Andrei A. Orlov (Marquette University)
After our exploration of the heavenly counterpart traditions found in the Enochic materials, we now proceed to some Mosaic accounts that also attest to the idea of the celestial identity of its hero, the son of Amram. One such early Mosaic testimony has survived as a part of the drama Exagoge,1 a writing attributed to Ezekiel the Tragedian, which depicts the prophet’s experience at Sinai as his celestial enthronement. Preserved in fragmentary form by several ancient sources,2 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 (ὦ ξένε), 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.3
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. 4 It is also noteworthy that the text also exhibits a tendency to adapt some Enochic motifs and themes into the framework of the Mosaic tradition.5
The Exagoge 67-90 depicts Moses’ dream in which he sees an enthroned celestial figure who vacates his heavenly seat and hands to the son of Amram his royal attributes. The placement of Moses on the great throne in the Exagoge account and his donning of the royal regalia often have been interpreted by scholars as the prophet’s occupation of the seat of the deity. Pieter van der Horst remarks that in the Exagoge Moses become “an anthropomorphic hypostasis of God himself.”6 The unique motif of God’s vacating the throne and transferring occupancy to someone else has long puzzled students of this Mosaic account.7 An attempt to deal with this enigma by bringing in the imagery of the vice-regent does not, in my judgment, completely solve the problem; the vice-regents in Jewish traditions (for example, Metatron) do not normally occupy God’s throne but instead have their own glorious chair that sometimes serves as a replica of the divine Seat. It seems that the enigmatic identification of the prophet with the divine Form can best be explained, not through the concept of a vice-regent, but through the notion of the heavenly twin or counterpart.
In view of our previous study of the heavenly identity of Enoch, it is possible that the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian also attests to the idea of a heavenly counterpart of the seer when it identifies Moses with the glorious anthropomorphic extent enthroned on the top of Mount Sinai.8 As we recall, the text depicts Moses’ vision of “a noble man” with a crown and a large scepter in the left hand installed on the great throne. In the course of the seer’s initiation, the attributes of this “noble man,” including the royal crown and the scepter, are transferred to Moses who is instructed to sit on the throne formerly occupied by the noble man. The narrative thus clearly identifies the visionary with his heavenly counterpart, in the course of which the seer literally takes the place and the attributes of his upper identity. The transference of regalia is noteworthy since as we remember in Enochic accounts the protagonist also receives some items from heavenly beings, items which signify his new acquired celestial office of the heavenly scribe. Here in the Mosaic account the transference of the regalia also might point to the peculiar roles and functions with which Moses’ heavenly persona is endowed.9
Moses’ enthronement is also reminiscent of some Jacob accounts of the heavenly counterparts which will be explored later in our study. In these accounts, Jacob’s heavenly identity is depicted as being “engraved” or “enthroned” on the divine Seat.10 The account also underlines that Moses acquired his vision in a dream by reporting that he awoke from his sleep in fear. Here, just as in the Jacob targumic accounts, while the seer is sleeping on earth his counterpart in the upper realm is identified with the Kavod.
Some scholars also make connection between Moses’ enthronement in the Exagoge and the Son of Man traditions. Thus, Howard Jacobson points out to some similarities with Dan 7. He notes that “at Daniel 7.9ff the divine being sits on his throne in great splendour and then ‘one like a man comes with the clouds of heaven.’ Like Moses in Ezekiel, the man approaches the throne and is given sovereignty, glory and kingly power.”11 Christopher Rowland and Christopher Morray-Jones draw attention to these parallels with another cluster of Son of Man traditions found in the Book of the Similitudes by noting that, in that Enochic booklet, “the Son of Man or Elect One sits on the throne of glory (e.g. 1 Enoch 69:29). Elsewhere in the text the throne is occupied by God.”12 These connections are decisive for our study since they likewise attest to the heavenly counterpart traditions as has been already demonstrated in our study.
In some Jewish accounts, the transformation of a seer into his Doppelgänger often involves the change of his bodily appearance. It may happen even in a dream as, for example, in the Similitudes’ account of the heavenly counterpart where, although Enoch’s journey was “in spirit,” his “body was melted” and, as a result, he acquired the identity of the Son of Man.13 A similar change in the visionary’s identity might be also discernible in the Exagoge where Moses is designated by his interpreter Raguel as ξένος. Besides the meanings of “friend” and “guest,” this Greek word also can be translated as “stranger.”14 If the Exagoge authors indeed had in mind this meaning of ξένος, it might well be related to the fact that Moses’ body underwent some sort of transformation that altered his previous physical appearance and made him appear as a stranger to Raguel. The motif of Moses’ altered identity, after his encounter with the Kavod, is reflected not only in Exodus 34 but also in extra-biblical Mosaic accounts, including the tradition found in Pseudo-Philo’s Biblical Antiquities 12:1. The passage explains that the Israelites failed to recognize Moses after his glorious metamorphosis on Mount Sinai:
Moses came down. (Having been bathed with light that could not be gazed upon, he had gone down to the place where the light of the sun and the moon are. The light of his face surpassed the splendor of the sun and the moon, but he was unaware of this). When he came down to the children of Israel, upon seeing him they did not recognize him. But when he had spoken, then they recognized him.15
The motif of the shining body or, more importantly, the countenance of Moses, is significant for our ongoing discussion of the heavenly counterpart traditions found in Enochic and Mosaic lore. This distinctive mark of the Israelite prophet’s identity, his glorious face, which served in biblical accounts as the undeniable proof of his encounter with God, later became appropriated in the framework of Enochic16 and Metatron17 traditions as the chief distinguishing feature of the Enochic hero. In this new development, Moses’ shining face became nothing more than the later imitation of the glorious countenance of Enoch-Metatron. Thus, in Sefer Hekhalot 15B, Enoch-Metatron tells Moses about his shining visage: “Son of Amram, fear not! For already God favors you. Ask what you will with confidence and boldness, for light shines from the skin of your face from one end of the world to the other.”18
Here, as in the case of the rarified visionaries who encountered their heavenly counterparts and beheld the divine Face like their own reflection in a mirror, Moses too finds out that his radiant face is a reflection of the glorious Face of the deity. Yet, there is one decisive difference: this divine Face is now represented by his long-lasting contender, Enoch-Metatron.19
Despite the draw of seeing the developments found in the Exagoge as merely the adaptation of Enochic and Jacobite traditions about the heavenly double, it appears that the influence may point in the other direction and these accounts in their turn were shaped by the imagery found already in the biblical Mosaic accounts. It is possible that the conceptual roots of the identification of Moses with the celestial figure could be found already in the biblical materials where the son of Amram appears standing before the divine presence. To clarify the Mosaic background of the traditions about the heavenly counterpart, we must now turn to the biblical Mosaic accounts dealing with the symbolism of the divine Presence or the Face.
As has been already mentioned in our study, one of the earliest identifications of the hero with peculiar duties of an angel of the Presence, important in the traditions about the heavenly double, can be found in 2 Enoch where, in the course of his celestial metamorphosis, the seventh antediluvian patriarch Enoch was called by God to stand before his Face forever. Pivotal in this portrayal of the installation of a human being into a prominent angelic rank is the emphasis on standing before the Face of God. Enoch’s role as the angel of the Presence is introduced through the formulae “stand before my face forever.” 2 Enoch’s definition of the office of servant of the divine presence as standing before the Face of the Lord appears to be linked to the biblical Mosaic accounts in which Moses is described as the one who was standing before the Lord’s Face on Mount Sinai. It is significant that, as in the Slavonic apocalypse where the Lord himself orders the patriarch to stand before his presence,20 the biblical Mosaic accounts contain a similar command. In the theophanic account from Exodus 33, the Lord commands Moses to stand near him: “There is a place by me where you shall stand (tbcnw) on the rock.”
In Deuteronomy, this language of standing continues to play a prominent role. In Deuteronomy 5:31 God again orders Moses to stand with him: “But you, stand (dm() here by me, and I will tell you all the commandments, the statutes and the ordinances, that you shall teach them.…” In Deuteronomy 5:4–5 the motif of standing, as in Exodus 33, is juxtaposed with the imagery of the divine Panim: “The Lord spoke with you face to face (Mynpb Mynp) at the mountain, out of the fire. At that time I was standing (dm() between the Lord and you to declare to you the words of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain.” Here, Moses is depicted as standing before the Face of the deity and mediating the divine presence to the people.
These developments of the motif of standing are intriguing and might constitute the conceptual background for the traditions of Moses’ heavenly counterpart in the Exagoge and more importantly in the Book of Jubilees, the account that will be explored later in this chapter.
In this respect, it is noteworthy that the idiom of standing plays a significant part in the Exagoge account that has Moses approach and stand (ἐστάθην)21 before the throne.22
In the extra-biblical Mosaic accounts one can also see a growing tendency to depict Moses’ standing position as the posture of a celestial being. Crispin Fletcher-Louis observes that in various Mosaic traditions the motif of Moses’ standing was often interpreted through the prism of God’s own standing, indicating the prophet’s participation in the divine or angelic nature. He notes that in Samaritan and rabbinic literature a standing posture was generally indicative of the celestial being.23 Jarl Fossum points to the tradition preserved in Memar Marqah 4:12 where Moses is described as “the (immutable) Standing One.”24
In 4Q377 2 vii-xii, the standing posture of Moses appears to be creatively conflated with his status as a celestial being:
... And like a man sees li[gh]t, he has appeared to us in a burning fire, from above, from heaven, and on earth he stood (dm() on the mountain to teach us that there is no God apart from him, and no Rock like him.... But Moses, the man of God, was with God in the cloud, and the cloud covered him, because [...] when he sanctified him, and he spoke as an angel through his mouth, for who was a messen[ger] like him, a man of the pious ones?25
Scholars have previously observed that Moses here “plays the role of an angel, having received revelation from the mouth of God.”26
In light of the aforementioned Mosaic developments it is possible that the idiom of standing, so prominent in the depiction of the servants of the Presence in the Enochic tradition of the heavenly double, has Mosaic provenance.27 Already in Exodus and Deuteronomy, the prophet is portrayed as the one who is able to stand before the deity to mediate the divine presence to human beings.28 The extra-biblical Mosaic accounts try to further secure the prophet’s place in front of the deity by depicting him as a celestial creature. The testimony found in the Exagoge, where Moses is described as standing before the Throne, seems to represent a vital step toward the rudimentary definitions of the office of the angelic servant of the Face.
