Monday, November 28, 2005

Advent: Week 1 Day 2

And the serpent tricked the woman... she ate of the forbidden fruit... and she gave it to her husband and he ate it.

To the serpent, God said: "Therefore, you will crawl on your belly... I will put enmity between you and the Woman - 'she' will crush your head, and you will await 'her' heel..."

To the woman, God said: "You will have pain in childbirth..."

To the man, God said: "Cursed be the ground because of you! By the sweat of your brow will you eat... for you are dust and unto dust you shall return!"

Then God stationed an angel with a firey sword at the gate to Eden...

* * *

(A warning: yes, the quotes are paraphrased out of memory! Yes I am also aware that there is some debate about the gender of the pronouns in the Protoevangelion.)

Note that the serpent has wings and big eyes to stand for its cunning. It also has a little "arm" handing the "apple" to Eve - on the left. (If it had been a bigger picture, there would have been legs as well.) Two bites because both ate from it. Why is it an "apple"? My own guess is this is a Latin pun, for malum = "apple" but also "evil"! But I drew the traditional picture, for every Jesse Tree ought to have a (partially eaten) "apple" on it! Note also that the Christmas red and green appear in Eden - for there was the first revelation of Christmas. Hmmm.. It's funny to think that Christmas was revealed in the condemnation of the serpent... Oh happy fault! Oh necessary sin of Adam! that won for us so great a Redeemer! - how can we not think about Easter at this time of year???


At 28 November, 2005 20:48, Blogger getalifeagain said...

This was a most interesting article. My name is Jesse, and it wasn't until I went to a Catholic camp, that a priest revealed to me what the Tree of Jesse was.

At 28 November, 2005 22:40, Blogger Nancy C. Brown said...

We have a Jesse tree this Advent, and it is wonderful to trace the line of salvation history this way, its a great teaching tool for the kids.

At 29 November, 2005 10:25, Blogger Dr. Thursday said...

Way cool, Jesse! Thanks for posting! Trees are important to me as a computer scientist, though we always have a problem at Christmas because our trees have the root at the top.

Yeah - you should see the hassle we would have, standing on a ladder trying to decorate the department.. (just kidding, though I would be REALLY impressed if some place actually did that.)

Your own very special symbol doesn't come until much later (in the Church's great countdown of the seven Great "O"s!!! Thinking about this, I get so excited I can barely type!), and yet it is also the name for the complete product, which is quite amusing.

This is an example of the very curious figure of speech called the "synecdoche" - that is, something where the term for a part is used to signify the whole, or vice versa. (You can thank the Greeks for such a cool word; they ALWAYS had a word for it!)


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