Parashat Bo – The Secret of the Serpent

The Serpents

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה, בֹּא אֶל פַּרְעֹה And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘come unto Pharaoh…(Ex 10:1)

According to Zohar, the fact “come” בֹּא was used in above verse instead of “go” לֶךְ is meant to reveal the secret of the demonic realm, in that Moses was brought through chamber after chamber by God to a high and mighty rung, which is the mystery of the great serpent. Moses became afraid and would not approach the serpent, at which time God said: I am against you, Pharaoh King of the Egypt, the great dragon…

דַּבֵּר וְאָמַרְתָּ כֹּה-אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה, הִנְנִי עָלֶיךָ פַּרְעֹה מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם, הַתַּנִּים הַגָּדוֹל, הָרֹבֵץ בְּתוֹךְ יְאֹרָיו: אֲשֶׁר אָמַר לִי יְאֹרִי, וַאֲנִי עֲשִׂיתִנִי Speak, and say: Thus saith the Lord GOD: behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh King of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, that hath said: My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself. (Ezekiel 29:3)

The “great dragon” above in Hebrew is הַתַּנִּים הַגָּדוֹל, which is the same word used for the great “taninim” הַתַּנִּינִם הַגְּדֹלִים, sometimes translated as “sea monsters” or Leviathan:

וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-הַתַּנִּינִם הַגְּדֹלִים; וְאֵת כָּל-נֶפֶשׁ הַחַיָּה הָרֹמֶשֶׂת אֲשֶׁר שָׁרְצוּ הַמַּיִם לְמִינֵהֶם, וְאֵת כָּל-עוֹף כָּנָף לְמִינֵהוּ

וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים, כִּי-טוֹב

And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that creepeth, wherewith the waters swarmed, after its kind, and every winged fowl after its kind; and God saw that it was good. (Gen 1:21)

The word הַתַּנִּינִם is spelled missing the second Yud, based on which the rabbis understood that his female mate was slaughtered by God, for everything God created in this world, he created male and female.

The two serpents are further revealed as Leviathan the slant serpent and Leviathan the tortuous serpent:

בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִפְקֹד יְהוָה בְּחַרְבּוֹ הַקָּשָׁה וְהַגְּדוֹלָה וְהַחֲזָקָה, עַל לִוְיָתָן נָחָשׁ בָּרִחַ, וְעַל לִוְיָתָן, נָחָשׁ עֲקַלָּתוֹן וְהָרַג אֶת-הַתַּנִּין, אֲשֶׁר בַּיָּם In that day the LORD with His sore and great and strong sword will punish leviathan the slant serpent, and leviathan the tortuous serpent; and He will slay the dragon that is in the sea. (Isaiah 27:1)

Leviathan the slant serpent נָחָשׁ בָּרִחַ literally means the “straight serpent” or “pole serpent”, and Leviathan the tortuous serpent נָחָשׁ עֲקַלָּתוֹן literally means “the curled serpent” or “the circular serpent”.

It can therefore be derived that the “straight serpent” is male and the “circular serpent” is female.

According to the Zohar, the lights created on the 4th day are the secret of both serpents, as it is written:

וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי מְאֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם, לְהַבְדִּיל, בֵּין הַיּוֹם וּבֵין הַלָּיְלָה; וְהָיוּ לְאֹתֹת וּלְמוֹעֲדִים, וּלְיָמִים וְשָׁנִים And God said: ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; (Gen 1:14)

The lights מְאֹרֹת “me’orot” is spelled defectively missing two Vavs, based on which it is interpreted as “curse of” מְאֵרַת me’erat, which curse was brought to the world by the serpent.

This is the secret of the mystic term “teli” תְּלִי referred to in the Sefer Yetzirah 6:1.

Teli means hanger, which is of the root “to hang” תָּלָה.

According to many Kabbalists, the Teli is the imaginary axis (ecliptic pole) around which the celestial sphere rotates, or hangs, which is the secret of the “straight serpent”, or “pole serpent”.

The “pole serpent” is commonly identified with the constellation of Draco (Dragon), which is very close to the North Pole:

בְּרוּחוֹ, שָׁמַיִם שִׁפְרָה; חֹלְלָה יָדוֹ, נָחָשׁ בָּרִחַ By His breath the heavens are serene; His hand hath pierced the slant serpent. (Job 26:13)

Thuban, a star in Draco’s tail, was once the pole star around 4500 years ago, due to the precession of Earth’s rotational axis.

This may be understood as the fall of the morning star from the uttermost parts of the north (North Pole), as revealed in Isaiah 14:13:

וְאַתָּה אָמַרְתָּ בִלְבָבְךָ, הַשָּׁמַיִם אֶעֱלֶה–מִמַּעַל לְכוֹכְבֵי-אֵל, אָרִים כִּסְאִי; וְאֵשֵׁב בְּהַר-מוֹעֵד, בְּיַרְכְּתֵי צָפוֹן. And thou saidst in thy heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, above the stars of God will I exalt my throne, and I will sit upon the mount of meeting, in the uttermost parts of the north; (Isaiah 14:13)

The verse that depicts the fallen star in gematria is exactly the sum of the four names of Satan, as follows:

Dragon, snake, the Satan, beasts תַּנִין נָּחָשׁ הַשָּׂטָן חַיּוֹת 1656
How art thou fallen from Heaven, O morning star, son of the morning! (Isaiah 14:12) אֵיךְ נָפַלְתָּ מִשָּׁמַיִם, הֵילֵל בֶּן-שָׁחַר 1656

The average number of the four names is: 1656/4 = 414, where 414 is two times the gematria of “light” אוֹר which is 207, for Satan is also called the angel of light, and two times light denotes male and female.

