Saturday, September 04, 2010

September 4th: The Prophet Moses

From the entry for September 4th in the Roman Martyrology:

On Mount Nebo in the land of Moab, St. Moses, lawgiver and prophet.

Here are a selection of iconographic depictions of Moses, first from St. Catherine's monastery on Mount Sinai:

The above, of course, depicts Moses and the Burning Bush, which we can read about in the Book of Exodus: "Now Moses fed the sheep of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Median: and he drove the flock to the inner most parts of the desert, and came to the mountains of God, Horeb. And the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he saw that the bush was on fire and was not burnt. And Moses said: I will go and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he went forward to see, he called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said: Moses, Moses. And he answered: Here I am. And he said: Come not nigh hither, put off the shoes from thy feet: for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." (Exodus 3:1-5)

This same scene as depicted in San Vitale in Ravenna:

And again as seen from a later Western depiction:

Here are two other images of Moses found in the monastery at Sinai:

From a Russian monastery:

* * *

"Christians therefore read the Old Testament in the light of Christ crucified and risen. Such typological reading discloses the inexhaustible content of the Old Testament; but it must not make us forget that the Old Testament retains its own intrinsic value as Revelation reaffirmed by our Lord himself. Besides, the New Testament has to be read in the light of the Old. Early Christian catechesis made constant use of the Old Testament. As an old saying put it, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New."

-- Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 129

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