One of the constant features of the aforementioned transformational accounts in which a seer becomes identified with his heavenly identity is the motif of the divine or angelic hand that embraces the visionary and invites him into a new celestial dimension of his existence. This motif is found in Mosaic, as well as, Enochic traditions, where the hand of God embraces and protects the seer during his encounter with the deity in the upper realm.
Thus, as one remembers, in 2 Enoch 39 the patriarch relates to his children that during his vision of the divine Kavod, the deity helped him with his right hand. The hand here is described as having a gigantic size and filling heaven: “But you, my children, see the right hand of one who helps you, a human being created identical to yourself, but I have seen the right hand of the Lord, helping me and filling heaven.”29 The theme of the hand of God assisting the seer during his vision of the Face is not an entirely new development, since it recalls the Mosaic account from Exodus 33:22–23. Here, the deity promises the prophet to protect him with his hand during the encounter with the divine Panim: “and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”
The divine hand assisting the visionary is also mentioned in the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian. The account relates that during the prophet’s vision of the Kavod, a noble man sitting on the throne beckoned him with his right hand (δεξιᾷ δέ μοι ἔνευσε).30
It is conceivable that 2 Enoch’s description is closer to the form of the tradition preserved in Ezekiel the Tragedian than to the account found in Exodus since the Exagoge mentions the right hand of the deity beckoning the seer. What is important here is that both Mosaic accounts seem to represent the formative conceptual roots for the later Enochic developments where the motif of the Lord’s hand is used in the depiction of the unification of the seventh patriarch with his celestial counterpart in the form of the angel Metatron. Thus, from the Merkavah materials one can learn that “the hand of God rests on the head of the Youth, named Metatron.”31 The motif of the divine hand assisting Enoch-Metatron during his celestial transformation is prominent in Sefer Hekhalot, where it appears in the form of a tradition very similar to the evidence found in the Exagoge and 2 Enoch. In Synopse §12 Metatron tells R. Ishmael that during the transformation of his body into the gigantic cosmic extent, matching the world in length and breadth, God “laid his hand” on the translated hero.32 Here, just as in the Mosaic accounts, the hand of the deity signifies the bond between the seer’s body and the divine corporeality, leading to the creation of a new celestial entity in the form of the angelic servant of the Presence.
In some other apocalyptic accounts of the heavenly counterparts an angelic right hand appears to fulfil a similar functions. Accordingly, in Joseph and Aseneth during initiation of the Egyptian maiden into the mystery of her heavenly identity the celestial Anthropos embraces the female seer with his right hand. Joseph and Aseneth 16:12-13 reads:
And the man smiled at Aseneth’s understanding, and called her to himself, and stretched out his right hand, and grasped her head and shook her head with his right hand. And Aseneth was afraid of the man’s hand, because sparks shot forth from his hand as from bubbling (melted) iron. And Aseneth looked, gazing with her eyes at the man’s hand.33
Chapter 71 of the Similitudes depicts the archangel Michael holding the patriarch by his (Enoch’s) right hand. It is intriguing that here in the account of the seer’s identification with his celestial double the text specifically invokes the imagery of the right hand. Some later Jewish mystical accounts attest to the tradition of the deity’s embrace of the heavenly image of Jacob.34
Similar conceptual developments where divine or angelic beings embrace the seers during their unification with their heavenly counterpart can be found also in some heterodox Christian accounts.35 For example, in Pistis Sophia 61:11 Jesus’ heavenly twin embraces him:
When thou wast small, before the Spirit came upon thee, while thou wast in a vineyard with Joseph, the Spirit came forth from the height, he came to me into my house, he resembled thee. And I did not recognize him and I thought that he was thou. And the Spirit said to me: “Where is Jesus, my brother, that I meet him?” And when he said these things to me, I was confused and I thought that he was a phantom to tempt me. But I took him, I bound him to the leg of the bed in my house, until I came out to you in the field, thou and Joseph, and I found you in the vineyard, as Joseph was hedging the vineyard with reeds. Now it happened, when thou didst hear me speaking the word to Joseph, thou didst understand the word and thou didst rejoice. And thou didst say: “Where is he that I may see him? Or else I await him in this place.” But it happened when Joseph heard thee saying these words, he was agitated and we came up at the same time, we went into the house. We found the Spirit bound to the bed. And we looked at thee with him, we found thee like him. And he that was bound to the bed was released, he embraced thee, he kissed thee. And thou also, thou didst kiss him and you became one.36
Gilles Quispel argues that in this passage the Holy Spirit is considered to be the “image (iqonin) of Jesus, who forms a whole with him.”37 As we will learn later in our study the heavenly identity of Jacob also will be often envisioned as the iqonin in targumic and rabbinic accounts.
The concept of Moses’ heavenly counterpart appears also in another early Jewish pseudepigraphical text – the Book of Jubilees.38 In this pseudepigraphon as in some aforementioned accounts, the seer’s heavenly identity takes the form of a servant of the divine Presence. Before we proceed to a close analysis of the Doppelgänger imagery, several words must be said about conceptual proclivities of the book as the whole. Scholars have previously noted that in Jubilees one can find peculiar symmetrical patterns which involve both temporal and spatial dimensions. Thus, reflecting on Jubilees’ temporal aspect of such imagery James Scott observes that …
… Jubilees affirms a rigorous temporal symmetry. All human history from creation to new creation is foreordained by God and inscribed in the heavenly tablets, which in turn, are revealed through angelic mediation to Moses on Mt. Sinai, just as they were revealed to Enoch before him. In this presentation, historical patterns are adduced to confirm divine providence over earthly events. A striking example of this is found in the correspondence between Endzeit and Urzeit. In Jubilees, as in other apocalyptic literature, God intends the world ultimately to conform to his original intention for the creation. But Jubilees goes even further by implying a nearly complete recapitulation, that is that the Endzeit or restoration would almost exactly mirror the Urzeit or patriarchal period.39
Scott’s research demonstrates that the striking symmetrical patterns discernable in Jubilees encompass not only the horizontal, temporal, aspect, but also the vertical, spatial, dimension, with its peculiar imagery of the heavenly and earthly realms which paradoxically mirror each other. Reflecting on these distinctive correspondences, Scott observes that Jubilees affirms “… not only a temporal symmetry between Urzeit and Endzeit, but also, secondly, a special symmetry between heaven and earth.”40 These distinctive correspondences between the earthly and heavenly realities are important for our study of the heavenly counterpart traditions. As we already learned in our analysis of the Enochic lore, such spatial correlations are especially evident in the peculiar parallelism between heavenly and earthly cultic settings that are often depicted as mirroring each other.41 We know that such sacerdotal parallelism often constitutes the background of the heavenly counterpart imagery and it is not coincidental that such worldview is manifested in Jubilees where the chief protagonist became endowed with the upper angelic identity.
One of the enigmatic characters in the Book of Jubilees is the angel of the Presence who dictates heavenly revelation to Moses. The book provides neither the angel’s name nor a clear picture of his celestial roles and offices. Complicating the picture is the angel’s arrogation, in certain passages of the text, of “what in the Bible are words or deeds of God.”42 In Jub. 6:22, for example, the angel utters the following:
For I have written (this) in the book of the first law in which I wrote for you that you should celebrate it at each of its times one day in a year. I have told you about its sacrifice so that the Israelites may continue to remember and celebrate it throughout their generations during this month - one day each year.43
James VanderKam observes that according to these sentences “the angel of the Presence wrote the first law, that is, the Pentateuch, including the section about the Festival of Weeks in the cultic calendars (Lev 23:15-21 and Num 28:26-31, where the sacrifices are specified).”44 VanderKam further notes that “these passages are represented as direct revelations by God to Moses in Leviticus and Numbers, not as statements from an angel.”45
In Jubilees 30:12, which retells and modifies Genesis 34, the angel’s authorial claim is repeated again:
For this reason I have written for you in the words of the law everything that the Shechemites did to Dinah and how Jacob’s sons said: “We will not give our daughter to a man who has a foreskin because for us that would be a disgraceful thing.”46
Even more puzzling is that in these passages the angel insists on personally writing the divine words, thus claiming the role of the celestial scribe in a fashion similar to Moses.47 Also striking is that this nameless angelic scribe posits himself as the writer of the Pentateuch (“For I have written [this] in the book of the first law”), the authorship of which the tradition ascribes to the son of Amram. What are we to make of these authorial claims by the angel of the Presence?
Is it possible that in this puzzling account about two protagonists, one human and the other angelic—both of whom are scribes and authors of the same “law”—we have an allusion to the idea of the heavenly counterpart of a seer in the form of the angel of the Presence?48 As we already learn in Jewish apocalyptic and early mystical literature such heavenly doubles in the form of angels of the Presence are often presented as celestial scribes.
In this Mosaic narrative, like in the previously explored Enochic accounts, the imagery of the angel of the Presence has several conceptual dimensions. As one remembers, in 2 Enoch the angel of the Presence initiates the adept into the office of the celestial scribe. Then Enoch himself becomes the angel of the Presence, ordained to stay before the Presence of the deity forever.
A similar conceptual constellation might be present in the Book of Jubilees where the angel of Presence initiates the seer by revealing heavenly secrets to him.49 It parallels the dictation by the archangel Vereveil in 2 Enoch and also the instruction of Uriel in the early Enochic booklets.
Other parts of the text also indicate that Jubilees’ author was cognizant of heavenly counterpart traditions. Thus, for example, in rendering Jacob’s story, Jubilees 36:16-17 relates the following:
If he [Esau] wishes to kill his brother Jacob, he will be handed over to Jacob and will not escape from his control but will fall into his control. Now you are not to be afraid for Jacob because Jacob’s guardian is greater and more powerful, glorious, and praiseworthy than Esau’s guardian.50
It is intriguing that the tradition of the powerful and glorious “guardian” of a human being unfolds in the midst of Jacob’s story – the character who was so formative and iconic in the development of the Doppelgänger lore.
