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Seven Things Eternal

198. The Word of the Lord Creates
1 By Wisdom the LORD created and perfected heaven and earth.
2 And the earth was waste and void,
a desert without the sons of men or any cultivation at all.
And darkness was spread on the face of the deep,
And the Spirit of mercy from before the LORD blew
on the face of the waters.
3 And the Word [Memar] of the LORD said:
--"Let there be light!"
And there was light in his Word [cf. Ps 119:105]
4 And it was revealed before the LORD that the light was good;
and the Word of the LORD divided the light from the darkness.
  --- Targum, Fragment on Gen 1:1-4

199. The Word as Light
42 The first night was when the LORD was revealed above the earth
to create it:
the earth was void and empty
and darkness was spread over the face of the deep.
And the Word [Memra] of the LORD was the light and it shone;
and he called it the first night.
  --- Targum, Neofiti on Exod 12:42

200. The Son of Man as Divine Image
26 And the Word of the LORD said:
--"Let us create the son of man [bar nash] in an image like us
and let them have dominion over (all creatures)...
27 And the Word of the LORD created Adam in his own image,
in the image
from before the LORD he created them:
he created them the male and his mate.
  --- Targum, Fragment on Gen 1:26-27

201. The Temptation
6 And the woman saw Sammael, the angel of death,
and she was afraid and knew that the tree was good for food,
and that it was a remedy for the enlightenment of the eyes,
and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise.
She took of its fruit and ate
and also gave (it) to her husband and he ate.
  --- Targum, pseudo-Jonathan on Gen 3:6

202. The Father of Cain
1 And Adam knew that his wife Eve had conceived
from Sammael the angel (of death)
and she became pregnant and bore Cain.
And he was like those on high and not like those below.
And she said:
-- "I have got a man from the angel of the LORD."
  --- Targum, pseudo-Jonathan on Gen 4:1

203. Eden & Gehinnom
24 So he drove Adam out and set the Glory of his Presence [Shekinah]
to the east of the garden of Eden, between the two cherubim.
Before God created the world he created the Torah.
He prepared the garden of Eden for the righteous
so that they might eat and be filled with the fruit of the tree,
because in their lives they would have observed the Torah's teaching
and maintained the commandments.
And for the wicked he prepared Gehinnom,
which is like a sharp sword, devouring with both edges;
and in it he prepared flashing sparks of fire and burning coals
for the judgment of the wicked
who in their lives reveled against the teaching of the Torah.
The Torah is better than the fruit of the tree of life
to one who observes it and walks in the paths of the Way of Life.
For the Word of the LORD prepared it for man to keep,
so that he may settle in the world to come.
  --- Targum, pseudo-Jonathan on Gen 3:24

204. Cain & Abel Quarrel
8 And Cain said to his brother Abel:
--"Come! Let us go into the field!"

So they went into the field and Cain again said to Abel:
--"I see that the world was created in love;
but it is not ordered by the effect of good deeds.
For there is partiality in judgment.
because your offering was accepted with favor."
Abel answered and said:
--"The world was indeed created in love
and it is ordered by the effect of good deeds
and there is not partiality in judgment!
My offering was accepted with favor before yours
because the effect of my deeds was better than yours!"
Cain answered and said to Abel:
--"There is no judgment and no Judge and no world to come!
No reward will be given to the righteous
nor any account given of the wicked!"
Abel answered and said:
--"There is indeed a judgment and a Judge and a world to come!
The righteous will be given a good reward
and the wicked will be called to account!"
And because of these words, they fell to quarreling in the open field.
And Cain rose up against his brother Abel
and drove a stone into his head, killing him.
  --- Targum, pseudo-Jonathan on Gen 4:8

205. Jacob's Dream
12 And (Jacob) dreamed.
And note, a ladder was fixed on the earth;
and its head reached to the height of the heavens.
And note, the angels who had come with him from his father's house
ascended to bear good news to the angels on high, saying:
--"Come and see a just man!"
The one whom you desired to see,
whose image is engraved on the Throne of Glory!"
And, note, the angels from before the LORD
were ascending and descending
and they looked at him.
  --- Targum, Neofiti on Gen 28:12

206. Ascending & Descending
12 Rabbi cHiyya the Great and Rabbi Jannai (argued) a point (in Gen 28:12).
One said:
--"(The angels were) ascending and descending on the ladder."
(The other) said:
--"They were ascending and descending on Jacob."
The saying, "they were ascending and descending on the ladder," is easy.
The saying, "they were ascending and descending on Jacob," (must mean)
they were exalting him and degrading him,
as it is said:
--"You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified!" (Isa 49:3).
This means: "It is you, (Israel), whose image [eiqonin] is engrave on high."
They ascended and saw his image;
and they descended and saw him asleep.
  --- Midrash, Bereshith Rabba 68.12

207. Image on the Divine Throne
5 The noblest of creatures is the Human [Adam];
the human image [demuth] is on your Throne.
  --- proto-Kabbalah, Hekaloth Rabbathi 26.5

