Beyond Judaisms: Meṭ aṭ ron and the Divine Polymorphy of Ancient Judaism by Daniel Boyarin - HTML preview

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Ancient Judaism, Judaisms, Met ̣at ̣ron, Son of Man, Talmud, 3 Enoch Ruth Stein, in memoriam

“Two Powers in Heaven” as the Older Orthodoxy

When Alan Segal, three decades ago in his landmark book, Two Powers in Heaven, wrote about the eponymous alleged heresy, he treated it as a phenomenon external to rabbinic Judaism and “reported” on in rabbinic texts: “Not unexpectedly, the sources showed that some mysticism and apocalypticism, as well as Christianity and gnosticism, were seen as ‘two powers’ heretics by the rabbis,” and, “it was one of the central issues over which the two religions separated.” His project then was the reconstruction of the “development of the heresy.”2 For him, “the problem is to 2) A. F. Segal, Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports About Christianity and Gnosticism (SJLA 25; Leiden: Brill, 1977), ix. In addition to Segal’s work, parts of this question, or rather various of the questions that go to make up this synthetic form of the question have been treated in M. Idel, “Enoch is Met ̣at ̣ron,” Immanuel 24/25 (1990): 220-40; idem, “Met ̣at ̣ron: Notes Towards the Development of Myth in Judaism,” in Eshel Beer-Sheva: Occasional Publications in Jewish Studies (Beersheva: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Press, 1996), 29-44 [Hebrew]; idem, Ben: Sonship and Jewish Mysticism (Kogod Library of Judaic Studies; London: Continuum, 2007); N. Deutsch, Guardians of the Gate: Angelic Vice Regency in Late Antiquity (BSJS 22; Leiden: Brill, 1999); P. S. Alexander,

“The Historical Setting of the Hebrew Book of Enoch,” JJS 28 (1977): 156-80; idem,

“3 Enoch and the Talmud,” JSJ 18 (1987): 40-68; C. Morray-Jones, “Hekhalot Literature and Talmudic Tradition: Alexander’s Three Test Cases, JSJ 22 (1991): 1-39; C. Rowland and C. R. Morray-Jones, The Mystery of God: Early Jewish Mysticism and the New Testament (CRINT 3.12; Leiden: Brill, 2009); G. G. Stroumsa, “Form(s) of God: Some Notes on Met ̣at ̣ron and Christ: For Shlomo Pines,” HTR 76 (1983): 269-88; A. A. Orlov, The Enoch-Met ̣at ̣ron Tradition (TSAJ 107; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005), inter multa alia.

These and other works, cited and uncited, have all played a role in the synthesis hypothesized here.

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discover which of the heretical groups were actually called ‘two powers in heaven’ by the earliest tannaitic sages.”3 Following, however, some brilliant rethinking of method in the study of Christian heresiology, in which the matter has been shifted from the histories of alleged heresies to the history of the episteme (in the Foucauldian sense) of heresy itself and its functions in the formation of an orthodox Church,4 we can shift our own attention from the development of “Two Powers” as a heresy “out there”

to the discursive work that its naming as such does in order to define and identify rabbinic orthodoxy. Moreover, in some of the best work on the use of heresiology to produce orthodoxy among Christians, it has been shown that almost always the so-called “heresy” is not a new invader from outside but an integral and usually more ancient version of the religious tradition that is now being displaced by a newer set of conceptions, portraying the relations almost mystifyingly in the direct opposite of the observed chronologies.5 We can accordingly reconfigure the study of the relations among such entities as the apocalyptic literature (especially in this case the Enoch texts), the Gospels, the texts of late-ancient para-rabbinic mysticism, known as the Merkabah mysticism (the Hekhalot

texts and their congeners), and classical rabbinic literature, including especially the Talmud, in the same vein, namely, as the history of the invention of a heresy, of the displacement of a religious conception formerly held by many Jews by a new-fangled orthodoxy. To forestall one kind of objection to this thesis, let me hasten to clarify that I am not arguing that the idea of a single and singular godhead is the invention of the Rabbis, nor that there was no contention on this question before them, but I do assert that the evidence suggests that the issue was by no means settled in biblical times nor yet even in the Middle Ages and that, therefore, the notion of a polyform Judaism (rather than orthodoxy/heresy or “Judaisms”) has quite substantial legs to stand on. It is the purpose of this case study to show how the genealogy of rabbinic Judaism can be shown to be in some measure a product of such a development of a

“notion of heresy,” in which a rabbinic orthodoxy (not nearly, to be sure, as detailed or as precise as that of Christian orthodoxy) was formed out of 3) Segal, Powers, 89.

4) A. Le Boulluec, La notion d’hérésie dans la littérature grecque II e -III e siècles (Paris: Études Augustiniennes, 1985).

5) C. Kannengiesser, “Alexander and Arius of Alexandria: The Last Ante-Nicene Theo logians,”

Comp 35 (1990): 391-403.


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a much more multiform set of religious ideas and even practices of worship than “orthodoxy” would allow for.6

Earlier iterations of this line of argument7 have been misunderstood, certain scholars thinking, it seems, that I have assented to Segal, rather than dissenting from his approach (after having learned much from him, to be sure).8 I want, therefore, to make as clear as possible the crucial difference between my approach and that of my predecessor. Perhaps the

clearest way that I can articulate the difference in our methods or

approaches is that where he can imagine asking (and answering) a question about the existence of the “heresy” before the Rabbis, for me, since it was the Rabbis who invented the “heresy” via a rejection of that which was once (and continued to be) very much within Judaism, that question is, of course, impossible. This goes to the heart of our respective portraits of ancient Judaism. Where Segal seems clearly to imagine an “orthodox core” to Judaism that pre-exists and then develops into what would

become rabbinism, I imagine a Judaism that consists of manifold historical developments of a polyform tradition in which no particular form has claim to either orthodoxy or centrality over others. Accordingly while I am reading many of the same texts as Segal, my overall way of putting them together is almost diametrically opposed to his and many of the individual readings are quite different as well. I say this not to engage in a 6) This represents a distinct refinement of the position I took in D. Boyarin, Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity (Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religions; Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), perhaps even a border correction.

Rather than concluding, as I did then, that ultimately the rabbinic tradition rejected an

“orthodox” formation, I would now rephrase that to suggest that a virtual orthodoxy was continued (excluding, for instance, Christians who considered themselves Jews after the third century, for sure); rather, it was the concept of theological akribeia, precision or exactitude, that never seems to have developed among non-Christian versions of Judaism including rabbinism. This not minor shift, will, I hope deflect some of the charges of apparent triumphalism or apologetic that the formulation in the book brought in its wake.

