Could someone explain me the meaning of יקוק קטן as a reference to the Metatron? Why is the Metatron ‘described/entitled this way? I’ve found many writing about this online quoting Sanhedrin 38b, Yevamot 16b, Zohar and other sources. But I’m not sure if these are reliable.

  • See also Exodus 7:1.
    – user18041
    Sep 22, 2020 at 15:48
  • @Lucian not the same there Moshe is made elohim to pharaoh, elohim can also refer to judges, people with a certain power. While the metatron is refered to with the fourlettername, HaShem.
    – Y.Talmid
    Sep 22, 2020 at 17:44
  • Not the same, but definitely similar, one idea giving rise to the other, differences notwithstanding.
    – user18041
    Sep 22, 2020 at 17:52

1 Answer 1


This concept derives from this text in T'hillim:

תְּחַסְּרֵהוּ מְּעַט, מֵאֱלֹהִים

So the article 'METATRON' in Jewish Encyclopedia:

'The Zohar defines his nature exactly by declaring that he is little lower than God (after Ps. viii. 6; Yalḳ. Ḥadash, 7, No. 51).'

Though the Targum translates מֵאֱלֹהִים in T'hillim 8:6 as 'angels,' Aquila translates this as theos ('God').

The title you mention comes from 3 Enoch 12.5. Enoch says in 4.3 that he had been taken from earth to heaven, and in 12.5 he narrates the giving of the title to him.

God clothes Metatron in a garment of glory, puts a royal crown on his head and calls him "the Lesser YHWH"

R. Ishmael said: Metatron, the Prince of the Presence, said to me:

(1) By reason of the love with which the Holy One, blessed be He, loved me more than all the

children of heaven. He made me a garment of glory on which were fixed all kinds of lights, and He

clad me in it.

(2)And He made me a robe of honour on which were fixed all kinds of beauty, splendour, brilliance

and majesty.

(3) And he made me a royal crown in which were fixed forty-nine costly stones like unto the light of the globe of the sun.

(4) For its splendour went forth in the four quarters of the Araboth Raqia', and in (through) the seven heavens, and in the four quarters of the world. And he put it on my head.

(5) And He called me THE LESSER YHWH in the presence of all His heavenly household; as it is written (Ex. xxiii. 21): "For my name is in him".

  • So it’s a description of the position of Metatron rather as a description of the nature/essence of Metatron?
    – Y.Talmid
    Mar 24, 2019 at 7:43
  • @ Y. Talmid. Metatron is another name for Enoch. Enoch was a man. Mar 24, 2019 at 9:36
  • One version of the myth says that Metatron was created by G-d as a high-level angel with many responsibilities. A second myth claims that Metatron was originally a human named Enoch, a man who ascended to heaven a few times and was eventually transformed into a powerful angel. Although Enoch is identified with the chief angel/emmisary/mesenger Metatron, what do you mean when stating ‘he was a man’, what do you imply with these words? If Metatron stil exost he isn’t human right?
    – Y.Talmid
    Mar 24, 2019 at 13:13
  • Although the connection of Metatron and Enoch is assumed by some of the Kabbalists the identification of Metatron with Enoch isnot found in Talmudic scriptures, nor the Zohar. It seems only because ofcertain words and verses from the book of Enoch people assumed it.
    – Y.Talmid
    Mar 24, 2019 at 13:56
  • 1
    @Y.Talmid It’s not explicitly in the Talmud, true, but it is in Midrash Alpha Beta of R’ Akiva (Nusach 1, §17), Yalkut Shimoni (Nach 452:12), and Pesikta Chadesa (§35), and Tosfos cite this tradition in their comments to Yevamos 16b (DH passuk), as well as Rashba in his comments to Bava Basra 121b (DH Achiyah). It’s not true that it’s not in the Zohar, as it indeed appears in I:27a and three times in III:188b-189a.
    – DonielF
    Mar 24, 2019 at 14:33

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