Have you ever wondered why the Bible lists the age of each, what age they were when their child(ren) were born and how old they were when they died?
Let’s first look at the names and their root meaning
Enosh – Mortal
Kenan – Sorrow
Mahalalel – The blessed God
Jared – Shall come down
Enoch – Teaching
Methuselah – His death shall bring
Lamech – Despairing
Noah – Comfort and rest
Put those meanings into a complete sentence and you get: Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow, (but) the blessed God shall come down teaching. His death shall bring (the) despairing comfort and rest.
When you are familiar with the structure you will recognize that 1656 years past until the flood 23 x 72 =1656.
24 x 72 =1728 or 3 times 576
26 x 72 =1872 is 13 x 144
the total years 8576 the eight and 576 as shown above
1427 plus 8576 is 10003.
But why do I refer to numbers, words, parables, etc.? There are 4 rivers flowing through Eden,
What is Pardes? Pardes is a Hebrew word used in the Bible that means a forest, orchard, or park, and is referred to as Paradise. It corresponds with the Greek word paradeisos, which also means a park, Eden, or Paradise. In Hebrew, Pardes is spelled PRDS which is also an acronym for the Hebrew words Pshat, Remez, Derasha, Sod. Each word represents a different level of understanding the scriptures. Each level of understanding becomes deeper.
The journey into Pardes also represents your journey into deeper levels of intimacy with God our Father. It represents our journey into the relationship we once had in the Garden of Eden, hence the word Pardes ~ Paradise.
The four levels of Biblical understanding are:
P [Pshat] – literal, simple – BREADTH
R [Remez] – parable, allegory – LENGTH
D [Derasha] – seek, search – DEPTH
S [Sod] – inner, mystical – HEIGHT
Jewish mysticism teaches us that the four levels of Biblical understanding are actually dimensions of meaning or interpretation. These dimensions as seen in the New Testament are the measurements of BREADTH, LENGTH, DEPTH, and HEIGHT, as revealed in Ephesians 3:18……..
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
In verse 18, the word comprehend means to find, obtain, or perceive “down” in opposition, position or intensity. It’s to seek, search out, look at, and obtain what is beneath the surface of the scriptures.
The apostle Paul was encouraging everyone to come to know by seeking out for your own possession, what is the breadth, length, depth, and height. He was encouraging you to take the journey into Pardes!
We see these four dimensions being used by Jesus Christ during his Ministry. In Pshat (literal), it’s interesting that he never used this level to teach the masses. He only expressed literal interpretation of the scriptures when addressing the Pharisees. In Remez (parable, allegory), this is the level he used to begin teaching the masses. In Derasha (seek, search), from among the masses, he chose his 12 apostles to reveal to them the deeper understanding of the parable or allegory. In Sod (inner mystical), he chose 3 from among his apostles, and revealed to them the inner mystical truth of himself on the Mount of Transfiguration. The Pardes is both process and fulfilment! By opening lines of communication with the Word of God, one is already on the way to Paradise while yet on earth! This method of spiritual growth and understanding is the most full, comprehensive, and balanced penetration of the inner Kingdom of God.
FOUR LEVELS OF PARDES DEFINED
Before moving on into the individual understanding of the different dimensions, please keep in mind that within each level are many levels that melt and blend into one another as they cross over from one level to the next level. There are no set boundaries that say, this understanding belongs here in this level, or that understanding belongs there in that level.
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
Pshat ~ Breadth
The first of these levels of understanding the Bible, the Word of God, is the literal, or simple level. It’s the level of interpretation of scripture whereby most who come to the Word of God for the first time are encouraged to understand. We study the literal history of the scriptures. We learn about the Bible heroes. We learn about memorization. The purpose of this level is to:
mold, shape, form, or fabricate
which is the definition of the Greek root word for BREADTH, in Ephesians 3:18. It is the beginnings of your understanding in Christ. It is where you start with your children. It is where you start in coming to Christ as a “little child.” This level of understanding is what moulds, shapes, and forms your belief system!
It is a very important level, and although the simplest, it is probably one of the most dangerous in that it moulds, shapes, and forms your belief system. A mistake here will cause many to fall into deep error! It is in this level that many get lost due to their believe that this is the full truth, and a danger here is that each word is being read through limited understanding, so reading and realising there is a deeper one is essential.
If you starts out in Pshat, you must not stay there very long.
We are to come to Jesus Christ as a little child (Mark 10:15), but you are not to remain there…..
I Corinthians 13:11-12
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
In this level of understanding, you come to know the Breadth. However, you are encouraged to move on to the next level of meaning, and understanding of scripture…..