See especially V. Burrus, R. Kalmin, H. Lapin, and J. Marcus, “Boyarin’s Work: A Critical Assessment,” Henoch 28 (2006): 7-30, especially the essay by Joel Marcus there.

7) D. Boyarin, “Two Powers in Heaven; or, the Making of a Heresy,” in The Idea of Biblical Interpretation: Essays in Honor of James L. Kugel (ed. H. Najman and J. Newman; JSJSup 83; Leiden: Brill, 2004), 331-70.

8) Schäfer, for instance, regards my own earlier renditions of this theory as “inspired by Segal,” while I quite clearly and explicitly disagree with him, P. Schäfer, The Origins of Jewish Mysticism (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 323 n. 367. Goshen-Gottstein mistakes me in the same way (See appendix below in this article). Idel, Ben, 591 clearly and precisely understood what was at stake between Segal and me.

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competition with Segal’s thirty-year old work. I learned much from it then and still do, and he too has moved on, but simply to make clearer the methodological difference between our projects so that readers won’t have to work so hard lest they miss the point, as some earlier readers have clearly done. That out of the way, let me get on to the major theoretical intervention about Judaism that I wish to make here, moving beyond


Since the 1970’s it has become fashionable to speak of Judaisms, rather than of Judaism. To be sure, this move was part of a salutary attempt—

initially on the part of Jacob Neusner10—to open up our study of Judaism to include non-rabbinic religion as part and parcel of Judaism and thus not to write the history of Judaism as the history of the winners.11 Having learned the lessons of that move, I think it is time to move beyond it, seeing Judaism as the sum of the religious expressions of the Jews.12 We need 9) I should, perhaps, however, modify an impression easily gathered from my earlier work. I certainly made it seem as if my argument was that the production of rabbinic Judaism out of the multiform Judaism from which it emerged was primarily a theological matter (see Idel, Ben, 591-93; A. Goshen-Gottstein, “Jewish-Christian Relations and Rabbinic Literature—Shifting Scholarly and Relational Paradigms: The Case of Two Powers,” in Interaction Between Judaism and Christianity in History, Religion, Art, and Literature [ed. M. Poorthuis, J. Schwartz, and J. Turner; Leiden: Brill, 2008], 15-44).

Both of these critics of my earlier work are correct in taking me to task on this matter; there was much more going on than just a theological “conspiracy.” Nonetheless, I do claim that the repeated attempt to portray “Two Powers in Heaven” as a heretical divagation from the essential and ancient norm, the “orthodox” core, of Judaism that we find in the late-ancient texts, represents classical heresiological practice, as in the rethinking of the Arian controversy that we find argued in Kannengiesser, “Alexander and Arius.” The rabbinic texts are, themselves, almost telling us that they had met the heretic and he is us (viz. Rabbi Akiva). The Rabbis were apparently no more successful in defeating this deeply ancient religious idea than the Fathers were in eradicating the ancient theology that they had named “Arianism.” I also believe that the Rabbis were under theological/hermeneutic pressure from interpreters of the biblical texts in question, as well they might have been, as these texts do strongly tend to support that ancient (ex hypothesi) Jewish theological mythologoumenon.

10) See, just for example, J. Neusner, W. S. Green, and E. S. Frerichs, Judaisms and Their Messiahs at the Turn of the Christian Era (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).

11) A. F. Segal, The Other Judaisms of Late Antiquity (BJS 127; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1987).

12) Note that this is a very different move from that of E. P. Sanders, Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah: Five Studies (London: SCM Press, 1990), who sought to discover some constant that subtended all the Judaisms (and excluded thereby Pauline Judaism, for instance).


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to more clearly distinguish among histories of the Jews, histories of Judaism, and histories of rabbinic Judaism. Getting clearer on the ways that these are separate, if obviously imbricated, projects will help to clarify some confusion (and undoubtedly, perhaps in a salutary way, introduce new confusion). If we think of “the Jews”—anachronistically from a ter-minological point of view—as an ethonym that includes all the people of Israel,13 then Judaism is all of the complex of related and contending religious forms comprehended by those folks, including the figures of Enoch, Moses, Jesus, and all.14 It is all-important, however, to emphasize that these different religious forms do not necessarily resolve themselves into separate social groups (and this is not just a failure of our knowledge); they overlap and interact.15 As much as it has been proven that the history of Judaism is not the history of rabbinic Judaism with all other forms of Judaism as either marginal, inferior competitors or worse, it is still wrong, I think, to think of separate Judaisms that belong to separate social groups. In this sense, the history of Judaism, the religion of Jews, is not the same, at all, as the social history of Jews. It is indeed part of the process of production of rabbinic Judaism as orthodoxy that it will seek to define and exclude various internal others—and not so others—as

external others and members of particular groups, and scholarship should not be complicit with this at all, although it seems that positivist scholarship will somehow always be. Part and parcel of this genealogy then will be to show how muddy are the lines in the sand that supposedly divide rabbinic Judaism from its others, including but not limited to that form of Judaism that eventually is called Christianity. I return, then, to the 13) A better term might be, then, Israelites but it is hard to go against convention in such matters.

14) For a precisely opposite view, arguing for a “normative Judaism,” as a phenomenological entity, see E. E. Zuesse, “Phenomenology of Judaism,” The Encyclopaedia of Judaism (ed. J. Neusner, A. J. Avery-Peck, and W. S. Green; Leiden: Brill, 2005), 3:1968-86.

Phenomenology in this case seems to mean deciding in advance that rabbinic Judaism is Judaism, tout court, marking its central norms as definitional for Judaism, and then writing out other Jews as they deviate from those norms. This may be good philosophy—I don’t know—, it bears little relation to critical, historical scholarship. Furthermore, much in Zuesse’s “factual” account of Christianity is simply false historically, reading back later forms into earlier periods, but maybe that too is phenomenologically acceptable, since I suppose Christianity too must have a time-and-place transcendent phenomenological essence.

