Apocalypse of Abraham 21:4


3 And [I saw] there the earth and its fruits, and its moving ones, and its spiritual ones, and its host of men and their spiritual impieties, and their justifications, and the pursuits of their works, and the abyss and its torment, and its lower depths, and the perdition which is in it. 4 And I saw there the sea and its islands, and its animals and its fishes, and Leviathan and his spouse, and his lair, and his dens, and the world which lies upon him, and his motions and the destruction of the world because of him. 5 I saw there the rivers and their overflows, and their circles.

2 Enoch 26:4

Secrets of Enoch

1 And I summoned the very lowest a second time, and said: Let Archas come forth hard, and he came forth hard from the invisible (spiritual). 2 And Archas came forth, hard, heavy, and very red. 3 And I said: Be opened, Archas, and let there be born from you, and he came undone, an age came forth, very great and very dark, bearing the creation of all lower things, and I saw that it was good and said to him: 4 Go from there down below, and make yourself firm, and be a foundation for the lower things, and it happened and he went down and fixed himself, and became the foundation for the lower things, and below the darkness there is nothing else.

 Notes and References

"... The evidence of Leviathan’s unique status, in comparison with God’s other creatures, receives its most paradoxical expression in his role as the cosmological foundation of the entire universe. Apocalypse of Abraham 21:4 unambiguously identifies him as the axis mundi by placing the whole universe on top of the monster ... One of the instances in which an antagonistic entity appears to be envisioned as a cosmological foundation can be found in 2 Enoch, a Jewish apocalypse written, according to present scholarly consensus, in the first century CE, in the time very close to the composition of the Apocalypse of Abraham, which is usually dated by scholars to the second century CE ... in 2 Enoch one may detect the presence of two foundations - one upper “positive” foundation represented by the luminous aeon Adail, and another lower, negative, “dark” foundation, represented by Arukhas. There is a certain symmetry between the upper and lower foundations. This development is important for our study. We will encounter a similar parallelism between cosmological foundations in our study of later Jewish materials, especially in the Book of Zohar, where the role of Leviathan as a negative cosmological foundation of the universe is juxtaposed with Rabbi Simeon’s role as the positive cosmological “pillar” of the world ..."

Orlov, Andrei Supernal Serpent: Mysteries of Leviathan in Judaism and Christianity (pp. 47-49) Oxford University Press, 2023

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