Every year on the eve of Christmas, on Christmas Eve, in all Orthodox churches eight special Christmas paremias are read. What is paremia? Where did the tradition of such readings come from? What is the meaning of those paremias that we hear on Christmas Eve?
About this and not only we talked with the candidate of philosophical sciences, candidate of theology, associate professor of the Department of Philosophy and Theology of the Moscow Orthodox Institute of St. John the Theologian, the senior teacher of the theology department of the Moscow Theological Academy priest Stefan Domuschi.
"Paremia" in Greek is a parable. In fact, these are excerpts from the Holy Scriptures, most often from the Old Testament, which were read in the antiquity at the Liturgy, and from the VII-VIII centuries they began to be read at Vespers. Today, paremias are read in worship in order to convey the essence of the feast deeper. From the Old Testament could read different passages, although often it was the Book of Proverbs, so the readings were called parables. If you look into the modern liturgical statute of Lent, you can see how the ancient Christian tradition was preserved to read the book of Genesis, the prophet Isaiah and the Book of Proverbs, to prepare the catechumens. For the post these three Old Testament books are read in full.
It is important to understand that some liturgical texts that are read, for example, at the All-night Vigil, are not meant for prayer, but for listening. According to the statute after them, sermons are supposed in which the priest should explain the meaning of what has been read. Паремии - this is just such texts, listening to which, the believer deeply penetrates the meaning of what the Church celebrates.
Usually a little paremia. So, on holidays in honor of the Most Holy Theotokos, three paremias are read. So it is in the days of memory, for example, the saints. When the Church remembers an apostle, not the Old Testament, but the New Testament paremia, are read. But on such holidays as Christmas, Baptism of Christ or Easter, the number of pares is much larger. And this is due not only to the fact that these services are especially solemn. The fact is that in the Ancient Church during the reading of these pares were baptized. And so, while the priest brought the future Christians to the font, the faithful listened to passages from the Holy Scripture.
Christmas paremia focused on the birth event of the Savior. This is the Old Testament touch to the mystery of the appearance of God in the world. The texts reveal before the hearers the miracle of the birth of the Messiah from the Virgin - the Blessed Virgin, the place of his birth - Bethlehem, wonderful events connected with this holiday.
In addition, Christmas paremia show the unity and continuity of the Old and New Testaments. Today, among believers, there is often a slight disregard for the Old Testament. They say why we need it, if there is a Christ who seems to have canceled everything that was before him, and gave people everything new. But this position is erroneous. The Lord fulfills all that the people so longed for before His birth. And the Savior himself in the Gospel constantly refers to the Old Testament. And just the prophecies that are read on Christmas Eve before Christmas, show this commonality of the two Covenants - how the expectations of antiquity come true.
Genesis is the first book of the Old Testament. It contains legends about the origin of the world, the most ancient history of mankind and the appearance of the Jewish people. In the book of Genesis, there is no indication of the author, but traditionally it is believed that it was written by Moses. He is considered the author of the first five books of the Bible - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, which bear the title of the Pentateuch of Moses. According to modern scientific data, Genesis was written between 1440 and 1400. BC. e., in the period between the release of the Israelis from Egypt and the death of Moses.
Text: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth is not invisible and unsettled, and darkness is at the top of the abyss: and the Spirit of God is struck above the water. And God says, "Let there be light, and there will be light." And God sees light as good: and separate God between light and between darkness. And God is the light of day, and the night is called darkness. And the evening, and the morning, the day are one. And God said: "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let them separate the midst of water and water: and be tacos." And God created the firmament: and separate God between water, which was no more under the firmament, and between the water, even above the firmament. And God is the firmament, the sky: and God is seen as good. And there was the evening, and the morning, the second day. And God said, "Let the water be gathered, under the heavens, into the congregation, and let the dry land appear: and it will be so." And there is water, which is under the heavens in the congregation, and there is dry land. And I speak the earth as a dry land: and the waters gather together in the sea. And God is seen as good. And God said: Let the earth bring forth an old herb, sowing seed after and after the likeness, and a fruitful fruit tree, whose seed is in him after the generation on the earth: and it was tacos. And the earth is worn out as a herb, sowing seed after and after the likeness, and a fruitful fruit tree, which is his seed in it after the species on the earth: and God is seen as good. And there was evening, and it was morning, day three.
