Between God and Satan: Inauguration into the Divine Image in Early Jewish and Christian Accounts

Andrei Orlov
Kelly Chair in Theology and Professor of Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity at Marquette University. View Entries
Then Michael came; he summoned all the troops of angels and told
them, "Bow down before the likeness and the image of the divinity."
… And I [Satan] told him, "Go away from me, for I shall not bow
down to him who is younger than me; indeed, I am master prior to him
and it is proper for him to bow down to me.” The six classes of other
angels heard that and my speech pleased them and they did not bow
down to you. Then God became angry with us and commanded us,
them and me, to be cast down from our dwellings to the earth.
The Georgian version of the Primary Adam Books 14.1-16.1


The Armenian, Georgian, and Latin versions of the Primary Adam Books each contain an etiological tale that deals with events occurring immediately after Adam’s creation. According to the story, told retrospectively by Satan, the newly created protoplast was presented by the archangel Michael to angels whom he asked to bow down before Adam. Some angels agreed to venerate the first human being, while others, including Satan, rejected this proposal. As a result of his refusal, Satan was demoted from his exalted place. This scene exhibits several features of an inauguration ceremony during which the protagonist becomes inducted into the exalted role of the deity’s representative, understood by some interpreters as the office of the image or the icon of God. In the Primary Adam Books, Adam’s role as God’s icon did not last long insofar as he was promptly removed from his exalted position after his fall. Some peculiar features of this protological initiation, however, are reiterated and adopted later in various Jewish and Christian materials in which their heroes were predestined to become new “Adams” by regaining the image of God in the eschatological age. As in the Primary Adam Books, where Satan plays a pivotal role during the hero’s inauguration, some other accounts include the presence of antagonistic figures. Our study will explore these peculiar details of Adam’s inauguration ritual and their impact on later Jewish and Christian accounts in which Enoch, Jacob, Moses, the Son of Man, and Jesus are inducted into the office of the image of God.

I. Induction into the Divine Image in Early Jewish Materials

Primary Adam Books: The Protoplast’s Inauguration

In order to better understand the complete pattern of conceptual developments pertaining to the ritual of induction into the divine image, we must carefully explore the description of it found in the Primary Adam Books. Although the macroforms of these books represent products of later Christian milieus, these Christian compositions can be seen as important compilations of early Jewish Adamic traditions.1

Although many details of the induction ceremony can be found in other early Jewish accounts — including the Book of Daniel, the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian, 2 Enoch, the Prayer of Joseph, the Ladder of Jacob — in the Armenian, Georgian, and Latin versions2 of the Primary Adam Books, one can find almost all of the crucial elements of this ritual in its full conceptual complexity. From these versions of the Primary Adam Books, we learn that immediately after the protoplast’s creation, the archangel Michael brought Adam into the divine presence and forced him to bow down before God. This initial veneration of the deity will become a crucial component of other Jewish and Christian descriptions of the ritual. Adam’s veneration of the deity implicitly indicates that God may also be present in the account. Several other references suggest the deity’s presence, such as God’s address to Adam after the ritual obeisance. In this address, as it appears in the Latin Vita, the deity tells Adam that his body was created in the likeness of the divine form: “Behold, Adam, I have made you in our image and likeness.”3 In the Georgian version God’s address is directed not to the protoplast but instead to the archangel Michael: “And God told Michael, ‘I have created Adam according to (my) image and my divinity.”4

We learn further from the Primary Adam Books that all the angels were ordered to bow down to this human “icon.”5 A significant feature of the story is that Michael, who summons the celestial citizens for the act of veneration, does not ask them to venerate Adam, but instead commands them to bow down before the image and the likeness of God. So Adam, who previously was described as created after the image of God, here becomes suddenly identified as the image of God. Fletcher-Louis is right to posit that “the identification of Adam as God’s image is by no means an incidental detail of the Worship of Adam Story."6

In the Georgian version, Michael’s command takes the following form: “Bow down before the likeness and the image of the divinity.”7 The Latin version also speaks of the divine image: “Worship the image of the Lord God, just as the Lord God has commanded.”8 Likewise in the Armenian version, although Adam’s name is not mentioned, he seems to be understood now as the divine representative: “Then Michael summoned all the angels, and God said to them, ‘Come, bow down to the god whom I made.”9

The results of Michael’s order to venerate the “icon” of the divinity are mixed. Some angels agreed to bow down before it, while others, including Satan, refuse to do obeisance. In the Latin version the tradition of the image of God is reiterated when Michael personally invites Satan to “worship the image of God Jehovah.”10 In comparison with Michael’s command that does not invoke Adam’s name, but rather refer to him as the “image of God,” Satan’s refusal to worship now specifically mentions Adam’s name, seeing him not as an “icon” but instead as a creature which is “younger” or “posterior” to the antagonist.11 In Satan’s refusal to venerate Adam, one can also find the theme of “opposition” to the divine image. Yet, in the complimentary framework of the Primary Adam Books, such an opposition motif is not intended to deconstruct the exalted protagonist who is envisioned as God’s image. Instead, it functions within the narrative as a device to reaffirm his unique position.

Both motifs — angelic veneration and angelic opposition12 — play an equally significant role in the construction of Adam’s unique upper identity,13 which climaxes in his exaltation.14 Angelic veneration as well as angelic opposition lead the human protagonist into his new supra-angelic ontology when he becomes an “image” or “face” of the deity. Yet, it is important that the accounts contain not only angelic responses but also Adam’s own veneration of the deity.15 Adam’s own obeisance further establishes his intermediate position between God and the angels in his role as an “icon” of the deity. Fletcher-Louis rightly points out that, "because the angels are commanded to respond to Adam as the image and likeness of God, the ‘worship’ of Adam (if that is what it is) does not necessarily mean that God’s singular, unique identity is now threatened by the worship of another figure.”16 Adam is presented "not as the ultimate object of veneration but rather as a representation or an icon of the deity through whom the angels are able to worship God."17 The identity of the protagonist, therefore, is constructed through the concept of the divine image. We will see similar developments in the Enochic, Mosaic, and Jacobite traditions where the exaltation of these biblical characters is executed through the concept of the divine image. The same initiatory device will manifest itself in early Christological currents where Jesus is envisioned as the image of the invisible God.

In the beginning of the aforementioned story as found in the Georgian and Latin versions of the Primary Adam Books, one finds some important additions to the biblical version contained in Genesis regarding the motif of Adam’s face. These additions, attested in the Georgian and Latin versions, are of paramount significance for our study. The Georgian version recounts that God breathed a spirit onto the face of Adam.18 The same detail is also found in the Greek version of Gen 2:7. Though the Hebrew text does not mention Adam’s panim, in the Septuagint’s rendering of the passage, the deity breaths the breath of life into Adam’s face.19 In the Latin Vita 13:2 the face motif appears again. This time it seems to convey a novel tradition by declaring that the protoplast’s countenance was made in God’s image: “when God blew into you the breath of life and your countenance (vultus) and likeness were made in the image of God….”20 Some scholars see the “face” as the cognate of “image” in this passage. Thus, Steenburg argues that "the use of ‘face’ in this passage is an irregular departure from the standard idiom of ‘image,’ a departure occasioned by the concern to relate God’s image in Adam directly to his physical shape or visible appearance."21 Fletcher-Louis follows Steenburg’s suggestion, postulating that when Latin version of the Primary Adam Books 13:3 says Adam’s countenance is made in the image of God, it "accentuates the focus on Adam’s role as God’s visible and physical presence."22 The Latin version, therefore, seems to entertain a conceptual link between the protoplast’s panim and the tselem, a link which will reappear in various other Jewish accounts of the “inauguration.”

To conclude our analysis of the inauguration ceremony in the Primary Adam Books, we must outline several important elements of this ritual:

1. Postulation of resemblance between the deity’s form and the protagonist’s form (Adam is first described as being created in the image of God and then later becomes understood as an icon of the deity — the image of God);

2. Understanding the protagonist’s panim as his tselem;

3. The motif of the angelic veneration as an important element of the inauguration ceremony;

4. The motif of the angelic opposition/rejection as an important element of the inauguration ceremony;

5. The motif of the demotion of the exalted antagonist as an important element of the inauguration ceremony.

As we will see, all of these elements can be found, in one form or another, in other early Jewish and Christian descriptions of the inauguration ritual where the motifs of angelic veneration and angelic rejection of the newly inducted divine image often coincide with the already familiar terminology of “face.”

Inauguration of the Seventh Antediluvian Hero: 2 Enoch and 3 Enoch

2 Enoch

Although in the Primary Adam Books the inauguration ceremony takes place within the story of Adam, in some other Jewish accounts the ritual is extended to other biblical characters. In 2 Enoch, for example, one again encounters the constellation of familiar traditions reminiscent of the Adamic ritual. Here, however, the protological setting is replaced by an eschatological one in which a new hero, the patriarch Enoch, supplants the protoplast in becoming a new embodiment of the divine image. The storyline of this text, which was probably written in the first century C. E. before the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple,23 deals with Enoch’s heavenly journey to the throne of God. There, in the deity’s abode, the seventh antediluvian hero undergoes a luminous transformation into a celestial being, one predestined to become a new icon of the divinity. An important nexus of conceptual developments relevant to our study occurs in chapters 21–22 of the text in which Enoch’s transformation is depicted. In this cryptic portrayal there are several familiar motifs reminiscent of Adam initiations in the Armenian, Georgian, and Latin versions of the Primary Adam Books. The story portrays angels bringing Enoch to the edge of the seventh heaven. By God’s command, the archangel Gabriel invites the seer to stand in front of the deity forever. Enoch agrees, and Gabriel takes him to the deity’s face where the patriarch does obeisance to God. God then personally repeats the invitation to Enoch to stand before Him forever. Following this invitation, the archangel Michael brings the patriarch before God’s face. The deity then summons his angels with a resounding call: “Let Enoch join in and stand in front of my face forever!” In response to this address, the Lord’s glorious ones do obeisance to Enoch saying, “Let Enoch yield in accordance with your word, O Lord!”24

Michael Stone has suggested that the story found in 2 Enoch 21–22 recalls the account of Adam’s elevation and veneration by angels found in the Armenian, Georgian, and Latin versions of the Primary Adam Books.25 As Stone indicates, along with Adam’s elevation and veneration by angels, the author of 2 Enoch also appears to be aware of the motif of angelic disobedience and refusal to venerate the first human. Stone draws the reader’s attention to the phrase “sounding them out,” found in 2 Enoch 22:6, which another translator of the Slavonic text rendered as “making a trial of them.”26 Stone suggests that the expression “sounding them out” or “making a trial of them” implies that it is the angels’ obedience that is being tested.27

Comparing the similarities between Adamic and Enochic accounts, Stone proposes that the order of events in 2 Enoch follows the exact order found in the Primary Adam Books, since both sources are familiar with the three steps of Adam’s initiation:28

I. Primary Adam Books: Adam is created and placed in heaven.

2 Enoch: Enoch is brought to heaven.

II. Primary Adam Books: The archangel Michael brings Adam before God’s face. Adam does obeisance to God.

2 Enoch: The archangel Michael brings Enoch before the Lord’s face. Enoch does obeisance to the Lord.

III. Primary Adam Books: God commands the angels to bow down. Some of the angels do obeisance. Satan and his angels disobey.

2 Enoch: “The rebellion … is assumed. God tests whether this time the angels will obey. The angels are said to bow down and accept God’s command.”29

Stone concludes that the author of 2 Enoch 21–22 was cognizant of the traditions resembling those found in the Armenian, Georgian, and Latin versions of the Primary Adam Books.30 He is confident that these traditions did not enter 2 Enoch from the Slavonic Life of Adam and Eve because the specific elements outlined above not occur in the Slavonic recension of the Primary Adam Books.31

Other scholars have followed Stone’s lead in this interpretation of the 2 Enoch traditions. Gary Anderson suggests that 2 Enoch "does contain a story that appears quite close to our narrative from the Vita," since "the manner in which this glorification of Enoch proceeds is strikingly similar to the elevation of Adam the Vita."32 Like Stone, Anderson also argues that both sources (2 Enoch and the Primary Adam Books) develop the inauguration ceremony in a tri-partite manner:

1. Adam is created and situated in heaven, Enoch is brought to heaven;

2. An angel escorts Adam to God so as to render obeisance to God, and so for Enoch;

3. The angels are exhorted to respond in kind to Adam, and so for Enoch.33

Anderson rightly sees the story found in 2 Enoch as an eschatological version of the inauguration ceremony where the last Adam, represented by Enoch, is newly inducted into the office that the protoplast lost after his fall. The seventh human being here replaces the first one. According to Anderson, “the Vita presents the opening scene of a tradition whose final act, at least according to one level of its development, takes place during the era of Enoch.”34 The eschatological ritual is fashioned as an abbreviated version of the first (full) ceremony which nevertheless still preserves the memory of its crucial steps. In relation to these changes Anderson notes that

in the Vita the angels are commanded to venerate Adam but Satan and his host refuse. In 2 Enoch, the situation is slightly different. The striking motif here is God’s intention to test the angels by parading Enoch before them. The test appears to be that of examining what the angel’s reaction to this heavenly figure in the divine court will be. When the angels accord him the obeisance he is due, Enoch is then formally clothed with the garments of glory, anointed with the oil of joy and thereby fully transformed into any angel. By according Enoch the veneration that was his due, the angels passed their test. But is this not more than slightly odd? No command was given to venerate Enoch; the angels seem to know that this is what is implied by the action of God. How would they know this? The easiest solution would be to presume that the angels (or a portion of them) failed such a test the first time and did not show honor toward the first man. With Enoch, the angels relent and accord the human figure the honor that he is due.35

Anderson concludes that “one cannot imagine that the tradition in the Enoch materials was created independently from the tradition found in the Vita.”36

For our purpose in this study, it is significant that the climax of the inauguration ceremony, as it appears in 2 Enoch, is overlaid with a panoply of distinctive Adamic motifs reminiscent of the traditions found in the Primary Adam Books. Immediately after angelic testing, Enoch receives the form and the luminous garments which the First Adam lost after his transgression. The longer recension of 2 Enoch 22:7-10 describes this endowment in the following way:

And the Lord’s glorious ones did obeisance and said, "Let Enoch yield in accordance with your word, O Lord!" And the Lord said to Michael, "Go, and extract Enoch from his earthly clothing. And anoint him with my delightful oil, and put him into the clothes of my glory." And so Michael did, just as the Lord had said to him. He anointed me and he clothed me. And the appearance of that oil is greater than the greatest light, and its ointment is like sweet dew, and its fragrance myrrh; and it is like the rays of the glittering sun. And I looked at myself, and I had become like one of his glorious ones, and there was no observable difference.37

2 Enoch 22:9 portrays the Archangel Michael extracting Enoch from his clothes and anointing him with delightful oil. The anointing with oil initiates the patriarch’s transition from the garments of skin to the luminous garment of an immortal angelic being — one of the glorious ones. It appears that that the oil used in Enoch’s anointing comes from the Tree of Life, which in 2 Enoch 8:3–4 is depicted with similar symbolism. 2 Enoch 8:3–4 reports that “the tree [of life] is indescribable for pleasantness and fine fragrance, and more beautiful than any (other) created thing that exists. And from every direction it has an appearance which is gold-looking and crimson, and with the form of fire.”38 The shorter recension also refers to a second tree near the first one “flowing with oil continually.”39

Enoch’s anointing with oil is a unique motif in the Enochic tradition. Enoch’s approach to the throne in the Book of the Watchers and his transformation into the Son of Man in the Book of the Similitudes do not involve anointing with, or any usage of, oil. Later Enochic traditions are also silent about oil. For example, it does not appear in the account of Metatron’s transformation in 3 Enoch.

Yet, though mostly unknown in the Enochic literature, the motif of anointing with oil from the Tree of Life looms large in the Adamic tradition. The Primary Adam Books contain a story of Adam’s sickness. The patriarch finds himself in great distress and pain. Trying to find a cure, Adam sends Eve and Seth to paradise in order to fetch the oil of the Tree of Life that will relieve his illness. Their mission, however, is unsuccessful. The archangel Michael refuses to give the oil to Eve and Seth, telling them that the oil will be used “when the years of the end are filled completely” for those who will “be worthy of entering the Garden.”40

There are several corresponding characteristics that can be detected between the Primary Adam Books and 2 Enoch:

1. The purpose of the anointing is similar in both traditions. Its function is the “resurrection of Adam’s body,” i.e., the reversal of the fallen human condition into the incorruptible luminous state of the protoplast.41 It is not coincidental that in 2 Enoch 22 anointing with oil transforms Enoch into a luminous angelic being. It recalls the description of the protoplast in 2 Enoch 30:11 as a glorious angelic being.

2. The subject of the anointing is also identical. In 2 Enoch and in the Primary Adam Books, the oil is used (or will be used) for transforming the righteous ones into an angelic state in the celestial realm. In the Primary Adam Books, the oil is prepared for those who will “be worthy of entering the Garden.”42 Michael Stone observes that 2 Enoch also “knows an anointing with the heavenly perfumed oil that brings about a transformation of the righteous.”43 The same situation is attested in 3 Baruch, where the reward of the righteous is oil. This theme in 3 Baruch has a connection with the Adamic tradition. In the words of Harry Gaylord,

by his disobedience Adam lost “the glory of God” (4:16[G]), which may have been comparable to that of angels (cf. 13:4[S]). The reward of the righteous is oil, possibly the sign of the glory of God, which the angel-guide promises to show Baruch several times in this text (6:12; 7:2; 11:2; 16:3[S]). It is hardly accidental that there are traditions that Adam sought to receive the “oil of mercy” at the point of death, and that Enoch was transformed by the “oil of his glory.”44

3. In 2 Enoch and in the Primary Adam Books, the person in charge of the oil is the archangel Michael.45 In 2 Enoch 22, he anoints Enoch with shining oil, causing his luminous metamorphosis. In 3 Baruch 15:1, Michael brings oil to the righteous.46 In the Primary Adam Books, he also seems to be in charge of the oil, since it is he who refuses to give it to Seth.

