PARDES FOUR LEVELS OF UNDERSTANDING The Hebrew/Aramaic word PARDES is spelled in Hebrew and Aramaic without vowels as PRDS. PaRDeS refers to a park or garden, esp. the Garden of Eden. The word appears three times in the Aramaic New Testament (Lk. 23:43; 2Cor. 12:4 & Rev. 2:7). The word PRDS is also an acronym [P]ashat
1. P’shat: What is the simple meaning, the plot line of this text? (Heb. "simple" Literal or Simple) (Breadth)– Basic Plain Sense view -
2. Drash: What lesson is this text teaching? What’s might the “rabbi’s [R]emez sermon” be about it? (Heb. "hint" or Parable or Allegory) ( Length) 3. Remez: If this text is a personality test, what does it tell me about [D]rash ME? (Heb. "search" and “Seek”) ( Depth)
4. Sod: What deep meaning does this text teach about life, spirituality, and/or my place in the cosmos? (Heb. "hidden" or Inner or mystical)) (Height) From Word “Seed
Matthew was a Levi, and as such, presents Jesus as the Messiah ("The Lion of the tribe of Judah"). Mark presents Jesus as a Servant, and a classic image of a servant is an Ox. Luke portrays Jesus as the Son of Man, while John presents Him as the Son of God (Eagle). So there may indeed be much more to these four Gospels than just different views.
Presents as: Face: Ensign: Camp side:
Messiah Lion Judah East
Servant Ox Ephriam West
What Jesus To the:
Said Jew Leper cleansed Resurrection Groupings Fulfilled (38x)
Did Roman Demon expelled Ascension Snapshots
Son of Man Man Reuben South Adam Seed of Woman Felt Greek
Son of God Eagle Dan North Eternity (preexistence) Was Church
First Miracle Ends with Style: Key Word
Demon expelled Water to Wine Promise of Spirit Narrative It came to pass (40x)
Promise of Return Supernatural Verily, Verily (24x)
Description of the Throne of GOD These creatures are associated with God and his throne (Ezekiel 1:10, 10:14, Revelation 4:7), As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle. (Ezekiel 1:10) The camp was to be set up as follows: • •
The tabernacle of meeting was in the center. The camp of Judah, consisting of the tribes of Judah (74,800), Issachar (84,400), and Zebulun (57,400), a total of 186,400 men, camped to the east (Num. 2:3-7). The camp of Reuben, consisting of the tribes of Reuben (46,500), Simeon (59,300), and Gad (45,650), a total of 151,450 men, camped to the south (Num. 2:10-16). The camp of Ephraim, consisting of the tribes of Ephraim (40,500), Manasseh (32,200), and Benjamin (35,400), a total of 108,100 men, camped to the west (Num. 2:18-24). The camp of Dan, consisting of the tribes of Dan (62,700), Asher (41,500), and Naphtali (53,400), a total of 157,600 men, camped to the north (Num. 2:25-31). • Each group was to “camp by his own standard, beside the emblems of his father’s house” [emphasis (Num. 2:2).
