Terminology. The Genesis flood is denoted in the Old Testament by the technical Hebrew term mabbul[lWB;m] (etymology uncertain; perhaps from the root ybl, "to flow, to stream"). All thirteen Old Testament instances of this word refer to the Genesis flood; all of them are found in the Book of Genesis except Psalm 29:10. Occurrences in the flood narrative are usually associated with mayim [Iy;m], "waters." The Septuagint and the New Testament consistently employ the Greek term kataklysmos [kataklusmov"] ("flood, deluge") for this event (four times in the New Testament, plus once using the related verb kataklyzo [katakluvzw] ["flood, inundate"]  2 Peter 3:6 ).

Extrabiblical Parallels. Ancient flood stories are almost universal (up to 230 different stories are known). Floods are by far the most frequently given cause for past world calamities in the folk literature of antiquity. The stories nearest to the area of the dispersion at Babel are the closest in detail to the biblical account.

Four main flood stories are found in Mesopotamian sources: the Sumerian Eridu Genesis (ca. 1600 b.c.), the Old Babylonian Atrahasis Epic (ca. 1600 b.c.), the Gilgamesh Epic (Neo-Assyrian version, ca. eighth to the seventh centuries b.c.), and Berossus' account (Babylon, third century b.c.).


The name of the Thirteenth Letter is based on the word mayim, meaning water. In the ancient Hebrew script, the pictograph for Mem was drawn as a wavy line �  � indicating waves of water and is still seen in the Latin M. When written at the end of a word, it takes the final form � ם � which is more square, and smooth like calm water. The KeyWord table displays its profound connection with the meaning of its name. God used four of these KeyWords to describe the Flood of Noah, the greatest hydrological event in the history of the world:

For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain (matar) upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. ... And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters (mayim) of the flood (mabul) were upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains (ma'ayin) of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.


God used four [key words all] derived from Mem to describe the Flood of Noah, the greatest hydrological event in the history of the world (Gen 7:4ff)… It is a precursor (type) of the Universal Judgment that awaits till the End of Time.” If twelve means the completion of all earthly government, then thirteen means the end of earthly government.

If we consider the four repetitions of Daniel’s prophecy in more detail we see that they can also be considered as two sets of two. Chapters two and seven make up the first set which describes the complete history from Babylon to the close of time and consists of four human kingdoms, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome; an intermediary period before the final, everlasting kingdom. The intermediate period is somewhat ambiguously described as the feet and toes of mixed material of the image in chapter two and as the ten horns of the dreadful beast in chapter seven. The second set, made up of chapters eight and eleven, omits Babylon and does not present any clear demarcation between the Roman Empire and the intermediary period, neither does it present the final everlasting kingdom. Chapter eight is in fact a summary of chapter eleven, just as chapter two is a summary of chapter seven.


When we consider the four times that Daniel’s vision of the four kingdoms is repeated in chapters two, seven, eight and eleven we notice a curious contrast. Daniel was told two times in chapter eight that the prophecy was for the “latter days” (Dan 8:17; 10:14) and two times in chapter eleven that it was for the “time of the end” (Dan 11:27,29,35). This stands out because no similar direction was given to Daniel that the prophecies of chapter two or seven applied to the last days or the time of the end.


Moses warned Israel four times that if they disobeyed God, He would punish them by destroying and scattering them seven times:

And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. Lev 26:27- 28

And the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book: And the LORD rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day. Deu 29:28


Note that in the graph below showing the fall dates of the four kingdoms, the time line is not proportional to real time.  It is for illustration purposes to show which kingdoms fell and when.  Note that there were four kingdoms that existed together for about twenty years beginning in 300 B.C.  Thereafter there were only three kingdoms.


One thing that is of note is that historians in relatively recent times (last 200 years), considered Macedonia as part of Greece.  They counted four provinces of Greece which were Macedonia, Epirus, Achaia, and Peleponnesus.  However, Macedonia has a history all its own, so more recent historians consider Macedonia to have been a separate nation.  Therefore, Macedonia conquered Greece, then went on to conquer much of the rest of the world to the south and east of Greece and Macedonia.  This did spread Greek culture throughout the Middle East, so it probably is not improper to consider this empire to be Greek in its effects on much of the world it conquered.  In Daniel 8, the empire is referred to as Greek because it is said that the horn on the goat represented the king of Greece, which Alexander the Great certainly was.  Of course, he became king of a lot of other countries before he was done. 

