אַדִירְיַרוֹן בַהִירְיַרוֹן | Adiryaron Ḅahiryaron, a litany of angelic names associated with the 42 letter name, recorded in Sefer haQanah

Acrostic Initials (Hebrew) Source (Hebrew) Contribute a translation


סוד של שם מ”ב אותיות:

ועתה יש לך לדעת כי השכינה פועלת בכח י״ב הויות ובמ״ב אותיות הנקראות שם בן מ״ב ואלו הן:

אְבַג יְתַץ קְרַע שָׂטָן נְגַד יְכָש בְּטַר צְתָג חְקַב טְנַע יְגַל פְזָק שְׁקָו צְיָת:

ועתה שמע ענינם כי אלו אותיות של שם מ”ב כל אות יוצא ממנו מלאך הפועל מכח השם ואלו הן:


אב״ג
ית״ץ

אַדִירְיַרוֹן בַהִירְיַרוֹן גַבִירְיַרוֹן
יִגְבְּהַיַה תְּלַמְיָה צְפַנְיָה[1]Note that the vocalization here differs from that found in the incipit for this litany in Sefer haPeliah. Also there, instead of צפניה is found צתניה.

קר״ע
שט״ן

קְרַמְיָה רְגַרְיָה עַדִרְיָה
שְגַנְיָה טְלַטְיָה נְהַרְיָה

נג״ד
יכ״ש

נִשְׁמַרְיָה גְעַרְיָה דוֹהַרְיָה
יְעַלְיָה כֵסְיָה שִׁגְיוֹנְיָה

בט״ר
צת״ג

בוֹעֵלִיָהּ טוֹרִרְיָה רַמְיָה
צ׳ תְהַנְהִיָה גַלְגַלְיָה

חק״ב
טנ״ע

חַנַנְיָה קַהַקְיָה ב׳
טַבְטַנְיָה נ׳ עַמְמַיָה
וְהַנְהוְֹיָה וִהַו הְוֹיָה[2]This text is unaccounted for in the 42 letter divine name sequence.

יג״ל
פז״ק

יִדַלְשְׁרַיָה גְוֹררִיָה לְמִיִמַרְיָה
פְקוְרַקדַיָה זוֹהָר־זְרֵעיָה[3]Sefer haPeliah has ‘זְהַרְזְהַר (זְהַרְיֶה).’ This variation between the two texts ostensibly by the same unknown author seems to us to underscore the oral transmission of the tradition for the vocalization of these names. קַוְולַיָה.

שק״ו
צי״ת

שַׁתְהוֹרְרַיָה קַרוֹשְׁיָה וְהָאֵלְ־אִלְיָה
צְעִירְיָה יַהְהַרַיָה תְמֵתְלִיָה.


והיה יהו״ד חוֹנַנְיָא קַתְקַיָה וְהָאֵל אֵלִיָה וַיְהוָֹה יה.
בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד:‏

This is a faithful transcription of a litany of angelic names recorded in Sefer HaQanah, whose inital letters form the 42 letter divine name provided in introduction to it. The sequence is also found in a similar litany of angelic names in Sefer haPeliah (by the same unknown author). These two formulations present the earliest witness to the 42 letter name featured in a handful of acrostic piyyutim, including Ana B’Koaḥ. The mistaken and popular attribution of Ana B’Koaḥ to the tannaitic sage Neḥunyah ben haQanah derives from an attribution of this 42 letter sequence found in Sefer HaQanah. The author of the sefer, a Byzantine Kabbalist of the late 14th or early 15th century included earlier material in the work, including heichalot writings, so it does not seem to us entirely implausible that texts deriving from the esoteric school of Neḥunyah ben haQanah (or someone or group seeking that venerable association) might have been included in this work.

For more on the 42 letter divine name and the piyyutim, including Ana B’Koaḥ, which provide it as an acrostic, please enjoy Ben Newman’s article, here. Concerning this text, Rabbi Newman writes:

The general genre of piyyutim or texts containing the 42 letter name as an acrostic is first seen, albeit in a magical and philosophical manner, in Sefer HaKanah (attributed to Nehunia b. Hakanah)….in Sefer Peliah, the author claims that the letters of the name of 42 actually correspond to the names of angels: “Now listen to these things for these letters of the name of 42, out of each letter comes an active angel from the power of the name…”[4]ספר הקנה- ד”ה סוד של מ”ב אותיות: Though the list of these names cited in Sefer HaKanah is not a piyyut, it could be thought of as a sort of text….In this, the first reference to the name of 42 from Sefer HaKanah, the name becomes a series of rashi teivot for the names of angels. The order of the names is also not exactly the same as in the conventional name of 42. It is the same in the beginning bit ends up being quite different, with many yods, vavs and hehs thrown in. Also, it seems to go way beyond 42 words.

Just an important note that other unvocalized transcriptions of this sequence are published elsewhere on the Internet (1, 2), unfortunately containing what seem to us as transcription errors. We have prepared our vocalized transcription from the 1894 edition published in Krakow.

Sources

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Note that the vocalization here differs from that found in the incipit for this litany in Sefer haPeliah. Also there, instead of צפניה is found צתניה.
  2. This text is unaccounted for in the 42 letter divine name sequence.
  3. Sefer haPeliah has ‘זְהַרְזְהַר (זְהַרְיֶה).’ This variation between the two texts ostensibly by the same unknown author seems to us to underscore the oral transmission of the tradition for the vocalization of these names.
  4. ספר הקנה- ד”ה סוד של מ”ב אותיות:

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