Andrei A. Orlov



Roles and Titles of the Seventh Antediluvian Hero in the Book of the Similitudes: A Departure from the Traditional Pattern?[1]





… This work rests on the premise that the clarification of the connection between its two heroes, Enoch and Metatron, can be achieved through analysis of the roles and titles of both figures in their respective traditions. I will argue that the various appellations of Enoch and Metatron provide the most important clues to the identities of both characters. This approach is especially promising in respect to Metatron since the bulk of information about this angel in rabbinic and Hekhalot materials appears in the form of his titles and description of his roles, as well as activities related to them.

I also contend that understanding the heavenly roles and titles of Enoch and Metatron can help explicate the enigmatic evolution of a character from a patriarch and a seer instructed by angels in the celestial secrets to a second divinity who himself is responsible for instructing visionaries and delivering to them the ultimate mysteries of the universe, including dispensing the Torah to Moses.

It will also be shown that the analysis of the evolution of the roles and titles associated with Enoch-Metatron can assist scholars in better understanding how and when this elusive transition from a diviner to a second god occurred. Examination of the conceptual development of Enoch-Metatron roles might also help to clarify the difference between the influences which genuinely contributed to this gradual evolution from Enoch to Metatron and other currents in the Enochic tradition(s) which, despite their promising appearance, did not directly impact this transition. An illustration can be offered to support this idea. Scholars previously noted that the sudden shift in the Book of the Similitudes toward depicting Enoch as a highly elevated celestial being appears to signal the possible transition from Enochic to Metatron imagery.[2] Indeed, in the Similitudes Enoch seems to become identified with several highly elevated figures, such as the Messiah, Deutero-Isaiah’s “Servant of the Lord,” and Daniel’s “Son of Man.”[3] Despite the early date of the Similitudes, students of this text also pointed to the similarities of some imagery of this narrative with the Merkabah tradition.[4]

This analysis of the evolution of the celestial titles of Enoch toward their later counterparts in the Metatron lore, however, will show that the Enochic titles found in the Similitudes do not occur in these later beliefs about Metatron; nor do they play any formative part in the transition from the early roles and titles of the patriarch to his elevated profile in the Hekhalot literature. This illustration demonstrates that close attention to the titles occurring in Enochic and Merkabah traditions helps identify more accurately the boundaries of the evolution from Enoch to Metatron and properly outlines major factors and traditions involved in this process.

Keeping in mind these presuppositions, I now proceed to the analysis of the evolution of the roles and titles of the seventh patriarch Enoch in the early Enochic lore.


Enoch’s Roles and Titles in Early Enochic Booklets

This investigation of the patriarch’s roles and titles as they appear in the early Enochic writings does not aim to give an exhaustive treatment of these concepts but rather is intended to serve as a sketch that will briefly outline several major developments pertaining to the offices and the appellations of the main hero of the Enochic writings. It is impossible within the limited scope of the investigation to trace all the evidence pertaining to the patriarch’s roles and titles in early Second Temple materials. A thorough treatment of this evidence would require at least a monograph for each Enochic role or title.  The task of this investigation is more modest as it concentrates only on some of the evidence pertaining to the major offices and appellations.

In this investigation of early Enochic traditions, I will deliberately avoid any in-depth treatment of Enoch’s roles and titles found in 2 (Slavonic) Enoch. Although some details pertaining to this apocalypse will be occasionally mentioned, a systematic treatment of the roles and titles of the patriarch in the Slavonic apocalypse will be offered in a separate section of the study.

Several words must be said about the exposition of the Enochic roles and titles. One of the difficulties of such a presentation is that some roles of the patriarch have a composite nature, often encompassing several functions that can be linked to his other roles. Because of the composite nature of some Enochic roles, it is sometimes very difficult to delineate strictly their boundaries, as some of their functions can be interchangeable. The situation is even more complicated with the titles. The exact title used often depends on the perspectives of various subjects and parties in the texts represented by divine, angelic, and human agents who have different perceptions of the patriarch’s offices and activities and, as a consequence, name them differently. Some of Enoch’s titles also have a composite nature since one appellation can often include references to the patriarch’s several qualities or roles. The descriptions of such complexities pertaining to the roles and titles always involve repetitive explanations. Wherever possible I will try to avoid tautologies, but it should be recognized that repetitions are inevitable in view of the highly complicated nature of the phenomena under investigation.

Enoch as the Expert in Secrets

Helge Kvanvig observes that “in Jewish tradition Enoch is primarily portrayed as a primeval sage, the ultimate revealer of divine secrets.”[5]

The patriarch’s prowess in the heavenly secrets is deeply embedded in the fabric of the Enochic myth and is set against the expertise in the celestial knowledge that the fallen Watchers once possessed.[6]  John Collins observes that “most significantly, Enoch is implicitly cast as a revealer of mysteries. The Watchers are angels who descend to reveal a worthless mystery. Enoch is a human being who ascends to get true revelation.”[7] 

The traditions about the patriarch’s expertise in esoteric knowledge are attested in a variety of Enochic materials. In the Astronomical Book the possession and revelation of cosmological and astronomical secrets becomes a major function of the elevated Enoch. The origin of this role in Enochic traditions can be traced to 1 Enoch 72:1, 74:2, and 80:1, which depict the patriarch as a recipient of angelic revelations, including the celestial knowledge of astronomical, meteorological, and calendarical lore. He remains in this capacity in the majority of the materials associated with the early Enochic circle. In 1 Enoch 41:1 Enoch is portrayed as the one who “saw all secrets of heaven.” [8] 

Jub 4:17 also attests to this peculiar role of the seventh patriarch. A large portion of 2 Enoch is devoted to Enoch’s initiation into the treasures of meteorological, calendarical, and astronomical lore during his celestial tour. The Slavonic apocalypse differs from the earlier materials in that it places special emphasis on the secrecy of cosmological revelations, thus demonstrating intriguing similarities with the later rabbinic developments with their stress on the secrecy of ty#)rb h#(m. Later Merkabah developments also underscore the role of Enoch as the “Knower of Secrets.”  Thus, according to Synopse §14 (3 Enoch 11:2), Enoch-Metatron is able to behold “deep secrets and wonderful mysteries.”[9] Martin Cohen, in his analysis of the Shi(ur Qomah materials, observes that this tradition depicts Metatron as “the revealer of the most recondite secrets about Godhead.”[10]

Several remarks should be made about the sources of Enoch’s knowledge. J. Collins’s research points to the passage in the Apocalypse of Weeks (1 Enoch 93:2) that succinctly summarizes the possible means by which the patriarch acquires the esoteric information.[11] In this text Enoch informs us that he received it according to that which appeared to him in the heavenly vision, and which he knew from the words of the holy angels and understood from the tablets of heaven.[12] The mention of these three sources underscores the fact that the revelations to the patriarch were given on various levels and through various means of mystical perception: seeing (a vision), hearing (oral instructions of angelus interpres) and reading (the heavenly tablets).

It is curious that the terminology pertaining to secrets began to play an increasingly significant role in the later stages of the development of the Enochic tradition. While in the earliest Enochic booklets, such as the Astronomical Book and the Book of the Watchers, the terminology pertaining to secrets and mysteries is barely discernible, it looms large in the later Enochic materials such as the Book of the Similitudes, 2 Enoch and finally the Merkabah developments. This growing importance of terminology pertaining to secrets can be illustrated by 2 Enoch. While various manuscripts of 2 Enoch are known under different titles, most of them include the word “secrets.”[13] In some of these titles the term is connected with Enoch’s books – “The Secret Books of Enoch.” In other titles, “secrets” are linked either to God (“The Book[s] [called] the Secrets of God, a revelation to Enoch”) or to Enoch himself (“The Book of the Secrets of Enoch”). This consistency in the use of the term “secrets,” in spite of its varied attribution to different subjects, indicates that the authors or the transmitters of the text viewed the motif of secrets as a central theme of the apocalypse.  The Enochic notion of the secrets and its significance in 2 Enoch and Hekhalot writings will be the subject of particular investigation in a following chapter.

