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Hebrew Book of Enoch

Hebrew Book of Enoch

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The

ministering angels rewardedwith crowns, when

uttering

the ' '

Holy

' '

in its

right order, and

punishedby consumingfire

if not. Newones createdin the stead

of the consumed

angels

R. Ishmael said:

Metatron, the

Angel, the Prince of the Presence,

said to me:

(i) When the

ministering angels say "Holy" before the

Holy One,

3-3 emendated. AE both omit 'fire'

4-4 emendated. A: 'fall

upon three

times '

E:

'

fall

upon their faces '

also means the Divine Majesty. The 'Ophannim, Kerubim, Chayyoth and Seraphim

are the four classes of

Merkaba-angels, described in the

angelological section,

chh. xx-xxii, xxv, xxvi. Cf. also ch. vi. 2. The '

Galgallim '

or 'Wheels of the

Merkaba' are

missing here.
'Er'ellim and Taphsarim occur also ch. xiv. i

; cf.

note, ib.

the

troops of

consuming fire. The term used is

'('Esh) 'Okela', used ch. xlii.

3

as a Divine Name. the

fiery armies andthe

flaming hosts. The attributes

prob-

ably only convey the

fiery substance of the angels. Cf.

Alph. R. 'Aqiba, BH. iii.

25.

the

holy princes. This

might refer to the

'princes of Kingdoms', ch. xiv. 2

(mentioned after the 'Erellim and Taphsarim), ch. xvii. 8

('crowned with royal

crowns, clad in

royal garments etc.', cf. here: 'adorned with crowns, clad in

kingly

majesty', in the

present connection of course referring to all the enumerated angels
and princes), chh. xxix and xxx (identical with the Watchers and Holy Ones, cf.

note on ch.

xxix, intr.).
Blessed be the name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever. This

is then the form of the response to the 'Holy, Holy, Holy. . .

'

according to the

present chapter. Ch. i.

13 has the

regular response: 'Blessed be the

glory of H'

from His place'. The present response is a

glorification of God as

King, of the

Kingdom of

Heaven, a form implied by ch. xxxv. 6.

Ch. xl. The ministering angels receive crowns as reward when uttering the

'Thrice Holy' in the

proper manner. Hereby the performance of the Qedushsha

is indicated as a meritorious act, an observance of a

religious duty. As such it is

already characterized, ch. xxxv. 6

(the angels when singing the

'Holy' take

upon

themselves the yoke of the Kingdom of

heaven). It

signifies the sustainment of
the whole order of the heavens by the recognition of God's sovereignty (the whole

earth is sustained by the

Qedushsha, TB. Sofa, 49 a). The reward of the ministering

angels performing the Qedushsha is hence

exactly paralleled by the

rewarding of

the Israelites with crowns at the time when they said, "We will do and hear

(Ex.

xxiv. 7)", related in TB. Shabb. 88 a

("60 myriads of

ministering angels put

crowns on every single one of the Israelites

etc.") but for the

acceptance of the

126

THE HEBREW BOOK OF ENOCH

[CH. XL

blessed be He, in the

proper way, then the servants of His Throne,

1

the attendants of His

Glory,1

go forth with

great mirth from under

the Throne of

Glory. (2) And 2

they all

carry in their

hands, each

one of them2

thousand thousand and ten thousand times ten thousand

crowns of stars, similar in

appearance to the

planet Venus, and

put

them on the

ministering angels and the

great princes who utter the

"Holy". Three crowns

they put on each one of them: one crown

because

they say "Holy", another crown, because

they say "Holy,

Holy", and a third crown because

they say "Holy, Holy, Holy, is

the Lord

of Hosts".

(3) And in the moment that

they do not utter the

"Holy" in the

right order, a

consuming fire

goes forth from the little

finger of the

Holy One, blessed be He, and falls down in the midst of their ranks

i-i Eom.

2-2 so E. A:'every two ofthem carry between them'

Tora implied in those words the whole world could not have subsisted. The im-

portance of the

Qedushsha in the

present section

always refers to the Celestial

QSdushsha, at

any rate in the first

place. The importance of the earthly Qedushsha

is the

subject of Sota, 49 a, and Hek. R. ix et al.

; to the latter at times the greater

importance is

assigned (the angels must be silent while the Israelites

say the '

Holy'

on earth).

(1) the servants.of His Throne. .

.go forth. . .from under the Throne. The
servants of His Throne are the angels entrusted with the care of the treasuries of

the crowns which are under the Throne of

Glory and hence also over the other

treasuries that are conceived of as

having their

place under the Throne. From under

the Throne was brought forth the fire of deafness for the

Chayyoth ace. to ch. xv B,
and go forth the 'horns' ace. to Hek. R. xii. In the secret chamber under the
Throne God hid Moses away from the

fury of the

ministering angels ace. to Ex. R.

xxii.

