Roles and Titles of Enoch-Metatron in 2 Enoch
The arrangement of this study, which approaches the Second Temple Enochic text after I have already examined the medieval Jewish materials and traditions, might appear strange. Yet this organizational choice provides a unique opportunity to highlight some Merkabah features of the Slavonic apocalypse that link the symbolic world of this early Enochic text with the later Metatron imagery.1 It seems reasonable that after the study has examined the roles and titles of the seventh antediluvian hero in the Mesopotamian and Enochic materials, on the one hand, and Metatron’s offices and appellations in Merkabah tradition, on the other hand, it can proceed to a close analysis of the nature of the significant transition from one conceptual stream to another.
The previous examination showed that, in relation to the roles and titles of the principal protagonists of both traditions, the theological evolution from Enoch’s figure to the figure of Metatron is represented by two distinctive conceptual developments. The first conceptual stream is connected with the emergence of new roles and titles of the hero previously unknown in the Mesopotamian and early Enochic lore, such as the Youth, the Prince of the World, the Prince of the Presence, the Prince of Torah, the Lesser YHWH, and the Measure of the Lord.2 The second stream includes the development of old roles and titles of the early Second Temple Enochic writings towards the new elevated profile of Enoch-Metatron and the enhancement of these roles and titles with new features. Among these new features of the old roles one can find, for example, the portrayal of Enoch-Metatron as a scribe enthroned in heaven. This portrayal advances the early scribal profile of the seer attested in the pseudepigrapha.
Establishing these significant factors in the evolution from the profile of the visionary to the profile of the supreme angel necessarily raises an important methodological question about the designation of a precise text or group of texts in which this evolution might have actually originated. The question is this: did the aforementioned development of the patriarch’s profile begin already within the Second Temple Enochic materials, or is this transition due mainly to the later Merkabah developments. The question of the formative value of the early Enochic traditions for Metatron’s development is not an easy one, since the previous analysis of the early Enochic materials has demonstrated that 1 Enoch, Jubilees, the Genesis Apocryphon, and the Book of Giants neither provide references to the new titles of Enoch-Metatron attested in the Merkabah and rabbinic lore, nor do they attempt to push the early roles and titles of the patriarch towards the forms known in the later Hekhalot materials. The only exception, found in the Book of the Similitudes, while appearing to enhance the elevated profile of the patriarch by identifying him with the son of man, is not completely unambiguous and hardly comparable with the new roles and titles appearing in the Metatron accounts. While some scholars point to the early Enochic materials as a possible source of the later Metatron developments, they have often hesitated to provide definite temporal and textual markers within the Enochic lore which may identify the initial point of such advancements. It is therefore understandable that, while students of the Metatron legends have not shrunk back from supplying “a reasonably firm” terminus post quem for the full-fledged theological transition from Enoch to Metatron, they have been quite reluctant to offer “a reasonably firm” chronological point for the beginning of this prominent evolution.
Philip Alexander’s position in this respect is typical. In his comment on the development of Enoch-Metatron’s profile in Sefer Hekhalot, he states that “… we can posit, therefore, c. A. D. 450 as a reasonably firm terminus post quem for the emergence of the full-blown Enoch-Metatron of 3 Enoch, though we must bear in mind that he marks the culmination of a process of evolution which began in Maccabean times, if not earlier.”3 Here the terminus post quem of the Metatron tradition is firmly established because of the evidence provided by Sefer Hekhalot while the origin of this conceptual stream is located in the indefinite past of the early Enochic legends. In this blurring of the origins of the principal character of the Merkabah lore, one can find one of the reasons for the endless debates about the nature and the beginnings of early Jewish mysticism.
Such difficulties in discerning the origins of the important transition and its broader conceptual context are inevitable if a study relies solely on one aspect or feature of the evolution from Enoch to Metatron, whether this aspect is represented by the details of the patriarch’s angelic metamorphosis, his enthronement, or by another feature which reflects only one angle of the hero’s elevated profile. I have noted the difficulties and limits of such an approach in the earlier assessment of the previous scholarship on Enoch’s elevated profile in the Similitudes, where the sudden transition of the patriarch to the figure of the son of man is unfolded solely through the final ambiguous metamorphosis. This metamorphosis, however, lacks a whole range of other significant connections and transitions.
In this respect the methodological perspective of the current investigation is not limited to a single aspect or feature of the important transition.4 The study of the evolution of the titles and roles of the principal protagonist provides a wide range of indicators that may help one discern the origins and the nature of the advancement from the patriarch to the exalted angel, and perhaps even point to the precise chronological boundaries of this transition.
As has already been noted, in this methodological perspective the transition to the new offices of the hero and the development of his old titles can help to distinguish more clearly the boundaries between the Enoch and the Metatron traditions. The forthcoming analysis of the roles and titles of the patriarch in 2 Enoch will demonstrate that, in the prior delineations of early Enochic and Merkabah traditions, the Slavonic apocalypse provides textual evidence which stands on the very edges of the important transition belonging in many aspects to both conceptual worlds. This study will seek to demonstrate that this pseudepigraphon can help mark out more distinctly the textual and temporal line that separates and at the same time unifies both developments.
The next several chapters of this study will be devoted to detailed explorations of the developments of the roles/titles of Enoch-Metatron in the Slavonic apocalypse through exposition of the main reasons for such evolution. The analysis will propose that these offices and appellations underwent substantial advancement from their early Enochic prototypes toward their later Merkabah form(s), under the influence of the mediatorial polemics with the pseudepigraphic traditions about the exalted patriarchs and prophets.
The present chapter can be viewed as an introductory exploration since it will be limited to the very modest task of pointing to the transitional character of the Slavonic text. This chapter will show that, as with 3 Enoch and other accounts associated with the Enoch-Metatron tradition, 2 Enoch contains two clusters of titles and roles of this character, previously designated in this study as the “old” type and the “new” type respectively. It will be shown that the Slavonic apocalypse contains roles and titles similar to those found in the earlier Mesopotamian and Enochic traditions; these roles and titles include the scribe, the expert in the secrets, the sage, the mantic dreamer, and the priest. In comparison with the counterparts of these offices and designations known in the early Second Temple Enochic booklets, the roles and titles found in 2 Enoch exhibit new features which demonstrate their close proximity not only to the early Enochic and Mesopotamian prototypes, but also to the forms which these early titles acquired much later in Merkabah mysticism. On the other hand, we will see that the Slavonic apocalypse contains a large number of prototypical descriptions, and even exact designations of the new roles and titles – the conceptual developments completely absent in the early Enochic traditions but found in rabbinic and Hekhalot materials, including such titles and offices of Metatron as the Youth, the Prince of the World, the Prince of the Divine Face, and a few others.
As a Second Temple Enochic text which at the same time contains a large portion of seminal Merkabah imagery, the Slavonic apocalypse presents a very rare opportunity for students of early Jewish mysticism to trace and observe a two-fold development: first, the beginnings of the conceptual formation of the new roles and titles that attain their full-fledged form in later Merkabah materials and, second, the ongoing process of enhancement of the old Enochic offices and designations inside the early Enochic tradition. In this chapter I will outline these two conceptual developments in the Slavonic apocalypse. The majority of roles and titles pertaining to these two streams, however, will be treated only briefly in this chapter of the study. The investigation will begin with the exposition of the category of new roles and titles emerging for the first time in 2 Enoch; this will be followed by analysis of the enhanced character of the selected old offices and appellations.
“New” Roles and Titles
When students of Jewish mystical traditions approach the Slavonic apocalypse with some previous knowledge of the roles and titles of Metatron found in the rabbinic and Hekhalot materials, they may be taken aback by the number of suggestive allusions and parallels pertaining to the offices and designations of this exalted figure in this early premishnaic Enochic account. The presence of these seemingly late concepts in the Second Temple Jewish text understandably raises many questions about the provenance of the pseudepigraphon and even leads some scholars to believe that these developments might represent later interpolations which the Slavonic text has acquired during its long transmission history in the Greek and Slavonic milieux.5 A close textual analysis, however, reveals the early premishnaic mold of the hero’s roles and titles and their connection with the early apocalyptic imagery found in the Slavonic apocalypse; this connection indicates that they belong to the original layer of the pseudepigraphic text, thus representing a very early stage of the conceptual development which reached its fully developed form only much later. This situation can be clearly demonstrated, for example, by examination of one of the most prominent descriptions of Metatron as the Prince of the Presence, an office which appears in 2 Enoch in its rudimentary form.
Servant of the Face
It has already been noted that although the authors of early Enochic booklets show familiarity with the theophanic language of the divine Face,6 this imagery did not play any significant role in the earliest Enochic materials.7 In the depiction of the patriarch’s encounter with the Kavod in the Book of the Watchers, the face is mentioned only once,8 and without any theological elaboration.9 In contrast, in the later mystical accounts found in the Merkabah materials, the imagery of the divine Face plays a paramount role; it is considered the “center of the divine event” and the teleological objective for the ascension of the yorde merkabah. The importance of this motif can be illustrated by resorting to the Hekhalot accounts. Peter Schäfer points out that Hekhalot Rabbati, for example, considers the countenance of God as “the goal of yored merkabah and simultaneously revokes this statement in a paradoxical way by stressing at the conclusion that one cannot ‘perceive’ this face.”10 He further observes that for the visionary in the Hekhalot tradition, the countenance of God is the example “not only of overwhelming beauty, and therefore of a destructive nature,11 but at the same time the center of the divine event.”12 God’s Face thus becomes the consummation of the heavenly journey since, according to Schäfer, “everything God wishes to transmit to the yored merkabah … is concentrated in God’s countenance.”13 In this context it is to be expected that the first thing the visionary should want to report to his companions upon his successful return to earth is his vision of the divine Face. Schäfer confirms such a tendency by observing that “the yored merkabah is called upon to report to his fellows what he saw on God’s countenance.”14
It must be underlined that 1 Enoch, Jubilees, the Genesis Apocryphon, and the Book of Giants do not specifically emphasize the importance of the disclosure of the seer’s vision of the Face to his companions upon arrival on earth. Unlike the Hekhalot tradition, in the early Enochic circle, the patriarch is eager to reveal to his sons and clients other, more important things, which include testimonies, messages, and judgments unrelated to the vision of the divine Countenance. However, when one approaches the contents of the patriarch’s visions in the Slavonic apocalypse, one sees a rather different picture.
It is striking that the very first thing which the hero deems urgent to deliver to his companions upon his short visit to earth does not concern the upcoming divine judgment or parts of astronomical or calendarical lore recounted in the early Enochic booklets, but a quite different revelation. The hero hastens to convey to his children what the later Hekhalot accounts often attribute to their seers, namely the vision of the divine Countenance. Chapter 38 of 2 Enoch ends with the depiction of Methuselah patiently awaiting the descent of his father from the upper realm, mounting a strict guard at his bed. In the beginning of Chapter 39, immediately upon his arrival on earth, the patriarch starts his first conversation with humans, conveying to his children his extraordinary encounter with the divine Face. 2 Enoch 39 reads:
And now, my children it is not from my 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 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 am one who has seen the face of the Lord, like iron made burning hot by a fire, emitting sparks.15
This depiction demonstrates that, similarly to the Hekhalot tradition, the vision of the divine Countenance was considered by the authors of the Slavonic apocalypse as a central event in the visionary’s experience which he must report before all else upon his arrival from the celestial journey.
One should note, however, that in contrast to the yorde merkabah who are able to have only temporary access to the countenance of the Deity, the patriarch holds the permanent office of the servant of the divine Face, sar happanim, the position which Enoch is predestined to keep from the time of his installation for eternity. Hugo Odeberg may well be the first scholar to have discovered the characteristics of the Prince of the Presence in the longer recension of 2 Enoch.16 He demonstrated in his synopsis of the parallel passages from 2 and 3 Enoch that the phrase “stand before my face forever”17 found in the Slavonic apocalypse does not serve there merely as a typical Hebraism “to be in the presence,”18 but establishes the angelic status of Enoch as Metatron, the Prince of the Presence, Mynph r#.19 Recent research by Charles Gieschen also reinforces this position; Gieschen argues that Enoch’s “standing” in front of the face of the Lord forever conclusively indicates the status of a principal angel. He further observes that “those who stand immediately before the throne are usually the principal angels, i.e., the Angels of the Presence….”20 In 2 Enoch the patriarch is depicted not as one of the visionaries who has only temporary access to the divine Presence but as an angelic servant permanently installed in the office of the sar happanim. Enoch’s new designation is developed primarily in Chapters 21–22, devoted to the description of the Kavod. In these chapters, one can find several promises from the mouth of archangel Gabriel and the Deity himself, that the translated patriarch will now stand forever in front of God’s face.21
In terms of its theological background, the title sar happanim seems to be connected with the image of Metatron in the Merkabah tradition,22 crystallized in classical Hekhalot literature. According to the Hekhalot lore, Enoch “was raised to the rank of first of the angels and Mynph r# (literally, “Prince of the Divine Face,” or “Prince of the Divine Presence”).”23 As has been previously demonstrated, 3 Enoch, as well as other texts of the Hekhalot tradition, has a well-developed theology connected with this title.
The patriarch’s role as the angelic servant of the Face in 2 Enoch manifests a radical departure from his role in relation to God’s Kavod attested in the earlier Enochic traditions. Crispin Fletcher-Louis observes that in the Book of the Watchers, “Enoch has peculiar rights of access to the divine presence (chs. 14–15), however he is not explicitly said to be divine or angelic.”24 Yet, in 2 Enoch the patriarch is depicted not simply as a visitor who has only temporary access to the divine Presence but as an angel permanently installed in the office of the sar happanim. 2 Enoch 67:2 underlines the permanent nature of the hero’s installation in front of God’s Face: “And the angels hurried and grasped Enoch and carried him up to the highest heaven, where the Lord received him and made him stand in front of his face for eternity.”25
In conclusion one must note that it is rather clear that the depictions of Enoch’s installation as the servant of the divine Face in the Slavonic apocalypse do not represent interpolations from later mystical Jewish texts since the form of the tradition about the divine Face has in 2 Enoch an early, rudimentary form. Thus the Slavonic apocalypse does not explicitly label the patriarch as the “prince” of the Face, the title by which Enoch-Metatron is often designated in the later Merkabah lore.
The previous analysis has shown that the descriptions of the celestial titles in 2 Enoch occupy an intermediate position between the early Enochic traditions and the Metatron tradition. Therefore, some later titles of Metatron, absent in 1 Enoch, Jubilees, and Qumran materials, are present in the narrative of 2 Enoch. A good illustration of this situation is evident in another celestial title of Enoch-Metatron found in 2 Enoch, his title “Youth,” a sobriquet rendered in the Merkabah lore with the Hebrew term r(n.26 In Jewish mystical teaching, this title is viewed as proof of the theological conviction that Metatron is the translated Enoch ben Jared. The tradition derives this title from the exegesis of Prov. 22.6 (r(nl Knx), which is interpreted as “Enoch was made into the r(n, i.e. Metatron.”27
The title “Youth” has several possible theological meanings in the Jewish esoteric lore. According to one of them, the name may be explained by the fact that Metatron is constantly rejuvenated upon reaching old age.28 Another possible explanation found in Sefer Hekhalot is that he is young in comparison with other angelic princes who existed from the beginning.
The title plays an important role in the overall theological framework of 2 Enoch. Some Slavonic manuscripts of the shorter recension, including A, B, and V, apply this title several times solely to the patriarch Enoch. This evidence will be discussed in detail later in this study. Now I must offer several preliminary observations pertaining to this designation.
The reader encounters the title already in the first few chapters of the Slavonic apocalypse, which describe the patriarch’s celestial voyage through the heavens. In fact, manuscripts B and V use the title “Youth” at the outset in the first chapter of the text. The very first address Enoch’s celestial guides utter in these manuscripts is: “Be brave, Youth!” ().29 This designation is then occasionally repeated by the celestial guides as they lead the seer through the heavens, providing him with detailed explanations of the heavenly surroundings. Thus, in Chapter 9 of the shorter recension an angelic being accompanying the seer on his way through the heavenly realm addresses Enoch as “Youth”: “This place has been prepared, Youth (),30 for the righteous.…”31 Shortly after this in Chapter 10, the angel captures the visionary’s attention with the same title: “This place, Youth (), has been prepared for those who practice godless uncleanness on the earth….”32
It should be noted that, in contrast to 3 Enoch, where the information about the origin and usage of the title is unfolded through the narrative framework of the conversation between R. Ishmael and Metatron, in 2 Enoch the title appears in the direct speech of the angels and the Deity. Thus, in the shorter recension of 2 Enoch 24, the Lord directly addresses the patriarch with the title “Youth”:
And the Lord called me [Enoch] and he placed me to himself closer than Gabriel. And I did obeisance to the Lord. And the Lord spoke to me: “Whatever you see, Youth (, [junoše]), things standing still and moving about were brought to perfection by me and not even to angels have I explained my secrets…as I am making them known to you today…”33
Some manuscripts of 2 Enoch 22 also attest to the same direct address of the Deity:
And the Lord with his own mouth called me [Enoch] and said: Be brave, Youth! (, [junoše]). Do not be frightened! Stand up in front of my face forever. And Michael, the Lord’s archistratig, brought me in the front of the Lord’s face. And the Lord tempted his servants and said to them: “Let Enoch come up and stand in the front of my face forever.” And the glorious ones bowed down and said: “Let him come up!”34
The differences between the uses of the title in 2 Enoch and in Sefer Hekhalot might indicate that, in its handling of the sobriquets of the hero, the Slavonic apocalypse stays very close to the early Enochic booklets in which the titles are often introduced in the same fashion, that is, as direct addresses of main characters. Thus it has been noted previously that in the early Enochic materials, the patriarch’s scribal honorifics very often come from the mouth of other characters, including God35 and angels.36 This feature indicates that the tradition about the title “Youth” in the Slavonic apocalypse does not represent an interpolation from the later Merkabah accounts since this new title is used similarly to other early Enochic titles as an address of other characters.
In conclusion to this section, one must recognize that, in spite of the abundance of the information about the Youth in Merkabah literature, the title itself remains in many respects somewhat of a theological mystery. Perhaps the most puzzling thing about the title is the fact that prominent scholars of Jewish mystical literature such as Gershom Scholem and Hugo Odeberg have failed to locate it in the narrative of 2 Enoch. One possible explanation may be that André Vaillant did not pay enough attention to the variants for reading the term “Youth” in his edition, considering this reading as a corruption, and consequently devoted just a few sentences to it. According to Vaillant this corruption occurred because the Slavonic word (Enoše), the vocative form of “Enoch,” is very similar to “Youth” (junoše).37 This probably explains why those scholars who based their research on Vaillant’s text also missed this vital point. Only the new collation of manuscripts in Francis Andersen’s translation again drew attention to this terminology. In a short concluding note on the term “Youth,” Andersen affirms that “it cannot be a coincidence that this title is identical with that of Enoch (=Metatron) in 3En.”38
Governor of the World
The Merkabah tradition underlines the role of Metatron as the governing authority over the nations, kingdoms, and rulers on earth. The evidence preserved on the incantation bowls, in rabbinic materials, and in the Hekhalot accounts, including Sefer Hekhalot, refers to Metatron’s position as the Prince of the World (Mlw(h r#), the leader of the seventy-two princes of the kingdoms of world, who pleads in favor of the world before the Holy One. It appears that this prominent theological development which elevates Metatron to the role of the leader of the whole world might not have originated in the rabbinic period but has its roots in the premishnaic Enochic lore. Although Enoch’s role as the governing power on earth is unknown in the majority of the early Enochic materials associated with 1 Enoch, Jubilees, the Genesis Apocryphon, and the Book of Giants, the traditions found in 2 Enoch seem to point to the possibility of the early existence of such imagery. A thorough analysis of the early developments connected with this title in 2 Enoch will be given in another chapter of this study. At present, I must draw attention only to one important testimony pertaining to the title.
