Oecumenius: the woman clothed with the sun

After several days of detailed exegetical work on the greek text of this passage from Oecumenius I searched for an english translation. Oecumenius presents a number of counter intuitive expressions which made it difficult to understand. For example a resurrection of the Antichrist. The participants include the Woman clothed with the sun, the Child of the Woman, the Antichrist, and Satan. Sorting out participant reference is somewhat difficult because Oecumenius presents participants in roles and activities which are counterintuitive. This combined with ambiguous anaphoric reference makes life interesting reading without a translation. This morning I was satisfied that I had put in enough work on the text last week that it was time to check my results with a translation. I entered a DuckDuckgo search using: Oecumenius woman clothed with the sun satan antichrist.

https://www.academia.edu/4075656/Marian_Interpretation_of_the_Woman_Clothed_With_the_Sun_According_to_the_Fathers_of_the_Church

The first thing I noticed was the difficulty regarding a resurrection of the Antichrist.

“The incarnation of the Lord, by which the world was subjected and made his own, became the occasion for the raising [of the Antichrist] and the endeavors of Satan. For this is why the Antichrist will be raised up: so that he may again cause the world to revolt against Christ, and persuade it to turn around and desert to Satan. Since again the Lord's physical conception and birth marked the beginning of his incarnation, the vision has brought into some order and sequence the events which it is going to explain, by starting its explanation from the physical conception of Christ, and by depicting for us the Mother of God. For why does he say, And a portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet? He is speaking of the mother of our Savior, as I have said. Naturally the vision describes her as being in heaven and not on earth, as pure in soul and body, as equal to an angel, as a citizen of heaven, as one who came to effect the incarnation of God who dwells in heaven ("for," he says, "heaven is my throne" [Isa 66:1]), and as one who has nothing in common with the world and the evils in it, but wholly sublime, wholly worthy of heaven, even through she sprang from our mortal nature and being. For the Virgin is of the same substance as we are. The unholy doctrine of Eutyches, that the Virgin is of a miraculously different substance from us, together with his other docetic doctrines, must be banished from the divine courts. Oecumenius, Commentary on the Apocalypse, trans. John H. Suggit (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2006), pp. 107ff.
 
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This project was begun when I asked a friend who is a young scholar what he thought the woman clothed with the sun represented. He and I agreed. We aren't Roman Catholic. I suggested that exegesis of the Apocalypse should proceed as if the Catholic Church dogma on Mary didn't exist or we had never been aware it existed. In other words, it's a trap to get embroiled in a reading the Apocalypse or anything else while mentally engaged with Mariology or Mariolatry. Biblical exegesis which falls under the shadow of historical dogmatic disputes is in our opinion not the kind of exegesis worth engaging in or reading.

In brief, we don't care what some other religion says about Mary. We know that dogma didn't exist when John was writing the Apocalypse. So it has no bearing on the questions concerning: the woman clothed with the sun
******I got interrupted why working on this. Once again winds with gusts up to 50mph. Lost power. Took a walk in the park. ****
While I was out I considered the ancient reading of the woman clothed with the sun as the Christian Church. Never bothered to explore that line of thinking. Why look for obscure explanations when an obvious one is at hand. That interpretation is early. Not sure how early.
 

BJ Bear

Well-known member
This project was begun when I asked a friend who is a young scholar what he thought the woman clothed with the sun represented. He and I agreed. We aren't Roman Catholic. I suggested that exegesis of the Apocalypse should proceed as if the Catholic Church dogma on Mary didn't exist or we had never been aware it existed. In other words, it's a trap to get embroiled in a reading the Apocalypse or anything else while mentally engaged with Mariology or Mariolatry. Biblical exegesis which falls under the shadow of historical dogmatic disputes is in our opinion not the kind of exegesis worth engaging in or reading.

In brief, we don't care what some other religion says about Mary. We know that dogma didn't exist when John was writing the Apocalypse. So it has no bearing on the questions concerning: the woman clothed with the sun
******I got interrupted why working on this. Once again winds with gusts up to 50mph. Lost power. Took a walk in the park. ****
While I was out I considered the ancient reading of the woman clothed with the sun as the Christian Church. Never bothered to explore that line of thinking. Why look for obscure explanations when an obvious one is at hand. That interpretation is early. Not sure how early.
You picked an interesting topic. One I want to take a closer look at. We don't have a dogmatic stance on the matter, we note both.
 

