Joseph Was Seized With Wonder

JOSEPH was seized with wonder, seeing that which is beyond nature; yet in thy conception without seed, O Mother of God, with the eye of his heart he beheld the dew-shower upon the fleece, the bush not consumed in the burning, the budding rod of Aaron; and he that was mindful of thee and thy guardian, cried out to the priests: A virgin beareth, and after her bearing remaineth a virgin yet.


Κατεπλάγη, Ἰωσήφ, τὸ ὑπὲρ φύσιν θεωρῶν, καὶ ἐλάμβανεν εἰς νοῦν, τὸν ἐπὶ πόκον ὑετόν, ἐν τῇ ἀσπόρῳ συλλήψει σου Θεοτόκε, βάτον ἐν πυρὶ ἀκατάφλεκτον, ῥάβδον Ἀαρὼν τὴν βλαστήσασαν, καὶ μαρτυρῶν ὁ μνήστωρ σου καὶ φύλαξ, τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν ἐκραύγαζε· Παρθένος τίκτει, καὶ μετὰ τόκον, πάλιν μένει Παρθένος.

Dismissal Hymn at Christmas. The hymn refers to the burning bush (Exod 3:2) and Aaron’s staff which brought forth buds (Num 17:1-10), and also to the dew upon Gideon’s fleece (Judg 6:37), where it is used as a divine proof of salvation:

AND Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said.

And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.

And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.

And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.