15) As recently as Boyarin, “Two Powers,” I was completely enthralled by the notion of


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study of Judaism, a reconfigured post-Judaisms Judaism that compre-

hends all of the forms of religious expression of the Jews without central-izing, marginalizing, or reifying any of its forms. In what follows, then, I shall be reading certain key religious texts in the Babylonian Talmud as integral expressions of a polymorphous Judaism of which rabbinic Judaism is, in part, a special articulation, in part, simply a post factum rhetorical construct.16

Met ̣at ̣ron, the Son of Man

In the Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 38b, we read:

Rav Naḥman said: A person who knows how to answer the minim [sectarians or heretics]17 as Rav Idi,18 let him answer, and if not, let him not answer. A certain min said to Rav Idi: “It is written, ‘And to Moses he said, come up unto the YHWH [Exod 24:1].’ It should have said, ‘Come up to me’!”

If YHWH is speaking and he says to Moses, Come up to YHWH, the

implication seems to be, according to the min that there are two persons up there, or, as the Rabbis usually name the heresy: “Two powers in

heaven.” But:

He [Rav Idi] said to him: “This was Met ̣at ̣ron, whose name is like the name of his master, as it is written, ‘for My name is in him’ [Exod 23:21].”

“But if so, they should worship him!”

“It is written, ‘Do not rebel against him’ [Exod 23:21]—Do not confuse him with me!”

“If so, then why does it say ‘He will not forgive your sins’”?

16) This is nearly opposite to the position taken, e.g., by J. Fraenkel, Sipur Ha-Agadah, Ahdut Shel Tokhen Ve-Tsurah: Kovets Mehkarim. [Aggadic Narrative] (Sifriyat Helal ben Hayim; Tel-Aviv: Ha-Kibuts ha-meuhad, 2001), 339 who draws a firewall between the Rabbis and the Hekhalot literature and explicitly regards the classical rabbinic literature as nearly totally isolated from the surrounding religious worlds.

17) The precise meaning of this term (I’m speaking now on the lexical level) has been much contested. As I have written elsewhere I believe that it is related to Justin Martyr’s genistai and meristai as names for Jewish heresies and thus, almost literally, just means sectarians without defining the content of their dissension.

18) This is the correct reading of the name, according to manuscript evidence.


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“We have sworn that we would not even receive him as a guide, for it is written ‘If Your face goes not [do not bring us up from here]’ [Exod 33:15].”

( b. Sanh. 38b)19

This extraordinary bit of rhetoric needs some glossing and then a deeper consideration of how to read it than it has received so far.20 The min produces a seemingly compelling argument that there are two powers in

heaven, and this the primary, perhaps sole, focus of rabbinic heresiology.21

Following then the above-mentioned well-known principle in the study of heresiology that most often what is now called heresy is simply an earlier form of a religion which has now been discredited by an important and powerful group of religious leaders, we might well hypothesize that such belief is both ancient and entrenched in Israel.

So let us see what these minim are made to claim here. God has been addressing the Jewish People as a whole (in Exod 23), informing them that he will send his angel before them and instructing them how to

behave with respect to this angel. He then turns to Moses and tells him to come up to YHWH (the Tetragrammaton), implying quite strongly that

“YHWH” of whom he speaks is not the same “YHWH” who is the

speaker of the verse: Two YHWHs.22 This is, in fact, precisely the sort of argument that a Justin Martyr would have produced from Scripture to

argue for a “second person” (the Logos). It is, moreover, very much remi-niscent of the talk about the Name of the Lord of Spirits in the Parables of Enoch, and, if Steven Richard Scott’s interpretation of that text is accepted, that Name is the Name of the Son of Man and thus Met ̣at ̣ron.23 And so 19) רמא .רדהיל אל − אל יאו ,רדהיל − תידיא ברכ םינימל ירודהאל עדיד ןאמ יאה :ןמחנ בר רמא

רמא !היל יעבימ ילא הלע ,'ה לא הלע רמא השמ לאו +ד"כ תומש+ ביתכ :תידיא ברל אנימ אוהה

− !היל וחלפינ יכה יא − .וברקב ימש יכ +ג"כ תומש+ ביתכד ,ובר םשכ ומשש ,ןורטטמ והז :היל

:היל רמא − ?יל המל םכעשפל אשי אל ןכ םא − .וב ינרימת לא − וב רמת לא +ג"כ תומש+ ביתכ

ךינפ ןיא םא וילא רמאיו +ג"ל תומש+ ביתכד ,הינליבק אל ימנ אקנוורפב וליפאד ,ןדיב אתונמיה

וגו םיכלה' (text from Bar Ilan Rabbinic Texts Project).

20) For previous readings, see Segal, Powers, 68-69, whose interpretation is quite close to mine in large part and Deutsch, Guardians of the Gate, 49. For a much older reading, see R. T. Herford, Christianity in Talmud and Midrash (New York: Ktav, 1978), 285-90.

21) See appendix below for discussion of an opposing position recently argued by Goshen-Gottstein, “Jewish-Christian Relations.”

22) The medieval Bible commentary of Ibn Ezra solves this problem by referring to other verses in which a speaker refers to himself by his own name.

23) S. R. Scott, “The Binitarian Nature of the Book of Similitudes,” JSP 18/1 (2008): 55-78, esp. 71-72. On the Name as belonging to the second person, see Stroumsa,

“Form(s),” 283, comparing Christ to Met ̣at ̣ron.

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the minim conclude that there is a second power in heaven. Rav Idi, in refuting them, turns back to the previous chapter and remarks that verse 21 there explicitly says, “My name is in him [that is, in the angel].”24

Met ̣at ̣ron, that angel, therefore, could be called by the name “YHWH,”

and it is to him that Moses is being instructed to ascend. What this amounts to is the Rabbi proclaiming that there are not two divine powers in heaven but only God and an angel whom God Godself has named God

as well.

At this point, the min responds by saying that if Met ̣at ̣ron is indeed called by the ineffable name, then we ought to worship him as well; in other words, that Rav Idi’s own answer can be turned against him. To this, Rav Idi retorts that the verse also says “Do not rebel against him,”

which by a typical midrashic sleight of hand can be read as “Do not substitute him,” that is, even though Met ̣at ̣ron is called by God’s name, do not pray to him. Al tamer bo [Do not rebel against him] has been read as Al tamireni bo: Don’t substitute him for me. The very verse in which Israel is enjoined to obey the second YHWH has been turned by a pun into its exact opposite. The min says if that is what is meant, then why does it continue in the verse and say that he, Met ̣at ̣ron, will not forgive sins? The min is arguing that if the people are being warned not to rebel against Met ̣at ̣ron, because he is as powerful as God, then it makes sense to tell them that he will not forgive their sins if they do rebel, but if he is no God at all, then it is otiose to tell them that he will not forgive sins. Only if he has the power to redeem sins does it make sense to declare that he will not forgive their sins if they rebel against him. (Of course, the rabbinic reading is: Don’t confuse him with me for he cannot redeem sins but only I can. The “heretical” reading, I’m afraid, is much stronger and more adequate to the language.) In other words, the min argues that Met ̣at ̣ron seemingly has precisely the redeemer features that are characteristic of his direct ancestor, Enoch the Son of Man, or for that matter Jesus, the Son of Man as well, including the power to forgive sins (Mark 2:10).

