Revelation 19



The central message of the Bible, and specifically the book of Revelation, is the “unification of the Name of G-d,” and is depicted in Zechariah 14:9. It is symbolic of the tikkun (repair) of the world, arrival of the Messiah and ushering in of the Messianic Kingdom. This time of unification is also known as the “Shabbat haGadol” (the Great Sabbath), the beginning of the seventh millennium of history since Adam and Chava left their ‘primary’ level of existence in Gan Edan.

The Name of G-d that said to be made “One,” is the four-letter Name of G-d; Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey.

The Ineffable Name of G-d, which at this time of history is too holy to be pronounced as it is spelled: yud-hei-vav-hei, is actually made up of two parts, yud-hei and vav-hei. The unified Name represents periods of history when G-d’s Presence is revealed and known, and the divided Name represents periods of time when G-d’s Presence is hidden. This is why the prophet said of the Days of Mashiach: “On that day, He will be One, and His Name will be One.” (Zachariah 14:9)

We further discuss this unification of the “supernal” and “lower” in verses 4 and 5 below.

The following section of the Zohar discusses how the Great Shabbat (Malchut, the seventh millennium, etc.) must come before the Lord “takes His seat” on the heavenly Throne and His Name “becomes One.” Each of the Biblical moedim is symbolic of this:

From all of these we take “the heave offering of the Lord” 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 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.
Zohar 2:135a

The Arizal teaches that Shabbat has a feminine and masculine portion, which are associated with the night and day portions as well as “bride and groom,” which in this setting are also our “mother and father.”

“To explain: These two commandments, observing the Shabbat and honoring parents, are equivalent. The [latter] is honoring one’s bodily parents, while the[former] is honoring one’s spiritual parents, i.e. Zeir Anpin and Nukva, who are referred to as the “two Shabbats” in the Sages’ statement that “if the Jewish people would keep two Shabbats properly, [they would be redeemed immediately].” (Shabbat118b) Inasmuch as every Jewish soul is produced by the union of Zeir Anpin and Nukva, these partzufim may be considered our spiritual “parents”.  The Sages’ statement that we would be redeemed if we would keep two Shabbats is usually understood to mean two Shabbats in a row. Elsewhere, however, the Arizal, however, comments that the mystical meaning of this statement is that we must keep the two aspects of the Shabbat, the feminine and masculine aspects, which are the Shabbat night and the Shabbat day. Thus, the two Shabbats are clearly Zeir Anpin and Nukva, and by “honoring” them, that is, observing the Shabbat in accordance with its mystical dynamics, we fulfill the commandment to honor our “parents” spiritually, and will be redeemed. This is the mystical meaning of the verse: “Everyone must fear his mother and his father, and keep My Shabbats.” (Lev. 19:3). (The fact that the Shabbat is here referred to in the plural alludes to] these two Shabbats, which correspond to the father and the mother.”

The following section of the Zohar also describes the feminine and masculine aspects to the Sabbath in terms of the evening portion and the daylight portion:

This psalm of praise was therefore ordered to be chanted on the Sabbath by the “one people”, namely the children of Israel. (Psalm 92): “A song. A psalm for (to) the sabbath day. It is good to praise the Lord, to sing unto thy name, O most high. To proclaim thy lovingkindness in the morning and thy faithfulness in the nights.” It has been established by the Companions that this hymn of praise was sung by the first man (Adam) after he had been driven out of the Garden of Eden, when the Sabbath drew nigh unto the Holy One and interceded for the created being. Then he sang this hymn in honour of the Sabbath which had delivered him. It is a hymn of praise sung by the world below to the world above, to a world which is altogether “Sabbath”, the sphere of the “King whose is the peace”. It is a hymn of the sabbath below unto the Sabbath above: the sabbath below, which is like night, sings to the Sabbath above, which is like day. 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” (Exekiel 31:16) alludes to the Female, which is the night (layla), and “remember the Sabbath day” alludes to the Male. Thus the sabbath here below sings a hymn to the Sabbath above.
Zohar 2:38a 

The day/masculine aspect of the Sabbath is referred to as the “morning star” in the New Testament. Peter reminds his brethren to rely on Torah to sustain them until this time:

And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
2 Peter 1:19 

Earlier in Revelation was mentioned the reward for those who persevere as such:

And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations. ‘ He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star.
Revelation 2:26-28 

In the book of Hebrews, the reward for those who persevere “to the end” is expressed in terms of the “rest” of the Sabbath:

For we have become partakers of Messiah if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end …
Hebrews 3:14

Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest’,” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And G-d rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.” Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains, therefore, a rest for the people of G-d. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as G-d did from His.
Hebrews 4:1-10 

Yeshua describes Himself as being this “morning star,” also making the connection to David, who is associated with the Sefirah of Malchut which is the Shabbat:

“I, Yeshua, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the assemblies. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
Revelation 22:16

The liturgical service for Shabbat services contains many of the same “end time” themes as found in this chapter of Revelation.

A few examples are:

… For the sovereignty is Hashem’s and He rules over nations. The saviors will ascend Mount Zion to judge Esau’s mountain, and the Kingdom will be Hashem’s. Then Hashem will be King over all the world., on that day Hashem will be One and His Name will be One. (compare to verse 6)
… The soul of every living being shall bless Your Name, Hashem our God, the spirit of all flesh shall always glorify and exalt your remembrance, Our King. (compare to verse 5)
… God of all creatures, Master of all generations, Who is extolled through a multitude of praises … To You alone we give thanks. (compare to verses 1 and 6)
… O God, in the omnipotence of Your strength, great in the glory of Your Name, mighty forever and awesome through Your awesome deeds. (compare to verse 1)
… O King enthroned upon a high and lofty throne. (compare to verse 4)
From The Complete Artscroll Siddur, Shacharis for Sabbath and Festivals, Mesorah Publications, Ltd..Brooklyn, 1994.

1 After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our G-d!

These attributes (salvation, glory, honor, power) said to now belong to God may be seen as representing the unification of His Name (The 4-letter Name of Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey). This unification, as spoken of in Zechariah 14:9, is the main theme of all of Scripture and specifically this chapter of Revelation. (See citation on the four-letter name in the introductory comments above.)

The Zohar also speaks of this voice from heaven coming at the time of unification, assembling the righteous beneath (i.e., verse 5) with the entities above (i.e., verse 4):

Observe this. When the hour arrives at which it pleases the Holy One, blessed be He, to unify the Supernal Chariot, [note: “to combine the Supernal Chariot with the Lower Chariot”] a voice issues from that divine supernal region called Heaven to assemble all the saints beneath and all the holy chiefs and supernal legions, so that they should all be in readiness together.
Zohar 2:97b-198a 

As seen earlier in Revelation, such accolades for G-d are specifically tied to His being the Creator:

“Worthy are you, our Lord and G-d, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will, they existed and were created.
Revelation 4:11

2 For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.”

G-d’s vengeance, brought on by the shed blood of His servants, is a major theme of the last days:

May He, before our eyes, exact retribution for the spilled blood of His servants. as it is written in the Torah of Moses, the man of G-d: “O nations, sing the praise of His people for He will avenge the blood of His servants and He will bring retribution upon His foes; and He will appease His land and His people.” And by Your servants, the prophets, is written saying: “Though I cleanse (the enemy) – their bloodshed I will not cleanse when Hashem dwells in Zion.” And in the Holy Writings it is said: “Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their G-d?’ Let there be known among the nations, before our eyes, revenge for Your servants’ spilled blood.” And it says: “For the Avenger of blood has remembered them; He has not forgotten the cry of the humble.”
From The Complete Artscroll Siddur, Shacharis for Sabbath and Festivals, Mesorah Publications, Ltd..Brooklyn, 1994.

Psalm 72 speaks of the messiah in the context of the blood of his servants:

He will redeem their life from oppression and violence; and precious shall be their blood in His sight.
Psalm 72:14 

The Zohar makes the direct connection between Psalm 72 and the Messiah:

For whilst the Holy One is taking vengeance on the idolatrous nations, He “will make a man more precious than gold”, to wit, the Messiah, who will be raised and glorified above all mankind, and to whom all mankind will pay homage and bow down, as it is written, “Before him those that dwell in the wilderness will bow down … the Kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall render tribute” (Psalm 72:9-10).
Zohar 1:107b 

As does Midrash on Genesis:

The name of Messiah was contemplated, for it is written, His name existeth ere the sun. (Psalm 72:17).
Midrash Rabbah, Genesis 1:4 

The Zohar describes the vengeance of G-d, brought through His Messiah as being in place since before the time of Creation:

“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 judgment, so the Messiah will bring gladness to Israel, but judgment to the Gentiles. The “spirit of G-d which hovered over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2) is the spirit of the Messiah, and from the time of the Creation he “washed his garments in celestial wine.”
Zohar 1:239b,240a

As has been previously mentioned, the “name” (role/authority/power) of Messiah is one of seven things pre-existing the physical world:

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. The Torah, for it is written, The Lord made me [the Torah] as the beginning of his way. Repentance, for it is written, Before the mountains were brought forth, and it is written, Thou turnest man to contrition, and sayest, Repent, ye children of men. The Garden of Eden, as it is written, And the Lord planted a garden in Eden from aforetime. The Gehenna, for it is written, For Gehenna is ordered of old. The Throne of Glory and the Temple, for it is written, Thou throne of glory, on high from the beginning, Thou place of our sanctuary. The name of the Messiah, as it is written, His [the Messiah’s] name shall endure forever, and has existed before the sun!
Talmud, Pesachim 54a 

See previous chapter notes to verse 18:20 on the subject of G-d’s vengeance.

3 Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!”
4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped G-d who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!”

Both the heavenly and earthly Temples/Thrones have an arrangement of entities surrounding them:

Every man shall encamp by his own standard, with the sign of their father’s house. (Numbers 2:2) Each standard was to have a colored cloth hanging in it, the color of one being unlike the color of another. The color of each standard corresponded to that of the stone fixed in the breastplate [of the High Priest, on which the name of that scribe was engraved], and by this method, everyone would recognize his standard. [Rashi] But Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra commented: “There were signs on each of the [four main] standards. Thus the ancients sages said that on Reuben’s standard there was a figure of a man decorated with mandrakes, and on Judah’s standard there was the form of a lion, to which Jacob had compared him, and on Ephraim’s standard was the figure of an ox, based upon [the expression that Moses used in speaking of that tribe], “the firstborn of his ox”, and on Dan’s standard was the figure of an eagle. Thus [the four signs on the four main standards] were similar to the four figures that the prophet Ezekiel saw [in the Divine Charriot].” The Tent of Meeting was in the exact center, with the camps of the Levites surrounding it in the midst of the camps [of the other tribes], as is mentioned in Sefer Yetzirah: “And the Holy Temple is placed exactly in the middle.” I have furthermore seen in the Midrash [the following text]: “And just as the Holy One, blessed be He, created four directions in the universe, so He surrounded His Throne with four “living creatures”, and high above them all is the Throne of Glory. The Holy One, blessed be He, told Moses to arrange the standards in a manner corresponding to these directions. There [in Bamidbar Rabba] the Rabbis also interpret [the division of the tribes of Israel] according to four standards as] corresponding to the four groups of angels [surrounding the celestial Throne]. The Midrash also explains there that [the division of the tribes was not arbitrary but] it was all in wisdom, [showing] honor and greatness to Israel, and that therefore Scripture mentions everything in detail.
From “Standards of Celestial Conduct,” commentary on Parsha Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20).

