The Qumran Essene Traditions of Enoch and Metatron as King Messiah
Zion, the City of David and the Essene Quarter and Gate
According to the Enochian traditions, one of the identities of Metatron was the Patriarch Enoch who the Torah states, “walked with G-d (Genesis 5:22). As the Jewish traditions suggest, Enoch was translated to heaven and his corporal human body was transformed into a “light being” as an angel. It was here that Enoch became the scribe of HaShem recording the deeds of mankind.
This was first noted in the Book of Jubilees (4:23) and elaborated beyond in the Book of Heikhalot, also called the Book of Enoch, by R. Ishmael Kohen ha-Gadol, and then collaborated with the Hebrew Book of Enoch (H. Odeberg’s edition (see bibl.) which includes an English translation and a detailed introduction).
Here we see the rise of the ancient and the most primordial traditions of the heavenly role of Enoch in the court of the World of the Divine. When the Jewish scholars have sought to define the heavenly role of Enoch with the Primordial role of Metatron as found the Dead Sea Scrolls, it appears that the later Talmudists and the writers of the Midrashim plus the later Sages of Judah have all been reluctant to accept such an august role for Enoch.
This in part may be due to the fragmentation of the early Nazorenes from Orthodox Judaism who escaped from Jerusalem before the destruction of the Temple of King Herod. Modern Jewish and Christian scholars called the Nazorenes the “Jesus people”.They were originally Haredi Orthodox Jews of the strictest traditions of the Written and the Oral Law.
They also had strong associations to John the Baptizer which many scholars feel was part of the Qumran community and no doubt spiritual heirs of the disciples of Menahem the Essene, the Av Beit Din of the Great Sanhedrim in Jerusalem under the Nasi (president) Hillel the Great. As BibleSearchers Reflections wrote a decade ago in 2004, in the article titled, “The Tomb of David and the Nazarene Synagogue (Cenacle)”
BibleSearchers Reflections – “In the days of the Nazarene called Yahshua (Jesus) and John the Baptist, Essene communities sprung up all throughout the land of Galilee and Perea. Therewere major communities at Khirbet Qumran near the Dead Sea and though persecuted, this mysterious sect kept a persistent presence in the southwestern corner of Jerusalem called the Essene Quarter. They also had their own private gate into the city, called the Essene Gate.
Here lived the Essenes who were also the guardians the most revered and holy spot of 1st century Judaism outside the temple of Herod, the “Tomb of King David”, that was right next door to Mount Zion.
What purpose was the exclusiveness and what was the purpose of their own enclave in the city of Jerusalem? First the Essenes were a political force that was diametrically opposed to the ruling elite in the priesthood of the temple and especially the House of Ananus. These ruling high priests were not only usurpers to the priestly lineage of the house of Zadok but were viewed as mini anti-Messiahs.
Like Protestant Christians today, there were many sub-sects of Essene life or denominations. Many Essenes and those we know most about were Nazarites, who lived a celibate life. They did not cut their hair or partake of any fermented beverages.
Yet there were also Essenes that married and had families and there were military communities of Essenes who were prepared to fight the ‘Powers of darkness’, who as Zealots for the Law and Zealots for Israel were prepared to drive the hated Kittim, or Romans, from the land of Judea. There were even the Sicarii, a radical fundamental sect of the Zealots, who were assassin squads who sought to eliminate the Jewish friends of the Romans.
Within the family and disciples of the Nazarene, we find disciples who were like various types of Essene followers: John the Baptist as the one ‘crying in the wilderness,’ James the Just a Nazarite, Simeon the Zealot and also Judas Iscariot (the Sicarii).
Remember Jonathan the Maccabean who invested himself as the high priest of Jerusalem in 153 BCE? With his investiture came a fierce persecution of the families of the House of David and Zadok. Here we see fierce animosity of Jew against Jew. The Hasmoneans were historical revisionists who sought to change the Jewish temple culture instituted by the prophets of old and David and Solomon.
