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Tuesday, 11th December

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16.44 - Metatron

из дискуссии о Метатроне на днях в одном листе:
"catalaunum" Dec 5, 2007

The notion of Metatron as it sprung up in the Second Temple period Judaism, may be a result of Persian influences (Mithra, Zoroaster). His encounter was made by mystics in course of their (temporary) apotheosis, as their heavenly journey peaked. The adept in this so-called Heikhalot literature may be a marginal character.

Early on, Christian Orthodox mystics also showed fascination toward the angel behind the throne, fusing him into Christ. The second-century Talmudist Simeon ben Yohai would have lived in association with Metatron. There was some speculation on the measurements of Metatron. He was also woven in apocalyptical literature reflecting the anguish of the Jews under Roman and Persian misrule, as an avenger.

While Metatron was a principal mediator between man and deity for the Jewish mystic, the Christian Kabbalist Fludd took him to be the Soul of the Messiah.

The 20th-century German writer Thomas Mann demonstrated his familiarity with Gnosticism in his Joseph tetralogy. Guenon, surprisingly for me at least, integrated Metatron into hi speculations on the ambiguity and duality of absolute power.
John Reeves of Winthrop University (Jewish Lore in Manichaean Cosmogony: Studies in the Book of Giants Traditions,) has argued that Zoroaster and Enoch were the same person, or were seen as the same person, and this is why the Enochian literature is so great. In Manichaeanism, Enoch and Zoroaster are the same both the heavenly entity, the "Apostle of Light" in human form. Interestingly, in 3 Enoch, a Rabbinic work of about the third century AD, Enoch reveals himself to the heavenly traveller, Rabbi Ishmael, as the Metatron, the greatest of angels and identifiable with Mithras (Mitra) and the archangel Michael (3 Enoch 10:3-6).

"It seems clear also that the Merkavah mystics were deified (turned to angelic creatures of fire) before the throne of God, at least for the duration of the heavenly journey. Enoch received this deification permanently when he was transformed into the angel Metatron in 3 Enoch. But perhaps not too much should be made of this either, since deification rites are also known from the pagan magical papyri (e.g., PGM IV.475-829) and human claims to god hood go back to the Egyptian funerary Pyramid Texts."
- James R. Davila, "Ancient Magic (The Prayer of Jacob)"

The adept of the Heikhalot literature is generally a sage cruelly executed by the Romans (Akiba), particularly the reputed (son of the) High Priest (Ishmael), or again a blasphemous heretic. The fatal self-revelation of God is described as if it were occurring in the Holy of the Holies as soon as the priest-shaman is enveloped and (literally) "transported" by the Shekhinah. The embryonic dimension has been encoded into the archetypal child-sacrifice of the "sinful" Enoch, who thereby became the "juvenile" (na'ar) Metatron, the highest archangel, entrusted with sacrificing the souls of the just above just as the animals sacrificed on the altar below. Having been devoured by the Fire of God, Metatron, the celestial transposition of the High Priest, has a body of flames.
Between Jerusalem and Benares: Union and Unity in Hinduism and Judaism by Sunthar Visuvalingam

The Hebrew of Third Book of Enoch contains the testimony of Rabbi Ishmael, the famous Palestinian scholar, where he dreams he is taken to heaven and meets Metatron who appears to be the most powerful being there. "Why is your name like the name of your Creator with seventy names?" asks Ishmael. "You are greater than all the Princes, more exalted than all the angels, more beloved than all the Ministers." Enoch answers, "Because I am Enoch, the son of Jared." He then describes how he was made chief of the heavens over the objections of the angels.

Enoch is made acting chief with all the titles and powers of office. He is given the "divine names," the seventy names which confer power over the heavens and earth. These names seem to be like the Tablets of Destiny or the MEs of the Sumerian gods. They are formulas of devices which give the owner absolute control over certain aspects and categories of life.
[Editor: Again we find similarities to the attributes of the mysterious "Archons of Destiny".]

Enoch served as Metatron (from the Greek "metathronos" or "the one who serves behind the throne") for six Jubilee years or 300 years. According to this document, he was resettled in Eden; and while little is known of these 300 years when he served as Metatron, he presumably commuted back and forth between a city on Earth and the space ship.

