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Тема: Reading of a Christmas Icon

  1. #1
    Заслуженный ветеран Аватар для Эрик
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    Reading of a Christmas Icon

    Merry Orthodox Christmas everyone!

    - That's also a message that I've sent earlier today to my young English speaking love ones.
    To improve it I've added the following nice icon to my congratulations:





    But what are the various symbols on the icon? Let's find out.
    I've added some numbers to the image so that it would be easier for us to discuss them:


    MerryOrthodoxChristmas_WithNumbers.jpg


    So, I've found about 20 symbols here to look on them so far.

    1. Jesus Christ. He is shown when He was a Baby.
    2. Mary, Mother of Jesus. She is showing Him, like she's saying "Look, Christ is born!"
    3. The title of the icon. "Adoration of the magi". In Russian it's "Поклонение волхвов".
    4. ?? I was not able to read this text. It is pretty small. Please help!
    5. The Magi. Also known as Three Kings. They look like saying "Christ is born! Glorify Him!"
    6. ?? The mountain. Why they are in the mountain?
    7. ?? Is it a cave in the mountain (6)? Looks like it's dark and cold in there. Does the cave exist our days?
    Последний раз редактировалось Эрик; 07.01.2023 в 22:02.

  2. 1 пользователь сказал cпасибо Эрик за это полезное сообщение::


  3. #2
    Заслуженный ветеран Аватар для Эрик
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    8. These are animals.

    Luke 2:7 ESV And she brought forth her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.


    "manger" ( or "ясли" in Russian ) is a place where animals like cow and horse usually eat their food. So animals on the icon are shown when they came to their feeder and they see Jesus there, and they looking. It is interesting - what did they do after that?

    9. Star of Bethelehem. It is shining much more then other stars on the Icon. This star helps the Three Wise Men (5) to find the place where Jesus was born. The Magi were able to read various signs in the sky and when they saw the Star of Bethlehem they approximately understood where to go in order to see the King of the Jews (1). So they came from their eastern countries, led by the star

    Matthew 2:1 Wise-men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying,
    2 Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we saw his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

    I am wondering if they were from different countries or from the same one? Because usually there is only one king in a country. If they were from different ones, how did they manage to get all together so that everyone brought the right gift?

  4. #3
    Заслуженный ветеран Аватар для Эрик
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    Symbols 10, 11, 12 - are the gifts of the Three Wise Kings (5): gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

    Matthew 2:11  And they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary his mother; and they fell down and worshipped him; and opening their treasures they offered unto him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

    Kings on the icon are showing their great respect to Jesus Christ because they are wise and already have recognized the King of Kings in Him. Somehow they understood that His birth is the greatest event in the world history and they left their homes for a long trip in order to deliver Him these very symbolic presents. "Symbolic presents" means that these gifts are not just some cool things for practical goals only, which allow you to get a great pleasure or some extra benefits using them. "Symbolic" means that a gift also has a special non-obvious, sacral meaning.


    10. Gold. It's in a treasure chest in the hands of the youngest King, who is on the left. Well, a practical meaning of the gift is obvious - money allows parents of Jesus to buy whatever they need. They have to immigrate to a different country because a king in their country was going to kill Jesus. Non-obvious sacral meaning of the symbol is the fact that Gold is a traditional gift for Kings. So this way the Wise Men are proclaiming that they recognized Jesus as the King.

    11. Frankincense. This word is build as a sum "frank /high quality/" + "incense /an aromatic tree resin/". In our days frankincense may look like this one:

    frankincense.jpg

    On the icon it is in an ancient amphora in the hands of oldest King. The practical value of frankincense is that when burned it produces a pleasant sweet smell. Sacral meaning of the symbol - incense was used by priests in Jewish religion rituals. So the Kings are also proclaiming that they recognize Jesus Christ as the High-priest.

    12. Myrrh. It is in an elegant vessel held by the third Magi. Myrrр is a bitter tree oil. It was used in an ancient medicine and also when a person died, sometimes he was embalmed using myrrh, which prevented the body from smoldering. Sacral meaning - Jesus is a healer and He triumphs over death.


    So all together the gifts are not just a set of very valuable things, but also the proclamation of the Three Wise Men that Jesus is the King of Kings, the High Priest and the Conqueror of death.

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