The Hebrew Book of Enoch


BY R. ISHMAEL BEN ELISHA

THE HIGH PRIEST


CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION:

R. Ishmael ascends
to heaven to behold the vision of the Merkaba and
is given in charge to Metatron

AND ENOCH WALKED WITH GOD: AND HE WAS NOT; FOR GOD TOOK HIM

(Gen. v. 24)

Rabbi Ishmael said:
(1) When I ascended on high to behold the vision of the Merkaba and had entered the six Halls, one within the other: (2) as soon as I reached the door of the seventh Hall I stood still in prayer before the Holy One, blessed be lie, and, lifting up my eyes on high (i.e. towards the Divine Majesty), I said: (3) "Lord of the Universe, I pray
thee, that the merit of Aaron, the son of Amram, the lover of peace and pursuer of peace, who received the crown of priesthood from Thy Glory on the mount of Sinai, be valid for me in this hour, so that Qafsiel, the prince, and the angels with him may not get power over me nor throw me down from the heavens .
(4) Forthwith the Holy One, blessed be He, sent to me Metatron, his Servant ('Ebed) the angel, the Prince of the Presence, and be, spreading his wings, with great joy came to meet me so as to save me from their hand.
(5) And he took me by his band in their sight, saying to me:
"Enter in peace before the high and exalted King and behold the picture of the Merkaba".
(6) Then I entered the seventh Hall, and he led me to the camp(s) of Shekina and placed me before the Holy One, blessed be He, to behold the Merkaba.
(7) As soon as the princes of the Merkaba and the flaming Seraphim perceived me, they fixed their eyes upon me. Instantly trembling and shuddering seized me and I fell down and was benumbed by the radiant image of their eyes and the splendid appearance of their faces; until the Holy One, blessed be He, rebuked them, saying:
(8) "My servants, my Seraphim, my Cherubim and my 'Ophannim! Cover ye your eyes before Ishmael, my son, my friend, my beloved one and my glory, that he tremble not nor shudder!" (9) Forthwith Metatron the Prince of the Presence, came and restored my spirit
and put me upon my feet. (10) After that (moment) there was not in me strength enough to say a song before the Throne of Glory of the glorious King, the mightiest of all kings, the most excellent of all princes, until after the hour had passed.
(11) After one hour (had passed) the Holy One, blessed be He, opened to me the gates of Shekina, the gates of Peace, the gates of Wisdom, the gates of Strength, the gates of Power, the gates of Speech (Dibbur), the gates of Song, the gates of Qedushsha, the gates of Chant. (12) And he enlightened my eyes and my heart by words of psalm, song, praise, exaltation, thanksgiving, extolment, glorification, hymn and eulogy. And as I opened my mouth, uttering a song before the Holy One, blessed be He, the Holy Chayyoth beneath and above the Throne of Glory answered and said: "HOLY" and "BLESSED BE THE GLORY OF YHVH FROM HISPLACE !"(i.e. chanted the Qedushsha).


CHAPTER II
The highest classes of angels make inquiries about R. Ishmael, which are answered by Metatron

 
R.Ishmael said:
(1) In that hour the eagles of the Merkaba, the flaming 'Ophannim and the Seraphim of consuming fire asked Metatron, saying to him:
(2) "Youth! Why sufferest thou one born of woman to enter and behold the Merkaba? From which nation, from which tribe is this one? What is his character?"
(3) Metatron answered and said to them:
"From the nation of Israel whom the Holy One, blessed be He, chose for his people 3from among seventy tongues (nations), from the tribe of Levi, whom he set aside as a contribution to his name and from the seed of Aaron whom the Holy One, blessed be He, did choose for his servant and put upon him the crown of priesthood on. "
(4) Forthwith they spake and said:
"Indeed, this one is worthy to behold the Merkaba". And they said: "Happy is the people that is in such a case!" (Ps. cxliv. 15).

