262. If they repent, it is said of them: "And Hashem showed him a tree" (Ibid. 25), the Tree of Life by which "the waters were made sweet." AS THE BITTERNESS AND THE DEADLY POISON WERE REMOVED FROM THE TORAH, THE SWEETNESS OF IT, WHICH IS THE ELIXIR OF LIFE, WAS REVEALED TO THEM. And this TREE OF LIFE is Moses the Messiah. THE SOUL OF MOSES SHALL BE REVEALED AT THE COMING OF MESSIAH, as it is written of him BEFORE THE COMING OF MESSIAH: "The rod of Elohim is in my hand" (Shemot 17:9); "the rod of Elohim" is Metatron, who has life on one side and death on the other, AS HE CHANGES FROM A SERPENT TO A ROD AND FROM A ROD TO A SERPENT. When he changed into a rod, he was helpful TO MOSES from the side of good, AND LIFE ISSUED FROM HIM. But when he changed into a serpent, he worked against him, BECAUSE DEATH WAS ON HIS SIDE. So immediately, "Moses fled from it" (Shemot 4:3).
263. The Holy One, blessed be He, delivered Metatron into the hands of Moses, SO THAT HE MIGHT USE HIM BY THE SECRET OF THE "ROD OF ELOHIM." AS LONG AS IT IS IN THE HANDS OF MOSES, IT BECOMES A ROD AND NOT A SERPENT. METATRON is the secret of the Oral Torah, which prescribes what is forbidden and what is permitted, NAMELY THE SIDES OF GOOD AND EVIL. THIS IS SIMILAR TO METATRON, WHO IS THE SECRET OF THE TORAH OF BRIYAH. BUT IN ATZILUT, IT IS WRITTEN: "NOR SHALL EVIL DWELL WITH YOU" (TEHILIM 5:5). AND THE ENTIRE TORAH CONSISTS OF THE HOLY NAMES OF THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE. As soon as Moses smote the rock with the rod, the Holy One, blessed be He, removed it from Moses's hand, as it is written: "Went down to him with a staff" (II Shmuel 23:21) to smite him with it. The staff is the Evil Inclination, the serpent THAT IS THE CAUSE OF ALL THE SUFFERING AND PUNISHMENTS OF EXILE.
320. THESE LETTERS struck the rod of the great Serpent and traveled 1,500 cubits inside the chasms of the dust, WHICH IS THE ASPECT OF THE FEMALE PRINCIPLE. Afterward, the great deep arose in darkness. Darkness covered everything until light emerged to break through the darkness and shine IN ALL ITS PERFECTION, as it is written: "He uncovers deep things out of darkness, and brings out to light the shadow of death" (Iyov 12:22).