The Zohar offers the following insight into the order of things:

According to another exposition: “Who hath ascended up into heaven?” refers to the Holy One, blessed be He, the allusion being contained in the word Mi (Who?), as explained elsewhere. Here in this passage is contained the mystery of the Divine Chariot, consisting of the four directions of the world which are the four primordial elements, all of which depend on that supernal region called Mi (Who?), as already said. ‘Observe this. When the hour arrives at which it pleases the Holy One, blessed be He, to unify the Supernal Chariot, [Tr. note: Al. “to combine the Supernal Chariot with the Lower Chariot”.] a voice issues from that divine supernal region called Heaven to assemble all the saints beneath and all the holy chiefs and supernal legions, so that they should all be in readiness together. Thus Scripture says, “And Moses assembled”, “Moses” being an allusion to Heaven; while the words “all the congregation of the children of Israel” allude to the twelve supernal holy legions. The next words, “and said unto them… This is the thing… Take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord”, means, “prepare yourselves, all of you, to take and to bear upon you the glory of the Divine Throne so as to raise it aloft to the divine heights; appoint from among you those supernal glorified chiefs who shall take up that offering containing the mystery of the Divine Throne, in order to bring about a union with the “patriarchs”, [Tr. note: Al. “with her spouse.”] for the Matrona (i.e. the Shekinah) may not come to her Spouse except those youthful bridesmaids follow in her train until she is brought to Him, as it says, “The virgins her companions in her train being brought unto thee” (Psalm 45:15), to wit, that she may join her Spouse. The next words, “Whosoever is of a noble heart”, are an allusion to the four superior legions that contain within themselves all the other legions; it is these who issue forth with the exalted patriarchs called “nobles”, as in the passage, “which the nobles of the people delved” (Numbers 21:18), indicating the patriarchs. The verse continues, “let him bring it”. The singular, “him”, where we should expect “them”, indicates the merging of them all into a unity. In the next words, “the Lord’s offering”, the accusative particle eth indicates the inclusion of all the other supernal legions which were to be integrated into one unity; their number is twelve, symbolized by “gold, and silver, and brass; and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goat’s hair; and rams’ skins dyed red, and sealskins, and acacia-wood; and oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense”. These are the twelve supernal legions, which are all comprised under the four sacred Hayoth mentioned before. All these ascend towards the Divine Throne, so as to take her up on high that she may join her Spouse, and that He should be with Her in surpassing glory. The Most High King then seats Himself on the Divine Throne in perfect unison with His Spouse, and joy is thus diffused through the universe. (Observe that Scripture here mentions gold before silver, the reason being that this is the scale of values here below; but when it enumerates according to the scale of values in the Heavenly Chariot, Scripture commences from the right and proceeds to the left. So we find it written: “Mine is the silver, and Mine the gold” (Haggai 2:8), first silver and then gold, but here below the left comes first and then the right, as it is written, “gold, and silver, and brass”.)
Zohar 2:197b-198a 

5 Then a voice came from the throne saying, “Praise our G-d, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!”

The idea of G-d “sitting” and a being in a “throne” are anthropomorphisms (attributes of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior) applied in order to enable us to understand a concept. G-d does not have physical attributes, nor can we “assign Him” to being located in one place.

As expressed in a Parsha commentary:

Hashem has no defined place. He is everyplace. However, we know that there is also a notion connecting the presence of Hashem to a throne, and to the throne of Glory. We cannot imagine a throne without assuming that in fact the throne is limited and defines a place, as opposed to Hashem who is unlimited and fills every place. When Hashem sits on the Throne, so to speak, there is an aspect of His presence that is similar to a physical limit. … We can perceive things only partially and it will seem to us that Hashem has a place. Sometimes in heaven and sometimes on earth and on very special times both in heaven and on earth at the same time. … We see Hashem clearly, but not completely.
Commentary on Parsha Yitro by Rabbi Chaim Brovender

The “Throne of Heaven” is representative of the Sefirah of Binah (Understanding) and the World of Beriah (Creation – the “upper” spiritual realm). The image of G-d sitting in this Throne shows the unification of the letter Yod (the world of Atzilut) and the first Hey (the world of Beriah). The Yod and the first Hey are never separated in the higher worlds – they are the unified “Abba and Imma.” (See introduction above and comments to verse 7 below.)

As Rabbi Pinchas Winston states:

Furthermore, one of the special paragraphs said in advance of a mitzvah, to focus us on the purpose of the mitzvah (found in most prayer books) is: [I hereby do this mitzvah] for the sake of the unification of The Holy One, Blessed is He, and His Divine Presence, in fear and in love, to unify the Name of yud-h’eh with vav-h’eh in completion, in the name of the entire Jewish people.
From – Parshas Vaeschanan/Nachamu, Pleading in Comfort, by Rabbi Pinchas Winston

Another insight on this theme, says:

“On that day”, however, with the advent of Moshiach, the Vav and Hay, the letters of G-d’s name that condense and cloak the Light of Divinity, will no longer obscure, because the world will have been refined to the extent that it can receive, and openly manifest G-dliness. At that time, the Vav and Hay will serve to reveal G-dliness just as do the Yud and Hay. In other words, the Yud – Hay – Vav – Hay will function in a manner of Yud – Hay -Yud – Hay to reveal G-d’s countenance openly.

The (future) unity of all Creation is expressed in the Zohar in this fashion:

And observe that all these measurements prescribed for this world had for their object the establishment of this world after the pattern of the upper world, so that the two should be knit together into one mystery. At the destined time, when the Holy One, blessed be He, will bestir Himself to renew the world, all the world will be found to express one mystery, and the glory of the Almighty will then be over all, in fulfilment of the verse, “In that day shall the Lord be one, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).’ R. Judah followed with a discourse on the verse: “The counsel (sod) of the Lord is with them that fear him; and his covenant to make them know it” (Psalm 25:14). ‘ “The counsel” (sod),’ he said, ‘alludes to the sublime mystical knowledge which remains hidden and undisclosed save for those that fear the Lord continuously and thus prove themselves worthy of these secrets and able to keep them.
Zohar 2:234b

6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord G-d Omnipotent reigns!
7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.”

The book in the Bible that perhaps holds more insight into this “marriage” is Song of Songs.

“In the day of his espousals” (Song of Songs 3:11) – this refers to the days of the Messiah, for (then) the Holy One blessed be He, will be like a bridegroom.”
From Yalqut Shim’oni, Songs, no. 988. Cited in The Messiah Texts, Raphael Patai, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 1979, p. 238.

The “marriage” of the Lamb (Zeir Anpin/Mashiach) representative of the world of Yetzirah, and the “bride” (the Shekinah/Israel) representative of the world of Asiyah, shows the unification of the Vav and second Hey. Taken in conjunction with the reference in verse five (to the Yod and first Hey being together) we see the total “unification of the Name” (Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey) representative of the end of days as forecast by the prophet Zechariah

And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be, “The LORD is one,” And His name one.
Zechariah 14:9 


The central meaning of the Shema (the preeminent prayer of Judaism) is that of unification of the Name of G-d. It is expressed in the Zohar in terms of the wedding between Malkut (Shekinah/Israel) and Tiferet (the King):

The word Shema’ consists of shem (name) and ‘ain (seventy), indicating the combination of this Name and the other seventy from whence it derives blessing. At the recitation of the Shema’, therefore, one must concentrate attention on this union of all the Divine names. For these seventy Names constitute the mystery of the supernal Chariot from whence that Name receives blessing and in which it is contained. Then comes the word Israel, referring, as we have learned, to “Ancient Israel” (Tiferet), so that this emanation may also be included. So “Hear, O Israel,” signifies the union of the Spouse with her Husband (Malkuth with Tiferet), so that all is in all, and all is one … “The Lord our G-d, the Lord”, the mystery of the Unity in three aspects (lit. “in three sides”) has often been referred to by the Holy Lamp (R. Simeon), and we are not permitted to enlarge upon what he has said. However, certain it is, that upon the head of the man who unifies the Name of the Holy One above and below, the Shekinah descends to rest, and to bless him with seven blessings, and to proclaim concerning him: “Thou art my servant, Israel, in whom I am glorified” (Isaiah 49:3).’
Zohar 2:160b-161b 

The term Shema’ (hear) is esoterically analyzed into Shem (name) and the letter ‘Ain (= 70), that is, one Name comprising seventy names whilst remaining a unity. “Israel” here signifies “Ancient Israel”, in contrast to “Little Israel”, of whom it is written: “When Israel was a child, then I loved him” (Hosea 11:1). “Ancient Israel” symbolizes the union of the Shekinah with her Spouse, and in pronouncing that name we have to concentrate our mind on the principle of unity, on the union of the two habitations; we have to put all our being, all the members of our body, our complete devotion, into that thought so as to rise and attach ourselves to the Ein Sof (Infinite), and thus achieve the oneness of the upper and the lower worlds. The words, “the Lord our G-d” are to reunite all the Members to the place from which they issued, which is the innermost Sanctuary. The same thought is continued in the words, “the Lord is one”, in the recital of which we have to make our thoughts range throughout all the grades up to the Infinite (Ein Sof) in love and fear.
Zohar 2:215b-217b

This same section of the Zohar links everything together and mentioned Ezekiel’s Chariot (the “four living creatures mentioned in verse 3 above) as being a representation of this unification:

As we have learned, “one” alludes to above, below, and the four quarters of the universe, these being the supernal Chariot, so that all are embraced in a single unity reaching out to the Ein Sof.
Zohar 2:217b

This marriage ushers in the long-awaited time of perfect peace throughout creation, from the loftiest levels of heaven “down to” the depths of Gehenna:

At last comes the moment when a voice proclaims throughout all the spheres: “Sanctified! Sanctified!” Then there is peace everywhere, perfect peace, even to the wicked in Gehenna, and all the souls crown themselves, some above, and some below.
Zohar, 2:51b 

(In the next section [on the subject of “crowns”] we will review the role of Messiah in bringing such a sweeping rectification of Creation.)

8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

The reference to linen is an allusion to the Cohen Gadol and Mishkan (High Priest and Tabernacle) as found in the Tenakh. The text shows that our “spiritual garments” are made of our “physical good works.”

9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of G-d.”

With verse 10, we examine the relationship between the concept of “prophecy,” the characteristics of messiah, and ideas concerning the tzaddik (righteous person) including his/her role with “Yichud Hashem,” the unification of the Name of G-d and advancing of the Kingdom.

10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Yeshua. Worship G-d! For the testimony of Yeshua is the spirit of prophecy.”

At the literal level, this verse makes a connection between these concepts:

  • Worshipping G-d only
  • The “testimony” of Yeshua (i.e., the Messiah)
  • The command to “worship God”
  • The “spirit of prophecy”

Central to this verse is the idea of “worshipping G-d.” What is the purpose of worshipping G-d? A chapter title to a classic kabbalistic text, Yedid Nefesh (Song of the Soul) states:

“The Purpose of Worshipping G-d is to Bring About the Coupling of Ze’er Anpin and Nukva.”
Chapter 9 title of Yedid Nefesh (Song of the Soul), Rabbi Yecheil Bar-Lev, Petach Tikva, 1994.

Exactly what is meant by this? Ze’ir Anpin and Nukva are called partzufim — “personifications” of the Sefirot. As shown in previous studies, the above sentence is kabbalistic language for uniting the “spiritual groom and bride” which in itself represents the “unification of the Name of G-d” as spoken of in Zechariah 14:9.

Note that this unification was expressed in the verses immediately leading up to this one:

“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of G-d.”

An understanding of the relationship between the Sefirot and prophecy is critical to interpreting Revelation 19:10. As shown in earlier studies, Ze’er Anpin (the six Sefirot from Hesed to Yesod) is the “groom” representing the letter “vav” in the four-letter Name of G-d (y-h-V-h) while Nukva (the Sefirah Malkhut) is the “bride” representing the last letter “hey” in the Name (y-h-v-H).

We will review and elaborate on the concepts underlying this “testimony” and “spirit of prophecy” including:

  • the Image of G-d
  • the Sefirot
  • the Temple
  • Moses
  • Joseph & Messiah ben Joseph
  • The Soul of Messiah

The Torah and New Testament have several references to “the image of G-d,” including these:

Genesis 1:27 – So G-d created man in His own image; in the image of G-d He created him; male and female He created them.

Genesis 9:6 – Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of G-d He made man.

Colossians 4:4 – Who is the image of the invisible G-d, the firstborn of every creature:

2 Corinthians 4:4 – In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Messiah, who is the image of G-d, should shine unto them.

G-d has no physical form, therefore the “image” to which man was formed alludes to something ‘spiritual.’ The “emanations” of G-d within existence (that we can to varying degrees understand) number ten and are called “Sefirot.” These ten Sefirot, prior to their being “revealed” by G-d within existence, form the “image” to which man was created. By creating the Sefirot, G-d also gave us the means to relate to how He rules the world and how we are able to become “conformed to the image of G-d” (B’tzelem Elohim). Within this deep understanding of the Sefirot is what we call “prophecy.”

Physical man’s body reflects this spiritual image. The human body is thus designed with the goal of worshipping G-d in mind. The Hebrew word for ‘worship’ is ‘avodah’ and refers to service or work. The body is the vessel which enables the soul to perform the commandments, resulting in the ‘worship’ of G-d, the rectification of man’s soul and at times attainment of prophecy.

As stated in Yedid Nefesh (Song of the Soul):

Corporeal man was created in character and image, meaning that the body parts were not created at random, rather, for a single purpose, which is to worship the Creator. The Creator wanted to make mankind to be able to comprehend Him. His parts and their connecting tissue were to be in the character of spiritual man, man of emanation. When man fulfills the commandments of the Torah with the intention to worship his Creator and he does it with his thought and speech, and acting through the body parts, he brings about a “repair” to spiritual man, subjugates himself to the Creator and becomes a part of the holy chariot which is composed of the tzaddikim. … corporeal man and all his parts is a reflection of spiritual man.
Yedid Nefesh (Song of the Soul), Rabbi Yecheil Bar-Lev, Petach Tikva, 1994, p. 234, 235

The performance of every mitzvah may also be expressed in terms of unification of the Name of G-d:

Furthermore, one of the special paragraphs said in advance of a mitzvah, to focus us on the purpose of the mitzvah (found in most prayer books) is: [I hereby do this mitzvah] for the sake of the unification of The Holy One, Blessed is He, and His Divine Presence, in fear and in love, to unify the Name of yud-h’eh with vav h’eh in completion, in the name of the entire Jewish people.
From – Parshas Vaeschanan/Nachamu, Pleading in Comfort, by Rabbi Pinchas Winston.