Flying Serpents and Dragons (1990) by R. A. Boulay. Chapter 8. The Patriarchs, Demi-Gods of the Antediluvian Period
2) Later Rabbinical Literature: 3 Enoch and Metatron
From Jewish literature perhaps exactly contemporary with the Persian sage, we turn to the text singled out by Murray, 3 Enoch or Sefer Hekalot. The parallels lie thick on the ground here, though, as I noted earlier, not quite precisely in the way that Murray saw them. The hero of this composition is, again, the biblical forefather, Enoch, who functions, as Moshe Idel has pointed out, as the archetype of the mystical visionary [86].

He does so by way of his ascent to heaven and transformation into Metatron, the supreme "Angel" or "Prince of the Presence" (lit., "of the Face", Sar ha-Panim) [87]. To be sure, the themes of ascent and transformation are quite old, going back, as we saw, into apocalyptic literature [88], and one can even find the notion of exaltation to equality with the highest heavenly beings, the "angels of the Face", in the sectarian literature of the Qumran scrolls [89], but, in 3 Enoch, Enoch-Metatron not only becomes the highest angel, but is in fact crowned in chapter 12 as a kind of double for God Himself, and receives in consequence the title of "the lesser YHWH" (YHWH ha-Qaton) [90]. The process begins earlier, in chapter 7 of Phillip Alexander's English translation, with Enoch's flight to the "palaces" of Arabot, the highest heaven, "on the wings of the shekinah" to "serve the throne of glory" with the fiery company of the highest angels [91]. Together with this ministry come "wisdom heaped upon wisdom, understanding upon understanding... more than all the denizens of the heights" [92]. Then we arrive at the point under consideration here, Enoch's declaration that "I was enlarged and increased in size [lit., "measure"] till I matched the world in length and breadth" [93]. More notes follow that resonate with what we find in Aphrahat's portrait of the sage.

Enoch-Metatron receives "a throne like the throne of glory" [94]. He is appointed "ruler over all the denizens of the heights" and given charge over "all the treasuries [kol genizai]" in them [95]. God reveals to him "all the mysteries of wisdom, all the depths of perfect Torah, and all the thoughts of men's hearts" [96], such that Enoch declares: "there is nothing in heaven above or [the] deep beneath concealed from me" [97]. Metatron, for so we can call him now, is then robed with a cloak of glory and crowned with "a crown bearing the letters of the divine Name", thus the "lesser YHWH" [98]. So enlarged, gifted with all knowledge, robed, named and crowned, "all the princes of the kingdoms who are in the height of Arabot, and all the legions of every kingdom... trembled and shrank when they saw me" [99], and "all fell prostrate when they saw me and could not look at me" [100]. In short, the angels worship him, and no wonder, for he has become the likeness of the Glory itself, change dentirely into divine fire, the "substance of my body [lit., "body of my stature", gf qmty] to blazing fire" [101].

The likeness of the divine Glory will take us in a moment to my third theme. Right now I should like to underline the points in common between 3 Enoch on Metatron and Aphrahat on the sage. These include:

1) "flight" to heaven; 2) acquisition of the wisdom underlying creation, knowing the heights and the depths; 3) the increase in size; 4) the presence of the throne within; 5) the ministry of the angels, watchers, and (in Aphrahat) the seraphim, or (here) "the princes", before the transfigured man; 6) the language of royalty, "the King"; and 7) the presence, though elsewhere in Aphrahat's oeuvre, of the motifs of the robe of glory, and of crowns, together with the language of the glory within [102]. If our Persian sage did not have the present text of 3 Enoch before him, which is admittedly debateable [103], then he surely had something like it in mind. I think that Murray was altogether justified in deploying this late example of Jewish hekalot literature for his comparison, since I know of no texts other than this one or Aphrahat's Demonstration XIV.35 in Jewish or Christian literature which are quite so bold in their application to a human being, however transformed, of the language and imagery normally associated with the divine Presence. The one exception in Christian writers would be the person of Jesus Christ Himself. As we shall see, this "exception" is of central importance for Aphrahat. In fact, it underlies his treatment of the transfigured sage.
Alexander Golitzin. The Place of the Presence of God: Aphrahat of Persia's Portrait of the Christian Holy Man. An Essay in Honor of Archimandrite Aimilianos of the Monastery of Simonos Petras, Mount Athos

