The Messiah as the Primordial Light of the Creator
The primordial light having existed from the beginning in the earliest state of the universe was created with the decree, “Light exist!”, and the light existed.
Maimonides, the greatest Jewish scholar of the Middle Ages, in his fundamental work Guide for the Perplexed, states that there is a difference between “first” and “beginning” (or principle). For example, heavens and earth were the first to be written in Genesis, after them came the light. But this does not imply that heavens and earth were the cause of light. Thus, Maimonides reasons that the true explanation of the first verse of Genesis is as follows: “In [creating] a principle Elohim created the beings above and the things below.”
Heavens and earth have not existed from all eternity, but had a beginning created by Elohim. This short and most famous sentence is not a mere heading, nor a summary of the history of the creation, but a declaration of the principle act of Elohim, by which the universe was called into being. Hence, an alternative translation of the head of the records of revelations could be,
When at the beginning Elohim created (or: When Elohim began to create) heaven and earth—the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from Elohim sweeping over the water—Elohim said, “Light exist!”, and light existed.
The Sages of the Talmud wonder (Yoma 54b), from where did Elohim fashion the entire world? Rabbi Eliezer says: “The world was created from its center”. Rabbi Yehoshua said: “The world was created from its sides”. But in the present author’s opinion, of more importance is the question: “From when the world was created”, not from where.
Forward to the future
When reading the Scripture, very often we overlook important passages, especially when the main Biblical event has come to its completion, and we relax our efforts to learn. The present author has been perplexed as to the meaning of a certain verse in the Scripture, even a phrase. It is in the first letter of Shaul to the Corinthians, where the apostle is describing the end of the Millennial Kingdom and the beginning of the new world (1Co 15:22-27), saying,
And when all are made subject to Him, then the son himself shall also be subject to Him who put all under Him, that Elohim be all in all. (1Co 15:28)
For the purpose of this study, we will focus primarily on this single verse and more particularly on the enigmatic phrase in question: “Elohim be all in all”. What does this phrase mean? It is the object of this work to seek the answer to this question. We will try to show that this question is far from trivial and hope to provide a more complex answer below.
This work has also a second object: to explain certain obscure passages which occur in the Scripture but not explained by the commentators what would follow after the son is made subject to the Father. We will address these and offer the conclusion for the reader’s consideration.
With that being said, we are not asking the reader to substitute our judgment for his/her own but to consider what we intend to say in this study. The reader has therefore to expect that the subject mentioned in this introduction is a matter of private interpretation to the best knowledge of the present author.
No one knows who the son is, except the Father, and who the Father is, except the son. (Luk 10:22)
In order to understand the end, very often if not always, we need to go back to the beginning. And this is what we will do in the following vein.
Back to “In the Beginning”
No one and nothing existed to the exclusion of the Everlasting YHVH, He created the Beginning, which is the concept of time and space. Nothingness was so absolute that even the concept of infinity of time and space was a created concept. Hence, the Creator is absolute and everything else He created afterwards was and is conditional upon His will and needs for the Creation.
As Elohim began to bring together the universe, He began “from nothing” merely by uttering the word Or, אוֹר, “light”, the primordial light. The Ever-existing and Supernal YHVH, who created the concept of “light” and started creating the universe with the command “Light exist!”, preceded light, as nothing or no one could have existed before or along with Him.
Then the Creator contrasted primordial “light” with the other primordial element: “darkness”. With that act the primordial “light” became “day”, while “darkness” became “night”, and thus the reckoning of time began with the creation of Day One until the consummation of time itself.
The allotted time to man
After all, if the Bible is God’s Word and it reveals Truth, then the closer we get to the Truth in our presuppositions, the faster we will discover the Truth in the details. Sir Isaac Newton
The Word begins with the creation of the first week in whose pattern we see a shadow picture of how the world will exist in the next 7,000 years. The Sages describe the whole human history as a seven-millennium week, consisting of 6,000 years of human labor in developing the Creator’s world and a seventh millennium, which is “wholly Shabbat and rest”, the Era of the Messiah. Hence, we may find the Creation pattern in the allotted time for mankind to labor, thus: 6 days x 1,000 years = 6,000 years = 120 Jubilees.