Finally, one must note that Enoch’s role as one who was initiated into the highest secrets of the universe might be implicitly reflected in his name. While several etymologies for the patriarch’s name have been proposed, many scholars suggest that the patriarch’s name might be related to the Hebrew root h9nk, in the sense “to train up,” “to dedicate,” or “to initiate” (Deut 20:5; 1 Kings 8:63; 2 Chron 7:5).[14]

Enoch as the Scribe

This section on the unique scribal functions of the seventh antediluvian patriarch begins with the passage found in 2 Enoch 22, which provides a graphic picture of the patriarch’s initiation into scribal activities. This initiation takes place near the Throne of Glory when the Lord himself commands the archangel Vereveil to give a pen to Enoch so that he can write the mysteries explained to him by the angels. This tradition about the scribal functions of the patriarch reflected in the Slavonic apocalypse was already documented in the earliest Enochic literature.[15] The Book of Giants fragments label Enoch a distinguished scribe.[16] In Jub 4:17, he is attested as the one who “learned (the art of) writing, instruction, and wisdom and who wrote down in a book the signs of the sky….”[17] In the Merkabah tradition, Enoch/Metatron is also depicted as a scribe who has a seat (later a throne) in the heavenly realm.[18] The theme of Enoch-Metatron’s scribal functions became a prominent motif in the later rabbinic traditions where, according to b. H9ag. 15a, the privilege of sitting beside God was accorded to Metatron alone by virtue of his character as a scribe, for he was granted permission as a scribe to sit and write down the merits of Israel. Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Gen 5:24 describes Metatron as the Great Scribe ()br )rps).[19]

The important aspect of the early portrayals of Enoch as a scribe is that they depict him in the capacity of both celestial and terrestrial scribe, as the one who not only records messages from his heavenly guides, but also composes petitions at the request of the creatures from the lower realms, for example, the fallen Watchers/Giants who ask him for mediation. The celestial and terrestrial sides of Enoch’s duties as a scribe reveal the composite nature of this important role. Indeed the patriarch’s scribal office can be seen as a mixture of various activities which the Near Eastern scribe was expected to perform.[20] Besides writing, this occupation also presupposes the ability to understand various scripts and languages, since scribal duties required proficiency in copying, i.e., duplicating written materials.[21] One will see later the significance of this dimension of Enoch’s scribal activities during his encounters with the celestial tablets from which he often reads and which he also occasionally copies. Another facet of the patriarch’s scribal duties linked to his involvement in the Watchers/Giants’ situation highlights how his scribal duties resemble the functions of the legal scribe whose activities necessarily include settling disputes and writing petitions.[22] J. Collins remarks that “Enoch is apparently modeled on the familiar figure of the scribe, whose skill in writing gives him importance not only in communication but also in legal proceedings.”[23] 

Another detail which shows the composite nature of the patriarch’s scribal role is that this office cannot be separated from his initiation into the celestial lore. In early Enochic traditions these two functions appear to be conjoined. The motif of initiation into the secrets as the beginning of scribal activities occupies a substantial role in the Astronomical Book of 1 Enoch, the oldest Enochic material. [24] The same feature is discernible in the Enmeduranki material, where the initiation of the practitioner is combined with the motif of the transference to him of a tablet and a stylus.

 James VanderKam observes that the Astronomical Book not only expands several traits of the patriarch that are briefly mentioned in Genesis 5, but also assigns an entirely new role[25] to him, that of a writer of angelic discourses.[26] VanderKam points out that the beginning of this new activity can be traced to one of the important testimonies in the Astronomical Book that reveals Enoch in his new celestial office. In 1 Enoch 74:2[27] the patriarch is depicted as the one who writes down the instructions of the angel Uriel regarding the secrets of the heavenly luminaries and their movements: “And Uriel, the holy angel who is the leader of them all, showed me everything, and I wrote down their positions as he showed (them) to me; and I wrote down their months, as they are, and the appearance of their light until fifteen days have been completed.”[28]

It can hardly be a coincidence that the text here names the angel Uriel as the one who initiates Enoch into the scribal activities; this angel is often depicted in the Enochic lore as a scribe himself.[29] 

Later in the Astronomical Book (1 Enoch 81:6), Uriel advises the patriarch to write down the knowledge received in the celestial realm, so that Enoch can share it with his children during his upcoming visitation of the earth. The patriarch’s records made in heaven thus seem to play an important role in the transmission of the celestial secrets to humans in general and in particular to the patriarch’s son Methuselah, who, like Enmeduranki’s son in the Mesopotamian materials, occupies a special place in the mediating activities of the seventh antediluvian hero. One encounters this motif again in 1 Enoch 82:1, when Enoch assures his son Methuselah that he wrote a book for him.

It is puzzling that despite these numerous references to the patriarch’s scribal activities, the Astronomical Book does not overtly label Enoch as a scribe. This title with different variations, however, appears in other early Enochic books, including the Book of the Watchers, the Epistle of Enoch, and the Book of Giants. In these writings the patriarch’s scribal duties are surrounded by several titles and honorifics, including “scribe,” “scribe of righteousness,” “scribe of distinction,” and “the most skilled scribe.”

One must not forget that the great bulk of information about Enoch’s scribal roles and honorifics found in Enochic literature may implicitly point to the social profile of the authors of these writings. John Collins notes that the description of Enoch as “scribe of righteousness” suggests that the author and his circle may have been scribes too.[30] He observes that although we know little about the authors of the Enochic writings, the books of Enoch “often speak of a class of the ‘righteous and chosen’ and Enoch, the righteous scribe, must be considered their prototype.”[31] He further suggests that it is possible that these people “were, or at least included in their number, scribes who were familiar with a wide range of ancient lore and who wrote books in the name of Enoch.”[32]

Enoch as the Heavenly Priest

Enmeduranki’s priestly office, which is only implicitly hinted at in the text from Nineveh, finds its possible Enochic counterpart in the priestly role of the seventh patriarch. In contrast to Enmeduranki’s appointments in the earthly sanctuary Ebabbara, the Enochic tradition shifts emphasis from the earthly to the celestial locale in depicting the seventh antediluvian hero, not in his terrestrial priestly role, but in the role associated with the heavenly temple. This role is attested with varying degrees of clarity by early Enochic traditions found in the Book of the Watchers, the Book of Dreams and the Book of Jubilees. Enoch’s affiliations with the priestly office in the aforementioned texts can be seen as the gradual evolution from the implicit hints of his heavenly priesthood in the early materials to a more overt recognition and description of his celestial sacerdotal function in the later ones. While later Enochic traditions attested in the Book of Jubilees unambiguously point to Enoch’s priestly role, referring to his incense sacrifice in the celestial sanctuary, the earlier associations of the patriarch with the heavenly Temple hinted at in the Book of the Watchers take the form of rather enigmatic depictions. A certain amount of exegetical work is therefore required to discern the proper meaning of these initial associations of the patriarch with the celestial sanctuary.

Martha Himmelfarb’s research helps us better understand Enoch’s possible connections with the celestial sanctuary in the Book of the Watchers, which depicts the ascension of the seventh antediluvian patriarch to the Throne of Glory as a visitation of the heavenly Temple.[33]  1 Enoch 14:9–18 reads:

And I proceeded until I came near to a wall (t[eqm) which was built of hailstones, and a tongue of fire surrounded it, and it began to make me afraid. And I went into the tongue of fire and came near to a large house (be4t (a3biy) which was built of hailstones, and the wall of that house (was) like a mosaic (made) of hailstones, and its floor (was) snow. Its roof (was) like the path of the stars and flashes of lightning, and among them (were) fiery Cherubim, and their heaven (was like) water. And (there was) a fire burning around its wall, and its door was ablaze with fire. And I went into that house, and (it was) hot as fire and cold as snow, and there was neither pleasure nor life in it. Fear covered me and trembling, I fell on my face. And I saw in the vision, and behold, another house, which was larger than the former, and all its doors (were) open before me, and (it was) built of a tongue of fire. And in everything it so excelled in glory and splendor and size that I am unable to describe to you its glory and its size. And its floor (was) fire, and above (were) lightning and the path of the stars, and its roof also (was) a burning fire. And I looked and I saw in it a high throne, and its appearance (was) like ice and its surrounds like the shining sun and the sound of Cherubim.[34]

