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Metatron

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Victoria Liss
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« on: October 27, 2010, 01:20:36 pm »

Origins
The Talmud relates that Elisha ben Abuyah, also called Acher, (אחר, "other", as he became an apostate), entered Paradise and saw Metatron sitting down (an action that in heaven is permitted only to God himself). Elishah ben Abuyah therefore looked to Metatron as a deity and said heretically, "There are indeed two powers in heaven!" The rabbis explain that Metatron was allowed to sit because of his function as the Heavenly Scribe, writing down the deeds of Israel (Babylonian Talmud, Hagiga 15a).[4]

... the Talmud states, it was proved to Elisha that Metatron could not be a second deity by the fact that Metatron received 60 'strokes with fiery rods' to demonstrate that Metatron was not a god, but an angel, and could be punished.

In opposition to this apology, Metatron is identified with the term "lesser YHVH", which is the Lesser Tetragrammaton, in a Talmudic version as cited by the Karaite scholar Kirkisani. The word Metatron is numerically equivalent to Shaddai (God) in Hebrew gematria; therefore, he is said to have a "Name like his Master." It should be noted, however, that Kirkisani may have misrepresented the Talmud in order to embarrass his Rabbanite opponents with evidence of dualism. On the other hand, extra-talmudic mystical texts (see below regarding Sefer Hekhalot) do speak of a "lesser YHVH," apparently deriving the concept from Exodus 23:21, which mentions an angel of whom God says "my name [understood as YHVH, the usual divine Proper Name] is in him."

The Babylonian Talmud mentions Metatron in two other places: Sanhedrin 38b and Avodah Zarah 3b. Yevamot 16b describes in the Amoraic period the duties of 'prince of the world' being transferred from Michael to Metatron.

Metatron is also mentioned in the Pseudepigrapha, most prominently in the Hebrew/Merkabah Book of Enoch, also called 3 Enoch or Sefer Hekhalot (Book of [the Heavenly] Palaces). The book describes the link between Enoch son of Jared (great grandfather of Noah) and his transformation into the angel Metatron. His grand title "the lesser YHVH" resurfaces here. Metatron says, "He [the Holy One]... called me, 'The lesser YHVH' in the presence of his whole household in the height, as it is written, 'my name is in him.'" (12:5, Alexander's translation). The narrator of this book, supposedly Rabbi Ishmael, tells how Metatron guided him through Heaven and explained its wonders. Here Metatron is described in two ways: as a primordial angel (9:2–13:2) and as the transformation of Enoch after he was assumed into Heaven.[5][6]

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