4. Both 2 Enoch and the Primary Adam Books refer to the flowing of the oil. Thus, the Georgian version of the Primary Adam Books 36(9):4 relates that God “will send his angel to the Garden where the Tree of Life is, from which the oil flows out, so that he may give you a little of that oil.”47 2 Enoch 8:5 highlights this same detail: “and another tree is near it, an olive, flowing with oil continually.” Michael Stone notes that “it is striking that 2 Enoch highlights the flowing of the oil, just like the Adam books.”48

These similarities demonstrate that the motif of oil from the Tree of Life in 2 Enoch might have Adamic provenance. It is unlikely that this tradition represents a later interpolation. Attested in both recensions, it plays a pivotal role in the scene of Enoch’s metamorphosis.

One can see another tendency in 2 Enoch which was previously detected in the Primary Adam Books, namely, the juxtaposition of the image and face symbolism. Thus, 2 Enoch 39:3-6 has the patriarch, upon his brief return to earth, revealing to his children his earlier dramatic encounter with the divine face. The shorter recension of 2 Enoch contains the following address:

You, my children, you see my face, a human being created just like yourselves; I am one who has seen the face of the Lord, like iron made burning hot by a fire, emitting sparks. For you gaze into my eyes, a human being created just like yourselves; but I have gazed into the eyes of the Lord, like the rays of the shining sun and terrifying the eyes of a human being. You, my children, you see my right hand beckoning you, a human being created identical to yourselves; but I have seen the right hand of the Lord, beckoning me, who fills heaven. You see the extent of my body, the same as your own; but I have seen the extent of the Lord, without measure and without analogy, who has no end.49

This passage portrays the deity’s form as an incomprehensible entity — “without measure and without analogy.” Yet, while the text argues that God’s form transcends any analogy, the account of Enoch’s vision itself represents a set of analogies in which the descriptions of the patriarch’s face and the parts of his body are compared with the descriptions of the divine face and the parts of the deity’s body. These analogies appear to underline once again Enoch’s role as the image of God.

Furthermore, in 2 Enoch the translated human has become a visible representation, or icon, of the deity which is now able to glorify its beholders, like the divine Kavod. In the later chapters of the apocalypse, the elders of the earth will approach the transformed Enoch in order to be glorified before the patriarch’s “face.”50

This brings us to another important conceptual trajectory found in 2 Enoch 39: the motifs concerning the divine face and the face of the visionary. These corresponding terms are closely related to the concept of the divine image. In 2 Enoch, the symbolism of the divine image, or more precisely its conceptual correlative in the form of the deity’s panim, becomes a pivotal conduit in the creation of the patriarch’s upper identity. Scholars have argued that the divine face symbolism in 2 Enoch is closely linked to the notion of the divine image.51 Unlike the Primary Adam Books, however, 2 Enoch does not explicitly mention the divine image in his description of the creation of Enoch’s heavenly identity. Instead, it often refers to another pivotal celestial entity — the divine face. The divine face features prominently in the process of the seer’s initiation into the role of the deity’s icon. Indeed, the angelic veneration of the hero takes place in immediate proximity to the divine face, the reality upon which the patriarch’s metamorphosis is patterned.

In light of these connections, it is likely that in 2 Enoch, as in some other Jewish accounts,52 the divine panim performs the role of the divine tselem. The divine face represents the cause and prototype after which Enoch’s new celestial identity is formed. New creation modeled after the divine face signifies a return to the prelapsarian condition of Adam, who, according to 2 Enoch, was also molded in conformity with the face of God. Support for this view can be found in 2 Enoch 44:1, where we learn that the first human was also made after the panim of God. The text says that “the Lord with his own two hands created humankind; in a facsimile of his own face, both small and great, the Lord created them.”53 2 Enoch departs from the conventional reading attested in Gen 1:26–27, where Adam was created not after the face of God, but after His image (tselem).54 Francis Andersen observes that 2 Enoch’s “idea is remarkable from any point of view…. This is not the original meaning of tselem…. The text uses podobie lica [in the likeness of the face], not obrazu or videnije, the usual terms for ‘image.’”55 However, it is clear that this reading did not arise in the Slavonic environment, but rather belonged to the original argument of 2 Enoch in which the creation of the luminous first human after the deity’s face corresponds to a similar angelic creation of the seventh antediluvian patriarch.

3 Enoch

The Adamic makeup of Enoch’s inauguration receives its new afterlife in later Jewish mystical lore. We encounter it in the initial chapters of 3 Enoch, a Hekhalot macroform56 also known to scholars as Sefer Hekhalot, where Enoch’s transformation into the supreme angel Metatron is accompanied by the familiar motifs of angelic opposition57 and angelic veneration. 3 Enoch 4 portrays Enoch’s exaltation in the heavenly realm, where the hero encounters the hostile reaction of the ministering angels:

And the Holy One, blessed be he, appointed me (Enoch) in the height as a prince and a ruler among the ministering angels. Then three of ministering angels, cUzzah, cAzzah, and cAza’el, came and laid charges against me in the heavenly height. They said before the Holy One, blessed be he, “Lord of the Universe, did not the primeval ones give you good advice when they said, do not create man!” The Holy One, blessed be he, replied, “I have made and I will sustain him; I will carry and I will deliver him.” When they saw me they said before him, “Lord of the Universe, what right has this one to ascend to the height of heights? Is he not descended from those who perished in the waters of the Flood? What right has he to be in heaven?” Again the Holy One, blessed be he, replied and said to them, “What right have you to interrupt me? I have chosen this one in preference to all of you, to be a prince and a ruler over you in the heavenly heights.” At once they all arose and went to meet me and prostrated themselves before me, saying, “Happy are you, and happy your parents, because your Creator has favored you.” Because I am young in their company and a mere youth among them in days and months and years therefore they call me “Youth.”58

Some have noted that this account, where the Adamic motifs of the angelic veneration and the angelic opposition were applied to Enoch-Metatron, is reminiscent of 2 Enoch 22.59 Like in the previously explored accounts, the angelic hostility here is provoked by the human origin of the protagonist who attempts to enter the celestial realm, violating the boundaries separating the human and angelic regions. Yet, the angels who initially opposed Enoch are eventually persuaded by God and obliged to give obeisance to the human.

This reminiscence of the Adamic tradition in 3 Enoch 4 is evidence of the Adamic provenance of the Hekhalot story and its connection with the protoplast’s inauguration ritual. Commenting on this passage, Gary Anderson suggests that if “we remove those layers of the tradition that are clearly secondary … we are left with a story that is almost identical to the analog we have traced in the Adam and Eve literature and 2 Enoch.”60 According to Anderson, the acclamation of Enoch as the “Youth” in Sefer Hekhalot serves as another link to Adam’s inauguration, since the reason 3 Enoch supplies for this title is deceptively simple and straightforward: “Because I am young in their company and a mere youth among them in days and months and years – therefore they call me ‘Youth.’” Such an explanation for the epithet “Youth” recalls the reason for the angelic refusal to worship Adam in the Vita on the basis of his inferiority to them by way of his age.61

Unlike in the Primary Adam Books, in 2 and 3 Enoch the event of angelic opposition comes before the event of angelic veneration. This underlines the difference between the initial induction of the protoplast and its later eschatological counterparts, in which the angels are already cognizant of the first inauguration. In 2 Enoch such prior knowledge is hinted by through God’s testing of the angelic hosts. In 3 Enoch this detail becomes even more transparent, since the ministering angels mention the event of the initial angelic opposition to humanity: “They said before the Holy One, blessed be he, ‘Lord of the Universe, did not the primeval ones give you good advice when they said, do not create man!’”62 Dealing with this passage Anderson notes that "the angels remind God of their prior opinion about Adam."63

Book of Daniel and the Book of the Similitudes: The Son of Man Induction

Daniel 7

Already in the first chapter of Genesis the divine corporeality was envisioned as a prototype of human form. In light of this, Elliot Wolfson helpfully suggests that “a critical factor in determining the biblical (and, by extension, subsequent Jewish) attitude toward the visualization of God concerns the question of the morphological resemblance between the human body and the divine.”64 The priestly ideology postulates that the deity created humanity in his own image (Gen 1:27) and is therefore frequently described as possessing a human-like form.65 This correspondence between the deity’s form and the human body through the notion of the divine image becomes a crucial stratagem in the construction of several “eschatological Adams” in various early Jewish and Christian materials.

Such anthropomorphic symbolism plays a special role in Daniel 7, where protagonists appear in human form while antagonists are fashioned in their distinctive theriomorphic shapes. In the symbolic code of the Danielic account, such anthropomorphism, associated both with the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man, signals authority66 and dominion.67 This understanding is rooted in Gen 1, where the anthropomorphic shape of the prelapsarian Adam endows him with authority over the animals, as well as in Ezek 1, where the “animals” of the upper realm — the Living Creatures or the Hayyot — are envisioned as servants who hold the foundation of the anthropomorphic glory of God. It has been proposed that these traditions constitute the background of Daniel 7, where the deity and its envoy in the form of the Son of Man appear together.68 According to Amy Merrill Willis, Dan 7 is “closely connected to Gen 1:26-28, in which the human form resembles the divine and is also connected to ruling power.”69 Merrill Willis further notes that the aforementioned traditions “situate divine anthropomorphic features in a hierarchy of bodily forms in which the human form resides at the pinnacle and signals dominion over the beasts of air, land, and sea.”70 In this context the anthropomorphism of the Son of Man itself can be seen as a divine attribute bestowed on the embodied image of God. Merrill Willis perceptively argues that the Son of Man “is visually aligned with divine righteous rule through his shape …. Unlike the first beast, who must be made humanlike in a process that is never completed,71 this figure possesses the divine image from the beginning.”72 The postulation of a resemblance of form between the deity and the Son of Man recalls the protological induction of Adam in the Primary Adam Books, where the protoplast’s resemblance to the deity commands obedience and respect from the heavenly citizens. Furthermore, the imagery of the first beast who tries to imitate the divine anthropomorphic attribute brings to mind Satan and his role in the Primary Adam Books and in the temptation narrative of the synoptic gospels.

Another important detail that connects Dan 7 with the inauguration scene found in the Primary Adam Books is the motif of “service” to the Son of Man. This feature appears to signal an important connection with the angelic veneration motif. The passage tells that “all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him.” It remains unclear if the Aramaic text speaks here about worship of the Son of Man. Fletcher-Louis suggests that "the Aramaic at Dan 7:14 might itself intend a worship of the man figure since the verb usually translated ‘serve’ (pelakh) is used repeatedly in the previous chapters of Aramaic Daniel for full-blown cultic worship (Dan 3:12, 14, 17–18, 95; 6:17, 21, cf. 7:27)."73 The Old Greek version of Dan 7:14 further supports understanding “service” as “worship” by using the Greek verb latreuō, which “in its eight previous occurrences in Daniel always refers either to a legitimate worship given to God or to an illegitimate worship of the pagan gods and their idols (see Dan 3:12, 14, 18, 95; 4:37; 6:17, 21, 27).”74

Finally, an additional important aspect of Dan 7 is the resemblance between the first Adam, the protoplast, and the last Adam, the Son of Man, who appears to be envisioned as an eschatological version of the prelapsarian human. In relation to this, Fletcher-Louis comments that Dan 7 suggests that the “one like a son of man” who appears with clouds in v. 13 is an Adamic figure. Furthermore, as a symbol of future hope, the Son of Man cannot simply be Adam, but rather represents an eschatological character who takes up the identity and calling of the original Adam.75

The Book of the Similitudes

In the Book of the Similitudes, the Son of Man’s appearances once again evoke the memory of the inauguration pattern. 1 Enoch 46:1-276 presents the Danielic theophany in this manner:

And there I saw one who had a head of days, and his head (was) white like wool; and with him (there was) another, whose face had the appearance of a man, and his face (was) full of grace, like one of the holy angels. And I asked one of the holy angels who went with me, and showed me all the secrets, about that Son of Man, who he was, and whence he was, (and) why he went with the Head of Days.77

One of the intriguing features of this account is the panim symbolism. It portrays the Son of Man as the one “whose face had the appearance of a man,” a “face (which was) full of grace.”78 This repeated attention to the “face” (Eth. gaṣṣ) of the heavenly protagonist does not appear to be coincidental. As in some other inauguration accounts, “face” here functions as a cognate for the divine tselem. Concerning the Son of Man’s panim, George Nickelsburg and James VanderKam point out that this text “expands the description of the figure’s face, likening it to that of one of the holy angels (v. 1d). That is, the deity is accompanied by another divine figure. The expression ‘full of grace’ is not used here theologically but denotes a physical characteristic.”79

Like the Book of Daniel, the Similitudes surrounds the Son of Man with a panoply of Adamic allusions. Fletcher-Louis draws attention to some of these Adamic details, pointing out that in Jewish lore, Adam is sometimes depicted as being enthroned and wearing glorious garments. If this is true, it is easy to see how the person of Adam is brought to mind by “the Son of Man’s position on God’s throne of divine Glory which somehow leads to the righteous receiving ‘glory and honor’ (1 Enoch 50:1) and ‘garments of incorruptible glory’ (62:15–16)."80

It is also worth noting that in the Similitudes, the Son of Man “appears to receive worship.”81 Several scholars have connected this feature with the motif of angelic veneration to Adam in the Primary Adam Books. According to them, "in the Similitudes of Enoch the Son of Man (/Elect One/Messiah) appears to receive worship in two passages (48:5 and 62:6-9).82 In several others the propriety of worshipping the Son of Man seems to be assumed (46:5; 52:4)."83 In light of these parallels, Fletcher-Louis suggests that the angelic adoration of Adam in the Primary Adam Books could be used to provide theological justification for the worship of the Son of Man in the Similitudes.84

Moses’ Induction: The Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian

Exagoge 67–90 of Ezekiel the Tragedian represents another early Jewish account that contains some traces of the inauguration ritual. Given its quotation by Alexander Polyhistor (ca. 80–40 B.C.E.), the Exagoge’s account can be taken as a witness to traditions of the second century B.C.E.85 Preserved in fragmentary form by several ancient sources,86 Exagoge 67–90 reads:

Moses: I had a vision of a great throne on the top of Mount Sinai and it reached till the folds of heaven. A noble man was sitting on it, with a crown and a large scepter in his left hand. He beckoned to me with his right hand, so I approached and stood before the throne. He gave me the scepter and instructed me to sit on the great throne. Then he gave me a royal crown and got up from the throne. I beheld the whole earth all around and saw beneath the earth and above the heavens. A multitude of stars fell (ἔπιπτ’) before my knees and I counted them all. They paraded past me like a battalion of men. Then I awoke from my sleep in fear.
Raguel: My friend, this is a good sign from God. May I live to see the day when these things are fulfilled. You will establish a great throne, become a judge and leader of men. As for your vision of the whole earth, the world below and that above the heavens – this signifies that you will see what is, what has been and what shall be.87

The Exagoge’s description brings to mind several details of the protoplast’s induction in the Primary Adam Books. Moses seems to take on the role of the prelapsarian Adam by supplanting him as the eschatological image of God. Silviu Bunta convincingly advanced this argument in his unpublished dissertation, "Moses, Adam, and the Glory of the Lord in Ezekiel the Tragedian." Considering the unnamed enthroned figure in the Exagoge, Bunta sees in him Adamic features echoing the protoplast’s association with the Kavod in the Jewish pseudepigrapha and Qumran materials.88 Bunta also identifies an Adamic allusion in the fact that the Exagoge defines the enthroned figure as φῶς, arguing that "Adam is particularly associated in late Second Temple Judaism with the ambivalent term φως."89

It is noteworthy that Moses’ exaltation in the Exagoge entails two major developments. First, Moses replaces the “noble man” on the throne while being endowed with the exalted status. Second, a multitude of stars react to him by falling before his knees and by parading before the prophet “like a battalion of men.” These two parts are reminiscent of the two pivotal stages of Adam’s inauguration into his role as the divine image in the Primary Adam Books. As we recall, there, the protagonist is first created in the image of God and becomes God’s icon, and then he is subsequently venerated by the angelic hosts. It is possible that in the Exagoge, like in the previously explored accounts of the protoplast’s elevation from the Primary Adam Books, the reader encounters the initiatory ritual of endowment into the office of the divine image,90 which in the Adamic story coincides with angelic veneration. Such angelic adoration is likely also present in the Exagoge.91 The account portrays a “multitude of stars” falling down before Moses.92 This prostration is rendered through the Greek verb πίπτω, a term which will be used later in some Christian inauguration accounts. Considering the Enochic influences on the Exagoge, where the stars often designate angelic beings,93 the multitude of stars kneeling before the seer seems to be a reference to angelic veneration. Some scholars previously entertained the possibility that the kneeling stars in fact represent angelic hosts. Thus, reflecting on the obeisance of the stars, Larry Hurtado supports this contention, suggesting that the obeisance of the stars “may represent the acceptance by the heavenly hosts of Moses’ appointed place as God’s chief agent. Stars are a familiar symbol for angelic beings in Jewish tradition (e.g., Job 38:7) and are linked with divine beings in other religious traditions as well.”94 Fletcher-Louis goes even further, comparing the astral prostration in the Exagoge with the angelic veneration found in the Primary Adam Books.95

In the Exagoge the stars are not only falling down before the protagonist but are also parading before Moses. This detail brings to mind a version of Adam’s inauguration ritual reflected in the Cave of Treasures, where all creation paraded before Adam during his inauguration into the office of God’s image. Cave of Treasures 2:10-24 transmits the following rendering of the familiar ceremony:

God formed Adam with His holy hands, in His own image and Likeness, and when the angels saw Adam’s glorious appearance they were greatly moved by the beauty thereof. For they saw the image of his face burning with glorious splendor like the orb of the sun, and the light of his eyes was like the light of the sun, and the image of his body was like unto the sparkling of crystal. And when he rose at full length and stood upright in the center of the earth, he planted his two feet on that spot whereon was set up the Cross of our Redeemer; for Adam was created in Jerusalem. There he was arrayed in the apparel of sovereignty, and there was the crown of glory set upon his head, there was he made king, and priest, and prophet, there did God make him to sit upon his honorable throne, and there did God give him dominion over all creatures and things. And all the wild beasts, and all the cattle, and the feathered fowl were gathered together, and they passed before Adam and he assigned names to them; and they bowed their heads before him; and everything in nature worshipped him, and submitted themselves unto him. And the angels and the hosts of heaven heard the Voice of God saying unto him, “Adam, behold: I have made thee king, and priest, and prophet, and lord, and head, and governor of everything which hath been made and created; and they shall be in subjection unto thee, and they shall be thine, and I have given unto thee power over everything which I have created.” And when the angels heard this speech they all bowed the knee and worshipped Him. And when the prince of the lower order of angels saw what great majesty had been given unto Adam, he was jealous of him from that day, and he did not wish to worship him. And he said unto his hosts, “Ye shall not worship him, and ye shall not praise him with the angels. It is meet that ye should worship me, because I am fire and spirit; and not that I should worship a thing of dust, which hath been fashioned of fine dust.”96

Reflecting on this version of the inauguration, Gary Anderson notes that “the Cave of Treasures shows a slight divergence from the Vita as to the moment in time when Adam was to be venerated by all of creation. In the Cave, the prostration scene does not occur at the moment of Adam’s animation (Gen 2:7), but at that time when the animals are paraded before him to receive their names (Gen 2:19-20)97 … In other words, the moment of name-giving becomes the occasion for Adam’s elevation as king over all creation.”98 It is possible that the author of the Exagoge was cognizant of this version of the inauguration story, so that the stars parading before the protagonist “like a battalion of men” can be seen as another important element of the eschatological induction.

