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Ten Sephirot עשׂר ספירות

(3,779 words)

Author(s): M. A. Sweeney
I. Name The term ‘ten sephirot’ first appears in Sepher Yetzirah (Book of Creation), a third or fourth century ce cosmological and cosmogonic treatise, where it refers to the ten primordial numbers or utterances by God on which creation is based (cf. Gen. 1.1–2.3). In later Kabbalistic literature beginning in the late twelfth and thirteenth centuries (e.g., Sepher ha-Bahir [Book of Brilliance]; Sepher ha-Zohar [Book of Splendour]), the term refers to the ten emanations or abstract qualities of God by which the infinite God is known and manifested in the finite…