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The Jewish JesusHow Judaism and Christianity Shaped Each Other$
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Peter Schäfer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153902

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153902.001.0001

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The Angels

The Angels

(p.160) 6 The Angels
The Jewish Jesus

Peter Schäfer

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines rabbinic attitudes toward the angels. Enoch-Metatron, being transformed into the highest of all angels and becoming a divine figure next to God, stands at the extreme (Babylonian) end of a much larger spectrum of rabbinic attitudes toward the angels. Earlier Palestinian sources were vehemently opposed to any such possibility of the angels being granted a role transcending their traditional task of praising God and acting as his messengers. This is particularly true for the creation story and the revelation of the Torah on Mount Sinai. With regard to the former, the rabbis set great store in pointing out that the angels were not created on the first day of creation—to make sure that nobody should arrive at the dangerous idea that these angels participated in the act of creation. Similarly, the rabbis took great care in not granting the angels too active a role during the revelation of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

Keywords:   angels, Enoch-Metatron, divine figure, creation story, Torah revelation, rabbis

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