(2) they all

carryin theirhands. . . crowns. . .andputthem onthe

ministering

angels. The crowns are made of

stars, in

appearance like unto the

splendour of

the

planet Venus. The 'planet Venus', 'the shining star', is a

frequent term of

comparison, cf. ch. xxvi. 6 et al. one crown, because they say '

Holy '

etc. One

would have expected 'one crown for each

"Holy"' or similar. The same division
of the Thrice Holy is found in the Siddur of R. 'Amram Ga'on, Morning Prayer,

p. 4 (ed. Warsch), closely connected with the

present chapter by reason of its

being

attributed to R. Ishmael: "

R. Ishmaelsaid: There are three

companies of

ministering

angels who say the 'Holy' every day. One company says 'Holy', the other

says

'Holy, Holy', and the third

company says 'Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts.

The whole earth is full of His

glory'". The same is

repeated in a different

version,

ib., Evening Prayer, fol.

18, and also, with slightly corrupt readings, in Seder Rabba

di Bereshith Rabba (ed. Werthheimer, Batte Midrashot). Vide Introduction,

section

17 D.

(2) And in the moment that

they do not utter the

Holy in the

right order

or in the right time a

consuming fire . . . consumes them in one moment. The

same punishment of the

ministering angels that utter the

song out of order is set

forth in ch. xlvii. 2. The fire is here not the fiery river, the

regular means of

punish-

ment, but a fire sent out for the

purpose from the little

finger of the Holy One.
In ch. xlvii. 2 the two ideas of the fire from the Most High and the fiery river are
combined : the immediate extinction of the angels is effected by the fire '

from their

Creator', but their continued

punishment takes place in the fiery river.

CH.XL]

CELESTIAL QEDUSHSHA

127

and is divided into

4963

thousand

parts corresponding to the four

camps of the

ministering angels, and consumes them in one moment,

as it is written

(Ps. xcvii.

3): "A fire

goeth before him and burneth

up his adversaries round about".

(4) After that the

Holy One, blessed be He, opens His mouth and

speaks one word and creates others in their

stead, new ones like

them. And each one stands before His Throne of

Glory, uttering

the

"Ploly", as it is written

(Lam. iii.

23): "They are new

every

morning; great is

thy faithfulness".

3E:<796'

Theidea of the

punishment byextinction in fire of the angels who utter the '

Holy'

in the wrong way is echoed in Hilkoth Mal'akim, Add. 27199, fol.

123 a:

"Every

angel who begins earlier or later than his

fellow-angels when singing the

Song, is

immediately burnt by lashes

of fire through CHAYYLIEL, the Prince who attends

the Chayyoth" (cf. ch. xx. 2).

Rekanati

quotes from Sepher Hekaloth (one of the names of the present book),

cited BH, ii.

p. xvii : "All the

ministering angels . . .who are

standing before Him. . .

none of them begins (the Song) too

early or too late :

anyone who tarries with his

voice after his neighbour as much as a hair's breadth is

instantly pushed into fire

and flames". The singing the 'Song' in the

wrong order is ace. to both these

passages understood of the time. Cf. ch. xlvii. 2.

is divided into

496 thousand

parts corresponding to the four

camps of the

ministering angels etc. This is

apparently a confusion of the two conceptions of

the four

camps of Shekina (consisting of

song-uttering angels) and the

496 (or

506) thousand

myriads of

camps each

composed of

496 thousand angels. It seems

to

imply that the whole multitude of

camps of

song-uttering angels are

destroyed.

They are treated as a

whole, a

unity. (Contrast the quoted passages, Hilkoth

Mal'akim and Recanati.)

a fire

goeth before Him and burneth up his adversaries. The angels who do
not utter the Song in the right way are identified with the 'adversaries of God'

of Ps. xcvii.

3 ; this is

altogether in accordance with the view of the performance

of the

Qedushsha as an

all-important religious duty attested in the

present chapter.

The neglect of or unwillingness to

perform the Qedushsha is an act of

enmity against

the Kingdom of the Most High. The punishment in fire here should be

compared

with the

changing of the angels into all kinds of lifeless

fiery substances until their

acquiescence in the performance of their

duty, depicted ch. xxxv. 5, 6.

(4) After that the

Holy One, blessed be He, opens His mouth and

speaks

one word and creates . . .new ones. Hence, according to the view of the

present

chapter (and section) the angels who continue their existence as

individual, corporeal

beings as

long as

they rightly perform their

duty: the uttering of the

Trisagion,

are consumed by fire

only as

punishment for their non-observance of this

duty

after which new ones are created

by a word of God. This view is a harmonization

of the different views concerning the

origin and fate of the

song-uttering angels

recorded TB. Chag. 14 a, Gen. R. Ixxviii, Lam. R. iii. 21 :

(i) the angels are created out

of the

fiery river and thither

they are sent back

again after

they have uttered a

Song; (2) the angels are created from the '

dibbur

(word) '

of God.

Cf. ch. xxvii.

3 and note on ch. xlvii. 2 (the angels after

being consumed in the

fire, viz. as

corporeal beings, subsist in soul and

spirit).

They are new every morning; great is

thy faithfulness: Lam. iii.

23. This

was the fundamental starting point and basis of the

speculations on the creation

and duration of the angels. It is

used, TB. Chag. 14 a, as

support of view

(i) above,

and the review of the various traditions in Lam. R., ib., is attached to this

passage.

128

THE HEBREW BOOK OF ENOCH

[CH. XLI

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