If the Exagoge indeed contains the veneration motif, it is possible that here, as in other accounts where the angelic veneration take place, Moses is implicitly envisioned as the personification of the divine image.99 If so, it is not coincidental that in later targumic accounts Moses’ shining face is often interpreted as his iqonin.

Inauguration into the Image in the Prayer of Joseph

Another source which attests to a pattern within accounts of induction into the divine icon is the Prayer of Joseph, where the patriarch Jacob takes on the role of the eschatological image of God.100 Only three fragments of the Prayer are currently extant.101 The original composition most likely represents “a midrash on the Jacob narrative in Genesis.”102 The pseudepigraphon is usually dated to the first century C. E.103 The surviving materials contain the following fragments:

Fragment A

I, Jacob, who is speaking to you, am also Israel, an angel of God104 and a ruling spirit.105 Abraham and Isaac were created before any work. But, I, Jacob, who men call Jacob but whose name is Israel am he who God called Israel which means, a man seeing God because I am the firstborn of every living thing to whom God gives life.106 And when I was coming up from Syrian Mesopotamia, Uriel, the angel of God, came forth and said that “I (Jacob-Israel] had descended to earth and I had tabernacled among men and that I had been called by the name of Jacob.” He envied me and fought with me and wrestled with me saying that his name and the name that is before every angel was to be above mine. I told him his name and what rank he held among the sons of God. “Are you not Uriel, the eighth after me? And I, Israel, the archangel of the power of the Lord and the chief captain among the sons of God? Am I not Israel, the first minister before the face of God? And I called upon my God by the inextinguishable name.”

Fragment B

For I have read in the tablets of heaven all that shall befall you and your sons.

Fragment C

[Origen writes] Jacob was greater than man, he who supplanted his brother and who declared in the same book from which we quoted “I read in the tablets of heaven” that he was a chief captain of the power of the Lord and had, from of old, the name of Israel; something which he recognizes while doing service in the body, being reminded of it by the archangel Uriel.107

Pertinent to our study is the presence of the concept of the image or tselem of God – a prominent motif of later Jacob legends. In these fragments, Jacob mentions his unique place in God’s creation by uttering the following statement: “I, Jacob, who is speaking to you, am also Israel, an angel of God and a ruling spirit. Abraham and Isaac108 were created before any work (προεκτίσθησαν).109 But … I am the firstborn (πρωτόγονος) of every living thing to whom God gives life.”110

The designation of Jacob as πρωτόγονος111 may point to his role as the image of God, the office that Adam occupies in Jewish inauguration accounts. According to Howard Schwartz, such an expression “suggests that Jacob was a kind of proto-human, an Adam-like figure.”112 Jarl Fossum points to another key parallel, previously noticed by other experts as well,113 namely, a possible connection with Col 1:15, where Christ’s role as “the image of the invisible God” (εἰκὼν τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου) is tied to his designation as πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως (“the firstborn of all creation”). According to Fossum, “the closest parallel to the phrase in Col 1:15b is found in a fragment of the Prayer of Joseph preserved by Origen.”114

Another crucial detail suggestive of the tselem concept in the Prayer of Joseph is the motif of angelic opposition which, as we already saw, often plays a pivotal part in inauguration rituals attested in Adamic and Enochic lore. Thus, in the Prayer, Jacob mentions that the angel Uriel envied him, wrestled with him, and argued that his name was above Jacob’s.115 Although the Prayer of Joseph is obviously drawing on the biblical story of Jacob’s struggle with a supernatural opponent at the river Jabbok, angelic jealousy and the angel’s arguments about his superior status are entirely new developments here, in comparison with the biblical account. In relation to these novel additions, Richard Hayward notes that “the Bible gives no motive for the supernatural attack on Jacob [at Jabbok]…. The Prayer, however, attributes the attack to jealousy, and adds something entirely foreign to both the Bible and Philo: what is at issue between the two combatants is their relative status as angels, and their exact positions within the celestial hierarchy.”116 Uriel’s jealousy and peculiar arguments about his superiority to the patriarch bring to mind the angelic opposition to Adam as the image of God in the inauguration story of the Primary Adam Books. There, as we recall, its chief antagonist Satan also expressed similar feelings of jealousy,117 justifying his refusal to worship Adam on the basis of the first human’s inferior celestial status in comparison with his own, more exalted, position.118 The appearance of angelic jealousy and resistance thus implicitly affirms the presence of the inauguration pattern. In view of these connections, it is possible, that in the Prayer of Joseph, Jacob’s heavenly identity is envisioned as the eschatological image of God.

Jacob’s Inauguration in the Ladder of Jacob

Jacob’s Iqonin

Another early witness to the induction ceremony is the Ladder of Jacob, where the upper identity of the patriarch Jacob is again portrayed as the divine image. Like in some other Jewish accounts, the inauguration receives soteriological significance and can be seen as an eschatological version of Adam’s protological endowment. Like in the Prayer of Joseph, Jacob’s initiation here takes the form of his unification with his upper identity, which is envisioned as the image of God. While in the Prayer of Joseph the whole process is only vaguely hinted, here it is unfolded in great detail before the reader’s eyes. Lad. Jac. 1:3-10 offers the following description of this process:

And behold, a ladder was fixed on the earth, whose top reaches to heaven. And the top of the ladder was the face as of a man, carved out of fire.119 There were twelve steps leading to the top of the ladder, and on each step to the top there were two human faces, on the right and on the left, twenty-four faces (or busts) including their chests. And the face in the middle was higher than all that I saw, the one of fire, including the shoulders and arms, exceedingly terrifying, more than those twenty-four faces. And while I was still looking at it, behold, angels of God ascended and descended on it. And God was standing above its highest face, and he called to me from there, saying, “Jacob, Jacob!” And I said, “Here I am, Lord!” And he said to me, “The land on which you are sleeping, to you will I give it, and to your seed after you. And I will multiply your seed….”120

As in some previously explored accounts, one encounters the presence of the panim imagery, which serves as the conceptual cognate for the “image.” The story relates that Jacob sees twenty four human faces with their chests on a ladder, two of them on each step of the ladder. At the top of the ladder, the seer also beholds another human visage “carved out of fire”121 with its shoulders and arms.122 In comparison with the previous countenances, this highest fiery face is described as “exceedingly terrifying.” The imagery of this highest face on the ladder deserves close attention.

Experts have suggested that in the Ladder of Jacob the blazing face not only exemplifies God’s Glory,123 but also represents the heavenly counterpart of Jacob in the form of the divine image.124 Thus, while dealing with the terminological peculiarities found in the first chapter of the text, James Kugel argues that the authors of the text were familiar with Jewish traditions about Jacob’s image or iqonin (Nynwqy)) installed in heaven.125 Responding to Horace Lunt, who suggested that “no other Slavonic text has lice, ‘face,’ used to mean ‘statue’ or ‘bust’ (1:5 etc.), and there is no Semitic parallel,”126 Kugel argues that such a Semitic parallel can indeed be found, embodied in the Greek loan word into Mishnaic Hebrew — iqonin, which in some rabbinic texts did in fact come to mean “face.”127 Indeed, the basic meaning of iqonin as “portrait” or “bust”128 is preserved in a number of rabbinic usages.129 In light of these connections, Kugel concludes the following: “there is little doubt that our pseudepigraphon, in seeking to ‘translate’ the biblical phrase ‘his/its head reached to Heaven,’ reworded it in Mishnaic Hebrew as ‘his [Jacob’s] iqonin reached Heaven,’ and this in turn gave rise to the presence of a heavenly bust or portrait of Jacob on the divine throne.”130 Some other scholars also affirm131 the presence of the iqonin tradition in the Ladder, arguing that “in the fiery bust of the terrifying man we are probably correct to see the heavenly ‘image’ of Jacob.”132

Theme of the Angelic Opposition

Another important feature of the Ladder of Jacob connected with the inauguration ceremony is the presence of the motif of angelic opposition – the theme often found in many early Jewish versions of this ritual.

In later rabbinic accounts, it often appears in the context of the stories about Jacob’s heavenly image engraved or installed on the Throne of Glory. One specimen of this tradition is reflected in Gen. Rab. 68:12, a passage which tells both about the angelic exaltation of the heavenly Jacob and about the angelic opposition to such exaltation:

R. Hiyya the Elder and R. Jannai disagreed. One maintained: They were ascending and descending the ladder; while the other said: They were ascending and descending on Jacob. The statement that they were ascending and descending the ladder presents no difficulty. The statement that they were ascending and descending on Jacob we must take to mean that some were exalting him and others degrading him, dancing, leaping, and maligning him.133

One can easily detect in this account the distant memory of Adamic and Enochic currents, in which newly appointed “icons” of the deity have faced not only obeisance of the angelic hosts, but also their fierce opposition. Thus, a salient feature of the text is the postulation that some angelic servants seem to oppose Jacob’s heavenly image by “degrading … and maligning him,” thus exemplifying the motif of angelic resentment. Angelic hostility is already reflected in some talmudic materials that constitute the background of Gen. Rab. 68:12. For example, b. Hul. 91b contains the following tradition:

A Tanna taught: They ascended to look at the image above and descended to look at the image below. They wished to hurt him, when Behold, the Lord stood beside him (Gen 28:13). R. Simeon b. Lakish said: Were it not expressly stated in the Scripture, we would not dare to say it. [God is made to appear] like a man who is fanning his son.134

We find that in these rabbinic accounts, the motif of the patriarch’s heavenly image “is placed in the context of another well-known motif regarding the enmity or envy of the angels toward human beings. That is, according to the statements in Genesis Rabbah and Bavli Hullin the angels, who beheld Jacob’s image above, were jealous and sought to harm Jacob below.”135

Angelic opposition also appears in chapter 5 of the Ladder of Jacob, which offers an interpretation of the protagonist’s vision. The interpreting angel explains the earthly Jacob the following meaning of the ladder:

Thus he [angelus interpres] said to me [Jacob]: “You have seen a ladder with twelve steps, each step having two human faces which kept changing their appearance. The ladder is this age, and the twelve steps are the periods of this age. But the twenty-four faces are the kings of the ungodly nations of this age. Under these kings the children of your children and the generations of your sons will be interrogated. These will rise up against the iniquity of your grandsons. And this place will be made desolate by the four ascents . . . through the sins of your grandsons. And around the property of your forefathers a palace will be built, a temple in the name of your God and of (the God) of your fathers, and in the provocations of your children it will become deserted by the four ascents of this age. For you saw the first four busts which were striking against the steps . . . angels ascending and descending, and the busts amid the steps. The Most High will raise up kings from the grandsons of your brother Esau, and they will receive all the nobles of the tribes of the earth who will have maltreated your seed.…”136

In this description the twelve steps of the ladder represent the twelve periods of “this age,” while the twenty four “minor” faces denote the twenty-four kings of the ungodly nations. Ascending and descending angels on the ladder are envisioned as the guardian angels belonging to the nations hostile to Jacob and his descendants. The angelic locomotions, or “ascents,” appear to be construed in the passage as sets of arrogations against Israel. The historic framework of this revelation is influenced by the four-fold scheme of the antagonistic empires reflected in the Book of Daniel through the reference to the “four ascents” and also through the familiar features of the Danielic empires (specifically the last of the four kingdoms, Rome, represented by Esau).137

The description found in the Ladder has been obscured by the text’s long journey in various ideological milieus, but a clearer presentation of the same constellation of peculiar details is extant in several rabbinic accounts.138 Thus, for example, Lev. Rab. 29:2 provides the following description:

R. Nahman opened his discourse with the text, Therefore fear thou not, O Jacob My servant (Jer 30:10). This speaks of Jacob himself, of whom it is written, And he dreamed, and behold, a ladder set up on the earth… and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it (Gen 28:12). These angels, explained R. Samuel b. Nahman, were the guardian Princes of the nations of the world. For R. Samuel b. Nahman said: This verse teaches us that the Holy One, blessed be He, showed our father Jacob the Prince of Babylon ascending seventy rungs of the ladder, the Prince of Media fifty-two rungs, the Prince of Greece one hundred and eighty, while the Prince of Edom ascended till Jacob did not know how many rungs. Thereupon our father Jacob was afraid. He thought: Is it possible that this one will never be brought down? Said the Holy One, blessed be He, to him: Fear thou not, O Jacob My servant. Even if he ascend and sit down by Me, I will bring him down from there! Hence it is written, Though thou make thy nest as high as the eagle, and though thou set it among the stars, I will bring thee down from thence. R. Berekiah and R. Helbo, and R. Simeon b. Yohai in the name of R. Meir said: It teaches that the Holy One, blessed be He, showed Jacob the Prince of Babylon ascending and descending, of Media ascending and descending, of Greece ascending and descending, and of Edom ascending and descending.139

A similar understanding of the descending and ascending angels as political entities that are hostile to Israel can be found in Midrash on Psalms 78:6:

R. Berechiah, R. Levi, and R. Simeon ben Jose taught in the name of R. Meir that the Holy One, blessed be He, let Jacob see a ladder upon which Babylon climbed up seventy rungs and came down, Media climbed up fifty-two rungs and came down, Greece climbed up a hundred and eighty rungs and came down. But when Edom climbed higher than these, Jacob saw and was afraid. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, Therefore fear thou not, O Jacob My servant (Jer 30:10). Even as the former fell, so will the latter fall.140

In these rabbinic passages the similarities with the Danielic account are even more apparent than in the Ladder, since the familiar fourfold structure is now represented by Babylon, Media, Greece, and Edom, the empires which are often associated in the history of interpretation with the four beasts of Daniel 7.141 Kugel notes that in these materials, like in the Ladder of Jacob, “the four beasts [of Daniel’s vision] are transformed into ‘angels of God’ said to go up and down Jacob’s ladder.”142

This peculiar theme of the hostile angels on the heavenly ladder, which arrogate against Jacob and his progeny by theirs ascents and descents, provides additional evidence that the authors of the Ladder were cognizant of the motif of angelic opposition that plays such a pivotal role in the inauguration ritual.

II. Induction into the Divine Image in Early Christian Materials

Enlightened by the legacy of Jewish traditions, we can now proceed to a close analysis of traces of the inauguration ritual in the earliest Christian materials. Indeed, some Christian writers appear to be cognizant of the story of Adam’s induction. Crispin Fletcher-Louis argues that "there are passages in the New Testament that may know the story. Chief among these is Heb 1:6, which says when God brought the firstborn into the world, he said ‘Let all the angels of God worship (proskynēsatōsan) him.’”143 He further suggests that

given the ways in which Jesus undoes the disobedience of Adam in the Gospel temptation story, it is also possible that the reference to the angels serving him in Mark 1:13 and Matt 4:11 is an allusion to the story of the angelic worship of Adam that is meant to alert the reader to the fact that the angels already recognize his true identity as the one who inaugurates a new humanity, and in rendering him worshipful service they anticipate the future worship of him by his human followers.144

Fletcher-Louis’ suggestions are valuable contributions. Keeping his insights in mind, we will turn to developments found in the synoptic gospels.