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Sign of cross heaven sign of son of man john of damsascus


After Francis's death, Clare continued to promote the growth of her order, writing letters to abbesses in other parts of Europe and thwarting every attempt by each successive pope to impose a rule on her order which weakened the radical commitment to corporate poverty she had originally embraced. She did this despite enduring a long period of poor health until her death. Clare's Franciscan theology of joyous poverty in imitation of Christ is evident in the rule she wrote for her community and in her four letters to Agnes of Prague.


St. Theresa viewed Christian meditation as the first of four steps in achieving "union with God", and used the analogy of watering the garden. She compared basic meditation to watering a garden with a bucket, Recollection to the water wheel, Quiet (contemplation) to a spring of water and Union to drenching rain.[28]

Saint Francis de Sales[edit]


Saint Francis de Sales

Saint Francis de Sales (1576–1622) used a four-part approach to Christian meditation based on "preparation", "consideration", "affections and resolutions" and "conclusions":[64]

  • In the preparation part, one places oneself in the presence of God and asks the Holy Spirit to direct the prayer, as in the Epistle to the Romans[8:26]: "The Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know what to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words."

  • In the consideration part, one focuses on a specific topic, e.g. a passage from the Bible.

  • In the affections and resolutions part, one focuses on feelings and makes a resolution or decision. For instance, when meditating on the Parable of the Good Samaritan one may decide to visit someone sick and be kind to them.

  • In the conclusion part, one gives thanks and praise to God for the considerations and asks for the grace to stand by the resolution.


The Order has the initials "O.SS.T." Its distinctive cross of red and blue can be traced to its beginnings.

14th century Trinitarian cross at St Robert's Church, Pannal

Today the Trinitarian Family is composed of priests, brothers, women (enclosed nuns and active sisters) as well as committed laity. Members of the Trinitarian Family include: The Trinitarian religious; the Trinitarian contemplative nuns; the Trinitarian Sisters of Valence; the Trinitarian Sisters of Rome, Valencia, Madrid, Mallorca, and Seville; the Oblates of the Most Holy Trinity; the Third Order Secular (tertiaries) and other Trinitarian Laity.[7] All are distinguished by the cross of redand blue which dates from the origins of the Order. Trinitarians are found throughout Europe and in the Americas as well as in AfricaIndiaKorea and the Philippines.


A definition of the beliefs, practices and goals of the Companions is:

  • To give God permission to use the members however He wants.

  • To seek God's will and follow it.

  • To surrender fully to Jesus as Lord and Saviour

  • To regard Eucharist as the source and summit of their Catholic faith, and promoting its Exposition and Adoration

"We are a Roman Catholic community of priests, committed to living and ministering together as brothers in the Lord. We are called to the ongoing renewal of the Church through a dynamic evangelization in the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit. We proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to all we are called to serve, with special attention to parish communities, the poor, youth, and those alienated from the Church."

The Companions wear a distinctive "Community Cross" medallion, at all times, as a sign of their commitment to the community. The medallion features a silhouette of a man embracing a cross. The cross is red for members who have made lifetime promises and white for members in temporary promises. Members who have not yet made promises wear a simple wooden cross. Lay Associates of the order wear the same symbol in the form of a lapel pin.


In addition to the standard three religious vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, the Rule contains the vow of "a Lenten way of life" (Latin: vita quadragesimalis), which is considered to be the distinctive feature of the Minims.[5] This vow is for perpetual abstinence from all meat and dairy productsveganism, except in case of grave illness and by order of a physician. Because of asceticism, The Order is also discalced in character and there are other acts of humility.

Due to the somberness and morosity of the Lenten way of life, the Minim habit consists of a black wool tunic, with broad sleeves, a hood, and a short scapular. It has a thick, black cord (with four knots that signify the four vows) with a tassel to gird the robe.


