Mosaic Polemics in 2 Enoch and Enoch-Metatron’s Title “Prince of the Face”

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

Mosaic Polemics in 2 Enoch and Enoch-Metatron’s Title “Prince of the Face”

Early Enochic Polemics against Moses and His Revelation

Before this investigation can proceed to the analysis of the Mosaic polemics in the Slavonic apocalypse, several comments must be made about the status and role of Moses’ story in the early Enochic literature. It hardly needs saying that Moses’ story, and especially the revelation given to the prophet on Mount Sinai, plays a paramount role in the biblical text posited there as the climactic, formative event responsible for shaping Israel’s identity, worship, ethical code, and his social and religious institutions. In the conceptual framework of the Hebrew Bible, it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to find a more significant theological disclosure than the reception of the covenantal law in the wilderness.

In contrast to the biblical text, where the consequences of the Sinai event permeate the theological fabric of the whole narrative, in the early booklets of the Ethiopic Enoch, one finds a marked indifference to the revelation given to the son of Amram. James VanderKam observes that “an attentive reader of 1 Enoch soon becomes aware that the law of Moses plays almost no role in the book.”1 One could argue that the lack of emphasis on the Sinaitic law is not unusual for a composition dedicated to the stories of the antediluvian time and the catastrophic Flood, events occuring long before the Torah was given to Moses. VanderKam notes that in that case “the argument would be that the authors of 1 Enoch were consistent about their pseudepigraphic attribution of the material to Enoch and therefore did not commit the anachronism of having him teach and obey the law of Moses.”2 Such an argument, however, would not be flawless since at least two accounts included in 1 Enoch, namely, the Apocalypse of Weeks and the Animal Apocalypse, deal closely with the period of Israel’s journey in the wilderness and his reception of the covenantal law.3

The first of the aforementioned narratives, the Apocalypse of Weeks, refers to the Sinai event in its description of the fourth week. To maintain the Enochic antediluvian perspective, the narrative takes the form of a prediction about the events that will happen in the future. The author of 1 Enoch 93:6 foretells that “…in the fourth week, at its end, visions of the holy and righteous will be seen, and a law for all generations and an enclosure will be made for them.”4 VanderKam points out the strange obliviousness of the author of the Apocalypse of Weeks to the paramount event of Israelite history. He notes that although the law is mentioned, “nothing is added to suggest its importance or character.”5

The picture is even more striking in the Animal Apocalypse (1 Enoch 85–90), where the biblical history is unfolded through peculiar symbolic descriptions involving zoomorphic imagery. The encounter on Sinai is reflected in 1 Enoch 89:29–32. The text describes the sheep ascending on the lofty rock, the depiction which symbolizes Moses’ ascent on Mount Sinai:

And that sheep went up to the summit of a high rock, and the Lord of the sheep sent it to them. And after this I saw the Lord of the sheep standing before them, and his appearance (was) terrible and majestic, and all those sheep saw him and were afraid of him. And all of them were afraid and trembled before him; and they cried out after that sheep with them which was in their midst: “We cannot stand before our Lord, nor look at him.” And that sheep which led them again went up to the summit of that rock; and the sheep began to be blinded and to go astray from the path which it had shown to them, but that sheep did not know.6

Although the text depicts Moses’ ascension and his vision of the divine Face, nothing is said about his reception of the Law. The reception of the crucial revelation does not play any significant part in this elaborate visionary account.7 Scholars observe that the theophanic details of the visionary encounter seem more important here to the Enochic author than the law itself; this law is only hinted at later in 1 Enoch 89:33, when the writer describes the straying of the sheep from the right path shown to them by Moses.8

One can see that although the authors of the early Enochic narratives are well aware of the biblical Mosaic accounts and provide many details of these theophanic encounters, the event of the Torah’s reception is either silenced altogether or its significance is markedly ignored. This disregar-ding of the essential revelation suggests that the Enochic authors might have had another disclosure in mind which they considered as more important than the knowledge received at Sinai.

An observant student of 1 Enoch soon learns that the early Enochic materials appear to offer an alternative to the Sinaitic law by putting emphasis on the importance of the Noachic law and other laws never identified with the law of Moses.9 In this respect VanderKam notes that

the law is mentioned elsewhere in 1 Enoch e.g., 5:4; 63:12 seems to be referring to a different [than Mosaic] law; law is used several times for the course of luminaries in chaps. 72–82 [e.g. 79:1–2]; 99:2 speaks of sinners who “distort the eternal law” but it is not clear what this law is [cf. 104:10]; 108:1 mentions those who “keep the law in the last days.” But the law is never identified as the law of Moses (or something of the sort); a more common usage of the term is for the laws of nature. This is astounding when one considers how important the judgment is in 1 Enoch and how often the writers speak of the righteous, doing what is upright, etc. The Torah is also never mentioned10 in 2 Enoch.11

Noting such explicit neglect of the covenantal law formative for the Israelite literature, VanderKam finds it puzzling that the law of Moses, which some Jewish writers (such as the author of Jubilees) tried to read back into much earlier times, was here left out of the picture and replaced by material such as the story about the angels.12 He comments that the Enoch literature seems to offer an alternative to the form of Judaism that centers upon the Mosaic covenantal law. This alternative, in his opinion, “finds its cornerstone not in the Sinaitic covenant and law but in events around the time of the flood.”13 In this view the primary revelation to which the Enochic tradition appealed was the disclosures given to Enoch before the flood.14

The disregard for the covenantal law received by Moses in favor of the revelation(s) given to Enoch is pivotal for understanding the relationships between Mosaic and Enochic traditions. It affects many facets of their long-lasting interaction, making them in many ways contenders whose stories are based on two different disclosures. In this light, scholars observe that the Enochic and Mosaic stories could be seen as two competing paradigms in the Second Temple and the rabbinic periods. The rivalry between the two revelations unavoidably took the form of a contest between the two main recipients of these disclosures. Philip Alexander notes that “Moses and Enoch are being set up in some sense as rivals, as representing competing paradigms of Judaism.…”15 Such polemical positioning between the two characters is clearly detectable in the Enochic accounts, where the primacy of the Mosaic revelation is openly challenged.16 Alexander points out that

a powerful subtext can be detected in the Enochic tradition, implying a contrast between Enoch and Moses. Moses, the lawgiver of Israel, was the founder of the Jewish polity. The circles which looked to Enoch as their patron were, at least to some extent, challenging Moses’ primacy. We noted earlier the polemical potential of the fact that Enoch lived long before Moses and the Sinai revelation. It has been plausibly argued that late in the Second Temple period the Enochic writings were canonized into five books – a Pentateuch to rival the Five Books of Moses. We found Enoch cited occasionally as a legal authority who pronounced on halakhic matters explicitly covered in the Torah of Moses….17

Alexander’s observations bring us to the importance of the mediator’s status for the primacy and credibility of revelation. It is significant how, where and from whom the disclosure has been received. In this respect the son of Jared had a number of initial advantages over the son of Amram. One of the advantageous circumstances was that the revelation of the seventh antediluvian hero was more ancient than the Sinai disclosure, since Enoch lived long before Moses and the Sinai event.18 Another advantage was that Enoch, unlike Moses, never died: he was taken alive to heaven. Gabriele Boccaccini points out that “… the superiority of Enochic Judaism is guaranteed not only by its claimed antiquity but also the superior status of their revealer, Enoch, who unlike his rival Moses, lived before the angelic sin and never died but ‘was taken’ by God (Gen 5:24), and being now in heaven has more direct access to God’s revelation.”19

Boccaccini’s observation also reminds us that the circumstances surrounding the reception of the patriarch’s revelation as it was described in the early Second Temple Enochic booklets were much loftier than the circumstances of the Mosaic encounter narrated in the Bible. While Moses received the Torah from the Lord on the earth, the Enochic hero acquired his revelation in the celestial realm, instructed there by angels and God. In the biblical account the Lord descends to Moses’ realm in order to convey his revelation to the seer, while Enoch is able to ascend to the divine abode and behold the Throne of Glory. The advantage here is clearly in the hands of the Enochic hero.

Within the context of ongoing polemic and competition, such a challenge could not remain unanswered by the Mosaic authors. This is why the non-biblical Mosaic lore demonstrates clear intentions of enhancing the exalted profile of its hero.20 This tendency detectable in the non-biblical Mosaic materials was not provoked solely by the rival Enochic developments, but was rather facilitated by the presence of a whole range of competitive exalted figures prominent in Second Temple Judaism.21 Still, the challenge of the pseudepigraphic Enoch to the biblical Moses cannot be underestimated, since the patriarch was the possessor of the alternative esoteric revelation reflected in the body of an extensive literature that claimed its supremacy over the Mosaic Torah.

The aforementioned set of initial disadvantages in the fierce rivalry might explain why the Mosaic tradition, in its dialogue with the Enochic lore and other Second Temple mediatorial developments, could not rest on its laurels but had to develop further and adjust the story of its character, investing him with an angelic and even divine status comparable with the elevated status of the rivals. It is difficult to discern how much knowledge the authors of the early Enochic booklets had about these new non-biblical Mosaic developments. It is however clear that, in their relentless pursuit of the priority of Enoch’s revelation, the authors of the early Enochic booklets were competing not only with the biblical Mosaic traditions but also with their extra-biblical counterparts in which the son of Amram was depicted as an angelic or even divine being.

The proof that the polemical response of 1 Enoch’s authors was directed not solely against the biblical Moses but also against the advanced Moses traditions can be illustrated through reference to his portrayal in the Animal Apocalypse 89:30. Here it becomes apparent that the authors of the early Enochic booklets were familiar with the extra-biblical enhancement of Moses’ elevated profile similar to those reflected in the Exagoge, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Philo. 1 Enoch 89:36 depicts Moses as the one who was transformed from a sheep into a man on Sinai. In the metaphorical language of the Animal Apocalypse, where angels are portrayed as anthropomorphic and humans as zoomorphic creatures, the transition from the sheep to man unambiguously indicates that the character has acquired an angelic form and status. Although biblical materials do not attest to the angelic status of the son of Amram, some traditions found in the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian, Philo, and Qumran materials hint at such a possibility. Enochic writers thus clearly demonstrate their familiarity with the traditions of the angelomorphic Moses and his new status; this status is quite different from the traditional biblical portrait of this character. The tradition found in 1 Enoch 89:36 illustrates that the polemical concern of the Enochic authors embraces not only Moses’ revelation and his law, but also the exalted status of this revealer, who becomes too dangerously close to the Enochic hero, possibly even superseding him by acquiring an angelic status. This might explain why in 1 Enoch 89:29–31 the author of the Animal Apocalypse pays such close attention to the theophanic imagery of the prophet’s encounter with the divine Face. The reference to the aforementioned Mosaic developments indicating a new exalted profile of the Israelite prophet prompts a thorough investigation of the Mosaic response to the challenges of the Enochic tradition.

Mosaic Counterattack

Scholars have previously noted that the Mosaic tradition responded to the challenges to the primacy of its hero and his revelation posed by the traditions associated with the seventh antediluvian hero by employing several polemical strategies.22

One strategy was to disconnect the Enochic story from its exegetical roots by arguing that Enoch was not in fact a righteous man and hence neither ascended nor was translated to heaven.23 Philip Alexander sees an early example of this type of polemical response in Philo’s De Abrahamo 47, where “Enoch is seen as an example of repentance, and a contrast is drawn between him as a ‘penitent’ (metateqeime&noj) who devoted the earlier part of his life to vice but the latter to virtue, and the ‘perfect man’ (te&leioj) who was virtuous from the first.”24 Alexander further notes that the Philonic tendency25 to exalt Moses and to diminish Enoch does not appear to be accidental, since in Philo one can see another important exegetical development in which certain qualities of the seventh antediluvian patriarch are attributed to the Israelite prophet.26

This characteristic of the Philonic point of view, the transfer of the features of the Enochic hero to the Mosaic character in order to reinforce the latter’s superior status, leads us to the second significant dimension of the early polemical interaction between the Enochic and Mosaic traditions. Alexander observes that

a second line of counterattack was to build up the figure of Moses and to attribute to him the same transcendent qualities as Enoch. Thus some claimed that Moses had ascended into heaven, had received heavenly wisdom, now played a cosmic role as a heavenly being, and had been, in some sense, “deified.” Elements of this process of exalting Moses may be found as early as the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian (second century B.C.E.). Philo, as we have already hinted, accords to Moses divine status, which clearly parallels that assigned elsewhere to Enoch, while at the same time he rather denigrates Enoch. 2 Apoc. Bar. 59:5–12 is an instructive case: there God shows to Moses “the measures of fire, the depths of the abyss, the weight of the winds” and so forth, cosmological doctrines closely associated in earlier tradition with Enoch. A similar transference of Enochic roles to Ezra – as Moses redivivus – is implied in 4 Ezra 14. 27

Pointing to these transferals, Alexander observes that “chronology suggests that the Enochic traditions have the primacy. It is the supporters of Moses who are trying to steal Enoch’s clothes. That the transference went the other way, from Moses to Enoch, is much less likely.”28

Alexander’s remarks are important for this investigation; although the aforementioned Mosaic enhancements were not directed exclusively against the Enochic tradition but also targeted other traditions of the exalted patriarchs, prophets, and angels, the importance of the Enochic challenge as an archetypal alternative has often been overlooked by scholars. This study must now focus on several Second Temple extra-biblical Mosaic accounts which try to reinforce the features of the biblical Moses and attribute to him some qualities of Enoch and other exalted characters.

One of the significant early testimonies to the exalted profile of Moses has survived as a part of the drama Exagoge, a writing attributed to Ezekiel the Tragedian, which depicts the prophet’s experience at Sinai as his celestial enthronement. Exagoge 67–90 reads:

Moses: I had a vision of a great throne (qro&non me&gan) 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 (me&ga skh~ptron) 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 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 (w] ce&ne), 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.29

Wayne Meeks observes that, given its quotation by Alexander Polyhistor (ca. 80–40 B.C.E.), this Mosaic account can be taken as a witness to traditions of the second century B.C.E.30

Several characteristics of the narrative suggest that its author was familiar with the Enochic traditions and tried to attribute some features of the story of the seventh antediluvian hero to Moses.31 These attributions include the following points:

1. In the study of the Enochic features of the narrative, one must examine the literary form of this account. The first thing that catches the eye here is that the Sinai encounter is now fashioned not as a real life experience “in a body,” i.e, as it was originally presented in the biblical accounts, but as a dream-vision.32 This oneiromantic perspective of the narrative immediately brings to mind the Enochic dreams-visions, particularly 1 Enoch 14,33 in which the patriarch’s vision of the Kavod is fashioned as an oneiromantic experience.34

Additional proof that Moses’ dream is oneiromantic in form and nature is Raguel’s interpretation, which in the Exagoge follows immediately after Moses’ dream-vision. The interpretation represents a standard feature of a mantic dream where the content of the received dream must then be interpreted by an oneirocritic. Raguel serves here as such an oneirocritic; he discerns the message of the dream, telling the recipient (Moses) that his vision was positive: “My friend, this is a good sign from God.” Such mantic procedures recall the earlier investigation of the Mesopotamian background of the Enochic oneiromantic practices.

It is also significant that the dream about the Sinai encounter in the Exagoge is fashioned as a vision of the forthcoming event, the anticipation of the future glorious status and deeds of Moses. Such prophetic perspective is very common for the Enochic accounts, where the Sinai event is always depicted as a future event in order to maintain the antediluvian perspective of the narration.

