on the earth.' And that angel of peace answered, saying unto me: 'Wait a little, and there shall be revealed unto thee all the secret things which surround the Lord of Spirits. And these mountains which thine eyes have seen, The mountain of iron, and the mountain of copper, and the mountain of silver, And the mountain of gold, and the mountain of soft metal, and the mountain of lead, All these shall be in the presence of the Elect One As wax: before the fire, And like the water which streams down from above [upon those mountains], And they shall become powerless before his feet. And it shall come to pass in those days that none shall be saved, Either by gold or by silver, And none be able to escape. And there shall be no iron for war, Nor shall one clothe oneself with a breastplate. Bronze shall be of no service, And tin [shall be of no service and] shall not be esteemed, And lead shall not be desired. And all these things shall be [denied and] destroyed from the surface of the earth, When the Elect One shall appear before the face of the Lord of Spirits.'

The book of Enoch also offers the following views on this subject:

Enoch 67:4-7 - And He will imprison those angels, who have shown unrighteousness, in that burning valley which my grandfather Enoch had formerly shown to me in the west among the mountains of gold and silver and iron and soft metal and tin. And I saw that valley in which there was a great convulsion and a convulsion of the waters. And when all this took place, from that fiery molten metal and from the convulsion thereof in that place, there was produced a smell of sulphur, and it was connected with those waters, and that valley of the angels who had led astray (mankind) burned beneath that land. And through its valleys proceed streams of fire, where these angels are punished who had led astray those who dwell upon the earth.

Enoch 99:1-9 - And again I swear to you, ye sinners, that sin is prepared for a day of unceasing bloodshed. And they who worship stones, and grave images of gold and silver and wood (and stone) and clay, and those who worship impure spirits and demons, and all kinds of idols not according to knowledge, shall get no manner of help from them.  And they shall become godless by reason of the folly of their hearts, And their eyes shall be blinded through the fear of their hearts And through visions in their dreams.  Through these they shall become godless and fearful; For they shall have wrought all their work in a lie, And shall have worshiped a stone: Therefore in an instant shall they perish.

The Zohar speaks of the significance of metals in both worship of God and false worship:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 228a - AND THE BRASS OF THE WAVING WAS SEVENTY TALENTS. Said R. Judah: ‘All this descends here below in the supernal image, containing the mystery of Faith. To the same pattern did Nebuchadnezzar make the image that he erected.’ R. Jose said: ‘It was not the image he made that was after the same pattern, but the image that he saw in his dream, an image made of gold, of silver and brass. Now, iron and clay were not worthy to enter into the work of the Tabernacle, but only those three metals. There is a recondite significance in the triad of metals. There were other materials that formed into tetrads, as the four fabrics consisting of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen, or the four rows of stones (in the breastplate).’ R. Judah said: ‘Some of them formed into threes, some into fours, some into twos, and again others were kept single. Nevertheless, an Order proper consists of a triad.

THE FIVE SINS

In these two verses, John associates five categories of sin with the plague of demons that was brought forth.

They are:

  • Idolatry
  • Murder
  • Sorcery
  • Whoredom (sexual sin)
  • Theft

We will examine each of these sins with regard to their connection to the demonic realm. Attention will be given to the generation of the flood, as Yeshua said in Matthew 24:37 that the last days would mirror the days of Noah.

IDOLATRY

At the time of the flood, mankind had sunk to its lowest in many ways. One of these concerned the "level of idolatry" they stooped to. Although all forms of idolatry are bad, when people go from worshipping the higher angels or men (which are "close" to God) to the lowest demons (which are "far" from God), this is considered a further indication of their decayed spiritual state.

