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Aramaic - Background & History


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eve.jpg (21208 bytes)

This icon celebrates the memory of our first mother. She belongs to a time long before history and is shrouded in mystery. The meaning of her name, Eve, is almost as mysterious as she is herself. One interpretation, based on a play on Hebrew words, is that it means “Mother of All the Living”. The Arabic inscription at the bottom of the icon describes her thus.

She holds in her hands an opened pomegranate, whose Hebrew name, rimmon, comes from the word rim, to bear a child. The pomegranate is an ancient middle-eastern symbol of the womb, because of its red juice and its numerous seeds or offsping. It was carved on the pillars of Solomon’s Temple as a symbol of fertility. In this icon it represents all the descendents of Eve, the human race, and our debt to her and all our fore-mothers.

Eve was said to have lived for more than nine centuries. Together with all the other holy ancestors of Christ, she is celebrated each year on the second Sunday before Christmas in the calendar of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

"Eve" courtesy of and Br. R. Lentz ofm. Reproductions available from Trinity Stores •


Aramaic Introduction

Aramaic Language & Spirituality