“In the footsteps of Messiah impudence will swell; prices will surge; the vine will give its fruit but wine will be costly [or: scarce]; the kingdom will turn to sectarianism; and there will be no rebuke. The meeting place [of the Sages] will become a whorehouse; the Galilee will be destroyed; the highland will be desolate; the border people will wander from city to city and none will show them mercy; the wisdom of scribes will stink; sin‑fearing people will be detested; truth will be missing; young men will humiliate the elderly; the elderly will stand while the young sit; the son reviles the father, the daughter rises against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies are the people of his household (Micah 7:6); The face of the generation is like the face of a dog; sons have no shame in front of their fathers; and on what can one depend? Our Father in Heaven” (M Sotah 9:15; BT Sotah 49b, cf. Plato, The Republic 562b).
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of YHWH (Malachi 4:5).
“Elijah, rise and begin speaking with me about the decrees, since you are my help in everything. About you it was first said, Phinehas son of El’azar son of Aaron the priest (Numbers 25:11). Son of Aaron assuredly is his brother, as [At all times a companion is loving], and a brother was born for [the hour of] trouble (Proverbs 17:17).
He opened saying, It is a decree to discuss the laws of a suspected wife, as is written: Then a spirit of jealousy may come over him and he will be jealous (Numbers 5:14). Surely, a spirit of uncleanness exists on both sides, one false and one true. Therefore, in the spirit of falseness, he will be jealous about his wife, she not being defiled (ibid.), and the second: Then a spirit of jealousy may come over him… with her being defiled (ibid.).
Could there possibly be any truth in a spirit of uncleanness? It is because in a man, who stems from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, there exists the evil impulse, the serpent. When a man has a beautiful wife in all her good deeds, it is said, A virtuous woman is a crown for her husband (Proverbs 12:4). The evil impulse is jealous, as we have found it was jealous of Adam because of his wife, so it seduced her and caused her to die. Sometimes it dominates her through sins and defiles her, and she becomes a carcass.
The evil impulse on its right side, is the rank of Ishmael and is called serpent. From the left side, which is the rank of Esau, who is Samael, it is called dog. Appointed over Hell it barks הַב הַב (hav hav), as is written: The leech has two daughters, הַב הַב (hav hav), ‘give’ and ‘give’ (ibid. 30:15) [cf. BT Avodah Zarah 17a, ad loc.]. It wants to burn the soul made unclean with its fire in Hell. That is what is meant by: Then a spirit of jealousy may come over him and he will be jealous—truthfully; with her being defiled [on the dog Cerberus, see ZḤ 75b (MhN, Rut); Qeta Lo Yaru’a 83; TZ 12a; Idel, Absorbing Perfections p. 307].
And for her, it was said, should a priest’s daughter… (Leviticus 21:9)—Michael. When she degrades herself whoring, she has degraded her father, in fire shall she be burned (ibid.). There the filth is destroyed and she purifies herself of it, just as silver that purifies in fire and lead, which is the refuse, is burnt, becomes ash and is lost.
It is the same with the children of Israel. When they desecrate Torah, the blessed Holy One sends them into exile among the children of Esau and the children of Ishmael under their servitude, whose rank is of dog and serpent, and they are punished there. Through them, they become cleared and purified and refined like the refinement of silver and the trying of gold. This is what is said: And purge them as silver is purged and try them as gold is tried (Zechariah 13:9), until it will hold true of them: If your offenses be like scarlet, like snow shall they turn white (Isaiah 1:18).
It is written of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil: And YHWH showed him a tree, and he flung it into the water, and the water turned sweet (Exodus 15:25). Since the children of Israel were with the motley throng [or: mixed multitude], they were all of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Therefore, it is half sweet from the right and half bitter from the left. When the motley throng caused the children of Israel to transgress, it was as if all were on the side of evil. Consequently, the waters returned to their bitter state like the tree in the water. This is what is meant by and they came to Marah, and could not drink water from Marah, for it was bitter (Exodus 15:23). The bitter tree was similar to the test of a סוֹטָה (sotah), suspected wife [cf. BT Avodah Zarah 44a]. If she indeed strayed from her husband, the waters which she was made to drink turned bitter, and because of them her belly will swell, and her thigh sag (Numbers 5:27). If she did not stray, it is written: she will be cleared, and sown with seed (ibid., 28), and give birth to a son. Here too, the waters were made sweet.
