Sunday, January 20, 2013

Anna Karenina: Part V, Chapter 6

The wedding of Kitty and Levin in  Part V, Chapters 4, 5, and 6  of  Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is a gold mine of Scriptural references.  This is the ninth post I've written about it.  Today I'm wrapping up the ceremony with the final part of their marriage prayer and blessing. The following quote is from Part V, Chapter 6. Let's take a look at the purple highlighted section.

They prayed:
'Endow them with continence and fruitfulness, and vouchsafe that their hearts may rejoice looking upon their sons and daughters.'
They alluded to God's creation of a wife from Adam's rib, 'and for this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and cleave unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh,' and that 'this is a great mystery'; they prayed that God would make them fruitful and bless them, like Isaac and RebeccaJosephMoses and Zipporah, and that they might look upon their children's children. 'It's all beautiful,' thought Kitty, catching her words, 'just as it should be,' and a smile of happiness, unconsciously reflected in everyone who looked at her, beamed on her radiant face.
 they might look upon their children's children.
Psalm 103:17 
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children . . .
 Psalm 128:6
Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.

Proverbs 17:6 
Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.
This post wraps up the wedding of Kitty and Levin, but it does not wrap up Anna Karenina!  There is  much more Biblical goodness to come.

Starting today you will be able to find old "Classics and the Bible Sundays" posts  at the Classics and the Bible blog! Each new post will debut here at Classical Quest on Sundays as usual, but I will no longer archive them here.  I hope the new site will be a helpful resource for both students of the classics and students of the Bible. 

*All Scripture quotes are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.

(Source: BibleGateway. Image Source: WikiPaintings)

Why follow this series?


  1. When the Bible talked of seeing your children's children, it was in the context of a culture where several generations lived under the same roof, or within the same encampment. I wonder if this had any similarity to Russian culture at the time of AK?

    1. I don't recall that sort of living arrangement portrayed in AK. All the characters who were part of the Russian upper class set up housekeeping in their own homes upon marriage.

      Multigenerational households WERE common among the Russian peasantry during the 19th century though.

      Here's something I found in the Encyclopedia of Social History by Peter N. Sterns:

      "By the time of the emancipation of the serfs (1861), peasants lived in extended, multigenerational households. Peasant society was both patriarchal and patrilocal -- women went to live in the households of their husbands, and children were vested with property rights through their fathers. For both the upper and the lower classes in the 19th century, marriage was based on economics, not romantic love. Tasks within the family were divided by gender, engaging in subsistence family farming, utilizing methods and tools tested by time, and largely unaffected by agricultural innovations."