Adoration of the Magi

The second chapter of the first gospel speaks about mysterious visitors from the East who came to pay homage to the newborn king of the Jews. Some details of the Matthean version suggest that it unfolds not simply as a story of veneration by foreign guests, but possibly as an account of angelic obeisance to the newly inaugurated image of God. Some scholars have identified important angelological details within the narrative. For example, the mysterious star which assists the magi on their journey to the messiah may, in fact, be an angel — specifically, a guiding angel whose function is to lead the foreign visitors to Jesus.145 This role is reminiscent of the archangel Michael’s actions during Adam’s inauguration in the Primary Adam Books, where he directs the angelic hosts for the purpose of venerating the protoplast. Other features of the story also betray the presence of familiar details of Adam’s inauguration. In both stories, the protagonists literally just come into existence. Furthermore, like in other eschatological reinterpretations of the inauguration ceremony, the baby Jesus is envisioned as an eschatological counterpart of the first human. Just as in the protoplast’s creation, which is marked by angelic veneration in the Primary Adam Books, the entrance of the last Adam into the world ought to be celebrated by a similar ritual of angelic obeisance.

Other features of the magi story also reveal possible Adamic roots. The origin of the magi from the East (ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν) hints at a possible connection with Eden, a garden which according to biblical testimonies was planted in the East.146 Gifts of the magi, including frankincense and myrrh, were traditionally used in antiquity as ingredients of incense.147 These bring to mind Adam’s sacrifices, which, according to Jewish extrabiblical lore, the protoplast was offering in the Garden of Eden in fulfillment of his sacerdotal duties. Such sacrifices are mentioned in Jub. 3:27, a passage depicting Adam as the protological high priest148 who once burned incense sacrifices in Paradise.149 In view of these possible cultic features of the magi story, Jesus might be understood there not simply as the last Adam, but as a priestly eschatological Adam in a fashion reminiscent of the Book of Jubilees. In light of these traditions, the magi could be understood as visitors, possibly even angelic visitors, from the Garden of Eden, once planted in the East, who bring to a new protoplast the sacerdotal tools used in the distant past by Adam.150 This exegetical connection is not implausible given that some later Christian materials, including Cave of Treasures, associate the gifts of the magi with Adam’s sacrifices.151

Other details of the magi narrative, such as the peculiar juxtaposition of its antagonistic figure with the theme of worship, again bring to mind the protoplast story reflected in various versions of the Primary Adam Books with its motifs of angelic veneration and Satan’s refusal to worship the first human. Matthew even connects the main antagonist of the magi story, Herod, with the theme of veneration by telling how the evil king promised to worship the messianic child,152 but in reality was planning to kill him for fear that he would take his royal place. Here, the tension between the former and new claimant to the exalted position is reminiscent of Satan’s demotion and Adam’s exaltation in the Primary Adam Books.

The magi narrative initiates the peculiar pattern of veneration that will continue to dominate the first gospel. The significance of the veneration motif for Matthew will be further illustrated in our analysis below of the inauguration patterns found in the temptation story and the transfiguration account.153 All three narratives (the magi, the temptation, and the transfiguration) share identical terminology of veneration through their usage of the Greek verb πίπτω.154 The same Greek verb was also used by the author of the Exagoge — the only account among Jewish witnesses to the inauguration ceremony that survived in Greek. At the end of Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain in Matthew’s gospel, the familiar veneration motif will appear again, when the disciples, overwhelmed with their vision, throw themselves down with their faces to the ground.155 This depiction of the disciples’ prostration at Jesus’ transfiguration is absent in both Mark and Luke. Yet, in Matthew this motif seems to fit nicely in the chain of previous veneration occurrences, thus evoking the memory of both the falling down of the magi and Satan’s quest for prostration – traditions, likewise, absent from other synoptic accounts.156

Temptation Account

In previous studies, I have suggested that Jesus’ identity as the Imago Dei may be present in the Matthean version of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, where one can find traces of the inauguration ritual.157 Two of the most notable features are the motifs of angelic opposition and angelic veneration, which we have seen in the Primary Adam Books, 2 Enoch, the Prayer of Joseph, the Ladder of Jacob, and, possibly, the Exagoge.158 In each case these motifs are crucial narrative markers connected with the protagonist’s role as the image of God.159

Even a cursory look at the temptation story as found in Matthew’s gospel reveals a striking panoply of allusions to Adam’s inauguration. Like the Primary Adam Books, which portray Satan as a celestial power endowed with attributes of the deity, the temptation story associates its enigmatic antagonist with a plethora of exalted attributes, placing him on the high mountain of his theophany, reminiscent of the summit of the divine Glory as it is depicted in some biblical and pseudepigraphical accounts. The choice of the mountain for the antagonist’s apotheosis is not happenstance, since in the Enochic and Mosaic traditions such a place is often envisioned as the seat of the divine Glory. If the Gospel of Matthew has in mind the mountain of the Kavod, in Satan’s ability to show Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor we may have a possible reference to the celestial curtain, Pargod, the sacred veil of the divine presence, which in 3 Enoch 45 is described as an entity that literally “shows” all generations and all kingdoms simultaneously at the same time.160

These associations of the antagonist with this familiar symbolism that is usually tied in Jewish apocalyptic and mystical accounts to the Kavod imagery are noteworthy. Furthermore, in the temptation story, Satan fulfills the roles of Jesus’ psychopomp and the angelus interpres. Here we find another allusion to Satan’s role as a celestial power. Scholars have noted terminological similarities between the temptation narrative and Deut 34:1-4,161 in which God serves as an angelus interpres during Moses’ vision on Mount Nebo, who shows the prophet the promised land.162

In the Primary Adam Books, Satan serves as a negative “mirror” of Adam and, in this respect, a negative icon of the deity, often revealing and reaffirming the protagonist’s exalted status by comparing the new appointee’s glory with his own previous exalted state. In the Primary Adam Books, therefore, a bulk of information about the exalted attributes of the protoplast is conveyed through Satan’s laments. They also narrate a conflict between two favorites of the deity, when the former holder of this exalted office retaliates for his lost status by attempting to seduce and to corrupt new darling of the deity. To this end, the antagonist assumes various celestial forms attempting to mislead the first human and his consort. This tradition about the antagonist, who serves as an inverse mirror and contender with the protagonist, can also be found in the longer versions of the temptation story reflected in Matthew and Luke.

Furthermore, one finds a curious reversal in the temptation story— Satan, who fell because he once refused to venerate the First Adam, now takes revenge by asking the Last Adam to bow down before him.163

Such Adamic typology is often recognized as a conceptual backbone of the temptation story. Some studies suggest that the chain of pivotal Adamic themes known from biblical and extra-biblical accounts is already present in the terse narration of Jesus’ temptation in the Gospel of Mark.164 For example, Joachim Jeremias argued that the description found in Mark 1:12 telling that Jesus “was with the wild beasts” (ἦν μετὰ τῶν θηρίων) is reminiscent of Adam living among the wild animals in paradise, according to Gen 2:19. Jeremias suggests that Jesus is identified in Mark as an eschatological Adam who restores peace between humans and animals.165 Mark’s account sets forth the belief that “paradise is restored, the time of salvation is dawning; that is what ἦν μετὰ τῶν θηρίων means. Because the temptation has been overcome and Satan has been vanquished, the gate to paradise is again opened.”166 Jeremias’ insights are important for our study as they point to the possibility that already in the Markan version of Jesus’ temptation, Jesus is understood as the image of God. In this respect, it is noteworthy that the Primary Adam Books construe the possession/absence of the image of God in humanity through motifs of obedience or hostility of the wild beast.

Jeremias also discerns Adamic typology in the saying that the angels gave Jesus “table service” (διηκόνουν αὐτῷ). In his view, “this feature, too, is part of the idea of paradise and can only be understood in that light. Just as, according to the Midrash, Adam lived on angels’ food in paradise, so the angels give Jesus nourishment. The table-service of angels is a symbol of the restored communion between man and God.”167 Richard Bauckham also sees a cluster of Adamic motifs in Mark’s version of the temptation story and argues that it envisions Jesus “as the eschatological Adam who, having resisted Satan, instead of succumbing to temptation as Adam did, then restores paradise: he is at peace with the animals and the angels serve him.”168 From this perspective, Jesus’ temptation by Satan plays a pivotal role in the unfolding of the Adamic typological appropriations.169 Dale Allison draws attention to yet another possible connection with the protoplast story by wondering whether Mark’s “forty days” is also part of his Adamic typology. According to Jub. 3:9, Adam was placed in Eden forty days after he was created, and, in the Primary Adam Books, Adam does penance for forty days.170

In Matthew and Luke, the Adamic typology hinted at in Mark receives further development, being closely tied now to already familiar features of the inauguration ritual. Thus, in Matthew’s gospel the tempter asks Jesus to prostrate himself, suggesting literally that he “fall down” (πεσών) before Satan. The same verb πίπτω was used in the description of the stars’ obeisance in the Exagoge and later in Matthew’s version of the transfiguration account, where the disciples fall on their faces in fear. In this case Matthew seems to stick more closely to the Adamic blueprint than Luke, since in Luke πεσών is missing.

The theme of veneration is introduced in the temptation story by Satan himself. Here the old motif of obeisance is reformulated in the novel Christian framework. Instead of giving obeisance to the new, eschatological image of God, who has just been inaugurated in his office at the Jordan theophany, the antagonist seeks to reverse this process by asking Jesus to venerate him. It again demonstrates the essential nature of angelic obeisance in the formation of the identity and authority of the personified divine image. Such veneration usually comes at the final stage of the inauguration, signifying the acceptance of the adept into his new role as the deity’s icon. Yet here it may also be compared to the first veneration that Adam rendered to God. Satan, endowed with striking divine attributes, might paradoxically take the deity’s role.

The motif of the rejection of veneration, explicitly narrated in the Primary Adam Books and then reiterated in many other Jewish accounts, plays its own unique role in the construction of a new Adam within the temptation story. By refusing to venerate Satan, Jesus provides an eschatological revenge for Satan’s protological refusal.

Jesus’ installation into the office of the image of God, which takes place especially in the baptism and temptation narratives, does not result in mockery but in actual angelic veneration.171 Mark and Matthew both record that the angels ministered to him (διηκόνουν αὐτῷ). As in 2 Enoch and in some other eschatological reinterpretations of the inauguration ceremony, where the motif of angelic opposition precedes the motif of angelic veneration, here, too, in the temptation story, Jesus’ opposition to the veneration of Satan is narrated prior to the angelic obeisance at the end of the story. The temptation story, like some other versions of the induction ritual, deconstructs the protological scenario of the protoplast’s inauguration ceremony found in the Primary Adam Books by refashioning it into a new eschatological ordeal that still preserves memories of the old encounter. In this respect, it is not coincidental that Satan, the old antagonist, is again present during the inauguration of Jesus into the office of the image of God as he was during Adam’s inauguration.

The Transfiguration Account

Jesus’ Iqonin

Our study has demonstrated that in some early Jewish versions of the inauguration ritual, “face” served as a cognate for “image.” Such symbolic interplay may also be found in the accounts of the transfiguration story, by Matthew and Luke,172 in which one can find references to Jesus’ transformed face.173

In previous studies, Jesus’ visage was almost exclusively interpreted through the spectacles of the biblical traditions of Moses’ panim. Yet, these studies ignored another important conceptual stream in which the panim became a terminological correlative for another concept prominent in many early Jewish accounts: namely, the image of God, or His iqonin. We have discerned such a correlation in early Enoch and Jacob traditions, where tselem was often used interchangeably with panim. If in Matthew and Luke’s transfiguration account Jesus’ face was indeed understood as his iqonin, it provides an important connection with other early Jewish accounts where the protagonist’s role as the image of God is closely linked with the symbolism of his panim. It is especially noticeable in the Ladder of Jacob. There, the conceptual bridge between the notions of image and face is solidified through the concept of Jacob’s iqonin.174

It is important that some later reinterpretations of the synoptic transfiguration accounts contain references to Jacob’s face. This can be seen, for example, in the Apocalypse of Peter 17:2-6, which reworks the transfiguration scene into an account of Jesus’ ascension. Scholars previously noted that "the description of the ascension is connected with the transfiguration scene in the Gospel of Matthew" where "Matt 17:5b is quoted literally."175 In the conclusion of this reworking, Apoc. Pet. 17:4 evokes the motif of God’s face and connects it with the name of Jacob: "And the word of scripture was fulfilled: ‘This generation seeks him and seeks the face of the God of Jacob.’"176 This expression “the face of the God of Jacob” explicitly links the Matthean version of transfiguration story — with its imagery of Jesus’ face that is referenced by the author(s) of the Apocalypse of Peter — to the Jewish theophanic tradition about Jacob’s iqonin engraved on the face of God.177

If an idea of the iqonin is indeed present in the symbolism of Jesus’ luminous face in the synoptic transfiguration accounts, it is possible that such imagery was not borrowed directly from the Jacob tradition, but instead came from the Mosaic currents that exercised an unmatched formative influence on this Christian theophany. In the extra-biblical Jewish lore, Moses’ luminous face is often reinterpreted as his iqonin.

For instance, in rendering the account of Moses’ shining visage from Exod 34:29, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan adds to it the iqonin terminology: “At the time that Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tables of the testimony in Moses’ hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the splendor of the iqonin of his face shone because of the splendor of the Glory of the Shekinah of the Lord at the time that he spoke with him.”178 The next verse (34:30) of the same targumic account also uses the iqonin formulae: “Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the iqonin of his face shone; and they were afraid to go near him.”179 Finally, verses 33-35 speak about Moses’ veil, again demonstrating the appropriation of the iqonin symbolism:

When Moses ceased speaking with them, he put a veil on the iqonin of his face. Whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would remove the veil that was on the iqonin of his face until he came out. And he would come out and tell the children of Israel what he had been commanded. The children of Israel would see Moses’ iqonin that the splendor of the iqonin of Moses’ face shone. Then Moses would put the veil back on his face until he went in to speak with him.180

In these targumic renderings of the biblical passages about Moses’ shining face, one can see the creative interplay between the panim and tselem symbolism. The application of the “image” terminology to Moses’ story here has profound anthropological significance insofar as Moses’ luminosity eventually was envisioned as a restoration of Adam’s original tselem, which according to some traditions was itself a luminous reality. The Adamic connection is often articulated in various non-biblical accounts that describe Moses’ luminous face. Thus, the Samaritan Memar Marqah makes a connection between the shining face of Moses and the luminosity of Adam’s image. Linda Belleville notes that several passages of this Samaritan collection link Moses’ light with the primordial light with which Adam was first invested, but later lost.181

Such an understanding of Moses’ shining face as a restoration of the original luminous tselem is also indicated in later rabbinic midrashim where the protoplast’s glorious image conspicuously parallels the radiant panim of the great prophet.182 We find this parallel in Deut. Rab. 11:3:

Adam said to Moses: ‘I am greater than you because I have been created in the image of God.’ Whence this? For it is said, And God created man in His own image (Gen 1:27). Moses replied to him: “I am far superior to you, for the honor which was given to you has been taken away from you, as it is said, But man (Adam) abideth not in honor (Ps 49:13); but as for me, the radiant countenance which God gave me still remains with me.”183

Another specimen of this tradition is found in Midrash Tadshe 4, where the creation of Adam in God’s image is compared with the bestowal of luminosity on Moses’ face: “In the beginning: ‘and God created man in his image,’ and in the desert: ‘and Moses knew not that the skin of his face shone.’”184 Later rabbinic materials often speak of the luminosity of Adam’s face,185 the feature that most likely points to the Adam-Moses connection. For example, in Lev. Rab. 20:2, the following correlation can be found:

Resh Lakish, in the name of R. Simeon the son of Menasya, said: The apple of Adam’s heel outshone the globe of the sun; how much more so the brightness of his face! Nor need you wonder. In the ordinary way if a person makes salvers, one for himself and one for his household, whose will he make more beautiful? Not his own? Similarly, Adam was created for the service of the Holy One, blessed be He, and the globe of the sun for the service of mankind.186

In a similar tradition, Genesis Rabbah 11 does not focus on Adam’s luminous garments, but rather on his glorious face:

Adam’s glory did not abide the night with him. What is the proof? But Adam passeth not the night in glory (Ps 49:13). The Rabbis maintain: His glory abode with him, but at the termination of the Sabbath He deprived him of his splendor and expelled him from the Garden of Eden, as it is written, Thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away (Job 14:20).187

The initial roots of the preceding rabbinic trajectories can be traced to the documents of the Second Temple period. For example, the theme of the superiority of Moses over Adam can already be detected in Philo. Wayne Meeks draws attention to a similar tradition from the Quaestiones et Solutiones in Exodum 2.46, which identifies the ascendant Moses with the heavenly man188 created in God’s image on the seventh day:189

But the calling above of the prophet is a second birth better than the first…. For he is called on the seventh day, in this (respect) differing from the earth-born first molded man, for the latter came into being from the earth and with body, while the former (came) from the ether and without body. Wherefore the most appropriate number, six, was assigned to the earth-born man, while to the one differently born (was assigned) the higher nature of the hebdomad.190

It is possible that such an interpretation of Moses’ shining visage, not merely as the luminous face but also functioning as the luminous image, could stand behind the symbolism of Jesus’ luminous face within the synoptic versions of the transfiguration account. In the peculiar theophanic context of the transfiguration account, with its postulation of God’s invisibility, the famous Pauline dictum about Christ as the image of the invisible God can be seen in an entirely new light.

