12Of Benjamin he said:
Beloved of the Lord,
He rests securely beside Him;
Ever does He protect him,
As he rests between His shoulders.     Deuteronomy 33/12 Tanakh JPS 1985.

Rashi:

And of Benjamin he said: Since Levi’s blessing pertains to the sacrificial service, and Benjamin’s blessing pertains to building the Holy Temple within his territory, Moses juxtaposed one to the other. He then juxtaposes Joseph immediately after him [Benjamin] because Joseph too [had a sanctuary built within his territory, namely] the Mishkan of Shiloh was erected in his territory, as is said:“He rejected the tent of Joseph” (Ps. 78:67). And because the Holy Temple is dearer [to God] than [the Mishkan of] Shiloh, he mentioned [the blessing of] Benjamin before [that of] Joseph [even though Joseph was older.].

and dwells between his shoulders: The Holy Temple was built on the highest point of his [Benjamin’s] land, except that it was twenty-three cubits below the Eitam Well (see Yoma 31a). Now, it was David’s intention to build it there [at the level of the Eitam Well], as is taught in Shechitath Kodashim [Zev. 54b]: [However,] they said to David:“Let us build it a little lower, for Scripture states, ‘and He dwells between his shoulders’ [which are lower than the head]-and there is no part of an ox more beautiful than its shoulders.”

 

God’s presence, according to the ancient view, is confined to the Tabernacle/Sanctuary and to other visible phenomena serving as the vehicles of God, such as the Ark and the *cherubim or the cloud enveloping the Godhead in its movements. That the Tabernacle was considered an indicator for God’s presence in ancient Israel may be learned from the words of Nathan the prophet to David: “… I have been moving about [mithalekh] in a Tabernacle and tent [be-ohel u-ve-mishkan] … All the time I was moving about among the Israelites…” (II Sam. 7:6–7).

The same concept is given expression in the Priestly source of the Pentateuch: “I will establish My abode [mishkani] in your midst… and I will be moving about[i.e, be present]in your midst: I will be your God and you shall be my people” (Lev. 26:11–12). Similar statements are found in other parts of the Priestly literature, where shakhan, “dwelling,” is used instead of hithalekh, “moving about,” as in Exodus 25:8: “Let them make me a Sanctuary that I may dwell [weshakhanti] among them,” and at the end of the inauguration of the Tabernacle in Exodus 29:45–46: “And I will dwell among the Israelites and I will be their God.”

The rabbinic term *Shekhinah is actually an abstraction of this concept of “dwelling,” which in the sources just quoted is understood literally. Indeed the Tabernacle, as depicted in the Priestly tradition, represents a royal house with all its necessary facilities.

In contrast to the account in Exodus 19 of God’s descent upon Mt. Sinai (19:11, 20), Deuteronomy 4:36 says: “Out of heaven He let you hear His voice, that He might discipline you; and on earth He let you see His great fire and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire.” In other words, the commandments were heard from out of the midst of the fire that was upon the mount, but they were uttered by the Deity from heaven.

The Israelites saw only “His great fire” which symbolizes His essence and qualities (Deut. 4:24: “For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God”; cf. 9:3), whereas God Himself remains in His heavenly abode.

From: PRESENCE, DIVINE; Jewishvirtuallibrary.org (excerpts).

 

Some scholars infer from this phenomenon that the angel was not regarded as an independent being, but simply as a manifestation of the Divine power and will. Others suppose that in the earliest version of these stories a human being was confronted directly by God, and that later scribes toned down the boldness of this concept by interposing an angel.

From: Angels & Angelology; Jewishvirtuallibrary.org (edited).

 

20I am sending an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have made ready. 21Pay heed to him and obey him. Do not defy him, for he will not pardon your offenses, since My Name is in him; 22but if you obey him and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes.     Exodus 23/ 20-22 Tanakh JPS 1985.

 

3Now the Presence of the God of Israel had moved from the cherub on which it had rested to the platform of the House. He called to the man clothed in linen with the writing case at his waist;     Ezekiel 9/3 Tanakh JPS 1985.

 

1Behold, I am sending My messenger to clear the way before Me, and the Lord whom you seek shall come to His Temple suddenly. As for the angel of the covenant that you desire, he is already coming. 2But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can hold out when he appears? For he is like a smelter’s fire and like fuller’s lye.     Malachi 3/1-2 Tanakh JPS 1985.

 

Commentary:

G-d says in Exodus I am sending an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have made ready. Pay heed to him and obey him. Do not defy him, for he will not pardon your offenses, since My Name is in him. My Name in the angel includes the person of the spirit of the holy G-d.

In a vision Ezekiel saw that the Presence of the God of Israel had moved from the cherub on which it had rested to the platform of the House (of G-d) and G-d called to the man clothed in linen with the writing case at his waist. Ezekiel could see this presence in a vision, the very essence of G-d that had been resting on an angel (dwelling) and then moved to the platform (His heavenly dwelling) and spoke to the man clothed in linen who represents Elijah.

God dwelling on an angel is G-d and the spirit of the Holy G-d. G-d moving to the platform from the angel shows the separate nature of G-d and the spirit of the Holy G-d. They dwell together on the platform of heaven above the world. The platform is circular like the earth.

“Behold, I am sending My messenger to clear the way before Me, and the Lord whom you seek shall come to His Temple suddenly. As for the angel of the covenant that you desire, he is already coming. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can hold out when he appears? For he is like a smelter’s fire and like fuller’s lye.”

This is man, the spirit of the holy G-d and G-d. The man is Elijah, the angel of the covenant is the spirit of the Holy G-d who is the prince of the angelic kingdom and literally a part of all angels as is G-d and he comes with G-d by the reference to being like a smelter’s fire and fuller’s lye. G-d is absolute power and it is symbolized by fire here and on the mountain.

G-d has rested in heaven since the destruction of the second temple by the Romans and the exile of the Jewish people throughout the world. They have returned to the land He gave them but have not built His house for Him to return to. G-d is going to rebuild His Temple as part of His promised redemption and dwell with the Jewish people on earth again.

And He is going to use His righteous servant of Isaiah 53 to accomplish this purpose of His. G-d has descended from heaven and His spirit came to rest upon me. They have been dwelling with me ever since. I am the righteous servant of G-d. I do not think this or have a belief that I am the man described in Isaiah 53. I know it. I know it as I know the power of G-d and His teachings of scripture interpretation written here in that power. Teachings far beyond my knowledge and capabilities.

I became a host and G-d and His spirit are my guests. It seems more and more that I am the guest and they are the host. I do not have self will. I offered all of myself; my very person and soul offered to G-d for guilt to endure bruising, crushing, chastisement and punishment by G-d’s words and power which is the process of removing self will from a person by G-d. To be made suitable for His purpose.

It is really hard to describe what it is like to be a human without self will. G-d takes care of me in His way but it is not my way. That is hard to get accustomed to. And always with relentless purpose of cleansing my spirit and calming my soul for His purpose and my benefit the chastisement and punishment continues.

Isaiah 53 says that out of my anguish I will see the prosperity of G-d’s purpose. By the time that occurs I may be the most humble man on earth as it was said of Moses. There is so much to do and we are still fulfilling Isaiah 53/3:

“He was despised, shunned by men, A man of suffering, familiar with disease. As one who hid his face from us, He was despised, we held him of no account.”

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