Commenting on this passage, Himmelfarb draws the readers’ attention to the description of the celestial edifices which Enoch encounters in his approach to the Throne. She notes that the Ethiopic text reports that, in order to reach God’s Throne, the patriarch passes through three celestial constructions: a wall, an outer house, and an inner house. The Greek version of this narrative mentions a house instead of a wall. Himmelfarb observes that “more clearly in the Greek, but also in the Ethiopic this arrangement echoes the structure of the earthly temple with its vestibule (Mlw)), sanctuary (lkyh), and the Holy of Holies (rybd).”[35]

God’s throne is located in the innermost chamber of this heavenly structure and is represented by a throne of cherubim (14:18).  It can be seen as a heavenly counterpart to the cherubim found in the Holy of Holies in the Jerusalem temple. In drawing parallels between the descriptions of the heavenly Temple in the Book of the Watchers and the features of the earthly sanctuary, Himmelfarb observes that the fiery cherubim which Enoch sees on the ceiling of the first house (Ethiopic) or middle house (Greek) of the heavenly structure represent not the cherubim of the divine throne, but images that recall the figures on the hangings on the wall of the tabernacle mentioned in Exod 26:1, 31; 36:8, 35 or possibly the figures which, according to 1 Kings 6:29, 2 Chr 3:7 and Ezek 41:15–26, were engraved on the walls of the earthly temple.[36]

Several comments must be made about the early traditions and sources that may lie behind the descriptions of the upper sanctuary in 1 Enoch 14. Scholars observe that the idea of heaven as a temple was not invented by the author of the Book of the Watchers; the concept of the heavenly temple as a celestial counterpart of the earthly sanctuary was widespread in the ancient Near East[37] and appears in a number of biblical sources.[38] Students of Jewish priestly traditions have observed that the existence of such a conception of the heavenly sanctuary appears to become increasingly important in times of religious crises, when the earthly sanctuaries were either destroyed or defiled by improper rituals or priestly successions.[39]

Returning to the analysis of 1 Enoch 14, one must examine the motif of the servants of the heavenly sanctuary depicted in that text. Himmelfarb argues that the priests of the heavenly temple in the Book of the Watchers appear to be represented by angels, since the author of the text depicts them as the ones who are “standing before God’s throne in the heavenly temple.”[40] In her opinion, such identification can also be implicitly supported by the motif of intercession, which represents “a central priestly task.” Himmelfarb also points to the possibility that in the Book of the Watchers the patriarch himself in the course of his ascent become a priest, similarly to the angels.[41] In this perspective the angelic status of patriarch and his priestly role are viewed as mutually interconnected. Himmelfarb stresses that “the author of the Book of the Watchers claims angelic status for Enoch through his service in the heavenly temple” since “the ascent shows him passing through the outer court of the temple and the sanctuary to the door of the Holy of Holies, where God addresses him with his own mouth.”[42] 

George Nickelsburg’s earlier research on the temple symbolism in 1 Enoch 14 provides important additional details relevant to this discussion. Nickelsburg argues that Enoch’s active involvement in the vision of the Lord’s throne, when he passes through the chambers of the celestial sanctuary, might indicate that the author(s) of the Book of the Watchers perceived him as a servant associated with the activities in these chambers. Nickelsburg points to the fact that Enoch’s vision of the Throne in the Book of the Watchers is “qualitatively different from that described in the biblical throne visions” because of the new active role of its visionary.[43] This new, active participation of Enoch in the vision puts 1 Enoch 14 closer to later Merkabah accounts which are different from biblical visions. Nickelsburg stresses that in the biblical throne visions, the seer is passive or, at best, his participation is reactional. But in the Merkabah accounts, Enoch appears to be actively involved in his vision.[44] In Nickelsburg’s view, the verbal forms of the narrative (“I drew near the wall,” “I went into that house”) serve as further indications of the active participation of the seer in the visionary reality of the heavenly Throne/Temple.[45]

Biblical visions are not completely forgotten by Enochic authors and provide an important exegetical framework for 1 Enoch 14. Comparing the Enochic vision with Ezekiel’s account of the temple, Nickelsburg suggests that the Enochic narrative also represents a vision of the temple but, in this case, the heavenly one. He argues that “the similarities to Ezek 40–48, together with other evidence, indicate that Enoch is describing his ascent to the heavenly temple and his progress through its temenos to the door of the Holy of Holies, where the chariot throne of God is set.”[46] The possibility that the author of 1 Enoch 14 was trying to describe Enoch’s celestial trip as a tour through the heavenly temple can be supported, in Nickelsburg’s judgment, by three significant details:

a. the “house” (14:10) of the Deity is by definition a temple;

b. both 12:4 and 15:3 speak about the eternal sanctuary;

c. the language about the fallen Watchers and the angels approaching God indicates that some of the angels are understood to be priests. [47]

The traditions about the seventh patriarch’s heavenly priesthood are not confined solely to the materials found in the Book of the Watchers, since they are attested in other materials associated with the Ethiopic Enoch, including the Animal Apocalypse. If in the Book of the Watchers, Enoch’s associations with the heavenly temple are clothed in ambiguous imagery, his portrait in the Animal Apocalypse does not leave any serious doubts that some of the early Enochic traditions understood the patriarch to be intimately connected with the heavenly sanctuary.

Chapter 87, verses 3 and 4 of 1 Enoch portrays the patriarch taken by three angels from the earth and raised to a high tower, where he is expected to remain until he will see the judgment prepared for the Watchers and their earthly families:

And those three who came out last took hold of me by my hand, and raised me from the generations of the earth, and lifted me on to a high place, and showed me a tower (ma3xefada) high above the earth, and all the hills were lower. And one said to me: “Remain here until you have seen everything which is coming upon these elephants and camels and asses, and upon the stars, and upon all the bulls.”[48]

VanderKam notes a significant detail in this description, namely, Enoch’s association with a tower. He observes that this term[49] is reserved in the Animal Apocalypse for a temple.[50] The association of the patriarch with the tower is long-lasting, and apparently he must have spent a considerable amount of time there, since the text does not say anything about Enoch’s return to the earth again until the time of judgment, so the patriarch is depicted as present in the heavenly sanctuary for most of the Animal Apocalypse.[51]

Although the traditions about Enoch’s associations with the heavenly Temple in the Book of the Watchers and in the Animal Apocalypse do not refer openly to his performance of priestly duties, the account attested in the Book of Jubilees explicitly makes this reference. Jubilees 4:23 depicts Enoch as taken from human society and placed in Eden[52] “for (his) greatness and honor.”[53] Jubilees then defines the Garden as a sanctuary[54] and Enoch as one who is offering an incense sacrifice on the mountain of incense: “He burned the evening incense of the sanctuary which is acceptable before the Lord on the mountain of incense.”[55] James VanderKam suggests that here Enoch is depicted as one who “performs the rites of a priest in the temple.”[56]  He further observes that Enoch’s priestly duties[57] represent a new element[58] in “Enoch’s expanding portfolio.”[59]

In one further note, I must comment on particular details surrounding the depiction of Enoch’s priestly duties in early Enochic lore. The Book of the Watchers does not refer to any liturgical or sacrificial rituals of the patriarch; on the other hand, Jubilees depicts the patriarch offering incense to God. The absence of reference to any animal sacrificial or liturgical practice in Enoch’s sacerdotal duties might indicate that his office may have been understood by early Enochic traditions from the divinatory angle, that is as the office of oracle-priest, practiced also by the Mesopotamian diviners who, similarly to Enoch’s preoccupation with incense, widely used the ritual of libanomancy, or “smoke divination,” a “practice of throwing cedar shavings onto a censer in order to observe the patterns and direction of the smoke.”[60]

Enoch’s Titles in the Similitudes

It has been mentioned that the Book of the Similitudes endows the seventh antediluvian patriarch with several roles and titles previously unknown in the early Enochic lore. The analysis of these roles and titles is important for this investigation of the evolution from Enoch to Metatron since in the Similitudes, for the first time in the Enochic tradition, the patriarch is depicted as a preexistent enthroned figure whose mission is to become an eschatological leader in the time when the wicked of this world will be punished. The reference to this highly elevated office recalls the future profile of the supreme angel Metatron known in some rabbinic and Hekhalot accounts. The relevance of the roles and titles found in the Similitudes as possible formative patterns for the future roles and titles of Metatron will be discussed in the later sections of this study. For now, the purpose of this investigation is to introduce and briefly describe these titles.

