286. Rabbi Yehuda began the discussion with the verse, "Have the gates of death been opened to you? Or have you seen the gates of the shadow of death?" (Iyov 38:17). The Holy One, blessed be He, said this to Job, who was aggravated by the judgments of the Holy One, blessed be He. Come and behold, Job said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him (Heb. lo)" (Iyov 13:15). It is written "lo (Lamed Aleph) (lit.'not')," but read as with lo (Lamed Vav) ('in him')." Thus, it includes everything, AND it ALSO SAYS THAT, THOUGH HE SLAYS HIM, HE WILL NOT TRUST IN HIM.
287. The Holy One, blessed be He, asked him, 'Do I kill people?' ."..have the gates of death been opened to you? Or have you seen the gates of the shadow of death?" How many gates are open on that side THROUGH WHICH YOU CAN ESCAPE DEATH? BUT EVERYWHERE death controls them, because the gates are not opened to men who do not know of them. IN THE FUTURE, HOWEVER, WHEN THE VERSE IS FULFILLED, "FOR THE EARTH SHALL BE FULL OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF HASHEM" (YESHAYAH 11:9), THEN, "HE WILL DESTROY DEATH FOR EVER" (YESHAYAH 25:8). THUS, THEY DIE BECAUSE THEY DO NOT KNOW HOW TO BE GUARDED, AND NOT BECAUSE THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, KILLS THEM.
288. "Or have you seen the gates of the shadow of death." HE ASKS, What are the gates of death, and what are the gates of the shadow of death? HE ANSWERS, They are as one, joined together LIKE MALE AND FEMALE ARE JOINED TO BE ONE. We learned that "death" means the Angel of Death. It has already been explained TO BE THE SECRET OF THE SERPENT, WHICH IS FEMALE. The shadow of death is he who rides upon death, NAMELY, SAMAEL WHO RIDES UPON THE SERPENT. It is its shadow and gives it the power to be united into one bond. And so they are one.
289. All the grades issued by them are connected TO THE MALE AND THE FEMALE OF THE KLIPOT; THEY are their gates. It is the same above, IN HOLINESS, as it is written, "Lift up your heads, O gates" (Tehilim 24:7). They are called 'rivers and springs,' THAT IS, THE FOUNDATIONS OF the six ends of the world, THE MALE AND THE FEMALE OF HOLINESS. Here also, there are gates of death and gates of the shadow of death of the Other Side. They are grades that rule over the world. The gates of death and the gates of the shadow of death are male and female, clinging together.
290. Therefore, the Holy One, blessed be He, addressed these words to Job, "As the cloud is consumed and vanishes away, so he who goes down to the grave shall come up no more" (Iyov 7:8). together with, "have the gates of death been opened to you?" Thus he may know that they are all under My authority, and in the future they will be removed from the world, as it is written, "He will destroy death forever."