51. "For I appear in the cloud upon the ark cover" (Vayikra 16:2). Rabbi Yehuda said: Fortunate are the righteous, whom the Holy One, blessed be He, delights to honor. We have learned about a king of flesh and blood, that if someone rides on his horse, he has committed a capital offense. However, the Holy One, blessed be He, placed Elijah on His own, as it is written, "And Elijah went up by a storm of wind into heaven" (II Melachim 2:11) AND IT IS WRITTEN, "HASHEM ANSWERED JOB OUT OF THE STORM" (IYOV 38:1). It is written: here "that he die not: for I appear in the cloud upon the ark cover." The Holy One, blessed be He, brought Moses into the cloud, as it says, "And Moses went into the midst of the cloud" (Shemot 24:18), meaning into the midst of the cloud, DENOTING MALCHUT. IT IS WITHIN THE SAME CLOUD, OF WHICH IT SAYS, "For I appear in the cloud upon the ark cover." This is the meaning of, "And Hashem will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion and upon its assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day" (Yeshayah 4:5), "For the cloud of Hashem was upon the tabernacle by day" (Shemot 40:38). ALL THESE CLOUDS HINT AT MALCHUT.
218. We have learned that the pious one, whose Ruach and Nefesh cling to the above, to the Holy King, with the proper love, will rule upon the earth below and what he decrees for the world will come to pass. How do we know this? From Elijah, as it is written, "As Hashem the Elohim of Yisrael lives, before whom I stood, there shall not be dew or rain these years, but acording to my word" (I Melachim 17:1).
220. We have learned that from the day the world was created, THE SOULS OF THE GREAT PIOUS ONES have stood before the Holy One, blessed be He, held back IN HIS PRESENCE. THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, WATCHES THEM until the time arrives to send them below, MEANING TO BECOME CLOTHED WITH A BODY, and they rule above and below. Thus the verse, "As Hashem the Elohim of Yisrael lives, before whom I stood." It doesn't say, 'I stand,' but "I stood," MEANING BEFORE DESCENDING TO THIS WORLD. Afterwards, he returned to his place IN HEAVEN and entered his chamber. Other SOULS do not ASCEND TO THEIR PLACE until they die. This is because they never stood earlier BEFORE THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, ON THAT LEVEL of the others, NAMELY ENOCH AND ELIJAH THAT MERITED TO ASCEND TO THEIR PLACE WHEN STILL ALIVE. For this reason, Elijah became a messenger and angel above, AND ENOCH TOO. And these were those that clung most to the King, MEANING MORE THAN AN ANGEL.
221. I found in the book of Adam that all Holy Spirits above, MEANING ANGELS, do the mission OF THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, and all come from one place. The souls of the righteous COME from two levels joined into one. Therefore, they ascend higher THAN ANGELS and their levels are greater THAN ANGELS. This is so. All those that were hidden there went down and up during their lifetime, such as Enoch, who did not die. We have already established this matter regarding Enoch and Elijah.