Chapter 43 of the shorter recension of 2 Enoch and a similar passage of the text preserved in the Slavonic collection “The Just Balance” depict the patriarch in the previously unknown celestial role.39 The texts outline Enoch’s instructions to his children during his brief return to earth; in these instructions the protagonist mentions his new role as the Governor of the earth:
And behold, my children, I am the Governor40 of the earth, p(r)ometaya, I wrote (them) down. And the whole year I combined, and the hours of the day. And the hours I measured; and I wrote down every seed on earth. And I compared every measure and the just balance I measured. And I wrote (them) down, just as the Lord commanded….I will put down the doings of each person, and no one will hide; because the Lord is the one who pays, and he will be the avenger on the great judgment day.41
The intriguing parallel here to the later rabbinic and Hekhalot imagery is the fact that the role of Enoch as the governing power on earth is closely connected in the Slavonic apocalypse with the theme of divine judgment and with Enoch’s role as the mediator of the judgment. As may be recalled, in the rabbinic imagery of the Prince of the World these two themes – governing of the world and pleading for the world – were often linked bacause the exalted angel was portrayed as the Prince of the World, who also pleads in the favor of the world before the Deity. As an example, 3 Enoch specifically emphasizes this duty of the Prince of the World:
How many princes are there? There are 72 princes of kingdoms in the world, not counting the Prince of the World (Mlw(h r#), who speaks in favor of the world before the Holy One, blessed be he, every day at the hour when the book is opened in which every deed in the world is recorded, as it is written, “A court was held, and the books were opened.”42
2 Enoch has a similar constellation of the traditions. The designation of the patriarch as the “Governor of the earth” is introduced in the passage dealing with Enoch’s duty as the mediator of divine judgment who prepares the records of “the doings of each person” in order to present them on the great day of judgment: “And I wrote (them) down, just as the Lord commanded …. I the doings of each person will put down, and no one will hide, because the Lord is the one who pays, and he will be the avenger on the great judgment day.”43
Both passages operate with almost identical terminology, including a reference to the deeds/doings of every person recorded in the books.
The second important aspect of the passage about Enoch’s leading role on earth found in 2 Enoch 43 is the Slavonic word prometaya, which follows Enoch’s title, “the Governor of the earth.”44 This Slavonic term is found solely in the text of 2 Enoch. There is no other Slavonic text where the word prometaya is documented. Phonetically close to the term “Metatron,” prometaya could represent a very early, rudimentary form of the name which later was transformed into a designation of the prominent angel.45
Finally, it should be noted that the broader context of the passage also seems to promote the imagery of the new exalted role of the patriarch. Thus, 2 Enoch 40 (shorter recension) records the following words of Enoch: “Now therefore, my children, I know everything; some from the lips of the Lord, others my eyes have seen from the beginning even to the end, and from the end to the recommencement.”46 Such emphasis on the omniscience of the translated patriarch contributes to the picture of the patriarch’s exalted profile, making him a legitimate candidate for the elevated position of the Governor of the earth. The aforementioned details surrounding the designation of the patriarch as the leading power on earth suggest that this title might represent an early Enochic witness to the prominent office of Metatron as the Prince of the World, which has received its fully developed form in the later rabbinic and Hekhalot materials.
This section of the study, which examines the possible prototype for the office of the vice-regent in the Slavonic apocalypse, is highly speculative. Yet such examination should be undertaken in light of several important features of the text that might provide some background for Metatron’s future role as the viceroy of the Deity.
To begin the investigation, one must recall that in 2 Enoch the hero was offered a seat in heaven as part of his duty as a celestial scribe. I underlined the importance of this testimony as a significant link between the scribal office of the hero in early Enochic and Mesopotamian traditions and the scribal profile of Metatron found in the Talmud and Hekhalot writings. Moreover, I noted that the testimony from the Babli, where Metatron also has a seat in heaven, attests not only to the scribal office of the exalted angel but also to his position as God’s vice-regent who has his own throne in heaven. The controversial flavor of the two powers’ debate, discernible in the talmudic account, underlines the authoritative position of the protagonist as the exalted second “head,” replicating the Deity. Here the motif of the seat unifies both offices, scribal and authoritative, and serves as a reminder of the important transition from the legal scribe to the celestial judge. In view of this evolution, it is possible that in 2 Enoch the emphasis on possession of the seat in heaven might be related not only to Enoch’s role as the heavenly recorder but also to Enoch’s position as a vice-regent and a secretary of the Deity who possesses a special seat in heaven close to the throne of the Lord.
It is noteworthy that the Slavonic apocalypse seems to emphasize the difference between the two offices, scribal and authoritative, when in Chapters 23 and 24, Enoch is twice offered a seat, first by Vereveil (Vrevoil) in relation to the patriarch’s scribal role and second by God himself. God invites the seer to the place next to him, closer than that of Gabriel, in order to share with him the information that remains hidden even from the angels. The longer recension of 2 Enoch 22:10–24:4 reads:
And I looked at myself, and I had become like one of his glorious ones, and there was no observable difference. And the Lord summoned one of the archangels, Vrevoil by name, who was swifter in wisdom than the other archangels, and who records all the Lord’s deeds. And the Lord said to Vrevoil, “Bring out the books from my storehouses, and fetch a pen for speed-writing, and give it to Enoch and read him the books.” …. And he [Vrevoil] was telling me the things of heaven and earth….And Vrevoil instructed me for 30 days and 30 nights, and his mouth never stopped speaking.… And [then] … Vrevoil said to me, “These things, whatever I have taught you … you sit down and write…. And I sat down for a second period of 30 days and 30 nights, and I wrote everything accurately. And I wrote 366 books…. And the Lord called me; and he said to me, “Enoch, sit to the left of me with Gabriel.” And I did obeisance to the Lord. And the Lord spoke to me: “Enoch [Beloved],47 whatever you see and whatever things are standing still or moving about were brought to perfection by me. And I myself will explain it to you. Before anything existed at all, from the very beginning, whatever exists I created from the non-existent, and from the invisible the visible. [Listen, Enoch, and pay attention to these words of mine!] For not even to my angels have I explained my secrets, nor related to them their origin, nor my endlessness [and inconceivableness], as I devise the creatures, as I am making them known to you today.48
Attention should be paid to the invitation of the Deity, who calls upon the visionary to sit to his left with Gabriel. The shorter recension of 2 Enoch 24 puts even greater emphasis on the unique nature of this offer; in this recension God places the patriarch “to the left of himself, closer than Gabriel ().”49 Crispin Fletcher-Louis writes that the fact that in 2 Enoch the seer is seated next to God “suggests some contact with the rabbinic Enoch/Metatron tradition.”50 Michael Mach also suggests that this motif is closely connected with the Metatron imagery. He notes that “the exaltation to a rank higher than that of the angels as well as the seating at God’s side have their parallels and considerable development in Enoch’s/Metatron’s transformation and enthronement as depicted in 3 Enoch.”51
There are several important details in the aforementioned description from Chapter 24 that might suggest that in the Slavonic apocalypse one can detect initial features that signal an incipient hint towards the development of Metatron’s future role as the vice-regent of the Deity.
It appears that Enoch could indeed be placed on the seat “closer than Gabriel,” as the shorter recension suggests, thus pointing to the supra-angelic character of his installation.52 This possibility gains further credence when one considers that the Lord himself makes clear that the status of the translated patriarch and his initiation exceed the angelic realm,53 reminding Enoch that even his angels remain unaware of the secrets conveyed to the hero.54 This emphasis on the supra-angelic status of the interaction between the Deity and the exalted hero recalls the Hekhalot tradition, and especially Synopse §13 (3 Enoch 10:2–6), in which Enoch-Metatron is depicted as the vice-regent55 exalted above the rest of the angelic world apart from the eight great princes of YHWH:56
He [God] placed it [the throne] at the door of the seventh palace and sat me down upon it. And the herald went out into every heaven and announced concerning me: “I have appointed Metatron my servant as the prince and a ruler over all the denizens of the heights, apart from the eight great, honored, and terrible princes who are called YHWH by the name of their King. Any angel and any prince who has anything to say in my presence should go before him and speak to him. Whatever he says to you in my name you must observe and do, because I have committed to him the Prince of Wisdom and the Prince of Understanding, to teach him the wisdom of those above and of those below, the wisdom of this world and of the world to come. Moreover I have put him in charge of all the stores of the palaces of Arabot, and all the treasures that are in the heavenly heights.57
Upon closer examination of this passage, one cannot fail to notice several familiar features that were already anticipated in 2 Enoch 23–24, that is, the offering of the celestial seat, the installation superior to angels, the initiatory instructions by angels that precedes this installation, and finally, commitment to the seer of the treasures of the heights. All these details are already evident in the Slavonic account, where the exalted hero is initiated by the archangel Vereveil (2 Enoch 22:10–23:4) into the wisdom of above and below, “the things of heaven and earth” (2 Enoch 23:1–2), and then acquires the supra-angelic status through the offering of a seat by the Deity himself (2 Enoch 24:1).
The other significant detail of the Slavonic narrative which further anticipates Enoch’s role as the vice-regent is that in 2 Enoch 22:10 the patriarch is described as one of the glorious ones. This designation is important since it is combined with the imagery of Enoch being clothed with the radiant garment and his veneration by the angels. Pointing to the significant parallel between the luminous attire and the status of the vice-regent, Jarl Fossum observes that in 3 Enoch “as part of his installation as God’s vice-regent in heaven, Enoch is given new clothes … a robe of honor on which were fixed all kinds of beauty, splendor, brilliance, and majesty.”58
It is also significant that in the passage from 2 Enoch 24, the motif of Enoch’s installation on the seat next to the Deity coincides with his initiation into the secrets of creation; this might suggest that the offering of the seat in this context delegates to the hero a certain role in the works of creation. Some scholars point to the possible conjunction of these two traditions in the later Hekhalot writings. Thus, Christopher Morray-Jones observes that Metatron “sits on the throne which is a replica of the Throne of Glory and wears a glorious robe like that of God. He functions as the agent of God in the creation, acts as intermediary between heavenly and lower worlds.…”59 The hero’s initiation into the secrets of creation also recalls the fact that Enoch-Metatron’s role as the vice-regent of God necessarily entails his position as the close confidant of the Deity, one who alone has access to the most intimate and profound mysteries of the Godhead.
Concluding this analysis of the early evidence of the patriarch’s profile as the vice-regent of the Deity in 2 Enoch, we should acknowledge that despite the suggestive imagery found in the Slavonic apocalypse, these depictions represent only the initial, not fully elaborated, sketch of the later Metatron developments.
It has already been mentioned that the Shiur Qomah accounts often portray Metatron as the measurer of the divine corporeality who conveys to the visionaries the esoteric lore about the dimensions of the limbs of the cosmic body of the Deity. This choice of the revealer is not coincidental since some Merkabah materials suggest that the cosmic body of this exalted angel itself exemplifies the measure or the “likeness” of the divine body, thus functioning as a representation of the human form of the Deity. In 3 Enoch, the appearance of the transformed Enoch-Metatron can be seen as the replica of the features and attributes of the divine Kavod, including the throne, the garment, the curtain, and the social surroundings. The similarities are so dangerously close that they even lead to the mistaken belief that there are two divinities, or “two heads” (twyw#r `b) in heaven.60 This context demonstrates that in the visionary accounts Metatron’s extent could be perceived as the representation or the counterpart of God’s corporeality. In addition to the similarities in imagery, the two bodies are also often connected in the Merkabah tradition through a similar terminology. Thus, in the Hekhalot accounts, the divine corporeality is often labeled as the “Measure of the Body” (hmwq rw(y#). A similar expression is also often used for Enoch-Metatron’s stature (wtmwq) which, according to 3 Enoch and other Hekhalot texts, fills the whole world.61
It appears that already in the Similitudes and in 2 Enoch, one can see the beginning of the identification of the exalted patriarch with the enthroned exalted figure that serves as the dédoublement of the divine extent or the Face of God. In order to proceed to the investigation of this striking imagery in early Enochic literature, this study must turn to the description of the divine Face found in Chapter 39 of the Slavonic apocalypse62 already mentioned in this study. In this text, Enoch relates his vision of the Lord’s countenance, a terrifying extent analogous to the human form. Commenting on this Slavonic account, Gershom Scholem notes63 that this narrative depicting the portrayal of the radiant divine Body contains the expression “the stature64 of the Lord”; in his opinion this attests to the precise Shiur Qomah terminology. This terminology will be examined in detail later in this study. At present, one must only note that in 2 Enoch 39 this terminology is applied not only to the body of the Lord (the stature of the Lord), but also to the body of the patriarch (stature of my [Enoch’s] body). The identical terminology in the description of both bodies, of the patriarch as well as of the Deity, might indicate that already in the Slavonic apocalypse, one can see initial hints of the future role of Enoch-Metatron as the exalted model or the “measure” of the divine corporeality (also known as His Face). It also appears that in the Slavonic apocalypse and in the Similitudes, the identification of the human patriarch with the angelic replica of the divine Face, when the visionary literally comes to represent the Face, is related through the imagery of the heavenly counterpart of the seer. It should be noted that this imagery is a highly complex conceptual development which manifests the process of the transmutation of the earthly form of the visionary in front of the Kavod and its remolding into the radiant angelic replica or representation of this divine form.
In order to explore this complex imagery, a short introduction to the Jewish texts and traditions about the heavenly counterpart is required. The idea of the heavenly counterpart of the translated hero appears in the Enochic tradition for the first time in the Book of the Similitudes. Scholars have previously observed65 that Chapter 71 of the Similitudes seems to entertain the idea of the heavenly twin of a visionary when it identifies Enoch with the son of man, an enthroned messianic figure.66 For a long time scholars have found it puzzling that the son of man in the previous chapters of the Similitudes distinguished from Enoch, is suddenly identified in 1 Enoch 71 with the patriarch. James VanderKam suggests that this paradox can be explained by the Jewish notion, attested in several ancient Jewish texts, that a creature of flesh and blood could have a heavenly double or counterpart. 67 As an example of such a concept, VanderKam points to Jacob’s traditions in which the patriarch’s “features are engraved on high.”68 He writes that this theme of the visionary’s ignorance of his higher celestial identity is detectable, for example, in the pseudepigraphic text the Prayer of Joseph. In this text, Jacob is identified with his heavenly counterpart, the angel Israel. VanderKam’s reference to Jacob’s lore is not coincidental. The traditions about the heavenly image or counterpart of Jacob are the most consistent presentations of this idea in early Jewish traditions.
Besides the biblical account and the Prayer of Joseph, the traditions concerning Jacob’s heavenly image or his celestial double are also presented in the Slavonic Ladder of Jacob69 and in several targumic70 texts,71 including Tg. Ps.-J., Tg. Neof.,72 and Frg. Tg.73 In Tg. Ps.-J. to Gen 28:12 the following description can be found:
He [Jacob] had a dream, and behold, a ladder was fixed in the earth with its top reaching toward the heavens … and on that day they (angels) ascended to the heavens on high, and said, “Come and see Jacob the pious, whose image is fixed (engraved) in the Throne of Glory ()rqy ysrwkb )(ybq hylyd Nynwqy)d), and whom you have desired to see.”74
A distinctive feature of this description is that the heavenly counterpart of Jacob, his “image,” is engraved on a very special celestial entity, the Throne of Glory.75 Engraving on the Throne might indicate here an association with the Kavod since the Throne is the central part of the Kavod imagery – the seat of the anthropomorphic Glory of the Lord. The image engraved on the Throne might be an allusion to the face, the fiery face, since it is engraved on the fiery glorious Throne of Glory.76
Besides the tradition of engraving on the Throne, some Jewish materials point to an even more radical identification of Jacob’s image with the Kavod. Jarl Fossum’s research77 demonstrates that in some traditions about Jacob, his image or likeness is depicted, not simply as engraved on the heavenly throne, but as seated upon the throne of glory.78 Fossum argues that this second tradition is original.79 Christopher Rowland offers a similar view in proposing to see Jacob’s image as “identical with the form of God on the throne of glory (Ezek. 1.26f.).”80
The Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian, a Jewish work written between the third and the first centuries B.C.E., also seems to attest to the idea of the heavenly counterpart of the seer when it identifies Moses with the glorious anthropomorphic extent. This text depicts Moses’ vision of “a noble man” with a crown and a large scepter in the left hand installed on the great throne.81 In the course of the seer’s initiation, the attributes of this “noble man,” including the royal crown and the scepter, are transferred to Moses who is instructed to sit on the throne formerly occupied by the noble man. The narrative thus clearly identifies the visionary with his heavenly counterpart, in the course of which the seer literally takes the place and the attributes of his upper identity. The account also underlines that Moses acquired his vision in a dream, by reporting that he awoke from his sleep in fear. Here, just as in the Jacob tradition, while the seer is sleeping on earth his counterpart in the upper realm is identified with the Kavod.
