388. Midrash Hane'elam (Homiletical interpretations on the obscure). "And Hashem visited Sarah as He had said..." (Beresheet 21:1). Rabbi Yochanan opened the discussion with this verse, "Your head upon you is like Carmel, and the hair of your head like purple; the king is held in the galleries" (Shir Hashirim 7:6). The Holy One, blessed be He, placed governors on high and down below. When the Holy One, blessed be He, raises the governors on high, He grants the same elevation to the kings below. Thus, because He gave the governor of Babylon rise, Nebuchadnezzar the Wicked also received it, as it is written about him, "You are this head of gold" (Daniel 2:38). And the entire world was enslaved by him, by his son, and by the son of his son. It is written, "Your head upon you is like Carmel," which applies to Nebuchadnezzar. And it is also written, "the beasts of the field had shadow under it" (Daniel 4:9). The phrase, "and the hair of your head like purple" applies to Belshatzar, who said, "shall be clothed with scarlet (purple)" (Daniel 5:7). "The king is held in the galleries" refers to Evil Merodach (the king of Babylon), who was imprisoned until the death of his father, and then ruled in his place.
389. Rabbi Yehuda asks, Why does this description appear in the Song of Songs? Then he continued to explain that seven items were created before the creation of the universe. The first is the Throne of Glory, as it is written, "Your throne is established of old, You are from everlasting" (Tehilim 93:2) and "A glorious high throne from the beginning" (Yirmeyah 17:12). Hence, this was the beginning; it preceded everything else. And the Holy One, blessed be He, took the pure soul from the Throne of Glory, so it would shine on the body. This is as it is written, "Your head upon you is like Carmel," which refers to the Throne of Glory, which is the "head" over everything. And the phrase, "the hair of your head like purple" refers to the soul that is taken from it. "...The king is held in the galleries" is the body imprisoned in the grave and consumed in the dust. Nothing remains of it except for a scrap of rot, but from this, the entire body will be rebuilt. And when the Holy One, blessed be He, visits the body, He will tell the earth to cast it out, as it is written, "And the earth shall cast out the dead" (Yeshayah 26:19).
390. Rabbi Yochanan said, The dead of the land (of Yisrael) shall be the first to live, as it is written, "Your dead men shall live..." (Yeshayah 26:19); "dead bodies shall arise," refers to those who have died away from the land (of Yisrael). "Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust" refers to those who have died in the desert. As Rabbi Yochanan asks, Why did Moses die away from the land (of Yisrael)? It was to show the entire world that just as the Holy One, blessed be He, shall resurrect Moses in the future, so shall He resurrect his generation, who received the Torah. And of them it is written, "I remember in your favor, the kindness of your youth, the love of your espousals, when you went after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown" (Yirmeyah 2:2).
391. Another explanation of the verse, "Awake and sing, you that dwell in dust" is that it refers to the Patriarchs. And the bodies of those who died away from the land (of Yisrael) will be rebuilt, and they shall roll under the ground until they reach the land of Yisrael. There, and not away from the land (of Yisrael), they shall receive their souls. As it is written, "Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says Hashem Elohim, Behold, my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Yisrael" (Yechezkel 37:12), which is followed by, "And I shall put my spirit in you, and you shall live..." (Ibid. 14)
392. Rabbi Pinchas said, The soul is taken from the Throne of Glory, which is the "head," as it is written, "Your head upon you is like Carmel." "...And the hair of your head like purple" means the soul that is the hair of the head. Finally, "the king is held in the galleries" means the body that is held in the grave. This refers to the body, Sarah, and the King. So the Holy One, blessed be He, shall visit it at the appointed time, as it is written, "And Hashem visited Sarah as He had said." He shall visit the body at the appointed time, when He shall visit the righteous."