Another weighty detail is Jubilees’ peculiar understanding of the angels of the Presence, a portentous celestial group, prominent in so many accounts of the heavenly counterpart. Jubilees 2:18 unveils the following about this angelic cohort: “He [God] told us — all the angels of the Presence and all the angels of holiness (these two great kinds) — to keep sabbath with him in heaven and on earth.”51 Here, it is fascinating that the angels of the presence seem able to coexist in two spatial planes (heavenly and earthly) simultaneously. Moreover, because of their peculiar attributes in Jubilees, they are understood as the heavenly counterparts of the Israelites.52 In relation to such understanding of the angels of the Presence in Jubilees, George Brooke observes that “the Angels of the Presence and the Angels of Holiness have a pre-eminent place in serving God, a pre-eminence which is also marked out by their circumcision (Jub. 15.27-28).53 According to Jubilees, by implication, it is these two classes of angels which correspond with the earthly Israel.”54
One of the key characteristics of the aforementioned visionary accounts in which the adepts become identified with their heavenly correlatives is the transference of prominent celestial offices to the new servants of the Presence. Thus, for example, transference is discernable in the Exagoge where the “heavenly man” hands to the seer his celestial regalia, scepter and crown,55 and then surrenders his heavenly seat, which in the Enoch-Metatron tradition is often identified with the duty of the celestial scribe.56
The scribal role may indeed represent one of the essential offices that angels of the Presence surrender to the new servants of the Face. As one remembers, 2 Enoch describes the initiation of the seer by Vereveil (Uriel) in the course of which this angel of the Presence, portrayed in 2 Enoch as a “heavenly recorder,” conveys knowledge and skills pertaining to the scribal duties to the translated patriarch. Important to this account is its emphasis on the act of transference of the scribal duties from Vereveil to Enoch, when the angel of the Presence surrenders to the hero the celestial library and even the pen from his hand.57
Jubilees, as we remember, as in the Enochic account, has two scribal figures: the angel of the Presence and a human being. Yet, the exact relationship between these two figures is difficult to establish in view of the scarcity and ambiguity of the relevant depictions. Does the angel of the Presence in Jubilees pose, after the fashion of Uriel, as a celestial scribe who is responsible for initiation of the adept into the scribal duties? Or does he represent the heavenly counterpart of Moses who is clearly distinguished at this point from the seer? This clear distance between the seer and his celestial identity is not unlikely in the context of the traditions about the heavenly counterpart. In fact, this distance between the two identities—one in the form of the celestial person and the other in the form of a human hero—represents a standard feature of such accounts. For example, in the already mentioned account from the Book of the Similitudes, Enoch is clearly distinguished from his heavenly counterpart in the form of the celestial Son of Man throughout the whole narrative until the final unification occurring in the last chapter of the book. The gap between the celestial and earthly identities of the seer is also discernable in the targumic accounts about Jacob’s heavenly double where the distinction between the two identities is highlighted by a description of the angels who behold Jacob sleeping on earth while at the same time installed in heaven. This distance between the identity of the seer and his heavenly twin is also observable in the Exagoge where the heavenly man transfers to Moses his regalia and vacates for him his heavenly seat.
There is, however, another vital point in the stories about the heavenly counterparts that could provide portentous insight into the nature of pseudepigraphical accounts where these stories are found. This aspect pertains to the issue of the so-called “emulation” of the biblical exemplars that allows the pseudepigraphical authors to unveil new revelations in the name of some prominent authority of the past. The identity of the celestial scribe in the form of the angel of the Presence might further our understanding of the enigmatic process of mystical and literary emulation of the exemplary figure, the cryptic mechanics of which often remain beyond the grasp of our post/modern sensibilities.
Can the tradition of the unification of the biblical hero with his angelic counterpart be part of this process of emulation of the exemplar by an adept? Can the mediating position58 of the angel of the Presence, ordained to stand “from now and forever” between the deity himself and the biblical hero, serve as the safe haven of the author’s identity representing the fundamental locus of mystical and literary emulation? Is it possible that in Jubilees, like in some other pseudepigraphical accounts, the figure of the angel of the Presence serves as a transformative and literary device that allows an adept to enter the assembly of immortal beings consisting of the heroes of both the celestial and the literary world?
Could it be possible that in the traditions of heavenly counterparts we are able to draw nearer to the very heart of the pseudepigraphical enterprise? In this respect, it does not appear to be coincidental that these transformational accounts dealing with the heavenly doubles of their adepts are permeated with the aesthetics of penmanship and the imagery of the literary enterprise.59 In the course of these mystical and literary metamorphoses, the heavenly figure surrenders his scribal seat, the library of the celestial books, and even personal writing tools to the other, earthly identity, who now becomes the new guardian of the authoritative tradition.
We now return to the motif of the divine Face so prominent in the Mosaic lore. It has already been noted in our study that the imagery of the divine Countenance plays a crucial role in so many Doppelgänger accounts where the human adepts are transformed before the divine Face and even acquire the qualities of the divine Visage becoming in some ways the reflections or the mirrors of that Face.60 Some of these heavenly counterparts, like celestial Self of the patriarch Enoch, the supreme angel Metatron,61 then become openly labelled in the mystical lore as the “Face of God.”62 These correspondences between the deity represented by His Face and the heavenly counterparts who are becoming God’s “faces” must now be explored more closely.
I have previously proposed that in the course of the seer’s identification with his/her heavenly counterpart, a process, which in many visionary accounts occurs in the front of the divine Countenance and with the help of the angelic servants of the Face, the adept becomes a “reflection” or a “mirror” of the divine Face.63 This role is often conveyed in various apocalyptic accounts through the process of either becoming the Prince of the Face (Sar ha-Panim),64 or the entity, engraved on the Face,65 or just becoming the Face itself. In view of these conceptual developments, in some of which the seer’s heavenly identity becomes “reflected” or “inscribed” on the divine Face in the form of the “image,” it is possible that the divine Face itself can be understood as a mirror. Such understanding of the deity’s glorious Visage might be already present in some early Jewish and Christian materials, including the Pauline interpretation of the Mosaic imagery found in 2 Corinthians 3. We should now turn our attention to these conceptual developments.
It has already been demonstrated in our study that the vision of the divine Face represents the pinnacle of the seer’s visionary experience in so many apocalyptic accounts where various adepts become identified with their upper identities. This role of the divine Face as the goal of visionary experience became prominent in pseudepigraphical accounts as well as later Jewish mystical lore. Thus, in various Hekhalot materials the imagery of the divine Face continues to play a paramount role, being understood as the “center of the divine event” and the teleological objective for the ascension of the yorde merkavah. This motif’s importance is illustrated in Hekhalot Rabbati which considers the Countenance of God “the goal of yored merkavah and simultaneously revokes this statement in a paradoxical way by stressing at conclusion that one cannot ‘perceive’ this Face.”66 Analyzing this account Peter Schäfer observes that for the visionary in the Hekhalot tradition, the Countenance of God is an example “not only of overwhelming beauty, and therefore of a destructive nature,67 but at the same time the center of the divine event.”68 God’s Face thereby becomes the consummation of the heavenly journey since, according to Schäfer, “everything God wishes to transmit to the yored merkavah … is concentrated in God’s Countenance.”69 Is it possible then that the divine Face itself could be understood in these traditions as a medium of revelation, a sort of a looking glass which reflect divine disclosures?
In this respect it is intriguing that some Jewish interpretations of Moses’ encounter with the divine Face on Mount Sinai suggest that the prophet received his revelation on the great mountain through a mirror. Thus, in Lev. Rab. 1:14 the following tradition can be found:70
What difference is there between Moses and all other prophets? R. Judah b. Il’ai and the Rabbis [gave different explanations]. R. Judah said: Through nine mirrors did the prophets behold [prophetic visions]. This is indicated by what is said, And the appearance of the vision which I saw, was like the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city; and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell upon my face (Ezek 43:3); but Moses beheld [prophetic visions] through one mirror, as it is said, With him do I speak... in a vision, and not in dark speeches (Num 12:8). The Rabbis said: All the other prophets beheld [prophetic visions] through a blurred mirror,71 as it is said, And I have multiplied visions; and by the ministry of the angels have I used similitudes (Hos 12:11). But Moses beheld [prophetic visions] through a polished mirror, as it is said, The similitude of the Lord doth he behold. R. Phinehas said in the name of R. Hosha’iah: This may be compared to a king who allowed himself to be seen by his intimate friend [only] by means of his image. In this world the Shekhinah manifests itself only to chosen individuals; in the Time to Come, however, The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all the flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it (Isa 40:5).72
This passage postulates that not only Moses’ vision of the divine Kavod (labeled in biblical Mosaic accounts as the “Face” or Panim) has occurred in a mirror, but other paradigmatic Jewish seers, including Ezekiel, similarly received their visions of the divine Kavod in a looking glass too. For our study it is important that such speculations do not represent later rabbinic inventions, but have ancient roots in Second Temple Jewish lore. Thus, already Philo demonstrates the familiarity with such tradition in his Leg. 3.33 §§100-103:
There is a mind more perfect and more thoroughly cleansed, which has undergone initiation into the great mysteries, a mind which gains its knowledge of the First Cause not from created things, as one may learn the substance from the shadow, but lifting its eyes above and beyond creation obtains a clear vision of the uncreated One, so as from Him to apprehend both Himself and His shadow. To apprehend that was, we saw, to apprehend both the Word and this world. The mind of which I speak is Moses who says, “Manifest Thyself to me, let me see Thee that I may know Thee” (Exod 33:13); for I would not that Thou shouldst be manifested to me by means of heaven or earth or water or air or any created thing at all, nor would I find the reflection of Thy being in aught else than in Thee Who art God,73 for the reflections in created things are dissolved, but those in the Uncreated will continue abiding and sure and eternal.74 This is why God hath expressly called Moses and why He spake to Him. Bezalel also He hath expressly called, but not in like manner. One receives the clear vision of God directly from the First Cause Himself. The other discerns the Artificer, as it were from a shadow, from created things by virtue of a process of reasoning. Hence you will find the Tabernacle and all its furniture made in the first instance by Moses but afterwards by Bezalel, for Moses is the artificer of the archetypes, and Bezalel of the copies of these. For Moses has God for Instructor, as He says “thou shalt make all things according to the pattern that was shown to thee in the mount” (Exod 25:40), but Bezalel is instructed by Moses. And all this is just as we should expect. For on the occasion likewise of the rebellion of Aaron, Speech, and Miriam, Perception, they are expressly told “If a prophet be raised up unto the Lord, God shall be known unto him in a vision” and in a shadow, not manifestly; but with Moses, the man who is “faithful in all His house, He will speak mouth to mouth in manifest form and not through dark speeches “(Num 12:6-8).75
These traditions in which the son of Amram is depicted receiving his revelations in a mirror are intriguing since they provide an additional support to the idea that the divine Panim (or the divine Kavod), might be envisioned in some early Jewish accounts as the celestial looking glass.