The identification with the Kavod in these visionary accounts is not entirely unambiguous, since the heavenly counterpart can be perceived either as the divine Glory itself or as its angelic replica or image which mediates the earthly identity of the seer and the Kavod.82 Alan Segal observes that in such traditions their heroes “are not just angels, but become dangerously close to being anthropomorphic hypostases of God himself.” He stresses that often these figures “began as humans and later achieved a kind of divine status in some communities.”83
The hypothesis which identifies Jacob’s and Moses’ heavenly counterparts with the glorious heavenly figure brings us back to the imagery of God’s Kavod with which, as has been shown earlier, the Face in 2 Enoch is closely associated. As may be recalled in 2 Enoch 39, Enoch’s description provides a series of analogies in which the earthly Enoch compares his face and parts of his body with the attributes of the Lord’s Face and body, which manifest the connection between the divine corporeality and its prominent replica, the body of Enoch-Metatron. For this investigation, however, another juxtaposition is also important; it is a contrast between the two identities of the visionary: the earthly Enoch (“a human being created just like yourselves”) and his heavenly counterpart (“the one who has seen the Face of God”). It appears that Enoch tries to describe himself in two different modes of existence: as a human being who now stands before his children with a human face and body, and as the one who is installed before God’s Face in the upper realm. These descriptions of two modes of existence (earthly and celestial) occur repeatedly in tandem. It is possible that the purpose of Enoch’s instruction to his children is not to stress the difference between his human body and the Lord’s body, but rather to emphasize the distinction between this Enoch, a human being “created just like yourselves,” and the other, angelic Enoch, who has been standing before the Lord’s Face. Enoch’s previous transformation into the glorious one and his initiation into a sar happanim in 2 Enoch 22:7 support this suggestion. It is unlikely that Enoch would have completely abandoned his supra-angelic status and his unique place before the Face of the Lord granted to him in the previous chapters. An account of Enoch’s permanent installation can be found in Chapter 36: the Lord tells Enoch, before his short visit to the earth, that a place has been prepared for him and that he will be in the front of the Lord’s face “from now and forever.”84 Finally, as mentioned earlier, in Chapter 43,85 Enoch introduces himself to his children as the Governor of the earth. This title gives additional support to the fact that the permanent installation of Enoch-Metatron in the heavenly offices, including the office of the Prince of the World (Mlw(h r#), has already taken place. The importance of this account for the idea of the heavenly counterpart in 2 Enoch cannot be overestimated – it points to the simultaneous existence of Enoch’s angelic double installed in heaven and its human counterpart, whom God sends periodically on missionary errands.86 The targumic and rabbinic Jacob accounts also attest to this view of the heavenly counterpart when they depict angels beholding Jacob as one who at the same time is installed in heaven and is sleeping on earth.87
It is noteworthy that in 2 Enoch, as in the Similitudes, the theme of the heavenly counterpart is combined with the imagery of God’s Kavod. This feature of both Enochic accounts, entertaining the idea of the heavenly twin, points to the importance of the vision of the Kavod in the process of acquiring knowledge about the heavenly counterparts of the seers. In the Jacob tradition, which also attests to the idea of the heavenly counterpart, the vision of God’s glory also becomes an important theophanic motif. This motif is clearly recognizable in the Jacob targumic accounts and the Ladder of Jacob, where reports about Jacob’s angelic counterpart are creatively conflated with the theophanic traditions about the vision of God’s Kavod.
Furthermore, in the account found in the Prayer of Joseph, Jacob’s identification with his heavenly counterpart, the angel Israel, involves the initiatory encounter with the angel Sariel/Uriel, in other texts also known as Phanuel, the angel of the divine Presence or the Face. The same state of events is observable in Enochic materials; Uriel/Vereveil serves as a principal heavenly guide and an “initiator” to another prominent visionary who has also acquired knowledge about his own heavenly counterpart, Enoch/Metatron. In both traditions, Uriel appears as the guide who assists the visionaries in acquiring or identifying with their new, celestial identities.
The process of establishing twinship with the heavenly counterpart might be reflected in the initiatory procedure of becoming a sar happanim, one of the angelic servants of the divine Face or Presence, a prominent celestial office which is often described in detail in various apocalyptic and Merkabah accounts.88 The installation of a visionary as a sar happanim seems to correlate with the procedure of identifying a visionary with his heavenly counterpart. In 1 Enoch 71, Enoch is transformed and identified with the son of man in front of God’s Throne. In 2 Enoch 22:6–10, Enoch’s initiation as one of the Princes of Presence also takes place in front of the radiant Face of the Lord.89 This encounter transforms Enoch into a glorious being. It is important to note that after this procedure Enoch observes that he had become like one of the glorious ones, and there was no observable difference.90 The last phrase describes Enoch’s transition to his new identity as one of the glorious ones. This identity may directly refer to his angelic counterpart. It also indicates that Enoch’s earthly countenance has been radically altered91 and that the visionary has now acquired a new “face” which mirrors or doubles the Face of the Lord.92 The motif of engraving the image of the visionary on the Throne in the Jacob tradition mentioned earlier might also serve as a metaphor for this identification between the face of the visionary and the Face of God.93
There is no doubt that one of the features unifying both faces is their luminosity. 2 Enoch’s narrative gives evidence that Enoch’s face acquired the same qualities of luminosity as the Face of the Lord. In 2 Enoch 37, the Lord calls one of his angels to chill the face of Enoch before his return to earth. The angel, who “appeared frigid,” then chilled Enoch’s face with his icy hands. Immediately after this procedure, the Lord tells Enoch that if his face had not been chilled, no human being would have been able to look it.94 The chilling procedure indicates that Enoch’s metamorphosis near the Face into a sar happanim involves the transformation of the visionary’s face into a fiery, dangerous entity which now resembles the Kavod. One can find a detailed description of this process in another “Enochic” text, Sefer Hekhalot, which describes the transformation of Enoch-Metatron, the Prince of the Divine Presence, into a fiery creature:
R. Ishmael said: The angel Metatron, Prince of the Divine Presence, the glory of highest heaven, said to me: When the Holy One, blessed be he, took me to serve the throne of glory, the wheels of the chariot and all 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.95
It is possible that the reference to the heavenly counterpart of Jacob in the form of his image (engraved) on the Throne of Glory also implies that Jacob is one of the servants of the divine Face. This possibility is already hinted at in the biblical account where Jacob is attested as one who saw God face to face.96 Moreover, in some Jacob traditions, he is directly described, in a manner similar to Enoch-Metatron, as the Prince of the Divine Face. One learns about this title from the Prayer of Joseph 8,97 where Jacob-Israel himself unveils his status as the sar happanim,98 proclaiming that he is “the first minister before the Face of God.”99
It is natural that the initiation of Jacob into an angelic being involves another servant of the Face, the angel Sariel, whose other name, Phanuel, reflects his close proximity to the Face of God.100 As has been previously mentioned, this initiatory pattern is already observable in the Enochic tradition, where Sariel/Uriel/Phanuel, along with another angel of the Presence, Michael, actively participates in the initiation of another prominent servant of the divine Face, Enoch-Metatron.101
However, Jacob’s identification with the sar happanim seems to be missing one detail that constitutes a distinct feature of the descriptions of visionaries initiated in this office: the luminous metamorphosis of an adept’s face and body. The Ladder of Jacob and the Prayer of Joseph, as well as the biblical account of Jacob’s vision, are silent about any transformation of Jacob’s body and face. This tradition, however, can be found in another prominent account connected with the Jacob story. 102 In this important material, the eyes of Jacob, similar to the eyes of the transformed Metatron, are emitting flashes of lightning.
This study may now return to 2 Enoch’s account. It is not surprising that the identification of the patriarch with his heavenly counterpart occurs in front of the divine Face, since the upper counterpart sometimes redoubles the Face, being symbolically referred to in some traditions as the image engraved on the Face. Jacob traditions here are again able to illumine the imagery of the dédoublement. According to the Jacob accounts, the image of this exalted patriarch is engraved on the throne of Glory, i.e. the divine Face. It is therefore reasonable that the visionary can acquire his heavenly counterpart only during his direct encounter with the divine Presence, which reflects his upper image.103
Finally, this section of the study has shown that the imagery of the heavenly counterpart found in the two transitional texts of the Enochic tradition (i.e., the Book of the Similitudes and 2 Enoch) does not appear to be coincidental. It might show that the later imagery of Metatron, in which this exalted angel is depicted as the exact replica of the Face (sometimes labeled as the “measure” of the divine Body) has its roots in the Second Temple Enochic lore which describes the transition of the creature of flesh and blood into his glorious celestial twin.
In one of his articles Philip Alexander observes that Metatron in 3 Enoch embodies three major and originally independent figures – Enoch, Yahoel/Lesser YHWH, and Michael/Metatron. He further proposes that the latest element of the Enoch-Metatron conglomerate to emerge was undoubtedly Metatron since “this name is unknown to the pseudepigrapha or to Tannaitic literature.”105 A consensus exists106 that the first instance of the term “metatron” can be found in Sifre Deut. 338:3, an early third century work from Palestine, which says in the name of R. Eliezer that “the finger of the Holy One, blessed be He, is what served Moses as the guide [Metatron]. He showed him all the cities of the land of Israel.”107
Keeping in mind this opinio communis that the prominent angelic name was unknown in pseudepigraphic literature, this study now draws attention to some terminology found in Chapter 43 of the short recension of 2 Enoch and a similar passage in the Slavonic collection Merilo Pravednoe (“The Just Balance”).108 As noted earlier, both texts outline Enoch’s instructions to his children during his brief return to earth, in which he declares his new role as the governor or the manager of the earth:
And behold my children, I am the Governor of the earth, p(r)ometaya,109 I wrote (them) down. And the whole year I combined, and the hours of the day. And the hours I measured; and I wrote down every seed on earth. And I compared every measure and the just balance I measured. And I wrote (them) down, just as the Lord commanded…. the doings of each person will put down, and no one will hide; because the Lord is the one who pays, and he will be the avenger on the great judgment day.110
An important aspect of both passages is the Slavonic term prometaya, which follows Enoch’s title, the “Governor of the earth.” This term was deliberately preserved in its original Slavonic version in order to retain its authentic phonetic form. It should be noted that the term prometaya represents an etymological enigma for experts in Slavonic, since it is found solely in the text of 2 Enoch: in other words, there is no other Slavonic text where the word prometaya is documented.
The prominent Russian linguist Izmail Ivanovich Sreznevskij, in his Slavonic dictionary, still considered by experts as one of the most reliable tools in Slavonic etymology, was unable to provide a definition for prometaya. He simply put a question mark in the space allotted for meaning of the word.111 The recent multi-volume edition of the Slavonic dictionary compiled by a distinguished team of Russian slavists and published by the Russian Academy of Sciences also has a question mark next to the word.112 The variety of readings of this term in the manuscripts of 2 Enoch shows similar linguistic embarrassment among Slavic scribes who probably, like their modern counterparts, faced difficulties in rendering the meaning of this ambiguous term.113 The readings of other manuscripts include: V and N – promtaemaa, (),114 U – pometaya (),115 B – prometamaya (),116 A – pamtaa (), MPr. – promitaya ().117 One possible explanation for the singular occurrence of prometaya is that the word may actually be a Greek term that was left untranslated in the original text for some unknown reason. In fact, 2 Enoch contains a number of transliterated Hebrew and Greek words preserved in their original phonetic form (e.g., Grigori, Archistratig, Ophanim, Raqia Araboth). When I first began investigating the term prometaya more closely, the root meta drew my attention. This root led me to examine the relationship between the words prometaya and metatron.
It has already been noted that contemporary scholarship does not furnish a consensus concerning the etymology of the name Metatron. Scholarly literature offers a number of different hypotheses about the provenance of the term. I want to focus here on one particular interpretation which could be connected with some materials in 2 Enoch. According to this theory, the name Metatron may be derived from the Greek me&tron (measure, rule). Adolf Jellinek was the first scholar to suggest me&tron as an alternative explanation of Metatron.118 In his article “Form(s) of God: Some Notes on Metatron and Christ,” Gedaliahu Stroumsa further supports this interpretation, by noting that Metatron not only carried God’s name but also measured the Deity; he was considered as God’s Shiur Qomah (the measurement of the divine Body). In light of this connection, Stroumsa considers that “renewed attention should be given to me&tron and/or metator (a conflation of the two terms should not be excluded) as a possible etymology of Metatron.”119 Matthew Black also advocates this etymological option; he traces the origin of the appellation Metatron to the previously unnoticed piece of evidence found in Philo’s QG 4. Here, among other titles of the Logos,120 Black finds the term praemetitor.121 He suggests that praemetitor can be traced to the Greek term metrhth&j, the Greek equivalent of the Latin metator, “measurer,” applied to the Logos.122
It is significant that in 2 Enoch the term prometaya is incorporated into the passage which describes Enoch as the measurer par excellence, responsible for measuring everything. In Chapter 43 of the shorter recension, immediately after the use of this term, Enoch makes the following statement:
I have arranged the whole year. And from the year I calculated the months, and from the months I have ticked off the days, and from the day I have ticked off the hours. I, I have measured ( [izmrih]) and noted the hours. And I have distinguished every seed on the earth, and every measure and every righteous scale. I have measured ( [izmrih]) and recorded them.123
A similar passage in the previously mentioned collection Merilo Pravednoe also emphasizes the functions of Enoch as the measurer:
And the whole year I combined, and the hours of the day. And the hours I measured: and I wrote down every seed on earth. And I compared every measure and the just balance I measured. And I wrote (them) down, just as the Lord commanded. And in everything I discovered differences.124
The role of Enoch as the measurer is not a novelty here, since the patriarch’s connection with this activity is already well known in the early Enochic circle. These two aforementioned passages echo the passage in Philo’s QG 4.23 where the divine Logos is termed “just measure”:
And “Gomorra” [means] “measure” true and just is the divine Logos, by which have been measured and are measured all things that are on earth – principles, numbers and proportions in harmony and consonance being included, through which the form and measures of existing things are seen.125
The text of 2 Enoch also uses the identical term “just measure,” (Slav. ), immediately after the passage that deals with Enoch’s function as the measurer.
The combination of the term prometaya with Enoch’s role as the measurer in the Slavonic apocalypse is important in light of the overall theology of the pseudepigraphon; the patriarch assumes for the first time in the Enochic tradition the role of the measurer and the measure of the divine Extent. Stroumsa’s suggestion about the possible close connection between the appellation Metatron and the role of the exalted patriarch in the measurement of the Deity seems plausible. Further, it is noteworthy that there is another hypothetical link between the functions of Enoch-Metatron as the measurer and his measurement of human sin for the final judgement in 2 Enoch. A few lines later, following Enoch’s introduction as prometaya, the text refers to the final measurement of each person for the final judgment:
because on the day of the of the great judgment every weight and every measure and every set of scales will be just as they are in the market. That is to say, each will be weighed in the balance, and each will stand in the market, and each will find out his own measure and [in accordance with that measurement] each shall receive his own record. 2 Enoch 44:5 (longer recension).126
In view of these testimonies, it appears that 2 Enoch represents an important witness to the early conceptual development which connects the appellation “Metatron” with the patriarch’s role as the measurer of various things, including natural phenomena, the deeds of angelic and human beings for the final judgment, and, of course, the proportions of the divine Body. The evidence found in 2 Enoch 43 seems to strengthen this etymological option.127
In conclusion, I suggest that the Greek source of prometaya may represent a very early, rudimentary form of the title that was later transformed into the designation Metatron. In this respect, Gershom Scholem, in his analysis of the term Metatron, shows that the reduplication of the letter tet (++) and the ending ron represent a typical pattern that runs through all Merkabah texts. In his opinion, “both the ending and the repetition of the consonant are observable, for instance, in names like Zoharariel and Adiriron.”128 Moreover, he stresses that it must be borne in mind that on and ron may have been fixed and typical constituents of secret names rather than meaningful syllables.129
Thus, keeping in mind the possible date of 2 Enoch in the first century C.E., before the destruction of the Second Temple, prometaya could be one of the earliest traces connecting the names Enoch and Metatron.
“Old” Roles and Titles
2 Enoch is a text which maintains close connections with the early Enochic lore and can be considered as the conceptual trunk that was rooted in these early Enochic developments. The scholarly debates about the date of the text in the first century C.E. before the destruction of the Second Temple will be discussed later. Now one must note that, although the apocalypse does not provide any unambiguous evidence to its date, students of Second Temple Judaism agree about its early premishnaic provenance, recognizing the early “pseudepigraphic” features of this text and its close affinities with other early Enochic materials. This scholarly consensus might explain why, despite the uncertainty of the pseudepigraphon’s transmission history and the lack of any trace of the text in the medieval Jewish and Christian materials, 2 Enoch has always been included in the collections of the Second Temple Jewish pseudepigrapha. One of the features that strengthens the hypothesis about the early provenance of the Slavonic text is the fact that this pseudepigraphon contains a wide range of roles and titles of the seventh antediluvian patriarch, roles and titles already well-known to us from the early Enochic and Mesopotamian materials. Although some of these early conceptions seem to have undergone a marked evolution towards their new “proto-Hekhalot” forms, the apocalyptic features of these conceptual developments allow us to place them more closely to the Second Temple pseudepigrapha than to medieval Hekhalot materials.
Before proceeding to the analysis of these developments, I must caution that the exposition of the old offices and appellations of the seventh patriarch will not embrace all existing offices and appellations found in 2 Enoch. Instead, the study will concentrate on the selected counterparts of the phenomena which have already been investigated earlier in the study; the main objective of this section of the study is to illustrate the transitional character of these conceptual developments which can be viewed as an intermediate stage between the early Enochic and the Merkabah tradition.
The transitional character of the Slavonic apocalypse will be demonstrated through references to such old Enochic offices as the Scribe, the Diviner, the Priest, the Knower of Secrets, and the Witness of the Divine Judgment, since their earlier forms have been already presented in the previous chapters of this study.
If one approaches the Slavonic text with the knowledge of the divinatory role of the seventh antediluvian hero obtained from the Mesopotamian and early Enochic traditions, one notices the signs of a subtle evolution from this early image of the mantic diviner and the oneirocritic, transmitting to his clients the knowledge received in mantic dreams, to the seer who obtains the visionary experience not in a dream, but in an awakened state. In contrast to the early treatises of the Ethiopic Enoch, the Slavonic apocalypse seems to clearly depart from the concept of Enoch as a mantic dreamer, i.e. the one who receives his revelations while asleep. It is remarkable that 2 Enoch does not proceed implicitly with this paradigm shift, but prefers to depict graphically this conceptual shift from the old oneiromantic model to the new visionary template.
Thus, in 2 Enoch 1:3, the reader finds the patriarch sleeping on his bed. The beginning of the account might appear to be in accordance with the early oneiromantic blueprint. The Slavonic text narrates that Enoch sees a strange dream in which two gigantic angelic beings, with faces like the shining sun, approach the patriarch’s bed and call him by his name. Instead of proceeding with the traditional oneiromantic model in which a visionary is carried on a celestial journey in his dream, the text suddenly breaks with the familiar course of events by noting that the patriarch was awakened by the angels, and then in the awakened state,130 “in actuality,”131 he went out from his house closing the door behind him as the angels had ordered.132
Commenting on this significant conceptual shift Philip Alexander observes:
2 Enoch asserts with a boldness and clarity nowhere matched in 1 Enoch that Enoch ascended bodily to heaven and was transformed into an angel. It is true that the story of his ascent begins when he is asleep, but it is expressly stated that his guardian angels woke him up, and that he rose and went out from his house, closing the door behind him. Such an ascent cannot be achieved without a physical transformation, so when he reaches God’s presence, God tells Michael, “Go, and extract Enoch from his earthly clothing….”133
This emphasis on revelation in the awakened state might point to the evolution from the concept of the mantic visionary who receives revelation in a dream to the one who bodily ascends to heaven. This feature vividly recalls the later Merkabah accounts in which Enoch-Metatron’s bodily ascent is implicitly underlined through the fiery transformation of his flesh. Alexander observes that “like 2 Enoch, 3 Enoch clearly envisages bodily ascent and so postulates the physical metamorphosis of Enoch [saying that his] flesh turned into fire….” 134 As in Sefer Hekhalot, 2 Enoch 22 insists on the physical metamorphosis of the seer by reporting that his earthly bodily form was transformed into a radiant extent resembling the archangelic and divine bodies at one and the same time.