86. M. Idel, "Enoch is Metatron", Immanuel 24/25 (1990) 220-40, esp. 233-5.
87. Metatron's title of choice in 3 Enoch, begining in 1:4 (OTP I:256), repeated in 3:1 and subsequently throughout the treatise.
88. See again Himmelfarb, Ascent to Heaven 29-46; Morray-Jones, "Transformational Mysticism" 10-31, and idem, "The Temple Within".
89. See the references above in nn.74-76, together esp. with 1Q 28b
in 24-5: "May you be like an angel of the face [ml'k pnym] in the holy
residence for the Glory [kbwd] of the God of the Hosts"; Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition I: 106-7.
90. 3 Enoch 12:5; Synopse zur Hekhalot Literatur #15; English in OTP I:265. 91. Ibid., 7; Synopse # 10; OTP I:262.
92. Ibid., 8:2; Synopse # 11; OTP I:263.
93. Ibid., 9:2; Synopse # 12; OTP I:263.
94. Ibid., 10:1; Synopse # 13; OTP I:263-4.
95. Ibid., 10:3-6; OTP 264.
96. Ibid., 11:1; Synopse # 14; OTP I:264. Note the Hebrew of # 14, p. 9, line
41: "all the mysteries of eternity and all the secrets of the beginning".
97. Ibid., 11:3.
98. Ibid.; 12-13; Synopse ## 15-16; OTP I:265.
99. Ibid., 14:1; Synopse # 17; OTP I:266.
100. Ibid., 14:5; OTP I:267.
101. Ibid., 15; Synopse # 19; OTP I:267.
102. For being clothed (lbљ in Aphrahat, and for the "robe" or "garment", see Demonstrations VI.2, 240:12 and 248:4-5 (the "wedding garment"); 6, 268:6-7 ("the robe not made with hands"); 18, 308:1-13 being "clothed with the image of the heavenly Adam", an allusion to I Cor. 15:44-5 and 49); and XIV.39, 681:21 ("the robe of Glory", identified with Christ).
103. On the dating of 3 Enoch, see above, n.27.
In these interwoven relationships, harkening back to the earliest times, there were also tales linking Moses with Enoch, A Jewish legend, called "The Ascent of Moses," relates that when the Lord summoned Moses at Mount Sinai and charged him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses resisted the mission for various reasons, including his slow and non-eloquent speech.

Determined to remove his meekness, the Lord decided to show him His throne and "the angels of the Heavens" and the mysteries thereof. So "God commanded Metatron, the Angel of the Countenance, to conduct Moses to the celestial regions." Terrified, Moses asked Metatron: "Who art thou?" And the angel (literally: "emissary") of the Lord replied: "I am Enoch, son of Jared, thy ancestor." (Accompanied by the angelic Enoch, Moses soared through the Seven Heavens, and saw Hell and Paradise; then he was returned to Mount Sinai, and accepted his mission.)
The Stairway to Heavenby Zecharia Sitchin

[The Zohar's] statements are placed in the mouth of Simeon ben Yoliai, a Tanna of the second century A.D., who, according to the Talmud, lived in association with the angel Metatron, who communicated to him the divine mysteries.

In fact, Enoch himself became the angel Metatron in Jewish thinking, thus showing the exact similarities between men and angels. Metatron was described as God's chief counselor whose "flesh was transformed into flame, his sinews into fire, his bones into ember, his eyes into torches, his hair into rays of light, and he was surrounded by storm, whirlwind, thunder and lightning."
- The Archaeology of God: Scholarship, History, Myths and Legends The Restoration of God's Eternal Family By Kerry A. Shirts
The most famous treatise of this period [II-V c.], by the title Shi`ur qoma Measures of the Body), describes the corporeal appearance the deity assumes during his theophany on the Throne. The immensity of the measures at once is a symbolic expression of the incommensurability of divine transcendence and a complex set of numeric symbolisms. This treatise contains, as well, the first mentions of Metatron, the supreme angel, the celestial metamorphosis of Enoch after his removal to heaven which was a central theme of the writings of the second phase of this current (2nd Book of Enoch).

