A/ Abel - apostle





“vapour”, “vanity”, in Hebrew.
Abel and Cain
are the children of Adam and Eve;
Abel, who is the younger son, is killed by his elder brother.





“father of a multitude”, in Hebrew. Abraham is a nomad breeder married to Sarah;
he answers the call of God who has promised him a long descendance and a land.
The land is to be Canaan (today’s Palestine) where he then meets Melchizedek
and then three angels. He becomes the father of Ishmael but the true son
of the promise is Isaac he offers to God (Sacrifice of Isaac).

He has a nephew, Loth, whose adventures are sometimes represented;
The Destruction of
Sodom; Loth seduced by his Daughters.

Abraham’s bosom designates the place of rest of the righteous dead (Poor Lazarus).





“red earth”, in Hebrew. The first man created by God from the dust of the ground
and God’s breath (Creation of Adam and Eve). Expelled from the Garden of Eden after the Fall,
he has to work by the sweat of his brow.





“angelos”, or “messenger” in Greek. God communicates with man
through these messengers who have a human shape in early
representations; then they will multiply, become differentiated and
form a true “society”.
The higher-ranking angels are called archangels and three of them are
particularly represented, Gabriel, Michael and Raphael.
So as to avoid any representation of God, a few medieval painters
depicted Him as an angel. See Abraham and the three Angels;
Jacob’s Dream
; Jacob wrestling with the Angel.





“revelation”, in Greek. It is a literary genre unveiling future events,
in particular the ‘ending’ of History in order to bring solace to believers
who are suffering from the hardships of the present. Apocalyptic texts
have grown in number during the centuries at the turn of our era.
John’s Book of Revelation is the last book of the New Testament.
See The Woman of Revelation.





“an official envoy with a mission”. Strictly speaking the apostles are
the 12 disciples chosen by Christ, Simon (later renamed Peter), Andrew,
James the Major and John (the son of Zebedee), Philip, Bartholomew,
Matthew (also known as Levi), Thomas, James (the son of Alpheus),
Thaddeus (or Jude), Simon the zealot and Judas Iscariot. They are
all present at the Last Supper.

Later Matthias will replace Judas after his treason. Paul will proclaim to be
the apostle of the gentiles or the apostle of the pagans and the name of
apostle will be given to other disciples sent on a mission.

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