The evolution detected in the Slavonic apocalypse is unique for the early Enochic literature,135 which otherwise insists on the oneiromantic model.136 Still, it does not represent a later interpolation since the transition from oneiromantic to bodily ascent is already evident in other first century Jewish137 and Christian sources,138 including the Pauline account attested in 2 Cor 12:2. There the apostle’s statement “whether in the body or out of the body” also seems to refer to a similar paradigm shift by alluding to the seer’s knowledge of both types of ascent, in the body as well as out of it.139 In his comment on 2 Cor 12:2 Peter Schäfer observes that the phrase “‘whether in the body or out of the body’ expressly leaves open the two possibilities of a spiritual and bodily removal….”140
One must note that in view of the general tendency towards the Merkabah conceptual developments detected in the Slavonic apocalypse, the evolution of the divinatory role of the hero in 2 Enoch is not accidental. It is noteworthy that, in contrast to the earliest Enochic materials with their emphasis on the patriarch’s oneiromantic practices, Sefer Hekhalot neither demonstrates any interest in mantic dreams nor refers to any experience of Metatron associated with such dreams. In light of this transition, it is apparent that on the line that connects the early Enochic titles of 1 Enoch with the later Metatron titles in Sefer Hekhalot, the evidence of the Slavonic apocalypse occupies an intermediate stage. 2 Enoch can therefore be viewed as a text that links both symbolic worlds, to the early apocalyptic and to the Merkabah tradition. In this perspective it is not happenstance that the patriarch’s ascent begins and ends on the bed (with Methuselah waiting near his father’s bed), thus alluding to the oneiromantic practices of the hero in the early Enochic booklets. In 2 Enoch, one can see an important progression towards the Merkabah concept of the bodily ascent, demonstrated partially in Enoch’s first ascension in 2 Enoch 1 and even more significantly in his second final departure in Chapter 67, where the features of the oneiromantic template are completely abandoned and the patriarch is depicted as being taken by angels from among the people. 141
Mediation of the Divine Judgment
Early Enochic writings put great emphasis on the intercessory activities of the seventh antediluvian patriarch. In 1 Enoch 13:3–4 the hero is approached by the fallen Watchers who, trembling before Enoch, ask him to write a petition for them to the Lord of heaven. He agrees to intercede on their behalf by means of his scribal and oneiromantic skills. In the Book of Giants, again the intercessory role of the exalted hero looms large. In contrast to the Book of the Watchers and the Book of Giants, the Slavonic apocalypse appears to disapprove of the idea of intercession by denying Enoch’s role as an intercessor.
Two illustrations of this conceptual trend must be offered. In 2 Enoch 7:2–5, during his celestial journey, the patriarch encounters a group of angelic prisoners held in a lower heaven awaiting the final divine judgment. Some details of the account suggest that these prisoners were somehow connected with the group of the rebellious Watchers for whom, as just noted, the patriarch often served as an intercessor in the Book of the Watchers. It is therefore not chance that, upon spotting the hero, the condemned angels decide to approach him, asking the seer to pray for them to the Lord. In his reply to the angels, the patriarch however refuses to be their intercessor: “And I answered them and said, ‘Who am I, a mortal man, that I should pray for angels?’”142 In this text, the patriarch is clearly reluctant to assume the role that he previously enjoyed in the early Enochic writings. 2 Enoch 53:1–2 again rejects the familiar intercessory model by declaring that no one can intercede for sinners. This time, the impossibility of intercession is expressed again from the mouth of the patriarch, who delivers the following address to his children: “So now, my children, do not say, ‘Our father is with God, and he will stand in front of [God] for us, and he will pray for us concerning our sins.’ [For] there is no helper there – not even for any one person who has sinned.”143
In view of the prominent intercessory role of the seer in the previous Enochic legends, the testimonies found in 2 Enoch appear puzzling. The question therefore remains why the Slavonic Enoch departs in this dimension from the position of the previous Enochic lore by rejecting the important role of the patriarch in the economy of the divine judgment. A possible answer can be found in close analysis of the evolution of the intercessory office within the Merkabah tradition and its similarity with the developments taking place inside the Slavonic text. It has been previously noted that the intercessory role of the seventh antediluvian patriarch underwent a significant evolution in the later Merkabah materials, where Enoch-Metatron functions not just as an intercessor for Israel and the Israelites, but also as a redeemer for the chosen people.
It appears that the early roots of this important development can be detected already in Chapter 64 of the Slavonic apocalypse; here the seventh antediluvian patriarch assumes an office very unexpected of a human being. 2 Enoch 64:4–5 reads:
O our father, Enoch! May you be blessed by the Lord, the eternal king! And now, bless your [sons], and all the people, so that we may be glorified in front of your face today. For you will be glorified in front of the face [of the Lord for eternity], because you are the one whom the Lord chose in preference to all the people upon the earth; and he appointed you to be the one who makes a written record of all his creation, visible and invisible, and the one who carried away the sin of mankind.144
This passage will be investigated more closely later in this study. Now we must examine the new designation of the patriarch as “the one who carried away the sin of humankind.” This newly acquired title of Enoch recalls the passage from Lamentations Rabbah, intr. 24, where Metatron appears as the one who takes upon himself the sorrow for Israel’s sins, thus posing as a redeemer:
At that time the Holy One, blessed be He, wept and said, “Woe is Me! What have I done? I caused My Shechinah to dwell below on earth for the sake of Israel; but now that they have sinned, I have returned to My former habitation. Heaven forfend that I become a laughter to the nations and a byword to human beings!” At that time Metatron came, fell upon his face, and spoke before the Holy One, blessed be He: “Sovereign of the Universe, let me weep, but do Thou not weep.” He replied to him, “If thou lettest Me not weep now, I will repair to a place which thou hast not permission to enter, and will weep there,” as it is said, But if ye will not hear it, My soul shall weep in secret for pride (Jer. 13:17).145
Another testimony to the hero’s redeeming role can be found in 3 Enoch; here Enoch-Metatron is depicted as the expiator of the sin of the protoplast who was predestined146 for this role even before the creation of the protoplast. Synopse §72 reads: “The Holy One, blessed be he, said: I made him strong, I took him, I appointed him, namely Metatron my servant, who is unique among all the denizens of the heights.… ‘I made him strong’ in the generation of the first man….”147 In examining this tradition Alexander suggests that “Enoch thus becomes a redeemer figure – a second Adam148 through whom humanity is restored.”149
The reference to the redeeming role of Enoch in the Slavonic apocalypse might anticipate these later rabbinic and Hekhalot conceptual developments. In comparison with the later sources, in the Slavonic apocalypse Enoch’s role as the redeemer appears to have an early “pseudepigraphic” form. In the Slavonic apocalypse Enoch does not claim to be the redeemer specifically for the sins of Israel and the Israelites, but rather assumes the role of the redeemer of the whole world. This emphasis shows that the pseudepigraphon seems to underline the universal perspective, which is not uncommon for a Jewish text written in the Alexandrian Diaspora of the first century C.E.
Mediation of the Divine Presence
The transition from the role of intercessor to the role of redeemer in the Slavonic text indicates that the conceptual developments taking place in the pseudepigraphon tend to shape the exalted profile of the translated hero after the prototypes of the later roles and titles of Metatron. It is therefore not surprising that in 2 Enoch one detects another significant mediatorial duty of the elevated seer, already analyzed in the earlier investigation of Metatron’s offices: the role of the mediator of the divine Presence. In 2 Enoch, as in the later Merkabah texts, this composite role is closely connected with other newly emerging offices of the elevated patriarch, such as the servant of the divine Face and the measurer of the Deity, roles discussed previously in the investigation. It is significant that by virtue of his installation into the office of the servant of the Face, Enoch also appears to be obliged to act as the mediator of the divine Presence who conveys to the mortals the dangerous vision of the Lord’s Face. The pivotal passage that brings together all these roles150 is 2 Enoch 39, a text which has already been mentioned several times in this investigation. There, Enoch narrates to his children the vision of the divine Face. This narrative indicates that Enoch becomes the one who not only deserves to behold the divine Countenance, but is also obliged to communicate the features and dimensions of the divine Presence through the medium of his own body, thus using his own corporeality as the mediatorial tool for conveying the divine form. As discussed earlier the patriarch repeatedly uses his own corporeality in his analogical descriptions of the Kavod, in the fashion reminiscent of the Hekhalot and Shiur Qomah accounts where the divine form is illustrated through the medium of Enoch-Metatron’s transformed body, which represents the replica of the divine extent. It should be noted that the idea of the employment of the patriarch’s body as a mediatorial tool for relating the vision of the divine Kavod is unknown in the early Enochic lore. There the patriarch neither attempts to describe the divine physique nor does he try to use his own corporeality as an illustration of the Deity’s body.
The aforementioned unfolding of the new mediating function of the seventh antediluvian hero in the Slavonic text is impressive. Still, in comparison with the later Metatron tradition, 2 Enoch’s developments represent only initial steps towards the hero’s role as the mediator of the divine Presence. The Slavonic apocalypse does not detail the mediating function of the translated patriarch in relation to the angelic realm, which looms large in the Metatron tradition, but rather concentrates on the hero’s mediation to human subjects. This situation demonstrates that one encounters here only an incipient development of the prominent office which will acquire its full-fledged form much later.
Expert in the Secrets of Creation
It has been suggested above that already in the Mesopotamian tradition, the seventh antediluvian hero has acquired the role of an expert in the celestial secrets. This trend was later continued in the Enochic tradition, which emphasizes the expertise of the elevated patriarch in esoteric lore. The Slavonic apocalypse does not constitute a break in this prominent development and further elaborates this profile of the translated hero as a person concerned with heavenly secrets.
First, one must underline that in comparison to other Enochic writings, the notion of “secrets” occupies an important place in the Slavonic apocalypse. The importance of this terminology is highlighted by its prominent position in the title of the book. While various manuscripts of 2 Enoch are known under different titles, most of them151 include the word “secrets.”152 In some of these titles the term is connected with Enoch’s books – “The Secret Books of Enoch.”153 In other titles “secrets” are linked either to God (“The Book[s] [called] the Secrets of God, a revelation to Enoch”)154 or to Enoch himself (“The Book of the Secrets of Enoch”).155 This consistency in the use of the term “secrets,” in spite of its varied attribution to different subjects, may indicate that the authors and the transmitters of the text viewed the motif of “secrets” as a central theme of the apocalypse.
Enoch’s initiation into the secrets is recounted in several narrative steps in the Slavonic text. First, the archangel Vereveil (Vrevoil) prepares the newly transformed Enoch for the reception and the transmission of the divine secrets by teaching him scribal and language skills and by giving him preliminary instruction in various other subjects. According to the Slavonic text, he specifically instructed Enoch in “all the deeds of the Lord, the earth and the sea, and all the elements and the courses… and the Hebrew language, every kind of language of the new song of the armed troops and everything that it is appropriate to learn” (23:1–2, shorter recension).
After the preliminary angelic instructions, the Lord himself decides to initiate the seer into secrets unexplained even to the angels:
[Listen, Enoch, and pay attention to these words of mine!] For not even to my angels have I explained my secrets, nor related to them their origin, nor my endlessness [and inconceivableness], as I devise the creatures, as I am making them known to you today….(24:3).156
Finally, the Lord promises Enoch the role of the “Seer of Secrets.” The important feature here is that the promise of this position is closely connected with other offices of Enoch, such as the servant of the divine Presence, the celestial scribe, and the witness of the divine judgment; this connection might point to the composite nature of this appointment. This juxtaposition demonstrates a close affinity with 1 Enoch’s materials, in which the patriarch’s role as the expert in secrets combines with his scribal duties and his office as the witness of the divine judgment. In the shorter recension of the Slavonic text the Lord promises:
and you will be in front of my face from now and forever.157 And you will be seeing my secrets158 and you will be scribe for my servants159 since you will be writing down everything that has happened on earth and that exists on earth and in the heavens, and you will be for me a witness of the judgment160 of the great age (2 Enoch 36:3).
Several details of the theme of secrets found in 2 Enoch show some intriguing parallels with the Merkabah lore. First, the text says that the Lord decided to confer to Enoch not just any secrets, but specific mysteries pertaining to the process of creation.161 The emphasis on the specific content of the secrets revealed to Enoch by God in the Slavonic apocalypse appears to allude to the later rabbinic and Hekhalot developments, with their marked emphasis on the secrecy of the Account of Creation and a very special place of this account among other theological topics. Scholars underline that in rabbinic literature the Account of Creation (ty#)rb h#(m) was understood as one of the two main esoteric subjects.162 m. Hag 2:1 prohibits the exposition of ty#)rb h#(m in public by dictating that this lore may not be expounded before two or more people.163 Similar restrictions were also applied to another important esoteric subject, the Account of the Chariot (hbkrm h#(m).
The next important detail of the creation imagery found in the Slavonic apocalypse is the insistence on the role of the Deity as the sovereign Creator of the universe. In 2 Enoch 33, the Lord tells the visionary that He is himself responsible for creating everything “from the highest foundation to the lowest, and to the end.”164 2 Enoch’s emphasis on the Deity’s role as the Creator shows a significant parallel to the Jewish mystical imagery165 in which God is sometimes referred as Yoser Bereshit, “the Creator.”166 However, this emphasis on the sovereignty of the Deity in creation does not appear to be entirely monolithic in the Slavonic text if one considers the Deity’s decision to share the secrets of creation that He did not explain even to the angels.
Here, therefore, one might have a delegation of the demiurgic function to God’s vice-regent, a motif which can be detected in the already mentioned passages from Sefer Hekhalot and the Zohar. In these texts, the letters on the crown given to Metatron attest to his partaking in the works of creation. Some scholars have noted that the link between Metatron and the “secrets of creation” manifested in the Hekhalot tradition might witness to his role as a demiurge, or at least, to his participation in the work of creation.167 Jarl Fossum draws attention to the tradition attested in Genesis Rabbah 5:4 on Gen. 1:9, according to which, “the voice of the Lord became a guide (Nwr++m)168 to the waters, as it is written: ‘The voice of the Lord is over the waters.’“169 Fossum proposes that this passage might refer to the demiurgic role of Metatron.170 He also suggests that while the depiction of Metatron in Sefer Hekhalot is not demiurgic, it points to the matrix of ideas out of which the Gnostic concept of the demiurge possibly arose.171 The beginning of the tendency towards Enoch-Metatron’s demiurgic profile might already be detected in 2 Enoch, a text which puts great emphasis on Enoch’s knowledge of the secrets of creation and in which Enoch is sometimes described as if he were a divine being.172
3 Enoch’s emphasis on understanding the mysteries of the human heart is also discernible in 2 Enoch 50:1; here the seventh antediluvian patriarch boasts before his children that he is able to see the achievements of each person as in a mirror: “I have set down the achievements of each person in the writings and no one can (hide himself) who is born on the earth, nor (can) his achievement be kept secret. I see everything, as if in a mirror.”173
It is striking that it is not only the content of the secrets but also the manner of initiation into them that demonstrates remarkable similarities between 2 and 3 Enoch. The resemblance includes three points.
First, an important detail in both texts is that some preparatory instructions before the Account of Creation were given through angels. In the case of 3 Enoch, the instructions were given through the angels known as the “Prince of Wisdom” (hmkxh r#) and the “Prince of Understanding” (hnybh r#). In the case of 2 Enoch, they are conveyed through the angel Vereveil (). In both books these angelic mediators do not reveal secrets but instead offer some preparatory knowledge. In 2 Enoch, Vereveil instructs Enoch in different things – ”all things of heaven and earth and sea and all the elements and the movements and their courses… and the Hebrew language, every kind of language of the new song of the armed troops and everything that it is appropriate to learn” (23:1–2).174 In 3 Enoch, the Prince of Wisdom and the Prince of Understanding teach Enoch-Metatron wisdom – “the wisdom of those above and those below, the wisdom of this world and the world to come.”175
Second, both texts also mention that, immediately after these preparatory angelic instructions, the Lord (the Holy One) reveals the secrets of creation to Enoch (Metatron). From Synopse §14 one learns that all the secrets of creation (ty#)rb yrts) now stand revealed before Enoch-Metatron as they stand revealed before the Creator.176 In 2 Enoch 24:2–4 (shorter recension), the Lord instructs Enoch in the secrets of his “endless and inconceivable creation,” the mysteries which he never explained even to his angels:
Whatever you see, Enoch, things standing still and moving about and which were brought to perfection by me, I myself will explain it to you.… And not even to my angels have I explained my secrets, nor related to them their composition, nor my endless and inconceivable creation which I conceived, as I am making them known to you today. 177
Third, as was mentioned earlier, the notion of secrets in 3 Enoch includes various types of revelations. Even though the book applies the term “secrets” to several things, including the Torah, it also seems to use the notion of the special secret in reference to certain details of the Account of Creation. According to the book, this special secret plays an important role in “God’s creation of everything.” One learns about the secret from Synopse §79, where Metatron tells R. Ishmael that he revealed a special secret to Moses, in spite of the protests of the heavenly hosts:
YHWH the God of Israel is my witness that when I revealed this secret to Moses, all the armies of the height, in every heaven, were angry with me. They said to me, “Why are you revealing this secret to a man, born of woman, blemished, unclean, defiled by blood and impure flux, men who excrete putrid drops – that secret by which heaven and earth were created, the sea and the dry land, mountains and hills, rivers and springs, Gehinnom, fire and hail, the garden of Eden and the tree of life? By it Adam was formed, the cattle and the beasts of the field, the birds of heaven and the fish of the sea, Behemoth and Leviathan, the unclean creatures and reptiles, the creeping things of the sea and the reptiles of the deserts, Torah, wisdom, knowledge, thought, the understanding of things above, and the fear of heaven. Why are you revealing it to flesh and blood?”178
Philip Alexander observes that in this passage the secret could be either (a) the Torah or (b) the secret names of God. He further suggests that “the identification of the secret with the Torah appears to be excluded by the fact that Torah is one of the things created by the secret.”179 This situation in which the notion of “secret” transcends the realm of the Torah and refers instead to God’s creation appears to have close affinities to the position of 2 Enoch, in which the Torah is not listed among God’s mysteries.
The cosmogonic account in 2 Enoch demonstrates close similarities not only with the Merkabah tradition but also with much later developments of Jewish mysticism, including the materials found in the Zohar. These parallels show that the conceptual developments taking place in the Slavonic apocalypse might constitute a formative core essential for the various trends of Jewish mystical traditions.