In Jewish mysticism, one of the two most important texts of Shi'ur Qoma - there is talk about the "greatness" of Our Lord: "Rabbi Ishmael says: Metatron, the Great Prince of Testimony, told me: Regarding YHWH, the God of Israel, the Living and Constant God, Our Lord and Master, I witness the following: From the place of the abode of his glory - i.e. of the throne - until below there are 118 myriads. His height is 236 myriads and a thousand thousand. From his right arm to his left arm there are 77 myriads. From his right pupil to his left pupil there are 30 myriads. His skull is 3 myriads and a third. The crowns on his heads are 60 myriads which correspond to the 60 myriads of the heads of Israel." (folio 34a-b)
- Les Nombres (Juin 2002) par Steve Desrosiers
The first part [of Sefer Zerubbabel, a 7th-century Jewish apocalypse] begins with a dream voyage. Zerubbabel ben Shealtiel, the goveror of Judah, will find out how the "last things" are going to occur. The "spirit" takes him through the air to Nineveh, i.e. Rome, where he meets a miserable old man near a (disreputable) house. It is the Messiah waiting there, in shackles, for his hour. His name is Menachem ben Amiel. The culmination of part one is the old man turning into a radiant youth, following Zerubbabel's observation he is the Messiah (ben David). There appears the patron of the hosts of Israel, Michael-Metatron. Together with the Messiah, he will lead God's war against King Azpanim (and) with Armilos, the son of a stone. He reveals to Zerubbabel that on the end of days, God will give the "staff of salvation" to Chephzi Bah, the mother of the Messiah (ben David). She will slay two kings, one from Yemen and one from Antioch.

When the Messiah (ben Joseh) is slain, after the town has been built for 420 years, it will be destroyed the second time, and 20 years after the humiliation of Rome 70 kings will rule there. When ten kings have passed away in the city, the tenth will destroy the sanctuary and the daily sacrificing will cease. 990 years later, Israel's deliverance will occur. 5 years after (or before) Chephzi Bah, there will come Messiah ben Joseph, all the Israelites will be gathered, they will stay in Jerusalem for 40 years and make sacrifices, then the King of Persia (Shiroes) will go to Israel and there will be much trouble in Israel.

Metatron shows Zerubbabel a stone in the guise of a beautiful woman, on which Satan will beget Armilus. The latter will rule the whole world. He will come to Jerusalem with ten kings, they will slay Messiah ben Joseph and 16 just ones alongside, and Israel will be banished in the desert. This war will be in the month of Ab. All the peoples of the world will follow Armilos, save for Israel. <...> Michael-Metatron will wage the war of the Messiah against Armilus. He's the mightiest of all angels, the "Prince of the Presence": the numeric value of his name equals that of Shaddai. The name itself derives either from the Latin metator (who marks the boundary) or the Greek meta thronon (next to the divine throne) or even from the Persian Mithra. /vi observes additionaly that only in Sefer Zerubbabel, Michael is Metatron too: that isn't found in the Talmud, in the classical Midrashim and in the Targum, because in ancient mysticism Metatron is Enoch in heaven (Levi 191, Note 8).