Everything with existence has its root within the Sefirot, from our physical world (Asiyah) to the spiritual words of “Formation” (Yetzirah) and “Creation” (Beriah), all the way to the World of Atzilut (“nearness,” i.e., to Eyn Sof). Prophecy is therefore understood as a person’s ability to comprehend that which is rooted in the Sefirot:

Prophecy is a knowledge and an attainment that G-d, in His Glory, gives he prophets. But doesn’t this necessarily contradict what we previously said regarding the fact that we can never attain knowledge of God’s ways? No, for as we have mentioned, we cannot grasp the whys and wherefores of the Infinite One (Eyn Sof), but as to limited will, namely the Sefirot, we can grasp something, for the Sefirot exist even in the world of making (Asiyah). We have defined this limited will through the Sefirot, which are the attributes of the Holy One, Blessed be He … In addition, we mentioned that the Sefirot represent the actual essence of reality, and everything that will ever happen is included and rooted in them. … No creation — not even the loftiest of the creations — has direct access to the Creator, and any access at all must come through the Sefirot, through G-d’s will. When a person attains a great level of spirituality, the creator, Blessed be He, allows that person to gain some measure of insight into the way He rules the world. This is what we call prophecy. Prophecy is ranked by the level the prophet achieves in comprehending the Sefirot. When a prophet gains a certain level of comprehension of G-d, in other words when he attains the Sefirot, which are G-d’s guiding ways, he will also necessarily gain an understanding of the details and the results, the product of the Sefirot.
Yedid Nefesh (Song of the Soul), Rabbi Yecheil Bar-Lev, Petach Tikva, 1994. pp. 349,350.

In his book Meditation and the Bible, Aryeh Kaplan cites a prayer based upon the Sefirot, used to attain the prophetic state. This prayer is from the 16th century school of Rabbi Joseph Tzayach (Rabbi of Jerusalem and Damascus):

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, Crown Me (Keter)
Yah, give me wisdom (Chokmah)
Elohim Chaim, grant me understanding (Binah)
El, with the right hand of His Love, make me great (Chesed)
Elohim, with the Terror of His judgment, protect me (Gevurah)
YHVH, with His mercy, grant me Beauty (Tiferet)
YHVH Tzavaot, watch me Forever (Netzach)
Elohim Tzvaot, grant me beatitude from his Splendor (Hod)
El Chai, make His covenant my Foundation (Yesod)
Adonay, open my lips and my mouth will speak of Your praise (Malkut)
Meditation and the Bible, Aryeh Kaplan, Samuel Weiser Inc., York Beach, Maine, 1978, p. 72.

Returning to the partzufim, the events within the 6,000 years of human history are said to be tied to Ze’er Anpin and Nukvah, i.e., the “lower seven” Sefirot (also called the “middot”):

The central focus in much of the Kabbalah is on the Patzufim of Zeir Anpin and Nukvah, and their interrelationship. This is because it is primarily between these two Partzufim that the world in which we live in is governed.
Secrets of the Future Temple, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato, Temple Institute and Azamra Institute, Jerusalem, 1999, p.35.

All events in this world specifically rooted in Ze’er Anpin and Nukvah. Therefore, in the patzufim Ze’er Anpin and Nukva lies the root of all the world’s creatures, and in them is the essence of the Guiding Power of the world in which we live. Everything that happens to the individual human is rooted in Ze’er Anpin and therefore we must try to understand the different aspects of the partzuf, so that we can understand the ways of the Creator.
Yedid Nefesh (Song of the Soul), Rabbi Yecheil Bar-Lev, Petach Tikva, 1994. p. 269.

All reality during the six thousand years of the world’s existence is rooted in the partzuf Ze’er Anpin.
Yedid Nefesh (Song of the Soul), Rabbi Yecheil Bar-Lev, Petach Tikva, 1994. p. 274

The Ze’er Anpin and the Nukva are the root of the world we live in. Therefore the behavior of mankind will find the same conditions as the Ze’er Anpin and the Nukva.
Yedid Nefesh (Song of the Soul), Rabbi Yecheil Bar-Lev, Petach Tikva, 1994. p. 319


The Temple was/is considered central to worship of God. All of its associated functions are designed toward bringing the above-mentioned unification between Nukveh (below) and Ze’er Anpin Above. Nukveh as “daughter” to Binah and Chokhmah is considered both the “sister” and the “bride” of Ze’er Anpin, depending on the context. This is key to understanding texts such as Song of Songs, in which the female character is presented as both bride and sister to the same man.

The third (millennial) Temple is symbolic of the unification of Nukveh and Ze’er Anpin. As shown by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto in his text Secrets of the Future Temple, the third Temple is a combination of a new earthly Temple and the heavenly Temple upon which all the Tabernacle and previous Temples were patterned.

For the heavenly Temple will not be uprooted from its place. Rather, it will extend until it reaches the lower world, and then around it will be built a physical structure as fitting in the material world., and the two structures will be joined and become one and never again separate.
Secrets of the Future Temple, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato, Temple Institute and Azamra Institute, Jerusalem, 1999, p.69.

That which “separated” the earthly and heavenly Temples, is also that which “separated” Nukveh (the Hey) and Ze’er Anpin (the Vav). This idea will be further discussed in our comments to Revelation 21:1. This unification within the third Temple results in the uninterrupted flow of “blessing” from above to below. This is specifically symbolized by the gate of the Holy of Holies, as discussed in our study of Revelation 7:1 (See the section at the end on “Gematria.”)


As shown in our earlier stories, the design of the Temple just like that of man’s physical body is patterned after the Sefirot. The man who most emulated the Sefirot was Moses. The Tenakh presents Moses as a prophet whose “level of prophecy” was in a class of its own. The difference between the level of prophecy of Moses versus all other prophets is explained in various ways in Torah literature. G-d spoke to Moses “directly,” whereas to the other prophets He communicated through dreams and visions.

Prophecy is envisioned as seeing Divine truth through a lens. Moses’s prophetic vision is said to have been as if “through a transparent lens,” while that of all the other prophets is said to have been as if “through a non-transparent lens,” i.e. either a cloudy pane or a mirror. This simply indicates that the inferior prophecy of the other prophets was transmitted through the Sefirah of Malchut; they experienced Divinity as it has been funneled into creation (specifically, the three worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah). Moses, in contrast, experienced Divinity directly (i.e., as it is manifest in the world of Atzilut before being channeled through Malchut).

Moses’ level of prophecy was that of uniting Zeir Anpin and Nukvah:

“The flow of divine power stimulated by the uniting of Ze’ir and Nuqba (sic) in the course of contemplation constitutes the source of the inspiration that the successful adept attains … Moses looked through a glass that shined, the kabbalists associated Moses’ prophecy with the divine masculine … Uniting the partzufim of Ze’ir and Nuqba contemplatively infuses an individual with divine inspiration and enables him to speak with words of prophecy.”
Physician of the Soul, Healer of the Cosmos, Isaac Luria and His Kabbalistic Fellowship, Lawrence Fine, Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, 2003, p. 282.


Although Moses was the greatest of prophets, we can look to Joseph as an example of one attaining this “spirit of prophecy” as related to messiah, as the concept of “Messiah ben Joseph” is directly associated with characteristics of the latter.

Interestingly, we find a direct reference to our subject matter in the language of Targum Onkelos:

Genesis 41:38 – And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find (someone) like this, a man in whom is the spirit of prophecy from before the Lord?”
Ariel Chumash, Parsha Miketz. United Israel Institutes, Jerusalem, p. 347. Footnote to verse: “The Hebrew has, ‘in whom is the spirit of G-d.’ The phrase ‘spirit of G-d’ is altered to avoid the irreverent suggestion that man could truly partake of G-d’s spirit. Onkelos refers to Joseph’s gift as the spirit of prophecy because he foretold the future.” (Nefesh Hager, a commentary on Onkolos.)

There are a number of interesting concepts surrounding Joseph that we will examine:

  • His age
  • His dreams
  • His fall and “descent into Egypt”
  • His elevation to being “second only to Pharaoh” and being given the signet ring.”
  • His maintaining his (sexual) purity
  • His brothers not recognizing him
  • Joseph’s Age

Joseph’s story begins in a mystical fashion, with the Torah explaining the “history of Jacob” in terms of Joseph’s adventure.

Genesis 37:1-2a – Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. This is the history of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old …

The first thing the Torah mentions on any topic is always important. In this case, it is Joseph’s age. The fact that the number seventeen is mentioned should not be overlooked as it is a number of messianic significance in terms of the tzaddik – a righteous person who unites the physical realm (represented by the number “7”) with the reality of all existence and beyond (represented by the number “10”).

This unification is a role of Messiah ben Yosef:

“the unification of Yesod and Malchut” — This is one of the principal missions of Mashiach ben Yosef: to unify heaven and earth, to unify the two meshichim, which means the tree of Yosef with the tree of Judah during the awakening from below with the joining of Jerusalem above with Jerusalem below by a rebuilt Jerusalem. Then it will be like a city that is united together (Psalm 122:3).
Kol Hator (Voice of the Turtledove), chapter 2, the “156 aspects and characteristics of Mashiach ben Yosef.” 

The relationship Messiah ben Yosef has to the earthly and heavenly realms has to do with his parents and how they are seen as connected to the earthly and heavenly worlds:

Mashiach ben Yosef is the miraculous power who will assist every act done when the awakening starts from below, in a natural manner, because he comes from the earth. Mashiach ben David, however, will come from Heaven as revealed by the different aspects of Rachel and Leah, and as known regarding the footsteps of the Mashiach and the revealed end. Mashiach ben Yosef himself is a composite of two aspects: on the one hand, he is Yosef the son of Rachel of the land; on the other hand, he is Yosef son of Jacob from Heaven.
Kol Hator (Voice of the Turtledove), chapter 1, the “156 aspects and characteristics of Mashiach ben Yosef.” 

Joseph’s Dreams

Having given us one hint of Joseph being a “hidden tzaddik” the Torah gives us another – his receiving prophetic revelation through dreams. Dreams are the medium that cross the realm between the physical world (Asiyah) and the “lower” spiritual realm (Yetzirah), centered around the Sefirah of Yesod (foundation) which is linked to Joseph and the idea of the tzaddik.

“The captivity of Zion” (Psalm 126:1) In the same sentence we find: “we were like dreamers.” All of the aspects found in this Psalm beginning: “when G-d returns the captivity of Zion, ” etc., were said about the mission of Mashiach ben Yosef, as explained in the Midrash (Tanchuma, end of the parsha “Vayegash”).
Kol Hator (Voice of the Turtledove), chapter 2, the “156 aspects and characteristics of Mashiach ben Yosef.”

Joseph’s “Descent”

As mentioned in earlier studies, one of the fundamental principles of the tzaddik is that of his having to “fall” in order to rectify a greater number of people and the lower levels of creation.

The Tzaddik is called pure, but on some occasion, some impurity may be found in him so that he may join the impure to elevate them to a state of purity.
Along the Path: Studies in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism, and Hermeneutics, Elliot R. Wolfson, p. 98

One who gives freely and generously. By lifting up his brethren, he himself is raised.
On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah, Gershom Scholem, p. 139

… for the intensity of the descent is determined by the potential for ascent — “the bigger they are, the harder they fall.” The inverse is also true: According to how low the nation has fallen, the ascent that follows is that much greater.
Mashiach – Who? What? Why? How? Where? When?, Chaim Kramer, Breslov Research Institute, Jerusalem, pp. 185-186.

The “tzaddik descending” is often not an obvious thing to recognize, nonetheless as Joseph himself told his brothers:

Genesis 45:8 – So now it was not you who sent me here, but G-d; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

Joseph being “second only to Pharaoh”

In the Torah, Joseph is given the power of Pharaoh by Pharaoh himself:

Genesis 41:39-44 – Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as G-d has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”

Mashiach is the preeminent servant of the King. As such he is not only “second in command” but is treated at if he were the king himself:

A king’s servant is a king. Attach yourself to a captain and people will bow down to you. Become close to one who is anointed (important) and you will become anointed.
Ariel Chumash, Volume 1 (Bereishit-Chaye Sarah), United Israel Institutes, Jerusalem, 1997, p. 52.