Rabbi Nachmanides had the following to say about this:

The third group of idol worshippers eventually served demons, a type of spirit, for also of them are appointed over nations to damage their enemies. Regarding this, the verse says (Deuteronomy 32:17): "They sacrificed to demons, which were not God: gods that they did not know; new ones recently concocted, whom your forefathers did not dread." The verse makes fun of them; they sacrifice to demons, which are not Divine at all. They are not [even] like angels, or separate intelligences that are called Divine, but these are gods they never know, that is, they have no Divinity or power, they are newly thought up, in other words, they learned of them anew from the Egyptians, who engage in sorcery, and even your wicked forefathers such as Terach and Nimrod weren't afraid of them. 2

MURDER

Aside from the obvious transgression of unjustly taking a human life, there is another aspect of murder directly associated with the Sitra Atra (the evil realm). As demons both live and die, one may ask, "What sustains and empowers them?" It is well known that throughout history, people have sacrificed human beings to various spiritual entities in order to acquire benefit from them. Aside from "formal" sacrificial rites, the very act of murder (the "shedding of blood") also empowers these beings.

We know from Scripture that blood contains the life force, therefore blood is very powerful. Kabbalistically, when people sin they impact the subtle balance between the physical and non-physical worlds. A sin causes "energy" to be used in the physical world in a spiritually improper manner. As energy is taken, it must be returned. Lucky for us, instead of taking our lives to restore this balance, God ordained animal sacrifice as a substitute.

The forces of the Sitra Atra also know that blood, especially human blood contains such "power." Through the shedding of human blood, these forces acquire spiritual energy from the universe.

As an example, looking back in history, people have wondered how the Nazis came to power and achieved such great technological advances so quickly. It is known that the Nazis had great interest in the occult and spent huge sums of money investigating such things. (Hollywood movies such as "Seven Years in Tibet" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark," touch on this subject.) It could be that they were empowered by demons in exchange for all the blood they shed.

SORCERY

Sorcery involves "tapping into" the powers of what is beyond the purely physical realm, specifically the world of Yetzirah, in a way not approved by God. There are numerous ways to do this, including; use of drugs, spiritual incantations, and "psychic powers."

This section of the Zohar explains how the ability to draw power from the world of Yetzirah (through magic/divination) caused the generation of the flood to think they did not need God and could fend off any judgment coming from Him:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 56a - R. Eleazar said: ‘In the time of Enosh, men were skilled in magic and divination, and in the art of controlling the heavenly forces. Adam had brought with him from the Garden of Eden the knowledge of “the leaves of the tree”, but he and his wife and their children did not practise it. When Enosh came, however, he saw the advantage of these arts and how the heavenly courses could be altered by them, and he and his contemporaries studied them and practised magic and divination. From them these arts descended to the generation of the Flood and were practised for evil purposes by all the men of that time. Relying upon these arts, they defied Noah, saying that divine justice could never be executed upon them, since they knew a way to avert it. The practice of these arts commenced with Enosh, and hence it is said of his time, THEN WAS THE NAME OF THE LORD CALLED UPON PROFANELY. R. Isaac said: All the righteous men that were among them sought to restrain them, such as Jered, Methuselah, and Enoch, but without success, and the world became full of sinners who rebelled against their Master saying, “What is the Almighty that we should serve him?” (Job XXI, 15). This is not so foolish as it sounds, for they knew all the arts we have mentioned and all the ruling chieftains in charge of the world, and on this knowledge they relied, until at length God disabused them by restoring the earth to its primitive state and covering it with water. Later, He again restored it and made it productive, since He looked upon it with mercy, as it is written, “The Lord sat at the Flood”-”the Lord” signifying the attribute of mercy. In the days of Enoch even children were acquainted with these mysterious arts.’ Said R. Yesa: ‘If so, how could they be so blind as not to know that God intended to bring the Flood upon them and destroy them?’ R. Isaac replied: ‘They did know, but they thought they were safe because they were acquainted with the angel in charge of fire and the angel in charge of water, and had means of preventing them from executing judgement on them. What they did not know was that God rules the world and that punishment proceeds from Him. They only saw that the world was entrusted to those chieftains and that everything was done through them, and therefore they took no heed of God and His works until the time came for the earth to be destroyed and the Holy Spirit proclaimed every day, “Let sinners be consumed out of the earth and let the wicked be no more” (Ps. CIV, 35). God gave them a respite all the time that the righteous men Jered, Methuselah, and Enoch were alive; but when they departed from the world, God let punishment descend upon them and they perished, as it says, “and they were blotted out from the earth” (Gen. VII, 23).’