In one of his books, Gershom Scholem points to an interesting detail of the creation narrative in 2 Enoch.180 The story involves the enigmatic stones the Lord placed in the waters during the process of creation. In Chapters 28–29, when the Lord instructs Enoch about the secrets of the Account of Creation, He says:
Then from the waters I hardened181 big stones,182 and the clouds of the depths183 I commanded to dry themselves. And I did not name what fell to the lowest places.184 Gathering the ocean into one place, I bound it with a yoke. I gave to the sea an eternal boundary, which will not be broken through by the waters. The solid structure185 I fixed and established it above the waters (28:2–4).186
The theme of the big stones plays an important role in the creation narrative of 2 Enoch. Scholem draws attention to the relationship between these enigmatic stones and the cosmogonic tradition of “an esoteric baraitha187 in which the word whb in whbw wht of Genesis 1:2 was interpreted as ‘muddy stones, sunk in the abyss’.”188 Scholem’s remark invites a further exploration of the role of the enigmatic stones in the aggadic traditions. Although m. . 2:1 prohibits the exposition of ty#)rb h#(m in public, cosmogonic doctrines were important during all stages of Jewish mysticism, and occupied a prominent role in such books as Sefer Yetsirah and Sefer ha-Bahir.189 Isaiah Tishby observes that understanding the causes and processes of the formation of the world became one of the central themes in late Jewish mysticism.190
In late Jewish mysticism, especially in the Zohar, the theme of the big stones placed by the Creator in the waters (in the abyss) occupied an important place. In spite of the late date of the Zohar, these materials have preserved important early traditions relevant to the subject of this study. Moreover, this medieval compendium of Jewish mystical knowledge mentions a book under the title “The Book of the Secrets of Enoch”191 which is identical with the titles given to 2 Enoch in some manuscripts.192
Similarities between 2 Enoch and the Zohar are not confined to the title of the Slavonic Enoch. Several scholars, including George H. Box and Hugo Odeberg, have remarked on striking parallels between both texts, especially in the materials of the longer recension of 2 Enoch. Box points to the connection between 2 Enoch and the Zohar and observes that “the Slavonic Enoch … is remarkably illuminating in its realistic presentment of some of the Kabbalistic ideas – e.g. as to the process of creation, the constitution of the heavens, and so on.”193 The investigation of the possible parallels between the story of creation in 2 Enoch and the Account of Creation in the Zohar demonstrates that the Slavonic apocalypse belongs to the group of texts representing the conceptual world of early Jewish mysticism and therefore provides the formative basis for subsequent rabbinic developments. This is one of the reasons for including some materials from the Book of Zohar in this part of our study.
Zohar I, 231a reads:
The world did not come into being until God took a certain stone, which is called the “foundation stone,”194 and cast it into the abyss195 so that it held fast there, and from it the world was planted. This is the central point of the universe, and on this point stands the holy of holies. This is the stone referred to in the verses, “Who laid the corner-stone thereof” (Job XXXVIII, 6), “the stone of testing, the precious corner-stone” (Is. XXVIII, 16), and “the stone that the builders despise became the head of the corner” (Ps. CXVIII, 22). This stone is compounded of fire, water, and air, and rests on the abyss. Sometimes water flows from it and fills the deep. This stone is set as a sign in the centre of the world.196
Zohar II, 222a continues the theme of the foundation stone:
When the Holy One, blessed be He, was about to create the world, He detached one precious stone197 from underneath His Throne of Glory and plunged it into the Abyss, one end of it remaining fastened therein whilst the other end stood out above; and this other and superior head constituted the nucleus of the world, the point out of which the world started, spreading itself to right and left and into all directions, and by which it is sustained. That nucleus, that stone, is called shethyiah (foundation), as it was the starting-point of the world. The name shethyiah, furthermore, is a compound of shath (founded) and Yah (God), signifying that the Holy One, blessed be He, made it the foundation and starting-point of the world and all that is therein.198
I will now compare some important details in these two narratives with elements of 2 Enoch. The text of 2 Enoch uses the term 199 (“abyss”) which also occupies a prominent place in the narrative of the Zohar. In the Zohar, the Holy One cast a stone into the abyss. 2 Enoch does not mention that the stone fell into the abyss but does use the phrase, “I did not name what fell to the abyss” (28:3), with the implication that this act of the Lord has already taken place. Another important motif in relation to the stones in both texts has to do with the theme of establishing the foundation. 2 Enoch narrates that the stones (stone) are related to the foundation which the Lord has established above the waters.200 This labeling of stones as “foundation” is very typical for the Zoharic narrative, where the stone is referred to many times as hyt# (“foundation”) or hyt# Nb) (“foundation stone”).201 The concept of the “Foundation Stone” occupies a prominent place in several cosmological stories.202 E. Burrows points to the Mesopotamian provenance of the concept of the “Foundation Stone,” which symbolizes in these traditions the bond between heaven and earth.203 Burrows traces the geographical origins of this cosmogonic pattern to “the sanctuaries at Nippur, at Larsa, and probably at Sippar.”204 The possible connection with Sippar is especially important for the Enochic text if one keeps in mind the possible Mesopotamian origin of Enoch’s figure, based on the antediluvian king Enmeduranki of Sippar.
Finally, the difference in the number of stones in both texts must also be explained. The Zohar mentions one foundation stone, but 2 Enoch speaks about stones. But later in the narrative of 2 Enoch, the term switches from the plural to the singular, and refers only to one stone: “From the stone205 I cut off a great fire…(29:3).”206
Adoil and Arukhaz: Etymology of the Names
During his instructions in the secrets of creation, the Lord told Enoch that in the beginning of creation he had thought to create a visible creation from the invisible. This process occupies an important place in the narrative of 2 Enoch and manifests the complicated imagery of this stage of creation. To assist our inquiry, the following passage must be quoted:
And I thought up the idea of establishing a foundation, to create a visible creation. And I commanded the lowest things: “Let one of the invisible things come out visibly!” And Adail descended, extremely large. And I looked at him, and, behold, in his belly he had a great age.207 And I said to him, “Disintegrate yourself, Adail, and let what is disintegrated from you become visible.” And he disintegrated himself, and there came out from him the great age. And thus it carried all the creation which I had wished to create. And I saw how good it was. And I placed for myself a throne, and I sat down on it. To the light I spoke: “You go up higher and be solidified and become the foundation for the highest things.” And there is nothing higher than the light, except nothing itself. And I spoke, I straightened myself upward from my throne. And I called out a second time into the lowest things, and I said, “Let one of the invisible things come out solid and visible.” There came out Arukhas,208 solid and heavy and very black. And I saw how suitable he was. And I said to him, “Come down low and become solid! And become the foundation of the lowest things!” And he came down and became solid. And he became the foundation of the lowest things. And there is nothing lower than the darkness, except nothing itself (2 Enoch 24:5–26:3, shorter recension).209
This passage deals with two enigmatic names, Adail (Adoil) and Arukhas. Much attention has been devoted to the etymology of these words; this attention might indicate that many scholars consider these names as important clues for clarifying the origins of the text.
Robert Henry Charles suggests that Adoil might be derived from the Hebrew l) dy, translated as the “hand of God.”210 Marc Philonenko supports this etymology, pointing to some Egyptian parallels in which “les premières créatures naissent du liquide séminal que le démiurge solitaire avait fait jaillir au moyen de sa main.”211 L. Cry suggests understanding Adoil as stemming from l) rw), “the light of God.” In his opinion, some letters in the Hebrew word rw), “light,” were altered. Resh was read as daleth; waw was transposed. These alterations produced Adoil.212 André Vaillant suggests that the name might be derived from the Hebrew word d( with a suffix, “his eternity, his aeon.”213 Gershom Scholem criticizes this rendering, arguing that the Hebrew word d( cannot carry a pronominal suffix.214 According to Scholem’s own interpretation, Adoil derives from Sadoqil.215 Józef Milik considers the name Adoil “a Greek and Semitic hybrid: Hades + El.”216 Gilles Quispel derives it from Adonai-el, where the first element is the circumlocution for the Tetragrammaton.217
Another proper name in the narrative, Arukhaz, also poses several problems for interpretation. R. H. Charles believes that Arukhaz may have originated from the Hebrew word (yqr (“firmament”).218 André Vaillant supports the view that the term Arukhaz is connected with the image of foundation (Hebrew, (yqr; Greek, stere&wma). In his opinion it was composed from the Hebrew words Kwr( “arranged” and z( “hard.”219 Józef Milik traced Arukhaz to the Hebrew feminine term hkwr) (“geographical basin”), transcribed with the masculine flexional ending as Aruchaz.220 Francis Andersen, while thinking that the name could probably be derived from the Greek word a0rxh&, points out that the ending -as, which is not Slavonic, is doubtful.221 He opts for another etymology that connects the name with the Hebrew word Kwr( (“extended”).222
However, some materials found in the Zohar might lead us to quite different interpretations of the names Adoil and Arukhas. In the Zohar I, 17b one finds some provocative material from the Account of Creation that describes the stage in the story of creation which began, just as in the passage of 2 Enoch, with the idea of establishing a “foundation:”
Let there be a firmament: i.e., let there be a gradual extension. Thereupon El (God), the “right cluster,” El Gadol (Great God),223 spread forth from the midst of the waters to complete this name El and to combine with this extension, and so El was extended into Elohim (=El+H, Y, M). These H, Y, M extended and became reversed so as to form lower waters, Y, M, H. This extension which took place on the second day is the upper waters. The hé, yod, mim, form hayam (the sea), which is the upper waters. The reversal of these letters, yamah (seaward), is the lower waters. When they were firmly established, all became one whole, and this name was extended to a number of places. The upper waters are male and the lower waters female. At first they were commingled,224 but afterwards they were differentiated into upper and lower waters. This is the meaning of “Elohim upper waters,” and this is the meaning of “Adonai lower waters;” and this is the meaning of upper Hé and lower Hé.225
First, the applicable correlation between this narrative and the passage of 2 Enoch lies in the similarities between the name Adail, spelled in the majority of Slavonic manuscripts as Adoil,226 and lwdg l) – El gadol (“the great god”). It must be noted that the Slavonic text, after it introduces the name Adoil, defines it as “the great one,” ,”Adoil, the great one,”227 which, in Hebrew, is identical with his name.228 Second, the title El Gadol in the Zohar is identified with the upper waters. A similar correspondence can be found in 2 Enoch where Adoil is matched with the upper foundation. The same symmetrical pattern also appears in the case of Arukhaz: Arukhaz is the lower foundation in 2 Enoch, and the “other extension,” the lower waters in the Zohar.
The analysis of the parallels between 2 Enoch’s notion of the secrets of creation and its counterpart in the later Merkabah and Zoharic developments shows that 2 Enoch’s emphasis on the secrecy of the creation story reveals an intriguing parallel to the later rabbinic approach to ty#)rb h#(m as an esoteric knowledge. 2 Enoch, therefore, can be seen as an important step in the shaping of the later rabbinic understanding of “secret things,” which eventually led to the esotericism of the Account of Creation.
On the other hand the patriarch’s involvement with the Lord’s mysteries and their peculiar content in 2 Enoch is strikingly different from the concept of secrets in the early Enochic booklets and the way of the patriarch’s initiation into esoteric lore in these early Enochic works.
Priestly and Liturgical Roles
This study has demonstrated that the roots of the sacerdotal duties of the seventh antediluvian hero can be traced back to the Mesopotamian traditions about the king Enmeduranki, the legendary founder of the priestly guild. This sacerdotal role of the hero was then further developed in the early Enochic materials which seek to portray the patriarch as a celestial priest. The sacerdotal duties of Metatron also appear to have a direct connection with these early developments. One should note that the Merkabah materials reveal Enoch-Metatron in two sacerdotal dimensions, priestly and liturgical, portraying him as the high priest and the director of the celestial liturgy.229 In contrast, 1 Enoch and Jubilees emphasize only one side of the patriarch’s heavenly service, his priestly activities.
In comparison with the early Enochic writings which do not mention the liturgical dimension of the patriarch’s deeds and depict him solely as a priest, the Slavonic apocalypse, like the later Merkabah lore, seeks to encompass both sacerdotal dimensions, priestly and liturgical. Further, the early sacerdotal imagery of Enoch also undergoes a substantial development in this pseudepigraphon. References to the priestly office of the seventh antediluvian patriarch in the Slavonic text show a marked difference in comparison with the testimonies found in the Book of the Watchers, the Book of Dreams, and Jubilees. Unlike these Enochic writings, 2 Enoch does not associate the translated patriarch with any celestial structure that might remotely resemble the descriptions found in 1 Enoch 14 and 87.230 It is also puzzling that the Slavonic text is reluctant to directly portray Enoch as the celestial high priest. Despite the absence of such explicit imagery, the Slavonic text contains a number of other indirect testimonies that demonstrate that the authors of this apocalypse appear to be cognizant of the patriarch’s priestly functions. Scholars have previously observed that in 2 Enoch 22 the seer’s anointing with shining oil and the transformation of his clothing into the luminous garments during his angelic metamorphosis231 appear to resemble the priestly investiture.232 Another possible sacerdotal association occurs in 2 Enoch 67–69. Here the descendents of the seventh antediluvian patriarch, including his son Methuselah, are depicted as the builders of the altar erected on the place where Enoch was taken up to heaven: “And Methusalam and his brothers and all the sons of Enoch hurried, they constructed an altar at the place called Ahuzan, whence and where Enoch had been taken up to heaven.” 233 The place of Enoch’s ascension is designated here as Ahuzan (). Scholars suggest that the Slavonic Ahuzan might be a transliteration of the Hebrew hzx) found in Ezek 48:20–21, where the word hzx), “special property of God,” applies to Jerusalem and the Temple.234 The link between the location of the terrestrial sanctuary and the place of Enoch’s final departure might attest to the peculiar role of the ascended hero in relation to the heavenly counterpart of this earthly structure. It is also significant that a large portion of the apocalypse (Chapters 68–73) is dedicated to the descriptions of the priestly duties of the patriarch’s descendants, including his son Methuselah and his grandgrandson Nir, both of whom are depicted as priests offering animal sacrifices on the altar. Moreover, in 2 Enoch 59 the patriarch is portrayed as the one who delivers sacrificial instruction to his children. This transmission of the sacerdotal knowledge does not appear to be accidental since in 2 Enoch 71:32 the seventh antediluvian hero appears in the line of the great priests preceding Methuselah and Nir.235
All these testimonies show that the authors of 2 Enoch were familiar with the traditions about the priestly affiliations of the seventh antediluvian person attested also in the early Enochic booklets. In contrast to these early materials that refer solely to Enoch’s priestly role, the authors of the Slavonic apocalypse also appear to have knowledge about another prominent office of the translated patriarch – his liturgical appointments and his role as the one who encourages and directs celestial hosts in their daily praise of the Creator.
While entertaining the possibility of the Enochic origins of Metatron’s role as the leader of the divine worship, one must direct attention to the passage found in 2 Enoch 18 in which the patriarch is depicted as the one who encourages the celestial Watchers to conduct the liturgy before the Face of God. The longer recension of 2 Enoch 18:8–9 relates:
And I [Enoch] said, “Why are you [the Celestial Watchers] waiting for your brothers? And why don’t you perform the liturgy236 before the face of the Lord? Start up your liturgy,237 and perform the liturgy before the face of the Lord, so that you do not enrage your Lord [God] to the limit.” And they responded to my recommendation, and they stood in four regiments in this heaven. And behold, while I was standing with those men, 4 trumpets trumpeted in unison with a great sound, and the Grigori burst into singing in unison. And their voice rose in front of the face of the Lord, piteously and touchingly.238
The imagery of this account represents a rough sketch that only vaguely witnesses to the future prominent liturgical role of Enoch-Metatron analyzed earlier in this study. Yet here, for the first time in the Enochic tradition, the seventh antediluvian patriarch dares to assemble and direct the angelic creatures toward their routine job of delivering praise to the Deity.239 The choice of the angelic group, of course, is significant since in various Enochic materials the patriarch is often described as a special envoy to the Watchers, the fallen angels, as well as to their faithful celestial brothers. It is noteworthy that although in 2 Enoch 18 the patriarch gives advice to the angels situated in the fifth heaven, he repeatedly encourages them to start liturgy “before the Face of the Lord,” that is, in front of the divine Kavod, the exact location where the Youth-Metatron will later conduct the heavenly worship of the angelic hosts in the Shiur Qomah and Hekhalot accounts.
The shorter recension of the Slavonic text240 adds several significant details among which can be found Enoch’s advice to the Watchers to “perform the liturgy in the name of fire.”241 This peculiar terminology involving the symbolism of fire appears to refer to the concepts found in the Hekhalot liturgical accounts where the imagery of fire, in the form of the references to the deafening fire and angels “bathing” in the fire, plays an important role. The shorter recension also highlights the importance of Enoch’s leading role, specifically underscoring that the angels were in need of “the earnestness” of his recommendation.242
The previous analysis has shown that Enoch’s scribal role occupies a prominent role in the early Enochic materials; in these texts the patriarch received several titles pertaining to this composite office, including such cognomens as the scribe of distinction and the scribe of righteousness. It has been noted that one of the earliest accounts of Enoch’s initiation into his scribal office can be found in the Astronomical Book, the oldest Enochic material, where the angel Uriel advises the patriarch to write down the celestial knowledge.
It is curious that, among the several possible literary options for developing the patriarch’s scribal activities, the authors of the Slavonic apocalypse choose a narrative device very similar to the one discernible in the Astronomical Book, in which the descriptions of the hero’s scribal duties are closely interconnected with the instructions given by Uriel. In comparison with the Astronomical Book, however, the account found in 2 Enoch is shorter and more dynamic. It can be viewed as an abbreviated summary presented by someone already familiar with the previous account(s) of the seer’s scribal activities. The presentation of the patriarch’s scribal office in 2 Enoch is mainly confined to two narrative blocks. One of them occurs in Chapters 22–23, which presents the patriarch’s initiation into the scribal office by Vereveil (Vrevoil). The second block encompasses Chapters 33–36; here the important role of Enoch’s writings is specifically underscored and the perennial scope of his scribal activities is confirmed. The overall narrative devoted to the scribal office unfolds in the following stages:
1. Enoch is initiated into the scribal activities by the Lord’s command. The Lord orders Vereveil to bring out the books from the storehouses, to give the seer a pen for speed-writing, and to read to Enoch the celestial books.243 The command is immediately executed by Vereveil; he brings to the patriarch the books, a knife, and ink, while also providing the visionary with a pen for speed-writing from his hand (22:11).244 The last action might indicate the transference of the scribal duties from this angel to Enoch.245
2. The patriarch is then offered a seat so that he can write down the knowledge which was explained to him by the angel. In the longer recension of 2 Enoch 23:4, Vereveil commands him: “These things, whatever I have taught you, whatever you have learned, and whatever we have written down, you sit down [and] write….”246
3. The hero’s scribal activity resulted in a specific number of books. “I wrote everything accurately. And I wrote 366 books” (23:6).247
4. The Lord instructs Enoch to deliver these books in his handwriting to his descendants248 so they can read them “from generation to generation” (33:8–10, shorter recension).
