Thursday, March 29, 2012

The "Name of Seventy-two Names": A Biblical Spin-off - Part 5

It should be noted that, besides the case of the technique delineated in the previous part, a close affiliation is recognised between the “Name of Seventy-two Names” and the “Ineffable Name.” In fact, Kabbalistic doctrine informs us the seventy-two Names can be divided into four groups, pertaining respectively to the four letters of the “Ineffable Name.” In turn, as Moses Cordovero indicated, each of these four groups can be divided into three sub-sections comprising six Names each. These twelve sub-sections are said to relate in turn to the twelve permutations of YHVH as indicated below:
Though related in principle, the Sefer ha-Bahir offers a somewhat different delineation regarding the alignment of the Ineffable Name with the “Shem Vayisa Vayet.” In this text it is maintained that the seventy-two portions of the Name should be divided into three groups, each comprising twenty-four three-letter portions. The appropriate verse in the Bahir reads “These are the 72. They emanate and divide themselves into three sections, 24 to each section. Over each of these sections is a higher Officer. Each section has four directions to watch, east, west, north and south. They are therefore distributed, six to each direction. The four directions then have a total of 24 forms. [This is true of the first section] as well as the second and the third. All of them are sealed with YHVH, God of Israel, the living God, Shadai, high and exalted, who dwells in eternity on high, whose name is holy, YHVH. Blessed be the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever.”
In this instance the three sections of the “Name of Seventy-two Names” are respectively aligned:
A. with the original three verses from which the seventy-two Names were derived (Exodus 14:19–21);
B. with three “Officers,” these being the archangels Gavri’el, Micha’el and Ori’el;
C. with three concepts, termed “princes,” these being the “Axis, Sphere and Heart,” which my late mentor, William G. Gray, referred to as “Space, Time and Events”;
D. with the three appearances of the Ineffable Name in the priestly blessing which reads “YHVH bless thee and keep thee, YHVH make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. YHVH lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” (Numbers 6:24–26);
E. with the triple declaration “YHVH is King, YHVH was King, YHVH will be King,” which is part of an acrostic poem recited on the first day of “Rosh Hashanah” (the Jewish New Year); and lastly
F. with the three “Holies” of the famous Kedushah which reads “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:3).
In the earlier listed quote from the “Bahir” we are informed that each of the three sections of the seventy-two Names “has four directions to watch, east, west, north and south. They are therefore distributed, six to each direction.” In this instance the actual arrangement is quite straightforward, as shown in the following table:
(More to follow)

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