393. Rabbi Pinchas said, In the future, the Holy One, blessed be He, will make the bodies of the righteous as beautiful as Adam was when he entered the Garden of Eden, as it is written, "And Hashem shall guide you continually...and you shall be like a watered garden" (Yeshayah 58:11). Rabbi Levi then said, As long as the soul remains in its exalted position, it is nourished by the Light from above and is enclothed with It. And when it enters the body in the future, it shall enter with that same Light. Then the body will shine as the brightness of the firmament. This is as it is written, "And they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament..." (Daniel 12:3) And people will attain full knowledge, as it is written, "For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Hashem" (Yeshayah 11:9). How do we reach this conclusion? From the verse, "And Hashem shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought" (Yeshayah 58:11). This is the Light of above. "...and make fat your bones" is the visiting of the body, while "and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not" is the knowledge of the Blessed Creator. Then all creatures shall know of the soul that entered them - that it is the soul of Life, the soul of Delight, which has received all pleasures and delights for the body from above. And all are amazed by it, saying, "How fair and how pleasant are you, love, in delights" (Shir Hashirim 7:3), all of which refers to the soul.
394. Rabbi Yehuda said, Come and behold. It is indeed so. It is written, "the king is held in the galleries," and then, "How fair and how pleasant are you..." Rabbi Yehuda continued, At that time, the Holy One, blessed be He, will make His world happy, and rejoice in His created beings, as it is written, "Hashem shall rejoice in his works" (Tehilim 104:31). And then there will be laughter in the world, which we do not see now, as it is written, "Then will our mouth be filled with laughter..." (Tehilim 126:2) This is according to the verse, "And Sarah said, 'Elohim has made for me to laugh..." (Beresheet 21:6). So at that time, people will chant songs, as it is a time of laughter. Rabbi Aba added that on the day when the Holy One, blessed be He, will rejoice together with His created beings, there will be joy such as has not existed since the world was created. And the righteous that remain in Jerusalem shall return no more to dust, as it is written, "And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remains in Jerusalem, shall be called holy" (Yeshayah 4:3), precisely "he that is left in Zion, and he that remains in Jerusalem."
395. Rabbi Acha asks, Then there will only be a few? Rather, the rule that applies to Jerusalem and Zion applies to all those who remained in the holy land of Yisrael. This teaches us that the whole land of Yisrael is included within Jerusalem, based on what is written, "And when you shall come into the land..." (Vayikra 19:23) - The entire land as a whole.
396. Rabbi Yehuda, the son of Rabbi Elazar, asks Rabbi Chizkiyah about the dead that the Holy One, blessed be He, shall resurrect, Why does He not give them back their souls in the places where they were buried and let them come to live in the land of Yisrael? Rabbi Chizkiyah responded, The Holy One, blessed be He, took an oath to build Jerusalem and to see that it shall never be destroyed. As Rabbi Yirmeyah said, The Holy One, blessed be He, shall renew His world, and build Jerusalem. He shall bring it down from above completely built, so that it may never be destroyed. And he took a solemn oath that the Congregation of Yisrael shall never be exiled again and that Jerusalem shall never be destroyed, as it is written, "You shall no more be termed Forsaken, neither shall your land any more be termed Desolate..." (Yeshayah 62:4). Everywhere you find a double negative, there is an oath, as it is written, "neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth" (Beresheet 9:11), and it is written, "For as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth" (Yeshayah 54:9). From this we conclude that a double negative is a solemn oath, and from that negative, we can hear an affirmative. So the Holy One, blessed be He, shall reestablish His world in the future in such a manner that the Congregation of Yisrael shall never be exiled and the Temple will never be destroyed. Therefore, they shall not be given back their souls except in a place that is forever established, so that the soul will forever dwell in the body. Thus, it is written, "He that is left in Zion, and he that remains in Jerusalem, shall be called holy."
397. Rabbi Chizkiyah said, Thus, He is holy, Jerusalem is holy, and he who remains in it is holy. He is holy, as it is written, "Holy is Hashem Tzva'ot" (Yeshayah 6:3), and "the Holy One in your midst" (Hoshea 11:9); Jerusalem is holy, as is written, "had gone from the holy place" (Kohelet 8:10); and he that remains in it is holy, as it is written, "And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remains in Jerusalem, shall be called holy" (Yeshayah 4:3). So as the first holy one is established, so are the other two holy ones.