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Folk-Etymology, and its Influence on Metatron Traditions

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Abstract This paper takes a new approach to the contentious area of the etymology of Metatron, applying the lessons learnt from biblical folk-etymologies which have been shown to actively influence the writing of narratives. In the first section one such possible folk-etymology is proposed, based around the sequence TTR as a divine name in Metatron, along with some suggestions of how this could have influenced the narratives around the angel, and how this could have become part of the perceived nature of the angel. In the second section, texts from the Hekhalot literature are analysed to show that similar angelic etymologies which integrate a divine name into the angel’s name are commonplace during this period.

Affiliations: 1: Dept. of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Nottingham


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