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The Enoch Tradition

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Chapter Summary

The liturgical tradition found in 2Enoch can be viewed as a bridge that connects the early traditions about the sacerdotal duties of the patriarch found in 1Enoch and Jubilees with the later Hekhalot and Shiur Qomah lore. For the first time, the Enochic tradition seeks to depict, not simply as a human taken to heaven but transformed into an angel, as a celestial being exalted above the angelic world. One may find the origins of another image of Enoch, very different from the early Enochic literature, which was developed much later in Merkabah mysticism, the concept of the supreme angel Metatron, the “Prince of the Presence". The tradition found in 2Enoch 18 might represent an important step towards defining and shaping Enoch-Metatron’s liturgical office in its transition to its new role as the celestial choirmaster.

Keywords: angelic world; Book of Giants; celestial choirmaster; Enoch tradition; Enoch-Metatron; Hekhaloth literature; Merkabah mysticism; Palaea Historica; prince of the presence



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