“Metatron” may look more like the name of a Transformer than an angel, but according to some, he is the most powerful angel in heaven.
Metatron is a high-ranking angel or being in Jewish tradition as well as in some Christian, Islamic, and occult traditions. To some, he is a once-human angel graced to gaze on the countenance of God as His scribe and a mediator between God and Israel.
However, there are several issues with the idea of Metatron.
Where Does the Legend of Metatron Come From?
Metatron is mentioned in passages of the Babylonian Talmud, in mystical Kabbalistic texts, and in the apocryphal books of Enoch.
The Talmud is a central text of Judaism consisting of discussions and commentary on Jewish history, law, and customs. For a long time, the Talmud was passed down as oral tradition, until it was compiled and recorded in the second century AD as a document called the Mishnah. Commentaries on the Mishnah were then written down, comprising the Gemara, the second part of the Talmud. The Babylonian Talmud mentioned above was completed in the fifth century AD.
The Talmud is not considered a sacred work in Christianity, and though some teachings from it might be compatible with Christian teachings, the entirety of the New Testament was completely written and largely compiled by the time the Mishnah was written down and made canon before the Babylonian Talmud came to be.
The apocryphal books of Enoch are pseudepigraphical, meaning a work that is falsely attributed or whose claimed authorship is unfounded. There are several of these works attributed to Enoch, though most people are referring to 1 Enoch when they speak of “the Book of Enoch.”
These books are not considered sacred or inspired either. Like other apocryphal works, the books are prone to unusual theology and historical inaccuracies.
What Do the Legends Say about Metatron?
According to these writings, Metatron was once a human named Enoch, who is mentioned in the book of Genesis as a man who walked faithfully with God (though in one version, Metatron was never human, nor did he come from Enoch).
Enoch was taken to heaven without dying, where he was transformed into the angel Metatron and placed on a throne next to God’s throne. He became second only to God in terms of power, wisdom, and glory, and all the other angels obeyed him.
According to legend, Metatron is part of a select group of angels who are allowed to look upon God’s countenance. He is a heavenly scribe, as well as an advocate or heavenly priest for the people, a mediator between Israel and God. One legend says it was Metatron who led Israel through the wilderness.
Occult and New Age practices have continued the lore of Metatron. A popular tarot site states that Enoch/Metatron “ascended into the angelic realm by virtue of [his] faith in God and [his] perfectly pious conduct.” The site continues, “In this way, Archangel Metatron is one of the most powerful archangels in this New Age because he directly represents our capacity for ascension and our ability to access spiritual power.”
Books on archangels and mysticism also abound, advising believers to recognize Metatron by the color of his aura, his distinctive scent, or by calling upon him using crystals and candles.
What Does the Bible Say about Metatron?
Metatron is never mentioned in the Bible. However, Enoch is included in two passages.
Genesis 5:18-24 tells the (brief) tale of Enoch’s life:
When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. After he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died.
When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
Hebrews 11:5 gives slightly more information:
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
The Bible, therefore, doesn’t say anything about Metatron, nor does it in any way insinuate that Enoch became an angel.
Is Metatron Real?
So, Metatron is not in the Bible. But could he still exist?
According to orthodox Christianity, not if he was first the human Enoch. Humans and angels are entirely different beings, and humans do not become angels.
Then what if he wasn’t a human first? There are still multiple red flags.
One of the first is the claim of Metatron as a mediator or priest between Israel and God. There is only one who can fill this role, and the Bible specifically states that that person is Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus intercedes for us as a high priest (Hebrews 4:14), and placing anyone else, human or angel, in that role is a dangerous deviation.
A second issue is the idea of Metatron being placed on a throne next to God’s throne. The Bible states multiple times that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 3:3). This again seems to be putting Metatron in the place of Jesus.
As for Metatron leading the Israelites through the wilderness, the Bible specifically states that it was the LORD, YHWH, who went before them (Exodus 13:21-22). At every turn, it seems that Metatron is usurping a role belonging to God.
The Dangers of Metatron
Belief in a being that detracts from the roles and honor due to God is no light matter. Just as concerning as the biblical inaccuracy of the legends is the bulk of New Age and occult information about Metatron, including how to summon him, feel him, and call upon his power.
The majority of research for this article included large quantities of New Age and occult materials to merely find Christian or even Jewish perspectives.
Recall especially the quote above: “Archangel Metatron is one of the most powerful archangels in this New Age because he directly represents our capacity for ascension and our ability to access spiritual power.”
Placing emphasis on summoning, studying, or even praying to beings and power other than God ultimately comes from a place of pride. The Bible is clear that we have no “capacity for ascension” from ourselves but instead are totally depraved and are saved only by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Whether or not there is an angel that resembles Metatron in some capacity, let us remember 1 Timothy 4:7: “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.” In all things, let us focus on Christ, our all-sufficient Lord and Savior.
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Alyssa Roat studied writing, theology, and the Bible at Taylor University. She is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E., the publicity manager at Mountain Brook Ink, and a freelance editor with Sherpa Editing Services. Her passions for Biblical study and creativity collide in her writing. Her debut novel Wraithwood releases Nov. 7, 2020. She has had 150+ bylines in publications ranging from The Christian Communicator to Keys for Kids. Find out more about her here and on social media @alyssawrote.