PaRDeS and the Two Sticks
An Examination of the Two Sticks Prophecy of Ezekiel 37 on All Four Levels
Part 4 The Sod
James Scott Trimm
As we stated in part 1, in Judaism it is understood that there are four levels of understanding of a passage, which correspond to the four Hebrew letters that spell the Hebrew word PaRDeS (Paradise) The word PRDS is also an acronym (called in Judaism "notarikon") for:
[P]ashat (Heb. "simple") The plain, simple, literal level of understanding.
[R]emez (Heb. "hint") The implied level of understanding.
[D]rash (Heb. "search") The allegorical, typological or homiletically level of understanding.
[S]od (Heb. "hidden") The hidden, secret or mystical level of understanding.
In this four part study I will relate the understanding of the prophecy of Ezekiel 37 on each of the four levels.
Ezekiel 37 reads:
15 And the word of YHWH came unto me, saying:
16 And you, son of man, take you one stick, and write upon it: For Y’hudah, and for the children of Yisra’el his companions. Then take another stick, and write upon it: For Yosef, the stick of Efrayim, and of all the House of Yisra’el, his companions.
17 And join them for you, one to another into one stick, that they may become one, in your hand.
18 And when the children of your people shall speak unto you, saying, Will you not tell us what you mean by these?
19 Say unto them, Thus says the Adonai YHWH: Behold, I will take the stick of Yosef, which is in the hand of Efrayim, and the tribes of Yisra’el his companions, and, I will put them unto him, together with the stick of Y’hudah: and make them one stick … and they shall be one, in My hand.
20 And the sticks whereon you write, shall be in your hand before their eyes.
21 And say unto them, Thus says the Adonai YHWH: Behold, I will take the children of Yisra’el from among the nations where they are gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land.
22 And I will make them one nation, in the land; upon the mountains of Yisra’el, and one king shall be king to them all. And they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms, any more, at all.
(Ezekiel 37:15-22 HRV)
In Part 3 we showed the connection between Gen. 49:10 and Ezekiel 37 and we showed that the Zohar says of Gen. 49:10:
…”the scepter” referring to the Messiah of the House of Judah,
and “the staff” to the Messiah of the House of Joseph.
“Until Shiloh comes”, this is Moses, the gematria of Shiloh
and Moses being the same .
The Zohar says further of this passage:
The word Shiloh, here, is spelt with both a yod and a he,
to allude to the holy supernal name, Yah,
by which the Shekinah shall rise…
In the Zohar the letters Yod (Y) and He (H) in the name YHWH are understood to represent the Father and the Mother:
AND GOD SAID, LET THERE BE LIGHT; AND THERE WAS LIGHT. ...The word Yehi (let there be) indicates that the union of the Father and Mother symbolised by the letters Yod He became now a starting-point (symbolised by the second Yod) for further extension.
AND THE LORD GOD BUILT THE SIDE. Here is an allusion to the law of the deceased husband's brother, in regard to whom the Sages said, “If he refuses to build once, he shall not build any more”, as it is written, “thus shall be done to the man who shall not build his brother's house” (Deut. XXV, 9). But of God it is written, “And the Lord God built”, i.e. the Father and the Mother built the son, as it is written, “God buildeth Jerusalem”, i.e. Vau, which is the son, is built by Yod He, which are the Father and Mother. Hence it says, “And the Lord God built the side which he had taken from the man”, viz. the Central Column, “and brought it to the man”, i.e. he brought to the side which he had taken from He its maiden, and of her it is said, “And I shall be to her, saith the Lord, a wall of fire round about” (Zech. II, 9).
We were created in the image of Elohim (Gen. 1:26-27; 1Cor. 11:7). This Image of Elohim is an invisible image of attributes, which make up the godhead (Col. 1:15; Rom. 1:27).
"What may be known of Elohim is manifest in them [mankind] his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead..."
Then in Rom. 1:26-28 we are told that those who fail to perceive these things may fall into the errors of Homosexuality and Lesbianism. So when in creation were Elohim's invisible attributes manifested in man and made clearly seen. The answer is in the Torah, in Gen. 1:26, 27 where we read:
Then Elohim said, "Let Us make man in Our image,
according to Our likeness...
So Elohim created man in His own image;
in the image of Elohim He created him;
male and female He created them.
Now following the parallelism of the passage, "Our image", "Our likeness" and "male and female" appear to be parallel terms.
These feminine and masculine attributes are represented in the Tanak by the Father (Jer. 31:9; Mal. 1:9; Is. 63:16; 64:8), the Mother (Is. 66:13 ) and the Son (Prov. 30:4; Ps. 2:2, 7, 12).