Prostration Motif

Among the synoptic gospels, only Matthew relates the tradition in which the disciples, upon hearing the divine utterance, fall on their faces (ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν), overwhelmed by fear. Jesus then raises them up, encouraging them not to be afraid. Scholars often see these additions as the most important Matthean contributions. Ulrich Luz, for example, argues that “the most important Matthean change in the transfiguration story is the addition of vv. 6-7, telling of the disciples’ fear and how Jesus raises them up.”191

Scholars often see the disciples’ reactions of fear and obeisance in Matthew as related solely to the aural manifestation of God, namely, His Voice.192 Yet Jesus’ peculiar affirmations to “get up” and “don’t be afraid,” often found in the Jewish and Christian visionary accounts, lead us to a different interpretation. Very similar exhortations not to fear or to get up are usually given to visionaries in Jewish theophanic accounts by the very objects of such visions: angelic or divine figures, whose sudden appearance provokes feelings of fear and reverence.193 For example, Dan 10:9-12 has a similar constellation of distinctive features when a celestial visitor touches a prostrated seer filled with fear and tells him not to be afraid:

… then I heard the sound of his words; and when I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a trance, face to the ground. But then a hand touched me and roused me to my hands and knees. He said to me, “Daniel, greatly beloved, pay attention to the words that I am going to speak to you. Stand on your feet, for I have now been sent to you.” So while he was speaking this word to me, I stood up trembling. He said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.”

In Dan 10:18-19, a nearly the same pattern emerges: “again one in human form touched me and strengthened me. He said, ‘Do not fear, greatly beloved, you are safe. Be strong and courageous!’ When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, ‘Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.’”

This pattern is also found in the Jewish pseudepigrapha.194 The shorter and longer recensions of 2 Enoch 1:6-8 portray angels appearing before Enoch. The text recounts that, being overwhelmed with fear, the patriarch prostrates himself before them. The angels then tell the seer not to be afraid: “Then I awoke from my sleep, and saw those men, standing in front of me, in actuality. Then I bowed down to them; and I was terrified; and the appearance of my face was changed because of fear. Then those men said to me, ‘Be brave, Enoch! In truth, do not fear!’”195

In 2 Enoch 22 we find a similar scene during the patriarch’s encounter with the deity’s glorious form, labeled there as God’s “face”: “I saw the view of the face of the Lord, like iron made burning hot in a fire and brought out, and it emits sparks and is incandescent…. And I fell down flat and did obeisance to the Lord. And the Lord, with his own mouth, said to me, ‘Be brave, Enoch! Don’t be frightened! Stand up, and stand in front of my face forever.’”196 Here again the phrase “do not fear” (or “be brave”) coincides with the action of bringing the adept into a standing position (“stand up”).

In the Gospel of Matthew, the disciples’ obeisance occurs immediately after the divine affirmation regarding Jesus’ exalted status. Therefore, it is possible that the content of the utterance, and not the voice itself, is in fact what provokes the disciples’ sudden reaction. Davies and Allison perceptively notice a certain correspondence between the disciples’ bowed faces and the face of the transfigured Jesus: “the motif of falling on one’s face in fear is a standard part of any heavenly ascent or revelation story. But here there is more, for there is a contrast between Jesus’ face, which is shining, and the faces of the disciples, which are hidden.”197

It is also important that, unlike Mark, Matthew applies the symbolism of luminous panim/face to Jesus, which here, as in other Jewish accounts, may signify the divine image. If so, the disciples’ obeisance provides additional evidence that in some synoptic versions of the transfiguration story Jesus’ face may be envisioned as the iqonin. This conceptually links the transfiguration account to previously explored Jewish narratives with their understanding of the protagonist as the image of God, the office that requires angelic veneration. In addition, the disciples’ obeisance in Matthew is rendered through the Greek verb πίπτω. This same verb was used in the Exagoge in the depiction of the stars’ obeisance to Moses, in the magi story, and in the temptation narrative when Satan asks Jesus to bow down before him.

Another important similarity with Jewish apocalyptic accounts is how the disciples’ prostration occurs after the deity’s affirmation about the protagonist’s status. The early specimens of this tradition can already be found in 2 Enoch198 and the Primary Adam Books,199 where angelic obeisance coincides with affirmations of the protagonist’s unique status.

To conclude our analysis of the disciples’ obeisance, we can see that in Matthew, such a motif — found only in this gospel — fits very nicely in the chain of previous veneration occurrences, evoking both the memory of the falling down of the magi and that of Satan’s quest for prostration.


Previous scholars who searched for remnants of Adam’s induction in early Jewish and Christian materials often concentrated on the motif of “worship,” even arguing that the account in the Primary Adam Books should be called the “Worship of Adam Story.”200 These studies, however, often ignored other significant features of the inauguration ceremony that provide important indicators which are helpful in the search for other specimens of such rituals. One crucial marker in this respect is the motif of angelic hostility to the newly created protoplast, a motif which maintain an extensive afterlife in various Jewish and Christian materials, including the Exagoge, 2 Enoch, the Prayer of Joseph, the Ladder of Jacob, and the synoptic renderings of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness.

Another important marker is the link between notions of “image” and “face,” which in later Jewish materials was expressed through the concept of iqonin. Attention to this peculiar terminological correspondence, manifested already in early Jewish pseudepigraphical materials, such as the Book of the Similitudes, 2 Enoch, and the Ladder of Jacob, helps us to discern the traces of the inauguration story in some early Christian materials, including the transfiguration account. The imagery of Jesus’ countenance found in these early Christian materials has puzzled generations of scholars who were often quick to default to the biblical tradition of Moses’ face in order to explain such symbolism. Yet, the story of Adam’s inauguration and its perdurance in Enochic, Jacobite, and Mosaic traditions, together with its peculiar juxtaposition of the notions of “face” and “image,” provides a new insight into the motif of Jesus’ transformed visage in the synoptic gospels.

Close attention to the aforementioned features of the inauguration story may help scholars to locate other early remnants of this conceptual trajectory in which the original Adamic motif received a novel eschatological reinterpretation. Indeed, Adam’s induction into the divine image provided a formative blueprint for many eschatological encounters in which various biblical patriarchs and prophets were initiated into the office of the eschatological image of God, thus restoring the crucial protological condition lost by the first human after his transgression in the Garden of Eden.

1 Apropos the ancient roots of this story, Fletcher-Louis notes that “besides its appearance in the Latin, Georgian, and Armenian versions of the Life of Adam and Eve, the Worship of Adam Story is attested in both Jewish and Christian sources in a way that suggests a nonsectarian provenance and wide circulation in the first century of the Christian era (if not earlier). In the Christian environment, the story is attested in diverse pseudepigraphical sources, but the church fathers themselves do not quote from it. Because their theology was Christocentric, not anthropocentric, it is unsurprising that they did not make direct use of it. This also means it is unlikely that early Christians created the story, even if they found it useful when appropriated through a Christological lens. We know that the rabbis were aware of it because they preserve a similar story that says when the angels began to worship the first human being, God took steps to ensure that in the future they would not mistake Adam for his Creator. This is clearly designed to refute the Worship of Adam Story and is best taken as evidence that ‘certain people in the first centuries C.E. maintained that Adam, although created, was a divine or at least semi-divine being who deserved to be worshipped, and the rabbis vehemently opposed such a ‘heretical’ idea.’ It is possible that the rabbis are reacting to a story dear to Christians, but several considerations make this unlikely. At no point do the rabbinic texts explicitly polemicize against Christians for believing that Adam was worshipped as a divine being. And given the way the Adam story is marginalized in mainstream patristic theology, it is more likely that the rabbis are reacting to a story that had been doing the rounds in their own Jewish environment.” C. H. T. Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, vol. 1, Christological Origins: The Emerging Consensus and Beyond (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2015) 259-260.

2 Although the story is not found in the Greek version of the Primary Adam Books, scholars argue that its author “must have known it in some form, but he has chosen not to narrate it.” For example, Johannes Magliano-Tromp notes that “in the Greek Life of Adam and Eve 16:3, it is told that the devil invited the serpent to be his companion in seducing Adam to sin, ‘so that he will be cast out of paradise, just as we have been cast out by him.’ This must be a reference to the story of the devil’s fall from heaven, a story that is narrated at length in the Armenian, Georgian and Latin versions of the writing. The author of the Greek Life of Adam and Eve must have known it in some form, but he has chosen not to narrate it.” J. Magliano-Tromp, “Adamic Traditions in 2 Enoch and in the Books of Adam and Eve,” in: New Perspectives on 2 Enoch: No Longer Slavonic Only (eds. A. A. Orlov, G. Boccaccini, and J. Zurawski; SJS, 3; Leiden: Brill, 2012) 283–304 at 298. See also M. Stone, “The Fall of Satan and Adam’s Penance: Three Notes on The Books of Adam and Eve,” JTS 44 (1993) 153-56. Fletcher-Louis explains the absence of the story in some versions as the result of Christian censorship. He argues that “because the story does not fit well with the belief that it is Jesus Christ who is the image of God, the fact that it is fully told in the Latin, Armenian, and Georgian, but not in the extant Greek and the Slavonic is best explained as textual evidence for its suppression in Christian transmission. Either the Greek and Slavonic tradents disapproved of the story altogether or they were concerned that it should only be handled with extreme care, and it should not be widely known among the uneducated or the laity, who might misunderstand it. The fact that some Greek manuscripts refer to the story, but do not lay it out fully, suggests this second explanation.” Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 260.

3 G. Anderson and M. Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve. Second Revised Edition (EJL, 17; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1999) 16E.

4 Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 16E.

5 The Latin version of the Primary Adam Books 13:2-14:1 reads: “The Lord God then said: ‘Behold, Adam, I have made you in our image and likeness.’ Having gone forth Michael called all the angels saying: ‘Worship the image of the Lord God, just as the Lord God has commanded.’” The Armenian version of the Primary Adam Books 13:2-14:1 reads: “God said to Michael, ‘Behold I have made Adam in the likeness of my image.’ Then Michael summoned all the angels, and God said to them, ‘Come, bow down to god whom I made.’” Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 16E.

6 Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 265. Fletcher-Louis further notes that “indeed, this is clear even at a cursory reading of the Greek and Latin versions of the Primary Adam Books. Later on in the story of Adam’s life, when Seth and Eve go in search of healing oil to help Adam, Seth is attacked by a wild animal (Synopsis §12). He is able to rebuke and overcome the beast because he is the image of God to whom the animal creature should submit. That story would not work quite so well if Seth were made according to God’s image.” Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 265.

7 Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 16E.

8 Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 16E.

9 Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 16E. Corrine Patton observes that “Adam’s role as the effective symbol of God’s presence in heaven is the result of a divine command.” C. Patton, “Adam as the Image of God,” SBLSP 33 (1994) 294-300 at 299. She goes on to say that “because this image of God was created and ordained as such by God, Satan’s refusal to worship Adam is paramount to Satan’s refusal to worship God.” Patton, “Adam as the Image of God,” 300.

10adora imaginem dei Jehova.” Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 16-16E. See also Latin Vita 15:2: “Worship the image of God. If you do not worship, the Lord God will grow angry with you.” Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 17E.

11 The Latin version of the Primary Adam Books 14:2-15:1 reads: “Michael himself worshipped first then he called me and said: ‘Worship the image of God Jehovah.’ I answered: ‘I do not have it within me to worship Adam.’ When Michael compelled me to worship, I said to him: ‘Why do you compel me? I will not worship him who is lower and later than me. I am prior to that creature. Before he was made, I had already been made. He ought to worship me.’ Hearing this, other angels who were under me were unwilling to worship him.” The Armenian version of the Primary Adam Books 14:2-15:1 reads: “Michael bowed first He called me and said ‘You too, bow down to Adam.’ I said, Go away, Michael! I shall not bow [down] to him who is posterior to me, for I am former. Why is it proper [for me] to bow down to him? The other angels, too, who were with me, heard this, and my words seemed pleasing to them and they did not prostrate themselves to you, Adam.” Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 16E-17E.

12 The motif of angelic opposition has been regularly marginalized in previous studies of the story, while the motif of angelic worship has been exaggerated. Such an approach is evident in the peculiar labeling of the account as “Worship of Adam Story” (Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 256) or “Exaltation of Adam” (G. Anderson, “The Exaltation of Adam and the Fall of Satan,” in: Literature on Adam and Eve. Collected Essays [eds. G. Anderson, M. E. Stone, J. Tromp; SVTP, 15; Leiden: Brill, 2000] 83–110).

13 Fletcher-Louis argues for the early pre-Christian provenance of this motif by noting that “Philo is almost certainly a witness to it in his treatise On the Creation of the World, where he says that when man was created the other creatures were so amazed at the sight of him that they worshipped (proskynein) him as one by nature ruler and master (§83).” Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 262.

14 The deification of Adam is especially evident in the Armenian version of the Primary Adam Books 14:1: “Then Michael summoned all the angels, and God said to them, ‘Come, bow down to god whom I made.’” Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 16E.

15 With regard to the motif of angelic veneration, Steenburg argues that “the worship of the image of God, insofar as it is a visible or physical manifestation of God, is within the bounds of Torah.” “The Worship of Adam and Christ as the Image of God,” JSNT 39 (1990) 95–109 at 95.

16 Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 270. Later he notes that “the story does not portray Adam as a thoroughly separate, individuated, divine being. He is not ‘a god’ or ‘demigod.’ He exists solely at the service of God; as God’s image and likeness.” Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 271.

17 A. Orlov, Dark Mirrors: Azazel and Satanael in Early Jewish Demonology (Albany: SUNY, 2011) 105.

18 Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 16E.

19 The LXX version of Gen 2:7 reads: “And God formed man, dust from the earth, and breathed into his face (εἰς τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ) a breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

20 Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 16-16E.

21 Steenburg, “The Worship of Adam and Christ as the Image of God.” 96. In Steenburg’s opinion, “‘face’ relates more specifically to physical, visual appearance, just as the angelic worship of Adam in Vit. Ad. is peculiar to Adam alone…. To be adequate to the text in its irregular usage of ‘face,’ however, we are probably meant to understand that Adam is not just a representative by virtue of his patriarchy, but that he is also the best representative and that his superiority in this regard pertains to his physical or visible likeness to God.” Steenburg, “The Worship of Adam and Christ,” 97.

22 Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 270.

23 On the date of 2 Enoch, see R. H. Charles, and W. R. Morfill, The Book of the Secrets of Enoch (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1896) xxvi; R. H. Charles and N. Forbes, “The Book of the Secrets of Enoch,” in: The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament (2 vols.; ed. R. H. Charles; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913) 2.429; J. T. Milik, The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumrân Cave 4 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976) 114; C. Böttrich, Das slavische Henochbuch (JSHRZ, 5; Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlaghaus, 1995) 813; A. A. Orlov, The Enoch-Metatron Tradition (TSAJ, 107; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005) 323-328; idem, “The Sacerdotal Traditions of 2 Enoch and the Date of the Text,” in: New Perspectives on 2 Enoch: No Longer Slavonic Only (eds. A. A. Orlov, G. Boccaccini, and J. Zurawski; SJS, 4; Leiden: Brill, 2012) 103-116.

24 F. Andersen, “2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch,” in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 vols.; ed. J. H. Charlesworth; New York: Doubleday, 1983-1985) 1.138.

25 The Adamic story of the angelic veneration of Adam and Satan’s disobedience is attested in many Jewish, Christian, and Muslim materials. See e.g. Slavonic version of 3 Bar. 4, Gos. Bart. 4, Coptic Enthronement of Michael, Cave of Treasures 2:10–24, and Qur’an 2:31–39; 7:11–18; 15:31–48; 17:61–65; 18:50; 20:116–123; 38:71–85.

26 Charles and Morfill, The Book of the Secrets of Enoch, 28.

27 M. E. Stone, “The Fall of Satan and Adam’s Penance: Three Notes on the Books of Adam and Eve,” in: Literature on Adam and Eve. Collected Essays (eds. G. Anderson, M. E. Stone, J. Tromp; SVTP, 15; Brill: Leiden, 2000) 43-56 at 47.

28 Stone, “The Fall of Satan and Adam’s Penance: Three Notes on the Books of Adam and Eve,” 48.

29 Stone, “The Fall of Satan and Adam’s Penance: Three Notes on the Books of Adam and Eve,” 48.

30 Stone, “The Fall of Satan and Adam’s Penance: Three Notes on the Books of Adam and Eve,” 48.

31 Stone, “The Fall of Satan and Adam’s Penance: Three Notes on the Books of Adam and Eve,” 48. For Stone “the conclusion seems quite clear. The author of 2 Enoch 21-22 knew a story of the rebellion of Satan that strongly resembled that which is found in chaps. 11-l 7 of the Primary Adam Books, in its Latin, Armenian, and Georgian forms. It is particularly interesting that this form of the tradition does not occur in the Slavonic recension of the Primary Adam Books. This situation seems to invite us to conclude that this material entered 2 Enoch in Greek. Certainly, the story of Satan’s rebellion did not enter 2 Enoch from the Slavonic Vita.” Stone, “The Fall of Satan and Adam’s Penance: Three Notes on the Books of Adam and Eve,” 48.

32 Anderson, “The Exaltation of Adam and the Fall of Satan,” 100.

33 Anderson, “The Exaltation of Adam and the Fall of Satan,” 100.

34 Anderson, “The Exaltation of Adam and the Fall of Satan,” 101.

35 Anderson, “The Exaltation of Adam and the Fall of Satan,” 101.

36 Anderson, “The Exaltation of Adam and the Fall of Satan,” 101.

37 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.138.

38 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.114.

39 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.117.

40 Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 45E (Armenian version).

41 Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 45E (Armenian version).