Remez ~ Length
After one has attained basic understanding of Bible history, its stories, and characters, you move on to the next level of biblical understanding, Remez – parable, allegory, length. The purpose of this level is to:
make larger (in age), to expand or make bigger, to make strong
which is the definition of the Greek word for LENGTH, in Ephesians 3:18.
The word parable in the New Testament is a symbol, or fictitious narrative to be used as a comparison. The purpose of speaking in parables, or symbols, was to get the people to think! It is the first step into the journey beneath what is literal.
Parables are your first lessons in symbolism, and teaches you to make comparisons! These comparisons exercise the mind to think. What it does is take something spiritual, and frames it in a literal story. What the people must do is think about what is literal, then convert it to its spiritual counterpart.
This comparison thinking then opens up the mind to allegory, which is the next step on this level of understanding. Allegory is a little different than parable. Where parable takes what is spiritual and makes it literal, allegory takes what is literal and makes it spiritual!
We see allegory at work where the apostle Paul said…..
22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
In the above allegory, God took literal events and characters such as Abraham and Agar, and used those literal persons and literal events to represent a spiritual understanding that is not literal!
Therefore, would it then be wrong to say that the literal Isaac and Ishmael actually represent two covenants, and that the literal Jerusalem represents the mother of us all? Which interpretation is correct? The answer is that both are correct, the one story, although different, does not cancel out the other, but rather expands the other!
And, the greatest of all allegories to understand are these……..
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
What this is saying is that absolutely everything that is physical (literal) can be used to understand what is spiritual, even God’s eternal power and Godhead!!! That is a very big statement, because everything physical would include the study of Mathematics, Science, Physics, Biology, Psychology, Sociology, Geography, Astronomy, Architecture, Art, Engineering, and on, and on, and on……
The study of all of these different aspects of what is “literal” and using them to understand what is spiritual is a great, great task, and brings balance to both mind and spirit! When one begins to look at a sunset, or a painting, or a mathematical equation, or the human mind, and understand its spiritual implication, it deepens the relationship one has with the Father, and all of a sudden, everything becomes filled with the expression of God! This truth deepens one’s relationship with God by expanding one’s vision, and to expand one’s vision regarding comparisons is also to learn spiritual discernment.
Thus far, we have comprehended the Breadth, and now the Length, but the end of it is not yet. We are encouraged to move on even further into comprehension of what is the Depth:
Derasha ~ Depth
to seek, to search, to explore
Now that one has matured and expanded one’s mind (in Remez) to understand the principles of parable and allegory, and is able to discern what is literal, what is spiritual, what is parable, and what is allegory, he is now mature enough to further expand his horizons. The purpose of this level is to:
seek and search out the deep and profound mysteries
which is the definition of the Greek word for DEPTH , in Ephesians 3:18, and whose numeric value is 282.
This level of understanding of the scriptures is where most people who are unschooled start to get nervous, because it ventures into realms that are not literal, not parable, and not allegory. It goes even deeper than that. It’s peering into the very core and nature of the individual words of the Bible by going back into the original languages, and other texts for the purpose of discovering and understanding intent and ideas.
It is not enough to read the Bible literally (first dimension) or allegorically (second dimension). We are challenged to search out the fullest intent of the divine Word of God. Does the word “intent” sound familiar? In addition to seeking and searching out intent, we are also seeking and searching out ideas!
One example of many examples is the study of Jewish Mysticism, which starts out by teaching you that the letters of the Hebrew alphabet are not just letters, but actually living, creative powers! A good starting point is the book of formation Sefer Yetzirah and the 32 paths of wisdom, which also opens the door to the numeric cyphering of Biblical words.
This level of study is not limited to just Jewish Mysticism, there are many, many other tools, texts, and disciplines you have at your disposal as well.
Many Christians are afraid to look at other texts other than the Bible, because they have been taught it is wrong, and taught that no other text is inspired. While it is true that this level of understanding is only for the spiritually mature (in Judaism it’s only for those over 40 years of age), it is a great error in discernment to suggest that one should “never” study other avenues of thought. Because of the statement in Romans 1:20, above (in Remez), all texts are inspired if what you are looking for in them, is God !
We are not to be afraid of reading or studying other texts. We are supposed to have developed in Pshat and Remez, the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to look at any text, and perceive what is or isn’t! That is the freedom that comes with maturity.
Many do not attain to this level, because the study is very intense, and many just do not have the desire, focus, or stamina to do it. They would rather “keep it simple,” which is perfectly okay to do, if one realises. However, for Champions of the Quest, keeping it simple is just not in the vocabulary!