According to the sectary, the verse must read: He has the power to forgive sins but will not for those who rebel against him. Two Powers in Heaven, indeed.

24) Segal makes the interesting point that in its original form the protagonist must have been named not yet Met ̣at ̣ron but some theophoric name, such as (I suggest) Akatriel, or Anafiel-YHWH, as we find later in the Merkabah texts.


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I would suggest, moreover, that, in typical midrashic fashion, another verse underpins this comment of the min. Joshua 24:19 reads: “It will be very difficult for you [lit. you will not be able to] to worship YHWH, for He is a holy God; He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your sins and your iniquities.” In other words, the logic would run: if there it remarks of YHWH that he will not forgive sins and iniquities, then if the same language is being used here, ought it not indicate that the divine figure being spoken of has the same attributes as YHWH?25 Moreover, if there the context is one of worshipping YHWH, then here too worship of

Met ̣at ̣ron, the second Lord or lesser Yahu, would seem to be implicated as well. The comparison is rendered even stronger when we notice that exactly the same context is involved in both the Exodus and the Joshua verse, namely the expulsion of the Canaanites from the land of Israel and the warnings to the people of Israel to be worthy of this benefit and to worship YHWH, or their sin will not be forgiven at all. It certainly seems as if the verse in Exodus can be read as equating Met ̣at ̣ron to YHWH and therefore demanding worship for both figures.

To this the Rabbi answers that “we” the Jews, through our leader Moses, already have declared that we do not even want him, Met ̣at ̣ron, to be our guide in the desert, as the cited verse says: “If Your face goes before us not.” In other words, the angelic regent was of such non-importance that, far from considering him worthy of being worshiped, Moses would not

even accept him as guide. In order to escape the seemingly ineluctable conclusion that there is indeed such a second divine figure, Rav Idi proposes to read the verse as if saying, “Be careful before him and obedient to him. Do not confuse him with me, for he will not forgive your sins, though my name is in him.” Aside from the fact that this translation renders the verse considerably less coherent in its logic, the min argues that it makes this angel seem absolutely insignificant, hardly worthy of mention, to which Rav Idi answers (and this is his brilliant move) that indeed that is so. The Israelites have already registered their rejection of any interest in this insignificant angel when they insisted that God Himself must go before them and no other, thus dramatizing the rejection of the Son of Man theology, a rejection that the Rabbis themselves perform. Although much of what I’ve just said can be seen in Segal’s analysis of this text as well, it is here that there is a parting of the ways between us, for he writes, 25) Segal, Powers, 131-32, shows that this verse was a locus for controversy between Rabbis and others independently of this particular text.

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based on the comparison with the Gospel that “if we take the literature in the New Testament as characteristic of some kinds of heresy in the first century,” then, “it seems clear therefore that some varieties of the heresy go back to the first century, even if the rabbinic texts do not.”26 I would propose rather that the Gospel text is evidence that these religious ideas were present among Jews in the first century and are being first named and excluded as heresy in the rabbinic text, in other words that there is no a priori reason to regard this as heresy in the first century at all before the talmudic intervention. Do not worship a second God as (many of ) you have been accustomed to doing so far is the burden of the Talmudic narration of the interaction with the min.

Let me draw out the implication of this reading a bit more. It is important to note that Rav Idi does not deny the existence of Met ̣at ̣ron; he does not finally, cannot it seems, deny even the power of Met ̣at ̣ron, of his capa-bilities as Second God. What he claims, rather, is that Israel has rejected such worship, even refused to entrust Met ̣at ̣ron with leading them in the desert. Or as the Haggadah has it: Not by means of an angel, and not by means of an agent, and not by means of the Logos (that one’s only in old manuscripts). You may exist, Met ̣at ̣ron, say the Rabbis, but we will not worship you. Somebody, it would seem was doing just that.

Met ̣at ̣ron and Enoch

Where Did Met ̣at ̣ron Come From?

In order to answer this question, 3 Enoch, a relatively late Hebrew mystical apocalypse from the end of late antiquity (the last gasp as it were of the Enoch tradition) and probably roughly contemporaneous with the

final production of the Babylonian Talmud itself will prove of crucial importance. One of the most important investigations of this text is that of Philip Alexander.27 In this article, “The Historical Setting of the Hebrew Book of Enoch,” Alexander argues that a pivotal development

that is found in this text is the combination of Enoch and the archangel Meṭaṭron, arguing that “these two figures originally had nothing to do with each other; there are texts which speak in detail of Enoch’s translation but 26) Segal, Powers, protasis on p. 70, apotasis on p. 71.

27) Alexander, “Historical Setting.”


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know nothing of Met ̣at ̣ron, while there are other texts which mention the angel Met ̣at ̣ron without linking him with Enoch. The Met ̣at ̣ron of 3 Enoch marks the confluence of two initially quite independent streams of tradition.”28 But, of course, this is the story of the Son of Man of the Parables of Enoch too. There too, two originally independent figures, translated Enoch and the Son of Man have been conflated.29

The Parables of Enoch themselves are not necessarily or even probably to be seen as sectarian. In a very important recent paper, Pierluigi Piovanelli has used rhetorical analysis “in order to reconstruct the profile of the implied audience and community” of the Parables of Enoch and compellingly argues that the producers of this document did not belong to an embattled and oppressed sect but identified themselves, in fact, in some important sense with Israel as a whole. His interpretative assumption is that the “kings and the mighty” who are the declared enemies of the

author(s) of the Parables are gentile (probably Roman) rulers.30 Piovanelli has posed the question of the connections of the Parables to Qumran, on the one hand, or to 3 Enoch, on the other. It seems to me that Piovanelli is right to stress these different alternatives, not only as mere matters of lit-erary history but as powerful and significant indicators of the social loca-tion of the group that formed the text. Whether or not the text was in Hebrew or in Aramaic seems to me irrelevant, and the connections with 3 Enoch compelling ones. Piovanelli’s demonstration of the non-sectarian nature of the book is thus of signal importance.

