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The angel Metatron (or Matatron) was accorded a special position in esoteric doctrine from the tannaitic period on. The angelology of apocalyptic literature mentions a group of angels who behold the face of their king and are called "Princes of the Countenance" (Ethiopic Book of Enoch, ch. 40, et al.). Once Metatron's personality takes a more definitive form in the literature, he is referred to simply as "the Prince of the Countenance."