The thing we know for sure is the beginning of time (Gen 1:1) and the restoration of all with the coming of the Messiah in the last days (Act 3:19-21):
… and that He sends Yeshua Messiah, pre-appointed for you, whom heaven needs to receive until the times of restoration of all, of which Elohim spoke through the mouth of all His set-apart prophets since of old.
This theme of “restoration of all” is also the view of the ancient Rabbis that when Messiah comes, He will restore the former glory of all. Maimonides writes,
Mashiach will arise and restore the sovereignty of David to its former glory and power, build the Holy Temple and gather the dispersed of Israel. In his days, all the laws will be restored: we will offer the sacrifices and enact the sabbatical and jubilee years as commanded by the Torah.
The Sages are in agreement, found in Sanhedrin 97a, that the world will exist six thousand years and in the seventh thousand “the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day”. Rabbi Kattina alludes to this event saying that,
Just as the seventh year is one year of release in seven, so is the world: one thousand years out of seven shall be fallow, as it is written, “And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day”.
The Tanna debe Eliyyahu likewise teaches,
The world is to exist six thousand years. In the first two thousand there was desolation; two thousand years the Torah flourished after the destruction of the second Temple. This does not mean that the Torah should cease thereafter but is mentioned merely to distinguish it from the next era]; and the next two thousand years is the Messianic era, but through our many iniquities all these years have been lost.
In other words, it is said about the Messiah that he should have come at the beginning of the last two thousand years, but the delay of his coming is due to our sins. He indeed came two thousand years ago.
The time when Elohim be all in all
With that being said, we can proceed to 1Corinthians 15, wherein we read about the final resurrection in which “all shall be made alive in Messiah, and each in his own order: Messiah the first-fruits, then those who are of Messiah at His coming” (1Co 15:22-23).
Then the end, when he delivers up the reign to Elohim the Father, when He has brought to naught all rule and all authority and power. For He has to reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. (1Co 15:24-25) See also Heb 2:8.
Yeshua the Messiah establishes his Father’s kingdom here on the earth and reign for a thousand years until he has subdued all enemies, even death, all rule, authority and power. Because, Elohim has made him rule over the works of His hands, He has put all under His [Messiah’s] feet (Psa 8:6).
And being in the form of Elohim, he did not regard equality with Elohim, took the form of a servant and came to be in the likeness of men. And becoming a man, he humbled Himself and became obedient to death. For this reason, the Father highly exalted him and given him the authority to reign for a thousand years (Php 2:5-11).
And because it has been foretold that the Anointed will come with the clouds of the heavens, he will come to the Everlasting to be given rulership (see also Mat 11:27, Mat 28:18, Joh 3:35, and Joh 13:3) and the reign for a thousand years, that all nations will serve him (see Dan 7:13-14, 27).
For “He has put all under His feet”. But when He says, “all are put under Him”, it is clear that He who put all under Him is excepted. And when all are made subject to him, then the son himself shall also be subject to Him who put all under Him, that Elohim be all in all. (1Co 15:27-28)
Lastly, the end, when death itself will be destroyed. And when the Messiah has subdued all enemies under Elohim’s feet, the Messiah will hand the kingdom back to the Creator and be subject to Him who gave him all the authority to do that. All of this is to fulfill what has been written that “Elohim be all in all”. Nothing in the text suggests that a metaphorical context was intended, when it was written, “Elohim be all in all”.
And this will be our approach to the verse, because in Ephesians we read of the secret of the Creator’s will: to administer at the completion of time and to gather “in one all in Messiah”, all that is in heaven and on earth (Eph 1:9-12), so that by gathering all in Messiah the Creator put all under Messiah’s feet to rule over all to the completeness of Elohim who fills “all in all” (Eph 1:22-23).
Therefore, at the completion of the seventh millennium, when all enemies will be subdued in the second war of Gog of Magog, Yeshua the Messiah will hand back what has always been of the Father, in order “that Elohim be all in all”.
