Friday, March 23, 2007

Raising Lazarus!

The latest Bible story to be illustrated is 'The raising of Lazarus', (John ch11).
The story includes 8 pictures, and is available either as a Powerpoint,
or in A3 Poster format.
In picture 3, you can see the actual town of Bethany in the background. I used an early engraving for reference.

Indications are that Mary, Martha and Lazarus were reasonably wealthy. For instance, we read that Lazarus was buried in a tomb. Most burials at that time were in 'Shaft' graves, which were 6' deep x 20" wide. Tombs were reserved for the wealthy.
We also read in ch-12 how Mary used very costly oil of spikenard, (worth 300 denarii), to anoint the feet of Jesus.

Picture 5 shows Martha telling Mary that the Lord wanted to see her. This story is taking place during the 'Shiv-ah' period, (the Jewish week long period of grief and mourning for close relatives). Mary is in the 'house of mourning'. Those who have gathered to pay their respects, and comfort the two sisters are seated either on the ground or on low stools, as was the custom. The normal chairs being upturned.

Those present have torn their clothes on the right side. The left side, (over the heart), being reserved for the loss of a parent.

In pictures 7 and 8 you can see the freshly whitened tomb of Lazarus.
Edersheim tells us that a mixture of chalk and water was used to whiten sepulchers. This process had to be repeated over time, as rain water would wash the chalk away.
In picture 8, the chalky mixture can be clearly seen on the clothes and hands of those who moved the stone. (see picture).

The story of Lazarus brings our total Bible picture count to 664!

Posts on other Bible stories
Blind Bartimaeus
The Rich Young Rular
Crucifixion part 1
Crucifixion part 2
On the road to Emmaus
The Nativity
Woman taken in Adultery