It was the Essenes, the inheritors of the ‘old culture’, the pious, who sought to preserve the YHVH culture in Judea. They were against the non-anointed usurpers of power and authority in the Judean economy. They were the messianics looking for a Moshiach to rise from the House of David and to restore the anointed lineage of the king and the priests. They were there as the guardians of every Prince of David who could have been a future messiah for the Jewish people. Was this an idle dream? No! This was the literal message of their prophets of old.”
It was John the Baptist’s first cousin, the Rabbi called Yehoshua (Jesus, Joshua or Yeshua) was a Prince of David but also the son of Miriam, an authentic Jewess and Princess of David, of the House of Judah, for in the ruling of the Jewish cleric, Ezra, “to be a Jew your mother must be a Jew. Yet this same rabbi was also of the priestly lineages, for his mother, Miriam, was the granddaughter of the High Priest of Israel, Yehoshua III.
Today, there is greater acceptance that Rabbi Yehoshua’s rabbinic ministry was strongly associated with Beit Hillel, the disciples of Jewish Nasi of the Great Sanhedrin, Hillel the Great,and authentic in its original Written and Oral Traditions as interpreted by Hillel the Great.
Thus came during the 1st century BCE and CE era that was known as the Era of the 350 great halakhic debates; the Yeshiva of Beit Shammaiiwhose disciples of the Jewish Nasi Shammai the Great continued to oppose the Yeshiva of Beit Hillel. With the death of Shammai the Great, the last of the dynastic Tobaite linage became extinct.”
With the death of Shammai the Great all the authentic straight Jewish lineages were now extinct
The Enochian and Elijah Traditions of Metatron
So we do have two traditions between Enoch and Metatron concerning their roles in the heavenly court. The rabbinic sages of the past have sought to reconcile the differences between these traditions. One of these connects favorably with the Essene and Qumran traditions of Enoch of which more manuscripts of the Book of Enoch were discovered in Qumran than any other book in the Old Testament. This suggests that the Qumran community recognized the Book of Enoch as “sacred scriptures.”
Out of these traditions there arose also allusion to the traditions of Metatron taking preeminence over the Enochian traditions as noted in the Midrash Genesis Rabbah. Yet it was the Palestinian Targum (Genesis 5:24) that gave allusions to the Metatron traditions with one difference.
As Enochian traditions placed Enoch as the scribe in the heavenly courts, while Enoch was the scribe, it was Metatron that took the mantle of the heavenly defense advocate for Israel in the celestial court against the incessant charges against Israel by HaSatan, also called “Sam” or “Sam-u-el”.
Whereas the Enochian traditions appear at times to merge with Metatron, we also have to accept that the Metatron traditions are more primordial to a much earlier era than even Enoch.
It was in Gan Eden (Garden of Eden) that Metatron, known as the “Angel of Life” was also the angel who guarded the Tree of Life after Adam and Eve made their mistake and were sent into exile outside of Gan Eden and no longer had access to the Tree of Life.
So, also the ancient traditions that Metatron was also the spiritual brother of the “Archangel Sandalphon” for both were humans who lived on Planet Earth, before they ascended into heaven on a heavenly chariot called the Merkabah. It was the Patriarch Enoch who first “walked with G-d” and was then transformed into a spiritual archangel, who in some traditions was Metatron. It was the Prophet Elijah, in other traditions who was transformed into the spiritual Archangel called Sandalphon.
The Redeeming Angel or Mal’akh of Yaakov (Jacob)
When the Patriarch Jacob was nearing the end of his life, he gathered all of his sons around him to give to them his blessings. When Joseph with his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh came to see the aging patriarch, Jacob, said the following:
Genesis 48:15-16 – “He blessed Joseph, and said, The G-d before whom my Fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the G-d who has fed me all my life long to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads, and let my name be named on them, and the name of my Fathers Abraham and Isaac. Let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth (Europe).”
As known by the rabbinic sages of the mystical Jewish Kabbalah, the “Redeeming Angel” was the one in whom the Great Name was given; “for in Y-a-h the Eternal is the Everlasting Rock”. So the “Redeeming Angel” called the mal’ach was Metatron who spoke to Jacob as he was making preparations to leave the land of Laban. The words he spoke were after the ancient traditions of the King to dwell in His Palace.
