“This is the beginning of the new covenant, of the new and God-receiving ark that was formed in Anna’s womb”

Behold, a new ark is being constructed by the Creator, which is countless thousand times stronger than the one in the time of Noah and in that of Moses! For the latter was a receiver of law, whereas this one is a receiver of God. Behold, a boat sails the sea and seeks expendable fruit from a cargo. Joachim and Anna were seeking fruit in human form, and behold, they received the unseeded oyster that bore the heavenly and highly prized pearl, Christ our God! Behold Joachim and Anna! While he was fasting on the mountain, she was in her garden beseeching God, and they received a receptacle for the One who set up the mountains and caused the garden to grow! Behold, the good news of happiness in a garden, that the garden of old might be returned to humanity! Behold, sorrow changed to joy and lamentation to gladness! Behold, groaning and timely tears, and unutterable joy for eternity! Behold, reproach removed and an inalienable gift brought to God, who contains the uncontainable God in a womb! Behold, Isaiah has been loosed from the wooden saw, Jeremiah from the mire in the pit, and Daniel from the lions; even as they remember those great afflictions, their true prophesy is fulfilled. For Isaiah himself cries concerning the blessed Anna: “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear!”

Behold also the rod of Aaron which has sprouted, even as it is hidden in the ark covered on all sides with gold! And behold another uncut rod, which is beyond understanding, is sprouting! And no one of the human race can carry it on a journey, but it bore the One who bore everything, who stretched out the heavens like a curtain, and whose hands formed the dry land. …

As these events were already approaching, it was necessary for complete righteousness to be fulfilled. Hence while Joachim was praying on the mountain, Anna lamented in the house. Then she went out of her house and entered her own garden in which she would draw refreshment from her extreme affliction. And behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to her, saying, “Anna, Anna, the Lord has hearkened to your supplication, and you will conceive and give birth, and your offspring will be spoken of in the whole inhabited world. Do not feel pain, Anna. Your fruit will stop the pain for those women who bear children in pain. For this is the one about whom all the prophets proclaimed in advance, eagerly awaiting salvation through her. You are blessed, Joachim and Anna. Truly one who is more blessed is being born from you,” said the angel to them.

“Celebrate your feasts, O Judah” (Nah. 1.15)): not in the old covenant, but in the new! This is the beginning of the new covenant, of the new and God-receiving ark that was formed in Anna’s womb, out of the root of Judah, Jesse, and David. For the prophet says, “And I shall raise up the tabernacle of David which has fallen, and I shall repair its broken parts.” Behold, the tabernacle of David is raised up in the conception and birth of his daughter! For she is the one about whom first of all Jacob was prophesying when he blessed Judah, speaking thus, “Judah, your brothers have praised you” (Gen 49.8).

Truly you are blessed, Joachim and Anna. For you came out of Judah and Jesse and David, as does also the one who comes out of you; and from her will come the Giver of the Law and Lord of prophets and Fulfiller of Law in the last times, Christ our Lord.

John of Euboea

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