These are the four levels of understanding the scriptures. Each layer is deeper and more intense than the last, like the layers of an onion. • The Pashat level is for the “simple man” and is the plain literal meaning of the text. We ask, “What does the Torah ask of me? What must I do to fulfill the Torah in my life?”This simple level gave a guide to the actions and conduct of the common person. The good News according to Mark is on the Pashat level. He wrote a short precise account of the life of Yahshua. He wrote with simple precise facts .He actually wrote in somewhat of the Mishnaic style. He presents the Moshiach as the Suffering Servant for the common people. The first level of understanding is PASHAT (simple). The Pashat is the literal meaning. It is similar to what Protestant hermeneutics calls "Grammatical Historical Exogesis" and also similar to what Protestant Hermeneutics calls "The Literal Principle." PASHAT is the keystone of Scripture understanding. If we discard the PASHAT we lose any real chance of an accurate understanding, left with a no-holds-barred game of pure imagination in which we are no longer objectively deriving meaning from the Scriptures (exogesis) • The Remez level is the allegorical or hint level. This level has a higher aim, and is nobler in its content. It was forthe doctors, teachers, lawyers, and those of the noble class. This level does not replace the Pashat level, but adds grace and seasoning to it. Luke is a physician and an aristocrat. His account in his Good News is more flowery and noble. He uses more technical terms and words in his writing. His writing is very similar to the Gemara.He presents Yahshua as the “Son of Man”. Every word is Remez, or hint, to another higher parallel. Luke is more intricate in his treatment of the Torah and Halakah. Luke could not have been a “Gentile” as he uses more Hebraisms and rabbinical terminology than any other author of in the Brit Chadasha. This is the implied meaning of the text. Peculiarities in the text are regarded as hinting at a deeper truth than that conveyed by its PASHAT. An example of implied "REMEZ" meaning may be found in Ex. 21:26-26-27 where we are told of our liability regarding eyes and teeth. By the "REMEZ" understanding we know that this liability also applies to other body parts. Ex 21:26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake. (KJV) Matthew 2:15 - "Out of Egypt I called my son." This is a quote from Hosea 11:1 that Matthew is applying to Yeshua. If we stuck to a literal exegesis only and researched the quote, we would have to accuse Matthew of improperly using Scripture, as Hosea is clearly speaking of the nation of Israel, and not the Messiah. Matthew however, is hinting (a remez) at the relationship between Israel and the Messiah, in this and other verses he uses. Eze 28:2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyre, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Because thy heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of God, in
the midst of the seas; yet thou art man, and not God, though thou didst set thy heart as the heart of God;- Eze 28:13 Thou wast in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, the topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was in thee; in the day that thou wast created they were prepared.?? • The next level is Drash, or Midrashic . It means “to thresh”. It is parabolic in nature. It bases its symbolism on the entire narrative rather than on word-phrase level. This is where “suggestive possibility” comes into play in interpretation. Mattithyahu is from the tribe of Levi. He sees Yahshua through the eyes of the “Kingdom ”. We can see this in his genealogy of the Moshiach tracing him through the line of David. He presents Yahshua as the “King”. His account is the most lengthy of all the Good News. Mattithyahu stresses the parables of the Rebbe Yahshua as no other writer does in the Brit Chadasha. A parable can be given as much to conceal a truth as reveal one. A parable is a suggestive supposition in the form of a narrative and is preceded by a statement that it is a parable or be the terms: “Such and such is like unto...” Most of the parables of our Rebbe Yahshua have never been interpreted to their full Midrashic tenor. They will never be until we begin applying the rules of Hebraic interpretation to them and place them in the Hebrew text from which they originally came. Matthew 18:18 - "... Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" This is a verse that has been interpreted in numerous (incorrect) ways due to a lack of understanding that this a d'rash concerning decisions one makes in their personal "walk with God" (called your "halakha" in Hebrew/Judaism). In Hebrew "drash" meaning "search", DRASH this is the allegorical, typological or homiletical application of the text. Creativity is used to search the text in relation to the rest of the Scriptures, other literature, or life itself in order to develop an allegorical, typological or homiletical application of the text. This process involves eisogesis (reading of the text) of the text. 1. A. Revelation 2:17 (hidden manna)
• The fourth and last level is Sod, meaning the secret or concealed meaning. This is the highest and most complicated level of interpretation. It is more otherworldly or actually prophetic in nature. The writer sees the material world through the miraculous, rather than seeing the miraculous world through the material. This focuses upon the word and letters of the Torah. Yochanan is writing the “hidden” life of Yahshua.His narrative focuses around seven miracles in the life of Yahshua. The key to his book is chapter 20:30-31. He presents Yahshua as the “Son of Elohim”-the Moshiach. He speaks of “LIGHT” shining out of darkness in the vernacular of Sons of Zadok at Qumran. Yochanan is a man of dreams and visions. He is the Daniel of the Brit Chadasha. He even opens his account with a quote from the Oral
Tradition: “and the Torah became flesh, dwelling among us, and we beheld His glory…”This written in the vocabulary of the “mystic”. Yochanan does not even make an effort to make his account synonymous with the other narratives. Matthew 26:28 - "Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them saying, Drink from it all of you, This is my blood ..." Taken literally this verse verse would not only be a violation of the Torah commandment against consuming blood, but along with other verses about eating Yeshua's flesh (John 6:51-56), could be grounds for accusations of cannibalism. There is a far deeper, more mystical meaning here however (the sud), even one that those who heard Him did not understand (John 6:52).