Welcome back to the third installment of my blog, dedicated to gematria, the Merkabah and the birth of the alephbet.
Today I’d like to discuss with you how the people of the ancient near east may have thought about light, and we’ll explore some common mystical and philosophical thoughts about the nature of light itself.
As I’ll show you in a moment with biblical gematria, in the Book of Genesis, the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge is the light of the Sun. Sunlight is distinct from the other kind of light because it casts shadows. Sunlight also has one primary restriction set upon it early on during the creation; namely that sunlight must shine upon the earth (for 365 days a year).
והיו למאורת ברקיע השמים להאיר על הארץ ויהי כן׃
“15 and let them serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth.” And it was so.”
This serves to explain the warning given by Yhvh Alhym to the Adam in Genesis 2:17 that:
ומעץ הדעת טוב ורע לא תאכל ממנו כי ביום אכלך ממנו מות תמות׃
~ since anything that is born on earth is subject to death, and rebirth. It also makes Yhvh’s speech to Adam and Eve after they have eaten the fruit (the sunlight) sound much more like a lament than a scolding by a vengeful parent.
“And the fruit of the tree which in the middle of the garden”. – Genesis 3:3
ומפרי העץ אשר בתוך ־ הגן
As I mentioned yesterday, typically the use of the words such as בְּתוֹךְ ‘middle’ or ‘’between’ denotes the function of division by 2 of the following noun, which in this case is הגן ‘garden’ 58.
58 / 2 = 29 and when we add this to ומפרי ‘and the fruit’ 336 results in 365 (days in a year).
In the rest of the verse Eve says to the serpent “God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” This is couched in mathematical metaphor with ‘eating’ being ‘to subtract’ from the number while just ‘touching’ is ‘to add’ to the number. But in any case the prohibition of Yhvh was against altering the 365 day year in any form because the light of days was divinely decreed to shine on earth.
365 – 45 אדם (Adam) is 320 עֵירֹ֥ם ‘naked’, a state which Adam finds himself in Genesis 3:10. Conversion of 320 from base 60 to decimal gives 200 which is עֵֽינֵיכֶ֑ם ‘your eyes’ 200 in Genesis 3:5, where the serpent promises Eve that their eyes shall be opened should they eat the fruit.
They are כֵּֽאלֹהִ֔ים ‘as gods’ in the sense that have become the personifications of the sunlight, and they know ט֥וֹב ‘good’ 17 + וָרָֽע ‘and evil’ 276 = 293 because their eyes have been opened.
93 = 31 אל x 3.
200 + 93 = 293.
The duality of sunlight and shadow appear to make simple natural metaphors for good and evil, but the Midrash asks – from what was light created? The answer is whispered: “G-d cloaked Himself in a white shawl, and the light of its splendor shone from one end of the world to the other” (Genesis Rabba 3:4). I don’t know who wrote “Light is the clothing of the spirit” but we can take their point. The light obscures in its brilliance and the stars can only be seen at night.
On the Seven Palaces, it’s useful to correspond the letter of the various Palaces and Paths with the first two chapters of Genesis (see below), and if we do this we can find out which parts of the Wheel are involved in the creation of light.
Elohim first creates light in Genesis 1:3, and this verse is attributed to the Palaces of the Aleph. It’s important to note that this light is not sunlight, moonlight or starlight.
In 1:14-16 Elohim creates the Sun and Moon and these verses are attributed to the Tav. Together with the Aleph, these letters spell out the word “ath” which either means a letter of the alephbet or other sign, or simply +. As well as providing light to the earth, the verse says the sun and moon should be “for signs (letters) and for seasons and for days and years, because the letter Tav is associated with Time and Measurement. More generally, the Sun is represented by the Path and Palace of the Resh, while the Moon corresponds with the Qoph, and in Genesis these are personified by Adam and Eve.
The stars are created on the verses attributed to the Path and Palace of the Heh. The stars are also to “give light on the earth” (the same as the sun and moon).
That’s all for today, but why not study the alphabet acrostic of Genesis (below) to see what you find? And in case you haven’t already heard, the gematria calculator at shematria.com is already coded with biblical gematria values. Check back tomorrow for more numerical light and fire.
The alphabetic acrostic of Genesis 1 and 2.
The letters run in this order (right to left):
א 1 ב 2 ג 3 ש 3 ד 4 ת 4 ה 5 ו 6 ז 7 ח 8 ט 9 י 10 כ 20 ל 30 מ 40 נ 50 ס 60 ע 70 פ 80 צ 90 ק 100 ר 200
Similar to the alphabetical acrostics in Psalms, each letter is relative to a section of Chapters 1 and 2 of the Book of Genesis:
The Palace of Beth (2).
“1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. “
The two Palaces of the Aleph (1).
“3. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.”
“5. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.”
The path of Gimel (3).
“6. Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”
“7. God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so.”
“8. God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.”
The path of Shin 3.
“9. Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. “
“10. God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.”
“11. Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. 12. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. 13. There was evening and there was morning, a third day.”
The path of Tav 4.
14. Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; 15. and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16. God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night;
The Path and Palace of the Heh (5).
He made the stars also. 17. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18. and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19. There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
20. Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” 21. God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 22. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”
23. There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
24. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. 25. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
26. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27. God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28. God blessed them; and God said to them, ”Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
29. Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30. and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. 31. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
1. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
4. This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven. 5. Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6. But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground.
7. Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
8. The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.
9. Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10. Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. 11. The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12. The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13. The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. 14. The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15. Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17. but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
18. Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 19. Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.
21. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.
23. The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
24. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”