42 PAB 43(13): “The Lord said, ‘I will admit them into the Garden and I will anoint them with that unction.’” Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 45E (Georgian version).

43 M. E. Stone, “The Angelic Prediction in the Primary Adam Books,” in: Literature on Adam and Eve. Collected Essays (eds. G. Anderson, M. E. Stone, J. Tromp; SVTP, 15; Brill: Leiden, 2000) 111-131 at 127.

44 H. E. Gaylord, “3 (Greek Apocalypse of) Baruch,” in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 vols; ed. J. H. Charlesworth; New York: Doubleday, 1985 [1983]) 1.658.

45 Stone, “The Angelic Prediction in the Primary Adam Books,” 126.

46 E. C. Quinn, The Quest of Seth for the Oil of Life (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962) 59.

47 Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 40E.

48 Stone, “The Angelic Prediction in the Primary Adam Books,” 126.

49 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.163.

50 The longer recension of 2 Enoch 64:4–5 reads: “O our father, Enoch! May you be blessed by the Lord, the eternal king! And now, bless your sons, and all the people, so that we may be glorified in front of your face today. For you will be glorified in front of the face of the Lord for eternity, because you are the one whom the Lord chose in preference to all the people upon the earth; and he appointed you to be the one who makes a written record of all his creation, visible and invisible, and the one who carried away the sin of mankind.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.190.

51 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.171; N. Deutsch, The Gnostic Imagination: Gnosticism, Mandaeism, and Merkabah Mysticism (Leiden: Brill, 1995) 102.

52 The interchangeability between the notions of tselem and panim is observable, for example, in later Jewish lore about Jacob’s image engraved on the divine throne. Several texts replace the notion of Jacob’s tselem with the imagery of his panim. For example, Hekhalot Rabbati (Synopse §164): “And testify to them. What testimony? You see Me—what I do to the visage of the face of Jacob your father which is engraved for Me upon the throne of My glory. For in the hour that you say before Men ‘Holy,’ I kneel on it and embrace it and kiss it and hug it and My hands are on its arms three times, corresponding to the three times that you say before Me, ‘Holy,’ according to the word that is said, Holy, holy, holy (Isa 6:3).” J. R. Davila, Hekhalot Literature in Translation: Major Texts of Merkavah Mysticism (SJJTP, 20; Leiden: Brill, 2013) 86; P. Schäfer, with M. Schlüter and H. G. von Mutius, Synopse zur Hekhaloth-Literatur (TSAJ, 2; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1981) 72. Here, the deity embraces and kisses Jacob’s heavenly identity engraved on His Throne. Yet, the striking difference in comparison with other rabbinic accounts is that now it is not the image, but instead Jacob’s face, that is said to be engraved on the throne. It appears that this shift is not merely a slip of a Hekhalot writer’s pen, but a deliberate conceptual turn, since it is also attested in other rabbinic materials. For example, a testimony is found in Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer 35 which also attempts to replace the tselem imagery with the symbolism of Jacob’s panim by arguing that the angels went to see the face of the patriarch and that his heavenly countenance was reminiscent of a visage of one of the Living Creatures of the divine Throne: “Rabbi Levi said: In that night the Holy One, blessed be He, showed him all the signs. He showed him a ladder standing from the earth to the heaven, as it is said, “And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven” (Gen 28:12). And the ministering angels were ascending and descending thereon, and they beheld the face of Jacob, and they said: This is the face – like the face of the Chayyah, which is on the Throne of Glory. Such (angels) who were (on earth) below were ascending to see the face of Jacob among the faces of the Chayyah, (for it was) like the face of the Chayyah, which is on the Throne of Glory.” Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer (tr. G. Friedlander; London: Bloch, 1916) 265. Such peculiar terminological exchanges between tselem and panim are significant for our study.

53 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.170.

54 According to Nathaniel Deutsch, “the key to understanding this passage has been provided by F. I. Andersen, who notes in his edition of 2 Enoch, that its form imitates that of Gen 1:27, which states that ‘God created man in His image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.’ Instead of the ‘image’ of God, in 2 Enoch we find God’s ‘face,’ and in place of ‘male and female He created them,’ we read ‘small and great the Lord created.’ In light of the Jewish, Gnostic, and Mandaean traditions which treated the image of God in Gen 1:27 hypostatically, often identifying it with the Cosmic Adam, the substitution of the divine image in Gen 1:27 with the divine face is early evidence that God’s face was perceived hypostatically, as well.” Deutsch, Gnostic Imagination, 102.

55 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.171, note b. As previously indicated, in other Jewish materials the concept of the divine image is often rendered through the symbolism of the divine face. See M. Idel, “The Changing Faces of God and Human Dignity in Judaism,” in: Moshe Idel: Representing God (eds. H. Tirosh-Samuelson and A. W. Hughes; LCJP, 8; Leiden: Brill, 2014) 103-122.

56 In relation to the formation of the Hekhalot corpus as a distinct class of texts, Racanan Boustan observes that “this loose body of texts, written primarily in Hebrew and Aramaic with a smattering of foreign loan words, took shape gradually during Late Antiquity and early Middle Ages (c. 300-900), and continued to be adapted and reworked by Jewish scribes and scholars throughout the Middle Ages and into the early Modern period (c. 900–1500). While Heikhalot literature does contain some material that dates to the ‘classic’ rabbinic period (c. 200–500 C.E.), this literature seems to have emerged as a distinct class of texts only at a relatively late date, most likely after 600 C.E. and perhaps well into the early Islamic period.” R. S. Boustan, “The Study of Heikhalot Literature: Between Mystical Experience and Textual Artifact,” CBR 6.1 (2007) 130-160 at 130-131. Later Boustan elaborates on this further: “Heikhalot literature — and its constituent parts — cannot simply be divided into stable ‘books’ or ‘works,’ but must be studied within the shifting redactional contexts reflected in the manuscript tradition. In particular, the dynamic relationships among single units of tradition as well as the relationships of those units to the larger whole should be considered. In light of this complex transmission-history, scholars have not always been able to agree on a single definition of what constitutes a Heikhalot text or on how the corpus might best be delimited.” Boustan, “The Study of Heikhalot Literature,” 139.

57 For a comprehensive analysis of the rabbinic texts and traditions dealing with the angelic opposition to humanity, see P. Schäfer, Rivalität zwischen Engeln und Menschen: Untersuchungen zur rabbinischen Engelvorstellung (SJ, 8; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1975). Schäfer’s research demonstrates that the idea of angelic opposition was expressed explicitly in rabbinic literature on three decisive occasions: at the creation of Adam, at the moment of the giving of the Torah, and at the descent of the Shekinah in the Sanctuary. On all three occasions angels speak enviously against humanity in an attempt to prevent God from creating humanity, giving the Torah to Israel, or coming to dwell among humans. Schäfer, Rivalität zwischen Engeln und Menschen: Untersuchungen zur rabbinischen Engelvorstellung, 219.

58 P. Alexander, “3 (Hebrew Apocalypse of) Enoch,” in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 vols.; ed. J. H. Charlesworth; New York: Doubleday, 1983-1985) 258–9; Schäfer et al., Synopse, 6–7.

59 Anderson, “The Exaltation of Adam and the Fall of Satan,” 83–110. On the Adamic traditions in rabbinic literature, see also A. Altmann, “The Gnostic Background of the Rabbinic Adam Legends,” JQR 35 (1945) 371–391; B. Barc, “La taille cosmique d’Adam dans la littérature juive rabbinique des trois premiers siècles apres J.-C.,” RSR 49 (1975) 173–85; J. Fossum, “The Adorable Adam of the Mystics and the Rebuttals of the Rabbis,” in: Geschichte-Tradition-Reflexion. Festschrift für Martin Hengel zum 70. Geburtstag (2 vols; eds. H. Cancik, H. Lichtenberger and P. Schäfer; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1996) 1.529–39; G. Quispel, “Der gnostische Anthropos und die jüdische Tradition,” ErJb 22 (1953) 195–234; idem, “Ezekiel 1:26 in Jewish Mysticism and Gnosis,” VC 34 (1980) 1–13; A. Segal, Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism (SJLA, 25; Leiden: Brill, 1977) 108–115.

60 Anderson, “The Exaltation of Adam and the Fall of Satan,” 107.

61 Anderson, “The Exaltation of Adam and the Fall of Satan,” 108.

62 Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 1.259.

63 Anderson, “The Exaltation of Adam and the Fall of Satan,” 105.

64 E. R. Wolfson, Through a Speculum That Shines: Vision and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994) 20

65 Ludwig Köhler and Moshe Weinfeld argue that the phrase, “in our image, after our likeness” precludes the anthropomorphic interpretation that the human being was created in the divine image. L. Köhler, “Die Grundstelle der Imago Dei Lehre, Genesis i, 26,” ThZ 4 (1948) 16; M. Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972) 199. In relation to these conceptual developments, Wolfson notes that “it seems that the problem of God’s visibility is invariably linked to the question of God’s corporeality, which, in turn, is bound up with the matter of human likeness to God…. Although the official cult of ancient Israelite religion prohibited the making of images or icons of God, this basic need to figure or image God in human form found expression in other ways, including the prophetic visions of God as an anthropos, as well as the basic tenet of the similitude of man and divinity. The biblical conception is such that the anthropos is as much cast in the image of God as God is cast in the image of the anthropos. This is stated in the very account of the creation of the human being in the first chapter of Genesis (attributed to P) in the claim that Adam was created in the image of God.” Wolfson, Through a Speculum, 20-21.

66 A similar motif is entertained in the encounter between Seth and the beast in the PAB.

67 In this context, the metamorphoses of some Danielic theriomorphic antagonists, including the first beast who attempts to emulate a human posture by standing on two feet, can be seen as arrogations against the divine authority. On this, see Merrill Willis, Dissonance and the Drama of Divine Sovereignty in the Book of Daniel, 76.

68 Amy Merrill Willis points out that “Daniel’s description of the Ancient of Days signals incomparable honor, glory, and power. Daniel clearly borrows from Ezek 1:26-28 where the description of the deity emphasizes Yahweh’s holiness and glory, which is seated on a mobile throne and surrounded by hybrid creatures. Moreover, one finds in the vision cycle Ezekiel’s language of brilliant light, fire, and the wheeled throne (Ezek 1:15, 27-28/Dan 7:9-10).” Merrill Willis, Dissonance and the Drama of Divine Sovereignty in the Book of Daniel, 74-5.

69 Merrill Willis, Dissonance and the Drama of Divine Sovereignty in the Book of Daniel, 75.

70 Merrill Willis, Dissonance and the Drama of Divine Sovereignty in the Book of Daniel, 75.

71 Dan 7:4: “The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then, as I watched, its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a human being; and a human mind was given to it.” All biblical quotations are taken from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) unless otherwise indicated.

72 Merrill Willis, Dissonance and the Drama of Divine Sovereignty in the Book of Daniel, 76.

73 Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 197. See also P. Owen, “Aramaic and Greek Representations of the ‘Son of Man’ and the Importance of the Parables of Enoch,” in: Parables of Enoch: A Paradigm Shift (eds. D. L. Bock and J. H. Charlesworth; JCTCRS, 11; London: Bloomsbury, 2013) 114-123 at 115, footnote 5.

74 Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 197.

75 Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 280.

76 Regarding this passage, Hurtado states the following: “the effects of the heavenly divine agent concept may be seen especially in 1 Enoch 46:1-3, where, employing imagery from Dan 7:9-14, the writer pictures the ‘Son of Man’/’Chosen One’ in a heavenly scene, prominently associated with God, possessing an angelic aspect, and privy to all heavenly secrets. In this theophanic scene, the writer pictures God and ‘another,’ manlike in appearance, whose face was ‘full of grace, like one of the holy angels,’ who ‘will reveal all the treasures of that which is secret.’ The writer of 1 Enoch 46 apparently saw the figure in Dan 7:13-14 as a real being bearing heavenly (angelic) qualities and as God’s chosen chief agent of eschatological deliverance. Whether this interpretation reflects the meaning intended by the author of Daniel 7 or was a later development, in either case I suggest that such an interpretation is evidence of the concept of a heavenly divine agent, a figure next to God in authority who acts as God’s chief representative.” L. W. Hurtado, One God, One Lord, New Edition: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism (London: SCM, 1988) 54.

77 M. Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch. A New Edition in the Light of the Aramaic Dead Sea Fragments (2 vols.; Oxford: Clarendon, 1978) 2.131-132.

78 Nickelsburg and VanderKam bring attention to this feature by noting that in comparison with Dan 7:13, 1 Enoch 46:1c mentions the face of the Son of Man. G. Nickelsburg and J. VanderKam, 1 Enoch 2: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch: Chapters 37-82 (Hermeneia, Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012) 156.

79 Nickelsburg and VanderKam, 1 Enoch 2, 157.

80 Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 250.

81 S. L. Herring, Divine Substitution: Humanity as the Manifestation of Deity in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East (FRLANT, 247; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013) 216.

82 Analyzing these witnesses, Stephen Herring points out that “in at least two passages [the Son of Man] figure appears to receive worship. Thus, 48:5 states that the entire earth will ‘fall down and worship before him.’ This is given more detail in 62:6-9, which states that ‘the kings, ‘the mighty,’ ‘all who possess the earth,’ ‘the exalted,’ and ‘those who rule the earth’ will ‘bless,’ ‘glorify,’ ‘extol,’ fall on their faces,’ ‘worship,’ and ‘set their hope upon the Son of Man.’” Herring, Divine Substitution, 216-17.

83 C. H. T. Fletcher-Louis, “The Worship of Divine Humanity as God’s Image and the Worship of Jesus,” in The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism. Papers from the St. Andrews Conference on the Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus (eds. C. Newman et al.; JSJSS, 63; Leiden: Brill, 1999) 112-128 at 113.

84 Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 279-280. In another part of his study, he says, that although “there is no literary connection between the Primary Adam Books and the Similitudes … the Adamic contours to the Enochic Son of Man suggest that the worship of the Enochic figure may not be unconnected to wider traditions in which Adam was himself worshipped.” Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 268.

85 W. Meeks, The Prophet-King. Moses Traditions and the Johannine Christology (NovTSup, 14; Leiden: Brill, 1967) 149.

86 The Greek text of the passage was published in several editions including: A.-M. Denis, Fragmenta pseudepigraphorum quae supersunt Graeca (PVTG, 3; Leiden: Brill, 1970) 210; B. Snell, Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta I (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1971) 288-301; H. Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983) 54; C. R. Holladay, Fragments from Hellenistic Jewish Authors (3 vols.; SBLTT, 30; Pseudepigrapha Series 12; Atlanta: Scholars, 1989) 2.362-66.

87 Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel, 54–55.

88 S. N. Bunta, Moses, Adam and the Glory of the Lord in Ezekiel the Tragedian: On the Roots of a Merkabah Text (Ph.D. diss.; Marquette University, 2005) 89-92.

89 Bunta, Moses, Adam, and the Glory of the Lord, 86.

90 Moses’ enthronement can be also read as a Adamic motif. In this respect Fletcher-Louis reminds us that “in the Testament of Abraham A 11:4–12, the first formed Adam sits on a gilded throne at the gate of heaven, most marvelous and adorned with glory, with a form like that of God himself (‘the Master’).” Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 252.

91 On the possibility of angelic veneration of Moses in the Exagoge, see Bunta, Moses, Adam and the Glory of the Lord, 167-183. Bunta presents four similarities between the portrayal of Moses in the Exagoge and traditions about the angelic veneration of Adam: “1. In both traditions the human heroes are appropriately venerated by angels; 2. In both traditions the veneration reflects the human’s attainment of a privileged status within the

divine entourage; 3. Both traditions reflect an ironic polemic against angels; 4. Within this imagery, both traditions construct a complex dialectic of identity which emphasizes the dichotomous condition of humanity. On one hand, humanity is reminded of its earthliness, its mortal substance, and on the other hand, the body’s divine likeness deserves angelic veneration.” Bunta, Moses, Adam, and the Glory of the Lord, 183.

92 Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel, 54–55.

93 As John Collins explains, “the stars had long been identified with the angelic host in Israelite tradition…. Ultimately this tradition can be traced back to Canaanite mythology where the stars appear as members of the divine council in the Ugaritic texts.” Collins, Apocalyptic Vision, 136. See, for example, Judg 5:20: “The stars fought from heaven, from their courses they fought against Sisera”; Job 38:7: “When the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?”; Dan 8:10: “It grew as high as the host of heaven. It threw down to the earth some of the host and some of the stars, and trampled on them”; 1 Enoch 86:3-4: “And again I saw in the vision and looked at heaven, and behold, I saw many stars, how they came down and were thrown down from heaven to that first star, and amongst those heifers and bulls; they were with them, pasturing amongst them. And I looked at them and saw, and behold, all of them let out their private parts like horses and began to mount the cows of the bulls, and they all became pregnant and bore elephants and camels and asses.” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.197; 1 Enoch 88:1: “And I saw one of those four who had come out first, how he took hold of that first star which had fallen from heaven, and bound it by its hands and its feet, and threw it into an abyss; and that abyss was narrow, and deep, and horrible, and dark.” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.198; 1 Enoch 90:24: “And the judgment was held first on the stars, and they were judged and found guilty; and they went to the place of damnation, and were thrown into a deep (place), full of fire, burning and full of pillars of fire.” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.215.

94 Hurtado, One God, One Lord, 59. See also L. W. Hurtado, At the Origins of Christian Worship: The Context and Character of Earliest Christian Devotion (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000 ) 73.