The concept of the divine Face as the mirror of revelation might also be present in some early Christian materials. Thus, in 2 Cor 3:18 the Apostle Paul assures his readers that “all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another….” This biblical text has generated enormous attention from the scholarly community. Some scholars have suggested that the Pauline passage draws on the aforementioned Mosaic motifs76 in which the great prophet saw revelations on Mount Sinai through the divine mirror.77
If it is indeed true, it would appear that the Pauline speculation affirms even more forcefully the transformational proclivities78 of the aforementioned Mosaic “mirror” imagery, by pointing that the seer not only receives a revelation in the mirror of the divine Face, rendered in the Pauline passage with the standard formulae of Kavod, but himself becomes the image of the Kavod. As we will see later in Jacob’s lore the image79 will become a standard theological devise for rendering the seer’s Doppelgänger.80 Such conceptual developments lead some scholars to argue that Paul’s vision of the Kavod in the mirror should be read in the framework of the heavenly counterpart traditions. Thus, Alan Segal previously proposed that in 2 Cor 3:18 “Paul gives us a totally different and at once conceivable notion of a bodily transformation”81 which comes “with its own experience of the self—not a soul but an angelic alter ego.”82
Segal then compares this Pauline understanding of the “angelic alter ego” with the Doppelgänger complex found in the Book of the Similitudes, arguing that “as long as the date of 1 Enoch 70–71 cannot be fixed exactly … Paul himself remains the earliest author explicitly expressing this kind of angelic transformation in Judaism.”83
Another scholar, April DeConick, also discerns the presence of the heavenly counterpart imagery in 2 Cor 3:18 by arguing that “Paul speaks here of the face-to-face encounter with one’s self by implementing the middle form of the verb κατοπτρίζω which means ‘to produce one’s own image in a mirror’ or ‘to behold oneself in a mirror.’”84 In DeConick’s opinion such “rendering suggests that the vision is a vision of one’s divine Self. When one sees oneself in a mirror, one is viewing the Lord’s Glory. This vision creates change, transforming the person, degree by degree, into the divine Glory which is seen in the mirror. It is obvious that this text belongs to one of the oldest strata of vision mysticism of early Christianity.”85 As one can see she underlines the transformational tendencies of the Pauline passage which belong in her opinion to the so-called “vision mysticism.” DeConick concludes that “a vision of the Kavod, the Image of God, literally resulted in the ‘re-stamping’ of God’s image on the soul, restoring it to the original Form and Glory.”86
It is also important for our study that in 2 Cor 3:18 the “mirror” is represented by a divine mediator who is also envisioned as the exemplar of the religious tradition, in this case – Christ. Jan Lambrecht observes that in 2 Cor 3:18 “Paul wants to suggest that Christ is the ‘mirror’ of God. In that mirror we see the glory of the Lord; in Christ we see God reflected in all his glory! According to this explanation Christ is both mirror and image.87 He is mirror and also a mirrored reflection, an image of God.”88 Lambrecht’s nuanced observation is helpful for our investigation. Such understanding of the mediatorial “mirror” that occupies an intermediate position in the course of the human adept’s transformation and unification with his or her heavenly identity represents a familiar motif.89 It brings to memory the notions of celestial “mirrors” found in various Jewish apocalyptic and mystical accounts where some mediatorial figures are depicted as the mirrors of the divine Face,90 at the same time serving as the reflections of the celestial identities of human seers. This understanding of the mediator as an intermediate mirror, which is instrumental for the seer’s transformation, might be found already in Philo. Thus, David Litwa argues that in Philo “the Logos91 serves as a layer of mediation – the metaphorical mirror – between Moses and the primal God….”92 Often such divine mediators are themselves understood as vice-regents or embodiments of the deity. Litwa suggests that “for Philo, the mirror through which Moses sees God is God himself in the person of the Logos.”93
The conceptual developments found in the Philonic and Pauline understanding of the mediatorial “mirrors” will continue to exercise formative influence on later Jewish mystical testimonies, including Sefer Hekhalot, where another mediator, this time Metatron, is posited as the divine mirror in which Moses sees his revelations. In 3 Enoch, like in the Bible, the son of Amram finds out that his luminous face is a mere reflection of the glorious Visage of the deity. Yet, in comparison with the biblical accounts there is one decisive difference: this divine Face is now represented by his long-lasting contender, Enoch-Metatron.94 One can discern in this text a possible reference to the paradoxical hierarchy95 of the “mediatorial mirrors”96 in which the former seers, who already became the reflections of the divine Face, now serve as the embodied mirrors for subsequent human adepts.
Early Jewish and Christian traditions often illustrate this enigmatic succession of the “mirrors” when they depicts Enoch, Jacob,97 Moses, or Christ98 becoming the personified reflections or the “mirrors”99 of the divine Face when their own glorious “presences” are able to transform the next generations of human adepts. We already witnessed one specimen of this tradition in the scene of Enoch’s metamorphosis in 2 Enoch to whose transformed face the elders of the earth later approach in order to be redeemed and glorified.100 Moses’ face is also predestined to serve as the embodied mirror of God’s Countenance.101 Scholars previously noted the peculiar parallelism between the deity’s Face and the face of the prophet. Thus, Brian Britt observes that “the frightening and miraculous transformation of Moses’ face, and its subsequent concealment by a veil, constitute a kind of theophany. Just as the face of God is usually off-limits to Moses (with the exception of Exod 33:11 and Deut 34:10), so the face of Moses is sometimes off-limits to the people…. While these parallels may not bear directly on Moses’ transformed face, they offer suggestive evidence that theophany and divine enlightenment can appear on the human face.”102
1 On the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian, see S. N. Bunta, Moses, Adam and the Glory of the Lord in Ezekiel the Tragedian: On the Roots of a Merkabah Text (Ph.D. diss.; Marquette University, 2005); J. J. Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem. Jewish Identity in the Hellenistic Diaspora (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000) 224-225; Y. Gutman, The Beginnings of Jewish-Hellenistic Literature (2 vols.; Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 1958-1963) 2.43 [in Hebrew]; M. Hadas, Hellenistic Culture: Fusion and Diffusion (Morningside Heights, NY: Columbia University Press, 1959) 99; 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, “De Joodse toneelschrijver Ezechiël,” NedTT 36 (1982) 97-112; idem, “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; L. Hurtado, One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988) 58ff; 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 Ezekiele 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); W. A. Meeks, “Moses as God and King,” in: Religions in Antiquity: Essays in Memory of Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough (ed. J. Neusner; SHR, 14; Leiden: Brill, 1968) 354–371; idem, The Prophet-King: Moses Traditions and the Johannine Christology (NovTSup, 14; Leiden: Brill, 1967); Orlov, The Enoch-Metatron Tradition, 262-268; R. G. Robertson, “Ezekiel the Tragedian,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 vols.; ed. J. H. Charlesworth; New York: Doubleday, 1983-85) 2.803–819; K. Ruffatto, “Polemics with Enochic Traditions in the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian,” JSP 15 (2006) 195-210; idem, “Raguel as Interpreter of Moses’ Throne Vision: The Transcendent Identity of Raguel in the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian,” JSP 17 (2008) 121-39; E. Starobinski-Safran, “Un poète judéo-hellénistique: Ezéchiel le Tragique,” MH 3 (1974) 216–224; J. VanderKam and D. Boesenberg, “Moses and Enoch in Second Temple Jewish Texts,” in: Parables of Enoch: A Paradigm Shift (eds. D. Bock and J. Charlesworth; London: T&T Clark, 2013) 124-158 at 145-148; E. Vogt, Tragiker Ezechiel (JSHRZ, 4.3; Gütersloh: Mohn, 1983); J. Wieneke, Ezechielis Judaei poetae Alexandrini fabulae quae inscribitur Exagoge fragmenta (Münster: Monasterii Westfalorum, 1931); R. Van De Water, “Moses’ Exaltation: Pre-Christian?” JSP 21 (2000) 59–69.
2 The Greek text of the passage was published in several editions including: A.-M. Denis, Fragmenta pseudepigraphorum quae supersunt graeca (PVTG, 3; Leiden: Brill, 1970) 210; B. Snell, Tragicorum graecorum fragmenta I (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1971) 288-301; Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel, 54; Holladay, Fragments from Hellenistic Jewish Authors, 2.362-66.
3 Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel, 54–55.
4 Meeks, The Prophet-King, 149. See also Holladay, Fragments, 2.308–12.
5 On the Enochic motifs in the Exagoge, see van der Horst, “Moses’ Throne Vision in Ezekiel the Dramatist,” 21–29; Orlov, The Enoch-Metatron Tradition, 262-268; Ruffatto, “Polemics with Enochic Traditions in the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian,” 195-210.
6 van der Horst. “Some Notes on the Exagoge,” 364.
7 van der Horst, “Throne Vision,” 25; Holladay, Fragments, 444.
8 On the heavenly counterpart traditions in the Exagoge see VanderKam and Boesenberg, “Moses and Enoch in Second Temple Jewish Texts,” 146; L. Gallusz, The Throne Motif in the Book of Revelation (London: Bloomsbury, 2014) 62; W. van Peursen, “Who Was Standing on the Mountain? The Portrait of Moses in 4Q377,” in: Moses in Biblical and Extra-Biblical Traditions (eds. A. Graupner and M. Wolter; BZAW, 372; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2007) 99-114.
9 It is noteworthy that the heavenly counterpart of Joseph in Joseph and Aseneth is also decorated with the crown and holding in his hand a staff. We will explore this imagery later in our study. Henry Corbin discusses the peculiar attributes of the angelic double by noting that: “this wise guide is the Form of light which is manifested in extremis to the Elect, ‘the image of light in the semblance of the soul,’ the angel bearing the ‘diadem and crown.’” Corbin, The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism, 35.
10 See Tg. Ps.-J., Tg. Neof., and Frg. Tg. to Gen 28:12.
11 Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel, 91.
12 C. Rowland and C.R.A. Morray-Jones, The Mystery of God: Early Jewish Mysticism and the New Testament (CRINT, 12; Leiden: Brill, 2009) 70.
13 1 Enoch 71:11.