Translation: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said: "Let there be light." And there was light. And God saw the light that he was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning: day one. And God said: Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the water. [And it was so.] And God made the expanse, and separated the water that was under the firmament from the water that was above the firmament. And it became so. And God called the firmament Heaven. [And God saw that it was good.] And there was evening and there was morning: the second day. And God said: Let the water under the heaven be gathered in one place, and let the dry land appear. And it became so. [And the water under the heaven was gathered in its place, and the dry land appeared.] And God called the land dry land, and called the seas together the waters. And God saw that it was good. And God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed [according to its kind and likeness,] a fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, in which its seed is on the earth." And it became so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb yielding seed according to its kind [and likeness], and a fruitful tree bearing its seed after its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning: the third day.
Meaning: The first Christmas paremia is an excerpt from the Genesis account of the creation of the world. And immediately the question may arise: what does this text have to do with it? Why do we remember the creation of the world before Christmas?
First, so the Church indicates who is born and which God we worship. Christians celebrate the birth of Him Who created the whole universe. God fulfills his promise to the ancient people, sending His Son into the world, in order to correct the deformed and distorted state of man by sin and death. God comes to us.
It is interesting that the prophet Isaiah also has a story about the creation of the world, and he begins this way: Comfort, comfort my people (Is 40: 1), says God. And the consolation is that the prophet talks about the creation of the world. What is consolation in? The fact is that for the pagan consciousness everything is simple: if you lost, then your god is weak, and if you won it means strong. And the captured Jews are amenable to this attitude. Being in the Babylonian captivity, they feel crushed, defeated and humiliated. It's as if God left them or was weaker than the heathen. But God through the prophet reminds them that He is the Creator of the world, who created heaven and earth. So, everything is in His hands. And this is an endless comfort for them.
In addition, the Nativity of Christ is a revival or even a "re-creation" of the world. As the Savior and later will say: "Now I create everything new" (And he who sits on the throne said: "Behold, I create all things new (Open 21: 5). Through Him, "a new reality of the world" is born, in which a person can become immortal and similar to God.
Numbers - the fourth book of the Pentateuch of Moiseev. The title of the book is explained by the fact that it contains various recommendations for the calculation of the Jewish people, the hotel tribes (clans), priests and so on. The book covers the events between the stay of the "God-chosen people" at Mount Sinai before the arrival "on the plains of Moab, near the Jordan, against Jericho." The authorship of the test is traditionally attributed to the prophet Moses.
Text: The Spirit of God is in Balaam, and we will take our parables, saying: If your house is well with Jacob's house, and your tabernacle to Israel! For the country is ascending, as a garden by rivers, and as a tabernacle, Yah Vahruzi Lord, and as cedar in the waters. A man comes from his seed, and he has many languages, and his kingdom will be exalted, and he will increase. God will guide him from Egypt, as the glory of his unicorn. The enemy will build his tongues, and I will shake them out: and shoot his enemy with his arrows. To lie down like a lion, and like a sycamore, who will set him up? Blessings of the blessing, and cursing thee, damn. The star will rise from Jacob, and a man will rise from Israel, and he will cut off the princes of Moab: and all the sons of Sith shall be captivated, and Edom shall be a possession, and the heritage of Esau will be his enemy, and Israel created a fortress.
Translation: There was a Spirit of God on Balaam. And he pronounced his parable, and said, How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob, your tabernacles, Israel! they are spread out like valleys, like gardens by the river, like the aloof trees planted by the Lord, like cedars in the waters; And the waters shall pour out of his buckets, and his seed shall be as great waters; his king shall surpass Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted. God brought him out of Egypt, the speed of the unicorn is with him, devouring the nations hostile to him, shattering their bones and shooting his arrows [the enemy]. He bowed down, lay like a lion and like a lioness, who would raise him? He who blesses you is blessed, and he that curseth you is cursed! I see Him, but not yet; I see Him, but not close. The star rises from Jacob and the rod is raised from Israel, and robs the princes of Moab and crushes all the sons of Seth. Edom will be under possession, Seir will be under the control of his enemies, and Israel will reveal her power.
