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The Sethian Figures Micheus and Michar and their Relationship to Micah the Morasthite

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In five Sethian texts, the supracelestial powers Micheus and Michar are involved in the baptism of those wishing to be initiated into the salvation that would enable them to ascend to a higher spiritual level. The provenance of these two names is unknown. This paper proposes two hypotheses: first, that Micheus and Michar are corruptions of the name of the biblical prophet Micah the Morasthite (Μιχαίας in the Septuagint and מיכה in Hebrew), and second, that Micheus and Michar may be considered Micah’s supracelestial archetype. In favour of the first hypothesis, other examples of such corruptions in Sethian documents are given: Iesseus Mazareus Iessedekeus for Jesus Ναζωραῖος and δίκαιος, and Setheus for Seth. For the second hypothesis this paper refers to Melchizedek, Jacob, Jezebel, Joel, Malachi, and John the Baptist as other contemporaneous examples of heavenly or supracelestial archetypes of biblical persons. That Micah’s archetype was involved in baptism may have been inspired by the final verses of the book of Micah on casting sins into the depths of the sea, which was interpreted as a reference to baptism.

Affiliations: 1: Protestant Theological University Amsterdam – Groningen


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