95 Fletcher-Louis, “Worship of Divine Humanity,” 113, footnote 3. See also C. H. T. Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam. Liturgical Anthropology in the Dead Sea Scrolls (STDJ, 42; Leiden: Brill, 2002) 7, 70, 101, 344.

96 E. A. W. Budge, The Book of the Cave of Treasures (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1927) 52-54.

97 See also St. Ephrem, Commentary on Genesis II.15: “For Adam, who had been set in authority and control over animals, was wiser than all the animals, and he who gave names to them all was certainly more astute than them all. For just as Israel could not look upon the face of Moses, neither were the animals able to look upon the radiance of Adam and Eve: at the time when they received names from him they passed in front of Adam with their eyes down, since their eyes were incapable of taking in his glory.” S. Brock, St. Ephrem the Syrian, Hymns on Paradise (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1990) 207.

98 Anderson, “The Exaltation of Adam and the Fall of Satan,” 88.

99 It is possible that Moses’ coronation in the Exagoge also represents his endowment with the divine image. Wayne Meeks points out that in some Jewish and Samaritan traditions, Moses’ “crown of light was nothing less than the visual symbol for the image of God. Jacob Jervell, moreover, has shown that in Jewish Adam-speculation the image of God was typically regarded as ‘gerade auf dem Antlitz eingepragt.’ Jervell argues that this conception of the imago was especially connected with the notion that Adam had been God’s vice-regent, the first ‘king of the world.’ When the imago is identified with Moses’ divine crown of light, it is quite clear that the same kind of connection is implied. The similarity is not accidental, for further examination of the enthronement traditions about Moses shows that these stories link Moses very closely with Adam.” W. Meeks, “Moses as God and King,” in: Religions in Antiquity: Essays in Memory of Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough (ed. J. Neusner; SHR, 14; Leiden: Brill, 1968) 354–371 at 363. On this tradition, see also M. Smith, “The Image of God. Notes on the Hellenization of Judaism, with Especial Reference to Goodenough’s Work on Jewish Symbols,” BJRL 40 (1958) 473–512; J. Jervell, Imago Dei. Gen 1, 26f. im Spätjudentum, in der Gnosis und in den paulinischen Briefen (FRLANT, 76; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1960) 45.

100 On the role of Jacob as the image of God in rabbinic literature and Jewish mysticism, see A. Orlov, The Greatest Mirror: Heavenly Counterparts in the Jewish Pseudepigrapha (Albany: SUNY, 2017) 61-118. On the Adamic background of this Jacob’s role, see S. Bunta, “The Likeness of the Image: Adamic Motifs and Tselem Anthropology in Rabbinic Traditions about Jacob’s Image Enthroned in Heaven,” JSJ 37.1 (2006) 55-84.

101 A total of nine Greek sentences of this pseudepigraphon were preserved in the writings of Origen (c.185–c.254 C.E.). Fragment A is quoted in Origen’s In Ioannem II.31.25. Fragment B, a single sentence, is cited in Gregory and Basil’s compilation of Origen, the Philokalia. This fragment is also quoted in Eusebius, The Preparation of the Gospel and in the Latin Commentary on Genesis by Procopius of Gaza. Fragment C, which is also found in the Philokalia, quotes Fragment B and paraphrases Fragment A. Smith, “Prayer of Joseph,” 2.699. Pieter van der Horst and Judith Newman note that “according to the ancient Stichometry of Nicephorus, the text originally contained 1100 lines. The extant portions totaling only nine Greek sentences or 164 words thus reflect a small fraction of the original composition.” Early Jewish Prayers in Greek (CEJL; eds. P. W. van der Horst and J. H. Newman; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2008) 249.

102 J. Z. Smith, “The Prayer of Joseph,” in: Religions in Antiquity: Essays in Memory of Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough (ed. J. Neusner; SHR, 14; Leiden: Brill, 1968) 253-93 at 255.

103 Jonathan Smith proposed that “the Prayer is most likely to be situated within … [the] first-century Jewish groups, both in Palestine and in the Diaspora, both before and after the destruction of the Temple.” Smith, “Prayer of Joseph,” 2.701. This proposal fits with the judgment of van der Horst and Newman that “the composition must likely have been in circulation for a good period for Origen to have recognized it by title.” Van der Horst and Newman, Early Jewish Prayers in Greek, 249.

104 Wolfson observes that “the notion of an angel named Jacob-Israel is also known from Jewish Christian texts, as reported mainly by Justin, and appears as well in Gnostic works such as the Nag Hammadi treatise On the Origin of the World, and in Manichaean texts.” He further suggests that “such a tradition, perhaps through the intermediary of Philo, passed into Christian sources wherein the celestial Jacob or Israel was identified with Jesus who is depicted as the Logos and Son of God.” E. Wolfson, “The Image of Jacob Engraved upon the Throne,” in: idem, Along the Path: Studies in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism, and Hermeneutics (Albany: SUNY, 1995) 1-62 at 5.

105 The Book of Jubilees appears to be also cognizant about the heavenly identity of Jacob. Thus, Jubilees 35:17 reads: “Now you are not to be afraid for Jacob because Jacob’s guardian is greater and more powerful, glorious, and praiseworthy than Esau’s guardian.” J. C. VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees (2 vols., CSCO, 510–11; Scriptores Aethiopici, 87–88; Louvain: Peeters, 1989) 2.235-236. On this tradition, see also Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Gen 33:10: “And Jacob said, ‘Do not speak thus, I pray; if now I have found mercy in your eyes, you must accept my gift from my hand; because it is for this I have seen your countenance, and it seems to me like seeing the face of your angel; and behold, you have received me favorably.’” Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Genesis (tr. M. Maher; ArBib, 1B; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992) 116.

106 This verse appears to be pointing to the demiurgic role of Jacob-Israel. References to the demiurgic quality of Jacob may be found also in a number of rabbinic passages, including Lev. Rab. 36:4 and Gen. Rab. 98:3. Cf. Gen. Rab. 98:3: “R. Phinehas interpreted it: Your father Israel is as a god: as God creates worlds, so does your father create worlds; as God distributes worlds, so does your father distribute worlds.” H. Freedman and M. Simon, Midrash Rabbah (10 vols.; London: Soncino, 1961) 2.947-948. Lev. Rab. 36:4: “R. Phinehas in the name of R. Reuben explains this to mean that the Holy One, blessed be He, said to His world: ‘O My world, My world! Shall I tell thee who created thee, who formed thee? Jacob has created thee, Jacob has formed thee’; as is proved by the text, ‘He that created thee is Jacob and he that formed thee is Israel.’” Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, 4.460.

107 J. Z. Smith, “Prayer of Joseph,” in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. J. H. Charlesworth; 2 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1983-85) 2.699-714 at 713-714. For the primary texts, see Denis, Fragmenta pseudepigraphorum quae supersunt Graeca, 61–64; A. Resch, Agrapha: Aussercanonische Schriftfragmente (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, 1906) 295–298; Origène, Commentaire sur Saint Jean. Tome I (Livres I-V) (ed. C. Blanc; SC, 120; Paris: Cerf, 1966) 334–37; Origen, Philocalia (ed. J. A. Robinson; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1893); Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica (ed. K. Mras; GCS, 43:1–2; Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, 1954–56).

108 Despite some striking similarities with a Christian understanding of “spirit” as the seer’s heavenly identity, one can detect a striking conceptual difference between the heavenly state of the Protoktistoi of the Christian accounts and Jacob’s celestial stand in the Prayer. While the seven angels are first-created, similar to Abraham and Isaac who “were created before any work,” Jacob’s heavenly Self is born. The difference between the celestial origins of Abraham and Isaac on the one hand and Jacob on the other is noteworthy, since it might point to some polemical developments.

109 Peter van der Horst and Judith Newman note that “the word used for ‘pre-created,’ προεκτίσθησαν, is a prefixed form of the more frequently appearing κτίζω. The word is used to emphasize the idea that Jacob existed before the creation of the world and its order. The Greek term is found in later Christian literature to refer to the status of Christ as pre-existent, yet the idea resonates with rabbinic traditions that posit the preexistence of certain items before creation, variously among them the Torah, the temple, the heavenly throne, repentance, and wisdom.” van der Horst and Newman, Early Jewish Prayers in Greek, 250-251.

110 Van der Horst and Newman note that “the LXX of Exod 4:22 speaks of Israel as God’s πρωτότοκος, ‘first-born son.’ This word is not found elsewhere in scripture, but Philo uses the term to refer both to the Logos (Conf. 63, 146; Somn. I. 215) and to Israel as a first-born (Post. 63; Fug. 208), or to Israel in the character of the Logos (Agr. 51). This idea of Jacob being ‘the firstborn’ is also mentioned in the Prayer of Joseph in which Jacob is … the ‘firstborn of all living.’” Van der Horst and Newman, Early Jewish Prayers in Greek, 256.

111 Richard Hayward notes that “Philo uses this word only six times in his writings, always to speak of the Logos (De Conf. Ling. 63, 146; De Som. I. 215), Israel as a first-born (De Post. 63; De Fuga 208), or Israel in the character of the Logos (De Agr. 51).” C. T. R. Hayward, Interpretations of the Name Israel in Ancient Judaism and Some Early Christian Writings (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005) 200. He further notes that “when Philo calls Israel πρωτόγονος therefore, it may be that he has in mind once again a being who belongs both on earth and in heaven ….” Hayward, Interpretations of the Name, 200.

112 H. Schwartz, Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) 366.

113 H. Windisch, “Die göttliche Weisheit der Juden und die paulinische Christologie,” Neutestamentliche Studien für G. Heinrici (eds. A. Deissmann and H. Windisch; UNT, 6; Leipzig: J. C. Heinrichs, 1914) 225, n. 1.

114 J. Fossum, The Image of the Invisible God: Essays on the Influence of Jewish Mysticism on Early Christology (NTOA, 30; Fribourg: Universitätsverlag Freiburg Schweiz; Göttingen: Vanderhoeck & Ruprecht, 1995) 24.

115 “He envied me and fought with me and wrestled with me saying that his name and the name that is before every angel was to be above mine.” Smith, “Prayer of Joseph,” 2.713.

116 Hayward, Interpretations of the Name, 205.

117 Cf. the Latin version of the Primary Adam Books 12:1: “Groaning, the Devil said: ‘O Adam, all my enmity, jealousy, and resentment is towards you, since on account of you I was expelled and alienated from my glory, which I had in heaven in the midst of the angels. On account of you I was cast out upon the earth.’” Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 15E.

118 Cf. the Latin and the Armenian versions of the Primary Adam Books 14:2-15:1.

119 With regard to this verse, James Kugel emphasizes that “anyone who knows the Hebrew text of Gen 28:12 will immediately recognize the source of this image. For though the Bible says that in his dream Jacob saw a ladder whose top reached to the Heavens, the word for ‘top,’ in Hebrew, rosh, is the same word normally used for ‘head.’ And so our Slavonic text — or, rather, the Hebrew text that underlies it — apparently takes the biblical reference to the ladder’s ‘head’ as a suggestion that the ladder indeed had a head, a man’s head, at its very top. The fact, then, of this biblical text’s wording — ‘a ladder set up on the earth, and its head reached to heaven’ — engendered the heavenly ‘head’ in our pseudepigraphon.” J. Kugel, In Potiphar’s House: The Interpretive Life of Biblical Texts (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1990) 118

120 H. G. Lunt, “Ladder of Jacob,” in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. J. H. Charlesworth; 2 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1983-85) 2.407.

121 Lunt, “Ladder of Jacob,” 2.406.

122 Elliot Wolfson points to a possible connection of this imagery with the conceptual developments found in the targumim: “it is worthwhile to compare the targumic and midrashic explanation of Gen 28:12 to the words of the apocryphal text the Ladder of Jacob …. ‘And the top of the ladder was the face as of a man, carved out of fire.’” Wolfson, “The Image of Jacob Engraved upon the Throne,” 114.

123 Alexander Kulik and Sergey Minov demonstrate the connection of the face with the Kavod imagery. They note that “the theophanic associations of the fiery face in 1:4-7 are strengthen even more by the fact that in several rabbinic sources the vision of the ladder of Jacob is explicitly linked to the notion of God’s glory.” A. Kulik and S. Minov, Biblical Pseudepigrapha in Slavonic Tradition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016) 301.

124 Fossum, The Image of the Invisible God, 135-51, esp. 143.

125 On these traditions, see Orlov, The Greatest Mirror, 61-72.

126 Lunt, “The Ladder of Jacob,” 2.403.

127 Kugel, In Potiphar’s House, 119.

128 Rachel Neis observes that “it is conceivable that the ‘face of Jacob’ is used in a more generic sense for Jacob’s image or likeness and could include a representation of his entire figure or bust. The bust, or portrait medallion, was ubiquitous in civic, funerary and religious art in Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods, and while emphasizing the face of the person portrayed could portray the upper torso and arms.” R. Neis, “Embracing Icons: The Face of Jacob on the Throne of God,” Images: A Journal of Jewish Art and Visual Culture 1 (2007) 36-54 at 42.

129 Kugel, In Potiphar’s House, 119.

130 Kugel, In Potiphar’s House, 119.

131 See also C. C. Rowland, “John 1:51, Jewish Apocalyptic and Targumic Tradition,” NTS 30 (1984) 498–507; C. H. von Heijne, The Messenger of the Lord in Early Jewish Interpretations of Genesis (BZAW, 42; Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2010) 177-8.

132 Fossum, The Image of the Invisible God, 143, n. 30. I also previously argued for the existence of the heavenly counterpart traditions in the Ladder of Jacob. For my arguments, see A. A. Orlov, “The Face as the Heavenly Counterpart of the Visionary in the Slavonic Ladder of Jacob,” in: Of Scribes and Sages: Early Jewish Interpretation and Transmission of Scripture (2 vols.; ed. C. A. Evans; SSEJC, 9; London: T&T Clark, 2004) 2.59-76; idem, The Greatest Mirror, 93-104.

133 Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, 2.626.

134 I. Epstein, The Babylonian Talmud. Hullin (London: Soncino, 1935–1952) 91b.

135 Wolfson, “The Image of Jacob Engraved upon the Throne,” 4.

136 Lunt, “Ladder of Jacob,” 2.409.

137 In relation to these connections Kugel observes that “the same motif [of four empires] apparently underlies the Ladder of Jacob. Here too, it is Jacob’s vision of the ladder that serves as the vehicle for a revelation of the ‘kings of the lawless nations’ who will rule over Israel, and if this text does not specifically mention how many such nations there will be, it does go on to speak (as we have seen) of four ‘ascents’ or ‘descents’ that will bring Jacob’s progeny to grief. Indeed, the continuation of our text alludes specifically to the last of the four empires, Rome: ‘The Most High will raise up kings from the grandsons of your brother Esau, and they will receive the nobles of the tribes of the earth who will have maltreated your seed.’ As is well known, Esau frequently represents Rome in Second Temple writings.” J. Kugel, “The Ladder of Jacob,” HTR 88 (1995) 214.

138 Kugel, “The Ladder of Jacob,” 214.

139 Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, 4.370. See also Exod. Rab. 32:7: “God showed Jacob the guardian angels of every empire, for it says, And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth (Gen 28:12). He showed him how many peoples, governors, and rulers would arise from each kingdom, and just as He displayed their rise, so he showed their fall, as it says, And behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it….” Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, 3.411.

140 W. G. Braude, The Midrash on Psalms (2 vols.; YJS, 13; New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1959) 2.26-27. Pesiqta de-Rab Kahana 23 contains an almost identical tradition: “R. Nahman applied it to the episode in Jacob’s life when He dreamed, and beheld a ladder … and angels of God (Gen 28:12). These angels, according to R. Samuel bar R. Nahman, were the princes of the nations of the earth. Further, according to R. Samuel bar Nahman, this verse proves that the Holy One showed to our father Jacob the prince of Babylon climbing up seventy rungs the ladder, then climbing down; the prince of Media climbing up fifty-two rungs and no more; the prince of Greece, one hundred and eighty rungs and no more; and the prince of Edom climbing and climbing, no one knows how many rungs. At the sight of Edom’s climbing our father Jacob grew afraid said: Is one to suppose that this prince will have no come-down? The Holy One replied: Be not dismayed, O Israel (Jer 30:I0): Even if-as though such a thing were possible!-thou were to see him seated next to Me, I would have him brought down thence.” W. G. Braude and I. J. Kapstein, Pesikta de-Rab Kahana. R. Kahana’s Compilation of Discourses for Sabbaths and Festal Days (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1975) 353. See also Zohar I.149b: “And behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it; this alludes to the Chieftains who have charge of all the nations, and who ascend and descend on that ladder. When Israel is sinful, the ladder is lowered and the Chieftains ascend by it; but when Israel are righteous, the ladder is removed and all the Chieftains are left below and are deprived of their dominion. Jacob thus saw in this dream the domination of Esau and the domination of the other nations. According to another explanation, the angels ascended and descended on the top of the ladder; for when the top was detached, the ladder was lowered and the Chieftains ascended, but when it was attached again, the ladder was lifted and they remained below.” H. Sperling and M. Simon, The Zohar (5 vols; London and New York: Soncino, 1933) 2.79-80.

141 On this, see J. Kugel, Traditions of the Bible: A Guide to the Bible as It Was at the Start of the Common Era (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998) 363.

142 Kugel, “The Ladder of Jacob,” 215.

143 Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 263.

144 Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 263.

145 D. C. Allison, “The Magi’s Angel (Matt. 2:2, 9-10),” in: D. C. Allison, Jr., Studies in Matthew: Interpretation Past and Present (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005) 17-41. Cf. also D. C. Allison, Jr., “What Was the Star That Guided the Magi?” BR 9 (1993) 24; B. G. Bucur, Angelomorphic Pneumatology: Clement of Alexandria and Other Early Christian Witnesses (SVC, 95; Leiden: Brill, 2009) 93.

