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From Adam until Jesus : The succession of Abrahamic Prophets and the Divine, Theophanic Glory (kavod).

From Adam until  Jesus : The succession of Abrahamic Prophets and the Divine, Theophanic  Glory (kavod).

In progress - last updated 12-06-2022.

(1) The Exalted Adam and the Divine "Glory" (kavod)

Post-Biblical Abrahamic religious literatures came to exalt an almost divine first man Adam.


In 2 Enoch 30:11–12 (long recension) God says: “On the earth I assigned him [Adam] to be a second angel, honoured and great and glorious. I assigned him to be a king, to reign on the earth and to have my wisdom. There was nothing comparable to him on the earth, not even among my creatures that exist [the angels].”


The Testament of Abraham.

But the Testament of Abraham ch. 8 (rec. B) goes a step further when identifying Adam with a Kavod-like (→ Glory) Man in heaven, “sitting upon a throne of great glory” at the gates of Paradise, encircled by a multitude of angels and looking at the many souls being led to destruction and the few souls being led to life. “Adam is enthroned in heaven as the Glory at the end of time” (FOSSUM 1985:276). The description of Adam as a “wondrous man,” “adorned in such glory,” with a “terrifying apperance, like that of the Lord” (Test. Abr. 11, rec. A) clearly recalls Ezekiel’s vision in ch. 1. It would seem that in certain circles with mystical inclinations God’s Glory, the Heavenly Man, and Adam merged into one angelic figure. On the development of this idea in later Kabbalistic circles see SCHOLEM 1974 (Reg., s.v.). The implication that all this may have for the study of New Testament christology is a matter of debate.

J. E. Fosum,

  • The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord. Samaritan and Jewish Concepts of Intermediation and the Origin of Gnosticism (WUNT 36; Tübingen 1985) 266–291;

*PH. B. Munoa,

  • Four Powers in Heaven: The Interpretation of Daniel 7 in the Testament of Abraham (Sheffield 1998), esp. 82–112;


  • Two Powers in Heaven (SJLA 25; Leiden 1977);


  • Kabbalah (Jerusalem 1974);


  • A History of the Literature of Adam and Eve (SBLEJL 3; Atlanta 1992).

Extracted from P. W. van der Horst,

  • “Adam,” ed. Karel van der Toorn and Bob Becking, Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (Leiden; Boston; Köln; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999), 6.