Jesse Tree – Day 19: The Watchtower

Are you ready for another prophecy??? This one is from the book of Habakkuk, which is actually a bit on the more obscure side.

This Jesse Tree reading was actually quite tricky to find art for! What can I say? There are not a lot of artworks depicting the prophets’ words and it’s hard to find artwork depicting the parables of Jesus! And that’s precisely what I needed for today. Because today we’re dealing with watchtowers, aka ramparts!

Here is the ornament for today:

It’s a watchtower/rampart! The crochet pattern for this ornament, in case you want to make your own, is right here.

At first, I was a little skeptical at how realistic this crochet depiction was, but after studying what a biblical rampart looked like, I came to realize that they actually do look a lot like castle walls. In fact, I found a sketch by James Tissot, who went over to the Holy Land, of the watchtowers that he saw that stood watching over the vineyards.

Which led to Jesus’ words about the parable of the wicked tenants…

Which led to a hint of Christ’s victory over death… aka the Crucifixion.

So, why is this an Advent reflection? Well! As the song, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” puts rather poignantly:

Hail! the heaven-born 
Prince of peace! 
Hail! the Son of Righteousness! 
Light and life to all he brings, 
Risen with healing in his wings 
Mild he lays his glory by, 
Born that man no more may die: 
Born to raise the son of earth, 
Born to give them second birth. 
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the new-born King!"

And guess how He came to do it?

Yup! The Crucifixion.

So, even when we think about the Christmas story, we also remember Christ’s sacrifice.

And so, without further ado… some scripture, along with some artwork to reflect on. 🙂

The Watchtower

NABRE

Habakkuk 2

1I will stand at my guard post,and station myself upon the rampart;I will keep watch to see what he will say to me,and what answer he will give to my complaint.

Vineyards with Their Watch Towers, by James Tissot, c. 1886-89. Brooklyn Museum, New York, New York, United States.
Vineyards with Their Watch Towers, by James Tissot, c. 1886-89. Brooklyn Museum, New York, New York, United States.

NABRE

Habakkuk 2

2Then the LORD answered me and said:Write down the vision; Make it plain upon tablets,so that the one who reads it may run.3For the vision is a witness for the appointed time,a testimony to the end; it will not disappoint.If it delays, wait for it,it will surely come, it will not be late.

Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen, by Marten van Valckenborch, c. 1580-90. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.
Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen, by Marten van Valckenborch, c. 1580-90. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.

NABRE

Habakkuk 2

4See, the rash have no integrity;but the just one who is righteous because of faith shall live.

The Crucifixion, by Bartolomé Estebán Murillo, c. 1675. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, United States.
The Crucifixion, by Bartolomé Estebán Murillo, c. 1675. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, United States.

Will today be the day that I actually catch up with the Jesse Tree readings??? MAYBE. In any case, today’s reading is a fun reading in which we go into the New Testament, just a couple of months before Jesus is born. 🙂

Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of three, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer

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