The Four Dimensions of
In order to properly study the Hebrew scriptures without adding or subtracting the value meaning and purpose of the Texts, and to keep from profaning the holiness of the Word, we must began to use the proper method of interpretation and understanding. In YaHudaism we use the ancient interpretation called PaRDeS, which is the Notarikon or acronym of ,
Pashat, Hebrew for simple
Remez, Hebrew for Hint
Drash, Hebrew for Search
Sod, Hebrew forHidden
Each layer above goes deeper into the scriptures than the last.
Pashat is the literal understanding of the text of Scripture for what it is and actually says. It is the simple meaning. All you have to do is read it for what it Is. The main exegetical rule of the Talmud states that, “No passage loses it Pashat”(b.Shab. 63a; b.Yeb.24a).
Although the Hebrew scriptures may have hidden meanings, symbolism, allegory or figurative language in the texts, the literal meaning must be sought and understood. The literal meaning of the scripture is where we get our actual understanding and foundation of truth. Without the Pashat we will not have an accurate
understanding of scripture, thereby allowing our imaginations and opinions to
manipulate the Scriptures to our own deceit(Christian interpretation of Hebrew Scriptures lack Pashat in the utmost). As a result Cults and heretical groups pop up and lead many astray of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Some examples of a Pashat is,
Duet 4:1-2, “And now, oh Yisrayl, give heed to the laws and rules that I am instructing you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the LORD(YHWH), the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add anything to what I command you or take anything away from it, but keep the commandments of the LORD(YHWH) your God that I enjoin upon you.”
This passage like every other Hebrew passage is meant to be taken literally.
Nothing is supposed to change the value or meaning of this text. This text speaks specifically to Yisrayl, physical Yisrayl. They are to give heed to the rules and laws Moshe is instructing them. Any teaching relating to this passage must build upon this passage. As this is the same principle with the whole of Torah. The literal meaning must be settled in ones intellect and understanding first, before they can grow spiritually and intellectually to the next level of understanding.
Another example of a literal meaning; study Exodus 21:12-17.
Once you have the literal understanding that Shabbat is eternal sign between
Yisrayl and YHWH, It is proof of YHWH’s consecration of Yisrayl, It is holy for Yisrayl, and that it is an eternal Covenant, then you won’t become vulnerable to teachings that destroy or twist the meaning, such as Christian Sunday Worship, or a New Testament(covenant) replacing the Covenant of Yisrayl, whether using the Drash, Ramez or Sod interpretation .
Once you get the Pashat of the Hebrew Scriptures into your heart, you’ll
automatically reject and disregard teachings contrary to it.
When one accepts a Trinitarian doctrine, it because they never understood the Pashat of D’var 6:4 stating that “YHWH is one”, literally, which is the foundation.
Remember, No Hebrew Passage looses its Pashat, its Literal meaning!
There are also several rule of thumb that are to be used in determining whether a Passage of scripture is figurative, even in its Pashat:
1. A statement is figurative when it uses a non animate object to describing a livingbeing(Psalm 18:2).
2. A Statement is figurative when its expression is out of Character with what it described(i.e. Psalms 17:8; 18:8-12).
3. A Statement is figurative when life and action are attributed to a non-animate object(Proverbs 18:10).
Ramez is the next level of interpreting Hebrew scripture. It is regarded as hinting at a deeper truth or the implied meaning of the Text other than that mentioned by its Pashat.
For example D’var 5:20 say,
“Answer not a vain witness against you friend(neighbor)”
By this passage we know we are not bear false or vain witness against thy friend or neighbor, in this case a Hebrew Israelite. Using the Ramez we know that we are not to bear a false witness against our enemies or foreigners, parents or children. It is our duty not to bear false witness at all against anyone!
Another example is Exodus 21:12,
“he who smites a man, thus he dies: in deathifying, deathify him(put him to death)”
Using the Remez we know that this applies to a woman smiting a man, a man
smiting a woman or child, or a teenager smiting a man, woman or another child or a woman smiting a woman. They were to be put to death.
If I told my son not to steal cookies from the jar anymore of else he would get a spanking, that also applies stealing from a store, my coat pocket or stealing period.
Ya’akov the Just, leader of the Yerushalem Hebrew community in 1st century YaHudaism uses the Ramez in his commentary on the Torah:
Ya’akov(James) 2:10(Stern), “for a person who keeps the whole Torah, yet stumbles at one point, has become guilty of breaking them all. For the One who said, ‘Don’t commit adultery,’ also said, ‘don’t murder.’ now if you don’t commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the Torah.”
The next level of Hebrew scripture interpretation is known as the Drash which means “to search.” This is when we use the homiletical, topological and allegorical application of the Texts. We search the text as it relates to the rest of the Hebrew scriptures, life or a personal experience or other literature. This deals with
eisogesis, or the reading of the text.
For example, use D’var(Deuteronomy) 6:4 to understand YeshiYah 41:4; 43:10b-12; 44:6; 45:5-7, 18b, 21b-22 .
Use YeshiYah 41:8 to understand 42:1-4; or YeshiYah 44:1, 21; 45:4; 49:3 to
understand YeshiYah 52:13-chapter 54:12
Use Numbers 11:29 to understand Yah’ayl(Joel) 2:28-29.
Use D’var 4:7 to understand ZachariYah 8:23
There are two rules of thumb we must follow in using the Drash:
1. A Drash interpretation cannot in any way be used to strip or contradict the text of its Pashat. Nor can it Change the literal meaning of the Hebrew text. No Passage loses its literal meaning!
2. Allow scripture to interpret scripture. Search for the Scriptures themselves to define the parts of an allegory.
The last level of interpretation is the SOD, meaning, “Hidden”. This is the Prophetic revelation given by the Eternal One himself concerning a part of the Hebrew Text. It can be an implied revelation nationalistically or individually. It is a fresh Prophetic Word from Yahweh concerning life, Torah, business,
governments or a number of events. It is an illumination of the Torah and will of YHWH to help us grow spiritually in his Torah. As always it will not change the Torah or any Hebrew passage in any way. This is the level one is able to reach when one receives the infilling of the Spirit of Holiness, the Ruach Qodesh..
As you are using these methods of interpretation, you must remember that the Pashat is the most important, Remez is second Drash is third and Sod is fourth important. All understanding and interpretation is built from the Pashat, which is the foundation of biblical understanding