Genesis 31:13 – I am the G-d of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a Me a vow. Now arise, leave this land and return back to your native land.”
Mattatron as the “Great Name“, the “Name of his Master”, the “Guide of the Road”, and the Voice of the Supreme One”
It was the Spanish Talmudist Rabbi Moshe Ben Nahman (RaMBaN), who was called Nahmanides (1194–c. 1270), wrote that Mattatron is the “guide of the road” that his name is the “Name of his Master” and his voice is the “Voice of the Living G-d” for he will “not pardon your transgression if you rebel against his word” for you rebel against the “Great Name” for “his (Mattatron) voice is the voice of the “Supreme One”.
Ramban – “And our Rabbis have said that this is Mattatron, a name which signifies “the guide of the road” . . . ‘to bring thee into the place which I have prepared, referring to the Sanctuary. . . I will yet mention the Rabbis’ meaning in saying that Mattatron’s name [in the sum of letters-numbers] is even as the “Name of his Master.”
His voice is thus the voice of the living G-d, and it is mandatory upon us to hearken to His voice by the mouth of the Prophets… he will not pardon your transgression if you rebel against his word, for he who rebels against him, rebels against the Great Name which is in him, and he deserves to be cut off by the attribute of justice.” . . . his voice is the voice of the Supreme One.” (Ramban, Exodus 23, Mishpatim, translated by Rabbi C. Chavel, Shilo Publishing House, pg. 410-411, 413)
The Earthly and Heavenly Tabernacles with Metatron as the High Priest as revealed in the Heavenly Tabernacles.
Another of the great traditions of the Chazal was the time in which the Holy One of Israel gave the instruction for the erection of the Tabernacle of the Dwellings. As Rabbi Simon amplified on the Heavenly and the Earthly Tabernacles, we read:
Rabbi Simon – “When the Holy One, blessed be He, told Israel to set up the Tabernacle He intimated to the ministering angels that they also should make a “Tabernacle”, and when the one below was erected the other was erected on high.
The latter was the “Tabernacle of the Youth” whose name was Metatron, and therein he offers up the souls of the righteous to atone for Israel in the days of their exile.” (Numbers Rabbah, XII:12, Soncino Press Edition)
Metatron assuming the Role of the High Priest in the Heavenly Tabernacle
Then came the institution of the High Priest and its role in the Sanctuary services. It was Odeberg who reported the following text on Metatron assuming the role of the high priest in the heavenly sanctuary when he puts on the eight garments of the high priest as described by these words;
Hugo Odeberg with 3 Enoch (1898-1973) – “Metatron is clad in eight garments made out of the splendor of the Shekinah. The eight garments here allude to the eight garments of the high priest (m. Yoma 7:5); (Footnote to 3 Enoch 12, The Old Testament Pseudipigrapha, pg. 265)
Over and over the G-d of Israel has declared that “No man can see Me and live” so we how are we to exclaim concerning the words written in the Torah with these words:
Exodus 24:10 – “Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel ascended. They saw the G-d of Israel, and under His feet was the likeness of sapphire brickwork, and it was like the essence of the heaven in purity.”
The Light of the Shekinah called “The Youth” ministering in the Heavenly Sanctuary
It was Rabbi Yose (alt. Halpetha), was a Tanna of the fourth generation (2nd century CE). Jose was a student of Rabbi Akiva and was regarded as one of the foremost scholars of halakha and aggadah of his day. He was a teacher and mentor to, among other notables, Judah ha-Nasi and thus is prominently mentioned in the Mishnah, being the fifth most frequently mentioned sage in the Mishnah.
Rabbi Yose – “How are we to understand the words, ‘and they saw the G-d of Israel’. Who can see the Holy One? Is it not written: “No man can see Me and live?” It means that a rainbow appeared above them in radiant colours resplendent with the beauty of His grace.