The enigmatic figure of the eschatological leader, possibly associated with Enoch, is designated in the Similitudes by four titles: righteous one (s9a3deq), anointed one (masih9), chosen one (xeruy), and son of man (walda sab)).[61] These designations occur with various degrees of frequency in the Ethiopic text; while the first two titles are used rather sparingly, the other two designations are quite widespread and appear many times in the Similitudes.

“Righteous One”

Although the expression “righteous one” occurs at least four times in the Ethiopic text of the Similitudes, not all of these references are equally valuable for the ongoing investigation of Enoch’s titles. VanderKam suggests that one of these occurrences is “text-critically doubtful,” and two of them do not constitute an individual title but rather represent collective designations. He is confident, however, that the single case in which “righteous one” is used as an individual title of the eschatological leader is 1 Enoch 53:6.[62]

1 Enoch 53 describes the upcoming destruction of the wicked, including the kings and the powerful of this world, by the hands of the angels of punishment.  In 1 Enoch 53:6–7 an eschatological figure of great significance appears; the text applies two titles, “righteous one” and “chosen one” to this figure:

And after this the Righteous (s9a4deq) and Chosen One (xeruy) will cause the house of his congregation to appear; from then on, in the name of the Lord of Spirits, they will not be hindered. And before him these mountains will not be (firm) like the earth, and the hills will be like a spring of water; and the righteous will have rest from the ill-treatment of the sinners.[63]

The title “chosen one” will be examined in a later section. First I direct my attention to “righteous one.”

It is significant for this investigation of the provenance of the Enochic titles that this title appears to be rooted in biblical traditions. Scholars have suggested that the possible provenance of the title “righteous one” might be Isa 53:11.[64] In this text the epithet “the righteous one” is applied to the servant of the Lord: “the righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.” VanderKam points out that in the Similitudes the title “righteous one” is never used alone in application to an eschatological figure; it is found only in conjunction with another title, “chosen one.”[65] This conjunction serves as a significant clue that in the Similitudes all four titles of the elevated messianic character are closely interconnected.

“Anointed One”

Another title associated with the elevated hero of the Similitudes is “anointed one.” This title occurs twice in Chapters 48 and 52 of the book.[66] In 1 Enoch 48:10 the title is introduced in the eschatological context in which the wicked of this world represented by rulers of the earth will fall down before the son of man but “there will be no one who will take them with his hands and raise them” because they “denied the Lord of Spirits and his Messiah (“anointed one”).”[67]  Scholars have observed that the author of this passage appears to be relying on biblical terminology, more precisely, on the expressions from Ps 2:2 that refer to rulers and kings of the earth taking “counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed.”[68] Here again, as in the case of “righteous one,” the author(s) of the Similitudes prefers to seek the background of the hero’s titles not in Mesopotamian but in biblical sources.

The second occurrence of the same title appears in 1 Enoch 52. The patriarch, carried off by a whirlwind, beholds the secrets of heaven, which include several mountains associated with particular metals: “a mountain of iron, and a mountain of copper, and a mountain of silver, and a mountain of gold, and a mountain of soft metal, and a mountain of lead.”[69] Enoch is further instructed by his angelus interpres that these mountains are predestined to “serve the authority of his Messiah (‘anointed one’).”

Chosen One”

This title is used many times in the Similitudes, designating again, as in the case of the previous two designations, an eschatological character.[70] The description of the “chosen one” in the Similitudes paints a picture of a highly elevated celestial being. This being apparently has his own throne in the celestial realm since one of the passages, found in 1 Enoch 45:3–4, depicts the chosen one as the one who has been installed on the throne of glory:

On that day the Chosen One (xeruy) will sit on the throne of glory, and will choose their works, and their resting-places will be without number; and their spirits within them will grow strong when they see my Chosen one (laxeruya) and those who appeal to my holy and glorious name. And on that day I will cause my Chosen One (laxeruya) to dwell among them, and I will transform heaven and make it an eternal blessing and light.[71]

The significant detail in this description is that the “chosen one” was set on his throne of glory by the Lord of Spirits (61:8). From this elevated seat he will then judge Asael and the angels associated with this rebellious leader (55:4).[72] 

As in the case of the previous two, this title appears to rely on imagery drawn from biblical materials. Scholars point to the possible roots of the title “chosen one” in Isa 41:8, 9; 42:1; 43:10, where this designation is applied to the servant of the Lord.[73]

“Son of Man”

This title is formulated in the Similitudes with three different Ethiopic expressions.[74] It appears multiple times and can be found in 1 Enoch 46:2, 3, 4; 48:2; 62:5, 7, 9, 14; 63:11; 69:26, 27, 29 [twice]; 70:1; 71:14; 71:17. The profile of the “son of man” as an elevated celestial being recalls the figure of the “chosen one” analyzed in the previous section.[75]  As with the “chosen one,” “son of man” is a character associated with the celestial secrets who also has a throne of glory (62:5; 69:27, 29) from which he will judge sinners.

Scholars have observed that some features of the “son of man” traditions in the Similitudes recall details found in Daniel 7, where one can find a messianic figure designated as “one like a son of man.”[76] The parallels with the Daniel “son of man” can be illustrated by reference to 1 Enoch 46:1–4, where the title is introduced and then repeated several times:

And there I saw one who had a head of days, and his head (was) white like wool; and with him (there was) another, whose face had the appearance of a man, and his face (was) full of grace, like one of the holy angels. And I asked one of the holy angels who went with me, and showed me all the secrets, about that Son of Man (walda sab)), who he was, and whence he was, (and) why he went with the Head of Days. And he answered me and said to me: “This is the Son of Man (walda sab)) who has righteousness, and with whom righteousness dwells; he will reveal all the treasures of that which is secret, for the Lord of Spirits has chosen him, and through uprightness his lot has surpassed all before the Lord of Spirits for ever. And this Son of Man (walda sab)) whom you have seen will rouse the kings and the powerful from their resting-places, and the strong from their thrones, and will loose the reins of the strong, and will break the teeth of the sinners.[77]

In this passage, an enigmatic character appears whose designation as “the head of days” recalls the Daniel figure of the “ancient of days.”

The significant feature of the son of man’s profile in the Similitudes is that the text understands this character as preexistent, even possibly a divine being who received his name before the time of creation. One sees this in 1 Enoch 48:2–7:

And at that hour that Son of Man (walda sab)) was named in the presence of the Lord of Spirits, and his name (was named) before the Head of Days. Even before the sun and the constellations were created, before the stars of heaven were made, his name was named before the Lord of Spirits. He will be a staff to the righteous and the holy, that they may lean on him and not fall, and he (will be) the light of the nations, and he will be the hope of those who grieve in their hearts. All those who dwell upon the dry ground will fall down and worship before him, and they will bless, and praise, and celebrate with psalms the name of the Lord of Spirits. And because of this he was chosen and hidden before him before the world was created, and forever.[78]

One can see that, as with the previous titles from the Similitudes, biblical traditions play a pivotal role in inspiring the author(s) of this book in their portrayal of the “son of man.” For such inspiration, they go not only to the prominent account found in the Book of Daniel but also to other biblical materials. VanderKam observes that the reference to the fact that the “son of man” was in God’s mind before the creation recalls the passage from Isa 49:1. In this text the servant of the Lord defines himself in similar terms, saying that “the Lord called me before I was born, while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.”[79] VanderKam argues that “there is no mistaking the author’s appeal to the servant of the Lord in 2 Isaiah, in which he is to be a light to the nations (42:6; 49:6).”[80]

Interdependence of the Four Titles and Their Identification with Enoch in the Similitudes

An important feature in the four titles is that they seem to be used interchangeably in the Similitudes and appear to be referring to one composite figure. George Nickelsburg notes that “the identification of these figures with one another is understandable; for all their differences, their characteristics and functions can be seen to be compatible and complementary.”[81] Indeed, as was already shown in this present investigation, the combination of the titles “righteous one” and the “chosen one” in 1 Enoch 53:6–7 indicates that they were used here for the same protagonist. The same interchangeability is observable in the titles “son of man” and “chosen one.” Here, however, the equivalency is established not through the combination of the titles but through their separation. Scholars previously observed that the titles “son of man” and “chosen one,” the two most widely used titles in the Similitudes, always occur in separate sections of the text, and never together.[82] Morna Hooker’s research demonstrates that, while Chapters 38–45 use the title “chosen one,” Chapters 46–48 operate with “son of man.” This pattern continues further as the material from 1 Enoch 49–62:1 applies the title “chosen one,” while 1 Enoch 62:1–71 chooses to use “son of man.”[83] The separation of these two titles appears to indicate that the author(s) or editor(s) of the Similitudes perceived them to be interchangeable.

