Andrei A. Orlov (Marquette University)
In many biblical theophanies, the deity appears in an anthropomorphic shape. Scholars often argue that such anthropomorphic symbolism comes to its most forceful expression in the Israelite priestly ideology, known to us as the Priestly source, wherein God is depicted in "the most tangible corporeal similitudes."1 Elliot Wolfson remarks that “a critical factor in determining the biblical (and, by extension, subsequent Jewish) attitude toward the visualization of God concerns the question of the morphological resemblance between the human body and the divine.”2 In the biblical priestly traditions, the deity is understood to have created humanity in his own image (Gen 1:27) and is therefore frequently described as possessing a human-like form.3 Scholars have shown that the anthropomorphism of the priestly authors appears to be intimately connected with the temple as the place of divine habitation: the deity who owns a human form needs to reside in a house or tabernacle.4 Moshe Weinfeld argues that the anthropomorphic position was not entirely an invention of the Priestly tradition, but stemmed from early pre-exilic5 sacral conceptions6 regarding divine corporeal manifestations, influenced by Mesopotamian lore.7 Scholars observe that the priestly understanding of the corporeal representation of the deity finds its clearest expression in the concept of the "Glory of God" (hwhy dwbk).8 This concept is usually expressed in the Priestly tradition by means of the symbolism grounded in mythological corporeal imagery.9 The visible manifestation of the deity establishes a peculiar “visual” or “ocularcentric” theophanic mode that becomes influential in some biblical and apocalyptic depictions of God.
One such portrayal of the divine Kavod is found in the first chapter of the book of Ezekiel, a “manifesto” of the priestly corporeal ideology. There, the Kavod is portrayed as an enthroned human form enveloped by fire.10 The Kavod becomes a symbol of the theophanic ideology that presupposes visual apprehension of the divine presence. It has previously been noted that the "Kavod is used in Ezekiel as a central theological term in texts where visual contact with God is important."11 Tryggve Mettinger notices that, in such ocularcentric ideology, the Kavod "is conceived of as referring to the complete manifestation of divine majesty, both to the chariot-throne and to God himself."12
The topological and angelological settings of the inner sanctum of the earthly sanctuary imitate this portentous arrangement of the heavenly throne room hinted at in Ezekiel 1. Reflecting on this parallelism, Weinfeld points out that, “within the inner recesses of the tabernacle, removed and veiled from the human eye, sits the deity ensconced between the two cherubim, and at his feet rests the ark, his footstool.”13 Concealment of the deity’s form does not here contradict, but rather paradoxically reaffirms the tenets of the visual anthropomorphic paradigm. As Weinfeld intuits, in such a theophanic understanding, “the divine seclusion must be respected …. Drawing nigh to the deity here signifies entrance into the actual sphere of the divine presence and for this reason is fraught with great physical danger.”14 These theophanic settings of the ocularcentric Kavod paradigm will become an important blueprint for apocalyptic visions reflected in early Enochic accounts, including Enoch’s ascents to the heavenly throne room in 1 Enoch 14 and 1 Enoch 71.
While containing forceful anthropomorphic ideologies, the Hebrew Bible also attests to polemical narratives that contest corporeal depictions of the deity and offers a different conception of the divine presence. Scholars have long noted a sharp opposition of the book of Deuteronomy and the so-called “Deuteronomic school” to early anthropomorphic developments. Weinfeld argues that “the Deuteronomic conception of the cult is … vastly different from that reflected in the other Pentateuchal sources; it represents a turning point in the evolution of the religious faith of Israel.”15
The precise reasons for such a paradigm shift cannot be determined with certainty. Ian Wilson notes that scholars usually trace the introduction of such an ideology to particular historical events, such as “the centralization of the cult, the loss of the ark from the northern kingdom, or the destruction of the temple.”16
The Deuteronomic school is widely thought to have initiated the polemic against the ocularcentric anthropomorphic conceptions of the deity, which the prophets Jeremiah and Deutero-Isaiah subsequently adopted.17 Seeking to dislodge ancient anthropomorphisms, the book of Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic school promulgated the anti-corporeal “aural” ideology18 of the divine Name19 with its conception of the earthly sanctuary20 as the exclusive dwelling abode of God’s Name.21 Gerhard von Rad argues that the Deuteronomic formula, "to cause his Name to dwell" (wm# Nk#l), advocates a new understanding of the deity, challenging the popular ancient belief that God actually dwells within the sanctuary.22 In this Deuteronomistic ideology, apparitions of the deity are often depicted through the non-visual, aural symbolism of the divine Voice.23 Mettinger asserts that, "by way of contrast, the Deuteronomistic theology is programmatically abstract: during the Sinai theophany, Israel perceived no form (temuna); she only heard the voice of her God (Deut 4: 12, 15). The Deuteronomistic preoccupation with God's voice and words represents an auditive, non-visual theme."24
Yet, as with the visual Kavod tradition, in which the imagery of the earthly sanctuary imitates the symbolism of the heavenly Temple, the aural paradigm is not confined solely to the revisions of the earthly shrine,25 but it also promotes a novel audial understanding of the heavenly Chariot and its divine Charioteer. As Mettinger observes, the concept of God advocated by the Deuteronomistic theology is strikingly abstract. “The throne concept has vanished and the anthropomorphic characteristics of God are on the way to oblivion. Thus the form of God plays no part in the Deuteronomic depiction of the Sinai theophany.”26
It is noteworthy that, while the Deuteronomistic Shem ideology does not completely abandon terminology pertaining to the concept of the divine Glory (Kavod),27 it markedly voids it of any corporeal motifs. In later specimens of this aural trend, the divine Form on the Chariot will be replaced by the imagery of the divine Voice coming from fire. We also encounter such developments in apocalyptic accounts affected by the aural Shem paradigm, including the peculiar portrayal of the heavenly throne room found in the Apocalypse of Abraham. In respect to this paradigm shift, Weinfeld observes that "the expression dwbk, when occurring in Deuteronomy, does not denote the being and substantiality of God as it does in the earlier sources but his splendor and greatness," signifying "abstract and not corporeal qualities."28
An early example of the polemical interaction between the corporeal ideology of the divine form (Kavod), which is often labeled in some theophanic accounts as the divine Face (Panim), and the incorporeal theology of the divine Name, appears in Exodus 33, where upon Moses' plea to behold the divine Kavod, the deity offers an aural alternative, promising to reveal to the seer his name:
Moses said, "Show me your glory (Kdbk), I pray." And he said, "I will make all my goodness to pass before you, and I will proclaim before you the name (M#b yt)rqw), the Lord ... but," he said, "you cannot see my face (ynp); for no one shall see me and live."29
This account highlights the opposition between visual/corporeal and aural/aniconic revelations, focusing on the possibility of encountering the Divine not only through form but also through sound. One mode of revelation often comes at the expense of the other—the idea hinted at in Exodus 33 and articulated more explicitly in Deuteronomy 4:12, through the phrase "you heard the sound of words, but saw no form (hnwmt)." Scholars point to a paradigm shift in Deuteronomy’s switch of the revelatory axis from the visual to the aural plane.30 In this new, theo-aural understanding, as opposed to the theo-phanic conception, even God's revelation to Moses on Mount Sinai in Exodus 19, an important event for the visual paradigm, is reinterpreted in terms of its aural counterpart. Deuteronomy 4:36 describes the Sinai theophany as hearing the divine Voice: " Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you; and on earth he let you see his great fire and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire." Here, the revelation is received not in the form of tablets, the media that might implicitly underline the corporeality of the deity; rather, "the commandments were heard from out of the midst of the fire ... uttered by the deity from heaven."31 This transcendent nature of the deity's revelation, which now chooses to manifest itself as the formless voice in the fire, eliminates any need for its corporal representation in the form of the anthropomorphic Glory of God.
The depiction of the deity's activity and presence as the voice in the fire thus becomes one of the distinctive features of the Shem ideology.32 The classic example of this imagery is the Deuteronomistic account of God's appearance to Elijah on Mount Horeb in 1 Kgs 19:11-13:
He said, "Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
As with the corporeal Kavod paradigm, which exercised its enormous influence on the visionary accounts found in early Enochic booklets and some other pseudepigrapha,33 the aural mold has also deeply impacted some Jewish apocalypses, including the Apocalypse of Abraham.
Since in-depth investigation of the aural mold of the Apocalypse of Abraham will be the subject of study in the second chapter of this book, here I will offer just a brief illustration. The aforementioned Deuteronomistic account of God's appearance to Elijah (1 Kgs 19:11-13) will echo in the pivotal theophanic description found in chapter eight of the Apocalypse of Abraham. There, the deity is described as "the voice of the Mighty One coming down from the heavens in a stream of fire." Although in the account of 1 Kgs 19 the fire is not mentioned directly, the fiery nature of the divine Voice is implied by the seer’s wrapping his face in a mantle to shield himself from the danger of encountering the divine Voice. It is also not coincidental that the development of Yahoel’s figure as the distinctive personification of the divine Name also comes to its full conceptual expression in the context of the anti-anthropomorphic Shem ideology which dominates the Apocalypse of Abraham.
Indeed, in the Apocalypse of Abraham the angelic mediator of the Name already appears in his conceptual maturity, indicating that he may emulate features of earlier Jewish (or even Christian) mediators of the Name. Accordingly, not only in biblical materials, but also in early pseudepigraphical writings, one encounters a cohort of distinguished mediators of the divine Name, including the Son of Man, the archangel Michael, and even a leader of the fallen angels with the name Shemihazah. These otherworldly characters mediate the divine Name in ways reminiscent of Yahoel’s onomatological functions in the Apocalypse of Abraham.
Although some traditions regarding these mediators of the Name were preserved only in later (post-Apocalypse of Abraham) sources, the earlier existence of such mediatorial developments, in which certain heroes were associated with the divine Name, cannot be ruled out and therefore should be carefully explored.
This chapter’s in-depth investigation of various Jewish and Christian traditions regarding mediators of the divine Name will greatly help us understand the elusive connections between Yahoel’s and Metatron’s onomatological profiles. Although the exploration of Yahoel’s formative influence on Metatron lore has often been given priority in previous studies, it is possible that other Jewish and Christian aural ideologies and heroes have exercised their conceptual influence on Metatron’s role as the lesser manifestation of the divine Name. Our analysis of various mediators of the Name and the afterlives of these traditions in rabbinic and Hekhalot milieus will assist us in discerning possible “non-Yahoel” features in Metatron’s mediatorial profile.
The investigation of various mediators of the Name will also be beneficial for our study of Yahoel lore, since many elements found in stories of earliest biblical mediators of the Name, especially the Angel of the Lord, Moses, and the high priest, will become principal “building blocks” for the construction of Yahoel’s identity in the Apocalypse of Abraham.
In our study of early Jewish and Christian mediatorial figures, special attention will be given to what can be called various “modes” of the divine Name’s mediation. A preliminary analysis of these onomatological trends demonstrates that various human and celestial mediators of the Tetragrammaton exercise different kinds of access to the divine Name and, as a consequence, mediate it in their own unique ways. Some characters are envisioned as “recipients” of the Name, who then, like Moses, are predestined to transmit the Tetragrammaton to other human beings. Others are commissioned to mediate the Name through their accoutrement by wearing it, like the high priest on his turban. Yet other characters, like the Angel of the Lord or Yahoel, can “personify” the Tetragrammaton. Scholars have previously reflected on the fact that the divine Name could be manifested in human and otherworldly characters in several ways, noting that: “it could be ‘in’ someone, as exemplified by the angel of whom Yahweh said ‘My Name is in him’ (Exod 23:20-1) or it could ‘clothe’ someone.”34 Moreover, some characters can accommodate multiple modes of mediation at the same time, or sometimes even create peculiar hybrids of different modes, being simultaneously envisioned as recipients and personifications of the divine Name while wearing the Tetragrammaton on their attires.
Both Yahoel and Metatron, like the biblical Angel of the Lord, will have the Name “in them” and yet both of them will also wear the divine Name externally on their headdresses. These various modes of mediation, external and internal, appear to have a hierarchical significance, as they often presume various degrees of access to what will be called in some contexts the “power of the Name.” We will see that because some characters possess a unique access to the Name they are able to part the Red Sea, refashion the created order, rule the Leviathans and the Hayyot, unlock Hades, or even forgive human sins.
We should now proceed to a thorough analysis of various early traditions of divine-Name mediators, which will greatly assist us in understanding the origins of Yahoel’s and Metatron’s onomatological profiles.
The Angel of the Lord is often considered to be the most prominent individual angel in the Hebrew Bible.35 As we will see later in our study, this figure provides the foundational blueprint for future Jewish and Christian portrayals of the divine Name mediators, including Yahoel and Metatron.36 One of the pivotal early testimonies concerning the role of the Angel of the Lord in mediating37 the divine Name is Exod 23:20-22, a passage which offers the following testimony coming from the deity’s mouth:
I am going to send an angel in front of you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. Be attentive to him and listen to his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; for my name is in him. But if you listen attentively to his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes.
Reflecting on this conceptual nexus of biblical onomatology, Jarl Fossum claims that “the following text … shows the individualization and personification of the Name of God in the figure of the Angel of the Lord.”38 Fossum further argues that the melding of the divine Name with the otherworldly agent indicates that “the hypostasis formation cannot conceive the abstract concepts without a concrete basis or carrier and thus not without individualization and personification."39
Following in the steps of his distinguished teacher, Charles Gieschen argues that the Angel of YHWH is envisioned as a hypostasis of the Tetragrammaton,40 proposing that "Exod 23:21 supports the deduction that this important aspect of God – the divine Name – could be hypostatized as an angel."41
Several other scholars also embrace this line of argumentation that envisions the Angel of the Lord as a “hypostasis” of the Name. Ruth Tuschling, for example, affirms this understanding when she suggests that “the concept of a hypostasis cannot be cleanly separated from angelic ideas. The expression ‘the angel of the Lord’ is best understood as a hypostasis in some contexts, e.g. Exod 23:20-21.”42
We have already mentioned that the Angel of the Lord figure becomes a crucial archetype for the construction of the exalted profiles of various angelic and divine mediators of the Name in Jewish and Christian lore. Gieschen’s research recognizes the impact that this passage from Exodus 23 exercises on Jewish and Christian onomatologies by pointing out that "this union of Name and Angel caused later exegetes to read one tradition in light of the other."43
Tracing the development of the concept of the personified Name, Fossum remarks that, although in Exodus the Angel of the Lord appears to be envisioned as a temporary manifestation of God, subsequent Jewish lore will further develop a notion of the permanent existence of the personification of the divine Name. From such a perspective, the Name will receive not only temporary existence, but will became a lasting cosmological force.44
In our analysis of the Angel of the Lord tradition in various biblical materials, it is also important to underline that we are often dealing not with a monolithic homogeneous development, but rather with several parallel conceptual streams, variously representing the deity’s presence in the form of the personified divine Name.45
As noted earlier, the biblical traditions concerning the Angel of the Lord will serve as an important model for the construction of the identities of various mediators of the Name in early Jewish angelological lore. In this respect, it is not coincidental that the biblical phrase, “for my name is in him,” which highlights the angel’s function in Exod 23, will play a prominent role in depicting both Yahoel46 and Metatron47 as mediators of the divine Name.
Although some biblical testimonies about the Angel of the Lord, including the tradition found in Exod 23:20-22,48 may represent Deuteronomistic interpolations, it is possible that such influences go the other way as well, and that the angelic mediator of the Name has facilitated the development of biblical aural trends in Deuteronomy. Thus, scholars have argued about the formative role of the figure of the Angel of the Name within the conceptual framework of the Deuteronomistic Shem ideologies.49 According to one such hypothesis, the figure of the Angel of the Lord found in the Book of Exodus constituted one of the conceptual roots of the Shem theology. Mettinger observes that "it appears that when the Deuteronomistic theologians choose shem, they seized on a term which was already connected with the idea of God's presence. Exod 23:21 tells us how God warned Israel during her wanderings in the desert to respect his angel and obey his voice, 'for my name is in him.'"50
It is noteworthy that some aspects of the aural ideology are already present in Exod 23 through the repeated references to the “voice” of the angelic mediator. Thus, in Exod 23:21-22 Moses is advised to listen to the Angel of the Name’s “voice.” In light of such affirmations it is possible that this celestial messenger mediates not only the divine Name but also the deity’s Voice. Some scholars seem to entertain such a possibility. Thus, reflecting on the imagery of the voice in Exod 23, Moshe Idel notices that "this angel is not just a visual yet silent apparition, a sort of pillar that guides the tribes day and night; rather it has a voice that is its own, though at the same time it is God who is speaking. The ambiguity here is quintessential: though God is the speaker, it is the angel's voice that is heard. Thus it seems the angel serves as a form of loud speaker for the divine act of speech."51
One related detail found in Exod 23:21 is the statement that the Angel of the Lord will not forgive Israel’s trespasses, the phrase, which is often interpreted52 as his power to remove sins.53 This intriguing motif regarding the power to remove sins by a mediator of the Tetragrammaton will be later elaborated in the remarkable portfolios of Yahoel and Metatron.
Another characteristic of the Angel of the Lord is that he is envisioned as a liminal figure. The liminality of this character is underscored by his missions to marginal communities, often portrayed in situations of transition and crisis. Reflecting on the Angel of the Lord traditions, Phillip Munoa notes that "this angel is especially active during times of personal and national distress. It appears to Hagar with an incognito human appearance after she fled Sarai's abuse (Gen 16:7-11; 21:17), to Moses when Israel suffered misery in Egypt (Exod 3:2-12), and again when the Assyrian army threatened Israel (2 Kgs 19:35)."54
The Angel of the Lord’s mission to the Israelites, who undergo an important transition from an enslaved nation to God’s people, is a portentous illustration of the liminal nature of both the great angel and his communitas, whom he helps to cross geographical boundaries and spiritual realms, by delivering55 them from Egypt56 and leading them into the Promised Land.57 Such a role is in many ways similar to the apocalyptic office of the angelus interpres, who is commissioned to guide and even transport human seers from one realm to the other.
Both Yahoel and Metatron will also exhibit similar liminal characteristics, as they will meet their apprentices, patriarch Abraham or Rabbi Ishmael, on the thresholds of the lower and upper realms. Accordingly, Yahoel will appear during a pivotal crux in Abraham’s story, assisting the patriarch with his portentous transition from earth to heaven. Enoch-Metatron will also manifest his liminal nature through his peculiar human-celestial anthropology, by serving as a sign of transition from an earthly creature to a heavenly citizen.