In the same manner, Israel will be tested in the final redemption. Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white (Daniel 12:10)—those who are from the good side and who pass the test. But the wicked shall do wickedly (ibid.)—because they are from the Other Side and by them shall be fulfilled: Neither shall they enter into the Land of Israel (Ezekiel 13:9), and he kills them.
But the wise shall understand (Daniel 12:10), since they are from the aspect of בִּינָה (binah), Understanding, which is the Tree of Life. For them, it was said, they who are wise shall shine like the זֹהַר (zohar), brightness, in the firmament (ibid., 3), with your composition [Rabbi Shim’on son of Yoḥai] which is The Book of Zohar, from the light of supernal Mother, Repentance [Binah]. They do not require a test, and because the children of Israel in the future will taste from the Tree of Life, סֵפֶר הַזֹּהַר (sefer ha-zohar), The Book of Radiance, they will leave the exile with Compassion [Tif’eret]. It will hold true about them: YHWH alone did lead him, no alien god by His side (Deuteronomy 32:12).
The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, prohibition or permission, purity or impurity, will no longer apply to the children of Israel, since our sustenance will be solely from the aspect of the Tree of Life, where there are no contradictions stemming from the Other Side [cf. Sefer ha-Temunah 3, 61b], nor any strife nor difference stemming from the unclean spirit, as is written: And the spirit of uncleanness I will take away from the land (Zechariah 13:2).
Disciples of the Sages will not need to be sustained by the ignorant, just from the good side by eating of the clean, kosher and permissible. They will not need to get it from the motley throng, who eat the unclean, unfit and prohibited, and who are themselves defiled by defiling themselves with a menstruate, a slavegirl, a gentile woman, or a whore. They are the children of Lilit, who is a menstruate, a slavegirl, a gentile woman, and a whore, and they return to their roots. About them, it is written: For from the stock of a snake an asp shall come out, [and its fruit a fiery flying serpent] (Isaiah 14:29).
During the period that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil dominates, which pertains to the purity and impurity of worldly things, these sages are like the Sabbath which has nothing except what was prepared for it during the weekdays.
During the time that the Tree of Life dominates, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is subdued. Commoners will not have anything except for what disciples of the Sages hand out to them and they will become subdued like never before.
Thus, prohibition and permission, purity and impurity will not pass away from the commoners. From their aspect, there will be no apparent difference between the exile and the days of Messiah, except for the oppression of Israel by other kingdoms alone [cf. BT Berakhot 34b], because they will not taste from the Tree of Life and they will have to learn [Mishnah] about what is prohibited and permissible, what is unclean and clean. They will be shamed in front of scholars like darkness before light, since the motley throng are like beasts, who are ignorant, who are darkness and were not even called Israel, just slaves sold to Israel, as was already explained.
[Only] Israel are called human [see BT Bava Metsi’a 114b]. How do we know that they are composed of both beast and human? It is written: And you My flock, the flock of My pasture, are human (Ezekiel 34:31). And you My flock, the flock of My pasture—those who are ignorant of Torah but are good and stem from the good side. Are human—disciples of the Sages [cf. Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag, Panim Meirot u-Masbirot, Haqdamah, 3: ‘Mineral, vegetable, animal, human, corresponding to the masses, the affluent, heroes, and sages.’ On Israel being composed of both beast and human, see BT Sotah 22a on Jeremiah 31:27].
It is also alluded to in, If My people would but heed Me, if Israel would go in My ways (Psalms 81:14). After mentioning My people, why say Israel? Because My people refers to commoners and Israel to scholars, disciples of the Sages. For them, it is mentioned: The sons of Israel going out with a high hand (Exodus 14:8).