2. Another Enochic detail of the narrative is that Moses’ ascension in a dream allows him not simply to travel to the top of the earthly mountain but, like the seventh antediluvian hero, to transcend the orbis terrarum, accessing the various extraterrestrial realms which include the regions “beneath the earth and above the heavens.” The ascension vividly recalls the early Enochic journeys during which the patriarch travels in his dreams-visions to the upper heavens, as well as to the lower regions, learning about the upcoming judgment of the sinners.35 This profile of Moses as a traveler above and beneath the earth is unknown in biblical accounts; it most likely comes from the early Enochic conceptual developments.

It should be noted that the imagery of the celestial travel to the great throne on the mountain recalls here Enoch’s journey in the Book of the Watchers (1 Enoch 14:18–25), in which the seer travels to the cosmic mountain, where the great throne of the divine Kavod is located.36 Carl Holladay draws attention to the terminological similarities in the throne language between this Enochic account and the Exagoge.37

3. The visionary account of the prophet, which is now fashioned as a celestial journey, also seems to require the presence of another character appropriate in such settings, the angelus interpres, whose role is to assist the seer in understanding the upper reality. This new visionary dimension might be partially reflected in the figure of Raguel. His striking interpretive omniscience recalls the expertise of the angel Uriel of the Enochic accounts, who was able to help the patriarch overcome the initial fear and discern the proper meaning of the things revealed.38 The important feature that suggests that Raguel might be understood here as a supernatural helper is that in the Exagoge Raguel looks like a direct participant in the vision who, quite surprisingly, knows about the disclosed things even more than the seer himself and therefore is able to initiate the visionary into the hidden meaning of the revealed reality. Another fact suggesting that Raguel might be an angelic interpreter is that it is very unusual in Jewish traditions that a non-Jew interprets a dream of a Jew. Howard Jacobson observes that “in the Bible nowhere does a non-Jew interpret a symbolic dream for a Jew.… Such dreams when dreamt by Jews are usually assumed to be understood by the dreamer (e.g. Joseph’s dreams) or else are interpreted by some divine authority (e.g. Daniel 8).”39 It is however not uncommon for a heavenly being to discern the proper meaning of visions of an Israelite. It is therefore possible that Raguel is envisioned here as a celestial, not a human, interpreter.

In light of these considerations, it is possible that Raguel’s address, which occupies the last part of the account, can be seen here, at least structurally, as a continuation of the previous vision. One detail that might support such an arrangement is that in the beginning of his interpretation Raguel calls Moses ce&noj,40 a Greek term which can be rendered in English as “guest.”41 Such an address might well be interpreted here as an angel’s address to a human visitor attending the upper celestial realm which is normally alien to him.

4. The Exagoge depicts Moses as a counter of the stars. The text also seems to put great emphasis on the prophet’s interaction with these celestial bodies which “fell before Moses’ knees” and even “paraded past him like a battalion of men.” Such astronomical encounters are unknown in the biblical Mosaic accounts. At the same time the preoccupation of the seventh antediluvian patriarch with astronomical and cosmological calculations and lore is well known and constitutes a major subject of his revelations in one of the earliest Enochic booklets, the Astronomical Book and the Book of the Watchers, in which the patriarch is depicted as the counter of stars.42 The later Enochic and Merkabah materials also demonstrate that the patriarch’s expertise in counting and measuring the celestial and earthly phenomena becomes a significant conceptual avenue for his future exaltation as an omniscient vice-regent of the Deity43 who knows and exercises authority over the “orders of creations.”44

5. It has already been noted that the polemics between the Mosaic and Enochic tradition revolved around the issue of the primacy and supremacy of the revealed knowledge. The author of the Exagoge appears to challenge the prominent esoteric status of the Enochic lore and the patriarch’s role as an expert in secrets by underlining the esoteric character of the Mosaic revelation and the prophet’s superiority in the mysteries of heaven and earth. In Exagoge 85 Raguel tells the seer that his vision of the world below and above signifies that he will see what is, what has been, and what shall be.45 Wayne Meeks notes the connection of this statement of Raguel with the famous expression “what is above and what is below; what is before and what is behind; what was and what will be,” which was a standard designation for knowledge belonging to the esoteric lore.46 He draws attention47 to m. . 2:1 in which the prohibition of the discussion of the esoteric lore,48 including the Account of the Creation (ty#)rb h#(m) and the Account of the Chariot (hbkrm h#(m), is expressed through the following formulary which closely resembles the description found in the Exagoge: “Whosoever gives his mind to four things it was better for him if he had not come into the world – what is above? what is beneath? what was beforetime? and what will be hereafter.”49

In light of this passage, it is possible that the author of the Exagoge, who shows familiarity with the earlier form of the Mishnaic formula, attempts here to fashion the Mosaic revelation as an esoteric tradition,50 similar to the Enochic lore.51

The study already demonstrated that the roots of the later rabbinic understanding of the Account of Creation and the Account of Chariot were closely associated with the early Enochic materials.

6. The placement of Moses on the great throne52 in the Exagoge account and his donning of the royal regalia have been often interpreted by scholars as the prophet’s occupation of the seat of the Deity. The uniqueness of the motif of God’s vacating the throne and transferring occupancy to someone else has puzzled the scholars for a long time.53 An attempt to deal with this enigma by bringing in the imagery of the vice-regent does not, in my judgment, completely solve the problem; the vice-regents in Jewish traditions (for example, Metatron) do not normally occupy God’s throne but instead have their own glorious chair, which sometimes serves as a replica of the divine Seat. It seems that the enigmatic identification of the prophet with the divine Form can best be explained not through the concept of a vice-regent, but through the notion of the heavenly counterpart.54 In the light of the previous investigation of this conception in the Enochic and Jacobite traditions, one can suggest that Moses’ identification with the enthroned “noble man” in the Exagoge might represent a Mosaic adaptation of the heavenly counterpart imagery. Moses’ occupation of the glorious throne thus reflects the process of the unification of the seer with his celestial counterpart which, as this study has already demonstrated, often involves identification with the Kavod, since the heavenly counterpart appears to be directly linked with this celestial entity portrayed in some traditions as Jacob’s image on the Throne of Glory.55

7. The previous analysis has shown that the process of turning a seer into his heavenly counterpart often involves the change of his bodily appearance. It may happen even in a dream as, for example, in the Similitudes’ account of the heavenly counterpart, where, although Enoch’s journey was “in spirit,” his “body was melted” and, as a result, he acquired the identity of the son of man.56 A similar change of the visionary’s identity might be discernible in the Exagoge, where the already mentioned designation of Moses as ce&noj occurs. Besides the meanings of “friend” and “guest,” this Greek word also can be translated as “stranger.”57 If the authors of the Exagoge indeed had in mind this meaning of ce&noj, it might well be related to the fact that Moses’ face or his body underwent some sort of transformation which altered his previous physical appearance and made him appear as a stranger to Raguel.58 The tradition of Moses’ altered identity after his encounter with the Kavod is reflected not only in Exod 34 but also in Pseudo-Philo’s Biblical Antiquities 12:1, when the Israelites failed to recognize Moses after his glorious metamorphosis on Mount Sinai:

Moses came down. (Having been bathed with light that could not be gazed upon, he had gone down to the place where the light of the sun and the moon are. The light of his face surpassed the splendor of the sun and the moon, but he was unaware of this). When he came down to the children of Israel, upon seeing him they did not recognize him. But when he had spoken, then they recognized him.59

Crispin Fletcher-Louis suggests that Moses might be understood in this passage as an angelomorphic being,60 since “it is a recurrent feature of the angelophany form that the angel is not, at first, recognized by the mortal to whom they appear.”61

The attempt of the authors of the Exagoge to identify Moses with a celestial form, perhaps even with the Form of the Deity, is not unique in the extra-biblical Mosaic materials. I have already mentioned that a similar tradition seems to be reflected in the passage from the Jewish Orphica. Some Dead Sea Scrolls materials also witness to a traditon of Moses’ deification at Sinai. For example, one of the partially preserved texts from Qumran, 4Q374, also known as the Discourse on the Exodus/Conquest Tradition, seems to allude to Moses’ deification: “… and he made him like a God62 over the powerful ones, and a cause of reel[ing] (?) for Pharaoh … and then he let his face shine for them for healing, they strengthened [their] hearts again….”63

Another feature of this Qumran account significant for the future analysis of the Mosaic polemics in 2 Enoch is that the radiance of the glorified Moses’ face, similar to the divine luminosity, is able to transform human nature. One can find a similar motif in 2 Enoch 64:4: people ask the transformed Enoch for blessings so they can be glorified in front of his [Enoch’s] face.64 The Enochic passage seems to echo the tradition found in 4Q374, where the radiance of Moses’ face is able to heal the hearts of the Israelites.

In the Mosaic accounts from Qumran, one can see another prominent tendency that has been already noted in this investigation, that is, the connection between the exalted profiles of Adam and Moses, in which Moses serves as a luminous counterpart of the protoplast. As in 2 Enoch’s theological deliberation, in which the features of the prelapsarian Adam were transferred to the seventh antediluvian patriarch, these early Mosaic accounts also attempt to make this connection with their hero. In the group of the Dead Sea Scrolls fragments known under the title Words of the Luminaries (4Q504), the following passage about the glory of Adam in the Garden of Eden can be found:

[ … Adam,] our [fat]her, you fashioned in the image of [your] glory ([hk] dwbk twmdb htrcy) […] [… the breath of life] you [b]lew into his nostril, and intelligence and knowledge […] [… in the gard]en of Eden, which you had planted. You made [him] govern […] […] and so that he would walk in a glorious land… […] […] he kept. And you imposed on him not to tu[rn away…] […] he is flesh, and to dust […] ….65

Later in 4Q504, this tradition about Adam’s former glory gives way to a reference to the luminosity bestowed on another human body – the glorious face of Moses at his encounter with the Lord at Sinai:

[…Re]member, please, that all of us are your people. You have lifted us wonderfully [upon the wings of] eagles and you have brought us to you. And like the eagle which watches its nest, circles [over its chicks,] stretches its wings, takes one and carries it upon [its pinions] […] we remain aloof and one does not count us among the nations. And […] […] You are in our midst, in the column of fire and in the cloud […] […] your [hol]y […] walks in front of us, and your glory is in [our] midst ([wn] kwtb hkdwbkw) […] […] the face of Moses (h#wm ynp), [your] serv[ant]….66

Two details stand out in these descriptions. First, the author of 4Q504 appears to be familiar with the lore about the glorious garments of Adam, the tradition according to which first humans had luminous attire in Eden before their transgression. Second, the author draws parallels between the glory of Adam and the glory of Moses’ face. The luminous face of the prophet might represent in this text an alternative to the lost luminosity of Adam and thus serve as a new symbol of God’s glory once again manifested in the human body. It appears, therefore, that in 4Q504, as in 2 Enoch, where one can see the connection between the former glory of Adam and the newly-acquired glory of Enoch, the traditions about Adam’s glory and Moses’ glory are creatively juxtaposed with each other, with Moses being depicted as a luminous counterpart of the protoplast.

The motif of Moses’ luminosity which is able to supersede the radiance of the first man became a popular motif in Samaritan and rabbinic literature.67 Jarl Fossum and April De Conick have demonstrated the importance of the Samaritan materials for understanding the connection between the “glories” of Adam and Moses. The Samaritan texts insist that, when Moses ascended to Mount Sinai, he received the divine image which Adam cast off in the Garden of Eden.68 According to Memar Marqah, Moses was endowed with the same glorious body as Adam.69 Memar Marqah 5:4 reads: “He [Moses] was vested with the form which Adam cast off in the Garden of Eden; and his face shone up to the day of his death.”70

The Adam/Moses connection also looms large in the rabbinic sources. Alon Goshen-Gottstein stresses that “the luminescent quality of the image (tselem) is the basis for comparison between Moses and Adam in several rabbinic materials.”71 Deuteronomy Rabbah 11:3 offers an important witness to the Adam/Moses connection. It includes the following passage, in which two luminaries argue about whose glory is the greatest:

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. XLIX, 13) but as for me, the radiant countenance which God gave me still remains with me.” Whence? For it is said: “his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated” (Deut. 34:7).72

Goshen-Gottstein draws attention to another midrashic passage from Midrash Tadshe 4 in which Moses is posed as Adam’s luminous counterpart. The tradition relates that

in the likeness of the creation of the world the Holy One blessed be he performed miracles for Israel when they came out of Egypt…. In the beginning: “and God created man in his image,” and in the desert: “and Moshe knew not that the skin of his face shone.”73

It is also remarkable that later rabbinic materials often speak of the luminosity of Adam’s face,74 the feature that again points to the Adam-Moses connection. In Leviticus Rabbah 20:2, the following passage 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.75

Genesis Rabbah 11 also focuses, not on Adam’s luminous garments, but 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. XLIX, 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 XIV, 20).76

The aforementioned testimonies demonstrate that Mosaic, Adamic, Enochic, and other mediatorial traditions often borrowed exegetical strategies from each other not only in the pseudepigraphic materials but also in their later rabbinic counterparts. It points to the long-lasting nature of the polemics between the exalted characters and their close interaction in rabbinic and Hekhalot literature.

The initial roots of these trajectories can be traced to Second Temple documents. For example, the theme of the superiority of Moses over Adam can already be found in Philo. Wayne Meeks draws attention to the tradition from the Quaestiones et Solutiones in Exodum 2.46, which identifies the ascendant Moses with the heavenly man77 created in God’s image on the seventh day:78

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.79

Such testimonies to the exalted profile of the prophet are widespread in the Philonic corpus. Alan Segal notes that “Philo often speaks of Moses as being made into divinity…. in exegeting Moses’ receiving the Ten Commandments, Philo envisions an ascent, not merely up the mountain but to the heaven … his grave is not known, which for Philo apparently means that Moses was transported to heaven.”80 Scholars point out that some of these new, elevated features were developed with help from the Enochic prototypes. Alexander observes that in Philo many exalted characteristics of the seventh antediluvian hero were transferred to Moses.81

The previous exposition demonstrates that these conceptual developments82 did not stem solely from the creative mind of a great Hellenistic writer, but rather reflected the established tendency of the author’s time discernible in the early Mosaic lore.83 Meeks observes that the most casual reading of Philo’s works demonstrates that Moses was his primary hero.84 He also points to the curious Philonic tendency to diminish the significance and the revelatory prowess of the patriarchal figures at the expense of Moses. Meeks notes that in Philo, “Moses is far superior to the Patriarchs; they had to be initiated into the holy secrets as novices, while Moses officiates from the beginning as the mystagogue.”85 Here one encounters a familiar theme already noted in the Exagoge: Moses’ expertise in the holy secrets is far superior to that of any other ancient mediator, including the paradigmatic expert in secrets, the patriarch Enoch. The Philonic objection to the esoteric expertise of the Patriarchs may aim not only at the biblical side of their stories but also their pseudepigraphic extensions in which Adam, Abel, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Jacob, Abraham, and other patriarchal figures were depicted as recipients of various angelic and divine revelations; they posed therefore a direct threat to the primacy of the Mosaic message. Philo’s writings also represent a place where for the first time in Jewish literature one can see an extensive consistent development of the concept of the deified Moses.86 Meeks notes that in Philo “the analogy between Moses and God … approaches consubstantiality.”87

Although earlier scholarship viewed the deification of Moses in Philo as a Hellenistic Jewish adoption of Qei~oj a)nh&r Greco-Roman conceptual developments, Crispin Fletcher-Louis recently made a convincing case that, in the attempt to deify Moses, Philo was “reusing and inculturating a fundamentally Jewish tradition which, since at least the second century B.C.E., conceived of Moses in angelomorphic/divine terms.”88 Already in the Bible the son of Amram is labeled as a god.89 The biblical materials, however, do not unfold the implications of this designation.