The Angel of the Lord traditions continued to exercise their formative influence on various extra-biblical accounts. In order to illustrate this influence and see how these conceptual currents helped to reshape the theophanic settings of these texts, we should now draw our attention to one such appropriation found in a Jewish pseudepigraphon known as Joseph and Aseneth. In this text, Aseneth’s initiation and subsequent metamorphosis are peppered with Angel of the Lord motifs.58 Thus, for example, the theme of the supernatural nourishment of the Israelites with heavenly manna in the wilderness for forty years receives a new life in this text, being envisioned as a celestial food given to the seer by the Angel of the divine Name. In the pseudepigraphical account, Aseneth undergoes a conversion which transforms her from an idolater to one who will feed on the heavenly bread of life in the form of a mystical honeycomb. The scene of Aseneth’s nourishment brings together several motifs associated with the Angel of the Lord in biblical accounts, which will illuminate our analysis of Yahoel’s character. We should, therefore, look more closely at these developments.
Aseneth’s transformation, permeated with distinctive features of the aural ideology, comes to the fore in chapters 14-18 of the pseudepigraphon, which depict her encounter with an angelic visitor, portrayed in the text as Joseph’s heavenly double. Joseph and Aseneth 14:2-10 presents the following depiction of Aseneth’s heavenly guest:
And Aseneth kept looking, and behold, close to the morning star, the heaven was torn apart and great and unutterable light appeared. And Aseneth saw (it) and fell on (her) face on the ashes. And a man came to her from heaven and stood by Aseneth’s head. And he called her and said, “Aseneth, Aseneth.” And she said, “Who is he that calls me, because the door of my chamber is closed, and the tower is high, and how then did he come into my chamber?” And the man called her a second time and said, “Aseneth, Aseneth.” And she said, “Behold, (here) I (am), Lord. Who are you, tell me.” And the man said, “I am the chief of the house of the Lord and commander of the whole host of the Most High. Rise and stand on your feet, and I will tell you what I have to say.” And Aseneth raised her head and saw, and behold, (there was) a man in every respect similar to Joseph, by the robe and the crown and the royal staff, except that his face was like lightning, and his eyes like sunshine, and the hairs of his head like a flame of fire of a burning torch, and hands and feet like iron shining forth from a fire, and sparks shot forth from his hands and feet.59
Analyzing the features of Aseneth’s heavenly visitor, Ross Kraemer argues that "it is particularly in the longer text that the angelic figure is more closely aligned with the figure developed in other sources as the Name-Bearing Angel – the virtual double of God."60 Here, as in later in Yahoel and Metatron traditions, some distinctive theophanic attributes of the deity, which are prominent in the ocularcentric trend, are now transferred to the angelic personification of the Name.
The interaction between the mediator of the Name and Aseneth recalls especially the developments found in the Apocalypse of Abraham. Like Abraham in the Slavonic apocalypse, the protagonist of the story, an Egyptian maiden, fasts, and is then nourished by an angelic being.61
The celestial initiation stories of Abraham and Aseneth are indeed strikingly similar. As in the Apocalypse of Abraham, in Joseph and Aseneth one can find a paradoxical mixture of visual and aural imagery in its portrayal of angelic food.62 This mixture is especially evident in the depiction of the chief angelic characters of each narrative, namely, the celestial agents responsible for the initiations of the respective seers. The “aural” characteristics of Yahoel, the central symbol of the audial ideology of the Apocalypse of Abraham, will be explored later in our study. For now it suffices to mention that in the Slavonic apocalypse, Yahoel nourishes his protégé, Abraham, aurally; that is, by the word coming from his mouth.
Similarly, Joseph and Aseneth depicts the human seer as being fed by the celestial visitor, who is “probably closely associated, if not to be identified, with the Name-Bearing Angel.”63 Yet, while both angelic entities might be associated with the auricular Shem theology, the corporeal thrust of the visual paradigm is not entirely absent in both accounts, since both angelic “feeders” are portrayed as the anthropomorphic embodiments of the divine Name. Here one might encounter a peculiar polemical tendency of the aural apocalyptic paradigm, which will exercise influence on both Yahoel and Metatron lore, namely, the stripping of the “visual” anthropomorphic features from the deity and their transference to the mediator of the divine Name.
The auricular aspect of both accounts is also indicated by the fact that supernatural nourishment comes from the mouths of the angels. In the Apocalypse of Abraham, the patriarch receives his unconventional provision from the mouth of Yahoel, when the speech of the great angel serves as Abraham’s drink. The aural aspect of nourishment is also present in Joseph and Aseneth, specifically, through Aseneth’s repeated affirmations that the provenance of the honeycomb is from the mouth of the celestial being.64 Jos. Asen. 16:8-10, for instance, reads:
And the comb was big and white as snow and full of honey. And that honey was like dew from heaven and its exhalation like breath of life. And Aseneth wondered and said in herself, Did then this comb come out of the man's mouth, because its exhalation is like the breath of this man's mouth?65
Also, Jos. Asen. 16:11 provides a similar affirmation of the aural source of the angelic food; it reads:
And Aseneth was afraid and said, "Lord, I did not have a honeycomb in my storeroom at any time, but you spoke and it came into being. Surely this came out of your mouth, because its exhalation is like the breath of your mouth."66
Other scholars suggest that the provenance of the angelic food in Joseph and Aseneth, coming from the mouth of the celestial being, has roots in the biblical manna traditions. Andrea Lieber notes that:
… the association of the honeycomb with manna is explicit: it was like dew from heaven, white like snow, containing the breath of life. Indeed the honeycomb, like manna, is identified with the ‘word’ of the angel—the anthropos spoke and the comb came from his angelic mouth.67
Already in the Book of Deuteronomy, the manna tradition has been reformulated in terms of the aural paradigm, wherein the symbolism of heavenly nourishment is juxtaposed with the imagery of the word coming from the deity's mouth. Thus, in Deuteronomy 8:3, we find the following tradition:
He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 68
Given that the Book of Deuteronomy first initiated polemics against the visual anthropomorphic paradigm present in Ezekiel and the Priestly source, the fact that such a striking aural reformulation comes from this biblical text is not coincidental.
It appears that the peculiar transformations of the Egyptian maiden and the Jewish patriarch found in Joseph and Aseneth and the Apocalypse of Abraham, respectively, are profoundly affected by the otic Shem ideologies. In fact, one could say that the very natures of both visionaries are literally reconstituted by their ingestion of the divine Name. It is not coincidental, moreover, that the transformation is executed aurally, that is to say, from the mouth of the angel of the Name to the mouth of an earthly creature. In the Apocalypse of Abraham, the patriarch drinks the words coming forth from the mouth of Yahoel and is fed by the sight of this hypostatic representation of the divine Name. In Joseph and Aseneth, the heavenly Anthropos, who bears some characteristics of the Angel of the Name, puts the angelic food that originated from his mouth into the mouth of the female seer.
Another important cluster of divine Name traditions arises in Moses’ cycle. These conceptual currents have very early biblical roots, and they continue to exercise their impact even in later rabbinic accounts, which strive to explain the mighty deed of the Israelite prophet by his use of the Tetragrammaton. Some features of the Mosaic onomatological blueprint exercised their influence both on Yahoel and Metatron lore. As we will witness later in our study, the stories of both mediators include peculiar references to the ordeals of the son of Amram. In view of their significance for this investigation, the Mosaic traditions must be scrutinized more closely.
Later rabbinic accounts often depict Moses as a distinguished operator of the Tetragrammaton, who is able to part the Red Sea or destroy Israel’s enemies with the help of the divine Name. It is possible that these traditions convey not merely later rabbinic fantasies but instead have their early conceptual roots in certain Second Temple Jewish and Greco-Roman materials.69 Thus, Gedialiahu Stroumsa points to a fragment of Artapanus's Greek romance devoted to biblical figures, which was probably written in the late third or early second century B.C.E. Fragment 3, preserved in Eusebius' Praeparatio Evangelica, relates the following encounter between Moses and the Pharaoh:
Startled at what happened, the king ordered Moses to declare the name of the god who had sent him. He did this scoffingly. Moses bent over and spoke into the king's ear, but when the king heard it, he fell over speechless. But Moses picked him up and he came back to life again.70
Reflecting on this sudden fainting of the Egyptian monarch, Stroumsa suggests that “this passage reflects the magical power of the divine Name, and of he who utters it. Moses … is such a powerful magician because he knows the Name."71
Scholars also argue that a passage from Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities 2.275-276 might attest to a similar tradition concerning the magical power of the divine Name.72 There, one finds the following deliberation:
Moses, unable to doubt the promises of the deity, after having seen and heard such confirmation of them, prayed and entreated that he might be vouchsafed this power in Egypt; he also besought Him not to deny him the knowledge of His name, but, since he had been granted speech with Him and vision of Him, further to tell him how He should be addressed, so that, when sacrificing, he might invoke Him by name to be present at the sacred rites. Then God revealed to him His name, which ere then had not come to men's ears, and of which I am forbidden to speak. Moreover, Moses found those miracles at his service not on that occasion only but at all times whensoever there was need of them; from all which tokens he came to trust more firmly in the oracle from the fire, to believe that God would be his gracious protector, and to hope to be able to deliver his people and to bring disaster upon the Egyptians.73
John Gager argues that, in this passage, “the relationship between the revelation of the divine Name and the performance of miracles … is patently clear.”74
The tradition of Moses’ use of the divine Name for magical purposes has a long afterlife in later Jewish lore and will appear in various midrashic compositions.75 Thus, some rabbinic sources postulate that the son of Amram was able to kill an Egyptian by uttering the divine Name.76 Avot de-Rabbi Nathan A:20 recounts the following tradition:
Another interpretation of the statement, my mother's sons were angry against me: this refers to Moses, who killed the Egyptian. For it is said. And it came to pass in those days, when Moses had grown up, that he went out to his brethren and looked on their burdens. And he looked this way and that, and when he saw that there was no man, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand (Exod 2:11). Why does Scripture say, there was no man? It teaches that Moses called into session sanhedrin-courts made up of ministering angels, and he said to them, "Shall I kill this man?" They said to him, "Kill him." Did he kill him with a sword? Was it not merely by a spoken word that he killed him? For it is said. Do you speak to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian (Exod 2:14). This teaches that he killed him by invoking the divine name.77
Here the life of a human being is taken by the invocation of the divine Name. A similar legend is attested in Lev. Rab. 32:4:
When he saw that there was no man, he smote the Egyptian. R. Judah, R. Nehemiah, and our Rabbis differ on the interpretation of this. R. Judah says: He saw that there was none to stand up and display zeal in the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, so he slew him himself. R. Nehemiah says: He saw that there was none to stand up and utter the Ineffable Name against him, so he slew him.78
In later rabbinic lore, Moses also performs several miracles with his staff engraved with the divine Name.79 A prominent instance of such usage is the miracle of the parting the Red Sea, a story which first appears in Exodus 14. Although Exod 14:21 states that Moses merely stretched out his hand over the sea,80 later rabbinic rewritings attempt to enhance the story by postulating that it was his rod engraved with the divine Name that caused the sea to be driven back. So, in Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Exod 14:21, the following tradition is found:
And Moses inclined his hand over the sea, holding the great and glorious rod that had been created in the beginning, and on which the great and glorious Name was clearly inscribed, as well as the ten signs with which he had smitten the Egyptians, the three fathers of the world, the six matriarchs, and the twelve tribes of Jacob. And immediately the Lord drove back the sea with a strong east wind all the night, and he turned the sea into dry land. And the waters were split into twelve divisions, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Jacob.81
Another example of Moses' use of the power of the divine Name is found in Deuteronomy Rabbah, where the prophet fights the antagonistic spiritual power with his rod decorated with the Tetragrammaton,82 causing Sammael to flee. Deut. Rab. 11:10 reads:
God commanded Sammael, “Go, and bring Moses’ soul.” Straightway he drew his sword from the sheath and placed himself at the side of Moses. Immediately Moses became wroth, and taking hold of the staff on which was engraved the Ineffable Name he fell upon Sammael with all his strength until he fled from before him, and he pursued him with the Ineffable Name and removed the beam of glory [halo] from between his eyes and blinded him. Thus much did Moses achieve.83
In Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Exod 15:23-25 Moses sweetens the water of Marah with the divine Name:
They came to Marah, but they could not drink the water of Marah, because it was bitter. That is why it was named Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” So he prayed before the Lord, and the Lord showed him a bitter oleander tree. He wrote the great and glorious Name on it and threw (it) into the water, and the water became sweet.84
In Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, another curious episode occurs when Moses recovers Joseph's coffin with the help of the divine Name. Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, Beshalah 1 on Exod 13:18 reads:
But how did Moses know where Joseph was buried? It is told that Serah, the daughter of Asher, survived from that generation and she showed Moses the grave of Joseph. She said to him: The Egyptians put him into a metal coffin which they sunk in the Nile. So Moses went and stood by the Nile. He took a table of gold on which he engraved the Tetragrammaton, and throwing it into the Nile, he cried out and said: “Joseph son of Jacob! The oath to redeem his children, which God swore to our father Abraham, has reached its fulfillment. If you come up, well and good. But if not, we shall be guiltless of your oath.” Immediately Joseph’s coffin came to the surface, and Moses took it.85
All of these instances of mighty acts performed through the power of the divine Name are important for our study, since they demonstrate the Name’s repeated ability to “unlock” the works of creation and interfere with established processes in the created order. These demiurgic potencies of the Tetragrammaton will become a locus of intense and elaborate speculation in Yahoel and Metatron traditions.
Although the story of Moses’ reception of the divine Name was already observed in the biblical accounts, later Jewish and Samaritan traditions attempt to embellish this portentous event by depicting it, not merely as a reception, but as an investiture with the Name.86
The theme of the prophet’s clothing with the divine Name was most extensively elaborated in the Samaritan materials, including the compilation known to us as Memar Marqah.87 From the very first chapter of this document, one learns that the deity himself announced to the great prophet that he will be “vested” with the divine Name.88 Several other passages of Memar Marqah affirm this striking clothing metaphor.89
It is significant that investiture with the Tetragrammaton in the Samaritan materials, similar to Yahoel and Metatron lore, entails a ritual of coronation with the divine Name.90 Thus, Memar Marqah 1:9 recounts the following actions of the deity:
On the first day I created heaven and earth; on the second day I spread out the firmament on high; on the third day I prepared a dish and gathered into it all kinds of good things; on the fourth day I established signs, fixing times, completing my greatness; on the fifth day I revealed many marvels from the waters; on the sixth day I caused to come up out of the ground various living creatures; on the seventh day I perfected holiness. I rested in it in my own glory. I made it my special portion. I was glorious in it. I established your name then also—my name and yours therein as one, for I established it and you are crowned with it.91
From this passage we learn that Moses’ coronation, like the later coronation of Metatron, is surrounded with peculiar creational imagery, in which the letters on both headdresses are depicted as demiurgic tools by means of which heaven and earth came into existence. In 3 Enoch 13 the deity will write with his finger, “as with a pen of flame,” upon Metatron’s crown, “the letters by which heaven and earth were created.” Such crowning with demiurgic instruments, represented by the letters of the divine Name, gives their recipients not only the ability to understand the utmost mysteries of creation but also the power to control the entire creation.92
It is possible that the motif of the investiture with the divine Name is present in another Mosaic account - the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian.93 There, Moses again receives the mysterious crown. Immediately after its reception, he is suddenly able to permeate the secrets of creation and to control the created order. Exagoge 75-80 relates the following: “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.”94 Here, crowned, Moses suddenly has immediate access to all created realms, “beneath the earth and above the heaven,” and the stars are now kneeling before a newly initiated demiurgic agent. Although the divine Name is not mentioned in this Mosaic narrative, it is possible that, in view of other peculiar features, the seer’s transformation coincides here with this endowment with the divine Name.
We have already observed in this study that the Jewish cult became one of the most important avenues for perpetuating the divine Name traditions. Robert Hayward argues that the use of the divine Name in the cultus “was absolutely necessary, for it would have been impossible to render homage and offer sacrifice to a God whose Name was unknown, since the character of the deity would then per se be an unknown quantity."95 Moreover, scholars often interpret the rise of the aural Deuteronomic ideology in light of certain profound changes in Jewish cultic life, which led to a new understanding of the divine presence in the Temple. In this respect, it is not coincidental that the profile of the chief sacerdotal servant, the high priest, becomes surrounded with symbolism of the divine Name.
The high priest’s association with the divine Name is important for this investigation, since both Yahoel’s and Metatron’s affiliations with the divine Name unfold in distinctive sacerdotal contexts. Moreover, both of them are envisioned as celestial high priests performing peculiar rites of the Yom Kippur ordinance. The choice of the Yom Kippur setting, of course, is not happenstance, since the high priest’s encounter with the divine Name was especially potent and multifaceted on the Day of Atonement. On that great day the high priest wore cultic apparel decorated with the Name. He then closely interacted with certain sacrifices that were sealed with the Tetragrammaton. Finally, on Yom Kippur the high priest performed rituals that involved uttering the divine Name multiple times. All these important onomatological actions eventually find their apocalyptic and mystical afterlives in the stories of Yahoel and Metatron. These sacerdotal traditions deserve to be explored more closely.
Both biblical and extra-biblical materials often make reference to the high priest’s front-plate (Cyc), which he wore on his turban.96 Made of gold and inscribed with the divine Name,97 the plate is said to have shone like a rainbow.98 As a consequence of this association, Jewish accounts often describe heavenly and earthly priestly figures with the imagery of a rainbow in a cloud. This tradition of “the rainbow in the cloud” is known from several texts, including the description of the high priest Simeon in the Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira 50:7:
Greatest of his brothers and the beauty of his people was Simeon the son of Johanan the priest ... how honorable was he as he gazed forth from the tent, and when he went forth from the house of the curtain; like a star of light from among clouds, and like the full moon in the days of festival; and like the sun shining resplendently on the king’s Temple, and like the rainbow which appears in the cloud….99
It is important to emphasize that the high priestly front-plate was decorated with the aural tool by which the deity once created heaven and earth. The portrayal of the Cyc given in 3 Enoch underlines the demiurgic functions of the divine Name. Chapter 14 of Sefer Hekhalot describes the forehead of the heavenly priest Metatron as adorned with the letters by which heaven and earth were created. 3 Enoch 12:1-2 reads:
R. Ishmael said: The angel Metatron, Prince of the Divine Presence, the glory of highest heaven, said to me: Out of the abundant love and great compassion wherewith the Holy One, blessed be he, loved and cherished me more than all the denizens of the heights, he wrote with his finger, as with a pen of flame, upon the crown which was on my head, the letters by which heaven and earth were created; the letters by which seas and rivers were created; the letters by which mountains and hills were created; the letters by which stars and constellations, lightning and wind, thunder and thunderclaps, snow and hail, hurricane and tempest were created; the letters by which all the necessities of the world and all the orders of creation were created. Each letter flashed time after time like lightnings, time after time like torches, time after time like flames, time after time like the rising of the sun, moon, and stars.100
The imagery of the Cyc also appears in the Apocalypse of Abraham, when the angelic high priest Yahoel wears headgear reminiscent of a rainbow in the clouds, recalling similar descriptions given in Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira 50:7 and rabbinic literature.
The divine Name was not only fashioned on the high priest’s forehead. He was also obliged to utter the Name101 during various ordinances that took place on Yom Kippur.102 One such ordinance was the selection of the goats, when one animal was assigned as the goat for YHWH and the other as the scapegoat. The first important detail is that, in the course of the ritual, the high priest was closely interacting with an animal bearing the divine Name, later bringing the blood of the immolated goat into the inner sanctum and purifying the sanctuary with this blood. Second, during the ritual of the goats’ selection, the high priest also interacted with sacred paraphernalia inscribed with the divine Name, since the procedure involved casting two lots, one of which was the lot with the divine Name.
Mishnah Yoma 4:1 offers the following depiction of the ritual:
He shook the casket and took up the two lots. On one was written “For the Lord,” and on the other was written “For Azazel.” The prefect was on his right and the chief of his father’s house on his left. If the lot bearing the Name came up in his right hand the Prefect would say to him, “My lord High Priest, raise thy right hand”; and if it came up in his left hand the chief of the father’s house would say to him, ‘My lord High Priest, raise thy left hand.’ He put them on the two he-goats and said ‘A sin-offering to the Lord. R. Ishmael says: He needed not to say "A Sin offering,” but only “To the Lord!" And they answered after him, "Blessed be the name of the glory of his kingdom for ever and ever!" 103
This passage also indicates that, during this ritual of the goats’ selection, the high priest was uttering the Tetragrammaton, an event confirmed by the concluding formula of the passage: “Blessed be the name of the glory of his kingdom for ever and ever!”
Reflecting on the occurrences of this phrase in Mishna Yoma, Sean McDonough notes that it accompanies the utterance of the Tetragrammaton during several Yom Kippur rites. Thus, he notices that in the latter portion of m. Yoma 3:8, during the prayer of confession given between the porch and the altar, the people respond to the Name’s usage by saying, “Blessed be the name of the glory of his kingdom for ever and ever!"104 Similarly, when the lots are cast for the two goats in the aforementioned passage from m. Yoma 4:1, the people again respond, “Blessed be the Name of the glory of his kingdom for ever and ever!”105
Another ordinance in which the high priest uttered the Tetragrammaton was the rite of the transference of the Israelites’ transgressions onto the head of the scapegoat. From m. Yoma 6:2 we learn the following about this ordinance:
He then came to the scapegoat and laid his two hands upon it and made confession. And thus used he to say: “O God, thy people, the House of Israel, have committed iniquity, transgressed, and sinned before thee. O God, forgive, I pray, the iniquities and transgressions and sins which thy people, the House of Israel, have committed and transgressed and sinned before thee; as it is written in the law of thy servant Moses, For on this day shall atonement be made for you to cleanse you: from all your sins shall ye be clean before the Lord.” And when the priests and the people which stood in the Temple Court heard the Expressed Name come forth from the mouth of the High Priest, they used to kneel and bow themselves and fall down on their faces and say, “Blessed be the name of the glory of his kingdom for ever and ever!”106
Here we encounter the already familiar formula, “blessed be the Name of the glory of his kingdom for ever and ever, ” which again points to the use of the Tetragrammaton. McDonough notices that the response of the priests and the people in the temple court reaches a crescendo at this point, since on hearing the Name "they used to kneel and bow themselves and fall down on their faces and say, ‘Blessed be the name of the glory of his kingdom for ever and ever!’”107
A rabbinic testimony reflected in Targum Pseudo-Jonathan serves as another proof of the Tetragrammaton’s usage during the transference ritual. From Targum Pseudo-Jonathan to Lev 16:21 we learn the following:
Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, in this fashion: his right hand upon his left. He shall confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel and all their rebellions, whatever their sins; he shall put them on the head of the goat with a declared and explicit oath by the great and glorious Name….108
Here, during the rite of the hand-laying, the high priest is not only obliged to transfer to the scapegoat the iniquities of the children of Israel, but also to seal the head of the cultic animal with a great oath containing the divine Name. McDonough notes that “the targumic addition immediately calls to mind the emphasis on the explicit pronunciation of the name in m. Yoma.”109
As we may recall, in Scholem’s proposal regarding the two streams responsible for shaping the figure of Metatron, the name of Michael was specifically mentioned.110 In Scholem’s view, Michael, along with Yahoel, had exercised a formative influence on the so-called “preexistent” Metatron trend. Indeed, in Jewish angelological lore, Michael often appears in the same roles and situations as Yahoel and Metatron.111 It is also not coincidental that in the Apocalypse of Abraham his name is invoked next to Yahoel,112 thus signaling the functional proximity of the two angelic characters.113
For our ongoing investigation, it is important that, in some early Jewish materials, the archangel Michael is conceived as a mediator of the divine Name.114 This tradition has very early conceptual roots, as already in the Book of the Similitudes115 this angelic figure becomes a locus of intense onomatological speculation. Thus, 1 Enoch 69:13-15 relates the following tradition concerning the angel:
And this is the task of Kesbeel, the chief of the oath, who showed (the oath) to the holy ones when he dwelt on high in glory, and its name (is) Beqa. And this one told the holy Michael that he should show him the secret name, that they might mention it in the oath, so that those who showed the sons of men everything which is secret trembled before that name and oath. And this (is) the power of this oath, for it is powerful and strong; and he placed this oath Akae in the charge of the holy Michael.116
In relation to this passage, Jarl Fossum observes that, here, “the angel Michael is said to have been entrusted with the oath containing the ‘Hidden Name,’ through which the whole universe is created and sustained.”117
Although the aforementioned passage does not directly designate the mysterious oath as the Tetragrammaton, the verses that follow affirm the connections between the oath and the divine Name. From 1 Enoch 69:16-20 we learn the following about the powers of the oath:
And these are the secrets of this oath and they are strong through his oath, and heaven was suspended before the world was created and for ever. And through it the earth was founded upon the water, and from the hidden (recesses) of the mountains come beautiful waters from the creation of the world and forever. And through that oath the sea was created, and as its foundation, for the time of anger, he placed for it the sand, and it does not go beyond (it) from the creation of the world and forever. And through that oath the deeps were made firm, and they stand and do not move from their place from (the creation of) the world and forever. And through that oath the sun and the moon complete their course and do not transgress their command from (the creation of) the world and forever.118
Here, the enigmatic oath is described as an instrument of creation with which the deity once fashioned heaven and earth.119 It is noteworthy that, in other parts of the Book of the Similitudes, particularly, in 1 Enoch 41, this demiurgic oath120 is used interchangeably with the divine Name.121 Later rabbinic accounts deliberate extensively on the demiurgic functions of the Tetragrammaton122 and its letters,123 often interpreting them as the instruments through which the world came into existence.124 These traditions often construe God’s command yhy at the creation of the world as an abbreviation of the divine Name.125 In view of these traditions, Darrell Hannah observes that “Michael was viewed by the author of the Similitudes as the angel of the Name, for into the ‘hand of Michael’ the secret of the oath, that is the divine Name, had been entrusted.”126
It is important for our study that, in 1 Enoch 69:14-15, the divine Name or Oath is connected with the symbolism of “power"127 – an important conceptual constellation that finds a prominent afterlife in Metatron lore. In the Book of the Similitudes, “power” seems to pertain to the demiurgic functions of the Name. God was able to fashion the entire creation with the Tetragrammaton, and with the help of the divine Name the heavenly rebels — the Watchers — were able to “unlock” and corrupt God’s creation. Similar connotations regarding the “power” of the Name are invoked later in the Apocalypse of Abraham, where Yahoel is able to control creation and even “unlock Hades” by his distinguished role as the “power inside the Ineffable Name.”
In Enochic lore, wherein the ideology of the divine Name remains closely connected not only with angelological but also with demonological developments, even antagonists of the story – the fallen angels – are envisioned as negative mediators of the divine Name. It is, therefore, striking that the fallen angels traditions found in 1 Enoch 69 also affirm the demiurgic understanding of the divine Name, albeit in a negative way, by putting it in the hands of the celestial rebels.128 In this respect, 1 Enoch 69 illuminates the initial obscure allusions to the demiurgic powers of the great oath/curse. Moreover, such cryptic allusions to the divine Name traditions might already be present in the earliest Enochic booklet – the Book of the Watchers.129
Thus, in 1 Enoch 6,130 this connection is intimated through an enigmatic name of one of the Watchers’ leaders, Shemihazah (hzxym#), an angelic rebel, whom scholars often interpret as a possessor or a seer of the divine Name.131 The demiurgic connotations in the name of the chief leader of the angelic group do not appear to be coincidental, considering the irreparable havoc that the group causes in God’s creation, necessitating new creative activity by the deity, who is compelled to cleanse the earth with a flood in order to “plant” a new humankind.
While the possibility of the fallen angels possessing the demiurgic oath remains only in the background of early Enochic texts, it comes to the forefront in some other materials; for instance, later Jewish and Islamic traditions often directly connect the “mighty” deeds of Shemihazah with his possession of the divine Name. Some passages even depict him as the one who unlawfully revealed the divine Name to humans.132
Scholars have noticed that, in 1 Enoch 8:3, the names of the fallen angels indicate their illicit revelatory functions,133 including the type of instruction they offered.134 In light of this, it seems no accident that in later Watchers traditions Shemihazah is often held responsible for passing the illicit knowledge of the divine Name.135 Midrash Shemhazai and Azael 3-5, for instance, depicts the fallen angel teaching a girl, named Esterah, the Ineffable Name; it reads:
They said before Him: "Give us Thy sanction and let us descend (and dwell) among the creatures and then Thou shalt see how we shall sanctify Thy name." He said to them: "Descend and dwell ye among them." … Forthwith Shemhazai beheld a girl whose name was Esterah; fixing his eyes at her he said: "Listen to my (request)." But she said to him: "I will not listen to thee until thou teachest me the Name by which thou art enabled to ascend to the firmament, as soon as thou dost mention it." He taught her the Ineffable Name….136
Later Muslim accounts of the fallen angels, found in the Tafsirs, attest to a similar cluster of traditions portraying Shemihazah (‘Aza) and Asael (Azazil) as the culprits responsible for the illicit revelation of the divine Name to a woman named Zuhra.137
Another important vehicle for the development of the divine Name’s ideology in the Book of the Similitudes is the Son of Man – a crucial mediatorial figure whose roles and functions unfold through a set of enigmatic onomatological traditions. Accordingly, in 1 Enoch 48 the Son of Man is portrayed as a preexistent being who received a special “name” by the Lord of Spirits in the primal "hour" before the beginning of creation. 1 Enoch 48:2-3 reads:
And at that hour that Son of Man 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.138
In relation to this passage, Charles Gieschen proposed that "the name" by which the Son of Man "was named" appears to be the divine Name of the Lord of Spirits, since there are many references to "the name of the Lord of the Spirits" throughout the Book of the Similitudes.139 Gieschen also draws attention to the verses that follow the aforementioned passage concerning the Son of Man’s reception of the Name, where we find the following statement: “All those who dwell upon the dry ground will fall down and worship before him [the Son of Man], and they will bless, and praise, and celebrate with psalms the Name of the Lord of Spirits.”(1 Enoch 48:5).140 Scrutinizing this obscure language of worship, Gieschen suggests that the crowds “will use the name of the Lord of Spirits in worshiping the Son of Man because both possess the same divine Name.”141
In their development of the Son of Man’s mediatorial profile, the authors of the Similitudes rely heavily on the formative imagery found in Daniel 7, where the Ancient of Days appears alongside the Son of Man. Scholars have noticed that the association between these two figures receives new significance in the onomatological framework of the Book of the Similitudes, solidifying the Son of Man’s ownership of the divine Name.142 In light of these developments, Gieschen proposes that references to the "name" of the Son of Man in 1 Enoch 37-71 indicate that he shares the divine Name of the Ancient of Days, the Tetragrammaton.143
Another important motif, which will later be relevant for our study of Yahoel and Metatron traditions, is the connection between the Son of Man’s Name and the demiurgic oath that initiates and sustains creation. Both Yahoel and Metatron, as personifications of the divine Name, will be understood as the sustainers and guarantors of God’s creation. The Son of Man in the Similitudes may perform a similar function.
As one recalls, in 1 Enoch 48:3 the following statement occurs: “Even before the sun and the constellations were created, before the stars of heaven were made, his [the Son of Man’s] name was named before the Lord of Spirits.” It appears that the preexistent “Name” of the Son of Man is endowed here with demiurgic functions, since it is closely connected with the demiurgic oath that plays such a prominent role in the Book of the Similitudes. This connection becomes more transparent in 1 Enoch 69, a chapter which speaks at length about the great oath/name that fashions and sustains the entire creation. 1 Enoch 69:18-25 relates the following tradition concerning the function of the oath/name:
And through that oath the sea was created, and as its foundation, for the time of anger, he placed for it the sand, and it does not go beyond (it) from the creation of the world and for ever…. And through that oath the sun and the moon complete their course and do not transgress their command from (the creation of) the world and forever. And through that oath the stars complete their course …. And this oath is strong over them, and through it they are kept safe, and their paths are kept safe, and their courses are not disturbed.144
It is noteworthy that later in the narration, in 1 Enoch 69:26, this demiurgic “oath” appears to be connected with the Son of Man’s name: “And they had great joy, and they blessed and praised and exalted because the name of that Son of Man had been revealed to them.”145 Reflecting on this curious locus, which involves the oath that sustains the created order and the Son of Man’s name, Gieschen notes that “the significance of the revealing of the name of the Son of Man becomes readily apparent when one sees the relationship between the divine Name, the oath used in creation, and the name of the Son of Man in 1 Enoch 69.”146
We have already noted in this study that the biblical traditions regarding the Angel of the Lord have exercised a lasting influence on subsequent onomatological currents. It appears that some traditions concerning the patriarch Jacob may not have escaped the formative effects of this portentous blueprint. The impact of these conceptual trends might be implicitly present in an early Jewish pseudepigraphon, known to us as the Prayer of Joseph.147 This text portrays Jacob’s heavenly identity as an angelic servant of the highest rank. Explaining his superiority to other angelic beings, the patriarch utters the following cryptic statement:
I told him his name and what rank he held among the sons of God. “Are you not Uriel, the eighth after me? And I, Israel, the archangel of the power of the Lord and the chief captain among the sons of God? Am I not Israel, the first minister before the face of God? And I called upon my God by the inextinguishable name (καὶ ἐπεκαλεσάμην ἐν ὀνόματι ἀσβέστῳ τὸν θεόν μου).”148
An important feature of this account is that Jacob-Israel is portrayed as the first minister before the deity’s face who calls upon God by his inextinguishable Name. This peculiar routine is reminiscent of the duties of another distinguished sar happanim – Metatron, who, because of his unique role as the Lesser YHWH, is often portrayed in Hekhalot and Shicur Qomah materials as the one who invokes the Tetragrammaton during the heavenly liturgy.149 In view of these connections, scholars previously entertained the possibility that, in the Prayer of Joseph, Jacob-Israel might be envisioned not merely as a possessor of the divine Name, but also as its personification in the form of the Angel of YHWH. Thus, reflecting on the text’s onomatological traditions, Fossum observes that in the Prayer of Joseph…
we find a pre-existent angel called “Jacob” and “Israel,” who claims superiority over the angel Uriel on the basis of his victory in personal combat where he availed himself of the divine Name. The angelic name “Israel,” explained as l) h)r #y), is among the names of the many-named intermediaries in Philo’s works,150 and, in one of the passages where Philo presents this name as one of the designations of the intermediary, he also says that the “Name of God” is among the appellations of this being.151
Fossum further suggests that in some Jewish and Christian circles, “Israel” apparently was one of the names of the Angel of the Lord. He proposes that Justin Martyr was cognizant of such an identification, when he mentions the name “Israel” as one of the names of the Son as he appeared under the old dispensation.152 Fossum notices that another passage in Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho 75:2153 identifies the Angel of the Lord in Exod 23:20 as Jesus, and states that he was also called “Israel,” since he bestowed this very name upon Jacob.154
Likewise, analyzing the divine Name traditions in the Prayer of Joseph, Alan Segal argues that the text presents “an archangel of the power of the people of God who is called Israel and is also identified with the patriarch Jacob. He was created before all the works of creation and claims ascendancy over Uriel on the basis of his victory in personal combat by which he ostensibly possesses the divine name.”155 In light of Fossum’s and Segal’s suggestions, Charles Gieschen determines that the evidence found in the Prayer “leads to the conclusion that this angel was understood to be the Angel of the Lord and more specifically the divine Name Angel of Exod 23:20.”156
In various onomatological currents, the mediators of the Tetragrammaton often fashion the divine Name in their peculiar sobriquets. As we will see later in this study, both Yahoel’s and Metatron’s names become a nexus of intense onomatological speculation. In their attempts to elucidate the enigmas of both Yahoel’s name and Metatron’s designation as the Lesser YHWH, scholars often direct our attention to an enigmatic mediator who often appears in Jewish materials as “Yao” or “Little Yao.” Although several early Jewish texts contain references to the name “Yao,” in the majority of these occurrences this term appears to serve merely as one of God’s designations157 and does not refer to a unique mediatorial entity that is separate from the deity.158 One of the clearest examples in which Yao is understood as a personification of the divine Name is a heterodox Christian text known to us as Pistis Sophia. On several occasions, Gershom Scholem drew attention to this literary evidence by entertaining the possibility that the character designated in Pistis Sophia as “Little Yao” is connected to both Yahoel’s and Metatron’s onomatological profiles. In relation to the parallels between “Little Yao,” Yahoel, and Metatron, Scholem notes in Major Trends that "Yahoel is referred to in Jewish Gnostic literature as the ‘lesser Yaho,' a term which at the end of the second century had already made its way into non-Jewish Gnostic literature, but which was also retained by the Merkavah mystics as the most exalted cognomen of Metatron."159 In Jewish Gnosticism, he again attempts to tie the “Little Yao” of the heterodox Christian materials both to Yahoel and to Metatron. He argues that "it is obvious that the predication of Metatron as the Lesser Jaho, which was taken over by the Christian Gnostics of the second century, was based on the original speculation about the angel Yahoel."160 Keeping Scholem’s valuable insights in mind, we should now take a close look at the Little Yao tradition found in the heterodox Christian materials. Pistis Sophia 7 relates the following tradition about Little Yao:
And when I entered the world I came to the midst of the archons of the sphere, and I took the likeness of Gabriel, the Angel of the aeons, and the archons of the aeons did not recognize me. But they thought that I was the Angel Gabriel. Now it happened that when I came into the midst of the archons of the aeons, I looked down at the world of mankind, at the command of the First Mystery. I found Elisabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, before she had conceived him and I cast into her a power which I had received from the Little Jao, the Good, who is in the Midst, so that he should be able to preach before me, and prepare my way and baptize with water of forgiveness. Now that power was in the body of John. And again, in place of the soul of the archons which he was due to receive, I found the soul of the prophet Elias in the aeons of the sphere; and I took it in and I took his soul again; I brought it to the Virgin of the Light, and she gave it to her paralemptors. They brought it to the sphere of the archons, and they cast it into the womb of Elisabeth. But the power of the Little Jao,161 he of the Midst, and the soul of the prophet Elias were bound in the body of John the Baptist.162
Commenting on this excerpt from Pistis Sophia, Hugo Odeberg suggests that “behind this obscure passage one may easily recognize the idea of the little Yao as a spiritual essence present in the prophet of his age, or in the outstanding saint.”163 Odeberg further notes that, although the received text of the cited passage seems to speak of “the power of the little Yao” and “the soul of Helias” as two different spiritual entities incarnated in John the Baptist, there should scarcely be any doubt that the passage in reality is based upon a tradition, where the celestial being, possessing the divine Name and called “little” to denote him as an emanation from the deity, is present in and is the power of the prophets of the different ages, previously present in the prophet Elijah and then again in John the Baptist.164 Odeberg further proposes that the epithet, “little,” might designate this mediator as the lesser manifestation of the deity, noting that such ideas are closely related to the conceptions of the Lesser YHWH in Sefer Hekhalot.165
The fact that the Little Yao tradition in Pistis Sophia is conflated with the story of Elijah166 is in itself intriguing, since in the Apocalypse of Abraham one can see a similar constellation of motifs, as the apocalyptic story is overlaid with a set of peculiar motifs related to the prophet Elijah. In the Slavonic apocalypse, the patriarch travels to Mount Horeb in order to receive his revelation – a peculiar geographical marker where both Moses and Elijah received their revelations. Like Elijah and Moses, Abraham fasts for forty days and is nourished supernaturally by the divine presence.
If in Pistis Sophia the little Yao indeed represents a “spiritual essence present in the prophet,” as Odeberg suggests, it might not be coincidental that another important “prophetic” exemplar – Enoch in his celestial afterlife as the great angel Metatron – is also endowed with a similar designation as the “Lesser YHWH.”
Scholars have long noted that, by melding together Jewish and Greek traditions in a very complex way, Philo envisions the Logos “as the mediator through whom God indirectly orders and sustains the material world."167
Philo’s Logos’ incorporates a variety of attributes belonging to various mediatorial figures found in the Hebrew Bible. As Alan Segal notes, "Philo wants the Logos, the goal of the mystical vision of God, to serve as a simple explanation for all the angelic and human manifestations of the divine in the Old Testament."168 Especially important for our study is that, in a number of his works, Philo consistently interprets the Angel of the Lord from Exod 23:20-21 as the Logos.169
Philo’s De Agricultura represents one such locus where the Logos is identified with the proverbial angel. Agr. 51 recounts the following tradition:
This hallowed flock He leads in accordance with right and law, setting over it His true Word and Firstborn Son Who shall take upon Him its government like some viceroy of a great king; for it is said in a certain place: “Behold I am, I send My Angel before thy face to guard thee in the way."170
Here, the Logos, the true word of God, fulfills the functions of a guide and a guardian, similar to the roles of the Angel of the Tetragrammaton who once shepherded the Israelites in the wilderness.
Philo’s De Migratione Abrahami 174 likewise identifies the Logos with the Angel of YHWH, who is again depicted as a pathfinder and a protector:
For as long as he falls short of perfection, he has the divine Word as his leader: since there is an oracle which says, "Lo, I send My messenger before thy face, to guard thee in thy way, that he may bring thee in into the land which I have prepared for thee: give heed to him, and hearken to him, disobey him not; for he will by no means withdraw from thee; for My name is on him."171
An important detail of this pericope is its last phrase, which brings to memory an important onomatological nexus found in Exodus 23. A similar reference is detectable in Quaestiones et Solutiones in Exodum 2.13, where Philo explains the angelic identity of the Logos through a panoply of allusions to Angel of the Lord traditions:
An angel is an intellectual soul or rather wholly mind, wholly incorporeal, made (to be) a minister of God, and appointed over certain needs and the service of the race of mortals, since it was unable, because of its corruptible nature, to receive the gifts and benefactions extended by God. For it was not capable of bearing the multitude of (His) good (gifts). (Therefore) of necessity was the Logos appointed as judge and mediator who is called "angel." Him He sets "before the face," there where the place of the eyes and the senses is, in order that by seeing and receiving impressions it may follow the leadership of virtue not unwillingly but willingly. But the entry into the previously prepared land is allegorized in the several (details) of the above-mentioned (statements) in respect of the guarding of the way, (namely) "giving heed," "listening," "not disobeying," "not showing consideration," "setting His name upon him."172
Summarizing the lessons of the aforementioned Philonic developments, Jarl Fossum argues that "we may then conclude that the logos name in Hellenistic Judaism was used in place of the 'Angel of the Lord.’”173 Fossum further notes that, “continuing the Biblical tendency to replace the Tetragrammaton by the term ‘a/the YHWH Angel,’ Philo even explains the corporeal appearances of God as appearances of the Logos. It is logical that one of the titles of the Logos is ‘the Name,’ since this is a real substitution for the Tetragrammaton."174
Darrell Hannah draws attention to another interesting connection between the Logos and the divine Name reflected in a passage from De Migratione Abrahami 102-103, where the following constellation of onomatological and sacerdotal imagery is found:
If again you examine the High Priest the Logos, you will find him to be in agreement with this, and his holy vesture to have a variegated beauty derived from powers belonging some to the realm of pure intellect, some to that of sense-perception. The other parts of that vesture call for a longer treatment than the present occasion allows, and must be deferred. Let us however examine the parts by the extremities, head and feet. On the head, then, there is "a plate of pure gold, bearing as an engraving of a signet, a holy thing to the Lord; and at the feet on the end of the skirt, bells and flower patterns. The signet spoken of is the original principle behind all principles, after which God shaped or formed the universe, incorporeal we know, and discerned by the intellect alone ....175
Hannah suggests that, in this pericope, "Philo is identifying the Logos both with the high priest and with the signet, in which was inscribed the divine Name, worn by the high priest."176 He further suggests that "traditions which attributed to the Name an almost hypostatic existence were probably current in Philo's day. Although it is doubtful that Philo knew Hebrew, it is possible that he was familiar with traditions surrounding the ineffable Name of God and transferred these to the Logos."177
One can see that, in his attempt to consolidate the multifaceted profile of the Logos, Philo employs a stunning panoply of onomatological mediators, which include angelic, sacerdotal, and patriarchal characters. Thus, in Conf. 146 he appears to link the Logos with a set of onomatological traditions circulating in the name of the patriarch Jacob:
But if there be any as yet unfit to be called a Son of God, let him press to take his place under God's First-born, the Word, who holds the eldership among the angels, their ruler as it were. And many names are his, for he is called, "the Beginning," and the Name of God, and His Word, and the Man after His image, and "he that sees," that is Israel.178
These Philonic developments, in which the Logos is closely associated with the divine Name, continue to exercise a formative influence on early Christology.179 Jarl Fossum suggests that the Christological title, the Logos,180 found in John 1:1, represents "a cryptograph for God's Name,” and in light of Jewish traditions, “the predications of the Logos in John 1:1 and 14 as well as Rev 19:12-13 should be explicable as references to the divine Name.”181
This identification of the Logos-Name with Christ naturally brings us to early Christian materials, in which Jesus was envisioned as the mediator of the Name. Considering the likelihood that the Apocalypse of Abraham was composed in the second century C.E., the influence of Christian onomatological developments on the figure of Yahoel remains an open question, especially since scholars have previously entertained the possibility that the Slavonic apocalypse contains some polemics with Christian traditions.182
Christ’s endowment with onomatological functions represents, in many ways, a continuation of the familiar conceptual lines already known to us from biblical and pseudepigraphical specimens of the aural ideology.183 In this respect, Aloys Grillmeier suggests that “the old-established Shem theology of the later books of the Old Testament appears to have been continued and applied to Christ.”184
Jesus’ mediation of the Name will include a wide range of onomatological modes, as early Christian authors depict him as either a recipient and a revealer of the divine Name, its angelic or divine personification, or as a figure clothed with the Tetragrammaton. Richard Longenecker notes that, "just as 'the name' was a pious Jewish surrogate for God, so for the early Jewish Christians it became a designation for Jesus, the Lord's Christ. And as in its earlier usage, so with the Christians it connoted the divine presence and power."185
The limited scope of our study unfortunately does not allow a full presentation of all available early evidence; our investigation will be limited solely to several brief illustrations of each discernible mode of the Name’s mediation through the figure of Jesus. Also, in our review of Christian onomatological traditions, we will bring into our discussion only specimens that are particularly relevant for our treatment of Yahoel and Metatron.
Jean Daniélou once proposed that an expression found in the first chapter of the Fourth Gospel, “the Word ... dwelt among us,” may be based on an older form, “the Name ... dwelt among us,” noting that in the Hebrew Bible, “such dwelling is in fact the property of the Name, and not of the Word.”186 Jarl Fossum forcefully advanced this position, arguing that “the author of John’s Gospel appears to have been dependent upon a Hellenistic Jewish tradition according to which the Logos figure was substituted for the Angel of the Lord, who appears as indistinguishable from the Tetragrammaton in some Biblical texts.”187 In light of these developments, Fossum proposes that, in the Gospel of John, Jesus is envisioned as “the final dwelling-place of the Name of God.”188
Although experts often view the Johannine Prologue as a nexus of early Christian onomatological traditions, it is not the clearest example in the Fourth Gospel of Christ’s association with the divine Name. Charles Gieschen points to a more explicit instance of Jesus’ identification with the Name in John 12:28: "Father, glorify your Name." Gieschen argues that, in this passage, “Jesus also identified himself as the one who is a hypostasis of the divine Name."189 He further suggests that Jesus’ acclamation "is not simply a pious prayer that God's name be glorified through Christ's sacrifice; it is the identification of Jesus as the one who possesses the divine Name. This indicates that he can simply be identified as ‘the Name,’ much like the visible manifestations of YHWH of Deuteronomy and Jeremiah."190
Daniélou draws attention to another important testimony found in John 17:6: “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.” Analyzing this passage, Daniélou suggests that "in the Gospel of John we are presented with a theological elaboration in which the Name has come to designate Christ. Christ manifests the Name of the Father (John 17:6), but this manifestation is his own person."191
Gieschen argues that the distinctive “Name nomenclature” was used to identify Jesus elsewhere in the Johannine corpus and other early Christian literature.192 In his opinion, “this Name nomenclature is closely linked with the use of ἐγώ εἰμι in the LXX as a name for YHWH. Jesus uses ἐγώ εἰμι to identify himself on several occasions in John, including epiphanies where the power of the divine Name is visible in actions, such as the stilling of the storm (6:20) and the falling back of the arresting crowd in the Garden of Gethsemane (18:5)."193
It is significant for our study that depictions of Jesus as the mediator of the Name often occur in a sacerdotal context,194 similar to how onomatological currents are often appropriated in Yahoel and Metatron lore. Daniélou notes that in many Christian texts, "the use of the term ‘the Name' seems to be closely connected with ritual matters, which suggests that liturgical history may perhaps be able to confirm the evidence of the literary data on the designation of the Word as the ‘Name.'"195
Demiurgical functions of Christ come to their fore in the Logos imagery of the Johannine Prologue. Reflecting on the Prologue’s symbolism, Fossum points out that the Logos-Name “was instrumental in creating the world; it could even be seen as the demiurge.”196 The demiurgical functions of the divine Name are not a novelty here, since they are reminiscent of biblical and pseudepigraphical developments already mentioned in this study, in which the Tetragrammaton was understood as an instrument by which the deity brought everything into existence.
In early Christian materials, onomatological functions of Christ encompass another function in relation to the created order, namely, the role of the sustainer and the protector of creation. Thus, in Shepherd of Hermas (Sim. IX, 14:5), the Name of the Son serves as a stabilizing force for the entire creation:
The name of the Son of God is mighty and uncontained, and sustains the whole world. So if all creation is sustained by the Son of God, what do you think about those called by him, bearing the name of the Son of God, and proceeding according to his commandments? Do you see which ones he sustains? Those who bear his name with all their heart. He became their foundation (θεμέλιος) and sustains them gladly because they are not ashamed to bear his name.197
Written around the time when the Apocalypse of Abraham was possibly composed, this testimony concerning the Son’s onomatological duties represents a curious parallel to Yahoel's function as the sustainer of creation. The reference to the Name of the Son as the “foundation” (θεμέλιος) is especially noteworthy in view of Yahoel’s role of stabilizing the lower and upper foundations of the created order, represented respectively by the Hayyot and the Leviathans.
In early Christian materials, Jesus also safeguards God’s elect in his role as a personification of the Name, thus revealing the Tetragrammaton through himself to humankind. Stroumsa draws attention to a passage found in Clement of Rome’s First Letter to the Corinthians 59:2, where one finds the following tradition:
But we ourselves will be innocent of this sin, and we will ask with a fervent prayer and petition that the Creator of all safeguard the number of those counted among his elect throughout the entire world, through his beloved child Jesus Christ, through whom he called us out of darkness into light, from ignorance into the knowledge of his glorious name.198
Reflecting on the Epistle’s phrase, "he called us out of darkness into light, from ignorance into the knowledge of his glorious name," Stroumsa suggests that in this statement, “Christ is portrayed as the Name's revealer.”199
As has been observed above, the Angel of the Lord typology will exercise an enormous influence on the construction of various mediators of the divine Name, including Yahoel and Metatron. Some early Christian writers clearly identify Christ with this biblical personification of the Tetragrammaton. Thus, Justin Martyr articulates such an identification in his Dialogue with Trypho 75:1-2:
We know too that in the book of Exodus Moses likewise indicated in a mysterious manner that the name of God himself (which he says was not revealed to Abraham or to Jacob) was also Jesus. For it is written thus: And the Lord said to Moses, say to this people: Behold, I send my angel before your face, to guard you in your journey, and bring you into the place that I have prepared for you. Take notice of him, and obey his voice; do not disobey him, for he will not pardon you, because my name is in him. “Consider well who it was that led your fathers into the Promised Land, namely he who was first named Auses [Hosea], but later renamed Jesus [Joshua]. If you keep this in mind, you will also realize that the name of him who said to Moses, My name is in him, was Jesus. Indeed, he was also called Israel. And he similarly bestowed this name upon Jacob.200
Jarl Fossum notes that in this text, "Justin Martyr is clearly adapting a Jewish tradition about the Angel of Exodus when he goes into a fanciful exegesis to show that the proper Name of God is 'Jesus.'" He further suggests that "Justin regards the Angel of the Lord as a form of appearance of the Son."201
Some New Testament materials may also hint at the early existence of such an interpretation. Fossum compares Justin’s interpretation with a curious reading found in verse 5 of the Epistle of Jude: "Now I desire to remind you, though you are fully informed, that the Lord (κύριος), who once for all saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe." Some manuscripts read “Jesus” (Ἰησοῦς) instead of the “Lord” (κύριος).202 In the light of Justin’s evidence, such a variant does not appear to be a coincidental slip of a copyist’s pen, but possibly an intentional rendering that was based on a Christian understanding of Jesus as the Angel of the Lord.203 Fossum suggests that “the reading 'Jesus' in Jude 5 implies that the Son is modeled on an intermediary figure whose basic constituent is the Angel of the Lord."204 In light of these developments, Fossum concludes that “it would not have been impossible for Jude to have anticipated Justin's identification of the Angel of Exodus as Jesus.”205
Both Jarl Fossum and Gilles Quispel in their respective studies draw attention to another important onomatological mode associated with Jesus in early Christian heterodox materials, namely, Jesus’ investiture with the Name. One specimen of this tradition is found in the Gospel of Philip from the Nag Hammadi library, where the Son is “vested” with the Name of the Father.206 Gos. Phil. 54:5-13 (NHC II, 3, 54:5-13) reads:
One single name is not uttered in the world, the name which the father gave to the son; it is the name above all things: the name of the father. For the son would not become father unless he wore the name of the father. Those who have this name know it, but they do not speak it. But those who do not have it do not know it.207
Analyzing this and similar Valentinian traditions, Gilles Quispel proposes that Jesus’ purported investiture with the Name of God may have occurred at the time of his baptism in the Jordan, “for the Valentinians thought that at that moment the Name of God descended upon Jesus ....”208
In light of this tradition, it is significant that in some Christian currents, the baptism of believers was often associated both with the acquisition of a guardian angel and the reception of the divine Name. Thus, a passage from Clement of Alexandria’s Excerpta ex Theodoto 22.5209 details the following baptismal tradition:
And when the Apostle said, “Else what shall they do who are baptized for the dead?” … For, he says, the angels of whom we are portions were baptized for us. But we are dead, who are deadened by this existence, but the males are alive who did not participate in this existence. “If the dead rise not why, then, are we baptized?” Therefore we are raised up “equal to angels,” and restored to unity with the males, member for member. Now they say “those who are baptized for us, the dead,” are the angels who are baptized for us, in order that when we, too, have the Name, we may not be hindered and kept back by the Limit and the Cross from entering the Pleroma.Wherefore, at the laying on of hands they say at the end, “for the angelic redemption” that is, for the one which the angels also have, in order that the person who has received the redemption may be baptized in the same Name in which his angel had been baptized before him. Now the angels were baptized in the beginning, in the redemption of the Name which descended upon Jesus in the dove and redeemed him. And redemption was necessary even for Jesus, in order that, approaching through Wisdom, he might not be detained by the Notion of the Deficiency in which he was inserted, as Theodotus says.210
This passage indicates that Christians who imitate Jesus’ baptism at the Jordan by their own immersions are predestined to obtain both the divine Name and a guardian angel.
Gieschen draws attention to another possible instance of investiture with the Name, this time, in the Book of Revelation 19:12-13.211 In his opinion, this text presents Christ as the possessor of a mysterious name that only he knows.212 It is intriguing that in Rev 19:12 the inscription of the Name coincides with the reference to the adept’s headgear: “on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed that no one knows but himself.” Such juxtaposition brings to memory several aforementioned mediators of the Name, including the high priest, Yahoel, and Metatron, whose turbans and crowns are similarly decorated with the Tetragrammaton. In this respect it is worth noting that other passages from the Book of Revelation also attest to the practice of the Name’s inscription on the adept.213
The onomatological traditions found in the Book of Revelation are significant for our study for another reason, namely, their tendency to transfer the “ocularcentric” features of the deity to the “second power,” represented as the mediator of the Name. Thus, in Revelation where Christ is depicted as the personification of the divine Name,214 he also exhibits certain theophanic attributes, including traits of the Ancient of Days from Daniel 7215 and features of the anthropomorphic Kavod from Ezekiel 1.216 We will encounter the exact same strategy of transferring the deity’s theophanic attributes in the construction of the identity of another distinguished mediator of the Tetragrammaton, Yahoel, who in the Apocalypse of Abraham will be fashioned with hair like snow,217 a body like sapphire, and a face like chrysolite.218 The practice of stripping “ocularcentric” attributes from the deity, who is curiously present in both the first chapter of Revelation and the Apocalypse of Abraham as the aniconic Voice,219 and transferring them to the mediator of the Name will also play an important role in various Metatron accounts, including passages found in b. Hag. 15a and Sefer Hekhalot 16:1-5. There, the aniconic divine Voice is contrasted with the visible manifestation of the “second power,” who will serve as a stumbling block for Aher, thus facilitating rabbinic debates regarding the “two powers” in heaven.
This chapter explored several celestial and human figures who in early Jewish and Christian traditions were envisioned as mediators of the divine Name. Our study demonstrated that many of these elaborations were closely connected with the imagery of the Angel of the Lord – a figure who functions as a crucial blueprint at the very beginning of the biblical Shem ideologies. We also observed that the stories of these heavenly and human figures exhibit various modes of the Name’s mediation, including the reception or transmission of the divine Name, the clothing with the divine Name, or the “embodiment” of the Name. As we will see later, these mediatorial strategies play a prominent role in the development of the profiles of both Yahoel and Metatron in their respective apocalyptic and Hekhalot contexts. Thus, both Yahoel and Metatron, through a set of familiar biblical markers, will be associated with the Angel of the Lord traditions. They will also be depicted as corporeal embodiments of the divine Name, whose functions include the protection and sustenance of the created order. Their role as mediators of the Name will unfold in distinctive sacerdotal contexts, as both are depicted as heavenly high priests and celestial choirmasters. While containing the Tetragrammaton inside of them, both will also be “clothed” with the divine Name by wearing the inscriptions of the Name on their turbans and crowns. We now proceed to a close investigation of these conceptual developments.
1 M. Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972) 191.
2 E.R. Wolfson, Through a Speculum That Shines: Vision and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994) 20
3 L. Köhler and M. Weinfeld argue that the phrase, “in our image, after our likeness” precludes the anthropomorphic interpretation that the human being was created in the divine image. L. Köhler, “Die Grundstelle der Imago-Dei Lehre, Genesis i, 26,” ThZ 4 (1948) 16ff; Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 199. In relation to these conceptual developments, Wolfson notes that “it seems that the problem of God’s visibility is invariably linked to the question of God’s corporeality, which, in turn, is bound up with the matter of human likeness to God…. Although the official cult of ancient Israelite religion prohibited the making of images or icons of God, this basic need to figure or image God in human form found expression in other ways, including the prophetic visions of God as an anthropos, as well as the basic tenet of the similitude of man and divinity. The biblical conception is such that the anthropos is as much cast in the image of God as God is cast in the image of the anthropos. This is stated in the very account of the creation of the human being in the first chapter of Genesis (attributed to P) in the claim that Adam was created in the image of God.” Wolfson, Through a Speculum, 20-21.
4 Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 191. Thus, Wolfson notes that “The anthropomorphic manifestation of the divine in ancient Israelite culture is connected with another major theme in the Hebrew Bible: the concern with the presence of God and his nearness. This concern was expressed cultically in terms of the Temple in Jerusalem that served as the set residence of the God of Israel.” Wolfson, Through a Speculum, 17.
5 Ian Wilson notes that “the Yahwistic and Elohistic sources, for example, in their accounts of the law-giving at Sinai in the Book of Exodus, are considered by many scholars to represent God as either descending to (J) or dwelling on (E) the mountain, while the Zion tradition, as found in some of the Psalms and in the pre-exilic prophets, portrays him as inhabiting the city of Jerusalem.” I. Wilson, Out of the Midst of the Fire: Divine Presence in Deuteronomy (SBLDS, 151; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995) 3.
6 Weinfeld notices that “the notion of God sitting enthroned upon the cherubim was prevalent in ancient Israel … the danger that accrues from approaching the Divinity are all alluded to in the early historiographic narratives.” Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 192-3.
7 Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 199.
8 Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 200-201. Wolfson observes that “according to Ezekiel, the glory is the human form of God’s manifestation and not a hypostasis distinct from God. To be sure, in other biblical contexts the kavod does not necessarily imply the human form of God. The particular usage of kevod YHWH (Presence of the Lord) is a characteristic feature of the Priestly stratum, where it serves as a terminus technicus to describe God’s indwelling and nearness to Israel, which is manifest as a fiery brightness, splendor, and radiance that, due to the human incapacity to bear the sight of it, is usually enveloped in a thick cloud. In the case of Ezekiel, as well, the conception of the glory as a luminous body is apparent from the description of the enthroned figure as being surrounded with splendor from the waist up and with fire from the waist down, a motif found elsewhere in the Bible, with parallels in Sumerian and Babylonian materials. That this luminous kavod, however, had the capacity to be visualized as an anthropos is illustrated from the case of Ezekiel.” Wolfson, Through a Speculum, 22.
9 Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 201.
10 Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 201.
11 T.N.D. Mettinger, The Dethronement of Sabaoth. Studies in the Shem and Kabod Theologies (ConBOT, 18; Lund: Wallin & Dalholm, 1982) 106. Mettinger asserts that “Ezekiel’s choice of the word kavod was dictated by the earlier use of the term in the theophanic tradition. It was here those connotations were preserved which underlie the usage in the Priestly traditions. Ezekiel’s visions of the divine majesty exhibit the striking combination of kavod with the throne, and this combination epitomizes, with emblematic density, the whole theology of Ezekiel’s visions.” Mettinger, The Dethronement of Sabaoth, 123.
12 Mettinger, The Dethronement of Sabaoth, 107.
13 Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 191. Reflecting on the symbolism of the divine Seat, Wolfson observes that “we come, then, to the fundamental paradox: there was no fixed iconic representation of the deity upon the throne, but it was precisely this institution that provided the context for visualization of the divine Presence. This basic insight was understood by the phenomenologist Gerardus van der Leeuw, who wrote, ‘The ark of Jahveh, for instance, was an empty throne of God.’ … This of course does not involve any ‘purely spiritual’ worship of God, but merely that the deity should assume his place on the empty throne at his epiphany.” Wolfson, Through a Speculum, 18.
14 Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 192.
15 Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 190.
16 Wilson, Out of the Midst of the Fire, 6-7. It is possible that the Deuteronomic paradigm shift was relying on already existing auricular developments. Elliot Wolfson notes that “while the epistemic privileging of hearing over seeing in relation to God is attested in various biblical writers, including many of the classical prophets, the aversion to iconic representation of the deity can be traced most particularly to the Deuteronomist author who stressed that the essential and exclusive medium of revelation was the divine voice and not a visible form.... Whatever the ‘original’ rationale for the prohibition on the iconic representation of God in ancient Israelite culture, whether theological or socio-political, it seems likely that the Deuteronomist restriction on the visualization of God is a later interpretation of an already existing proscription.” Wolfson, Through a Speculum, 14.
17 Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 198. In relation to the developments found in Deutero-Isaiah, Wolfson notes that “a significant element in the biblical tradition, as we have seen in the case of the Deuteronomist, opposes physical anthropomorphism, emphasizing the verbal/auditory over the iconic/visual. Positing that God addresses human beings through speech does not affect the claim to divine transcendence, that is, the utter incomparability of God to anything created, humanity included. The most extreme formulation of such a demythologizing trend occurs in Deutero-Isaiah: ‘To whom, then, can you liken God, what form (demut) compares to Him?’ (Isa 40:18; cf. 40:25, 46:5). In this verse one can perceive, as has been pointed out by Moshe Weinfeld, a direct polemic against the Priestly tradition that man is created in God’s image. This tradition implies two things: first that God has an image (demut), and, second, that in virtue of that image in which Adam was created there is a basic similarity or likeness between human and divine. The verse in Deutero-Isaiah attacks both of these presumptions: since no image can be attributed to God it cannot be said that the human being is created in God’s image. From this vantage point there is an unbridgeable and irreducible gap separating Creator and creature.” Wolfson, Through a Speculum, 24-25.
18 Wilson notices that scholars usually derive the Name theology “from two sets of texts, namely references to YHWH’s Name dwelling, or being in some other sense present, at the sanctuary (e.g. in Deut 12-26 and throughout the Deuteronomistic History) and those to YHWH himself dwelling or being in heaven (e.g. Deut 4:36; 26:15 and 1 Kings 8, in Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the temple).” Wilson, Out of the Midst of the Fire, 3.
19 For modern reconstructions of the ideology of the divine Name in Deuteronomy and other biblical materials, see S. Richter, The Deuteronomic History and the Name Theology: lesakken semo sam in the Bible and the Ancient Near East (BZAW, 318; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2002) 26-39.
20 Similar to the Kavod paradigm, the Shem ideology is also permeated by distinctive sacerdotal concerns that will maintain their powerful grip on the onomatological imagery long after the destruction of the Second Jerusalem temple. Wilson asserts that “despite the resulting Deuteronomistic emphasis on the transcendence of YHWH in the Shem ideology, the sanctuary retains its importance for the Israelite worshiper, since the presence there of the Name is seen as providing indirect access to that of the deity himself.” Wilson, Out of the Midst of the Fire, 7.
21 Mettinger observes that in the Shem theology “God himself is no longer present in the Temple, but only in heaven. However, he is represented in the Temple by his Name....” Mettinger, The Dethronement of Sabaoth, 124. See also Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 193.
22 Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 193. Von Rad observes that “in Deuteronomy, it [the name] may be established in a particular place, the conception is definite and within fixed limits; it verges closely upon a hypostasis. The Deuteronomic theologumenon of the name of Jahweh clearly holds a polemic element, or, to put it better, is a theological corrective. It is not Jahweh himself who is present at the shrine, but only his name as the guarantee of his will to save; to it and it only Israel has to hold fast as the sufficient form in which Jahweh reveals himself. Deuteronomy is replacing the old crude idea of Jahweh’s presence and dwelling at the shrine by a theologically sublimated idea.” G. von Rad, Studies in Deuteronomy (London: SCM Press, 1953) 38-39. In a similar vein, Ronald Clements postulates that “by the concept of the name of God the Deuteronomic authors have sought to avoid too crude a notion of the idea that God’s presence could be located at the sanctuary. They have sought to emphasize the fact that God’s true place of habitation could only be in heaven.” R.E. Clements, Deuteronomy (Old Testament Guides; Sheffield: JSOT, 1989) 52.
23 Wolfson points out that, “while the figural representation of the deity is deemed offensive or even blasphemous, the hearing of a voice is an acceptable form of anthropomorphic representation, for, phenomenologically speaking, the voice does not necessarily imply an externalized concrete shape that is bound by specific spatial dimensions.... The voice admits no spatial reference in the external world and is therefore presumed to be immediately present.... it is appropriate to speak of a voice of God rather than a visible form because the former implies a sense of phenomenological immediacy without necessitating spatial or worldly exteriority.” Wolfson, Through a Speculum, 14-15.
24 Mettinger, The Dethronement of Sabaoth, 46.
25 Wilson notes that “the presence of the Name at the cult-place is not regarded as an isolated phenomenon, but is linked to a whole complex of new ideas involving changes in the conception of the ark (from being YHWH’s footstool or throne to being a mere container for the law) and of the temple (from being YHWH’s dwelling-place and therefore a place of sacrifice to being a place of prayer).” Wilson, Out of the Midst of the Fire, 8.
26 Mettinger, The Dethronement of Sabaoth, 124.
27 This tendency to re-interpret polemically the imagery of the rival paradigm is also observable in the Kavod tradition, which in its turn uses the symbolism of the divine Voice and other aspects of Shem symbolism.
28 Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 206.
29 All biblical quotations are taken from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) unless otherwise indicated.
30 Weinfeld observes that “Deuteronomy has … taken care to shift the centre of gravity of the theophany from the visual to the aural plane.” Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 207.
31 Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 207. For criticism of Weinfeld’s methodology in this comparative analysis, see Wilson, Out of the Midst of the Fire, 90ff.
32 Mettinger remarks that “it is not surprising that the Name of God occupies so central a position in a theology in which God’s words and voice receive so much emphasis.” Mettinger, The Dethronement of Sabaoth, 124.
33 Reflecting on the afterlife of biblical ocularcentric currents, Wolfson notes that “the cultic image of the enthroned God in the earthly Temple yielded the genre of a ‘throne vision’ or ‘throne theophany’ (i.e., the visionary experience of God in human form seated on the heavenly throne in the celestial Palace), which became especially important in the Jewish apocalyptic and mystical traditions and whose influence is clearly discernible in both Christianity and Islam.” Wolfson, Through a Speculum, 18-19.
34 M. Barker, The Great Angel: A Study of Israel’s Second God (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1992) 98.
35 S.M. Olyan, Thousand Thousands Served Him: Exegesis and the Naming of Angels in Ancient Judaism (TSAJ, 36; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1993) 17.
36 Gilles Quispel notices this conceptual link between the Angel of the Lord, Yahoel, and Metatron, seeing them as “Jewish speculations about the Name, the ineffable Shem, and about the bearer of the Name, the Angel of the Lord, called Jaoel (later Metatron).” G. Quispel, “The Demiurge in the Apocryphon of John,” in: Gnostica, Judaica, Catholica. Collected Essays of Gilles Quispel (ed. J. van Oort; NHMS, 55; Leiden: Brill, 2008) 67.
37 Scholars often see the mediation of the Name as the crucial source of the angel’s authority. On this see Olyan, A Thousand Thousands Served Him, 17.
38 Fossum, The Name of God, 86.
39 Fossum, The Name of God, 86. Fossum observed that “… when God promises to send his angel carrying his own Name in order to guide Israel to the land he has appointed for them, this means that he has put his power into the angel and thus will be with his people through the agency of the angel. The Angel of the Lord is an extension of YHWH’s personality, because the proper Name of God signifies the divine nature. Thus, the Angel of the Lord has full divine authority by virtue of possessing God’s Name: he has the power to withhold the absolution of sins.” Fossum, The Name of God, 86.
40 Saul Olyan reflects on the problematic nature of the term “hypostasis.” He notes that “many reputable scholars up to the present time have utilized the terms ‘hypostatization’ and ‘hypostasis’ in discussions of the special figurative treatment accorded divine attributes in certain Israelite and Near Eastern contexts. In my view, these expressions are best avoided on account of the history of their use and abuse in biblical scholarship. Scholars following the lead of Bousset et al. continue to use these terms, often indiscriminately, to describe such phenomena as the Memra of the targumim and the Shekinah of rabbinic lore. The expressions ‘hypostatization’ and ‘hypostasis’ have come to be closely associated with the rather ill-conceived notion of an increasingly distant and inaccessible God emerging during the period of the Second Temple, and a resulting need for intermediary figures between God and Israel.” Olyan, A Thousand Thousands Served Him, 89-91. Since the term “hypostasis” also has a technical meaning in various Christian contexts, we will try, where it is possible, to use the term “personification” instead. Such nomenclature will also allow us to make important distinctions between various mediators by rendering them as “angelic” or “divine personifications” of the Name. On the concept of “hypostasis,” see also H. Ringgren, Word and Wisdom: Studies in the Hypostatization of Divine Qualities and Functions in the Ancient Near East (Lund: Hakan Ohlssons, 1947) 132ff; G. Pfeifer, Ursprung und Wesen der Hypostasenvorstellungen im Judentum (ArbT, 1.31; Stuttgart: Calwer, 1967) 15; M. Hengel, Judentum und Hellenismus (WUNT, 10; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1969) 279-280; L. Hurtado, One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1988) 37; A. Chester, “Jewish Messianic Expectations and Mediatorial Figures and Pauline Christology,” in Paulus und das antike Judentum (eds. M. Hengel and U. Heckel; WUNT 58; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1991) 77-89; R. M. M. Tuschling, Angels and Orthodoxy: A Study in Their Development in Syria and Palestine from the Qumran Texts to Ephrem the Syrian (STAC, 40; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007) 93-96.
41 C. Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology: Antecedents and Early Evidence (AGAJU, 42; Leiden: Brill, 1998) 77. In his other study, Gieschen observes that the figure of the Angel of the Lord exhibits “a delicate distinction between YHWH and his visible form…. This text testifies that a figure that has some independence from YHWH can still share in his being through the possession of the divine Name (i.e., a divine hypostasis).” C. Gieschen, “The Divine Name in the Ante-Nicene Christology,” VC 57 (2003) 115-58 at 122-123.
42 Tuschling, Angels and Orthodoxy, 99.
43 Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology, 77.
44 Fossum, The Name of God, 86.
45 Thus, Camilla von Heijne, in her recent study, points out that “the relationship between God and this angel is far from clear and the identity of YHWH and His angel is merged in many texts, e.g., Gen 16:7-14; 21:17-20; 22:1-19; 31:10-13; 48:15-16; Exod 3:1-6; Josh 5:13-15; 6:2, and Judges chapters 6 and 13. In these pericopes, ‘the angel of YHWH’ seems to be completely interchangeable with YHWH Himself. According to Exod 23:20-21, the angel possesses the name of God, it is ‘in him,’ and it appears to be implied that this ‘divine name angel’ has the power to forgive sins, an ability that elsewhere in the Bible is reserved for God. This angel is always anonymous and speaks with divine authority in the first person singular as if he is God Himself, thus there is no clear distinction between the sender and the messenger. Unlike other biblical angels, the ‘angel of the Lord’ accepts being worshiped by men and seems to be acknowledged as divine; e.g., Gen 16:13; 48:15-16; Josh 5:13-15, and Judg 13:17-23.” C. H. von Heijne, The Messenger of the Lord in Early Jewish Interpretations of Genesis (BZAW, 42; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2010) 1.
46 Cf. Apoc. Ab. 10:8.
47 Cf. b. Sanh. 38b; 3 Enoch 12.
48 There are various opinions about possible conceptual roots of Exod 23:20-22. Some scholars suggest that it represents Deteronom(ist)ic redaction of Exodus. On this, see W. Johnstone, “Reactivating the Chronicles Analogy in Pentateuchal Studies, with Special Reference to the Sinai Pericope in Exodus,” ZAW 99 (1987) 16-37 at 26; L. Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Das Bundesbuch (Ex 20,22-23,33). Studien zu seiner Entstehung und Theologie (BZAW, 188; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1990) 406-414; J. Blenkinsopp, “Deuteronomic Contribution to the Narrative in Genesis-Numbers: A Test-Case,” in: Those Elusive Deuteronomists. The Phenomenon of Pan-Deuteronomism (eds. L. S. Schearing and S. L. McKenzie; JSOTSS, 268; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999) 84-115 at 94-97.
49 Von Heijne discerns that in Exod 23, “the angel is apparently distinct from God and yet not completely separate from Him. By possessing the divine name, he also shares the divine power and authority. Compare this to the Deuteronomistic theology, in which the concept of the name of God is used to describe the way in which YHWH is present in the Temple of Jerusalem.” von Heijne, The Messenger of the Lord, 97-98.
50 Mettinger, The Dethronement of Sabaoth, 124-125.
51 Idel, Ben, 17.
52 Cf. Exod. Rab. 32:4: "Do not say ‘Since he is our guardian angel, we will worship him and he will forgive our sins....’” Commenting on this rabbinic dictum Matthias Hoffmann suggests that "in Exodus Rabbah 32:4 the angel apparently has the power of forgiving sins." M. R. Hoffmann, The Destroyer and the Lamb: The Relationship Between Angelomorphic and Lamb Christology in the Book of Revelation (WUNT, 2.203; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005) 112.
53 Reflecting on redeeming functions of the Angel of the Lord, Idel observes that “this redemptive role of the angel is quite reminiscent of the Exodus scenario.” Idel, Ben, 17.
54 P. Munoa, “Raphael the Savior: Tobit’s Adaptation of the Angel of the Lord Tradition,” JSP 25 (2016) 230. Munoa further notes that “the angel of the Lord ‘distress’ appearances usually relate to deliverance, with the angel announcing deliverance and often bringing measured degrees of deliverance as God’s saving agent. In Gen. 21.17 the angel speaks to reassure Hagar when God hears Ishmael’s cry. Her eyes are opened and she sees a well of water that saves their lives. Later God hears the cries of his people and sends the angel to lead them out of Egypt (Num. 20:16; Exod 3:2, 7-12). Soon after, the angel protects Israel from Egypt’s army during the exodus (Exod 14:19-20) and leads Israel toward Canaan (Exod 23:20-23; Judg 2:1).” Munoa, “Raphael the Savior,” 230.
55 Munoa notices that in many biblical contexts the Angel of the Lord plays the peculiar role of a deliverer, who enacts God’s redeeming plans. He notes that “The angel’s various roles in deliverance also illustrate ... [his] ... ‘peculiar’ and ‘particular’ function, which is personally and uniquely to enact God’s redemptive plans. Psalm 34.7 fittingly describes the angel’s role: ‘The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and delivers them.’” Munoa, “Raphael the Savior,” 231.
56 Exod 14:19: “The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them.” Num 20:16: “… and when we cried to the Lord, he heard our voice, and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt.”
57 Exod 23:20: “I am going to send an angel in front of you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.” Exod 32:34: “But now go, lead the people to the place about which I have spoken to you; see, my angel shall go in front of you. Nevertheless, when the day comes for punishment, I will punish them for their sin.” Exod 33:2-3: “I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, or I would consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.”
58 The pseudepigraphon is an expansion of the story of Joseph and Aseneth’s marriage, an event which is only briefly mentioned in Gen 41:45: “Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Aseneth, daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, as his wife.”
59 C. Burchard, “Joseph and Aseneth,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 vols.; ed. J. H. Charlesworth; New York: Doubleday, 1983-1985) 2.224-225.
60 R. Kraemer, When Aseneth Met Joseph: A Late Antique Tale of the Biblical Patriarch and His Egyptian Wife, Reconsidered (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998) 127.
61 Jos. Asen. 10:2: “[S]he ate no bread and drank no water.” Burchard, “Joseph and Aseneth,” 2.215; Jos. Asen.10:17: “And this way Aseneth did for seven days and she ate no bread and drank no water in those seven days of her humiliation.” Burchard, “Joseph and Aseneth,” 2.217. Cf. also Jos. Asen. 13:9; 18:3.
62 Scholars have noted that Aseneth’s hospitality to the visiting angel is reminiscent of Abraham’s hospitality in Genesis. As Andrea Lieber states, “Aseneth offers to place a meal before the anthropos, in keeping with biblical traditions of hospitality associated with both Abraham in the Genesis narrative and Gideon in the book of Judges.” A. Lieber, “I Set a Table before You: The Jewish Eschatological Character of Aseneth’s Conversion Meal,” JSP 14 (2004) 63–77 at 68.
63 Kraemer, When Aseneth Met Joseph, 123. See also E.M. Humphrey, Joseph and Aseneth (GAP, 8; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000) 69. The angel’s reluctance to reveal his name to Aseneth might also point to his role as the angel of the Tetragrammaton.
64 Concerning this motif, Anathea Portier-Young offers the following suggestion: “[O]bserving that its breath is also like the breath of the mouth of her visitor, Aseneth infers that the honeycomb has emanated from his mouth, having come into being by his speech (16.9). The angel confirms her suspicion, smiling at her understanding; she now demonstrates knowledge of heavenly mysteries (16.12).” A.E. Portier-Young, “Sweet Mercy Metropolis: Interpreting Aseneth’s Honeycomb,” JSP 14 (2005) 133–157 at 139.
65 Burchard, “Joseph and Aseneth,” 2.228.
66 Burchard, “Joseph and Aseneth,” 2.228.
67 Lieber, “I Set a Table before You,” 68.
68 See also: Matt 3:4: “And the tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But he answered, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
69 Reflecting on the boundaries between Greco-Roman and Jewish materials of that period, John Gager notices that “the distinction between ‘Jewish’ and ‘pagan’ in many cases presents a false alternative. The magical papyri and amulets reveal such a complex interpenetration of different religious vocabularies and ideas, that traditional distinctions break down under the overwhelming weight of syncretism.” J.G. Gager, Moses in Greco-Roman Paganism (SBLMS, 16; Nashville: Abingdon, 1972) 136.
70 C. R. Holladay, Fragments from Hellenistic Jewish Authors (4 vols; SBLTT, 20; Pseudepigrapha Series, 10; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1983) 1.219; J.J. Collins, “Artapanus,’” in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. J. H. Charlesworth; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983-1985) 2.889-903 at 901.
71 G. Stroumsa, “A Nameless God: Judaeo-Christian and Gnostic ‘Theologies of the Name,’” in: The Image of the Judaeo-Christians in Ancient Jewish and Christian Literature (eds. P.J. Tomson and D. Lambers-Petry; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003) 233.
72 Ephraim Urbach remarks, that “although Josephus does not cite the whole story of Artapanus, yet he also says ‘Then God revealed to him (= Moses) His name, which ere then had not come to men’s ears, and of which I am forbidden to speak.’” E.E. Urbach, The Sages. Their Concepts and Beliefs (2 vols.; Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1975) 1.125.
73 Josephus (10 vols.; LCL; trs. H. S. J. Thackeray and R. Markus; Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1926–65) 4.285.
74 Gager, Moses in Greco-Roman Paganism, 144. Gager notices a similar development in magical papyri. See Gager, Moses in Greco-Roman Paganism, 140-145.
75 On the magical uses of the divine name, see also L. Blau, Das altjüdische Zauberwesen (Strassburg: Trübner, 1898; 2nd ed.; Berlin: Lamm, 1914) 117-46; J. Trachtenberg, Jewish Magic and Superstition. A Study in Folk Religion (New York: Behrman, 1939) 90-97; Urbach, The Sages. Their Concepts and Beliefs, 1.124-34; A. Fodor, “The Rod of Moses in Arabic Magic,” Acta Orientalia 32 (1978) 1-21.
76 On this tradition, see H.-J. Becker, “The Magic of the Name and Palestinian Rabbinic Literature,” in: The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture III (ed. P. Schäfer; TSAJ, 93; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002) 3.393ff.
77 J. Neusner, The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986) 135.
78 Midrash Rabbah (eds. H. Freedman and M. Simon; 10 vols; London: Soncino, 1961) 4.412. See also Exod. Rab. 1:29: “And he smote the Egyptian. With what did he slay him? R. Abuya said: With the fist; and others say that he took a clay shovel and cracked his skull. The Rabbis say that he pronounced God’s name against him and thus slew him, for it is said: Sayest thou to kill me?” Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, 3.37.
79 The tradition regarding Moses’ rod engraved with the Name has a very prominent place in Targum Pseudo-Jonathan. Thus, for example, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Exod 2:21 reads: “When Reuel learned that Moses fled from Pharaoh, he threw him into a pit. But Zipporah, his son’s daughter, provided for him in secret for ten years. At the end of ten years he took him out of the pit. Moses then went into Reuel’s garden, and he gave thanks and prayed before the Lord who had performed miracles and mighty deeds for him. He noticed the rod that had been created at twilight, on which was clearly engraved the great and glorious Name with which he was to work wonders in Egypt, and with which he was to divide the Sea of Reeds, and bring water from the rock. It was fixed in the middle of the garden. And immediately he stretched forth his hand and took it.” Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Exodus (eds. K. Cathcart, M. Maher, and M. McNamara; ArBib, 2; Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1994) 166; Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Exod 4:20 reads: “So Moses took his wife and his sons, mounted them on the ass, and went back to the land of Egypt. And Moses took in his hand the rod which he had taken from the garden of his father-in-law. It was of sapphire from the throne of glory; its weight was forty seahs, and the great and glorious name was clearly engraved on it, and with it miracles were performed from before the Lord.” Cathcart, Maher, and McNamara, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Exodus, 172. On the targumic and midrashic traditions concerning the divine Name engraved on Moses’ staff, see M. Maher, “Targum Pseudo-Jonathan of Exodus 2.21,” in: Targumic and Cognate Studies: Essays in Honour of Martin MacNamara (eds. KJ. Cathcart and M. Maher; JSOTSS, 230; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996) 93-95.
80 Exod 14:21: “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided.”
81 Cathcart, Maher, and McNamara, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Exodus, 201. Deut. Rab. 3:8 attests to a similar tradition: “And when Israel came out of Egypt He wrought miracles for them only through water. Whence this? For it is said, The sea saw it, and fled (Ps 114:3). What did it see? R. Nehorai said: It saw the Tetragrammaton engraved upon [Moses’] staff and it parted. R. Nehemiah said: It saw, if one may say so, God’s hand, and it parted, as it is said, The waters saw Thee, they were in pain (ib. 77:17).” See also Midrash on Psalms 114:9: “Another explanation of ‘the sea saw.’ It saw the Ineffable Name engraved on the rod [of Moses], and it fled, as is said, And lift thou up the rod, and stretch out thy hand over the sea, and divide it (Exod 14:16).” W. G. Braude, The Midrash on Psalms (2 vols; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959) 2.221.
82 It is intriguing that in the Zohar Moses’ rod is associated with Metatron. Thus, Zohar I.27a reads: “Similarly of Moses it is written, ‘And the staff of God was in his hand.’ This rod is Metatron, from one side of whom comes life and from the other death.” H. Sperling and M. Simon, The Zohar (5 vols.; London and New York: Soncino, 1933) 1.104.
83 Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, 7.186. See also Targum Pseudo-Jonathan to Deut 9:19: “At that very time five angels were sent forth from before the Lord, destroyers to destroy Israel: Anger, Wrath, Ire, Destruction, and Rage. When Moses, the lord of Israel, heard he went and recalled the great and glorious Name.” Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Deuteronomy (ed. E. Clarke; ArBib, 5B; Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1998) 32.
84 Cathcart, Maher, and McNamara, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Exodus, 206.
85 Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael: A Critical Edition on the Basis of the Manuscripts and Early Editions with an English Translation, Introduction and Notes (2 vols; ed. J.Z. Lauterbach; Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 2004) 1.120.
86 On this tradition see Fossum, The Name of God, 87-94; Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology, 77-78. It appears that in the Samaritan tradition, Moses himself might become the divine Name. Thus, Memar Marqah IV.1 unveils this mysterious identification: “Where is there a prophet like Moses and who can compare with Moses, whose name was made the name of his Lord?” Reflecting on this passage, Macdonald observes that “the name h#m is held to be the same in essence as hm#.” J. Macdonald, Memar Marqah. The Teaching of Marqah (2 vols; BZAW, 84; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1963) 2.137. On this see also Fossum, The Name of God, 88. See also the Samaritan Targum to Exod 23:20-21.
87 The motif of the investiture with the divine Name is present also in the Samaritan Liturgy (Defter), liturgical materials in which praise is given to the great prophet who clad himself in the Name of the deity. For these materials, see A.E. Cowley, The Samaritan Liturgy (2 vols; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1908).
88 Memar Marqah I.1 reads: “He said Moses, Moses, revealing to him that he would be vested with prophethood and the divine Name.” Macdonald, Memar Marqah. 2.4.
89 Memar Marqah I.9 iterates a similar tradition: “I have vested you with my Name.” Macdonald, Memar Marqah. 2.32.; Memar Marqah II.12 reads: “Exalted is the great prophet Moses whom his Lord vested with His Name…. The Four Names led him to waters of life, in order that he might be exalted and honoured in every place: the name with which God vested him, the name which God revealed to him, the name by which God glorified him, the name by which God magnified him…. The first name, with which Genesis opens, was that which he was vested with and by which he was made strong.” Macdonald, Memar Marqah. 2.80-81; Memar Marqah IV.7: “O Thou who hast crowned me with Thy light and magnified me with wonders and honoured me with Thy glory and hid me in Thy palm and brought me into the Sanctuary of the Unseen and vested me with Thy name, by which Thou didst create the world, and revealed to me Thy great name and taught me Thy secrets….” Macdonald, Memar Marqah. 2.158.
90 On coronation with the divine Name in later Jewish mysticism, see A. Green, Keter: The Crown of God in Early Jewish Mysticism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997) 42ff.
91 Macdonald, Memar Marqah, 2.31.
92 Reflecting on the demiurgic significance of Metatron’s crown, Joseph Dan observes that “Metatron’s crown, as that of God, is not only a source of light for the worlds, but represents the principal power of the one who carries it: creation. The highest stage pictured here states that God Himself engraved on Metatron’s crown the letters with which the heavens and the earth and all their hosts were created. It thus follows that one who actually sees Metatron cannot but believe that he is standing before the one who carried out the actions with these letters, i.e., that the power inherent in them was utilized in the actual act of creation…. Due to this crown, Metatron tells R. Ishmael, all the upper forces submit to and are subject to him. When they see this crown, ‘all fall upon their faces ... and are unable to look at me because of the glory and radiance and beauty ... upon my head,’ i.e., the appearance of Metatron among the heavenly hosts is like that of God Himself, with all falling upon their faces before him and unable to look at him because of this crown and the letters of creation engraved on it, letters in which are contained the divine power with whose force the world was created.” J. Dan, The Ancient Jewish Mysticism (Tel-Aviv: MOD Books, 1993) 118.
93 Exagoge 67–90 reads: “Moses: I had a vision of a great throne on the top of Mount Sinai and it reached till the folds of heaven. A noble man was sitting on it, with a crown and a large scepter in his left hand. He beckoned to me with his right hand, so I approached and stood before the throne. He gave me the scepter and instructed me to sit on the great throne. Then he gave me a royal crown and got up from the throne. I beheld the whole earth all around and saw beneath the earth and above the heavens. A multitude of stars fell before my knees and I counted them all. They paraded past me like a battalion of men. Then I awoke from my sleep in fear. Raguel: My friend, this is a good sign from God. May I live to see the day when these things are fulfilled. You will establish a great throne, become a judge and leader of men. As for your vision of the whole earth, the world below and that above the heavens – this signifies that you will see what is, what has been and what shall be.” H. Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983) 54–55. Scholars argue that, given its quotation by Alexander Polyhistor (ca. 80–40 B.C.E.), this Mosaic account can be taken as a witness to traditions of the second century B.C.E. On the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian, see J. Heath, “Homer or Moses? A Hellenistic Perspective on Moses’ throne Vision in Ezekiel Tragicus,” JJS 58 (2007) 1-18; C.R. Holladay, “The Portrait of Moses in Ezekiel the Tragedian,” SBLSP 10 (1976) 447–452; idem, Fragments from Hellenistic Jewish Authors (3 vols.; SBLTT, 30; Pseudepigrapha Series, 12; Atlanta: Scholars, 1989) 2.439-449; P. W. van der Horst, “Moses’ throne Vision in Ezekiel the Dramatist,” JJS 34 (1983) 21–29; idem, “Some Notes on the Exagoge of Ezekiel,” Mnemosyne 37 (1984) 364–365; H. Jacobson, “Mysticism and Apocalyptic in Ezekiel’s Exagoge,” ICS 6 (1981) 273–293; idem, The Exagoge of Ezekiel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983); K. Kuiper, “De Ezechiele poeta Iudaeo,” Mnemosyne 28 (1900) 237-280; idem, “Le poète juif Ezéchiel,” REJ 46 (1903) 48-73, 161-177; P. Lanfranchi, L’Exagoge d’Ezéchiel le Tragique: Introduction, texte, traduction et commentaire (SVTP, 21; Leiden: Brill, 2006).
94 Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel, 54.
95 R. Hayward, Divine Name and Presence: The Memra (Totowa, NJ: Allanheld, Osmun, 1981) 99.
96 Exod 39:30-31: “They made the rosette of the holy diadem of pure gold, and wrote on it an inscription, like the engraving of a signet, ‘Holy to the Lord.’ They tied to it a blue cord, to fasten it on the turban above….”
97 Thus, while describing the headgear of the high priest in his De vita Mosis 2.114, Philo conveys the following tradition: “A piece of gold plate, too, was wrought into the form of a crown with four incisions, showing a name which only those whose ears and tongues are purified may hear or speak in the holy place, and no other person, nor in any other place at all. That name has four letters so says that master learned in divine verities, who, it may be, gives them as symbols of the first numbers, one, two, three and four; since the geometrical categories under which all things fall, point, line, superficies, solid, are all embraced in four. So, too, with the best harmonies in music, the fourth, fifth, octave and double octave intervals, where the ratios are respectively four to three, three to two, two to one and four to one. Four, too, has countless other virtues, most of which I have set forth in detail in my treatise on numbers. Under the crown, to prevent the plate touching the head, was a headband. A turban also was provided, for the turban is regularly worn by eastern monarchs instead of a diadem.” Philo (10 vols.; LCL; trs. F.H. Colson and G.H. Whitaker; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1929–1964) 6.502-505. Another passage from Mos. 2.132 also offers the description of the Tetragrammaton: “Above the turban is the golden plate on which the graven shapes of four letters, indicating, as we are told, the name of the Self-Existent, are impressed, meaning that it is impossible for anything that is to subsist without invocation of Him; for it is His goodness and gracious power which join and compact all things.” Colson and Whitaker, Philo, 6.512-513. Josephus in his Jewish War 5.235 also tells about the letters of the divine Name on the linen tiara of the high priest: “His head was covered by a tiara of fine linen, wreathed with blue, encircling which was another crown, of gold, whereon were embossed the sacred letters, to wit, four vowels.” Thackeray and Markus, Josephus, 3.272-273.
98 According to some Jewish materials, before the idolatry of the golden calf, all Israelites were endowed with such headgear. Sean McDonough notices that the wilderness generation, according to Targum Neofiti and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, “wore not phylacteries but golden crowns inscribed with ‘the great and glorious name’ (though they were stripped of them after the incident of the golden calf (Exod 32:25ff.; cf. Exod 33:6).” S.M. McDonough, YHWH at Patmos: Rev. 1:4 in Its Hellenistic and Early Jewish Setting (WUNT, 2.107; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1999) 124.
99 C.N.R. Hayward, The Jewish Temple: A Non-Biblical Sourcebook (London: Routledge, 1996) 41-42.
100 P. Alexander, “3 (Hebrew Apocalypse of) Enoch,” in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 vols.; ed. J.H. Charlesworth; New York: Doubleday, 1983-1985) 1.223–315 at 265-266.
101 In relation to this practice of the divine Name being uttered in the Temple, Robert Hayward observes that in the Temple at Jerusalem “alone in the post-exilic period, was the Ineffable Name of the God of Israel uttered with its full vowel-sounds, no other Name being substituted for it.” Hayward, Divine Name and Presence, 99.
102 Originally the divine Name was uttered not only on Yom Kippur, but every day. McDonough notes that “it is sometimes asserted that the name was only uttered clearly on the Day of Atonement. But this is not at all certain.... But in terms of hard evidence from the Mishnah, there seems to be no reason to exclude the pronunciation of the tetragrammaton from the daily blessing.” McDonough, YHWH at Patmos, 101. On this see also D. Stökl Ben Ezra, The Impact of Yom Kippur on Early Christianity: The Day of Atonement from Second Temple Judaism to the Fifth Century (WUNT, 163; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003) 136.
103 H. Danby, The Mishnah (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992) 166; Cf. also b. Yoma 39a: “Our Rabbis taught: Throughout the forty years that Simeon the Righteous ministered, the lot [‘For the Lord’] would always come up in the right hand; from that time on, it would come up now in the right hand, now in the left. And [during the same time] the crimson-colored strap would become white. From that time on it would at times become white, at others not.” I. Epstein, The Babylonian Talmud. Yoma (London: Soncino, 1935–1952) 39a. See also y. Yoma 6:3: “All during Simeon the Just’s lifetime the lot for Hashem came up in his right hand; after Simeon the Just’s death sometimes it came up to the right, sometimes to the left.” The Jerusalem Talmud. Tractates Pesahim and Yoma. Edition, Translation and Commentary (ed. H.W. Guggenheimer; SJ, 74; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2013) 559-560.
104 m. Yoma 3:8 reads: “He came to his bullock and his bullock was standing between the Porch and the Altar, its head to the south and its face to the west; and he set both his hands upon it and made confession. And thus used he to say: ‘O God, I have committed iniquity, transgressed, and sinned before thee, I and my house. O God, forgive the iniquities and transgressions and sins which I have committed and transgressed and sinned before thee, I and my house, as it is written in the Law of thy servant Moses, For on this day shall atonement be made for you to cleanse you; from all your sins shall ye be clean before the Lord.’ And they answered after him, ‘Blessed be the name of the glory of his kingdom for ever and ever!’” Danby, The Mishnah, 165.
105 McDonough, YHWH at Patmos, 100.
106 Danby, The Mishnah , 169.
107 McDonough, YHWH at Patmos, 100-101.
108 McNamara et al., Targum Neofiti 1, Leviticus; Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, Leviticus , 169.
109 McDonough, YHWH at Patmos, 110.
110 Scholem, Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition, 51.
111 On the connection between Michael and Metatron in rabbinic sources, see G.F. Moore, “Intermediaries in Jewish Theology: Memra, Shekinah, Metatron,” HTR 15 (1922) 62-79.
112 In the conclusion of his introduction to the patriarch in chapter 10, Yahoel utters the following: “For behold, I am appointed to be with you and with the progeny which is due to be born from you. And Michael is with me in order to bless you forever.” (Apoc. Ab. 10:16-17).
113 Box notices that Yahoel “fulfills the functions elsewhere assigned to Michael and Metatron.” Box and Landsman, The Apocalypse of Abraham, xxv.
114 For Michael’s association with the divine Name, see also J. Daniélou, The Theology of Jewish Christianity (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1964) 123-131.
115 Although this Enochic text is not found among the Qumran fragments of the Enochic books, the current scholarly consensus holds that the book was likely composed before the second century C.E. In his conclusion to the Enoch Seminar’s volume, devoted to the Similitudes, Paolo Sacchi states that “in sum, we may observe that those scholars who have directly addressed the problem of dating the Parables all agree on a date around the time of Herod. Other participants of the conference not addressing the problem directly nevertheless agree with this conclusion.” P. Sacchi, “The 2005 Camaldoli Seminar on the Parables of Enoch: Summary and Prospects for Future Research,” in: Enoch and the Messiah Son of Man: Revisiting of the Book of Parables (ed. G. Boccaccini; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007) 510. See also D. Suter, “Enoch in Sheol: Updating the Dating of the Book of Parables,” in: Enoch and the Messiah Son of Man: Revisiting the Book of Parables (ed. G. Boccaccini; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007) 415–443; G.W.E. Nickelsburg and J.C. VanderKam, 1 Enoch 2: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch. Chapters 37–82 (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012) 58–63.
116 M. Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch: A New Edition in the Light of the Aramaic Dead Sea Fragments (2 vols.; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978) 2.162-163.
117 Fossum, The Name of God, 299. Daniélou also argues that “certainly the Name and the Oath appear here as the instruments of God in creation.” Daniélou, Theology of Jewish Christianity, 148.
118 Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.163-164.
119 C. Kaplan, “The Hidden Name,” JSOR 13 (1929) 181-84. With respect to the oath imagery in 1 Enoch 69, Daniel Olson asserts that “it is common place in mystical Judaism that the Name of God is the force which binds and orders all things in creation, and a word that binds is by definition an oath. The idea is certainly old enough to appear in the ‘Parables.’” D. Olson, Enoch. A New Translation: The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, or 1 Enoch (North Richland Hills: Bibal Press, 2004) 271.
120 Regarding the association of the demiurgic name with the oath, see McDonough, YHWH at Patmos, 128-130; Fossum, The Name of God, 257ff.
121 In this respect, it is intriguing that some rabbinic texts describe the process of cursing as involving the use of the divine Name. One such tradition, for example, can be found in Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, which speaks about cursing using the Tetragrammaton: “[C]urse it means by using the divine name, so also when it says do not curse it means not to curse by using the divine name.” Lauterbach, Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, 2.388. Jonathan Ben-Dov notices that “… oaths and the great name as elements of creation appear again in later Jewish literature such as Hekhalot and late midrash.” J. Ben-Dov, “Exegetical Notes on Cosmology in the Parables of Enoch,” in: Enoch and the Messiah Son of Man: Revisiting the Book of Parables (ed. G. Boccaccini; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007) 143-150 at 149.
122 The demiurgic powers of the divine Name also unfold in the aforementioned passage from 3 Enoch 12:1-2. The demiurgic list in that passage is reminiscent of the list in 1 Enoch 69. Cf. also 3 Enoch 41:1-3: “R. Ishmael said: Metatron said to me: Come and I will show you the letters by which heaven and earth were created; the letters by which seas and rivers were created; the letters by which mountains and hills were created; the letters by which trees and grasses were created; the letters by which stars and constellations were created; the letters by which the orb of the moon and the disk of the sun, Orion and the Pleiades, and all the various luminaries of Raqia were created; the letters by which the ministering angels were created; the letters by which the seraphim and the creatures were created; the letters by which the throne of glory and the wheels of the chariot were created; the letters by which the necessities of the world were created; the letters by which wisdom and understanding, knowledge and intelligence, humility and rectitude were created, by which the whole world is sustained. I went with him and he took me by his hand, bore me up on his wings, and showed me those letters, engraved with a pen of flame upon the throne of glory, and sparks and lightnings shoot from them and cover all the chambers of cArabot.” Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 1.292.
123 Cf. Gen. Rab. 12:10: “R. Berekiah said in the name of R. Judah b. R. Simeon: Not with labour or wearying toil did the Holy One, blessed be He, create the world, but: ‘By the Word of the Lord, and the heavens were already made.’ By means of heh, He created them.” Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, 1.95; Gen. Rab. 12:10: “R. Abbahu said in R. Johanan’s name: He created them with the letter heh. All letters demand an effort to pronounce them, whereas the heh demands no effort; similarly, not with labour or wearying toil did the Holy One, blessed be He, create His world.” Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, 1.95; Gen. Rab. 12:10: “[W]ith a heh created He them, it follows that this world was created by means of a heh. Now the heh is closed on all sides and open underneath: that is an indication that all the dead descend into she’ol; its upper hook is an indication that they are destined to ascend thence; the opening at the side is a hint to penitents. The next world was created with a yod: as the yod has a bent [curved] back, so are the wicked: their erectness shall be bent and their faces blackened [with shame] in the Messianic future, as it is written, And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down.” Freedman and Simon, Midrash Rabbah, 1.95; b. Men. 29b: “it refers to the two worlds which the Holy One, blessed be He, created, one with the letter he and the other with the letter yod. Yet I do not know whether the future world was created with the yod and this world with the he or this world with the yod and the future world with the he; but since it is written, These are the generations of the heaven and of the earth when they were created.” Epstein, The Babylonian Talmud. Menahoth, 29b. Cf. also 3 Enoch 15B:5 where Metatron reveals to Moses the letters of the divine Name which are understood there as an oath: “But Moses said to him, ‘Not so! Lest I incur guilt.’ Metatron said to him, ‘Receive the letters of an oath which cannot be broken!’” Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 1.304.
124 On these traditions see Fossum, The Name of God, 253-256.
125 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, 80. Thus, Targum Neofiti reads: “He who spoke, and the world was there from the beginning, and is to say to it: yhy and it will be there, He it is who has sent me to you.” Fragmentary Targum attests to a similar tradition: “‘He who said to the world from the beginning: yhy and it was there, and is to say to it: yhy and it will be there.’ And He said: Thus you shall say to the Israelites: ‘He has sent me to you.’” The connection between the divine command and the divine Name has very ancient roots and is found already in the Prayer of Manasseh (2 century B.C.E. – 1 century C.E.) in which the divine “Word of Command” and God’s Name are put in parallel. Prayer of Manasseh 1-3 reads: “O Lord, God of our fathers, God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their righteous offspring; He who made the heaven and the earth with all their beauty; He who bound the sea and established it by the command of his word, He who closed the bottomless pit and sealed it by his powerful and glorious name ….” J.H. Charlesworth, “Prayer of Manasseh,” in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. J. H. Charlesworth; 2 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1983-1985) 2.625-37 at 634. Regarding the same tradition, see also Samaritan Liturgy 445.2: “It was created by a word, [namely, by] yhy and, in a flash, it was made new.”
126 D. D. Hannah, Michael and Christ: Michael Traditions and Angel Christology in Early Christianity (WUNT, 2.109; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1999) 52.
127 “And this (is) the power of this oath, for it is powerful and strong; and he placed this oath Akae in the charge of the holy Michael.” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.162-163.
128 In later Jewish accounts, fallen angels are portrayed as bound with the divine Name. Thus, Moshe Idel brings attention to a late 15th century anonymous diary of revelations called the Book of the Answering Angel, in which the fallen angels are bound with the divine Name: “I shall come and bind them [i.e. Samael and Ammon No] with iron cables and cords of love [made] of the mighty name [of God] so that they will not be able to move to and fro....” M. Idel, “The Origin of Alchemy According to Zosimos and a Hebrew Parallel,” REJ 145 (1986) 117-124 at 120.
129 The Book of the Watchers represents a multilayered composition, of which the earliest strata are usually dated to the third century B.C.E. On the date of the Book of the Watchers see J.H. Charlesworth, “A Rare Consensus among Enoch Specialists: The Date of the Earliest Enoch Books,” Henoch 24 (2002) 255-34; J.J. Collins, The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998) 44; T.M. Erho and L.T. Stuckenbruck, “A Manuscript History of Ethiopic Enoch,” JSP 23 (2013) 87–133; G.W.E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch. Chapters 1-36; 81-108 (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001); M.E. Stone, “The Book of Enoch and Judaism in the Third Century B.C.E.,” CBQ 40 (1978) 479-492 at 484.
130 It is also intriguing that in 1 Enoch 5, immediately before the story of the fallen angels binding themselves with curses and the oath, the readers of the Book of the Watchers are told that the name will be changed into a curse. Thus, 1 Enoch 5:6 reads: “In those days you will transform your name into an eternal curse to all the righteous, and they will curse you sinners for ever—you together with the sinners.” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.66.
131 Scholars often translate this angelic name hzxym# as “my Name has seen,” “the Name sees,” or “he sees the Name.” Cf. Milik, The Books of Enoch, 152; Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.67-68; S. Uhlig, Das äthiopische Henochbuch (JSHRZ, 5.6; Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlaghaus, 1984) 516; M. Black, The Book of Enoch or 1 Enoch (SVTP, 7; Leiden: Brill, 1985) 119; Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 179; M. Sokoloff, “Notes on the Aramaic Fragments of Enoch from Qumran Cave 4,” Maarav 1 (1978-1979) 197-224 at 207; Olson, Enoch. A New Translation, 32; A. Wright, The Origin of Evil Spirits: The Reception of Genesis 6.1– 4 in Early Jewish Literature (WUNT, 2.198; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005) 120-121; S. Bhayro, The Shemihazah and Asael Narrative of 1 Enoch 6-11: Introduction, Text, Translation and Commentary with Reference to Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical Antecedents (AOAT, 322; Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2005) 233-35; idem, “Noah’s Library: Sources for 1 Enoch 6:11,” JSP 15 (2006) 163-177 at 172-77. Scholars often interpret it as a reference to the divine Name. For example, Nickelsburg suggests that “the reference is to the name of ‘my’ God.” Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1, 179. Fossum proposes that “in the original myth, then, Shemyaza, whose name may mean ‘He sees the Name’ (hzxym#), can have been described as successful in his attempt at capturing ‘the Hidden Name’ from Michael.” Fossum, The Name of God, 258.
132 These later rabbinic materials give additional knowledge pertaining to the demiurgic powers of the Watchers who are able to refashion radically the earthly realm. 3 Enoch 5:7-9 reads: “What did the men of Enosh’s generation do? They roamed the world from end to end, and each of them amassed silver, gold, precious stones, and pearls in mountainous heaps and piles. In the four quarters of the world they fashioned them into idols, and in each quarter they set up idols about 1,000 parasangs in height. They brought down the sun, the moon, the stars and the constellations and stationed them before the idols, to their right and to their left, to serve them in the way they served the Holy One, blessed be he, as it is written, ‘All the array of heaven stood in his presence, to his right and to his left.’ How was it that they had the strength to bring them down? It was only because cUzzah, cAzzah, and cAza'el taught them sorceries that they brought them down and employed them, for otherwise they would not have been able to bring them down.” Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 1.260.
133 The Watchers’ illicit revelations inversely mirror the deity’s disclosures unveiled to the seventh antediluvian hero. On this see M. Stone, “Enoch and the Fall of the Angels: Teaching and Status,” DSD 22 (2015) 342-357.
134 Knibb observes that “…it may be noted that in [1 Enoch] 8.3 the names of the angels correspond to their functions.” Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.69. Cf. also Wright, The Origin of Evil Spirits, 121.
135 The transmission of the illicit knowledge of the divine Name to humans might be indicated in the Book of the Similitudes. Thus, commenting on 1 Enoch 69:14, George Nickelsburg suggests that Kesbeel “tricked Michael into revealing the secrets of the divine name. Kesbeel, in turn, revealed the name to his angelic colleagues, who used it in the oath that they swore as they conspired to rebel against God. Verse 14 may also imply that they revealed the divine name to humanity (‘those who showed the sons of men everything that was in secret’).” Nickelsburg and VanderKam, 1 Enoch 2, 307.
136 Milik, The Books of Enoch, 327. The fallen angels traditions found in the Tafsirs and other Islamic interpretations convey similar beliefs. For the fallen angels traditions found in the interpretations of Sura 2:96, see B. Heller “La chute des anges: Shemhazai, Ouzza et Azaël,” REJ 60 (1910) 202-212; E. Littmann, “Harut und Marut,” in: Festschrift Friedrich Carl Andreas (Leipzig: Harrassowitz, 1916) 70-87; L. Jung, Fallen Angels in Jewish, Christian, and Mohammedan Literature (Philadelphia: Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, 1926) 124-39; P.J. de Menasce, “Une légende indo-iranienne dans l’angélologie judéo-musulmane: à propos de Hârût et Mârût,” EA 1 (1947) 10-18; B.J. Bamberger, Fallen Angels: Soldiers of Satan’s Realm (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1952) 114-117; G. Vajda, “Harut wa-Marut,” in: Encyclopaedia of Islam (ed. B. Lewis et al.; Leiden: Brill, 1971) 3.236b–237; T. Fahd, “Anges, démons et djinns en Islam,” in: Génies, anges et démons (SO, 8; Paris: Seuil, 1971) 173-4; J. Reeves, Jewish Lore in Manichaean Cosmogony: Studies in the Book of Giants Traditions (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992) 144-145; F. Abdullaeva, Persidskaja Koranicheskaj Eksegetika (St. Petersburg: Peterburgskoe Vostokovedenie, 2000); P. Crone, “The Book of the Watchers in the Qur’an,” in: Exchange and Transmission Across Cultural Boundaries: Philosophy, Mysticism and Science in the Mediterranean World (eds. H. Ben-Shammai, S. Shaked, and S. Stroumsa; Jerusalem: The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 2013) 16–51.
137 Abdullaeva, Persidskaja Koranicheskaj Eksegetika, 31.
138 Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.133-134.
139 C. Gieschen, “The Name of the Son of Man in the Parables of Enoch,” in: Enoch and the Messiah Son of Man: Revisiting the Book of Parables (ed. G. Boccaccini; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007) 240. See also S. R. Scott, “The Binitarian Nature of the Book of Similitudes,” JSP 18 (2008) 55-78.
140 Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.134.
141 Gieschen, “The Name of the Son of Man in the Parables of Enoch,” 240.
142 Gieschen observes that, “similar to Daniel 7, the ‘Son of Man’ in 1 Enoch 37-71 is closely identified with ‘the Ancient of Days,’ who is also known as ‘the Lord of the Spirits,’ by sharing the divine throne (51:3; 69:29). Especially crucial for this discussion is the depiction of this Son of Man as a preexistent being (42:7; 62:7) who possessed the ‘hidden name’ (69:14) before creation (48:2)…. There is no doubt that ‘the name’ by which the Son of Man ‘was named’ is the divine Name because there are numerous references to ‘the name of the Lord of the Spirits’ throughout the Similitudes.” Gieschen, “The Divine Name in the Ante-Nicene Christology,” 124.
143 Gieschen, “The Name of the Son of Man in the Parables of Enoch,” 238.
144 Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.163-164.
145 Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, 2.164.
146 Gieschen, “The Name of the Son of Man in the Parables of Enoch,” 241.
147 The Prayer of Joseph is usually dated to the first century C.E. A total of nine Greek sentences of this pseudepigraphon were preserved in the writings of Origen (c.185–c.254 C.E.). Fragment A is quoted in Origen’s In Ioannem II. 31.25. Fragment B, a single sentence, is cited in Gregory and Basil’s compilation of Origen, the Philokalia. This fragment is also quoted in Eusebius, The Preparation of the Gospel and in the Latin Commentary on Genesis by Procopius of Gaza. Fragment C, which is found also in the Philokalia, quotes Fragment B and paraphrases Fragment A. J.Z. Smith, “Prayer of Joseph,” in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. J.H. Charlesworth; 2 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1983-1985) 2.699. Pieter van der Horst and Judith Newman note that, “according to the ancient Stichometry of Nicephorus, the text originally contained 1100 lines. The extant portions totaling only nine Greek sentences or 164 words thus reflect a small fraction of the original composition.” Early Jewish Prayers in Greek (CEJL; eds. P.W. van der Horst and J.H. Newman; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2008) 249.
148 Smith, “Prayer of Joseph,” 2.699-714 at 713; A.-M. Denis, Fragmenta pseudepigraphorum quae supersunt graeca (PVTG, 3; Leiden: Brill, 1970) 61.
149 Thus, Sefer Haqqomah 164 reads: “… the lad, whose name is Metatron, utters at that time in seven voices, in seventy voices, in living, pure, honored, holy, awesome, worthy, brave, strong, and holy Name.” M. Cohen, The Shicur Qomah: Texts and Recensions (TSAJ, 9; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1985) 164. A similar motif can be found in the Hekhalot materials. Thus, Synopse §390 reads: “… the youth whose name is Metatron then invokes, in seven voices, his living, pure, honored, awesome, holy, noble, strong, beloved, mighty, powerful Name.” P. Schäfer, with M. Schlüter and H. G. von Mutius, Synopse zur Hekhaloth-Literatur (TSAJ, 2; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1981) 164.
150 Philo’s De confusione linguarum 146 reads: “But if there be any as yet unfit to be called a Son of God, let him press to take his place under God’s First-born, the Word, who holds the eldership among the angels, their ruler as it were. And many names are his, for he is called, ‘the Beginning,’ and the Name of God, and His Word, and the Man after His image, and ‘he that sees,’ that is Israel.” Colson and Whitaker, Philo, 4.89-91. Richard Hayward also notices that “Philo’s words in De Abrahamo 50–7 strongly suggest that, just as the three names Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are inseparably bound up with the divine Name given to human beings, so also the single name Israel is to be associated with the divine Name. He does not state this explicitly; but it is a natural inference from what he has said here and in other places in his writings.” Hayward, Interpretations of the Name, 184.
151 Fossum, The Name of God, 314.
152 Fossum, The Name of God, 314.
153 Dial. 75:2 reads: “Consider well who it was that led your fathers into the Promised Land, namely he who was first named Auses [Hosea], but later renamed Jesus [Joshua]. If you keep this in mind, you will also realize that the name of him who said to Moses, My name is in him, was Jesus. Indeed, he was also called Israel. And he similarly bestowed this name upon Jacob.” St. Justin Martyr. Dialogue with Trypho (trs. T.F. Falls and T.P. Halton; ed. M. Slusser; Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2003) 117.
154 Fossum, The Name of God, 314.
155 A.F. Segal, Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism (SJLA, 25; Leiden: Brill, 1977) 200.
156 Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology, 140.
157 Often Yao/Yaoel occurs as one of the names of the deity. See, for example, Prayer of Jacob 8: “you who sit [upon] the s[er]pen[t] gods/the [God who s]i[t]s [upon the s]un, Iao.” J. Charlesworth, “Prayer of Jacob,” in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. J.H. Charlesworth; 2 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1983-1985) 2.721; Ladder of Jacob 2:18: “Lightning-eyed holy one! Holy, Holy, Holy, Yao, Yaova, Yaoil, Yao, Kados, Chavod, Savaoth ....” H.G. Lunt, “Ladder of Jacob,” in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. J.H. Charlesworth; 2 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1983-1985) 2.408; Greek Life of Adam and Eve (Apoc. Mos.) 29:4: “And the angels approached God and said: ‘Jael (Ἰαὴλ), Eternal King, command, my Lord, that there be given to Adam incense of sweet odor from the Garden.” G. Anderson and M. Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve. Second Revised Edition (EJL, 17; Atlanta: Scholars, 1999) 72-72E; Greek Life of Adam and Eve (Apoc. Mos.) 33:5: “And the angels fell down to God, crying aloud and saying, “Jael (Ἰαὴλ), Holy One, have pardon, for he is Your image, and the work of Your holy hands.” Anderson and Stone, Synopsis, 79-79E. Gilles Quispel also brings attention to the Nag Hammadi treatise known to us as the Allogenes. He suggests that the first part of this work “consists of revelations by Jouel. This is the Angel of the Lord, well-known from the Old Testament. He is called Jaoel in the Apocalypse of Abraham, the oldest known document of Jewish mysticism, written first century C.E. In later mystical writings Jaoel is called Metatron, the angel who shares the divine throne with God.” G. Quispel, “Plotinus and the Jewish Gnōstikoi,” in: Gnostica, Judaica, Catholica. Collected Essays of Gilles Quispel (ed. J. van Oort; NHMS, 55; Leiden: Brill, 2008) 588. On the Youel figure in the Allogenes (NHC XI, 3) and the Zostrianos (NHC VIII, 1) and the Gospel to the Egyptians (NHC III, 2 and IV, 2) see also M. Scopello, “Youel et Barbélo dans le traité de l’Allogène,” in: Colloque international sur les textes de Nag Hammadi (ed. B. Barc; Québec/Louvain: Les Presses de l’Université Laval/Éditions Peeters, 1981) 374-382; idem, “Autour de Youel et Barbélo à Nag Hammadi,” in: Femme, Gnose et Manichéisme. De l’espace mythique au territoire du réel (ed. M. Scopello; NHMS, 53; Leiden: Brill, 2005) 49-78.
158 For a survey of early Jewish usages of Yao, see M. Philonenko, “L’anguipède alectorocéphale et le dieu Iaô,” CRAI (1979) 297-304; McDonough, YHWH at Patmos, 74-76; F. E. Shaw The Earliest Non-Mystical Jewish Use of Iao (Ph.D. Diss.; University of Cincinnati, 2002); idem, The Earliest Non-Mystical Jewish Use of Iao (CBET, 70; Leuven: Peeters, 2014); J. Joosten, “Le dieu Iaô et le tréfonds araméen des Septante,” in: Eukarpa. Études sur la Bible et ses exégètes en hommage à Gilles Dorival (M. Loubet and D. Pralon; Paris, Cerf, 2011) 115-124.
159 Scholem, Major Trends, 68,
160 Scholem, Jewish Gnosticism, 51.
161 It is also important that Pistis Sophia contains the notion of another entity, which is called in the text “Great Yao.” See Pistis Sophia 86: “And the Virgin of the Light and the great hegumen of the Midst — whom the archons of the aeons are wont to call the Great Jao....”; Pistis Sophia 141: “And the great Jao, the Good, he of the Midst, looks forth upon the places of Jachthanabas, so that his places are dissolved and destroyed.” Schmidt, MacDermot, Pistis Sophia, 393; 733. Cf. also Book of Jeu 50: “Again you will go in to its interior to the rank of the great Jao, the Good, he of the Treasury of the Light. He will give to you his mystery and his seal and the great name.” C. Schmidt and V. MacDermot, The Books of Jeu and the Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex (Leiden: Brill, 1978) 167. On this see also Alexander, “The Historical Settings of the Hebrew Book of Enoch,” 162.
162 Schmidt and MacDermot, Pistis Sophia, 25-27.
163 Odeberg, 3 Enoch, 189.
164 Odeberg, 3 Enoch, 189.
165 Odeberg, 3 Enoch, 189.
166 Richard Bauckham observes that “the name Yahoel consists of the same two elements as the name Elijah in reverse order, and Jews would readily recognize them as versions of the same name.” R. Bauckham, Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Essays on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity (Milton Keynes: Paternoster/Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008) 226.
167 Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology, 107-108.
168 Segal, Two Powers in Heaven, 169.
169 Hannah, Michael and Christ, 88.
170 Colson and Whitaker, Philo, 3.135. Reflecting on this tradition, von Heijne suggests that in On Husbandry 51, the Logos is likewise labeled God’s “viceroy” and is additionally identified as the angel of the divine Name from Exodus 23. von Heijne, The Messenger of the Lord in Early Jewish Interpretations of Genesis, 219.
171 Colson and Whitaker, Philo, 4.232-235.
172 R. Marcus, Philo, Questions and Answers on Exodus (LCL. Cambridge/London: Harvard University Press/Heinemann, 1949) 48.
173 J. Fossum, “In the Beginning was the Name,” in: idem, The Image of the Invisible God: Essays on the Influence of Jewish Mysticism on Early Christology (Freiburg: Universitätsverlag/Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1995) 109–33 at 114.
174 Fossum, “In the Beginning was the Name,” 114.
175 Colson and Whitaker, Philo, 4.190-193.
176 Hannah, Michael and Christ, 88. On this see also A. Chester, Messiah and Exaltation: Jewish Messianic and Visionary Traditions and New Testament Christology (WUNT, 207; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007) 47.
177 Hannah, Michael and Christ, 88.
178 Colson and Whitaker, Philo, 4.89-91.
179 Stroumsa also notices that “… John’s Gospel shows that for its author, logos and onoma were interchangeable. ‘This interchangeability,’ points out Gilles Quispel, one of the most consistent followers in Danielou’s footsteps, ‘implies that the Name was hidden and unknown before Jesus revealed it.’ The same identity between logos and onoma seems even to be in the background of the Prologue to John’s Gospel (John 1:1-18). Memra, or Memra ha-Shem, indeed, appears in the Targum Neofiti instead of Elohim. Memra is also God’s Name revealed to Moses from the burning bush.” Stroumsa, “A Nameless God,” 236.
180 Fossum argues that “the conception of the Name of God as a power being shared by the principal angel or even as a hypostasis has been adapted by the author of the Prologue to John’s Gospel.” Fossum, “In the Beginning was the Name,” 121.
181 Fossum, “In the Beginning was the Name,” 117. He further asserts that a phrase found in John 1:3, “all things were made through him [i.e. ό λόγος] and without him was not anything made,” can be explained as a reference to the Name of God. Fossum, “In the Beginning was the Name,” 117.
182 R.G. Hall, “The ‘Christian Interpolation’ in the Apocalypse of Abraham,” JBL 107 (1988) 107–112; D.C. Harlow, “Anti-Christian Polemic in the Apocalypse of Abraham: Jesus as a Pseudo-Messiah in Apoc. Ab. 29.3–14,” JSP 22.3 (2013) 167–183.
183 On this see G. Quispel, “The Jung Codex and its Significance,” in: The Jung Codex: A Newly Recovered Gnostic Papyrus (trans. and ed. F. L. Cross; London: A. R. Mowbray, 1955) 68-78; Daniélou, Theology of Jewish Christianity, 149ff.; R.N. Longenecker, The Christology of Early Jewish Christianity (London: SCM, 1970) 41-46.
184 A. Grillmeier, Christ in Christian Tradition (Atlanta: John Knox, 1975) 1.41.
185 Longenecker, The Christology of Early Jewish Christianity, 45-46.
186 Daniélou, Theology of Jewish Christianity, 150, n.15.
187 Fossum, “In the Beginning was the Name,” 133.
188 Fossum, “In the Beginning was the Name,” 133.
189 Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology, 272.
190 Gieschen, “The Name of the Son of Man in the Parables of Enoch,” 246.
191 Daniélou, Theology of Jewish Christianity, 149.
192 Gieschen further notices the similar developments in other early Christian texts, including Acts 5:41, 15:17; Didache 10:1-3; 1 Clem 58:1-60:4; Gos. Phil. 54:5-8; Apos. Con. 7.26.1-3; and Gos. Truth. 38:7-40:29.” Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology, 272. Daniélou also draws attention to the Epistle of James. He states that “‘The Name’ in an absolute sense occurs in a text in the New Testament whose Jewish Christian character is quite certain, namely the Epistle of James. First, there is the expression: ‘Do not they blaspheme the honorable Name which was called upon you?’ (2:7). The second quotation, from the Epistle also, has a cultic context, namely that of the anointing with oil ‘in the Name’ (5:14).” Daniélou, Theology of Jewish Christianity, 150.
193 Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology, 272-3. See also Gieschen, “The Divine Name in the Ante-Nicene Christology,” 135-142.
194 Thus, Daniélou asserts that “the Name, or the Name of the Lord, is used in a cultic context.” Daniélou, Theology of Jewish Christianity, 150.
195 Daniélou, Theology of Jewish Christianity, 154.
196 Fossum, “In the Beginning was the Name,” 133.
197 C. Osiek, Shepherd of Hermas (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1999) 231-232.
198 B.D. Ehrman, The Apostolic Fathers (2 vols.; LCL; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003) 1.141.
199 Stroumsa, “A Nameless God,” 237.
200 Falls, Halton, and Slusser, St. Justin Martyr. Dialogue with Trypho, 117.
201 J. Fossum, “Kyrios Jesus as the Angel of the Lord in Jude 5-7,” NTS 33 (1987) 226–43 at 235. On this see also L. Hurtado, “‘Jesus’ as God's Name and Jesus as God's Embodied Name in Justin Martyr,” in: Justin Martyr and His Worlds (eds. P. Foster and P. Parvis; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007) 128-36. Clement of Alexandria in his Paid. I.7 also identifies Jesus with the Angel of the Lord: “But our Instructor is the holy God Jesus, the Word, who is the guide of all humanity. The loving God Himself is our Instructor. Somewhere in song the Holy Spirit says with regard to Him, ‘He provided sufficiently for the people in the wilderness. He led him about in the thirst of summer heat in a dry land, and instructed him, and kept him as the apple of His eye, as an eagle protects her nest, and shows her fond solicitude for her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, and bears them on her back. The Lord alone led them, and there was no strange god with them.’ Clearly, I trow, has the Scripture exhibited the Instructor in the account it gives of His guidance. Again, when He speaks in His own person, He confesses Himself to be the Instructor: ‘I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt.’” Ante-Nicene Fathers (eds. A. Roberts and J. Donaldson; N.Y.: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1905) 2. 233.
202 Novum Testamentum Graece. 27. Auflage (ed. E. Nestle, K. Aland et al.; Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1993) 629.
203 Some other New Testament passages, like Heb 1:4 and Phil 2:9 might also be connected with the Angel of the Lord traditions. On these passages see R. P. Martin, Carmen Christi: Philippians 2:5-11 in Recent Interpretation and in the Setting of Early Christian Worship (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983); T. Nagata, Philippians 2:5-11: A Case Study in the Contextual Shaping of Early Christology (Ph. D. Diss. Princeton University, 1981); O. Hofius, Der Christushymnus Philipper 2,6-11 (WUNT, 17; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1976); McDonought, YHWH at Patmos, 126.
204 Fossum, “Kyrios Jesus as the Angel of the Lord in Jude 5-7,” 237.
205 Fossum, “Kyrios Jesus as the Angel of the Lord in Jude 5-7,” 235.
206 Fossum, The Name of God, 95.
207 Nag Hammadi Codex II, 2-7 together with XIII, 2,* Brit. Lib. Or. 4926(I), and P. Oxy. I, 654, 655 (ed. B. Layton; NHS, 20; Leiden: Brill, 1989) 147.
208 G. Quispel, “Gnosticism and the New Testament,” in: The Bible in Modern Scholarship (ed. J.P.Hyatt; Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1965) 252-71 at 267.
209 On this passage, see Fossum, The Name of God, 95-96.
210 The Excerpta ex Theodoto of Clement of Alexandria (ed. R.P. Casey; London: Christophers, 1934) 57-59.
211 Rev 19:12-13 reads: “His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God.”
212 Gieschen, “The Name of the Son of Man in the Parables of Enoch,” 247.
213 Rev 3:12: “He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never will he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem that comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.”
214 For the understanding of Christ as the Tetragrammaton in Revelation 1, see McDonought, YHWH at Patmos, 195-232.
215 Rev 1:14: “his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire....”
216 Rev 1:15: “his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters.”
217 Apoc. Ab. 11:2: “and the hair of his head like snow....” Kulik, Retroverting Slavonic Pseudepigrapha, 19.
218 Apoc. Ab. 11:2: “[his] body was like sapphire, and the likeness of his face like chrysolite....” Kulik, Retroverting Slavonic Pseudepigrapha, 19.
219 Rev 1:10: “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet….” On the symbolism of the Voice in the Fourth Gospel, see J.H. Charlesworth, “The Jewish Roots of Christology: The Discovery of the Hypostatic Voice,” SJT 39 (1986) 19-41; E. Boring, “The Voice of Jesus in the Apocalypse of John,” NovT 34 (1992) 334-59.