Derech Hashem – The Way of G-d 2:4:8
G-d appointed 70 angelic administrators 1 to oversee and govern the other nations in detail, albeit under His purview, while He Himself only does so broadly 2.
As such, it’s written, “you alone have I known among all the families of the world” (Amos 3:2) 3. That’s not to say that G-d is unaware of them: He’s intimately aware of them as He is of everything and everyone 4. The point is that He doesn’t supervise or impact upon the particular details of their lives, as we’ll see below 5.
1 Every nation was said to have its “genius” – its unique nature, gift, and contribution to humanity – which was said to be derived for its “genie” or “guardian spirit” in antiquity, all of which is close to the subject at hand. Ramchal’s point seems to be that a nation’s angelic administrator epitomises that nation’s character and type and thus sees to it that it be brought about and maintained.
See 2:4:3 which discusses the division of the world into 70 primal nations (aside from our own). Also, see Klach Pitchei Chochma 31 and the end of Pitchei Chochma v’Da’at.
2 2:4:1-7 above serve as a sort of prelude to this section and to 2:4:9. For the entire thrust of Part 2 is on Divine Providence, and while we’d learned how G-d interacts with the Jewish Nation up to now, Ramchal is now touching upon that here in relation to others.
His point here is that G-d only interacts with them broadly. Yet in Da’at Tevunot 36 Ramchal indicates that G-d Himself oversees all things and all people in great detail! That’s quite a discrepancy,
As such we’d say that whereas G-d has His angels tend to others for the “meanwhile”, in the end He alone will have proven to have overseen each and every entity without exception – including the 70 Nations and the administrators that ruled over them.
Also see 2:1:1.
3 It’s important to stress that the rest of this verse reads, “therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities”, which underscores the responsibility that goes with chosen-ness. And what’s soon to follow, which underscores the continued relationship that G-d has with others as well, likewise lessens the gleam of chosen-ness.
4 See 2:5:2 below.
5 See 2:5:3, but especially 2:6.
(c) 2017 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
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Rabbi Feldman’s new annotated translation of Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag’s “Introduction to the Zohar” is available as “The Kabbalah of Self” on Kindle here. His annotated translation of Maimonides’ “Eight Chapters” is available here and his annotated translation of Rabbeinu Yonah’s “The Gates of Repentance” is available here.
He has also translated and commented upon “The Path of the Just” and “The Duties of the Heart” (Jason Aronson Publishers).