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The Shiur Koma And The Angelic "Youth"

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Chapter Summary

The Power-Glory is, according to numerous early sources, the embodiment of God's creative Word or Name. Metatron, whose composite character embodies a cluster of originally distinct traditions, was identified with the exalted and transfigured Enoch. A central theme of the merkava tradition is the transformation of the visionary who beholds God's Glory into an angelic or supra-angelic likeness of that divine Image. Shiur koma ('the measure of the stature') mysticism is concerned with the central mystery of the merkava tradition: the body of the Glory on the throne. A number of Egyptian Gnostic or magical engraved gems portray a human figure whose limbs are inscribed with secret names, one of which is also found in a shiur koma text. Metatron occupies a central role in the shiur koma, as the one who reveals the secret measurements and names to Yishmael or Akiva.

Keywords: Enoch; merkava tradition; Metatron; shiur koma text



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