path connecting Tiphareth (Beauty) and Netzach (Victory) is associated
with the Death tarot card, and represents the victory over death that
Christ obtained on the cross. When the Death card appears in tarot card
readings, it is usually associated with cycles of life and change – such
as a new job or a new relationship. However, in regards to the Qabalah
and Christianity, death represents physical death leading to judgment or
salvation, or it can symbolize a follower of Christ being born again
The imagery on the Death tarot card shows a skeleton wearing black
armor, and riding on a white horse. The rider is holding a black flag
with a rose on it, representing eternal life. The horse is stepping over
a dead body and standing on a crown, symbolizing that kings, peasants,
children, elderly, and everything in-between are all equal in death.
Death does not discriminate. The skeleton wears armor, demonstrating
that you cannot fight death or resist him.
The card pictures a child on its knees holding flowers, a woman looking
away, and a religious figure praying. When death comes, looking away and
trying to avoid it will not help you. Neither will begging or praying.
The child does not turn away from death, or pray for more time. The
child looks death in the face, and does not fear it.
Mark 10:15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the
kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
The child – not having lived a life of sin – is not afraid of death, and
looks to it with wonderment. In the background of the card, there is a
sailboat – symbolizing a journey. The sailboat is heading towards the
two watch towers that are also portrayed on the Moon tarot card. Behind
the towers are the sun and the Mountain of God, which is where the
journey will lead. Death is an unavoidable aspect of life. You and each
of your loved ones are going to die.
Matthew 26:38-39 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding
sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he
went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my
Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not
as I will, but as thou wilt.
Matthew 26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O
my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy
will be done.
John 18:11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath:
the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus struggled with His pending
crucifixion and death. Facing death is a scary thing, but in the end,
everyone must drink of the cup that God has prepared for them. Jesus
came to terms with His pending death, and placed His trust in God.
Following this short struggle, Christ faced His pending crucifixion with
John 18:3-5 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from
the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and
torches and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should
come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They
answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And
Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
John 19:10-11 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me?
knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to
release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against
me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me
unto thee hath the greater sin.
When Judas came to betray Him, Jesus boldly identified Himself as the
one they were seeking. When taken in front of Pilate, Jesus trusted in
the will of God. As with many aspects of His life, Christ provided His
disciples with an example to follow. The thought of death is scary, but
once you recognize that it is part of God’s plan –and a gateway to His
kingdom – death loses its sting (1 Corinthians 15:55, Hosea 13:14).
Luke 12:4-5 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that
kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will
forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed
hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
Everyone will face death, but the fear of physical death should not be
the primary concern. After death comes judgment and that can either be
feared or readily embraced – depending on your personal relationship
with God. Death will come regardless; how you respond to death will
depend on how you prepare now. Death is the last of the four horseman of
the apocalypse as described in the Book of Revelations.
Revelation 6:7-9 When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice
of the fourth living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, an
ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was
following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the
earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the
wild beasts of the earth.
The forth horseman rides on an ashen horse (which in some Bibles is
translated as white). Ashen refers to a yellow-green color, implying
that the horse is dead. Death rides on a dead horse, and brings death
and hell with him. At this phase of the apocalypse (leading up to the
return of Christ) people will be killed with the sword, through famine,
or plagues. Even before the final judgment, God’s wrath will be released
on the earth – just as it was in times past.
Hosea 13:14-16 Shall I ransom them from the power of grave? Shall I
redeem them from death? O Death, where are your thorns? O grave, where
is your sting? Compassion will be hidden from My sight. Though he is
fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come; the wind of the
LORD shall come up from the wilderness. Then his spring shall become
dry, and his fountain shall be dried up. He shall plunder the treasury
of every desirable prize. Samaria is held guilty, for she has rebelled
against her God. They shall fall by the sword, their infants shall be
dashed in pieces, and their women with child ripped open.
2 Kings 19:34-35 For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own
sake, and for my servant David's sake. And it came to pass that night,
that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the
Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose
early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.
The Bible never actually refers to a specific creature as the ‘Angel of
Death’ or as the ‘Grim Reaper’; though these are popular terms in many
cultures. The Bible does however; provide examples of angels being sent
as ministers of God’s wrath. One of the most notable events that people
often attribute to the ‘Angel of Death’ was God smiting all of the first
born sons in Egypt.
Exodus 12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and
will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast;
and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the
LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye
are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague
shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
Exodus 12:23 For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and
when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the
LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come
in unto your houses to smite you.
In the above verses, God never says that He will send the ‘Angel of
Death’ against the Egyptians, but says that He will pass through the
land. The concept that God sent an angel is derived from Exodus 12:23,
when he says the ‘destroyer’ will pass over those marked with the blood
of the lamb. The events of Passover are deeply related to the Day of the
Lord. When Jesus died on the cross (represented by Tiphareth on the
Qabalah) He became the Passover Lamb, and His blood will spare His
followers from the reaping angels of the apocalypse.
Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time
of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the
tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into
Matthew 13:36-43 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the
house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the
parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He
that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the
good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the
children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the
harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As
therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be
in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels,
and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and
them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire:
there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous
shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to
hear, let him hear.
At the end of this world, angels will be sent to separate the righteous
from the wicked. The wicked will be gathered together and thrown into
hell, and the righteous will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The angels are
compared to reapers.
Joel 3:12-17 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of
Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.
Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for
the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the
LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be
darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD also
shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the
heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his
people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know
that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then
shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her
The Day of the Lord is compared to a great harvest, and reapers will use
sickles to separate the tares from the good seed. For the wicked, this
will be a time of great distress, but God will provide His people with
hope and strength. Following the harvest at the valley of decision,
Jerusalem will be holy, and no outsiders will pass through it anymore.
Revelation 14:14-20 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the
cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden
crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the
temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in
thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the
harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his
sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came
out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And
another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and
cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust
in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth;
for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into
the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the
great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden
without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the
horse bridles, by the space of two-hundred miles
The reapers described in the Book of Revelations will thrust their sharp
sickles against the earth and will tread the winepress of the wrath of
God. Blood will come out of the winepress as deep as the bridles of
horses for two-hundred miles. These angels will be led/directed by Jesus
(Revelations 19:13-15). The wicked will be defeated, but the righteous
will obtain victory through Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:50-57 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood
cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit
incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but
we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the
last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on
incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this
corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have
put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is
written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting?
O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the
strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the
victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
At the sound of the last trumpet, the followers of Jesus will pass from
death into eternal life. They will shed their corruptible bodies and be
transformed into a new creation. Death will be swallowed up in victory.
The above verses contain some of the same phraseology at in Hosea
13:14-16, but now instead of calamity, Christ’s followers will
experience great joy – as death will be powerless against them. However,
in order to experience the victory over death that Christ offers, you
must first be baptized into His death.
Romans 6:2-9 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any
longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into
Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with
him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the
dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness
of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his
death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing
this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might
be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is
dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that
we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the
dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
1 Peter 3:21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you - not the
removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good
conscience - through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in
knowledge after the image of him that created him.
After deciding to follow Christ, Christians are baptized into His death,
and from then on work at purifying their souls. They have taken off the
old man (the lifestyle they were living) and chosen to live a life that
is pleasing to God. They must overcome their sins, and live righteously.
Christ’s followers are saved through baptism, which is a symbolic appeal
to God for a good conscience. From that point forward, they must repent
of their previous deeds and become a new man – living according to the
precepts of the Bible and following the example that Christ has
provided. After facing their inner struggles (as Christ did in the
Garden of Gethsemane), Christ’s followers can trust in God and their
fear of death will diminish.
Philippians 1:20-21 According to my earnest expectation and my hope,
that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as
always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be
by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the
day of death than the day of one's birth.
Proverbs 12:28 In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway
thereof there is no death.
The Apostle Paul expressed confidence and boldness in his Philippians
letter. His life magnified Christ and he had nothing to be ashamed of.
He lived for Christ and was not afraid to die. For him, to die was gain.
King Solomon presents the concept that the day of one’s death would be
better than their birth, and that for the righteous, there was no death.
Those who follow Christ and grow in their spiritual understanding may
reach a point where they will no longer fear death, but will embrace it.
However, everyone must pass through death. Even Death will face death.
Revelation 20:13-15 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and
death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were
judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast
into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not
found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
Isaiah 25:8-9 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will
wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall
he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. And it
shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him,
and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will
be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
On the Day of the Lord the dead will be judged. Everyone will be judged
according to their works. The wicked will be cast into the lake of fire
– along with death and hell. Death will be the last enemy destroyed.
Christ has already conquered death, and now offers His followers the
opportunity to share in His victory.
Roman 6:22-23 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to
God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For
the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:56-57 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of
sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior
Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and
immortality to light through the gospel.
Revelations 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first
resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be
priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Romans 8:37-39 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor
life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present,
nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall
be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus
Christ has overcome death and will direct the paths of those who seek
Him (Matthew 7:7-8). His followers will be spared from the second death.
By living sinless lives, they can approach the throne of God without
shame. This path of the Qabalah connects Christ’s sacrifice at Tiphareth
with the Pillar of Mercy, and represents Christ’s victory over death. In
addition to understanding the meaning of Christ’s victory on the cross,
this path also allows you to reflect on the concept of death, and the
need to purify your soul in preparation of your own.