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Holy Prophet Moses Holy Prophet Moses

The Holy Prophets Moses, The Seer Of God and Aaron.
Angels: Our Elder Brethren
Commemorated on September 4th

Compiled by Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Boise, Idaho, USA
February 1999

Dismissal Hymn of the Prophets. Second Tone

As we celebrate the memory of Thy
Prophets Moses and Aaron,

O Lord, through them we beseech Thee
to save our souls.

Kontakion of the Prophets. Fourth Tone

With the divine and righteous Moses and Aaron,
* the Prophets' choir today

rejoice th with gladness,
* seeing their prophecy fulfilled
now in our midst;
* for Thy Cross, O Christ our God,
* whereby Thou has redeemed us,
* shine th in the sight
of all * at the end and
fulfillment * of that which
they foretold in ancient times.
By their entreaties, have mercy upon us all.

Introduction by Father Demetrios Serfes:

The Eastern Orthodox Church commemorates both the Holy Prophets Moses, Seer of God, and Aaron on September 4th.  The Holy Prophet Moses has certainly become the discussion of the day due to the recent Hollywood film called "The Prince". In order to wisely guide ourselves spiritually and our children in regards to the teachings of the Holy Orthodox Faith about Prophets Moses and Aaron, we must fully understand that we are speaking about Holy Prophets.

We know from Holy Scripture of the Old Testament that we have sixteen Prophets, including those among what is generally known as the Four Major (longer) Prophets-Esaias, Jermias, Ezekiel, and Daniel and Twelve Minor (shorter) Prophets-Hosea (Osee), Joel, Amos, Obdios (Obadiah), Jonas (Jonah), Michaeas (Michah), Naum (Nahum), Abbakoum (Habakkuk), and Malachias (Malachi).  The latter are called the "shorter" or "smaller" on account of the smaller bulk of such of their prophecies as have come down to us in written form, when contrasted with the writings of Prophet Esaias, Jermias or Ezekiel.  It should also be kept in mind that the word "Prophet" was also used
Holy Prophet Aaron
Holy Prophet Aaron
for other illustrious Old Testament figures, including Aaron and Moses, Elias and Eliseos, David and Solomon, Miriam and Huldah.

The Holy Prophets were the object of homilies, since they provided irrefutable proof to demonstrate the divine oeconomy with Christ as central of whom the Prophets' spoke.  Most of the early Holy Fathers in the early Church follow a Christocentric and ecclesiological interpretation.  Some of these Holy Fathers preferred allegorical or mystical interpretations, while the writings of some are marked by a strong moralizing message.

Here is a general list of these Holy Fathers who wrote about the Holy Prophets in the Old Testament: St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. Gregory the Dialogist (c.540-604), St. Basil the Great (c.330-379), St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407), St. Athanasios (296-373), St. Justin the Martyr (+ 165), St. Irenaeos (c.130-c. 236), St. Gregory of Nyssa (335-c. 395), St. Hilary of Poitiers (+358), and St. John of Damascus (c.675-c.749).

St. Gregory the Dialogist distinguishes for us the various modes of prophecy used in expressing distinctions of time: "Prophecy has three tenses: the past of course, the present, and the future... We shall speak more truly of the three tenses of prophecy if we quote the evidence of Holy Writ. Prophecy concerning the future:

'Behold, the Virgin shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a son (Is. 7:14).'
Prophecy concerning the past:
'In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth (Gen. 1:1).'

For a man speaks of a time when man was not. A prophecy about the present is when Paul the Apostle says:

'But if all keep on prophesying, and some unbeliever or one unlearned should come in, he is reproved by all, he is examined by all.  And thus are the secrets of his heart become manifest; and so falling upon his face, he will make obedience to God, reporting that God is verily among you (I Cor. 14:24, 25).'
Indeed, when it is said, 'the secrets of the his heart are made manifest,' it is truly shown that through the mode of prophecy the Spirit does not predict what the future will be, but reveals what is.  How then may it be called the spirit of prophecy which lays bare no future event but reports the present? In this case, attention must be paid to what is rightly described as prophecy, not because it predicts further events, but because it uncovers hidden truths."  Now we can say that it's the Holy Spirit that guided the Prophets, as well as spoke as they saw and heard, this includes both the Holy Prophets Moses and Aaron.

