The Burning Bush in the Pentateuch is the name given to a non-burning thorn bush. According to legend, in him God appeared to Moses, who was grazing sheep in the desert, and called to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt.
In Christianity, the Burning Bush is one of the Old Testament prototypes of the Mother of God. It symbolizes the virgin birth of Christ from the Holy Spirit. In the monastery of St. Catherine, founded at the foot of Mount Sinai, there is a bush, which, according to legend, is considered the same Burning Bush. In the IV century, the chapel of the Burning Bush was built on the territory of the monastery, the altar of which is located above the roots of a memorial bush, and not over the relics of saints, as is usually done according to Orthodox canons.
In Orthodox icon painting, the Burning Bush refers to the icon of the Mother of God, written on the basis of the Old Testament prototypes of the incarnation of God in Christ. The Mother of God and the Child holds in her hands symbolic attributes indicating Old Testament prophecies: the Mountain from the prophecy of Daniel, the Ladder of Jacob, “established on earth and reaching heaven on horseback”, the Gate of Ezekiel, etc. The image is framed by an eight-pointed star made up of green and red quadrangles (green bush and flame color). Around the star, four Old Testament plots are reflected: Moses in front of the Bush, Jacob's dream, Ezekiel's Gate, the Tree of Jesse. In the rays of the star are angels and archangels, illustrating the ministry of heavenly forces to the miraculous birth of God from the Virgin. They personify the elements described in the Apocrypha. Veneration of the icon of the Burning Bush according to the Julian calendar takes place on September 4.
The Mother of God gathered around the Baby the whole world, all earthly and heavenly forces: this image reflects the wisdom of the Universe created by God. The Burning Bush is able to defeat chaos, overcome the centrifugal forces of decay and death. Thus, near the Bush, the image of Sophia also appears, carrying the wisdom of the divine plan and the will of the Creator.
In the picturesque forests of Balashikha, near Moscow, in 1937, a temple of the icon of the Mother of God "Burning Bush" was built. Built from centuries-old cedar, in a place surrounded by forest lakes, it is one of the best local attractions. Its history is closely connected with the All-Russian Research Institute of Fire Protection. VNIIPO develops the latest fire fighting equipment. The temple itself was erected at the initiative of the institute, symbolizing the conversion of the face of the Russian people from atheism to the Light.
The biblical theme of the Burning Bush is reflected in the work of Maximilian Voloshin, a Russian poet, artist and critic. On May 28, 1919, he created the poem "The Burning Bush", in which he praises the Russian people for their rebellious character and compares it to the legendary thorn bush revealed to Moses. Voloshin wants to convey the idea that the soul of the Russian people cannot be burned, and that Russia itself bears the holiness, spiritual strength and power of God's image.
It is curious to note the "material" of the fireproof bush. Blackthorn is a melliferous plant that provides bees with pollen and nectar. Pollen processed by bee enzymes is considered a transmitter of environmental information in plants. But from the same thorns, a thorny crown of thorns was made, laid, according to the Gospel, on the head of Jesus Christ during the crucifixion.