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"Its chief characteristic was, it enabled everyone to express himself clearly and unmistakably in terms exactly corresponding to his thoughts, wishes and intentions, otherwise they were not understood and comprehended by the heavenly powers. Thus it came to pass that, by confusion of their speech, their power resulting from union of will and purpose was destroyed and nullified. Note that words of the holy language are understood by celestial beings who, when hearing them are impelled to assist and help those who utter them, otherwise they pay no heed or regard to them. This now occurred to the builders of Babel who, on ceasing to speak the holy tongue, lost power and ability to carry out and execute their design and therefore left off building the city. It is written, 'Blessed be the name of the Lord forever and ever, for wisdom and might are his' (Dan. II. 20), for they come from and are only with God.' Man being naturally too weak and powerless to possess, has corrupted the divine wisdom which the Holy One imparted and made known to the world and also using it for selfish ends and purposes and presuming on the knowledge of it, has dared to rebel and revolt against their lord. This secret hidden wisdom was revealed at first and imparted to Adam who by it became instructed in its secret doctrine respecting the celestial spheres and their guarding angels. Though endowed with all this profound knowledge, he allowed himself to be influenced and deceived by the tempter so that the fount of this divine wisdom and treasury of knowledge became closed to him. After his repentance, it was again opened to him, but only partially so. In the book that bears his name, he has transmitted this divine wisdom to his successors who, after acquiring a knowledge of it, provoked the wrath of the Holy One against them by their abuse of it for selfish purposes. Its mysteries were taught by the Holy One to Noah who at first did the will of God, but

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alas! as scripture records of him, he drank of the wine, that is, of the secret wisdom, and was drunken and lay uncovered within his tent, a full explanation of which words we have already given. Afterwards it was imparted to Abraham who in the service of the Lord used it with great advantage to himself, but he begat Ishmael, who vexed the Holy One. So also was it with Isaac who begat Esau.76a Jacob married two sisters. To Moses was this secret wisdom imparted; and of him it is written, 'Who is faithful in all mine house' (Num. XII. 7), for he manifested his faithfulness in that he never ceased making it the great study of his life. King Solomon became entrusted with it; and of him it is written, 'The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, King of Israel,' and also the prophetic visions of a man who had God with him and was thus able to do all things. Said Solomon himself, since God is with me and hath given this wisdom unto me, whatever seemeth good unto me, I can do. But of him scripture relates, 'And the Lord raised up the adversary unto Solomon' (I. Kings XI. 14). Observe, it was owing to their abuse of true wisdom that the builders of Babel foolishly and rashly revolted against the Holy One, and after striving to execute their evil project became scattered over the face of the earth and lost entirely all knowledge of the mysteries of the secret wisdom. The time will, however, come, when it will be revealed and made known to the world by the Holy One, and he will then become the sole object of man's worship and adoration, as it is written, 'And I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them' (Ez. XXXVI. 27); or in other words, I will not impart my wisdom to man as aforetime that so they might avoid falling, but slowly and gradually they may learn it by meditation, and thus by assimilation walk uprightly and keep my commandments."

Next: Chapter LXXIX. On Words and the Philosophy of Sound