Sunday, May 30, 2010

Moses in the Bulrushes

Recently finished the picture set retelling the story of 'Moses in the Bulrushes'. Picture one shows the Israelites hard at work under their Egyptian task masters. I wanted to include in this picture some of the ancient Egyptian building methods such as the splitting of rocks using wooden wedges and water, and the methods used to transport the huge stone blocks. Picture two shows the midwifes before Pharaoh. Picture 3 (right) shows Jochebed placing baby Moses into the bulrushes. I talk more about egyptian bulrushes here. Jochebed is holding back the tears as she places Moses into the providential care of God. Miriam places a comforting hand on her mothers shoulder. Aaron was 3 years old at this time, (Exodus 7:7), and other sources place miriam at around seven years old. There seems to be some confusion amongst Bible illustrators concerning the age difference between Moses and Aaron, particularly later on in the story when they stand before Pharaoh (which I'm illustrating at the moment). Some children's Bibles show Aaron to be much younger than Moses, and in one I own he's about 40 years older! So, just to clarify this, around the time of the ten plagues Moses was 80, and Aaron was 83 years old. I show Aaron with a slightly more receding hairline!

In picture 4 baby Moses is found by the egyptian princess. I've mentioned before that baby Moses was crying at this point which few artists show. Are there any other points that artists should be aware of concerning baby Moses? Yes, he was a fine looking baby! (Exodus 2:2) If you look closely at picture 4 you can also see Miriam hiding in the bulrushes! In picture 5 Miriam is speaking to the princess, and in picture 6 Jochebed and Miriam come to take baby Moses into their care. Jochebed is walking away, with her back to the princess trying to hide her delight, and Miriam is looking up at her mum, daring not to speak, but with a "we got away with it!" look on her face. In picture 7, Jochebed presents a young toddler Moses to the princess. Moses has brought a little gift for the princess - not a flower, but a bulrush head as a reminder of when she first found him. (that's not in the Bible by the way, it's artist's license!) Picture 8 shows Moses, now a young man, enjoying the privileges of living in the grand Egyptian palace.

There are 8 pictures in this set which brings our total picture count to 840. Look forward to your comments as always.

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