Sense: This paremia must be approached from two positions. The first includes the historical context of this reading. There was a certain Balaam, whom one pagan king called to him so that he cursed the Israeli people, whom he feared very much. And now Balaam, looking at the camp of the Israelis, instead of bringing a curse on him, he blesses. He predicts victory for Israel in the war against this pagan king. And this prophecy comes true in a concrete historical situation. But behind these words lies another, deeper meaning.
It turns out the most important is not in the words of blessing: Beautiful your tents, Jacob, your dwellings, Israel! Israel is beautiful as the chosen people of God. But it is especially beautiful because it is from it that the Messiah - the Savior of the world will happen. Therefore Balaam then says: I see Him, but not yet. He knows that the Savior will come, but only in the future. Balaam prophesies: The star rises from Jacob and the scepter of Israel rises. And here it is not just about the star of Bethlehem, which the wise men saw. This star is the image of Christ himself. He is the guide who lights up our lives in the night.
The book of the prophet Micah - 33-I account for it in the Bible. Approximate time of writing - the era of the reign of Jotham (750-735 BC.). Prophet Micah is usually lost in the shadow of his great contemporary and, perhaps, even the teacher, the prophet Isaiah. Their prophecies are consonant with each other up to literal coincidences. But if Isaiah was a priest of the Jerusalem temple, then Micah, apparently, was a man of simple and ignorant. From that the sharpness of the conviction of the rich, who plundered the people at their own will, was especially acute.
Text: In a day or two, the Lord says: I will assemble the contrite, and I will take it back, and I will refuse it: and I will put the lost in the remains, and be put off into the tongue, and the Lord shall reign over them in the mount of Zionsti, from now and forever. And you, Bethlehem, the house of the Euphrates, have you eaten little food, every thousand times in the thousands of Judah? Out of thee shall an Elder come forth unto me, every being a prince in Israel: and proceed from the beginning, from the days of the world. For this cause will I give to the time-bearer, will bring forth, and the rest of his brothers will be converted to the son of Israel. And he will, and will see, and save the Lord with his fortress. And in the glory of the name of the Lord their God they will be, and now they will be exalted even to the end of the earth.
Translation: In that day, says the Lord, I will assemble the lame one, and will amalgamate the dispersed and those against whom I have caused calamity. And I will make the lame with a remnant, and scattered far off by a mighty people, and the Lord will reign over them on Mount Zion from henceforth and forever. And you, Bethlehem Ephratah, are you small among the thousands of Judah? Out of you will come to Me the One who is to be the Ruler in Israel and whose origin is from the beginning, from the eternal days. Therefore He will forsake them until the time, till the one giving to give birth gives birth; Then the rest of their brethren will return to the sons of Israel. And He will become, and will feed in the power of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God, and they will live in safety, for then He will be great to the ends of the earth.
Meaning: I will gather the lame and cumulate the overclocked, says the Lord, promising to heal the people of Israel, suffering from misfortunes and misfortunes. And this promise is fulfilled after the birth of Jesus Christ. And then the Lord will reign over them on Mount Zion from now on and for ever. In these prophetic words the future of a new Israel, that is, the New Testament Church, which will always be faithful to Him, opens, and the Lord will reign over it even when this world is over.
Moreover, in this reading we hear that the Messiah is to be born in Bethlehem. That's why when King Herod the Great called on the scribes and asked them where the Savior would come from, they answered him - from Bethlehem, referring to this prophecy: And you, Bethlehem Ephrafa ... from you will come He who is to be the Lord in Israel.
We again feel this accent, that God Himself is born, "Whose origin is from the beginning, from the days of eternal».
