The Hand of God

A hand or arm reaching down from Heaven with an ax is believed to be the hand of God severing the tree of life. It seems a rather vengeful image, and its initial use during early Colonial times is probably exactly what was intended. Puritans believed in an all-powerful and vengeful God smiting man out of the world.

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During the following centuries, God was believed to be more benevolent, and therefore the image was interpreted as Death cutting down the tree. The life of a tree as it survives the seasons reflects a person’s life of birth, adulthood, old age and death.

SR 690. Jewish Cemetery. CASSIPORA, Suriname. 2007.-LOne-day-tour-Jodensavanna-8-900x400pxtombstone 1P1010060

Stop traveller and weep,
For here beneath death’s shade,
Snatched from his friends,
A lovely youth is laid.
But sleep in hope,
For soon hell burst this sod,
And rise in air
To meet his Saviour God.   1802

eliz norton

As falls a branch beneath the axes blow
So sudden fall this youth who lies below.

The image below shows an angel cutting the tree of life.P1010102

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