Buzzard

Well-known member
Provers 1:1
The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

2 To know wisdom and instruction;
to perceive the words of understanding;

3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;

4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning;
and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation;
the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

Matt.13:40
"......
so shall it be in the end of this world.

41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels,
and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things
that offend,
and them which do iniquity;

42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire:
there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth
.

43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
Who hath ears to hear, let him hear
.


after all these
that offend,
and them which do iniquity;

are cast out back into the Sea where they were caught in the Net


Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net,
that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind
:

48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore,
and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels,
but cast the bad away.​

-------- Now the church is Cleansed ---------

Rev.12:1
And there appeared a great wonder in heaven;
a woman clothed with the sun,
and the moon under her feet,

and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
 
You picked an interesting topic. One I want to take a closer look at. We don't have a dogmatic stance on the matter, we note both.
Nor do I have a dogmatic stance on it and have no memory of it being discussed in school or church. My former pastor and professors in Seminary were not keen on discussing eschatology. I don't recall who delivered the lectures on the Apocalypse. There were without doubt theology questions raised about Mary but the professors didn't invest a lot of time in anti-Catholic polemics.

I struggle at times with Oecumenius, the following are some notes with translation on a passage which took a little more work to unpack.

***********************************
I made another pass at one portion of Oecumenius' comments on the The Woman Clothed with the Sun. I wanted to fix the syntax and semantics more firmly in my mind. Have included a translation[1] and my rough notes. It takes multiple passes to master a text from an unfamiliar author.

Since again the Lord's physical conception and birth marked the beginning of his incarnation, the vision has brought into some order and sequence the events which it is going to explain, by starting its explanation from the physical conception of Christ, and by depicting for us the Mother of God.
Oecumenius, Commentary on the Apocalypse, trans. John H. Suggit (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2006)

καὶ ἐπειδὴ
πάλιν ἀρχὴ τῆς τοῦ Κυρίου ἐνανθρωπήσεως ἡ κατὰ σάρκα
135.25
σύλληψις αὐτοῦ καὶ γέννησις ὑπῆρξεν, εἰς τάξιν τινὰ καὶ
εἱρμὸν ἄγουσα ἡ θεωρία τὰ περὶ ὧν μέλλει διηγεῖσθαι, ἀπὸ
τῆς τοῦ Χριστοῦ κατὰ σάρκα συλλήψεως τὴν ἀρχὴν τοῦ
διηγήματος πεποίηται, καὶ τὴν θεοτόκον ἡμῖν ζωγραφεῖ.

NOTES

Syntax:


The main verbs ὑπῆρξεν and ζωγραφεῖ follow everything else in the clause.

Lexical Semantics:

ὑπῆρξεν Verb aor ind act 3rd sg
Bauer 1 to really be there, exist, be present, be at one's disposal 2 to be in a state or circumstance, be
Lampe 1. exist in the beginning, 2. exist independently, 3. have reality, have a basis in fact, 4. live in sin, 5. come from, belong to, c. genit., be connected with, belong to, 6. c. genit., belong to, be the function of, 7. be ὕπαρχος or subordinate colleague, 8. be chief

εἱρμὸν Noun masc acc sg
Lampe A. series, chain, sequence, B. original strophe on pattern of which other strophes of same ode were fashioned

ἄγουσα lemma ἄγω Participle fem nom/voc pres part act pl
Bauer 1 to direct the movement of an object from one position to another 2 to take into custody, lead away, arrest, 3 to lead/guide morally or spiritually, lead, encourage (in the direction of) 4 to make use of time for a specific purpose, spend, observe 5 to move away from a position, go
Lampe lead, move, affect

θεωρία Noun fem nom sg
Bauer that which one looks at, spectacle, sight
Lampe A., 1., a. seeing, beholding, b. sense of sight, c. seer, spectator, 2. sight, spectacle, B., 1. consideration, investigation, study, 2. intellectual apprehension, 3. theory, speculation, science; also philosophical (Platonic) contemplation, C. spiritual contemplation, D., 1. of visions of prophets and apostles, 2. as technical term for spiritual sense of scripture