Joseph’s “Purity”

Another important concept mentioned earlier (see notes to 14:3-5) is that of sexual purity in relation to making a connection to God and receiving prophecy. Joseph proves himself in this area when he resisted the advances of Potiphar’s wife.

Sexual purity is directly tied to the covenant of circumcision and enhancing the coming of Messiah:

Another then discoursed on the text: And Joseph said to his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you, and they came near (Genesis. 45:4). He said: ‘Seeing that they were already standing by him, why did he tell them to come near? The reason was that when he said to them “I am Joseph your brother”, they were dumbfounded, seeing his royal state, so he showed them the sign of the covenant and said to them: “It is through this that I have attained to this estate, through keeping this intact.” From this we learn that whoever keeps intact this sign of the covenant is destined for kingship. Another example is Boaz, who said to Ruth, “As the Lord liveth, lie down until the morning” (Ruth 3:13). By this adjuration he exorcised his passion, and because he guarded the covenant he became the progenitor of the greatest lineage of kings, and of the Messiah, whose name is linked with that of G-d.’
Zohar 1:93b 

Sexual purity is a messianic trait according to Rabbi Nachman of Breslov:

Everyone, according to his level of holiness and purity, has a messianic aspect … the messianic aspect hinges mainly on abstaining from adultery.
Likkutei Moharan 2:32, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

Joseph not being recognized / Messiah ben Joseph

Another mystical trait of Messiah ben Joseph is in his brethren not recognizing him when he comes.

Yosef recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him — This is one of the traits of Yosef not only in his own generation, but in every generation, i.e., that Mashiach ben Yosef recognizes his brothers, but they do not recognize him. This is the work of Satan, who hides the characteristics of Mashiach ben Yosef so that the footsteps of the Mashiach are not recognized and are even belittled because of our many sins. Otherwise, our troubles would already have ended. Were Israel to recognize Yosef, that is, the footsteps of ben Yosef the Mashiach which is the ingathering of the exiles etc., then we would already have been redeemed with a complete redemption.
Kol Hator (Voice of the Turtledove) chapter 2

The text further states that Joseph’s brothers dwelling on what they perceived as arrogance caused them to miss who he really was:

“Yosef understood” — in the verse: “and they did not know that Yosef understood them.” Without the vau in the first word, the two words in gematria equal Mashiach ben Yosef [566]. This means that the brothers did not know that the mission of Yosef was that he was Mashiach ben Yosef. The Gaon has already explained the first thought of Yosef’s brothers. They knew that when the soul of our forefather Abraham went down into the world, a “layer” from the right side attached itself to him. Therefore Ismael came out of him: in order to separate that layer from him. When the soul of our forefather Isaac went down into the world, a layer from the left side attached itself to him. Therefore Esau came out of him in order to separate that layer from him. The brothers thought that the center layer had attached itself to Jacob, who is the middle line. But when they saw that Yosef was acting in line with the traits of arrogance, they felt certain that Yosef was the layer that had separated itself from Jacob. They did not know his holiness and great mission to prepare the way for the Redemption.
Kol Hator (Voice of the Turtledove) chapter 2

Messiah ben Joseph as a “suffering servant”

Kol Hator also alludes to “two comings of Messiah” (albeit not as Christianity presents it), as Messiah ben Joseph must accomplish his role prior to Messiah ben David his. Just as Joseph had to go ahead of his brethren and suffer before rising to his designated role. Note the multiple references in Kol Hator to the “servant song” from Isaiah regarding Messiah ben Joseph:

“repair of the world in the Malchut of the Almighty” — Wherever repair is mentioned, it is part of the mission of Mashiach ben Yosef. This is the ultimate purpose of all the work connected with the beginning of the footsteps of the Mashiach, whose main goals are as follows: to gather in the exiles, rebuild Jerusalem, remove the impure spirit from Eretz Israel, redeem Truth, sanctify the name of God, and repair the world in the Malchut of the Almighty, as is written: “with their own eyes they will see when God returns to Zion” (Isaiah 52:8). This refers to the ingathering of the exiles. “Burst out, sing glad songs together, O ruins of Jerusalem” (Isaiah 52:9). This refers to rebuilding Jerusalem and reviving the land that has been desolate. “God has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem” (Isaiah 52:9), refers to God’s redemption of Truth, for Jerusalem is called “the city of Truth” (Zach. 8:3). “God has exposed His holy arm before all the nations” (Isaiah 52:10), refers to sanctifying the name of God. “All ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God” (Isaiah 52:10), refers to repairing the world in the Malchut of the Almighty. All of these are the mission of the mashiach of the beginning, the first Mashiach, Mashiach ben Yosef, who comes at the time of the awakening from below, and will find completion when Mashiach ben David comes, speedily in our day, Amen.
Kol Hator (Voice of the Turtledove) chapter 2


The tzaddik who associates himself with Messiah through Torah may become “one” with him (i.e., 1 John 2:3-6, John 6:35-59). Such a union enables a person to share in the soul or “mind” of the Messiah (i.e., 1 Corinthians 2:16).

Such a person can bring about unifications in the spiritual realms:

Now come and see what the power is of the tzadikim, who hold fast to the Torah and its commandments. They have the power to connect all the emanations making peace between and within the upper and lower worlds. When the true pure man joins the attribute tzedek (i.e., Malkut) with tzadik (i.e., Yesod) it is then known as YHVH is One, thus creating peace between the upper heavenly court and the lower one. The heavens and the earth are united by this person.
Sha’are Orah (“Gates of Light”), Rabbi Joseph Gikatilla, translated by Avi Weinstein, Altamira Press, 1994, p. 63.

This fulfills the ultimate purpose of man:

In the normal order of things, heaven and earth do not meet, for the spiritual source of something is of an altogether different order than is its physical manifestation. Only man can remove this barrier, for man is created in G-d’s image and thus, like G-d, is immune to the incongruity of heaven and earth.

This soul of Messiah has the “fullness of the godhead” (Colossians 2:9) meaning a “perfect balance” of the Sefirot, and emanates from a level higher than other souls (one including and transcending all time and space).

As stated by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov:

“The Keter (Arikh Anpin) is the loftiest Parfutz (personae of the Sefirot). But the ARI writes, Keter actually has two levels, a lower level corresponding to Arikh Anpin and an upper level, the intellect of Arikh Anpin, which corresponds to Atik. Atik is referred to in the holy writings by several names: Atik (“The Ancient One”), Atik Yomin (“The Ancient of Days”), Atika Kadisha (“The Holy Ancient One”). … The connection between Mashiach and Atik is learned from Daniel’s vision: “A man came and he approached (the level of) the Ancient of Days …” Rashi explains that this refers to Mashiach, who will minister justice to the entire world. … Atik thus transcends anything that we can conceive — giving and receiving, right and left, reward and punishment, and so on. At this level there is neither past or future. Everything is in the present. And, as we have seen, every part of Creation, from the first constriction, until the lowest level of the world of Asiyah, is contained within Keter. Thus Atik includes all time and space — yet transcends it all. The soul of Mashiach “resides” within Atik, and it is from this level that all his powers will be drawn. And, since he transcends time and space, Mashiach can transcend every transgression ever committed and rectify it — for since he can transcend everything ever done, he can bring each person to a state prior to his having sinned. … With this power inherent in this exalted level, Mashiach will be able to bring the world to a state of perfection.
Mashiach – Who? What? Why? How? Where? When?, Chaim Kramer, Breslov Research Institute, Jerusalem, pp. 208-209.

Aryeh Kaplan, in his book, “Prophecy and the Bible,” explains that a prophet is more than a spokesperson, but an actual ‘channel’ for spiritual energy:

Before we begin to discuss the prophets, it would be useful to study the exact meaning of the word Navie, the Hebrew word for “prophet. Some early sources state that the word Navie ) comes from the same root as the word Niv, as in the verse, “He created the fruit (Niv) of the lips” (Isaiah 57:19). According to this, the main connotation of the word Navie is indeed that of a spokesman, especially one who speaks in God’s name. There are, however, other verses, where this word refers to a spokesman in general, as in the passage, “Aaron your brother shall be your prophet (Navie)” (Exodus 7:1). In this view, the word Nava, meaning to prophesy, refers primarily to the verbal expression of the revelation. As such, it may be related to the word Navach, meaning to bark or cry out. Others, however, dispute this opinion, and contend that the main connotation of the word Navie is that of a channel, through which spiritual force can flow. The eminent philologist, Rabbi Solomon Pappenheim, states that it is related to the root Boa, meaning to “come” or “bring.” According to this, the main ability of a prophet is to bring spiritual power, channeling it where it is needed. As we shall see, this opinion is also supported by a Biblical account of one of Ezekiel’s experiences. A similar opinion is voiced by another major linguist and philosopher, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. In his opinion, the word Navie is closely related to the root Nava, meaning to “flow” or “gush forth,” as in the case of a spring or fountain. This word also has the connotation of expression and communication. The prophet or Navie is then one who can “gush forth” with spirit, communicating with the Divine, and expressing the will of God. Another closely related root is Byb or Navuv, both meaning “hollow,” as in the verse, “A hollow (navuv) man will gain heart” (Job 11:12). In this context, a prophet would be one who totally hollows himself, emptying himself of all ego, so that, like an empty pipe (Byv), he makes himself a channel for the Divine Spirit. Such a person would then be on the level of King David, who said of himself, “My heart is hollow within me” (Psalms 109:22). This indicates that David had totally annihilated his ego, and the same must be true of the prophet before he can be a vessel for the Divine. Although such philological analysis is important, an even clearer picture emerges when we look at the context of the word. Here too, we see that the word Nava, meaning “prophesy,” actually denotes more than just speaking out in God’s name. The clearest example of this occurs with regard to Ezekiel, in his vision of the Valley of Dry Bones. Before these bones were resurrected, God told the prophet, “Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man, and say to the spirit: Thus says the Lord, God, ‘From the four winds, come O spirit, and blow into theses corpses that they should live’ ” (Ezekiel 37:9). What God is telling Ezekiel to do is not to be a spokesman or to predict the future, but to channel spiritual force into these dead bodies. So potent was this spiritual force that it literally had the power to bring the dead back to life. In this account, Ezekiel is told to prophesy three times, and in each of these cases, it is evident that his prophecy is a channeling and “bringing” of spiritual force. It is significant to note that in all three of these places, the word Nava, meaning to prophesy, is paralleled in the same verse by the root Boa, meaning to come, or bring. The appearance in all three cases of these two words in the same verse is not coincidence, but a deliberate play on words, indicating that the prophet is one who brings spiritual forces to bear. This interpretation clears up several very obscure passages which speak of prophecy. The very first mention of a prophet in the Bible occurs after King Abimelech had attempted to take Sarah away from Abraham, and had been warned by God in a dream not to do so. God then tells Abimelech, “Now restore the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you” (Genesis 20:7). There”are many forced attempts that try to explain why this verse mentions that Abraham was a prophet, and what effect this would have on his prayer. But if we understand that the main power of a prophet is the ability to channel spiritual energy, the reason is obvious. Through his prayer, Abraham was able to channel such spiritual energy, and it was therefore likely that his prayer would be effective.

Continuing with the rest of the chapter:

11a Now I saw heaven opened and behold, a white horse …

The following teaching concerns the unification of the physical and spiritual realms. The symbol of Mashiach on a horse is explained as him riding on the “Community of Israel.” (This may be contrasted to the beast and its rider in a previous chapter.) It also alludes to the role of the angel Metatron, who is known as the angel of Messiah ben Joseph.

This is the reason it is written about the Mashiach that he is “just and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey” (Zachariah 9:9). The word “humble” [in Hebrew, “oni”] in that verse is spelled ayin-nun-yud and is an acrostic for the three tractates of the Talmud that deal with the strict decrees – Eruvin, Nidah and Yevamot … In the mystical realms these tractates represent the control of the physical realm as it given over to the angelic forces supervised by the faithful servant of the King, the angel Metatron. The commands of the King are delegated to this angel to carry out or delegate to others. He represents the spiritual forces affecting the physical world. Until the servant fulfills his command, He is not called King. The higher spiritual level is only revealed when there is unity between the spiritual and the physical, between the King and the Community of Israel. [He] is not called “King” until he rides on his horse, which is the Community of Israel. When the King is outside his residence, not united with his Queen, He is not in His full majesty. In the future, when He returns to His residence, then “G-d shall be King over all the earth; on that day G-d will be one, and His name one” (Zachariah 14:9). All Israel are called “the sons of the King”. Their relationship is like father and son, but not like the sons of the King until they return to the Land of Israel. When they return to the Land of Israel, the full majesty of their relationship will be revealed.