A large group of scholars believe that all four eschatological titles found in the Similitudes refer to one individual, namely the patriarch Enoch himself, who in 1 Enoch 71 is identified[84] with the “son of man.”[85] The crucial issue for the possible identification of the four titles with the seventh antediluvian patriarch is the status of Chapters 70–71.[86] Some scholars believe that these chapters might represent later interpolation(s) and do not belong to the original text of the Book of the Similitudes;[87] they note that these two chapters do not appropriately correspond with the tripartite structure of the Similitudes. The content of these chapters also raises some critical questions. First, 1 Enoch 70–71 exhibits repetitiveness that might indicate the attempt to expand the original material. Second, for a long time students of the Enochic traditions were puzzled by the fact that the son of man, who in the previous chapters of the Similitudes has been distinguished from Enoch, suddenly becomes identified in 1 Enoch 71 with the patriarch. This identification seems to contradict the rest of the text since it appears impossible for a seer to fail to recognize himself in the vision. John Collins points to the uniqueness of such a misidentification in the Jewish apocalyptic literature, where a visionary would scarcely fail to recognize himself in such an auto-vision.[88] Moreover, in view of the preexistent nature of the son of man in 1 Enoch 48:2–7, it is difficult to reconcile this character with the figure of the seventh patriarch who was born from human parents in the antediluvian era.

Several explanations have been proposed to resolve this puzzling situation. Scholars have observed[89] that the Similitudes seems to entertain the idea of the heavenly twin (counterpart) of a visionary when they identify Enoch with the son of man.[90] James VanderKam suggests that the puzzle of the Similitudes can be explained by the Jewish belief, attested in several ancient Jewish texts, that a creature of flesh and blood could have a heavenly double or counterpart. As an example, VanderKam points to Jacob traditions in which the patriarch’s “features are engraved on high.”[91]  He stresses that this theme of the visionary’s ignorance of his higher angelic identity is observable in other Jewish pseudepigrapha, including the Prayer of Joseph.         

In the light of the Jewish traditions about the heavenly counterpart of the visionary, VanderKam’s hypothesis appears to be plausible, and it is possible that in the Similitudes the seventh antediluvian patriarch was indeed identified with the son of man and the other titles pertaining to this figure.

In the conclusion of this section, several observations can be offered in connection with Enochic titles attested in the Similitudes. First, one cannot fail to recognize that in contrast to other designations of Enoch found in the early Enochic materials, the titles from the Book of Similitudes exhibit strong roots and connections with the motifs and themes found in the Bible, particularly in the Book of Isaiah, Psalm 2, and the Book of Daniel. Scholars have therefore proposed that these titles might be shaped by familiar biblical characters, such as the Servant of the Lord found in Deutero-Isaiah and the Son of Man found in Daniel 7. Such explicit reliance on known biblical characters demonstrates a striking contrast to the provenance of other titles of Enoch not found in the Similitudes (like the scribe, the expert in secrets, and the priest). It seems that these do not have explicit biblical roots but are rather based on independent Mesopotamian traditions.[92]

Second, the peculiar feature of the titles found in the Similitudes is that they can be found only in this part of the Ethiopic Enoch. Other booklets of this Enochic composition, such as the Astronomical Book, the Book of the Watchers, the Book of Dreams, and the Epistle of Enoch, do not refer to these titles of the patriarch. It is also curious that other early Enochic materials, including the Genesis Apocryphon, Jubilees, Book of Giants, and 2 Enoch, do not provide any references either to these titles or to the features associated with them. For example, early Enochic booklets are silent about Enoch’s enthronement on the seat of glory. This absence of allusions and cross-references with other Enochic writings appears to be quite puzzling and unusual since the information about other titles not found in the Similitudes, such as the scribe, the expert in the secrets, the priest, are typically employed as sets of recurring motifs supported by various texts, including the various booklets of 1 Enoch, Jubilees, the Genesis Apocryphon, the Book of Giants and 2 Enoch. It is also baffling that the later rabbinic and Hekhalot materials are silent about the Enochic titles found in the Book of the Similitudes. James Davila’s research points to the fact that the titles found in the Similitudes, like messiah, son of man and

righteous one, are dropped almost entirely[93] in the Merkabah tradition.[94] This issue will constitute a special topic of the discussion in the following sections. Finally, another puzzling characteristic of the Similitudes’ titles must be mentioned. In the ambiguous identification of Enoch with the “son of man” depicted in 1 Enoch 71, one finds a unique way of introducing this Enochic title which never occurs in the case of Enoch’s other titles. In early Enochic booklets each designation is usually introduced through the gradual unfolding of the patriarch’s activities pertaining to the particular title. In contrast, the Book of the Similitudes refuses to depict in any way Enoch’s participation in various offices which stand behind the Similitudian titles. Nothing is said about the patriarch’s messianic mission or his role in judging the mighty ones of the world. Enoch is rather depicted as a mere beholder of these deeds, which the text unambiguously associates with one or another eschatological figure. He is only named as a “son of man,” who in no way attempts to execute the offices pertaining to this and other titles.


I would like to thank William Adler for his stimulating response to this paper.

One of the important questions that he asked in his response is how the potentially promising path in the Enoch trajectory attesting to the great exaltation of its hero ends up in a dead-end. Why do the exalted Enochic titles reflected in the Book of the Similitudes not loom large in the later Metatron developments? What happened?

I want to tell you upfront that I don’t have answers for these questions, but it seems to me that in order to approach these issues another investigation of the hero’s roles and titles is required which will be quite different from the one reflected in my paper. This new study must be done not from the temporal angle of the past of the Enochic tradition but from its future. I must confess that I am a little bit embarrassed about my paper submitted for this conference since it represents the less original part of my research on the Enoch-Metatron tradition. In this part of my study I rely completely on the previous scholarship done by experts of early Enochic literature.  In contrast to my official paper that I submitted for this conference the rest of my book deals with the later Enochic trajectories reflected in rabbinic and Hekhalot materials. I tried to figure out how and when the elusive transition from Enoch to Metatron, from a diviner to a second god occurred. When I started my research I was overwhelmed with one methodological question that is what phenomena can serve as a set of reliable indicators which allow us to detect the subtle transition from Enoch to Metatron, from the apocalyptic hero to the hero of the Hekhalot lore.

In my book I attempted to investigate one such possible set of characteristics. The book focuses on examining the celestial roles and titles of Enoch-Metatron, which play an equally important role in early Enochic accounts and the Hekhalot materials. The peculiar characteristic of these roles and titles, that make them good indicators of the transition from the Enoch tradition to the Metatron tradition, is that each of these traditions operates with a different set of roles and titles. Thus, the early Enochic tradition put emphasis on such roles or titles of the seventh antediluvian patriarch as diviner, scribe, sage, visionary, witness of the divine judgment in the generation of the Flood, and envoy to the Watchers/Giants.  Later Jewish mysticism reveals Enoch-Metatron in a different set of roles and titles depicting him as the Prince of the Torah, the Prince of the Divine Presence, the Measurer of the Lord, the Prince of the World, and the Youth. Only a few titles are common to both traditions.  But even in the roles that seem to be shared by both traditions, such as Enoch-Metatron’s priestly role or his role as an expert in the divine secrets, one can see a significant evolution of the offices and their different functions in the Enochic and the Metatron traditions.