διηγεῖσθαι Verb pres inf mid-pass
Bauer to give a detailed account of someth. in words, tell, relate, describe
Lampe explain, explain or interpret as

γέννησις Noun fem nom sg
Bauer birth
Lampe generation, engendering, birth

διηγήματος Noun neut gen sg
διήγημα, ‑ματος, τό
Bauer narrative, account
Lampe setting forth, statement

σύλληψις Noun fem nom sg
Bauer conception
Lampe 1. taking together; inclusion, comprehension; hence what is so comprehended, mass, generality, 2. a rhetorical figure, 3. seizing, laying hold of, arrest; met., mental apprehension, 4. taking, assumption of flesh Christol., 5. conception, pregnancy, 6. mental conception

ζωγραφεῖ Verb pres ind act 3rd sg
Lampe paint, depict, represent

ὑπῆρξεν Verb aor ind act 3rd sg
Bauer 1 to really be there, exist, be present, be at one's disposal 2 to be in a state or circumstance, be
Lampe 1. exist in the beginning, 2. exist independently, 3. have reality, have a basis in fact, 4. live in sin, 5. come from, belong to, c. genit., be connected with, belong to, 6. c. genit., belong to, be the function of, 7. be ὕπαρχος or subordinate colleague, 8. be chief

εἱρμὸν Noun masc acc sg
Lampe A. series, chain, sequence, B. original strophe on pattern of which other strophes of same ode were fashioned

ἄγουσα lemma ἄγω Participle fem nom/voc pres part act pl
Bauer 1 to direct the movement of an object from one position to another 2 to take into custody, lead away, arrest, 3 to lead/guide morally or spiritually, lead, encourage (in the direction of) 4 to make use of time for a specific purpose, spend, observe 5 to move away from a position, go
Lampe lead, move, affect

θεωρία Noun fem nom sg
Bauer that which one looks at, spectacle, sight
Lampe A., 1., a. seeing, beholding, b. sense of sight, c. seer, spectator, 2. sight, spectacle, B., 1. consideration, investigation, study, 2. intellectual apprehension, 3. theory, speculation, science; also philosophical (Platonic) contemplation, C. spiritual contemplation, D., 1. of visions of prophets and apostles, 2. as technical term for spiritual sense of scripture

διηγεῖσθαι Verb pres inf mid-pass
Bauer to give a detailed account of someth. in words, tell, relate, describe
Lampe explain, explain or interpret as

γέννησις Noun fem nom sg
Bauer birth
Lampe generation, engendering, birth

διηγήματος Noun neut gen sg
διήγημα, ‑ματος, τό
Bauer narrative, account
Lampe setting forth, statement

σύλληψις Noun fem nom sg
Bauer conception
Lampe 1. taking together; inclusion, comprehension; hence what is so comprehended, mass, generality, 2. a rhetorical figure, 3. seizing, laying hold of, arrest; met., mental apprehension, 4. taking, assumption of flesh 5. conception, pregnancy, 6. mental conception

ζωγραφεῖ Verb pres ind act 3rd sg
Lampe paint, depict, represent
 
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Thanks for posting your work.
Encountering significant difficulty in shorting out Oecumenius' views on Mary. He takes exception to what he considers as Eutyches view of Mary as being of a different substance from the rest of humanity. On the other hand he says she is depicted as if in heaven ... as equal to an angel, a citizen of heaven ... undefiled by world and evils thereof ... worthy of heaven ... sprang from our mortal nature and being. For the Virgin is of the same substance as we are. His objection to Eutyches doctrine "the Virgin is of a miraculously different substance from us" a docetic doctrine.

My question. Is he claiming that John in Rev 12 is depicting the Mother of Jesus Christ in her glorified state in the eternal realm? Without sin because she has been transformed by Christ's work of the cross? That would solve several theological difficulties and raise other problems. Why is she depicted as being about to give birth? Why is she suffering in the glorified state? If she shares the same substance as humankind how does she escape the problem of sin nature? I am not trying to solve that problem which is a crux, just trying to understand what exactly is Oecumenius affirming and what is he objecting to in Eutyches.

For why does he say, And a portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet? He is speaking of the mother of our Savior, as I have said. Naturally the vision describes her as being in heaven and not on earth, as pure in soul and body, as equal to an angel, as a citizen of heaven, as one who came to effect the incarnation of God who dwells in heaven ("for," he says, "heaven is my throne" [Isa 66:1]), and as one who has nothing in common with the world and the evils in it, but wholly sublime, wholly worthy of heaven, even through she sprang from our mortal nature and being. For the Virgin is of the same substance as we are. The unholy doctrine of Eutyches, that the Virgin is of a miraculously different substance from us, together with his other docetic doctrines, must be banished from the divine courts.

What is the meaning of the saying that she is clothed with the sun, and has the moon under her feet? ... n order to show in the vision that even when the Lord was conceived, he was the protector of his own mother and of all creation, the vision said that he clothed the woman. In the same way the divine angel said to the holy Virgin, "The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you" (Luke 1:35). Overshadowing, protecting, and clothing all have the same meaning. Oecumenius, Commentary on the Apocalypse, trans. John H. Suggit (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2006)


The following is the current stage of my exegetical notes on a portion of the text translated above:
τί
136.1
γάρ φησι καὶ σημεῖον ὤφθη ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, γυνὴ περιβεβλημένη
τὸν ἥλιον· καὶ ἡ σελήνη ὑποκάτω τῶν ποδῶν αὐτῆς; περὶ μὲν
τῆς μητρὸς τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν φησιν, ὡς εἴρηται. εἰκότως
δὲ αὐτὴν ἡ ὀπτασία ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ καὶ οὐκ ἐν τῇ γῇ γράφει,
136.5
ὡς καθαρὰν ψυχὴν καὶ σώματι, ὡς ἰσάγγελον, ὡς οὐρανο-
πολῖτιν, ὡς τὸν ἐν οὐρανῷ ἐπαναπαυόμενον θεόν – ὁ οὐρανὸς
γάρ μοί φησι θρόνος – χωρήσασαν καὶ σαρκώσασαν, καὶ
ὡς μηδὲν κοινὸν πρὸς τὴν γῆν ἔχουσαν καὶ τὰ ἐν αὐτῇ
κακά, ἀλλ' ὅλην ὑψηλήν, ὅλην οὐρανοῦ ἀξίαν εἰ καὶ τῆς
136.10
ἡμετέρας καὶ ἀνθρωπίνης ὑπῆρχε φύσεώς τε καὶ οὐσίας.

φησιν, ὡς εἴρηται (active ... middle passive)

εἰκότως Adverb
LEH with good reason

ἰσάγγελον
BDAG
like an angel of the glorified ones
Lampe
equal to the angel


εἴρηται
Verb perf ind mid-pass 3rd sg
Verb pres subj mid-pass 3rd sg
BDAG (Also see: εἶπον, εἶπον)
1 to express oneself orally or in written form, utter in words, say, tell, give expression to
Lampe s.v. εἴρω (Also see: ῥέσκομαι)
1. fasten, string together, 2. run over a topic quickly

ἐπαναπαυόμενον
Participle masc acc pres part mid-pass sg
Participle neut nom/acc/voc pres part mid-pass sg
Bauer s.v. ἐπαναπαύομαι 1 to be in a state or condition of repose, rest, take one's rest 2 to find well-being or inner security, find rest, comfort, support
Lampe 1. set, make to rest, upon, 2., a. rest upon, b. ride upon, c. abide upon, d. rely upon, e. rest, f. rest under, 3. come to rest upon, cast oneself upon

χωρήσασαν
Participle fem acc aor part act sg
BDAG 1 to make movement from one place or position to another, go, go out/away, reach 2 to make an advance in movement, be in motion, go forward, make progress 3 to have room for, hold, contain
Lampe A. intrans., implying motion; 1. go forth, depart, 2. advance, proceed, 3. continue, 4. issue, end, 5. return, 6. spread, B. intrans., implying extension; 1. be extended, i.e. occupy space, subsist, 2. have room enough, hence be wholly contained, C. trans., contain; 1. hold, contain a given measure, 2. enclose or contain in a physical or quasi–physical sense, receive, admit, 3. admit of, allow, impers. so far as circumstances admit, 4. of spiritual and intellectual capacity, take in, comprehend, 5. have the capacity, be able, 6. of God pervade, permeate be able, 6