Many may say to themselves, “Why does anyone want to look so deeply into the scriptures?” Only a Derasha level seeker could answer that question – Why? because we have to. It’s a love and passion! It’s like the old question, “Why does anyone want to climb a mountain or go into outer space?” The answer always comes back, “Because it’s there!” It’s in our nature to explore. Likewise, many of us are seekers and Champions of the Quest. It is more than just wanting to know, it is wanting to experience that relationship.
Numeric cyphering is also a part of this level in Derasha. You can judge for yourself! As was said in the beginning, within each level are many levels that melt and blend into one another as they move from one level to the next. There are no set boundaries that say, this understanding belongs here in this level, or that understanding belongs there in that level.
This now leads us to the final level of understanding the scriptures. Thus far, we’ve comprehended the Breadth, the Length, and the Depth. Now it’s time to move on to the Height:
Sod ~ Height
This level of understanding, The purpose of this level is to:
cross over, lift up, elevate to the sky
which is the definition of the Greek word for HEIGHT, in Ephesians 3:18.
There are many who believe this speaks of a future time in the millennium. But this level of understanding can be experienced today, in the here and now, on a daily basis! It is a day that began at the resurrection of Jesus Christ and will continue until the final consummation.
Revelation revealed only through intimacy and usually of a private nature. In this intimacy, what is revealed is not the revelation of the natural world, but rather the revelation of the world to come.
Therefore, the Eighth Day is very special unto God. It symbolizes one’s removal from the ways, struggles, and doctrines of the material world, and encloses one into the intimacy and protection of the bride chamber prepared by Christ Himself where the Bride and the Bridegroom experience the ‘face-to-face’ relationship, above the earthly realm. A day that is not counted among earthly days. In that sense, it is a ‘hidden’ day. Not having place within the boundaries of the earthly 7 days, it is not something you see, but rather something you experience. And in Christ, it can be experienced daily, not just on Saturday or Sunday.
Likewise, the interpretation and understanding of the scriptures takes on the same nature and character as that intimate, personal relationship. What happens is that the scriptures become internalized! They are not literal, they are not parable, they are not “out there” in the getting of knowledge from other sources, they are here, inside each and every one of us! Indeed, the Kingdom of God is within us! It’s the revelation of who we are in Christ, “…..but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (I Corinthians 13:12)!
As an example, instead of perceiving the Canaanite tribes as actual, literal tribes that inhabited Israel (which they were), each Canaanite tribe represents facets of our own, personal, negative personality, to this day!
Ultimately, things like the creation of the universe, Adam, Eve, the Serpent, Israel, Old Testament, New Testament, the Book of Revelation, Jewish Mysticism, angels, all knowledge, all revelation, all faith, becomes revealed not in our literal ideas of heaven and earth, but rather, hidden deep within each and every one of us. What is macrocosm becomes a microcosm within us, in our own hearts, in our own personalities, in our own motives, in our own thoughts, in our own ideas. Which directly is the cause and effect of our own reality on this earth!
Some may think that if the scriptures are internalized, it takes away from the literal, the parable, and the study. This is absolutely not so! The ultimate example is Jesus Christ himself!
Jesus chose Peter, James, and John from among his disciples, and took them to the Mount (symbol of Sod – height), and had them to witness his Transfiguration! The apostles did not understand what they saw. They did not realize they were witnessing Jesus Christ internalizing or transfiguring the Word, the scriptures (himself), to reflect in himself both Moses – the Law, and Elijah – the Prophets!
Once scripture has been internalized as Jesus’ example on the Mount of Transfiguration, we begin to realize none of this has anything to do with what is out there, and that it’s all in here. God is then able to meet us face to face right where we are in Christ.
When identity has been both realized and enjoined, there is yet one last facet of understanding within Sod. It is an experience beyond understanding because of the magnitude of the internalization. A level
It’s a level in which one is caught-away by God Himself. A level where understanding is not a requirement for this experience, but what is required is the relationship.
There have been a few examples that have experienced this invitation. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him (Genesis 5:24), Elijah, the prophets, and also one revealed by the apostle Paul……..
2 Corinthians 12:2-4
2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
The man spoken of by Paul who was caught-up into paradise saw and heard things he was not allowed to utter, therefore, the person did come back to this reality as did the prophets, so we know it is a level of intimacy experienced in the here and now, yet speaks of a time yet to come. Because of the nature of the event, it would be very difficult to tell anyone of the experience, because the experience is wholly individual, personal, and could be greatly misunderstood. Some are allowed to tell, others are not.
Therefore, whether we are allowed to tell, or not to tell, this ultimate, intimate experience actually brings us full circle……..
That full circle, or in other words, FOURSQUARE, is the……..
