WORD STUDY – GOD SPEAKING IN SILENCE lmvx Cheth Shin Mem Lamed
Ezekiel: 1:4: “I looked, and lo, a stormy wind came sweeping out of the north, a hugh cloud and flashing fire, surrounded by radiance; and in the center of it, in the center of the fire, a gleam of amber.
The word Ezekiel chose for gleam of amber is chashmal. This is one of the few times in Hebrew where scholars draw a blank on what the root word for chashmal is. Perhaps the reason is that these scholars did not study the Talmud nor entered into a chashmal with God.
Some scholars suggest that the first letter of the word chashmal is really a Hei rather than a Cheth. In other words that first letter is a definite article and the root word is shamal which is clothing, a covering or a protective covering. This might fit except I outright reject that idea because then you are saying there is an error in the Bible, albeit a small one that is easily made. The difference between a Cheth and a Hei is slight and often overlooked. The Hei is identical to the Cheth except for the upper left hand corner there is a small opening called the narrow gate. Still, I will not accept the fact that even such a small error exist in the Word of God. The simple fact is that we don’t know what the root word is and we just have to deal with it. Most scholars believe it is a word for a bright shining object but we really are not sure of that meaning but most translators just follow tradition and settle for either a shinning or gleaming amber or metal. Amber is merely fossilized tree resin which can be polished to the point where it does gleam. Amber was made famous in the movie Jurassic Park where dinosaurs were cloned from the DNA of a dinosaur’s blood trapped in a mosquito that was covered in the resin or amber.
The word chashmal is used only three times in the Old Testament, all in Ezekiel all in the same context (1:4, 1:27 and 8:2) and all giving a definitive description of what Ezekiel saw as the center of the manifestation of God
The Septuigant renders this in the Greek as electrum. It is used in Revelation 1:15 in the same context. This is the word where we get electron and electricity. Thousands of years before mankind knew of an electron or electricity, that is what Ezekiel used to describe what he saw, perhaps in the form of lighning.
Electrum, however, is a modern term used to describe a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver, whose colors range from pale to bright yellow like the sun. It was a precious metal used in ancient coinage. Today it is used as an excellent conductor of electricity. The Hebrews recognized gold to symbolize the light or glory of God and silver as His holiness. Both are combined in one element in electrum. Gold was believed to be the skin of gods because all metal except platinum will grow warm in your hands except gold which remains cool and allusive like the gods.
Perhaps it is the refusal to accept that the ancient sages understood the concept of electricity in the formation of the word chashmal because the Talmud teaches that it could also be a compound word meaning silence (chash) and speaking(milel). Electricity is silent yet is speaks to us in its flashes. Perhaps the sages saw the energy in lightning and felt it was a silent witness.
I read something very interesting in the Talmud in Chagiga 13b this morning which addressed the mystery of prayer. “For one to connect to the chashmal of God, one first must be silent to cut away the kelipos. One then can hear the milel of God.”
In other words the chashmal of God is silence and speaking in silence. What Ezekiel saw in the center of the flashing fire, cloud and wind was the chashmal, the silent speaking of God. A few weeks ago I spent a week living in silence. I have a book coming out in January entitled Journey into Silence. In silence I heard the world weep, I heard the cry of the world. I believe this was the chashmal of God. God speaks to us in silence. For silence cuts away the kelipos.
Kelipos literally means a shell and as Rabbi Yaacov Yosef characterized, kelipos are fleshly thoughts that come during prayer. How often are our prayers filled with fleshly thoughts. It took me almost three days of living in Silence before I started to really pray. Up to that time my prayers were filled with kelipos, fleshly thoughts and desires. After a time of silence, joining with God’s creation in worship I began to pray prayers that were not filled with fleshly desires, but only spiritual desires. I grew hungry for the Word of God, the Bible. I began reading and staying up late at night reading God’s word which was burning away all the kelipos fleshly thoughts. I learned that silence before God will crack that shell of fleshly thoughts ushering in the presence or pleasure of God.
Do you ever find it difficult to pray? Perhaps you need to just sit in silence for a while, perhaps a long while. In the Toronto Blessing they called it soaking. During that time of soaking, thinking of God, picturing God in your mind, filling your mind with the Word of God and before long you break through the kelipos and really enter into true prayer. I believe there are many Christians who have yet entered into true prayer or chashmal. You don’t need to wait for my book to be released to discover the chashmal of God, God speaking in silence, you can start right now and when you break through the kelipos, the fleshly thoughts, you will be amazed as how easy it is and how you can spend hours in prayer without even realizing it, in fact you will grow to desire the chashmal of God more than sleep and food itself. I know, I experienced it, just as Ezekiel did and tried to explain it in abstract terms. Until you experience that chashmal, the vision of Ezekiel will be nothing more to you than the description of alien space ships. But if you experience the chashmal of God his vision will be a beautiful description of the love and passion of God.