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Author Topic: The Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Chiliasm  (Read 1349 times) Average Rating: 0
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Arnaud
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Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: None for now.. not yet chrismated and not yet a catechumen in church either.. it's been years I have been catechumenizing myself so to speak.. in doing research again and again.. hopefully one day I will be chrismated in one of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.. or who knows maybe in one of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.. but right now miaphysite christology seems right to me..
Posts: 104


God is VERY GREAT and I am very small


« on: July 04, 2011, 02:51:16 PM »

Greetings everyone, in the Name of the Holy Trinity, the one true God, amen.

I am not yet a member of the EOTC, so it is not my desire to spread wrong informations about what the EOTC actually teaches. But I have heard that there was ( or still is I don't know ) a chiliastic current among the Ethiopian Church..

Here is a quote, from a french historian, about this view in Ethiopia :

"They considered in fifteenth centuries, in Ethiopia, for a millennialism eschatology, with three advents of Christ. The first had taken place by the embodiment, the second would occur during the resurrection of the just men, followed by their 'banquet' with Christ for thousand years on the Mount Zion, the third would begin with the general resurrection and the Last Judgment."

Extract from Robert Beylot "Millénarisme, article de foi dans l'église d'Ethiopie au XVème siècle."

It seems to me that this view was ardently defended in this time, and in fact there is an Ethiopian Saint "St. Giyorgis of Sagla" and who lived in this time, who wrote a book called "Metshafe Mestir (the book of mysteries)" in which this view is articulated. It was in the time of King of kings Zera Yacob, who was also an adherent of this idea.

Furthermore, there is the famous book of the Prophet Henok which is canonical in the EOTC, and which "seems to" say chiliastic things. I do not have the pretention to say that I have the right interpretation of these words, since it is a prophetical language, but again it gives me the impression to have chiliastic ideas.

The chapter 93 is interesting, especially the last three weeks, and particularly the 8th and 9th weeks :

XCIII, XCI.12-17. The Apocalypse of Weeks.
93

1,2
And after that Enoch both gave and began to recount from the books. And Enoch said:
'Concerning the children of righteousness and concerning the elect of the world,
And concerning the plant of uprightness, I will speak these things,
Yea, I Enoch will declare (them) unto you, my sons:

According to that which appeared to me in the heavenly vision,
And which I have known through the word of the holy angels,
And have learnt from the heavenly tablets.'

And Enoch began to recount from the books and said:
'I was born the seventh in the first week,
While judgement and righteousness still endured.

And after me there shall arise in the second week great wickedness,
And deceit shall have sprung up;
And in it there shall be the first end.

And in it a man shall be saved;
And after it is ended unrighteousness shall grow up,
And a law shall be made for the sinners.

And after that in the third week at its close
A man shall be elected as the plant of righteous judgement,
And his posterity shall become the plant of righteousness for evermore.

And after that in the fourth week, at its close,
Visions of the holy and righteous shall be seen,
And a law for all generations and an enclosure shall be made for them.

And after that in the fifth week, at its close,
The house of glory and dominion shall be built for ever.

And after that in the sixth week all who live in it shall be blinded,
And the hearts of all of them shall godlessly forsake wisdom.

And in it a man shall ascend;
And at its close the house of dominion shall be burnt with fire,
And the whole race of the chosen root shall be dispersed.

And after that in the seventh week shall an apostate generation arise,
And many shall be its deeds,
And all its deeds shall be apostate.

And at its close shall be elected
The elect righteous of the eternal plant of righteousness,
To receive sevenfold instruction concerning all His creation.

[For who is there of all the children of men that is able to hear the voice of the Holy One without being troubled? And who can think His thoughts? and who is there that can behold all the works of heaven? And how should there be one who could behold the heaven, and who is there that could understand the things of heaven and see a soul or a spirit and could tell thereof, or ascend and see all their ends and think them or do like them? And who is there of all men that could know what is the breadth and the length of the earth, and to whom has been shown the measure of all of them? Or is there any one who could discern the length of the heaven and how great is its height, and upon what it is founded, and how great is the number of the stars, and where all the luminaries rest?]

XCI.12-17. The Last Three Weeks.
91
And after that there shall be another, the eighth week, that of righteousness,
And a sword shall be given to it that a righteous judgement may be executed on the oppressors,
And sinners shall be delivered into the hands of the righteous.
And at its close they shall acquire houses through their righteousness,
And a house shall be built for the Great King in glory for evermore,
And all mankind shall look to the path of uprightness.

And after that, in the ninth week, the righteous judgement shall be revealed to the whole world,
And all the works of the godless shall vanish from all the earth,
And the world shall be written down for destruction.

And after this, in the tenth week in the seventh part,
There shall be the great eternal judgement,
In which He will execute vengeance amongst the angels.
And the first heaven shall depart and pass away,
And a new heaven shall appear,
And all the powers of the heavens shall give sevenfold light.

And after that there will be many weeks without number for ever,
And all shall be in goodness and righteousness,
And sin shall no more be mentioned for ever.


So, if some members of the EOTC are passing thru this forum, thru this topic, Can they tell me if they already listened to sermons defending the view of chiliasm in the EOTC ? Thank you.
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Mo'a Ambessa ze imnegede Yehuda !
The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered !
Arnaud
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Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: None for now.. not yet chrismated and not yet a catechumen in church either.. it's been years I have been catechumenizing myself so to speak.. in doing research again and again.. hopefully one day I will be chrismated in one of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.. or who knows maybe in one of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.. but right now miaphysite christology seems right to me..
Posts: 104


God is VERY GREAT and I am very small


« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2011, 07:06:23 PM »

The 8th and 9th weeks..

