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Sefer Hekhalot (3 Enoch)

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Chapter Summary

Sefer Hekhalot, or, 3 Enoch, is the best-known Hekhalot text. Odeberg's famous 1928 edition of the book, made the book available to the scholarly world. Sefer Hekhalot is of a more composite nature than, Hekhalot Rabbati. J. T. Milik's attribution of the book to the Kabbalistic venue of the twelfth or thirteenth centuries only shows how little Milik knew of both the Hekhalot literature and of Kabbalah. From a literary point of view, the book is affiliated with the ancient Enoch tradition, and it appears that, in spite of its comparatively late date of composition, it contains a great deal that derives from the early traditions and literature connected with the name of its literary protagonist. The angelic transformation of a human being is a unique "event" in Jewish mysticism. The major part of the book reports of the heavenly ascent of Rabbi Yishma⁠ʾel and his various encounters with Metatron.

Keywords: Hekhalot Rabbati; J. T. Milik; Jewish mysticism; Metatron; Rabbi Yishma⁠ʾel; Sefer Hekhalot



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