In Philo this title is placed in a peculiar visionary context. Meeks notes Philo’s tendency to connect the Mosaic title “god” with his ascent on Mount Sinai.90 Such a connection can be traced for example in the passage from De Vita Mosis 1.158–9:

For he [Moses] was named god and king (qeo_j kai_ basileu&j) of the whole nation, and entered, we are told, into the darkness where God was, that is into the unseen, invisible, incorporeal and archetypal essence of existing things. Thus he beheld what is hidden from the sight of mortal nature, and, in himself and his life displayed for all to see, he has set before us, like some well-wrought picture, a piece of work beautiful and godlike, a model for those who are willing to copy it. Happy are they who imprint, or strive to imprint, that image in their souls. For it were best that the mind should carry the form of virtue in perfection, but, failing this, let it at least have the unflinching desire to possess that form.91

Here the prophet’s ascent is different from its biblical counterpart. In Philo, unlike in the Bible, the motif of Moses’ deification is conflated with his mystical ascension at Sinai not in body but in mind.92 Moses’ ascent in Philo is described not through the typical biblical theophanic language but rather through introspective formulae according to which the seer assesses the “incorporeal archetypal essence of existing things.” Quaestiones et Solutiones in Exodum 2.40 repeats this tendency toward an inner journey by fashioning the Sinai encounter as an ascension of the soul into the region above the heavens:93 “This [Exodus 24.12a] signifies that a holy soul is divinized by ascending not to the air or to the ether or to heaven (which is) higher than all but to (a region) above the heavens. And beyond the world there is no place but God.”94

This reiterated emphasis on the inner nature of the ascent at Sinai brings to mind the form of inner vision found in the Exagoge, which closely resembles the journeys attested in 1 Enoch. Still, the Philonic imagery of mystical ascension most likely follows here not only the Jewish visionary counterparts but also Greek philosophical formulations, since Mosaic contemplation of the “formless and incorporeal archetypal essence of existing things” is quite alien to the patriarch’s vision of the multitude of the celestial phenomena. It is also notable that in Philo, unlike in the Exagoge, Moses’ ascent is not oneiromantic.

Yet, possible traces of Enochic influences are still discernible in the Philonic narratives despite their heavy permeation with Greek philosophical vocabulary. One of these Enochic features is the theme of the rejection of the hero’s death and his translation to heaven at the end of his life. Meeks observes that

Philo takes for granted that Deuteronomy 34:6, ‘no man knows his grave,’ means that Moses was translated. Doubtless this view was traditional in Philo’s circle, for he states matter-of-factly that Enoch, “the protoprophet (Moses),” and Elijah all obtained this reward.95 The end of Moses’ life was an “ascent,”96 an “emigration to heaven,” “abandoning the mortal life to be made immortal”97 (a)paqanati&zes-qai).98

De Vita Mosis 2.288–91 portrays Moses’ departure in the following terms:

Afterwards the time came when he had to make his pilgrimage from earth to heaven, and leave this mortal life for immortality, summoned thither by the Father who resolved his twofold nature of soul and body into a single unity, transforming his whole being into mind, pure as the sunlight… for when he was already being exalted and stood at the very barrier, ready at the signal to direct his upward flight to heaven, the divine spirit fell upon him and he prophesied with discernment while still alive the story of his own death.99

This passage recalls a tradition found in 2 Enoch 67: the seventh antediluvian hero is taken alive to heaven while he was prophesying to his children and the people of the earth. Yet it remains unclear to what extent Philo knew the extra-biblical Enochic traditions about the patriarch’s departure to heaven. His depiction of Moses’ departure in this respect seems to draw more on established biblical counterparts.

In Josephus, as in Philo, Moses appears to be described again in the same biblical paradigm of otherworldly translation100 which vividly recalls the departures of Enoch and Elijah. Ant. 4.326101 reads:

And, while he [Moses] bade farewell to Eleazar and Joshua and was yet communing with them, a cloud of a sudden descended upon him and he disappeared in a ravine. But he has written of himself in the sacred books that he died, for fear lest they should venture to say that by reason of his surpassing virtue he had gone back to the Deity.102

Finally this analysis of the Mosaic polemical response must be concluded with an example drawn from 2 Baruch 59, in which the adaptation of the Enochic features into the framework of the Mosaic tradition is also traceable. In comparison with Philo and Josephus, who rely mainly on the biblical evidence, the author of 2 Baruch clearly demonstrates familiarity with the exact technical vocabulary of the early Enochic lore. 2 Baruch 59:5–12 reads:

But he also showed him [Moses], at that time, the measures of fire, the depths of the abyss,103 the weight of the winds,104 the number of the raindrops,105 the suppression of wrath, the abundance of long-suffering, the truth of judgment, the root of wisdom, the richness of understanding, the fountain of knowledge, the height of the air,106 the greatness of Paradise, the end of the periods, the beginning of the day of judgment,107 the number of offerings, the worlds which have not yet come, the mouth of hell,108 the standing place of vengeance, the place of faith, the region of hope, the picture of the coming punishment, the multitude of the angels which cannot be counted, the powers of the flame, the splendor of lightnings,109 the voice of the thunders, the orders of the archangels,110 the treasures of the light, the changes of the times,111 and the inquiries into the Law.112

Although R. H. Charles previously argued that the transition of Enoch’s functions to Moses was made here for the first time, one can now safely postulate that the decisive transference of the Enochic Gestalt to Moses’ figure was made much earlier, in such early Second Temple documents as the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian.113 In concluding this section of the study, I must reiterate that the main reason for the enhancement of Moses’ profile in the Second Temple period was his role as the mediator or guarantor of the divine revelation. Meeks observes that the stories of Moses’ elevation “indicate that one, and perhaps the major, function of the ascension legends was to emphasize Moses’ role as guarantor of the traditions, cosmological, halakic, or eschatological, of the particular group cultivating the stories.”114

Mosaic Polemics in 2 Enoch: New Strategy

In the previous sections of this chapter I had a chance to review the initial polemical response to the Enochic tradition reflected in such documents as the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian, the Qumran materials, and Philo. These challenges unveil an important tendency in Second Temple mediatorial polemics, the fact that their authors often did not hesitate to borrow the imagery and exegetical strategies of their opponents in order to build up the exalted profile of their own hero. In this context it is natural to assume that the Enochic authors might also have tried to transfer the Mosaic features to the Enochic hero. Yet the preliminary analysis has demonstrated that the materials included in the composition known as 1 (Ethiopic) Enoch do not appear to apply such a polemical strategy which attempted to transfer the exalted features of the Israelite prophet to the seventh antediluvian patriarch.

In 2 Enoch, however, the situation is changed and the Mosaic arguments found there seem to represent a more advanced polemical strategy in comparison with the developments found in the earlier Enochic books.115 The indication that these polemics are different is that the Mosaic imagery is now explicitly assigned to the seventh antediluvian hero. The authors of the Slavonic apocalypse appear to adopt here, for the first time in the Enochic lore, the contra-polemical strategy previously tested by their Mosaic counterparts, who in the extra-biblical Mosaic narratives did not hesitate to attribute the features of Enoch to the Israelite prophet. Although Moses is not named directly in these new Enochic polemical appropriations, they nevertheless are fashioned in such a manner that the Enochic readers, who certainty were familiar with the biblical Mosaic accounts, could easily recognize the apparent Mosaic features of these new qualities of the patriarch. The function of these new polemical developments is thus identical to the one found in the later Hekhalot comparisons of Moses and Enoch-Metatron – to show that the former represents only an inferior replica or later imitation of the latter. Such polemical perspective is intended to underline the primacy of Enoch’s story and his revelation, since the patriarch is now depicted as the one who underwent the Mosaic type of transformation in the antediluvian time, long before the Israelite prophet was born.

David Halperin’s analysis of the rabbinic and Hekhalot imagery demonstrates the ubiquity of such comparative imagery, which reflects the polemical character of the Merkabah portrayals of Moses and Metatron. He notes that in these materials Metatron is always depicted as “a greater Moses … more exactly, he is Moses gone a step farther. Moses ascends to heaven; Metatron becomes ruler of heaven. Moses defeats the angels; Metatron dominates them. Moses grasps God’s throne; Metatron sits on a throne identical to it. When Metatron grants revelation to Moses, he is giving a helping hand to his junior alter ego…. These authors, I presume, saw the exalted Metatron as the primary figure, the ascending Moses as his junior replica.”116

In contrast to this investigation, Halperin’s work sees the initial background of the Merkabah polemical comparisons between the son of Amram and Metatron in Moses’ ascension stories reflected in the materials associated with the Shabuot circle;117 he ignores the earlier evidence of Mosaic polemics found in 1 and 2 Enoch. He suggests that “as historians of the tradition, however, we must reverse the relationships [between Moses and Metatron]. First the Shabuot preachers had Moses invade heaven and lay hold of the throne. Then the authors of the Hekhalot, breaking the restraints of the older stories, let Metatron enjoy the fruits of conquest.”118

This study will demonstrate that in light of the long-lasting competition between the Enochic and Mosaic traditions and 2 Enoch’s testimony to the Enoch-Metatron development which predates the extant evidence to the Shabuot circle, one no longer needs to follow Halperin’s advice by clarifying the relationships between Moses and Metatron on the basis of the later rabbinic developments since one will see that already in the Second Temple Enochic materials, namely in 2 Enoch, the Enochic authors strived to portray the Mosaic hero as a junior replica of Enoch-Metatron. This does not exclude the possibility that the Enochic polemical response was prompted by the traditions about the exalted Moses. However, this stimulus for enhancing the theophanic qualities of the Enoch-Metatron story was received initially not from the Shabuot sermons but from such early documents as the Exagoge, in which Moses was already depicted as the one who “invaded heaven and laid hold of the throne.”

The appropriation of Mosaic imagery in 2 Enoch shows that the early form of Mosaic polemics reflected in the Slavonic apocalypse manifests the very beginning of the theological deliberation which attempts to portray Moses as a creature inferior to Enoch-Metatron. In comparison with the later Hekhalot writings, however, the authors of the Slavonic apocalypse prefer not to refer directly to Moses,119 but rather recede to implicit references to this character through well-known Mosaic motifs (for example, the luminescent face of the seer or the embrace of the hero by the Deity’s hand). Such tendencies might also serve as additional evidence that the Mosaic polemics found in 2 Enoch represent a very early stage of its development since here the Enochic authors respond to their opponents by applying a similar silent strategy previously used by their Mosaic rivals, that is, the tendency well reflected in the Exagoge and other early materials according to which the features of Enoch are transferred to Moses without any reference to their original proprietor.

This study will demonstrate that in many instances the appropriations of Mosaic theophanic imagery in 2 Enoch, such as the motifs of the hand of the Deity encompassing the visionary, the luminous face of the seer, or, most importantly, the imagery of the divine Face, clearly serve as the initial conceptual background for the later Hekhalot and rabbinic testimonies to the Moses-Metatron connection. In these later accounts, however, unlike in 2 Enoch, the identity of the polemical protagonist will no longer be hidden, and Moses will be openly compared to Enoch-Metatron.

Imagery of the Face

As already mentioned, Mosaic theophanic imagery does not play a significant theological role in the patriarch’s visions in 1 (Ethiopic) Enoch. The silence of the early Enochic booklets does not prove that their authors lack knowledge about the biblical or extra-biblical Mosaic traditions. Yet, unlike the authors of the Slavonic apocalypse, 1 Enoch authors are reluctant to refer to the luminosity of the face or the body of the hero because these references might remind their readers about the rival Mosaic or Adamic developments. The rival motif of Moses’ countenance is probably also one of the reasons why the imagery of its theological counterpart, the Face of the Deity, does not play a pivotal role in the early Enochic visionary encounters. While the symbolism of the celestial temple and its chambers is quite important in 1 Enoch 14, the divine Face is mentioned only once in this account and without any theological significance. Another formative Enochic vision attested in 1 Enoch 71 does not even refer to such imagery. The question why the authors of the early Enochic booklets, despite their knowledge of the Face symbolism, do not fully elaborate on this significant motif can be answered by pointing to the specifics of the polemical situation of the early Enochic circle, already discussed in this study in reference to the Adamic tradition, where the polemical strategy was also to keep silence about rival developments and their imagery.

In 2 Enoch, where the Mosaic (and Adamic) polemics take their new active form, one can see a strikingly different picture; in this text Enoch’s vision of the divine Face is surrounded by a set of peculiar details unambiguously appropriated not only from the biblical but also from the extra-biblical Mosaic theophanic accounts. It is time to explore more closely 2 Enoch’s descriptions of the divine Face in order to illustrate these connections with the Mosaic story.

As may be recalled from the previous analysis, 2 Enoch contains two theophanic descriptions involving the motif of the divine Face. The first one occurs in 2 Enoch 22, which portrays Enoch’s encounter with the Lord in the celestial realm. In Chapter 39 Enoch recounts this theophanic experience to his sons, adding some new details. Although both portrayals demonstrate a number of terminological affinities, the second account explicitly connects the divine Face with the Lord’s anthropomorphic extent, the divine Kavod.

In previous research I have argued that the biblical Mosaic traditions played a formative role in the shaping of the theophanic imagery of the divine Panim in 2 Enoch’s account.120 It is not a coincidence that both in the Bible and in 2 Enoch the divine extent is associated with light and fire. In biblical theophanies smoke and fire often serve as a divine envelope, protecting mortals from the sight of the divine form. So in 2 Enoch’s portrayals one can easily recognize the familiar theophanic imagery appropriated from the Exodus accounts.121

In 2 Enoch 39:3–6, as in the Mosaic account from Exod 33, the Face is closely associated with the divine extent and seems to be understood not simply as a part of the Lord’s body (his face) but as a radiant façade of his anthropomorphic form. This identification between the Lord’s Face and the Lord’s form is reinforced by an additional parallel pair in which Enoch’s face is identified with Enoch’s form:

You, my children, you see my face, a human being created just like yourselves; but I am one who has seen the face of the Lord, like iron made burning hot by a fire, emitting sparks.… And you see the form of my body, the same as your own: but I have seen the form (extent) of the Lord, without measure and without analogy, who has no end (2 Enoch 39:3–6, shorter recension).

The association between the divine Face and the divine form in 2 Enoch 39:3-6 alludes to the biblical tradition from Exod 33:18–23;122 here the divine Panim is mentioned in connection with the glorious divine form – God’s Kavod:123

Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory (Kdbk).” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence… but,” he said, “you cannot see my face (ynp), for no one may see me and live.”

It is clear that in this biblical passage the impossibility of seeing the Lord’s Face is understood not simply as the impossibility of seeing a particular part of the Lord but rather as the impossibility of seeing the full range of his glorious body. The logic of the whole passage, which employs such terms as God’s face and God’s back, suggests that the term Panim refers here to the forefront of the divine extent. The imagery of the divine Face found in the Psalms124 also favors this motif of the identity between the face and the anthropomorphic form of the Lord. For example, in Ps 17:15 the Lord’s Face is closely associated with his form or likeness (hnwmt): “As for me, I shall behold your face (Kynp)125 in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with beholding your form (Ktnwmt).”126

The early Enochic accounts appear to follow these biblical parallels. Thus, the identification between the Face and the divine form also seems to be hinted at in the Book of the Watchers, where the enthroned Glory is labeled as the Face (). 1 Enoch 14:20–21 reads: “And no angel could enter, and at the appearance of the face () of him who is honored and praised no (creature of) flesh could look.”127

It is evident that all four accounts, Exodus 33:18–23, Psalm 17:15, 1 Enoch 14, and 2 Enoch 39:3–6, represent a single tradition in which the divine Face serves as the terminus technicus for the designation of the Lord’s anthropomorphic extent.