14 Robertson points to this possibility. See Robertson, “Ezekiel the Tragedian,” 812, note d2.
15 H. Jacobson, A Commentary on Pseudo-Philo’s Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum with Latin Text and English Translation (AGAJU, 31; 2 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 1996) 1.110.
16 In 2 Enoch, the motif of the luminous face of the seer was transferred for the first time to the seventh antediluvian patriarch. The text explains that the vision of the divine Face had dramatic consequences for Enoch’s appearance. His body endured radical changes as it became covered with the divine light. In Enoch’s radiant metamorphosis before the divine Countenance, an important detail can be found which links Enoch’s transformation with Moses’ account in the Book of Exodus. In 2 Enoch 37 one learns about the unusual procedure performed on Enoch’s face at the final stage of his encounter with the Lord. The text informs us that the Lord called one of his senior angels to chill the face of Enoch. The text says that the angel was “terrifying and frightful,” and appeared frozen; he was as white as snow, and his hands were as cold as ice. With these cold hands he then chilled the patriarch’s face. Right after this chilling procedure, the Lord informs Enoch that if his face had not been chilled here, no human being would have been able to look at him. This reference to the dangerous radiance of Enoch’s face after his encounter with the Lord is an apparent parallel to the incandescent face of Moses after the Sinai experience in Exodus 34.
17 Synopse §19 (3 Enoch 15:1) depicts the radiant metamorphosis of Enoch–Metatron’s face.
18 3 Enoch 15B:5. Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 1.304.
19 Scholars have observed that in the Merkavah tradition Metatron is explicitly identified as the hypostatic Face of God. On Metatron as the hypostatic Face of God, see A. DeConick, “Heavenly Temple Traditions and Valentinian Worship: A Case for First-Century Christology in the Second Century,” in: The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism (eds. C.C. Newman, J.R. Davila, G.S. Lewis; JSJSS, 63; Brill: Leiden, 1999) 329; Halperin, The Faces of the Chariot, 424–425.
20 See 2 Enoch 22:6: “And the Lord said to his servants, sounding them out: ‘Let Enoch join in and stand in front of my face forever!’” 2 Enoch 36:3: “Because a place has been prepared for you, and you will be in front of my face from now and forever.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.138 and 1.161.
21 Moses’ standing here does not contradict his enthronement. The same situation is discernible in 2 Enoch, where the hero who was promised a place to stand in front of the Lord’s Face for eternity is placed on the seat next to the deity.
22 Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel, 54.
23 Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam, 146–7; J. Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord: Samaritan and Jewish Concepts of Intermediation and the Origin of Gnosticism (WUNT, 36; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1985) 121; J. A. Montgomery, The Samaritans (New York: KTAV, 1968) 215.
24 Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord, 56–8.
25 García Martínez and Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition, 2.745.
26 H. Najman, “Angels at Sinai: Exegesis, Theology, and Interpretive Authority,” DSD 7 (2000) 313-33 at 319.
27 The idioms of standing in connection with the protagonist’s heavenly identity also seem to be assumed in Jacob’s traditions. Thus, in the Prayer of Joseph, Jacob is linked to the office of the angel of the Presence. We will explore this tradition later in our study.
28 This emphasis on mediation is important since mediating the divine Presence is one of the pivotal functions of the Princes of the Face.
29 2 Enoch 39:5. Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.162.
30 Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel, 54.
31 Synopse §384.
32 “…the Holy One, blessed be he, laid his hand on me and blessed me with 1,365,000 blessings. I was enlarged and increased in size until I matched the world in length and breadth.” Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 1.263.
33 Burchard, “Joseph and Aseneth,” 2.228.
34 Hekhalot Rabbati §164: “You see Me - what I do to the visage of the face of Jacob your father which is engraved for Me upon the throne of My glory. For in the hour that you say before Me ‘Holy,’ I kneel on it and embrace it and kiss it and hug it and My hands are on its arms three times, corresponding to the three times that you say before Me, ‘Holy,’ according to the word that is said, Holy, Holy, Holy (Isa 6:3).” J.R. Davila, Hekhalot Literature in Translation: Major Texts of Merkavah Mysticism (SJJTP, 20; Leiden: Brill, 2013) 86.
35 In the Cologne Mani Codex 11-12 which offers the portrayal of Mani’s heavenly counterpart in the spring of the waters, the Doppelgänger’s hand is again mentioned: “. . . from the spring of the waters there appeared to me a human form which showed me by hand (διὰ τῆς χειρὸς) the ‘rest’ so that I might not sin and bring distress on him.” Der Kölner Mani-Kodex: Über das Werden seines Leibes. Kritische Edition (eds. L. Koenen and C. Römer; Papyrologica Coloniensia, 14; Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1988) 8; Gardner and Lieu, Manichaean Texts from the Roman Empire, 49.
36 Pistis Sophia (eds. C. Schmidt and V. MacDermot; NHS, 9; Leiden: Brill, 1978) 243-245. In another important early Christian text, the Acts of Thomas, the celestial “youth” is depicted as putting his hand on a human protagonist. Thus, the Acts of Thomas 154 reads: “He says to her: ‘Where do you go at this time alone? And how were you able to arise from the bed?’ She says to him: ‘This youth laid his hand on me and I was healed. And I say in my dream that I should go to the stranger where he is imprisoned that I might be quite healed.’ Vizan says to her: ‘Where is the youth who was with you?’ And he says to him: ‘Do you not see him? For, see, he is holding my right hand and supporting me.’” Klijn, The Acts of Thomas, 238.
37 Quispel “Genius and Spirit,” 110.
38 Scholarly consensus dates Jubilees to the second century B.C.E. somewhere between 170 and 150 B.C.E. On the date of Jubilees see J.C. VanderKam, Textual and Historical Studies in the Book of Jubilees (HSM, 14; Missoula, Montana: Scholars, 1977) 207–285; idem, “The Origins and Purposes of the Book of Jubilees,” in: Studies in the Book of Jubilees (ed. M. Albani, J. Frey, and A. Lange; TSAJ, 65; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1997) 3–24 at 4-16; M. Segal, The Book of Jubilees: Rewritten Bible, Redaction, Ideology and Theology (JSJSS, 117; Leiden: Brill, 2007) 35-41.
39 Scott, On Earth as in Heaven, 212. In his other book James Scott noted that “... the juxtaposition of Urzeit and Endzeit – the beginning of the nations and their cataclysmic end – occurs not only in Jubilees 8–9 itself, but also in Dan 12:1 and the War Rule.” J.M. Scott, Geography in Early Judaism and Christianity: The Book of Jubilees (SNTSMS, 113; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002) 227.
40 Scott, On Earth as in Heaven, 217.
41 Scott notes that “The ultimate goal of history for Jubilees is the complete restoration of sacred time and sacred space, so that what is done in the earthly cultus in the Land of Israel exactly corresponds to the way that things are already done in the heavenly cultus, that is, in accordance with the will of God from creation as inscribed on the heavenly tablets. There is, therefore, a strong sense in Jubilees not only that earth should perfectly mirror heaven, but that Endzeit should completely recapitulate Urzeit, that is, restore the world to its original, pristine condition before the fall of Adam. This rigorous symmetry between the temporal and spatial axes in the space-time continuum is an important hallmark of the book....” Scott, On Earth as in Heaven, 8.
42 VanderKam, “The Angel of the Presence in the Book of Jubilees,” 390. Michael Segal observes that “in certain instances, an angel or angels in Jubilees come in the place of God in the Pentateuch. The most conspicuous case of the replacement of God by an angel is the narrative frame of the entire book, in which the angel of the presence speaks to Moses at Sinai, and dictates to him from the Heavenly Tablets.The general effect of the insertion of the angels into the stories is the distancing of God from the everyday events of the world, transforming him into a transcendental deity.” Segal, The Book of Jubilees, 9-10.
43 J.C. VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees (2 vols.; CSCO, 510-11, Scriptores Aethiopici, 87-88; Leuven: Peeters, 1989) 2.40.
44 VanderKam, “The Angel of the Presence in the Book of Jubilees,” 391.
45 VanderKam, “The Angel of the Presence in the Book of Jubilees,” 391.
46 VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees, 2.195.
47 The scribal office of Moses is reaffirmed throughout the text. Already in the beginning (Jub. 1:5; 7; 26) he receives a chain of commands to write down the revelation dictated by the angel.
48 On the angelology of the Book of Jubilees see R.H. Charles, The Book of Jubilees or the Little Genesis (London: Black, 1902) lvi-lviii; M. Testuz, Les idées religieuses du livre des Jubilés (Geneva: Droz, 1960) 75-92; K. Berger, Das Buch der Jubiläen (JSHRZ, 2.3; Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlaghaus Gerd Nohn, 1981) 322-324; D. Dimant,” “The Sons of Heaven: The Theory of the Angels in the Book of Jubilees in Light of the Writings of the Qumran Community,” in: A Tribute to Sarah: Studies in Jewish Philosophy and Cabala Presented to Professor Sara A. Heller-Wilensky (eds. M. Idel, D. Dimant, and S. Rosenberg; Jerusalem: Magnes, 1994) 97-118 [in Hebrew]; VanderKam, “The Angel of the Presence in the Book of Jubilees,” 378-393; Najman, “Angels at Sinai: Exegesis, Theology and Interpretive Authority,” 313-333; J.L. Kugel, A Walk through Jubilees: Studies in the Book of Jubilees and the World of its Creation (JSJSS, 156; Leiden: Brill, 2012) 26-28.
49 See Jub. 1:27: “Then he said to an angel of the presence: ‘Dictate to Moses (starting) from the beginning of the creation until the time when my temple is built among them throughout the ages of eternity.’” VanderKam, Jubilees, 2.6. Jub. 2:1-2: “On the Lord’s orders the angel of the presence said to Moses: ‘Write all the words about the creation — how in six days the Lord God completed all his works, everything that he had created, and kept sabbath on the seventh day. He sanctified it for all ages and set it as a sign for all his works. For on the first day he created the heavens that are above, the earth, the waters, and all the spirits who serve before him, namely: the angels of the presence; the angels of holiness....’” VanderKam, Jubilees, 2.7.