146 Cf. Gen 2:8: “And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed.”

147 With respect to the cultic functions of frankincense and myrrh, like ingredients in incense, Dale Allison notes that “frankincense was an odoriferous gum resin from various trees and bushes which had a cultic usage in the ancient world. According to Exod 30:34-8, it was a prescribed ingredient of sacred incense. According to Lev 24:7, it was to be offered with the bread of the Presence. According to Lev 2:1-2, 14-6; 6.14-8, it was added to cereal offerings…. Myrrh was a fragrant gum resin from trees … a component of holy anointing oil, and an ingredient in incense.” D. C. Allison, Jr., Matthew: A Shorter Commentary (London: T&T Clark, 2004) 27. The magi’s gifts also include gold, a material which is mentioned in the description of Eden in Gen 2:11. In relation to this, Gordon Wenham observes that “if Eden is seen as a super sanctuary, this reference to gold can hardly be accidental for the most sacred items of tabernacle furniture were made of or covered with ‘pure gold.’” G. J. Wenham, “Sanctuary Symbolism in the Garden of Eden Story,” in: Proceedings of the Ninth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Division A: The Period of the Bible (Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies, 1986) 19-25 at 22. With respect to the connections between the gold of Eden and the materials used for the decoration of the tabernacle and priestly vestments in the Book of Exodus, see also D. Chilton, Paradise Restored: A Biblical Theology of Dominion (Ft. Worth: Dominion Press, 1985).

148 Jacques van Ruiten argues that, in Jubilees, “the Garden of Eden is seen as a Temple, or, more precisely as a part of the Temple: the room which is in the rear of the Temple, where the ark of the covenant of the Lord is placed, and which is often called ‘Holy of Holies.’” Such an understanding of Eden as the temple presupposes the protoplast’s role as a sacerdotal servant. In relation to this, van Ruiten suggests that, according to the author of Jubilees, Adam is acting as a prototypical priest as he burns incense at the gate of the Garden of Eden. Van Ruiten puts this description in parallel with a tradition found in Exodus, in which the incense was burned in front of the Holy of Holies. J. van Ruiten, “Visions of the Temple in the Book of Jubilees,” in: Gemeinde ohne Tempel/Community without Temple: Zur Substituierung und Transformation des Jerusalemer Tempels und seines Kults im Alten Testament, antiken Judentum und frühen Christentum (eds. B. Ego et al.; WUNT, 1.118; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1999) 215-228; idem, “Eden and the Temple: The Rewriting of Genesis 2:4–3:24 in the Book of Jubilees,” in: Paradise Interpreted: Representations of Biblical Paradise in Judaism and Christianity (ed. G. P. Luttikhuizen; TBN, 2; Leiden: Brill, 1999) 76.

149 Jub. 3:27 reads: “On that day, as he was leaving the Garden of Eden, he burned incense as a pleasing fragrance — frankincense, galbanum, stacte, and aromatic spices — in the early morning when the sun rose at the time when he covered his shame.” VanderKam, Jubilees, 2.20. Regarding the Edenic incense, see, also, 1 Enoch 29-32: “And there I saw … vessels of the fragrance of incense and myrrh ….” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.117-123; Sir 24:15 “…like cassia and camel’s thorn I gave forth perfume, and like choice myrrh I spread my fragrance, like galbanum, onycha, and stacte, and like the odor of incense in the tent.”; Armenian version of the Primary Adam Books 29:3 reads: “Adam replied and said to the angels, ‘I beseech you, let (me) be a little, so that I may take sweet incenses with me from the Garden, so that when I go out of here, I may offer sweet incenses to God, and offerings, so that, perhaps, God will hearken to us.’” Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 72E.

150 Previous studies have identified the connection between the magi story and the birth of a priestly child (Noah, Melchizedek, and Moses) in some Jewish accounts. These studies see sacerdotal items in the gifts that the magi brought to the child. Thus, for example, Crispin Fletcher-Louis observes that, “[I]t is noteworthy that at the birth of Jesus, of course, there is signaled the child’s priestly identity in the gift of gold, frankincense and myrrh (cf. Exod 30:23; 28:5, 6, 8 etc.) from the magi (Matt 2:11).” Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam, 53.

151 Concerning this tradition, Allison and Davies note that “of the many legends that later came to surround the magi and their gifts, one of the most pleasing is found in the so-called Cave of Treasures (6th cent. A.D.). Adam, we are told, had many treasures in paradise, and when he was expelled therefrom he took what he could with him—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Upon his death, Adam’s sons hid their father’s treasures in a cave, where they lay undisturbed until the magi, on their way to Bethlehem, entered the cave to get gifts for the Son of God. In this legend, Matthew’s story has become the vehicle for a very Pauline idea, namely, that Jesus is the second Adam.” W. D. Davies and D. C. Allison, Jr., A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew (ICC; 3 vols.; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1991) 1.251.

152 Cf. Matt 2:8: “Πορευθέντες ἐξετάσατε ἀκριβῶς περὶ τοῦ παιδίου: ἐπὰν δὲ εὕρητε ἀπαγγείλατέ μοι, ὅπως κἀγὼ ἐλθὼν προσκυνήσω αὐτῷ.”

153 Matt 17:6: “καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα.”

154 Matt 2:11: “και πεσόντες προσεκύνησαν αύτω”; Matt 4:9: “πεσὼν προσκυνήσῃς μοι”; Matt 17:6: “ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν.” Concerning this terminology, see Davies and Allison, The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, 1.248.

155 The motif of the disciples’ veneration is reminiscent of the one performed by the magi. Thus, Allison and Davies note that “the magi do not simply bend their knees (cf. 17:14; 18:29). They fall down on their faces. This is noteworthy because there was a tendency in Judaism to think prostration proper only in the worship of God (cf. Philo, Leg. Gai. 116; Decal. 64; Matt 4:9-10; Acts 10:25-6; Rev 19:10; 22:8-9).” Davies and Allison, The Gospel According to Saint Matthew,1.248. See also Robert Gundry: “they [the magi] knelt down before him with heads to the ground.” R.H. Gundry, Matthew: A Commentary on His Handbook for a Mixed Church under Persecution (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994) 31.

156 Another unique Matthean occurrence of this motif is found in Matt 18:26, in which one can find the familiar constellation of “πεσών” and “προσεκύνει.” Gundry observes that, besides the magi story, “Matthew inserts the same combination of falling down and worshiping in 4:9 and uses it in unique material at 18:26.” He further notes that, “[I]n particular, πεσόντες sharpens Matthew’s point, for in 4:9 falling down will accompany worship in the alternatives of worshiping God and worshiping Satan, and without parallel it describes the response of the disciples who witnessed the transfiguration (17:6).” Gundry, Matthew: A Commentary on His Handbook for a Mixed Church under Persecution, 31-32.

157 On this, see A. A. Orlov, “The Veneration Motif in the Temptation Narrative of the Gospel of Matthew: Lessons from the Enochic Tradition,” in: idem, Divine Scapegoats: Demonic Mimesis in Early Jewish Mysticism (Albany: SUNY, 2015) 153-166.

158 Fletcher-Louis also detects the memory of such motifs in Philo’s treatise On the Creation of the World and 4Q381 frag. 1, lines 10–11. On this, see Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 262-3.

159 Dealing with the story of the angelic adoration of Adam in the various versions of the Primary Adam Books, Fletcher-Louis says that in these accounts, “Adam was created to bear divine presence as God’s physical and visual image.” Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 272-3. See also Fletcher-Louis, “The Worship of Divine Humanity as God’s Image and the Worship of Jesus,” 112-128; idem, All the Glory of Adam, 101-102.

160 In 3 Enoch 45:1-4 we find the following tradition about the Pargod: “R. Ishmael said: Metatron said to me: Come and I will show you the curtain of the Omnipresent One which is spread before the Holy One, blessed be he, and on which are printed all the generations of the world and their deeds, whether done or to be done, till the last generation…. the kings of Judah and their generations, their deeds and their acts; the kings of Israel and their generations, their deeds and their acts; the kings of the gentiles and their generations, their deeds and their acts.” Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 1.295-298.

161 “Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the Lord showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the Plain—that is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees—as far as Zoar. The Lord said to him, ‘This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, I will give it to your descendants; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.’”

162 J. Dupont, “L’arrière-fond biblique du récit des tentations de Jésus,” NTS 3 (1957) 287–304 at 297.

163 Already the earliest Christian interpreters, including Justin (Dial. 103) and Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. 5.21.2), saw the temptation of Jesus as the reversal of Adam’s sin. On this, see D. C. Allison, “Behind the Temptations of Jesus: Q 4:1-13 and Mark 1:12-13,” in: Authenticating the Activities of Jesus (eds. B. D. Chilton and C. Evans; NTTS, 28.2; Leiden: Brill, 2002) 196.

164 W. A. Schultze, “Der Heilige und die wilden Tiere. Zur Exegese von Mc 1,13b,” ZNW 46 (1955) 280-83; A. Feuillet, “L’épisode de la tentation d’après l’Evangile selon saint Marc (I,12-13),” EstBib 19 (1960) 49-73; J. Jeremias, “Nachwort zum Artikel von H.-G. Leder,” ZNW 54 (1963) 278-79; idem, “Adam,” in: Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (ed. G. Kittel, tr. G. W. Bromiley; 10 vols.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964) 1.141-143; A. Vargas-Machuca, “La tentación de Jesús según Mc. 1, 12-13 ¿Hecho real o relato de tipo haggádico?” EE 48 (1973) 163-190; P. Pokorný, “The Temptation Stories and Their Intention,” NTS 20 (1973–74) 115–27; J. Gnilka, Das Evangelium nach Markus (2 vols; EKKNT, 2.1-2; Zürich: Benziger; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1978-79) 1.58; R. A. Guelich, Mark 1-8:36 (WBC, 34A; Dallas: Word, 1989) 38-39; R. Bauckham, “Jesus and the Wild Animals (Mark 1:13): A Christological image for an Ecological Age,” in: Jesus of Nazareth: Lord and Christ: Essays on the Historical Jesus and New Testament Christology (eds. J. B. Green and M. Turner; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994) 3-21; J. Gibson, Temptations of Jesus in Early Christianity (JSNTSS, 112; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995) 65-66; Allison, “Behind the Temptations of Jesus: Q 4:1-13 and Mark 1:12-13,” 196-199.

165 J. Jeremias, New Testament Theology (London: SCM Press, 2012) 69. The theme of alienation between humanity and animals already looms large in the Book of Jubilees. This theme receives further development in the Primary Adam Books in which Eve and Seth are predestined to encounter a hostile beast.

166 Jeremias, New Testament Theology, 69-70.

167 Jeremias, New Testament Theology, 70.

168 Bauckham, “Jesus and the Wild Animals,” 6.

169 Davies and Allison suggest that “in Mark 1:12-13 Jesus is probably the last Adam (cf. Rom 5:12-21; 1 Cor 15:42-50; Justin, Dial. 103; Gospel of Philip 71.16-21; Irenaeus, Adv. haer. 5.21.2). He, like the first Adam, is tempted by Satan. But unlike his anti-type, he does not succumb, and the result is the recovery of paradise (cf. Testament of Levi 18:10) the wild beasts are tamed and once again a man dwells with angels and is served by them.” Davies and Allison, Matthew, 1.356.

170 Allison, “Behind the Temptations of Jesus: Q 4:1-13 and Mark 1:12-13,” 198.

171 Crispin Fletcher-Louis suggested that the reference to the angels serving Jesus in Mark 1:13 and Matt 4:11 can be an allusion to the story of the angelic worship of Adam. Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 263. Commenting on Mark 1:13, Joel Marcus notes that “diakonein can also, like Heb. cbd, mean ‘worship’ (see e.g. Josephus, Ant. 7.365), and this may be a secondary nuance in our passage, in view of the legend in which Adam is worshiped by angels.” J. Marcus, Mark 1–8: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB, 27; New York: Doubleday, 2000) 168–71.

172 The absence of this tradition in Mark remains a debated issue. Cranfield proposes that “in view of the parallels it is surprising that Mark does not mention Jesus’ face. That a reference to it has dropped out of the text by mistake at a very early stage, as Streeter suggested, is conceivable; but perhaps it is more likely that Matt and Luke have both introduced the reference independently under the influence of Exod 34:29 ff.” C. E. B. Cranfield, The Gospel According to St. Mark (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983) 290.

173 On this imagery in the transfiguration story, see B. G. Bucur, Scripture Re-envisioned: Christophanic Exegesis and the Making of a Christian Bible (The Bible in Ancient Christianity, 13; Leiden: Brill, 2019) 122-124.

174 The correlation between panim and iqonin is also discernible in Joseph and Aseneth. On this, see A. Orlov, The Greatest Mirror, 141-148.

175 J. van Ruiten, “The Old Testament Quotations in the Apocalypse of Peter,” in: The Apocalypse of Peter (eds. J. N. Bremmer and I. Czachesz; Leuven-Paris: Peeters, 2003) 158-73 at 169.

176 D. D. Buchholz, Your Eyes Will Be Opened. A Study of the Greek (Ethiopic) Apocalypse of Peter (SBLDS, 97; Atlanta: Scholars, 1988) 242.

177 On the tradition of God/Jacob’s face in the Apocalypse of Peter, see Van Ruiten, “The Old Testament Quotations in the Apocalypse of Peter,” 171-2.

178 Targum Neofiti 1 and Pseudo-Jonathan: Exodus (eds. M. J. McNamara, R. Hayward, and M. Maher; ArBib, 2; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1994) 260.

179 McNamara et al., Targum Neofiti 1 and Pseudo-Jonathan: Exodus, 261.

180 McNamara et al., Targum Neofiti 1 and Pseudo-Jonathan: Exodus, 261.

181 See L. L. Belleville, Reflections of Glory: Paul’s Polemical Use of the Moses-Doxa Tradition in 2 Corinthians 3.1-18 (JSNTSS, 52; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1991) 50.

182 See Davies and Allison, Matthew, 2.705.

183 Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, 7.173. I previously argued that in 4Q504 the glory of Adam and the glory of Moses’ face were already creatively juxtaposed. The luminous face of the prophet serves in this text as an alternative to the lost luminosity of Adam and as a new symbol of God’s glory once again manifested in the human body. On this, see A. A. Orlov, “Vested with Adam’s glory: Moses as the Luminous Counterpart of Adam in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Macarian Homilies,” Christian Orient 4.10 (2006) 498–513.

184 A. Goshen Gottstein, “The Body as Image of God in Rabbinic Literature,” HTR 87 (1994) 183. Speaking about this passage, Linda Belleville observes that “Midrash Tadshe 4 associates Moses’ glory with being created in the image of God, stating that God created man in his own image, first in the beginning and then in the wilderness.” Belleville, Reflections of Glory, 65.

185 According to Jewish sources, the image of God was especially reflected in the radiance of Adam’s face. On this, see Fossum, The Name of God, 94.

186 Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, 4.252.

187 Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, 1.81.

188 Meeks observes that in the early Mosaic accounts, “Moses’ elevation at Sinai was treated not only as a heavenly enthronement, but also as a restoration of the glory lost by Adam. Moses, crowned with both God’s name and his image, became in some sense a ‘second Adam,’ the prototype of a new humanity.” Meeks, “Moses as God and King,” 365.

189 Meeks, “Moses as God and King,” 364–65.

190 Philo, Questions and Answers on Exodus (tr. R. Marcus; LCL; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press/London: Heinemann, 1949) 91–92.

191 U. Luz, Matthew 8-20 (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001) 395.

192 Thus, Leroy Huizenga argues the following: “in the Matthean version, however, it is the divine voice which declares that Jesus is the beloved Son and commands Peter to remember the prior passion prediction which precipitates the fear.” L. A. Huizenga, The New Isaac: Tradition and Intertextuality in the Gospel of Matthew (NovTSup, 131; Leiden: Brill, 2009) 218.

193 Loren Stuckenbruck notes that “the expression ‘Do not fear’ was frequently used in biblical and ancient Near Eastern literature to communicate a message of divine comfort.” L. Stuckenbruck, Angel Veneration and Christology: A Study in Early Judaism and in the Christology of the Apocalypse of John (WUNT, 2.70; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1995) 88.

194 See also 3 Enoch 15B:5: “At once Metatron, Prince of the Divine Presence, said to Moses, ‘Son of Amram, fear not! for already God favors you. Ask what you will with confidence and boldness, for light shines from the skin of your face from one end of the world to the other.’” Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 1.304.

195 Andersen “2 Enoch,” 1.106-108.

196 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.136-138.

197 Davies and Allison, Matthew, 2.703.

198 Cf. 2 Enoch 22:5: “And the Lord, with his own mouth, said to me, ‘Be brave, Enoch! Don’t be frightened! Stand up, and stand in front of my face forever.’” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.136-138.

199 In the Georgian version of the Primary Adam Books, the affirmation mentions Adam’s unique role as the divine image: “Bow down before the likeness and the image of the divinity.” The Latin version also speaks about the divine image: “Worship the image of the Lord God, just as the Lord God has commanded.” In the Armenian version too Adam’s name is not mentioned and the new created protoplast seems to understood now as the divine manifestation: “Then Michael summoned all the angels, and God said to them, ‘Come, bow down to god whom I made.’” Anderson and Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve, 16E.

200 Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 256.

Andrei Orlov
Kelly Chair in Theology and Professor of Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity at Marquette University.