It is also clear that all these accounts deal with the specific anthropomorphic manifestation known as God’s Kavod.128 The possibility of such identification is already hinted at in Exod 33; Moses, upon asking the Lord to show him his Kavod, hears that it is impossible for him to see the Lord’s Face. The correlation of the divine Face with “likeness”(hnwmt) in Ps 17:15 can be also an allusion to the Kavod, which in Ezekiel 1:28 is described as “the likeness of the glory of the Lord (hwhy dwbk twmd).”

It is possible that the biblical understanding of the Sinai vision as a vision of the divine form also played a major role in the later Mosaic adaptation of the throne imagery found in the Exagoge. There Moses’ experience at Sinai is depicted as a vision of God’s Kavod: “I had a vision of a great throne (qro&non me&gan) 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.”129 The vision found in the Exagoge is significant for this study since it provides further evidence that 2 Enoch’s appropriations of the Mosaic imagery involved not only biblical Mosaic accounts but the imagery of the post-biblical developments. This theme will be examined later.

In continuing the discussion about the ties between the divine Panim and Kavod, the study must focus on the account found in 2 Enoch 22, which further strengthens this theophanic pattern in which the encounter with the divine Face is understood as a vision of the enthroned Glory. The text gives a number of additional theophanic details which prove that the anthropomorphic extent, identified with the divine Face, indeed represents his Kavod. The theophany of the divine countenance in the Slavonic apocalypse is surrounded by a distinctive Kavod imagery which plays a prominent role in the Merkabah account. The following parallels are noteworthy:

1. The theophany of the divine face took place in the highest of the heaven.130 The highest of the heavens is a traditional place of God’s Throne, the abode of his Glory. A later account found in 3 Enoch relates that “in Arabot there are 660 thousands of myriads of glorious angels, hewn out of flaming fire, standing opposite the throne of glory. The glorious King covers his face, otherwise the heaven of Arabot would burst open in the middle, because of the glorious brilliance….”131

2. The theophanic description in 2 Enoch 22 (shorter recension) mentions “his many-eyed ones.”132 In Ezekiel 1:18 Mynpw)h, “the Wheels,” the special class of the angels of the Throne, are described as angelic beings “full of eyes.”

3. A reference to the “many-voiced ones” is probably an allusion to the choirs of angelic hosts surrounding the throne.

4. Finally, 2 Enoch 22 has a direct reference to the throne of the Lord, which occupies a central place in the theophanic description, pictured as “supremely great and not made by hands.”133 The Throne of Glory is surrounded by the armies of angelic hosts, cherubim, and the seraphim, with “their never-silent singing.”134

“I Am One Who Has Seen the Face of the Lord”

The previous analysis has demonstrated that the imagery of the divine Face found in 2 Enoch draws on the familiar Mosaic prototypes already detected in the biblical materials. One can argue that so far this investigation has not unveiled any marked difference in the polemical strategy between 1 Enoch and 2 Enoch. Both of these accounts mention the Face and both also seem to closely associate it with the divine Kavod. A closer look at the visionary’s interaction with the divine Face shows that the theology of the divine Panim found in the Slavonic apocalypse is radically different from that in 1 Enoch, as well as the Mosaic account in Exod 33.

One may remember that when the author of the Book of the Watchers refers to the Face, this designation is placed in the statement about the impossibility of seeing the divine Panim. According to the Enochic author, “at the appearance of the face () of him who is honored and praised no (creature of) flesh could look.”135 This passage vividly recalls the tradition from Exod 33:20; the Lord warns Moses about the danger of seeing His Face: “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”136 The statement in 1 Enoch 14 is therefore neither new nor polemical since it duplicates the well-known Mosaic formulae.

The polemical situation, however, radically changes when one moves to the Slavonic apocalypse. The longer recension of 2 Enoch 22:1–2 depicts the seer’s encounter with the divine Face in the following terms:

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. Thus even I saw the face of the Lord. But the face of the Lord is not to be talked about, it is so very marvelous and supremely awesome and supremely frightening. [And] who am I to give an account of the incomprehensible being of the Lord, and of his face, so extremely strange and indescribable?137

Here the seer unambiguously states that he saw the Face of the Lord. This theophanic paradigm shift explicitly challenges the aforementioned Mosaic account and its hero; in the Bible the vision of the Face was bluntly denied by the Deity himself.

Another description of the Face found in 2 Enoch 39 further extends this explicit challenge to the Mosaic hero by emphasizing that the patriarch saw not only the Face of the Deity but also the specific features of this Face, namely, the Deity’s eyes and lips:

And now, my children it is not from my own lips that I am reporting to you today, but from the lips of the Lord who has sent me to you. As for you, you hear my words, out of my lips, a human being created equal to yourselves; but I, I have heard the words from the fiery lips of the Lord. For the lips of the Lord are a furnace of fire, and his words are the fiery flames which come out. You, my children, you see my face, a human being created just like yourselves; I, 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.138

What do the two aforementioned accounts tell us about the polemical intentions of the 2 Enoch writers? Here the hero is depicted not only as the one who beholds the Face, but also as the one who manages to survive this deadly encounter and then even convey this vision to his children. It is also significant that Enoch’s full access to the divine Panim occurred in the antediluvian time, that is, long before the Sinai encounter.

There is little doubt that Enoch’s retelling, in which he compares his face and body with the Lord’s features, contains a polemical twist. The patriarch’s comparisons between his face and the Face of the Deity appear to echo the biblical Mosaic tradition which implicitly makes such a connection between the glorious divine Face and the luminous face of the Israelite prophet reflecting the glory of the divine countenance.139 The motif of Enoch’s luminous face as a counterpart of Moses’ face will later become the subject of a separate inquiry. For now I must underline that Enoch’s comparisons in 2 Enoch 39 may be intended to challenge the Mosaic parallelism of the glorious countenances of the Deity and the hero, since in the Slavonic apocalypse the comparisons between the seer and the object of the theophanic vision are now extended to other parts of the visionary’s body, thus demonstrating his superiority before the Mosaic opponent.

The Danger Motif

Previous research has shown that the correlation between God’s Face and his luminous form was already implicitly articulated in Exodus 33. The Enochic theophany found in 2 Enoch further strengthens this connection, giving a theophanic description of the Lord’s face as his terrifying extent which emits light and fire. The important detail which unifies both accounts is the danger motif – the warnings about the peril of seeing the Deity. Both accounts contain specific references to the harmful effect this theophanic experience has on the mortals who dare to behold the divine Face. In Exodus 33:20 the Lord warns Moses about the danger of seeing his face: “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” The motif of peril is further reinforced by the Lord’s instructions in 33:22; he commands Moses to hide himself in a cleft in the rock and promises to protect the prophet with his hands.

Although the situation is changed in the Slavonic apocalypse and the seer is now allowed to behold the Face, the danger motif is still preserved in this text. In 2 Enoch 39, immediately after his description of the theophany of the face, Enoch gives a warning to his children about the danger of this theophanic experience:

Frightening and dangerous it is to stand before the face of an earthly king, terrifying and very dangerous it is, because the will of the king is death and the will of the king is life. How much more terrifying [and dangerous] it is to stand before the face of the King of earthly kings and of the heavenly armies, [the regulator of the living and of the dead]. Who can endure that endless misery? (2 Enoch 39:8)140

One can see that the unfolding of the danger motif and its theological meaning is different in 2 Enoch since this theme is intended to demonstrate the exclusivity of Enoch’s position as the sar happanim, the one who can stand before the Face without being harmed. It is also significant that the Enochic passage does not address the danger of beholding the Face, but instead focuses on the peril of standing before the Face. This clearly demonstrates that the danger motif is now placed in the framework of the sar happanim imagery. In the light of the patriarch’s role as the one who will stand before the Face forever, the question at the end of the passage has only rhetorical value. It is implicitly answered by the whole situation in which Enoch is the only person able to endure the endless misery of the vision since he is the one who was invited by the Deity to stand in the front of His Face for eternity.

Mosaic Idiom of Standing and the Sar Happanim Imagery

The aforementioned language of standing is important for establishing the possible Mosaic background of the sar happanim imagery in 2 Enoch, since there Enoch’s role as the Servant of the Face is introduced through the formulae “stand before my face forever.”141 2 Enoch’s definition of the sar happanim’s office as standing before the Face of the Lord appears to be linked to the biblical Mosaic accounts in which Moses is described as the one who was standing before the Lord’s Face on Mount Sinai. It is significant that, as in the Slavonic apocalypse where the Lord himself orders the patriarch to stand before his Presence,142 the biblical Mosaic accounts contain a familiar command. In the theophanic account from Exodus 33, the Lord commands Moses to stand near him: “There is a place by me where you shall stand (tbcnw)143 on the rock.”

In Deuteronomy this language of standing continues to play a prominent role. In Deuteronomy 5:31 God again orders Moses to stand with him: “But you, stand (dm()144 here by me, and I will tell you all the commandments, the statutes and the ordinances, that you shall teach them.…” In Deuteronomy 5:4–5 the motif of standing, as in Exodus 33, is juxtaposed with the imagery of the divine Panim: “The Lord spoke with you face to face (Mynpb Mynp) at the mountain, out of the fire. At that time I was standing (dm()145 between the Lord and you to declare to you the words of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain.” Here Moses is depicted as standing before the Face of the Deity and mediating the divine Presence to the people. It should be stressed that the Mosaic biblical accounts do not yet view their hero as the sar happanim since he, unlike Enoch, cannot survive the terrifying vision of the Face, and so is able to behold only God’s back.

The idiom of standing also plays a significant part in the Exagoge account that has Moses approach and stand (e)sta&qhn)146 before the throne.147 Here the definitive testimony to the sar happanim imagery might be already discernible in view of Moses’ transformation into his heavenly counterpart. My previous analysis has demonstrated that such identification is often conflated with the installation into the office of the prince of the Face.

In the extra-biblical Mosaic accounts one can also see a growing tendency to depict Moses’ standing position as the posture of a celestial being. Crispin Fletcher-Louis observes that in various Mosaic traditions the motif of Moses’ standing was often interpreted through the prism of God’s own standing, indicating the prophet’s participation in divine or angelic nature. He notes that in Samaritan and rabbinic literature a standing posture was generally indicative of the celestial being.148 Jarl Fossum points to the tradition preserved in Memar Marqah 4:12: Moses is described as “the (immutable) Standing One.”149 Fletcher-Louis draws attention to a similar interpretive trend in Philo; there Mosaic biblical idiom of standing is juxtaposed with the Lord’s standing on Horeb and is presented as the prophet’s participation in divine nature.150 De Somniis 2.221–229 reads:

“Here I stand there before thou wast, on the rock in Horeb” (Ex. xvii.6), which means, “This I, the manifest, Who am here, am there also, am everywhere, for I have filled all things. I stand ever the same immutable, before thou or aught that exists came into being, established on the topmost and most ancient source of power, whence showers forth the birth of all that is, whence streams the tide of wisdom….And Moses too gives his testimony to the unchangeableness of the deity when he says “they saw the place where the God of Israel stood” (Ex. xxiv. 10), for by the standing or establishment he indicates his immutability. But indeed so vast in its excess is the stability of the Deity that He imparts to chosen natures a share of His steadfastness to be their richest possession….To Moses, too, this divine command was given: “Stand thou here with me” (Deut. v. 31), and this brings out both the points suggested above, namely the unswerving quality of the man of worth, and the absolute stability of Him that is. For that which draws near to God enters into affinity with what is, and through that immutability becomes self-standing. And when the mind is at rest it recognizes clearly how great a blessing rest is, and, struck with wonder at its beauty, has the thought that it belongs either to God alone or to that form of being which is midway between mortal and immortal kind. Thus he says: “And I stood between the Lord and you.” (Deut. v. 5).151

The conceptual development found in Philo represents a significant advancement of the Mosaic idiom of standing; in Philo this Mosaic motif is conflated with the standing of the Deity.

In light of the aforementioned Mosaic developments it is possible that the idiom of standing used in 2 Enoch to describe the patriarch’s office as the sar happanim has a Mosaic provenance. Already in Exodus and Deuteronomy the prophet is portrayed as the one who is temporarily able to stand before the Deity to mediate the divine Presence to human beings.152 The non-biblical Mosaic accounts try to further secure the prophet’s place in the front of the Deity by depicting him as a celestial creature. The testimony found in the Exagoge, where Moses is described as standing before the Throne, seems to represent an important step towards the rudimentary definitions of the office of the sar happanim. It is also possible that in their appropriation of the language of standing the Enochic authors had in mind not only the well-known biblical attestations but also the advanced developments similar to those found in the Samaritan materials where Moses is described as the archetypal “Standing One.”

Yet, at least in the biblical accounts, in comparison with the Slavonic Enoch, the standing office of the Mosaic hero has only a temporal nature. In this respect the biblical profile of the seer could not withstand the competition with the seventh antediluvian patriarch, who in the Slavonic apocalypse had readily accepted the invitation of the Deity to stand before his Face forever.

Luminous Face of Enoch

From the Slavonic apocalypse one learns that the vision of the divine Face has dramatic consequences for Enoch’s appearance. His body endures radical changes as it becomes covered with the divine light. In Enoch’s radiant metamorphosis before the divine Countenance, an important detail can be found which further links Enoch’s transformation with Moses’ account in the Book of Exodus. In 2 Enoch 37 one learns about the unusual procedure performed on Enoch’s face at the final stage of his encounter with the Lord. The text informs us that the Lord called one of his senior angels to chill the face of Enoch. The text says that the angel was “terrifying and frightful,” and appeared frozen; he was as white as snow, and his hands were as cold as ice. With these cold hands he then chilled the patriarch’s face. Right after this chilling procedure, the Lord informs Enoch that if his face had not been chilled here, no human being would have been able to look at him.153 This reference to the dangerous radiance of Enoch’s face after his encounter with the Lord is an apparent parallel to the incandescent face of Moses after the Sinai experience in Exodus 34.154

References to the shining countenance of a visionary found in 2 Enoch return us again to the biblical story. Exodus 34:29–35 portrays Moses after his encounter with the Lord. The passage relates that

Moses came down from Mount Sinai …. Moses did not know that the skin of his face155 shone because he had been talking with God. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him… and Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

This passage unambiguously constitutes the Mosaic background of the tradition found in 2 Enoch 37, where Enoch’s face is depicted as similar to Moses’ face who shields his luminous visage with a veil. The transference of the Mosaic motif into the framework of the Enochic tradition is made here for the first time. It is also obvious that this transferal has a polemical character. Passing on to the patriarch such a salient detail of the biblical story would immediately invoke in the Enochic readers the memory of Moses’ example. Such transference also intends to demonstrate that Moses’ encounter at Sinai and his luminous face represent later, inferior imitations of the primeval account of the patriarch’s vision, a vision which occurred not on earth but in heaven in the antediluvian time.

