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Flaming sword (mythology)

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Eugène Ferdinand Victor Delacroix 038

Painting by Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix of an angel expelling Adam and Eve with a flaming sword.

A flaming sword is a sword glowing with flame by some supernatural power. Flaming swords have existed in legend and myth for thousands of years.

According to the Bible, a Cherub (or the archangel Uriel in a some traditions) with a flaming sword was placed by God at the gates of Paradise after Adam and Eve were banished from it (Genesis 3:24).

Eastern Orthodox tradition says that from the time Jesus was born, the flaming sword was removed from the Garden of Eden, making it possible for humanity to re-enter Paradise.[1]

A flaming sword with immense destructive power appears in Norse mythology. It is said to be wielded by Surtur, the leader of the giants of Muspelheim.

Examples of swords glowing with flame in fiction include some magic swords used in the game Dungeons & Dragons. A priest wielding a flaming sword through artifice appears in A Song of Ice and Fire: later a priestess of the same religion makes the sword of one king-claimant radiant through some supernatural means: around the same time, death rites performed by the first priest succeed in resurrection of the dead: the unnamed religion's clerics speak of a character called "Azor Ahai reborn", the saviour of man, and bears many similarities to Christianity and the legends surrounding the parousia, including mistaken and uncertain prophecy: some of the incantations of the order are borrowed verbatim from the King James Bible with alterations of a word or name. The makers of the recent series Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire went as far as to create a sword that could actually be lit on fire for filming.[2] Also, the recent movie The Fountain contained a scene with a flaming sword.

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