Another interesting passage, this from Talmud, has Messiah coming on a white horse:

R. Alexandri said: R. Joshua b. Levi pointed out a contradiction. it is written, in its time [will the Messiah come], whilst it is also written, I [the Lord] will hasten it! — if they are worthy, I will hasten it: if not, [he will come] at the due time. R. Alexandri said: R. Joshua opposed two verses: it is written, And behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven whilst [elsewhere] it is written, [behold, thy king cometh unto thee . . . ] lowly, and riding upon an ass!— if they are meritorious, [he will come] with the clouds of heaven; if not, lowly and riding upon an ass. King Shapur said to Samuel, ‘Ye maintain that the Messiah will come upon an ass: I will rather send him a white horse of mine.
Talmud, Sanhedrin 98a 

11b … And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He judges and makes war.

These qualities of faithfulness, truth, righteousness and judgment (of the nations) coming from “the rod of his mouth” is grounded the Tenakh:

Isaiah 11:11-5 – There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears; But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist.

These messianic characteristics are at the core of the Torah and our goal:

Matthew 23:23b – … the weightier matters of the Torah: justice and mercy and faith.

The judgment of the nations by Messiah usher in the Messianic Kingdom:

Isaiah 2:3,4 – Many people shall come and say, “ Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the G-d of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.

12a His eyes were like a flame of fire and on His head were many crowns …


The term “crown” in certain contexts may allude to any of the Sefirot. Most precisely, it is Keter, the “uppermost” and most enigmatic of the Sefirot as it serves as a “buffer” between the remaining Sefirot (which may be comprehended to some degree) and Eyn Sof, “G-d” that we cannot comprehend in any way. Keter, being the first, “includes” all of the other Sefirot.

Keter is the intermediate category between the Infinite Light and the sefirot. In each of the worlds, it is the source of the other sefirot.

In the following text (in which the Torah itself is said to be crowned) the Torah at the level of Keter is linked to themes such as a “higher level,” “inwardness,” “food” and “inner aspect” directly relate to Yeshua’s teachings as found in places such as John, chapter 6 and Matthew 23:23. Note the reference to us (the bride/Matrona/Malkut) circling the scroll of the written Torah (the groom/King/Tiferet) seven times, as the bride in the Jewish wedding ceremony circles the groom in the same manner:

The focal point of the service on Simchat Torah is the hakafot, when we circle the Torah seven times; it is said that the simcha (joy) at this time is so great that even the feet are rejoicing. If the concept of Simchat Torah is so closely associated with dancing, why do we read from the Torah? The answer lies in the fact that, on Simchat Torah, the Jewish People brings down a higher aspect of Torah within the Torah itself, a joy which crowns the Torah from the aspect of keter. There are two ways of understanding this simcha. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all of Israel, including Mashiach, are rejoicing in the Torah on Simchat Torah. In addition, the Torah itself is rejoicing, because on this day it receives its crown, a level that is higher than the head. Keter is an encompassing power which surrounds the Torah, and is on a higher level than learning, which penetrates the Torah and is associated with the concept of inwardness (pnimiyut). This level of Torah is compared to food as in the verse “create your own sustenance”. The sustenance can take the form of bread, the most basic form of food, but, at this level, the Torah reflects the level of “fat meat”, as in the verse, “eat fat meat”. Bread is necessary to sustain life, but meat, especially fat meat, is above the level of mere physical existence the way that the inner aspect of the Torah is on a spiritual level – above basic survival. However, the level of keter is above even the level of the richness of the Torah, i.e. “fat meat”.

The Zohar has much to say on the subject of crowns, often in the context of the unification of the King and His Bride. This first citation fits in with the idea of Messiah defeating the nations as it points to the kings of the world uniting (with the Erev Rav, the evil “mixed multitude,” within Israel) to fight against Messiah:

Also the Messiah shall be hidden for twelve months in the pillar of fire, which shall return again, although it shall not be visible. After the twelve months the Messiah will be carried up to heaven in that pillar of fire and receive there power and dominion and the royal crown. When he descends, the pillar of fire will again be visible to the eyes of the world, and the Messiah will reveal himself, and mighty nations will gather round him, and he shall declare war against all the world. At that time the Holy One shall show forth his power before all the nations of the earth, and the Messiah shall be manifested throughout the whole universe, and all the kings will unite to fight against him, and even in Israel there will be found some wicked ones who shall join them in the fight against the Messiah. Then there will be darkness over all the world, and for fifteen days shall it continue, and many in Israel shall perish in that darkness. Concerning this darkness it is written: “Behold, darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the peoples” (Isaiah 40:2).
Zohar 2:7b

The following section depicts the study of Torah as creating “crowns” that in turn ascend onto the head of the “Zaddik, the life of the universe,” a term for the Messiah:

IN THE BEGINNING. R. Simeon opened his discourse with the text: And I put my words in thy mouth (Is. LI, 16). He said: ‘How greatly is it incumbent on a man to study the Torah day and night! For the Holy One, blessed be He, is attentive to the voice of those who occupy themselves with the Torah, and through each fresh discovery made by them in the Torah a new heaven is created. Our teachers have told us that at the moment when a man expounds something new in the Torah, his utterance ascends before the Holy One, blessed be He, and He takes it up and kisses it and crowns it with seventy crowns of graven and inscribed letters. When a new idea is formulated in the field of the esoteric wisdom, it ascends and rests on the head of the “Zaddik, the life of the universe”, and then it flies off and traverses seventy thousand worlds until it ascends to the “Ancient of Days”.
Zohar 1:4b 

This theme continues in this text where our words of Torah ascend and are formed into a heavenly crown:

For the words of the holy Law spoken here below ascend on high, where multitudes come to meet them to take them up and present them before the Holy King, there to be adorned with many crowns woven of the supernal radiances. All these words, then, are self-spoken, as it were, before the Most High King. Whoever saw such joy, whoever witnessed such praises, as mount up into all those heavens at the moment those words ascend, whilst the Holy King looks on them and crowns Himself with them! They spring up and down, they settle, as it were, on His bosom for Him to disport Himself with them, whence they ascend toward His head and are woven there into a crown. Hence the words spoken by the Torah: “and I would be playing always before him” (Proverbs 8:30), In the verse cited there is twice mention of “them that fear the Lord”; the first indicates the men themselves as they are here below, and the second their images as reflected in their words that ascend on high.
Zohar 2:215b

This esoteric doctrine is found in the Book of Enoch, where it says that all the words of exposition uttered by the righteous on earth are adorned with crowns and are arrayed before the Holy One, blessed be He, who delights Himself with them. They then descend and come up again before His presence in the image of that righteous man who gave expression to them, and God then delights Himself with that image. The words, then, are inscribed in “a book of remembrance before Him”, so as to endure for evermore. “And they that thought upon His name” is an allusion to those that meditate on the words of Torah in order thereby to cleave to their Master through an insight into the Divine Name, so as to know Him and became equipped with the wisdom of His name in their heart. It is written: “And above the firmament that was over their heads was as the appearance of a sapphire stone, the likeness of a throne” (Ezekiel 1:26).

This idea is further elaborated on in a more modern study on the subject:

A Jew must serve G-d with the totality of his being, as the Mishnah declares: the purpose of his creation is “to serve his Creator,” with a service which incorporates all one’s heart, soul, and might — every aspect of his personality. There must be a level of service which serves as a “crown,” standing above all the individual aspects of his nature, his intellect and emotions. This involves serving with true will and true pleasure, above the feelings of one’s heart. Each person has a particular tendency which dominates his personality and shapes it into one fundamental thrust. This is his crown.

The Zohar states that the righteous receive “crowns” along with their “robes” (as discussed in earlier chapters of this study). Note the link to “prophetic vision” in this citation (connecting back to verse 19:10):

“The righteous see into the distant future and G-d crowns them with His own crown.”
Zohar, 1:227b

The following text is similar to the above, only this one mentions the stream that flows into the Garden of Eden. This hidden source of the River of Eden is further mentioned in another citation below (Zohar, Vayikra 62a,b):

All the virtuous who have acquired a robe of glory through their days are crowned in the future world with crowns like those of the patriarchs, from the stream that flows continually into the Garden of Eden, and of them it is written, “the Lord shall lead thee continually and satisfy thy soul in dry places” (Isaiah 58:11)
Zohar 1:224b

In the next section the righteous (i.e., Israel, when they keep Torah), are said to unify the Name of God. This is further expressed as the “holy crowns” (Sefirot) being “drawn near” to one another (rectified). This is further associated with the sacrificial system, which is in turn expressed in terms of God’s mercy and union of the “Matrona” (Shekinah/Bride) to the King:

 ‘Happy are Israel’, he said, ‘in that wherever they congregate God is among them and takes pride in them, as it says, “Israel in whom I will be glorified” (Isaiah 49:3). Nay more, Israel attain to perfect faith on earth and Israel consummate the Holy Name. For when Israel are blameless in their conduct the Holy Name, so to speak, is whole, but when Israel are faulty in their conduct on earth, the Holy Name, if one may say so, is not whole above. For so we have learnt: “One went up and the other went down. The supernal Israel ascended aloft, the Community of Israel came down to earth. So they were parted from one another, and the Holy Name was left incomplete”; and all because the Community of Israel is in exile. Yet though Israel are in exile, the Holy One, blessed be He, is to be found among them, and precedes them to the synagogue, where he exclaims: “Return, ye backsliding children, I will heal your backslidings” (Jeremiah 3:22). And if none heed, then God says: “Wherefore when I came was there no man, when I called was there none to answer?” So on the day when the Tabernacle was completed God came at once and rested thereon and straightway “called unto Moses and spake to him from the tent of meeting, saying”. He made known to him how Israel would sin and how this tent of meeting would be “pledged”[Tr. note: A play on the words mischan, “tent”, and mashcen (Aramnaic), “pledge”.] for their sins and would not endure. There was, however, a remedy for this: “if a man should bring an offering to the Lord”.’

R. Hizkiah once, when in the company of R. Simeon, asked him what was the precise meaning of the term korban (offering). He replied: ‘As is well known to the Companions, it means their “drawing near”. [Tr. note: From karab, to draw near,] It refers to those holy Crowns which are all knit together and drawn near to one another until they all form a perfect unity to make whole the Holy Name. Hence it is written, “a korban to YHVH”, meaning that the drawing near of those Crowns is to YHVH to unify properly the Holy Name so that mercy should be shown to all worlds, and rigour should not be aroused. Hence the name YHVH is used (in connection with the sacrifices), and not the name Elohim. ‘ Said R. Hizkiah: ‘How glad I am that I asked this question, so as to receive such an explanation. But is it not written, “The sacrifices of Elohim are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, Elohim, thou wilt not despise” (Psalm 51:18)?’ He replied: ‘It does not say here “offering” (korban), but “sacrifices” (zibehe). It is for this reason that the sacrifices were killed on the north side of the altar, because that is the side of Geburah, which is designated Elohim, the purpose being to soften and break the spirit of severity, so that mercy may obtain the upper hand. It is meet, therefore, that a man should stand by the altar with a contrite spirit and repent of his misdeeds so that that stern spirit may be softened and mercy prevail over severity.