Are you small among the thousands of Judah? - The prophet points out that the Lord will not come in glory and strength, not as a winner, but in the form of a slave. And he will not even be born in a warm house, but somewhere on the outskirts of the city - in a stable. In theology, this is called kenosis, the belittling of God, who takes upon himself all the human infirmities and misfortunes. He conquers death by his depreciation - from God to man. So the Lord, saving people, does not violate in them the most important thing - freedom.
Finally, then the rest of their brethren will return to the sons of Israel - hence the Church knows that many of those Jews who still persist in not recognizing the Messiah Jesus Christ will at last repent and turn.
The book of the prophet Isaiah consists of separate speeches spoken by the prophet approximately between 733 and 701. BC. e. The main pathos of the first half of the book is the denunciation of the people of Israel that departed from God, and the second - the consolation of the Jews, who fell into the Babylonian captivity and the prophesies of the coming Incarnation.
Text: The Lord says this: The rod will go forth from the root of Jesse, and the color from its root will go forth. And the Spirit of God will rest on him: the spirit of wisdom and reason: the spirit of counsel and strength: the spirit of knowledge and piety: the spirit of fear of God will fulfill it. He does not judge according to glory, he will reprove him below: but he judges the right of the humble judgments, and convicts the justice of the glorious land. And he will smite the earth with the word of his mouth, and with the spirit of the wall he will kill the unholy. And he shall be righteousness in the way of his belly, and with the truth he will round his rib. Then the wolf will live with the lamb, and the lynx will rest with the goat: both the bullock, the lion, and the young man will eat up, and the boy will lead them a little, the lamb and the lion are grazed together, and their children will be combined: and the lion as a wave will take the plums. And the boy is young on the cave aspidus, and on the bed of the tribe of the Aspidian, he will lay his hand. And they will not create evil, they will not destroy the one below in the mountain of my holy ones: the whole earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And it shall come to pass in the day, the root of Jesse, and the mighty rulers of the tongues: the Gentiles trust in him, and his honor shall rest.
Translation: And there will be a branch from the root of Jesse, and a branch will grow from its root; and the Spirit of the Lord resteth on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and piety; and shall be filled with the fear of the Lord, and he will not judge by the sight of his eyes, nor by the hearing of his ears decide matters. He will judge the poor in truth, and the cause of the sufferers of the earth decide in truth; and with the rod of his mouth he will smite the earth, and with the spirit of his mouth he will kill the wicked. And His righteousness will be the girdle of His loins, and the girdle of His girdle is truth. Then the wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie with the kid; and the calf, and the young lion, and the ox shall be together, and the little child shall lead them. And the cow will feed with the bear, and their cubs will lie together, and the lion will eat straw like a wolf. And the baby will play over the burrow of the aspid, and the child will extend his hand to the snake's nest. They shall not do evil and harm in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And it shall come to pass in that day: to the root of Jesse, which shall become as a standard for the nations, the heathens shall turn, and his glory shall be.
Sense: He will judge the poor in truth, and the cause of the sufferers of the earth decide in truth. Here the prophet reveals to us what will happen after the Second Coming of the Savior - the Last Judgment, but the most important thing in this reading lies in another. The Lord appears as the One who will bring peace to this earth. This world will be like the paradise of general reconciliation and harmony. So, even a wolf, who is "supposed to" eat a lamb, will not touch him. It will be a world in which even completely natural and understandable instinctual cruelties between animals will be abolished. And a small child can, with no fear, play with a snake. An example, I must say, is very understandable for Palestine, where there are indeed many dangerous and poisonous snakes. The prophet seems to say: Christ will overcome enmity not only between people, but even between animals.
And his peace will be glory. Peace is the peace of God, which resteth among men. It is important to understand that this world will not come as in a fairy tale, simply because the Lord has come. No, God always respects human freedom. It will be an internal decision of everyone, to accept this God's peace or not. Therefore, the Church sings at the Christmas All-Night Vigil: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, in men grace". The world that Christ brought will be possible between people only if they themselves want it - according to their "good will."
The Book of the Prophet Baruch is a non-canonical book (the texts of the Holy Scriptures that did not reach our time in Hebrew) of the Old Testament and joins the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah. The main message of the message is to show the Jews that all the calamities that have overtaken them, including the destruction of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity, were due to apostasy. The prophet encourages his people to repent and wait for consolation from God.
