Andrei A. Orlov (Marquette University)

Moses’ Heavenly Counterpart in the Book of Jubilees and the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian


One of the enigmatic characters in the Book of Jubilees is the angel of the presence who dictates to Moses heavenly revelation. The book provides neither the angel’s name nor a clear picture of his celestial roles and offices. Complicating the picture is the angel’s arrogation, in certain passages of the text, of what the Bible claims are God’s words or deeds.1 In Jub. 6:22, for example, the angel utters the following:

For I have written (this) in the book of the first law in which I wrote for you that you should celebrate it at each of its times one day in a year. I have told you about its sacrifice so that the Israelites may continue to remember and celebrate it throughout their generations during this month - one day each year.2

James VanderKam observes that according to these sentences “the angel of the presence wrote the first law, that is, the Pentateuch, including the section about the Festival of Weeks in the cultic calendars (Lev. 23:15-21 and Num. 28:26-31, where the sacrifices are specified).”3 VanderKam further notes that “these passages are represented as direct revelations by God to Moses in Leviticus and Numbers, not as statements from an angel.”4

Jub. 30:12, which retells and modifies Gen 34, repeats the angel’s authorial claim again:

For this reason I have written for you in the words of the law everything that the Shechemites did to Dinah and how Jacob’s sons said: “We will not give our daughter to a man who has a foreskin because for us that would be a disgraceful thing.”5

Even more puzzling is that in these passages the angel insists on personally writing the divine words, thus claiming the role of the celestial scribe in a fashion similar to Moses.6 Also striking is that this nameless angelic scribe posits himself as the writer of the Pentateuch (“For I have written (this) in the book of the first law”), the authorship of which the Tradition ascribes to the son of Amram. What are we to make of these authorial claims by the angel of the presence?

Is it possible that in this puzzling account about two protagonists, one human and the other angelic—both of whom are scribes and authors of the same “law”—we have an allusion to the idea of the heavenly counterpart of a seer in the form of the angel of the presence?7 In Jewish apocalyptic and early mystical literature such heavenly doubles in the form of angels of the presence are often presented as celestial scribes. The purpose of this paper is to provide conceptual background for the idea of the angel of the presence as the heavenly counterpart of Moses in the Book of Jubilees.

I. The Background: The Heavenly Counterpart of the Seer in the Jacob and the Enoch Traditions

Before proceeding to a close analysis of the traditions about the heavenly counterpart of Moses and its possible identification with the angel of the presence, we will provide a short excursus on the background of the idea of the celestial double of a seer. One of the specimens of this tradition is found in the targumic elaborations of the story of the patriarch Jacob that depict his heavenly identity as his “image” engraved on the Throne of Glory.

The Jacob Traditions

The traditions about the heavenly “image” of Jacob are present in several targumic8 texts,9 including Targ. Ps.-J., Targ. Neof.,10 and Frag. Targ.11

For example, in Targ. Ps.-J. for Gen 28:12 the following description can be found:

He [Jacob] had a dream, and behold, a ladder was fixed in the earth with its top reaching toward the heavens ... and on that day they (angels) ascended to the heavens on high, and said, “Come and see Jacob the pious, whose image is fixed (engraved) in the Throne of Glory, and whom you have desired to see.”12

Besides the tradition of “engraving” on the Throne, some Jewish materials point to an even more radical identification of Jacob’s image with Kavod, an anthropomorphic extent of the Deity, often labeled there as the Face of God. Jarl Fossum’s research demonstrates that in some traditions about Jacob’s image, his celestial “image” or “likeness” is depicted not simply as engraved on the heavenly throne, but as seated upon the throne of glory.13 Fossum argues that this second tradition is original. Christopher Rowland offers a similar view in proposing to see Jacob’s image as “identical with the form of God on the throne of glory (Ezek. 1.26f.).”14

The Enoch Traditions

Scholars have previously noted that Enochic materials were also cognizant of the traditions about the heavenly double of a seer. Thus, the idea about the heavenly counterpart of the visionary appears to be present in one of the booklets of 1 (Ethiopic) Enoch. It has been previously observed15 that the Similitudes seems to entertain the idea of the heavenly twin of a visionary when it identifies Enoch with the Son of Man. Students of the Enochic traditions have been long puzzled by the idea that the son of man, who in the previous chapters of the Similitudes is distinguished from Enoch, suddenly becomes identified in 1 Enoch 71 with the patriarch. James VanderKam suggests that this puzzle can be explained by the Jewish notion, attested in several ancient Jewish texts, that a creature of flesh and blood could have a heavenly double or counterpart.16 To provide an example, VanderKam points to traditions about Jacob in which the patriarch’s “features are engraved on high.”17 He stresses that this theme of the visionary’s ignorance of his higher angelic identity is observable, for example, in the Prayer of Joseph.