In his landmark article, Alexander also argues that Enoch’s transformation into divine Son of Man in the Parables and especially 2 Enoch 31

28) Alexander, “Historical Setting,” 159. On the origins of Meṭaṭron himself, Alexander points us to H. Odeberg, 3 Enoch or the Hebrew Book of Enoch (New York: Ktav, 1973), 79-146 and G. Scholem, Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism and Talmudic Tradition (2d ed.; New York: Jewish theological seminary of America, 1965), 42-55 inter alia. See Idel, “Enoch”; idem, “Met ̣at ̣ron”; Stroumsa, “Form(s).”

29) For my reading of this text, see “The Birth of the Son of Man: From Simile to Redeemer in 3 Enoch.” See on this also Deutsch, Guardians of the Gate, 32. For Met ̣at ̣ron as Enoch, see Idel, “Enoch.”

30) P. Piovanelli, “‘A Testimony for the Kings and Mighty Who Possess the Earth’: The Thirst for Justice and Peace in the Parables of Enoch,” in Enoch and the Messiah Son of Man: Revisiting the Book of Parables (ed. G. Boccaccini; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2007). J. C. Greenfield and M. E. Stone, “The Enochic Pentateuch and the Date of the Similitudes,” HTR 70 (1977), 51-56, at 56-57 argue that it is a sectarian work but I find the arguments of Piovanelli persuasive.

31) This text, once referred to as the “Slavonic Enoch” cannot be so styled any more, since Coptic fragments have now been found for it.

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enabled the later Merkabah and Kabbalistic identifications of Enoch with Meṭaṭron, the highest of the angels, arguing that “if such a development had not taken place, Enoch could never have been identified with the archangel Met ̣at ̣ron.”32 We can thus take the roots of that transformation back to 1 Enoch, that is to the Parables and emphasize the generativity of that transformation in the production of both rabbinic (para-rabbinic) and Christian Jewish Christology. As Alexander concludes, “We must pos-tulate in consequence an historical link between the Hekhaloth mystics and the circles which generated these pseudepigraphic Enoch traditions.”33

A genetic relationship, or better, a genealogical relationship between the Son of Man of the Gospels and Meṭaṭron of late ancient Judaism cannot be gainsaid, in my opinion.34

Once more, my question is not to what group did the min (that one conversing with Rav Idi, or any other one) “really” belong but, rather, what are the Rabbis seeking to accomplish by representing a min who argues in this way? This suggests to me that in their project of producing an orthodoxy for Judaism, the Rabbis were disowning a common (how common,

I think, we will never know) Jewish practice of worship of the second God, actually named within mystical texts, the lesser YHWH [My name

is in him], Met ̣at ̣ron, who is Enoch, the Son of Man.

Segal would have it that “other groups beside Christians were making

‘dangerous’ interpretations of that verse [Dan 7:9].” For Segal, the “enemy”

is outside, external, marginal to the rabbinic community and religious world: “Identifying the specific group about whom the rabbis were concerned in this passage cannot be successful.”35 He still worries that “determining the identity of the group of heretics in question remains a serious problem,”36 as if there necessarily were a real, if unidentifiable, group of external heretics, as opposed to internal religious traditions, to whom the texts refer. In contrast to this fairly common, if not ubiquitous, way of presenting the matter, it is my contention that the Rabbis are effectively expelling the Two-Powers theology from within themselves by naming it as minut, heresy. The Enoch traditions were indeed, and continued to be right into and through late antiquity, the province of Israel simpliciter including early Jesus groups and not of a sect within Israel (of course this 32) Alexander, “Historical Setting,” 160.

33) Ibid.

34) Stroumsa, “Form(s).”

35) Segal, Powers, 71.

36) Ibid., 55.


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doesn’t mean that they were of interest to all Jews or all Jewish groups).

The Rabbis indeed seek by means of various halakic rules “the exclusion of [the body of esoteric doctrine], as having no proper place in the public institutions of Judaism.”37 In contrast, however, to Alexander’s own view which sees these exclusions as reflecting accepted norms, I would read them—some would say perversely—as an index of how widespread, and

not esoteric at all, these traditions remained.

Suppressing the Son of Man

One very rich example of such rabbinic expulsion of these ancient religious traditions and ideas is from the fourth-century midrash, the Mekilta d’Rabbi Ishmaʾel to Exod 20:2:

I am YHWH your God [Exod 20:2]: Why was it said? For this reason. At the sea He appeared to them as a mighty hero doing battle, as it is said:

“YHWH is a man of war.” At Sinai he appeared to them as an old man full of mercy. It is said: “And they saw the God of Israel” (Exod 24:10), etc. And of the time after they had been redeemed what does it say? “And the like of the very heaven for clearness” (ibid.). Again it says: “I beheld till thrones were placed, and one that was ancient of days did sit” (Dan 7:9). And it also says: “A fiery stream issued,” etc. (v. 10). Scripture, therefore, would not let the nations of the world have an excuse for saying that there are two Powers, but declares: “YHWH is a man of war, YHWH is His name.” He, it is, who was in Egypt and He who was at the sea. It is He who was in the past and He who will be in the future. It is He who is in this world and He who will be in the world to come, as it is said, “See now that I, even I, am He,” etc.

(Deut 32:39). And it also says: “Who hath wrought and done it? He that called the generations from the beginning. I, YHWH, who am the first, and with the last am the same” (Isa 41:4).38

This passage clearly projects to the exterior “The Nations of the World,”

the hereticized view that there are Two Powers in Heaven; it may even have in mind here Christians in this designation.39 This suggests the pos-37) Alexander, “Historical Setting,” 167-68.

38) H. S. Horovitz and I. A. Rabin, eds., Mechilta d’Rabbi Ishmael (Jerusalem: Wahrmann, 1970), 220-21.

