Andrei A. OrlovYahoel can be seen both as a manifestation and a non-manifestation of the divine Name. He is in many ways a paradoxical figure at once reaffirming the divine Presence through mediation of the Tetragrammaton and challenging its overt veneration. This ambiguity in his mediating role of the divine Presence is very similar to the later role of the angel Metatron in the Merkabah tradition who represents there not only the divine Name but also the Form of the Deity, his Shicur Qomah. In this capacity of being a representation of the divine Body, the great angel finds himself in a rather awkward position, as he becomes a stumbling block for the infamous visionary of the Talmud, Elisha b. Abuyah, who according to b. Hag. 15a took Metatron as the second deity in heaven which led him to the heretical conclusion about two “powers” (twyw#r `b) in heaven. Still in both accounts (talmudic and pseudepigraphical) the difference between the Deity and his angelic manifestation is properly re-affirmed. In Apoc. Ab. Yahoel prevents Abraham from venerating him by putting the patriarch on his feet. In b. Hag. 15a the distance between the Deity and his vice-regent, angel Metatron, is reaffirmed even more radically—the supreme angel is publicly punished in front of celestial hosts with sixty fiery lashes in order to prevent future confusions between the Deity and his angelic replica. Despite these reaffirmations, the boundaries between the Deity and his angelic manifestation in the form of his Shicur Qomah or the divine Name do not remain entirely unambiguous. The paradoxical nature of this angelic mediation of the divine Name appears to be hinted at in the Apocalypse of Abraham through the depiction of Yahoel delivering a prayer to the Deity, a hymn that now paradoxically includes his own name, “Yahoel.”
This role can again be compared to the future office of Metatron who often posits in the Hekhalot and Shicur Qomah accounts as the celestial choirmaster conducting the liturgies of the Living Creatures.
Yahoel’s expertise in heavenly praise does not seem to be limited to heavenly matters. In the apocalypse he is also depicted as the one who initiates a human visionary, the patriarch Abraham, into this mystical praxis of praising the Deity that serves here as an alternative practice to the vision mysticism.
And he said, “Only worship, Abraham, and recite the song which I taught you” ... And he said, “Recite without ceasing.” And I recited, and he himself recited the song (Apoc. Ab. 17:5-7).
Our previous remarks about the connections between the visionary and aural praxis makes it intriguing that veneration of the Deity is described in the Apocalypse of Abraham through the paradoxical formulae of seeing/not seeing: “He whom you will see (его же узриши) going before both of us in a great sound of qedushah is the Eternal One who had loved you, whom himself you will not see (самого же не зриши)” (Apoc. Ab. 16:3).
This ambiguous mixture of the paradigms of vision and voice can be seen in other parts of the text as well. For example, in the depiction of Abraham’s fast in 12:2, two mystical practices appear to be mixed:
And we went, the two of us alone together, forty days and nights. And I ate no bread and drank no water, because [my] food was to see the angel who was with me, and his speech with me was my drink (Apoc. Ab. 12:1-2).
Here the traditional motif found in the visionary accounts—viz., the motif of nourishment through the beholding of a celestial being, often in the form of the Kavod, that is especially famous in the later interpretations of Moses’ story where he is often depicted as a being fed through the vision of God’s Shekhinah—is paralleled with the motif of nourishment through the voice of the heavenly being, the angel Yahoel.
Thus, instead of emphasizing the role of the Hayyot as the foundation of the Throne, which in the formative account found in the Book of Ezekiel holds the divine Presence/Form, the Slavonic apocalypse stresses the praising functions of the Living Creatures depicted as “singing the divine Presence.”
 Mettinger, The Dethronement of Sabaoth, 125.
 The process of constitution of the angelic or divine presence or re-constitution a human nature into a celestial one through the invocation of the divine Name can be seen in the traditions about Moses’ investiture with the divine Name during his Sinai experience and Jesus’ investiture with the divine Name at his baptism. For a detailed discussion of these traditions, see J. Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord: Samaritan and Jewish Mediation Concepts and the Origin of Gnosticism (WUNT, 36; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1985) 76-112.
 In the Palestinian targumic tradition (Targ. Neof., Frag. Targ.) the divine command yhy uttered by God during the creation of the world is identified with the Tetragrammaton. For a detailed discussion of this tradition, see Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord: Samaritan and Jewish Mediation Concepts and the Origin of Gnosticism, 80.
 Kulik, Retroverting the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha, 18. For the extensive discussion on the passages about the rivalries of the Hayyot in the Apoc. Ab. 10:8-9 and 18:8-10 see: K. William Whitney, Jr., Two Strange Beasts: Leviathan and Behemoth in Second Temple and Early Rabbinic Judaism (HSM, 63; Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2006).
 On Metatron’s role as the celestial choirmaster of the Hayyot, see A. Orlov, “Celestial Choirmaster: The Liturgical Role of Enoch-Metatron in 2 Enoch and Merkabah Tradition,” in: idem, From Apocalypticism to Merkabah Mysticism: Studies in the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha (JSJSup. 114; Leiden: Brill, 2007) 197-221.
 Kulik, Retroverting the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha, 22-23.
 Kulik, Retroverting the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha, 22. Philonenko-Sayar and Philonenko, L’Apocalypse d’Abraham, 70.
 Kulik, Retroverting the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha, 19.
 David Halperin notices some similarities between the celestial nourishments of Abraham and Moses. He observes that “... Moses also discovered that the divine Presence is itself nourishment enough. That is why Exod 24:11 says that Moses and his companions beheld God, and ate and drank. This means, one rabbi explained, that the sight of God was food and drink to them; for Scripture also says, In the light of the King’s face there is life.... We might assume that the author of the Apocalypse of Abraham had such midrashim in mind when he wrote that ‘my food was to see the angel who was with me, and his speech -that was my drink.’” Halperin, The Faces of the Chariot, 111.
 The concept of praise as a garment seems to be connected with the tradition of investiture with the divine Name discussed earlier in our article.
 Kulik, Retroverting the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha, 22.
 Kulik, Retroverting the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha, 24, emphasis mine.
 Kulik, Retroverting the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha, 17; Rubinkiewicz, L’Apocalypse d’Abraham en vieux slave, 128; Philonenko-Sayar and Philonenko, L’Apocalypse d’Abraham, 58.
 Mettinger, The Dethronement of Sabaoth, 124-125.
 Apoc. Ab. 10:4: “... he took me by my right hand and stood me on my feet.” Kulik, Retroverting the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha, 17.
 On the formative influence of the Yahoel lore on the figure of Metatron, see Scholem, Jewish Gnosticism, 51.
 Apoc. Ab. 17:7-13: “And I recited, and he [Yahoel] himself recited the song: O, Eternal, Mighty, Holy El, God Autocrat … Eternal, Mighty, Holy Sabaoth, Most Glorious El, El, El, El, Yahoel ….” Kulik, Retroverting the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha, 23.