METATRON IS THE WORD OF GOD?

The Hebrew Bible depicts God’s Word as a living divine entity whom God sends into the world to accomplish his will, including relaying his messages to his servants (Cf. Genesis 15:1-6; 1 Samuel 3:6-7, 20-21; Psalm 107:19-20; 147:15, 18; Jeremiah 1:4-11; Zechariah 4:8-9).

The following verse in particular is a rather interesting case:

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall (yashub) not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish (asah) what I please, And it shall prosper (wehitzliach) in the thing for which I sent (shalachti) it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

The Hebrew of v. 11 literally says, “not HE shall return to Me void, but HE shall accomplish what I please, and HE shall prosper” depicting God’s Word as an actual Person sent forth to perfectly fulfill God’s purposes for his creation.

What makes this remarkable is that there are Jewish sources that caught on to this and went as far as to equate this Word that is sent to accomplis God’s purpose with Metatron, which specific traditions identify as Enoch or as the apotheosizing or deification of this antediluvian figure.

For instance, here’s how 3 Enoch also known as Hebrew Enoch interprets the aforementioned text from Isaiah:    

ALT 3

(1) Aleph1 I made him strong, I took him, I appointed him: (namely) Metatron, my servant who is one (unique) among all the children of heaven. I made him strong in the generation of the first Adam. But when I beheld the men of the generation of the flood, that they were corrupt, then I went and removed my Shekina from among them. And 1 lifted it up on high with the sound of a trumpet and with a shout, as it is written (Ps.xlvii. 6): “God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet”.

(2) “And I took him”: (that is) Enoch, the son of Jared, from among them. And I lifted him up with the sound of a trumpet and with a tera’a (shout) to the high heavens, to be my witness together with the Chayyoth by the Merkaba in the world to come.

(3) I appointed him over all the treasuries and stores that I have in every heaven. And I committed into his hand the keys of every several one.

(4) I made (of) him the prince over all the princes and a minister of the Throne of Glory (and) the Halls of ‘Araboth: to open their doors to me, and (of) the Throne of Glory, to exalt an arrange it; (and I appointed him over) the Holy Chayyot to wreathe crowns upon their heads; the majestic ‘Ophannim, to crown them with strength and glory; the; honoured Kerubim, to clothe: them in majesty; over the radiant sparks, to make them to shine with splendour and brilliance; over the flaming Seraphim, to cover them with highness; the Chashmallim of light, to make them radiant with Light and to prepare the seat for me every morning as I sit upon the Throne of Glory. And to extol and magnify my glory in the height of my power; (and I have committed unto him) the secrets of above and the secrets of below (heavenly secrets and earthly secrets).

(5) I made him higher than all. The height of his stature, in the midst of all (who are) high of stature (I made) seventy thousand parasangs. I made his Throne great by the majesty of my Throne. And I increased its glory by the honour of my glory.

(6) I transformed his flesh into torches of fire, and all the bones of his body into fiery coals; and I made the appearance of his eyes as the lightning, and the light of his eyebrows as the imperishable light. I made his face bright as the splendour of the sun, and his eyes as the splendour of the Throne of Glory.

(7) I made honour and majesty his clothing, beauty and highness his covering cloak and a royal crown of 500 by (times) 500 parasangs (his) diadem. And I put upon him of my honour, my majesty and the splendour. of my glory that is upon my Throne of Glory. I called him the LESSER YHWH, the Prince of the Presence, the Knower of Secrets: for every secret did I reveal to him as a father and all mysteries declared I unto him in uprightness.

(8) I set up his throne at the door of my Hall that he may sit and judge the heavenly household on high. And I placed every prince before him, to receive authority from him, to perform his will.

(9) Seventy names did I take from (my) names and called him by them to enhance his glory. Seventy princes gave I into his hand, to command unto them my precepts and my words in every language: to abase by his word the proud to the ground, and to exalt by the utterance of his lips the humble to the height; to smite kings by his speech, to turn kings away from their paths, to set up(the) rulers over their dominion as it is written (Dan.ii. 21): “and he changeth the times and the seasons, and to give wisdom unto all the setwise of the world and understanding (and) knowledge to all who understand knowledge, as it is written (Dan. ii. 21): “and knowledge to them that know understanding”, to reveal to them the secrets of my words and to teach the decree of my righteous judgement, (10) as it is written (Is.Iv. n): “so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void but shall accomplish (that which I please)”. ‘E’eseh’ (I shall accomplish) is not written here, but “asah’ (he shall accomplish), meaning, that whatever word and whatever utterance goes forth from before the Holy One, blessed be He, Metatron stands and carries it out. And he establishes the decrees of the Holy One, blessed be He. (Enoch 3: The Book of Enoch, by Ishmael Ben Elisha the High Priest, edited and translated by Hugo Odeberg; bold emphasis mine)

Here’s a different English rendering:

1 48C ‘Alep: The Holy One, blessed be he, said: I made him strong, I took him, I appointed him, namely Metatron my servant, who is unique among all the denizens of the heights.

‘Alep: “I made him strong” in the generation of the first man. When I saw that the men of the generation of the Flood were behaving corruptly. I came and removed my Sekinah from their midst, and I brought it up with the sound of the horn and with shouting to the height above, as it is written,

God went up to the sound of horns,

the Lord went up with a fanfare of trumpets.

2 Lamed: “I took him”–Enoch the son of Jared, from their midst, and brought him up with the sound of the trumpet and with shouting to the height, to be my witness, together with the four creatures of the chariot, to the world to come.

