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Biblical narrative themes and images: Representation, origin, and meaning

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Chapter Summary

Biblical themes were included in the Jewish figurative repertoire and represented on synagogue mosaics pavements though they were selected from relatively few biblical stories: the Binding of Isaac (Aqedah), Noah's Ark, Daniel in the Lion's Den, the Twelve Tribes and King David. The illustrated scenes understandably focus on the most important component of the story, the intended sacrifice and its fortunate outcome. The scenes and episodes portray prominant figures in Jewish tradition and history and important biblical episodes with additions of legends and themes which could be construed as symbolizing traditional, historical events, divine intervention, the covenant between God and his chosen people, and his protection of some and his punishment of others. In conclusion, the Jewish communities wanted to decorate their major religious and social structures with didactic, narrative illustrations expressing their legacy, their religious and national tradition, and their shared experiences evoking memories of past glory.

Keywords:Biblical Narrative Themes; fortunate outcome; Images; Jewish communities; Meaning; Origin; Representation; sacrifice; stories



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