’ WHEN ANY MAN OF YOU OFFERETH AN OBLATION UNTO THE LORD. R. Eleazar said: The words “of you” are inserted here to show that the word “man” (adam) does not refer to Adam, who also brought a sacrifice when God created the world, as explained elsewhere.’ Said R. Simeon to him: ‘You are quite right.’ R. Abba discoursed here on the Psalm commencing: “A song, a psalm of the sons of Korah” (Psalm 48). ‘This psalm’, he said, ‘surpasses all the other hymns of praise, sung by the sons of Korah, being hymn upon hymn, a hymn with two facets, song and psalm. It was sung in praise of the Community of Israel. Wherein lies this praise? In the words, “Great is the Lord and highly to be praised, in the city of our God, in his holy mountain”. For when is the Holy One, blessed be He, called great? When the Community of Israel is with Him; He is great “in the city of our God”. We learn from this that the King without the Matrona is no king, nor is He great nor highly praised. Hence, whoever being male is without his female is bereft of all his praises and is not included in the category of “man”, nor is he even worthy to be blessed. (So in the book of Rab Hamnuna the Elder we find it stated that Job was called “great” (Job 1:3) only because of his wife, who was God-fearing like himself.) The praise of their espousals is contained in the next words, “Beautiful in elevation”, the one referring to the Holy One, blesssed be He, and the other to the Zaddik, this union being “the joy of the whole earth”. “God hath made himself known in her palaces for a refuge”
Zohar 3:4b-5b

The following text contains allusions to related themes such as:

  • “The River of Eden” (which reappears later in Revelation for the first time since the beginning of Genesis)
  • The “Holy Son,” who receives a crown and inheritance
  • The Sefirah of Yesod (i.e., foundation, the tzadik) through which blessings come upon the marriage of the King and His Bride

R. Abba took as his text the verse: “While the king sat at his table, my spikenard sent forth its fragrance” (Song of Solomon, 1:12). ‘This has been applied by the Companions to the children of Israel when at the giving of the Law they sent forth a sweet fragrance which will bestead them in all generations by saying “we will do and we will hear”. Or we may translate “my spikenard forsook its fragrance”, applying the words to the making of the calf. There is, however, also an esoteric allusion in this verse. It says “A river went forth from Eden to water the garden” (Genesis 2:10). This stream first issues in a path which none knoweth. Then Eden joins with it in perfect union, and then fountains and streams issue and crown the holy Son, who thereupon assumes the inheritance of his Father and Mother, and the supernal King regales himself with royal delights. Then “my spikenard gives forth its fragrance”: this is Yesod, who sends forth blessings at the union of the Holy King and the Matrona, and so blessings are dispensed to all worlds and upper and lower are blessed.
Zohar 3:62a,b

The following two sections link these “spiritual crowns” to the Song of Moses (also called the Song of the Sea) in Exodus, which is said to be sung in Revelation 15:3. The Zohar also speaks of this song being sung again with the coming of a crowned Messiah, who exacts judgment on his enemies:

At the hour when the Song of the Sea is recited the Community of Israel is crowned with the crown wherewith the Holy One, in the time that is to be, will crown the King Messiah. That crown is engraved with Holy Names, those same Names which glittered as crowns of fire upon the head of the Holy One Himself on the day when Israel crossed the Sea and Pharaoh and his hosts were drowned therein. Therefore that song must be recited with special devoutness, and he who is able to recite this hymn in the present world will be found worthy to behold King Messiah in the hour of His crowning and to sing then this song of redemption. All this is beyond dispute.
Zohar 2:132a

He shall take out from a certain temple in it a crown inscribed with holy names. It was with this crown that the Holy One adorned Himself when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and He avenged Himself on all the chariots of Pharaoh and his horsemen. With this same crown will He crown King Messiah. As soon as he is crowned, the Holy One will take him and kiss him as before. All the holy multitude and the whole holy army will surround him and will bestow upon him many wonderful gifts, and he will be adorned by them all. Then will he enter into one of the temples and behold there all the upper angels, who are called “the mourners of Zion” because they continually weep over the destruction of the Holy Temple. These angels shall give him a robe of deep red in order that he may commence his work of revenge.
Zohar 2:8b-9a

In the following teaching, the “crown of G-d” is to be upon the high priest. Note the importance given to the subject of purity:

In order to digest this overwhelming development let us study the inner workings of the Kohain Gadol. In this week’s parsha, the Torah gives us the reason for the Kohain Gadol’s elevated status. After listing all his specific regulations the Torah states “And he should not leave the Mikdash and not profane the sanctity of Hashem because the crown of Hashem is upon his head.” (Vayikra 21:12) Sefer HaChinuch (in Mitzva 270) elaborates upon the concept of “the crown of Hashem”. He cites the opinion of the Rambam (in Hilchos Klei Hamikdash 5:7) that the Kohain Gadol was confined to the Bais Hamikdash area throughout his entire day of service. In addition, Rambam teaches us that the Kohain Gadol was forbidden to leave the holy city of Yerushalayim during nightly hours. This produced an incredible focus on Hashem and His service yielding the supreme sanctity of the Kohain Gadol. Sefer HaChinuch profoundly states, “Although the Kohain Gadol was human he was designated to be Holy of Holies. His soul ranked amongst the angels constantly cleaving to Hashem thus detaching the Kohain Gadol from all mundane interests and concerns.” (ad loc) Sefer HaChinuch understands the Kohain Gadol’s elevated sanctity as a product of his total immersion in the service of Hashem. His surroundings of total sanctity together with his constant focus on Hashem and His service produced the holiest man on earth. His elevated life-style was restricted to one of total sanctity because his total interest and focus were devoted to purity and sanctity.

The following verse concerns Abraham being “crowned” and has another reference to prophetic vision. Interestingly, it describes Abraham’s vision in terms of being able to see “all the celestial figures,” which may be the idea behind Yeshua’s words in John 8:56.

Until Abram was circumcised, G-d spoke to him only in a vision, as it says above, “The word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision” (Genesis 15:1). By “vision” we understand the grade in which all figures are apparent, and which symbolizes the covenant.
Zohar 1:91a 

Of Balaam it is said that he saw “the vision of Shaddai” (Numbers. 24:4), and of Abraham that G-d spoke to him “in a vision”, simply. The difference is that Balaam saw only those (angels) below the Almighty, whereas Abram saw the “He” in which all the celestial figures are reflected. Till Abram was circumcised, he was addressed only by that degree which we have mentioned; after he was circumcised, then THE LORD APPEARED UNTO ABRAM, i.e. all the other grades appeared over this grade, and this grade addressed him without reserve. Thus when Abram was circumcised he emerged from the unripe state and entered into the holy covenant, and was crowned with the sacred crown, and entered into the covenant on which the world is based, and thus the world was firmly established for his sake.

This final text on the subject of crowns summarizes the subject – it is by faith we receive our crown.

Said R. Simeon: ‘Observe that before the Holy One gave Israel the Torah He tried them to see who would be a son of faith and who would not be. How did He try them? By the manna. All those who were found to be sons of faith were signed with the sign of the crown of Grace by the Holy One Himself; and from those who were not found to be thus, this supernal crown was withheld.
Zohar 2:62b

The text of Revelation continues forward with its description of the defeat of evil within the physical realm of Asiyah as we near the fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy regarding the unification of the Name of G-d.

As Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto points out, these two concepts are associated:

“The basis of the annihilation and removal of evil, as well as the perpetuation of good in all creation depends on the revelation of G-d’s unity.”
Derech Hashem, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, Feldheim Publishers, Jerusalem, 1997, p. 175

12b … He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.

This is the first of three references to a “name” regarding the Messiah in this chapter, the others being verses 13(b) and 16. The “name” of Messiah (as with the “name” of other key figures in the Bible and also the “Name” of G-d) has to do with attributes, authority and function (in G-d’s plan).

What is his [the Messiah’s] name? — The School of R. Shila said: His name is Shiloh, for it is written, until Shiloh come. The School of R. Yannai said: His name is Yinnon, for it is written, His name shall endure for ever: e’er the sun was, his name is Yinnon. The School of R. Haninah maintained: His name is Haninah, as it is written, Where I will not give you Haninah. Others say: His name is Menahem the son of Hezekiah, for it is written, Because Menahem [‘the comforter’ ], that would relieve my soul, is far. The Rabbis said: His name is ‘the leper scholar,’ as it is written, Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4)
Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b 

This “name” of messiah has existed since before the physical world (i.e., 1Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8; Hebrews 4:3, 9:26; John 17:24; Matthew 13:35, 25:34).

The Talmud refers to several things pre-existing the world including the “name” of Messiah:

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. The Torah, for it is written, The Lord made me [sc. the Torah] as the beginning of his way. Repentance, for it is written, Before the mountains were brought forth, and it is written, Thou turnest man to contrition, and sayest, Repent, ye children of men. The Garden of Eden, as it is written, And the Lord planted a garden in Eden from aforetime. The Gehenna, for it is written, For Tophet [i.e., Gehenna] is ordered of old. The Throne of Glory and the Temple, for it is written, Thou throne of glory, on high from the beginning, Thou place of our sanctuary. The name of the Messiah, as it is written, His [sc. the Messiah’s] name shall endure for ever, and has exited before the sun!
Talmud, Pesachim 54a

(See verse 13b below for a continuation of the theme of the “name” of Messiah.)

13a He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood …

The judgment of Messiah against the nations on behalf of Israel is discussed in this section of the Zohar:

BINDING HIS FOAL UNTO THE VINE . The vine is the Community of Israel, so called also in the verse: “Thou didst remove a vine from Egypt” (Psalm 80:9). By “his foal” is meant the Messiah, who is destined to rule over all the hosts of the peoples, that is to say, the heavenly hosts who have charge of the Gentiles, and from whom they derive their strength. The Messiah will prevail over them, because this vine dominates all those lower crowns through which the Gentiles have dominion. This will be the victory above. Israel, who are “a choice vine”, will conquer and destroy other hosts below; and the Messiah will prevail over all. Hence it is written of him that he will be “poor and riding on an ass and on a young ass’s colt” (Zechariah 9:9). “Colt” and “ass” are two crowns by virtue of which the Gentiles have dominion, and they are from the left side, the side of uncleanness. It is strange that the Messiah should be called “poor”. R. Simeon explained that it is because he has nothing of his own, and he is compared to the holy moon above, which has no light save from the sun. This Messiah will have dominion and will be established in his place. Below he is “poor”, because he is of the side of the moon, and above he is poor, being a “mirror which does not radiate”, “the bread of poverty”. Yet withal he “rides upon an ass and upon a colt”, to overthrow the strength of the Gentiles; and God will keep him firm. HE HATH WASHED HIS GARMENT IN WINE . With this may be compared the verse: “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah?” (Isaiah 53:1); and also: “I have trodden the winepress alone, etc.” (Ibid. 3). “Wine” here alludes to the side of Geburah, of stern justice which will be visited on the idolatrous nations. AND HIS VESTURE IN THE BLOOD OF GRAPE . This is the lower-world tree, the judgement court which is called “grapes”, in which the “wine” is kept. Thus the Messiah will be clothed in both to crush beneath him all the idolatrous peoples and kings.
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, 238a 

As this judgment has to do with the entering of the “Great Sabbath” (Messianic Kingdom) it is not surprising that it is incorporated into the Shabbat liturgy:

When He comes from Edom with bloodied clothes, He will have a slaughter in Bozrah, an execution of traitors. The dripping of their lifeblood will redden His garments. With His great strengh, He will cut down the spirit of the nobles.
The Complete Artscroll Siddur, Zemiros for the Sabbath Day, Baruch Hashem Yom Yom, Mesorah Publications, Ltd..Brooklyn, 1994.

13b … and His name is called The Word of G-d.

Continuing with the Shabbat liturgy, we see that it is “the Word of G-d” (Torah) that goes forth to destroy Israel’s enemies. This is read every Shabbat when the Torah is brought out:

This explains the verse we quote whenever we open the Holy Ark before the reading of the Torah: “And it was when the Ark traveled, and Moses said, ‘Arise G-d and let your enemies scatter and let those who hate you flee from you.’” (Bamidbar 10:35) This sounds like a battle cry and would appear to be out of place in a synagogue prior to the Torah reading. However, with the realization that reading and studying the Torah is our most powerful weapon against our enemies, we understand why this is the appropriate time to quote this declaration.
Torah Attitude: Parashas Mattos-Masei: The Secret Army, Rabbi Avraham Kahn

(See notes on verse 15a below for the link between the judgment of the nations, the Word of G-d and the “sword” from the mouth of Messiah.)

In this next midrash, the Messiah is called (among several names) “the Lord,” due to his likeness to the image of G-d, as discussed in the previous chapter:

BECAUSE THE COMFORTER IS FAR FROM ME, EVEN HE THAT SHOULD REFRESH MY SOUL. What is the name of King Messiah? R. Abba b. Kahana said: His name is ‘the Lord’; as it is stated, And this is the name whereby he shall be called, The Lord is our righteousness (Jerermiah 23:6). For R. Levi said: It is good for a province when its name is identical with that of its king, and the name of its king identical with that of its G-d. ‘It is good for a province when its name is identical with that of its king,’ as it is written, And the name of the city from that day shall be the Lord is there (Ezekiel 48:35). ‘And the name of its king identical with that of its G-d,’ as it is stated, ’And this is the name whereby he shall be called, The Lord is our righteousness.’ R. Joshua b. Levi said: His name is ‘ Shoot ‘; as it is stated, Behold, a man whose name is Shoot, and who shall shoot up out of his place, and build the temple of the Lord (Zechariah 6:12). R. Judan said in the name of R. Aibu: His name is ‘Comforter’; as it is said, THE COMFORTER IS FAR FROM ME. R. Hanina said: They do not really differ, because the numerical value of the names is the same, so that ‘ Comforter ‘ is identical with ‘ Shoot ‘.
Midrash Rabbah – Lamentations 1:51 

A relationship between a “mystery” regarding the Name of G-d and the role of the Torah is discussed in this section of the Zohar:

The whole mystery of the Faith depends upon this; from this comes the knowledge of the mystery of mysteries, the secret of secrets. YHVH ELOHIM is a full Name, and the whole is one. Herein is a mystery of mysteries to the masters of the esoteric knowledge. And, indeed, blessed are they who endeavour to comprehend the Torah. When the Holy One resolved to create the world, He guided Himself by the Torah as by a plan, as has been pointed out [Tr. note: v. Zohar, Genesis, 134a in connection with the words “Then I was by him as amon” (Proverbs 8:30), where the word amon (nursling) may also be read uman (architect). Was the Torah, then, an architect? Yes; for if a King resolves to build him a palace, without an architect and a plan how can he proceed?