The two serpents will ultimately be killed by God, as it is written:

אַךְ אֶל-שְׁאוֹל תּוּרָד, אֶל יַרְכְּתֵי-בוֹר Yet thou shalt be brought down to the

nether-world, to the uttermost parts of the

pit. (Isaiah 14:15)

בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִפְקֹד יְהוָה בְּחַרְבּוֹ הַקָּשָׁה וְהַגְּדוֹלָה וְהַחֲזָקָה, עַל לִוְיָתָן נָחָשׁ בָּרִחַ, וְעַל לִוְיָתָן, נָחָשׁ עֲקַלָּתוֹן וְהָרַג אֶת-הַתַּנִּין, אֲשֶׁר בַּיָּם In that day the LORD with His sore and great and strong sword will punish leviathan the slant serpent, and leviathan the tortuous serpent; and He will slay the dragon that is in the sea. (Isaiah 27:1)

The Teli

There are two imaginary poles in the heaven, the first pole is called the “celestial pole” which is the axis of the earth’s rotation. The second pole is called the “ecliptic pole”, which is the imaginary line perpendicular to the ecliptic plane on which the earth rotates around the sun.

The Draco, or the “pole serpent” surrounds the “ecliptic pole” having stars in the sections of 12 Houses of the Zodiac Signs, as if the 12 Houses of the Zodiac Signs are “hanging” from the Draco, i.e. to be controlled by it, hence the name “Teli” תְּלִי, which is worshipped by the pagans as an idolatrous deity.

There are two points where the ecliptic plane intersects the celestial plane, which are the point of vernal equinox and autumnal equinox. The point of vernal equinox is called the “ascending node”, or the “head of the serpent”, whereas the point of the autumnal equinox is called the “descending node”, or the “tail of the serpent”.

The vernal equinox (head of the serpent) is understood by the Kabbalist Abraham Abulafia as the “merit”, whereas the autumnal equinox (tail of the serpent) as the “liability”. Interestingly, the node of merit parallels the time of Pesach which denotes grace whereas the node of liability parallels the time of Rosh Hashanah which signifies judgment.

According to some Kabbalists, the constellation of Draco is the male pole serpent, and the ecliptic circle is the female circular serpent, as the female encircles the male in marital union.

The Earth’s equatorial plane is inclined to the ecliptic plane by an angle of about 23.4°, which is the secret of the number 234.

Number 234

234 is intrinsically connected with the number of the beast commonly known as 666.

The number 666 first appears in the following verse:

וַיְהִי מִשְׁקַל הַזָּהָב, אֲשֶׁר-בָּא לִשְׁלֹמֹה בְּשָׁנָה אֶחָת–שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת וְשִׁשִּׁים וָשֵׁשׁ, כִּכְּרֵי זָהָב Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and threescore and six talents of gold. (2 Chronical 9:13)

Number 666 was revealed in the 13th verse of the 9th chapter of the 2nd book of Chronical and significantly:

2 x 9 x 13 = 234

The number 666 again appears in Revelation 13:18, being the 18th verse of the 13th chapter of Revelation:

Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six. (Revelation 13:18)

Again the 18th verse of the 13th chapter yields number 234:

13 x 18 = 234

Astonishingly, the gematria of “number of beast” מִסְפַּר בְּהֵמָה is 432, which is the mirror image of 234, and the sum of the two mirror images is exactly 666:

234 + 432 = 666

Additionally, 234 = 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 x 6 x 6, again alludes to the secret of 666.

Pharaoh and Moses

The constellation of Draco is the male pole serpent, and the ecliptic is the female circular serpent that surrounds the pole serpent.

The circular serpent represents the concept of circle, and the pole serpent represents the concept of diameter that defines the circle. When the line defines the circle, it means the line has power over the circle.

The concept of female circling male is depicted in the following verse:

נְקֵבָה תְּסוֹבֵב גָּבֶר Female circling male (Jeremiah 31:21)

This is the secret of the π which is the unification of diameter and circumference, the male and female. The value of π is 3.14… where 314 is the gematria of the name of God Shadai שַׁדַי that parallels the site of circumcision, as is known.

The ecliptic circle is the concept of year, the Hebrew word “year”שָׁנָה  in gematria is 355, which is the same gematria of Pharaoh פַּרְעֹה, this comes to teach that Pharaoh represents the circular serpent which is feminine.

It can be thus derived that the rod of Moses symbolizes the holy “pole serpent” that is able to overcome the “circular serpent” of Pharaoh, for this reason the first miracle of Moses is to turn the rod into a snake.

The gematria of Pharaoh פַּרְעֹה the circular serpent is 355, which would have a diameter to the closet integer of 113, which is exactly the gematria of “this rod in your hand” הַמַּטֶּה הַזֶּה בְּיָדֶךָ plus 1.

Similarly, the gematria of the “circular (serpent)” עֲקַלָּתוֹן is 656, which would have a diameter to the closet integer of 209, which is exactly the gematria of the “pole (serpent)” בָּרִחַ minus 1.

As it is written:

כִּי יְדַבֵּר אֲלֵכֶם פַּרְעֹה לֵאמֹר תְּנוּ לָכֶם מוֹפֵת; וְאָמַרְתָּ אֶל-אַהֲרֹן קַח אֶת-מַטְּךָ וְהַשְׁלֵךְ לִפְנֵי-פַרְעֹה יְהִי לְתַנִּין ‘When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying: Show a wonder for you; then thou shalt say unto Aaron: Take thy rod, and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it become a serpent.’ (Ex 7:9)

The gematria of “it becomes a serpent” יְהִי לְתָנִין is 565, which is 5 x 113, where 113 is the diameter of 355, the gematria of Pharaoh פַּרְעֹה.

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