The name “Metatron” is believed to be derived from the Greek word “metathronos” meaning “beside the throne.” This title symbolizes his association with the Divine Throne, suggesting his role as an intermediary between God and humanity. Metatron is often portrayed as the Heavenly Scribe, entrusted with recording the deeds of humankind and overseeing the realm
In the realm of angelology, one of the most intriguing and enigmatic figures is Metatron. While the name Metatron is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, this angelic being has a significant presence in various Jewish and mystical traditions. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of Angel Metatron, his mystical significance, and his connection to the divine mysteries.
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The Enigmatic Metatron
Metatron is a figure deeply rooted in Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah. The name “Metatron” is believed to derive from the Greek word “metator,” meaning guide or messenger. He is often referred to as the “Angel of the Covenant” and “the lesser Yahweh,” signifying his role as a divine messenger of profound importance.
The Enoch Connection:
The origins of Metatron can be traced back to the Book of Enoch, an ancient Jewish text not included in the canonical Bible. In the Book of Enoch, Enoch, a biblical figure, is transformed into the angel Metatron and granted immense knowledge and divine secrets. This transformation elevates him to a unique and exalted status among the angels.
Metatron’s Role and Attributes:
Metatron is traditionally believed to have several significant roles and attributes:
- Scribe of Heaven: Metatron is considered the celestial scribe who records the deeds of humanity in the heavenly books. These records are used for divine judgment.
- Guardian of Secrets: Metatron is said to hold the keys to profound mystical and spiritual secrets. He guides seekers of knowledge and understanding.
- Intercessor: In some traditions, Metatron is seen as an intercessor between humanity and God, helping convey prayers and petitions to the divine.
- Mystical Guide: Metatron is often seen as a guide to those who seek a deeper understanding of the mysteries of the universe and the divine.
Mystical and Symbolic Significance:
Metatron’s existence in Jewish mysticism reflects a deep fascination with the mystical and the esoteric. His role as a revealer of divine secrets aligns with the Kabbalistic pursuit of deeper spiritual understanding and connection to God.
Angel Metatron in the Bible: The Mystical Messenger of Divine Secrets
3 Enoch explains how the Rabbi Ishmael journeyed into heaven and saw God’s throne and chariot guided by the archangel Metatron. The general form is a report of a vision and an explanation of elements of the vision by Metatron. Since this angelic being is not mentioned by name in the Hebrew Bible it is important to understand who Metatron was in the post-biblical traditions.
Metatron becomes one of the greatest angels in the Jewish mystical literature, as close to a “son of God” as one gets in this literature. He is “God’s vizier and plenipotentiary” and is sometimes called a “little Yahweh” (R. S. Anderson, “Son of God” in ISBE Revised, 4:572; cf., Hengel, Son of God, 46). 3 Enoch 25:1 says Metatron’s name is “ʾOpanniʾel YHWH.” Because of his righteousness, Metatron is “installed as God’s vice regent and is given authority over all the angels” (3 Enoch 4:3-5 and 10:3-6; Grindheim, 146).
In 3 Enoch 12:5, Metatron is called the prince of the ophanim (אוֹפַנִּימ), a kind of angelic being based on Ezek 1:15. The Hebrew word אוֹפַן refers to a wheel and Alexander points out that although 4QŠirŠabb uses ophanim for literal wheels, but the word refers to a “class of angels in 1En 61:10; 71:7; 2En 29:3” (OTP 1:279, note g).
3 Enoch 12:5 Why is his name called ʾOpanniʾel? Because he is appointed to tend the ophanim, and the ophanim are entrusted to his keeping. Every day he stands over them and tends them and beautifies them: he praises and arranges their running; he polishes their platforms; he adorns their compartments; he makes their turnings smooth, and cleans their seats. Early and late, day and night, he tends them, so as to increase their beauty, to magnify their majesty, and to make them swift in the praise of their Creator. (Alexander, OTP 1:279–280).
Metatron is far more spectacular than the angels in Ezekiel 2. He has “He has sixteen faces, four on each side, and 100 wings on each side. He has 8,766 eyes, corresponding to the number of hours in a year, 2,191 on each side” (25:2). Like God, Metatron has seventy names (3 Enoch 45D:5), he rules the angels in God’s name (10:5) and represents God’s authority when he judges. Metatron “assigned greatness, royalty, rank, sovereignty, glory, praise, diadem, crown, and honor to all the princes of kingdoms, when I sat in the heavenly court” (16:1).
Since 3 Enoch describes Metatron in such exalted terms, some popular writers have tried to see this angelic being as a Jesus-like figure who sits on God’s throne and rules on behalf of God. As Sigurd Grindheim states clearly, “Metatron is not portrayed with an authority of his own that matches the authority of God. He does not act as God acts, but he is consistently on the receiving end of God’s actions” (147). In fact, Grindheim points out that 3 Enoch warns against making too much of Metatron’s power: When ʾAher sees Metatron on the throne, he declares “there are indeed two powers in heaven” (16:3). A divine voice censures ʾAher and he is not allowed to return to God and Metatron himself is punished with “sixty lashes of fire.” Metatron is therefore not an object of worship and according to 3 Enoch, those who think he might be worthy of worship are in serious danger.
Metatron is a very powerful angel in this literature, but he is not divine and certainly not to be worshiped as God. There is no reason to think this being actually exists and even less reason to seek out hidden, mystical knowledge based on these texts in 3 Enoch.
While Angel Metatron is not a figure explicitly found in the canonical Bible, his presence in Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah highlights the deep spiritual yearning for profound knowledge and connection to the divine. He represents the desire to unlock the mysteries of the universe and gain a deeper understanding of God’s plan. The concept of Metatron continues to inspire seekers of mystical wisdom and spiritual enlightenment, serving as a symbol of the human quest for divine revelation and connection.