But this begs for the question that needs to be asked: after the Messiah has ruled for a thousand years, and at the end of them he makes himself subject to the Father, so that “Elohim be all in all”, what would be his [Messiah’s] fate thereafter? With this we are coming to the next matter.
The pre-existence of Messiah
In the Rabbinical teachings, the Messiah was understood to have preexisted as early as Gen 1:1-2. Rabbi Shim’on ben Jakish explains in Bereishit Rabbah 2:4: “‘And the spirit of Elohim hovered over the face of the water’—this is the spirit of King Messiah, as it is written, ‘And the spirit of the YHVH will rest upon him'” quoting from Isa 11:2. (See also Genesis 1:2 with Rabbeinu Bahya)
This interpretation of the Sages, hinted in the scrolls of the prophets such as Eze 1:26-28 and Dan 7:13-14, should not surprise us at all, for indeed, it is written about the Mashiach,
The Amen, the trustworthy and true witness, the beginning of the creation of Elohim. (Rev 3:14)
Note: In the Book of Revelation, we find another verse that provides further evidence regarding the pre-existence of the Messiah that before the foundation of the world was laid, he existed, as we read in Rev 13:8.
As we argued in the article What was it before the creation, the sending of the Anointed (Mashiach) was part of the Creator’s plan at the origin of the universe, when King Messiah was born, as he entered the mind of YHVH Elohim before even the beginning started.
In fact, we have a verse which testifies to the truth of this perception. The apostle in a concise language expressed this phenomenon, saying,
… who (the Messiah) is the likeness of the invisible Elohim, the first-born of all creation. Because in him were created all that are in the heavens and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or rulership or principalities or authorities: all things have been created through him and for him. (Col 1:15-16)
Primordial Light as a garment of the Creator
David says that the Word of YHVH is a constant guide for man’s mind, as His light is for man’s feet, as he expressed it in,
Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psa 119:105)
Furthermore, his son Shlomo, confirms it,
For the command is a lamp, and the Torah a light, and reproofs of discipline a way of life. (Pro 6:23)
The Torah of supernal origin is light, which enlightens the man, and the commandment, which directs him in every case to do what is right, is a lamp, which kindles at that light. But on a deeper level, Yeshua the Living Word spoke of himself, saying,
I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but possess the light of life. (Joh 8:12) (See also Joh 9:5)
The word here for “world” is the Greek cosmos, or the Hebrew olam, which both mean “universe”, “world”. In other words, Yeshua testified concerning himself as being “the light of the universe”.
“From the condensation of the lights, were the vessels brought into being.” – Ancient Jewish mystical saying
Rabbeinu Bahya comments on Gen 1:3 that Elohim operates in His world by means of His delegates, His messengers (angels), saying that every single messenger has specific tasks assigned to him whose function is to serve as the light providing His garment.
Thus, Rabbeinu Bahya further argues that the meaning of the command “Light exist!” is that it does not describe the original creation of luminaries at all, because the existence of the primordial of light had already been referred to in “In the beginning”. That decree included a reference to the primordial light which at that time, even though created, was still invisible, hidden. And when it was said, “Light exist!”, what was hidden now became manifested.
The first ten verses of the psalm begin the celebration of the work of the first and second days of Creation.
Bless Yehovah, O my soul! O Yehovah my Elohim, You are very great. You are clothed with glory and majesty, covering Yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a curtain. (Psa 104:1-2)
The Eternal One standing in kingly glory began the work of creation with the creation of Light with which He covered Himself as with a garment. With verse 2, the psalm comes upon the work of the second day: the creation of the expanse where the Creator set the heavenly luminaries on the fourth day, and making the messengers ruchot (spirits) and flames of fire (verse 4). But before the creation of the messengers, the primordial light had already been in existence.
Hence, we understand that when Elohim commanded “Light exist!”, and light existed, He created the garments He clothed Himself with, and the heavens were created from the light provided by His garment, and thus the universe began.
Hence, we also learn that Day One was the only time when Elohim created matter from nothing, including light. In the remaining five days of Creation, Elohim made everything else which evolved from that created matter. Day Two saw the creation of the void we call the universe. Day Three, the appearance of the continents above the ocean waters and the flora world. Day Four the heavenly bodies, etc., all from the original primordial Light, the Light that serves as His garment.
