Updated: Mar 16, 2019
Depending on which Judeo-Christian tradition you are referencing, there are said to be anywhere from three to thousands of archangels, though only seven are referenced by name in ancient texts. In Roman Catholicism, Judaism and Islam, there is Michael and Gabriel. Raphael is a third Archangel who is recognized in some Christian and Catholic denominations. There are references of a fourth Archangel named Uriel. The remaining archangels mentioned in the Book of Enoch are Raguel (aka Sealtiel), Zerachiel (aka Saraqael, Selaphiel, Barachiel, or Sariel), and Remiel (aka Jerahmeel, Jehudiel or Jeremiel).
Apart from these primary seven figures, there is mention of another archangel by the name Metatron. Although he isn't canonical within all the faiths, Metatron (aka Meetatron, Megatron, Merraton, and Metratton) is mostly referenced in Jewish Rabbinical literature as well as non-canonical Kabbalistic mystical texts. He can be read about in the Books of Enoch (specifically in the Third Book of Enoch), and in some passages of the Talmud.
Metatron, the Man-Turned-Archangel
Before we learn about Metatron, we must learn about who he was before he was an angel. Metatron was once the human prophet Enoch (who is the great-grandfather of Noah, to whom the Book of Enoch is ascribed to), and that he is one of the only two humans to ever be transformed from man to archangel. The other man-turned-archangel is the prophet Elijah, who became the archangel Sandalphon – but that is a story for another time. The point is, humans are unable to become angels or archangels, so this was a great (and uncommon) honor granted by God.
“This Enoch, whose flesh was turned to flame, his veins to fire, his eye-lashes to flashes of lightning, his eye-balls to flaming torches, and whom God placed on a throne next to the throne of glory, received after this heavenly transformation the name Metatron.”
— Scholem, Gershom G (1961) , Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, p. 67.
Enoch's Family Tree (From Adam to Noah)
The Story of Enoch, Who Became Metatron
The story of Enoch, who becomes Metatron, is found in the Books of Enoch. There are three Books, known as 1 Enoch, 2 Enoch and 3 Enoch. In these texts, we learn about the fall of the angels from Heaven (the Grigori), who later mated with human women, and had children that were terrifying giants (the Nephilim). God made the decision to eradicate the Nephilim from the world and to punish the Grigori, which leads to the Great Flood and Noah’s Ark.
In 1 Enoch, Enoch is guided through the heavenly realms by Uriel. In 2 Enoch, we basically have an expanded Genesis, and we learn of Enoch’s ascension through the various realms of Heaven, where he is “transfigured into an angel and granted access to the secrets of creation. Enoch is then given a 30 day grace period to return to earth and instruct his sons and all the members of his household regarding everything God had revealed to him. The text reports that after period of grace an angel will then come to retrieve him to take him from the earth.” In 3 Enoch, we relearn some themes seen in 1 and 2 Enoch, but the primary focus is Enoch’s ascension into Heaven, and how he became the Archangel Metatron. 3 Enoch is said to be written in 100 AD by Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha ha-Kohen (who lived between 90-130AD), but the only physical fragments that were found can only be traced as late as the 4th or 5th centuries.
Why was Enoch Chosen to Become Metatron?
Short version: Enoch stayed true to God and did not sin like the rest of humanity did.
Much longer version: When the rebellious angels fell from grace, they showed men the ways of war (such as forging of weapons of destruction), women how to use their beauty/bodies to beguile and bewitch, and showed how to gather and forge metals into idols to worship instead of God. These sins (idolatry, adultery, bloodshed and using God’s name in vain) are the worst sins you could commit in classic Rabbinical teachings. Enoch, however, kept himself and his family away from such things and stayed true to God.
When God (referred to as the Holy One) had removed His presence (the Shekina) from the world before the Great Flood, He had the angel Anaphiel YHWH bring Enoch to Heaven. It was then He declared Enoch as the best that mankind has to offer, and that he was to be a witness against them (the rest of humanity) to the future world, so that we may not say 'The Merciful One is cruel' (3 Enoch 4:3, 5).
"My servants, my host, my Cherubim, my Ophannim, my Seraphim! Do not be displeased on account of this! Since all the children of men have denied me and my great Kingdom and have all gone worshipping idols, I have removed my Shekina (the Shekina is the physical presence of God) from among them and have lifted it up on high. But this one whom I have taken from among them is an Elect One among [the inhabitants of] the world and he is equal to all of them [put together] in his faith, righteousness and perfection of deed and I have taken him as a tribute from my world under all the heavens.” (3 Enoch 6:2)
In Genesis, it says, "All of Enoch’s days were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and was no more, because God had taken him" (Genesis 5:23-24). It is generally believed this means Enoch was taken while still alive to Heaven via fiery chariot (3 Enoch 6:1; 7:1), transformed into an angel (3 Enoch 9:1–5; 15:1–2), and then renamed Metatron.
The Power of Metatron
Metatron is the writer of the Akashic Records, the Lesser YHVH (Yaweh), the Prince of Presence, and the one who communicates God’s word. He records all the deeds people do on Earth, and of what happens in Heaven. Other roles include (but not limited to):