I have previously argued that the idea of the heavenly counterpart of the visionary is also present in another Second Temple Enochic text - 2 (Slavonic) Apocalypse of Enoch.18 2 Enoch 39:3-6 depicts the patriarch who, during his short trip to the earth, retells to his children his earlier encounter with the Face. Enoch relates:

You, my children, you see my face, a human being created just like yourselves; I am one who has seen the face of the Lord, like iron made burning hot by a fire, emitting sparks. For you gaze into my eyes, a human being created just like yourselves; but I have gazed into the eyes of the Lord, like the rays of the shining sun and terrifying the eyes of a human being. You, my children, you see my right hand beckoning you, a human being created identical to yourselves; but I have seen the right hand of the Lord, beckoning me, who fills heaven. You see the extent of my body, the same as your own; but I have seen the extent of the Lord, without measure and without analogy, who has no end.19

Enoch’s description reveals a contrast between the two identities of the visionary: the earthly Enoch (“a human being created just like yourselves”) and his heavenly counterpart (“the one who has seen the Face of God”). Enoch describes himself in two different modes of existence: as a human being who now stands before his children with a human face and body and as a celestial creature who has seen God’s face in the heavenly realm. These descriptions of two conditions (earthly and celestial) occur repeatedly in tandem. It is possible that the purpose of Enoch’s instruction to his children is not to stress the difference between his human body and the Lord’s body, but to emphasize the distinction between this Enoch, a human being “created just like yourselves,” and the other angelic Enoch who has stood before the Lord’s face. Enoch’s previous transformation into the glorious one and his initiation into the servant of the divine presence in 2 Enoch 22:7 support this suggestion. It is unlikely that Enoch has somehow “completely” abandoned his supra-angelic status and his unique place before the Face of the Lord granted to him in the previous chapters. An account of Enoch’s permanent installation can be found in chapter 36 where the Lord tells Enoch, before his short visit to the earth, that a place has been prepared for him and that he will be in the front of Lord’s face “from now and forever.”20 What is important here for our research is that the identification of the visionary with his heavenly double involves the installation of the seer into the office of the angel (or the prince) of the presence (sar happanim). The importance of this account for the idea of the heavenly counterpart in 2 Enoch is apparent because it points to the simultaneous existence of Enoch’s angelic double installed in heaven and its human counterpart, whom God sends periodically on missionary errands. Targumic and rabbinic accounts about Jacob also attest to this view of the heavenly counterpart when they depict angels beholding Jacob as one who at one and the same time is both installed in heaven and sleeping on earth. In relation to this paradoxical situation, in which the seer is able not only to be unified with his heavenly counterpart in the form of the angel of the presence but also to retain the ability to travel back into the earthly realm, Jonathan Smith observes that “the complete pattern is most apparent in the various texts that witness to the complex Enoch tradition, particularly 2 Enoch. Here Enoch was originally a man (ch. 1) who ascended to heaven and became an angel (22:9, cf. 3En 10:3f. and 48C), returned to earth as a man (33:11), and finally returned again to heaven to resume his angelic station (67:18).”21

What is also important in 2 Enoch’s account for our ongoing investigation is that while the “heavenly version” of Enoch is installed in heaven his “earthly version” is dispatched by God to another lower realm with the mission to deliver the handwriting made by the translated hero in heaven. In 2 Enoch 33:3-10, for example, the Lord endows Enoch with the mission of distributing the heavenly writings on earth:

And now, Enoch, whatever I have explained to you, and whatever you have seen in heavens, and whatever you have seen on earth, and whatever I have written in the books - by my supreme wisdom I have contrived it all..... Apply your mind, Enoch, and acknowledge the One who is speaking to you. And you take the books which I (!) have written.... And you go down onto the earth and tell your sons all that I have told you.... And deliver to them the books in your handwriting, and they will read them and know their Creator.... And distribute the books in your handwriting to your children and (your) children to (their) children; and the parents will read (them) from generation to generation.22

This account is striking in that while commanding the adept to travel to the lower realm with the heavenly books, God himself seems to assume the seer’s upper scribal identity. The Deity tells Enoch, who is previously depicted as the scribe of the books,23 that He wrote these books. This situation is reminiscent of some developments found in the Jubilees where the angel of the presence also seems to take on the celestial scribal identity of Moses. It is also noteworthy that in the Jubilees, like in 2 Enoch, the boundaries between the upper scribal identity of the visionary who claims to be the writer of “the first law” and the Deity appear blurred.24

In 2 Enoch 33 where the divine scribal figure commands the seventh antediluvian hero to deliver the book in his [Enoch’s] handwriting, one possibly witnesses the unique, paradoxical communication between the upper and the lower scribal identities.