39) See discussion in Segal, Powers, 33-42 whose argument is, unfortunately, somewhat vitiated in my opinion by a lack of precision in interpreting how the midrash works. I am persuaded that in earlier iterations of this argument, I was mistaken in asserting that this

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sibility that it was nascent Christianity that provided one of the impulses to so thoroughly delegitimize what I have every reason to believe was an earlier theological option even within rabbinic circles (See the story of Rabbi Akiva just below). Note that this does not mean that I read the passage as a polemic against Christianity, nor that the Rabbis identified Christians as Two Powers heretics any more than Athanasius, for instance, really thought that Arius was a Jew.40 Be this as it may, it is the passage from Daniel that is alluded to, but not cited in this anti-“heretical” polemic, the “Son of Man” passage so pivotal for the development of early Christology, that is the real point of contention here and the reason for the citation of the verse Exod 20:2. Although in Daniel read on its own, it certainly seems that the thrones are multiple and set up for the Court, it is clear from here as well as from other passages that late-ancient Jews read the thrones as two, one for the Ancient of Days and one for the One Like a Son of Man. There are, moreover, two descriptions of God as revealed in the Torah, one at the splitting of the Red Sea and one at the revelation of the Ten Commandments at Sinai. In the first, God is explicitly

described as a warrior, that is, as a young man, as it were, while at the latter, as the Rabbis read it, God is described as an elder, full of wisdom and mercy. This is, as Adiel Schremer has correctly observed, derived from the continuation of the verse not cited, in which it says explicitly “And they saw the God of Israel and his underneath which appeared to that as white sapphire,” and thus old.41 Schremer goes on to argue, however, that all that the Rabbis of this midrash seek by citing the Dan 7 passage is another instance of God as an elder and that the rest of that context in Daniel is irrelevant to them.42 This seems unlikely to me for two reasons. First of all, the matter of the multiple thrones is already present in Dan 7:9

and quoted in the midrash, and we know from other texts that this was term definitely means Christians here (For both points [Segal’s partly mistaken reading of the midrash and my own mistaken assumption that Nations of the World means Christians], see A. Schremer, “Midrash, Theology, and History: Two Powers in Heaven Revisited,” JSJ 39 [2008]: 230-54).

40) R. Lorenz, Arius Judaizans? Untersuchungen zur dogmengeschichtlichen Einordnung des Arius (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1979).

41) Schremer, “Midrash, Theology, and History,” 17. I had, indeed, entirely missed this point in my own earlier treatment of this text.

42) He thus argues that my interpretation of the passage as being troubled by the doubling of the Godhead implied by Dan 7 is a fantasy on my part, that I have written my own midrash, as it were.


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also troubling to the Rabbis (see below).43 Secondly, the citation of 7:10

“And it also says: A fiery stream issued,” etc. (v. 10) is totally otiose on Schremer’s reading. It is especially otiose in the form “and it also says”

which should either be support for the first verse or a contradiction of it.

Verse 10 is neither. I argue, using Schremer’s own correct notion that an

“etc.” frequently hides and reveals the real force of the midrashic quotation, that citing v. 10 etc. is meant to include the whole following verses including the truly troubling vision of “One like a Son of Man.” To be sure, it is a bit of a stretch from v. 10 to v. 13, a stretch that I argue is an attempt to conceal more than reveal the real argument of those who would support “Two Powers in Heaven” from here. It would be, moreover, quite strange to assume that a text that is explicitly concerned with those who might say that there are two powers in heaven would cite

Dan 7 where the “danger” of so “misreading” is palpable and naively ignore that danger. On my view, we thus now have two instances of the difficulty: one from Exodus and one from Daniel, for both of which the verse Exod 20:2 comes as a remedy.

The problem is the doubling of descriptions of God as Elder (ןקז judge) and youth (רוחב man of war) as implied in Exodus and the correlation of those two descriptions with the divine figures of Ancient of Days and Son of Man from Daniel, which together might easily lead one to think that there are Two Powers in Heaven, indeed that God has two persons, a Old person and a Young person. These were, of course, crucial loci for Christological interpretations. The citation of God’s Name in Exod 20:2, at the beginning of those same Ten Commandments, thus answers possible heretical implications of those verses by insisting on the unity of YHWH in both instances. The text portentously avoids citing the Daniel verses most difficult for rabbinic Judaism, 7:13-14: “I saw in the vision of the night, and behold with the clouds of the Heaven there came one like a Son of Man and came to the Ancient of Days and stood before him and brought him close, and to him was given rulership and the glory and the kingdom, and all nations, peoples, and languages will worship him. His rulership is eternal which will not pass, and his kingship will not be destroyed.”44 Much more than the varying metaphors with which YHWH

43) These are, to be sure, later texts, so there is no absolute proof here but they are, nonetheless, suggestive.

44) For another instance in which, also in a polemical context, the Rabbis avoid citing the really difficult part of Dan 7, see Segal, Powers, 132.

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is represented, it is this verse which would—and did—give rise to “the Nations of the World” claiming that there are two powers in heaven. Not citing them, is, accordingly to be understood as an enactment of the suppression of this view even more powerful than the explicit repression of the view that the midrashic text thematizes.

Furthermore, in a talmudic passage to be discussed immediately below ( b. Ḥag. 14a), Rabbi Akiva himself is represented as identifying the “Son of Man,” that is the occupant of the second throne, with the heavenly David, and thus with the Messiah, before being “encouraged” by his fel-lows to abandon this “heretical” view.” The Targum identifies the Son of Man as the Messiah.45 This would suggest the possibility that there were non-Christian Jews who would have identified the Messiah himself (necessarily incarnate) as the Son of Man. Altogether, in this extended passage of rabbinic literature which deals most extensively (if somewhat obliquely) with Son of Man traditions, namely the second chapter of b. Ḥagiga,46 we find, on my reading some compelling evidence that such traditions were extant within the circles that produced the Babylonian Talmud itself and that 3 Enoch cannot be separated from those circles at all. Let us then have a look at this text.

Let me be clear that in my view this is not evidence for early Palestinian rabbinic traditions, the object of the narratives of the Babylonian Talmud, but rather to the subjects of the enunciation of the narratives and their traditions that I assume were formed in late antiquity and in Babylonia, not to the Rabbis who are told about but to the Rabbis who did the telling.47

45) S. O. P. Mowinckel, He That Cometh: The Messiah Concept in the Old Testament and Later Judaism (trans. G. W. Anderson; Oxford: Blackwell, 1956), 357. See also M. Idel, Messianic Mystics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998), 89.

46) There are other parallels as well, for instance, shared and extensive interest in meteoro-logical phenomena.