208. Hidden & Revealed
1 And Jacob called his sons and said:
--"Purify yourselves from uncleanness!
And I will show you hidden mysteries and undisclosed times,
the recompense of reward for the just and retribution for the wicked,
and what the joys of Eden are."
The twelve tribes of Israel gathered together
around the gold bed on which he lay.
After the Glory of the LORD's Presence [Shekinah] was revealed to him,
the time when the king Messiah is to come was hidden from him.
Then he said:
--"And I will tell you what will happen to you in the latter days."
  --- Targum, pseudo-Jonathan on Gen 49:1

209. Footsteps of the Messiah
1 For (Jacob) revealed to (his sons) all that would happen
after the footsteps of the Messiah.
After it was revealed to him, it was hidden from him;
and after the door was opened to him, it was closed to him
  ---- Targum, Fragment on Gen 49:1

210. The Kingdom of God
18 When the people of the house of Israel saw the signs and wonders
which the Holy One---may his name be praised!---did at the Red Sea
and the power of his hand between the waves,
they responded and said to one another:
--"Come! Let us put the crown of majesty on the head of our Redeemer!...
For his is the crown of the kingdom [malkuthah]!
He is the King of kings in this world
and his is the kingdom for the world to come!
His it is and his it shall be forever and ever!"
  --- Targum, pseudo-Jonathan on Exod 15:18

211. The Voice of the Word
11 (Moses) was to hear the voice of the Word [qol Dibbura]
but he was not to see the glory [ziv] of his face,
like a man who speaks with his friend [chaber].
And after the voice of the Word went up, he went back to the camp.
And he told the decrees to the congregation of Israel.
  --- Targum, pseudo-Jonathan on Exod 33:11

212. The Tent of Meeting
89 And when Moses entered into the tent of meeting to speak with him,
he heard the voice of the Spirit [qol ruach]
which spoke to him when it came down from the highest heaven,
above the mercy seat which was on the ark of testimony,
from between the two cherubim.
And there the Word [Dibbura] spoke to him.
  --- Targum, pseudo-Jonathan on Num 7:89

213. Ascent of Moses & Descent of Jonah
12 (The Torah) is not in heaven so that one might say:
--"If only there was for us one like Moses the prophet,
who would go up to heaven and get it for us [cf. Exod 19:20]
and make up hear the commandments (so that) we might do them."
13 And it is not from over the Great Sea so that one might say:
--"If only there was for us one like Jonah the prophet,
who would go down to the depths of the Great Sea and bring it up for us
and make us hear the commandments (so that) we might do them."
  --- Targum, Neofiti on Deut 30:12-13

214. The Daily Measure
9 "And the people shall go and gather a portion* day by day" (Exod 16:4).
It is written:
--"Blessed be the LORD day (by) day" (Ps 68:20).
The Holy One, blessed be He!, said to Israel:
--"In the measure which a man measures comes what is meted out to him.
I gave you the Torah for you to occupy yourselves with day by day,
as it says:
--'Happy the man who listens to me,
to watch at my gates day by day.' (Prov 8:34);
and likewise:
--'Yet they seek me day by day' (Isa 55:2).
As you live, I promise you bread from heaven day by day."
  --- Midrash, Shemoth Rabbah 25.9
* Hebrew: dabar [="word']

215. Bread from Heaven
7 "See, I will make it rain for you bread from heaven!" (Exod 16:4).
Another interpretation:
It is written:
--"You spread a table before me in front of my enemies" (Ps 23:5).
When did Israel say this verse [dabar]?
As they went from Egypt and the people said:
--"Is God able to spread a table in the wilderness?" (Ps 78:19)..
What did the Holy One, blessed be He!, do?
He made them recline under clouds of glory, as it says:
--'"And God made the people recline" (Exod 13:18)
And he made them eat manna, as it says:
--"Who made you eat manna in the wilderness" (Deut 8:16);
And the peoples saw Israel reclining and eating
and praising the Holy One, blessed be He!, as it says:
--"You spread a table before me in front of my enemies" (Ps 23:5a).
This is the manna.
--"You anoint my head with oil" (Ps 23:5b)
This is the quail.
--"My cup overflows" (Ps 23:5b)
This is the well.
Likewise, in the age to come he will spread a table for them;
and they will recline and eat in the garden of Eden.
And the star-worshippers shall see their customs and laws, as it says:
--"See, my servants shall eat and you shall hunger! (Isa 64:13).
  --- Midrash, Shemoth Rabba 25.7

216. The Ultimate Revival
39 When the Word [Memra] of the LORD will be revealed to release his people
he will say to all the peoples:
--"Now see that I (am) he [ani hu] who is and was
and I (am) he who is destined to be.
There is no other god beside me!

With my Word I make dead and I make live!
I humbled the people of the house of Israel
and I will heal them in the end [suq] of days.
And there is none to rescue from the hands of Gog and his army [Ezek 38],
when they come to order the ranks for battle against them."
  ---- Targum, Neofiti on Deut 32:39

217. The King's Banquet
2 All the reward intended for the righteous
is ready for them in the world to come.
And while they are yet in this world
the Holy One, blessed be He!, lets them see the reward
which he has prepared to give them in the world to come.
And (their) souls are satisfied and they fall asleep.
Rabbi Eleazar (ben Shammua') said:
--"(This) may be compared [mashal] to a king who arranged a banquet.
He invited the guests and let them see what they would eat and drink.
and they fell asleep.
  --- Midrash, Bereshith Rabba 62.2

 

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