My investigation of Metaron’s roles and titles showed that Hekhalot and rabbinic materials dealing with the Metatron lore contain two clusters of his roles and titles.

The first cluster of roles/titles of Metatron appears to be connected with those already known from early Enochic traditions. These offices, in fact, represent the continuation and, in many ways, consummation of the roles of the seventh antediluvian hero. In this sense the transformation of Enoch into the principal angel Metatron represents something of a climax of the earlier Enoch traditions. In my analysis I referred to this cluster of offices and appellations as the “old” roles and titles. This cluster embraces the activities of Metatron in such offices as the heavenly scribe, the expert in the divine secrets, the heavenly high priest, and the mediator. All these roles can be seen as the development of the familiar conceptual counterparts found in early Enochic and Mesopotamian traditions about the seventh antediluvian hero. Yet, despite the recognizable similarities to these early prototypes, the roles and titles found in the Metatron tradition represent in some cases a substantial reshaping and development of the earlier Enochic sources.

The second cluster of roles and titles of Metatron embraces those that do not occur in 1 Enoch, Jubilees, and the Book of Giants. In the Merkabah tradition, Enoch-Metatron appears in several new roles previously unknown in these early Enochic materials. This group of Metatron’s appellations and offices, in contrast to the old roles and titles, I designated as the “new” roles and titles. The offices appearing in this new cluster are related to such appellations of Metatron as the “Youth,” the “Prince of the World,” the “Measurer/Measure of the Lord,” the “Prince of the Divine Presence,” the “Prince of the Torah,” and the “Lesser YHWH.”

As I proceeded with my study of the transition from Enoch to Metatron based on my investigation of the roles and titles it became more and more clear to me that the roles and titles found in the Book of the Similitudes do not represent a crucial link between the roles and titles of Enoch and the roles and titles of Metatron. Thus a glance at the roles and titles of the seventh antediluvian hero in the Similitudes  from the point of view of the Metatron tradition, like in the case with the earlier Enochic texts, indicated discontinuity rather than continuity. It is surprising that both temporal perspectives demonstrate the dissimilarities in the roles and titles of the Sinilitudes, which make the Similitudes a rather odd link in the chain of the Enoch-Metatron tradition. So the examination of the conceptual development of Enoch-Metatron roles and titles might help to clarify the difference between the influences which genuinely contributed to the gradual evolution from Enoch to Metatron and other currents in the Enochic tradition(s) which, despite their promising appearance, did not directly impact this transition. Yet another Enochic text of the Second Temple period seems more promising in its formative value for the later Metatron developments than the Book of the Similitudes. This text is 2 (Slavonic) Enoch, a Jewish document traditionally dated by scholars in the first century CE, before the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple. My inquiry into the narrative of 2 Enoch persuaded me that the conceptual developments pertaining to the roles and titles of its principal character occupy an intermediary stage between early Enochic and Metatron traditions. The evolution of the titles and roles within 2 Enoch includes two distinct processes.

One of these processes is connected with the emergence of a 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 the Lord. Although some designations attested in the Slavonic apocalypse, such as the Governor of the World, the Servant of the Face, and some others, 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 Shi(ur Qomah materials.

The second process detected in 2 Enoch embraces an 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. Let me just mention some of them:


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 which recalls Metatron’s bodily ascent in Sefer Hekhalot and his bodily transformation into the luminous extent.


 2. The transition from the priestly imagery of the hero detected in the early Enochic literature toward a more complex sacerdotal office which includes Enoch’s liturgical role as the leader of the heavenly worship prominent in Hekhalot and Shi(ur 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 H9agigah Babli, where he is depicted as a scribe who has a seat.


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 and Measurement of the Lord’s Body, his Shi(ur Qomah.


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 mediator of the divine Presence.

It must be noted that the new and old roles and titles found in 2 Enoch 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.

[1] This presentation represents an excerpt from my book The Enoch-Metatron Tradition published by Mohr-Siebeck in 2005. I am thankful to the editors of Mohr-Siebeck Verlag for permission to reproduce the part of my book in this publication. 

[2] David Suter observed that “the closest tie between Enoch/Metatron in 3 Enoch and the role of Enoch in the earliest literature is the identification of Enoch as the ‘Son of Man’ in 1 En. 71:14 at the conclusion of the Parables of Enoch.” D. W. Suter, Tradition and Composition in the Parables of Enoch (SBLDS 47; Missoula: Scholars, 1979) 16.

[3] Although the titles assigned to the patriarch in the Similitudes were almost completely dropped by later “Enochic” traditions, the presence of such developments shows that long before the exaltation of Enoch as Metatron in Sefer Hekhalot there was an apparent need of such a type of conceptual development.

[4] Suter, Tradition and Composition in the Parables of Enoch, 14ff.

[5] Kvanvig, Roots of Apocalyptic, 27.

[6]  Pierre Grelot observes that “Enoch is the originator of prophecy understood as revelation of divine secrets.” Grelot, “La légende d’Hénoch dans les apocryphes et dans la Bible: Origine et signification,” 15.

[7] Collins, Seers, Sybils and Sages in Hellenistic-Roman Judaism, 49.

[8] Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.128.

[9] P. Alexander “3 (Hebrew Apocalypse of) Enoch,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. J.H. Charlesworth; New York: Doubleday, 1985 [1983]) 1.264; Schäfer et al., Synopse, 8–9.

[10] Cohen, Liturgy and Theurgy, 127.

[11] Collins, “The Sage in Apocalyptic and Pseudepigraphic Literature,” 345.

[12] Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.223.

[13] tainy.

[14] VanderKam, Enoch: A Man for All Generations, 11. On the etymology of Enoch’s name, see also Grelot, “La légende d’Hénoch,” 186; Kvanvig, Roots of Apocalyptic, 41–43.

[15] In 1 Enoch 74:2, Enoch writes the instructions of the angel Uriel regarding the secrets of the heavenly bodies and their movements. Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.173. William Adler draws the reader’s attention to an interesting passage from M. Glycas which refers to Uriel’s instruction to Seth in a manner similar to Uriel’s revelation of the calendarical and astronomical secrets to Enoch in the Astronomical Book of 1 Enoch. “It is said that the angel stationed among the stars, that is the divine Uriel, descended to Seth and then to Enoch and taught them the distinctions between hours, months, seasons, and years.” W. Adler, Time Immemorial: Archaic History and Its Sources in Christian Chronography from Julius Africanus to George Syncellus (Dumbarton Oaks Studies 26; Washington: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1989) 105. For the Greek text, see Michaelis Glycae Annales (ed. I. Bekker; CSHB; Bonn: Weber, 1836) 228.

[16] 4Q203 8: “Copy of the seco[n]d tablet of [the] le[tter...] by the hand of Enoch, the distinguished scribe....” García Martínez and Tigchelaar (eds.), The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition, 1.411.

[17] VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees, 2.25–6.

[18] This tradition can be seen already in 2 Enoch 23:4–6, which depicts the angel Vereveil (Uriel) commanding Enoch to sit down: “‘You sit down; write everything....’ And Enoch said, ‘And I sat down for a second period of 30 days and 30 nights, and I wrote accurately.’” F. Andersen, “2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 vols.; ed. J. H. Charlesworth; New York: Doubleday, 1985 [1983]) 1.141.

[19] Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Genesis (tr. M. Maher, M.S.C.; The Aramaic Bible 1B; Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1992) 36.