One context for the use of angel names and descriptions, will frame Alan Segal's presentation on February 4th. This context I might crudely call "mystical." Certain texts containing heavenly ascents not only describe the divine beings of each heavenly stratum, but allude to the transformation of the ascending patriarch (be he Enoch, Isaiah, Zephaniah, etc.) into a fellow being of that stratum: a kind of gradual apotheosis. He receives angelic robes, he knows the songs and the languages of each heaven up to the seventh, and most of these heavenly voyagers get to go "where no angel has gone before" - into the heavenly throne room. This makes the seer essentially equal to the "angels of the face," the highest beings, and a human of extraordinary privilege - actually more of a divine nature than privilege. It is at this point where the divinely transformed visionary - and now I refer mostly to Enoch, after the works of Christopher Rowland and Alan Segal - loses much of his distinction from what we might call the "Principal Angelic Mediator." This figure, familiar to us variously in the form of Metatron, Yaoel, Parakletos, and the "One like a Son of Man" from the Book of Daniel, seems to represent a tradition whereby an anthropomorphic or angelic figure was endowed with the attributes (for example, the name or the enthronement) of God himself. Although it is rarely said explicitly that a merging of visionary and Principal Angel takes place, the traditions of Enoch, Melchizedek, and even Moses' apotheosis show that there was some fluidity in the contemplation of the Principal Mediator. Hebrew Enoch, on the handout, quite specifically identifies Metatron and Enoch.
- "Overview of the Study of Angels and Demons" by David Frankfurter
Fludd's Creator never abandons his creation. He intervenes ceaselessly, through the intermediacy of Nature, which is in musical sympathy with him. Fludd tried to represent Nature in one of the first illustrations in "Utriusque Cosmi Historia" (I, a, pp. 4-5). She is the minister closest to God: connected to him by a chain, to her other hand is attached, also by a chain, a monkey that represents the microcosmic Art. In his later works, Fludd speaks less of Nature and more of the World Soul. He thinks that the kabbalists meant to describe the same principle with their - Metatron - who has dominion over the World, and in whom he sees (in his - Monochordum Mundi) `the Soul of the Messiah, or the Virtue of the Tetragrammaton, in which is the light of the Living God, and in which is the light of Ensoph, beyond which one cannot go'.
- Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism. vol I ed. by Houten J. Hanegraaff & Antoine Faivre, Roelof van den Broek, Jean-Pierre Brach
Most of the sources Mann consulted for the biblical background of the novels assume a common mythological heritage linking Judaism and Christianity with pagan traditions. One of these sources (The Non-Canonical Expectation of Redemption, 1927) by Alfred Jeremias, specifically refers to the Babylonian fertility god Tammuz as a redeemed redeemer figure (19). This body of scholarship must have appealed enormously to Mann's notion of individual life as lived myth, as sacred repetition of mythical patterns set by predecessors long ago. The Joseph novels work out this notion in the frequent allusions suggesting Joseph's mythic identity with Tammuz, the Henoch-Metatron figure in Jewish mysticism, and the future Christian Redeemer, as well as with the Primal Man in the Gnostic myth told in the prelude to the tetralogy. <...>

The "perfect man" of the tetralogy is - ironically, of course - none other than the not-quite-so-perfect, though exceedingly well favored Joseph, whose self-infatuation precipitates his downfall. He dreams of a living journey into heaven, borne on high on eagles' wings. There the Almighty God, enthroned in a palace of sapphire light, exalts him as lord over all the hosts of angels and archangels, arrays him in a garment of light, and pronounces him the little Yahu, the little God, and also Metatron. The dream ends just as his living flesh turns to flame and limbs to fiery pinions.
- Introduction: Thomas Mann and Gnosticism in the Cultural Matrix of His Time by Kirsten J. Grimstad

(19) See Herbert Lehnert's exhaustive and critical review of Mann's source materials in "Thomas Manns Vorstudien zur Josephstetralogie" and "Thomas Manns Josephstudien, 1927-1939." Lehnert notes that Mann's copy of Jeremias's article shows many marginal notations indicating his active engagement with this idea. Willy Berger and Manfred Dierks have provided insightful studies addressing Mann's reception of Panbabylonian studies in the history of religion and comparative mythology as they bore fruit in the Joseph tetralogy. See Berger, Die mythologischen Motive in Thomas Manns Roman.

In a letter to his friend Ernst Bertram of December 28, 1926, Mann stated his plan to treat Joseph as a Tammmuz-Osiris-Adonis-Dionysus figure whose solar mythic features carried over into the life of Jesus. See Briefe 1: 262.