The fact that in 2 Enoch 33 the patriarch is dispatched to earth to deliver the books in “his handwriting,” the authorship of which the text assigns to the Deity, is also worthy of attention given that in the traditions attested in the Jubilees, where Moses appears as a heavenly counterpart, the angel of the presence claims authorship of the materials that the Tradition explicitly assigns to Moses. Here, just like in 2 Enoch, book authorship can be seen as a process executed simultaneously by both earthly and heavenly authors, though it is the function of the earthly counterpart to deliver them to humans.

Angels of the Presence

It is significant that in both Enoch and Jacob traditions the theme of the heavenly counterpart is conflated with the imagery of the angels of the presence. For our study of the tradition in the Jubilees, where the angel of the presence might be serving as the heavenly counterpart of the son of Amram, it is important to note that both Jacob and Enoch traditions identify the heavenly counterparts of the seers as angelic servants of the presence.

Thus, in 2 Enoch the seventh antediluvian hero is depicted as the angelic servant of the presence permanently installed in front of God’s face.25 The Slavonic apocalypse repeats again and again that the seer is installed before the divine Face from “now and forever.” The later Merkabah developments reaffirm this prominent office of Enoch’s upper identity in the form of angel Metatron, portraying him as a special servant of the divine presence, sar happanim.

In the Jacob traditions the heavenly counterpart of the son of Isaac is also depicted as the angel of the presence. Thus, in the Prayer of Joseph, the text which gives one of the most striking descriptions of the pre-existent heavenly double of Jacob, the heavenly version of the patriarch reveals his identity as the angel of the presence: “... I, Israel, the archangel of the power of the Lord and the chief captain among the sons of God ... the first minister before the face of God....”26

The imagery of angels of the presence or the Face looms large in the traditions of the heavenly counterpart. What is striking here is not only that the heavenly double of the visionary is fashioned as the angel (or the prince) of the presence, but also that the angelic guides who acquaint the seer with his upper celestial identity and its offices are depicted as angels of the presence. In this respect the figure of the angelic servant of the divine presence is especially important. Both Jacob and Enoch materials contain numerous references to the angel of the presence under the name Uriel, who is also known in various traditions under the names of Phanuel and Sariel.

In 2 Enoch 22-23, Uriel27 plays an important role during Enoch’s initiations near the Throne of Glory.28 He instructs Enoch about different subjects of esoteric knowledge in order to prepare him for various celestial offices, including the office of the heavenly scribe. 1 Enoch 71 also refers to the same angel but names him Phanuel. In the Similitudes, he occupies an important place among the four principal angels, namely, the place usually assigned to Uriel. In fact, the angelic name Phanuel might be a title which stresses the celestial status of Uriel/Sariel as one of the servants of the Divine Panim.29

The title “Phanuel” is reminiscent of the terminology found in various Jacob accounts. In Gen. 32:31, Jacob names the place of his wrestling with God as Peniel - the Face of God. Scholars believe that the angelic name Phanuel and the place Peniel are etymologically connected.30

This reference to Uriel/Sariel/Phanuel as the angel who instructs/wrestles with Jacob and announces to him his new angelic status and name is documented in several other sources, including Targ.Neof. and PrJos. In the Prayer of Joseph, for example, Jacob-Israel reveals that “Uriel, the angel of God, came forth and said that ‘I [Jacob-Israel] had descended to earth and I had tabernacled among men and that I had been called by the name of Jacob.’ He envied me and fought with me and wrestled with me....”31

In the Slavonic Ladder of Jacob, another important text attesting to the idea of the heavenly counterpart, Jacob’s identification with his heavenly counterpart, the angel Israel, again involves the initiatory encounter with the angel Sariel, the angel of the Divine presence or the Face. The same state of events is observable in Enochic materials where Uriel serves as a principal heavenly guide to another prominent visionary who has also acquired knowledge about his own heavenly counterpart, namely, Enoch/Metatron. The aforementioned traditions pertaining to the angels of the presence are important for our ongoing investigation of the angelic figure in the Jubilees in view of their role in accession to the upper identity of the seer.

II. The Heavenly Counterpart of Moses

The Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian

With this excursus into the background of the traditions about the heavenly counterpart found in the Enoch and the Jacob materials in place, we will now proceed to some Mosaic accounts that also attest to the idea of the celestial double of the son of Amram. One such early Mosaic testimony has survived as a part of the drama Exagoge, a writing attributed to Ezekiel the Tragedian, which depicts the prophet’s experience at Sinai as his celestial enthronement. Preserved in fragmentary form in Eusebius of Caesarea’s32 Praeparatio evangelica, the Exagoge 67–90 reads:

Moses: I had a vision of a great throne on the top of Mount Sinai and it reached till the folds of heaven. A noble man was sitting on it, with a crown and a large scepter in his left hand. He beckoned to me with his right hand, so I approached and stood before the throne. He gave me the scepter and instructed me to sit on the great throne. Then he gave me a royal crown and got up from the throne. I beheld the whole earth all around and saw beneath the earth and above the heavens. A multitude of stars fell before my knees and I counted them all. They paraded past me like a battalion of men. Then I awoke from my sleep in fear.
Raguel: My friend, this is a good sign from God. May I live to see the day when these things are fulfilled. You will establish a great throne, become a judge and leader of men. As for your vision of the whole earth, the world below and that above the heavens – this signifies that you will see what is, what has been and what shall be.33

Scholars argue that, given its quotation by Alexander Polyhistor (ca. 80–40 B.C.E.),this Mosaic account is a witness to traditions of the second century B.C.E. 34 Such dating puts this account in close chronological proximity to the Book of Jubilees. It is also noteworthy that both texts (Jubilees and Exagoge) exhibit a common tendency to adapt some Enochic motifs and themes into the framework of the Mosaic tradition.

The Exagoge 67-90 depicts Moses’ dream in which he sees an enthroned celestial figure who vacates his heavenly seat and hands over to the son of Amram his royal attributes. The placement of Moses on the great throne in the Exagoge account and his donning of the royal regalia have been often interpreted by scholars as the prophet’s occupation of the seat of the Deity. Pieter van der Horst remarks that in the Exagoge Moses becomes “an anthropomorphic hypostasis of God himself.”35 The uniqueness of the motif of God’s vacating the throne and transferring occupancy to someone else has long puzzled scholars. An attempt to deal with this enigma by bringing in the imagery of the vice-regent does not, in my judgment, completely solve the problem; the vice-regents in Jewish traditions (for example, Metatron) do not normally occupy God’s throne but instead have their own glorious chair that sometimes serves as a replica of the divine Seat. It seems that the enigmatic identification of the prophet with the divine Form can best be explained, not through the concept of a vice-regent, but rather through the notion of the heavenly twin or counterpart.

In view of the aforementioned traditions about the heavenly twins of Enoch and Jacob, it is possible that the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian also attests to the idea of the heavenly counterpart of the seer when it identifies Moses with the glorious anthropomorphic extent. As we recall, the text depicts Moses’ vision of “a noble man” with a crown and a large scepter in the left hand installed on the great throne. In the course of the seer’s initiation, the attributes of this “noble man,” including the royal crown and the scepter, are transferred to Moses who is instructed to sit on the throne formerly occupied by the noble man. The narrative thus clearly identifies the visionary with his heavenly counterpart, in the course of which the seer literally takes the place and the attributes of his upper identity. Moses’ enthronement is reminiscent of Jacob’s story, where Jacob’s heavenly identity is depicted as being “engraved” or “enthroned” on the divine Seat. The account also underlines that Moses acquired his vision in a dream by reporting that he awoke from his sleep in fear. Here, just as in the Jacob tradition, while the seer is sleeping on earth his counterpart in the upper realm is identified with the Kavod.

The Idiom of Standing and the Angel of the Presence

Despite the draw of seeing the developments found in the Exagoge as the later adaptation of the Enochic and Jacobite traditions about the heavenly double, it appears that the influence may point in other direction and these accounts were shaped by the imagery found already in the biblical Mosaic accounts. It is possible that the conceptual roots of the identification of Moses with the angelic servant of the presence could be found already in the biblical materials where the son of Amram appears standing before the divine presence. To clarify the Mosaic background of the traditions about the heavenly counterpart, we must now turn to the biblical Mosaic accounts dealing with the symbolism of the Divine presence or the Face.

One of the early identification of the hero with the angel of the presence, important in the traditions about the heavenly double, can be found in 2 Enoch where in the course of his celestial metamorphosis the seventh antediluvian patriarch Enoch was called by God to stand before his Face forever. What is important in this portrayal of the installation of a human being into the prominent angelic rank is the emphasis on the standing before the Face of God. Enoch’s role as the angel of the presence is introduced through the formulae “stand before my face forever.” 2 Enoch’s definition of the office of the servant of the divine presence as standing before the Face of the Lord appears to be linked to the biblical Mosaic accounts in which Moses is described as the one who was standing before the Lord’s Face on Mount Sinai. It is significant that, as in the Slavonic apocalypse where the Lord himself orders the patriarch to stand before his presence,36 the biblical Mosaic accounts contain a familiar command. In the theophanic account from Exodus 33, the Lord commands Moses to stand near him: “There is a place by me where you shall stand (tbcnw)37 on the rock.”

In Deuteronomy this language of standing continues to play a prominent role. In Deuteronomy 5:31 God again orders Moses to stand with him: “But you, stand (dm()38 here by me, and I will tell you all the commandments, the statutes and the ordinances, that you shall teach them.…” In Deuteronomy 5:4–5 the motif of standing, as in Exodus 33, is juxtaposed with the imagery of the divine Panim: “The Lord spoke with you face to face (Mynpb Mynp) at the mountain, out of the fire. At that time I was standing (dm()39 between the Lord and you to declare to you the words of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain.” Here Moses is depicted as standing before the Face of the Deity and mediating the divine presence to the people.