5. The Lord appoints the guardian angels for Enoch’s writings:
For I will give you, Enoch, my mediator, my archistratig, Michael, on account of your handwritings and the handwritings of your fathers – Adam and Sith and Enos and Kainan and Maleleil and Ared your father. And they will not be destroyed until the final age. So I have commanded my angels, Ariukh and Pariukh, whom I have appointed on the earth as their guardians,249 and I have commanded the seasons, so that they might preserve them so that they might not perish in the future flood which I shall create in your generation. (33:10–12.)250
6. Finally, the Lord gave the promise to Enoch about his future role as the heavenly scribe: “…and you will be scribe251 for my servants, since you will be writing down everything that has happened on earth and that exists on earth and in the heavens, and you will be for me a witness of the judgment of the great age” (36:3, shorter recension).
One can see that in 2 Enoch the motif of Enoch’s initiation into the scribal office is closely intertwined with the imagery of the celestial books from which Enoch learns and copies the celestial knowledge. These editions of the celestial books are predestined to survive the impending flood in order to play a significant role in the transmission of the special knowledge to future generations. This motif recalls the early Enochic traditions with their emphasis on the patriarch’s writings as the media able to bridge the boundaries of various realms and generations. Along with the apparent similarities with the early Enochic lore, some marked differences can also be detected. In contrast to the account of Uriel’s instructions in the Astronomical Book, 2 Enoch places noticeable emphasis on the presence of the Deity, who closely supervises the initiation and the instruction of the new servant and then personally assures the seer about the prominent destiny of his books and the perennial nature of his scribal office.
Another striking difference is that in contrast to the early Enochic accounts, the Slavonic apocalypse portrays the patriarch as a scribe who has a seat in heaven.252 While the accounts of Enoch’s scribal activities attested in 1 Enoch, Jubilees, the Genesis Apocryphon, and the Book of Giants do not refer to Enoch’s possession of a seat in heaven,253 the tradition attested in the Slavonic apocalypse explicitly entertains this possibility. This pivotal detail, which unfortunately remains unnoticed by many scholars, convincingly demonstrates the intermediary nature of the Slavonic apocalypse as a writing which stands between the early Enochic and Merkabah traditions. 2 Enoch 23:4 depicts the angel Vereveil commanding Enoch to sit down. “You sit down;254 write everything….” In response to this suggestion the patriarch takes a seat in heaven. In 2 Enoch 23:6, Enoch conveys to his listeners: “And I sat down255 for a second period of 30 days and 30 nights, and I wrote accurately.”256
It has already been noted in this study that the tradition found in 2 Enoch 23 recalls the passage from b. . 15a according to which “… permission was granted to Metatron to sit and write down the merits of Israel.…”257 The important detail of the Babli’s passage is that, similarly to 2 Enoch’s account, the theme of Metatron’s scribal duties is combined with the motif of his having a seat in heaven. Although, according to rabbinic lore, the angelic hosts are not allowed to sit in the celestial realm (probably because such posture can affront the sovereignty of the Deity), Metatron is exempted from the restriction.258 According to this passage of the Babli, the permission to have a seat was granted to him because of his scribal duties, in order that he might sit and write the merits of Israel.
I must now conclude by noting that in view of the materials found in 2 Enoch, this unique motif of the angelic scribe who has a seat in heaven provides additional support to the theory that the Metatron tradition found in b. . 15a and similar developments attested in 3 Enoch 16 (Synopse §20) and Merkavah Rabbah (Synopse §672) might have their origins in the early Enochic lore of the Second Temple period.
The inquiry into the narrative of 2 Enoch suggests that the conceptual developments pertaining to the roles and titles of its principal character occupy an intermediary stage between early Enochic and Merkabah traditions. The evolution of the titles and roles within the pseudepigraphon includes two distinct processes.
One of these processes is connected with the emerging of new imagery which demonstrates a marked resemblance to the roles and titles prominent in the Metatron lore, including the offices of the Youth, the Prince of the Presence, the Prince of the World, God’s Vice-Regent, and the Measurer of God. Although some designations attested in the Slavonic apocalypse, such as the Governor of the World, the Servant of the Face, and the Heavenly Counterpart, often do not correspond precisely to the later titles of Metatron, the peculiar features of these roles and activities show amazing similarities with their later counterparts found in the Hekhalot and Shiur Qomah materials.
The second process detected in 2 Enoch embraces the advancement of the traditional designations and offices of the seventh antediluvian hero toward their later Merkabah forms. The Slavonic apocalypse demonstrates several remarkable transitions in roles and titles among which the following conceptual advancements have been noted:
1. The transition from the office of the mantic diviner who receives his revelations in mantic dreams to the role of the seer who has his visions in the awakened state.
2. The transition from the priestly imagery of the hero detected in the early Enochic literature toward the more complex sacerdotal office which includes Enoch’s liturgical role as the leader of the heavenly worship prominent in Hekhalot and Shiur Qomah literature.
3. The transition from the early scribal imagery found in 1 Enoch, Jubilees, and the Book of Giants to the imagery of the scribe who has a seat in heaven, which demonstrates remarkable similarities with Metatron’s scribal profile in the Babli.
4. The transition from Enoch’s role as the measurer of the celestial bodies and calendar in the Astronomical Book to Enoch-Metatron’s office as the Measurer of the Lord.
5. The transition from the position of the intercessor for the Watchers and Giants prominent in the early Enochic circle towards the new role of the redeemer and the expiator of the sin of the protoplast, similar to Metatron’s functions in Sefer Hekhalot 48C (Synopse §72) and the Zohar.
6. The transition from the office of the mediator of knowledge and judgment prominent in early Enochic lore to the new role as the mediator of the divine Presence.
This chapter has also emphasized the possibility that the Slavonic apocalypse might contain incipient terminological evidence pertaining to the name “Metatron.” The context of this testimony suggests that this designation might be etymologically connected with Enoch’s designation as the measurer responsible for the measuring of various earthly and celestial phenomena.
It has been also noted that the new and old roles and titles found in the Slavonic apocalypse do not represent interpolations from the later Hekhalot macroforms, since these conceptions exist in the Slavonic text in their very early rudimentary forms which sometimes only distantly allude to their later Hekhalot counterparts. These constructs are thus markedly different from the later Merkabah variants by their early pseudepigraphic form, which shows their close connection with the imagery and the conceptual world of Second Temple Judaism.
After concluding this part of the study, I must now proceed to examining and explicating why 2 Enoch becomes the transitional Enochic text with a set of distinctive advancements from the early Enochic forms of the roles and titles to the Merkabah variants of these phenomena. One must begin this inquiry by directing attention to the polemical developments taking place in the Slavonic apocalypse. This study will attempt to demonstrate that these arguments point to the fact that the developments of Enoch’s roles and titles might represent a polemical response to the various Second Temple traditions about exalted patriarchs and prophets. This question must now be explored in detail.
1 In the beginning of the analysis of the Slavonic text several words must be said about the structure, the manuscripts, and the recensions of 2 Enoch. The book can be divided into three parts. The first part (chapters 1–38) describes Enoch’s heavenly journey and his transformation and initiation near the Throne of Glory. This part ends with Enoch’s descent to earth where he must instruct his children in the celestial knowledge received from the Lord and the angels. The second part (chapters 39–67) deals with Enoch’s instructions to his sons during his short visit to earth. This part concludes with his second, final ascension to heaven. The third part of the book (chapters 68–73) describes the priestly functions of Enoch’s family and culminates in the miraculous birth of Melchisedek and the Flood. Only a small number of the manuscripts, namely A (0:1–72:10), U (0:1–72:10), B (0:1–72:10), and R (0:1–73:9) give a full account of the story leading up to the Flood. Manuscript J (0:1–71:4) goes to chapter 71. Manuscripts P (0:1–68:7), N (0:1–67:3), V (1:1–67:3), and B2 (1:1–67:3) contain only the first two parts of the book and therefore end with Enoch’s second ascension. Manuscript L (0:1–33:8) goes to chapter 33. The rest of the manuscripts give only fragments of the different parts of the book: P2 (28:1–32:2), Tr (67:1; 70–72), Syn (71;72), Rum (71:1–73:1), G (65:1–4; 65:6–8), Chr (fragments from 11–58), Chr2 (11:1–15:3), K (71:1–72:10), I (70:22–72:9). A large group of the manuscripts are copies of the compilation of rearranged materials from chs. 40–65 of 2 Enoch from a judicial codex “The Just Balance” (Merilo Pravednoe). This group includes the following manuscripts: MPr, TSS 253, TSS 489, TSS 682. A scholarly consensus holds that 2 Enoch exists in longer and shorter recensions. The recensions of 2 Enoch differ not only in length but also “in the character of the text.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 93. MSS R, J, and P represent the manuscripts of the longer recension. MSS U, A, B, V, N, B2, and L represent the manuscripts of the shorter recension. P2, Tr, Syn, Rum, MPr, TSS 253, TSS 489, TSS 682, G, Chr, Chr2, I, and K represent fragments of the longer or shorter recensions. On the manuscripts of 2 Enoch, see Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1–167; A. I. Jacimirskij, Bibliograficheskij obzor apokrifov v juzhnoslavjanskoj i russkoj pis’mennosti (spiski pamjatnikov): Vol. 1: Apokrifi vethozavetnye (Petrograd, 1921) 81–88; Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 92–93; idem, “Enoch, Second Book of,” ABD 2.517–519; Böttrich, Das slavische Henochbuch, 788ff.
2 In this section I will continue to operate with the categories of old and new roles and titles. As in the previous chapter, the notion of old roles includes the well-established offices and appellations of the seventh antediluvian hero in the early Enochic and Mesopotamian materials. The category of new roles and titles embraces the late designations of Enoch-Metatron drawn from the rabbinic and Merkabah materials.
3 Alexander, “The Historical Settings of the Hebrew Book of Enoch,” 164–5.
4 Peter Schäfer warns against making hasty conclusions based on the comparisons of isolated motifs. He suggests that, instead of comparing isolated motifs, scholars must attend to the comparison of literary systems. He observes that “… a comparison of individual motifs is only really strong enough for assertions to be made within a comparison of complete literary systems. This does not mean that the comparison of isolated motifs is foolish, but that it can always only be provisional, since a comparison of motifs presupposes in the last resort a comparison of systems, and not vice versa.” See P. Schäfer, “New Testament and Hekhalot Literature: The Journey into Heaven in Paul and in Merkavah Mysticism,” in: P. Schäfer, Hekhalot Studien (TSAJ 19; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1988) 249. Mindful of these methodological suggestions, the current study tries to investigate the “system” of Enoch-Metatron’s roles and titles, instead of concentrating only on an isolated motif or theme pertaining to these designations.
5 See, for example, C. Böttrich, Weltweisheit, Menschheitsethik, Urkult: Studien zum slavischen Henochbuch (WUNT 2/50; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1992) 112–113. Christfried Böttrich’s belief that the two pivotal descriptions of the divine Face in 2 Enoch 22 and 39 represent later interpolations is highly problematic. This theory no longer seems plausible in light of this study since my analysis demonstrates that the imagery of the Face is connected in the text with several of Enoch’s roles, including the office of the servant of the Face. Böttrich unfortunately does not investigate this role, which demonstrates that the theme of the divine Panim is embedded in the fabric of the original layer of the Slavonic apocalypse. Böttrich’s position will be analyzed later in this study.
6 1 Enoch 89:29–31.
7 On the Face of God, see S. Balentine, The Hidden God: The Hiding Face of God in the Old Testament (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983) 49–65; A. De Conick, “Heavenly Temple Traditions and Valentinian Worship: A Case for First-Century Christology in the Second Century,” in: The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism (eds. C. C. Newman, J. R. Davila, G. S. Lewis; JSJSup 63; Leiden: Brill, 1999) 325–330; 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; S. Olyan, A Thousand Thousands Served Him: Exegesis and the Naming of Angels in Ancient Judaism (TSAJ 36; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1993) 105–109; 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.
8 See 1 Enoch 14:21: “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.” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.99. See also 1 Enoch 38:4 “And from then on those who possess the earth will not be mighty and exalted, nor will they be able to look at the face of the holy ones for the light of the Lord of Spirits will have appeared on the face of the holy, the righteous, and the chosen.” 1 Enoch 89:22 “And the Lord of the sheep went with them as he led them, and all his sheep followed him; and his face (was) glorious, and his appearance terrible and magnificent.” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.125–6; 2.203.
9 The reference to the divine Face/Presence is also mentioned in Hebrew Sirach 49:14b, where Enoch’s ascent is described as Mynp xqln. For the Hebrew text of Sirach 49:14b, see T. R. Lee, Studies in the Form of Sirach 44–50 (SBLDS 75; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986) 232; O. Mulder, Simon the High Priest in Sirach 50 (JSJSup 78; Leiden: Brill, 2003) 90. In his recent study, Otto Mulder notes that “Enoch is well known in the pseudepigraphal tradition on account of his ‘walking’ with God whom he beheld face to face. This experience may be referred to in 49:14b with the term Mynp ‘in person.’” Mulder, Simon the High Priest in Sirach 50, 93.
10 Schäfer, The Hidden and Manifest God, 18. This situation recalls 2 Enoch, in which the description of the Face and the statement about the impossibility of enduring its vision are combined in a paradoxical way.
11 This theme looms large in the Hekhalot tradition where one can often find the “danger motif” applied to the Face imagery. See Schäfer, The Hidden and Manifest God, 17; Synopse §§102, 159, 183, 189, 356.
12 Schäfer, The Hidden and Manifest God, 18.
13 Schäfer, The Hidden and Manifest God, 18.
14 Schäfer, The Hidden and Manifest God, 20.
15 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 163.
16 Before Odeberg, another scholar, Louis Ginzberg observed that the words “God set him before His face” in 2 Enoch 67:2 might be related to “the usual designation found in Geonic mysticism of Metatron-Enoch as the ‘prince of the face.’” However, Ginzberg, a cautious scholar, later noted that this parallel may be arguable. Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews, 5.161.
17 Slav. . Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.22.
18 M. D. Fowler, “The Meaning of lipnê YHWH in the Old Testament,” ZAW 99 (1987) 384–90.
19 Odeberg, 3 Enoch, 1.55.
20 Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology, 158, n. 17.
21 2 Enoch 21:3: “And the Lord sent one of his glorious ones, the archangel Gabriel. And he said to me, ‘Be brave, Enoch! Don’t be frightened! Stand up, and come with me and stand in front of the face of the Lord forever.’”
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,” 136, 138, 161.
22 Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, 67.
23 Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, 67.
24 Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam, 21.
25 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 194
26 According to Isaiah Tishby, it is the most popular title of Metatron. “Metatron is known by many names and titles, but his regular designation, found even in the earlier literature, is, r(n – ‘boy’, or ‘lad.’” I. Tishby, The Wisdom of the Zohar (3 vols.; London: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1994) 2.628.
27 Odeberg, 3 Enoch, 1.119.
28 “…it is the mystery of the boy who reaches old age and then reverts to his youth as at the beginning.” Tishby, The Wisdom of the Zohar, 2.628.
29 Ms. V, Folio 308; Ms. B. in: Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.83.
30 Sreznevskij’s dictionary equates this Slavonic word with Greek neani&skoj. I. Sreznevskij, Slovar’ drevnerusskogo jazyka (Moscow: Kniga, 1989) 2.1627–1628.
31 Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.85.
32 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 119.
33 Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.90–91.
34 Ms. V, fol. 317.
35 1 Enoch 15:11: “And he answered me and said to me with his voice: Hear! Do not be afraid, Enoch, (you) righteous man and scribe of righteousness ….” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.100.
36 1 Enoch 12:3–4: “And I Enoch was blessing the Great Lord and the King of Eternity, and behold the Watchers called to me, Enoch the scribe, and said to me: ‘Enoch, scribe of righteousness, go, inform the Watchers of heaven….’” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 1.41; 2.92.
37 Vaillant, Le livre des secrets d’Hénoch, 8. Francis Andersen criticizes Valliant’s position. He stresses that “the similarity to the vocative enoše might explain the variant as purely a scribal slip. But it is surprising that it is only in address, never in description, that the term is used. The variant jenokhu is rare. There is no phonetic reason why the first vowel should change to ju; junokhu is never found.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 118–19.
38 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 119.
39 “The Just Balance” (Merilo Pravednoe) is the Slavonic collection of ethical writings in which the existence of 2 Enoch first was made public. M. N. Tihomirov, Merilo Pravednoe po rukopisi XIV veka (Moscow: AN SSSR, 1961).
40 The majority of the manuscripts use the Slavonic words (krumstvuemaya) or (kormstvuemaya). I. Sreznevsky in his dictionary connects these Slavonic terms to the Greek word kube&rnhsij or the Latin gubernatio. I.I. Sreznevskij, Stovar’ drevnerusskogo jazyka, I (II), 1410. Kurz’s dictionary relates the verb to kuberna~n, gubernare. J. Kurz, ed., Slovnik Jazyka Staroslovenskeho (Lexicon Linguae Palaeoslovenicae) (4 vols.; Prague: Akademia, 1966) 2.74. The manuscript of “Merilo Pravednoe” [MPr] uses the word (pravlemaya). Tihomirov, Merilo Pravednoe po rukopisi XIV veka, 71. Francis Andersen translates the term as “manager”: “I am the manager of the arrangements on earth.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 217.
41 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 217–19.
42 Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 285. Schäfer et al., Synopse, 24–25.
43 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 217–19.
44 “And behold my children, I am the Governor of the earth, [prometaya], I wrote them down …”
45 This development will be investigated in detail later in this study.
46 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 165.
47 The designation of Enoch as a “beloved” demonstrates a remarkable parallel to Enmeduranki’s title found in the tablet from Nineveh.
48 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 138–42.
49 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 143. Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.90 (Ms. B), 1.117 (Ms. U).
50 Fletcher-Louis, Luke-Acts, 154.
51 Mach, “From Apocalypticism to Early Jewish Mysticism,” 251.
52 Crispin Fletcher-Louis also points to another feature of the possible supra–angelic identity of the patriarch in 2 Enoch. This additional detail is Enoch’s omniscience. Fletcher-Louis observes that the patriarch in the Slavonic apocalypse is “omniscient, being able to count and record the stars and all the contents of the heavens.” 2 Enoch 40:1–2; 4–13. He stresses the parallel with 3 Enoch, indicating that “this is a prerogative shared by Enoch/Metatron in 3 Enoch 46:1–2, which cites Ps 146:4.” Fletcher-Louis further comments that this might point to the supra-angelic identity of the patriarch, since “this is a motif which clearly sets Enoch apart from the angels (40:3).” Fletcher-Louis, Luke-Acts, 154.
53 The text also appears to give other indications that Enoch’s place is above that of angels. In 2 Enoch 22 Enoch’s superiority over the angels is expressed through the angelic obeisance to the translated patriarch, performed under the close supervision of the Deity. This important motif will be investigated later.
54 Larry Hurtado notes two significant motifs: Enoch’s placement near the Deity and his initiations into the ultimate secrets of the universe might have constituted the link with the later Metatron developments. He observes that “in 2 Enoch 24:1–3, God invites Enoch to sit on his left and says that secrets left unexplained even to angels are to be made known to him. It is therefore possible that those whose speculations are reflected in 3 Enoch took such references as the basis for the idea that Enoch was transformed into a principal angelic being and, for reasons we cannot trace with confidence, identified this being as Metatron.” Hurtado, One God, One Lord, 55.