Text: This is our God, He will not apply to Him. Invent every way of art, and give to Jacob his boy, and Israel beloved of Him. I have been to earth on earth and have been living with men. This is the book of the commandments of God, and this law is for ever, all of which are held in its belly, leaving it to die. Turn to Jacob, and if it is hers, go to the light of her light. Do not give another glory to yours, and useful to you alien language. Blessing to Israel, as God's reason is acceptable to us.
Translation: This is our God, and no one else can be compared with Him. He found all the ways of wisdom and bestowed it on his servant Jacob and his beloved Israel. After that He appeared on the earth and spoke among people. This is the book of the commandments of God and the law that endures forever. All who hold it will live, and those who leave it will die. Turn, Jacob, and take her, walk with the light of her light. Do not give your glory to another, and useful to you - to a stranger's people. We, Israel, are happy, that we know what is pleasing to God.
Sense: This is our God, and no one else can be compared with Him. When the Old Testament prophets magnify God, they do it not only to remind the mistaken Israelis, from Whom they retreated. Such praise to the Creator is a comfort in all tribulations that haunted the people of God. The Prophet reminds that their God has found all the ways of wisdom, and hence only true knowledge can be obtained from Him. And further in the text we hear and bestowed it (Wisdom - TS) to His servant Jacob and His beloved Israel. How did you give it? Through the Divine Revelation, that is the Bible.
Then there is a direct reference to the Nativity of Christ: After He appeared on earth and addressed people. And again the Church recalls: it was God who appeared, the Creator of the world incarnate, who will give the gospel commandments. At the same time, a rather rigid specification is made: All who hold it will live, and those who leave it will die. God will not force a person to follow these commandments, but he gives a warning that he expects someone who will neglect them. And here the listener can resent the seeming cruelty of God. Why is it that he who follows these commandments will live? And what, you can not otherwise? Why does God need such cruelty? But it's not about God, it's about ourselves. A person is so arranged that he must breathe oxygen in order to exist. Similarly, with the fulfillment of the commandments: only in the communion with God, in following His will, our life turns out to be full and happy.
The book of the prophet Daniel describes the events that occurred with the Israeli people in the Babylonian captivity (598 - 539 BC.). Traditionally, the author of the book is Daniel - a noble Jew, who was brought up at the royal court. He had a special gift from God to understand and interpret dreams, which became famous for the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, who brought him closer to himself.
Text: Speech to Daniel Nebuchadnezzar: thou sawest the king, and this image is one, the image thereof is great, and his countenance is round, standing before thy face: and his vision is terrible: the image, his head from gold is pure: rutse and persie and his muscles are shaved : belly and stegna medians: shins are iron: the nose is part of the ugo is iron, and some of it is scanty. You saw that the stone had been torn off from the mountain without hands, and hit the image, at the feet of iron, and scanty, and I sprout to the very end. Then I was descended into one, scudel, iron, copper, silver, gold and ashes from the threshing floor of the reaped, and I took a lot of rejuvenation, and the place will not be found for them: the stone is a striking image, I lead the mountain, and execute the whole earth. This is sonnie: and his voice is spoken before the king: God will set up a heavenly kingdom, which shall not be decayed for ever; and his kingdom shall not remain other than his own; and shall flee and exhaust all the kingdoms, and then shall rise up for ever. In the image you saw, as if a stone had been cut off from the mountain without hands, and sotry scudel, iron, copper, silver, gold. God the Great says to the king, it is proper for them to be true and true sonny, and true is his legend.
Translation: You, the king, had such a vision: behold, a great image; This image was huge, in extraordinary shine he stood before you, and his form was terrible. This head was of pure gold, his breast and his hands were of silver, his belly and his thighs were brass, his legs were iron, his legs were partly iron, and some of his feet were made of clay. You saw him until the stone broke away from the mountain without the assistance of hands, struck the image, its iron and clay feet, and smashed them. Then everything was shattered: iron, clay, copper, silver and gold became like dust on summer threshing floors, and the wind blew them away, and there was not a trace left of them; and the stone that smote the image, became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. Here is a dream! Let us say before the king and its significance. The God of heaven will raise up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and the kingdom will not be given to another people; it will crush and destroy all the kingdoms, and itself will stand forever, for you saw that the stone was torn from the mountain by the hands and crushed iron, copper, clay, silver and gold. The great God let the king know what would happen after this. And this dream is true, and exactly the interpretation of it!
Sense: This reading is related to one biblical story, when Nebuchadnezzar had a strange dream. None of the court interpreters of dreams (in ancient times, many superstitious pagan kings held at their court such gifted people) could not solve it. And then the king called for the prophet Daniel, who with the help of God was able to give a correct interpretation of the dream.
The image of a stone that will come off the mountain without the assistance of hands, - an indication of the supernatural birth of the Savior from the Virgin Mary. This stone crushed iron, copper, clay, silver and gold. The parts of the image that is described in the dream are made up of different metals - these are pagan kingdoms that will perish, because the God of heaven will erect a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and the kingdom it will not be betrayed to another people; it will crush and destroy all the kingdoms .... What is this kingdom? The New Testament Church, in which people will worship not the soulless idols, but Christ. The end of pagan kingdoms is the end of idolatry. Therefore, Christ's kingdom wins not by force and weapons, but spiritually, by the death and resurrection of the Savior.
TEXT: The child was born to us, the Son and the dasa, to us, His authority was on his frame: and his name is called in the name of the angel, great is his advice. Wonderful Counselor, God is strong, the Author, the Head of the world, the Father of the coming age: will lead the world to rulers, and his health. And the great rulers of him, and his peace be no more than a limit, upon the throne of David, and correct his kingdom, and come down with fate and righteousness, from now until the age: the zeal of the Lord Almighty will do this.
Translation: For the child was born to us-the Son is given to us; dominion upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. To the multiplication of his dominion and peace there is no limit on the throne of David and in his kingdom, that he may establish it and strengthen it with justice and righteousness from now on and up to the age. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Sense: If we open the Church Slavonic text, then after the words for the Infant was born to us - the Son is given to us and His name is called: greatгabout the counsel of the angel. The Great Council is the so-called Eternal Council between the Persons of the Blessed Trinity, which is depicted on the icon of St. Andrei Rublev. The side Angels on it create a cup with their inner contours, and before it Christ is an Angel in red and blue robes. This Angel Himself blesses the cup in front of him with the sacrificial animal. So Andrei Rublev symbolically reveals, as on the Eternal Council, the Word of God, the Son accepts the sacrifice that He will have to bring later on the Cross.
And then we hear His wonderful names: Wonderful, Counselor, God Strong, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. His Name: great council Аengel. "Angel" translates as "messenger" and the Lord, incarnating, brings us the message of salvation. And Wonderful because his beauty is different from ours. Strong - because this is the God that you can hope for, who will never leave.
The Prince of Peace - because Christ in the Gospel says: "Now the prince of this world is cast out", and this "prince of this world" is the head of the sinful society, or Satan, who will be expelled by the resurrection of the Lord. Then the true Prince of Peace will reign on earth. Father of eternity - because eternity itself exists only because there is God. He is her Father.
And what is this jealousy of the Lord of hosts? After all, in the second commandment, the Lord calls himself "a jealous God." Now we are accustomed to perceive jealousy in the domestic perspective - between the wife and husband. But biblical "jealousy" is a very strong religious feeling that "eats" a person or God at the sight of an inappropriate attitude towards the commandments, towards people, at the sight of injustice. We say "jealousy about the Fatherland" when we see how it suffers, in what disgraceful position it is. And our jealousy is a desire to do everything to make our Fatherland flourish. With the same feeling, God wants the salvation of man. He is not an outside observer, but a solicitous and therefore zealous Father.