These developments of the motif of standing are intriguing and might constitute the conceptual background of the later identifications of Moses with the office of the angel of the presence.

The idiom of standing also plays a significant part in the Exagoge account that has Moses approach and stand (e)sta&qhn)40 before the throne.41

In the extra-biblical Mosaic accounts one can also see a growing tendency to depict Moses’ standing position as the posture of a celestial being. Crispin Fletcher-Louis observes that in various Mosaic traditions the motif of Moses’ standing was often interpreted through the prism of God’s own standing, indicating the prophet’s participation in divine or angelic nature. He notes that in Samaritan and rabbinic literature a standing posture was generally indicative of the celestial being.42 Jarl Fossum points to the tradition preserved in Memar Marqah 4:12 where Moses is described as “the (immutable) Standing One.”43

In 4Q377 2 vii-xii, the standing posture of Moses appears to be creatively conflated with his status as a celestial being:

... And like a man sees li[gh]t, he has appeared to us in a burning fire, from above, from heaven, and on earth he stood (dm() on the mountain to teach us that there is no God apart from him, and no Rock like him......But Moses, the man of God, was with God in the cloud, and the cloud covered him, because [...] when he sanctified him, and he spoke as an angel through his mouth, for who was a messen[ger] like him, a man of the pious ones?44

Scholars have previously observed that Moses here “plays the role of an angel, having received revelation from the mouth of God.”45

In light of the aforementioned Mosaic developments it is possible that the idiom of standing so prominent in the depiction of the servants of the presence in the Enochic tradition of the heavenly double has Mosaic provenance. Already in Exodus and Deuteronomy the prophet is portrayed as the one who is able to stand before the Deity to mediate the divine presence to human beings.46 The extra-biblical Mosaic accounts try to further secure the prophet’s place in the front of the Deity by depicting him as a celestial creature. The testimony found in the Exagoge, where Moses is described as standing before the Throne, seems to represent an important step toward the rudimentary definitions of the office of the angelic servant of the Face.

The Idiom of the Hand and the Heavenly Counterpart

One of the constant features of the aforementioned transformational accounts in which a seer becomes identified with his heavenly identity is the motif of the divine hand that embraces the visionary and invites him into a new celestial dimension of his existence. This motif is found both in Mosaic and Enochic traditions where the hand of God embraces and protects the seer during his encounter with the Lord in the upper realm.47

Thus, in 2 Enoch 39 the patriarch relates to his children that during his vision of the divine Kavod, the Lord helped him with his right hand. The hand here is described as having a gigantic size and filling heaven: “But you, my children, see the right hand of one who helps you, a human being created identical to yourself, but I have seen the right hand of the Lord, helping me and filling heaven.”48 The theme of the hand of God assisting the seer during his vision of the Face here is not an entirely new development, since it recalls the Mosaic account from Exodus 33:22–23. Here the Deity promises the prophet to protect him with his hand during the encounter with the divine Panim: “and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.” There is also another early Mosaic account where the motif of the divine hand assisting the visionary is mentioned. The Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian relates that during the prophet’s vision of the Kavod, a noble man sitting on the throne beckoned him with his right hand (decia~| de& moi e1neuse).49

It is conceivable that 2 Enoch’s description is closer to the form of the tradition preserved in Ezekiel the Tragedian than to the account found in Exodus since the Exagoge mentions the right hand of the Deity beckoning the seer. What is important here is that both Mosaic accounts seem to represent the formative conceptual roots for the later Enochic developments where the motif of the Lord’s hand is used in the depiction of the unification of the seventh antedeluvial hero with his celestial counterpart in the form of angel Metatron. Thus, from the Merkabah materials one can learn that “the hand of God rests on the head of the youth, named Metatron.”50 The motif of the divine hand assisting Enoch-Metatron during his celestial transformation is present in Sefer Hekhalot, where it appears in the form of a tradition very similar to the evidence found in the Exagoge and 2 Enoch. In Synopse §12 Metatron tells R. Ishmael that during the transformation of his body into the gigantic cosmic extent, matching the world in length and breath, God “laid his hand” on the translated hero.51 Here, just as in the Mosaic accounts, the hand of the Deity signifies the bond between the seer’s body and the divine corporeality, leading to the creation of a new celestial entity in the form of the angelic servant of the presence.


