Tree of Jesse

The Tree of Jesse is a depiction in art of the ancestors of Christ, shown in a tree which rises from Jesse of Bethlehem, the father of King David; the original use of the family tree as a schematic representation of a genealogy. It originates in a passage in the Biblical Book of Isaiah which describes metaphorically the descent of the Messiah, and is accepted by Christians as referring to Jesus. The subject is often seen in Christian art, particularly in that of the Medieval period. The earliest example dates from the 11th century.

The passage in Isaiah, 11:1 is: "There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. In the Latin Vulgate Bible used in the Middle Ages this was: "et egredietur virga de radice Iesse et flos de radice eius ascendet " or ".. a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up...". Flos, pl floris is Latin for flower. Virga is a "green twig", "rod" or "broom", as well as a convenient near-pun with Virgo or Virgin, which undoubtedly influenced the development of the image. Thus Jesus is the Virga Jesse or "shoot of Jesse".

In the New Testament the lineage of Jesus is traced by two of the Gospel writers, Matthew and Luke. Luke describes the "generations of Christ" in Chapter 3 of Luke's Gospel, beginning with Jesus himself and tracing backwards through his "earthly father" Joseph all the way to Adam.

Matthew's Gospel opens with the words: "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham". With this beginning Matthew makes clear Jesus' whole lineage: He is of God's chosen people, by his descent from Abraham, and he is the "shoot of Jesse" by his descent from Jesse's son, King David. The figures shown are drawn from the genealogies in the Gospels, usually showing only a selection.

Read more about Tree Of Jesse:  Jesse Tree in Christian Art, Modern Use of Jesse Tree, Gallery

Other articles related to "tree of jesse, jesse, tree":

Tree Of Jesse - Gallery
... Bible shows the initial letter decorated with a Jesse Tree Unknown miniaturist, English (active 1140s), Lambeth Palace Scherenberg Psalter, c.1260 ... Unusually, a Crucifixion occupies the middle of the Tree, with Christ in Glory above The bottom of a large stone relief from Worms Cathedral, end of ... This is not the earliest St Denis Jesse window, which is vertical like Chartres Chester Cathedral ...

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