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Simeon The Elder [ስምኦን አረጋዊ]

On the island of Faso, near Alexandria, at 80 years old, Simeon was one of the scholars elected to translate the Old Testament books from Hebrew into Greek. Simeon was a devote old man assigned to translate the Book of Isaiah. When he arrived at the seventh chapter of the fourteenth verse it stated;

Isaiah 7:14

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel.”

He wondered how a virgin would conceive and bare a Son! He thought; "If I do interpret saying a virgin shall conceive and bare a son, the king of the Gentiles will not trust and believe what is described in this book." Then he instead wrote down “a daughter(maiden) of Israel would conceive and bear a Son!” But the Holy Angels came twice and changed the words back to "a Virgin shall conceive and bare a Son." When Simeon woke up from his sleep for the third time and tried to change the words back again, he learnt from the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he has seen the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.

On Yekatit 8 / February 16, baby Eyesus Kristos was brought into the temple by His Mother, the Holy Virgin Saint Mariam and Saint Joseph to offer a sacrifice according to the law of the Lord [Leviticus 12:1-6].

As soon as the 330-year-old Simeon took baby Eyesus Kristos up in his arms, he became a 30-year-old young man and then he started praising God.

Luke 2:29-30

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss[a] your servant in peace.

For my eyes have seen your salvation,”

The Fast of Nineveh is a three-day fast recognized by the Orthodox Tewahedo Church. This fast lasts from Monday to Wednesday, two weeks before the beginning of the Great Lent. The dates of this fast vary every year according to the date of Easter(Fasika).

The scriptures not only teaches us to fast and pray but also provide us examples of people who fasted and prayed and received their reward.

The Ninevites trembled at the voice of Jonah the son of Mattay, and took refuge in penitence. They admitted their sin and humbled themselves before God with fasting and prayer.

Jonah 3: 5-9

"5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:

“By the decree of the king and his nobles:

Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened."

Our Lord Eyesus Kristos spoke of Jonah’s time spent in the belly of a large fish as the only sign he was prepared to give to the unbelieving Jews when they seek from him answers and to show them more miracles.

Matthew 12: 38-40

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Glory be to Medhanealem Our Lord and Savior forever, amen!

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