CHAPTER III
Metatron has 70 names,but God calls him 'Youth'
R.Ishmael said:
(1) In that hour I asked Metatron, the angel, the Prince of the Presence: "What is thy name?" (2) He answered me: "I have seventy names, corresponding to the seventy tongues of the world
and all of them are based upon the name Metatron, angel of the Presence; but my King calls me 'Youth' (Na'ar) ''.


CHAPTER IV

Metatron is identical with Enoch who was translated to
heaven at the time of the Deluge

R.Ishmael said:
(1)I asked Metatron and said to him: "Why art thou called by the name of thy Creator, by severity names? Thou art greater than all the princes, higher than all the angels, beloved more than all the servants, honored above all the mighty ones in kingship, greatness and glory: why do they call thee ' Youth 'in the high heavens? "
(2) He answered and said to me: "Because I am Enoch, the son of Jared. (3) For when the generation of the flood sinned and were confounded in their deeds saying unto God : ' Depart from us, for We desire not the knowledge of thy ways (Job xxi. 14)', then the Holy One, blessed he He removed me from their midst to be a witness against them in the high heavens to all the inhabitants of the world , that they may not say: ' The Merciful One is cruel'.
What sinned all those multitudes , their wives, their sons and their daughters, their horses, their mules and their r cattle and their r property , and all the birds of the world, all of which the Holy One, blessed be He, destroyed from their world together with them in the waters of the flood ?
Nor may say: What though the generation of the flood did sin; the beasts and the birds, what had they sinned, that they should perish with them?'
(5) Hence the Holy One, blessed be He, lifted me up in their lifetime before their eyes to be a witness against them to the future world. And the Holy One, blessed be He, assigned me for a prince and a ruler among the ministering angels.
(6) In that hour three of the ministering angels, 'UZZA, 'AZZA and 'AZZAEL came forth and brought charges against me in the high heavens, saying before the Holy One, blessed be He '' Said not the Ancient Ones (First Ones) rightly before Thee: 'Do not create man! '" The Holy One, blessed be He, answered and said unto them: "I have made and I will bear, yea, I will carry and will deliver". (Is. xlvi. 4.)
(7) As soon as they saw me, they said before Him: "Lord of the Universe ! What is this one that he should ascend to the height of heights? Is not he one from among the sons of [the sons of] those who perished in the days of the Flood? "What doeth he in the Raqia'? "
(8) Again, the Holy One, blessed be He, answered and said to them: "What are ye, that ye enter and speak in my presence? I delight in this one more than in all of you, and hence he shall be a
prince and a ruler over you in the high heavens." (9) Forthwith all stood up and went out to meet me, prostrated themselves before me and said: "Happy art thou and happy is thy father for thy Creator doth favor thee".
(10) And because I am small and a youth among them 11 in days, months and years, therefore they call me "Youth" (Na'ar).
 


CHAPTER V

The idolatry of the generation of Enoch causes God to remove
the Shekina from earth The idolatry' inspired by 'Azza,
'Uzza and 'Azziel

