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Archive for the ‘Quran’ Category

Adam’s Apple

Posted by Admin on December 10, 2010

The “Adam’s apple” is the lump on the forepart of the throat that is especially visible in men. Most people assume that the term “Adam’s apple” comes directly from Genesis in the Old Testament but the fact of the matter is, it doesn’t.

Yes, contrary to popular belief, the Bible does not identify the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge as being an apple.  The fruit is simply called the “fruit from the Tree of Knowledge” with no specification as to which kind of fruit it happens to be.

So how did the popular misconception come about?  It was Flemish painter Hugo Van Der Goes who first implied that an apple was the forbidden fruit.  In Van Der Goes‘ painting of 1468 entitled “The Fall of Man” he expressed his personal feelings on the tragedy of the drama of the Fall and Redemption.

During Roman times, the pomegranate was a particularly popular fruit. Pliny the Elder, the Roman encyclopedist, termed the phrase for the pomegranate tree as being “malum punicum” — the Carthaginian apple.  To this end, it’s easy to see why Van Der Goes would choose to paint apples and not pomegranates in his painting depicting the event leading up to Adam and Eve being thrown out of Paradise.

However, the reference to the larynx being an apple originated sometime earlier in the Middle Ages.  Pietro d’Argellata, wrote a detailed description of his examination of the body of Pope Alexander V, who died suddenly at Bologna on May 4, 1410. His notes on the procedure — which is now customary in the Coroner’s office — provided this as part of his description:

I ordered the attendants first to cut the abdomen from the pomegranate to the OS pectinis.

It was understood by all medical personnel at the time that the “pomegranate” when speaking in medical terms was the larynx.

The myth during Medieval times was that while in the Garden of Eden, the forbidden fruit Adam ate became lodged in his throat, causing him to choke.   In this respect, the pomegranate was associated with the “lump” in Adam‘s throat. 

The fact of the matter is that the Latin term “pomum Adami” means “male bump” and when coupled with the myth, the Latin term and the myth lead to a mistranslation of “Adam’s apple” when referring to the larynx.

Posted in Bible, Christian, Idioms from the 15th Century, Jewish, Quran, Religious References | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Manna From Heaven

Posted by Admin on September 17, 2010

From time to time, you hear people who get unexpected help or something very good they didn’t expect say that it’s “Manna from Heaven.”

The reference is to the food God gave to the Israelites after the food they had brought with them out of Egypt had run out.  In the Book of Exodus, the Israelites found it one morning after the dew had evaporated. 

Upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.  (Exodus 16:15)

Manna was the name given by the Israelites to the food they found.  In the Quran, the Arabic word for manna is “manna-o-salva.”

The Ark of the Covenant is believed to be the most sacred and revered object of ancient Israelite worship. Built under the direction of Moses, it is said to contain the original tables with the Ten Commandments written upon them, some of the Manna from Heaven sent to the Israelites as they fled Egypt, and the rod of Aaron. 

Historical documents show that the Ark of the Covenant was installed in a Temple by King Solomon around 950 BC.  After the dedication of the Temple by King Solomon, there are two references to the Ark of the Covenant in the entire Old Testament.

Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built; you need no longer carry it upon your shoulders.  (II Chronicles 35:3)

And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the Lord, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; it shall not be made again.  (Jeremiah 3:16)

A mural painting in All Saints Church, Friskncy, Lincolnshire, England painted around 1542 bears the title “The Descent of the Manna from Heaven.”  This painting shows manna on a hill-side, the slope of ground being from the right to left of the picture.  In strong relief against the distance, represented by a dark crimson background, a group of people is engaged in gathering the manna.

In a United Press International (UPI) article entitled “The Irish Famine: A Hunger For History” dated April 13, 2001, the author wrote: 

Well written history is like manna from heaven, it is intellectual nourishment for the soul.

And so we can see how it is that the phrase “Manna from  Heaven” now refers to something very good the person felt he or she needed that came to the person unexpectedly.

Posted in Bible, Christian, Jewish, Quran, Religious References | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »