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Blessed Is the One Whom the Prophets Portrayed

A hymn composed by the great fourth century voice of Syriac Christianity, St. Ephrem.

translated by Kathleen E. McVey

HE CAME TO US IN HIS LOVE, THE BLESSED TREE, WOOD DISSOLVED WOOD. FRUIT WAS ANNIHILATED BY FRUIT, THE MURDERER [ANNIHILATED] BY THE LIVING ONE.

IN EDEN AND IN THE INHABITED EARTH ARE PARABLES OF OUR LORD. WHO IS ABLE TO GATHER THE LIKENESSES OF THE SYMBOLS OF HIM, ALL OF WHOM IS PORTRAYED IN ALL

IN SCRIPTURE HE IS WRITTEN; IN NATURE HE IS ENGRAVED. HIS DIADEM IS PORTRAYED BY KINGS, AND BY PROPHETS HIS TRUTH, HIS ATONEMENT BY PRIESTS

HE IS IN THE ROD OF MOSES AND IN THE HYSSOP OF AARON AND IN THE DIADEM OF DAVID.

THE PROPHETS HAVE HIS LIKENESS, BUT THE APOSTLES HAVE HIS GOSPEL.

IN THE BEGINNING AGAIN UPON THE WOOD ALIGHTED THE WEARY DOVE.

ON YOU, THE TREE OF LIFE, CAME, TOOK REFUGE, AND ALIGHTED THE WEARY TESTAMENT REVELATIONS GAZED AT YOU;

SMILES AWAITED YOU; SYMBOLS EXPECTED YOU;

LIKENESSES LONGED FOR YOU;

PARABLES TOOK REFUGE IN YOU [GOD] REVEALED YOUR SYMBOL IN THE ROD THAT [BOTH] RESCUED AND DROWNED.

ITS INTERPRETATION IS IN YOUR CROSS. OPPRESSORS DROWNED BY IT, BUT THE OPPRESSED ROSE UP BY IT

HIS POWER PERFECTED THE TYPES, AND HIS TRUTH THE SYMBOLS,

HIS INTERPRETATION THE SMILES, HIS EXPLANATION THE SAYINGS, AND HIS ASSURANCES THE DIFFICULTIES BY HIS SACRIFICE HE ABOLISHED SACRIFICES, AND LIBATIONS BY HIS INCENSE, AND THE [PASSOVER] LAMBS BY HIS SLAUGHTER, THE UNLEAVENED [BREAD] BY HIS BREAD, AND THE BITTER [HERBS] BY HIS PASSION

BY HIS HEALTHY MEAL HE WEANED [AND] TOOK AWAY THE MILK.  BY HIS BAPTISM WERE ABOLISHED THE BATHING AND SPRINKLING THAT THE ELDERS OF THE PEOPLE TAUGHT BY HIS FOOD REFUSED WERE FOOD TITHES, FOR FOOD IS NO UNCLEAN; THOUGHT IS DEFILED, AND ENVY. .

IN THE GENUINENESS OF HIS TRUTH AND THE POWER OF HIS LIGHT HE SHOWED HIS BEAUTY [TO] HIS OWN. HIS ADORNMENTS CAME [AND] WERE BEAUTIFUL ON HIM; HIS SUFFERINGS CAME [AND] WERE COMPLETED IN HIM

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Tags: Syriac Christians