R. Ishmael said: Metatron, the Prince of the Presence, said to me:

 (1) From the day when the Holy One, blessed be He, expelled
the first Adam from the Garden of Eden (and onwards), Shekina was dwelling upon a Kerub under the Tree of Life.
(2) And the ministering angels 2were gathering together and going down from heaven in parties, from the Raqia' in companies and from the heavens in camps to do His will in the whole world.
(3) And the first man and his generation were sitting outside the gate of the Garden to behold the radiant appearance of the Shekina.
(4) For the splendor of the Shekina traversed the world from one end to the other (with a splendor) 365,000 times (that) of the globe of the sun. And everyone who made use of the splendor of the Shekina, on him no flies and no gnats did rest, neither was he ill nor suffered lie any pain. No demons got power over him, neither were they able to injure him.
(5) When the Holy One, blessed be He, went out and went in from the Garden to Eden, from Eden to the Garden, from the Garden to Raqia' and from Raqia' to the Garden of Eden then all and everyone beheld the splendor of His Shekina and they were not injured; (6) until the time of the generation of Enoch who was the head of all idol worshippers of the world. (7) And what did the generation of Enoch do? They went from one end of the world to the other, and each one brought silver, gold, precious stones and pearls in heaps like unto mountains and hills making idols out of them throughout all the world. And they erected the idols in every quarter of the world: the size of each idol was 1000 parasangs. (8) And they brought down the sun, the moon, planets and constellations, and placed them before the idols on their right hand and on their left, to attend them even as they attend the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is written (1 Kings xxii. 39): "And all the host of heaven was standing by him on his right hand and on his left".
(10) In that time the ministering angels brought charges (against them) before the Holy One, blessed be He, saying before him:
"Master of the World ! What hast thou to do with the children of men? As it is written (Ps. viii. 4) 'What is man (Enoch) that thou art mindful of him?' 'Mak Adam' is not written here, but 'Mah Enoch', for he (Enoch) is the head of the idol worshippers. (11) Why hast thou left the highest of the high heavens, the abode of thy glorious Name, and the high and exalted Throne in 'Araboth on high
and art gone and dwellest with the children of men who worship idols and equal thee to the idols. (12) Now thou art on earth and the idols likewise. What hast thou to do with 1the inhabitants of the earth who worship idols?" (13) Forthwith the Holy One, blessed be He, lifted up His Shekina from the earth, from their midst.
(14) In that moment came the ministering angels, the troops of hosts and the armies of 'Araboth in thousand camps and ten thousand hosts: they fetched trumpets and took the horns in their hands and surrounded the Shekina with all kinds of songs. And He ascended to the high heavens, as it is written (Ps. xlvii. 5): "God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet".


CHAPTER VI

Enoch lifted up to heaven together with the Shekina.
Angels' protests answered by God

R. Ishmael said: Metatron, the Angel, the Prince of the Presence, said to me:
(1) When the Holy One, blessed be He, desired to lift me up on high, He first sent 'Anaphiel -H (H = Tetragrammaton), the Prince, and he took me from their midst in their sight and carried me
in great glory upon a fiery chariot with fiery horses, servants of glory. And he lifted me up to the high heavens together with the Shekina.
(2) As soon as I reached the high heavens, the Holy Chayyoth, the 'Ophannim, the Seraphim, the Cherubim, the Wheels of the Merkaba (the Galgallim), and the ministers of 5the consuming fire, perceiving my smell from a distance of 365,000 myriads of parasangs, said:
"What smell of one born of woman and what taste of a white drop (is this) that ascends on high, and (lo, he is merely) a gnat among those who 'divide flames (of fire)'?"
(3) The Holy One, blessed be Lie, answered and spake unto them: "My servants, my hosts, my Cherubim, my 'Ophaminim, my Seraphim! Be ye not displeased on account of this! Since all the children of men have denied me and my great Kingdom and are gone worshipping idols, I have removed my Shekina from among them and have lifted it up on high. But this one whom I have taken from among them is an ELECT ONE among (the inhabitants of) the world and he is equal to all of them in faith, righteousness and perfection of deed and I have taken him for (as) a tribute from my world under all the heavens".


CHAPTER VII

Enoch raised upon the wings of the Shekina to the place
of the Throne, the Merkaba and the angelic hosts

R. Ishmael said: Metatron, the Angel, the Prince of the Presence, said to me:
When the Holy One, blessed be He, took me away from the generation of the Flood, he lifted me on the wings of the wind of Shekina to the highest heaven and brought me into the great palaces of the 'Araboth Raqia' on high, where are the glorious Throne of Shekina, the Merkaba, the troops of anger, the armies of vehemence, the fiery Shin'anim, the flaming Cherubim, and the burning 'Ophannim, the flaming servants, the flashing Chashmallim, and the lightening Seraphim. And he placed me (there) to attend the Throne of Glory day after day.


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