Nazarene Space

Ancient Hebrews Understood Space-Time

Ancient Hebrews Understood Space-Time
James Scott Trimm

Since 300 BCE, the spacetime of our universe has historically been interpreted from a Euclidean space perspective.  It is named after the Ancient Greek mathematician Euclid of Alexandria and it regards space as consisting of three dimensions, and time as something completely different.

It was not until 1905 that Albert Einstein discovered that space and time are actually both part of a single manifold called Minkowski space, a single continuum known as space-time.  This has allowed modern physicists to significantly simplify many physics theories and describe in a more uniform way the workings of the universe.

But did you know that the ancient Hebrews already knew that time and space were four physical dimensions of a single continuum?  

The Sefer Yetzirah says that YHWH Created the universe with ten sefirot saying:

…Their measure is ten
There is no end to them..
A dimension of beginning
And a dimension of end.
A dimension of good
And a dimension of evil.
A dimension above
And a dimension below.
A dimension of east
And a dimension of west.
A dimension of north
And a dimension of south.
The Adon unified El, the Faithful King
Rules over them all from His set-apart dwelling
forever and ever and ever.
(Sefer Yetzirah 1:5)

The Sefer Yetzirah lays out a five dimensional universe with ten pairs of opposing directions which consists of the three dimensions of space and a fourth dimension of time (running from "beginning" to "end") and a fifth dimension running between good and evil.  "Good" might be defined as "toward YHWH" a direction which exists, since YHWH exists, but in a direction to which we cannot point within the three dimensions of space. The direction of evil would be 180 degrees from "good" and pointing away from YHWH.

Not only did the ancient Hebrews know that space and time were both part of a single continuum, but they were also aware that the universe is expanding and began as a single point:

Radiance! [zohar] Concealed of concealed struck its aura, which touched and did not touch this point.  Then this beginning expanded, building itself a palace worthy of glorious praise.  There it sowed seed to give birth, availing worlds.
(Zohar 1:15a)

God said, “Let there be light!” And there was light (Gen. 1:3).  Here begins the discovery of hidden treasures: how the world was created in detail… This light is concealed mystery, an expansion expanding, bursting from the mysterious secret of the hidden supernal aura.  First it burst, generating from its mystery a single concealed point, for Ein Sof burst out of its aura, revealing this point (yod).  Once this yod expanded, what remained was found to be light (OR), from the mystery that concealed aura (AVIR).  After the primordial point, yod, emerged from it into being, it manifested upon it, touching yet not touching.  Expanding, it emerged: this is light (OR), light remaining from aura (AVIR),
(Zohar 1:16b)

Amazingly, centuries before Albert Einstein, the ancient Hebrews already knew that space and time are four dimensions of a single continuum, which is expanding and began as a single point!


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Views: 245

Comment by Rene Lange on June 30, 2016 at 9:20am

INdeed this is a wonderful sign. In the 3. century when Sepher Yetzira

was composed, no one could have such knowledge. (this doesn´t say the traditions may not go back to father Abraham himself). At the same time it raises big questions:

What does it mean, that the "extra dimension" is one of good and evil? And where are we on this axis? Somewhere in the middle of extreme evil and extreme good?  Is there a way to travel between good and evil?


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