Nevertheless, when the palace has been built, it is attributed to the King: “here is the palace which the King has built”, because his was the thought that thus has been realized. Similarly, when the Holy One, blessed be He, resolved to create the world, He looked into His plan, and, although, in a sense, it was the plan which brought the palace into being, it is not called by its name, but by that of the King. The Torah proclaims: “I was by Him an architect, through me He created the world!”-for the Torah preceded the creation of the world by two thousand years; and so, when He resolved to create the world He looked into the Torah, into its every creative word, and fashioned the world correspondingly; for all the words and all the actions of all the worlds are contained in the Torah. Therefore did the Holy One, blessed be He, look into it and create the world. That is why it says not merely “I was an architect”, but “I was, alongside of Him, an architect”. It may be asked, How can one be an architect with Him? God looked at His plan in this way. It is written in the Torah: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”; He looked at this expression and created heaven and earth. In the Torah it is written: “Let there be light”; He looked at these words and created light; and in this manner was the whole world created. When the world was all thus created, nothing was yet established properly, until He had resolved to create man, in order that he might study the Torah, and, for his sake, the world should be firmly and properly established.

Thus it is that he who concentrates his mind on, and deeply penetrates into, the Torah, sustains the world; for, as the Holy One looked into the Torah and created the world, so man looks into the Torah and keeps the world alive. Hence the Torah is the cause of the world’s creation, and also the power that maintains its existence. Therefore blessed is he who is devoted to the Torah, for he is the preserver of the world.

‘When the Holy One resolved to create man, there appeared before His Mind potential man, in form and condition as he was to be in this world; and not he alone, but all human beings, before they enter this world, stand before Him in the same way, in that treasure-house of souls where, dressed in a semblance of their earthly forms, they await their entry into this world. When their time has arrived to descend to this world, the Holy One calls upon a certain emissary appointed over all the souls to go down, and says to him: “Go, bring hither to Me such and such a spirit”, and on the instant that soul appears, clad in the form of this world, and is led forward by the angel that the Holy King may look upon it. Then does the Holy One warn that soul, when it shall have reached the earthly regions, to remember the Torah, and devote itself thereto, so that it may know Him and the mystery of Faith; for better were it for a man that he should never be born than not to know Him.

Therefore is it presented before the Holy King, that afterwards it may know Him in this world, and be devoted to the Holy One in the mystery of the Faith. Concerning this it is written: “Thou hast been shown to know”, that is, shown by the angel to the Holy One, in order to know, to understand, to penetrate in this world to the mystery of the Faith, the mystery of the Torah. And he who, having come into this world, does not study the Torah to know Him-better were it for him that he had never been born; since the only aim and object of the Holy One in sending man into this world is that he may know and understand that YHVH is Elohim.

This is the sum of the whole mystery of the Faith, of the whole Torah, of all that is above and below, of the Written and Oral Torah, all together forming one unity. The essence of the mystery of Faith is to know that this is a complete Name. This knowledge that YHVH is One with Elohim is indeed the synthesis of the whole Torah, both of the Written and of the Oral, for “Torah” stands for both, the former being symbolic of YHVH and the latter of Elohim. The Torah being the mystery of the Holy Name, it is therefore called by two names, one of which is general, and the other particular. The general is complemented by the particular, also the particular by the general, both combining to form one synthesis. In the Torah we find, therefore, the synthesis of the Above and the Below, for the one Name, YHVH, is above, while the other, Elohim, is below, one indicating the higher world and the other the lower. And therefore is it written: “Thou hast been shown to know that YHVH is Elohim.”
Zohar, 2:160b-161b 

Putting together the ideas presented above together, we see:

  • The “name” (function, role, etc.) of Messiah pre-existed the physical world
  • That which judges the nations is both part of the role of Messiah and the “Word of G-d”
  • There is a relationship (likeness) between the “name” of Messiah and “name” of G-d
  • The Word of G-d, the Torah, pre-existed the world “with G-d” and is called not by its name but by G-d’s name
  • Both the Torah and the tzaddik are said to sustain the world
  • The prime example of a tzaddik with high regard for Torah, is Jacob. We have seen in an earlier study that the image of Jacob is engraved in the divine throne, that he pre-existed the world and through him all things were made and sustained.

The relationship between Messiah, Torah and the concept of a “sword” is discussed below in 15a.

14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

The tzaddikim follow in the likeness of Messiah who is in the likeness of God:

This is the essence of Him, may He be Blessed and exalted forever. He glories in the creatures who have sinned and have become penitent … Furthermore, above with the sphere of Keter, there are kinds of splendour, compassion and mercy, all of which are white, and with them He watches and adorns the name YHVH, may He be Blessed, with the white clothing that is called Tiferet, and with them YHVH glorifies Himself and has mercy over His world.
Sha’are Orah (“Gates of Light”), Rabbi Joseph Gikatilla,  Altamira Press, 1994, p. 225.

Regarding the Messianic age, it is written (Isaiah 4:3), “And it will be, that he who is left in Zion, and he who remains in Jerusalem, ‘holy’ shall be said to him.” The Talmud teaches us that the angels will chant, “holy, holy, holy,” before the Tzadikim, just like they do before G-d (i.e., Rev. 4:8). This is the plain meaning of the verse. For the Tzadikim who remain faithful before the Messiah’s coming, will deserve this, and much more.
Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom, Breslov Research Institute, Jerusalem, 1973, p.255.

15a Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations.

G-d has promised to destroy Amalek (called “reshith goyim” – the “head of the nations”) at the end of this age. The precursor to this was Joshua, who slew physical Amalek as found in Exodus, chapter 18. The following excerpt from the Zohar makes a direct connection between Joshua, in the physical world, and the angelic figure Metatron in the spiritual realm.

What is of particular importance in the Zohar is that it is not so much Joshua who “slew Amalek” as it is “the sword” itself that does the slaying, “executing the vengeance of the covenant” (the vengeance of Yesod, i.e., Messiah ben Joseph).

Now when Moses perceived that Samael [Esau’s angel] was going to fight for Amalek, he thought: “this young man, Joshua, will surely stand against him and prevail”, and therefore he said unto him: “go and fight against Amalek! It is thy battle, the battle here below, and I will prepare myself for the battle above. Choose worthy men, righteous and the sons of the righteous, to accompany thee”.’ Said R. Simeon: ‘At the moment when Joshua, the “young man”, started out to fight Amalek, the “Young Man” above was stirred, and was equipped with weapons prepared by his “Mother” (the Shekinah) for the battle in order to “avenge the covenant” (cf. Leviticus 26:25) with the “sword” (Exodus 17:13). Moses equipped himself for the war above. “His hands were heavy” (Ibid. v, 12), that is to say, “weighty, honourable, holy hands”, that had never been defiled, hands worthy to wage the war above. AND THEY TOOK A STONE AND PUT IT UNDER HIM AND HE SAT THEREON: to participate in the distress of Israel. AND AARON AND HUR STAYED UP HIS HANDS, THE ONE ON THE ONE SIDE, AND THE OTHER ON THE OTHER SIDE: AND HIS HANDS WERE STEADY (emunah, lit. faith). This cannot be taken in the literal sense; what it means is that Aaron represented his “side” (the attribute of Grace), Hur his “side” (the attribute of Strength), and Moses’ hands between the two represented Faith. AND IT CAME TO PASS THAT WHEN MOSES HELD UP HIS HAND, ISRAEL PREVAILED, AND WHEN HE LET DOWN HIS HAND, AMALEK PREVAILED.

“Hand ‘ here refers to the right hand, which he held up above the left, and so long as he did so, Israel, i.e. the Supernal Israel, prevailed; but when Israel below ceased praying Moses could not keep his hand up and “Amalek prevailed”. From which we derive the lesson that, although the priest spreads out his hands at the sacrifice to make his mediation complete, yet Israel must co-operate with him in prayer. AND THE LORD SAID UNTO MOSES, WRITE THIS FOR A MEMORIAL IN THE BOOK, ETC. Note that in the previous verse it says, “And Joshua disabled (vayahlosh) Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.” Why is the word “ disabled” used here instead of “slew”? Because the word halash has also another meaning, namely, “to cast lots” (cf. Isaiah 14:2). Joshua did indeed first cast lots, .[Tr. note: i.e. as to which of the multitude of nations that Amalek brought with him (vide infra) should first be put to the sword.] and then the sword, executing the vengenace of the covenant, slew them. WRITE THIS FOR A MEMORIAL: “this” in the first place, AND REHEARSE IT IN THE EARS OF JOSHUA, namely, that he is destined to slay other kings. FOR I WILL UTTERLY BLOT OUT (lit. for blotting out I will blot out); that is, both their celestial forces and their power here below: similarly THE REMEMBRANCE of them on high as well as below. Said R. Isaac: ‘Here it is written: “For I will utterly blot out”, whereas in another passage it says, “Thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek” (Deuteronomy 25:19). The Holy One, blessed be He, said in effect: “Ye shall blot out his remembrance on earth, and I will blot out his remembrance on high”.’ R. Jose said: ‘Amalek brought with him other peoples, but all the rest were afraid to commence war against Israel. Hence Joshua cast lots which of them to slay.’ AND MOSES BUILT AN ALTAR AND CALLED THE NAME OF IT YHVH NISSI (the Lord is my sign). He built an altar below to correspond to the Altar above.
 Zohar, 2:66a

Metatron, in turn, is called “the angel of Messiah ben Joseph”:

The Mashiach ben Yosef from above is Metatron, the Minister of Interior; as is known, Yosef is Metatron. Both of them are from the light from above, and both are in the sefira Yesod
From Kol Hator, Chapter 1

“For a bird of the skies will carry the sound, and some winged creature will relate the matter” — This was said about Metatron, the Minister of Interior, as brought in Tikunei Zohar. He is the Angel of Mashiach ben Yosef. The word hints at, and in gematria the two words are equal [156].
From Kol Hator, Chapter 2

The Zohar has more about the revenge taken upon Israel’s enemies by their Messiah:

Then will the King Messiah appear and the kingship shall be given to him. Mankind will then suffer one calamity after another, and the enemies of Israel will prevail, but the spirit of the Messiah shall rise against them and destroy the sinful Edom and burn in fire the land of Seir. Hence it is written, “And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession of his which were his enemies, while Israel doth valiantly”. And in that time the Holy One, blessed be He, shall raise the dead of his people, and death shall be forgotten of them.’ R. Abba said: ‘Why is it written, “For in joy ye shall go out” (Isaiah 55:12)? Because when Israel go out from captivity the Shekinah will go forth with them and they with Her.
Zohar, 4: 212b

Midrash Rabbah (on Shir haShirim, the union of the groom and his bride) offers the following:

It is not written here, like degalim (standards), but nidgaloth, implying, like the generation which was on the point of being carried into captivity (nithnadned legaluth). Which was this? The generation of Hezekiah, as it says, A day of trouble, and of rebuke, etc. (Isaiah 37:3). How do we know that they inspired fear? Because it says, So that he was exalted in the sight of all nations (2Chronicles 32:23). R. Huna said in the name of R. Eleazar the Modean: It is not written here, like ‘degalim’, but, like ‘nidgaloth’, implying, like the generation which was on the point of being carried into captivity but was not. Which is this? The generation of the Messiah, as it says, For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle (Zechariah 14:2). And how do we know that he will inspire fear? Because it says, And he shall smite the land with the rod of his mouth (Isaiah 11:4).
Midrash Rabbah, Song of Songs 6:25 

(See also Zohar, Shemot 8a-9a further down this page for more about Messiah, his Bride and his vengeance against his enemies.)

15b … And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty G-d.

