Letter To The Jews / Chapter 1

1: The Three Veils

Greetings, and peace to you!

You are beloved for the sake of your ancestors, who received many blessings, and who were made into a nation of kings and priests, along with a covenant consisting of laws that made them distinct from all other nations of the earth, and a Temple for the worship of the Most High; and for many hundreds of years, the glory of YHWH dwelt with your ancestors.

But they provoked YHWH to anger with their idolatry and disregard for the Torah, until his patience with them finally ran out. And so the prophet Ezekiel saw a vision of the cherubs removing YHWH’s cloud of glory from the Temple.

The cloud moved over the threshold of the House, and there was a brightness, and the sound of the wings of the cherubs. The glory cloud of YHWH then stood over the cherubs, and they lifted it to the eastern gate of the Temple. It was then lifted up from Jerusalem, and stopped over the Mount of Olives to the east of the city.1

And YHWH said to Ezekiel: “Son of man, you are living in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but they do not see, and ears to hear, but they do not hear, for they are a house of rebellion.” 2

Your ancestors were cast out of the land given to them, and made to dwell in Babylon. But they were not abandoned there, for YHWH had already said in advance concerning Israel, “there will still be a tenth in it,” and that it would be “like the terebinth and like the oak tree, which have a stump in them when cut down. The holy seed is its stump.” 3

And so, a remnant of your ancestors returned, and gradually rebuilt Jerusalem, along with a second Temple. But these also seemed to be destined for destruction, although this time, it was not because of idolatry.

For when Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes sacrificed swine upon the altar, your people fought against him, and cleansed and rededicated the Temple.

And when Roman emperor Caligula decreed that his own image was to be brought into the Temple at Jerusalem, your ancestors said they would prefer death. Then the heavens opened with rain, even though there had been a great drought before, and it was Caesar himself who died, before his decree could be enacted.4

Still, some of your ancestors said that God was to be their only ruler and lord, and incited the people to rebel against the Romans, who had become the rulers of Judea and a large part of the inhabited earth.

But it appears that YHWH had indeed appointed the Romans as rulers of the earth, for the rebellion brought about the destruction of both Jerusalem and the Temple. And three veils came upon your ancestors, which resulted in a form of blindness.

1 Ezekiel 10; Ezekiel 11:22,23. 2 Ezekiel 12:2. 3 Isaiah 6:13. 4 Josephus, Antiquities Of The Jews, Book 18, Chapter 8.

next chapter

Download And Share In PDF Format