The Only Begotten Light
James Scott Trimm
Each of our four Gospels are written upon each of the four levels of understanding as understood in Judaism. The first letter from each of these four levels spells PaRDeS (paradise). These four levels of understanding are:
[P]ashat – The plain and literal
[R]emez – The hinted or implied
[D]rash – The allegorical of homiletical
[S]od – The hidden, secret, or mystical
As I have laid out in the past, each of the four Gospels are written on one of these four levels of understanding. Mark gives the pashat; Luke the remez; Matthew with drash and Yochanan (John) gives the Sod, the hidden secret and mystical account.
Yochanan opens his account saying:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Eloah, and the Word was Eloah.
2 This was in the beginning, with Eloah.
3 Everything existed through Him, and without Him, not even one thing existed of that which existed.
4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 And the Light brought light into the darkness, and the darkness did not over take it.
6 There was a man sent from Eloah, whose name was Yochanan.
7 This man came for a witness, that he might bear witness to the Light: that every man might believe through him.
8 He was not the Light, but came that he might bear witness to the Light.
9 For He was the light of truth, that which lights every man who comes into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was by His hand: and the world did not know Him.
11 He came to His, and His did not receive Him.
12 But those who did receive Him, those who believed in His Name, He gave power that they should be sons of Eloah:
13 Those who, neither by blood, nor by the will of flesh, nor by the will of man, were begotten, but by Eloah.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt with us, and we saw His glory: as the glory of the only begotten who is from the father, who is full of grace and truth.
(John 1:1-14 HRV)
In a previous series of articles I have explored the significance of Messiah as “the Word” but today I will explore the significance of Messiah as the “light” and as the “only begotten”.
The Zohar sheds light on this section of Yochanan:
Concerning this, too, it is written: “Let there be light, and there was light” (Gen. I, 3). 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 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 Elohim separated between the light and between the darkness” (Ibid.).
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.
According to the Zohar the Middle Pillar of the Godhead is the Son of Yah:
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.
The Middle Pillar is the Ki Tov (That which is good), the light, and the Son of Yah.
The fact that the Son of Yah is the Middle Pillar, the light that is called in Genesis “Ki Tov” (That which is good) helps us to understand Yeshua’s exchange with the man who called him “Good Rabbi”, as we read:
16 And behold, one came near, and said to Him, Good Rabbi, and what good thing shall I do, that I may acquire the life of the world to come?
17 And He said to him: Why ask you me concerning what is good? There is none good but one: there is a good, and that is El. And if you desire to enter into the life of the world to come: keep the commandments of El.
(Matthew 19:16-17 HRV)
Messiah was acknowledging that this man was identifying him rightly as the Ki Tov, the Middle Pillar of the Godhead, the Son of Yah, the only begotten.
Now let us seek to understand the process whereby the light was “begotten”. The Zohar tells us much more:
(1) And Elohim said Let there be light, and there was light (Gen 1:3).
(2) From here is the beginning for finding treasures, how the world was created in particular.
(3) For until now, it was general, and it then returns to speaking in general terms so that it will be general, specific, general.
(4) Until now everything was suspended in the air by the secret of Ayn Sof.
(5) Once its power spread into the upper temple, the secret of Elohim, ‘utterance’ is written, “And Elohim said,” for above utterance is not written in particular, even though “In the beginning” is an utterance, it does not say, “and He said.”
The Zohar is saying that up until this point the Torah has given only generalities but not specifics as to how the world was created. In addition there is a double meaning in the actual Aramaic, that up until this point the universe had only a general existence without specific parts. The text points out that the first statement in the Torah “In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth…” although it is not preceded by the words “And Elohim said” is still regarded as a creative utterance. (The tradition of the Zohar is that the universe was created by ten utterances, each corresponding to the ten sefirot. While the phrase “He said” appears only nine times in the creation account, the first phrase of Torah is said to be an utterance as well).
The Zohar continues:
(6) This, “and He said,” establishes questions and knowledge.
(7) “And He said,” a power that was raised and lifted up silently, from the mystery of Ayn Sof, in the mystery of thought.
(8) “And he said,” now the temple begat, of that which she conceived from the holy seed, and she begat silently, and that which was begotten was heard from without, and the one giving birth gave birth silently and was not heard at all; once that which went forth from it went forth, a voice was made that was heard from without.
(9) “Let there be light.” Everything that emerged went forth by this mystery.
Here we are told just how the light was begotten. A power was raised and lifted up silently from within the very mind of Ayn Sof (the Infinite One) as a “holy seed” into the heavenly Temple from which it was begotten.
Like Yochanan, the Zohar tells us that everything (all creation) came into existence through this “light” which was begotten.
The Zohar continues:
(10) Yehi (יהי) (let there be) concerns the mystery of the Father and Mother symbolized by the letters Yod He became now a starting-point (symbolized by the second Yod) for further extension.
Here we are told that the Hebrew word Yehi (יהי) “let there be” points to the mystery of the begetting of the light. The first two letters spell YAH יה and consist of the letters yud י and heh ה. We are told that these two letters represent the Father and the Mother, and that the second yud י represents the light which was the starting point of creation.
So now when you read the first fourteen verses of Yochanan you will understand what it means when it identifies the Messiah as the “light” and as the “only begotten” and says that “Everything existed through Him, and without Him, not even one thing existed of that which existed.” Just as the Zohar tells us that “Everything that emerged went forth by this mystery.”
Messiah is the Son of Yah, the only begotten, the Ki Tov, the light, the Middle Pillar of the Godhead, and everything which emerged in creation went forth through Him.
Such is the testimony, not only of Yochanan, but of the Zohar as well.
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