What did Rabbi Simeon claimed when he said that ‘Metatron is a man in the image of G-d’, ‘an emanation from/of Him’?

Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai commenting on the Zohar:

“There is a perfect Man, who is an Angel. This Angel is Metatron, the Keeper of Israel; He is a man in the image of the Holy One, blessed be He, who is an Emanation from Him; yea, He is YHVH; of Him cannot be said, He is created, formed or made; but He is the Emanation from God. This agrees exactly with what is written, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Of David’s Branch, that though He shall be a perfect man, yet He is ‘The Lord our Righteousness.’”

Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai. The Propositions of the Zohar. cap. 38, Amsterdam edition.

  • 2
    Without touching upon the actual content of the quote, the style of the citation is typical of those circulated among non-Jews containing significant distortions and/or fabrications. Usually by missionaries or anti-Semites.
    – Yirmeyahu
    May 4 '19 at 21:58
  • Apart from referring to actual humans, the biblical expression(s) (sons of) men also denote anthropomorphic angelic beings (Daniel 10:16), see here for more detail.
    – Lucian
    May 6 '19 at 8:48

Ritba in Hagada He explains the words Saraf, Malach and Shaliah in Hagada of Pesach. The last is Matat... This is a low level of angel who is intermediate between angels and men.

ויוציאנו ה' ממצרים לא על ידי מלאך ולא על ידי שרף וכו'. מכאן ראיה כי מלאך ושרף שני דברים הם,

  1. השרפים הם מלאכי אש העומדים תחת הכסא וטובלין בכל יום בנהר של אש ההולך לפני הכסא, וכן הוא אומר (ישעיה ו') שרפים עומדים ממעל לו,

  2. והמלאכים הם למטה מהם המתחלפים בכל יום ומתלבשים גופות, והם שנבראו ביום החמישי,

  3. והשליח הוא הידוע המלאך הגואל זה מטטרו"ן, ושמו מורה עליו, והוא שר של ישראל השומר אותם, וזהו שנאמר למשה (שמות כ"ג) הנה אנכי שולח מלאך לפניך, והוא שר צבא ה' שבא ליהושע, ועליו אמרו רז"ל (סנהדרין ל"ח ב') דאפי' בפרוונקא לא קבליה משה. ‏

The envoy is the third degree (of angels by descending order) he is the saving angel. He is "Matat...". His name indicates his function. He is the angel of Israel who guards them....

You can find an article in Wikipedia in English here

  • This is a low level of angel who is intermediate between angels and men
    – kouty
    May 4 '19 at 20:48

This imaginary 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".

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