55 Alan Segal points out that “a principal angel was seen as God’s primary or sole helper and allowed to share in God’s divinity. That a human being, as the hero or exemplar of a particular group, could ascend to become one with this figure – as Enoch, Moses or Elijah had – seems also to have been part of the tradition.” Segal, Two Powers in Heaven, 180.
56 These princes representing the divine name might well belong to the divine realm.
57 Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 264.
58 J. Fossum, “Ascensio, Metamorphosis: The ‘Transfiguration’ of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels,” in: Fossum, The Image of the Invisible God, 83.
59 Morray-Jones, “Transformational Mysticism in the Apocalyptic–Merkabah Tradition,” 8.
60 b. . 15a.
61 Schäfer et al., Synopse zur Hekhalot-Literatur, 162.
62 “And now, my children it is not from my 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 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 am one who has seen the face of the Lord, like iron made burning hot by a fire, emitting sparks. For you gaze into (my) eyes, a human being created just like yourselves; but I have gazed into the eyes of the Lord, like the rays of the shining sun and terrifying the eyes of a human being. You, (my) children, you see my right hand beckoning you, a human being created identical to yourselves; but I have seen the right hand of the Lord, beckoning me, who fills heaven. You see the extent of my body, the same as your own; but I have seen the extent of the Lord, without measure and without analogy, who has no end….” (2 Enoch 39:3–6). Andersen, “2 Enoch,”163.
63 Scholem, On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah, 29.
64 In Slavonic: , . Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.38, 1.94.
65 See J. VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son of Man in 1 Enoch 37–71,” in: The Messiah: Developments in Earliest Judaism and Christianity: The First Princeton Symposium on Judaism and Christian Origins (eds. J. H. Charlesworth et al.; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992) 182–3; M. Knibb, “Messianism in the Pseudepigrapha in the Light of the Scrolls,” DSD 2 (1995) 177–80; Fossum, The Image of the Invisible God, 144–5; Fletcher-Louis, Luke-Acts, 151. On a heavenly double see also W. Bousset, Die Religion des Judentums im späthellenistischen Zeitalter (3d ed.; HNT 21; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1966) 324.
66 It is important to note that in the Similitudes, the son of man is depicted as the one seated on the Throne of Glory. See 1 Enoch 62:5, 1 Enoch 69:29. Jarl Fossum observes that “in the ‘Similitudes’ the ‘Elect One’ or ‘Son of Man’ who is identified as the patriarch Enoch, is enthroned upon the ‘throne of glory.’ If ‘glory’ does not qualify the throne but its occupant, Enoch is actually identified with the Glory of God”. Fossum further suggests that “…the ‘Similitudes of Enoch’ present an early parallel to the targumic description of Jacob being seated upon the ‘throne of glory.’’’ Fossum, The Image of the Invisible God, 145.
67 VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son of Man in 1 Enoch 37–71,” 182–3.
68 VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son of Man in 1 Enoch 37–71,” 182–3.
69 On the concept of the heavenly counterpart of Jacob in LadJac, see A. Orlov, “The Face as the Heavenly Counterpart of the Visionary in the Slavonic Ladder of Jacob,” 2.59-76.
70 The same tradition can be found in rabbinic texts. Gen. R. 68:12 reads: “…thus it says, Israel in whom I will be glorified (Isa. xlix, 3); it is thou, [said the angels,] whose features are engraved on high; they ascended on high and saw his features and they descended below and found him sleeping.” Midrash Rabbah (10 vols.; London: Soncino Press, 1961) 2.626. On Jacob’s image on the Throne of Glory, see also: Gen. R. 78:3; 82:2; Num. R. 4:1; b. Hul. 91b; PRE 35.
71 On the traditions about Jacob’s image engraved on the Throne, see: E. R. Wolfson, Along the Path: Studies in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism, and Hermeneutics (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995) 1–62; 111–186.
72 “And he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was fixed on the earth and its head reached to the height of the heavens; and behold, the angels that had accompanied him from the house of his father ascended to bear good tidings to the angels on high, saying: ‘Come and see the pious man whose image is engraved in the throne of Glory, whom you desired to see.’ And behold, the angels from before the Lord ascended and descended and observed him.” Targum Neofiti 1: Genesis (tr. M. McNamara, M.S.C.; The Aramaic Bible 1A; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992) 140.
73 “… And he dreamt that there was a ladder set on the ground, whose top reached towards the heavens; and behold the angels that had accompanied him from his father’s house ascended to announce to the angels of the heights: ‘Come and see the pious man, whose image is fixed to the throne of glory….’” M. L. Klein, The Fragment-Targums of the Pentateuch According to Their Extant Sources (2 vols.; AB 76; Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1980) 1.57 and 2.20.
74 Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Genesis (tr. M. Maher, M.S.C.; The Aramaic Bible 1B; Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1992) 99–100.
75 The later Christian accounts of the heavenly counterpart echo this understanding of the heavenly double as an eternal eikon. April De Conick observes that Logion 84 of the Gospel of Thomas postulates that “each person has a heavenly eternal eikon, an Image which came into existence before the human body, the eine or ‘resemblance’ of the person. This heavenly image is concealed from the person because the person is living in a fallen condition, separated from his or her transcendent self. (Jesus said, ‘When you see your resemblance, you rejoice. But when you see your images which came into being before you, and which neither die nor become manifest, how much you will have to suffer!’ Logion 84). Likewise, according to Logion 83a, within each human being there exists an image that has become manifest on earth, the fallen eikon or soul that has become separated from its original radiance. The original light of this image, however, remains concealed in the light enveloping God’s Kavod. (Jesus said, ‘The images are manifest to humans, but the light in them [the images] remains concealed in the image of the light of the Father.’ Logion 83a). Thus, according to this saying, the primal radiance of the fallen soul awaits the soul’s return to heaven.” A. De Conick, Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas: A History of the Gospel and Its Growth (London: T. & T. Clark, 2005) (forthcoming).
76 Hekhalot Rabbati (Synopse §164) attests to the tradition of Jacob’s face engraved on the throne of glory.
77 Fossum, The Image of the Invisible God, 140–41.
78 Jarl Fossum notes that this tradition is already noticeable in some versions of the Fragmentary Targum which do not contain the verb “engraved” or “fixed.” Fossum, The Image of the Invisible God, 141. He also points to a certain baraita (b. Hul. 91b) that seems to attest to the same tradition. Fossum, The Image of the Invisible God, 139–42.
79 Fossum offers additional support for this idea by indicating that the Hebrew forms of the loan word from the Greek ei0kw&n, used in the Targums and Gen. R. 68:12, are synonymous with Mlc and twmd. He further suggests that “Nynwqy) or )nqwyd can thus be seen to denote a bodily form, even that of God, that is the divine Glory.” Fossum, The Image of the Invisible God, 142.
80 C. Rowland, “John 1.51, Jewish Apocalyptic and Targumic Tradition,” NTS 30 (1984) 504.
81 See Exagoge 67–82: “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 (e0n tw ~ kaqh~sqai fw~ta gennai~o&n), with a crown and a large sceptre (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 sceptre 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.” H. Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983) 54–55.
82 It is most clearly reflected in the tradition of Jacob’s heavenly counterpart as the image engraved on the Face. Here the celestial counterpart is neither the Face itself nor the earthly Jacob but the celestial medium which mediates them.
83 A. F. Segal, “Ruler of the World: Attitudes about Mediator Figures and the Importance of Sociology for Self-Definition,” in: Jewish and Christian Self-Definition (ed. E. P. Sanders; London, 1981) n. 28; 248, 255–6.
84 2 Enoch 36:3. Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 161.
85 A similar testimony can also be found in the passage of 2 Enoch preserved in the Slavonic collection of ethical writings, “The Just Balance” (Merilo Pravednoe).
86 It is noteworthy that the Slavonic apocalypse repeatedly refers to the creation of humanity as “small and great” which might also point to the concept of the heavenly counterparts of humans. Thus, for example, 2 Enoch 44:1 says that “the Lord with his own two hands created mankind, in the facsimile of his own face both small and great, the Lord created them.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 170.
87 Tg. Neof. to Gen 28:12: “…and behold, the angels from before the Lord ascended and descended and observed him [Jacob].” Targum Neofiti 1: Genesis (tr. M. McNamara, M.S.C.; The Aramaic Bible 1A; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992) 140; Gen. R. 68:12: “…they ascended on high and saw his features and they descended below and found him sleeping.” Midrash Rabbah (10 vols.; London: Soncino Press, 1961) 2.626.
88 The reference to the angels of the Presence as heavenly counterparts of humans is not confined solely to the Jewish pseudepigrapha. April De Conick’s research refers to several important Christian passages in which angels of the Presence/the Face serve as heavenly counterparts of humans. See A. De Conick, Seek to See Him: Ascent and Vision Mysticism in the Gospel of Thomas (SVC 33; Leiden: Brill, 1996) 153–54; D. R. Catchpole, “The Angelic Son of Man in Luke 12:8,” NovT 24 (1982) 255–65, esp. 260–65. One such tradition is reflected in the Gospel of Matthew 18:10: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.” In her forthcoming study De Conick argues that the Christian notion that each person has his or her own heavenly image or eikon, a perfected double of the person, grew out of Second Temple Jewish Adamic traditions. She notes that this celestial double was understood as pre-existent and pictured as the exact visual counterpart to the person to whom it belonged. De Conick’s research demonstrates that “early references to the divine double … are found embedded, for instance, in the legend of Peter’s angel in Acts 12:15, Jesus’ saying in Matthew 18:10, the Hymn of the Pearl, and the Valentinian doctrine of the mysterium conjunctionis (Gos. Phil. 58:10–14; 65:1–26; Exc. Theo. 15; 21–22; 79–80; Adv. haer. 1.7.1).” She further observes that “Paul’s idea that people have heavenly bodies which are images of the heavenly Man, bodies that will be donned at the resurrection, appears to be a development of this Jewish mythology too.” A. De Conick, Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas: A History of the Gospel and Its Growth (forthcoming).
89 The idea of the heavenly counterpart of humans associated with the divine Face might be also reflected in the statement from 2 Enoch 44:2, where one learns that whoever offends “the face of man” offends “the face of God.”
90 Andersen, “2 Enoch,”139.
91 Crispin Fletcher-Louis suggests that the anointing with oil, which gives Enoch “‘the greatest light’ and the likeness of ‘the rays of the glittering sun,’ may possibly imply that the head and face have been transfigured.” C. H. T. Fletcher-Louis, “The Revelation of the Sacral Son of Man: The Genre, History of Religions Context and the Meaning of the Transfiguration,” in: Auferstehung-Resurrection (eds. F. Avemarie and H. Lichtenberger, Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 2001) 249.
92 A visionary, therefore, becomes a reflection or even a representation of the Face/Kavod. Christopher Morray-Jones observes that “there is evidence, then, of the early existence of a tradition concerning the ascent to heaven of an exceptionally righteous man who beholds the vision of the divine Kavod upon the Merkabah, is transformed into an angelic being and enthroned as a celestial vice-regent, thereby becoming identified with the Name-bearing angel who either is or is closely associated with the Kavod itself and functions as a second, intermediary power in heaven.” Morray-Jones, “Transformational Mysticism in the Apocalyptic-Merkabah Tradition,” 10–11.
93 In Apoc. Paul 19, Paul’s angelus interpres informs the apostle that not only the names of the righteous persons are written in heaven, but also their faces which are known to the angels before they leave the world.
94 The motif of Enoch’s face as a perilous entity resembling God’s Kavod can be found also in the late rabbinic text Hayye Hanokh from Sefer Ha-Yashar, where humans shunned approaching Enoch because God’s awe was upon his face: “…all kings and all rulers and all people were seeking his face and all desired to see the face of Enoch and hear his words. But they could not because all people had great fear of Enoch and they feared to approach him because the terror of God was upon his face (wynp l( r#) Myhl) tmy)m). Therefore no human could see his face any longer….” Jellinek, Beth ha-Midrash, 4.130.
95 Synopse §19. Alexander, “3 Enoch,”267.
96 Gen 32:30 “…it is because I saw God face to face (Mynp l) Mynp).”
97 The tradition about Jacob as the Prince of Presence seems to be also reflected in Tg. Onq. to Gen 32:29: “Whereupon, he said, ‘No longer shall your name be called Jacob, but rather Israel; for you are a prince before the Lord and among men; therefore have you prevailed.’” The Targum Onqelos to Genesis (tr. B. Grossfeld; The Aramaic Bible 6; Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1988) 116.
98 Geza Vermes notices that Tg. Neof. explains the etymology of Israel from rr# (to rule, to act as a prince). G. Vermes, “The Impact of the Dead Sea Scrolls on Jewish Studies,” JJS 26 (1975) 13.
99 C. A. Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology: Antecedents and Early Evidence (AGAJU 42; Leiden, New York, Köln: Brill, 1998) 141–2.
100 The fact that Sariel/Uriel/Phanuel is known under several names might indicate that this angel also serves as a heavenly counterpart in a manner similar to other servants of the Face, such as Jacob/Israel, Enoch/Metatron, and possibly Melchisedek/Michael. On the identification of Michael with Melchisedek, see: J. R. Davila, “Melchizedek, Michael, and War in Heaven,” SBLSP 35 (1996) 259–72; D. D. Hannah, Michael and Christ: Michael Traditions and Angel Christology in Early Christianity (WUNT 2/109; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1999) 70–74.
101 Saul Olyan refers to Rashi’s passage which identifies “the ‘angel of his presence’ of Isa. 63:9 with Michael, the Prince of Presence.” S. Olyan, A Thousand Thousands Served Him: Exegesis and the Naming of Angels in Ancient Judaism (TSAJ 36; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1993) 108.
102 The beginning of the second half of Joseph and Aseneth gives a description of Joseph and Aseneth visiting Jacob. Joseph and Aseneth 22:7–8 says that when Aseneth saw Jacob, she “was amazed at his beauty… his eyes (were) flashing and darting (flashes of) lighting, and his sinews and his shoulders and his arms were like (those) of an angel, and his thighs and his calves and his feet like (those) of a giant. And Jacob was like a man who had wrestled with God. And Aseneth saw him and was amazed, and prostrated herself before him face down to the ground.” C. Burchard, “Joseph and Aseneth,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 vols.; ed. J. H. Charlesworth; New York: Doubleday, 1985 ) 2.238. On the concept of the transformation in Joseph and Aseneth, see R. D. Chesnutt, From Death to Life: Conversion in Joseph and Aseneth (JSPSup 16; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995).
103 Synopse §61 (3 Enoch 43:2–3): “He…showed me those souls [of the righteous] which have already been created and have returned, flying above the throne of glory in the presence of the Holy One, blessed be he. Then I went and expounded this verse, and found with regard to the text ‘The spirit shall clothe itself in my presence, and the souls which I have made.’” Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 294.
104 I include this investigation of the provenance of the term “Metatron” in my analysis of roles and titles since some scholars argue that “Metatron” can be considered as one of the titles of the exalted angel. See: Liebermann, “Metatron, the Meaning of his Name and his Functions,” 237–9.
105 Alexander, “The Historical Settings of the Hebrew Book of Enoch,” 163.
106 G. F. Moore, “Intermediaries in Jewish Theology: Memra, Shekinah, Metatron,” HTR 15 (1922) 62.
107 Pisqa 338. Sifre to Deuteronomy. An Analytical Translation (tr. J. Neusner; BJS 101; 2 vols., Atlanta: Scholars, 1987) 2.392.
108 See M. N. Tichomirov, Merilo Pravednoe po rukopisi XIV veka (Moscow: AN SSSR, 1961); R. Schneider, Merilo Pravednoe (Monumenta Linguae Slavicae Dialecti Veteris 23; Freiburg: U.W. Weiher, 1986).
109 (). Vaillant, Le livre des secrets d’Hénoch, 44.
110 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 217–19.
111 “, (promitati, promitaya) – ?” I. Sreznevskij, Slovar’ drevnerusskogo jazyka (3 vols.; Moscow: Kniga, 1989) 2.1544.
112 S. Barhudarov et al., Slovar’ russkogo jazyka XI–XVII vv. (25 vols.; Moscow: Nauka, 1995) 20.168.
113 Francis Andersen stresses that the variations show “theological embarrassment” among Slavic scribes. Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 217.
114 Ms. V (125), Folio 324.
115 Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.121.
116 Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.96.
117 Tichomirov, Merilo Pravednoe po rukopisi XIV veka, 71; Schneider, Merilo Pravednoe, 94.
118 Odeberg, 3 Enoch, 1.134.
119 Stroumsa, “Forms of God: Some Notes on Metatron and Christ,” 287.
120 The idea that the Metatron figure originally came into Judaism from Philo’s Logos speculations was popular in the German scholarship of the 19th century.
121 Black, “The Origin of the Name Metatron,” 218.
122 Black, “The Origin of the Name Metatron,” 218.
123 2 Enoch 43:1. Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 171.
124 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 217.
125 Philo, Questions and Answers on Genesis (tr. R. Marcus, Cambridge/London: Harvard University Press/Heinemann, 1949) 296–7.
126 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 170–72.
127 A second possible interpretation of the term prometaya in 2 Enoch 43 might be traced to Enoch’s title, “Governor of the World,” after which the Slavonic term prometaya occurs. It can be assumed that prometaya in this situation is a Greek word, which is somehow connected with this title. Possible Greek prototypes of prometaya could be promh&qeia, in the sense of protection, care, or providence, which could be directly related to the preceding title of Enoch as the governor or the guide of the earth: “I am the Governor of the earth, prometaya, I have written them down.”
128 Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, 69.
129 Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, 69–70.
130 “Then I awoke from my sleep and saw those men, standing in front of me, in actuality.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 106.
131 Slav. . Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.3.
132 Francis Andersen observes that the term “actuality” here “implies objectivity, not a dream. It means that what he saw on waking was exactly the same as what he had seen in his dream, as just described.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 107, footnote s.
133 Alexander, “From Son of Adam to a Second God: Transformation of the Biblical Enoch,” 104.
134 Alexander, “From Son of Adam to a Second God: Transformation of the Biblical Enoch,” 106.
135 It is significant that the account of Enoch’s metamorphosis in the Similitudes (1 Enoch 71:11) emphasizes not the transformation of Enoch’s body but rather the transformation of his spirit: “And I fell upon my face, and my whole body melted, and my spirit was transformed; and I cried out in a loud voice in the spirit of power, and I blessed and praised and exalted.” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.166. Earlier in 1 Enoch 71:1 one learns that the patriarch underwent his celestial journey “in spirit”: “And it came to pass after this that my spirit was carried off, and it went up into the heavens.” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.165. Analyzing these traditions, Martin Hengel notes that “a spiritualized form in which it is no longer the whole man but the spirit which shares in the journey to heaven is to be found in the Similitudes: ‘And it came to pass after this that my spirit was transformed and it ascended into the heavens (71.1).’” Hengel, Judaism and Hellenism, 1. 204.