Lent (Latin: Quadragesima: Fortieth) is a solemn religious observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later, before Easter Sunday.

Lent is traditionally described as lasting for forty days, in commemoration of the forty days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, according to the Gospels of MatthewMark and Luke, before beginning his public ministry, during which he endured temptation by Satan.

In languages spoken where Christianity was earlier established, such as Greek and Latin, the term signifies the period dating from the 40th day before Easter. In modern, Greek the term is Σαρακοστή, derived from the earlier Τεσσαρακοστή,meaning "fortieth". The corresponding word in Latin, quadragesima ("fortieth"), is the origin of the term used in Latin-derived languages and in some others: for example, Croatian korizma, French carême, Irish carghas, Italian quaresima, Portuguesequaresma, Albanian kreshma, Romanian păresimi, Spanish cuaresma, Basquegarizuma and Welsh c(a)rawys.

In the Roman Rite, the definition of Lent varies according to different documents. Lent ends on either Holy Thursday or Good Friday. While the official document on the Lenten season, Paschales Solemnitatis, says that "the first Sunday of Lent marks the beginning of the annual Lenten observance",[15] the Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar says, "The forty days of Lent run from Ash Wednesday up to but excluding the Mass of the Lord's Supper exclusive."[16] The first source represents a period of 40 days and the second a period of 44 days, because both sources agree that the end of Lent comes the evening of Holy Thursday, before the Mass of the Lord's Supper.[17] Though some sources try to reconcile this with the phrase "forty days" by excluding Sundays and extending Lent through Holy Saturday[18][19] no official documents support this interpretation.


The temptation of Christ has been a frequent subject in the art and literature of Christian cultures. It is largely the subject of John Milton's four-book epic, Paradise RegainedFyodor Dostoyevsky's The Grand Inquisitor, part of the novel The Brothers Karamazov, features an extended treatment of the temptation of Christ. The Ring In The GlassNathan Toulane's novel encompasses the spot where The temptation of Christ occurred. French Artist Jean Giroud Moebius created an artbook called 40 days dans le desert B depicting a similar theme. Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar has brief references to Christ being tempted by mortal pleasures and Stephen Schwartz devotes a scene to it in Godspell. A stanza on the poem "O Operário em Construção" ("The Building Operary"), by Vinícius de Moraes, alludes to the temptation as well. In W. Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge, the narrator uses the gospel of Matthew to introduce his own ending in which Jesus accepts death on the cross "for greater love hath no man" while the devil laughs in glee, knowing full well that man will reject this redemption and commit evil in spite of, if not because of this great sacrifice. Lastly, the film Jesus of Montreal has a parallel scene where the actor playing Jesus is taken to the top of a skyscraper and offered lucrative contracts by a lawyer if he will serve him.


Maugham's suggestion that he "invented nothing" was a source of annoyance for Christopher Isherwood, who helped him translate a verse 1.3.14 from the Katha Upanishads for the novel's epigraph – उत्तिष्ठ जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत | क्षुरस्य धारा निशिता दुरत्यया दुर्गं पथस्तत्कवयो वदन्ति || (uttiṣṭha jāgrata prāpya varān nibodhata| kṣurasya dhārā niśitā duratyayā durga pathas tat kavayo vadanti|| ) – which means "Rise, wake up, seek the wise and realize. The path is difficult to cross like the sharpened edge of the razor (knife), so say the wise."



Several plausible etymologies of the name (Βαρβηλώ, Βαρβηρώ, Βαρβηλ, Βαρβηλώθ) have been proposed. It may be an ad hoc Coptic construction signifying both ‘Great Emission’ (according to Bentley Layton’s The Gnostic Scriptures) and ‘Seed’ according to F.C. Burkitt (in Church and Gnosis). William Wigan Harvey (on Irenaeus), and Richard Adelbert Lipsius (Gnosticismus, p. 115; Ophit. Syst. in Hilgenfeld’s Zeitschrift for 1863, p. 445) have previously proposed Barba-Elo, ‘The Deity-in Four,’ with reference to the tetrad, which by the report of Irenaeus proceeds from her.