Shavuot and the Full Armor of Elohim
James Scott Trimm
In part two of this study, I want to focus on another facet how the armor itself is specifically tied to the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.
We read in the Book of Revelation:
Because you have said that you are rich, and, I have grown rich,(Hosea 12:9) and I am not in
need of anything. And you do not know that you are weak and miserable, and poor and naked.
Behold, He comes like a thief. Blessed [is] he who watches and keeps his
garments: lest he should walk naked, and they should see his shame.
What does the Book of Revelation mean by "naked"? The answer is to be found in the Torah. In Genesis 2:25 we read that the newly created man and woman in the garden were "both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed." But after the fall we read of the guilt pair:
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves garments.
8 And they heard the voice of YHWH Elohim, walking in the garden toward the cool of the day. And the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of YHWH Elohim, among the trees of the garden.
9 And YHWH Elohim called unto the man, and said unto him: Where are you?
10 And he said, I heard Your voice in the garden. And I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.
11 And He said: Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree whereof I commanded you that you should not eat?
What does it mean "they knew they were naked"? Did they not know they were naked before the fall? The Zohar sheds some light on this event:
...when Adam sinned, Elohim took from him the armour of the bright and holy letters with which he had been encompassed, and then he and his wife were afraid, perceiving that they had been stripped; so it says AND THEY KNEW THAT THEY WERE NAKED. At first they had been invested with those glorious crowns which gave them protection and exemption from death. When they sinned, they were stripped of them, and then they knew that death was calling them, that they had been deprived of their exemption, and that they had brought death on themselves and on all the world.’
Before they were naked but not ashamed because they were clothed with the Armour of Elohim. But after the fall they
knew that they were naked because they had been stripped of this armour. Later this armor was restored to mankind at Shavuot, with the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai, but it was lost again when the people of Israel sinned:
1 And YHWH spoke unto Moshe: Depart; go up hence. You and the people that you
have brought up out of the land of Egypt--unto the land of which I swore unto Avraham,
to Yitz’chak, and to Ya’akov, saying: Unto your seed will I give it.
2 And I will send an angel before you: and I will drive out the Kena’anite, the Amorite,
and the Hittite, and the P’rizzite, the Hivite, and the Y’vusite;
3 Unto a land flowing with milk and honey. For I will not go up in the midst of you, for
you are a stiff-necked people, lest I consume you in the way.
4 And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned, and no man did put on
him his ornaments.
5 And YHWH said unto Moshe: Say unto the children of Yisra’el, You are a stiff-necked
people; if I go up into the midst of you for one moment, I shall consume you. Therefore
now, put off your ornaments from you, that I may know what to do unto you.
6 And the children of Yisra’el stripped themselves of their ornaments, from mount
(Ex. 33:1-6 HRV)
The Talmud explains of these verses as follows:
R. Simla lectured: When the Israelites gave precedence to ‘we will do’ over ‘we will hearken,’(Ex. 24:7) six hundred
thousand ministering angels came and set two crowns upon each man of Israel, one as a reward corresponding to ‘we will do,’ and the other as a reward for ‘we will hearken’. But as soon as Israel sinned, one million two hundred thousand
destroying angels descended and removed them, as it is said, And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their
ornaments from mount Horeb.(In Ex. 33:6) R. Hama son of R. Hanina said: At Horeb they put them on and at Horeb they put them off. At Horeb they put them on, as we have stated. At Horeb they put them off, for it is written, And [the children of Israel] stripped themselves, etc. R. Johanan observed: And Moses was privileged and received them all, for in proximity thereto it is stated, And Moses took the tent. (Ex. 33:7) Resh Lakish said: [Yet] the Holy One, blessed be He, will return them to us in the future, for it is said, and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;(IS. 35:10) the joy from of old shall be upon their heads.
The Zohar elaborates on these crowns saying:
R. Hiya said: ‘The world was in a state of poverty and misery from the time Adam transgressed the command of the
Almighty until Noah came and offered up a sacrifice, when its prosperity returned.’ R. Jose said: ‘The world was not
properly settled, nor was the earth purged from the defilement of the serpent, until Israel stood before Mount Sinai,
where they laid fast hold of the Tree of Life, and so established the world firmly. Had not Israel backslided and sinned
before the Holy One, blessed be He, they would never have died, since the scum of the serpent had been purged out of them. But as soon as they sinned, the first tablets of the Torah were broken-those tablets which spelt complete freedom, freedom from the serpent who is the “end of all flesh”. When the Levites rose up to slay the guilty, the evil serpent went in front of them, but he had no power over Israel, because they were girt with a certain armour which protected them against his attacks. When, however, Elohim said to Moses, “Therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee” (Ex. 33:5), this was the signal that they were placed in the power of the serpent (this is indicated by the form vayithnaselu, which shows that they were stripped by the hand of another). The ornaments referred to are those which they received at Mount Horeb at the time when the Torah was given to Israel.’
But after they sinned, they were not able to look even on the face of the deputy (Moses). How was this? Because ‘the
children of Israel were deprived of their ornament from Mount Sinai’, to wit, of the armour with which they were girt on Mount Sinai in order that the evil serpent should not have power over them.
This armour is the "Armour of Light" of which Paul writes:
12 Henceforth, the night is passed, and the day is near: thus, let us lay aside from us the works of darkness, and let
us put on the armor of light.
13 And let us walk in a manner as in the day: not in reveling, nor in drunkenness, nor in a defiled bed, nor in envy and
14 But put on our Adon Yeshua, the Messiah, and have no care for the covetousness of your flesh.
(Rom. 13:12-14 HRV)
And the crowns are those of which we read in the Ketuvim Netzarim (the writings of the Nazarenes):
Blessed is the man that endures temptation:
for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life,
which YHWH has promised to them that love him.
(Ya'akov (James) 1:2)
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,
which YHWH, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day:
and not to me only, but to all them that love his appearing.
…I will give you a crown of life…
…hold fast what you have, that no man take your crown.
If you do not have these crowns then you do not wear the Armour of Elohim, and if you do not wear the armour, you are
(continued in Part 3)
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