SEXUAL SIN

Illicit sexual activity is associated through kabbalistic writings as actually "creating demons." (Note how many Torah commands deal with sex, from adultery, to homosexuality, to incest to bestiality -- and how these merit the death penalty.)

The following passages from both Zohar and Midrash discuss the sexual sins of Noah's time:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 66b - ‘There is no sin in the world which so much provokes the anger of the Almighty as the sin of neglecting the covenant, as we read, “a sword that shall execute the vengeance of the covenant” (Lev. XXVI, 25). The proof is that in the generation of the Flood the measure of sin was not filled up until mankind became (sexually) perverted and destroyed their seed.

Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XXIII:3 - The men of the generation of the Flood used to act thus: each took two wives, one for procreation and the other for sexual gratification. The former would stay like a widow through- out her life, while the latter was given to drink a potion of roots, so that she should not bear, and then she sat before him like a harlot, as it is written, He devoureth the barren that beareth not, and doeth not good to the widow (Job XXlV, 21). The proof of this is that the best of them, who was Lamech, took two wives, Adah, [so called] because he kept her away (ya'ade) from himself; and Zillah, to sit in his shadow (zillo).

Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XXVI:5 - Hence it is written, For they were fair, which refers to virgins; And they took them wives, refers to married women, Whomsoever they chose: that means males and beasts. R. Huna said in R, Joseph's name: The generation of the Flood were not blotted out from the world until they composed nuptial songs in honour of pederasty and bestiality. R. Simlai said: Wherever you find lust, an epidemic visits the world which slays both good and bad.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 108a - For all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. R. Johanan said: This teaches that they caused beasts and animals, animals and beasts, to copulate; and all of these were brought in connection with man, and man with them all.

Midrash Rabbah - Leviticus XXIII:9 - The Generation of the Flood were blotted out from the world because they were steeped in whoredom. R. Samlai observed: In every instance where you find the prevalence of whoredom, an androlepsia1 comes upon the world and slays both good and bad. R. Huna says in the name of R. Jose: The Generation of the Flood were only blotted out of the world on account of their having written hymenean songs for sodomy. R. ‘Azariah in the name of R. Judah son of R. Simeon and R. Joshua b. Levi in the name of Bar Kappara say: We find that the Holy One, blessed be He, is long-suffering towards every offence except whoredom, and there are numerous texts to bear this out.

On a related note, the number of Internet web sites dedicated to the practices of; bestiality, incest and pedophilia, has increased dramatically in the past couple of years -- another sign that we are mirroring the days of Noah.

THEFT

Should anyone consider that the inclusion of "theft" is oddly placed among the other sins in that it is "less serious," consider what has been said about stealing:

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 108a - And God said unto Noah, the end of all flesh is come before me. R. Johanan said: Come and see how great is the power of robbery. For lo, though the generation of the flood transgressed all laws, their decree of punishment was sealed only because they stretched out their hands to rob, as it is written, for the earth is filled with violence through them, and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. And it is ‘also written, Violence [i.e., robbery] is risen up into a rod of wickedness: none of them shall remain, nor of their multitude, nor any of theirs: neither shall there be wailing for them.

Midrash Rabbah - Leviticus 33:3 - It is like the case of a basketful that is full of iniquities. Which of these discredits the basketful? Robbery.

Talmud - Mas. Baba Kama 119a - To rob a fellow-man even of the value of a perutah [a very small amount] is like taking away his life

Talmud - Mas. Ta'anith 7b - Rain is withheld only because of the sin of violent robbery

Talmud - Mas. Baba Bathra 88b - Ordinary robbery is worse than the robbery of the Most High

Even Yom Kippur would not bring atonement for theft, unless the thief made things right with his victim:

Mishnah Yoma 85b - [If one says]: I shall sin and the day of atonement will procure atonement for me, the day of atonement procures for him no atonement. For transgressions as between man and the omnipresent the day of atonement procures atonement, but for transgressions as between man and his fellow the day of atonement does not procure any atonement, until he has pacified his fellow.


1. A Kabbalsitic Universe, Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi, Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach Maine, 1977, p.94.

2. Ramban, Philosopher and Kabbalist, Chayim J. Henoch, Jason Aronson Inc., Jerusalem, 1998, pp. 198-199.


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