Metatron is not enoch: Reevaluating the evolution of an archangel

Yakir Paz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This article traces the evolution of the archangel Metatron from his inception to his identification with Enoch. It argues that the name Metatron was derived from the term metator, which was used in Palestine to describe the role of the angel of the Lord in Exod 23:20-21. It was only in Babylonia that Metatron became a name of a specific angel, where, however, he was never identified with Enoch. The first attestations of Metatron in Palestinian sources are only from the beginning of the seventh century CE, and they know nothing of Enoch. The earliest evidence for Enoch-Metatron is only found in Palestinian sources from the eighth century. Enoch-Metatron is therefore neither an ancient esoteric Palestinian tradition nor a Babylonian creation, but rather a late Palestinian innovative synthesis of Babylonian Metatron and Byzantine Enoch trajectories, which resulted in a new hybrid figure.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)52-100
Number of pages49
JournalJournal for the Study of Judaism
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.


  • 3 enoch
  • Angels
  • Enoch
  • Metatron


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