The polemical appropriation of the Mosaic motif of the seer’s radiant face is not confined in 2 Enoch solely to the encounter with the “frozen” angel, but is reflected also in other sections of the book. According to the Slavonic apocalypse, despite the chilling procedure performed in heaven, Enoch’s face appears to have retained its transformative power and is even able to glorify other human subjects. In 2 Enoch 64:2 people ask the transformed Enoch for blessings so they can be glorified in front of his face.156 This theme of the transforming power of the patriarch’s visage may also have a polemical flavor. It recalls the already mentioned tradition from the Mosaic passage157 preserved among the Dead Sea Scrolls; in this passage Moses’ face is able to transform the hearts of the Israelites.

The theme of the luminous countenance of the seer is also important for the ongoing discussion of the Enoch-Metatron connection. It should not be forgotten that 2 Enoch’s appropriation of the Mosaic imagery serves as the formative framework for the later Enoch-Metatron accounts, and especially for the one reflected in the so-called additional chapters158 of Sefer Hekhalot. In these chapters the theme of the luminosity of Moses’ face and Metatron’s visage are also put in a polemical juxtaposition. From 3 Enoch 15B one learns that it is Enoch-Metatron, whose face was once transformed into fire, who tells Moses about his shining visage:159 “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.’“160 Here Moses is portrayed as a later version of his master Enoch-Metatron whose face and body were transformed into blazing fire long before the prophet’s ascension at Sinai.161

Imagery of the Hand

It has already been suggested that the new theophanic imagery transferred to the Enochic hero in the Slavonic apocalypse might derive not only from the biblical accounts of the Sinai encounter, but also from the extra-biblical Mosaic stories in which the profile of the exalted prophet has a more advanced form. The authors of 2 Enoch, like their Mosaic opponents, may have been carefully following here the theological unfolding of the story of their rival and the enhancement of his profile as an elevated figure. The familiarity of Enochic authors with the Second Temple extra-biblical Mosaic accounts can be illustrated through an examination of the motif of the Deity’s hand; this hand embraces and protects the seer during his encounter with the Lord in the upper realm.

In 2 Enoch 39 the patriarch relates to his children that during his vision of the divine Kavod, the Lord helped him with his right hand. The hand here is described as having a gigantic size and filling heaven: “But you, my children, see the right hand of one who helps you, a human being created identical to yourself, but I have seen the right hand of the Lord, helping me () and filling heaven ().”162 The theme of the hand of God assisting the seer during his vision of the Face recalls the Mosaic account from Exodus 33:22–23. Here the Deity promises the prophet to protect him with his hand during the encounter with the divine Panim: “and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.” There is also another early Mosaic account where the motif of the divine hand assisting the visionary is mentioned. The Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian relates that during the prophet’s vision of the Kavod, a noble man sitting on the throne beckoned him with his right hand (decia~| de& moi e1neuse).163

It is conceivable that 2 Enoch’s description is closer to the form of the tradition preserved in Ezekiel the Tragedian than to the account found in Exodus since the Exagoge mentions the right hand of the Deity beckoning the seer. The passage from the Slavonic apocalypse also mentions the right hand of the Lord. Further there is another terminological parallel that unifies the two accounts. While the longer recension of 2 Enoch uses the term “helping” () in reference to the divine hand, some manuscripts of the shorter recension employ the word “beckoning” (),164 the term used in the Exagoge.

The terminological affinities between the Exagoge and 2 Enoch point to the possibility that the authors of the Slavonic apocalypse, in their development of the theme of the divine hand, were relying not on only on the tradition preserved in Exodus but also on more advanced Mosaic speculations similar to those found in Ezekiel the Tragedian.

Although 2 Enoch’s description is very similar to the Exagoge’s passage, the Slavonic apocalypse has a more advanced version of the mystical imagery; this imagery demonstrates close parallels to the symbolism of the Merkabah lore. The important detail here is that the divine hand is described as “filling heaven” ().165 This description recalls the language of the Shiur Qomah accounts, in which Metatron reveals to Rabbi Ishmael and Rabbi Akiba the knowledge of the gigantic limbs of the Deity, limbs which fill heaven. It has already been noted that the allusion to this mystical imagery in the Slavonic apocalypse does not appear to be happenstance since it is incorporated there into a series of analogical comparisons between Enoch’s body and the Lord’s body. These portrayals recall the later Hekhalot and Shiur Qomah accounts in which Enoch-Metatron is often portrayed as possessing the gigantic body himself.

The motif of the Lord’s hand, prominent in the early Enochic account, is not forgotten in the Merkabah materials, where one can learn that “the hand of God rests on the head of the youth, named Metatron.”166 The motif of the divine hand assisting Enoch-Metatron during his celestial transformation is present in Sefer Hekhalot, where it appears in the form of tradition very similar to the evidence found in the Exagoge and 2 Enoch. In Synopse §12 Metatron tells R. Ishmael that during the transformation of his body into the gigantic cosmic extent, matching the world in length and breath, God “laid his hand” on the translated hero.167 Here, just as in the Slavonic account, the hand of the Deity signifies the bond between the seer’s body and the divine corporeality.

In Sefer Hekhalot the imagery of God’s hand is also conflated with the Mosaic tradition. In Synopse §68 Enoch-Metatron unveils to Rabbi Ishmael the hypostatic right hand of God with which “955 heavens were created.” This introduction of the divine hand is interwoven in Synopse §§68–69168 into an elaborate set of references to Moses, to whom, according to the text, the mighty hand of God was once revealed. The author alludes to the passage from Isa 63:12, in which the glorious arm of the Deity goes at the right hand of Moses, as well as other Mosaic biblical themes. Although the name of the Israelite prophet is mentioned six times in this text, nothing is said about his exalted profile. It would seem appropriate there, since the main hero of this account is not Moses but the translated patriarch, who now unveils the mysteries of the divine hand to the visionary.

Moreover it seems that, in Synopse §§77–80,169 Enoch-Metatron is understood, at least implicitly, as the hypostatic hand of the Deity himself. These materials depict the translated patriarch as the helping hand of God; with this helping hand God passes the Torah to the Mosaic hero and protects him against the hostility of angelic hosts.

Enoch’s Revelation: New Genesis?

The Mosaic polemics in 2 Enoch encompass the conceptual developments pertaining not only to the theophanic imagery or Moses’ figure but also to the notion of his revelation given at Sinai. James VanderKam points out that the position of 2 Enoch’s authors with respect to the Mosaic Torah remains in agreement with the attitude of the early Enochic booklets: the writers prefer not to make explicit references to the Torah of Moses. The theme of the Torah is not completely forgotten there and a careful investigation reveals that the authors of 2 Enoch not only knew about the theological notion of the Torah as the revealed knowledge received by Moses at Sinai and then transmitted through the chain of written and oral traditions, but also seem to have offered Enochic alternatives to these Mosaic notions of the revelation and its transmission.

Chapters 24–32 of the Slavonic apocalypse offer a lengthy narrative of God’s revelation to the exalted patriarch about the seven days of creation. Here the Deity dictates to his celestial scribe, the patriarch Enoch, the account of creation organized in almost the same fashion as the first chapter of the biblical Genesis. The Lord starts his narration with the familiar phrase “in the beginning”: “Before anything existed at all, from the very beginning (),170 whatever exists I created from the non-existent, and from the invisible.” Although the very first line of the narration brings to memory the beginning of the Mosaic Torah, the creational account itself is quite different from the one reflected in Genesis. The story contains imagery pertaining to the primeval order and to the creation of humanity that is completely missing from the biblical text. Although the Enochic scribes try to preserve the structural grid of the Genesis story by organizing it around the seven days of creation, the plot is greatly expanded with new striking details and unknown characters among whom one can find, for example, the cosmogonic figures designated as Adoil and Arukhas. The structure of this narration, involving the seven days of creation looks odd and disproportional in comparison with its biblical counterpart. Still, the composers of this peculiar version of an alternative Genesis171 try to hold on to the familiar organization that replaces the memory of its Mosaic version. It is clearly fashioned as an alternative intended to overwrite an essential part of the Mosaic revelation. It is significant that despite the Enochic authors’ attempt to deconstruct the well-known ancient account, the purported antediluvian reception of their disclosure speaks for itself, silently postulating the primacy of this revelation over the one received several generations later by Moses on Mount Sinai. It is also important that unlike in 1 Enoch, in the Slavonic apocalypse God reveals to the seer not simply astronomical information or a warning about the upcoming judgment, but a disclosure fashioned in form and structure similarly to the Mosaic Torah. The mode of reception is also different since the revelation is received not simply as a seer’s dream, similar to the vision of the Biblical history in the Animal Apocalypse, but as directly dictated by God.

The Torah of Enoch

The chapters following the creation account in 2 Enoch 24–32 are also important for this part of our discussion since they convey knowledge about the function and the future role of this alternative version of the first chapters of the Mosaic Torah. From 2 Enoch 33:8–12 one learns that the revelation recorded by Enoch will be transmitted from generation to generation and it will not be destroyed until the final age.

The two following chapters (2 Enoch 34 and 35) also pertain to the themes of God’s revelation to Enoch and the destiny of his books. Although neither the books nor the revelation are mentioned directly in 2 Enoch 34, it is clear that the subjects discussed in this chapter are related to Enoch’s scriptures. The theme of the Enochic books is conflated here with the notions of the yoke and the commandments: after informing the seer that his handwritings and the handwritings of his ancestors will not perish in the upcoming flood, God reminds the seer about the wickedness of humans who have rejected the divine commandments and are not willing to carry the yoke ()172 which the Deity placed on them. It is curious that the terminology of “yoke” and “commandments” follows here the theme of Enochic writings. Scholars have previously proposed that the term “yoke” might be reserved here for the Torah. Celia Deutsch observes that “the yoke here refers to Torah, as is indicated by its use with ‘commandments.’“173 She also notes that this theme is further expanded in 2 Enoch 48:9, where it includes “the teaching received by the seer and transmitted through the revealed books.”174 The longer recension of 2 Enoch 48:6–9 reads:

Thus I am making it known to you, my children; [and] you must hand over the books to your children, and throughout all your generations, and [among] all nations who are discerning so that they may fear God, and so that they may accept them. And they will be more enjoyable than any delightful food on earth. And they will read them and adhere to them. But those who are undiscerning and who do not understand [the Lord] neither fear God nor accept them, but renounce them, and regard themselves as burdened by them – [a terrible judgment is awaiting them]. Happy is [the person] who puts their yoke ()175 on and carries it around; for he will plow on the day of the great judgment.176

One can see that while in 2 Enoch 34 the term “yoke” was only implicitly linked to Enoch’s writings, here the author of the Slavonic apocalypse is openly connecting the patriarch’s scriptures with the notion of the “yoke,” which serves here as an alternative designation for the Torah.177

Transmission of Enoch’s Scriptures and the Community of the Text

Chapter 35 of 2 Enoch continues the theme of Enoch’s writings. Here the text refers to the history of transmission of the Enochic scriptures which might anticipate some later Hekhalot developments. Before approaching a detailed analysis of this chapter, a word must be said about the complex nature of the Slavonic text of this chapter. Francis Andersen observes that “very little is claimed for the translation of ch. 35 in either recension. The texts are parallel, but the numerous minor variations and uncertainty over the clause boundaries make all MSS rather unintelligible.”178 He further suggests that “in the present stage of research all individual readings should be kept in mind as options.”179

A close analysis of the Slavonic text in both recensions demonstrates that the shorter recension appears to have preserved the material in a more coherent form. The following is my rendering of the passage according to the MSS of the shorter recension:

And I will leave a righteous man from your tribe, together with all his house, who will act according to my will. And from his seed another generation will arise, the last of many, and very gluttonous. Then at the conclusion of that generation the books in your handwriting will be revealed, and those of your fathers, and the earthly guardians () [of these books] will show them to the Men of Faith (). And they will be recounted to that generation, and they will be glorified in the end more than in the beginning.

The important detail of the account is that transmission of the Enochic scriptures on earth will result in the situation in which the earthly guardians of the books will handle the patriarch’s writings to the Men of Faith ().180 The reference to the group of “Men of Faith” as the last link of the chain of transmission of the Enochic scriptures is important since it recalls the terminology attested in Synopse §80.181 In this account the Torah is initially given by Enoch-Metatron to Moses and then passed through the chain of transmission which eventually brings this revelation into the hands of the group designated as the Men of Faith. The passage reads:

Metatron brought it [Torah] out from my storehouses and committed it to Moses, and Moses to Joshua, Joshua to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, the Prophets to the Men of the Great Synagogue, the Men of the Great Synagogue to Ezra the Scribe, Ezra the Scribe to Hillel the Elder, Hillel the Elder to R. Abbahu, R. Abbahu to R. Zira, R. Zira to the Men of Faith (hnwm) y#n)l), and the Men of Faith to the Faithful (twnwm) yl(bl).182

Scholars has previously noted183 that this succession of the mystical tradition recalls the chain of transmissions of the oral law preserved in Pirke Avot, the Sayings of the Fathers. m. Avot 1:1 reads:

Moses received the Law from Sinai and committed it to Joshua, and Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the Prophets; and the Prophets committed it to the men of the Great Synagogue. They said three things: Be deliberate in judgment, raise up many disciples, and make a fence around the Law.184

The Hekhalot writer reworks the traditional Mishnaic arrangement of prophets, rabbis, and sages by placing at the beginning of the chain the figure of Enoch-Metatron, posed there as the initial revealer. As the final heirs of this revelation, he adds an enigmatic group whom he designates as the Men of Faith. These Men of Faith (hnwm) y#n)), along with the Faithful (hnwm) yl(b),185 represent the last link in the chain of the transmission to whom the Torah will be eventually handled. This group is unknown in Pirke Avot (PA) and similar clusters of the early traditions attested in Avot d’ R. Nathan (PRN).186

Philip Alexander suggests that the expression “Men of Faith” (y#n) hnwm)) and the “Faithful” (hnwm) yl(b) “appear to be quasi-technical terms for the mystics.”187 Michael Swartz offers a similar hypothesis proposing that the enigmatic Men of Faith and the Faithful, who occupy the last place in the line of transmission in Synopse §80, may refer to either the mystics themselves or to their mythic ancestors.188 Both Alexander189 and Swartz note that the term hnwm) yl(b appeared among the synonyms for the group of mystics in a hymn in Hekhalot Rabbati. The hymn connects the divine attribute with the designation of the group.190

It is intriguing that in 2 Enoch, as in the Hekhalot passage, Enoch-Metatron’s revelation will also be handed eventually to the Men of Faith ().191 In light of the Hekhalot evidence, this reference may hold the key to the enigma of the early designation of the mysterious group which stands behind the early Jewish mystical speculations reflected in 2 Enoch. For our ongoing investigation of the connection between the Enochic lore and the Hekhalot lore, it is significant that the designation of the ultimate receptors of the esoteric lore is identical in both traditions. The Hekhalot reference may thus have an Enochic provenance. Despite the fact that the reference to the chain of transmission is repeated several times in the Hekhalot literature, the reference to the Men of Faith and the Faithful in the chain is made only in the Enochic passage from Synopse §80.192 It is possible that the author of Synopse §80 combines the two traditions by adding to the mishnaic line of transmission reflected in PA and PRN a new Enochic group, similar to those found in 2 Enoch 35. The table below illustrates these combinations:

2 Enoch 35:2

m. Avot 1:1

Synopse §80

Then at the conclusion of that generation the books in your handwriting will be revealed, and those of your fathers,

and the earthly guardians [of these books] will show them to the Men of Faith.