Breadth, Length, Depth, and Height
which is the time, the place, and the space in which we are to meet with God our Father, as in the Garden of Eden. Pardes ~ this is the place hedged about by Grace into which is poured all the “fullness of God.” The fullness of God being that treasure that lies deep within. Those of you Champions of the Quest who find yourselves seeking and searching for something other than the fullness of God (which most of you do a few times around) are destined to wander in circles round, and round again. Travelling the eight.
Your journey is not so that you can get to know as much as there is to know, but to lead you to that place of forgiveness within yourselves called love that passes knowledge which ends to be filled with the wisdom god.
In the fire of wisdom burns the flame of love.
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
The fullness of God is the ultimate treasure of the Champions of the Quest. It’s the Holy Grail, the prize, the purpose, and the high calling! Let us all be vigilant as we press toward that mark.
As the first century Christian, Clement of Alexandria, stated — “Not all true things are Truth”!! And why is that? It’s because Truth is multi-faceted, like a diamond with many sides. At any one time, the perception of mankind can only perceive just one angle or facet of something that is absolutely enormous and has so very many angles and facets that the human mind in one lifetime could never comprehend it. That is why we, who are seekers, must be “Champions of the Quest.” Moving from one facet of Truth to another facet of Truth is indeed an adventure and a journey. And what is the treasure? It is simply for a glimpse at that one single ray of light that bursts forth its colours from that one particular facet. Then, it’s time to move on to a new adventure for another glimpse at another facet until one can let go and becomes the diamond himself and sees whole.
A short story in relation to the above:
Four men entered the Garden, namely Ben ‘Azzai, and Ben Zoma, Aher, and Rabbi Akiba. Rabbi Akiba said to them: When ye arrive at the stones of pure marble, say not, water, water! For it is said: He that speaketh falsehood shall not be established before mine eyes.
• Ben ‘Azzai cast a look and died. Of him Scripture says: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
• Ben Zoma looked and became demented. Of him Scripture says: Hast thou found honey? Eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.
• Aher mutilated the shoots.
• Rabbi Akiba departed in peace.
BEN ‘AZZAI CAST A LOOK AND DIED:
Buried deep within each of us is a strong desire to merge once again with the Ain Sof. Our physical bodies, though, help form a barrier between us and the immensity of the Infinite, and this dulls our awareness of the latter, and helps keep the desire to merge suppressed. However, there can be moments when we touch so deeply upon the mystery that we would gladly drop our physical garment in order to re-join with this ocean. Such is what one commentator believes happened to Ben ‘Azzai, and thus it is written in the Torah that “No man may look upon Me and live. (Exodus 33)“
Ben ‘Azzai relinquished all and merged prematurely with the top of the Tree of Life.
BEN ZOMA LOOKED AND BECAME DEMENTED:
Mysticism is generally a strong right brain experience, and for this reason, it must always be balanced by the rationality of the left brain. How often have we seen the unfortunate consequences of those who have claimed to have heard the exclusive voice of God? People have started Holy Wars, died for comets, and become raving lunatics all in the name of their own revelations. For most of us, our inner revelations must always be taken with a grain of salt. Otherwise, Ben Zoma won’t be the last person to go meshuggah over religion.
Ben Zoma lost his balance and became stuck on the right side of the Tree.
AHER MUTILATED THE SHOOTS (became a heretic):
Just as Ben Zoma got lost in the right side of the Tree, so did Aher get equally lost in the rationality of the left side of the Tree. This is a subtler trap, and one for which we are all easy prey. Logic, unfortunately, can only take us so far, and if all that we allow in our lives is the world of logic, then a larger experience is denied to us. Great logicians and mathematicians such as Cantor and Godel have shown us that some things cannot be conceived and that there are truths that lie beyond what we can prove. However, when logic becomes our god, then there is no God, and the Unity is divided into two.
RABBI AKIBA DEPARTED IN PEACE:
To survive a strong encounter with the mystical, one must be balanced and well established in the harmony of Tiferet. One needs a strong ego to avoid the temptation to surrender before one’s time to the Unknowable, and one needs balance between rational thought and holistic thought in order to see the truth, and to not get swayed too much by one direction or the other. Only then may one enter the garden in peace and depart in peace.
The source of the river (Eden) appears to be outside the garden, which it irrigates as it passes through.
The river that issues from Eden is described further in Genesis: “…it then divides and becomes four branches. The name of the first is Pishon, the one that winds through the whole land is Havilah, where the gold is. (The gold of that land is good; bdellium is there, and lapis lazuli). The name of the second river is Gihon, the one that winds through the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Hiddekel, the one that flows east of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Perat.”
May God Bless you in your great journey on the Road to Zion!
Moshiya van den Broek