METATRON-Knower-of-SecretsMETATRON Knower of Secrets
The Knower of Secrets
The Merkabah tradition emphasizes the role of Metatron as the "Knower
of Secrets," Myzr (dwy. According to 3 Enoch he is "wise in the
secrets and Master of the mysteries." He is the one who received these
secrets from the angels and from the Lord (the Holy One). He serves
also as "the Revealer of Secrets," the one who is responsible for the
transmission of the highest secrets to the Prices under him, as well
as to mankind. In ch. 38 of 3 Enoch, Metatron told to R. Ishmael that
he was the person who revealed secrets to Moses, in spite of the
protests of heavenly hosts:
...when I revealed this secret to Moses, then all the host in every heaven
on high raged against me and said to me: Why do you reveal this secret
to a son of man...the secret by which were created heaven and earth...
and the Torah and Wisdom and Knowledge and Thought and the Gnosis
of things above and the fear of heaven. Why do you reveal this to flesh
According to this theological material, Enoch (Metatron) is
responsible for transmitting the secrets of the Written Torah as well
as the Oral Tradition. "And Metatron brought them out from his house
of treasuries and committed them to Moses, and Moses to Joshua, and
Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the prophets and the prophets
to the men of Great Synagogue..."
In late Merkabah, Metatron (Enoch) is the guide and the revealer of
secrets to all who are initiated into the account of chariots.
Hekhaloth literature (3 Enoch, Shi'ur Qomah) describes these functions
of Metatron. He guides and reveals secrets to R. Ishmael and to R .
Akiba. Sometimes the Merkabah narrative extends his role to the titles
of the Prince of Wisdom and the Prince of Understanding.
It is apparent that in 2 Enoch one may see some kind of preparation of
Enoch for his role as Metatron, "the Knower of Secrets." The
preparation entails several stages. First, the archangel Vereveil
inducts Enoch into these secrets. He instructs Enoch in "all the deeds
of the Lord, the earth and the sea, and all the elements and the
courses...and the Hebrew language, every kind of language of the new
song of the armed troops and everything that it is appropriate to
learn" (23.1-2). Second, the Lord himself continues to instruct him in
the secrets, which he had not even explained to the Angels (24.3).
Finally, the Lord promised Enoch the role of "Knower of Secrets." The
important detail here is that the promise of the role is closely
connected with other titles of Metatron such as "The Prince of
Presence," "The Heavenly Scribe," and "The Witness of the Judgment."
In the text the Lord promised:
...and you will be in front of my face from now and forever. And you
will be seeing my secrets and you will be scribe for my servants
since you will be writing down everything that has happened on earth
and that exists on earth and in the heavens, and you will be for me a
witness of the judgment of the great age.
This substantial passage graphically depicts the interrelation of the
future roles of Enoch (Metatron) in the narrative of 2 Enoch. In spite
of the fact that the text does not elaborate the real embodiments of
these roles and titles, but only promises and initiations in these
roles, it leaves the impression that 2 Enoch is part of larger
tradition and that its author has prior knowledge of the future
development of these titles and the deeds behind them.
It is intriguing that the narrative of 2 Enoch does not show the
promised powerful deeds of Enoch-Metatron in different offices of the
heavenly realm, for example, those of the Knower, The Scribe, The
Witness and The Prince of Presence even in early "primitive" Merkabah
or apocalyptic form. It looks as if the author of the text
deliberately avoids these details. He knows that it is not time for
revealing these faces. Enoch must return to the earth, and only after
that trip he will fully assume his heavenly offices. In 67.2, which
serves as the conclusion to Enoch's story, there is a statement about
the theme: "and the Lord received him and made him stand in front of
his face for eternity."
In this regard, the narratives of 2 Enoch and 3 Enoch seem to be
written from different temporal perspectives. The setting of Enoch's
story in 2 Enoch is the antediluvian period. Melchizedek"s narrative
of the book distinctively stresses this point. This explains why in 2
Enoch "there is no place for Abraham, Moses, and the rest."