As the blessed Holy One divided them at Mount Sinai, so He will differentiate them at the final redemption, because it says of Israel: And the sons of Israel went up armed from the land of Egypt (Exodus 13:18). חֲמֻשִׁים (Ḥamushim), armed—from the aspect of the Tree of Life which is חֲמִישִׁים (ḥamishim), fifty, years of Jubilee [Binah]. Of them, it says, Whosoever touches the mountain (Exodus 19:13); And the messenger of God that was going before the camp of Israel moved and went behind them (Exodus 14:19); I bore you on the wings of eagles (Exodus 19:4)—clouds of glory, and brought you to Me (ibid.). The sons of Israel going out with a high hand (Exodus 14:8)—so He will bring out disciples of the Sages with all that honor.
It is said of those who are ignorant of Torah yet are of the good side: And they stationed themselves under the mountain (Exodus 19:17)—so will they be at the final redemption, under scholars, like a servant that follows along the footsteps of his master’s horse. Just as it was called out to them under the mountain: ‘If you accept Torah, it is better, but if not, there will be your burial place’ (BT Shabbat 88a), so He will tell them at the final redemption, ‘If you will accept upon yourselves the scholars, disciples of the Sages during the redemption from the exile, like a horse rider with his servant, it is best, and if not, there in exile shall be your burial.’
The motley throng are as is written of them: And the people saw and they drew back and stood at a distance (Exodus 20:18). They will be far from the redemption and they will watch the disciples of the Sages and the holy nation in all this glory, but they will be far from them. If they wish to join with them, it is written: No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or be shot (Exodus 19:13). During that period, it will be fulfilled for Israel: YHWH alone did lead him, no alien god by His side (Deuteronomy 32:12). It was already explained that no new converts will be accepted during the days of Messiah [see BT Yevamot 24b]. [The steps of His faithful He watches,] and the wicked in darkness turn dumb (1 Samuel 2:9)—the motley throng. Therefore, the prophet proclaimed about them: Neither shall they enter into the land of Israel (Ezekiel 13:9).
Elijah said: Faithful Shepherd [Moses], it is time to rise up. Intone a solemn oath. For your sake, I wish to rise, since the blessed Holy One gave me permission to reveal myself to you in your prison, in your place of burial, and do you good because you are desecrated through the sins of the people, and this is the meaning of: Yet he was wounded for our crimes (Isaiah 53:5).
The Faithful Shepherd [Moses] said to him: I intone on you solemnly the name of YHWH that you will do your utmost not to delay since I am in great distress: And he turned this way and that and saw that there was no man about (Exodus 2:12)—to help me, to take me out of this distress, from this grave, since it says about me, And his grave was put with the wicked (Isaiah 53:9). They do not recognize me but regard me as one of the evil motley throng, like a dead dog that has caused a stench among them. The wisdom of the scribes will stink among them in each and every city [see BT Sotah 49b], and in all places where Israel are scattered throughout their kingdoms. The motley throng become the shepherds of Israel, who are the flock of the blessed Holy One, as is said of them: And you My flock, the flock of My pasture, are human, [and I am your God, says YHWH God] (Ezekiel 34:31). And they have no ability to do good with the disciples of the Sages.
Courageous and sin-fearing men go about from one city to another and find no grace, and the motley throng excommunicate them from among them. In many places, they are only given a meager sum so they are unable to rise from their fall, even temporarily. All the Sages, able men and those who fear sin in distress and gloom, are treated like dogs [see BT Sotah 49b, cf. Isaiah 3:5: The lad shall lord it over the elder, and the worthless over the honored]. The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter! (Lamentations 4:2), in the streets, unable to find accommodation among them. Meanwhile the motley throng are wealthy, live in peace, in happiness, without pain, without any sorrow, robbers, bribe takers, who are the judges, the elite of their people, for the earth is filled with outrage by them (Genesis 6:13) [cf. BT Pesaḥim 50a]. About them, it is written: Her adversaries have become the chief (Lamentations 1:5). [The Faithful Shepherd, Moses, said to Elijah:] With a solemn oath on you, the second time, upon the life, and name, of YHWH of Armies, the God of Israel, who is enthroned upon the cherubs, that all these words will not fail from your mouth; with all your might, tell them before the blessed Holy One to show their distress” (Zohar 3:124b–25b, Ra’aya Meheimna Naso).