[St. Pachomius Library]

The Bush Which Burned But Was Not Consumed

The bush from which God spoke to Moses is a symbol of the Theotokos, and also of theosis and transfiguration by the Uncreated Light. The actual bush, transplanted once around the year 1000, is still alive and is guarded by the monks of St. Catherine's in the Sinai. It has been identified as a specimen of Rubus sanctus, a plant normally found in Central Asia but also known to grow wild at high elevations in the Sinai Peninsula. (The flora of the Sinai Massif includes a number of Central Asian species, presumably relics of an earlier era.) Rubus sanctus plants can live for many centuries, so even without invoking the supernatural there is no reason to doubt that the monks' bush dates back to Moses's time.

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