σαρκώσασαν
Lampe
verb or adjective
make flesh, taking flesh, incarnation


ὁμοούσιος γὰρ ἡμῖν ἡ παρθένος· τὸ γὰρ Εὐτυχοῦς ἀνόσιον
δόγμα τὸ καὶ τὴν παρθένον ἑτερούσιον ἡμῖν τερατευόμενον
σὺν τοῖς ἄλλοις αὐτοῦ δόγμασι τῆς δοκήσεως ἔξω που τῶν
θείων αὐλῶν ἐξοριζέσθω. τί βούλεται τὸ λέγειν αὐτὴν
136.15
περιβεβλῆσθαι τὸν ἥλιον, καὶ τὴν σελήνην ἔχειν ὑποκάτω τῶν
ποδῶν αὐτῆς; ὁ θεσπέσιος προφήτης Ἀμβακοὺμ περὶ τοῦ
Κυρίου προφητεύων φησὶν ἐπήρθη ὁ ἥλιος καὶ ἡ σελήνη ἔστη
ἐν τῇ τάξει αὐτῆς εἰς φῶς, ἥλιον λέγων τῆς δικαιοσύνης τὸν
σωτῆρα ἡμῶν Χριστόν, ἢ γοῦν τὸ εὐαγγελικὸν κήρυγμα.

ἀνόσιον Adj. masc/fem acc sg, neut acc/voc/nom sg
Bauer being in opposition to God or what is sacred, unholy
Lampe profane, unholy; monstrous, marvellous

ὁμοούσιος
Lampe of the same substance or stuff

Εὐτυχοῦς proper noun masc gen sg

ἑτερούσιον
Lampe of a different substance or essence

τερατευόμενον Participle masc acc pres part mid-pass sg, neut nom/acc/voc pres part mid-pass sg
Lamp 1. devise fabulous stories, 2. tell fabulous tales about, 3. maintain fantastic theory that, 4. announce in a marvellous way, 5. perform as a bogus miracle

δόγμασι Noun neut dat pl
Bauer
1 a formal statement concerning rules or regulations that are to be observed 2 something that is taught as an established tenet or statement of belief, doctrine, dogma
Lampe
A. opinion, B. fixed belief, tenet, C. system of belief, religion, creed, D. precept, ordinance
 
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Base12

Member
Hi @Stirling Bartholomew .

I wish to share my beliefs with you because I love this topic.

I believe that the Sun and Moon represent Father and Mother. The Stars represent offspring...

Genesis 37:9
"And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me."


Thus the Crown of Twelve Stars represent the future, yet to be born, Twelve Tribes...

Revelation 12:1
"And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:"


I say 'future', because I believe Revelation 12:1 is speaking of the time of Sarah and Abraham, before giving birth to Isaac.

The Man-child represents Isaac, who's bloodline would lead to Jesus...

Matthew 1:1
"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."


Thus, Jesus is the Son of Abraham. See how that works? The Man-child is Isaac, yet it is Jesus.

The 'Sun' that clothes the Woman on the Moon is Abraham, a picture of the Heavenly Father. The Sun also represents Abraham's Seed.

Now, here is something you may have not considered, yet it is what I believe...

The Moon represents the Ovum of Sarah. In other words, Revelation 12:1 is a picture of the Moment of Conception in the Womb of Sarah.

The Dragon is the 'Phallus' that is trying to fertilize Sarah's Ovum with a 'flood'...

Revelation 12:15
"And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood."


Of course the 'Seed of the Serpent' is too late. The Dragon is now wroth.

If the Moon/Ovum theory is too much, you may want to consider that the Flood was the parting of the Red Sea incident.

Eventually, the Israelites flee to the Wilderness with Moses...

Revelation 12:14
"And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent."


The Earth opened Her mouth to swallow the 'flood' so that the Israelites could escape Pharaoh.
 
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