The origin of the Cabala has been placed by some scholars at a period posterior to the advent of Christianity, but it is evident, from the traces of it which are found in the Book of Daniel, that it arose at a much earlier day.It has been supposed to be derived originally from the system of Zoroaster, but whether its inventors were the contemporaries or the successors of that philosopher and reformer it is impossible to say.
" A flame preceded the coffin, which seemed enveloped by and burning like fire.
Of all who formed the unbroken line of tradition, David and Solomon were first initiated into the Cabalah.
No one, however, dared to write it down till Simon ben Jochai, who lived at the time of the destruction of the second Temple.
Buxtorf (Lexicon of the Talmud) defines the Cabala to be a secret science, which treats in a mystical and enigmatical manner of things divine, angelical, theological, celestial, and metaphysical; the subjects being enveloped in striking symbols and secret modes of teaching.
Much use is made of it in the advanced degrees, and entire Rites have been constructed on its principles.