Dr. Einar C. Erickson
Ancient Document Mormon Scholar
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Adam was endowed with the image and likeness of the Lords above while Eve is the queen of this world. And I God provided and sent the three visitors for their protection, and taught them the holy mysteries and the prayers, which they might recite. I told them further, I have provided to you this earth, a dwelling place fit for eternity. And then sitting near them I taught the manner of calling upon the Lord to bless them.

INTRODUCTION

We are going to look at some Mystic Jewish  writings from the First to the third century AD. The 3 Book of Enoch, or The Hebrew Book 0f Enoch. They make constant references to an entity called Metatron.

“With regard to the conception of Metatron, his position and function as presented in 3 Enoch … this book purports to be a revelation or communication of secrets by Metatron, “the Prince of the Presence” to the Tannaitic teacher, R. Isme’el ben Lisa.” (Odeberg p. 79)  This Prince is also called the angel “who has access to the Divine Presence, ‘the Face’ of the Godhead (and in this sense the “Sar ha-pPanim” or the “Prince of the Presence.”) … hence possesses knowledge of the Divine Secrets and decrees… (he is) used by God as the guide … and instructor of R. Isma’l… as the “Servant of (Abaed) of the Holy One”, is sent by the Most High to conduct R. Isma’el into the Seventh Hekal ….to the Merkabah and the … S’kina and to protect him [in] the region …  the highest region of the heavens. … He is … essentially an angel -prince of the Seventh Hall. The inmost and holiest part of the Celestial World, the central and true abode, the Divine Manifestation (the “Holy of Holies”)”. (Odeberg pp. 79-80) Are there higher kingdoms than the Celestial? Yes, there are. “the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thumim unto each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known.” (D&C 130:10) Knowledge of these higher kingdoms is found in 3 Enoch.  “There was originally a Jewish writing, belonging to the Enoch Literature and embodied in the present 2 Enoch and this Jewish Book of Enoch was well known in the circle from which 3 Enoch emanated, this Jewish writing must have originated at a fairly early date,  in fact the general types of ideas met with in this oldest and essential stratum….fit in perfectly with the date assigned to it …the first century A.D.”  (Odeberg p, 63)

Because some Jewish scholars tried to identify Enoch as Metatron,  having lost the doctrines of the true GodHead, The Father, the Son and the Holy ghost, the Jews were monotheists believing in one God, they could not accept the identification of many of the characteristics and attributes of Metatron with Jehovah, or that there was a superior God, the Actual father of Jehovah, Elohim and no Holy Ghost in their understanding of the Godhead, there was much confusion about Metatron, so I have substituted the name ‘Prince’  (Prince of the Presence or ‘Just He’) for all references to him and to permit the various  characteristics of the ‘Prince’ to identify who he is.

THE PRINCE

The Prince is “The attendant of God’s Throne, the Throne of Glory…The Prince and steward set over the treasures of heaven—containing the celestial and cosmic forces or agencies and the Divine Secrets hence endowed with knowledge of all the mysteries of Creation of Past, Present and Future and the ruler of all and judge of all the hosts  of angel princes….the angelic ruler over and Judge of all of the hosts of angels …  clothed with light and splendor … garments of Glory. The Prince “is given a new distinctive name the Lessor ‘YHUH’ …. After the name of the master…for my name is in him…corresponds to the Divine Name… The name, “the Lesser  YHUH is” …representative, vicarious, [of] the Godhead  …elevation  into a lesser manifestation of the “NAME, being enthroned …The CONFIRMENT upon him of (Part of) the  Divine Glory, honor, majesty, and splendor”, a garment of glory,…a  Robe of Honor, ”but especially a “crown of kingship” …after the pattern of the Crown of the Holy One…and lastly knowledge of all the secrets of creation and of ‘Tora’, otherwise in Possession of the Most High alone.” (Odeberg pp.  84)

PRIMORDAL MAN:

We glean from the early mystical writings of the Jews the following.