[20] On the scribes and the scribal culture in Mesopotamian and Jewish environments, see M. Bar-Ilan, “Writing in Ancient Israel and Early Judaism: Scribes and Books in the Late Second Commonwealth and Rabbinic Period,” in: Mikra: Text, Translation, Reading and Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Ancient Judaism in Early Christianity (eds. M. J. Mulder and H. Sysling; CRINT 2.1; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1989) 21–38; J. Blenkinsopp, “The Sage, the Scribe, and Scribalism in the Chronicler’s Work,” in: The Sage in Israel and the Ancient Near East, 307–315; J. J. Collins, “The Sage in Apocalyptic and Pseudepigraphic Literature,” in: The Sage in Israel and the Ancient Near East, 343–354; P. R. Davies, Scribes and Schools: The Canonization of the Hebrew Scriptures (Louisville: Westminster, 1998) 74-88; L. R. Mack-Fisher, “The Scribe (and Sage) in the Royal Court at Ugarit,” in: The Sage in Israel and the Ancient Near East, 109–115; D. E. Orton, The Understanding Scribe: Matthew and the Apocalyptic Ideal (JSNTSup 25; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1989); A. Saldarini, Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees (Edinburgh: T&T. Clark, 1989); C. Schams, Jewish Scribes in the Second-Temple Period (JSOTSup 291; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998); E. E. Urbach, The Halakha, Its Sources and Development (Yad La-Talmud; Jerusalem: Massada, 1960).

[21] This aspect of the scribe as a translator looms large in 2 Enoch 23:2, where Vereveil (Uriel) teaches the elevated patriarch “every kind of language” (the longer recension) and, specifically, “the Hebrew language” (the shorter recension). See Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 140–41.

[22] Kvanvig draws attention to the similar role of Ezra, whose title “scribe of the law” indicates the conflation of scribal and legal duties. Kvanvig, Roots of Apocalyptic, 101.

[23] Collins, “The Sage in Apocalyptic and Pseudepigraphic Literature,” 344.

[24] Both R. H. Charles and M. Black argue that the possible biblical parallel to Enoch’s role as the Scribe could be the passage from Ezekiel 9, which depicts a man clad in white linen with an ink-horn by his side. Charles, The Book of Enoch, 28; Black, 1 Enoch, 143.

[25] In 1 Enoch 89:62 the scribal function is assigned to Michael.

[26] VanderKam, Enoch and the Growth of an Apocalyptic Tradition, 104.

[27] See also 1 Enoch 82:1: “And now, my son Methuselah, all these things I recount to you and write down for you; I have revealed everything to you and have given you books from the hand of your father, that you may pass (them) on to the generations of eternity.” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.187.

[28] Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.173.

[29] For example, in 2 Enoch, Vereveil (Uriel) is depicted as a scribe. The exchange in the roles between Enoch and Uriel is intriguing and goes both ways. H. Kvanvig observes that in Pseudo-Eupolemus “Enoch was placed into the same position as Uriel in the Astronomical Book.” Kvanvig, 239.

[30] Collins, Seers, Sybils and Sages in Hellenistic-Roman Judaism, 49.

[31] Collins, “The Sage in Apocalyptic and Pseudepigraphic Literature,” 346.

[32] Collins, “The Sage in Apocalyptic and Pseudepigraphic Literature,” 346; idem, Seers, Sybils and Sages in Hellenistic-Roman Judaism, 49.

[33] M. Himmelfarb, “The Temple and the Garden of Eden in Ezekiel, the Book of the Watchers, and the Wisdom of ben Sira,” in: Sacred Places and Profane Spaces: Essays in the Geographics of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (eds. J. Scott and P. Simpson–Housley; New York: Greenwood Press, 1991) 63–78; idem, “Apocalyptic Ascent and the Heavenly Temple,” in: Society of Biblical Literature 1987 Seminar Papers (SBLSP 26; Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1987) 210–217. Martha Himmelfarb’s research draws on the previous publications of Johann Maier and George Nickelsburg. See: J. Maier, “Das Gefährdungsmotiv bei der Himmelsreise in der jüdischen Apocalyptik und ‘Gnosis,’” Kairos 5(1) 1963 18–40, esp. 23; idem, Vom Kultus zur Gnosis, 127–8; G. W. E. Nickelsburg, “Enoch, Levi, and Peter: Recipients of Revelation in Upper Galilee,” JBL 100 (1981) 575–600, esp. 576–82. See also Kvanvig, Roots of Apocalyptic, 101–102; Halperin, The Faces of the Chariot, 81.

[34] Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 1.50–52; 2.98–99.

[35] Himmelfarb, “Apocalyptic Ascent and the Heavenly Temple,” 210.

[36] Himmelfarb, “Apocalyptic Ascent and the Heavenly Temple,” 211.

[37] R. J. Clifford, The Cosmic Mountain in Canaan and the Old Testament (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972) 177–80.

[38] Himmelfarb, “The Temple and the Garden of Eden,” 68.

[39] For an extensive discussion of this subject, see Gemeinde ohne Tempel/Community without Temple: Zur Substituierung und Transformation des Jerusalemer Tempels und seines Kults im Alten Testament, antiken Judentum und frühen Christentum (eds. B. Ego et al.; WUNT 118; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1999); R. Elior, “From Earthly Temple to Heavenly Shrines: Prayer and Sacred Song in the Hekhalot Literature and Its Relation to Temple Traditions,” JSQ 4 (1997) 217–67; idem, “The Priestly Nature of the Mystical Heritage in Heykalot Literature,” in: Expérience et écriture mystiques dans les religions du livre: Actes d’un colloque international tenu par le Centre d’études juives Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne 1994 (eds. R. B. Fenton and R. Goetschel; EJM 22; Leiden: Brill, 2000) 41–54.

[40] Himmelfarb, “Apocalyptic Ascent,” 211.

[41] Himmelfarb, “Apocalyptic Ascent,” 213.

[42] Himmelfarb, “Apocalyptic Ascent,” 212.

[43] G. W. E. Nickelsburg, “Enoch, Levi, and Peter: Recipients of Revelation in Upper Galilee,” JBL 100 (1981) 575–600, esp. 579.

[44] Nickelsburg, “Enoch, Levi, and Peter: Recipients of Revelation in Upper Galilee,” 580.

[45] Fletcher-Louis stresses that the language of Enoch’s approach (“to draw near”) is cultic. Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam, 23.

[46] Nickelsburg, “Enoch, Levi, and Peter: Recipients of Revelation in Upper Galilee,” 580.

[47] Nickelsburg, “Enoch, Levi, and Peter: Recipients of Revelation in Upper Galilee,” 580–81.

[48] Knibb. The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 1.294; 2.198.

[49] 1 Enoch 89:50: “And that house became large and broad, and for those sheep a high tower was built on that house for the Lord of the sheep; and that house was low, but the tower was raised up and high; and the Lord of the sheep stood on that tower, and they spread a full table before him.” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 208; 1 Enoch 89:73: “And they began again to build, as before, and they raised up that tower, and it was called the high tower; and they began again to place a table before the tower, but all the bread on it (was) unclean and was not pure.” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.211.

[50] VanderKam, Enoch: A Man for All Generations, 117.

[51] VanderKam, Enoch: A Man for All Generations, 117.

[52]  For Enoch’s place in the heavenly Paradise, see: Testament of Benjamin 10:6, Apocalypse of Paul 20, Clementine Recognitions 1:52, Acts of Pilate 25, and the Ascension of Isaiah 9:6. C. Rowland, “Enoch,” in: Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (eds. K. van der Toorn et al; Leiden: Brill, 1999) 302.

[53] VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees, 2.28.

[54] VanderKam argues that there are other indications that in the Book of Jubilees Eden was understood as a sanctuary. As an example, he points to Jub 3:9–14, which “derives the law from Lev 11 regarding when women who have given birth may enter the sanctuary from the two times when Adam and Eve, respectively, went into the garden.” VanderKam, Enoch: A Man for All Generation, 117.

[55] VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees, 2.28.

[56] VanderKam, Enoch: A Man for All Generations, 117.

[57] Fletcher-Louis notes that in Jubilees 4:7, “the patriarch’s observation of the heavens and their order so that the sons of man might know the (appointed) times of the year according to their order, with respect to each of their months…is knowledge of a thoroughly priestly and cultic nature.” Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam, 24.

[58] Scholars point to the possible polemical nature of the patriarch’s priestly role. Gabriele Boccaccini observes that “Enochians completely ignore the Mosaic torah and the Jerusalem Temple, that is, the two tenets of the order of the universe.” In his opinion, “the attribution to Enoch of priestly characteristics suggests the existence of a pure predeluvian, and pre-fall, priesthood and disrupts the foundation of the Zadokite priesthood, which claimed its origin in Aaron at the time of the exodus, in an age that, for the Enochians, was already corrupted after the angelic sin and the flood.” G. Boccaccini, Beyond the Essene Hypothesis: The Parting of the Ways between Qumran and Enochic Judaism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998) 74.

[59] VanderKam, Enoch: A Man for All Generations, 117.

[60] Moore, The Balaam Traditions: Their Character and Development, 43.

[61]  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) 169–70. My presentation of the titles from the Book of the Similitudes is based on the positions reflected in James VanderKam’s article. See also M. Black, “The Strange Visions of Enoch,” Bible Review 3 (1987) 20–23; idem, “The Messianism of the Parables of Enoch: Their Date and Contribution to Christological Origins,” in: The Messiah: Developments in Earliest Judaism and Christianity (ed. J. Charlesworth et al.; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992) 145–68; J. Davila, “Of Methodology, Monotheism and Metatron,” The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism. Papers from the St. Andrews Conference on the Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus (eds. C. C. Newman, J. R. Davila, G. S. Lewis; JSJSup 63; Leiden: Brill, 1999) 9–12.

[62] VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son of Man in 1 Enoch 37–71,” 170–171.

[63]  Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 1.146; 2.138.

[64] VanderKam, Enoch: A Man for All Generations, 136.

[65] VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son of Man in 1 Enoch 37–71,” 170.

[66] Scholars have previously questioned whether these designations belong to the original layer of the texts. See especially E. Sjöberg, Der Menschensohn im äthiopischen Henochbuch (Skrifter Utgivna av kungl. Humanistiska Vetenskapssamfundet I Lund 41; Lund, 1946) 140–41; J. Theisohn, Der auserwählte  Richter (SUNT 12; Göttingen, 1975) 55–56.

[67] Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.134.

[68] VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son of Man in 1 Enoch 37–71,” 170. James Davila observes that “the language of the passage echoes Psalm 2:2 and thus evokes the messianic traditions drawn in the Second Temple period out of the royal psalms, despite the anachronism of associating ideas with the antediluvian patriarch Enoch.” Davila, “Of Methodology, Monotheism and Metatron,” 10.

[69] Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.136.

[70] The title occurs in 1 Enoch 40:5; 45:3, 4; 49:2, 4; 51:3, 5; 52:6, 9; 53:6; 55:4; 61:5, 8, 10; 62:1.

[71] Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 1.126–27; 2.131.

[72] The passage found in 1 Enoch 51:3 again stresses the motif of the throne in connection with this title: “And in those days the Chosen One will sit on his throne, and all the secrets of wisdom will flow out from the counsel of his mouth, for the Lord of Spirits has appointed him and glorified him.” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 135–6.

[73] Suter, Tradition and Composition, 26–27; VanderKam, Enoch: A Man for All Generations, 138.

[74] VanderKam, Enoch: A Man for All Generations, 135.

[75] David Suter notes the interplay of the traditions about the chosen one and the son of man in chapter 62 of the Similitudes. He observes that this “chapter begins with the Elect one being seated on the throne of his glory by the Lord of Spirits to judge the kings and mighty of the earth; however, in the midst of the passage, at 1 En. 62:5, the poet changes from ‘the Elect One’ to ‘that Son of Man.’” Suter, Tradition and Composition, 26.

[76] Suter observes that “in the parables of Enoch, ‘that Son of Man’ appears largely in the context of an exegetical tradition based on Dan. 7:9–14 and derives his judicial function from ‘the Elect one’ as this tradition is used to amplify the latter title.” Suter, Tradition and Composition, 26

[77] Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 1.128–9; 2.131–2.

[78] Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 1.134; 2.133–34.

[79] VanderKam, Enoch: A Man for All Generations, 139.

[80] VanderKam, Enoch: A Man for All Generations, 139.

[81] G. Nickelsburg, “Son of Man,” ABD 6.138.

[82] M. D. Hooker, The Son of Man in Mark (London: S.P.C.K., 1967) 34–37; Theisohn, Der auserwählte Richter, 47–49; VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son of Man in 1 Enoch 37–71,” 175.

[83] Morna Hooker observes that “two sources can be distinguished, one speaking of the ‘Son of Man’ and the other of the “Elect One,” and in spite of the fact that scholars have mostly followed them in regarding the material in its present form as a mosaic, discussion of the figure of the ‘Son of Man’ has not generally drawn any distinction between these two titles, but has regarded passages referring to the ‘Elect One’ and those which speak of the ‘Son of Man’ as descriptive of the same figure.” Hooker, The Son of Man in Mark, 34.

[84] Scholars previously observed the significance of this identification for future Metatron developments. Alan Segal points out that “this is an extraordinarily important event, as it underlines the importance of mystic transformation between the adept and the angelic vice-regent of God.” A. Segal, “The Risen Christ and the Angelic Mediator Figures in Light of Qumran,” in: Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls (ed. J. Charlesworth; New York: Doubleday, 1992) 305.

[85] VanderKam, Enoch: A Man for All Generations, 140; G. Nickelsburg, “Son of Man,” ABD 6.138.

[86]  James VanderKam stresses that “the status of chs. 70–71 is … absolutely crucial to one’s understanding of the phrase ‘son of man’ and eventually of all the other epithets.” VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son of Man in 1 Enoch 37–71,” 177.

[87] George Nickelsburg observes that “the text is probably an addition to an earlier form of the Book of Parables, but an addition with important parallels.” G. Nickelsburg, “Son of Man,” ABD 6.140.

[88] J. Collins, “Heavenly Representative: The ‘Son of Man’ in the Similitudes of Enoch,’ in: Ideal Figures in Ancient Judaism (eds. G.W.E. Nickelsburg and J.J. Collins; SCS 12; Chico, Calif.: Scholars, 1980) 122–24, esp. 122.

[89] See J. VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son of Man in 1 Enoch 37–71,” 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; C. H. T. Fletcher-Louis, Luke-Acts: Angels, Christology and Soteriology (WUNT 2/94; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1997) 151.

[90] It is important to note that in the Similitudes, the son of man is depicted as 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 concludes 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.

[91] VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son of Man in 1 Enoch 37–71,” 182–3.

[92] One must add that the later Hekhalot titles and offices of Enoch-Metatron also appear to maintain a certain independence from the imagery of the exalted figures found in the Bible. Peter Schäfer observes that “the Hekhalot literature appears to be basically independent of the Bible. To formulate it even more sharply: it appears to be autonomous.” Schäfer, “The Aim and Purpose of Early Jewish Mysticism. Gershom Scholem Reconsidered,” 14.

[93] David Suter argues that Enoch-Metatron’s identification with “an elect one” (rwxb) in Synopse §9 (3 Enoch 6:3) might be related to his title in the Similitudes. He observes that “while it does not have the messianic sense that it does in the Parables of Enoch, there is a remote possibility of a connection between its use in the Parables as the major messianic title and in 3 En. 6:3. Greenfield does not specifically relate the identification of Enoch as the Son of Man in the Parables to Enoch/Metatron in 3 Enoch, but he may have had it in mind.” Suter, Tradition and Composition, 16. H. Odeberg observes that “many of the features of the Elect One and the Son of Man in 1 Enoch are transferred to Metatron in 3 Enoch. The differences are, however, greater than the resemblances.” Odeberg, 3 Enoch, 1.47. On the connections between the Similitudes and 3 Enoch, see also M. Black, “Eschatology of the Similitudes of Enoch,” JTS (1952) 1–10, esp. 6–7.

[94] J. R. Davila, “Melchizedek, The ‘Youth,’ and Jesus,” in: The Dead Sea Scrolls as Background to Postbiblical Judaism and Early Christianity: Papers from an International Conference at St. Andrews in 2001 (ed. J. R. Davila; STDJ 46; Leiden: Brill, 2003) 264. James Davila observes that “in 3 Enoch – which has a close relationship of some sort with the Similitudes, whether literary, oral, or both – Enoch’s role changes once again. His titles in the Similitudes – Son of Man, Messiah, Righteous One, Chosen – are dropped almost entirely (only the last is applied to him once).” Davila, “Melchizedek, The ‘Youth,’ and Jesus,” 264.