Dear Brother Mathew,
This poem refers to the Garden of Eden where God planted Parudeesa (paradise) and appointed Adam and Eve. This garden is many times referred same as the the Paradise where the souls of human will end up at the end, by many early church fathers such as, Mor Aphrem (AD306-373) and Mor Jacob of Serugh (AD 451-521). There was the tree of knowledge planted in this garden which covered (hid) the tree of life behind it. When Adam and Eve committed sins (broke the law), they were thrown out of this paradise (garden) and the angels were appointed to guard this garden. Mor Aphrem and many others early church fathers imagine the garden as a mountain instead of a plain land where the tree of life is situated on the top and tree of knowledge half way through the mountain. When Cain and Abel lived, they were still on the same hill but was on the bottom part of it (but below the guard by Angels). In Genesis 4:8 where Cain says to Abel "let us go to the 'valley'" (in Syriac translations; but in Septuagint and other versions it is mentioned as 'plain or field') is interpreted as the lower valley of this hill by Mor Aphrem. This is why the Garden is still considered garden of murder (kula nilam aya).
However the terrestrial terms used for Paradise by St. Aphrem or early church fathers can't be taken in a literal meaning as it refers to an eschatological paradise which, for us to understand better uses the physical terms.
When Adam committed sin, God threw away them from the Garden and kept the Garden from the vision of humans (nadhan daivam mayichathinal). This is what Adam and Eve and their progeny, including us, lost, that is, the Garden which was the paradise when they committed the sin (breaking the law).
So the meaning of the song is that "The Garden -Paradise which was promised to the human being, the lower part of it where the murder happened (Cain's), was taken away from human beings because of their sins. So let us weep over those loss (which we lost)". The prophet Isiah was one among the prophets who was weeping for the people, especially Israeli's, on their sins.
By crucifixion of Jesus, this barrier -that is the barrier where the angels were guarding the garden-is removed and those who participate in the baptism gets the benefit of crucifixion of Jesus (great sacrifice for the sins our forefathers committed) and will get the permission to enter Paradise, but based on how we live on earth or whether we break the laws again or not.
Our goal is to get back to the same paradise from where Adam and Eve were thrown out. Jesus has opened the gate for us, but the question is, are we still eligible or able to get there? Let us pray and walk with God to enter there, because WITH God it is possible to get there. "Mathew 19:26: With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Regards and prayers,
Sinu P. John, PhD
> Can you please help me understand the meaning of a hymn by Mor Jacob of Serugh, that is part of the mid-night prayers of the Monday of Holy Week.
> The hymn goes like this:
> Sarwadheeshan daivam thanee-thoppin naadhan
> Aapatheennum maanavare paripalikkunnu.
> Amoz-thanaya kola-nila-maayoree-thottathe
> Naadhan daivam maayichathinal vilapichalum.
> Based on how I understood this, here is my English translation of the above:
> God is the Lord of this Garden
> Protects mankind from dangers
> O Isaiah(son of Amoz) weep, for Lord God has wiped away this Garden; the field
> of murder.
> Now here are my questions:
> 1) What is this `Garden which is a field of murder' (kola-nila-maayoree-thottam) ?
> 2) When did our Lord God, wipe away 'this field of murder'?
> Is there kola-nila-maayoree-thottam Hades (Sheol) ? And is the reference to the harrowing of Hades by our Lord by his crucifixion and resurrection?
> 3) Why is the son of Amoz (Prophet Isaiah) asked to weep over this ?
> In Christ,
> Mathew G M