The female aspect of the three pillars of the Godhead is called "mother". This is YHWH expressed to man, not in his aspect of “Father” but in the aspect of “Mother”. as we also read in the Tanak:
As one whom his mother comforts, so will I [YHWH] comfort you…
YHWH as a “comforter” is also known as the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) as we read in Yochanan:
…I will ask my Father and he will give you another comforter that will be with you forever, The Spirit of Truth …
…the comforter, the Ruach HaKodesh, whom my Father will send in my name,…
…when the comforter comes. Whom I will send you from my Father, the Spirit of Truth who has proceeded from my Father…
…I will send the comforter to you.
The combination of the Yod (Father) and He (Mother) is "YAH" and is understood as being represented by the letter Vau (W) thus the three letters which make up the name YHWH are understood as representing the Three Pillars of the Godhead.
(It is significant that the letter Vau in the Paleo Hebrew is a pictograph of a nail.)
The Vau (W) in the Sacred name of YHWH in the Zohar represents the Middle Pillar of the Godhead which the Zohar identifies as "The Son of Yah". The Zohar describes the three pillars of the Godhead as follows:
Then Elohim said, “Let thee be light; and there was light.
And Elohim saw that the light was good...
Why, it may be asked, was it necessary to repeat the word “light” in this verse? The answer is that the first “light” refers to the primordial light which is of the Right Hand, and it is destined for the “end of days”; while the second “light” refers to the Left Hand, which issues from the Right.
The next words, “And God saw the light that it was good” (Gen. 1:4), refer to the
pillar which, standing midway between them, unites both sides, and therefore when the unity of the three, right, left, and middle, was complete, “it was good”, since there could be no completion until the third had appeared to remove the strife between Right and Left, as it is written, “And God separated between the light and between the darkness."...
This is the Middle Pillar: Ki Tov (that it was good) threw light above and below and on all other sides, in virtue of YHWH, the name which embraces all sides.
The right and left pillars are assigned as Mother and Father, the middle pillar, which balances the feminine and masculine characteristics from the male and female sides, is identified in the Zohar as "the Son of Yah". The Zohar says:
Better is a neighbor that is near, than a brother far off.
This neighbor is the Middle Pillar in the Godhead, which is the Son of Yah.
In another Passage the Zohar has:
We may also translate, “he who withholds blessings from the Son”, whom the Father and Mother have crowned and blessed with many blessings, and concerning whom they
commanded, “Kiss the son lest he be angry” (Ps. II, 12), since he is invested both
with judgement (gevurah) and with mercy (chesed).
And elsewhere the Zohar says of the Son:
The Holy One, blessed be He, has a son, whose glory (tifret) shines from one end of
the world to another. He is a great and mighty tree, whose head reaches heaven, and whose roots are set in the holy ground, and his name is “Mispar” and his place is in the uppermost heaven… as it is written, “The heavens declare (me-SaPRim) the glory (tifret) of God” (Ps. 19:1). Were it not for this “Mispar” there would be neither hosts nor offspring in any of the worlds.
Likewise Philo writes:
...the Divine Word (Logos)...fills all things and becomes a mediator and arbitrator for the two sides....from the Divine Word (Logos), as from a spring, there divide and break forth two powers. One is the creative through which the Artificer placed and ordered all things. This is named "God". And the royal, since through it the Creator rules over created things. This is called "Lord" And from these two powers have grown the others. For by the side of the creative power there grows the propitious of which is named "beneficial" while (besides) the royal the legislative, of which is aptly named "punitive". And below these and beside them is the ark."
(Philo on Q&A on Exodus, II.68)
Furthermore Philo tells us that “The Word” (Logos) and the Messiah are one and the same:
"The head of all things is the eternal Word (Logos) of the eternal God, under which, as if it were his feet or other limbs, is placed the whole world, over which He passes and firmly stands. Now it is not because Messiah is Lord that He passes and sits over the whole world, for His seat with His Father and God but because for its perfect fullness the world is in need of the care and superintendence of the best ordered dispensation, and for its own complete piety, of the Divine Word (Logos), just as living creatures (need) a head, without which it is impossible to live."
(Q&A on Exodus, II, 117)
Thus on a Sod level we may understand the two sticks of Ezekiel 34 as paralleling the scepter and rod of Gen. 49:10 which represent the letters Yod and He in the Sacred Name of YHWH which unite in the Sacred Name Yah and in the Hebrew letter Vau in the Sacred Name which represents the Middle Pillar of the Godhead, the Son of Yah, the incarnate Word of YHWH who is the Messiah.
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