question regarding a hymn to the Virgin Mary

Hello, I am a new member of the discussion forum.  Please pardon my intrusion - I am not an Orthodox Christian but rather a Westerner (Anglican Communion.)  But I have a specific question regarding the following hymn, which I have come across in the course of doing research: .

The second stanza of this hymn praises the Blessed Virgin in the following words: "Daniel has likened you to the rational mountain [pitwou nouhron] and Mount Zion."  I am intrigued by this phrase "rational mountain", because I've been unable to find the reference in the book of Daniel.  Unfortunately I don't have access to the Biblical text in Coptic. So, if I may ask, where does this phrase occur in the text?

I thought perhaps it might be from what have been called (in the West) the "Additions" to Daniel, or perhaps even from the "Apocalypse of Daniel" - but so far I haven't been able to locate this particular epithet for the Blessed Virgin in those texts, either.

Thank you very much for any guidance anyone may be able to provide on this question.  Either way I thank for your time.



  • This is a reference to what's in Daniel 2 (NKJV):

    31 “You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. 32 This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth....
    44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. 45 Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.”

    The stone is Jesus Christ, the incarnate Logos through the Holy Spirit and the Virgin, without a man's seed. If Christ is the stone, St. Mary is the mountain out of which came the stone. The stone being cut "without hands" refers to the Virgin conceiving without a man's seed. 

  • @Stephanos...I forgot to say, welcome to the forum. I hope we answer any of your questions here.

    What kind of research are you doing though? I only ask because this specific hymn (psali) you are referencing is one of many that not much people know about. 
  • Thank you very much for your responses, and for the kind welcome.

    So it sounds as if the phrase "rational mountain" comes more by way of figurative interpretation, rather than as a literal occurrence in the text of Daniel.  I had thought that perhaps the actual term "pitwou nouhron" occurred in one of the Coptic versions of the text of Daniel.  But that is a very beautiful and profound typological reading - especially regarding "cut out without hands" as an oblique reference to the Immaculate Conception.  Thank you again for sharing that.

    I more or less stumbled across this psali doing research on the usage of the epithet "rational mountain."  This term occurs in certain mystical texts on the margins of Anglican spirituality of the 17th century.  But it doesn't seem to have any direct connection to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin in that context, so at this point it looks to be merely an interesting coincidence of phrasing.

    Anyway, again I thank you for your kind interest.

  • The book of Daniel is very unique. Almost all of it (leaving out the historical stories like going into the den of lions twice, or the story of the three saintly youth) shouldn't be interpreted literally. The book is on the same level as the book of Revelation. The seventy-weeks prophecy in ch 9 alone has puzzled many people.

    The additions to the book from the Septuagint are historic texts: Story of Susanna, the hymn of the three youth, the idol Bel and Daniel's punishment to the den (a second time)

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