burning bush

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burning bush,

name for a North American plant of the family Celastraceae (staff treestaff tree,
common name for some temperate members of the Celastraceae, a family of trees and shrubs (many of them climbing forms), widely distributed except in polar regions.
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 family). The scriptural burning bush not consumed by fire (Ex. 3.2) is sometimes associated with a bramble or thorn and was adopted by the Presbyterian Church as an emblem of its early persecution. Burning bush is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Celastrales, family Celastraceae.
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Moses and the burning bush, where the voice of God appeared to him in flames of fire to tell Moses to lead his people out of Egypt. Fortean Picture Library.

Burning Bush

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The third chapter of Exodus explains that Moses, soon to become the deliverer of the Hebrew people, fled from the wrath of the Egyptian Pharaoh. Forty years later, while tending the sheep of Jethro, his Midianite father-in-law, Moses heard the voice of God speaking to him from a bush that burned but was not consumed by the fire. Here Moses learned the name by which God would henceforth be called: "I Am Who I Am."

Although the monks at Saint Catherine's monastery at Mount Sinai have for generations cultivated a thorn bush of the species rubus collinus, thought to be the kind of bush Moses would have seen, no one knows for sure what kind of bush it was or even where the incident happened.

The significance of the burning bush lies in the fact that this dramatic event marked a transition in Moses' life. He became aware of the presence of the God of his ancestors, reluctantly left the safety of a comfortable, quiet life, and began a journey into history and legend.

The Religion Book: Places, Prophets, Saints, and Seers © 2004 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Burning Bush


in biblical mythology, a thorny bush that burned without being consumed, through which Yahweh appeared to Moses, calling him to lead his people out of Egyptian bondage into the Promised Land.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

burning bush

form taken by the Angel of the Lord to speak to Moses. [O.T.: Exodus 3:2-3]
See: Fire
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

burning bush

Old Testament the bush that burned without being consumed, from which God spoke to Moses (Exodus 3:2--4)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005