50 VanderKam, Jubilees, 2.235-236.
51 VanderKam, Jubilees, 2.12.
52 Cf. Jub. 31:13-14: “He [Isaac] turned to Levi first and began to bless him first. He said to him: ‘May the Lord of everything — he is the Lord of all ages — bless you and your sons throughout all ages. May the Lord give you and your descendants extremely great honor; may he make you and your descendants (alone) out of all humanity approach him to serve in his temple like the angels of the presence and like the holy ones.” VanderKam, Jubilees, 2.203-204. Reflecting on this passage James Scott notes that “here we learn that Levi and his descendants were elected out of all humanity, including the rest of Israel, to serve as priests in the earthly Temple and to do so in correspondence to the heavenly priests, the angels, who serve before the very presence of God in heaven.” Scott, On Earth As in Heaven, 4.
53 Jub. 15:26-28: “Anyone who is born, the flesh of whose private parts has not been circumcised by the eighth day does not belong to the people of the pact which the Lord made with Abraham but to the people (meant for) destruction. Moreover, there is no sign on him that he belongs to the Lord, but (he is meant) for destruction, for being destroyed from the earth, and for being uprooted from the earth because he has violated the covenant of the Lord our God. For this is what the nature of all the angels of the presence and all the angels of holiness was like from the day of their creation. In front of the angels of the presence and the angels of holiness he sanctified Israel to be with him and his holy angels. Now you command the Israelites to keep the sign of this covenant throughout their history as an eternal ordinance so that they may not be uprooted from the earth” VanderKam, Jubilees, 2.92-93. On this tradition see also Scott, On Earth As in Heaven, 3-4; Segal, The Book of Jubilees, 236-8; J.T.A.G.M. van Ruiten, Abraham in the Book of Jubilees: The Rewriting of Genesis 11:26-25:10 in the Book of Jubilees 11:14-23:8 (JSJSS, 161; Leiden: Brill, 2012) 158; A. Kim Harkins, Reading with an “I” to the Heavens: Looking at the Qumran Hodayot through the Lens of Visionary Traditions (Ekstasis: Religious Experience from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, 3; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2012) 221.
54 G. Brooke, “Men and Women as Angels in Joseph and Aseneth,” JSP 14 (2005) 161. On this see also D. Dimant, “Men as Angels: The Self-image of the Qumran Community,” in: Religion and Politics in the Ancient Near East (ed. A. Berlin; STJHC, 1; Bethesda, MD: University Press of Maryland, 1996) 93-103; B. Ego, “Heilige Zeit – heiliger Raum – heiliger Mensch: Beobachtungen zur Struktur der Gesetzesbegründung in der schöpfungs- und Paradiesgeschichte des Jubiläenbuches,” in: Studies in the Book of Jubilees (eds. M. Albani, J. Frey, and A. Lange; TSAJ, 65; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1997) 207-19.
55 In Joseph and Aseneth 18:3-6 the transformed seer is also endowed with a luminous robe, a golden crown, and a scepter, the attributes of her heavenly initiator in the form of the celestial Anthropos.
56 On Metatron’s office of the celestial scribe see Orlov, The Enoch-Metatron Tradition, 97-101.
57 2 Enoch 22:10-11 (the shorter recension) “The Lord summoned Vereveil, one of his archangels, who was wise, who records all the Lord’s deeds. And the Lord said to Vereveil, ‘Bring out the books from storehouses, and give a pen to Enoch and read him the books.’ And Vereveil hurried and brought me the books mottled with myrrh. And he gave me the pen from his hand.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.141.
58 This “intermediate” authoritative stand is often further reinforced by the authority of the deity himself through the identification of the heavenly counterparts with the divine Form. On this process, see our previous discussion about the blurring of the boundaries between the Doppelgänger and the deity.
59 About the inspiration of Manichaean books by the Twin see Ort, Mani: A Religio-historical Description of His Personality, 86 ff.
60 Thus, Thomas Dozeman suggests that already in biblical accounts Moses’ face serves as a mirror of the divine Face – Kavod. T.B. Dozeman, God on the Mountain (Atlanta: Scholars, 1989) 172, n. 58.
61 Synopse §§396–397: “...The Lord of all the worlds warned Moses that he should beware of his face. So it is written, ‘Beware of his face.’ This is the prince who is called Metatron.”
62 Some scholars argue that the designation of the angelic servants of the divine Face - Sar ha-Panim can be translated as the “prince who is the face [of God].” On this see N. Deutsch, Guardians of the Gate: Angelic Vice Regency in Late Antiquity (BSJS, 22; Leiden: Brill, 1999) 43; idem, The Gnostic Imagination: Gnosticism, Mandaeism, and Merkabah Mysticism (Leiden: Brill, 1995); R.S. Boustan, From Martyr to Mystic. Rabbinic Martyrology and the Making of Merkavah Mysticism (TSAJ, 112; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 2005) 118–121; R. Neis, “Embracing Icons: The Face of Jacob on the Throne of God,” Images: A Journal of Jewish Art and Visual Culture 1 (2007) 36-54 at 42.
63 Orlov, The Enoch-Metatron Tradition, 165-176; idem, “The Face as the Heavenly Counterpart of the Visionary in the Slavonic Ladder of Jacob,” in: A. Orlov, From Apocalypticism to Merkabah Mysticism: Studies in the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha (JSJSS, 114; Leiden: Brill, 2007) 399-419.
64 See our section on the angelic princes of the Face earlier in our study.
65 As I previously suggested the metaphor of “engraving” on the Kavod might signify that the seer’s identity became reflected in the divine Face, as in a mirror. On this see A. Orlov, Selected Studies in the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha (SVTP, 23; Leiden: Brill, 2009) 176. The tradition about Jacob’s image engraved on the divine Face will be explored in detail later in our study.
66 P. Schäfer, The Hidden and Manifest God: Some Major Themes in Early Jewish Mysticism (Albany: SUNY, 1992) 18. This motif recalls 2 Enoch, in which the description of the Face and the statement about the impossibility of enduring its vision likewise are combined.
67 This theme looms large in the Hekhalot tradition where one can often find the “danger motif” applied to the Face imagery. On this see Schäfer, The Hidden and Manifest God, 17; Synopse §§102, 159, 183, 189, 356.
68 Schäfer, The Hidden and Manifest God, 18.
69 Schäfer, The Hidden and Manifest God, 18.
70 For the discussion of this rabbinic passage see M. Fishbane, “Through the Looking-Glass: Reflections on Ezek. 43.4, Num. 12.8 and 1 Cor. 13.8,” HAR 10 (1986) 63-75 at 71; M.D. Litwa, “Transformation through a Mirror: Moses in 2 Cor. 3.18,” JSNT 34 (2012) 286-297 at 291.
71 Cf. b. Yeb. 49b: “[Do not] the contradictions between the Scriptural texts, however, still remain? — ‘I saw the Lord,’ [is to be understood] in accordance with what was taught: All the prophets looked into a dim glass, but Moses looked through a clear glass.” Epstein, The Babylonian Talmud. Yebamot, 49b. Gershom Scholem draws attention to the passage from R. Moses Isseries of Cracow who is reflecting on the talmudic passage from b. Yeb. 49b who offers the following comment: “For in truth, it is fitting to describe Him by this parable and metaphor, for light is found with Him [Dan 2:22], and in Him all those who gaze see, and each one sees Him like one gazing in a mirror. For the coarse matter that is in man stands opposite the prophet or the one who contemplates, behind the clear light that is in the soul, which is like a mirror for him, and he sees in it, in an inner vision, his own form. For this reason the prophets compared the divine glory (Kavod) to a human image, for they saw their own form. But Moses our teacher, because he had removed from himself all corporeality, and there was none of the dark matter from without left within him, saw naught but the brilliant light itself, and there was no [reflected] image, but he saw only the clear aspect…. And let not this reason be a small thing in your eyes, for it strikes me as being the truth concerning the prophetic visions: that they saw the Kavod (the divine glory) in human shape, which was the shape of the prophet himself. And for this reason our rabbis said: “Great is the power of the prophets, who made the form to resemble the Former.” That is to say, they transferred their own form that they saw to the Creator. And this is the literal meaning of this saying, according to this way [of interpretation]. Similarly, the [author of] Minhath Yehudah wrote, in his Commentary to Macarekheth ha-EIohuth, as follows: “The lower Adam is a throne for the upper Adam; for the physical limbs in him allude to the spiritual limbs up above, and they are divine potencies. And not for naught did He say, ‘Let us make man in our image’ [Gen 1:26]. But this image is the image of the supernal, spiritual man, and the prophet is the physical man, who at the moment of prophecy becomes spiritual, and whose external senses nearly depart from him; therefore, if he sees the image of a man, it is as if he sees his own image in a glass mirror.” Scholem, On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead, 258-259.
72 See also Zohar I.170b: “For Moses gazed into the clear mirror of prophecy, whereas all the other prophets looked into a hazy mirror.” Sperling and Simon, The Zohar, 2.153. Zohar I.183a: “Now all the prophets drew their inspiration from one side, from the midst of two certain grades which they beheld in a ‘dull mirror,’ as it says: ‘I do make myself known unto him in a vision,’ the word ‘vision’ denoting, as has been explained, a medium reflecting a variety of colours; and this is the ‘dull mirror.’” Sperling and Simon, The Zohar, 2.199. Zohar II.82b: “Why, then, did Isaiah not give a detailed account of his visions, like Ezekiel? According to R. Jose, it was necessary that Ezekiel should speak in a detailed manner in order to impress the people in exile with the fact that the Holy One loved them, and that the Shekinah and Her Chariots had gone down into exile also, to be present with them. R. Hiya asked, why did the Shekinah reveal Herself in ‘the land of the Chaldeans’ (Ezek 1:3), of which it says: ‘Behold the land of the Chaldeans, a people which is not’ (Isa 23:13, i.e. degraded)? If it was for Israel’s sake, surely She could have been present among them without manifesting Herself in that inauspicious place? However, had She not revealed Herself the people would not have known that She was with them. Besides, the revelation took place ‘by the river Chebar’ (Ezek 1:3), by undefiled waters where impurity has no abode, that river being one of the four which issued from the Garden of Eden. It was there, and nowhere else, then, that ‘the hand of the Lord was upon him,’ as is directly stated. R. Hiya also expounded, in accordance with the esoteric teaching, Ezekiel’s vision: ‘Out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures, and this was their appearance, they had the likeness of a man,’ saying that there is a sacred Hall in which dwell four living Creatures, which are the most ancient celestial beings ministering to the Holy Ancient, and which constitute the essence of the Supernal Name; and that Ezekiel saw only the likeness of the supernal Chariots, because his beholding was from a region which was not very bright. He furthermore said that there are lower beings corresponding to these upper ones, and so throughout, and they are all linked one with another. Our teachers have laid down that Moses derived his prophetic vision from a bright mirror, whereas the other prophets derived their vision from a dull mirror. So it is written concerning Ezekiel: ‘I saw visions of God,’ whereas in connection with the difference between Moses and all other prophets it says: ‘If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord will make Myself known to him in a vision.... My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house: and with him I will speak mouth to mouth’ (Num 12:7-8). R. Jose remarked that all the prophets are in comparison with Moses like females in comparison with males. The Lord did not speak to him in ‘riddles,’ but showed him everything clearly. Blessed, indeed, was the generation in whose midst this prophet lived!” Sperling and Simon, The Zohar, 3.274.
73 Reflecting on this phrase Jan Lambrecht suggests that “it is obvious that Philo thinks here if ‘seeing in a mirror.’” J. Lambrecht, “Transformation in 2 Cor 3,18,” Biblica 64 (1983) 243-254 at 248.
74 For Philo, a mirror clearly reflects the original. Cf. Somn. 2.31 §206: “Yet we need little thought in our quest of him, for the dreamer’s vision is the closest possible reproduction of his image, and through careful study of the dream we shall see him reflected as it were in a mirror.” Philo (trs. F. H. Colson and G. H. Whitaker; 10 vols.; LCL; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1929-64) 5.535-537; Decal. 21 §105: “But nothing so much assures its predominance as that through it is best given the revelation of the Father and Maker of all, for in it, as in a mirror, the mind has a vision of God as acting and creating the world and controlling all that is.” Colson and Whitaker, Philo, 7.61.
75 Colson and Whitaker, Philo, 1.369-371. This tradition is also found in later interpretation of Jacob’s story – a trend that will be explored later in our study. For example, Zohar I.149b reflects on Jacob’s vision: “A ‘vision’ (mar’eh = vision, or mirror) is so called because it is like a mirror, in which all images are reflected. Thus we read: ‘And I appeared... as El Shaddai’ (Exod 6:2), this grade being like a mirror which showed another form, since all supernal forms are reflected in it.” Sperling and Simon, The Zohar, 2.79. Zohar I.168a unveils the following tradition: “Hence it is that when the children of Jacob are oppressed, God looks at the image of Jacob and is filled with pity for the world. This is hinted in the passage: “Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob” (Lev 26:42), where the name Jacob is spelt plene, with a vau, which is itself the image of Jacob. To look at Jacob was like looking at the ‘clear mirror.’” Sperling and Simon, The Zohar, 2.144.
76 Scholars also noted influences from the formative Ezekelian account. Thus, Alan Segal argues that “in 2 Cor 3:18, Paul says that believers will be changed into Christ’s likeness from one degree of glory to another.... Paul’s term the Glory of the Lord must be taken both as a reference to Christ and as a technical term for the kavod, the human form of God appearing in biblical visions. In 2 Cor 3:18, Paul says that Christians behold the Glory of the Lord as in a mirror and are transformed into his image.... The use of the mirror here is also a magico-mystical theme, which can be traced to the word Ny( occurring in Ezek 1. Although it is sometimes translated otherwise, Ny( probably refers to a mirror even there, and possibly refers to some unexplained technique for achieving ecstasy. The mystic bowls of the magical papyri and Talmudic times were filled with water and oil to reflect light and stimulate trance.” A. Segal, “The Afterlife as Mirror of the Self,” in: Experientia. Volume 1: Inquiry into Religious Experience in Early Judaism and Christianity (eds. F. Flannery, C. Shantz, and R.A. Werline; SBLSS, 40; Atlanta: SBL, 2008) 26.
77 See Litwa, “Transformation through a Mirror: Moses in 2 Cor. 3.18,” 286-297.
78 Alan Segal notes that “Paul’s use of the language of transformation often goes unappreciated. In 2 Cor 3:18, Paul says that believers will be changed into Christ’s likeness from one degree of glory to another. He refers to Moses’ encounter with the angel of the Lord in Exodus 33-34. Earlier in the Exodus passage, the angel of the Lord is described as carrying the name of God. Moses sees the Glory of the Lord, makes a covenant, receives the commandments on the two tables of the law, and when he comes down from the mount, the skin of his face shines with light (Exod 34:29-35). Moses thereafter must wear a veil except when he is in the presence of the Lord. Paul assumes that Moses made an ascension to the presence of the Lord, was transformed by that encounter and that his shining face is a reflection of the encounter.... Paul’s phrase the Glory of the Lord must be taken both as a reference to Christ and as a technical term for the Kavod, the human form of God appearing in biblical visions. In 2 Cor 3:18, Paul says that Christians behold the Glory of the Lord (ten doxan kyriou) as in a mirror and are transformed into his image (ten auten eikōna). For Paul, as for the earliest Jewish mystics, to be privileged to see the Kavod or Glory (doxa) of God is a prologue to transformation into his image (eikōn). A. Segal, Paul the Convert: The Apostolate and Apostasy of Saul the Pharisee (New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 1990) 60.
79 It is intriguing that a passage from Zohar I.168a connects the tradition of Jacob’s heavenly identity in the form of image with the mirror symbolism: “Hence it is that when the children of Jacob are oppressed, God looks at the image of Jacob and is filled with pity for the world. This is hinted in the passage: ‘Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob’ (Lev 26:42), where the name Jacob is spelt plene, with a vau, which is itself the image of Jacob. To look at Jacob was like looking at the ‘clear mirror.’” Sperling and Simon, The Zohar, 2.144.
80 Lev. Rab. 1:14 mentioned above, in which Moses receives his revelation through the mirror, also evokes the terminology of “image”: “R. Phinehas said in the name of R. Hosha’iah: This may be compared to a king who allowed himself to be seen by his intimate friend [only] by means of his image. In this world the Shekhinah manifests itself only to chosen individuals; in the Time to Come, however, The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all the flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it (Isa 40:5).” Reflecting on this passage David Litwa observes that “in context, this interpretation indicates that at Sinai Moses was looking at God’s image, and that this foreshadows the eschatological age when all people will recapitulate this experience. It is important to note that the mirror Moses looks at in the previous two interpretations has become an image. Second, Moses looking at God’s ‘image’ is functionally equivalent to the ‘glory’ seen by everyone in the world to come. The semantic associations of ‘glory’ and ‘image’ as well as ‘image’ and ‘mirror’ indicate that we are close to the kind of interpretation we see in 2 Cor. 3:18.” Litwa, “Transformation through a Mirror,” 292. Moshe Idel notes that in some rabbinic texts and, in different manner, in Hasidei Ashkenaz and in some Kabbalistic sources the biblical “image” tselem is understood as “face.” M. Idel, “Panim: On Facial Re-Presentations in Jewish Thought. Some Correlational Instances,” in: On Interpretation in the Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies in the Honor of Moshe Lazar (ed. N. Yaari; Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University, 2000) 21-56 at 24. From later Jewish mystical testimonies one learns that through his/her reflection/shadow a person can access and manipulate his heavenly counterpart represented by her/his image. Thus, Zohar III.43a reads: “if someone wishes to indulge in sorcery of the Left Side and immerse himself in it, he should stand in the light of a lamp, or in another place where his own images can be seen, and say the words prescribed for this kind of sorcery, and summon these unclean powers by their unclean names. He should then commit his images on oath to those he has summoned, and say that he is of his own free will prepared to obey their command. Such a man leaves the authority of his Creator and assigns his trust to the power of uncleanness. And with these words of sorcery which he pronounces and [with which] he adjures the images, two spirits are revealed, and they are embodied in his images in human form, and they give him information both for good and evil purposes for particular occasions. These two spirits that were not comprised within a body are now comprised in these images and are embodied in them.” Tishby, The Wisdom of the Zohar, 2.788.
81 In relation to these traditions Concetta Principe observes that “there is a tradition of the mirror in the first century period, Segal notes, adapted from Moses’s experience of God, by Paul and his contemporaries: ‘Philo believed that people do not see God directly but through a mirror (On Flight, 213).’ The pure water in Aseneth’s story becomes a mirror in which the doxa of God is reflected back in her face as her converted self. This reflection does not signify magic practice, Burchard notes, but mystical transformation: ‘She comes close to being an angelic figure” echoing Moses and Paul’s experience with God’s doxa and paralleled by 2 Corinthians 3:18. I would add that there are parallels to the glory Paul claims can be found in the human face as defined in 2 Corinthians 3:16 to 4:6.’” C.V. Principe, Secular Messiahs and the Return of Paul’s “Real”: A Lacanian Approach (N.Y.: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) 129.
82 Emphasis is mine. Segal, “The Afterlife as Mirror of the Self,” 20.
83 Segal, “The Afterlife as Mirror of the Self,” 24.
84 Emphasis is mine. A. DeConick, Voices of the Mystics: Early Christian Discourse in the Gospels of John and Thomas and Other Ancient Christian Literature (London, New York: T&T Clark, 2001) 65-66.
85 Emphasis is mine. DeConick, Voices of the Mystics, 65-66.
86 A. DeConick, Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas: A History of the Gospel and Its Growth (London, New York: T&T Clark, 2005) 205.
87 The similar conceptual constellations of image and mirror play a prominent role in Mandaean tradition where lower mediatorial figures, like Ptahil are also portrayed both as an image and as a reflection or a mirror of the upper mediatorial figures, including Abatur. In relation to these developments Gilles Quispel observes that “the first Idea, God’s Wisdom looks down on the Chaos below, and the primeval waters mirror her shadowy image: that is the demiurge who orders unorganized matter. So the world originates from the projecting activity of the great Goddess Barbelo. Even today we find the same among the Mandaeans, the only Gnostics in this world who can boast an uninterrupted continuity of the ancient Gnostics: according to them ... at the commandment of God (‘Life’) the heavenly weighmaster, Abatur, looks down from above into that black water; at the same moment his image was formed in the black water, the demiurge, Gabriel or Ptahil, took shape and ascended to the borderland (on high near heaven, near the realm of light). Or, again, this holy Motherfather reveals herself to the demonic powers of this world through her luminous image in the primordial waters ....” G. Quispel, “Gnosis and Psychology,” in: The Rediscovery of Gnosticism (ed. B. Layton; 2 vols.; SHR, 41; Leiden: Brill, 1981) 1.29.
