The Song of Ithiel

Arranged in palindrome fashion, the inscription "to Ithiel" is read around the four sides of the square.  Each successive phrase is placed in a symmetrical order.

Arranged in palindrome fashion, the inscription “to Ithiel” is read around the four sides of the square. Each successive phrase is placed in a symmetrical order.

Who is Ithiel?

Ithiel (Hebrew אִיתִיאֵל) is an enigmatic name mentioned in the Biblical verse of Proverbs 30:1. The name is angelic in origin, having the Hebrew -suffix Yodh, Aleph, Lamed, and can have a number of meanings. The name, Ithiel, has as its root a variation of the word “ot” (אוֹתּ) meaning sign and can be rendered as “the words of God,” “he who understood the signs,” or “he who understood the alphabet of God,” relating to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, the root word “ot” also signifying “letters.”1

The Irish abbot and missionary Saint Columba mentions Ithiel, along with Uriel, as one of seven angels charged with taking care of a monastery in his ode Farewell.2

Arthur Cleveland Coxe, in his book Advent: a Mystery, treats Ithiel as an angel in conversation with the counterpart Adiel and writes into them dialogue as in the form of a play.3

Charles Morgridge has described the angel Ithiel as “prince of the seventh or lowest order of the hierarchy of heaven” and of being the weight of judgment for the men of God.4

The numeration of the name Ithiel in Hebrew Gematria is 452 which has an exact correspondence to the Greek words meizonos (μειζονος) and krithete (κριθητε), which, when placed together mean “great judge.”5

What is the Song of Ithiel?

The song of Ithiel is the Hebrew rendering of phrases drawn from the Magic Square of Ithiel (as above).  It begins with the palindrome “le-Ithiel” (לְאִיתִיאֵל), meaning “to Ithiel” which can be read along each side of the Magic Square and other phrases such as “Abba” (father) and “yomar” (he will say) are encoded within the cryptic message. Each other palindrome inside the magic square is intended as a barbarous name to denote a mystical quality.

Due to the nature of the magic square each phrase can be read in four different directions. An incantation can be rendered thus:

L’BAMAOMABAL L’ITIEL,

ABATzABA YOMARAMOY,

TATzARO’ORATzATA, TATzARO’ORATzATA

L’BAMAOMABAL, L’BAMAOMABAL

TATzARO’ORATzATA, TATzARO’ORATzATA

YOMARAMOY ABATzABA,

L’ITIEL L’BAMAOMABAL.

1Tan., Waera, ed. S. Buber, 2, p. 18; Midr. Prov. 30:1; Yalk. on the passage, § 962.

2Smith, J. (1798) The Life of St. Columba. Glasgow: Mundell & son; p. 9.

3Coxe, A. C. (1837) Advent: a Mystery. New York: John S. Taylor.

4Morgridge, C. (1828) “Sermon at the Opening of the Christian Chapel in Salem.” In: The Christian Examiner, Vol. 5, no. 1; p.345.

5Biblewheel.com. 2013. Full Text Hebrew/Greek Bible Gematria Database. [online] Available at: http://www.biblewheel.com/GR/GR_Database.php?Gem_Number=452&SearchByNum=Go [Accessed: 7 Oct 2013].

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