One of the important characteristics of the aforementioned visionary accounts in which adepts become identified with their heavenly doubles is the transference of prominent celestial offices to the new servants of the presence. Thus, for example, transference of the offices is discernable in the Exagoge where the “heavenly man” hands over to the seer his celestial regalia, scepter and crown, and then surrenders his heavenly seat, which the Enoch-Metatron tradition often identifies with the duty of the celestial scribe. Indeed, the scribal role may represent one of the most important offices that angels of the presence often surrender to the new servants of the Face. Thus, for example, 2 Enoch describes the initiation of the seer by Vereveil (Uriel) in the course of which this angel of the presence, portrayed in 2 Enoch as a “heavenly recorder,” conveys to the translated patriarch knowledge and skills pertaining to the scribal duties. What is important in this account is its emphasis on the act of transference of the scribal duties from Vereveil (Uriel) to Enoch, when the angel of the presence surrenders to the hero the celestial library and even the pen from his hand.52

These developments are intriguing and may provide some insights into the puzzling tradition about the angel of the presence in the Book of Jubilees.53 The Jubilees, like the Enochic account, has two scribal figures; one of them is the angel of the presence and the other, a human being. Yet, the exact relationship between these two figures is difficult to establish in view of the scarcity and ambiguity of the relevant depictions. Does the angel of the presence in the Jubilees pose, on the fashion of Uriel, as a celestial scribe who is responsible for initiation of the adept into the scribal duties? Or does he represent the heavenly counterpart of Moses who is clearly distinguished at this point from the seer? A clear distance between the seer and his celestial identity is not unlikely in the context of the traditions about the heavenly counterpart. In fact, this distance between the two identities—one in the figure of the angel and the other in the figure of a hero—represents a standard feature of such accounts. Thus, for example, the already mentioned account from the Book of the Similitudes clearly distinguishes Enoch from his heavenly counterpart in the form of the angelic son of man throughout the whole narrative until the final unification in the last chapter of the book. The gap between the celestial and earthly identities of the seer is also discernable in the targumic accounts about Jacob’s heavenly double where the distinction between the two identities is highlighted by a description of the angels who behold Jacob sleeping on earth and at the same time installed in heaven. A distance between the identity of the seer and his heavenly twin is also observable in the Exagoge where the heavenly man transfers to Moses his regalia and vacates for him his heavenly seat.

There is, moreover, another important point in the stories about the heavenly counterparts that could provide portentous insight into the nature of pseudepigraphical accounts where these stories are found. This aspect pertains to the issue of the so-called “emulation” of the biblical exemplars in these pseudepigraphical accounts that allows their authors to unveil new revelations in the name of some prominent authority of the past.54 The identity of the celestial scribe in the form of the angel of the presence might further our understanding of the enigmatic process of mystical and literary emulation of the exemplary figure, the cryptic mechanics of which often remain beyond the grasp of our post/modern sensibilities.

Could the tradition of unification of the biblical hero with his angelic counterpart be part of this process of emulation of the exemplar by an adept? Could the intermediate authoritative position55 of the angel of the presence, predestined to stand “from now and forever” between the Deity himself and the biblical hero, serve here as the safe haven of the author’s identity, thus representing the important locus of mystical and literary emulation? Is it possible that in the Jubilees, like in some other pseudepigraphical accounts, the figure of the angel of the presence serves as a transformative and literary device that allows an adept to enter the assembly of immortal beings consisting of the heroes of both the celestial and the literary world?

Is it possible that in the traditions of heavenly counterparts where the two characters of the story, one of which is represented by a biblical exemplar, become eventually unified and acquire a single identity, we are able to draw nearer to the very heart of the pseudepigraphical enterprise? In this respect, it does not appear to be coincidental that these transformational accounts dealing with the heavenly doubles of their adepts are permeated with the aesthetics of penmanship and the imagery of the literary enterprise. In the course of these mystical and literary metamorphoses, the heavenly figure surrenders his scribal seat, the library of the celestial books and even personal writing tools to the other, earthly identity who now becomes the new guardian of the literary tradition.

1 J.C. VanderKam, “The Angel of the Presence in the Book of Jubilees,” Dead Sea Discoveries 7 (2000) 378-393 (here 390).

2 VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees, 2.40.

3 VanderKam, “The Angel of the Presence in the Book of Jubilees,” 391.

4 VanderKam, “The Angel of the Presence in the Book of Jubilees,” 391.

5 VanderKam, The Book of Jubilees, 195.

6 The scribal office of Moses is reaffirmed throughout the text. Already in the beginning (Jub. 1:5; 7; 26) he receives a chain of commands to write down the revelation dictated by the angel.

7 On the angelology of the Book of Jubilees see R.H. Charles, The Book of Jubilees or the Little Genesis (London: Black, 1902) lvi-lviii; M. Testuz, Les idées religieuses du livre des Jubilés (Geneva: Droz, 1960) 75-92; K. Berger, Das Buch der Jubiläen (JSHRZ, II.3; Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlaghaus Gerd Nohn, 1981) 322-324; D. Dimant, “The Sons of Heaven: The Theory of the Angels in the Book of Jubilees in Light of the Writings of the Qumran Community,” in: A Tribute to Sarah: Studies in Jewish Philosophy and Cabala Presented to Professor Sara A. Heller-Wilensky (eds. M. Idel, D. Dimant, S. Rosenberg; Jerusalem: Magnes, 1994) 97-118 [in Hebrew]; VanderKam, “The Angel of the Presence in the Book of Jubilees,” 378-393; H. Najman, “Angels at Sinai: Exegesis, Theology and Interpretive Authority,” Dead Sea Discoveries 7 (2000) 313-333.

