“…and they heard the sound of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day…” Gen 3:8
Since discovering the ancient approach of biblical study called Pardes, nearly five years ago, my love for Avi’s (my Father) words have grown exponentially.
And although my journey to discover the mysteries of His voice began long ago as a child, the simple meditative process of Pardes has become my fascination—my obsession.
But this obsession doesn’t steer towards those things you might expect from a deep-dive study. You know, those super-secret treasures of divine health, transfiguration, everlasting life, and other “mind-over-matter”, overcoming technologies that Avi’s voice can activate.
Yeah, those are all there in the sea of Choshek—those are all yes and amen, well and good!
But this journey created within me a surprising fascination and an unexpected result.
What I discovered in the “getting of Wisdom” was an insatiable passion for an ever increasing relationship with Hashilush Hakadosh (The Holy Trinity). And I found something even greater: a family of intimate perfection.
What’s more, I learned of the inseparability of scripture from relationship. The revealing of one, always reveals the other. The increase of one, always increases the other. My love for one, always produces love for the other.
With that said, let’s take a look at this meditative process of scripture called Pardes that has been indispensable in creating my ever-growing passion for scripture and relationship.
Pardes comes from the Hebrew which means a preserve, park, or orchard. Additionally, though Hebrew language uses another word for garden, there is a correlation with the word in the idea of paradise, which does have its root in the word Pardes.
As it applies to scripture meditation, Pardes refers to types of biblical study or interpretation of text in Torah study in rabbinic Judaism. Sometimes it is spelled PaRDeS, to form an acronym the following four approaches that are included in this way of study: Peshat, Remez, Deresh, and Sod.
Each of the four approaches of Pardes provide a method of interpreting scripture, and each step is considered deeper than the last:
- Peshat: means simple—the plain, straight, literal meaning of the text. This is considered the keystone to understanding Scripture.
- Remez: means hint—the symbolic or allegorical consideration that hints at the depth of the text, just beyond the literal sense.
- Deresh: means concept, from the Hebrew darah (inquire/seek), and looks at comparative or metaphorical meaning, as given through similar occurrences.
- Sod: pronounced with a long O as in ‘sore’, means hidden—the secrets (mystery) of the text or hidden meanings, or the esoteric/mystical meaning, as given through inspiration or revelation.
Each type of Pardes interpretation examines the extended meaning of a text. As a general rule, the extended meaning never contradicts the base meaning. There is often considerable overlap, for example when legal understandings of a verse are influenced by mystical interpretations or when a “hint” is determined by comparing a word with other instances of the same word.
With all interpretation the real benefit comes from application. This isn’t always the same for everyone, which is where my relationship with Avi comes into play. As I walk through PaRDiSe, in the garden with Hashalosh Hakodosh, I learn from them as they take the deep-dive study with me.
They crack open each level of the Pardes for me, and unfold the mysteries at each step of interpretation. And along the way they answer these questions:
- Who I Am?
- What’s inside of me?
- Where am I positioned with what I’ve been given?
- How do I administrate it in and through my life?
To take a quote from Ian Clayton,
“Paradise is the complete unfolding of the full knowledge of Yahweh being completely revealed in creation; where creation begins to behold the unfolding measure of the immeasurableness of Yahweh.” (The Thomas Effect, day 3, Session 3)
And I will add: PaRaDiSe is where we begin to behold the unfolding measure of Yahweh’s boundlessness within ourselves.
You know, before they were sent from the Garden east in Eden, Adam and Eve walked regularly with Yahweh, in order to grow in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding through an intimate relationship with Him. One might say, it was their occupied obsession when they weren’t doing their “daily chores”. It was their fascination—their passion to regularly connect with their Creator. So regular, in fact, that the one time they didn’t show up, Avi came looking for them.
It was His obsession, too. And it still is today.
My journey, is mine—your journey is yours, and the scriptural process of meditation of Pardes that I have shared with you above, is just that: a process and a method. It is a means. A means, not to an end, but a hopeful beginning.
And my hope is that you, too, can bend your journey down pathways through Paradise to discover your own everlasting reward of walking in the cool of the day with Him.