136 The oneiromantic model is also discernible in another paradigmatic mediatorial account, i.e., the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian, where the seer too acquires his vision in a dream. See Exagoge 67–82: “I had a vision of a great throne on the top of Mount Sinai … then I awoke from my sleep in fear.” H. Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983) 55.
137 In the passage found in the Jewish Antiquities 1.85 Josephus refers to the removal of Enoch: “Enoch lived 365 years and then returned to the divinity (a0naxw&rhse pro_j to_ Qei=on), thus it happens that there is no record in the chronicles of his death.” James Tabor suggests that the “return to the divinity” in Josephus’ technical terminology might refer to the one who does not die but is removed in a bodily manner or taken from the human realm. J. D. Tabor, “‘Returning to the Divinity’: Josephus’s Portrayal of the Disappearances of Enoch, Elijah, and Moses,” JBL 108 (1989) 225–238, esp. 227.
138 On the interior ascent in the Christian apocalyptic literature, see A. Golitzin, “‘Earthly Angels and Heavenly Men’: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Nicetas Stethatos, and the Tradition of ‘Interiorized Apocalyptic’ in Eastern Christian Ascetical and Mystical Literature,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 55 (2001) 125–153.
139 I am indebted to Alan Segal for drawing my attention to this feature which unifies 2 Enoch and Paul’s account.
140 P. Schäfer, “New Testament and Hekhalot Literature: The Journey into Heaven in Paul and in Merkavah Mysticism,” in: P. Schäfer, Hekhalot Studien (TSAJ 19; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1988) 237.
141 2 Enoch 67:1–2: “…And when Enoch had spoken to his people, [the Lord] sent the gloom onto earth, and it became dark and covered the men who were standing [and talking] with Enoch. And the angels hurried and grasped Enoch and carried him up to the highest heaven, where the Lord received him and made him stand in front of his face for eternity.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 194
142 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 114.
143 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 180.
144 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 190.
145 Midrash Rabbah, 7.41.
146 Enoch’s pre-existence might already be hinted at in Second Temple sources. Crispin Fletcher-Louis observes that “in Sirach 49:14–15 Enoch’s pre-existence and avoidance of ordinary birth seems to be in view when the Hebrew says: ‘Few have been formed on earth like Enoch. And also he was bodily taken away. If, like Joseph, he had been born a man, then his corpse also would have been cared for.’ The Hebrew Sirach, a writing of the second century B.C. seems to take for granted the belief that Enoch, unlike a man such as Joseph, was not born but simply created.” Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam, 21.
147 Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 311; Schäfer et al., Synopse, 36–37.
148 The same concept of Enoch as the second Adam is discernible in the Zohar. I. Tishby observed that according to the Zohar, “the supernal radiance of Adam’s soul, which was taken away from him before its time as a direct consequence of his sin, found a new abode in Enoch, where it could perfect itself in this world…. This means that Enoch in his own life embodied that supernal perfection for which man was destined from the very beginning of his creation.” Tishby, The Wisdom of the Zohar, 2.627.
149 Alexander, “From Son of Adam to a Second God: Transformation of the Biblical Enoch,” 111.
150 That is the servant of the Face, the measurer of the Deity, and the mediator of the divine Presence.
151 Several MSS do not include the word “secrets” in their titles. Among them are J (“The word of Enoch…”), B (“The life of righteous Enoch…”), MPr (“From the book of righteous Enoch”), P2 (“The book of Enoch the son of Ared”). Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 2.47; 2.83; 2.106 and 1.145.
153 MSS A “From the secret book(s) about the taking away of Enoch the just,” Tr. “Which are called the secret books of Enoch,” U “From the secret books about the taking away of Enoch the just,” and Rum. “From the secret books of Enoch.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 103; Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.161; 1.111; and 1.153.
154 MSS V, N “And these are the books (called) the secrets of God, a revelation to Enoch.” Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.83. See also B2 “This is the book of the secrets of God, a revelation to Enoch.” Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.133.
155 P “The book (about) the secrets of Enoch, the son of Ared,” and R “The books of the holy secrets of Enoch…” A. Vaillant, Le livre des secrets d’Hénoch, 1 and Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.1.
156 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 142.
157 = “the servant of the Presence.”
158 = “the knower of secrets.”
159 = “the heavenly scribe.”
160 = “the witness of divine judgment.”
161 The book says that the Lord decided to reveal to Enoch the secrets of his creation, which he never explained even to his angels. Further, the term “secrets” is applied only to this account of God’s creation, conveyed to Enoch by the Lord himself, “face to face.” The content of these revelations includes the following details:
1. Prior to creation, the Lord decided to establish the foundation of all created things.
2. He commanded one of the invisible things to come out of the very lowest darkness and become visible.
3. By the Lord’s command, a primordial great aeon, bearing the name Adoil, descended and, disintegrating himself, revealed all the creation which the Lord “had thought up to create.”
4. The Lord created a throne for himself. He then ordered the light to become the foundation for the highest things.
5. The Lord called out the second aeon, bearing the name Arukhas, who became the foundation of the lowest things.
6. From the waters the Lord “hardened big stones,” establishing the solid structure above the waters.
7. The Lord fashioned the heavens and the sun.
8. From fire the Lord created the armies of the bodiless ones.
9. The Lord created vegetation, fish, reptiles, birds, and animals.
10. The Lord created humans.
162 See, for example, Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 229–230.
163 “The forbidden degrees may not be expounded before three persons, nor the Story of Creation before two, nor [the chapter of] the Chariot before one alone, unless he is a Sage that understand of his own knowledge. Whosoever gives his mind to four things it were 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? And whosoever takes no thought for the honor of his Maker, it were better for him if he had not come into the world.” H. Danby, The Mishnah (Oxford; Oxford University Press, 1992) 213.
164 2 Enoch 33:3 (the longer recension). Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 156. The shorter recension also stresses the totality of the creative work of the Deity: “…I have contrived it all – I created from the lowest foundation and up to the highest and out to the end.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 157.
165 Jarl Fossum observes that “in later mystical texts, the glory is described as ty#)rb rcwy, the ‘creator in the beginning,’ and the peculiar idea that the primordial light and the heavens issued from his body is anticipated in the pre-Christian II Enoch.” Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord, 291.
166 Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 236. Alexander refers to Synopse §14 (3 Enoch 11:1).
167 Deutsch, Guardians of the Gate, 44–45. See also W. Bousset, Hauptprobleme der Gnosis (FRLANT 10; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1907) 200; Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord, 310ff.
168 Variants include the words rw++ym and rw++m.
169 Midrash Rabbah, 1.36.
170 Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord, 310.
171 Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord, 301.
172 2 Enoch 40:2 (the shorter recension): “I have fully counted the stars, a great multitude innumerable.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 165. In Psalm 147:4 God counts the number of all the stars. See also Ezekiel the Tragedian, Exagoge 79–80: “A multitude of stars fell before my knees and I counted them all.”
173 2 Enoch 50:1.
174 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 140.
175 Alexander, “2 Enoch,” 264.
176 MS M40. See Schäfer et al., Synopse zur Hekhalot-Literatur, 8. MS V228 uses “the orders of creation” (ty#)rb yrds) instead of “the secrets of creation”. Schäfer et al., Synopse zur Hekhalot-Literatur, 9.
177 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 143.
178 Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 315.
179 Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 315.
180 Scholem, Origins of the Kabbalah, 73.
181 The verb could also be rendered “to place.” Sreznevskij’s dictionary lists this translation among several possible meanings of the Slavonic word. See I. Sreznevskij, Slovar’ drevnerusskogo yazyka (3 vols.; Moscow: Kniga, 1989) III(II), 1306.
183 . Another choice for translation can be “abyss.” Kurz and Sreznevskij equate the Slavonic term with the Greek a1bussoj. See J. Kurz, ed., Slovník Jazyka Staroslovenského [Lexicon Linguae Palaeoslovenicae] (4 vols.; Prague: Akademia, 1966–) 1.76; Sreznevskij, Slovar’, I(I), 55.
184 . Again this term can be translated “abyss.”
185 . This Slavonic word can also be translated “a foundation.” The verb (“established”) favors this translation.
186 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 147.
187 b. . 12a.
188 Scholem, Origins of the Kabbalah, 74. He points also to “the muddy stones from which darkness flows” in the Targum on Job 28:8. Another interesting early parallel could be “stones of bohu” in Isa 34:11.
189 For the discussion of the parallels between the cosmogonies of these two texts and 2 Enoch, see Scholem, Origins of the Kabbalah, 73–5; idem, On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead, 98–100.
190 Tishby, The Wisdom of the Zohar: An Anthology of Texts, 2.549.
191 Kwnxd Nyzrd )rpsbw. 2.180b. R. Margaliot, ed., rhzh rps (3 vols.; Jerusalem, 1940) 2.360.
192 P (“The book about the secrets of Enoch”) and R (“The books of the holy secrets of Enoch”). Vaillant, Le livre des secrets d’Hénoch: Texte slave et traduction française, 1; Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.1.
193 W. O. E. Oesterley and G. H. Box, A Short Survey of the Literature of Rabbinical and Mediaeval Judaism (New York: Macmillan, 1920) 236.
194 hyt# Nb). R. Margaliot, ed., rhzh rps (3 vols.; Jerusalem, 1940) 1.461.
195 )mwht. R. Margaliot, ed., rhzh rps (3 vols.; Jerusalem, 1940) 1.461.
196 H. Sperling and M. Simon (trs.), The Zohar (5 vols.; London and New York: Soncino, 1933) 2.399.
197 )ryqy )nb). R. Margaliot, ed., rhzh rps (3 vols.; Jerusalem, 1940) 2.443.
198 H. Sperling and M. Simon (trs.), The Zohar (5 vols.; London and New York: Soncino, 1933) 4.258–9.
199 – “the clouds of the abyss,” or “the darkness of the abyss;” – “what fell to the abyss.”
200 (literally, “I erected a firm foundation and established it above the waters”).
201 Targum Pseudo-Jonathan to Exod 28:30 speaks about the rock of foundation with which God sealed the mouth of the great abyss in the beginning.
202 On the concept of the Foundation Stone, see: Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, 5.15; E. Burrows, “Some Cosmological Patterns in Babylonian Religion,” in: The Labyrinth (ed. S. H. Hooke; London, 1935) 45–52; R. Patai, Man and Temple in Ancient Jewish Myth and Ritual (London: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1947) 54–58; P. Schäfer, “Tempel und Schöpfung. Zur Interpretation einiger Heiligtumstraditionen in der rabbinischen Literatur,” Studien zur Geschichte und Theologie des rabbinischen Judentums (AGJU 15; Leiden: Brill, 1978) 122–133; Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord, 250ff.; J. D. Levenson, Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985) 133ff; C. H. T. Fletcher-Louis, “The Revelation of the Sacral Son of Man: The Genre, History of Religions Context and the Meaning of the Transfiguration,” in: Auferstehung-Resurrection (eds. F. Avemarie and H. Lichtenberger; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 2001) 272ff.
203 Burrows, “Some Cosmological Patterns in Babylonian Religion,” 45–52.
204 Burrows, “Some Cosmological Patterns in Babylonian Religion,” 46–7.
206 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 149.
207 . It can be also translated as “a great aeon.”
209 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 143–45.
210 APOT, 2.445.
211 Philonenko, “La cosmogonie du ‘livre des secrets d’Hénoch,’” 114.
212 L. Cry, “Quelques noms d’anges ou d’êtres mysterieux en II Hénoch,” RB 49 (1940) 201.
213 Vaillant, Le Livre des secrets d’Hénoch, xi.
214 Scholem, Origins of the Kabbalah, 73.
215 G. Scholem, “Die Lehre vom ‘Gerechten’ in der jüdischen Mystik,” Eranos–Jahrbuch 27 (1958) 252.
216 J. T. Milik, The Books of Enoch. Aramaic Fragments of Qumrân Cave 4 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976) 113.
217 Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord, 288.
218 APOT, 2.445.
219 Vaillant, Le Livre des secrets d’Hénoch, xi–xii.
220 Milik, The Books of Enoch, 113.
221 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 144–145.
222 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 145.
223 lwdg l). R. Margaliot, ed., rhzh rps (3 vols.; Jerusalem, 1940) 1.34.
224 Literally: “there were waters within waters” (Mymb Mym wwh). R. Margaliot, ed., rhzh rps (3 vols.; Jerusalem, 1940) 1.34.
225 H. Sperling and M. Simon (trs.), The Zohar (5 vols.; London and New York: Soncino, 1933) 1.75.
226 In the majority of MSS this name has the form Adoil () with an “o” in the middle of the word:
J – Adoil. Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 144.
R – Adoil. Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.25;
P – Adoil. Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.25;
U – Adoil’. Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.117;
N – Idoil. Vaillant, Le Livre des secrets d’Hénoch, 28.
B – Adoil’; Idoil’. Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.91;
B2 – Adoil. Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.137;
Chr – Adoil’. Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.150.
227 Francis Andersen translated it as “extremely large.”
228 The title El Gadol, “the great God,” can be connected with the term “Great Aeon,” which came out from the belly of “Great One,” – Adoil. Compare also Zohar’s narrative: “At first there were waters within waters.”
229 Peter Schäfer underlines the importance of the liturgical dimension of the Merkabah tradition, suggesting that one of the Merkabah mystic’s main goals is confirmation of the liturgical communion with God. P. Schäfer, “Research on Hekhalot Literature: Where Do We Stand Now?” in: Rashi 1040–1990: Hommage à Ephraïm E. Urbach (ed. G. Sed-Rajna; Paris: Cerf, 1993) 233.
230 Michael Mach observes that “the concept of heaven as temple is not important here as it is used to be for those who longed for an alternative to the existing cult.” Mach, “From Apocalypticism to Early Jewish Mysticism,” 251.
231 Crispin Fletcher-Louis notes that “Enoch’s transformation in 2 Enoch is greatly indebted to priestly practice and its understanding of investiture. The myrrh fragrance of the oil of Enoch’s anointing recalls the sacred oil of anointing prescribed by Moses for the tabernacle in Exodus 30:22–23. The comparison of the oil with sweet dew is perhaps a reflection of Psalm 133:2–3 where there is a parallelism between the oil running down the head of Aaron and the dew of Mount Hermon. The reference to the glittering rays of the sun is yet one more witness to the theme of priestly luminescence. The specific comparison of the oil of anointing with the sun’s rays is ultimately dependent on the priestly tradition within the Pentateuch since there the oil of anointing is placed in God’s fourth speech to Moses in Exodus 25–31 as a parallel within the Tabernacle instructions to the creation of the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day of creation (Genesis 1:14–19). In general terms Enoch’s investiture is indebted to the scene in Zechariah 3 where the high priest’s old clothes are removed and replaced with new ones. In that scene too the priest is attended by angels, just as Michael acts as Enoch’s attendant in 2 Enoch (see T. Levi 8). In 2 Enoch 22:6 Enoch is granted permanent access to God’s throne room, just as Joshua is given rights of access to the heavenly realm in Zechariah 3:7. The concluding chapters of 2 Enoch (chs. 69–73) are devoted to the priestly succession after Enoch’s ascension.” Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam, 23–24.
232 Martha Himmelfarb observes that “the combination of clothing and anointing suggests that the process by which Enoch becomes an angel is a heavenly version of priestly investiture.” M. Himmelfarb, Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993) 40.
233 2 Enoch 68:5. Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 196.
234 Milik, The Books of Enoch, 114.
235 “Therefore honor him together with your servants and great priests, with Sit, and Enos, and Rusi, and Amilam, and Prasidam, and Maleleil, and Serokh, and Arusan, and Aleem, and Enoch, and Methusalam, and me, your servant Nir.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 208.
236 Slav. . Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.17.
237 Slav. . Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.17.
238 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 132.
239 It is intriguing that 2 Enoch 23:1–2 (shorter recension) mentions that the patriarch was taught by Vereveil in “every kind of language of the new song,” which might allude to his preparation for the role of the liturgical director.
240 The shorter recension of 2 Enoch 18:8–9 reads: “‘And why don’t you perform the liturgy before the face of the Lord? Start up the former liturgy. Perform the liturgy in the name of fire (vo imja ogne), lest you annoy the Lord your God (so that) he throws you down from this place.’ [And they heeded the earnestness of my recommendation, and they stood in four regiments in heaven. And behold,] while I was standing, they sounded with 4 trumpets in unison, and the Grigori began to perform the liturgy as with one voice. And their voices rose up into the Lord’s presence.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 133.
241 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 133.
242 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 133.
243 It is significant that the descriptions of the patriarch’s scribal activities are closely connected with the theme of the celestial books from which the patriarch copies under the guidance of Vereveil.
244 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 140.
245 It should be noted that some pseudepigraphic accounts attest to Uriel’s role as a celestial scribe. Peter Schäfer notes that the idea of angelic scribes/recorders is also reflected in 2 Enoch 19:5, where the seventh antediluvian patriarch sees angels who record all human deeds before the face of the Lord. P. Schäfer, Rivalität zwischen Engeln und Menschen: Untersuchungen zur rabbinischen Engelvorstellung (SJ 8; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1975) 31.
246 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 140.
247 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 140.
248 In 1 Enoch 81.6 the angel Uriel commands Enoch to “teach your children, and write (these things) down for them, and testify to all your children.” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.187.
249 It should be noted that the motif of the guardian angels of the books is very specific to the esoterism of the Merkabah tradition. This motif can be found in 3 Enoch, as well as in other texts of the tradition.
250 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 156.
251 Slav. .
252 In view of the possible Alexandrian provenance of 2 Enoch, it is important to mention the evidence set forth by Birger Pearson in his recent article about Enochic writings in Egypt. Pearson draws attention to a painting found in 1899 at Tebtunis, in the Fayum. The painting portrays a judgment scene involving the punishment of sinners where Enoch is depicted as a scribe on a seat with a reed pen in his right hand and an open scroll in his left hand in which is inscribed in Coptic, “Enoch the scribe writing down the sins of humankind.” See B. A. Pearson, “Enoch in Egypt,” in: For A Later Generation: The Transformation of Tradition in Israel, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity (eds. R. A. Argall, B. A. Bow, and R. A. Werline; Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 2000) 229, footnote 86. On the Enoch-Metatron traditions in the eastern Christian environment, see A. Golitzin, “The Place of the Presence of God: Aphrahat of Persia’s Portrait of the Christian Holy Man,” in: Essays in Honor of Archimandrite Aimilianos of the Monastery of Simonos Petras (Athens: Indiktos, 2003) 391–447.
253 Although the tablet from Nineveh refers to Enmeduranki’s enthronement in the assembly of the gods, it does not connect this offering of the seat with the scribal office.
254 Slav. . Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.90; 1.24.
255 Slav. . Sokolov, Slavjanskaja Kniga Enoha Pravednogo, 1.90; 1.24.
256 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 141.
257 b. . 15a.
258 b. . 15a: “It is taught as a tradition that on high there is no sitting (hby#y )l) and no emulation, and no back, and no weariness.”