“The Prince was considered to be the primordial man …and as being the Premordal man. (Odeberg p. 83) “Jesus Christ was the first born of all the spirit children of Heavenly Father.”  (Brugger p. 114)

He is considered the teacher of the souls of those who died in their childlbirth.” (Isaiah 28:9)  A tradition preserved up from the second century. (Odeberg p. 83) In his capacity of Prince of Wisdom and steward of the treasures, committed the secrets to Moses as the intermediary through whom the secret doctrine was brought down to man….to R.  Abbahu and R. Zeera, two noted Palestinian Amoras, who flourished during the second century and opposed the Prince as being considered in “a unique position” as part of the Deity, a second manifestation of the Godhead, and other things.” (Odeberg p. 83-84) But they lost out. Over time, the Prince was “recognized for his rulership over the heavenly household.” (Odeberg p.85) Sounds like a family feud…and it was. Between Father, Jesus and Lucifer.

“One of his functions is that of “defender or advocate” He holds the “Office of celestial Judge” but later in the Book that office is held by “the Holy One Himself”. He pleads the cause of the world before the Heavenly tribunal.” (Odeberg p. 88)

“He was understood also to have immediate authority over the planets and constellations….and to be the Keeper of the Books.” (Ibid p. 89)

He is also represented as officiating in the CelestiaL Sanctuary.” (IbId p.93)

He is “the Pleader For Israel …atones for Israel.” (Ibid p. 95) There is only one who atones for anybody and that is Christ.

“He is Master of Wisdom, has knowledge of the Divine decrees …is the divine High Priest… has in his charge the spirits of the righteous … was associated with Moses during his life time after his death as the representative of the most high. … shows Moses the Land of Israel…takes care of Mose’s Soul. [Moses was translated in other documents]… is the instructor of the children who died before having the opportunity of being instructed in the Tora having their instructions completed… He takes charge of the spirits above.” (Odeberg p. 96)

He is “longsuffering and Abundant in Goodness…is alone of all celestials possessing knowledge of all God’s works and his wonders, especially the secrets of Creation…. [he is] vice regent. Second only to God Himself.” (Odeberg p.99)

He is the Prince who reveals the secrets to R. Hama’el and R. Aqiba.

 [He is] “the Great Prince of Testimony…. The testifier of the Divine Majesty and Kingship….“The Prince of the Likeness of Adam”…. Seated on the throne beneath the throne of Glory…celestial Chiormaster….is called the Great Prince over all the Princes and over all the ministering angels…Celestial High Priest of the Heavenly Tabernacle… [He] represents the ‘first letter,’ ‘Alaef’ through which heaven and earth were created, i.e. the fundamental creative essence.”  (Odeberg  p.104) Also ”from the mystical literature ‘The Great Seal’ contains the name… Metatron YHUH, the God of Israel, and which is the same, Metatron YHUH. The God of heaven and earth, the God of the Sea, and the dry land. [HE] is representative of the Holy One both in relation to Israel and in relation to the cosmos: Prince of the World. [Prince] is especially connected to the Divine Name…. He occupies a throne of Glory. [He] is in the Sword of Moses, emphasized as the knower, Guardian and Revealer of the Secrets, as the Prince of the World with cosmic power, as the Prince of the Presence, the Prince of the Throne and of the Maerkaba-angels-and lastly as the bearer of the Sekina…. [The Prince] has knowledge of the Divine decrees and reasons behind them and reveals them to the seer.” (Odeberg pp. 108-109)  [Of which Joseph Smith was one of the greatest Seers].