"And after that there shall be another, the eighth week, that of righteousness,
And a sword shall be given to it that a righteous judgement may be executed on the oppressors,
And sinners shall be delivered into the hands of the righteous.
And at its close they shall acquire houses through their righteousness,
And a house shall be built for the Great King in glory for evermore,
And all mankind shall look to the path of uprightness.

And after that, in the ninth week, the righteous judgement shall be revealed to the whole world,
And all the works of the godless shall vanish from all the earth,
And the world shall be written down for destruction."
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Mo'a Ambessa ze imnegede Yehuda !
The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered !
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
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"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2012, 03:54:18 AM »

I just saw this thread and would also be very interested to have a better understanding of what our EOTC Faith teaches regarding this matter. I have always assumed that the Orthodox Tewahedo Church rejects Chiliasm since the Nicene Creed seems to dispel any notion of a temperal kingdom of heaven.

Can Hiwot, Habte or someone else provide some clarification?


Selam
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"If you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks at you along the way, you will never reach your goal." [Turkish Proverb]
Arnaud
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: None for now.. not yet chrismated and not yet a catechumen in church either.. it's been years I have been catechumenizing myself so to speak.. in doing research again and again.. hopefully one day I will be chrismated in one of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.. or who knows maybe in one of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.. but right now miaphysite christology seems right to me..
Posts: 104


God is VERY GREAT and I am very small


« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2012, 02:28:49 PM »

I just saw this thread and would also be very interested to have a better understanding of what our EOTC Faith teaches regarding this matter. I have always assumed that the Orthodox Tewahedo Church rejects Chiliasm since the Nicene Creed seems to dispel any notion of a temperal kingdom of heaven.

Can Hiwot, Habte or someone else provide some clarification?


Selam

Yes Gebre. My understanding is that Chiliasm/Millenarialism is, nowadays, generally considered untrue among the Ethiopian Orthodox clergy and is not taught to the faithful. But Ethiopian Church history seems to indicate that, in the past, Chiliasm had some popularity in Ethiopia.

Saint Giyorgis Saglawi was an advocate of Chiliasm, and apparently Neguze Negest Zera Yakob too.

One day someone translated a specific passage from St Giyorgis Saglawi's book [Metshafe Mistir] (from the Italian translation) for me, a passage where he (St Giyorgis Saglawi) is confessing Chiliasm.

I quote:

<< “They will reign with Christ for one thousand years”: with this He (St John) confirms the second coming of the Son of God on Mount Zion, Mount of the banquet/feast of the saints. Then, going on, He says: “And the first heaven and the first earth disappeared”. So He shows the Kingdom that has to come; this (coming) will be the second coming in respect to the coming on Mount Zion, and the third in respect to the Incarnation. As for the coming for the Incarnation (i.e. the first coming), it happened for the salvation of the world; the second, happened for the pleasure of the saints; the third, instead, will be for the punishment of sinners and for the reward of the just... Also our Lord in the Gospel says: “Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” He says that there is no man that shall not receive manifold more in this present time/world, refering to the Kingdom of Mount Zion. He says: “In the world to come for life everlasting”. He refers to the Kingdom of heaven.. >>

____________________

"They held in the 15th century, in Ethiopia, a millenarian eschatology, with three advents of Christ. The first (advent) had taken place with the incarnation, the second would occur with the resurrection of the righteous ones, followed by their 'banquet' with Christ for thousand years on Mount Zion, the third would begin with the general resurrection and the Last Judgment. Estifanos gave to 'Mount Zion' a spiritual meaning. The first resurrection was in this life, in the soul, for the righteous ones, thru the mediation of the Eucharist. This may have offended Zera Yakob and the advocates of the royal power, because of the eschatological role of the King of Ethiopia at the end of times, in various ethiopian apocalypses translated from Arabic, fashionable at that time."

Again, from another article of Robert Beylot (I translate it from French into English):

<< In the 'Acts of Estifanos', he (Estifanos) is accused of denying 'Mount Zion.' He answered (to his accusation) by saying: "I do not say there is no Mount Zion, cause those who purify their hearts and bear the yoke of Christ's Gospel shall find it." The 'Book of Mystery' of St George of Sagla and the 'Book of the Nativity' of Zera Yakob show what Mount Zion is about. To St George of Sagla there are three coming of the Son of God in the world. The first happened with the incarnation; the second will have for purpose to destroy the Antichrist, and therefore Christ will celebrate with His righteous ones resurrected and those who shall be still alive, a great 'banquet' on Mount Zion. His third coming will be for the Last Judgment.

The 'Book of the Nativity' (of Zera Yakob) declares 'heretics' those who think there will be no millenarian reign of Christ with the chosen ones, and who consider the Church as 'Mount Zion' and the Body and Blood of Christ as the 'banquet.' >>


Be blessed.
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Mo'a Ambessa ze imnegede Yehuda !
The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered !
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,235


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2012, 07:14:54 PM »

Thank you Arnaud. Very interesting.



Selam
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"If you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks at you along the way, you will never reach your goal." [Turkish Proverb]
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