Therefore the saying that he who gazes at a rainbow gazes, as it were, at the Shekinah. . . “They saw the light of the Shekinah, namely him who is called “The Youth” (Metatron-Henoch or Metatron as Enoch), and who ministers to the Shekinah in the heavenly Sanctuary.” Zohar, Volume III, Beshalah 66b. Soncino Press Edition, pg. 208
According to Rabbi Ishmael, “Ba’al HaBaraita” or Ishmael ben Elisha (90-135 CE, who was Tanna of the 1st and 2nd centuries during the third tannaitic period, wrote this account in his introduction of this exalted angelic figure called Metatron:
Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha – “The angel Metatron, Prince of the Divine Presence, the glory of the highest heaven, said to me: At first I sat upon a great throne at the door of the seventh palace, and I judged all the denizens of the heights on the authority of the Holy One, blessed be he. I assigned greatness, royalty, rank, sovereignty, glory, praise, diadem, crown, and honor to all the princes of kingdoms, when I sat in the heavenly court (yeshiva).
The princes of the kingdoms stood beside me, to my right and my left, by the authority of the Holy One, blessed be he. But when ‘Aher came to behold the vision of the chariot and set eyes upon me, he was afraid and trembled before me. His soul was alarmed to the point of leaving him because of his fear, dread and terror of me, when he saw me seated upon a throne like a king, with ministering angels standing beside me as servants and all the princes of the kingdoms crowned with crowns surrounding me.
The he opened his mouth and said, “There are indeed two powers in heaven!” Immediately a divine voice (bat kol) came out from the presence of the Shekinah and said, Come back to me, apostates sons – apart from ‘Aher!” Then Anapi’el HASHEM, the honored, glorified, beloved, wonderful, terrible and dreadful Prince, came at the command of the Holy One, blessed be he, and struck me with sixty lashes of fire and made me stand to my feet.”
Metatron as G-d’s Shaliach; Agent in Charge of this Physical World
This exalted angelic being is G-d’s Shaliach, according to Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810), the great grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, who wrote:
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov – “The angel Metatron is G-d’s shaliach, His agent in charge of this physical world.” Mayim, Breslov Research Institute, pg. 79
In the Jewish code of law, a “Shaliah” or “Shaliach” is a legal or halakhic emissary or agent as Abraham’s agent, Eliezer who went to find Isaac a wife from the House of Laban.
On Weekdays, G-d clothes Himself in the Angel Metat, and Rules the World indirectly as thru a Veil.
According to the Breslov Research Institute we read:
Breslov Research Institute – “Shabbat (Sabbath) is on a much higher level of holiness than the weekdays. It is completely holy, with the negative forces and qualities of bad, evil, falsehood, etc. having no place therein. This is not true of the weekdays. During the six days of the week, a mixture of good and evil, false and true, etc. predominates. Similarly, G-d is, so to speak, completely holy.
Rulership of the world on Shabbat is entirely under his personal jurisdiction and domain. However, during the weekdays God clothes Himself in the angel Metat (Yevamot 16b, Tosafot. Zohar I, 126a).
Through him, God rules the world, not directly and openly, but indirectly through a veil. This distancing from absolute holiness allows for the appearance of a creation separate from and even devoid of God, which ultimately what provides man the maximum free will to serve God of his own volition.” Commentary on Likutey Moharan 11.5, Breslov Research Institute, pg 183
Metatron as Melekh HaMaschiach (King Messiah) or Memtet Incarnate as G-d’s Regent over the Entire Universe
Rabbi Ariel bar Tzadok – “MemTet rules over G-d’s entire universe, not just here on planet earth. Thus when Melekh HaMashiah (King Messiah) comes, he will be MemTet incarnate. As such, he will serve as G-d’s regent over the entire universe and not just king here on earth. Mashiah will be to HaShem what Yosef was to Pharaoh in Egypt. Thus, we see that the role and authority of Mashiah is not merely limited to this world.” “Identifying Shiloh. (“The Secret Soul of the Mashiah,” Parashat Vayehi, 5762, Rabbi Ariel bar Tzadok, koshertorah.org
Melekh HaMaschiach (King Messiah) as seen in Daniel as G-d’s Kavod or Principle Agent of G-d and Rules over G-d’s Entire Universe.
