I've been interested in Hekalot & Merkevah literature as of late. I'm not a Kabbalist, but I do study scriptures of the Near East, particularly within the realms of Judaism. I stumbled across 3 Enoch, which is a late Jewish (c. 5th cent.) text that belongs to Jewish mystical, apocalyptic, and pseudepigraphal literature.

Where can I find online Jewish commentary of 3 Enoch, specifically 3 Enoch 16:1-3:

R. Ishmael said: Metatron, the Angel, the Prince of the Presence, the Glory of all heaven, said to me; (1) At first I was sitting upon a great Throne at the door of the Seventh Hall ; and I was judging the children of heaven, the household on high by authority of the Holy One, blessed be He. And I divided Greatness, Kingship, Dignity, Rulership, Honour and Praise, and Diadem and Crown of Glory unto all the princes of kingdoms, while I was presiding (lit. sitting) in the Celestial Court (Yeshiba), and the princes of kingdoms were standing before me, on my right and on my left by authority of the Holy One, blessed be He. (2) But when Acher came to behold the vision of the Merkaba and fixed his eyes on me, he feared and trembled before me and his soul was affrighted even unto departing from him, because of fear, horror and dread of me, when he beheld me sitting upon a throne like a king with all the ministering angels standing by me as my servants and all the princes of kingdoms adorned with crowns surrounding me: (3) in that moment he opened his mouth and said: "Indeed, there are two Divine Powers in heaven!"

I've noticed several parallels to the Bavli... but I would like to verify that in commentaries. But I am unable to locate any online source?

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    There is so, so much on this... Why does it need to be online? (You realise that by restricting yourself to online material you are also cutting yourself off from a vast trove of scholarship on this literature). Are there libraries near you that you could get to?
    – Shimon bM
    Jan 19, 2017 at 22:30
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    Enoch is apocryphal, so I doubt you will find many old rabbinic sources on this. What sort of commentary are you looking for?
    – Argon
    Jan 19, 2017 at 23:57
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    @ShimonbM, I more than understand value of research in books! Unfortunately, the many I've checked out barely focus on 3 Enoch. I'm presenting on passage ^ tomorrow, & I'm wondering if there is a ch to ch commentary online somewhere-or even just a solid discussion (besides wiki)? I have these checked out but not helpful: Collin's "An Into to Jewish Apocalyptic Lit," Nickelsburg's "Jewish Lit between the Bible & the Mishnah," Arbel's "Beholder's of Divine Secrets: Mysticism & Myth in the Hekhalot & Merkavah Lit," Schafer's "Hidden & Manifest God" & Blumenthal's "Understanding Jewish Mysticism." Jan 20, 2017 at 1:03

1 Answer 1


I think that your best bet is J.H. Charlesworth's Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: Volume One. Bizarrely (and luckily), it's available online in its entirety here. The translation of (and commentary on) 3 Enoch is written by P. Alexander, and begins on p223. You will have to register to access it, but you can do so free of charge.

In future, and when you have more time on your hands, I would recommend looking at the work of Gabriele Boccoccini, who is a leader in the field of "Enochic Judaism". You might also want to consider the work of Gershom Scholem (although it is somewhat old).

There are, indeed, many important parallels to passages within the rabbinic literature, and while these writings are considered "apocryphal" (although are obviously much later than the texts we usually refer to as "apocrypha"), this type of mysticism has a long history within Judaism.

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    Thank you so much! Would you believe it -- I went to two separate libraries yesterday looking for Charlesworth's exact book ^, but they were checked out at both locations!! You don't know how much you have helped me! :) I'll def look at Boccoccini's & Scholem's (I saw him referenced in a lot of the sources) when I get a chance. I'm very excited! Thanks! Jan 20, 2017 at 1:31

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