8 The same tradition can be found in the rabbinic literature. Gen. R. 68:12 reads: “...thus it says, Israel in whom I will be glorified (Isa. xlix, 3); it is thou, [said the angels,] whose features are engraved on high; they ascended on high and saw his features and they descended below and found him sleeping.” Midrash Rabbah (10 vols.; London: Soncino Press, 1961) 2.626. On Jacob’s image on the Throne of Glory see also: Gen. R. 78:3; 82:2; Num. R. 4:1; b. Hul. 91b; Pirqe R. El. 35.

9 On the traditions about Jacob’s image engraved on the Throne see: E.R. Wolfson, Along the Path: Studies in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism, and Hermeneutics (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995) 1-62; 111-186.

10 “And he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was fixed on the earth and its head reached to the height of the heavens; and behold, the angels that had accompanied him from the house of his father ascended to bear good tidings to the angels on high, saying: ‘Come and see the pious man whose image is engraved in the throne of Glory, whom you desired to see.’ And behold, the angels from before the Lord ascended and descended and observed him.” Targum Neofiti 1: Genesis (tr. M. McNamara, M.S.C.; The Aramaic Bible, 1A; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992) 140.

11 “... And he dreamt that there was a ladder set on the ground, whose top reached towards the heavens; and behold the angels that had accompanied him from his father’s house ascended to announce to the angels of the heights: ‘Come and see the pious man, whose image is fixed to the throne of glory....’” M.L. Klein, The Fragment-Targums of the Pentateuch According to Their Extant Sources (2 vols.; AB, 76; Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1980) 1.57 and 2.20.

12 Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Genesis (tr. M. Maher, M.S.C.; The Aramaic Bible, 1B; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992) 99-100.

13 J. Fossum, The Image of the Invisible God: Essays on the Influence of Jewish Mysticism on Early Christology (NTOA, 30; Freiburg: Universitätsverlag Freiburg Schweiz; Göttingen: Vanderhoeck & Ruprecht, 1995) 140-41.

14  C. Rowland, “John 1.51, Jewish Apocalyptic and Targumic Tradition,” NTS 30 (1984) 504.

15 See J. VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son of Man in 1 Enoch 37-71,” in: The Messiah: Developments in Earliest Judaism and Christianity. The First Princeton Symposium on Judaism and Christian Origins (eds. J.H. Charlesworth, et al.; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992) 182-3; M. Knibb, “Messianism in the Pseudepigrapha in the Light of the Scrolls,” DSD 2 (1995) 177-80; Fossum, The Image of the Invisible God, 144-5; C.H.T. Fletcher-Louis, Luke-Acts: Angels, Christology and Soteriology (WUNT, Reihe 2:94; Tubingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1997) 151.

16 VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son of Man in 1 Enoch 37-71,” 182-3.

17 VanderKam, “Righteous One, Messiah, Chosen One, and Son of Man in 1 Enoch 37-71,” 182-3.

18 Orlov, The Enoch-Metatron Tradition, 165-176; idem, “The Face as the Heavenly Counterpart of the Visionary in the Slavonic Ladder of Jacob,” in: A. Orlov, From Apocalypticism to Merkabah Mysticism: Studies in the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha (JSJS, 114; Leiden: Brill, 2007) 399-419.

19 Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.163.

20 2 Enoch 36:3. Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.161, emphasis mine.

21 J. Z. Smith, “Prayer of Joseph,” in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 vols.; ed. J. H. Charlesworth; New York: Doubleday, 1985 [1983]) 2.699-714 at 705.

22 2 Enoch 33:3-10 (the shorter recension). Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.157, emphasis mine.

23 See 2 Enoch 23:6 “I wrote everything accurately. And I wrote 366 books.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.140.

24 Cf. Jub. 6:22 and 30:12. On the blurred boundaries between the angel of the presence and the Deity in the Jubilees, see VanderKam, “The Angel of the Presence in the Book of Jubilees,” 390-392. It should be noted that the tendency to identify the seer’s heavenly identity with the Deity or his anthropomorphic extent (known as his Kavod or the Face) is discernable in all accounts dealing with the heavenly counterpart.