Moses received the Law from Sinai and committed it to Joshua, and Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the Prophets; and the Prophets committed it to the men of the Great Synagogue…

…make a fence around the Law.

Metatron brought it [Torah] out from my storehouses and committed it to Moses, and Moses to Joshua, Joshua to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, the Prophets to the Men of the Great Synagogue, the Men of the Great Synagogue to Ezra the Scribe, Ezra the Scribe to Hillel the Elder, Hillel the Elder to R. Abbahu, R. Abbahu to R. Zira, R. Zira to the Men of Faith, and the Men of Faith to the Faithful.

It is also noteworthy that the Enochic influences are now apparent not only in the end of this newly-constructed chain but also in its beginning, where the figure of the translated patriarch is hidden behind the name of the exalted angel who passes the initial revelation to Moses. In such a perspective the Mosaic transmittors and Moses himself represent only intermediate temporal guardians whose role is to pass the revealed knowledge into the hands of its true proprietors, the heirs of the Enochic tradition. In this respect 2 Enoch 35 operates with the concept of the “earthly guardians” () as the agents responsible for handling Enoch’s writings until they finally are brought into the hands of the “Men of Faith.” The expression “earthly guardians”might reflect a polemic with the Mosaic notion of the transmission and preservation of the revelation as “guarding.” Among other places, such a concept is reflected in the famous rabbinic saying from m. Avot 1:1, where the preserving of the tradition is designated as “making the fence around the Torah.”

Junior Replica of the Translated Patriarch: Rabbinic and Hekhalot Evidence

The previous investigation of the Mosaic polemical developments in 2 Enoch must now be placed in the framework of the discussion about the Enoch-Metatron connection. The polemical appropriations found in the Slavonic apocalypse further strengthen the hypothesis that the transition from the patriarch to the exalted angel has been facilitated by the mediatorial polemics widespread in Second Temple Judaism. Yet the rivalry between Moses and Enoch did not disappear after the destruction of the Temple, since the later Jewish testimonies found in the rabbinic and Hekhalot materials further develop the polemical blueprint traceable in 2 Enoch.193

This study has already mentioned David Halperin’s observation that in the rabbinic period Metatron was often depicted as a greater Moses. He also suggested that the exalted angel was viewed there as the primary figure, while the ascending Moses was seen as his junior replica.194 Although Halperin proposed that such polemical response to Moses’ figure was based on the re-interpretation of the Shabuot sermons in the rabbinic period, in the light of the previous investigation, it is now clear that the adaptation of the Mosaic themes in the framework of the Enoch-Metatron tradition occurred much earlier in the Second Temple period. From the Slavonic apocalypse one also learns that the idea of angelic opposition to the elevation of Enoch-Metatron in the Hekhalot materials derived not from the rabbinic accounts of Moses’ ascension at Sinai but from the Second Temple materials similar to 2 Enoch 22, where this Adamic story became for the first time incorporated into the framework of the Enoch-Metatron tradition. Knowing these crucial developments provides a new perspective.

If one decides to examine through the spectacles of this new standpoint the rabbinic disputations between Moses and Metatron, especially those attested in the already mentioned additional chapters of Sefer Hekhalot, one can see an important angle of these polemical developments: they witness not simply to the competition between Moses and Metatron but to the ongoing rivalry between Moses and Enoch.195 Thus, in Synopse §§77–80, as well as in many other rabbinic and Hekhalot texts where the names of Moses and Metatron are mentioned together, the prophet is not in fact portrayed as a junior replica of Metatron. There he is not a junior vice-regent, a lesser bearer of the divine Name, a deputy of the Prince of the World, or even a sar happanim. He rather is a typical seer, a junior replica of the patriarch Enoch, whom he faithfully, along with other visionaries like Rabbi Ishmael, imitates in his ascension, reception of secrets, struggles with the angelic opposition, and mediation of the celestial revelation.196

In this respect the perspective of the various rabbinic materials, such as, for example, Midrash Petirat Moshe or Midrash Gedullat Moshe, in which the names of Moses and Metatron are mentioned together, is not much different from the polemical standpoint discernible in 3 Enoch 15B and 48D.197 A brief excursus into several rabbinic and Hekhalot materials dealing with the Moses-Metatron connection can illustrate the Enochic character of such interaction.

1. It has been mentioned that in 3 Enoch 15B:5 Enoch-Metatron points to Moses’ luminous face,198 while the reader has already learned earlier that the seventh antediluvian patriarch underwent an even more radical luminous metamorphosis during which not only his face but also his whole body was changed into a fiery extent. This polemical link between the radiance of Moses and the superseding radiance of Enoch’s transformed body is made in several rabbinic texts. Thus, in Midrash Gedullat Moshe199 the superiority of Enoch-Metatron’s radiance over the luminous transformation of the prophet becomes an important theme. In this text God commands Enoch-Metatron to bring Moses up to heaven. Metatron warns the Deity that the prophet would not be able to withstand the vision of angels, “since the angels are princes of fire, while Moses is made from flesh and blood.” God then commands Metatron to change the prophet’s flesh into torches of fire. The language here recalls Enoch-Metatron’s transformation in Synopse §19.200 Just as in 3 Enoch the context seems polemical, since in both texts Moses is depicted as inferior to the translated patriarch. The fact that it is not simply Metatron’s superiority, but the supremacy of the patriarch, that is at stake here, becomes clear from Metatron’s self-designation. Gedullat Moshe relates that when the exalted angel approached Moses, the latter became terrified and asked Metatron about his identity. Responding to the prophet’s question, Metatron introduces himself as Enoch, son of Jared, telling Moses that he is his ancestor. He further informs the prophet about God’s command to bring him to the Throne of Glory. Moses tries to object by claiming that he is a creature of flesh and blood and therefore would not be able to withstand the vision of angels. In response Metatron changes Moses’ flesh to torches of fire, his eyes to Merkabah-wheels and his tongue to flame. After this transformation Metatron was finally able to bring Moses to heaven.

The tradition preserved in Gedullat Moshe has ramifications for the present discussion. Here again Moses is depicted not as a creature inferior to Metatron but rather as a being lesser than Enoch. The significant indication of this polemical dimension is that Metatron is introduced to the prophet not by one of his lofty celestial titles, but by his human name: “I am Enoch b. Jared, your ancestor.”

The account of Moses’ transformation given in Midrash Gedullat Moshe is very similar to Synopse §19, which depicts Enoch’s metamorphosis into a fiery creature:

When the Holy One, blessed be he, took me to serve the throne of glory, the wheels of the chariot and all the needs of the Shekinah, at once my flesh turned to flame, my sinews to blazing fire, my bones to juniper coals, my eyelashes to lightning flashes, my eyeballs to fiery torches, the hairs of my head to hot flames, all my limbs to wings of burning fire, and the substance of my body to blazing fire.201

Still, there are some clear signs that the prophet’s metamorphosis is inferior in comparison with the change undergone by Enoch. In Synopse §19 it is the Deity himself who takes and transforms Enoch. In contrast, in Gedullat Moshe Moses is taken and transformed by Metatron. This difference points to the polemical character of the rabbinic text which again reflects the long-lasting rivalry between Moses and Enoch.202

2. Another illustration of the Enochic character of the Moses-Metatron interaction in rabbinic materials can be provided through examining the motif of Moses’ death. The targumic and rabbinic passages often portray Metatron helping to bury Moses. Thus, from Targum Pseudo-Jonathan to Deuteronomy 34:6, one learns that Metatron was among the angels who buried Moses. A similar tradition is repeated in the Palestinian Targum to Deut 34: the four angels, including Metatron, took care of Moses’ soul at his death. In Midrash Petirat Moshe Metatron again is present at Moses’ death and consoles God, assuring the Deity that even in his death the prophet still belongs to him.203

Some other rabbinic materials also connect the event of Moses’ death with the presence of the exalted angel. Thus, in Tanhuma, Va-Ethanan 6, when Moses is informed that the time of his death has come, he pleads to the Lord to allow him to live longer and enter the land.204 God rejects the prophet’s plea. Moses then approaches heaven and earth, asking them to intercede on his behalf before the Holy One. There he is also rejected. Finally he advances to Metatron, asking him to pray so he may not die. Metatron, designated in the account as the angel of the Face, informs him that he has already heard from behind the curtain that Moses’ prayer will not be answered.

All these testimonies in which the name of the exalted angel is repeatedly connected with the motif of the death of the Israelite prophet might again pertain to the ongoing polemics between Moses and Enoch. Metatron’s presence in these accounts seems to implicitly invoke the shadow of the translated patriarch who did not experience death but was instead translated to heaven, unlike Moses who is predestined to die despite his plea to God. The polemical thrust of the story is especially evident in the Tanhuma’s account, in which Moses pleads with Metatron to pray for his escape from death but instead receives the verdict about the inevitability of his death. Here, the translated hero reminds the rival about his mortality.


Although the later Metatron accounts often try to diminish the importance of the Mosaic hero, depicting him as a junior replica of the exalted patriarch, the significance of the Mosaic tradition in fashioning the exalted profile of the translated patriarch must not be underestimated. My analysis has demonstrated that already in the Second Temple period, the biblical and extra-biblical Moses traditions intensely facilitated the transition from the figure of Enoch to the figure of Metatron. The significance of the Moses tradition in this development lies not only in the example offered by its hero, but also in the challenge that this example offered. This study has demonstrated that the elevated profile of the son of Amram contributed especially to the shaping and defining of Enoch-Metatron’s role as the Servant of the Face. Mosaic influences also seem discernible in such Metatron offices as the Prince of Torah and the vice-regent of the Deity. All these developments indicate that the Mosaic trend can be seen as a decisive factor in the shaping of the Metatron tradition, a factor comparable to such major contributors as Adam, Enoch, Noah, Yahoel, Michael, and Melchi-sedek.

1 J. VanderKam, “The Interpretation of Genesis in 1 Enoch,” in: The Bible at Qumran (eds. P. W. Flint and T. H. Kim; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000) 142.

2 J. VanderKam, “The Enoch Literature.” No pages. Cited 23 June 2003. Online:–

3 VanderKam, “The Enoch Literature.”

4 Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.224.

5 VanderKam, “The Enoch Literature.”

6 Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.204–5.

7 James VanderKam comments that “in the Animal Apocalypse (1 Enoch 85–90) the writer surveys biblical history. While he does mentions Adam and Eve, Enoch, Noah, and the patriarchs, when he comes to the time of Moses, he never mentions the revelation of the law on Mt. Sinai….” VanderKam, “The Interpretation of Genesis in 1 Enoch,” 142.

8 VanderKam, “The Enoch Literature.”

9 Philip Alexander draws attention to the fact that in Jubilees Enoch is cited twice as an authority on religious law, namely on some aspects of the sacrificial procedure (Jub 21:10) and the firstfruits (7:38–39). Noting that both the sacrifices and the firstfruits are covered in the Mosaic legislation, Alexander further suggests that the invocation of “a pre-Sinai figure [i.e. Enoch] as authoritative in such matters is potentially significant, since it could suggest a diminution of the importance of the Sinai revelation and of its mediator Moses.” Alexander, “From Son of Adam to a Second God,” 100.

10 Although VanderKam is right in claiming that the Mosaic Torah is not explicitly mentioned in the Slavonic apocalypse, scholars have noted that 2 Enoch contains an implicit interpretation of the Mosaic law. See K. W. Niebuhr, Gesetz und Paränese: Katechismusartige Weisungsreihen in der frühjüdischen Literatur (Tübingen: Mohr/ Siebeck, 1987) 192–4.

11 VanderKam, “The Enoch Literature.”

12 VanderKam, “The Interpretation of Genesis in 1 Enoch,” 142.

13 VanderKam, “The Interpretation of Genesis in 1 Enoch,” 142–3.

14 VanderKam, “The Interpretation of Genesis in 1 Enoch,” 143. In his recent article Alexander proposes that, in contrast to its Mosaic variant based on law, the Enochic paradigm was based on science. He suggests that “the circles which stand behind the Books of Enoch were … proposing an Enochic paradigm for Judaism in opposition to the emerging Mosaic paradigm – a paradigm based primarily on science as opposed to one based primarily on law. They were innovators: they had taken on board some of the scientific thought of their day and had used it aggressively to promote a new Jewish worldview.” P. Alexander, “Enoch and the Beginnings of Jewish Interest in Natural Science,” in: The Wisdom Texts from Qumran and the Development of Sapiental Thought (eds. C. Hempel et al., BETL 159; Leuven: Peeters, 2002) 234.

15 Alexander, “From Son of Adam to a Second God,” 110.

16 Alexander notes that “there is something anti-Mosaic in the Enochic literature. It cannot be accidental that it ignores Moses, and attributes his teaching to someone else. The earliest layers of the Enochic tradition must virtually coincide with the so-called reforms of Ezra. Whatever we may think about the historicity of the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah, they do seem to point to a successful attempt in the Persian period, possibly with Persian royal support, to reconstitute Jewish society in Judah on the basis of the Torah of Moses. That the earliest Enochic writings ignore these developments can hardly be accidental. And there is merit in the suggestion that when the Enochic writings came to be canonized into a Pentateuch, the intent was not simply to imitate the Mosaic Pentateuch, but to challenge it.” Alexander, “Enoch and the Beginnings of Jewish Interest in Natural Science,” 233.

17 Alexander, “From Son of Adam to a Second God,” 107–8.

18 Alexander observes that “…within the grand narrative of Biblical history Enoch suited well the purposes of the Enochic circles. He lay far back in time, before the Flood destroyed human life and disrupted human knowledge. And he was older and more venerable than Moses….” Alexander, “Enoch and the Beginnings of Jewish Interest in Natural Science,” 223–43, esp. 233.

19 G. Boccaccini, Beyond the Essene Hypothesis: The Parting of the Ways Between Qumran and Enochic Judaism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998) 74.

20 On non–biblical Mosaic traditions, see: R. Bloch, “Moïse dans la tradition rabbinique,” in: Moïse, l’homme de l’alliance (ed. H. Cazelles; Tounai, New York: Desclée, 1955) 93–167; G. W. Coats, Moses: Heroic Man, Man of God (JSOTSup 57; Sheffield, Sheffield Academic Press, 1988); Fletcher-Louis, Luke-Acts; idem, “4Q374: A Discourse on the Sinai Tradition: The Deification of Moses and Early Christianity,” DSD 3 (1996) 236–252; idem, All the Glory of Adam, 136ff; Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord: Samaritan and Jewish Concepts of Intermediation and the Origin of Gnosticism, 90–94; S. J. Hafemann, “Moses in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha: A Survey,” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 7 (1990) 79–104; C. R. Holladay, “The Portrait of Moses in Ezekiel the Tragedian,” SBLSP (1976) 447–52; P. W. van der Horst, “Moses’ Throne Vision in Ezekiel the Dramatist,” JJS 34 (1983) 21–29; idem, “Some Notes on the Exagogue of Ezekiel,” Mnemosyne 37 (1984) 364–5; L. Hurtado, One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988) 58ff; H. Jacobsen, The Exagoge of Ezekiel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983); K. Kuiper, “Le poète juif Ezéchiel,” Revue des études juives 46 (1903) 174ff; W. A. Meeks, “Moses as God and King,” in: Religions in Antiquity: Essays in Memory of Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough (ed. J. Neusner; Leiden: Brill, 1968) 354–371; idem, The Prophet-King: Moses Traditions and the Johannine Christology (SNT 14; Leiden: Brill, 1967); Odeberg, 3 Enoch, 106ff; Orlov, “Ex 33 on God’s Face: A Lesson from the Enochic Tradition,” SBLSP 39 (2000) 130–147; idem, “Vested with Adam’s Glory: Moses as the Luminous Counterpart of Adam in the Dead Sea Scrolls and in the Macarian Homilies,” in: “Mémorial Annie Jaubert (1912–1980),” Xristianskij Vostok 4.10 (2002) 740–755; A. Schalit, Untersuchungen zur Assumptio Mosis (Leiden: Brill, 1989); J. P. Schultz, “Angelic Opposition to the Ascension of Moses and the Revelation of the Law,” JQR 61 (1970–71) 282–307; J. Tromp, The Assumption of Moses: A Critical Edition with Commentary (Leiden: Brill, 1993); R. Van De Water, “Moses’ Exaltation: Pre–Christian?” JSP 21 (2000) 59–69.

