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Monday, 15 September 2014

Court in Heaven

During this month of Elul, the heavenly Court is judging the actions of the human race. Some may think the idea of a Court system in heaven an absurd idea.

But this is what we learn in Judaism and in 3 Enoch and even alluded to in the Holy Quran. In the Holy Quran it is this heavenly Court the jinn ascend and listen in to the rulings being passed down on the souls of men on the earth. This is also mentioned in the Testament of Solomon. It is these rulings which enable the jinn to know about the future events of human beings on the earth.

Testament of Solomon 113: “And when they were gone I ordered Ornias to be brought forward, and said to him: "Tell me how you know this;" and he answered: "We demons ascend into the firmament of heaven, and fly about among the stars. And we hear the sentences which go forth upon the souls of men, and forth with we come, and whether by force of influence, or by fire, or by sword, or by some accident, we veil our act of destruction; and if a man does not die by some untimely disaster or by violence, then we demons transform ourselves in such a way as to appear to men and be worshipped in our human nature."

Testament of Solomon 114: “I therefore, having heard this, glorified the Lord God, and again I questioned the demon, saying: "Tell me how ye can ascend into heaven, being demons, and amidst the stars and holy angels intermingle." And he answered: "Just as things are fulfilled in heaven, so also on earth (are fulfilled) the types of all of them. For there are principalities, authorities, world-rulers, and we demons fly about in the air; and we hear the voices of the heavenly beings, and survey all the powers. And as having no ground (basis) on which to alight and rest, we lose strength and fall off like leaves from trees. And men seeing us imagine that the stars are falling from heaven. But it is not really so, O king; but we fall because of our weakness, and because we have nowhere anything to lay hold of; and so we fall down like lightning in the depth of night and suddenly. And we set cities in flames and fire the fields. For the stars have firm foundations in the heavens like the sun and the moon."

Surah 72:8-10 “And we have sought to reach the heaven; but found it filled with stern guards and flaming fires (angels)., “And Verily, we used to sit there in stations, to (steal) a hearing, but any who listens now will find a flaming fire watching him in ambush. “And we know not whether evil is intended for those on earth, or whether their Lord intends for them a Right Path.”

Surah 15:17,18, "And We have guarded it (the near heaven) from every outcast Satan. Except him (devil) who steals the hearing then he is pursued by a clear flaming fire."

Let's us examine 3 Enoch in light of this heavenly Court.

Metatron in Heavenly Court

Metatron 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." (CHAPTER XVI)

The role here assigned to Metatron is markedly primarily the rulership over the princes of kingdoms. Over these he presides in the Celestial Court, passing judgement upon the heavenly household but also as conferring upon them their authority and emblems of rulership : again a trait of the Prince of the World conception, presiding in the Celestial Court or council. Metatron is depicted in a position similar to that of God presiding in the Celestial Beth Din in chh. xxviii c 7-9, xxx. The conception is implied in ch. x and ch. xlviii C 8, 9. Metatron's presidency in his yeshiba is apparently pictured after the pattern of God's presidency in the highest Beth Din, and naturally so, Metatron being God's representative and vice-regent, by authority of the Holy One, blessed be He. It is emphasized that Metatron's presidency in the yeshiba and his rulership are derived from 'his King'.

We learn angels are in the seven heavens, "The princes, sarim, of the several heavens are pictured as having each one his suite of angels. They are mounted on horses (cf. Mass. Hek. iv and Hek. R. xvii seqq.)"

"And there is a court, ... How are the angels standing on before the Throne of Glory, How are the angels standing on before the Throne of Glory, high? He said: Like a bridge that is placed over a river so that every one can pass over it, likewise a bridge is placed from the beginning of the entry to the end. (2) And three ministering angels surround it and utter a song before YHWH, the God of Israel. And there are standing before it lords of dread and captains of fear, thousand times thousand and ten thousand times ten thousand in number and they sing praise and hymns before YHWH, the God of Israel."

note: there is a court before the Throne of Glory (Lmr). The place of God's manifestation in the highest heavens is depicted in the simile of the innermost part of a Sanctuary. The seventh Hall is called 'the Holy of Holies'. The entry (B), then, is the entry of the innermost part of the sanctuary. The conception of ' bridges 'in heaven is attested in Hek. R. BH. iii. 93. They are the bridges that are placed over the fiery rivers (cf. ib.). (2) three ministering angels. Probably the leaders of the song-uttering angels, who sometimes are represented as three, usually as four (cf. note on ch. xxxv. 3).

Court of the Sanhedrin

This heavenly court is called the Court of the Sanhedrin. The Jews establish an earthly counterpart. Books of Records are read out in this "heavenly court". 72 Angels rule in this heavenly court.

