No Results Found.

31. Further Elaboration of Ezekiel’s Vision
by in
In the first chapter of his book, the prophet Ezekiel describes a vision he had of angelic beings, Chayos (“living things”) and Ofanim (“wheels”). In the tenth chapter, he has another vision, which sheds further light on the things he perceived [III, 3]. In his second vision, Ezekiel replaces the word Chayos with K’ruvim, AKA […]
30. The Chayos and Ofanim
by in
The Rambam goes on to explain the vision of the angels in Ezekiel chapter 1. [III, 2] Each angel has the four faces we discussed in our previous section, four wings and two hands. Overall, however, their appearance is human, as per Ezekiel 1:5, “they had the form of a man.” The legs of the […]
29. The Vision of God’s “Chariot”
by in
In the third section of Moreh Nevuchim, the Rambam comes to what he tells us is his ultimate point: explaining the Biblical sections known as ma’aseh Bereishis (the Creation account) and ma’aseh haMerkava (the account of God’s “chariot”). [III, intro] The problem, however, is that the Sages generally forbid revealing such things because they are […]
28. Exaggeration and Figurative Language
by in
By this point, it should not surprise us that the Bible utilizes both figurative speech and exaggeration to make vivid points. [II, 47] The Talmud (Chulin 90b) tells us explicitly that this is the case and it provides us with two examples, one from the Torah and one from the Writings. Deuteronomy 1:28 describes the […]
27. Real or Vision?
by in
When the Tanach describes an instance of prophecy, it is indicative of all prophecies in the same category. [II, 46] For example, a person may dream that he has traveled to a foreign land, married, settled down, and raised a family, though none of this actually happened. The same is true of prophetic allegories: the […]
26. Degrees of Prophecy
by in
Just as there are different types of prophecy, there are different degrees of intensity [II, 45]. However, while they are all degrees of prophecy, not all of these levels necessarily qualified one to be considered a prophet. The lowest two are merely steps on the way to attaining that status. (Sometimes such a person is […]
25. The Various Forms of Prophecy
by in
We have already said that prophecies were delivered through dreams and visions. When a prophet did receive a message, it could come in a variety of forms [II, 44]: * It might be in the form of an allegory; * The prophet might perceive God speaking to him, as in Isaiah 6:8 (“I heard the […]
24. The Interpretation of Prophetic Allegories
by in
Prophets would sometimes receive their prophecies in the form of allegories. In such a case, they would be shown or told the allegory, followed by its meaning. [II, 43] In dreams, it is possible for a person to believe that he is awake. In his dream, he can even relate a dream to another person, […]
23. Dreams and Visions
by in
As we have already discussed, all the prophets other than Moshe received their prophecies in dreams and visions. We understand what dreams are but what are visions? The Rambam describes a vision as an intense, dreadful feeling that washes over a prophet while awake. [II, 41] To support this, the Rambam cites the Book of […]
22. The Gifts of Intellect and Imagination
by in
Prophecy, as we have discussed, entails a combination of intellectual perfection and imaginative perfection. Each person possesses these qualities to a different degree. [II, 37] Some people have just enough wisdom to run their own lives, while others possess enough to influence their neighbors, their society, or the world. People with great intellect but without […]