21 Thus, for example, the bestowal of the divine name on Moses in Samaritan and rabbinic materials can be seen as a polemical response to the figure of Yahoel or the Angel of the Lord traditions.

22 It should be noted that such polemical trends are not unusual and reflect a widespread tendency in the Second Temple pseudepigrapha. The polemic against the rival tradition often proceeded in two major modes: either through the silencing of the opposite tradition or, more often, through the transference of the features of the rival hero to the character of its own tradition.

23 Alexander, “From Son of Adam to a Second God,” 108.

24 Alexander, “From Son of Adam to a Second God,” 108.

25 The tendency to challenge Enoch’s righteousness and his translation to heaven later became a prominent trend in the rabbinic materials. See Tg. Onq. on Gen. 5:24; Gen. R. 25:1. See also M. Himmelfarb, “A Report on Enoch in Rabbinic Literature,” SBLSP (1978) 259–69.

26 Alexander, “From Son of Adam to a Second God,” 108.

27 Alexander, “From Son of Adam to a Second God,” 108–110.

28 Alexander, “From Son of Adam to a Second God,” 108–110.

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

30 Meeks, The Prophet-King, 149. See also Holladay, Fragments From Hellenistic Jewish Authors, 2.308–12.

31 Alexander, Holladay, Meeks, Robertson, and van der Horst point to various Enochic parallels in the Exagoge. For a preliminary analysis of the “Enochic” features of the Exagoge, see also Orlov, “Ex 33 on God’s Face,” 142–43.

32 The text unambiguously points to the fact that Moses acquired his vision in a dream. See Exagoge 82: “Then I awoke from my sleep in fear.”

33 In view of the ongoing investigation of the early antecedents of the Metatron tradition, I must underline that the Mosaic tradition found in the Exagoge does not emphasize the bodily ascent of the visionary. The paradigmatic shift, pivotal for the later Metatron imagery detectable in 2 Enoch’s account and Sefer Hekhalot, thus did not yet occur in the Exagoge. This account, therefore, belongs to the old paradigm of the celestial ascension and transformation.

34 Although dreams are not uncommon in classic Greek drama, the content of the dream–vision suggests a Jewish rather than Greek background. On the use of dreams in Greek drama in connection with the Exagoge, see: E. Starobinski-Safran, “Un poète judéo-hellénistique: Ezéchiel le Tragique,” MH 3 (1974) 216–24; H. Jacobson, “Mysticism and Apocalyptic in Ezekiel’s Exagoge,” ICS 6 (1981) 273–93; Holladay, Fragments, 2.437.

35 See, for example, 1 Enoch 17–18.

36 The imagery of the divine throne situated on the mountain is widespread in the Book of the Watchers and can be found in 1 Enoch 18:8; 24:3; 25:3. Holladay, Fragments, 2.440.

37 Holladay, Fragments, 2.440.

38 Exagoge 82: “Then I awoke from my sleep in fear.” The awaking of a seer from a vision-dream in fear is a common motif in the Enochic literature. See 1 Enoch 83:6–7; 90:41–42; 2 Enoch 1:6–7 (shorter recension).

39 Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel, 92.

40 Jacobson and Robertson render the Greek word ce&noj as “friend.”

41 Robertson suggests this rendering as one of the possible options. He writes that “in addition to the more common meaning of the term, there are various levels of usage, among which is the meaning ‘guest.’” Robertson, “Ezekiel the Tragedian,” 812, note d2. See also Holladay, Fragments, 2.446.

42 1 Enoch 33:2–4.

43 See Synopse §66 (3 Enoch 46:1–2).

44 See 2 Enoch 40:2–4: “I know everything, and everything I have written down in books, the heavens and their boundaries and their contents. And all the armies and their movements I have measured. And I have recorded the stars and the multitude of multitudes innumerable. What human being can see their circles and their phases? For not even the angels know their number. But I have written down all their names….” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.164.

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

46 Sifre Zutta 84. See also 3 Enoch 10:5; 11:3.

47 Meeks, The Prophet-King, 208. See also van der Horst, “Moses’ Throne Vision in Ezekiel the Dramatist,” 28; Fletcher-Louis, “4Q374: A Discourse on the Sinai Tradition: The Deification of Moses and Early Christology,” DSD 3 (1996) 236–252, esp. 246.

48 Scholem, Major Trends, 74.

49 Danby, The Mishnah, 213.

50 The insistence of some extra-biblical Mosaic accounts on the fact that the prophet ascended to heaven might be directed towards fashioning the Mosaic disclosure as an esoteric tradition in order to secure the superiority of his revelation. Wayne Meeks observes that “the most common function of ascension stories in literature of the period and milieu we are considering is a guarantee of esoteric tradition. In the apocalyptic genre the ascension of the ‘prophet’ or of the ancient worthy in whose name the book is written is an almost invariable introduction to the description of the secrets which the ascendant one ‘saw.’ The secrets, therefore, whose content may vary from descriptions of the cosmic and political events anticipated at the end of days to cosmological details, are declared to be of heavenly origin, not mere earthly wisdom. This pattern is the clear sign of a community which regards its own esoteric lore as inaccessible to ordinary reason but belonging to a higher order of truth. It is clear beyond dispute that this is one function which the traditions of Moses’ ascension serves.” Meeks adds that in the later rabbinic accounts “the notion that Moses received cosmological secrets led to elaborate descriptions of his ‘heavenly journeys,’ very similar to those attributed elsewhere to Enoch.” Meeks, “Moses as God and King,” 367–8.

51 Sefer Hekhalot (Synopse §13) tells that Enoch-Metatron was instructed in “the wisdom of those above and of those below, the wisdom of this world and of the world to come.” Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 264.

52 Crispin Fletcher-Louis draws attention to a parallel in the Jewish Orphica: an exalted figure, apparently Moses, is also placed on the celestial throne. Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam, 137; M. Lafargue, “Orphica,” OTP, 2.796–7. Orphica 26–41 reads: “…a certain unique man, an offshoot from far back of the race of the Chaldeans…yes he after this is established in the great heaven on a golden throne. He stands with his feet on the earth. He stretches out his right hand to the ends of the ocean. The foundation of the mountains trembles within at [his] anger, and the depths of the gray sparkling sea. They cannot endure the mighty power. He is entirely heavenly, and he brings everything to completion on earth, being ‘the beginning, the middle, and the end,’ as the saying of the ancients, as the one water-born has described it, the one who received [revelations] from God in aphorisms, in the form of a double law….” Lafargue, “Orphica,” 2. 799–800.

53 van der Horst, “Throne Vision,” 25; Holladay, Fragments, 444.

54 The previous research in the fourth chapter of this study has demonstrated that the imageries of the heavenly counterpart and the vice-regent are closely interconnected.

55 It cannot be excluded though that the Exagoge’s authors might have known the traditions of the patriarch’s enthronement in heaven, similar to those reflected in the Similitudes and 2 Enoch. Also it cannot be excluded that the Mesopotamian proto-Enochic traditions, in which the prototype of Enoch, the king Enmeduranki, was installed on a throne in the assembly of gods, might have influenced the imagery found in the Exagoge. Pieter van der Horst in his analysis of the Exagoge entertains the possibility that “… in pre-Christian times there were (probably rival) traditions about Enoch and Moses as synthronoi theou; and … these ideas were suppressed (for obvious reasons) by the rabbis.” van der Horst, “Throne Vision,” 27.

56 1 Enoch 71:11.

57 Robertson points to this possibility. Robertson, “Ezekiel the Tragedian,” 812, note d2.

58 It should not be forgotten that it is not unusual, not only for humans (as in Exod 34) but also for angelic beings, to take notice of Moses’ luminous face. Thus, for example, in 3 Enoch 15B the celestial guide of Moses, Enoch-Metatron remarks on his radiant visage.

59 H. Jacobson, A Commentary on Pseudo-Philo’s Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum with Latin Text and English Translation (AGAJU 31; 2 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 1996) 1.110.

60 The Greek text of Sirach 45:2 postulates that God made Moses equal in glory to the holy ones [angels].

61 Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam, 139.

62 The Mosaic title “god” is attested already in Exod 7:1: “See, I have made you a god to Pharaoh.” see also Philo’s Life of Moses 1.155–58: “for he [Moses] was named god and king of the whole nation.”

63 4Q374 2:6–8. García Martínez and Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition, 2.740–41.

64 2 Enoch 64:4 (the longer recension): “And now bless your [sons], and all the people, so that we may be glorified in front of your face today.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 190.

65 García Martínez and Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition, 2.1008–1009.

66 García Martínez and Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition, 2.1008–1009.

67 Wayne Meeks notes that “like Enoch in some Jewish traditions” in Memar Marqah 4.6 Moses sat on a great throne and wrote what his Lord had taught him. Meeks, “Moses as God and King,” 358.

68 Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord, 93; De Conick, Seek to See Him: Ascent and Vision Mysticism in the Gospel of Thomas, 159.

69 Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord, 94.

70 J. Macdonald, Memar Marqah. The Teaching of Marqah (BZAW 83; Berlin, 1963) 209.

71 A. Goshen-Gottstein, “The Body as Image of God in Rabbinic Literature,” HTR 87 (1994) 171–95, esp.182.

72 H. Freedman and M. Simon (tr.), Midrash Rabbah (10 vols.; London: Soncino, 1939) 7.173.

73 Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrash, 3.168.

74 According to Jewish sources, the image of God was manifested especially in the radiance of Adam’s face. See: Fossum, The Name of God, 94; Jervell, Imago Dei, 45.

75 H. Freedman and M. Simon, Midrash Rabbah, 4.252.

76 H. Freedman and M. Simon, Midrash Rabbah, 1.81.

77 Meeks observes that in 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.

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

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

80 Segal, Paul the Convert, 44.

81 Alexander, “From Son of Adam to a Second God,” 108. Josephus reflects a similar tendency. Rowland notes that “Josephus speaks of Enoch as returning to the divinity … exactly the same words are used of the end of Moses in Ant. 1.85 and Ant. 4.326.” Rowland, “Enoch,” in: DDD, 302.

82 On Philo’s use of Jewish mystical traditions, see K. Kohler “Merkabah,” The Jewish Encyclopedia (ed. I. Singer; New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1904) 8.500; H. Chadwick, “St. Paul and Philo of Alexandria,” BJRL 48 (1966) 286–307; E. R. Goodenough, By Light, Light (Amsterdam: Philo Press, 1969).

83 Meeks observes that the use of Philo as a source is fraught with difficulties, since it is very difficult to discern when Philo is original and when he is representative. It is apparent that Philo’s writings reflect the wealth of the Jewish traditions contemporary to this author. Meeks, The Prophet-King, 101.

84 Meeks, The Prophet-King, 102.

85 Meeks, The Prophet-King, 102.

86 Pieter van der Horst notes that “in Quaestiones in Exodum I 29, Philo writes that on Sinai Moses was changed into a truly divine person; and in De Vita Mosis I 155–158 he says that God placed the entire universe into Moses’ hands and that all the elements obeyed him as their master. Philo calls Moses god and king, probably adding to God’s words in Exodus 4:16 that Moses will be as a god to Aaron, or in Exodus 7:1, that he makes him a god over Pharaoh (cf. Sacrif. 9).” Pieter W. van der Horst, “Moses’ Throne Vision in Ezekiel the Dramatist,” 25.

87 Meeks, The Prophet-King, 104f.

88 Fletcher-Louis, “4Q374: A Discourse on the Sinai Tradition,” 243. See also idem, All the Glory of Adam, 136ff.

89 Exod 7:1: “See, I have made you a god to Pharaoh.”

90 Meeks, “Moses as God and King,” 355.

91 Philo (trs. F. H. Colson and G. H. Whitaker; 10 vols.; LCL; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1929–64) 6.357–59.

92 It is noteworthy that the Enochic visionary account found in the Similitudes refers to the patriarch’s ascension as a journey in spirit.

93 The Philonic understanding of Moses’ ascent not as a bodily journey but as an ascent in mind is also clear in De Confusione Linguarum 95–97: “But it is the special mark of those who serve the Existent, that their are not the tasks of cupbearers or bakers or cooks, or any other tasks of the earth, nor do they mould or fashion material forms like the brick-makers, but in their thoughts ascend to the heavenly heights, setting before them Moses, the nature beloved of God, to lead them on the way. For then they shall behold the place which in fact is the Word, where stands God the never changing, never swerving, and also what lies under his feet like ‘the work of a brick of sapphire, like the form of the firmament of the heaven’ (Ex. xxiv. 10), even the world of our senses, which he indicates in this mystery.” Philo (trs. F. H. Colson and G. H. Whitaker; 10 vols.; LCL; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1929–64) 4.61.

94 Philo, Questions and Answers on Exodus (tr. R. Marcus, LCL; Cambridge/London: Harvard University Press/Heinemann, 1949) 82–83.

95 QG 1.86.

96 QG 1.86.

97 Mos. 2.288–292; Virt. 53, 72–79.

98 Meeks, The Prophet-King, 124.

99 Philo (trs. F. H. Colson and G. H. Whitaker; 10 vols.; LCL; Cambridge, Massachu-setts: Harvard University Press, 1929–64) 6.593–5.

100 J. D. Tabor, “‘Returning to the Divinity’: Josephus’s Portrayal of the Disappearan-ces of Enoch, Elijah, and Moses,” JBL 108 (1989) 225–38; C. Begg, “‘Josephus’s Portrayal of the Disappearances of Enoch, Elijah, and Moses,” JBL 109 (1990) 691–93.

101 The motif of Moses’ translation is also attested in Ant. 3.96–7: “There was a conflict of opinions: some said that he [Moses] had fallen a victim to wild beasts – it was principally those who were ill disposed towards him who voted for that view – others that he had been taken back to the divinity. But the sober-minded, who found no private satisfaction in either statement – who held that to die under the fangs of beasts was a human accident, and that he should be translated by God to Himself by reason of his inherent virtue was likely enough – were moved by these reflections to retain their composure.” Josephus, Jewish Antiquities (tr. H. S. J. Thackeray; LCL; Cambridge: Har-vard University Press/London: Heinemann, 1967) 3.363.

102 Josephus, Jewish Antiquities (tr. H. S. J. Thackeray; LCL; Cambridge: Harvard University Press/London: Heinemann, 1967) 4.633.

103 1 Enoch 18:11; 21:7–10.

104 1 Enoch 41:4; 2 Enoch 40:11.

105 2 Enoch 47:5.

106 1 Enoch 40:12.

107 2 Enoch 65:7–10.

108 1 Enoch 27:2; 54:1–6; 90:26.

