The Flight of Enoch

The Flight of Enoch

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Metatron has a considerable part to play in the pseudepigrapha, the Talmud, and particularly in the Zohar. The Zohar outlines exactly what caused the mortal Enoch’s transformation into the heavenly Metatron. Because of Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden, he forfeited the divine spark, which G-d had breathed, into his body at the time of creation. That exact divine spark then penetrated into Enoch, empowering him to accomplish the spiritual perfection, which Adam had failed to achieve. Whereas human beings cannot be flawless, it was necessary to have Enoch transported to heaven to become the angel Metatron. The flames that constantly emanate from Metatron bring about armies of angels, as his name is the numerical equivalent of Shaddai, which is one of the various portrayals of G-d Himself. The Zohar speaks of Metatron as “the shining light of the Shekhinah“, or the divine presence. The Zohar recounts that Metatron was created before any earthly thing because he was to personify a sort of microcosmic spiritual perfection, completely independent from corruption and contamination. In a subsequent Zoharic work, the Tikkunei Zohar, Metatron is perceived as the biblical “tree of knowledge of good and bad.” This insinuates that within Metatron are blended both human and angelic excellence which furnishes Metatron with the ideal characteristics to negotiate between the human and the Divine.

When Enoch is transformed into Metatron, he ascends alive into heaven. He is then appointed as one of the most important angels and even sits on a throne next to G-d. He is appointed as the High Priest of the heavenly Temple and because he knows all the secrets of the mysteries, divine and earthly, he is minister to the Divine Throne and of all wisdom. Enoch describes his transformation into Metatron to R. Ishmael:

“In addition to all these qualities, the Holy One, blessed be He laid his hand on me and blessed me with 1,365,000 blessings. I was enlarged and increased in size till I matched the world in length and breadth. He made to grow on me 72 wings, 36 on one side and 36 on the other, and each single wing covered the entire world. He fixed in me 365,00 eyes and each eye was like the Great Light. There was no sort of splendour, brilliance, brightness, or beauty in the luminaries of the world that he failed to fix in me.” (3 Enoch 9:1-5)

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Original, A4 Print (approx 21 x 30 cm), A3 Print (approx 30 x 42 cm), A2 Print (approx 42 x 60 cm), A1 Print (approx 60 x 84 cm)

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