As the late Alan Segal, the Jewish scholar at Yale University wrote:
Alan Segal – “MemTet rules over G-d’s entire universe, not just here on planet earth. Thus when Melekh HaMashiah comes, he will be MemTet incarnate. As such, he will serve as G-d’s regent over the entire universe and not just king here on earth. Mashiah will be to HaShem what Yosef was to Pharaoh in Egypt. Thus, we see that the role and authority of Mashiah is not merely limited to this world.” (“Identifying Shiloh – The Secret Soul of the Mashiah,” Parashat Vayehi, 5762, Rabbi Ariel bar Tzadok, koshertorah.org)
G-d calls [Enoch-Metatron] HASHEM hakaton, another interpretation of Exod. 23:21 (12.5). The date of these documents is far too late to be of specific guidance for Paul. Whatever the date of Daniel or the earliest “son of man traditions”, this angelic figure, the figure that the Bible sometimes calls the Kavod or the principal angel of G-d, is pre-Christian and is a factor in Paul’s description of Christ.” (Paul the Convert, Alan F. Segal, Yale University Press, pg. 51)
“Maschiach ben Yosef and the “Four Youths” as Messiah from Below”
It is interesting to note that only four persons in the biblical history were given the designation or appellation called ‘Youth’. It is also of interest that each of these were regarded as a “Messiah from below”; Joseph as Vizier of Egypt who was the messiah to Jacob and his 12-tribed family, Joshua bin Nun (Yeshua) who picked up the mantle of Moshe and brought the Children of Israel into the land of Israel to conquer the land for the G-d of Israel.
It was David the youth, who in his day toppled the giant called Goliath brought the concept of Greater Israel into international arena for King David and his son, King Solomon, created a mega-empire that competed on the world stage against Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and Rome and Greece as world renowned empires of the ancient days. These four included also Metatron as we shall soon the final Messiah from above. They include:
Yosef the Vizier of Egypt,
Joshua the son of Nun and the assistant to Moses,
Metatron as the Shaliach of G-d and
David, who became the king of the United Kingdom of Israel.
The first text is found in Genesis and concerns Joseph the son of Jacob:
Genesis 37:2 – “These are the chronicles of Jacob; Joseph, at the age of seventeen years was a shepherd with his brothers by the flock, but he was a youth…”
The second youth the sacred texts highlight was the similarity of the relationship of Moses to G-d was reflected in the relationship of Moshe to his personal assistant; Joshua (Yeshua) the son of Nun.
Exodus 33:11 – “HaShem spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. He turned again into the camp, but his servant Yehoshua, the son of Nun, a young man, na’ar, didn’t depart out of the Tent.”
The Merkabah (Cherubim) and the Meta- Angel Metatron
The third “youth” known to the Chazal, or Hazal, an acronym for “Hakhameinu Zikhronam Liv’rakha” or “Our Sages, may their memory be blessed”, referring to the Jewish sages during the final 300 years of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and all the Mishna Era (c. 250 BCE – c625 CE) as Metatron, we discover that there is a dichotomy concerning humans such as Abraham seeing a heavenly being who told him that he was to have a son; later named Isaac.
But could man including the Children of Israel when standing in the highest state of prophecy at the mount called Sinai “see the Holy One, blessed be He”. According to the footnotes to 3 Enoch 12, in The Old Testament Pseudipigrapha, pg. 265, we read of Rabbi Jose ben Halafta (Halpetha), a Tanna of the fourth generation (2nd century CE) who was a student of the revered Rabbi Akiva.
He was also regarded as one of the foremost scholars of halakhah and aggadah (non-legal exegetical texts of classical rabbinic literature of Judaism) preserved in the Talmud and Midrash, Particularly of his day; as written:
Rabbi Jose said: “How are we to understand the words, “and they saw the G-d of Israel” (Ex. XXIV, 10)? Who can see the Holy One? Is it not written: “No man can see Me and live?”
It means that a rainbow appeared above them in radiant colours resplendent with the beauty of His grace. Therefore the saying that he who gazes at a rainbow gazes, as it were, at the Shekinah…
Rabbi Jose further said: “They saw the light of the Shekinah, namely him who is called “The Youth” (Metatron-Henoch or the Archangel Enoch), and who ministers to the Shekinah in the heavenly Sanctuary.” (Zohar, Volume III, Beshalah 66b. Soncino Press Edition, pg. 208)
The fourth “Youth” was the shepherd son of Jesse called, David. When Samuel went to anoint at the behest of G-d a new prince or king of Israel, he was guided to the home of Jesse:
I Samuel 16:10-12 – “Jesse presented his seven sons before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, ‘HaShem has not chosen these, ‘Samuel said, ‘Are these all the boys? And he said, ‘The youngest one is still left; he is tending the sheep now.’ So Samuel said to Jesse ‘Send and bring him for we will not sit [to dine] until he arrives here.’ He sent and brought him He was ruddy, with fair eyes and a pleasing appearance. Hashem then said, ‘Arise and anoint him for this it he!’ Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers, and the Spirit of HaShem passed over David from that day on.”
Later we read of David’s encounter with King Saul and the Philistine giant, Goliath.
1 Samuel 17:32, 41 – “David said to Saul, ‘Let no man lose heart because of him. Your servant will go forth and fight this Philistine! But Saul said to David, ‘You cannot go forth this Philistine to fight with him for you are a lad, while he is a warrior from his youth.
The Philistine (Goliath) walked, going closer and closer to David, and the man bearing his shield was before him. The Philistine peered and saw David, and he derided him for he was a youth, ruddy and handsome.”
So when we begin to see the appellation of the Maschiach of Yisrael, we also begin to comprehend in part the breadth of the two concepts of Maschiach ben Yosef as the “Messiah from below” and the concept of Maschiach ben Dovid as the “Messiah from above.”
I have been introduced to redeeming messianic figures in the bible. They have included:
Enoch the Prophet in the Days of Evil before the Nephilim (Children of the Watchers) and the Annunaki before the Flood of Noah;
Moshe the Redeemer of the Chosen Descendants of Abraham from Egypt’
Elijah the Prophet who kept the Prophetic Spirit alive in Israel; plus
King Hezekiah, who kept the forces of Nebuchadnezzar at bay and saved with divine providence the city of Jerusalem from the forces of Sennacherib, and then Cyrus the Great, the Lost Israelite who saved the Jewish people in Exile in Babylonia and Persia.
These were “messiahs from below” (living on Planet Earth). Yet Ben Burton gives further pause that a greater insight into messianic Israel is in store for us in reference to the concept of the “Messiah from above” who at the “end of days” will redeem this world as Melekh HaMaschiach (King Messiah). Let’s listen to what he has to say:
Metatron as Melekh HaMaschiach
Ben Burton – “Contrary to virtually anything you read elsewhere about this phenomenon, Metatron is not an angel. This is true despite the fact that the rabbis, as well as the Torah itself in numerous instances, refer to Metatron as a malach or The Malach.
Yes, the term malach is always translated as angel or messenger. But this itself is begging the issue because what an “angel” is to the non-Jewish mind and what a malach is to the Torah mind are, for the most part, two different realties.
We must reeducate ourselves (i.e., redefine ourselves and our perception of reality) that Metatron is not a “noun”, i.e., a person (even an angelic person), place or thing. If anything, Metatron is the meta-malach, the meta-messenger, the meta-medium for the revelation of the Ain Sof. But then, as Marshall McLuhan made famous; “The medium is the message”.
A frustrating or forbidding paradox? Only until we realize that the relationship of MT to “God” is the same as the relationship of the Light (207) of the Ain Sof to the Ain Sof (also 207). The connection of the two is not linear but rather the “end” is looped into the “beginning”.
Even if we attempt a more sophisticated “flatland” categorization of Metatron as a metasystem (which is perfectly fine as long as we remain acutely aware of its dimensional limitations) this puts Metatron in a whole category by itself for which we have little to compare.
This “meta-angel” is greater than all the angels together! (including Michael and Gabriel) Now, what exactly is this whole that is greater than the sum of its angelic parts?
Even though in the material you may read about Metatron – including the material I am presenting – describes Metatron as an angelic entity, don’t believe it. MT is big. Bigger than the universe. But, relative to the Ain Sof; the Source of all Blessing, Metatron is still called the ‘Little YHVH’!”