"He fetches forth the Case of Writings (with) the Book of Records in it, and brings it before the Holy One, blessed be He. And he breaks the seals of the case, opens it, takes out the books and delivers them before the Holy One, blessed be He. And the Holy One, blessed be He, receives them of his hand and gives them in his sight to the Scribes, that they may read them in the Great Beth Din in the height of 'Araboth Raqia', before the heavenly household."

note: Book of Records (or ' of remembrance '). On the three main lines of conceptions of the 'books' at the Judgement cf. note on ch. xviii. 24. The 'book of records' evidently is conceived of as recording all the deeds of the inhabitants of the world relevant to the issues at the Judgement. ... The Great Beth Din or Sanhedrin or Court of Justice. Cf. chh. xxviii. 9 and xxx. i . The Sanhedrin on earth had its counterpart in heaven, the Beth Din Shelma'ala under the presidency of the Most High himself. The members of the Beth Din on high were the highest angels, according to ch. xxx evidently the seventy-two princes of kingdoms together with the Prince of the World, ace. to ch. xxviii. 9, presumably, the 'Irin and Qaddishin (cf. notes, ad loco). See also Hek. R. v. 3, BH. iii. 87.

God sits on Throne of Judgement

God sits on the Throne of Judgement judging mankind. Angels bring cases for judgement before God.

"And every day, as the Holy One, blessed be He, is sitting upon the Throne of Judgement and judges the whole world, and the Books of the Living and the Books of the Dead are opened before Him, then all the children of heaven are standing before him in fear, dread, awe and trembling. At that time, (when) the Holy One, blessed be He, is sitting upon the Throne of Judgement to execute judgement, his garment is white as snow, the hair on his head as pure wool 10and the whole of his cloak is like the shining light. And he is covered with righteousness all over as with a coat of mail."

And those 'Irin and Qaddishin are standing before him like court officers before the judge. And they raise and argue every case and close the case that comes before the Holy One, blessed be He, in judgement, according as it is written (Dan. iv. 17) : "The sentence is by the decree of the 'Irin and the demand by the word of the Qaddishin" (9) Some of them argue and others pass the sentence in the Great Beth Din in 'Araboth. Some of them make the requests from before the Divine Majesty and some close the cases before the Most High. Others finish by going down and (confirming =) executing the sentences on earth below. According as it is written (Dan. iv. 13 , 14) : " Behold an 'Ir and a Qaddish came down from heaven and cried aloud and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off 14his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches".

note: The Divine Judgement and the Heavenly Tribunal. With vss. 7-10 of the present chapter (xxviii) a certain change in character is noticeable. The main difference is that the systematic exposition of the aforegoing part, with its specific manner of expression seems to be ended. The theme which already from ch. xxvi. 12 has begun to verge into the conceptions of the Judgement is henceforth (till ch. xxxiii. 3) altogether absorbed in the different aspects of the Divine Judgement, the heavenly assize and the execution of the Divine decrees. But, in contrast to the preceding angelological section, this section reveals no clear progressive structure in the treatment of its subject, but leaves rather the impression of a complex of culled fragments from the different traditions of the proceedings at the Divine Court of Justice.

note:... they [angels] raise and argue . . . and close the case. The cases include all different issues arising from the course of the daily life of the inhabitants on earth. Ace. to Ex. R. xxxi, angels act as defensors and accusers of man at the judgement : "when a man has committed a transgression and stands before God to receive judgement, then some angels plead in his defence, others accuse him guilty". (9) Some of them argue and others pass the sentence . . . some of them make the requests. . .some close the cases. . .others finish by. . .executing the sentences. Cf. Sa'adya's commentary on Dan. iv. 17: "The 'Irin are the Holy Angels of anger and fury who pass the sentence ". (Notice, by the way, how Sa'adya represents the angels in question as one class only, called 'Irin, regarding the Qaddishin = Holy Ones ' as an attribute further, how he identifies them with "the angels of anger and fury" usually but another name for the 'angels of destruction', cf. note on ch. xxxi. 2.) Cf. also Hilkoth Mal'akim, Add. 27199, fol. 124 a: "the angel who passes the sentence and who issues the demands is called 'Ir and Qaddish" .

72 Angels Rule Court of Sanhedrin

"How many are those princes? Seventy-two princes of the kingdoms of the world besides the Prince of the World who speaks (pleads) in favour of the world before the Holy One, blessed be He, every day, at the hour when the book is opened in which are recorded all the doings of the world, according as it is written (Dan. vii. 10) : "The judgement was set and the books were opened." ... At the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, is sitting on the Throne, of Judgement, (then) Justice is standing on His right and Mercy on His left and Truth1 before His face."

The Irin and Qaddish are the 70 angels that rule the Court of Heaven also known as the Princes of the World. See the following note, "Thus, in the present arrangement of the context, the 'Irin and Qaddishin are, by inference, identical with the Princes of Kingdoms. The identification is justifiable, since the functions of both categories, as represented in chh. xxviii. y-xxx, are practically congruent : they are both depicted as constituting the Celestial Beth Din, the Divine Council or Court of Justice. ... "be regarded the passage on the Princes of Kingdoms in Menahem Reqanati's Commentary on the Pentateuch, Gen. x. 5 (EJ) : "70 princes are set over the 70 nations. . .they are the 70 princes who surround the Throne of Glory and they are the same that are called in the Song of Solomon (Cant. iii. 3) 'the Watchmen (Shomerim) that go about the city', for by their hands the decrees from on high are issued (cf. ch. xxviii. 8 seq.) ".

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