47) In his very interesting and important article, Adiel Schremer has proposed that the original context for talk of “Two Powers in Heaven” goes back to the second century and as a response to the Roman defeat of the two rebellions of the Jews (Schremer, “Midrash, Theology, and History”). Much of his argument is, to my mind, highly speculative and less than convincing (further detail will have to await another context), but there is certainly one early text that suggests a context in theodicy for the topos. The Sifre to

Deut 32:39 reads that verse as denying three views: (1) that there is no power in heaven; (2) that there are two powers in heaven; and (3) that that there is indeed only one but that he really has very little power at all. In a highly clever but hardly ineluctable (or refutable) move, Schremer reads this as a continuation of a previous passage in the context of the 340

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One of the most evocative and revealing of these texts involves the just mentioned “heresy” of Rabbi Akiva in a discussion about the “Son of

Man” passage from Daniel:

One verse reads: “His throne is sparks of fire” (Dan 7:9) and another [part of the] verse reads, “until thrones were set up and the Ancient of Days sat”

(7:9). This is no difficulty: One was for him and one was for David.

As we learn in a baraita [non Mishnaic tannaitic tradition]: One for him and one for David; these are the words of Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Yose the Galilean said to him: Akiva! Until when will you make the Shekhinah profane?!

Rather. One was for judging and one was for mercy.

Did he accept it from him, or did he not?

Come and hear! One for judging and one for mercy, these are the words of Rabbi Akiva. ( b. Ḥag. 14a)

As we see from this passage, the second-century Rabbi Akiva is portrayed as interpreting these verses in a way that certainly would seem consistent with “Two Powers in Heaven,” which, given its context, should be identified, I suggest, with speculation about the Son of Man as a second, youth-midrash in which a story of Titus trying to kill God is recounted and then argues that the context for our passage about no power, two powers etc. is a refutation of those who would hold that the destruction of the Temple shows that God is “dead,” as it were. While, as I have said, this is very clever and possible, it hardly constitutes evidence sufficient to refute the clear evidence for rabbinic trouble with those—I emphasize within—who believe in a dual Godhead. It is certainly possible that at the time the Sifre was produced (and I am much less sanguine as to its hoary antiquity than Schremer but this is an old methodological argument), Two Powers in Heaven was not yet even a name for that belief and that it is only later (but not much, for by the time of the Mekilta that I have discussed just above it certainly was) applied to that accepted belief now being excluded as heretical and given a name. But, once again, I emphasize what should have been clear anyway: I think that the real struggle over this name took place in late antiquity and not in tannaitic times at all. Hence, my suggestion which I advance much more cautiously now in the light of several responses including most recently Schremer’s that there is necessarily a border-setting move with respect to the Church going on in this rabbinic turn to Orthodoxy. It might, indeed, be, as several responders suggested a more general mood of turning to versions of “Truth” (including even in the philosophical schools) that was as much the catalyst as the specifically Christian version of this, but, nonetheless, the product of these two activities was a virtual conspiracy to divide the theological world between Jews who don’t believe in a dual Godhead and Christians who insist on it, each group of religious leaders excluding from their own number those who hold earlier views and marking them as belonging to an-other, a heresy.

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ful divine figure alongside the Ancient of Days. A comment of John

Goldingay’s will help to make this point:

For the anointed one to be a heavenly figure would be a novel idea; by definition, the anointed one is an earthly descendant of David. The visionary portrayal of him coming with the clouds of the heavens might simply signify that he comes by God’s initiative and as his gift, without suggesting that he is in himself other than human . . . Nevertheless, if the humanlike figure is the anointed, the anointed as Daniel pictures him now has a very transcendent dimension. If the idea of the anointed moves between a God pole and a human pole, the humanlike figure is at the former.48

The tannaʾim cited in the Bavli both read Dan 7 in this way: The second throne is for a second divine figure (the Shekhinah) which Rabbi Akiva identifies as David. We have, here then, both binitarianism and an incarnation, which latter raises Rabbi Yose’s dander. It is highly unlikely, pace Alan Segal (cautiously), that we are dealing here with a “genuine” tradition about Rabbi Akiva from early in the second century, this on general methodological grounds. Let me elaborate my reading of the passage.

Although, as I have suggested, the text (and other rabbinic texts) carefully, gingerly avoid actually citing the Son of Man passage in these very verses, it is on these verses that they indeed rely. The portrayed Rabbi Akiva’s point is that one of the two thrones (as per his tradition of reading) was for the Ancient of Days and one for David, thus the Son of Man. The

crux is his identification of David, the Messiah, as the “Son of Man” who sits at God’s right hand, thus suggesting not only a divine figure but one who is incarnate in a human being as well49—“Are you the Messiah? I am and you shall see ‘the son of man’ sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62). Hence, his objector’s

taunt: “Until when will you make the Divine Presence profane”?!, that is, imply that the Son of Man has become incarnate in the human figure of the Davidic Messiah.50 Rabbi Akiva seems to be projecting a divine-human, 48) J. Goldingay, Daniel (WBC; Dallas: Word, 1989), 170.

49) Segal, Powers, 47.

50) For precisely this combination, see 4 Ezra 12:32 in which it is insisted that the heavenly

“Son of Man” comes from the posterity of David, “even though it is not apparent why a descendant of David should come on the clouds” (A. Yarbro Collins and J. J. Collins, King and Messiah as Son of God: Divine, Human, and Angelic Messianic Figures in Biblical and Related Literature [Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2008], 207)!


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Son of Man, who will be the Messiah. His contemporary R. Yose the Galilean strenuously objects to Rabbi Akiva’s “dangerous” interpretation and gives the verse a “Modalist” interpretation.

“Rabbi Akiva” ’s interpretation grows out of precisely the same kind of conflation of Messiah, Son of David with the Redeeming, divine Son of Man of Dan 7 that we find in Mark, producing similar Christological

results. Supporting this interpretation (at least in the Babylonian Talmud; perhaps stemming from earlier Palestinian usages) we read the following passage in b. Sanh. 98a:

Rabbi Alexandri said: Rabbi Yehoshua the son of Levi raised a contradiction: It is written [Dan 7] and behold with the clouds of heaven there came one like a human being, and it is written [Zech 9] poor and riding on a donkey!

If they are righteous, with the clouds of heaven; if they are not righteous, poor and riding on a donkey.51

Obviously the Talmud does not speak of two Messiahs here; it is hard to imagine anyone claiming they did52—notwithstanding the fact, of course, that there are two Messiahs according to the Rabbis, Ben Yosef and Ben David. But it is clear that Dan 7 had been given a messianic reading and that there was tension felt between the Messiah of Dan 7 and the Messiah of Zech 9, between the Messiah as a divine figure and the Messiah as a humiliated human being, expressed in good rabbinic fashion as a contradiction between verses resolved in a totally topical fashion in the text.53

The tension and the potential it bears for an incarnational reading is 51) ביתכו ,התא שנא רבכ אימש יננע םע וראו +'ז לאינד+ ביתכ ,ימר יול ןב עשוהי יבר :ירדנסכלא יבר רמא

+רומח לע בכורו ינע − וכז אל ,אימש יננע םע − וכז − !רומח לע בכרו ינע +'ט הירכז.