3 Peh: “I appointed him”–over all the storehouses and treasuries which I have in every heaven, and I entrusted to him the keys of each of them. I set

4 him as a prince over all the princes, and made him a minister of the throne of glory. [I set him over] the palaces of ‘Arabot, to open for me their doors; over the throne of glory, to deck and arrange it; over the holy creatures, to adorn their heads with crowns; over the glorious ophanim, to crown them with strength and honor, over the majestic cherubim, to clothe them with glory; over the bright sparks, to make them shine with brilliant radiance; over the flaming seraphim, to wrap them in majesty; over the hasmallim of light, to gird them with radiance every morning, so as to prepare for me a seat, when I sit upon my throne in honor and dignity, to increase my honor and my strength in the height. I committed to him wisdom and understanding, so that he should behold the secrets of heaven above and earth beneath.

5 I increased his stature by seventy thousand parasangs, above every height, among those who are tall of stature. I magnified his throne from the majesty

6 of my throne. I increased his honor from the glory of my honor. I turned his flesh to fiery torches and all the bones of his body to coals of light. I made the appearance of his eyes like the appearance of lightning, and the light of his eyes like “light unfailing.” I caused his face to shine like the brilliant light of the sun, the brightness of his eyes like the brilliance of the throne of glory.

7 I made honor, majesty, and glory his garment; beauty, pride, and strength, his outer robe, and a kingly crown, 500 times 500 parasangs, his diadem. I bestowed on him some of my majesty, some of my magnificence, some of the splendor of my glory, which is on the throne of glory, and I called him by my name, “The lesser YHWH, Prince of the Divine Presence, knower of secrets.” Every secret I have revealed to him in love, every majesty I have made known to him in uprightness. 

8 I have fixed his throne at the door of my palace, on the outside, so that he might sit and execute judgment over all my household in the height. I made every prince stand before him to receive authority from him and to do his will.

9 I took seventy of my names and called him by them, so as to increase his honor. I gave princes into his hand, to issue to them my commandments in every language; to abase the arrogant to the earth at his word; to elevate the humble to the height at the utterance of his lips; to smite kings at his command; to subdue rulers and presumptuous men at his bidding, to remove kings from their kingdoms, and to exalt rulers over their dominions, as it is written,

He controls the procession of times and seasons;

he makes and unmakes kings;

to give wisdom to all the wise of the world, and understanding and knowledge to those who understand, as it is written,

He confers wisdom on the wise,

and knowledge on those with wit to discern;

to reveal to them the secrets of my word, and to instruct them in the decree of

10 my judgment, as it is written, “So the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty: he carries out my will.” It does not say here, “I carry out,” but, ‘HE carries out,” which teaches us that Metatron stands and carries out every word and every utterance that issues from the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be he, and executes the decree of the Holy One.

11 It is written, “He shall prosper to whom I send it”; “I shall prosper” is not written here, but “he shall prosper”: This teaches that every decree that goes out from the Holy One, blessed be he, against a man, when he repents, it is not executed against him, but against another, wicked man, as it is written,

The virtuous man escapes misfortune,

the wicked man incurs it instead.

12 Moreover, Metatron sits for three hours every day in the heavens above, and assembles all the souls of the dead that have died in their mothers’ wombs, and of the babes that have died at their mothers’ breasts, and of the schoolchildren that have died while studying the five books of the Torah. He brings them beneath the throne of glory, and sits them down around him in classes, in companies, and in groups, and teaches them Torah, and wisdom, and haggadah, and tradition, and he completes for them their study of the scroll of the Law, as it is written,

To whom shall one teach knowledge,

whom shall one instruct in the tradition?

Them that are weaned from the milk,

them that are taken from the breasts. (P. Alexander, (Hebrew Apocalypse of) Enoch (Fifth to Sixth Century A.D.), in Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: New Translation from Authoritative Texts with Introductions and Critical Notes by an International Team of as Scholars, ed. James H. Charlesworth [Hendrickson Publishers, Second Hendrickson Printing, 2011], Volume One. Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments, pp. 311-313; emphasis mine)

Note the relevant part again:

“as it is written, ‘So the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty: he carries out my will.’ It does not say here, ‘I carry out,’ but, ‘HE carries out,’ which teaches us that Metatron stands and carries out every word and every utterance that issues from the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be he, and executes the decree of the Holy One.”

It seems reasonably certain that these Jewish traditions have a polemical bent to them, being a response to the Christian claim that Jesus is the Word of God that became flesh and who is now exalted to the Father’s right hand where he reigns supreme over the entire creation.

These sources may have sought to supplant Jesus with Enoch. I.e., instead of the historical Jesus, it is really Enoch whom God exalted and deified to become the younger or lesser Yehovah (YHVH Ha-Katan) and God’s plenipotentiary.

Whatever the case may be, the fact remains even non-Christian Jews discerned from their reading of the Hebrew that God’s Word is a living Being sent forth from YHVH to accomplish his purpose in creation.  

FURTHER READING

THE ANGEL METATRON: JUDAISMS’ SECOND YHWH

METATRON: ISRAEL’S SECOND GOD REVISITED

TWO POWERS IN HEAVEN: REVEALING ISRAEL’S SECOND GOD

THE RABBIS’ DILEMMA: WORSHIPING GOD’S ANGEL

CHALLENGE TO THE RABBIS: SEEING THE GOD OF ISRAEL

JESUS CHRIST: THE LORD AND THE LORD’S SON

One thought on “METATRON IS THE WORD OF GOD?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s