“I (G-d) will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto you (Moses); and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him” (Deut. 18: 18)
The Torah claims that G-d revealed Himself to the entire Israelite people at Mt. Sinai. The commandments, or guiding instructions of the Torah, can never make complete sense from a human perspective, because the very definition of revelation is knowledge bestowed from a Divine perspective.
To give a simple metaphor, revelation is like the traffic station on the radio. You are driving down route 83, and you wonder which is the quickest route to your destination. Is there a traffic jam ahead? Should you get off at the next exit and take an alternative route? Or take your chances with the traffic lights on the main thoroughfare? There is really no way for you to know; you cannot possibly see the next two miles of roadway. But the traffic helicopter hovering overhead sees everything. From its perspective, all the highways and traffic patterns are perfectly visible. So you tune into the traffic station, and you hear the clear message: “Traffic jam on route 83 between Kilmer and Havington. If you’re traveling north, exit at route 144.” Even the most deluxe, state-of-the-art automobile can never know what the helicopter knows, unless the helicopter communicates to it. That is revelation.
Although revelation is information given to human beings from a higher perspective, the content of the revelation is still expressed in human terminology. Thus, when the Israelites experienced G-d directly at the splitting of the Red Sea, they saw Him as a warrior. At the revelation at Sinai, they experienced G-d as a wise sage. The prophet Ezekiel had a vision of G-d and saw the celestial chariot and throne. What is all this about?
Prophetic revelation comes in the form of transcendental messages, which the human mind translates into images. Have you ever listened to a symphony lying down on the couch with your eyes closed? Sometimes as you listen to the music, your mind’s eye sees visual images. A certain airy section of flute or violin may conjure up in your mind the image of a butterfly. Turbulent sounds may invoke the image of a storm. Although your mind is translating the sounds into pictures, you know that neither the butterfly nor the storm is an actual picture of the sounds you are hearing. So, too, in revelation, the prophetic experience is translated into a picture, but the picture is no more a picture of G-d than the butterfly is a picture of those musical sounds.