25  2 Enoch 21:3: “And the Lord sent one of his glorious ones, the archangel Gabriel. And he said to me, ‘Be brave, Enoch! Don’t be frightened! Stand up, and come with me and stand in front of the face of the Lord forever.’”
2 Enoch 22:6: “And the Lord said to his servants, sounding them out, ‘Let Enoch join in and stand in front of my face forever!’”
2 Enoch 36:3: “Because a place has been prepared for you, and you will be in front of my face from now and forever.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.136, 1.138, and 1.161.

26 Smith, “Prayer of Joseph,” 713.

27 Slav. Vereveil.

28 The beginning of this tradition can be found in the Book of Heavenly Luminaries where Enoch writes the instructions of the angel Uriel regarding the secrets of heavenly bodies and their movements. Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch: A New Edition in the Light of the Aramaic Dead Sea Fragments, 2.173.

29 Hekhalot Rabbati (Synopse §108) refers to the angel Suria/Suriel as the Prince of the Face. On the identification of Sariel with the Prince of the Presence see: H. Odeberg, 3 Enoch or the Hebrew Book of Enoch (New York: Ktav, 1973) 99; Smith, “Prayer of Joseph,” 709.

30 G. Vermes suggests that the angelic name Phanuel “is depended on the Peniel/Penuel of Genesis 32.” See, G. Vermes, “The Impact of the Dead Sea Scrolls on Jewish Studies,” JJS 26 (1975) 13.

31 Smith, “Prayer of Joseph,” 713.

32 Eusebius preserves the seventeen fragments containing 269 iambic trimeter verses. Unfortunately, the limited scope of our investigation does not allow us to reflect on the broader context of Moses’ dream in the Exagoge.

33  H. Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983) 54–55.

34  C. R. Holladay, Fragments from Hellenistic Jewish Authors: Vol. II, Poets (SBLTT, 30; Pseudepigrapha Series, 12; Atlanta: Scholars, 1989) 308–12.

35 P.W. van der Horst, “Some Notes on the Exagoge of Ezekiel,” Mnemosyne 37 (1984) 364–365 at 364.

36 See 2 Enoch 22:6: “And the Lord said to his servants, sounding them out: ‘Let Enoch join in and stand in front of my face forever!’” 2 Enoch 36:3: “Because a place has been prepared for you, and you will be in front of my face from now and forever.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.138 and 1.161.

37 LXX: sth&sh.

38 LXX: sth~qi.

39 LXX: ei(sth&kein.

40 Moses’ standing here does not contradict his enthronement. The same situation is discernible in 2 Enoch, where the hero who was promised a place to stand in front of the Lord’s Face for eternity is placed on the seat next to the Deity.

41 Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel, 54.

42 Fletcher-Louis, All the Glory of Adam, 146–7; Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord, 121; J. A. Montgomery, The Samaritans (New York: KTAV, 1968) 215.

43 Fossum, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord, 56–8.

44 García Martínez and Tigchelaar (eds.), The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition, 2.745.

45 Najman, “Angels at Sinai,” 319.

46  This emphasis on mediation is important since mediating of the divine presence is one of the pivotal functions of the Princes of the Face.

47 The later Merkabah developments about Jacob also refer to the God’s embracement of Jacob-Israel.

48 2 Enoch 39:5. Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.162; Sokolov, “Материалы и заметки по старинной славянской литературе,” 38.

49 Jacobson, The Exagoge of Ezekiel, 54.

50 Synopse § 384.

51 “…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 until I matched the world in length and breadth.” Alexander, “3 Enoch,” 1.263.

52 2 Enoch 22:10-11 (the shorter recension) “Lord summoned Vereveil, one of his archangels, who was wise, who records all the Lord’s deeds. And the Lord said to Vereveil, ‘Bring out the books from storehouses, and give a pen to Enoch and read him the books.’ And Vereveil hurried and brought me the books mottled with myrrh. And he gave me the pen from his hand.” Andersen, “2 Enoch,” 1.141.

53 When one looks closer into the angelic imagery reflected in the Book of Jubilees it is intriguing that Moses’ angelic guide is defined as an angel of the presence. As has already been demonstrated, the process of establishing twinship with the heavenly counterpart not only reflects the initiatory procedure of becoming a Servant of the Face, it also always presupposes the initiation performed by another angelic servant of the Face.

54 On the process of the emulation of the biblical exemplars in the Second Temple literature, see H. Najman, Seconding Sinai: The Development of Mosaic Discourse in Second Temple Judaism (SJSJ, 77; Leiden: Brill, 2003); idem, “Torah of Moses: Pseudonymous Attribution in Second Temple Writings,” in The Interpretation of Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity: Studies in Language and Tradition (ed. C.A. Evans; JSPSS, 33; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000) 202-216; idem, Authoritative Writing and Interpretation: A Study in the History of Scripture (Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 1998). 

55 This “intermediate” authoritative stand is often further reinforced by the authority of the Deity himself through the identification of the heavenly counterparts with the divine form. On this process, see our previous discussion about the blurring of the boundaries between the heavenly counterparts and the Deity.