52) Pace D. R. Hare, The Son of Man Tradition (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990), 19 who quotes the passage quite out of its own context as a midrash on the two verses on the way to his misleading conclusion that “Rabbi Joshua was discussing the timing of the Messiah’s advent, not his nature.”

53) Directly contra M. Casey, Son of Man: The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7

(London: S.P.C.K, 1979), 87. Of course, the rabbinic tradition insisted on a corporate interpretation of the Son of Man (Casey, Son of Man, 80-84); the point here is not that Rabbi Akiva represents the dominant and accepted rabbinic tradition but that he represents some sort of dissident or underground counter tradition (and remember this almost certainly has little to do, in any case, with the “historical” Rabbi Akiva) which is being explicitly discredited in this text in favor of the developing standard rabbinic theology and reading. This point has similarly been misunderstood by Hare, The Son of Man Tradition, 18.

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nonetheless there. It is this tension, I think, that motivates the controversy between the figures of Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yose in the Ḥagiga text as well. Of course, the Talmud itself must record that Rabbi Akiva changed his mind in order for him to remain “orthodox.” The Son of

Man, aka “Two Powers in Heaven,” is thus not foreign even at the very heart of the rabbinic enterprise. Even a figure like Rabbi Akiva has to be

“educated” as to the heretical nature of his position, suggesting once again that any absolute difference between mystical circles that embrace such theological notions and rabbinic circles that have always, as it were, rejected such malignant influence, has to be withdrawn once and for all. This is what the editors of the Talmud would want us to believe but a different reality is easy to perceive behind their very efforts to convince.

In another late-ancient Hebrew text of mysterious provenience known

as “The Visions of Ezekiel,” Met ̣at ̣ron is also posited as a secondary divine figure on the grounds of Dan 7:9f. At least according to one view expressed there, “His name is Met ̣at ̣ron, like the Name of the Power,”54 thus recall-ing the Sanhedrin passage with which I began. Furthermore, the particular emphasis here on God being named, “the Power,” might also suggest a connection with thoughts of more than one power in heaven, or it

might not.

In any case, this is the same figure who in other late-ancient Jewish mystical texts is sometimes called “The Youth” רענ, i.e., that figure known by other Jews (e.g., Jesus) as the “Son of Man,” the young divine figure as opposed to the Ancient of Days.55 This text helps us to bring the ends of 54) I. Gruenwald, “‘The Visions of Ezekiel’: Critical Edition and Commentary,” Temirin 1

(1972): 101-39, at 128-29 [Hebrew]. See discussion in Deutsch, Guardians of the Gate, 45-46 and literature cited there. On the text itself, the best discussion is perhaps that of A. Goldberg “Pereq Re’uyot Yeḥezqe’el: eine formanalytische Untersuchung,” in Mystik und Theologie des Rabbinischen Judentums. Gesammelte Studien I (ed. M. Schlüter and P. Schäfer; TSAJ 61; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1997), 93-147. I am grateful to Peter Schäfer for referring me to this article in an otherwise singularly ungracious note, Schäfer, The Origins of Jewish Mysticism, 323 n. 367. In the wake of Goldberg’s article, I have removed the attribute “mystical” from my casual description of the text, but I must confess: I still don’t understand what part of “late-ancient” Schäfer doesn’t understand.

The best discussion of this passage remains that of Scholem, Gnosticism, 45-48 in my opinion.

55) Segal, Powers, 67 n. 21, which seems to me spot on. In other words, both of the ancient explanations of this term, namely that he is the youngest of the angels or that he is a servant are both, it would seem, apologetic etymologies. As I learn from Stroumsa, in a Nag Hammadi text known as the Paraphrase of Shem, the “son of the incorruptible and 344

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the argument offered here together. Putting together the different bits and pieces that other scholars have constructed into a new mosaic, I would suggest that we have a very important clue here to follow. From the text in Daniel, as read by the Rabbis themselves, it would seem clear that there are two divine figures pictured, one who is ancient and another one who is young. “Son of Man” here in its paradigmatic contrast with the Ancient of Days should be read as youth, young man (as it is even in the rabbinic texts that deny that it represents a second person).56 The usage is similar to “sons of doves” meaning young of the dove as in Num 6:10. It should be noted that the figure of the “Youth” appears as well (at least once) in texts accepted into the rabbinic canon itself, such as Num. Rab. 12:12 and explicitly denoted there as Met ̣at ̣ron. We end up with a clear indication of a second divine person, called the Youth (Son of Man). When he is called or calls himself the “Son of Man,” this is a citation of the Daniel text.57

He is called the “Youth,” i.e., the “Son of Man” in contrast to the “Ancient of Days.” These traditions all understand accordingly that two divine figures are portrayed in Dan 7, whom we might be tempted to call the

Father and the Son. Evidence for this concatenation of Enoch, Met ̣at ̣ron, and the Son of Man can be adduced from the Parables of Enoch at 1 En.

71, in which Enoch is explicitly addressed as the Son of Man. If Enoch is the Son of Man and Enoch is Met ̣at ̣ron, then, it follows (if not with airtight logic) that Met ̣at ̣ron is the Son of Man. The direct connection of that risen Enoch to Met ̣at ̣ron in 3 Enoch fully establishes the nexus between the Son of Man and Met ̣at ̣ron.

infinite light,” is called Derdekeas (CG VII, 8:4-25), which is certainly the Babylonian Aramaic word dardeka, which means a youth, and not a servant (Stroumsa, “Form[s],”

275 n. 31). The notion that this Youth is called the Youth because he is the youngest of the angels is in clear contradiction with the supreme dignity afforded the figure of Met ̣at ̣ron throughout. On the figure of the Youth, see also Orlov, The Enoch-Met ̣at ̣ron Tradition, 222-26.

56) I am anticipated and confirmed in this view now by Idel, Ben, 131, tacitly reversing the claim of his much earlier Idel, “Met ̣at ̣ron,” 36.

57) Although Scholem famously interpreted “youth” in these contexts as “servant,” there is, therefore, little warrant for this interpretation. D. J. Halperin, “A Sexual Image in Hekhalot Rabbati and Its Implications,” Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Thought 6 (1987): 117-32, at 125.

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