Angelology: III Enoch 5-8


R. Ishmael said:
“Metatron, The Prince of The Presence, said to me: …”

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.

And the ministering angels
were 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.

And the first man and his generation
were sitting outside the gate of the Garden
to behold the radiant appearance of the Shekina.

For the splendour of the Shekina
traversed the world, from one end to the other,
with a splendour 365,000 times that of the globe of the sun.
And everyone who made use of the splendour of the Shekina,
on him no flies and no gnats did rest,
neither was he ill nor suffered he any pain.
No demons got power over him,
neither were they able to injure him.

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 splendour of His Shekina
and they were not injured;

until the time of the generation of Enosh
who was the head of all idol worshippers of the world.

And what did the generation of Enosh do?

They went from one end of the world to the other,
and each one brought
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.

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:
“And all the host of heaven
were standing by him
on his right hand and on his left.”

What power was in them
that they were able
to bring them down?
They would not have been able
to bring them down
but for ‘Uzza, ‘Azza and ‘Azziel
who taught them sorceries
whereby they brought them down
and made use of them.

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:
‘What is man (Enosh) that thou art mindful of him?’
‘Mah Adam’ is not written here, but ‘Mah Enosh’,
for he (Enosh) is the head of the idol worshippers.
Why hast thou left the highest of the high heavens,
the abode of thy glorious Name,
and the high and exalted Throne
in ‘Araboth Raqia’, in the highest,
and art gone and dwellest with the children of men
who worship idols and equal thee to the idols?!
Now thou art on earth
and the idols likewise.
What hast thou to do
with the inhabitants of the earth
who worship idols?!”

Forthwith the Holy One, blessed be He,
lifted up His Shekina from the earth,
from their midst.

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: “God is gone up with a shout,
the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.”

When the Holy One, blessed be He,
desired to lift me up on high,
He first sent ‘Anaphiel H the Prince,
and he took me from their midst in their sight
and carried me in great glory upon a a fiery chariot
with fiery horses, servants of glory.
And he lifted me up to the high heavens
together with the Shekina.

As soon as I reached the high heavens,
the Holy Chayyoth, the ‘Ophannim,
the Seraphim, the Kerubim,
the Wheels of the Merkaba,
and the ministers of the consuming fire,
perceiving my smell from a distance of 365,ooo myriads of parasangs,
and said:

“What smell of one born of woman
and what taste of a white drop (is this)
that ascends on high?!
Lo, he is merely a gnat
among those who divide flames of fire!!”

The Holy One, blessed be He,
answered and spake unto them:

“My servants! My hosts!
My Kerubim! My ‘Ophannim! 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 now 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 as a tribute
from my world under all the heavens.”

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 He 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 Kerubim,
and the burning ‘Ophannim,
the flaming servants,
the flashing Chashmattim
and the lightening Seraphim.

And he placed me there
to attend the Throne of Glory
day after day.

Before He appointed me
to attend the Throne of Glory,
the Holy One, blessed be He,
opened to me
three hundred thousand gates of Understanding
three hundred thousand gates of Subtlety
three hundred thousand gates of Life
three hundred thousand gates of grace and loving-kindness
three hundred thousand gates of love
three hundred thousand gates of Tora
three hundred thousand gates of meekness
three hundred thousand gates of maintenance
three hundred thousand gates’ of mercy
three hundred thousand gates of fear of heaven

In that hour the Holy One, blessed be He,
added in me wisdom unto wisdom,
understanding unto understanding,
subtlety unto subtlety,
knowledge unto knowledge,
mercy unto mercy,
instruction unto instruction,
love unto love,
loving-kindness unto loving-kindness,
goodness unto goodness,
meekness unto meekness,
power unto power,
strength unto strength,
might unto might,
brilliance unto brilliance,
beauty unto beauty,
splendour unto splendour,
and I was honoured and adorned
with all these good and praiseworthy things
more than all the children of heaven.

~ The Hebrew Book of Enoch (3 Enoch), Ch. 5-8

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