It is worth noting as an aside that Mann marked one of the footnotes in which Schaeder drew a connection between the exaltation of the youthful being of light in the ancient Orient and homoerotic worship of the divine youth in the contemporary circle surrounding the poet Stefan George. Schaeder asserted, "This nonsense has its counterpart not in classical Greek culture and in Plato, as its hierophants maintain, but in the decadence of Oriental Gnosticism"

Lehnert interprets Mann's notation as a sign of his secret bemusement at this exposure of the conceits and carryings-on of the George circle, of which one of his very closest friends, Ernst Bertram, was a steadfast member. Still, the links connecting ancient Gnosticism with decadence and male homoeroticism must have resonated in other ways as well, given that the author's depiction of young Joseph was drawn from his son Golo's handsome school chum and lover Polo. As Golo Mann reports in Reflections and Reminiscences, Thomas Mann asked for photos of Polo, to be taken surreptitiously, to use for his portrait of young Joseph.

During the early period of the composition of the first novel, Mann was himself actively cultivating his infatuation with a young man from Dusseldorf, Klaus Heuser, whom he met during the family's summer vacation on the Baltic in 1927 (Prater 169-72). As we will see in chapter six, in the decadent aestheticism of the fin de siecle, male homoeroticism became a strategy for subverting the laws of procreative nature - i.e., its relentless fecundity and life's inevitable consequence of death and decay.
In his elaborations on Metatron, the mediator of the principle of royal and sacerdotal power, Guenon has pointed to the double character (which also is, in the end, the enabling reason for the split in the paths of the right and the left hand): "Note that Michael, despite his identity with Metatron, as we saw, represents just one of his aspects. Beside the luminous aspect there's also the dark one, and that is performed by Samael who, too, is called Prince of the World. (...) Truly, this and only this last aspect is, in a subordinate sense the `genius of the world', the `princeps huius mundi', of which the Gospel speaks; and his relations to Metatron whose shadow he is at the same time, justify the usage of the same denomination in a double sense. At the same time it becomes understood why the apocalyptical figure 666, the `number of the beast', is a sun symbol as well. By the way, according to St. Hippolytus, `the Messiah and the Antichrist both have the lion as their symbol', which also is a sun symbol. The same is true for the serpent and many more symbols. In a Kabbalistic perspective, these again are the two faces of Metatron. Here we are not going to dwell on general theories about the double sense of symbols but only are observing that a confusion between the light and the dark aspect brings the genuine `Satanism' forth." (Guenon, S. 34 f.)
- Ein Kapitel aus der Geschichte der Gegen-Initiation: Himmler und die Polaren
в одном из ответов были ремарки:
"Beckman" Wed Dec 5

"to St. Hippolytus, `the Messiah and the Antichrist both have the lion as their symbol', which also is a sun symbol. The same is true for the serpent and many more symbols. In a Kabbalistic perspective, these again are the two faces of Metatron."

In December we have in the Dawn eastern sky, the serpens "snake" constellation seemingly reaching up to wear the Crown, corona constellation.

In Hindu. Lord Vishnu,(Messiah) the Snake, his birthday is celebrated in August, the same time as Leo, in our zodiac. The Jews of course, knew the Messiah to be a Leo, the "Lion of the Tribe of Judah", born in the Lamb, Age of Aries, and becoming a "fisher of men", when the age turned into Pisces.

The face on Cydonia Mars is a half beast, lion man. Courtesy of David Flyn's research.

The Childrens fable, Beauty and the Beast, is in memory of the Lion King, as a Disney movie of the same name.

The Egyptians with their serpent headdress knew the messiah to be a serpent, AND a Lion King, LEO with the human/lion sphinx.

In Astrology, Leo is ruled by the sun,and the sun placed over the groin of a God/Man in Alchemical illustrations of the Messiah Seed.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:December 11th, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
Вы так детально раскрываете тему. А можно ещё узнать про зороастризм - про традиции и обычаи, которые ему сопутствовали?! К сожалению владею маленькой информацией об этом, а о традициях-обычаях-поверьях только то, что с детства запомнился какой-то минимум.
[User Picture]
Date:December 11th, 2007 09:03 pm (UTC)
в жж есть сообщества и знатоки, сайты на русском и тд - а из действительно интересно-нового для меня как-то ничего не попадалось - точнее сказать, я не ищу те или иные темы, а зороастрийский Иран и Азербайджан прошли совсем мимо - хотя я и побывал в одном храме/

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