109 1 Enoch 41:3; 43:1; 60:13–15; 2 Enoch 40:9.

110 1 Enoch 61:10; 71:7–9; 2 Enoch 30:1–3.

111 1 Enoch 82:11–20; 2 Enoch 13:5; 40:6.

112 A. F. J. Klijn, “2 (Syriac Apocalypse of) Baruch,” in: OTP, 1.642.

113 APOT, 2.514.

114 Meeks, “Moses as God and King,” 369.

115 I initially approached the subject of the possible influence of Mosaic tradition in the shaping of Enoch-Metatron’s profile in 2 Enoch in my article “Ex 33 on God’s Face: A Lesson from the Enochic Tradition,” SBLSP 39 (2000) 130–147.

116 Halperin, The Faces of the Chariot, 426.

117 Halperin, The Faces of the Chariot, 289ff.

118 Halperin, The Faces of the Chariot, 426.

119 Possibly in view of the marked antediluvian perspective of the narrative.

120 See Orlov, “Ex. 33 on God’s Face: A Lesson from the Enochic Tradition,” 136ff.

121 See Exod 19:9; Exod 19:16–18; Exod 34:5.

122 It should be noted that this anthropomorphic imagery is closely associated with the Priestly source. The Old Testament materials reveal complicated polemics for and against anthropomorphic understandings of God. Scholars suggest that the anthropomorphic imagery of the Hebrew Bible was “crystallized” in the tradition known to us as the Priestly source. Cf. M. Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972) 191. Theological developments of the Priestly tradition demonstrate that the anthropomorphism of the Priestly source is intimately connected with the place of divine habitation. In this tradition, “in which the Divinity is personalized and depicted in the most tangible corporeal similitudes,” God, who possesses a human form, has a need for a house or tabernacle (Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 191). Moshe Weinfeld observes that this anthropomorphic position was not entirely an invention of the Priestly source, but derives from sacral conceptions found in the early sources. In these traditions the Deity was sitting in his house ensconced between the two cherubim, and at his feet rested the ark, his footstool. In spite of the active promulgation of anthropomorphic concepts in some Old Testament materials, like J, P, and Ezekelian sources, the Hebrew Bible also contains polemics against God’s corporeality. Scholars note the sharp opposition of the book of Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic school to the anthropomorphism of the Priestly source and early anthropomorphic traditions. In their opinion, the Deuteronomic school “first initiated the polemic against the anthropomorphic and corporeal conceptions of the Deity and … it was afterwards taken up by the prophets Jeremiah and Deutero-Isaiah.” (Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 198). In contrast to the anthropomorphic imagery of J and P, the Deuteronomic school promulgates an anticorporeal theology of “divine name” with its conception of sanctuary (tabernacle) as the place where only God’s name dwells. On Deuteronomic antianthropomorphism, see: T. N. D. Mettinger, The Dethronement of Sabaoth: Studies in the Shem and Kabod Theologies (Coniectanea Biblica. Old Testament Series,18; Lund: Wallin & Dalholm, 1982); M. Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 191–209.

123 The term dwbk can be translated as “substance,” “body,” “mass,” “power,” “might,” “honor,” “glory,” “splendor.” In its meaning “glory” dwbk usually refers to God, his sanctuary, his city, or sacred paraphernalia. The Priestly tradition uses the term in connection with God’s appearances in the tabernacle. P and Ezekiel describe dwbk as a blazing fire surrounded by radiance and a great cloud. M. Weinfeld, “dwbk,” TDOT, 7.22–38.

124 On the Face of God in the Psalms, see S. Balentine, The Hidden God: The Hiding of the Face of God in the Old Testament (Oxford; Oxford University Press, 1983) 49–65; W. Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament (2 vols; Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1967) 2.35–9; M. Fishbane, “Form and Reformulation of the Biblical Priestly Blessing,” JAOS 103 (1983) 115–21; J. Reindl, Das Angesicht Gottes im Sprachgebrauch des Alten Testaments (ETS 25; Leipzig: St. Benno, 1970) 236–7; M. Smith, “‘Seeing God’ in the Psalms: The Background to the Beatific Vision in the Hebrew Bible,” CBQ 50 (1988) 171–83.

125 Note also that the poetic rhyme Kynp/Ktnwmt further reinforces the correspondence between the face and the form of God in this passage.

126 Although the passage uses a different terminology (the term hnwmt), the identification still has a strong anthropomorphic flavor. The term hnwmt can be translated as form, likeness, semblance, or representation.

127 Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.99.

128 Contra Walther Eichrodt, who insists that the Panim had no connection with the Kavod. He argues that the two concepts derived from different roots, and were never linked with one another. Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament, 2.38.

129 Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel, 55.

130 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 136.

131 Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 305.

132 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 137.

133 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 137.

134 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 137.

135 Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.99.

136 See also Exod 33:23: “you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

137 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 136.

138 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 163.

139 For the “face to face” parallelism see also Exod 33:11; Num 12:8; Deut 34:10.

140 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 164.

141 Slav. . Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.22.

142 See 2 Enoch 22:6: “And the Lord said to his servants, sounding them out: ‘Let Enoch join in and stand in front of my face forever!’” 2 Enoch 36:3: “Because a place has been prepared for you, and you will be in front of my face from now and forever.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 138 and 161.

143 LXX: sth&sh.

144 LXX: sth~qi.

145 LXX: ei(sth&kein.

146 Moses’ standing here does not contradict his enthronement. The same situation is discernible in 2 Enoch, where the hero who was promised a place to stand in front of the Lord’s Face for eternity is placed on the seat next to the Deity.

147 Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel, 54.

148 Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam, 146–7; Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord, 121; J. A. Montgomery, The Samaritans (New York: KTAV, 1968) 215.

149 Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord, 56–8.

150 Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam, 147. Fletcher-Louis also argues that the idiom of standing is applied to Moses in 4Q377 1, col. 2, where he is depicted as standing on the mountain: “And upon the earth he stood (dm( Cr)h l(w), on the mountain…” Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam, 141–3.

151 Philo (trs. F. H. Colson and G. H. Whitaker; 11 vols.; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1949) 5.543–545.

152 This emphasis on mediation is important since mediating of the divine Presence is one of the pivotal functions of the Prince of the Face.

153 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 160.

154 Apoc. Paul 20 describes Enoch as the scribe of righteousness whose face shines “as the sun.”

155 On the luminosity of Moses’ face, see M. Haran, “The Shining of Moses’s Face: A Case Study in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Iconography [Exod 34:29–35; Ps 69:32; Hab 3:4],” in: In the Shelter of Elyon (JSOTSup 31; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1984) 159–73; J. Morgenstern, “Moses with the Shining Face,” HUCA 2 (1925) 1–27; W. Propp, “The Skin of Moses’ Face – Transfigured or Disfigured?” CBQ 49 (1987) 375–386.

156 See 2 Enoch 64:4 (the longer recension): “And now bless your [sons], and all the people, so that we may be glorified in front of your face today.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 190.

157 4Q374 2:6–8: “… and he made him like a God over the powerful ones, and a cause of reel[ing] (?) for Pharaoh … and then he let his face shine for them for healing, they strengthened [their] hearts again….” García Martínez and Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition, 2.740–41.

158 For a critical assessment of the theory of “core” and “additions” in Sefer Hekhalot, consult Peter Schäfer, “Handschriften zur Hekhalot-Literatur,” in: P. Schäfer, Hekhalot Studien (TSAJ 19; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1988) 228–29; idem., Übersetzung der Hekhalot-Literatur, 1.LI.

159 Scholars have observed that in the Merkabah tradition Metatron is explicitly identified as the hypostatic Face of God. See, for example, Synopse §§396–397: “…The Lord of all the worlds warned Moses that he should beware of his face. So it is written, ‘Beware of his face’ …. This is the prince who is called Yofiel Yah-dariel … he is called Metatron.” On Metatron as the hypostatic Face of God see A. De Conick, “Heavenly Temple Traditions and Valentinian Worship: A Case for First-Century Christology in the Second Century,” The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism (eds. C. C. Newman, J. R. Davila, G. S. Lewis; JSJSup 63; Brill: Leiden, 1999) 329; Halperin, The Faces of the Chariot, 424–425.

160 3 Enoch 15B:5. Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 304. See also Raza Rabbah, where again a similar connection is made between Metatron’s face and Moses’ visage.

161 Synopse §19 (3 Enoch 15:1) depicts this radiant metamorphosis of Enoch–Metatron: “When the Holy One, blessed be he, took me to serve the throne of glory, the wheels of the chariot and all the needs of the Shekinah, at once my flesh turned to flame, my sinews to blazing fire, my bones to juniper coals, my eyelashes to lightning flashes, my eyeballs to fiery torches, the hairs of my head to hot flames, all my limbs to wings of burning fire, and the substance of my body to blazing fire.” Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 267.

162 2 Enoch 39:5. Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 162; Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.38.

163 Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel, 54.

164 Vaillant, Le Livre des secrets d’Hénoch,38.

165 Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.38.

166 Synopse § 384.

167 “…the Holy One, blessed be he, laid his hand on me and blessed me with 1,365,000 blessings. I was enlarged and increased in size until I matched the world in length and breadth.” Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 263.

168 3 Enoch 48A.

169 3 Enoch 48D.

170 Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.24.

171 The “alternative” thrust of 2 Enoch’s creational account is so transparent that the editors of the Other Bible include this Enochic narrative as the non–canonical counterpart of the first chapters of Genesis.

172 Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.34.

173 C. Deutsch, Hidden Wisdom and the Easy Yoke: Wisdom, Torah and Discipleship in Matthew 11.25–30 (JSNTSup 18; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1987) 116.

174 Deutsch, Hidden Wisdom and the Easy Yoke, 116.

175 Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.48.

176 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 174–6.

177 It should be noted that although 2 Enoch 34 and 2 Enoch 48 use two different terms for “yoke” (2 Enoch 34 uses  and 2 Enoch 48 uses ), both of these Slavonic words designate the same concept. Thus, Sreznevskij’s dictionary relates both  and to the Greek zugo&j and the Latin iugum. I. I. Sreznevskij, Slovar’ drevnerusskogo yazyka (3 vols.; Moscow: Kniga, 1989) 1.1019 and 3.1663. Barhudarov’s dictionary also lists the two terms as synonyms. S. G. Barhudarov, Slovar’ russkogo jazyka XI–XVII vv. (25 vols.; Moscow: Nauka, 1975) 6.78–79; J. Kurz, ed., Slovnik Jazyka Staroslovenskeho (Lexicon Linguae Palaeoslovenicae)(4 vols.; Prague: Akademia, 1966) 1.703.

178 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 158.

179 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 158.

180 This expression is attested in the MSS of both recensions. Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.35 and 1.93.

181 3 Enoch 48D:10.

182 Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 315; Synopse §80.

183 Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 315; Swartz, Scholastic Magic, 188.

184 Danby, The Mishnah, 446.

185 Swartz renders this term as the “Possessors of the Faith.” See Swartz, Scholastic Magic, 179.

186 On the chain of tradition in Pirke Avot and Avot d’ R. Nathan see: E. Bickerman, “La chaîne de la tradition pharisienne,” RB 59 (1951) 44–54; L. Finkelstein, “Introductory Study to Pirke Abot,” JBL 57 (1938) 13–50; A. J. Saldarini, “The End of the Rabbinic Chain of Tradition,” JBL 93 (1974) 97–106; idem, Scholastic Rabbinism: A Literary Study of the Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan (Chico, Calif.: Scholars Press, 1982).

187 Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 315, note v.

188 Swartz observes that “it is likely that these terms refer either to the mystics themselves, or, perhaps, mythic ancestors patterned after Elders and the Men of the Great Assembly and influenced by the appearance of terms such as hnwm) y#n) in talmudic literature.” Swartz, Scholastic Magic, 188.

189 Alexander also observes that in the Alphabet of Rabbi Akiba (Jellinek, Beth ha–Midrash 3.29) “‘the men of faith’ constitute a distinct category of the righteous in the world to come.” Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 315, footnote v.

190 Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 315, note v; Swartz, Scholastic Magic, 188.

191 It appears that the expression found in 2 Enoch 35:2 can be related to both designations since the Slavonic  can be translated also as the Faithful (men).

192 For the detailed analysis of this evidence see Swartz, Scholastic Magic, 178ff.

193 Alexander notes that “later tradition constantly senses a rivalry between Enoch and Moses. A number of the Enochic traditions were later transferred to Moses in a way that suggests that later writers were uneasy with the powers and authority being granted to Enoch and felt that they should be claimed for Moses. The well–known ambivalence of Rabbinic literature towards Enoch is, I would suggest, motivated by a sense that he is a rival to Moses. There is no way in which one religious system can accomodate two such figures of authority.” Alexander, “Enoch and the Beginnings of Jewish Interest in Natural Science,” 233–4.

194 Halperin, The Faces of the Chariot, 426.

195 It is noteworthy that in Sefer Hekhalot one can recognize a familiar set of Mosaic motifs that has been already addressed in the Slavonic apocalypse, such as the themes of the luminous face and the hand of the Deity. Here one can also find the motif of the angelic opposition discernible in 2 Enoch 22, which is now transferred to the Hekhalot and rabbinic contexts. For the comprehensive analysis of the rabbinic texts and traditions dealing with the motif of the angelic opposition against mattan torah, see: Schäfer, Rivalität zwischen Engeln und Menschen: Untersuchungen zur rabbinischen Engel-vorstellung, 111ff. Schäfer’s research demonstrates that the moment of giving of the Torah was portrayed in rabbinic literature as one of the three decisive occasions for angelic opposition. Schäfer, Rivalität zwischen Engeln und Menschen: Untersuchungen zur rabbinischen Engelvorstellung, 219.

196 This set of comparisons can not of course be fully understood without understanding 2 Enoch’s developments since only there can one find for the first time in the Enochic tradition such motifs as the angelic opposition to the patriarch or references to his luminous face. Moses thus emulates Enoch’s ascent as it was first described in the Slavonic apocalypse, the journey that the patriarch has undertaken long before Moses in the antediluvian time.

197 In comparison with 2 Enoch, Sefer Hekhalot does not hesitate to use Moses’ name any longer since the antediluvian chronological framework of the story is now changed and there is no need to hide the rival character behind the transparent allusions.

198 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.’ But Moses said to him, ‘Not so! lest I incur guilt.’ Metatron said to him, ‘Receive the letters of an oath which cannot be broken!” Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 304.

199 S. A. Wertheimer, Batei Midrashot (2 vols.; Jerusalem, Mosad Harav Kook, 1950) 1.27.

200 3 Enoch 15.

201 3 Enoch 15:1. Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 267.

202 Another hint to the polemical nature of the narrative is that Moses is terrified by the vision of Metatron, unable to recognize him. The text also stresses that the prophet is unable to withstand the vision of angels, which is first recognized by Metatron and then by the prophet himself.

203 Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrash, 1.115–129. For the English translation, see R. Kushelevsky, “Midrash Petirat Mosheh Rabbenu Alav ha-Shalom,” in: R. Kushelevsky, Moses and the Angel of Death (Studies on Themes and Motifs in Literature 4; New York: Peter Lang, 1995) 195–249.

204 Midrash Tanhuma (ed. S. Buber; 3 vols; Vilna: Romm, 1885). For the English translation of Tanhuma Va-Ethanan 6, see R. Kushelevsky, “Tanhuma, Va-Ethanan 6,” in: R. Kushelevsky, Moses and the Angel of Death (Studies on Themes and Motifs in Litera-ture 4; New York: Peter Lang, 1995) 251–260.

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