Text: Put the Lord to say to Ahaz, saying: Ask for a sign to the Lord your God, to the depth or to the height. And say Ahaz: do not ask the Imam, lower the temptation of the Lord. And Isaiah: hear ye the house of David, ye eat little food to labor, and what work ye give unto the LORD? This is for the Lord's sake to give you a sign: All the virgins in the womb will receive, and will give birth to the Son, and they will call his name Immanuel. Oil and honey must be torn down, before he can be taken away to Him, or if the evil one is in favor, choose the good: first, before knowing to declare the good or the evil, it will reject the evil one, and choose the good. And the Lord is speaking to me: take yourself a new roll of new, and write in it a human writer, if soon captivity is created by gain: steadfast. And the witnesses to me have been faithful to men, Uriah to the priest, and to Zechariah the son of Varaha. And they proceeded to the prophetess, and in the belly of the child, and gave birth to a son. And the Lord says to me: Narcis name to him, Soon captivity, and vainly disprove. Zane before nezhe to understand how to call father or mother, will take power of Damascus, and self-interest Samaritsky, directly to the king of Assyria. God is with us, understand the languages and proclaim: you will hear even to the last earth, which can prophesy: if you can pack, and you will be defeated. And if ye are counsel counsel, the Lord will destroy. And the word, if any, will not fly in you: for God is with us.
Translation: And the Lord went on speaking to Ahaz, and said, "Ask for a sign to the Lord your God: ask in the depth, or at the height. And Ahaz said: I will not ask, and will not tempt the Lord. Then said Isaiah, Hear now, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to obstruct people, that you want to obstruct and my God? So the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and they shall call his name Immanuel. He will feed on milk and honey, until he understands the evil and chooses the good; for before this child understands to reject the evil and to choose the good, the land that you are afraid of will be abandoned by both her kings. And the Lord said to me: Take a large scroll and write on it with a human letter: Mager-Shelal-Hash-bases (Hastens robbery, accelerates prey). And I took unto myself the faithful witnesses: Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Barachiah; and I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. And the Lord said to me: Call his name: Mahar-Shelal-Hash-bases, for before the child will know how to pronounce: my father, my mother, the riches of Damascus and the prey of Samaria will be brought before the king of Assyria. And he shall go over Judah, he shall overflow her, and rise high; he shall reach to the neck; and the spreading of her wings will be in the full breadth of your land, Emmanuel! Enmity, nations, but tremble, and give ear, all the distant lands! Armament, but tremble; Armed, but tremble! Think of plans, but they crumble; say the word, but it will not take place: for God is with us!
Sense: With us, God is the main pathos of the last Christmas paremia. "With us," because God never departs from his Church. "With us" because He was born, becoming a man. And we hear a surprisingly accurate prophecy associated with the Feast of Christmas: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and his name shall be called Immanuel. Emmanuel translates as "God with us." In this reading, we again meet the layering of two prophecies. It is important to understand here that almost any Old Testament prophecy is a text of a special structure. It often lacks the usual linearity and consistency for us. In one context, a completely different can suddenly turn on. This is what happens in this paremia. On the one hand, this prophecy is connected historically with the time of the life of the prophet Isaiah (VII century BC), when the head of Israel was King Ahaz. He, being frightened of the huge army of the Assyrian king who was approaching him, decided to bribe him, instead of trusting God in everything. And then the prophet, reproaching Ahaz in disbelief, predicts his future. But inside this prophecy we see a different meaning, directly referring us to the event of the Savior's Birth. Very different symbols and images begin to appear. The advancing enemy is the main enemy of all people, death. And God comes into this world in order to defeat this enemy.
This concluding reading ends with the words: Think intentions, but they crumble, say the word, but it will not take place, for God is with us. What kind of people are we talking about? About those who chose the truth of this fallen world, and hence fight against Christianity, because it seems to them unnecessary, unprofitable, even hostile. But they can not do anything with the Church, because God is with us. And this is repeated many times in the Scriptures. I will create My Church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it, says Christ. "If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom. 8: 31), "the apostle Paul echoed him.
God will conquer and win, because He is the King of the universe, and there are those who agreed to this and responded to His call. And the holiday of the Nativity of Christ is the joy of these people, the rejoicing of the new "people of God" - the Church, which now can not remain silent and despite all says: "God is with us."