These Are the Kings

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236) When the Creator created the world, He divided the land into seven borders, corresponding to the seventy ministers appointed over the nations of the world, which are externality—HGT NHYM—where each consists of ten, thus seventy. And the Creator divided those appointees into seventy nations, each with its proper one, as it is written, “When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the children of men, He set the borders of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel.”

237) And of all the ministers and appointees that were given to all the nations, there is none so despicable in the eyes of the Creator as the one appointed over Esau. This is because his side is the side of impurity, and the side of impurity is despised by the Creator. And of the minister of Esau came from those small degrees behind the grindstone and from the emptiness in the red qualities, as it is written, “upon thy belly shall thou go” and “cursed art thou from among all cattle.”

Grindstone and vehicle are Netzah and Hod, called grinders, for they grind MAN for the righteous. Netzah is called “vehicle” and Hod is called “grindstone.” They are called by these names because there is harsh Din [judgment] in Hod, from which the Masach of the lock is made. For this reason, everything is grinded on it, and it is there from which the righteous raise MAN. Also, it is known that the Din does not act above its place, but only below its place. Hence, the degrees past the grindstone—Hod de ZA—are affected by the harsh Din in the grindstone and cannot receive Gadlut [adulthood]; hence, they are in Katnut [smallness]. It is also known that the degrees that extend from the left line, when it shines from above downwards, are devoid of any light because the Nukva is regarded as a frozen sea, and those two deficiencies are in Esau’s minister.

Esau’s minister comes from the small discernments that operate in the degrees past the grindstone, due to the harsh Din there. This is also why he is small. Moreover, he comes from the left line when it shines from above downwards, Hochma without Hassadim, at which time all the degrees that extend from there are empty.

And the writing says two things about him: 1) “behold, I make thee small among the nations,” and 2) “thou art greatly despised.” This is because he extends from the left line, and the left line extends from Bina, which is regarded as the color red. And since he is empty, it is considered despised. And he is also regarded as the primordial serpent, of which it was said, “upon thy belly shall thou go, and dust shall thou eat.” This is so because being from past the grindstone, his legs were cut off by the force of the harsh Din that is there, and he was cursed, “upon thy belly shall thou go.” And since it is from the left, it is empty and was cursed, “and dust shall thou eat all the days of thy life.” It is said about Esau, “though art greatly despised,” like the serpent who was cursed, “cursed art thou from among all cattle, and from among all beasts of the field.”

The text explains why the kings of Edom ruled before there was a king for the children of Israel. It is known that the small one is corrected first, and then the greater one. Accordingly, Jacob should have been corrected first, and then Esau, because it is written, “he called Esau his elder son,” and Jacob is the young one. But The Zohar explains that with respect to the roots, Esau is considered small and Jacob as greater than him. This is why it is written, “I make thee small among the nations.”

238) In the lower degrees from Chazeh de ZON down, where Hassadim appear in Hochma, there are degrees over degrees, and all are different from one another. All the degrees are both separated and connected to one another in a way that the Malchuts of all the degrees are separated from one another, and Malchut connects to Malchut, too. This is so because the order is that one comes in and one comes up, and they are united in one knot.

The light of Hassadim enters through the Masach de Hirik in the middle line, and then the light of Hochma in the left rises and shines from below upwards. Thus, all three lines are connected in one knot—of the middle line. Had it not been for the light of Hassadim in the right line, Hochma would not have shone on the left. And had it not been for the middle line, the right and left would not have clothed one another. Thus, all three are interconnected.

239) The knot of Masach de Hirik has a level—the level of the middle line. And there are three knots in that level, since the middle line contains all three lines within it. And each knot contains one crown, GAR, as it is written, “upon the crown wherewith his mother crowned him,” and in each crown is the force of one dominion of the Masach of the lock, which is Malchut of the first restriction, which serves in the GAR in each degree.

240) The governing force of the lock was appointed by the crown above, at the GAR of the degree, where its place is set. Also, it was appointed to descend to the VAK of the degree until the stars and signs were tied to it. Each governing force that exists within each of the three crowns has one star and one sign in it. And all the stars relate to the degrees above, and all the signs, to the degrees below. For this reason, each degree is crowned in its proper place.

Sign—a collection of stars connected to one another, with a common route to all of them.

Stars indicates that they are not connected to each other, and each turns to its own way. The connection of the Sefirot is that Hochma does not shine with Hassadim in the right, and Hochma does not receive the Hassadim in the right if not by the decision of the middle line. All three need each other and are connected to each other. Hence, the whole reason for the connection is the light of Hochma, which cannot shine without Hassadim. For this reason, this applies only in the VAK of each degree, where the key—Ateret Yesod—shines, and the Yod parts from the Avir and the light of Hochma appears there.

However, in the GAR of each degree, where the force of the lock governs, meaning Malchut of the first restriction, the Aleph does not depart its Avir and the Hassadim are covered and disappear from Hochma. Thus, there is no reason for the middle line to connect the Sefirot to one another, which is why they are considered separated. And for this reason, the Sefirot in the VAK of the degree, which are connected to one another, are called “fortunes,” since the stars in them are interconnected, and the Sefirot in the GAR of the degree are called “stars” for they are separated from one another like separate stars.

It is written, “for their faces and wings are separated above,” since they are connected below, in VAK, and separated above, in GAR. This does not mean that there is no Tikkun Kavim [correction of lines] in GAR, for there is nothing in VAK that is not received from GAR. However, this refers only to the dominion. This means that there is no dominion to the connecting force there, and it is seemingly absent there, which is why they are called “stars.”

The lock’s governing force is in the GAR of the degree, but its illumination spreads and descends in the VAK of the degree. This is why he says that the governing force of the lock is appointed in the GAR of the degree, which is its core. As for its illumination, it descends and shines below in the VAK of the degree, since the GAR, called “stars,” are included in it. VAK is called “fortunes,” but its presence is in the stars and its illumination is in the fortunes.

This means that signs and fortunes are not necessarily the governing force in the left. There are signs and fortunes even in the governing force on the right, which is entirely Hassadim. With respect to the star, there is no Hitkalelut [mingling] of Hochma in it, and with respect to fortune, it does have Hitkalelut of Hochma. Stars are ascribed to the GAR of the degree, and fortunes are related to the VAK of the degree. Hence, there are two types of GAR: 1) relating to the Hassadim received from the GAR of the degree, which is pure Avir [air], and 2) relating to the Hochma that is received from the VAK of the degree.

Thus, there are two kinds of crowns, and each degree is crowned according to the discernment properly assigned to it.

241) When the degrees are separated, meaning in GAR, there is an ending connection between them, that is, the domination of the lock stops the illumination of Hochma until it connects to its proper place, meaning until its illumination descends to VAK. And all the degrees of impurity, which are on the left side, divide into several ways—which are keys—and trails—which are locks. This pertains to the red Gevurot that extend from Bina, which is Edom [Edom also means “red” in Hebrew]. For this reason, the Gevurot below are regarded as thousands and tens of thousands.

Even though the left side extends from the place of VAK, where there is domination of the key, the illumination of the lock spreads there, as well. Hence, the impure side that extends from the left necessarily contains the dominion of the lock, as well, and thus receives its Katnut from there.

The domination of the lock in the place of GAR halts the illumination of Hochma. Its illumination spreads to VAK, as well, although that place is dominated by the key. From the key extend ways and from the lock extend trails. Thousands depend on the illumination of the key, which contains illumination of Hochma, since they are thousands in Hochma, and tens of thousands depend on the illumination of the lock, which uses GAR and covered Hassadim, since tens of thousands extend from GAR and from the discernment of HassadimKatnut extends to Esau by the force of the illumination of the lock, and receives the illumination of the left from above downwards by the force of the illumination of the key, from which it receives the emptiness and becomes greatly despised.

242) “And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom.” “…the land” means the side of Esau in the degree, as it is written, “Esau, who is Edom.” Also, all these kings come from the side of the spirit of impurity.

“…before any king reigned over the children of Israel.” This is so because those degrees that stand at the gatehouses below—the degrees of Esau—are the first to be completed. This is why Jacob said, “Let my lord… pass over before his servant,” since the degrees of Esau are the first to enter and be completed. It is so because first the lower degrees are corrected and then the high degrees. For this reason, “before any king reigned over the children of Israel,” for until now, it was not time for the kingdom of heaven to govern and to unite with the children of Israel. This is why he said, “Let my lord… pass over before his servant.”

243) After these degrees are completed, the kingdom of heaven will awaken to rule over the lower ones. And when she begins to govern, she will begin with the smallest of all tribes, which is Benjamin, which is King Saul, who comes from Benjamin. With Benjamin, the Malchut [kingdom] began to awaken. Afterwards, Malchut came to its place, to King David, and existed in him, so as to never part from him.

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