Holy Scriptures (both the Old and New Testament) have taught us that in many modes God may be seen and known. St. Irenaeos tells us that "it was not by means of visions alone which were seen, and words which were proclaimed, but also in actual works, that He (the Word of God) was beheld by the Prophets, in order that through them He might prefigure and show forth future events beforehand."

In reading the Old Testament in regards to both Holy Prophets Moses and Aaron it's highly suggested that you use the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Septuagint can be obtained from: Holy Cross Bookstore, 50 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, Ma. 02141).

Let us then as Orthodox Christians realize the importance of spiritually understanding both the Holy Prophets Moses, and Aaron, as well as all the Holy Prophets, can help us as a great source of inspiration and help towards a better understanding. Beyond honors are they who are honored by prophecy, for through them  speaketh the Holy Spirit, the all-good God.

In The Love Of Christ Our Lord,
Rev. Presbyter Demetrios Serfes
Who Prays For You!


(Commemorated in the Eastern Orthodox Church on September 4th)

"The Prophet Moses - whose name means "one who draw forth," or "is drawn from," that is, from the water - was the pinnacle of the lovers of wisdom, the supremely wise lawgiver, the most ancient historian of all.  He was of the tribe of Levi, the son of Amram and Jochabed (Num. 26:59).  He was born in Egypt in the seventeenth century before Christ.  While yet a babe of three months, he was placed in a basked made of papyrus and covered with pitch, and cast into the streams of the Nile for fear of the Pharaoh's decree to the mid-wives of the Hebrews, that all the male children of the Hebrews be put to death.

He was taken up from the river by Pharaoh's daughter, became her adopted son, and was reared and dwelt in the King's palace for forty years.  Afterward, when he was some sixty years old, he fled to Madian, where, on Mount Horeb, he saw the vision of the burning bush.  Thus he was ordained by God to lead Israel and bring it out to the land of Egypt.  He led Israel through the Red Sea as it were dry land and governed the people for forty years.

He wrote many signs and wonders, and wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, which are called Pentateuch.  When he reached the land of Moab, he ascended Mount Nabau, on the peak called Phasga, and there, by divine command, he reposed in the sixteenth century before Christ, having lived for some 120 years.  The first two Odes of the Old Testament, "Let us sing to the Lord" and "Attend, O heaven, and I will speak," were written by him.

Of these hymns, the first was chanted by the shore of the Red Sea as soon as the Israelites had crossed it; the second, in the land if Moab, a few days before his repose.  The Holy High Priest Aaron was the elder brother of the Holy Prophet Moses.  He was appointed by God to serve as the spokesman of Moses before the people, and also before Pharaoh, in Egypt.  Afterwards, in the wildness, he was called to the ministry of the high priesthood, as narrated in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers in the in the Old Testament.  The name Aaron means "enlightened." . (Source: "The Great Horologion", Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, Massachusetts., 1997, p. 242).

If you would like to have more information about both the Holy Prophets Moses and Aaron, please write to :

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Sunday School Department,
50 Goddard Ave.,
Brookline, Massachusetts 02141

You can also write to Holy Transfiguration Monastery at 278 Warren Street, Brookline, Massachusetts 02146. The Holy Transfiguration Monastery has holy icons of both Holy Prophets Moses and Aaron available. You can contact the Monastery by phone at 1-800-227-1629.

For further readings on the lives, times, and sayings of the sixteen writing Prophets of the Old Testament order from: Holy Apostles Convent, P.O.Box 3118, Buena, Vista, Co. 81211 or visit the web site at http://www.BuneaVistaCo.com/GOC. The title of the book is: "Lives of the Holy Prophets", $39.50 plus $3.50 shipping. 

The Dormition Skete also has available icons of the Holy Prophets Moses and Aaron. You can order the Holy icons from Dormition Skete Icons, P.O.Box 3177, Buena Vista, Co. 81211.

For further reading on Prophet Moses please read the book by St. Gregory of Nyssa: "The Life of Moses".  Translation, introduction and notes by Abraham J. Malherbe and Everett Feguson, preface by John Meyendorff.  Published by Paulist Press, 1978, New York.  This book as well can be purchased at Holy Cross Bookstore in Brookline, Massachusetts.

(Source: The Dimissal Hymn (Troparion) and Kontakion for the Holy Prophets Moses and Aaron is from Horologion published by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, Massachusetts).

Holy Prophets Moses And Aaron,
Pray Unto God, For Us!

Content written/compiled by father@serfes.org.
(c) Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes