HADRA RBA QDIShA (HA IDRA RABBA QADISHA); OR,
THE GREATER HOLY ASSEMBLY
CHAPTER II. OF THE CONDITION OF THE WORLD OF VACANCY.
25. HE manifested the Arcanum, and commencing, said, Gen. xxxvi. 29: "And those are the kings which reigned in the land of Edom before that a king could rule over the children of Israel."
26. Blessed are ye, O just men! because unto you is manifested the Arcanum of the Arcana of the law, which hath not been manifested unto the holy superior ones.
27. Who can follow out this matter? and who is worthy to do so? For it is the testimony of the truth of truths.
Therefore let all our prayers be undertaken with devotion, lest it be imputed (to me) as a sin, that I am making this matter manifest.
28. And perchance my companions may speak unto me, because some objection may arise against these words. For truly this work is not such a one as may be easily written down, so that by it may appear how many kings there were before the children of Israel came, and before there was a king over the children of Israel: how therefore doth this matter agree? And for this reason my companions have moved the question.
29. Therefore the Arcanum of Arcana is what men can neither know nor comprehend, nor can they apply their rules of science to it.
30. It is said that before the Ancient of the Ancient Ones, the Concealed One of the Concealed Ones, instituted the formations of the King (under certain members and paths of Microprosopus) and the diadems of the diadems (that is, the varied coverings whereby the superfluity of the Lights is circumscribed); beginning and end existed not (that is, there was neither communication nor reception).
31. Therefore He carved out (that is, hollowed out a space by which he might flow in) and instituted proportions in Himself ( in as many ways as the Lights of his Understanding could be received, whence arose the paths of the worlds), and spread out before Him a certain veil (that is, produced a certain nature, by which His infinite light could be modified, which was the first Adam); and therein carved out and distributed the kings and their forms by a certain proportion (that is, all creatures under a condition of proper activity; by which He Himself might be known and loved); but they did not subsist. (Here is intimated the fall of the creatures, partly into a condition of quiet, such as matter; partly into a state of inordinate motion, such as that of the evil spirits).
32. That is the same thing which is said, Gen. xxxvi. 29: "And these are the kings which reigned in the land of Edom, before that there reigned a king over the children of Israel." The first king in respect of the children of Israel (by the children of Israel are understood the paths of the restored world) is the first.
33. And all those things which were carved out, but subsisted not, are called by their names (that is, were divided into certain classes ), neither yet did they subsist, until He forsook them (so that they could receive the lights from the receptacles above themselves), and hid Himself before them (in diminished light).