Joseph the All-Comely and the Cursed Fig Tree: the Beginning of the Holy Week

Holy Week has begun. Shouts of “Hosanna!” – “Save!” have faded away, lying like forgotten palm leaves. The final week…

The present day is dedicated to two antagonists: an event and a person, Joseph the All-Comely and the drying-up of the barren fig tree.

A prototype of Christ – betrayed, sold, and saving others, including those who had sold him – he was thrown into a dry well, then went down to Egypt to the pagans, and after his death he was returned to his homeland.

This is a well, one of many in the desert. At the bottom there was never a spring; in winter it collects rainwater, which can be drunk until the next winter by both sheep and shepherds. Those are troughs for sheep nearby:

They are the same as they were in those times. A dry well is a symbol of nothingness. There are traces of water levels like the annual rings on a tree – dry times. It was in such a well that Joseph awaited his fate; his prison in Egypt would have looked about the same.

And here is his grave:

His grave is marked by the arrow. His descendents now have no access to it; strangers have seized it…

But Joseph’s name is forever associated with abundance. Not only in meaning, but in memory of his deeds. And in this he is also a prototype of Christ.

A barren fig tree. It’s still too early for the fruit:

These are not yet fruits, but they are still considered flowers. When pollination occurs, they begin to ripen; but if pollination does not happen, they will continue to look just as real, only they will remain inedible. Such fruits are known by the same name as miscarriages. Thus, it looks like there is a fig tree with fruit, but there is nothing to eat – a parable of seemingness.

This is what is read about in church today. But in the outside world it is the most vexatious day. Both regular and ritual cleaning come to an end, and the festive trapeza is prepared. Tonight people will lie around the table and remember how they left Egypt, how an angel silently passed by the panels labeled with blood, and how Joseph’s body was carried out. How God performed miracles.

“From generation to generation, each person should feel that he is now coming out of Egypt.”

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