“ALL THE KEYS ARE COMMITTED TO HIM  (from later Jewish Mystical Literature)…[He is] ”enthroned vice-regent of the Holy One… Because of his great love of His Master …has authority to be seated on a throne like the Throne of Glory… the Holy One made him the ruler over his celestial and terrestrial house hold. He represents the Godhead to the ‘outside world’ celestial and terrestrial world…. in the end of time [He] will make the Throne of Glory complete as a Throne of Judgement… [He is] God’s representative and ruler in the celestial world …over all the angels, and through all celestial regions… All the angels receive their spiritual maintenance yea, their very existence from Metatron {Prince], He is to the angelic world what the heart is to the body…. He possesses the 72 names, which are called Divine Powers [and] is appointed Over the 612 Angels of God…over the Maerkaba angels… over Mikael and Gabriel… over the angels of Judgement, Over the angels of the world…..[He] is the Guardian of the inmost region of the Sekina, the Holy of Holies… the guardian of the celestial treasures and Halls. He is especially appointed over the ‘secrets’…set over the Halls and their splendours… The KEYS are committed  to him… symbolic of possession of all the Divine secrets….  [He] commits the secrets to man… he was Moses’ teacher…teaches the Tora and its mysteries [ordinances] in heaven….and is the president of the heavenly Academy. …from him emanates, in the last instance, all knowledge of the mysteries  [and ordinances] of the Universe….guardian of the spirits and souls in heaven. Both before and after their earthly life He is appointed  to give life to those who are to dwell in the dust i.e. the spirits who are about to dwell  on earth. After death he conducts the spirits and souls back to their places… He introduces the nesama (spirit) on high, saying to him ‘Enter, Enter’.” (Odeberg pp. 111-114)     

[He is] ”God’s representative ruler over the world (Prince of the World) celestial judge of the world executor of the Divine decrees the representative of the Holy One to the individual; the protector, intercessor, intermediary and advocate… the Judge of the world… He unites in himself the two attributes of Justice and Mercy: he is the head of the two groups of angels, the angels of Justice under ‘azza and angels of Mercy under ’uzziel… [ He is] of course the judge also of man after his death and functions at the Law Judgement…is always associated with the attribute of Mercy….showed himself to Moses and to the prophets… When the Holy one chose a prophet and destined him to partake of the Sekina, it was [He] who bestowed upon the prophet of the light of the Sekina …when the Dibber (the Divine word) came to the prophet It was [he] who spoke to him.” (Odeberg pp. 114-115)

LIMITS THE ACCUSATIONS OF SATAN

“When Satan tries to accuse Israel on High [he] …makes him confused so that he is unable to bring forth his accusation. … He records the merits of Israel and seals the records…. When the wrath of the Holy One is kindled against His children, then [He] prays for them and transforms the Divine decrees to be determined by attribute of Mercy [grace] instead of by the attributes of Justice… [He] is appointed to receive man’s prayers… [He] receives special names…indicating his  high position … Steward, The Eldest Servant of his house…alluding  to Gen. 24:2 …over all that the Holy One has… “the eldest of his house.” ….  He is appointed over the performance of the Songs on earth, to collect them and bring them before the Holy One… he functioned at the Creation… was the cosmical protogonon… has access to the Divine Presence or who represents the Divine Presence to man….It was He “ who showed himself to Moses in the burning bush… He “Was the “Redeeming Angel”. ”He is represented as the…Celestial Choirmaster and the supervisor of the performance of the Celestial Songs …. Is the     priest officiating at the Celestial Altar… the first of God’s Creation…. Was the first of God’s Creation … the creative power in the Divine Word …He is the First Spirit Man and is present in the righteous, and in all men…. He is the eternal, Spiritual Divine essence in man.” (Odeberg pp. 115-121)

Mosiah, a Book of Mormon writer, succinctly writes: “Always [be] abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in  heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen.” (Mosiah 5:15)

The Mystic Jewish writers continue: “He is the bearer of the seventy divine names” (Odeberg p. 119) He is “The Celestial Light, the Divine Spirit.” (Odeberg p. 123) He is “SADDAQ, the Righteous”…the Foundation of the Universe.” (Ibid) The “One who shows the way.” (Odeberg p. 128)  But, the Mystic writers  could not call him CHRIST,  because it would confuse their idea of God and their idea of who and what the Messiah was, and what he had done for mankind and the Universe..  Deep down, they knew!

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

BRUGGER, Don L., The Latter-day Saints Family Encyclopedia. Thunder Bay Publishers, San Diego, Cal., 2010

ODEBERG, Hugo, 3 Enoch The Hebrew Book of Enoch, KTAV Publishing House, Inc., New York, 1973

All research and opionions presented on this site are the sole responsibility of Dr. Einar C. Erickson, and should not be interpreted as official statements of the LDS doctrine, beliefs or practice.
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