318. "And the earth was without form and void" (Beresheet 1:2), BECAUSE the bitterness of the secretion of THE FRUIT, WHICH DID NOT RIPEN IN THE TREE, REMAINED WITHIN the fruit except when absorbed by the earth. Because THE EARTH already existed, but had not yet been settled, IT WAS WITHOUT FORM AND VOID. THIS IS WHY IT IS WRITTEN: "AND THE EARTH WAS" IN THE PAST TENSE, to indicate that it already existed. Later, MALCHUT, WHICH IS THE WORLD, was established; the world came into being, when it was inscribed by 42 letters, which were intended to crown the Holy Name.
319. When THE 42 LETTERS, WHICH WERE INSCRIBED INSIDE MALCHUT, are combined AND FORM NAMES, THEN the letters ascend INTO THE 42-LETTERED NAME OF BINAH, and descend TO THE FEMALE PRINCIPLE, WHICH IS CALLED 'THE WORLD.' They are crowned in all four parts of the world, WHICH ARE REPRESENTED BY CHOCHMAH, BINAH, TIFERET AND MALCHUT WITHIN MALCHUT. Then THE FEMALE PRINCIPLE, WHO IS CALLED 'the World,' is able to exist. In turn, THE MOCHIN THAT MALCHUT RECEIVES are sustained in her by the GOOD actions OF PEOPLE in the world. The form in which MALCHUT received these MOCHIN is like the seal of a ring. As each letter OF THE 42 LETTERS entered and came out, the world was created. THE LETTERS entered into the seal, WHICH IS BINAH, and joined together FORMING THE HOLY NAMES. THIS MEANS THAT AFTER THEY RECEIVED THE MOCHIN, MALCHUT RECEIVED THEM and the world was established.
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).
321. BECAUSE OF THIS, the waters - THE MOCHIN - were put on the scales and they weighed 1,500. With the fingers, three drops were put on the scales, half for preservation and half entered below. The first rose up while the latter descended. As they rose up by the raising of the hand, the scales stood evenly and turned neither right nor left. This is according to what is written: "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand" (Yeshayah 40:12).
322. Everything was concealed in the earth and nothing was revealed in it. Its force and might, together with its LIGHTS THAT ARE CALLED waters, were frozen inside it. They did not flow or expand until the light from above, NAMELY BINAH, shone upon it. This light struck its receptor and all its powers were released, as it is written: "And Elohim said, 'Let there be light', and there was light" (Beresheet 1:3). THE PHRASE: "LET THERE BE..." MEANS THAT the supernal primordial light, REFERRING TO THE LIGHT OF CHOCHMAH that previously existed IN IT- BEFORE BEING FROZEN AND ENCLOSED - RETURNED TO SHINE. AND THE LIGHT DOES NOT FREEZE IT, BECAUSE IT IS NOW ENCLOTHED IN CHASSADIM.
323. From here, FROM THIS SHINING LIGHT, the entire force and strength OF MALCHUT came forth. The earth, NAMELY MALCHUT, was appeased and then, ON THE THIRD DAY, all its powers were brought forth. Because this LIGHT shone ON MALCHUT as it descended AND SHONE ON THE WORLD, its radiance spread from one end of the world to the other. But when THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, saw the sinners of the world, THOSE WHO WERE ABOUT TO SIN USING THIS LIGHT, he concealed the light and it only came forth through secret paths that are not revealed.