Therefore, of all natural phenomena none is more wondrous than the primordial light. Thus from this point of view, all matter is energy and all energy is light that can be transformed by the Will of the Creator.
During each of the first three days, when the primordial light and darkness served together, both by day and by night, i.e., before the sun, the moon, and the stars were placed in position, there was light over the entire Creation. From the moment the luminaries were put into position on the fourth day to rule over the day and over the night, the primordial light was hidden again in order to reveal once more.
The first day (Gen 1:3-5) is the separation of the primordial light and darkness and parallels the fourth day (Gen 1:14-19) where the created light and darkness is filled with the sun and moon (see also Psa 139:12).
This phenomenon can be best explained by the means of comparison. If a room is in pure and thick darkness, one would be blind. But if the room is filled with pure and intensive light, one would again be blinded. How can this be explained? In order to see, there must be a balance between light and darkness, and this was exactly what the Creator did: He balanced the darkness and light in the universe.
The return of the Primordial Light
That which once happened in the Creation (Gen 1:1-5) may, as in Rev 21:22-24 and Rev 22:5, be expressed in the future. Here is the deeper insight.
The introduction to the prophecy in Isa 60:1-22, “Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the esteem of Yehovah has risen upon you”, seems to allude to the day when YHVH would be an everlasting light referring to a dazzling light of the Messianic age, as we read,
No longer is the sun your light by day, nor does the moon give light to you for brightness, but YHVH shall be to you an everlasting light, and your Elohim your glory. No longer does your sun go down, nor your moon withdraw itself, for YHVH shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. (Isa 60:19-20)
This is difficult, for the verse there seemingly says that there will be no longer sun nor moon. We need to analyze the meaning of this verse.
The prophecy could mean that a final creation approaches, when the whole universe will be changed, and the glory of YHVH will lighten the new world, which is the New Jerusalem, like it was in the beginning of the creation, in the direct and primordial light that streams down continually from the Creator Himself.
The meaning of this prophecy therefore is not that the sun and moon will no longer exist, but that the glory of YHVH mentioned above is their substitute.
And let this not be a cause of wonder to us, for it is written in Rev 21:23 regarding the New Jerusalem, which will come down from heaven to earth, that the city needs neither the shining of the sun nor of the moon, because the glory of YHVH, that is His presence, lightens it, and the Messiah is the one who emits this light. Thus, the city receives its light neither from the sun nor from the moon, because Rev 21:25 distinctly affirms, that there will be no more night there.
And I saw no Dwelling Place in it, for Yehovah El Shaddai is its Dwelling Place, and the Lamb. And the city had no need of the sun, nor of the moon, to shine in it, for the esteem of Elohim lightened it, and the Lamb is its lamp. And the nations, of those who are saved, shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it. (Rev 21:22-24)
As the New Jerusalem receives its light neither from the sun nor from the moon, but from the Creator Himself, His presence hovers above the city and illuminates it (see also Gen 1:2).
Thus the true rendering of Isaiah is this: the glory of the Eternal One, which rises above the New Jerusalem, is from this time forth like a sun that never sets, and like a moon that is never taken out from the morning sky, and the Messiah is the lamp of the eternally unchangeable light of YHVH.
With all the above considered, we will now return to complete what we commenced to explain. What does “Elohim be all in all” mean? This is the present author’s best understanding of the phrase “Elohim be all in all”: “Elohim will be over all the power and the authority, as it was In the Beginning”.
And the Messiah, who was created to be the likeness of the invisible Creator, the first-born of all creation, through whom and for whom all things visible and invisible have been created, who was anointed to become the Seed of the woman at the transgression of man, and when everything is made subject to him, then he himself will also be subject to Him and return to his primordial state as the light of the Creator.
The present author is not certain that the conclusions he has drawn are the correct ones, and there are surely others to be learned. Nevertheless, the intelligent reader will understand that these are deep matters beyond the realm of common comprehension and secrets of faith that transcends human intellect. But it is incumbent upon us to know matters that are revealed to us, which we did diligently.
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May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days!
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