Midrash Rabbah explains Psalm 2 in terms of the messiah’s strict rule:

 THE SCEPTRE [STAFF] SHALL NOT DEPART FROM JUDAH alludes to the Messiah, son of David, who will chastise the State with a staff, as it says, Thou shalt break them with a rod [staff] of iron (Psalm 2:9).
Midrash Rabbah, Genesis 97

Why do the nations rage, and the peoples mutter a vain thing?. The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He who sits in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then he shall speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury. But I have set my king on my holy mountain of Zion. I will tell of the decree; the Lord has said to me, You are my son; this day have I begotten you. Ask of me, and I shall give you the nations for your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Now therefore be wise, O you kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Worship in purity, lest he be angry, and you perish from the way, for in a little while his wrath will blaze. Happy are all who put their trust in him.
Psalm Chapter 2 

16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

This would be a fulfillment of Psalm 45:

Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O Mighty One, With Your glory and Your majesty. And in Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness; And Your right hand shall teach You awesome things. Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the King’s enemies; The peoples fall under You.
Psalm 45:3-5

The kingly role of Messiah at his coming is spoken of in the Zohar and other sources:

For whilst the Holy One is taking vengeance on the idolatrous nations, He “will make a man more precious than gold”, to wit, the Messiah, who will be raised and glorified above all mankind, and to whom all mankind will pay homage and bow down, as it is written, “Before him those that dwell in the wilderness will bow down … the Kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall render tribute” (Psalm 72:9-10).
Zohar, 1:107b

AND NATIONS BOW DOWN TO THEE, alludes to the time when the Messiah will appear, concerning whom it is written: “Yea, all kings shall prostrate themselves before him” (Psalm 72:11). R. Judah said: ‘The whole applies to the advent of the Messiah, of whom it is also written: “all nations shall serve him.
Zohar 4:143a

Then will the King Messiah appear and the kingship shall be given to him. Mankind will then suffer one calamity after another, and the enemies of Israel will prevail, but the spirit of the Messiah shall rise against them and destroy the sinful Edom and burn in fire the land of Seir. Hence it is written, “And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession of his which were his enemies, while Israel doth valiantly”. And in that time the Holy One, blessed be He, shall raise the dead of his people, and death shall be forgotten of them.’ R. Abba said: ‘Why is it written, “For in joy ye shall go out” (Isaiah 55:12)? Because when Israel go out from captivity the Shekinah will go forth with them and they with Her.
Zohar, 4:213a

In the days of the Messiah, he will begin (to address the nations) in peace … and they will subject themselves to him … and will bring him presents.
Yalqut haMakhiri ad Isaiah.  Cited in The Messiah Texts, Raphael Patai, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 1979, p. 177.

In the days of the Messiah the nations will bow down to him.
Midrash Leqah Tov, Cited in The Messiah Texts, Raphael Patai, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 1979, p. 178

Lastly, we present this description of the coming of Messiah from the Zohar:

‘At the time when the Holy One shall arise to renew all worlds, and the letters of his Name shall shine in perfect union, the Yod with the He, and the He with the Vau, a mighty star will appear in the heavens of purple hue, which by day shall flame before the eyes of the whole world, filling the firmament with its light. And at that time shall a flame issue in the heavens from the north; and flame and star shall so face each other for forty days, and all men will marvel and be afraid. And when forty days shall have passed, the star and the flame shall war together in the sight of all, and the flame shall spread across the skies from the north, striving to overcome the star, and the rulers and peoples of the earth shall behold it with terror, and there will be confusion among them. But the star will remove to the south and vanquish the flame, and the flame shall daily be diminished until it be no more seen. Then shall the star cleave for itself bright paths in twelve directions which shall remain luminous in the skies for the term of twelve days. After a further twelve days trembling will seize the world, and at midday the sun will be darkened as it was darkened on the day when the holy Temple was destroyed, so that heaven and earth shall not be seen. Then out of the midst of thunder and lightning shall a voice be heard, causing the earth to quake and many hosts and principalities to perish. On the same day when that voice is heard throughout the world, a flame of fire shall appear burning in Great Rome; it will consume many turrets and towers, and many are the great and mighty who shall perish then. All shall gather against her to destroy her, and no one will have hope to escape. From that day on, for twelve months, all the kings (of the world) will take counsel together and make many decrees to destroy Israel; and they shall prosper against him, as has been said. Blessed is he who shall live in that time, and blessed is he who shall not live in that time!

And the whole world then will be in confusion. At the end of the twelve months the “sceptre of Judah”, namely the Messiah, will arise, appearing from Paradise, and all the righteous will surround him and gird him with weapons of war on which are inscribed the letters of the Holy Name (YHVH). Then a voice will burst forth from the branches of the trees of Paradise: “Arise, O ye saints from above, and stand ye before the Messiah! For the time has come for the Hind to be united with her Spouse, and he must avenge her on the world and raise her from the dust”. And all the saints from above will arise and gird the Messiah with weapons of war, Abraham at his right, Isaac at his left, Jacob in front of him, while Moses, the “faithful shepherd” of all these saints, shall dance at the head of them in Paradise. As soon as the Messiah has been installed by the saints in Paradise, he will enter again the place which is called “the Bird’s Nest’,, there to behold the picture of the destruction of the Temple, and of all the saints who were done to death there. Then will he take from that place ten garments, the garments of holy zeal, and hide himself there for forty days, and no one shall be able to see him. At the end of those forty days a voice shall be heard from the highest throne calling the Bird’s Nest and the Messiah who shall be hidden there. Thereupon he shall be carried aloft, and when the Holy One, blessed be He, shall behold the Messiah adorned with the garments of holy zeal and girded with weapons of war, he will take him and kiss him upon his brow. At that moment three hundred and ninety firmaments shall begin to shake.

The Holy One shall command one of these firmaments, which has been kept in waiting since the six days of creation, to approach, and He shall take out from a certain temple in it a crown inscribed with holy names. It was with this crown that the Holy One adorned Himself when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and He avenged Himself on all the chariots of Pharaoh and his horsemen. With this same crown will He crown King Messiah. As soon as he is crowned, the Holy One will take him and kiss him as before. All the holy multitude and the whole holy army will surround him and will bestow upon him many wonderful gifts, and he will be adorned by them all. Then will he enter into one of the temples and behold there all the upper angels, who are called “the mourners of Zion” because they continually weep over the destruction of the Holy Temple. These angels shall give him a robe of deep red in order that he may commence his work of revenge. The Holy One will again hide him in the “Bird’s Nest” and he will remain there for thirty days. After the thirty days he will again be decked with those adornments from above and from below, and many holy beings will surround him. The whole world then shall see a light extending from the firmament to the earth, and continuing for seven days, and they will be amazed and not comprehend: only the wise will understand, they who are adepts in the mystic lore, blessed is their portion. All through the seven days the Messiah shall be crowned on earth. Where shall this be? “By the way”, to wit, Rachel’s grave, which is on the cross-road. To mother Rachel he will give glad tidings and comfort her, and now she will let herself be comforted, and will rise and kiss him. The light will then move from that place and shall stand over Jericho, the city of trees, and the Messiah will be hidden in the light of the “Bird’s Nest” for twelve months. After the twelve months that light will stand between heaven and earth in the land of Galilee, where Israel’s captivity began, and there will he reveal himself from the light of the “Bird’s Nest”, and return to his place. On that day the whole earth will be shaken from one the other, and thus the whole world will know that the Messiah has revealed himself in the land of Galilee. And all who are diligent in the study of the Torah-and there shall be few such in the world-will gather round him. His army will gain in strength through the merit of little infants at school, symbolized by the word ephroah-”young bird” (cf. Deuteronomy 22:6). And if such will not be found at that time it will be through the merit of the sucklings, “the eggs” (Ibid), “those that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts” (Isaiah 22:9), for whose sake the Shekinah dwells in the midst of Israel in exile, as indeed there will be few sages at that time.

This is the implication of the words “And the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs”, which, allegorically interpreted, means that it does not depend upon the Mother to free them from exile, but upon the Supreme King; for it is the young ones and the sucklings that will give strength to the Messiah, and then the Supernal Mother, which “sits upon them”, will be stirred up towards Her Spouse. He will tarry for twelve months longer, and then he will appear and raise her from the dust: “I will raise up on that day the tabernacle of David that is fallen” (Amos 9:2). On that day the Messiah will begin to gather the captives from one end of the world to the other: “If any of thine be driven out unto the utmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee” (Deut.eronomy 30:4). From that day on the Holy One will perform for Israel all the signs and wonders which He performed for them in Egypt: “As in the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt, will I show unto him wonders” (Micah 7:15).
Zohar 2:8a-9a 

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great G-d,

One section of the Zohar may be pointing to this same event:

When before the rising of the sun the light shines forth, the angel appointed to rule and guide the sun steps forth with the holy letters of the supernal blessed Name inscribed upon his brow, and in the power of those letters opens all the windows of Heaven and flies out. Then he enters into the aura of brightness which surrounds the sun and waits there till the sun himself arises to spread his light over the world.
Zohar 2:188a

18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”

Whether it be Egypt, Rome or Babylon, their end is similar:

And it came to pass in the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, in the first day of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Son of man, raise a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say to him, You consider yourself a young lion of the nations, but you are like a crocodile in the seas; and you burst forth in your rivers, and trouble the waters with your feet, and foul their rivers. Thus says the Lord G-d: I will therefore spread out my net over you with a company of many people; and they shall bring you up in my net. Then will I throw you upon the land, I will cast you out on the open field, and I will cause all the birds of the sky to settle on you, and I will fill the beasts of the whole earth with you. And I will lay your flesh upon the mountains, and fill the valleys with your height. I will also water with your blood the land over which you overflow, as far as the mountains; and the rivers shall be full of you.
Ezekiel Chapter 32

19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

The Zohar gives a similar view of the nations focusing their final effort against the Messiah himself:

Also the Messiah shall be hidden for twelve months in the pillar of fire, which shall return again, although it shall not be visible. After the twelve months the Messiah will be carried up to heaven in that pillar of fire and receive there power and dominion and the royal crown. When he descends, the pillar of fire will again be visible to the eyes of the world, and the Messiah will reveal himself, and mighty nations will gather round him, and he shall declare war against all the world. At that time the Holy One shall show forth his power before all the nations of the earth, and the Messiah shall be manifested throughout the whole universe, and all the kings will unite to fight against him, and even in Israel there will be found some wicked ones who shall join them in the fight against the Messiah. Then there will be darkness over all the world, and for fifteen days shall it continue, and many in Israel shall perish in that darkness. Concerning this darkness it is written: “Behold, darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the peoples” (Isaiah 40:2).’.
Zohar 2:7b 

As discussed in earlier sections, this arrival of Messiah (and the nations coming against him) is synonymous with the unification of the Name of G-d, described here in terms of the vav (son, groom) being united to the hey (daughter, bride):

From that time the Messiah will begin to declare himself, and round him there will be gathered many nations and many hosts from the uttermost ends of the earth. And all the children of Israel will assemble in their various places until the completion of the century. The Vau will then join the He, and then “they shall bring all your brethren out of all the nations for an offering unto the Lord” (Isaiah 66:20). The children of Ishmael will at the same time rouse all the peoples of the world to come up to war against Jerusalem, as it is written, “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, etc.” (Zechariah 14:2), also, “The kings of the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed” (Psalm 2:2); and further, “He that sitteth in heaven laugheth, the Lord hath them in derision” (Psalm 2:4). Then the lesser Vau will rouse itself to unite (with the He) and renew the souls that had become old, so as to rejuvenate the world, as it is written, “May the glory of the Lord endure for ever, let the Lord rejoice in his works” (Psalm 104:31). The first part of this verse signifies that God’s glory will attach itself to the world, and the latter half that He will cause souls to descend into the world and make them into new beings, so as to join the world into one. Happy are those who will be left alive at the end of the sixth millennium to enter on the Sabbath. For that is the day set apart by the Holy One on which to effect the union of souls and to cull new souls to join those that are still on earth, as it is written, “And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written unto life in Jerusalem” (Isaiah 4:3).’
Zohar 1:119a

20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

The figure of “Armilus” as the personification of evil in the end of days is associated with the one who gathers the armies against Israel. (e.g., the “anti-Christ” in Christian writings.)

And Armilus will hear that a king arose for Israel, and he will gather the armies of the nations of the world, and they will come to King Messiah and to Israel. And the Holy One, blessed is He, will fight for Israel, and will say to the Messiah: “Sit at my right hand.” And the Messiah will say to Israel: “Gather together and stand and see the salvation of the Lord.” And instantly, the Holy One, blessed be He, will go forth and fight against them.
T’fillat R. Shim’on ben Yohai, BhM 4:124-126, fromThe Messiah Texts, Raphael Patai, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 1979, p. 159.

21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

This is the great battle at the end of the age:

Messiah will come, and with him 30,000 saintly men … and when the nations of the world see this, instantly each one of them will be crushed, they and their horses.
Sefer Eliyahu, BhM 3:65-67, from The Messiah Texts, Raphael Patai, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 1979, p. 151.

All the gifts which the Patriarch Jacob made to Esau,’ replied he, ‘the heathens will return them to the Messiah in the Messianic era.’ ‘ What is the proof? ‘ ’ The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall return tribute (Psalm. 72:10): it does not say, “shall bring,” but “shall return”.’ ‘By thy life!’ he exclaimed, ‘thou hast said a good thing, and I will teach it in thy name.’
Midrash Rabbah, Genesis 78:12 

The Zohar places Moshe and Messiah as the bookends to the process of unifying the Name:

Thus Moses was a new beginning in the world. And if you ask, Who is the termination? the answer is, the King Messiah, for then there shall be such perfection in the world as had not been for all generations before. For then there shall be completeness above and below, and all worlds shall be united in one bond, as it is written, “On that day the Lord shall be one and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).’
Zohar, 5:260b 


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