Document Type




Format of Original

29 p.

Publication Date



Brill Academic Publishers

Source Publication

Journal for the Study of Judaism

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1163/15700630360702802


Adam's story occupies a prominent place in 2 Slavonic (Apocalypse of) Enoch. The traditions pertaining to the first human can be found in all the sections of the book. In these materials Adam is depicted as a glorious angelic being, predestined by God to be the ruler of the earth, but falling short of God's expectations. The article argues that the extensive presence of Adamic materials in 2 Enoch has a polemical nature since it is related to the long-lasting competition between Adamic and Enochic traditions. The analysis shows that the polemics taking place in 2 Enoch involve a rewriting of "original" Adamic motifs and themes when the details of Adam's "story" are transferred to a new "hero," the seventh antediluvian patriarch. The features of Adam's story, his roles and offices, are used in 2 Enoch as the building blocks for creating the new, celestial identity of the elevated Enoch. In the course of these polemical appropriations, the elevated angelic status of the prelapsarian Adam, his luminosity, his wisdom, and his special roles as the king of the earth and the steward of all earthly creatures are transferred to the new occupant of the celestial realm, the patriarch Enoch, who, near the Lord's throne, is transformed into one of the glorious ones initiated into the highest mysteries by the Lord, becomes the "manager of the arrangements on the earth," and writes down "everything that nourished" on it. The investigation of Adamic polemics in 2 Enoch demonstrates that a number of important passages associated with early Jewish mysticism, such as the motif of the Divine Face in chapters 22 and 39, the future prominent role of Enoch-Metatron as the governing power on the earth, and his title "Youth," belong to the primary text, since they play a decisive role in Adamic polemics of the Slavonic apocalypse.


Author version. Journal for the Study of Judaism, Vol. 34, No. 3 (2003): 274-303. DOI: © 2003 Brill. Used with permission.