88 Emphasis is mine. Lambrecht, “Transformation in 2 Cor 3,18,” 249.
89 In Cologne Mani Codex 17 Mani’s heavenly counterpart is labeled as the “greatest mirror-image” (μέγιστον κάτοπτρον). Koenen and Römer, Der Kölner Mani-Kodex, 10.The similar imagery is applied to the upper Self in Acts of Thomas 112: “... when I received it, the garment seemed to me to become like a mirror of myself. I saw it all in all, and I too received all in it ....” Klijn, Acts of Thomas, 185. For a discussion of these passages see A. Henrichs, H. Henrichs, and L. Koenen, “Der Kölner Mani-Kodex (P. Colon. inv. nr. 4780),” ZPE 19 (1975) 1-85 at 79, n. 41; I. Gruenwald, From Apocalypticism to Gnosticism: Studies in Apocalypticism, Merkavah Mysticism and Gnosticism (BEATAJ, 14; Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 1988) 256; J.C. Reeves, Heralds of that Good Realm. Syro-Mesopotamian Gnosis and Jewish Traditions (NHMS, 41, Leiden: Brill, 1996) 91-92, n. 18.
90 It is intriguing that in later Jewish mystical lore some patriarchical figures are envisioned as “mirrors.” As one remembers Zohar I.168a tells that “to look at Jacob was like looking at the ‘clear mirror.’” Sperling and Simon, The Zohar, 2.144.
91 On the Logos as the intermediate mirror of God see Philo’s Her. 230-231: “One is the archetypal Logos above us, the other the copy of it which we possess. Moses calls the first the ‘image of God,’ the second the cast of that image. For God, he says, made man not ‘the image of God’ but ‘after the image’ (Gen 1:27).” Colson and Whitaker, Philo, 4.399.
92 Litwa, “Transformation through a Mirror,” 293.
93 Litwa, “Transformation through a Mirror,” 294.
94 Nathaniel Deutsch notes that “it also appears that some sources understood Metatron to be the hypostatic embodiment of a particular part of the divine form, most notably the face of God. As I have argued elsewhere, it is likely that this tradition underlies the title Sar ha-Panim, which is associated with Metatron. Rather than ‘prince of the face [of God],’ this title is better understood as ‘prince who is the face [of God].’ Indeed, at least one Merkabah passage explicidy identifies Metatron as the hypostatic face of God: ‘Moses said to the Lord of all the worlds: ‘If your face does not go [with us], do not bring me up from here.’ [Exod 33:15]. The Lord of all the worlds warned Moses that he should beware of that face of his. So it is written, ‘Beware of his face.’ [Exod 23:21]. This is he who is written with the one letter by which heaven and earth were created, and was sealed with the seal of ‘I am that I am’ [Exod 3:14] .... This is the prince who is called Yofiel Yah-dariel ... he is called Metatron.’ Synopse §§396-397.” Deutsch, Guardians of the Gate, 43.
95 Some early Jewish and Christian accounts provide hints to such hierarchies of the mediatorial “faces” that depending on their powers are able to differently “light up” the countenance of a seer. One such testimony can be found in the Ascension of Isaiah 7:19-25: “And [I saw there, as] in the first heaven, angels on the right and on the left, and a throne in the middle, and the praise of the angels who (were) in the second heaven; and the one who sat on the throne in the second heaven had more glory than all (the rest).... And he took me up into the third heaven, and in the same way I saw those who (were) on the right and on the left, and there also (there was) a throne in the middle and one who sat (on it), but no mention of this world was made there. And I said to the angel who (was) with me, for the glory of my face was being transformed as I went up from heaven to heaven....” M.A. Knibb, “Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah,” in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 vols.; ed. J. H. Charlesworth; New York: Doubleday, 1983-85) 2.166-167. In relation to this passage Peter Schäfer observes that “In the third heaven Isaiah notices that the gradual increase of glory in each heaven is mirrored in his own physical transformation: the higher he gets, the brighter becomes his face (7:25).” Schäfer, Origins of Jewish Mysticism, 96.
96 It should be noted that this concept of multiple divine “faces” was affirmed by later Jewish mystical lore which postulates that the deity possesses several “faces,” each of them fashioned according to the identity of the seer. Moshe Idel notes that such conceptual traits attempt to emphasize the dynamic aspect of the divinity by “opting for a variety of divine faces, each expressing what is conceived of as real, namely not imaginable aspect of the divine being.” Idel, “Panim: On Facial Re-Presentations in Jewish Thought,” 25. Idel draws his attention to a rabbinic tradition circulated in the name of a third century Palestinian master R. Levi. Thus, Pesiqta de-Rav Kahana reads: “The Holy One, blessed be He, has shown Himself to them like this icon that is showing its faces in all the directions. A thousand people are looking at it and it looks to each of them. So does the Holy One, blessed be He, when He was speaking each and every one of Israel was saying the speech was with me. “I am God, your Lord” is not written, but I am God, your Lord. Rabbi Yossei bar Hanina said: according to the strength of each and every one, the (divine) speech was speaking.” Pesikta de Rav Kahana According to an Oxford Manuscript, with Variants from All Known Manuscripts and Genizoth Fragments and Parallel Passages (ed. B. Mandelbaum; 2 vols.; New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1962) 1.224. Reflecting on this passage Idel suggests that “the divine face, just as an icon as described above, is not a totally determined entity; just as the voice is open to a variety of auditory experiences each of which conceived of as real…. Important for some other Midrashic discussions is the reference in this passage to many divine faces. Though the above text does not express this multiplicity in an explicit manner, such a multiplicity is conveyed by the term panim in the context of the icon which is the parable for the manner in which the divine face operates. In Hebrew the very term for face, panim, has a plural form, but there can be no doubt that it is not the grammatical plural form, but it is the concept of multiplicity of faces that transpires in this passage.” Idel, “Panim: On Facial Re-Presentations in Jewish Thought,” 25. In other midrashic composition, Pesiqta Rabbati, to R. Levi is attributed another reflection about multiple faces of the deity: “The Holy One, Blessed be he, revealed Himself to them with many faces: with an angry face, with a downcast face, with a dour face, with a joyful face, with a smiling face, and with a radiant face. How? When he showed them the punishment (awaiting) the wicked, he did so with an angry, downcast, dour face. But when He showed them the reward (awaiting) the just in the World to come, it was with a happy, (smiling), radiant face.” Idel, “Panim: On Facial Re-Presentations in Jewish Thought,” 26. A similar tradition is found in Zohar II.86b-87a: “We know that the Holy One has many aspects (faces) in His manifestations to men: He manifests to some a beaming face, to others a gloomy one; to some a distant face, to others one that is very near; to some an external, to others an inner, hidden aspect; to some from the right side, to others from the left.” Sperling and Simon, The Zohar, 3.264. Cf. also a passage from Pesiqta de-Rav Kahana: “‘I am your Lord’ - Rabbi Hanina bar Papa said: the Holy One, blessed be He, has shown to them a face of anger, a face of welcoming, a moderate face, and a laughing face. A face of anger - (corresponds to) the Bible, because when a person teaches the Bible to his son, he has to teach him with awe. A moderate face - to the Mishnah. A face of welcoming - to the Talmud. A laughing face, for ‘Aggadah. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to them: despite you have seen all these appearances, ‘I am your Lord.’” Mandelbaum, Pesikta de Rav Kahana, 1.223-4. Idel notes that “if the first quote of R. Levi deals with concomitant revelations that are diversified by the various human capacities, in the last quote the different countenances of the divine face, or the faces, reflect different parts of the divine revelation, or different verses in the Bible; some dealing with retribution and some with punishment. When pronouncing those different verses, the divine face changes accordingly, or accommodates itself. It is as if the divine face uses different masks attuned to the content of the text recited.” Idel also points out that although “the divine faces do not correspond to the human faces, but to the literary corpora. However, since those corpora are intended to be studied by people, ultimately this is another form of correlational theology. Those passages are part of a broader Midrashic theory of multiple revelations based on the assumption that God accommodates Himself to the specific situation in which the revelation is taking place.” Idel, “Panim: On Facial Re-Presentations in Jewish Thought,” 27-28.
97 The traditions about Jacob as a hypostatic divine Face will be explored in the next chapter of our study. It is possible that this tradition is connected with the Metatron lore. Thus, Nathaniel Deutsch suggests that “the possibility that Metatron was actually identified as the hypostatic face of God is strengthened by a complex set of associations linking Metatron with the face of Jacob engraved on the throne of God.” Deutsch, Gnostic Imagination, 106.
98 On Christ as the hypostatic Face of God see Clement of Alexandria’s Excerpta ex Theodoto10:6: “but they ‘always behold the face of the Father’ and the face of the Father is the Son, through whom the Father is known.” Casey, The Excerpta ex Theodoto of Clement of Alexandria, 49.
99 Cf. Odes of Solomon 13:1-2: “Behold, the Lord is our mirror. Open (your) eyes and see them in him. And learn the manner of your face, then announce praises to his Spirit. And wipe the paint from your face, and love his holiness and put it on. Then you will be unblemished at all times with him.” J. Charlesworth, “Odes of Solomon,” in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. J.H. Charlesworth; 2 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1983-1985) 2.747.
100 See 2 Enoch 64:4-5: “O our father, Enoch! May you be blessed by the Lord, the eternal king! And now, bless your [sons], and all the people, so that we may be glorified in front of your face today. For you will be glorified in front of the face [of the Lord for eternity], because you are the one whom the Lord chose in preference to all the people upon the earth; and he appointed you to be the one who makes a written record of all his creation, visible and invisible, and the one who carried away the sin of mankind.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.190.
101 On Moses’ face as a divine hypostatic entity in later Jewish mysticism see Moshe Idel’s chapter “Moses’s Face as a Divine Hypostasis in Ecstatic Kabbalah,” in M. Idel, “The Changing Faces of God and Human Dignity in Judaism,” in: Moshe Idel: Representing God (eds. H. Tirosh-Samuelson and A.W. Hughes; LCJP, 8; Leiden: Brill, 2014) 103-122 at 114-17.
102 B. Britt, Rewriting Moses: The Narrative Eclipse of the Text (JSOTSS, 402; London, New York: T&T Clark, 2004) 85.